The Republican party has nominated Donald Trump as its presidential candidate, setting the stage for a rematch with Joe Biden in the 2024 presidential elections.

Mr Trump won four state primary victories on Tuesday which appeared to push him over the threshold of delegates needed to secure the GOP presidential nomination.

Mr Biden also secured the Democratic nomination for president after winning the Georgia primary, before winning the primary in Mississippi.

Meanwhile, transcripts of Mr Biden’s two-day interview with Department of Justice investigators reveal that he had a much more accurate memory of past events than described in the report released by Special Counsel Robert Hur.

The transcripts of the October 2023 interviews take up 268 pages and show a more detailed picture of Mr Biden’s capabilities than was written by Mr Hur, the former Trump administration appointee who Attorney General Merrick Garland brought on as a special counsel to investigate how classified documents ended up at Mr Biden’s former Washington, DC office and his Wilmington, Delaware home.

This comes as Mr Hur testified before the House Judiciary Committee today after releasing the scathing and much-criticised report.

Key Points

  • Trump wins Republican nomination for third straight election

  • Joe Biden wins Democratic nomination for President after Georgia primary victory

  • Watch Live: Special counsel Robert Hur testifies to House Judiciary Committee

  • Trump and Biden set to clinch presidential nominations as multiple states hold primaries today

Full story: The hunt for the January 6 DC pipe bomber

05:45 , Oliver O’Connell

Katie Hawkinson writes:

This week, a US House of Representatives committee will hold a hearing on a three-year unsolved mystery: The 6 January pipe bombs.

During the Capitol riots on 6 January 2021, authorities identified two pipe bombs in Washington DC: one outside the Democratic National Committee (DNC) building, the other outside the Republican National Committee (RNC) building.

As of March 2024, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) still has not released a suspect’s name.

Continue reading the full story…

What we know about the ongoing hunt for the January 6 DC pipe bomber

‘Great honour’, says Trump as he is nominated for 2024 elections

05:10 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

Donald Trump has given his first reaction to securing the Republican nomination for the 2024 presidential elections, saying “it is my great honour”.

“Our Party is UNITED and STRONG, and fully understands that we are running against the Worst, Most Incompetent, Corrupt, and Destructive President in the History of the United States,” he said in a post on Truth Social.

Targeting rival Joe Biden, Mr Trump said: “We are now, under Crooked Joe Biden, a Third World Nation, which uses the Injustice System to go after his political opponent, ME! But fear not, we will not fail …

“November 5th will go down as the most important day in the history of our Country!”

Trump wins Republican nomination for third straight election

04:25 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

Donald Trump won another slate of Republican state primary victories on Tuesday which appeared to push him over the threshold of delegates needed to secure the GOP presidential nomination.

The former presient won four victories in Georgia, Mississippi, Hawaii and Washington, four states which combined have enough delegates to the Republican convention in Milwaukee to put Mr Trump’s total over the 1,215 needed to win the primary — a majority of the overall total.

His path towards the nomination became obstacle-free with the departure of Nikki Haley from the race last week, following her final disappointing showing on Super Tuesday.

Despite campaigning in states including Virginia, Massachusetts, Utah and Texas, the former governor and UN ambassador won just a single state among the more than a dozen in play last week — Vermont, coincidentally the state representing the smallest prize of the evening.

John Bowden reports.

Donald Trump wins Republican nomination for third straight presidential election

New light cast on Biden’s memory of son Beau’s death as special counsel transcript released

03:45 , Oliver O’Connell

Andrew Feinberg reports:

Transcripts of President Joe Biden’s two-day interview with Department of Justice investigators shows Mr Biden having far more accurate recall and command of past events than was described in the report authored by Special Counsel Robert Hur.

The transcripts of the interviews, which were obtained by The Independent, were conducted on 8 and 9 October of last year at the White House, just one day after the 7 October terror attacks on Israel by Hamas.

They span 268 pages and paint a far more nuanced picture of Mr Biden’s faculties than was depicted by Mr Hur, a former Trump administration appointee who Attorney General Merrick Garland brought on as a special counsel to investigate how classified documents ended up at Mr Biden’s former Washington, DC office and his Wilmington, Delaware home.

Read on…

Biden special counsel interview transcript casts new light on memory of Beau’s death

GOP lawmakers accused of peddling ‘crazy right-wing conspiracy theories’ in Jan 6 pipe bomb hearing

01:45 , Oliver O’Connell

Katie Hawkinson reports from Washington, DC:

US House Republicans led a hearing on the unsolved three-year mystery of the 6 January pipe bomber on Tuesday that Democratic members said peddled “crazy right-wing conspiracy theories.”

During the US Capitol riots on 6 January 2021, authorities identified two pipe bombs in Washington DC: one outside the Democratic National Committee (DNC) building, the other outside the Republican National Committee (RNC) building. Now, more than three years later, authorities have yet to announce a suspect or an arrest in the case.

Continue reading…

Republicans accused of peddling ‘right-wing conspiracy theories’ in Jan 6 hearing

00:45 , Oliver O’Connell

White House asked whether they ‘alter photos’ after Kate Middleton controversy

00:45 , Oliver O’Connell

White House asked whether they ‘alter photos’ after Kate Middleton controversy

Trump wins Mississippi Republican primary

00:18 , Graeme Massie

Donald Trump’s victory in the Mississippi primary was confirmed by The Associated Press on Tuesday evening. Mr Trump is still shy of officially securing the GOP nomination, with primaries in Washington and Hawaii today.

Biden wins Mississippi primary

00:04 , Graeme Massie

The president’s primary victory in the state was called by The Associated Press at 8pm EST.

Trump tightens grip on RNC

Tuesday 12 March 2024 23:45 , Oliver O’Connell

Donald Trump has finalised his takeover of the Republican National Committee as the campaign organisation elected former North Carolina GOP chair and RNC general counsel Michael Whatley as its new chair following the departure of Ronna McDaniel.

Mr Trump’s daughter-in-law, Lara Trump, was elected vice-chair of the RNC, cementing the Trump family’s control of how Republican campaign cash gets spent.

Members of the RNC met in Houston, Texas to appoint Mr Whatley and Ms Trump to the top posts.

Gustaf Kilander has the details…

Trump’s grip on RNC tightens as Michael Whatley and Lara Trump become new leaders

Donald Trump wins Georgia primary

Tuesday 12 March 2024 23:27 , Graeme Massie

The rsce was called by The Associated Press at 7.11pm ET

Joe Biden wins Democratic nomination for President after Georgia primary victory

Tuesday 12 March 2024 23:20 , Graeme Massie

Joe Biden wins Democratic nomination for president after Georgia primary victory

Kansas Republicans pay to take turns hitting and kicking effigy of Joe Biden

Tuesday 12 March 2024 22:45 , Oliver O’Connell

People at a Republican Party event in Kansas on Friday were seen punching and kicking an effigy of President Joe Biden, with one attendee even using a baseball bat to hit the figure.

Photos and video shared online showed a mannequin with a President Biden mask on, being hit by multiple people at the event organised by the Johnson County Republican Party.

Attendees were reportedly encouraged to make a donation to the party before being allowed to attack the figure.

Dan Gooding has the story:

Kansas Republicans pay to take turns hitting and kicking effigy of Joe Biden

Is the US about to ban TikTok?

Tuesday 12 March 2024 21:45 , Oliver O’Connell

Alex Woodward writes:

A rapidly advancing proposal from members of Congress could present one of the biggest threats yet to TikTok’s future in the US.

Bipartisan legislation from the House of Representatives would force the China-based platform to sell off a controlling share or face removal from US app stores.

House Republicans have proposed bringing the bill to the floor for a vote as soon as this week, though it’s unclear whether a similar proposal can survive the Democratically controlled Senate, which has yet to produce any kind of companion legislation.

However, in recent days, President Joe Biden and his Republican rival Donald Trump have each weighed in, throwing a political wrench into TikTok’s future in the middle of an election year.

Read on…

Could the US ban TikTok?

Robert Hur: Democrats air Trump’s gaffes and criminal charges at hearing into Biden classified papers

Tuesday 12 March 2024 21:00 , Oliver O’Connell

Andrew Feinberg writes:

It took fewer than 10 minutes into former Special Counsel Robert Hur’s appearance before the House Judiciary Committee for the panel’s Democratic minority to offer their response to his report on his year-long probe into how documents with classification markings ended up in President Joe Biden’s Delaware home and former office in Washington, DC.

Mr Hur, a former Trump administration appointee at the Justice Department, sparked outrage last month among Mr Biden’s supporters — and from Mr Biden himself — when he attributed his decision not to seek any criminal charges against the president to his own judgment that he could not obtain a conviction because jurors might view Mr Biden as a “well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory”.

The ex-Maryland US attorney also used the report to mischaracterise a section of the nearly 300-page transcript of Mr Biden’s two-day interview with him and his staff, claiming that the president did not remember when his late son, Beau Biden, passed away. He also described Mr Biden’s memory as “photographic” on some matters and reported that he was unable to state beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr Biden had any criminal intent with regard to the documents.

The response from Democrats? Look at Donald Trump!

Read more…

Democrats air Trump gaffes during hearing into Biden classified papers

Georgia governor votes for Trump in primary

Tuesday 12 March 2024 20:44 , Oliver O’Connell

Despite their strained relationship, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp said he voted for Donald Trump today in the state’s presidential primary.

“Well I’ve said I’m gonna support the nominee,” he told reporters in Atlanta.

Republicans accused of peddling ‘crazy right-wing conspiracy theories’ in Jan 6 pipe bomb hearing

Tuesday 12 March 2024 20:30 , Oliver O’Connell

Katie Hawkinson watched this morning’s hearing:

US House Republicans led a hearing on the unsolved three-year mystery of the 6 January pipe bomber on Tuesday that Democratic members said peddled “crazy right-wing conspiracy theories.”

During the US Capitol riots on 6 January 2021, authorities identified two pipe bombs in Washington DC: one outside the Democratic National Committee (DNC) building, the other outside the Republican National Committee (RNC) building. Now, more than three years later, authorities have yet to announce a suspect or an arrest in the case.

Chairman Barry Loudermilk, a Republican from Georgia, led the hearing. He is best known for giving a “not typical” tour of the US Capitol on 5 January 2021, which some lawmakers on a separate special committee investigating the 6 January said raised “concerns” about the attendees’ “activity and intent.”

Read more…

Republicans accused of peddling ‘right-wing conspiracy theories’ in Jan 6 hearing

Watch: Speaker Johnson caught off guard by Buck retiring early

Tuesday 12 March 2024 20:15 , Oliver O’Connell

‘We see you, we hear you. Enough’: Jon Stewart mocks Katie Britt over SOTU response

Tuesday 12 March 2024 20:00 , Oliver O’Connell

Jon Stewart joined the mocking of Alabama’s US Senator Katie Britt for her response to President Joe Biden’s State of the Union, calling her rebuttal “objectively terrible.”

Ms Britt, who was chosen to deliver the Republican Party’s response to the president, sat at her kitchen table and condemned Mr Biden on a series of issues, even saying that the “American Dream” is becoming a “nightmare.”

Amelia Neath has the story…

Jon Stewart mocks Katie Britt over SOTU response: ‘We see you, we hear you. Enough’

Buck elaborates on reasons for leaving Congress

Tuesday 12 March 2024 19:34 , Oliver O’Connell

Colorado Rep Ken Buck elaborated on his reasons for stepping down from Congress next week, telling reporters that he is not running for president (though many people are unhappy with the choice of Trump and Biden); his time is better used to “get involved with the election”, and while his departure narrows the Republican Party margin in the House, he says it is helpful for them as he has broken with them.

He further added: “We’ve taken impeachment and we’ve made it a social media issue as opposed to a constitutional concept — this place keeps going downhill and I don’t need to spend more time here.”

US to send Ukraine $300m weapons package

Tuesday 12 March 2024 19:30 , Oliver O’Connell

Gustaf Kilander reports:

The US will send $300m of weapons to Ukraine even as $10bn is needed to restore the stockpiles of weapons it has sent to Kyiv to aid them in its fight against the years-long Russian invasion.

The Pentagon located some cost savings in its contracts to find the funds for the weapons package after Congress has so far failed to pass further aid.

Senior defence officials made the revelation on Tuesday. It’s the first weapons package announced since late last year when the Pentagon said it was out of funding to send more weapons to the wartorn country.

Continue reading…

US to send Ukraine $300m weapons package even as stockpiles dwindle

Ken Buck to leave Congress next week, further narrowing GOP majority in House

Tuesday 12 March 2024 19:07 , Oliver O’Connell

Colorado Rep Ken Buck has announced that not only will he not seek reelection, but he will also step down from Congress at the end of next week.

His departure will further narrow the Republican majority in the House of Representatives, bringing it down to just five seats.

ICYMI: Trump tightens grip on RNC

Tuesday 12 March 2024 19:00 , Oliver O’Connell

Donald Trump has finalised his takeover of the Republican National Committee as the campaign organisation elected former North Carolina GOP chair and RNC general counsel Michael Whatley as its new chair following the departure of Ronna McDaniel.

Mr Trump’s daughter-in-law, Lara Trump, was elected vice-chair of the RNC, cementing the Trump family’s control of how Republican campaign cash gets spent.

Members of the RNC met in Houston, Texas to appoint Mr Whatley and Ms Trump to the top posts.

Continue reading…

Trump’s grip on RNC tightens as Michael Whatley and Lara Trump become new leaders

New light cast on Biden’s memory about son Beau’s death in special counsel transcript

Tuesday 12 March 2024 18:30 , Oliver O’Connell

Andrew Feinberg reports:

Transcripts of President Joe Biden’s two-day interview with Department of Justice investigators shows Mr Biden having far more accurate recall and command of past events than was described in the report authored by Special Counsel Robert Hur.

The transcripts of the interviews, which were obtained by The Independent, were conducted on 8 and 9 October of last year at the White House, just one day after the 7 October terror attacks on Israel by Hamas.

They span 268 pages and paint a far more nuanced picture of Mr Biden’s faculties than was depicted by Mr Hur, a former Trump administration appointee who Attorney General Merrick Garland brought on as a special counsel to investigate how classified documents ended up at Mr Biden’s former Washington, DC office and his Wilmington, Delaware home.

Continue reading…

Biden special counsel interview transcript casts new light on memory of Beau’s death

Florida’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ law stripped of ‘most dangerous and discriminatory’ impacts

Tuesday 12 March 2024 18:00 , Oliver O’Connell

Alex Woodward reports:

A signature policy under Florida Governor Ron DeSantis that saw national copycat legislation can’t be used to restrict speech in schools about gender identity and sexual orientation.

Two years after a group of Florida families and LGBT+ civil rights groups sued the state over what opponents have called the “Don’t Say Gay” law, the DeSantis administration reached a settlement on Monday that strips the law’s “most dangerous and discriminatory” impacts, according to plaintiffs.

Continue reading…

Florida’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ law stripped of ‘most dangerous and discriminatory’ impacts

‘This hearing could’ve been an email’

Tuesday 12 March 2024 17:48 , Oliver O’Connell

Alyssa Farah Griffin, the former Trump staffer turned co-host of The View, has the most succinct summary of this morning’s Robert Hur hearing.

She tweeted: “He stands by his report, he declines to overreach & make judgments about Biden’s mental acuity, he recognizes the major differences in Biden& Trump cases. He wishes everyone handled classified info better. This hearing could’ve been an email.”

Watch: Hur says report is not exoneration of Biden

Tuesday 12 March 2024 17:42 , Oliver O’Connell

Tuesday 12 March 2024 17:30 , Oliver O’Connell

Tuesday 12 March 2024 17:15 , Oliver O’Connell

Garrett Haake of NBC News notes: “House Republicans are learning the hard lesson Democrats learned from Robert Mueller’s testimony: these career prosecutors aren’t going to chase your theory or leading question. They’re going to refer to their report. Over and over and over.”

Hur says Garland did not interfere in investigation

Tuesday 12 March 2024 17:05 , Oliver O’Connell

Democrat Rep Joe Neguse points out that, unlike former Attorney General Bill Barr with the Mueller report, Attorney General Merrick Garland did not try to spin Hur’s report ahead of time to Joe Biden’s benefit.

“AG Garland did not interfere with my efforts, and I was able to conduct a fair, thorough, and independent investigation,” Hur says.

Rep Jim Jordan then chips in to say that there is one big difference — Mr Barr did not name Mr Mueller as special counsel. He was named by then-Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, calling it a “huge difference”.

Tuesday 12 March 2024 17:05 , Oliver O’Connell

Hur is being attacked from both sides during this hearing.

Democrats view the inclusion of Joe Biden’s memory in his report as gratuitous.

Republicans argue that Hur has now set a bad precedent that memory issues might exonerate individuals for holding on to classified documents.

Tuesday 12 March 2024 17:00 , Oliver O’Connell

Hur asked if Biden is senile

Tuesday 12 March 2024 16:49 , Oliver O’Connell

Rep Scott Fitzgerald defines the term “senile” as someone who is exhibiting a decline of cognitive ability and then asks if he believes the president is senile.

Hur: “That conclusion does not appear in my report.”

Hur accused of ‘protecting the elites’

Tuesday 12 March 2024 16:40 , Oliver O’Connell

Wisconsin Republican Rep Tom Tiffany says to Hur: “I want to thank you for the work you did as far as you could, but unfortunately you are part of the praetorian guard that guards that swamp out here in Washington DC, protecting the elites.”

Watch: Tense moment as Hur accused of trying to get Trump re-elected

Tuesday 12 March 2024 16:30 , Oliver O’Connell

Hur won’t be drawn on future plans

Tuesday 12 March 2024 16:11 , Oliver O’Connell

Democratic Rep Eric Swalwell asked Hur if he would pledge not to accept a future appointment from Donald Trump if he is elected again.

Hur says he’s there to discuss his report, not the future.

Watch: Hur reaffirms decision to not charge Biden

Tuesday 12 March 2024 16:00 , Oliver O’Connell

House hearing on January 6 pipe bombs focuses on initial response

Tuesday 12 March 2024 15:45 , Katie Hawkinson

Chairman Loudermilk has focused his questioning on law enforcement’s initial response to the pipe bombs outside the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and Republican National Committee (RNC).

“There should have been a permanent officer at that location,” Sean Gallagher, Assistant Chief of Police for Uniformed Operations, told the subcommittee, referring to the RNC. “I’d like to clarify that as these incidents are ongoing…we’re dealing with breaches.”

The Chairman then showed footage of the streets outside the RNC and DNC, overlayed by radio communications between police officers. The footage at one point showed a nearby individual watching the bomb robot as it approached one of the devices. One officer could be heard saying that officers needed to be posted near the headquarters as people walked throughout the area after the bombs were identified.

‘It’s like spitting in their face’: Democrat criticises subcommittee’s probe into Jan 6 pipe bomb response

Tuesday 12 March 2024 15:33 , Katie Hawkinson

Ranking Member Norma Torres, a Democrat, criticized her fellow subcommittee members’ probe into law enforcement’s response to the pipe bombs.

“Second-guessing our law enforcement officers three years after the incident seems to me like a very cheap shot,” Ms Torres said. “It’s like spitting in their face after they gave up so much — so many of them had major injuries that were suffered under the violence of this angry mob that was unleashed on the US Capitol.”

Watch: Rep Lofgren lays out distinctions between Biden and Trump classified docs cases

Tuesday 12 March 2024 15:30 , Oliver O’Connell

Hur’s departure from government service day before he testifies a major red flag for Democrats

Tuesday 12 March 2024 15:15 , Andrew Feinberg

While Mr Hur has claimed that Mr Biden did not remember that his son had died in 2015, the transcript does not show that the president could not recall the year in question.

Instead, it shows that two other people interjected with the year after Mr Biden accurately recalled the month and day of Beau’s passing.

“It was May of 2015,” said the person, whose name is not identified in the transcript.

Mr Biden replied in agreement: “It was 2015”.

His description of the president as being confused about dates appears less accurate when the full transcript of the interview is taken into account.

On multiple occasions during the two-day interview, the lines of questioning jump between years and time periods.

At one exchange, Mr Hur points to a photograph of one of Mr Biden’s notebooks related to Afghanistan.

The president reads the date, 20 April 2009.

“Was I still vice president? I was, wasn’t I? Yeah,” he said.

Mr Hur, who is set to testify before the House Judiciary Committee at 10.00 am, wrapped up his work several weeks ago but arranged for his tenure at the Justice Department to officially end on Monday, the day before his appearance before the GOP-led panel.

Instead of appearing as a DOJ employee who is bound by the ethical guidelines which govern the behaviour of federal prosecutors, he will appear as a private citizen with no constraints on his testimony.

A Judiciary Committee source told The Independent that Mr Hur’s departure from government service the day before he testifies is a major red flag for Democrats on the panel.

“That makes it even more problematic from our perspective … if he was still a federal employee, DOJ would have to approve his testimony and they’d be involved in his appearance tomorrow,” they said.

Watch: Hur says he did not disparage Biden unfairly

Tuesday 12 March 2024 14:54 , Oliver O’Connell

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