Greetings, OnPolitics readers!
There’s lots to share on the Jan. 6 panel today:
A federal judge said the «illegality» of former President Donald Trump’s alleged efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election was «obvious.»
U.S. District Judge David Carter ruled Monday that Trump likely “corruptly attempted to obstruct” Congress from certifying the 2020 election.
In approving the transfer of emails belonging to John Eastman — an attorney for Trump — to the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection, Carter wrote that “Based on the evidence, the Court finds it more likely than not that President Trump corruptly attempted to obstruct the Joint Session of Congress on January 6, 2021.”
Charles Burnham, one of Eastman’s lawyers, issued a statement Monday saying Eastman intends to comply with the decision.
Eastman wrote a six-page memo for Trump explaining a potential strategy for overturning the election. He allegedly met with former Vice President Mike Pence’s staff on Jan. 5, 2021 to ask him to «reject the electors” by refusing to recognize Electoral College votes from states with contested results. The act would have thrown the race to Congress, where Trump might have won.
Members of the Jan. 6 panel have suggested that criminal charges might be warranted, though the Justice Department would determine whether to charge Trump.
Trump’s missing phone logs from Jan. 6
Records turned over to the Jan. 6 panel show a gap of seven hours and 37 minutes from Trump’s phone logs, including a period when the Capitol was under attack.
The committee has no record of Trump’s calls during the attack since there is no official White House notation of calls placed by or to Trump from 11:17 a.m. to 6:54 p.m. that day, according to reports.
The panel will reportedly investigate whether Trump used burner phones, the phones of aides or other backchannels to conduct documented conversations with key individuals during the time period.
Liz Harrington, spokesperson for Trump, told USA TODAY that he «had nothing to do with the records, and assumed any and all of his phone calls were recorded and preserved,» and that Trump has said he has «no idea what a burner phone is.»
Ex-Trump aides held in contempt: The Jan. 6 committee urged the full House of Representatives to hold former trade adviser Peter Navarro and former deputy chief of staff Dan Scavino in contempt for defying subpoenas.
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Real quick: stories you’ll want to read
Ukrainian Jews confused by Putin’s Nazi comments In a speech announcing the attack on Ukraine, Putin said he wanted to “de-Nazify” the country, a statement that many found baffling and bizarre. Putin’s war has uprooted thousands of Ukrainian Jews, including approximately 5,000 refugees who flooded into neighboring Moldova.
Ginni Thomas’ controversial support: Supreme Court Associate Justice Clarence Thomas is facing a torrent of criticism amid revelations that his wife – longtime conservative activist Ginni Thomas – was in regular communication with at least one top official close to President Donald Trump as the White House tried to convince the public, falsely, that Trump won the 2020 election.
Tennessee turns down Trump-backed candidate: A bill to place residency requirements on Tennessee congressional candidates cleared its final hurdle in the General Assembly on Monday, which implicitly targeted the candidacy of Morgan Ortagus, a former State Department staffer under Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
Census may have cost Arizona a congressional seat: New Census Bureau estimates suggest large-scale undercounting of minorities worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic may have cost Arizona an extra congressional seat and hundreds of millions of federal dollars that will go elsewhere over a decade.
Will Biden ever forgive student loan debt? The lack of action to offer widespread forgiveness to student loan borrowers could harm Democrats in the upcoming midterm elections, some organizers warn.
Here’s what’s in Pres. Biden’s budget plan
President Joe Biden proposed increasing taxes on America’s wealthiest households Monday in a budget blueprint that looks to cut the deficit while boosting military spending, funding for cops and a range of domestic priorities, including mental health and housing.
Biden requested a $5.8 trillion budget from Congress for the 2023 fiscal year, which begins in October, that includes $1.6 billion on discretionary programs, a 7% increase over the current year. The linchpin is a «minimum tax on billionaires» that targets roughly the country’s highest 700 earners.
Why does Biden have a budget? Although Congress decides federal government spending, the president’s budget reflects his priorities as Democrats face an uphill fight to retain control of the House and Senate during November’s midterm elections. Biden’s reinvigorated domestic agenda comes as much of his focus has been overseas on the crisis in Ukraine and after his Build Back Better domestic program stalled in Congress over the winter.
Refunding the police: Biden’s budget includes $30 billion in mandatory funding for law enforcement, including police departments, as well as $3.2 billion for local and state grants to support police.
Deficit reduction: The White House projects Biden’s budget would decrease the deficit by $1 trillion over the next 10 years; however, that’s contingent on passage of the plan to increase taxes on billionaires.
The FDA just approved a second COVID-19 booster shot for Americans over the age of 50 years old. Find out more about the announcement here. — Amy and Chelsey
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Gap in Trump’s phone records during the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection