Donald Trump’s defamation has resumed in New York this morning after it was postponed earlier this week over concerns that both the jury and defence team had been exposed to Covid-19.

The former president had been expected to testify against complainant E Jean Carroll on Monday. He is now expected to take the stand later today once Ms Carroll’s lawyers rest their case.

A previous jury has already found Mr Trump liable for sexually abusing Ms Carroll in a department store dressing room in the mid-1990s and for subsequently defaming her.

He continues to vigoriously deny the allegations and, on Wednesday night, unleashed a series of attacks on Truth Social against the former Elle magazine columnist and the “Trump Hater” judge in the case.

“I’m heading back to New York City for a trial based on False Accusations, from perhaps decades ago,” he fumed.

This comes after the Republican front-runner celebrated his victory in the New Hampshire GOP presidential primary by mocking his last remaining opponent Nikki Haley as his grip on the party grows ever stronger.

Mr Trump called Ms Haley an “imposter” and expressed anger at her refusal to drop out of the race.

Key Points

  • Donald Trump lashes out at E Jean Carroll in social media rampage ahead of testimony

  • Republican front-runner warns Nikki Haley donors will be ‘permanently banned from the MAGA camp’

  • Maine Supreme Court refuses to weigh in on Trump 2024 ballot eligibility

  • Trump cruises to victory in New Hampshire primary

  • Republican hammers ‘RINO’ former press secretary: ‘Save your advice for Nikki!’

Trump reposts ‘immunity’ claim as trial continues

15:34 , Oliver O’Connell

Donald Trump may be seated in the courtroom of his second defamation trial, but someone has just reposted his angry all-caps claims about presidential immunity to his Truth Social account:

Meanwhile, in a courtroom in DC…

15:29 , Oliver O’Connell

In a courtroom in Washington, DC, the sentencing hearing of former Trump trade adviser and ally Peter Navarro is underway.

Mr Navarro defied a subpoena from the House select committee investigating the events of January 6 and was found guilty of two counts of contempt of Congress.

Judge Amit Mehta is presiding and immediately challenges the contention by Navarro’s lawyers that he has accepted responsibility for his crime and that he should get credit for that in the sentencing.

“The idea that somehow he has exhibited clear demonstration of acceptance [of responsibility] is sort of hard to reconcile with the plain reading of those words,” Judge Mehta says.

Nevertheless, Navarro’s lawyers argue that the 30-day mandatory minimum should not apply here.

Prosecutors have asked for six months for each count.

Trump defamation trial: Cross-examination of Robbie Myers

15:24 , Oliver O’Connell

Direct examination of Robbie Myers is brief and Donald Trump’s lawyer Alina Habba begins cross-examination by asking if she does not plan to vote for the former president in 2024.

Ms Myers bats away the question saying that she doesn’t think she has to say what she plans to do.

Habba asks whether she was terminated by Elle to which she replies that they did not renew her contract. Ms Myers confirms she was not at the magazine and has no knowledge other than gossip of the period from 2017-2019.

Of Ms Carroll’s writing, she calls her “journalistic”, and “accurate”, and would give relationship advice and write about “the culture”. She would call psychiatrists, medical doctors, or other experts for additional information when needed. She was a “truth teller” that was important to the magazine’s brand.

Shortly after that Habba has no more questions and Ms Myers is excused.

Jimmy Kimmel says Haley is ‘missing the point’ with Trump’s mental competency test

15:15 , Joe Sommerlad

The late night host has pleaded with Trump’s rival to let him take a mental competency test after the former president claimed he would come out on top against her.

Amelia Neath has the story.

Jimmy Kimmel says Haley is ‘missing the point’ with Trump’s mental competency test

Trump defamation trial: Court gets underway

15:13 , Oliver O’Connell

Donald Trump’s second defamation trial for the case brought against him by writer E Jean Carroll has resumed in Lower Manhattan.

Two jurors are socially distancing due to concerns about Covid-19 that saw proceedings postponed earlier this week.

The first witness is called — Roberta Myers (see earlier post), who was Ms Carroll’s former boss at Elle.

As questioning gets underway she confirms that she testified at the first defamation trial and had subsequently appeared on MSNBC. Ms Myers also says she votes Democrat but the magazine itself does not endorse political candidates.

GOP rep only regrets misspelling martial law when calling for it to stop peaceful transfer of power

15:00 , Oliver O’Connell

Republican congressman Ralph Norman has said that the only thing he regrets about sending a text message demanding martial law be imposed in response to Donald Trump’s bogus 2020 election fraud claims is his poor spelling.

On 17 January 2021, three days before President Joe Biden’s inauguration, the South Carolina representative texted Mr Trump’s then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows a now-infamous message.

Joe Sommerlad reports:

Republican congressman reveals the one thing he regrets about Jan 6 text

Trump won’t let a trial (or six) get in the way of his beloved rallies

14:46 , Oliver O’Connell

The former president posted after arriving at the court for today’s session:

We had giant crowds in Iowa and New Hampshire, but because of the cold weather and smaller venues, except for the Ice Hockey Arena in N.H., which was packed, a large scale TRUMP RALLY was not in the cards. But in South Carolina, we are planning some really BIG ones. Get ready South Carolina, we’re going to have some fun!!!

Proud Boys member sentenced to six years in prison for Capitol riot role after berating judge

14:45 , Joe Sommerlad

A man who stormed the US Capitol with fellow Proud Boys extremist group members was sentenced on Wednesday to six years in prison after he berated and insulted the judge who punished him.

Marc Bru repeatedly interrupted Chief Judge James Boasberg before he handed down the sentence, calling him a “clown” and a “fraud” presiding over a “kangaroo court.”

The judge warned Bru that he could be kicked out of the courtroom if he continued to disrupt the proceedings.

“You can give me 100 years and I’d do it all over again,” said Bru, who was handcuffed and shackled.

“That’s the definition of no remorse in my book,” the judge said.

Proud Boys member sentenced to 6 years in prison for Capitol riot role after berating judge

First witness will be Robbie Myers, Carroll’s former editor at Elle

14:36 , Oliver O’Connell

NBC News reports that Robbie Myers, the former editor-in-chief of Elle and E Jean Carroll’s boss when she wrote for the magazine, is expected to be the first witness today.

Ms Myers is well-known in New York media circles, having begun her career at Rolling Stone in the 1980s before moving to Interview, where she worked for Andy Warhol. She later held positions at Seventeen and InStyle.

Once she has testified, Ms Carroll’s attorneys will play approximately 30 minutes of Donald Trump’s deposition before they rest their case.

In pictures: Trump and E Jean Carroll ready for court

14:31 , Oliver O’Connell

Donald Trump raises his fist as he leaves Trump Tower on Thursday 25 January 2024 (AP)Donald Trump raises his fist as he leaves Trump Tower on Thursday 25 January 2024 (AP)

Donald Trump raises his fist as he leaves Trump Tower on Thursday 25 January 2024 (AP)

Attorney Alina Habba waits outside the Trump Tower to attend J Jean Carroll’s defamation case against former President Donald Trump (EPA)Attorney Alina Habba waits outside the Trump Tower to attend J Jean Carroll’s defamation case against former President Donald Trump (EPA)

Attorney Alina Habba waits outside the Trump Tower to attend J Jean Carroll’s defamation case against former President Donald Trump (EPA)

E Jean Carroll arrives outside Manhattan Federal Court (REUTERS)E Jean Carroll arrives outside Manhattan Federal Court (REUTERS)

E Jean Carroll arrives outside Manhattan Federal Court (REUTERS)

E Jean Carroll (REUTERS)E Jean Carroll (REUTERS)

E Jean Carroll (REUTERS)

Trump appears to slur words while speaking about drug death penalty

14:25 , Oliver O’Connell

Here’s another look at one of Trump’s more alarming blunders from the campaign trail this week.

Trump appears to slur words while speaking about drug death penalty

Watch: New Lincoln Project ad warns of Trump retribution if he wins

14:19 , Oliver O’Connell

Trump ponders whether legal team will be able to show ‘Anderson Cooper tape’ in court today

14:14 , Oliver O’Connell

Donald Trump is wondering on Truth Social whether his defence team in the E Jean Carroll defamation trial will be able to show the “CNN Anderson Cooper tape” in court today which he claims exonerates him of the sexual assault he has already been found liable for.

The former president posted:

Are we going to be able to show the CNN Anderson Cooper tape today which, among other things, totally exonerates me from a decades old False Accusation? THIS IS A WITCH HUNT CONCEIVED AND FUNDED BY POLITICAL OPERATIVES FOR PURPOSES OF ELECTION INTERFERENCE!!!

It is highly unlikely Judge Lewis Kaplan would suddenly allow for the introduction of a new piece of evidence given how courts and trials operate — he has already had to remind Mr Trump’s lawyer Alina Habba of some pretty basic rules — and he has already instructed the defence team that they cannot argue against the facts of the case.

The former president appears to be setting up another false argument that the trial has been unfair.

Mitch McConnell is the main reason Trump is back

13:45 , Joe Sommerlad

Shortly after Trump won in New Hampshire, Senator John Cornyn announced his support for him.

Why does that matter? Because Cornyn is far from a Trumpist.

In fact, the square-jawed Republican from Texas negotiated a gun bill alongside Democratic senator Chris Murphy and then-Democratic senator Kyrsten Sinema that Trump vehemently opposed.

Cornyn’s support shows that all Republicans — from the furthest right to the most moderate — are now falling into line behind the former president.

In fact, Trump continues to have Republican leaders get behind him save for one major voice: Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell.

Trump and McConnell’s relationship is well-documented: the two worked hand-in-glove to confirm a slew of judges, including the three Supreme Court justices who killed Roe v Wade; while they failed to repeal Obamacare, they collaborated to pass massive tax cuts.

But their relationship irrevocably broke after the January 6 insurrection. Elaine Chao, McConnell’s wife, resigned from the Trump administration as secretary of transportation after rioters violently attempted to breach her husband’s office.

But as much as the two many not like each other — Trump has taken to calling McConnell “Old Crow” — and as much as the two may not want to admit it, McConnell’s decision not to convict Trump likely facilitated his return to the top of the Republican Party.

Eric Garcia reports.

Mitch McConnell is the reason Trump is back

Trump’s live appearances pose a riddle that news executives still haven’t solved

13:15 , Joe Sommerlad

Even as Trump seeks his third straight Republican presidential nomination, his live appearances still present an unsolved riddle for many news outlets: How do you cover him?

The question hung in the air as CNN, MSNBC and some streaming outlets started – then stopped – showing Trump’s speech following Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary. There was little hand-wringing at Fox News Channel and Newsmax, networks that appeal to Trump supporters. They carried the former president’s remarks in full.

Outlets weigh whether an event’s newsworthiness justifies live coverage when there’s a risk Trump will make false statements that are difficult, if not impossible, to correct in real time – or go completely off script with something entirely unexpected.

And as a year of campaign and courtroom events loom, news executives will face similar decisions again and again.

Trump’s live appearances pose a riddle that news executives still haven’t solved

Trump’s election denial movement is the real primaries winner

12:45 , Joe Sommerlad

The true winner of the Republican primaries so far has been Trump’s bogus conspiracy theory that the 2020 election was stolen from him, with a vast majority of his supporters in Iowa and New Hampshire agreeing, falsely, that Joe Biden was not legitimately elected.

Eighty-six per cent of New Hampshire primary voters who supported Mr Trump believe that the current president is an illegitimate one, according to exit polls.

Here’s Alex Woodward with more.

Donald Trump’s bogus election denial movement is the real winner of the primaries

Trump due back in court as E Jean Carroll trial resumes

12:40 , Joe Sommerlad

The intrepid Ariana Baio is watching proceedings for us today at the Daniel Patrick Moynihan United States Courthouse in Lower Manhattan with Trump set to return for the resumption of the E Jean Carroll defamation trial today.

She reports that the crowd outside is almost as busy as it was on opening arguments day, presumably in anticipation of Trump himself taking to the stand to testify and saying something spicy.

She also notes the heavy downpour and suggests that heavy rain accompanies Trump whenever he returns to his old hometown, a phenomenon the English literature professors will tell you is known as pathetic fallacy.

Haley is the last Republican bulwark against Trump

12:15 , Joe Sommerlad

Nikki Haley is the last Republican candidate standing between Donald Trump and the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.

When she announced her run on 14 February 2023, she became the first woman of colour to be a major candidate for the GOP nomination and the first woman governor to run for the top job.

As the last bulwark of the old pre-2016 Republican establishment standing in Trump’s way, the former UN ambassador and South Carolina governor has vowed to remain in the race until at least the primary in her home state on 24 February, but polling has her around 30 points behind Trump there.

Top state officials, such as current governor Henry McMcMaster and senator Tim Scott, who Ms Haley appointed to the Senate and who previously dropped out of the presidential race, are backing Trump in what some see as a cynical attempt to elevate themselves for jobs in a possible second Trump administration in January 2025.

Here’s Gustaf Kilander on her chances.

Nikki Haley is the last Republican bulwark against Donald Trump

Voices: New Hampshire ‘victory speech’ made it obvious Trump is scared

11:45 , Joe Sommerlad

Here’s Holly Baxter on Trump betraying his true fears during his angry victory speech on Tuesday night in which he repeatedly attack Haley for not dropping out and behaving, as he saw it, as though she had won.

Trump’s New Hampshire victory speech made it obvious he’s scared

United Auto Workers union formally endorses Biden for president

11:15 , Joe Sommerlad

This is a blow to Trump as he attempts to appeal to blue collar America by insisting President Biden is not the right man to steer the country’s economy back to pre-pandemic prosperity.

United Auto Workers union formally endorses Joe Biden for president

Susan Collins under fire for Trump ballot stance

10:45 , Joe Sommerlad

The Republican senator for Maine is facing an onslaught of criticism after arguing on X that Trump should be on the ballot in her state, rejecting Shenna Bellows’ decision to exclude him under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution, which prohibits insurrectionists from returning to public office.

You may remember Collins heavily hinting that she would vote for Trump’s first impeachment in the Senate before bottling it and saying she was sure he’d learned his lesson.

A deadly riot, a second impeachment and 91 felony charges later, history is not looking kindly on her contention.

And nor are her fellow X users.

Maine Supreme Court refuses to weigh in on Trump 2024 ballot eligibility

10:15 , Joe Sommerlad

Maine’s top court declined to weigh in on whether former president Donald Trump can stay on the state’s ballot on Wednesday evening, keeping intact a judge’s decision that the US Supreme Court must first rule on a similar case in Colorado.

Democratic secretary of state Shenna Bellows concluded that Trump didn’t meet ballot qualifications under the insurrection clause in the US Constitution but a judge put that decision on hold pending the Supreme Court’s decision on the similar case in Colorado.

In a unanimous decision, the Maine Supreme Judicial Court dismissed Bellows’ appeal of the order requiring her to await the US Supreme Court decision before withdrawing, modifying or upholding her decision to keep Trump off the primary ballot on Super Tuesday.

“The Secretary of State suggests that there is irreparable harm because a delay in certainty about whether Trump’s name should appear on the primary ballot will result in voter confusion. This uncertainty is, however, precisely what guides our decision not to undertake immediate appellate review in this particular case,” the court said.

Bellows’ decision in December that Trump was ineligible made her the first election official to ban the Republican front-runner from the ballot under the 14th Amendment. In Colorado, the state supreme court reached the same conclusion.The timelines are tight as Maine’s 5 March primary approaches.

The US Supreme Court is hearing arguments on the Colorado case on 8 February and Maine has already begun mailing overseas ballots.The nation’s highest court has never ruled on Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, which prohibits those who “engaged in insurrection” from holding office. Some legal scholars say the post-Civil War clause applies to Trump for his role in trying to overturn the 2020 presidential election and encouraging his backers to storm the US Capitol after he lost to Joe Biden.

Trump contends Bellows should have recused herself and that she was biased against him. Trump said her actions disenfranchised voters in Maine and were part of a broader effort to keep him off the ballot.

Bellows, who was elected by the Democratic-controlled Legislature, said she was bound by state law to make a determination after several residents challenged Trump’s right to be on the primary ballot. She put her decision on Trump’s ballot eligibility on hold pending judicial proceedings, and vowed that she would abide by a court’s ultimate ruling.

Here’s Martha McHardy’s report.

Maine Supreme Court refuses to weigh in on Trump 2024 ballot eligibility

Truth Social: Trump lashes out at E Jean Carroll in social media rampage ahead of testimony

09:45 , Joe Sommerlad

Also on social media last night, Trump was up late raging at the woman he will come face to face with once again in a Lower Manhattan courtroom today, again firing out a deluge of old social media posts of hers he disapproves of and claiming never to have even met her before.

Here he is raging about having to return to New York “for a trial based on False Accusations, from perhaps decades ago”, adding: “The Federal Judge in this Second Biden Political Opponent ‘Trial’ is extraordinarily hostile to me – Sadly, and I don’t know why, a 100% Trump Hater. He knows I did nothing wrong, but is looking to do a number on me. Only in America!”

Truth Social: Trump warns Haley donors will be ‘permanently banned from the MAGA camp’

09:38 , Joe Sommerlad

Here’s our man playing the mob boss and issuing a Mafia-style decree banishing anyone who has made a campaign contribution to his rival from his orbit.

“We don’t want them, and will not accept them, because we Put America First, and ALWAYS WILL!” he frothed last night.

Martha McHardy has more.

Trump warns Nikki Haley donors will be ‘permanently banned from the MAGA camp’

Trump double-digit New Hampshire win means Haley White House bid is doomed, his supporters say

08:45 , Amelia Neath

Donald Trump won New Hampshire Republican primary contest against Nikki Haley – but Ms Haley has vowed to stay in the race.

“This race is far from over,” she told her supporters while in Concord, New Hampshire, after losing to Mr Trump, while his victory speech was filled with bashings directed at his opponent and criticised her for giving a speech “like she won.”

But many of Mr Trump’s supporters are not convinced that Ms Haley’s White House bid can last…

Trump supporters claim his New Hampshire win means Haley White House bid is doomed

Trump’s key weakness exposed in New Hampshire primary vote

06:45 , Oliver O’Connell

Donald Trump may have resoundingly won the New Hampshire primary, but the race’s exit polls revealed demographic weak spots in his voter appeal.

Mr Trump defeated Nikki Haley in the New Hampshire Republican primary by an 11-point margin. Ever since he jumped into the race, Mr Trump has maintained a sizable lead among his GOP competitors. His recent victories in Iowa and New Hampshire have underscored his popularity among Republicans, but they have also uncovered some weaknesses.

Kelly Rissman takes a deeper look at the results:

Donald Trump’s key weakness exposed in New Hampshire primary vote

Trump issues ominous threats of ‘investigations’ against Haley

04:45 , Oliver O’Connell

Donald Trump threatened that Nikki Haley would be “under investigation” if she beat him in the Republican primary after defeating her in New Hampshire.

The former president appeared to threaten his former UN ambassador after she vowed to continue her fight for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination.

“Just a little note to Nikki, she is not going to win, but if she did she would be under investigation by those people in 15 minutes. I could tell you five reasons why already, not big reasons, little stuff that she doesn’t want to talk about, but she will be under investigation in minutes,” said Mr Trump to a crowd of his supporters on Tuesday night.

“And so would Ron have been, but he decided to get out.”

Graeme Massie reports:

Trump issues ominous threats of ‘investigations’ against Haley if she stays in race

Trump’s New Hampshire victory speech was full of false claims

02:45 , Kelly Rissman

Former president Donald Trump’s New Hampshire victory speech was riddled with false claims and inaccurate statements, prompting networks to fact-check him in real-time.

Both CNN and MSNBC were forced to fact-check Mr Trump after his win in the first-in-the-nation primary.

Mr Trump spewed inaccuracies about previous elections.

The former president claimed that Democrats “used Covid to cheat” in the last presidential election. CNN host Jake Tapper interjected, saying, “Obviously, Donald Trump did not win in 2020, he lost that election and that’s been adjudicated over and over again, although to the crowd he’s speaking to, they believe it even though it’s a lie.”

He then asserted that he had won New Hampshire in the last two elections. “You know we won New Hampshire three times now three. We win it every time. We win the primary. We win the generals. We won it and it’s a very, very special place to me,” Mr Trump claimed.

While he has historically won the state’s GOP primaries, Hillary Clinton won the Granite State in 2016, and Joe Biden did the same in 2020.

Continue reading the full article…

Haley campaign fires back at Trump’s ‘angry rant’

01:45 , Oliver O’Connell

Nikki Haley hit back at Donald Trump’s criticism following the former president’s win in the New Hampshire primary on Tuesday,

Trump attacked his last-standing Republican rival in his speech

Mr Trump carved out part of his victory speech to address Ms Haley, seemingly unhappy that she had not dropped out of the 2024 race, emphasising that she had a “very bad night.”

He blasted Ms Haley as an “imposter” who’s still “hanging around” despite coming third in the Iowa primary last week and failing to secure a win in New Hampshire.

Kelly Rissman reports:

Haley campaign fires back at Trump’s ‘angry rant’ after New Hampshire win

Watch: UAW president slams Trump after Biden endorsement

01:15 , Oliver O’Connell

Alina Habba seen at New Hampshire victory party after saying she was exposed to Covid

00:45 , Oliver O’Connell

Donald Trump’s attorney Alina Habba was seen at his New Hampshire victory party a day after she said she was feeling unwell and displayed possible Covid symptoms.

Ms Habba is representing the former president in the New York civil defamation case brought by E Jean Carroll after he was found liable for sexually abusing her.

Namita Singh has the story:

Trump lawyer seen at New Hampshire party after saying she was exposed to Covid

Trump vows to ‘get even’ with Haley

Wednesday 24 January 2024 23:45 , Oliver O’Connell

Despite Donald Trump declaring victory in the New Hampshire Republican primary on Tuesday, he spent most of his speech and time on social media bashing his political opponent, Nikki Haley.

Rather than thank voters or commend Ms Haley’s performance – which is what the former UN ambassador did in her speech – Mr Trump said Ms Haley “failed badly” and mocked her for giving a speech.

Joined by former presidential candidates Vivek Ramaswamy and Tim Scott, Mr Trump invited Mr Ramaswamy to give his own remarks about Ms Haley, saying he was “the only person more angry, let’s say, than me”.

“But I don’t get too angry, I get even,” Mr Trump added – a commonly used threat by the former president.

Trump vows to ‘get even’ with Haley in New Hampshire victory speech

McConnell is the main reason Trump is back

Wednesday 24 January 2024 23:15 , Eric Garcia

Shortly after Donald Trump won in New Hampshire, Senator John Cornyn announced his support for him. Why does that matter? Because Cornyn is far from a Trumpist. In fact, the square-jawed Republican from Texas negotiated a gun bill alongside Democratic Senator Chris Murphy and then-Democratic Senator Kyrsten Sinema that Trump vehemently opposed. Cornyn’s support today shows that all Republicans — from the furthest right to the most moderate — are now falling into line behind the former president.

In fact, Trump continues to have Republican leaders get behind him save for one major voice: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Continue reading…

Mitch McConnell is the reason Trump is back

Haley says GOP race is ‘far from over’

Wednesday 24 January 2024 22:45 , Oliver O’Connell

Republican presidential hopeful Nikki Haley says that the party’s primary race is “far from over” despite another defeat to Donald Trump.

The former South Carolina governor remained upbeat at her primary night rally in New Hampshire on Tuesday, with predictions that she will pick up more delegates than expected from the Granite State.

“This race is far from over,” Ms Haley told the crowd in Concord, New Hampshire. “There are dozens of states left to go … and the next one is my sweet state of South Carolina.”

She added: “I want to congratulate Donald Trump on his victory tonight, he earned it and I want to acknowledge that.”

“New Hampshire is first in the nation – it is not last in the nation.”

Haley says GOP race is ‘far from over’ despite latest defeat to Trump

Trump attorney hits back at NY AG comparison of civil fraud case to Martin Shkreli ban

Wednesday 24 January 2024 22:30 , Oliver O’Connell

Clifford Robert, the attorney for Donald Trump Jr and Eric Trump in the civil fraud trial of the Trump Organization, has responded to a note from New York Attorney General Letitia James’s office regarding Martin Shkreli’s lifetime ban from the pharmaceutical industry following the case against him.

Prosecutors argue that it would not be unprecedented to apply the same punishment to the Trumps in the real estate industry.

Robert wrote in a new letter to Judge Arthur Engoron:

The Attorney General’s brazen attempt to compare this case to that of Martin Shkreli fully demonstrates her willingness to wield the power of her office recklessly in her crusade to destroy the front-running candidate for President of the United States. Indeed, this latest salvo reveals her desperation and obvious frustration with President Donald J. Trump’s (“President Trump”) ongoing ascent towards the White House. Left unchecked, the Attorney General’s conduct will cause irreparable damage to the legal system and the New York business community. The Court must and should therefore reject the Attorney General’s reliance on the Shkreli case as both misplaced and irresponsible.

He further argued:

The absurdity of the Attorney General’s latest effort would be almost comical but for the sobering future consequences of her shameless abuse of power. Citing the wholly inapposite Shkreli case, the Attorney General asks this Court to approve a baseless post hoc intervention into unquestionably successful and highly profitable business transactions between sophisticated corporate titans. Such shocking and tyrannical interference in the free markets for political gain places every New York business transaction at risk. This Court cannot and should not expose the legal system and the New York business community to such irreparable harm. The Attorney General is simply not allowed under Executive Law § 63(12) to scream “fraud” and impose the corporate death penalty without even bothering to bring forward one witness, one complaint or one victim!

Read the full letter…

New Hampshire solidifies Trump’s conquest of the GOP

Wednesday 24 January 2024 22:15 , Oliver O’Connell

Eric Garcia writes:

n the days after the attack on the US Capitol, former president Donald Trump seemed on the verge of becoming a politician in exile.

Many Republicans directly blamed him, including Kevin McCarthy, who said “the president bears responsibility” for the attack. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell excoriated Mr Trump by saying that “people who stormed this building believed they were acting on the wishes and instructions of their president”.

Mr Trump’s decision to spread the lie that Democrats stole the election from him to whip his supporters into such a frenzy that they breached the US Capitol in an attempt to stop the certification of the 2020 presidential election offered Republicans — particularly ones who never particularly liked Mr Trump — the opportunity to get off the wagon. It gave them the chance to remove the virus of Trumpism, tell their voters it would not be allowed in the party, and keep the focus on weakening Joe Biden.

But the ex-president’s dominant win in the New Hampshire primary on 23 January, a week after a decisive win in Iowa, makes crystal clear what has been obvious all along – Donald Trump is going to be the 2024 Republican nominee. Despite more than 90 felony charges in four separate jurisdictions, Mr Trump retains an iron grip on the Republican Party. New Hampshire was Nikki Haley’s best shot at taking on Mr Trump, but the results were decisive and the Associated Press called the race for Mr Trump shortly after polls closed at 8pm.

Continue reading the full article…

Recap: Trump cruises to victory in New Hampshire primary

Wednesday 24 January 2024 21:45 , Oliver O’Connell

Former president Donald Trump won the New Hampshire Republican primary on Tuesday night, taking another step towards securing his party’s nomination for the 2024 presidential election.

The Associated Press called shortly after polls closed in the state. With less than 20 per cent of results in by 8pm, Mr Trump had an insurmountable lead against his opponent Nikki Haley, with 54 per cent of the vote.

The former president, who is currently the 2024 Republican frontrunner, was expected to perform well in the Granite State given his stronghold over the majority of the Republican Party. However, unlike his performance in Iowa last week, Mr Trump’s margin of victory on Tuesday was much smaller.

Ariana Baio reports:

Donald Trump cruises to victory in New Hampshire primary

Haley says GOP race ‘far from over’

Wednesday 24 January 2024 21:15 , Oliver O’Connell

Republican presidential hopeful Nikki Haley says that the party’s primary race is “far from over” despite another defeat to Donald Trump.

The former South Carolina governor remained upbeat at her primary night rally in New Hampshire on Tuesday, with predictions that she will pick up more delegates than expected from the Granite State.

“This race is far from over,” Ms Haley told the crowd in Concord, New Hampshire. “There are dozens of states left to go … and the next one is my sweet state of South Carolina.”

She added: “I want to congratulate Donald Trump on his victory tonight, he earned it and I want to acknowledge that.”

“New Hampshire is first in the nation – it is not last in the nation.”

Haley says GOP race is ‘far from over’ despite latest defeat to Trump

ICYMI: Trump cognitive concerns fuelled by garbled ‘death penalty’ remark

Wednesday 24 January 2024 20:45 , Oliver O’Connell

President Joe Biden’s 2024 campaign rolled out a series of videos featuring gaffes and nonsensical phrases from his Republican rival Donald Trump, adding fuel to the fire over concerns about the former president’s cognitive ability.

One clip started mid-sentence, showing Mr Trump speaking in New Hampshire: “Which is incapable of solvin’ even the sollest… smallest problem. The simplest of problems we can no longer solve.”

“We are an institute in a powerful death penalty. We will put this on,” the 77-year-old Mr Trump blundered.

Continue reading the full article…

Proud Boys member berates judge at Jan 6 sentencing

Wednesday 24 January 2024 20:15 , AP

A man who stormed the U.S. Capitol with fellow Proud Boys extremist group members was sentenced on Wednesday to six years in prison after he berated and insulted the judge who punished him.

Marc Bru repeatedly interrupted Chief Judge James Boasberg before he handed down the sentence, calling him a “clown” and a “fraud” presiding over a “kangaroo court.” The judge warned Bru that he could be kicked out of the courtroom if he continued to disrupt the proceedings.

“You can give me 100 years and I’d do it all over again,” said Bru, who was handcuffed and shackled.

“That’s the definition of no remorse in my book,” the judge said.

Continue reading the full article…

Proud Boys member sentenced to 6 years in prison for Capitol riot role after berating judge

The real winner of the Republican primaries? Trump’s bogus election denial movement

Wednesday 24 January 2024 19:45 , Oliver O’Connell

The winner of the Republican primaries is Donald Trump’s bogus conspiracy theory that the 2020 election was stolen from him, with a vast majority of his supporters in Iowa and New Hampshire agreeing, falsely, that Joe Biden was not legitimately elected.

Eighty-six per cent of New Hampshire primary voters who supported Mr Trump believe that the current president is an illegitimate one, according to exit polls.

In Iowa, where caucus goers were asked whether they believed Mr Biden was legitimately elected to the presidency, more than two-thirds said no. That includes 69 per cent of Iowa caucus-goers who supported Mr Trump. Only 11 per cent of his supporters in Iowa and 13 per cent of supporters in New Hampshire believe the sitting president was legitimately elected.

Alex Woodward reports:

Donald Trump’s bogus election denial movement is the real winner of the primaries

Trump takes aim at McEnany after she calls New Hampshire a ‘good night for Joe Biden’

Wednesday 24 January 2024 19:15 , Oliver O’Connell

Add Kayleigh McEnany to the list of former Trump White House officials spurned by the former president after a perceived betrayal.

The final press secretary of the Trump administration appeared on Fox News on Tuesday as part of the network’s primetime New Hampshire primary coverage. At one point during the broadcast, Ms McEnany described the night as a positive one for Joe Biden due to the relatively competitive turnout in the Republican primary while Mr Biden himself won a write-in campaign for the Democratic ticket.

“This was actually a fairly good night for Joe Biden,” she said. “When you look at our voter analysis, only 10 per cent said, ‘I would not vote for Joe Biden if he’s the nominee.’”

John Bowden has the story:

Trump attacks his former press secretary over her comments about Joe Biden

DeSantis admits ‘warning signs’ for Trump and Republicans

Wednesday 24 January 2024 18:45 , Oliver O’Connell

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has sounded the alarm over Donald Trump’s chances in the 2024 election.

Speaking to conservative radio host Steve Deace in his first interview since dropping out of the Republican primary, Mr DeSantis said he saw a “lack of enthusiasm” among GOP voters in the Iowa caucuses last week, and that declining appeal among moderates is “a huge warning sign” for the Republican Party’s 2024 hopes.

“When I have people come up to me who voted for Reagan in ‘76 and have been conservative their whole life say that they don’t want to vote for Trump again, that’s a problem,” Mr DeSantis said.

Martha McHardy reports:

Ron DeSantis admits ‘warning signs’ for Trump and Republicans

Vance thinks Haley ‘will siphon money away … on a failing presidential campaign’

Wednesday 24 January 2024 18:30 , Oliver O’Connell

CNN’s Manu Raju asked Republican Ohio Senator JD Vance about Nikki Haley staying in the race to be the party’s candidate in 2024.

Mr Vance — a Trump supporter — said: “What’s going to happen here is that we’re going to spend another 30, 50 maybe 100 million dollars attacking Donald Trump, who will be our nominee, weakening him in the process… I think it is a huge mistake, and it will siphon money away from needed things on a failing presidential campaign.”

Does a double-digit New Hampshire win for Trump mean Haley White House bid is doomed?

Wednesday 24 January 2024 18:15 , Oliver O’Connell

Donald Trump won New Hampshire Republican primary contest against Nikki Haley – but Ms Haley has vowed to stay in the race.

“This race is far from over,” she told her supporters while in Concord, New Hampshire, after losing to Mr Trump, while his victory speech was filled with bashings directed at his opponent and criticised her for giving a speech “like she won.”

But many of Mr Trump’s supporters are not convinced that Ms Haley’s White House bid will stand the test of time.

Amelia Neath reports:

Trump supporters claim his New Hampshire win means Haley White House bid is doomed

Manchin on Senate GOP endorsements of Trump

Wednesday 24 January 2024 17:56 , Oliver O’Connell

Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia commented on the number of his Republican colleagues in the upper chamber of Congress who have now endorsed Donald Trump as the party’s candidate for president.

Nathaniel Reed of Scripps News reports the centrist Democrat as saying: “These are people I know people I respect … I consider friends, to basically sell your soul.”

He adds about the former president specifically: “Donald Trump is not making any bones about who he is and what he will do. So I appreciate his honesty and forthrightness. I just can’t understand how people can accept that as a leader of the free world to have that type of mentality…”

Voices: The last line of defence against Trump 2.0: Nikki Haley (and 91 felony charges)

Wednesday 24 January 2024 17:45 , Oliver O’Connell

Sean O’Grady writes:

…Haley isn’t intimidated by Trump, which is a qualification for high office in itself, because we know the punishment that he and his devout followers in his undeniably substantial base of support can mete out to anyone who gets in Trump’s way. They’ll even invade the Capitol for him and try to overthrow the government, so chucking some abuse at Haley’s no big deal. They do, indeed, “fight like hell” when prompted to.

Yet Haley is unflinching, and rightly pledges to carry on and on and on. It’s obviously true that Trump is the favourite for the nomination, and it could all be over in a couple of weeks. It’s not immediately obvious that Haley has the funds to sustain a campaign, even if she’s obviously got the spirit to do so. She might not do so well even in her own sweet home state of South Carolina; but she did rather better than expected in New Hampshire, even if she still lost.

The sourness of Trump’s victory speech suggests that she has more momentum than he would like, and he resents it – he’s never been great at disguising his emotions or his all-too-brittle ego. So she is still in the race, and there are a couple of very good reasons why she has to stay in for as long as she can.

Continue reading…

The last line of defence against Trump 2.0: Nikki Haley | Sean O’Grady

Biden campaign writes off Haley, turning ‘laser focus’ on Trump

Wednesday 24 January 2024 17:25 , Andrew Feinberg

With Donald Trump appearing to have a cemented himself as the Republican Party’s preferred candidate in their effort to retake control of the White House, President Joe Biden’s re-election campaign is moving into a general election mode that will see him and his allies ramp up their attacks on the ex-president and present voters with the choice of four more years of stability versus a descent into Trumpian extremism.

Top officials with Mr Biden’s campaign say the results of last night’s New Hampshire primary combined with last week’s Iowa caucus make clear that it is Mr Trump — not ex-South Carolina governor Nikki Haley — who will be their opponent in November’s presidential election, and are directing their resources accordingly.

Speaking on a conference call with reporters on Wednesday, just hours after Mr Trump garnered support of more than 54 per cent of GOP voters in the Granite State, Biden campaign communications director Michael Tyler said Mr Biden’s re-election apparatus wasn’t paying much mind to Ms Haley in the wake of Mr Trump’s twin victories.

Continue reading the full article…

George Santos admits he wasn’t invited to Trump party

Wednesday 24 January 2024 17:15 , Oliver O’Connell

When former New York GOP Rep George Santos appeared at Donald Trump’s victory party in New Hampshire on primary night, it was unclear in what capacity he was attending the event.

But it soon became clear as he was mobbed by reporters, with CBS News asking him if he had been invited by the Trump campaign.

“No, I came, it’s an open event. It’s a public event. I just registered and came,” he said. “I came to have fun. It’s Maga time, baby, it’s 2024.”

Mr Santos travelled to New Hampshire after attending federal court earlier on Tuesday for a status conference ahead of what could be a trial later this year.

Gustaf Kilander has the story:

George Santos admits he wasn’t invited to Trump party: ‘It’s a public event’

Wednesday 24 January 2024 16:55 , Oliver O’Connell

Was Trump’s key weakness exposed in New Hampshire primary vote?

Wednesday 24 January 2024 16:45 , Oliver O’Connell

Donald Trump may have resoundingly won the New Hampshire primary, but the race’s exit polls revealed demographic weak spots in his voter appeal.

Mr Trump defeated Nikki Haley in the New Hampshire Republican primary by an 11-point margin. Ever since he jumped into the race, Mr Trump has maintained a sizable lead among his GOP competitors. His recent victories in Iowa and New Hampshire have underscored his popularity among Republicans, but they have also uncovered some weaknesses.

Kelly Rissman has the details:

Donald Trump’s key weakness exposed in New Hampshire primary vote

Watch: Senators react to Trump victory in New Hampshire

Wednesday 24 January 2024 16:25 , Oliver O’Connell

CNN’s Manu Raju spoke with Senator John Cornyn of Texas and Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina at the US Capitol this morning and asked for their reaction to Donald Trump’s win in the New Hampshire primary and what happens next as the campaign moves on to the Palmetto State.

Trump issues ominous threats of ‘investigations’ against Haley

Wednesday 24 January 2024 16:15 , Oliver O’Connell

Donald Trump threatened that Nikki Haley would be “under investigation” if she beat him in the Republican primary after defeating her in New Hampshire.

The former president appeared to threaten his former UN ambassador after she vowed to continue her fight for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination.

“Just a little note to Nikki, she is not going to win, but if she did she would be under investigation by those people in 15 minutes. I could tell you five reasons why already, not big reasons, little stuff that she doesn’t want to talk about, but she will be under investigation in minutes,” said Mr Trump to a crowd of his supporters on Tuesday night.

“And so would Ron have been, but he decided to get out.”

Graeme Massie reports:

Trump issues ominous threats of ‘investigations’ against Haley if she stays in race

Ron DeSantis criticises Trump after leaving race

Wednesday 24 January 2024 15:45 , Joe Sommerlad

Florida governor Ron DeSantis is talking like a newly liberated man now that he’s no longer running against Donald Trump.

On Tuesday, ahead of the New Hampshire primary, DeSantis spoke to Iowa conservative talk show host Steve Deace, who had endorsed him, and pointed out a number of weaknesses for the former president going into the general election.

DeSantis dropped out on Sunday after a poor showing in the Iowa caucuses and endorsed Trump.

Nevertheless, it’s been a very ham-fisted endorsement since then. He said his campaign noticed not only the low turnout in the caucuses but also the lack of enthusiasm.

“It turned out these are folks who did they were conservative, but they did not want to see Trump nominated again,” he said on the show.

“But they had basically been told that it was inevitable, that it was over, that why even bother, and they just totally dropped out of the process.” DeSantis noted that 110,000 people showed up the caucuses last week while 186,000 people had turned out in 2016.

“That shows you there’s a lot of our voters who have checked out,” he said, overlooking the sub-zero temperatures and snow in Iowa that will also have kept people away from the caucuses.

DeSantis also took a swipe at Trump by saying that he won an overwhelming re-election victory in 2022 whereas Trump made a series of endorsements of losing candidates in that year’s midterms.

Ron DeSantis announces the suspension of his campaign on Sunday (Ron DeSantis/X)Ron DeSantis announces the suspension of his campaign on Sunday (Ron DeSantis/X)

Ron DeSantis announces the suspension of his campaign on Sunday (Ron DeSantis/X)

“I think that when you when I got into the when I thought about running after my re-election, that was when Trump’s candidates had wiped out in the midterm,” he said.

“I think there were a lot of Republicans at the time, who were like, you know, ‘the governor has shown that these bold policies not only do they work in practice, they work politically. We can win big Trump’s candidates did and then I think they’re like, you know, maybe not the nominee. Again, thank him for his service.’”

DeSantis repeated a line that my colleague Gustaf Kilander and I heard in our write-up of DeSantis’s last stand: that the indictment of Trump in Manhattan and elsewhere weakened him.

Similarly, he repeated his criticism of conservative media.

“I think he had strong support from Fox and conservative media,” he said.

“And so structurally that was just something that was very difficult to deal with.”

DeSantis also warned that many Republicans are tired of Trump.

“I observed voters who are conservative voters who voted for Trump and 16 and 20. And he said, you know, they’re just not doing it again,” he said.

He also warned Trump would generate turnout among Democrats.

“I think you just have the effect that the Democrats have a very effective playbook on some of these independent voters when they caricature our candidates or can run against Trump directly that even if they don’t like some of the what the Democrats are doing, that’s enough to get them to default back to Democrats,” he said.

Of course, DeSantis is likely still frustrated about Trump beating him – to say nothing of Trump’s constant insults toward him where Trump even hinted that DeSantis preyed on teenaged girls – and he is likely lashing out.

Similarly, now that he’s no longer trying to compete for the same pool of voters, he’s likely trying to set himself up to be – as my colleague John Bowden has said – Trump’s successor should he lose to President Joe Biden.

Trump snaps at former press secretary on Truth Social

Wednesday 24 January 2024 15:41 , Oliver O’Connell

Following his victory in New Hampshire, Donald Trump loaded up his Truth Social account late last night with favourable coverage but also took time to lash out at both rival contender Nikki Haley and his former press secretary Kayleigh McEnany (and Fox News generally).

Of Ms Haley he said:

A very bad night for Nikki “Birdbrain” Haley, but not as bad as last week, in Iowa, where she came in a DISTANT THIRD. Next week, in the Nevada Caucus, she didn’t want to play because of her bad Polling. She gets ZERO DELEGATES, I get them all. In South Carolina, I am leading by 30 to 50 points!

Turning his attention to Ms McEnany, the former president wrote:

I don’t need any advice from RINO Kayleigh McEnany on Fox. Just had a GIANT VICTORY over a badly failing candidate, “Birdbrain,” and she’s telling me what I can do better. Save your advice for Nikki!

Mr Trump later added about Fox News:

CNN & MSDNC TREATED MY BIG, DOUBLE DIGIT VICTORY OVER BIRDBRAIN, BETTER THAN FOX

C is for Covfefe: The ABCs of Donald Trump

Wednesday 24 January 2024 15:15 , Joe Sommerlad

Donald Trump is well-known for a lot of things: his divisiveness, his career in real estate, The Apprentice, his lawsuits, for being the only president to be impeached twice. But perhaps nothing has infiltrated society more than Trump’s unique linguistic style.

Whether he’s posting on Truth Social, speaking at a campaign rally, or testifying in court, Trump never seems to be at a loss for words — and sometimes, he even makes up new ones.

From uttering gaffes to tweeting typos (like “covfefe”) to misreading words (like “Nambia”) to dismissing his opponent with a harsh nickname, his terminology quickly turns iconic.

Here, Kelly Rissman offers a dictionary guide to Trump’s most memorable phrases.

C is for Covfefe: The ABCs of Donald Trump

Can South Carolina save Haley’s bid for the White House?

Wednesday 24 January 2024 14:45 , Joe Sommerlad

Here’s John Bowden’s analysis on why Trump’s challenger is hanging on in there when, to the casual observer, all hope appears to be lost.

Can South Carolina save Nikki Haley’s bid for the White House?

Wednesday 24 January 2024 14:38 , Oliver O’Connell

Trump’s E Jean Carroll defamation trial paused again on Wednesday

Wednesday 24 January 2024 14:15 , Joe Sommerlad

A reminder that the second defamation trial of Donald Trump brought against him by writer E Jean Carroll will now resume on Thursday and not Wednesday as previously scheduled.

Judge Lewis Kaplan will continue presiding over the case in Lower Manhattan at 9.30am on 25 January.

Here’s our earlier reporting on the initial postponement.

Trump’s testimony in E Jean Carroll defamation case postponed due to possible Covid

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