1/ The wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas pressed lawmakers to overturn Biden’s 2020 victory in both Arizona and Wisconsin. It was previously reported that Virginia “Ginni” Thomas emailed 29 Arizona state lawmakers in November and December 2020, urging them to ignore Biden’s popular-vote victory and instead “choose” their own presidential electors. New emails, however, show that Thomas also urged at least two Republican lawmakers in Wisconsin, including the chair of the Senate elections committee, to overturn Biden’s win. The Jan. 6 committee asked Thomas to sit for a voluntary interview in June. At the time, Thomas said she “can’t wait” to talk to the committee, but later said she didn’t believe there was “sufficient basis” for her to sit for an interview. (Washington Post / Associated Press)
2/ A federal judge ordered Lindsey Graham to testify before a grand jury investigating efforts to overturn Trump’s election loss in Georgia. The judge, however, limited the scope of questions that Graham could be asked “about investigatory fact-finding” he conducted in phone calls made to state elections officials. It’s the second time that Judge Leigh Martin ruled that Graham must testify in the probe by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, who intends to question Graham about two phone calls he made to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in the aftermath of the 2020 election. (Washington Post / Politico / Bloomberg / Associated Press)
3/ Trump and the Mazars USA accounting firm agreed to turn over some “key financial documents” to the House Oversight and Reform Committee as part of its investigation into his potential conflicts of interest and foreign financial ties. The deal ends Trump’s yearslong effort to prevent Congress from obtaining his private financial records from Mazars USA. In April 2019, the committee subpoenaed Mazars USA for financial information from Trump dating back 10 years. (Associated Press / Axios / CNBC)
4/ 2021 was one of the hottest years on record as the world saw record-high greenhouse gas concentrations, ocean heat, and sea level rise, according to the annual State of the Climate report. Depending on the dataset referenced, 2021 was either the fifth- or sixth-warmest on record, making the last seven years, from 2015-2021, the seven warmest years on record. The global average sea level rose to a record-high for the 10th consecutive year, and global ocean heat content saw record levels in 2021. (CBS News / ABC News / Axios)
5/ Republicans are exploring potential lawsuits to block Biden’s plan to cancel some student debt for tens of millions of Americans. Although no lawsuit has been filed yet, Republican attorneys general in Arizona, Missouri, and Texas, as well as Ted Cruz and allies of the Heritage Foundation, have discussed a strategy that could see multiple cases filed in different courts around the country. Republicans have called debt forgiveness illegal, fiscally irresponsible, and unfair to Americans who never attended college or already paid off their education loans. (Washington Post)
6/ Math and reading scores for elementary school students fell to their lowest levels in two decades during the pandemic. Math scores dropped seven points during the pandemic – a first-ever decline – while reading scores fell five points – the largest drop in 30 years of National Assessment of Educational Progress testing. (Washington Post / Politico / New York Times / Axios)
7/ The average 30-year mortgage rate rose to 5.66% – the highest level since June. The 30-year fixed-rate was 2.87% a year ago. The 15-year fixed-rate average jumped to 4.98% from 2.18% a year ago. In August, new listings dropped 15% from the same period a year ago – the biggest annual decline since the start of the pandemic. Goldman Sachs, meanwhile, estimates that the U.S. housing market will end 2022 with an overall 22% decline in new home sales and a 17% decline in existing home sales. Declines are expected to extend into 2023, with new home sales and existing home sales dropping 8% and 14%, respectively. (Washington Post / Bloomberg / Fortune)
poll/ 60% of Texas voters said they support abortion being “available in all or most cases,” while 29% said abortion should not be available in most cases, and 11% said abortion shouldn’t be available at all. One year ago, Texas implemented what was then the most restrictive abortion law in the country. (NPR)
poll/ 52% of voters agree that the FBI search of Mar-a-Lago “was part of a legal and proper investigation to determine” whether Trump was involved in any wrongdoing, while 41% view it as “just another example of the endless witch hunt and harassment the Democrats and Biden administration continue to pursue against former President Trump.” (Wall Street Journal)
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