Eric Trump claims Putin could tell Donald Trump was ‘a very strong person’
Virginia Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and who goes by the name “Ginni”, urged the Trump White House to continue insisting that the Republican won the 2020 election, it has emerged.
A cache of 29 messages sent by Ms Thomas to the Trump White House chief of staff, Mark Meadows, after the 2020 election has been handed over to the 6 January inquiry in Congress. The texts show Ms Thomas, a longtime conservative activist, pressing Mr Meadows to somehow help overturn the election, with reference to various bizarre conspiracy theories.
The news has been met with outrage, adding renewed scrutiny to the extremism of Ms Thomas’s politics and the implications that her closeness to the Trump circle might have for her husband’s judicial impartiality.
Ms Thomas’s husband, who did not recuse himself from cases involving false claims about the 2020 election or the events surrounding the Capitol riot, has lately been hospitalized with an unspecified “infection”.
Meanwhile, Donald Trump has sued Hillary Clinton and other Democrats, claiming that they tried to rig the 2016 election by tying the former president’s campaign to Russia.
GOP congressman found guilty of lying to FBI
Jeff Fortenberry, a Republican congressman from Nebraska, has been convicted of lying to the FBI about an illegal campaign donation from a Nigerian donor. Mr Fortenberry was found guilty of one count of falsifying and concealing material facts and two counts of making false statements.
He now faces up to five years in jail, though there is a possibility he could be subject to supervised release instead.
Maroosha Muzaffar reports:
Andrew Naughty25 March 2022 12:47
Catch up: Everything we know about Ginni Thomas’s texts
Ginni Thomas’s texts to Mark Meadows are explosive in context and extreme in content, and they raise profound questions about her husband’s relationship to cases involving the Trump administration’s post-election activities. The details of what Ms Thomas was calling for and the bizarre claims she made are worth picking over – and The Independent‘s Joe Sommerlad has had a go.
Andrew Naughty25 March 2022 11:50
Sarah Palin touts her “cojones” and trails Congressional run
Sarah Palin appeared on Fox News last night to speak to Sean Hannity about her possible run for Alaska’s lone seat in the House of Representatives, which has been left vacant by the death of veteran Congressman Don Young.
“I never went anywhere,” insisted the former governor and sometime vice-presidential candidate. “However, there is a time and a season for everything, and if this season is one where I need a more official platform to have, then yeah, I’m gonna throw my hat in the ring.”
That “if” makes it hard to know how serious Ms Palin is about a potential campaign or how close she might be to a decision, but the clip below is the clearest glimpse yet into her thinking.
Andrew Naughty25 March 2022 11:22
Liz Cheney hits back at Kevin McCarthy for endorsing her rival
Kevin McCarthy, who is under pressure from outside the GOP to sanction members who recently spoke to an openly racist white nationalist conference, has defended his decision to endorse a primary challenger to Liz Cheney, who has committed the unpardonable sin of condemning Donald Trump’s lies about the 2020 election and joining the 6 January committee.
Asked why he has endorsed a challenge to Ms Cheney while not doing the same to some of his caucus’s extremist members – Marjorie Taylor Greene, for instance, or Paul Gosar – Mr McCarthy told CNN that the Wyoming congresswoman was a “special case”. In response, her spokesman gave this statement:
Andrew Naughty25 March 2022 10:50
Jan 6 committee to consider criminal contempt referral for Trump allies Scavino and Navarro
The committee, which is investigating the attack on the US Capitol by Mr Trump’s supporters to prevent the certification of Joe Biden’s election win, announced that it will meet on Monday 28 March.
The Independent’s Graeme Massie have more details
Andrew Naughty25 March 2022 10:15
Whiff of QAnon in Ginni Thomas’s texts
Ginni Thomas’s texts to Mark Meadows in the aftermath of the 2020 election do not just reveal a heavy fixation on the falsehood that the vote was stolen; they also indicate that Ms Thomas has been exposed (at minimum) to some of the most bizarre conspiracy theories about the US “deep state” that have gathered strength in recent years.
According to DailyBeast reporter Will Sommer, who has long focused on movements based around extreme beliefs, the texts are shot through with QAnon tropes to a degree that should raise serious concerns.
The QAnon conspiracy theory, whose basic tenets include that the US elite is controlled by a cabal of satanic, cannibalistic paedophiles, has lost some of its relevance since Mr Trump lost the presidency and “Q” stopped posting, but it still boasts an alarmingly high number of dedicated believers.
The movement’s obsessive fixation on paedophilia and human trafficking has so gripped the Republican base that it has now penetrated the party’s elected establishment, as the White House pointed out during the questioning of Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson.
Andrew Naughty25 March 2022 09:30
Former US ambassador to Ukraine says possibility of another Trump term ‘concerns our allies’
Marie Yovanovitch, a key witness during Mr Trump’s first impeachment trial, was speaking to former Obama adviser David Axelrod on the Ax Files podcast.
Gustaf Kilander from Washington brings you more details
shweta sharma25 March 2022 08:45
Ginni Thomas pushed White House to pursue Trump’s ‘Big Lie’ on election fraud, texts reveal
Virginia Thomas, a conservative political activist and wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, urged the White House to continue insisting that Donald Trump won the 2020 election, even as state vote totals showed otherwise, text messages reveal.
Read The Independent’s report to know what controversial text exchange revealed
shweta sharma25 March 2022 08:00
Republicans want Ron DeSantis as Trump’s 2024 running mate, poll shows
More than a quarter of Republicans who voted in a new survey said they want to see Florida Governor Ron DeSantis to join Donald Trump as his vice president when former presidents ran for 2024 elections, a poll found
According to a new Morning Consult and Politico poll, 27 per cent of respondents voted in favor of Mr DeSantis taking the job of Mr Trump’s running mate.
Mike Pence came as the second choice, with 15 per cent of votes.
shweta sharma25 March 2022 06:50
Jeff Fortenberry: Republican congressman found guilty of lying to FBI about illegal foreign donation
US representative Jeff Fortenberry has been found guilty of lying to federal investigators about an illegal 2016 contribution to his election campaign from a foreign national.
The Nebraska Republican was convicted on Thursday of one count of falsifying and concealing material facts and two counts of making false statements.
Fortenberry had not disclosed the identity of the contributor — Nigerian billionaire Gilbert Chagoury — in his campaign filings.
The Independent’s Maroosha Muzaffar has details
shweta sharma25 March 2022 05:38