Justice Dept. investigating Trump’s actions in Jan. 6 criminal probe
People familiar with the probe said investigators are examining the former president’s conversations and have seized phone records of top aides
The Justice Department is investigating President Donald Trump’s actions as part of its criminal probe of efforts to overturn the 2020 election results, according to four people familiar with the matter.
Prosecutors who are questioning witnesses before a grand jury — including two top aides to Vice President Mike Pence — have asked in recent days about conversations with Trump, his lawyers, and others in his inner circle who sought to substitute Trump allies for certified electors from some states Joe Biden won, according to two people familiar with the matter. Both spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing investigation.
Why Democrats' Midterm Chances Don't Hinge On Biden's Approval Rating
On one hand, President Biden is historically unpopular: As of July 25 at 5 p.m. Eastern, he had an average approval rating of 38 percent and an average disapproval rating of 57 percent — a net approval rating of -19 percentage points. You have to go back to Harry Truman to find a president with a net approval rating that bad at this point in his term.
On the other, generic-congressional-ballot polls are pretty close. As of the same date and time, Republicans had an average lead of 1 point.
Those two numbers feel difficult to reconcile. Biden’s approval rating suggests that the national mood is extremely poor for Democrats, while the generic-ballot polling suggests that the political environment is only slightly Republican-leaning. But in reality, these two types of polls aren’t in opposition as much as you might think. They’re separate metrics, and a look back at past midterm elections shows they don’t always line up. But history also shows that when they do diverge, one is more predictive than the other.
First, it’s kind of an obvious point, but presidential-approval polls and generic-ballot polls are measuring two different things.
Republicans blame drop in online GOP grassroots fundraising on inflation and Trump
“As the economy eats away at purchasing power, something has to go by the wayside,” said Zac Moffatt, CEO of Targeted Victory, a Republican consulting firm that specializes in digital fundraising and strategy. Targeted Victory maintains a house file of online donors. The firm discovered through periodic polling that these grassroots Republicans have reduced discretionary budgets for political giving in response to inflation that accelerated to 9.1% in June.
“We do these massive 3,000-person surveys to our donor file,” Moffatt explained. “The verbatim [responses have been:] It’s gas or this donation; it’s vacation with our children or this donation.” Republican insiders interviewed for this story were more guarded when discussing the Trump factor in the second-quarter fundraising downturn experienced by so many GOP candidates and groups, fearing reprisals by the former president. Granted anonymity, they unloaded.
It’s no wonder right-wing justices didn’t weigh Dobbs’s awful impact on women
With so many disturbing aspects of the Dobbs decision overturning Roe v. Wade — the shoddy history, the contempt for stare decisis, etc. — it is easy to forget that one of the most heinous came from Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr.
During oral arguments, Julie Rikelman, counsel for Jackson’s Women Health, had the temerity to spell out the ramifications that bans would have on the health and future of women denied an abortion. Roberts cut her off and plunged ahead in his search for justification for a 15-week limit on the procedure.
How Did Maryland Republicans Nominate Two Extremist Screwballs for Statewide Office?
The gubernatorial nominee was at the Capitol on January 6. The attorney general pick says public schools belong to Hitler. What is going on?
Last Tuesday, Republican primary voters in Maryland picked two radical extremists as their nominees in November’s race for governor and attorney general. In electing Dan Cox as their gubernatorial candidate and Michael Peroutka as their nominee for attorney general, Maryland Republicans showed not just that they prefer the Trumpier brand of the GOP. They showed that a long campaign by radical right theocrats to take over the party has borne more fruit in the age of Trump than ever before, coalescing in a toxic merger of white Christian nationalism and the stolen election lie.
Peter Wehner/NY Times:
What in the World Happened to Elise Stefanik?
There was a time in 2016 when Elise Stefanik, now the third-ranking Republican in the House, was so disgusted by Donald Trump, she would barely mention his name. Today he proudly refers to her as “one of my killers.”
She proved that again last month. In an effort to undermine confidence in the select committee investigating the violent assault on the Capitol, Ms. Stefanik said, “This is not a serious investigation. This is a partisan political witch hunt.” The committee, she said, is “illegitimate.” The hearings did not change her mind. In mid-July, before the final session planned for the summer, she referred to the committee as a “sham” and declared that “it is way worse than the impeachment witch hunt parts one and two.”
Maybe Ms. Stefanik was continuing to discredit the House committee because the evidence it has produced from Trump insiders — and the compelling way the evidence has been presented — has inflicted staggering damage on Mr. Trump, even though it might not prevent him from winning the Republican presidential nomination for a third straight time. Ms. Stefanik has failed in her efforts to sabotage the committee, but it’s not for lack of trying.
David Rothkopf/Daily Beast:
What Comes Next After Biden’s Foreign Policy Marathon
In an exclusive interview with The Daily Beast, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan talks about Biden’s recent Middle East trip and the challenges that lie ahead
“You’d be hard-pressed to find another president operating at this pace—and all this in an election year,” said U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan. “When you think of the stakes involved with China, Russia, Ukraine, NATO expansion, ensuring affordable energy and food supplies, Israel’s integration with the region, shoring up security partnerships, and major issues of geopolitics—to do all those things in nine weeks and to see how much better off the U.S. is at the end of it whether in terms of short-term or long-term trends, it is hard to argue, especially for anyone who has watched him in action, that he has slowed down or been hindered by domestic politics.”