Day 541: "We're gathering evidence."
1/ Texas sued the Biden administration over federal rules requiring physicians and hospitals to provide abortions in medical emergencies, even in states with near-total bans. In its lawsuit, Texas claimed that the new guidance “forces hospitals and doctors to commit crimes and risk their licensure under Texas law.” Earlier this week, the Biden administration said the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act pre-empts state laws that restrict abortion access in emergency situations. Attorney General Ken Paxton accused Biden of trying “to use federal law to transform every emergency room in the country into a walk-in abortion clinic.” (Politico / CNBC / Washington Post / New York Times)
2/ Indiana’s Republican attorney general is investigating the doctor who treated a 10-year-old rape victim from Ohio. Ohio bans abortions after about six weeks of pregnancy, with no exceptions for rape or incest. The child was six weeks and three days into her pregnancy. Abortion in Indiana is banned after 22 weeks of pregnancy, with some exceptions for medical emergencies. Nevertheless, Attorney General Todd Rokita said “we’re gathering evidence” on Dr. Caitlin Bernard, who he called an “abortion activist acting as a doctor.” Meanwhile, a Republican Senator blocked a Democratic request to unanimously pass a bill seeking to protect interstate travel for abortion. The Freedom to Travel for Health Care Act of 2022 would also protect health care providers who provide abortions to out-of-state patients. James Lankford objected to the request, claiming that the conversation is “not just about the right to travel and the right to health care it’s deeper than that, it’s the right to live.” (Politico / NBC News / The Hill / CNN)
3/ Trump tried to call a member of the White House support staff involved in the Jan. 6 committee investigation of the Capitol insurrection. Trump allegedly made the call after former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson testified about his conduct leading up to Jan. 6. The staffer that Trump tried to contact was in a position to corroborate part of what Hutchinson had said under oath. The Jan. 6 committee, meanwhile, is reportedly discussing whether to seek an interview with Pence and Trump. (CNN / NBC News / Wall Street Journal)
4/ The Secret Service erased text messages from Jan. 5 and 6, 2021, shortly after oversight officials investigating the agency’s response requested the electronic communications. The Secret Service said the text messages were erased as a result of a “device-replacement program.” (The Intercept / CNN)
5/ Steve Bannon – again – lost his bid to delay his trial on criminal contempt of Congress charges. A federal judge said Bannon’s trial can start as scheduled next week. Bannon’s attorneys had argued that the publicity ahead of the trial raised the risk of prejudice against him among the jurors to be selected to hear his case. Judge Carl Nichols, however, rejected the arguments, saying the court would question potential jurors to determine whether a fair jury could be seated. (Wall Street Journal / Associated Press / CNBC)
poll/ 1% of 18-to-29-year-olds strongly approve of the job Biden is doing as president. 94% of Democrats under 30 said they wanted someone other than Biden to run for president in 2024. 46% of young voters favored Democratic control of Congress, while 28% wanted Republicans to take charge. (New York Times)
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