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Trump news – live: President’s desperate final plea for Mike Pence to subvert democracy at certification

Related video: Georgia election official debunks one Trump conspiracy theory after another

Donald Trump has issued a desperate, doomed plea for Mike Pence to subvert the will of the American voters at today’s Electoral College certification. He urged the vice president to show “extreme courage” by sending back to the states results Mr Trump does not like.

Mr Pence does not have the authority to do that, and his chief of staff, Marc Short, told Reuters on Monday that he would “uphold the constitution and follow the statutory law”.

It came as control of the Senate appeared to be slipping from Republicans’ grasp, with Raphael Warnock beating Kelly Loeffler in one Georgia runoff election and Jon Ossoff declaring victory in the other.

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Cleta Mitchell: Lawyer quits firm after getting caught out on Trump call

A lawyer who assisted President Donald Trump in a phone call to Georgia’s election chief pressuring him to overturn his election defeat has resigned her position at a law firm, reports have said.

Cleta Mitchell, who emerged as a key player on the phone call in which Mr Trump asked Brad Raffensperger to “find” thousands of votes for him, resigned from Foley & Lardner on Tuesdaym writes Louise Hall.

“Cleta Mitchell has informed firm management of her decision to resign from Foley & Lardner effective immediately,” spokesman Dan Farrell told The Independent.

Jon Sharman6 January 2021 14:19
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Alaska judge sides with Trump and allows sale of Arctic refuge drilling rights in 11th-hour decision

The Trump administration will plow ahead on Wednesday with an auction of drilling leases in the pristine Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) after a judge in Alaska blocked conservationists’ attempt to stop the sale, writes Louise Boyle.  

In an 11th hour decision on Tuesday, US District Judge Sharon Gleason found in favour of the federal government and against environmental groups who had requested a preliminary injunction, saying the sale would lead to “irreparable harm” in the wilderness area.

The decision is a victory for the outgoing administration which has been racing to complete rollbacks of climate and environmental protections, a hallmark of Mr Trump’s time in office.

Jon Sharman6 January 2021 14:00
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Trump administration seeking to undo decades-long rules on discrimination

The Trump administration is pushing to reverse protections against discrimination that have been in law for decades, during its final days in the White House, writes James Crump.

The Washington Post reported on Tuesday that the US Justice Department is seeking to alter the interpretation of Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which bans discrimination on grounds of race, colour, or national origin by recipients of federal funding.

Jon Sharman6 January 2021 13:37
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‘Do it Mike’: Trump makes last-ditch Twitter plea urging Pence to block Biden certification

Donald Trump has made a desperate public plea to Vice President Mike Pence to block the certification of Joe Biden’s win and overturn the presidential election, writes Louise Hall.  

“States want to correct their votes, which they now know were based on irregularities and fraud, plus corrupt process never received legislative approval,” the president tweeted on Wednesday.

Jon Sharman6 January 2021 13:35
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Full story: Ossoff declares victory

Democratic senatorial candidate Jon Ossoff has declared victory against Senator David Perdue (R-GA) in the state’s runoff elections held Tuesday, saying in a video message posted to social media: “It is with humility that I thank the people of Georgia for electing me to serve you in the United States Senate.” 

Jon Sharman6 January 2021 13:18
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Guess who’s awake

Rested and refreshed from his late-night conspiracy-fest, the leader of the free world is up and about on Wednesday. First order of business is to insult a TV presenter.

Jon Sharman6 January 2021 13:08
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Ossoff declares victory in second Georgia runoff

Jon Ossoff, the Democratic challenger in the second Georgia Senate runoff, has declared victory.

Jon Sharman6 January 2021 13:07
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George W Bush to attend Biden’s inauguration

Former US president George W Bush will attend the inauguration of Joe Biden as America’s 46th president, his chief of staff has confirmed. 

“President and Mrs Bush look forward to returning to the Capitol for the swearing in of President Biden and Vice President Harris,” Freddy Ford tweeted on Tuesday evening.

James Crump has the details: 

Rory Sullivan6 January 2021 12:56
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The Trump Review – latest instalment

Donald Trump started 2018 with a bang, tweeting that his nuclear button was bigger than Kim Jong-un’s in a strongly-worded attack against the North Korean leader.

Then came his disparaging remarks about immigrants from “s***hole countries”, followed closely by reports that hush money had been paid to Stormy Daniels after her alleged affair with Mr Trump. 

Here’s my colleague Joe Sommerlad with the latest instalment of The Trump Review: 

Rory Sullivan6 January 2021 12:45
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Pro-Trump supporters flood Washington, DC

Hundreds of Trump loyalists have already taken to the streets of Washington, DC on the day that Congress meets to confirm Joe Biden as the next president. 

Nancy Cordes, a political correspondent at CBS News, tweeted that she saw many of the incumbent president’s fans wearing MAGA hats and carrying flags early on Wednesday morning.

Authorities are on high alert because of the anticipated demonstrations and have cordoned off sections of the city. 

Rory Sullivan6 January 2021 12:35