👋 Away Message: So we had a little scheduling snafu here at WTF HQ, where both myself and Joe (voice of the pod) double-booked ourselves with personal and professional obligations next week. Oopsie! Not a very great job using a calendar on my part, I guess. On the other hand, it appears the government isn't going to be open for business anyway... Unless something truly WTF-y happens, I'll see you all again on Tuesday, October 10th, because Monday is a holiday (Indigenous Peoples' Day).
In the mean time, try our little news aggregator tool – currentstatus.io – to keep you up-to-date on the daily shock and awe. Thanks for understanding and for being here. I'm going to miss you.
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1/ Trump’s attorneys met with the Justice Department to argue why the government should not charge him in connection with his handling of classified documents after leaving office. A defense attorney meeting with Justice Department officials is often used when a charging decision is imminent. Trump’s team was seen leaving the Justice Department after 90-minutes. The meeting, however, did not include Attorney General Merrick Garland or Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco. The federal grand jury that has been hearing evidence in the investigation, meanwhile, is expected to meet again this week. If special counsel Jack Smith decides to charge Trump, it would be the first time a former president has been charged with a federal crime. After the meeting ended, Trump posted an all-caps message to his personal social media platform: “How can DOJ possibly charge me, who did nothing wrong, when no other presidents were charged.” (CBS News / Washington Post / NBC News / Bloomberg / CNN / CNBC / Wall Street Journal / ABC News / New York Times / Associated Press)
2/ Trump’s attorneys haven’t been able to find the classified document about a potential attack on Iran that Trump said he had kept after leaving the White House. Trump acknowledged that he held onto the classified Pentagon document during a recorded book interview in 2021. Federal prosecutors issued a subpoena seeking the return of “any and all” records that resembled the document Trump mentioned, but Trump’s legal team informed the Justice Department that they were unable to find the document. It is unclear if the Iran document was already returned to the National Archives or recovered in the FBI search of Mar-a-Lago. (CNN / New York Times)
- The Justice Department ended its investigation into Pence’s handling of classified documents and will not bring any charges. In January, about a dozen documents marked classified were found in Pence’s home. (CNN)
3/ Pence filed paperwork declaring his campaign for president in 2024. He joins seven other Republicans who have formally announced campaigns for the GOP nomination, including Trump, Ron DeSantis, and Nikki Haley. Chris Christie and Doug Burgum are also expected to launch presidential campaigns this week. (Washington Post / New York Times / Associated Press / Politico)
4/ A federal judge ruled that first-of-its-kind Tennessee law that banned drag shows in public or where children could watch them is unconstitutional and can’t be enforced. U.S. District Judge Thomas Parker, who was appointed by Trump, wrote that the law is “unconstitutionally vague and substantially overbroad,” encouraged “discriminatory enforcement,” and was passed “for the impermissible purpose of chilling constitutionally-protected speech.” The measure aimed to criminalize what it called “adult cabaret entertainment” by charging first-time offenders with misdemeanors and repeat offenders with felony charges. Further, people convicted of multiple offenses could face prison sentences of up to six years. Nationwide, at least 26 bills have been introduced this year aiming to limit drag performances. 🏳️🌈 (Associated Press / Washington Post / Wall Street Journal / Politico)
5/ Florida reportedly flew three dozen migrants from Texas to Sacramento. A flight carrying roughly 20 migrants arrived in Sacramento on Monday, which follows a group of about 16 migrants who were flown to California’s capital and dropped off in front of a Catholic church on Friday. In both cases, the migrants were approached in Texas, taken to New Mexico, and then flown to Sacramento on chartered planes. California Attorney General Rob Bonta blamed Ron DeSantis for the “political stunt,” adding he is “prepared to bring civil and criminal action if the facts and the law support it.” Florida officials have not issued a denial. (Associated Press / San Francisco Chronicle / Politico / NBC News / San Francisco Chronicle)
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