Trump news – live: Biden approval polls now as low as Trump’s as Lara says US ‘desperate’ for 2024 run

Fox News host says Trump must ‘learn to lose’

The sprawling effort to bring the 6 January rioters to justice has crossed a new rubicon with prosecutors bringing charges of “seditious conspiracy” against the leader of the Oath Keepers, a self-styled militia who joined the insurrection. Elmer Stewart Rhodes has been arrested and charged along with 10 other members of the group, who stand accused of plotting to “oppose the lawful transfer of power by force”.

As for the investigation on Capitol Hill, House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy has refused to provide the 6 January committee with information about his conversations with Donald Trump during the attack last year, calling the panel “illegitimate”. Liz Cheney, one of the committee’s only two Republicans, said Mr McCarthy is attempting to “cover up” what happened, and that the committee would evaluate other options for obtaining his testimony. “I wish that he were a brave and honorable man,” she told CNN.

Joe Biden, meanwhile, has faced an abject week in Congress – and it seems his popularity is suffering badly. According to FiveThirtyEight, in the annals of the modern presidency, only Donald Trump had a lower approval rating at this point in his term.

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A look at the fake 2020 election documents created by state Republicans

CNN’s Marshall Cohen has pulled together screenshots from the false documents claiming that Biden-voting states were in fact sending pro-Trump electors to Washington, DC after the 2020 election.

Andrew Naughtie14 January 2022 17:10

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Michigan Republicans in trouble over challenge to election results

One of the myriad tactics used by Trump supporters after the 2020 election was the submission of fake documents purporting to award their states’ electoral votes to Donald Trump instead of Joe Biden – and now, more than a year later, some of those who tried it could soon be held to account.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said yesterday that under state law, the creation and submission of the document signed by 16 state Republicans could constitute “forgery of a public record, which is a 14-year offence, and election law forgery, which is a five-year offence”.

Andrew Feinberg has the story:

Andrew Naughtie14 January 2022 16:52

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Trump clan tout prospect of a 2024 comeback – against Hillary Clinton

“It turns out that people didn’t like her ideas as much as Donald Trump’s,” Ms Trump said of the 2016 outcome. “and now that we have had a Trump presidency, should it be Hillary versus Trump again? I don’t think it is even a question. People are desperate to get Donald Trump back in office.”

Contrary to Ms Trump’s analysis, the electorate in fact voted for Ms Clinton by a margin of nearly 3 million; Mr Trump defeated her by fewer than 100,000 votes combined in the electoral college. The idea she might run again has been floated by various commentators in recent days, but as Eric Garcia writes, “there are many reasons to not take this argument seriously”.

Andrew Naughtie14 January 2022 16:30

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Texas GOP official in hot water over Capitol riot texts

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who spoke at a rally on 6 January in advance of the attack on the Capitol, has been given four days to hand over his digital communications from the day or face a lawsuit.

The complaint against him claims that he has failed to comply with the Texas Public Information Act, which subjects his official communications to public release.

Jade Bremner has the story:

Andrew Naughtie14 January 2022 16:03

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The Bulwark’s Amanda Carpenter, a former Ted Cruz aide turned merciless Trump critic, writes that the sedition charges brought against members of the Oath Keepers are a major blow to one of the key right-wing lines on the Capitol attack – that the lack of sedition or insurrection charges proved there was nothing there.

On the contrary, she writes, the indictment against the Oath Keepers “describes a series of very disturbing actions by people who had carefully laid plans for war”.

Read more below:

Andrew Naughtie14 January 2022 15:37

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Can the Democrats hold the Senate?

The Independent’s Eric Garcia foresees trouble for the Democrats’ wafer-thin majority in the upper chamber of Congress:

Andrew Naughtie14 January 2022 15:15

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Proud Boy charged with 6 January offences cries in court as judge revokes his pretrial release

Law & Crime reports on the case against Joshua Pruitt, a Proud Boy who was captured on video inside the Capitol on 6 January. Having repeatedly violated conditions of a court-ordered curfew while under an eight-count indictment.

The article quotes him making tearful statements at the hearing:

“I’m sorry,” Pruitt began, audibly crying as he spoke. “I went through hell over the last year.” Pruitt described being fired from one job, and said that on at least one occasion he couldn’t make it back home due to a snow storm.

“I’m trying to do things right,” he told [US District Judge Timothy] Kelly. “But I’m being attacked left and right. I get death threats all the time. This is what I’m dealing with right now. I get lied about in the media, I’m working with lawyers to work on that.”

Read more here:

Andrew Naughtie14 January 2022 14:55

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Trump enemy’s name circulates in Senate race speculation

One of the handful of senior Republicans to stand up to Donald Trump after the 2020 election was Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, who rejected the baseless claim that his state’s vote was deliberately manipulated in favour of Joe Biden.

While Mr Ducey has previously said he is not considering a run for another office, a report in Politico has stoked speculation that he could run enter the Republican Senate primary to challenge Democrat Mark Kelly this November. That would throw a major curveball into the Arizona election itself and the national Senate game more widely – but reaction to the story has been mixed.

Andrew Naughtie14 January 2022 14:29

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Congressman who tweeted Nazi-vaccine comparison loses press aide

According to Capitol Hill reporter Taylor Popielarz, Congressman Warren Davidson has lost his communications director over a tweet from his office’s official account that compared vaccine mandates to policies enacted by the Nazi Party.

After a public outcry, the congressman has since apologised for drawing the parallel.

Andrew Naughtie14 January 2022 14:05

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Lawyer for Oath Keepers leader rants about “the Left’s REICHSTAG FIRE”

Jonathon Moseley, an attorney for indicted Oath Keepers leader Steward Rhodes, has been tweeting furiously since his client was indicted on sedition charges – claiming, among other things, that 6 January investigators are mounting a “malicious prosecution”, that “January 6 was the Left’s REICHSTAG FIRE”, and that “We know that prosecutors know that we know that they are lying”.

Earlier this week, he also tweeted at Fox News’s Tucker Carlson to pitch a Rhodes interview for the host’s show.

Andrew Naughtie14 January 2022 13:45

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