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Donald Trump’s tax returns must be given to congressional investigators by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the US Justice Department has said.

In a memo on Friday, the department’s Office of Legal Counsel said the Treasury should provide the House Ways and Means Committee with the former Republican president’s tax details.

The move could bring about the end of a long legal showdown over the records.

It comes after Steven Mnuchin, who was then treasury secretary under the Trump administration, said that he would not hand over the tax returns.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin attends a session at the 50th World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos
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Then-Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he would not hand over Mr Trump’s tax returns

He argued that the records were being sought by Democrats, who controlled the House of Representatives, for “disingenuous” reasons aimed at exposing them to the public.

The committee then sued for the records under a federal law that says the IRS should give over any taxpayers’ returns to a handful of top legislators.

The committee also said it needed Mr Trump’s taxes for an investigation into whether he complied with tax law.

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In Friday’s memo, the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel said the committee chairman “has invoked sufficient reasons for requesting the former president’s tax information”.

The office added that under federal law the Treasury “must furnish the information to the committee”.

It also said that the Justice Department had been mistaken in 2019 when it found the committee’s request for his taxes had a partisan objective.

“We cannot know where receipt of the requested tax information will take the committee, any more than the committee itself can predict what it will find or determine,” wrote Dawn Johnsen, acting assistant attorney general for the Office of Legal Counsel.

Manhattan district attorney Cyrus Vance Jr has already obtained copies of Mr Trump’s personal and business tax records as part of an ongoing criminal investigation.

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance. Pic: Associated Press
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Manhattan district attorney Cyrus Vance Jr has already obtained copies of Mr Trump’s personal and business tax records. Pic: AP

Mr Trump tried to prevent his accountants from handing over the documents, taking the issue to the Supreme Court.

But the justices rejected his argument that he had broad immunity as president.

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Convicted Rust armourer denied immunity to testify at Alec Baldwin’s trial, judge rules

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Convicted Rust armourer denied immunity to testify at Alec Baldwin's trial, judge rules

A convicted film set armourer has been denied immunity to testify at Alec Baldwin’s involuntary manslaughter trial over the fatal shooting of a cinematographer on the set of Rust, a judge has ruled.

Hannah Gutierrez-Reed was jailed in April for her role in the shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, who died during a rehearsal on the New Mexico set of the western in 2021.

Baldwin pointed a prop gun at Hutchins, 42, when the revolver went off, killing her and injuring director Joel Souza.

The actor has maintained he pulled back the gun’s hammer, but not the trigger.

Halyna Hutchins.
Pic:Shutterstock
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Halyna Hutchins. Pic:Shutterstock

Prosecutors had requested that Rust’s chief weapons supervisor Gutierrez-Reed get so-called use immunity, which would prevent them using anything she says at Baldwin’s trial, which is scheduled to start in July, against her.

Her lawyer said she does not wish to incriminate herself as she appeals her 18 months imprisonment over involuntary manslaughter and in another unrelated weapons case she faces.

She was found guilty of criminal negligence for mistakenly loading a live round into the gun Baldwin was using.

Actor Alec Baldwin departs his home, as he will be charged with involuntary manslaughter for the fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of the movie "Rust", in New York, U.S., January 31, 2023. Pic: Reuters
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Pic: Reuters

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Prosecutor Kari Morrissey told today’s hearing she may still call Gutierrez-Reed to give evidence at Baldwin’s trial in July and labelled her “an incredibly important witness”.

However, the judge said it was clear from preliminary interviews and arguments from Gutierrez-Reed’s lawyers that she would not answer questions on the stand, with or without immunity.

In pre-trial interviews, Gutierrez-Reed claimed her constitutional right to silence.

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Baldwin has pleaded not guilty to one count of involuntary manslaughter, which carries a maximum sentence of 18 months in prison.

Prosecutors are trying to show Baldwin was negligent in his use of the revolver.

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Donald Trump raised £44m more than Joe Biden’s campaign in May – and he’s now turning to crypto

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Donald Trump raised £44m more than Joe Biden's campaign in May - and he's now turning to crypto

Donald Trump’s presidential campaign raised substantially more money than Joe Biden’s last month, new figures show.

The Republican candidate received £111m in contributions during May – with tens of millions sent after he was convicted of falsifying business records.

A New York jury found Trump guilty of covering up a “hush money” payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels – with one billionaire donating £39.5m after the verdict was reached.

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Trump slams ‘rigged’ trial and ‘devil’ judge

Trump’s campaign has refused to confirm how much cash it has in the bank, prompting critics to suggest the embattled politician is spending heavily on legal fees.

By contrast, Mr Biden raised £67m in May – about 40% less – with official records showing the Democrats have £167m on hand for the election battle.

Julie Chavez Rodriguez, who manages the Biden campaign, said: “The money we continue to raise matters, and it’s helping the campaign build out an operation that invests in reaching and winning the voters who will decide this election – a stark contrast to Trump’s PR stunts and photo ops that he’s pretending is a campaign.”

The latest figures show how the rules of US politics are changing. While a presidential candidate would have once had to bow out of the race after being convicted of felonies, Trump’s verdict led to a surge in financial support.

He will now likely use this cash to ramp up advertising and attempt to appeal to voters in swing states as November’s ballot draws closer.

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Fundraising data for June is yet to emerge – with a glitzy fundraiser attended by film stars and former president Barack Obama netting over £23m for the Democrats last weekend.

Billionaire Michael Bloomberg has also donated £15m to pro-Biden groups, and formally endorsed the sitting president on Thursday.

Meanwhile, Trump has been increasingly turning to cryptocurrencies as he attempts to fill his campaign war chest.

He once described Bitcoin as a “scam” with value based on thin air – but in a sharp U-turn, has now declared he wants to be the “crypto president” and support the industry.

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Trump is the first major candidate in a US election to accept crypto donations – and earlier this week, there were unsubstantiated rumours he had launched his own digital asset, causing demand for “TrumpCoin” to surge.

On Thursday, Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss – crypto billionaires best known for accusing Mark Zuckerberg of stealing the idea for Facebook from them – donated £1.6m in Bitcoin to Trump, describing him as “pro-Bitcoin, pro-crypto and pro-business”.

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Donald Sutherland, Hunger Games and Kelly’s Heroes actor, dies

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Donald Sutherland, Hunger Games and Kelly's Heroes actor, dies

Donald Sutherland, who appeared in films including The Hunger Games and Kelly’s Heroes, has died at the age of 88.

His agency, CAA, said he died in Miami “after a long illness”.

The Canadian actor won an Emmy and a Golden Globe for his performance in the mini-series Citizen X.

In 2017, he received an honorary Oscar.

His son, fellow actor Kiefer Sutherland, said “with a heavy heart” that his father had “passed away”.

“I personally think [he was] one of the most important actors in the history of film,” Kiefer Sutherland posted on X, adding that he was “never daunted by a role – good, bad or ugly”.

“He loved what he did and did what he loved, and one can never ask for more than that. A life well lived.”

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Sutherland with his son Kiefer. Pic: Reuters
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Sutherland with his son Kiefer. Pic: Reuters

In the Hunger Games franchise, Donald Sutherland played President Snow alongside Jennifer Lawrence.

In Kelly’s Heroes he starred alongside Telly Savalas and Clint Eastwood as Sergeant Oddball – on a mission to steal gold from the Nazis.

“I love to work – I passionately love to work,” Sutherland told US talk show host Charlie Rose in 1998.

“I love to feel my hand fit into the glove of some other character. I feel a huge freedom – time stops for me. I’m not as crazy as I used to be, but I’m still a little crazy.”

Sutherland with Hunger Games star Jennifer Lawrence in 2015. Pic: AP
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Sutherland with Hunger Games star Jennifer Lawrence in 2015. Pic: AP

His “breakthrough performances” were in 1967 movie The Dirty Dozen and MASH, CAA said.

He also took parts in Robert Redford’s Ordinary People and Oliver Stone’s JFK.

He is survived by his wife Francine Racette, sons Roeg, Rossif, Angus, and Kiefer, daughter Rachel, and four grandchildren.

“A private celebration of his life will be held by the family,” CAA said.

Born in St John, New Brunswick, on the east coast of Canada in July 1935, he was the son of a salesman and a mathematics teacher.

He started university in Toronto as an engineering student but switched to English and started acting in college productions.

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