👋 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/ The Senate voted 53 to 47 to confirm Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson as the 116th Supreme Court justice, making her the first Black woman to serve on the high court. “This is one of the great moments of American history,” Chuck Schumer said before the vote. “Today we are taking a giant, bold and important step on the well-trodden path to fulfilling our country’s founding promise. This is a great moment for Judge Jackson but it is an even greater moment for America as we rise to a more perfect union.” Biden, meanwhile, called the vote a “historic moment” for the nation, saying “We’ve taken another step toward making our highest court reflect the diversity of America.” Jackson will be sworn in when Justice Stephen Breyer retires this summer. (New York Times / Washington Post / NPR / NBC News / CNN / Politico / Wall Street Journal)
2/ New York Attorney General Letitia James asked a Manhattan judge to hold Trump in contempt of court for refusing to comply with a court order to turn over documents for her investigation into his company. James also asked the judge to fine Trump $10,000 for every day he fails to surrender those documents. In February, Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Arthur Engoron ordered Trump to “comply in full” with James’ subpoena seeking documents and information. Trump, however, missed the March 31 deadline to hand over records. “Instead of obeying a court order, Mr. Trump is trying to evade it,” James said, adding that Trump “did not comply at all,” but instead sent a response “raising objections to each of the eight document requests in the subpoena based on grounds such as overbreadth, burden, and lack of particularity.” (CNBC / CNN / Washington Post / New York Times / NBC News / Bloomberg / CBS News)
3/ The Manhattan district attorney said the criminal investigation into Trump and his company is continuing, despite the recent resignation of the two senior prosecutors leading the case. “It’s open, it’s active, we have a great team in place of dedicated career prosecutors working every day,” Alvin Bragg said. “We’re exploring evidence that’s not been previously explored. We will leave no stone unturned.” The future of the investigation, which produced tax-fraud indictments of the Trump Organization and its chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg, was called into question after prosecutors Carey Dunne and Mark Pomerantz resigned in February. In his resignation letter, Pomerantz said Trump “is guilty of numerous felony violations,” but that the case had been “suspended indefinitely.” While Bragg said “the investigation is very much ongoing,” he wouldn’t place a timeline on the case other than to say that “investigations are not linear.” (Wall Street Journal / CNN / Bloomberg / ABC News)
4/ The Justice Department is investigating the 15 boxes of White House records that Trump took to Mar-a-Lago after leaving office. The Justice Department is reportedly in the “very early stages” of an investigation into possible mishandling of government records, some of which were labeled “top secret.” The Justice Department is also blocking the National Archives from sharing details on the 15 boxes with the House Oversight Committee, which has opened its own investigation. In a letter addressed to Attorney General Merrick Garland, Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney accused the Justice Department of “interfering” with its investigation by preventing the National Archives from cooperating with the panel. (Washington Post / CNN / NPR)
5/ The House voted to recommend criminal contempt of Congress charges against Peter Navarro and Dan Scavino, after the two former Trump aides defied subpoenas from the Jan. 6 committee. The 220-203 vote refers the two former Trump aides to the Justice Department for potential prosecution. Two Republicans – Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger – voted in favor of the referral. (New York Times / NBC News / Wall Street Journal)
6/ Congress voted to revoke Russia’s “most favored nation” trade status and banned the import of Russian energy into the U.S. The House voted 413-9 to strip Moscow of its preferential trade status following a unanimous 100-to-0 vote in the Senate. Three Republican lawmakers in the House – Marjorie Taylor Greene, Matt Gaetz, and Thomas Massie – opposed the trade bill, while nine lawmakers, both Republicans and Democrats, opposed the legislation banning Russian energy imports. (New York Times / CNBC / Bloomberg / NBC News)
7/ The U.N. General Assembly suspended Russia from the Human Rights Council, approving a resolution that cited reports of “gross and systematic violations and abuses of human rights” in Ukraine. The resolution passed with 93 votes in favor, 24 against, and 58 abstentions. (NPR / CNN / Associated Press)
poll/ 70% of Americans view Russia as an enemy of the U.S. – up from 41% in January. (Pew Research Center)
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