1/ A federal judge declined to hold Trump or his office in contempt of court for failing to comply with a grand jury subpoena demanding he return all classified documents. The Justice Department had asked U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell to hold Trump’s office in contempt after his lawyers discovered at least two more classified documents in a storage unit in Florida. Judge Howell, however, left it to the Justice Department and Trump’s team to resolve the dispute themselves about whether Trump might have more classified documents at his properties after more than a year. (ABC News / CNN / Washington Post / NBC News / New York Times)
2/ The Republican candidate who lost Arizona’s governor race filed a lawsuit challenging the certification of the election and is asking the court to declare her the winner. While Arizona’s election results were certified last week, Kari Lake nevertheless asked the Maricopa County Superior Court to either declare her the winner or throw out the election results and require the county to conduct a new election. Lake claims that ballot printer and tabulator failures on Election Day were intentional by election officials, which “created chaos” with “oppressively long lines” that disproportionately depressed voter turnout for Republican voters. Lake claims that the alleged misconduct by election officials therefore “nullifies” the results and that their actions “wrongfully” led to the state naming Democratic Gov.-elect Katie Hobbs as the winner. Lake’s candidacy was centered on the false conspiratorial claims that the 2020 presidential election had been stolen from Trump. (New York Times / NBC News / Washington Post / CNN)
3/ Arizona’s conservative Democratic senator announced she will leave the Democratic Party and register as an independent. Kyrsten Sinema called the decision a “natural extension” to “reject party politics by declaring my independence from the broken partisan system in Washington.” Sinema’s announcement comes days after Democrats reached a 51-49 majority in the Senate. The Senate, however, will still functionally be a 51-49 chamber, meaning Democrats will have the votes to control Senate committees, retain subpoena power, and judicial and executive branch nominees. Sinema will also keep her committee assignments. (CNN / Politico / New York Times / NBC News)
4/ House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy could lose the election for the next speaker of the House, despite Republicans flipping the chamber in the midterms. McCarthy needs to earn 218 votes to become House speaker, and Republicans will start the 118th Congress with 222 seats. However, at least six Republicans have said they won’t vote for McCarthy, leaving him two shy of a majority. If McCarthy loses more than four GOP votes on Jan. 3, the House will keep voting until someone wins a majority of support from the lawmakers in attendance who are not voting “present.” The last time a vote for speaker had to go to multiple ballots was in 1923. (CNN / FiveThirtyEight / USA Today)
5/ Scientists successfully produced a fusion reaction for the first time that generated more energy than it consumed. While still at least a decade away from commercial use, the technology offers the promise of unlimited, cheap, and carbon-free electricity. The Department of Energy is expected to officially announce the “major scientific breakthrough” Tuesday. (CNN / Bloomberg / Washington Post / New York Times)
6/ The Keystone oil pipeline system was shut down after a pipe ruptured, spilling enough oil to become the largest onshore crude pipeline spill in nine years. An estimated 14,000 barrels of oil spilled into a creek in Kansas. Since 2010, the Keystone pipeline has leaked almost 26,000 barrels of crude on U.S. land. (Associated Press / Bloomberg / New York Times)
poll/ A majority of Americans don’t want either Biden or Trump to run for president in 2024. 70% of Americans say Biden should not run for a second term, while 19% support another run. 61%, meanwhile, say Trump should not seek the presidency, compared with 30% who believe he should. (CNBC)
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