1/ The FBI executed a federal search warrant at Mar-a-Lago connected to the 15 boxes of presidential documents that Trump improperly took from the White House. The National Archives previously confirmed that it found many pages of classified information in the boxes, which it retrieved in January. The same month, the National Archives asked the Justice Department to examine whether Trump’s handling of White House records violated federal law. To get a search warrant – done under FBI Director Christopher Wray, who was appointed to the role by Trump after he fired the previous FBI director, James Comey – the FBI would have needed to convince a federal judge that it had probable cause that a crime had been committed, and that agents might find evidence at Mar-a-Lago. Trump was in New York City at the time of the search, but released a statement saying his “beautiful home […] is currently under siege, raided, and occupied by a large group of FBI agents,” adding: “They even broke into my safe!” In June, federal agents – including a Justice Department counterintelligence official – visited Mar-a-Lago seeking more information about potentially classified material that Trump had taken to Florida from the White House. The FBI’s search of Trump’s home is separate from the Justice Department’s investigation into the Jan. 6 attack. Trump is also facing four more potential criminal investigations for fraudulent asset valuations at the Trump Organization by New York State, tax avoidance schemes by the Manhattan District Attorney, election interference in Georgia, and efforts to create fake electors and pressure Pence into overturning the 2020 election. Kevin McCarthy, meanwhile, suggested that he’ll investigate Attorney General Merrick Garland if Republicans took control of the House in November. Hours after the search, Trump addressed the FBI activity during a tele-rally for Sarah Palin, calling it “Another day in paradise. This is a strange day.” (New York Times / Washington Post / Wall Street Journal / Politico / CNN / NBC News / New York Times / NPR)
- Trump argued that he was too busy during his single term in office to sue Hillary Clinton before the four-year statute of limitations expired. Trump claims that Clinton, the Democratic Party, and several others, conspired to falsely accuse him and his 2016 campaign of colluding with Russia. (Bloomberg)
2/ Newly revealed photos show two occasions that Trump apparently tried to flush documents down the toilet. The photos were given to Maggie Haberman, a New York Times reporter, by a Trump White House source, and appear to be written in Trump’s handwriting in black marker. One image is from a White House toilet and the other one is from an overseas trip. White House staff previously reported finding Trump’s toilet periodically clogged with paper. (Axios / CNN)
3/ A federal appeals court ruled that the House can obtain Trump’s tax returns from the IRS. In April 2019, the House Ways and Means Committee requested six years of Trump’s tax returns under a law that allows the disclosure of an individual’s returns to the committee. The Trump Treasury Department, however, refused to comply with the request and the House filed a lawsuit seeking to enforce it in early July 2019. The ruling will likely be appealed to the Supreme Court. (CNN / New York Times / Politico / USA Today)
4/ Trump’s legal team is in direct communication with Justice Department officials about executive privilege issues related to its criminal probe into the Jan. 6 attack. The conversations are focused on whether Trump would be able to shield conversations he had with witnesses while he was president from a federal criminal grand jury. John Rowley, a former federal prosecutor, is representing Trump in talks with the DOJ. Rowley also represents Peter Navarro, who was charged with contempt of Congress for his refusal to cooperate with the Jan. 6 committee. The committee, meanwhile, is scheduled to speak with former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo today. Pompeo and then-Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin were among Trump’s cabinet members who discussed the possibility of invoking the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office after the events of Jan. 6, 2021. (CNN / Politico / New York Times / Bloomberg)
- The Atlanta-area district attorney investigating Trump’s effort to overturn the 2020 election rejected Rudy Giuliani’s request to postpone his grand jury appearance. Giuliani was ordered by a New York state judge to appear for an Aug. 9 grand jury interview after he failed to appear at a hearing to challenge a subpoena from District Attorney Fani Willis. Giuliani claimed that a recent medical procedure prevented him from flying for several weeks (Politico)
5/ Biden signed legislation providing $52 billion in subsidies to the semiconductor industry. The CHIPS and Science Act provides $10 billion for regional technology hubs, a 25% investment tax credit for the manufacturing of semiconductors and related equipment, and authorizes roughly $100 billion in spending over five years on scientific research, including more than $80 billion for the National Science Foundation. (NPR / Washington Post)
6/ Biden signed ratification documents for Finland and Sweden to join the NATO alliance. In May, both nations formally applied to NATO following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. NATO ambassadors ratified the accession protocols in July, and member states are currently in the process of doing the same. Putin, meanwhile, is adamantly opposed to any NATO expansion, calling it an imperialistic threat. (Politico / CNBC / Associated Press)
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