Trump gives away pieces of suit worn in famous mug shot with $4,600 collectable cards
Deadlines in the case are not being vacated, meaning the trial is technically still scheduled for 4 March 2024. Mr Trump is accused of unlawfully trying to overturn his defeat in the 2020 presidential election.
While that is argued, an appeals court ruling earlier on Wednesday found that Mr Trump cannot assert presidential immunity in the defamation lawsuit brought against him by the writer E Jean Carroll, who has accused him of rape, dealing the former president a fresh legal setback.
The ruling upholds a federal judge’s decision to reject the immunity defence, finding that Mr Trump waited too long to raise it. The trial will now go ahead on 16 January 2024.
These developments come after Mr Trump’s civil fraud trial was wrapped up and while his ex-lawyer Rudy Giuliani’s defamation trial is underway in Washington, DC. Mr Giuliani is expected to take the stand on Thursday.
House Republicans do Trump’s bidding in vote to open impeachment inquiry into Joe Biden
In case you missed the big news from Capitol Hill overnight, the Republican-led House of Representatives voted along party lines on Wednesday to authorise an impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden, fulfilling a wish articulated by Donald Trump and many of his allies, who would like to see Mr Biden tainted by the GOP-led probe as he seeks re-election next year.
On what grounds, you ask? That’s a good question.
An exasperated Jamie Raskin said it best when he compared the matter to an Agatha Christie novel.
Here’s Eric Garcia and Andrew Feinberg with the full story.
Joe Sommerlad14 December 2023 09:45
George Santos says the US Congress hasn’t seen the last of him
When he walked out of Congress for the final time on 1 December, Mr Santos — who was ousted House in a bipartisan vote after a damning ethics report and 23 federal criminal charges — was adamant he would never return, telling reporters, “Why would I want to stay here? To hell with this place.”
“I’m not done with public service. I want to go back to Congress,” he said in an interview.
Oliver O’Connell14 December 2023 09:15
Refusing to sit for deposition, Hunter Biden slams ‘shameless’ House GOP
Hunter Biden gave a defiant speech on Capitol Hill as he refused to sit for a closed-door deposition in House Republicans’ impeachment inquiry into his father, President Joe Biden.
In a statement to reporters upon his arrival at the Capitol complex Wednesday morning, he said he would only testify publicly as he explained he had come there “to make sure that the House committee’s illegitimate investigations of my family did not proceed on distortions, manipulated evidence and lies” and “to acknowledge that I’ve made mistakes in my life and wasted opportunities and privileges I was afforded”.
“For that I’m responsible for that. I’m accountable for that. I’m making amends,” he said.
He added that he was also at the Capitol “to correct how the Maga right” was portraying him for political purposes and said the GOP does not want an “open process where Americans can see their tactics”.
Oliver O’Connell14 December 2023 08:15
Kimmel mocks Trump for ‘shameless’ move to flog mug shot suit
On Tuesday, the former president offered fans the chance to buy a “historic” gift for loved ones this Christmas – a piece of the suit worn when he surrendered for arrest in Georgia – for the bargain price of $4,600.
The offer came as part of Mr Trump’s new series of digital trading cards, titled “The Mugshot Edition”, featuring various patriotic pop art depictions of Mr Trump at $99 a pop.
When customers purchase 47 of the digital trading cards in a single transaction, they will receive a special physical card including a strip of material taken from the suit.
Customers will also be invited to a special gala dinner with Mr Trump at his Mar-A-Lago residence in Florida.
Oliver O’Connell14 December 2023 06:15
Giuliani defamation trial — Day two: Election worker left afraid for her life by his lies
Life for Shaye Moss turned upside down after Rudy Giuliani made life hell for her family.
Three years after spreading a lie that the election worker in Georgia manipulated ballots to rig the 2020 presidential election, Donald Trump’s former attorney listened to her in person for the first time as she described the abuse she endured, the pain she lives with, and the overwhelming anxiety she continues to experience.
He was already found liable for defaming the mother-daughter pair of election workers, whose lives were bombarded with racist threats and harassment fuelled by false claims amplified across social media and right-wing media networks.
Oliver O’Connell14 December 2023 04:15
CNN town hall: DeSantis hits Trump on ‘bravery’, border wall and debates
The Florida governor went on the front foot and attacked the former president during a CNN town hall event in Iowa on Tuesday night.
“When he says that debating Hillary Clinton after Access Hollywood was like an example of bravery that some general told him was more significant than soldiers who fight and die in war that is offensive and wrong,” Mr DeSantis told the audience at Grand View University in Des Moines. The Access Hollywood tape revealing Mr Trump boasting about sexually assaulting women emerged in the run-up to the 2016 election and nearly derailed his campaign. He later dismissed his boasts as “locker-room talk”.
Mr DeSantis also slammed Mr Trump for avoiding any of the Republican debates held in 2023.
Oliver O’Connell14 December 2023 03:15
Giuliani defamation trial — Day one: Case could cost former mayor millions
He smeared Ruby Freeman and her daughter Shaye Moss as criminals whose workplaces and homes should be searched for evidence of voter fraud.
Donald Trump’s former attorney, who launched spurious lawsuits to overturn 2020 presidential election results, also appeared on podcasts and television shows to falsely claim those women wheeled a suitcase loaded with fraudulent ballots into a vote-counting centre and used a flash drive to manipulate the results to ensure Joe Biden’s victory.
Oliver O’Connell14 December 2023 02:15
Earlier: Trump fraud trial judge jokes he’ll ‘miss’ the case as testimony ends
But the trial isn’t over just yet.
Lawyers for both parties will file their final briefs to the court by 5 January.
Alex Woodward watched the trial for The Independent and filed this story:
Oliver O’Connell14 December 2023 01:15
Democrats call for Clarence Thomas to recuse himself from Trump’s SCOTUS hearing
A group of Senate Democrats are calling for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas to recuse himself from ruling on Donald Trump‘s claims that he cannot be prosecuted for trying to overturn the 2020 election due to presidential immunity.
Senator Dick Durbin, the Judiciary Committee chair, and other Democratic allies are arguing that Mr Thomas should recuse himself because of his wife Ginni’s outspoken support for Mr Trump’s false claims that the 2020 election had been stolen from him.
“There are so many unanswered questions about the relationship of the justice and his family with the Trump administration that I think in the interests of justice, he should recuse himself,” Mr Durbin said, according to The Hill.
He said he had concerns that the conservative-leaning Supreme Court would rule in Mr Trump’s favour, effectively making any action he took while president potentially subject to an immunity claim.
“If we say certain people are above the law, I believe it diminishes values in this country,” he said.
Oliver O’Connell14 December 2023 00:15
Additionally, a state Senate subcommittee is looking into the problem-plagued Fulton County Jail, where Trump and his co-defendants were booked and processed shortly after they were indicted. One co-defendant, Harrison William Prescott Floyd, spent several days at the jail after failing to negotiate a bond agreement before surrendering.
Some Republicans have placed some of the blame for overcrowding at the jail on Willis, suggesting she is expending too many resources on the Trump prosecution and neglecting other cases.
“They don’t know what they’re talking about in terms of the facts of the jail, nor do they understand the process,” Willis said. She said a vast majority of those who are arrested are given bonds within 72 hours. She noted that the law says anyone held more than 90 days without being indicted is entitled to a bond.
The jail is under the control of the sheriff, not the district attorney, and Willis agreed that it needs to be replaced. She said county officials have “sat on their hands” for too long, not wanting to invest in the jail “and now the chickens are coming home to roost.”
She said state senators should instead focus on the violent and understaffed state prison system, which is under their jurisdiction.
The Justice Department has opened investigations into detention conditions in both Fulton County and the state prison system.