BITCOIN

Ex-Trump aide Peter Navarro found guilty of contempt of Congress – as it happened

Ex-Trump aide Peter Navarro found guilty on contempt of Congress charges

Former Trump White House official Peter Navarro has been found guilty of two counts of criminal contempt of Congress after he ignored a subpoena issued last year by the House January 6 committee during the investigation into the Capitol attack.

It’s 6pm Eastern time. Here’s a recap of today’s developments:

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  • Peter Navarro, a White House adviser to Donald Trump, was found guilty of contempt of Congress when he refused to cooperate with an investigation of the deadly January 6 attack on the US Capitol. Navarro, who had promoted his baseless claims of mass voter fraud, was convicted of two misdemeanor counts of contempt of Congress, both punishable by up to a year behind bars.

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  • Donald Trump filed notice in Fulton County that he “may” seek to have his 2020 election subversion case removed to federal court. Sources told the Guardian that Trump’s legal team is waiting to see what happens with former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and his arguments before taking that step. There is warranted skepticism that Trump’s efforts to remove the case will prove successful.

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  • Fani Willis, the Fulton county district attorney, accused House judiciary committee chair Jim Jordan of improperly interfering in her criminal prosecution of Trump and 18 other allies over efforts to overturn the 2020 election in Georgia. In a scathing nine-page letter to Jordan, Willis said the congressman “lack[s] a basic understanding of the law” and that “there is no justification in the Constitution for Congress to interfere with a state criminal matter, as you attempt to do.”

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  • Willis on Wednesday asked a judge to shield prospective jurors’ identities, after grand jurors who indicted Trump and his 18 co-defendants last month faced harassment after their names and addresses were posted online. Willis has also faced racist online abuse amid a proliferation of calls to violence across far-right sites since the charges were made public.

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  • A majority of likely Democratic voters say the party should nominate someone other than Joe Biden for president next year, according to a new poll. Biden’s own poll numbers remain stubbornly low – the president’s approval rating was just 39%, while nearly 60% of respondents said they thought Biden’s policies had made economic conditions worse and 76% said they were seriously concerned that, at 80, the president was too old to serve a full term if re-elected.

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  • The White House is bracing for political trench warfare after prosecutors pursuing Joe Biden’s son on a gun possession charge said they would seek a criminal indictment by the end of September. The prospect of Hunter Biden standing trial is likely to energise Republicans preparing to launch an impeachment inquiry into the president even as Congress tries to avert a government shutdown.

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  • The Democratic Pennsylvania senator John Fetterman directly dismissed Republican moves towards impeaching Joe Biden, saying doing so could end up hurting the GOP. “Go ahead. Do it, I dare you,” Fetterman told reporters on Capitol Hill. “If you can find the votes, go ahead, because you’re going to lose. It’s a loser. It would just be like a big circle jerk on the fringe right.”

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  • Florida governor Ron DeSantis vowed to fight recent efforts to respond to a rise in coronavirus cases across the US, while his state surgeon general, Joseph Ladapo, warned against the latest Covid-19 vaccine. At a Jacksonville news conference on Thursday, DeSantis and Ladapo promised Florida would not join states, cities or school districts across the country in temporarily closing schools or mandating mask-wearing because of the recent uptick in Covid-19 cases.

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  • During the same press conference, DeSantis lashed out at an audience member who blamed him for the recent racist killing in Jacksonville that left three Black people dead. The unidentified audience member accused DeSantis of allowing “people to hunt people like me”, to which the governor responded: “That is such nonsense!”

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  • In a heated interview, the Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy four times refused to answer the MSNBC host Mehdi Hasan when asked to explain his own words: that Donald Trump’s “abhorrent” behaviour made him a “danger to democracy”.

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  • South Dakota governor Kristi Noem is expected to endorse Donald Trump at a campaign rally in the state on Friday, according to a report, amid speculation the Republican governor could be potential running mate for the former president if he wins the GOP nomination.

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Florida governor Ron DeSantis vowed to fight recent efforts to respond to a rise in coronavirus cases across the US, while his state surgeon general, Joseph Ladapo, warned against the latest Covid-19 vaccine.

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At a Jacksonville news conference on Thursday, DeSantis and Ladapo promised Florida would not join states, cities or school districts across the country in temporarily closing schools or mandating mask-wearing because of the recent uptick in Covid-19 cases, according to an AP report.

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“People are lurching toward this insanity again,” DeSantis said.

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As we see these things being orchestrated … there needs to be pushback.

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His remarks came on the same day his GOP presidential campaign sent out an email to supporters pledging to “fight back against every bogus attempt the Left makes to expand government control” in relation to Covid-19 measures.

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Lapado, whose previous warnings against Covid-19 vaccines have been criticized by federal health agencies who said his claims were harmful to the public, said there were no arguments for getting the latest vaccine. He added:

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There are a lot of red flags.

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Vice-President Kamala Harris has dismissed questions about Joe Biden’s age, telling a television interviewer she is prepared to be commander in chief, but that it won’t be necessary, Reuters writes.

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Joe Biden is going to be just fine,” Harris said, when asked about concerns that Biden is too old to run again.

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Biden, who will turn 81 in November and would be 82 at the start of a prospective second four-year term in January 2025, faces skeptical American voters who will decide whether to elect the Democrat for another four years in November 2024.

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His leading opponent, Republican Donald Trump, is 77. American voters tell pollsters they’d like to see younger candidates for president.

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Some Republican presidential candidates, including former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, have said a vote for Biden would end up being a vote for Harris, who had a 40% approval rating in an average of polls compiled by politics website Five Thirty Eight.

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Harris, on a trip to an Asian leaders summit meeting in Jakarta, told CBS News, when asked if she was prepared to take over the presidency, “Yes, I am, if necessary. But Joe Biden is going to be fine. Let me tell you something: I work with Joe Biden every day.”

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Harris also rejected criticism by Republicans who said electing her would be risky.
“They feel the need to attack because they’re scared that we will win based on the merit of the work that Joe Biden and I, and our administration has done,” she said.

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dismisses Biden age concerns”,”contributors”:[{[{“name”:”Joanna Walters”,”imageUrl”:”https://i.guim.co.uk/img/uploads/2022/12/13/Joanna_Walters.jpg?width=300&quality=85&auto=format&fit=max&s=9753f493de414f16f919e3a73fb7a3fc”,”largeImageUrl”:”https://i.guim.co.uk/img/uploads/2022/12/13/Joanna_Walters_Next_Gen.png?width=300&quality=85&auto=format&fit=max&s=ce789e61f5c53125de905d4e32561cae”}],”primaryDateLine”:”Thu 7 Sep 2023 18.00 EDT”,”secondaryDateLine”:”First published on Thu 7 Sep 2023 08.59 EDT”},{“id”:”64fa2dd88f089e7c823f025a”,”elements”:[{[{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

Former Trump White House official Peter Navarro has been found guilty of two counts of criminal contempt of Congress after he ignored a subpoena issued last year by the House January 6 committee during the investigation into the Capitol attack.

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Donald Trump’s legal team are expected to rely on a little known legal statute called the federal officer removal statute to argue the case should be moved to federal court, and that jurisdictional question could delay a trial for months.

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The statute allows a federal official to have a state case moved to federal court if the matter of concern is “for or relating to any act under color of such office”. Trump’s legal team is expected to argue that, as he attempted to overturn Joe Biden’s 2020 victory in Georgia, he was acting in his official capacity as president, and thus the case is a federal issue.

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A federal judge will be called upon to determine whether Trump’s case will remain in state court. If a judge rules in Trump’s favor, the case would move out of Fulton county, killing the possibility of a televised trial and significantly altering the legal stakes for the former president.

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“This jurisdictional issue is the key to this case right now,” said Eric Segall, a professor at Georgia State University College of Law. “Talking about anything other than the federal removal statute is putting the cart before the horse.”

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If Trump’s motion is successful, the case could continue in federal court, but Segall warned that such a ruling might ultimately result in a dismissal of the charges.

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“He may get immunity in federal court … States aren’t allowed to arrest federal officers for performing federal duties,” Segall said.

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n

The issue is not, did he do the acts? The issue is, is it part of his official conduct? And if it is, charges could get dropped.

n

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Donald Trump may seek removal of his prosecution to federal court in the Georgia 2020 election subversion case, according to a court filing by his lawyers.

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Here’s a copy of the filing, shared by Lawfare’s Anna Bower:

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n”,”url”:”https://twitter.com/annabower/status/1699838817287696680?s=46&t=vMP-RVaAIco8xr2uGDFCOw”,”id”:”1699838817287696680″,”hasMedia”:false,”role”:”inline”,”isThirdPartyTracking”:false,”source”:”Twitter”,”elementId”:”3e558ae5-f68d-4847-a7ac-65826af3e7c9″}],”attributes”:{“pinned”:false,”keyEvent”:true,”summary”:false},”blockCreatedOn”:1694108705000,”blockCreatedOnDisplay”:”13.45 EDT”,”blockLastUpdated”:1694108793000,”blockLastUpdatedDisplay”:”13.46 EDT”,”blockFirstPublished”:1694108794000,”blockFirstPublishedDisplay”:”13.46 EDT”,”blockFirstPublishedDisplayNoTimezone”:”13.46″,”title”:”Trump may seek removal of Georgia election subversion case to federal court – filing”,”contributors”:[],”primaryDateLine”:”Thu 7 Sep 2023 18.00 EDT”,”secondaryDateLine”:”First published on Thu 7 Sep 2023 08.59 EDT”},{“id”:”64fa077c8f086d013616d357″,”elements”:[{[{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

Florida governor Ron DeSantis had a heated exchange during a press conference with an audience member who blamed him for the recent racist killing in Jacksonville that left three Black people dead.

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An unidentified audience member accused DeSantis of allowing “people to hunt people like me”. The Florida governor responded:

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n

That is nonsense. That is such nonsense!

n

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The man, who was removed from the press conference, accused DeSantis of enacting policies “that hurt people like myself and the people that I love,” including his children. He said:

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n

You have allowed weapons to fill the street into immature, hateful people that have caused the deaths of the people who were murdered a few weeks ago.

n

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The audience member spoke about Trayvon Martin, the 17-year-old Black boy murdered in Sanford, Florida, in 2012 by George Zimmerman. DeSantis interrupted, saying that “I did not allow anything with that.”

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n

I’m not going to let you accuse me of committing criminal activity. I am not going to take that.

n

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The Jacksonville shooting sparked criticism of DeSantis and his policies on guns and education, and the Florida governor was loudly booed as he addressed a vigil for the deceased.

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Fani Willis, the Fulton county district attorney, has accused House judiciary committee chair Jim Jordan of improperly interfering in her criminal prosecution of Donald Trump and 18 other allies over efforts to overturn the 2020 election in Georgia.

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In a scathing nine-page letter to Jordan first reported by the Atlanta Journal–Constitution, Willis wrote:

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n

There is no justification in the Constitution for Congress to interfere with a state criminal matter, as you attempt to do.

n

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The letter comes after Jordan demanded Willis turn over documents and communications with the Department of Justice, among other information, by today. In the letter, Willis wrote:

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n

Its obvious purpose is to obstruct a Georgia criminal proceeding and to advance outrageous misrepresentations.

n

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She went on to say:

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n

Your letter makes clear that you lack a basic understanding of the law, its practice and the ethical obligations of attorneys generally and prosecutors specifically.

n

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Fani Willis, the Fulton county district attorney in Georgia who is prosecuting Donald Trump and 18 other allies over efforts to overturn the 2020 election, asked a judge to shield prospective jurors’ identities.

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In a motion filed late afternoon on Wednesday, Willis asked the court to “prevent any defendant, members of the press, or any other person from videotaping, photographing, drawing, or otherwise creating or publishing images of the jurors or prospective jurors inside or outside the courtroom”.

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The move comes after the grand jurors who indicted Trump and his 18 co-defendants last month faced harassment after their names and addresses were posted online. Willis has also faced racist online abuse amid a proliferation of calls to violence across far-right sites since the charges were made public.

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The motion states that the grand jurors’ information was posted “with the intent to harass and intimidate them” and that Willis’ own personal information and that of her family and staff were posted online ”intertwined with derogatory and racist remarks”.

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Donald Trump is locked in a virtual dead heat with Joe Biden in a hypothetical 2024 presidential election rematch, according to a new poll, with the former president leading by one percentage point.

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The CNN poll, published today and conducted by SSRS, shows Biden facing continued low approval including from his own Democratic party, amid concerns about his age and negative job ratings overall.

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Nearly half of registered voters (46%) said any Republican presidential nominee would be a better choice than Biden, the poll shows.

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Among Democratic and Democratic-leaning voters, 67% said the party should nominate someone other than Biden – compared with 54% in March.

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Hypothetical matchups between Biden and the other major GOP candidates suggest there would be no clear winner, except if he were to run against former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley – she leads Biden 49% to 43%. No other GOP candidate showed more than a two-point margin in the matchup with Biden.

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The biggest concern among voters was Biden’s age. Roughly three-quarters of Americans polled (73%) said they are seriously concerned that the 80-year-old president’s age might negatively affect his current level of physical and mental competence, while 76% were concerned about his ability to serve another full term as president if reelected.

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The presidential foundations of almost every former American leader dating back to Herbert Hoover yesterday released a joint statement calling on Americans to band together to support democracy.

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The statement was endorsed by organizations created by both former Democratic and Republicans presidents, including more recent leaders like Barack Obama and George W Bush, and statesmen from eras past such as Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Harry Truman.

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The statement reads, in part:

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Americans have a strong interest in supporting democratic movements and respect for human rights around the world because free societies elsewhere contribute to our own security and prosperity here at home. But that interest is undermined when others see our own house in disarray. The world will not wait for us to address our problems, so we must both continue to strive toward a more perfect union and help those abroad looking for U.S. leadership.

n

Each of us has a role to play and responsibilities to uphold. Our elected officials must lead by example and govern effectively in ways that deliver for the American people. This, in turn, will help to restore trust in public service. The rest of us must engage in civil dialogue; respect democratic institutions and rights; uphold safe, secure, and accessible elections; and contribute to local, state, or national improvement.

n

By signing this statement, we reaffirm our commitment to the principles of democracy undergirding this great nation, protecting our freedom, and respecting our fellow citizens. When united by these convictions, America is stronger as a country and an inspiration for others.

n

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No names are named, but the declaration’s release comes as Donald Trump pursues a return to the White House while simultaneously arguing, without evidence, that his 2020 election loss was illegitimate. He is also facing four separate criminal indictments, two of which concern his failed attempts to remain in office despite losing re-election; no other former US president has faced such charges.

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The Associated Press reports that executive director of the George W Bush Institute David Kramer organized the joint declaration, and the Republican former president “did see and signed off on this statement.” The only former president whose center did not sign on was Dwight D Eisenhower, whose Eisenhower Foundation told the AP, “It would be the first common statement that the presidential centers and foundations have ever issued as a group, but we have had no collective discussion about it, only an invitation to sign.”

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Closing arguments have started in the trial of former Donald Trump White House aide Peter Navarro, who is facing contempt of Congress charges for not complying with a subpoena from the January 6 committee.

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A jury is expected to begin deliberating his case later today, Politico reports:

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Navarro advised Trump on trade issues, particularly regarding China, and on Covid-19. He did not respond to two subpoenas issued last year by the bipartisan House of Representatives panel investigating the attack on the Capitol, which demanded documents and testimony from him. Here’s more on his trial, from yesterday:

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Good morning, US politics blog readers. The stage seems set for Donald Trump to be spending a lot of time in court next year, right as the presidential election campaign gets under way. He’s been indicted four times, and the trial for his federal charges related to trying to overturn the 2020 election has been set for 4 March, right before the pivotal “Super Tuesday” where several states hold the day primaries.

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But now it appears that his opponent, Joe Biden, will find himself dealing with his own legal headache in the months to come, though it’s not him in peril – it’s his son. Yesterday, prosecutors said they intended to indict Hunter Biden before the end of the month, the latest development in a long-running investigation that Republicans have obsessed over in their quest to prove the president is corrupt. We don’t yet know the charges against Biden, or whether he’ll try to negotiate a plea deal and avoid a trial, but the matter could bedevil the president as he tries to convince Americans to give him another four years in the White House.

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Here’s what else is happening today:

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  • Biden will leave this afternoon for New Delhi, India, to participate in a summit of G20 leaders, before later visiting Vietnam.

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  • Texas’s state Senate continues the impeachment trial of attorney general Ken Paxton, a rightwing Republican who has used the office to pursue conservative causes but now stands accused of corruption.

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  • A Trump critic very narrowly lost the Republican primary for a soon-to-be-vacant Utah congressional seat.

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Key events

Please turn on JavaScript to use this feature

Closing summary

It’s 6pm Eastern time. Here’s a recap of today’s developments:

  • Peter Navarro, a White House adviser to Donald Trump, was found guilty of contempt of Congress when he refused to cooperate with an investigation of the deadly January 6 attack on the US Capitol. Navarro, who had promoted his baseless claims of mass voter fraud, was convicted of two misdemeanor counts of contempt of Congress, both punishable by up to a year behind bars.

  • Donald Trump filed notice in Fulton County that he “may” seek to have his 2020 election subversion case removed to federal court. Sources told the Guardian that Trump’s legal team is waiting to see what happens with former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and his arguments before taking that step. There is warranted skepticism that Trump’s efforts to remove the case will prove successful.

  • Fani Willis, the Fulton county district attorney, accused House judiciary committee chair Jim Jordan of improperly interfering in her criminal prosecution of Trump and 18 other allies over efforts to overturn the 2020 election in Georgia. In a scathing nine-page letter to Jordan, Willis said the congressman “lack[s] a basic understanding of the law” and that “there is no justification in the Constitution for Congress to interfere with a state criminal matter, as you attempt to do.”

  • Willis on Wednesday asked a judge to shield prospective jurors’ identities, after grand jurors who indicted Trump and his 18 co-defendants last month faced harassment after their names and addresses were posted online. Willis has also faced racist online abuse amid a proliferation of calls to violence across far-right sites since the charges were made public.

  • A majority of likely Democratic voters say the party should nominate someone other than Joe Biden for president next year, according to a new poll. Biden’s own poll numbers remain stubbornly low – the president’s approval rating was just 39%, while nearly 60% of respondents said they thought Biden’s policies had made economic conditions worse and 76% said they were seriously concerned that, at 80, the president was too old to serve a full term if re-elected.

  • The White House is bracing for political trench warfare after prosecutors pursuing Joe Biden’s son on a gun possession charge said they would seek a criminal indictment by the end of September. The prospect of Hunter Biden standing trial is likely to energise Republicans preparing to launch an impeachment inquiry into the president even as Congress tries to avert a government shutdown.

  • The Democratic Pennsylvania senator John Fetterman directly dismissed Republican moves towards impeaching Joe Biden, saying doing so could end up hurting the GOP. “Go ahead. Do it, I dare you,” Fetterman told reporters on Capitol Hill. “If you can find the votes, go ahead, because you’re going to lose. It’s a loser. It would just be like a big circle jerk on the fringe right.”

  • Florida governor Ron DeSantis vowed to fight recent efforts to respond to a rise in coronavirus cases across the US, while his state surgeon general, Joseph Ladapo, warned against the latest Covid-19 vaccine. At a Jacksonville news conference on Thursday, DeSantis and Ladapo promised Florida would not join states, cities or school districts across the country in temporarily closing schools or mandating mask-wearing because of the recent uptick in Covid-19 cases.

  • During the same press conference, DeSantis lashed out at an audience member who blamed him for the recent racist killing in Jacksonville that left three Black people dead. The unidentified audience member accused DeSantis of allowing “people to hunt people like me”, to which the governor responded: “That is such nonsense!”

  • In a heated interview, the Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy four times refused to answer the MSNBC host Mehdi Hasan when asked to explain his own words: that Donald Trump’s “abhorrent” behaviour made him a “danger to democracy”.

  • South Dakota governor Kristi Noem is expected to endorse Donald Trump at a campaign rally in the state on Friday, according to a report, amid speculation the Republican governor could be potential running mate for the former president if he wins the GOP nomination.

Joan E Greve

Joan E Greve

Much will be riding on Donald Trump’s ability to remove the case to federal court.

The racketeering charge filed against Trump carries a sentence of five to 20 years in prison. If Trump were convicted in Georgia, he could not pardoned by a sympathetic president because the charges were filed at the state level. In Georgia, the governor does not even have the power to issue pardons, as that duty lies with the state’s board of pardons and paroles.

According to Ronald Carlson, a professor at the University of Georgia School of Law, Trump could not even apply for a pardon until he has been convicted and served five years in a Georgia prison. He said:

The stakes for the Trump team are really high in Georgia, so I expect a full-fledged defense by President Trump. Probably a lot of that will verge on political bias.

Trump has already offered a preview of that politically driven strategy. In a statement issued last month, Trump’s presidential campaign attacked Fulton county district attorney Fani Willis as a “radical Democrat” and “rabid partisan”. Despite those personal attacks, Willis appeared undaunted as she spoke to reporters shortly after the indictment was unsealed.

Eric Segall, a professor at Georgia State University College of Law, believes Trump may succeed at removing the case to federal court, but he expressed hope that a group of Georgians will eventually have the opportunity to issue a verdict on the former president’s election subversion efforts. He said:

I’m talking as a citizen more than as a law professor, but I think Donald Trump is an existential threat to our country. And I think a Georgia jury should decide if he broke the law in Georgia.

Florida governor DeSantis and surgeon general rally against new Covid-19 precautions amid rise in cases

Florida governor Ron DeSantis vowed to fight recent efforts to respond to a rise in coronavirus cases across the US, while his state surgeon general, Joseph Ladapo, warned against the latest Covid-19 vaccine.

At a Jacksonville news conference on Thursday, DeSantis and Ladapo promised Florida would not join states, cities or school districts across the country in temporarily closing schools or mandating mask-wearing because of the recent uptick in Covid-19 cases, according to an AP report.

“People are lurching toward this insanity again,” DeSantis said.

As we see these things being orchestrated … there needs to be pushback.

His remarks came on the same day his GOP presidential campaign sent out an email to supporters pledging to “fight back against every bogus attempt the Left makes to expand government control” in relation to Covid-19 measures.

Lapado, whose previous warnings against Covid-19 vaccines have been criticized by federal health agencies who said his claims were harmful to the public, said there were no arguments for getting the latest vaccine. He added:

There are a lot of red flags.

South Dakota governor Kristi Noem is expected to endorse Donald Trump at a campaign rally in the state on Friday, sources told CNN, amid speculation the Republican governor could be potential running mate for the former president if he wins the GOP nomination.

Trump is expected to join Noem in the South Dakota Republican party’s “Monumental Leaders Rally” in Rapid City on Friday, where she is slated to appear as the event’s special guest.

Noem, who won re-election during the midterms with Trump’s endorsement, was once a potential 2024 candidate herself and in a November 2022 interview with the New York Times that she didn’t believe Trump offered “the best chance” for the Republican party in 2024.

In August, she doubled down on her decision not to run for the GOP primary race, telling Fox News that “none of them can win as long as Trump’s in the race […] So why run if you can’t win?”

The report writes:

While she is expected Friday to formally throw her support behind Trump – a move most other Republican governors have been reluctant to make so far – Noem has demurred on questions about her interest in the nation’s second-highest office.

‘Of course, I would consider it,’ Noem told Fox News host Sean Hannity recently when asked if she would be Trump’s vice president.

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem
South Dakota’s Governor Kristi Noem. Photograph: Phelan M Ebenhack/AP

David Smith

David Smith

An impeachment inquiry into Joe Biden would be sure to enflame America’s bitter political divisions ahead of next year’s presidential election, a likely Biden-Trump rematch. Trump faces criminal and civil trials of his own.

It would also collide with efforts to prevent a shutdown of the federal government. The House is scheduled to meet for just 11 days before the fiscal year ends on 30 September. Members are under pressure to come up with short-term funding to keep government offices functioning and provide emergency funding for Ukraine and disaster relief.

House speaker Kevin McCarthy faces resistance from fellow Republicans, including far-right members who have threatened to shut the government unless they get the impeachment they crave. Marjorie Taylor Greene posted a video, declaring she “will not vote to fund the government” unless the House holds a vote to open an impeachment inquiry.

Some have threatened to oust McCarthy if he stands in the way. Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader in the Senate, admitted last week:

Honestly, it’s a pretty big mess.

Harris dismisses Biden age concerns

Joanna Walters

Joanna Walters

Vice-President Kamala Harris has dismissed questions about Joe Biden’s age, telling a television interviewer she is prepared to be commander in chief, but that it won’t be necessary, Reuters writes.

Joe Biden is going to be just fine,” Harris said, when asked about concerns that Biden is too old to run again.

Biden, who will turn 81 in November and would be 82 at the start of a prospective second four-year term in January 2025, faces skeptical American voters who will decide whether to elect the Democrat for another four years in November 2024.

His leading opponent, Republican Donald Trump, is 77. American voters tell pollsters they’d like to see younger candidates for president.

Some Republican presidential candidates, including former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, have said a vote for Biden would end up being a vote for Harris, who had a 40% approval rating in an average of polls compiled by politics website Five Thirty Eight.

Harris, on a trip to an Asian leaders summit meeting in Jakarta, told CBS News, when asked if she was prepared to take over the presidency, “Yes, I am, if necessary. But Joe Biden is going to be fine. Let me tell you something: I work with Joe Biden every day.”

Harris also rejected criticism by Republicans who said electing her would be risky.
“They feel the need to attack because they’re scared that we will win based on the merit of the work that Joe Biden and I, and our administration has done,” she said.

US Vice President Kamala Harris leaves after attending the East Asia Summit at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit in Jakarta, Indonesia.
Kamala Harris leaves after attending the East Asia Summit at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Summit in Jakarta, Indonesia. Photograph: Reuters

Joanna Walters

Joanna Walters

The verdict on Peter Navarro in court in Washington DC this afternoon was unanimous.

Reuters has more on this:

The 12-member jury found Navarro guilty of two counts of contempt after he refused to testify or turn over documents to the Democratic-led House panel that investigated the Januaruy 6, 2021 riot by Trump supporters and broader attempts by Trump, a Republican, to reverse his 2020 election defeat.

Navarro, wearing a dark suit and red tie, showed no visible reaction when the verdict was read aloud.

“The defendant chose allegiance to former President Trump over compliance with the subpoena,” federal prosecutor Elizabeth Aloi told the jurors during closing arguments earlier on Thursday. “That is contempt. That is a crime.”

The charges carry a minimum of 30 days and a maximum of one year in jail. A sentencing hearing was scheduled for January 12, 2024.

Navarro is a hawk on China policy who advised Trump on trade issues during his presidency and also served on the Covid-19 task force.

The verdict in Navarro’s case in federal court in Washington came after a trial that featured just one day of testimony from three prosecution witnesses, former staff members of the select committee. The defense did not call any witnesses or present any evidence.

Trump advisor Peter Navarro departs federal court following contempt of Congress trial in Washington.
The former Trump adviser Peter Navarro departs federal court following contempt of Congress trial in Washington. Photograph: Leah Millis/Reuters

Peter Navarro, a senior trade adviser during Donald Trump’s presidency, is the second Trump aide to be convicted on contempt of Congress charges after former White House adviser Steve Bannon.

Navarro has been charged with two counts of contempt of Congress, both punishable by up to a year behind bars. Bannon is appealing his own conviction.

Ex-Trump aide Peter Navarro found guilty on contempt of Congress charges

Former Trump White House official Peter Navarro has been found guilty of two counts of criminal contempt of Congress after he ignored a subpoena issued last year by the House January 6 committee during the investigation into the Capitol attack.

Former Donald Trump White House aide Peter Navarro, who is facing contempt of Congress charges for not complying with a subpoena from the January 6 committee, has returned to the Washington DC courtroom to hear the verdict for his trial.

A federal jury began deliberating the criminal contempt of Congress charges against Navarro earlier this afternoon. Navarro faces two counts stemming from his failure to comply with the committee’s demands to produce documents and testimony. Each charge carries a maximum of one year in prison.

The former Trump adviser has long insisted he could not comply with the subpoena because Trump had asserted executive privilege and he was obliged to protect his confidential discussions with Trump when he was the president.

Peter Navarro, an advisor to former president Donald Trump, arrives for the third day of his contempt of Congress trial in Washington, DC on Thursday
Peter Navarro, an advisor to former president Donald Trump, arrives for the third day of his contempt of Congress trial in Washington, DC on Thursday Photograph: Bonnie Cash/UPI/Shutterstock

The White House warned House speaker Kevin McCarthy to “honor” commitments he made to the American people and to approve its request to tie aid for Ukraine with increased disaster relief funding.

McCarthy has been considering tying approval for aid to Ukraine to controversial immigration and asylum policies strongly opposed by Democrats.

A statement from White House spokesperson Andrew Bates reads:

Lives are at stake across a wide range of urgent, bipartisan priorities for the American people that are addressed in President Biden’s supplemental funding request – a request that honors the funding commitments he and both parties in both chambers made to the American people.

Like Senate Republicans, Speaker McCarthy should keep his word about government funding. And he should do so in a way that acts on these pressing issues – including fentanyl, national security, and disaster response – rather than break his promise and cave to the most extreme members of his conference agitating for a baseless impeachment stunt and shutdown.

The White House said Joe Biden tested negative for Covid-19 again, ahead of his scheduled departure for India and Vietnam.

The first lady, Jill Biden, tested positive for Covid-19 on Monday.

Biden is expected to depart for New Delhi on Thursday evening to attend a G20 summit and a stop in Vietnam designed to further cement US influence in Asia.

David Smith

David Smith

Hunter Biden’s case has become a political lightning rod. Republicans accused the justice department of concocting a “sweetheart deal” and raised the prospect of impeaching the president over unsubstantiated claims that he played a role in his son’s foreign business affairs during his time as vice-president.

Hunter has been the target of congressional investigations since Republicans gained control of the House in January. Three committees are pursuing lines of inquiry. They have obtained thousands of pages of financial records from members of the Biden family through subpoenas to the treasury department and financial institutions.

But Republicans have failed to produce evidence that Biden directly participated in his son’s work, though he sometimes had dinner with clients or greeted them on calls.

Although Senate Republicans have voiced scepticism, the momentum behind an impeachment inquiry in the House may prove unstoppable. The speaker, Kevin McCarthy, told Fox News recently:

If you look at all the information we have been able to gather so far, it is a natural step forward that you would have to go to an impeachment inquiry.

Donald Trump – the clear frontrunner for the presidential nomination in 2024 despite facing 91 criminal charges in four jurisdictions and civil lawsuits too – is urging Republicans to move quickly. He told Real America’s Voice:

I don’t know actually how a Republican could not do it. I think a Republican would be primaried and lose immediately, no matter what district you’re in.

Hunter Biden outside federal court in July. He has been the target of investigations since Republicans gained control of the House in January.
Hunter Biden outside federal court in July. He has been the target of investigations since Republicans gained control of the House in January. Photograph: Mark Makela/Getty Images

David Smith

David Smith

The White House is bracing for political trench warfare after prosecutors pursuing Joe Biden’s son on a gun possession charge said they would seek a criminal indictment by the end of September.

The prospect of Hunter Biden standing trial is likely to energise Republicans preparing to launch an impeachment inquiry into the president even as Congress tries to avert a government shutdown.

The White House has reportedly set up a “war room” of two dozen lawyers and aides to combat the Republican effort, partly by studying how Bill Clinton turned his 1998 impeachment to his political advantage.

Long a political liability for his father, Hunter Biden bought a pistol in 2018 and allegedly lied on a federal form by stating he was not a drug user at the time. In a Wednesday court filing, the special counsel David Weiss said the government would seek a grand jury indictment before 29 September.

The development followed the collapse of a plea deal under which Hunter Biden would have entered into a deferred prosecution agreement over the gun charge and pleaded guilty to tax charges too. The younger Biden’s lawyer, Abbe Lowell, insists the deal is still in effect.

We believe the signed and filed diversion agreement remains valid and prevents any additional charges from being filed against Mr Biden, who has been abiding by the conditions of release under that agreement for the last several weeks.

Hugo Lowell

Hugo Lowell

Donald Trump has filed notice in Fulton County that he “may” seek to have his 2020 election subversion case removed to federal court.

I’m told by people familiar that Trump’s legal team is waiting to see what happens with former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and his arguments before taking that step.

The unusual notice appears to have been aimed mainly for presiding Fulton County superior court judge Scott McAfee.

Trump has 30 days from the day of his arraignment – or when he filed his not guilty plea and arraignment waiver on 31 August – to file for removal to federal court. Removal could upend things and McAfee noted the potential logistical headache at a hearing yesterday.

If Meadows wins his removal motion, then the case goes to US district court. If Meadows loses but the US court of appeals for the 11th Circuit reverses, then McAfee could face problem of having started a trial with no jurisdiction.

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