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Fears of violence grow after FBI search of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago – live


According to the memo from the FBI and department of homeland security, the federal agencies have identified an increase in threats “occurring primarily online and across multiple platforms” including social media.

They specifically link the increase to the August 8 search of Mar-a-Lago, a strong sign of yet more legal trouble to come for the former president.

“The FBI and DHS have observed an increase in violent threats posted on social media against federal officials and facilities, including a threat to place a so-called dirty bomb in front of FBI Headquarters and issuing general calls for ‘civil war’ and ‘armed rebellion,’” the agencies wrote.

Far-right Republican lawmakers in the House have joined in the attacks on federal law enforcement, including Georgia’s Marjorie Taylor Greene:

Impeach Merrick Garland and Defund the corrupt FBI!

End political persecution and hold those accountable that abuse their positions of power to persecute their political enemies, while ruining our country.

This shouldn’t happen in America.

Republicans must force it to stop!

— Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene🇺🇸 (@RepMTG) August 15, 2022

She was joined by Arizona’s Paul Gosar:

It is crucial that we hold our Department of Justice accountable after the obvious political persecution of opposition to the Biden Regime.

The “national security state” that works against America must be dismantled.

— Rep. Paul Gosar, DDS (@RepGosar) August 14, 2022

Yet there seems to be an awareness among Republicans that the attacks don’t match the message of a party that attempts to cast itself as supporters of law enforcement. “We cannot say that whenever they went in and did that search, that they were not doing their job as law enforcement officers,” Arkansas governor Asa Hutchinson said of the FBI in a Sunday interview on CNN:

Key events

Eric Herschmann, on the video screen, was a recurring character in the January 6 committee’s first set of hearings.
Eric Herschmann, on the video screen, was a recurring character in the January 6 committee’s first set of hearings. Photograph: J Scott Applewhite/AP

Eric Herschmann, a lawyer who advised Donald Trump and has become one of the more well known witnesses before the January 6 committee, has received a subpoena from the federal grand jury investigating the attack, Politico reports.

He joins former White House counsel Pat Cipollone and his deputy Patrick Philbin in receiving summons from the panel looking into the breach of the US Capitol by Trump’s enraged supporters.

With his witty ripostes and salty language, Herschmann’s testimony was among the more memorable aired by the January 6 committee. The lawyer detailed his opposition to other officials in the Trump White House, who wanted to take drastic actions to overturn the president’s loss in the 2020 election.

‘Are you out of your mind?’: White House lawyer testifies on exchange with Trump’s attorney – video

In other Trump-related news, the former president has posted on his Truth Social network to say the FBI took his passports when they raided Mar-a-Lago last week.

“This is an assault on a political opponent at a level never seen before in our Country. Third World!” Trump wrote.

Giuliani named target of Georgia election meddling probe: NYT

Rudy Giuliani, who served as Donald Trump’s attorney during his time in office, has been told he is a target of the criminal inquiry into the former president’s efforts to meddle in the results of Georgia’s 2020 election, according to The New York Times.

Giuliani is expected to later today appear before the special grand jury empaneled in Atlanta to investigate the interference, which, if successful, could have thrown Joe Biden’s election win in Georgia into doubt.

Earlier today, a federal judge rejected an attempt by Republican senator Lindsey Graham challenging a subpoena to appear before the grand jury. The senator said he would appeal.

Interim Summary

Hello live blog readers, it’s time to take stock of the day before we continue bringing you US political developments and analysis as they reach us.

Here’s where things stand:

  • US defense secretary Lloyd Austin has tested positive for Covid-19 for the second time this year, he announced. His symptoms are mild and he’ll work remotely.

  • Democrats fear that if the Republicans win the House this fall they could reinstate the Holman Rule, which allows the party in control of the chamber to write language into spending bills to cut the salaries of federal employees such as the attorney general or FBI officials, for example, the Washington Post tells us.

  • Much attention tomorrow night will be on the Wyoming and Alaska primaries, where congresswoman Liz Cheney is battling a Republican challenger in Wyoming and former vice-presidential candidate and Alaska governor Sarah Palin is hoping for a comeback in Alaska by winning a congressional seat.

  • Republican US senator Lindsey Graham says he’ll appeal the federal court order today upholding a subpoena for his appearance before a special grand jury in Georgia investigating attempts to meddle with the state’s election results.

  • The FBI and DHS have warned of an increase in violent threats posted on social media against federal officials and facilities, including a threat to place a so-called dirty bomb in front of FBI headquarters in Washington DC and the issuing of general calls for ‘civil war’ and ‘armed rebellion’.

US defense secretary has coronavirus

Joanna Walters

Joanna Walters

Defense secretary Lloyd Austin says he’s tested positive for Covid-19 – for the second time this year, Reuters reports.

Austin in a statement said he was experiencing mild symptoms and would continue with a normal work schedule but be doing it from home.

Austin said he last met with Joe Biden in person on 29 July.

The president has just recovered from his first bout of coronavirus and is currently on vacation with his wife, first lady Jill Biden, in South Carolina.

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin (R) attending a meeting with South Korea’s president Yoon Suk-yeol and Japanese prime minister Fumio Kishida, during a NATO summit in Spain, June 29, 2022. Joe Biden is at left.
The US defense secretary, Lloyd Austin, attends a Nato summit in Spain on 29 June. Joe Biden is at left. Photograph: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

Washington Post columnist Greg Sargent has published a preview of another, more unusual tactic conservative Republicans may use to frustrate the Biden administration: defunding the police.

Should they gain control of the House of Representatives, Sargent reports that Democratic lawmakers fear the GOP could reinstate the Holman Rule, which allows the party in control of the chamber to write language into spending bills that would cut the salaries of specific federal employees – such as the attorney general, FBI officials investigating the January 6 insurrection or Donald Trump himself.

“They want to ensure that Trump is above the law,” Don Beyer, a House Democrat representing Virginia, told Sargent.

There is a catch: any such measures would also need to be approved by the Senate and signed by Biden. While polling aggregator FiveThirtyEight shows Republicans remain the favorites to take the House, the Senate is a tougher haul for them, and Biden still has another two years in office.

House Republicans plan to unveil a report that is sharply critical of the Biden administration’s handling of the US withdrawal from Afghanistan last year, The Washington Post reports.

There isn’t a ton of new details about the chaotic evacuation in the report commissioned by Republicans on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, but the Post says it found more than 800 US citizens were left behind in Afghanistan, many more than the White House claimed. It also determined that only 36 American consular staff were in the country to process paperwork for thousands of people who had permission to enter the United States, but ultimately weren’t able to get on evacuation flights.

The report is a preview of a likely avenue of attack against Biden by Republicans, should they gain control of the House next year following the midterm elections. With committee chairmanships and subpoena power, it it almost certain the GOP would announce investigations of how the withdrawal from Afghanistan was conducted.

Patrick Wintour

Patrick Wintour

Today is the one-year anniversary of the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan, and non-governmental organisations in the country are calling for the release of the country’s assets abroad, which are frozen in several countries – primarily the United States. Patrick Wintour reports:

One year on from the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan, a group of 32 Afghan and international non-governmental organisations (NGOs) are urging the international community not to abandon the country’s people, but instead address the root causes of the its economic crisis, stand up for human rights and increase humanitarian aid.

Reflecting a concern that the deep ideological deadlock between the Taliban and the international community is consigning millions of Afghans to destitution, they call for a clear roadmap that will lead to the restoration of the basic functions of the Afghan central bank and the release of Afghanistan’s assets frozen abroad, mainly in the US. The NGOs call for the disbursement of badly needed Afghan banknotes that have been printed but are impounded in Poland.

Maanvi Singh

Along with Wyoming, Alaska will hold its primary elections Tuesday, which could put Sarah Palin in a prime position to return to national politics. Maanvi Singh reports from Anchorage on what Alaskans think of her latest bid for office:

The billboards around town may say “Sarah for Alaska” – but as far as resident David Gober can tell, Sarah Palin “is all for Palin”.

At a coffee shop not far from Palin’s campaign headquarters in Anchorage, Gober, his wife Zelda Marie and a few friends meet up regularly to affably dissect their politics and golf games. The group – like many Alaskans – is skeptical about their former governor’s congressional bid.

More than a decade ago, she ascended to international fame as a vice-presidential candidate in the 2008 election, with her self-described “rightwinging, bitter-clinging” persona. Since then, she has starred in several reality TV specials and in The Masked Singer, dressed as a fuzzy pink bear.

But on Tuesday she is seeking elected office again, running for an open congressional seat with dozens of candidates. Voters across the 49th state will have to rank her against the tech millionaire Nick Begich III, a Republican, and the former state legislator Mary Peltola, a Democrat. The world’s best-known Alaskan politician faces an uncertain political future.

“Palin gets people excited … She’s charismatic,” said Zelda Marie Gober, 67. “Do I want her in my politics? Not really.”

The election will not only test the weight of Palin’s celebrity, but also that of Donald Trump – in a remote state that fiercely values independent thought.

Republicans have overwhelmingly nominated 2020 election deniers for posts overseeing the vote in battleground states, according to an analysis from The Washington Post.

The report finds that in states which decided the winner of the last election, the GOP has nominated election deniers to two-thirds of the positions that play a role in certifying the vote, such as governor, secretary of state, attorney general or the federal House and Senate seats.

These nominees include figures such as Doug Mastriano of Pennsylvania and Kari Lake of Arizona, both election deniers who are the GOP’s nominees for governor of those states.

Here’s more from the Post’s report:

The predilection among Republican primary voters toward candidates who deny the result of the last election extends well beyond Michigan, Pennsylvania and Arizona — three states that together accounted for 47 electoral votes in 2020, more than enough to flip the last election to Trump.

In the 41 states that have held nominating contests this year, more than half the GOP winners so far — about 250 candidates in 469 contests — have embraced Trump’s false claims about his defeat two years ago, according to a Post analysis of every race for federal and statewide office with power over elections.

The proportion of election-denying nominees is even higher in the six critical battlegrounds that ultimately decided the 2020 presidential contest, where Trump most fiercely contested the results. In Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, at least 54 winners out of 87 contests — more than 62 percent of nominees — have embraced the former president’s false claims.

The count covers offices with direct supervision over election certification, such as secretaries of state, as well as the U.S. House and Senate, which have the power to finalize — or contest — the electoral college count every four years. Lieutenant governors and attorneys general are also included, with each playing a role in shaping election law, investigating alleged fraud or filing lawsuits to influence electoral outcomes.

Among the six battlegrounds, only Arizona, Michigan and Pennsylvania have nominated statewide candidates who would have direct power over the certification process and who worked to overturn the 2020 result or have said they would not have certified it.

Republican senator Lindsey Graham now says he will appeal the federal court order today upholding a subpoena for his appearance before a special grand jury in Georgia investigating attempts to meddle with the state’s election results, Politico reports:

Republican senator Lindsey Graham has failed in his latest attempt to get out of appearing before a special grand jury in Georgia looking into attempts to undermine the 2020 election results in the state, Politico reports:

BREAKING: A federal judge has *denied* Lindsey Graham’s attempt to quahs his Fulton County grand jury subpoena.

“[T]he Court finds that the District Attorney has shown
extraordinary circumstances and a special need for Senator Graham’s testimony.”https://t.co/9Red9FgbRh

— Kyle Cheney (@kyledcheney) August 15, 2022

The special grand jury empaneled in the Atlanta area has also called for testimony from Rudy Giuliani, among other members of Donald Trump’s legal team.

David Smith

David Smith

Last week was indeed a wild one in US politics, with Joe Biden getting Congress to pass a major spending plan while his rival Donald Trump had his house raided. David Smith reports on the new dynamics created by the events as the midterms approach:

Departing his small, unshowy home state of Delaware, Joe Biden roared into the sky aboard Air Force One, borne aloft by jet fuel and a dramatic uplift in his political fortunes.

A thousand miles away, some unexpected guests had just arrived at the opulent Florida estate of the US president’s predecessor, Donald Trump, but not for its champagne, sumptuous buffet or two pound lobsters.

At about 9am on Monday, FBI agents – said to number between 30 and 40, some wearing suits, most in T-shirts, casual trousers, masks and gloves – began a search of Mar-a-Lago for government secrets that should not have left the White House.

The suicide of a man who crashed his car into barricades outside the US Capitol over the weekend underscores the tense atmosphere the search of Mar-a-Lago created, Maya Yang reports:

A man drove into a barricade near the US Capitol in Washington DC on early Sunday morning, fired several shots into the air after his vehicle ignited, and then shot himself to death, according to police.

Officials were quick to note they had not determined a motive for the man’s actions, though they did say there was no indication he was targeting any Congress members, who were in recess at the time.

The man – identified as Richard Aaron York III, 29, of Dagsboro, Delaware – crashed his car into the barricades at East Capitol and Second streets, a press statement from the Capitol police announced.

As he exited his car, the vehicle became engulfed in flames. York proceeded to fire a gun multiple times in the air, prompting police officers to approach him.

Oliver Laughland

Oliver Laughland

Oliver Laughland has more on the apparent rift within the Republican party over how much to blame the FBI and justice department for the search of Mar-a-Lago:

A handful of Republican governors have criticized the “outrageous rhetoric” of their party colleagues in the US Congress, who have accused federal law enforcement officers of a politicized attack on former president Donald Trump after executing a court-approved search warrant on his Florida home this week.

Maryland governor Larry Hogan, a Republican moderate, described attacks by party members as both “absurd” and “dangerous”, after a week in which certain Republicans have compared the FBI to the Gestapo and fundraised off the slogan: “Defund the FBI”.

Speaking to ABC News on Sunday, Hogan described the comparisons of the FBI to Nazi Germany’s secret police, made by Florida senator Rick Scott, as “very concerning to me, it’s outrageous rhetoric”.

According to the memo from the FBI and department of homeland security, the federal agencies have identified an increase in threats “occurring primarily online and across multiple platforms” including social media.

They specifically link the increase to the August 8 search of Mar-a-Lago, a strong sign of yet more legal trouble to come for the former president.

“The FBI and DHS have observed an increase in violent threats posted on social media against federal officials and facilities, including a threat to place a so-called dirty bomb in front of FBI Headquarters and issuing general calls for ‘civil war’ and ‘armed rebellion,’” the agencies wrote.

Far-right Republican lawmakers in the House have joined in the attacks on federal law enforcement, including Georgia’s Marjorie Taylor Greene:

Impeach Merrick Garland and Defund the corrupt FBI!

End political persecution and hold those accountable that abuse their positions of power to persecute their political enemies, while ruining our country.

This shouldn’t happen in America.

Republicans must force it to stop!

— Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene🇺🇸 (@RepMTG) August 15, 2022

She was joined by Arizona’s Paul Gosar:

It is crucial that we hold our Department of Justice accountable after the obvious political persecution of opposition to the Biden Regime.

The “national security state” that works against America must be dismantled.

— Rep. Paul Gosar, DDS (@RepGosar) August 14, 2022

Yet there seems to be an awareness among Republicans that the attacks don’t match the message of a party that attempts to cast itself as supporters of law enforcement. “We cannot say that whenever they went in and did that search, that they were not doing their job as law enforcement officers,” Arkansas governor Asa Hutchinson said of the FBI in a Sunday interview on CNN:

Fears of violence grow following FBI search of Trump’s resort

Good morning, US politics blog readers. Supporters of former president Donald Trump have reacted to last week’s FBI search of his Mar-a-Lago resort with both threats of violence and at least one real attack so far. Over the weekend, reports emerged that the bureau and the department of homeland security had put out a memo warning that the search inflamed extremists across the United States. An incident outside the US Capitol early Sunday morning in which a man drove his car into a barricade before shooting himself underscored the tense atmosphere.

Here’s a look at what we can expect today:

  • Today is the first anniversary of the Taliban taking power in Afghanistan following the US withdrawal, which is seen as one of the catalysts for the steady drop in Joe Biden’s approval rating over the past year.

  • Another congressional delegation is in Taiwan. House speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit earlier this month was met with fury by China, which responded with military drills around the island.

  • Congress is finally on vacation after the House of Representatives on Friday passed the Democrats’ inflation reduction act to lower health care costs and fight climate change. Biden, who is also on vacation, is expected to sign it soon.





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