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Trump news – latest: Mar-a-Lago worker makes shock claim about classified papers as Fox announces town hall

As competition builds for the Republican Party 2024 presidential nomination, Donald Trump’s legal woes also continue to mount as a maintenance worker has made a shocking claim about the handling of classified documents at Mar-a-Lago.

The worker recalled helping to move boxes into a storage room just one day before the Department of Justice visited Mar-a-Lago seeking the papers, reported The New York Times.

The worker didn’t know what the boxes contained at the time.

The timing of the move is suspicious and a sign that obstruction may have taken place, according to The Washington Post, which also reports a “dress rehearsal” of such a move took place even before a subpoena for the boxes was issued.

This comes as Mr Trump’s attorneys have called for a meeting with Attorney General Merrick Garland, in what marks the clearest sign yet that an indictment could be on the horizon over the classified documents case.

Mr Trump also appeared in court by video for a second hearing in his criminal hush money case on Tuesday, and E Jean Carroll has amended an outstanding defamation case against the former president – while Ron DeSantis entered the 2024 race.

Key points

  • Trump Mar-a-Lago employees moved boxes of documents day before DoJ visit, report says

  • Trump lawyers request meeting with AG Merrick Garland

  • With insult-riddled post, Trump tries to hijack DeSantis 2024 announcement day

  • Trump appears virtually in Manhattan criminal court as trial date set

  • E Jean Carroll moves to amend defamation case against Trump to include CNN town hall insults

Musk insists DeSantis’s disastrous Twitter launch was a success

10:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Elon Musk has rushed to defend Ron DeSantis’ launch after the Twitter Spaces event was marred by glitches and technical issues.

In a tweet, the Twitter boss insisted that the audio-only event was a success, calling it the “top story on Earth” – despite the biggest talking point from the night being the technical problems plunging it into chaos.

Joe Sommerlad reports.

Elon Musk rushes to defend Ron DeSantis’s disastrous Twitter launch

How did a question about Ukraine turn into a rambling answer about trans rights and climate change?

10:15 , Oliver O'Connell

Andrew Feinberg reports on how the Florida governor failed to answer a direct question about Russia’s war on Ukraine during an interview with Trey Gowdy on Fox News.

DeSantis dodges Ukraine question with bizarre answer about trans rights

DeSantis says he will consider pardon for Trump if elected in 2024

09:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis on Thursday said he would “aggressively” use presidential pardons to free people who’ve been charged or convicted of crimes – including former President Donald Trump.

Speaking during an interview with hosts Buck Sexton and Clay Travis, Mr DeSantis claimed that the Department of Justice has been “weaponised” under the Biden Administration. He cited a laundry list of GOP grievances about federal law enforcement targeting conservative activists and other GOP figures who have allegedly violated federal laws.

Andrew Feinberg reports from Washington, DC.

Ron DeSantis says he will consider pardon for Trump if elected

Trump lawyers ignite speculation of further indictment with letter to Garland

08:45 , Oliver O'Connell

A recent letter by Donald Trump’s lawyers requesting a meeting with US attorney general Merrick Garland has sparked speculation that a fresh indictment could be looming against the former president.

Arpan Rai reports.

Trump lawyers ignite speculation that former president could be indicted yet again

Fury in Trump’s inner circle as Fox News host seems to back DeSantis

07:15 , Oliver O'Connell

Members of Donald Trump’s inner circle called out Fox News host Mark Levin on Twitter for tweeting the link to Ron DeSantis’ campaign and accused the conservative commentator of fundraising for the Florida governor.

On Wednesday (24 May) evening, Levin tweeted the link hours after Mr DeSantis announced he would be joining the race for 2024 president.

Immediately, several Trump allies and supporters began criticising Levin for tweeting the link, believing it was an endorsement of Mr DeSantis.

Ariana Baio has the story.

Trump’s inner circle furious as Fox News host seemingly backs Ron DeSantis

Capitol rioter who put his feet on Pelosi’s desk receives four-year sentence

05:45 , Oliver O'Connell

An Arkansas man who propped his feet on a desk in then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office in a widely circulated photo from the US Capitol riot was sentenced Wednesday to more than four years in prison - after a judge dismissed his claim of being a passive participant in the mob.

Richard “Bigo” Barnett became one of the faces of the January 6 riot by supporters of then-President Donald Trump, and US District Judge Christopher Cooper said in announcing that sentence that Barnett seemed at times to enjoy the notoriety.

Read more...

Capitol rioter who put his feet on Pelosi’s desk is shut down by judge at sentencing

Steve Bannon trial set for May 2024

04:15 , Oliver O'Connell

Steve Bannon, the conservative strategist and longtime all of Donald Trump, will stand trial next May on charges that he duped donors who gave money to build a wall along the U.S. southern border, a judge said Thursday.

Bannon’s trial in the “We Build the Wall” case will start May 27, 2024, right after the former president is scheduled to stand trial in the same Manhattan courtroom in an unrelated criminal case.

Read more...

Steve Bannon’s trial in ‘We Build the Wall’ scheme set for May 2024

How Trump-DeSantis’ relationship deteriorated

03:15 , Oliver O'Connell

It wasn’t always this way.

Before Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis were leading rivals for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, they were allies.

Trump gave DeSantis’ gubernatorial bid an early boost by tweeting his support even before DeSantis formally entered the race. In his 2018 victory speech, DeSantis made sure to thank the president, saying, “I think we’ll have a great partnership.”

Here’s how DeSantis and Trump’s relationship has evolved — and broken down — as the two face-off to take on Democrat Joe Biden:

Friends to foes: How Trump and DeSantis' relationship has deteriorated over the years

Can DeSantis beat Trump? These political veterans aren’t so sure...

02:15 , Oliver O'Connell

He’s a ubiquitous presence in conservative media with a reputation as an anti-woke warrior who has used a compliant state legislature to make Florida a mecca for Trump-era Republicanism.

But if Ron DeSantis wants to be president, he has to defeat Donald Trump and Joe Biden, and prominent Florida politicians aren’t so sure either of those things will ever happen.

Andrew Feinberg and Eric Garcia report.

Can Ron DeSantis beat Donald Trump? These Florida political veterans aren’t so sure

Trump and DeSantis' rivalry intensifies

01:15 , Oliver O'Connell

Ron DeSantis ’ entry into the 2024 White House race against former President Donald Trump sets up a clash of the Republican Party’s two leading figures as the Florida governor attempts to topple a man who has dominated the GOP for the last seven years.

Trump, who has established himself as the clear front-runner for the Republican nomination, has spent the months since he launched his own campaign working to hobble the once-ascendant DeSantis, whom he and his team have long viewed as his most serious challenger. DeSantis so far has tried to remain above the fray, ignoring Trump’s escalating attacks on everything from his record to his personality.

Read more...

Trump and DeSantis' rivalry intensifies as Florida governor formally enters 2024 presidential race

Trump dubs DeSantis 2024 launch ‘DISASTER’

Friday 26 May 2023 00:15 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump mocked the disastrous Twitter Spaces launch of Ron DeSantis’s bid for the White House as he made a bizarre joke about Kim Jong-un.

Graeme Massie has the story.

Trump dubs DeSantis 2024 launch ‘DISASTER’ and crack bizarre joke about ‘red button’

Wisconsin fake electors trial set to start just before 2024 election

Thursday 25 May 2023 23:15 , Oliver O'Connell

A jury trial in a lawsuit seeking $2.4 million in damages from Republicans who attempted to cast Wisconsin‘s 10 electoral votes for Donald Trump in 2020 even though he lost is scheduled to begin just two months before the 2024 presidential election.

Dane County Circuit Judge Frank Remington on Wednesday scheduled the trial to begin on Sept. 3, 2024, and last one month.

Read more...

Wisconsin trial over fake electors set to start just before 2024 presidential election

Trump calls E Jean Carroll a stalker

Thursday 25 May 2023 22:15 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump appears to have defamed E Jean Carroll again after calling her a “stalker” for a decade-old social media post in which she called herself a “massive fan” of The Apprentice.

Read more:

Trump calls E Jean Carroll a stalker over 2012 Facebook comment

Trump says he understood Bill Barr not pursuing Bidens, now claims double standard

Thursday 25 May 2023 22:00 , Oliver O'Connell

In his latest missal from Truth Social, Donald Trump claims he “was sort of OK” with his Attorney General Bill Barr being reticent to pursue an investigation of allegations against Joe Biden and Hunter Biden.

The former president then complains: “Now Biden thugs want to indict me, for NOTHING!”

Here’s the full post:

A very interesting situation is taking place. While I was in office, Bill Barr, as Attorney General, was very slow & unenthusiastic about going after Joe & Hunter Biden regarding their possible criminal activity. Much was being reported in the Media. It was hard getting him to move, but I always felt he believed you just don’t go after Presidents, V.P.’s, & Presidential Candidates very cavalierly. I understood that, & was sort of OK with it. Now Biden thugs want to indict me, for NOTHING!

Trump lambasts DeSantis with new videos

Thursday 25 May 2023 21:30 , Oliver O'Connell

“When the Ron DeSanctimonious facts come out, you will see that he is better than most Democrat governors, but very average, at best, compared to Republican governors!” says former president Donald Trump in a newly released video attacking Florida Governor Ron DeSantis over his Covid-19 record.

Mr Trump adds in a second video that Mr DeSantis is only governor because of him.

Capitol rioter who put his feet on Pelosi’s desk gets four-year sentence

Thursday 25 May 2023 21:00 , Oliver O'Connell

An Arkansas man who propped his feet on a desk in then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office in a widely circulated photo from the US Capitol riot was sentenced Wednesday to more than four years in prison - after a judge dismissed his claim of being a passive participant in the mob.

Read more...

Capitol rioter who put his feet on Pelosi’s desk is shut down by judge at sentencing

Exclusive: IRS agent who claimed Hunter Biden case was ‘slow-walked’ won’t talk to Democratic-led Senate panel

Thursday 25 May 2023 20:30 , Oliver O'Connell

An Internal Revenue Service criminal investigator who has accused Justice Department officials of show-walking a long-running probe into President Joe Biden’s son Hunter’s tax affairs has cut off communication with a key congressional committee amid questions about the veracity of his claims and his motivations for coming forward.

The special agent, Gary Shapley, is a veteran of the IRS criminal investigations department who on Thursday revealed his identity in an interview with CBS News.

Andrew Feinberg filed this exclusive report for The Independent from Washington, DC.

Agent who says Hunter Biden case ‘slow-walked’ won’t talk to Senate

Is the Mar-a-Lago classified papers investigation reaching its conclusions?

Thursday 25 May 2023 20:15 , Oliver O'Connell

Lawyers for Donald Trump on Tuesday asked for a meeting with Attorney General Merrick Garland as a Justice Department investigation into the former president’s handling of classified documents shows signs of winding down.

Read more...

Trump lawyers seek meeting with Garland as Mar-a-Lago investigation shows signs of winding down

Trump Mar-a-Lago employees moved boxes of documents day before DoJ visit, report says

Thursday 25 May 2023 20:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Two members of Donald Trump’s staff moved boxes of documents just a day before the Department of Justice visited Mar-a-Lago, according to a report.

The files were moved the day before FBI agents and a prosecutor visited the private club in Florida’s Palm Beach. The timing of the move is suspicious and a sign that obstruction may have taken place, according to The Washington Post.

Gustaf Kilander is following this developing story.

Trump staff moved documents at Mar-a-Lago day before DoJ visit, report says

DeSantis says he will consider pardon for Trump if elected

Thursday 25 May 2023 19:40 , Oliver O'Connell

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis on Thursday said he would “aggressively” use presidential pardons to free people who’ve been charged or convicted of crimes stemming from participation in the January 6 attack on the Capitol as well as former president Donald Trump.

Andrew Feinberg reports.

Ron DeSantis says he will consider pardon for Trump if elected

Trump workers moved Mar-a-Lago boxes of papers before DOJ visit, report says

Thursday 25 May 2023 19:21 , Oliver O'Connell

Per The Washington Post:

Two of Donald Trump’s employees moved boxes of papers the day before FBI agents and a prosecutor visited the former president’s Florida home to retrieve classified documents in response to a subpoena — timing that investigators have come to view as suspicious and an indication of possible obstruction, according to people familiar with the matter.

Trump and his aides also allegedly carried out a “dress rehearsal” for moving sensitive papers even before his office received the May 2022 subpoena, according to the people familiar with the matter, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe a sensitive ongoing investigation.

Prosecutors in addition have gathered evidence indicating that Trump at times kept classified documents in his office in a place where they were visible and sometimes showed them to others, these people said.

This development comes on the back of a request for a meeting between the Trump legal team and Attorney General Merrick Garland that some have suggested is indicative that the case of the classified document is coming to a head.

Trump lawyers seek meeting with Garland as Mar-a-Lago investigation shows signs of winding down

Fury in Trump’s inner circle as Fox News host seemingly backs Ron DeSantis

Thursday 25 May 2023 19:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Members of Donald Trump’s inner circle called out Fox News host Mark Levin on Twitter for tweeting the link to Ron DeSantis’ campaign and accused the conservative commentator of fundraising for the Florida governor.

On Wednesday (24 May) evening, Levin tweeted the link hours after Mr DeSantis announced he would be joining the race for 2024 president.

Ariana Baio reports on what happened next.

Trump’s inner circle furious as Fox News host seemingly backs Ron DeSantis

A tale of two campaign launches, as told on Truth Social

Thursday 25 May 2023 18:30 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump had very different takes on this week’s two campaign launches as Tim Scott and Ron DeSantis joined the race to be the Republican Party nominee for president in the 2024 election.

Last night he wrote on Truth Social: “Wow! The DeSanctus TWITTER launch is a DISASTER! His whole campaign will be a disaster. WATCH!”

And shortly after, he added: “Tim Scott’s Presidential launch, even with the broken microphone (don’t pay the contractor, Tim!), was by far the best Presidential launch of the week. Robs was a catastrophe!”

On Monday when Mr Scott launched his campaign, the former president posted a warm and welcoming message to the new contender.

Good luck to Senator Tim Scott in entering the Republican Presidential Primary Race. It is rapidly loading up with lots of people, and Tim is a big step up from Ron DeSanctimonious, who is totally unelectable. I got Opportunity Zones done with Tim, a big deal that has been highly successful. Good luck Tim!

There was a cooler reception for Mr DeSantis.

I’d like to personally congratulate “Rob” DeSanctimonious on finally announcing that he will be entering the race for President of the United States. Hopefully he will get the full experience of being attacked by the Marxists, Communists, and Radical Left Lunatics of our Country, without which he will never know the kind of job he is doing. These Lowlifes & Misfits are far worse than the leaders of hostile foreign countries. They must be soundly defeated in order to MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!

That post came after several others, laden with insults, in which Mr Trump called the Florida governor “disloyal” and said he need a “personality transplant”.

Stewart Rhodes, leader of the Oath Keepers, sentenced to 18 years in prison for January 6 sedition

Thursday 25 May 2023 18:10 , Oliver O'Connell

Alex Woodward reports on a damning assessment from the judge:

US District Judge Amit Mehta told the court on 25 May that seditious conspiracy “is among the most serious crimes an individual American can commit” and an “offense against the people of the country.”

“What we cannot have, we absolutely cannot have, is a group of citizens who because they didn’t like the outcome … were then prepared to take up arms in order to foment a revolution. That’s what you did,” he told Rhodes. “You are not a political prisoner, Mr Rhodes.”

For decades, Rhodes wanted American democracy to “devolve into violence,” Judge Mehta said.

“You, sir, present an ongoing threat and a peril to this country and its democracy and the very fabric of this country,” he added. “You are smart, you are compelling, and you are charismatic. Frankly, that is what makes you dangerous.”

Read the full report:

Oath Keepers leader sentenced to 18 years in prison for January 6 sedition

Trump lawyers ignite speculation of further indictment with letter to Garland

Thursday 25 May 2023 18:00 , Oliver O'Connell

A recent letter by Donald Trump’s lawyers requesting a meeting with US attorney general Merrick Garland has sparked speculation that a fresh indictment could be looming against the former president.

Arpan Rai reports.

Trump lawyers ignite speculation that former president could be indicted yet again

Steve Bannon trial set for May 2024

Thursday 25 May 2023 17:30 , Oliver O'Connell

Steve Bannon, the conservative strategist and longtime all of Donald Trump, will stand trial next May on charges that he duped donors who gave money to build a wall along the U.S. southern border, a judge said Thursday.

Bannon’s trial in the “We Build the Wall” case will start May 27, 2024, right after the former president is scheduled to stand trial in the same Manhattan courtroom in an unrelated criminal case.

Read more...

Steve Bannon’s trial in ‘We Build the Wall’ scheme set for May 2024

‘Just call me winner’: DeSantis laughs off Trump’s endless list of nicknames

Thursday 25 May 2023 17:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Newly-announced presidential hopeful Ron DeSantis laughed off name-calling from his top rival Donald Trump, saying the former president can call him whatever he likes as long as he ‘calls me winner’.

Fresh off the heels of a glitchy announcement about his bid for the Republican nomination for 2024, Mr DeSantis was asked about Mr Trump’s myriad nicknames for him (which include, but are not limited to, Meatball Ron, Ron DeSanctimonious, Tiny D, and RonDishonest) and laughed them off.

Read more...

DeSantis laughs off Trump’s endless list of mocking nicknames: ‘Just call me winner’

DeSantis’s glitchy 2024 launch shows he could be more dangerous than Trump

Thursday 25 May 2023 16:30 , Oliver O'Connell

John Bowden reports on last night’s Twitter launch of the DeSantis 2024 campaign.

DeSantis’s 2024 bid ridiculed as Musk’s Twitter event melts down

Trump campaign launches new ad after DeSantis formally enters 2024 race

Thursday 25 May 2023 16:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump’s campaign launched a new ad on Twitter taking aim at Ron DeSantis moments after the Florida governor announced his formal bid for the 2024 presidency.

The ad includes images of Mr DeSantis with President Joe Biden and asks: “Why would we ever settle for Trump imposters?”

It also includes a clip of Mr DeSantis sitting with a child and pointing to a Trump campaign sign as the governor is heard reading, “Make America Great Again.”

How the Trump and DeSantis relationship deteriorated

Thursday 25 May 2023 15:30 , Oliver O'Connell

It wasn’t always this way.

Before Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis were leading rivals for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, they were allies.

Trump gave DeSantis’ gubernatorial bid an early boost by tweeting his support even before DeSantis formally entered the race. In his 2018 victory speech, DeSantis made sure to thank the president, saying, “I think we’ll have a great partnership.”

Here’s how DeSantis and Trump’s relationship has evolved — and broken down — as the two face off to take on Democrat Joe Biden:

Friends to foes: How Trump and DeSantis' relationship has deteriorated over the years

‘Trump is just so damned undeservedly lucky’

Thursday 25 May 2023 15:15 , Oliver O'Connell

MSNBC host Mehdi Hasan tweeted on Wednesday night following Mr DeSantis’s disastrous Twitter Spaces campaiugn launch: “What a lucky man Donald Trump is.”

“Consider his CNN Town Hall versus DeSantis’s Twitter Spaces ‘launch’ tonight. Trump is just so damned undeservedly lucky,” he added.

“Congratulations to DeSantis’s crack comms team, @BryanDGriffin, @ChristinaPushaw, and @JeremyRedfernFL, for organizing a totally effective and non-humiliating campaign launch for their boss with tech genius @elonmusk. Bravo! Remember, their pitch is ‘Trump but competent.’ Lol,” he said earlier in the night.

Hitler, George Soros, the devil? Trump posts fake DeSantis Twitter Spaces video

Thursday 25 May 2023 15:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump has posted a fake clip of Ron DeSantis’ 2024 launch on Twitter Spaces – featuring George Soros, Adolf Hitler and the devil.

The former president went on the attack against the Florida governor before, during and after the hotly-anticipated launch event, as the two men prepare to go head-to-head for the Republican nomination.

In one of his most bizarre attacks, Mr Trump posted a two-minute video on his Truth Social page which had been doctored to look like Mr DeSantis’ Twitter Spaces event.

Rachel Sharp reports.

Trump posts fake DeSantis Twitter Spaces video with Hitler, George Soros and devil

CNN to host Pence for town hall

Thursday 25 May 2023 14:41 , Oliver O'Connell

CNN will host a third Republican town hall on 7 June in Iowa.

Former Vice President Mike Pence will sit down with Dana Bash at Grand View University in Des Moines.

Mr Pence is yet to officially enter the 2024 race for the party’s nomination.

On 10 May, CNN hosted a controversial and much-derided town hall for Donald Trump. Rising network star Kaitlan Collins moderated the event which was held in New Hampshire.

On 4 June, the network will host a town hall moderated by senior Washington correspondent Jake Tapper for the former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, also in Iowa. Ms Haley like Mr Trump has officially declared her candidacy for the GOP nomination.

Former Vice President Mike Pence (Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
Former Vice President Mike Pence (Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Can DeSantis beat Trump in the Republican primaries?

Thursday 25 May 2023 13:15 , Oliver O'Connell

Andrew Feinberg and Eric Garcia write:

He’s a ubiquitous presence in conservative media with a reputation as an anti-woke warrior who has used a compliant state legislature to make Florida a mecca for Trump-era Republicanism.

But if Ron DeSantis wants to be president, he has to defeat Donald Trump and Joe Biden, and prominent Florida politicians aren’t so sure either of those things will ever happen.

Read on:

Can Ron DeSantis beat Donald Trump? These Florida political veterans aren’t so sure