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Tuesday, Feb 07th

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Proud Boys on defensive at sedition trial haunted by absent Trump

Proud Boys on defensive at trialWhile federal prosecutors are casting the Capitol insurrection trial of five far-right Proud Boys leaders as an attempt to bring participants of an attack on US democracy to account, the members of the group are using the proceedings to ask one question even some of their opponents on the political left agree is valid.

Why have prosecutors so far only focused their energy on the supporters of Donald Trump who are accused of a coordinated invasion of the US Capitol on 6 January 2021 in an unsuccessful attempt to prevent the congressional certification of his defeat to Joe Biden in the previous year’s presidential election? Is it because they regard the former Republican president himself – who urged his supporters to “fight like hell” that deadly day – as too formidable and them as easier targets?

Attorneys for the ex-Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio and four of his lieutenants have sought to ingrain that question in the minds of jurors chosen after a particularly turbulent selection process which began last month and gave way to opening arguments and witness testimony beginning 12 January.

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Trump says he is ‘more angry’ than ever as he tries to revive White House bid

Trump angrier than ever

Donald Trump, the former US president, tried to get his spluttering White House bid off the launchpad on Saturday, declaring himself “more angry” than ever as he became the first candidate to hit the 2024 election campaign trail.

Trump swung through New Hampshire, which holds the first-in-the-nation Republican primary, and South Carolina, looking to shake off concerns about a lacklustre campaign and “Trump fatigue” among voters.

“We need a president who’s ready to hit the ground running on day one and boy, am I hitting the ground,” he told the New Hampshire state Republican party’s annual meeting. “They [the media] said, ‘He’s not doing rallies! He’s not campaigning! Maybe he’s lost that step.’ I’m more angry now and I’m more committed now than I ever was.” The remark elicited applause and cheers from the audience.

Trump formally launched his run for the White House more than two months ago with an address at his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida that was widely derided for its absence of sparkle or swagger.

TVNL Comment:  The man should be running to a therapist, not the WH.

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Proud Boys Aim To Subpoena Trump As Witness At Their Jan. 6 Trial

Proud BoysFive Proud Boys plan to subpoena former President Donald Trump as they face seditious conspiracy charges for their role in 2021′s Jan. 6 insurrection, a New York Times journalist reported this week.

The defendants — including Enrique Tarrio, the far-right group’s longtime chairman — “intend to subpoena Donald Trump as a witness at the trial,” tweeted reporter Alan Feuer.

It’s not immediately clear why they want Trump on the witness stand. Other Jan. 6 defendants, however, have said they stormed the U.S. Capitol because they thought it was what Trump wanted, which they believed may have legitimized the riot.

But a request for Trump to be subpoenaed hasn’t been granted in other Jan. 6 trials, noted Feuer.

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Revealed: Trump secretly donated $1m to discredited Arizona election ‘audit’

Trum gave $1m to failed Arizona auditOne of the enduring mysteries surrounding the chaotic attempts to overturn Donald Trump’s defeat in the 2020 presidential battle has been solved: who made a secret $1m donation to the controversial election “audit” in Arizona?

The identity of one of the largest benefactors behind the discredited review of Arizona’s vote count has been shrouded in secrecy. Now the Guardian can reveal that the person who partially bankrolled the failed attempt to prove that the election was stolen from Trump was … Trump.

An analysis by the watchdog group Documented has traced funding for the Arizona audit back to Trump’s Save America Pac. The group tracked the cash as it passed from Trump’s fund through an allied conservative group, and from there to a shell company which in turn handed the money to contractors and individuals involved in the Arizona audit.

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McDaniel wins reelection as RNC chair in contentious election

Ronna McDaniel

Ronna McDaniel won a fourth term to head the Republican National Committee (RNC) during a secret ballot vote by members on Friday, capping off a contentious election spurred by calls within the party for new leadership.

McDaniel fended off two challengers — California attorney Harmeet Dhillon and MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, a staunch denier of the 2020 presidential election results.

She received 111 votes while Dhillon received 51 votes and Lindell received four votes. Former Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.), who did not ultimately make a run for RNC chair, also received one vote.

The last three elections have proven disappointing for Republicans: The party lost the House in 2018, lost the Senate and presidency in 2020 and only gained a thin majority in the House in 2022. Many in the party cited last November’s midterms as a reason to elect fresh blood, as McDaniel oversaw the RNC through the last three elections.

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California seeks disbarment of Eastman following Trump memo

John Eaastman

The California State Bar is seeking disbarment of attorney John Eastman, who crafted memos for the Trump campaign encouraging Vice President Mike Pence to buck his ceremonial duty to certify the 2020 election results.

Eastman crafted two memos for the Trump campaign outlining strategies for reversing then-President Trump’s loss to President Biden, including another encouraging states to certify Trump’s loss as a victory.

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Trump’s return to Facebook will ‘fan the flames of hatred’, say experts and politicians

Trump returns to Facebook

Politicians and civil rights advocates have weighed in on Meta’s decision to allow former president Donald Trump to return to Facebook and Instagram, stating that his presence on the platforms will “fan the flames of hatred and division”.

The social media firm has lifted a ban imposed on Trump after the January 6 Capitol attack and will allow him to post again in the coming weeks. Experts in online hate speech say there is no reason to believe Trump will not return to spreading dangerous misinformation and hate speech upon his return.

“Giving Donald Trump access to his Facebook account allows him to once again use his platform as a megaphone to spread misinformation about the integrity of our elections, incite violence and stoke the flames of white supremacy,” said Mariana Ruiz Firmat, executive director of racial justice movement Kairos Action.

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