3/20/23 - Newsletter
The Indictment Saga
House Republicans are at their annual policy retreat this week in Orlando, Florida. In what is supposed to be a week focusing on legislative issues and the debt ceiling, reporters have inundated House Speaker Kevin McCarthy with questions about former President Donald Trump's Truth Social post over the weekend saying he "will be arrested on Tuesday of next week" over the $130,000 hush payment to porn star Stormy Daniels to avoid imperiling his 2016 campaign. Read how it all started back in 2006 here.
Donald Trump also called for his supporters to "protest" and to "take our nation back." The language is eerie and familiar to his words that led to the January 6 Capitol attack in 2021.
Republicans know that the former president calling for his most fringed supporters could lead to violence again. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), a staunch MAGA supporter who also seeks a VP spot, urged people not to protest if Donald Trump is indicted.
Speaker McCarthy didn't waste time in instructing House committees to investigate Manhattan's DA office:
Then on Sunday, at a presser in Orlando, McCarthy said he doesn't think people should protest if Trump is criminally charged:
To no one's surprise, Jim Jordan, the chairman of the Weaponization of the Federal Government Subcommittee, is weaponizing the committee established by Republicans in January, demanding testimony and communications from Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg. Also, Congress has NO jurisdiction to investigate Manhattan's DA.
According to people involved in planning a possible indictment and deliberations, law enforcement officials are meeting today, and charges against Trump could be announced later today or Wednesday. If Donald does not surrender, a warrant will be issued for his arrest. Yes, he will be fingerprinted and processed like any other private citizen. The New York Young Republicans Club, the group that supports white nationalists, will hold a rally in support of the former president near the Manhattan courthouse tonight.
POLITICO: “Trump indictment could land as early as Monday, sending law enforcement scrambling”
After Governor Ron DeSantis's silence over the weekend, Trump's fiercest allies began questioning the Florida governor's loyalty on social media. He finally broke his silence today by making a dig at Trump about the hush money payments:
Trump quickly fired back on his platform Truth Social:
NEW: Fulton County prosecutors are considering charging Donald Trump with RICO and conspiracy for trying to overturn Georgia's 2020 election results. Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis will make the final charging decisions. A source told CNN that it could happen this spring.
In other news, an American captured by militants in West Africa and held hostage for more than six years has been freed, U.S. officials say.
In January, Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), ranking member of the House Appropriations Committee, asked government agencies for estimates on how the lives of Americans would be impacted if the House Republican majority cuts $130 billion in federal spending to reach FY 2022 levels. Twenty agencies responded, and you can find the letters here.
Meals on Wheels, a program that delivers food to people who cannot buy and prepare meals, will end for one million seniors.
The State Opioid Response grant program would be slashed by 22%. As a result, "29,000 people would lose admission to opioid use disorder treatment, denying them a potentially lifesaving path to recovery."
400,000 people will lose meals under the Nutrition Services program.
$840 million for ESEA Title I Grants to LEA (local educational agencies), "a cut equivalent to removing more than 13,000 teachers and service providers from classrooms serving low-income children."
Cutting funding for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children would prevent 250,000 monthly participants from receiving their benefits. That number would gradually increase.
Over 11,000 FBI employees would lose their jobs.
400,000+ families in Section 8 housing could face eviction.
Republican Senators Joni Ernst (IA) and John Kennedy (LA) introduced the Modification to Department of Defense Travel Authorities for Abortion-Related Expenses Act of 2023 to block the Department of Defense from paying service members' abortion services. The duo, along with the support of 30 GOP senators, want to overturn the new policy ensuring access to reproductive healthcare.
Following his October 2022 memo, Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin last month reassured that the policy changes would provide "service members the time and flexibility to make private health care decisions in a manner that is consistent with the responsibility of commanders to meet operational requirements and protect the health and safety of those in their care."