Judge to weigh whether unsealing affidavit for Mar-a-Lago raid will jeopardize Trump investigation … FOX NEWS
A federal magistrate in Florida is set to hold a hearing Thursday on whether to make public the probable cause affidavit used to justify the FBI’s raid of former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate.
The hearing is in response to several media outlets asking the court to make the affidavit public to understand the reasoning for a raid on the home of a former commander-in-chief.
Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart, who green-lit the original search warrant Aug. 5, is slated to preside over the hearing, although it is unclear whether he will make a decision from the bench or take the case under advisement.
Secret Service withheld Pelosi threat from Capitol Police until Jan. 6 riot was underway: watchdog … THE HILL
The Secret Service did not inform Capitol Police about a threat made against Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) related to the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot until after the attack was underway, according to a watchdog group.
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) published a report on Wednesday that included a copy of email communications the group said it had obtained between officials around the time of the Capitol riot.
Grassley says new whistleblower info reveals ‘deeply rooted political infection’ within the FBI … FOX NEWS
Senate Judiciary ranking member Chuck Grassley says whistleblower allegations reveal a “deeply rooted political infection” within the FBI.
In an Aug. 17 letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray, the Iowa Republican demanded an accounting for alleged political bias influencing high-level investigations, particularly out of the FBI’s Washington, D.C. office.
“Starting on May 31, 2022, I’ve written three letters to you regarding political bias that has infected the FBI’s Washington Field Office,” Grassley writes. “Two of those letters provided specific and credible allegations based on numerous whistleblowers that have approached my office with information that one can only conclude is indicative of a deeply rooted political infection that has spread to investigative activity into former President Trump and Hunter Biden.”
U.S., Taiwan agree on negotiating mandate for trade talks … POLITICO
The United States and Taiwan have agreed on terms for negotiating a series of bilateral trade agreements over the strong objections of Beijing, which views the self-governing island as part of its territory.
“We plan to pursue an ambitious schedule for achieving high-standard commitments and meaningful outcomes covering the eleven trade areas in the negotiating mandate that will help build a fairer, more prosperous and resilient 21st century economy,” Deputy United States Trade Representative Sarah Bianchi said in a statement.
U.S. judge reinstates North Carolina ban on late-term abortions … REUTERS
A federal judge on Wednesday reinstated a decades-old North Carolina ban on abortions performed after 20 weeks of gestation, citing the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision allowing states to freely regulate procedures to terminate pregnancy.
One year ago, Biden promised to ‘stay’ in Afghanistan until ‘all’ Americans got out. He didn’t keep his word … FOX NEWS
Hundreds of Americans have been evacuated from Afghanistan and thousands of Afghan allies remain since President Biden broke his promise – which he made one year ago, today – to keep military boots on the ground until we “get them all out.”
On Aug. 18, 2021, three days after the Taliban seized the capital of Kabul and forced the U.S. Embassy there to evacuate, Biden told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos that intelligence did not indicate that a Taliban takeover was likely, despite numerous reports to the contrary. The president also said the U.S. military would “stay” in Afghanistan until all Americans and Afghan allies were evacuated.
Russia engaging in ‘quiet’ diplomacy with U.S. on Griner prisoner swap, official says … REUTERS
Russia’s foreign ministry said on Thursday it was engaged in “quiet diplomacy” with the United States regarding a potential prisoner swap that would include basketball star Brittney Griner.
Griner, a two-time Olympic gold medallist and Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) star, was sentenced to nine years in prison in Russia on drug charges on Aug. 4 in a ruling U.S. President Joe Biden called “unacceptable”.
White House: Updated boosters for adults, teens expected in a few weeks … THE HILL
White House coronavirus response coordinator Ashish Jha said Wednesday evening that updated COVID-19 vaccines are expected to be available in “a few short weeks” for everyone over the age of 12.
“The vaccines that are coming in a few short weeks are specifically designed for the virus that’s out there, and I believe it’s going to be available and every American over the age of 12 will be eligible,” Jha said on “NBC Nightly News.”
Trump claims protesting Georgia election puts ‘you in jail’ while murderers are ‘quickly’ set free … FOX NEWS
Former President Trump took to social media after midnight on Thursday morning, where he criticized the state of Georgia for continuing an investigation into those who challenged the outcome of their 2020 presidential elections results.
In a post on Truth Social, Trump claimed the state prosecutes those who insist voter fraud took place in the election more harshly than those who commit murders in the state.
“So, let me get this straight! In the Great State of Georgia, if you want to challenge or protest Election results in any way, shape, or form (despite the fact that in Atlanta, murders and crime are the highest in the Nation, with many people dying each month – at numbers never seen before), they will charge you and put you in jail,” he wrote.
Former CIA Director Says Republicans Are Most ‘Nihilistic’ And ‘Dangerous’
Former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director Gen. Michael Hayden, claimed in a tweet Wednesday that Republicans hold the most “dangerous” and “nihilistic” views.
Financial Times editor Edward Luce first tweeted Aug. 12 that “nothing” came close to the alleged extreme ideology of modern Republicans.
Trump CFO’s plea deal could make him a prosecution witness … AP
The chief financial officer of Donald Trump’s company, Allen Weisselberg, is expected to plead guilty to tax violations Thursday in a deal that would require him to testify about illicit business practices at the Trump Organization, two people familiar with the matter told The Associated Press.
Weisselberg is charged with accepting more than $1.7 million in off-the-books compensation from the former president’s company over several years, including untaxed perks like rent, car payments and school tuition.
The plea deal would require Weisselberg to speak in court Thursday about the company’s role in the alleged compensation arrangement and possibly serve as a witness when the Trump Organization goes on trial in October on related criminal charges, the people said.
U.S. Home-Sales Report for July Comes as Housing Market Cools … WSJ
The National Association of Realtors’ July report on existing-home sales will cap a week of figures that so far have pointed to a slowdown in the housing market.
NAR will release July home-sales data at 10 a.m. ET Thursday.
Cook Report shifts Pennsylvania Senate race to lean Democrat … THE HILL
The nonpartisan Cook Political Report is changing its rating of Pennsylvania’s Senate race from a “toss up” to “lean Democrat” fewer than three months before the November midterms.
The development comes against the backdrop of the social media campaign that Democratic candidate John Fetterman’s (D) campaign has waged against opponent Mehmet Oz (R), which has sought to portray the celebrity as a carpetbagger from New Jersey who is out of touch with voters.
Dems worried that controversial ex-Rep Grayson could emerge from ‘chaotic’ Florida primary race … FOX NEWS
The Democratic primary race to fill the House seat currently held by Florida Rep. Val Demings is a crowded one, and several people in the party’s leadership are concerned that this will benefit a former congressman who they would rather not work with again.
Among the ten candidates in the primary race in Florida’s 10th District, which includes Orlando, is Alan Grayson, who represented the 8th District from 2009 to 2011, and the 9th District from 2013 to 2017. Grayson drew controversy during a bid for the Senate in 2016 when he referred to a female lobbyist as a “K Street whore,” cursed at reporters and threatened to report a Politico reporter to Capitol Police.
U.S. Officials Approved 94% Of Tech Exports To China In 2020
The U.S. approves nearly all semiconductors, aerospace components, artificial-intelligence technology and other technology items exported to China, according to Commerce Department data analyzed by the Wall Street Journal.
The U.S. approved 94%, amounting to 2,652, of technology exports to China in 2020, according to the data. In 2021, 88% of tech exports were approved. Of the $125 billion worth of exports the US sends to China, officials require a license for only half a percent.
‘Me, Me, Me, I’m Lincoln’: Tucker Carlson Mocks Liz Cheney After Political Decline
Fox News host and Daily Caller co-founder Tucker Carlson mocked the political downfall of Republican Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney.
Carlson mocked Cheney’s repeated oath to defend “democracy” in the aftermath of the January 6 riot. He then said her defeat by her Trump-endorsed opponent, Harriet Hageman, is a result of democracy.
“Turns out democracy is like that boyfriend you’ve got in another city, you kind of talk him up a lot, but you don’t really want him to show up, other people to meet him,” Carlson said. “What happened to Liz Cheney last night? Democracy showed up in Wyoming. And Liz Cheney suffered the single biggest defeat in a primary by an incumbent this century. It turns out democracy is a cruel master, better be careful, it can whip around and bite you in the butt.”