1/ Trump does not have “absolute immunity” from lawsuits seeking to hold him accountable for the Jan. 6 Capitol violence. A three-judge panel concluded that Trump’s incendiary speech to supporters near the White House on Jan. 6 was “not an official presidential act” and not protected by “presidential immunity.” Chief Judge Sri Srinivasan added: “When [Trump] acts in an unofficial, private capacity, he is subject to civil suits like any private citizen.” The ruling allows a number of lawsuits to move forward, including several brought by members of Congress and injured police officers. The court, however, left open the possibility for Trump to try to prove that he was acting as president, rather than as a candidate for reelection, when he addressed the crowd at the Ellipse. Hours later, the judge overseeing Trump’s criminal election subversion case ruled that he had no protection from prosecution as a former president. “Whatever immunities a sitting President may enjoy, the United States has only one Chief Executive at a time, and that position does not confer a lifelong ‘get-out-of-jail-free’ pass,” Judge Tanya Chutkan wrote. Trump’s “four-year service as Commander in Chief did not bestow on him the divine right of kings to evade the criminal accountability that governs his fellow citizens.” (Associated Press / Washington Post / New York Times / Axios / NBC News / Politico / Wall Street Journal / CBS News / Bloomberg / USA Today / CNBC)

  • 💡 Why a Second Trump Presidency May Be More Radical Than His First. “Donald Trump has long exhibited authoritarian impulses, but his policy operation is now more sophisticated, and the buffers to check him are weaker.” (New York Times)

  • 💡 If Trump wins. If Donald Trump returns to the White House, he’d bring a better understanding of the system’s vulnerabilities, more willing enablers, and a more focused agenda of retaliation against his adversaries. (The Atlantic)

  • 💡 Democracy is at stake if Trump is reelected. “I look at it very much through the lens of stopping Donald Trump,” Liz Cheney said. “And so whatever it will take to do that is very much my focus. I think the danger is that great that that needs to be everybody’s top priority.” (NPR)

  • 💡 Trump is showing how a second term would rewrite the rules of presidential power. “Trump’s concept of the untamable presidency sheds light on how he would behave in a second term given his apparent belief that any action a president might take is, by definition, legal. He has already promised he’d use four more years in the White House to enact personal ‘retribution’ against his political foes. If the twice-impeached former president wins the Republican nomination and the presidency, it is already clear that a second term would risk destroying the principle that presidents do not hold monarchial power.” (CNN)

  • 💡 How Donald Trump uses dishonesty. “Some of the false statements Trump makes are unquestionably lies. Some are misinformation; some are exaggerations. Most are presumably intentional, but some may be mistakes or downstream from Trump’s consumption of misinformation. Since these lines are blurry, it’s more useful to speak broadly of falsehoods and false statements than to simply use the narrower term ‘lies.’ If the former is interpreted as offering moral leniency, that’s on the interpreter.” (Washington Post)

2/ Israel resumed its air raids and ground operation in the Gaza Strip after the temporary cease-fire between Hamas and Israel collapsed. During the seven-day cease-fire, Hamas freed more than 100 hostages, and Israel released more than 240 Palestinians from Israeli prisons. Following the collapse of a truce with Hamas, the Israel Defense Forces announced that it was expanding its operations to all of the Gaza Strip, and called for Gazans to evacuate to the south, which the United Nations’ humanitarian office said was “already overcrowded.” More than 80% of Gaza’s roughly 2.3 million people have now been displaced, with most of the population already relocated to the southern territory. The situation keeps getting “more apocalyptic,” the U.N.’s top humanitarian relief coordinator said. “People are being ordered to move again, with little to survive on, forced to make one impossible choice after another.” (Associated Press / Axios / Bloomberg / NBC News / CNN / New York Times / Washington Post / Politico / ABC News)

3/ Israel reportedly knew that Hamas was planning a major terror attack more than a year in advance. Israeli military and intelligence officials obtained a 40-page document last year, code-named “Jericho Wall,” which detailed the Oct. 7 attack, but officials dismissed the plan as beyond Hamas’s capabilities. And yet, the Hamas terror attack closely followed the outline in the document, which called for “a barrage of rockets at the outset of the attack, drones to knock out the security cameras and automated machine guns along the border, and gunmen to pour into Israel en masse in paragliders, on motorcycles and on foot — all of which happened on Oct. 7.” Three months before the attack, Israeli intelligence warned that Hamas had conducted a daylong training exercise that mirrored what was outlined in the blueprint. Israel, however, ignored the warnings. Since then, more than 1,200 people died and over 200 were abducted in the Oct. 7 attack, and at least 15,000 people in Gaza have been killed with about 1.8 million displaced since Israel’s invasion. The National Security Council, meanwhile, said that the U.S. intelligence community has indicated it was not aware of Hamas’ plan to attack Israel and “did not have access to this document.” (New York Times / NBC News / Politico / Axios)

4/ The White House warned it’ll be unable to continue providing weapons and assistance to Ukraine if Congress doesn’t approve additional funding by the end of the year. In letters to party leaders in the House and Senate, White House budget chief Shalanda Young said inaction threatens to “kneecap Ukraine on the battlefield” that will let “autocracy prevail.” She added: “We are out of money — and nearly out of time.” Republicans want to tie Ukraine aid to U.S.-Mexico border policy changes despite Congress failing to take meaningful action on immigration for decades. (Associated Press / Washington Post / Axios / Politico / Wall Street Journal / New York Times)

5/ The House voted to expel George Santos over his many fabrications on the 2022 campaign trail, 23 federal charges, and a recent House Ethics Committee report accusing him of a “complex web of unlawful activity involving [his] campaign, personal, and business finances.” The vote makes Santos the sixth lawmaker – and first Republican – ever to be expelled from the House. Meanwhile, Rep. Max Miller accused Santos of stealing his and his mother’s personal credit card information to make illegal campaign contributions. (Axios / CNN / New York Times / Bloomberg)

6/ The EPA issued new regulations to reduce methane emissions from oil and gas industry operations by nearly 80% over the next 15 years. The rule will prevent an estimated 58 million tons of methane from escaping into the atmosphere – the equivalent of nearly all the carbon dioxide emitted by the power sector in 2021. It is also equivalent to taking more than 300 million gas-powered cars off the road for a year. The amount of methane that would be captured from cutting down on leaks would be enough to heat nearly 8 million American homes for a winter. Meanwhile, many of the world’s biggest oil companies pledged slash methane emissions from their wells and drilling by more than 80% by 2030. (NPR / CNN / New York Times / NBC News / Washington Post / ABC News / Politico)

7/ The president of the global climate summit claimed there is “no science” that fossil fuels must be phased to avoid catastrophic warming and keep global temperatures from rising above 1.5 degrees Celsius over preindustrial levels. Sultan al-Jaber, who is the chief executive of the United Arab Emirates’ state-run oil company, made the comments little over a week before he officially began to preside over the annual U.N. climate negotiations, known as COP28. “There is no science out there, or no scenario out there, that says the phaseout of fossil fuel is what’s going to achieve 1.5,” al-Jaber said two weeks ago. The U.N., meanwhile, warned that nations must cut the emissions from fossil fuels by 43% by the end of this decade, compared to 2019 levels, if they hope to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. “The 1.5-degree limit is only possible if we ultimately stop burning all fossil fuels,” António Guterres, the U.N. secretary general, said. “Not reduce. Not abate. Phase out. With a clear time frame aligned with 1.5 degrees.” (The Guardian / New York Times / NPR / Axios / Bloomberg)

  • Open secret at climate talks: The top temperature goal is mostly gone. Leading scientists worldwide delivered a striking dose of reality to the United Nations on Sunday: it’s “becoming inevitable” that countries will miss the ambitious target they set eight years ago for limiting the warming of the Earth. (Politico)