Trump Georgia co-defendant avoids jail over harassing tweets: Live

Fulton County prosector Fani Willis made a rare appearance in court as one of former President Donald Trump’s co-defendants avoids being sent back to jail

Oliver O'Connell,Alex Woodward
Wednesday 22 November 2023 08:10

Fani Willis appears in court to argue Trump co-defendant’s bond should be revoked

One of Donald Trump’s co-defendants in the sprawling Fulton County election subversion case in Georgia has escaped having his bond revoked over tweets that Judge Scott McAfee did not deem amounted to harassment of witnesses in the case under the current terms.

District Attorney Fani Willis, leading the prosecution case, had asked for Harrison Floyd to be jailed. The defence and prosecution teams are now meeting to clarify the terms of the bond.

In other developments in former president Trump’s world of legal woes, on Monday, his lawyers were in federal court in Washington DC for oral arguments concerning the partial gag order in his federal election interference case.

Judge Tanya Chutkan ruled that Mr Trump cannot make “disparaging or “inflammatory” comments about people or entities involved in the case brought by Special Counsel Jack Smith.

Mr Trump’s team argued that restrictions during his 2024 campaign would violate his right to free speech.

A panel of judges didn’t appear to buy that argument, but an official ruling is yet to be made.

Meanwhile, the former president’s New York civil fraud trial has closed out its eighth week. His gag order in that case has been paused.


What is truth and what is fiction? The rise and fall or George Santos

Congressman George Santos’ tenure has been anything but dull — his rise to power and fall from grace have been equally mired in controversy.

After less than two years in Congress, his list of lies and scandals appears to have finally grown too long for him to defend anymore, as he announced he wouldn’t seek re-election in 2024 after the release of a damning House Ethics Committee report.

The committee said it found “substantial evidence” that Mr Santos had broken federal laws after finding “additional uncharged and unlawful conduct,” which included using campaign funds to make purchases at Hermes, Sephora and OnlyFans.

In 2022, Mr Santos was elected as the Republican Party’s first openly gay, non-incumbent member of Congress, and touted himself as a living embodiment of the American dream.

But he has since been exposed as a serial fabricator, and now an accused criminal.

Here’s what we know about the rise and demise of George Anthony Devolder Santos.

The incredible rise and dramatic fall of George Santos

The GOP lawmaker and suspected fraudster’s murky and ever-changing biography makes it difficult to parse truth from fiction, Bevan Hurley reports

Oliver O'Connell22 November 2023 06:45

Analysis: Can Lachlan Murdoch rein in scandal-hit Fox as 2024 election looms?

Bevan Hurley writes:

As anointed son Lachlan Murdoch took the stage at Fox Corporation’s annual meeting in Los Angeles on Friday, he touted the potential windfall the company hoped to see from the 2024 US presidential election.

With national and local political races “heating up”, he told the gathering of execs including father Rupert, board members and shareholders that he expected next year’s pivotal election would drive “strong results across our news properties and local stations”.

The meeting rubber-stamped Lachlan’s takeover as chair of Fox Corporation, days after he officially took charge of the Murdochs’ publishing division News Corp as the chosen child.

Less than a year out from the 2024 presidential election, with the warning signs for democracy flashing red and Donald Trump declaring his authoritarian intentions if reelected, the 52-year-old arguably has the power to shape US politics more than any other executive in the country.

Oliver O'Connell22 November 2023 04:45

Capitol officer’s bodycam shows Jan 6 attacks ahead of his suicide

Newly released video footage has captured the cruel attacks and terrifying situation that a Capitol police officer endured just two weeks before he took his own life.

Officer Jeff Smith’s body camera footage reveals the harrowing reality of what unfolded in the halls of the Capitol building on January 6 2021.

In it, the officer is seen facing a barrage of physical and verbal attacks from rioters.

People are screaming and lining the walls of the monument as officers pass by.

One woman is seen telling Smith: “Get a real job. We don’t support y’all anymore.”

Outside, someone else is yelling repeatedly: “You stand with criminals! You stand with criminals!”

Kelly Rissman has the story.

Capitol officer’s bodycam shows Jan 6 attacks two weeks before suicide

Smith was one of four Capitol Police officers who took their own lives following the attack

Oliver O'Connell22 November 2023 03:45

More than 30 of Trump’s private messages shared with Jack Smith by X

Elon Musk’s X platform handed over 32 direct messages from Donald Trump’s account with the social media platform to special counsel Jack Smith as part of his election subversion probe.

The former president was a voracious user of his @realDonaldTrump as he tried to overturn Joe Biden’s 2020 election victory, but was suspended by the platform, formerly known as Twitter, in the wake of the January 6 attack “due to the risk of further incitement of violence.”

Last November, following Mr Musk’s $44bn purchase of the social media app, the billionaire said that banning Mr Trump had been a mistake. The former president, who has a financial stake in Truth Social, said that he would never return to Twitter, but in August posted there for the first time in two years.

But that has not stopped federal prosecutors from getting access to a string of Mr Trump’s private messages from the high-profile account, according to court filings.

Graeme Massie reports.

Twitter gives special counsel Jack Smith 32 of Trump’s private messages

Prosecutors have not given any detail about the nature of the messages handed over by Elon Musk’s platform

Oliver O'Connell22 November 2023 02:45

Liz Cheney scorns GOP senator for promoting latest Jan 6 conspiracy

The former co-chair of the January 6 investigation in the House brawled with Senator Mike Lee, a fellow Republican, on X, formerly Twitter, over the weekend after he resurfaced a conspiracy regarding the attack on the Capitol.

Mr Lee, a conservative on the right wing of the US Senate, pointed to recently released footage of Capitol Police officers having relatively peaceful interactions with riot participants as evidence that Donald Trump’s supporters were actually welcomed into the Capitol during the attack.

Oliver O'Connell22 November 2023 01:45

Full story: Trump’s Truth Social sues 20 media outlets over financial loss reports

Donald Trump’s Truth Social platform has filed a lawsuit against 20 media organisations for making what it claims to be defamatory statements about the company’s financial losses.

In the lawsuit, filed in the 12th Judicial Court of Sarasota County, Florida, on Monday, Trump Media & Technology Group (TMTG) accuses the “reckless and malicious” outlets of falsely reporting that the company had lost $73m since its launch.

The company claims that the “false reporting” was part of a “seemingly coordinated effort to destroy TMTG and Truth Social”.

“This case is about an unprecedented and seemingly coordinated media campaign, by no less than 20 major media outlets, to attack Trump Media & Technology Group (“TMTG”) and its social media platform, Truth Social, by falsely reporting that TMTG had lost $73 million,” the lawsuit reads.

“This number was an utter fabrication. Each defendant, in apparent coordination, reported the exact same false number within approximately 24 hours of one another, each citing to a public Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) filing, in which the mystery $73 million loss appears nowhere.”

Rachel Sharp has the details.

Trump’s Truth Social sues 20 media outlets over financial loss reports

Trump Media & Technology Group suffered a net loss of $31.6m between the organisation’s founding in February 2021 and 30 June 2023, SEC filing states

Oliver O'Connell22 November 2023 00:45

Much has been made of Biden’s age, but Trump is only four years younger...

When Donald Trump was inaugurated in January 2017, he became the oldest commander-in-chief sworn in at the age of 70 years and 220 days old.

That was surpassed by his successor Joe Biden, who was 78 years and 61 days when he became the country’s 46th president in January 2021.

Before Mr Trump, Ronald Reagan was the oldest person to assume the presidency at 69 years and 349 years old at his first inauguration in 1981.

Reagan was the oldest president when he left office at the age of 77 in 1989, just 22 days away from turning 78.

But depending on who wins the 2024 presidential election, a new record could be set as both Mr Biden and Mr Trump are running for reelection.

Graeme Massie reports.

How old is Donald Trump and how does his age compare to other presidents?

Former president was oldest ever at his inauguration in 2017 before Biden claimed record

Oliver O'Connell21 November 2023 23:45

In pictures: Fulton County bond hearing

Defendant Harrison Floyd, a leader in the organization Black Voices for Trump, appears during a hearing related to the Georgia election indictments

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, left, assistant prosecutor Daysha D. Young, center, and assistant prosecutor Will Wooten listen during a hearing regarding defendant Harrison Floyd

Attorney John E Morrison representing Mr Floyd

Judge Scott McAfee presides over a hearing in the 2020 Georgia election interference case at the Fulton County Courthouse

Fani Willis call on Judge Scott McAfee to revoke Harrison Floyd’s bond and send him to jail, but the judge declined

Oliver O'Connell21 November 2023 23:27

Fulton County DA Fani Willis makes courtroom debut in Trump case hearing

Georgia prosecutor Fani Willis made her debut arguing before a judge and questioning witnesses in a case surrounding Donald Trump’s sprawling election interference case as she pressed a judge to revoke a bond order for one of the former president’s co-defendants.

Her appearance previewed the arguments, evidence and list of witnesses expected to testify in the upcoming trial, among several criminal cases surrounding the frontrunner for the 2024 Republican nomination for president.

Harrison Floyd, the leader of Black Voices for Trump, has “engaged in a pattern of intimidation” against his co-defendants and witnesses since he was released on bond in August, according to the office of Fulton County District Attorney.

But following a three-hour hearing on Tuesday, Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee declined to send Mr Floyd back to jail and directed the parties to draft an order that reels in his public statements.

Alex Woodward has been following the case for The Independent.

Fani Willis makes courtroom debut in Trump election interference case

Georgia prosecutor pressed a judge to revoke bond for one of the ex-president’s co-defendants for witness intimidation

Oliver O'Connell21 November 2023 23:02

Cassidy Hutchinson gives dire warning about second Trump presidency

Cassidy Hutchinson, a former White House aide under the Trump administration, issued a grim warning about the state of democracy in the US should Donald Trump win the presidential election in 2024.

“If Donald Trump is elected president again in 2024, I do fear that it will be the last election where we’re voting for democracy because if he is elected again, I don’t think we’ll be voting under the same Constitution,” Ms Hutchinson told Jen Psaki onInside with Jen Psaki.

Ms Hutchinson worked in close proximity to Mr Trump, especially toward the end of his presidency when the events on January 6 unfolded. She testified to Congress that Mr Trump knowingly said and did things leading up to the attack on the Capitol that encouraged the mob.

Now she’s warning voters to choose wisely next year, should the election be another matchup between President Joe Biden and Mr Trump.

Ariana Baio has the story.

Cassidy Hutchinson warns that another Trump presidency could threaten democracy

Former White House aide said should Trump and Biden face off in the next election, voters should choose the Democrat

Oliver O'Connell21 November 2023 22:30

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