What The Fuck Just Happened Today?

Today's essential guide to the daily shock and awe in national politics. Read in moderation.
Curated by @matt_kiser

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Day 1045: "Lead the way."

1/ The United Nations World Meteorological Organization declared 2023 the warmest year ever recorded. Data from January through October showed global temperatures were around 1.4C (2.5F) above the pre-industrial average from 1850 to 1990, according to the provisional findings in the 2023 State of the Global Climate Report. “Record global heating should send shivers down the spines of world leaders and it should trigger them to act,” U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres said. “We are living through climate collapse in real time, and the impact is devastating.” The nine years from 2015 to 2023 have been the warmest nine in 174 years of scientific recording, with 2023 breaking the previous single-year records set in 2020 and 2016. Petteri Taalas, the secretary general of the World Meteorological Organization, called it “a deafening cacophony of broken records.” July was Earth’s hottest month ever observed and may have been warmer than any time in the last 125,000 years. (New York Times / Washington Post / ABC News / Bloomberg / Associated Press)

  • Study warns about climate change misinformation during extreme weather. “A new study warns that some politicians and their followers have been using recent extreme weather events to spread misinformation about climate change.” (Axios)

2/ The annual United Nations climate summit convened with the goal of finding agreement on whether to phase out fossil fuels – the primary driver of global warming – or to scale up carbon capture technology to reduce emissions. The International Energy Agency, however, has called the idea of widespread carbon capture an “illusion.” The COP28 climate summit is hosted this year by the United Arab Emirates – an OPEC member – and the person responsible for brokering a global climate deal is Sultan al-Jaber – the CEO of one of the world’s largest oil producers. Days before COP28 began, it was reported that Sultan Al Jaber planned to use his role as COP president to promote Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. fossil fuel sales. In his opening address, Jaber told delegates they must “ensure the inclusion of the role of fossil fuels” in any climate agreement, and suggested that oil and gas companies “can lead the way.” [Editor’s note: Shocker.] (Washington Post / Bloomberg / Associated Press / NBC News / Politico / ABC News / CNN)

  • Nations at COP28 agreed to an unprecedented fund aimed at helping poor and vulnerable nations deal with the climate emergency. Diplomats from nearly 200 countries pledged about $549 million for the new fund, which “will pay for loss and damage, which occurs when rising seas, drought or other effects of climate change are so destructive that communities can no longer adapt.” Wall Street Journal / New York Times / Associated Press / The Guardian / Reuters

3/ The EPA proposed requiring water utilities nationwide to replace all of their lead pipes within 10 years in an effort to prevent another public health catastrophe like the one in Flint, Michigan, where approximately 99,000 residents were exposed to lead. Lead is a neurotoxin that can cause irreversible damage to the nervous system and the brain, and the EPA estimates that 9.2 million lead pipelines bring water to people across the U.S. If finalized, utilities for the first time would be required to dig up and replace their lead piping, even if their lead levels aren’t too high. The EPA has said it could cost $45 billion. (Axios / Associated Press / Washington Post / New York Times)

4/ The Senate Judiciary Committee authorized subpoenas for conservative billionaire Harlan Crow and judicial activist Leonard Leo about their close personal and financial relationships with some Supreme Court justices. The subpoenas were approved by 11 Democratic senators after Republicans members refused to vote and walked out of the committee room. Despite the successful vote, Senate would be forced to hold a vote to enforce the subpoenas – if Leo and Crow choose not to comply – which might not win the required 60 votes in the closely split chamber. The subpoenas are part of an ongoing investigation into Supreme Court ethics, and how undisclosed activists and donors have used gifts and luxury travel to gain access to the justices. (Axios / Politico / NBC News / Washington Post / CNN)

5/ An appeals court reinstated Trump’s gag order prohibiting him from attacking court staff in his ongoing $250 million civil fraud trial in New York. The gag order was first put in place by Judge Arthur Engoron in early October after Trump attacked his law clerk on social media. A New York appeals court earlier this month temporarily halted the gag order, which allowed Trump to again attack Engoron and the clerk. Engoron has said his chambers “have been inundated with hundreds of harassing and threatening phone calls, voicemails, emails, letters and packages,” and repeatedly warned about the possibility of violence stemming from Trump’s political rhetoric. After a panel of appeals court judges put the gag orders back in place, Engoron said he plans to enforce it “rigorously and vigorously.” Trump also faces a gag order in his federal 2020 election subversion case, which is currently on pause as a panel of federal judges weighs its merit. (New York Times / Associated Press / Axios / Politico / NPR / Washington Post / CNN / NBC News)

Day 1044: "Repeated attempts to undermine our democracy are unacceptable."

1/ About 90 House Republicans plan to support the vote to expel George Santos from Congress following the release of a House Ethics Committee report, which found “substantial evidence” that he knowingly filed false campaign finance statements and used campaign funds to pay for personal expenses including rent, trips, luxury items, cosmetic treatments like Botox, and a subscription to the adult-content site OnlyFans. Speaker Mike Johnson, meanwhile, said he has “real reservations” about the motion to expel embattled the New York Republican. Santos, meanwhile, has repeatedly vowed to not resign, reiterating his belief that the bipartisan Ethics report was “littered with hyperbole and littered with biased opinions.” A vote is expected as soon as Thursday. (Politico / Washington Post / Wall Street Journal / CBS News)

2/ A grand jury indicted two Republican county supervisors in Arizona for delaying the certification of 2022 election results. The state attorney general charged Tom Crosby and Peggy Judd with two felonies for conspiring to delay the certification of election results and interfering with the secretary of state’s statewide canvas. Both are Class 5 felonies, and each crime carries a maximum punishment of 2.5 years in prison and a $150,000 fine. “The repeated attempts to undermine our democracy are unacceptable,” Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes said. “I took an oath to uphold the rule of law, and my office will continue to enforce Arizona’s elections laws and support our election officials as they carry out the duties and responsibilities of their offices.” (NPR / NBC News / Washington Post / New York Times)

  • Trump embraces the Jan. 6 rioters on the trail. In court, his lawyers hope to distance him from them. “While Trump’s glorification of Jan. 6 defendants may boost him politically as he vies to retake the White House in 2024, his lawyers’ approach lays bare a concern that arguments linking him to the rioters could harm him in front of a jury.” (Associated Press)

3/ Trump doubled down on his calls to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act if he’s elected president again. Without offering any details about what his alternative health care plan might be, Trump promised “much better Healthcare than Obamacare for the American people,” adding: “Obamacare Sucks!!!” Republicans in Congress, however, have abandoned plans to repeal the ACA since failing to undo the health care law in 2017. Trump’s comments have also caught lawmakers off guard because there’s no consensus within the Republican Party on how to replace it. (NBC News / The Hill / Politico)

4/ Biden criticized Lauren Boebert in her own district as “one of the leaders of this extreme MAGA movement.” Following a tour of a wind tower manufacturer in Pueblo, Colo., Biden mocked Boebert for voting against the Inflation Reduction Act, saying: “She along with every single Republican colleague voted against the law that made these investments and jobs possible, and that’s not hyperbole, that’s a fact.” Boebert has repeatedly claimed the Inflation Reduction Act is “dangerous for America” and that Biden’s climate policies are “a massive failure.” CS Wind, however, is currently undergoing a $200 million expansion that is expected to create 850 jobs by 2026 with help from the tax benefits in Biden’s inflation reduction law. The factory is the largest of its kind in the world. “Did you all know that you’re part of a massive failure?” Biden said to the workers and local officials at CS Wind. “None of that sounds like a massive failure to me. How about you?” Biden added: “It all sounds like a massive failure in thinking by the congresswoman and her colleagues.” (NBC News / Washington Post / Associated Press)

5/ A co-founder of Students for Trump was arrested and charged with assault. Ryan Fournier is accused of grabbing his girlfriend’s arm and “striking her in the forehead with a firearm.” He faces two misdemeanor charges: assault on a female and assault with a deadly weapon. (Axios / NBC News / NPR)

Day 1043: "The situation remains catastrophic."

1/ The truce between Israel and Hamas entered its fifth day after 12 more hostages held in the Gaza Strip were released in exchange for 30 Palestinians detained in Israeli prisons. Under the current truce, Hamas has released 81 hostages, while Israel has freed 180 Palestinians from prison – many of whom were detained but never charged. The U.S., meanwhile, urged Israel that any offensive in southern Gaza after the truce must be designed to avoid “significant further displacement” of Palestinian civilians. More than 1.7 million people have been displaced in Gaza, where health officials say the death toll has surpassed 14,500 since the start of the conflict. The World Health Organization also warned that disease may kill more Gazans than Israel’s bombardment if the enclave’s health system is not repaired. The United Nations added: “The humanitarian situation in Gaza remains catastrophic.” (NBC News / CNN / Washington Post / New York Times / Associated Press / ABC News)

  • Biden Navigates Divisions Over Gaza Inside the White House and Beyond. “Biden is facing deep anger over his solidarity with Israel among supporters and even from some staff members who have said they feel disenchanted with the president.” (New York Times)

2/ Hunter Biden offered to testify publicly before the House Oversight Committee in response to a Republican subpoena. Hunter Biden’s lawyer accused Republican lawmakers on the committee of selectively leaking information from closed-door depositions with other witnesses in his ongoing impeachment inquiry into Joe Biden, saying: “We have seen you use closed-door sessions to manipulate, even distort the facts and misinform the public. We therefore propose opening the door.” House Oversight Chairman James Comer, however, rejected the idea of a public hearing, saying: “Hunter Biden is trying to play by his own rules instead of following the rules required of everyone else. That won’t stand with House Republicans.” Comer added: “We expect full cooperation with our subpoena for a deposition but also agree that Hunter Biden should have the opportunity to testify in a public setting at a future date.” The House Republican inquiry has not provided any direct evidence that Joe Biden has committed any wrongdoing. The White House also accused House Republicans of abusing their power and “throwing spaghetti” at the wall after failing to produce evidence to support their allegations. (Associated Press / Politico / New York Times / Axios / ABC News / Washington Post / CNN)

3/ The political arm of the Koch network endorsed Nikki Haley for the 2024 Republican nomination. Americans for Prosperity Action said it believes that nearly 75% of Republican voters are ready to move on from Trump, despite the twice-impeached former president – who tried to overturn the 2020 presidential election, encouraged a deadly insurrection at the Capitol, and is the subject of four felony indictments – having a commanding lead in the race for the GOP nomination in virtually every poll with less than two months until the Iowa caucuses. AFP said the Republican party has been choosing “bad candidates who are going against America’s core principles,” suggesting that Haley “offers America the opportunity to turn the page on the current political era.” (Axios / Associated Press / NPR / New York Times / Washington Post / ABC News)

💩 Dept. of This Guy Shouldn’t Be President Again.

  1. Fulton county prosecutors do not intend to offer plea deals for Trump, Mark Meadows, or Rudy Giuliani. “Prosecutors reached plea deals in quick succession with the former Trump lawyers Sidney Powell, Jenna Ellis and Kenneth Chesebro – who all gave ‘proffer’ statements that were damaging to Trump to some degree – as well as the local bail bondsman Scott Hall.” (The Guardian)

  2. Ex-Trump attorney John Eastman urged the court to set an earlier final plea date, calling the “Fulton County District Attorney’s Office proposal of June 21 ‘arbitrary and capricious.’ In the filing, Eastman attorney Wilmer Parker III said that the final plea date should be set earlier in the year ‘so that Defendants who do not have lifetime United States Secret Service protection and who are not running for election to an office can exercise and have their right to a jury trial completed within 2024.’” (NBC News)

  3. Trump Seeks to Use Trial to Challenge Findings That 2020 Election Was Fair. “The federal judge overseeing Donald Trump’s upcoming election interference trial said in a ruling Monday that the former president’s attempt to subpoena what his legal team dubbed ‘missing’ records from the House Jan. 6 committee appeared to be a ‘fishing expedition’ that was not in good faith.” (NBC News / New York Times)

  4. Bid to hold Trump accountable for Jan. 6 violence stalls at appeals court. “A three-judge panel of the appeals court is mulling a thorny constitutional question that hangs over each of the cases: whether Trump can be sued over his speech to an angry crowd on Jan. 6, 2021, just before the deadly riot at the Capitol. Since the panel considered whether Trump has immunity, Trump has surged to the front of the GOP presidential primary pack and been charged criminally twice for his efforts to subvert the 2020 election.” (Politico)

  5. Pence told investigators he originally planned to skip the electoral certification on Jan. 6. “Speaking with special counsel Jack Smith’s team earlier this year, former Vice President Mike Pence offered harrowing details about how, in the wake of the 2020 presidential election, then-President Donald Trump surrounded himself with ‘crank’ attorneys, espoused ‘un-American’ legal theories, and almost pushed the country toward a ‘constitutional crisis,’ according to sources familiar with what Pence told investigators.” (ABC News)

Day 1042: "Looking at alternatives."

1/ Biden won’t attend the United Nations climate summit in Dubai, which draws leaders from nearly 200 countries. The White House said it would send a climate envoy, including John Kerry, Ali Zaidi, and John Podesta. While Biden has called climate change “the ultimate threat to humanity,” it’s unclear why he will skip the annual COP28 after attending the previous two summits. Meanwhile, the United Arab Emirates – the world’s fifth-largest oil producer – is hosting the climate talks this year. Leaked document show that the UAE plans to use its position as host country to discuss oil and gas deals with more than a dozen countries. (Associated Press / Politico / New York Times / CNN / Bloomberg / Washington Post / Wall Street Journal)

  • Why an oil kingdom is hosting the COP28 climate summit. “The United Nations rotates the location of COPs each year through Africa, Asia-Pacific, Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Western Europe. This year, it was the Asia-Pacific group’s turn to host, and the United Arab Emirates made an unopposed bid in May 2021.” (Washington Post)

  • Former Coal Towns Get Money for Clean-Energy Factories. “An Energy Department program designed to create jobs and manufacturing in communities reliant on fossil fuels is backing projects in West Virginia, Colorado and elsewhere.” (New York Times)

  • Huge Turbines Will Soon Bring First Offshore Wind Power to New Yorkers. “New York’s best bet for entering the era of offshore wind power is stacked up at the water’s edge in Connecticut.” (New York Times)

  • Sodium in Batteries: Shift May Herald Another Shakeup. “Sodium — found in rock salts and brines around the globe — has the potential to make inroads into energy storage and electric vehicles because it’s cheaper and far more abundant than lithium, which currently dominates batteries. But while chemically and structurally similar, sodium has yet to be used on a large scale, partly due to the better range and performance of similarly sized lithium cells.” (Bloomberg)

  • Costs for renewables have plummeted and growth is exceeding expectations. “In 2009, the International Energy Agency predicted that solar power would remain too expensive to compete on the grid. It continued to underestimate the growth of renewable energy and EVs. Last year, more than four-fifths of the world’s new power capacity was renewables, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency.” (Wall Street Journal)

2/ Israel and Hamas agreed to extend their humanitarian pause in fighting for two more days. So far, Hamas has released 69 hostages in exchange for 150 Palestinian women and children in Israeli detention. Under the terms of the agreement, the pause could be extended by a day for every additional 10 hostages released by Hamas. Around 170 hostages abducted in the Hamas-led attacks on Oct. 7 remain in captivity in Gaza. The Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip, meanwhile, has killed at least 13,000 people and created a humanitarian disaster for its 2.2 million residents. (New York Times / Associated Press / Washington Post / NBC News / CNN / Wall Street Journal)

  • White House grapples with internal divisions on Israel-Gaza. “The Hamas attacks and Israeli reaction have roiled the Biden team like no other issue during his presidency.” (Washington Post)

  • Gaza Civilians, Under Israeli Barrage, Are Being Killed at Historic Pace. “Even a conservative assessment of the reported Gaza casualty figures shows that the rate of death during Israel’s assault has few precedents in this century, experts say.” (New York Times)

3/ Trump revived his threat to roll back the Affordable Care Act if he returns to the White House, saying he’s “seriously looking at alternatives.” After trying and failing to repeal the ACA, Republicans have effectively given up on their calls to kill the ACA. According to a recent poll, 45% of voters say they trust Democrats when it comes to health care, while 22% said they trust Republicans. In 2017, a poll showed 22% of Americans supported the Republican effort to repeal and replace the ACA, which ultimately failed, while 55% opposed them. Nevertheless, Trump criticized Republicans who voted not to “terminate it” in 2017 and vowed not to “give up.” (NBC News / Washington Post / Axios)

  • Trump hints at expanded role for the military within the U.S. “Calling New York City and Chicago ‘crime dens,’ the front-runner for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination told his audience, ‘The next time, I’m not waiting. One of the things I did was let them run it and we’re going to show how bad a job they do,’ he said. ‘Well, we did that. We don’t have to wait any longer.’” (Associated Press)

  • “Openly authoritarian campaign”: Trump’s threats of revenge fuel alarm. “Trump’s talk of seeking to ‘weaponize’ the DoJ and ‘retribution’ for opponents poses a direct threat to the rule of law and democracy in the US should he win a second term, experts say.” (The Guardian)

4/ George Santos expects to be expelled from Congress as early as this week following the release of a House Ethics Committee report, which found “substantial evidence” that he knowingly filed false campaign finance statements and used campaign funds to pay for personal expenses including rent, trips, luxury items, cosmetic treatments like Botox, and a subscription to the adult-content site OnlyFans. In a three-hour-long livestream, Santos described the report as “slanderous” and accused Ethics Committee Chairman Michael Guest of “weaponizing” his position and publishing a “hit-piece” against him. Santos currently faces 23 federal charges in an ongoing criminal case, including fraud, money laundering, falsifying records and aggravated identity theft. (Washington Post / NBC News)

Day 1036: "Such absurd results."

1/ A Colorado judge ruled that Trump “engaged in an insurrection,” but said the 14th Amendment doesn’t apply to the presidency. Colorado District Court Judge Sarah Wallace found Trump “engaged in an insurrection” on Jan. 6, 2021, but concluded that it doesn’t apply to presidents because the provision explicitly bans insurrectionists from serving as senators, representatives, and presidential electors – but it doesn’t say anything about the presidency. Meaning, Trump can still appear on that state’s presidential primary ballot next year. However, the group that filed the lawsuit appealed the ruling, saying: “No court should adopt an interpretation of the Constitution that has such absurd results.” Trump, meanwhile, also has appealed the decision, taking issue with the judge’s finding that he “engaged” in the Jan. 6 insurrection. The case is expected to eventually reach the U.S. Supreme Court. (CNN / USA Today / Politico / The Guardian / Washington Post)

  • 🤔 The Bizarre Reason a Colorado Judge Didn’t Disqualify Trump From Running in 2024. “Judge Sarah Wallace found the case that the former president violated the Fourteenth Amendment compelling. Then she found a way to ignore her own judgment.” (The New Republic)
  • 🤔 Republican Who Voted To Impeach Trump Says He Would Still Vote For Trump. “Former Representative Peter Meijer described Trump’s actions on January 6 as ‘disqualifying.’ Now, as he mounts a run for Senate, the Michigan Republican is backtracking: ‘My overarching goal is to make Joe Biden a one-term president.’” (Vanity Fair)

2/ Israel and Hamas are near a “truce deal” to release some hostages seized by Hamas in Israel in exchange for a pause in fighting in Gaza. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called for the Israeli government to back the proposed deal that could include around 50 women and children being exchanged for around 150 Israeli-held Palestinian prisoners, and lead to a 4-to-5-day pause in fighting. As part of the deal, Israel would also allow around 300 aid trucks per day to enter Gaza from Egypt. The numbers are subject to change and the deal could still fall apart. As Netanyahu convened his Cabinet for a vote, he emphasized that a pause in fighting to get hostages out wouldn’t lead to a cease-fire, saying: “There is nonsense out there as if after the pause in fighting, we will stop the war. We are at war and we will continue it until we achieve all the objectives. We will eliminate Hamas, return all the hostages and guarantee that there will be no element in Gaza that threatens Israel.” (New York Times / Washington Post / ABC News / CNN / NBC News / Axios / Associated Press / Bloomberg / Wall Street Journal / Vox)

3/ The owner of the social media company formerly known as Twitter sued a nonprofit organization for defamation after it published research highlighting antisemitic and pro-Nazi content on the social media platform. Last week, Media Matters reported that X/Twitter “has been placing ads for major brands” like Apple, Amazon, and IBM “next to content that touts Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party.” Multiple businesses, including IBM, Apple, Warner Bros. Discovery, Sony, Comcast, and Disney, subsequently suspended their advertising on the platform. Elon Musk, meanwhile, endorsed an antisemitic conspiracy theory last week, which has been widely criticized, including by the White House. Shortly after Musk filed his “thermonuclear lawsuit,” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton opened an investigation into Media Matters for “potential fraudulent activity.” Media Matters called the lawsuits “frivolous,” and said the organization “stands behind its reporting and looks forward to winning in court.” Separately, more than two dozen House Democrats accused Musk of “profiting off violent content by a terrorist organization” and demanded that he address Hamas-related content on the social media platform that “has become a hotbed of misinformation and terrorist propaganda.” (The Verge / CNN / Washington Post / New York Times / Axios / Associated Press / Texas Tribune)

  • 🤔 Does Elon Musk’s Media Matters Lawsuit Have a Chance? ‌”“It’s one of those lawsuits that’s filed more for symbolism than for substance — as reflected in just how empty the allegations really are.” (Intelligencer)
  • 🤔 “PR stunt masquerading as a lawsuit”: Experts slam Elon Musk’s attack on Media Matters’ reporting. (Salon.com)
  • 🤔 Ron DeSantis Says He’s Never Personally Witnessed Elon Musk Attacking Jews When Asked About X Post Attacking Jews. (Vanity Fair)

Day 1035: "Not enough action."

1/ A federal appeals court ruled that only the federal government — not private citizens or civil rights groups — can sue to enforce the Voting Rights Act. In a 2-to-1 ruling, the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that private entities cannot bring lawsuits under Section 2, a provision of the 1965 Voting Rights Act that prohibits discriminatory voting practices. The ruling runs counter to decades of legal practice and the vast majority of Voting Rights Act claims are brought by private entities. The decision will almost certainly be appealed and is likely headed to the Supreme Court. (CNN / Wall Street Journal / New York Times / NPR / Politico / NBC News)

  • 🔎 What’s at Stake? This federal appeals court ruling represents a shift in the enforcement of voting rights in America. By potentially limiting the ability to challenge discriminatory voting practices to the federal government, it risks undermining the effectiveness of the Voting Rights Act. This is especially concerning as it could lead to reduced oversight and increased voter disenfranchisement, disproportionately affecting minority groups and threatening the integrity and fairness of the democratic process. The decision is at odds with the foundational American values of equal representation and participation in democracy. Vigilant protection of voting rights is essential for maintaining a robust and inclusive democratic system. Failure to address this issue risks long-term damage to the legitimacy of elections and the democratic principles upon which the United States is built. Addressing this ruling is crucial not only for the current generation but for safeguarding the democratic rights of future generations as well. It’s also a stark reminder that protecting voting rights is a continuous battle, requiring vigilance and active participation from all sectors of society.

2/ Earth briefly exceeded more than 2 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial benchmark this weekend, preliminary data showed. When compared with the 1991-2020 average, the global mean on Friday was 2.07 degrees Celsius (2.1 degrees Fahrenheit) above average preindustrial levels, and 2.06C (3.7F) above preindustrial on Saturday. This year is on track to be the hottest on record globally, with temperature records set in July, August, September, and October. November is on track to be the hottest such month on record. (Washington Post / Axios)

3/ The world has a 14% chance of keeping global warming below 1.5C even if all net-zero pledges are met, according to the United Nations’ 2023 “Emissions Gap Report.” To keep warming to the 2015 Paris climate agreement limit of 1.5C, countries need to cut their emissions by 42% by the end of the decade. Carbon emissions from the burning of coal, oil, and gas, however, rose 1.2% last year. Meanwhile, if every single country were to follow through on its stated net-zero plans, Earth would still be on track to heat up roughly 2.5 to 2.9C over preindustrial levels by the century’s end. “There is no person or economy left on the planet untouched by climate change, so we need to stop setting unwanted records on greenhouse gas emissions, global temperature highs and extreme weather,” Inger Andersen said, executive director of the U.N. Environmental Programme. “We must instead lift the needle out of the same old groove of insufficient ambition and not enough action, and start setting other records: on cutting emissions, on green and just transitions and on climate finance.” (Associated Press / Bloomberg / New York Times / Politico / Axios / NPR)

  • The world’s richest 1% generated as much carbon emissions as the poorest 66% in 2019. “Carbon emissions of the world’s richest 1% surpassed the amount generated by all car and road transport globally in 2019, while the richest 10% accounted for half of global carbon emissions that year. Meanwhile, emissions from the richest 1% are enough to cancel out the work of nearly 1 million wind turbines each year, Oxfam said.” (Washington Post)

4/ The U.S., Israel, and Hamas are reportedly close to an agreement to release some of the 240 hostages taken during the Oct. 7 terrorist attack in exchange for a five-day pause in fighting. Biden’s deputy national security adviser said while Israel and Hamas were close to a deal, “nothing is agreed until everything is agreed,” and that negotiations could still fall apart. National Security Council spokesman John Kirby echoed the statement, saying: “We believe we’re closer than we’ve ever been, so we’re hopeful. But there’s still work to be done, and nothing is done until it’s all done, so we’re gonna keep working on this.” Negotiations have centered around a brief pause in fighting where Hamas releases 50 women and children held hostage in exchange for roughly the same number of Palestinian women and teenagers held in Israeli prisons. Any deal would require a vote by the Israeli government, and some right-wing Israeli politicians have suggested they’ll oppose any agreement with Hamas. Meanwhile, Israel’s military released footage of what it said showed Hamas “forcibly transporting hostages” through al-Shifa hospital on Oct. 7, claiming the video was proof that Hamas used the hospital “as terrorist infrastructure.” The Hamas-run Palestinian Health Ministry suggested that the videos are just doctors treating patients regardless of who they are. Israel’s military also released video of what it said was a 55-meter section of a fortified tunnel running 10 meters beneath the al-Shifa hospital. News outlets have been unable to verify either side’s claims, when the videos were taken, or who the people in them were. (New York Times / Washington Post / NBC News / Associated Press / ABC News)

5/ Americans can order another round of four free Covid-19 tests for home delivery. Get yours at COVIDtests.gov. The U.S. Postal Service will deliver them for free. (Associated Press)

Day 1031: "Cannot be trusted."

1/ The Senate approved a temporary funding measure to avert a government shutdown, sending the measure to Biden for his signature before the Friday night deadline. The bill sets up two funding deadlines in early 2024, with roughly 20% percent of the federal government running out of money on Jan. 19 and the remaining 80% on Feb. 2. The legislation finances the government at current spending levels and contains no policy conditions – aspects that have enraged far-right Republicans. The “laddered” deadlines are designed to allow the House and Senate to negotiate and pass the 12 full-year spending measures. (Bloomberg / Axios / Politico / Washington Post / New York Times)

2/ George Santos will not seek reelection after the House Ethics Committee found “substantial evidence” that he violated federal criminal laws. The bipartisan report found that Santos engaged in a “complex web” of illegal activity, “blatantly stole” from his campaign, and sought to “fraudulently exploit every aspect of his House candidacy” for personal financial gain. The report concluded that Santos “cannot be trusted.” The Ethics Committee unanimously voted to refer the evidence to the Justice Department. Santos, meanwhile, has rejected calls for his resignation. (CNN / New York Times / Associated Press / Politico / Bloomberg / ABC News / NBC News / Washington Post / CNBC / CBS News)

3/ Israel Defense Forces raided Gaza’s Al-Shifa hospital for the second time in 24 hours, searching for evidence that the hospital was used by Hamas as a command center. Israel is facing growing international pressure to provide concrete evidence of extensive Hamas infrastructure at the facility to justify sending troops into a hospital, which has special protections under international humanitarian law. So far, the IDF has released photos and videos of AK-47s, hand grenades, military uniforms, and laptops identified as Hamas material found inside the hospital. The body of an Israeli hostage who was kidnapped on Oct. 7, was also found near the complex. The IDF, however, has not yet provided evidence of tunnels or a Hamas command center it claims exists under the hospital – a claim that Hamas and hospital staff have denied. News outlets and other third-party and international organizations have been unable to verify either side’s claims. Prior to the raids, Israel and the U.S. said they had intelligence that Hamas was using the hospital as a command center. That information has not been shared publicly. Humanitarian groups, meanwhile, condemned the raids on the hospital and said Israel’s actions highlighted the need for an immediate humanitarian cease-fire – calls that Israel and the U.S. have rejected. (Wall Street Journal / Washington Post / Bloomberg / New York Times / ABC News / CNN / CNBC / NBC News / Axios)

4/ An appeals court judge temporarily lifted Trump’s gag order in the ongoing New York civil fraud trial, clearing the way for Trump resume attacking the judge and court staff. Judge Arthur Engoron had initially imposed the gag order on Trump to prevent him from making statements about court staff, citing security risks. Since then, Trump has been fined twice for a total of $15,000 for violating the gag order, which was imposed after attacking court staff on social media. The appeals judge, however, raised concerns over restricting Trump’s free speech. The pause will remain in place until at least Nov. 27, when a full panel of appeals court judges will consider the matter. (CNN / Axios / Associated Press / NBC News)

Day 1030: "None of this is inevitable."

1/ Israel Defense Forces raided and seized the largest hospital in Gaza in what they called a “precise and targeted operation against Hamas.” Israel and the U.S. have asserted that Hamas is using the hospital as cover for its military operations – an allegation that both Hamas and Al-Shifa hospital staff have denied. While the IDF reported they found “military equipment used by Hamas” at Al-Shifa, they offered no evidence of a vast tunnel network or military command center beneath the hospital. Prior to the raid, the White House warned Israel that “hospitals and patients must be protected,” saying “to be clear, we do not support striking a hospital from the air, and we do not want to see a firefight in the hospital.” The Biden administration has also reportedly grown frustrated that Israel isn’t doing enough to protect civilians, and that conversations with Israeli officials have largely been ignored. The U.S., however, is still fulfilling Israel’s weapons requests, and so far hasn’t threatened any consequences. The U.N. Security Council, meanwhile, condemned Israel’s raid on the hospital and adopted a resolution calling for “urgent and extended humanitarian pauses and corridors” in the Gaza Strip. The resolution also urged the “immediate and unconditional release of all hostages held by Hamas and other groups, especially children.” The U.S., Russia, and the UK abstained from the vote. Israel says 1,200 people were killed in the Hamas terrorist attack Oct. 7, with 239 people still held hostage in Gaza. More than 11,200 Palestinians — two-thirds of them women and children — have been killed since the war began, and more than 1.6 million people have been displaced. The United Nations’s humanitarian agency chief demanded that the “carnage” in Gaza “cannot be allowed to continue.” (CNN / New York Times / Washington Post / Associated Press / Bloomberg / NBC News / ABC News / NPR)

  • [Poll]: 32% of Americans said “the U.S. should support Israel” – down from 41% from a month ago. 39% said the U.S. “should be a neutral mediator,” 15% said the U.S. shouldn’t be involved at all, and 15% said the U.S. should support Palestinians. (Reuters)

2/ The world’s two largest climate polluters agreed to work together to speed their transition away from fossil fuels and to renewable energy. The U.S. and China agreed to “pursue efforts to triple renewable energy capacity globally by 2030” and to make “meaningful absolute power sector emission reduction.” The agreement comes two weeks before the annual U.N. Climate Change Conference, known as COP28. (New York Times / Washington Post / Axios / Politico)

3/ Climate change is “already far-reaching and worsening across every region of the United States,” according to the Fifth National Climate Assessment, a congressionally mandated study compiled every four years by 13 federal agencies. The report warns that climate change will bring “substantial and increasing economic costs” to the U.S. that will most directly affect the elderly, children, and low-income populations. Overall, the report warns that the U.S. is warming about 60% faster than the world. Biden called climate change “the ultimate threat to humanity” and that “anyone who willfully denies the impact of climate change is condemning the American people to a very dangerous future.” Biden added that the report “shows us in clear scientific terms that […] more action is still badly needed. We can’t be complacent. […] None of this is inevitable.” In a separate study, the annual Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change, heat-related deaths globally are projected to increase by 370% by mid-century, with an additional 524.9 million people expected to experience food insecurity if action is not taken to limit the effects of global warming. (New York Times / NBC News / Politico / Associated Press / Axios / Axios / ABC News / CNN / Washington Post / Vox / Wall Street Journal / NPR)

  • 🔍 What’s at stake? Climate change is not abstract or distant; it is immediate and personal. The findings highlight the urgent threat climate change poses to humans, especially for vulnerable groups like the elderly, children, and low-income populations. Rising temperatures threaten food security, disproportionately intensify existing inequalities, strain healthcare systems, and economically burden individuals and nations. Climate change is not just an environmental issue but a moral imperative: the decisions and actions taken today shape the world for future generations. If left unchecked, climate change will lead to global resource scarcity, population displacement, and increased conflicts.

  • Nations made bold climate pledges. They aren’t close to meeting them. “Today, countries are still far from meeting these much-hyped promises, even as the impacts of climate change intensify across the globe. Deforestation remains rampant, pushing the Amazon rainforest toward a tipping point. Levels of methane in the atmosphere continue to climb to new records. The planet just endured its hottest 12 months in the modern era — and probably the hottest in 125,000 years.” (Washington Post)

  • The Solar-Panel Backlash Is Here. “The growing backlash against net metering isn’t just a response to wasted solar power—it’s also about for-profit power companies wary of rooftop solar panels that don’t make them money.” (The Atlantic)

4/ Fulton County prosecutors asked a judge to jail one of Trump’s co-defendants charged in the 2020 election subversion case for his alleged “effort to intimidate codefendants and witnesses,” according to court filings. District Attorney Fani Willis said Harrison Floyd had “engaged in numerous intentional and flagrant violations” of his bond agreement, citing recent comments Floyd made on a conservative podcasts and posts on the social media that tag Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, former Fulton County poll worker Ruby Freeman, and others. Meanwhile, an attorney for another one of Trump’s co-defendants in the election interference case admitted to leaking witness proffer videos, saying “I believe they help my client and the public needs to know that.” Jonathan Miller, an attorney for Misty Hampton, made the confession during an emergency hearing for a protective order following the leak of depositions by Sidney Powell, Jenna Ellis, Kenneth Chesebro, and Scott Hall. The judge said he would issue a protective order barring the disclosure of certain discovery information by Thursday morning. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution / CNN / NBC News)

5/ Trump asked for a mistrial in his $250 million New York civil fraud case, claiming that the judge and his clerk are biased against him. In the filing for a mistrial, Trump’s attorneys argued that Judge Arthur Engoron unfairly ruled against him, made comments during the trial that allegedly show bias, and accused Engoron’s law clerk of bias and “co-judging” the case. Engoron, who already issued a partial gag order prohibiting Trump from making disparaging remarks about his law clerk, has already signaled that he will deny Trump’s motion. (NBC News / CNN / CBS News)

Day 1029: "All in."

1/ The House passed a short-term funding bill to keep the government open after Democrats stepped in to rescue Speaker Mike Johnson and his spending plan that many Republicans opposed. The bill would fund some government departments until mid-January and the rest through early February, but it does not include spending cuts or policy changes that the House Freedom Caucus had demanded. Democrats, meanwhile, are dissatisfied that the measure doesn’t include emergency aid for Israel or Ukraine, and it also threatens a two-step shutdown next year. The bill still needs to pass the Senate and be signed into law by Biden before midnight on Friday to avert a shutdown. (CNN / NBC News / Washington Post / New York Times / Politico / NPR / ABC News / Bloomberg / Wall Street Journal)

2/ A former Trump attorney told Georgia prosecutors that in December 2020 Trump’s deputy chief of staff told her “the boss” didn’t plan to leave the White House “under any circumstances” – despite the fact that Trump had already lost the election and most of his subsequent challenges. “And [Dan Scavino] said to me, you know, in a kind of excited tone, ‘Well, we don’t care, and we’re not going to leave,’” Jenna Ellis said in a leaked deposition video. Ellis provided the testimony as part of a plea deal with prosecutors in which she pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting false statements and writings. Portions of recorded depositions with three other Trump co-defendants, who have accepted plea deals in the case, also leaked: Sidney Powell, Kenneth Chesebro, and Scott Hall. When prosecutors asked Powell why Trump ignored the White House attorneys and instead listened to her for legal advice, Powell replied: “Because we were the only ones willing to support his effort to sustain the White House. I mean, everybody else was telling him to pack up and go.” (Washington Post / ABC News)

3/ Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis asked for an emergency protective order after portions of videos from key witnesses in her election interference case against Trump leaked. “The release of these confidential video recordings is clearly intended to intimidate witnesses in this case, subjecting them to harassment and threats prior to trial,” Willis’ office said in a court filing. The prosecution’s filing included an apparent admission from an email chain with one of Trump’s co-defendants. An attorney for Harrison Floyd, a Trump ally charged for his alleged role in the harassment of election worker Ruby Freeman, initially said “It was Harrison Floyd’s team” who leaked the videos. In a subsequent email, Todd Harding, Floyd’s attorney, called the prior email admission “a typo.” Willis, meanwhile, said she expects the trial to conclude by early 2025, with proceedings likely underway during the final stretch of the 2024 presidential election. (CNN / NBC News / Washington Post)

4/ Trump’s allies are reportedly pre-screening up to 54,000 pro-Trump loyalists as a type of government-in-waiting if Trump wins the 2024 election. The headhunting operation aims to recruit 20,000 people to serve in the next administration and fill 4,000 presidential appointments as part of an effort to replace as many as 50,000 federal workers who are considered “policy-adjacent.” The project is being orchestrated by the Heritage Foundation’s Project 2025. (Axios)

  • How Trump could reimpose “Schedule F” in 2025. “Trump say he would immediately reimpose his “Schedule F” executive order if he takes back the White House in the 2024 presidential elections.” (Axios

  • A radical plan for Trump’s second term. “Trump’s top allies are preparing to radically reshape the federal government if he is re-elected, purging potentially thousands of civil servants and filling career posts with loyalists to him and his “America First” ideology.” (Axios)

5/ Mike Johnson endorsed Trump’s 2024 presidential bid, saying he’s “all in” on the twice-impeached former president, who is facing 91 felony charges stemming from four indictments. Johnson, the second person in line to the presidency and the country’s highest-ranking Republican, played a key role in Trump’s efforts to overturn the election and objected to certifying Biden’s electoral win. In 2015, however, Johnson posted on Facebook that Trump “lacks the character and the moral center we desperately need again in the White House.” In a subsequent comment, Johnson said: “I am afraid [Trump] would break more things than he fixes. He is a hot head by nature, and that is a dangerous trait to have in a Commander in Chief.” (Washington Post / Wall Street Journal / CNBC / Politico)

Day 1028: "Dire and perilous."

1/ With four days until a government shutdown, House Republicans, Democrats, and the White House have all panned House Speaker Mike Johnson’s complex two-tiered plan to temporarily fund the government. At least a half-dozen Republican members oppose the funding measure – enough to sink the bill without Democratic support – that would extend funding for some parts of the government through Jan. 19 and other parts through Feb. 2. They’ve demanded immediate spending cuts or changes to immigration law as a condition for their support. Democrats, meanwhile, dislike the two separate deadlines and would prefer the funding measure include aid for Israel and Ukraine. The White House called the proposal “a recipe for more Republican chaos and more shutdowns – full stop” and Biden is expected to threaten to veto the measure. The federal government will run out of money by the end of the day on Friday if no new deal is reached. (Politico / NPR / Washington Post / ABC News / CNN / Bloomberg)

2/ The Supreme Court issued its first-ever code of conduct following months of ethical controversies, which have diminished the public standing of the nine justices. The justices said they adopted the code of conduct to “dispel” the “misunderstanding” that the court’s nine justices “regard themselves as unrestricted by any ethics rules.” The court, however, failed to explain how the code will work and who would enforce it. (Axios / New York Times / Wall Street Journal / NBC News / Washington Post / CNN / CNBC / Bloomberg)

3/ Biden urged Israel to take “less intrusive action” at the Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza, saying hospitals “must be protected.” Israeli forces and tanks currently surround Gaza’s largest hospital, which has been without electricity and water for three days. Israeli authorities claim a Hamas command hub operates beneath the hospital, a claim Hamas and hospital doctors refute. Despite the White House’s calls to protect civilians around Gaza’s hospitals, U.S. intelligence asserts that it’s “confident” Hamas maintains a command post under Al-Shifa. The World Health Organization characterized the situation at the hospital as “dire and perilous,” stating that continuous gunfire, shelling, and airstrikes means it “is not functioning as a hospital anymore.” Gaza’s health officials have called Al-Shifa a “circle of death,” with over 100 decomposing bodies with no way to preserve or remove them. Several newborns have also died, and at least 35 babies born prematurely face possible “death at any moment.” Roughly 8,000 displaced people are currently sheltering at the hospital complex. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, nevertheless, suggested that patients can still be evacuated from the hospital, saying: “There’s no reason why we just can’t take the patients out of there, instead of letting Hamas use it as a command center for terrorism, for the rockets that they fire against Israel, for the terror tunnels that they use to kill Israeli civilians.” Netanyahu also doubled down on Israel’s war against Hamas, vowing that Israel will see the “war to the end.” The enclave’s second-largest hospital, Al-Quds in Gaza City, has also been encircled by Israeli forces and unable to evacuate its 300 remaining patients and medical employees because of bombardments and gunfire. More than two-thirds of Gaza’s population of 2.3 million have been displaced since the war began. More than 11,000 Palestinians – two-thirds of them women and minors – have been killed since the war began. At least 1,200 people were killed in Israel in the Oct. 7 Hamas attack. About 240 hostages were taken from Israel into Gaza by Hamas. (Associated Press / New York Times / Washington Post / NBC News / CNN / ABC News / Bloomberg)

4/ Trump Jr. returned to the witness stand in the $250 million civil fraud trial, calling his father a “genius,” a “visionary,” and “an artist with real estate” who “creates things that other people would never envision.” New York Attorney General Letitia James sued Trump, Trump Jr. Eric Trump, and the Trump Organization last year, alleging “numerous acts of fraud and misrepresentation” to inflate the value of assets to obtain favorable loans from banks. Further, New York Supreme Court Judge Arthur Engoron has already concluded that the Trump Organization’s financial statements were fraudulent and ordered that all of Trump’s “business certificates” be canceled. The trial is largely intended to determine the punishment that Engoron will impose. (New York Times / Washington Post / ABC News / NBC News / CNN / CNBC)

⚡️ Weekend Notables.

  1. Trump – echoing fascist dictators like Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini – “pledged” to “root out” his political opponents, which he called “vermin” and claimed they “lie, steal and cheat on elections.” In a Veterans Day post, Trump suggested that his political opponents pose a greater “threat from within” to the U.S. than “outside forces” like Russia, China, or North Korea. (Washington Post / New York Times / ABC News)

  2. Trump is planning mass deportations, a new Muslim ban, a limit on asylum claims, adding tariffs to all imported goods, and building “freedom cities” on federal land if he returns to power in 2025. To speed mass deportations, Trump said he plans to follow “the Eisenhower model” – a reference was to a 1954 campaign to round up and expel Mexican immigrants that was named for an ethnic slur — “Operation Wetback.” (New York Times / Associated Press)

  3. The Biden campaign criticized Trump’s threats, calling it a “horrifying reality that awaits the American people if Donald Trump is allowed anywhere near the Oval Office again. These extreme, racist, cruel policies dreamed up by him and his henchman Stephen Miller are meant to stoke fear and divide us, betting a scared and divided nation is how he wins this election.” The Trump campaign, meanwhile, defended the use of the word “vermin” to describe his political enemies, calling critics “snowflakes” whose “entire existence will be crushed” if Trump wins. (Politico / Axios)

Day 1024: "Playing games."

1/ With eight days until a government shutdown, House Republicans canceled votes on two spending bills and adjourned for Veterans Day. Republicans have only approved seven of the 12 full-year spending measures individually, which were due Oct. 1. Speaker Mike Johnson, however, has been forced to cancel votes on three of the five remaining spending bills in the past two weeks after facing the same internal Republican divisions that led to the ousting of Kevin McCarthy as speaker. Biden, meanwhile, told reporters: “I wish the House would just get to work. The idea we’re playing games with a shutdown at this moment is just bizarre.” (Politico / NBC News / Axios / Bloomberg / Punchbowl)

2/ With eight days until a government shutdown, Marjorie Taylor Greene forced a vote on impeaching Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas instead of negotiating a deal to fund the government. The so-called privileged resolution requires the House to vote on the matter within two legislative days, and accuses Mayorkas of “willful admittance of border crossers” and says he has a duty to protect the U.S. from an “invasion.” The resolution comes after two of Greene’s constituents were killed in a car accident after a car suspected of carrying smuggled migrants fled from police and crashed. The Department of Homeland Security, meanwhile, responded to the resolution, saying “while the House Majority has wasted months trying to score points with baseless attacks, Secretary Mayorkas has been doing his job and working to keep Americans safe.” (ABC News / USA Today / Politico / The Hill)

3/ After Ohio voted to enshrine abortion rights in the state’s constitution, Democrats are moving to get similar measures on the 2024 ballot in Arizona, Nevada, and Florida. Since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, voters have endorsed abortion rights via ballot initiatives in seven states: California, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Montana, Vermont, and now Ohio. The National Republican Senatorial Committee, meanwhile, “is encouraging Republicans to clearly state their opposition to a national abortion ban and their support for reasonable limits on late-term abortions.” (Axios / CNN / NBC News)

  • The Supreme Court dismantled Roe. States are restoring it one by one. “Now, 17 months later, the court has an answer: Americans want to preserve or restore Roe-like protections. In contest after contest, including a major victory in Ohio this week, voters decisively chose abortion rights over limitations — even in deep-red pockets of the country.” (Politico)

4/ Following days of U.S. and international pressure, Israel agreed to daily, four-hour pauses in its military operations in the Gaza Strip to facilitate the evacuation of civilians and to allow for humanitarian aid to enter from Egypt. Israel will now designate a specific area or neighborhood and announce each four-hour window at least three hours in advance. The Oct. 7 Hamas attack killed more than 1,400 people in Israel. Palestinian authorities say the death toll from Israel’s response in Gaza now exceeds 10,000 people, which a senior Biden administration official say is likely “higher than is being cited,” and more than 1.5 million people have been displaced. (Associated Press / Washington Post / NBC News / Bloomberg / New York Times / CNN)

✏️ Notables.

  1. The third Republican presidential debate recap: Vivek Ramaswamy attacked the debate moderator, called Republicans “a party of loser,” referred to Nikki Haley and Ron DeSantis as “Dick Cheney in three-inch heels,” called Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky an anti-democratic “comedian in cargo pants,” proposed building a wall on the U.S.-Canada border, and suggested Biden might be replaced by Michelle Obama; Haley called Ramaswamy “scum” for bringing up her daughter during an exchange about TikTok. DeSantis, Tim Scott, and Chris Christie were also there. Trump, meanwhile, held a rally 10 miles away. (Axios / Politico / Washington Post)

  2. Joe Manchin will not seek re-election. The decision by the Senate’s most conservative Democrat all but assures Republicans will pickup his Senate seat in West Virginia, a deeply red state. (NBC News / Axios / New York Times / Washington Post)

  3. Earth just had its hottest 12 months ever recorded. from November 2022 through October and found they were about 1.32 degrees Celsius — or 2.4 degrees Fahrenheit — above preindustrial averages, according to analysis from the nonprofit organization Climate Central. (NBC News)

  4. The U.S. population will peak by 2080 and start declining. In 1918, the U.S. recorded its only population decline when the flu pandemic and deployment of more than one million troops for World War I produced a small drop in the estimated population. The Census Bureau projects that the U.S. will “most likely” peak at nearly 370 million people by 2080 without immigration increases. People 65 years or older are expected to outnumber children under 18 by 2029. (Axios / Wall Street Journal)

Day 1023: "People are not disposable."

1/ Nearly 17 months after the Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade – and for the second general election in a row – voters in increasingly Republican-leaning states defended abortion rights. In Tuesday’s off-year general elections, Ohio voters passed a constitutional amendment guaranteeing access to abortion. Trump won Ohio in 2020. In Kentucky, Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear won reelection – a state Biden lost by 26 points – after making support of abortion rights a key message of his campaign. And in Virginia, Democrats won majorities in both chambers, where Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin had put a 15-week abortion ban at the center of his campaign to help Republicans gain control both the House and Senate. In the 2022 midterm elections, voters in California, Michigan, and Vermont enshrined abortion rights in their state’s constitution, while voters in Kentucky rejected a proposed amendment to the state’s constitution to say that it does not “secure or protect a right” to abortion or the funding of abortion. (NBC News / CNN / Bloomberg / Wall Street Journal / New York Times / Washington Post / NPR / Associated Press / Politico / Vox)

  • The Special Elections Tell Us Nothing About 2024. “Democrats have a Biden problem, not a party problem.” (Intelligencer)
  • Republicans can’t sugarcoat their losses on abortion rights anymore. “The anti-abortion movement went all in last night. They lost decisively.” (Vox)
  • What to watch for in the third Republican debate. “Five Republican presidential hopefuls will gather on stage Wednesday night for the third GOP debate, with Trump once again skipping the event.” (Washington Post / Bloomberg / ABC News)

2/ The House censured the only Palestinian American in Congress for her comments about the Israel-Hamas war. Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib defended her use of a pro-Palestinian rallying cry – “from the river to the sea” – as “an aspirational call for freedom, human rights, and peaceful coexistence” and refused to retract it. The phrase, which is widely interpreted as calling for the elimination of Israel, has been deemed antisemitic by the Anti-Defamation League. Prior to the vote, Tlaib reiterated her calls for a cease-fire, defended her criticism of the Israeli government, and implored her colleagues to consider the plight of the Palestinian people, saying: “I can’t believe we have to say this, but Palestinian people are not disposable. We are human beings just like anyone else. […] The cries of the Palestinian and Israeli children sound no different to me. What I don’t understand is why the cries of Palestinian children sound different to you all. We cannot lose our shared humanity.” Nevertheless, the measure passed by a vote of 234 to 188, with 22 Democrats joining all but 4 Republicans in voting to formally rebuke Tlaib for allegedly “promoting false narratives” and “calling for the destruction of the state of Israel.” The measure also argued that a statement Tlaib made after Hamas’s attack on Israel – calling for the end of “the apartheid system that creates the suffocating, dehumanizing conditions that can lead to resistance” – “defended” terrorism. It is the second time Tlaib had faced a censure resolution over her criticism of Israel. (Washington Post / CBS News / ABC News / NPR / Associated Press / New York Times / CNN / NBC News)

3/ The U.S. called for limits on Israel’s control over the Gaza Strip after its war with Hamas, saying “Gaza cannot continue to be run by Hamas” but that “it’s also clear that Israel cannot occupy Gaza.” After Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu suggested that Israel would assume responsibility for Gaza’s security “for an indefinite period,” U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned against the “forcible displacement of Palestinians from Gaza,” saying: “No re-occupation of Gaza after the conflict ends, no attempt to blockade or besiege Gaza. No reduction in the territory of Gaza.” The White House National Security Council added: “We believe that the Palestinians should be in charge of their future and they should be the determining voice and factor in their future.” So far, Israeli officials reportedly have not considered a post-war scenario that included independent Palestinian rule as a possibility. Meanwhile, Qatar and Egypt are negotiating a deal with Hamas to release up to 15 hostages in exchange for a 48-hour humanitarian pause, but Netanyahu rejected the possibility, saying: “There will be no cease-fire without the release of our hostages – everything else is false.” More than 1.5 million people have been displaced in Gaza, and it’s estimated that more than 10,500 have been killed. Israel says 1,400 people were killed in the Hamas terror attack Oct. 7, with some 239 people still held hostage in Gaza. U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres said the number of civilian deaths in Gaza means something is “clearly wrong” with the Israeli military operation. (Wall Street Journal / Associated Press / NBC News / CNN / New York Times / Washington Post / ABC News)

4/ The Minnesota Supreme Court rejected an attempt to block Trump from the state’s Republican primary ballot next year under the 14th Amendment. The justices, however, did not rule on the merits of the 14th Amendment claim – that Trump is ineligible to hold office on the basis that he “engaged in insurrection” – leaving open the possibility he could still be blocked from the 2024 general election ballot. The court said it dismissed the case because the state’s primary is “an internal party election to serve internal party purposes” and election officials and the courts don’t have the authority to stop the Republican Party from offering Trump as a primary candidate. (CNN / New York Times / NBC News / Washington Post)

✏️ Notables.

  1. House Republicans issued subpoenas for Hunter and James Biden as part of their impeachment inquiry into Joe Biden.. It’s the first time House Republicans have directly tried to compel testimony from members of the Biden family as part of their months-long investigation, which Kevin McCarthy escalated to an impeachment inquiry in September. The inquiry, so far, has failed to provide direct evidence biden committed any wrongdoing, broke the law or benefited from his son’s business dealings. (Politico / New York Times / Axios / NBC News / Associated Press / Washington Post)

  2. Ivanka Trump testified that she had no role in preparing Trump’s inflated financial statements and that she wasn’t aware that Trump claimed a net worth of more than $4 billion. Ivanka was the fourth and final member of the Trump family to testify in the trial. (NBC News / Associated Press / NPR / New York Times / Washington Post / CNN / Bloomberg / ABC News)

Day 1022: "Trust us."

1/ Trump “stands alone in American history” for his efforts to overturn his loss in the 2020 presidential election, special counsel Jack Smith’s office said in a court filing. In a 79-page court filing, prosecutors asked a judge to reject Trump’s “meritless effort” to dismiss their four-count indictment, saying “no other president has engaged in conspiracy and obstruction to overturn valid election results and illegitimately retain power.” Prosecutor said they plan to show that Trump repeatedly lied about the results of the 2020 election as part of a conspiracy to subvert the legitimate results, and that he is now attempting to “rewrite the indictment” and “sanitize” his conduct by making claims that are full of “distortions and misrepresentations.” In total, Trump has made four attempts to dismiss the federal indictment charging him with attempting to overturn the results of the 2020 election, which culminated in the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol by his supporters. (NBC News / Politico / Washington Post / New York Times / CNBC / CBS News)

2/ Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu suggested that Israel will have “overall security responsibility” in Gaza “for an indefinite period” after its war with Hamas despite a warning from the White House that a “reoccupation of Gaza by Israeli forces is not good.” In a call with Netanyahu, Biden urged Israel to agree to a three-day “humanitarian” pause in the fighting to allow for the release of 10-15 hostages and for aid to enter Gaza. An Israeli official likened a three-day pause to a cease-fire, saying Netanyahu doesn’t believe such a large window of time is needed to release such a small number of hostages. Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant added: “We can’t cease this war until its goals are complete […] can’t stop […] until winning over Hamas and the return of hostages.” Israel’s military, meanwhile, has “encircled” Gaza City and is now “operating” in its “depths,” a move that U.S. officials warned would lead to increased casualties. In the month since the Oct. 7 Hamas terrorist attack, at least 10,300 Palestinians, including more than 4,200 children, have been killed, and more than 25,900 have been wounded, according to the Hamas-run Health Ministry in Gaza. The World Health Organization said the death toll was “hard to fathom.” More than 1.5 million people – about 70% of the population – in the Gaza Strip has been displaced. At least 1,400 people were killed in Israel on Oct. 7, and at least 5,400 people have been injured, according to Israeli officials. (NBC News / Axios / ABC News / CNN / New York Times/ Washington Post / Associated Press / CNBC / Wall Street Journal)

  • ✏️ Democrats in Congress Weigh Calls for Cease-Fire Amid Pressure From the Left. “Democrats in Congress, torn between their support for Israel in its war with Hamas and concern about civilian suffering in Gaza, are struggling with how far to go in calling for measures to mitigate civilian casualties as the left wing of the party escalates pressure for a cease-fire.” (New York Times)

  • ✏️ Voter groups warn Biden his stance on Gaza could suppress youth turnout next year. “We are experts in youth voting behavior who have worked tirelessly across the years to generate Generation Z and Millennial enthusiasm for civic action under a variety of circumstances,” the leaders of progressive groups wrote in an open letter addressed to Biden. “We write to you to issue a very stark and unmistakable warning: you and your Administration’s stance on Gaza risks millions of young voters staying home or voting third party next year.” (NBC News)

  • ✏️ The House voted to advance a resolution to censure Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib after a Democratic effort to block the measure failed. “Tlaib of Michigan, who is the first Palestinian-American woman to serve in Congress, is again facing Republican-led efforts to censure her over comments critical of Israel and in support of Palestinians amid Israel’s war against Hamas.” (CNN)

  • ✏️ The U.S. wants a humanitarian pause in Gaza, not a cease-fire. What’s the difference? (NPR)

3/ With 10 days left before a potential government shutdown and no strategy to keep the government funded, Speaker Mike Johnson suggested that the public “trust us.” After House Republicans failed to find consensus on a spending plan during a closed-door meeting, which one member described as a “train wreck,” Johnson said he’d reveal the GOP’s funding plan “in short order,” but that he’s not going to “show you all the cards right now.” Johnson added: “Trust us: We’re working through the process in a way that I think that people will be proud of.” House Republicans are debating three possible approaches: the first is a “clean” continuing resolution, which would keep the government funded through mid-January; the second is a laddered spending plan that would fund different parts of the government incrementally – an approach that Senate Republicans have already panned; and the third option is to wait and see what the Democratic-led Senate sends them. The government must be funded by Nov. 17. (Punchbowl News / Washington Post / New York Times / Politico / CNN)

4/ 🗳️ Election Day, America. Voters in several states will participate in an off-year general election that will determine the next governor in two states, control of the state’s legislature in another, and whether to enshrine abortion rights into one state’s constitution. This is also a reminder that we’re less than 365 days from the 2024 presidential election, where Americans will vote on a new president, 34 Senate seats, and 435 House seats. Here’s what to watch for in today’s elections:

  • In Kentucky, Gov. Andy Beshear, a Democrat, is seeking a second term against the state’s Republican attorney general.

  • In Mississippi, Gov. Tate Reeves, a Republican, is seeking reelection against a second cousin of Elvis Presley.

  • In Ohio, voters will decide whether to enshrine the right to abortion in the state Constitution and whether to legalize marijuana for recreational use.

  • In Virginia, Republicans are seeking full control of the Legislature.

  • In Pennsylvania, voters will fill an open seat on their Supreme Court.

  • Election Live Blogs: ABC News / CNN / Associated Press / Washington Post / New York Times / Politico

Day 1021: "An unfolding catastrophe."

1/ Trump repeatedly provided off topic testimony, lost his temper, and attacked the judge overseeing his $250 million civil fraud case, saying: “It’s a terrible thing you’ve done. You know nothing about me.” Trump called New York Attorney General Letitia James “a political hack” and her prosecutors “all haters,” complaining that this is “a very unfair trial.” The outburst prompted New York Judge Arthur Engoron to direct Trump’s lawyers to “control him,” saying “this is not a political rally, this is a courtroom.” James accused Trump and his co-defendants of a decade-long scheme to use “numerous acts of fraud and misrepresentation” to inflate Trump’s net worth in order get more favorable loan terms. Engoron has already ruled that Trump is liable for fraud, and the trial is meant to determine what damages Trump will pay. Nevertheless, Trump complained during testimony that Engoron “called me a fraud and he didn’t know anything about me.” Engoron suggested that Trump read the order where he found him liable for fraud. (Washington Post / NBC News / New York Times / CNN / Politico / Axios / Associated Press / NPR / ABC News / Wall Street Journal)

2/ A federal appeals court lifted a gag order imposed on Trump in the election subversion criminal case, temporarily allowing him to go back to disparaging prosecutors, witnesses, and court staffers involved in the proceeding. The pause will last about two weeks as the three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia considers Trump’s claim that the limited gag order violates his First Amendment rights. (CNN / New York Times / Washington Post)

3/ United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres warned that Gaza is “becoming a graveyard for children,” saying “the unfolding catastrophe makes the need for a humanitarian ceasefire more urgent with every passing hour.” More than 1.5 million people have been displaced and more than 10,000 people have been killed in Gaza since Israel’s bombardment began four weeks ago, according to the Gaza Health Ministry in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip. Israel says 1,400 people were killed in the Hamas terror attack, and that 240 are still held hostage. Israel, however, rejected the Biden administration’s calls for a humanitarian cease-fire, saying it will continue to bombard the Gaza Strip with “all of its power.” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu added that “there’ll be no cease-fire […] in Gaza without the release of our hostages,” saying “It’ll hamper our effort to get our hostages out because the only thing that works on these criminals in Hamas is the military pressure that we’re exerting.” Israel’s military, meanwhile, has “completed our encirclement” of Gaza City – effectively splitting the Gaza Strip in half – and was carrying out “a significant operation” as it carried out “a large attack on terrorist infrastructure both below and above ground.” (New York Times / Washington Post / CNN / NBC News / Bloomberg / Wall Street Journal / Associated Press / NPR / Politico / ABC News)

4/ The Biden administration has reportedly become deeply “uncomfortable” and “distressed” with some of Israel’s tactics, saying the “counterattack against Hamas has been too severe, too costly in civilian casualties, and lacking a coherent endgame.” A person familiar with the administration’s thinking said the White House has been skeptical of an Israeli ground invasion and concerned that “the situation inside Gaza would only get worse for the people there, and that would lead to escalation. They’re just trying different ways of, ‘How do you mitigate a set of actions that are inevitable and won’t work and will fail?’” State Department staffers, meanwhile, issued a memo that argues the Biden administration should be willing to publicly criticize Israel’s military tactics and its treatment of Palestinians. “We must publicly criticize Israel’s violations of international norms such as failure to limit offensive operations to legitimate military targets,” the memo states. “When Israel supports settler violence and illegal land seizures or employs excessive use of force against Palestinians, we must communicate publicly that this goes against our American values so that Israel does not act with impunity.” The document also says the administration’s private and public messaging “contributes to regional public perceptions that the United States is a biased and dishonest actor, which at best does not advance, and at worst harms, U.S. interests worldwide.” (Washington Post / Politico)

🔮 Dept. of Magical Thinking.

  • Biden trails Trump in five of the six battleground states one year before the 2024 election. Trump leads Biden by 10 points in Nevada, six in Georgia, five in Arizona, five in Michigan, and four in Pennsylvania. Biden holds a 2-point edge in Wisconsin. In 2020, Biden won all six battleground states. (New York Times)

  • 76% of Americans believe the country is headed in the wrong direction. 33% have a favorable view of Biden, while 29% have a favorable view of Trump. (ABC News)

  • 58% of Americans believe AI tools will increase the spread of misinformation during the 2024 presidential election cycle. (Associated Press)

Day 1017: "The new normal."

1/ Biden called for a humanitarian “pause” in the Israel-Hamas war to allow for the release of hostages held in Gaza, but stopped short of calling for full cease-fire. Israeli officials say Hamas seized more than 240 hostages and killed about 1,400 people during the Oct. 7 terrorist attack. Since then, four hostages have been released and negotiations have continued. The Biden administration said humanitarian pauses would “facilitate aid getting in and hostages getting out” of Gaza. Secretary of State Antony Blinken also noted that “Palestinian civilians [are] continuing to bear the brunt of this action.” The Hamas-controlled Gaza Health Ministry reports that at least 9,061 people have been killed and more than 23,000 have been injured in the Gaza Strip. An estimated 1.4 million people – more than half of the enclave’s population – are currently displaced. The U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees reported that more than 690,000 displaced Palestinians were currently taking refuge in 149 shelters, describing the situation as “desperate.” UNICEF, the U.N. agency for children, reported that an average of 400 children had been killed or injured each day in Gaza over the past 25 days. UNICEF also described the repeated Israeli airstrikes on the Jabalya refugee camp as “horrific and appalling,” saying “this cannot become the new normal.” And, the U.N. Human Rights Office said it had “serious concerns” about Israel’s military operations, saying “these are disproportionate attacks that could amount to war crimes.” Israeli soldiers, meanwhile, have encircled Gaza City and are “conducting close combat battles with Hamas terrorists and expanding the fighting.” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sent a video message to troops in the field, saying “Nothing will stop us […] We will move forward. We will advance and win, and we will do it with God’s help.” (New York Times / Associated Press / Washington Post / ABC News / NBC News / CNN / CNBC / Bloomberg / Wall Street Journal)

  • 💡 What Israel should do now. “Israel’s current approach is clearly wrong. Here’s a better way to fight Hamas — and win.” (Vox)
  • 💡 “A Desperate Situation Getting More Desperate.” (The Drift)
  • 💡 “You can be a victim and a perpetrator at the same time,” Yuval Noah Harari said. “It’s a very simple fact—from the level of individuals to the level of entire nations. But impossible to accept for most people.” (YouTube)
  • 💡 Biden and Netanyahu Look Headed for a Breakup on Unqualified U.S. Support for the Gaza War. “The president was right to support Israel after Hamas’ attacks on Oct. 7. But the U.S. must make it clear its priority is a lasting peace, not endless carnage.” (Daily Beast)

2/ The House voted down efforts to expel George Santos and censure Rashida Tlaib. The Republican-led resolution to expel Santos – who faces 23 federal charges for wire fraud, money laundering, theft of public funds, lying to Congress, and identity theft – failed 179 to 213, with 24 Republicans voting to expel. Meanwhile, all House Democrats and 23 Republicans rejected a resolution to censure Tlaib for her criticism of Israel and her speech at a protest calling for a cease-fire in the Israel-Hamas war. House Democrats then scrapped plans to vote on a resolution to censure Marjorie Taylor Greene for her past support of political violence and history of antisemitic and racist remarks. (New York Times / Axios / Politico / CNN / Washington Post / Wall Street Journal / NPR / Associated Press)

3/ Special counsel Jack Smith accused Trump of seeking to manipulate the courts to delay both his classified documents and election interference trials past the 2024 presidential election “at any cost.” Currently, Trump’s election interference trial is set to begin in early March, and the classified documents case is set to go to trial in late May – less than two months before the start of the Republican National Convention in July. Smith’s office is prosecuting both federal cases, and if Trump wins the election, he could likely shut down the cases as president. Trump’s lawyers have argued that they need a delay in the classified documents case because it will clash with the federal election case. While Judge Aileen Cannon didn’t explicitly agree to move the trial, she did acknowledge that there would be “adjustments” to the schedule. Hours later, Trump asked Judge Tanya Chutkan to halt his election interference case until the court issues an opinion on whether he has “absolute immunity” from criminal prosecution for actions he took while president. “Defendant Trump’s actions in the hours following the hearing […] confirm his overriding interest in delaying both trials at any cost,” the Justice Department said in a court filing. “This Court should [not] allow itself to be manipulated in this fashion.” (ABC News / CNN / Axios / Politico / The Messenger)

4/ Trump Jr. and Eric Trump both testified in the $250 million New York civil fraud trial accusing the Trump family of knowingly committing “numerous acts of fraud” by inflating Trump’s net worth on statements of financial condition in order get more favorable loans. The judge overseeing the case, Arthur Engoron, has already found Trump, Trump Jr., and Eric Trump liable for “persistent and repeated” fraud. The trial is to determine how much the Trumps and their businesses will have to pay. Nevertheless, Trump Jr., who signed and certified the accuracy of the statements, testified that “I wasn’t involved” in the Trump Organization’s statements of financial condition. He blamed his accountants, saying “That’s what we paid them to do.” Meanwhile, Eric Trump initially denied having “anything to do” with the financial statements or appraisals of Trump Organization assets, saying “I pour concrete, I operate properties.” But when shown an email exchange he had with an appraiser about appraisals, Eric raised his voice and said: “We were a major organization, a massive real estate organization […] of course, I was clear we had financial statements. Absolutely.” (New York Times / NBC News / CNN / ABC News / NPR)

Day 1016: "Proceeding carefully."

1/ The Rafah border crossing opened for the first time since Israel imposed a siege on the Gaza Strip, allowing for up to 500 foreign nationals and seriously injured Palestinian civilians a day to enter into Egypt. Dozens of people were wounded during an Israeli airstrike on Jabalya – the most populous refugee camp in the region. It was the third strike on the camp in 24 hours. The United Nation’s Human Rights Office expressed concern that the airstrikes “could amount to war crimes.” U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres added that he’s “appalled over the escalating violence in Gaza,” including the killing of civilians by Israeli airstrikes in the refugee camp, and reiterated that “all parties must abide by international law, international humanitarian law including the principles of distinction, proportionality and precaution.” Meanwhile, Gaza’s more than two million residents faced another communication blackout – the second major outage in five days – after a “complete interruption” of internet and phone service. Communication services are gradually being restored. The Biden administration reportedly believes that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s political future may only “last a matter of months” due to growing international opposition to the current Israeli military campaign in Gaza and anger over failures by Israel’s intelligence community to prevent the Hamas Oct. 7 terror attack. Nevertheless, Netanyahu vowed to press on with the military campaign in Gaza, saying: “We are in a difficult war. It will also be a long war. We have important achievements, but also painful losses.” (New York Times / NBC News / Washington Post / Associated Press / CNN / Politico / ABC News)

2/ The House Republican plan to fund $14 billion in emergency aid for Israel with cuts to the IRS would end up costing taxpayers $26 billion over 10 years, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said. By giving Israel $14 billion and attaching $14 billion in IRS funding cuts, the package would add $12.5 billion to the deficit through 2033, but result in $26.8 billion in lost tax revenue over the next 10 years. IRS Commissioner Daniel Werfel, however, said the price tag of the Republicans’ plan could be even larger than CBO’s estimate: “This type of the cut, over the cost of the Inflation Reduction Act, would actually cost taxpayers $90 billion — that’s with a ‘B.’” Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act included $80 billion to modernize the IRS and improve tax collection and enforcement, which the CBO estimated at the time would cut the deficit by more than $100 billion. (Washington Post / The Hill / Insider)

3/ The Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged at a 22-year high for the second straight policy meeting. Fed Chair Jerome Powell signaled that rates would remain high into next year to keep inflation moving down, and hinted that future rate hikes were possible. Rates have been in a range of 5.25% to 5.5% since July – up from near-zero in March 2022 – despite inflation falling significantly since hitting a four-decade high last summer of over 9%. “Inflation has been coming down but it’s still running well above our 2% target,” Powell said. “Given how far we have come, along with the uncertainties and risks we face, the committee is proceeding carefully.” GDP, meanwhile, rose at a 4.9% annual rate in the third quarter – the fastest clip in almost two years. (Wall Street Journal / CNBC / Bloomberg / New York Times / ABC News / Axios / NPR / NBC News)

  • U.S. job openings climbed to 9.6 million in September, up from 9.5 million in August. Prior to the pandemic monthly job openings had never topped 8 million. Layoffs, meanwhile, fell to 1.5 million in September from 1.7 million in August. (Associated Press / New York Times / Bloomberg)

  • 💡 The economy is doing great, but why are Americans so gloomy? (Wall Street Journal)

4/ The Biden administration will spend $1.3 billion to build three large electrical transmission lines across six states to upgrade the nation’s power grid so it can better handle more renewable energy, as well as extreme weather. The lines, built with money from the bipartisan infrastructure law, will span from Arizona to New Mexico, Nevada to Utah, and through Vermont and New Hampshire and into Canada. Together, the three transmission lines will add 3.5 gigawatts of additional electric capacity to the grid – enough to power about 3 million homes – and create roughly 13,000 new jobs. Even so, the Energy Department said the U.S. needs to expand its transmission line network by two-thirds or more to meet Biden’s goal of 100% clean electricity generation by 2035. (CNN / New York Times / CNBC / The Hill)

5/ Infant mortality rates in the U.S. increased 3% last year – the largest increase in two decades. The national rate rose to 5.6 infant deaths per 1,000 live births in 2022, up from 5.44 per 1,000 the year before, the CDC reported. While the increase may seem small, it’s the first statistically significant jump since the rate rose from 6.8 deaths per 1,000 in 2001 to 7.0 deaths in 2002. The U.S. infant mortality rate is double that of most developed countries. (Associated Press / ABC News / Wall Street Journal)

Day 1015: "They will cost us a lot more in the future."

1/ Speaker Mike Johnson and House Republicans unveiled a $14.3 billion aid package for Israel that cuts the IRS budget by about the same amount, while also leaving out Ukraine assistance and other bipartisan priorities. Senate Democrats and the White House called the bill a nonstarter, saying it’s “politicizing our national security interests.” Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin warned lawmakers at the Senate Appropriations Committee that failing to pass aid for both Israel and Ukraine would “embolden both Moscow and Tehran.” Mitch McConnell, meanwhile, has been stressing the need for linking aid for Ukraine and Israel together in a larger emergency funding package that also funds Taiwan and U.S. border security. “And if we don’t stand up to these challenges now,” McConnell said, “they will cost us a lot more in the future.” The Biden administration has asked for $105 billion in national security funding. (NPR / Washington Post / CNN / Politico / Associated Press)

2/ The Israeli Defense Forces took responsibility for an airstrike that dropped six bombs on a refugee camp in Gaza that killed and injured hundreds of people. The IDF claimed the blast killed a Hamas official behind the Oct. 7 attack on Israel, but didn’t acknowledge the civilian deaths and casualties. The IDF reiterated its warning to residents to evacuate south, but also said it would continue “striking in all parts of the Gaza Strip.” More than half of Gaza’s 2.3 million people have been displaced since Israel’s total siege of the enclave. The commissioner general of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency said the enclave’s entire population is “being dehumanized” and that thousands of children killed in Israeli airstrikes “cannot be collateral damage.” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, however, ruled out a cease-fire, saying “this is a time for war.” (Washington Post / New York Times / NBC News / ABC News / CNN / Bloomberg / Wall street Journal / Associated Press / CNBC)

3/ Biden invoked emergency federal powers to assert oversight of artificial intelligence systems, part of an executive order aimed at safeguarding against threats posed by what he called the “most consequential technology of our time.” Using the Defense Production Act, the order legally requires AI products be tested to assure they can’t be used to produce biological or nuclear weapons, requires developers to share safety test results and other information with the government, and requires the National Institute of Standards and Technology to create standards to ensure AI tools are safe and secure before public release. The order also directs federal agencies to both deploy AI and guard against its possible bias. (Associated Press / NPR / Wall Street Journal / ABC News / Politico / NBC News / New York Times / Washington Post / CBS News)

4/ The Biden administration released a new proposal for student loan relief that prioritizes borrowers “experiencing financial hardship.” In June, the Supreme Court struck down Biden’s pandemic-era debt relief plan, which aimed to cancel up to $20,000 in student debt for an estimated 43 million borrowers. The new proposal would provide loan forgiveness for four categories of borrowers – those who have outstanding federal student loan balances that exceed the original amount borrowed; those with loans that entered repayment 25 or more years ago; those with loans for career-training programs that led to “unreasonable debt loads or provided insufficient earnings”; and those who attended school with “unacceptably high” student loan default rates – deemed eligible for forgiveness through income-driven repayment or other targeted relief programs. (Axios / NBC News)

5/ Senate Democrats plan to subpoena three wealthy and influential conservatives who provided Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito with luxury travel. Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee said they would subpoena Harlan Crow, Leonard Leo, and Robin Arkley II for documents as part of their investigation into ethics reform at the Supreme Court. “By accepting these lavish, undisclosed gifts, the justices have enabled their wealthy benefactors and other individuals with business before the Court to gain private access to the justices while preventing public scrutiny of this conduct,” the Senate Judiciary Committee said. “In order to adequately address this crisis, it is imperative that we understand the full extent of how people with interests before the Court are able to use undisclosed gifts to gain private access to the justices.” A vote is expected as soon as Nov. 9. (Wall Street Journal / Washington Post / NBC News / Associated Press / CNN)

  • Clarence Thomas didn’t fully repay a $267,230 loan for a luxury RV. “Thomas did not include the loan on his ethics disclosure forms, and it is not known whether he disclosed the loan forgiveness to the IRS, as required by law because loan forgiveness is taxable income.” (NPR / Washington Post / CBS News / Wall Street Journal)

Day 1014: "Civil order."

1/ The Israel Defense Forces has “expanded” and will “continue and intensify” its ground operation in the Gaza Strip as troops and armored tanks have moved toward Gaza City from at least three sides to conduct “coordinated attacks from the ground and the air.” At least 1,400 people have died and 4,629 others have been injured in Israel since the Oct. 7 Hamas terror attacks. Since then, more than 1 million people – half of the population of Gaza – have been displaced, and the Hamas-run Gazan health ministry says over 8,000 people, including women and children, have died. When Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was asked about the civilian death toll in Gaza from Israeli airstrikes, he claimed that “not a single civilian has to die,” accusing Hamas of “preventing them from leaving the areas of conflict.” Netanyahu also rejected calls for a humanitarian cease-fire, saying “this is a time for war” and that “calls for a cease-fire are calls for Israel to surrender to Hamas.” He added: “This is a battle of civilization against barbarians. The future of our civilization is at stake.” The United Nations, meanwhile, warned that “civil order” is deteriorating in Gaza after weeks of a total Israeli siege and bombardment, which Israel says is necessary in order to pressure Hamas to release hostages. Following pressure from Biden to “immediately and significantly” scale up the flow of humanitarian aid into the enclave, Israel agreed to allow 100 aid trucks per day into Gaza. (NBC News / Washington Post / New York Times / Associated Press / ABC News / CNN / CNBC / Bloomberg)

2/ A federal judge reinstated Trump’s gag order in his election subversion criminal case. Judge Tanya Chutkan had temporarily paused the gag order, which barred Trump from making public statements targeting prosecutors, court staff, and likely witnesses, on Oct. 20 as she considered Trump’s appeal. Chutkan, however, reinstate the order after prosecutors cited Trump’s recent social media comments about Mark Meadows that they said represented an attempt to influence and intimidate a likely witness in the case. Trump’s comments followed a report that Meadows was granted immunity to testify before a grand jury. After Chutkan reinstated the gag order, Trump called her a “very Biased, Trump Hating Judge” on his personal social media site, claiming the order “unconstitutionally takes away” his First Amendment Rights. Trump also called William Barr – a potential witness in the case against him – “dumb” and “weak” and a “loser.” (NBC News / Washington Post / Axios / ABC News / Associated Press / Politico / CNBC / NPR)

3/ Ivanka Trump will have to take the witness stand in the $250 million New York civil fraud case against Trump, Trump Jr., Eric Trump, and the Trump Organization, the judge overseeing the case ruled. Judge Arthur Engoron denied a motion from Ivanka’s attorneys to quash a subpoena for her testimony, who had argued that she shouldn’t be forced to appear after an appellate court removed her as a defendant in the case. The New York attorney general’s office, meanwhile, said it plans to call Trump Jr. to testify on Wednesday, Eric Trump on Thursday, and Ivanka on Friday. Trump will take the stand Nov. 6. (NBC News / CNN / Politico)

4/ Pence suspended his presidential campaign, saying “it’s become clear to me that this is not my time.” Pence’s decision to end his campaign – which drew an audible gasp from the audience – comes less than 90 days before the Iowa caucuses, which he had staked his campaign on. Pence previously argued that Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election should be disqualifying, saying that “anyone who puts themselves over the Constitution should never be president of the United States.” Meanwhile, Rep. Dean Phillips launched a primary challenge against Biden for the Democratic nomination for president. The White House and Biden campaign, however, barely acknowledged Phillips, saying Biden expects the congressman’s “almost 100%” support. (Politico / Washington Post / Associated Press / Bloomberg / NBC News / New York Times / ABC News / CNBC)

5/ The first of two trials to determine whether Trump is eligible to be president for his role in the Capitol attack on Jan. 6, kicked off in Denver. The lawsuit argues that Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election meet the disqualification criteria under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, which bars anyone who “engaged in insurrection” after taking an oath to uphold the Constitution from holding higher office again. The lawsuit was filed by the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington on behalf of six Republican and unaffiliated voters. On Thursday, the Minnesota Supreme Court will hear arguments in a similar suit filed by a group called Free Speech for People, which also cites the same provision in the 14th Amendment of the Constitution. (NBC News / USA Today / Associated Press / New York Times / CNN)

Day 1010: "We cannot accept it."

1/ A manhunt for the gunman suspected of killing 18 people and injuring 13 others in Maine is ongoing. Suspect, Robert Card, shot and killed the victims at a bowling alley and restaurant in Lewiston and then fled. He remains at large and is considered armed and dangerous, and residents are under a shelter-in-place advisory. Biden urged Congress to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, similar to the ones used by Card, saying this “is not normal, and we cannot accept it.” This is the 36th mass killing in the United States this year and marks the deadliest shooting of 2023 thus far. (NBC News / NPR / Politico / Associated Press / Axios / New York Times / Washington Post)

2/ The Israeli military briefly sent tanks into the Gaza Strip as part of a “targeted raid” in order “to prepare the battlefield” in preparation for the “next stages of combat.” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel was “preparing for a ground incursion” of Gaza, but that he “won’t specify” when or how it would occur. The U.N. has warned that, despite Israeli evacuation warnings, “nowhere is safe in Gaza.” Israel has also rejected international calls for a cease-fire to allow the delivery of humanitarian aid supplies to the Gaza Strip. Since the Hamas terror attack on Oct. 7, the Israeli military has struck more than 7,000 targets inside of Gaza, which Palestinians have called an indiscriminately targeting of civilians. The Hamas-controlled Gaza Health Ministry said at least 7,028 Palestinians have been killed, including 2,913 children. These claims could not be verified, and the State Department said it had no way to accurately assess the death toll. The House, meanwhile, passed a bipartisan resolution that states the U.S. “stands with Israel as it defends itself against the barbaric war launched by Hamas and other terrorists,” affirms Israel’s right to self-defense, and calls for an immediate halt of violence. And the Pentagon is deploying roughly 900 U.S. troops to the Middle East. None of the troops are going to Israel. (New York Times / NBC News / Washington Post / CNN / Wall Street Journal / Bloomberg)

3/ Marjorie Taylor Greene introduced a resolution to censure Rashida Tlaib. The measure would censure Tlaib, the only Palestinian-American in Congress, for alleged “antisemitic activity, sympathizing with terrorist organizations and leading an insurrection” at the Capitol, because she spoke to protestors advocating for a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war. Tlaib called Greene’s resolution “deeply Islamophobic and attacks peaceful Jewish anti-war advocates.” Democrats are expected to censure Greene in retaliation for her history of inflammatory rhetoric, including a history of racism, homophobia, antisemitism, Islamophobia, and promotion of conspiracy theories. Meanwhile, other lawmakers are prepping a resolution to expel George Santos, who faces federal charges for wire fraud, money laundering, theft of public funds, lying to Congress, and identity theft. The tit-for-tat comes as the House faces a Nov. 17 deadline to pass a spending measure to avert a government shutdown, as well as consider Biden’s request for $106 billion in emergency funds for Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan, and the U.S. border. (NBC News / Politico / Axios / Politico / CBS News / Wall Street Journal)

4/ Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis has discussed potential plea deals with at least six more Trump co-defendants in the Georgia election subversion case. Of the 19 defendants in the case, four have accepted a deal, including three attorneys who illegally conspired to overturn Trump’s 2020 election loss in Georgia. (CNN)

5/ Special counsel Jack Smith asked a judge to reimpose a federal gag order on Trump in the election interference case, citing Trump’s recent comments “targeting a known witness in this case in an attempt to influence and intimidate him.” Smith argued that the court should also consider stricter sanctions, including sending him to jail, if Trump keeps talking about witnesses in the case. Trump has “capitalized” on the temporary suspension of his partial gag order to “send an unmistakable and threatening message to a foreseeable witness in this case,” Smith said. (CNBC / Washington Post / Axios / Politico)

6/ A federal judge ordered Georgia to draw new congressional and state legislative maps before the 2024. District Court Judge Steve Jones wrote that the political maps drawn by Republican lawmakers after the last census violate the federal Voting Rights Act by diluting the voting power of Black voters. Jones ordered lawmakers to redraw the congressional map to include an additional majority-Black district, two additional majority-Black state senate districts, and five additional majority-Black state House districts. (Associated Press / NPR / Washington Post / CNN)

7/ North Carolina Republicans approved a new congressional map that eliminates roughly half of the Democrats representing the state in the House. The state’s congressional delegation is currently split 7-7 between the political parties, but the new map divvies up the state’s 14 congressional districts into 10 districts that favor Republicans, three that favor Democrats, and one that is considered competitive for both parties. (New York Times / CNN / NPR)

✏️ Notables.

  1. “The transition to clean energy is happening worldwide and it’s unstoppable,” according to the annual “World Energy Outlook” from the International Energy Agency. “It’s not a question of ‘if’, it’s just a matter of ‘how soon’ — and the sooner the better for all of us.” The agency expects there to be nearly 10 times as many electric cars on the road globally by 2030, and for renewables to account for almost half of the global energy mix – up from 30% today. (The Verge / CNN / Washington Post / IEA)

  2. Collapse of the West Antarctic ice sheet is all but “unavoidable,” according to a study published in the journal Nature Climate Change. The study found that regardless of how aggressively humans act to reduce fossil fuel emissions, the waters near West Antarctica’s glaciers are forecast to warm at a pace three times faster than they have in the past, which will cause “widespread increases in ice-shelf melting, including in regions crucial for ice-sheet stability.” The melt process would likely take several centuries, but a total collapse of the West Antarctic ice sheet could contribute about 10 feet to overall sea level rise. (NBC News / Washington Post)

  3. In 2023, Earth had at least 38 days that exceeded daily average temperatures of 1.5C – more than in any other year – according to the annual State of the Climate report. Before 2000, global average daily temperature never went higher than 1.5C (2.7F) above pre-industrial levels. The report concludes that: “Life on planet Earth is under siege.” (Bloomberg)

  4. The newly elected House speaker, Mike Johnson, has questioned climate science, opposed clean energy, and accepted campaign contributions from oil and gas companies. Johnson “has consistently voted against dozens of climate bills and amendments, opposing legislation that would require companies to disclose their risks from climate change and bills that would reduce leaks of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, from oil and gas wells. He has voted for measures that would cut funding to the Environmental Protection Agency.” (New York Times)

Day 1009: "What comes next."

1/ After 22 days and three failed nominees, House Republicans elected a speaker to replace Kevin McCarthy. The House vote 220-209 to elect Mike Johnson as speaker – with all Republicans voting for Johnson and all Democrats voting for Hakeem Jeffries. “The people’s House is back in business,” Johnson said after taking the gavel. Johnson, who served on Trump’s defense team during his first impeachment trial, voted against certifying the 2020 election and led the amicus brief supporting a Texas lawsuit seeking to invalidate the results in four swing states Biden won. The lawsuit cited widespread voter fraud, which did not occur. The House has been unable to conduct routine business since Republicans ousted McCarthy for working with Democrats to pass a short-term spending bill to avert a shutdown. Johnson will immediately need to pass a measure to fund the government ahead of a Nov. 17 shutdown, and act on emergency aid for Israel, Ukraine, and the southern border. (Associated Press / Politico / NPR / Washington Post / New York Times / ABC News / NBC News / CNN / CNBC / Bloomberg / Wall Street Journal / Axios)

2/ Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel was “preparing for a ground incursion” of the Gaza Strip to “exact the full price from the murderers.” Netanyahu, however, agreed to a Biden administration request to hold off on sending tanks and soldiers into Gaza to free more hostages, allow for the arrival of humanitarian aid into enclave, and to give the Pentagon time to deploy nearly a dozen air-defense systems to protect U.S. troops in the region. While Biden reiterated Israel’s right to defend itself, he called for a two-state solution, saying there must be “a vision of what comes next” because Israelis and Palestinians “equally deserve to live side-by-side in safety, dignity and peace.” The United Nations, meanwhile, warned that the humanitarian crisis in Gaza has reached an “unprecedented point,” as hospitals have shut down and clean water has “virtually run out.” The World Health Organization reported that 12 of 35 hospitals in Gaza were not functioning, and that seven major hospitals were well over capacity. When the U.N. called for a humanitarian cease-fire, a top Israeli diplomat said it was time to teach the world body “a lesson.” Russia and China also vetoed a U.S.-led U.N. Security Council draft resolution condemning the Hamas attack, called for the release of hostages, and for humanitarian aid for Gaza. (New York Times / Washington Post / NBC News / Wall Street Journal / Axios / Associated Press / NPR)

3/ Trump was fined $10,000 for – again – violating the gag order in his New York state’s $250 million civil fraud trial. Judge Arthur Engoron ordered Trump to the witness stand to face questioning under oath about comments he made earlier in the day that “this judge is a very partisan judge with a person who’s very partisan sitting alongside of him, perhaps even much more partisan than he is.” Trump claimed he was referring to the witness testifying, Michael Cohen, and not Engoron’s law clerk, who sits next to him. Engoron said he found Trump’s testimony “not credible” and fined him $10,000, saying “Don’t do it again or it will be worse.” This is the second time Engoron has fined Trump for violating the gag order, which prohibits him from speaking about any members of the court staff. (Associated Press / Politico / New York Times / ABC News / NBC News / CNN / CNBC / Bloomberg)

4/ Mark Meadows was granted immunity in special counsel Jack Smith’s investigation into Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election. Meadows has reportedly met with federal prosecutors at least three times, including once before a federal grand jury, providing testimony that he didn’t believe the election was stolen and that Trump was being “dishonest” when he claimed victory when polls first closed on Nov. 3, 2020. Meadows also told Smith’s team that he repeatedly told Trump following election that the allegations of voter fraud were baseless. Trump responded to the report on his personal social media platform claiming that “Mark Meadows NEVER told me that allegations of significant fraud (about the RIGGED Election!) were baseless. He certainly didn’t say that in his book!” (ABC News / CNN)

poll/ 75% of Americans agree that the “future of American democracy is at risk” in the 2024 presidential election. 23% of Americans agree that “true American patriots may have to resort to violence in order to save our country” – up from 15% in 2021. (PRRI / NPR)

Day 1008: "Collective punishment."

1/ The Biden administration is reportedly worried that Israel lacks “achievable military objectives” ahead of its anticipated ground offensive in Gaza, but will refrain from “dictating terms” for Israel. Biden, nevertheless, sent a Marine three-star general and several military officers to advise the Israeli military. The U.S. has also reportedly called on Israel to delay its ground invasion for hostage negotiations and to address the worsening humanitarian crisis in the besieged enclave. Gaza’s 2.3 million people are running out of food, water, and medicine since Israel sealed off the territory following the Hamas attack on Israel on Oct. 7. At least 2,000 children are among the more than 5,700 people that been killed in Gaza by Israeli air strikes, which have escalated in the past two days. At least six hospitals in Gaza have been forced to close due to a lack of fuel, in addition to those that have closed because of damage or attacks. A doctor at the Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City – the largest hospital in the enclave – said that without electricity, the hospital “will just be a mass grave” and “there’s nothing to do for these wounded.” The Palestinian Health Ministry declared the health care system a “complete collapse.” U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres called for a humanitarian cease-fire, saying “the appalling attacks by Hamas,” which left 1,400 people dead, didn’t “justify the collective punishment” of civilians in Gaza. In response, Israeli officials called on Guterres to resign and said they’ll “reassess” their relations with the U.N. The Biden administration, meanwhile, is preparing for the possibility that more than 600,000 Americans living in Israel and Lebanon will require evacuation if the war escalates. (New York Times / HuffPost / Washington Post / NBC News / CNN / NPR / Associated Press / Wall Street Journal / New York Times / The Guardian)

2/ Tom Emmer dropped out of the speaker’s race four hours after House Republicans selected him as their nominee when it became clear he couldn’t secure the 217 votes needed to win the gavel. Republicans had nominated Emmer after five rounds of voting behind closed doors. However, at least two dozen Republicans immediately indicated they would not support Emmer for the speakership, including some members of the House Freedom Caucus. It’s unclear whether any Republican can get the required votes in the divided chamber. Emmer is the third Republican this month to be nominated to lead the party, only to have his bid collapse due to the party’s competing ideological groups. Republicans have also succeeded in rejecting their three top leaders for the job: Kevin McCarthy, Steve Scalise, and Emmer. Trump, meanwhile, called Emmer a “Globalist RINO” and “totally out-of-touch with Republican Voters,” adding that electing him speaker would’ve been a “tragic mistake.” Notably, Emmer voted to certify the 2020 election. The House remains frozen until a new speaker is elected. (CNN / NBC News / ABC News / New York Times / Wall Street Journal / Bloomberg / Politico / NPR / Washington Post)

3/ A fourth Trump co-defendant pleaded guilty to illegally conspiring to overturn Trump’s 2020 election loss in Georgia. Jenna Ellis pleaded guilty to one count of aiding and abetting false statements related to the conspiracy to overturn the election in Trump’s favor. Ellis will cooperate with Fulton County prosecutors and serve five years of probation, pay $5,000 in restitution, and perform 100 hours of community service. She also agreed to write a letter of apology to the state of Georgia. Ellis is the third Trump campaign lawyer to accept a plea deal in the criminal racketeering case. (NBC News / NPR / Associated Press / New York Times / Washington Post / Wall Street Journal / Bloomberg / CNN / CNBC / CBS News / Atlanta Journal-Constitution / Politico)

  • 📌 Day 1007: A third Trump co-defendant pleaded guilty to illegally conspiring to overturn Trump’s 2020 election loss in Georgia. Kenneth Chesebro agreed to provide evidence and cooperate with state prosecutors, who have charged him, Trump, and 17 others of conspiring to keep Trump in power. Sidney Powell and bail bondsman Scott Hall previously pleaded guilty in the criminal racketeering case. All three have agreed to testify against others in the case. (ABC News / New York Times / NBC News / CNN / Washington Post)

  • 📌 Day 1003: 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)

4/ Trump – seeking to toss federal charges that he conspired to defraud the U.S. – argued that his actions were protected by the First Amendment and that he can’t be tried again after being acquitted by the Senate during his second impeachment. In four separate motions to dismiss, Trump contends that the felony indictment — which charges him with conspiring to obstruct Congress’ certification of the 2020 election, conspiring to deprive Americans of the right to vote and have that vote counted, and conspiring to defraud government officials administering the election — “does not explain” how he violated the laws. Further, Trump argued that the Justice Department is criminalizing “core political speech,” and that he is the target of “selective and vindictive prosecution.” Trump also claims that he has absolute immunity from federal prosecution because his efforts to overturn his election loss and remain in office were at “the heart of his official responsibilities as President.” Special counsel Jack Smith asked a judge to dismiss Trump’s claim of absolute immunity, saying its implications “are startling.” (Politico / New York Times / NPR / NBC News / Axios / CBS News)

  • Trump’s lawyer argued that he should be allowed to assert presidential immunity as a defense in E. Jean Carroll’s defamation lawsuit, which accuses him of sexual assault. A district judge rejected Trump’s immunity argument in June, prompting him to appeal to the 2nd Circuit, which asked why Trump waited nearly three years to raise the immunity defense. (Politico / NBC News)

  • Michael Cohen testified that Trump directed him to falsely inflate his net worth. In the $250 million civil fraud trial brought by the New York Attorney General Letitia James, Cohen testified that “I was tasked by Mr. Trump to increase the total assets based upon a number that he arbitrarily elected,” and it was his responsibility to “increase those assets in order to achieve the number that Mr. Trump had tasked us.” Trump, meanwhile, watched from the defense table about 10 feet away. (New York Times / ABC News / NBC News / CNBC)

Day 1007: "Embarrassing for the Republican Party."

1/ The House entered its third week without a speaker after Republicans dropped Jim Jordan as their nominee while nine other Republicans have lined up for the speakership – seven of which voted to overturn the 2020 election. After three failed floor votes for his speaker bid, Republicans voted by secret ballot to drop Jordan as their nominee. Since then, nine Republicans have announced bids for the job and the conference is scheduled to vote Tuesday morning on a nominee. Only two of the nine – Tom Emmer and Austin Scott – voted to certify Biden’s victory in 2020 presidential election. Trump’s allies in the House, however, have criticized Emmer for voting to certify the election and it’s not clear if any of the Republican lawmakers will be able to secure the 217 votes needed to serve as speaker. Interim Speaker Patrick McHenry, meanwhile, threatened to quit if his Republican colleagues try to move legislation on the floor without an explicit vote to expand his powers. Kevin McCarthy, who was ousted on Oct. 3, called the stalemate “embarrassing for the Republican Party.” (CNN / NBC News / Axios / Wall Street Journal)

2/ Hamas released two more hostages for “humanitarian and health reasons,” which follows the release of two American hostages last week. It’s believed that Hamas abducted more than 200 people during its Oct. 7 terror attack on Israel, which killed 1,400 people. The death toll in the Gaza Strip, meanwhile, has reportedly passed 5,000 as Israel continues its bombardment ahead of an expected ground invasion. The Biden administration, meanwhile, advised Israel to delay any ground invasion, hoping to buy time for hostage negotiations and to allow more humanitarian aid to reach Palestinians in the sealed-off enclave. At the same time, Biden sent a Marine three-star general and several military officers to Israel to advise the Israeli military about its operation in Gaza. (New York Times / Washington Post / NPR / Associated Press / Wall Street Journal / Bloomberg / NBC News)

3/ Biden asked Congress for $105 billion in national security funding for Ukraine, Israel, humanitarian aid, border security, and countering China in the Indo-Pacific. Biden called the funding package “a smart investment that’s going to pay dividends for American security for generations.” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer praised the package and said he would move quickly to pass Biden’s full national security package. House Republicans, however, have grown critical of the administration’s approach to the war in Ukraine and want to rein in government spending. The House is also without a speaker, preventing the chamber from conducting any legislative business. (Washington Post / CBS News / NPR / New York Times / CNN)

4/ A third Trump co-defendant pleaded guilty to illegally conspiring to overturn Trump’s 2020 election loss in Georgia. Kenneth Chesebro agreed to provide evidence and cooperate with state prosecutors, who have charged him, Trump, and 17 others of conspiring to keep Trump in power. Sidney Powell and bail bondsman Scott Hall previously pleaded guilty in the criminal racketeering case. All three have agreed to testify against others in the case. (ABC News / New York Times / NBC News / CNN / Washington Post)

5/ The Supreme Court temporarily allowed the White House to continue its efforts to pressure social media companies to remove misinformation from their platforms. Earlier this year, a lower court ruled that the Biden administration had likely violated the First Amendment by pressuring tech companies’ to remove or suppress misinformation. The Biden administration called the injunction “unprecedented.” The Supreme Court blocked the lower court’s injunction and agreed to immediately take up the government’s appeal. (Politico / CBS News / Bloomberg / NBC News / Washington Post)

6/ Trump was fined $5,000 for a “blatant violation” of a gag order in his New York civil fraud trial. After Trump disparaged a court staffer, Judge Arthur Engoron said “this Court is way behind the ‘warning’ stage,” but stopped short of holding Trump in contempt. Engoron said that “future violations, whether intentional or unintentional,” could result in possible jail time or harsher financial penalties. (Axios / Associated Press / CNN / New York Times)

7/ Trump denied that he shared U.S. national security secrets with an Australian billionaire. Anthony Pratt, who was interviewed by special counsel Jack Smith’s office as part of the classified documents case, said Trump shared sensitive information about U.S. nuclear submarines with him, as well as U.S. military operations in Iraq and Trump’s conversations with the presidents of Iraq and Ukraine. Although Trump denied telling “a red haired weirdo from Australia” national security secrets, secret recordings obtained by “60 Minutes Australia” captured Pratt recounting his private conversations with Trump. (New York Times / NBC News / CNN / Rolling Stone)

Day 1003: "Be ready."

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)

Day 1002: "The other team."

1/ The latest U.S. intelligence assessment concludes that Israel was “not responsible” for the blast at the al-Ahli Hospital in Gaza, based on “overhead imagery, intercepts and open source information.” Biden said the strike appeared to have resulted from an “errant rocket fired by a terrorist group in Gaza,” adding “it appears as though it was done by the other team.” Following his trip to Israel, Biden announced a deal with Israel to allow humanitarian aid to move into Gaza from Egypt. The U.S. will send $100 million in humanitarian assistance for Palestinians, and Biden said he would ask Congress for an “unprecedented” aid package for Israel. More than a million people have been displaced in the Gaza Strip, which the World Health Organization described conditions as “spiraling out of control” for those trapped in the enclave ahead of an expected Israeli invasion. The Treasury Department, meanwhile, imposed sanctions on “10 key Hamas terrorist group members, operatives, and financial facilitators” following the “brutal and unconscionable massacre of Israeli civilians.” (Associated Press / New York Times / Wall Street Journal / Washington Post / CNN / NPR / NBC News / Axios / Politico / Bloomberg)

2/ Jim Jordan failed to win the House speakership for a second time as the number of Republicans refusing to back him grew. Jordan can only afford to lose four Republicans, but he lost 20 in the first round of balloting yesterday, and he lost 22 on the second ballot today. He said he plans to “keep going.” The House went into recess after failing to elect a speaker. Some Republicans, meanwhile, have discussed a resolution to expand interim Speaker Patrick McHenry’s powers, which would allow Congress to function until a permanent speaker is chosen. Democrats said they would be open to working with McHenry as interim speaker. The House has been leaderless for two weeks after Kevin McCarthy was ousted by his Republican colleagues. [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.] (New York Times / Washington Post / CNN / Associated Press / Wall Street Journal / NPR / NBC News / CNBC / Bloomberg)

3/ Trump appealed the gag order imposed on him in his federal election case, which accuses him of conspiring to overturn his 2020 election loss to Biden. Judge Tanya Chutkan’s order prohibits Trump from publicly disparaging witnesses, prosecutors, and court staff members, saying his public statements pose “grave threats to the integrity of these proceedings.” Trump nevertheless claimed that Chutkan “took away my right to speak,” saying “I’ll be the only politician in our history where I won’t be allowed to criticize people.” Trump also claimed that the order will hamper his ability to speak on the 2024 presidential campaign trail. (CNN / NBC News / CNBC)

poll/ 85% of voters say they are concerned that the war between Israel and Hamas will escalate into a wider war in the Middle East, while 13% are not concerned. (Quinnipiac)

Day 1001: "Whatever it takes."

1/ Biden will travel to Israel to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and show solidarity with the U.S. ally “in the face of Hamas’s brutal terrorist attack.” It’s the first time a U.S. president has visited Israel while it’s actively at war, and comes ahead of Israel’s expected ground offensive against Hamas in Gaza as international pressure builds over the humanitarian crisis – and rising civilian death toll – developing in the enclave. The Rafah border crossing between Egypt and Gaza – the only way out of Gaza – will reopen to humanitarian aid for Palestinian civilians currently under siege by Israeli forces. The corridor, however, remains closed – for now – for hundreds of thousands of displaced Palestinian civilians hoping to leave the bombarded territory. Biden, meanwhile, deployed two aircraft carrier strike groups to the region to deter Iran and proxy militant groups from joining a wider regional war. (CNN / New York Times / Washington Post / NPR / NBC News / Politico / Bloomberg / Wall Street Journal)

2/ The U.S. secretly supplied Ukraine with long-range ATACMS missiles for the first time, which have been used to strike Russian military aircraft and ammunition depots in occupied Ukraine. Volodymyr Zelenskyy and other Ukrainian leaders had urged the U.S. to send ATACMS for more than a year, but the Biden administration feared that such a move could enrage Moscow and escalate U.S. involvement in the war. Biden green-lit the delivery last month, wanting to take the Russians by surprise. Some variants of the missiles have a maximum range of approximately 186 miles. (Associated Press / Washington Post / New York Times / Politico / CNN)

3/ The Supreme Court – again – allowed the federal government to ban “ghost guns” – unassembled and unmarked guns that can be bought online and then assembled into fully operative guns. In 2022, Biden announced a new federal rule to regulate homemade guns known as “ghost guns” more like regular guns, including requiring serial numbers and background checks for purchase. Gun manufacturers challenged the regulations in court and a federal judge in Texas issued a nationwide injunction barring the rule from going into effect. Today’s Supreme Court ruling invalidates that lower court ruling and allows the regulations to remain in effect while the legal challenge plays out. (NPR / CNN / Associated Press / CBS News)

4/ Jim Jordan failed to win the House speakership in the first round of voting after 20 of his Republicans colleagues voted against him. Jordan plans to force another vote after falling 17 votes short of the 217 he needed, saying “whatever it takes to get a speaker today.” House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries won 212 votes, while several Republican members voted for previous candidates for the job, including Kevin McCarthy and Steve Scalise, who already withdrew from the race. In January, McCarthy was elected House speaker after multiple days of negotiations and 15 rounds of voting only to be ousted nine months later. The House has been without a speaker for more than 13 days. Jordan was one of the 147 Republicans who voted to reject the 2020 election results in Pennsylvania and Arizona, and was a “significant player” in Trump’s attempts to use Congress to overturn the election on Jan. 6. Jordan is also a co-leader of the impeachment inquiry against Biden despite no evidence linking him to high crimes or misdemeanors. [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.] (CNN / New York Times / Washington Post / NBC News / Wall Street Journal / ABC News)

Day 1000: "Big mistake."

1/ A federal judge imposed a narrow gag order on Trump, restricting him from attacking witnesses, prosecutors, and court staff involved in his election subversion case. “This is not about whether I like the language Mr. Trump uses,” Judge Tanya Chutkan said. “This is about language that presents a danger to the administration of justice […] His presidential candidacy does not give him carte blanche to vilify public servants who are simply doing their jobs.” Chutkan didn’t specify how she would enforce the gag order, but said she would address any consequences if and when Trump violated it. Before the order was even issued, Trump’s lawyer said they would appeal the ruling. Prosecutors had argued that a gag order was necessary to protect the integrity of judicial proceedings. Trump faces four felony charges in connection with what prosecutors allege was a “criminal scheme” to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election by enlisting a slate of so-called “fake electors,” using the Justice Department to conduct “sham election crime investigations,” trying to enlist Pence to “alter the election results,” and promoting false claims of a stolen election as the Jan. 6 riot raged. The gag order doesn’t extend to Trump’s three other pending criminal trials for election obstruction in Georgia, classified documents in Florida, or hush money payments during the 2016 campaign in New York. (New York Times / Washington Post / NBC News / Politico / CNN / Wall Street Journal / NPR / Axios / Associated Press / ABC News / CNBC)

2/ The Biden administration reached a settlement with the more than 4,000 migrants who were separated from their families at the U.S.-Mexico border by the Trump administration. Under the proposed agreement, the federal government would be prohibited from using a “zero tolerance” prosecution policy to separated migrant families crossing the border for eight years. The settlement would also provide temporary benefits to separated families such as housing aid, work permits, health care, and allow them to apply for asylum again. In total, more than 4,000 children were separated from their families, including 290 U.S. citizen children, under the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy. An estimated 1,000 children still remain separated from their parents. (ABC News / NBC News / Associated Press / New York Times / Washington Post / Wall Street Journal)

3/ Biden warned Israel that occupying Gaza would be a “big mistake,” but added that “taking out the extremists is a necessary requirement.” Israel’s defense minister told the U.S. to brace for a “long war” against Hamas, while Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu denied reporting that the Rafah border crossing with Egypt would reopen as temporary humanitarian corridor. More than a million people – about half of Gaza’s total population – have been displaced since the Israeli military declared a “complete siege” to the enclave in retaliation for the Oct. 7 terror attack by Hamas. The World Health Organization and United Nations, meanwhile, have warned that Gaza faces an “imminent” public health crisis as the enclave is running out of food and water. Hospitals are expected run out of fuel within 24 hours. (NBC News / Washington Post / New York Times / CNN / CNBC / Bloomberg / Wall Street Journal)

4/ Jim Jordan will force a House vote on Tuesday in his bid for speaker after winning the support of several key Republican skeptics. Reps. Mike Rogers and Ann Wagner were “hard no” on Jordan last week, but have now publicly endorsed the Ohioan, as have Ken Calvert and Vern Buchanan. Jordan needs to win at least 217 votes to become speaker in a chamber that is narrowly divided between 221 Republicans and 212 Democrats. He still faces an uphill climb to be elected speaker and can only lose four Republicans if every member votes. The House has been without a permanent speaker for nearly two weeks after eight Republicans sided with Democrats in voting to remove Kevin McCarthy. (The Guardian / Politico / Wall Street Journal / CNN / Axios)

Day 996: "Even when it's difficult."

1/ The House remains leaderless as Steve Scalise doesn’t have the 217 Republican votes needed to become speaker. Despite securing his party’s nomination over Jim Jordan in a conference-wide vote, at least 12 Republicans have publicly refused to back Scalise and more have expressed frustration or skepticism about his leadership. A two-hour, closed-door Republican meeting was described as unproductive and that no candidate is close to garnering the 217 Republican votes needed to win the speaker’s gavel. Without a speaker, the House is paralyzed and unable to move forward on any major items, including spending legislation and aid for Israel and Ukraine. (NBC News / Politico / Washington Post / New York Times / Wall Street Journal / CNBC / Associated Press / CNN)

2/ Federal prosecutors indicted Sen. Bob Menendez on charges of conspiring to act as an illegal foreign agent of Egypt while serving as the chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. The superseding indictment comes three weeks after a federal grand jury charged Menendez with accepting “hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes” in exchange for his political influence. The new indictment alleges that Menendez “provided sensitive U.S. Government information and took other steps that secretly aided the Government of Egypt.” (Politico / Axios / New York Times / NBC News / Washington Post / Wall Street Journal / CNN / Associated Press)

3/ The U.S. urged Israel to avoid civilian casualties as the Israeli military said its preparing “for the next stage of the war” “to change the reality” in Gaza. Following Hamas’ terror attacks, which have killed more than 1,200 people, Israeli military officials said they’re now ready to “go on the offense” within Gaza. Israeli officials said they plan to capture or kill all of Hamas’s leaders, destroy the group’s militant units and underground tunnel network, and make it impossible for the terrorist organization to govern Gaza. The country has called up 360,000 reservists, who have started massing near the border with Gaza for an imminent ground invasion. Following a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken condemned Hamas’ “reign of terror” while calling for “every possible precaution” to avoid harming civilians, saying “we democracies distinguish ourselves from terrorists by striving for a different standard, even when it’s difficult.” Netanyahu thanked Blinken for the support and then called for “moral clarity,” saying Hamas should be “crushed” and “spat out from the community of nations.” So far, at least 1,537 Palestinians have been killed after six days of Israeli airstrikes on Gaza. An additional 6,612 people have been injured. More than 338,000 Palestinians are currently homeless and in search of safety, but the territory’s exits – into Israel and Egypt – are both closed. Israel has also cut off supplies of electricity, food, water, and fuel as part of its “complete siege” on the enclave – a tactic outlawed under international law. Israel said there would be no pause in the siege unless Hamas releases the roughly 150 hostages who are believed to be in Gaza. The United Nations, meanwhile, warned of a developing humanitarian “disaster” in Gaza where the health system “has begun to collapse,” food and water are “quickly running out,” and residents are without reliable electricity. (New York Times / Washington Post / Wall Street Journal / CNN / CNN)

  • The U.S. and Qatar agreed to stop Iran from accessing $6 billion for humanitarian assistance in light of Hamas’s attack on Israel. The funds had been negotiated as part of a prisoner release deal last month. (New York Times / Washington Post)

4/ Inflation rose 3.7% from a year earlier, reinforcing the Federal Reserve’s intent to keep interest rates high. On a month-to-month basis, prices increased 0.4% from August to September, compared with a 0.6% rise from August to July. The Bureau of Labor Statistics said housing prices, which rose 7.2% from a year ago, were the largest contributor to September’s figure. Fed officials have signaled that they are likely to leave interest rates unchanged in November, but what happens at the December meeting is less clear, with a roughly 60% chance of no change and a 40% chance of a rate hike. (NBC News / Axios / Wall Street Journal / Bloomberg / CNBC / New York Times / Washington Post / Politico)

Day 995: "Less likely than ever."

1/ Republicans nominated Steve Scalise to be the next speaker, but then the House recessed without voting. Although a majority of the 221 Republicans nominated Scalise for speaker, too many Republicans still plan to vote for Kevin McCarthy, which makes it unlikely that Scalise can win the 217 votes he needs on the House floor to win the speakership. If the House does elect Scalise, the chamber will then be able to restart legislative work – which stalled after McCarthy’s removal – including aid for Israel and funding measures to keep the government open after Nov. 17. (New York Times / Washington Post / The Hill / ABC News / NBC News / CNN / CNBC / Axios / Bloomberg)

2/ Federal prosecutors charged George Santos with 10 additional counts in a superseding indictment, accusing him of stealing the identities of donors and then fraudulently charging their credit cards to spend thousands of dollars. The new charges also include allegations that Santos embezzled money and conspired to falsify donation totals in order to hit fundraising targets set by national Republicans. Santos now faces 23 charges in the case, including the 13 filed against him earlier this year for wire fraud, money laundering, theft of public funds, and lying to Congress. Santos vowed not to resign or pursue a plea bargain. A group of House Republicans from New York, meanwhile, plan to introduce a resolution to expel Santos from Congress. (ABC News / Axios / CBS News / NBC News / Washington Post / NPR / Politico / NPR / CNN / Associated Press)

3/ The Biden administration plans to ask Congress to approve a funding package for Israel, Ukraine, Taiwan, and U.S. border security. Lawmakers in both parties have pledged to send funding to Israel, but additional help for Ukraine will likely come down to a far-right group of conservatives in the House, despite bipartisan support in both chambers. Two weeks ago, House Republicans opposed $300 million for Ukraine. Since then, numerous House Republicans have said they’re skeptical of the idea of linking the aid to Israel and Ukraine in a single package. (NBC News / Politico)

4/ North Carolina Republicans overrode the Democratic governor’s veto of two election bills and enacted vote-count restrictions and weakened the governor’s ability to oversee elections. One law eliminates Gov. Roy Cooper’s power to appoint the State Board of Elections. Now, Republican legislators, who hold supermajorities in the state’s House and Senate, will appoint boards with equal numbers of Democrats and Republicans. The legislation, however, doesn’t spell out how the boards will resolve most deadlocks. The other law ends a three-day grace period to receive and count absentee ballots as long as they are postmarked by Election Day. (NPR / Washington Post / Politico / CNN / Axios / NBC News)

5/ The world is “less likely than ever” to meet the Paris Agreement goal of limiting global warming to 1.5C, according to DNV’s annual Energy Transition Outlook. The report finds that between 2017 and 2022, renewables met 51% of new energy demand, but fossil-fuel usage continued growing in absolute terms. To limit warming to 1.5°C by 2050, CO2 emissions would need to halve by 2030. DNV’s “most likely” forecast sees temperature rise of 2.2°C by 2100. ExxonMobil, meanwhile, is buying its oil and gas rival for $59.5 billion, betting that the transition away from fossil fuels will play out at a much slower pace. (Axios / Bloomberg)

Day 994: "Proportionate."

1/ Biden condemned Hamas’ attack on Israel, saying “this is terrorism” and that Israel has a right to respond to this “act of sheer evil.” Comparing Hamas to the terrorist group ISIS, Biden said: “Our hearts may be broken but our resolve is clear. We’ll make sure the Jewish and democratic state of Israel can defend itself today, tomorrow as we always have,” promising ammunition and other assistance to ensure “Israel does not run out of these critical assets to defend its cities and its citizens.” Biden also said he would ask Congress to urgently “fund the national security requirements of our critical partners.” The unprecedented cross-border assault by Hamas militants over the weekend killed more than 1,000 people in Israel, including at least 14 Americans. While the Biden administration urged Israel to respond to the attack in a “proportionate” manner, it didn’t set any red lines. Israel has since mobilized 360,000 reservists and ordered a “complete siege” and bombardment of the Gaza Strip, where at least 900 Palestinians have been killed, including 260 children, and another 4,500 have been wounded so far. Biden’s national security adviser, meanwhile, accused Iran of being “complicit” in Hamas’ attack, saying: “They have provided the lion’s share of the funding for the military wing of Hamas. They provide training, they have provided capabilities, they have provided support, and they have had engagement in contact with Hamas over the years and years.” The Pentagon also warned Iran and Hezbollah – an Iran-backed militia in Lebanon – against joining the fighting. (Associated Press / NPR / New York Times / Washington Post / NBC News / Wall Street Journal / Politico / CNN / ABC News / Bloomberg / CNBC)

2/ Republicans are still divided on who will be the next House speaker, though a group of Kevin McCarthy’s allies have discussed nominating him again for speaker. House Republicans are scheduled to hear from Steve Scalise and Jim Jordan – the two current declared Republicans contenders for speaker. A party vote is scheduled for Wednesday, followed by a formal election on the floor. It’s not clear, however, if Jordan, Scalise, or McCarthy can get the 217 votes needed to earn the speaker’s gavel. (Politico / ABC News / NBC News / New York Times / CNN / CNBC / Wall Street Journal)

  • 📌 SNAFU Week Notable: The House voted to remove Kevin McCarthy as speaker – a first in U.S. history. A contingent of eight hard-right conservatives joined Democrats to strip McCarthy of the speaker’s gavel in a 216-to-210 vote. The House will now be forced to hold votes on a new speaker, though it’s not clear that any other Republican could win enough votes to secure the gavel. It took McCarthy 15 rounds of voting to secure the position in January. (Associated Press / New York Times / NPR / Washington Post / Wall Street Journal)

3/ Justice Clarence Thomas renewed his call for the Supreme Court to reconsider libel laws as the court declined to revisit the landmark 1964 First Amendment decision in New York Times v. Sullivan, which required public figures suing for defamation to prove that the defendant had acted with “actual malice.” In his own separate opinion, Thomas said that while he agreed the court shouldn’t take up Blankenship v. NBCUniversal, leaving the precedent in place “comes at a heavy cost, allowing media organizations and interest groups ‘to cast false aspersions on public figures with near impunity.’” Thomas has come under recent scrutiny for failing to disclose that he’s accepted at least 38 vacations, 26 private jet flights, eight flights by helicopter, a dozen VIP passes to sporting events, two stays at luxury resorts in Florida and Jamaica, and a standing invitation to play at a high-end private golf club in Florida from several billionaire benefactors since 1991. (CNN / New York Times / Forbes / Rolling Stone)

4/ Trump’s $250 million civil fraud trial entered its second week with the Trump Organization’s longtime finance chief taking the stand. Allen Weisselberg testified that he once certified that Trump’s financial statements were “true, correct and complete” to prevent a loan default; that he urged the firm’s controller to add a 30% brand premium for seven of Trump’s golf courses; and that from 2011 until Trump became president, he would give Trump the statements of financial condition before they were finalized. After Trump was elected, Weisselberg said he would give the statements to Trump Jr. or Eric Trump. New York Attorney General Letitia James sued Trump, Trump Jr., Eric Trump, and Trump Organization executives last year, accusing them of engaging in a decade-long scheme of “numerous acts of fraud and misrepresentation” to inflate Trump’s net worth while lowering his tax burden. The trial is expected to run until December. Trump, meanwhile, again demanded that the trial be dismissed because –he claims – it’s “an Election Interference Witch Hunt, and everybody knows it.” Separately, Trump faces four upcoming criminal trials: federal and state charges in Georgia for allegedly trying to overturn the 2020 election; federal charges in Florida for allegedly possessing classified documents after leaving office and obstructing government efforts to get them back; and state charges in New York for allegedly falsifying business records in connection to a hush money payment in 2016. (ABC News / NBC News / Wall Street Journal / Associated Press / Washington Post)

  • 📌 SNAFU Week Notable: The judge overseeing Trump’s civil trial over alleged business fraud issued a gag order barring Trump from making public comments about the case. The decision by Judge Arthur Engoron came after Trump attacked one of his law clerks on social media. (Washington Post / NBC News)

  • 📌 SNAFU Week Notable: Trump walked out of the courtroom during his civil fraud trial and complained that he was being taken away from his Republican presidential primary campaign because he was “stuck” in court. (CNBC / NBC News)

5/ Special counsel Jack Smith asked the judge overseeing Trump’s federal election obstruction case to implement protections for potential jurors, calling Trump’s use of social media a “weapon of intimidation.” The government asked for “limited” restrictions on how both sides can research and use information about prospective jurors, but requested that the court “strictly enforce” existing rules that shield jurors’ personal information. Smith’s team noted that the judge in Trump’s $250 million New York state civil fraud trial imposed a gag order last week after Trump disparaged his law clerk online. “Given that the defendant — after apparently reviewing opposition research on court staff — chose to use social media to publicly attack a court staffer, there is cause for concern about what he may do with social media research on potential jurors in this case,” the prosecutors wrote. Judge Tanya Chutkan is set to hear oral arguments on the government’s proposed limited gag order next week. (Bloomberg / ABC News)

6/ Biden voluntary met with the special counsel investigating how classified documents ended up at his private office and Delaware home. Special counsel Robert Hur is examining the retention of classified documents from Biden’s time as a senator and as vice president. Biden has said he was unaware he had the documents and that “there’s no there there.” (Associated Press / New York Times / CNN / Washington Post / NBC News)

🔮 Dept. of Magical Thinking.

  1. 46% of registered voters in Nevada said they’d support Biden in a hypothetical 2024 matchup with Trump (45%). Biden won Nevada by just over 2 percentage points in 2020. (CNN)

✏️ Notables: SNAFU Week Edition.

  1. Hours before a potential government shutdown, Congress passed bipartisan legislation to fund the government through Nov. 17. The legislation includes $16 billion in emergency disaster assistance and extends authorization for the FAA through the end of the year. It does not, however, include any additional aid to Ukraine, despite bipartisan support in the Senate. (New York Times / Washington Post / NPR / CNN / Wall Street Journal)

  2. Biden approved $9 billion in student loan forgiveness for 125,000 Americans, who qualified under existing programs, including the income-driven repayment plans and Public Service Loan Forgiveness. (CNBC / New York Times)

  3. The Biden administration will expand Trump’s wall on the Mexican border, waiving 26 federal laws and regulations to allow for the construction of physical barriers. The funds for the new construction were appropriated in 2019 –before Biden took office. The law requires the funding to be used as approved and the construction to be completed in 2023. “The money was appropriated for the border wall,” Biden said. “I can’t stop that.” When asked if border walls work, Biden answered: “No.” (Associated Press / New York Times / CNN)

  4. Trump shared classified information about U.S. Navy nuclear submarines with an Australian businessman at Mar-a-Lago shortly after he left office, including the number of nuclear warheads they can carry and how close they can get to Russian vessels without being detected. The Australian billionaire, Anthony Pratt, then allegedly shared the information with others, including more than a dozen foreign officials, several of his own employees, and a handful of journalists. (Bloomberg / New York Times / ABC News)

  5. Robert F. Kennedy Jr. will run as an independent for president. Kennedy, who has actively promoted conspiracy theories, accused Democratic leadership of “hijacking the party machinery” to stifle his challenge to Biden. Some of Kennedy’s siblings, meanwhile, issued a joint statement denounced his decision to run against Biden in a general election, calling “perilous for our country.” (New York Times / CNN)

Day 982: "Something dangerous happening in America."

1/ Instead of negotiating a deal to fund the government, Matt Gaetz and Kevin McCarthy got into a heated exchange during a closed-doors meeting with House Republicans. Gaetz accused McCarthy of paying social media influencers to attack him online. McCarthy responded that he wouldn’t waste his time or money on Gaetz. The Senate, meanwhile, has put together a bipartisan deal to temporarily fund the government and avert a shutdown, which House Republicans have largely dismissed because it “does nothing to deal with the border security” and contains additional aid for Ukraine. Further complicating matters is that at least 10 far-right conservative House lawmakers have declared that they will not vote for any stopgap measure under any circumstance. Lawmakers have until Sept. 30 to reach a deal to fund the government. If Congress doesn’t act, the government will shut down at 12:01 a.m. ET on Sunday. The government, meanwhile, started notifying the roughly 2 million federal workers and 1.3 million active-duty troops that a shutdown appears imminent. (Axios / Politico / CNN / New York Times / Wall Street Journal / CNBC / ABC News)

2/ Instead of negotiating a deal to fund the government, House Republicans held their first impeachment inquiry hearing into Biden. The House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer and his Republican colleagues on the Judiciary, and Ways and Means committees have yet to provide any evidence of wrongdoing by Biden, but continue to promise to present “two dozen pieces of evidence revealing Joe Biden’s corruption and abuse of public office.” Further, a Republican-picked witness said during the hearing that “the current evidence doesn’t support articles of impeachment,” but suggested that an inquiry was still warranted anyway. Democrats, meanwhile, accused Republicans of trying to impeach Biden as retribution for the House having twice impeached Trump. (NBC News / Axios / Associated Press / NPR / Washington Post / Politico)

3/ Instead of negotiating a deal to fund the government, the Senate adopted a resolution formally requiring men to wear a coat, tie, and pants. The move follows Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s request that the Senate’s sergeant-at-arms stop enforcing the chamber’s informal dress code, which was widely viewed to be inspired by Sen. John Fetterman, who often wears casual clothes. The bill, however, doesn’t specify what is deemed as business attire for women on the Senate floor. (Axios / Politico / CNN / Washington Post)

4/ The federal judge overseeing Trump’s election interference case denied his demand that she recuse herself. Trump had argued that U.S. District Judge Tanya S. Chutkan’s previous comments – “Presidents are not kings, and Plaintiff is not President”; and that Jan. 6 defendants had “blind loyalty to one person who, by the way, remains free to this day” – suggested a bias against him that could taint the proceedings. In declining Trump’s request to recuse herself, Chutkan said Trump had applied a “hypersensitive, cynical, and suspicious” reading of her statements when sentencing Jan. 6 defendants and that the “statements certainly do not manifest a deep-seated prejudice that would make fair judgment impossible.” Trump’s trial is set to begin in March. (New York Times / NBC News / Washington Post / CNN / Associated Press / ABC News / Politico / Bloomberg)

5/ Biden will deliver a speech today on the state of democracy in America and the existential threats facing the country. Biden is expected to argue that “there is something dangerous happening in America” and how Trump and his allies represent an “extremist movement that does not share the basic beliefs of our democracy.” Biden’s address follows a Trump rally at a nonunion Michigan auto parts factory, where he repeatedly demanded the endorsement of the United Automobile Workers or else warned “It’s a government assassination of your jobs and of your industry, the auto industry is being assassinated.” Biden campaign called Trump’s speech “low-energy,” “incoherent,” and “pathetic” attempt to win the support of blue collar workers at a nonunion shop. (NBC News / Associated Press / CNBC / New York Times / Washington Post / The Hill)

🔮 Dept. of Magical Thinking.

  1. 56% of registered voters say Congress should not hold hearings to start the process of removing Biden from office, while 39% say it should. (NBC News)
  2. Trump is supported by 58% of the potential Republican primary electorate – 43 points ahead of Ron DeSantis with 15%. A front-runner in September hasn’t had a polling lead this large in 24 years. (CNN)

Day 981: "Total annihilation."

1/ A federal government shutdown looks increasingly likely as Kevin McCarthy lacks the votes needed to pass a short-term spending bill and House Republicans have indicated they won’t consider the Senate’s bipartisan plan to fund the government. Far-right conservatives in the House have pushed for deep spending cuts – that won’t pass the Democratic-controlled Senate – while also threatening to remove McCarthy as speaker. And although the Senate advanced a bipartisan continuing resolution, McCarthy rejected the idea because the proposal contains aid to Ukraine, which a number of House Republicans oppose. The Senate bill, however, would likely pass the House with Democratic votes, but McCarthy would risk fracturing the Republican conference that has repeatedly threatened to remove him as speaker. The government will shut down at 12:01 a.m. ET Sunday if Congress doesn’t pass a funding bill. (Washington Post / Associated Press / The Hill / CNN / NBC News / Wall Street Journal / Politico)

2/ Sen. Bob Menendez, his wife, and two business associates all pleaded not guilty court on federal bribery and extortion charges. Menendez has resisted calls from at least 30 of his fellow Democrats to resign despite authorities alleging that he used his “power and influence as a Senator” in exchange for hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes, including “cash, gold, payments toward a home mortgage, compensation for a low-or-no-show job, a luxury vehicle” and more. It’s the second time in eight years that Menendez has been indicted on federal bribery and corruption charges. (ABC News / Axios / CNN / Washington Post / New York Times / Associated Press)

3/ The Federal Communications Commission plans to reinstate net neutrality rules that Trump repealed. The proposal would bar broadband providers from blocking or throttling internet traffic to some websites and speeding up access to others that pay extra. FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel called broadband access “not a luxury, it’s a necessity,” adding: “It is essential infrastructure for modern life. No-one without it has a fair shot at 21st century success. We need broadband to reach 100% of us, and it needs to be fast, open and fair.” Rosenworcel said the FCC “seeks to largely return to the successful rules the Commission adopted in 2015,” which would classify broadband as essential infrastructure on a par with water, power, and phone service. (TechCrunch / The Verge / The Hill / Politico)

4/ About 18 million Americans – nearly 7% of all U.S. adults – have had long COVID. The new data from the CDC also found that nearly twice as many women (4.4%) have had long COVID compared to men (2.3%). Long COVID is a condition that occurs when patients still have symptoms, including fatigue, difficulty breathing, headaches, brain fog, joint and muscle pain, and continued loss of taste and smell, at least four weeks after they have cleared the infection. (ABC News / CBS News)

5/ Hunter Biden sued Rudy Giuliani and his former attorney, claiming they violated computer fraud and data access laws. In the lawsuit, Hunter Biden accuses Giuliani and his former lawyer, Robert Costello, of “hacking into, tampering with, manipulating, copying, disseminating, and generally obsessing over data that they were given that was taken or stolen from” his devices, claiming they caused “total annihilation” of his digital privacy. Hunter Biden claimed that his data was “manipulated, altered, and damaged” before Giuliani and Costello received it, and that the pair made “further alterations and damage to the data to a degree that is presently unknown to Plaintiff.” The suit seeks more than $75,000 in damages, as well as to bar the two from accessing or copying Biden’s data. (NBC News / Politico / CNBC / CNN)

6/ The second Republican debate will take place at 9 p.m. ET today and air on Fox News Channel and Fox Business. Seven candidates will appear on the stage: Doug Burgum, Chris Christie, Ron DeSantis, Nikki Haley, Mike Pence, Vivek Ramaswamy, and Tim Scott. (NBC News / Bloomberg)

📊 Dept. of Magical Thinking.

  1. 45% of registered voters said they’d cast their ballots for Biden in a 2024 hypothetical matchup, while 40% said the same for Trump. (The Hill)
  2. 52% of Americans said they’d support Trump in a hypothetical 2024 matchup, while 42% said they’d support Biden. (ABC News)
  3. 53% of Republicans said Trump was a person of faith, while 23% said Biden is a person of faith. (Deseret News)
  4. 69% of Republican voters see Trump as a political outsider. By comparison, 57% see Ron DeSantis as being more inside the political establishment. (Monmouth University Poll)

Day 980: "Stick with it."

1/ The Senate announced a bipartisan deal to keep the government open through mid-November and provide $6 billion in assistance to Ukraine. The stopgap measure to avert an Oct. 1 shutdown still needs to clear several procedural hurdles before full Senate approval. It then needs to overcome gridlock in the Republican-controlled House, where conservatives have threatened to remove Kevin McCarthy as speaker and delay the bill over Ukraine funding. (New York Times / Bloomberg / CNN / Politico / Washington Post)

2/ The Supreme Court – for the second time in three months – rejected Alabama’s request to use a congressional map that includes only one majority-Black district. In June, the court ruled that Alabama’s Republican-drawn congressional map violated the Voting Rights Act and ordered the state to redraw its seven-seat congressional map to include a second majority-Black district or “something quite close to it.” 27% of the state’s voting population is Black. A court-appointed special master submitted proposals for three districting plans yesterday, each of which would create a second majority- or near-majority-Black district. The three-judge panel is scheduled to meet next week to choose one. (NBC News / Politico / NPR / Washington Post / New York Times / CNN / Axios)

3/ Biden urged striking auto workers to “stick with it” during a picket line visit at a General Motors facility in Detroit, marking the first time a sitting president has joined a picket line. “You deserve what you earned, and you’ve earned a hell of a lot more than you’re getting paid now,” Biden told the workers. The strike is now in its 12th day and centers on a 36% wage increase, a return to traditional pensions, retiree health care, and a 32-hour workweek. The United Auto Workers represents 146,000 workers at General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler’s parent company Stellantis. (Associated Press / NBC News / NPR / New York Times / Politico / Washington Post / Bloomberg / CNBC / Axios / Wall Street Journal)

4/ The Federal Trade Commission and 17 states sued Amazon, alleging that the company violated antitrust laws to keep prices artificially high, lock sellers into its platform, and harm its rivals. The FTC argues that Amazon “uses a set of interlocking anticompetitive and unfair strategies to illegally maintain its monopoly power” by punishing sellers for offering lower prices elsewhere and pressuring them into paying for Amazon’s delivery network. “At the very least, any relief would require that the company halt those tactics,” FTC Chair Lina Khan said. “Effective relief also needs to be restoring competition to this market, which we’ll be asking the judge to do as well.” If the FTC suit is successful, it could lead to a court-ordered restructuring of the $1.3 trillion company. (NPR / New York Times / NBC News / Wall Street Journal / Bloomberg / Politico)

5/ A judge ruled that Trump, Trump Jr., Eric Trump and the Trump Organization fraudulently inflated the value of assets to obtain favorable loans and lower insurance premiums. Judge Arthur Engoron, ruling in a civil lawsuit brought by Attorney General Letitia James, ordered that some of Trump’s business licenses be rescinded. As a result, the Trump Organization and some of its sister companies will be sent into receivership where a court-appointed officer will manage the dissolution of the canceled LLCs. Engoron’s ruling, however, didn’t settle six other issues in the case, which is scheduled to go to trial on Oct. 2. The trial will now focus on allegations related to falsification of business records, issuing false financial statements, insurance fraud, and conspiracy. James is seeking $250 million in damages in the case. (CBS News / CNBC / Bloomberg / Associated Press / New York Times)

6/ Trump claimed he’s being “unconstitutionally silence[d]” by special counsel Jack Smith, who requested a “narrowly tailored” gag order in the election interference case. After Trump tried to “undermine confidence in the criminal justice system and prejudice the jury pool,” Smith asked a federal judge to bar Trump from further making statements “regarding the identity, testimony, or credibility of prospective witnesses,” and “about any party, witness, attorney, court personnel, or potential jurors that are disparaging and inflammatory, or intimidating.” Trump claims that federal prosecutors are seeking to “muzzle” him “during the most important months of his campaign” for president. Trump, meanwhile, has continued to attack Smith online, calling him “deranged,” and has previously called U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan “very biased & unfair,” and accused her of being a “radical Obama hack.” (CNBC / CBS News / Politico / Axios)

Day 979: "Safer than ever."

1/ Trump vowed to investigate NBC News and MSNBC for “country threatening treason” and make them “pay a big price” if he gets reelected. On his personal social media platform, Trump claimed that Comcast, the parent company of NBC News and MSNBC, is not “entitled to use the very valuable Airwaves of the USA” for free because of their “knowingly dishonest and corrupt coverage of people, things, and events.” Despite being the featured interview guest on NBC’s “Meet the Press” last week, Trump repeated his baseless claim that the media is “THE ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE!” that “should pay a big price for what they have done to our once great Country!” The White House called Trump’s threats “an outrageous attack on our democracy and the rule of law.” (The Guardian / The Hill / Forbes / Talking Points Memo / Mediate)

2/ Trump suggested that Joint Chiefs Chairman Mark Milley should be executed for reassuring the Chinese that Trump was not planning an attack them following the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection. Milley made two calls to China in the waning months of Trump’s presidency: The first was October 2020 when the Chinese had become concerned that Trump would preemptively attack them because he was losing the 2020 election. And the second was two days after the Capitol attack to again reassure the Chinese that Trump was not planning to attack them. Both calls were authorized by Trump-administration officials and coordinated with the rest of the Defense Department and other relevant agencies. Nevertheless, Trump wrote on his personal social media platform that Milley “turned out to be a Woke train wreck who, if the Fake News reporting is correct, was actually dealing with China to give them a heads up on the thinking of the President of the United States. This is an act so egregious that, in times gone by, the punishment would have been DEATH!” (Salon / The Atlantic / Yahoo News)

  • Trump didn’t purchase a Glock firearm after initially tweeting that he had. A since-deleted video posted by Trump’s spokesman, Steven Cheung, showed Trump being shown the firearm and commenting: “I want to buy one.” Another Trump spokesperson clarified that the purchase did not actually happen. Federal law prohibits the sale of guns to people under felony indictment. Trump currently faces 91 counts across four criminal indictment. (The Hill / CNBC / Associated Press)

3/ Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez refused to resign after a federal indictment accusing him of accepting “hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes” in exchange for his political influence. The indictment alleges Menendez and his wife received bribes included “cash, gold bars, payments toward a home mortgage, compensation for a low-or-no-show job, a luxury vehicle and other items of value.” He’s denied all wrongdoing, stating that “the allegations leveled against me are just that: allegations.” Last year, investigators found more than $480,000 in cash “hidden in clothing, closets, and a safe” – much of it stuffed into envelopes and hidden in a safe, closets and clothing, including a jacket with the Senate logo, according to the indictment. Menendez suggested that the cash was “from my personal savings account.” This is the second time Menendez has been indicted on bribery allegations: A 2015 indictment ended in a mistrial. He is up for reelection next year. (CNN / Politico / New York Times / Washington Post / CNBC / NBC News / Bloomberg / Wall Street Journal / ABC News)

4/ The House will reconvene and continue budget negotiations tomorrow with six days until a government shutdown. Kevin McCarthy will try to move forward on four spending bills, even though they’re unlikely to pass in the Democratic-controlled Senate. The House Freedom Caucus, however, has signaled they’ll continue to block any short-term spending bill, seeking deep spending cuts and limits on aid to Ukraine, among other demands. The House recessed last week after being unable to pass a basic rules measure to debate a Pentagon funding bill. McCarthy can lose only four Republican votes to pass legislation without having to rely on Democratic support. (Politico / CNN / New York Times / Wall Street Journal / CNBC)

✏️ Notables.

  1. Trump argued that the First Amendment protects him from being barred from the 2024 ballot. A group in Colorado has filed a lawsuit seeking to block Trump from the ballot under a clause in the U.S. Constitution aimed at candidates who have supported an “insurrection.” Trump’s lawyer argued that the clause doesn’t apply because “the Fourteenth Amendment applies to one who ‘engaged in insurrection or rebellion,’ not one who only ‘instigated’ any action.” (Associated Press)

  2. The Biden administration has allocated more than $1.4 billion to improve railway safety and boost capacity. The money from the 2021 infrastructure law is funding 70 projects in 35 states and Washington, D.C. (Associated Press)

  3. A group of 25 state governors and the Biden administration pledged to quadruple the number of heat pumps in U.S. homes by 2030, from 4.7 million to 20 million. Buildings account for more than 30% of global greenhouse gas emissions. (Associated Press)

  4. Fracking wells in the U.S. have used about 1.5 trillion gallons of water to extract fossil fuels since 2011 – as much tap water the entire state of Texas uses in a year. Fracking a single oil or gas well can use 40 million gallons of water or more. (New York Times)

  5. The International Energy Agency and the COP28 climate summit are urging the U.S. and China to forge an agreement on confronting global warming. The U.S. and China are the world’s biggest emitters of carbon dioxide. (Washington Post)

  6. Ron DeSantis suggested that humans are “safer than ever” from climate change. DeSantis’ remarks come less than a year after Hurricane Ian, the second-deadliest storm the continental U.S. has seen in decades. DeSantis, meanwhile, promised to roll back several of the Biden administration’s climate initiatives, calling them “part of an agenda to control you and to control our behavior.” (Politico / New York Times)

Day 975: "Burn the whole place down."

1/ Kevin McCarthy canceled House votes and sent members home for the weekend despite nine days remaining until a shutdown and no plan to fund the government. For the second time in three days five conservative Republicans tanked a procedural vote to start debate on a key military funding bill. McCarthy had planned to pass the defense bill – one of the 12 fiscal 2024 appropriations bills that both the House and Senate need to pass to fund the government – and begin work on a short-term funding bill to keep the entire government funded beyond Sept. 30. The House Freedom Caucus, however, has continued to demand even lower spending levels and no more aid for Ukraine – two proposals that would be dead on arrival in the Democratic-controlled Senate. “This is a whole new concept of individuals that just want to burn the whole place down,” McCarthy said. “It doesn’t work.” Trump, meanwhile, called on Republicans to “defund all aspects” of the “weaponized” Biden administration, claiming it’s their “last chance” to stop his “political prosecutions.” (CNBC / Axios / CNN / Wall Street Journal / Washington Post / New York Times / Bloomberg / Politico / NBC News)

2/ The Senate voted to confirm three key military promotions despite a monthslong blockade by Sen. Tommy Tuberville, who is protesting the Pentagon’s policy of reimbursing troops who must go across state lines to seek an abortion. To get past Tuberville’s hold on nominees, Chuck Schumer forced a full Senate vote to confirm the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Marine Corps commandant, and the Army chief of staff. “Senator Tuberville is forcing us to face his obstruction head on,” Schumer said. “I want to make clear to my Republican colleagues — this cannot continue.” More than 300 military promotions, however, remain in limbo. (CNN / Politico / Washington Post / Bloomberg / NPR / New York Times / Associated Press / NPR)

3/ The Biden administration will offer temporary legal status to about 472,000 Venezuelan migrants who arrived in the U.S. before July 31. The move will protect Venezuelans already in the U.S. from deportation and allow them to live and work legally in the country for 18 months. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas granted the expansion due to “Venezuela’s increased instability and lack of safety due to the enduring humanitarian, security, political, and environmental conditions.” Temporary Protected Status is not a pathway to permanent residency. (Associated Press / Washington Post / New York Times / NPR)

4/ Trump instructed a former assistant to tell federal investigators that she didn’t know anything about the boxes containing classified documents at Mar-a-Lago. Molly Michael said that after Trump heard the FBI wanted to interview her last year, Trump allegedly told her, “You don’t know anything about the boxes.” Michael also told investigators that Trump would write to-do lists for her using documents that were marked classified. (ABC News / New York Times)

  • Trump Privately Frets He Could Be Headed to Prison. “The former president and 2024 GOP frontrunner has wondered aloud in recent months about what life would be like if he’s convicted, and if appeals fail. While Trump publicly professes confidence, privately, three sources familiar with his comments say, he’s been asking lawyers and other people close to him what a prison sentence would look like for a former American president.” (Rolling Stone)

5/ A former White House aide accused Rudy Giuliani of groping her on the day of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. Cassidy Hutchinson described meeting with Giuliani backstage at Trump’s speech – before his supporters marched on Congress in an attempt to overturn the 2020 election – where he put his hands “under my blazer, then my skirt.” Last year, Hutchinson testified that Trump knew some of his supporters were armed when he directed them to march on the Capitol on Jan. 6, and that both Trump and Mark Meadows ignored warnings about potential violence. (The Guardian / CNN / USA Today / CNBC)

  • Rudy Giuliani’s former lawyers sued him for $1.3 million in unpaid legal fees. The lawsuit alleges that Giuliani hadagreed to pay over $1.5 million to the law firm Davidoff Hutcher & Citron for more than three years’ worth of legal representation, but has only paid $214,000 to date. (Politico / Washington Post / NBC News / Insider)

poll/ 28% of Americans say they don’t like either political party – more than quadruple the share that said the same thing 30 years ago. In 1994, 6% of Americans viewed both parties negatively. (Pew Research Center)

Day 974: "This is important."

1/ Increases in wildfire smoke have reversed two decades of improvements to air quality in three-quarters of all U.S. states. New research shows that from 2000 to 2022, “wildfires have undone 25% of previous progress” that resulted from the Clean Air Act of 1963. A noticeable shift in the overall trend began in 2015 with wildfire smoke having a statistically significant effect on PM 2.5 – very small particles that can travel into the lungs and bloodstream – trends in 35 out of 48 continental states. Some states have rolled back 50% or more of their progress since 2000, while others have completely erased their gains. More than two billion people globally were exposed to a day or more of wildfire-related air pollution each year between 2010 and 2019. (NBC News / New York Times / Washington Post)

2/ Biden announced the first-ever “American Climate Corps,” an initiative to train more than 20,000 young people for jobs in clean energy and climate resilience. Modeled on the New Deal-era Civilian Conservation Corps – which put millions to work during the Great Depression – the American Climate Corps provide young people with skills to work in wind and solar production and installation, disaster preparedness, forest management, coastal restoration, and land conservation. All participants in the program will be paid, and most positions will not require previous experience. “This is important because we’re not only opening up pathways to bold climate action, we’re not just opening up pathways to decarbonization, we’re opening up pathways to good paying careers, lifetimes of being involved in the work of making our communities more sustainable, more fair, more resilient in the face of a changing climate,” White House climate policy adviser Ali Zaidi said. (NPR / NBC News / New York Times / Bloomberg / Washington Post / CNN / CBS News / Axios)

3/ The Biden administration will resume offering free at-home Covid-19 tests through the mail. Starting next week, Americans can order four free tests from COVIDTests.gov. Covid-19 hospitalizations have surpassed 20,000 for the first time since mid-March, but remain far below the 2021-22 omicron peak of 150,674. (ABC News / Axios / CNBC / New York Times)

4/ The Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged at a level between 5.25 and 5.5% – the highest level in 22 years. Fed officials, however, indicated that they expect to raise rates one more time this year, but with fewer rate cuts in 2024 and 2025 than previously estimated. They now expect to cut the federal funds rate to 5.1% by the end of 2024, 3.9% by the end of 2025, and 2.9% at the end of 2026. The central bank has raised rates 11 times in the last 18 months – the most aggressive series of rate hikes since the early 1980s. Inflation, meanwhile, has eased significantly since peaking at 9.1% last summer, but remains more than a percentage point higher than the Federal Reserve’s 2% target. (Wall Street Journal / NPR / Bloomberg / Axios / CNBC / New York Times / Washington Post / NBC News / ABC News)

5/ Attorney General Merrick Garland defended the Justice Department’s independence during a House Judiciary Committee hearing, where Republicans accused him of the “weaponization” of the department’s work to favor Biden and his son, Hunter Biden. “I am not the president’s lawyer,” Garland said. “I will add I am not Congress’ prosecutor. The Justice Department works for the American people.” Garland repeatedly pushed back against House Republicans accusations that he was “slow walking” the Hunter Biden prosecution on tax and gun charges, compared to his department’s two cases against Trump for alleged mishandling of classified documents and efforts to overturn the 2020 election. “Our job is not to do what is politically convenient,” Garland said. “Our job is not to take orders from the president, from Congress, or from anyone else, about who or what to criminally investigate.” (Axios / Associated Press / Politico / New York Times / NBC News / ABC News / CNN / CNBC / Washington Post)

Day 973: "Lots of luck."

1/ Biden and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called on world leaders to remain united in defending Ukraine against Russian aggression. During the annual gathering of world leaders at the U.N. General Assembly, Biden warned that no nation can be secure if “we allow Ukraine to be carved up,” adding that “Russia believes the world will grow weary” of the war and stop providing support and assistance, which will allow Putin to “brutalize Ukraine without consequence.” Zelensky told the assembled leaders that Putin’s goal “is to turn our land, our people, our lives, our resources into a weapon against you, against the international rules-based order,” adding that Russia had weaponized food and energy “not only against our country, but against all of yours as well.” (Wall Street Journal / NBC News / Axios / Associated Press / New York Times / Politico / Washington Post / ABC News)

2/ Kevin McCarthy postponed a key procedural vote on a short-term spending bill aimed at averting a government shutdown amid opposition from more than 15 Freedom Caucus members, who planned to vote against the bill that would cut most non-defense discretionary spending by 8% and institute some Trump-era border policies. It’s the third time in as many months that McCarthy has had to pull a spending bill due to internal opposition, and it’s unclear when or if that vote will get rescheduled. Further, even if the continuing resolution gets approve, it has no chance of winning passage in the Senate, where Democrats hold the majority. With 12 days left to avoid a shutdown and no viable plan to fund the government, McCarthy said: “I won’t give up. I like a challenge. I don’t like this big a challenge, but we’re just going to keep doing it until we fix it.” Meanwhile, some House Republicans have suggested it might be time to begin working with Democrats in the House, where Republicans have a 221-212 majority. (Politico / Washington Post / The Hill / Wall Street Journal / CNN / Axios / CNBC / Associated Press)

3/ House Republicans plan to hold their first hearing next week in their impeachment inquiry into Biden. Despite no evidence that Biden personally benefited from his son’s business deals, the House Oversight Committee said it plans “to follow the evidence and money trail,” as well as the “constitutional and legal questions” surrounding Biden’s involvement in Hunter Biden’s deals. Nevertheless, the committee plans to issue a subpoena for bank records from two of the president’s family members. Republicans in both the House and Senate have also said they don’t think there is enough evidence to proceed with the investigation. Biden, meanwhile, wished House Republicans “lots of luck” on their impeachment inquiry. Last week, Kevin McCarthy directed House committees to open an impeachment inquiry in a move that appears to be aimed at appeasing conservative lawmakers. (CNN / NBC News / NPR / Associated Press / Axios / Washington Post / Bloomberg / CBS News / ABC News / CNBC)

poll/ 64% of voters feel that a Biden-Trump rematch means the political system is broken. 23% say that a rematch means the system is working. (CBS News)

poll/ 65% of Americans say they feel exhausted when thinking about politics, while 55% feel angry, 10% feel hopeful, and 4% are excited. [Editor’s note: Friendly reminder that the goal of this blog/newsletter/podcast is to be the antidote to an impossible political news cycle. Our free, once a day publication aims to present the most important news coming out of Washington in a digestible form for normal people. So if you know other normal people who are also exhausted by politics, consider sharing WTFJHT with them.] (Pew Research Center)

Day 972: "Make better choices."

1/ Kevin McCarthy’s latest short-term funding proposal to avert a government shutdown doesn’t have enough votes to pass. McCarthy can only lose four Republican votes on a continuing resolution deal without relying on Democratic support. However, more than a dozen conservatives have already vowed to not support the plan – negotiated by the House Freedom Caucus and the more moderate Republican Main Street Caucus – to keep the government running until Oct. 31. The measure, which would cut most federal agency budgets by about 8% and resume construction of wall on the southern border, had little chance of passing the Democratic-controlled Senate. Government funding will run out in less than 13 days. (Axios / Politico / Washington Post / New York Times / Bloomberg / CNN / Wall Street Journal)

2/ Federal prosecutors asked the judge overseeing Trump’s indictment for conspiring to overturn the 2020 election to impose “a narrowly tailored” gag order on him. Special counsel Jack Smith’s office cited Trump’s “inflammatory,” “intimidating,” and “near-daily” comments about the case in seeking an order that would prohibit him from attacking prosecutors, witnesses, and the judge. “The defendant has an established practice of issuing inflammatory public statements targeted at individuals or institutions that present an obstacle or challenge to him,” Smith’s office wrote. Trump, nevertheless, responded to Smith’s request by posting on his personal social media site: “I’m campaigning for President against an incompetent person who has WEAPONIZED the DOJ & FBI to go after his Political Opponent, & I am not allowed to COMMENT? How else would I explain that Jack Smith is DERANGED, or Crooked Joe is INCOMPETENT?” (NBC News / Politico / New York Times / CNBC / USA Today)

  • Twitter turned over at least 32 direct messages from Trump’s account to the special counsel. “Newly unsealed court records indicate special counsel Jack Smith’s team warned that former President Trump could “precipitate violence” unless the court shielded its efforts to obtain information on his Twitter account.” (CNN / The Hill)
  • One of Trump’s co-defendants in the Georgia election interference case argued that the case against him should be moved to federal court because his attempts to help overturn the state’s 2020 election results were part of his job duties. Jeffrey Clark allegedly urged the then-acting U.S. Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen to send an official Justice Department letter to Georgia’s governor and legislative leaders saying the department had “identified significant concerns that may have impacted the outcome of the election in multiple States, including the State of Georgia.” Rosen refused to do so. The federal judge, however, was reportedly skeptical of Clark’s efforts to movie his Georgia case to federal court. (NBC News / CNN / The Hill / USA Today / Washington Post)
  • Trump wrote to-do lists for his White House assistant using documents that were marked classified. Molly Michael said “she received requests or taskings from Trump that were written on the back of notecards, and she later recognized those notecards as sensitive White House materials – with visible classification markings – used to brief Trump while he was still in office about phone calls with foreign leaders or other international-related matters.” (ABC News)

3/ Trump accused “liberal Jews” – on the final day of the Jewish New Year celebration – of voting “to destroy America & Israel.” The 2024 Republican presidential front-runner posted a meme on social media from a group that seeks to draw Jewish voters away from the Democratic Party, and commented: “Let’s hope you learned from your mistake & make better choices moving forward! Happy New Year!” It is unclear what prompted his post. (Washington Post / NBC News / The Hill)

4/ Trump, who appointed three Supreme Court justices who helped overturn Roe v. Wade, called Florida’s six-week abortion ban a “terrible mistake.” Although Trump repeatedly ducked questions about what he thinks is appropriate for a federal abortion ban, he claimed that he would “sit down with both sides and I’d negotiate something, and we’ll end up with peace on that issue for the first time in 52 years.” (Washington Post / New York Times / Associated Press)

5/ Biden sent acting Labor Secretary Julie Su and White House senior advisor Gene Sperling to Detroit to help mediate negotiations between the United Auto Workers and the Big Three automakers. About 12,700 of the union’s 150,000 automotive members – about 9% of the unionized workforce – stopped making vehicles and went on strike last week following failed negotiations on cost of living adjustments and quality of life improvements. UAW is seeking a wage increase of 36% over four years, while the carmakers have offered between 17.5% and 20% over 4 1/2 years. The industry is responsible for 3% of America’s gross domestic product. “It’s my hope that the parties can return to the negotiation table to forge a win-win agreement,” Biden said, adding that “even though no one wants a strike […] record corporate profits — which they have — should be shared by record contracts for the UAW.” Trump, meanwhile, accused UAW leadership of failing its members, saying “the autoworkers will not have any jobs […] because all of these cars are going to be made in China.” (NPR / Washington Post / CNBC / USA Today / Associated Press)

poll/ 75% of Americans said they support the United Auto Workers, while 19% sided with the auto companies. (Gallup)

Day 968: "Frustrated with some people."

1/ The world needs to invest $2.7 trillion a year to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 and keep temperatures from rising above 1.5 degrees Celsius this century, according to a new report by Wood Mackenzie. While governments’ existing net zero pledges cover 88% of annual global emissions, no major country is currently on track to even meet their emissions targets by 2030 – let alone 2050 – likely putting the world on track to warm by 2.5C by 2050. Staying below 1.5C, however, is still possible but requires wind and solar to become the world’s main source of power twice as fast while decreasing dependency on fossil fuels from the current 80% to 50%. Demand for fossil fuels are expected to peak around 2030 and fall roughly 25% by 2050 from 2019 levels. (Axios / Reuters / Recharge News / Wood Mackenzie / NBC News)

  • 🔥 Inside Exxon’s strategy to downplay climate change. Internal documents show what the oil giant said publicly was very different from how it approached the issue privately in the Tillerson era. (Wall Street Journal)

2/ A federal judge ruled – again – that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program is illegal. Last year, the Biden administration attempted to preserve the program, which protects nearly 600,000 undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children from deportations, by codifying the policy into a federal regulation. The judge, however, didn’t order an immediate end to the program and current beneficiaries will be able to keep and renew their protection, but no new applications will be allowed. The Biden administration is expected to appeal the decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and the case is likely to end up in the Supreme Court. (Associated Press / ABC News / Washington Post / New York Times / CNN / Bloomberg)

3/ Kevin McCarthy dared his Republican colleagues to make good on their threats to remove him as speaker, saying “If you want to file the motion, file the fucking motion.” The House has passed one of 12 required appropriations bills ahead of a Sept. 30 government funding deadline. Meanwhile, the House Freedom Caucus has opposed a continuing resolution to keep the government temporarily funded unless it includes their policy demands. Members of the caucus have repeatedly threatened to bring the motion to vacate to the floor and force McCarthy out of the speakership if he doesn’t comply with their demands, like ordering an impeachment inquiry into Biden. The motion to vacate was a key part of McCarthy’s deal with the House Freedom Caucus to become speaker of the House after 14 failed rounds of voting. Under their agreement, a single member can call a vote to remove him. If it did come to the full floor, it would need just a simple majority to pass. McCarthy later said that he “showed frustration” in the meeting because he is “frustrated with some people in the conference.” (ABC News / Axios / NBC News / CNN / Wall Street Journal)

4/ A Georgia judge rejected prosecutors’ plan to try all 19 defendants together in the 2020 election interference case in October. Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee said that Kenneth Chesebro and Sidney Powell will stand trial beginning Oct. 23, while Trump and his 16 other co-defendants will move forward on their own schedule, with a trial date yet be announced. McAfee said the decision to split the case into multiple trials was an “absolute necessity,” given the complexity and the burden it would create for the state’s court system. “The Fulton County Courthouse simply contains no courtroom adequately large enough to hold all 19 defendants, their multiple attorneys and support staff, the sheriff’s deputies, court personnel, and the State’s prosecutorial team,” McAfee wrote. (Washington Post / CNN / The Hill / Politico / USA Today / Associated Press / ABC News / NBC News / CNBC)

5/ Hunter Biden was indicted on three criminal counts related to his possession of a gun while using narcotics. Two counts are tied to Hunter Biden allegedly making false statements on a form indicating he was not using illegal drugs when he purchased a firearm in 2018, and a third count on illegally obtaining a firearm while addicted to drugs. Hunter Biden had previously reached a plea deal with David Weiss, who was appointed by Trump, to resolve the matter without charges, but that deal unexpectedly collapsed during a court hearing in July after U.S. Judge Maryellen Noreika expressed concern over the agreement and questioned the breadth of an immunity deal. Hunter Biden could theoretically face as much as 25 years in prison and fines of up to $750,000. (ABC News / Axios / CNN / NBC News / CNBC / New York Times)

poll/ 77% of Americans think there should be a maximum age limit for elected officials, including 76% of Democrats and 79% of Republicans. 45% said the maximum age limit should be 70, while 30% said the maximum age should be either 50 or 60, and 18% said 80 should be the limit. The median age of the Senate is 65, and in the House the median age is 57. (Axios)

Day 967: "Step up."

1/ Inflation accelerated for a second consecutive month – the fastest pace in more than a year – due to a jump in gasoline prices, which accounted for more than half of the increase. Consumer prices rose 0.6% in August from the prior month – the most since inflation peaked at a four-decade high in June 2022 – and up 3.7% from a year earlier. Although prices climbed at a faster monthly pace than expected, the report keeps Federal Reserve officials on track to hold interest rates steady next week after raising rates to a 22-year high in July. The Fed has two more meetings this year – in early November and mid-December – and their decision on whether to lift rates higher will depend on whether price increases continue to slow in coming months. (Wall Street Journal / Bloomberg / New York Times / USA Today / CNBC / ABC News / NBC News / Politico)

2/ A federal judge denied Mark Meadows’ request to pause court proceedings in Fulton County while he appeals the ruling. Last week, U.S. District Judge Steve Jones rejected Meadows’ request to move his case to federal court. Meadows “has not shown he is entitled to an emergency stay,” Jones ruled, adding: “Meadows’s contentions that he would be irreparably harmed by the possibility of facing trial next month are insufficient to carry his burden on the emergency stay requested.” Meadows, meanwhile, appealed the decision to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which granted him an expedited review. (CNBC / CNN / ABC News / Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

3/ A federal judge refused to give Trump permission to discuss classified documents at Mar-a-Lago, where he’s already mishandled classified documents. U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon, however, didn’t specify where the secure facility for reviewing sensitive records for Trump’s trial will be. Trump’s lawyers argued that requiring him to travel to talk about classified information would impose a heavy burden, given the complex logistics and security involved as both a former president and 2024 candidate. Prosecutors, however, told Cannon that Trump was seeking “special treatment that no other criminal defendant would receive.” (Washington Post / New York Times / CNN / CNBC / Bloomberg)

4/ Trump privately discussed impeaching Biden with House Republicans. Trump has been briefed weekly by Elise Stefanik, the third-ranking House Republican, on the impeachment strategy, as well as regularly talked with members of the House Freedom Caucus and other Republicans who’ve pushed for the inquiry. Two nights before Kevin McCarthy announced the impeachment inquiry, Trump had dinner with Marjorie Taylor Greene, who has introduced articles of impeachment against Biden. (New York Times / Politico)

5/ Mitt Romney will not seek re-election, saying it’s time for a “new generation of leaders” beyond Trump and Biden. Romney, 76, noted that he would be in his mid-80s by the end of another term and that it’s time for a new generation to “step up” and “shape the world they’re going to live in.” Romney is the only Republican to vote to convict Trump in both of his impeachment trials. (Washington Post / New York Times / NPR / CNN / Bloomberg)

poll/ 66% of voters support maximum age limits for president, members of Congress (68%), and Supreme Court justices (67%). (Associated Press)

Day 966: "Blind loyalty to one person."

1/ Kevin McCarthy directed three House committees to open an impeachment inquiry into Biden as far-right Republican lawmakers threaten to remove him as speaker. McCarthy said the impeachment inquiry would center on whether Biden benefited from Hunter Biden’s business dealings in Ukraine and elsewhere despite investigations led by Republicans on the House Judiciary and Oversight committees having not uncovered any direct evidence that Biden personally benefited from his son’s business dealings. Notably, McCarthy did not announce a full House vote to open the inquiry and it’s unclear if he has the 218 votes needed to launch a formal inquiry. Several centrist Republican lawmakers oppose the effort. McCarthy, meanwhile, is trying to secure enough votes from far-right Republicans – who have been pushing for a Biden impeachment – to keep the government funded beyond the Sept. 30 deadline to avoid a shutdown. A single Republican, however, can bring a no-confidence vote to the floor to remove McCarthy as speaker, and less than an hour after the announcement Matt Gaetz accused McCarthy of violating the power-sharing agreement he made with the far-right to be elected speaker in January. Gaetz threatened to bring a motion to vacate against McCarthy if he puts a short-term spending bills on the floor instead of holding votes on balancing the budget and term limits. Marjorie Taylor Greene also said she wouldn’t vote to fund the government unless the House opened a formal impeachment inquiry into Biden. The White House called the impeachment inquiry “extreme politics at its worst.” (Washington Post / New York Times / Wall Street Journal / ABC News / NPR / CNN / CNBC / NBC News / Associated Press / Politico / Punchbowl News / Bloomberg)

  • Kevin McCarthy faces a ‘perfect storm’ of demands as a shutdown looms. “With a Sept. 30 deadline, the House speaker confronts right-wing demands to cut spending, limit migration, prop up Trump and impeach Biden — and veiled threats to his gavel.” (NBC News)

2/ A group of Minnesota voters filed a lawsuit seeking to block Trump from the 2024 presidential ballot in the state, citing the “insurrection clause” of the 14th Amendment. It’s the second lawsuit in the past month to try to keep Trump off the ballot in next year’s presidential race under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment. (CNN / ABC News / Associated Press)

3/ Trump demanded that U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan recuse herself from presiding over his election subversion case. Trump’s attorneys claim she made “disqualifying” statements while sentencing two people for their roles in the Jan. 6 attack when she said: “This was nothing less than an attempt to violently overthrow the government, the legally, lawfully, peacefully elected government, by individuals who were mad that their guy lost […] it’s blind loyalty to one person who, by the way, remains free to this day.” Ultimately, the law leaves it up to Chutkan to decide whether her “impartiality might reasonably be questioned” or she has “a personal bias or prejudice concerning a party.” (Washington Post / Associated Press / CBS News / CNBC)

4/ Child poverty in the U.S. more than doubled last year, rising to 12.4% in 2022 from a record low of 5.2% in 2021. The overall poverty rate rose to 12.4% in 2022 from 7.8% in 2021. The spike follows two years of declines that coincided with record inflation and the expiration of Covid-era safety net programs, such as an expanded child tax credit, direct payments to households, enhanced unemployment and nutrition benefits, and increased rental assistance. The expanded child tax credits in particular are credited with lifting millions of children out of poverty and driving down the child poverty rate to a record low of 5.2% in 2021. (Washington Post / Politico / New York Times / NPR / CNN)

Day 965: "Personal grievances."

1/ The FDA approved updated Covid-19 vaccines targeting the omicron XBB.1.5 subvariant. The new vaccines are authorized for people 12 and older and are under emergency use for children 6 months through 11 years old. The CDC is expected to sign off Tuesday on the new boosters, meaning the vaccines could become available in pharmacies, clinics, and doctor’s offices by the end of the week. (The FDA decides who can get a shot; the CDC that recommends who should get it.) Although the XBB.1.5 subvariant accounts for about 3% of new Covid cases, the new shot does protect against EG.5 – the most prevalent variant at the moment which accounts for about 22% of new cases – and similar variants, health officials said. This is the first time the federal government is not buying all the shots, though most Americans with private health insurance or coverage through Medicare or Medicaid should still be able to get the vaccine for free. The estimated 30 million people without health insurance should still be able to a booster for free at community health centers or through the CDC’s Bridge Access Program. (Washington Post / New York Times / NBC News / CNN / Bloomberg / Wall Street Journal / CNBC)

2/ A federal appeals court ruled that the Biden administration most likely violated the First Amendment when it urged social media platforms to remove Covid-19 disinformation. The judges, all Republican nominees, wrote that the administration had “coerced the platforms to make their moderation decisions by way of intimidating messages and threats of adverse consequences” when it came to false or harmful content about Covid-19, the 2020 election, and other topics. The court found that Biden Administration officials had “significantly encouraged the platforms’ decisions by commandeering their decision-making processes.” (NPR / New York Times / CNN / Washington Post)

3/ Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito rejected calls for him to recuse himself from an upcoming tax case despite one of the lawyers involved in the case, David Rivkin, having interviewed him for two articles recently published in the Wall Street Journal. Alito said “there is no valid reason for my recusal in this case,” adding that the argument for him to recuse was “unsound.” Alito claimed that Rivkin was participating in the interviews “as a journalist, not an advocate.” Senate Judiciary Chair Dick Durbin and Democrats on the panel asked that Alito recuse himself from the case, saying Alito used his interviews with Rivkin to “air his personal grievances” and now creates “an appearance of impropriety.” Durbin added that the “Court is in a crisis of its own making, and Justice Alito and the rest of the Court should be doing everything in their power to regain public trust, not the opposite.” (NPR / NBC News / Politico / CNN)

4/ A federal judge denied a request by Mark Meadows to move his Georgia election interference case to federal court, saying “the evidence before the Court overwhelmingly suggests that Meadows was not acting in his scope of executive branch duties during most of the Overt Acts alleged.” Nevertheless, Meadows filed an “emergency motion” asking the same judge to pause the order, claiming that could be “convicted and incarcerated” before his appeal can be heard. U.S. District Judge Steve Jones replied to Meadows’ request by ordering Georgia prosecutors to file a brief in response by Tuesday afternoon. At least four other co-defendants have tried to remove their cases to federal court. (NBC News / Washington Post / Politico / CNN / CNBC)

5/ The Fulton County special grand jury that investigated interference in Georgia’s 2020 presidential election recommended criminal indictments for 21 additional people who were not ultimately charged. Although Trump and 18 allies were charged in a racketeering indictment last month, the grand jury also recommended charging Lindsey Graham, David Perdue, Kelly Loeffler, Michael Flynn, Boris Epshteyn, Cleta Mitchell, and 15 others for crimes related to “the national effort to overturn the 2020 presidential election, focused on efforts in Georgia, Arizona, Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and the District of Columbia.” Graham, who pressed Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and his staff about vote-counting procedures while they were in the middle of an ongoing recount, said “I’ll do the same thing” in the next election if he saw the need. (CNN / Politico / New York Times / CNBC / Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

6/ Trump inflated his net worth by at least $3.6 billion a year from 2011 to 2021. New York Attorney General Letitia James said that for seven years, Trump overstated his wealth from $1.9 billion to $3.6 billion per year. The filing is part of the state’s $250 million civil lawsuit against Trump, Trump Jr., Eric Trump, his business, and some of its top executives. Last month, James asked the court for partial summary judgment against Trump, asserting that a “mountain of undisputed evidence” backed up her allegations. The trial is set begin on Oct. 2, and wrap up by Dec. 22. (CNBC / Bloomberg / NBC News / CNN / ABC News)

Day 961: "Misrepresentations."

1/ Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis accused Jim Jordan of trying to obstruct her prosecution of Trump and his 18 co-defendants for their efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election in Georgia. Last month, Jordan and other Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee demanded that Willis turn over all documents related to her prosecution of Trump, accusing her of coordinating with Biden administration officials. “There is no justification in the Constitution for Congress to interfere with a state criminal matter, as you attempt to do,” Willis said, adding that “the obvious purpose” of Jordan’s request “is to obstruct a Georgia criminal proceeding and to advance outrageous partisan misrepresentations.” (Atlanta Journal-Constitution / NBC News / New York Times / CNBC / The Hill)

  • Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis asked a judge to keep jurors’ names secret. Willis also asked that courtroom cameras not show the jurors and bar the publication of written descriptions of the people on a jury after grand jurors, who issued the indictment against Trump and his allies, were doxed online. (CNBC / CNN)

2/ Trump notified the judge overseeing his Georgia election subversion case that he “may” try to move the state case into federal court. He would be the sixth defendant to file such a motion, joining Mark Meadows, Jeffrey Clark, David Shafer, Cathy Latham, and Shawn Still. Trump now has a month to file a formal notice of removal of the case to federal court in Georgia. (CNN / ABC News / CNBC)

3/ Trump was warned in May 2022 that the FBI could search Mar-a-Lago if he didn’t comply with a grand jury subpoena for the return of all the classified documents. Minutes after Trump’s lawyer, Evan Corcoran, told Trump he needed to comply with the subpoena, a different Trump attorney warned him that Trump is “just going to go ballistic” if he’s pushed to comply with the subpoena. On Aug. 8, 2022, the FBI executed a federal search warrant at Mar-a-Lago and recovered more than 100 classified documents. A Mar-a-Lago IT worker, meanwhile, struck a cooperation agreement with Special Counsel Jack Smith’s office to provide testimony. Yuscil Taveras previously “retracted his prior false testimony” and implicated Trump and others in obstruction of justice. (ABC News / NBC News / CNN / Reuters)

4/ A Trump trade adviser was convicted of criminal contempt of Congress for refusing to comply with a subpoena from the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. Peter Navarro was convicted of two counts of criminal contempt of Congress, each punishable by up to a year behind bars and a fine of up to $100,000. Navarro is the second former Trump aide to be prosecuted for refusing to cooperate with the committee. Steve Bannon was convicted last year on two contempt counts. (New York Times / Washington Post / CNN / NBC News)

poll/ 61% of Americans say they think that Biden had at least some involvement in Hunter Biden’s business dealings, with 42% saying they think he acted illegally, despite Republicans on House Oversight Committee having not presented any direct evidence that Biden personally benefited. (CNN)

poll/ 46% of registered voters say that any Republican presidential nominee would be a better choice than Biden in 2024. 28% of Americans say Biden inspires confidence – down 7 percentage points from March. (CNN)

Day 960: "We have a responsibility."

1/ Biden canceled all seven Trump-issued oil and gas leases in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and prohibited oil drilling in 13 million acres in the federally owned National Petroleum Reserve. “As the climate crisis warms the Arctic more than twice as fast as the rest of the world, we have a responsibility to protect this treasured region for all ages,” Biden said in a statement, adding that the state is full of “breathtaking natural wonders” that need protection. While the new regulations are intended to ensure “maximum protections” for nearly half of the petroleum reserve, it will not block the ConocoPhillips Willow project, which Biden approved earlier this year. The Willow project is expected to produce 576 million barrels of oil over 30 years. (New York Times / Bloomberg / Politico / Washington Post / CNN / The Hill)

2/ A federal judge ruled that Trump was liable a second time for defaming writer E. Jean Carroll and the upcoming trial will focus on what money damages he owes her. In May, Carroll was awarded $5 million in damages at a civil sexual assault trial against Trump after finding he sexually abused her and later defamed her in October 2022. A day later, Trump appeared on CNN and “falsely stated that he did not sexually abuse Carroll, that he has no idea who Carroll was, and that Carroll’s now-proven accusation was a ‘fake’ and ‘made up story’ created by a ‘whack job.’” Carroll then amended her original defamation lawsuit against Trump to include the comments he made on CNN. Judge Lewis Kaplan said since the jury in the first case found Trump liable for sexual assaulting and defaming Carroll, the verdict will carry over to the defamation case and only deal with the amount of damages Carroll deserves, who is seeking more than $10 million in damages. (CNN / CNBC / Washington Post / NBC News / ABC News / Wall Street Journal)

3/ The judge presiding over the Georgia election interference case against Trump and his 18 co-defendants said he’s “very skeptical” of the plan to put all 19 defendants on trial next month. Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis initially asked for a March trial date, but moved up the timeframe after Kenneth Chesebro and Sidney Powell asked for a speedy trial in the case. Prosecutors expect that the case will take about four months to present, excluding jury selection, and that they plan to call more than 150 witnesses. “It just seems a bit unrealistic to think that we can handle all 19 in forty-something days,” Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee said. The judge, however, denied the request by Chesebro and Powell to sever their cases from each other. The two will face jurors together on Oct. 23. (NBC News / Politico / ABC News / CNBC / Axios / Atlanta Journal-Constitution )

4/ A New York judge rejected Trump’s request to delay his Oct. 2 civil fraud trial, calling the request “completely without merit.” Attorney General Letitia James is seeking $250 million in damages in the case, which accuses Trump, Trump Jr., Eric Trump, and his other co-defendants of “numerous acts of fraud and misrepresentations” for more than a decade by “grossly” inflating Trump’s net worth by billions of dollars and deceiving lenders, insurers, and tax authorities with false and misleading financial statements. (CNBC / Reuters)

5/ Six voters in Colorado filed a lawsuit seeking to block Trump from the state’s ballots in 2024 for his role in the insurrection on Jan. 6. Their suit, which was filed by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics, contends that Trump should be disqualified from running in future elections under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, which prohibits anyone who “engaged in insurrection or rebellion” against the Constitution from holding office. Trump’s campaign called the case an “absurd conspiracy theory and political attack,” adding that there “is no legal basis for this effort except in the minds of those who are pushing it.” Last year, CREW successfully removed a county official in New Mexico, who was convicted of trespassing in connection with the attack on the Capitol. (NBC News / ABC News / New York Times / CNBC / Associated Press / Bloomberg)

Day 959: "Deeply troubled."

1/ A federal court struck down Alabama’s congressional map. The three-judge panel wrote that it was “deeply troubled” that the state legislature refused to comply with the Voting Rights Act and a Supreme Court order to create a second district with either a Black majority “or something quite close to it” to give Black voters an opportunity to elect a representative of their choice. Nevertheless, the Republican-controlled legislature approved a new map with just one majority-Black seat and increased the share of Black voters in one of the state’s six majority-white congressional districts to about 40%, from about 30%. For the 2024 elections, the judges ordered that a new map be independently drawn, stripping the Republican-controlled legislature of the responsibility because it “ultimately did not even nurture the ambition to provide the required remedy.” State Republicans are expected to appeal the decision. (NPR / Associated Press / Politico / NBC News / New York Times / Washington Post / CNN)

2/ All 19 defendants have pleaded not guilty in the Georgia election interference case and waived their in-person arraignment. Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis has accused Trump and 18 co-conspirators of racketeering for taking part in a scheme to try to overturn the results of the 2020 election in Georgia. Mark Meadows and four others are also seeking to move the charges against them out of state court and into federal court, where the indictment could potentially be dismissed. They claim they’re immune from state prosecution because their actions were performed in his capacity as a federal official. (ABC News / CNN / NBC News / NPR / Associated Press)

3/ The former leader of the Proud Boys was sentenced to 22 years in prison after being convicted of seditious conspiracy for organizing the attack on the Capitol on Jan. 6 and leading the failed plot to stop the peaceful transfer of presidential power. It is the longest sentence yet among the more than 1,100 people charged in connection with the Capitol attack, surpassing the 18 years given to Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes, who was also convicted of seditious conspiracy. Federal prosecutors had asked for a sentence of 33 years in federal prison. Three other Proud Boys – Joseph Biggs, Zachary Rehl, and Dominic Pezzola — were each sentenced last week to between 10 and 17 years in prison. (New York Times / Washington Post / CNBC / CNN / NBC News)

4/ Special Counsel Jack Smith’s office warned a judge that Trump’s “daily” statements “threaten to prejudice the jury pool” in the federal election conspiracy case. District Judge Tanya Chutkan had previously warned Trump to refrain from “inflammatory” comments about those involved in his case. She didn’t, however, impose any special restrictions on his speech. The case is one of four pending criminal cases Trump is facing as he seeks the 2024 Republican presidential nomination. (Bloomberg / CNBC)

5/ New York Attorney General Letitia James asked a judge to impose $20,000 in sanctions on Trump, Trump Jr, Eric Trump, their lawyers, and other co-defendants over “frivolous conduct” by repeatedly making “previously-rejected arguments” in their motions. James’ office said that there are five instances where Trump’s attorneys have made the same arguments that have already been rejected by the court for a lack of legal or factual basis. The $250 million civil trial – accusing Trump, his sons, his business, and other associates of “grossly” inflating Trump’s personal net worth to obtain favorable terms from banks and insurance companies – is scheduled to begin on Oct. 2. (ABC News / Axios / NBC News / Politico)

poll/ 59% of Republican primary voters plan to support Trump for the GOP presidential nomination – up 11 percentage points since April. Trump leads Ron DeSantis by 46 percentage points – nearly double since April. (Wall Street Journal)

poll/ 44% of Republicans say they are seriously concerned that the criminal charges Trump faces will negatively affect his ability to serve as president if reelected, while 56% are not seriously concerned about Trump’s legal fights, and 34% are concerned. (CNN)

Day 954: "A mountain of undisputed evidence."

1/ Trump pleaded not guilty to 13 felony charges alleging his role in a criminal conspiracy to overturn his 2020 election loss in Georgia – it’s the fourth time Trump has formally denied criminal charges this year. Trump also waived his right to an in-person arraignment hearing and asked a judge to sever his case from his co-defendants, who want a speedy trial. Trump’s lawyers argued that Trump wouldn’t have “sufficient time” to prepare if his trial begins Oct. 23, adding that it would “violate President Trump’s federal and state constitutional rights to a fair trial and due process of law.” (CBS News / CNBC / CNN / Politico / Bloomberg / Atlanta Journal-Constitution / NBC News / Associated Press / Washington Post / New York Times)

2/ New York’s attorney general asked a judge for a partial summary judgment against Trump in her $250 million lawsuit accusing the Trump family and Trump Organization of fraudulently overvaluing their assets by billions of dollars. Attorney General Letitia James cited what she called a “mountain of undisputed evidence” that Trump had “grossly and materially inflated” his net worth by between $812 million and $2.2 billion each year between 2011 and 2021. Trump is scheduled for a civil trial in New York in October, and James’ office is seeking $250 million and sanctions that would bar Trump, Eric Trump or Trump Jr. from doing business in the state. (New York Times / CNBC / CBS News / Bloomberg)

3/ Justice Clarence Thomas disclosed that he took three private jet trips in 2020, which were paid for by Republican megadonor Harlan Crow. While Thomas didn’t amend any past reports to list previously undisclosed private flights or hospitality from Crow, he did acknowledge that he’d “inadvertently omitted” bank accounts now valued at more than $100,000 from his financial disclosures dating back to 2017. Thomas claimed it was due to “a misinterpretation of the rules.” Thomas also said he flew on a private jet in May because of “increased security risk” following the leak of the Dobbs opinion overturning Roe v. Wade days earlier. (CNN / Washington Post / Politico / NBC News / Associated Press / ABC News / New York Times / NPR / Bloomberg / Wall Street Journal)

4/ The Florida leader of the Proud Boys was sentenced to 17 years in prison for his role in the seditious conspiracy to overturn the 2020 election and keep Trump in power on Jan. 6. Although Joseph Biggs received the second-longest sentence so far in the more than 1,100 criminal cases related to the Capitol attack, prosecutors had sought a 33 year sentence. “That day broke our tradition of peacefully transferring power,” U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Kelly said as he delivered his sentence. “The mob brought an entire branch of government to heel.” (Politico / NBC News / New York Times / NPR / USA Today / ABC News)

5/ The U.S. Capitol physician cleared Mitch McConnell to continue his work schedule after he froze for the second time in a matter of weeks. The statement that McConnell is “medically clear” to work comes as the 81-year-old held calls with his closest allies and donors to reassure them that he can do his job after he abruptly froze during a news conference and was unable to respond for more than 30 seconds after being asked if he would run for re-election. For now, McConnell’s potential successors — John Thune, John Barrasso, and John Cornyn — are backing his leadership, but it takes five Republican senators to force a special conference meeting to discuss the matter. (CNN / Axios / Politico / New York Times)

Day 953: "We're gonna need a minute."

1/ Georgia Senate Republicans are considering ways to punish District Attorney Fani Willis for indicting Trump and 18 other defendants, saying “we believe she is definitely tainted.” State Senate Majority Leader Steve Gooch threatened hold legislative hearings to investigate Willis, accusing her of “politicizing” her 51-count indictment accusing Trump and 18 co-defendants of a “criminal enterprise” to reverse the 2020 election results. Gooch also suggested that Republicans could take advantage of a new law, Senate Bill 92, which allows a state panel to investigate and remove prosecutors. He called it a powerful “tool in the toolbox.” Meanwhile, Georgia state Senator Colton Moore suggested that a civil war could break out over Trump’s prosecution, saying “we’ve got 19 people who are facing the rest of their life in prison because they spoke out against an election.” In a separate interview, Moore called Willis a “domestic threat.” (Atlanta Journal-Constitution / HuffPost / Associated Press)

2/ A federal judge ruled that Rudy Giuliani was liable for defaming two Georgia election workers when he repeatedly accused them of manipulating ballots while counting votes in Atlanta during the 2020 election. U.S. District Court Judge Beryl Howell imposed the default judgment and monetary punishment after Giuliani repeatedly failed to comply with her orders to turn over documents and other evidence. Howell accused Giuliani of “willful […] misconduct” and “slippery” statements in violating her orders to preserve and produce relevant evidence. The ruling means the case will now proceed to a trial to determine how much Giuliani will have to pay in damages to the two election workers. (CNBC / CNN / New York Times / Politico)

3/ Mitch McConnell – again – froze during a news conference and was unable to respond for more than 30 seconds after being asked if he would run for re-election. McConnell chuckled and began to answer the question when he abruptly stopped speaking, standing motionless and staring ahead for more than 30 seconds. When an aide stepped in to ask if he’d heard the question, McConnell remained unresponsive. “I’m sorry you all, we’re gonna need a minute,” the aide told reporters. In July, McConnell froze and went silent for 19 seconds before being escorted away from the cameras. He returned shortly afterward and continued his news conference, claiming he’s “fine.” The 81-year-old, however, fell two weeks prior to the July incident and has been using a wheelchair periodically to get around. McConnell also suffered a concussion after falling down earlier this year. (New York Times / NBC News / CNN / Politico / Bloomberg / ABC News / NPR / CBS News / CNBC)

4/ The Biden administration proposed a new rule that would extend overtime pay to 3.6 million more U.S. workers. Workers making less than about $55,000 annually would be automatically entitled to time-and-a-half pay under the Department of Labor proposal – up from $35,568 set in 2019 under Trump. The median full-time worker in the U.S. makes around $57,000 a year. (Associated Press / Washington Post / Politico / NPR / Wall Street Journal / CNN)

5/ Gov. Ron DeSantis rejected some $350 million in federal energy efficiency incentives for Florida – the only governor to block the Inflation Reduction Act energy rebates. If Florida doesn’t apply for the rebates by next August, the law allows the Energy Department to allocate Florida’s money to other states. DeSantis has also rejected an additional $3 million in IRA funding to help the state fight pollution, vetoed the federal Solar for All program, and turned down $24 million in grants from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. 47.9% of Americans have a unfavorable opinion of DeSantis. (Politico)

Day 952: "Greatest external threat."

1/ The Biden administration named the first 10 medicines that will be subject to price negotiations between Medicare and pharmaceutical companies under the Inflation Reduction Act. The medications are some of the most widely used and costliest drugs older Americans use for heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and autoimmune conditions. Medicare spent $50.5 billion on the drugs last year, and the negotiations are projected to save the government an estimated $98.5 billion over a decade. Makers of the drugs have 30 days to participate in the negotiations or face excise taxes. As a provision of IRA mandates that a certain number of drugs will be added annually to the negotiations. (Politico / NBC News / New York Times / CNN / ABC News / Washington Post / CNBC / Wall Street Journal / USA Today)

2/ Hurricane Idalia strengthened into a Category 2 hurricane as it moved over record-warm waters in the Gulf of Mexico. Idalia is expected to make landfall along Florida’s Gulf Coast on Wednesday as a major Category 3 storm with continuous winds between 111-129 mph. The National Weather Service is warning that the surge will be anywhere from “devastating to catastrophic,” leading to an “extreme life-threatening” situation for anyone in the storm’s path. The water temperatures around southern Florida climbed to 100 degrees Fahrenheit in some areas this summer – a possible world record for sea surface temperatures – and temperatures in the Gulf overall have been record-warm. Warmer waters allow for what’s known as rapid intensification, a phenomenon where a storm’s wind speed increases at least 35 mph within 24 hours. Water temperatures along Idalia’s predicted path are close to 90F. (CNN / New York Times / Washington Post / NBC News / Bloomberg / Axios)

3/ Air pollution is more dangerous to the health of the average person on planet Earth than smoking or alcohol, according to a benchmark study by the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago. The annual Air Quality Life Index reported that fine particulate air pollution — i.e. vehicle and industrial emissions, wildfires and more — remain the “greatest external threat to public health.” Fine particulate matter is linked to lung disease, heart disease, strokes, and cancer. The World Health Organization estimates that permanently reducing these pollutants would add 2.3 years to the life expectancy of the average person. Cigarette smoking and other uses of tobacco reduces global life expectancy by 2.2 years. (CBS News / Wall Street Journal)

4/ The Biden administration weakened regulations protecting millions of acres of wetlands to comply with a Supreme Court ruling, which limited the federal government’s power to regulate wetlands that do not have a “continuous surface connection” to larger, regulated bodies of water. An estimated 1.2 million to 4.9 million miles of ephemeral streams will no longer be under federal protection and up to 63% of wetlands will be affected. In May, the Supreme Court limited the EPA’s authority to protect wetlands and waterways under the Clean Water Act, upending a half-century of federal rules governing the nation’s waterways. (Associated Press / Washington Post)

  • America Is Using Up Its Groundwater Like There’s No Tomorrow. Overuse is draining and damaging aquifers nationwide. (New York Times)

5/ The number of available jobs in the U.S. fell for the third consecutive month – dropping below 9 million for the first time since 2021. Job openings declined by 338,000 to a seasonally adjusted 8.8 million in July from the prior month, the Labor Department reported – the sixth decline in the last seven months. (Bloomberg / CNN / Wall Street Journal)

poll/ 57% of likely Georgia Republican primary voters support Trump, while 15% support Ron DeSantis. In a hypothetical heads-up matchup against DeSantis, Trump had a 33-point lead. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Day 951: "A prompt and efficient resolution."

1/ Trump’s trial on federal charges that he conspired to overturn his 2020 election loss will start March 4 – two years sooner than he requested and one day before Super Tuesday, when 14 states hold their presidential primaries. U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan refused Trump’s request to push off the trial until April 2026, saying that was “far beyond what is necessary” and that “setting a trial date does not depend and should not depend on the defendant’s personal or professional obligations.” Chutkan added: “The public has a right to a prompt and efficient resolution of this matter,” noting that “there is a societal interest to a speedy trial.” A federal grand jury indicted Trump on four charges this month: conspiracy to defraud the U.S.; conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding; obstruction; and conspiracy against the right to vote and to have one’s vote counted. Elsewhere, Trump’s criminal trial in New York on charges of falsifying business records related to hush money payments is set for March 25. And in Florida, special counsel Jack Smith’s case accusing Trump of mishandling classified records is set for May 20. In Georgia, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis requested that Trump’s racketeering trial start Oct. 23, 2023. Willis initially proposed a March 4 start date, but one Trump’s co-defendants, Kenneth Chesebro, demanded a speedier trial. (New York Times / Wall Street Journal / Associated Press / NPR / ABC News / NBC News / CBS News / CNN / Washington Post / Politico / Bloomberg / CNBC)

2/ A federal judge in Atlanta heard arguments to determine whether Mark Meadows’s status as Trump’s chief of staff protects him from being tried in state court. Meadows, who was indicted in Georgia on charges that he conspired with Trump to overturn the 2020 presidential election, asked to move the Fulton County case to federal court, saying his actions “all occurred during his tenure and as part of his service as Chief of Staff.” Meadows spent more than two and a half hours testifying. Other defendants in the case, including Trump, are expected to raise similar immunity arguments that their actions were part of their responsibilities as a White House official. A decision is expected soon, and could apply to all 19 defendants. (NBC News / Wall Street Journal / Associated Press / Washington Post / New York Times / ABC News / Bloomberg / Politico)

3/ Trump and his 18 co-defendants will be arraigned Sept. 6 in Atlanta on charges that they conspired to overturn the result of the 2020 presidential election in Georgia. At their arraignments, the defendants will formally hear the charges brought against them and enter their pleas. Trump’s arraignment will take place at 9:30 a.m. ET, followed by Rudy Giuliani’s arraignment at 9:45 a.m. The arraignments of the remaining 17 co-defendants will continue after that at 15-minute intervals. (Associated Press / The Hill / CNBC / NBC News / ABC News)

4/ Kevin McCarthy suggested that a Biden impeachment inquiry is “a natural step forward” when Congress returns from its August recess. McCarthy has reportedly told Republicans he plans to pursue impeachment – over claims of financial misconduct involving his son Hunter – and plans to start the process by the end of September. The White House dismissed McCarthy’s remarks as a “crazy exercise […] rooted not in facts and truth but partisan shamelessness.” Meanwhile, a Republican on the House Appropriations Committee proposed defunding the “prosecution of any major presidential candidate prior to the upcoming presidential election.” Andrew Clyde’s two amendments would “prohibit the use of federal funding” for both state and federal prosecutions, and its expected to marked up in the House Appropriations Committee after the House returns in mid-September. (NBC News / CNN / Associated Press)

poll/ 61% of Americans want Trump’s election subversion case to take place before the 2024 presidential election. Among Democrats, 89% want Trump to stand trial before the election, while 33% of Republicans agree. 63% of independents also want Trump’s trial to take place before the election. (Politico)

poll/ 50% of Americans think Trump should suspend his campaign after his fourth indictment. (ABC News)

poll/ 50% of Republican primary voters plan to vote for Trump – his lowest support to date. 43% say there is a chance they could change their mind and vote for someone else. (Emerson College)

poll/ 77% of Americans say Biden is too old for a second term, including 69% of Democrats and 89% of Republicans. (Associated Press)

Day 947: "A man of difficult fate."

1/ Trump surrendered at the Fulton County jail on 13 state charges that he conspired to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election in Georgia – it’s the fourth time this year that Trump has turned himself in to face criminal charges. Trump was also fingerprinted and a mugshot taken – a first in his four separate criminal cases. Trump and 18 political allies were indicted last week as part of a racketeering case accusing them of engaging in a “criminal enterprise” to “unlawfully change the outcome of the election in favor of Trump.” He is facing 13 separate felony counts in Georgia, including violating the state’s anti-racketeering act, soliciting a public officer to violate their oath, conspiring to impersonate a public officer, conspiring to commit forgery, and conspiring to file false documents. Prior to his surrender, Trump replaced his top Georgia lawyer, adding Steve Sadow, a veteran criminal defense lawyer who has previously challenged the state’s racketeering law. Sadow replaces Drew Findling, who helped negotiate Trump’s $200,000 bond in the case. [Editor’s note: At the time publishing, Trump was en route to Fulton County to turn himself in. This will be updated.] (New York Times / Washington Post / NPR / Associated Press / CNBC / CNN)

  • 📌 Day 800: The Manhattan grand jury voted to indict Trump for his role in the hush-money payment to a porn star during his 2016 campaign.

  • 📌 Day 871: The Justice Department charged Trump with 37 felony counts over his refusal to return classified documents found at Mar-a-Lago, including 31 counts under the Espionage Act of “willful retention” of national defense information, making false statements, and conspiracy to obstruct justice.

  • 📌 Day 924: Trump was indicted by special counsel Jack Smith on federal charges over his efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election and subvert the will of American voters.

  • 📌 Day 938 Trump and 18 others were indicted by an Atlanta grand jury in connection with efforts to overturn Biden’s 2020 win in Georgia. The 41-count indictment – 13 of which were lodged against Trump – is the fourth time Trump, the front-runner for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, has been indicted since leaving office. In all, he faces 91 felony charges.

2/ Mark Meadows surrendered at the Fulton County Jail for his alleged role in the conspiracy to overturn the 2020 election results in Georgia after a federal judge rejected his effort to move the case from state court to federal court. Meadows claims his case should be handled by the federal courts because it involves his work for the Trump administration. Meadows faces two counts: violating Georgia’s anti-racketeering law and soliciting a public officer to violate their oath. The judge set his bond at $100,000. (NBC News / Politico / CNN / ABC News / CNBC)

3/ Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis asked a state judge to schedule Trump’s racketeering trial for Oct. 23, 2023 – about five months earlier than her original March 2024 proposal. Willis made the request in response to a demand by another defendant in the case, Kenneth Chesebro, for a speedier trial. “Without waiving any objection as to the sufficiency of Defendant Kenneth John Chesebro’s filing, the State requests that this Court specially set the trial in this case to commence on October 23, 2023, which falls within the term of the ‘next succeeding regular court term,’” Willis wrote. Trump, meanwhile, said he’s opposes the October trial date and said he’d seek to separate his case from Chesebro. Fulton Judge Scott McAfee granted Chesebro’s requqest for an Oct. 23 trial, and set his arraignment for Sept. 6. (Bloomberg / Politico / CNBC / CNN / NPR)

4/ Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee opened an investigation into Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, accusing her of coordinating with Biden administration officials. In a letter to Willis, House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan wrote that “your indictment and prosecution implicate substantial federal interests, and the circumstances surrounding your actions raise serious concerns about whether they are politically motivated.” The Republican-led committee claims that the allocation of funds appropriated by Congress gives them jurisdiction over the state-level probe. They’re seeking documents and other material from Willis, including any communications with the Justice Department and whether any federal dollars were used in her investigation that resulted in Trump’s fourth indictment. The questions echo the same line of inquiry that Republicans used to investigate Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, who indicted Trump for falsifying business records to cover up an alleged hush money scheme. (Bloomberg / CNN / Politico / New York Times / The Hill / NPR)

5/ U.S. intelligence concluded that an intentional explosion or some other form of sabotage caused the plane crash that killed Yevgeny Prigozhin, the Russian mercenary leader who led a failed uprising against Putin two months ago. Prigozhin was listed as a passenger on the jet that crashed north of Moscow yesterday. Although a definitive conclusion has not been reached, there is no evidence that the plane he was on was taken down by a missile. Putin, meanwhile, expressed his condolences to the families of those killed, adding that Prigozhin was “a man of difficult fate” who had “made serious mistakes in life.” (NBC News / New York Times / Associated Press / Wall Street Journal / Washington Post / Los Angeles Times / Bloomberg)

Day 946: "Very, very honored."

1/ Rudy Giuliani surrendered to Georgia authorities and was booked on charges that he illegally conspired to overturn Trump’s 2020 election loss in the state. Giuliani, who was released on $150,000 bond, told reporters that he was “very, very honored to be involved in this case because this case is a fight for our way of life. This indictment is a travesty.” He added: “If they can do this to me, they can do this to you.” Meanwhile, Trump-allied Sidney Powell also surrendered to authorities at the Fulton County Jail. Trump is expected to surrender on Thursday. (Washington Post / Associated Press / ABC News / NBC News / New York Times / CNN / CNBC / Bloomberg / Wall Street Journal)

2/ A key witness in Trump’s classified documents case “retracted his prior false testimony” and implicated Trump and others in obstruction of justice after switching lawyers. Yuscil Taveras’ legal expenses were previously paid for by Trump’s Save America PAC. He initially testified to a grand jury that he was unaware of any effort at Mar-a-Lago to delete security footage. After hiring a new lawyer from the federal defender’s office in Washington in early July, Taveras – described as “Trump Employee 4” in court documents – changed his testimony and detailed the alleged effort by Trump, Carlos De Oliveira, and Walt Nauta to tamper with evidence. Prosecutors then filed additional charges on July 27, accusing Trump, Nauta, and de Oliveira of alleged attempts to pressure “Trump Employee 4” to delete the security footage. Taveras has not been charged in the case. (Politico / CBS News / ABC News / New York Times / Washington Post / NBC News / Axios / CNN)

3/ The South Carolina Supreme Court upheld a ban on most abortion after roughly six weeks of pregnancy. The ”Fetal Heartbeat and Protection from Abortion Act” bans abortion after embryonic cardiac activity can be detected, which is generally around six weeks of pregnancy. South Carolina previously allowed abortion until 22 weeks. The 4-1 decision reverses the court’s January ruling, which struck down a similar law on the basis that it violated the State Constitution’s protections for privacy. The new ruling comes after Republican state lawmakers replaced the lone woman on the court, who retired because of the court’s age limits, with a male justice, and then passed a new six-week abortion ban. South Carolina is the only state to have an all-male state supreme court despite a population that’s 51.3% female. (Washington Post / ABC News / New York Times / Wall Street Journal / CNN)

4/ The first Republican presidential debate begins at 9 p.m. Eastern time tonight. Eight candidates will appear onstage in Milwaukee: Doug Burgum, Chris Christie, Ron DeSantis, Nikki Haley, Asa Hutchinson, Mike Pence, Vivek Ramaswamy, and Tim Scott. Trump, the current frontrunner for the Republican nomination, will not be at the debate. Instead, Trump will sit for an interview with Tucker Carlson, which he reportedly already recorded. The two-hour event, moderated by Fox News Channel hosts Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum, will air exclusively on Fox News and the Fox Business Network, as well as on Fox’s website and digital platforms. It will not be simulcast across other networks or cable channels. Burgum, meanwhile, suffered a high-grade tear of his Achilles tendon while playing pick-up basketball with his staff yesterday said he will still participate in the debate. (New York Times / Washington Post / NPR / Associated Press / CNN / Politico)

poll/ 12% of potential Republican primary voters support Ron DeSantis, while 52% support Trump and 8% support Vivek Ramaswamy. (Yahoo! News)

Day 945: "A tremendous courtesy."

1/ The Trump lawyer who led efforts to overturn the 2020 election surrendered at the Fulton County jail. John Eastman was the second of 19 co-defendants to turn himself in. He faces nine counts charges, including racketeering, conspiracy to commit forgery, and filing false documents. Eastman maintained that there was “no question in my mind” that the 2020 election was “absolutely” stolen. Trump, meanwhile, said he intends to surrender in Georgia on Thursday to face the 13 felony counts related to efforts to overturn the state’s 2020 presidential election result. (CNBC / The Hill / Associated Press / NBC News / ABC News / Wall Street Journal / Politico / NPR)

2/ The former chairman of the Georgia Republican Party – and one of the 19 co-defendants in the election interference case – claimed that he “acted at the direction” of Trump. Shafer and 15 other Republican fake electors met at the state capitol on Dec. 14, 2020 and falsely certified Trump as the winner in Georgia. “Attorneys for the President and Mr. Shafer specifically instructed Mr. Shafer, verbally and in writing, that the Republican electors’ meeting and casting their ballots on December 14, 2020 was consistent with counsels’ advice and was necessary to preserve the presidential election contest,” Shafer’s court filing states. Shafer faces eight charges, including false statements and writings, forgery in the first degree, and impersonating a public officer. (Politico / Axios)

3/ Mark Meadows asked a federal court in Georgia to block state authorities from arresting him and to “immediately” move his criminal election interference case to federal court, claiming the charges relate to his then-role in the federal government. Although Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis gave Meadows until Aug. 25 to surrender, Meadows argues that his surrender should be delayed until after an Aug. 28 hearing about his request to transfer the case to federal court. Willis, meanwhile, has refused to grant Meadows an extension, saying Meadows is “no different than any other criminal defendant in this jurisdiction” and that the two-week window for surrender was “a tremendous courtesy.” (CNBC / Bloomberg / New York Times / CNN)

4/ A federal judge temporarily blocked part of a Georgia’s ban on gender-affirming care for transgender youth, ordering state officials to stop enforcing a key provision of the law more than a month after it took effect. Judge Sarah Geraghty said the law, which went into effect July 1, “is substantially likely to violate the Equal Protection Clause.” Meanwhile, a school board in suburban Atlanta voted to fire a teacher who read a book about gender fluidity to her fifth-grade class. Earlier that year, Georgia passed a law banning teachers from teaching “divisive lessons” and created a parent’s bill of rights that guarantees parents “the right to direct the upbringing and the moral or religious training of his or her minor child.” (CNN / The Hill)

5/ A federal appeals court ruled that Alabama can enforce a ban on hormone treatments and puberty blockers for transgender youth. The three-judge panel for the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals vacated a temporary injunction against enforcing the law, saying that the district court had erred in partly blocking the law, which the state’s Republican-controlled Legislature passed last year. All three judges hearing the appeal were nominated to their positions by Trump. More than 20 states now have laws banning or restricting gender-affirming care for minors. (Associated Press / New York Times)

poll/ 51% of likely Iowa Republican caucusgoers believe Trump’s claims that he won the 2020 presidential election despite no evidence of widespread election fraud, while 41% say they don’t, and 8% aren’t sure. (NBC News)

Day 944: "Unprecedented weaponization."

1/ The House Freedom Caucus threatened to oppose a stopgap funding bill, which would avert a government shutdown at the end of September. After Kevin McCarthy floated the idea of a stopgap bill last week, the ultraconservative House lawmakers are now demanding that any short-term spending bill increase the number of Border Patrol agents, require the Homeland Security Secretary to resume building the border wall, address “the unprecedented weaponization” of the Justice Department and FBI, and end “woke” Defense Department policies. Congress, however, is unlikely to pass all 12 appropriations bills by the Sept. 30 deadline, which would then force a shutdown of many federal government services. (Axios / NBC News / Politico)

2/ Trump confirmed that he’ll skip the first Republican presidential primary debate on Wednesday and instead sit for an interview with Tucker Carlson, which he’s reportedly already recorded. “The public knows who I am & what a successful Presidency I had,” Trump wrote on his personal social network. “I WILL THEREFORE NOT BE DOING THE DEBATES!” Trump is one of 10 Republican presidential candidates who have met the polling and fundraising criteria to qualify for the debate. Trump, however, has refused sign a loyalty pledge committing to support the eventual GOP nominee, which is required to secure a spot on the debate stage. (New York Times / NBC News / CNN)

3/ The Justice Department is seeking between 27 and 33 years in federal prison in the cases of four Proud Boys convicted of seditious conspiracy. Prosecutors are seeking 33 years in federal prison for Enrique Tarrio and Joseph Biggs, 30 years for Zachary Rehl, and 27 years for Ethan Nordean. Dominic Pezzola was acquitted of the seditious conspiracy charge but found guilty of assaulting, resisting or impeding certain officers. Prosecutors are seeking 20 years for Pezzola. (NBC News / Associated Press)

  • A Florida Proud Boy convicted on seven counts stemming from his actions during the Jan. 6 riot is missing. An arrest warrant has been issued for Christopher Worrell. (NBC News)

4/ Trump agreed to a $200,000 bond in the Georgia criminal case accusing him of conspiring to overturn his 2020 presidential election results in the state.Under the terms of the “consent bond order,” Trump agreed to “perform no act to intimidate any person known to him or her to be a codefendant or witness in this case or to otherwise obstruct the administration of justice” – including on social media – and explicitly includes “posts on social media or reposts of posts made by another individual on social media.” Two of Trump’s co-defendants, John Eastman and Kenneth Chesebro, both agreed to a $100,000 bond. (NBC News / Associated Press / CNBC / Axios)

5/ Trump requested that his criminal trial on charges that he tried to overturn the 2020 election be delayed until April 2026 – nearly a year and a half after the 2024 election in which he is the Republican front-runner. Special counsel Jack Smith office, however, said delaying the criminal election subversion case until 2026 would “deny the public its right to a speedy trial.” Smith’s team has proposed a Jan. 2, 2024 trial date. (CNN / NBC News / Wall Street Journal / Associated Press)

poll/ 62% of likely Republican voters said they’d renominate Trump for the 2024 race today. The next closest rival is Ron DeSantis at 16%. (CBS News)

poll/ 42% of likely Republican Iowa caucusgoers say Trump in their first choice, while 19% picked Ron DeSantis. (New York Times / Wall Street Journal / NBC News)

Day 940: "We need to worry."

1/ The Fulton County Sheriff’s Office is investigating online threats against the grand jurors who voted to indict Trump on racketeering charges after their names, photographs, phone numbers, and home addresses were purportedly posted on social media. While Georgia law requires that the names of all the grand jury members be publicly listed, the indictment doesn’t include any other personally identifiable information. An anonymous user called the list of jurors’ “a hit list,” while another user wrote “everyone on that jury should be hung.” One message said: “These jurors have signed their death warrant by falsely indicting President Trump.” (NBC News / USA Today / The Hill / CNN / Axios / New York Times)

  • Mark Meadows filed to transfer the case brought against him by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis into federal court. Meadows argues that the charges against him amount to “state interference in a federal official’s duties” in violation of the Constitution’s supremacy clause. (Politico)

2/ A Texas woman was arrested after threatening to kill the federal judge overseeing Trump’s prosecution on charges of seeking to overturn the 2020 election. Abigail Jo Shry called Judge Tanya Chutkan’s chambers two days after Trump was arraigned on the election interference charges, and left a “threatening voicemail message” intended for Chutkan, who was selected at random to oversee Trump’s criminal case. “Hey you stupid slave,” Shry said, the affidavit alleges. “You are in our sights, we want to kill you […] If Trump doesn’t get elected in 2024, we are coming to kill you, so tread lightly, bitch. You will be targeted personally, publicly, your family, all of it.” Shry also “made a direct threat to kill” Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, as well as all Democrats and members of the LGBTQ community. Although Shry told agents from the Department of Homeland Security that she left the message but had no plans to carry out an attack, she also told the agents that “if Sheila Jackson Lee comes to Alvin[, Texas], then we need to worry.” (Bloomberg Law / NBC News / Washington Post / Associated Press / New York Times)

  • A Canadian woman was sentenced to nearly 22 years in prison for mailing a threatening letter that contained ricin to Trump at the White House in 2020. The letter referred to Trump as “The Ugly Tyrant Clown” and read in part: “If it doesn’t work, I’ll find better recipe for another poison, or I might use my gun when I’ll be able to come. Enjoy! FREE REBEL SPIRIT.” (ABC News)

3/ Special counsel Jack Smith obtained Trump’s Twitter direct messages despite a “momentous” effort by Twitter to delay complying with a search warrant. Prosecutors wanted “all content, records, and other information relating to communications sent from or received” from October 2020 to January 2021 on Trump’s account on Twitter, including “all tweets created, drafted, favorited/liked, or retweeted,” all deleted tweets, as well as all metadata and logs. Smith’s office executed a search warrant for “evidence of criminal offenses” on Trump’s Twitter account in January after Elon Musk took over the company. Twitter, however, fought demands that it refrain from notifying Trump about the search warrant for two months, which led U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell to hold Twitter in contempt, fining the company $350,000, for missing a court-ordered deadline to comply with the search warrant. Howell also openly wondered whether the delay was “because the new CEO wants to cozy up with the former president?” (Politico / New York Times / NBC News / CNN)

poll/ 50% of Americans say Trump should suspend his presidential campaign, while 33% don’t think he should, and 17% are unsure. (ABC News)

poll/ 42% of American’s approve of Biden’s performance as president. (Associated Press)

Day 939: "Balance the risk."

1/ Federal Reserve officials warned of “significant” inflation risks, which could require them to raise rates again this year. At their July policy meeting, “most” Fed officials said inflation remained “unacceptably” high. A “couple” officials, however, thought the risks of raising rates too much versus too little “had become more two-sided, and it was important that the committee’s decisions balance the risk of an inadvertent overtightening of policy against the cost of an insufficient tightening.” The July meeting resulted in a quarter percentage point rate hike to a range between 5.25% and 5.5% – a 22-year high – and marked the 11th hike over the past 17 months, when they raised rates from near zero. Inflation, meanwhile, eased to 3.2% in July, down from a high of more than 9% in mid-2022. (Bloomberg / New York Times / CNBC / Wall Street Journal)

2/ The average 30-year fixed mortgage rate rose to 7.16% – the highest level since 2001. Mortgage rates have more than doubled since the Federal Reserve began raising interest rates. Mortgage applications, meanwhile, were 29% lower than the same week one year ago, slipping to the second-lowest level since 1995. (Bloomberg / Reuters / CNBC / Wall Street Journal)

  • Student loan bills for some borrowers are higher than mortgage payments. “Almost 7% of debt holders face bills of $1,000 or more. At the same time, about 23.7 million homes in the US have a mortgage payment of $1,000 or less, according to Black Knight.” (Bloomberg)

3/ A paid campaign fundraiser for George Santos was indicted in New York on federal charges for allegedly impersonating Kevin McCarthy’s former chief of staff. Samuel Miele was charged with four counts of wire fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft for sending “fraudulent fund-raising” emails to more than a dozen potential contributors. In those messages, Miele claimed to be a “high-ranking aide to a member of the House with leadership responsibilities.” Miele earned a commission of 15% for each contribution he raised, prosecutors said. Three months ago, Santos was arrested on charges of wire fraud, money laundering, theft of public funds, and making false statements to Congress. (New York Times / CNBC / Associated Press)

4/ A federal appeals court limited access to a widely used abortion pill after finding that the FDA failed to follow the proper process when it loosened regulations in 2016 to make mifepristone more easily available. Mifepristone, however, will remain available for now under existing regulations while the litigation continues and the Justice Department is expected to appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court. (CNBC / Washington Post / NBC News / Reuters / CBS News)

5/ Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis proposed a March 4 trial date for Trump and his 18 co-defendants. The date is one day before Super Tuesday, when more than a dozen states hold their Republican primary contests. Willis also asked to schedule arraignments for the defendants for the week of September 5, saying the dates “do not conflict” with Trump’s other criminal cases. The trial’s start date will ultimately be decided by a judge. Trump’s criminal trial in New York on charges of falsifying business records related to hush money payments, meanwhile, is set for March 25, and a federal judge in Florida set a May 20 trial date in special counsel Jack Smith’s case accusing Trump of mishandling classified records. In a separate federal case related to Trump’s alleged efforts to overturn the 2020 election, Smith’s office proposed a Jan. 2 trial start. (CNBC / Axios / CNN / The Hill)

poll/ 35% of Americans have a favorable view of Trump, while 62% have an unfavorable view. Among Republicans, 70% have a favorable opinion of Trump and 63% say they want him to run for president again. (Associated Press)

poll/ 53% of Americans approve of the Justice Department indicting Trump over his efforts to remain in office after losing the 2020 election. (Associated Press)

poll/ 54% of Americans think Trump should be prosecuted following the federal indictment accusing him of attempting to overturn the 2020 election. 42% think Trump should not be prosecuted. 64% say the federal criminal charges against Trump are serious, while 32% say they’re not serious. (Quinnipiac)

Day 938: "A criminal enterprise."

1/ Trump and 18 others were indicted by an Atlanta grand jury in connection with efforts to overturn Biden’s 2020 win in Georgia. The 41-count indictment – 13 of which were lodged against Trump – is the fourth time Trump, the front-runner for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, has been indicted since leaving office. In all, he faces 91 felony charges. Trump now has 10 days to turn himself in to face accusations that he orchestrated a “criminal enterprise” to remain in power despite losing the election by violating the state’s racketeering act, soliciting a public officer to violate their oath, conspiring to impersonate a public officer, conspiring to commit forgery, and conspiring to file false documents. “Trump and the other Defendants charged in this Indictment refused to accept that Trump lost, and they knowingly and willfully joined a conspiracy to unlawfully change the outcome of the election in favor of Trump,” the indictment states. Racketeering carries up to 20 years in prison, while conspiracy can result in a minimum sentence of one year in prison with a variable maximum sentence. Rudy Giuliani, Mark Meadows, Jeffrey Clark, John Eastman, Sidney Powell, Jenna Ellis, Kenneth Chesebro, and several others were all charged with violating Georgia’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization act. The charges follow a 2 1/2-year criminal investigation by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis. The probe was launched after audio leaked of Trump’s Jan. 2, 2021, phone call to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger asking him to “find” him 11,780 votes to overturn his 2020 loss in the state. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution / Washington Post / New York Times / Associated Press / NBC News / Wall Street Journal / NPR / Bloomberg / CNN / Politico / ABC News)

  • Keeping Track of the Trump Investigations. Here is a guide to the major criminal cases involving the former president. (New York Times)
  • 📌 Day 800: The Manhattan grand jury voted to indict Trump for his role in the hush-money payment to a porn star during his 2016 campaign.
  • 📌 Day 871: The Justice Department charged Trump with 37 felony counts over his refusal to return classified documents found at Mar-a-Lago, including 31 counts under the Espionage Act of “willful retention” of national defense information, making false statements, and conspiracy to obstruct justice.
  • 📌 Day 924: Trump was indicted by special counsel Jack Smith on federal charges over his efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election and subvert the will of American voters.
  • Trump is charged with racketeering: Here’s what that means and what happens next for him. (Washington Post)
  • 4 things revealed by Trump’s Georgia indictment. (Washington Post)
  • The Trump Georgia Indictment, Annotated. (New York Times / CNN)

2/ The Mar-a-Lago property manager charged in the Trump classified documents case pleaded not guilty in Florida federal court. Carlos De Oliveira is accused of conspiring with Trump and Walt Nauta to delete security footage the Justice Department sought as part of its efforts to retrieve sensitive files from Trump after he left office. After the security footage was subpoenaed, De Oliveira allegedly told an IT employee at Mar-a-Lago that “the boss” wanted the footage deleted. De Oliveira was unable to enter a plea in late July and again last week because he was unable to find a Florida-based lawyer. Magistrate Judge Shaniek Maynard, meanwhile, wished De Oliveira “good luck.” (NBC News / CNN / Politico / CBS News / CNBC)

3/ The Biden administration will begin discharging student loans for 804,000 borrowers with a combined $39 billion in federal debt after a federal judge dismissed a lawsuit from conservative groups seeking to block the program. Last year, the Education Department said payment-tracking procedures “revealed significant flaws” in the system and that many borrowers were “missing out on progress toward [income-driven repayment] forgiveness.” The administration said it was addressing “historical failures” in which qualifying payments by people enrolled in income-driven repayment plans were not properly accounted for. (Axios / CBS News / ABC News)

✏️ Notables.

  1. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin criticized Republican Sen. Tommy Tuberville’s ongoing hold on hundreds of military promotions as an “unprecedented” move that threatens the country’s safety. “Because of this blanket hold, starting today, for the first time in the history of the Department of Defense, three of our military services are operating without Senate-confirmed leaders,” Austin said. (NBC News)
  2. Violent threats against public officials have escalated since 2013. In 2013, there were 38 such arrests — last year, there were 74. (NPR)
  3. The U.S. has seen a record increase in homeless people this year. Homelessness is up roughly 11% from 2022 – the biggest recorded increase since the government started tracking comparable numbers in 2007. (Wall Street Journal)

Day 937: "Special treatment."

1/ A Montana judge ruled that the state’s oil and gas policies failed to consider climate change when approving energy projects, violating young people’s constitutional right to a “clean and healthful environment.” District Court Judge Kathy Seeley found that a provision in the Montana Environmental Policy Act had harmed the state’s environment and the plaintiffs – a group of 16 kids, teens, and young adults. It was the first-of-its kind youth-led climate trial. In the ruling, Seeley wrote that “Montana’s emissions and climate change have been proven to be a substantial factor in causing climate impacts to Montana’s environment and harm and injury” to the youth. Montana is one of three states that have the affirmative right to a safe environment in their constitutions. (Bloomberg / Associated Press / Politico / Washington Post / New York Times / Wall Street Journal)

  • Small changes in global average temperature are driving environmental and economic consequences. (Bloomberg)

  • The clean energy future is arriving faster than you think. “Wind and solar power are breaking records, and renewables are now expected to overtake coal by 2025 as the world’s largest source of electricity. Automakers have made electric vehicles central to their business strategies and are openly talking about an expiration date on the internal combustion engine. Heating, cooling, cooking and some manufacturing are going electric.” (New York Times)

2/ An Atlanta area grand jury started hearing evidence against Trump and others in the 2020 election subversion case. Multiple witnesses were spotted and testified before the grand jury today, including two former state lawmakers. Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis is expected to seek more than a dozen indictments in the case. Meanwhile, a list of criminal charges against Trump briefly appeared on a Fulton County website, which included conspiracy, false statements, forgery and, racketeering. Prosecutors, however, said Trump had not been indicted (yet?) and the Fulton County Clerk called the document “fictitious.” The two-page docket was then removed from the Fulton County court’s website. In July 2022, Willis notified 16 Trump electors that they were targets of the investigation. At least eight of them reached immunity deals that allow them to avoid prosecution if they cooperated. Trump is the first former U.S. president to face criminal charges, having been indicted in three separate cases, which total 78 charges: 44 federal charges and 34 state charges, all of them felonies, in three jurisdictions. (New York Times / CNN / Washington Post / ABC News / Wall Street Journal / Reuters / Associated Press / CNBC)

  • Georgia prosecutors have text messages and emails showing Trump’s team was behind the January 2021 voting system breach in Coffee County. “On January 1, 2021 – days ahead of the January 7 voting systems breach – Katherine Friess, an attorney working with Giuliani, Sidney Powell and other Trump allies, shared a ‘written invitation’ to examine voting systems in Coffee County with a group of Trump allies.” (CNN)

  • How Trump Tried to Overturn the Vote. “The Georgia case assembled by Ms. Willis offers a vivid reminder of the extraordinary lengths taken by Mr. Trump and his allies to exert pressure on local officials to overturn the election.” (New York Times)

  • How Donald Trump tried to undo his loss in Georgia in 2020. “In phone calls, speeches, tweets and media appearances, Trump and his allies pushed to overturn the 2020 election results in six swing states where certified results declared Joe Biden the winner, an effort that culminated in the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol as Congress convened to confirm the results.” (Washington Post)

3/ Trump attacked the judge handling his election conspiracy case – despite being warned that he refrain from “inflammatory” attacks against those involved in his case. Three days after District Judge Tanya Chutkan warned Trump she would “take whatever measures are necessary to safeguard the integrity of these proceedings,” Trump posted on his personal social media site that Chutkan was “highly partisan” and “very biased & unfair,” adding that “she obviously wants me behind bars.” When Chutkan issued a protective order governing evidence and restricting what Trump could say publicly, she said that Trump’s “political campaign has to yield to the orderly administration of justice […] that’s how it has to be.” Prosecutors have requested a trial date of Jan. 2. (USA Today / Politico / Washington Post / CNN / New York Times / CNBC / Washington Post / CBS News / ABC News)

4/ Federal prosecutors accused Trump of seeking “special treatment that no other defendant would receive” in the Mar-a-Lago classified documents case. Trump constructed sensitive compartmented information facility in one of his homes in order to review and discuss classified information in the case. Prosecutors, however, told a judge that “creating a secure location in Trump’s residence — which is also a social club — so he can discuss classified information would be an unnecessary and unjustified accommodation that deviates from the normal course of cases involving classified discovery.” (CNBC)

Day 933: "Serious concern."

1/ Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas accepted at least 38 vacations, 26 private jet flights, eight flights by helicopter, a dozen VIP passes to sporting events, two stays at luxury resorts in Florida and Jamaica, and a standing invitation to play at a high-end private golf club in Florida from several billionaire benefactors since 1991. The travel often went unreported on Thomas’ required annual financial disclosure filings, and the total value of the undisclosed trips is probably in the millions of dollars. While it was previously reported that Harlan Crow paid for Thomas’ luxury vacations, his mother’s house, and a nephew’s tuition payments, Thomas, however, has also received special treatment from three other billionaires: David Sokol, H. Wayne Huizenga, and Paul “Tony” Novelly. All four billionaires have been major Republican donors. (ProPublica / New York Times / NPR / Bloomberg / CNN / Washington Post)

2/ Trump and one of his two co-defendants pleaded not guilty in federal court to three new charges in the Mar-a-Lago classified documents case. Federal prosecutors initially accused Trump of committing 37 crimes in an indictment filed in June. Prosecutors, however, added three additional charges in a superseding indictment filed in July. Walt Nauta also pleaded not guilty. He faced six charges in the initial indictment, and was charged with two additional crimes in the superseding indictment. Carlos De Oliveira, meanwhile, was charged with four counts related to conspiring with Trump and Nauta to obstruct federal investigators’ efforts to retrieve secret national security documents from Trump after he left office. De Oliveira’s arraignment, however, was delayed because he hasn’t secured a Florida-based attorney. (Washington Post / New York Times / Associated Press / Politico / CNN / NBC News / CNBC)

3/ Inflation rose 3.2% from a year ago in July, up from 3% in June. It was the first annual inflation rate increase after 12 months of declines. The July inflation figure, however, remains far below last year’s peak of 9.1%, although it’s still above the Federal Reserve’s 2% target. Federal Reserve policymakers, meanwhile, are debating whether to pause interest rate increases after raising them at 11 of the past 12 meetings from near zero to a range between 5.25% and 5.5% – a 22-year high. (Wall Street Journal / Bloomberg / CNBC / NPR / New York Times / Washington Post / NBC News / Politico)

4/ Biden signed an executive order limiting American investments in China as part of an effort to restrict the country’s ability to develop next-generation military and surveillance technologies. The order, which won’t go into effect until next year, would restrict American investments in certain high-tech sectors in China, including artificial intelligence, semiconductors, and quantum computing due to national security concerns. The Chinese Ministry of Commerce, meanwhile, said it has “serious concern” about the order and “reserves the right to take measures.” (Associated Press / Washington Post / Politico / Bloomberg / ABC News / Wall Street Journal / New York Times)

Day 932: "A weak dictator."

1/ Special counsel Jack Smith obtained a search warrant for Trump’s Twitter account earlier this year as part of the investigation into his efforts to overturn the 2020 election, according to a newly unsealed court filing. Twitter was forced to hand over the records and pay $350,000 for defying a judge’s deadline to comply with a Justice Department search warrant. The filing also reveals that the special counsel obtained a non-disclosure order, which “prohibited Twitter from disclosing the existence or contents of the search warrant to any person.” Prosecutors argued that if Trump learned about the warrant, it “would seriously jeopardize the ongoing investigation” by giving him “an opportunity to destroy evidence, change patterns of behavior, [or] notify confederates.” Judge Beryl Howell also found reason to believe that Trump might “flee prosecution” if he was told about the search warrant. (Politico / CNN / Washington Post / New York Times / Bloomberg / CNBC / Associated Press / The Hill / NBC News / ABC News)

2/ Trump threatened that he “will talk” about the criminal charges in his election conspiracy case, accusing federal prosecutors of “taking away my First Amendment rights.” Last week, special counsel Jack Smith asked a judge to impose a so-called protective order after Trump posted a message to his social media platform saying: “IF YOU GO AFTER ME, I’M COMING AFTER YOU!” Although Trump’s own lawyers chose not to object to a protective order, Trump said he didn’t care, calling the federal charges against him “bullshit” and accusing Biden of “weaponizing” the Justice Department to take out a political rival by “forcing me nevertheless to spend time and money away from the campaign trial in order to fight bogus, made-up accusations and charges.” (NBC News / Politico)

3/ An internal Trump campaign memo from late 2020 detailed their plan to subvert the Electoral College process and install fake, pro-Trump electors in multiple states to overturn the election. The six-page, previously unreleased memo by lawyer Kenneth Chesebro was referred to as the “Fraudulent Elector Memo” in last weeks’ special counsel indictment. The Dec. 6 memo proposed that groups of “electors” in seven key states that Biden won should meet and cast fake votes for Trump. According to Chesebro’s plan, Pence could then declare “that it is his constitutional power and duty, alone, as President of the Senate, to both open and count the votes,” which would allow him to count the fake Trump votes instead of the real electoral votes. Chesebro conceded in the memo that the idea was “controversial” and “likely” to be rejected by the Supreme Court, but “letting matters play out this way would guarantee that public attention would be riveted on the evidence of electoral abuses by the Democrats and would also buy the Trump campaign more time to win litigation that would deprive Biden of electoral votes and/or add to Trump’s column.” (New York Times / CNN / CNBC)

4/ Ohio voters rejected a Republican-backed ballot measure to raise the threshold to amend the state’s constitution ahead of a November referendum on whether to enshrine abortion rights in the state constitution. With 97% of precincts reporting, 56.7% voted against the measure, while 43.3% voted to support it, according to the Ohio Secretary of State’s office. Since the Supreme Court ruled that women do not have a constitutional right to an abortion last year, voters in Michigan, Vermont, and California have enshrined abortion rights in their state constitution. Voters in Kansas and Kentucky, meanwhile, rejected referendums to change their constitutions to explicitly say they do not provide a right to abortion. (Washington Post / Politico / New York Times / CBS News / NBC News / CNN)

5/ Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis suspended a second elected state attorney, saying she was “clearly and fundamentally derelict” in her duty. DeSantis suspended Monique Worrell, claiming she “systematically” under-prosecuted criminals in her jurisdiction in three cases, which he said constituted “both neglect of duty and incompetence.” Worrell called the move “a political hit job” by a “weak dictator,” accusing DeSantis of peddling a “false narrative” and engaging in “political gamesmanship.” Last year, DeSantis suspended Hillsborough County State Attorney Andrew Warren after Warren said he wouldn’t enforce state restrictions on abortion or gender-related surgery. (New York Times / Washington Post / CNBC)

Day 931: "Right the wrongs of the past."

1/ Ohio voters will decide whether to make it harder to amend the state constitution in a special election that has implications over the future of abortion rights in the state. If Issue 1 passes, it would raise the threshold for passing future changes to the Ohio constitution from a simple majority to 60%. And then, three months after that, voters will consider a constitutional amendment that would enshrine abortion access in the state constitution. Meaning: If Issue 1 passes, the referendum to amend the state constitution to protect abortion rights would have to get at least 60% of the vote, rather than a simple majority, to go into effect. The Republican-led State Legislature ordered the special election to front run the November effort to add an abortion rights amendment to the constitution. Republican Secretary of State Frank LaRose previously acknowledged that the purpose of the summertime ballot measure was “100% about keeping a radical pro-abortion amendment out of our constitution.” (New York Times / Washington Post / CNN / Politico / Wall Street Journal / NBC News / Associated Press / ABC News / Columbus Dispatch / USA Today / NPR)

2/ Supreme Court backed a Biden administration effort to regulate “ghost guns” – do-it-yourself firearm-making kits that are generally hard to trace. The ruling temporarily allows the government to require manufacturers of ghost gun kits to have serial numbers and conduct background checks on customers while a lawsuit challenging the regulations continues in the lower courts. John Roberts and Amy Coney Barrett joined with the court’s three liberal members to form the majority, while Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch, and Brett Kavanaugh dissented. (USA Today / NBC News / The Hill / Washington Post / Associated Press / Politico / New York Times / CNN)

3/ Biden designated a new national monument near the Grand Canyon – called the Baaj Nwaavjo I’tah Kukveni, or Ancestral Footprints of the Grand Canyon. The designation conserves more than 1.1 million acres of land and permanently bans new uranium mining claims in the area “to help right the wrongs of the past and conserve this land […] for all future generations.” Arizona Republican lawmakers, meanwhile, voted to formally oppose the designation to preserve Native American cultural sites and protect the region from new uranium mining, calling it a “bureaucratic land grab.” The move is Biden’s fifth new national monument and advances his commitment to conserve at least 30% of American land and water by 2030. (AZ Central / USA Today / Politico / NPR / Washington Post / CNN / Wall Street Journal / New York Times)

4/ Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis restructured his presidential campaign operations for the third time in less than a month as he continues lose ground to Trump in national and statewide polling for the Republican nomination. DeSantis replaced his campaign manager after making two big staff cuts in the past few weeks, laying off about a third of his staff in late July in an attempt to cut costs. (Associated Press / Politico / Washington Post / New York Times / NBC News)

poll/ 64% of Americans say they disapprove of last year’s Supreme Court ruling that women do not have a constitutional right to an abortion. 78% say that politicians in the federal government aren’t doing enough to ensure abortion access, with 60% saying that politicians in their state’s government are also doing too little. (CNN)

Day 930: "Deranged."

1/ Special counsel Jack Smith asked a federal judge to place Trump under a protective order after Trump posted a message to his social media platform saying: “IF YOU GO AFTER ME, I’M COMING AFTER YOU!” Prosecutors said Trump’s post “specifically or by implication” referenced those involved in his criminal case, which “could have a harmful chilling effect on witnesses.” Prosecutors also raised concerns that Trump might improperly share evidence in the case on his social media account. The message was posted hours after Trump swore in court that he would not attempt to intimidate witnesses. A protective order would limit what Trump could publicly say about the case. Trump, meanwhile, asked for narrower limits on the protective order, arguing that “the government seeks to restrict First Amendment rights.” (Axios / NBC News / The Hill / Politico / ABC News / CNN)

2/ Trump attacked special counsel Jack Smith and the judge assigned to oversee his election conspiracy case, posting to his social media platform that “Deranged Jack Smith is going before his number one draft pick, the Judge of his ‘dreams’ (WHO MUST BE RECUSED!), in an attempt to take away my FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHTS — This, despite the fact that he, the DOJ, and his many Thug prosecutors, are illegally leaking, everything and anything, to the Fake News Media!!!” Trump also posted a message calling for Judge Tanya Chutkan’s recusal and that he was seeking a venue change, saying it was “on very powerful grounds” but didn’t elaborate. Hours later, Trump’s attorney publicly walked back the plan, saying Trump was speaking with a “layman’s political sense.” (NBC News / Politico / New York Times)

3/ A federal judge dismissed Trump’s defamation counterclaim against E. Jean Carroll, who won a $5 million verdict against him for sexual abuse and defamation earlier this year. In June, Trump filed his counterclaim against Carroll, alleging she defamed him by saying he’d raped her. Jurors in the case didn’t find that Trump had raped her. Under New York law, rape is defined as forcible penetration with the penis. In his ruling, Judge Lewis Kaplan noted that Carroll’s statements were “substantially true” and dismissed Trump’s counterclaim. (NBC News / CNN / CNBC)

poll/ 51% of Americans believe Trump tried to stay in office beyond his term through illegal and unconstitutional means, while 29% believe Trump tried to stay in office by legal means, and 20% don’t believe Trump planned to stay in office at all. (CBS News)

poll/ 59% of Americans think the multiple indictments and investigations against Trump are an effort to stop his 2024 campaign. Among Republicans, 86% say the indictments and investigations are an effort to stop Trump’s 2024 campaign. (CBS News)

poll/ 69% of Republicans say Biden’s win was not legitimate – up from 63% earlier this year. Overall, 61% of Americans say Biden legitimately won the presidency, while 38% believe that he did not. (CNN)

Day 926: "A very sad day for America."

1/ Trump pleaded not guilty to charges that he conspired to overturn the 2020 election results to keep himself in power. It was the third time in four months Trump stood before a judge on criminal charges. Trump will remain free while the case moves forward, but was prohibited from speaking to any a witness about the case except through his lawyers. Following the hearing, Trump claimed that “this is a very sad day for America. This is a persecution of a political opponent. This was never supposed to happen in America.” The next hearing in Trump’s 2020 election conspiracy case was set for Aug. 28 – days after the first debate in the 2024 Republican presidential primary. (Associated Press / New York Times / Bloomberg / NBC News / CNN / Washington Post)

  • 📌 Day 924: Trump was indicted by special counsel Jack Smith on federal charges over his efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election and subvert the will of American voters. Trump was charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, obstruction of and attempt to obstruct an official proceeding, and conspiracy against the right to vote and have that vote counted.

poll/ 45% of Republicans said they would not vote for Trump if he were convicted of a felony, while 35% said they would. 52% of Republicans said they would not vote for Trump if he were “currently serving time in prison,” while 28% said they would. (Reuters)

Day 924: "An unprecedented assault on the seat of American democracy."

1/ Trump was indicted by special counsel Jack Smith on federal charges over his efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election and subvert the will of American voters. “The attack on our nation’s Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, was an unprecedented assault on the seat of American democracy,” Smith said after the indictment was filed. “It was fueled by lies, lies by the defendant.” Trump was charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, obstruction of and attempt to obstruct an official proceeding, and conspiracy against the right to vote and have that vote counted. Prosecutors allege that Trump “was determined to remain in power” after losing the 2020 election, and that he and six unindicted co-conspirators orchestrated a conspiracy to overturn the results “by using knowingly false claims of election fraud to obstruct the government function by which those results are collected, counted and certified.” The six co-conspirators, who are not named in the indictment, include: Rudy Giuliani as co-conspirator 1, who promised a “trial by combat” on Jan. 6 and was “willing to pursue strategies the Defendant’s 2020 re-election campaign attorneys would not”; John Eastman as co-conspirator 2, who “devised and attempted to implement a strategy to leverage the Vice President’s ceremonial role overseeing the certification proceeding to obstruct the certification of the presidential election”; Sidney Powell as co-conspirator 3, “whose unfounded claims of election fraud the Defendant privately acknowledged to others sounded ‘crazy’”; Jeffrey Clark as co-conspirator 4, who worked with Trump to “use the Justice Department to open sham election crime investigations and influence state legislatures with knowingly false claims of election fraud”; Kenneth Chesebro as co-conspirator 5, who “assisted in devising and attempting to implement a plan to submit fraudulent slates of presidential electors to obstruct the certification proceeding”; and a “political consultant” as co-conspirator 6, who “helped implement a plan to submit fraudulent slates of presidential electors to obstruct the certification proceeding.” This was Trump’s third indictment – and his second on federal charges. He now faces 78 charges across his three indictments: 44 federal charges and 34 state charges – all of which are felonies – in three jurisdictions. (New York Times / Washington Post / Associated Press / Wall Street Journal / Politico / Bloomberg / NBC News / USA Today / ABC News / CNN)

poll/ In a hypothetical 2024 rematch, 43% of voters said they’d vote for Trump, while 43% said they vote for Biden with 14% undecided. (New York Times)

Day 923: "Any day now."

1/ A Georgia judge denied an effort by Trump to toss out evidence gathered by a special grand jury and remove the district attorney from the criminal investigation into his attempts to overturn his 2020 election loss in the state. Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney said that while a “highly publicized criminal investigation is likely an unwelcome and unpleasant experience,” the “injuries” that Trump claimed to have suffered from the two-and-a-half-year investigation “are either insufficient or else speculative and unrealized.” McBurney also rejected efforts by Cathy Latham, who served as one of Trump’s fake electors in the state, saying neither had legal standing to block the investigation at this point. Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis is expected to present potential indictments to a regular grand jury by mid-August. Willis has asked Fulton County judges to schedule no trials in the weeks of Aug. 7 and 14. Trump, meanwhile, said he assumes he’ll be indicted “any day now.” (Politico / New York Times / NBC News / Bloomberg / CNN / The Hill / Wall Street Journal / Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

2/ A federal judge dismissed Trump’s $475 million defamation lawsuit against CNN. Trump had argued that CNN’s use of the phrase the “Big Lie” when discussing his false 2020 election fraud claims likened him to Adolf Hitler, which incited “readers and viewers to hate, contempt, distrust, ridicule, and even fear” him. U.S. District Judge Raag Singhal, who was appointed by Trump, wrote that “being ‘Hitler-like’ is not a verifiable statement of fact that would support a defamation claim.” Singhal added: “CNN’s use of the phrase ‘the Big Lie’ in connection with Trump’s election challenges does not give rise to a plausible inference that Trump advocates the persecution and genocide of Jews or any other group of people.” (Politico / NPR)

3/ Special counsel Jack Smith accused Trump of trying to delete security camera footage at Mar-a-Lago. In the 60-page superseding indictment, prosecutors allege that Trump asked two employees – aide Walt Nauta and Mar-a-Lago maintenance worker Carlos De Oliveira – to delete security footage after the Justice Department had issued a subpoena for it. The new indictment also charges Trump with illegally holding onto a document he’s alleged to have shared with visitors in New Jersey. Trump now faces 32 counts of willfully retaining national defense information under the Espionage Act and eight counts related to alleged efforts to obstruct the investigation. (CNN / Associated Press / New York Times / Washington Post / Politico / ABC News / CNBC)

4/ Trump’s political committee has spent more than $40 million this year defending him, his aides, and other allies. Since leaving office, the Save America PAC has spent about $56 million on Trump-related legal fees as he faces a federal indictment in Florida, state charges in New York, and possible criminal indictments in Washington and Georgia. (Washington Post / New York Times / Wall Street Journal / ABC News / Associated Press)

poll/ 54% of Republicans said they prefer Trump to be the GOP’s presidential nominee. 17% said they support Ron DeSantis – Trump’s nearest challenger. No other candidate topped 3% support. (New York Times)

Day 919: "Productive."

1/ Trump’s attorneys met with prosecutors from special counsel Jack Smith’s office ahead of a potential indictment in connection with his efforts to overturn the 2020 election. Trump said his lawyers had “a productive meeting” with the prosecutors, which included his lawyers explaining to Smith’s team that “I did nothing wrong, was advised by many lawyers, and that an indictment of me would only further destroy our country.” Trump added that “no indication of notice was given during the meeting.” Last week, Trump received a letter notifying him he is a target of the special counsel’s investigation. An indictment would be the third one for Trump, who was indicted last month on 37 criminal counts related to his handling of classified materials. Trump was also indicted in April on 34 counts from the Manhattan DA related to falsifying business records in connection with a hush money payment made to Stormy Daniels. The grand jury that’s been hearing evidence in the probe typically meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays. A court official, however, said that there haven’t been any indictments returned today and none are expected. Trump is the current front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination and no former or current president has ever been indicted. (NBC News / CNN / ABC News / New York Times / Associated Press / Washington Post / Wall Street Journal / Bloomberg)

2/ Ron DeSantis cut more than a third of his presidential campaign staff. Some 38 staffers have been let go from the campaign since its May 24 launch. The campaign sent a note on “messaging guidance” to supporters, saying the campaign is “leaning into the reset” and “embrace being the underdog” as it cuts down on event and travel costs. The campaign has spent 40% of the $20 million it raised between entering the race. (Politico / CNN / NBC News / Washington Post)

3/ Mitch McConnell was escorted away from cameras after he suddenly froze mid-sentence and stopped speaking for about 25 seconds during a press conference. While the 81-year-old has claimed since then that he’s “fine,” he fell two weeks ago and has been using a wheelchair periodically to get around. Earlier this year, McConnell suffered a concussion after falling down. Meanwhile, 90-year-old Dianne Feinstein appeared confused and mistakenly started reading a statement during a routine Senate Appropriations Committee vote, which required her to simply say “Aye” or “Nay” when her name was called. Feinstein announced earlier this year that she will not run for reelection in 2024. (NBC News / ABC News / CNN / USA Today / NPR / Politico / New York Times)

4/The U.S. economy grew at a faster-than-expected pace during the second quarter. GDP increased at a 2.4% annualized rate for the April-through-June period after a 2% pace in the previous three months. The Federal Reserve said it no longer expected a recession to begin this year. (ABC News / CNBC / Wall Street Journal / Bloomberg / New York Times)

5/ The Supreme Court allowed work to resume on the Mountain Valley Pipeline. Last month, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals temporarily blocked completion of the natural gas pipeline while the court reviewed a provision in June’s debt ceiling legislation, which mandated the completion of the pipeline and barred most legal challenges to the construction. The pipeline provisions were added to the Fiscal Responsibility Act in order to secure Joe Manchin’s vote for the Inflation Reduction Act. (NPR / CNN / New York Times / Wall Street Journal / Politico / NBC News)

Day 918: "A long way to go."

1/ Rudy Giuliani conceded that he made “false” and defamatory statements that two Georgia election workers had mishandled ballots while counting votes in Atlanta during the 2020 election. Although Giuliani is no longer contesting the accusations by Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss, he argued that his false claims were “constitutionally protected” speech and didn’t damage the women. In 2021, Freeman and Moss sued Giuliani, accusing him of defaming them when he falsely claimed they had engaged in fraud while counting ballots at State Farm Arena in Atlanta. The lawsuit also accused Giuliani of promoting a selectively edited video that purportedly showed the two women manipulating ballots, which made them the targets of a conspiracy theory spread by Trump and his allies. (Associated Press / NPR / CNN / Washington Post / New York Times / NBC News / Wall Street Journal)

2/ Hunter Biden pleaded not guilty to federal tax charges after the judge refused to accept the terms of his initial plea deal. Biden originally agreed to plead guilty to two misdemeanor tax crimes he committed in 2017 and 2018 with prosecutors agreeing to recommend probation. Prosecutors had also agreed not to pursue a separate felony gun-possession charge as long as Biden remains drug-free and agrees to never own a firearm again. Instead, Judge Maryellen Noreika, a Trump appointee, asked that the lawyers from both sides to clarify and limit the scope of the immunity deal after questioning whether the deal would protect Biden from the potential future criminal charges. The hearing ended with Biden pleading not guilty for the time being. He’s expected to reverse that plea if a new agreement meets Noreika’s approval. (New York Times / NBC News / CNN / Washington Post / NPR / ABC News / CNBC / Bloomberg / Wall Street Journal)

3/ The Federal Reserve raised interest rates to the highest level in 22 years. For the 11th time in 17 months, the Fed raised the benchmark federal-funds rate from roughly 5.1% to 5.3%, after pausing rate increases in June. Inflation cooled in June to 3% from a peak of 9.1%, but remains above the Federal Reserve’s target of 2%. “Inflation has moderated somewhat since the middle of last year,” Chair Jerome Powell said. “Nonetheless, the process of getting inflation back down to 2% has a long way to go.” Congressional Budget Office, meanwhile, estimates that the U.S. economy will avoid slipping into a recession with GDP projected to rise at a 0.4% annual rate in the second half of this year. (Associated Press / Bloomberg / Wall Street Journal / NPR / Washington Post / New York Times / ABC News / NBC News / CNN / CNBC)

4/ A former national intelligence official turned-whistleblower testified that the U.S. is concealing a longstanding program that retrieves and reverse engineers UFOs. David Grusch appeared before the House Oversight Committee’s national security subcommittee alongside two former fighter pilots who had firsthand experience with “unidentified anomalous phenomena,” a phrase the federal government uses to refer to what are commonly known as UFOs. Grusch told lawmakers that during his work with a UAP task force, he was denied access to a UAP crash-retrieval and reverse-engineering program that had existed for decades. He added that the U.S. likely has been aware of “non-human” activity since the 1930s and claimed that the government has recovered “non-human biologics” from crashed UAPs. The Defense Department, meanwhile, said it “has not discovered any verifiable information to substantiate claims that any programs regarding the possession or reverse-engineering of extraterrestrial materials have existed in the past or exist currently.” (Associated Press / NBC News / CBS News / New York Times / CNN / Wall Street Journal)

Day 917: "Tipping point."

1/ Kevin McCarthy suggested that House Republicans may pursue an “impeachment inquiry” into Biden. Following a series of congressional investigations targeting Biden, his administration, and his family members, House Republicans have sought to build a case that the Justice Department improperly interfered in a criminal investigation into Hunter Biden’s financial dealings and that Biden’s family members received payments from foreign companies. McCarthy said an impeachment inquiry would give Congress “the strongest power to get the rest of the knowledge and information needed” to investigate Biden. The White House, meanwhile, said House Republicans “eagerness to go after” Biden “regardless of the truth is seemingly bottomless […] Instead of focusing on the real issues Americans want us to address like continuing to lower inflation or create jobs, this is what” they want “to prioritize.” (Washington Post / Politico / NBC News / USA Today / CNN)

2/ Nancy Pelosi accused Kevin McCarthy of “playing politics” with the idea of expunging Trump’s two impeachments, saying he’s “afraid” and “looks pathetic.” Pelosi added: “As I’ve said before, Donald Trump is the puppeteer and what does he do all of the time but shine the light on the strings.” McCarthy reportedly promised Trump that he would move to expunge the two impeachments before Congress breaks for its August recess after he openly questioned whether Trump is “the strongest to win the [general] election” on national television. McCarthy, however, has not scheduled a floor vote, and said the idea should “go through committee like anything else.” (Politico / USA Today / CNN / The Hill)

3/ A federal judge blocked Biden’s temporary restrictions on migrants seeking asylum. The judge ruled that the system the Biden administration imposed in May – which disqualifies most people from applying for asylum if they have crossed into the U.S. without first applying online or seeking protection in a country they passed through – violates asylum laws that allow for anyone who enters the U.S. to ask for protection regardless of how they arrived. Judge Jon Tigar previously ruled against a similar policy under the Trump administration’s so-called transit ban. (New York Times / CNN / Washington Post / Associated Press / Politico / Wall Street Journal)

4/ The U.S. has surpassed 400 mass shootings in 2023. The U.S. has already outpaced the number of mass shootings recorded each year between 2013 and 2018, and there have been more mass shootings in 2023 so far than at this point in any year since at least 2013. (CNN)

5/ Pedestrian deaths in the U.S. have increased 77% since 2010. In 2022, an estimated 7,508 pedestrians were killed while walking – the most since 1981. While there’s no single explanation why walking has become more dangerous, road design and bigger vehicles are major contributing factors. (Vox)

6/ The July heat waves in the U.S., Mexico, Europe, and Asia would have been “virtually impossible” without climate change, according to a new study. The analysis by the World Weather Attribution network examined weather data and computer models to compare today’s current climate – which is around 1.2 degrees Celsius warmer than the pre-industrial era – with the climate of the past. They found that “the role of climate change is absolutely overwhelming” and that heat waves are becoming more common. The recent heat wave in China, for instance, was made 50 times as likely by climate change, the researchers said. (Washington Post / New York Times / Wall Street Journal / CNN)

7/ The Atlantic Ocean’s currents could collapse “around mid-century under the current scenario of future emissions” because of human-caused climate change, according to a new analysis of 150 years of temperature data. The Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation carries warm, salty water from the tropics to the North Atlantic, and then sends colder water south along the ocean floor. But as rising global temperatures melt Arctic ice, large amounts of fresh water enter the North Atlantic, which disrupts the balance of heat and salinity in the ocean, and weakens the current. Continued warming is expected to push the AMOC over its “tipping point” around the middle of this century, which could trigger rapid weather and climate changes, including a drop in temperatures in northern Europe, elevated warming in the tropics, faster sea-level rise along the coastlines of North America and Europe, and stronger storms on the East Coast of North America. The last time there was a major slowdown of the ocean currents around the North Atlantic was roughly 12,800 years ago when temperatures fell by around 18 degrees Fahrenheit in parts of Greenland and arctic-like conditions returned to parts of Europe. (New York Times / Washington Post / Politico / USA Today)

✏️ Notables.

  1. A member of Rudy Giuliani’s team turned over thousands of pages of documents to special counsel Jack Smith as part of the federal investigation into Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election. Bernard Kerik, the former New York City Police commissioner, worked with Giuliani in the effort to uncover voter fraud following Biden’s victory. Kerik’s legal team initially refused to turn those documents over, citing attorney-client privilege. (Daily Beast / CNN / NBC News)

  2. Special counsel Jack Smith’s office is investigating a February 2020 Oval Office meeting where Trump praised improvements to the security of U.S. elections, including the expanded use of paper ballots and security audits. “Trump was so encouraged by federal efforts to protect election systems that he suggested the FBI and Department of Homeland Security hold a press conference to take credit for the work.” (CNN)

  3. The Fulton county district attorney reportedly is pursuing a racketeering indictment in the investigation into Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election results in Georgia. “The racketeering statute in Georgia requires prosecutors to show the existence of an ‘enterprise’ – and a pattern of racketeering activity that is predicated on at least two ‘qualifying’ crimes.” (The Guardian)

Day 916: "Doing things."

1/ Biden will establish a national monument honoring Emmett Till and his mother, Mamie Till-Mobley. The monument will consist of three protected sites in Illinois and Mississippi central to the story of Till’s life and death at age 14. In August 1955, two white men abducted, tortured, and killed Till, a Black teenage from Chicago, after he was accused of whistling at a white woman in Mississippi. Till-Mobley insisted on an open coffin at his funeral, asserting that “the whole nation had to bear witness to this.” (New York Times / NPR / NBC News)

2/ Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis suggested that Black people benefited from slavery by learning skills like “being a blacksmith,” which they applied to “doing things later in life.” The comment, said to a nearly all-White crowd of supporters, follows state’s new public school curriculum that middle school students should be taught that “slaves developed skills which, in some instances, could be applied for their personal benefit.” DeSantis said he “wasn’t involved” in writing the new curriculum standards, but credited “a lot of scholars” with creating “the most robust standards in African American history probably anywhere in the country.” (Washington Post / Yahoo News / New York Times)

3/ Alabama Republicans defied a Supreme Court order to create a second majority-Black district in the state. Last month, the Supreme Court ruled that the state’s previous district lines marginalized the state’s Black population in violation of the Voting Rights Act and ordered a second district with either a Black majority “or something quite close to it” to give Black voters an opportunity to elect a representative of their choice. Instead, the Republican-controlled Legislature approved a new map with just one majority-Black seat and increased the share of Black voters in one of the state’s six majority-white congressional districts to about 40%, from about 30%. Additionally, the percentage of Black voters in the existing majority-Black district dropped to about 51% from about 55%. More than one-quarter of Alabama’s residents are Black. (NBC News / New York Times / CBS News / Reuters / Washington Post / CNN)

4/ The Justice Department sued Texas and Gov. Greg Abbott for building floating barriers in the Rio Grande. Abbott has argued that the new floating barrier of buoys is intended to deter migrants from crossing into the U.S. The Justice Department, however, said the large buoys “violate federal law, raise humanitarian concerns, present serious risks to public safety and the environment, and may interfere with the federal government’s ability to carry out its official duties.” Abbott, meanwhile, responded: “Texas will see you in court, Mr. President.” (CNN / Politico / Associated Press / ABC News)

5/ Trump’s trial in the classified documents case is set for May 20, 2024. U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon rejected both Trump’s claim that a fair trial could only be held after the 2024 election and the Justice Department’s request to start as soon as December. The trial starts after nearly all the 2024 primaries have been completed, but before the Republican National Convention names an official nominee. Meaning if Trump won enough of those primaries, he could go to trial as the presumptive Republicans presidential nominee. (CNBC / Wall Street Journal / CNN / NBC News / Axios / New York Times / Washington Post / Bloomberg)

poll/ 32% of Republicans have an unfavorable view of Trump, while 66% have a favorable opinion of the former president. Last July, 24% viewed Trump unfavorably while 75% viewed him favorably. Overall, 63% of Americans have an unfavorable view of Trump. (Pew Research Center)

🚀 Well, That’s Fantastic.

One year old, the Inflation Reduction Act is already turbocharging clean energy technology. “The IRA is America’s most significant response to climate change, after decades of lobbying by oil, gas and coal interests stalled action, while carbon emissions climbed, creating a hotter, more dangerous world. Nearly 80 major clean energy manufacturing facilities have been announced, an investment equal to the previous seven years combined.” (Associated Press)

Day 912: "Personal benefit."

1/ The Senate Judiciary Committee advanced legislation that would require the U.S. Supreme Court to adopt a binding code of ethics. The legislation would require the Supreme Court to adopt and adhere to ethics and disclosure requirements equivalent to those applied to members of Congress and establish a process for enforcing them. The vote was 11-10 along party lines, with Republicans claiming that the bill could “destroy” the court. The legislation, however, is not expected to get the 60 votes required to advance in the Senate – and even if it did, it has little chance of being considered in the Republican-controlled House. The move follows reports that Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito failed to disclose luxury travel and accommodations provided by wealthy businessmen and political donors, and that Justice Sonia Sotomayor used taxpayer-funded court staff to help sell her books. (Associated Press / ABC News / New York Times / CNN / Politico / Washington Post)

  • How Harlan Crow Slashed his Tax Bill by Taking Clarence Thomas on Superyacht Cruises. “Crow’s voyages with Thomas, the data shows, contributed to a nice side benefit: They helped reduce Crow’s tax bill.” (ProPublica)
  • Influential activist Leonard Leo helped fund media campaign lionizing Clarence Thomas. “Leo is well-known for shepherding conservative judicial nominees, but the public relations campaign shows how he has continued to exert influence in support of right-leaning justices after helping them secure lifetime appointments.” (Washington Post)

2/ Kevin McCarthy reportedly promised Trump that the House would vote to expunge his two impeachments before its August recess. After McCarthy openly questioned whether Trump is “the strongest to win the [general] election” on national television, McCarthy promised to revisit the two impeachments in order to calm Trump. “He needs to endorse me — today!” Trump reportedly fumed to his staff following McCarthy’s television appearance. McCarthy, however, denies he made any deal with Trump to expunge his impeachment record. (Politico / ABC News / Politico)

3/ Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger complied with a subpoena from special counsel Jack Smith seeking all security video from an Election Day polling site. Trump and Rudy Giuliani had repeatedly falsely claimed that a pair of election workers stationed at Atlanta’s State Farm Arena engaged in fraud while they were counting ballots. The FBI and Georgia Bureau of Investigation previously investigated claims of voter fraud at the arena and concluded that “there was no evidence of any type of fraud as alleged.” The Georgia State Election Board also dismissed a years-long investigation into alleged misconduct by Fulton County election workers, finding no evidence of conspiracy. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution / NBC News / CNN)

4/ A federal judge denied Trump’s request for a new trial in the case where a jury ordered him to pay $5 million for sexually abusing and defaming E. Jean Carroll. Trump claimed that the award was excessive because the jury concluded that he had not raped Carroll – only that he sexually abused her and later defamed her when he denied her story. Judge Lewis Kaplan wrote in the order that the jury in the case did not reach “a seriously erroneous result” and its verdict is not “a miscarriage of justice,” as Trump had alleged. “There is no basis for disturbing the jury’s sexual assault damages,” Kaplan added. “And Mr. Trump’s arguments with respect to the defamation damages are no stronger.” (Associated Press / NPR / Washington Post / CNBC / Politico)

5/ The Florida Board of Education approved a new set of standards for how Black history should be taught to middle school students, including instruction on how slavery gave Black people a “personal benefit” because they “developed skills.” The new standards require high school students to be taught that the 1920 Ocoee massacre, where a white mob attacked Black residents, included “acts of violence perpetrated against and by African Americans.” As many as 60 people were killed when several Black residents attempted to vote, making it the deadliest instance of Election Day violence in U.S. history. The new standards were approved unanimously. (Washington Post / CNN / Politico)

Day 911: "Significant negative effect."

1/ The U.S. and China need more time to “break new ground” to reach new climate agreements despite “productive” conversations. U.S. special climate envoy John Kerry said the two countries “had a very extensive set of frank conversations” and committed to “work intensively in the weeks ahead” to better address greenhouse gas emissions, boosting renewable power, and developing national climate plans ahead of a critical United Nations climate summit starting this November in Dubai. China is the world’s largest greenhouse gas emitter, followed by the U.S. Although China has vowed to peak its carbon pollution by 2030 and hit carbon neutrality by 2060, Chinese leader Xi Jinping reiterated that the country would resist efforts from other nations to push it to move faster, saying the approach for achieving those targets “must be determined by ourselves, and will never be influenced by others.” (Politico / Washington Post / Bloomberg)

  • Al Gore on Extreme Heat and the Fight Against Fossil Fuels. “We know how to fix this,” Gore said. “We can stop the temperatures going up worldwide with as little as a three-year time lag by reaching net zero […] And if we stay at true net zero, we’ll see half of the human-caused CO2 coming out of the atmosphere in as little as 30 years.” (New York Times)

2/ Phoenix broke a 49-year-old record with its 19th consecutive day of high temperatures at or above 110 degrees Fahrenheit. Overnight temperatures in Phoenix haven’t dropped below 90 degrees for a record 9 days in a row. More than 85 million people in the U.S. are currently under heat alerts, and since early June more than 2,300 heat records have been broken. Two weeks ago Earth recorded its hottest days in modern history. Since then, China set an all-time high of nearly 126 degrees Fahrenheit – the country’s highest temperature ever observed and the highest recorded north of 40 degrees latitude globally – Death Valley hit 128 degrees, and the Persian Gulf International Airport in Iran reached 152 degrees on the heat index. The heat index measures how hot it feels outside, using both air temperature and humidity. (Associated Press / New York Times / NBC News / Washington Post / ABC News / CNN)

3/ More than 44 million people in 28 states have been affected by wildfire smoke this week and air quality alerts remain in effect for parts of 16 states. Air quality in the U.S., however, is expected to improve over the next few days. There are more than 800 active fires are burning throughout Canada. (New York Times / Washington Post / ABC News / NBC News / CNN)

  • 💡 How to build a DIY air filter for wildfire smoke. The Corsi-Rosenthal Box is an affordable homemade air cleaning system that can reduce indoor exposure to wildfire smoke (and other airborne particles, like Covid-19). You’ll need a 20” box fan, four 20x20 MERV 13 furnace filters, some duct tape, and a piece of cardboard. Here’s your assembly guide.

4/ Kevin McCarthy suggested that the U.S. could plant a trillion trees to combat climate change instead of phasing out fossil fuels. McCarthy made the comment last month during a visit to a natural gas drilling site in Ohio. The idea comes from a 2019 study, which initially proposed planting a trillion trees as an effective climate solution. However, the authors of the study have since made three corrections, including that they were incorrect to state “tree restoration is the most effective solution to climate change to date,” and that new forests could absorb about half as much carbon as they initially suggested. The authors have also clarified that planting trees does not eliminate “the urgent need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.” Planting one trillion trees would require a space roughly the size of the continental U.S. (Associated Press)

poll/ 55% of Americans are expecting a “significant negative effect” from climate change during their lifetime, while 41% are not. 67% say they’re either very concerned or somewhat concerned about climate change, while 32% say they’re either not so concerned or not concerned at all. (Quinnipiac)

Day 910: "Extraordinary circumstances."

1/ Trump has been notified that he’s a target in the Jan. 6 criminal investigation by special counsel Jack Smith. Trump confirmed the development in a post on his personal social media platform, writing: “Deranged Jack Smith, the prosecutor with Joe Biden’s DOJ, sent a letter (again, it was Sunday night!) stating that I am a TARGET of the January 6th Grand Jury investigation, and giving me a very short 4 days to report to the Grand Jury, which almost always means an Arrest and Indictment.” The target letter indicates that another indictment could be imminent, though it’s unclear what kind of charges Trump could face. It is also not clear whether anyone else received a target letter. It is, however, the second time that Smith has notified Trump that he’s a target in a federal investigation. The first was in June in connection with his handling of classified documents after leaving office and his alleged efforts to obstruct the government’s investigation. Days later, a federal grand jury indicted Trump on 37 charges. In March, a Manhattan grand jury indicted Trump on state charges related to hush money payments during the 2016 presidential campaign. The district attorney in Fulton County, Ga., is also leading an ongoing investigation related to the 2020 election and attempts to overturn the state’s results. (New York Times / Washington Post / CNN / Associated Press / ABC News / Politico / Wall Street Journal / USA Today / NBC News / CNBC)

  • Trump and his allies are planning to increase his presidential power if he wins the 2024 election, reshaping the structure of the executive branch to concentrate greater authority in his hands. “Trump and his associates have a broader goal: to alter the balance of power by increasing the president’s authority over every part of the federal government that now operates, by either law or tradition, with any measure of independence from political interference by the White House, according to a review of his campaign policy proposals and interviews with people close to him.” (New York Times)

2/ The Georgia Supreme Court dismissed Trump’s petition to block the state’s investigation into his efforts to overturn the 2020 election and to throw out evidence gathered by a special purpose grand jury in the case. All nine justices said Trump’s lawyers had failed to present “extraordinary circumstances” that warranted shutting down the investigation. The ruling came weeks before Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis is expected to seek indictments in the election probe. Trump is expected to be one of the defendants. (Washington Post / Atlanta Journal-Constitution / Bloomberg / Wall Street Journal / NBC News / Politico / CNBC / USA Today)

3/ U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon signaled that she will likely push back the start of Trump’s trial for allegedly mishandling classified documents. Cannon, however, appeared skeptical of Trump’s request that it be delayed until after the 2024 election. Cannon said a proposal from federal prosecutors that the trial be held in mid-December was “a bit rushed” and that the timeline was too “compressed.” Cannon previously intervened last year in the Justice Department’s investigation into Trump’s handling of classified materials, agreeing to order an outside review of documents seized from Mar-a-Lago. A federal appeals court panel later overturned the decision. Trump, meanwhile, praised Cannon, calling her a “very smart,” “very strong,” and “very highly respected judge.” Trump added: “I’m very proud to have appointed her.” (Washington Post / CNN)

4/ Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel criminally charged 16 people who falsely claimed to be the state’s 2020 presidential electors for Trump. All 16 people were charged with eight felonies “for their role in the alleged false electors scheme following the 2020 U.S. presidential election,” Nessel said. The charges include one count of conspiracy to commit forgery, two counts of forgery, one count of conspiracy to commit uttering and publishing, and one count of uttering and publishing – all of which carry a maximum of 14 years in prison. They also each face one count of conspiracy to commit election law forgery, and two counts of election law forgery, which each carry a maximum of five years in prison. (CNN / NBC News / Washington Post / CBS News / CNBC)

Day 909: "Targeted."

1/ An Iowa judge temporarily blocked the state’s new six-week abortion ban. For now, abortion is legal again in Iowa up to 20 weeks of pregnancy while the legal challenge plays out in the court system. On Friday, Gov. Kim Reynolds signed the “fetal heartbeat” law. It took effect immediately and banned nearly all abortions after cardiac activity in the embryo is detected, which can occur about six weeks into a pregnancy – before most women know they are pregnant. (NBC News / Des Moines Register / Associated Press / The Hill)

2/ House Republicans narrowly approved a must-pass defense policy bill, which restricts Pentagon policies that reimburse travel costs for troops seeking abortions and medical care for transgender troops. The $886 billion defense package authorizes funding and sets the policy for the Defense Department, and includes a 5.2% pay raise for service members. All but four Democrats voted against the package. The National Defense Authorization Act, however, expected to go nowhere in the Democratic-majority Senate, which will begin debate on its own defense legislation this month. (Associated Press / Politico / Vox / NPR / CNN / CBS News)

3/ A Republican from Arizona referred to Black people as “colored people” during a floor debate over his proposed amendment to the annual defense policy bill. Eli Crane’s amendment would prohibit the Pentagon from considering race, gender, religion, political affiliations or “any other ideological concepts” in training, promotion or retention decisions. “My amendment has nothing to do with whether or not colored people or Black people or anybody can serve,” said Crane. “The military was never intended to be, you know, inclusive. Its strength is not its diversity. Its strength is its standards.” Crane later claimed he “misspoke.” (Washington Post / NBC News / CBS News)

4/ The Biden administration eliminated $39 billion in student debt for more than 800,000 borrowers. The relief is part of an effort to fix what the administration calls “administrative failures” that denied student loan borrowers relief they were eligible. Under those repayment plans, borrowers could get any remaining debt canceled by the government after having made qualifying payments for 20 years or 25 years. However, “inaccurate payment counts” and other failures caused borrowers to lose “hard-earned progress” toward having their loans forgiven. Millions more will also have their loans adjusted as part of the program. The new student debt plan relies on a different law than the one that the Supreme Court recently struck down, which would have delivered relief to about 37 million people. (CBS News / ABC News / New York Times / Politico / Washington Post / CNBC)

5/ Presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. suggested that Covid-19 was “targeted to attack Caucasians and Black people,” saying that “the people who are most immune are Ashkenazi Jews and Chinese.” Kennedy ended his conspiracy-filled rant by saying: “We don’t know whether it was deliberately targeted or not but there are papers out there that show the racial or ethnic differential and impact.” The 2024 candidate has a history of embracing and sharing conspiracy theories. Following backlash and accusations of antisemitism and racism, Kennedy claimed there was a “misinterpretation” of his statement. (New York Times / Politico / CNN / ABC News / New York Post)

poll/ 49% of Americans say democracy is not working well in the U.S., compared with 10% who say it’s working well and 40% only somewhat well. “The poll shows 53% of Americans say views of ‘people like you’ are not represented well by the government, with 35% saying they’re represented somewhat well and 12% very or extremely well. About 6 in 10 Republicans and independents feel like the government is not representing people like them well, compared with about 4 in 10 Democrats.” (Associated Press)

Day 903: "Racism bad."

1/ Trump asked a federal judge to postpone his trial on charges of illegally retaining classified documents until after the 2024 election. Trump’s lawyers argued that it would be “unreasonable, telling, and would result in a miscarriage of justice” if the trial takes place as scheduled, citing the “unprecedented” legal issues, the amount of evidence and involvement of classified material, Trump’s presidential campaign, and the challenge of seating an impartial jury before the election. The filing was submitted 30 minutes before the midnight deadline. Judge Aileen Cannon, who Trump appointed to the bench, is overseeing the case. Last year, Cannon granted Trump’s request to temporarily block federal investigators from reviewing classified documents the FBI seized from Mar-a-Lago, and appointed a “special master” to review all 11,000 documents. The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, however, twice reversed her decisions. Special Counsel Jack Smith, meanwhile, has requested a Dec. 11 trial date, noting that the case “involves straightforward theories of liability, and does not present novel questions of fact or law.” Trump faces 37 criminal counts related to his handling of classified materials. (New York Times / Washington Post / NPR / Bloomberg / Politico / NBC News / CBS News / ABC News)

2/ Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis seated a grand jury in Atlanta, which will likely decide whether Trump or his Republican allies should face criminal charges for their efforts to overturn his 2020 election loss in Georgia. Willis launched the criminal investigation shortly after Trump asked Georgia’s secretary of state to “find” enough votes to overturn Biden’s victory in the state. Willis has indicated that charging decisions from her investigation into “possible criminal interference in the administration of Georgia’s 2020 general election” will be announced in August. She has asked court officials that trials and in-person hearings not be scheduled between July 31 and Aug. 18. (CNN / NBC News / Washington Post / Associated Press)

3/ The Justice Department won’t defend Trump from civil liability in E. Jean Carroll’s defamation lawsuit against him. Justice Department lawyers said in a letter that it has “determined that it lacks adequate evidence” to conclude that Trump was acting within the scope of his office as president in 2019 “when he denied sexually assaulting Ms. Carroll and made the other statements regarding Ms. Carroll that she has challenged in this action.” The move allows Carroll’s civil lawsuit to move forward to trial in January. The letter comes two months after a Manhattan federal jury in a separate case found that Trump sexually abused Carroll and awarded her $5 million for battery and defamation. (CNN / CNBC)

4/ Republican Senator Tommy Tuberville finally condemned White nationalists, saying “White nationalists are racists.” On CNN this week Tuberville was asked to clarify comments he made earlier this year in which he suggested that White nationalists were “Americans” and should not be barred from serving in the military. Tuberville, however, repeatedly insisted on CNN that it was a matter of “opinion” as to whether White nationalists are racist. When asked for his opinion, Tuberville responded: “My opinion of a White nationalist, if someone wants to call them White nationalist, to me, is an American. It’s an American. Now if that White nationalist is a racist, I’m totally against anything that they want to do because I am 110% against racism.” In attempt to further clarify his views on White nationalists, Tuberville said: “Listen, I’m totally against racism. And if the Democrats want to say white nationalists are racist, I’m totally against that too […] My definition is, racism bad.” Tuberville is a former college football coach, who was first elected in 2020. He has single-handedly stalled hundreds of promotions for key military officers since February in an attempt to reverse a Defense Department policy that offers time off and travel reimbursement to service members if they cannot obtain abortions in their state. (CNN / Washington Post / NBC News / ABC News / USA Today)

Day 902: "Bomblets."

1/ The Biden administration will send cluster bombs to Ukraine, as well as armored vehicles and air defense missiles, in the next $800 million weapons package. Cluster weapons have been banned in more than 100 countries because they scatter “bomblets” across large areas that can fail to explode on impact but can cause indiscriminate harm to civilians long after the fighting ends. Biden defended the decision saying “the Ukrainians are running out of ammunition” in the fight against Russia. National security adviser Jake Sullivan added that Russia has already targeted Ukraine with cluster bombs. Biden, meanwhile, said it’s “premature” for Ukraine to join NATO, saying that Russia’s war in Ukraine needs to end before the alliance can consider adding Kyiv. (New York Times / Politico / CNN / CNN / Politico)

2/ A U.S. drone strike killed a top Islamic State group leader in Syria. Usamah al-Muhajir was killed while riding a motorcycle in northwestern Syria in an area where Russia conducts flight operations in support of the Syrian regime. Hours earlier, the same MQ-9 Reaper drones were “harassed” by Russian military jets for about two hours, according to the Defense Department. (Politico / ABC News)

3/ A retired college football coach turned U.S. senator has single-handedly blocked hundreds of promotions for key military officers since February. As a result, the Marine Corps are without a confirmed leader for the first time in 164 years and the nominations of more than 200 general and flag officers are currently stalled in the Senate. Republican Senator Tommy Tuberville is protesting the Defense Department’s reproductive health policies, which offer time off and travel reimbursement to service members if they cannot obtain abortions in their state. Further, more than half of the current Joint Chiefs are expected to retire in the coming months without a Senate-approved successor in place. [Editor’s note: Roll Tide.] (CNN / New York Times / The Hill / Politico)

4/ The House Freedom Caucus removed Marjorie Taylor Greene from their pro-Trump group “for some of the things she’s done.” The caucus voted just before Congress went on recess at the end of June and days after Greene got into a verbal fight with Lauren Boebert, another Freedom Caucus member. Greene called Boebert a “little bitch” on the House floor. (Politico / CNN / ABC News / USA Today)

5/ A D.C. Court of Appeals discipline committee recommended that Rudy Giuliani be disbarred for “frivolous” and “destructive” efforts to subvert the 2020 presidential election. “He claimed massive election fraud but had no evidence of it,” the three-member panel wrote in its 38-page decision. The committee accused Giuliani of “dishonesty,” saying his “hyperbolic claims of election fraud” were “utterly false” and “reckless.” The report concluded that Giuliani had “forfeited his right to practice law” in the District of Columbia. (Washington Post / Politico)

✏️ Notables.

  1. Special counsel prosecutors question witnesses about chaotic Oval Office meeting after Trump lost the 2020 election. “Investigators have asked several witnesses before the grand jury and during interviews about the meeting, which happened about six weeks after Donald Trump lost the 2020 election. Some witnesses were asked about the meeting months ago, while several others have faced questions about it more recently, including Rudy Giuliani.” (CNN)

  2. Trump’s former Chief of Staff said in a sworn statement that Trump had discussed having the IRS investigate two FBI officials involved in the Russia investigation. “[John] Kelly’s assertions were disclosed […] in connection with lawsuits brought by Peter Strzok, who was the lead agent in the FBI’s Russia investigation, and Lisa Page, a former lawyer in the bureau, against the Justice Department for violating their privacy rights when the Trump administration made public text messages between them.” (New York Times)

  3. A New York judge ordered Steve Bannon to pay nearly $500,000 in unpaid legal fees related to congressional and criminal investigations into his efforts to crowdfund a wall along the southern U.S. border. “In a six-page order issued Friday, Judge Arlene Bluth ordered Bannon to pay $480,487.87 in unpaid bills as well as “reasonable legal fees” to his former lawyers who brought the lawsuit.” (CNN)

  4. Federal appeals court allowed Tennessee’s ban on gender-affirming care for transgender minors to take effect. “The appeals court granted a stay of a lower court injunction, which had been blocking enforcement of a part of the state’s ban. The ban prohibits health care providers from performing gender-affirming surgeries and administering hormones or puberty blockers to transgender minors, pending the duration of the appeal.” (CNN)

  5. A Kansas judge blocked transgender people from changing the sex listed on their driver’s licenses. “The judge issued the order three days after Attorney General Kris Kobach sued two officials in Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly’s administration. Kelly announced last month that the state’s motor vehicles division would continue changing driver’s licenses for transgender people so that their sex listing matches their gender identities.” (Associated Press)

  6. Telecom companies have knowingly left behind more than 2,000 lead-covered cables that stretch across the U.S. The lead-covered cable network includes more than 1,750 underwater cables, and about 250 aerial cables alongside streets and fields next to schools and bus stops. “Roughly 330 of the total number of underwater cable locations identified are in a ‘source water protection area,’ designated by federal regulators as contributing to the drinking-water supply.” (Wall Street Journal)

  7. City utilities have been leaving lead pipe in the ground for decades – even when it is easiest to remove during water main work. “Decades after the dangers of lead became clear, other cities have made different decisions and have been leaving lead pipe in the ground. Experts say it has likely happened hundreds of thousands of times.” (Associated Press)

  8. An Oklahoma judge dismissed a lawsuit seeking reparations for the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre. “Judge Caroline Wall dismissed with prejudice the lawsuit trying to force the city and others to make recompense for the destruction of the once-thriving Black district known as Greenwood.” (NPR)

Day 898: "Not a record to celebrate."

1/ Earth recorded its hottest day ever for three straight days. The record was first set on Monday, when average global temperatures hit 61.16 degrees Fahrenheit, surpassing a previous record set in August 2016. That was followed by an average global temperature of 62.92 degrees Fahrenheit on Tuesday and Wednesday. “It’s not a record to celebrate and it won’t be a record for long, with northern hemisphere summer still mostly ahead and El Niño developing,” said Friederike Otto, senior lecturer in climate science at the Grantham Institute for Climate Change and the Environment in the UK. (CNN / ABC News / Axios)

2/ Texas’ strict abortion law led to nearly 10,000 more births than expected over a nine-month period. Texas Senate Bill 8, passed in September 2021, effectively banned abortions after six weeks of pregnancy with few exceptions. The research team estimated that from April to December 2022, Texas would have typically seen 287,289 births after analyzing years of previous live birth data from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Instead, there were about 297,000 total births during that nine-month period – about 3% more than expected without the law. The ban also decreased abortions in Texas and six adjacent states by 38%, according to researchers. (Texas Tribune / CNN / The Hill)

3/ U.S. companies added 497,000 jobs last month – the most in over a year. The ADP National Employment Report was well above 220,000 forecasted by economists. The government’s official employment report is due Friday. And while the ADP data often differs, it’s consistent with broader trends in the labor market and is viewed as a proxy for overall hiring activity. Job openings, meanwhile, fell to 9.82 million in May, down from 10.3 million in April and below the 9.9 million estimate. Monthly job openings, however, remain historically high: Before 2021, job openings never hit 8 million. Due to the strength of the labor market, some economists worry that the Federal Reserve will continue to push up interest rates to combat inflation that hit a four-decade high last year. (Bloomberg / Associated Press / New York Times / CNN / CNBC / CNBC)

  • The “Great Resignation” Is Over. “Tens of millions of Americans have changed jobs over the past two years, a tidal wave of quitting that reflected — and helped create — a rare moment of worker power as employees demanded higher pay, and as employers, short on staff, often gave it to them.” (New York Times)

  • Americans Have Quit Quitting Their Jobs. “A slowdown in voluntary departures can indicate a softening labor market if it reflects employers’ easing demand for workers, economists say. Employees might have less confidence they will find a better job or feel they have less bargaining power. Others might just be content with their jobs.” (Wall Street Journal)

4/ The average 30-year fixed mortgage rate climbed to 6.81% – the highest level since early November and up from 6.71% the week before. A year ago, the rate averaged 5.3%. (Associated Press / CNN / Wall Street Journal)

5/ A Trump aide pleaded not guilty to six charges related to the mishandling of classified documents at Mar-a-Lago, including conspiracy to obstruct justice and concealing records. The Justice Department accused Walt Nauta of helping Trump move boxes of classified documents Trump illegally kept from the federal government. Trump was named as a co-defendant for five of those counts. Nauta, however, was not arraigned with Trump on June 13 and unable to enter his plea in two prior court hearings because he couldn’t find a Florida-based lawyer to represent him. (CNN / CBS News / New York Times / NBC News / Washington Post)

  • Justice Department had video of boxes being moved at Mar-a-Lago before FBI search, unredacted document shows. “The Justice Department has made public more about the significant photographic and video evidence they collected last summer from Mar-a-Lago after the Trump presidency, in a newly released version of the investigative record that supported the FBI search of the resort.” (CNN)

Day 897: "See you in hell."

1/ July 4th was Earth’s hottest day on record, with the global average temperature reaching 62.92 degrees Fahrenheit. Although it was the highest temperature since records began in 1979, some scientists believe July 4 may have been one of the hottest days on Earth in around 125,000 years. “It’s a death sentence for people and ecosystems,” Friederike Otto said, a senior lecturer at the Grantham Institute for Climate Change and the Environment. The World Meteorological Organization added that “The onset of El Niño will greatly increase the likelihood of breaking temperature records and triggering more extreme heat in many parts of the world and in the ocean.” El Niño is a naturally occurring climate pattern associated with warming of the ocean surface temperatures in the Pacific Ocean. Meanwhile, June 2023 appears to have been the hottest June on record since the late 1800s, according to preliminary global data. (Associated Press / Washington Post / USA Today / Bloomberg / NPR / Axios)

2/ At least 17 mass shootings were recorded across the country over the Fourth of July holiday weekend. At least 18 people were killed, with at least 102 others injured. Meanwhile, a Trump supporter was arrested last week near Obama’s home with two guns, 400 rounds of ammunition, and a machete in his van. Taylor Taranto showed up at Obama’s home after Trump posted what he claimed was Obama’s address on his personal social network. “We got these losers surrounded!” Taranto wrote on Telegram. “See you in hell, Podesta’s and Obama’s!” (NBC News / Associated Press / NBC News / CNN)

3/ Special Counsel Jack Smith subpoenaed the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office as part of his investigation into Jan. 6 insurrection. Smith’s office requested information related to two lawsuits that alleged errors and fraud in the 2020 presidential results. Although Smith subpoenaed the secretary of state, he hasn’t reached out to former Gov. Doug Ducey, who played a central role in certifying Biden’s win in Arizona. Trump reportedly called Ducey to pressure him to find alleged voter fraud in the Arizona election that would help him overturn his loss in the state. Trump also repeatedly asked Pence to pressure Ducey to find the evidence to substantiate his claims of fraud. (AZ Central / Washington Post / CNN)

  • Trump once said a president under felony indictment would grind the government to a halt and create a constitutional crisis. “Trump said in 2016 that a president under indictment would “cripple the operations of our government” and create an “unprecedented constitutional crisis” – years before he himself was indicted on federal charges while running for a second term as president.” (CNN)

  • Judge orders release of more Mar-a-Lago search warrant information in Trump classified docs case. “Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart ordered that more be unsealed from the affidavit used to justify the search of former President Donald Trump’s Florida property that uncovered classified documents.” (NBC News)

4/ Federal Reserve officials signaled that they’re not done raising interest rates. Although the Fed held the federal funds rate steady at a range of 5-5.25% in June, which snapped a streak of 10 consecutive rate hikes since March 2022, officials noted that they might need to make two more increases this year to bring inflation down to their 2% target. Officials said they felt that “leaving the target range unchanged at this meeting would allow them more time to assess the economy’s progress toward the Committee’s goals of maximum employment and price stability.“ (CNN / CNBC / Bloomberg / Wall Street Journal / New York Times)

5/ The Secret Service is investigating how a small baggie of cocaine ended up in the White House. The white powder in a small plastic envelope, which lab testing confirmed was cocaine, was found during a routine search in an area of the West Wing where guests and staff members are screened for security. Biden was not at the White House when the cocaine was discovered, but reportedly “thinks it’s very important to get to the bottom of this.” (Washington Post / New York Times / ABC News / Politico / NBC News)

Day 895: "A serious moment."

1/ A civil rights group demanded that the federal government end Harvard’s special admissions treatment for children of alumni, saying the policy discriminates against applicants of color in favor of less qualified white candidates. Following last week’s Supreme Court ruling that rejected race-based affirmative action, three civil rights groups filed a complaint with the Education Department claiming that Harvard’s preferences for “legacy” applicants violates a provision of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that bans racial discrimination in programs that receive federal funds. 70% of legacy admissions to Harvard are White, compared with about 40% of regular applicants. Further, legacy applicants are more than five times as likely to be admitted than non-legacy applicants. Washington Post / New York Times / Wall Street Journal / Bloomberg / Associated Press / Reuters)

2/ The Supreme Court blocked Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan, which aimed to cancel up to $20,000 of student debt for up to 40 million borrowers. In a 6-3 decision, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote that the Biden administration exceeded its authority when it used emergency “waiver” powers tied to the Covid-19 pandemic to wipe out more than $400 billion in federal student loan debt. Biden, however, announced a “new path” for loan forgiveness using a different legal authority, the Higher Education Act. The 1965 law allows the secretary of education the authority to “compromise, waive or release” debt. The new plan, however, may not be implemented before the 2024 election. In the mean time, Biden said his administration would offer a temporary, 12-month “ramp” repayment program for student loan borrowers. The Education Department won’t refer borrowers with missed payments to credit agencies for 12 months “to give them a chance to get back up and running,” Biden said. (NBC News / CNN / Washington Post / Politico / ABC News / Wall Street Journal / CNBC)

3/ The Supreme Court ruled in favor of an evangelical Christian web designer who refused to work on same-sex weddings despite a state law that bars discrimination against gay people. The justices, divided 6-3 along ideological lines, said that Lorie Smith, who opposes same-sex marriage on religious grounds, has a free speech right under the First Amendment to refuse to endorse messages she disagrees with. “Colorado seeks to force an individual to speak in ways that align with its views but defy her conscience about a matter of major significance,” Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote in the majority opinion. Justice Sonia Sotomayor, writing the dissent, said the court’s ruling was part of “a backlash to the movement for liberty and equality for gender and sexual minorities” and a type of “reactionary exclusion,” calling it “heartbreaking,” “a grave error,” and “profoundly wrong.” (Politico / NBC News / New York Times / CNN / Associated Press)

4/ Harris warned that “there is a national movement afoot to attack hard won and hard fought freedoms” following the Supreme Court’s decisions to end the use of race as a factor in college admissions, blocked the administration’s attempt to forgive student loan debt, and ruled that businesses could refuse LGBTQ customers. “This is a serious moment and fundamental issues are at stake,” Harris said, adding: “So, fight we must.” Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, meanwhile, added that the Supreme Court is signaling “a dangerous creep toward authoritarianism,” saying “they are expanding their role into acting as though they are Congress itself.” (NPR / The Guardian / Politico)

poll/ 52% of Americans approve of the Supreme Court’s decision restricting the use of race as a factor in college admissions, while 32% disapprove, and 16% saying they don’t know. (ABC News)

Day 891: "Let them eat cake."

1/ The Supreme Court struck down affirmative action in college admissions, undercutting 45 years of legal precedent. In a ruling divided along ideological lines, the court’s conservative majority held that the admissions programs at Harvard and the University of North Carolina relied on racial considerations in violation of the Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause because they lacked sufficient “measurable objectives” justifying the use of race. Chief Justice John Roberts said the programs “unavoidably employ race in a negative manner.” Many universities “have concluded, wrongly, that the touchstone of an individual’s identity is not challenges bested, skills built, or lessons learned but the color of their skin,” Roberts added. “Our constitutional history does not tolerate that choice.” (Associated Press / NPR / Washington Post / New York Times / NBC News / CNN / CNBC / Bloomberg / Politico / ABC News / CBS News / Wall Street Journal)

  • 💡 Why should I care? College affirmative action programs promote fairness, diversity, and equal opportunities in education, which research has shown to foster critical thinking, creativity, and problem-solving skills. By addressing the imbalances caused by discrimination we ensure that students from historically marginalized groups have equal access to education. Without these programs, historically marginalized groups face greater barriers in accessing higher education, which perpetuates existing inequalities, limits social mobility, and hinders progress towards a more equitable society. Affirmative action programs aim to create a more inclusive society by breaking cycles of disadvantage and works towards building a society that values diversity, equal opportunities, and the potential of all individuals.

  • The Supreme Court is expected to announce rulings on student loan forgiveness and LGBTQ protections Friday. (Politico / CNBC)

2/ Biden assailed the Supreme Court’s ruling against affirmative action in college admissions, calling it a “severe disappointment” because “discrimination still exists in America.” He added: “Today’s decision does not change that. It’s a simple fact.” When asked whether the decision should make people question the Supreme Court’s legitimacy and if this was a “rogue court,” Biden responded after several seconds: “This is not a normal court.” The Biden administration said it would provide guidance on how colleges could maintain diversity without violating the ruling. “We cannot let this decision be the last word,” Biden said. “The court can render a decision but it cannot change what America stands for.” Trump, meanwhile, praised the decision as a “great day for America.” (NBC News / New York Times / CBS News / CNBC / ABC News)

3/ The Supreme Court’s liberal justices blasted the court’s decision on affirmative action, warning that it “makes things worse, not better” for the country. Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson accused the court’s conservative majority of a “let-them-eat-cake obliviousness,” saying “the majority pulls the ripcord and announces ‘colorblindness for all’ by legal fiat. But deeming race irrelevant in law does not make it so in life.” In a lengthy dissent, Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote that the court’s majority was “further entrenching racial inequality in education” and never made an “attempt to make the extraordinary showing required” to reverse precedent. “The devastating impact of this decision cannot be overstated.” Sotomayor is the court’s lone Latina justice. (ABC News / CNBC / The Hill / Rolling Stone / Daily Beast)

4/ The Koch Network has raised more than $70 million to stop Trump from winning the Republican nomination for president in 2024. It’s the first time in its nearly 20-year history that Americans for Prosperity Action will actively try to influence the presidential primary. (New York Times)

poll/ 53% of Americans believe Trump has done something illegal regarding the classified documents found at Mar-a-Lago – up from 47% in April. (AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research)

Day 890: "Very unhealthy."

1/ Roughly 87 million people in 17 states – representing nearly a third of the American population – are at risk for poor air quality as smoke from the Canadian wildfires spreads. Chicago, Detroit, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Pittsburgh were among the cities with the worst air quality in the world, leading the EPA to warn “everyone should stay indoors” as the air quality indexes fell into the “very unhealthy” category. The smoke is the result of one of Canada’s worst wildfire seasons in decades, with more than 19 million acres of land already burned this year. There were nearly 500 active wildfires burning in Canada as of this morning, with more than 250 burning out of control. Wildfires in the U.S. have been growing in frequency, duration, and intensity due in part to human-caused climate change. The United Nations has also warned that a similar trend is occurring worldwide. Elsewhere, another 69 million people face heat alerts in the South, Southeast, and parts of the Midwest and California. (NBC News / Wall Street Journal / NPR / Washington Post / New York Times / Associated Press)

  • California set to face its first major heat wave of the year. “Temperatures could reach 110 degrees in the Central Valley.” (Washington Post)
  • A heat dome has caused Texas to rival the hottest locations on Earth. “A stagnant dome of high pressure has fueled dangerous heat and humidity across most of the state, with several cities hitting or surpassing 110 degrees Fahrenheit.” (NBC News)
  • 💡 How to build a DIY air filter for wildfire smoke. The Corsi-Rosenthal Box is an affordable homemade air cleaning system that can reduce indoor exposure to wildfire smoke (and other airborne particles, like Covid-19). You’ll need a 20” box fan, four 20x20 MERV 13 furnace filters, some duct tape, and a piece of cardboard. Here’s your assembly guide.

2/ Trump sued E. Jean Carroll for defamation after a jury found he sexually abused and defamed her. Trump alleges that Carroll defamed him the day after the jury awarded her $5 million in damages when she said she Trump raped her. The federal jury had found Trump liable for sexually abusing Carroll, but not raping her. Trump “has been the subject of significant harm to his reputation, which, in turn, has yielded an inordinate amount of damages sustained as a result,” according to the filing. He wants Carroll to pay him unspecified compensatory and punitive damages, as well as to retract multiple statements. Meanwhile, a New York judge earlier this month allowed Carroll to amend her defamation lawsuit against Trump, letting her to seek additional damages after Trump repeated statements the jury found to be defamatory after the verdict. (CNN / NBC News / Bloomberg / Associated Press / USA Today / CNBC / ABC News)

3/ Rudy Giuliani recently met with federal prosecutors investigating Trump’s his efforts to reverse the 2020 election results. The voluntary interview with special counsel Jack Smith’s prosecutors comes as the grand jury has questioned the actions of Trump’s lawyers, including Giuliani, and their baseless claims of widespread voter fraud. (CNN / CNBC / NBC News)

poll/ 44% of voters overall say they would consider voting for third-party candidate in a 2024 matchup between Biden and Trump. Among Democrats, 45% say they’d consider a third-party candidate, while 34% of Republicans say they would consider backing a third-party candidate. (NBC News)

poll/ 63% of women disapprove of the Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. Among men, 48% have an unfavorable view of DeSantis. (Florida Politics)

poll/ 30% of voters say the economy is the most important to issue in the 2024 presidential election. 28% say preserving democracy in the U.S. is the next most important issue, followed by gun violence (9%), abortion (8%), immigration (7%), health care (6%), climate change (4%), and racial inequality (3%). (Quinnipiac)

poll/ 60% of Americans say gun violence is a “very big problem” in the country. 62% say gun violence will increase in the next five years. 7% say gun violence will decrease. (Pew Research Center)

Day 889: "Now we have a problem."

1/ The Supreme Court rejected a legal theory that state legislatures have the power to decide the rules for federal elections and draw partisan congressional maps. The justices ruled in a 6-3 vote that the North Carolina Supreme Court was acting within its authority when it struck down a congressional districting plan as excessively partisan under state law. In doing so, the court rejected the so-called “independent state legislature” theory, a fringe legal theory that Republicans claims limits the authority of state courts to question state legislatures on election laws for federal contests. Chief Justice John Roberts wrote for the majority that “state courts retain the authority to apply state constitutional restraints when legislatures act under the power conferred upon them by the Elections Clause. But federal courts must not abandon their own duty to exercise judicial review.” Roberts added: “The Elections Clause does not insulate state legislatures from the ordinary exercise of state judicial review.” Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, and Neil Gorsuch dissented. Trump and his allies used the now-rejected “independent state legislature” theory to justify their attempts to overturn the 2020 election. (Washington Post / NBC News / NPR / New York Times / Associated Press / Politico / CNN)

  • 💡 Why should I care? The “independent state legislature” theory is the idea that only state lawmakers can set voting rules for federal elections. If accepted, state legislature could drastically change voting rules and limit your ability to participate in elections by, for example, limiting mail-in voting or reducing the number of polling places to make it harder for you, your family, or your neighbors to vote. It’s not just about legal rules – it’s about who gets a say in the future of our democracy. If fewer people can vote, fewer people will have a say in our government, what laws get made, and how our lives are impacted by those laws.

2/ Special counsel Jack Smith’s office will interview Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger as part of the federal investigation into Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election. In January 2021, Trump called Raffensperger and pressed him to “find” the votes needed to win Georgia – a state that Biden won by nearly 12,000 votes. Trump told Raffensperger: “All I want to do is this. I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have. Because we won the state.” Trump has repeatedly defended the call, calling it “perfect.” (Washington Post / NBC News / ABC News / CNN)

3/ The FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, and other federal agencies downplayed or ignored “a massive amount of intelligence information” ahead of the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, according to a Senate Homeland Security Committee report. The 105-page report, entitled “Planned in Plain Sight,” details how the FBI and DHS “failed to fully and accurately assess the severity of the threat identified by that intelligence, and formally disseminate guidance to their law enforcement partners with sufficient urgency and alarm to enable those partners to prepare for the violence that ultimately occurred on January 6th.” The report faults the agencies for downplaying the known dangers, being reluctant to issue warnings, and hesitating to share the intelligence. “At a fundamental level, the agencies failed to fulfill their mission and connect the public and nonpublic information they received,” the report concludes. (Washington Post / ABC News / Associated Press / New York Times)

4/ The audio recording of Trump discussing a “highly confidential” document he kept with an interviewer after leaving office leaked. In the two-minute recording, Trump states that “these are the papers […] This was done by the military and given to me. See as president I could have declassified it. Now I can’t, you know, but this is still a secret.” Trump describes his “big pile of paper,” which he referred to as “highly confidential,” to the people in the room and says: “Isn’t it amazing? […] They presented me this – this is off the record.” His staffer responded: “Now we have a problem.” The recording is from a July 2021 interview Trump gave at his Bedminster, New Jersey, resort for people working on a book about Mark Meadows. The recording appears to undermine Trump’s claims that he had declassified documents before leaving office or didn’t have any restricted documents. Hours after the release of the tape, Trump – in an all-caps post on his personal social media site – acknowledged keeping classified documents he didn’t declassify while attacking special counsel Jack Smith and accusing the Justice Department and FBI of having “illegally leaked and ‘spun’ a tape and transcript of me which is actually an exoneration.” (CNN / Washington Post / NBC News / New York Times / Politico / CNBC / Associated Press)

5/ The current record heatwave across the U.S. South was made at least five times more likely due to human-caused climate change, scientists from Climate Central, a nonprofit science communication organization, have found. The Climate Shift Index, which estimates how much climate change is increasing the likelihood of extreme heat, is currently at Level 5 over southern portions of Texas. Level 5 indicates that human-caused climate change made the current excessive heat at least 5 times more likely. The historically intense heat dome responsible for the current heat wave is expected to persist through at least next week and into the following week. Scientists have found that heat domes are becoming larger, more frequent, and more intense with human-caused climate change, which increases the risks of heat-related illnesses, deaths, droughts, and wildfires. (The Guardian / New York Times / Washington Post / NBC News / Climate Central)

Day 888: "Extraordinarily unusual."

1/ The Supreme Court dismissed Louisiana’s effort to block the creation of a second Black-majority congressional district, restoring a federal court’s ruling that the state’s congressional lines diluted the power of Black voters in violation of the federal Voting Rights Act. The court order noted that the case should be resolved “in advance of the 2024 congressional elections in Louisiana.” Louisiana state officials were sued last year for a new congressional map that the Republican-led state legislature adopted after overriding Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards’s veto. The new map made one of the state’s six districts majority Black, despite the 2020 census showing that the state’s population is 33% Black. (Associated Press / NBC News / CNN / Wall Street Journal / Politico)

2/ Roughly half a dozen Secret Service agents have testified before the grand jury investigating Trump’s role in the Jan. 6 insurrection. It’s not known how close the agents were to Trump on Jan. 6 or what information they have provided to special counsel Jack Smith’s grand jury. A year ago, former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson told the Jan. 6 committee that she heard secondhand that Trump knew some of his supporters were armed when he directed them to march on the Capitol on Jan. 6 and that he wanted Secret Service agents to drive him to the Capitol to join the rioters. Hutchinson said she heard this from Tony Ornato, who was Trump’s deputy White House chief of staff at the time. (NBC News)

3/ The Biden administration announced $42.5 billion in new federal funding to expand high-speed internet access to every American household by 2030. An estimated 8.5 million homes and small businesses – which represent more than 7% of the country – are considered underserved, with internet speed below 25 megabits per second for downloads and 3 Mbps for uploads. The funding, allotted by Congress through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, will go to all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and U.S. territories, with each state receiving a minimum of $107 million. 19 states receiving over $1 billion. (CNBC / Washington Post / ABC News)

4/ The Supreme Court rejected a Republican effort to block the Biden administration’s immigration policies. The Supreme Court said Texas and Louisiana lacked standing to challenge the federal guidelines, which prioritized the deportation of immigrants who pose a risk to public safety or those who entered the U.S. illegally. The states had argued that the policies prevent immigration authorities from doing their jobs. Writing for the majority, Justice Brett Kavanaugh called the legal challenge “an extraordinarily unusual lawsuit.” (Washington Post / Associated Press / New York Times / NPR / USA Today)

5/ The second most popular Republican presidential candidate proposed eliminating birthright citizenship despite the 14th Amendment guaranteeing citizenship to all individuals “born or naturalized in the United States.” Trump, the current front-runner in the Republican primary, has also promised to try to eliminate the protection if elected. (CNN / ABC News)

6/ Biden said the U.S. and its allies had “nothing to do with” a mercenary group’s brief uprising against Putin. “We made clear we are not involved,” Biden said, “this was part of a struggle within the Russian system.” Over the weekend, the leader of the Wagner mercenary group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, led an armed rebellion targeting Russia’s military leaders and accusing Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu of incompetence and botching the war in Ukraine. Prigozhin’s group took control of the strategic city of Rostov-on-Don and then advanced an army within 124 miles of Moscow before Putin gave Prigozhin a “personal guarantee” that he’d be allowed to leave for Belarus. Prigozhin later said he wasn’t trying to oust Putin but rather protest against a new law that would require his fighters in Ukraine to sign contracts with the Russian government by July 1. (New York Times / Wall Street Journal / Bloomberg / CNBC / CNN / CBS News)

7/ Trump received the Oakland County Republican Party’s “Man of the Decade” award despite his presidential loss in 2020, being impeached twice, charged with 34 felony counts related to hush money payments made during his 2016 presidential campaign, charged with 37 felony counts in a federal indictment for mishandling classified documents, and unanimously being found Trump liable for sexual abuse, battery, and defamation. (Daily Beast / Rolling Stone)

poll/ 36% of Americans view neither Biden nor Trump favorably. The 2016 Trump-Clinton presidential race is the only election on record in which both candidates were disliked by more Americans than liked on Election Day: Trump’s 61% unfavorable score was worst in presidential polling history, while Clinton’s 52% unfavorable score was the second-worst. (CNN)

✏️ Notables.

  1. Justice Samuel Alito appears to have violated federal ethics laws by failing to disclose a luxury fishing trip to Alaska in 2008 with a Republican billionaire who later had cases before the Supreme Court. Republican megadonor Paul Singer’s hedge fund has appeared before the Supreme Court in at least 10 cases, including one in which Alito ruled in Singer’s favor, resulting in a $2.4 billion payout. Alito has never recused himself. (ProPublica)

  2. A federal judge in Arkansas struck down the state’s law banning gender transition care for minors. The case had been closely watched as an important test of whether bans on transition care for minors, enacted by more than a dozen states, could withstand challenges. (New York Times)

  3. The New York State Legislature approved a measure to provide legal protection for state doctors who prescribe and send abortion pills to patients in states with abortion bans. The legislation prevents New York courts and officials from cooperating with prosecution, lawsuits, or penalties against healthcare providers who comply with New York law. (New York Times)

  4. The House voted to censure Adam Schiff for his role in leading investigations into Trump as chair of the House Intelligence Committee. The vote was along party lines. (NPR)

  5. Hunter Biden agreed to plead guilty to not paying taxes in 2017 and 2018. Biden will also enter into a probation agreement on a charge of illegally owning a gun while being a drug user. (Axios)

  6. American middle schoolers’ test scores in math and reading got significantly worse last year. The average math score for 13 year olds declined 9 points from the 2019-20 to 2022-23 school years, while their average reading score declined 4 points over the same time period. (Axios)

Day 877: "A bad thing."

  • Programming note: This is the last update until Monday, June 26. I’ll be spending time with family next week, unless something truly wtf-y happens, in which case I’ll publish an emergency update. Sound good? Stay safe and I’m glad you’re here.

1/ Multiple federal agencies were hacked as part of a broader cyberattack that exploits a previously unknown vulnerability in widely used file sharing software. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency said it’s still investigating the scope of the hacks, but it’s “working urgently to understand impacts and ensure timely remediation.” The breaches, however, were connected to a file transfer program called MOVEit, which a Russian-speaking hacking group known as CLOP has recently exploited to steal data from companies and demand ransom payments. Last week, CISA and the FBI issued a warning that CLOP was exploiting the vulnerability in MOVEIt. It’s the third known instance in as many years that foreign hackers have been able to breach federal agencies and steal information. (CNN / Politico / NBC News / Wall Street Journal)

2/ The White House will continue to use the term “MAGA” despite the Office of Special Counsel ruling that it’s a violation of the Hatch Act – a law that bars federal employees from promoting partisan politics while in their official capacity. While White House officials have repeatedly referred to Republican members in Congress as “MAGA Republicans,” the Office of Special Counsel cited press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre’s use of the phrase “mega MAGA Republicans” ahead of the 2022 midterms as being in violation of the 1939 law. The office, however, did not recommend any reprimand and the law is widely viewed as unenforceable. Jean-Pierre, meanwhile, noted that “If you look at the archived Trump White House website, it contains about 2,000 — nearly 2,000 uses of “MAGA” to describe policies and official agendas,” adding that “Congressional Republicans have also used “MAGA” to refer to policies and official agenda frequently, for years now — even, clearly, before we entered the administration.” At least 13 officials violated the Hatch Act during the Trump administration. (Axios / NPR / NBC News / Washington Post)

  • Trump rejected lawyers’ efforts to avoid classified documents indictment. “The former president was not interested in attempting to negotiate a settlement in the classified documents investigation.” (Washington Post)

  • The Radical Strategy Behind Trump’s Promise to ‘Go After’ Biden. “Conservatives with close ties to Donald J. Trump are laying out a ‘paradigm-shifting’ legal rationale to erase the Justice Department’s independence from the president.” (New York Times)

3/ The Supreme Court upheld a 1978 law that prioritizes Native tribes when American Indian children are adopted. The vote was 7 to 2, with Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito dissenting. The Indian Child Welfare Act was enacted in response to a long history in which hundreds of thousands of Native children were separated from their families and raised by people with no connection to their culture. Before the Indian Child Welfare Act, between 25% and 35% of Native children were taken from their homes and placed with white families or in boarding schools in an attempt to assimilate them. (New York Times / NBC News / Associated Press / Washington Post / CNN / NPR)

4/ FDA advisers unanimously recommend that the COVID-19 vaccine be updated to target emerging subvariants of omicron, as well as drop the original coronavirus strain from the formulation. The panel recommended that drugmakers abandon the bivalent design and instead use a “monovalent” vaccine that only targets omicron subvariants. The FDA is expected to make a final decision on which COVID-19 strain to target soon. (NPR / NBC News)

poll/ 61% of Americans say overturning Roe v. Wade was a “bad thing,” while 38% said it was a “good thing.” 47% say abortion should be legal in all (34%) or most (13%) circumstances, while 49%, want it legal in only a few (36%) or illegal in all (13%) circumstances. (Gallup)

Day 876: "How far we have come."

1/ Federal Reserve officials agreed to hold interest rates steady after 10 consecutive increases “in light of how far we have come in tightening policy, the uncertain lags in which monetary policy affects the economy, and the potential headwinds from credit tightening.” The decision keeps the benchmark federal funds rate in a target range between 5% and 5.25% – a 16-year high. Fed officials, however, expect to raise rates two more times this year to bring the interest rates up to 5.6% to get inflation back to 2%. The Fed anticipates that inflation will be 3.2% at the end of 2023 and at 2.5% by the end of 2024. (Bloomberg / Wall Street Journal / Axios / New York Times / Washington Post / CNBC / CNN)

  • 💡 Explain like I’m Five: The Federal Reserve raises interest rates to curb inflation by making borrowing more expensive, which reduces spending and lowers demand for goods and services. High inflation erodes the value of money over time, resulting in a decrease in purchasing power. When borrowing costs are high, it becomes more expensive for people to take out loans for large purchases, such as homes, cars, or education. High borrowing costs also deter businesses from taking on debt to expand or invest in research and development, which limits innovation.

2/ At least 11 state have enacted 13 restrictive voting laws in 2023 so far. Two more restrictive voting bills in two states are awaiting the governors’ approval. At least 13 states, meanwhile, have enacted 19 laws that make it easier to vote. (CNN / Brennan Center)

3/ A Fox News chyron referred to Biden as a “wannabe dictator” who had “his political rival” arrested – hours after Trump pleaded not guilty to 37 federal charges related to his handling of classified documents after he left office and his refusal to return them. A chyron is the on-screen text that highlight the latest news. Fox briefly aired the side-by-side visual of Trump’s speech from his New Jersey Golf club and Biden speaking at the White House earlier in the day. The message was onscreen for 27 seconds. PBS, meanwhile, added a cautionary chyron to Trump’s New Jersey speech: “Experts warn that inflammatory rhetoric from elected officials or people in power can prompt individual actors to commit acts of violence.” (Associated Press / Washington Post / New York Times)

  • Republicans privately acknowledge Trump’s legal woes are serious this time. “An operative in Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ orbit, who requested anonymity to speak candidly without approval from higher-ups, said that ‘from an objective standpoint,’ the federal charges Trump faces for his post-presidency handling of classified documents are far more serious than the earlier ones around hush money payments before the 2016 election.” (NBC News)

  • G.O.P. Rivals See Trump’s Indictment as a Big Problem (for Them). “An all-indictment, all-the-time news diet could swallow the summer, denying attention to other Republican candidates who need it like oxygen.” (New York Times)

  • Jack Smith’s Backup Option. “Donald Trump was indicted in Florida. Could he also face charges in New Jersey?” (The Atlantic)

  • Judge in Trump Documents Case Has Scant Criminal Trial Experience. “Judge Aileen M. Cannon, under scrutiny for past rulings favoring the former president, has presided over only a few criminal cases that went to trial.” (New York Times)

4/ House Democrats killed a Republican effort to censure Adam Schiff and fine him $16 million for investigating allegations that Trump’s 2016 campaign colluded with Russia. The chamber voted 225-196-7 to table the resolution, with 20 Republicans joining with Democrats. The resolution sought to fine Schiff half the cost of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Trump and Russia’s alleged ties. The censure resolution was sponsored by GOP Rep. Anna Paulina Luna of Florida, who claims that Schiff “exploited his positions on [the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence to encourage and excuse abusive intelligence investigations of Americans for political purposes.” Luna also accused Schiff of having “used his position and access to sensitive information to instigate a fraudulently based investigation, which he then used to amass political gain and fundraising dollars.” (The Hill / CBS News / USA Today / Bloomberg / CNN)

Day 875: "They hate Donald Trump."

1/ Trump surrendered to authorities and pleaded not guilty to 37 felony charges that he mishandled top secret classified information and obstructed justice after leaving the White House. Trump faces 31 counts of willful retention of national security records, one count of conspiracy to obstruct justice, one count of withholding a document, one count of corruptly concealing a document, one count of concealing a document in a federal investigation, one count of scheme to conceal, and one count of false statements and representations. In their 49-page indictment, federal prosecutors allege that Trump had documents with details on “defense and weapons capabilities of both the United States and foreign countries; United States nuclear programs; potential vulnerabilities of the United States and its allies to military attack; and plans for possible retaliation in response to a foreign attack.” Prosecutors added that Trump risked national security by keeping the classified documents in a bathroom, a ballroom, and his bedroom, among other places, at Mar-a-Lago. Nevertheless, Trump’s lawyer said at the arraignment that “We most certainly enter a plea of not guilty.” Trump’s personal aide, Walt Nauta, also appeared before the judge but did not enter a plea because he does not have a local Florida lawyer to represent him. Both Trump and Nauta were released with no travel restrictions, and they were not required to surrender their passports. It was the second time in three months that Trump was not mugshotted at an arraignment. Trump is currently the front-runner for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination despite being impeached twice, charged with 34 felony charges in an unrelated case in New York, and still under investigation for his efforts to overturn 2020 election. He is the first former American president to stand accused of federal crimes, and faces the possibility of several years in prison if convicted. Alina Habba, a Trump attorney, meanwhile, said “People in charge of this country do not love America. They hate Donald Trump.” She added: “What we are witnessing today is the blatant and unapologetic weaponization of the criminal justice system.” (Washington Post / New York Times / Politico / Associated Press / Wall Street Journal / NBC News / ABC News / NPR / CNN / Bloomberg / CNBC)

2/ A federal judge will allow E. Jean Carroll to amend her original defamation lawsuit against Trump to include comments he made at a CNN town hall. The New York author is seeking at least $10 million more in damages. A day after Carroll won her $5 million sexual abuse and defamation case against him, Trump appeared on CNN and called Carroll’s allegations “a fake story” and dismissed her as a “wack job.” (CNN / Bloomberg)

3/ Inflation fell to 4% in May from a year earlier. It’s the lowest reading in two years and well below last June’s peak of 9.1%, which was a 40-year high. While inflation remains well above the Federal Reserve’s 2% target, the consumer price index reading puts the central bank on track to skip a rate increase on Wednesday after 10 consecutive hikes. Prices rose 0.1% in May from April. (NBC News / Bloomberg / Wall Street Journal / Washington Post / New York Times / Politico / CNBC)

4/ Kevin McCarthy struck a temporary deal with 11 members of the Freedom Caucus to end their protest that prevented the House from considering any business for almost a week. The House is now on track to vote on several bills this week, including bills on gas stoves and pistol braces. Multiple members leaving McCarthy’s office said the conservative Freedom Caucus agreed to end the blockade while they continue discussions about deeper spending cuts. Matt Gaetz added that the “power-sharing agreement” McCarthy negotiated with conservatives to win the speaker’s gavel in January “must be renegotiated.” (Washington Post / NBC News / CNN / Politico)

5/ California’s summer wildfires increased about fivefold from 1971 to 2021. Peer-reviewed research, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, finds that human-caused climate change is responsible for almost all of the increase in California’s wildfires over the past 50 years. The burned area grew 172% more than it would have without human-caused climate change. The 10 largest California wildfires have all happened in the last two decades – five of which occurred in 2020 and eight after 2017. Scientists estimate that the area burned in an average California summer could rise as much as 50% by 2050. (CNBC / USA Today / UCI News / Bloomberg)

Day 874: "They're coming after you."

1/ Trump vowed to continue running for president even if he’s convicted as part of the 37-count federal felony indictment, saying “I’ll never leave.” Trump, who is not legally prohibited from running for president from prison or as a convicted felon, cast the charges as part of his “final battle” with a “corrupt” and “weaponized Department of Injustice.” Trump’s remarks at the Georgia Republican Party’s annual convention came one day after special counsel Jack Smith unsealed the 37-count federal indictment, which he called “a political hit job” by a “deranged” Smith. “In the end, they’re not coming after me. They’re coming after you,” Trump said. “I’m just standing in their way.” (Politico / NBC News / New York Times / CNN)

  • 📌 Day 871: The Justice Department charged Trump with 37 felony counts over his refusal to return classified documents found at Mar-a-Lago, including 31 counts under the Espionage Act of “willful retention” of national defense information, making false statements, and conspiracy to obstruct justice.

2/ A Montana judge will hear arguments in a first-of-its-kind lawsuit by 16 young people challenging Montana’s pro-fossil fuel policies. In Held v. Montana, the group accuse the state of violating their right to a “clean and healthful environment,” which is explicitly guaranteed in the state constitution, by promoting fossil fuel development. The trial started today and is scheduled to last two weeks. (Associated Press / Time / Montana Public Radio/ Washington Post / The Guardian)

3/ More than 725,000 Medicaid recipients have lost coverage since the end of the COVID-19 public health emergency. The federal pandemic-era policy required state Medicaid agencies to provide coverage, even if their eligibility changed. Since April, 14 states have started disenrolling people from Medicaid, with another 22 states starting the disenrollment processes this month. An estimated 17 million people could lose Medicaid coverage. (Axios / KFF)

4/ U.S. spy agencies have bought a “large amount” of “sensitive and intimate information” on Americans, according to new report by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. Although most of the commercially available data from cars, phones, web tracking technologies, the Internet of Things, and more has been stripped of personal information and anonymized, the government said it’s trivial “to deanonymize and identify individuals.” The report notes that the government can “persistently” track the phones of “millions of Americans” without a warrant so long as it purchases the information, adding “The government would never have been permitted to compel billions of people to carry location tracking devices on their persons at all times, to log and track most of their social interactions, or to keep flawless records of all their reading habits.” (Wall Street Journal / Wired)

poll/ 48% of Americans agree that Trump should’ve been indicted by a federal grand jury related to his handling of classified documents. Americans find the charges either very (42%) or somewhat serious (19%), while 28% say the charges are not too serious or not serious at all. (ABC News)

poll/ 61% of likely Republican primary voters said the federal indictment charging Trump with 37 felonies won’t change their view of him. 80% of likely GOP primary voters said Trump should still be able to be president even if he’s convicted of violating the Espionage Act. (CBS News)

Day 871: "Nothing more, nothing less."

1/ The Justice Department charged Trump with 37 felony counts over his refusal to return classified documents found at Mar-a-Lago, including 31 counts under the Espionage Act of “willful retention” of national defense information, making false statements, and conspiracy to obstruct justice. The 49-page indictment says that even after the federal grand jury in Miami issued a subpoena demanding the return of all documents, Trump resisted and instead suggested that his attorney should either lie to the FBI, “hide or destroy documents,” or just show the FBI some of the documents and “conceal his continued retention of classified documents.” The indictment also indicates that some of the documents Trump took to Mar-a-Lago included “information regarding defense and weapons capabilities” of the U.S. and foreign countries, as well as U.S. nuclear programs. The classified documents, which “Trump was not authorized to possess or retain,” were allegedly stored “in a ballroom, a bathroom and shower, an office space, his bedroom, and a storage room,” and their “unauthorized disclosure […] could put at risk the national security of the United States.” After unsealing the indictment against Trump, special counsel Jack Smith said: “We have one set of laws in this country and they apply to everyone. Adhering to and applying the laws is what determines the outcome of an investigation. Nothing more, nothing less.” Trump, meanwhile, confirmed the indictment on his personal social media site, writing: “The corrupt Biden Administration has informed my attorneys that I have been Indicted, seemingly over the Boxes Hoax, even though Joe Biden has 1850 Boxes at the University of Delaware, additional Boxes in Chinatown, D.C., with even more Boxes at the University of Pennsylvania, and documents strewn all over his garage floor where he parks his Corvette, and which is ‘secured’ by only a garage door that is paper thin, and open much of the time.” It’s the first time a former president has faced federal charges. It’s the second time Trump has been indicted. Earlier this year, a grand jury in New York indicted Trump on state charges for falsifying business records related to the hush-money payment to a porn star during his 2016 campaign. (New York Times / Washington Post / NPR / Wall Street Journal / Bloomberg / NBC News / CNN / CNBC / ABC News / Politico / Associated Press)

  • Read the complete Trump indictment here. (Axios / NBC News)

  • 💡 What should I care? An indictment of a former U.S. president demonstrates that no individual is above the law, reinforcing the principles of justice, and accountability. It sets a precedent that leaders can face consequences for abuse of power, discourages future leaders from engaging in similar misconduct, and bolsters faith in the democratic system. Ultimately, an indictment serves to uphold the rule of law, safeguard democratic values, and ensure that even the highest office is subject to scrutiny and accountability.

2/ Trump acknowledged during a 2021 meeting that he had retained “secret” military information that he had not declassified. Trump told two people working on Mark Meadows’ autobiography who didn’t have security clearance at his golf club in Bedminster about a classified plan to attack an unnamed nation that was prepared for him by the Department of Defense and a senior military official. “Secret. This is secret information. Look, look at this,” Trump said, according to a transcript in the indictment. “See as president I could have declassified it. “Now I can’t, you know, but this is still a secret.” One of the unidentified writers responded: “Wow.” Trump then said the document was “classified,” and a woman in the room replied: “Now we have a problem.” (CNN / Bloomberg / New York Times / Associated Press / Washington Post)

3/ Two of Trump’s top lawyers resigned. Jim Trusty and John Rowley didn’t explain why they had resigned, other than to say “this is a logical moment” to do so given his indictment and “we will no longer represent him on either the indicted case or the January 6 investigation.” (CNBC / Politico)

4/ A Trump aide was indicted on six federal criminal charges connected to Trump’s alleged mishandling of classified documents. The indictment says that Trump directed Walt Nauta to “move boxes of documents to conceal them from Trump’s attorney, the FBI and the grand jury.” The offenses are punishable by up to 20 years in prison. Nauta also helped pack the documents as Trump was leaving the White House. (Washington Post / Axios / NBC News / ABC News / NPR / Bloomberg)

5/ A federal judge in Florida who handled Trump’s previous dispute with the Justice Department over classified documents will – initially – oversee the new criminal case. Judge Aileen Cannon presided over last year’s legal battle between the Justice Department and Trump’s lawyers over the classified documents the FBI seized from Mar-a-Lago. Cannon granted Trump’s request to temporarily block federal investigators from using documents with classified markings, appointing a “special master” to review all 11,000 documents. The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, however, twice reversed her decisions. Trump appointed Cannon to the federal bench in 2020, meaning that she would be responsible for determining Trump’s sentence if he’s convicted. (ABC News / Bloomberg / New York Times / Politico)

Day 870: "Blindsided."

1/ The Supreme Court rejected the Republican-drawn congressional maps in Alabama that illegally diluted the political power of its Black residents. Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Brett Kavanaugh joined the court’s three liberal members in the majority, ordering the State Legislature to draw a second Black-majority congressional district. Alabama has seven congressional districts, but only one with a majority of Black voters even though African Americans make up more than a quarter of the state’s population. The ruling was unexpected in part because the court has repeatedly chipped away at the Voting Rights Act, and will likely lead to challenges of maps drawn by Republican-led legislatures elsewhere. (NPR / Associated Press / New York Times / Washington Post / NBC News / Politico / Wall Street Journal / Bloomberg)

2/ The Justice Department informed Trump that he is a target in the federal investigation into the possible mishandling of classified documents. The notice from the office of the special counsel Jack Smith suggested that prosecutors may be moving closer to indicting Trump for potential mishandling of classified materials and possible obstruction of justice. Trump’s lawyers were sent the “target letter” days before meeting with Justice Department officials in what was described as a final attempt to stave off charges. Trump, meanwhile, posted on his personal social media platform: “No one has told me I’m being indicted, and I shouldn’t be because I’ve done NOTHING wrong.” (CNN / Politico / New York Times / NPR / ABC News / The Guardian)

  • Former White House official told federal prosecutors Trump knew of proper declassification process and followed it while in office. (CNN)

3/ Kevin McCarthy was forced to cancel votes in the House for the rest of the week following a revolt by the Freedom Caucus. McCarthy admitted that he had been “blindsided” when 11 Republicans joined with the Democrats to effectively freeze the House from considering any legislation for two days in a row. Members of the House Freedom Caucus said McCarthy betrayed promises he made in exchange for their support of his speakership in January when he struck a compromise deal with Biden to suspend the debt limit. “This is the difficulty. Some of these members, they don’t know what to ask for,” McCarthy said, adding: “We’re going to have to make up our work next week.” (NPR / New York Times / Washington Post / Politico / The Hill)

4/ Cuba reportedly agreed to allow China to build an electronic eavesdropping and intelligence-gathering facility on the island in exchange for billions in foreign aid. The base in Cuba would be roughly 100 miles from Florida and allow Beijing to collect electronic communications throughout the southeastern U.S., home to many military facilities. The National Security Council, meanwhile, said “this report is not accurate,” without providing any details other than the U.S. is “well aware of – and have spoken many times to – the People’s Republic of China’s efforts to invest in infrastructure around the world that may have military purposes, including in this hemisphere.” (Wall Street Journal / Politico / Reuters / CNN / USA Today)

Day 869: "A tragic day in the life of our nation."

1/ Mark Meadows testified to a federal grand jury as part of special counsel Jack Smith’s investigation into Trump. Smith is overseeing two federal investigations of Trump: his efforts to overturn the 2020 election and his alleged mishandling of classified documents after leaving office. Trump’s former chief of staff was reportedly asked about both subjects. Earlier this year, a federal judge rejected Trump’s claims of executive privilege and ordered Meadows and other former Trump aides to testify before the grand jury. Smith also subpoenaed Meadows for testimony and documents related to the probe. (New York Times / CNN / New York Times / ABC News)

2/ Steve Bannon was subpoenaed for documents and testimony by a federal grand jury in Washington as part of the investigation into Trump’s efforts to stay in office. The subpoena was sent in late May. Bannon was previously charged with contempt of Congress for refusing to comply with a subpoena for documents and testimony issued by the Jan. 6 committee. He was convicted of two charges in July 2022 and the Justice Department recommended he be sentenced to six months in jail and fined $200,000. Separately, Trump’s former White House communication direction voluntarily met with federal prosecutors. Alyssa Farah Griffin provided information about Trump leading up to the Jan. 6 attack, including his state of mind and what he knew about his baseless claims of election fraud. (NBC News / CNN)

3/ A former Trump aide testified to a federal grand jury in Miami about Trump’s handling of classified documents found at Mar-a-Lago. Taylor Budowich was Trump’s spokesman at the time when the National Archives retrieved 15 boxes of documents from Mar-a-Lago, which should have been turned over to the agency when he left the White House. After handing over the 15 boxes, which contained highly sensitive documents, Trump’s aides drafted a statement asserting that all the presidential material had been returned, which was false (see: the 27 additional boxes of documents the FBI retrieved during the court-authorized search of Mar-a-Lago). Prosecutors have the draft statement. Budowich now runs Make America Great Again Inc., the super-PAC supporting Trump’s 2024 bid for reelection. Separately, about two dozen Secret Service agents assigned to Trump’s security detail at Mar-a-Lago were subpoenaed or have already appeared before a federal grand jury in Washington related Trump’s handling of classified documents. (New York Times / Bloomberg / NBC News / CNN / Associated Press)

4/ Pence argued that Trump’s effort to overturn the 2020 election should disqualify him from running for president. “Anyone who puts themselves over the Constitution should never be president of the United States,” Pence said, adding that “Jan. 6 was a tragic day in the life of our nation” and “Trump’s reckless words endangered my family and everyone at the Capitol.” No other major Republican candidate for president has mentioned Jan. 6 in an announcement speech. Pence, who is the first vice president in modern times to challenge his old running mate for the party’s nomination, concluded: “And anyone who asks someone else to put them over the Constitution should never be president again.” (The Hill / New York Times)

5/ Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas did not file his annual financial disclosure by the deadline. Instead, he asked for an extension following reporting and criticism about his decision to not disclose luxury vacations, estate sales, and gifts paid for by a Republican megadonor in previous years. Thomas received a 90-day extension to submit his required disclosure. Justice Samuel Alito also requested an extension. (Washington Post / New York Times / Wall Street Journal / NBC News / Bloomberg / CNBC / CNN)

Day 868: "Know your rights."

1/ The Human Rights Campaign issued a state of emergency for LGBTQ+ people living in the U.S. The declaration – a first in the organization’s more than 40-year history – comes after state legislatures have passed more than 75 anti-LGBTQ bills this year, more than double last year’s number, which was previously the worst year on record. “The multiplying threats facing millions in our community are not just perceived — they are real, tangible and dangerous,” the president of the Human Rights Campaign said in a statement. The organization also released a guidebook summarizing state-by-state anti-LGBTQ laws, as well as a “know your rights” guide for LGBTQ+ travelers and those living in hostile states. (NBC News / Axios / CNN / USA Today / ABC News)

2/ A federal judge temporarily blocked portions of a new Florida law that prohibits gender-affirming medical care for transgender youth. “The elephant in the room should be noted at the outset. Gender identity is real. The record makes this clear,” Judge Robert Hinkle said, adding: “Florida has adopted a statute and rules that prohibit these treatments even when medically appropriate.” In May, Ron DeSantis signed off on a first-of-its-kind rule making it illegal for health care professionals to provide gender-affirming care – including puberty blockers, hormone replacement therapy and surgeries – to transgender minors. Several other states, including Texas, have also recently enacted bans on gender-affirming care. (Axios / Politico / Wall Street Journal / Associated Press)

3/ A Texas sheriff recommended criminal charges for the flights that Ron DeSantis arranged to deport 49 asylum seekers from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard last year. The Bexar County Sheriff’s Office filed several counts of unlawful restraint, both misdemeanors and felonies, with the local district attorney, but didn’t name any individual suspects. “At this time, the case is being reviewed by the DA’s office. Once an update is available, it will be provided to the public,” Bexar County Sheriff’s Deputy Johnny Garcia said. California Gov. Gavin Newsom, meanwhile, threatened DeSantis with kidnapping charges after Florida flew three dozen migrants from Texas to Sacramento. Newsom’s administration is investigating who paid for the plane trips, if migrants were misled, and if any laws, including kidnapping, were violated. (Axios / The Guardian / Texas Tribune)

4/ A state school board in Oklahoma approved the nation’s first publicly funded religious school despite the state’s attorney general warning that the decision was unconstitutional. “The approval of any publicly funded religious school is contrary to Oklahoma law and not in the best interest of taxpayers,” Oklahoma Attorney General Gentner Drummond said. “It’s extremely disappointing that board members violated their oath in order to fund religious schools with our tax dollars. In doing so, these members have exposed themselves and the state to potential legal action that could be costly.” The online public charter school – the St. Isidore of Seville Virtual Charter School – will be open to students across the state in kindergarten through grade 12. (Associated Press / USA Today / Politico)

5/ Special Counsel Jack Smith’s office recently issued federal grand jury subpoenas to multiple witnesses associated with the classified documents investigation involving Trump. The subpoenas were sent from southern Florida. For more than a year, the Justice Department’s investigation has been presenting evidence and witness testimony to a separate grand jury in Washington, which has focused on the possible mishandling of national security information and obstruction. It’s not clear what the Florida activity means for the direction of Smith’s work. One witness already testified before the grand jury in Florida, with at least one additional witness expected to appear. (Wall Street Journal / New York Times / Bloomberg / NBC News / CNN)

Day 867: "Political stunts."

1/ Trump’s attorneys met with the Justice Department to argue why the government should not charge him in connection with his handling of classified documents after leaving office. A defense attorney meeting with Justice Department officials is often used when a charging decision is imminent. Trump’s team was seen leaving the Justice Department after 90-minutes. The meeting, however, did not include Attorney General Merrick Garland or Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco. The federal grand jury that has been hearing evidence in the investigation, meanwhile, is expected to meet again this week. If special counsel Jack Smith decides to charge Trump, it would be the first time a former president has been charged with a federal crime. After the meeting ended, Trump posted an all-caps message to his personal social media platform: “How can DOJ possibly charge me, who did nothing wrong, when no other presidents were charged.” (CBS News / Washington Post / NBC News / Bloomberg / CNN / CNBC / Wall Street Journal / ABC News / New York Times / Associated Press)

2/ Trump’s attorneys haven’t been able to find the classified document about a potential attack on Iran that Trump said he had kept after leaving the White House. Trump acknowledged that he held onto the classified Pentagon document during a recorded book interview in 2021. Federal prosecutors issued a subpoena seeking the return of “any and all” records that resembled the document Trump mentioned, but Trump’s legal team informed the Justice Department that they were unable to find the document. It is unclear if the Iran document was already returned to the National Archives or recovered in the FBI search of Mar-a-Lago. (CNN / New York Times)

  • The Justice Department ended its investigation into Pence’s handling of classified documents and will not bring any charges. In January, about a dozen documents marked classified were found in Pence’s home. (CNN)

3/ Pence filed paperwork declaring his campaign for president in 2024. He joins seven other Republicans who have formally announced campaigns for the GOP nomination, including Trump, Ron DeSantis, and Nikki Haley. Chris Christie and Doug Burgum are also expected to launch presidential campaigns this week. (Washington Post / New York Times / Associated Press / Politico)

4/ A federal judge ruled that first-of-its-kind Tennessee law that banned drag shows in public or where children could watch them is unconstitutional and can’t be enforced. U.S. District Judge Thomas Parker, who was appointed by Trump, wrote that the law is “unconstitutionally vague and substantially overbroad,” encouraged “discriminatory enforcement,” and was passed “for the impermissible purpose of chilling constitutionally-protected speech.” The measure aimed to criminalize what it called “adult cabaret entertainment” by charging first-time offenders with misdemeanors and repeat offenders with felony charges. Further, people convicted of multiple offenses could face prison sentences of up to six years. Nationwide, at least 26 bills have been introduced this year aiming to limit drag performances. 🏳️‍🌈 (Associated Press / Washington Post / Wall Street Journal / Politico)

5/ Florida reportedly flew three dozen migrants from Texas to Sacramento. A flight carrying roughly 20 migrants arrived in Sacramento on Monday, which follows a group of about 16 migrants who were flown to California’s capital and dropped off in front of a Catholic church on Friday. In both cases, the migrants were approached in Texas, taken to New Mexico, and then flown to Sacramento on chartered planes. California Attorney General Rob Bonta blamed Ron DeSantis for the “political stunt,” adding he is “prepared to bring civil and criminal action if the facts and the law support it.” Florida officials have not issued a denial. (Associated Press / San Francisco Chronicle / Politico / NBC News / San Francisco Chronicle)

Day 863: "Time is a luxury."

1/ A group of Republicans threatened to delay plans to fast-track the House-passed bill to suspend the debt ceiling and limit federal spending before Monday’s default deadline. Lindsey Graham said he’d keep the Senate tied up “until Tuesday” unless he received assurances that there would be a supplemental funding bill to spend more money on the military than the debt limit deal allowed. Under the bill, defense spending would be capped at $886 billion next year – a 3% increase – which Susan Collins called “woefully inadequate.” Biden needs to sign the debt ceiling bill into law by Monday to avoid a default. “Time is a luxury the Senate does not have if we want to prevent default,” Chuck Schumer said. “June 5 is less than four days away. At this point, any needless delay or any last-minute holdups would be an unnecessary and even dangerous risk.” (CNBC / Washington Post / New York Times / Associated Press / NBC News / Bloomberg / Wall Street Journal)

2/ The Senate passed a Republican effort to overturn Biden’s plan to cancel up to $20,000 in federal student loans for 43 million borrowers. Biden has promised to veto the measure. The legislation would also repeal the freeze on student loan repayment and limit the Education Department’s ability to cancel student loans in the future. It passed in a 52-46 vote, with two Democrats and one independent senator joining with Republicans. (Associated Press / CNBC / Politico / USA Today / NBC News)

  • 💡 Why should I care? Imagine you and your friends want to play at the arcade, but some of them don’t have enough allowance left because they owe money. Or maybe some of your friends live in neighborhoods where they don’t get as much allowance or have to use it for other things, and so they don’t get to play at the arcade as often. If their parents cancel this debt, they would have more money to spend at the arcade, which means more fun for everyone and more business for the arcade. This is similar to how student loan forgiveness can help people from different backgrounds have the same chances to learn and succeed. Student loan forgiveness isn’t just about money; it’s about fairness and giving everyone an equal shot at success.

3/ The largest property insurer in California will stop selling coverage to homeowners because of the state’s “rapidly growing catastrophe exposure.” State Farm, which insures more homeowners in California than any other company, cited wildfire risk, rising construction costs, and challenges with reinsurance (which is when insurance companies buy their own insurance coverage). Disasters linked to climate change have caused $33 billion in damages since 2017 in the state. (New York Times / E&E News / Politico / Grist / Curbed)

4/ Humans have pushed Earth past seven of the eight safety limits related to planetary health and human well-being. A study by the Earth Commission found that only air pollution wasn’t already in “the danger zone,” revealing that significant damage to the planet is already occurring even before breaching the globally agreed 1.5 degree Celsius warming threshold. This study also introduced the concept of “justice” when quantifying what’s safe for the planet and people by incorporating factors such as human well-being, air pollution, overuse of fertilizers, groundwater supplies, the health of fresh surface water, and the overall natural and human-built environment. The study concludes that humans are taking “colossal risks with the future of civilization and everything that lives on Earth.” (Associated Press / The Guardian)

  • 💡 Why should I care? Climate change directly impacts our lives and the future of our planet. It affects the well-being of communities, threatens biodiversity, and jeopardizes our economic stability. By addressing climate change, we can protect vulnerable populations, preserve the natural world, create a sustainable economy, and ensure a safe and livable future for ourselves and generations to come.

5/ Two Alabama congressional representatives want to block funding for U.S. Space Command’s temporary headquarters in Colorado. The two lawmakers submitted a draft House bill seeking to block the Biden administration from spending money on SPACECOM until “an official decision” is made on the location of its permanent headquarters, which the Trump administration said would be in Huntsville, Alabama. The Biden administration, however, has considered reversing the planned move to Alabama over concerns about the state’s near-total ban on abortion. (NBC News / The Hill / AL.com)

poll/ 84% of Americans who don’t identify as LGBTQ support equal rights for the LGBTQ community. 70% of non-LGBTQ Americans agree that companies should publicly support the LGBTQ community through hiring practices, advertising, and sponsorships. (GLAAD)

Day 862: "No margin for error."

1/ The bipartisan deal to suspend the debt ceiling and limit federal spending cleared a major procedural hurdle in the House. The House voted 241-187 to formally consider the debt ceiling bill. While setting the rules for debate is nearly always decided along party lines, Kevin McCarthy needed 52 votes from Democrats to offset 29 Republican “no” votes. A final vote on the debt ceiling is expected later Wednesday – days ahead of the June 5 default deadline. If approved, it would then move to the Senate, where conservatives could force days of debate. “I cannot stress enough that we have no margin – no margin – for error,” Chuck Schumer warned. “Either we proceed quickly and send this bipartisan agreement to the president’s desk or the federal government will default for the first time ever.” (New York Times / Washington Post / Politico / Wall Street Journal / Bloomberg / CNBC / CNN)

  • 💡 What are the consequences of default? A U.S. default would likely cause severe disruption to financial markets worldwide – including declines in the value of your retirement savings and other investments. A default could also result in a recession, which may lead to job losses, hiring freezes, and increased borrowing costs for the U.S. government. Higher interest payments on government debt potentially leads to increased budget deficits, which impact government spending.

2/ Federal prosecutors obtained an audio recording of Trump acknowledging that he held onto a classified document after leaving the White House. On the July 2021 recording, Trump indicates that he wanted to share the classified document about a potential attack on Iran but the attendees didn’t have sufficient security clearances. The meeting was with two people working on the autobiography of Mark Meadows. The recording suggests that Trump understood he retained classified material, contrary to his repeated claims that he could retain presidential records and “automatically” declassify documents. Special counsel Jack Smith’s investigation has focused on the meeting as part of the criminal investigation into Trump’s handling of classified documents after leaving the White House. (CNN / New York Times / Washington Post / NBC News / Politico)

  • 💡 Why should I care? Government documents are classified to protect national security. Document classification ensures that sensitive information, like intelligence sources, defense strategies, diplomatic relations, and details about ongoing operations are safeguarded from unauthorized access or disclosure.

  • An employee at Mar-a-Lago was questioned by investigators about moving boxes of documents following a government request for surveillance footage. A Mar-a-Lago employee who was captured on video assisting a Trump aide in moving boxes on June 2, the day before classified material was collected in response to a subpoena, has been repeatedly questioned by investigators. In mid-July, authorities also scrutinized the employee’s involvement in a separate subpoena seeking security camera footage, as he allegedly had a conversation with an IT worker regarding camera functionality and data retention. The employee claimed innocence, stating that the conversation was unrelated to hiding information from authorities and that they were unaware of the investigation or subpoena at the time. (Washington Post)

3/ Nevada Gov. Joe Lombardo signed legislation that protects access to abortion for out-of-state patients. The legislation codifies an existing executive order from the former governor, which banned Nevada officials and agencies from assisting with out-of-state investigations that could lead to the prosecution of people who travel to Nevada seeking abortion care. The bill also ensures that in-state medical boards, commissions, and licensing committees cannot discipline or disqualify physicians who provide abortion care. (Associated Press / NBC News / The Hill)

4/ The Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled that two state laws banning abortion are unconstitutional because they require a “medical emergency” before a doctor can perform an abortion. The court said the laws violated the Oklahoma Constitution, which provides an inherent right for a woman to terminate a pregnancy to save her own life. The ruling, however, will not restore full abortion access in the state because Oklahoma’s 1910 ban on abortion remains in effect, which made intentionally performing an abortion a felony unless “necessary to preserve her life.” (The Oklahoman / Politico / KOSU / The Hill)

5/ The woman who accused Biden of sexual assault during the 2020 presidential race defected to Russia. Tara Reade appeared at an event hosted by the Russian state news outlet Sputnik and said she will apply for Russian citizenship. “I feel really happy to be here, and I feel safe,” Reade said from Russia. Biden has strongly denied the allegation that he sexually assaulting Reade while she was working in his Senate office in 1993, saying the alleged assault “unequivocally, it never, never happened. It didn’t. It never happened.” Members of his Senate staff at the time said Reade never went to them with her claim of harassment. The event also featured convicted Russian agent Maria Butina, who promised to ask Putin “to fast track her citizenship request.” The White House declined to directly comment, saying: “I won’t attempt to speak for an aspiring Russian citizen, the convicted Russian spy who’s sponsoring her, or the foreign government with which she has chosen to align.” (CNN / NPR / CBS News / The Guardian / Insider)

Day 861: "There's going to be a reckoning."

1/ Biden and Kevin McCarthy reached an agreement in principle to lift the debt limit and prevent a default on the federal debt. The plan suspends the borrowing limit for two years, caps federal discretionary spending increases at 1%, while defense spending increases would be limited to about 3.5%, as proposed in Biden’s budget. The legislation also includes new work requirements for select social safety net programs, claws back unspent Covid-19 relief funds, reduces IRS funding, reallocates funds from the Inflation Reduction Act, and streamlines the process of issuing federal permits for energy projects. As part of a debt ceiling agreement, the freeze on federal student loan repayments will end at the end of the summer, which is when the Education Department had been preparing to restart payments. To avert a default, the Fiscal Responsibility Act needs be approved by both the House and the Senate and then signed by Biden before the Treasury Department’s June 5 deadline. A vote in the House is expected as soon as Wednesday night. (New York Times / NBC News / Politico / Bloomberg / Washington Post / Wall Street Journal)

  • 💡 Why should I care? The U.S. debt ceiling plays a critical role in maintaining global financial stability. Failing to raise or suspend the debt limit risks a default on U.S. debts, causing a loss of confidence in the U.S. dollar and higher borrowing costs, as well as disruptions to financial markets. The broader impact would be an economic downturn. Hitting the debt ceiling would also disrupt government operations and services, potentially leading to delayed payments to beneficiaries of programs like Social Security, Medicare, and veterans’ benefits.

2/ At least 20 conservative Republicans rejected the debt ceiling deal, with some members of the House Freedom Caucus threatening to force a vote to remove Kevin McCarthy as speaker if the bill is passed. Dan Bishop said McCarthy “capitulated” to Democrats and suggested that he plans to trigger the formal process to remove the speaker. “I’m fed up with the lies. I’m fed up with the lack of courage, the cowardice,” Bishop said, adding: “Nobody could have done a worse job.” Under new rules this year, a single Republican can bring a no-confidence vote to the floor to remove the speaker. Chip Roy, another member of the House Freedom Caucus, added: “Not one Republican should vote for this bill. We will continue to fight it today, tomorrow, and no matter what happens, there’s going to be a reckoning about what just occurred unless we stop this bill by tomorrow.” Several prominent conservative groups, meanwhile, publicly threatened to downgrade any Republican lawmaker who supports the bill. (NBC News / New York Times / Politico / Bloomberg / CNBC / Washington Post / Wall Street Journal)

3/ The Texas House voted to impeach Attorney General Ken Paxton over allegations of bribery and abuse of office. A Republican-led House General Investigating Committee filed 20 articles of impeachment against Paxton last week, citing a “long-standing pattern of abuse of office and public trust,” including alleged bribery and obstruction of justice. The investigation began after Paxton requested that the Legislature pay the $3.3 million settlement from a whistleblower lawsuit against him. The Senate impeachment trial to determine whether Paxton should be permanently removed from office will start no later than Aug. 28. Ted Cruz called Paxton’s impeachment a “travesty.” (Texas Tribune / New York Times / Axios / Washington Post / NBC News / Dallas Morning News)

4/ Trump’s aides directed his lawyer to not search Trump’s Mar-a-Lago office for classified documents, despite a subpoena ordering Trump to return all documents still in his possession that were marked as classified. After Evan Corcoran completed his search of the Mar-a-Lago storage room and found 38 classified documents, he asked if he should search anywhere else. Several Trump aides, however, waved him off, assuring him that no documents would be found in Trump’s office. Corcoran then handed over the documents to the Justice Department and drafted an affidavit saying all the classified documents were turned over to the “best of my knowledge.” Corcoran had a fellow attorney, Christina Bobb, certify the letter, which attested to a “diligent search.” The FBI later recovered more than 100 classified documents at Mar-a-Lago – including some from Trump’s office. In total, more than 300 classified documents were retrieved from Mar-a-Lago. (The Guardian)

poll/ 63% of Republican voters say Trump is their strongest candidate to beat Biden in 2024, while 32% say another Republican candidate would be a stronger candidate. (Monmouth University Poll)

Day 856: "An ongoing threat."

1/ The leader of the far-right Oath Keepers militia was sentenced to 18 years in prison for orchestrating a seditious conspiracy on Jan. 6 to keep Trump in power after he lost the 2020 election – the longest sentence imposed on a Jan. 6 defendant to date. A jury convicted Stewart Rhodes last November of seditious conspiracy for plotting to forcefully disrupt the transfer of power after the 2020 election. “You, sir, present an ongoing threat and a peril to this country, to the republic and to the very fabric of our democracy,” Judge Amit Mehta told Rhodes, adding: “For years, its clear that you have wanted the democracy in this country to devolve into violence and you have thought that violence is an acceptable means of accomplishing your ends.” Americans will “now hold our collective breaths every time an election is approaching,” Mehta concluded. A second Oath Keepers member convicted of seditious conspiracy, Kelly Meggs, was sentenced to 12 years in prison. (Associated Press / NPR / NBC News / Politico / New York Times / Washington Post / CNN)

2/ The Supreme Court limited the EPA’s authority to protect wetlands and waterways under the Clean Water Act – the second time in a year that the court has limited the EPA’s ability to combat pollution and climate change. At issue was what counts as “waters of the United States” under the landmark 51-year-old Clean Water Act and how far upstream federal water protections should extend to protect downstream water quality for drinking and wildlife. The ruling will prevent the EPA from putting federal protections on as much as 118 million acres of wetlands. Biden criticized the decision, saying the ruling “defies the science that confirms the critical role of wetlands in safeguarding our nation’s streams, rivers and lakes from chemicals and pollutants” and “upends the legal framework that has protected America’s waters for decades.” (New York Times / Washington Post / CNN / Politico / NPR / NBC News / Bloomberg / Wall Street Journal)

3/ Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’s Twitter livestream announcing his presidential campaign was marred by technical issues. Minutes into the audio-only Twitter Spaces forum between Elon Musk and DeSantis, the event’s audio repeatedly cut out and users were being kicked out — including DeSantis. “Are we on?” someone asked at one point. After nearly 20 minutes of crashing, echoing, and confusion, the livestream abruptly ended. Eventually, Musk launched a new Twitter Spaces, delaying DeSantis’ presidential announcement by nearly half an hour. Biden’s Twitter account, meanwhile, mocked the DeSantis disaster, tweeting: “This link works,” inviting followers to donate. (CNN / Washington Post / New York Times / NPR / Associated Press / Politico / Wall Street Journal)

poll/ 53% Republican primary voters prefer Trump for the party’s presidential nomination; 26% prefer DeSantis. (CNN)

poll/ 60% of Democratic voters said they favor Biden for the party’s presidential nomination. 20% prefer activist Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., and 8% back author Marianne Williamson. Another 8% say they would support an unnamed “someone else.”(CNN)

Day 855: "Gutted."

1/ Target pulled some LGBTQ-themed merchandise following “threats impacting our team members’ sense of safety and wellbeing while at work.” Target said conservative activists have knocked down Pride displays, approached workers, and posted threatening videos on social media from inside stores over its “tuck friendly” women’s swimsuits that allow trans women who have not had gender-affirming operations to conceal their genitalia. The so-called customers have falsely claimed that Target is selling the “tuck-friendly” swimsuits to kids – the swimsuits, however, are only offered in adult sizes. The move to remove “items that have been at the center of the most significant confrontational behavior” comes one week before Pride Month kicks off on June 1. (Associated Press / Politico / Washington Post / NBC News / ABC News)

2/ The South Carolina Senate passed a ban on abortion after six weeks of pregnancy. The legislation, which bans most abortions after early cardiac activity can be detected in a fetus or embryo, heads to Republican Gov. Henry McMaster, who has said he will sign it. A physician who knowingly violates the law would have their license revoked and could face felony charges, fines, and jail time. At least 25 states have restricted abortion access since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. (CNN / New York Times / Wall Street Journal)

3/ A Florida elementary school restricted access to the poem recited at Biden’s 2020 presidential inauguration after a parent complaint and school review. Amanda Gorman – the youngest inaugural poet in U.S. history – said she was “gutted” that her poem, “The Hill We Climb,” was moved to the library’s middle school section, which is for grades six through eight. A review committee at a Miami-Dade K-8 public school, however, determined that the poem and three other titles – “The ABCs of Black History,” “Cuban Kids,” and “Love to Langston” – were “better suited” for middle school students after one parent complained that the titles included inappropriate topics and were meant to “cause confusion and indoctrinate students.” Gorman said “The Hill We Climb” was inspired by the Jan. 6 insurrection “so that all young people could see themselves in a historical moment.” Miami-Dade County Public Schools is the nation’s fourth-largest school district by enrollment. (USA Today / The Hill / CNN / Miami Herald / New York Times / ABC News)

4/ House Republicans will vote on a measure to block Biden’s student loan forgiveness program, which would cancel up to $20,000 in federal student debt for millions of low- and middle-income borrowers. The resolution would also end a pandemic-era pause on loan payments. Biden has pledged to veto the resolution if it passes in both the House and Senate, saying it would “weaken America’s middle class” because the cost of higher education has become a “lifelong burden” on low- and middle-income Americans. The student debt relief program is currently on hold because of two challenges that are being considered by the Supreme Court, which is expected to issue its ruling in late June or early July. (CNN / NBC News / USA Today)

5/ Kevin McCarthy suggested that negotiations over raising the debt limit were progressing but the two sides still remained “far apart.” At the same time, McCarthy renewed his demand for Biden and the Democrats to accept spending cuts in exchange for raising the debt limit, claiming “it’s not my fault” that an unprecedented federal default is only eight days away. The White House called the standoff a “manufactured crisis” by Republicans pushing “extreme proposals” that would hurt “every single part of the country, whether you’re in a red state or a blue state.” Democrats, so far, have reportedly agreed to freeze spending at current levels, but Republicans have insisted on roughly $131 billion in spending cuts, while seeking an increase in military spending. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has warned the U.S. could run out of money to pay its bills as soon as June 1. House Democrats, meanwhile, have all 213 members signed onto a discharge petition to bypass McCarthy and force a vote to raise the debt ceiling. Democrats still need at least five Republicans. So far, no Republicans have agreed to support it. (CNBC / Bloomberg / Politico / New York Times / Associated Press / Wall Street Journal)

poll/ 51% of Americans want Congress to raise the debt ceiling and deal with spending cuts separately — a so-called “clean” increase. 25% say raising the debt ceiling should be tied to spending cuts demanded by House Republicans. (Monmouth University Poll / Bloomberg)

Day 854: "Very substantial."

1/ The Texas billionaire and Republican megadonor with close ties to Clarence Thomas refused to answer questions from the Senate Judiciary Committee about his gifts to the Supreme Court justice. Harlan Crow told chairman Dick Durbin that the Senate Judiciary Committee did not have “the authority to investigate Mr. Crow’s personal friendship with Justice Clarence Thomas.” In response, Durbin said Crow “did not provide a credible justification” for refusing to cooperate, saying “Harlan Crow believes the secrecy of his lavish gifts to Justice Thomas is more important than the reputation of the highest court of law in this land.” Recent reporting revealed that Thomas received lavish gifts and luxury travel from Crow, plus favorable real estate transactions and gifts that Thomas never included in his annual financial disclosures. (CNN / Bloomberg / NBC News / Politico / Washington Post)

2/ E. Jean Carroll is seeking “very substantial” monetary damages of no less than $10 million from Trump in response to his insults made about her at a CNN town hall. A day after Carroll won her $5 million sexual abuse and defamation case against him, Trump appeared on CNN and “falsely stated that he did not sexually abuse Carroll, that he has no idea who Carroll was, and that Carroll’s now-proven accusation was a ‘fake’ and ‘made up story’ created by a ‘whack job.’” The amended lawsuit said Trump “doubled down” on his derogatory remarks about Carroll, “undeterred by the jury’s verdict, persisted in maliciously defaming Carroll yet again” at the CNN event. “It is hard to imagine defamatory conduct that could possibly be more motivated by hatred, ill will, or spite,” Carroll’s lawyers said. (New York Times / CNN / CNBC / Associated Press)

3/ Trump’s criminal trial on charges of falsifying business records related to a hush money payoff to Stormy Daniels is set to begin less than eight months before the 2024 presidential election. Trump’s New York trial starts March 25 – during the Republican primary schedule – and makes him the first American president, former or otherwise, to face criminal charges. Judge Juan Merchan warned Trump that he could be found in contempt if he shared evidence provided to his lawyers in the criminal case. Following the hearing, Trump complained about the protective order and the trial date on his personal social network, saying “I believe my First Amendment Rights, ‘Freedom of Speech,’ have been violated, and they forced upon us a trial date […] right in the middle of Primary season. Very unfair, but this is exactly what the Radical Left Democrats wanted. It’s called ELECTION INTERFERENCE.” Trump was indicted in March by a grand jury, which accused him of 34 felony counts of falsifying business records. (Washington Post / New York Times / NBC News / ABC News / CNN / CNBC)

4/ Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis will announce his 2024 presidential campaign in a Twitter Spaces livestream with Elon Musk on Wednesday. The event will be moderated by David Sacks, a Republican donor who is openly supportive of DeSantis and is considered to be part of Musk’s inner circle on decisions about Twitter. Last year, Musk said he would support the governor if he were to run for president, though Musk said at an event Tuesday that he was not formally throwing his support behind DeSantis, or any other Republican. A Trump advisor, meanwhile, said “Announcing on Twitter is perfect for Ron DeSantis. This way he doesn’t have to interact with people and the media can’t ask him any questions.” Since acquiring Twitter, Musk has drawn criticism for his promise to return “free speech” to the social media site, including reducing content moderation and reinstating banned accounts — including Trump’s. Tucker Carlson, who remains one of the most popular figures in conservative media even after being fired by Fox News, recently announced that he would relaunch his program on Twitter. (NBC News / Politico / New York Times / Bloomberg)

poll/ 62% of Americans say they believe Biden’s mental fitness is a real concern, while 36% say it is not. 51% said Trump’s mental fitness was a real concern. 43% said it was not. (NPR)

Day 853: "Openly hostile."

1/ California, Arizona, and Nevada agreed to reduce their water use from the Colorado River to help keep Lake Mead and Lake Powell from falling to critically low levels. Under the agreement, the states will voluntarily conserve 3 million acre-feet of water until 2026 – about 13% of those states’ total allocation from the river – in exchange for $1.2 billion in federal funding. The deal comes as the water levels in the Colorado River, Lake Mead, and Lake Powell have declined to their lowest levels on record during the 23 year megadrought. The Colorado River supplies water to more than 40 million people, 30 tribal nations, and roughly 5.5 million acres of farmland across seven states. The electricity generated by dams at Lake Mead and Lake Powell also provide power to millions of homes and businesses across eight states. (New York Times / Washington Post / NBC News / Los Angeles Times / NPR / ABC News / CNBC / Wall Street Journal)

2/ The World Meteorological Organization reported that weather- and climate-related disasters have killed more than 2 million people and caused economic damage of $4.3 trillion over the last half-century. 90% of the those 2 million deaths occurred in developing countries. The WMO tallied nearly 12,000 extreme weather, climate, and water-related events during that time. (NBC News / Axios)

3/ A third of the global population will live in dangerously hot conditions by 2080 if average global temperatures remain on track to rise 2.7C in the last two decades of the century, according to researchers from Exeter University’s Global Systems Institute. Under the current projections, India, Nigeria, and Indonesia would suffer the worst impact, with 600 million, 300 million and 100 million people respectively living in dangerously hot areas. However, if global warming is limited to 1.5C, it would reduce the number of people affected to 90 million in India, 40 million in Nigeria, and 5 million in Indonesia. (Bloomberg)

4/ The NAACP issued a travel advisory for Florida, warning that Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis’s “aggressive attempts to erase Black history and to restrict diversity, equity, and inclusion programs in Florida schools” have turned the state into an “openly hostile” place for people of color and members of the LGBTQ+ community. The travel advisory comes four months after Florida rejected the College Board’s new Advanced Placement course in African American studies and warns travelers that “the governor and the state of Florida have shown that African Americans are not welcome in the state of Florida.” (NPR / Washington Post / New York Times / USA Today / Associated Press / Politico)

5/ The FBI violated their own standards more than 278,000 times when using a warrantless surveillance program to investigate people suspected of participating in the Jan. 6 insurrection, the George Floyd protests, and donors to a congressional candidate whose campaign was a possible “target of foreign influence.” The candidate involved was not elected to Congress. FBI officials, however, say they’ve already fixed the issue by tightening restrictions to the warrantless surveillance program. The improper searches were blamed on a misunderstanding between FBI analysts and Justice Department lawyers about how to properly use the program. Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act expires at the end of this year unless Congress reauthorizes the surveillance tool. (Washington Post / Wall Street Journal / New York Times / NBC News / CBS News / Politico)

poll/ 35% of Americans said their financial situation was worse off compared to a year ago – the highest level since 2014. 73% said they were doing okay financially in 2022 – down 5 percentage points from 2021. (Axios)

poll/ 33% of Americans said they approve of Biden’s handling of the economy. (Associated Press)

Day 849: "Extreme."

1/ Kevin McCarthy and Chuck Schumer are planning a vote on a bipartisan deal to lift the federal debt limit ahead of a potential June 1 default deadline. “I see the path that we can come to an agreement,” McCarthy said. “And I think we have a structure now and everybody’s working hard.” Schumer said the Senate would take up the legislation after House passage, alerting senators they need to be prepared to return to the Capitol within 24 hours if the House passes legislation. In order to avoid a historic U.S. default, a deal needs to pass the Republican majority House and the Democratic-controlled Senate by the June 1 deadline. Hakeem Jeffries, meanwhile, warned that any “so-called extreme work requirements” for federal benefits like SNAP or Medicaid “that MAGA Republicans want to try to impose as a ransom note are a non-starter. Period. Full stop.” (Bloomberg / CNBC / Politico / CNN)

2/ The Texas legislature voted to ban gender-affirming care for most minors, sending the bill to Gov. Greg Abbott’s desk. If enacted, Texas would become the largest state to ban gender-affirming care for minors, joining at least 17 other states that have passed similar bans. Two years ago, Abbott approved a bill barring transgender girls from playing female sports in public schools. (Washington Post / NPR / CNN / KUT Public Media)

3/ The South Carolina House approved a ban on most abortions after six weeks of pregnancy. However, in January the state Supreme Court found a right to abortion in the state Constitution and struck down a similar six-week ban over privacy concerns. If enacted, Virginia would be the only state in the South where women have unrestricted access to abortions. (Associated Press / CNN / New York Times)

4/ The House Ethics Committee will continue with its investigation into George Santos even though the New York Republican is facing a federal indictment. Traditionally, the Ethics Committee has stepped aside when the Justice Department investigates a member of Congress. The committee, however, will continue to investigate Santos for any issues that fall under its jurisdiction, while the Justice Department investigates criminal matters. Federal prosecutors charged Santos with 13 financial crimes, including wire fraud, money laundering, theft of public funds, and lying to the House on financial forms in that case. House Republicans, meanwhile, blocked a Democratic effort to expel Santos from Congress. (Washington Post / NBC News / NPR)

5/ Penguin Random House, authors, parents, and a free speech group sued a Florida school district for removing 10 books related to race and the LGBTQ community. The school district restricted the books saying they violated Florida’s Parental Rights in Education Act – aka the “Don’t Say Gay” Act – after a high school teacher complained. The group, however, argues that “the books being singled out for possible removal are disproportionately books by non-white and/or LGBTQ authors” in violation of the 14th Amendment. The lawsuit also says that the school district violated the First Amendment by “depriving students of access to a wide range of viewpoints, and depriving the authors of the removed and restricted books of the opportunity to engage with readers and disseminate their ideas to their intended audiences.” (NBC News / Axios / Politico / Washington Post)

Day 848: "Repercussions."

1/ Biden said he is “confident” the U.S. will avert a default as negotiations over raising the debt limit continue. “It would be catastrophic for the American economy and the American people if we didn’t pay our bills,” Biden said. “I’m confident everyone in the room agreed […] that we’re going to come together because there’s no alternative. We have to do the right thing for the country. We have to move on.” Republicans want to cut federal spending before lifting the debt limit, while Biden and the Democrats insist that raising the debt ceiling is nonnegotiable. Separately, House Democrats have started collecting signatures for a discharge petition that could circumvent House Republican leadership and force a vote to increase the debt limit should negotiations collapse. A discharge petition requires 218 or more members sign on. A group of Senate Democrats, meanwhile, started circulating a letter urging Biden to invoke the 14th Amendment to unilaterally lift the debt ceiling without involving Congress. The draft letter reminds Biden that the 14th Amendment says “the validity of the public debt, authorized by law […] shall not be questioned.” They add that “using this authority would allow the United States to continue to pay its bills on-time, without delay, preventing a global economic catastrophe.” (Associated Press / New York Times / ABC News / Bloomberg / Wall Street Journal / New York Times / Washington Post / NBC News)

2/ The North Carolina legislature banned most abortions after 12 weeks. The Republican supermajority in both chambers of the state legislature voted to override the veto of Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper. Although the law includes exceptions for rape or incest and a “life-limiting anomaly” in the fetus, it does requires patients to meet in-person with a physician at least 72 hours before the procedure. The new law takes effect July 1. (Washington Post / New York Times / Axios / NBC News / Wall Street Journal)

3/ The National Archives will turn over 16 records to special counsel Jack Smith that show Trump and his advisers knew the correct declassification process while he was president. The records were subpoenaed earlier this year and “reflect communications involving close presidential advisers, some of them directed to [Trump] personally, concerning whether, why, and how you should declassify certain classified records.” Trump has repeatedly the claimed that he had a “standing order” to declassify documents he took from the White House, circumventing the standard process. One of Trump’s lawyers in the classified documents investigation, meanwhile, resigned. (CNN / Politico)

4/ About 39% of American households say they struggle to make ends meet – up from 34% a year ago and 27% in 2021. More than 25 million American homes say they used credit cards to meet their spending needs – up from 22.4 million a year earlier. (Bloomberg)

5/ Between 2019 and 2020, the overall mortality rate for young Americans rose by 10.7%. In 2021, the overall mortality increased by an additional 8.3% to the highest level in nearly 15 years. Covid-19 wasn’t the major cause of death for young Americans during that time, but the social disruption caused by the pandemic did exacerbate anxiety and depression. Guns, however, remain the No. 1 cause of death in young people. (Wall Street Journal)

6/ The World Meteorological Organization warned there is a 66% chance that annual average global temperatures will exceed the Paris climate agreement threshold of 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels by 2027. Researchers at the U.N. agency also said there is a 98% chance that global temperatures will exceed the 2016 record in the next five years. “This will have far-reaching repercussions for health, food security, water management and the environment,” the secretary general of the meteorological organization said. “We need to be prepared.” (New York Times / Wall Street Journal)

poll/ 18% of Americans say they have confidence in the Supreme Court – an all time low since polling began in 1973. 46% say they have some confidence in the Supreme Court, while 36% say they have hardly any. (Associated Press-NORC)

Day 847: "Irresponsible."

1/ Biden will cut his trip to Asia short and return to Washington to continue negotiations on lifting the debt ceiling. Biden and the Democrats have argued that a debt ceiling increase should be done without conditions to avoid an economic disaster, while Republicans want to use it as leverage to cut federal spending, ease energy permits, and claw back Covid-19 funds. Kevin McCarthy, meanwhile, said that tighter work requirements for safety net programs like food stamps are his “red line” in negotiations, while Hakeem Jeffries called the idea “a nonstarter.” More than a dozen House Republicans meanwhile urged Chuck Schumer to cancel the Senate’s upcoming recess, saying it’s “irresponsible” for the chamber to be out of session during this “critical time leading up to June 1st.” The Treasury Department estimates that the U.S. could default on the nation’s $31.4 trillion debt as soon as June 1 if Congress doesn’t raise the debt ceiling. (NBC News / New York Times / Washington Post / Wall Street Journal / Bloomberg / CNN / Bloomberg)

2/ Rudy Giuliani reportedly discussed selling presidential pardons for $2 million, which he would split with Trump, according to a lawsuit filed by Giuliani’s business development director and public relations consultant from 2019 to 2021. According to the lawsuit, Giuliani also told Noelle Dunphy he was able to break laws because he had “immunity.” The lawsuit, however, did not suggest any pardons were sold. Dunphy also alleged in her suit that after Giuliani hired her for $1 million a year in January 2019 he sexually assaulted and harassed her, refused to pay her wages, and often made “sexist, racist, and antisemitic remarks.” The suit alleges that Giuliani “often demanded that Dunphy work naked, or in short-shorts with an American flag on them that he bought for her,” adding that Giuliani “demanded oral sex while he took phone calls,” including with Trump, and told her he enjoyed it “because it made him feel like Bill Clinton.” Dunphy is seeking $10 million in compensatory and punitive damages. (Associated Press / NBC News / CBS News / Politico)

3/ House Democrats introduced a resolution to expel George Santos, who was recently indicted by the Justice Department on counts of wire fraud, money laundering, theft of public funds, and lying to Congress. While the move is expected to fail, it will force House Republicans to go on the record over Santos. About a dozen House Republicans have called for Santos to resign. (CNN / Axios / USA Today / ABC News)

4/ Biden vetoed a resolution that would have reinstated tariffs on solar panels imported from Chinese companies in Southeast Asia in violation of trade rules. Lawmakers in both parties have expressed concerns about what they call unfair competition from China, arguing that China should be punished for circumventing tariffs by shipping their products through Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam. About three-quarters of solar panels imported to the U.S. in 2020 came from Southeast Asia. As a result of the veto, tariffs on solar panels from Southeast Asia will be waived until at least June 2024, providing a “bridge” to ensure that when new U.S. factories are operational, “we have a thriving solar installation industry ready to deploy American-made solar products to homes, businesses and communities across the nation,″ Biden said. A two-thirds majority of lawmakers in both houses would be needed to override Biden’s veto. “Passage of this resolution bets against American innovation,” Biden said. “It would undermine these efforts and create deep uncertainty for American businesses and workers in the solar industry.” (Washington Post / Associated Press / New York Times)

poll/ 16% of Americans said religion is the most important thing in their lives – down from 20% a decade ago. 28% said they “seldom” attend religious services, and 29% of respondents said they “never” attend religious services. A decade ago, those figures were 22% and 21%, respectively. (NPR)

poll/ In a hypothetical match-up, voters prefer Biden to Trump 44% to 38%. In March, Biden led Trump by five percentage points after trailing him by three points in February. (Reuters)

Day 846: "Remain optimistic."

1/ A man armed with a metal baseball bat attacked two staff members in Rep. Gerry Connolly’s district office in Virginia. Xuan Kha Tran Pham entered the office and demanded to see the congressman, saying “Where’s Connolly?” Pham, 49, reportedly grew agitated when he learned Connolly was at a ribbon cutting for a food bank in another part of Fairfax County. He proceeded to attack two staff aides, smash a glass conference room window, and break computers. Pham faces charges of one count of felony aggravated malicious wounding and one count of malicious wounding. It’s not clear what his motivation may have been, but last year Pham filed a $29 million federal lawsuit alleging that the CIA had imprisoned him for decades in a “lower perspective based on physics called the book world” and that he was being “brutally tortured […] from the fourth dimension.” (CNN / NBC News / New York Times / Washington Post / NPR / Politico / Associated Press)

2/ Republican congressman Paul Gosar’s digital director is a neo-Nazi acolyte. Evidence shows Wade Searle pledging his allegiance to Nick Fuentes’ white supremacist “Groyper” movement, as well as posting extremist, anti-Semitic, racist, and anti-vaccine content on far-right websites. Searle’s alleged involvement occurred before and after he started working in Gosar’s office. (Talking Points Memo)

3/ Biden will meet with congressional leaders on the debt ceiling limit Tuesday following “productive” negotiations over the weekend. “I remain optimistic because I’m a congenital optimist,” Biden said despite time running out to strike a deal to avert a government default. Negotiations have centered on federal spending caps, clawing back unspent Covid-19 funds, speeding up the permitting process for energy projects, and stricter work requirements for social safety net programs. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, meanwhile, reiterated that the U.S. could default on its debt by June 1 if Congress doesn’t raise or suspend the debt limit. (CNN / New York Times / Wall Street Journal / CNBC / Bloomberg)

4/ Special counsel John Durham concluded that the FBI should never have launched a full investigation into connections between Trump’s campaign and Russia during the 2016 election, calling the investigation “seriously flawed.” Durham accused investigators of causing “severe reputational harm” to the FBI, saying agents “discounted or willfully ignored material information that did not support the narrative of a collusive relationship between Trump and Russia.” According to the 306-page report, the FBI used “raw, unanalyzed, and uncorroborated intelligence” as the basis for launching the “Crossfire Hurricane” investigation but was more cautious and skeptical of allegations of foreign influence regarding Clinton’s campaign. The FBI opened the Russia investigation after an Australian diplomat reported that Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos had bragged to him about the Russian government possessing dirt on Clinton. Durham was tapped in 2019 by then-Attorney General Bill Barr to examine the origins and conduct of the investigation into whether Trump’s 2016 campaign colluded with Russia. Durham, however, did not bring high-level indictments or uncover evidence of what Trump called “the crime of the century.” Instead, Durham charged three defendants during the four-year investigation. Two were acquitted and the third pleaded guilty to avoid prison time. (Washington Post / New York Times / NBC News / Wall Street Journal / CNN / Politico / Axios)

5/ Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis defunded diversity, equity, and inclusion programs at the state’s colleges and universities, calling the programs a “distraction from the core mission.” The legislation restricts how gender and race are taught on campus, and bans general education courses that “distort significant historical events,” teach “identity politics,” or are “based on theories that systemic racism, sexism, oppression, or privilege are inherent in the institutions of the United States and were created to maintain social, political, or economic inequities.” (NBC News / USA Today / CNN / Washington Post / Politico)

Day 842: "It's hard to see how America was served by the spectacle of lies that aired on CNN."

1/ The pandemic-era border policy used more than 2.8 million times to quick expel migrants without providing asylum hearings expires tonight. The Trump administration invoked the use of Title 42 as a Covid-19 precaution in March 2020. The Biden administration will revert to processing illegal border crossings as was done before the pandemic under Title 8 of the U.S. Code, which carries strict penalties, including five- and 10-year bans on reentry for those deported. Migrants, however, are being offered new legal pathways to enter the country if they apply online and meet certain conditions. Homeland Security officials predict as many as 13,000 migrants per day will try to cross into the U.S. after Title 42 expires – up from about 6,000 on a typical day. (New York Times / Wall Street Journal / ABC News / NBC News / Associated Press)

2/ The EPA proposed new greenhouse gas emissions regulations that would eliminate nearly all carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel-fired power plants by 2040. The proposed rule would require coal- and gas-fired power plants to reduce or capture 90% of their carbon dioxide emissions by 2038 or be forced to retire. If finalized, the proposed regulation would mark the first time the federal government has restricted carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants. (Associated Press / Politico / NPR / NBC News / New York Times)

3/ CNN reported that “it’s hard to see how America was served by the spectacle of lies that aired on CNN” during Trump’s primetime town hall interview. In his first media appearance since being found liable for sexual abuse and defamation, Trump spent roughly 70 minutes maintaining his lie that the 2020 election was “rigged,” refusing to pledge to accept the results of the 2024 election, calling the moderator a “nasty person,” claiming he had the right to take classified documents to Mar-a-Lago, and saying he would pardon a “large portion” of the Jan. 6 rioters. Although Kaitlan Collins attempted to fact-checked his inaccurate claims, the live audience of Republicans and undeclared voters regularly clapped and laughed on behalf of Trump and his false claims. (CNN / Associated Press / Politico / NPR / Wall Street Journal / Washington Post / New York Times / NBC News / CNBC)

4/ Dianne Feinstein attended her first Judiciary Committee meeting since she was hospitalized with shingles in February. Her absence stalled confirmations of some of Biden’s judicial nominees and lead some to call for her resignation. At 89-years-old, Feinstein is the oldest member of the Senate and has been advised by her doctors to work a “lighter schedule” as she continues to recover. She arrived at the Capitol in a wheelchair. (CNN / NBC News / Washington Post / ABC News)

poll/ In a hypothetical 2024 matchup, 44% of voters said they’d vote for Trump while 38% said they’d vote for Biden. The other 18% are either undecided or declined to answer. (Washington Post)

poll/ If the 2024 election were held today, 45% of voters said they’d vote for Biden while 43% said they’d vote for Trump. (Yahoo News)

Day 841: "Rhetoric."

1/ George Santos pleaded not guilty to 13 federal criminal charges. Santos, who was released on a $500,000 bond, faces seven counts of wire fraud, three counts of money laundering, two counts of making false statements to Congress, and one count of defrauding campaign donors to purchase designer clothes, make a car payment, and pay personal credit card bills. Santos also faces a charge that he fraudulently applied for unemployment benefits in 2020 when he was employed and earning an annual salary of $120,000. He faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted. (New York Times / Washington Post / Associated Press / CNN / ABC News / NBC News / Politico / NPR / Axios)

2/ CNN will host Trump for a live, two-hour town hall Wednesday night – one day after a civil jury found him liable for sexual assault, battery, and defamation. As president, Trump regularly attacked the news media, calling the press “the enemy of the people,” while repeatedly insulting journalists and threatening to revoke press passes. [Editor’s note: Why CNN, why?] (NPR)

3/ Inflation eased to the lowest level in two years, but prices remain higher than normal. Consumer prices in April were 4.9% higher than a year ago – down from the 5% inflation rate in March and June 2022’s peak of 9.1%. Last week, the Federal Reserve raised interest rates for the 10th time in 14 months to a range between 5% and 5.25% – the highest level in 16 years – in an effort to slow the economy. (NPR / CNBC / Washington Post / New York Times / Wall Street Journal / CNN / Bloomberg)

4/ An FDA advisory panel unanimously endorsed making birth control pills available without a prescription for the first time. The FDA’s outside experts said the benefits of making a birth control pill available without a prescription outweigh the risks. The FDA is expected to make a decision on the proposed use of the oral contraceptive, called Opill, this summer or early fall. (Axios / ABC News / New York Times / Washington Post / NBC News)

5/ Missouri House Republicans banned gender-affirming care for transgender minors and restricted transgender students from participating on school sports teams that align with their gender identity. Gov. Mike Parson is expected to sign both bills, which expire in 2027, after threatening a special legislative session on the issue if lawmakers didn’t act. At least 13 states this year have enacted laws or policies aimed at banning or severely limiting transition care for transgender youth. (Associated Press / New York Times / St. Louis Post-Dispatch / Missouri Independent)

6/ Ron DeSantis and Florida education officials rejected dozens of social studies textbooks and “fixed” dozens of other books to prevent “political indoctrination of children.” Florida initially rejected 81% of the textbooks submitted by publishers in part because they “contained prohibited subjects,” including critical race theory, or contained what the state’s education department considered “inaccurate material, errors and other information that was not aligned with Florida law.” The Florida education commissioner said that textbooks should “focus on historical facts” and be “free from inaccuracies or ideological rhetoric.” The list of rejected or changed materials included books on U.S. history, the Holocaust, psychology, references to the killing of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement, as well as descriptions of socialism and communism. (NPR / Tampa Bay Times / Washington Post / New York Times)

7/ Joe Manchin threatened to vote against all of Biden’s EPA nominees unless the administration rescinds new carbon emission standards for power plants. The EPA’s proposal, expected to be announced Thursday, would require coal and natural gas-fired power plants to drastically reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 2040 by establishing new limits on their emissions. Manchin accused the Biden administration of trying to advance a “radical climate agenda” that’s “designed to kill the fossil industry by a thousand cuts” by “regulat[ing] coal and gas-fueled power plants out of existence.” Electricity production accounts for about 25% of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. Of that, about 79% of those emissions come from coal and natural gas-fired power plants. Said another way: Roughly 20% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions come from burning fossil fuels to generate electricity. (Politico / Washington Post / Bloomberg / Reuters)

Day 840: "Absolutely no idea."

1/ A jury unanimously found Trump liable for the sexual abuse, battery, and defamation of E. Jean Carroll, awarding her $5 million in damages. The jury, however, didn’t find Trump liable for rape, as Carroll had alleged. In New York, sexual abuse is defined as subjecting a person to sexual contact without consent while rape is defined as sexual intercourse without consent. Carroll had accused Trump of sexually assaulting her in a Manhattan department store in the 1990s, which Trump denied, calling her a liar. Carroll later sued Trump for battery and defamation. Since it was a civil case – not criminal – Trump has not been convicted of any crime and faces no prison time. Trump called the verdict a “disgrace,” adding: “I have absolutely no idea who this woman is.” It is the first time a former president has been found civilly liable for sexual misconduct. (New York Times / NBC News / Associated Press / CNBC / Bloomberg / Washington Post / Wall Street Journal)

2/ A judge barred Trump from publicly posting evidence and other material related to the pending criminal hush money case. Judge Juan Merchan also barred Trump from reviewing evidence in the case other than in the presence of his lawyers and “shall not be permitted to copy, photograph, transcribe, or otherwise independently possess the Limited Dissemination Materials.” Prosecutors had argued that the “risk” of Trump using the material “inappropriately is substantial.” (CNBC / NBC News)

3/ The Senate Judiciary Committee asked Republican megadonor Harlan Crow to provide an accounting of the free travel and gifts he gave to Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. The committee also asked Crow to provide a list of real estate transactions, transportation, lodging, and more he might have provided. The Senate Finance Committee is seeking similar information from Crow, who declined to answer questions. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden accused Crow of “stonewalling,” saying he would “explore using other tools at the committee’s disposal to obtain this critical information.” (Washington Post / Politico / NBC News / CNN / New York Times / The Hill / Bloomberg)

4/ Biden met with Kevin McCarthy and other congressional leaders for the first time since February to discuss raising the debt ceiling. The Treasury Department has warned that the government will default on its obligations for the first time in history as soon as June 1 unless Congress raises the borrowing limit. McCarthy said he “didn’t see any new movement” after the meeting, while Mitch McConnell blamed the White House for rejecting the Republican’s proposal to cut spending in exchange for lifting the debt limit. Democrats and the White House have maintained that they want the debt limit and spending deals to be handled separately. There are seven days when the House and Senate are in session and Biden is in town between now and the June 1 default deadline. (Washington Post / NPR / NBC News / New York Times / Bloomberg)

poll/ Between 34% and 38% of Americans say they have a “great deal” or “fair amount” of confidence in Biden, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, and Congress to do the right thing for the economy. (Gallup)

poll/ 66% of adults say the abortion drug mifepristone should remain on the market, while 24% say it should be taken off the market. (Washington Post)

Day 839: "Calamity."

1/ Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned that the only way for the U.S. to avoid an unprecedented default is for Congress to pass legislation to raise the debt ceiling, saying there are “no good options” and “these negotiations should not take place with a gun […] to the head of the American people.” Yellen urged congressional Republicans to drop their demand that Biden cut spending in exchange for raising the debt limit, saying failure to raise the debt ceiling will cause a “steep economic downturn” and “economic calamity” in the U.S. The U.S. is projected to default on its debt as early as June 1. Some legal experts contend that the White House can ignore Congress and invoke the 14th Amendment, which says “the validity of the public debt, authorized by law […] shall not be questioned,” to keep borrowing money past the limit, and to issue more federal debt to keep the government funded. Yellen, however, said invoking the 14th Amendment to get around the debt ceiling would risk a “constitutional crisis.” Biden and the Democrats, meanwhile, say Congress should simply increase the borrowing limit, which Republicans have refused unless it also cuts future federal spending. Some 43 Senate Republicans, including Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, say they oppose a “clean” debt limit bill and support the Kevin McCarthy’s “spending cuts and structural budget reform as a starting point for negotiations on the debt ceiling.” Democrats do not have the votes to overcome a Republican filibuster on legislation in the Senate. (Washington Post / ABC News / Politico / NPR / CNBC / Washington Post / New York Times / ABC News)

2/ The gunman who killed eight people and injured seven others in Texas was terminated by the Army three months after he enlisted for an unspecified mental health issue. Mauricio Garcia, who used an AR-15-style rifle in the attack and was shot dead by a police officer, joined the Army in June 2008 but failed to complete his basic training. An Army official said Garcia was “terminated” due to “designated physical or mental conditions,” without offering further details. A social media profile that appears to belong to Garcia, however, was filled with neo-Nazi content, a smiley face with a Hitler mustache, as well as rants against Jews, women and racial minorities. The profile also uploaded pictures outside the Allen Outlet Mall’s H&M entrance – where Garcia would later open fire – on April 16, including a screenshot from Google Maps showing the mall’s busiest hours. Garcia arrived at the mall wearing military-style body armor with a patch that said “RWDS.” The Right Wing Death Squad phrase is popular among white supremacists and far-right extremist groups. In his final post, Garcia wrote that no psychologist would have been able to fix him. (Washington Post / Wall Street Journal / New York Times / Associated Press / NBC News / Daily Beast / NPR / Politico)

3/ At least eight of the 16 Republican “fake electors” in Georgia have accepted immunity deals in the criminal investigation into Trump efforts to overturn the 2020 election. Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis said the meeting of Trump’s electors on Dec. 14, 2020, Trump’s phone calls to multiple state officials, and his campaign’s involvement in a breach of election equipment are all key targets of her investigation. Willis secured eight cooperation agreements after notifying the 16 fake electors that they were targets in her investigation. (Washington Post / CNN)

4/ A jury will begin deliberations in E. Jean Carroll’s civil battery and defamation trial against Trump, who rejected his last chance to testify. “You must hold him to account for what he’s done,” Carroll’s lawyer said during closing arguments, adding that Trump followed a “playbook” he had for kissing and groping women without their consent before he raped Carroll in a department store dressing room in the mid-1990s. Trump’s lawyer, meanwhile, called Carroll’s case “a scam,” arguing that she “abused the system by bringing a false claim for money, status and political reasons […] minimizing real rape and exploiting real pain and suffering and we cannot let her profit to the tune of millions of dollars.” The jury is expected to begin deliberations Tuesday. (New York Times / Politico / CNBC / CNN / Wall Street Journal / NPR)

5/ The World Health Organization declared Covid-19 the global public health emergency over. The declaration was first issued more than three years ago, on Jan. 30, 2020. “That does not mean Covid-19 is over as a global health threat,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, noting that the official Covid-19 death toll was 7 million, but the real figure was estimated to be at least 20 million. The director of the CDC, meanwhile, resigned, saying the end of the Covid-19 public health emergency was a good time to make a transition. (Associated Press / NBC News)

poll/ 36% of Americans approve of the job Biden is doing as president – down from 42% in February. 47% “strongly” disapprove. (Politico)

poll/ 68% of Americans say Biden is too old for another term as president. 44%, meanwhile, say Trump is too old. Trump is 76; Biden is 80. (ABC News)

poll/ 47% of Democrats want the party to nominate “someone other than Biden.” Among Democratic-leaning voters, 58% want someone nominated other than Biden, while 77% of independents who lean Democrat want a different candidate. (Washington Post)

Day 835: "An insidious plot."

1/ Four members of the Proud Boys were found guilty of seditious conspiracy for their roles in the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol and their use of force to stop the certification of the election. A jury deliberated for seven days before finding Enrique Tarrio, Ethan Nordean, Joseph Biggs, and Zachary Rehl guilty on seditious conspiracy and other charges, including three separate conspiracy charges, obstructing the Electoral College vote, and tampering with evidence.  The men were convicted of at least one count punishable by up to 20 years in prison. (NPR / Washington Post / Associated Press / New York Times / NBC News / CNN)

2/ The special counsel investigating Trump’s mishandling of classified documents sent new grand jury subpoenas to top Trump employees for information about the handling of Mar-a-Lago surveillance footage. Trump Organization executives Matthew Calamari Sr. and his son Matthew Calamari Jr. are expected to appear today before the grand jury investigating. Calamari Sr. is the executive vice president and chief operating officer of the Trump Organization. He’s overseen security operations for Trump and his properties. Calamari Jr. is the director of security for the Trump Organization. It was previously reported that footage captured a Trump aide and another Mar-a-Lago employee moving boxes containing documents out of a storage closet. (CNN)

3/ A New York Supreme Court judge dismissed Trump’s lawsuit against the New York Times. In 2021, Trump filed a $100 million lawsuit against the New York Times and his niece Mary Trump, claiming the news outlet’s 2018 Pulitzer Prize-winning investigation into his tax records was “an insidious plot to obtain confidential and highly-sensitive records.” New York Supreme Court Justice Robert Reed, however, said Trump’s claims “fail as a matter of constitutional law.” Reed ordered Trump to pay all legal fees associated with the case. (New York Times / Axios)

4/ A Republican megadonor paid for two years of private school tuition for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’s great nephew. Thomas did not disclose the gift from Harlan Crow, who also treated Thomas to lavish vacations for over two decades. Thomas had taken legal custody of the boy at the time and was “raising him as a son,” but never disclosed that Crow was paying the $6,000-per-month bill for Hidden Lake Academy on his annual financial disclosures. (ProPublica / Washington Post / Associated Press / Politico / New York Times / USA Today / CNBC)

5/ Republican lawmakers in the North Carolina House approved legislation that would ban most abortions after 12 weeks, sending it to the state Senate for approval. The Care for Women, Children and Families Act would restrict the state’s ban on abortions from 20 weeks to 12 weeks, and includes exceptions for rape or incest, fatal fetal anomalies, and to protect the life of the mother. Although Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper has vowed to veto the bill, Republicans have a veto-proof supermajority in both chambers. (The Hill / USA Today / Associated Press / CNN)

Day 834: "A national concern."

1/ The Federal Reserve raised interest rates for the 10th time in just over a year but signaled that it could be done lifting rates. The quarter percentage point increase brings its benchmark rate to between 5 and 5.25% – the highest level in 16 years. Although inflation has cooled since last year’s peak of 7% to 4.2% as of March, it’s still more than double the Fed’s target of 2%. Economists at the Fed, meanwhile, are projecting a mild recession later this year. (Wall Street Journal / CNBC / Bloomberg / NPR / Politico / New York Times / Washington Post)

2/ Mexico agreed to accept non-Mexican migrants and asylum-seekers deported by the U.S. when pandemic-era border restrictions end. In a joint statement, Mexico said it will accept up to 30,000 migrants from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela for “humanitarian” reasons once the Title 42 restrictions expire on May 11. Since March 2020, Title 42 was used to expel hundreds of thousands of migrants without giving them a chance to seek asylum. (CBS News / ABC News / Washington Post / Associated Press)

3/ Trump will not call any witnesses to rebut E. Jean Carroll’s account of him raping and defaming her. Attorney Joseph Tacopina said Trump would not testify in the civil case because he was in Scotland to break ground on a new golf course, and the one expert witness he planned to call is unable to testify due to a health issue. The jury instead saw a videotape of Trump’s deposition, which included footage from the “Access Hollywood” tape in which Trump brags about groping and kissing women without their consent. (CNBC / USA Today / New York Times)

4/ New York state banned natural gas and other fossil fuels in most new buildings – the first such law in the country. The new law will take effect in 2026 for buildings seven stories and shorter, and in 2029 for all other buildings. The ban on new natural gas hookups helps the state meet its goals under the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, which calls for cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030 and 85% by 2050. (Washington Post / Wall Street Journal / CNN / USA Today / The Hill)

5/ Test scores in U.S. history and civics for eighth graders fell to the lowest levels on record. The findings from the latest National Assessment of Educational Progress, known as the Nation’s Report Card, show that about 40% of eighth graders scored “below basic” in U.S. history. 13% met proficiency standards for U.S. history. For civics, 22% of students were considered proficient. Peggy Carr, National Center for Education Statistics commissioner, said the scores were “woefully low in comparison to other subjects,” calling it “a national concern” because “the health of our democracy depends on informed and engaged citizens.” (NPR / New York Times / Wall Street Journal / The Hill)

Day 833: "Step up and fix this."

1/ Biden will send 1,500 active duty troops to the southern border ahead of an expected surge of migrants when Title 42 restrictions end. They will join the 2,500 National Guard members already at the border. The military members, however, will not serve in a law enforcement capacity and will not interact with migrants, but instead “fill critical capability gaps, such as ground-based detection and monitoring, data entry, and warehouse support,” the Pentagon said. The troops will carry out this support for 90 days. Title 42, which was invoked at the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, expires on May 11. It permitted the U.S., for public health reasons, to quickly expel migrants seeking asylum. (Politico / NBC News / New York Times / Associated Press / Bloomberg / CNN / ABC News / Wall Street Journal)

2/ House Democrats took a procedural step to bypass Kevin McCarthy and Republican leaders to raise the debt ceiling and avert a federal default. Democrats would need at least five Republicans to support a so-called “discharge petition,” which allows a majority of House lawmakers to bring a bill directly to the floor without the cooperation of leadership. Rather than trying to discharge the bill itself, Democrats instead would add the petition addressing the debt ceiling as an amendment to a placeholder bill from Democratic Rep. Mark DeSaulnier, which was filed in January. A possible default is now projected as soon as June 1. “House Democrats are working to make sure we have all options at our disposal to avoid a default,” Hakeem Jeffries wrote in a letter to colleagues. “The filing of a debt ceiling measure to be brought up on the discharge calendar preserves an important option. It is now time for MAGA Republicans to act in a bipartisan manner to pay America’s bills without extreme conditions.” (New York Times / Washington Post / Bloomberg / Wall Street Journal / CNN / The Hill)

3/ U.S. job openings dropped to their lowest level in nearly two years – a sign that demand for workers is cooling. The number of available jobs fell for a third-straight month to 9.59 million from nearly 10 million a month earlier. Layoffs, meanwhile, jumped to the highest level since December 2020. (Wall Street Journal / Bloomberg / CNBC)

4/ Some Republicans dismissed a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing about the Supreme Court’s ethics as a partisan spectacle. Democrats called the hearing to discuss whether Congress has the authority to require the Supreme Court to adopt an enforceable code of conduct after reports detailed Clarence Thomas’s failure to disclose luxury vacations funded by a wealthy Republican donor. Dick Durbin, the Democratic chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said “The Supreme Court could step up and fix this themselves,” but “for years, they have refused, and because the court will not act, Congress must.” Lindsey Graham, however, claimed Democrats were leading an “unseemly effort” to “destroy the legitimacy” of the Supreme Court, calling it an “assault on Justice Thomas.” Although Chuck Grassley dismissed the hearing as a “relentless political battering,” he did agree that “it does appear there needs to be better oversight” of the high court. Thom Tillis added that the court “could update, refresh and address the concerns without requiring any Congressional action.” Chief Justice John Roberts, however, declined the committee’s invitation to testify. (Politico / NPR / Bloomberg / Associated Press / CNN / ABC News)

Day 832: "Hardship to American families."

1/ Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned that the U.S. could default “as early as June 1” unless Congress raises or suspends the debt ceiling. A default could cause “severe hardship to American families, harm our global leadership position, and raise questions about our ability to defend our national security interests,” Yellen said. The revised estimate from the Congressional Budget Office comes less than a week after House Republicans passed legislation to raise the debt ceiling through 2024 in exchange for billions of dollars in spending cuts and the repeal of federal funds to fight climate change. Democrats in the Senate, however, have refused to take up the legislation. And Biden, who has threatened to veto the bill, said Republicans need to protect the economy by raising the debt limit without the “reckless hostage taking.” (Washington Post / New York Times / Axios / NBC News / CNN)

2/ Regulators took possession of First Republic Bank and sold most of its assets, marking the third major bank failure in the U.S. in less than two months. JPMorgan – already the nation’s largest bank – agreed to the takeover after a private-sector solution fell through and will assume about $173 billion of First Republic’s loans, $30 billion of securities, and $92 billion in deposits. As part of the agreement, the FDIC will share losses with JPMorgan on First Republic’s loans. When the Federal Reserve began raising interest rates last year to slow the economy and curb inflation, it hurt the value of bonds and loans the bank bought when rates were low and then customers began to move their money in search of better returns. First Republic is the second-largest U.S. bank to collapse after Washington Mutual, which failed during the 2008 financial crisis and was also acquired by JPMorgan. Three of the four largest-ever bank failures have happened since March. First Republic Bank, Silicon Valley Bank, and Signature Bank held a total of $532 billion in assets – more than the 25 banks that failed in 2008 when adjusted for inflation. (CNBC / Wall Street Journal / NBC News / Politico / Washington Post / New York Times / Bloomberg / NPR)

3/ The Federal Reserve is on track to raise interest rates for the 10th time as part of its yearlong effort to fight inflation despite the collapse of First Republic Bank. Another quarter-point rate increase on Wednesday would lift the benchmark federal funds rate to a 16-year high to just over 5% and mark the fastest rate-raising cycle in 40 years. (Wall Street Journal / Associated Press)

4/ The Supreme Court will reconsider a 1984 precedent that directs courts to defer to federal agencies when interpreting ambiguous laws. Overturning Chevron v. Natural Resources Defense Council would limit the regulatory authority of federal agencies. The Biden administration defended the Chevron doctrine, saying “Federal courts have invoked Chevron in thousands of reported decisions, and Congress has repeatedly legislated against its backdrop.” Justice Clarence Thomas, Justice Samuel Alito, Justice Neil Gorsuch, and Justice Brett Kavanaugh, however, have previously questioned the doctrine, arguing that it insulates agencies from the usual checks and balances. Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson heard arguments in the case when it was at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and will not take part in the decision. The case will be heard next term, with a ruling likely in 2024. (Washington Post / Associated Press / The Hill / Wall Street Journal / CNN)

5/ The wife of Chief Justice John Roberts made $10.3 million over eight years matching top lawyers with law firms, including some that had cases before the Supreme Court. Jane Sullivan Roberts became a legal recruiter two years after Roberts’ confirmation as the chief justice in 2005. The disclosures were filed under federal whistleblower protection laws and were sent to the House and Senate Judiciary committees. (Insider / Forbes)

poll/ 74% of Americans blame the news media for political divisions in the U.S. 61% of Republicans say the news media is hurting democracy, compared with 23% of Democrats, and 36% of independents. (Associated Press)

Day 828: "This issue is too important."

1/ Pence testified before the federal grand jury investigating Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election. The closed-door appearance comes one day after a federal appeals court rejected Trump’s emergency attempt to prevent or limit Pence’s testimony. A grand jury subpoena was issued by special counsel Jack Smith to compel Pence to testify about conversations he had with Trump leading up to the Jan. 6 insurrection, including the pressure campaign to have him block the certification of the election in his role as president of the Senate. It is the first time that a vice president has been compelled to testify about the president he served. (NBC News / CNN / Politico / New York Times / Washington Post)

2/ Senate Republicans blocked a resolution that would have allowed the Equal Rights Amendment to be added to the Constitution. The bipartisan resolution to remove an arbitrary 1982 deadline for ratification failed 51-47. It needed to clear a 60-vote threshold. The ERA, which prohibits discrimination based on sex, was first introduced in 1923 and later passed by Congress in 1972. Although Virginia became the 38th state to ratify the ERA in 2020 – meeting the required three-fourths needed for Constitutional amendments – it did so after the deadline. Chuck Schumer changed his vote to a “no,” which would allow him to bring the resolution back up later, saying: “This issue is too important, and we are not giving up.” (The Hill / CNN / Politico / ABC News / USA Today / Washington Post)

3/ A Missouri judge temporarily blocked enforcement of a first-of-its-kind rule that limited gender-affirming care for minors and adults in the state – hours before it was set to take effect. St. Louis County Circuit Judge Ellen Ribaudo said she wanted more time to review briefs from Republican Attorney General Andrew Bailey, who issued the new restrictions. Ribaudo delayed implementation of the rule until 5 p.m. Monday, saying she expects to issue a ruling before then. Meanwhile, the Republican-controlled Montana House voted to discipline the state’s first transgender lawmaker after she told colleagues they would have “blood on [their] hands” if they passed a bill to ban gender-affirming care for minors. Zooey Zephyr is barred from attending or speaking from the House floor for the remainder of the 2023 session, but will be allowed to vote remotely. In Kansas, Republican legislators enacted a transgender bathroom law, overriding the Democratic governor’s veto of the measure. The Kansas law prevents transgender people from using the restrooms, locker rooms, prisons, domestic violence shelters, and rape crisis centers associated with their gender identity. In Minnesota, Democratic Gov. Tim Walz signed legislation that enshrines the right to abortion and gender-affirming care into law, and another that bans so-called conversion therapy. (CNN / NBC News / CNN / NPR / CBS News / Associated Press)

4/ The U.S. economy slowed at the start of 2023 with U.S. gross domestic product rising at a 1.1% annualized rate – down from a 2.6% rate in the last three months of 2022 and lower than the 1.9% annual growth analysts expected. The report from the Bureau of Economic Analysis showed that growth was weighed down by declining business investment, home buying, and construction. The economy is projected to slow further in 2023 as the Federal Reserve continues to work on getting inflation down to 2% with higher interest rates. (Associated Press / NPR / Washington Post / New York Times / CNN / CNBC / Bloomberg / Wall Street Journal)

5/ Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley suggested that Biden would more likely die than make to the end of a second term. “I think we can all be very clear and say with a matter of fact that if you vote for Joe Biden, you really are counting on a President Harris because the idea that he would make until 86 years old is not something that I think is likely,” Haley said. Biden, already the oldest sitting U.S. president in history at 80 years old, would be 86 at the end of a second term if reelected. Biden announced his reelection bid with Harris two days ago. (CNBC / The Hill / Insider)

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Day 827: "Mundane matters."

1/ Chief Justice John Roberts declined to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee about the Supreme Court’s ethics practices, calling such testimony “exceedingly rare” for what he called “mundane matters.” Instead, Roberts released a statement that was meant to provide “new clarity” to the public about the court’s ethics principles and practices. The statement said all nines justices “reaffirm and restate foundational ethics principles and practices to which they subscribe in carrying out their responsibilities” as Supreme Court justices. The committee had planned to hold a hearing to examine “common sense proposals” to hold Supreme Court justices to the same ethical standards as the rest of the federal judiciary after it was reported that Justice Clarence Thomas hadn’t disclosed several luxury trips he received from a Republican megadonor. (NPR / CNN / Politico / NBC News)

2/ Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch neglected to disclose details of a nearly $2 million sale of property to the CEO of a prominent law firm executive in 2017. While Gorsuch did note on his federal disclosure forms that he made between $250,001 and $500,000 on the sale – which occurred nine days after he was confirmed for a lifetime appointment on the Supreme Court by the Senate – he left the identity of the purchaser blank. The purchaser was Brian Duffy, chief executive officer of Greenberg Traurig – one of the nation’s biggest law firms that has appeared in at least 22 cases before the Supreme Court since Gorsuch joined in April 2017. Gorsuch sided with Greenberg Traurig clients eight times of the 12 times that Gorsuch recorded an opinion. (CNN / Politico)

3/ A bipartisan group of senators introduced legislation that requires the Supreme Court to implement a code of conduct – the only branch of government to operate without a code of conduct. The bill would require the court to establish its own code of conduct within one year and to make it available publicly, as well as appoint someone to handle any complaints of potential violations. “It’s pitiful that we’re having to introduce this bill