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Trump news - live: Manhattan DA resumes Stormy Daniels hush money probe as Elon Musk unbans conservatives

The Independent logo The Independent 11/22/2022 Namita Singh,John Bowden and Andrew Naughtie
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Donald Trump’s Twitter account was reinstated early on Sunday after being banned for almost two years. The reinstatement came after Twitter’s new owner Elon Musk held a survey on the platform earlier on Saturday and announced he would restore Mr Trump’s account after the majority voted in favour.

Shortly after the announcement, Mr Trump’s account reappeared on Twitter along with his previous tweets. It was restored with 0 followers and following 0 accounts, but within minutes the number of followers started rising dramatically into the hundreds of thousands.

Meanwhile, Mr Trump and many Republicans are still furious at Attorney General Merrick Garland’s appointment of an independent special prosecutor to oversee two major investigations involving the former president – one revolving around the January 6 Capitol attack and another around Mr Trump’s hoarding of government documents at Mar-a-Lago.

The appointment of Jack Smith to investigate Mr Trump has sent many in the GOP claiming that Joe Biden and Mr Garland have “politicized” the Justice Department.

Key points

  • Trump reinstated to Twitter after two-year ban
  • Trump sees ‘no reason’ to get back on Twitter
  • AG Garland names war crimes prosecutor Jack Smith as Trump probes special counsel
  • Hitting out at ‘worst politicisation of justice’, Trump says: ‘I am not going to partake in it’

A special counsel has been appointed to oversee the Trump probes, but what do they really do?

02:40 , Oliver O'Connell

The appointment of a special counsel to oversee the remainder of two significant investigations related to former President Donald Trump focuses fresh attention on the role such prosecutors have played in modern American history.

© Provided by The Independent

EXPLAINER: What are special counsels and what do they do?

ICYMI: Elon Musk reinstates Trump on Twitter, ending two-year ban

01:40 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump’s Twitter account has been reinstated by Elon Musk after it was banned for nearly two years.

Mr Musk announced on Saturday evening that he would reinstate the former president’s account after it was banned for inciting violence in the wake of the 6 January insurrection, a move that was previously described as permanent.

© Provided by The Independent

Trump reinstated to Twitter by Elon Musk after two-year ban

Trump has been reinstated on Twitter – but will he return to the platform fully?

00:44 , Oliver O'Connell

The former US president has voiced his commitment to his Truth Social platform, writes Chris Stevenson. But for how long will he resist the temptation to return to Twitter?

© Provided by The Independent

Politics Explained: Trump has been reinstated on Twitter – but will he return fully?

GOP’s lackluster fundraising spurs post-election infighting

Monday 21 November 2022 22:40 , John Bowden

Republican leaders in Washington are seeking someone to blame after some late-game fundraising issues and poor overall showings in a number of key races across the country led to Joe Biden having the best midterm performance of a sitting president in decades. Among the targets: Donald Trump, and the head of the Senate GOP’s campaign arm, Rick Scott.

Many of the GOP’s candidates in expensive midterm contests were political newcomers with far-right positions who saw themselves outraised by their Democratic opponents. It’s a symptom of the loyalty-above-all standard that Donald Trump used to select candidates for his endorsement this year.

Read more in The Independent:

© Provided by The Independent

GOP's lackluster fundraising spurs post-election infighting

Who was at Trump’s 2024 Mar-a-Lago announcement, and who steered clear?

Monday 21 November 2022 22:20 , John Bowden

A week after Donald Trump’s not-so-surprise announcement of a 2024 bid for the presidency, fractures in the GOP are beginning to emerge and potential challengers to his bid for the Republican nomination are not yet backing down.

With that in mind, The Independent’s Oliver O’Connell took a look at who accepted invitations to be at Mr Trump’s side for the historic moment at Mar-a-Lago — and who chose to remain behind.

Read more:

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Who was at Mar-a-Lago for Trump’s 2024 announcement, and who steered clear?

Obama to campaign for Warnock on Dec. 1 before Ga. runoff

Monday 21 November 2022 21:40 , John Bowden

Former President Barack Obama is headed down to Georgia as Democrats hope to hold the seat currently occupied by Senator Raphael Warnock, who won a special election in 2021.

Still one of the Democrats’ top campaigners, Mr Obama’s star power will be put to the test as Donald Trump remains fully supportive of his scandal-plagued ally, Herschel Walker, and polls indicate the race remains tight. Mr Warnock held a slim lead over Mr Walker in the initial results earlier this month.

Read more:

© Provided by The Independent

Obama to campaign for Warnock on Dec. 1 before Ga. runoff

Manhattan prosecutors rest case in Trump Organization tax fraud trial

Monday 21 November 2022 21:20 , John Bowden

Prosecutors with DA Alvin Bragg’s office in Manhattan have rested their case in the proceedings against the Trump Organization.

The district attorney’s office is alleging that the company committed tax fraud through a scheme in which its ex-CFO Allen Weisselberg concocted a lavish perks package for executives at the corporation so they could avoid paying taxes on what was essentially wide swaths of their income.

The New York Times reported that the decision by the prosecutors was a sign of the “confidence” Mr Bragg’s team had in their case. Mr Weisselberg testified himself in recent days.

Georgia ban on Saturday voting before Warnock vs Walker runoff would ‘irreparably harm’ voters, judge rules

Monday 21 November 2022 20:40 , John Bowden

A judge in Georgia has ruled that a ban on voting this coming weekend would be an undue burden on voters in the state and has nullified the law for the state’s upcoming runoff election between Senator Raphael Warnock and Herschel Walker.

State law forbids early voting on the weekend after a major holiday, which would mean voting would not have taken place this coming weekend after Thanksgiving. But a judge has ruled that it will take place, thanks in part to a separate law passed by Republicans this year which further restricted early voting to end the Friday before a runoff election.

The development could be a boon for Democrats, who are hoping for large turnout especially in urban areas as Mr Warnock faces a challenge for his seat from Mr Walker, a Trump-backed Republican.

© Provided by The Independent

Georgia judge allows early voting on Saturday before Warnock v Walker runoff election

Manhattan DA resumes probe into Trump hush money to Stormy Daniels

Monday 21 November 2022 20:20 , John Bowden

Manhattan’s District Attorney Alvin Bragg is reportedly resuming an investigation into whether Donald Trump paid hush money to Stormy Daniels, the adult film star who alleged that she had an affair with the businessman and ex-president.

According to The New York Times, the investigation recently resumed after Mr Bragg made the decision to focus narrowly on the issue of the supposed hush money payment and not, as his predecessor had done, looked into a wider range of legal statutes that were seen as being on sturdier prosecutorial grounds.

Mr Trump has long denied that he ever had a relationship with Ms Daniels, though his onetime fixer Michael Cohen has confirmed that it took place.

Read more:

© Provided by The Independent

Manhattan prosecutors re-examining Trump’s Stormy Daniels hush-money payments: report

Biden mocks Republican midterms slump at turkey pardon

Monday 21 November 2022 19:40 , John Bowden

Joe Biden took a shot at Donald Trump and the failure of his hand-picked candidates to bring a “red wave” at this year’s Turkey Pardon on the White House lawn.

Mocking the GOP’s failure to take the Senate and marginal gains in the House, he quipped that the only red wave he’d be seeing this year would come if his dog Commander knocked over the cranberry sauce at Thanksgiving dinner.

Follow Andrew Feinberg’s coverage of the annual tradition here:

© Provided by The Independent

Biden mocks Republican midterms slump at turkey pardon

Elon Musk unbans Marjorie Taylor Greene's personal Twitter account

Monday 21 November 2022 19:16 , John Bowden

Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene is officially on the list of far-right figures and conspiracy theorists who have been allowed back on to Elon Musk’s Twitter.

The Georgia Republican was permanently suspended by the platform’s moderators in January after her third strike of spewing misinformation about Covid-19. In that case, she had claimed that federal VARS statistics (which are completely based off of anecdotal user-submitted reports) proved that the Covid-19 vaccine was dangerous and was leading to thousands of deaths.

Elon Musk’s assumption of Twitter’s top spot has caused many of those so-called “permanent” bans to be reversed over the past week — others unbanned from the platform include Donald Trump and Canadian lecturer Jordan Peterson.

Read more:

© Provided by The Independent

Elon Musk unbans Marjorie Taylor Greene's personal Twitter account

Elon Musk explains why he unbanned Trump but won’t unban Alex Jones

Monday 21 November 2022 18:20 , John Bowden

Elon Musk has revealed a caveat to his “free speech absolutist” approach to governing Twitter after allowing Donald Trump to return but refusing to reinstate conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.

It came as a response to author Sam Harris, who asked whether it was “time” to let the embattled right-wing broadcaster, famous for whipping up hate against anyone from Democrats to victims of school shootings, back on the platform.

Read Elon Musk’s explanation for why that won’t be happening any time soon:

© Provided by The Independent

Elon Musk reveals firstborn child died in his arms as he explains Alex Jones ban

Ivanka Trump tried to escape judge’s order to monitor Trump family finances, report says

Monday 21 November 2022 17:48 , John Bowden

Former White House aide Ivanka Trump attemped to wriggle her way out of a court order appointing a special monitor to oversee the major transactions of the Trump Organization and individuals with connections to the company, according to The Daily Beast.

The news outlet reported on Monday that the ex-president’s eldest daughter sought through letters from her attorneys to the court to have her name removed from the order, a step that her two brothers Eric and Donald Jr did not take as the New York attorney general’s lawsuit against the company progresses.

Read more from John Bowden:

© Provided by The Independent

Ivanka Trump tried to escape judge’s order to monitor family finances, report says

Kanye 2024?

Monday 21 November 2022 17:20 , Andrew Naughtie

Ye, the musician previously known as Kanye West, has said that he’s intending to run for president in 2024.

In a video posted to the X17 YouTube Channel on Sunday, Ye appeared with far-right commentator Milo Yiannopoulos in which Ye appeared to refer to him as his campaign manager.

Ye’s 2020 campaign became known for its unpredictability and his alarmingly erratic public appearances, including a “rally” in South Carolina where he appeared in a bulletproof vest and wept profusely while describing how his mother supposedly considered aborting him.

While he conceded that he lost in 2020, he immediately appeared to set up expectations for another run, posting a picture showing himself in front of an election map with the words “WELP Kanye 2024”.

The news comes after the restoration of his Twitter account following the company being taken over by Tesla CEO Elon Musk.

Gustaf Kilander has more.

© Provided by The Independent

Twitter reacts to Kanye West announcing 2024 campaign: ‘Can it get any crazier?’

Oath Keepers defender quotes OJ Simpson lawyer in closing arguments

Monday 21 November 2022 16:50 , Andrew Naughtie

Final arguments are underway in the seditious conspiracy trial of several members of the Oath Keepers militia who participated in the January 6 attack on the US Capitol – and one of the group’s lawyers, Brad Geyer, has pinned his case on a video that he says shows the men on trial actually obstructing rioters from committing further violence against law enforcement.

Bizarrely, he chose to make his case by paraphrasing the most infamous quote from the OJ Simpson trial:

Arizona official forced into hiding by post-election threats

Monday 21 November 2022 16:20 , Andrew Naughtie

A senior election official in one of Arizona’s most politically important counties has been forced to go into hiding after receiving a string of deaths in the wake of Kari Lake’s defeat.

Bill Gates, who serves as chairman of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, has been taken to an undisclosed location and is being safeguarded by a security detail from the area sheriff’s office.

Mr Gates is an outspoken defender of his county’s electoral practices and integrity, pushing back on frenzied conspiracy theories shared among supporters of Donald Trump and the candidates he endorsed.

Arizona’s elections on 8 November saw top Republicans who falsely claim the 2020 election was “stolen” lose their races by slim margins.

Read more:

© Provided by The Independent

Arizona election official forced into hiding amid death threats

Mark Meadows still fighting Georgia subpoena

Monday 21 November 2022 15:50 , Andrew Naughtie

As a grand jury probe in Fulton County, Georgia continues to investigate the Trump circle’s efforts to pressure state officials into overturning the 2020 election result, former Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows is keeping up his efforts to avoid testifying:

Others who have failed to avoid testifying before the grand jury include Lindsey Graham, whose protracted attempt to avoid the probe failed when the US Supreme Court lifted a temporary hold on his scheduled appearance. He will appear before prosecutors tomorrow.

Paul Ryan: Trump will “continue to lose altitude"

Monday 21 November 2022 15:20 , Andrew Naughtie

Republican former House speaker Paul Ryan, who helmed the lower chamber of Congress between 2015 and 2019, has lately been speaking out against Donald Trump, pointing to his party’s mortifying performance in the midterms as evidence that Mr Trump will either fail to win the 2024 nomination or, if nominated, lose the general election.

In an appearance on ABC News this weekend, he predicted that the ex-president will “continue to lose altitude” as the 2024 field takes shape, with a range of other candidates starting to look more credible as potential winners.

Mr Ryan himself was Mitt Romney’s running mate in 2012.

Watch his remarks below:

MAGA hats and guns: dating on The Right Stuff

Monday 21 November 2022 14:50 , Andrew Naughtie

From the moment the conservative-only dating app The Right Stuff launched, it’s been the subject of ridicule.

Amusement over the very existence of The Right Stuff only grew after the Apple App Store was inundated with reviews from people claiming to have been contacted by the FBI over their usage of the platform. According to the one-star reviews, authorities reached out regarding the responses users shared to built-in prompts on the platform such as, “January 6th was…”

In a statement to The Independent, a spokesperson for The Right Stuff said it determined reports of FBI contact were false. “Just people trolling,” they added. The FBI declined to comment. But even if you remove the reviews of FBI intervention, the App Store reviews are still far from glowing.

Our own Chelsea Ritchel has this report on what happens when you dive into the deep-red dating pool.

© Provided by The Independent

From fish photos to MAGA hats and guns, what it’s like on dating app The Right Stuff

Trump failing to clear 2024 field

Monday 21 November 2022 14:20 , Andrew Naughtie

Donald Trump’s presidential announcement last week was held under a cloud thanks to his party’s poor showing in the midterm elections, and it was followed by a noticeable lack of euphoria among top Republicans – several of whom still appear to be laying the groundwork for campaigns of their own. This weekend’s meeting of the Republican Jewish Coalition saw big names including Nikki Haley, Larry Hogan, Ron DeSantis and Ted Cruz appearing to address a sympathetic crowd.

On the face it of it, their exuberance would indicate that Mr Trump is no longer their party’s undisputed leader – but at the same time, the sheer number of potential competitors could give the former president a route to the 2024 nomination by splitting the vote in too many directions, as happened in 2016.

Read more:

© Provided by The Independent

Trump's growing GOP challengers revive fears of 2016 repeat

Catch up: Trump’s Twitter account reinstated

Monday 21 November 2022 13:50 , Andrew Naughtie

Donald Trump’s Twitter account has been reinstated by Elon Musk after it was banned for nearly two years.

Mr Musk announced on Saturday evening that he would reinstate the former president’s account after it was banned for inciting violence in the wake of the 6 January insurrection, a move that was previously described as permanent.

“The people have spoken,” the new Twitter boss wrote late on Saturday. “Trump will be reinstated.”

The billionaire added “Vox Populi, Vox Dei”, a Latin phrase meaning “the voice of the people is the voice of God”.

Josh Marcus and Maroosha Muzaffar report:

© Provided by The Independent

Trump reinstated to Twitter by Elon Musk after two-year ban

Lofgren: Pence and Trump are “cheating history”

Monday 21 November 2022 13:20 , Andrew Naughtie

January 6 committee member Zoe Lofgren appeared on Face the Nation yesterday to discuss her panel’s plans between now and the start of the next Congress, when the new GOP House majority is highly likely to dissolve the select committee altogether.

As well as promising that the public will have “everything we found” within the next month in the form of a written report and released testimony, Ms Lofgren was unsparing in her assessment of Donald Trump and Mike Pence as both refuse to testify.

“I think they've cheated history,” she said, “and they should have done otherwise. We, on the other hand, have received substantial information from other sources and we're in the process of, as I'm sure you know, writing our report now.”

Watch her remarks below.

AZ Republican puts statehouse majority in jeopardy

Monday 21 November 2022 12:50 , Andrew Naughtie

Such is the Arizona GOP’s belief that the recent elections in the state were stolen that one state representative is refusing to vote until they are re-run – meaning that her party has an impossibly small margin for legislating in the statehouse:

Presumptive House Democratic leader keeps Trump at arm's length

Monday 21 November 2022 12:20 , Andrew Naughtie

Congressman Hakeem Jeffries, who is running to succeed Nancy Pelosi as leader of the House Democrats, appeared yesterday on CNN’s State of the Union – and made clear he was uninterested in discussing Elon Musk, Donald Trump, or events involving the two over the weekend:

Read more about Mr Jeffries from Andrew Feinberg.

© Provided by The Independent

Democrats line up behind Hakeem Jeffries as next House minority leader

GOP operative: Trump voters don’t want him tweeting

Monday 21 November 2022 11:50 , Andrew Naughtie

Donald Trump so far shows no sign of wanting to rejoin Twitter, instead focusing on sustaining his profile on Truth Social. But according to Republican-aligned political operative Alex Conant, there is not much demand from Mr Trump’s base – the more normal elements, at least – to have him back on his once-favourite platform:

GOP's lackluster fundraising spurs post-election infighting

Monday 21 November 2022 11:20 , John Bowden

Republicans are seeking someone to blame after some late-game fundraising issues and poor overall showings in a number of key races across the country led to Joe Biden having the best midterm performance of a sitting president in decades.

Many of the GOP’s candidates in expensive midterm contests were political newcomers with far-right positions who saw themselves outraised by their Democratic opponents. It’s a symptom of the loyalty-above-all standard that Donald Trump used to select candidates for his endorsement this year.

Read more in The Independent:

© Provided by The Independent

GOP's lackluster fundraising spurs post-election infighting

GOP sees slight Latino vote gains, painful candidate losses

Monday 21 November 2022 10:20 , John Bowden

Republicans saw gains with Latino voters during the 2022 midterm cycle — but they were far from enough to overcome the poor performances of Donald Trump’s hand-picked candidates.

Overall, the House will see a net gain of at least eight Latino members, with seven of them being Democrats, according to a tally by the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials.

Read more about how the Latino vote was important to both parties in this month’s midterms:

© Provided by The Independent

GOP sees slight Latino vote gains, painful candidate losses

Melania predicts what Trump’s return to White House would look like in three words

Monday 21 November 2022 09:20 , John Bowden

Despite reports that Melania Trump did not enjoy her four years in the White House, the former first lady is remaining publicly supportive of her husband’s plans to launch a third bid for the presidency.

“I support my husband’s decision to run for president of this wonderful nation,” she told far-right news outlet Breitbart.

And she had a prediction for what a second term for her husband would look like.

Read more:

© Provided by The Independent

Melania predicts what Trump’s return to White House would look like in three words

Aspiring country singer charged for threats to kill fact-checkers and FBI agent over Trump ‘slander’

Monday 21 November 2022 08:20 , John Bowden

A North Carolina MAGA supporter and an aspiring country singer has been charged for allegedly threatening to kill an FBI agent as well as fact-checkers for slandering Donald Trump.

It’s just the latest case of a violent attack being threatened or attempted against federal law enforcement since the ex-president began demonising the agency for its investigation into his hoarding of presidential records.

Read more in The Independent:

© Provided by The Independent

MAGA fan charged for threats to kill fact-checkers and FBI agent over Trump ‘slander’

Mike Pence backed away from anti-LGBT figures before five killed in Colorado shooting

Monday 21 November 2022 07:20 , John Bowden

Former vice president Mike Pence appeared to take a step back from his party’s hard-right wing stand in an interview that was taped just days before the deadly attack at a gay nightclub that has been blamed on a rising tide of anti-LGBT hate.

Mr Pence was interviewed by Margaret Brennan on CBS’s Face the Nation this past week; his remarks were broadcast on Sunday.

During the interview, he was asked about the legislation which was passed by the US Senate this week, seeking to protect the rights of same-sex marriages at the federal level.

Read more in The Independent:

© Provided by The Independent

Mike Pence backed away from anti-LGBT figures before five killed in Colorado shooting

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