Michael Cohen says Trump kept Mar-a-Lago documents as ‘bargaining chip’
As a new poll shows the majority of Americans support the FBI’s raid on the Trump Palm Beach estate, today will see a court hearing on whether or not to unseal the affidavit that provided justification for the search.
The Department of Justice has rebuffed demands to release the document, warning that it could “chill” future efforts to secure witness cooperation.
Meanwhile, Mike Pence used an appearance in New Hampshire to distance himself from attacks on law enforcement in the wake of the raid, telling his audience that “calls to defund the FBI are just as wrong as calls to defund the police”.
The former vice president also said he would consider testifying before the 6 January select committee if invited.
“If there’s an invitation to participate, I would consider it,” he remarked on Wednesday morning. “It would be unprecedented in history for a Vice President to be summoned to testify on Capitol Hill, but as I’ve said, I don’t wanna prejudge.”
Alex Jones moves on from “pigheaded” support for Trump
Infowars founder Alex Jones has withdrawn his support for Donald Trump and thrown his weight behind Florida governor Ron DeSantis, announcing on a broadcast that he would no longer “pigheadedly” support Mr Trump.
Mr Jones, who has been a supporter of the former president, said “DeSantis has just gone from being awesome to being unbelievably good,” adding that he could see “real sincerity” in Mr DeSantis’ eyes when watching footage of the governor.
“We have someone who is better than Trump. Way better than Trump,” Jones said adding that the Florida governor is the person Mr Trump “should be like”.
Sravasti Dasgupta has more:
‘We have someone who is better than Trump. Way better than Trump’
Andrew Naughtie18 August 2022 11:45
Carlson and Ingraham on Mike Pence
The former vice president’s remarks at Saint Anselm College in New Hampshire yesterday predictably haven’t gone down well with everyone on the pro-Trump right – including at Fox News, many of whose hosts have rallied behind the former president since the FBI raided Mar-a-Lago.
Here’s a clip of late-night opinionators Laura Ingraham and Tucker Carlson picking at Mr Pence’s words.
Andrew Naughtie18 August 2022 11:15
Pence condemns attacks on FBI
In his remarks at St Anselm College in New Hampshire yesterday, Mike Pence said it is possible to criticise the investigation into Mr Trump without attacking law enforcement.
“I also want to remind my fellow Republicans, we can hold the attorney general accountable for the decision he made without attacking the rank-and-file law enforcement personnel at the FBI,” he said.
“The Republican Party is the party of law and order. Our party stands with the men and women who stand on the thin blue line at the federal and state and local level, and these attacks on the FBI must stop. Calls to defund the FBI are just as wrong as calls to defund the police.”
Andrew Feinberg has more.
‘Calls to defund the FBI are just as wrong as calls to defund the police’
Andrew Naughtie18 August 2022 10:45
Allen Weisselberg willing to testify against Trump’s companies, report says
Allen Weisselberg, the longtime chief financial officer of former president Donald Trump’s eponymous real estate and hotel company, will reportedly give evidence against his employer if called to testify in the company’s upcoming tax fraud trial and will say he conspired with the companies to commit tax fraud when he enters a plea of guilty on Thursday.
According to Rolling Stone, Mr Weisselberg, a veteran of Trumpworld who has worked for the Trump Organization since the days of the ex-president’s father, Fred Trump, “has agreed to testify against The Trump Corporation and the Trump Payroll Corporation” when the two companies go on trial in October.
Allen Weisselberg is expected to plead guilty to violating New York tax laws on Thursday
Oliver O’Connell18 August 2022 10:15
FBI Mar-a-Lago raid supported by majority of Americans
The poll surveyed 1,500 adult citizens of the United States between 13 August and 16 August 2022.
Eric Garcia has the details.
Republicans have claimed the search was politically motivated
Oliver O’Connell18 August 2022 09:30
In brutal first review, Kushner memoir dubbed ‘soulless’
Breaking History: A White House Memoir was derided as the self-serving, selective musings of a “cocky young real estate heir who happened to unwrap a lot of Big Macs beside his father-in-law” by the Times book critic Dwight Garner.
Mr Kushner talks up his deal-making shrewdness while rolling out a stream of cliches in the tone of a “college admissions essay”, Mr Garner writes.
‘Kushner looks like a mannequin, and he writes like one,’ says New York Times book critic Dwight Garner
Oliver O’Connell18 August 2022 08:45
Trump may release surveillance footage from FBI search at Mar-a-Lago, report says
Some aides and allies of the former president are encouraging him to feature the closely held footage of the raid in campaign-style ads, a person familiar with the conversations told CNN.
Read my detailed report on how the proposal has left Republicans divided.
Footage is so closely held it has not ‘been shared by anyone outside of the attorneys’
Shweta Sharma18 August 2022 08:28
Top Democrat wants answers on investigation into embattled Homeland Security watchdog
A top Democrat on the House Oversight Committee is demanding answers about an investigation into the Department of Homeland Security watchdog who has been accused of aiding efforts to cover up text messages sent and received by Donald Trump’s protective detail on the day a mob of his supporters stormed the US Capitol.
In a letter to Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency chair Kevin Winters, Representative Gerry Connolly said he has “serious concerns” about the “continued silence” coming from the committee regarding DHS Inspector General Joseph Cuffari in the wake of multiple reports indicating that Mr Cuffari, an appointee of Mr Trump, failed to notify Congress that text messages from Mr Trump’s protective detail had been deleted despite requests that they be preserved.
House government operations subcommittee chair Gerry Connolly wants answers on whether DHS inspector general Joseph Cuffari is under investigation for ethics violations
Oliver O’Connell18 August 2022 08:00
The investigations Donald Trump is facing
Here is a partial list of the key probes involving Mr Trump and where they currently stand following an unprecedented FBI raid at his Palm Beach, Florida home at Mar-a-Lago on 8 August.
The former president, his business and allies are under scrutiny for tax fraud allegations, real estate practices and a plot to steal the 2020 election
Oliver O’Connell18 August 2022 07:15
Pence would consider giving evidence before January 6 committee
The former vice president, who became a target of the pro-Trump mob that stormed the Capitol on the day Congress certified his and Donald Trump’s defeat at the hands of Joe Biden, was speaking at a “Politics and Eggs” breakfast event in New Hampshire on Wednesday when he was asked if he’d be willing to appear before the select committee.
“I would consider it,” he said.
The House January 6 select committee is considering requesting testimony from the former vice president
Oliver O’Connell18 August 2022 06:15