Washington is readying for the possibility of Donald Trump being indicted, which would be the first time in U.S. history a former president has been criminally charged.
Members of the GOP on Monday ramped up their rhetoric against the Manhattan district attorney‘s investigation into a hush-money payment shortly before the 2016 election, while Democrats defended the probe’s independence.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), a top potential challenger to Trump for the party’s 2024 presidential nomination, accused the prosecutor of “weaponizing” his office, while several House Republicans demanded the DA, Alvin Bragg (D), testify before Congress.
In New York, workers stacked steel police barricades outside the Manhattan Criminal Court and the Manhattan district attorney’s office after Trump suggested that he’d be arrested on Tuesday. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) has pushed back on calls for people to protest.
“President Trump announces he’s running for president and shazam! Now they are — we’re going to have some bookkeeping error from seven years ago,” Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), a top ally of Trump, said in an interview Monday.
The Manhattan DA has been investigating a payment that Trump’s former lawyer made to adult-film actress Stormy Daniels in October 2016 after she claimed she had an affair with Trump. Trump has denied having an affair and called the investigation a “witch hunt.”
The Hill’s Zach Schonfeld has more on what comes next if Trump is charged.
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President Biden on Monday signed into law legislation that would overturn a District of Columbia crime bill, a controversial move that has angered the progressive wing of his party for weeks.
Republicans championed the resolution of disapproval that would block the implementation of the D.C. law, which aimed to eliminate most mandatory sentences, lower penalties for a number of violent offenses like carjackings and robberies, and expand the requirement for jury trials in most misdemeanor cases.
The Hill’s Alex Gangitano has more here.
Republican committee chairs call on Bragg to testify
Republican chairs of three House committees sent a letter to Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg calling for his testimony amid rumors that Bragg may indict Trump.
Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.) and Administration Committee Chairman Bryan Steil (R-Wis.) signed the letter, which says Bragg’s “actions will erode confidence in the evenhanded application of justice and unalterably interfere in the course of the 2024 presidential election.”
Trump also accused Bragg of interfering with the election.
Rep. Daniel Goldman (D-N.Y.), who before being elected worked as counsel for Democrats during Trump’s first impeachment, said, “Defending Trump is not a legitimate legislative purpose for Congress to investigate a state district attorney.” Read more here.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) also weighed in on Monday, calling Bragg a “[George] Soros-funded prosecutor” who is “weaponizing” the office “to impose a political agenda on society at the expense of the rule of law and public safety.”
President Biden issued the first veto of his term Monday, preserving a Labor Department rule on environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing.
Both chambers of Congress passed a resolution to reverse the rule, with Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin (W.Va.) and Jon Tester (Mont.) helping it through the Senate in a 50-46 vote earlier this month.
White House spokesperson Robyn Patterson said, “The President vetoed the bill because it jeopardizes the hard-earned life savings of cops, firefighters, teachers, and other workers – all in service of an extreme, MAGA Republican ideology.”
From The Hill’s Brett Samuels: “The legislation and Biden’s subsequent veto is part of a larger debate over ESG investing. Opposition to the practice has become a point of emphasis for many conservatives, who view it as part of a broader ‘woke’ agenda among Democrats that infringes on Americans’ rights to make their own decisions.” Read more here.
The debate around bank deposit insurance limits
The House Freedom Caucus said in a statement it opposes raising the $250,000 standard cap on the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation’s (FDIC) guarantee of bank deposits.
The Mid-Size Bank Coalition of America recently asked federal regulators to insure all deposits for two years in the wake of the Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank collapses, Bloomberg News reported. Regulators decided to insure all deposits for those banks, including those above the cap.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) said on CBS News’s “Face the Nation” over the weekend that more deposits should be insured.
🌍 UN climate panel report doubles down on warning
A United Nations climate change panel released a new report, a summary of which says there’s “a rapidly closing window of opportunity to secure a livable and sustainable future for all.” U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres is calling on developed countries to achieve net-zero emissions as close to 2040 as possible.
📦 Amazon announces another round of layoffs
🌽 The budding farm bill debate
The Hill’s Saul Elbein breaks down “the upcoming battle over everything from $20 billion in climate funding to the question of what to do with the nation’s animal waste” in this year’s farm bill debate.
“Critical Homeland Security positions need five-year terms” — C. Stewart Verdery, Jr., assistant secretary for Border and Transportation Security Policy and Planning during the Bush administration and Kate Christensen Mills, assistant director for Congressional Relations and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement during the Obama administration. Both are partners at Monument Advocacy. (Read here)
“DeSantis’s flip-flop: It’s all about Biden and 2024” — Juan Williams, an author and a political analyst for Fox News Channel. (Read here)
596 days until the presidential election.
House Republicans wrap up their issues conference in Orlando, Fla.
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