👋 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 House voted to establish a 13-member committee to investigate the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. “That day, Jan. 6, was one of the darkest days in American history,” Nancy Pelosi said before the vote. The mob sought “to block the certification of an election and the peaceful transfer of power that is the cornerstone of our democracy.” The vote was 222-190, with two Republicans voting in favor. Pelosi will select eight of the 13 members herself, including its chairman. The remaining five will be appointed “after consultation with the minority leader,” Rep. Kevin McCarthy. The committee will also have the power to subpoena witnesses and documents. (Bloomberg / Politico / Washington Post / NBC News)
2/ The Supreme Court denied a challenge to the pandemic-related federal eviction moratorium. The court’s order means the CDC moratorium on evictions, which prohibits landlords from evicting certain tenants who fail to pay rent during the Covid-19 pandemic, will remain in place until July 31. John Roberts and Brett Kavanaugh joined with the court’s three liberals to keep the moratorium in place. (CNN / Politico)
3/ The Manhattan district attorney’s office is expected to charge the Trump Organization and its chief financial officer with tax-related crimes on Thursday. The charges reportedly involve non-monetary fringe benefits the Trump Organization gave to top executives, such as the use of apartments, cars, and school tuition. (Wall Street Journal / Associated Press / NBC News)
4/ Bill Cosby was released from prison after his sexual assault conviction was overturned by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. Cosby was convicted on three felony counts of aggravated indecent assault in 2018 for drugging and sexually assaulting a woman in 2004. He served nearly three years of a three- to 10-year sentence. The state Supreme Court concluded that Cosby’s prosecution should never have occurred because of a non-prosecution deal Cosby made with former Montgomery County prosecutor Bruce Castor, who agreed not to criminally prosecute Cosby if he gave a deposition in the civil case brought against him by the woman he drugged and sexually assaulted. Castor is the same lawyer who represented Trump during his second impeachment trial. (Philadelphia Inquirer / ABC News / Associated Press / NBC News)
5/ The architect of the decades-long wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is dead. Donald Rumsfeld, the secretary of Defense under both Gerald Ford and George W. Bush, was 88. Rumsfeld never expressed regret for the decision to invade Iraq, which cost the U.S. $700 billion and 4,400 American lives, insisting instead that “ridding the region of Saddam [Hussein’s] brutal regime has created a more stable and secure world.” In 2004, human rights groups and a bipartisan Senate committee said Rumsfeld should face criminal charges for his decisions that had led to the abuse of Iraqi detainees at Abu Ghraib prison and terrorism suspects at Guantanamo Bay. (New York Times / NPR / Politico / Washington Post / Reuters)
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