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Trump gag order reinstated as 2024 disqualification trial begins: Live

The fifth week of Donald Trump’s civil fraud trial is underway in New York but another Trump trial has begun in Colorado.

The latest legal action concerns a lawsuit seeking to block Mr Trump from the 2024 presidential ballot based on the 14th Amendment and its ban on insurrectionists running for office. Denver District Court Judge Sarah B Wallace will hear arguments on the Civil War-era federal constitutional amendment throughout the week.

Meanwhile, in New York, Mr Trump’s sons Donald Trump Jr and Eric Trump are expected to testify in the fraud trial this week, with the former president and Ivanka Trump taking the stand the following week.

And in Washington, DC, the judge in the former president’s federal election interference case has reinstated a gag order on him in the federal case brought by special counsel Jack Smith.

US District Judge Tanya Chutkan issued a gag order in the case in early October, banning Mr Trump from making statements about prosecutors and potential witnesses in the case.

The order was briefly paused on 20 October before being reinstated on Sunday.

Mr Trump lashed out at the ruling on Truth Social fuming that it is “NOT CONSTITUTIONAL!”

Key Points

  • Judge reinstates Trump gag order in Jan 6 case

  • Trump gets confused about where he is at Iowa rally

  • Ivanka Trump must testify in father’s civil fraud trial, judge rules

  • What is Trump defence argument in Colorado case?

  • Has Trump already violated newly-reinstated Jan 6 case gag order?

In depth: Trump allies are finally admitting election lies were all made up. But the conspiracies still fuel US politics

13:15 , Oliver O'Connell

Alex Woodward writes:

They were some of the most prominent personalities at the heart of a campaign to toss out millions of Americans’ votes.

Sidney Powell promoted debunked conspiracy theories about voting machines flipping votes for Donald Trump. Kenneth Chesebro pushed a scheme to replace electors with Trump loyalists. Jenna Ellis joined a failed legal effort to overturn election results in states he lost.

In quick succession this month, all three pleaded guilty to crimes connected to a sprawling investigation in Georgia targeting the former president and 18 others who joined an alleged criminal enterprise to illegally reject the state’s presidential election results in 2020.

Their plea deals – among the first from the former president’s one-time inner circle of attorneys – could shape the trajectory of his upcoming criminal trial in the state. All three defendants have agreed to cooperate with prosecutors and testify.

Those former Trump-allied attorneys also admitted that the dubious and conspiracy theory-fuelled legal arguments at the heart of their efforts were wrong.

That campaign may have fallen apart, but the lies behind it are still alive.

Continued...

Trump election lies still fuel US politics – even after Georgia allies flip

Watch: Haley attacks Trump on foreign policy

13:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Former UN Ambassador and South Carolina governor Nikki Haley landed several blows against former president Donald Trump when speaking at the Republican Jewish Coalition’s annual summit over the weekend.

Referencing recent statements by her former boss, Ms Haley said: “As president, I will not compliment Hezbollah. Nor will I criticize Israel’s prime minister in the middle of a tragedy in war. We have no time for personal vendettas. I will also not compliment Chinese communist President Xi. Nor will I call North Korea’s Kim Jong Un my friend. These are not good or smart people.”

Watch:

Update on Trump family testimony

12:40 , Oliver O'Connell

Ivanka Trump’s testimony in the civil fraud trial of her father, brothers, and the family company, has been delayed.

The Messenger reports that the former president’s daughter is now scheduled to take the witness stand on Wednesday, 8 November, with her testimony potentially spilling over into the next day.

She had been scheduled to testify on Friday, 3 November after the testimony of her brothers Donald Trump Jr and Eric Trump.

Former President Donald Trump is still currently scheduled to testify on Monday, 6 November.

New York Attorney General Letitia James’s office had previously told The New York Times that they intend to rest their case after the former president’s testimony.

The defence will then begin their case.

Courtroom scrum: Jan 6 rioter fights off federal agents as he resists arrest

12:20 , Oliver O'Connell

Several federal law enforcement officers tackled a man convicted of crimes connected to January 6 after he tried to flee a Washington DC courtroom on 30 October.

Moments earlier, US District Judge Paul Friedman revoked Vitali GossJankowski’s pre-sentencing release from prison after prosecutors revealed he had sent intimidating messages to law enforcement. The judge ordered US Marshals to take him into immediate custody.

GossJankowski – a former Gallaudet University football player who stands at roughly 6’3” – then tried to escape the federal courthouse, pushing his way through several officers, throwing them to the ground, and dragging them behind him as he reached the door, according to CBS News and WUSA9.

He crashed into a nearby podium and tables, sending a computer to the floor, while officers rushed to the scene and eventually wrapped arms around him.

Alex Woodward reports on the dramatic events in court.

Jan 6 rioter fights off federal agents as he resists arrest in courtroom

How many more of Trump’s Georgia election subversion co-defendants are looking at plea deals?

11:20 , Oliver O'Connell

Another six Trump co-defendants in the Georgia election subversion case have reportedly discussed plea deals with Fulton County prosecutors following the guilty pleas of former Trump lawyers Sidney Powell and Jenna Ellis.

The aim of the office of District Attorney Fani Willis is seemingly to try to get as many co-defendants as possible to flip on former President Donald Trump.

Robert Cheeley, a pro-Trump lawyer, was offered a plea deal, but his lawyer told CNN he chose to decline it.

Attorney Richard Rice told the network, “To say that we are currently in discussions with the DA’s office would be an inaccurate representation of what is going on. They made us an offer some time ago and we declined it”.

Misty Hampton, a former elections supervisor in Coffee County, Georgia, and Mike Roman, a former Trump campaign official, have also spoken to prosecutors about possible plea deals, according to CNN.

Another three unnamed defendants have also taken part in plea deal discussions, the network reported.

There are no signs that Mr Trump’s legal team and the prosecutors’ office are set to discuss a plea deal, as it would mean that the ex-president would have to plead guilty to all charges, CNN noted.

Mr Trump has entered a not-guilty plea in the case and still falsely claims that he won the 2020 election.

Gustaf Kilander has more details.

Trump says Pence should endorse him after former VP drops out of 2024 race

10:20 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump gloated at the news that his former vice president Mike Pence was dropping out of the 2024 race.

Speaking before the same conference at which Mr Pence had made his announcement earlier on Saturday, Mr Trump demanded that the former vice president bend the knee.

Mr Trump has long complained that Mr Pence is disloyal after he refused to interfere in the Senate’s certification of Joe Biden’s 2020 election victory. Mr Pence has remained adamant that he performed his constitutional duty in the face of anger from Mr Trump and his voters throughout the 2024 primary, and that choice is likely to have been a key factor in his campaign’s failure to gain real traction in the crowded primary battle.

John Bowden reports.

Trump reacts to Mike Pence dropping out of the 2024 race

Cohen describes Trump as ‘pathetic, deflated’ at fraud trial

09:20 , Oliver O'Connell

Michael Cohen called his former boss Donald Trump a “sad-looking, pathetic, deflated individual” as he described testifying in front of the ex-president at his New York state fraud trial.

The disbarred attorney shared what was going through his mind as he took the witness stand in front of Mr Trump in an interview with CNN’s Erin Burnett.

“You were sentenced to three years behind bars for what you had called ‘dirty deeds’ that you committed on behalf of him,” Ms Burnett said in the segment that was taped Thursday but aired on Friday due to breaking news. “What was it like in that room, face to face?”

Andrea Cavallier reports on Cohen’s answer.

Michael Cohen describes facing ‘pathetic, deflated’ Trump at fraud trial

ICYMI: Ivanka Trump must testify in father’s civil fraud trial, judge rules

07:20 , Oliver O'Connell

Ivanka Trump must testify in a civil fraud trial stemming from a blockbuster lawsuit targeting her father, adult brothers and the Trumps’ business empire.

Ms Trump, who was dropped from the lawsuit earlier this year, recently tried to quash a subpoena for her testimony in the case, noting that she is no longer a defendant and no longer lives in the state. She formerly lived at Trump Park Avenue.

After hearing arguments from Donald Trump’s attorneys and counsel from the office of New York Attorney General on the motion on 27 October, Judge Arthur Engoron ruled from the bench that the former president’s oldest daughter must testify, finding that she still conducts business and owns property in the state and has failed to show any evidence disputing that.

Her testimony — originally scheduled for 3 November — has now been pushed back until 8 November, after her father’s testimony, and on the same day as the third Republican primary debate.

Read more.

ICYMI: Trump lashes out at Michael Cohen and his fraud trial judge

05:20 , Oliver O'Connell

When he left the courtroom in his civil fraud trial on 24 October, Donald Trump learned that another one of his former campaign attorneys pleaded guilty in Georgia, and that his White House chief of staff knew his 2020 election claims were bogus.

The next day, after spending two days fuming at the defence table, arms crossed, shoulders hunched, staring into a middle distance and forced to listen to his former attorney Michael Cohen testify against him, the former president stood outside the lower Manhattan courtroom’s heavy wooden doors and violated a gag order in the case a second time.

And after the judge overseeing the case roundly rejected Mr Trump’s attorneys’ request to close the case, the former president tossed up his arms, got out of his seat and abruptly left the room.

On 26 October, he logged into his Truth Social account.

Trump lashes out at Michael Cohen and his fraud trial judge

Jan 6 rioter fights off federal agents as he resists arrest in courtroom scrum

03:20 , Oliver O'Connell

Several federal law enforcement officers tackled a man convicted of crimes connected to January 6 after he tried to flee a Washington DC courtroom on 30 October.

Moments earlier, US District Judge Paul Friedman revoked Vitali GossJankowski’s pre-sentencing release from prison after prosecutors revealed he had sent intimidating messages to law enforcement. The judge ordered US Marshals to take him into immediate custody.

GossJankowski – a former Gallaudet University football player who stands at roughly 6’3” – then tried to escape the federal courthouse, pushing his way through several officers, throwing them to the ground, and dragging them behind him as he reached the door, according to CBS News and WUSA9.

He crashed into a nearby podium and tables, sending a computer to the floor, while officers rushed to the scene and eventually wrapped arms around him.

Alex Woodward reports.

Jan 6 rioter fights off federal agents as he resists arrest in courtroom

02:20 , Oliver O'Connell

Chilling: Trump warns Biden amid slew of criminal cases

01:20 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump appeared to suggest that President Joe Biden may face retribution for the investigations into him launched by the Department of Justice.

“Why didn’t Crooked Joe Biden tell his Injustice Department to file the lawsuits and Indictments against me 3 years ago, instead of right in the middle of my campaign for President?” Mr Trump wrote on Truth Social shortly before 1am on Monday.

“You’re setting a BAD precedent for yourself, Joe. The same can happen to you,” Mr Trump warned. “These Third World Biden Indictments, which should never have been filed, would have been tried and over with years ago. My SleazeBag Opponent shouldn’t be able to do this during my campaign, OR BEFORE THE ELECTION!”

Mr Trump’s ominous post came just hours after he made similar statements attacking Mr Biden during a campaign event in Iowa on Sunday.

Trump gives chilling warning to Biden about his slew of criminal cases

Did Trump immediately violate new gag order in Jan 6 case?

00:20 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump has appeared to break a gag order immediately after it was reinstated by a Washington DC federal judge.

US District Judge Tanya Chutkan is overseeing the case brought by special counsel Jack Smith‘s office against Mr Trump over the 6 January 2021 insurrection and the months-long attempt to overturn the 2020 election.

On Sunday, Judge Chutkan reinstated a gag order against Mr Trump that was initially put in place earlier this month, restricting what he can and cannot say about the proceedings in public.

About an hour and 15 minutes after the gag order was reinstated, the former president lashed out at his former Attorney General Bill Barr, a potential witness in his federal election subversion case – a move that may well be a violation of the judge’s order.

In a Truth Social post on Sunday night, Mr Trump branded Mr Barr “gutless and lazy”.

Has Trump already violated newly-reinstated gag order in Jan 6 case?

Trump federal Jan 6 gag order reinstated

Monday 30 October 2023 23:20 , Oliver O'Connell

The judge in Donald Trump’s federal election interference case has reinstated a gag order on the former president.

US District Judge Tanya Chutkan issued a gag order in the case back in early October, banning Mr Trump from making statements about prosecutors, court personnel and potential witnesses in the case.

But, the order was briefly put on pause on 20 October as Mr Trump’s attorneys appealed the decision.

Last week, Special counsel Jack Smith’s team urged the judge to lift the stay and reinforce the ban, after Mr Trump was fined $10,000 for breaking a gag order in his separate civil fraud case in New York.

On Sunday evening, Judge Chutkan sided with Mr Smith’s team and reinstated the ruling.

Rachel Sharp reports.

Trump appears to forget where he is at rally

Monday 30 October 2023 22:20 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump appeared to forget where he was during his latest campaign swing through Iowa over the weekend.

The former president took to the stage in Sioux City on Sunday where he told the crowd that he thinks he’ll win the caucuses in the state in January – and that he is disregarding the guidance of his advisors not to take anything for granted.

“I go around saying ‘of course we’re going to win Iowa’. My people said you cannot assume that,” Mr Trump told the audience at the Orpheum Theater in Sioux City, Iowa.

“There’s no way Iowa is voting against Trump,” he said, citing the benefits to farming states from his tariffs on China.

But when Mr Trump first took the stage, he greeted the crowd by muddling up what city and state he was in.

Read more...

Trump appears to forget where he is at Iowa rally

Scotus takes up social media cases similar to one about Donald Trump's Twitter feed

Monday 30 October 2023 21:45 , AP

The Supreme Court is tackling the question of when public officials can block critics from commenting on their social media accounts, an issue that first arose in a case involving former President Donald Trump.

The justices are hearing arguments in two cases Tuesday involving lawsuits filed by people who were blocked after leaving critical comments on social media accounts belonging to school board members in southern California and a city manager in Port Huron, Michigan, northeast of Detroit.

The cases are part of a term-long focus on the relationship between government and the private digital platforms.

Early next year, the court will evaluate Republican-passed laws in Florida and Texas that prohibit large social media companies from taking down posts because of the views they express. The tech companies said that the laws violate their First Amendment rights. The laws reflect a view among Republicans that the platforms disproportionately censor conservative viewpoints.

Also on the agenda is a challenge from Missouri and Louisiana to the Biden administration’s efforts to combat controversial social media posts on topics including COVID-19 and election security. The states argue that the administration has been unconstitutionally coercing the platforms into cracking down on conservative positions.

Continued...

Will a Colorado judge bar Donald Trump from the 2024 election?

Monday 30 October 2023 21:20 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump’s future on the presidential ballot in Colorado could be decided in a courtroom.

A weeklong hearing in Denver could determine whether the former president’s actions surrounding the attack on the US Capitol on 6 January, 2021 and his attempts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election violate the 14th Amendment and disqualify him from running again in the state.

The 14 Amendment, adopted in the aftermath of the US Civil War, prohibits anyone who has sworn an oath to uphold the constitution — including elected officials — and who “engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof” from holding office in the future.

A lawsuit filed by a group of Republican voters and a government watchdog group argues that Mr Trump has “failed” that test and rendered him “constitutionally ineligible to appear on any Colorado ballot as a candidate for federal or state office”.

Alex Woodward reports.

Will a Colorado judge remove Donald Trump from the ballot?

US Capitol Police officer quizzed at Colorado trial

Monday 30 October 2023 21:08 , Alex Woodward

Team Trump and Colorado GOP lawyers are questioning US Capitol Police Officer Winston Pingeon about his Etsy store, where he sells his January 6-inspired artwork.

Pingeon – who experiences PTSD after spending most of that day getting pummeled by the mob, pepper sprayed and trying to keep a flood of rioters at bay for more than four hours – has said he turned to artwork to help manage his symptoms.

An attorney for Trump suggests he is appearing to testify to “raise your profile and sell more pictures”.

“With your endorsement, perhaps,” Pingeon says, laughing.

Watch: Haley attacks Trump on foreign policy

Monday 30 October 2023 21:01 , Oliver O'Connell

Former UN Ambassador and South Carolina governor Nikki Haley landed several blows against former president Donald Trump when speaking at the Republican Jewish Coalition’s annual summit over the weekend.

Referencing recent statements by her former boss, Ms Haley said: “As president, I will not compliment Hezbollah. Nor will I criticize Israel’s prime minister in the middle of a tragedy in war. We have no time for personal vendettas. I will also not compliment Chinese communist President Xi. Nor will I call North Korea’s Kim Jong Un my friend. These are not good or smart people.”

Watch:

How many more of Trump’s Georgia election subversion co-defendants are looking at plea deals?

Monday 30 October 2023 20:50 , Oliver O'Connell

Another six Trump co-defendants in the Georgia election subversion case have reportedly discussed plea deals with Fulton County prosecutors following the guilty pleas of former Trump lawyers Sidney Powell and Jenna Ellis.

The aim of the office of District Attorney Fani Willis is seemingly to try to get as many co-defendants as possible to flip on former President Donald Trump.

Robert Cheeley, a pro-Trump lawyer, was offered a plea deal, but his lawyer told CNN he chose to decline it.

Attorney Richard Rice told the network, “To say that we are currently in discussions with the DA’s office would be an inaccurate representation of what is going on. They made us an offer some time ago and we declined it”.

Misty Hampton, a former elections supervisor in Coffee County, Georgia, and Mike Roman, a former Trump campaign official, have also spoken to prosecutors about possible plea deals, according to CNN.

Another three unnamed defendants have also taken part in plea deal discussions, the network reported.

There are no signs that Mr Trump’s legal team and the prosecutors’ office are set to discuss a plea deal, as it would mean that the ex-president would have to plead guilty to all charges, CNN noted.

Mr Trump has entered a not-guilty plea in the case and still falsely claims that he won the 2020 election.

Gustaf Kilander has more details.

Six more of Trump’s Georgia co-defendants may be looking at plea deals

New York trial sees video deposition of former Zurich insurance underwriter

Monday 30 October 2023 20:36 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump’s New York fraud trial was shown the video deposition of Claudia Mouradian (formerly Markarian), an ex-vice president and senior underwriting officer for commercial surety at Zurich North America.

The most significant part of her testimony is when she is shown a transcript of former Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg’s deposition and is pointed to a passage in which he is asked whether, at any point in 2018, he informed a Zurich underwriter that the valuations contained in the statement of financial condition were in fact performed by an appraiser.

Weisselberg says he does not recall saying that.

Ms Mouradian says: “It’s not consistent with what he told me at the meeting.”

She adds that it would have been “material” to her consideration and that they expect “our customers to be truthful to us when we’re underwriting them”.

GOP primary field readies for third debate — again without Trump

Monday 30 October 2023 20:30 , Oliver O'Connell

The third Republican primary debate will take place on 8 November, broadcast by NBC News at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami.

To qualify, candidates need to reach at least four per cent in two national polls, or four per cent in one national poll and four per cent in two early primary states.

They also need 70,000 individual donors, including 200 donors in 20 states, according to the requirements set by the Republican National Committee (RNC).

Five candidates have qualified for the showdown, so far – Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, biotech entrepreneur and woke-bashing author Vivek Ramaswamy, former UN Ambassador and South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, and ex-New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.

Former President Donald Trump has also qualified but has said that, like the first two debates, he won’t attend. He will instead hold a rally in Hialeah, Florida, not far from Miami. The debate will take place almost immediately after the former president testifies at this civil fraud trial in New York.

When is the third Republican debate?

What is the Colorado case all about and could it really bar Trump from 2024 election?

Monday 30 October 2023 20:15 , Oliver O'Connell

Trump loses final bid to stop Colorado case that could see him barred from ballot

Monday 30 October 2023 20:02 , Alex Woodward

Eric Swalwell is now off the witness stand (remotely) after brief questioning from an attorney for Donald Trump.

Swalwell was asked about then-President Trump’s Twitter post on 2.38pm on January 6 telling supporters to “Stay peaceful,” after his attorneys stated in opening arguments that Trump had repeatedly urged “peace” that day.

But by that point, the mob had already broken through the last of the police barricades, bashed through doors and windows, and chased police inside the Capitol, getting 40 feet within Mike Pence.

That tweet came roughly one hour after his “fight like hell” comments in his Ellipse speech.

We’re now hearing from US Capitol Police Officer Winston Pingeon.

Rep Swalwell testifies at Colorado trial

Monday 30 October 2023 19:48 , Oliver O'Connell

Attorneys for plaintiffs in the Colorado lawsuit have just finished questioning Democratic US Rep Eric Swalwell of California, whose remote testimony recounted his experience as a member of Congress trapped inside the Capitol surrounded by a mob on January 6.

He explained how lawmakers prepared to wear gas masks and rallied others to evacuate the House chamber and huddle for safety to prepare for the late-night certification of 2020 election results. He was shown video statements and Twitter posts from then-President Trump during the assault.

Trump’s attorneys are trying to undermine Swalwell’s testimony by suggesting that a victory for the plaintiffs in the Colorado case could boost his own chances of his own litigation against the former president.

His attorneys also are trying to downplay Trump’s “fight like hell” remarks by pointing to the congressman’s own comments to “fight” to support abortion rights. Swalwell has stressed that the context of his statements (Trump’s remarks were in front of a crowd that stormed the Capitol) is critical.

‘You’re setting a BAD precedent for yourself, Joe’, warns Trump

Monday 30 October 2023 19:20 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump appeared to suggest that President Joe Biden may face retribution for the investigations into him launched by the Department of Justice.

“Why didn’t Crooked Joe Biden tell his Injustice Department to file the lawsuits and Indictments against me 3 years ago, instead of right in the middle of my campaign for President?” Mr Trump wrote on Truth Social shortly before 1am on Monday.

“You’re setting a BAD precedent for yourself, Joe. The same can happen to you,” Mr Trump warned. “These Third World Biden Indictments, which should never have been filed, would have been tried and over with years ago. My SleazeBag Opponent shouldn’t be able to do this during my campaign, OR BEFORE THE ELECTION!”

Mr Trump’s ominous post came just hours after he made similar statements attacking Mr Biden during a campaign event in Iowa on Sunday.

Gustaf Kilander reports.

Trump gives chilling warning to Biden about his slew of criminal cases

Update on Trump family testimony

Monday 30 October 2023 18:52 , Oliver O'Connell

Ivanka Trump’s testimony in the civil fraud trial of her father, brothers, and the family company, has been delayed.

The Messenger reports that the former president's daughter is now scheduled to take the witness stand on Wednesday, 8 November, with her testimony potentially spilling over into the next day.

She had been scheduled to testify on Friday, 3 November after the testimony of her brothers Donald Trump Jr and Eric Trump.

Former President Donald Trump is still currently scheduled to testify on Monday, 6 November.

New York Attorney General Letitia James’s office has told The New York Times that they intend to rest their case after the former president’s testimony.

The defence will then begin their case.

Jan 6 rioter fights off federal agents as he resists arrest in courtroom scrum

Monday 30 October 2023 18:35 , Oliver O'Connell

Several federal law enforcement officers tackled a man convicted of crimes connected to January 6 after he tried to flee a Washington DC courtroom on 30 October.

Moments earlier, US District Judge Paul Friedman revoked Vitali GossJankowski’s pre-sentencing release from prison after prosecutors revealed he had sent intimidating messages to law enforcement. The judge ordered US Marshals to take him into immediate custody.

GossJankowski – a former Gallaudet University football player who stands at roughly 6’3” – then tried to escape the federal courthouse, pushing his way through several officers, throwing them to the ground, and dragging them behind him as he reached the door, according to CBS News and WUSA9.

He crashed into a nearby podium and tables, sending a computer to the floor, while officers rushed to the scene and eventually wrapped arms around him.

Alex Woodward reports.

Jan 6 rioter fights off federal agents as he resists arrest in courtroom

Byron Donalds open to being Trump’s VP

Monday 30 October 2023 18:15 , Oliver O'Connell

Florida Rep Byron Donalds is finding himself at the centre of speculation over a Vice Presidential bid after a half-hearted run for Speaker of the House ended in his defeat and the election of Rep Mike Johnson, a relative unknown, to the House’s top spot.

House Republicans finally ended a weeks-long stalemate and elected a new Speaker last week after the successful ouster of Kevin McCarthy by a contingent of right-wing conservatives in the chamber earlier this month. Mr Donalds, a second-term congressman who (like Mr Johnson) has never served in GOP leadership or as a committee chair, was among the names floated as a candidate for the job. He officially entered the race after several candidates had risen and fallen before the caucus, but declined to form an operation to whip votes in his favour and saw defeat in a closed-door conference meeting.

This weekend, the Republican lawmaker was a guest on Sunday Morning Futures with Maria Bartiromo on the Fox News network where he responded to Bartiromo’s suggestion that he could receive an invitation to serve as Donald Trump’s running mate in 2024.

John Bowden reports from Washington, DC.

Florida Republican says he’s open to being Trump’s VP

Meanwhile, in Georgia...

Monday 30 October 2023 17:55 , Oliver O'Connell

Another six Trump co-defendants in the Georgia election subversion case have reportedly discussed plea deals with Fulton County prosecutors following the guilty pleas of former Trump lawyers Sidney Powell and Jenna Ellis.

The aim of the office of District Attorney Fani Willis is seemingly to try to get as many co-defendants as possible to flip on former President Donald Trump.

Robert Cheeley, a pro-Trump lawyer, was offered a plea deal, but his lawyer told CNN he chose to decline it.

Attorney Richard Rice told the network, “To say that we are currently in discussions with the DA’s office would be an inaccurate representation of what is going on. They made us an offer some time ago and we declined it”.

Misty Hampton, a former elections supervisor in Coffee County, Georgia, and Mike Roman, a former Trump campaign official, have also spoken to prosecutors about possible plea deals, according to CNN.

Another three unnamed defendants have also taken part in plea deal discussions, the network reported.

Six more of Trump’s Georgia co-defendants may be looking at plea deals

Trump ‘pathetic, deflated’ at fraud trial, says Cohen

Monday 30 October 2023 17:35 , Oliver O'Connell

Michael Cohen called his former boss Donald Trump a “sad-looking, pathetic, deflated individual” as he described testifying in front of the ex-president at his New York state fraud trial.

The disbarred attorney shared what was going through his mind as he took the witness stand in front of Mr Trump in an interview with CNN’s Erin Burnett.

“You were sentenced to three years behind bars for what you had called ‘dirty deeds’ that you committed on behalf of him,” Ms Burnett said in the segment that was taped Thursday but aired on Friday due to breaking news. “What was it like in that room, face to face?”

Andrea Cavallier reports.

Trump reacts to Pence dropping out of 2024 race

Monday 30 October 2023 17:15 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump gloated at the news that his former vice president Mike Pence was dropping out of the 2024 race.

Speaking before the same conference at which Mr Pence had made his announcement earlier on Saturday, Mr Trump demanded that the former vice president bend the knee.

Mr Trump has long complained that Mr Pence is disloyal after he refused to interfere in the Senate’s certification of Joe Biden’s 2020 election victory. Mr Pence has remained adamant that he performed his constitutional duty in the face of anger from Mr Trump and his voters throughout the 2024 primary, and that choice is likely to have been a key factor in his campaign’s failure to gain real traction in the crowded primary battle.

“I don’t know about Mike Pence. He should endorse me. He should endorse me. You know why? Because I had a great, successful presidency and he was the vice president,” Mr Trump told the Republican Jewish Coalition in Las Vegas.

John Bowden has the story.

Trump reacts to Mike Pence dropping out of the 2024 race

ICYMI: Trump’s niece calls him a ‘toddler’ for storming out of New York trial

Monday 30 October 2023 16:55 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump‘s niece branded him a “toddler” for abruptly walking out of the courtroom during his fraud trial in New York City.

While speaking on “The Dean Obeidallah Show,” Mary Trump and Dean Obeidallah discussed the fraud trial in New York, during which the former president was slapped with a $10,000 fine after violating a gag order for a second time.

Referring to the gag order, Obeidallah said, “Have you ever seen your uncle The Donald ever, this instantaneous accountability?”

“No,” Ms Trump said, “It was as if for the first time in 77 years, the toddler had been given a time-out! And as you know, he didn’t react particularly well to it.”

Kelly Rissman reports.

Trump’s niece calls him a ‘toddler’ for storming out of fraud trial

ICYMI: Trump appears to forget where he is at Iowa rally

Monday 30 October 2023 16:35 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump appeared to forget where he was during his latest campaign swing through Iowa over the weekend.

The former president took to the stage in Sioux City on Sunday where he told the crowd that he thinks he’ll win the caucuses in the state in January – and that he is disregarding the guidance of his advisors not to take anything for granted.

“I go around saying ‘of course we’re going to win Iowa’. My people said you cannot assume that,” Mr Trump told the audience at the Orpheum Theater in Sioux City, Iowa.

“There’s no way Iowa is voting against Trump,” he said, citing the benefits to farming states from his tariffs on China.

But when Mr Trump first took the stage, he greeted the crowd by muddling up what city and state he was in.

Gustaf Kilander reports.

Trump appears to forget where he is at Iowa rally

In depth: Could a Colorado judge remove Donald Trump from the 2024 ballot?

Monday 30 October 2023 16:10 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump’s future on the presidential ballot in Colorado could be decided in a courtroom.

A weeklong hearing in Denver could determine whether the former president’s actions surrounding the attack on the US Capitol on 6 January, 2021 and his attempts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election violate the 14th Amendment and disqualify him from running again in the state.

The 14 Amendment, adopted in the aftermath of the US Civil War, prohibits anyone who has sworn an oath to uphold the constitution — including elected officials — and who “engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof” from holding office in the future.

A lawsuit filed by a group of Republican voters and a government watchdog group argues that Mr Trump has “failed” that test and rendered him “constitutionally ineligible to appear on any Colorado ballot as a candidate for federal or state office”.

Alex Woodward reports.

Will a Colorado judge remove Donald Trump from the ballot?

Colorado: First witness — Daniel Hodges, DC Police

Monday 30 October 2023 15:52 , Alex Woodward

Washington DC Metropolitan Police Department officer Daniel Hodges is the first witness testifying in the Colorado case.

Hodges, if you remember, was crushed against a door facing a mob inside the Capitol tunnel. Video showed him screaming for help while he was pinned down by a rioter using a police riot shield.

Here’s our coverage of what happened to him on January 6:

Police identify officer crushed in door during Capitol riots after little girl sends him letter

This morning in court (in New York)

Monday 30 October 2023 15:42 , Oliver O'Connell

The New York Attorney General’s office recalled Raymond Flores to the stand to continue his testimony from last week in the civil fraud trial against Donald Trump, his company, his adult sons, and senior executives.

Mr Flores was once a vice president at the Trump Organization and was questioned by Andrew Amer, counsel for the prosecution.

After some questions regarding the valuation of 4-6 East 57th St in Manhattan and a change in the valuation (that the witness says he does not recall), the topic shifts to the valuation of the Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida — now the former president’s home.

A chart is displayed of its valuations from 2011 to 2021. The NYAG argues that Trump fraudulently valued the property as a private residence, rather than a private members’ club. Mr Flores said he did not recall whether that was the case, though Judge Arthur Engoron has already ruled that it was.

Documentation is shown in which the Trump Organization lists Mar-a-Lago as a commercial property (as a private members’ club it is subject to many regulations by local authorities that would not apply to a private residence).

The company filed an appeal on the valuation of the property in 2020 but then withdrew the appeal saying it agrees with the $26.6m valuation.

An email was shown from the tax accountant who submitted that document, Marvin F Power and Company senior consultant Michael Corbiciero, to Mr Flores on 17 November 2021 with the subject line: “Mar-a-Lago Homestead Exemption.”

"Last year, we briefly discussed the possibility of filing for a homestead exemption on the Mar-a-Lago property since President Donald Trump had legally declared Palm Beach and the Mar-a-Lago property as his personal residence,” the email reads, before explaining that Mr Trump would have to “meet certain requirements” for the exemption including transferring ownership to him as an individual rather than the company.

The email notes: “Currently, this property is assessed as a private club with the current assessed value at $359/sqft. The surrounding residential properties are assessed on average of over $2,000 per sqft with a recent sale just over $3,000 per sqft.”

This shows that the company was fully aware of the status of the property as a commercial members’ club subject to various restrictions and that made it less valuable than a private residence nearby.

The defence has argued that Mar-a-Lago is worth much more than officially listed and Trump has wildly claimed it is worth as much as $1.5bn.

There is no cross-examination of the witness and the court took its mid-morning break.

What is Trump defence argument in Colorado case?

Monday 30 October 2023 15:11 , Alex Woodward

Scott Gessler, a former Colorado secretary of state who is leading Trump’s defence in Colorado, argues that the 14th Amendment’s clause prohibiting anyone who “engaged insurrection or rebellion” against the government does not include speech.

“Engaged,” he said, “is not incitement through words.”

Those words include Trump’s speech to supporters on January 6 “in which he told people to peacefully and patriotically” go to the Capitol, Gessler claimed. Trump actually “took actions to prevent violence” and “called for peace” at least four times, he said.

Trump’s team has repeatedly tried to dismiss the case and rejected the premise as “lawfare that seeks to interfere with the presidential election” and “election interference”.

Gessler is accusing the plaintiffs of being “private attorney generals” relying on “fringe” and “illogical” legal theories that go up against protected speech.

Watch LIVE: Trial begins over disqualification of Donald Trump from Colorado 2024 ballot

Monday 30 October 2023 14:52 , Oliver O'Connell

Has Trump already violated newly-reinstated Jan 6 case gag order?

Monday 30 October 2023 14:32 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump has appeared to break a gag order immediately after it was reinstated by a Washington DC federal judge.

US District Judge Tanya Chutkan is overseeing the case brought by special counsel Jack Smith‘s office against Mr Trump over the 6 January 2021 insurrection and the months-long attempt to overturn the 2020 election.

On Sunday, Judge Chutkan reinstated a gag order against Mr Trump that was initially put in place earlier this month, restricting what he can and cannot say about the proceedings in public.

About an hour and 15 minutes after the gag order was reinstated, the former president lashed out at his former Attorney General Bill Barr, a potential witness in his federal election subversion case – a move that may well be a violation of the judge’s order.

In a Truth Social post on Sunday night, Mr Trump branded Mr Barr “gutless and lazy”.

Gustaf Kilander reports from Washington, DC.

Has Trump already violated newly-reinstated gag order in Jan 6 case?

Fifth week of Trump civil fraud trial getting underway

Monday 30 October 2023 14:19 , Oliver O'Connell

The fifth week of Donald Trump’s civil fraud trial is getting underway at New York’s Supreme Court in Lower Manhattan.

On Friday, proceedings left off with the New York Attorney General’s counsel questioning former Trump Organization vice president Raymond Flores about his work with Eric Trump regarding the valuations of golf courses.

Both of the former president’s sons from his first marriage, Donald Trump Jr and Eric, are expected to take the stand this week, with their sister Ivanka Trump likely to testify on Friday.

Mr Trump himself is scheduled to testify on Monday 6 November. It is not known whether he will be in court for the testimony of his three adult children.

Judge Arthur Engoron ruled before the trial that the former president, his two adult sons, former Trump Organization chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg, ex-controller Jeff McConney and various Trump businesses were liable for fraud, having inflated valuations of key assets to increase the total net worth of Mr Trump.

There are six other counts for the judge to consider including insurance fraud, falsifying business records, and conspiracy.

Trial to begin today in lawsuit seeking to remove Trump from 2024 race

Monday 30 October 2023 13:50 , Oliver O'Connell

On Monday, a trial will begin in Colorado over a lawsuit seeking to block Donald Trump from the 2024 presidential ballot in the state.

The suit claims that Mr Trump cannot run for former due to the 14th Amendment and its ban on insurrectionists running for office.

Last week, a judge rejected the former president’s efforts to have the suit thrown out.

A similar case will also be heard in Minnesota on Thursday.

This morning on Truth Social...

Monday 30 October 2023 13:40 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump kicks off the week with his customary rants about the various criminal and civil cases against him in four posts on Truth Social:

Why didn’t they start the totally political BIDEN INDICTMENTS & COURT CASES Three (3) Years Ago, instead of the MIDDLE OF MY CAMPAIGN??? Third World Country-ELECTION INTERFERENCE!!!

If they started the highly political Biden Indictments 3 years ago, everything would now be finished. THEY WAITED UNTIL MY CAMPAIGN BEGAN!

The Obama appointed Federal Judge in D.C, a TRUE TRUMP HATER, is incapable of giving me a fair trial. Her Hatred of President DONALD J. TRUMP is so great that she has been diagnosed with a major, and incurable, case of TRUMP DERANGEMENT SYNDROME!!!

These highly political (All started by Crooked Joe Biden!) Lawsuits and Indictments shouldn’t be allowed to start until AFTER THE ELECTION IS OVER! Our Founding Fathers are looking down at Biden with scorn!

Those posts followed last night’s screed:

I have just learned that the very Biased, Trump Hating Judge in D.C., who should have RECUSED herself due to her blatant and open loathing of your favorite President, ME, has reimposed a GAG ORDER which will put me at a disadvantage against my prosecutorial and political opponents. This order, according to many legal scholars, is unthinkable! It illegally and unconstitutionally takes away my First Amendment Right of Free Speech, in the middle of my campaign for President, where I am leading against BOTH Parties in the Polls. Few can believe this is happening, but I will appeal. How can they tell the leading candidate that he, and only he, is seriously restricted from campaigning in a free and open manner? It will not stand!

The former president’s New York civil trial for fraud continues at 10am ET and his 14th Amendment disqualification trial begins in Colorado — here’s our previous reporting on that:

Trump loses final bid to stop Colorado case that could see him barred from ballot

Has Trump already violated newly-reinstated gag order in Jan case?

Monday 30 October 2023 13:30 , Rachel Sharp

Ron DeSantis offers contradictory gun views after Maine massacre

Monday 30 October 2023 13:00 , John Bowden

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis offered a seemingly contradictory position on gun rights and mental health on Sunday as he addressed the mass shooting in Maine that left nearly two dozen people dead last week.

Mr DeSantis was speaking to host Kristen Welker on NBC’s Meet the Press when he was asked to respond to a remark from the new Speaker of the House, Mike Johnson, arguing that access to guns was not the problem that should be addressed in the wake of the shooting that resulted in a days-long manhunt. The suspected killer was eventually found dead.

Watch below:

Ron DeSantis spins contradictory gun views after Maine shooting

Michael Cohen describes facing ‘pathetic, deflated’ Trump at fraud trial

Monday 30 October 2023 12:27 , John Bowden

Michael Cohen is making the rounds on TV to discuss his showdown with Donald Trump at the latter’s fraud trial in New York this week.

Cohen testified over two days at the trial, telling of how he and the former Trump Organization CFO altered the company’s financials.

Speaking to CNN on Saturday, Cohen explained what it was like to have Mr Trump’s stare boring into him on the stand.

“I was confused on how I was going to be,” he said. “And actually, I felt nothing. It was so weird that here I am, sitting directly across from Donald Trump, and I felt absolutely nothing. And then directly over his left shoulder was his son, Eric, who also I maintained a relationship with. And I felt absolutely nothing.

“I looked at him, and I said to myself, boy, what a sad-looking, pathetic, deflated individual.”

Michael Cohen describes facing ‘pathetic, deflated’ Trump at fraud trial

FULL STORY: Trump gag order reinstated in federal Jan 6 case

Monday 30 October 2023 12:00 , Rachel Sharp

The judge in Donald Trump’s federal election interference case has reinstated a gag order on the former president.

US District Judge Tanya Chutkan issued a gag order in the case back in early October, banning Mr Trump from making statements about prosecutors, court personnel and potential witnesses in the case.

But, the order was briefly put on pause on 20 October as Mr Trump’s attorneys appealed the decision.

Last week, Special counsel Jack Smith’s team urged the judge to lift the stay and reinforce the ban, after Mr Trump was fined $10,000 for breaking a gag order in his separate civil fraud case in New York.

On Sunday evening, Judge Chutkan sided with Mr Smith’s team and reinstated the ruling.

Read the full story:

Trump gag order reinstated in federal Jan 6 case