Trump news – live: Trump in mob photo scandal as Georgia judge weighs whether to release grand jury report

Trump says there were no documents found at Mar-a-Lago, just ‘cool’ empty folders marked classified

A judge in Georgia is set to hear arguments on Tuesday over the public release of a grand jury report following an eight-month probe into Donald Trump’s attempts to overturn the results of the 2020 election in that state.

The panel heard testimony and evidence about the abuse and harassment of election workers, a fake elector scheme, and Mr Trump’s infamous phone call to election officials to “find” enough votes for his victory.

Meanwhile, Mr Trump – who appears ready to ditch his Truth Social posting regimen and return to Twitter as he seeks the 2024 Republican nomination for president – is facing questions after posing for a photograph and flashing “thumbs up” with a notorious Philadelphia mob boss at his Trump International Golf Club West Palm Beach earlier this month.

Joey “Skinny Joe” Merlino was imprisoned for nearly 12 years after he was convicted in 2001 of racketeering charges including extortion, bookmaking and receiving stolen property.

And it comes as four members of the far-right, anti-government militia group the Oath Keepers have been found guilty of seditious conspiracy in relation to the Jan 6 insurrection at the Capitol.

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Key Georgia special grand jury hearing will discuss Trump probe. What’s at stake?

The Tuesday morning hearing, scheduled to take place at the Fulton County courthouse, is when a Georgia judge will hear arguments on whether to release a report compiled by a special grand jury investigating whether then-President Donald Trump and his allies illegally tried to overturn his defeat in the 2020 election in Georgia.

Kate Brumback and Andrew Feinberg answer some of the key questions that remain:

Maroosha Muzaffar24 January 2023 05:12

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ICYMI: Four members of the Oath Keepers found guilty of seditious conspiracy for roles in Jan 6 attack

Four members of the far-right, anti-government militia group the Oath Keepers have been found guilty of seditious conspiracy.

The verdict comes nearly two months after the group’s founder was convicted of the same crime in the wake of the attack on the US Capitol.

A jury agreed that defendants Joseph Hackett, Roberto Minuta, David Moerschel and Edward Vallejo – led by group leader Stewart Rhodes – plotted to violently stop the certification of Joe Biden’s election on 6 January 2021 and joined a mob fuelled by Donald Trump’s persistent lie that the election was stolen from him.

All four defendants were also found guilty on 23 January of conspiracy to obstruct Congress and conspiracy to destroy federal property.

Read the full story by Alex Woodward here:

Maroosha Muzaffar24 January 2023 06:00

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Donald Trump may need to wait months for Twitter return due to Truth Social contract

Donald Trump will return to Twitter after an exclusivity contract with his own Truth Social platform expires in June, according to a report.

The former US President is currently subject to a “social media exclusivity” clause that requires him to post “any and all social media communications” to Truth Social for six hours before posting to rival platforms, recently uncovered filings with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) reveal.

Read the full story here:

Maroosha Muzaffar24 January 2023 05:30

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Lawsuits, jail threats and ‘enemy of the people’: Donald Trump’s endless war on the media

Following the “leak” of a draft of what became the US Supreme Court’s ruling to strike down Roe v Wade, Trump has repeatedly demanded that the journalist and outlet that published the draft be thrown in jail if they don’t reveal their source, accelerating the former president’s public war on the media.

From threatening journalists with prison time, to defending MBS and suing media outlets in an admitted attempt to strike down Supreme Court protections of First Amendment safeguards, here’s a brief history of Trump’s latest attacks:

Alex Woodward24 January 2023 05:00

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Four members of the Oath Keepers found guilty of seditious conspiracy for roles in Jan 6 attack

Four members of the far-right, anti-government militia group the Oath Keepers have been found guilty of seditious conspiracy.

The verdict comes nearly two months after the group’s founder was convicted of the same crime in the wake of the attack on the US Capitol.

A jury agreed that defendants Joseph Hackett, Roberto Minuta, David Moerschel and Edward Vallejo – led by group leader Stewart Rhodes – plotted to violently stop the certification of Joe Biden’s election on 6 January 2021 and joined a mob fuelled by Donald Trump’s persistent lie that the election was stolen from him.

All four defendants were also found guilty on 23 January of conspiracy to obstruct Congress and conspiracy to destroy federal property.

Read the full story by Alex Woodward here:

Maroosha Muzaffar24 January 2023 04:45

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Capitol rioter who put his feet on Pelosi’s desk found guilty

Roughly two years after his brush with viral fame, the man who boasted about writing a “nasty note” for Nancy Pelosi after kicking back in her chair and putting his workboot on her desk has been found guilty on all eight charges against him.

Richard “Bigo” Barnett testified in his own defense last week in one of the highest-profile trials connected to the attack on the US Capitol on 6 January 2021. It took a jury only two hours to deliver a verdict.

Charges include obstruction of an official proceeding, theft of government property, and entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon, after he walked the halls of Congress with a 950,000-volt stun-gun walking staff.

Read the full story by Alex Woodward here:

Maroosha Muzaffar24 January 2023 04:37

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Watch: ‘The imposter in Congress’

George Santos made political waves by flipping New York’s 3rd congressional district seat in the November midterms, a once reliable Democratic seat. It wasn’t until after his election that his resume and a bulk of his life experiences appeared to by totally made-up, and the congressman has refused to stand aside as the controversy mounts.

The Independent’s Richard Hall visited Long Island to track down the real George Santos.

The imposter in Congress | On The Ground

Alex Woodward24 January 2023 04:00

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Kevin McCarthy’s gushing statement about Marjorie Taylor Greene revealed

Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy reportedly said that he would never abandon far-right US Rep Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia after she whipped votes to help him gain the speakership earlier this month, according to The New York Times.

Ms Greene stood beside Mr McCarthy throughout the marathon 15 votes to finally clinch the gavel even as some of her fellow conservatives and members of the House Freedom Caucus such as Representatives Lauren Boebert of Colorado, Bob Good of Virginia and Matt Gaetz of Florida opposed him.

Read what Mr McCarthy reportedly told those closest to him about her relationship with the Congresswoman Greene:

Alex Woodward24 January 2023 03:00

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ICYMI: Trump may need to wait months for Twitter return due to Truth Social contract

Trump is subject to a “social media exclusivity” clause that requires him to post “any and all social media communications” to his Truth Social account for six hours before posting to rival platforms, recently uncovered filings with the US Securities and Exchange Commission reveal.

The six-month rolling contract runs out in June and Trump does not plan to renew it, sources told Rolling Stone, as he plans to use all channels available for his 2024 presidential campaign.

From The Independent’s Tech desk:

Alex Woodward24 January 2023 02:00

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ICYMI: Trump campaign denies he knew convicted mob boss he posed with in photo

On Monday, The Philadelphia Inquirer published a photograph it obtained of the former president, clad in dark pants, a white golf shirt and his signature “Make America Great Again” headgear, standing between two men at his Florida golf club.

One of those men appears to be Joseph Merlino, a convicted felon who ran the Philadelphia mob in the 1990s, when Mr Trump was best known as a New York real estate developer and Atlantic City, New Jersey casino proprietor.

Alex Woodward24 January 2023 01:00

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