The Trump Organization’s chief financial officer surrendered to authorities on Thursday, as he and Donald Trump’s namesake company prepare to face the first criminal charges from a probe that has hovered over the former president for years. Allen Weisselberg, a longtime Trump business lieutenant who helped run Trump’s real estate empire during his presidency, and the Trump Organization are expected to be arraigned later in the day in the probe by the district attorney.
The New York attorney general’s office says it is investigating the Trump Organization “in a criminal capacity”. A spokesman for the state’s top prosecutor, Letitia James, said the inquiry into Mr Trump’s property company was “no longer purely civil”. Ms James has been scrutinizing the ex-Republican president’s financial dealings before he took office. The Trumps deny wrongdoing and say the inquiry by a Democratic prosecutor is a political vendetta.
Donald Trump has suggested he may run for president again in 2024 – amid an angry attack on Joe Biden in his first major address since leaving the White House. He dismissed suggestions he may start a new party, saying “we’re not interested in them”. “We all knew the Biden administration was going to be bad, but none of us even imagined just how bad they would be,” he said.
Former White House adviser Steve Bannon and rapper Lil Wayne are among the people being pardoned or granted clemency by Donald Trump in the final hours of his presidency. The outgoing president granted clemency to 143 people on Wednesday. “Bannon has been an important leader in the conservative movement and is known for his political acumen,” the White House said in a statement.
Donald Trump has called for “no violence” ahead of what the FBI has warned are “armed protests” being planned at all 50 state capitals ahead of Joe Biden’s inauguration – as removal vans were spotted outside the White House. One group has vowed an uprising will take place and government offices will be stormed if attempts are made to remove Mr Trump from office.
President Donald Trump on Wednesday evening announced 26 new pardons, including for longtime ally Roger Stone, former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and White House senior adviser Jared Kushner’s father, Charles. The pardons of Manafort and Stone reward two of the most high-profile and widely condemned former advisers of the President, both of whom were indicted by special counsel Robert Mueller.
President Trump has pardoned four security guards from the private military firm Blackwater who were serving jail sentences for killing 14 civilians including two children in Baghdad in 2007, a massacre that sparked an international outcry over the use of mercenaries in war. The Nisour Square massacre was one of the lowest episodes of the US-led invasion and occupation of Iraq.
Ex-US Defence Secretary James Mattis has denounced President Donald Trump, saying he deliberately stokes division. He said he was “angry and appalled” by Mr Trump’s handling of ongoing protests over the death of African American George Floyd at the hands of police. Mr Mattis berated Mr Trump’s “abuse of authority” – and backed protesters seeking to uphold American values, as did ex-President Barack Obama.
Donald Trump has hit back at Barack Obama after his presidential predecessor branded his handling of the coronavirus pandemic a “chaotic disaster”. The US president claimed his administration was “getting great marks” and derided Mr Obama’s response to the 2009 H1N1 swine flu outbreak as “a disaster” and argued he “didn’t have a clue”. Mr Obama said that the world’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak had been “anemic and spotty”.
US Attorney General William Barr has said that President Donald Trump “undercuts” him by tweeting, making it “impossible for me to do my job”. His criticism of Mr Trump comes amid intense scrutiny of the Justice Department over the handling of a case involving Roger Stone – a convicted former advisor to the president. The attorney general had been accused of bowing to presidential pressure.