Jan 6 hearings today: Trump rants about ‘political thugs’, ‘lowlife’ Dems and DoJ in outburst

Jan 6 hearings: Ivanka Trump recalls father called Pence ‘a wimp’ in final call

Donald Trump has torn into the 6 January committee over its third public hearing, ranting on Truth Social that he did not order former Vice President Mike Pence to overturn the 2020 election – directly contradicting evidence from multiple witnesses without contesting the main issue at hand.

Bombshell testimony revealed a pressure campaign by Mr Trump and law professor John Eastman to get Mr Pence to halt the congressional certification process on 6 January 2021 and throw the decision to Republican-led states.

The former president was the keynote speaker at a conservative conference on Friday, where he amplified his baseless election fraud conspiracy theories and lashed out at Democrats. He continued this on Saturday morning with further posts calling the committee “political thugs”.

Meanwhile, the select committee has requested testimony from Ginni Thomas, the wife of US Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, about texts and emails she sent to Mark Meadows and Mr Eastman in advance of the Capitol riot. The longtime right-wing activist has said she will oblige.

Trump’s advisers say he has grown angry and unhappy watching the 6 Jan hearings and is frustrated seeing clips of his family members including Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner being used against him, NYT journalist Maggie Haberman reports.

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January 6 hearing witnesses push Trump loyalists deeper in conspiracy theories

Bill Barr’s testimony that Trump was repeatedly told there was no election fraud? He was paid off by a voting machine company, according to one false claim that went viral this week. Ivanka Trump saying she didn’t believe Trump either? It’s all part of Trump’s grand plan to confuse his enemies and save America.

Jan. 6 witnesses push Trump stalwarts back to rabbit hole

Instead of convincing Donald Trump’s most loyal supporters of his misdeeds, the revelations from the hearings into the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol are prompting many of them to reassert their views that he was correct in falsely asserting a claim to victory

Oliver O’Connell18 June 2022 23:30

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Biden hails ‘monumental step’ in fight against Covid as children under five given vaccine greenlight

Statement by President Biden on the First COVID-19 Vaccines for Kids Under 5 Years Old

Today is a monumental step forward in our nation’s fight against the virus, with virtually every American now eligible for the protections that COVID-19 vaccines provide. After a rigorous and independent scientific review, the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have now authorized and recommended the first COVID-19 vaccines for kids under the age of five.

For parents all over the country, this is a day of relief and celebration. As the first country to protect our youngest children with COVID-19 vaccines, my Administration has been planning and preparing for this moment for months, effectively securing doses and offering safe and highly effective mRNA vaccines for all children as young as six months old.

We are ready to build on the progress of our historic vaccination program that has resulted in over 220 million Americans fully vaccinated, more than 100 million Americans boosted, and over 2 million American lives saved.

This coming week, parents will be able to start scheduling appointments at places like pediatricians’ offices, children’s hospitals, and pharmacies. Appointments will ramp up as more doses are shipped out, and in the coming weeks, every parent who wants a vaccine will be able to get one. As the vaccination program ramps up, Vaccines.gov will be live next week with vaccine availability and appointments increasing throughout the week.

These vaccines are safe, highly effective, and will give parents the peace of mind of knowing their child is protected from the worst outcomes of COVID-19. If you are a parent who wants to protect your child, I urge you to speak with your child’s pediatrician and make a plan to get your child vaccinated as soon as the vaccine becomes available to you.

Oliver O’Connell18 June 2022 23:00

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ICYMI: Jan 6 witness knocks down Trump lawyer’s argument to overturn election

A retired federal judge who formely counted a top lawyer for Donald Trump’s campaign among his law clerks, roundly dismissed the idea that Vice President Mike Pence had the authority to interfere in the count of the Electoral College.

J Michael Luttig, a former US Court of Appeals judge for the Fourth Circuit, rejected the idea supported by his former clerk, John Eastman, that posited the vice president could toss out results from states where the Trump campaign had claimed fraud (without evidence).

“There was no basis in the Constitution or the laws of the United States at all for the theory espoused by Mr Eastman. At all. None,” Mr Luttig told the House January 6 committee on Thursday.

John Bowden watched the testimony and reports for The Independent from Washington, DC.

Oliver O’Connell18 June 2022 22:30

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Watch: Trump mocks Biden for falling off bike

Trump mocks Biden falling off bike with golf shot video

Oliver O’Connell18 June 2022 22:20

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Right-wing activists confronts GOP’s Dan Crenshaw yelling ‘Eyepatch McCain’

Texas Representative Dan Crenshaw and his staff were confronted and harassed by right-wing social media activist Alex Stein at the Republican Party of Texas convention on Saturday.

Mr Stein and others, who witnesses described to Mediaite as Proud Boys, began shouting “eyepatch McCain” at the Republican lawmaker, whom they also called a “globalist Rino”.

Oliver O’Connell18 June 2022 22:15

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Biden jumps to show he is OK after bike fall

President Joe Biden indicates he is fine after his bike spill this morning, jumping up and down a few times as he exited church this afternoon.

Oliver O’Connell18 June 2022 22:13

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Opinion: Three new questions for the 6 January committee

The Independent’s Eric Garcia writes:

The select committee investigating the Capitol riot on January 6 spent its first prime time hearing last week trying to convey the stakes to the American public, mostly by illustrating just how dangerous and deadly the riot was. But the second week of committee hearings has mostly focused on how the Trump administration pushed the “Big Lie” – first the effort to sell it to the American public, and then the campaign by Donald Trump and certain of his lieutenants to force then-vice president Mike Pence into overturning the 2020 election results in Congress on 6 January.

Yesterday’s session showed how Mr Trump’s legal team, led by attorney John Eastman, tried to force the vice president to subvert the election results on 6 January and remarked that “there’s been violence in the history of our country to protect the democracy or protect the republic”.

It was a seismic and harrowing hearing, and spelled out Mr Eastman’s machinations in stunning detail. But the committee is now entering new territory: the Department of Justice has criticized the committee for not delivering witness transcripts, and the panel has said it wants Virginia “Ginni” Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, to testify.

Here are the three biggest questions the committee faces after the second week of hearings.

Oliver O’Connell18 June 2022 22:00

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Hillary Clinton rules out running for White House again

Hillary Clinton has ruled out another run for the White House saying that it would be “disruptive” to compete against President Joe Biden.

The former Secretary of State told the Financial Times that the possibility of her running again was “out of the question” following her 2016 loss to Donald Trump as she said that she expects Mr Biden to run for a second term.

“No, out of the question,” she said when asked about a potential 2024 bid.

Oliver O’Connell18 June 2022 21:45

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Peter Navarro pleads not guilty to contempt of Congress charges

Former Trump administration trade adviser Peter Navarro on Friday pleaded not guilty to the two counts of criminal contempt of congress on which he was indicted earlier this month.

Andrew Feinberg reports from Washington, DC.

Oliver O’Connell18 June 2022 21:30

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Opinion: ‘They knew. They all knew.’

Ahmed Baba gives his thoughts on Thursday’s House select committee hearing.

Oliver O’Connell18 June 2022 21:00