Federal judge says Al Gore ‘was a man’ about his election defeat, unlike Trump

Donald Trump
Former President Donald Trump speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Dallas, Texas, on July 11, 2021.

  • A federal judge on Monday said VP Al Gore “was a man” who accepted his election defeat.
  • The comments came during a plea hearing of a January 6 Capitol riot defendant, CNN reported.
  • Trump continues to lie that he won the 2020 election.

A federal judge overseeing a criminal case for one the rioters who stormed the Capitol on January 6 swiped at former President Donald Trump for spreading falsehoods about the 2020 election and refusing to admit defeat, according to a CNN report.

During a plea hearing on Monday, DC District Judge Reggie Walton, a George W. Bush appointee, slammed Trump by pointing to the 2000 election between Bush and then-Vice President Al Gore, who narrowly lost the race after a contentious legal battle.

“Al Gore had a better case to argue than Mr. Trump, but he was a man about what happened to him,” Walton said Monday, per CNN. “He accepted it and walked away.”

The defendant Adam Johnson, a 36-year-old Florida man who was photographed carrying House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s lectern, pleaded guilty to one count of entering and remaining in a restricted building, according to CNN.

“What concerns me, sir, is that you were gullible enough to come to Washington, DC, from Florida based on a lie and the person who inspired you to do what you do is still making those statements, and my concern is that you are gullible enough to do it again,” Walton said Monday during the plea hearing, per CNN.

More than a year after the election, Trump still refuses to acknowledge his loss and continues to lie that the election was “stolen” from him because of widespread voter fraud. 

Walton has pushed back on Trump’s ongoing election lies before. During another Capitol riot sentencing hearing last month, the federal judge said that he and others have received threats over handling these criminal cases.

“As judges, we’re getting all kinds of threats and hostile phone calls when we have these cases before us, because there are unfortunately other people out there who buy in on this proposition, even though there was no proof, that somehow the election was fraudulent,” Walton said, according to CNN.

Since January 6, 695 people have been charged in connection to the Capitol riot.

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2 Fox News employees resigned over Tucker Carlson’s January 6 documentary, citing concerns it may incite violence

Tucker Carlson speaks during the Mathias Corvinus Collegium Feszt on August 7, 2021 in Esztergom, Hungary.
Tucker Carlson speaks during the Mathias Corvinus Collegium Feszt on August 7, 2021 in Esztergom, Hungary.

  • Jonah Goldberg and Stephen Hayes joined Fox News as contributors in 2009.
  • Both Goldberg and Hayes resigned over tensions between Fox News coverage and their own publication.
  • In a statement, the pair said the misinformation pushed by “Patriot Purge” is dangerous.

Fox News contributors Jonah Goldberg and Stephen Hayes have resigned following the release of Tucker Carlson’s documentary on the January 6 Capitol insurrection, “Patriot Purge,” citing concerns about the documentary’s potential to incite violence and the cable news outlet’s direction of coverage in the post-Trump era, The New York Times reported.

Goldberg and Hayes joined Fox News as contributors in early 2009 while also working for conservative political magazines. In 2019, they worked together to found The Dispatch, a conservative online publication with nearly 30,000 paying subscribers, according to The New York Times.

Ultimately, the release of “Patriot Purge” brought the pair to an impasse, which they said forced them to choose between running their own publication and remaining loyal to Fox News, according to a statement about their resignation.

The “Patriot Purge” documentary baselessly suggested that the January 6 insurrection was a “false flag” plot by President Joe Biden to conduct an ideological purge and persecute conservatives.

“This is not happening. And we think it’s dangerous to pretend it is. If a person with such a platform shares such misinformation loud enough and long enough, there are Americans who will believe — and act upon — it,” Goldberg and Hayes said in a statement. “This isn’t theoretical. This is what actually happened on January 6, 2021.”

The duo were not the only Fox News employees to publicly condemn the documentary. One of Carlson’s colleagues, Geraldo Rivera, called the false flag theory pushed in the documentary “bullshit.”

Insider has reached out to Goldberg, Hayes, Carlson, and Fox News for comment.

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January 6 committee considers holding Mark Meadows in criminal contempt for not complying with subpoena

Mark Meadows
Former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows.

  • The January 6 committee is considering holding Mark Meadows in criminal contempt.
  • Meadows, Trump’s former chief of staff, failed to meet the Friday deadline to turn over documents and show up for a deposition.
  • The committee has already held Trump’s former White House chief strategist, Steve Bannon, in contempt.

The House select committee investigating the January 6 insurrection is weighing criminal contempt proceedings against former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows for refusing to comply with its congressional subpoena, Chairman Bennie Thompson and ranking member Liz Cheney announced on Friday.

The move comes after Meadows failed to meet the Friday deadline to appear for a deposition and hand over documents related to the probe.

“Mr. Meadows’s actions today-choosing to defy the law-will force the Select Committee to consider pursuing contempt or other proceedings to enforce the subpoena,” Thompson and Cheney said in a statement.

“If his defiance persists and that process moves ahead, the record will reveal the wide range of matters the Select Committee wished to discuss with Mr. Meadows until his decision to hide behind the former President’s spurious claims of privilege. Many of those matters are not even conceivably subject to any privilege claim, even if there were one,” the lawmakers said.

Meadows has followed instructions from Trump not to comply with the subpoena because of the former president’s claims of executive privilege. Lawmakers on the January 6 committee said there’s no legal basis to Meadows’ resistance.

Meadows’ lawyer, George Terwilliger, said Thursday that the former chief of staff will not comply until the courts resolve the issue by ruling on Trump’s claims.

Before the Friday deadline, Thompson warned Terwilliger in a letter on Thursday that if Meadows refuses to comply, he could face criminal contempt charges. Meadows was also notified that President Joe Biden will not assert executive privilege over documents and other information requested by the January 6 panel.

Meadows was Trump’s chief of staff from March 2020 until the end of his presidency. He took the job after serving seven years in the House as a Republican representing North Carolina.

The committee has already held another Trump aide, former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, in contempt after he refused to comply with a subpoena. Bannon also said he was prevented from complying by Trump’s executive privilege. The Democratic-led House, joined by nine Republicans, voted last month to refer the charges to the Justice Department. The DOJ announced on Friday that a federal grand jury indicted Bannon on two felony counts of contempt of Congress.

“It’s unfortunate that Mr. Meadows has chosen to join a very small group of witnesses who believe they are above the law and are defying a Select Committee subpoena outright,” Thompson and Cheney said Friday.

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CNN anchor Jim Acosta calls Tucker Carlson’s documentary on the January 6 Capitol insurrection ‘Proud Boy porn’

In this Jan. 6, 2021, file photo insurrectionists loyal to President Donald Trump rally at the U.S. Capitol in Washington.
In this Jan. 6, 2021, file photo insurrectionists loyal to President Donald Trump rally at the U.S. Capitol in Washington.

  • “Patriot Purge” is a three-part series that will stream on Fox Nation starting Monday.
  • Tucker Carlson received backlash after releasing a trailer for the documentary earlier this week.
  • CNN anchor Jim Acosta said Carlson is inciting more right-wing violence in the US.

On Saturday, CNN anchor Jim Acosta criticized Fox News, its owners, and Tucker Carlson’s upcoming documentary on the January 6 Capitol insurrection, “Patriot Purge,” which he dubbed as a “propaganda flick” and “Proud Boy porn,” referencing an alt-right, white nationalist hate group.

“The reason why federal investigators and millions of Americans are terrified by right-wing violence in this country is because it keeps happening, and Tucker Carlson is inciting more of it,” Acosta said.

Earlier this week, Carlson received immediate backlash after releasing a trailer for the upcoming series, which baselessly suggests that the Federal Bureau of Investigation was behind the January 6 riot. He even received criticism from one of his Fox News colleagues, Geraldo Rivera, who said in a tweet that the “false flag” conspiracy theory pushed in the documentary is “bullshit.”

The three-part series is slated to air on streaming service Fox Nation starting Monday. Acosta said the Murdoch family, which helms a media empire that comprises Fox News and other outlets, is “cashing in as American democracy is being set ablaze.”

“The Murdochs and Tucker Carlson, their primetime pyromaniac, appear to be hell-bent on dragging this country into a civil war,” Acosta said.

Insider has reached out to Fox News and CNN for comment.

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Federal judge rips the DOJ for offering lenient plea deals to Capitol riot defendants who committed the ‘crime of the century’

Capitol riot
  • A federal judge ripped the DOJ for offering “petty offense” plea deals to Capitol riot defendants.
  • The dichotomy made prosecutors look “almost schizophrenic” in their approach, said Chief Judge Beryl Howell.
  • She said the “reputation of our democracy … suffered because of January 6.”

A federal judge criticized the Justice Department this week for taking a “muddled approach” toward prosecuting those accused of participating in the deadly January 6 insurrection, Politico reported. Chief Judge Beryl Howell of the federal district court for the District of Columbia also criticized prosecutors for offering “petty offense” plea deals to defendants who she said carried out the “crime of the century.”

Howell’s comments came during the sentencing hearing for Jack Griffith, a Tennessee resident who pleaded guilty in July to one misdemeanor count of parading, demonstrating, or picketing inside the Capitol. As part of the plea deal, the government dismissed four other misdemeanor counts against Griffith.

“I’m trying to make sense of the government’s position here,” Howell said Thursday. She also contrasted the “very strong language” prosecutors used to describe the conduct Capitol defendants engaged in with the relatively lenient plea deals some were offered.

The dichotomy made prosecutors look “almost schizophrenic” in their approach, Howell said, according to Politico and Law & Crime. “No wonder” there’s been public confusion about the gravity of the events of January 6, she added.

“The rioters attacking the Capitol on January 6 were not mere trespassers engaging in protected First Amendment conduct or protests,” Howell said at the hearing. “They were not merely disorderly, as countless videos show the mob that attacked the Capitol was violent. Everyone participating in the mob contributed to that violence.”

“After all that scorching rhetoric … the government goes on to describe the rioters who got through the police lines and got into the building as ‘those who trespassed,'” Howell said. “This was no mere trespass.”

Those who stormed the Capitol “are not trespassers, they are criminals,” she added. She later said that “the damage to the reputation of our democracy, which is usually held up around the world … that reputation suffered because of January 6.”

“You are not a good guy or a patriot,” Howell told Griffith. But she said prosecutors had forced her hand by charging him and others who engaged in similar conduct with “petty offense[s].”

Griffith was sentenced on Thursday to three years probation, 90 days of home confinement, and $500 in restitution. He’s one of 18 people connected to Tennessee who were arrested on charges related to the January 6 riot. A total of more than 700 people have been charged in connection to the siege, and the Justice Department estimated that 2,000 to 2,500 people participated in storming the Capitol.

Griffith expressed remorse for his behavior on January 6, calling it “disgraceful.”

“My mind used to be muddied, clouded by extremist politics,” he said when he pleaded guilty in July. He struck a different tone in January, telling a Fox affiliate in Tennessee, “I’m not a domestic terrorist.”

“For all the people slandering, libeling, mislabeling my name, I’m a citizen I had nothing to do with any violence, vandalism, and I love all my fellow citizens,” he said, before going on to promote his pro-Trump video game.

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‘I am guilty of being an idiot’ – a Capitol riot defendant who used stimulus money to get to DC asks judge for leniency ahead of sentencing

Glen Wess Lee Croy captured on body camera footage from inside the Capitol on January 6.
Glen Wes Lee Croy captured on body camera footage from inside the Capitol on January 6.

  • A Colorado Capitol riot defendant called himself “an idiot” for participating in the Capitol riot.
  • Glen Wes Lee Croy, 46, wrote an apology to the judge overseeing his case ahead of his sentencing.
  • Croy pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor charge in August.

A Capitol riot defendant who pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor charge earlier this year struck a conciliatory tone in a personalized letter to the federal judge overseeing his case ahead of his sentencing next month.

“I am guilty of being an idiot and walking into that building, and again apologize to America and everyone for my role in participating,” Glenn Wes Lee Croy, 46, wrote to Chief District Judge Beryl A. Howell.

Croy apologized several times in a series of sentencing memorandum documents reviewed by Insider and first reported on by WUSA.

The Colorado man detailed the circumstances that led to his decision to travel to Washington, DC, to attend the January 6 “Stop the Steal” rally in support of President Donald Trump, including losing his job in the summer of 2020 due to COVID-19.

Croy said he began watching more news than he ever had before and became frustrated with the George Floyd protests and coronavirus restrictions. As the election approached, he said he became more and more concerned about the security of the vote.

When Trump announced the January 6 rally and invited his supporters to attend, Croy said he used some of his unemployment money and saved-up stimulus money to make the journey from Colorado Springs to the nation’s capital.

Croy said he followed the crowd throughout the day, eventually ending up inside the Capitol building as police faced off with a mob of rioters.

“I regretfully once again followed the crowd like a lemming,” he wrote. “My adrenaline was up and I knew I wasn’t supposed to be there but I was in the thick of it by this point.”

In his letter, Croy said he was surprised to learn that a woman – Ashli Babbitt – had been shot during the insurrection, and claimed he had no idea how violent the attack was until he later watched an HBO documentary about the riot.

In August, Croy pleaded guilty to one charge of parading inside the Capitol.

Federal investigators say Croy was captured on video and in photos throughout the Capitol, posing for pictures inside the rotunda at the same time Capitol police were trying to usher people back outside.

In a separate sentencing memo, prosecutors requested two months of jail time for Croy.

“He showed no concern for the severity of his actions as he engaged in criminal conduct as if he was on a vacation,” prosecutors wrote in legal documents. “Finally, he bragged about and defended his actions to several friends, failing to see the seriousness of his actions.”

Croy and his lawyers are requesting he receives probation at his sentencing hearing on November 5, citing his role as the sole caretaker for his two sons, one of whom has diabetes.

An attorney listed for Croy declined to comment.

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Justices prosecuting pro-Trump Capitol riot defendants are receiving ‘all kinds of threats,’ according to federal judge

capitol riot military
In this Jan. 6, 2021 file photo rioters supporting President Donald Trump storm the Capitol in Washington.

  • A federal judge said judges prosecuting January 6 cases are receiving “all kinds of threats.”
  • DC District Judge Reggie Walton made the comments during sentencing for Lori and Thomas Vinson.
  • The judge handed down the maximum sentence for both in an effort to deter future violence.

A federal judge is blaming unrepentant Capitol riot defendants for the recent influx of threats targeted toward justices prosecuting January 6 cases.

During a Friday sentencing hearing for Lori and Thomas Vinson, DC District Judge Reggie Walton slammed the ongoing propagation of former President Donald Trump’s election lies, saying Capitol riot defendants who are standing by their actions have spurred others who believe the election was “stolen” to harass the dozen or so judges who are overseeing the hundreds of January 6 cases.

“As judges, we’re getting all kinds of threats and hostile phone calls when we have these cases before us, because there are unfortunately other people out there who buy in on this proposition, even though there was no proof, that somehow the election was fraudulent,” Walton said in court on Friday, according to CNN.

Official audits and election experts have concluded there was no widespread fraud in the 2020 election, and the Department of Homeland Security declared the election the “most secure in American history.”

But that hasn’t stopped some Trump supporters from continuing to spread dangerous propaganda about US election security, Walton said, which he called a threat to democracy.

“Democracies die, and we’ve seen it in the past, when the citizens rise up against their government and engage in the type of conduct that happened on January 6,” Walton said.

In an effort to deter future insurrection, Walton sentenced both Lori and Thomas Vinson to five years probation and a $5,000 fine – the maximum penalty allowed, as well as the heftiest fine for any Capitol rioter yet, CNN reported. Federal prosecutors had originally asked that Lori receive one month in jail and Thomas get house arrest.

“I want the sentence to hurt,” Walton said. “I want people to understand that if you do something like this, it’s going to hurt. I know it’s a lot of money but hey, that’s the consequence that you suffer when you associate yourself with this type of behavior.”

The Kentucky couple was arrested in February after several people identified them in photos and videos from inside the Capitol on January 6, according to court documents. Lori Vinson made headlines after giving a broadcast interview in which she boasted that she would “do it again.”

“I hope [Jan. 6] is something I remember and say ‘I’m glad I was a part of that’ 30 years from now,” Vinson told a local TV station in Evansville, Indiana. She also said she was “not sorry” for her participation.

The FBI said it used her TV interviews after the insurrection to help build a case against the couple.

“It bothers me that she would try to associate herself with that type of violence… and then she goes on television on two occasions and is proud of what she did, and says she would do it again,” Walton said on Friday.

Ahead of sentencing, Lori Vinson tearfully asked the judge for leniency, citing her new job as a nurse and her work helping patients with COVID-19, according to CNN. Her husband, one of the several dozen veterans charged in the riot, acknowledged his wrongdoing.

“I took that oath to the Constitution and I know I broke that oath that day by entering that building and participating in the events of January 6,” Thomas Vinson reportedly said. “It’s blemish that’s going to be on myself, my family for the rest of my life, and the country, and into the history books.”

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Rep. Jim Jordan says he doesn’t know how many times he spoke with Trump on January 6

Jim Jordan
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH).

  • Rep. Jim Jordan says he doesn’t know how many times he spoke with Trump on January 6.
  • “I don’t recall the number of times. But it’s not about me,” he told a House panel on Wednesday.
  • Jordan could become a material witness in the House select committee’s investigation of January 6.

Rep. Jim Jordan on Wednesday says he doesn’t know how many conversations he had with former President Donald Trump on January 6.

“Of course I talked to the president. I talked to him that day. I’ve been clear about that. I don’t recall the number of times. But it’s not about me,” the Ohio Republican said during a House panel hearing on a resolution to hold Trump’s former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon in criminal contempt for his refusal to comply with a congressional subpoena. The committee voted 9-4 along party lines to advance the resolution.

Jordan, in response to questioning from Rules Committee Chairman Democratic Rep. Jim McGovern, said that he only spoke with Trump after the attack, refuting a Politico report in August that said he spoke with the former president during the siege.

Jordan previously revealed that he talked to Trump at least once on January 6 but refused to offer any details about the conversation, telling Fox News in July: “I never talk about what we talk about.”

Trump’s interactions on January 6 have emerged as part of the House select committee’s probe into what happened that day. The committee has so far issued subpoenas for documents and information from a handful of Trump officials, including Bannon, who has refused to comply.

One of the committee’s members, GOP Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, said in July that Jordan could become a material witness as the investigation goes on.

Cheney, a vocal Trump critic, is one of two Republicans on the committee who’s also been outspoken against the former president and the January 6 attack.

Most Republicans, including Jordan, have ridiculed the January 6 investigation, with some downplaying the day’s violence.

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Fiona Hill says Trump ‘could win again’ in 2024 and continues to stage a ‘slow-moving coup’ after January 6

Fiona Hill
Fiona Hill, former top Russia advisor to the White House, provides testimony in the impeachment inquiry of President Trump in Washington, DC on November 21, 2019.

  • Fiona Hill said in a new interview with The Hill that Trump could win in 2024 if he decides to run.
  • Hill also claimed that Trump continues to stage a “slow-moving coup.”
  • “We’re in for a wild ride. We’re already in it,” the former top Russia expert told The Hill.

Fiona Hill, who served as former President Donald Trump’s top Russia expert, said in a new interview published Wednesday that her ex-boss could win the White House in 2024 if he decides to run again.

“He could win again. And it will be – if he does, it will be on the back of a big lie and on an awful lot of efforts to suppress the vote and the turnout,” Hill told the The Hill.

The former National Security Council advisor also warned that if Trump loses, he’ll likely challenge the election results again, as he did after the 2020 presidential race with no success.

“Just one constitutional crisis after another,” Hill said. “We’re in for a wild ride. We’re already in it.”

These comments come after several months of Trump teasing another bid for the presidency. He has not yet made a formal campaign announcement, though. Other former Trump officials, such as ex-White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham, have claimed that Trump will run in 2024. A new Quinnipiac University poll released Tuesday found that 78% of Republicans say they want Trump to run again.

Trump continues to lie that he won the 2020 election and the victory was “stolen” from him because of widespread voter fraud, a claim that state and federal officials have repeatedly disproven. Some far-right figures have also floated conspiracy theories that Trump could be reinstated as president while President Joe Biden holds the office, which is not legally possible.

Since leaving the White House, Trump remains an influential leader in the Republican party, regularly weighing in on national politics and endorsing GOP candidates for the 2022 midterm elections.

Hill spoke about Trump’s lasting power to The Hill, claiming that he is staging a “slow-moving coup.”

“The slow-moving coup, you know, didn’t really culminate in Jan. 6,” Hill told The Hill, referring to when Trump supporters violently broke into the US Capitol on January 6 while Congress was meeting to certify Biden’s victory.

“I just see this as an episode in one long continuum,” Hill added. “It’s just a different kind of coup now because he’s technically out of office but, in his view, he’s not out of power.”

Hill, who was a key witness during the House impeachment inquiry into Trump’s dealings with Ukraine, was heavily critical of the former president in her new book, “There Is Nothing for You Here: Finding Opportunity in the Twenty-First Century.”

She characterized Trump as a major threat to democracy in the US, often drawing parallels between the former president and Russian President Vladimir Putin. The Russian leader, widely regarded as an authoritarian and enemy to democracy, has taken extraordinary steps to consolidate power in his country. This includes signing a law earlier this year that would allow him to stay in office for another 15 years, after already ruling over Russia for the past two decades.

Former President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin
Former President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin

“Trump’s interpretation of executive power and his attempt to usurp the presidency may have paved the way for another, less personally insecure and more capable populist president – someone who actually did his or her homework and was skilled in project management – to pull a Putin in America,” said Hill, who also wrote a biography on Putin.

Hill said that even though Trump’s “self-coup” on January 6 failed, he still “successfully usurped the Republican party.”

“In the aftermath of Trump’s disastrous reign, it was tempting to breathe a sigh of relief. But that would have been premature, because there was no indication that his dynasty would fade away,” Hill wrote.

A spokesperson for Trump did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

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Jan. 6 Committee chairs Bennie Thompson and Liz Cheney call Trump’s subpoena lawsuit ‘an attempt to delay and obstruct our probe’

Bennie Thompson Liz Cheney
Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Mississippi), left, listens as Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyoming) speaks during the House select committee hearing on the Jan. 6 attack in Washington, DC, on July 27, 2021. Washington Metropolitan Police Department officer Michael Fanone is at center.

  • Members of the Jan. 6 Committee insisted they have the authority to seek White House records.
  • Former President Donald Trump said he intends to use executive privilege to reject the subpoenas.
  • The committee is seeking Trump-related records, including his internal communications.

Jan. 6 Committee Chair Bennie Thompson (D-Miss) and Vice-Chair Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) reiterated that they have the authority to seek White House records in light of a lawsuit filed Monday on behalf of former President Donald Trump in an attempt to block subpoenas related to the investigation into the insurrection.

“The former president’s clear objective is to stop the Select Committee from getting to the facts about Jan. 6, and his lawsuit is nothing more than an attempt to delay and obstruct our probe. Precedent and law are on our side,” the statement from Thompson and Cheney said.

Thompson and Cheney added in their statement that President Biden has so far declined to invoke executive privilege and that it is not absolute.

“Additionally, there’s a long history of the White House accommodating congressional investigative requests when the public interest outweighs other concerns,” the statement from Thompson and Cheney said. “It’s hard to imagine a more compelling public interest than trying to get answers about an attack on our democracy and an attempt to overturn the results of an election.”

Trump’s lawyers alleged in the lawsuit that the subpoenas are “invalid and unenforceable through the Constitution and the laws of the United States,” and said Trump intends to use executive privilege to reject them.

The Jan. 6 Committee has asked for a trove of Trump’s records, including his internal communications with lawyers, campaign operatives, and senior officials, Politico reported.

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