What does the FBI want from the Pennsylvania lawmakers its agents visited and handed subpoenas to this week? That has not been publicly released yet, but their visit makes clear federal investigators’ probe into attempts to tamper with the 2020 election continues to sprawl.

In June, they raided the home of Jeffrey Clark, a former justice department official who was seen as friendly to Donald Trump’s false claims the 2020 election was rigged. Earlier this week, they seized the phone of Scott Perry, a Republican congressman from Pennsylvania who was another backer of the lie that the election was stolen.

According to the Patriot-News, Perry said he was informed that he wasn’t a target of whatever the FBI was investigating, and that he would cooperate. However both Clark and Perry’s names have come up in recent hearings of the January 6 committee, particularly Clark’s, after Trump mounted a failed effort to install him as the head of the justice department to allegedly disrupt the certification of the election results. Perry has meanwhile been pointed to as the person who connected Trump’s confidantes in the White House with Clark.

The takeaway from all this is that while the relationship between the January 6 committee’s investigation and the FBI’s is murky, it’s clear that they are interested in the same people.

It’s been a quiet one in Washington, but that doesn’t mean the chess pieces aren’t moving. Democrats are gearing up for the House of Representatives to meet tomorrow and pass a major plan to fight climate change and lower health care costs, while Republicans are looking ahead to November, when voters seem poised to return them to control of at least one chamber of Congress.

“,”elementId”:”dd3c7d9c-e1d2-4666-b2c8-1eb459f511b0″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

Here’s a rundown of what has happened in the day so far:

“,”elementId”:”b8effc57-89b3-4033-b734-53640a2e3201″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

    n

  • A gunman has attacked a FBI office in Ohio, and reportedly engaged in a shootout with police. The Guardian will update this blog when more details of the incident become available.

  • n

  • The White House seized on yet another sign of inflation declining to make the case that better days are ahead for the economy.

  • n

  • A Republican lawmaker who will likely become the party’s top investigator if it takes control of the House told Politico to expect investigations of Covid-19’s origins and Hunter Biden.

  • n

  • The top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer told voters that if they give him more senators, he’ll pass more bills to lower costs for child and elder care, which the party failed to agree on in the current Congress.

  • n

“,”elementId”:”19301a4f-6b0d-47bc-afe9-6e157ea84ff7″}],”attributes”:{“pinned”:false,”keyEvent”:true,”summary”:false},”blockCreatedOn”:1660235525000,”blockCreatedOnDisplay”:”17.32 BST”,”blockLastUpdated”:1660236448000,”blockLastUpdatedDisplay”:”17.47 BST”,”blockFirstPublished”:1660236448000,”blockFirstPublishedDisplay”:”17.47 BST”,”blockFirstPublishedDisplayNoTimezone”:”17.47″,”title”:”The day so far”,”contributors”:[],”primaryDateLine”:”Thu 11 Aug 2022 18.15 BST”,”secondaryDateLine”:”First published on Thu 11 Aug 2022 13.52 BST”},{“id”:”62f52abc8f083b8f443ff622″,”elements”:[{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

An armed person who opened fire with a nail gun at a FBI office in Cincinnati has been chased into a field and is exchanging fire with police, according to federal investigators and media reports.

“,”elementId”:”80d114da-16b7-498f-9a31-2f0c1bb6ae36″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

The agency has faced a number of threats since its search of Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence earlier this week, prompting director Christopher Wray to declare, “Violence against law enforcement is not the answer, no matter who you’re upset with,” according to the Associated Press.

“,”elementId”:”09d16f13-f653-4da2-81df-17f05462e870″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

The FBI confirms the attack began this morning at their office in the city in southern Ohio:

“,”elementId”:”e8620301-feb6-4a89-8bbe-0aae3a1583c1″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TweetBlockElement”,”html”:”

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. pic.twitter.com/vFZHnpbM9L

— FBI Cincinnati (@FBICincinnati) August 11, 2022

n”,”url”:”https://twitter.com/FBICincinnati/status/1557756091785744385?s=20&t=fK7fRnv_9kV_V2e7fHSZ4Q”,”id”:”1557756091785744385″,”hasMedia”:false,”role”:”inline”,”isThirdPartyTracking”:false,”source”:”Twitter”,”elementId”:”70a708d8-de66-42f0-8873-0ea78e32adfc”},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TweetBlockElement”,”html”:”

The #FBI, Ohio State Highway Patrol, and local law enforcement partners are on scene near Wilmington, OH trying to resolve this critical incident.
https://t.co/SWDZTkrnhL

— FBI Cincinnati (@FBICincinnati) August 11, 2022

n”,”url”:”https://twitter.com/FBICincinnati/status/1557756293682692098?s=20&t=fK7fRnv_9kV_V2e7fHSZ4Q”,”id”:”1557756293682692098″,”hasMedia”:false,”role”:”inline”,”isThirdPartyTracking”:false,”source”:”Twitter”,”elementId”:”fcc5d5b3-357f-4ce0-90ab-980898a05c44″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

NBC News reports the assailant fired a nail gun at people in the office, and appeared to have an assault rifle:

“,”elementId”:”3db249ba-4c8c-44e6-978d-5c38874cadbe”},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TweetBlockElement”,”html”:”

.@KenDilanianNBC: “Two law enforcement sources briefed on the matter tell NBC News a man entered an FBI field office today in Cincinnati, Ohio and fired a nail gun at law enforcement personnel. The male then held up an AR-15 style rifle before fleeing in a vehicle.”

— Ryan J. Reilly (@ryanjreilly) August 11, 2022

n”,”url”:”https://twitter.com/ryanjreilly/status/1557760860218613760″,”id”:”1557760860218613760″,”hasMedia”:false,”role”:”inline”,”isThirdPartyTracking”:false,”source”:”Twitter”,”elementId”:”1f11d559-90ba-4ae2-b938-524d7c430524″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

According to Fox News, police pursued the person to a field outside the city and engaged in a gun battle:

“,”elementId”:”5248ccd7-0ef2-4b57-b597-20b2c13be956″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TweetBlockElement”,”html”:”

An armed gunman attacked an FBI office in Cincinnati this morning.

The suspect fled the scene and is reportedly engaged in a shootout with law enforcement in a corn field outside the city. pic.twitter.com/SrjPaO7Vkw

— The Recount (@therecount) August 11, 2022

n”,”url”:”https://twitter.com/therecount/status/1557759487095840768″,”id”:”1557759487095840768″,”hasMedia”:false,”role”:”inline”,”isThirdPartyTracking”:false,”source”:”Twitter”,”elementId”:”34c96e2b-57fa-437e-bd27-5ff4ec38ed83″}],”attributes”:{“pinned”:false,”keyEvent”:true,”summary”:false},”blockCreatedOn”:1660234429000,”blockCreatedOnDisplay”:”17.13 BST”,”blockLastUpdated”:1660235127000,”blockLastUpdatedDisplay”:”17.25 BST”,”blockFirstPublished”:1660235128000,”blockFirstPublishedDisplay”:”17.25 BST”,”blockFirstPublishedDisplayNoTimezone”:”17.25″,”title”:”Gunman opens fire at FBI office in Ohio amid threats over Trump search”,”contributors”:[],”primaryDateLine”:”Thu 11 Aug 2022 18.15 BST”,”secondaryDateLine”:”First published on Thu 11 Aug 2022 13.52 BST”},{“id”:”62f4f3328f08181373da654f”,”elements”:[{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

Good morning, US politics blog readers. The Harrisburg, Pennsylvania Patriot-News is reporting that the FBI delivered subpoenas or visited the offices of several Republican state lawmakers over the past two days. While it’s unclear what the investigators wanted, the interaction came around the time agents seized the phone of a Republican congressman from the state whose name has come up repeatedly as being involved in efforts to stop Joe Biden from taking office following the 2020 election. Meanwhile, Donald Trump has yet to say much more about the FBI search of Mar-a-Lago earlier this week – besides complaining that it happened at all.

“,”elementId”:”85dd5ffe-edca-4925-9cff-a94179a843a6″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

Here’s what else is going on today:

“,”elementId”:”6c3a5b71-3292-4b29-bc49-3c1d032e50f9″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

    n

  • Gas prices have dipped under $4 a gallon on average, according to AAA, reversing the spike that happened in recent months and badly damaged Biden’s approval rating.

  • n

  • Many members of Congress are expected to attend the funeral for Jackie Walorski, who was killed in a car accident last week, along with two of her staffers.

  • n

  • Biden is on vacation in South Carolina, with nothing on his agenda, though he’s certainly keeping abreast of lawmakers’ moves to pass his top legislative priority, the Inflation Reduction Act, which the House of Representatives may do tomorrow.

  • n

“,”elementId”:”f2e1f25d-2ef9-4a9d-90e6-058ca4922100″}],”attributes”:{“pinned”:false,”keyEvent”:true,”summary”:false},”blockCreatedOn”:1660222327000,”blockCreatedOnDisplay”:”13.52 BST”,”blockLastUpdated”:1660222236000,”blockLastUpdatedDisplay”:”13.50 BST”,”blockFirstPublished”:1660222327000,”blockFirstPublishedDisplay”:”13.52 BST”,”blockFirstPublishedDisplayNoTimezone”:”13.52″,”title”:”FBI hands subpoenas to Pennsylvania Republicans while Trump keeps mum on Mar-a-Lago”,”contributors”:[],”primaryDateLine”:”Thu 11 Aug 2022 18.15 BST”,”secondaryDateLine”:”First published on Thu 11 Aug 2022 13.52 BST”}],”filterKeyEvents”:false,”format”:{“display”:0,”theme”:0,”design”:9},”id”:”key-events-carousel-mobile”}”>

Key events

Please turn on JavaScript to use this feature

Some Republicans hesitant over backing Trump vs FBI

Since the FBI raided Donald Trump’s Florida home looking for missing, sensitive documents from his time in the White House, the cacophony of support and condemnation from Republicans has felt unanimous.

But not entirely.

In a sign that blindly pleasing and following Trump is not seen as an automatic vote-winner in some marginal races, a handful of Republicans have been more reticent in their reactions, according to Politico.

The top of the piece lists a few.

While several Senate GOP nominees jumped to blast the FBI and federal justice officials, Republican candidates in the swing states of Pennsylvania and North Carolina held off. The next morning, as pressure mounted from vocal right-wing activists, celebrity doctor Mehmet Oz, who is running for the Senate in Pennsylvania, took to Twitter with a message that did not mention Trump by name but merely lamented the country’s divisions and asserted that Americans had “every right” to demand answers about the search and seizure of documents.

Rep. Ted Budd, who is seeking a Senate seat in North Carolina, likewise eventually tweeted from his official Congress account after his office was bombarded with calls asking about his response. His statement said Americans deserved a “full explanation” of what happened.

Those calls for transparency from Oz and Budd differ markedly from the more fiery rebukes from other Republicans who painted America as a lawless banana republic — and reflect that some GOP candidates in battleground states are erring on the side of caution in discussing a Trump investigation that could influence critical independent and suburban voters.

Read the rest of the story here.

The Inflation Reduction Act doesn’t just fight climate change and address health care costs. It also would give the IRS tax authority more resources, after years in which the agency complained of being so underfunded it could barely do its job.

Republicans have used the infusion of funds to warn voters that the bill’s Democratic sponsors want to increase audits of the middle class. Treasury secretary Janet Yellen has responded to those attacks by sending a letter to commissioner Charles P. Rettig in which she says the agency should not use the money to increase audits for Americans making less than $400,000 a year.

“I direct that any additional resources — including any new personnel or auditors that are hired — shall not be used to increase the share of small business or households below the $400,000 threshold that are audited relative to historical levels,” Yellen wrote.

“This means that, contrary to the misinformation from opponents of this legislation, small business or households earning $400,000 per year or less will not see an increase in the chances that they are audited.”

The day so far

It’s been a quiet one in Washington, but that doesn’t mean the chess pieces aren’t moving. Democrats are gearing up for the House of Representatives to meet tomorrow and pass a major plan to fight climate change and lower health care costs, while Republicans are looking ahead to November, when voters seem poised to return them to control of at least one chamber of Congress.

Here’s a rundown of what has happened in the day so far:

  • A gunman has attacked a FBI office in Ohio, and reportedly engaged in a shootout with police. The Guardian will update this blog when more details of the incident become available.

  • The White House seized on yet another sign of inflation declining to make the case that better days are ahead for the economy.

  • A Republican lawmaker who will likely become the party’s top investigator if it takes control of the House told Politico to expect investigations of Covid-19’s origins and Hunter Biden.

  • The top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer told voters that if they give him more senators, he’ll pass more bills to lower costs for child and elder care, which the party failed to agree on in the current Congress.

Gunman opens fire at FBI office in Ohio amid threats over Trump search

An armed person who opened fire with a nail gun at a FBI office in Cincinnati has been chased into a field and is exchanging fire with police, according to federal investigators and media reports.

The agency has faced a number of threats since its search of Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence earlier this week, prompting director Christopher Wray to declare, “Violence against law enforcement is not the answer, no matter who you’re upset with,” according to the Associated Press.

The FBI confirms the attack began this morning at their office in the city in southern Ohio:

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. pic.twitter.com/vFZHnpbM9L

— FBI Cincinnati (@FBICincinnati) August 11, 2022n”,”url”:”https://twitter.com/FBICincinnati/status/1557756091785744385?s=20&t=fK7fRnv_9kV_V2e7fHSZ4Q”,”id”:”1557756091785744385″,”hasMedia”:false,”role”:”inline”,”isThirdPartyTracking”:false,”source”:”Twitter”,”elementId”:”500df1f8-29b5-4a24-a536-e1bbd06afabb”}}”>

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. pic.twitter.com/vFZHnpbM9L

— FBI Cincinnati (@FBICincinnati) August 11, 2022

The #FBI, Ohio State Highway Patrol, and local law enforcement partners are on scene near Wilmington, OH trying to resolve this critical incident.
https://t.co/SWDZTkrnhL

— FBI Cincinnati (@FBICincinnati) August 11, 2022n”,”url”:”https://twitter.com/FBICincinnati/status/1557756293682692098?s=20&t=fK7fRnv_9kV_V2e7fHSZ4Q”,”id”:”1557756293682692098″,”hasMedia”:false,”role”:”inline”,”isThirdPartyTracking”:false,”source”:”Twitter”,”elementId”:”d9885235-65b5-4bab-a5bf-936fc5834e19″}}”>

The #FBI, Ohio State Highway Patrol, and local law enforcement partners are on scene near Wilmington, OH trying to resolve this critical incident.
https://t.co/SWDZTkrnhL

— FBI Cincinnati (@FBICincinnati) August 11, 2022

NBC News reports the assailant fired a nail gun at people in the office, and appeared to have an assault rifle:

.@KenDilanianNBC: “Two law enforcement sources briefed on the matter tell NBC News a man entered an FBI field office today in Cincinnati, Ohio and fired a nail gun at law enforcement personnel. The male then held up an AR-15 style rifle before fleeing in a vehicle.”

— Ryan J. Reilly (@ryanjreilly) August 11, 2022n”,”url”:”https://twitter.com/ryanjreilly/status/1557760860218613760″,”id”:”1557760860218613760″,”hasMedia”:false,”role”:”inline”,”isThirdPartyTracking”:false,”source”:”Twitter”,”elementId”:”432bdf52-7173-467b-a1fb-012eba65b7a9″}}”>

.@KenDilanianNBC: “Two law enforcement sources briefed on the matter tell NBC News a man entered an FBI field office today in Cincinnati, Ohio and fired a nail gun at law enforcement personnel. The male then held up an AR-15 style rifle before fleeing in a vehicle.”

— Ryan J. Reilly (@ryanjreilly) August 11, 2022

According to Fox News, police pursued the person to a field outside the city and engaged in a gun battle:

An armed gunman attacked an FBI office in Cincinnati this morning.

The suspect fled the scene and is reportedly engaged in a shootout with law enforcement in a corn field outside the city. pic.twitter.com/SrjPaO7Vkw

— The Recount (@therecount) August 11, 2022n”,”url”:”https://twitter.com/therecount/status/1557759487095840768″,”id”:”1557759487095840768″,”hasMedia”:false,”role”:”inline”,”isThirdPartyTracking”:false,”source”:”Twitter”,”elementId”:”9a913309-12fa-45ef-ae70-7dec8f93aadb”}}”>

An armed gunman attacked an FBI office in Cincinnati this morning.

The suspect fled the scene and is reportedly engaged in a shootout with law enforcement in a corn field outside the city. pic.twitter.com/SrjPaO7Vkw

— The Recount (@therecount) August 11, 2022

Michael Sainato

Another trend in the economy is unionization drives in industries and businesses not accustomed to it – such as Starbucks. As Michael Sainato reports, workers at the coffee chain have staged dozens of strikes as the company tries to frustrate their efforts to organize:

Workers at Starbucks have held over 55 different strikes in at least 17 states in the US in recent months over the company’s aggressive opposition to a wave of unionization.

According to an estimate by Starbucks Workers United, the strikes have cost Starbucks over $375,000 in lost revenue. The union created a $1m strike fund in June 2022 to support Starbucks workers through their strikes and several relief funds have been established for strikes and to support workers who have lost their jobs.

Starbucks employees have alleged over 75 workers have been fired in retaliation for union organizing this year, and hundreds of allegations of misconduct by Starbucks related to the union campaign are currently under review at the National Labor Relations Board, including claims of shutting down stores to bust unions, firing workers and intimidating and threatening workers from unionizing. Starbucks has denied all allegations.

The White House is trying to keep the good economic vibes going, a day after data showed inflation potentially beginning to decline across the United States.

The chair of the Council of Economic Advisers Cecilia Rouse has released a statement on “encouraging economic news”, pointing to the inflation numbers, the decline in gas prices and new data released today showing wholesale prices declining against expectations in July.

“We are continuing to see encouraging economic developments, including strong job growth and lower energy prices,” Rouse said. She called on Congress to pass the Biden administration’s marquee spending plan to address climate change and lower health care costs.

“While the news from this week is encouraging, we have more work to do to bring inflation down, without giving up the substantial economic and labor market gains of the past year. Congress should pass the Inflation Reduction Act as soon as possible, which will help our economy address some of its most important near-term and long-term challenges.”

Drew Findling is an attorney who has represented rap artists like Gucci Mane, Migos and Cardi B, and even has his own hashtag: #BillionDollarLawyer. He also has tweeted critically of Donald Trump, calling him in 2018 “the racist architect of fraudulent Trump University.”

None of that stopped the former president from hiring Findling to represent him in Georgia, The New York Times reports. A prosecutor in the state is investigating efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election there, and Findling will presumably be providing Trump with advice concerning that.

From the Times’ report:

The investigation into postelection meddling is being led by Fani T. Willis, the district attorney of Fulton County, which encompasses much of Atlanta. To date, at least 17 people have been designated as targets who could face criminal charges. Mr. Trump is not among them, but evidence and testimony are still being taken in by a special grand jury, and Ms. Willis has said she is weighing a number of potential criminal charges, including racketeering and conspiracy.

In a hearing on Tuesday, a state judge told lawyers for Mr. Trump’s personal attorney, Rudolph W. Giuliani, that their client needed to travel to Atlanta to testify next week. And in a hearing in federal court here Wednesday, lawyers for Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina faced a skeptical reception from a judge on their efforts to quash a subpoena from Ms. Willis’s office seeking the senator’s testimony.

Based on the way things are looking today, voters probably won’t elect enough Democrats for the party to hold on to the House of Representatives, meaning Republicans will gain control of the chamber – and its ability to carry out investigations.

The GOP will undoubtedly use that power to focus on issues of particular contention with the Biden administration, and Politico today has published a profile of the man who will play a key role in that charge. James Comer is the Kentucky Republican who is poised to chair the House Oversight Committee, and according to the article, plans to investigate the origins of Covid-19 and the business dealings of the president’s son, Hunter Biden.

In public, he’s used the usual Republican attack line against the Democratic administration, telling a crowd in Kentucky, “My committee will be the main obstacle between the Biden socialist agenda and the U.S. Constitution.” In private, he was more conciliatory, saying he wanted his investigations to appear credible (a tough but common ask of lawmakers).

“I’m not going to be chasing some of these right-wing blogs and some of their conspiracy theories,” Comer said in the article. “We’ll look into anything, but we’re not going to declare a probe or an investigation unless we have proof.”

Elect democrats, and you’ll like what you get: that’s the message Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer had today for voters who seem increasingly likely to hand at least the House of Representatives to the Republicans in the November midterms.

While Congress is poised to approve a marquee spending package to lower health care costs and fight climate change, Democrats promised voters much more when Joe Biden took office last year. But many of their priorities were left on the cutting room floor due to Republican opposition and the tortuous negotiations among their own party’s members, particularly senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema.

In an interview on SiriusXM’s “Joe Madison The Black Eagle”, Schumer said that if he had bigger numbers in the Senate, Democrats would pass voting rights and other legislation that they failed to over the past year-and-a-half:

If I got two or three more seats, the bill we did now, as good as it is, would be nothing. We would get childcare. We would get paid family leave. We would get help for the elderly, home care. We would get the kind of things that, you know, Joe Manchin was against. So we couldn’t do them in this bill.

Victoria Bekiempis

Victoria Bekiempis

A tip from an informant preceded the FBI’s search of Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate this week, according to The Wall Street Journal. Victoria Bekiempis reports:

Federal investigators searched Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home in Palm Beach after an informant told them he might be storing classified records at his private club, the Wall Street Journal has reported.

The search on Monday reportedly came two months after federal law enforcement officials came to Mar-a-Lago to talk about boxes of government documents that were being stored there.

Federal authorities searched Trump’s sprawling south Florida residence having obtained a warrant to seek classified and White House records that the US justice department thought Trump had kept unlawfully, two sources previously told the Guardian.

As a lightning storm that would kill three people right in front of the White House thundered outside, Joe Biden was holding a meeting last week with historians who delivered the president a warning: both in the United States and abroad, democracy is in jeopardy.

According to The Washington Post, the Biden administration has previously held several such sit-downs with outside experts on the challenges it faces, including Russia’s invasion plans for Ukraine. While the Post didn’t get too many details about the exchanges in this latest meeting, they report that if Biden runs again in 2024, he will play up the “battle for the soul of the nation” theme that he used successfully in his 2020 run.

The meeting wasn’t confined to the situation in the United States, but the Post reports that many of the participants pointed to governance calamities like the January 6 attack on the US Capitol and former president Donald Trump’s attempts to overturn the 2020 election as major warning signs for the country going forward:

One person familiar with the exchange said the conversation was mostly a way for Biden to hear and think about the larger context in which his tenure is unfolding. He did not make any major pronouncements or discuss his plans for the future.

“A lot of the conversation was about the larger context of the contest between democratic values and institutions and the trends toward autocracy globally,” the person said.

Most of the experts in attendance have been outspoken in recent months about the threat they see to the American democratic project, after the attack on the Capitol on Jan. 6, the continued denial by some Republicans of the 2020 election results and the efforts of election deniers to seek state office.

Maya Yang

Meanwhile, Republicans are having a surprising amount of trouble passing the abortion bans they have long promised voters if Roe v. Wade is overturned, Maya Yang reports:

In the leadup to the US supreme court overturning Roe v Wade and thus scrapping federal abortion protection, Republican lawmakers across the country maintained an uncompromising rallying cry against abortions, vowing to implement a sweeping wave of restrictions in their states.

However, since the highest court in the US overturned the ruling, many Republican leaders and officials have become more hesitant – or have even gone silent – over the exact type of bans they promised to enact.

As Republicans move towards an election season rife with internal disagreements within their own party and mixed public opinions on exceptions in abortion bans such as instances of rape and incest, many rightwing lawmakers are finding it increasingly difficult to implement cohesive abortion policies.

Lauren Gambino

Lauren Gambino

With control of Congress at stake, the White House said the president, vice president and cabinet officials are preparing to fan out across the country to sell voters on their healthcare, climate change and tax bill.

The bill, which passed the Senate over the weekend and is poised to pass the House on Friday, achieves only a fraction of Democrats’ long-sought policy ambitions, but nevertheless amounts to a significant and once-unimaginable legislative victory. Biden, who is on vacation in South Carolina, is expected to sign the bill into law with great fanfare after it arrives on his desk.

In a new memo, White House communications director Kate Bedingfield and senior advisor Anita Dunn previewed their pitch to voters, which includes touting their efforts on health care, gun control and climate while accusing Republicans of siding with special interests and pushing a nationwide ban on abortion.

“The president and congressional Democrats beat the special interests and delivered what was best for the American people,” the memo says. “Every step of the way, congressional Republicans sided with the special interests — pushing an extreme MAGA agenda that costs families.”

The Democrats’ economic policy bill caps an unusually productive stretch for Congress, which is better known for inaction than action. Amid a flurry of legislative victories, Biden is also breathing a sigh of relief as new economic indicators suggest inflation has cooled in July and painfully-high gas prices are easing.

Republicans are still poised to do well in the midterms, thanks to historic trends in which the president’s party tends to lose ground. And the GOP is already hammering Democrats over their plan, which they say amounts to reckless spending at a time when Americans face decades-high inflation – a top concern for voters.

But the picture has brightened somewhat for Democrats as they attempt to seize on this burst of momentum.

“This is the choice before the American people,” the memo states. “President Biden and congressional Democrats taking on special interests for you and your family or Congressional Republicans’ extreme, MAGA agenda that serves the wealthiest, corporations and themselves.”

Yesterday, Donald Trump sat for a deposition as part of the New York attorney general’s investigation into his business dealings, but as Edward Helmore and Hugo Lowell report, he didn’t have much to say:

Donald Trump declined to answer questions under oath on Wednesday in New York state’s civil investigation into his business dealings, pleading the fifth two days after the FBI raided his Florida home in a criminal case, seeking classified documents taken from the White House.

The former US president’s decision to exercise his fifth-amendment constitutional right against self-incrimination was delivered during a closed-door deposition in Manhattan, where the New York state attorney general, Letitia James, is examining the Trump family real estate empire.

“I declined to answer the questions under the rights and privileges afforded to every citizen under the United States constitution,” Trump said in a statement released after the questioning began.

What does the FBI want from the Pennsylvania lawmakers its agents visited and handed subpoenas to this week? That has not been publicly released yet, but their visit makes clear federal investigators’ probe into attempts to tamper with the 2020 election continues to sprawl.

In June, they raided the home of Jeffrey Clark, a former justice department official who was seen as friendly to Donald Trump’s false claims the 2020 election was rigged. Earlier this week, they seized the phone of Scott Perry, a Republican congressman from Pennsylvania who was another backer of the lie that the election was stolen.

According to the Patriot-News, Perry said he was informed that he wasn’t a target of whatever the FBI was investigating, and that he would cooperate. However both Clark and Perry’s names have come up in recent hearings of the January 6 committee, particularly Clark’s, after Trump mounted a failed effort to install him as the head of the justice department to allegedly disrupt the certification of the election results. Perry has meanwhile been pointed to as the person who connected Trump’s confidantes in the White House with Clark.

The takeaway from all this is that while the relationship between the January 6 committee’s investigation and the FBI’s is murky, it’s clear that they are interested in the same people.

FBI hands subpoenas to Pennsylvania Republicans while Trump keeps mum on Mar-a-Lago

Good morning, US politics blog readers. The Harrisburg, Pennsylvania Patriot-News is reporting that the FBI delivered subpoenas or visited the offices of several Republican state lawmakers over the past two days. While it’s unclear what the investigators wanted, the interaction came around the time agents seized the phone of a Republican congressman from the state whose name has come up repeatedly as being involved in efforts to stop Joe Biden from taking office following the 2020 election. Meanwhile, Donald Trump has yet to say much more about the FBI search of Mar-a-Lago earlier this week – besides complaining that it happened at all.

Here’s what else is going on today:

  • Gas prices have dipped under $4 a gallon on average, according to AAA, reversing the spike that happened in recent months and badly damaged Biden’s approval rating.

  • Many members of Congress are expected to attend the funeral for Jackie Walorski, who was killed in a car accident last week, along with two of her staffers.

  • Biden is on vacation in South Carolina, with nothing on his agenda, though he’s certainly keeping abreast of lawmakers’ moves to pass his top legislative priority, the Inflation Reduction Act, which the House of Representatives may do tomorrow.

Read More

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *