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Video: CPAC crowd applauds Josh Hawley’s vote against election results

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CPAC crowd applauds Josh Hawley’s vote against election results

Senator Josh Hawley received a standing ovation at the Conservative Political Action Conference when he reminded the crowd that he had opposed the certification of Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory.

For the past two months, big tech companies have deformed conservatives left and right, silenced them, kicked them out, shut them down. Heck, they censored the President of the United States. If they can censor it, they can censor any American citizen. And I have my own experience with this, unfortunately. You know, on January 6, I objected during the certification of the electoral college – maybe you heard about it. [Applause] I did. I got up. [Applause continues]

Recent episodes of United States and politics

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Supreme Court Will Not Hear Pennsylvania Election Case Over Mail-In Ballots

WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court said on Monday it would not hear an appeal from Republicans in Pennsylvania who sought to disqualify the ballots mailed in the 2020 presidential election that came after election day.

The brief court order gave no reason to dismiss the case, marking the end of the Supreme Court’s litigation over the election. Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel A. Alito Jr. and Neil M. Gorsuch dissented, saying the court should have used it to provide guidance in future elections.

The dissenting judges acknowledged that the number of ballots at issue in the case was too small to affect President Biden’s victory in the state. But the legal question raised by the case – over the power of state courts to review election laws – was, they said, an important issue that should be resolved without the pressure of an impending election.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled in September that ballots sent out before election day could be counted if they arrived up to three days after. On two occasions before the election, the United States Supreme Court refused to intervene in the case, although several justices expressed doubts about the power of the state court to override the Legislative Assembly of the state, which set a deadline on polling day for receiving ballots by mail.

On Monday, Judge Thomas wrote that the time had come to take up the case.

“At first glance,” he writes, “it may seem reasonable to address this question the next time it arises. After all, the 2020 election is now over, and the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s ruling was not decisive for the federal election. But however strong this argument may be in other contexts, it fails in the context of elections.

“Because the court system is not well suited to deal with these kinds of issues in the short time available immediately after an election,” Judge Thomas wrote, “we should use the cases available outside of this truncated context. to answer these questions, certainly important.

In a separate dissent, Judge Alito, joined by Judge Gorsuch, agreed that “our review at this time would be very beneficial.”

“A decision in these cases would have no bearing on the 2020 elections,” Judge Alito wrote. “But a decision would provide invaluable guidance for future elections.”

On October 19, before Judge Amy Coney Barrett joined the court, the justices found themselves in a deadlock, 4 to 4, over an emergency request in the case. Justices Thomas, Alito, Gorsuch and Brett M. Kavanaugh said they would have granted a stay blocking the Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision. On the other side were Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and the three-member Liberal wing: Justices Stephen G. Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.

Later that month, judges refused a plea from state Republicans to expedite a decision on the legality of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

In a statement released at the time, Judge Alito, joined by Justices Thomas and Gorsuch, criticized the court’s handling of the case, which he said had “unnecessarily created conditions that could lead to serious problems. post-election ”.

“The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania issued an executive order which outright amends an important statutory provision enacted by the Pennsylvania legislature under its authority under the Constitution of the United States to establish rules governing the conduct of elections for federal office.” , wrote Judge Alito adding that he regretted that the election was taking place “under a cloud”.

“It would be highly desirable to render a decision on the constitutionality of the state Supreme Court’s decision before the elections,” Judge Alito wrote. “This issue is of national importance, and it is highly likely that the state Supreme Court’s decision violates the Federal Constitution.”

But there was not enough time, he wrote. Yet Judge Alito left no doubt about his position on the issue in the case.

“The provisions of the Federal Constitution conferring on state legislatures, and not on state courts, the power to make rules governing federal elections would be meaningless,” he wrote, “if a court of The state could override the rules adopted by the legislature simply by asserting that the constitutional provisions of the state gave the courts the power to make the rules they deemed appropriate for the conduct of a fair election. “

Even after the election, Pennsylvania Republicans continued to seek a Supreme Court review in the Pennsylvania Republican Party v Boockvar case, No. 20-542, claiming judges should address the issue she presented of orderly manner.

“By resolving the important and recurring issues now, the Court can provide the advice that legislatures and state courts across the country desperately need outside of the context of a hotly contested election and ahead of the next election,” their report said. memory. “The alternative is for the court to leave legislatures and courts with a lack of advance guidance and clarity regarding the oversight law – only to be called upon to answer these questions in a future after-the-fact litigation over a contested election,” with the time that accompanies it. pressures and perceptions of partisan interest. “

On Monday, Judge Thomas wrote that the court had missed an opportunity.

“One wonders what awaits this tribunal”, he wrote. “We failed to resolve this dispute before the election, and therefore provide clear rules. Today we again fail to provide clear rules for future elections.

“The decision to leave the electoral law hidden under a veil of doubt is puzzling,” Judge Thomas wrote. “By doing nothing we are causing further confusion and erosion of voter confidence. Our citizens deserve better and expect more from us. “

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NAACP sues Trump, Giuliani over election fight, January 6 riot

WASHINGTON – The NAACP on Tuesday morning filed a federal lawsuit against former President Donald J. Trump and his personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani, claiming they violated a 19th-century law when they tried to prevent certification of the January 6 elections.

The civil rights organization filed a complaint on behalf of Representative Bennie Thompson, Democrat of Mississippi. Other Democrats in Congress – including Reps Hank Johnson of Georgia and Bonnie Watson Coleman of New Jersey – are expected to join as plaintiffs in the coming weeks, according to the NAACP

The lawsuit contends that Mr. Trump and Mr. Giuliani violated the Ku Klux Klan Act, an 1871 law that includes protections against violent conspiracies that interfered with the constitutional duties of Congress; the costume also names the Proud Boys, the far-right nationalist group and the Oath Keepers militia group. The lawsuit accuses Mr. Trump, Mr. Giuliani and the two groups of conspiring to incite a violent riot on Capitol Hill, in an attempt to prevent Congress from certifying the election.

The lawsuit is the latest legal issue for Mr. Trump: New York prosecutors are investigating his financial transactions; New York Attorney General is pursuing civil investigation into whether Mr. Trump’s company misrepresented assets for bank loans and tax benefits; and a Georgia district attorney is reviewing his electoral interference efforts there.

Jason Miller, an adviser to Mr Trump, noted in response to the lawsuit that the Senate acquitted the former president of the impeachment article for incitement to insurgency. The Senate voted 57 to 43, below the two-thirds majority required to convict.

“President Trump did not plan, produce or organize the January 6 rally on the Ellipse. President Trump did not instigate or conspire to incite violence on Capitol Hill on January 6, ”Miller said in a statement Tuesday. He added that Mr. Giuliani “does not currently represent President Trump in any legal matter.”

In the trial, Mr Thompson said he was forced to wear a gas mask and hide on the floor of the Chamber’s gallery for three hours while hearing “threats of physical violence against any member who was trying to approve the counting of the electoral college. “Mr. Thompson also heard a gunshot, according to the costume, which he only later learned had killed Ashli ​​Babbitt, one of the rioters in the lobby of the Capitol.

Mr. Thompson seeks compensatory and punitive damages in the lawsuit filed in the Federal District Court in Washington. The costume does not include a specific financial amount.

Mr Thompson, 72, says he was exposed to an increased risk to his health by being subsequently forced to shelter in place in a cramped place that did not allow for social distancing. The lawsuit notes that Mr. Thompson shared a confined space with two members of Congress who tested positive for the coronavirus shortly after the attack on Capitol Hill.

In an interview on Monday, Mr. Thompson said he would not have brought a lawsuit against Mr. Trump if the Senate had voted to convict him in last week’s impeachment trial.

“I feared for my life,” Mr. Thompson said. “Not a day goes by that I don’t think about this incident. I was determined to see justice done in this situation.

He added, “It’s me, and I hope others, having our day in court to address the January 6 atrocities. “

Mr Thompson said he had already received a second dose of a Covid vaccine on January 6, so he had not quarantined himself after close contact with colleagues who tested positive. But he noted: “There were a number of members who were very concerned about being accommodated in these numbers with people refusing to wear masks.

Democratic and Republican members of Congress recently raised the possibility of Mr. Trump being held accountable in court for the riot. Republican leader Senator Mitch McConnell voted for Mr. Trump’s acquittal in the impeachment trial but then appeared to encourage people to take their fight to court.

“He hasn’t done anything yet,” McConnell said at the end of the trial, noting, “We have a criminal justice system in this country. We have civil disputes. “

Derrick Johnson, president of the NAACP, said the decision to seek compensatory and punitive damages was rooted in a history of tools that worked to fight white supremacy.

“The Southern Poverty Law Center has filed a lawsuit against the Ku Klux Klan which bankrupted a chapter,” he said, referring to a 2008 judgment against a Kentucky-based Klan group that filed for bankruptcy. ordered the group to pay $ 2.5 million in damages. “It’s very similar. If we do nothing, we can be assured that these groups will continue to spread and grow in their boldness. We must stop the spread of white supremacy.

While much of the impeachment trial hinged on how the violent mob threatened former Vice President Mike Pence as well as Congressional leaders like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, NAACP officials said that the attack was deeply rooted in racial injustice.

“At the root of this insurgency were the actions of people who challenged the voices of people of color,” said Janette McCarthy Wallace, Acting General Counsel for the NAACP. The votes of people of color were contested. “

The lawsuit, for example, accuses Giuliani of attempting to reject “the votes cast by voters in Detroit, whose population is 78% African-American.” He also says Mr. Giuliani falsely claimed there was voting fraud in Milwaukee and Madison, Wisconsin, “both of which have large African American populations.”

Joseph M. Sellers, a partner at civil rights law firm Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll, which jointly filed the case, said the lawsuit named Mr. Trump in his personal capacity because his conduct defied another branch of government to do his job do the official functions of the president.

“He was engaging in conduct which is so far removed from any legitimately legitimate scope of his presidential office,” Sellers said. “He no longer has the President’s immunity.”

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Biden shares concerns with Chinese president in first appeal since election

WASHINGTON – President Biden held talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday evening, raising concerns about Beijing’s aggressive overseas policies and human rights violations at home in the first conversation between the two leaders since the election of Mr. Biden.

Regarding what could be the most important foreign relationship of his presidency, Mr Biden has issued the warnings while offering to cooperate on global priorities of mutual concern.

In a summary of the call, the White House said Mr. Biden “had underlined his fundamental concerns about Beijing’s coercive and unfair economic practices, the crackdown in Hong Kong, human rights abuses in Xinjiang and the increasingly assertive actions in the region, including towards Taiwan. . But the leaders also discussed “the common challenges of global health security, climate change and preventing the proliferation of weapons,” according to the summary.

According to the official Chinese account of the two leaders’ appeal, released by Xinhua, Xi warned Biden that the two powers must cooperate or risk calamity, and gave no sign of ceding ground to Xinjiang. , Hong Kong or Taiwan.

“When China and the United States cooperate, the two sides win, and when they fight, both are wronged,” Xi said, according to the Chinese summary. “Sino-US cooperation can achieve many great things that benefit both countries and the world. The confrontation between China and the United States would certainly be a disaster for both countries and the world. “

Xi said the two countries could also open more contacts in the economic, financial, police and military spheres, and called for the “re-establishment” of dialogue to promote mutual understanding and “to avoid misunderstandings and errors of judgment. “. Increased cooperation, he added, would also help tackle the coronavirus pandemic, revive the world economy and maintain regional stability.

But Xi warned Biden to exercise caution in what he described as “China’s domestic affair,” according to Xinhua. “On matters concerning the sovereignty and territorial integrity of China,” Xi said, referring to Xinjiang, Hong Kong and Taiwan, “the US side should respect China’s fundamental interests and act with it. caution.

Despite this being their first conversation since becoming their respective country’s rulers, Mr. Biden and Mr. Xi know each other well. In 2011 and 2012, when Mr. Biden was vice president and Mr. Xi was the alleged heir to the Chinese presidency, the two spent dozens of hours together. In a recent interview with CBS News, Biden said he believed he spent more time with Xi than with any other world leader. “I know him pretty well,” Biden said.

Mr Biden’s personal approach to Mr Xi is likely to be a marked departure from that of President Donald J. Trump, who spent his first three years in office giving the Chinese leader praise and flattery in pursuit of a big trade deal he never reached, before turning bitterly on him last spring after the coronavirus left China and devastated the US economy.

All the while, Mr. Trump’s advisers have treated China as the main strategic threat to the United States. At the end of Mr. Trump’s presidency, foreign policy experts generally agreed that relations between Washington and Beijing were nearing their lowest point since the Communist Revolution of 1949. But most also believe that the two countries have no choice but to cooperate on issues such as trade, climate change and the global economy.

While Mr Biden and Mr Xi drew up some sort of rapport during Obama’s time, Mr Biden also sharply criticized his counterpart, who, shortly after assuming the Chinese presidency in 2013, launched a harsh crackdown. politics in his country and pursued aggressive territorial claims. in East Asia.

“He’s very bright,” Biden told CBS of Mr. Xi. “He’s very tough. He doesn’t – and I don’t mean this is a criticism, just the reality – he doesn’t have a democratic little bone in his body.

Mr Biden said he and the Chinese president “don’t need to have a conflict”, but warned that “there will be extreme competition”.

“I’m not going to do it like Trump did,” Biden added. “We will focus on the international rules of the road.”

In a briefing for reporters ahead of the call, senior officials in the Biden administration made this point clear. They said Mr. Biden would continue some of the Trump administration’s confrontational policies towards Beijing, including challenging Chinese territorial claims in Asia, defending Taiwan independence and Hong Kong autonomy. Kong, and China’s crackdown on cyber-theft and hacking. Administration officials have said their approach will be more effective than Mr. Trump’s with renewed ties to traditional American allies with whom Mr. Trump has often chosen to fight.

They said they would retain Mr. Trump’s tariffs on Chinese exports to the United States while carrying out a broad review of U.S.-China trade policy.

Competitive work with Beijing would begin at home, officials said, with their efforts to defeat the coronavirus and rebuild the U.S. economy, including by bolstering next-generation technologies like artificial intelligence and 5G networks, in which the China threatens to take the lead.

They also called it crucial to restore America’s damaged political institutions and its reputation as an advocate for human rights and democracy, areas in which Mr. Trump was often indifferent.

Earlier on Wednesday, Mr Biden announced sanctions against Myanmar’s ruling generals for their role in a military coup this month, an action by senior officials described as a clear demonstration of the renewed commitment of the states- United for democracy abroad – in this case, in China’s backyard.

And during an afternoon visit to the Pentagon, the president announced the creation of a Department of Defense task force to review U.S. military policies toward China. He will report on his findings by the summer.

Perhaps reflecting Mr. Biden’s tough campaign message about China and its leadership, Mr. Xi was one of the last world leaders to publicly congratulate Biden on his victory. He was also one of the last great leaders to speak to the new US president after his election.

This composure is a far cry from the friendly tone the men adopted in their numerous meetings in the United States and China under the Obama administration. During a 2013 trip Mr. Biden took to Beijing, Mr. Xi addressed him in the Great Hall of the People as “my old friend.”

Chris Buckley contribution to reports.

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Georgia prosecutors open criminal investigation into Trump’s efforts to overturn election

President Trump: “We won this election in Georgia based on all of this, and there is nothing wrong with saying that, Brad. You know, I mean, have a good – the Georgian people are angry. And these numbers are going to be repeated on Monday evening with others that we will have by then, which are even much more substantial. And the Georgian people are angry, the people of the country are angry. And there’s nothing wrong with saying that, you know, that you recalculated, because the 2,236 missing votes, I mean, these are all exact numbers that were made by accounting firms, accounting firms. ‘avocados, etc., and even if you cut them in half, cut them in half and halve them again, that’s more votes than it takes. Brad Raffensperger: “Well, Mr. President, the challenge you have is the data you have is wrong. We spoke to members of Congress and they were surprised. But they – I guess there was a person named Mr. Braynard who came to these meetings and presented data. And he said there were deaths, I believe it was over 5,000. The actual number was two. Of them. Two deceased people who voted. And so it is wrong. It was two. Trump: “Well, Cleta, how do you respond to that?” … Trump: “Now do you think it’s possible that they shredded ballots in Fulton County?” Because that’s the rumor, and also Dominion released machines. This Dominion is going really fast to get rid of his machinery. Do you know anything about it? Because it’s illegal. “Ryan Germany. No, Dominion has not moved any machinery out of Fulton County – “” Well, but no, but did they move, did they, did they move the internal parts of the machines and replaced them with ‘other parts? ” “No.” “Are you sure, Ryan?” “I’m sure. I’m sure, Mr. President. … Raffensperger:” Mr. President, the problem you have with social media, people can say anything – “Trump:” No, this is not social – this is Trump’s media. This is not social media, it really is not. This is not social media. I don’t care about social … “” But … “” I don’t care. Social media is big tech. Big tech is on your side, you know – I don’t even know why you have a side, because you should want to have an accurate election. And you’re a Republican. . “We think we have a precise election.” “No, I – no, you don’t. No, no, no. You don’t. You don’t, not even close. You have hundreds of thousands of votes.” … Trump : “Because you know what they did and you don’t report it, it’s, you know, it’s a criminal, it’s a criminal offense, and you know, you can’t let that happen. It’s a big risk for you and Ryan, your lawyer. It’s a big risk. But they shred the ballots, in my opinion, from what I heard. And they take them away. machines and move them as fast as they can, which is criminal discoveries. And you can’t let it happen. And you let it happen. You know, I mean, I’m informing you that you let it happen. So look, all I want to do is this. I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have. “… Trump:” So tell me, Brad, what are we going to do? we do? We won the elections. And it’s not fair to take it away from us like that. And it’s going to be very expensive in many ways. And I think you have to say that you are going to review it. And you can reexamine it, but reexamine it with people who want to find answers, not people who don’t want to find answers. For example, I hear Ryan, that he’s probably, I’m sure, a great lawyer and all, but he’s making statements on these ballots that he doesn’t know. But he does them with such, he did them with certainty, but now I think he’s less sure, because the answer is they all went to Biden, and that alone wins us the election of many. . You know, then. Raffensperger: “Mr. Chairman, you have people submitting information and we have our people submitting information. And then he comes to court. And the court must then make a decision. We have to stay true to our numbers. We believe our figures are correct. … Trump: “Well, under the law, you’re not allowed to give false election results, okay? You are not allowed to do this. And that’s what you did. It is an incorrect election result. And honestly, it should go really fast. You should meet tomorrow, because you have a big election, elections coming up, and because of what you did to the president – you know, the Georgian people know that was a scam. And because of what you did to the president, a lot of people are not going to vote. And a lot of Republicans are going to vote against it because they hate what you did to the president. Okay? They hate it. And they will vote. And you would be respected, truly respected if that could be fixed before the election. You have a big election on Tuesday. … Trump: “I mean, look, it’s – you’d have to be a kid to think anything other than that, just a kid.” I mean, you have… ”Cleta Mitchell:“ How many ballots? How many ballot papers, Mr. Secretary, do you say were processed then? Raffensperger: “We asked GBI to investigate thoroughly.” “We had our – it’s Ryan Germany. Our law enforcement officers spoke to everyone who was – who was there after this event came to light. GBI was with them, as well as FBI agents. Trump: “Well, there’s no way for them – so they’re incompetent. They’re dishonest or incompetent, okay? There are only two answers: dishonesty or incompetence. … Trump: “I would like you, for my lawyers, I would like you to meet maybe Ryan, ideally tomorrow, because I think we should come to a resolution on this before the election.” Otherwise you’re going to have, you’re going to have people who just won’t vote. They don’t want to vote. They hate the state, they hate the governor, and they hate the secretary of state – I’ll tell you right now. And the only people who love you are people who will never vote for you. You know that, Brad, don’t you? They love you. You know, they love you. They can’t believe what they found. They want more people like you. So listen, can you get together tomorrow? And Brad, we just want the truth, it’s simple.

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Pushing QAnon and the election stolen lies, Flynn reemerging

“We love you, we love you, we love you,” they chanted. None of the rally’s other speakers – a bold-named collection of Trumpworld characters like Roger Stone and Alex Jones – have received such an enthusiastic reception.

With Mr. Trump now in his post-presidency at Mar-a-Lago, a loose coalition that brings together militia members and conspiracy theorists as well as evangelical Christians and suburban Trump supporters is seeking direction. Call it the Alternate Truth movement, and if it is to merge into something more permanent, it may well be, at least in part, because figures like Mr. Flynn continue to make false claims about the how a deep state cabal stole the election. .

“So that we can breathe the fresh air of freedom, we the people, we are the ones who will decide our way forward, the future of America forward,” he said at the gathering of the January 5. “It might not be a Republican Party, it might not be a Democratic Party, it will be a People’s Party.”

Mr. Flynn, who did not respond to an interview request for this article, spent 33 years as an Army intelligence officer, earning a reputation for being outspoken and unconventional and, in years after the September 11 attacks, to be exceptionally good. to unravel terrorist networks.

Much of this work involved mapping loose networks of ideological fellow travelers, determining who voiced extremist ideas and who committed the violence – two groups that were not always directly related to each other. If a similar attempt were made to map the network of people who spread Mr. Trump’s stolen election lie that led to the storming of Capitol Hill, Mr. Flynn himself would likely emerge as one of those main ones. voice for his role in agitating Mr. Trump’s supporters without taking part in the attack.

Perhaps most responsible for the reemergence of Mr. Flynn is conspiracy theory attorney Sidney Powell. Ms Powell has resumed her legal defense in the Russia probe after pleading guilty twice in a cooperation deal with prosecutors and blazing a combative new course. She challenged the deal and, mustering a small army of like-minded Twitter users, transformed Mr. Flynn from a cloak into a victim, a man who took the fall to save his son, who also made the ‘under investigation.

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Trump’s New Lawyers Should Not Focus On Fake Election Claims In His Defense

The new legal team former President Donald J. Trump called for his impeachment trial next week is unlikely to focus its defense on his baseless allegations of widespread electoral fraud and instead question whether the trial is even constitutional since he is no longer president, people close to the team said on Monday.

Several Trump advisers told the former president that using his election demands as a defense for his role in the mob attack on the Capitol last month was unwise, according to a person close to the new lawyers, David Schoen and Bruce L. Castor Jr. The person said the former president’s advisers did not expect this to be part of the arguments they are making in the Senate.

Mr. Schoen, an Atlanta-based criminal defense attorney, and Mr. Castor, a former Pennsylvania district attorney, replaced Butch Bowers and four other attorneys working with him after separating from the former president.

A person close to Mr Trump said there was a disagreement over the strategy’s approach and that the former president had no “chemistry” with Mr Bowers, a South Carolina lawyer who had him recommended by Senator Lindsey Graham, one of his most loyal supporters. A second person close to Mr Trump said Mr Bowers appeared “overwhelmed” by the case.

The new team is due to file a brief with the Senate on Tuesday that will give a first glimpse of how they plan to defend the former president. Mr. Trump never had a chance to offer a defense in his House impeachment trial because of the speed with which it was conducted.

Texas Republican Senator John Cornyn on Monday warned Mr. Trump’s team not to rehash his inflated grievances and debunked the theories of voter fraud. Better, he said, to focus on refuting the details of the House’s “incitement to insurgency” charge.

“It’s really not material,” Cornyn told reporters on Capitol Hill of repeated statements by Mr. Trump. “As much as there might be a temptation to raise other issues, I think it would be a disservice to the president’s own defense to get bogged down in things that are not really before the Senate.

Many Republicans on Capitol Hill expect the defense team to at least partially rely on their argument that holding a trial of a former president is unconstitutional. People close to Trump’s legal team have said it will be a main line of defense.

The constitutional debate around this issue – many researchers disagree, citing that the Senate has tried a former public servant in the past – will feature significantly in the lawsuit. In preparation, the Senate explicitly asked both parties to indicate in their written submissions “whether Donald John Trump is subject to the jurisdiction of an impeachment court for acts committed as President of the United States, notwithstanding the expiry of his term in said function. . “

House managers are expected to file their own more detailed legal brief on Tuesday. The document is expected to offer the first full roadmap of their argument that Mr. Trump sowed baseless allegations of election fraud, summoned his supporters to Washington, and then directly urged them to confront Congress as he met in the Capitol to certify his electoral loss.

The brief will also include an argument for holding the trial, with managers prepared to argue that the framers of the Constitution intended the impeachment to apply to officials who committed offenses during their tenure.

A similar document from Mr. Trump’s team to develop their initial argument is expected next week before the trial begins on February 9.

Some around the former president have suggested arguing against the central prosecution in the impeachment article – which he instigated an insurgency – and instead focus more narrowly on process issues like the constitutionality of the ‘case.

While the lawyers have just been appointed, Mr Schoen spoke with Mr Trump and others around him informally for several days, relatives of the former president said. Mr. Schoen has represented a range of clients, including mobsters and Mr. Trump’s longtime advisor Roger J. Stone Jr.

Mr. Castor is best known for making a deal not to prosecute Bill Cosby for sexual assault while he was a district attorney for Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. He was also briefly acting state attorney general.

Mr. Castor’s cousin is Stephen R. Castor, the Congressional investigator who fought Democrats against Mr. Trump’s attempts to pressure Ukraine to investigate Joseph R. Biden Jr. while ‘he was preparing to run against him. A person familiar with the talks said Stephen Castor recommended his cousin to the former president.

It is not known how close the Castor cousins ​​are. Stephen Castor is a veteran of some of Capitol Hill’s most fiercely partisan watchdog disputes of the past decade. He has worked on investigations into the Obama administration’s handling of an attack on the US diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, and on an arms trafficking program known as Operation Fast and Furious.

Meanwhile, the nine House impeachment officials have gone largely underground in recent days, prioritizing preparations for private trials over the type of television interviews and other public appearances often used in Washington in an attempt to change public opinion.

Democratic leaders are trying to get through both the president’s long legislative agenda and a major impeachment trial for his predecessor more or less simultaneously. The decision to keep a low profile was apparently motivated by a desire to distract as little attention as possible from Mr Biden’s push for coronavirus relief legislation, the priority issue on his agenda.

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Key takeaways from Trump’s effort to overturn the election

Ultimately, Mr. Trump agreed to focus on a different goal: blocking Congressional certification of the results on Jan.6.

With attention drawn to the president’s daily tirades and subversive maneuvers, a group of activists – little-known but increasingly influential – traveled from town to town in MAGA-red buses, organizing rallies to pressure key senators to challenge the vote. The bus tour was organized by a group called Women for America First.

The group would help build a strongly Trumpian coalition that included incumbent and incumbent members of Congress, grassroots voters and “dismantled” extremists and conspiracy theorists promoted on an early draft of its “Trump March” homepage – since deleted but found in internet archives – including white nationalist Jared Taylor, prominent QAnon supporters and Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio.

Women for America First had various ties to the president and those close to him. Its leader, Amy Kremer, was a key organizer of the Tea Party era and an early supporter of Mr. Trump, having launched a super PAC Women for Trump in 2016. And two of the group’s organizers had their own important links. One, Jennifer Lawrence, knew Mr. Trump through his father, who had done business with him; another, Dustin Stockton, had credibility in the gun rights community as a coordinator with Gun Owners of America. The two had also worked with Mr. Bannon.

Among the sponsors of the bus tour were Mr Bannon and Mike Lindell, the founder of MyPillow, who says he has spent $ 2 million so far to investigate the voting machines and foreign interference. Mr Lindell, along with Mr Byrne, was part of an ongoing shift within the Republican Party as mainstream donors withdrew from what has become an overt attack on the Democratic system and new donors have risen up for finance the narrative of the stolen elections.

Women for America First was the original organizer of the January 6 rally in Washington. But at the end of the year, Mr. Trump decided to join the rally himself, and the event effectively became a White House production, with several people familiar with the administration and the Trump campaign. joining the team.

Former Trump campaign adviser Katrina Pierson was the White House liaison, a former administration official said. And the president discussed the timing of the speeches, as well as the music to be played, according to a person with direct knowledge of the conversations.

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77 days: Trump’s campaign to overturn the election

Mr. Barr had resigned in December. But behind the back of Acting Attorney General Jeffrey A. Rosen, the President was plotting with Acting Department of Justice Civil Division chief Jeffrey Clark and a Pennsylvania congressman named Scott Perry to lobby Georgia to invalidate its results, investigate Dominion, and bring in a new Supreme Court case challenging the entire election. The intrigues came to an abrupt end when Mr Rosen, who was reportedly fired under the plan, assured the president that senior officials in the department would resign en masse.

This left Congress certification as the main event.

Mr. McConnell had been working for weeks to keep his members online. On a conference call in mid-December, he urged them to steer clear and protect the two Republican run-off candidates in Georgia from having to take a difficult stand.

When Mr. Hawley stepped forward, according to Republican senators, Mr. McConnell hoped to at least keep him isolated.

But Mr Cruz was working against the grain, trying to enlist others to sign a letter outlining his circular logic: because polls have shown that the Republicans’ “unprecedented allegations” of fraud had convinced two-thirds of them. party that Mr Biden had stolen the election, it was incumbent on Congress to at least delay certification and order a 10-day audit in “disputed states.” Mr Cruz, along with 10 other opponents, published the letter on the Saturday after the New Year.

Mr. McConnell knew that Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas, one of the most conservative Republicans, had planned to speak publicly against the bet. Now the Majority Leader has called Mr. Cotton, according to a Republican familiar with the conversation, and urged him to do so as soon as possible. Mr. Cotton quickly complied.

It boiled down to a contest of wills within the Republican Party, and tens of thousands of Trump supporters converged on Washington to send a message to those who might challenge the president.

The rally had taken on a new branding, the March to Save America, and other groups joined, including the Republican Association of Attorneys General. Its political wing, the Rule of Law Defense Fund, promoted the event in a robocall that read: “We will walk to the Capitol building and ask Congress to stop the theft,” according to a recording obtained by the progressive investigative group Documented.

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Trump raised $ 255.4m in 8 weeks as he sought to overturn election result

President Donald J. Trump and the Republican Party raised $ 255.4 million in the eight weeks following the Nov. 3 election, new federal documents show, as he sought to undermine and overturn the results with unfounded fraud charges.

Mr. Trump’s biggest fundraiser came immediately after the election, such as after major media organizations said Joseph R. Biden Jr. won on November 7. But even though Mr. Trump and his legal team have lost case after case – in places like the Supreme Court – his donors have continued to give repeatedly. More than two million contributions were made to Mr. Trump, the Republican National Committee and their shared accounts from Nov. 24 to the end of the year.

The donations were made public over the weekend in a Federal Election Commission filing by WinRed, the digital platform Republicans use to process online donations. Mr. Trump’s campaign committee, joint committees with the RNC, and the new political action committee he formed after the election, Save America, will all file additional disclosures on Sunday with more details on spending and spending. Fund raising.

Mr Trump previously announced that he and the RNC raised $ 207.5 million in the first month after the election. The new records show that his fundraising fell sharply in December compared to November, with a particularly notable drop after December 14, the day the electoral college officially voted to make Mr. Biden the country’s 46th president, and reality may have set up for some of Mr. Trump’s supporters about the futility of efforts to reverse the outcome.

In the two weeks leading up to the Electoral College vote, Mr. Trump and the RNC had raised an average of $ 2.9 million per day online; in the next two weeks, the average was $ 1.2 million.

In fact, Mr. Trump and the RNC had raised over $ 2 million online every day from the election until December 14. They didn’t raise as much for the rest of the year, until December 31, when donations skyrocketed by the year-end deadline.

The new numbers capture nearly all of Mr. Trump’s online fundraisers, as he stopped fundraising on Jan.6, the day he spoke to a crowd of supporters who then stormed the Capitol building in a violent riot and over which Mr. Biden has been officially ratified by Congress as the next president.

Following this riot, Mr. Trump essentially stopped sending fundraising pitches to his supporters (the RNC took a hiatus of about a week). His last campaign email that day began: “TODAY will be a historic day in our nation’s history.”

Still, Mr. Trump left office with tens of millions of dollars raised for his new Save America PAC, which he can use to fund a post-presidential political operation, including travel and staffing.

But Mr Trump still faces a wave of legal fees with a looming Senate impeachment trial set to begin in just over a week. Late Saturday, Mr. Trump abruptly separated from senior counsel, Butch Bowers, over his impeachment defense.

On his first impeachment, the RNC paid part of Mr. Trump’s legal fees because he was the incumbent president and party leader. Those costs included a payment of $ 196,000 to Alan Dershowitz, the lawyer who was part of Mr. Trump’s defense team.

It’s unclear what role the RNC will play in the upcoming impeachment, but party coffers have profited immensely from Mr. Trump’s aggressive fundraising as he aired conspiracy theories of voter fraud. About 25% of funds raised through Mr. Trump’s email and texting operation were for the RNC