Day 497: "Critically important work."
1/ Biden, calling inflation his “top economic priority,” met with Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell and outlined a three-part plan to tackle high prices. Biden said the Fed has “a primary responsibility to control inflation” and that he’s “not going to interfere with their critically important work.” Biden added: “The most important thing we can do now to transition from rapid recovery to stable, steady growth is to bring inflation down.” The Fed is currently in the process of raising interest rates at the most aggressive pace since the 1980s to cool demand to moderate price pressures. (Politico / Wall Street Journal / New York Times / Bloomberg / Associated Press)
2/ A lawyer for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign was found not guilty of lying to the FBI when he shared a tip about possible connections between Trump and Russia two months before the election. The jury verdict in favor of Michael Sussmann was the first courtroom test for special counsel John Durham, who was tasked by the Trump administration three years ago with finding possible wrongdoing among federal agents who investigated Trump’s potential ties with Russia during the 2016 campaign. Sussmann was accused of lying to the FBI in September 2016 when he brought the FBI allegations of a secret computer communications backchannel between the Trump Organization and Russia-based Alfa Bank. Sussmann had claimed that he was not bringing the information on behalf of a client. Prosecutors, however, alleged Sussmann had done so on behalf of the Clinton campaign and technology executive Rodney Joffe. After deliberating for about six hours, jurors found Sussmann not guilty. (Politico / NPR / Associated Press / New York Times / Washington Post / Wall Street Journal / Bloomberg)
3/ The Justice Department subpoenaed former Trump adviser Peter Navarro to appear before a grand jury as part of its probe into the Jan. 6 insurrection. It’s the first known instance of prosecutors seeking testimony from someone who worked in the Trump White House. Navarro, meanwhile, called the subpoena the “fruit of the poisonous tree.” The House voted to refer Navarro to the Department of Justice on a criminal contempt of Congress charge last month after he refused to cooperate with the committee’s subpoena for testimony and documents. (New York Times / Politico / CNBC / Associated Press)
4/ A Republican lawyer central to the plot to reverse the 2020 election is recruiting an “army of citizens” to monitor elections for fraud. Cleta Mitchell’s network of grass-root groups, which have promoted misinformation and conspiracy theories, have been tapped to surveil and pressure local election officials. rather than ensure voters’ access to the ballot. The Republican National Committee has so far recruited more than 5,000 poll watchers and nearly 12,000 poll workers. Federal investigators, meanwhile, are looking at whether the Trump campaign played a role in the submission of false election certificates, issuing subpoenas related to the alternate electors in Georgia seeking communications with “any member, employee or agent of Donald J. Trump or any organization advocating in favor of the 2020 re-election of Donald J. Trump.” Investigators have also interviewed a Republican who was set to be a 2020 elector in Michigan. (New York Times / CNN)
5/ The House Judiciary Committee called an emergency hearing to consider the “Protecting Our Kids Act,” a package of eight gun control bills that Committee Chair Jerry Nadler said he intends to bring to the House floor “as soon as possible.” The omnibus package would increase the legal purchasing age for semi-automatic rifles from 18 to 21, ban the import, sale, manufacture, transfer or possession of large-capacity magazines, and establish requirements and criminal penalties to regulate the storage of firearms on residential premises. Even if the package passed the House, it would still face a filibuster by Senate Republicans. At least 15 mass shootings have taken place across the United States since the shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas. (Axios / CNBC / Washington Post)
poll/ 14% of Americans rate economic conditions as either “excellent” or “good,” while 46% say they are “poor,” with another 39% rating them as “only fair.” The Economic Confidence Index, meanwhile, dropped to -45 in May, down from -39 over the previous two months. The recent measure of Americans’ perceptions of current economic conditions and their outlook for the economy is the lowest reading since the tail end of the Great Recession in early 2009. (Gallup)
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