👋 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/ A Georgia judge denied an effort by Trump to toss out evidence gathered by a special grand jury and remove the district attorney from the criminal investigation into his attempts to overturn his 2020 election loss in the state. Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney said that while a “highly publicized criminal investigation is likely an unwelcome and unpleasant experience,” the “injuries” that Trump claimed to have suffered from the two-and-a-half-year investigation “are either insufficient or else speculative and unrealized.” McBurney also rejected efforts by Cathy Latham, who served as one of Trump’s fake electors in the state, saying neither had legal standing to block the investigation at this point. Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis is expected to present potential indictments to a regular grand jury by mid-August. Willis has asked Fulton County judges to schedule no trials in the weeks of Aug. 7 and 14. Trump, meanwhile, said he assumes he’ll be indicted “any day now.” (Politico / New York Times / NBC News / Bloomberg / CNN / The Hill / Wall Street Journal / Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
2/ A federal judge dismissed Trump’s $475 million defamation lawsuit against CNN. Trump had argued that CNN’s use of the phrase the “Big Lie” when discussing his false 2020 election fraud claims likened him to Adolf Hitler, which incited “readers and viewers to hate, contempt, distrust, ridicule, and even fear” him. U.S. District Judge Raag Singhal, who was appointed by Trump, wrote that “being ‘Hitler-like’ is not a verifiable statement of fact that would support a defamation claim.” Singhal added: “CNN’s use of the phrase ‘the Big Lie’ in connection with Trump’s election challenges does not give rise to a plausible inference that Trump advocates the persecution and genocide of Jews or any other group of people.” (Politico / NPR)
3/ Special counsel Jack Smith accused Trump of trying to delete security camera footage at Mar-a-Lago. In the 60-page superseding indictment, prosecutors allege that Trump asked two employees – aide Walt Nauta and Mar-a-Lago maintenance worker Carlos De Oliveira – to delete security footage after the Justice Department had issued a subpoena for it. The new indictment also charges Trump with illegally holding onto a document he’s alleged to have shared with visitors in New Jersey. Trump now faces 32 counts of willfully retaining national defense information under the Espionage Act and eight counts related to alleged efforts to obstruct the investigation. (CNN / Associated Press / New York Times / Washington Post / Politico / ABC News / CNBC)
4/ Trump’s political committee has spent more than $40 million this year defending him, his aides, and other allies. Since leaving office, the Save America PAC has spent about $56 million on Trump-related legal fees as he faces a federal indictment in Florida, state charges in New York, and possible criminal indictments in Washington and Georgia. (Washington Post / New York Times / Wall Street Journal / ABC News / Associated Press)
poll/ 54% of Republicans said they prefer Trump to be the GOP’s presidential nominee. 17% said they support Ron DeSantis – Trump’s nearest challenger. No other candidate topped 3% support. (New York Times)
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