Trump news - live: Special master calls Trump’s bluff over allegedly planted papers

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Donald Trump’s attorneys have been ordered to say one way or the other whether they actually believe the FBI planted incriminating evidence in the documents seized from Mr Trump’s home — or whether the former president is merely bluffing to save face.

The ex-president meanwhile has claimed that as president he had the authority to declassify top secret documents just “by thinking about it”, as he blamed banks themselves for failing to check his company’s valuations.

He was speaking on Fox News after New York’s attorney general accused the Trump Organisation of inflating his net worth by billions of dollars and habitually misleading banks.

Key points

  • New York AG suing Trump for ‘numerous acts of fraud'

  • Trump claims he can declassify top secret documents just ‘by thinking about it’

  • Special master calls Trump’s bluff on ‘planted’ docs

  • Mike Lindell under investigation for damaging election computer, identity fraud

  • Former president touts 2024 chances while buried under investigations

Pro-Trump host Alex Jones shouts ‘I’m done apologising’ at Sandy Hook parents crying in court

01:15 , John Bowden

The second defamation trial of Alex Jones got off to a rocky start this week as the beleaguered Infowars host continues to face comeuppance for abetting years’ worth of right-wing harassment at the families of slain elementary schoolers.

The courtroom in Connecticut descended into chaos on Thursday as the far-right conspiracy theorist took the stand in his defamation case and refused to acknowledge any responsibility for causing a decade of harassment to the victims’ families.

“I’ve already said I’m sorry hundreds of times. And I’m done saying sorry,” he shouted across the courtroom.

Read more from Rachel Sharp:

Alex Jones shouts ‘I’m done apologising’ at Sandy Hook parents crying in court

Trump fires off torrent of Truth Social posts about 2024 run: 'History is calling Donald Trump'

Friday 23 September 2022 00:15 , John Bowden

Amid a torrent of criminal investigations and lawsuits blaming him for fraudulent business practices, Donald Trump is trying to gin up support for a 2024 run.

That’s how the ex-president spent his day on Thursday, as he turned to his Truth Social platform to get the word out among his closest fans.

In one pair of posts, Mr Trump linked to a text on the website American Thinker with the headline “Donald Trump Must Be The 2024 Republican Nominee” before linking to a CNN report stating that “Trump fields calls from Republican allies to speed up 2024 bid after FBI raid”.

Read more from Gustaf Kilander:

Trump fires off torrent of Truth Social posts about 2024 run: ‘History is calling’

Mike Lindell under investigation over identity theft and damage to computer connected to voting machine

Thursday 22 September 2022 23:45 , John Bowden

Mike Lindell’s efforts to aid Donald Trump and the campaign to overturn the 2020 election may have finally gotten him into trouble.

NBC News reported on Wednesday that the hybrid pillow vendor and political operative is under federal investigation for a number of serious crimes related to his efforts to prove that widespread voter fraud or other election-related shenanigans cost Donald Trump the election in 2020.

Read more from John Bowden:

Mike Lindell under investigation over damaging voting machine computer

Trump lawyers ordered to say whether they believe FBI planted evidence

Thursday 22 September 2022 23:15 , John Bowden

The Brooklyn federal judge in charge of reviewing the 11,000 documents which the FBI seized from former president Donald Trump’s home during an 8 August search has ordered the ex-president’s legal team to declare one way or the other whether they believe agents planted evidence to incriminate the former president.

The baseless accusations have floated for weeks, shared by the president himself and his closest allies. They’ve sparked conspiracies among his fans of a FBI-led political campaign to destroy Mr Trump, and led to an increase in violent threats targeting the agency.

In an order released on Thursday, the special master called for by Mr Trump’s team gave those attorneys until 30 September to say whether any of the items on the 11-page inventory provided by the department are described incorrectly.

Read more in The Independent:

Trump lawyers ordered to say whether they believe FBI planted evidence

Trump to host fundraiser for right-wing GOP candidate

Thursday 22 September 2022 22:45 , John Bowden

Donald Trump will host a fundraiser next month for Dan Cox, the Republican nominee for governor in Maryland, at his Mar-a-Lago estate.

Mr Cox has bought in to the former president’s falsehoods about the 2020 election and was not endorsed for the nomination (or, so far, for the office at all) by Maryland’s incumbent retiring GOP governor, Larry Hogan. His victory in the GOP primary was one instance in which Democrats successfully boosted, through tactical campaign spending, an election denier against a more moderate opponent in a Republican-on-Republican matchup.

Read more at The Hill from Julia Manchester.

Trump flinging paper towels at Puerto Rico residents resurfaces as Biden pledges full support after hurricane

Thursday 22 September 2022 22:15 , John Bowden

Donald Trump tossing paper towels into a crowd of Puerto Rico residents in October 2017 resurfaced on social media overnight Wednesday as President Joe Biden pledged full support for the island, which was once again struck by a natural disaster.

Twitter users were quick to contrast the Democratic president’s response with the resistance to aiding the island that some conservatives showed during the Trump administration as well at the ex-president’s own tone deaf photo op during which he threw rolls of paper towels at waiting residents.

Read more from Gustaf Kilander:

Trump flinging paper towels in Puerto Rico resurfaces as Biden pledges support

Capitol rioter who dressed as Hitler and was defended by Trump sentenced to four years in federal prison

Thursday 22 September 2022 21:45 , John Bowden

A Capitol rioter who dressed up as Adolf Hitler and whose case has been championed by former President Donald Trump has been sentenced to four years in federal prison for participating in the attack.

Timothy Hale-Cusanelli, 32, was convicted in May after trying — and failing — to convince a jury he was unaware that Congress was in session at the Capitol.

Naval investigators spoke to 34 of his former co-workers during a probe. They told investigators he held “extremist or radical views pertaining to Jewish people, minorities, and women,” with some saying they were “afraid” of him.

Read more about this rioter, whose cause has been personally supported by Donald Trump, in The Independent:

Capitol rioter who dressed as Hitler sentenced to four years in federal prison

Jamie Raskin unloads on GOP congressman for obsessing over ‘poor schmuck’ Ray Epps

Thursday 22 September 2022 21:15 , John Bowden

Maryland Representative Jamie Raskin on Wednesday smacked down one of his Republican colleagues after he was asked to respond to a repeatedly debunked conspiracy theory regarding an alleged agent provocateur who has become a central figure in Trumpworld claims about the January 6 riot.

Rep Thomas Massie, a darling of the far right, was pressing Mr Raskin on a long-debunked tale about Ray Epps, a man whom Trump supporters have latched onto as a supposed government agent who they claim provoked others to violence during the attack. The conspiracy has allowed many on the far right, including Mr Massie, to shift blame from their own actions leading up to the riot.

“He's just trying to survive and he's on your side. You don't have many voters left — you might want to try to hang on to them without demonising and vilifying your own people,” Mr Raskin told his Republican rival.

Read more in The Independent:

Jamie Raskin unloads on GOP congressman for obsessing over ‘poor schmuck’ Ray Epps

Trump-backed Republican House candidate misrepresented military service

Thursday 22 September 2022 20:40 , John Bowden

A Trump-backed Republican campaigning for an Ohio congressional seat has some explaining to do after it was revealed he has misrepresented his time in the military.

JR Majewski, who is running for Ohio's 9th Congressional District seat, was at Donald Trump’s rally on Saturday in Youngstown, Ohio, where he received a shout-out from the ex-president himself. But now he’s taking new criticism after it was revealed that he released a statement claiming to have a desire to go “back” to Afghanistan and serve personally — despite having never been deployed to the country. He’s also never been in combat.

Read more in The Independent from Graig Graziosi:

Trump-backed Republican House candidate misrepresented military service

The 20 properties in Trump’s alleged fraud scheme

Thursday 22 September 2022 19:15 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump’s real estate empire engaged in an “astounding” level of fraud and deceptive business practises over more than a decade, during which the former president and his associates “grossly and fraudulently” inflated the value of his properties to obtain tax, loan and insurance incentives while boosting his financial ambitions, according to New York Attorney General Letitia James in a lawsuit filed on Wednesday.

The Independent’s Alex Woodward combed through the 222-page document. These are the properties and assets that the office of the attorney general alleges were central to a fraudulent scheme orchestrated by Mr Trump and his business allies.

These are the 20 properties in Donald Trump’s alleged fraud scheme

Nick Clegg will make the call on Trump’s potential Facebook reinstatement

Thursday 22 September 2022 19:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Meta executive Nick Clegg says he will make the final call on whether to reinstate Donald Trump’s Facebook account when his suspension from the social media platform runs out next year.

Mr Clegg, the company’s head of Global Affairs, told an event in Washington DC that allowing the one-term president to potentially return to Facebook is “a decision I oversee and I drive.”

Graeme Massie reports.

Facebook exec Nick Clegg will make the call on whether to reinstate Trump

‘Radical left’ running National Archives, according to former president

Thursday 22 September 2022 18:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Former president Donald Trump has said that the National Archives and Records Administration (Nara) is run by a “radical left group”.

The former president’s comments came during an interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity on Wednesday night.

“You know, Nara is a radical left group of people running that thing and when you send documents over there, I would say there’s a very good chance a lot of those documents will never be seen again,” he added.

However, he did not elaborate on what he meant by the statement.

Trump says National Archives has ‘a radical left group of people running that thing’

‘History is calling Donald Trump’: Trump fires off torrent of Truth Social posts about 2024 run

Thursday 22 September 2022 18:30 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump has fired off a stream of Truth Social posts about a possible 2024 run for the White House.

Mr Trump linked to a text on the website American Thinker with the headline “Donald Trump Must Be The 2024 Republican Nominee” before linking to a CNN report stating “Trump fields calls from Republican allies to speed up 2024 bid after FBI raid”.

He then shared a story from Townhall.com saying “The Washington Establishment Fears A Second Term Trump”.

Gustaf Kilander reports.

Trump fires off torrent of Truth Social posts about 2024 run: ‘History is calling’

Trump says bank shouldn’t have relied on his numbers

Thursday 22 September 2022 18:15 , Oliver O'Connell

Former president Donald Trump on Wednesday blamed banks for lending money based on bogus valuations after he was sued for “numerous acts of fraud”.

Trump says banks shouldn’t have relied on his numbers for tax valuations

Jan 6 rioter who testified for House panel sentenced to probation

Thursday 22 September 2022 17:51 , Oliver O'Connell

Stephen Ayres, a former Donald Trump supporter, who participated in the attack on the U.S. Capitol and testified before the January 6 committee, was sentenced to 24 months probation and 100 hours of community service on Thursday.

He had previously pleaded guilty to one count of disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building in June.

During a virtual sentencing hearing, Ayres was emotional and expressed remorse for his participation in Capitol riot.

He told Judge John Bates that he wanted to apologise to “the court and the American people.”

“I went down there that day not with the intention to cause any violence or anything like that,” Ayres said.

“But I did get caught up on all the stuff online, on Facebook, which ultimately I felt like was steering me in the wrong direction.”

When in doubt, or backed into a corner, reach for an old classic

Thursday 22 September 2022 17:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Truly one of the most bizarre moments of the Sean Hannity interview with Donald Trump was when the former president said this:

There’s also a lot of speculation because of what they did, the severity of the FBI coming and raiding Mar-a-Lago. Were they looking for the Hillary Clinton emails that were deleted but they are around someplace? They may have thought that it was in there!

Combined with his claim that he could declassify documents just by thinking about them, it really is quite staggering that anyone could say such things while keeping a straight face.

Trump bizarrely suggests FBI looked for Hillary Clinton’s emails at Mar-a-Lago

Trump claims FBI took his last will and testament from Mar-a-Lago

Thursday 22 September 2022 17:22 , Oliver O'Connell

Former president Donald Trump claimed the FBI agents who executed a court-authorised search of his Palm Beach, Florida home took his last will and testament in addition to the 100 classified documents found in his office and a nearby storage room.

“They took a lot. I think they took my will. I found out yesterday,” said the twice-impeached ex-president during an appearance on Fox News’ host Sean Hannity’s eponymous nightly programme.

Andrew Feinberg reports.

Trump claims FBI took his last will and testament in Mar-a-Lago search

Three key questions Ginni Thomas must answer and the Jan 6 committee must ask

Thursday 22 September 2022 17:04 , Oliver O'Connell

Members of the January 6 committee announced this week that Virginia ‘Ginni’ Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, had agreed to testify under oath.

John Bowden looks at what questions must be answered by Ms Thomas.

Three key questions Ginni Thomas must answer in January 6 panel interview

Trump believes he can declassify top secret documents just ‘by thinking about it'

Thursday 22 September 2022 16:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Little known fact, apparently the presidency gives you magical telekinetic powers...

Trump says he can declassify secret papers just ‘by thinking about it’

Trump says he balked at paying even ‘small amount’ to settle New York tax fraud probe

Thursday 22 September 2022 16:15 , Oliver O'Connell

Former president Donald Trump on Wednesday said he rejected an offer to settle the three-year investigation into whether his eponymous real estate company committed massive amounts of tax fraud because paying “even a small amount” would be akin to admitting guilt.

Andrew Feinberg reports on what the former president told Fox News’ Sean Hannity on Wednesday night.

Trump says he balked at settling New York tax fraud probe

The 20 properties in Trump’s alleged fraud scheme

Thursday 22 September 2022 16:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump’s real estate empire engaged in an “astounding” level of fraud and deceptive business practises over more than a decade, during which the former president and his associates “grossly and fraudulently” inflated the value of his properties to obtain tax, loan and insurance incentives while boosting his financial ambitions, according to New York Attorney General Letitia James in a lawsuit filed on Wednesday.

The Independent’s Alex Woodward combed through the 222-page document. These are the properties and assets that the office of the attorney general alleges were central to a fraudulent scheme orchestrated by Mr Trump and his business allies.

These are the 20 properties in Donald Trump’s alleged fraud scheme

‘Senator Cruz voted against this’: White House trolls Ted Cruz for boasting about new highway

Thursday 22 September 2022 15:45 , Oliver O'Connell

The White House Twitter account called out Ted Cruz after he praised a new highway project that he actually voted against.

The US Senator from Texas has seemingly been trying to take credit for the “Ports to Plains” project, leading to the White House trolling the Republican politician.

Graeme Massie reports on the senator’s hypocrisy.

White House twitter account trolls Ted Cruz for boasting about new highway

Appeals court says DoJ can use classified documents in criminal probe of Trump

Thursday 22 September 2022 15:15 , Oliver O'Connell

A three-judge panel of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals has reversed a Florida federal judge’s order which effectively barred the Department of Justice from using classified documents found at former president Donald Trump’s Palm Beach home to further a criminal investigation into him and his associates.

Andrew Feinberg reports on Wednesday night’s ruling.

Appeals court says DOJ can use classified documents in Trump criminal probe

Mike Lindell being investigated about link to alleged Colorado election security breach

Thursday 22 September 2022 14:59 , Oliver O'Connell

Mike Lindell, the founder of My Pillow and ally to former President Donald Trump, is under federal investigation for identity theft and for conspiring to damage a protected computer connected to a suspected voting equipment security breach in Colorado, NBC News reports.

Details of the investigation were confirmed on Wednesday after his attorneys uploaded a copy of a search and seizure warrant approved by US Magistrate Judge Tony Leung for Minnesota federal court on 7 September.

Judge Leung approved the warrant based on probable cause that Mr Lindell and other possible co-conspirators may have violated federal laws prohibiting identity fraud, conspiracy to defraud the United States, and causing intentional damage to a protected computer.

Mr Lindell’s attorneys uploaded the warrant as part of their lawsuit against the Justice Department to demand the return of his cell phone, which FBI agents seized on 13 September while he was ordering fast food at a drive-through window.

Read more below:

Lindell sues to recover cellphone seized by FBI agents

Virginia Thomas agrees to voluntary interview with Jan 6 committee

Thursday 22 September 2022 14:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Conservative activist Virginia Thomas, the wife of right-wing Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, has agreed to a voluntary interview with the January 6 committee.

Mark Paoletta, a lawyer for Ms Thomas said that she is “eager to answer the committee’s questions to clear up any misconceptions about her work relating to the 2020 election.”

Graeme Massie reports.

Virginia Thomas agrees to voluntary interview with Jan 6 committee

Analysis: Is Donald Trump’s time finally up?

Thursday 22 September 2022 14:15 , Oliver O'Connell

With a myriad of investigations swirling around Donald Trump, Andrew Buncombe wonders if the walls are finally closing in on the former president.

The walls are closing in on Donald Trump – is his time finally up?

At Utah event, Pence hints at possible 2024 bid

Thursday 22 September 2022 13:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Mike Pence, the former vice-president who a pro-Trump mob hoped to hang from a Capitol Hill gibbet, teased a possible campaign to be the next Republican chief executive on Wednesday while speaking to students at Utah Valley University.

One member of the audience asked Mr Pence whether he’ll be a candidate for the Republican nomination in 2024. Though he has recently been spotted in early primary states including Iowa and New Hampshire, the former Indiana governor declined to give a definitive answer.

Andrew Feinberg reports on what he said.

Pence hints at possible 2024 bid at Utah speaking engagement

Trumps could face $250m penalty and ban from doing business in New York

Thursday 22 September 2022 13:15 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump and his family business are in serious legal and financial jeopardy, after New York attorney general Letitia James filed a $250m civil lawsuit on Wednesday accusing the Trump Organization of serially lying about the value of its assets to lenders and insurers to obtain financial benefits.

Josh Marcus has the details.

Trumps could face $250m penalty and ban from doing business in NY in fraud lawsuit

After failed Covid plot, Michael Flynn claims globalists will now try to turn humans into cyborgs

Thursday 22 September 2022 12:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn has claimed that globalists will try to turn humans into cyborgs after failing to change their DNA with Covid vaccines.

The retired three-star general has become a leading figure in the QAnon conspiracy theory movement and has previously suggested that the US military consider a Myanmar-style coup.

He has also claimed that Covid was invented by George Soros, Bill Gates and others in order to defeat Donald Trump.

Graeme Massie reports on this latest nonsensical conspiracy theory.

Michael Flynn claims globalists will try to turn humans into cyborgs

The 20 major lawsuits and investigations Trump faces

Thursday 22 September 2022 12:15 , Oliver O'Connell

Lawsuits and investigations hung over Donald Trump throughout his business career, then his presidency, and have continued on through to his current post-presidency phase.

Most recently, there’s the bombshell $250m lawsuit from New York attorney general Letitia James against Mr Trump and three of his children for a host of allegedly fraudulent business practices. But there are plenty more.

Josh Marcus and Louise Hall look at the legal challenges the former president faces.

Here are all 20 major lawsuits and investigations Trump is facing

How AOC inadvertently sparked the New York AG’s Trump lawsuit

Thursday 22 September 2022 11:45 , Oliver O'Connell

On Wednesday, New York Attorney General Letitia James announced her $250m civil lawsuit against former president Donald Trump, she specifically cited former Trump attorney Michael Cohen’s testimony in 2019 where he revealed that the former president fraudulently inflated the value of his assets.

“I will remind everyone that this investigation only started after Michael Cohen, the former lawyer, his former lawyer testified before Congress shed light on this misconduct,” she said.

The question that triggered Mr Cohen’s response came in 2019 from Ms James’s fellow New Yorker, Democratic Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Eric Garcia has the story.

How AOC inadvertently sparked the New York attorney general’s Trump lawsuit

Delighted reactions as lawsuit against Trump family announced

Thursday 22 September 2022 11:15 , Oliver O'Connell

Mary Trump and actress Patricia Arquette led a delighted reaction of Twitter users after news broke that a lawsuit against former President Donald Trump, three of his children, and several others, had been filed by New York Attorney General Letitia James.

Gustaf Kilander reports.

Mary Trump and Patricia Arquette lead delighted reaction after Trump lawsuit

Trump lashes out in furious rant against New York attorney general

Thursday 22 September 2022 10:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump has lashed out in a furious rant against New York Attorney General Letitia James after she announced a major lawsuit against him and three of his children.

The former president responded on Truth Social, writing, “another Witch Hunt by a racist Attorney General, Letitia James, who failed in her run for Governor, getting almost zero support from the public, and now is doing poorly against Law & Order AG candidate, highly respected Michael Henry”.

Trump lashes out in furious rant against New York attorney general over major lawsuit

As Donald Trump Jr dubs accusation ‘bulls*** Dem witch hunt’, Letitia James responds in real time

Thursday 22 September 2022 10:15 , Oliver O'Connell

New York Attorney General Letitia James responded in real time as Donald Trump Jr tweeted that “the bulls*** Dem witch-hunt continues!” after she announced a lawsuit against former President Donald Trump and three of his children.

Letitia James responds in real time as Donald Trump Jr dubs accusation ‘bulls***’

Watch: Donald Trump says he 'can't imagine' being prosecuted for hoarding secret papers

Thursday 22 September 2022 10:00 , Namita Singh

‘Art of the steal’: What is the New York attorney general’s lawsuit against Trump all about?

Thursday 22 September 2022 09:45 , Oliver O'Connell

New York Attorney General Letitia James has sued former president Donald Trump, his three eldest adult children and a host of companies, organisations and persons associated with his eponymous real estate and licensing business, following a three-year civil investigation into allegations of fraud.

Across more than 200 pages, following interviews with 65 witnesses and reviews of millions of documents, the attorney general alleges that the former president and his business empire falsely inflated the value of his net worth by billions of dollars in an effort to gain tax benefits and other benefits from insurers and financial institutions.

Speaking from her office in New York City on 21 September, Ms James said the twice-impeached ex-president “cheated all of us” by inflating his net worth “to unjustly enrich himself and to cheat the system”.

Alex Woodward and Andrew Feinberg report on Wednesday’s announcement.

NY attorney general files $250m lawsuit against Trump and three of his children

These are the 20 properties in Donald Trump’s alleged fraud scheme

Thursday 22 September 2022 09:30 , Namita Singh

Donald Trump’s real estate empire engaged in an “astounding” level of fraud and deceptive business practises over more than a decade, during which the former president and his associates “grossly and fraudulently” inflated the value of his properties to obtain tax, loan and insurance incentives while boosting his financial ambitions, according to New York Attorney General Letitia James.

The lawsuit follows a three-year civil investigation into at least 23 of his properties and assets, from his Mar-a-Lago resort home in Florida to his namesake tower in Manhattan and golf courses in Scotland.

Ms James’s office found that at least 11 of Mr Trump’s annual financial statements included more than 200 false and misleading asset valuations.

Alex Woodward reports:

These are the 20 properties in Donald Trump’s alleged fraud scheme

Trump boasts he could end Ukraine war and it wouldn’t have happened if he were president

Thursday 22 September 2022 09:15 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump has boasted that the war in Ukraine “would not have happened if I were president”.

“President Putin of Russia is now threatening the use of Nuclear Weapons, saying ‘It is not a bluff’,” Mr Trump wrote on Truth Social on Wednesday.

“The Ukrainian conflict should never have happened, and would not have happened if I were President. But as I have made very clear for quite some time, this could now end up being World War III,” he added.

Gustaf Kilander reports.

Trump says Ukraine war wouldn’t have happened if he were president

Watch: Donald Trump says he thinks FBI agents 'took his will' during Mar-a-lago raid

Thursday 22 September 2022 09:00 , Namita Singh

ICYMI: First Trump hearing by special master descends into chaos

Thursday 22 September 2022 08:45 , Oliver O'Connell

The first hearing overseen by a senior federal judge tasked with reviewing government-owned documents retrieved from Donald Trump’s home was marred with technical difficulties as those dialling in remotely failed to mute their phones.

Staff of the Brooklyn federal court scrambled to contain the chaos at the inaugural hearing held by special master Raymond Dearie, as lines flooded with music and background noises.

“God Bless America,” a person could be heard singing, reported Bloomberg.

“Mute! Mute! Mute!” one person yelled.

‘Mute! Mute! Mute!’: First Trump hearing by special master descends into chaos

Watch: Donald Trump says he declassified documents 'just by thinking about it' as president

Thursday 22 September 2022 08:30 , Namita Singh

Reporters claims Trump aides follow him around golf course giving ‘positive reinforcement’

Thursday 22 September 2022 08:15 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump has reportedly tasked an aide with following him around and giving “positive reinforcement” amid an unprecedented assault of criminal and civil investigations into his conduct both as president and private citizen.

The revelation was made by The New York Times’s Maggie Haberman, one of the most well-sourced reporters in Trumpworld. Ms Haberman has remained on the Trump beat since the ex-president left office and set up court in Florida at his Mar-a-Lago resort.

John Bowden has the story.

Trump aides tasked with giving him ‘positive reinforcement’, reporter says

Trump bizarrely suggest FBI looked for Hillary Clinton’s emails at Mar-a-Lago

Thursday 22 September 2022 08:12 , Namita Singh

Donald Trump has bizarrely suggested that the FBI was looking for Hillary Clinton’s emails while searching his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.

The former president claimed there’s “also a lot of speculation because of what they did, the severity of the FBI coming and raiding Mar-a-Lago. Were they looking for the Hillary Clinton emails that were deleted but they are around some place?

“They may have thought that it was in there!” Mr Trump added.

My colleague Maroosha Muzaffar reports:

Trump bizarrely suggests FBI looked for Hillary Clinton’s emails at Mar-a-Lago

‘I didn’t want to settle’: Trump says he balked at paying even ‘small amount’ to settle New York tax fraud probe

Thursday 22 September 2022 07:51 , Namita Singh

Former president Donald Trump on Wednesday said he “didn’t want to settle” with the New York attorney general office probing the tax fraud because paying “even a small amount” would be akin to admitting guilt.

“I met with them. I actually thought they wanted to settle but I didn’t want to settle because how can you even if I paid a very small amount, you sort of admitting guilt,” said Mr Trump during a Wednesday evening interview on Fox News.

My colleague Andrew Feinberg reports:

Trump says he balked at settling New York tax fraud probe

‘The things we do for the Orange Jesus’

Thursday 22 September 2022 07:30 , Oliver O'Connell

Representative Liz Cheney said that one House Republican who objected to the 2020 presidential election results before the January 6 riot reportedly called former president Donald Trump “orange Jesus”.

Ms Cheney made the remarks at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank in Washington DC, for its Constitution Day event.

Eric Garcia reports.

Liz Cheney says pro-Trump colleague muttered: ‘The things we do for the Orange Jesus’

Trump blames banks over tax valuations saying they shouldn’t have relied on his numbers

Thursday 22 September 2022 07:16 , Namita Singh

Former president Donald Trump on Wednesday blamed banks for lending money based on bogus valuations after he was sued for “numerous acts of fraud”.

New York attorney general Letitia James sued the 45th president, his three adult children and a host of companies, organisations and persons associated with his eponymous real estate and licensing business, following a three-year civil investigation into allegations of fraud.

In an interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity, the former president called the lawsuit a “witch hunt” and argued that banks failed to conduct their own valuations.

“We have a disclaimer,” said Mr Trump. “It basically says, you know, get your own people, you’re at your own risk, this was done by management, it wasn’t done by us. So, don’t rely on the statement that you’re getting.”

My colleague Alisha Rahaman Sarkar reports:

Trump says banks shouldn’t have relied on his numbers for tax valuations

Trump could be barred from doing business in New York for five years under attorney general fraud lawsuit

Thursday 22 September 2022 07:15 , Namita Singh

Donald Trump could be barred from doing business in the city and state of New York under a new lawsuit filed by top prosecutors, accusing him and his adult children of fraud.

In what would be one of the most devastating blows incurred yet to the former president and his businesses empire during its long and twisting history, New York attorney general Letitia James said it was clear Mr Trump and his children had knowingly engaged in fraudulent activity to mislead people about the value of his business holdings over many years.

It would also represent a personal blow to the man born in Jamaica Estates, Queens, and who has always considered himself a proud New Yorker.

Read the details in this report by our chief US correspondent Andrew Buncombe:

Trump could be barred from doing business in beloved New York for five years

How Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez inadvertently sparked New York attorney general’s Trump lawsuit?

Thursday 22 September 2022 06:59 , Namita Singh

On Wednesday, when New York Attorney General Letitia James announced her $250m civil lawsuit against former president Donald Trump, she specifically cited former Trump attorney Michael Cohen’s testimony in 2019 where he revealed that the former president fraudulently inflated the value of his assets.

“I will remind everyone that this investigation only started after Michael Cohen, the former lawyer, his former lawyer testified before Congress [and] shed light on this misconduct,” she said.

The question that triggered Mr Cohen’s response came in 2019 from Ms James’s fellow New Yorker, Democratic Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, reports Eric Garcia.

How AOC inadvertently sparked the New York attorney general’s Trump lawsuit

Watch: Bill Barr says AG James ‘grossly overreaches’ by involving Trump’s adult children

Thursday 22 September 2022 06:45 , Oliver O'Connell

The walls are closing in on Donald Trump – is his time finally up?

Thursday 22 September 2022 06:39 , Namita Singh

With New York’s attorney general suing Donald Trump and his company, alleging business fraud involving some of their most prized assets, including properties in Manhattan, Chicago and Washington, are the walls finally closing in on the former president?

Andrew Buncombe reports:

The walls are closing in on Donald Trump – is his time finally up?

Iranian president calls for Trump to face ‘fair tribunal’ for Soleimani killing

Thursday 22 September 2022 04:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi on Wednesday slammed former president Donald Trump’s authorisation of the January 2020 drone strike which killed Iranian Revolutionary Guard Guard Corps General Qasem Soleimani as a crime for which the ex-president must face justice.

Speaking at the 2022 United Nations General Assembly in New York, Mr Raisi described the late military leader as a “freedom seeking man who became a martyr” at Mr Trump’s hands.

Andrew Feinberg listened to the remarks.

Iranian president calls for Trump to face ‘fair tribunal’ for Soleimani killing

Watch: ‘Reckoning has begun' for Trump

Thursday 22 September 2022 04:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Five key takeaways from New York’s $250m lawsuit against Trump

Thursday 22 September 2022 03:15 , Oliver O'Connell

The lawsuit details how the Trump Organization falsified financial statements and the value of his property, the role of his children in all of this, and his bizarre attempt to buy the Buffalo Bills. Eric Garcia takes a look at the suit.

Five major allegations from New York’s $250m lawsuit against Trump

Trump claims FBI took his last will and testament in Mar-a-Lago search

Thursday 22 September 2022 03:04 , Josh Marcus

Former president Donald Trump claimed the FBI agents who executed a court-authorised search of his Palm Beach, Florida home took his last will and testament in addition to the 100 classified documents found in his office and a nearby storage room.

“They took a lot. I think they took my will. I found out yesterday,” said the twice-impeached ex-president during an appearance on Fox News’ host Sean Hannity’s eponymous nightly programme.

Mr Trump told Hannity his attorneys and the National Archives and Records Administration were “having very nice discussions, no problems,” when “all of a sudden we got hit very hard by the FBI” on 8 August.

When the twice-impeached ex-president suggested that FBI agents had taken his will, Hannity responded: “Am I in it?”

Andrew Feinberg is following the news from Washington.

Trump claims FBI took his last will and testament in Mar-a-Lago search

Trump claims he can declassify top secret documents just ‘by thinking about it’

Thursday 22 September 2022 02:59 , Josh Marcus

Donald Trump says he can declassify top secret government documents just “by thinking about it”.

In an interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity, the former president repeated his claim that dozens of secret and confidential papers seized at this Mar-a-Lago home had been declassified.

Asked about the process needed to do that, Mr Trump said: “There doesn’t have to be a process, as I understand it. If you’re the president of the United States, you can declassify, even by thinking about it.”

Andrew Feinberg is following the breaking news for The Independent.

Trump says he can declassify secret papers just ‘by thinking about it’

Donald Trump defends his handling of documents, even as special master expresses doubts

Thursday 22 September 2022 02:55 , Josh Marcus

Donald Trump is now defending his handling of highly sensitive national security documents, claiming in an interview on Fox News on Wednesday that the president can declassify documents just by saying so or even thinking it.

“You’re the president, you make that decision,” Mr Trump said, adding, “I declassified the documents when they left the White House.”

The special master, which the Trump team requested be appointed to oversee privilege issues surrounding the White House documents seized by the FBI, has been skeptical of this rationale.

The official has asked Mr Trump’s lawyers to specifically lay out when and how Mr Trump declassified various documents that were recovered in the suit.

So far the former president’s lawyers have said they were “not in a position” to say whether the records at issue were in fact declassified by Mr Trump before he left office.

“You did bring a lawsuit,” Judge Raymond Dearie said in a hearing on Tuesday.

The official said that unless Mr Trump was willing to specifically challenge the classification status of various documents with his own evidence, the special master would likely side with the government’s argument that the documents remained protected.

“As far as I’m concerned, that’s the end of it,” Mr Dearie said, adding, “You can’t have your cake and eat it too.”

If that’s the case, taking the documents to Mar-a-Lago and storing them in an unsecure way, as the Justice Department alleges, would likely constitute a violation of federal law.

Here’s our reporting on the special master developments in recent days.

Judge who will review Trump documents sceptical of ex-president’s legal strategy

‘Mute! Mute! Mute!’: First Trump hearing by special master descends into chaos

Trump claims he was cooperating on handling of White House records seized in Mar-a-Lago raid

Thursday 22 September 2022 02:40 , Josh Marcus

Donald Trump is painting an alternative facts-style narrative about his handling of classified White House records, the subject of an FBI investigation into the former president.

In an interview with Fox News on Wednesday, Mr Trump told Sean Hannity he wasn’t involved in packing up presidential records as he left the White House, and described a cordial set of conversations with the National Archives over his handling of the materials. So cordial, in fact, Mr Trump said the agency was thanking him.

“There was nothing that was hiding,” Mr Trump said.

“We were having very nice discussions, no problem, and all of a sudden we get by the FBI very hard,” he added.

In reality, in January of 2022, the records agency said it had identified highly sensitive materials being kept at Mar-a-Lago and asked for permission to alert the FBI.

In May, the agency also summarily rejected Mr Trump’s argumensts that his executive and attorney-client privilege protects handing over the documents.

Trump denies inflating assets and teases settlement in Fox interview after NY lawsuit

Thursday 22 September 2022 02:26 , Josh Marcus

Donald Trump is using his Fox News interview to push back on one of the key claims in the recent lawsuit against him from the New York attorney general’s office: that he inflated the value of Trump Organization properties to obtain financial benefits.

The former president told anchor Sean Hannity on Wednesday his company always offered a disclaimer to potential clients not to rely solely on their in-house valuations.

“What we do is, here’s financial statement, but be careful. It may not be accurate,” Mr Trump said, describing the process. “Get your own people. Use Your own appraiser. Use your own lawyers. Don’t rely on us. And then they sued us.”