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Trump news – live: Jan 6 criminal probe reportedly subpoenas former deputy White House counsel

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Donald Trump has launched a broadside against proposed reforms to the Electoral Count Act, claiming that the effort to make it more specific is proof that Mike Pence did in fact have scope to throw out the certification of electoral college votes on 6 January 2021.

“Senators are meeting right now on reforming the Electoral Count Act so that a Vice President can no longer do what EVERYBODY, except for certain Conservative legal scholars, said was not allowed to be done. So they all lied,” he wrote, adding that Mr Pence “could have sent fraudulent votes back to State Legislatures” in his view.

Mr Trump is also celebrating several victories for his chosen candidates in primary races held last night. Blake Masters has won the Republican nomination for the Arizona Senate race. His chosen gubernatorial candidate in the state, Kari Lake, is leading her primary opponent by a narrow margin as the vote count continues.

In Missouri, meanwhile, Eric Schmitt defeated Eric Greitens to win the Senate nomination, meaning Mr Trump’s endorsement of “Eric” proved to be a safe bet.

Meanwhile, CNN reports that former Deputy White House Counsel Patrick Philbin has been subpoenaed in the January 6 federal criminal probe being conducted by the Justice Department.

Key points

  • Federal grand jury subpoenas Pat Cipollone

  • Trump Pentagon officials’s phones were ‘wiped’ of Jan 6 messages

  • Trump-backed candidate in Arizona nailbiter

  • Eric Schmitt wins over Eric Greitens in Missouri

  • Report says Jan 6 probe to subpoena Alex Jones’ texts and emails obtained at trial

  • CNN reports former Trump deputy White House counsel subpoenaed by Jan 6 probe

Herschel Walker accepts debate invite, but not any of the three Warnock chose

05:45 , Oliver O’Connell

Georgia Republican Herschel Walker has accepted an invitation in his U.S. Senate race to debate Democratic incumbent Raphael Warnock, but it’s not one of the three debate invitations Warnock earlier accepted, leaving it unclear whether the two will actually clash in person before the November general election.

Walker’s campaign said Wednesday that the candidate had accepted an invitation from Nexstar Media Group and other television stations to debate Warnock in Savannah on Oct. 13.

Walker accepts debate invite, but not one that Warnock chose

Jan 6 probe to subpoena Alex Jones’ texts and emails obtained in Sandy Hook trial, according to report

04:45 , Oliver O’Connell

The January 6 committee is preparing to subpoena Alex Jones’ texts and emails that were accidentally sent to an attorney for the Sandy Hook victims, according to a report.

Attorney Mark Bankston revealed he had mistakenly received a trove of thousands of Jones’ private communications during the Infowars founder’s defamation trial on Wednesday.

Within minutes of the stunning revelation, the House committee investigating the attack on the US Capitol began preparing to subpoena the messages, a source told Rolling Stone.

Bevan Hurley reports.

Jan 6 committee to subpoena Alex Jones’ texts and emails obtained in Sandy Hook trial

Trump ally Navarro sued by DoJ for alleged unofficial email account

03:45 , Oliver O’Connell

The Justice Department filed suit Wednesday against Peter Navarro, claiming the former adviser to Donald Trump used an unofficial email account while working in the White House and wrongfully retained presidential records.

The lawsuit in federal court in Washington claims Navarro used at least one “non-official” email account — a ProtonMail account — to send and receive emails. The legal action comes just weeks after Navarro was indicted on criminal charges after refusing to cooperate with a congressional investigation into the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol.

The civil case alleges that by using the unofficial email account, Navarro failed to turn over presidential records to the National Archives and Records Administration.

Trump ally Navarro sued for alleged unofficial email account

Schmitt wins GOP Senate primary in Missouri after Trump double-endorsement

02:45 , Oliver O’Connell

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt won the Republican Senate primary on Tuesday after former president Donald Trump simply endorsed “Eric”, which is also the first name of one of his opponents.

Mr Schmitt beat disgraced former governor Eric Greitens, as well as conservative activist Mark McCloskey and Representatives Vicky Hartzler and Billy Long.

Mr Trump declined to throw his support behind a specific candidate in the race and announced on Monday his support for “Eric”, after which both candidates celebrated his endorsement.

Another Eric, The Independent’s Eric Garcia, reports.

Eric Schmitt wins Missouri GOP Senate primary after Trump double-endorsement

DoJ details threats against election workers

02:00 , Oliver O’Connell

The U.S. Justice Department has charged five people for making threats of violence against election workers amid a rising wave of harassment and intimidation tied to the 2020 presidential election, a top official told U.S. senators Wednesday.

Assistant Attorney General Kenneth Polite said one charge has led to a conviction so far through a task force launched last year as reports of threats to election officials, workers and volunteers raised concerns about safety and the security of future elections.

Overall, the department has investigated more than 1,000 harassing and threatening messages directed at election workers. Roughly 100 of those have risen to the level of potential prosecution. Polite estimated at least three more people have been charged for such threats at the state level.

Justice Department details threats against election workers

Former sheriff Arpaio narrows rival’s lead in comeback attempt

01:15 , Oliver O’Connell

Joe Arpaio, the 90-year-old former Phoenix metro sheriff who was ousted in 2016 by voters frustrated with his headline-grabbing tactics and legal troubles, has narrowed his opponent’s lead in the race for mayor of the affluent suburb where he has lived for more than two decades.

But the former six-term Republican sheriff of Maricopa County was still trailing Wednesday in his bid to unseat Ginny Dickey, a Democrat serving her second term as mayor of Fountain Hills on the edge of the Phoenix metropolitan area.

Arizona’s Arpaio narrows rival’s lead in comeback attempt

Michigan Republicans refuse to concede after brutal primary losses

Thursday 4 August 2022 00:30 , Oliver O’Connell

Two far-right candidates running for office in Michigan are taking pages out of Donald Trump’s playbook and crying fraud after suffering defeats in their respective primary elections on Tuesday.

Their actions could be a sign of a new normal emerging for Republicans: The outright refusal to admit defeat, even in races against fellow Republicans.

John Bowden reports.

Michigan Republicans refuse to concede after brutal primary losses

Biden signs executive order to protect interstate travel for abortion

Wednesday 3 August 2022 23:45 , Oliver O’Connell

President Joe Biden has issued an executive order directing his health secretary to consider taking actions to support patients traveling out of state for abortion care.

The president’s directive – his second to bolster federal support for reproductive healthcare after the US Supreme Court struck down the constitutional right to abortion – arrives as anti-abortion state lawmakers draft severe restrictions on care in the wake of the ruling.

His latest order on 3 August directs US Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra to consider allowing states with legal abortion access to use Medicaid waivers to support low-income out-of-state patients forced to travel for their care.

Alex Woodward reports.

Biden signs executive order to protect interstate travel for abortion

Senate votes 95-1 to allow Finland and Sweden to join Nato

Wednesday 3 August 2022 23:29 , Oliver O’Connell

The US Senate on Wednesday voted overwhelmingly to give its’ assent to making Finland and Sweden the 31st and 32nd members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, just under three months after President Joe Biden recommended that both nations be allowed to join the 73-year-old defensive alliance.

Andrew Feinberg has the details from Washington, DC.

US Senate votes 95-1 to allow Finland and Sweden to join Nato

Chair of powerful House committee doesn’t believe Biden will run for reelection in 2024

Wednesday 3 August 2022 23:00 , Oliver O’Connell

The chair of the powerful House oversight committee, Representative Carolyn Maloney, said on Tuesday that she does not think President Joe Biden will mount a campaign for a second term in 2024.

Speaking during a primary debate for candidates vying for the Democratic Party’s nomination in New York’s 12th congressional district, Ms Maloney and other candidates were asked whether Mr Biden should run for re-election.

She responded: “I don’t believe he’s running for re-election”.

Democratic chair of House oversight committee doesn’t believe Biden will run in 2024

US ‘does not want a crisis’ because of Pelosi’s Taiwan trip, says White House

Wednesday 3 August 2022 22:15 , Oliver O’Connell

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said that the United States does not seek to turn House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan into a crisis with China.

Ms Jean-Pierre made the remark during a White House press briefing on Wednesday after Ms Pelosi became the highest-ranking US government official to visit Taiwan.

Eric Garcia reports from Washington, DC.

White House says US ‘does not want a crisis’ because of Pelosi’s Taiwan trip

Voices: All eyes are on Kyrsten Sinema now — from both parties

Wednesday 3 August 2022 21:45 , Oliver O’Connell

Eric Garcia writes:

It turns out that getting Senator Joe Manchin on board was the easy part for Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.

After Manchin and Schumer announced their agreement on the Inflation Reduction Act, many Democrats on the House and Senate side either praised the spending bill or at least seemed optimistic about its measures to mitigate climate change and lower prescription drug costs.

The mercurial Manchin has been touting the legislation everywhere he can, even defending it on Fox News – the same network where he infamously killed Build Back Better last year.

But since Democrats have only 50 seats, that means they need every Senator in their conference plus Vice President Kamala Harris to break a tie. All eyes are now on Kyrsten Sinema, the first Democrat to win a Senate seat from Arizona in 30 years.

Read on:

All eyes are on Kyrsten Sinema now — from both parties

Indiana Rep Jackie Walorski killed in car crash

Wednesday 3 August 2022 21:41 , Oliver O’Connell

US Representative Jackie Walorski, a Republican from Indiana’s 2nd district, was killed in an automobile accident on Wednesday.

According to multiple news outlets Ms Walorski died following a crash in Elkhart County at 12.32 pm local time.

Ms Walorski’s communications director, Emma Thompson, was named among the deceased, as was a local Republican Party official. According to the news station, Ms Walorski’s vehicle was struck head-on by a driver who crossed over into oncoming traffic; the driver of that vehicle died as well.

Congresswoman Jackie Walorski killed in car crash

Could Detroit be left without Black representation?

Wednesday 3 August 2022 21:15 , Oliver O’Connell

State Rep Shri Thanedar won Michigan’s 13th Congressional Democratic primary, topping a field of nine candidates in a district that covers most of Detroit and potentially leaving the predominantly Black city next term without Black representation in Congress for the first time since the early 1950s.

Results from Tuesday’s election show Mr Thanedar, an immigrant from India, defeating state Rep. Adam Hollier and attorney Portia Roberson.

“This race was not about me,” Mr Thanedar said in a statement. “Michigan’s 13th Congressional district is one of the poorest in the country, and I will fight for economic and racial justice in Congress.”

Primary vote could mean no Black Detroit member in Congress

Trump congratulates MAGA primary winners (and himself)

Wednesday 3 August 2022 21:09 , Oliver O’Connell

Still taking a victory lap from last night’s primary wins for candidates endorsed by him, the former president took to Truth Social again this afternoon to congratulate the winners.

BIG, HISTORIC WINS for Trump-endorsed candidates across the Country last night! Now 15-0 in Senate primaries, Perfect Records in Arizona, Kansas, Michigan, and Missouri. Congratulations to our MAGA Candidates!

Report says Jan 6 probe to subpoena Alex Jones’ texts and emails obtained at trial

Wednesday 3 August 2022 20:45 , Oliver O’Connell

The January 6 committee is preparing to subpoena Alex Jones’ texts and emails that were accidentally sent to an attorney for the Sandy Hook victims, according to a report.

Attorney Mark Bankston revealed he had mistakenly received a trove of thousands of Jones’ private communications during the Infowars founder’s defamation trial on Wednesday.

Within a few hours, the House committee investigating the attack on the US Capitol began preparing to subpoena the messages, a source told Rolling Stone.

Bevan Hurley is tracking this breaking news story.

Jan 6 committee to subpoena Alex Jones’ texts and emails obtained in Sandy Hook trial

CNN reports former Trump deputy White House counsel subpoenaed by Jan 6 probe

Wednesday 3 August 2022 20:32 , Oliver O’Connell

Former Deputy White House Counsel Patrick Philbin has been subpoenaed in the January 6 federal criminal probe being conducted by the Justice Department.

Missouri man who pointed gun at BLM protesters gets just 3% of vote in run for GOP Senate nomination

Wednesday 3 August 2022 20:15 , Oliver O’Connell

Mark McCloskey, the St. Louis attorney who shot to fame when he and his wife threatened Black Lives Matter protesters with guns outside their home in the summer of 2020, lost in the Republican primary for US Senate in Missouri on Tuesday night.

Mr McCloskey received just three percent of the vote in the hotly contested primary to replace retiring Sen. Roy Blunt, finishing in fifth place behind victor Eric Schmitt and three other candidates.

Abe Asher reports.

Missouri man who pointed gun at BLM protesters loses GOP Senate primary

Trump-endorsed Blake Masters wins GOP nomination for Senate in Arizona

Wednesday 3 August 2022 19:45 , Oliver O’Connell

Venture capitalist Blake Masters won the Republican nomination for Senate in Arizona, after former president Donald Trump’s endorsement catapulted him to the front of the pack of candidates.

Mr Masters beat Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich and businessman Jim Lamon in the Republican primary on Tuesday. Mr Masters earned attention after he ran ads saying that he believed that the former president won the 2020 presidential election.

Eric Garcia reports on last night’s primary results.

Blake Masters wins the Republican nomination for Senate

Pence campaigning for ‘proven conservative’ Kleefisch in Wisconsin gubernatorial primary

Wednesday 3 August 2022 19:15 , Oliver O’Connell

Former Vice President Mike Pence campaigned Wednesday with his pick in battleground Wisconsin’s Republican gubernatorial primary, calling Rebecca Kleefisch “a proven conservative” as she faces an opponent endorsed by Donald Trump.

Trump plans to hold a rally Friday for Tim Michels just miles from where Pence appeared for Kleefisch in conservative Waukesha County, a Milwaukee suburb that’s long been key to Republicans.

Pence touts Wisconsin GOP governor candidate Kleefisch

QAnon’s infamous Ron Watkins falls short in Arizona

Wednesday 3 August 2022 18:45 , Andrew Naughtie

The man who is alleged to have been in control of the QAnon conspiracy cult through secretive postings on an imageboard he helps run is set to come dead last in the crowded primary for Arizona’s 2nd Congressional District.

Ron Watkins was trailing six other Republican candidates on Wednesday morning as 72 per cent of the votes were counted; more results are expected today but the overall dynamic of the race is not likely to change.

Mr Watkins’s candidacy would have been utterly unremarkable were it not for the control he allegedly has over a pseudonymous identity on the imageboard 8kun, which is owned by his father Jim and Ron ran as site administrator until at least 2020.

According to journalists and at least one instance where Mr Watkins appeared to slip up and admit to controlling the account, Mr Watkins has likely been authoring the so-called “Q drops” which have defined the beliefs of the QAnon movement for years.

John Bowden reports:

Alleged QAnon mastermind set to come in last in House primary

Analysis: Kansas abortion fightback should leave GOP worried

Wednesday 3 August 2022 18:15 , Andrew Naughtie

Writing on last night’s stunning vote that saw Kansas voters decline to throw out a constitutional right to abortion,The Independent’s Holly Baxter writes that the Republican Party may not understand its base as well as it likes to think:

Republicans campaign, month after month and year after year, on “freedom”: freedom to own as many guns as you like, freedom from high taxation, the freedom to pay for and choose your own healthcare rather than relying on a state-controlled system…Right-wing Americans like to imagine themselves as rugged individualists happy to live in a dog-eat-dog world where the free markets dictate what’s successful and what happens inside one’s home is a private matter, unencroachable by the government.

In this context, an abortion ban makes very little sense. It’s hard to convince people that sex education should be taken out of schools because it’s a private family matter while at the same time saying the state should legislate about what happens inside women’s wombs. It’s hard to sell yourself as a freedom-lover when you also believe in forced birth. Progressives and libertarians alike respond to that hypocrisy with unease. And, as we saw in Kansas this morning, many will then go to the ballot box and let their representatives know that isn’t what they signed up for when they voted red.

Read the full piece below.

Kansas voted against banning abortion. Republicans should’ve seen this coming

Rusty Bowers out

Wednesday 3 August 2022 17:45 , Andrew Naughtie

Among the anti-Trump Republicans turfed out last night was Rusty Bowers, the speaker of the Arizona state house, who testified earlier this summer at a public hearing of the 6 January committee, describing how Rudy Giuliani and others in the Trump orbit tried to pressure him into taking actions he knew were illegal in order to overturn the 2020 election.

In an interview this past weekend, Mr Bowers criticised not just Mr Trump but also his Republican followers for their fetishisation of cruelty and authoritarianism.

“They rule by thuggery and intimidation,” he said. “So you know, they found a niche, they found a way and it’s fear, and people can use fear, demagogues like to use fear as a weapon. And they weaponise everything, and we all know it. But that’s not leadership to me to use thuggery.”

Here’s what Mr Trump had to say about the primary result on Truth Social:

“David Farnsworth trounced RINO Rusty Bowers in Arizona SD 10, 64% to 36%. It was a race that they said couldn’t be won, but it was, easily. People didn’t believe Rusty Bowers when he testified in front of the Unselect Committee. Congratulations David, great job!”

Anti-Trump Republicans debate colleague’s primary loss

Wednesday 3 August 2022 17:15 , Andrew Naughtie

Adam Kinzinger, a Republican congressman who sits on the 6 January select committee, has been vocal in his criticism of the Democrats’ strategy of boosting extreme congressional candidates in select GOP primaries in an attempt to choose their weakest opponent.

After Peter Meijer, who voted to impeach Mr Trump over the Capitol riot, lost his primary last night, Mr Kinzinger went on CNN to restate his position on the subject – one where many Democrats wary of playing with fire agree with him.

He soon found himself contradicted by former congressman Joe Walsh, a onetime Tea Partier-turned-furious Trump critic, who argued the Republicans have only themselves to blame. But Mr Kinzinger is having none of it:

Trump: Electoral Count Act reform effort proves Pence could have overturned election

Wednesday 3 August 2022 16:45 , Andrew Naughtie

Former president Donald Trump is claiming a Senate effort to clarify how Congress counts electoral votes after a presidential election is proof that his baseless theories on how former Vice President Mike Pence could’ve overturned the 2020 election for him were not as baseless, as nearly all reputable legal scholars have said.

Mr Trump took to his Truth Social platform on Wednesday to weigh in on the proposed legislation, which is sponsored by Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine, Democratic Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia, as well as a bipartisan group of 14 other senators.

“Senators are meeting right now on reforming the Electoral Count Act so that a Vice President can no longer do what EVERYBODY, except for certain Conservative legal scholars, said was not allowed to be done. So they all lied,” he wrote, adding that Mr Pence “could have sent fraudulent votes back to State Legislatures” in his view.

Read more below from Andrew Feinberg.

Trump claims Senate electoral reform proves Pence could’ve overturned 2020 election

Blake Masters wins AZ Senate primary

Wednesday 3 August 2022 16:15 , Andrew Naughtie

Venture capitalist Blake Masters won the Republican nomination for Senate in Arizona, after former president Donald Trump’s endorsement catapulted him to the front of the pack of candidates.

Mr Masters beat Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich and businessman Jim Lamon in the Republican primary on Tuesday. Mr Masters earned attention after he ran ads saying that he believed that the former president won the 2020 presidential election.

He also enjoys the support of venture capitalist and Trump ally Peter Thiel, his mentor in business and for whom he worked as chief operating officer of Thiel Capital. Mr Thiel poured millions into Arizona, specifically dropping at least $5m into Saving Arizona political action committee.

Eric Garcia reports:

Blake Masters wins the Republican nomination for Senate

GOP Congressman condemns Saudi-backed Golf series held at Trump resort

Wednesday 3 August 2022 15:45 , Andrew Naughtie

Chip Roy, a Texas congressman who first signed up to the effort to overturn the 2020 election but later soured on it, has taken a swing at Donald Trump’s decision to host the Saudi-backed LIV Golf series – an event that drew the outrage of families of 9/11 survivors:

Trump demands more credit for endorsement success

Wednesday 3 August 2022 15:15 , Andrew Naughtie

Hungry as ever for approval and praise, Donald Trump has been “truthing” about the success of many (note: not all) of his endorsees last night – and characteristically complaining that he doesn’t get the credit he deserves:

(Truth Social)

GOP congressman who voted to impeach Trump loses primary

Wednesday 3 August 2022 14:45 , Andrew Naughtie

Representative Peter Meijer, one of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach former president Donald Trump last year, lost his primary in Michigan’s 3rd District to challenger John Gibbs, whom Mr Trump supported.

Mr Meijer was first elected in 2020 to replace Representative Justin Amash, a Republican-turned-independent who voted to impeach Mr Trump in the former president’s first trial in 2019.

Mr Gibbs won with 51.8 per cent to Mr Meijer’s 48.2 per cent, with more than half of the vote reported.

Eric Garcia has more:

Republican Rep Peter Meijer, who voted to impeach Trump, loses Michigan primary

Pat Cipollone subpoenaed in DoJ Jan 6 probe

Wednesday 3 August 2022 13:46 , Andrew Naughtie

Former Trump White House counsel Pat Cipollone is reportedly in talks to appear before the federal grand jury investigating Mr Trump’s attempt to overturn the 2020 election and the January 6 attack on the Capitol.

According to ABC News, Mr Cipollone has been served with a subpoena from the District of Columbia-based grand jury. His attorneys are “expected to engage in negotiations around any appearance, while weighing concerns regarding potential claims of executive privilege”.

Last month, Mr Cipollone testified before the House January 6 select committee following negotiations between his attorneys and committee representatives. His agreement with the panel allowed him to decline to answer questions about conversations with Mr Trump.

Andrew Feinberg has the story.

Ex-White House lawyer Pat Cipollone subpoenaed in DoJ Jan 6 probe

ICYMI: Trump is ‘significant drag’ on GOP Senate chances, poll finds

Wednesday 3 August 2022 13:00 , Andrew Naughtie

A recent poll commissioned by former Trump adviser John Bolton’s political action committee found that the former president’s name remains toxic among independent voters.

Read the full story here:

Trump is ‘significant drag’ on GOP Senate chances, poll finds

Nail-biter in Arizona gubernatorial primary

Wednesday 3 August 2022 12:15 , Andrew Naughtie

Donald Trump may have scored a comfortable win with Blake Masters, but Arizona’s other headline race is looking much tighter. With 80 per cent of the vote counted, Kari Lake, the ex-president’s exuberantly right-wing endorsee, is currently less than two points ahead of her main rival, Karrin Taylor Robson.

Ms Lake has drawn controversy not just for relentlessly promoting false conspiracy theories about the 2020 election, but for dramatically changing her views on social issues including gender identity to match the current conservative movement’s anti-drag, anti-trans and generally anti-LGBT+ bent.

Johanna Chisholm has more on Ms Lake’s metamorphosis.

Trump-backed Arizona governor candidate branded a ‘hypocrite’ by drag queen