The Past 24 Hours or So

Read Time: 5 Mniutes

Trump Administration

  • New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal tweeted: “I can confirm: New Jersey will be suing @USPS. Voting by mail is safe, secure, and reliable. We intend to keep it that way. As AG, I’ve made it my mission to hold accountable those who try to corrupt our political process. Lawsuit coming soon.”
  • Pennsylvania and Washington state Attorneys General said they plan to launch separate lawsuits seeking to reverse alterations to postal delivery procedures, the removal of mail sorting machines and limits on overtime that Postmaster General Louis DeJoy has rolled out in recent weeks.
  • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said he doesn’t share President Trump’s “concern” surrounding the U.S. Postal Service and mail-in voting ahead of the November election and said the agency “is going to be just fine.”
  • Postmaster General Louis DeJoy said in a statement that he would halt operational changes and cost-cutting to the U.S. Postal Service until after the 2020 election to “avoid even the appearance of any impact on election mail.”
  • The Senate Intelligence Committee released its final investigative report on Russia, the 2016 election, the FBI and the Trump campaign.

Some notable highlights in the report:

  • “The Committee found evidence suggesting …it was the intent of the Campaign participants in the … meeting, particularly Donald Trump Jr., to receive derogatory information… from a source known, at least by Trump Jr., to have connections to the Russian government.”
  • “The Committee found that certain FBI procedures and actions in response to the Russian threat to the 2016 elections were flawed.”
  • Trump’s 2016 campaign chairman Paul Manafort worked closely with a Russian intelligence officer who may have been involved in the hack and release of Democratic emails during the election.
  • “The Committee found that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the Russian effort to hack computer networks and accounts affiliated with the Democratic Party and leak information damaging to Hillary Clinton and her campaign for president. “
  • “Staff on the Trump Campaign sought advance notice about WikiLeaks releases, created messaging strategies to promote and share the materials in anticipation of and following their release, and encouraged further leaks.”
  • “Russia is actively interfering again in the 2020 U.S. election to assist Donald Trump, and some of the President’s associates are amplifying those efforts. It is vitally important that the country be ready.”
  • The report ends “It is our conclusion, based on the Committee’s Report that the Russian intelligence services’ assault on the integrity of the 2016 U.S. electoral process and Trump and his associates’ participation in and enabling of this Russian activity, represents one of the single most grave counterintelligence threats to American national security in the modern era.” 
  • Former CIA operations officer, Evan McMullin, tweeted: “This Senate report on Russian interference in 2016 confirms that Trump’s campaign chairman did provide critical targeting data to the Kremlin through his associate Konstantin Kilimnik, a Russian intel officer. It’s the greatest betrayal of the country ever.”
  • Longtime Trump confidant Roger Stone unexpectedly dropped the appeal of his seven federal felony convictions for seeking to thwart a House investigation into ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Stone had his sentence commuted by the president last month.

  • The Department of Justice sued Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, accusing the drugmaker of causing the submission of false claims to Medicare by using kickbacks to boost sales of its multiple sclerosis drug Copaxone.
  • President Trump said that he rejected a proposal from the Pentagon to cut military health care by $2.2 billion during the pandemic. 
  • Fourteen states and Washington, D.C., are suing the Trump administration over a new rule that would allow for the transportation of liquefied natural gas by rail, citing environmental, health and safety risks.
  • A coalition of 30 trade groups including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has sent a blistering letter to Congress and the White House blasting President Trump’s executive order on payroll taxes, saying it was unworkable without congressional action and warning that it will leave employees with massive tax bills once the deferral is over.
  • The Trump administration has officially expanded hunting and fishing at nearly 150 national wildlife refuges and fish hatcheries, increasing hunters’ ability to kill big game, migratory birds and other animals – a move that worries environmentalists who say the weakened protections could harm ecosystems and jeopardize protected species by allowing hunters to go after more predators.

Protests/Racial and Social Issues

  • Thomas Lane, one of the police officers that is charged in connection with the killing of George Floyd, is calling for the charges against him to be dropped, claiming that Floyd died from an overdose of fentanyl, not from former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on his neck for nearly nine minutes.
  • A billboard demanding the arrest of the officers involved in the killing of Breonna Taylor at her home in Louisville, KY, was vandalized, the Louisville Courier Journal reported Tuesday. 

The billboard, featuring Taylor’s face with the words, “Demand that the police involved in killing Breonna Taylor be arrested and charged,” was vandalized with red paint.

  • NBA star LeBron James and members of the Los Angeles Lakers wore caps that built upon President Trump’s signature “Make America Great Again” logo to call for justice for Breonna Taylor. The hats struck the words “Great Again” and replaced them with the message: “Arrest the cops who killed Breonna Taylor.”
  • A federal judge in Texas ruled in favor of a Black student whose school district prohibited him from wearing his hair in dreadlocks, issuing a preliminary injunction against the district and allowing the 16-year-old to wear locks without fear of punishment.
  • Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) said that he’s in favor of capping property tax revenue from Texas cities that decide to cut funding from their police departments.
  • A federal judge temporarily blocked a Trump administration policy that would scrap ObamaCare’s nondiscrimination protections for sex and gender identity, one day before it was set to take effect.

The rule, issued during Pride Month, made clear that the government’s interpretation of sex discrimination would be based on “the plain meaning of the word ‘sex’ as male or female and as determined by biology.”

Presidential Campaign

  • Democrats officially nominated former Vice President Joe Biden to be their presidential nominee, setting up an election battle against President Trump in November.

Sources:  ABC News, Associated Press, The Atlantic, Axios, Bloomberg, CBS News, CNN, Chicago Tribune, Financial Times, Fox News,The Hill, Independent, NBC News, NJ.com, NPR, NY Times, Politico, Reuters, Salon, Slate, Vanity Fair, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post

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