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Cup of Joe – August 30, 2022

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) told Fox News there would be “riots in the streets” if the Donald Trump charged for taking classified documents to his Mar-a-Lago home when he left the White House.

Said Graham: “If there’s a prosecution of Donald Trump for mishandling classified information, after the Hillary Clinton debacle … there’ll be riots in the streets.”

Indeed. I expect nothing less from the party of terrorists. And law enforcement will deal with those rioters. If they get violent, law enforcement will eliminate the rioters.

New York Times: “As the partial release of the search warrant affidavit on Friday, including the May 25 letter, illustrated, Mr. Trump is going into the battle over the documents with a hastily assembled team. The lawyers have offered up a variety of arguments on his behalf that have yet to do much to fend off a Justice Department that has adopted a determined, focused and so far largely successful legal approach.”

“Often tinged with Mr. Trump’s own bombast and sometimes conflating his powers as president with his role as a private citizen, the legal arguments put forth by his team sometimes strike lawyers not involved in the case as more about setting a political narrative than about dealing with the possibility of a federal prosecution.”

One of the lawyers fighting the Department of Justice on Donald Trump’s behalf — former prosecutor Jim Trusty — was hired after the former president saw him on television, the New York Times reports.

“A federal judge’s indication that she is prepared to appoint a special master to review materials seized from Mar-a-Lago by federal agents could present new complications and unresolved legal questions in the federal government’s high-stakes quest to wrest control of the documents from former president Donald Trump,” the Washington Post reports.

Stephen Collinson: “Reverberations over the FBI’s search of Mar-a-Lago will escalate this week as Donald Trump challenges the Justice Department in court and US intelligence agencies assess whether his retention of classified documents harmed national security.”

“Republicans are, meanwhile, demanding more transparency over the unprecedented search of an ex-president’s home, seizing on a heavily redacted affidavit unsealed on Friday to raise suspicions of a politically motivated hit.”

“Uproar over the search three weeks ago has thrust Trump, who has teased a 2024 campaign, back into the center of a midterm election cycle already rocked by the Supreme Court’s overturning of the right to an abortion – one factor that has given Democrats new hope of staving off a Republican red wave in November.”

“FBI agents have already finished their examination of possibly privileged documents seized in an Aug. 8 search of Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home, according to a Justice Department court filing Monday that could undercut the former president’s efforts to have a special master appointed to review the files,” the Washington Post reports.

“The ‘filter team’ used by the Justice Department to sort through the documents and weed out any material that should not be reviewed by criminal investigators has completed its review, the brief filed by Justice Department prosecutors says. The filing came in response to a ruling Saturday by U.S. District Judge Aileen M. Cannon to hold a hearing this week on Trump’s motion seeking the appointment of a special master.”

Karl Rove speculated on Fox News that a Secret Service agent may have informed the FBI that there were classified documents inside Mar-a-Lago.

Said Rove: “The Secret Service, and this is my own personal trajectory, I have no information other than just simply knowing that the Secret Service is there, they have no statutory responsibility over classified material but they are sworn federal law officers. They’re law enforcement, and they have a responsibility to report a crime and particularly after a letter is sent from one of the president’s lawyers saying ‘we don’t have any more classified material’ and President Trump has told the June 3 meeting ‘you can get anything you need, just say, and we’ll get if for you.’”

NYT: “Prosecutors working on the investigation into Mr. Trump’s handling of classified information are nowhere near making a recommendation to Mr. Garland, according to people with knowledge of the inquiry.”

WaPo: “But the Archive’s work may not yet be done: Some NARA officials believe that there might still be more records missing, according to a person familiar with the matter.”

New York Times: “That conclusion helped set in motion a decision that would amount to an unparalleled test of the Justice Department’s credibility in a deeply polarized political environment: to seek a search warrant to enter Mar-a-Lago and retrieve what prosecutors suspected would be highly classified materials, beyond the hundreds of pages that Mr. Trump had already returned.”

“By the government’s account, that gamble paid off, with F.B.I. agents carting off boxloads of sensitive material during the search three weeks ago, including some documents with top secret markings.”

“But the matter hardly ended there: What had started as an effort to retrieve national security documents has now been transformed into one of the most challenging, complicated and potentially explosive criminal investigations in recent memory, with tremendous implications for the Justice Department, Mr. Trump and public faith in government.”

“President Biden’s move this week to cancel student loan debt for tens of millions of borrowers and reduce future loan payments for millions more comes with a huge catch, economists warn: It does almost nothing to limit the skyrocketing cost of college and could very well fuel even faster tuition increases in the future,” the New York Times reports.

“That downside is a direct consequence of Mr. Biden’s decision to use executive action to erase some or all student debt for individuals earning $125,000 a year or less, after failing to push debt forgiveness through Congress. Experts warn that schools could easily game the new structure Mr. Biden has created for higher education financing, cranking up prices and encouraging students to load up on debt with the expectation that it will never need to be paid in full.”

“President Joe Biden’s controversial plan to forgive up to $20,000 in student loans for tens of millions of Americans could erase the projected $300 billion deficit reduction that his hard-fought climate, drugs and tax legislation would generate over 10 years – by as much as two times,” Reuters reports.

“The extent of the additional federal debt incurred by the one-time gift to college graduates and ex-students depends on which estimates are used, economists say.”

“United Nations atomic-energy inspectors are heading to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant amid fears that fighting in the area has damaged power lines and caused fires at the facility that could lead to nuclear catastrophe,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

“The inspection will begin on Wednesday and last until Saturday.”

“Iodine tablets are being distributed to civilians near the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant in Ukraine after renewed shelling raised fears of a radiation leak,” the Times of London reports.

WSJ: Russia Moves to Reinforce Its Stalled Assault on Ukraine

NYT: The ‘MacGyvered’ Weapons in Ukraine’s Arsenal

“Global inflation is finally coming off the boil, even if it’s set to remain far too hot for the liking of the world’s central bankers,” Bloomberg reports.

“As economic growth slows, prices for key raw materials — from oil to copper and wheat — have cooled in recent weeks, taking pressure off the cost of manufactured goods and food. And it’s getting cheaper to move those things around, as supply chains slowly recover from the pandemic.”

Financial Times: “Central bankers face a more challenging economic landscape than they have experienced in decades and will find it harder to root out high inflation, top multilateral officials and monetary policymakers have warned.”

Jonathan Rauch: “Ever since the U.S. Senate failed to convict Donald Trump for his role in the January 6 insurrection and disqualify him from running for president again, a lot of people, myself included, have been warning that a second Trump term could bring about the extinction of American democracy. Essential features of the system, including the rule of law, honest vote tallies, and orderly succession, would be at risk.”

“Today, however, we can do more than just speculate about how a second Trump term would unfold, because the MAGA movement has been telegraphing its plans in some detail. In a host of ways—including the overt embrace of illiberal foreign leaders; the ruthless behavior of Republican elected officials since the 2020 election; Trump allies’ elaborate scheming, as uncovered by the House’s January 6 committee, to prevent the peaceful transition of power; and Trump’s own actions in the waning weeks of his presidency and now as ex-president—the former president and his allies have laid out their model and their methods.”

Jonathan Bernstein: “From the 2016 presidential campaign through the second impeachment vote in the Senate, Republicans have had plenty of opportunities to rid themselves of Trump. Yet time after time, they chose instead to stick with him, with the party and with party-aligned media, giving Trump, who apparently cares little about public policy or the conservative movement, the ability to decide what counts as orthodoxy.”

“Given the legal trouble the former president has gotten himself into, being a ‘true conservative’ now includes a requirement to defend Trump’s attempt to overthrow the 2020 election as well as his right to classified material, including ultra-sensitive information about human intelligence, and store it willy-nilly at a not-even-close-to-secure location.”

“Republicans know that the weeks leading up to midterm elections aren’t a good time to pick a fight with the party leader, especially one who they believe won’t hesitate to turn against anyone who opposes him. That means the next opportunity to move away from Trump is probably after the November midterms. Until then, Republicans are probably stuck with whatever he does that disrupts the party’s attempts to run coherent campaigns and focus voters on President Joe Biden’s weaknesses.”

“As Chinese warships rehearsed a blockade of Taiwan this month, they simulated a scenario global leaders and policymakers have been busy worrying about: not war, but a grinding halt to the electronic supply chains that make the modern world run,” the New York Times reports.

“Taiwan’s biggest trading partners — which include China, the United States, Europe and Japan — have different ideas about the self-ruled island’s political future, yet all share common ground in one desire, to expand their piece of its cutting-edge semiconductor industry.”

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) criticized President Biden’s description of MAGA Republicans as embracing “semi-faciscm” as “divisive,” the Washington Times reports.

Said Hogan: “It’s that kind of divisive rhetoric on both sides that’s really bad for America. I’ve been talking about the toxic politics and if Republicans are calling Democrats socialists and communists and we have the president of the United States calling Republicans fascist, I don’t think it adds to the overall discussion.”

Oh please, Larry. It is not divisive to call fascists fascists. It is divisive to pretend that there is any sort of equivelancy between calling fascists fascists and … you know… fascism itself.

“Jair Bolsonaro accused his main election challenger Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva of overseeing ‘the most corrupt government in Brazil’s history,’ as the frontrunners for the country’s top office faced off in public for a first presidential debate,” the Financial Times reports.

“Ahead of what is shaping up to be a polarized contest in Latin America’s most populous country, tempers flared in a nearly three-hour televised event on Sunday evening that included six candidates.”

“Pakistan’s government has appealed for international help to tackle a flooding emergency that has killed more than 1,000 people and threatens to leave a third of the country – an area roughly the size of Britain – underwater,” The Guardian reports.

Alan Fram: “In the waning moments of Democrats’ four-decade hold on the House, I saw a gesture that seems unthinkable today. On the evening of Nov. 29, 1994, they let the top Republican preside, briefly, over the chamber.”

“It was a display of respect and affection toward Minority Leader Bob Michel (R-IL) retiring after a 38-year House career served entirely under Democrats. He embraced with outgoing Speaker Tom Foley (D-WA). Republicans were taking over in January under the combative Rep. Newt Gingrich (R-GA) abandoning Michel’s consensus-building style.”

“Those feelings between leaders are all but gone. In their place are suspicion and even hostility, most starkly symbolized by magnetometers lawmakers must pass through before entering the House chamber.”

From Blake Masters in Arizona to Sen. Ron Johnson in Wisconsin, Republicans in key 2022 races have floated changes Social Security, TPM alum Sahil Kapur reports.

Hillary Clinton posted a dance photo in support of Finland prime minister Sanna Marin — while urging her to “keep dancing” through the backlash, the New York Post reports.

Donald Trump has reportedly complained recently about Ron DeSantis’ (R) speaking style, saying that the Florida governor is “stealing” from him, Rolling Stone reports.

“Truth Social, the app launched by Donald Trump as a free speech platform for conservatives, is facing serious financial and legal stress at it tries to survive,” Axios reports.

Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) blasted President Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan, saying the president is “robbing hard-working Americans to pay for Karen’s daughter’s degree in lesbian dance theory,” Vanity Fair reports.

Delaware politics from a liberal, progressive and Democratic perspective. Keep Delaware Blue.

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