Some interesting and absurd but still noteworthy events overnight. Trump’s representatives, at least for the moment, have settled on a story which is that he had a “standing order” that any and all classified materials he took home with him to the White House residence was “deemed” declassified. So in fact, none of the materials in question are classified and none of it matters. This was announced on Fox as an official statement from Trump’s office by John Solomon, the notorious fake news hustler who is now operating as Trump’s “designated representative” to the National Archives.Read More
We are, we might say, deep in the thick of it. Until recently we heard constantly how there was no accountability for the ex-President, no investigations or prosecutions, of anything tied to the denouement of the Trump presidency, save for the men who actually entered the Capitol complex on January 6th. Now we learn that there are and have been multiple investigations touching on various incidents tied to the end of the Trump presidency. There was a bunch of frothy and nonsensical chatter earlier in the week about how the FBI had just given the presidency back to Donald Trump. This morning the House Freedom Caucus, ground zero of Trumpism and coup plotting, canceled the press conference they had planned to bewail the FBI search of the ex-President’s home. Facts change and you have to react to them.
It is probably best to say that we are back in one of those fugue windows Trump Republicans have, much like January 7th-9th 2021, in which there’s a period of relative silence while a story is devised to explain why something inexplicable and indefensible is in fact awesome and totally fine. They’ll get there.Read More
Federal judge orders DOJ to confer with Trump lawyers and report to him by 3 PM tomorrow about how to proceed on releasing the warrant and related documents.
Two significant takeaways from Garland’s presser. Garland personally approved the decision to seek a search warrant and carry out the search. The DOJ is asking the court to unseal portions of the search warrant and the inventory of what was seized in the search.
We’re awaiting a statement from AG Merrick Garland currently scheduled for 2:30 PM eastern.
Presumably this is about the incident in Cincinnati though officially there’s no word on the subject. But conceivably there will be some reference to the search at Mar-a-Lago if today’s incident appears tied to the Monday search. Again, this is just speculation: there’s no word about what it’s about.
Late Update: CNN reports that this will be about the Mar-a-Lago search.
At 9 AM this morning an armed man entered the FBI field office in Cincinnati and tried to shoot his way past security. An exchange of gunfire of some sort ensued. The man retreated and then drove off. This led to a chase and finally a standoff with the armed man at which there were more exchanges of gunfire – apparently in a cornfield. That standoff apparently continues, after more exchanges of gunfire. Thus far there are no reports of injuries. There are unconfirmed repots that assailant was wearing body armor and had a nail gun in addition to an AR-15 style rifle.
From the Twitter account of the Cincinnati FBI field office …
At approximately 9 AM this morning an armed subject attempted to breach the Visitor Screening Facility at #FBI Cincinnati. After an alarm and a response by FBI special agents, the subject fled north onto Interstate 71.
Appears to be a fairly large lockdown in the surrounding area.
More details here from TPM team.
This post will be updated with new information.
A new report says that yesterday and today a lot of Jan 6th-involved Republicans in the Pennsylvania state legislature got visits or subpoenas from the FBI. The issue seems to be the fake electors scheme and people who either worked with or had knowledge of the actions of federal Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA).
I’m not saying I expect to see a new Democratic senator from North Carolina. But the Democrats’ Senate map is expanding. There have been four polls of the North Carolina Senate race since mid-June (Budd v. Beasley), three of them GOP-funded. Their margins for Democrat Cheri Beasley have been, in order, Beasley – 5, Beasley -3, Beasley +2, Beasley +4. That’s a pretty nice trend for Beasley.
North Carolina has been a heartbreaker for Democrats in recent cycles. I’m not predicting a Democratic pick up. But this is clearly a competitive race. At a minimum Republicans are going to have to fight to hold that seat.
At the end of a lengthy statement attacking New York AG Tish James, Trump admits he took the 5th.
* Judge tells Rudy Giuliani no dice (sub. req.). He must appear before a Fulton County grand jury next week (Aug. 17th) unless he can provide a better explanation from a doctor about why it is medically impossible for him to do so.
* The Kremlin is paying millions to a notorious American conspiracy theorist, Ben Swann, to create a series of news style TV shows aimed at blackening America’s image around the world. Here’s the FARA filing.