Politics

Trump news – live: Republicans demand disclosure of affidavit justifying FBI’s Mar-a-Lago raid



Trump lawyer does not ‘believe’ that secret nuclear documents found at Mar-a-Lago

Republicans are stepping up calls for the release of the FBI affidavit justifying the seizure of documents from Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home.

A search warrant released last week revealed that the former president had 11 sets of classified documents at his home, and that the Justice Department had probable cause to conduct the search based on possible Espionage Act violations.

Republicans are now demanding the bureau release its submissions that persuaded judge Bruce Reinhart to issue the search warrant.

“The Justice Department should ‘show that this was not just a fishing expedition, that they had due cause to go in and to do this, that they did exhaust all other means,” Republican senator Mike Rounds told NBC.

The unsealing of such affidavits is highly unusual and would require approval from a federal judge.

The demand comes amid reports of heightened threats against federal law enforcement personnel in the wake of the raid.

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Kinzinger boosts Cheney on eve of primary

Liz Cheney is almost universally expected to lose her congressional primary in Wyoming tomorrow, facing off as she is a primary challenger backed by the muscle of Donald Trump. But she has no shortage of defenders – and among them, naturally, is her 6 January select committee colleague Adam Kinzinger, a fellow anti-Trump Republican who’s retiring from his seat at the end of the current Congress.

Ms Cheney is unlikely to be surprised by a loss, but she isn’t going quietly. Here’s her closing ad in the race, where she pulls no punches:

Read more from John Bowden.

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Fox host invokes infamous Nixon line – to defend Trump

On yesterday’s edition of Fox & Friends, a speculative discussion of what might be in the affadavit that justified the Mar-a-Lago search took a strange turn when one of the hosts, Will Cain, brought up Richard Nixon’s notorious claim that “when the president does it, it’s not illegal”, using it to argue that Donald Trump did in fact have the ability to unilaterally declassify government documents.

Nixon made the remark in a legendary interview with David Frost in 1977. It came in the course of a discussion about whether in certain situations when national security is threatened, the president’s decision “enables those who carry it out to carry it out without violating a law”.

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Man dead after crashing car, opening fire near US Capitol

A man has reportedly died after ramming his car into a barricade near the US Capitol, causing it to catch fire, before producing a weapon and shooting “indiscriminately” near the building.

The shocking scene was first reported early Sunday morning by PBS News’s Lisa Desjardins, citing multiple sources. US Capitol Police have not yet released an official account of the attack; The Independent has reached out for comment and verification.

Agency sources did confirm the incident in a news release shortly after the PBS story broke, noting that the crash occurred around 4am eastern time. The man was later identified as 29-year-old Richard Aaron York.

“At this time, it does not appear the man was targeting any Members of Congress, who are on recess, and it does not appear officers fired their weapons,” read the agency’s statement.

“When our officers heard the sound of gunfire, they immediately responded and were approaching the man when he shot himself. Nobody else was hurt,” it continued.

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How Merrick Garland quietly outmaneuvered Donald Trump

Political analysts are crediting Attorney General Merrick Garland with outflanking Donald Trump and calling his bluff after he moved publicly last week to unseal the documents which led to the authorisation of the raid on the 45th president’s home.

The move, made at a rare DOJ press conference, brought a swift end to the claims from Mr Trump and his allies that the Biden administration was trying to hide anything about the purpose of its criminal investigation into whether the former president illegally retained classified materials.

Read more from Andrew Buncombe in The Independent:

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FBI, DHS warn US law enforcement of threats after Trump search

Two US federal agencies are warning of the potential for more attacks inspired by the anger of Donald Trump’s fans in response to the FBI raid of Mar-a-Lago.

The FBI and Department of Homeland Security jointly issued a memo to officials in both agencies warning that the likelihood of domestic extremist attacks on US soil has risen dramatically since last Monday’s raid. The former president is being investigated for illegal retention of classified materials.

Officials warn that “the FBI and DHS have observed an increase in violent threats posted on social media against federal officials and facilities,” and say that the surge can be attributed to the decision of the agency to “carry out a court-authorized search warrant in Palm Beach, Florida”.

My colleague John Bowden has more:

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Cheney in trouble while Palin eyes comeback

The Tuesday election in Wyoming and Alaska could relaunch the political career of a former Republican star while effectively ending the career of another.

Wyoming representative Liz Cheney is the vice chair of the House committee seeking the truth behind Donald Trump’s relentless efforts to stay in power after losing the 2020 election.

Mr Trump has made Ms Cheney’s ouster a top priority as he emphatically endorsed her main challenger, leaving her fighting to hold on to the House seat she has held for three terms.

Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin makes a joke about the size of the state of Texas compared to Alaska during her appearance at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Dallas on 4 August 2022

(AP)

Meanwhile in Alaska, Sarah Palin jumped on a vacancy in the state’s congressional delegation as a potential springboard back into elected office. A victory in Tuesdays special election to fill the remaining months of the late US representative Don Young’s term could send her to Washington as soon as next month.

Ms Palin, a former Alaska governor and the 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee, has been out of elected office for over a decade and hoping for a comeback with her insurgent brand of conservativism.

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Trump keeps trying to divert attention to Obama over ‘nuclear’ records scandal — here’s why that doesn’t add up

One of the many responses from Donald Trump to the unprecedented raid of his home is another unfounded conspiracy theory positing that Barack Obama took “millions” of documents from the White House when he left.

It’s factually untrue; the 44th president in fact has only obtained unclassified records from the National Archives (which is the legal process for doing so) for use in the development of his presidential library. No one at the National Archives or DOJ have insinuated that Mr Obama did anything remotely wrong.

Dive deep into the latest flailing attempt by Donald Trump and his team to offer alternative facts instead of addressing the issue at hand:

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Republicans push to see affidavit justifying FBI raid of Trump’s home

Republicans have sought more details on the FBI’s raid of Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home.

They are seeking disclosure of the affidavit submitted by the agency that persuaded a federal judge into issuing a search warrant, arguing that it would show the raids had “due cause” and were “not just a fishing expedition”.

“I think a releasing the affidavit would help, at least that would confirm that there was justification for this raid,” Republican senator Mike Rounds told NBC.

File: Mike Rounds speaking during a Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee confirmation hearing on 27 January 2021

(AFP via Getty Images)

“The Justice Department should ‘show that this was not just a fishing expedition, that they had due cause to go in and to do this, that they did exhaust all other means,” he said.

“And if they can’t do that, then we’ve got a serious problem on our hands.”

The statement comes as the search warrant released last week showed that Mr Trump had 11 sets of classified documents at his home, and that the Justice Department had probable cause to conduct the search based on possible Espionage Act violations.

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Trump’s lawyer claims all investigations into him will be dropped if he says he won’t run in 2024

An attorney on Donald Trump’s legal team claimed once again in a new interview that the Justice Department’s probe is aimed at stopping the former president from running for office in 2024, and that it would end if Mr Trump pledged to abstain from running.

There’s zero actual indication from the words or actions of the Justice Department that their investigation has anything to do with his campaigns, past or present, but the Trump team has latched onto that conspiracy, like many others, as they rage over the growing scandal which erupted on Monday.

“I’ve said it 100 times – if he’s not leading in the polls – I’ve sat across from him, every time he gets frustrated I say to him, ‘Mr President, if you would like me to resolve all your litigation, you should announce that you are not running for office, and all of this will stop,’” the former president’s attorney Alina Habba told Real America’s Voice in an interview.

Read more from The Independent’s Gustaf Kilander:

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Trump asked Merrick Garland: ‘What can I do to reduce the heat?’ before FBI warrant was unsealed, report says

An unnamed source tells The New York Times that Donald Trump attempted to reach out to Merrick Garland personally after the FBI raided his home.

In a message sent from a Trump ally to a top DOJ official, the ex-president reportedly questioned, “What can I do to reduce the heat?”

Many have speculated about the reasoning for the message, as Donald Trump has shown little actual interest in reducing the political firestorm that he kicked off last week by excoriating the Department of Justice for the raid.

Read more from The Independent’s Gustaf Kilander:



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