👋 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).
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1/ Special counsel Jack Smith obtained a search warrant for Trump’s Twitter account earlier this year as part of the investigation into his efforts to overturn the 2020 election, according to a newly unsealed court filing. Twitter was forced to hand over the records and pay $350,000 for defying a judge’s deadline to comply with a Justice Department search warrant. The filing also reveals that the special counsel obtained a non-disclosure order, which “prohibited Twitter from disclosing the existence or contents of the search warrant to any person.” Prosecutors argued that if Trump learned about the warrant, it “would seriously jeopardize the ongoing investigation” by giving him “an opportunity to destroy evidence, change patterns of behavior, [or] notify confederates.” Judge Beryl Howell also found reason to believe that Trump might “flee prosecution” if he was told about the search warrant. (Politico / CNN / Washington Post / New York Times / Bloomberg / CNBC / Associated Press / The Hill / NBC News / ABC News)
2/ Trump threatened that he “will talk” about the criminal charges in his election conspiracy case, accusing federal prosecutors of “taking away my First Amendment rights.” Last week, special counsel Jack Smith asked a judge to impose a so-called protective order after Trump posted a message to his social media platform saying: “IF YOU GO AFTER ME, I’M COMING AFTER YOU!” Although Trump’s own lawyers chose not to object to a protective order, Trump said he didn’t care, calling the federal charges against him “bullshit” and accusing Biden of “weaponizing” the Justice Department to take out a political rival by “forcing me nevertheless to spend time and money away from the campaign trial in order to fight bogus, made-up accusations and charges.” (NBC News / Politico)
3/ An internal Trump campaign memo from late 2020 detailed their plan to subvert the Electoral College process and install fake, pro-Trump electors in multiple states to overturn the election. The six-page, previously unreleased memo by lawyer Kenneth Chesebro was referred to as the “Fraudulent Elector Memo” in last weeks’ special counsel indictment. The Dec. 6 memo proposed that groups of “electors” in seven key states that Biden won should meet and cast fake votes for Trump. According to Chesebro’s plan, Pence could then declare “that it is his constitutional power and duty, alone, as President of the Senate, to both open and count the votes,” which would allow him to count the fake Trump votes instead of the real electoral votes. Chesebro conceded in the memo that the idea was “controversial” and “likely” to be rejected by the Supreme Court, but “letting matters play out this way would guarantee that public attention would be riveted on the evidence of electoral abuses by the Democrats and would also buy the Trump campaign more time to win litigation that would deprive Biden of electoral votes and/or add to Trump’s column.” (New York Times / CNN / CNBC)
4/ Ohio voters rejected a Republican-backed ballot measure to raise the threshold to amend the state’s constitution ahead of a November referendum on whether to enshrine abortion rights in the state constitution. With 97% of precincts reporting, 56.7% voted against the measure, while 43.3% voted to support it, according to the Ohio Secretary of State’s office. Since the Supreme Court ruled that women do not have a constitutional right to an abortion last year, voters in Michigan, Vermont, and California have enshrined abortion rights in their state constitution. Voters in Kansas and Kentucky, meanwhile, rejected referendums to change their constitutions to explicitly say they do not provide a right to abortion. (Washington Post / Politico / New York Times / CBS News / NBC News / CNN)
5/ Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis suspended a second elected state attorney, saying she was “clearly and fundamentally derelict” in her duty. DeSantis suspended Monique Worrell, claiming she “systematically” under-prosecuted criminals in her jurisdiction in three cases, which he said constituted “both neglect of duty and incompetence.” Worrell called the move “a political hit job” by a “weak dictator,” accusing DeSantis of peddling a “false narrative” and engaging in “political gamesmanship.” Last year, DeSantis suspended Hillsborough County State Attorney Andrew Warren after Warren said he wouldn’t enforce state restrictions on abortion or gender-related surgery. (New York Times / Washington Post / CNBC)
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