Day 262: "Not in the best interests of the United States."
1/ Biden rejected Trump’s request to assert executive privilege over records related to the Jan. 6 attack. In a letter to the National Archives, the White House said Biden “determined that an assertion of executive privilege is not in the best interests of the United States.” Trump had claimed executive privilege in an attempt to shield documents requested by the House Select Committee about his and his aides’ activities during the Jan. 6 attack. (Washington Post / Politico / NBC News / CNN / Wall Street Journal)
2/ Trump directly asked the Justice Department nine times in Dec. and early Jan. to undermine the 2020 election results. According to a Senate Judiciary Committee report on Trump’s efforts to overturn the election, Trump tried replacing then-acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen with Jeffrey Clark, a DOJ lawyer who supported election fraud conspiracies and had indicated he would publicly pursue Trump’s baseless claims of voter fraud. During a Jan. 3 Oval Office meeting, Rosen, his deputy Richard Donoghue, and another official warned Trump that all of the Justice Department’s assistant attorneys general would resign en masse if he followed through with his plan to replace Rosen with Clark. White House counsel Pat Cipollone and his top deputy, Patrick Philbin, also threatened to quit. Cipollone called Trump’s plan a “murder-suicide pact.” (New York Times / CNN / Washington Post)
3/ Steve Bannon refused to comply with a subpoena and will not cooperate with the House select committee investigating Jan. 6. Bannon cited Trump’s claim of executive privilege, saying “we must accept his direction and honor his invocation of executive privilege.” After Bannon informed the panel that he would not cooperate, the committee threatened to pursue criminal contempt of Congress charges against Bannon. The committee has subpoenaed documents and testimony from Bannon, Dan Scavino, Kash Patel, and Mark Meadows. The four were ordered to turn over documents related to Jan. 6 by Oct. 7 (yesterday) and to sit for interviews by Oct. 15. Trump has directed the four to ignore the subpoenas. (New York Times / CNN / CNBC / Politico)
4/ The Senate voted to temporarily raise the debt limit by $480 billion, an amount the Treasury Department estimates will allow the U.S. to continue paying its bills until Dec. 3. The bill now moves to the House, which is expected to take up the legislation early next week. The two-month patch overcame a Republican filibuster, 61-38, after 11 Senate Republicans joined with all Democrats in voting to end debate and move the bill to final passage, which required a simple majority. (Politico / New York Times / ABC News / CNBC)
5/ A federal judge blocked enforcement of the new Texas law that bans nearly all abortions in the state after about six weeks of pregnancy. “From the moment S.B. 8 went into effect, women have been unlawfully prevented from exercising control over their lives in ways that are protected by the Constitution,” U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman said in his decision to grant a preliminary injunction, calling the law an “offensive deprivation” of a constitutional right. In his 113-page opinion, Pitman said Texas had “contrived an unprecedented and transparent statutory scheme” by delegating enforcement of the law to private individuals, who are entitled to collect $10,000 in damages if they bring a successful lawsuit against anyone who performs abortions or “aids and abets” them. The lawsuit was brought by the Biden administration and Attorney General Merrick Garland called the order “a victory for women in Texas and for the rule of law.” Within about an hour of Pitman’s decision, Texas filed a notice appealing the decision to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The outcome of that appeal will likely end up at the Supreme Court within weeks. (NPR / Politico / Washington Post / New York Times / CNN / Associated Press)
6/ Biden restored environmental protections to national monuments that had been stripped by the Trump administration. Biden said that protecting Bears Ears National Monument, Grand Staircase-Escalante, and the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts should not become “a pendulum that swings back and forth depending on who is in public office.” In 2017, Trump signed an executive order that downsized Bears Ears by 85% and cut Grand Staircase in half. Biden joked that making the changes “might be the easiest thing I’ve ever done so far as president.” (NPR / New York Times / NBC News / ABC News)
poll/ 84% of Trump voters worry about discrimination against whites and think Christianity is under attack. 38% of Biden voters agree that anti-white discrimination is a problem and that Christianity is under attack. (Business Insider)
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