Biden says Trump ‘lacked courage to act’ on Jan 6 – follow live

Trump cut call for January 6 prosecutions from draft of speech

New video released by the Jan 6 select committee reveals that Donald Trump heavily edited the text of a speech he recorded the day after the Capitol riot, cutting a crucial sentence that called for those who violently attacked Congress to be prosecuted.

In the video, which features the testimony of various administration witnesses, Ivanka Trump confirms that the handwriting on the script is her father’s. Her husband Jared Kushner says he does not know why the president redacted the text.

Meanwhile, the committee is keeping up the pressure on Ginni Thomas, the conservative activist and wife of Supreme Court justice Clarence Thomas whose role in trying to help overturn the 2020 election has come into new focus in recent months.

Congresswoman Liz Cheney said in an interview on Sunday that the “committee is fully prepared to contemplate a subpoena” for Ms Thomas should she continue to refuse to testify about her role in the Trump campaign’s bid to “decertify” electors in key battleground states.


Kinzinger urges Trump prosecution


US conservatives embracing controversial Hungarian leader

When heads of state visit the U.S., the top item on their itinerary is usually a White House visit. For Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban next month, it will be addressing a conference of conservative activists in Dallas.

Orban’s appearance at the Conservative Political Action Conference, where he’ll be joined by former President Donald Trump and right-wing icons such as Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., is the most dramatic indication yet of how a leader criticized for pushing anti-democratic principles has become a hero to segments of the Republican Party.

Orban has curbed immigration and stymied those who envision a more middle-of-the-road European democracy for their country. He’s done so by seizing control of Hungary’s judiciary and media, leading many international analysts to label him as the face of a new wave of authoritarianism. He also is accused of enabling widespread corruption and nepotism, using state resources to enrich a tight circle of political allies.

The U.S. conservative movement’s embrace of Orban comes as it echoes Trump’s lies that he did not lose the 2020 presidential election, punishes Republicans who tried to hold him accountable for the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, and embrace new voting restrictions. Many experts on Hungarian politics fear the GOP might aspire to Orban’s tactics.

“The Trumpist side of the Republican Party is coming for the rhetoric, but staying for the autocracy,” said Kim L. Schepple, a sociologist at Princeton University who has studied Orban. “I’m worried the attraction to Orban is only superficially the culture war stuff and more deeply about how to prevent power from ever rotating out of their hands.”


West Virginia lawmaker sent to jail for Jan 6 says he will ‘raise hell’ in DC


Judge: Georgia probe prosecutor can’t question fake elector

The prosecutor who’s investigating whether former President Donald Trump and his allies illegally tried to interfere in the 2020 election in Georgia cannot question a lawmaker who signed a certificate falsely stating that Trump won the state, a judge ruled Monday.

Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney agreed with Republican state Sen. Burt Jones that Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis had a conflict of interest because she hosted a fundraiser last month for Jones’ Democratic opponent in November’s election for lieutenant governor. McBurney said during a hearing last week that Willis’ decision to host the fundraiser was “a ‘What are you thinking?’ moment. The optics are horrible.”

Willis can still ask other witnesses about Jones, the judge said, but will not be able to bring charges against him. Instead, the Prosecuting Attorneys’ Council of Georgia, a nonpartisan association of Georgia district attorneys, should appoint another prosecutor to decide if any charges should be brought against Jones, one of 16 Georgia Republicans who falsely claimed to be the state’s “duly elected and qualified” electors.

“Today’s ruling is a huge win for our campaign — but more importantly, for due process and the rule of law in Georgia,” Jones said in an emailed statement.

Willis’ office was still reviewing the order and didn’t have an immediate comment, spokesperson Jeff DiSantis said.


Jan 6 rioter pleads guilty to assaulting police officer and member of the press


The tough words Trump never spoke: Jan. 6 panel’s new video

An original script for Donald Trump’s speech the day after the Capitol insurrection included tough talk ordering the Justice Department to “ensure all lawbreakers are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law’ and stating the rioters “do not represent me.” But those lines were crossed out with thick black lines, apparently by Trump, according to exhibits released by House investigators.

Virginia Rep. Elaine Luria, a Democratic member of the House panel investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack, tweeted out a short video Monday that included testimony from White House aides discussing Trump’s speech on Jan. 7 and a screenshot of the speech, with notes and with lines to be deleted. In one of the clips, Trump’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, confirms to the panel the document “looks like a copy of a draft of the remarks for that day” and the writing “looks like my father’s handwriting.”

When the committee asked White House aide Jared Kushner, Ivanka’s husband, why Trump crossed out specific lines, he responded, twice: “I don’t know.”

The panel released the 3:40-minute video as a follow up to its final summer hearing last week, in which the investigators showed outtakes from Trump’s videotaping of the speech. In the outtakes, Trump becomes frustrated and discusses the wording with the staff present, including Ivanka. At one point, he tells them “I don’t want to say the election is over.” Angry, he pounds his fist.


Morning Joe: “How is this guy not already in jail?”


Wisconsin disabled voters file federal lawsuit over ballots

Four people in Wisconsin with disabilities have filed a lawsuit asking a federal court to ensure that they’ll be able to get help turning in their ballots, even though the conservative-leaning state Supreme Court said no one other than the voter can return absentee ballots in person.

The lawsuit, filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Madison, comes in response to the Wisconsin Supreme Court’s 4-3 ruling earlier this month and comments by Meagan Wolfe, the administrator of the Wisconsin Elections Commission.

The state Supreme Court ruled that absentee ballot drop boxes are illegal and that only the voter can return their absentee ballot in person to the clerk’s office or a designated site. The court did not address whether voters can receive assistance when returning their ballots by mail.

Wolfe, when discussing the ruling at a news conference, said “right now, the voter is the one required to mail the ballot.” Wolfe was referring to a state law that says that absentee ballot envelopes “shall be mailed by the elector, or delivered in person, to the municipal clerk issuing the ballot or ballots.”

Wolfe’s comments, taken together with the court’s ruling, “delivered a disturbing message to voters with disabilities: ballot-return assistance is prohibited in all circumstances throughout Wisconsin,” the lawsuit said.


Erasure of Secret Service texts ‘concerning’, Lofgren says

California Representative and January 6 Committee member Zoe Lofgren told MSNBC that “the Secret Service was instructed on January 16 by the chairmen of 4 committees of the House with jurisdiction to retain all records”.

“Eleven days later, they allowed the text messages to be erased. So that’s concerning”, she added.

Speaking about the DHS investigation into the missing texts, Ms Lofgren said: “I have a concern about the Inspector General as well. Why did he wait months and months and months and months before telling us … that these texts were erased?”

“A rather small detail was sent with the Vice President off to the Capitol, knowing that tens of thousands of armed individuals were going to be there shortly. How did that happen?” she asked.


Top Mike Pence aide has reportedly given evidence in federal January 6 probe

Marc Short, the longtime aide to former Vice President Mike Pence who served as his chief of staff during the last months of the Trump administration, has reportedly given evidence to the federal grand jury investigating the January 6 attack on the Capitol.

According to ABC News, Mr Short appeared before the grand jury on Friday. He was photographed departing the Washington DC courthouse where the grand jury is meeting alongside his attorney, former White House special counsel Emmett Flood.

Andrew Feinberg has the details.