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Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Donald Trump news today: Jan 6 rioter called by White House is named as Mark Meadows election plot texts revealed

Former US president Donald Trump claims he can declassify top secret documents just ‘by thinking about it’

A Capitol rioter who received a call from the White House during the January 6 insurrection has been publically named for the first time as text messages emerged shedding new light on then-chief of staff Mark Meadows’ efforts to overturn the 2020 election.

Anton Lunyk, a 26-year-old supporter of former president Donald Trump who travelled to Washington from Brooklyn, was named Monday by CNN as the recipient of an outgoing phone call made from the White House switchboard on 6 January.

The call came in after Mr Lunyk and his friends were on their way back to New York, the outlet reported.

Meanwhile, text messages obtained by CNN showed Phil Waldron, one of the key players behind the bid to overturn the election, briefed Mr Meadows about his efforts to gain access to voting systems in crucial battleground states in late December of 2020.

Mr Waldron reported that those efforts would be hindered by an Arizona judge’s dismissal of an election-related lawsuit, to which Mr Meadows replied: “Pathetic.”

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When is the next Jan 6 committee hearing?

The timing of the ninth January 6 committee hearing of this year, possibly the last for the committee, has been announced.

The panel, which will release a report on its findings before the end of the year, is set for one more meeting before September comes to an end.

California Democrat and panel member Adam Schiff told CNN on Sunday that “we’re not disclosing yet what the focus will be. I can say that, as this may be the last hearing of this nature – that is, one that is focused on sort of the factual record – I think it’ll be potentially more sweeping than some of the other hearings”.

Read more from The Independent:

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Tucker Carlson left red faced after trying to insult Fetterman on tattoos

John Fetterman fired back at Tucker Carlson’s “fake” tattoos insult as he explained that they each represent a victim killed by violent crime while he was a Pennsylvania mayor.

The right-wing Fox News host had mocked Mr Fetterman’s tattoos as he tried to portray the Democratic candidate for US Senate as weak on crime.

Mr Fetterman, who leads Donald Trump’s pick Dr Mehmet Oz in polling ahead of the November election, fired back in an op-ed for NBC News explaining how his tattoos memorialised murders from gun violence in his city, Braddock.

Read more from The Independent’s Graeme Massie:

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How likely is it that Biden will be impeached if the GOP retakes the House?

When President Joe Biden returns to work in Washington next January, he could be facing a starkly different reality on Capitol Hill.

Buoyed by Mr Biden’s low approval ratings, pro-Trump Republicans are mounting bids to take control of both the House and Senate from their Democratic rivals. Winning a majority in one or both chambers would be a massive impediment to passing further legislation meant to enact Mr Biden’s political agenda, and could have further-reaching consequences for the White House as well.

Donald Trump’s allies in Congress are frothing at the idea that they will have the chance to enact revenge on Democrats for two unsuccessful impeachment efforts against the former president, including the effort in 2021 to hold him accountable for the January 6 attack on Congress.

Read more from The Independent’s John Bowden:

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The 20 major lawsuits and investigations Trump is facing

Lawsuits and investigations have hung over Donald Trump throughout his business career and his presidency, and have continued as he seeks the 2024 Republican notation – a decision he has been expected to announce following the 2022 midterms.

Now with a Department of Justice investigation into his alleged mishandling of classified documents, and a lawsuit filed last week by New York’s Attorney General, the legal turmoil facing the former president seems to be ever-growing.

Josh Marcus has a rundown of the 20 major legal challenges facing Mr Trump below:

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Majority of Democrats say Biden should step aside in 2024, poll finds

A new poll confirms that a solid majority of Democrats still want President Joe Biden to step aside in 2024 and let someone else run for the Democratic Party’s nomination — even as his approval numbers continue to rise.

The survey from ABC News and the Washington Post found that 56 per cent of Democrats would prefer another candidate take their party’s mantle in the next election cycle, compared to just over a third who want Mr Biden to be the standard-bearer once again and run for reelection.

John Bowden has the details:

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Text messages show Mark Meadows communicated directly with pro-Trump operative

Text messages obtained by CNN showed that one of the operatives behind efforts to seize voting machines communicated directly with former president Donald Trump’s chief of staff Mark Meadows.

Phil Waldron, who had promoted election-related conspiracy theories, reportedly texted Mr Meadows on 23 December saying that a judge in Arizona dismissed a lawsuit by Republicans.

Mr Waldron reportedly told Mr Meadows it would allow their opponents to engage in “delay tactics” that would prevent Mr Waldron and his allies from accessing the voting machines, to which Mr Meadows replied, “Pathetic.”

Eric Garcia has the details:

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Capitol rioter who received call from White House on Jan 6 is identified

The recipient of an outgoing phone call made from the White House switchboard to a January 6 rioter was a New York man who spent approximately ten minutes inside the Capitol that day.

According to CNN, the nine-second call was placed to a mobile phone belonging to Anton Lunyk, a 26-year-old supporter of former president Donald Trump who travelled to Washington from Brooklyn, New York and attended the “Stop the Steal” rally at the Ellipse which immediately preceded the attack on the Capitol.

In April, Lunyk was sentenced on charges that he’d entered and illegally demonstrated inside the Capitol, which had been filed based on video surveillance.

Andrew Feinberg has more:

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Clinton compares Trump fans doing straight-arm ‘QAnon salutes’ to Nazis

Former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has slammed the hand gestures made by supporters of Donald Trump at his Ohio rally, comparing them to the Nazis.

Ms Clinton, who was speaking at the Texas Tribune Festival in Austin on Friday, said her reaction to the index finger salute seen at the rally was similar to how she used to feel about Nazis, adding: “What’s going on?”

The former US secretary of state talked about her years as a student when she would spend time thinking about how people could be drawn to Hitler.

Stuti Mishra has the report:

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When will January 6 committee release final report?

The House select committee investigating the riot on January 6 will likely not release its report about the attempted insurrection before the election, Axios reported earlier this month. But that doesn’t mean it could not make news before 8 November.

Chairman Bennie Thompson told reporters that he didn’t want the committee to be “perceived as a partisan committee … we’ve been fairly free of those kind of complaints, and we would not want to interfere with the election.”

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Election denier who messaged Meadows drafted 36-page Power Point

Phil Waldron was responsible for helping draft language for an executive order as well as a Power Point presentation about how to overthrow the election, the January 6 committee said earlier this year.

That order – if signed by the former president – would have enabled the Pentagon and Department of Homeland Security to seize voting machines on behalf of the White House over false claims of election fraud in 2020.

On Monday, CNN revealed how Mr Waldron had messaged former Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows about a plot to seize voting machines,

Here’s an earlier report by Andrew Feinberg on the allegations and investigation against Mr Waldron…

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