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    A quarter of Americans open to taking up arms against government, poll says

    A quarter of Americans open to taking up arms against government, poll saysSurvey of 1,000 registered US voters also reveals that most Americans agree government is ‘corrupt and rigged’ More than one quarter of US residents feel so estranged from their government that they feel it might “soon be necessary to take up arms” against it, a poll released on Thursday claimed.This survey of 1,000 registered US voters, published by the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics (IOP), also revealed that most Americans agree the government is “corrupt and rigged against everyday people like me”.The data suggests that extreme polarization in US politics – and its impact on Americans’ relationships with each other – remain strong. These statistics come as a congressional committee is holding public hearings on the January 6 insurrection.This deadly attack on the US Capitol stemmed from the false, partisan, pro-Donald Trump belief that Joe Biden did not win the 2020 election. Rioters attempted to thwart certification of the election, in an effort to keep Trump in office.Although the violent insurrectionists targeted Republicans and Democrats alike, GOP Trump loyalists have insisted that the committee is illegitimate. These attacks on the committee intensified after Trump staffers themselves – including former attorney general Bill Barr – publicly described his efforts to push “the big lie” that the presidential election was stolen.The survey indicates that distrust in government varies among party lines. While 56% of participants said they “generally trust elections to be conducted fairly and counted accurately”, Republicans, Democrats and independents were dramatically split on this point. Nearly 80% of Democrats voiced overall trust in elections, but that number dipped to 51% among independents and a mere 33% of Republicans.Per the poll, 49% of Americans concurred that they “more and more feel like a stranger in my own country”. Again, this number reflected sharp political divisions: the sentiment was held by 69% of self-described “strong Republicans”, 65% of self-described “very conservative” persons, and 38% of “strong Democrats”.Of the 28% of voters who felt it might soon be necessary “to take up arms against the government”, 37% had guns in their homes, according to the data.One-third of Republicans – including 45% of “strong Republicans – hold this belief about taking up arms. 35% of independent voters, and 20% of Democrats, also agreed, the poll said.Meanwhile, those polled voiced negative sentiments about persons from opposing political parties. Seventy-three per cent of self-described Republican voters agreed that “Democrats are generally bullies who want to impose their political beliefs on those who disagree,” and “an almost identical percentage of Democrats (74%) express that view of Republicans”.“While we’ve documented for years the partisan polarization in the country, these poll results are perhaps the starkest evidence of the deep divisions in partisan attitudes rippling through the country,” said the Republican pollster Neil Newhouse, who conducted the survey in May with and Democratic pollster Joel Benenson.The survey also stated that almost half of respondents expressed averting political talk with other people “because I don’t know where they stand”. One-quarter described losing friends, and a similar proportion claimed to have avoided relatives and friends, due to politics, per the survey.TopicsBiden administrationRepublicansDemocratsUS politicsnewsReuse this content More

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    The case against Donald Trump – podcast

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    The US congressional hearings on the Capitol Hill attack have been prime time viewing. And the case against Donald Trump has been building for all to see, says Lawrence Douglas

    How to listen to podcasts: everything you need to know

    The testimony was unprecedented. In an extraordinary sitting in Washington DC of the congressional committee investigating the attack on the US Capitol building, a White House staffer detailed how Donald Trump had attempted to grab the steering wheel of his presidential car in determination to join his supporters as they rioted. Cassidy Hutchinson also testified that Trump would fly into rages, on one occasion throwing a plate at the wall, smashing it in anger and leaving ketchup dripping down a White House wall. Lawrence Douglas, a professor of law at Amherst College, tells Michael Safi that, throughout the series of slickly produced hearings, the committee has told a compelling narrative of the events that led up to the riots on January 6. And it goes beyond that, to alleged attempts to “steal” the election via slates of “fake electors” and by piling pressure on key officials such as the vice president and the justice secretary. As the case against Trump and many of his aides is laid out though, the next steps are far from certain. Even if the evidence unearthed by the committee does reach the standard needed to bring prosecutions, would a prosecution of the former president be deemed in the public interest – and could a jury be found of 12 people who would act completely impartially, in what is now a deeply polarised country? More

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    Jan 6 committee hearings live: Cheney describes possible witness tampering after ex-aide’s testimony

    Liz Cheney, the Republican vice-chair of the January 6 committee, applauded Cassidy Hutchinson’s willingness to testify about what she witnessed in the Trump White House, but she also criticized Hutchinson’s colleagues who have refused to do so.“While our committee has seen many witnesses, including many Republicans, testify fully and forthrightly, this has not been true of every witness,” Cheney said at the end of today’s hearing.She added, “We have received evidence of one particular practice that raises significant concern.”Cheney noted that the committee regularly asks witnesses whether they have been contacted by any of their former colleagues or anyone else who may attempt to influence their testimony.We commonly ask witnesses connected to Trump whether they have been contacted by anyone attempting to impact testimony.Below are examples of answers we have received to this question. pic.twitter.com/pwxyJBf7Kl— January 6th Committee (@January6thCmte) June 28, 2022
    Cheney read aloud from the testimony of two witnesses who said they had recently spoken to people who encouraged them to stay in Donald Trump’s good graces with their comments to the committee.One witness told investigators, “What they said to me is, as long as I continue to be a team player, they know that I’m on the right team. I’m doing the right thing, I’m protecting who I need to protect. … They have reminded me a couple of times that Trump does read transcripts and just to keep that in mind as I proceed through my depositions and interviews with the committee.”Cheney’s comments point to the possibility of witness intimidation impacting the investigation, although it will ultimately be up to the justice department to determine what (if any) criminal charges stem from the committee’s findings.That’s it from me, after a historic day in Washington. Here’s how the January 6 committee’s sixth public hearing unfolded:
    A former senior White House aide testified that Donald Trump knew some of his supporters were armed on January 6 and still encouraged them to march on the Capitol. Cassidy Hutchinson, a former senior adviser to White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, said she overheard a conversation with Trump shortly before he addressed a rally crowd on January 6. “I don’t f’ing care that they have weapons. They’re not here to hurt me,” Trump said, according to Hutchinson. “Let my people in. They can march to the Capitol from here.” The rally where Trump spoke culminated in the insurrection, which resulted in several deaths.
    Liz Cheney described potential witness tampering among Trump’s allies in connection to the January 6 investigation. Cheney, the Republican vice-chair of the committee, quoted testimony from two witnesses who said they were advised to remain loyal to Trump in their comments to investigators. “I think most Americans know that attempting to influence witnesses to testify untruthfully presents very serious concerns,” Cheney said. “We will be discussing these issues as a committee, carefully considering our next steps.”
    Trump wanted to go to the Capitol with his supporters on January 6, so much so that he tried to redirect his car when aides told him they would be returning to the White House. Hutchinson said Tony Ornato, the White House deputy chief of staff, told her that Trump was “irate” when he was informed he would not be going to the Capitol. Already inside a car with his aides, Trump tried to grab for the vehicle’s steering wheel and then lunged at the throat of a Secret Service agent, Hutchinson said.
    Meadows told Hutchinson that Trump had endorsed insurrectionists’ chants of “Hang Mike Pence!” on January 6. As Trump’s supporters stormed the Capitol, Hutchinson was involved in a conversation with Meadows and Pat Cipollone, the White House counsel. According to Hutchinson, Cipollone told Meadows, “Mark, we need to do something more. They’re literally calling for the vice-president to be f-ing hung.” Meadows replied, “You heard [Trump], Pat. He thinks Mike deserves it. He doesn’t think they are doing anything wrong.”
    Some of Trump’s closest advisers, including Meadows, expressed fear days before the insurrection that January 6 could turn violent. Hutchinson said Rudy Giuliani, one of Trump’s campaign lawyers, asked her on January 2 whether she was “excited” for January 6, the day that Congress was scheduled to certify Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 election. When Hutchinson asked Meadows about Giuliani’s comments, he said, “There’s a lot going on, Cass, but I don’t know. Things might get real, real bad on January 6.”
    Meadows and Giuliani both inquired about presidential pardons after January 6, Hutchinson told the committee. She previously testified that several Republican members of Congress also reached out about pardons in connection to their involvement with the insurrection.
    The blog will be back tomorrow with more analysis of today’s January 6 hearing and news from the supreme court, which still has four decisions left to announce before wrapping up its term. See you then.Democrat Jamie Raskin, a member of the January 6 committee, said the panel would continue to investigate possible witness tampering among Donald Trump’s allies.At the end of today’s hearing, Liz Cheney, the Republican vice-chair of the committee, quoted testimony from two witnesses who said they had been told to remain loyal to Trump in their comments to investigators.“It’s a crime to tamper with witnesses. It’s a form of obstructing justice. The committee won’t tolerate it,” Raskin told reporters after the hearing concluded.He emphasized that the committee’s investigation is ongoing, saying, “We haven’t had the chance to fully investigate it or fully discuss it, but it’s something on our agenda.”Jan. 6 committee member Rep. Jamie Raskin, after today’s hearing, said the committee will continue to investigate possible witness tampering, after texts Rep. Cheney presented appeared to show that.”It’s a crime to tamper with witnesses…The committee won’t tolerate it.” pic.twitter.com/t74KZvmEC0— CBS News (@CBSNews) June 28, 2022
    The Guardian’s Lauren Gambino and Hugo Lowell have a full writeup of Cassidy Hutchinson’s shocking testimony before the January 6 committee:In explosive public testimony, a former White House aide on Tuesday told the committee investigating the January 6 insurrection that Donald Trump knowingly directed armed supporters to march to the US Capitol in a last-gasp effort to invalidate the results of the 2020 presidential election that he lost.Appearing at a hastily scheduled hearing on Capitol Hill, Cassidy Hutchinson, a former aide to Trump’s final chief of staff, Mark Meadows, also painted a devastating portrait of a president spiraling out of control and a White House staff often ambivalent about the violence building around them.Hutchinson also offered extraordinary new details that the White House – and the former US president – were aware that the rally on January 6 could turn violent days before Trump stepped on stage at a rally on the Ellipse and urged his supporters to “fight like hell” to keep him in power.“I felt like I was watching a bad car accident about to happen, where you cannot stop it,” Hutchinson, a conservative Republican who worked just steps from the Oval Office, testified at the panel’s sixth and most revealing hearing to date.Over the course of two hours, Hutchinson offered a shocking view into the West Wing in the moments before, during and after the siege of the US Capitol.Read the Guardian’s full report on the history-making hearing:Ex-White House aide delivers explosive public testimony to January 6 panelRead moreFox News host Bret Baier acknowledged that Cassidy Hutchinson’s detailed testimony about Donald Trump’s actions on January 6 could have far-reaching consequences.While noting that he wished that some of Trump’s congressional allies were serving on the January 6 committee, Baier said of today’s hearing, “The testimony in and of itself is really, really powerful.”Baier’s words were met with a long pause from his colleagues, prompting fellow host John Roberts to ask co-anchor Sandra Smith, “Can you still hear?”This post-hearing moment of awkward silence on Fox kinda says a lot. pic.twitter.com/5yRNJ0btKd— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) June 28, 2022
    Liz Cheney, the Republican vice-chair of the January 6 committee, indicated that the panel may return to the issue of potential witness tampering in future hearings.Cheney concluded her remarks at today’s hearing by reading aloud from the testimony of two witnesses who said they were advised to remain loyal to Donald Trump when speaking to investigators..@RepLizCheney (R-WY): “I think most Americans know that attempting to influence witnesses to testify untruthfully presents very serious concerns.” pic.twitter.com/xlsUwnAGPr— CSPAN (@cspan) June 28, 2022
    “I think most Americans know that attempting to influence witnesses to testify untruthfully presents very serious concerns,” Cheney said. “We will be discussing these issues as a committee, carefully considering our next steps.”As of now, the January 6 committee is expected to resume its hearings when the House returns from its recess on 12 July.The committee’s evidence of potential witness tampering could also be used by the department of justice if federal prosecutors choose to pursue charges in connection to the allegations.Some members of Congress reacted with outrage as they listened to Cassidy Hutchinson recount how Donald Trump was informed that some of his supporters at his January 6 rally were carrying weapons.According to Hutchinson, Trump responded to that information by saying, “I don’t f’ing care that they have weapons. They’re not here to hurt me.”The rally that Trump spoke at on January 6 culminated in the Capitol insurrection, which resulted in several deaths and many serious injuries for US Capitol Police officers.“It was a set up. They set up the Capitol Police and Congress to to get overrun,” congressman Ruben Gallego, a Democrat of Arizona, said on Twitter. He went on to insult Mark Meadows, Trump’s chief of staff and Hutchinson’s boss, as a “traitorous fuck”.It was a set up. They set up the Capitol Police and Congress to to get overrun. @MarkMeadows you traitorous fuck.— Ruben Gallego (@RubenGallego) June 28, 2022
    Some of Cassidy Hutchinson’s former White House colleagues have applauded her willingness to testify publicly before the January 6 committee.They have also pushed back against suggestions from Donald Trump and some of his allies that Hutchinson, who served as a senior adviser to the White House chief of staff, was an unimportant staffer in the administration.“Anyone downplaying Cassidy Hutchinson’s role or her access in the West Wing either doesn’t understand how the Trump WH worked or is attempting to discredit her because they’re scared of how damning this testimony is,” said Sarah Matthews, who served as deputy White House press secretary in the Trump administration.Matthews added, “For those complaining of ‘hearsay,’ I imagine the Jan. 6 committee would welcome any of those involved to deny these allegations under oath.”Anyone downplaying Cassidy Hutchinson’s role or her access in the West Wing either doesn’t understand how the Trump WH worked or is attempting to discredit her because they’re scared of how damning this testimony is.— Sarah Matthews (@SarahAMatthews1) June 28, 2022
    Trump’s former White House communications director, Alyssa Farah Griffin, echoed that suggestion, while applauding Hutchinson’s “courage [and] integrity”.“Cassidy Hutchinson is my friend. I knew her testimony would be damning. I had no idea it’d be THIS damning,” Griffin said on Twitter. “To anyone who would try to impugn her character, I’d be glad to put you in touch w/@January6thCmte to appear UNDER OATH.”Cassidy Hutchinson is my friend. I knew her testimony would be damning. I had no idea it’d be THIS damning.I am so grateful for her courage & integrity. To anyone who would try to impugn her character, I’d be glad to put you in touch w/ @January6thCmte to appear UNDER OATH.— Alyssa Farah Griffin 🇺🇸 (@Alyssafarah) June 28, 2022
    Mick Mulvaney, who previously served as Donald Trump’s acting chief of staff, said Liz Cheney’s closing remarks at today’s hearing indicate the January 6 committee has evidence of witness tampering.Cheney’s closing is stunning: they think they have evidence of witness tampering and obstruction of justice.There is an old maxim: it’s never the crime, it’s always the coverup.Things went very badly for the former President today. My guess is that it will get worse from here— Mick Mulvaney (@MickMulvaney) June 28, 2022
    “Cheney’s closing is stunning: they think they have evidence of witness tampering and obstruction of justice. There is an old maxim: it’s never the crime, it’s always the coverup,” Mulvaney said on Twitter.“Things went very badly for the former President today. My guess is that it will get worse from here.”The committee is currently set to resume its hearings next month, after the House returns from its recess on 12 July.Liz Cheney, the Republican vice-chair of the January 6 committee, applauded Cassidy Hutchinson’s willingness to testify about what she witnessed in the Trump White House, but she also criticized Hutchinson’s colleagues who have refused to do so.“While our committee has seen many witnesses, including many Republicans, testify fully and forthrightly, this has not been true of every witness,” Cheney said at the end of today’s hearing.She added, “We have received evidence of one particular practice that raises significant concern.”Cheney noted that the committee regularly asks witnesses whether they have been contacted by any of their former colleagues or anyone else who may attempt to influence their testimony.We commonly ask witnesses connected to Trump whether they have been contacted by anyone attempting to impact testimony.Below are examples of answers we have received to this question. pic.twitter.com/pwxyJBf7Kl— January 6th Committee (@January6thCmte) June 28, 2022
    Cheney read aloud from the testimony of two witnesses who said they had recently spoken to people who encouraged them to stay in Donald Trump’s good graces with their comments to the committee.One witness told investigators, “What they said to me is, as long as I continue to be a team player, they know that I’m on the right team. I’m doing the right thing, I’m protecting who I need to protect. … They have reminded me a couple of times that Trump does read transcripts and just to keep that in mind as I proceed through my depositions and interviews with the committee.”Cheney’s comments point to the possibility of witness intimidation impacting the investigation, although it will ultimately be up to the justice department to determine what (if any) criminal charges stem from the committee’s findings.The January 6 committee hearing, which featured explosive testimony from former Trump White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson, has now concluded after nearly two hours.In her closing statement, Liz Cheney, the Republican vice-chair of the committee, thanked Hutchinson for her courage in speaking out about Donald Trump’s actions on the day of the Capitol insurrection.“Our nation is preserved by those who abide by their oaths to our Constitution. Our nation is preserved by those who know the fundamental difference between right and wrong,” Cheney said. “I want all Americans to know that what Miss Hutchinson has done today is not easy. The easy course is to hide from the spotlight, to refuse to come forward, to attempt to downplay or deny what happened.”Cassidy Hutchinson said that both Mark Meadows, the White House chief of staff, and Rudy Giuliani, one of Donald Trump’s campaign lawyers, sought presidential pardons after January 6.Hutchinson previously testified to investigators that several Republican members of Congress also reached out to inquire about potential pardons in connection to their involvement in the Capitol attack.According to Hutchinson, Trump even wanted to add a line to his January 7 speech about potential pardons for the Capitol insurrectionists, but he ultimately did not do so.Cassidy Hutchinson said she was horrified by Donald Trump’s tweet pressuring Mike Pence to disrupt the congressional certification of Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 election.At 2.24pm on January 6, as insurrectionists stormed the Capitol, Trump tweeted, “Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution.”Asked for her response to that tweet, Hutchinson said, “As an American, I was disgusted. It was unpatriotic. It was un-American. We were watching the Capitol building get defaced over a lie.” Cassidy Hutchinson witnessed a conversation between Mark Meadows, the White House chief of staff, and Pat Cipollone, the White House counsel, about the insurrectionists’ chants of “Hang Mike Pence!”The committee has previously demonstrated how those who attacked the Capitol threatened Pence, as the vice-president oversaw the certification of Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 election. Donald Trump himself repeatedly pressured Pence to disrupt the certification process.According to Hutchinson, Cipollone said something to Meadows along the lines of, “Mark, we need to do something more. They’re literally calling for the vice-president to be f-ing hung.” Referring to Trump, Meadows replied, “You heard him, Pat. He thinks Mike deserves it. He doesn’t think they are doing anything wrong.” After a brief break, the January 6 committee hearing has resumed, and the panel shared a clip from Michael Flynn’s testimony with investigators.Flynn, Donald Trump’s former national security adviser and a close ally, repeatedly invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination to avoid answering the committee’s questions about the January 6 insurrection.Among other things, Flynn would not answer a question from Liz Cheney, the committee’s Republican vice-chair, about whether he believes in the peaceful transfer of power. More

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    January 6 hearing: former aide to Mark Meadows to testify – live

    It’s worth noting that Cassidy Hutchinson recently changed her legal representation in connection to the January 6 investigation.Hutchinson’s decision to replace her former lawyer, Stefan Passantino, with Jody Hunt of the law firm Alston Bird was interpreted as a signal of her increased willingness to cooperate with the January 6 committee’s requests for information.Politico reported earlier this month:.css-knbk2a{height:1em;width:1.5em;margin-right:3px;vertical-align:baseline;fill:#C70000;} Hutchinson’s former attorney, Stefan Passantino, has deep Trump World connections. Her new lawyer, Jody Hunt, is a longtime close ally of Jeff Sessions and served as his chief of staff when the former attorney general enraged Trump by recusing from the Russia probe. …
    Passantino, Hutchinson’s former attorney, was the Trump White House’s chief ethics lawyer. And Passantino’s firm, Michael Best, has Trump World connections; its president is former White House chief of staff Reince Priebus, and Justin Clark — also a top Trump World lawyer — is currently on leave from the firm, according to its website.Today’s testimony from Cassidy Hutchinson could also reveal more details about Donald Trump’s response to insurrectionists’ chants of “Hang Mike Pence!” on January 6.At the January 6 committee’s first public hearing earlier this month, Liz Cheney, the Republican vice-chair of the panel, said witness testimony indicated Trump was informed of the chants and reacted approvingly to them.“You will hear that President Trump was yelling and ‘really angry’ at advisers who told him he needed to be doing something more,” Cheney said at the first hearing. “And aware of the rioters’ chants to hang Mike Pence, the president responded with this sentiment, ‘Maybe our supporters have the right idea.’ Mike Pence ‘deserves it.’”According to CNN, Hutchinson was the witness who provided the committee with that information, so today’s hearing could give her an opportunity to offer valuable new insight into how Trump reacted as January 6 turned violent. The House committee investigating the January 6 insurrection is expected to hear live public testimony on Tuesday from Cassidy Hutchinson, a former top aide to Mark Meadows, the last chief of staff to Donald Trump, according to a source familiar with the matter.The committee on Monday abruptly scheduled a hearing for Tuesday, suggesting a sense of urgency to disclose what it said was “recently obtained evidence”. The committee had previously said it would not hold any more hearings until next month.It is the sixth public hearing held by the committee after a year-long investigation into the Capitol attack. Two more hearings are expected next month.The hearings next month are expected to delve into the role of far-right and paramilitary groups organized and prepared for the January 6 attack and Trump’s abdication of leadership during the hours-long siege of the Capitol.January 6 committee schedules surprise session to hear new evidenceRead moreJoe Biden will meet tomorrow with Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the president of Turkey, as the two leaders attend the Nato summit in Madrid, Spain.The White House announced the planned meeting during the daily press briefing, which was held today aboard Air Force One as Biden flew from Germany, where he attended the G7 summit, to Spain.Biden has just arrived in Madrid, where he will soon meet with the Spanish prime minister, Pedro Sánchez, and King Felipe VI.The exact format and timing of the Erdoğan meeting is still unclear, but Jake Sullivan, Biden’s national security adviser, told reporters that the focus of the discussion would be on US-Turkish relations and the bids from Finland and Sweden to join Nato.Turkey has raised objections to Finland and Sweden’s bids, which were submitted in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Erdoğan has specifically accused Sweden of being a “hatchery” for terrorist organizations, per Reuters.The meeting tomorrow could give Biden an opportunity to press Erdoğan on those reservations and attempt to convince him to support Nato membership for Finland and Sweden.It remains unclear what new information Cassidy Hutchinson, former senior aide to Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, might provide in her testimony today before the January 6 committee.But according to Brendan Buck, a longtime adviser to former Republican House speaker Paul Ryan, Hutchinson joined every meeting that Meadows participated in as a congressman. (Meadows served in the House from 2013 to 2020.)“I don’t know Cassidy Hutchinson, and I can’t speak to how things worked at the White House, but when Meadows was on the Hill he always insisted that she be in *every* meeting he had, no matter how small,” Buck said on Twitter. “It was odd then, and [doesn’t] seem to be working out for him now.”I don’t know Cassidy Hutchinson, and I can’t speak to how things worked at the White House, but when Meadows was on the Hill he always insisted that she be in *every* meeting he had, no matter how small. It was odd then, and doesnt seem to be working out for him now.— Brendan Buck (@BrendanBuck) June 28, 2022
    The House select committee investigating the January 6 Capitol attack is closely focused on phone calls and conversations among Donald Trump’s children and top aides captured by a documentary film-maker weeks before the 2020 election, say sources familiar with the matter.The calls among Trump’s children and top aides took place at an invitation-only event at the Trump International hotel in Washington that took place the night of the first presidential debate on 29 September 2020, the sources said.The select committee is interested in the calls, the sources said, since the footage is understood to show the former president’s children, including Donald Jr and Eric Trump, privately discussing strategies about the election at a crucial time in the presidential campaign.House investigators first learned about the event, hosted by the Trump campaign, and the existence of the footage through British film-maker Alex Holder, who testified about what he and his crew recorded during a two-hour interview last week, the sources said.Read the Guardian’s full report:January 6 committee focuses on phone calls among Trump’s children and aidesRead moreGreetings from Washington, live blog readers.The House select committee investigating the January 6 insurrection will hold its sixth public hearing of the month at 1pm ET, after the panel surprisingly announced the event yesterday.According to multiple reports, the star witness for today’s surprise hearing will be Cassidy Hutchinson, a former aide to Mark Meadows, who served as Donald Trump’s White House chief of staff. (Punchbowl News first reported Hutchinson’s expected appearance.)Hutchinson has already spoken to investigators behind closed doors, and she provided the committee with some of its most damning evidence about the Trump White House’s ties to the attack on the Capitol.In a clip of her private testimony played at a hearing last week, Hutchinson named several Republican members of Congress who sought president pardons in connection to their involvement in the insurrection.Today could give Hutchinson her first opportunity to speak directly to the American people about what she witnessed in the White House on January 6 and in the aftermath of that violent day.The hearing will kick off in a few hours, and the blog will have updates and analysis once it starts. Stay tuned.And here’s what else is happening today:
    Joe Biden is traveling from Germany to Spain. Biden is participating in the final day of the G7 summit in Schloss Elmau, Germany, before traveling on to Madrid, Spain, for the start of the Nato summit.
    Karine Jean-Pierre will gaggle with reporters aboard Air Force One en route to Madrid. The White House press secretary will be joined by Jake Sullivan, Biden’s national security adviser.
    Today marks the 10th anniversary of the supreme court’s decision to uphold key portions of the Affordable Care Act. The anniversary comes as the country awaits the court’s final four decisions of the term, which has already seen conservative justices overturn Roe v Wade and deliver a major victory to gun rights groups.
    The blog will have more coming up, so stick around. More

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    Why were Democrats caught flat-footed by the end of Roe v Wade? | Jill Filipovic

    Why were Democrats caught flat-footed by the end of Roe v Wade?Jill FilipovicDemocrats can’t fix the past. But the least they can do is learn from it – and change course accordingly With Roe v Wade overturned by the US supreme court and American women now living in a nation where our most fundamental rights are dependent on the state in which we reside, a lot of us are looking around and asking, “how did we get here?”There is much blame to go around, and the bulk of it rests on the shoulders of the right-wing anti-abortion movement that sprung out of the white supremacist movement that fought to maintain Jim Crow and school segregation. The racist, misogynist Religious Right gained tremendous power within the Republican party; the Republican party proved itself willing to lie, cheat, and steal to get their way; and as a result, Americans are now living in an undemocratic nation of reactionary minority rule.But the Democratic party hasn’t done enough to help itself, its supporters, and women more broadly.There are a great many points where Democrats could have kept the country on the rails. Chief among them is in the aftermath of the 2000 election, when Al Gore won the popular vote, but the supreme court, along partisan lines, installed George W Bush as president. If the reverse had happened – if our arcane Electoral College system had put a Democratic loser in office over a Republican who won more votes – rest assured that the Republican party would have gotten rid of that undemocratic institution as soon as it had the chance.Democrats, though, did nothing – even though “one person, one vote” is likely how most Americans believe our system works, and is an easy advocacy line. When Obama took office, Democrats controlled both houses of Congress. In the states, Democrats controlled more legislatures than Republicans did; more states had a Democratic trifecta (Democratic governors plus both state legislative bodies) than a Republican one. There was a brief moment here to get a lot done in the name of both democracy and women’s rights: get rid of the undemocratic Electoral College; codify Roe; rescind the Hyde Amendment, which bars federal Medicaid dollars from funding abortions for poor women, and the Helms Amendment, which bars US funding from paying for abortions for women overseas. Advocates asked the Obama administration to do all of that; they did none.If there is one moment that portended all of what we’re seeing today, it was Bush v. Gore in 2001. Democrats had a chance to correct it. They had a base that was livid about what had happened, and a country primed to accept a “one person, one vote” rule for elections. And despite a huge win in 2008, they did absolutely nothing to prevent such an undemocratic result from happening again.Two years after Obama’s big win, Republicans swept the midterms in what remains one of the most significant shifts in American political power in the last century. It wasn’t just standard Republican candidates who won – it was Tea Party enthusiasts, right-wing extremists, conspiracy nuts, hardcore misogynists and unrepentant racists, all of whom set the state for Trump’s rise and his eventual party takeover. Once in power, they focused on restricting abortion rights, passing hundreds of laws and imposing a smorgasbord of new restrictions.They have controlled both chambers of the legislature in more than half of US states ever since.Once in power, Republicans focused on keeping themselves there, democracy be damned. They scaled up efforts to restrict voting rights, carefully calibrating their laws to decrease Democratic turnout – that is, to make it harder for people of color to vote. They used whatever power they had to deliver for their constituents – not stuff like healthcare or poverty alleviation that people might actually need, but the culture war stuff that satisfied a punitive desire to screw over perceived enemies.Democrats, on the other hand, made endless compromises.When supreme court justice Antonin Scalia died in 2016, Barack Obama was still the president, and he had the right to appoint a judge to fill Scalia’s seat. The Republican Party, though, had control of the Senate and blocked him, claiming that, because it was an election year, the American people had the right to pick the president who would pick the next Supreme Court judge. They did not apply this same rule to themselves just four years later, when Trump was in the same position – he appointed Amy Coney Barrett to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg. And while some Democrats complained, they certainly did not play hardball; Sen. Dianne Feinstein even applauded Barrett’s speedy and illegitimate confirmation hearings.And Donald Trump, of course, lost the popular vote; millions more American voted for Hillary Clinton. But, thanks to an Electoral College system kept in place despite its long-apparent flaws, the majority lost in 2016. We all know what happened next.In early May, a draft of the supreme court opinion to overturn Roe leaked to the press. It was a shock, but not a total surprise – supreme court watchers and reproductive rights advocates had been warning that this particular court was ready and willing to overturn Roe, and that they might use the Dobbs case to do it.But even with that heads up, the day the Dobbs opinion was published, Democrats seemed to be caught flat-footed. Democrats offered poems and made fundraising pleas. They asked us to vote – even though we did, in huge numbers, in 2016 and 2018 and 2020; even though three million more Americans voted for the Democratic nominee in 2016 than the Republican one.Only a small handful of Democrats, led most notably by Elizabeth Warren and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, suggested anything even remotely resembling an innovative response. And even they seemed to be coming up with it on the fly.The unfortunate reality is that there is no immediate perfect solution for the problem at hand. The supreme court has struck down basic rights for women, giving conservative states enormous control over women’s bodies. Even a federal law codifying Roe is vulnerable to Republican takeover, and tricky to pass given the current make-up of Congress and the fact that the slim Democratic majority in the senate includes conservative Democrats Joe Manchin and Krysten Sinema.But that doesn’t mean there is nothing Democrats can do. Joe Biden, for example, could make securing abortion rights for as many women as possible his number-one priority; he could rescind federal amendments that limit abortion access; he could give permission for clinics to open on federal lands; he could go to the mat for medication abortion availability; he could be clear that he will expand the court and end the filibuster.Instead, he’s setting off on a national tour to remind Americans that they think he’s to blame for inflation.Voting for Democrats matters. One problem that Democrats are currently facing is that they simply don’t have enough of a majority to get done what their base wants, and they have two feckless narcissists with Ds next their names who are hampering the party’s agenda. The midterms matter; more Democrats in office means more opportunities to pass laws that protect women and human rights more generally.But that doesn’t mean Democrats powerless now, or that they have any right to pin the blame on voters. At the very least, Democrats should take a look at what has happened since 2001, and recognize the situation for the emergency that it is. Most of the conservative judges on the court – most of the judges who just overturned Roe v. Wade – were appointed by presidents who initially lost the popular vote but took office anyway. This has happened twice in just 20 years.Abortion rights and democracy go hand in a hand. A nation is not democratic if half of its population do not have basic rights, let alone equal rights. As the US faces a series of crises of democracy, from an attempted coup to a hostile takeover by a reactionary minority to an unprecedented rollback of civil rights, there is a straight line that runs from Bush v Gore to Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health.Democrats can’t fix the past. But the least they can do is learn from it – and change course accordingly.
    Jill Filipovic is the author of the The H-Spot: The Feminist Pursuit of Happiness
    TopicsUS politicsOpinionAbortionDemocratsRoe v WadecommentReuse this content More

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    The Guardian view on overturning Roe v Wade: anti-abortionists reign supreme | Editorial

    The Guardian view on overturning Roe v Wade: anti-abortionists reign supremeEditorialThe removal of women’s constitutional right to abortion will deepen hardship and division in the US The decision, when it came on Friday, was not a surprise. Even before the dramatic leak of Justice Samuel Alito’s draft opinion last month, it was widely predicted that the US supreme court would grab the opportunity presented by the Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization case to rescind the decision made in 1973 in Roe v Wade. This, after all, was the purpose of President Trump’s three supreme court selections – and the culmination of a decades-long campaign by anti-abortionists to return to states the authority to ban the procedure. But the announcement still came as a shock. The US’s global influence means that the decision to remove a woman’s constitutional right to abortion there reverberates far beyond its shores.The speed with which multiple US states reacted is disturbing; already, abortion has been outlawed in 10, with 11 more expected to follow shortly. While all women should be entitled to control their own lives and bodies, there are instances when denying this is particularly cruel. Americans who oppose forced pregnancy and birth now face the horror of rape and incest victims, including children, being compelled to become mothers. The US is exceptional in its lack of federal maternity provisions; children as well as parents will suffer the consequences of unwanted additions to their families, with poor and black people the worst affected.Early signs are that the most extreme Republican legislatures could try to block girls and women from travelling out of state for treatment, and impose further restrictions on care delivered remotely including medication sent by mail. The potential for personal data stored online, including on menstrual apps, to be used against women is causing justified alarm. Having relied on Roe v Wade to protect access to abortion for half a century, politicians can no longer do so. Abortion is now set to become a key issue in this autumn’s midterms.How this pans out will depend on public opinion; polling data suggest that 85% of Americans support legal abortion in some circumstances, and Democrats hope that this could work to their advantage. But the anti-abortion right is a formidable force. With hindsight, President Obama’s decision not to codify Roe v Wade into federal law, and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s choice not to retire when he could have nominated a replacement, look like disastrous errors.The three liberal justices who dissented said they did so with sorrow for “many millions of American women” and also for the court itself. With this decision, it has chosen to reopen deep wounds. The 14th amendment on which Roe v Wade rested granted rights to former slaves, and is the basis for other crucial decisions including on same-sex marriage. By dismissing Roe v Wade in the way that they did, and against the wishes of Chief Justice John Roberts (who argued to retain it, while allowing Mississippi’s 15-week rule to stand), the court’s hard-right wing has seized control.Unprecedented division, and greatly increased hardship and risk for those denied safe healthcare, will be the outcome. While there is reassurance in noting moves elsewhere towards liberalisation, US anti-abortionists are far from unique, as tightened restrictions in Poland and the situation in Northern Ireland show. It is too soon to say whether Trump’s justices and their backers have overreached from an electoral perspective. If there is an early lesson to be drawn, it is that once gained, women’s rights must be constantly defended.TopicsRoe v WadeOpinionUS supreme courtAbortionLaw (US)WomenHealthRepublicanseditorialsReuse this content More

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    Record number of LGBTQ+ candidates run for US Congress in wake of attacks

    Record number of LGBTQ+ candidates run for US Congress in wake of attacksAt least 101 members stood for elections in 2022 as threats of violence and suspension of rights loom for the community The supreme court’s landmark abortion ruling immediately wiped away abortion rights for millions of Americans, but tucked away in Clarence Thomas’s concurring opinion on the case was another threat: to the rights of LGBTQ+ people across the US.In his opinion, written to accompany the Roe v Wade decision, Thomas, part of the controlling cabal of rightwing justices, suggested that the court should “reconsider” the right to same-sex relationships and same-sex marriage, which was legalized nationwide in 2015.Republican-run US states move to immediately ban abortion after court overturns Roe v WadeRead moreBut in the face of fears that the court will now lead a charge against LGBTQ+ rights – and growing far-right violence against LGBTQ+ targets – a record number of LGBTQ+ candidates are running for US Congress in 2022.At least 101 LGBTQ+ people ran for US Congress in 2022, according to LGBTQ Victory Fund, a national organization dedicated to electing openly LGBTQ+ people to all levels of government.Some 57 candidates are still in their races, with advocates hoping greater representation could bring tangible change in Washington, after a year when gay and trans people have been increasingly persecuted by rightwing politicians in the US.Jamie McLeod-Skinner is one of the LGBTQ+ candidates hoping to make a difference in the US House of Representatives. A former mayor, McLeod-Skinner defeated Kurt Schrader, a moderate Democrat who has spent 12 years in the House as congressman, in Oregon’s primary and will face Republican Lori Chavez-DeRemer in the November midterm elections.If she can win, McLeod-Skinner would be the first out LGBTQ+ person ever elected to Congress from Oregon.Becca Balint is seeking to break two barriers in Vermont. If she wins the Democratic primary in August, then defeats her opponent in November, she would be the first woman and the first LGBTQ+ person ever elected to Congress from Vermont – which is the only US state to have never sent a woman to Congress.“When I first was sworn in as state senator [in 2015] I served alongside people who voted against my right to marry my spouse,” Balint told the Valley Reporter this week.“I still had to sit down and do budgeting with them, and pass laws because that’s what my constituents sent me there to do. I didn’t let that get in the way of doing the work. I will honestly work with anyone.”Balint, a former leader of the Vermont senate, supports universal healthcare and says she would push for the passage of the Equality Act, which would place a federal ban on discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity in public spaces and federal programs.Robert Garcia, who is running in California, would also break new ground: as the first openly gay immigrant elected to Congress. Garcia, who was born in Peru, won the Democratic primary in June, and has a strong chance of being elected in November.The wave of LGBTQ+ candidates comes as Republicans have pushed, and passed, bills targeting gay and transgender people.Those who support equal rights for LGBTQ+ people will have their work cut out if Republicans do aim their fire at same-sex marriage.Despite 71% of Americans supporting same-sex marriage, it is clear that plenty of Republicans do not think the same. This week Texas Republicans unveiled their 2022 party platform, which defines homosexuality as an “abnormal lifestyle choice” and says the party would “oppose all efforts to validate transgender identity”.It’s a Republican campaign that has amounted to an alarming rise in anti-trans and anti-gay speech over the past year, with three hate-filled incidents occurring just over the past weekend.In March Ron DeSantis, the Florida governor who is considered a frontrunner for the Republican party’s presidential nomination in 2024, signed a controversial “don’t say gay” bill that prevents teachers from discussing sexual orientation or gender identity in public schools. This month DeSantis moved to ban transition care for transgender youth, and this week suggested he may order Florida’s child protective services to investigate parents who take their children to drag shows.Other politicians and rightwing media figures have spread lies and misinformation about gay and trans people attempting to groom schoolchildren.In this climate, the supreme court’s suggestion that the Obergefell case, which enshrined the right to same-sex marriage, be revisited, has advocates for equal rights on edge.“Forcing people to carry pregnancies against their will is just the beginning,” the ACLU said in a statement on Friday.“The same politicians seeking to control the bodies of women and pregnant people will stop at nothing to challenge our right to use birth control, the right to marry whom you love, and even the right to vote. No right or liberty is secure in the face of a supreme court that would reverse Roe.”By electing more LGBTQ+ candidates, Victory Fund hopes to thwart those efforts.Jasmine Beach-Ferrara, won the Democratic primary for North Carolina’s 11th district earlier this year, and would be the first out LGBTQ+ person elected to any federal position from the state.“I can’t stop thinking about how so many of us have relied on the courts to protect our constitutional rights, and how those rights are under threat,” she said after the supreme court decision on Friday.“We cannot go backwards. Every race on the ballot matters more than ever now.”Heather Mizeur, who faces a Democratic primary in July, would become the first out LGBTQ+ member of Congress from Maryland if she is elected to the House.These candidates, if successful, would join nine openly LGBTQ+ members of the House and two senators, all of whom are Democrats, and could bolster gay and trans rights at a time when they are under severe threat.“The 11 LGBTQ+ members of Congress currently serving punch way above their weight and have delivered meaningful results for our community time and time again, despite being woefully outnumbered,” said Albert Fujii, a spokesperson for the LGBTQ Victory Fund.“But with a supreme court hellbent on choosing politics over precedent, our congressional champions desperately need backup to ensure our fundamental human rights are not rolled back to a time when bigotry was the law of the land.“Gaining equitable representation in Congress would not only increase our political power and increase the odds our rights are finally codified into federal law, it would send a crystal-clear message that anti-LGBTQ vitriol will not prevail.”TopicsRoe v WadeUS supreme courtClarence ThomasLGBT rightsUS politicsDemocratsRepublicansfeaturesReuse this content More

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    Democrats hope to tap anger over Roe in November midterms – will it work?

    Democrats hope to tap anger over Roe in November midterms – will it work?Analysts say more voters should turn out in the wake of the supreme court ruling – but that could help Republicans too “This fall, Roe is on the ballot,” Joe Biden told American voters in the wake of the US supreme court’s decision to scrap abortion rights.The US president was merely echoing a chorus of Democrats urging voters to elect pro abortion-rights lawmakers in November’s midterm elections in a bid to wrest greater control of Congress and perhaps allow abortion rights to be enshrined in legislation.Contraception, gay marriage: Clarence Thomas signals new targets for supreme courtRead moreBut it is also a tactic to try and inject Democratic voters with a sense of urgency and activism as the midterms approach, as currently the political establishment expect Biden and the Democrats to face a defeat at the hands of a resurgent Republican party.Until Roe fell – triggering a slew of Republican-led states to immediately move to ban abortion – Biden and his party have appeared moribund, and down in many polls. Buffeted by immense trouble passing a domestic agenda and hit by soaring inflation, Biden’s popularity has plummeted.But will the fall of Roe help Democrats reverse course on what looks like their current path to defeat? Or could the decision also help motivate the Republican base as the supreme court’s decision revealed the benefits to them of using power?Hank Sheinkopf, a veteran Democrat strategist, said it was too soon to know how far the court’s momentous decision to return the abortion issue to individual US states would go toward shaping voter’s priorities in November.“In states that Democrats do well generally, this will motivate turnout. In states where they do not do well, it will also motivate turnout – but not for the Democrats,” he says. “The issue is purple states, like Michigan, Georgia and Nevada, where you have equal numbers of Democrats and Republicans.”Four months out from November, voters are signaling that their priorities are rising crime, and inflation that has seen basic living costs shoot up for money, especially when it comes to gas prices.“If the question is will abortion help swing the election, the answer is probably not, though it could help in states where there’s a reasonable balance between Democrats and Republicans,” Sheinkopf says.“The presumption is that more women will turn out – but that depends on what’s going in those states at the time. People will make their decisions based on what’s most personal to them,” he adds. “Six or seven dollars a gallon of gasoline, a sense that things are out of control as the Democrats run the country, an increase in homicides nationally, may be better motivators for a majority of voters than Roe v Wade.”Sonia Ossorio, the president of Now [National Organization for Women] New York, said: “I don’t see how this cannot energize voters. Women are fed up. Formula shortages, childcare shortages, gas prices, losing their jobs in unprecedented numbers during the pandemic, and now having our reproductive freedom gutted by the supreme court.“The response we’re getting is unprecedented in my two decades in the women’s rights movement.”The court’s decision establishes political battlegrounds for abortion across the 50 states. Already, many with conservative-leaning legislatures are banning or poised to ban many or most abortions. Nearly 400 abortion-related laws have been passed across US states since 2009, with 85% designed to restrict, regulate or oppose access, according to a Bloomberg News analysis.Kelsy Kretschmer, professor of sociology at the University of California, Irvine, and co-author of a study examining women’s voting patterns, says it’s not clear that the decision will be help Democrats in a measurable way.“A significant proportion of white women are conservative and form the backbone of the pro-life movement and this is the thing they often care the most about. For Democrats, if you lose half of white women, you don’t have a winning majority of women,” she said.There are splits, too, over abortion rights even within Democrat-aligned voters, where conservative Democrats may oppose federal funding for abortion.At the same time, Kretschmer says, abortion rights have always been part of the Democratic platform. “It’s a core tenet of the Democratic party and most understand that outlawing abortion completely is a non-starter.”But predicting how Friday’s ruling will affect November’s vote is outside the scope of prior experience. When Roe v Wade was decided in 1971, abortion did not play the public role in plays now.“The research is quite clear that people don’t make voting decisions about abortion rights. People tend to have strong opinions one way or the other, but it doesn’t tend to affect their vote choice,” Kretschmer says.But she points out that this was prior to this moment in which Roe vs Wade may only be among the first of the women’s rights dominos to fall or could open the way to repealing rights around contraception and marriage equality. “The hope is among Democrats and the feminist movement in general, this time will be different and enough to shake people out of complacency about it,” she said.She added: “We’ve never really had a moment like this, where something so woven into basic political and civic life was ripped out all at once. That moment for abortion is now and we’ve just never seen it before. So the hope is just that – that this is a watershed moment.”Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic speaker of the House, certainly sees it that way. Voting for Democrats in November, she said, is the only way to try and reverse the fall of Roe – or prevent even worse things happening.“Be aware of this: The Republicans are plotting a nationwide abortion ban. They cannot be allowed to have a majority in the Congress to do that,” Pelosi said. “A woman’s right to choose, reproductive freedom, is on the ballot in November.”TopicsUS newsUS politicsDemocratsUS midterm elections 2022newsReuse this content More