👋 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 pleaded not guilty to 13 felony charges alleging his role in a criminal conspiracy to overturn his 2020 election loss in Georgia – it’s the fourth time Trump has formally denied criminal charges this year. Trump also waived his right to an in-person arraignment hearing and asked a judge to sever his case from his co-defendants, who want a speedy trial. Trump’s lawyers argued that Trump wouldn’t have “sufficient time” to prepare if his trial begins Oct. 23, adding that it would “violate President Trump’s federal and state constitutional rights to a fair trial and due process of law.” (CBS News / CNBC / CNN / Politico / Bloomberg / Atlanta Journal-Constitution / NBC News / Associated Press / Washington Post / New York Times)
2/ New York’s attorney general asked a judge for a partial summary judgment against Trump in her $250 million lawsuit accusing the Trump family and Trump Organization of fraudulently overvaluing their assets by billions of dollars. Attorney General Letitia James cited what she called a “mountain of undisputed evidence” that Trump had “grossly and materially inflated” his net worth by between $812 million and $2.2 billion each year between 2011 and 2021. Trump is scheduled for a civil trial in New York in October, and James’ office is seeking $250 million and sanctions that would bar Trump, Eric Trump or Trump Jr. from doing business in the state. (New York Times / CNBC / CBS News / Bloomberg)
3/ Justice Clarence Thomas disclosed that he took three private jet trips in 2020, which were paid for by Republican megadonor Harlan Crow. While Thomas didn’t amend any past reports to list previously undisclosed private flights or hospitality from Crow, he did acknowledge that he’d “inadvertently omitted” bank accounts now valued at more than $100,000 from his financial disclosures dating back to 2017. Thomas claimed it was due to “a misinterpretation of the rules.” Thomas also said he flew on a private jet in May because of “increased security risk” following the leak of the Dobbs opinion overturning Roe v. Wade days earlier. (CNN / Washington Post / Politico / NBC News / Associated Press / ABC News / New York Times / NPR / Bloomberg / Wall Street Journal)
4/ The Florida leader of the Proud Boys was sentenced to 17 years in prison for his role in the seditious conspiracy to overturn the 2020 election and keep Trump in power on Jan. 6. Although Joseph Biggs received the second-longest sentence so far in the more than 1,100 criminal cases related to the Capitol attack, prosecutors had sought a 33 year sentence. “That day broke our tradition of peacefully transferring power,” U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Kelly said as he delivered his sentence. “The mob brought an entire branch of government to heel.” (Politico / NBC News / New York Times / NPR / USA Today / ABC News)
5/ The U.S. Capitol physician cleared Mitch McConnell to continue his work schedule after he froze for the second time in a matter of weeks. The statement that McConnell is “medically clear” to work comes as the 81-year-old held calls with his closest allies and donors to reassure them that he can do his job after he abruptly froze during a news conference and was unable to respond for more than 30 seconds after being asked if he would run for re-election. For now, McConnell’s potential successors — John Thune, John Barrasso, and John Cornyn — are backing his leadership, but it takes five Republican senators to force a special conference meeting to discuss the matter. (CNN / Axios / Politico / New York Times)
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