Cup of Joe – June 9, 2023

Politico: “Former President Donald Trump said Thursday that he has been indicted on charges connected to his handling of classified national security records, writing on social media that he has been summoned to federal court on Tuesday in Miami.

The precise charges that federal prosecutors have obtained against Trump were not immediately clear, but Trump said his attorneys were informed by the Justice Department on Thursday that a grand jury indictment had been obtained.”

Federal prosecutors are reportedly bringing charges for “willful retention of national defense information,” per ABC. If convicted, Trump could be disqualified from being able to hold future office. There are at least seven counts.

Other charges, also reported by The Guardian, include conspiracy to obstruct justice, making false statements, and corruptly concealing government documents.

New York Times: “The notification to Mr. Trump’s team by prosecutors from the office of the special counsel, Jack Smith, was the clearest signal yet that the former president is likely to face charges in the investigation.”

“It remained unclear when Mr. Trump’s team was told that he was a target of the special counsel’s inquiry, but the notice suggested that prosecutors working for Mr. Smith had largely completed their investigation and were moving toward bringing an indictment.”

“Justice Department prosecutors are planning to bring a significant portion of any charges stemming from the possible mishandling of classified documents at Mar-a-Lago, the home of former president Donald Trump, at a nearby federal court in south Florida,” the Washington Post reports.

“The legal rationale for such a move is that the bulk of the conduct at issue in the investigation occurred in the southern district of Florida, in and around Trump’s Palm Beach residence and private club, even if much of the investigation — led by special counsel Jack Smith — has been handled by a grand jury in D.C.”

“That approach by prosecutors does not rule out the possibility of some charges, such as perjury or false statements, being filed in Washington in connection with grand jury appearances or law enforcement interviews that took place there.”

“Hard-right Republicans pressed their mutiny against Speaker Kevin McCarthy into a second day on Wednesday, keeping control of the House floor in a raw display of their power that raised questions about whether the speaker could continue to govern his slim and fractious majority,” the New York Times reports.

“Mr. McCarthy, who enraged ultraconservative Republicans by striking a compromise with President Biden to suspend the debt limit, has yet to face a bid to depose him, as some hard-right members have threatened. But the rebellion has left him, at least for now, as speaker in name only, deprived of a governing majority.”

CNN: Tensions simmer in House GOP as party leaders squabble over hardliners’ demands.

“House Republican leaders canceled votes Wednesday and Thursday, sending lawmakers home after having wasted a week on Republican infighting that’s called into question the viability of the GOP leadership,” Punchbowl News reports.

“Conservative hardliners have been warring with Speaker Kevin McCarthy after the chamber passed the Fiscal Responsibility Act last week, which raised the debt limit until 2025. The GOP’s right flank saw the agreement as a betrayal of the secret deal they forged with McCarthy back in January that allowed him to become speaker. McCarthy denied this claim, but conservatives refused to let the House move forward on anything until they got more concessions from the speaker.”

“A conservative rebellion has the Republican-led House of Representatives completely paralyzed for a second day in a row as the leadership remains unable to bring anything to the floor,” Punchbowl News reports.

“This is the most serious challenge to Speaker Kevin McCarthy since January’s grueling floor drama to win the gavel. And how the standoff is decided will have a big impact on McCarthy’s relationship with his right flank – and his leadership of the House.”

“Let’s be clear about this: If the leadership can’t even bring up bills on the House floor – like right now – it’s a crisis for McCarthy, House Majority Leader Steve Scalise and House Majority Whip Tom Emmer.”

“McCarthy and his leadership team are engaged in a furious round of finger pointing.”

Punchbowl News: “As McCarthy wrestles with conservatives over the lingering anger from the debt-limit vote, Scalise clearly feels as if he has been on the outside looking in. Scalise wasn’t involved in the negotiations that made McCarthy the speaker. Nor was he part of the McCarthy-led talks that resulted in the Fiscal Responsibility Act.”

“Instead, McCarthy relied on Reps. Garret Graves (R-LA) and Patrick McHenry (R-NC). Graves, of course, is a member of Scalise’s Louisiana delegation. McHenry was once Scalise’s chief deputy whip, but their relationship has frayed in recent years, partially due to the North Carolina Republican’s close relationship with McCarthy.”

Washington Post: “This is a significant challenge to McCarthy’s leadership and his ability to govern and run the House. While it’s not as dire as the motion to vacate — the procedural maneuver by which a single House Republican could trigger a vote to depose McCarthy as speaker — supporters of the rebels say that their tactic of bringing the chamber to a halt by voting against House rules could be just as damaging.”

Even Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) is opposed: “I don’t see any need for this.”

“The Supreme Court on Thursday struck down Republican-drawn congressional districts in Alabama that civil rights activists say discriminated against Black voters in a surprise reaffirmation of the landmark Voting Rights Act,” NBC News reports.

“The court in a 5-4 vote ruled against Alabama, meaning the map of the seven congressional districts, which heavily favors Republicans, will now be redrawn. Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Brett Kavanaugh, both conservatives, joined the court’s three liberals in the majority.”

“The Republican-led House Oversight Committee on Wednesday dropped its plans to advance a measure holding FBI Director Christopher Wray in contempt of Congress,” Axios reports.

“Pat Robertson, a Baptist minister with a passion for politics who marshaled Christian conservatives into a powerful constituency that helped Republicans capture both houses of Congress in 1994, died on Thursday at his home in Virginia Beach,” the New York Times reports.

“Mr. Robertson built an entrepreneurial empire based on his Christian faith, encompassing a university, a law school, a cable channel with broad reach, and more.”

Washington Post: “The money poured in as he solicited donations, his influence soared, and when he moved directly into politics by seeking the GOP presidential nomination in 1988, he brought a huge following with him.”

The world instantly became a better place upon his death.

“As Jack Smith, a special counsel for the Justice Department, closes in on the end of an investigation into former President Donald Trump’s possession of hundreds of classified documents, his team has made use of the work of another special counsel who previously investigated Trump’s ties to Russia,” Time reports.

“A lengthy section of the Mueller Report, which examined ties between Russia and Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, has been instructive to the current inquiry’s prosecutors, who are viewing Trump’s actions around federal requests to return the classified documents as part of a broader pattern.”

“Biden administration officials are quietly planning for the possibility that the Supreme Court could strike down President Biden’s sweeping student loan forgiveness program,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

“The high court is expected to issue a decision this month on the plan to eliminate up to $20,000 in federal student debt for millions of borrowers.”

Mike Pence said he hopes the Justice Department “thinks better” of indicting former President Donald Trump, arguing it would be too divisive for the country, The Hill reports.

He added: “I think it would also send a terrible message to the wider world. I mean, we’re the emblem of democracy, we’re the symbol of justice in the world, and the serious matter, which has already happened once in New York, of indicting a former president of the United States sends a terrible message to the world.”

“The Ukrainian military has launched a long-anticipated counterattack against occupying Russian forces, opening a crucial phase in the war aimed at restoring Ukraine’s territorial sovereignty and preserving Western support in its fight against Moscow,” the Washington Post reports.

“Ukrainian troops on Wednesday night intensified their attacks on the front line in the country’s southeast, in a significant push toward Russian-occupied territory.”

“Steve Bannon has been subpoenaed by a federal grand jury in Washington, D.C., in connection with special counsel Jack Smith’s investigation into Jan. 6 and former President Donald Trump’s efforts to stay in office,” NBC News reports.

“The subpoena, for documents and testimony, was sent out in late May, the sources said. The grand jury investigating Trump’s actions surrounding Jan. 6 and in connection with efforts to interfere with the peaceful transfer of power is separate from the grand jury in Miami that heard testimony on Wednesday about Trump’s handling of classified documents.”

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) told Fox & Friends that she’s boycotting Target because “that store is fundamentally tearing down this country.”

“A grassroots movement to redraw Oregon’s border is gaining traction after voters in 11 rural, conservative counties approved measures this year that would start the process of seceding from the blue state and joining Republican-dominated Idaho,” NBC News reports.

“In Oregon’s Wallowa County, just eight votes separated those who support the Greater Idaho movement from those who oppose it last week, the county clerk said. Tuesday is the deadline to resubmit ballots that either did not have signatures or had signatures that did not match county records.”

“The pharmaceutical company Merck sued the government on Tuesday over a federal law that empowers Medicare for the first time to negotiate prices directly with drugmakers,” the New York Times reports.

“Merck’s lawsuit, filed in federal court in Washington, is the drug industry’s most significant move so far to fight back against a substantial change to health policy, which will go into effect in 2026. Democrats pushed through the Medicare-negotiation program last summer as a provision of the Inflation Reduction Act, framing it as a way of lowering drug prices.”

“Germany’s far right has surged to new highs in opinion polls, tapping into citizens’ discontent over record-high migration, persistently painful inflation and costly climate protection measures to batter Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s government,” Bloomberg reports.

“The Alternative for Germany, or AfD, which denies the impact humans have on global warming and wants to stop more foreigners from coming to Germany, is now tied with Scholz’s Social Democrats as the second-most popular party in the country, polling only behind an alliance of opposition conservatives.”

Wall Street Journal: “Americans are splurging on the activities they skipped during pandemic lockdowns, such as travel, concerts and dining out. Businesses are staffing up to satisfy the pent-up demand. Government policies in response to the pandemic—low interest rates and trillions of dollars in financial assistance—left consumers and businesses with lots of money and cheap debt. The same inflation that so worries the Fed translates into higher wages and profits, fueling spending.”

“Many economists expect the Fed’s rate increases to cool the economy and price pressures over time, triggering a recession later this year. So far, however, the data keep coming in hotter than forecast.”

In the first half of 2023, Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs frustrated people across the political spectrum, including the Democratic attorney general and secretary of state,” the Wall Street Journal reports. “Now she is overhauling her office to turn it around.”

Donald Trump is slated to sit for an extensive interview with Fox News’s Bret Baier on June 19, The Hill reports. It will be Trump’s first with one of the network’s straight-news journalists since his 2020 election loss. 6

“Nevada’s Republican governor is facing an almost $1.7 million ethics penalty and possible censure for wearing his badge and uniform as Las Vegas-area sheriff in campaign photos and on social media ahead of his election last year,” the AP reports.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis will make his first trip to the U.S. southern border as a presidential candidate Wednesday, thrusting himself into the increasingly volatile immigration debate as the Republican field in the 2024 campaign grows,” NBC News reports.

Jay Johnston, an actor who appeared on “Mr. Show,” “Arrested Development,” “Bob’s Burgers” and in “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy” has been arrested in California and charged in connection with the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, NBC News reports.

Ken Cucinelli, who heads up a super PAC backing Gov. Ron DeSantis, almost said President Biden got the most votes in 2020 at a House hearing but then stopped himself.

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

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