1/ The Republican-controlled House voted to hold Attorney General Merrick Garland in contempt of Congress for refusing to turn over audio of Biden’s interview with special counsel Robert Hur, who investigated Biden’s handling of classified material and declined to bring charges. Despite the Justice Department previously making the full transcript public, Republicans on the House Oversight and Judiciary Committees issued two subpoenas for the audio recordings. Garland refused to turn over the audio, saying it would set a bad precedent to share audio for cases that do not lead to criminal charges. Garland also told lawmakers that he didn’t see a “legislative purpose” for Congress needing the audio when “the words are the same on the transcript as the audio.” Further, Biden asserted executive privilege over the recordings. Nevertheless, House Republicans argued that the audio recording was crucial to their impeachment inquiry into Biden, which remains stalled after their key witness was charged with lying. The vote was 216-207, and marks the third time a sitting attorney general was held in contempt of Congress. It is unlikely that the Justice Department — which Garland oversees — will prosecute him. (New York Times / Washington Post / Politico / Associated Press / Axios / CNN / NBC News)

2/ Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito is mad that a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalism organization did its job and reported on the lavish gifts and travel that Justice Clarence Thomas accepted – but didn’t disclose – from a Republican megadonor. At an event hosted by the Supreme Court Historical Society, Alito was recorded criticizing ProPublica, an independent, nonprofit newsroom that won a Pulitzer Prize for its series on ethical lapses by Supreme Court justices. Alito argued that ProPublica was not engaging in legitimate journalism, but instead claimed without evidence that they were reporting on the court because “they don’t like our decisions, and they don’t like how they anticipate we may decide some cases that are coming up. That’s the beginning of the end of it.” He added, “There are groups that are very well-funded by ideological interests that have spearheaded these attacks. That’s what it is.” When asked to elaborate, Alito responded: “ProPublica gets a lot of money, and they have spent a fortune investigating Clarence Thomas, for example. You know, everything he’s ever done in his entire life. And they’ve done some of that to me, too. They look for any little thing they can find, and they try to make something out of it.” In 2023, ProPublica published a series of investigative reports detailing undisclosed luxury trips, gifts, and questionable extrajudicial activities involving multiple justices and Republican billionaires. Following the reporting, the Supreme Court adopted its first ethical code of conduct in its 234-year history. (Rolling Stone / New Republic / The Hill / Salon)

  • 📌 Day 807: Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas accepted secret luxury vacations from a Republican megadonor for more than two decades without disclosing them. The trips were funded by Harlan Crow, a real-estate billionaire and Republican Party donor, who treated Thomas and his wife, Virginia “Ginni” Thomas to luxury vacations, stays at his properties and private resort, as well as free travel on his private jet and superyacht. Thomas didn’t disclose that travel on his annual financial disclosure forms, which appear to violate a federal law mandating top officials from the three branches of government, including the Supreme Court, file annual forms detailing their finances, outside income, and spouses’ sources of income. Judges are prohibited from accepting gifts from anyone with business before the court, and until a month ago the judicial branch had not defined an exemption for gifts considered “personal hospitality.” Sen. Dick Durbin, the second-highest ranking Democrat in the Senate and chairman of the Judiciary Committee, said Thomas’ actions were “simply inconsistent with the ethical standards the American people expect of any public servant, let alone a Justice on the Supreme Court,” adding that “the highest court in the land shouldn’t have the lowest ethical standards.” Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, meanwhile, called for Thomas to be impeached, saying “this is beyond party or partisanship. This degree of corruption is shocking - almost cartoonish.” (ProPublica / Washington Post / New York Times / CNBC / NBC News / CBS News / CNN / Wall Street Journal)

  • Justice Alito’s wife, in secretly recorded conversation, complains about Pride flag. “You know what I want?” the justice’s wife said to the woman, Lauren Windsor, who secretly recorded the conversation during a black-tie event last week at the Supreme Court. “I want a Sacred Heart of Jesus flag because I have to look across the lagoon at the Pride flag for the next month.” (New York Times)

3/ The Federal Reserve held interest rates steady at 23-year high after data showed inflation has eased over the past year. Prices rose 3.3% on a 12-month basis in May compared to 3.4% in April, and prices were flat month over month for the first time in two years. Although inflation has fallen significantly from a peak of 9.1%, price increases remain more than a percentage point higher than the Fed’s target rate of 2%. As a result, Fed officials voted to keep the benchmark federal funds rate in a range of 5.25% to 5.5%, but penciled in one interest rate cut this year and forecast four cuts in 2025. (Wall Street Journal / Bloomberg / Washington Post / Associated Press / Axios / New York Times / CNBC / CNN / NBC News / ABC News)

poll/ 48% of Americans approve Trump’s recent felony conviction, while 29% disapprove, and 21% neither approve nor disapprove. Among Democrats, 85% approve of Trump’s conviction, while 61% of Republicans disapprove. (Associated Press)

🐊 Dept. of Swamp Things.

  1. Hunter Biden Conviction Undercuts a Trump Narrative. “Many allies of Donald J. Trump had secretly wanted an acquittal, which they predicted would have turbocharged fund-raising and fed their claims of a rigged justice system.” (New York Times)

  2. “Haul out the Guillotine,” Trump says in fundraising email as he baselessly accused his political opponents of going after him and his supporters. The email also claimed Trump’s critics have a “Sick Dream” to see him beheaded, the latest example of Trump’s inflammatory rhetoric since his hush money conviction. (Axios / Associated Press)

  3. Trump’s campaign was rooting for Hunter Biden to be acquitted. Now, it’s changing tactics. “The guilty verdict against Hunter Biden has raised an uncomfortable question: If the justice system is rigged by Joe Biden against Trump, why would the system also convict the president’s son?” (Business Insider)

  4. Republicans push conspiracy theories after Hunter Biden verdict: “A fake trial.” “Republicans have long sought to use Hunter Biden’s woes and business dealings as a political weapon against Biden, ignoring the fact that Trump himself is also now a convicted felon whose own business empire has been fined hundreds of millions of dollars for fraudulent practices.” (The Guardian / CNN)

  5. Trump Campaign Takes Back Its Well Wishes to Hunter Biden. “Moments after Hunter Biden was convicted of federal gun charges, the Trump campaign sent a statement that ended with warm wishes for the president’s son: ‘As for Hunter, we wish him well in his recovery and legal affairs,’ it said. An hour later, however, the statement sent out did not have the softer last line and instead focused on the hits against the Biden family and the trial that exposed intimate details about Hunter’s drug addiction.” (Daily Beast)

  6. Fox News Suddenly Loves the Justice System After Hunter Biden’s Conviction. “In the moments following Hunter Biden’s conviction on federal gun charges on Tuesday, Fox News celebrated the justice system doing its job.” (Mother Jones)

  • 📅 The WTFJHT Calendar: Now until then.

  • ⛔️ June 19: Juneteenth – No WTFJHT.
    📺 June 27: Biden-Trump debate.
    ⛔️ July 4: Independence Day – No WTFJHT.
    ⚖️ July 11: Trump is sentenced.
    🐘 July 15: Republican National Convention.
    🇮🇱 July 24: Netanyahu addresses joint session of Congress.
    🫏 Aug. 19: Democratic convention.
    ⛔️ Sept. 2: Labor Day – No WTFJHT.
    📺 Sept. 10: Biden-Trump debate.
    📆 Oct. 6: Last day to register to vote in some states.
    ⛔️ Oct. 14: Indigenous Peoples’ Day – No WTFJHT.
    🗳️ Nov. 5: Presidential Election.