12:30 Report

The Hill’s 12:30 Report — Why Trump invoked his Fifth Amendment rights

AP-Mark Humphrey
FILE – Former President Donald Trump speaks at the Road to Majority conference Friday, June 17, 2022, in Nashville, Tenn. A British filmmaker who shot interviews with Trump and his inner circle in the final months of the former president’s administration has been subpoenaed to testify in a Georgia investigation into whether Trump and others illegally tried to influence the 2020 election in the state. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, File)

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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.

NEWS OF THE MORNING 

His lips are sealed:

Former President Trump, who was questioned in the New York attorney general’s investigation into his finances on Wednesday morning, said he declined to answer questions. 

Trump wrote in a statement: “I once asked, ‘If you’re innocent, why are you taking the Fifth Amendment?’ Now I know the answer to that question. When your family, your company, and all the people in your orbit have become the targets of an unfounded, politically motivated Witch Hunt supported by lawyers, prosecutors, and the Fake News Media, you have no choice.” Read Trump’s full statement 

Did we know this was happening on Wednesday?: Yes, Trump announced it on Tuesday on his social media platform Truth Social.

Trump posted on Tuesday night: “In New York City tonight. Seeing racist N.Y.S. Attorney General tomorrow, for a continuation of the greatest Witch Hunt in U.S. history! My great company, and myself, are being attacked from all sides. Banana Republic!” 

‘WHAT IS DONALD TRUMP’S NET WORTH? THE QUESTION POSES PITFALLS FOR A FORMER PRESIDENT UNDER OATH.’
From The New York Times 

IT’S ANOTHER HOT AUGUST WEDNESDAY IN DC. 🥵 Filing with an icy water bottle in-hand, 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.

🎈 Economic news this morning 

Inflation took its lead foot off the gas:

Inflation dropped to 8.5 percent in July after hitting a 40-year high of 9.1 percent in June. 

Does that mean we’ve peaked?: It’s too early to know, but it is certainly a sign in the right direction. 

What about energy and food prices?: “The latest numbers from the Department of Labor show that the index for energy in July was up 32.9 percent annually, falling from 41.6 percent in June. The food index was up 10.9 percent annually, rising from 10.4 percent in June.”  

The Hill’s Tobias Burns explains what these numbers mean for our economic outlook

THE STOCK MARKET LIKED THAT NEWS:
Following the new inflation report, the Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 400 points, the S&P rose 500 and the Nasdaq Composite rose more than 2 percent. Breakdown from CNBC’s Jesse Pound 

MEANWHILE — BIDEN’S APPROVAL GETS A BOOST
President Biden’s approval rating increased to a two-month high, according to a new Reuters-Ipsos poll.  

The numbers: Biden’s approval jumped two points to 40 percent. His disapproval fell to 55 percent. The full poll

🔎 At Mar-a-Lago 

One thing is clear now — the DOJ *is* willing to investigate Trump himself

“The FBI search of Mar-a-Lago has answered one lingering question about Attorney General Merrick Garland: Yes, he’s willing to directly investigate former President Trump.”

Keep in mind: The FBI search is reportedly about documents that Trump took from the White House, but “little is known about the investigation that prompted the extraordinary step or where it might lead. It’s unclear what was seized in the search or whether the Department of Justice (DOJ) has found evidence to support charging Trump himself.”  

From Jeff Robbins, a former federal prosecutor and congressional investigative counsel: “This was not a search conducted in the pro shop. It’s a search conducted in the former president’s residence and office. … The former president is a target of this investigation.” 

What we can infer from the investigation of Trump, via The Hill’s Rebecca Beitsch and Harper Neidig

‘FBI THUNDERBOLT SCRAMBLES POLITICAL PREDICTIONS ON TRUMP’
Via The Hill’s Brett Samuels and Max Greenwood 

FIVE TAKEAWAYS FROM THE FBI SEARCH: 

1. “Trump upends the political landscape again.” 

2. “GOP rallies around Trump but doubts linger about 2024.” 

3. “Schisms in divided nation grow deeper.” 

4. “Investigators under pressure to show they have the goods.” 

5. “Biden keeps his distance.”  

Short explanations for each from The Hill’s Niall Stanage 

WHAT WE KNOW SO FAR ABOUT THE FBI SEARCH
Via The Hill’s Brett Samuels, Rebecca Beitsch and Emily Brooks 

SOME FAR-RIGHT MEDIA FIGURES ARE USING THE WORD ‘WAR’
Via The New York Times’s Alan Feuer, “the reaction this week to the F.B.I.’s court-approved search of Mar-a-Lago, Mr. Trump’s residence in Palm Beach, Fla., went far beyond the usual ire and indignation. Pro-Trump influencers, figures in the media and a Republican candidate for office employed the language of violence to rally opposition. 

For example — from one conservative figure with a hefty following: “Tomorrow is war,” Steven Crowder wrote. How this could play out 

Playing ‘the floor is lava’ with the DOJ and FBI

President Biden is “facing a delicate dance of handling the situation while steadfastly appearing not to politically taint the Department of Justice (DOJ).” 

Keep in mind: The White House has said that Biden learned of the FBI search through public reports. 

The pressures Biden faces, via The Hill’s Alex Gangitano 

‘REPUBLICANS WHO BLAST FBI’S TRUMP SEARCH ARE PREPPING TO SNAG JOE IN A HUNTER BIDEN PROBE’
Via Politico’s Jordain Carney

🦠 Latest with COVID 

 THE COVID-19 NUMBERS 

Cases to date: 92.1 million 

Death toll: 1,029,185 

Current hospitalizations: 34,656 

Shots administered: 604 million 

Fully vaccinated: 67.2 percent of Americans 

CDC data here.

🌈Notable on social media 

Wow, I’ve never seen anything like this

7NewsDC posted photos of a rainbow cloud in Loudoun County, Va., on Tuesday. Photos

On tap 

The House and Senate are out. President Biden is in South Carolina. Vice President Harris is in Nevada.

  • 9 a.m.: Biden received his daily briefing. 
  • 9:05 a.m.: Harris left for Las Vegas
  • 12:30 p.m.: Biden and first lady Jill Biden leave for Charleston, S.C. 
  • 7:15 p.m.: Harris leaves Las Vegas and flies to San Francisco

 All times Eastern.

📺What to watch

  • 10 a.m.: Biden signed the PACT Act of 2022 and delivered remarks. Watch  What to know about the bill 
  • 2:25 p.m. Harris delivers remarks at the United Steelworkers Constitutional Convention. Livestream 
  • 4:15 p.m.: Harris holds a roundtable with Nevada state legislators to discuss reproductive health care. Livestream 

🍫 In lighter news 

Today is National S’mores Day

But what will they do for pizza now?! 

Domino’s Pizza is closing all of its shops in Italy, according to Bloomberg’s Giulia Morpurgo and Antonio Vanuzzo

And to help keep you cool today, here are two dogs trying to figure out how to use the hose.

Tags 12:30 Report FBI raid Fifth Amendment Mar-a-Lago Trump legal issues Trump raid
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