Merrick Garland appoints special counsel to oversee Trump investigations
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Donald Trump has finally lost his battle to block Democratic-led House committees from obtaining his tax returns, setting up a sprint by investigators with Democratic lawmakers to review them before the next Congress is sworn in.
Having sought for years to shield his tax returns from being released Mr Trump saw a final defeat on Tuesday, ironically at the hands of the conservative majority that he himself installed on the Supreme Court.
Meanwhile, prosecutors in New York are awaiting a verdict in the tax fraud trial against the Trump Organization after resting their case on Monday following just two witnesses taking the stand.
And in Washington, Dr Anthony Fauci, the Trump Covid response team member-turned top target of the Maga right, gave his final White House press conference on Tuesday as he prepares to retire after more than five decades of government service. He remains a hate figure for many on the Trump-aligned right, though the former president declined to fire him from his administration.
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Jury begins deliberating in Oath Keepers sedition trial
A jury has begun deliberating in the trial of Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes and four associates, who are charged with seditious conspiracy — the most serious charge to emerge from January 6 and the attack on the Capitol thus far.
If convicted, the members of the right-wing militia will face up to 20 years in prison.
Read more about this high-profile case that could have serious implications for the Justice Department’s January 6 prosecutions going forward:
Jury begins deliberating in Oath Keepers sedition trial
Jurors have started deliberating in the Capitol riot case accusing Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes and four associates of a violent plot to stop the transfer of presidential power from Republican Donald Trump to Democrat Joe Biden
Andrew Naughtie23 November 2022 12:00
Supreme Court sides with Congress in Trump taxes case
Donald Trump has finally lost his battle to block Democratic-led House committees from obtaining his tax returns, setting up a dead sprint by investigators with Democratic lawmakers to review them before the next Congress is sworn in.
The president had sought for years to shield his tax returns from being released to the House Ways and Means Committee, but on Tuesday saw a final defeat ironically at the hands of the conservative majority that he himself installed on the nation’s highest court.
The victory for House members on Tuesday means that Democratic lawmakers will have the rest of November and December to issue reports based on the findings from the tax returns before control of the committee is turned over to Republicans in January. Democrats will still be able to release reports beyond that date, but will lack the power of the committee to pursue further documents or other evidence.
Andrew Naughtie23 November 2022 11:30
Appeals panel appears inclined to toss out Trump special master order
Donald Trump could be on the verge of a major defeat in his lawsuit against the Justice Department, filed in response to the search warrant executed at Mar-a-Lago.
A three-judge panel of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals appears poised to toss out a district judge’s order blocking the Department of Justice from using documents seized during the 8 August search of former president Donald Trump’s Palm Beach, Florida home and office.
John Bowden23 November 2022 10:30
Fauci gives ‘final message’ to Americans in last public briefing after 54 years of service
Dr Anthony Fauci, the White House Covid response coordinator appointed by Donald Trump and later turned into an object of villainy by the conservative right, gave his last press conference as NIAID director on Tuesday.
Speaking to Americans in the role for the last time, he urged listeners to get vaccinated and keep taking common sense preventative measures against the Covid virus — even as fewer and fewer Americans are masking up and practicing social distancing.
At one point, the briefing was disrupted by a right-wing reporter who demanded time to ask questions about the virus’s origin.
John Bowden23 November 2022 09:31
Trump posts bizarre video manipulating famous movie scenes into fans fawning over him
Former President Donald Trump regularly “re-truths” posts that sing his praises, but one of his most recent posts includes an edited video featuring a bizarre mashup of scenes from movies in which characters watch in rapturous glee as the former president gives speeches and brags about himself.
As the video rolls, scenes from films including Napoleon Dynamite, Forrest Gump, Gremlins, Kill Bill, Fargo, Ed Wood and more play out, showing characters gathering to watch Mr Trump boast about himself during campaign speeches and more “candid” public meet-and-greets.
Watch the strange video and read more about Mr Trump’s latest attempt to seek the praise of his followers in The Independent:
John Bowden23 November 2022 08:30
Conservatives complain about Trump special counsel wife’s links to Michelle Obama
Donald Trump and his inner circle are up in arms over the appointment of Jack Smith, a career Justice Department prosecutor, to the role of special counsel determining whether the ex-president will face criminal charges.
A target for their ire is Mr Smith’s wife, who was discovered to have been a Democratic donor in 2020 and previously worked on a documentary based on a memoir from Michelle Obama.
Some say the issue parallels the left’s outrage over Ginni Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, and her role in attempting to overturn the 2020 election before her husband would rule on cases involving the White House and January 6.
Read more in The Independent:
John Bowden23 November 2022 07:30
GOP’s Kevin McCarthy threatens to impeach Alejandro Mayorkas over border
House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy called on Homeland Security secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to resign over management of the US southern border with Mexico, warning that the new House Conservative majority will open investigations that could lead to impeachment proceedings.
Mr McCarthy, who is positioned to become the new House speaker when the new Congress convenes in January, said the Republican majority would use “the power of the purse and the power of the subpoena” to hold president Joe Biden’s administration accountable for border security.
“If secretary Majority does not resign, House Republicans will investigate every order, every action and every failure to determine whether we can begin an impeachment inquiry,” Mr McCarthy said at a press conference yesterday.
Alisha Rahaman Sarkar23 November 2022 06:30
States move to keep court from lifting Trump asylum policy
A coalition of conservative-leaning states is making a last-ditch effort to keep in place a Trump-era public health rule that allows many asylum seekers to be turned away at the southern US border.
Late Monday, the 15 states filed what’s known as a motion to intervene — meaning they want to become part of the legal proceedings surrounding the public health rule referred to as Title 42.
The rule, first invoked by Trump in 2020, uses emergency public health authority to allow the United States to keep migrants from seeking asylum at the border, based on the need to help prevent the spread of Covid-19.
It is set to end on 21 December.
Alisha Rahaman Sarkar23 November 2022 05:30
Judge warns Trump he needs to lawyer up days before E Jean Carroll expected to file rape case
A federal judge warned Donald Trump to decide on his lawyers, and fast, ahead of a coming suit from writer E Jean Carroll accusing Mr Trump of raping her in a Manhattan department store in the 1990s.
The warning came on Tuesday, during a conference in a defamation suit Ms Carroll filed after Mr Trump called the writer’s allegations, first aired in an excerpt of her memoir published in New York magazine, false and an attempt to drum up publicity.
Read more in The Independent:
John Bowden23 November 2022 04:20
Why do Democrats care about Donald Trump’s tax returns?
On Tuesday the Supreme Court dealt a final blow to Donald Trump in his years-long battle to shield his tax returns from Congress.
It was a victory for Democrats on an issue that seems almost antique now — the issue of Mr Trump’s finances took a back seat for many in the media and Democrats especially after January 6 and Mr Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election.
With the House Ways and Means Committee now set to receive copies of Mr Trump’s tax returns from numerous years, it’s worth looking back to refresh our memories of exactly why those documents are so important.
John Bowden23 November 2022 03:20