Biden news – live: Militia group ‘planning Capitol attack today’ as Trump mulls 2024 run without Pence

Biden criticises Mississippi and Texas governors for abandoning Covid-19 restrictions

Capitol Police said they have obtained intelligence of a “possible plot” by a militia group to breach the Capitol on Thursday, just months after it was attacked by a violent mob of Donald Trump supporters.

The threat appears to be connected to a conspiracy theory promoted by supporters of extremist group QAnon that Trump will rise again to power on March 4, which was the presidential inauguration day until 1933, when it was moved to January 20, according to a report in The Washington Post.

It comes amid reports Donald Trump has told allies he is serious about running for president in 2024, something the former president hinted at during the Conservative Political Action Conference last Sunday.

However it is understood if he does make a come back, close aides are encouraging him to pick a running mate who will help him attract voters he lost in 2020 and not stick with his former vice-president Mike Pence, as reported by Bloomberg.

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Trump ‘seriously considering 2024 run for president’

Donald Trump has told allies he is serious about running for president in 2024, something the former president hinted at during the Conservative Political Action Conference last Sunday.

However it is understood if he does make a come back, close aides are encouraging him to pick a running mate who will help him attract voters he lost in 2020 and not stick with his former vice-president Mike Pence, as reported by Bloomberg.

A few names have already been thrown into the hat, such as South Carolina Senator Tim Scott and Republican Kristi Noem, who has previously defended Trump’s legacy as president.

Trump’s relationship with Pence has been strained ever since the violence at the US Capitol on January 6 where supporters of the former president raided the building.

Pence, his family and multiple other politicians were forced to flee the building. Trump and Pence did not speak to each other for days after the incident amid reports the incident in the Capitol has caused a fissure in their relationship.

Joe Middleton4 March 2021 14:15

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Biden says he is ‘looking forward’ to signing election reforms bill

Joe Biden says he looks forward to signing the election reform bill passed the US House of Representatives on Wednesday — with the sweeping piece of legislation still needing to clear the Senate.

“I look forward to signing it into law…so that together we can strengthen and restore American democracy for the next election and all those to come,” Mr Biden said in a statement released by the White House.

“This landmark legislation is urgently needed to protect that right, to safeguard the integrity of our elections, and to repair and strengthen our democracy,” the president’s statement added.

The bill includes provisions on access to voting, as well as allowing candidates with smaller platforms to stand in elections. But, as Alex Woodward reports, it seems unlikely that enough Republicans will support the bill to pass:

Gino Spocchia4 March 2021 13:38

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‘You gotta love Dolly Parton’, says Dr Fauci

Dolly Parton went viral on social media this week, following a video in which she riffed on her own hit “Jolene” by singing “Vaccine, vaccine, vaccine, vaccine. I’m begging of you please don’t hesitate”, as she received her own dose of a Moderna jab.

Ms Parton, who donated $1 million to help fund research into the same vaccine last year, added “cause once you dead, then that’s a bit too late.”

Dr Anthony Fauci, watching the video on CNN on Thursday morning, was also delighted by the riff on “Jolene”, and said to viewers: “You gotta love Dolly Parton”.

Gino Spocchia4 March 2021 13:24

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What we have learned about 6 January attack

With fresh concerns about a far-right attack on the US Capitol on Thursday and Saturday, what have we learned about the riot of 6 January, when five people were killed?

Although a number of hearings have taken place on law enforcement’s response to the assault on Congress almost two months ago, many questions continue to remained unanswered. Here’s all that we know so far:

Gino Spocchia4 March 2021 13:05

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‘I think President Trump has a responsibility to tell them to stand down’

Republican Michael McCaul has said that Donald Trump should tell his supporters to “stand down” after reports that extremists might try and attack the Capitol today.

An unidentified group of “militia” discussed plans in February to “take control of the Capitol and remove Democratic lawmakers on or about March 4,” according to a bulletin issued on Tuesday by the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

March 4 is the day when believers in the baseless QAnon conspiracy have claimed that former President Donald Trump, defeated by President Joe Biden in the Nov. 3 election, will be sworn in for a second term in office.

Mr McCaul told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “The Lead” said: “I think President Trump has a responsibility to tell them to stand down — this threat is credible, it’s real.”

He added: “It’s a right-wing militia group that believes that the original — because the original inaugural day was March 4 until the 20th Amendment passed, they think this is the true inauguration day and that President Trump should be inaugurated tomorrow. And that is the threat we face right now.”

Additional reporting by Reuters

Joe Middleton4 March 2021 12:35

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Oregon moves to ban public display of nooses, calling them symbol of racism

Lawmakers in Oregon are moving to ban the public display of nooses, after anti-racism campaigners and city leaders petitioned to see the introduction of a bill.

The bill would make intimidation by display of a noose a misdemeanour punishable by up to a year in prison and a $6,250 (£4,485) fine.

If the bill passes then Oregon would be the sixth US state to criminalise the racist symbol being displayed in public.

Gino Spocchia reports

Joe Middleton4 March 2021 12:16

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US Senate set to debate President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package

The Democrat controlled senate will consider a motion to launch 20 hours of debate on the massive Covid-19 bill that includes funding for vaccines and medical supplies and extends jobless assistance.

Republicans’ response to the motion will likely be an early indication of the steep opposition the bill faces in the chamber.

The Senate will convene despite a warning by Capitol Police that it had obtained intelligence about a militia group’s possible plot to breach the Capitol on Thursday, a day some conspiracy theorists believe that Republican former President Donald Trump will be sworn in for a second term.

The House of Representatives canceled its Thursday session after the Capitol Police’s warning.

Additional reporting by Reuters

Joe Middleton4 March 2021 12:00

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Trump served with lawsuit accusing him of breaking ‘Ku Klux Klan’ laws on day of Capitol riot

Donald Trump has been served a civil rights lawsuit accusing him of inciting the Capitol riot along with Rudy Giuliani, the Proud Boys and other far-right groups, according to reports.

Mr Trump was given the documents, filed by Democrat congressman Bennie Thompson and civil rights group the NAACP in mid-February, at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, writes The Independent’s Joanna Taylor

Joe Middleton4 March 2021 11:45

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Ghislaine Maxwell being held under ‘brutal’ conditions, brother claims

The family of Ghislaine Maxwell has called for her to be released from jail while awaiting trial on child sex trafficking charges.

Maxwell’s sister Ian has claimed that she has been subjected to “brutal and degrading” treatment while awaiting trial at a detention centre in Brooklyn, as reported by The Telegraph.

“To anyone familiar with the British system of law, the American system is simply bizarre, quite frankly, cruel.

“As you know my sister is held in the most appalling conditions and subjected to brutal and unusual treatment and yet she is a pre-trial detainee,” he said.

Chantal da Silva has the details

Joe Middleton4 March 2021 11:32

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San Antonio Spurs coach joins Biden in criticising Texas dropped mask mandate

President Joe Biden was critical of governors in Texas and Mississippi for dropping their Covid mask mandates on Wednesday, describing the move as “neanderthal thinking.”

San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich has also taken umbrage at the decision of Texas Gov Gregg Abbott to roll back on Covid restrictions, calling the decision “ignorant.”

“I’m worried about the people in our state. That’s a pretty mystifying decision considering the situation that we’re all in.”

He added that “getting rid of masks just seems ignorant to me” in comments before San Antonio’s 119-92 victory over the New York Knicks, as reported by NBC.

Joe Middleton4 March 2021 11:12

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