👋 Away Message: It's infrastructure week at WTF HQ! This will be the last edition of WTFJHT until May 31. WTF is taking a much needed break to retool ahead of what is shaping up to be a very consequential midterm cycle (we've also had a few unresolvable scheduling snafus/conflicts here, so I'm just going to take a mulligan on this one). In the mean time, we've built a little news aggregator tool – currentstatus.io – to keep you up-to-date on the daily shock and awe. Thanks for understanding! I'm going to miss you. You'll hear from us again on Tuesday, May 31. Thanks for being here.
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1/ Arizona county election officials have identified fewer than 200 cases of potential voter fraud out of more than 3 million ballots cast in last year’s presidential election, undercutting former President Trump’s claims of a stolen election as his allies continue a disputed ballot review in the state’s most populous county. (Associated Press)
2/ A federal judge in Texas ruled that DACA is unlawful. The program has shielded hundreds of thousands of undocumented young adults from deportation, and the decision throws into question yet again the fate of immigrants known as Dreamers. The judge said Obama exceeded his authority when he created the program by executive order in 2012, but that he would not order that the program be immediately vacated. (New York Times)
3/ Sen. Joe Manchin said he wouldn’t carve out an exemption to the chamber’s filibuster rule for voting rights legislation, effectively dashing chances that Democrats could maneuver around Republican opposition to overhauling the nation’s elections laws. The West Virginia Democrat made the remarks after meeting with a group of Texas House Democrats who left the state to stall a vote on Republican-backed legislation that they say would restrict voting. (Bloomberg)
4/ A witness directly implicated Trump in a tax fraud scheme. A witness in the New York investigation against the Trump Organization has told prosecutors that Trump personally guaranteed he would cover school costs for the family members of two employees in lieu of a raise — directly implicating the former president in an ongoing criminal tax fraud case. Jennifer Weisselberg, ex-daughter-in-law of Allen Weisselberg, allegedly relayed to prosecutors that Trump turned to her and said: “Don’t worry, I’ve got it covered.” (Daily Beast)
5/ Biden selected Jane Hartley as ambassador to U.K.. The White House had considered such figures as Mike Bloomberg and Colin Powell to be ambassador to the Court of St. James’s, one of the plum posts in the American diplomatic corps. (Washington Post)
6/ Former Sen. Tom Udall is Biden’s pick as ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa. The two-term lawmaker was one of four choices named Friday. (Politico)
7/ Matt Gaetz’s campaign paid $25K to a Manhattan criminal defense lawyer who represented Jeffrey Epstein, new records show. Gaetz paid criminal defense attorney Marc Fernich $25K in June, records show. Fernich lists Jeffrey Epstein among his “notable clients.” (Business Insider)
poll/ Less than half of Republicans, 45%, are confident in the institution of science, compared with 72% in 1975. At the same time, Democratic confidence in science has increased from 67% to 79%. (Gallup)
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