1/ An Arizona judge ruled that a 1864 ban on nearly all abortions in that state can be enforced, lifting a 1973 injunction that had barred enforcement of Arizona’s pre-statehood ban. The 1864 law mandates a two- to five-year prison sentence for anyone who helps a woman obtain an abortion and makes no exception for victims of rape or incest. The law was updated and codified in 1901. Judge Kellie Johnson cited the Supreme Court’s decision in June to overturn Roe v. Wade, which established a constitutional right to abortion as rationale for lifting the injunction. Johnson’s ruling came a day before Arizona’s 15-week ban on abortion was slated to go into effect. Biden, meanwhile, vowed to codify the right to an abortion into law if voters “give me two more senators in the United States Senate.” (Washington Post / New York Times / CNN / CNBC / The Guardian)
2/ Trump’s attorneys are attempting to assert attorney-client and executive privilege over grand jury testimony to prevent witnesses from sharing information in the Justice Department’s Jan. 6 criminal investigation. Earlier this month, the federal grand jury issued more than 40 subpoenas to former Trump aides seeking information about the role Trump played in the attempt to overturn the 2020 election, including the plan to create fake slates of pro-Trump electors in swing states that were won by Biden. The legal dispute, which is under seal, will determine how much evidence prosecutors can use from Trump’s conversations in the West Wing and with attorneys as he tried to overturn the 2020 election. (CNN / New York Times)
3/ Mark Meadows texted with an election denier in late December 2020 about attempts to gain access to voting systems in Arizona and Georgia. Phil Waldron, a retired Army colonel with ties to Michael Flynn, helped draft language for an executive order directing the Pentagon and Homeland Security to seize voting machines, as well as sending Meadows an “Options for 6 Jan” PowerPoint presentation that outlined a plan for overturning the election. Meadows recently complied with a Justice Department subpoena for information about the 2020 election, including these text messages. (CNN)
- The White House switchboard dialed a cell phone registered to a Capitol rioter who had stormed the building on Jan. 6. The call was placed at 4:34 pm – shortly after Trump posted a video message on social media telling the rioters at the Capitol, “go home, we love you, you’re very special.” It lasted for nine seconds. (CNN / CBS News / The Guardian)
4/ The Biden administration announced $1.5 billion in grants to fight the opioid crisis. Last year, more than 107,000 people died after overdosing in the U.S. – a 15% increase from 2020. The grants will be used to expand access to treatment and recovery services, invest in better overdose education, and increase the accessibility of naloxone products. (CNBC)
5/ Biden’s plan to cancel student loan debt for millions of American borrowers will cost roughly $400 billion over the next decade, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. The CBO expects 90% of the 37 million borrowers with loans from the federal government would take advantage of the plan to cancel up to $20,000 in student debt for lower- and middle-class borrowers. (Washington Post / New York Times)
6/ The U.S. warned Russia of “catastrophic” consequences if Putin uses nuclear weapons in Ukraine. “It’s very important that Moscow hear from us and know from us that the consequences would be horrific,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said. “And we’ve made that very clear.” National security adviser Jake Sullivan added that “In private channels we have spelled out in greater detail exactly what that would mean.” The comments by Blinken and Sullivan come after Putin addressed Russia last week, saying that if Russia’s “territorial integrity” was threatened, “we will certainly use all the means at our disposal” to retaliate and that “it’s not a bluff.” (Axios / NBC News / New York Times / CNN)
poll/ 23% of Americans approve of the way Congress is handling its job – its highest rating in 2022. 75%, however, disapprove. (Gallup)
poll/ 66% of voters say the November election is more important than past midterm campaigns. 68% of voters feel that their rights and freedoms are at stake in the midterm election. (Washington Post / CBS News)
poll/ 56% of Democrats say the party should replace Biden as its nominee for president in 2024, while 35% favor Biden for the nomination. 47% of Republicans, meanwhile, think Trump should be their 2024 nominee – a 20-point drop compared with his 2020 nomination. (ABC News)
Notable: Pollsters fear they’re blowing it again in 2022. Democrats seem to be doing better than expected with voters. But if the polls are wrong, they could be disappointed in November — again. [Editor’s note: ¯_(ツ)_/¯ ] (Politico)
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