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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.
There aren’t many people betting Liz Cheney will win today:
Conservative, third-term lawmaker Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), who has become one of the faces of the anti-Trump movement after the Jan. 6 Capitol attack, is heading into her reelection primary Tuesday night with a high likelihood of losing her seat.
For context on why this is big: “The Cheney name has been revered in conservative Wyoming circles for decades; the seat she holds was once held by her father, former Vice President Dick Cheney. And two years ago, the thought of her losing that seat would have been laughed out of Laramie.”
^ But that changed on Jan. 6: “Then came last year’s attack on the Capitol — a riot aimed at overturning Trump’s election defeat. Since then, Cheney has pursued the 45th president with a crusader’s zeal, becoming one of only 10 House Republicans to support Trump’s second impeachment, which deemed him responsible for inciting the insurrection, and then joining the Jan. 6 select committee investigating the rampage.”
Keep in mind about her state: “70 percent of Wyoming voters chose Trump in 2020 — the highest number of any state in the country.”
More on what to expect today, via The Hill’s Mike Lillis
IF YOU LISTEN CLOSELY, YOU CAN HEAR EARLY CHEERING FROM TRUMP’S LIVING ROOM:
Former President Trump endorsed Cheney’s primary challenger, attorney Harriet Hageman, in one of the most-watched races of the midterms.
How Cheney’s potential loss would be a huge prize for Trump, via The Hill’s Max Greenwood
‘LIZ CHENEY IS THE LAST STOP ON TRUMP’S IMPEACHMENT REVENGE TOUR. BUT HE IS THE KEY TO HER FUTURE.’:
Via NBC’s Jonathan Allen
FIVE THINGS TO WATCH IN TODAY’S PRIMARIES:
Via The Hill’s Julia Manchester
IT’S TUESDAY. I’m Cate Martel with a quick recap of the morning and what’s coming up. Did someone forward this newsletter to you? Sign up here.
➕ News this morning
Jill Biden has COVID-19:
It has been a summer for the first family. First lady Jill Biden tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday morning.
How is she feeling?: She has mild, cold-like symptoms, according to the White House. Biden is taking Paxlovid and will isolate for at least five days.
Where will she isolate?: Biden will stay at a private residence in South Carolina.
For context: President Biden tested positive for COVID-19, received the Paxlovid antiviral treatment, then later had a rebound case.
💌 The DOJ investigation
The DOJ’s lips are sealed:
“The Justice Department on Monday told a federal judge that releasing the law enforcement affidavit used to obtain a search warrant for former President Trump’s home would jeopardize an ongoing investigation.”
Timing: On Friday, the DOJ unsealed the warrant and a list of the items seized from the FBI search of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence.
Why the affidavit is different, according to the DOJ filing: “The affidavit supporting the search warrant presents a very different set of considerations. There remain compelling reasons, including to protect the integrity of an ongoing law enforcement investigation that implicates national security, that support keeping the affidavit sealed.”
‘WHAT IS THE ESPIONAGE ACT AND HOW HAS IT BEEN USED?’:
Here’s an explainer from The New York Times’s Julian E. Barnes
WHAT THE TRUMP TEAM IS SAYING ABOUT THE INVENTORY LIST:
Florida-based lawyer Lindsey Halligan told Fox News’s Sean Hannity: “We don’t know exactly what they took. We have asked multiple times for a real inventory description of what was taken. But the inventory list they gave us is borderline worthless. It doesn’t say where the documents were located, what specifically was taken.”
What is Trump’s defense of the documents?:
It has been changing. The Hill’s Alex Gangitano compiled a list of former President Trump’s shifting explanations for having the documents.
1. “FBI search was unnecessary and inappropriate.”
2. “Documents were declassified under a standing order.”
3. “The documents seized are protected by attorney-client and executive privileges.”
🐘 In the GOP
With the ratio of headlines, you’d think Donald Trump was still president:
Via The Hill’s Niall Stanage, “Democrats are thrilled at the prospect of comeuppance for a figure who, as they see it, has dodged accountability for numerous past misdeeds. Republicans see a former president targeted for partisan reasons.”
“But two bigger questions also demand answers: how the investigation is affecting the political landscape right now, and what kind of impact it will have on November’s midterm elections.”
The headlines that have made Trump front and center in the news: It’s much more than just the FBI search of Mar-a-Lago.
Threats to the FBI are making many uneasy:
“An uptick in threats to the FBI after it executed a search warrant at former President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate is unsettling the political right, with some calling on allies of the former president to tone down their rhetoric.”
In DC: “Barriers have been erected outside the perimeter of the FBI headquarters in Washington, D.C., while the FBI and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) reportedly issued a joint bulletin Friday warning about spikes in threats that included a bomb threat at FBI headquarters and calls for ‘civil war’ and ‘armed rebellion.’”
On one hand: “Trump on Monday in an interview with Fox News did say the temperature on the issue needed to come down, adding that he’d told aides to reach out to the Department of Justice to help.”
^ Ehh, but: “in the same interview, Trump directed his wrath at the Justice Department and suggested that his supporters’ anger was justified. Trump said that Americans are ‘not going to stand for another scam,’ said that the FBI can ‘break into a president’s house’ in a ‘sneak attack’ and suggested that the FBI “could have planted anything they wanted” during the search.”
The concerns of violence from those in law enforcement, via The Hill’s Emily Brooks and Rebecca Klar
🦠 Latest with COVID
➤ THE COVID-19 NUMBERS
Cases to date: 92.7 million
Death toll: 1,032,215
Current hospitalizations: 15,347
Shots administered: 606 million
Fully vaccinated: 67.3 percent of Americans
*Cue Frank Sinatra*:
Rolling Stone’s Noah Shachtman tweeted, “Absolutely A+ classic exchange at this Manhattan diner:
‘I’ll take a BLT, extra mayo, no bread.’
‘No bread? On a BLT?’
‘I don’t like the way you asked the question.’
‘You want another waiter?’”
The House and Senate are out. President Biden is briefly back in Washington, D.C. Vice President Harris is in Hawaii.
- 11:40 a.m.: Biden and first lady Jill Biden left Charleston, S.C.
- 1:50 p.m.: The Bidens return to the White House.
- 7 p.m.: Biden leaves for Delaware.
All times Eastern.
📺What to watch
- 3:30 p.m.: Biden signs the Inflation Reduction Act into law and delivers remarks. Livestream
🍹 In lighter news
Today is National Rum Day!
And to entertain you on a hopefully quiet August day, here’s a dog who isn’t judgmental at all.