1/ House Republicans revolted against a bipartisan spending deal, openly criticized their new speaker, and blocked a procedural vote on an unrelated bill. As a result, House votes for the day were cancelled while Speaker Mike Johnson attempts to reach a deal with members of the ultra-conservative House Freedom Caucus. The 13 hard-line GOP members said they were “absolutely not” happy with Johnson, because “we’ve been involved in nothing” and the agreement largely resembles the one former Speaker Kevin McCarthy reached with Biden last year. The group also complained that the bipartisan spending deal, which would avert a partial government shutdown starting next week, was “unacceptable” because it doesn’t “secure the border” or “cut our spending.” (Axios / Politico / Wall Street Journal / CNN / NBC News)
2/ Hunter Biden made a unannounced appearance at the House Oversight Committee’s meeting on whether to hold him in contempt of Congress. Hunter Biden skipped the closed-door deposition last month, citing concerns that Republicans would distort his comments. “You are the epitome of white privilege, coming to the Oversight Committee, spitting in our face, ignoring a congressional subpoena to be deposed — what are you afraid of?” Republican Nancy Mace said, adding: “You have no balls.” Hunter Biden, however, has offered to testify publicly at least six times, but Republicans have refused the offer and insisted that any interview be held privately. Nevertheless, both the Judiciary and Oversight Committees voted along party lines to recommend holding him in contempt of Congress. (Politico / Washington Post / NBC News / NPR / Associated Press / New York Times)
3/ Trump will not be allowed to personally make a closing argument at his New York civil fraud trial after refusing to abide by the judge’s restrictions — including that he not give “a campaign speech” and that he sticks to “relevant” matters. Judge Arthur Engoron said he was initially “inclined” to let Trump speak with the caveat he limits his remarks to the “relevant, material facts” of the case, doesn’t introduce new evidence, “testify,” “comment on irrelevant matters,” “deliver a campaign speech,” or “impugn myself, my staff, plaintiff, plaintiff’s staff or the New York State Court System.” A Trump attorney, however, said Trump “cannot agree […] to the proposed preconditions and prior restraints.” Closing arguments are slated to take place on Thursday. Attorney General Letitia James has asked Engoron to impose a $370 million fine, ban Trump from working in New York’s real estate industry for life, and ban him from serving as an officer or director of a New York corporation. (Associated Press / NBC News / CNN / New York Times / Axios / CNBC)
4/ Trump, forgetting that his own mother was born in Scotland, baselessly promoted a false “birther” conspiracy theory that Nikki Haley is ineligible to be president because her parents were not U.S. citizens when she was born. Trump’s latest attack comes as a recent poll shows Haley cutting into his lead in New Hampshire, and his own eligibility under the insurrection clause of the Constitution is now under review by the Supreme Court. While Haley’s parents became citizens after her birth, she was born in South Carolina. Under the 14th Amendment, being born in the U.S. makes her a natural-born citizen, and therefore eligible to become president. Trump has previously used the false “birther” claims against then-President Barack Obama and later against Ted Cruz. (NBC News / NPR / New York Times)
- 📆 Republican presidential primary debate tonight. Ron DeSantis and Nikki Haley are set to go head-to-head on CNN, while Trump will take part in a Fox News town hall at the same time. Chris Christie, suspended his presidential campaign, and Vivek Ramaswamy didn’t qualify for the debate.
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