Where Things Stand: This Almost Feels Like A Normal Day

This is your TPM late-morning briefing.
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 12:  The Supreme Court of the United States of America. The building, a classical Corinthian architectural style, was completed in 1935 with marble mined from Vermont used on the exterior and the four inner courtyards  are white Georgia marble.  (Photo by Jonathan Newton / The Washington Post)
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 12: The Supreme Court of the United States of America. The building, a classical Corinthian architectural style, was completed in 1935 with marble mined from Vermont used on the exterior and t... WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 12: The Supreme Court of the United States of America. The building, a classical Corinthian architectural style, was completed in 1935 with marble mined from Vermont used on the exterior and the four inner courtyards are white Georgia marble. (Photo by Jonathan Newton / The Washington Post via Getty Images) MORE LESS
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May 12, 2020 11:47 a.m.
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It’s been a long time since we had a major case or hearing to focus our coverage around, let alone two in one day.

As we speak, Josh Kovensky and Tierney Sneed are covering the Supreme Court’s oral arguments (remotely, of course) on two cases related to oversight of President Trump’s financial documents, both of which have the potential to broaden the President’s immunity in circumstances of investigative oversight. Our coverage of the root of these cases — Trump v. Mazars USA, LLP and Trump v. Deutsche Bank AG (consolidated), and Trump v. Vance — feels like a lifetime ago.

You can follow Tierney and Josh’s live reporting here.

Meanwhile, Matt Shuham is covering various coronavirus task force members’ testimony before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, also taking place this morning. Those testifying include Dr. Anthony Fauci, who told the New York Times ahead of his appearance that he plans to warn senators reopening the U.S. too soon will spur “needless suffering and death.”

Despite the fact that I’m writing this from my kitchen counter, being able to help our team cover these two events live takes me back to normal days that existed just a few months ago. Not that I ever thought I’d have nostalgia for the long days and nights that came with live coverage of events like the impeachment proceedings — but I’ve missed this pace.

Here’s more on that and other stories we’re following:

What The Investigations Team Is Watching

While Josh, Tierney and Matt focus on the hearings, Kate Riga is digging into the latest update to the case between the governor of Illinois and a GOP state lawmaker. The state Supreme Court recently declined to get preemptively involved in the court battle over Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s emergency declarations amid the coronavirus, even though the state attorney general requested it. Read the update here. 

What The Breaking News Team Is Watching

Trump had a meltdown last night and this morning over three female reporters who allowed one another to speak during their turns at his presser. The three reporters were trying to help CBS News reporter Weijia Jiang, who is of Chinese descent, challenge the President after he told her to “ask China” about COVID-19. “The Lamestream Media is truly out of control,” Trump fumed via Twitter late Monday night. “Look how they work (conspire!) together.” We’ll continue to monitor Trump’s ongoing feud with the media, as always.

Yesterday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) griped about former President Barack Obama’s criticism of the Trump administration’s decision to drop Michael Flynn’s criminal case. “I think President Obama should have kept his mouth shut,” the GOP leader said during a virtual Trump campaign event. While we don’t expect Obama to respond, we will keep an eye on backlash over McConnell’s remark.

If You Read Anything On COVID-19 Today, Read This

Josh Kovensky reports on some new numbers related to COVID-19 infections in rural areas. According to a White House coronavirus task force document obtained by NBC, cases are mounting at reportedly higher rates in smaller urban and rural areas — key parts of the country where the population forms much of Trump’s political base.

Josh reported on this trend just last week, after a study was released that showed infections in rural areas are increasing at higher rates than in urban areas:

Rural Infection Rates Spike As Urban Outbreaks Subside, Data Says

Coming Up

2:00 p.m. ET: White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany will hold a press briefing.

4:00 p.m. ET: Trump is meeting with Republican senators in the Cabinet Room.

Yesterday’s Most Read Story

WH Adviser Belittles Media Coverage Of Staggering Unemployment As ‘Pity Party’ — Cristina Cabrera

What We Are Reading

Don’t Close Parks. Open Up Streets. — James Hamblin

Robert Pattinson: A Dispatch From Isolation — Zach Baron

Rail Worker Dies With COVID-19 After Being Spat At — BBC

Key Coronavirus Crisis Links

TPM’s COVID-19 hub.
Josh Marshall’s Twitter List of Trusted Experts (Epidemiologists, Researchers, Clinicians, Journalists, Government Agencies) providing reliable real-time information on the COVID-19 Crisis.
COVID-19 Tracking Project (updated data on testing and infections in the U.S.).
Johns Hopkins Global COVID-19 Survey (most up to date numbers globally and for countries around the world).
Worldometers.info (extensive source of information and data visualizations on COVID-19 Crisis — discussion of data here).
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