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Republican candidate Donald Trump has reacted to President Joe Biden’s decision to pull out of the presidential race, posting on his platform Truth Social: “Crooked Joe Biden was not fit to run for president, and is certainly not fit to serve – and never was!”

“He only attained the position of President by lies, Fake News, and not leaving his Basement.

“All those around him, including his Doctor and the Media, knew that he wasn’t capable of being President, and he wasn’t,” he writes.

“We will suffer greatly because of his presidency, but we will remedy the damage he has done very quickly. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”

White House 2024: Joe Biden Withdraws from Presidential Race and Endorses Kamala Harris

Image source: Getty Images

President Joe Biden, 81, has announced he’s ending his campaign for re-election to the White House.

It follows weeks of pressure from within his party, sparked by a faltering debate performance against Donald Trump in late June.

The president said his decision was “in the best interest of my party and the country” and that it had been the greatest honour of his life to serve as the American president.

Joe Biden said he would see out the remainder of his term in the White House and has endorsed Vice-President Kamala Harris to take the top of the ticket as the Democratic candidate for president in the November election.

His political opponents, including House Speaker Mike Johnson, have called on him to step down straight away. Joe Biden’s rival for president, Donald Trump, says the Democrat is “not fit to serve”.

However, Joe Biden has received tributes from prominent figures within his party, such as California Governor Gavin Newsom, and beyond – such as Star Wars actor Mark Hamill, who said he “restored honesty, dignity and integrity” to the White House after Trump.

Donald Trump has named former “never Trumper” Republican and Ohio Senator JD Vance as his vice-presidential nominee.

Republican National Convention (RNC) delegates formally selected JD Vance, 39, on July 15 after Donald Trump announced on his social media platform he had chosen him after “lengthy deliberation and thought”.

JD Vance is a Yale-educated venture capitalist and author of the bestselling memoir-turned-film Hillbilly Elegy.

He has previously criticized his new running mate, once suggesting privately that Donald Trump could be “America’s Hitler”, but has since become an ardent supporter.

In the 2022 midterm elections, he won a seat in the Senate with Donald Trump’s endorsement – his first time being elected to public office.

After his confirmation as Donald Trump’s running mate, JD Vance took aim at Joe Biden, claiming on Fox News that Americans elected an “empty vessel” in 2020 who is now “an incapacitated president”.

He claimed Democrats had lied about Joe Biden’s health, and voters could “either reward or punish that behaviour” in November.

Image source: Wikimedia Commons

JD Vance added that he had said “bad things” about Donald Trump but it was important to admit he was wrong.

A native of Ohio, JD Vance gained attention after the release of Hillbilly Elegy, which tells of his blue-collar upbringing and how it affected his politics.

Donald Trump said on the Truth Social platform that the book “championed the hardworking men and women of our country”.

“As Vice President, J.D. will continue to fight for our Constitution, stand with our Troops, and will do everything he can to help me MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN,” he continued.

In comments on July 15, President Biden called JD Vance a “clone of Trump” – indicating how Democrats will attempt to portray him for the rest of the campaign.

Donald Trump has returned to his home in New Jersey after he was injured in an attempted assassination at a rally on July 13.

Shots rang out as the Republican candidate was speaking at an event in Pennsylvania, sparking panic in the crowd as Secret Service agents swarmed the former president.

Donald Trump, who emerged with a bloodied face, says he was shot in the ear, describing a “whizzing sound” and feeling a “bullet ripping through skin”.

The FBI has identified the gunman as 20-year-old Thomas Matthew Crooks – he was shot and killed by the Secret Service.

One spectator was killed at the rally and two others were critically injured.

After the shooting, President Joe Biden released a statement, expressing concern about the “sick” assassination attempt and saying he was “grateful” to hear that Donald Trump was safe.

“I have been briefed on the shooting at Donald Trump’s rally in Pennsylvania. I’m grateful to hear that he’s safe and doing well,” Joe Biden said.

“I’m praying for him and his family and for all those who were at the rally, as we await further information. Jill and I are grateful to the Secret Service for getting him to safety.

“There’s no place for this kind of violence in America. We must unite as one nation to condemn it. It’s sick, it’s sick”.

Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Vice-President Kamala Harris also released a statement, underlining that she is “relieved” Donald Trump was not seriously injured.

“We are praying for him, his family, and all those who have been injured and impacted by this senseless shooting.”

According to a statement published on the Republican National Committee (RNC), external website, Donald Trump is “doing well” and is grateful to law enforcement officers.

It says he “looks forward to joining you all in Milwaukee as we proceed with our convention to nominate him to serve as the 47th president of the United States. As our party’s nominee… [he] will continue to share his vision to Make America Great Again,” the statement from the Trump campaign and RNC reads.

Earlier, Donald Trump posted a statement on Truth Social, a platform he founded.

The former president thanked law enforcement officers and the Secret Service for their “rapid response”.

“Most importantly, I want to extend my condolences to the family of the person at the rally who was killed, and also to the family of another person that was badly injured. It is incredible that such an act can take place in our country,” Donald Trump said.

“Nothing is known at this time about the shooter, who is now dead. I was shot with a bullet that pierced the upper part of my right ear. I knew immediately that something was wrong in that I heard a whizzing sound, shots, and immediately felt the bullet ripping through the skin.

“Much bleeding took place, so I realized then what was happening. God Bless America!”

It has since been confirmed that President Biden has spoken with Donald Trump.

President Joe Biden has assured Democrat donors that he can still win November’s presidential election against Donald Trump, after a poor debate performance fuelled concern about his candidacy.

Joe Biden, 81, attended a series of fundraising events in New York and New Jersey on June 29, and defended his performance in CNN’s Presidential Debate.

Speaking at one event, President Biden admitted: “I didn’t have a great night, but neither did Trump.”

“I promise you we’re going to win this election,” he said.

Joe Biden’s debate performance was marked by hard-to-follow and shaky answers – raising fresh fears among some Democrats over whether he is the right candidate to contest this high-stakes election.

The Biden campaign accepted that the debate had not gone as they had hoped, but said he would not step aside for another nominee.

Photo AP

Campaign chairwoman Jennifer O’Malley Dillon said on June 29 that internal post-debate polling showed “voters’ opinions were not changed”.

Former President Barack Obama, a close friend of Joe Biden, said on social media that “bad debate nights happen”.

“This election is still a choice between someone who fought for ordinary folks his entire life and someone who only cares about himself,” Barack Obama wrote.

Hours after the debate, Donald Trump told his supporters that he considered the debate a “big victory” for his campaign.

“Joe Biden’s problem is not his age,” the 78-year-old Trump said.

“It’s his competence. He’s grossly incompetent.”

A post-debate poll by liberal pollster Data for Progress found that 62% of likely voters who watched or read about the debate found Donald Trump won. Only 30% of those polled said Joe Biden won the debate.

Until further polling is conducted, fundraising could be another indication of continued enthusiasm for Joe Biden’s candidacy.

In a memo, chairwoman Jennifer O’Malley Dillon said the campaign had raised more than $27 million from June 27 to June 28.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s5CVZHAjrW8

Former president Donald Trump has hit out after being convicted on all 34 counts of falsifying business records in his historic criminal trial in New York.

He’s called the verdict a “disgrace” and attacked the judge, and has found the support of fellow Republicans.

It is the first time a former or serving US president has been convicted of a crime.

He was accused of falsifying business records linked to a hush-money payment made Stormy Daniels, whose alleged affair with Donald Trump was at the center of this case.

Image source: Fulton County Sheriff’s Office

The Biden campaign said the verdict showed that “no-one is above the law”, and has urged Americans to make sure Donald Trump doesn’t return to the White House.

Donald Trump can still run for president despite the convictions. He faces prison when he’s sentenced on  11 – but legal experts say a fine is more likely.

Donald Trump is due to deliver a press conference from Trump Tower at 11:00 EDT on May 31st.

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Jurors in Donald Trump’s hush-money trial have begun deliberations – the 12 New Yorkers must reach a unanimous verdict.

A verdict could come at any time and the former president could be convicted, acquitted or there could be a mistrial.

The court has heard from 22 witnesses over six weeks, including Stormy Daniels, whose alleged affair with Donald Trump is at the centre of this case.

Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Donald Trump is accused of concealing a payment made to buy the former adult-film star’s silence shortly before the 2016 election.

He has pleaded not guilty to 34 counts of falsifying business records, and denies any sexual encounter with her.

Prosecutors accuse Donald Trump of an “elaborate scheme”, while the defence called the other side’s star witness Michael Cohen the “MVP of liars”.

It is the first time in history that a US president – former or current – has faced a criminal trial.

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Donald Trump’s lawyer hit back against prosecutors, accusing their star witness – Michael Cohen – repeatedly of lying.

On the most tense day yet of cross-examination, Michael Cohen, Donald Trump’s former fixer, described talking to the former president directly about a hush-money payment to an adult-film star.

But attorney Todd Blanche all but shouted Michael Cohen’s testimony was “a lie.”

Records, he said, show Michael Cohen called Donald Trump’s bodyguard about a prank caller.

Todd Blanche’s alternate theory of the phone call was designed to sow doubt on Michael Cohen’s third day on the stand, as the jury watched the furious exchange with intense focus.

Following the heated moment, Todd Blanche stormed back to the defense table and sat down next to his client. When the judge announced an afternoon recess, there was a collective exhale in the room.

Donald Trump is charged with 34 felony counts of falsifying business records, for allegedly disguising payments to Michael Cohen as legal expenses when they were in fact reimbursements for paying off film star Stormy Daniels, who claims she had an affair with him.

Image source: Fulton County Sheriff’s Office

Prosecutors allege Donald Trump sought to keep damaging information from the public to protect his 2016 presidential campaign. The former president has pleaded not guilty to all counts and denied having an affair with Stormy Daniels.

On May 16, Michael Cohen maintained that his previous testimony was true, and that he spoke to Donald Trump about the payout to Stormy Daniels on a call on October 24, 2016.

Earlier this week, prosecutors asked Michael Cohen about the call to help establish Donald Trump’s alleged direct knowledge of the payoff scheme. Michael Cohen testified that he kept his boss aware during every step of the process of paying Stormy Daniels.

As the man at the centre of the payout, Michael Cohen’s testimony is crucial for prosecutors to prove whether or not Donald Trump had knowledge of the allegedly fraudulent reimbursement plan.

However, Michael Cohen’s criminal record, history of lying to Congress, and profane public criticism of Donald Trump makes him a flawed witness. In 2018, he pleaded guilty to federal campaign finance crimes over the hush-money payment, but maintains that he sent the money at Donald Trump’s direction.

The defense seized on Michael Cohen’s credibility issues for nearly two days and sought to paint him as a liar with a vendetta against Donald Trump.

On May 16, Todd Blanche played recordings from Michael Cohen’s podcast, Mea Culpa, where the witness expressed a desire to see the former president go through the booking process and said of Donald Trump: “I want this man to go down.”

Todd Blanche also confronted Michael Cohen with an X post where he called the former president “Dumbass Donald.”

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Prosecutors and Donald Trump’s attorneys delivered opening statements and the first witness was called on April 22 in the historic and unprecedented criminal trial of a former president.

“It was election fraud, pure and simple,” a lawyer told the jury during opening statements at the historic trial in New York.

Setting out the case for the defense, Donald Trump’s lawyer said his client had committed no crimes and that it was not illegal to try to influence an election.

“He is cloaked in innocence,” he added.

Donald Trump is accused of trying to cover up a $130,000 payment to adult movie star Stormy Daniels before he won the race for the White House back in 2016.

He has pleaded not guilty to 34 counts of falsifying business records and also denies having an alleged affair with Stormy Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford.

At the start of the second week of the criminal trial in Manhattan – the first ever of a former US president – each side set out the case they will present to the jury. The first witness, tabloid publisher David Pecker, also took the stand briefly and will continue his testimony on April 23.

Trump Trial: 63 Potential Jurors Say They Can’t Be Impartial

Prosecutor Matthew Colangelo told the court that Michael Cohen, Donald Trump’s former lawyer and confidant, worked with the Trump Organization’s chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg, to “cook the books” at Trump’s direction.

Prosecutors alleged that the scheme to disguise how Michael Cohen was reimbursed for the payment to Stormy Daniels involved falsifying three forms of records – invoices, ledger entries and cheques.

Donald Trump said in his business records that those payments were “for legal services pursuant to a retainer agreement” with Michael Cohen, Matthew Colangelo told the jury.

Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Critically for this case, he said that Donald Trump was motivated to provide the payoff so voters did not learn of the alleged encounter with Stormy Daniels.

Prosecutors said that this cover-up should be considered election interference, which constituted a second crime. That elevated the charge of falsifying business records from a lower-level misdemeanour into a more serious felony.

They claimed the infamous Access Hollywood tape, which surfaced weeks before the 2016 election and showed Donald Trump bragging about being able to have sex with anyone because he is famous, had panicked his campaign.

“The defendant and his campaign staff were deeply concerned that it would irreparably damage his standing with female voters in particular,” Matthew Colangelo told the court.

But when Stormy Daniels came forward a day later alleging an affair with Donald Trump, it compounded the problem created by the tape, Matthew Colangelo alleged.

The trial is expected to last about another six weeks, but legal experts say opening statements are particularly important as an opportunity to shape jurors’ views on the case.

Donald Trump has been criticized by Joe Biden’s campaign team for sharing a video on social media featuring a truck bearing the image of the president with his hands and feet tied together.

The Biden campaign team accused the former president of “regularly inciting political violence” ahead of November’s election.

A spokesman for the Trump campaign said Democrats have been calling for “despicable violence” against Donald Trump.

Donald Trump posted the video on his social media site Truth Social on March 29.

According to the caption, it was filmed in Long Island, New York, on March 28 when the former president attended the wake of a New York City police officer who was killed during a traffic stop.

The video shows two passing trucks on the road, both covered in US flags and flags claiming support for the police.

The second truck was emblazoned with the words “Trump 2024”, and the rear of the vehicle features an image of Joe Biden with his hands and feet tied.

Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Donald Trump’s promotion of the video drew criticism from Joe Biden campaign’s team.

“Trump is regularly inciting political violence and it’s time people take him seriously – just ask the Capitol police officers who were attacked protecting our democracy on January 6,” spokesman Michael Tyler said, referring to the storming of Congress by the former president’s supporters after he falsely claimed the 2020 election had been stolen from him.

But Steven Cheung, a spokesman for the Trump campaign, responded: “That picture was on the back of a pickup truck that was travelling down the highway. Democrats and crazed lunatics have not only called for despicable violence against President Trump and his family, they are actually weaponizing the justice system against him.”

The Republican presidential nominee faces four criminal cases, with an election subversion case and New York hush money case the most likely to be heard in court before the election on 5 November.

Donald Trump has pleaded not guilty in all the cases, and claimed he is being politically persecuted.

The row over the tailgate image is the latest in a series of heated exchanges between the two presidential candidates in the run-up to the polls.

In his bid to return to the White House, Donald Trump has ramped up his rhetoric, frequently referring to those convicted for their part in the riot at the Capitol on January 6, 2021 as “hostages”.

He also came under criticism for comments in Ohio earlier this month in which he warned of a “bloodbath” if he wasn’t elected. He made the reference after talking about foreign car imports and their economic impact.

The Biden campaign seized on the comments but Donald Trump accused them and the media of taking him out of context.

Judge Scott McAfee, who oversaw an election interference case against Donald Trump in Georgia, has thrown out some criminal charges, but left most in place.

The judge found six counts in the 41-count indictment against Donald Trump and some of his co-defendants, including Rudy Giuliani, lacked detail.

But he said the charges can be refiled at a later date.

Donald Trump was among 19 people charged with a conspiracy to overturn the state’s 2020 election results.

“The lack of detail concerning an essential legal element is, in the undersigned’s opinion, fatal,” Judge McAfee wrote in his order on March 13.

He said the charges do not provide the accused with enough information to prepare their legal defences “intelligently”, adding that “this does not mean the entire indictment is dismissed”.

Judge McAfee was randomly assigned the Trump case in 2023, just six months after being appointed as a judge by Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, a Republican.

He previously worked as a prosecutor, including for the Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, a Democrat who led the investigation into the former president.

Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Judge McAfee’s ruling affects three of the 13 charges against Donald Trump.

They relate to a call Donald Trump made to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in which he told him: “All I want to do is this. I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have.”

One of the charges accused the former president of soliciting public officials to break the law by violating their oath of office.

However, Judge McAfee said the indictment was not specific enough about exactly what Donald Trump wanted the officials to do.

The other dismissed charges apply to some of his most prominent co-defendants: Rudy Giuliani, John Eastman and Mark Meadows.

In his order, Judge McAfee said the charges “contain all the essential elements of the crimes but fail to allege sufficient detail regarding the nature of their commission, i.e., the underlying felony solicited”.

It comes as a win for Donald Trump and his co-defendants, who had filed to dismiss the charge. Prosecutors could now choose to refile the charges with more information in their allegation, or let the ruling stand and focus on the other charges.

The group had initially faced 41 total charges. Donald Trump is facing up to 20 years in prison in Georgia if convicted of the most severe charge of racketeering.

In a statement, Donald Trump’s lawyer in the Georgia case, Steve Sadow, called the ruling “a correct application of the law, as the prosecution failed to make specific allegations of any alleged wrongdoing on those counts”.

Donald Trump, who is running for president against Joe Biden in November, has slammed the case as politically motivated.

Donald Trump must pay $83.3 million to E. Jean Carroll, a writer he was found to have defamed by denying her allegation of sexual assault, a New York jury has ruled.

In 2023, E. Jean Carroll won another civil case in which a separate jury found Donald Trump legally responsible for sexually abusing and defaming her, and awarded her $5 million in damages.

The outcome in the first case did nothing to deter the former president in denying E. Jean Carroll’s story, personally attacking the writer and claiming he had never met her.

Image source: Wikimedia Commons

After January 26 hefty legal bill, Donald Trump notably did not denigrate the former Elle columnist in his reaction online, instead calling the case a “Biden Directed Witch Hunt”.

Donald Trump – who is currently facing four criminal indictments and could soon have to dish out millions more dollars in a New York civil trial relating to business fraud – has often claimed the cases against him are politically motivated.

Recent polling has shown Donald Trump locked in a tight race with President Joe Biden, and even edging ahead in some cases, in a prospective rematch of their 2020 race.

Lawyers for E. Jean Carroll pointed out throughout the trial that Donald Trump was still defaming her both in and out of court.

In closing arguments, they asked the jurors – seven men and two women – to deliver the kind of penalty that will “make him stop”.

Of the $83.3 million awarded to E Jean Carroll, $65 million of it is punitive damages.

It is extremely unlikely that the Supreme Court would grant an appeal, because the justices rarely ever review cases involving such civil trials.

Former federal prosecutor Mitch Epner said Donald Trump has avoided having to pay E. Jean Carroll any money so far by transmitting a deposit to the court while the appeals process plays out.

Mitch Epner expects Donald Trump will do the same with these much higher damages – stumping up either cash or an appeal bond as a deposit.

Without that, he added, E Jean Carroll could start seizing the former president’s personal assets around the country, even putting liens on his real estate.

After Donald Trump’s commanding victories in the first two Republican primary contests in Iowa and New Hampshire, there is no sign that January 26 verdict will slow his march to the party’s presidential nomination.

Voters begin to arrive at caucus locations – schools, churches and small event spaces – ahead of a 19:00 local start time (20:00 ET).

Voters are braving temperatures as low as -23C (-9F) after winter storms blanketed the state in snow and ice.

Iowa is the first major state-wide vote to decide who will be the Republican. presidential candidate for the 2024 election.

There will be over 1,600 caucus sites across Iowa’s 99 counties, and all will be reporting the results of their vote to the state’s Republican Party officials as quickly as possible.

Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Donald Trump has consistently posted big leads over his nearest rivals in Iowa.

The most recent poll of Iowans who were likely to caucus had Trump at 48%, ahead of Nikki Haley with 20% and Ron DeSantis with 16%.

The candidates have been urging their supporters to brave the weather, with Donald Trump saying: “Even if you vote and then pass away, it’s worth it.”

The Haley campaign says it expects a “strong” result in Iowa, while Ron DeSantis claims sturdy support among “bed-rock” conservatives.

The Donald Trump, Nikki Haley and Ron DeSantis campaigns and their political action committees (which raise and spend money to elect and defeat candidates) have altogether spent nearly $90 million on ads in Iowa.

Of these, Haley’s campaign and the pro-Haley Stand 4 America Fund PAC have spent the most, totalling about $36 million. The DeSantis campaign and various affiliated PACs follow closely behind with about $35 million spent.

Donald Trump – the distant front-runner in the race – his campaign and the MAGA Inc PAC have spent far less, totalling about $18 million.

Vivek Ramaswamy and Asa Hutchinson also remain in the contest, but are not expected to garner significant support.

The Iowa Republican Party has created a results website, and you’re welcome to join us in obsessively refreshing it all night.

Former Vice President Mike Pence has withdrawn from the 2024 presidential race, saying “this is not my time”.

Mike Pence made the announcement at the Republican Jewish Coalition in Las Vegas on October 28.

“We always knew this would be an uphill battle, but I have no regrets,” he wrote in a statement.

Mike Pence, 64, is the first major Republican candidate to suspend his campaign in a race led by former President Donald Trump.

He had languished in recent polls and had struggled to gain the support of Republican voters.

The former vice president’s campaign had also racked up large amounts of debt, with Mike Pence ending September owing $621,000 and having only US$1.2 million in the bank – significantly less than other Republican rivals.

“I am leaving this campaign, but I will never leave the fight for conservative values,” he wrote in a statement addressed to his supporters.

Photo Getty Images

Mike Pence lost the support of many Republican voters when he publicly broke with Donald Trump over the January 6 Capitol riot in 2021, and when he presided over the certification of Joe Biden’s 2020 election results in Congress.

Donald Trump admonished Mike Pence for lacking “courage” when he refused to overturn the Democratic leader’s election victory.

Some rioters were heard chanting “hang Mike Pence” as they stormed the halls of Congress in 2021, and since then many Trump loyalists have viewed him as a traitor.

The former vice-president said in March that Donald Trump’s encouragement of the rioters had “endangered my family and everyone at the Capitol that day”.

In his resignation, Mike Pence did not endorse any other Republican candidates for the presidential election.

But he called on Americans to choose a leader that “will ‘appeal to the better angels of our nature’ and not only lead us to victory but also lead our nation with civility and back to those time-honoured principles that have always made America strong, prosperous and free.”

Mike Pence’s decision to withdraw from the Republican presidential campaign came shortly before the third presidential debate on November 8.

Former President Donald Trump is expected to fly from Florida on his private plane and hand himself in with federal agents there after a grand jury has indicted him in connection with a $130,000 pay-out to adult film star Stormy Daniels.

According to CBS News, Donald Trump’s court hearing has been set for April 4, in the afternoon.

The charges are not yet public, and a lawyer for Donald Trump said on March 31 that he too has yet to read the indictment.

A law enforcement official told CBS that Donald Trump is expected to fly his private plane to New York on April 3 before surrendering to officials on April 4.

The process is likely to involve dozens or possibly hundreds of Secret Service agents, the official added, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Donald Trump will not be handcuffed, the official added, saying that shackles are typically only used on suspects who are thought to be a flight or safety risk.

The hearing is due to take place at 14:15 local time.

Image source Wikipedia

President Trump Officially Discloses Stormy Daniels Payment

Donald Trump’s lawyer, Joe Tacopina, told ABC News that the former president will “probably” appear in court on April 4, “but nothing is certain”.

Prosecutors “will try and get every ounce of publicity they can from this thing”, he said, adding “the president will not be put in handcuffs”.

“I understand they’re going to be closing off blocks around the courthouse, shutting down the courthouse,” he continued.

Security is being co-ordinated by the FBI, NYPD, Secret Service and New York City court officers.

Sources tell CBS that they are bracing for possible scenarios that include attacks against Donald Trump, prosecutors, jurors or members of the public. The district attorney’s office has received “many threats”, the sources said.

On March 31, the streets around the courthouse were calm but the barricades were going up in anticipation of what may come next week.

Police officers were on patrol and security plans were being put into place. Many expect the area to go into lockdown when the former president attends court.

The district attorney’s office had initially asked Donald Trump to surrender on March 31, according to Politico, but the request was rejected because more time was needed for security preparations.

The 76-year-old ex-president denies any wrongdoing. He is the first serving or former US president to face a criminal charge.

It is unclear how many charges are contained in the indictment, which is still sealed.

Media reports have said the ex-president faces more than 30 counts related to business fraud and Joe Tacopina said on March 30 he thought there would be 34. However, on the next day he said he did not know how many.

“We know what the subject matter is, we know the basis of the charges. We don’t know the exact counts or how they’re formulated,” he said.

On March 31, Donald Trump began attacking the judge assigned to his case in an effort to undermine the credibility of the investigation and rally his base to his defence.

Republicans – including House Speaker Kevin McCarthy – have accused the Manhattan district attorney of weaponizing the criminal justice system to influence next year’s presidential election. Georgia Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Green, who Donald Trump recently suggested should run for Senate, called on followers to protest and said she plans to be present in New York next week.

In response, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg said the charges had been brought by citizens of New York doing their civic duty – and neither the former president nor Congress could interfere with proceedings.

In Washington, the US Capitol Police, which are tasked with safeguarding lawmakers in Congress, said the force believes protests will take place across the country and have plans in place to increase security at the US Capitol.

In 2016, Stormy Daniels contacted media outlets offering to sell her account of what she said was an adulterous affair she had with Donald Trump in 2006 – the year after he married his current wife, Melania.

Donald Trump’s team got wind of this and his lawyer, Michael Cohen, paid $130,000 to Stormy Daniels to keep quiet. This is not illegal.

However, when Donald Trump reimbursed Michael Cohen, the record for the payment says it was for legal fees. Prosecutors say this amounts to Donald Trump falsifying business records, which is a misdemeanour – a criminal offence – in New York.

President Joe Biden declined to comment on the indictment, despite being pressed on the issue by journalists as he left the White House on a trip to Mississippi.

Nearly three months after announcing his campaign, Donald Trump made his first campaign foray out of his adopted home state of Florida on January 28.

In New Hampshire, he addressed a meeting of the Republican Party and announced the outgoing state party chair would be a senior adviser to his campaign. And at the state capitol in Columbia, South Carolina, he received the endorsements of the state’s governor, Henry McMaster, and Senator Lindsey Graham.

Lindsay Graham, a Trump confidante who expressed some disillusionment after the Capitol riot on January 6, 2021, is now back firmly in the fold.

Donald Trump once again denied his 2020 defeat and told supporters that he – unlike any possible Republican alternatives – would be the most effective nominee in 2024.

“To change the whole system, you need a president who can take on the whole system and a president who can win,” he said from the state capitol’s main hall.

In both stops, the former president touted what he said was his record of success during his presidency and attacked President Joe Biden’s record on crime, immigration and the economy.

Image source Wikipedia

Across the street, Todd Gerhardt, a Republican district executive committee member from nearby Charleston, sold honey in Trump-shaped plastic bottles.

Todd Gerhardt was an early supporter of Donald Trump’s first presidential campaign, organized a 2016 rally for him on South Carolina’s posh Kiawah Island, and recently visited the former president’s Mar-a-Lago estate for a fundraiser and to provide his honey for the campaign’s gift bags.

It’s no coincidence that the first two stops of Donald Trump’s third presidential campaign were South Carolina and New Hampshire. The two states could prove to be central to Trump’s strategy to retake the White House.

While Iowa is the first state to hold a Republican presidential nomination contest in 2024, Donald Trump finished third there in 2016 and the evangelical Christians who dominate the state’s Republican electorate could be eying other possible candidates, like former Vice-President Mike Pence and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

New Hampshire and South Carolina, however, provided Donald Trump with a one-two punch that catapulted him to the front in 2016 – a lead he never relinquished.

They could do the same in 2024. In fact, every Republican presidential nominee since 1980 has won the South Carolina primary, making it unique among the traditional early-voting states.

South Carolina could prove to be a unique challenge for Donald Trump this time around, however. He faces potential challenges from Senator Tim Scott as well as the state’s former governor, Nikki Haley.

An Emerson Poll conducted earlier this week found 55% of Republican voters supporting Donald Trump, well ahead of the 29% for Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who has not announced a presidential bid but is viewed to be the former president’s most formidable rival. A Monmouth poll in December had Mr DeSantis ahead by double-digits.

Earlier this week, Meta announced that it was lifting the suspension it had placed on Donald Trump’s accounts in the aftermath of the attack on the US Capitol by his supporters. Although the former president has yet to resume posting to his accounts, his return could provide yet another opportunity for voter outreach – and fundraising – as his still minimally staffed campaign gears up for its 2024 run.

If rallies and Facebook donations were the fuel for Donald Trump’s past White House bids, his South Carolina stop was a different kind of operation.

With only 300 announced attendees, it was a decidedly low-key event compared to his typical arena gatherings, with their carnival atmosphere. Attire tended toward sport coats and dresses, not Make America Great Again hats and Let’s Go Brandon t-shirts.

To win a third Republican presidential nomination, however, Donald Trump will need the support of the political rank-and-file in states like New Hampshire and South Carolina, as well as his rally-going loyalists. And while Donald Trump’s national polls show continued strength, a recent South Carolina survey had nearly half of Republican voters expressing a preference for “someone else” besides Donald Trump.

Former President Donald Trump has announced his presidential candidacy on November 15, declaring: “America’s comeback starts right now.”

At his Mar-a-Lago estate, Donald Trump, 76, said: “We have to save our country.”

His announcement comes as some fellow Republicans blame him for the party’s lacklustre performance in last week’s midterm elections.

President Joe Biden, who defeated Donald Trump two years ago, has said he may run for re-election in 2024.

Speaking to an invited crowd from the ballroom of his Mar-a-Lago private club in Palm Beach, Donald Trump said: “We are a nation in decline.

“For millions of Americans, the past two years under Joe Biden have been a time of pain, hardship, anxiety and despair.”

He continued: “In order to make America great and glorious again, I am tonight announcing my candidacy for president of the United States.”

“Donald Trump” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by Gage Skidmore

Shortly before the speech, the former president filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission formally declaring his presidential candidacy and setting up a fundraising account.

Meanwhile, outside Mar-a-Lago, supporters gathered to wave Trump 2024 flags.

Donald Trump’s speech lasted for more than an hour and touched on many of the same themes he has been repeating on stage for months.

These included border security, energy independence and crime, as well as attacks on Joe Biden’s record in office.

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His wife, Melania Trump, joined him on stage at the end of the speech. But there were fewer family members present than at some of his past events and Ivanka Trump and Donald Jr did not attend.

At the G20 summit in Bali, Indonesia, President Biden was asked whether he had a reaction to Donald Trump’s announcement.

“No, not really,” he said. Last week, he was filmed laughing when a reporter suggested Donald Trump’s support base remained strong.

Donald Trump’s unusually early declaration for the election of November 5, 2024 is being seen as a tactic to steal a march on potential rivals for the Republicans’ White House nomination.

Although he is the first to enter the race and instantly becomes the front-runner, he is expected to face challengers.

They may include his own former VP Mike Pence, 63, and rising star Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, 44.

In his remarks, Donald Trump largely steered clear of rehashing his baseless claims that the 2020 election was stolen from him by mass voter fraud.

He left office after one term in 2021, refusing to acknowledge his defeat by seven million votes.

His debunked conspiracy theories riled up supporters who rioted at Capitol Hill in the final days of his presidency as lawmakers met to certify President Biden’s victory.

Donald Trump became the first president ever to be impeached twice, although congressional Democrats were thwarted in their bid to remove him from office by Senate Republicans.

Photo Getty Images

Mike Pence has dismissed claims by Donald Trump that he could have stopped Joe Biden becoming president.

In his strongest rebuttal yet, the former vice-president said Donald Trump was wrong to suggest he had had the right to overturn the election.

Separately the Republican Party censured two of its top lawmakers for investigating the Capitol riots.

A mob stormed the Capitol as lawmakers met to confirm President Joe Biden’s poll win on January 6, 2021.

Four people died during the riots, and a police officer who suffered two strokes while defending the building died the following day.

The two legislators, Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger, are the only Republicans on a congressional select committee investigating the riots.

The statement by the Republican National Committee (RNC) accused Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger of helping to persecute “ordinary citizens engaged in legitimate political discourse”.

The RNC appeared to suggest rioters had been involved in legitimate political actions but RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel clarified that it was a reference to “legitimate political discourse that had nothing to do with violence at the Capitol”.

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According to recent reports, the vote was passed by an overwhelming majority of the 168 RNC members at their winter meeting in Salt Lake City, Utah.

The committee said it would “immediately cease any and all support of them” as party members without removing them from the party.

Both lawmakers issued statements in advance of the vote.

“The leaders of the Republican Party have made themselves willing hostages to a man who admits he tried to overturn a presidential election and suggests he would pardon January 6 defendants, some of whom have been charged with seditious conspiracy,” Liz Cheney said.

They also received support from other opponents of Donald Trump in the party. 

Senator Mitt Romney tweeted: “Shame falls on a party that would censure persons of conscience, who seek truth in the face of vitriol.”

Speaking in Orlando, Florida, Mike Pence was responding to Donald Trump’s comments on January 30 that he could have overturned the election if he had wanted to.

Donald Trump has falsely claimed that the election was stolen by Joe Biden.

Days later Donald Trump said the select committee should be investigating Mike Pence instead of the rioters.

Mike Pence responded: “President Trump is wrong. I had no right to overturn the election. The presidency belongs to the American people, and the American people alone.

“And [current Vice-President] Kamala Harris will have no right to overturn the election when we beat them in 2024.”

Former President Donald Trump has sued New York state Attorney General Letitia James, seeking to block her from continuing to investigate his company.

He argues the state attorney has violated his constitutional rights by pursuing a politically-motivated probe.

Letitia James says the investigation “will continue undeterred”.

She opened a civil inquiry in 2019 into claims that – before he took office – Donald Trump had inflated the value of his assets to banks when seeking loans.

The lawsuit comes less than two weeks after Letitia James, a Democrat, indicated that Donald Trump, a Republican, could be questioned under oath next month as part of the inquiry.

The former president is also suspected of understating his assets to lower his taxes.

Image source: Wikimedia Commons

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Letitia James’ office has been seeking documents on four Trump Organization properties in Manhattan, upstate New York, Chicago and Los Angeles.

Donald Trump has described the inquiry as a witch hunt.

Throughout his presidency from 2017 to 2021, Donald Trump resolutely refused to reveal his tax returns, despite coming under great pressure to do so.

Civil cases usually have to do with injury to individuals or other private parties, including businesses; criminal law applies in cases where the damage is thought to affect society at large, including the state.

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The Department of Justice has ordered the IRS to hand over former President Donald Trump’s tax returns to Congress.

The move reverses a 2019 finding that the request from the House Ways and Means Committee was “disingenuous”.

The DoJ decision appears to end a long legal battle over the records, and is seen as a sharp legal blow to Donald Trump.

Although not required by law, every president since 1976 – except Donald Trump – has released their tax returns.

Donald Trump is yet to publicly comment on the latest developments, although he still has ways to try to fight the ruling in court.

Republicans on Capitol Hill denounced the decision, describing it as politically motivated.

When he was president, Donald Trump repeatedly said he was under audit by the IRS and so could not release his tax returns – although the IRS has said an audit would not stop the release of the information.

The House Ways and Means Committee has previously argued that it required Donald Trump’s tax returns for an investigation into whether he complied with tax law.

The Trump-era justice department, however, refused to hand them over. It argued that the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives was seeking them for partisan political gain.

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In an opinion released on July 30, the justice department’s Office of Legal Counsel determined that the committee “has invoked sufficient reasons” for requesting the tax information.

“Treasury must furnish the information to the Committee,” the opinion said.

Among those who praised the decision was Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who said the American people “deserve to know the facts of his troubling conflicts and undermining of our security and democracy as president”.

In February, President Trump was ordered by the Supreme Court to hand over his tax returns and other financial records to prosecutors in New York.

The decision was a blow to Donald Trump, who had been in a legal battle to protect his records from a grand jury.

The former president has continuously denied any wrongdoing and has called the investigation into his tax affairs a “witch hunt”.

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Donald Trump has filed a lawsuit against tech giants Google, Twitter and Facebook, claiming that he is the victim of censorship.

The class action lawsuit also targets the three companies’ CEOs.

The former president was suspended from his social accounts in January over public safety concerns in the wake of the Capitol riots, led by his supporters.

On July 7, Donald Trump called the lawsuit “a very beautiful development for our freedom of speech”.

In a news conference from his golf resort in Bedminster, New Jersey, Donald Trump railed against social media companies and Democrats, who he accused of espousing misinformation.

He said: “We are demanding an end to the shadow-banning, a stop to the silencing, and a stop to the blacklisting, banishing, and cancelling that you know so well.”

The suit requests a court order to end alleged censorship. Donald Trump added if they could ban a president, “they can do it to anyone”.

None of the tech companies named have yet responded to the lawsuit, which was filed to a federal court in Florida.

Donald Trump was joined at the announcement by former Trump officials who have since created the not-for-profit America First Policy Institute.

The former president called the post that got him banned from Twitter, “the most loving sentence”.

According to Twitter, the tweets that resulted in Donald Trump’s ban for “glorification of violence” were from 8 January, two days after the rioting in the nation’s capital. The riot followed his repeated claims, without evidence, that the election was rigged in Joe Biden’s favor.

Donald Trump wrote that the “great patriots” who voted for him will have “a giant voice” and “will not be disrespected or treated unfairly in any way, shape or form”, and in another post said he would not attend President Joe Biden’s inauguration.

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At the same time on July 7, Donald Trump’s Republican allies in Congress released a memo describing their plan “to take on Big Tech”.

The agenda calls for antitrust measures to “break up” the companies, and a revamping of a law known as Section 230.

Section 230, which Donald Trump tried to repeal as president, essentially stops companies like Facebook and Twitter from being liable for the things that users post. It gives the companies “platform” rather than “publisher” status.

“It’s a liability protection the likes of which nobody in the history of our country has ever received,” he said, criticizing the law on July 7.

Donald Trump added that the law invalidates the companies’ statuses as private companies.

The lawsuit has been criticized by legal experts, who pointed to Donald Trump’s habit of issuing lawsuits for media attention but not aggressively defending the claims in court. His argument of free speech infringement has also been questioned by analysts, as the companies he accuses have those same First Amendment protections in determining content on their sites.

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“Donald Trump” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by Gage Skidmore

According to recent reports, Donald Trump’s company, the Trump Organization, and its finance chief have been indicted in an investigation into alleged tax crimes.

Allen Weisselberg, 73, turned himself in to authorities in New York on July 1, ahead of the expected unsealing of as-yet-unknown charges.

The former president is not expected to be implicated personally in the case.

New York City has already cut business ties with the twice-impeached former president.

The Trump Organization is a family holding company that owns hotels, golf clubs and other properties.

Any criminal charges brought against the company would mark the first in long-running investigations on alleged fraud by both the Manhattan district attorney and the state attorney general.

Charges by District Attorney Cyrus Vance are expected to focus on whether Allen Weisselberg and other company executives received benefits such as apartment rentals or leased cars without reporting them properly on their tax returns.

Allen Weisselberg entered Manhattan’s criminal court building on July 1, the New York Times said. He and at least one other Trump Organization representative are expected to appear in court later in the day.

Donald Trump and his allies have said the investigations are politically motivated.

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In a statement this week, Allen Weisselberg said the case was looking at “things that are standard practice throughout the US business community, and in no way a crime”.

If the company is found guilty, however, certain business partners might draw a line under their relationship with the Trump Organization and the company could face fines.

New York City has already announced it will terminate contracts with Donald Trump’s company to run skating rinks, a carousel and a golf course, in the aftermath of the Capitol riots.

Daniel Goldman, who was lead lawyer in the House of Representatives for the first impeachment of President Trump in 2019, tweeted that the indictment could spur lenders to call in their loans, driving the Trump Organization to bankruptcy.

The investigations will also take into account eight years of Donald Trump’s personal and corporate tax returns, obtained by prosecutors after a long legal battle, which ended in the Supreme Court in February.

Donald Trump, who inherited money from his father and went on to become a property developer, is the first president since Gerald Ford in the 1970s not to have made his tax returns public.

Despite facing a number of investigations, Donald Trump has denied any wrongdoing personally or in his business.

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Image source Wikipedia

Donald Trump has urged his Republican supporters to be vaccinated against Covid-19, saying he would recommend it.

In a TV interview, the former president said the vaccine was “safe” and “something that works”.

Donald Trump’s conservative fan base has been one of the main groups resistant to the vaccine program.

The former president himself was criticized during his time in office for playing down the seriousness of the pandemic.

As the vaccination program has been rolled out across the United States, all other living ex-presidents have spoken out, urging Americans to get the jab.

However, Donald Trump has remained largely quiet on the subject.

The former president and his wife, Melania, were vaccinated at the White House in secret in January.

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Donald Trump said during an interview on Fox News Primetime on March 16: “I would recommend it.

“I would recommend it to a lot of people that don’t want to get it and a lot of those people voted for me, frankly.”

He added: “It’s a great vaccine, it’s a safe vaccine and it’s something that works.”

A recent poll by CBS News suggested that a third of Republican supporters would not have the vaccine when it was available to them, compared to 10% of Democrats.

Donald Trump’s comments came a day after his successor, President Joe Biden, expressed frustration at the reluctance among some conservatives to get the shot.

White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said on March 15: “If former President Trump woke up tomorrow and wanted to be more vocal about the safety and efficacy of the vaccine, certainly we’d support that.”

She added: “Every other living president… has participated in public campaigns. They did not need an engraved invitation to do so.”

YouTube may lift Donald Trump’s suspension, if the threat of “real-world violence” decreases, Susan Wojcicki, the platform’s CEO, has said.

She said the company will look at government warnings and violent rhetoric to determine when it’s safe to lift the suspension.

Following the Capitol Hill riot on January 6 that left five dead, Donald Trump’s account was suspended.

YouTube said the former president had violated their incitement of violence policy.

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Susan Wojcicki said during an interview with the Atlantic Council on March 4: “It’s pretty clear that right now where we stand, that there still is that elevated risk of violence.”

She clarified that Donald Trump’s conduct had not led to a full ban on the platform.

YouTube operates under a three strike system and an account must receive all three strikes within 90 days to be permanently removed.

The suspension in January was Donald Trump’s first strike.

Rudy Giuliani, the former personal attorney to Donald Tump, received his second strike earlier this week for claiming the 2020 presidential election was stolen.

Typically, a first strike results in a seven day suspension of an account, but Donald Trump’s has been prolonged due to a continued risk of violence.

After a large group of pro-Trump supporters stormed the Capitol building on January 6, the former president was banned across many social media outlets.

Donald Trump was banned from Twitter and suspended from Facebook.

Facebook’s Oversight Committee is currently looking at whether that suspension should be made permanent – however it’s not yet clear when they will rule.

Criminal charges have been filed for a reported 221 people involved in the Capitol riot.

Image source Flickr

Donald Trump is giving his first speech since leaving office as president at the Conservative Political Action Conference (C-PAC).

His public appearance comes just weeks after he was acquitted during an impeachment trial which saw some members of his own Republican Party vote against him.

The former president is expected to attack the actions being taken by successor Joe Biden in the Florida speech.

The C-PAC appearance represents his continued influence over Republicans.

The mood of the conference so far has been extremely pro-Trump, with loyalists including Texas Senator Ted Cruz and his son Donald Trump Jr. among the speakers confirmed.

Donald Trump’s speech was hotly anticipated by his supporters, given his relative absence from the political spotlight since leaving office.

He remains banned from social media platforms, including Facebook and Twitter, over his response to January’s deadly riot at the US Capitol.

He has been living at his Mar-a-Lago Florida golf resort since leaving the White House.

According to prepared script excerpts sent by his office ahead of time, Donald Trump will attack early actions by President Joe Biden during the speech – especially on immigration.

He is also set to focus on what he will describe as the future of “our movement” during the speech, amid a divide among some Republicans over the party’s future political direction.

He is expected to say that the “incredible journey” that he and supporters “began together four years ago is far from over”. But Donald Trump is not expected to confirm another presidential run in 2024 yet, according to a senior adviser quoted by CBS.

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Donald Trump Jr. trailed his father’s appearance during his own speech on February 26.

He told the audience: “I imagine it will not be what we call a low energy speech, and I assure you that it will solidify Donald Trump and all of your feelings about the MAGA [Make America Great Again] movement as the future of the Republican party.”

Members of the Republican Party remained largely loyal to Donald Trump during his time in office but 10 voted to impeach him in the House of Representatives last month and seven voted to convict him in the subsequent Senate trial. The overall tally, 57-43 in favor of his guilt, fell short of the two-thirds margin needed to convict Donald Trump.

The schism in the party has remained since, with those who have broken rank against him notably absent from the CPAC stage.

The C-PAC, which began in 1974, is seen as the most influential gathering of conservatives and a barometer of the Republican party’s political direction.

Despite losing November’s presidential election and being deeply criticized over the January riot by some of his supporters, reports suggest Donald Trump remains extremely popular among his voting base.

Last week, one poll suggested 46% of surveyed Trump voters would vote for him on a third-party ticket rather than another Republican candidate.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says Congress will establish an “outside, independent” commission to investigate the January 6 attack on the Capitol.

In a letter to lawmakers, Nancy Pelosi said the commission would be modeled on the inquiry into the September 11, 2001, attacks on New York and the Pentagon.

She said: “We must get to the truth of how this happened.”

Former President Donald Trump was acquitted by the Senate of inciting the violence.

However, Democrats and some Republicans have backed an independent investigation into the riots, which left five people dead.

Nancy Pelosi said that retired US Army Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré had, over the past few weeks, been assessing the security needs of the Capitol in light of the attack.

The commission, Nancy Pelosi said, “would investigate and report on the facts and causes” of the attack; “the interference with the peaceful transfer of power”; and the “preparedness and response” of both the Capitol police and other branches of law enforcement.

She also said that, based on Lt. Gen. Honoré’s initial findings, Congress needed to allocate additional funding to “provide for the safety of members and the security of the Capitol”.

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A group of House Republicans wrote to Nancy Pelosi on February 15 complaining that their party had not been consulted about the general’s security review.

In the letter, they also demanded to know what Nancy Pelosi knew and the instructions she gave to secure the Capitol ahead of January 6.

House Republican Adam Kinzinger, who called for Donald Trump’s removal after the riots, was condemned by 11 members of his family in a handwritten letter, in which they said he was in cahoots with “the devil’s army”.

Donald Trump survived his second impeachment trial on February 13, after Democrat prosecutors failed to secure the two-thirds majority needed to convict him. He is the only president to have faced the process twice.

The vote split largely along party lines, with seven Republicans joining the Senate’s 48 Democrats and two independents in voting to convict.

The senior Republican in Congress, Senator Mitch McConnell, had voted against conviction on constitutional grounds, but after the vote declared Donald Trump “responsible” for the assault on the Capitol.

Other Republicans have also expressed support for an independent inquiry into the riots, including a close ally of Donald Trump, Senator Lindsay Graham.