👋 Away Message: Hi there! Matt is currently out on parental leave. He'll return August 30th-ish. More details can be found here. In the meantime, Joe (the voice of the newscast/podcast) will be publishing an abridged version of WTF Just Happened Today? every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. You can expect 5-7 news items covering a slightly wider range of political news in about two sentences each. We'll return to our regularly scheduled WTFJHT programming when Matt returns in late August.
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1/ The U.S. Capitol Police inspector general found that the agency’s leaders failed to adequately prepare for the Jan. 6 attack despite being warned that “Congress itself is the target.” In a 104-page document, Michael Bolton criticized the way the Capitol Police prepared for and responded to the violence, finding that “heavier, less-lethal weapons,” including stun grenades, “were not used that day because of orders from leadership.” The IG report also found that some police equipment was at least 20 years old, including riot shields that shattered on impact. (New York Times / Wall Street Journal / Reuters / NPR)
- The Justice Department won’t file charges against the Capitol Police officer who fatally shot Ashli Babbitt during the Jan. 6 riot. Babbitt attempted to breach a set of doors deep in the Capitol during the siege. (NBC News / Washington Post)
2/ Hundreds of U.S. corporations and executives signed on to a statement opposing “any discriminatory legislation” that would make it harder for people to vote. “We stand for democracy,” the statement reads. “We all should feel a responsibility to defend the right to vote and to oppose any discriminatory legislation or measures that restrict or prevent any eligible voter from having an equal and fair opportunity to cast a ballot.” The statement comes as Republicans have tried to enact new, restrictive voting rules in almost every state. Senior Republicans, including Trump and Mitch McConnell, have also called for companies to stay out of politics. (Bloomberg / New York Times / NBC News / CNBC)
3/ The former Minnesota police officer who shot and killed Daunte Wright during a traffic stop was arrested and charged with second-degree manslaughter. Kim Potter resigned from the Brooklyn Center Police Department Tuesday. Under Minnesota law, a person convicted of second-degree manslaughter can face up to 10 years behind bars and a fine of up to $20,000. (NBC News / Washington Post / New York Times)
4/ The Senate will take up the Covid-19 Hate Crimes Act. The bill intends to combat violence against Asian Americans by designating a Justice Department employee to expedite the review of hate crimes reported to police during the pandemic. The Stop AAPI Hate organization documented at least 3,795 attacks from last March 2020 to February 2021. At least 60 senators are needed to advance the legislation, which would require bipartisan support. (Reuters / NPR)
5/ The House Judiciary Committee will vote on legislation to create a commission to study the implications of slavery and develop reparations proposals for African Americans. If approved by the committee, as expected, it would set up a floor vote on the measure. The legislation has been stalled in the House for nearly 30 years. (NPR / CBS News / Washington Post)
6/ Matt Gaetz’s associate has been cooperating with the Justice Department since last year. Joel Greenberg has been providing investigators with information about encounters he and Gaetz had with women who were given cash or gifts in exchange for sex. Federal prosecutors are investigating allegations that Gaetz had sex with an underage girl who was 17 at the time, as well as with women who were provided drugs and money in violation of sex trafficking and prostitution laws. (New York Times / CNN)
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