The Hill’s 12:30 Report — Trump raid unleashes GOP fury
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–> A midday take on what’s happening in politics and how to have a sense of humor about it.*
*Ha. Haha. Hahah. Sniff. Haha. Sniff. Ha–breaks down crying hysterically.
TALK OF THE MORNING
Former President Trump said on Monday night that the FBI had raided his Mar-a-Lago residence, including breaking into his safe.
Read Trump’s statement: “My beautiful home, Mar-A-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida, is currently under siege, raided, and occupied by a large group of FBI agents … They even broke into my safe!” Read Trump’s full statement
WHAT WE KNOW:
Why did the FBI search Trump’s residence?: The search is reportedly related to 15 boxes of documents, including some classified documents, that Trump took from the White House. (The New York Times)
^ Trump’s son, Eric Trump, said the search was about the documents: In an interview with Fox News’s Sean Hannity, Eric Trump said the search was focused on documents sought by the National Archives.
Was the White House aware of this raid?: No, according to CBS News’s Ed O’Keefe. Many White House officials found out on social media.
Was former President Trump home?: No, according to CNN’s Kaitlan Collins. Trump was in New York while his Florida residence was searched.
Is there precedent to this move?: “The search would appear to be the first of its kind against a former president, but it remains unclear whether it’s a prelude to criminal charges, another scenario without precedent in U.S. history.”
Would the FBI need permission from a judge to conduct this kind of search?: Yes! Investigators would need to provide probably cause to a federal magistrate judge for approval. More on that
More on what we know, including whether this impacts Trump’s potential reelection campaign
HELPFUL READS ON THE SITUATION:
‘The search appears to be focused on materials Trump took from the White House.’: Via The New York Times’s Maggie Haberman, Ben Protess and Adam Goldman. Read
‘FBI executes search warrant at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago in document investigation’: From CNN’s Kaitlan Collins, Kevin Liptak, Katelyn Polantz, Sara Murray, Evan Perez, Gabby Orr and Dan Berman. Read
‘If Trump broke a law on the removal of official records, would he be barred from future office?’: The New York Times’s Charlie Savage explains. Read
‘FBI raids Trump’s Mar-a-Lago: ‘Unprecedented’ for agency to execute search warrant against former president’: From Fox News’s Stephanie Pagones, David Spunt and Brooke Singman. Read
The reporter who broke the news was very humble about it: Florida Politics’ Peter Schorsch tweeted, “Scoop — The Federal Bureau of Investigation @FBI today executed a search warrant at Mar-a-Lago, two sources confirm to @Fla_Pol. ‘They just left,’ one source said. Not sure what the search warrant was about. TBH, I’m not a strong enough reporter to hunt this down, but its real.”
Presidential historian Michael Beschloss added some context: “Presidential Records Act of 1978 was passed in response to Nixon’s effort to take his Presidential tapes and papers with him to California, where they were in danger of being destroyed … The law requires Presidential documents of all kinds to be preserved. Legally they can’t be destroyed just because a President feels like it. Nor can he take them away and sell them for cash. Nor can he give them to a foreign government he likes.”
IT’S TUESDAY. I’m Cate Martel with a quick recap of the morning and what’s coming up. Did someone forward this newsletter to you? Sign up here.
REACTIONS — UNSURPRISINGLY, REPUBLICANS ARE FUMING:
From Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.): “Using government power to persecute political opponents is something we have seen many times from 3rd world Marxist dictatorships. But never before in America.”
From Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R): “The raid of MAL is another escalation in the weaponization of federal agencies against the Regime’s political opponents, while people like Hunter Biden get treated with kid gloves.”
From Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.): “In third world countries and banana republics they prosecute the former presidents/leaders and their staff. Right now, we look beneath them. We are in a race to the bottom.” More reactions from Republicans
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy took it one step further: McCarthy threatened to investigate the Department of Justice if Republicans win the House in November.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) dismissed the threat of a GOP probe: “[Pelosi dismissed] Republican threats of an investigation into the Department of Justice (DOJ) as an ‘idle’ warning the day after the agency’s search of former President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence.”
Video outside Mar-a-Lago last night: From Reuters
Tidbit from CNN’s Donie O’Sullivan: “A big spike in tweets referencing ‘civil war’ right after the news of the FBI search of Mar-a-Lago broke last night.” The graphic
Op-ed from one perspective
A GROUP OF HOUSE REPUBLICANS ARE MEETING WITH TRUMP TODAY — BUT THIS HAS BEEN PLANNED FOR WEEKS:
The Hill’s Emily Brooks reports that Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) is leading a group of conservative lawmakers to Bedminster, N.J. today to meet with former President Trump. The meeting has been planned for weeks, but now happens to fall on the day after the FBI searched his Mar-a-Lago residence.
🎾 News this morning
The GOAT is retiring:
Tennis star Serena Williams told Vogue in an interview that she will retire after the U.S. Open at the end of the month.
I’m using the word ‘retirement’ for clarity’s sake, but Williams says she prefers the word ‘evolution’: “I have never liked the word retirement. It doesn’t feel like a modern word to me. I’ve been thinking of this as a transition, but I want to be sensitive about how I use that word, which means something very specific and important to a community of people. Maybe the best word to describe what I’m up to is evolution.” Read her Vogue interview
Serena also hinted at her retirement in an Instagram post: “My goodness do I enjoy tennis. But now, the countdown has begun. I have to focus on being a mom, my spiritual goals and finally discovering a different, but just exciting Serena. I’m gonna relish these next few weeks.” Her full Instagram post
🚽 Getting traction
Want to see the papers thrown into the toilet in the Trump White House?
Me neither, but here we are:
Remember the report earlier this year that White House staffers routinely found wads of paper in the toilets that were believed to have been from former President Trump?:
Well, The New York Times’s Maggie Haberman shared photos of the wads of paper with Axios. Photos of papers thrown into a White House toilet
Keep in mind: This is a teaser from Haberman’s upcoming book, ‘Confidence Man: The Making of Donald Trump and the Breaking of America.’ Her book will be released on Oct. 4, 2022.
DID THE PHOTOS COME FROM STEPHANIE GRISHAM?:
Former White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham, who has become a prominent Trump critic since leaving her post, said she did not leak the photos.
^ Why Grisham’s name has come up: The Hill’s Dominick Mastrangelo explains that “a pro-Trump Twitter account tweeted out a screenshot of a tabloid story showing Grisham laying on the floor during election night 2020 and alleged ‘this sweetie is the source’ of the toilet photos leaked to Haberman.”
🦠 Latest with COVID
➤ THE COVID-19 NUMBERS
Cases to date: 91.9 million
Death toll: 1,028,854
Current hospitalizations: 22,406
Shots administered: 604 million
Fully vaccinated: 67.2 percent of Americans
Helpful tidbit about your at-home COVID-19 tests:
Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services tweeted, “Do you have iHealth rapid COVID test kits? Did you know that iHealth kits have been granted a longer extension on shelf life, meaning what was a 3 month extension is now a 6 month extension from the printed expiration on the boxes?”
Th House and Senate are out. President Biden and Vice President Harris are in Washington, D.C.
- 9 a.m.: Biden received his daily intelligence briefing.
All times Eastern.
📺What to watch
- 10 a.m.: Biden signed the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022 into law and delivered remarks. Harris, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai and Office of Management and Budget Director Shalanda Young attended. Watch Details of the bill
- 2 p.m.: Biden signs the bill for Finland and Sweden to join NATO into law. Harris also attends. Livestream
- 2:40 p.m.: White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre holds a press briefing. Livestream
- 3:30 p.m.: The White House holds a briefing on monkeypox. Livestream
🍚 In lighter news
Today is National Rice Pudding Day.
And to keep you entertained during the August recess, here’s what happens when you leave your dog home.