Stormy Daniels obliquely denies having written statement on Trump affair
On Thursday afternoon in New York, a Manhattan judge refused to quash subpoenas and depositions filed against Donald Trump, Donald Trump Jr, and Ivanka Trump relating to the New York State probe into the Trump Organization’s business practices.
All three Trumps must now testify in the civil investigation conducted by New York Attorney General Letitia James.
Mazar’s decision is a major turn in the New York authorities’ long-running investigation into Mr Trump’s affairs, a probe he has described as “racist” and a “political witch hunt”.
Meanwhile, in Washington, a report claims that the 6 January select committee investigating the Capitol riot is also considering issuing a subpoena to Ivanka Trump if she does not cooperate with its inquiry voluntarily.
Earlier this week President Joe Biden cleared the release to the committee of White House visitor logs dating from around the events of 6 January 2021 after Mr Trump attempted to claim they were covered by executive privilege.
As far as the right-wing media and much of the GOP are concerned, the real scandal is a debunked story that Hillary Clinton “spied” on Donald Trump.
Trump accuses Hillary Clinton of ‘breaking into the White House’
Former president Donald Trump, in a seemingly furious statement in reaction to a significant court defeat, accused Hillary Clinton of breaking into the White House.
“In other words, she can spy on a Presidential candidate and ultimately, the President of the United States—and the now totally discredited Fake News Media does everything they can not to talk about it,” he said.
The former president alleged that Ms Clinton broke into “my apartment, buildings I own, and my campaign” as well.
Andrew Buncombe reports.
Alisha Rahaman Sarkar18 February 2022 04:00
DC police officer suspended over alleged contact with Proud Boys
A lieutenant in the Washington, DC, police intelligence branch has been put on administrative leave, as federal officials investigate whether he had improper contacts with the extremist Proud Boys gang.
Washington police chief Robert J Contee II declined to name the officer during a Wednesday news conference, but said the police department, as well as the FBI and Justice Department, are looking into whether the allegations are true.
Josh Marcus has the story.
Oliver O’Connell18 February 2022 03:20
Expert: Trump’s desertion by his accountants could make him a ‘national security risk’
After Donald Trump’s accounting firm abruptly dropped him as a client, some experts are fearing for US national security.
Last week, Mazars USA announced that it would no longer work with the Trump Organization, and said all its financial statements on Mr Trump from 2011 to 2020 “should no longer be relied upon”. The firm not only disavowed the statements, but advised the Trump Organization to disavow them as well, saying the company “should inform any recipients” not to trust the numbers.
Mr Trump uses those statements to secure loans, and experts say the Mazars letter could leave him desperate for cash. According to Joseph Cirincione of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, that desperation could endanger the United States.
Nathan Place reports.
Oliver O’Connell18 February 2022 02:20
Did Melania Trump place the winning bid in first sale on her NFT platform?
Solana blockchain hosted the auction of Melania Trump’s “Head of State Collection 2022.”
Oliver O’Connell18 February 2022 01:25
Trump reacts with fury to court defeat – ‘THERE IS NO CASE!’
Hours after his bid to avoid testifying in the investigation into his business practices was defeated (his children Don Jr and Ivanka will also have to testify), a clearly livid Donald Trump released a statement containing even more outlandish accusations against his enemies than usual.
The statement mixes a conspiracy theory that his 2016 presidential rival was “spying” on him – currently being pushed by his political and media allies – with a defence of perks given to Trump Organization stalwart Allen Weisselberg, who faces criminal charges of evading taxes, and of accusations he manipulated the value of his businesses.
In part he writes: “So, Crooked Hillary Clinton, one of the most corrupt politicians ever to run for President, can break into the White House, my apartment, buildings I own, and my campaign—in other words, she can spy on a Presidential candidate and ultimately the President of the United States—and the now totally discredited Fake News Media does everything they can not to talk about it.
“On the other hand, failed Gubernatorial candidate, Letitia James, can run for the office of AG on saying absolutely horrendous and false things about Donald Trump, a man she doesn’t know and has never met, go on to get elected, and then selectively prosecute him and his family. After viewing millions of pages of documents over many years, they come up with a “Fringe Benefits” case on a car, an apartment, and on grandchildren’s education. She is doing everything within their corrupt discretion to interfere with my business relationships, and with the political process. With the rest of the case, even Cy Vance, who just left the DA’s office without prosecuting anything additional, because there isn’t anything additional to prosecute—THERE IS NO CASE!”
The Independent’s Andrew Buncombe has the full story:
Phil Thomas18 February 2022 01:03
Democrats ask federal agency to cancel Trump’s DC hotel lease
Last week, Mr Trump’s accounting firm, Mazars USA, dropped his company as a client and disavowed its financial statements on him, saying they “should not be relied upon.” In a letter to the US General Services Administration, Reps Carolyn Maloney and Gerald Connolly argued that this could invalidate the lease for Trump International Hotel, which is located in a former post office building.
Nathan Place reports.
Oliver O’Connell18 February 2022 00:25
Jan 6: Stewart Rhodes was a conspiracy theorist in search of a cause
Stewart Rhodes cycled through ideologies and conspiracies before he become obsessed with Donald Trump, writes Richard Hall. He will soon face charges of organising one of the most serious attempts to overthrow the government in modern history.
Oliver O’Connell17 February 2022 23:55
Report: January 6 committee considering subpoena for Ivanka Trump
The select committee investigating the 6 January Capitol riot is reportedly considering issuing a subpoena to Ivanka Trump – a move that would make her the first member of the Trump family obliged to testify to the panel.
According to TheGuardian, the panel may issue Donald Trump’s daughter with an official summons to testify if she refuses to co-operate with its inquiry, as certain others in the inner Trump orbit have done already.
Ms Trump’s role in the events of 6 January and the days before it is not entirely clear, but in a letter to her last month, the committee’s members said they had evidence she played a direct role in trying to get the then-leader to intervene during the riot.
Andrew Naughtie reports.
Oliver O’Connell17 February 2022 23:26
Lawyer charged by Durham seeks dismissal of indictment
A lawyer for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign who was charged by special counsel John Durham with lying to the FBI during a 2016 meeting asked a judge on Thursday to dismiss the indictment, calling it a case of “extraordinary prosecutorial overreach.”
Lawyers for Michael Sussmann said that if the indictment were allowed to proceed, it would “risk criminalizing ordinary conduct, raise First Amendment concerns, dissuade honest citizens from coming forward with tips, and chill the advocacy of lawyers who interact with the government.”
Durham was tasked in 2019 by then-Attorney General William Barr with investigating potential government misconduct during the early days of the investigation into potential coordination between Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and Russia. He was given the title of special counsel in 2020, in the final weeks of the Trump administration, to ensure that he could continue his work once Joe Biden became president.
Sussmann is accused of lying to the FBI’s then-general counsel during a September 2016 meeting in which he relayed concerns from cybersecurity researchers about potentially suspicious internet data involving a Russia-based bank and the Trump Organization. Prosecutors say Sussmann misled the FBI by saying during the meeting that he was not acting on behalf of a particular client when he was actually representing the interests of the Clinton campaign and a technology executive who had furnished Sussmann with the data and analysis.
Oliver O’Connell17 February 2022 23:00
Democrats channel midterm messages with coronation for New York’s first woman governor
Alex Woodward writes:
Within less than a year, New York Democrats heralded the state’s first woman governor, gave her a resounding endorsement to a full term, welcomed a new New York City mayor, and approved freshly drawn political district lines that give Democrats an edge in upcoming elections.
Governor Kathy Hochul’s ascent is a remarkable turn from this time last year, before Andrew Cuomo’s resignation in the wake of sexual harassment allegations and a looming impeachment investigation from state legislators.
Within a few months, Governor Hochul has resurrected an office mired in controversy, abandoned Mr Cuomo’s antagonistic relationship with state legislators, neutralised primary opponents in the governor’s race, and secured the backing of party powerbrokers.
Oliver O’Connell17 February 2022 22:40
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