The Hill’s 12:30 Report — Trump indictment could be coming soon
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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
Trump’s NY indictment is coming (probably):
Former President Trump hasn’t yet been indicted in the case over his alleged hush-money payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 election, but that doesn’t mean it won’t happen soon. The whole thing is throwing the GOP into a bit of turmoil ahead of the 2024 election cycle.
The New York Times’ Michael Bender and Maggie Haberman have the inside scoop on how Trump is spending his days amid the legal woes.
“Behind closed doors at Mar-a-Lago, the former president has told friends and associates that he welcomes the idea of being paraded by the authorities before a throng of reporters and news cameras. He has even mused openly about whether he should smile for the assembled media, and he has pondered how the public would react and is said to have described the potential spectacle as a fun experience,” they report.
READ MORE: The Hill’s Brett Samuels has what to watch for here.
OPINION: Bernard Goldberg, an Emmy and an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University award-winning writer and journalist, dives deeper into the nuances of Trump’s case.
It’s Wednesday, March 22. I’m Elizabeth Crisp, filling in for Cate, with a quick recap of the morning and what’s coming up.
Did someone forward this newsletter to you? Sign up here. Send me your tips, scoops and any other feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org and follow me on Twitter @elizabethcrisp.
Anticipation ahead of Fed interest rate decision:
The Federal Reserve is set to announce today its latest plan for handling the U.S. inflation situation.
Fed chairman Jerome Powell already has signaled that another rate hike could be looming as the economy continues to grapple with sky-high inflation.
Economists are now saying that the Fed may increase interest rates and borrowing costs to higher levels than previously projected.
In the past year, the Fed has raised interest rates on loans eight times.
The announcement should come around 2:30 p.m. You can watch it on C-SPAN here.
National Republicans are looking for rich Senate candidates:
After an uninspiring 2022 election cycle, POLITICO reports Republicans are looking for Senate candidates who are “filthy rich.”
“Senate Republicans have landed on a plan to avoid getting swamped by Democratic cash again next year: Find candidates whose bank accounts are already loaded.
So far, at least 10 candidates with big time bank accounts are weighing self-funded Senate campaigns in swing states. POLITICO reports that “many of them at the behest of the National Republican Senatorial Committee” are mulling runs.
Some of the potential races to watch: Karrin Taylor Robson, an Arizona attorney and developer, could challenge Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, the Arizona Democrat-turned-independent, and David McCormick could again challenge Democratic Sen. Bob Casey in Pennsylvania.
In the White House
Biden picks Nevada, Texas sites for national monuments:
President Biden has designated two new national monuments in Nevada and Texas.
Biden announced Nevada’s Avi Kwa Ame, also known as Spirit Mountain, and Texas’s Castner Range are now monuments, protecting nearly 514,000 acres of public lands from development. Read more from The Hill’s Alexander Bolton here.
Trump-DeSantis battle takes over House GOP meeting:
House Republicans are facing pressure to pick between former President Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in the run-up to the 2024 presidential election.
The Hill’s Emily Brooks has been reporting from Orlando, Fla., where the House GOP is meeting to discuss priorities for the year, but the Trump-DeSantis sideshow has obviously taken center stage while Trump awaits a presumed arrest in a New York case over his alleged payoff following a dalliance with adult film actress Stormy Daniels.
“While Republicans across the board — including DeSantis — have accused Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg of politicizing prosecutorial power in going after Trump over the Stormy Daniels hush-money case, lawmakers at the House GOP’s retreat in sunny central Florida nonetheless have been caught in a Mar-a-Lago vs. Tallahassee tug-of-war,” Brooks writes.
Read more from Emily in Orlando here.
And more from The Hill’s Alexander Bolton on the GOP divide Trump’s creating here.
The growing DeSantis/Trump feud made the front page of the New York Post today.
AND … DeSantis took a veiled swipe at Trump in a recent interview with British broadcaster Piers Morgan published by the NY Post.
“The way we run the government, I think, is no daily drama, focus on the big picture and put points on the board, and I think that’s something that’s very important,” DeSantis said.
🔍 In other news
2015 death, reopened during Murdaugh investigation, is now a homicide case:
The death of Stephen Smith, a 19-year-old who was found dead in the middle of a rural South Carolina road in 2015, is now being investigated as a homicide, and it is being linked to the high-profile Murdaugh murders. Nexstar’s WCBD confirmed the update Tuesday night.
Smith was previously thought to have been killed in a hit-and-run accident, but questions have lingered and grown more significant in the wake of the deaths of Paul and Maggie Murdaugh, for which father and husband Alex Murdaugh was recently convicted.
Richard “Buster” Murdaugh, the family’s only surviving son, released a statement Monday denying any involvement in former classmate Smith’s death.
Read more here via The Hill and Nexstar.
CNN reports that items from the Murdaugh property where Paul and Maggie Murdaugh were killed will be auctioned off this week.
BUT… “Their things are not any better or nicer than any other things that we pick up from other people’s homes,” auction house owner Lori Mattingly told CNN. “We go into a lot of very nice expensive homes … And we’ve had much nicer things than theirs, but their things are nice.”
I want candy!!! 🍭
Hate to say it, but legislation proposed in California could ban the sale of Skittles, Hot Tamales and more of your favorite candies.
KTLA reports that lawmakers want to ban food items that contain chemicals that they say are toxic and dangerous.
The bill would outlaw the manufacturing, selling or distributing of foods in California that have Red Dye No. 3, Titanium Dioxide, Potassium Bromate, Brominated Vegetable Oil or Propyl Paraben.
Read more details here from KTLA via The Hill.
🐥 Notable tweets
Trump Jr. goes after DeSantis:
Donald Trump Jr. is going after his dad’s most formidable foe in 2024, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
“Just as radical Dems are indicting Trump & destroying the fabric of our nation with their Police State tactics, DeSantis pathetically runs to the liberal media on orders from his RINO establishment owners to attack my father. He’s exposing himself as 100% Controlled Opposition!” the junior Trump wrote on Twitter.
The former POTUS hasn’t officially returned to his favored social media platform (though he’s apparently un-banned now), but his namesake is keeping up the defense ahead of the campaign.
Sen. Paul weighs in Manhattan district attorney for Trump:
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) says Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, currently pursuing former President Trump for alleged crimes, “should be in jail.” In an early-morning tweet, Paul claimed that “a Trump indictment would be a disgusting abuse of power.”
⏱ On tap
The House and Senate are both back in session today, with the Senate starting at 11 a.m. and the House kicking off its work at 2 p.m. President Biden and Vice President Harris are in D.C. today.
- 9 a.m.: President Biden received his daily briefing.
- 10 a.m.: Senate Appropriations and Budget committees began hearings on President Biden’s proposed budget.
- 11 a.m.: The Senate started its Wednesday session.
- Noon: Party policy luncheons resumed after the March break. (Keep an eye out for some colorful quotes as lawmakers respond to any news of the day!)
- 2 p.m.: The House meets for legislative business, with votes expected around 6:30 p.m.
- 2:30 p.m.: Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) and members of the House Freedom Caucus hold a press conference on the debt limit.
- 2:30 p.m.: Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell hosts a news conference on the latest inflation rate news.
- 3 p.m.: White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre briefs reporters.
- 5 p.m.: President Biden and the first lady host a White House event marking Women’s History Month.
- 5:30 p.m.: Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.) hosts TikTok creators at the Capitol in support of free expression.
All times Eastern.
In lighter news
Today is National Bavarian Crepes Day! Did you miss out on celebrating during breakfast? You have plenty of time to catch up today (and we won’t tell!). Here’s a good recipe to help you celebrate. 🧑🍳
And because you made it this far, check out this cat who has found a big snack! 😸
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