1/ A federal judge refused to delay Stephen Bannon’s trial on charges of criminal contempt of Congress. After refusing to cooperate with a congressional subpoena from the Jan. 6 committee for nearly nine months, Bannon informed the panel over the weekend that he was willing to testify. Bannon’s reversal came after he suggested that Trump had “waived” his claim of executive privilege and permitted him to testify. Prosecutors, however, disclosed Monday that Trump’s attorney Justin Clark told them Trump “never invoked executive privilege over any particular information or materials” and that Bannon’s lawyer “misrepresented to the committee what the former president’s counsel had told the defendant’s attorney.” The Justice Department told the federal judge that Bannon’s last-minute offer to testify was a “last-ditch attempt to avoid accountability” and “irrelevant” to whether he will be prosecuted for contempt. Bannon’s trial is set to begin July 18 on two counts of criminal contempt. (Washington Post / Bloomberg / CNN / Politico / The Guardian / New York Times / NBC News / Associated Press / Wall Street Journal)
- Former Attorney General William Barr was subpoenaed in a $1.6 billion defamation suit brought against Fox News by the voting-machine company falsely accused of rigging the 2020 election. “Dominion Voting Systems Inc. is seeking sworn testimony from Barr, who served as former President Donald Trump’s attorney general, court filings show. Barr contradicted Trump about a month after the election by telling the Associated Press that the Justice Department had found no evidence of widespread voter fraud that would have changed the result.” (Bloomberg)
2/ A Fulton County judge ordered Lindsey Graham to testify before the special grand jury in Georgia that’s investigating Trump’s attempts to overturn the 2020 election. Judge Robert McBurney described Graham as a “necessary and material witness” to the grand jury and ordered him to testify on Aug. 2. The grand jury wants to hear about two phone calls allegedly made by Graham to Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger asking him to begin “reexamining certain absentee ballots cast in Georgia in order to explore the possibility of a more favorable outcome for former President Donald Trump.” (WSB-TV Atlanta / Reuters)
3/ The FDA is reviewing its first-ever application for an over-the-counter birth control pill – more than 60 years after the hormone-based pills were approved by the FDA. They have always required a prescription. HRA Pharma officials said they expect an FDA decision in about 10 months – typical for over-the-counter applications – meaning it could take until mid-2023 for Opill to be on shelves. Meanwhile, Biden called the Supreme Court “out of control” and its decision to overturn the constitutional right to abortion “an exercise in raw political power.” He then signed an executive order that aims to ensure the safety of abortion patients and providers, as well as access to the procedure through mobile clinics near the borders of states that restrict access. (Politico / New York Times / NBC News / CNBC / Associated Press)
4/ The Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled that most ballot drop boxes aren’t allowed in the state – one month before the state’s primary elections. The court also ruled that voters are required to physically return their own absentee ballots – meaning, a voter can’t have someone else return their completed absentee ballot on their behalf. (NPR)
5/ The latest Omicron subvariant has quickly become dominant in the U.S., according to the CDC. In the U.S., BA.5 now accounts for about 54% of all Covid-19 infections. BA.5 is highly transmissible and manages to at least partially skip past some of the immune defenses acquired through prior infections and vaccinations. (NPR / The Atlantic / Washington Post)
poll/ 64% of Democratic voters want someone other than Biden to run for president in 2024, while 26% say they’d prefer Biden to be their party’s candidate. Of the 64% of respondents who want a different Democratic candidate, 33% cited Biden’s age as the reason. At 79, Biden is the oldest president in U.S. history. In hypothetical matchup, however, Biden beats Trump 44% to 41%. (New York Times / Bloomberg)
poll/ 33% of voters say Biden deserves reelection, while 67% say Biden doesn’t deserve a second term. (Gallup)
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