Trump news – live: Ex-president’s lawyers in touch with DoJ over Jan 6 probe as Dick Cheney calls him ‘coward’

·21 min read

Attorneys representing former president Donald Trump are reportedly in contact with the Department of Justice in hopes of shielding conversations with his former advisers from the criminal probe into his attempt to overturn the results of the 2020 election.

Earlier, investigators leading the federal probe filed a lawsuit against former White House adviser Peter Navarro to recover emails relevant to its investigation into Mr Trump’s role. The emails in question were sent from Mr Navarro’s personal email account, but have been determined to be presidential records – and thus US government property.

The probe has also subpoenaed former White House counsel Pat Cipollone and his deputy Patrick Philbin. The counsel’s office is thought to have been crucial in refusing to let former president Donald Trump politicise the executive branch’s legal apparatus to secure a second term.

Meanwhile, Mr Trump’s children Donald Jr and Ivanka have both been deposed in another investigation, this time the New York attorney general’s long-running probe into the Trump Organization’s real estate dealings and alleged record of over- and under-valuing properties to obtain favourable loan terms while minimising tax obligations. The former president is expected to give testimony in the coming days.

Key points

Eastman wanted to challenge Senate election results in Georgia after Jan 6 failure

05:45 , Oliver O'Connell

The ex-law professor who hatched former president Donald Trump’s failed plan to keep Congress from certifying his 2020 election loss to Joe Biden continued arguing for Republicans loyal to Mr Trump to press on with searches for alleged election fraud after Mr Trump’s term ended.

According to the New York Times, former Chapman University law professor John Eastman sent an email to Trump lawyer Rudolph Giuliani on 20 January 2021 — the day Mr Biden was sworn in as the 46th President of the United States — advocating that Republicans challenge the results of the recent Georgia special elections in which Peach State voters had elected two Democratic senators.

Andrew Feinberg has the story from Washington, DC.

Trump ‘coup memo’ lawyer also wanted to challenge Senate election results

Trump ally and ex-journalist Kari Lake wins GOP primary for Arizona governor

05:20 , Arpan Rai

Donald Trump’s ally and former news anchor Kari Lake won the Republican primary for Arizona governor yesterday, advancing the Republicans in the general election sprint.

“Arizonans who have been forgotten by the establishment just delivered a political earthquake,” the ex-journalist, who walked away from her journalism career and was welcomed warmly by Mr Trump and his supporters, said in a statement after the race was called.

The Republican candidate’s victory works against the GOP establishment which picked lawyer and businesswoman Karrin Taylor Robson in a bid to overcome the tumultuous Trump era.

Ms Lake had said that she would not have approved of Joe Biden’s victory in 2020 presidential elections and backed false claims of election fraud as she campaigned.

She is set to face Democratic secretary of state Katie Hobbs in the November election, who said that the “race for governor isn’t about Democrats or Republicans but a choice between sanity and chaos”.

White House lawyers subpoenaed by Jan 6 probe grand jury

04:45 , Oliver O'Connell

A federal grand jury investigating efforts to undo the results of the 2020 presidential election has subpoenaed the White House counsel under then-President Donald Trump and his top deputy, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The subpoenas to Pat Cipollone and Patrick Philbin suggest an intensifying Justice Department investigation into the events surrounding the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, when Trump loyalists stormed the building in hopes of halting the certification of election results. They also suggest that prosecutors regard close advisers to Trump as potentially vital witnesses.

Trump White House lawyers subpoenaed by 1/6 probe grand jury

No regrets for GOP rep who lost primary after voting for Trump impeachment

03:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Republican Rep Peter Meijer said he had no regrets about voting to impeach former President Donald Trump days after he was defeated for re-nomination in his congressional primary in Michigan.

“I would rather lose office with my character intact than stay reelected having made sacrifices of the soul,” Mr Meijer said on the Sirius XM programme Julie Mason Mornings.

Abe Asher reports.

GOP representative who lost primary after voting for Trump impeachment has no regrets

Wisconsin: Michels goes after Kleefisch in governor’s race

02:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Tim Michels is on the attack in the waning days of Wisconsin’s tight GOP governor’s primary, with an ad this week faulting his rival for not initially backing Donald Trump in 2016 – even as it emerged Thursday that Michels himself did not vote in that primary.

Michels launched the attack ad against Rebecca Kleefisch days after he said that running negative ads is “just bad policy” and that politicians who do it are “losing.”

The ad faults Kleefisch for not endorsing Trump in the 2016 primary and brands her “the ultimate Madison insider.” Kleefisch, who is backed by former Vice President Mike Pence, is a former two-term lieutenant governor. Michels co-owns the state’s largest construction company, Michels Corp.

Michels goes after Kleefisch in Wisconsin governor's race

DeSantis suspends state attorney for refusing to prosecute trans people and abortion providers

01:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has suspended a twice-elected state attorney for his refusal to prosecute abortion providers, doctors and families who provide gender-affirming care to transgender youth, and transgender people who use bathrooms that match their gender.

In a press conference surrounded by law enforcement on 4 August, the governor also accused 13th Judicial Circuit State Attorney Andrew Warren of failing to prosecute people accused of crimes to the fullest extent of his authority, reflecting what the governor called “incompetence and willful defiance of his duties.”

Alex Woodward reports.

DeSantis suspends prosecutor who refused to criminalise abortion and transgender care

GOP candidate for Illinois governor said Holocaust ‘doesn’t even compare’ to abortion

Friday 5 August 2022 00:45 , Oliver O'Connell

The Republican nominee for governor of Illinois is under fire after a 2017 video resurfaced of him saying that the Holocaust “doesn’t even compare” to the issue of abortion.

In the video published on Facebook, current Illinois state senator Darren Bailey said that “the attempted extermination of the Jews of World War II doesn’t even compare on a shadow of the life that has been lost with abortion”.

Abe Asher reports.

Illinois governor candidate said Holocaust ‘doesn’t compare’ to abortion in 2017 clip

Biden and GOP spar over impact of economic plan

Friday 5 August 2022 00:25 , Oliver O'Connell

Democrats call it the “Inflation Reduction Act.” Republicans say it’s a “tax and spending spree.” And everyone has a study they say proves it.

Recent bipartisan action in Congress on matters ranging from producing computer chips to expanding NATO isn’t extending to the latest economic package from Democrats, which is generating a battle of dueling statistics and projections over whether it would help or hurt the economy.

Biden, Republicans spar over impact of Dems' economic plan

Dick Cheney says Trump a ‘coward’ in ad for daughter Liz

Friday 5 August 2022 00:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Former Vice President Dick Cheney excoriated Donald Trump in a new campaign video for his daughter Rep. Liz Cheney, calling the former president a “coward” and saying there has never been anyone who is a “greater threat to our republic.”

The video was released Thursday by Rep. Cheney’s reelection campaign, two weeks before a Republican primary election in Wyoming that the three-term congresswoman is bracing to lose.

Dick Cheney calls Trump a 'coward' in ad for daughter Liz

Hannity: Did you ever think we would have a lawless President like we do now?

Thursday 4 August 2022 23:25 , Oliver O'Connell

Without irony, Sean Hannity asks the crowd at CPAC in Dallas if they ever thought the US would have a “lawless president” as it does now.

The Republican Accountability Project was quick to retort...

Trump lawyers reportedly in contact with DoJ over Jan 6 probe

Thursday 4 August 2022 22:58 , Oliver O'Connell

Attorneys representing former president Donald Trump are reportedly in contact with the Justice Department in hopes of shielding conversations with his former advisers from the criminal probe into his attempt to overturn the results of the 2020 election.

Andrew Feinberg in Washington, DC, is following this breaking story.

Trump lawyers reportedly in contact with Justice Department over January 6 probe

Alex Jones ordered to pay more than $4m compensatory damages to Sandy Hook family

Thursday 4 August 2022 22:50 , Oliver O'Connell

Right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones has been ordered to pay more than $4m in compensatory damages to the family of a Sandy Hook victim.

Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis, whose six-year-old son Jesse was among the 20 students and six adults killed in the mass shooting, sued Jones and his media company for the claims he has made that the massacre was a “false flag” operation and that the victims did not actually exist.

They had asked for $150m in compensatory damages and another trial to determine punitive damages is now expected to take place on Friday.

Graeme Massie reports:

Alex Jones ordered to pay more than $4m compensatory damages to Sandy Hook family

Fresh from furore over ‘Nazi’ speech, Viktor Orban welcomed at CPAC in Dallas

Thursday 4 August 2022 22:30 , Oliver O'Connell

A little over a week ago, Hungary’s prime minister delivered a speech about immigration in which he declared that Europeans “do not want to become peoples of mixed-race.”

The comments by Viktor Orban, the 59-year-old far-right leader, prompted outrage in his own country and across Europe for their explicit racism, and led to the resignation of his close adviser of 20 years, who described the speech as “pure Nazi text.”

But Mr Orban’s use of white supremacist rhetoric did little to dampen the enthusiasm of American conservatives for his visit to the United States this week.

Richard Hall reports for The Independent.

Fresh from furore over ‘Nazi’ speech, Viktor Orban receives rousing welcome at CPAC

White House rejects suggestion Biden has ample free time during Covid recovery

Thursday 4 August 2022 22:00 , Oliver O'Connell

White House spokesperson John Kirby rejected the premise of a question from Fox News‘ Peter Doocy after the reporter suggested that President Joe Biden has “a lot of free time” this week as he recovers from a bout of Covid.

Mr Doocy asked Mr Kirby in a press briefing on Thursday why Mr Biden has not scheduled a call with Chinese president Xi Jinping considering that, as he believed, Mr Biden had plenty of available time while in isolation.

“He doesn’t have free time,” Mr Kirby responded. “He’s been working all the way through his illness, quite frankly, Peter, so it’s a little bit insulting.”

Read more:

White House rejects idea Biden has ample free time during Covid recovery

Schumer sets Senate vote for major climate and healthcare bill for Saturday

Thursday 4 August 2022 21:33 , Oliver O'Connell

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced on Thursday that there would be a vote on a motion to proceed on the Inflation Reduction Act, Democrats’ climate and spending bill, on Saturday, teeing up the process for a vote on the legislation.

Mr Schumer announced the vote despite the fact that the Senate Parliamentarian has yet to finish subjecting the legislation to the Byrd Bath process to determine whether any part of the Inflation Reduction Act constitutes “extraneous matter.”

Eric Garcia has the latest from Capitol Hill.

Schumer announces Senate vote for major climate and healthcare bill on Saturday

DHS will stop wiping phones after controversy over missing Jan 6 texts

Thursday 4 August 2022 21:00 , Oliver O'Connell

The Department of Homeland Security said on Thursday that it would immediately work to ensure that electronic devices from officials will not be cleared of data before being backed up on external servers.

The directive, if implemented correctly, will bring the department in line with federal records laws which very plainly state that communications between federal officials discussing official policies on government devices must be preserved. In general, officials are prohibited from having such discussions at all on personal devices.

John Bowden has the story.

Homeland Security will stop wiping phones after controversy over missing Jan 6 texts

ICYMI: Ivanka Trump and Donald Jr deposed in NY probe

Thursday 4 August 2022 20:30 , Oliver O'Connell

Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr have reportedly been deposed in the New York attorney general’s civil investigation into the Trump Organisation’s finances.

While Mr Trump Jr was deposed last Thursday, his sister’s deposition took place on Wednesday, CNN reported. According to the report, Mr Trump Jr did not assert his fifth amendment rights and responded to questions. The details of the questions posed to him and his answers have not yet been made public.

The former president is expected to testify later this month.

Namita Singh has the story.

Ivanka and Don Jr depose in New York’s Trump Organization probe, report says

Two anti-Trump Republicans made full time hosts of ‘The View'

Thursday 4 August 2022 20:00 , Oliver O'Connell

ABC‘s “The View” has named two Republicans — Alyssa Farah Griffin and Ana Navarro — as regular panelists on the daytime talk show, and neither are fans of former President Donald Trump.

Farah Griffin fills the chair left empty when Meghan McCain quit last summer after four years on the show. Farah Griffin is a communications strategist who worked as a spokesperson at the Pentagon and for Trump and Vice President Mike Pence during the last administration.

Navarro, a familiar face as a frequent guest host at “The View” since 2015, was officially named as an addition to the show’s group of five hosts.

Alyssa Farah Griffin, Ana Navarro join 'The View' as cohosts

Trump expected to testify in coming days in New York AG probe in real estate business

Thursday 4 August 2022 19:31 , Oliver O'Connell

Former President Donald Trump is expected to be questioned under oath in the coming days in the New York attorney general’s long-running investigation into his dealings as a real estate mogul.

The deposition could be a critical moment in the investigation of allegations that the Republican billionaire’s company, the Trump Organization, misled banks and tax authorities about the value of prized assets like golf courses and skyscrapers.

New York Attorney General Letitia James’ office said in May that it was nearing the end of its probe and that investigators have amassed substantial evidence that could support legal action against Trump, his company or both.

Read more:

Trump testimony expected soon in NY civil investigation

Josh Hawley explains why he voted against Finland and Sweden joining Nato

Thursday 4 August 2022 19:20 , Oliver O'Connell

The US Senate voted overwhelmingly on Wednesday to approve a treaty to add Sweden and Finland to Nato, amidst Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine. There was only one dissenting voice. Josh Hawley of Missouri was the only senator from either party to oppose the treaty, which passed 95-1.

On Wednesday, Mr Hawley, who is said to be harbouring presidential ambitions in 2024, appeared on Tucker Carlson’s Fox News programme to explain his vote.

Abe Asher reports.

Josh Hawley tells Tucker Carlson why he voted against Finland and Sweden joining Nato

Judge refuses to delay Oath Keepers’ trial over Jan 6 hearings

Thursday 4 August 2022 18:50 , Oliver O'Connell

Members of the far-right Oath Keepers‘ extremist group charged in the 6 January 202 attack on the US Capitol will face jurors this fall after a judge on Tuesday denied defense attorneys’ bid to delay the high-profile trial until next year.

Lawyers for Stewart Rhodes, the leader of the Oath Keepers, and other associates of the antigovernment group argued a trial beginning in September would be tainted by publicity surrounding recent Jan. 6 House committee hearings and that attorneys still have too much evidence to sort through.

But US District Judge Amit Mehta said he is confident the court will find a fair jury for the Oath Keepers’ case in Washington next month and that he’s obligated to oversee a speedy trial for the defendants, who have been locked up for months. Moving the trial would also “wreak havoc” on the court’s calendar, which is filled with trials into next year, he said.

Judge won't delay Oath Keepers' trial over Jan. 6 hearings

ICYMI: DoJ suing Peter Navarro

Thursday 4 August 2022 18:20 , Oliver O'Connell

More than 18 months after the Trump administration’s last day in office, the US government is still trying to recover federal records from one of former president Donald Trump’s closest advisers.

On Wednesday, the Department of Justice filed a lawsuit against ex-White House Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy director Peter Navarro, alleging that Mr Navarro has refused to turn over emails sent and recieved from his personal email account that have been determined to be presidential records — and thus the property of the United States.

Mr Navarro, who in June was indicted on two counts of criminal contempt of Congress for defying a subpoena from the House January 6 select committee, was found to have conducted government business on his personal ProtonMail email account by investigators working for the House Select Committee on the Coronavirus Crisis.

Andrew Feinberg reports:

Department of Justice sues ex-Trump aide Peter Navarro to recover White House emails

Report: John Eastman wanted to challenge Senate results too

Thursday 4 August 2022 17:50 , Andrew Naughtie

The ex-law professor who hatched former president Donald Trump’s failed plan to keep Congress from certifying his 2020 election loss to Joe Biden continued arguing for Republicans loyal to Mr Trump to press on with searches for alleged election fraud after Mr Trump’s term ended.

According to the New York Times, former Chapman University law professor John Eastman sent an email to Trump lawyer Rudolph Giuliani on 2the day Mr Biden was sworn in as president advocating that Republicans challenge the results of the recent Georgia special elections in which Peach State voters had elected two Democratic senators.

“A lot of us have now staked our reputations on the claims of election fraud, and this would be a way to gather proof,” Mr Eastman wrote, according to the Times. “If we get proof of fraud on Jan. 5, it will likely also demonstrate the fraud on Nov. 3, thereby vindicating President Trump’s claims and serving as a strong bulwark against Senate impeachment trial”.

Andrew Feinberg has the story.

Trump ‘coup memo’ lawyer also wanted to challenge Senate election results

Georgia: Herschel Walker finally agrees to debate Raphael Warnock

Thursday 4 August 2022 17:20 , Andrew Naughtie

Republicans are worried that Herschel Walker could lose them the Georgia Senate race, what with his consistently erratic public behaviour and a litany of personal scandals (including past domestic violence allegations). He refused to debate his rivals in the GOP primary, and initially refused to go on stage with incumbent Democrat Raphael Warnock – bizarrely claiming on Fox News that the senator had offered to debate him because there were things he did not want to discuss.

But now, it seems the situation has changed, and Mr Warnock has agreed to debate on 14 October. Here’s more from The Hill.

Rusty Bowers defiant after primary loss

Thursday 4 August 2022 16:50 , Andrew Naughtie

The Arizona legislator who recently testified to the House January 6 select committee about ex-president Donald Trump’s push to overturn the 2020 election has no regrets about his actions despite losing Tuesday’s primary election to a Trump-endorsed challenger.

Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers lost his Republican primary for a state Senate seat in the eastern suburbs of Phoenix by a nearly two-to-one margin, bringing his political career to an apparent end due to the Grand Canyon State’s legislative term limits.

But Mr Bowers told the Associated Press he would not change anything about his conduct over the last year and a half.

“I would do it again in a heartbeat,” he said. “I’d do it 50 times in a row.”

Andrew Feinberg reports:

Jan 6 witness defiant after losing primary: ‘I would do it again in a heartbeat’

A Jan 6 link at the Alex Jones trial

Thursday 4 August 2022 16:21 , Andrew Naughtie

InfoWars shock jock and far-right agitator Alex Jones is in court facing a defamation lawsuit from the parents of a child killed at Sandy Hook – but his case has taken on a wider significance thanks to an error by his attorney, who accidentally shared a digital copy of Mr Jones’s phone that included every text message he sent and received in the last two years.

The news from the courtroom today is that the texts include “intimate messages” to Trump confidante and Republican machinator Roger Stone – and that the plaintiffs’ legal team intend to turn them over to law enforcement and the Jan 6 select committee, possibly as soon as today.

Dispatch: Why is Mitch McConnell lowering expectations for the midterms?

Thursday 4 August 2022 16:15 , Andrew Naughtie

Writing for The Independent’s Inside Washington newsletter, Eric Garcia examines why Mitch McConnell is trying to damp down any expectation that his party will take control of the Senate in November:

In critical Senate races across the country, Republican candidates are struggling to pull away from their opponents, or even polling well behind them. Among the standouts are Herschel Walker in Georgia, JD Vance in Ohio and Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania. All three were endorsed in their primaries by Donald Trump, who either cleared the field for them or gave their campaigns a much-needed boost. But each of them have come with serious baggage.

On Tuesday, another Trump-backed candidate, venture capitalist Blake Masters, won the Republican primary to challenge Senator Mark Kelly in Arizona. Masters has repeated many of Trump’s lies about the election being stolen and has a history of making racist remarks. An endorsement from the founder of a neo-Nazi website (which Masters rejected) did not do anything for his image.

Read the full dispatch below.

Mitch McConnell is suddenly trying to lower expectations for the midterms. Why?

Did John Kelly eavesdrop on Donald Trump?

Thursday 4 August 2022 15:45 , Andrew Naughtie

Donald Trump reportedly issued an order banning White House advisers from listening to his telephone conversations after he was informed that his second chief of staff, John Kelly, had done so during his tenure as the then-president’s top aide.

According to the New York Post, Jared Kushner writes in his upcoming memoir Breaking History that Mr Trump was “unaware that the former Marine Corps general-turned-White House chief of staff was listening to his phone calls” — a standard practice in previous administrations — until after he replaced Mr Kelly in late 2018.

The Post also reported that Mr Kushner, who was a senior adviser in Mr Trump’s White House and is also his son-in-law, reveals how Mr Kelly’s replacement, ex-South Carolina congressman turned Office of Management and Budget boss Mick Mulvaney, informed Mr Trump that Mr Kelly had listened in on his calls just before his last day.

Andrew Feinberg has this report.

Trump’s WH chief of staff John Kelly listened to all of his calls, Kushner claims

Vanquished anti-Trump Republican appears with extreme candidate he blamed Democrats for backing

Thursday 4 August 2022 15:15 , Andrew Naughtie

Congressman Peter Meijer was one of only 10 house Republicans who voted to convict Donald Trump after the 6 January insurrection, but the Democrats nonetheless contributed to the primary campaign waged against him by a MAGA-leaning extremist from within the GOP.

Mr Meijer and many anti-Trump commentators have been scathing in their response to the news that the Democratic Party would make such a bet on a notionally beatable far-right candidate – but the defeated congressman’s umbrage seems to have its limit, as he introduced his former challenger at an event just yesterday.

Jan 6 rioter blames riot on Trump rally

Thursday 4 August 2022 14:45 , Andrew Naughtie

A Trump supporter who participated in the 6 January 2021 attack on the US Capitol has filed a letter seeking leniency in his sentencing – and his message to the judge essentially pins the blame for the lethal events of that day onto the former president: