Senator Lindsey Graham on Sunday warned against “riots in the street” if former president Donald Trump is prosecuted over the handling of classified documents found from his Mar-a-Lago home during the FBI raid.
“If there’s a prosecution of Donald Trump for mishandling classified information, after the Clinton debacle… there’ll be riots in the streets,” he told Fox News, in an apparent reference to the controversy surrounding Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server, uncovered after 2012 terror attacks in Libya that left four Americans dead.
Mr Graham levelled allegations of “double standards” by the investigators in probing matters against Mr Trump, with the aim of “getting him”.
“Most Republicans, including me, believes when it comes to Trump, there is no law. It’s all about getting him,” he said. “There is a double standard when it comes to Trump.”
The South Carolina senator also claimed that the FBI was told to “back off” investigating Hunter Biden’s laptop in a bid to “make sure the story didn’t break before the 2020 election”.
DOJ suspects ‘evidence of obstruction’ with ‘well-founded concerns’ Trump could interfere
Trump: Mar-a-Lago raid was among ‘most egregious assaults on democracy’ in US history
Director of national intelligence reviewing security risk of documents seized
National Defense papers stored at Mar-a-Lago could have compromised US intelligence agents, affidavit reveals
Trump claims of friendly and cooperative communications with DOJ found to be false
Graham warns against ‘riots in the street’ if Trump is prosecuted
05:50 , Namita Singh
Senator Lindsey Graham has predicted “riots in the street” if Donald Trump is prosecuted for the mishandling of classified documents found during the FBI’s search of his Mar-a-Lago home.
Criticising what he viewed as a two-tiered legal system working to get him, Mr Graham claimed “there is no law” when it comes to the former president.
“Most Republicans, including me, believes when it comes to Trump, there is no law. It’s all about getting him,” he told Fox News. “There is a double standard when it comes to Trump.”
The South Carolina senator also claimed the FBI was told to “back off” from investigating Hunter Biden’s laptop to “make sure the story didn’t break before the 2020 election”.
Ashley Biden’s stolen diary ended up with Project Veritas. Two pleaded guilty
05:00 , Alex Woodward
The Justice Department’s announcement that two Florida residents had pleaded guilty to conspiracy to transport Ashley Biden’s stolen diary and other stolen items across state lines is the latest chapter in a long-running saga of attempts from Trump and his allies to dig up embarrassing information about President Joe Biden and his children.
Andrew Feinberg reports:
Abortion rights and Democrats’ fight to control the Senate
04:00 , Alex Woodward
Senator Bernie Sanders said on Sunday that he believes Democrats have a “reasonable chance” of maintaining control of the Senate in the fallout from the US Supreme Court’s decision to strike down the constitutional right to abortion care, and the wave of state-level anti-abortion laws that have followed.
“That decision is going to reverberate very poorly for Republicans who think that women do not have a right to control their own bodies,” he told ABC’s This Week.
Democratic campaigns are spending heavily on abortion rights messaging – and linking Republicans to draconian laws on reproductive health and bodily autonomy – in the weeks ahead of midterm elections. DNC chair Jaime Harrison told CBS’s Face the Nation that abortion rights will be “extremely important” in November.
While some GOP candidates are now softening their hardline anti-abortion agendas, Republican-led efforts to restrict abortion access and criminalise care are going in effect across the US, where abortion is outlawed in 12 states and more than 20 million women have lost access to care in the two months after the Supreme Court ruling.
Beto O’Rourke hospitalised with bacteria infection, postpones campaign events
03:00 , Alex Woodward
Democratic candidate for Texas governor Beto O’Rourke has suspended his campaign events after being hospitalized with a bacterial infection, he announced on Sunday.
“While my symptoms have improved, I will be resting at home in El Paso in accordance with the doctors’ recommendations,” he said.
He was discharged from the hospital, according to his campaign.
‘No question’ there are strains of authoritarianism in GOP, Republican governor says
02:00 , Alex Woodward
Maryland’s Republican Governor Larry Hogan said there is “no question” when asked whether there are strains of authoritarianism in the GOP.
“I’m one of the ones speaking out,” he said.
Officials and experts are meanwhile sounding the alarm over a surge in Republican-led efforts to subvert democratic elections and a wave of candidates who denied 2020 election results and promoted conspiracy theories.
Bernie Sanders criticises ‘Republicans squawking’ over debt relief while supporting corporate tax breaks
01:00 , Alex Woodward
Bernie Sanders rebuked GOP criticism of Joe Biden’s plan to cancel up to $20,000 in federal student debt per borrower, contrasting their outrage with their support for Donald Trump’s 2017 tax plan that slashed the corporate tax rate from from 35 per cent to 21 per cent.
“I don’t hear any of these Republicans squawking when we give massive tax breaks to billionaires,” the Vermont progressive senator told ABC’s This Week on Sunday.
“I know it is shocking … to some Republicans that the government actually, on occasion, do something to benefit working families and low-income people,” he said. “Suddenly when we do something for working people, it is a terrible idea.”
‘Evolving and deepening’ antidemocratic threats could ignite election chaos, officials and experts warn
Sunday 28 August 2022 23:00 , Alex Woodward
Election experts and secretaries of state are sounding the alarm, warning that an explosion of legislation – and a wave of prominent election deniers running for office to put it in place – give antidemocratic actors the tools to do what spurious attempts to overturn the 2020 results could not, and with a greater chance of success.
“The perverse creativity of election subversion is growing,” according to one expert.
The Independent’s Alex Woodward reports:
GOP governor says ‘we don’t know’ if FBI search was ‘witch hunt’ or ‘serious federal felonies’
Sunday 28 August 2022 22:16 , Alex Woodward
Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, among Republican critics of Donald Trump, echoed other GOP officials calling for “transparency” into the FBI search of Mar-a-Lago.
But he has sought to distance himself from full-throated defence of the former president, and has not echoed their allegations that the investigation was politically motivated. He previously called GOP reactions “just reactions” and said the search was justified.
“I think some Republicans are saying, ‘without you showing us more to it, we don’t – we think it may be political,” he told CBS’s Face the Nation on Sunday.
“On the one hand, it could be, as some Republicans think, just, you know, just a political witch hunt,” he said. “On the other hand, it could be really serious, you know, federal felonies. We don’t know that yet.”
Safety of ‘significant’ number of witnesses at stake in releasing information about FBI raid, DOJ says
Sunday 28 August 2022 21:00 , Alex Woodward
The Justice Department has warned a federal magistrate judge that the safety of a “significant” number of witnesses would be endangered by forcing federal prosecutors to further reveal parts of an affidavit which led to the FBI’s search of Mar-a-Lago.
The warning came on Friday, in the form of a previously sealed memo explaining the redactions that officials made to the document.
Prosecutors warn that “the materials marked for redaction must remain sealed to protect the safety and privacy of a signficant number of civilian witnesses”.
The Independent’s John Bowden reports from Washington:
ICYMI: Judge to appoint third-party lawyer to review FBI raid evidence
Sunday 28 August 2022 20:30 , Alex Woodward
A federal judge in Florida has suggested that she might be inclined to grant Trump his request to have a “special master” review documents seized by the FBI at Mar-a-Lago
Judge Aileen M Cannon signalled on Saturday that she agreed with Trump’s legal team to appoint an impartial third-party lawyer to review the documents. However, she added that her order “should not be construed as a final determination on plaintiff’s motion”.
She gave the government until Tuesday to present its arguments in the case and scheduled a court hearing on Thursday.
59 per cent of Republican voters want Trump to run in 2024
Sunday 28 August 2022 19:29 , Alex Woodward
The new poll from USA Today/Ipsos found that 59 per cent of Republican respondents want Trump to run in the 2024 presidential election, while 82 per cent think he can win.
The poll was performed between 18 August and 22 August – notably, after the FBI search at his Mar-a-Lago compound and Justice Department suspicion of obstruction and national security concerns – among 2,3445 respondents.
Republican governor asks ‘what’s the point’ of the affidavit
Sunday 28 August 2022 18:15 , Alex Woodward
New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu repeatedly asked to know what was inside the redacted FBI affidavit for probable cause to search Trump’s Mar-a-Lago property while also ackowledging that the whole point of redacting them was to protect sensitive information that was at risk in the first place.
“I think I speak for everyone when we’re all pretty disappointed to see it was almost all redacted,” he told CNN on Sunday. “I get you got to redact certain things here and there, but you had pages upon pages upon pages redacted, to the point where you say, well, what’s the point?”
Trump ‘should have turned the documents over,’ retiring GOP senator says
Sunday 28 August 2022 17:40 , Alex Woodward
Senator Roy Blunt, who is not seeking re-election, told ABC’s This Week that Trump “should have turned the documents over and apparently had turned a number of documents over” but questioned the timing of the FBI probe, suggesting it was politically motivated ahead of midterm elections.
“What I wonder about is why this could go on for almost two years, and less than 100 days before the election, suddenly, we’re talking about this rather than the economy,” he said.
Adam Kinzinger condemns GOP’s ‘disgusting’ defence of Trump after Mar-a-Lago raid
Sunday 28 August 2022 17:00 , Alex Woodward
Adam Kinzinger compared his party’s response to Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while Secretary of State – still prompting Republicans to chant “lock her up” at campaign rallies – to the GOP’s current defense of Trump following the Mar-a-Lago search.
“The hypocrisy of folks in my party that spent years chanting ‘lock her up’ about Hillary Clinton because of some deleted emails or quote-unquote ‘wiping a server’ are out here defending a man who very clearly did not take national security to heart,” Mr Kinzinger told NBC’s Meet the Press. “This is disgusting, in my mind. No president should act this way, obviously.”
Bernie Sanders: ‘Incomprehensible’ that Trump would retain classified documents after leaving office
Sunday 28 August 2022 16:10 , Alex Woodward
Senator Bernie Sanders was asked for his response to the recently released affidavit for the search of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home, where he withheld dozens of classified documents.
“There’s something a little bit absurd when it appears we have a former president who has taken highly classified documents to his own residents. I mean, it’s just incomprehensible to me,” the Vermont senator told ABC’s This Week on Sunday.
“But then again, when we talk about President Trump, there’s a lot of incomprehensible things.”
Return of Jan 6 hearings this fall will discuss fundraising and financing around ‘Stop the Steal’ campaign
Sunday 28 August 2022 15:17 , Alex Woodward
Republican US Rep Adam Kinzinger, one of two Republicans along with Liz Cheney on the House select committee investigating the attack on the US Capitol, said the return of public hearings this fall will go into “depth” about earlier findings and discuss fundraising and financing around the “Stop the Steal” campaign built around voter fraud falsehoods.
“A vast majority of this money was raised and under ‘Stop the Steal’ with no intention of doing anything to so-called stop a steal. It was all just raising money. People were abused that way,” he told NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday.
He also suggested the committee will continue to probe for answers about missing US Secret Service text messages.
“I think we’ll get answers to that,” he said.
Republican congressman on Jan 6 committee condemns GOP’s ‘disgusting’ defence of Trump
Sunday 28 August 2022 14:38 , Alex Woodward
Republican US Rep Adam Kinzinger slammed members of his party for what he called their “disgusting” defence of Trump following the Justice Department’s investigation into classified White House documents at Mar-a-Lago that investigators have warned could obstruct justice, jeopardise national security and compromise intelligence operations.
“If any of us in the House of Representatives … walked out intentionally with even one document from the [sensitive compartmented information facility, or SCIF] and our organisation came to us, the House came to us, and said you got to get this back, and we refused to do it for years? We’d be in real trouble,” he told NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday.
“The hypocrisy of folks in my party that spent years chanting ‘lock her up’ about Hillary Clinton because of some deleted emails or ‘wiping a server’ are out here defending a man who very clearly did not take the national security to heart,” he said. “This is disgusting, in my mind. No president should act this way, obviously.”
Judge to appoint third-party lawyer to review FBI raid evidence in victory for Trump
Sunday 28 August 2022 07:24 , Maroosha Muzaffar
A federal judge in Florida — who was appointed by Donald Trump — has suggested that she might be inclined to grant the former president his request to have a “special master” review documents seized by the FBI from his Mar-a-Lago home.
Read the full story here:
ICYMI: Members of Congress want to see if Trump compromised security by hoarding documents
Sunday 28 August 2022 04:00 , Alex Woodward
Lawmakers on congressional intelligence committees and other Democrats have slammed Trump for carelessly handling documents containing some of the nation’s most sensitive secrets.
Senator Mark Warner, chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, wants a “damage assessment of any national security threat posed by the mishandling of this information.”
US Rep Eric Swalwell, a California Democrat who sits on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, said Trump “took information that protects our troops. Then refused to give it back. That is a crime.”
The Independent’s Andrew Feinberg has more:
Meet the ‘pro-fish’ Democrat who is leading against Sarah Palin in deep red Alaska
Sunday 28 August 2022 03:00 , Alex Woodward
Alaska has only one seat in the House of Representatives. Until his death earlier this year, it was occupied by Don Young for decades. Now the race is on to determine who will represent the state in Congress alongside its two Senators.
Sarah Palin, the former governor turning John McCain running mate and reality TV star, is in the race.
So is a Mary Perltola, a pro-fish, abortion rights-supporting Native Yup’ik that Democrats hope could give them a fighting chance in the state in critical midterm elections.
Senior US correspondent Richard Hall talked with her for The Independent:
ICYMI: Joe Biden characterises pro-Trump far-right movement as ‘semi-fascism’
Sunday 28 August 2022 02:00 , Alex Woodward
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.”
Is the Trump-Fox News love affair over?
Sunday 28 August 2022 01:00 , Alex Woodward
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.
The documents in Trump’s Mar-a-Lago boxes, by the numbers
Sunday 28 August 2022 00:00 , Alex Woodward
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:
Breaking news: Judge files response to Trump’s lawsuit
Saturday 27 August 2022 23:00 , Alex Woodward
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.
Trump: Mar-a-Lago raid was among ‘most egregious assaults on democracy’ in US history
Saturday 27 August 2022 22:00 , Alex Woodward
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.
Trump targets the FBI on Truth Social
Saturday 27 August 2022 21:00 , David Taintor
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!!!”
Ted Cruz mocked for blasting ‘slacker baristas’ after Biden scraps some student loan debt
Saturday 27 August 2022 20:37 , Alex Woodward
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.”
Director of national intelligence reviewing security risk of documents seized from Mar-a-Lago
Saturday 27 August 2022 20:00 , Alex Woodward
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.
Facebook agrees to settle Cambridge Analytica lawsuit
Saturday 27 August 2022 19:17 , Alex Woodward
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.
Ron DeSantis ousts four elected school board members over damning report into Parkland massacre
Saturday 27 August 2022 18:00 , Alex Woodward
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.
Jared Kushner likens Bannon to ‘suicide bomber’ who ‘blew up’ at the White House
Saturday 27 August 2022 17:04 , David Taintor
While promoting his new White House memoir, Jared Kushner had some choice words for former Trump aide Steve Bannon.
“Steve really defeated himself, you know. His head got so big he was just doing all these crazy things, and the ultimately just, you know, like a suicide bomber, blew up,” Mr Kushner said in a recent interview.
Read more from Rachel Sharp:
What we learned – and the questions that remain – following the FBI raid of Mar-a-Lago
Saturday 27 August 2022 15:34 , Alex Woodward
On Friday, a heavily redacted FBI affidavit was released outlining the agency’s rationale for obtaining a warrant to search Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence on 8 August, part of the bureau’s criminal investigation into the mishandling of White House documents.
Magistrate judge Bruce Reinhart ordered the release of the affidavit on Thursday, after the Justice Department argued that the documents “would serve as a roadmap to the government’s ongoing investigation.”
The 38-page document does provide key clues about where the investigation could be heading, but there are plenty of questions that remain unanswered, buried in a sea of black ink that blocks out most of the document.
The Independent’s Josh Marcus has the key details: