👋 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 federal court struck down Alabama’s congressional map. The three-judge panel wrote that it was “deeply troubled” that the state legislature refused to comply with the Voting Rights Act and a Supreme Court order to create a second district with either a Black majority “or something quite close to it” to give Black voters an opportunity to elect a representative of their choice. Nevertheless, the Republican-controlled legislature approved a new map with just one majority-Black seat and increased the share of Black voters in one of the state’s six majority-white congressional districts to about 40%, from about 30%. For the 2024 elections, the judges ordered that a new map be independently drawn, stripping the Republican-controlled legislature of the responsibility because it “ultimately did not even nurture the ambition to provide the required remedy.” State Republicans are expected to appeal the decision. (NPR / Associated Press / Politico / NBC News / New York Times / Washington Post / CNN)
2/ All 19 defendants have pleaded not guilty in the Georgia election interference case and waived their in-person arraignment. Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis has accused Trump and 18 co-conspirators of racketeering for taking part in a scheme to try to overturn the results of the 2020 election in Georgia. Mark Meadows and four others are also seeking to move the charges against them out of state court and into federal court, where the indictment could potentially be dismissed. They claim they’re immune from state prosecution because their actions were performed in his capacity as a federal official. (ABC News / CNN / NBC News / NPR / Associated Press)
3/ The former leader of the Proud Boys was sentenced to 22 years in prison after being convicted of seditious conspiracy for organizing the attack on the Capitol on Jan. 6 and leading the failed plot to stop the peaceful transfer of presidential power. It is the longest sentence yet among the more than 1,100 people charged in connection with the Capitol attack, surpassing the 18 years given to Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes, who was also convicted of seditious conspiracy. Federal prosecutors had asked for a sentence of 33 years in federal prison. Three other Proud Boys – Joseph Biggs, Zachary Rehl, and Dominic Pezzola — were each sentenced last week to between 10 and 17 years in prison. (New York Times / Washington Post / CNBC / CNN / NBC News)
4/ Special Counsel Jack Smith’s office warned a judge that Trump’s “daily” statements “threaten to prejudice the jury pool” in the federal election conspiracy case. District Judge Tanya Chutkan had previously warned Trump to refrain from “inflammatory” comments about those involved in his case. She didn’t, however, impose any special restrictions on his speech. The case is one of four pending criminal cases Trump is facing as he seeks the 2024 Republican presidential nomination. (Bloomberg / CNBC)
5/ New York Attorney General Letitia James asked a judge to impose $20,000 in sanctions on Trump, Trump Jr, Eric Trump, their lawyers, and other co-defendants over “frivolous conduct” by repeatedly making “previously-rejected arguments” in their motions. James’ office said that there are five instances where Trump’s attorneys have made the same arguments that have already been rejected by the court for a lack of legal or factual basis. The $250 million civil trial – accusing Trump, his sons, his business, and other associates of “grossly” inflating Trump’s personal net worth to obtain favorable terms from banks and insurance companies – is scheduled to begin on Oct. 2. (ABC News / Axios / NBC News / Politico)
poll/ 59% of Republican primary voters plan to support Trump for the GOP presidential nomination – up 11 percentage points since April. Trump leads Ron DeSantis by 46 percentage points – nearly double since April. (Wall Street Journal)
poll/ 44% of Republicans say they are seriously concerned that the criminal charges Trump faces will negatively affect his ability to serve as president if reelected, while 56% are not seriously concerned about Trump’s legal fights, and 34% are concerned. (CNN)
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