Day 792: "Sufficient."
1/ The Manhattan grand jury hearing evidence about Trump’s involvement in the hush-money payment to Stormy Daniels did not meet today as scheduled. The reason for the grand jury adjournment, which typically meets on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, wasn’t immediately clear. The pause comes after unexpected testimony from Robert Costello, appearing on behalf of Trump, who called into question Michael Cohen’s testimony. Cohen, who has admitted to paying $130,000 to Daniels just before the 2016 election to stop her from going public about an alleged affair with Trump, had spent two days of testimony walking grand jurors through the chronology of Trump’s involvement in the payment. Any potential indictment against Trump will not be issued by the panel until Thursday at the earliest. Trump, meanwhile, has reportedly told advisers that he wants to be handcuffed when he makes an appearance in court, if he is indicted. Trump – apparently – wants to be handcuffed behind his back for a perp walk because he thinks any special arrangements would make him look weak. (Insider / New York Times / The Guardian / CNN / Associated Press / Washington Post / ABC News / CNBC / Politico)
2/ A federal appeals court ordered Trump’s attorney to testify before the grand jury investigating classified documents found at Mar-a-Lago and to turn over documents to federal prosecutors. Last week, prosecutors in special counsel Jack Smith’s office presented “sufficient” evidence that Trump “intentionally concealed” the existence of additional classified documents from his attorney, Evan Corcoran. U.S. Judge Beryl Howell wrote that prosecutors had made a “prima facie showing that [Trump] had committed criminal violations.” Trump appealed Howell’s ruling, but a three-judge appeals court panel denied the request to halt the order. Corcoran is scheduled to testify Friday. (Bloomberg / Wall Street Journal / CNN / Washington Post / New York Times / ABC News / CNN)
3/ The Federal Reserve raised interest rates by a quarter of a percentage point – the ninth increase since March 2022. The Federal Open Market Committee voted unanimously to increase the federal funds rate to a range of 4.75% to 5% – the highest since September 2007 – despite the risk of exacerbating stress in the banking sector. Fed officials, however, signaled they expect one more quarter-point rate increase this year, equivalent to a target range of 5%-5.25%, due to the instability in the banking system. Looking ahead to 2024, the Fed projected that rates would fall to 4.1%. In its latest forecast, Fed officials expect unemployment to rise to 4.5% – up from the current 3.6% – and that the U.S. economy will grow by 0.4% this year – down from 0.5% they projected in December. Officials, meanwhile, believe inflation will remain above normal levels and finish 2023 at 3.3%. (Wall Street Journal / Bloomberg / Washington Post / New York Times / CNN / CNBC)
4/ Drug shortages in the U.S. are increasing in frequency and duration, which represent an “unacceptable national security risk,” according to a report issued by the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. Between 2021 and 2022, drug shortages increased by nearly 30% due in part to an over-reliance on foreign countries like China and India. Although more than 15 basic critical care drugs have remained in shortage for more than a decade, there were over 295 active drug shortages in at the end of 2022. (ABC News / NBC News / The Hill)
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