1/ Trump’s co-defendant Sidney Powell pleaded guilty in the Georgia election subversion case – one day before her trial was set to start. Powell, a former member of Trump’s legal team, was sentenced to six years of probation for conspiracy to commit intentional interference with performance of election duties. As part of the deal, Powell agreed to testify truthfully against any of the 17 remaining defendants, write an apology letter to the citizens of Georgia, pay nearly $9,000 in restitution and fines, and to turn over any documents in her possession related to the case. Powell is the second of Trump’s 18 co-defendants in the racketeering case to plead guilty. Scott Hall, a bail bondsman, pleaded guilty to five misdemeanor charges related to a voting system breach in Georgia’s Coffee County in early 2021. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution / CNN / New York Times / Washington Post / Axios / Associated Press / Politico / NPR / NBC News)
2/ Jim Jordan told Republicans he would suspend his bid to become speaker after two failed efforts but hours later reversed course, saying he was “still running for speaker” after a plan he endorsed to empower a temporary speaker collapsed. Jordan said he planned to try for a third round of votes later Thursday. The proposal would have allowed Rep. Patrick McHenry to reopen the House after 16 days, allowing Republicans to address government spending and aid for Israel and Ukraine. 20 Republicans voted against Jordan in the first ballot, followed by 22 Republicans voting against him on the second ballot. Meanwhile, several House Republicans who voted against Jordan for speaker said they’ve been threatened or harassed as a result of a pressure campaign by Jordan’s allies – including one lawmaker saying they’ve received a “credible death threat.” [Editor’s note: It’s entirely possibly that by the time you read this the House will have elected a speaker. It’s also entirely possible that the House will still be leaderless.] (NBC News / Politico / Washington Post / New York Times / Associated Press)
3/ Biden will address the nation on the U.S. response to the Hamas terror attacks Thursday at 8 p.m. Eastern. The Oval Office speech comes a day after Biden’s visit to Israel, followed by “blunt negotiations” with Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi open the gates to the Rafah border crossing to allow up to 20 trucks with humanitarian aid through. “I came to get something done – I got it done,” Biden said. More than a million people – nearly half the Gaza population – has been displaced following Israel’s warning that residents of northern Gaza evacuate. Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant told troops to “get organized, be ready” and that they would soon see Gaza “from within,” while Major General Yaron Finkelman, in charge of the Israel Defense Forces’ Southern Command, added that a ground invasion of Gaza is “going to be difficult, it’s going to be long, it’s going to be intense.” The Pentagon, meanwhile, plans to send Israel tens of thousands of 155mm artillery shells from U.S. emergency stocks that had been designated for Ukraine. Biden is expected to ask Congress for $100 billion for Israel, Ukraine, Taiwan, and the U.S.-Mexico border in the coming days. And, the State Department issued a worldwide caution alert, citing the “potential for terrorist attacks, demonstrations or violent actions against U.S. citizens and interests” due to tensions in the Middle East triggered by Hamas terror attack on Israel and the unfolding Israel-Hamas war. (Washington Post / New York Times / ABC News / Wall Street Journal)
4/ Mortgage rates climbed to 8% – a level last seen in 2000 – causing demand for home loans to drop to the lowest level since 1995. The slowing housing market is a direct result of the Federal Reserve’s efforts to curb inflation and cool the economy by raising its benchmark interest rate to a 22-year high – to a range of 5.25 to 5.5% – over the past 19 months. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, meanwhile, suggested that the central bank will skip a rate increase for a second straight meeting. (ABC News / NBC News / Wall Street Journal / Bloomberg / New York Times)
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