Aftermath of the Trump Administration, June 2023


My daily chronicle of news about the Trump administration (20 January 2017 – 20 January 2021), Republicans, Democrats, corporations, courts, resistance, and persistence continues. I am still posting important articles, especially ones that reflect the differences between the Biden administration and the Trump administration and ones that address the toxic legacy of the Trump administration and Republicans. However, I hope to devote more of my time to posting muckraking articles on my site in the coming months. Thanks for reading!


For independent global news, visit Democracy Now!

For a newsletter about the history behind today’s politics, subscribe to Heather Cox Richardson’s newsletter, Letters from an American.


Thursday, 1 June 2023:


Russian Invasion of Ukraine: Biden hails unity of ‘energized’ NATO; 3 killed in Russian strike on Kyiv, The Washington Post, Samantha Schmidt, Niha Masih, Annabelle Timsit, and Miriam Berger, Thursday, 1 June 2023:  “A series of attacks rocked a Russian town four miles from the Ukrainian border throughout the day Thursday. The governor of Russia’s Belgorod region accused Kyiv of the attacks on Shebinko, where local residents and officials described intense rocket fire and shelling and where a plume of smoke rose above an apartment building. Kyiv has denied involvement in the drone strikes and incursions on Russian soil in recent days. Later in the day, the governor of Russia’s Kursk region said in a Telegram message that air defense systems had shot down several drones that he said had come from Ukraine. The developments in Russia unfolded after an early-morning airstrike on Ukraine’s capital killed three people, including a child, officials said. Preliminary information suggests that Russia used cruise and ballistic missiles in the attack, authorities said, and there was little time for citizens to seek shelter after an air raid alarm sounded. At least one of the victims died after finding the nearest bomb shelter locked.

  • The Pentagon disclosed Thursday that it signed a contract to provide SpaceX’s Starlink satellite internet service in Ukraine, nearly eight months after Elon Musk, the company’s mercurial owner, threatened to terminate access unless the U.S. government paid for it. The Defense Department withheld virtually all details about the agreement, including how much it will cost U.S. taxpayers and when the contract was signed.
  • President Biden said ‘NATO is more energized and more united than it’s been in decades.’ In commencement remarks at the Air Force Academy, Biden said: ‘It’s now even stronger with the accession of our newest ally, Finland, and soon Sweden, to the alliance as soon as possible. It will happen. I promise you.’ Sweden’s request to join has been held up by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who won reelection in a runoff on Sunday.
  • Kyiv residents were jolted awake shortly before 3 a.m. when air raid alarms went off, and the first explosion was heard within minutes. Although Ukraine’s air defense systems destroyed the targets, falling debris caused casualties and damage, Serhii Popko, the head of Kyiv’s military administration, said on Telegram. In Desnyansky district, a children’s hospital was damaged by falling debris. Authorities said an investigation was launched after a woman was killed when she and other local residents found their nearest shelter inexplicably closed. ‘It was chaos. My daughter was screaming. Everyone was screaming,’ her husband said in an interview.
  • The airstrikes came as Ukraine was ushering in Children’s Day, normally a joyful celebration in many former Soviet countries. But the death of a 9-year-old girl in the overnight attack, which injured one other child, caused ‘pain for all of us,’ Ukrainian first lady Olena Zelenska wrote on Twitter. Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said all Children’s Day events planned in the city had been canceled. At least 483 children have been killed and 989 wounded since the war began, Ukraine’s general prosecutor said Thursday, citing confirmed casualty figures. The true toll is expected to be much higher, authorities say.
  • The town of Shebekino in Russia’s Belgorod region was shelled multiple times in the early-morning hours, regional governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said on Telegram. Eight people were injured, he later said, and a residential building was hit and caught fire. On Wednesday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov described the wider situation in the region as ‘quite alarming.’ Russia’s Defense Ministry said Thursday in a Telegram post that over 50 attackers in Belgorod had been killed, and multiple combatants’ vehicles destroyed.
  • The United States ‘fully anticipate[s]’ that Sweden’s accession to NATO will be complete by next month, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Thursday in Oslo. Turkey and Hungary have so far held up Sweden’s accession, even as they allowed applicant Finland to join the defense alliance. After meeting with NATO foreign ministers, Blinken said Ukraine can expect ‘a strong package of support’ to be unveiled at the alliance’s summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, in July.
  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called for security guarantees for Ukraine while in Moldova for a summit of 47 heads of state and government. ‘I think security guarantees are … also important for Moldova, because Russia is carrying out aggression in Ukraine and there is a potential threat of aggression in other parts of Europe,’ Zelensky said, according to a readout from his office. Moldova, a tiny republic bordering Ukraine, has accused Russia of plotting to overthrow its government, and Russia occupies the Moldovan breakaway region of Transnistria.
  • Foreign ministers representing BRICS countries — including Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov — at a meeting Thursday in South Africa called for a peaceful resolution to the conflict in Ukraine. The meeting comes ahead of a summit in August, when Russian President Vladimir Putin could make a rare wartime trip outside Russia. This has prompted questions about whether South Africa would extend immunity to the Russian president, who is the subject of an arrest warrant from the International Criminal Court for his alleged role in war crimes in Ukraine. South Africa’s Foreign Ministry said Tuesday that it was ‘standard’ practice to confer immunity ‘for all international conferences and summits’ held in the country — though it added that such immunity would not ‘override any warrant that may have been issued by any international tribunal’ against a conference participant. Putin has not yet said whether he will attend the summit.
  • The U.S. State Department announced countermeasures to Russia’s ‘violations’ of the New START Treaty. Putin announced that Russia would be suspending its participation in the treaty in February, saying that Western inspections of Russia’s nuclear arsenal ran counter to its strategic interests. On Thursday, the State Department outlined its response: the U.S. will withhold data and inspection access from Russia. ‘The United States continues to abide by the treaty’s central limits, and to fulfill all of its New START obligations that have not been included within these countermeasures,’ reads the State Department announcement.

Russian Invasion of Ukraine: Russian Missile Strike Kills 3 Seeking Shelter in Kyiv. Two women and a child were killed by debris as they tried to get into a clinic door that was locked. Air defenses intercepted the missiles just six minutes after alarms sounded, leaving people little time to react. The New York Times, Thursday, 1 June 2023:

  • The overnight attack left very little time for residents to take shelter.

  • Even on an especially tense day in Kyiv, a children’s hospital pauses to try to create some fun.

  • The U.S. follows Russia’s move on a nuclear treaty and ends the notification of many exercises.

  • Kyiv opens investigations into bomb shelters amid concerns that many are kept locked.

  • Macron says the Moldova meeting shows unity in support for Ukraine but that joining NATO has to wait.

  • At least 20,000 Russian troops died fighting to take Bakhmut, a Western official says.

  • Kyiv cancels some Children’s Day events as Ukraine loses another young life.

Senate Passes Debt Limit Bill, Staving Off a Calamitous Default. The final vote on Thursday night came after leaders put down a revolt by some senators who raised concerns that the debt-limit package would under-fund the Pentagon. The New York Times, Carl Hulse, Thursday, 1 June 2023: “After weeks of political impasse, tense negotiations and mounting economic anxiety, the Senate gave final approval on Thursday night to bipartisan legislation suspending the debt limit and imposing new spending caps, sending it to President Biden and ending the possibility of a calamitous government default. The approval by the Senate on a 63-to-36 vote brought to a close a political showdown that began brewing as soon as Republicans narrowly won the House in November, promising to use their new majority and the threat of a default to try to extract spending and policy concessions from Mr. Biden. The president refused for months to engage with Speaker Kevin McCarthy but finally did so after the California Republican managed in April to pass a G.O.P. fiscal plan, spurring negotiations with the White House that produced the compromise last weekend.” See also, Senate passes debt ceiling bill, sending it to Biden to sign into law, The Washington Post, Rachel Siegel, Marianne LeVine, John Wagner, and Leigh Ann Caldwell, Thursday, 1 June 2023: “The Senate passed a bipartisan bill late Thursday to suspend the debt ceiling and curb federal spending, sending the legislation to President Biden to sign into law in time to avert an unprecedented U.S. government default. The deal cleared the House on Wednesday night and is now on track to take effect by Monday, when the government would no longer be able to pay all of its bills without borrowing more money. Senators scrambled to vote before the weekend, even as a handful of frustrated lawmakers pushed for votes on amendments that risked slowing the process. None of the amendments was adopted. But in an effort to alleviate concerns from defense hawks that the debt ceiling bill would restrict Pentagon spending too much, Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) issued a joint statement saying the ‘debt ceiling deal does nothing to limit the Senate’s ability to appropriate emergency supplemental funds to ensure our military capabilities are sufficient to deter China, Russia, and our other adversaries.'”

Continue reading Aftermath of the Trump Administration, June 2023:

[Read more…]

Aftermath of the Trump Administration, May 2023


My daily chronicle of news about the Trump administration (20 January 2017 – 20 January 2021), Republicans, Democrats, corporations, courts, resistance, and persistence continues. I am still posting important articles, especially ones that reflect the differences between the Biden administration and the Trump administration and ones that address the toxic legacy of the Trump administration and Republicans. However, I hope to devote more of my time to posting muckraking articles on my site in the coming months. Thanks for reading!


For independent global news, visit Democracy Now!

For a newsletter about the history behind today’s politics, subscribe to Heather Cox Richardson’s newsletter, Letters from an American.


Monday, 1 May 2023:


Russian Invasion of Ukraine: U.S. says Russia has suffered 100,000 casualties since December, The Washington Post, Rachel Pannett, Annabelle Timsit, and Adam Taylor, Monday, 1 May 2023: “The United States estimates Russia has suffered 100,000 casualties since December, including more than 20,000 killed in action, the National Security Council said Monday. Roughly half of those killed, NSC spokesman John Kirby said, were working with the Wagner mercenary group, often ex-convicts who had been recruited from prison. The figures were first shared by Kirby on a call with reporters Monday; NSC deputy spokesman Sean Savett said later that the casualty count referred to Russia’s losses across Ukraine since December. The numbers are based on ‘some information and intelligence that we were able to corroborate over a period of some time,’ Kirby said. He declined to discuss Ukrainian casualties. ‘That’s up to them to speak to,’ he said. Russia targeted Kyiv and other Ukrainian cities with a ‘massive’ wave of missiles overnight, Ukrainian officials said. The assault on the capital lasted several hours early Monday, but no casualties were reported, as local authorities said air defenses worked to intercept most of the missiles. Russia’s Defense Ministry claimed that it carried out strikes against facilities that produce ammunition and weapons for Ukrainian troops. Ukraine said residential areas were hit. The attack followed a weekend drone strike by Ukrainian forces on an oil depot in Russian-occupied Crimea, as Ukraine prepares for an anticipated counteroffensive.

  • Russian strategic bombers launched 18 Kh-101 and Kh-555 cruise missiles against Ukraine’s territory in an attack that began around 2:30 a.m. Monday, according to the commander of Ukraine’s armed forces, Gen. Valery Zaluzhny. Zaluzhny said the attacks were launched from the Caspian Sea and from the Murmansk region in northwestern Russia. He said that 15 of the missiles were destroyed.
  • Russia’s Defense Ministry confirmed the strikes, saying in a statement Monday that its armed forces ‘carried out a group missile strike with long-range airborne and sea-based high-precision weapons against the facilities of the Ukrainian military-industrial complex.’
  • The U.S. ambassador to Ukraine criticized the overnight attack. Bridget A. Brink tweeted, ‘Russia again launched missiles in the deep of night at Ukrainian cities where civilians, including children, should be able to sleep safely and peacefully.’
  • An explosion Monday morning caused a freight train to derail in Bryansk in western Russia, the regional governor said. Alexander Bogomaz said that an ‘unidentified explosive device’ went off around the train tracks near Russia’s border with Ukraine and Belarus. He did not specify who might be responsible. State-owned operator Russian Railways said that ‘unauthorized persons’ illegally interfered with the railway’s operations. The Washington Post couldn’t independently verify the claims.
  • A power line was blown up in Russia’s Leningrad region early Monday near the border with Estonia and Finland, regional governor Aleksandr Drozdenko said. According to Drozdenko, the power line in the Gatchinskiy district blew up shortly after midnight, and an unidentified object, ‘presumably an explosive device,’ was found on a second power line. He said emergency crews and government investigators were at the scene.
  • At least 34 people, including five children, were injured in overnight missile strikes against Pavlohrad in Ukraine’s Dnipropetrovsk region, regional governor Serhii Lysak said. The strikes caused ‘significant damage’ to the energy network infrastructure in Dnipropetrovsk and the Kherson region, leaving thousands of households without power, Ukraine’s energy minister said.
  • Ukrainian officials said the attack on an oil depot in Sevastopol was part of the buildup to Kyiv’s counteroffensive. Natalia Humeniuk, a spokeswoman for Ukraine’s southern command, told local television that undermining Russia’s logistics helps prepare for the ‘broad full-scale offensive that everyone expects.’ Saturday’s strike in Sevastopol, which is home to the Russian navy’s Black Sea Fleet, destroyed more than 10 tanks holding some 40,000 tons of oil products intended for the fleet, according to Ukrainian officials.
  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky had a ‘meaningful conversation’ with French President Emmanuel Macron on Sunday, Zelensky’s office said. The leaders discussed French military aid to Ukraine and the upcoming NATO summit in Lithuania, according to a Ukrainian readout of the call. Zelensky has expressed hope that NATO members will agree at the summit to formally invite Ukraine to become a member of the alliance. But leaders of the alliance have avoided giving Kyiv any guarantees on its membership prospects.
  • Pope Francis said the Vatican is involved in a secret peace mission. ‘I think peace is always made by opening up channels; it can never be accomplished by closing [doors]. I’m always urging [everyone] to have new rapports, friendly connections,’ the pope told reporters on a weekend flight back from a three-day trip to Hungary, according to Italian news agency ANSA.
  • President Biden said he is ‘working like hell’ to bring home Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich. At the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner Saturday night, Biden promised Gershkovich’s family, present in the audience, to work to secure the journalist’s release from prison in Moscow, where the State Department says he is being wrongfully detained on espionage charges. ‘Evan went to report in Russia to shed light on the darkness that you all escaped from years ago. Absolute courage,’ Biden said. ‘We all stand with you.’

Russian Invasion of Ukraine: White House Sets Russian Troop Losses at 100,000 Over Last 5 Months. Of the Russia soldiers no longer on the battlefield, 20,000 were killed, according to John Kirby, a White House spokesman. Half of them were Wagner mercenaries. The New York Times, Monday, 1 May 2023:

  • The U.S. estimates more than 100,000 Russian casualties in recent months.

  • Both sides report attacks before an expected Ukrainian counteroffensive.

  • McCarthy, the House’s top Republican, publicly pledges continued support for Ukraine.

  • An explosion derails a freight train in a Russian border area, according to a local governor.

  • In the midst of war, a half-marathon brightens Kyiv.

  • Battlefield Update: Russia and Ukraine each claim gains in Bakhmut.

  • Ukraine’s human rights chief tells civilians in occupied areas to get Russian passports ‘to survive.’

Russian Invasion of Ukraine: May Day is another war day as Russia strikes Ukrainian cities, NPR, NPR Staff, Monday, 1 May 2023: Here’s a look ahead and a roundup of key developments from the past week. What to watch: As much of the world marks the May 1 Workers’ Day holiday, Ukraine tried to fend off a new barrage of Russian strikes in the 14-month-long war. The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization launches its Global Report on Food Crises on Wednesday. Last year it predicted the war in Ukraine would exacerbate already severe food insecurity in different countries. Moscow is preparing for a military parade dress rehearsal for Russia’s Victory Day celebration of defeating Nazi forces in 1945. What happened last week: Chinese leader Xi Jinping called Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, in their first known contact since the Russian invasion last year. Zelenskyy appointed an ambassador to China. And China said it would send a special envoy to work toward a political settlement to the conflict. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov went to New York to chair debates at the U.N. Security Council, over which Russia holds the rotating presidency. In attendance was Elizabeth Whelan, the sister of Paul Whelan, an American imprisoned in Russia. Russian missiles struck an apartment building in Uman, central Ukraine, killing more than 20 people, including children. Ukraine likely conducted drone attacks in Sevastopol, Crimea, including on Russia’s Black Sea Fleet on April 24 and an oil storage facility on April 29, conflict analysts said. A Ukrainian journalist was killed and Italian reporter injured in an apparent Russian sniper attack, their employer La Repubblica newspaper said. The European Union provided $1.65 billion to Ukraine as part of an annual financial assistance package, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said. President Biden and others at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner called for Russia to release Evan Gershkovich, the U.S. citizen and Wall Street Journal reporter jailed in Russia.

Continue reading Aftermath of the Trump Administration, May 2023:

[Read more…]

Aftermath of the Trump Administration, April 2023


My daily chronicle of news about the Trump administration (20 January 2017 – 20 January 2021), Republicans, Democrats, corporations, courts, resistance, and persistence continues. I am still posting important articles, especially ones that reflect the differences between the Biden administration and the Trump administration and ones that address the toxic legacy of the Trump administration and Republicans. However, I hope to devote more of my time to posting muckraking articles on my site in the coming months. Thanks for reading!


For independent global news, visit Democracy Now!

For a newsletter about the history behind today’s politics, subscribe to Heather Cox Richardson’s newsletter, Letters from an American.


Saturday, 1 April 2023:


Russian Invasion of Ukraine: Russia takes U.N. Security Council presidency for the month of April; calls mount for release of Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich, The Washington Post, Kelsey Ables and Adela Suliman, Saturday, 1 April 2023: “Russia took up the presidency of the U.N. Security Council on Saturday, a rotating role that it will hold for one month. Moscow last held the position in February 2022 — the month it invaded Ukraine.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said this week that ‘a country that flagrantly violates the U.N. Charter and invades its neighbor has no place on the U.N. Security Council,’ but added that there is ‘no feasible international legal pathway’ to change Moscow’s status in the organization. Ukrainian Foreign Affairs Minister Dmytro Kuleba called Russia’s presidency ‘a stark reminder that something is wrong with the way international security architecture is functioning,’ while Andriy Yermak, the Ukrainian president’s chief of staff, said it was a ‘symbolic blow.’ Pressure is mounting on Moscow to release Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich, a U.S. citizen who was detained in Russia this week on espionage charges. The Journal denied the charges and said the ‘minimum’ it expects of the Biden administration is to expel Russia’s ambassador and Russian journalists working in the United States. Biden called on Russia to ‘let him go,’ but told reporters expelling diplomats is ‘not the plan right now.’

  • The Wall Street Journal accused Russia of taking Gershkovich hostage on ‘phony espionage charges.’ He is the first U.S. journalist arrested in Russia on spying allegations since the Cold War and his detainment has drawn condemnation from governments and organizations around the world including The Washington Post. Reporters Without Borders called for Gershkovich’s release and said there was no indication he was ‘doing anything other than legitimate investigative reporting.’
  • Ukrainian officials lambasted Russia’s U.N. Security Council presidency. Sergiy Kyslytsya, Ukraine’s permanent representative at the United Nations, likened the decision to an April Fool’s Day joke. Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak said ‘an entity that wages an aggressive war, violates the norms of humanitarian & criminal law, destroys the UN Charter, neglects nuclear safety can’t head the world’s key security body.’
  • Finland will formally join NATO ‘in the coming days,’ the alliance’s head Jens Stoltenberg said, finalizing what he described as ‘the fastest ratification process in NATO’s modern history.’ Finland and Sweden applied for membership on the same day last year, prompted by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, but Turkey and Hungary are holding out on Sweden’s bid. Stoltenberg said he hopes Sweden can join ‘as soon as possible.’
  • The International Monetary Fund approved a $15.6 billion economic program for Ukraine, allowing around $2.7 billion to be immediately disbursed to Kyiv, the organization announced Friday. U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen said in a statement that the four-year program ‘will support economic growth, strengthen good governance and anti-corruption efforts, and set the foundation for longer-term reconstruction.’
  • Russia will boost munition supplies to its forces on the front line in Ukraine, its Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Saturday, Reuters reported. ‘The volume of supplies of the most demanded ammunition has been determined. Necessary measures are being taken to increase them,’ he said. Shoigu has faced criticism from Russian mercenary group Wagner for a lack of support and supplies to front-line troops.
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a new ‘foreign policy concept,’ bolstering ties to China and India. The 42-page document strikes a confrontational tone regarding the West and says the measures aim to eliminate ‘rudiments of domination’ by the United States and other ‘unfriendly countries in world affairs.’ Moscow will also work to ‘counter Russophobia,’ it adds.
  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky spoke to French President Emmanuel Macron in an hourlong conversation, he said on Twitter. The two leaders discussed the Ukraine-France ‘defense interaction’ and Zelensky ‘briefed in detail on the situation at the front,’ he said.
  • Wimbledon has reversed its ban on Russian and Belarusian tennis players and will allow them to compete under a neutral flag. The ban — which was also imposed in other sports — came into effect after Russia’s invasion last year. Earlier this week, the International Olympic Committee recommended that athletes from Russia and Belarus also be allowed to return to competition, a move that angered Ukraine.
  • Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez encouraged Chinese leader Xi Jinping to discuss peace plans with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Reuters reported. Speaking at a news conference in Beijing, Sánchez said he told Xi — who carried out a grand state visit to Moscow in March — that Madrid supported Zelensky’s peace proposals, including restoring Ukrainian territory to borders predating Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014.

Trump’s Republican Rivals, Shielding Him, Reveal Their 2024 Predicament. Many of Donald Trump’s potential opponents snapped into line behind him, showing just how hard it may be to persuade Republican voters to choose an alternative. The New York Times, Michael C. Bender and Maggie Haberman, Saturday, 1 April 2023: “Last week, Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida took a measured dig at Donald J. Trump by publicly mocking the circumstances that led New York investigators to the former president. ‘I don’t know what goes into paying hush money to a porn star to secure silence over some type of alleged affair,’ Mr. DeSantis said. But as soon as Mr. Trump was indicted this week, Mr. DeSantis promptly vowed to block his state from assisting a potential extradition. In a show of support for his fellow Republican, Mr. DeSantis called the case ‘the weaponization of the legal system to advance a political agenda.’ In the hours after a grand jury indicted Mr. Trump, many of his potential rivals for the Republican presidential nomination snapped into line behind him, looking more like allies than competitors. All passed on the opportunity to criticize him, and some rushed to his defense, expressing concerns about the legitimacy of the case. The turnaround by some prospective contenders was so swift and complete that it caught even the Trump team off guard. One close ally suggested to Mr. Trump that he publicly thank his rivals. (As of Friday evening, he had not.) The reluctance to directly confront Mr. Trump put his strength as a front-runner on full display. His would-be challengers have been sizing up political billiard balls for the possibility of an increasingly tricky bank shot: persuading Republican voters to forsake him, while presenting themselves as the movement’s heir apparent. In one reflection of Mr. Trump’s durability, his team said it had raised more than $4 million in the 24 hours after the indictment was made public by The New York Times.”

Sunday, 2 April 2023:


Russian Invasion of Ukraine: U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinkin calls for release of U.S. journalist Evan Gershkovich; explosion kills pro-Russian military blogger, The Washington Post, Bryan Pietsch, Leo Sands, and Maham Javaid, Sunday, 2 April 2023: “Washington has called on the Kremlin to immediately release American journalist Evan Gershkovich, a State Department spokesperson said Sunday. The United States is gravely concerned about the Wall Street Journal reporter’s ‘unacceptable’ detention, Secretary of State Antony Blinken told Sergei Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, during a phone call Sunday morning. Gershkovich was detained last week in Russia on espionage charges. The White House and the Journal have denied those allegations. Meanwhile, an explosion at a cafe in St. Petersburg killed prominent Russian military blogger Vladlen Tatarsky and injured 16 others, the Russian Interior Ministry reported Sunday.

  • Blinken also urged the Kremlin to ‘immediately release wrongfully detained U.S. citizen Paul Whelan,’ according to a statement from State Department spokesperson Vedant Patel. Whelan, a former U.S. Marine, was convicted in Russia on espionage charges in 2020. His attorney said Whelan was set up.
  • Lavrov asked Blinken to ‘respect the decisions of the Russian authorities,’ according to a Russian Foreign Ministry statement. Lavrov said Gershkovich’s arrest was in accordance with the law and international obligations of the Russian Federation, according to the Foreign Ministry.
  • The U.S. government is moving quickly to designate Gershkovich as ‘unlawfully detained,’ the Journal’s editor in chief, Emma Tucker, said in an interview Saturday with CNN’s Anderson Cooper. The designation would speed the process to try to free him, she said. Measures such as expelling Russia’s ambassador to the United States — which the Journal’s editorial board has called for — are ‘not the plan right now,’ Tucker said.
  • St. Petersburg police are investigating the cafe explosion, according to the Russian Interior Ministry. Tatarsky, one of the most prominent pro-Kremlin military bloggers, had more than 560,000 followers on his Telegram page that chronicled and promoted Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
  • A Ukrainian court has placed the head of Kyiv’s most prominent monastery under house arrest on charges of justifying Russia’s armed aggression, the latest escalation in a long-simmering conflict between Ukrainian officials and a local branch of the Orthodox Church they say has ties to Moscow, The Washington Post reported. Metropolitan Pavlo, the head of the Lavra monastery, has denied the charges.

Continue reading Aftermath of the Trump Administration, April 2023:

[Read more…]

Aftermath of the Trump Administration, March 2023


My daily chronicle of news about the Trump administration (20 January 2017 – 20 January 2021), Republicans, Democrats, corporations, courts, resistance, and persistence continues. I am still posting important articles, especially ones that reflect the differences between the Biden administration and the Trump administration and ones that address the toxic legacy of the Trump administration and Republicans. However, I hope to devote more of my time to posting muckraking articles on my site in the coming months. Thanks for reading!


For independent global news, visit Democracy Now!

For a newsletter about the history behind today’s politics, subscribe to Heather Cox Richardson’s newsletter, Letters from an American.



Wednesday, 1 March 2023:


Russian Invasion of Ukraine: ‘Winter is over’ Zelensky says, praising effort to maintain energy and heat, The Washington Post, Rachel Pannett, Bryan Pietsch, John Hudson, and Adam Taylor, Wednesday, 1 March 2023: “Winter ‘was very difficult, and every Ukrainian without exaggeration felt this difficulty,’ Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a speech marking the first day of spring after a winter at war. ‘But we still managed to provide Ukraine with energy and heat.’ Ukrainians celebrated the day. ‘They wanted to freeze us and throw us into darkness. We survived!’ said Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov. The besieged city of Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine is facing the ‘most difficult situation’ in the country as the battle for control of the front-line city intensifies, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in remarks Wednesday. ‘The intensity of fighting is only increasing,’ and Russia is exerting ‘insane pressure’ on Ukrainian forces by sending troops ‘to constantly storm our positions’ without regard for their lives, he said.

  • Finland’s Parliament voted to speed up the country’s accession to NATO, bringing the Nordic nation closer to joining the transatlantic military alliance. The bill passed on Wednesday by a vote of 184-7. The move to accelerate the accession could lead Finland to join the alliance before Sweden; the tightknit pair often coordinate on security and had planned to join NATO together, but Turkey has dragged its feet on approving Sweden’s bid over concerns around Stockholm’s approach to groups that Ankara considers to be terrorists.
  • Hungary’s president urged lawmakers to move urgently to allow Finland and Sweden to join NATO. All 30 NATO members must agree to admit new states to the alliance, but legislation to approve the accessions of Finland and Sweden has stalled in Hungary’s legislative body, with some lawmakers accusing the Nordic nations of insulting Hungary in recent years, the Associated Press reported. Hungarian President Katalin Novak said Wednesday that ‘the accession of Sweden and Finland is justified,’ urging the National Assembly to ‘make a wise decision as soon as possible.’
  • Russia is not interested in ‘meaningful diplomacy,’ Secretary of State Antony Blinken said. He urged neutral countries preparing to attend this week’s Group of 20 meeting in India to reject the terms Moscow has outlined for negotiating an end to the war in Ukraine. Blinken said the Kremlin’s position that Ukraine must accept Russia’s annexation of Ukrainian territory as a precondition for negotiations should not be accepted by any nation. ‘That’s obviously a nonstarter and should be a nonstarter, not just for Ukraine and for us, but for countries around the world,’ Blinken said.
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin said he would host Chinese President Xi Jinping in Moscow, state media outlets reported. It was not clear when such a visit would occur. China’s top diplomat, Wang Yi, visited Moscow last week. Blinken has warned that China will face sanctions if it supplies lethal support to Russia. China has denied any such plans and in recent days has been positioning itself as a potential peacemaker in the conflict.
  • Ukrainians have been celebrating the arrival of spring on social media, posting photos of flowers and hailing their survival as a victory over Russia. Ukraine’s foreign minister, Dmytro Kuleba, said Wednesday: ‘Putin suffered another major defeat. Despite the cold, darkness, and missile strikes, Ukraine persevered and defeated his winter terror.’
  • Finland is building a fence along its border with Russia to address the ‘changed security environment.’ The border fence is set to span nearly 125 miles of its more than 800-mile-long border with Russia, according to Finland’s Border Guard, which announced the move Tuesday. It noted that while Russia controls outbound traffic into Finland, ‘Finland cannot rely on the effectiveness of Russian border control.’ Large numbers of Russians have fled since the start of the war. Those with visas have fled to Finland or elsewhere in Europe, while others have escaped to nearby countries such as Armenia and Kazakhstan.
  • The war in Ukraine is due to dominate conversations at the Group of 20 summit in India, where foreign ministers from the world’s most powerful economies, including Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, are gathering on Wednesday. Blinken is also due to attend the summit this week.
  • Blinken has ‘no plans’ to meet his Russian and Chinese counterparts at the G-20 gathering, the top U.S. diplomat said Wednesday. Washington, Beijing and Moscow are at odds over the war in Ukraine, but Blinken said he does not intend to hold bilateral meetings with Lavrov or China’s Qing Gang, who will both be in New Delhi at the same time. Blinken said he suspects he will be in ‘group sessions’ with his two counterparts, however, ‘at one time or another.’
  • Denmark is scrapping a national holiday in a bid to create greater tax revenue for military spending, despite public opposition. Lawmakers voted on Tuesday to end the celebration of Great Prayer Day, a religious holiday that had been commemorated since the 17th century, next year. The government has estimated that ending the holiday will add about $430 million to the government budget. The government says this money could be added to the Danish military spending in the hope of meeting NATO targets set at 2 percent of a member state’s total economic output.

Russian Invasion of Ukraine: Kyiv Sends Reinforcements to Besieged Bakhmut. The battle for the eastern city has become a crucible in the war. The New York Times, Wednesday, 1 March 2023:

  • Ukraine is sending reinforcements after the Russians surrounded Bakhmut on three sides.
  • There’s ‘zero evidence’ that Putin is ready for peace talks, Blinken says.
  • China’s leader meets with the president of Belarus, a Putin ally.
  • Russia says a Ukrainian drone outside Moscow was carrying explosives.
  • Artillery fire near the Zaporizhzhia complex deepens security concerns, the U.N. nuclear watchdog says.
  • Finland approves laws needed for NATO membership, though Hungary and Turkey may delay approval.
  • Zelensky treads a careful line with China, even as efforts to reach out come up empty.
  • Europe is struggling to provide Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine.

Prosecution’s Witness at Proud Boys Trial Shows Complexities of the Case. Jeremy Bertino, a former Proud Boy, provided some of the government’s best evidence so far, but he also offered an unusual description of a criminal conspiracy. The New York Times, Alan Feuer and Zach Montague, Wednesday, 1 March 2023: “As the testimony of Jeremy Bertino, the government’s star witness in the Proud Boys sedition trial, came to an end this week, there was a moment that crystallized the challenges the prosecution has faced throughout the marathon proceeding. For five days, Mr. Bertino — a former Proud Boy from North Carolina — told the jury how the far-right group fell into a kind of collective panic after the 2020 election and ultimately sought to keep Joseph R. Biden Jr. from taking power by serving as the ‘tip of the spear’ in the attack on the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. On Tuesday evening, prosecutors sought to punctuate his testimony by asking his final thoughts on the chief allegation in the case: that the five Proud Boys on trial had reached an agreement to use physical force to stop the transfer of presidential power. Over the course of several questions, Mr. Bertino — who was at home in North Carolina on the day of the attack — acknowledged that he was never privy to the Proud Boys’ plans for Jan. 6. And yet he said he knew the group’s objective: to stop Mr. Biden from becoming president. He arrived at this conclusion, he went on, not through any specific dealings with his compatriots, but rather through ‘cumulative conversations’ leading up to the attack.”

Continue reading Aftermath of the Trump Administration, March 2023:  [Read more…]

Aftermath of the Trump Administration, February 2023




My daily chronicle of news about the Trump administration (20 January 2017 – 20 January 2021), Republicans, Democrats, corporations, courts, resistance, and persistence continues. I am still posting important articles, especially ones that reflect the differences between the Biden administration and the Trump administration and ones that address the toxic legacy of the Trump administration and Republicans. However, I hope to devote more of my time to posting muckraking articles on my site in the coming months. Thanks for reading!


For independent global news, visit Democracy Now!

For a newsletter about the history behind today’s politics, subscribe to Heather Cox Richardson’s newsletter, Letters from an American.


Wednesday, 1 February 2023:


Russian Invasion of Ukraine: Ukraine widens corruption crackdown; France to give Kyiv air defense radar, The Washington Post, Kelsey Ables, Victoria Bisset, Robyn Dixon, Dan Lamothe, and Claire Parker, Wednesday, 1 February 2023: “Ukrainian authorities widened an anti-corruption drive Wednesday, raiding and searching multiple locations, including construction companies in Kyiv and the home of oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky. Local media, including Ukrainska Pravda, reported that the raid against Kolomoisky — who made his fortune through energy companies, banking, airlines and media — was related to an investigation into embezzlement. The construction companies are also accused by Ukraine’s security service of laundering money to benefit former lawmakers allied with Russia. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky confirmed the searches in a nightly address and said the head of Ukraine’s customs service was also dismissed. ‘We will not allow anyone to weaken our state,’ he said. ‘Change as much as necessary to ensure that people do not abuse power.’ The moves come as Ukraine prepares to host a summit with the European Union in Kyiv.

  • The former head of procurement at the Ukrainian Defense Ministry was charged with embezzlement for allegedly buying nearly 3,000 bulletproof vests of inadequate quality for more than $2.7 million, Ukraine’s Security Service said in a statement. ‘The purity of processes within the Ministry of Defense, and the defense forces in general, is especially important,’ Zelensky said. Any internal supply, any procurement — everything must be absolutely as clean and honest as the external supply for our defense.’
  • The fresh investigations came ahead of the E.U. summit on Friday, a meeting Kyiv hopes will help its bid to become a full member of the bloc. An E.U. official, speaking on the condition of anonymity to brief the press on Wednesday, called the earlier dismissals ‘a signal of their determination and of the functioning of what they have now put in place.’
  • Russia is preparing to hold elections on Sept. 10 in the Ukrainian territories it occupies, Russian Federation Council Chairwoman Valentina Matviyenko told reporters Wednesday. Residents of those regions — Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson — are ‘full-fledged citizens of Russia, and we can’t deprive them of the right to elect and the right to be elected,’ Matviyenko said.

Russian Invasion of Ukraine: Ukraine Carries Out Wide Anticorruption Raids Ahead of Visit From E.U. Leaders. President Volodymyr Zelensky is under pressure over his country’s bid to join the European Union as some European leaders plan a Friday visit to Kyiv. The New York Times, Wednesday, 1 February 2023:

  • More searches are conducted in connection with corruption allegations in Ukraine.

  • Russia’s bombardment grows, even as its next steps remain unclear.

  • A missile strike on Kramatorsk kills at least 3 as Russia steps up its eastern campaign.

  • The town of Kreminna is in the cross hairs in the fight for northern Luhansk.

  • Zelensky accuses Georgia of trying to kill its former president, Mikheil Saakashvili.

  • An ailing Navalny describes a prison move that will extend his isolation.

  • Funds for Russia, frozen for 15 years, will be redirected to aid Ukraine, U.S. says.

  • The U.S. Treasury announces measures against a ‘sanctions evasion network’ aiding Russia’s military.

Documents Suggest Bias and Human Error Played Parts in F.B.I.’s January 6 Failure. The F. B.I. appeared to be blinded by a lack of imagination, a narrow focus on ‘lone wolf’ offenders, and a misguided belief that the threat from the far left was as great as that from the far right, new congressional documents show. The New York Times, Adam Goldman and Alan Feuer, Wednesday, 1 February 2023: “Days before the end of the 2020 presidential race, a team of F.B.I. analysts tried to game out the worst potential outcomes of a disputed election. But of all the scenarios they envisioned, the one they never thought of was the one that came to pass: a violent mob mobilizing in support of former President Donald J. Trump. The team’s work, which has never been reported, is just the latest example of how the Federal Bureau of Investigation was unable to predict — or prevent — the chaos that erupted at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. Apparently blinded by a narrow focus on ‘lone wolf’ offenders and a misguided belief that the threat from the far left was as great as that from the far right, the analysis and other new documents suggest, officials at the bureau did not anticipate or adequately prepare for the attack.”

Continue reading Aftermath of the Trump Administration, February 2023:

[Read more…]

Aftermath of the Trump Administration, January 2023


My daily chronicle of news about the Trump administration (20 January 2017 – 20 January 2021), Republicans, Democrats, corporations, courts, resistance, and persistence continues. I am still posting important articles, especially ones that reflect the differences between the Biden administration and the Trump administration and ones that address the toxic legacy of the Trump administration and Republicans. However, I hope to devote more of my time to posting muckraking articles on my site in the coming months. Thanks for reading!


For independent global news, visit Democracy Now!

For a newsletter about the history behind today’s politics, subscribe to Heather Cox Richardson’s newsletter, Letters from an American.


Sunday, 1 January 2023:


Republican Representative Adam Kinzinger; I ‘fear for the future of this country’ if Trump isn’t charged with a crime related to the January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol, CNN Politics, Kevin Liptak and Jack Forrest, Sunday, 1 January 2023: “Outgoing Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger said Sunday he fears for the future of the country if former President Donald Trump isn’t charged with a crime related to the January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol, though he believes the Justice Department will ‘do the right thing.’ ‘If this is not a crime, I don’t know what is. If a president can incite an insurrection and not be held accountable, then really there’s no limit to what a president can do or can’t do,’ the Illinois lawmaker told CNN’s Dana Bash on ‘State of the Union.’ ‘I think the Justice Department will do the right thing. I think he will be charged, and I frankly think he should be,’ Kinzinger said of Trump. ‘If he is not guilty of a crime, then I frankly fear for the future of this country.’ Kinzinger served as one of two GOP members on the House select committee investigating the Capitol riot. The panel concluded its work last month and laid out a case for the DOJ and the public that there is evidence to pursue charges against Trump on multiple criminal statutes. The committee referred Trump to the department on at least four criminal charges: obstructing an official proceeding, defrauding the United States, making false statements, and assisting or aiding an insurrection. The panel also said in its executive summary that it had evidence of possible charges of conspiring to injure or impede an officer and seditious conspiracy.”

Lula da Silva is sworn in as Brazil’s president; outgoing president Jair Bolsonaro skips Lula’s inauguration, once again following the playbook of his close ally, Donald Trump, The Washington Post, Gabriela Sá Pessoa and Samantha Schmidt, Sunday, 1 January 2023: “Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, the former Brazilian president and stalwart of the Latin American left, was sworn in Sunday to the office he first held two decades ago, taking the helm of a polarized nation with promises to save the Amazon rainforest and preserve democracy. Lula, 77, won the presidency in October in the closest presidential election in Brazilian history, three years after being freed from prison on corruption charges that were later dropped. After a bitterly fought race against incumbent Jair Bolsonaro, marred by misinformation and disinformation, he will now be expected to unite the nation while keeping campaign pledges to rebuild the economy, tackle police brutality and combat deforestation. Brazil’s fiscal challenges will limit his ability to address poverty and hunger. During his inauguration speeches, he committed to fighting against economic inequality and racial and gender injustice. While nodding to political reconciliation, Lula also criticized the Bolsonaro administration’s management of the coronavirus pandemic, saying it amounted to ‘genocide’ and should ‘not stay unpunished.’ He said ‘democracy was the great winner’ of a violent election marked by ‘a hate campaign plotted to embarrass and manipulate the Brazilian electorate. The public machine was used by an authoritarian project of power,’ the president said. ‘To hatred we will respond with love, to lies we will respond with truth, and to terror and violence we will respond with the law and its harshest consequences.’ As he took office, one key person was missing. Bolsonaro flew to Florida on Friday and skipped the traditional handover of the presidential sash to his successor, a symbolic reaffirmation of Brazil’s young democracy. The outgoing leader once again appeared to follow the playbook of his close ally, Donald Trump, who also skipped the 2020 inauguration of his successor, President Biden.” See also, Lula Becomes Brazil’s President, With Jair Bolsonaro in Florida. Brazil inaugurates its new president, Liuz Inácio Lula da Silva, on Sunday. Facing investigations, former President Jair Bolsonaro has taken refuge in Orlando, Florida. The New York Times, Jack Nicas and André Spigariol, Sunday, 1 January 2023: “President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva took the reins of the Brazilian government on Sunday in an elaborate inauguration, complete with a motorcade, music festival and hundreds of thousands of supporters filling the central esplanade of Brasília, the nation’s capital. But one key person was missing: the departing far-right president, Jair Bolsonaro. Mr. Bolsonaro was supposed to pass Mr. Lula the presidential sash on Sunday, an important symbol of the peaceful transition of power in a nation where many people still recall the 21-year military dictatorship that ended in 1985. Instead, Mr. Bolsonaro woke up Sunday thousands of miles away, in a rented house owned by a professional mixed-martial-arts fighter a few miles from Disney World. Facing various investigations from his time in his office, Mr. Bolsonaro flew to Orlando on Friday night and plans to stay in Florida for at least a month. Mr. Bolsonaro had questioned the reliability of Brazil’s election systems for months, without evidence, and when he lost in October, he refused to concede unequivocally. In a sort of farewell address on Friday, breaking weeks of near silence, he said that he tried to block Mr. Lula from taking office but failed. ‘Within the laws, respecting the Constitution, I searched for a way out of this,’ he said. He then appeared to encourage his supporters to move on. ‘We live in a democracy or we don’t,’ he said. ‘No one wants an adventure.'”

Continue reading Aftermath of the Trump Administration, January 2023:

[Read more…]

Aftermath of the Trump Administration, December 2022


My daily chronicle of news about the Trump administration (20 January 2017 – 20 January 2021), Republicans, Democrats, corporations, courts, resistance, and persistence continues. I am still posting important articles, especially ones that reflect the differences between the Biden administration and the Trump administration and ones that address the toxic legacy of the Trump administration and Republicans. However, I hope to devote more of my time to posting muckraking articles on my site and to working with my local activist group in pursuit of progressive change and a stronger democracy. Thanks for reading!


For independent global news, visit Democracy Now!

For a newsletter about the history behind today’s politics, subscribe to Heather Cox Richardson’s newsletter, Letters from an American.


Thursday, 1 December 2022:


Russian Invasion of Ukraine: Shelling leaves Kherson dark; Biden and Macron condemn Russia, The Washington Post, Rachel Pannett, Erin Cunningham, Adela Suliman, Beatriz Rios, Claire Parker, and Ben Brasch, Thursday, 1 December 2022: “Russian shelling on Thursday left Ukrainians in recently liberated Kherson cold and in the dark, just days after the power was restored following Russian occupation, according to the Associated Press. The attacks came as Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said the barrages are intended to ‘knock out energy facilities that allow you to keep pumping deadly weapons into Ukraine in order to kill the Russians,’ referring to the United States and NATO. President Biden and French Presidential Emmanuel Macron reaffirmed their support for Ukraine and condemnation of the Russian invasion in a joint news conference in Washington on Thursday. Biden also said he would be willing to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin if the Russian leader expresses interest in ending the conflict. ‘I’m prepared to speak with Mr. Putin if in fact … he’s looking for a way to end the war,’ Biden told reporters at the White House. ‘He hasn’t done that yet.’

  • Spanish officials stepped up security Thursday after confirming that at least six letter bombs had been sent to high-profile targets in recent days, including the Ukrainian Embassy in Madrid, the U.S. Embassy, the Spanish prime minister’s office, the Defense Ministry, a military air base and an arms manufacturer. The one sent to the Ukrainian Embassy caused a minor injury, but the others were ‘neutralized by the security services,’ the Interior Ministry said. Ukraine’s foreign minister, Dmytro Kuleba, has ordered security at all of Ukraine’s embassies to be strengthened in response. It remains unclear why the sites in Spain were targeted.
  • The United States and France ‘deplore Russia’s deliberate escalatory steps,’ Biden and Macron said in a joint statement following their meeting on Thursday, pointing in particular to ‘its irresponsible nuclear rhetoric and its disinformation regarding alleged chemical attacks, and biological and nuclear weapons programs.’ The leaders expressed their commitment to provide ‘significant resources’ to support Ukraine’s citizens through the winter, and said their countries would work with allies at an international conference in Paris on Dec. 13 to coordinate assistance to Ukraine. They also pledged to hold Russia accountable for atrocities and war crimes.
  • The United Nations called for a record $51.5 billion in funding for 2023, citing ‘shockingly high’ emergency needs, including the Ukraine war. Emergency relief official Martin Griffiths pointed to the war, the coronavirus pandemic and climate change as factors that have contributed to a year of ‘suffering,’ and he warned of ‘an acceleration’ of those crises in 2023.
  • NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the Ukraine war has ‘shattered peace in Europe.’ At the Berlin Security Conference on Thursday, he also called for more arms support to Kyiv and for its allies to ‘stay the course.’ He warned of Europe’s ‘dangerous dependency’ on Russian natural gas and economic reliance on other ‘authoritarian states,’ including China.
  • Ukraine’s defense intelligence branch accused representatives of Rosatom, Russia’s state nuclear energy company, of ‘laundering’ money allocated to manage the occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant. In a statement Thursday, the agency alleged that Rosatom employees and Russian occupation authorities were redirecting funds earmarked to pay the station staff. A ‘significant part’ of the occupation authorities have left the plant since Russia seized it in early March. About 500 Russians remain, ‘to intimidate the staff and encourage them to cooperate with the occupiers,’ the statement said.
  • Russia’s Foreign Ministry blasted the decision by Germany on Wednesday to recognize the Holodomor as genocide carried out by the Soviet leadership. The famine in the early 1930s under the rule of Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin is believed to have killed about 4 million Ukrainians. The vote in the German parliament came several days after commemorations of the 90th anniversary of the famine. Moscow decried the move on Thursday as being part of a ‘Western-sponsored campaign aimed at demonizing Russia.’
  • Switzerland has frozen about $8 billion in Russian assets as of Nov. 25, the Swiss state secretariat for economic affairs said in a news release Thursday. Fifteen properties belonging to sanctioned individuals or entities are also blocked. Nearly $50 billion in Russian deposits have been referred to the Swiss authorities for investigation.
  • Four lion cubs rescued from Ukraine have been flown to an animal sanctuary in Minnesota, according to the International Fund for Animal Welfare, one of a number of groups working to rescue animals from the war. The cubs, who were orphaned at a few weeks old and survived sporadic bombing and drone attacks, ‘have endured more in their short lives than any animal should,’ said Meredith Whitney, a wildlife program manager with the nonprofit group. They spent the past three weeks at Poznan Zoo in Poland.

Russian Invasion of Ukraine: Russia Shelling Cuts Power to Kherson as Lavrov Defends Strikes. Sergei Lavrov, Russia’s foreign minister, claimed Ukraine’s civilian energy infrastructure is a legitimate military target. The United Nations has said the strikes could amount to war crimes. The New York Times, Thursday, 1 December 2022:

  • Recently recaptured Kherson is hit by Russian shelling, as misery mounts.

  • Lavrov defends strikes on civilian infrastructure as six million in Ukraine remain without power.

  • Biden signals his willingness to talk to Putin, but only in consultation with NATO.

  • Orphaned Ukrainian lion cubs find a new home in Minnesota.

  • Talks among E.U. diplomats on a Russian oil price cap drag on.

  • The severity of Ukraine’s winter could affect the course of the war.

Appeals Court Scraps Special master Review in Trump Documents Case. The panel’s decision removed a major obstacle to the Justice Department’s investigation into Mr. Trump’s handling of sensitive government documents. The New York Times, Alan Feuer and Charlie Savage, Thursday, 1 December 2022: “A federal appeals court on Thursday removed a major obstacle to the criminal investigation into former President Donald J. Trump’s hoarding of government documents, ending an outside review of thousands of records the F.B.I. seized from his home and freeing the Justice Department to use them in its inquiry. In a unanimous but unsigned 21-page ruling, a three-member panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit in Atlanta shut down a lawsuit brought by Mr. Trump that has, for nearly three months, slowed the inquiry into whether he illegally kept national security records at his Mar-a-Lago residence and obstructed the government’s efforts to retrieve them. The appeals court was sharply critical of the decision in September by Judge Aileen M. Cannon, a Trump appointee who sits in the Southern District of Florida, to intervene in the case. The court said Judge Cannon never had legitimate jurisdiction to order the review or bar investigators from using the files, and that there was no justification for treating Mr. Trump differently from any other target of a search warrant. ‘It is indeed extraordinary for a warrant to be executed at the home of a former president — but not in a way that affects our legal analysis or otherwise gives the judiciary license to interfere in an ongoing investigation,’ the court wrote. Limits on when courts can interfere with a criminal investigation ‘apply no matter who the government is investigating,’ it added. ‘To create a special exception here would defy our nation’s foundational principle that our law applies to all, without regard to numbers, wealth or rank.’” See also, Trump Mar-a-Lago special master struck down by appeals court. The three-judge panel said Judge Aileen Cannon erred in appointing a special master to review documents seized by the FBI. The Washington Post, Perry Stein and Devlin Barrett, Thursday, 1 December 2022: “A federal appeals court panel on Thursday halted an outside review of thousands of documents seized from former president Donald Trump’s Florida residence, ruling that a lower court judge was wrong to appoint an expert to decide whether any of the material should be shielded from criminal investigators. Trump sought the outside arbiter, known as a special master, after the FBI executed a court-approved search of Mar-a-Lago, his home and private club, on Aug. 8, retrieving more than 13,000 documents related to Trump’s time in the White House. About 100 of the documents were classified, and some contained extremely sensitive government secrets, according to court records. The appeals court decision was an emphatic win for the Justice Department, and the latest legal loss for Trump, who has gone to court multiple times to try to stop the government from getting access to records or personal information. Just last week, the Supreme Court denied the former president’s request to block a congressional committee from receiving copies of six years of his tax returns, clearing the way for them to be handed over to lawmakers.” See also, Appeals court halts special master review of documents seized at Mar-a-Lago in major defeat for Trump, CNN Politics, Tierney Sneed, Thursday, 1 December 2022: “In a major defeat for former President Donald Trump, a federal appeals court on Thursday halted a third-party review of documents seized from his Mar-a-Lago estate. The ruling removes a major obstacle to the Justice Department’s investigation into the mishandling of government records from Trump’s time in the White House. The three-judge panel of the 11th US Circuit Court of Appeals reversed US District Judge Aileen Cannon’s order appointing a so-called special master to sort through thousands of documents found at Trump’s home to determine what should be off limits to investigators. The court said the judge should not have intervened in the first place. ‘The law is clear,’ the appeals court wrote. ‘We cannot write a rule that allows any subject of a search warrant to block government investigations after the execution of the warrant. Nor can we write a rule that allows only former presidents to do so.’ The 11th Circuit said that either approach would be a ‘radical reordering of our caselaw limiting the federal courts’ involvement in criminal investigations’ and that ‘both would violate bedrock separation-of-powers limitations.’”

Continue reading Aftermath of the Trump Administration, December 2022:

[Read more…]

Aftermath of the Trump Administration, November 2022:



My daily chronicle of news about the Trump administration (20 January 2017 – 20 January 2021), Republicans, Democrats, corporations, courts, resistance, and persistence continues. I am still posting important articles, especially ones that reflect the differences between the Biden administration and the Trump administration and ones that address the toxic legacy of the Trump administration and Republicans. However, I hope to devote more of my time to posting muckraking articles on my site and to working with my local activist group in pursuit of progressive change and a stronger democracy. Thanks for reading!


For independent global news, visit Democracy Now!

For a newsletter about the history behind today’s politics, subscribe to Heather Cox Richardson’s newsletter, Letters from an American.


Tuesday, 1 November 2022:


Russian Invasion of Ukraine: Kyiv and Moscow to halt grain ships Wednesday, The Washington Post, Rachel Pannett, Erin Cunningham, Leo Sands, Adam Taylor, Alex Horton, and Praveena Somasundaram, Tuesday, 1 November 2022: “Amid tense talks Tuesday over the future of safe passage for grain ships departing Ukraine, after Russia backed out of a U.N.-brokered deal that has been a lifeline for agricultural exports to countries facing shortages, Moscow and Kyiv are set to halt all grain ship departures Wednesday as they hash out a path forward. Russia suspended its participation in the deal over the weekend after a drone attack in Crimea that Russia blamed on Ukraine. Kyiv has not claimed responsibility for the attack. Ships continued to depart Ukraine’s Black Sea ports on Tuesday, the United Nations said. Water and electricity supplies to Kyiv were restored Tuesday, the capital’s mayor announced, after Russia unleashed a fresh wave of infrastructure attacks across Ukraine on Monday that it described as retaliation for the weekend’s drone attacks. Russian President Vladimir Putin warned Monday that those attacks were ‘not all we could have done.’

  • At least 17 vessels have transited the Black Sea corridor since Russia suspended its participation in the agreement, according to the United States, including three ships carrying corn, wheat and sunflower meal that departed Ukrainian ports Tuesday. The U.N. says it’s continuing discussions with Russia, Ukraine and Turkey to resume the deal in full, with departures to pause Wednesday. U.N. and Turkish inspectors inspected 36 outbound ships Tuesday, according to a U.N. statement.
  • Iran has already provided drones to Russia and could offer other weapons, such as surface-to-surface missiles, Pentagon spokesman Air Force Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder told reporters Tuesday. The Washington Post reported last month that Iran planned on such an expansion. Air defense systems are a top priority for Ukraine to combat these threats, though many will not be available for some time. A system known as the Vampire, which can fire munitions from the back of a pickup truck, will be contracted out and available in mid-2023, Ryder said. Two other advanced systems will arrive soon, he added, but it will be a years-long process to build and deliver another six, the Pentagon has indicated.
  • U.S. monitors have conducted in-person inspections for only about 10 percent of the 22,000 U.S.-provided weapons sent to Ukraine that require special oversight. U.S. officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to provide details that had not been made public previously, told The Post they are racing to deploy new means of tracking weapons seen as having a heightened risk of diversion, including Stinger surface-to-air missiles and Javelin antitank missiles, amid what they call Ukraine’s ‘super hot conflict.’
  • BP, one of the world’s largest energy producers, reported massive profits on Tuesday, a day after President Biden lambasted oil companies whose profits have been buoyed by the war in Ukraine. BP reported third-quarter profits of $8.2 billion — more than double its equivalent profit from a year earlier. Biden said companies could face higher taxes if they don’t pass on profits to consumers by lowering gas prices. Republicans criticized Biden’s idea as a political stunt.

Russian Invasion of Ukraine: Russia Broadens Push to Relocate Civilians as Battle for Kherson Looms. The Ukrainian military said occupation officials were forcing people from their homes in Kherson, ahead of a possible battle for control of the key region. The New York Times, Tuesday, 1 November 2022:

  • Ukraine says civilians are being evicted in Kherson as Russia tries to shore up its defenses.

  • The United Nations says that no grain ships will leave Ukrainian ports on Wednesday.

  • Advanced defensive weapons systems could be delivered to Ukraine in the coming days, U.S. officials say.

  • The water supply has been fully restored in Kyiv, officials said.

  • Cheap drones and Western weapons help Ukraine turn the tide in the south.

  • Europe braces for winter by moving away from its main energy provider: Russia.

  • Saudi Aramco reports a big profit as the war keeps oil prices high.

Chief Justice John Roberts Extends Freeze on House’s Attempt to Obtain Trump’s Tax Returns. The move further delays an oversight request by the House Ways and Means Committee from 2019 as the midterm election looms. The New York Times, Charlie Savage, Tuesday, 1 November 2022: “Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. issued an order on Tuesday to temporarily bar the Treasury Department from giving former President Donald J. Trump’s tax returns to a House committee, the latest move in a long-running dispute over whether Congress can gain access to them. Lawyers for Mr. Trump had asked the Supreme Court on Monday to freeze matters while they prepared a formal appeal of a ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, which held that the House Ways and Means Committee had a right to see his returns. Chief Justice Roberts oversees appeals that come out of the District of Columbia Circuit Court. In a terse order, he gave lawyers for the House Ways and Means Committee, which has been seeking the returns since 2019, a deadline of Nov. 10 to file a response to Mr. Trump’s latest move. The setting of a deadline is an indication that the full Supreme Court will rule on the matter. The Democrats who run the committee are running out of time to obtain Mr. Trump’s tax returns. If Republicans retake control of the House in the midterm elections next week, as polls indicate is likely, they are almost certain to drop the request when the new Congress is seated in January.” See also, Chief Justice Roberts temporarily delays release of Trump tax records. Lawmakers have said they need Trump’s tax returns from his time in office to help evaluate the effectiveness of annual presidential audits. The Washington Post, Robert Barnes, Tuesday, 1 November 2022: “Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. on Tuesday temporarily halted the release of former president Donald Trump’s tax records to a congressional committee and called for more briefing in the case. Without the Supreme Court’s intervention, the Treasury Department could have handed over the documents to the House Ways and Means Committee as early as Thursday. Roberts’s action seems intended to give the full court more time to consider the issue. But time is not on the side of the Democrats who run the committee. If the party loses control in next week’s midterm elections, as polling suggests, demand for the records surely will expire in January, when the new Congress is sworn in and control of the committee would change hands.” See also, Chief Justice John Roberts puts temporary hold on release of Trump’s tax returns to Congress, CNN Politics, Ariane de Vogue and Tierney Sneed, Tuesday, 1 November 2022: “Chief Justice John Roberts agreed to temporarily put on hold a lower court order requiring the release of former President Donald Trump’s tax returns by the Internal Revenue Service to a Democratic-led House committee. The tax returns had been set to be turned over to the House Ways and Means Committee later this week. Roberts asked for a response by November 10. The ‘administrative stay’ is temporary in nature and does not always reflect the final disposition of the dispute. It is a move often made when a deadline approaches to preserve the status quo and give the justices more time to act.”

Continue reading Aftermath of the Trump Administration, November 2022: [Read more…]

Aftermath of the Trump Administration, October 2022:


My daily chronicle of news about the Trump administration (20 January 2017 – 20 January 2021), Republicans, Democrats, corporations, courts, resistance, and persistence continues. I am still posting important articles, especially ones that reflect the differences between the Biden administration and the Trump administration and ones that address the toxic legacy of the Trump administration and Republicans. However, I hope to devote more of my time to posting muckraking articles on my site and to working with my local activist group in pursuit of progressive change and a stronger democracy. Thanks for reading!


For independent global news, visit Democracy Now!

For a newsletter about the history behind today’s politics, subscribe to Heather Cox Richardson’s newsletter, Letters from an American.


Saturday, 1 October 2022:


Russian Invasion of Ukraine: Ukraine claims control of Lyman after Russians withdraw, The Washington Post, Isabelle Khurshudyan, Ellen Francis, Erin Cunningham, Andrea Salcedo, Robyn Dixon, and Praveena Somasundaram, Saturday, 1 October 2022: “The Russian Defense Ministry says its troops withdrew from the eastern Ukrainian city of Lyman ‘due to the threat of encirclement’ — a day after the Kremlin illegally annexed that region. Ukraine’s military suggested it had full control of the city after it announced that Russian troops had been killed or captured. Ukrainian forces surrounded thousands of Russian troops in the Donetsk region’s city after moving on the transport hub overnight, after the Kremlin hosted an elaborate ceremony and pop concert celebrating its annexation of Ukrainian territory. Russia’s land seizure has drawn a forceful rebuke from Western countries and the United Nations.

  • In a tweet, Ukraine’s Defense Ministry said ‘almost all’ of Russian troops in Lyman had been killed or captured, suggesting that the city was under its control. A video recorded in the city shows Ukrainian troops throwing Russian flags from atop a government building, a ceremonial end to Kremlin-backed control of the area. A spokesman with the Russian Defense Ministry said its troops had retreated from Lyman.
  • Ukrainian troops recaptured villages near Lyman and encircled the city, Serhiy Cherevaty, spokesman for the Ukrainian armed forces, told The Washington Post on Saturday. The city sits on the edge of the eastern Donetsk region, one of the four territories now claimed by Russia and where separatists have held territory since 2014.
  • Ukrainian forces appeared to wave the country’s blue and yellow flag at a sign on the outskirts of Lyman in a video shared by the head of the Ukrainian’s president’s office. The Washington Post could not immediately verify that footage’s location. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky spoke about the flag in his nightly address on Saturday, saying that it was in Lyman and that it ‘will be everywhere’ as the country combats Russia’s annexation efforts.
  • Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, a close ally of President Vladimir Putin, called for ‘more drastic measures’ that could include ‘the use of low-yield nuclear weapons’ after the Russian Defense Ministry said its forces had retreated from Lyman. The prominent pro-war figure is one of the many hard-line right-wing voices who have been pushing for a sharp escalation in Russian attacks on Ukraine. Putin has warned that the annexed territories will be defended with ‘all military means’ at Russia’s disposal, while the deputy head of the Russian Security Council, Dmitry Medvedev, has warned that Russia could use a nuclear weapon to that end.
  • The International Atomic Energy Agency said Russian authorities had ‘temporarily detained’ the director general of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant for questioning. An IAEA official told The Washington Post that the nuclear watchdog, which has some staffers on-site, had sought clarification from Russian authorities after reports that Igor Murashov had been missing. The Ukrainian Prosecutor General’s Office said it was investigating the incident as a kidnapping. Russian forces control the plant in the Zaporizhzhia region of southeastern Ukraine, and Ukrainian workers operate it.
  • In a statement posted Saturday afternoon, the IAEA said it was still in contact with authorities about Murashov. IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi told the authorities that he wished for Murashov’s safe return and for him ‘to resume his important functions at the plant,’ according to the statement. It also said Grossi is set to visit Kyiv and Moscow next week to continue discussions about the Zaporizhzhia plant.
  • Ukraine is applying for ‘accelerated ascension’ into NATOZelensky said after Russia’s move to absorb swaths of his country. The remarks may be more symbolic than practical: A speedy admittance of Ukraine to the military alliance would require members to immediately send troops to fight Russia.

Russian Invasion of Ukraine: Russian Forces Retreat From Lyman. The loss of the strategic rail hub in the east is particularly poorly timed for the Kremlin after its internationally derided illegal annexation of four Ukrainian regions. The New York Times, Saturday, 1 October 2022:

  • Russia’s withdrawal from Lyman comes a day after Putin said he was annexing the region.

  • Putin supporters are enraged by the Russian retreat from Lyman.

  • Here’s why Russia’s retreat from Lyman matters.

  • Broken glass, blown-out tires and a crater show the violence of a deadly attack in Zaporizhzhia.

  • Gazprom halts gas supplies to Italy.

  • At least 24 are dead, including 13 children, in an attack on a convoy in northeastern Ukraine, the authorities say.

  • The U.N. nuclear agency calls for the release of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant’s director general.

The Supreme Court Isn’t Listening, and It’s No Secret Why, The New York Times, The Editorial Board, Saturday, 1 October 2022: “The Supreme Court’s authority within the American political system is both immense and fragile. Somebody has to provide the last word in interpreting the Constitution, and — this is the key — to do so in a way that is seen as fair and legitimate by the people at large. What happens when a majority of Americans don’t see it that way? A common response to this question is to say the justices shouldn’t care. They aren’t there to satisfy the majority or to be swayed by the shifting winds of public opinion. That is partly true: The court’s most important obligations include safeguarding the constitutional rights of vulnerable minorities who can’t always count on protection from the political process and acting independently of political interests. But in the bigger picture, the court nearly always hews close to where the majority of the American people are. If it does diverge, it should take care to do so in a way that doesn’t appear partisan. That is the basis of the trust given to the court by the public. That trust, in turn, is crucial to the court’s ability to exercise the vast power Americans have granted it. The nine justices have no control over money, as Congress does, or force, as the executive branch does. All they have is their black robes and the public trust. A court that does not keep that trust cannot perform its critical role in American government. And yet as the justices prepare to open a new term on Monday, fewer Americans have confidence in the court than ever before recorded. In a Gallup poll taken in June, before the court overturned Roe v. Wade with Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, only 25 percent of respondents said they had a high degree of confidence in the institution. That number is down from 50 percent in 2001 — just months after the court’s hugely controversial 5-to-4 ruling in Bush v. Gore, in which a majority consisting only of Republican appointees effectively decided the result of the 2000 election in favor of the Republicans. This widespread lack of confidence and trust in the nation’s highest court is a crisis, and rebuilding it is more important than the outcome of any single ruling…. The actual cause of its historic unpopularity is no secret. Over the past several years, the court has been transformed into a judicial arm of the Republican Party. This project was taking shape more quietly for decades, but it shifted into high gear in 2016, when Justice Antonin Scalia died and Senate Republicans refused to let Barack Obama choose his successor, obliterating the practice of deferring to presidents to fill vacancies on the court.”

Continue reading Aftermath of the Trump Administration, October 2022: [Read more…]

Aftermath of the Trump Administration, September 2022



My daily chronicle of news about the Trump administration (20 January 2017 – 20 January 2021), Republicans, Democrats, corporations, courts, resistance, and persistence continues. I am still posting important articles, especially ones that reflect the differences between the Biden administration and the Trump administration and ones that address the toxic legacy of the Trump administration and Republicans. However, I hope to devote more of my time to posting muckraking articles on my site and to working with my local activist group in pursuit of progressive change and a stronger democracy. Thanks for reading!


For independent global news, visit Democracy Now!

For a newsletter about the history behind today’s politics, subscribe to Heather Cox Richardson’s newsletter, Letters from an American.


Thursday, 1 September 2022:


War in Ukraine: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) mission inspects nuclear plant after delays, The Washington Post, Adela Suliman, John Hudson, Adam Taylor, Sammy Westfall, and James Bikales, Thursday, 1 September 2022: “An International Atomic Energy Agency team carried out an initial inspection of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant Thursday, overcoming political hurdles and nearby mortar shelling to access the embattled plant. Five IAEA representatives will remain on-site through Saturday, the plant’s operator said. ‘I have just completed a first tour of the key areas that we wanted to see,’ Rafael Grossi, the director general of the IAEA, said on Twitter after leaving the facility Thursday evening. ‘We are establishing a continued presence from the IAEA here.’ The IAEA mission is intended to assess the safety and security of the Russian-occupied plant, as well as speak to staff, in a bid to prevent a nuclear disaster like the one that occurred in Chernobyl in 1986. Russia and Ukraine have accused each other of shelling the area around the power station.

  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky praised the IAEA experts’ visit and called for demilitarization of the area around the plant in his nightly address Thursday. He accused Russia of efforts to ‘deceive the mission’ by intimidating local residents and refusing to allow journalists to accompany the inspectors. ‘The main thing is to have the will to draw objective conclusions,’ Zelensky said.
  • The IAEA team pushed ahead with the visit despite what Grossi said was ‘increased military activity’ near the plant. The expert mission was briefly held up by Ukrainian forces on its way to the site. Russia has controlled the facility since March, and both Kyiv and Moscow publicly supported the visit by the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog.
  • Lithuania offered to send its police forces to Zaporizhzhia as part of a U.N. peacekeeping force. Speaking at the U.N. Chiefs of Police Summit in New York Thursday, Arūnas Paulauskas, deputy commissioner of the Lithuanian police, said a U.N. police force could ensure the plant’s ‘physical security’ alongside a long-term IAEA monitoring mission. ‘Lithuania would be prepared to play an active part and deploy law enforcement officers to such a mission,’ he said.
  • Ukraine began its academic school year Thursday, welcoming students back in ceremonies that showed both resilience and the war’s heavy toll. The Washington Post spoke to and photographed students and parents across the country to get a sense of the mood at the start of this unprecedented school year. Some students were required to carry ’emergency backpacks’ or practice air raid drills as part of their school’s opening ceremony. Others could not attend school in person because their school building had been bombed.

Russia-Ukraine War: Five U.N. Inspectors Remain at Embattled Nuclear Plant in Ukraine. Part of the I.A.E.A. mission departed the occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant after roughly four hours, but others remain to continue assessing its safety. The New York Times, Thursday, 1 September 2022:

  • The inspectors braved shelling as they crossed the front line between Ukrainian and Russian forces.
  • With war raging near the plant, what can the U.N. inspectors accomplish?
  • The Zaporizhzhia plant deployed emergency backup measures after it was struck by shelling.
  • A Russian oil executive dies under murky circumstances.
  • A Ukrainian player refused to shake the hand of the Belarusian she lost to at the U.S. Open.
  • Improvements in U.N. security could help the nuclear agency as it navigates a combat zone in Ukraine.
  • Pencil, chalk and first-aid kits: Ukrainian children return to school in the midst of war.

Trump Documents Inquiry: Federal Judge Aileen M. Cannon Keeps Door Open to Special Master in Trump Documents Inquiry. Cannon also indicated that she would unseal a more detailed inventory of the materials seized in the search of the former president’s Mar-a-Lago home. The New York Times, Patricia Mazzei, Alan Feuer, and Charlie Savage, Thursday, 1 September 2022: “A federal judge signaled on Thursday that she remained open to granting former President Donald J. Trump’s request to appoint an independent arbiter to go through documents the F.B.I. seized from him last month, but stopped short of making a final decision. After a nearly two-hour hearing, the judge, Aileen M. Cannon of the Federal District Court for the Southern District of Florida, reserved judgment on the question of whether to appoint a so-called special master in the case, saying she would issue a written order ‘in due course.’ Notably, Judge Cannon did not direct the F.B.I. to stop working with the files, which the Justice Department has said have already undergone a preliminary review by law enforcement officials. Judge Cannon, who was appointed by Mr. Trump in 2020, also indicated that she would unseal a more detailed list of the documents the F.B.I. took during its Aug. 8 search of Mar-a-Lago, Mr. Trump’s private club and residence in Florida. She had earlier ordered the Justice Department to provide the list to Mr. Trump’s legal team at its request. It was not clear when it would become public. During the hearing, Judge Cannon pressed the government to explain what harm could come from appointing a special master. Jay I. Bratt, the head of the Justice Department’s counterintelligence section, told her that a special master could slow down an assessment of the risk and damage to national security being conducted by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence — as well as an assessment of whether the seized documents contain the sort of national security secrets whose unauthorized retention is a crime under the Espionage Act.” See also, U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon to issue a written ruling on Trump special-master request. Cannon indicates she may believe the former president retained some executive privileges when leaving the White House. The Washington Post, Perry Stein and Devlin Barrett, Thursday, 1 September 2022: “A federal judge seemed sympathetic to arguments presented by Donald Trump’s attorneys in a courtroom Thursday that the former president may retain some executive privileges after he left the White House. But U.S. District Judge Aileen M. Cannon did not issue a ruling from the bench on whether she would grant the legal team’s request to appoint a special master to review material seized from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence and club, instead saying she would deliver a written decision in ‘due course.’ Cannon also said she would unseal a more detailed inventory list of the documents and other materials that FBI agents seized from Mar-a-Lago on Aug. 8. Both the Justice Department and Trump’s lawyers have agreed that the information can be made public, potentially shedding light on what Trump kept in his possession after returning 15 boxes from Mar-a-Lago in January and responding to a May grand jury subpoena requesting additional presidential records. At a hearing Thursday afternoon, a newly hired Trump lawyer told Cannon that the appointment of a special master — essentially an independent outside expert — would bring down the ‘very high’ temperature around the FBI’s investigation into possible mishandling of classified documents. ‘We need to take a deep breath,’ said Chris Kise, a former Florida solicitor general who left his law firm this week and entered into a multimillion-dollar deal to join Trump’s legal team, according to people familiar with the arrangement who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss it. Jay Bratt, a senior Justice Department counterintelligence official, told Cannon that Trump was not entitled to a special master, emphasizing that the issue in the case is the possible hiding of highly sensitive government secrets in a private residence. Trump ‘is no longer the president, and because he is no longer the president, he did not have the right to take those documents,’ Bratt said. Justice Department officials also told Cannon that their filter team had done a thorough review of the material, and it had set aside 64 sets of documents — made up of some 520 pages — that might be considered protected by attorney-client privilege.” See also, Federal judge Aileen Cannon orders release of detailed list of property seized in Trump FBI search, CBS News, Nicole Sganga, Robert Legare, Melissa Quinn, Thursday, 1 September 2022: “A federal judge on Thursday ordered the release of a detailed list of the property seized during the FBI’s search at former President Donald Trump’s South Florida residence last month, while reserving judgment on whether to appoint an outside party to review the documents. Federal prosecutors initially submitted a property receipt to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida on Tuesday, though it was filed under seal. The Justice Department told the court in a separate filing it was prepared to release the receipt to the public given the ‘extraordinary circumstances’ of the case and provide it ‘immediately’ to Trump. Trump’s legal team said they did not oppose unsealing the detailed inventory. It remained sealed as of Thursday afternoon.”

Continue reading Aftermath of the Trump Administration, September 2022:

[Read more…]