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Fears of violence grow after FBI search of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago – as it happened

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

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

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

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

Impeach Merrick Garland and Defund the corrupt FBI!

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

This shouldn’t happen in America.

Republicans must force it to stop!

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

n”,”url”:”https://twitter.com/RepMTG/status/1559166615454990337?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Etweet”,”id”:”1559166615454990337″,”hasMedia”:false,”role”:”inline”,”isThirdPartyTracking”:false,”source”:”Twitter”,”elementId”:”d4646c7d-e276-4244-bd2c-0aff3583dc58″}}”>

Impeach Merrick Garland and Defund the corrupt FBI!

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

This shouldn’t happen in America.

Republicans must force it to stop!

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

She was joined by Arizona’s Paul Gosar:

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

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

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

n”,”url”:”https://twitter.com/RepGosar/status/1558957109055741964″,”id”:”1558957109055741964″,”hasMedia”:false,”role”:”inline”,”isThirdPartyTracking”:false,”source”:”Twitter”,”elementId”:”fba380b7-d973-44b6-92bb-069233e3b2cc”}}”>

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

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

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

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

"We need to pull back on casting judgment on them."

Gov. @AsaHutchinson (R-AR) responds to Republicans attacking the FBI after investigators seized classified documents from Trump's home. @CNNSotu #CNNSOTU pic.twitter.com/o1CtvURUmB

— CNN (@CNN) August 14, 2022

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The investigations into the Trump administration continued today, with Rudy Giuliani being informed that he was a target of the special grand jury looking into election meddling in Georgia, while another former Donald Trump lawyer, Eric Herschmann, was subpoenaed by the federal grand jury looking into the January 6 attack. Republican senator Lindsey Graham also lost his attempt to quash a subpoena compelling his appearance before the Georgia panel, though he has vowed to appeal. Meanwhile, a Trumpworld source said the former president should declare his 2024 run for the presidency soon to avoid indictment.

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Here’s what else happened today:

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

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  • President Joe Biden will tomorrow sign the Inflation Reduction Act into law, his marquee plan to lower both America’s carbon emissions and costs for health care.

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

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

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

  • n

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

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

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

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

“,”elementId”:”23130c6b-5b95-48ce-ae3e-2fef91e5d2f3″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

Here’s where things stand:

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    n

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

  • n

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

  • n

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

  • n

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

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

  • n

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

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

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

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

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

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

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    n

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

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

  • n

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

  • n

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Key events

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Closing summary

The investigations into the Trump administration continued today, with Rudy Giuliani being informed that he was a target of the special grand jury looking into election meddling in Georgia, while another former Donald Trump lawyer, Eric Herschmann, was subpoenaed by the federal grand jury looking into the January 6 attack. Republican senator Lindsey Graham also lost his attempt to quash a subpoena compelling his appearance before the Georgia panel, though he has vowed to appeal. Meanwhile, a Trumpworld source said the former president should declare his 2024 run for the presidency soon to avoid indictment.

Here’s what else happened today:

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

  • President Joe Biden will tomorrow sign the Inflation Reduction Act into law, his marquee plan to lower both America’s carbon emissions and costs for health care.

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

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

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

The Senate Republican campaign fund is slashing its ad purchases in three crucial states, The New York Times reports.

The cuts made in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Arizona total about $10 million, and are a sign of lackluster fundraising for the GOP’s attempt to retake the upper chamber of Congress, where it needs only one additional seat to create a majority.

The Republican candidates in Pennsylvania, Mehmet Oz, and in Arizona, Blake Masters, are both down in the polls, according to FiveThirtyEight, although incumbent Republican Ron Johnson is leading in Wisconsin.

President Joe Biden will tomorrow sign into law the Inflation Reduction Act, his marquee plan to lower both America’s carbon emissions and costs for health care.

Tomorrow’s event will take place in the White House State Dining Room, the Biden administration announced. In the coming weeks, Biden “will host a Cabinet meeting focused on implementing the Inflation Reduction Act, will travel across the country to highlight how the bill will help the American people, and will host an event to celebrate the enactment of the bill at the White House on September 6.”

The act’s passage came after more than a year of negotiations among Democrats, who set out to pass what the Biden administration hoped would be transformational legislation addressing a range of issues from the high costs of child and elder case, to the nationwide housing shortage, to immigration reform. But Republicans refused to support the bill, and the party’s razor-thin margin of control in Congress meant many of those proposals were stripped out of the bill, chiefly due to opposition from conservative Democratic senators Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin.

Hugo Lowell

The Guardian’s Hugo Lowell has further details about Rudy Giuliani’s new legal trouble in Georgia:

Donald Trump’s former attorney Rudy Giuliani is a target of the criminal investigation in Georgia that has been examining efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election in that state by the former president and his allies, a source briefed on the matter confirmed on Monday.

The move to designate Giuliani, 78, as a target – as opposed to a subject – raises the legal stakes for the ex-New York mayor, identified as a key figure in the attempt to reverse the former president’s electoral defeat to Joe Biden in the state.

The office of Fani Willis, the Fulton county district attorney prosecuting the case, told Giuliani he was a target of the criminal investigation into that attempt.

Martin Pengelly

Martin Pengelly

A source close to former president Donald Trump says he should announce his 2024 campaign for presidency soon if he wants to avoid indictment, Martin Pengelly reports:

Donald Trump “has to” announce a campaign for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024 in the next two weeks, a senior Trumpworld source said, if the former president wants to head off being indicted under the Espionage Act after the FBI search at Mar-a-Lago last week.

In communications obtained by the Guardian, the source indicated Trump needed to announce because politically it would be harder for the US Department of Justice (DoJ) to indict a candidate for office than a former president out of the electoral running.

The source also suggested Ron DeSantis, Trump’s only serious competitor in Republican polling, will not run in 2024 if Trump chooses to enter the race.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Giuliani named target of Georgia election meddling probe: NYT

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

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

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

Interim Summary

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

Here’s where things stand:

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

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

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

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

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

US defense secretary has coronavirus

Joanna Walters

Joanna Walters

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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