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Trump news: Judge says ‘plausible’ ex-president incited Jan 6 riot as Mar-a-Lago docs referred to DoJ

Follow the latest on Donald Trump and the White House

Related Video: Hilary Clinton knocks Donald Trump being in ‘trouble’

It has been a difficult week for the former president and his family.

The 15 boxes of White House records stored at former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence contained classified national security information, the National Archives. The Justice Department has been informed as this puts Mr Trump in violation of a number of federal criminal statutes.

Meanwhile, former first lady Melania Trump has attacked the press for covering a Florida investigation into a charity event she hosted. And in Washington, the 6 January committee investigating the Capitol riot is reportedly also considering a subpoena for Ivanka Trump if she doesn’t cooperate with its inquiry.

Meanwhile, in a major turn in the New York authorities’ long-running investigation into Mr Trump’s affairs — a probe he described as “racist” and a “political witch hunt” — a judge on Thursday refused to quash subpoenas and depositions filed against Donald Trump, Donald Trump Jr, and Ivanka Trump in the New York probe into the Trump Organization’s business practices, meaning all three will have to testify.

Further to that, on Friday afternoon, a federal judge has rejected Mr Trump’s bid to toss out conspiracy lawsuits against him for allegedly sparking the Capitol riot, saying the allegations were “plausible”.

As far as Mr Trump, the right-wing media and much of the GOP are concerned, however, the real scandal is a debunked story that Hillary Clinton “spied” on him. In a speech yesterday, Ms Clinton derided the story: “It is one thing to have political disagreements, those are natural and healthy. But it is an entirely different thing altogether to lose a shared sense of truth, facts and reality itself.”

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Donald Trump remains on top of the Republican Party and the most popular choice for the party’s 2024 nomination, and a new report details just how far-ranging an effect his control over the GOP is having.

An Axios report on Thursday revealed that Mr Trump’s dominance over the party can now be measured by more than just soft political power; the party’s fundraising trends show that the former president now controls nearly a quarter of the share of donations bound from GOP donors to candidates and causes.

According to the news outlet, 22 per cent of all money raised on the GOP’s digital WinRed fundraising platform went to just two committees, both controlled by Mr Trump: the Save America PAC and the Trump Make America Great Again Committee.

John Bowden has the story.

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Melania Trump accused of placing winning bid in first sale on her new NFT platform

The winner of Melania Trump’s first NFT auction appears to be the former first lady herself, according to a report.

The Bloomberg News analysed transactions on the Solana blockchain and found links between her — or at least her team members — to the winning bid of 1,800 SOL [the equivalent of $185,000].

Solana blockchain hosted the auction of Melania Trump’s “Head of State Collection 2022.”

Maroosha Muzzafar reports.

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Trump, Don Jr and Ivanka must testify in New York probe of his business practices, court rules

A judge ruled that former president Donald Trump as well as his children Donald Trump Jr and Ivanka Trump must testify in an investigation into his business practices being conducted by the New York attorney general’s office.

More follows...

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Judge delivers ‘blistering’ 8-page ruling

Justice Engoran says it would have been a “blatant dereliction of duty” for the office of the attorney general not to subpoena the Trump family given the baisis of the investigation was sworn congressional testimony by Michael Cohen.

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Trump’s Truth Social opens to hundreds of testers

Details about former U.S. President Donald Trump’s new social media app are trickling out as about 500 beta testers have begun using an early version of “Truth Social”, two sources told Reuters.

The testing of Truth Social comes a year after Trump was banned from Facebook, Twitter and Alphabet’s YouTube. His new media and technology venture, Trump Media & Technology Group (TMTG), has pledged to deliver an “engaging and censorship-free experience” on the app, which Chief Executive Devin Nunes has said will launch by the end of March.

TMTG remains shrouded in secrecy and is regarded with scepticism by some in tech and media circles. It remains unclear whether the app’s goal of freedom of expression can co-exist with Apple’s and Google’s app store policies. TMTG was not immediately available to comment.

Reuters

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NY AG James: ‘No one is above the law'

New York Attorney General Letitia James statement:

“Today, justice prevailed. Donald J Trump, Donald Trump, Jr, and Ivanka Trump have been ordered by the court to comply with our lawful investigation into Mr Trump and the Trump Organization’s financial dealings. No one will be permitted to stand in the way of the pursuit of justice, no matter how powerful they are. No one is above the law.”

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Fox News cuts away from Clinton speech when says US needs to reject the ‘big lie'

Fox News cut away from a speech to New York Democrats after she said people need to reject the “big lie” about the 2020 election.

Ms Clinton also said that the country is “deeply and dangerously divided.”

“It is one thing to have political disagreements, those are natural and healthy. But it is an entirely different thing altogether to lose a shared sense of truth, facts and reality itself.”

“I know many of us hoped that defeating Trump would start to heal our divisions, that maybe, just maybe the madness would break. But now it should be clear to all of us that the struggle for unity and democracy is far from over. “

“When the Republican Party officially embraces violent insurrection as legitimate political discourse, when storming the Capitol, assaulting police officers and trying to overturn the election are being normalised, we are in uncharted territory.”

The former secretary of state also said: “Our adversaries around the world are watching. Republicans are defending coup plotters. They are curbing voting rights at precisely the moment democracy needs champions. When we should be standing together against autocracies like Russia and China.”

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What next for the Trumps?

CNN legal analyst outlines the options for the Trumps.

(1) Trump appeals;

(2) Assuming appeal is unsuccessful, Trump, Ivanka and Don Jr. must testify under oath;

(3) Trumps likely take the Fifth, as Eric Trump did. Fifth cannot be used against anyone in a criminal proceeding, but can be used in a civil case.

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Former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen reacts

The former Trump lawyer reminds us of his former boss’ declaration that only guilty people plead the fifth.

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More on that Hillary speech

The Independent’s Richard Hall was at the Sheraton Times Square in New York City for Hillary Clinton’s speech today to New York State Democrats.

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