👋 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 asked a federal judge to postpone his trial on charges of illegally retaining classified documents until after the 2024 election. Trump’s lawyers argued that it would be “unreasonable, telling, and would result in a miscarriage of justice” if the trial takes place as scheduled, citing the “unprecedented” legal issues, the amount of evidence and involvement of classified material, Trump’s presidential campaign, and the challenge of seating an impartial jury before the election. The filing was submitted 30 minutes before the midnight deadline. Judge Aileen Cannon, who Trump appointed to the bench, is overseeing the case. Last year, Cannon granted Trump’s request to temporarily block federal investigators from reviewing classified documents the FBI seized from Mar-a-Lago, and appointed a “special master” to review all 11,000 documents. The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, however, twice reversed her decisions. Special Counsel Jack Smith, meanwhile, has requested a Dec. 11 trial date, noting that the case “involves straightforward theories of liability, and does not present novel questions of fact or law.” Trump faces 37 criminal counts related to his handling of classified materials. (New York Times / Washington Post / NPR / Bloomberg / Politico / NBC News / CBS News / ABC News)
2/ Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis seated a grand jury in Atlanta, which will likely decide whether Trump or his Republican allies should face criminal charges for their efforts to overturn his 2020 election loss in Georgia. Willis launched the criminal investigation shortly after Trump asked Georgia’s secretary of state to “find” enough votes to overturn Biden’s victory in the state. Willis has indicated that charging decisions from her investigation into “possible criminal interference in the administration of Georgia’s 2020 general election” will be announced in August. She has asked court officials that trials and in-person hearings not be scheduled between July 31 and Aug. 18. (CNN / NBC News / Washington Post / Associated Press)
3/ The Justice Department won’t defend Trump from civil liability in E. Jean Carroll’s defamation lawsuit against him. Justice Department lawyers said in a letter that it has “determined that it lacks adequate evidence” to conclude that Trump was acting within the scope of his office as president in 2019 “when he denied sexually assaulting Ms. Carroll and made the other statements regarding Ms. Carroll that she has challenged in this action.” The move allows Carroll’s civil lawsuit to move forward to trial in January. The letter comes two months after a Manhattan federal jury in a separate case found that Trump sexually abused Carroll and awarded her $5 million for battery and defamation. (CNN / CNBC)
4/ Republican Senator Tommy Tuberville finally condemned White nationalists, saying “White nationalists are racists.” On CNN this week Tuberville was asked to clarify comments he made earlier this year in which he suggested that White nationalists were “Americans” and should not be barred from serving in the military. Tuberville, however, repeatedly insisted on CNN that it was a matter of “opinion” as to whether White nationalists are racist. When asked for his opinion, Tuberville responded: “My opinion of a White nationalist, if someone wants to call them White nationalist, to me, is an American. It’s an American. Now if that White nationalist is a racist, I’m totally against anything that they want to do because I am 110% against racism.” In attempt to further clarify his views on White nationalists, Tuberville said: “Listen, I’m totally against racism. And if the Democrats want to say white nationalists are racist, I’m totally against that too […] My definition is, racism bad.” Tuberville is a former college football coach, who was first elected in 2020. He has single-handedly stalled hundreds of promotions for key military officers since February in an attempt to reverse a Defense Department policy that offers time off and travel reimbursement to service members if they cannot obtain abortions in their state. (CNN / Washington Post / NBC News / ABC News / USA Today)
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