Related video: Justice Dept. Releases Redacted Mar-A-Lago Search Affidavit
The US Department of Justice suspected that the government search of Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home in Florida could uncover “evidence of obstruction” on the premises, according to a heavily redacted probable cause affidavit unveiled on Friday.
The president responded to the release of the document used to obtain a search warrant for with a string of furious posts on his Truth Social platform, calling it further evidence of a “witch hunt” against him and a “total public relations subterfuge” by federeral law enforcement.
He also alleged that the raid is among the “most egregious assaults on democracy” in US history, months after the violent attack on the US Capitol fuelled by his ongoing baseless claim that the election was stolen from him.
According to the 38-page document, FBI agents who examined the contents of boxes retrieved from Mr Trump in January 2021 found “184 unique documents bearing classification markings,” as well as 67 documents marked as confidential, 92 documents marked as secret, and 25 documents marked as top secret.
ICYMI: Joe Biden characterises pro-Trump far-right movement as ‘semi-fascism’
In a rally marking his return to the campaign trail ahead of 2022 midterm elections and the 2024 presidential race, Joe Biden excoriated his Donald Trump’s far-right movement as “semi-fascism” committed to “destroying America”.
“What we’re seeing now is either the beginning or the death knell of extreme Maga philosophy,” the president told a group of assembled party donors. “It’s not just Trump, it’s the entire philosophy that underpins the — I’m going to say something, it’s like semi-fascism.”
‘What we’re seeing now is either the beginning or the death knell of extreme Maga philosophy’
Alex Woodward28 August 2022 02:00
Is the Trump-Fox News love affair over?
The Independent’s John Bowden in Washington asks whether the Mar-a-Lago investigation is unwinding the love affair between the Trump-dominated Fox News network and the former president.
Fox News, whose pro-Trump opinion hosts dominate the network’s primetime lineup, was not the first place many would expect to hear condemnations of the former president, while most of the GOP spent recent days (and months) defending him.
But that’s exactly what happened in the immediate wake of the raid when Steve Scalise went on Fox & Friends probably expecting his baseless accusations about the FBI to go unchallenged.
FBI’s raid of Mar-a-Lago leads to tough questions for Trump supporters, even on his previous favourite news channel, writes John Bowden
Alex Woodward28 August 2022 01:00
The documents in Trump’s Mar-a-Lago boxes, by the numbers
The FBI’s tally of classified information in boxes recovered from Mar-a-Lago earlier this year found the following:
“184 unique documents bearing classification markings, including 67 documents marked as CONFIDENTIAL, 92 documents marked as SECRET, and 25 documents marked as TOP SECRET.”
The Independent‘s Richard Hall explains the investigation, by the numbers, including what those designations mean:
A breakdown of the documents contained in boxes Trump handed over to the National Archives in January
Alex Woodward28 August 2022 00:00
Breaking news: Judge files response to Trump’s lawsuit
A judge has responded to Trump’s legal team’s request for a “special master” – essentially a third-party attorney – to oversee the Justice Department returning any potential private documents seized during the Mar-a-Lago raid.
Trump wants the special master to oversee the review of evidence gathered during the investigation and for the judge to halt the probe until a review.
On Saturday, Judge Aileen Cannon ordered the Justice Department to compile a list – under seal – of what was taken out of Mar-a-Lago.
The judge’s order also signals her “preliminary intent to appoint a special master in this case.”
A hearing on Trump’s motion is scheduled for 1 pm on 1 September.
Alex Woodward27 August 2022 23:00
Trump: Mar-a-Lago raid was among ‘most egregious assaults on democracy’ in US history
The former president claimed the Mar-a-Lago raid was among “the most egregious assaults on democracy” in the history of the US.
“Which, by the way, going to places, in a very bad way, it has never seen before!” he wrote on his Truth Social account on 27 August.
Former president whose baseless narrative fuelled violent attempt to overturn election condemns federal law enforcement probe of classified documents in his possession
Alex Woodward27 August 2022 22:00
Trump targets the FBI on Truth Social
Donald Trump is active on his Truth Social platform this afternoon, pondering when the FBI will say enough is enough.
“When are the great Agents, and others, in the FBI going to say “we aren’t going to take it anymore,” much as they did when James Comey read off a list of all of Crooked Hillary Clinton’s crimes, only to say that no reasonable prosecutor would prosecute. The wonderful people of the FBI went absolutely “nuts,” so Comey had to backtrack and do a FAKE INVESTIGATION in order to keep them at bay. The end result, we won in 2016 (and did MUCH better in 2020!). But now the “Left” has lost their minds!!!” the former president wrote.
A short time later, he pushed back on reports that Truth Social isn’t performing very well as a business.
“The Fake News Media is devastated by how well TRUTH is doing so, quite on cue, they are working overtime to criticize and demean it. Actually, many of the big guns in Washington, D.C., are fighting to stop the TRUTH but, they won’t be successful. They are going after the outside financial company, and virtually anybody that walks and breaths, but that won’t do it. They said it is doing worse since the Raid, but actually it is doing MUCH better, up more than 550%. We all love TRUTH!!!”
David Taintor27 August 2022 21:00
Ted Cruz mocked for blasting ‘slacker baristas’ after Biden scraps some student loan debt
Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz branded millions of Americans set to benefit from some relief from student loan repayments as “slackers” and suggested that if they “get off the bong for a minute” they could become Democrat voters.
“There is a real risk that if you are that slacker barista who wasted seven years in college studying completely useless things, now has loans and can’t get a job, Joe Biden just gave you 20 grand,” he said this week.
Democratic Senator Bernie Sanders fired back, posting a video on Twitter where nurses spoke out about the crippling debt that they face from the education they needed in order to enter the profession.
“No, they are not slackers,” he wrote. “They deserve relief.”
Democratic Senator Bernie Sanders posted a video on Twitter educating the Texas senator about some of the Americans – such as nurses – struggling because of crippling student loan debt
Alex Woodward27 August 2022 20:37
Director of national intelligence reviewing security risk of documents seized from Mar-a-Lago
Director of national intelligence Avril Haines told lawmakers that her office is working with the US Department of Justice to determine the security risk of Trump possessing White House documents at Mar-a-Lago.
The Justice Depamrtent and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence “are working together to facilitate a classification review of relevant materials, including those recovered during the search,” she wrote in a letter to the chairs of two key House committees.
Congressional leaders acknowledge intelligence chief’s probe
Alex Woodward27 August 2022 20:00
Facebook agrees to settle Cambridge Analytica lawsuit
Meta has agreed to settle a four-year federal lawsuit seeking damages for letting third parties, including Cambridge Analytica, access private user data from Facebook, according to court filings.
The settlement – the terms of which have not been disclosed – brings closure to a long-running case alleging that Facebook violated consumer privacy laws by sharing millions of users’ data with third parties, including the now-defunct British firm connected with Trump’s campaign.
A lawsuit followed 2018 reports that Cambridge Analytica paid Facebook app developers for access to roughly 87 million users’ account data, which was used to target users during the 2016 election.
Settlement would bring closure to long-running case tied to Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign
Alex Woodward27 August 2022 19:17
Ron DeSantis ousts four elected school board members over damning report into Parkland massacre
Florida’s Republican Governor Ron DeSantis, a potential 2024 presidential contender, ousted four elected members of a school board following a damning grand jury report into the Valentine’s Day 2018 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.
“It is my duty to suspend people from office when there is clear evidence of incompetence, neglect of duty, misfeasance or malfeasance,” he said in a press release announcing the suspensions.
Grand jury probe found that officials displayed ‘deceit, malfeasance, misfeasance, neglect of duty and incompetence’ in their handling of a campus safety program
Alex Woodward27 August 2022 18:00