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US politics news summary | 3 October 2023

Kevin McCarthy has become the first Speaker to be ousted. Trump’s fraud trail continues... follow along for the latest.

US Politics: Latest Updates

Niece points out Donald Trump's tell for when he's humiliated

Mary Trump is the daughter of Donald Trump's deceased older brother Fred Trump. She has become an outspoken public critic of her uncle and claims that he defrauded her out of millions in inheritance from her late-father's estate. 

She points out in a post on social media that Trump has a tell when he is humiliated. In this case waving his hands back and forth like he's playing an accordion. The photo comes from when Trump left the courtroom where he and his two adult sons, Don Jr and Eric, The Trump Organization and other defendants are facing a civil lawsuit brought by NY AG Letitia James seeking a $250 million fine for fraudulently inflating assets valuations.

The value of his Mar-a-Lago estate was deemed to be worth $18 million to $27.6 million Judge Arthur Engoron ruled based on the Palm Beach County Assessor appraisal between 2011-2021. Trump emphatically insisted that it was worth $1.5 billion when addressing the press.

In financial statements he had valued the property at between $426.5 million and $612 million, “an overvaluation of at least 2,300%".

Trump abandon the trial during the lunch break not to return. He flew out of New York after attending for 3 days.


President Biden remains committed to working in a bipartisan fashion with new House Speaker

President Biden when announcing his administrations new plan to cancel $9 billion in student loan debt addressed the historic vote in Congress yesterday. For the first time in history the Speaker of the House was removed by a motion to vacate.

The resolution was brought by Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz, who along with seven other GOP House members were able to take the gavel from Speaker Kevin McCarthy with all Democratic representatives supporting the move.

Now the House will have to elect a new Speaker. With Republicans in control of the lower chamber, it will be up to them to put aside their differences to settle on someone who can lead their narrow majority so the House can do the people's business.

Biden announces new student loan cancellation: Who is eligible for debt forgiveness?

President Joe Biden has unveiled a new plan that will allocate $9 billion for student loan forgiveness.

Find out if you are eligible for the program.


NY AG Letitia James speaks out about Trump's "political stunt" at fraud trial

Trump’s comments were offensive. They were baseless. They were void of any facts and or any evidence.

What they were, were comments that unfortunately fomented violence. Comments that I would describe as race-baiting. And comments, unfortunately, that appeals to the bottom of our humanity.

This case was brought simply because it was a case where individuals have engaged in a pattern and practice of fraud. And I will not sit idly by and allow anyone to subvert the law.

And lastly, I will not be bullied.

So, Mr Trump is no longer here and the Donald Trump show is over. This was nothing more than a political stunt.

Letitia James, New York Attorney General

Trump abandons New York fraud trial, leaves city: "The Trump show is over"

Donald Trump did not return to the courtroom after the lunch break where he, his adult sons and the Trump Organization, including top officials, are facing a civil lawsuit seeking $250 million in fines for allegedly fraudulently overvaluing assets. The inflated values on financial statements given to banks and insurance companies were used to secure lower rates on loans and insurance.

The judge ocerseeing the case already determined that Trump was liable for fraud last week. He issued a gag order agaisnt Trump after the former president attacked one of the judge's law clerks on social media during the trial. Trump has repeatedly attacked Judge Arthur Engoron, who's overseeing the case, and New York Attorney General Letitia James, who brought the civil suit.

NBC News reports that the former US president flew out of New York. As it is a civil trial he is not required to attend the proceedings.

Why isn’t Donald Trump on Forbes’ 2023 list of the richest people in the world? How much did he lose this year?

After several decades of being famous for his fortune, Donald Trump received a blow from the Forbes list. The company renowned for evaluating the assets of the richest people on the planet has excluded the former president of the United States from its prestigious list.

“Donald Trump is no longer rich enough,” the magazine announced this week. While Trump remains a billionaire, the real estate magnate has seen his fortune decline by one billion since he occupied the White House almost seven years ago.


Trump speaks out on McCarthy ouster

Former president Donald Trump has been asked about the possibility of his replacing ousted Speaker Kevin McCarthy. He says there are many Republicans qualified for the job, and that he is busy with his presidential campaign.

Did Matt Gaetz vote for Donald Trump to be Speaker? Could Trump get elected?

We reflect on what happened in January, when Kevin McCarthy was voted in to office, and how this could potentially still have an impact.

It was day three of the process to elect a new Speaker of the House at the turn of the year, and Rep. Matt Gaetz drew murmurs from the 433 lawmakers present in the chamber when he called out his vote.

In the seventh ballot in the Speaker election, Gaetz replied “Donald John Trump” when asked to name his pick for the new Speaker. He was the only member of the House to forward Trump’s name.

What does the Speaker of the House do? Job description and salary

The duties of the Speaker are outlined in Article I, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution.

"The House of Representatives shall choose their Speaker and other Officers; and shall have the sole Power of Impeachment."

In reality, the country’s founding document says very little about the job of the Speaker, aside from their role in bringing forward articles of impeachment.

The House rules contain a better description of the duties of the Speaker.


Trump trial continues on day 3

Court resumed at 10 a.m. ET as Trump’s former longtime accountant at Mazars, Donald Bender is cross-examined this morning.

“[AG Letitia James] brought this case under this statue that had never been used for a thing like this before — ever, where I am not entitled to a jury,” Trump told reporters in the hallway before entering the courtroom. “Because if I had a jury, even though it’s in New York — and I think I can do fine in New York — but if I had a jury, I would win this case very easily. But I don’t have a jury.”

Supposedly Trump's lawyers did not file the paperwork which would have brought a jury.


Huge strike hits healthcare sector

Eight unions have said they have not reached an agreement with healthcare company Kaiser Permanente which could result in the largest strike ever in the sector.

75,000 workers are walking out from Wednesday; doctors, hospital managers, and registered nurses will not be taking part.


The slam heard around the internet

Rep. Patrick McHenry was the successor chosen by former Speaker Kevin McCarthy in the case that he was removed from his position. When McHenry gaveled the House into recess, he slammed the gavel, a signal that he was extremely frustrated by the outcome of the motion to vacate Rep. McCarthy

Rep. McCarthy said he will not seek the Speakership after being removed by eight caucus members. However, this will not make selecting a Speaker any easier. The GOP caucus remains divided, and with such a slight majority (222, with 218 needed), Congress' lower chamber could be without a leader for some time


Trump will testify in his fraud case

Former President Donald Trump said he will testify at his civil trial, while speaking just outside the court room during a break.

“Yes, I will. At the appropriate time I will be” testifying, Trump responded when asked.


House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries responds to ousting of Kevin McCarthy

This is a solemn moment for the country and for the House of Representatives. The Constitution gifted us a government of the people, by the people and for the people. House Democrats will continue to put people over politics and work together in a bipartisan way to make life better for everyday Americans. It is our hope that traditional Republicans will walk away from MAGA extremism and join us in partnership for the good of the country.

Hakeem Jeffries, House Minority Leader
Who voted to remove Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy?

Kevin McCarthy was removed as Speaker for keeping the US government running with help from Democratic votes. The eight GOP members who voted to oust couldn't have done it without relying on the Democrats.

What happens now that Kevin McCarthy is ousted? When will the next Speaker of the House be elected?

A small group of fringe Republicans threw the House into chaos with the ouster of Speaker Kevin McCarthy as Congress works to avert a government shutdown.

How will the lower chamber of Congress function now that McCarthy has been removed?


Hello and welcome to AS USA's live blog covering US politics...

Rep. Kevin McCarthy became the first Speaker of the House to be removed from office in US history. The motion to vacate passed after all Democrats and eight GOP representatives voted in favor. McCarthy has said that he will not put his name in the hat for the next Speaker elections, conceding to the extreme wing of his party that called for his removal. Now, the GOP caucus must elect a new Speaker, and it could take time to identify a representative with enough support to make it over the 218 threshold.  

Former president Donald Trump is dominating GOP primary polls, but his legal troubles continue to grow. Last week, a New York court found him liable for financial fraud, and this week, a civil suit into his financial dealings begins. The former president appeared in court on Monday, but his presence for the remainder of the trial remains in question. Trump has made public comments attacking the judge overseeing the case, and is not under a gag order to prohibit him from making any further statements about court officials and staff. 

The more than forty million student loan borrowers will be required to begin making payments this month, and if they are unable, interest will begin to accrue on their debts for the first time in three years. However, the Department of Education has implemented an "on ramp" period, which will protect borrowers from collections and having missed payments impact their credit score. 

Follow along for the latest on these topics and more as the day unfolds... 


Kevin McCarthy concedes to the far-right faction of his party

I will not seek to run again for Speaker of the House. I may have lost a vote today, but I fought for what I believe in—and I believe in America. It has been an honor to serve.

Kevin McCarthy, Former Speaker of the House