12:30 Report

The Hill’s 12:30 Report — Trump investigations pile up

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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 

He’s got 99 problems and the FBI is certainly one: 

Legal troubles are building on multiple fronts for former President Trump as he seems poised to run for another term in 2024. 

OK, let’s name them:  

1. The FBI searched his Mar-a-Lago residence. 

2. Trump pleaded the Fifth this week in a probe by the New York state attorney general. 

3. An investigation in Georgia over whether Trump and his allies broke laws in an attempt to change the election results. 

4. A federal grand jury is investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol. 

5. The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office has a criminal investigation open. 

Of the investigations: The Hill’s Niall Stanage points out that the Manhattan district attorney’s criminal probe is the least of Trump’s worries. “It is perceived to be petering out after two prosecutors resigned back in February.” 

Which of the investigations is the biggest threat to Trump?: It’s a bit complicated, but Stanage breaks down the potential threat for each

EXPERTS ARE STARTING TO WORRY ABOUT THE POTENTIAL FOR POLITICAL VIOLENCE
Why: Fierce backlash on the pro-Trump right to the FBI search. 

The Hill’s John Kruzel and Rebecca Klar explain

‘HOW REPUBLICANS CAME TO DISTRUST THE FBI’:  

From The Hill’s Emily Brooks 

ANALYSIS FROM THE NEW YORK TIMES’S PETER BAKER
“Trump Claims He’s a Victim of Tactics He Once Deployed: Donald J. Trump’s efforts to politicize the law enforcement system have now become his shield as he tries to deflect accusations of wrongdoing.” Read Baker’s full analysis 

IT’S THURSDAY. 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. 

New report — someone may have tipped off the FBI, leading to the search:

The Wall Street Journal’s Alex Leary, Aruna Viswanatha and Sadie Gurman report that “someone familiar with the stored papers told investigators there may be still more classified documents at the private club after the National Archives retrieved 15 boxes earlier in the year, people familiar with the matter said.” 

^ That tip, plus: “Justice Department officials had doubts that the Trump team was being truthful regarding what material remained at the property, one person said.”

And that brings us to this week: “Two months later, two dozen Federal Bureau of Investigation agents were back at Mar-a-Lago with a warrant predicated on convincing a federal magistrate judge that there was evidence a crime may have been committed. After hours at the property, the agents took the boxes away in a Ryder truck.”  

Read the full WSJ report 

^ TIDBIT — TRUMP’S CHIEF OF STAFF DIDN’T EVEN KNOW ABOUT THE SAFE IN MAR-A-LAGO
In an interview with CNN’s “New Day” on Thursday morning, former Trump White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney said he was not aware of the safe at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence. 

So who could have tipped off the FBI?: “I didn’t even know there was a safe at Mar-a-Lago, and I was the chief of staff for 15 months. So this would be someone who was handling things on day-to-day, who knew where documents were at. So it would be somebody very close inside the president. My guess is there’s probably six or eight people who have that kind of information.” 

Watch Mulvaney’s full train of thought

⛽️ News this morning 

Yeaaaah, baby!:

“The average national price of gasoline fell below $4 per gallon on Thursday for the first time since March, according to the AAA.”  

What to expect: Gas prices are expected to continue to fall. 

For context: The national average of gas prices hit $5.01 in June (!) 

More from The Hill’s Rachel Frazin 

WHAT FACTORS WILL DETERMINE WHAT HAPPENS TO GAS PRICES NEXT?
NPR’s Arezou Rezvani explains

 ‘BUY NOW OR WAIT? WHAT THE NEW ELECTRIC VEHICLE CREDITS MEAN FOR YOU.’
The Washington Post’s Allyson Chieu explains.

🗳 Getting traction 

Why you may be seeing the word ‘mother f—er’ on social media. 

Well, I guess I should say, more than usual …

Democratic Texas gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke yelled at a heckler who laughed while O’Rourke discussed the shooting at a Uvalde elementary school that killed 19 children and two adults.  

O’Rourke turned around to address the heckler who was laughing: “It may be funny to you, mother—er,” he said, “but it’s not funny to me.” 

Watch the video: This clip has nearly 3 million views already.

🐘 In the GOP 

Team meeting — Keep your eye on the prize:

“Republicans are looking for a new sense of unity amid concerns that recent infighting, a series of divisive primaries and several high-profile Democratic political victories could erode what should otherwise be a promising chance at recapturing the House and Senate majorities this year.”  

How the dynamic has recently shifted: “High-profile primaries have yielded some deeply polarizing Republican nominees, while the party has been consumed by debates over the best way to counter Democrats’ recent political wins.” 

Keep in mind: It’s still pretty likely that Republicans will take control of the House in November. 

How the midterms are shaping up, via The Hill’s Max Greenwood and Caroline Vakil

🦠 Latest with COVID 

 THE COVID-19 NUMBERS 

Cases to date: 92.2 million 

Death toll: 1,030,010 

Current hospitalizations: 35,840 

Shots administered: 604 million 

Fully vaccinated: 67.2 percent of Americans 

CDC data here.

🐥Notable tweets 

Senators helping senators

Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) tweeted, “Huge thanks to [Sen. Jon Ossoff (D-Ga.)] for my new profile picture. Great to have a colleague who knows how to use portrait mode.”  

Whoaaaa

@SteveStuWill tweeted a photo with instructions to “stare at the red dot on the woman’s nose for 30 seconds, then look at an empty wall while blinking quickly. Promise it’s worth it.” The photo

On tap 

The House and Senate are out. President Biden is in South Carolina with no public events scheduled. Vice President Harris is in San Francisco, Calif. 

  • 4:25 p.m. Harris participates in a press call about investments in tribal broadband. 
  • 5:05 p.m.: Harris holds a roundtable with California state legislators to discuss reproductive health care. 
  • Friday: The House briefly returns to vote on the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022. 

All times Eastern.

📺What to watch 

  • 1:30 p.m.: Arizona and Vermont officials testify on election misinformation. C-SPAN livestream 

🥧 In lighter news 

Today is National Raspberry Tart Day

And to leave you smiling, here’s a baby’s first experience at a hibachi restaurant

Tags 12:30 Report Beto O'Rourke Beto O'Rourke FBI raid gas prices Trump scandals
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