1/ The Supreme Court agreed to review the Colorado Supreme Court’s decision to remove Trump from that state’s ballot. The court will hear the case on an expedited basis with arguments starting Feb. 8. The Colorado Republican Party urged the justices to rule by March 5, when many states, including Colorado, hold their primaries. Last month, Colorado’s top court disqualified Trump from the ballot, finding he engaged in an insurrection before and during the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol. Maine’s secretary of state also barred Trump from that ballot over his role in the Capitol attack. Trump is separately appealing that ruling to a state court in Maine. The Republican National Committee and the National Republican Congressional Committee, meanwhile, filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court supporting Trump’s efforts to remain on the 2024 ballot. (New York Times / NPR / NBC News / Washington Post / Associated Press / CBS News / CNN / Bloomberg)
Trump refused to sign Illinois’ ballot pledge to not “advocate the overthrow of the government.” “Under Illinois law, presidential candidates wanting to be on the state’s March 19th primary ballot had to turn in their nominating petitions to the State Board of Elections on Thursday or Friday, and the loyalty oath is a time-honored part of that process.” (WBEZ / Chicago Sun-Times)
Trump suggested that if he is re-elected he would have Biden indicted. “Trump has argued that former presidents are entitled to absolute immunity from criminal prosecution for any “official acts” conducted during their presidency.” (NBC News)
2/ Trump asked a Georgia judge to dismiss his 13 felony racketeering and conspiracy charges for trying to subvert the 2020 election, claiming the election subversion case violated presidential immunity, double jeopardy, and due process protections. Trump argued that pressuring Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in January 2021 to “find” enough votes to overturn Biden’s victory in the state was part of his official duties as president, and therefore he should enjoy immunity from criminal prosecution. In addition, Trump argued in the due process motion that he “lacked fair notice” that his baseless claims about widespread election fraud could be criminalized. Trump also argued that the case should be tossed because he was tried and acquitted on related charges before the U.S. Senate during his second impeachment, citing double jeopardy. (NBC News / CNN / Politico / New York Times / Bloomberg / ABC News / CBS News / Axios)
3/ The Supreme Court allowed Idaho to enforce its near-total ban on abortions, agreeing to hear an appeal in the case and scheduling arguments for April. A ruling is expected by the end of June. Idaho’s 2020 law bans most abortions and makes it a crime with a prison term of up to five years for anyone who performs or assists in an abortion, with an exception when “necessary to prevent the death of a pregnant woman.” In August 2022 the Biden administration sued to block the law, arguing that it illegally conflicts with the federal Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act, which requires hospitals to provide “necessary stabilizing treatment” when the health of the mother is in danger. (NPR / NBC News / Associated Press / Washington Post / New York Times / USA Today)
4/ House Republicans and Senate Democrats reached an agreement to avert a shutdown and keep the federal government funded until the end of the fiscal year. The deal would establish an overall spending level of $1.66 trillion for the 2024 fiscal year, setting spending levels at $886 billion for the military and $772 billion for other non-defense federal spending. The agreement is inline with the deal that Biden and then-Speaker Kevin McCarthy agreed to last year, who was later ousted by far-right House Republicans in October for cutting a deal with Biden and the Democrats. Nevertheless, the Freedom Caucus called Speaker Mike Johnson’s agreement a “total failure” and “totally unacceptable.” The House and Senate now have to craft the underlying bills and pass them in less than two weeks to avert a partial government shutdown. Funding for roughly 20% of the government will run out on Jan. 19, and money for the rest of the government runs out on Feb. 2. (Politico / New York Times / Washington Post / Wall Street Journal / NBC News / NPR)
The Pentagon didn’t tell Biden, Congress, or other top officials that Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin was hospitalized. Austin first underwent what military officials described as an “elective medical procedure” on Dec. 22 and remained at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. On Jan. 1, Austin was admitted to the ICU related to complications from his procedure. The White House and Congress were notified on Jan. 4. (Politico / NPR / New York Times / Wall Street Journal)
House Republicans recommended Hunter Biden be held in contempt of Congress for defying a subpoena, saying he “violated federal law.” Last month, Hunter Biden offered to answer questions in a public setting, contending that the Republican-led committees would release excerpts of the closed-door testimony in small batches that lacked context in an effort to damage the Biden family politically. (NBC News / Axios)
32% of Republicans disapprove of the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. Three years ago, 51% disapproved of those who forced their way into the Capitol to disrupted the peaceful transfer of power. (CBS News)
Become a member.
Help keep WTF Just Happened Today going with a small contribution.