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Trump news – live: FBI Mar-a-Lago raid leaves furious GOP leaders promising to investigate Justice Department

Mr Trump said his Florida residence was ‘currently under siege, raided, and occupied by a large group of FBI agents’

Trump supporters rally outside Mar-a-Lago after news of FBI raid

FBI agents have executed a search warrant at former president Donald Trump’s home at his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida. In a statement on Monday evening, Mr Trump said his Florida residence was “currently under siege, raided, and occupied by a large group of FBI agents”, who, among other things, “broke into” a safe belonging to the ex-president.

“These are dark times for our Nation, as my beautiful home, Mar-A-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida, is currently under siege, raided, and occupied by a large group of FBI agents,” Mr Trump wrote.

“Nothing like this has ever happened to a President of the United States before.”

The FBI has for months been investigating the contents of several boxes of White House records the ex-president took with him to Mar-a-Lago rather than turning over to the National Archives as required by law.

Republican leaders are furious at the news of the raid, and have joined Mr Trump in framing it as an act of political persecution. Kevin McCarthy has pledged to investigate the Justice Department should the GOP take back control of the House of Representatives after the midterm elections.

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Democratic Congressman wants Trump to run – and lose

In a tweet from his official campaign account, Democratic Congressman Mark Pocan of Wisconsin – one of the states key to Joe Biden’s 2020 election victory – has suggested that his party should relish the chance of running against a gravely damaged Donald Trump in 2024.

The House campaign arm of the Democratic Party has pursued a controversial strategy of boosting far-right GOP primary candidates in an effort to essentially choose what they consider to be the most beatable opponents. The strategy has gone down extremely badly with incumbent Democrats at both ends of the party’s ideological spectrum, and it’s hard to imagine many of the same sceptics embracing the idea of essentially gambling against another Trump presidency.

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Senate candidate fundraising off FBI raid

JD Vance, the Trump-anointed Ohio Senate candidate whom polls say is struggling to catch up with his Democratic opponent, has already put out a fundraising email calling for donations in the light of the Mar-a-Lago raid.

Mr Vance was one of Mr Trump’s most unsparing right-wing critics before the 2016 election, likening white working-class voters’ support for him to heroin addiction. Since then, however, he has embraced both Mr Trump and a variant of hardcore cultural nationalism now ascendant in the Republican Party.

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“When we get power back”: Laura Ingraham nails colours to the mast

The days when Fox News branded itself as “fair and balanced” were a distant memory long before Donald Trump left office, but the scenes that played out on the network after the ex-president revealed the news of the FBI raid signalled that its leading hosts are no longer inclined to keep up any impression of separating themselves from Mr Trump and the Republican Party.

Here’s one example, from keystone weeknight host and opinionator Laura Ingraham:

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Kevin McCarthy promises DoJ investigation

House minority leader Kevin McCarthy has put out a furious statement reacting to the FBI raid and warning Attorney General Merrick Garland that he should expect to be investigated when Republicans retake control of the House of Representatives, as they are widely expected to after the midterm elections.

Among those hitting back at him is 6 January select committee member Adam Kinzinger, who needled the chair of his party’s caucus for refusing to co-operate with the probe into the ex-president’s incitement of a deadly attack on Congress:

His remarks naturally haven’t gone down well with Democrats either. Former Senator Doug Jones had this rejoinder, pointing out the hypocrisy at work:

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Trump releases new campaign-esque video

Donald Trump has this morning released a new campaign-style video on Truth Social, putting forward what looks much like an extended presidential ad while yet again passing up the chance to declare he is running for the presidency again in the next election.

The ad is built around the claim that America is in mortal peril thanks to the mismanagement of the Biden administration, which Mr Trump says is directly responsible for assorted catastrophes at home and abroad.

This is the same theme he riffed on in his first inauguration speech, where he lamented the “American carnage” that had supposedlyl laid much of the country to waste. The logical implication of this latest video is that in the four years he was president, the situation did not improve.

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Former White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham claimed that former president Donald Trump “did not handle classified documents properly” while in office.

Ms Grisham, who left the administration after the events of 6 January 2021, told CNN: “I sat in an airplane with him, watched him go through documents — throw some away, rip some up, and put some in his pocket.

“Because I remember specifically thinking, ‘I wonder why those go in his pocket.’ So I think this is going to be really interesting.”

Read more from Alisha Rahaman Sarkar.

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Book reveals Trump complained his generals were not ‘totally loyal’ like Hitler’s

Kelly, that he wanted the US’s top generals including retired military figures to show him absolute, unquestioning loyalty while specifically pointing to Nazi Germany as an example.

In a bizarre exchange described by reporters for The New Yorker and The New York Times in an upcoming book Mr Trump is said to have asked his top aide, who himself was a four-star general in charge of US Southern Command, “[W]hy can’t you be like the German generals?”

A bewildered Mr Kelly reportedly responded, “Which generals?” to which Mr Trump supposedly shot back, “The German generals in World War II.”

John Bowden reports on what was said next.

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Alex Jones’ texts turned over to Jan 6 committee

A trove of conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’ text messages spanning a two-year period has reportedly been turned over to the House January 6 select committee.

According to CNN, the text messages are from the same cache revealed last week during Mr Jones’ defamation trial in Travis County, Texas, by attorneys representing parents of children killed during the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre.

Andrew Feinberg has the story.

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Obama ethics tsar says it’s entirely possible that Garland knew about Mar-A-Lago search

The former ethics tsar for ex-president Barack Obama has told The Independent that it is entirely likely that Attorney General Merrick Garland signed off on the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s execution of a search warrant on Donald Trump’s home at Mar-a-Lago in Florida.

The FBI searched Mr Trump’s home in Palm Beach, Florida, which the ex-president immediately criticised, saying the agency “even broke into my safe”.

Norman Eisen, who served in the Obama administration as a special counsel on ethics and government reform, spoke to The Independent and said Mr Garland likely knew about the search.

“I don’t believe that FBI agents and prosecutors would have taken such a momentous step without consulting with the Attorney General,” he said. “We’ll see if that’s true, but I would be astonished if a search warrant on the premises of a former president - the first one in American history - took place without the Attorney General being notified.”

Read the full story here:

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Liz Cheney says she would find it ‘very difficult’ to support a DeSantis presidential run

“I think that Ron DeSantis has lined himself up almost entirely with Donald Trump, and I think that’s very dangerous,” Ms Cheney said.

John Bowden reports.

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