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!


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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:

Trump escalates attacks on Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell with ‘DEATH WISH’ post. An incendiary and racist message from the former president raised concerns about inciting more violence. The Washington Post, Isaac Arnsdorf, Saturday, 1 October 2022: “Former president Donald Trump is facing blowback for an inflammatory online message attacking Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) that many viewed as a threat. ‘He has a DEATH WISH,’ Trump posted late Friday on his Truth Social platform, criticizing McConnell for agreeing to a deal to fund the government through December. He also disparaged McConnell’s wife, Elaine Chao, who served as Trump’s transportation secretary and was born in Taiwan, in racist terms, calling her ‘his China loving wife, Coco Chow!’ The post marked a further escalation in an increasingly strained relationship between the two Republican leaders. Trump has repeatedly impugned McConnell’s negotiating positions and called on GOP senators to replace him as their leader. They often had a tense working relationship during Trump’s presidency and fell out in the aftermath of the 2020 election, when Trump refused to concede and tried to overturn the results, and the attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.” See also, Trump’s ‘Death Wish’ Rhetoric. His latest tirade against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell courts potential violence. The Wall Street Journal, The Editorial Board, published on Sunday, 2 October 2022: “We live in a polarized political age when rabid partisans don’t need provocation to resort to violence. This makes Donald Trump’s latest verbal assault against Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell all the more reckless. Mr. Trump let loose another tirade against the GOP Senate leader on Friday. ‘Is McConnell approving all of these Trillions of Dollars worth of Democrat sponsored Bills, without even the slightest bit of negotiation, because he hates Donald J. Trump, and he knows I am strongly opposed to them, or is he doing it because he believes in the Fake and Highly Destructive Green New Deal, and is willing to take the Country down with him?’ Mr. Trump wrote on Truth Social. ‘In any event, either reason is unacceptable. He has a DEATH WISH. Must immediately seek help and advise from his China loving wife, Coco Chow!’ he added. This continues Mr. Trump’s attacks on Elaine Chao, Mr. McConnell’s wife, for being Chinese-American. Her real offense was resigning as transportation secretary after Mr. Trump’s disgraceful behavior on Jan. 6. His feud with Mr. McConnell is also personal, as the Kentucky Senator condemned Mr. Trump’s Jan. 6 actions and hasn’t spoken to him since. But the ‘death wish’ rhetoric is ugly even by Mr. Trump’s standards and deserves to be condemned. Mr. Trump’s apologists claim he merely meant Mr. McConnell has a political death wish, but that isn’t what he wrote. It’s all too easy to imagine some fanatic taking Mr. Trump seriously and literally, and attempting to kill Mr. McConnell. Many supporters took Mr. Trump’s rhetoric about former Vice President Mike Pence all too seriously on Jan. 6.”

National Archives Says Records From Trump White House Still Missing. The archives said in a letter to the House Oversight Committee that it was seeking electronic messages from unnamed White House officials sent through personal accounts. The New York Times, Luke Broadwater, Saturday, 1 October 2022: “The National Archives informed Congress on Friday that members of the Trump White House still had not turned over all presidential records and signaled there could be legal consequences for those who do not comply. In a letter sent to the House Oversight Committee, Debra Steidel Wall, the acting U.S. archivist, said the archives was working to retrieve electronic messages from certain unnamed White House officials who had used personal email and messaging accounts to conduct official business. Ms. Wall wrote that the archives would consult the Justice Department about whether to ‘initiate an action for the recovery of records unlawfully removed.’ ‘While there is no easy way to establish absolute accountability, we do know that we do not have custody of everything we should,’ Ms. Wall wrote to Representative Carolyn B. Maloney, Democrat of New York and the chairwoman of the Oversight Committee.” See also, National Archives says it still doesn’t have all Trump White House records, CNN Politics, Whitney Wild and Katelyn Polantz, Saturday, 1 October 2022: ‘The National Archives has told the House Oversight Committee that certain presidential records from the Trump administration remain outstanding, citing information that some White House staff used non-official electronic systems to conduct official business. In a Friday letter to the panel’s chairwoman, New York Democrat Carolyn Maloney, the National Archives and Records Administration, or NARA, said it had been unable to obtain records from a number of former officials and will continue to pursue the return of similar types of Presidential records from former officials. But, ‘while there is no easy way to establish absolute accountability, we do know that we do not have custody of everything we should,’ NARA said. Last month, Maloney requested in a letter that NARA seek a ‘personal certification’ from former President Donald Trump that he has turned over all presidential records he ‘illegally removed’ from the White House.” See also, National Archives says it’s still missing records from Trump officials, The Washington Post, Jacqueline Alemany, Saturday, 1 October 2022: “The National Archives has told the House Oversight Committee that it has not yet recovered all of the records from Trump administration officials that should have been transferred under the Presidential Records Act. The Archives will consult with the Department of Justice ‘on whether “to initiate an action for the recovery of records unlawfully removed,” as established under the Federal Records Act,’ acting archivist Debra Steidel Wall said in a letter sent on Friday to the committee’s chairwoman, Carolyn B. Maloney (D-N.Y.). Steidel Wall added that the Archives has been unable to obtain federal records related to ‘non-official electronic messaging accounts that were not copied or forwarded into their official electronic messaging accounts.’ Presidential advisers are required to forward such messages to their official accounts under the law, she noted. ‘While there is no easy way to establish absolute accountability, we do know that we do not have custody of everything we should,’ Steidel Wall wrote, according to the letter provided to The Washington Post.”


Sunday, 2 October 2022:


Russian Invasion of Ukraine: U.S. and U.K. say Russia’s retreat from Lyman is ‘significant’ and hurts Russia’s ability to resupply troops, The Washington Post, Annabelle Timsit, Robyn Dixon, Ellen Francis, Missy Ryan, and Nick Parker, Sunday, 2 October 2022: “Lyman, a key supply hub in eastern Ukraine, was ‘fully cleared’ of Russian forces this weekend, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Sunday, as Western military leaders past and present cast the troops’ withdrawal as a strategic victory that could undermine Russia’s effort to control the Donetsk region. Donetsk is one of four Ukrainian regions that Russia claimed it annexed after staged referendums, in violation of international law and despite widespread global criticism. Russia, meanwhile, is looking ahead to next steps after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the annexations. The United Nations’ nuclear watchdog called for Russian forces to release the director of the Zaporizhzhia power plant, Europe’s largest nuclear facility.

  • Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Sunday cautioned Russia against following through with escalatory nuclear threats, which he said were ‘irresponsible.’ ‘Nuclear saber-rattling is not the kind of thing that we would expect to hear from leaders of large countries with capability,’ he said on CNN. Austin said he expected Ukrainian forces to continue its counteroffensive in an attempt to recapture all of their country’s territory. ‘I don’t think that’s going to stop, and we will continue to support them in their efforts.’
  • The Zaporizhzhia plant director’s detention is ‘frank Russian terror, for which the terrorist state must bear an ever-increasing punishment,’ Zelensky said in his Sunday night address. Earlier, the Institute for the Study of War think tank called Igor Murashov’s detention a sign that ‘Russia is likely setting conditions to assume legal responsibility’ for the plant; International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Rafael Grossi called for Murashov ‘to resume his important functions at the plant.’
  • Russia is taking procedural steps to annex Ukrainian territories, with its Constitutional Court ruling that so-called treaties on the annexation of Zaporizhzhia, Kherson, Donetsk and Luhansk were consistent with the Russian constitution. The documents are expected to pass through both houses of Russia’s rubber-stamp parliament Monday and Tuesday, after which Russia will consider annexation to be complete.
  • The loss of Lyman ‘could turn into a cascading series of defeats for the Russians,’ retired Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster said Sunday on CBS’s ‘Face the Nation.’ ‘What we might be here is really at the precipice of really the collapse of the Russian army in Ukraine. … They must really be at a breaking point.’ McMaster, who served as one of President Donald Trump’s national security advisers, added that the United States should be communicating to Putin that ‘if you use a nuclear weapon, it’s a suicide weapon.’
  • Russia’s pullout from Lyman ‘represents a significant political setback’ for Moscow, Britain’s Defense Ministry said Sunday, ‘given that it is located within … a region Russia supposedly aimed to “liberate” and has attempted to illegally annex.’ Within Russia, the Lyman retreat prompted another wave of public criticism of the country’s military leadership, the ministry added.

Russian Invasion of Ukraine: Retreating Russian Forces Left Destruction and Documents in Their Wake. With Ukraine back in control of Lyman, a crucial rail hub, signs of the city’s former occupiers are everywhere and residents are just learning about Moscow’s annexation claims. The New York Times, Sunday, 2 October 2022:

  • Bodies and bureaucracy are the remnants of Russian control of Lyman.

  • Putin’s claims to Donetsk are news to the residents of newly liberated Lyman.

  • The Nord Stream pipelines have stopped leaking, the Danish Energy Agency says.

  • On Russian TV, the Kremlin emphasizes a fight against all of the West, not just Ukraine.

  • Nine NATO nations express support for Ukraine’s membership bid.

  • A soldier and civilian are treated side-by-side at a field hospital in the south.

  • Pope Francis appeals to Putin to end the war and declares the nuclear threat ‘absurd.’

The Story Behind DeSantis’s Migrant flights to Martha’s Vineyard. Asylum seekers in Texas were recruited for the flights by a woman who appeared to be a former Army counterintelligence agent. ‘We were tricked,’ one migrant said. The New York Times, Edgar Sandoval, Miriam Jordan, Patricia Mazzei, and J. David Goodman, Sunday, 2 October 2022: “In June, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a budget that set aside $12 million to create a program for transporting unauthorized migrants out of Florida. He touted it as the highlight of the state’s new spending when it came to immigration. But just three months later, the money was being used in a place far from Florida, in a very different way: rounding up Venezuelan asylum seekers on the streets of San Antonio and shipping them on private planes to Massachusetts. The flights last month, carrying 48 migrants, attracted international attention and drew condemnation from Democrats as well as several legal challenges. Mr. DeSantis immediately claimed credit for what appeared to be a political maneuver — dumping dozens of asylum seekers on the doorstep of Northeastern Democrats who have resisted calls to clamp down on immigration. Florida officials have provided little information about the program or how it was engineered. But details have begun to emerge of the clandestine mission that was carried out without the knowledge of even the Texas governor, Greg Abbott, a fellow Republican: flights paid for with state money in possible violation of the state law that allocated the money; a charter airline company with political ties to the Florida governor. And, in the middle of it all, a woman with a background in military counterintelligence who investigators believe was sent to Texas from Tampa in order to fill the planes.”


Monday, 3 October 2022:


Russian Invasion of Ukraine: Lyman retreat buoys Ukrainian advance as Russian lawmakers approve annexations, The Washington Post, Robyn Dixon, Annabelle Timist, Nick Parker, Sammy Westfall, and Praveena Somasundaram, Monday, 3 October 2022: “Following the recapture of the strategic town of Lyman, Ukraine on Monday continued to push toward retaking occupied territory, even as Russia conceded it did not know the precise borders of its new territories because it does not fully control them. Recent advances have put Ukrainian forces in a strong position to attack Luhansk, one of the four regions Russia’s lower house of parliament voted to annex on Monday, formalizing the illegal takeover of Ukrainian territory that began with staged referendums last month.

  • Five Azov fighters who were recently released by Russia were reunited with family members in Turkey on Monday, Andriy Yermak, Zelensky’s chief of staff, confirmed. In his Monday address, Zelensky vowed to ‘do everything’ to reunite Ukrainians still being held by Russia with their family.
  • The director of the Zaporizhzhia power plant, Ihor Murashov, was released from detention, Ukraine’s nuclear operator Energoatom confirmed in a statement on Monday. The agency thanked the International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Rafael Grossi for his efforts to secure the release of Murashov, who was detained on Friday. In his nightly address on Sunday, Zelensky called Murashov’s detention ‘frank Russian terror.’
  • Russia’s so-called annexation treaties unanimously passed the rubber-stamp lower house, the State Duma, on Monday. The upper house, Russia’s Federation Council, is expected to formalize the annexation, a violation of international law, on Tuesday. Western leaders have denounced last month’s orchestrated annexation votes in the regions as a ‘sham.’
  • The Kremlin said Russia would ‘consult’ with the populations of Zaporizhzhia and Kherson to determine the exact borders of the territories Moscow hopes to absorb as its own. Presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in a news conference that the outcome in those regions ‘will depend on the will of the people living there.’
  • Elon Musk took aim at the Russia-Ukraine war via a Twitter poll that set off a firestorm online, drawing in Ukrainian diplomats, Russian officials, fans of the billionaire entrepreneur and even a couple of presidents. Ukraine’s ambassador to Germany, Andrij Melnyk, tweeted back at Musk, ‘F— off is my very diplomatic reply to you.’

Russian Invasion of Ukraine: Ukraine Presses Forward on Two Fronts as Horrors of War Linger. A reclaimed village provides a glimpse of the toll of a sweeping counteroffensive in the east. Kremlin-installed officials said they had also lost ground in the south, as Moscow acknowledged that the borders of the territory it has illegally annexed were in flux. The New York Times, Monday, 3 October 2022:

  • The Kremlin, after trumpeting annexation, admits it doesn’t know where the borders are.

  • Ukraine’s forces show no sign of slowing down after the capture of Lyman.

  • A Russian court set Brittney Griner’s appeal hearing for Oct. 25.

  • Elon Musk weighs in on how to end the war in Ukraine.

  • The director general of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant has been released from detention, the U.N. nuclear agency says.

  • Pentagon sees promise in the progress Ukraine has made on the battlefield.

  • A pipeline attack has a town in northern Germany on edge.

Russian Invasion of Ukraine: Russia retreats from a key city it just claimed to annex (October 3), NPR, NPR Staff, Monday, 3 October 2022: “As the week begins, here’s a look ahead and a roundup of key developments from the past week. What to watch this week: Russia’s parliament will ratify its attempted annexation of four Ukrainian territories, widely condemned internationally as illegal. On Monday, the lower house unanimously approved it. The upper house is expected to pass it on Tuesday. Following Ukraine’s recapture of Lyman in the east, Ukrainian forces appeared to break through Russian lines in the south on Monday. Russian President Vladimir Putin turns 70 Friday. What happened last week: Monday, Sept. 26: The first troops called up in Russia’s new mobilization in Ukraine arrived at military bases, many with no prior training and with few trainers on hand, according to British defense intelligence. Putin later said ‘mistakes’ in the call-up should be corrected. Tuesday, Sept. 27: Russia claimed that staged referendums in four occupied regions of Ukraine showed the people chose to join the Russian Federation. United Nations leaders and many countries called the process a sham and a violation of international law. Wednesday, Sept. 28: Moscow-backed officials in occupied parts of Ukraine made appeals for the regions to join the Russian Federation. Putin’s approval rating fell 6 points to 77% in a poll by the Levada Center. The U.S. Defense Department, meanwhile, announced $1.1 billion in additional security aid to Ukraine. Thursday, Sept. 29: Star Wars actor Mark Hamill threw his support behind a fundraiser to buy drones for Ukraine in the ‘war with the evil empire,’ he said. Friday, Sept. 30: Putin signed documents claiming Russia is annexing four regions from Ukraine, but world powers refuse to recognize it. Ukraine applied for ‘accelerated’ NATO membership. Saturday, Oct. 1: Russian forces retreated as Ukraine recaptured the city of Lyman, located in one of the eastern regions the Kremlin claimed to annex. Sunday, Oct. 2: Leaders of nine European countries made a joint statement in support of Ukraine joining NATO. And Pope Francis made a strong plea for Putin to end the war.”

Prosecution Says Oath Keepers ‘Concocted a Plan for Armed Rebellion.’ Defense lawyers said the far-right militia had assembled ahead of the January 6 attack on the Capitol to await what they hoped would be a decision by Donald Trump to invoke the Insurrection Act. The New York Times, Alan Feuer, Monday, 3 October 2022: “Two days after Election Day in 2020, Stewart Rhodes, the leader of the Oath Keepers militia, sent an urgent, encrypted message to high-ranking members of his group, telling them to resist allowing Joseph R. Biden Jr. to enter the White House. ‘We aren’t getting through this without a civil war,’ he wrote. Setting out their opening statement in the trial of Mr. Rhodes and four other members of the Oath Keepers on charges of seditious conspiracy, federal prosecutors said on Monday that the message was an early step in a broad effort to stop the transfer of presidential power and to use the might of the far-right militia to keep President Donald J. Trump in office. Over the next two months, Mr. Rhodes riled up and recruited dozens of Oath Keepers to join his plot, prosecutors said, eventually deploying them in Washington and across the river in Virginia to disrupt a key moment of the democratic process: the certification of Mr. Biden’s victory at a joint session of Congress on Jan. 6, 2021. ‘Ever since our government transferred power from George Washington to John Adams in the year 1797, we have had a core custom of routine and peaceful transfer of power,’ Jeffrey S. Nestler, a prosecutor, said in Federal District Court in Washington. ‘These defendants tried to change that history,’ Mr. Nestler went on. ‘They concocted a plan for an armed rebellion to shatter a bedrock of democracy.'” See also, Prosecutor told a jury that members of the extremist group Oath Keepers led by Stewart Rhodes planned for an armed rebellion, The Washington Post, Spencer S. Hsu, Rachel Weiner, and Tom Jackman, Monday, 3 October 2022: “Members of the extremist group Oath Keepers led by Stewart Rhodes planned for an armed rebellion ‘to shatter a bedrock of American democracy’ — the peaceful transfer of presidential power — culminating in their role in the attack on the U.S. Capitol, a prosecutor told a jury Monday in the first seditious conspiracy trial of the sprawling Jan. 6 investigation. Rhodes and four co-defendants that day staged an ‘arsenal’ of firearms in nearby Virginia and several forcibly breached the Capitol with a mob to prevent Congress from confirming President Biden’s 2020 election victory, thwarting the will of U.S. voters and elected representatives, Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Nestler said during opening statements in federal court. ‘That was their goal — to stop by whatever means necessary the lawful transfer of presidential power, including by taking up arms against the United States government,’ Nestler said. Descending on Washington ‘to attack not just the Capitol, not just Congress, not just our government — but our country itself.'” See also, Oath Keepers trial: Prosecutor says January 6 was ‘rebellion,’ The Washington Post, Alanna Durkin Richer, Michael Kunzelman, and Lindsay Whitehurst | AP, Monday, 3 October 2022: “The founder of the Oath Keepers extremist group and four associates planned an ‘armed rebellion’ to keep President Donald Trump in power, a federal prosecutor contended Monday as the most serious case yet went to trial in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol. Stewart Rhodes and his band of extremists were prepared to go to war to stop Joe Biden from becoming president, Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Nestler told jurors. The group celebrated the Capitol attack as a victory in that fight and continued their plot even after Biden’s electoral victory was certified, Nestler alleged. ‘Their goal was to stop, by whatever means necessary, the lawful transfer of presidential power, including by taking up arms against the United States government,’ the prosecutor said during his opening statement. ‘They concocted a plan for armed rebellion to shatter a bedrock of American democracy.’ The defendants are the first among hundreds of people arrested in the Capitol riot to stand trial on seditious conspiracy, a rare Civil War-era charge that calls for up to 20 years behind bars. The stakes are high for the Justice Department, which last secured such a conviction at trial nearly 30 years ago, and intends to try two more groups on the charge later this year.” See also, Oath Keepers trial begins in highest profile January 6 case to date. The charges of seditious conspiracy will be litigated over the next six to eight weeks. Politico, Kyle Cheney, Monday, 3 October 2022: “Leaders of the far-right Oath Keepers sought to end the country’s history of peaceful transitions of presidential power in order to keep Donald Trump in office, prosecutors contended on Monday, opening the most significant trial yet to emerge from the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. ‘They concocted a plan for an armed rebellion to shatter a bedrock of American democracy,’ said Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Nestler during opening arguments. The remarks to a jury were the first in the seditious conspiracy case being brought against five Oath Keeper leaders, part of what prosecutors described as a detailed — and increasingly desperate — bid to stop Congress from certifying Joe Biden’s victory. Prosecutors say the group intended to back Trump’s bid to stay in power, but decided to ‘take matters into their own hands’ after Trump and Vice President Mike Pence declined to invoke their most extreme options. Prosecutors say the group’s founder, Yale Law-educated Stewart Rhodes, developed a detailed plan to keep Trump in power, including by violent force if necessary. Prosecutors described Rhodes as ‘like a general,’ who surveyed his ‘troops’ on Capitol grounds as they breached the building. And he said the group set up stockpiles of weapons just outside of Washington D.C. to prepare for the possibility of a more violent uprising, Nestler said.”

Trump’s lawyer refused his request in February to say all documents had been returned to the National Archives and Records Administration in early 2022. After initial return of 15 boxes, attorney Alex Cannon thought there might be more records at Mar-a-Lago, people familiar with the matter said. The Washington Post, Josh Dawsey and Jacqueline Alemany, Monday, 3 October 2022: “Former president Donald Trump asked one of his lawyers to tell the National Archives and Records Administration in early 2022 that Trump had returned all materials requested by the agency, but the lawyer declined because he was not sure the statement was true, according to people familiar with the matter. As it turned out, thousands more government documents — including some highly classified secrets — remained at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence and private club. The later discovery of those documents, through a May grand jury subpoena and the Aug. 8 FBI search of the Florida property, are at the heart of a criminal investigation into the potential mishandling of classified material and the possible hiding, tampering or destruction of government records. Alex Cannon, an attorney for Trump, had facilitated the January transfer of 15 boxes of presidential records from Mar-a-Lago to the National Archives, after archives officials agitated for more than a year to get ‘all original presidential records’ back, which they are required by law to do. Following months of stonewalling by Trump’s representatives, archives officials threatened to get the Justice Department or Congress involved. Trump himself eventually packed the boxes that were returned in January, people familiar with the matter said. The former president seemed determined in February to declare that all material sought by the archives had been handed over, said the people, who like others interviewed for this article spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal conversations.” See also, In February 2022 Trump Lawyer Declined Trump Request to Tell National Archives All Material Was Returned. When asked to say the former president had no more government documents after the return of 15 boxes in January, the lawyer, Alex Cannon, would not do so, uncertain of whether it was true. The New York Times, Maggie Haberman and Michael S. Schmidt, Monday, 3 October 2022: “Shortly after turning over 15 boxes of government material to the National Archives in January, former President Donald J. Trump directed a lawyer working for him to tell the archives that he had returned all the documents he had taken from the White House at the end of his presidency, according to two people familiar with the discussion. The lawyer, Alex Cannon, had become a point of contact for officials with the National Archives, who had tried for months to get Mr. Trump to return presidential records that he failed to turn over upon leaving office. Mr. Cannon declined to convey Mr. Trump’s message to the archives because he was not sure if it was true, the people said. In fact, Mr. Trump would be found still to have large quantities of government records in his possession even after turning over the 15 boxes. They included one set turned over to the Justice Department by Mr. Trump’s aides in June and another large cache — including some marked with the highest levels of classification — seized by the F.B.I. in the search in August of the former president’s residence and private club in Florida, Mar-a-Lago. When archives officials opened the initial 15 boxes they recovered in January, they found a large volume of documents with classified markings and notified the Justice Department, setting in motion events that led to a criminal investigation and the search of Mar-a-Lago. The criminal investigation is ongoing and has been tied up in legal wrangling between the Justice Department and Mr. Trump’s team.”

139 Republicans in the House Legitimized the Myth of a Stolen Election–and Reaped the Rewards. On the day the Capitol was attacked, 139 Republicans in the House voted to dispute the Electoral College count. This is how they got there. The New York Times, Steve Eder, David D. Kirkpatrick, and Mike McIntire, Monday, 3 October 2022: “Five days after the attack on the Capitol last year, the Republican members of the House of Representatives braced for a backlash. Two-thirds of them — 139 in all — had been voting on Jan. 6, 2021, to dispute the Electoral College count that would seal Donald J. Trump’s defeat just as rioters determined to keep the president in power stormed the chamber. Now one lawmaker after another warned during a conference call that unless Republicans demanded accountability, voters would punish them for inflaming the mob. ‘I want to know if we are going to look at how we got here, internally, within our own party and hold people responsible,’ said Representative Nancy Mace of South Carolina, according to a recording of the call obtained by The New York Times. When another member implored the party to unite behind a ‘clarifying message’ that Mr. Trump had truly lost, Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, the Republican leader, emphatically agreed: ‘We have to.’ More than 20 months later, the opposite has happened. The votes to reject the election results have become a badge of honor within the party, in some cases even a requirement for advancement, as doubts about the election have come to define what it means to be a Trump Republican. The most far-reaching of Mr. Trump’s ploys to overturn his defeat, the objections to the Electoral College results by so many House Republicans did more than any lawsuit, speech or rally to engrave in party orthodoxy the myth of a stolen election. Their actions that day legitimized Mr. Trump’s refusal to concede, gave new life to his claims of conspiracy and fraud and lent institutional weight to doubts about the central ritual of American democracy. Yet the riot engulfing the Capitol so overshadowed the debate inside that the scrutiny of that day has overlooked how Congress reached that historic vote. A reconstruction by The Times revealed more than simple rubber-stamp loyalty to a larger-than-life leader. Instead, the orchestration of the House objections was a story of shrewd salesmanship and calculated double-talk, set against a backdrop of demographic change across the country that has widened the gulf between the parties.”

Herschel Walker, the Anti-Abortion Republican Nominee for U.S. Senate in Georgia, Paid for Girlfriend’s Abortion. The woman has receipts and a ‘get well’ card she says the football star, now a Senate candidate, sent her. The Daily Beast, Roger Sollenberger, Monday, 3 October 2022: “Herschel Walker, the football legend now running for Senate in Georgia, says he wants to completely ban abortion, likening it to murder and claiming there should be ‘no exception’ for rape, incest, or the life of the mother. But the Republican candidate has supported at least one exception—for himself. A woman who asked not to be identified out of privacy concerns told The Daily Beast that, after she and Walker conceived a child while they were dating in 2009, he urged her to get an abortion. The woman said she had the procedure and that Walker reimbursed her for it. She supported these claims with a $575 receipt from the abortion clinic, a ‘get well’ card from Walker, and a bank deposit receipt that included an image of a signed $700 personal check from Walker. The woman said there was a $125 difference because she ‘ball-parked’ the cost of an abortion after Googling the procedure and added on expenses such as travel and recovery costs. Additionally, The Daily Beast independently corroborated details of the woman’s claims with a close friend she told at the time and who, according to the woman and the friend, took care of her in the days after the procedure. The woman said Walker, who was not married at the time, told her it would be more convenient to terminate the pregnancy, saying it was ‘not the right time’ for him to have a child. It was a feeling she shared, but what she didn’t know was that Walker had an out-of-wedlock child with another woman earlier that same year.” See also, Report in The Daily Beast Says Herschel Walker Paid for Girlfriend’s Abortion. Mr. Walker called the report a lie, after The Daily Beast, which has also broken news about Mr. Walker’s out-of-wedlock children, reported that a former girlfriend had the procedure in 2009. The New York Times, Maya King, Monday, 3 October 2022: “Herschel Walker, the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate in Georgia and an avowed abortion opponent, paid for his then-girlfriend to have an abortion in 2009, according to a report published Monday in The Daily Beast. Mr. Walker called the claim ‘a flat-out lie.’ The woman, who The Daily Beast said asked to remain anonymous out of privacy concerns, said that she and Mr. Walker had conceived the child while the two were dating, and mutually agreed not to go ahead with the pregnancy. She said Mr. Walker, who was not married at the time, reimbursed her for the cost of the procedure, the outlet reported. As evidence, the woman provided a copy of a $700 check from Mr. Walker, a receipt from the abortion clinic and a ‘get well’ card from Mr. Walker, The Daily Beast reported. The outlet published a photo of the card with what it said was Mr. Walker’s signature. Mr. Walker quickly posted a statement on Twitter and threatened to file a defamation lawsuit against The Daily Beast on Tuesday morning. ‘I deny this in the strongest possible terms,’ he said. ‘It’s disgusting, gutter politics.’ The development is the latest in a series of potentially damaging reports about Mr. Walker’s personal life since he began his campaign for Senate in 2021. In June, The Daily Beast reported that Mr. Walker, who has criticized absentee fathers in Black households, had fathered a child out of wedlock. Later that week, the outlet reported on two more children he had not previously mentioned publicly or to his campaign aides.” See also, ‘Do you care about family values?’: ‘Herschel Walker’s son denounces his father’s campaign for the U.S. Senate. ‘I know my mom and I would really appreciate if my father Herschel Walker stopped lying and making a mockery of us,’ Christian Walker said. Politico, Olivia Olander and Kelly Hooper, Monday, 3 October 2022: “The son of Republican Georgia Senate candidate Herschel Walker on Tuesday continued his social media attack against his father in a series of new videos, labeling Walker’s behavior on the campaign trail as ‘atrocious.’ ‘Family values, people? He has four kids, four different women, wasn’t in the house raising one of them,’ Christian Walker said in a tweeted video. ‘He was out having sex with other women. Do you care about family values?’ Christian Walker also accused his father of lying when he denied a Daily Beast report published Monday that Herschel Walker had once paid for a girlfriend’s abortion. The Senate candidate, who has adopted an unyielding stance against abortion rights while on the campaign trail, on Monday threatened to sue the Daily Beast after it published the report.”

There Is Absolutely Nothing to Support the ‘Independent State Legislature’ Theory. Such a doctrine would be antithetical to the Framers’ intent, and to the text, fundamental design, and architecture of the Constitution. The Atlantic, J. Michael Luttig, Monday, 3 October 2022: ‘The Supreme Court will decide before next summer the most important case for American democracy in the almost two and a half centuries since America’s founding. In Moore v. Harper, the Court will finally resolve whether there is a doctrine of constitutional interpretation known as the ‘independent state legislature.’ If the Court concludes that there is such a doctrine, it would confer on state legislatures plenary, exclusive, and judicially unreviewable power both to redraw congressional districts for federal elections and to appoint state electors who quadrennially cast the votes for president and vice president on behalf of the voters of the states. It would mean that the partisan gerrymandering of congressional districts by state legislatures would not be reviewable by the state courts—including the states’ highest court—under their state constitutions. Such a doctrine would be antithetical to the Framers’ intent, and to the text, fundamental design, and architecture of the Constitution.”

Supreme Court rejects Trump ally Mike Lindell’s appeal in 2020 election lawsuit. The MyPillow CEO is fighting a defamation lawsuit the voting machine company Dominion filed over his election conspiracy theories. NBC News, Lawrence Hurley, Monday, 3 October 2022: “The Supreme Court on Monday rejected MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell’s bid to fend off a defamation lawsuit the voting machine company Dominion Voting Systems filed over his far-fetched claims about the 2020 presidential election. The justices’ decision not to hear the case means a federal judge’s ruling in August 2021 that allowed the lawsuit to move forward remains in place. Lindell, a prominent TV salesman for the pillows his company makes, is an outspoken supporter of former President Donald Trump.”

Trump Sues CNN for Defamation, Seeking $475 Million. The former president has a history of threatening, and occasionally filing, lawsuits against media organizations whose coverage he deems unfair. The New York Times, Michael M. Grynbaum, Monday, 3 October 2022: “Former President Donald J. Trump sued CNN on Monday, claiming that the network defamed him and demanding $475 million in damages. Over the course of his business and political career, Mr. Trump has frequently threatened to sue media organizations over news coverage that he deems unfair or disrespectful. Although he rarely followed through, his attacks on the media became a staple of his political messaging and have often been cited in fund-raising entreaties in the run-up to this year’s midterm elections. In 2020, his re-election campaign sued The New York Times and The Washington Post over opinion articles that linked Mr. Trump to Russian interference in American elections. His suit against The Times was dismissed; the suit involving The Post is pending. Mr. Trump’s complaint against CNN was filed in U.S. District Court in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The lawsuit alleges a ‘campaign of dissuasion in the form of libel and slander’ that, Mr. Trump asserts, has recently escalated ‘as CNN fears the plaintiff will run for president in 2024.’ The 29-page suit cites numerous times when CNN hosts and guests criticized Mr. Trump over his policies and his questioning of the 2020 presidential election result. It also laments that some guests have invoked Adolf Hitler and the history of Nazi Germany in criticizing Mr. Trump’s behavior. Among the on-air guests cited as having defamed Mr. Trump is the singer Linda Ronstadt.” See also, Trump sues CNN for defamation, CBS News, Robert Legare, Monday, 3 October 2022: “Former President Donald Trump is suing CNN for defamation and asking for compensatory damages in excess of $75,000 and punitive damages of $475 million, according to a lawsuit filed Monday. He is claiming that the cable news giant has harmed his reputation with ‘false, defamatory, and inflammatory mischaracterizations of him’ and that CNN’s conduct ‘is intended to interfere with [his] political career.’ In particular, Trump argues that he’s entitled to hundreds of millions of dollars in punitive damages because of CNN’s use of the term the ‘Big Lie’ to describe Trump’s ‘stated concerns about the integrity of the election process for the 2020 presidential election.’ Trump’s lawyers say that the ‘Big Lie’ ‘is a direct reference to a tactic employed by Adolf Hitler and appearing in Hitler’s ‘Mein Kampf.’

Equal Protection on the Docket. In its new term, the Supreme Court has chosen to hear several cases that, if overturned, could set efforts to protect minority groups back decades. The New York Review of Books, David Cole, Monday, 3 October 2022: “At least three times in its history, the Supreme Court has invoked the Constitution in order to frustrate efforts to protect the vulnerable. In the infamous Dred Scott case of 1857, the Court declared that the Constitution prohibited federal efforts to free slaves because doing so would violate their owners’ property rights—a decision that invalidated the Missouri Compromise and helped bring about the Civil War. In the early twentieth century, the Court repeatedly struck down state and federal protections for workers and consumers, deeming them violations of business owners’ constitutional rights of contract. The decisions were so unpopular that President Franklin Delano Roosevelt proposed packing the Court. And in 2013 the Court gutted the Voting Rights Act, removing its requirement that states with a history of discriminatory voter suppression submit voting rules and redistricting plans for administrative approval before implementing them. Runaway gerrymandering and voter suppression followed, eroding the integrity of our democracy. In its new term, which begins today, the Court has chosen to hear a series of cases that likewise invoke the Constitution as an obstacle to protecting equal rights, even as the country continues to reckon with its many legacies of discrimination. While the decision to overrule Roe v. Wade was, as I have written, egregiously wrong, it still allows the political branches to protect abortion. This term the Court is poised to go even further, by not only eliminating court-enforced constitutional protections but interpreting the Constitution as a barrier to other institutions’ efforts to achieve equality.”


Tuesday, 4 October 2022:


Russian Invasion of Ukraine: Kyiv breaks through in south and east; U.S. authorizes new military aid, The Washington Post, Andrew Jeong, Jennifer Hassan, and Sammy Westfall, Tuesday, 4 October 2022: “Fierce fighting continued as Ukrainian forces extended their battlefield gains against Russian troops in the east and south. The advances, including in some areas Moscow has sought to illegally annex, came as Russia’s upper house of parliament voted Tuesday to approve so-called ‘accession treaties’ for those regions. President Biden and Vice President Harris, in a call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, assured him that the United States would not recognize the annexation of Ukrainian territory and pledged $625 million in new security assistance, according to a White House readout.

  • The State Department on Tuesday authorized $625 million in new security assistance to Ukraine. The new assistance means that the United States will have contributed a total of $16.8 billion to Ukraine since the Russian invasion in February, according to the State Department.
  • A Russian diplomat at the United Nations said Tuesday that the level of U.S. military assistance to Ukraine was pushing ‘the situation closer to a dangerous point of a direct military confrontation between Russia and NATO,’ the state-owned Tass news agency reported.
  • Russia’s upper house, the Federation Council, ratified the illegal annexation of the Zaporizhzhia, Kherson, Donetsk and Luhansk regions in Ukraine on Tuesday. The lower house approved the annexations Monday.
  • A Russian court set Oct. 25 as the appeal date for Brittney Griner, the WNBA star held in Russia for drug possession, the Associated Press reported. In August, Griner was sentenced to 9½ years in prison after being accused of having vape canisters containing cannabis oil in her luggage. Griner’s attorneys say the penalty is excessive and that she was prescribed cannabis to treat pain.

Russian Invasion of Ukraine: Ukraine Reports Advances in Its Southern Counteroffensive. While Kyiv’s army is gaining momentum on the battlefield in the east and south, much of the land it has recaptured has been razed and abandoned. Russia’s new recruits remain largely in the wings. The New York Times, Tuesday, 4 October 2022:

  • Ukraine says its offensives are gaining ground not just in the east, but also in the south.

  • A Ukrainian soldier says the army is liberating land ‘without people on it.’

  • A U.N. investigation finds that Russian forces are torturing civilian and military prisoners.

  • A new package of U.S. military aid will speed more mobile rocket launchers to Ukraine.

  • The Russian defense ministry says it has 200,000 new recruits, but analysts have yet to see their impact.

  • Russian military bloggers say the country’s forces in Kherson Province face a bleak situation.

  • In Ukraine’s recaptured lands, residents of ruined towns still consider whether to flee.

  • Ukraine’s top diplomat tries to counter Russia’s narrative on Africa tour.

Trump Asks Supreme Court to Intervene in Review of Mar-a-Lago Records. In earlier cases, the justices have ruled against the former president when he sought to shield his financial and presidential records from prosecutors and congressional investigators. The New York Times, Adam Liptak and Charlie Savage, Tuesday, 4 October 2022: “Former President Donald J. Trump asked the Supreme Court on Tuesday to intervene in the litigation over sensitive documents that the F.B.I. seized from his Florida estate, saying that an appeals court had lacked jurisdiction to remove them from a special master’s review. But Mr. Trump’s lawyers did not ask the Supreme Court to overturn the most important part of the appeals court’s intervention: its decision to free the Justice Department to continue using documents with classification markings in its criminal investigation of Mr. Trump’s handling of government records. The new filing was technical, saying that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, in Atlanta, had not been authorized to stay aspects of a judge’s order appointing a special master to review all materials that the F.B.I. had seized in its search of Mr. Trump’s residence, Mar-a-Lago. ‘The 11th Circuit lacked jurisdiction to review the special master order, which authorized the review of all materials seized from President Trump’s residence, including documents bearing classification markings,’ the application said. The court requested a response from the Justice Department by 5 p.m. next Tuesday. Even were Mr. Trump to prevail, his victory would be distinctly modest. It would merely allow the special master to review those documents even as the Justice Department continues its work. Although the Supreme Court is dominated by six conservative justices, three of them appointed by Mr. Trump, it has rejected earlier efforts to block the disclosure of information about him, and legal experts said Mr. Trump’s new emergency application faced significant challenges.” See also, Trump asks Supreme Court to intervene in Mar-a-Lago search case. The former president asked the high court to put classified documents back into an independent review being conducted by a federal judge. The Washington Post, Devlin Barrett and Robert Barnes, Tuesday, 4 October 2022: “Former president Donald Trump’s lawyers asked the Supreme Court on Tuesday to intervene in the Mar-a-Lago documents-seizure case, saying the outside legal expert appointed to review the materials should be allowed to examine roughly 100 classified items found during the search. The petition came after a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit granted the Justice Department’s request to keep the classified documents separate from a review of documents being conducted by the outside expert, called a special master. Authorities have launched a high-stakes investigation to determine if the former president or his advisers mishandled national security secrets, or hid or destroyed government records. By taking the case to the Supreme Court, Trump gets another chance to publicly argue that he is being treated unfairly by the Justice Department, and if he succeeds, it could stymie or stall the ongoing investigation into his conduct.” See also, Trump goes to Supreme Court over Mar-a-Lago search and seizure of documents, CNN Politics, Tierney Sneed, Tuesday, 4 October 2022: “Former President Donald Trump asked the Supreme Court on Tuesday to intervene in the dispute over materials marked as classified that the FBI seized from his Mar-a-Lago estate this summer. His emergency request with the Supreme Court is the latest example of the former President seeking to involve the justices in investigations that entangle him – at a time when the high court’s legitimacy in politically explosive cases is under intense scrutiny. Trump is specifically asking the court to ensure that the more than 100 documents marked as classified are part of the special master’s review. The request, if granted, could bolster the former President’s attempt to challenge the search in court, as he has argued that he may have had a right, as a former president, to possess certain government documents, including documents potentially containing the country’s most sensitive secrets. Trump, though, is not asking the Supreme Court to block the Justice Department from using the documents in its criminal probe into how materials from his White House were mishandled.” See also, Trump asks Supreme Court to intervene in Mar-a-Lago documents case. Trump’s request would put about 100 potentially classified documents back into the special master review. Politico, Josh Gerstein, Kyle Cheney, and Nicholas Wu, Tuesday, 4 October 2022: “Former President Donald Trump is asking the Supreme Court to intervene in the fight over records the FBI seized from his Florida home as part of an investigation into alleged retention of classified information, theft of government documents and obstruction of justice. Lawyers for Trump asked Justice Clarence Thomas on Tuesday to issue an emergency order that would restore an outside reviewer’s authority over about 100 documents with classification markings found at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate during the Aug. 8 search. Such a move would make it easier for Trump to continue to pursue claims that those documents — some marked ‘Top Secret,’ or with even more restrictive classifications — should not be in the hands of Justice Department investigators because they are subject to executive privilege, because Trump declassified them before leaving office, or for other reasons.”

Mar-a-Lago Documents Included Pardons, Emails, Legal Bills, Bloomberg, Zoe Tillman, Tuesday, 4 October 2022: “The thousands of documents seized from former President Donald Trump’s Florida home included a mix of government, business and personal affairs, including analysis about who should get a pardon, call notes marked with a presidential seal, retainer agreements for lawyers and accountants, and legal bills, according to newly disclosed logs created by federal investigators. The detailed lists of seized materials were attached to a recently unsealed Aug. 30 report from the Justice Department. A judge had ordered the logs stay under seal but they appeared to be inadvertently posted to the public court docket. They’re no longer publicly visible. The logs were created by a ‘Privilege Review Team’ that divided potentially privileged material into two categories. The first set of 137 pages consisted mostly of government records, public documents, or communications from outside parties. One 39-page document titled ‘The President’s Calls’ featured handwritten notes and the presidential seal in the upper left corner. The second list described documents that the filter team believed should be returned to Trump, including a ‘medical letter’ to a doctor and a wide array of materials referring to Trump’s numerous legal entanglements over the years.”

Former Trump aides say in the Trump White House, classified records were routinely mishandled. The jumble of secret and not-secret documents found by the FBI was typical of how Donald Trump handled records, former aides said. The Washington Post, Shane Harris, Josh Dawsey, Ellen Nakashima, and Jacqueline Alemany, Tuesday, 4 October 2022: “Aides who had worked in Donald Trump’s White House were not surprised this summer when the FBI found highly classified material in boxes at Mar-a-Lago, mixed with news clippings and other items. They’d seen such haphazard collections before. During his four years in office, Trump never strictly followed the rules and customs for handling sensitive government documents, according to 14 officials from his administration, most of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss what they called Trump’s mishandling of classified information. He took transcripts of his calls with foreign leaders as well as photos and charts used in his intelligence briefings to his private residence with no explanation. He demanded that letters he exchanged with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un be kept close at hand so he could show them off to visitors. Documents that would ordinarily be kept under lock and key mingled with piles of newspaper articles in Trump’s living quarters and in a dining room that he used as an informal office…. Many of Trump’s aides had not previously worked in senior government positions, and they came to the White House naive about the established procedures for handling classified information. In August 2017, White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly, a retired Marine Corps general who had served as secretary of homeland security, tried to set things straight. Kelly issued written guidance requiring that any document sent to the president for his review first be cleared by the staff secretary, the official in charge of keeping track of documents, as well as the chief of staff. Kelly also set up rules for what to do after Trump had seen a document. ‘All paper leaving the Oval Office must be submitted to the Staff Secretary for appropriate processing,’ said the guidance, a copy of which was reviewed by The Post. It was the staff secretary’s job to mark the document ‘President Has Seen’ and submit it to the Office of Records Management. ‘This process is vital for compliance with the Presidential Records Act,’ the guidance states, referring to the law that makes White House records the property of the federal government…. Kelly said in an interview that Trump ‘rejected the Presidential Records Act entirely.’ He added that ‘many people would regularly say to him, We have to capture these things.’ ‘What he did doesn’t surprise me at all,’ Kelly said.”

In Speedy Embrace of Herschel Walker, Republicans Make Familiar Political Bargain. While the Georgia Senate candidate denied a report that he paid for an ex-girlfriend’s abortion, his Republican allies looked past the claims toward November. The New York Times, Shane Goldmacher, Maya King, and Lisa Lerer, Tuesday, 4 October 2022: “Herschel Walker walked into the First Baptist Church of Atlanta on Tuesday with his Senate campaign in turmoil. A day earlier, an ex-girlfriend said he had paid for her to have an abortion, despite his public opposition to the procedure. His son slammed him on social media as a liar. Mr. Walker had flatly denied the claim. And any question of whether the Republican Party, its grass-roots activists and evangelicals would break with him seemed quickly put to rest. The audience in the church did not wait to render a verdict: He was greeted with a standing ovation. From the closed-door confines of that church in Atlanta to the corridors of power in Washington, Republicans raced to close ranks behind Mr. Walker on Tuesday, fearing that any break with the former football star could cost the party a seat that is widely seen as central to the Republican Party’s chances to take control of the Senate in 2022. ‘Full speed ahead in Georgia,’ declared Steven Law, the president of the Senate Leadership Fund. The group, the leading Senate Republican super PAC, is aligned with Senator Mitch McConnell and has booked more than $34 million in television ads in the state. ‘Republicans stand with him,’ added Senator Rick Scott, the chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee. The quick consolidation behind Mr. Walker, less than 24 hours after The Daily Beast reported on the abortion claim on Monday, exposed a Republican Party that has become increasingly conditioned to discount questions about personal behavior in pursuit of political victories. While some Republicans said they didn’t believe the report, nearly all party leaders, elected officials and activists dismissed the abortion story as secondary to larger policy goals.” See also, Conservative radio host Dana Loesch said she does not care if Republican Georgia Senate nominee Herschel Walker paid to abort endangered baby eagles as long as Republicans take the Senate in November. She also sayd she doesn’t care if Herschel Walker paid ‘some skank’ for an abortion: ‘I want control of the Senate.’ Mediaite, Kipp Jones, Tuesday, 4 October 2022: “[Loesch’s] take came on the heels of reporting from the Daily Beast Walker allegedly paid his former girlfriend $700 to have his child aborted. Walker has denied the report, calling it a ‘lie.'” See also, Herschel Walker’s team knew of an abortion allegation months before it surfaced. His team was aware and had time to prepare. They just hoped it wouldn’t come out before the election. Politico, Meridith McGraw, Natalie Allison, and Sam Stein, Tuesday, 4 October 2022: “Months before news broke alleging that Herschel Walker paid for an abortion, top Republicans in the state — including those advising his team — warned him that the story could torpedo his campaign. Four people with knowledge of those preliminary discussions said that the abortion issue was well known within the state, even before reporters began inquiring about it.”

The landmark Voting Rights Act faces further dismantling at the Supreme Court, NPR, Nina Totenberg, Tuesday, 4 October 2022: “The U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments on Tuesday in a case that could put another nail in the coffin of the landmark Voting Rights Act, first passed in 1965 and aimed at eliminating race discrimination against minority voters. Since 2013, the Supreme Court has twice struck down or neutered major portions of the act. Now, once again, the law is on the chopping block­ — this time on the question of how state legislatures may draw congressional district lines when the state’s voters are racially polarized. At issue is Alabama’s congressional redistricting plan adopted by the Republican state legislature after the 2020 census. More than a quarter of the state’s population is African American, but in only 1 of 7 districts do minority voters have a realistic chance of electing the candidate of their choice. Black voters are either concentrated in that district so they are a supermajority there or spread out across the remaining six districts so that their voting power is diluted. It’s a practice known as packing and cracking. ‘In Alabama, voting is racially polarized, which means Black voters and white voters systematically vote for different candidates, particularly when Black candidates are on the ballot,’ says election law expert Richard Pildes. And that, he says, ‘triggers the Voting Rights Act.'” See also, Hear Ketanji Brown Jackson Use Progressive Originalism to Refute Alabama’s Attack on the Voting Rights Act, Slate, Mark Joseph Stern, Tuesday, 4 October 2022: “For decades, conservative justices have made a specific point to support many of their rulings on race: They insist that the Constitution is entirely ‘colorblind,’ prohibiting any consideration of race under all circumstances. During oral arguments in Merrill v. Milligan on Tuesday, a case they will attempt to use to eradicate what remains of the Voting Rights Act, they advanced this theory once again. This time, however, Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson refused to cede ground to their revisionist history. In a series of extraordinary exchanges with Alabama Solicitor General Edmund LaCour, Jackson explained that the entire point of the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments was to provide equal opportunity for formerly enslaved people, using color-conscious remedies whenever necessary to put them on the same plane as whites. It was a masterclass in progressive originalism that illustrated exactly why Jackson is such a crucial addition to this ultra-conservative court. Merrill involves a challenge to Alabama’s new congressional districts, which constitute a flagrant racial gerrymander: Republican lawmakers packed most Black residents into one sprawling district, then gave white voters control over the remaining six districts. As a result, Black voters control just 14 percent of congressional districts despite making up nearly a third of the state’s population. The Voting Rights Act was designed to outlaw this kind of dilution of racial minorities’ voting power. Indeed, Congress amended the law in 1982 to make it crystal clear that race-based vote dilution is impermissible. It was no surprise, then, that a three-judge district court (including two Donald Trump nominees) threw out Alabama’s new map in January as a violation of the VRA. Its 225-page opinion painstakingly explained that the state had an obligation to create a second district in which Black voters had a real shot at electing their preferred representative. But the Supreme Court froze that ruling in February by a 5–4 vote, and heard arguments Tuesday.”

FBI got tip about Oath Keepers’ plans for armed fight in November 2020. An FBI agent resumed testimony in the trial of Stewart Rhodes and others indicted with him in connection with the January 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol. The Washington Post, Rachel Weiner and Spencer S. Hsu, Tuesday, 4 October 2022: “On Nov. 9, 2020, as Oath Keepers leader Stewart Rhodes told members of his paramilitary group to get ready to fight for President Donald Trump in the streets of Washington, one listener was secretly recording, an FBI agent testified Tuesday. An ‘increasingly alarmed follower’ recorded the meeting and shared it with law enforcement, prosecutor Jeffrey Nestler said Monday in the federal trial of Rhodes and four others accused of a seditious conspiracy to keep Trump in office. But the tip, sent to the FBI on Nov. 25, 2020, was apparently ignored. Special Agent Michael Palian said in the second day of his testimony that he saw the message only when the tipster re-sent it in March 2021, after the Jan. 6 Capitol attack, and he was not aware of anyone reaching out to the person earlier. An FBI spokeswoman declined to comment Tuesday on the testimony. Federal and local law enforcement officials received an avalanche of tips warning of violence in Washington to keep Trump in power, yet the Capitol was only lightly protected when lawmakers convened to certify Joe Biden’s victory on Jan. 6. A Justice Department inspector general’s investigation of the security failures is ongoing. On the November call, according to court records, Rhodes told more than 100 people that ‘we’ve got to be in D.C. … You’ve got to make sure that [Trump] knows that you are willing to die, to fight for this country.’ As he did repeatedly in the weeks leading up to the Jan. 6 riot, Rhodes said he hoped Trump would invoke the Insurrection Act, which he believed would allow the president to authorize the Oath Keepers to use force against fellow Americans. ‘If he does that, then D.C. gun laws won’t matter,’ Rhodes said. ‘I do want some Oath Keepers to stay on the outside and to stay fully armed and prepared to go in armed if they have to.'”

Republican Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin acknowledges texting with Trump attorney on January 6, 2021, NBC News, Natasha Korecki, Tuesday, 4 October 2022: “Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., acknowledged Tuesday that he exchanged text messages with one of Donald Trump’s attorneys before and after Johnson’s staff tried to deliver a package to then-Vice President Mike Pence on Jan. 6, 2021…. Johnson, in response to questions from NBC News, said ‘the entire episode lasted about an hour,’ referring to his ties to a fake electors scheme he said he knew nothing about. He also said he didn’t know the contents of the package he said the attorney wanted to be delivered…. Johnson has previously distanced himself from the scheme, telling WISN-TV of Milwaukee in August: ‘My involvement in that attempt to deliver spanned the course of a couple seconds.’… ‘To call what happened on Jan. 6 an “armed insurrection,” I just think it’s inaccurate,’ he said. ‘I’m sorry — that’s not what an armed insurrection would look like.’ Johnson argued that few weapons were confiscated but that protesters ‘did teach us how you can use a flag pole.'”


Wednesday, 5 October 2022:


Russian Invasion of Ukraine: Putin formalizes annexation claims as Kyiv advances in the south and east, The Washington Post, Rechel Pannett, Jennifer Hassan, Robyn Dixon, and Sammy Westfall, Wednesday, 5 October 2022: “Russian President Vladimir Putin signed documents Wednesday for the illegal annexation of four regions of Ukraine. He also called for steps to Russianize education in the annexed areas, saying at an event marking Teachers’ Day that it was ‘necessary to prevent a situation where the teaching of history is distorted.’ ‘It is necessary to pass on the moral and cultural code of the Russian people to children,’ he said. Meanwhile, Ukrainian forces were making a ‘fast and powerful advance’ in the country’s south and liberating ‘dozens of settlements’ from Russian control, President Volodymyr Zelensky said. Outside Ukraine, the conflict’s economic impact continued to reverberate. In Vienna, the OPEC Plus group of oil-producing nations, which includes Russia and Saudi Arabia, announced it would slash oil production by 2 million barrels per day. It was a stinging rebuke to President Biden that could push up gas prices, worsen the risk of a global recession and bolster Russia’s war effort in Ukraine.

  • Putin formalized annexation claims to the regions of Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson on Wednesday. The Russian leader also signed a decree authorizing Moscow to take over operations at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, which Ukrainian staffers have continued to operate under occupation, even as fighting nearby raised international concerns about nuclear safety.
  • The International Atomic Energy Agency said that its chief, Rafael Mariano Grossi, would consult with authorities regarding the new decree. Grossi is set to arrive in Kyiv, and later Russia, the agency tweeted Wednesday. The need for a nuclear safety and security protection zone around the Zaporizhzhia plant is ‘now more urgent than ever,’ Grossi said.
  • Documents on Russian plans for the regions say Ukrainian offensives to regain territory would be seen as attacks on Russia itself. The documents also say pro-Moscow separatist militias in Luhansk and Donetsk will be incorporated into Russia’s military and residents will become Russian citizens upon taking an oath of loyalty.

Russian Invasion of Ukraine: Russia Uses Self-Destructing Drones From Iran In Strikes Near Kyiv. The move highlights Russia’s growing reliance on the so-called kamikaze drones, which blow up on impact, Ukrainian officials said. The New York Times, Wednesday, 5 October 2022:

  • Russia strikes near Kyiv with ‘kamikaze’ drones supplied by Iran.

  • The E.U.’s plan faces a new hurdle, as oil producers led by Saudi Arabia aim to keep global prices high.

  • As Russian troops retreat, cameras document the devastation they left behind.

  • Putin signs annexation laws, plowing ahead with a parallel reality as Russia loses ground in Ukraine.

  • Russia says it is nationalizing the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, while Ukraine says it is taking charge there.

  • Price cap on Russian oil could have unintended consequences, analysts say.

  • In a rebuke to the West, OPEC and Russia agree to a big cut in oil production.

Atlanta-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit allows Justice Department to fast-track appeal in Trump case, Reuters, Sarah N. Lynch, Wednesday, 5 October 2022: “A U.S. appeals court on Wednesday agreed to fast-track a legal challenge to a third-party review of most of the records seized by the FBI from former President Donald Trump’s home, after prosecutors complained the process is hampering their investigation. The decision by the Atlanta-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit represented a small victory for the Justice Department, which had sought an expedited appeal, and a blow to Trump, who had tried to slow-walk the litigation. At the heart of the dispute is a decision by U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon, a Trump appointee, who last month appointed Senior Judge Raymond Dearie as special master to review more than 11,000 records recovered from Mar-a-Lago to weed out any that could be privileged and should be shielded from investigators.” See also, Federal appeals court to expedite case weighing legality of Mar-a-Lago special master, CNN Politics, Katelyn Polantz and Tierney Sneed, Wednesday, 5 October 2022: “A federal appeals court has decided to expedite a case over the legality of having a special master oversee the review of a trove of federal records seized from Mar-a-Lago. A faster resolution to the Justice Department’s appeal in this case could more quickly bring a resolution to the criminal investigation into the handling of former President Donald Trump’s administration records after his presidency. The Justice Department already has access to more than 100 documents marked as classified that the FBI took from Trump’s Florida estate. But thousands of other documents are being reviewed by a special master, and the DOJ is challenging that process. In expediting the Justice Department’s appeal, the 11th US Circuit Court of Appeals set a schedule that could make a decision by the end of next month possible. The appeals court’s decision to expedite came one day after Trump turned to the Supreme Court for intervention in a narrower legal matter related to the special master review. The litigation at the Supreme Court will move parallel to the proceedings happening at 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, unless either court takes further action.”

After the F.B.I. Searched Donald Trump’s Residence at Mar-a-Lago for Classified Documents, Talk of ‘Civil War’ Flared Online, The New York Times, Ken Bensinger and Sheera Frenkel, Wednesday, 5 October 2022: “Soon after the F.B.I. searched Donald J. Trump’s home in Florida for classified documents, online researchers zeroed in on a worrying trend. Posts on Twitter that mentioned ‘civil war’ had soared nearly 3,000 percent in just a few hours as Mr. Trump’s supporters blasted the action as a provocation. Similar spikes followed, including on Facebook, Reddit, Telegram, Parler, Gab and Truth Social, Mr. Trump’s social media platform. Mentions of the phrase more than doubled on radio programs and podcasts, as measured by Critical Mention, a media-tracking firm. Posts mentioning ‘civil war’ jumped again a few weeks later, after President Biden branded Mr. Trump and ‘MAGA Republicans’ a threat to ‘the very foundations of our republic’ in a speech on democracy in Philadelphia. Now experts are bracing for renewed discussions of civil war, as the Nov. 8 midterm elections approach and political talk grows more urgent and heated. More than a century and a half after the actual Civil War, the deadliest war in U.S. history, ‘civil war’ references have become increasingly commonplace on the right. While in many cases the term is used only loosely — shorthand for the nation’s intensifying partisan divisions — observers note that the phrase, for some, is far more than a metaphor.”

She Had an Abortion With Herschel Walker. She Also Had a Child With Him. The Daily Beast, Roger Sollenberger, Wednesday, 5 October 2022: “After a woman revealed that Republican senatorial candidate Herschel Walker had urged her to have an abortion, Walker adamantly denied the story and claimed he had no idea who this woman could be. But there’s a good reason the woman finds that defense highly doubtful: She’s the mother of one of his children. When the woman first told The Daily Beast her story, we agreed not to reveal certain details about her identity over her concerns for safety and privacy. But then Walker categorically denied the story and said he didn’t know who was making this allegation…. The woman, a registered Democrat whose years-long relationship with Walker continued after the abortion, told The Daily Beast that her chief concern with revealing her name was because she is the mother of one of Walker’s own children and she wanted to protect her family’s privacy as best she could while also coming forward with the truth. (Walker has publicly acknowledged the child as his own, and the woman proved she is the child’s mother and provided credible evidence of a long-term relationship with Walker.)” See also, Woman Who Said Herschel Walker Paid for Her Abortion Is Also the Mother of One of His Children. New reporting from The Daily Beast appears to undercut Herschel Walker’s defense that he didn’t know the woman’s identity. The New York Times, Maya King, Wednesday, 5 October 2022: “The woman who told The Daily Beast on Monday that Herschel Walker had paid for her abortion in 2009 told the outlet on Wednesday that she was the mother of one of his children, undercutting his defense that he did not know her identity. Mr. Walker, the Republican nominee for Senate in Georgia, had swiftly denounced the original Daily Beast article, denying its veracity and pledging to sue the outlet for defamation. So far, the campaign has not pursued any legal action. When asked earlier Wednesday by Brian Kilmeade of Fox News whether he knew the woman’s identity, Mr. Walker said ‘not at all. It’s sort of like everyone is anonymous, everyone is leaking. They want you to confess to something you have no clue about,’ he said of Democrats and reporters. ‘But it just shows how desperate they are right now.’ The woman, who told The Daily Beast she wished to remain anonymous to preserve her privacy and that of her child with Mr. Walker, provided the outlet with a copy of the receipt from the abortion clinic, a $700 check and a ‘get well soon’ card signed by Mr. Walker. The article includes a photo of the card with what it said was Mr. Walker’s signature. The woman told The Daily Beast she was moved to say more about her relationship with Mr. Walker and the child they had together after he said he did not know her identity. The New York Times has not been able to independently confirm The Daily Beast’s reporting.”


Thursday, 6 October 2022:


Russian Invasion of Ukraine: Evidence points to Nord Stream sabotage, Swedish investigation finds, The Washington Post, Kelly Kasulis Cho, Jennifer Hassan, Maite Fernández Simon, Robyn Dixon, and James Bikales, Thursday, 6 October 2022: “A Swedish investigation into explosions that damaged the Nord Stream pipelines, which convey gas from Russia to Europe, found evidence of sabotage, Sweden’s Security Service announced Thursday. The Kremlin rejected the findings. ‘This is the Russian formula for war: kill, intimidate, fix threats to free states and their losses, destroy borders and corrupt,’ Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in an address to the European Political Community, a forum of more than 40 governments, which met for the first time in Prague on Thursday. ‘And each of these elements is anti-European. All of them are directed against Europe.’

  • President Biden said that the risk of nuclear ‘Armageddon’ is at its highest since the Cuban missile crisis, warning that Russian President Vladimir Putin is ‘not joking’ about the potential use of nuclear weapons as his army struggles in Ukraine. Biden’s remarks at a New York fundraiser Thursday comes after administration officials have said there is no indication Russia is moving its nuclear weapons in preparation for an imminent strike.
  • Zelensky, in a speech delivered via video, said the newly formed European Political Community offered ‘not just another format of cooperation in Europe but an extremely powerful opportunity to restore peace in Europe,’ The Washington Post reported.
  • ‘We do not think that any objective investigation is possible without the participation of the Russian side,’ Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in a statement, regarding Sweden’s Nord Stream findings. Moscow has sought to blame the West for the explosions.
  • Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu faced intensifying political pressure Thursday over a series of disorderly retreats in Ukraine, as powerful nationalist figures openly attacked Moscow’s military command for setbacks in areas President Vladimir Putin claims to have annexed.
  • Two Russian nationals fleeing President Vladimir Putin’s call-up of military reservists landed by boat on a remote Alaskan island in the Bering Sea and are seeking asylum in the United States, U.S. officials said Thursday. The unusual incident highlights the lengths some Russians have gone to avoid mobilization, with an estimated 200,000 Russians having fled since the call-up.
  • The director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency met with Zelensky in Kyiv on Thursday to discuss a protection zone around the embattled Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant. Rafael Mariano Grossi said at a news conference it is ‘obvious’ the Russian-occupied plant is a ‘Ukrainian facility,’ but the circumstances require him to discuss terms with both sides and he will soon visit Russia for ‘very high level’ talks.
  • USAID Administrator Samantha Power visited Kyiv on Thursday, leading the first high-level U.S. delegation since Russia announced its illegal annexation of vast swaths of eastern and southern Ukraine. Power said the United States would provide an additional $55 million in aid to help Ukrainians this winter.
  • Moscow is pushing for a secret vote for when the U.N. General Assembly considers whether to condemn its illegal annexation of four Ukrainian areas next week, Reuters reported. The Kremlin said a nonpublic vote would allow countries to resist Western pressure.

Russian Invasion of Ukraine: Ukrainian Police Say 534 Civilian Bodies Have Been Found in Recaptured Territory. More than half were women and children, and most were found in a mass grave in Izium. A Russian occupation official blasted the country’s defense minister in a sign of infighting within Moscow’s ruling elite. The New York Times, Thursday, 6 October 2022:

  • Ukrainian police have found the bodies of 534 civilians and evidence of torture in recaptured territory.

  • Critics say Russia’s military was unprepared for war.

  • Biden calls the ‘prospect of Armageddon’ the highest since the Cuban missile crisis.

  • Two Russians who braved miles of open sea arrive on an Alaskan island and request asylum.

  • U.N.’s nuclear agency does not recognize Russia’s claim to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant.

  • Swedish investigators say the evidence in pipeline leaks points to sabotage.

  • Seven civilians are killed in Russian missile strike in Zaporizhzhia, local authorities say.

Justice Department Is Said to Believe Trump Has Not Returned All the Documents He Took When He Left the White House. The move underscores the skepticism among investigators about the former president’s cooperation with the effort to retrieve government material, and it exposed a rift among his lawyers. The New York Times, Michael S. Schmidt, Maggie Haberman, and Katie Benner, Thursday, 6 October 2022: “A top Justice Department official told former President Donald J. Trump’s lawyers in recent weeks that the department believed he had not returned all the documents he took when he left the White House, according to two people briefed on the matter. The outreach from the official, Jay I. Bratt, who leads the department’s counterintelligence operations, is the most concrete indication yet that investigators remain skeptical that Mr. Trump has been fully cooperative in their efforts to recover documents the former president was supposed to have turned over to the National Archives at the end of his term. It is not clear what steps the Justice Department might take to retrieve any material it thinks Mr. Trump still holds. And it is not known whether the Justice Department has gathered new evidence that Mr. Trump has held onto government material even after the court-authorized search in August of his private club and residence in Florida, Mar-a-Lago, and 18 months of previous efforts by the federal government to convince the former president to return what he had taken on leaving office. The Justice Department declined to comment. The outreach from the department prompted a rift among Mr. Trump’s lawyers about how to respond, with one camp counseling a cooperative approach that would include bringing in an outside firm to conduct a further search for documents and another advising Mr. Trump to maintain a more combative posture. The more combative camp, the people briefed on the matter said, won out.”

A majority of Republican nominees–299 in all–deny the 2020 election results. Experts say their dominance in the party poses a threat to the country’s democratic principles and jeopardizes the integrity of future votes. The Washington Post, Amy Gardner, Thursday, 6 October 2022: “A majority of Republican nominees on the ballot this November for the House, Senate and key statewide offices — 299 in all — have denied or questioned the outcome of the last presidential election, according to a Washington Post analysis. Candidates who have challenged or refused to accept Joe Biden’s victory are running in every region of the country and in nearly every state. Republican voters in four states nominated election deniers in all federal and statewide races The Post examined. Although some are running in heavily Democratic areas and are expected to lose, most of the election deniers nominated are likely to win: Of the nearly 300 on the ballot, 174 are running for safely Republican seats. Another 51 will appear on the ballot in tightly contested races. The implications will be lasting: If Republicans take control of the House, as many political forecasters predict, election deniers would hold enormous sway over the choice of the nation’s next speaker, who in turn could preside over the House in a future contested presidential election. The winners of all the races examined by The Post — those for governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, attorney general, Senate and House — will hold some measure of power overseeing American elections. Many of these candidates echo the false claims of former president Donald Trump — claims that have been thoroughly investigated and dismissed by myriad officials and courts. Experts said the insistence on such claims, despite the lack of evidence, reflects a willingness among election-denying candidates to undermine democratic institutions when it benefits their side.”

Biden Pardons Thousands Convicted of Marijuana Possession Under Federal Law. The move represents a fundamental change in America’s response to a drug that has been at the center of a clash between culture and policing for more than a half-century. The New York Times, Michael D. Shear and Zolan Kanno-Youngs, Thursday, 6 October 2022: “President Biden on Thursday pardoned thousands of people convicted of marijuana possession under federal law and said his administration would review whether marijuana should still be in the same legal category as drugs like heroin and LSD. The pardons will clear everyone convicted on federal charges of simple possession since it became a crime in the 1970s. Officials said full data was not available but noted that about 6,500 people were convicted of simple possession between 1992 and 2021, not counting legal permanent residents. The pardons will also affect people who were convicted under District of Columbia drug laws; officials estimated that number to be in the thousands. The pardons will not apply to people convicted of selling or distributing marijuana. And officials said there are no people now serving time in federal prisons solely for marijuana possession. But the move will help remove obstacles for people trying to get a job, find housing, apply to college or get federal benefits. Mr. Biden urged governors to follow his lead for people convicted on state charges of simple possession, who vastly outnumber those charged under federal laws. Still, the president’s actions — which come about a month before the midterm elections and could help energize Democratic supporters — represent a fundamental change in America’s response to a drug that has been at the center of a clash between culture and policing for more than a half-century.” See also, Biden pardons all federal offenses of simple marijuana possession in first major steps toward decriminalization, CNN Politics, Kevin Liptak, Thursday, 6 October 2022: “President Joe Biden is taking his first major steps toward decriminalizing marijuana, fulfilling a campaign pledge to erase prior federal possession convictions and beginning the process of potentially loosening federal classification of the drug. Biden on Thursday pardoned all prior federal offenses of simple marijuana possession, a move that senior administration officials said would affect thousands of Americans charged with that crime. The announcement comes a month ahead of critical November elections that will determine control of Congress. Some candidates – in particular Pennsylvania Democratic Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, who is running for his state’s US Senate seat – have made the issue of marijuana legalization central to their campaigns. When Fetterman and Biden met last month, the candidate said he would raise the issue with the President. At the same time, Democrats have sought to rebuff allegations they are soft on crime, an issue that has risen to the top of some voters’ agendas in certain swing districts.” See also, Biden offers mass pardon for those convicted of a federal crime for simply possessing marijuana. The step marks a big move toward decriminalization. The Washington Post, Toluse Olorunnipa and Yasmeen Abutaleb, Thursday, 6 October 2022: “President Biden announced major steps toward decriminalizing marijuana possession Thursday, offering mass pardons for anyone convicted of a federal crime for simply possessing the drug, and urging governors to do the same. He also directed his administration to expedite a review of whether marijuana should continue to be listed as a Schedule I substance, a classification reserved for the most dangerous drugs, including heroin, LSD and ecstasy.”

Liz Cheney warns Arizona voters that the Republican nominees for governor (Kari Lake) and secretary of state (Mark Fincham) are threats to democracy. ‘We cannot give power to people who have told us that they will not honor elections,’ the Wyoming Republican said of Kari Lake and Mark Finchem. NBC News, Allan Smith, Wednesday, 5 October 2022: “Rep. Liz Cheney urged voters to reject Arizona’s Republican nominees for governor and secretary of state in next month’s midterm election, casting them as existential threats to U.S. democracy. ‘If you care about democracy and you care about the survival of our republic, then you need to understand — we all have to understand — that we cannot give people power who have told us that they will not honor elections,’ Cheney, R-Wyo., said Wednesday night at an event at Arizona State University. Kari Lake, the Republican nominee for governor, and Mark Finchem, the GOP nominee for secretary of state, have both put denial of the 2020 election results in their state at the forefront of their campaigns. Aligning themselves closely with former President Donald Trump and his stolen election lie, Lake has falsely called President Joe Biden an illegitimate president, while Finchem has said that had he been secretary of state when Biden won Arizona, he would not have certified the 2020 election results. Both have also claimed without evidence that the midterm elections next month might be tainted by fraud. ‘They’ve looked at all of the law, the facts and the rulings of the courts, and they said it doesn’t matter to them,’ Cheney said of Lake and Finchem. ‘So what happens here in Arizona is not just important for Arizona, but it’s important for the nation and for the future functioning of our constitutional republic,’ she said.”

Proud Boys member Jeremy Bertino is first to plead guilty to seditious conspiracy, CNN Politics, Hannah Rabinowitz and Holmes Lybrand, Thursday, 6 October 2022: “Jeremy Bertino, a top lieutenant to Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio, pleaded guilty to seditious conspiracy in federal court on Thursday, and is cooperating with the Justice Department’s investigation into the far-right extremist group. Bertino, 43, also pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of a firearm by a prohibited person. He is the first member of the Proud Boys to plead guilty to seditious conspiracy – a major boost to the historic prosecution of the organization. He could spend more than five years in prison, according to his plea agreement, which was read aloud in court, though prosecutors could ask a judge for a lesser sentence depending on his level of cooperation with the investigation.”


Friday, 7 October 2022:


Russian Invasion of Ukraine: Russian and Ukrainian groups win Nobel prize; Russian attacks mount in south, The Washington PostJames Bikales, Adela Suliman, Maite Fernández Simon, Nick Parker, and Robyn Dixon, Friday, 7 October 2022: “This year’s Nobel Peace Prize was awarded Friday to human rights activists from Ukraine, Russia and Belarus. The prize will be shared by imprisoned Belarusian human rights advocate Ales Bialiatski, Russian organization Memorial and Ukraine’s Center for Civil Liberties. The winners have made an ‘outstanding effort to document war crimes, human rights abuses and the abuse of power,’ the Norwegian Nobel Committee said. As the war drags on, President Biden has warned that the risk of nuclear ‘Armageddon’ is at its highest since the Cuban missile crisis. White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Friday that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s comments about using nuclear weapons have been ‘irresponsible’ but that the United States is not yet adjusting its nuclear posture. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, in a Friday interview with the BBC, said that he did not think Russia was ready to use nuclear weapons but that Putin’s officials had begun to ‘prepare their society’ for the possibility.

  • The leader of the Nobel committee said it wished ‘to honor three outstanding champions of human rights, democracy and peaceful coexistence in the neighbor countries of Belarus, Russia and Ukraine.’ The chairwoman, Berit Reiss-Andersen, added that ‘we are in the midst of a war, and we are talking about two authoritarian regimes and one nation fighting a war, and we would like to highlight the importance of civil society.’
  • The awarding of the peace prize to a Russian group and a Belarusian activist generated immediate criticism in Ukraine, where many politicians and activists view ordinary Russians as complicit in Putin’s war, The Washington Post reported.
  • The war in Ukraine is proving toxic for Russia’s top commanders, with at least eight generals fired, reassigned or otherwise sidelined since the start of the invasion on Feb. 24. The dismissals reflect a scramble by political elites to place blame for the costly and faltering war as open criticism grows louder, particularly among pro-war hawks and propagandists.
  • Russia is moving ahead with plans to incorporate the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant into Russia’s energy system, though the process could take months, according to officials cited in Russian media Friday. Work has begun to restart two of the power units at Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, according to a Kremlin-backed official in the Russian-controlled Ukrainian town of Enerhodar, where the plant is located.
  • Shelling once again damaged a power line at Zaporizhzhia, underscoring the ‘precarious nuclear safety and security situation’ at the nuclear plant, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said in a statement Friday. The U.N. nuclear watchdog recognizes the plant as a ‘Ukrainian facility’ and is calling for a security protection zone around the facility. IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi, who met with Zelensky in Kyiv on Thursday, will visit Moscow next week.
  • Russian authorities punished major cultural and political figures who have criticized the war. Rapper Oxxxymiron; dystopian fantasy writer Dmitry Glukhovsky, author of the Metro trilogy; and activist Alena Popova were all declared foreign agents Friday. Popova, a fellow at the quasi-governmental nonpartisan Wilson Center think tank who studies authoritarianism, criticized the move on Twitter. On Instagram, Glukhovsky said critics of the war were acting patriotically. Oxxxymiron (real name Miron Fyodorov) tweeted an animated GIF of Leonardo DiCaprio rolling his eyes.

Russian Invasion of Ukraine: Russia Pummels South With Strikes as Zelensky Heralds Ukrainian Advances. Nearly 40 rockets hit the southern city of Nikopol, an official said, as Russian shelling has picked up in recent days. Grave sites with scores of bodies are found in Lyman. The New York Times, Friday, 7 October 2022:

  • Shelling again damages power lines at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant.

  • A mass grave and a separate burial site with nearly 200 bodies are discovered in Lyman.

  • The I.M.F. said $1.3 billion in emergency funding for Ukraine had been approved by its board.

  • In an implicit rebuke to Putin, the Nobel Peace Prize is awarded to rights advocates from Russia, Ukraine and Belarus.

  • Putin’s 70th birthday is hailed in Russia and derided in Ukraine.

  • Ukrainian police have found the bodies of 534 civilians and evidence of torture in recaptured territory.

  • Biden calls the ‘prospect of Armageddon’ the highest since the Cuban missile crisis.

Oath Keepers Leader Stewart Rhodes Urged Trump to Invoke the Insurrection Act. The letter was shown to the jury at the seditious conspiracy trial of Rhodes and four subordinates. It showed the intensity of their efforts to stop the transfer of presidential power. The New York Times, Alan Feuer, Friday, 7 October 2022: “In December 2020, hours after the Electoral College cast its votes for Joseph R. Biden Jr., Stewart Rhodes, the leader of the Oath Keepers militia, posted a letter on his website urging President Donald J. Trump to undertake a series of unprecedented — and possibly illegal — moves to stay in office. Telling Mr. Trump the country was at war with ‘Communist China’ and a secret army of ‘willing American agents,’ Mr. Rhodes beseeched the president to invoke the Insurrection Act, a more than two centuries-old law that he believed would give Mr. Trump the power to call up the National Guard and militias like his own to suppress the ‘coup’ that was seeking to unseat him. The open letter, which was shown on Friday to the jury at the trial of Mr. Rhodes and four of his subordinates on seditious conspiracy charges, demanded that Mr. Trump take more wild steps to maintain his grip on power. Mr. Rhodes instructed the president to seize data from digital voting machines across the country that would purportedly prove the election had been rigged; declassify a trove of the nation’s secrets; and then perform a WikiLeaks-style ‘data dump,’ exposing a supposed cabal of corrupt judges, law enforcement officers and state election officials. All of this was followed by a threat of violence against Mr. Biden and Kamala Harris, his vice president-elect. ‘If you fail to act while you are still in office,’ Mr. Rhodes told Mr. Trump, ‘We the People will have to fight a bloody war against these two illegitimate Chinese puppets.'”

White House Tightens Rules on Counterterrorism Drone Strikes. A classified new policy requires President Biden’s approval to add suspected terrorists to a kill list. The Trump administration had decentralized control over targeting decisions. The New York Times, Charlie Savage, Friday, 7 October 2022: “President Biden has signed a classified policy limiting counterterrorism drone strikes outside conventional war zones, tightening rules that President Donald J. Trump had loosened for a 21st-century method of warfare, according to officials. The policy, which the White House sent to the Pentagon and the C.I.A. on Friday, institutionalizes a version of temporary limits that Mr. Biden’s team quietly put in place on the day of his inauguration as a stopgap for reducing risks to civilians while the new administration reviewed the counterterrorism policies it had inherited from Mr. Trump. A description of the policy, along with a classified new counterterrorism strategy memo Mr. Biden has also signed, suggests that amid competing priorities in a turbulent world, the United States intends to launch fewer drone strikes and commando raids away from recognized war zones than it has in the recent past.”

Herschel Walker Urged Woman to Have a 2nd Abortion, She Says. The Georgia Senate candidate’s ex-girlfriend says he wanted her to terminate a pregnancy in 2011. She chose to have their son instead. The New York Times, Maya King, Lisa Lerer, and Johan E. Bromwich, Friday, 7 October 2022: “A woman who has said Herschel Walker, the Republican Senate nominee in Georgia, paid for her abortion in 2009 told The New York Times that he urged her to terminate a second pregnancy two years later. They ended their relationship after she refused. In a series of interviews, the woman said Mr. Walker had barely been involved in their now 10-year-old son’s life, offering little more than court-ordered child support and occasional gifts. The woman disclosed the new details about her relationship with Mr. Walker, who has anchored his campaign on an appeal to social conservatives as an unwavering opponent of abortion even in cases of rape and incest, after the former football star publicly denied that he knew her. He called her ‘some alleged woman’ in a radio interview on Thursday. The Times is withholding the name of the woman, who insisted on anonymity to protect her son.”

Republicans called Biden’s infrastructure program ‘socialism’ Then they asked for money. CNN Politics, Edward-Isaac Dovere and Sarah Fortinsky, Friday, 7 October 2022: “Last November, GOP Rep. Tom Emmer of Minnesota released a statement slamming the passage of the freshly approved infrastructure law he referred to as ‘President Biden’s multi-trillion dollar socialist wish list.’ Then in June, Emmer – the House Republican campaign chairman leading attacks on Democrats for supporting the law – quietly submitted a wish of his own. In a letter to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, Emmer expressed his hearty support for a multimillion dollar grant to improve part of Highway 65 in his district. The work was critical, Emmer argued, not just for his constituents, but for people all over Minnesota. Crashes were leading to fatalities. Congestion was leading to huge delays. Plus, Emmer added, ‘this grant also strives to serve as a social justice measure.’ Emmer’s plea is one of dozens obtained by CNN in response to a public records request, full of instances like Alabama Sen. Tommy Tuberville modulating his tone from accusing the law of ‘using fuzzy math and IOU’s to hide the real cost,’ to appealing to Buttigieg because ‘as a former mayor, you understand better than anyone the time and money that goes into applying for highly competitive grants.’ The letter writers include high profile attackers of government spending, as well as several in tight reelection races, such as Florida Rep. María Elvira Salazar and California Rep. David Valadao, who like Emmer, slammed the Biden law in public and then behind the scenes asked for money from it.”


Saturday, 8 October 2022:


Russian Invasion of Ukraine: Kyiv celebrates Crimean Bridge blast; Russia appoints new top commander, The Washington Post, Natalia Abbakumova, Ellen Francis, Andrew Jeong, Praveena Somasundaram, Missy Ryan, and Andrea Salcedo, Saturday, 8 October 2022: “An explosion sparked a massive fire on Russia’s bridge to the annexed Crimean peninsula early Saturday and brought part of the 12-mile link crashing into the sea. The blast on the Crimean Bridge, a prized project for Russian President Vladimir Putin, threatens a vital supply route for Russian forces in southern Ukraine. Russian authorities said traffic would resume Saturday. A Ukrainian government official told The Washington Post that the country’s special services were behind the attack, though Kyiv stopped short of saying it was responsible — even as top officials taunted Moscow. The Ukrainian government tweeted: ‘sick burn.’ Meanwhile, the Kremlin appointed Gen. Sergei Surovikin as the latest top commander in Ukraine, the Defense Ministry announced Saturday. The Post had reported the day before that it was not clear who was leading Russia’s invasion of Ukraine after several months of tumult atop the military ranks.

  • A truck exploded on the bridge’s roadway, setting fuel tanks on fire as a train crossed, according to a Russian law enforcement body, which also said at least three people were killed. The cause of the blast was not immediately clear. Photos showed a thick plume of smoke rising from the nearly $4 billion crossing, also known as Kerch Bridge, which Putin personally inaugurated in 2018 by driving across in a truck.
  • Traffic in the undamaged part of the bridge has resumed with cars and buses traveling in one lane, the Russian Transportation Ministry said on Telegram. Train service on the bridge resumed Saturday evening, the Russian carrier Grand Service Express said on Telegram. Two car ferries with a total capacity of up to 50 road trains were expected to begin operating no later that Sunday morning, the Russian Transportation Ministry announced on Telegram. The transportation agency said more ferries are scheduled to run in the following days.
  • Officials in Kyiv celebrated the blast while stopping short of claiming responsibility for it. The news site Ukrainska Pravda reported first that the explosion was the work of Ukraine’s SBU security service, citing an unidentified law enforcement official. An adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky described it as ‘the beginning,’ while the Ukrainian parliament wrote: ‘Crimea, long time no see.’ The head of Ukraine’s postal service, Igor Smelyansky, announced the release of a stamp titled ‘Crimean Bridge-Done’ featuring the damaged bridge.
  • Putin ordered a government commission to investigate the ‘accident on the Crimean Bridge’ and was receiving updates from authorities, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said. He said there were ‘no forecasts on the timing of the reconstruction’ of the bridge, which serves rail and vehicles. A Crimea official said the bridge’s navigable arches were not damaged. Deputy Prime Minister Marat Khusnullin asked people to reduce use of the bridge.
  • Some Russian lawmakers struck an angrier, more urgent tone. Duma Deputy Leonid Slutsky said there was ‘no doubt’ Kyiv was behind the blast and Duma Deputy Oleg Morozov called it ‘a declaration of war without rules.’ Meanwhile, Alexander Kots, a military correspondent for a pro-government paper, wrote: ‘The stupidest thing to do now is to start reassuring the country. … Let’s already fight more angrily, for real.’
  • Authorities in Crimea said they had enough food and fuel on the peninsula, which the Kremlin annexed in 2014 after a disputed referendum. They urged people not to panic-buy and sought to reassure residents that there is now a land corridor to Russia, via swaths of Ukraine’s southeast and east that Russian forces had seized and claimed to annex. Sergei Aksyonov, Crimea’s Russian-backed leader, asked on Telegram that hotels allow tourists to extend their accommodations, which the government would fund.
  • Surovikin was designated as the Kremlin’s top commander of troops in Ukraine, the Russian Defense Ministry announced Saturday. This is the first time Russia has officially announced a leader of the overall effort to take over Ukraine, an invasion that began in February. He is the latest to take command in what has been a months-long shuffle of Russian military leaders in Ukraine.
  • The Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant had to rely on emergency generators after Russian shelling disrupted its power supply, Ukrainian state firm Energoatom said early Saturday. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) described security at the site, Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, as ‘precarious.’
  • The European Union said Russia’s seizure of the plant was ‘illegal, and legally null and void.’ In a statement from foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, the bloc demanded that Russia ‘fully withdraw its military forces and equipment and hand back control of the NPP to its rightful owner, Ukraine.’ The bloc, which is considering Ukraine’s application to join, has not recognized the Kremlin’s annexation of four Ukrainian regions, including Zaporizhzhia.

Russian Invasion of Ukraine: Explosion on 12-Mile Crimea Bridge Kills 3. The blast, on the sole bridge linking the Crimean Peninsula with Russia, disrupted an important supply line for Russian troops and was an embarrassing blow to the Kremlin.  The New York Times, Saturday, 8 October 2022:

  • Crimea’s Kerch Strait Bridge holds deep strategic, and symbolic, value.

  • The damage to the bridge in Crimea hinders Russia’s military logistics.

  • Russia names a new commander for the war in Ukraine.

  • Four missiles strike Kharkiv in one of the most intense barrages in weeks.

  • Ukraine’s Nobel Peace Prize winners urge solidarity among rights defenders.

  • ‘Happy birthday, Mr. President’: Ukrainians celebrate the bridge blast with memes.

  • The Crimea bridge explosion prompts calls for revenge from Russian hard-liners.

How Trump Deflected Demands for Documents, Enmeshing Aides. The former president exhibited a pattern of dissembling about the material he took from the White House, creating legal risk not just for himself but also some of his lawyers. The New York Times, Maggie Haberman and Michael S. Schmidt, Saturday, 8 October 2022: “Late last year, as the National Archives ratcheted up the pressure on former President Donald J. Trump to return boxes of records he had taken from the White House to his Mar-a-Lago club, he came up with an idea to resolve the looming showdown: cut a deal. Mr. Trump, still determined to show he had been wronged by the F.B.I. investigation into his 2016 campaign’s ties to Russia, was angry with the National Archives and Records Administration for its unwillingness to hand over a batch of sensitive documents that he thought proved his claims. In exchange for those documents, Mr. Trump told advisers, he would return to the National Archives the boxes of material he had taken to Mar-a-Lago, in Palm Beach, Fla. Mr. Trump’s aides never pursued the idea. But the episode is one in a series that demonstrates how Mr. Trump spent a year and a half deflecting, delaying and sometimes leading aides to dissemble when it came to demands from the National Archives and ultimately the Justice Department to return the material he had taken, interviews and documents show. That pattern was strikingly similar to how Mr. Trump confronted inquiries into his conduct while in office: entertain or promote outlandish ideas, eschew the advice of lawyers and mislead them, then push lawyers and aides to impede investigators.”

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ migrant flights to Martha’s Vineyard appear outside the scope of Florida transport program guidelines, state documents show, CNN, Steve Contorno, Saturday, 8 October 2022: “A pair of flights carrying migrants from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard last month, orchestrated by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, may have exceeded the original scope of the state’s plan to transport undocumented individuals, according to records obtained by CNN. The records show that in the months leading up to those flights, Florida had planned a narrower mission for a controversial new state program to transport migrants to other states. The goal, according to a callout to contractors and guidelines for the program, was to, ‘relocate out of the state of Florida foreign nationals who are not lawfully present in the United States.’ But that’s not what transpired. On September 14, two planes picked up 48 migrants in San Antonio – not Florida – and dropped them off in Martha’s Vineyard.” See also, New Florida records raise more questions about Governor Ron DeSantis’s migrant flights. The Washington Post, Lisa Rein, Saturday, 8 October 2022: “In the request for bids to round up migrants to transport across the country, the administration of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) was unequivocal: The winning contractor needed to fly out unauthorized new arrivals found in the state. The parameters, laid out by the Florida Department of Transportation and disclosed in public records released by the state late Friday, are raising new questions about whether the program violated state protocols when DeSantis officials chartered two planes to fly 48 migrants from San Antonio — far from Florida’s shores — to Massachusetts last month. The widely criticized political maneuver appeared to operate outside the boundaries of the $12 million program Florida lawmakers authorized in their budget in June to ‘facilitate the transport of unauthorized aliens from this state.'”

Text messages reveal what, exactly, the January 6 crowd wanted Trump to do. The Oath Keepers’ trial has placed a brighter light on the hopes and expectations of those who showed up on the Capitol to stop the certification of Biden’s election. Politico, Kyle Cheney and Josh Gerstein, Saturday, 8 October 2022: “While Donald Trump was frantically trying to extend his presidency despite losing the 2020 election, members of far-right extremist groups were watching, interpreting his moves and even seeking to nudge him toward more draconian measures. ‘I have been so busy on back channel working groups trying to advise the President,’ Stewart Rhodes, founder of the far-right Oath Keepers, said in a Dec. 30 text to allies, describing efforts to convince Trump to invoke the Civil War-era law known as the Insurrection Act in a bid to remain in office. Federal prosecutors revealed this message, and dozens of others, in court Friday as they argued that Rhodes and several other Oath Keepers should be convicted of seditious conspiracy — an armed plot to prevent Joe Biden from taking office.” See also, From Serbia to Roger Stone, Oath Keepers trial traces threads of alleged January 6 plot. Prosecutors at Stewart Rhodes’s seditious conspiracy trial say he shared foreign academic’s idea for storming Capitol with Trump adviser the day the 2020 election result was clear. The Washington Post, Spencer S. Hsu and Rachel Weiner, Saturday, 8 October 2022: “At the first U.S. seditious conspiracy trial in a decade, federal prosecutors have drawn a direct link over and over again between lead defendant Stewart Rhodes — accused of conspiring by force to subvert the results of the 2020 presidential election culminating in the Jan. 6 Capitol attack — and longtime Donald Trump political confidant Roger Stone. Minutes after news networks declared Joe Biden the election’s winner on Nov. 7, 2020, an FBI agent testified this week, Rhodes wrote Stone and others on a ‘Friends of Stone’ encrypted chat group set up to plot Trump’s defiant post-election strategy: ‘What’s the plan? We need to roll ASAP.’ Rhodes included his own proposal — inspired by a Serbian academic’s call for Americans to fill the streets and storm Congress — whose ‘parallels to what these defendants actually tried to accomplish is stunning,’ U.S. prosecutor Jeffrey Nestler told jurors. Stone has consistently denied any knowledge of or involvement in illegal acts at the Capitol on Jan. 6, and his ties to the right-wing extremist group Rhodes founded — the Oath Keepers — were no secret, as several members of the group guarded him in Washington that morning before joining the riot. However, by raising his name repeatedly in the trial of Rhodes and four others, U.S. prosecutors in court have made clear Stone and others remain objects of inquiry. The Justice Department and the FBI have long been interested in any role high-profile right-wing figures such as Stone may have played in events, whether anyone who may have influenced rioters bears enough responsibility to justify potential criminal charges or not, analysts said.”


Sunday, 9 October 2022:


Russian Invasion of Ukraine: Putin and Zelensky trade accusations of ‘terrorism’ as bloody weekend ebbs, The Washington Post, Rachel Pannett, Jennifer Hassan, Nick Parker, and Natalia Abbakumova, Sunday, 9 October 2022: “Kyiv and Moscow traded accusations of ‘terrorism’ and vowed retribution after a weekend that began with an explosion damaging a bridge to Russian-controlled Crimea and ended with a search for bodies after an airstrike on buildings and homes in Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia. Russia has illegally laid claim to both regions — Crimea since 2014 and Zaporizhzhia since last month. Overnight airstrikes on the city of Zaporizhzhia killed at least 14 people, injured scores of civilians, and reduced high-rise apartment buildings and homes to rubble, Ukrainian officials said Sunday. President Volodymyr Zelensky branded the strikes, which probably will leave a higher death toll, ‘absolute evil’ and ‘terrorism.’ While rescuers worked to clear the debris the following night, another airstrike devastated the area, according to the regional governor. On Saturday, a giant explosion collapsed part of a strategic bridge connecting Russia to the Crimean Peninsula. Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday evening characterized the attack as an attempt to destroy ‘critical civilian infrastructure of the Russian Federation.’ As he prepared to preside over Monday’s Kremlin Security Council meeting, he blamed the attack on the Ukrainian special services and implied that Russians may have helped.

  • Another Zaporizhzhia airstrike destroyed a residential building early Monday, the regional governor said. About 2 a.m. local time, Oleksandr Starukh warned people in Zaporzhzhia to take cover because of an incoming airstrike, according to his Telegram account. About an hour later, he said a residential building had been destroyed.
  • Earlier in Zaporizhzhia,more than 70 people were injured, including 11 children,’ Zelensky said of the airstrikes that killed at least 14 people. ‘Hundreds of families were left homeless,’ he said in his nightly address Sunday. ‘An entire block, from the first to the sixth floor, was destroyed by one of the missiles — a heavy anti-ship missile Kh-22 — aimed at an ordinary nine-story residential building.’ About 200 people were involved in rescue efforts, Ukraine’s emergency services agency said on Telegram.
  • Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba on Sunday urged other nations to send more weapons to Ukraine. ‘We urgently need more modern air and missile defense systems to save innocent lives. I urge partners to speed up deliveries,’ he tweeted.
  • Putin said he had ‘no doubt’ that this weekend’s Crimean Bridge explosion was the work of Ukrainian special forces. In a video, Investigative Committee leader Alexander Bastrykin tells Putin that he suspects ‘terrorism’ and that he has given his agency’s findings to the Federal Security Service and the Internal Affairs Ministry — an implication that he suspects Russians were also involved in a plan to damage the bridge. Putin will lead a Russian Security Council meeting Monday, according to state media.
  • Ukraine hasn’t taken credit for the explosion on the bridge in Crimea, which poses a potential strategic and symbolic disaster for Putin, although a Ukrainian official told The Washington Post that the country’s special services were behind the attack.

Russian Invasion of Ukraine: Putin Calls Bridge Blast an Act of Terror. The Russian leader gave his first remarks about the explosion that damaged Moscow’s bridge to Crimea, as some traffic resumed on the span. The New York Times, Sunday, 9 October 2022:

  • At least 13 are killed in Zaporizhzhia, as Ukraine braces for a response to the bridge attack.

  • What is known about the possibility of a nuclear conflict with Russia.

  • The Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant has external power again, the U.N. watchdog agency says.

  • Trains and cars are moving on the Kerch bridge, but not all traffic.

  • Joy over the bridge blast shifts to a sense of foreboding in Kyiv.

  • Russian soldiers, fleeing southern Ukraine, leave haunting mementos.

  • After unofficial talks, a former U.S. diplomat says he’s ‘cautiously optimistic’ about Brittney Griner’s release.

Alabama Republican Senator Tommy Tuberville Accused of ‘Open Appeal to Racism’ at Trump Rally, Newsweek, Andrew Stanton, Sunday, 9 October 2022: “Senator Tommy Tuberville faced accusations of making an ‘open appeal to racism’ while speaking at former President Donald Trump’s Nevada rally on Saturday night. Tuberville, an Alabama Republican who was previously Auburn University’s head football coach, gave a speech at the rally in support of Trump-backed candidates Adam Laxalt and Joe Lombardo, who are running in the state’s highly competitive Senate and gubernatorial races. During his speech, he attacked Democrats as being weak on crime. Crime remains a major issue for millions of voters ahead of the November midterm elections. Democrats have pushed for criminal justice reform policies to fix what they view as a system that perpetuates racial inequality. Republicans, however, say these reforms actually lead to an increase in crime. ‘They want crime because they want to take over what you’ve got. They want to control what you have,’ he said to the cheering crowd. ‘They want reparations because they think that the people who do the crime are owed that.'” See also, Democrats call Alabama Senator Tommy Tuberville’s comments about crime and reparations racist, The Washington Post, Eugene Scott, published on Monday, 10 October 2022: “Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) falsely claimed that Democrats are ‘pro-crime’ and support reparations for Blacks whose ancestors were enslaved because those who ‘do the crime’ are owed — a remark that has generated accusations of racism and criticism as dishonest. Speaking at a rally in Minden, Nev., on Saturday headlined by former president Donald Trump, the senator and former football coach dismissed the oft-repeated Republican claim that Democrats are ‘soft on crime’ and made the baseless statement that Democrats are ‘pro-crime.’ Tuberville and Trump were campaigning for Nevada’s GOP candidates ahead of the November midterm elections…. Although a handful of Democrats in Congress have expressed support for reparations for Black Americans who descended from people enslaved in the United States, the Democratic Party as a whole does not support the idea. House Democrats have backed a bill that would create a commission to study reparations, but there has not been enough support in the Senate from Democrats or Republicans for the legislation. As a result, some prominent Democrats have encouraged President Biden to sign an executive order that would create the commission.”

Michael Cohen says Trump believed the classified documents stashed at Mar-a-Lago were his ‘get out of jail free card,’ Business Insider, Joshua Zitser, Sunday, 9 October 2022: “Michael Cohen said that former President Donald Trump saw the classified documents stashed at Mar-a-Lago as his ‘get out of jail free’ card, he told Salon magazine in an interview. ‘He’s only interested in one thing: the get out of jail free card,’ Cohen said. ‘And that’s exactly what he saw in those documents.’ Cohen, once Trump’s personal attorney and fixer, suggested in the Salon interview that Trump thought he might be able to leverage the confidentiality of these documents to his own advantage. Imagining what Trump might say, Cohen said: ‘You want to play with me? Really? I was the former president of the United States. I have documents that are so damaging to this country’s national security. Go ahead, indict me, try to throw me in prison. See what happens.'”


Monday, 10 October 2022:


Russian Invasion of Ukraine: Putin boasts of ‘massive strike’ across Ukraine in significant escalation of war, The Washington Post, Missy Ryan, Jennifer Hassan, Isabelle Khurshudyan, Rachel Pannett, Nick Parker, Maite Fernández Simon, Emily Rauhala, Praveena Somasundaram, and Sammy Westfall, Monday, 10 October 2022: “Waves of Russian strikes across Ukraine brought the war back to downtown Kyiv, a significant escalation that raises pressure on the United States and other European countries to provide Kyiv with the most advanced weapons systems. Russian President Vladimir Putin described the string of strikes, which Ukrainian authorities said killed 14, as retaliation for a weekend blast that damaged the Crimean Bridge, a strategic and symbolic disaster for the leader. Global leaders expressed shock and declared strengthened resolve to support Ukraine, but there has been no indication of an accelerated timeline or additional pledges of more sophisticated weapons and defense systems — a long-standing request Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has repeated in the wake of the attacks.

  • Zelensky said he would address an emergency virtual meeting of the Group of Seven industrialized nations on Tuesday.
  • Putin, who blamed Ukraine for the attack on the strategic Crimean Bridge, boasted of a ‘massive strike’ across Ukraine at a meeting of his Security Council.
  • President Biden condemned the strikes, which he said ‘killed and injured civilians and destroyed targets with no military purpose.’
  • The blasts killed 14 people and injured more than 95 across Ukraine, according to Ukraine’s State Emergency Service.
  • Ukrainian officials reported drone and missile strikes in at least 10 areas of Ukraine on Monday, including in central Kyiv. The strikes hit key energy facilities in some regions, officials said, causing power outages.
  • Residents of Kyiv expressed anger, fear and defiance after the first major strikes in the capital in months.

Russian Invasion of Ukraine: Putin Unleashes Barrage of Missiles on Ukrainian Civilian Areas. The strikes killed at least 14 people in Ukraine and disrupted electricity in some regions. Russia said they were in retaliation for a blast on a key bridge to Crimea. The United Nations General Assembly convened an emergency session. The New York Times, Michael Schwirtz, Andrew E. Kramer, Megan Specia, and Eric Nagourney, Monday, 10 October 2022: “President Vladimir V. Putin unleashed a far-reaching series of missile strikes against cities across Ukraine on Monday, hitting the heart of Kyiv and other areas far from the front line, in the broadest assault against civilians since the early days of Russia’s invasion. Mr. Putin said the strikes on almost a dozen cities were retaliation for a blast that destroyed sections of a bridge linking Russia to the Crimean Peninsula, though they also seemed intended to appease hard-liners in Russia who had been openly critical over the prosecution of the war. Denouncing the bombing of the Kremlin-built bridge, an embarrassing blow, as a ‘terrorist attack,’ Mr. Putin threatened more strikes if Ukraine hit Russian targets again. ‘No one should have any doubt about it,’ he said. The attacks changed little or nothing on the battlefield, where Russia has been losing ground for weeks, but they left neighborhoods across Ukraine battered and bloodied. Buildings toppled, windows blew out, and blazes erupted. Civilians making their morning commute rushed to whatever shelter they could find as sirens blared warnings of incoming cruise missiles and so-called kamikaze drones. At least 14 people were killed and 89 wounded, the Ukrainian authorities said, while power and water were knocked out in numerous cities.”

What Will Happen to the United States if Trump Wins Again? Experts Helped Us Game It Out. The scenarios are … grim. The Washington Post, David Montgomery, Monday, 10 October 2022: “Imagine it’s Jan. 20, 2025. Inauguration Day. The president-elect raises his right hand and begins to recite the oath: I, Donald John Trump, do solemnly swear … It’s an anti-Trumper’s nightmare, but it could happen: 47 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents want Trump to be the nominee in 2024, according to a recent Washington Post-ABC News poll. And if Trump and Joe Biden are the contenders, Trump narrowly edges Biden, 48 to 46 percent, among registered voters (albeit within the poll’s margin of error). The twice-impeached president’s tenure in office was a festival of democratic norm-breaking, culminating in the ‘big lie’ about the 2020 election and the Jan. 6 insurrection. A second term would likely bring more of the same — only this time Trump would have four years of practice under his belt. To help game out the consequences of another Trump administration, I turned to 21 experts in the presidency, political science, public administration, the military, intelligence, foreign affairs, economics and civil rights. They sketched chillingly plausible chains of potential actions and reactions that could unravel the nation. ‘I think it would be the end of the republic,’ says Princeton University professor Sean Wilentz, one of the historians President Biden consulted in August about America’s teetering democracy. ‘It would be a kind of overthrow from within. … It would be a coup of the way we’ve always understood America.'”


Tuesday, 11 October 2022:


Russian Invasion of Ukraine: Biden says Putin ‘totally miscalculated’ Ukraine invasion; there are growing calls for Ukraine’s allies to provide more air defense systems, The Washington Post, Louisa Loveluck, Ellen Francis, Rachel Pannett, Jennifer Hassan, Maite Fernández Simon, and Sammy Westfall, Tuesday, 11 October 2022: “President Biden said Russian President Vladimir Putin ‘totally miscalculated’ the invasion of Ukraine but was a ‘rational actor’ — a comment that came as Russian forces unleashed a second wave of strikes targeting key infrastructure amid growing calls for Kyiv’s allies to provide more air defense systems. The Group of Seven nations said Tuesday that they were ‘undeterred’ by Russia’s military escalation in Ukraine, pledging to ‘stand firmly’ with Kyiv. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Tuesday that Ukraine urgently needs additional air defense, as well as other weapons and equipment, after Russia made its ‘most significant escalation since the start of the war.’ In Washington, National Security Council coordinator John Kirby told reporters the United States was ‘working hard’ to deliver the first two units of a promised midrange air defense system.

  • The United Nations called the attacks ‘particularly shocking’ and a potential violation of international humanitarian law.
  • Strikes continued into Tuesday. The mayor of Lviv in western Ukraine said nearly a third of the city lost electricity after a missile strike hit infrastructure Tuesday.
  • Putin met with International Atomic Energy Agency chief Rafael Mariano Grossi on Tuesday, the Kremlin said. The U.N. watchdog is seeking a buffer zone at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant in Ukraine, which Russian forces control.
  • Biden is starting to rethink what the relationship between the United States and Saudi Arabia should look like after last week’s announcement by a coalition of oil-producing nations led by the kingdom that it will slash oil production, a move that the U.S. president had warned would push up gas prices worldwide and bolster Russia in its war against Ukraine, a White House spokesman said Tuesday.
  • A British spy chief warned in a rare public speech Tuesday that Russian forces in Ukraine are overstretched and ‘exhausted’ — and that Putin is committing ‘strategic errors in judgment.’
  • meeting of NATO defense ministers will discuss Ukraine’s pleas for weapons later this week.

Russian Invasion of Ukraine: NATO Chief Urges More Weapons for Ukraine as Zelensky Seeks Air Defense Systems. A day after Moscow’s broadest strikes in months, Jens Stoltenberg, NATO’s secretary-general, said defensive systems supplied by member nations were helping. The Ukrainian military said on Tuesday it had shot down numerous Russian cruise missiles. The New York Times, Tuesday, 11 October 2022: “President Volodymyr Zelensky asked the leaders of seven major industrialized nations for more ‘modern and effective air defense systems’ on Tuesday, a day after Russia launched an intense aerial assault against civilian targets in his country. Mr. Zelensky addressed the leaders of the Group of 7 nations, who held an emergency meeting a day after Russian missile strikes killed at least 19 people across the country in retaliation for an attack on a bridge linking Russia and occupied Crimea. The leaders pledged their ‘undeterred and steadfast’ financial and military support. Jens Stoltenberg, NATO’s secretary-general, urged members of the alliance to provide Ukraine with more weapons — including more air defense systems. Such systems were expected to be a central topic of a meeting of U.S. and allied defense ministers on Wednesday in Brussels. ‘These air defense systems are making a difference because many of the incoming missiles were actually shot down by Ukrainian air defense systems provided by NATO allies,’ he said.”

Justice Department Asks Supreme Court to Reject Trump Request in Documents Case. The department said the justices should let stand an appeals court’s decision excluding about 100 sensitive documents seized at Mar-a-Lago from a special master’s review. The New York Times, Adam Liptak and Charlie Savage, Tuesday, 11 October 2022: “The Justice Department on Tuesday urged the Supreme Court to reject a request from former President Donald J. Trump asking the justices to intervene in the litigation over documents seized from his Florida estate. Mr. Trump asked the court last week to step into the tangled case, saying that an appeals court had lacked jurisdiction to remove about 100 documents marked as classified from a review of the seized material. If the Supreme Court were to put the sensitive files back into that review, the government would apparently have to show them to Mr. Trump’s legal team. In a 34-page filing, Elizabeth B. Prelogar, the solicitor general, said that the Supreme Court should let stand the appeals court’s decision while the Justice Department’s appeal of a Federal District Court judge’s order imposing a special master unfolds. The special master was appointed to review more than 11,000 files taken in the search of Mar-a-Lago in August to determine which, if any of them, would be subject to claims of attorney-client or executive privilege. Mr. Trump, Ms. Prelogar wrote, ‘has not even attempted to explain how he is irreparably injured by the Court of Appeals’ partial stay, which simply prevents disclosure of the documents bearing classification markings in the special-master review during the pendency of the government’s expedited appeal. In their filing last week, Mr. Trump’s lawyers did not ask the Supreme Court to overturn a more important part of the appeals court’s ruling, which allowed the Justice Department to continue using the documents with classification markings in its criminal investigation of Mr. Trump’s handling of government records.” See also, Justice Department asks Supreme court to deny Trump request in Mar-a-Lago case. The former president’s lawyers sought the court intervention last week, saying the outside legal expert reviewing materials seized by the FBI should be allowed to examine classified items, too. The Washington Post, Perry Stein and Robert Barnes, Tuesday, 11 October 2022: “The Justice Department asked the Supreme Court on Tuesday to deny a petition from Donald Trump’s attorneys in the Mar-a-Lago search case, arguing that allowing an outside arbiter to review the classified documents seized from Trump’s residence would ‘irreparably injure’ the government and that as former president, Trump has no ‘plausible’ claims of ownership over sensitive government materials. It’s the latest turn in the department’s high-stakes investigation to determine whether the former president or his advisers mishandled national security secrets or hid or destroyed government records. Prosecutors have accused Trump’s team of not turning over highly sensitive government documents when asked and over the summer took the extraordinary step of executing a search warrant at his home and private club in South Florida.” See also, Department of Justice urges Supreme Court to stay out of Mar-a-Lago documents fight, CNN Politics, Ariane de Vogue and Katelyn Polantz, Tuesday, 11 October 2022: “The Justice Department urged the Supreme Court on Tuesday to reject former President Donald Trump’s request that it intervene in the dispute over classified documents seized from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in August. Calling the records ‘extraordinarily sensitive,’ the Justice Department said the Supreme Court should let stand a federal appeals court order that blocked the special master’s access over those records while legal challenges play out. As this Court has emphasized, courts should be cautious before ‘insisting upon an examination’ of records whose disclosure would jeopardize national security ‘even by the judge alone, in chambers,’ DOJ wrote, citing a past case. Trump’s lawyers want the special master assigned in the case to review the more than 100 documents marked classified – which, if allowed, could open the door to Trump’s team reviewing the records and arguing they should be off-limits to prosecutors in a criminal case. The full court could act on the matter within days. It would take five justices to agree to grant Trump’s request.”

Christina Bobb, a Former One America News Network Anchor, Was a Late Addition to Former President Donald Trump’s Legal Team. She Went Out on a Limb for Trump. Now She’s Under Justice Department Scrutiny. The New York Times, Glenn Thrush, Maggie Haberman, and Michael S. Schmidt, Tuesday, 11 October 2022: “This spring, one of the lawyers representing former President Donald J. Trump made an urgent, high-stakes request to Christina G. Bobb, who had just jumped from a Trump-allied cable network to a job in his political organization. The former president was in the midst of an escalating clash with the Justice Department about documents he had taken with him from the White House at the end of his term. The lawyer, M. Evan Corcoran, met Ms. Bobb at the president’s residence and private club in Florida and asked her to sign a statement for the department that the Trump legal team had conducted a ‘diligent search’ of Mar-a-Lago and found only a few files that had not been returned to the government. Ms. Bobb, a 39-year-old lawyer juggling amorphous roles in her new job, was being asked to take a step that neither Mr. Trump nor other members of the legal team were willing to take — so she looked before leaping. ‘Wait a minute — I don’t know you,’ Ms. Bobb replied to Mr. Corcoran’s request, according to a person to whom she later recounted the episode. She later complained that she did not have a full grasp of what was going on around her when she signed the document, according to two people who have heard her account. Ms. Bobb, who relentlessly promoted falsehoods about the 2020 election as an on-air host for the far-right One America News Network, eventually signed her name. But she insisted on adding a written caveat before giving it to a senior Justice Department official on June 3: ‘The above statements are true and correct to the best of my knowledge.'” See also, Christina Bobb, Trump lawyer who vouched for documents, meets with the FBI, Associated Press, Eric Tucker, Tuesday, 11 October 2022: “A lawyer for former president Donald Trump who signed a letter stating that a ‘diligent search’ for classified records had been conducted and that all such documents had been given back to the government has spoken with the FBI, according to a person familiar with the matter. Christina Bobb told federal investigators during Friday’s interview that she had not drafted the letter but that another Trump lawyer who she said actually prepared it had asked her to sign it in her role as a designated custodian of Trump’s records, said the person, who insisted on anonymity to discuss an ongoing investigation. The process is of interest to investigators because the Justice Department says the letter was untrue in asserting that all classified records sought by the government had been located and returned. Though the letter, and 38 documents bearing classification markings, were presented to FBI and Justice Department officials during a June 3 visit to Mar-a-Lago, agents returned to the Florida estate with a search warrant on Aug. 8 and seized about 100 additional classified records.

How Ron DeSantis Blew Up Black-Held Congressional Districts and May Have Broken Florida Law, ProPublica, Joshua Kaplan, Tuesday, 11 October 2022: “Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis was incensed. Late last year, the state’s Republican legislature had drawn congressional maps that largely kept districts intact, leaving the GOP with only a modest electoral advantage. DeSantis threw out the legislature’s work and redrew Florida’s congressional districts, making them far more favorable to Republicans. The plan was so aggressive that the Republican-controlled legislature balked and fought DeSantis for months. The governor overruled lawmakers and pushed his map through. DeSantis’ office has publicly stressed that partisan considerations played no role and that partisan operatives were not involved in the new map. A ProPublica examination of how that map was drawn — and who helped decide its new boundaries — reveals a much different origin story. The new details show that the governor’s office appears to have misled the public and the state legislature and may also have violated Florida law. DeSantis aides worked behind the scenes with an attorney who serves as the national GOP’s top redistricting lawyer and other consultants tied to the national party apparatus, according to records and interviews.”

National Archives debunks Trump’s false claim about Bush documents, CNN Politics, Daniel Dale, Tuesday, 11 October 2022: ‘First, former President Donald Trump tried a false claim about the document-handling practices of former President Barack Obama. Now, Trump is making the same false claim about other former presidents. In August, after the FBI recovered classified documents and numerous other presidential records from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence and resort in Florida, Trump declared that Obama had taken millions of presidential documents to Chicago. The National Archives and Records Administration quickly debunked his assertion, explaining it was NARA itself, not Obama, that took the documents to a NARA-managed facility in the Chicago area. Then, at rallies in Nevada and Arizona this weekend, Trump not only repeated the false claim about Obama but added near-identical dishonesty about previous presidents George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton. Most dramatically, Trump said, ‘George H.W. Bush took millions of documents to a former bowling alley and a former Chinese restaurant; where they combined them. So they’re in a bowling alley slash Chinese restaurant.’ Trump added, ‘A Chinese restaurant and a bowling alley. With no security and a broken front door.’ Trump also claimed that ‘Bill Clinton took millions of documents from the White House to a former car dealership in Arkansas’ and that ‘George W. Bush stored 68 million pages in a warehouse in Texas.’ Facts FirstAll of these Trump claims are false. George H.W. Bush did not take millions of documents to a former bowling alley and Chinese restaurant. Rather, the National Archives and Records Administration took Bush’s presidential documents to this facility prior to the opening of the Bush presidential library in the same city. Trump’s claims about Clinton and George W. Bush are inaccurate in precisely the same way: NARA, not the former presidents themselves, put the documents in temporary storage at NARA-managed facilities at the former car dealership in Arkansas and the warehouse in Texas. And Trump was also wrong that there was ‘no security’ at the facility where the elder Bush’s documents were housed: the facility was heavily secured, according to a news report at the time. So there is no equivalence between Trump’s handling of presidential documents and those of his predecessors. In the others cases, the presidential documents were in NARA’s possession and stored securely and professionally. In Trump’s case, the presidential documents found in haphazard amateur storage at Mar-a-Lago were in Trump’s own possession, despite numerous attempts by both NARA and the Justice Department to get them back.”

Woman says she had to press Senate Republican candidate Herschel Walker to pay for the abortion he wanted. The account, echoed by a person she confided in at the time, deepens the questions swirling around the antiabortion Senate Republican candidate in Georgia. The Washington Post, Annie Linskey and Alice Crites, Tuesday, 11 October 2022: “The mother of one of Herschel Walker’s children had to repeatedly press the former football star who is now the Republican Senate nominee in Georgia for funds to pay for a 2009 abortion that she said he wanted her to have, according to the woman and a person she confided in at the time. ‘When I talked to him, I said, You need to send — I can’t afford to pay for this,’ the woman said in one of several interviews with The Washington Post in recent days, adding that she also told him: ‘We did this, too. Both of us did this. We both know how babies are made.’ The woman, who lived in the Atlanta area at the time, said she became pregnant when she was unemployed and had less than $600 in her bank account. Walker sent a $700 check via FedEx about a week after the procedure, the woman said. The Post reviewed an image of the check that was printed on an ATM slip, with Walker’s name, signature and an address associated with him at the time.”


Wednesday, 12 October 2022:


Russian Invasion of Ukraine: U.N. condemns Russia’s annexation of Ukraine territory; NATO says air defense systems a ‘priority,’ The Washington Post, Emily Rauhala, Ellen Francis, Bryan Pietsch, Leo Sands, Victoria Bisset, Maite Fernández Simon, and Sammy Westfall, Wednesday, 12 October 2022: “The United Nations on Wednesday voted to condemn Russia’s illegal seizure of Ukrainian territory, dealing a symbolic but important blow to Moscow’s diplomatic standing as it ramps up attacks on civilian sites and infrastructure. ‘The stakes of this conflict are clear to all—and the world has sent a clear message in response,’ President Biden said in a statement after the vote. ‘Russia cannot erase a sovereign state from the map. Russia cannot change borders by force. Russia cannot seize another country’s territory as its own.’ The U.N. General Assembly adopted a U.S.-sponsored resolution that demands Russia reverse its annexation of the Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk and Zaporizhzhia regions of Ukraine. The vote came as NATO defense ministers convened in Brussels to discuss sending more air defense systems to Kyiv.

  • Russia’s FSB security service accused Ukraine’s military intelligence of being behind Saturday’s explosion on the Crimean Bridge and said it detained eight people Wednesday.
  • Ukraine’s defense minister said an IRIS-T air defense system from Germany and four HIMARS launchers from the United States have arrived. The air defense system is the first of four that Germany is sending, and Chancellor Olaf Scholz said it could protect ‘an entire major city from Russian air attacks.’
  • A Ukrainian official described the Russian investigation into the Crimean Bridge blast as ‘nonsense.’ Ukraine has not officially claimed responsibility, but a government official told The Washington Post earlier that its special services were involved.
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin blamed Washington and its allies for Europe’s energy crisis, criticized plans to introduce a price cap on Russian oil and said Russia is ‘ready’ to supply energy to Europe. ‘Russia is not to blame for the fact that Europeans, like in the Middle Ages, stock up on firewood for the winter,’ he said in a speech at the Russian Energy Week Forum.
  • External power was restored Wednesday to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant in Ukraine, which had been relying on generators after losing all external power for the second time in days, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency. The U.N. nuclear watchdog is trying to establish a security zone at the site, Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, which Russian forces control.
  • Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is set to meet with Putin in Kazakhstan on Thursday. The leaders are likely to discuss paths to peace in Ukraine, according to Kremlin spokesman Yuri Ushakov, Reuters reported.

Russian Invasion of Ukraine: Ukraine Will Push to Reclaim More Territory Through Winter, U.S. Defense Chief Says. In the wake of Russia’s attacks on civilian targets across Ukraine, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III signaled that the United States’ commitment to providing arms to Kyiv would be open-ended. The New York Times, John Ismay, Wednesday, 12 October 2022: “Ukraine will remain on the offensive through the winter, retaking more ground lost to the Russian invasion, the U.S. secretary of defense predicted on Wednesday, adding that the United States and its allies would supply Ukraine with whatever weapons and supplies it needed for ‘the difficult weeks, months and years ahead. I expect that Ukraine will continue to do everything it can throughout the winter to regain its territory and to be effective on the battlefield, and we’re going to do everything we can to make sure that they have what’s required to be effective,’ Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said after a meeting in Brussels of top military officials from some 50 countries aiding Ukraine. ‘Most recently, we’ve seen them be very effective both in the east and down in the south as they’ve taken back quite a bit of territory from the Russians, so we can expect that that type of activity will continue on through the winter,’ he said. Comments before and after the meeting signaled a hardening of international determination to back Kyiv in the face of Russia’s recent missile and drone attacks on civilian targets across Ukraine; talk of nudging both sides toward a negotiated settlement, common among some U.S. allies early in the war, has all but evaporated.”

Trump Aide Was Seen on Security Footage Moving Boxes at Mar-a-Lago. The aide, Walt Nauta, moved the boxes from a storage room before and after the Justice Department issued a subpoena demanding the return of all classified documents held by the former president. The New York Times, Maggie Haberman and Alan Feuer, Wednesday, 12 October 2022: “A long-serving aide to former President Donald J. Trump was captured on security camera footage moving boxes out of a storage room at Mar-a-Lago, Mr. Trump’s residence in Florida, both before and after the Justice Department issued a subpoena in May demanding the return of all classified documents, according to three people familiar with the matter. The footage showed Walt Nauta, a former military aide who left the White House and then went to work for Mr. Trump at Mar-a-Lago, moving boxes from a storage room that became a focus of the Justice Department’s investigation, according to the people briefed on the matter. The inquiry has centered on whether Mr. Trump improperly kept national security records after he left the White House and obstructed the government’s repeated efforts to get them back. As part of its investigation, the Justice Department has interviewed Mr. Nauta on several occasions, according to one of the people. Those interviews started before the F.B.I. executed a search warrant at Mar-a-Lago on Aug. 8 and carted off more than 11,000 documents, including about 100 that bore classification markings. Mr. Nauta has answered questions but is not formally cooperating with the investigation of Mr. Trump’s handling of the documents…. The Washington Post reported on Wednesday that Mr. Trump directed an employee who had been interviewed by the F.B.I. to move boxes at Mar-a-Lago. It is not clear whether that employee was Mr. Nauta, and a person familiar with the matter and with Mr. Trump’s orbit said it could be a different staff member.” See also, Trump worker told FBI about moving Mar-a-Lago boxes on ex-president’s orders. Key witness and security-camera footage offer evidence of Trump’s actions after government subpoena, people familiar say. The Washington Post, Devlin Barrett and Josh Dawsey, Wednesday, 12 October 2022: “A Trump employee has told federal agents about moving boxes of documents at Mar-a-Lago at the specific direction of the former president, according to people familiar with the investigation, who say the witness account — combined with security-camera footage — offers key evidence of Donald Trump’s behavior as investigators sought the return of classified material. The witness description and footage described to The Washington Post offer the most direct account to date of Trump’s actions and instructions leading up to the FBI’s Aug. 8 search of the Florida residence and private club, in which agents were looking for evidence of potential crimes including obstruction, destruction of government records or mishandling classified information. The people familiar with the investigation said agents have gathered witness accounts indicating that, after Trump advisers received a subpoena in May for any classified documents that remained at Mar-a-Lago, Trump told people to move boxes to his residence at the property. That description of events was corroborated by the security-camera footage, which showed people moving the boxes, said the people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing investigation.”

Judge clears way for Trump to be deposed in defamation case, The Washington Post, Shayna Jacobs, Wednesday, 12 October 2022: “A federal judge has denied a request by former president Donald Trump to pause proceedings in a defamation case brought against him in 2019 by an author who said he raped her in a department store dressing room decades ago. The decision clears the way for Trump, who denies the claim, to be deposed as scheduled next week. In the lawsuit brought against Trump by former Elle magazine columnist E. Jean Carroll, Trump recently won a temporary reprieve from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit, which sent the case to the appeals court in D.C. to resolve whether Trump was a federal employee as defined by the law when he publicly rebutted Carroll’s story.” See also, Judge rules Trump can’t get out of deposition in E. Jean Carroll defamation lawsuit, CNN Politics, Kara Scannell, Wednesday, 12 October 2022: “A federal judge rejected former President Donald Trump’s attempt to pause his deposition in a defamation lawsuit scheduled for later this month saying Trump’s efforts to delay the case are ‘inexcusable.’ Trump is scheduled to be deposed on October 19 in the defamation lawsuit brought by E. Jean Carroll, a former magazine columnist who accused Trump of raping her in a department store in the mid 1990s. Trump has denied the allegations. Judge Lewis Kaplan said the lawsuit wasn’t over yet and as they wait for a federal appeals court to rule on a key element of the case, ‘completing those depositions – which have already been delayed for years – would impose no undue burden on Mr. Trump, let alone any irreparable injury.'”

Federal Watchdog Scrutinizes Florida’s Use of Relief Funds in Transporting Migrants. Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida used interest that the state had accrued from stimulus money to send Venezuelan migrants by plane to Martha’s Vineyard. The New York Times, Alan Rappeport, Wednesday, 12 October 2022: “The Treasury Department’s inspector general is investigating whether Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida misused pandemic relief money when he orchestrated the transport of two planeloads of Venezuelan migrants to Martha’s Vineyard last month. The inquiry came in response to a request from congressional Democrats, who accused Mr. DeSantis, a Republican, of violating federal law by using money the state had been given to combat the impact of the pandemic for what they described as an ‘inhumane program to relocate newly arrived immigrants out of Florida.’ The flights to Martha’s Vineyard, an island off the coast of Massachusetts, originated in Texas but were paid for by Florida.”

Pro-Trump Georgia Officials Plotted to Swipe Voting Data. We Caught Them. Emails obtained by Rolling Stone reveal how a group of county officials in Georgia tasked with protecting the election instead discussed a plan to pull sensitive data–and have tax payers pay for it. Rolling Stone, Justin Glawe, Wednesday, 12 October 2022: “Weeks before President Joe Biden’s inauguration, Donald Trump’s legal team went to Georgia in a last-ditch effort to find election fraud. Led by lawyer Sidney Powell, the team copied data from voting machines in Coffee County. The effort represented a new front in the MAGA assault on elections, with Trump’s team colluding with friendly local election officials to pull sensitive data out of election equipment. That search has landed Trump’s team in court, with groups charging Powell and company of potentially compromising sensitive data in a failed, partisan effort to overturn the 2020 election. The illegal data breach in Coffee County is now being investigated by a district attorney looking into Republican attempts to overturn the election here. The Washington Post and CNNamong others, have reported extensively on the developments in Coffee County, which come with an undercurrent of the unknown about what exactly the purpose was for the illegal data breach. But it turns out, Coffee County wasn’t the only Georgia county where pro-Trump forces were working to swipe election data in search of nonexistent fraud. And in Spalding County, it wasn’t Trump’s team leading the effort — it was the election officials themselves. Emails and contracts obtained by Rolling Stone reveal that Spalding County election officials hatched a plan to illegally obtain data from voting machines. A pair of pro-Trump members of the county election board, alongside the election supervisor, plotted to hire a third-party tech firm to copy data from voting machines, the election server, and even iPhones used by election staff. The plotted data swipe was an effort to prove Trump’s false claims of a stolen election in Georgia, and in Spalding County, the trio wanted to do it all with up to $10,000 in taxpayer dollars.”

Alex Jones Ordered to Pay Sandy Hook Victims’ Families Nearly $1 Billion. A jury in Connecticut awarded damages to the families of eight victims killed in the 2012 shooting and an F.B.I. agent who responded to the scene. Jones had already been found liable for defamation after he spent years falsely describing the shooting as a government hoax. The New York Times, Elizabeth Williamson, Wednesday, 12 October 2022: “The families of eight Sandy Hook shooting victims on Wednesday won nearly $1 billion in damages from the Infowars fabulist Alex Jones, a devastating blow against his empire and a message from the jury that his lies and those of his followers have crippling consequences. Mr. Jones, who for years said the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting that killed 20 first graders and six educators in Newtown, Conn., was a government hoax, now faces financial ruin. But it is unclear how much money the families will ultimately collect.” See also, Alex Jones ordered to pay nearly $1 billion to Sandy Hook families, The Washington Post, Joanna Slater, Wednesday, 12 October 2022: “A Connecticut jury ordered Infowars founder Alex Jones to pay $965 million in damages to the families of eight victims of the Sandy Hook shooting for the suffering caused by years of lies that the massacre was a hoax. Wednesday’s verdict marks the largest award to date in a multipronged legal battle by the families to hold Jones responsible for circulating falsehoods about the 2012 mass shooting, in which 20 children and six educators were killed in an elementary school in Newtown, Conn. Within hours of the shooting, Jones was telling his audience that it was staged as a pretext for confiscating guns. Within days, he began to suggest that grieving parents were actors. In the years that followed, he repeatedly said the massacre was faked. The families testified during the trial that the lies spread by Jones led to harassment and threats by conspiracy theorists who have accused them of faking their own children’s deaths. They described feeling unsafe in their homes and hypervigilant in public. Some of the families moved away from Newtown.”


Thursday, 13 October 2022:


Russian Invasion of Ukraine: Barrage of strikes on civilian areas spurs urgency for air defense aid, The Washington Post, Emily Rauhala, Kelly Kasulis Cho, Adela Suliman, Ellen Francis, Victoria Bisset, Erin Cunningham, Maite Fernández Simon, and Sammy Westfall, Thursday, 13 October 2022: “NATO defense ministers, including Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, met for a second day Thursday as the alliance sought to coordinate its response to Russia’s increasingly brutal tactics in Ukraine. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg vowed that the alliance would ‘stand by Ukraine for as long as it takes.’ Member nations also pledged more air defense support for Kyiv after a barrage of Russian strikes hit civilian targets this week. But the assortment of air defense systems on offer from NATO allies, with uncertain delivery times, suggested a disconnect between the acute fears voiced by Western leaders about continued strikes, and their ability to help protect Ukraine and its citizens, who have already experienced disruptions in electricity service and could be facing a cold, dark winter ahead.

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin has offered to build a new gas pipeline in Turkey. His comments, at a meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, followed explosions that hit the Nord Stream pipelines last month and that some Western nations have blamed on sabotage.
  • Rafael Mariano Grossi, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, was in Kyiv on Thursday after his meetings in Russia to work on creating a ‘protection zone’ around the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.
  • On the battlefield, both Ukrainian and Russian troops are showing mental and physical fatigue as the war lurches on and morale drops. Few have had a break as the conflict morphs into a war of attrition.
  • The U.N. General Assembly overwhelmingly voted to condemn Russia’s illegal annexation of Ukrainian territory, adopting a U.S.-sponsored nonbinding resolution. It demands that Moscow give up claims to the Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk and Zaporizhzhia regions of Ukraine.

Russian Invasion of Ukraine: In Bucha, the Kyiv Suburb Symbolizing War, a Family Bids Farewell to a Fallen Soldier. The funeral in Bucha came on a day in which the human toll of war again reverberated across Ukraine. Russian missiles continued to strike civilian targets, raising the death count from a four-day barrage to more than three dozen. The New York Times, Thursday, 13 October 2022:

  • In Bucha, a Kyiv suburb haunted by war, a family says goodbye to a fallen soldier.

  • Russian missiles continue to pummel Ukraine as the civilian toll rises.

  • Moving to preserve Russia’s hold over European energy, Putin offers to sell more gas via Turkey.

  • Civilians fleeing Kherson are advised to travel to Russia or Crimea.

  • The E.U. plans to launch a mission to train Ukrainian soldiers on European soil.

  • NATO’s secretary general says the alliance will back Ukraine ‘as long as it takes.’

  • A strike outside Kyiv adds to concerns over Russia’s use of ‘kamikaze’ drones.

  • Ukraine’s electrical infrastructure is damaged in Russia’s strikes.

The January 6 House Committee Votes to Subpoena Trump as It Wraps Up Its Case. ‘He is required to answer for his actions,’ said the chairman of the committee investigating the Capitol attack. The panel revealed new video of congressional leaders desperately seeking help from the Trump administration and the National Guard as rioters stormed the building. The New York Times, Luke Broadwater and Alan Feuer, Thursday, 13 October 2022: “The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol voted on Thursday to subpoena former President Donald J. Trump as it presented a sweeping summation of its case placing him at the center of a calculated, multipart effort to overturn the 2020 election, beginning even before Election Day. At what may have been its final public hearing and just weeks before midterm elections in which control of Congress is at stake, the panel knit together evidence and testimony from its nine previous presentations while introducing new revelations about Mr. Trump’s central role in numerous plots to maintain power. The committee laid out in vivid detail how Mr. Trump, enraged and embarrassed that he had lost the election and unwilling to accept that fact, sought to join the crowd he had summoned to Washington on Jan. 6, 2021, as it marched to the Capitol — knowing that some of his supporters were armed and threatening violence as Congress met to certify his defeat. ‘None of this is normal, acceptable or lawful in our republic,’ said Representative Liz Cheney, Republican of Wyoming and the committee’s vice chairwoman. The committee also showed previously unreleased video from the secure location where congressional leaders hunkered down while the Capitol was under attack. The footage offered a glimpse of the shock and disbelief that gripped them as they urgently phoned governors and top national security officials in efforts to summon the National Guard or get Mr. Trump to call off the assault. After nearly two and a half hours, the committee wrapped up with a direct challenge to the former president, voting to subpoena him to appear for a formal deposition, a step that is exceedingly unlikely given his refusal to cooperate in the inquiry, and could lead to a bitter legal battle.” See also, Here are four takeaways from Thursday’s hearing of the HouseJanuary 6 committee. The biggest surprise was the panel’s unanimous vote to subpoena former President Donald Trump for testimony. The New York Times, Michael S. Schmidt, Thursday, 13 October 2022. See also, Read the full transcript from the October 13 hearing of the House select Committee investigating the January 6 Capitol attack, NPR, Thursday, 13 October 2022. See also, January 6 House Committee subpoenas Donald Trump and other highlights from the Thursday meeting, The Washington Post, John Wagner, Mariana Alfaro, Azi Paybarah, Eugene Scott, Amy Gardner, Jacqueline Alemany, and Josh Dawsey, Thursday, 13 October 2022: “The House committee investigating the attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, voted Thursday to subpoena testimony and documents from former president Donald Trump, a dramatic culmination of its year-and-a-half-long investigation, and a sign that the committee wants to continue its work beyond this Congress. This is a question about accountability to the American people,’ Chairman Bennie G. Thompson (D-Miss.) said ahead of the vote. ‘He must be accountable.’ The unanimous vote came at the end of a meeting that also revealed new details about warnings from the Secret Service that armed supporters of Trump would go to the Capitol, with one agent describing that morning as the ‘calm before the storm.’

  • Secret Service agents in charge of assessing the risks of the Jan. 6 protest knew that many of Trump’s supporters were plotting violence and planning to come armed much earlier than previously reported, according to records shared at the hearing.
  • Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-Calif.) said the committee will continue to probe ‘potential obstruction’ of the committee’s investigation into events related to Trump’s activities following the Jan. 6 rally near the White House.
  • The committee presented evidence that Trump, just a few days after being declared the loser of the election, signed orders to immediately withdraw troops from Afghanistan and Somalia — evidence that he knew his term was going to end.
  • During a video interview played at the hearing, Vice President Mike Pence’s counsel, Greg Jacob, said some people in Trump’s White House were planning to declare victory on election night ‘prior to the election results being known.’
  • The panel’s vice chairwoman, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), said the committee ‘may ultimately decide’ to make a series of committee referrals to the Justice Department but stressed that it is not the panel’s job to prosecute.

Supreme Court Rejects Trump Request to Intervene in Documents Case. Without any noted dissents, the court issued a one-sentence statement that amounted to a rebuke to the former president. The New York Times, Adam Liptak, Thursday, 13 October 2022: “The Supreme Court on Thursday rejected a request from former President Donald J. Trump to intervene in the litigation over documents seized from his Florida estate, a stinging rebuke that blocked his effort to get access to classified documents found there by the F.B.I. The court’s single-sentence order noted no dissents, and the court gave no rationale, saying only that his application to lift a stay issued by a federal appeals court was denied. The Supreme Court’s order on Thursday — the latest in a string of cases in which it has dealt Mr. Trump a legal setback — means that the special master in the case, and Mr. Trump’s legal team, will not have access to those documents. The court’s order landed during a hearing of a House committee investigating Mr. Trump’s conduct in connection with the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol and not long before it voted to subpoena him. Mr. Trump, who can seem engulfed in litigation, has had mixed success in the courts but has frequently been infuriated by what he sees as a lack of loyalty or deference to him by the Supreme Court, which has three justices appointed by him. In January, for instance, the Supreme Court refused his request to block the release of White House records held by the National Archives concerning the Jan. 6 attack, effectively rejecting his claim of executive privilege. The court let stand an appeals court ruling that Mr. Trump’s desire to maintain the confidentiality of presidential communications was outweighed by the need for a full accounting of the attack. Only Justice Clarence Thomas noted a dissent. It later emerged that his wife, Virginia Thomas, had sent a barrage of text messages to the Trump White House urging efforts to overturn the 2020 election.” See also, Supreme Court rejects Trump request on Mar-a-Lago documents. The One-sentence order amounted to a quick and sharp denial of an emergency request by the former president. The Washington Post, Robert Barnes and Perry Stein, Thursday, 13 October 2022: “The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to reinstate Judge Aileen M. Cannon’s order that a special master review classified documents taken in an FBI search of Mar-a-Lago, Donald Trump’s Florida home and private club. There were no noted dissents to the court’s unsigned, one-sentence order. It amounted to a quick and sharp rejection of an emergency request by the former president to intervene in the high-profile document review, which is part of an ongoing criminal investigation of the potential mishandling of classified material after Trump left the White House.” See also, Supreme Court turns away Trump objections in Mar-a-Lago classified documents case, NPR, Nina Totenberg, Thursday, 13 October 2022: “The U.S. Supreme Court for now has tossed out former President Trump’s objections to the way the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals is handling the seizure of classified documents from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home in Florida. The court’s action was announced even as the Jan. 6 committee was conducting its last public hearing focused on Trump’s role in the violence at the Capitol after the election. The Eleventh Circuit has twice blocked legal actions taken at Trump’s behest by Judge Aileen Cannon, a Trump appointed judge, who named a special master to examine the documents and blocked the Justice Department from continuing its investigation into the handling of the documents and related matters. Already the appeals court has blocked much of what Judge Cannon has done. Trump ‘has not even attempted to show that he has a need to know the information contained in the classified documents,’ wrote the appeals court panel, which included two Trump appointees. Moreover, said the three-judge panel, ‘The United States has sufficiently explained how and why its national security review is inextricably intertwined with its criminal investigation.’ Indeed, said the panel, it would be ‘difficult if not impossible’ for the Justice Department to pursue its investigation if it is barred from reviewing the seized materials. Addressing Trump’s claim that he may have declassified the documents, the panel called that a ‘red herring,’ noting Trump had failed to present any evidence to support his claim. ‘The record contains no evidence that any of these records were declassified,’ the appeals court judges wrote, adding that Trump in appearing before the special master, had ‘resisted providing any evidence that he had declassified any of these documents.'”

F.B.I. Agent Testifies the Loss of Steele Dossier Source Igor Danchenko Damaged National Security. The agent denounced the exposure by the Trump Justice Department of Igor Danchenko, who was an F.B.I. informant but is now on trial on charges of lying to investigators. The New York Times, Adam Goldman, Thursday, 13 October 2022: “A veteran F.B.I. counterintelligence agent testified on Thursday that the Trump Justice Department’s decision in 2020 to release sensitive documents about a bureau informant to a Senate committee examining the bureau’s Russia investigation had damaged national security. The agent told jurors at the trial of Igor Danchenko, who is charged with lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about matters related to the anti-Trump Steele dossier, that Mr. Danchenko, a Russia analyst, had provided extraordinary assistance for years as a paid F.B.I. informant. Internet sleuths managed to piece together Mr. Danchenko’s identity after Attorney General William P. Barr directed the F.B.I. to declassify a redacted report about its three-day interview of Mr. Danchenko in 2017 and give it to Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina and the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee at the time. Kevin Helson, the agent, said Mr. Danchenko became a political target, adding that the ‘release of the document was dangerous.’ The testimony by Mr. Helson, a witness for the prosecution, seemed to be another setback for the special counsel investigation examining the origins of the F.B.I. inquiry into former President Donald J. Trump’s ties with Russia. The trial of Mr. Danchenko appears to be the last chance for the special counsel, John H. Durham, who Mr. Trump had said would expose a ‘deep state’ conspiracy against him, to obtain a court conviction before his investigation winds down.”

Over 370 Republican Candidates Have Cast Doubt on the 2020 Election. They include candidates for the U.S. House and Senate, and the state offices of governor, secretary of state and attorney general–many with clear shots to victory, and some without a chance. They are united by at least one issue: They have all expressed doubt about the legitimacy of the 2020 election. And they are the new normal of the Republican Party. The New York Times, Karen Yourish, Danielle Ivory, Aaron Byrd, Weiyi Cai, Nick Corasaniti, Meg Felling, Rumsey Taylor, and Jonathan Weisman, Thursday, 13 October 2022: “More than 370 people — a vast majority of Republicans running for these offices in November — have questioned and, at times, outright denied the results of the 2020 election despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, according to a monthslong New York Times investigation. These candidates represent a sentiment that is spreading in the Republican Party, rupturing a bedrock principle of democracy: that voters decide elections and candidates accept results. This skepticism has stretched into political races in every state and is still frequently being raised as a campaign issue, The Times has found, nearly two years after Donald J. Trump was defeated. Hundreds of these candidates are favored to win their races.”

New York Attorney General Letitia James moves to stop Trump Organization from transferring assets. Trump Organization reps created a new company with the same name in Delaware six days before James sued Trump and his real estate firm, according to a new court filing. NBC News, Tom Winter and Jonathan Dienst, Thursday, 13 October 2022: “New York Attorney General Letitia James filed court papers Thursday seeking to stop former President Donald Trump from transferring assets from his namesake real estate company, the latest move in her civil case alleging years of fraudulent practices. The motion for a preliminary injunction says Trump Organization representatives created a new company with the same name in Delaware six days before James’ office brought the suit. The company then filed paperwork to register Trump Organization II LLC in New York on Sept. 21, the same day the civil action was filed. According to the motion filed in New York Supreme Court, lawyers for the Trump Organization told James’ office that the company had not taken any steps to avoid the consequences of the suit and offered to provide ‘assurances and advance notice’ to address any concerns. But James sought the intervention of a judge after the Trump Organization attorneys failed to provide a ‘concrete mechanism’ to enforce the offer, the court filing says. ‘Our investigation uncovered the fact that Donald Trump and the Trump Organization engaged in significant fraud to inflate his personal net worth by billions of dollars to illegally enrich himself and cheat the system,’ James said in a statement. ‘Since we filed this sweeping lawsuit last month, Donald Trump and the Trump Organization have continued those same fraudulent practices and taken measures to evade responsibility. Today, we are seeking an immediate stop to these actions because Mr. Trump should not get to play by different rules.'”


Friday, 14 October 2022:


Russian Invasion of Ukraine: Putin says mobilization will end soon; U.S. announces more security aid for Ukraine, The Washington Post, Adela Suliman, Andrew Jeong, Erin Cunningham, Dan Lamothe, Ellen Nakashima, and Maite Fernández Simon, Friday, 14 October 2022: “After a week of intensive Russian strikes across Ukraine, including in civilian areas, Ukrainian forces continued to press counteroffensives in the southern and eastern parts of the country. But as winter approaches, Ukrainians are under new hardships, with many factories and energy facilities damaged or temporarily closed. Russia is also facing setbacks in Ukraine and has lost more than 6,000 pieces of equipment since the beginning of the war, according to an assessment from the U.S. intelligence community. Russian President Vladimir Putin suggested Friday that the ‘massive strikes’ would subside, ‘at least for now, and then we’ll see,’ he said at a news conference in the Kazakh capital, Astana. He also assured Russians that the mobilization of army reservists, an unpopular order that prompted tens of thousands of men to flee Russia, would finish in two weeks, the official Tass news agency reported.

  • Tech billionaire Elon Musk warned Friday that he cannot ‘indefinitely’ continue to fund the Starlink satellite terminals he has provided to Ukraine to help the country stay online during the war, calling the financial burden ‘unreasonable.’ He implicitly tied the decision to a Ukrainian official’s remarks after he publicly offered an unsolicited peace plan that involved conceding Ukrainian territory to Russia.
  • ‘Let’s be honest. Like it or not, @elonmusk helped us survive the most critical moments of war,’ tweeted Mykhailo Podolyak, a senior adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. The Ukrainian military has become dependent on Starlink to quickly share information with senior commanders. ‘Business has the right to its own strategies.’ Ukraine ‘will find a solution to keep Starlink working,’ Podolyak wrote. ‘We expect that the company will provide stable connection till the end of negotiations.’
  • A senior U.S. defense official confirmed late Thursday that Musk had privately urged the Pentagon to pay up. The official said there was no comparable system with such widespread applicability. The bill is likely to run into the hundreds of millions of dollars over the next year, the official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.
  • The United States on Friday announced an additional $725 million in security assistance for Ukraine. The package includes more ammunition for high mobility rocket systems, or HIMARS, as well as precision-guided artillery rounds, anti-tank weapons and humvees, according to a Pentagon statement. The new aid brings the total amount of U.S. security assistance to Ukraine to approximately $17.6 billion since the beginning of the war.
  • A senior Ukrainian official demanded that the ICRC visit Olenivka prison within three days. ‘We just can’t waste more time. Human lives are at stake,’ tweeted Andriy Yermak, Zelensky’s chief of staff. Russia and Ukraine have blamed each other for July’s blast — a potential war crime — which Russia said killed captured fighters from the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol.
  • The Red Cross said it shares ‘frustration’ over the lack of access to prisoners of war in Olenivka. Its teams ‘have been ready for months’ to visit the penal facility, but ‘this requires practical arrangements to materialize on the ground,’ it said in a statement Friday. It has previously said it lacked the ‘necessary guarantees’ to visit the prisoners. The ICRC added that under the Geneva Conventions, parties to a conflict must grant the humanitarian agency ‘immediate access’ to such prisoners.

Russian Invasion of Ukraine: Despite Russian Strikes, Ukraine Keeps Up Pressure on Front Lines. Russia’s barrage of missile attacks this week has not changed the course of the ground war, though its forces are on the offensive in one area of the east. The New York Times, Friday, 14 October 2022:

  • The war in the south and east has continued apace.

  • Biden authorizes an additional $725 million in military aid to Ukraine.

  • Putin defends his military call-up and says 16,000 draftees are already ‘fulfilling combat tasks.’

  • Western sanctions have hampered Russia’s ability to resupply its army, a U.S. report says.

  • Russia’s move to evacuate civilians from Kherson Province shows the ‘agony’ of its forces, a Ukrainian official says.

  • ‘This was not how she deserved to die’: Mourning a doctor killed in strikes in Kyiv.

  • Elon Musk says SpaceX can’t fund internet service in Ukraine ‘indefinitely,’ stirring controversy.

  • Can Russia keep firing missiles at Ukrainian cities? Here’s what we know.

The Justice Department Asked an Appeals Court to End Special Master Review of Files Seized From Trump. The Justice Department told an appeals court that a federal judge was wrong to intervene in its investigation into the former president’s hoarding of sensitive records. The New York Times, Charlie Savage, Friday, 14 October 2022: “The Justice Department asked an appeals court on Friday to end a special master review of thousands of documents that the F.B.I. seized from former President Donald J. Trump’s Florida estate, arguing that a federal judge had been wrong to intervene in its investigation into Mr. Trump’s hoarding of sensitive government records. In a 53-page brief for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, in Atlanta, the Justice Department broadly challenged the legal legitimacy of orders last month by Judge Aileen M. Cannon, who blocked investigators from using the materials and appointed an independent arbiter to sift them for any that are potentially privileged or Mr. Trump’s personal property. The Justice Department already succeeded in persuading a panel of the Atlanta-based court to exempt about 100 documents marked classified from Judge Cannon’s move — a decision the Supreme Court declined to overturn this week. In its new filing, the Justice Department asked the appeals court to reverse her order for the remaining 11,000 or so records. ‘This court has already granted the government’s motion to stay that unprecedented order insofar as it relates to the documents bearing classification markings,’ the filing said. ‘The court should now reverse the order in its entirety for multiple independent reasons.'” See also, Justice Department asks appeals court to end Mar-a-Lago special master. Prosecutors said the unclassified documents seized at Mar-a-Lago also are critical to their classified-documents investigation. The Washington Post, Perry Stein, Friday, 14 October 2022: “The Justice Department asked a federal appeals court to reverse a Florida judge’s order appointing a special master to review documents seized from Donald Trump’s home and club, arguing that the former president had no right to possess the seized materials after he left office and that there was no legal basis for an outside review. While prosecutors had already appealed portions of U.S. District Court Judge Aileen M. Cannon’s special master appointment, Friday was the first time they appealed the entire court order. If the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit sides with the government, the special master’s review would stop — and criminal investigators once again would be permitted to access thousands of unclassified documents that FBI agents took from Mar-a-Lago in August. The government said in its appeal that those unclassified documents are critical to its ongoing criminal probe of possible mishandling of classified material, obstruction and destruction of government records, and could help them conduct witness interviews and corroborate evidence. ‘In short, the unclassified records that were stored collectively with records bearing classification markings may identify who was responsible for the unauthorized retention of these records, the relevant time periods in which records were created or accessed, and who may have accessed or seen them,’ the filing reads.”

Trump, Reacting to Pending January 6 Subpoena, Repeats Election Lies in Letter. In a rambling, 14-page restatement of false claims and conspiracy theories, the former president did not indicate whether he would testify before the House panel investigating the Capitol riot. The New York Times, Luke Broadwater and Maggie Haberman, Friday, 14 October 2022: “Former President Donald J. Trump responded on Friday to a promised subpoena from the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 assault with a lengthy, rambling letter that attacked the panel’s work, reiterated false claims of widespread voting fraud and presaged a potentially bruising battle over whether he could be compelled to testify about his role in the riot and his efforts to subvert the 2020 election. In a 14-page missive that did not address whether he would comply with the subpoena, Mr. Trump perpetuated the same lies that had fueled the attack and boasted about the size of the crowd that had amassed to hear him speak before marching to the Capitol and staging a violent siege. The former president has indicated privately to aides that he would be willing to testify to the House panel but would like to do so live, according to a person close to him, a prospect that would prevent video of him from being clipped or edited in a manner he dislikes. The letter he released on Friday — a conspiracy theory-filled rehash of his many grievances and false assertions — underscored the risks for the committee of giving Mr. Trump an unfettered public platform.”

Congress asks Secret Service for an account of all contacts between the agency and Oath Keepers up to and on January 6, 2021. In an initial briefing, the agency said there were multiple phone calls between Stewart Rhodes and other Oath Keepers and a Secret Service official. NBC News, Julia Ainsley and Ali Vitali, Friday, 14 October 2022: “The House Committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol insurrection has asked the Secret Service for records of all communications between the far-right Oath Keepers group and Secret Service agents prior to and on the day of the attack, after a preliminary accounting by the agency indicated multiple contacts in 2020, according to a Secret Service spokesman. The spokesman said the Congressional request follows a short telephonic briefing from the Secret Service to committee staff, in which the agency said an agent from its protective intelligence division had ‘numerous’ contacts with Oath Keepers leader Stewart Rhodes and other group members prior to Trump rallies in fall 2020, but that they were all part of common practice to inform the group of security protocols to follow. That initial briefing was prompted by federal trial testimony in which the ex-leader of the North Carolina Oath Keepers said Rhodes was in contact with a member of the Secret Service around the time of a September 2020 rally.”

Appeals court judge bucks Trump and orders Mike Pence aide Marc Short to testify to January 6 grand jury. The appeals court refused to postpone testimony Thursday by Marc Short, dealing a blow to the former president’s claim of executive privilege and potentially clearing the way for other former top Trump aides to testify. The Washington Post, Spencer S. Hsu, Josh Dawsey, and Jacqueline Alemany, Friday, 14 October 2022: “A former top aide to Vice President Mike Pence returned before a grand jury Thursday to testify in a criminal probe of efforts to overturn the 2020 election after federal courts overruled President Donald Trump’s objections to the testimony, according to people familiar with the matter. In a sealed decision that could clear the way for other top Trump White House officials to answer questions before a grand jury, Chief U.S. District Judge Beryl A. Howell ruled that former Pence chief of staff Marc Short probably possessed information important to the Justice Department’s criminal investigation of the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol that was not available from other sources, one of those people said. Trump appealed, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit refused to postpone Short’s appearance while the litigation continues, the people said, signaling that attempts by Trump to invoke executive privilege to preserve the confidentiality of presidential decision-making were not likely to prevail.”

January 6 video undermines Trump’s repeated efforts to blame Pelosi for Capitol security, The Washington Post, Azi Paybarah, Friday, 14 October 2022: “Never-before-seen video of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and other congressional leaders on Jan. 6, 2021, offers strikingly vivid evidence undermining former president Donald Trump’s long-debunked claim that the failure to adequately protect the Capitol from a pro-Trump mob lay not with him but with Pelosi. In the video shown Thursday by the House committee investigating the attack, Pelosi is on the phone pleading with Trump administration officials for help to stop the violence and secure the Capitol as U.S. Capitol Police were overmatched by the hundreds of rioters storming the building — including some who demanded her head. Getting nowhere with the officials, she contacts Virginia’s governor and says she will contact the D.C. mayor. Throughout the video, Pelosi is intent on resuming the congressional process of counting the electoral college votes for Joe Biden’s win while showing the nation that the government was still functioning despite the siege. The video was recorded by a documentary crew embedded with Pelosi and led by her daughter Alexandra.” See also, ‘Do You Believe This?’ Chilling Footage Shows Congressional Leaders on January 6. Tense video, shot by Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s daughter, underscored how deeply leaders feared for the safety of their colleagues and staff members. The New York Times, Catie Edmondson, published on Thursday, 13 October 2022: “Huddling with congressional leaders in a secure location as the Capitol was under siege on Jan. 6, 2021, Speaker Nancy Pelosi was emphatic: There had to be a way to show the public that the government could function and the transfer of power could continue. She asked: Was there a way to return to the Capitol and continue the ceremonial counting of electoral votes to certify the election that had been disrupted as a mob of President Donald J. Trump’s supporters began assaulting the building? The answer Ms. Pelosi received shocked her: They could not return to the House floor — and lawmakers still trapped in the chamber were putting on gas masks to prepare for a breach. ‘Do you believe this?’ Ms. Pelosi muttered quietly, repeating the phrase as the scale of the attack dawned on her in real time. Chilling new footage shared on Thursday by the select committee investigating the attack on the Capitol at what was likely the panel’s final hearing showed for the first time in detail how top leaders in Congress scrambled on Jan. 6 to try to secure the building as rioters stormed through, and rushed to reconvene as soon as possible after the violence to show the country that democracy would prevail.”

Donald Trump Tried to Destroy the Constitution. What will it take for millions of Americans to Care? The Atlantic, Tom Nichols, Friday, 14 October 2022: “The final hearing of the House January 6 Committee made clear that a duly elected and sworn president of the United States tried to overthrow the constitutional order. When are we going to act on that knowledge?… In a country that still had a functional moral compass, citizens would watch the January 6 hearings, band together regardless of party or region, and refuse to vote for anyone remotely associated with Donald Trump, whom the committee has proved, I think, to be an enemy of the Constitution of the United States. His party, as an institution, supports him virtually unconditionally, and several GOP candidates around the country have already vowed to join Trump in his continuing attack on our democracy. To vote for any of these people is to vote against our constitutional order.”

What the January 6 House Hearings Accomplished, The Wall Street Journal, Editorial Board, Friday, 14 October 2022: “The House Jan. 6 committee voted 9-0 on Thursday to subpoena former President Trump, but the clock is ticking. If Republicans take the House, they’ll shut down the inquiry posthaste in early January. If he wants to avoid the hot seat, Mr. Trump only needs to find a way to resist the subpoena until then. Rep. Liz Cheney justified an extraordinary subpoena to a former President by saying that ‘more than 30 witnesses in our investigation have invoked their Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.’… What the committee has accomplished … is to cement the facts surrounding Mr. Trump’s recklessness after Nov. 3 and his dereliction of duty on Jan. 6. The Justice Department and Mr. Trump’s own campaign repeatedly told him that his fraud claims were without basis. Whether it was willful blindness or an intentional strategy, he kept repeating them. In testimony played Thursday, former White House Communications Director Alyssa Farah Griffin said that about a week after Joe Biden was declared the winner, ‘I popped into the Oval just to, like, give the President the headlines and see how he was doing, and he was looking at the TV, and he said, Can you believe I lost to this effing guy?’ Yet Mr. Trump still pressured Mr. Pence to stop the Electoral College count, while calling for a Jan. 6 rally that he tweeted ‘will be wild!’ That day he riled up the crowd and urged it to march on the Capitol. Mr. Trump allegedly intended to go there himself, if the Secret Service hadn’t refused. Then he watched the riot on TV. Another striking video Thursday was a question the committee put to his White House counsel, Pat Cipollone: ‘When you were in the dining room in these discussions, was the violence at the Capitol visible on the screen, on the television?’ His reply: ‘Yes.'”


Saturday, 15 October 2022:


Russian Invasion of Ukraine: 11 killed in Russian training base shooting; Musk says he’ll continue funding Starlink, The Washington Post, Erin Cunningham, Katerina Ang, Ellen Francis, Victoria Bisset, Andrea Salcedo, and Praveena Somasundaram, Saturday, 15 October 2022: “In the latest prominent attack on Russian forces, two people opened fire at a Russian military training ground in Belgorod, killing 11 people and injuring 15 on Saturday morning, Russian news agencies reported, citing the country’s defense ministry. The two assailants were shot and killed shortly afterward, according to Baza, a Russian Telegram channel. Meanwhile, billionaire Elon Musk apparently reversed course and said in a tweet that his SpaceX company would continue to fund satellite internet connections in Ukraine.

  • Eleven people were killed and 15 injured in a shooting Saturday at a Russian training ground, Russia’s Tass news agency reported, citing the country’s defense ministry. The two people who opened fire during a session in the Belgorod region where volunteer fighters were training were shot and killed shortly after the incident, according to Baza, a Russian Telegram channel.
  • A day after Elon Musk threatened to stop funding Starlink in Ukraine, he appeared to change his mind. The satellite internet service from his SpaceX company has bolstered Ukraine’s communications during the Russian invasion, but on Friday he said the U.S. Defense Department should do more to support it. The Pentagon has paid millions for equipment and transportation costs, The Washington Post reported in April. On Saturday, Musk tweeted that SpaceX would continue funding the service ‘even though Starlink is still losing money.’
  • Putin said there was ‘no need for massive strikes’ now, after the barrage in Ukraine that Russia cast as retaliation for an explosion on its prized bridge linking Russia to the annexed Crimean Peninsula. At the end of a summit in Kazakhstan’s capital, Astana, Putin told reporters Friday that his military had hit most of its targets and that it did not seek to ‘destroy Ukraine.’
  • Russian soldiers killed the chief conductor of a top theater in Kherson, Ukraine ministry of culture and information police said in a Facebook post Saturday. Yuri Kerpatenko, the head conductor of the Mykolai Kulish Kherson Regional Academic Music and Drama Theatre, was shot in his home after refusing to leave the region while it was under Russian occupation, the ministry’s post said.
  • Ukraine’s grid operator said Russian forces struck energy infrastructure in the Kyiv region, causing ‘severe destruction.’ Ukrenergo said repairs were underway early Saturday to ensure power supply in the capital and its environs, but the operator said there could be emergency shutdowns and asked residents to use electricity sparingly.
  • The new U.S. package includes more ammunition for high mobility rocket systems, or HIMARS, precision-guided artillery rounds, antitank weapons and Humvees, according to a Pentagon statement. This package brings the total amount of U.S. security assistance to Ukraine to approximately $17.6 billion during the war. Kyiv’s allies have faced pressure to supply additional sophisticated air defense systems as Ukraine ramps up its calls for the equipment.

Russian Invasion of Ukraine: Elon Musk Drops Threat to Halt Internet Service in Ukraine. Internet service provided by Mr. Musk’s company SpaceX, has been crucial for the Ukrainian army’s communication as it moves to retake Russian-occupied territory. Russia’s Defense Ministry said two men shot and killed fellow soldiers at a training camp in the Belogorod region. The New York Times, Saturday, 15 October 2022:

  • Elon Musk backtracks, saying his company will continue to fund internet service in Ukraine.

  • A shooting at a Russian training camp in the border area kills 11 soldiers, state media reports.

  • An orchestra conductor has been killed after refusing to cooperate with Russian occupiers, Ukrainian officials say.

  • France pledges to train up to 2,000 Ukrainian soldiers and offers air defense missile system.

  • Power is restored at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant.

  • Russia’s proxies set up a hotline to help civilians flee a Ukrainian offensive in Kherson.

  • Amid sporadic strikes in parts of the country, Kyiv cautiously returns to daily life.


Sunday, 16 October 2022:


Russian Invasion of Ukraine: Moscow decries base shooting; Iran is planning to send missiles and drones to Russia, The Washington Post, Rachel Pannett, Leo Sands, Marisa Iati, and Nick Parker, Sunday, 16 October 2022: “Russia’s Defense Ministry decried an attack at a military training ground that killed 11 people and wounded 15, which came amid a chaotic mobilization effort by Moscow to replenish its troops. Moscow, per Russian media, said two gunmen at the site near the Ukrainian border were from an unspecified former Soviet republic.  Meanwhile, Iran is preparing to secretly boost its supply of heavy weapons to Moscow, sending surface-to-surface missiles for the first time as well as attack drones, U.S. and allied security officials told The Washington Post. Such supplies would help offset the steep depletion of Russian weapon stockpiles, which Western intelligence assessments say have accelerated in recent days.

  • ‘Many soldiers were killed and wounded,’ the governor of Russia’s Belgorod region said of the military base attack, calling it a ‘terrible event’ and ‘terrorist act’ on Sunday morning. No civilians were killed, regional governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said. The shooting took place Saturday morning at a military facility in the Valuysky district, about nine miles from the Ukrainian border. Russia’s Investigative Committee opened a criminal probe into the attack.
  • Iran’s Foreign Ministry denied that it was sending weapon shipments to Russia. But Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Saturday that Moscow had used Iranian-supplied drones to attack regions in recent days, and shipments could allow the Russian military to continue targeting Ukraine’s cities and offset a supply of military equipment that U.K. defense officials say has degraded significantly.
  • The Ukrainian Defense Ministry is offering a $100,000 reward for the capture of Igor Girkin, a former defense leader for Russian-backed forces in Ukraine’s east. Girkin, who uses the alias Strelkov, shared a photo on Telegram on Saturday of him wearing his military uniform with his wife. ‘To the questions: Where is Igor Ivanovich?’ he wrote. ‘Will be in touch soon.’
  • Elon Musk appears to have backpedaled on threats to cut funding to Starlink, the satellite internet service that for months has been providing vital communications for Ukraine’s military. The billionaire’s suggestion Friday that his company, SpaceX, may stop paying for the emergency network was met with a chorus of condemnation including from Ukrainian diplomats. Behind the scenes, the company has been in talks with the Pentagon about the program’s future financing.

Russian Invasion of Ukraine: Strikes Hit Russian Border Region, a Key Staging Ground for Troops. Explosions rocked Belgorod on Sunday, wounding three people, a day after shelling set fire to a fuel depot, Russian officials said. The New York Times, Sunday, 16 October 2022:

  • More than a dozen explosions echo in Belgorod, just across the border from Ukraine.

  • A shooting at a Russian training camp in the border area kills 11 soldiers, state media reports.

  • A former public servant, an animal lover and a grandmother: three women who were victims of Russian brutality.

  • A blast damages an administration building in Russian-occupied eastern Ukraine, killing one man.

  • Russian troops have started to arrive in Belarus.

  • Belarus’s strongman survives with support from Russia, but entering the war could be ‘political suicide.’

  • Xi Jinping avoids mentioning Ukraine or nuclear fears in a major address.

Trump attacks U.S. Jews, posting they must ‘get their act together’ on Israel, The Washington Post, Rosalind S. Helderman, Sunday, 16 October 2022: “Former president Donald Trump attacked American Jews in a post on his Truth Social platform on Sunday, saying Jews in the United States must ‘get their act together’ and show more appreciation for the state of Israel ‘before it is too late.’ American Jews have long been accused of holding secret loyalty to Israel rather than the United States, and Trump’s post leaned on that antisemitic trope, suggesting that by virtue of their religion, American Jews should show more appreciation to Israel. Trump also complained in the post that ‘no president’ had done more for Israel than he had but that Christian evangelicals are ‘far more appreciative of this than the people of the Jewish faith, especially those living in the U.S.’ It was not the first time that Trump has suggested that American Jews, who traditionally have more often aligned with the Democratic Party on domestic policies, should be more supportive of him because of how he dealt with Israel.”

Kari Lake, Arizona Republican candidate for governor, doesn’t commit to accepting Arizona election result if she loses, CNN Politics, Kate Sullivan, Sunday, 16 October 2022: “Arizona Republican Kari Lake would not commit Sunday to accepting the results of her upcoming election for governor if she loses. ‘I’m going to win the election, and I will accept that result,’ the GOP nominee told CNN’s Dana Bash on ‘State of the Union’ after being asked three times whether she would accept the election’s outcome. Lake dodged the question the first two times. ‘If you lose, will you accept that?’ Bash asked, to which Lake replied again: ‘I’m going to win the election, and I will accept that result.'” See also, Kari Lake, the Republican Candidate for Governor of Arizona, Refused on Sunday to Commit to Accepting the Results of Her Election, Using Much of the Same Language That Former President Donald Trump Did When He Was a Candidate. ‘I’m going to win the election, and I will accept that result,’ Kari Lake said on CNN. The New York Times, Maggie Astor, Sunday, 16 October 2022: “‘I’m going to win the election, and I will accept that result,’ Ms. Lake said in an interview on CNN’s ‘State of the Union.’ The host, Dana Bash, then asked, ‘If you lose, will you accept that?’ Ms. Lake, who is running against Arizona’s Democratic secretary of state, Katie Hobbs, responded by repeating, ‘I’m going to win the election, and I will accept that result. The people of Arizona will never support and vote for a coward like Katie Hobbs,’ she added, setting up a framework in which, if Ms. Hobbs were to win, Ms. Lake could present the result as evidence of election fraud. That is one of the arguments Mr. Trump made, suggesting that the 2020 election must have been fraudulent because the idea of President Biden receiving majority support was unbelievable. Four years earlier, in 2016, Mr. Trump told supporters, ‘I will totally accept the results of this great and historic presidential election if I win.'”


Monday, 17 October 2022:


Russian Invasion of Ukraine: Deadly drone strikes hit central Kyiv; Russian plane crash kills at least 4 at apartment complex, The Washington Post, Isabelle Khurshudyan, Rachel Pannett, Nick Parker, Leo Sands, and Sammy Westfall, Monday, 17 October 2022: “President Volodymyr Zelensky condemned a Monday morning attack on the Ukrainian capital with kamikaze drones, saying Russia ‘terrorizes the civilian population’ after a residential building was hit. At least four deaths and many injuries have been reported. It’s the second week in a row that central Kyiv has come under bombardment, and Ukrainian officials quickly escalated appeals for Western air defense systems. Russian forces also targeted critical energy facilities across Ukraine and cut hundreds of settlements off from the electricity grid, the country’s prime minister said, as part of a concerted attempt to weaken power infrastructure as winter approaches. In downtown Kyiv, drones dived toward a thermal station near the central train station where emergency workers had been standing. A Russian Su-34 fighter-bomber on Monday crashed into a residential apartment complex in southern Russia, killing at least four, according to Russian officials. Videos verified by The Washington Post showed an explosive blaze raging.

  • At least four people, including a pregnant woman, died in Monday morning’s explosions in Kyiv, Mayor Vitali Klitschko said, adding that more were hospitalized. The central Shevchenkivskyi district — a main target of last week’s barrage — was struck at least four times, he said. Kyiv residents heard the distinctive noise of Iranian-made Shahed drones, now being deployed by Russia’s military, as they prepared to attack.
  • Tehran is ‘complicit’ in the recent deaths and injuries attributed to its drones, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said Monday. Zelensky used the drone attack to reiterate his call for ‘significantly more modern air defense systems.’
  • Strikes in central and northern Ukraine damaged the country’s energy grid, the state operator announced on Telegram, urging citizens to consume minimal amounts of electricity to avoid emergency shutdowns. Russia’s Defense Ministry said Monday that it targeted Ukraine’s ‘energy system facilities.’ Zelensky on Monday evening characterized the electricity conservation as a way to reduce the human costs of Russia’s attacks.
  • The mayor of Moscow said he was ending the city’s military mobilization drive after a backlash, meaning that searches for men evading the draft would halt.The announcement — in effect at 2 p.m. Monday — follows a string of raids in which soldiers and police issued military summonses to men in office buildings, hostels and cafes. In some cases, men were seized off the street to fight in Ukraine.
  • The European Union on Monday approved a plan to train thousands of Ukrainian troops in Europe.
  • A Russian SU-34 fighter-bomber crashed into a nine-story residential building in the Russian port and resort town of Yeysk near the southern city of Krasnodar on Monday, igniting a massive fire that engulfed the building, according to the regional governor. The Russian Emergency Situations Ministry said on Telegram that four people were killed, with 25 missing. However, Russian state-media outlet Tass, citing Emergency Minister Alexander Kurenkov, said there were six fatalities.
  • The plane crashed ‘upon a climb during its training flight from a military airfield,’ the Russian Defense Ministry told Tass, and the bomber’s fuel caught fire after crashing into the complex’s courtyard.
  • The Post geolocated the site of the crash: a complex next to a shopping mall and stores about a kilometer from the coast of the Sea of Azov, across from Mariupol. Information on casualties is ‘still being clarified,’ but emergency services are on the scene, Krasnodar Gov. Veniamin Kondratiev said on Telegram.
  • Video shared widely on social media, the veracity of which was confirmed by The Post, showed a raging pillar of flames more than nine stories tall. Dark smoke billowed above the apartment bloc.
  • Damage to the Crimean Bridge is probably posing logistical problems for Russian forces occupying southern Ukraine, the British Defense Ministry said in its daily update. Intelligence officials observed a ‘large queue of waiting cargo trucks’ backed up near the crossing, which was open to some traffic.
  • Russia will not relent in Ukraine, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Sunday on the state-owned television channel Rossiya-1, according to Russia’s Tass news agency. NATO’s support for Kyiv puts pressure on Moscow, he said, but not enough to deter Russia: ‘The operation will continue, and we will go through with it.’
  • Ukraine and the Russian-backed forces in control of the Donetsk region, which Russia claims to have annexed, have exchanged 218 prisoners, Ukrainian and Donetsk officials announced Monday. Those swapped included combatants, medics and other prisoners. Ukraine received 108 people, officials said, all women. In nightly addresses Sunday and Monday, Zelensky urged his military to capture Russian soldiers in hope of exchanging them for Ukrainian troops.
  • Russian troops began arriving in Belarus over the weekend as part of what Belarus has called a ‘regional grouping.’ Hundreds of tanks, armored vehicles and artillery pieces are en route, according to Russian news agency Interfax. Belarus announced Monday that it would conduct live fire exercises with Russian troops, Interfax reported. The moves are under close scrutiny amid reports that Belarus is under Russian pressure to join the fight.

Russian Invasion of Ukraine: Buzzing Drones Herald Fresh Attacks on Kyiv, Killing Four. The attacks by the Iranian-made drones were the latest on Kyiv, where Russian strikes have increased. Five others died in a strike in the northeastern Sumy region, officials said. The New York Times, Monday, 17 October 2022:

  • First came the buzzing sound. Then the deadly blasts.

  • Ukrainian forces slow their advance in the east as Russia tries to regroup.

  • A Russian journalist accused of ‘discrediting the military’ has fled to a European country.

  • Kyiv is attacked by Iranian-made drones, a week after Russian forces intensified strikes against civilian targets.

  • Ukraine and Russia exchange prisoners, many of them women.

  • Russia threatens to block an extension of the Ukraine grain deal.

  • The E.U. expands military support of Ukraine with funding and training.

Russian Invasion of Ukraine: Russia strikes Kyiv as its troops move into Belarus, NPR, NPR Staff, Monday, 17 October 2022: “What to watch this week: After two consecutive Mondays of strikes on Kyiv, concern is rising in Ukraine’s capital as the war with Russia nears the eight-month mark. NATO will hold nuclear deterrence exercises starting Monday. NATO has warned Russia not to use nuclear weapons on Ukraine but says the ‘Steadfast Noon’ drills are a routine, annual training activity. Russia typically holds nuclear exercises around the same time. Russia’s military moves in Belarus, a Kremlin ally that borders both Russia and Ukraine, are also being watched closely. What happened last week: Russia launched a barrage of attacks hitting Kyiv and cities across Ukraine, Oct. 10, in what’s considered its most extensive attack since the early days of its invasion of Ukraine this year. Russian agents detained eight people on Oct. 12 suspected of carrying out a large explosion on a bridge to Crimea, including Russian, Ukrainian and Armenian citizens. The United Nations General Assembly roundly condemned Russia’s move to illegally annex four regions of Ukraine. In the Oct. 13 session, four countries voted alongside Russia, but 143 voted in favor of Ukraine’s resolution, while 35 abstained. Two men shot at Russian troops preparing to deploy to Ukraine, killing 11 people and wounding 15 before being killed themselves, Russia’s Defense Ministry said on Oct. 15. Russian troops began arriving in Belarus Oct. 15, which Minsk said were the first convoys of almost 9,000 service members expected as part of a ‘regional grouping’ of forces allegedly to protect Belarus from threats at the border from Ukraine and the West.”

House Inquiry Finds Trump Hotels Charged Secret Service Exorbitant Rates. Records obtained by the House Oversight Committee show the former president’s properties charged more than $1.4 million to agents protecting him and his family. The New York Times, David A. Fahrenthold and Luke Broadwater, Monday, 17 October 2022: “The Trump Organization charged the Secret Service up to $1,185 per night for hotel rooms used by agents protecting former President Donald J. Trump and his family, according to documents released on Monday by the House Oversight Committee, forcing a federal agency to pay well above government rates. The committee released Secret Service records showing more than $1.4 million in payments by the department to Trump properties since Mr. Trump took office in 2017. The committee said that the accounting was incomplete, however, because it did not include payments to Mr. Trump’s foreign properties — where agents accompanied his family repeatedly — and because the records stopped in September 2021. The records the panel obtained provided new details about an arrangement in which Mr. Trump and his family effectively turned the Secret Service into a captive customer of their business — by visiting their properties hundreds of times, and then charging the government rates far above its usual spending limits. The records also make clear that Mr. Trump’s son Eric — who ran the family business while his father was in office — provided a misleading account of what his company was charging.” See also, Records show Trump charged Secret Service ‘exorbitant’ rates at his hotels, The Washington Post, Carol D. Leonnig, Monday, 17 October 2022: “Former president Donald Trump’s company charged the Secret Service as much as five times more than the government rate for agents to stay overnight at Trump hotels while protecting him and his family, according to expense records newly obtained by Congress. The records show that in 40 cases the Trump Organization billed the Secret Service far higher amounts than the approved government rate — in one case charging agents $1,185 a night to stay at the Trump International Hotel in D.C. The new billing documents, according to a congressional committee’s review, show that U.S. taxpayers paid the president’s company at least $1.4 million for Secret Service agents’ stays at Trump properties for his and his family’s protection. ‘The exorbitant rates charged to the Secret Service and agents’ frequent stays at Trump-owned properties raise significant concerns about the former President’s self-dealing and may have resulted in a taxpayer-funded windfall for former President Trump’s struggling businesses,” Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-N.Y.) wrote to Secret Service Director Kimberly Cheatle. The records contradict the repeated claim made by Eric Trump, the president’s son and the Trump Organization’s executive vice president, that the family’s company often gave the Secret Service agents the hotel rooms ‘at cost’ or sometimes free, providing steep discounts for the security team to stay at Trump properties.” See also, House committee report says Trump’s company charged Secret Service ‘exorbitant’ hotel rates to protect the first family, CNN Politics, Zachary Cohen and Kara Scannell, Monday, 17 October 2022: “The Trump Organization charged the Secret Service ‘exorbitant rates’ – upwards of $1.4 million over four years – to protect the former President and his family at properties they owned, according to documents released by the House Oversight Committee on Monday. The committee found that the Trump Organization charged the Secret Service ‘excessive nightly rates on dozens of trips’ as high as $1,185 per night despite claims by the former President’s company that federal employees traveling with him would stay at those properties ‘for free’ or ‘at cost.'”

Justice Department Recommends Bannon Be Sentenced to 6 Months in Prison. Stephen K. Bannon, who is set to be sentenced on Friday, deserved a penalty harsher than the minimum term of one month in jail because he had blatantly brushed off the January 6 committee’s demands, prosecutors said. The New York Times, Alan Feuer and Luke Broadwater, Monday, 17 October 2022: “The Justice Department said on Monday that Stephen K. Bannon, a former top aide to Donald J. Trump, should spend six months in jail and pay a fine of $200,000 after a jury found him guilty this summer of willfully disobeying a subpoena from the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack. Mr. Bannon ‘pursued a bad-faith strategy of defiance and contempt’ from the moment he received the subpoena last year seeking records and testimony about his knowledge of Mr. Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election, culminating in the violent assault on the Capitol, prosecutors said in a sentencing memo to Judge Carl J. Nichols, who is overseeing the case. The prosecutors noted that Mr. Bannon, who is set to be sentenced by Judge Nichols on Friday, deserved a penalty harsher than the minimum term of one month in jail because he had blatantly brushed off the committee’s demands and then attacked it in a series of brazen public statements.” See also, Justice Department seeks jail for Bannon in contempt of Congress case. House Democrats said the Trump loyalist had foreknowledge of the then-president’s plans to falsely claim election victory and of the January 6 attack on the Capitol. The Washington Post, Spencer S. Hsu, Monday, 17 October 2022: “Federal prosecutors urged a judge Monday to make former president Donald Trump’s political confidant Stephen K. Bannon the first person to be incarcerated for contempt of Congress in more than a half-century, recommending he serve six months in prison for refusing to cooperate with a House committee probing the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol attack. They also sought to fine Bannon the maximum $200,000 allowed because he refused to cooperate with court officials’ routine presentencing investigation and divulge his financial records. ‘The rioters who overran the Capitol on January 6 did not just attack a building — they assaulted the rule of law upon which this country was built and through which it endures. By flouting the Select Committee’s subpoena and its authority, the Defendant exacerbated that assault,’ U.S. prosecutors J.P. Cooney and Amanda R. Vaughn wrote in a 24-page sentencing request. ‘Such behavior cannot be tolerated, lest it become commonplace and accepted, and the important work of congressional committees like the Select Committee rendered impossible.’ Bannon was convicted at trial in July by a federal jury in Washington on two misdemeanor counts — for refusing to provide either testimony or documents — each punishable by at least 30 days and up to one year in jail.”

White House calls Trump’s attack on U.S. Jews antisemitic, The Washington Post, Azi Paybarah, Monday, 17 October 2022: “The White House on Monday called Donald Trump’s attack on American Jews antisemitic after the former president wrote online that American Jews need to ‘get their act together’ and show more appreciation for the state of Israel ‘before it is too late.’ Press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, speaking to reporters in Washington on Monday, said, ‘Donald Trump has aligned with extremist and antisemitic figures’ and that comments like the ones he made Sunday on his social media platform TruthSocial ‘should be called out.’ ‘Donald Trump’s comments were antisemitic, as you all know, and insulting both to Jews and to our Israeli allies,’ she said. ‘But let’s be clear, for years, for years now, Donald Trump has aligned with extremist and antisemitic figures. … We need to root out antisemitism everywhere it rears its ugly head. We need to call this out. With respect to Israel, our relationship is ironclad and it’s rooted in shared values and interests. Donald Trump clearly doesn’t understand that either.’ American Jews have long been accused of holding secret loyalty to Israel rather than to the United States, and Trump’s post leaned on that antisemitic trope, suggesting that by virtue of their religion, American Jews should show more appreciation to Israel.”

New Select Subcommittee Report Details Trump Administration’s Assault on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Politicization of Public Health During the Coronavirus Crisis. Report is the third installment detailing findings from investigation into the Trump Administration’s political interference with federal coronavirus response. Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, Monday, 17 October 2022: “Today, the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, chaired by Rep. James E. Clyburn, released a staff report detailing efforts by the Trump Administration to compromise the scientific integrity of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) coronavirus response in an attempt to serve the former President’s political goals. This staff report is the third installment in a series of reports documenting the Select Subcommittee’s findings from its investigation into the Trump Administration’s rampant political interference with the federal public health response to the coronavirus pandemic. The first installment chronicled the Trump White House’s embrace of a dangerous and discredited herd immunity via mass infection strategy well before vaccines were available. The second installment revealed extensive evidence of the Trump White House’s relentless pressure campaigns targeting the Food and Drug Administration’s scientific decision-making on the coronavirus. Chairman Clyburn released the following statement about today’s report: ‘The Select Subcommittee’s investigation has shown that the previous administration engaged in an unprecedented campaign of political interference in the federal government’s pandemic response, which undermined public health to benefit the former president’s political goals. As today’s report shows, President Trump and his top aides repeatedly attacked CDC scientists, compromised the agency’s public health guidance, and suppressed scientific reports in an effort to downplay the seriousness of the coronavirus. This prioritization of politics, contempt for science, and refusal to follow the advice of public health experts harmed the nation’s ability to respond effectively to the coronavirus crisis and put Americans at risk. As we continue to recover from the coronavirus crisis, we must also continue to work to safeguard scientific integrity and restore the American people’s trust in our public health institutions.'”

Source says Trump employee seen moving boxes on Mar-a-Lago security footage is former White House employee, CBS News, Andres Triay and Robert Legare, Monday, 17 October 2022: “An employee at former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort seen on security camera footage moving boxes that have become a key part of the FBI’s ongoing investigation into Trump’s handling of presidential records is a former White House culinary worker and Navy veteran, a source confirms to CBS News. Walt Nauta – who served as a White House culinary employee from 2012-2021, according to his service record –  told investigators that the former president directed him to move the boxes to a different location as the federal investigation was underway, an individual familiar with the investigation says. Nauta, a native of Guam, is now a witness in the Justice Department’s probe – which escalated after the execution of a search warrant on Trump’s Florida residence in August – and has appeared before a federal grand jury in Washington, D.C., CBS News has learned. Investigators are interested in Nauta’s firsthand knowledge of what he told investigators was Trump’s directive to move the containers of records, the source said.”

The House January 6 Panel Has Set a High Bar: Showing Criminality. The committee investigating the attack on the Capitol has yet to decide on making criminal referrals. But its decision to subpoena Donald Trump is in keeping with its prosecutorial style. The New York Times, Michael S. Schmidt and Luke Broadwater, Monday, 17 October 2022: “In the final moments of what will most likely be the last hearing for the House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol, its vice chairwoman, Representative Liz Cheney, returned to a theme that has run through the committee’s work: criminality. Without naming names or providing any specifics, Ms. Cheney, a Wyoming Republican, asserted that the committee now has ‘sufficient information to consider criminal referrals for multiple individuals’ to the Justice Department for prosecution. It is not clear whether the committee will follow through and take the largely symbolic step of issuing a criminal referral for former President Donald J. Trump or anyone who worked with him to overturn the election and encourage the mob of his supporters who entered the Capitol seeking to block or delay certification of his defeat. But throughout its investigation and hearings, the committee has operated with a prosecutorial styleusing the possibility of criminality like a cudgel in extraordinary ways. It has penetrated Mr. Trump’s inner circle, surfaced considerable new evidence and laid out a detailed narrative that could be useful to the Justice Department in deciding whether to bring charges. The panel is expected to issue a subpoena as soon as Tuesday seeking to compel Mr. Trump to testify before it wraps up its investigation and issues a final report.”


Tuesday, 18 October 2022:


Russian Invasion of Ukraine: Russia targets power facilities; Germany ousts cyber chief accused of Russia connections, The Washington Post, Andrew Jeong, Leo Sands, Maite Fernândez Simon, and Sammy Westfall, Tuesday, 18 October 2022: “After a week of deadly strikes against civilians, Kyiv has accused Russia’s military of continuing attacks on its latest target: Ukraine’s energy infrastructure. Multiple facilities in the capital and across the country were struck Tuesday morning, cutting electricity and water supplies and prompting officials to plead with residents to reduce their consumption. About 70 percent of Ukrainians are determined to keep fighting until their country wins the war against Russia, according to a Gallup poll conducted in early September amid strong Ukrainian counteroffensives that recaptured land in the south and east. The majority of Ukrainians backing the war — 91 percent — defined victory as retaking all territories seized by Russia since 2014, including Crimea, Gallup found. The German government on Tuesday announced that it had removed from his duties the country’s cybersecurity chief, Arne Schönbohm, after allegations emerged of links to Russian intelligence.

  • Russia continued to target Ukraine’s civilian infrastructure Tuesday, killing at least one person in Kyiv, according to the country’s largest private electricity producer. A power facility in Kyiv was hit three times, a presidential aide said. And in the western city of Zhytomyr, far from the front lines, the mayor said residents had no running water or electricity. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said 30 percent of the country’s power stations have been destroyed since Oct. 10.
  • The Gallup poll shows strong support for fighting until victory in the capital, Kyiv, (83 percent) and western Ukraine (82 percent). But there is less enthusiasm in the east (56 percent) and in the south (58 percent), where the front lines are. Twenty-six percent said the Ukrainian government should negotiate an end to the fighting as quickly as possible.
  • The death toll from a Russian fighter-bomber crash in Russia rose to 15, the Russian Emergency Situations Ministry reported Tuesday morning. The Russian Su-34 aircraft crashed into a residential building Monday near the Russian city of Krasnodar, about 120 miles east of Crimea.
  • Brittney Griner spent her 32nd birthday in prison in Russia. In a message released by her lawyer to CNN, the U.S. basketball star said: ‘Thank you everyone for fighting so hard to get me home.’ She has been imprisoned since her arrest Feb. 17 on charges of entering Russia with a small quantity of cannabis oil, The Washington Post’s Cindy Boren writes.
  • International Atomic Energy Agency chief Rafael Grossi expressed ‘deep concern” about the recent detention of two Ukrainian staff members of the Zaprorizhzhia nuclear plant, according to a IAEA news release on Tuesday. Energy company Energoatom on Monday said Russia detained two plant officials. That comes after the detention and subsequent release of ZPP director general Ihor Murashov in early October, as well as of deputy director general Valeriy Martynyuk.

Russian Invasion of Ukraine: Ukrainians Struggle to Conserve Energy After Strikes Damage Power Stations. President Volodymyr Zelensky said that 30 percent of Ukraine’s power stations were ‘destroyed’ in the past eight days, causing ‘massive blackouts across the country.’ The New York Times, Tuesday, 18 October 2022:

  • Bottled water and rolling blackouts are part of daily life amid the attacks.

  • Russian officials hint that their hold on Kherson is shaky.

  • Brittney Griner, spending her birthday in a Russian cell, thanks her supporters.

  • Iran sends drone trainers to Crimea to aid Russia’s military.

  • Brussels proposes further emergency measures to address Europe’s mounting energy crisis.

  • Kyiv should cut diplomatic ties with Iran, Ukraine’s foreign minister says.

  • Denmark says ‘powerful explosions’ caused the Nord Stream pipeline leaks.

In Documents Review, Special Master Tells Trump Team to Back Up Privilege Claims. ‘What’s the expression–‘Where’s the beef? I need some beef,’ Judge Raymond Dearie, the independent arbiter, said during a conference call. The New York Times, Charlie Savage and Alan Feuer, Tuesday, 18 October 2022: “The special master reviewing materials seized by the F.B.I. from former President Donald J. Trump’s compound in Florida expressed skepticism on Tuesday about early claims by Mr. Trump’s lawyers that certain documents were privileged and thus could be withheld from a Justice Department investigation. In a phone conference, the special master, Judge Raymond J. Dearie of Federal District Court in Brooklyn, complained that the log of an initial batch of documents over which Mr. Trump is seeking to claim privilege lacked sufficient information to determine whether the arguments were valid. Judge Dearie encouraged Mr. Trump’s lawyers to give him a better sense of why they believed the documents could be lawfully shielded from the Justice Department’s inquiry into whether Mr. Trump unlawfully kept classified records at his estate and obstructed the government’s repeated efforts to retrieve them. ‘It’s a little perplexing as I go through the log,’ Judge Dearie said. ‘What’s the expression — Where’s the beef? I need some beef.’ The hearing was the latest step in the review process that began last month when Judge Dearie was named special master by one of Mr. Trump’s appointees, Judge Aileen M. Cannon of the Southern District of Florida.” See also, Special master Dearie unhappy with Mar-a-Lago document progress: ‘Where’s the beef? I need some beef.’ CNN Politics, Katelyn Polantz, Tuesday, 18 October 2022: “A court-appointed special master expressed frustration on Tuesday with the limited information he’s getting from the Justice Department and from defense lawyers for former President Donald Trump about disputes over documents seized from Mar-a-Lago. ‘Where’s the beef? I need some beef,’ Judge Raymond Dearie, acting as the third-party reviewer of the seized documents, said during a half-hour conference call with the attorneys from both sides.”

Acquittal of Russia Analyst Igor Danchenko Deals Final Blow to Trump-Era Prosecutor. John H. Durham, the special counsel who had been looking into the origins of the Russia investigation, failed to secure any convictions in three years. The New York Times, Charlie Savage and Linda Qiu, Tuesday, 18 October 2022: “Igor Danchenko, an analyst who provided much of the research for a notorious dossier of unproven assertions and rumors about former President Donald J. Trump and Russia, was acquitted on Tuesday on four counts of lying to the F.B.I. about one of his sources. The verdict was a final blow to the politically charged criminal investigation by John H. Durham, the special counsel appointed by Attorney General William P. Barr three years ago to scour the F.B.I.’s inquiry into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia for any wrongdoing. Mr. Trump and his supporters had long insisted the Durham inquiry would prove a ‘deep state’ conspiracy against him, but despite pursuing various such claims, Mr. Durham never charged any high-level government officials. Instead he developed two cases centered on the narrow charge of making false statements in outside efforts to scrutinize purported links between Mr. Trump and Russia. He crammed the indictments with extraneous material and insinuations that he thought Democrats had sought to frame Mr. Trump for collusion with Russia, though he did not charge any such conspiracy. While the cases were not as expansive as Trump supporters had expected, they nevertheless provided more fodder for grievances about the Russia investigation. But once the cases reached courtrooms, they both crumbled.” See also, Steele dossier source Igor Danchenko acquitted, in loss for special counsel Durham, The Washington Post, Salvador Rizzo, Rachel Weiner, and Perry Stein, Tuesday, 18 October 2022: “A jury on Tuesday found Igor Danchenko — a private researcher who was a primary source for a 2016 dossier of allegations about former president Donald Trump’s ties to Russia — not guilty of lying to the FBI about where he got his information. The verdict in federal court in Alexandria, Va., is another blow for special counsel John Durham, who has now lost both cases that have gone to trial as part of his nearly 3½-year investigation. Durham, who was asked by Attorney General William P. Barr in 2019 to review the FBI’s investigation of the Trump campaign in 2016, is sure to face renewed pressure to wrap up his work following the verdict. Trump predicted Durham would uncover ‘the crime of the century’ inside the U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies that investigated his campaign’s links to Russia. But so far, no one charged by the special counsel has gone to prison, and only one government employee has pleaded guilty to a criminal offense. In both trials this year, Durham argued that people deceived FBI agents, not that investigators corruptly targeted Trump.” See also, Igor Danchenko, primary source for Trump-Russia dossier, acquitted, handing special counsel Durham another trial loss, CNN Politics, Marshall Cohen, Tuesday, 18 October 2022: “Igor Danchenko, the primary source for the infamous Trump-Russia dossier, was acquitted Tuesday of four counts of lying to the FBI in an embarrassing defeat for special counsel John Durham. Durham has taken two cases to trial, and both have ended in acquittals. After more than three years looking for misconduct in the FBI’s Trump-Russia probe, Durham has only secured one conviction: the guilty plea of a low-level FBI lawyer, who got probation. The jury returned not guilty verdicts on all charges against Danchenko, a Russian expat and think tank analyst who provided the bulk of the material for the anti-Trump dossier.”

New Bob Woodward audiobook shows Trump knew Kim letters were classified. ‘Oh, those are so top secret,’ Trump said at one point, undermining his frequent claims that none of the material he took after leaving office was sensitive. The Washington Post, Ashley Parker, Tuesday, 18 October 2022: “In December 2019, after President Donald Trump had shared with journalist Bob Woodward the fawning letters that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un had written to him, the U.S. leader seems to acknowledge he should not be showing them around. After urging Woodward to ‘treat them with respect,’ Trump warns in an interview, ‘and don’t say I gave them to you, okay?’ ‘But I’ll let you see them,’ Trump adds. ‘I don’t want you to have them all.’ A month later, in January 2020, Woodward pressed Trump in a phone call to let him also see the letters that Trump wrote to Kim. ‘Oh, those are so top secret,’ Trump says, according to notes of the call taken by Woodward and highlighted in a new audiobook: ‘The Trump Tapes: Bob Woodward’s Twenty Interviews with President Trump.’ In hindsight, the comments by Trump show he was well aware that the 27 letters exchanged between himself and Kim were classified, despite his repeated claims that none of the documents he improperly took from the White House when leaving office, including the Kim letters, were in that category. The FBI and Justice Department this year executed a court-authorized search of Trump’s private Mar-a-Lago Club and residence — turning up 103 documents marked classified and roughly 11,000 not marked classified as part of an ongoing criminal probe into Trump’s handling of sensitive material.” See also, Trump Acknowledged in Interview That Letters to Kim Were ‘Top Secret.’ Recordings made by Bob Woodward of his interviews with Donald Trump appear to contradict Mr. Trump’s claims that none of the documents he took with him from the White House were classified. The New York Times, Chris Cameron, Tuesday, 18 October 2022: “An excerpt from a new audiobook revealed that President Donald J. Trump shared classified letters from Kim Jong-un, the North Korean leader, with the journalist Bob Woodward and seemed to acknowledge that they were sensitive material that he should not be sharing. ‘Don’t say I gave them to you,’ Mr. Trump said in December 2019, according to a copy of Mr. Woodward’s audiobook obtained by CNN, adding that ‘nobody else’ had the letters and imploring the journalist to ‘treat them with respect.’ The Washington Post reported that a month later, in January 2020, Mr. Woodward also asked to see letters that Mr. Trump had written to the North Korean leader. Mr. Trump replied, ‘Oh, those are so top secret.’ The original letters between Mr. Kim and Mr. Trump were among the voluminous number of presidential records that the National Archives tried to recover from Mr. Trump after he left office. Mr. Trump resisted returning the boxes of documents he had taken to his Florida estate, describing them to several advisers as ‘mine.’ The recordings appear to contradict Mr. Trump’s claims that none of the material he took with him from the White House was sensitive, or that the documents were personal records. Mr. Trump has also asserted that as president, he could have declassified any sensitive documents without a formal process ‘just by saying “it’s declassified” — even by thinking about it.'”

Former Oath Keeper Jason Dolan Says Militia Planned to Use ‘Any Means Necessary’ on January 6. Testifying at the seditious conspiracy trial of the far-right group’s leader and four other defendants, an ex-member said the organization envisioned a battle breaking out in Washington that day. The New York Times, Alan Feuer and Zach Montague, Tuesday, 18 October 2022: “A former member of the Oath Keepers militia testified on Tuesday that the far-right group intended to block the certification of the 2020 election ‘by any means necessary,’ stashing weapons in a hotel in Virginia on Jan. 6, 2021, in anticipation of supporting President Donald J. Trump in his bid to keep Joseph R. Biden Jr. out of the White House. The former Oath Keeper, Jason Dolan, gave his account at the seditious conspiracy trial of the organization’s leader, Stewart Rhodes, telling the jury that the group envisioned a battle breaking out in Washington that day between factions loyal to Mr. Trump and others loyal to Mr. Biden. ‘My thinking was you would have portions of federal government that would side with President Trump and parts that would side with President Biden,’ Mr. Dolan said. The Oath Keepers, Mr. Dolan added, were firmly committed to Mr. Trump and wanted to stop the certification of Mr. Biden’s victory in any way they could. ‘That’s why we brought our firearms,’ he said. The testimony in Federal District Court in Washington was the first time in nearly three weeks at the trial that the jury heard direct evidence that the Oath Keepers had sought to disrupt a proceeding at the Capitol on Jan. 6 where lawmakers had gathered to certify the results of the election — a key element of the charges Mr. Rhodes and his four co-defendants are facing. It was also the first time that one of the government’s cooperating witnesses provided a personal account of being in the angry pro-Trump crowd outside the Capitol and ultimately storming the building in an effort to strike fear into the lawmakers inside.” See also, Key Oath Keepers witness Jason Dolan testifies January 6 plans potentially ‘treasonous.’ Dolan testifies in Stewart Rhodes’s seditious conspiracy trial that members were prepared to stop Congress from confirming 2020 election ‘by any means necessary’ and brought firearms for that reason. The Washington Post, Spencer S. Hsu, Tuesday, 18 October 2022: “A key government witness in the seditious conspiracy trial of Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes and four other members said defendants on Jan. 6, 2021, were prepared to stop Congress from confirming the 2020 election result ‘by any means necessary’ — including armed combat — and understood their plans to be potentially ‘treasonous.’ The testimony Tuesday by Jason Dolan was the first in the trial from several cooperating Oath Keepers witnesses who have pleaded guilty in the Capitol attack investigation. The Florida man and others are expected to be critical to the prosecution because they have admitted under oath to what Rhodes and co-defendants are charged with: plotting to obstruct and disrupt Congress by, as Dolan put it in plea papers, ‘intimidating and coercing governmental personnel.’ Prosecutors must show that even though Rhodes did not enter the building that day, he and co-defendants conspired to oppose by force the lawful transition of presidential power, culminating in the Capitol attack, making Dolan a direct witness.”

Biden Says Codifying Roe Will Be a Priority if Democrats Expand Majorities. The commitment comes as the White House and Democrats have been focused on protecting abortion access before the midterm elections. But it is not clear if the issue is resonating with voters. The New York Times, Alan Rappeport, Tuesday, 18 October 2022: “President Biden said Tuesday that the first bill he would send to Capitol Hill next year if Democrats expand their control of Congress would be legislation to enshrine abortion rights into law. Just weeks before the midterm elections, Mr. Biden tried to recapture the fervor that gripped Democrats over the summer after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, ending the constitutional right to terminate a pregnancy.” See also, Biden promises abortion rights law as Democrats try to rally voters, CNN Politics, MJ Lee, Jeremy Diamond, and Kevin Liptak, Tuesday, 18 October 2022: “President Joe Biden on Tuesday made a major promise on a push to put abortion rights into law as his party looks to seize on the politically divisive issue in the final push ahead of the midterm elections. At an abortion-rights-focused speech at a Democratic National Committee event on Tuesday, Biden said that if Democrats elect more senators and keep control of the House in the midterms then he’d make abortion a top issue. ‘The court got Roe right nearly 50 years ago and I believe the Congress should codify Roe, once and for all,’ Biden said.” See also, Biden issues a 2023 pledge to Democrats: Hold on to Congress, and I’ll sign abortion rights into law. The president’s promise comes as Democrats fear abortion rights is fading as a campaign issue. Politico, Christopher Cadelago and Alice Miranda Ollstein, Tuesday, 18 October 2022: “President Joe Biden on Tuesday promised that the first bill he’ll send to the next Congress will be legislation to reinstate the abortion protections of Roe v. Wade. In a speech at a Democratic National Committee event in Washington, Biden also pledged to sign that bill into law around the anniversary of the original Roe ruling in late January.” See also, Biden kicks off Democrats’ final sprint focusing on one theme: Abortion. In a major speech three weeks before the midterms, Biden makes it clear that abortion rights is the core Democratic message. The Washington Post, Cleve R. Wootson Jr. and Tyler Pager, Tuesday, 18 October 2022: “President Biden vowed Tuesday to make codifying Roe v. Wade his first legislative priority if Democrats control Congress after the November elections, tying the outcome of the midterms more directly to enshrining abortion rights than he has previously and raising the stakes for a tumultuous election where his party faces strong head winds. During a speech at the Howard Theatre in D.C., Biden said he would send a bill codifying abortion protections to Congress and sign it before Jan. 22, the 50th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision that guaranteed a woman’s right to an abortion. But he also sought to tap into the outrage that spilled onto the streets after the court’s June 24 ruling that overturned Roe. ‘I’m asking the American people to remember how you felt the day the extreme Dobbs decision came down and Roe was struck down after all those years,’ Biden said. ‘I want you to remember that the final say does not rest with the court now. It does not rest with the extreme Republicans in Congress. It rests with you. And if you do your part, Democratic leaders in Congress will do their part. And I’ll do my part.'”

Police cameras show confusion and anger over Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ voter fraud arrests in August, Tampa Bay Times, Lawrence Mower, Tuesday, 18 October 2022: “When police went to arrest Tony Patterson outside his Tampa home in August, he couldn’t believe the reason. ‘What is wrong with this state, man?’ Patterson protested as he was being escorted to a police car in handcuffs. ‘Voter fraud? Y’all said anybody with a felony could vote, man.’ Body-worn camera footage recorded by local police captured the confusion and outrage of Hillsborough County residents who found themselves in handcuffs for casting a ballot following investigations by Gov. Ron DeSantis’ new Office of Election Crimes and Security. The Aug. 18 arrests — conducted hours before DeSantis called a news conference to tout his crackdown on alleged voter fraud — were carried out by state police officers accompanied by local law enforcement. The never-before-seen footage, obtained by the Times/Herald through public records requests, offers a personal glimpse of the effects of DeSantis’ efforts to root out perceived voter fraud.” See also, Videos Show Confusion as Florida Police Arrest People on Voter Fraud Charges. A crackdown in August on voter fraud announced by Governor Ron DeSantis seems to have ensnared former felons who were puzzled that they were accused of violating voting laws. The New York Times, Michael Wines and Neil Vigdor, published on Wednesday, 19 October 2022: “Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida announced in August ‘a first salvo’ of criminal charges in what he called a long-overdue crackdown on voter fraud by his newly created Office of Election Crimes and Security. But recently released body camera footage indicates that people arrested on charges of voting illegally seemed puzzled and appeared to have run afoul of the law through confusion rather than intent. The arrests targeted people convicted of felonies. In Florida, under a constitutional amendment approved by voters in 2018, many former inmates had their voting rights restored, but others did not, leaving many people uncertain or misinformed about their eligibility to vote. In the videos that were obtained on Wednesday by The New York Times from the Tampa Police Department, those arrested repeatedly told officers that they were blindsided by the charges and had been cleared to vote by election officials. The videos were published earlier by The Tampa Bay Times. The emergence of the videos brought fresh scrutiny to Mr. DeSantis’s pursuit of voter fraud allegations, which critics said disproportionately focused on people of color and have netted fewer than two dozen arrests this year in a state that cast 11 million votes in the 2020 election.”


Wednesday, 19 October 2022:


Russian Invasion of Ukraine: Putin declares martial law in four illegally annexed regions of Ukraine, The Washington Post, Leo Sands, Kelly Kasulis Cho, Isabelle Khurshudyan, Miriam Berger, and Sammy Westfall, Wednesday, 19 October 2022: “Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday declared martial law across four regions of eastern and southern Ukraine. The move came even as his forces were losing ground in those same territories, which Moscow illegally annexed following staged referendums last month. He made the announcement at a meeting of his security council, saying that military officials would take direct responsibility for civilian government functions in the Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions at midnight on Thursday. The decree gives Russia’s military and proxy authorities broad powers of arrest and detention — but it was unclear how it would change Russia’s fortunes on the battlefield. In recent weeks, Moscow has ramped up strikes on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure, causing sweeping blackouts as winter approaches.

  • The fight for Kherson could begin in the ‘very near future,’ a pro-Russian separatist official said. Residents were ordered to leave Wednesday morning in anticipation of a major Ukrainian push to retake the city; at least 50,000 inhabitants will be transported out in an operation that pro-Moscow authorities say will take about a week.
  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky met with advisers about the country’s energy system as Russian attacks cause ‘massive blackouts.’ Zelensky said Tuesday that 30 percent of the country’s power stations have been damaged by Russian attacks since Oct. 10, amid mounting fears of power outages in the winter.
  • The United States, Britain and France will raise the issue of Iran transferring weapons to Russia at a closed-door meeting of the U.N. Security Council, according to diplomats familiar with the situation. The United States and European nations have denounced Russian attacks on Ukrainian cities and critical infrastructure using Iranian drones.

Russian Invasion of Ukraine: Putin Declares Martial Law in Annexed Ukraine as Evacuation of Civilians Starts. Pro-Kremlin officials said they would move tens of thousands out of the key southern city of Kherson as Ukrainian forces press forward. The New York Times, Wednesday, 19 October 2022:

  • Martial law will allow Russia to impose tighter restrictions in occupied Ukraine.

  • The relocation of civilians from the city of Kherson is a sign that Russia’s grip there is slipping.

  • As Ukraine intensifies pressure in the south, Russian missile strikes rain down across the country.

  • Ukraine’s advances have limited Russia’s options for a smooth pullback.

  • The U.S. charges 5 Russians and 2 Venezuelans in a scheme to send military technology and oil to Russia.

  • The E.U. agrees to place sanctions on Iran for supplying Russia with drones.

  • After hundreds of thousands fled or were called up to fight, Moscow is eerily empty of men.

Judge Says Trump Signed Statement With Data His Lawyers Told Him Was False. The determination came in a decision by a federal judge that John Eastman, a lawyer for the former president, had to turn more of his emails over to the House January 6 committee. The New York Times, Luke Broadwater and Alan Feuer, Wednesday, 19 October 2022: “Former President Donald J. Trump signed a document swearing under oath that information in a Georgia lawsuit he filed challenging the results of the 2020 election was true even though his own lawyers had told him it was false, a federal judge wrote on Wednesday. The accusation came in a ruling by the judge, David O. Carter, ordering John Eastman, the conservative lawyer who strategized with the former president about overturning the election, to hand over 33 more emails to the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. Judge Carter, who serves with the Federal District Court for the Central District of California, determined that the emails contained possible evidence of criminal behavior. ‘The emails show that President Trump knew that the specific numbers of voter fraud were wrong but continued to tout those numbers, both in court and to the public,’ Judge Carter wrote. He added in a footnote that the suit contained language saying Mr. Trump was relying on information provided to him by others.” See also, Federal judge indicates former President Donald Trump signed legal documents describing evidence of election fraud that he knew were false, Politico, Kyle Cheney and Josh Gerstein, Wednesday, 19 October 2022: “U.S. District Court Judge David Carter wrote in an 18-page opinion that emails from attorney John Eastman, an architect of Trump’s last-ditch effort to subvert the 2020 election, needed to be turned over to the Jan. 6 select committee. Those emails, Carter wrote, ‘show that President Trump knew that the specific numbers of voter fraud were wrong but continued to tout those numbers, both in court and to the public.'” See also, Trump knew voter fraud numbers were wrong, federal judge says as he orders John Eastman emails turned over, CNN Politics, Zachary Cohen and Tierney Sneed, Wednesday, 19 October 2022: “A federal judge on Wednesday ordered the release of emails from John Eastman, a former Donald Trump attorney, to House investigators, saying the communications were made in furtherance of a crime related to Trump’s efforts to subvert the 2020 election. ‘The emails show that President Trump knew that the specific numbers of voter fraud were wrong but continued to tout those numbers, both in court and to the public,’ Judge David O. Carter wrote. ‘The Court finds that these emails are sufficiently related to and in furtherance of a conspiracy to defraud the United States,’ he added.”

Conservative Stalwart J. Michael Luttig Is Challenging the Far-Right Legal Theory That Could Subvert U.S. Democracy. Luttig is opposing Republican groups in one of the most momentous cases that the Supreme Court is considering this term. The New Yorker, Jane Mayer, Wednesday, 19 October 2022: “A powerful new litigant has joined one of the most momentous cases slated to be heard by the Supreme Court this term. The respondents in the case of Moore v. Harper filed a brief today that included a surprising new signatory: J. Michael Luttig, who has been known for years as perhaps the most conservative Republican judge in the country. Now, though, he has joined a coalition of veteran lawyers and nonpartisan government-watchdog groups who are fighting against a far-right Republican election-law challenge—one so radical that critics say it has the potential to end American democracy as we know it. The former judge is a surprising co-counsel to Neal Katyal, the well-known Supreme Court litigator. Katyal is a counsel of record in the case for several respondents opposing the far-right groups, including Common Cause and the North Carolina League of Conservation Voters. The case is scheduled to be heard by the Court on December 7th. Luttig told me that he signed on as Katyal’s co-counsel because he regards Moore v. Harper as ‘without question the most significant case in the history of our nation for American democracy.’ Putting it more colloquially, he said, ‘Legally, it’s the whole ballgame.’…  [Proponents of the independent-state-legislature theory claimed] that state legislatures had the authority to reject the results of the 2020 election that were certified by other state officials and the courts…. ‘The independent-state-legislature theory was the centerpiece of the former President’s effort to overturn the 2020 election,’ Luttig told me. ‘In advising Vice-President Pence on January 6th, I concluded that there was no such doctrine of constitutional interpretation.’ Luttig added, ‘From that day, I have believed I had an obligation to the country to explain the reasons for that conclusion. Namely, there is literally no support at all in the Constitution.’ In fact, Luttig said, the theory is ‘antithetical to the Framers’ intent, the text, and the Constitution’s fundamental design and architecture.'”

Trump answers questions under oath in E. Jean Carroll’s defamation lawsuit. Carroll says Trump damaged her reputation when he denied her allegation that he raped her in a Manhattan department store dressing room in the mid-1990s. NBC News, Summer Concepcion, Wednesday, 19 October 2022: “Former President Donald Trump answered questions under oath Wednesday in a defamation lawsuit brought by a writer who alleges he raped her in the mid-1990s. Roberta Kaplan, an attorney for E. Jean Carroll, who was a longtime columnist for Elle magazine, confirmed that Trump was deposed Wednesday. Asked how long the deposition lasted, Kaplan said the information was deemed confidential.” See also, Trump appears for deposition in E. Jean Carroll’s defamation lawsuit, CNN Politics, Kara Scannell, Wednesday, 19 October 2022: “Former President Donald Trump appeared Wednesday for a deposition as part of the defamation lawsuit brought by former magazine columnist E. Jean Carroll. Last week, a federal judge cleared the way for Trump’s testimony saying the former President had already taken steps to delay the case and he ‘should not be able to run out the clock.’ ‘We’re pleased that on behalf of our client, E. Jean Carroll, we were able to take Donald Trump’s deposition today. We are not able to comment further,’ said a spokesperson for Kaplan Hecker & Fink, the law firm representing Carroll.” See also, What to Know About Trump’s Deposition in E. Jean Carroll’s Defamation Lawsuit Against Trump. The former president was asked questions under oath Wednesday in a defamation case brought by the writer E. Jean Carroll, who says he raped her in a dressing room. The New York Times, Benjamin Weiser, Wednesday, 19 October 2022.

In 2021 Video, Trump Asks, ‘Is This a good Jewish Character Right Here?’ Donald Trump made bigoted remarks about Jews and Persians at an event in 2021, in a new video provided by a British Documentary filmmaker. The New York Times, Maggie Haberman, Wednesday, 19 October 2022: “Former President Donald J. Trump inquired whether a documentary filmmaker recording an interview with him last year was a ‘good Jewish character,’ described Persians as ‘very good salesmen’ and complained that Israeli Jews favored him more than Jews in the United States, a new clip released by the filmmaker shows. ‘In Israel, I’m at like 94 percent, but I got 27, 28 percent,’ Mr. Trump says in the video, referring to what he claimed was his approval rating among Israeli Jews versus American Jews. The video was recorded on May 20, 2021, and was provided to The New York Times by the documentary filmmaker, Alex Holder. It was filmed at an event at Mr. Trump’s golf club in Bedminster, N.J., as he spoke with several people.”



Thursday, 20 October 2022:


Russian Invasion of Ukraine: Ukrainians face power blackouts as Zelensky warns of Russian plot, The Washington Post, Victoria Bisset, Erin Cunningham, Maite Fernández Simon, Robyn Dixon, and James Bikales, Thursday, 20 October 2022: “Ukrainians are preparing for rolling blackouts after Russia’s military continued attacks on the country’s energy facilities this week, with the electric utility urging residents in central Ukraine Thursday to ‘urgently reduce’ their energy consumption and charge their devices in preparation for outages. President Volodymyr Zelensky, speaking at a European Council summit Thursday to address Kyiv’s energy challenges, warned the infrastructure attacks may continue to escalate. He said Ukraine had uncovered a Russian plot to destroy a hydroelectric dam near Kherson and blame Ukraine for the ‘large-scale disaster’ that would result. The warning came as Russian proxy officials said they are working to resettle around 50,000 civilians from Kherson in what analysts said could be a precursor to a withdrawal from the region.

  • Zelensky said ‘Russian terrorists’ had mined the dam at the Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant, one of the country’s largest power facilities, in preparation for a ‘false flag’ attack. He did not provide evidence of the Russian plot but told European Council leaders it could lead to flooding in 80 settlements, including Kherson, and destroy much of southern Ukraine’s water supply. In recent days, Moscow proxy officials have claimed that Ukraine was planning to blow up the dam to flood Kherson and have removed thousands of people from the city. Ukraine blew up a dam early in the war as part of its efforts to defend Kyiv.
  • Ukraine’s electricity grid operator Ukrenergo warned residents Thursday to charge their phones, flashlights and other key appliances in preparation for outages, even as the country braces for colder weather.
  • Putin’s declaration of martial law took effect at midnight in four Ukrainian territories he illegally annexed last month. The move ‘speaks to his desperation,’ Secretary of State Antony Blinken told ABC’s ‘Good Morning America.’ In the interview, which aired Thursday, Blinken added that Putin has shown ‘no interest’ in ‘meaningful diplomacy’ over the war in Ukraine, but he noted that Zelensky has ‘also said he’s not going to negotiate with Vladimir Putin, only with the next Russian president.’
  • Iranian military personnel in Crimea are assisting Russia in its drone attacks against Ukraine, National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby told reporters. ‘The information we have is that the Iranians have put trainers and tech support in Crimea, but it’s the Russians who are doing the piloting,’ he said. The Washington Post reported Thursday that the U.S. government had examined the wreckage of the Iranian-made drones in Ukraine to better understand how they operate.

Russian Invasion of Ukraine: Thousands Relocated From Kherson as Ukrainians Close In. Moscow-backed authorities forecast moving up to 60,000 civilians from the occupied southern region, which analysts say could be a prelude to Russia’s military withdrawal from the city of Kherson. The New York Times, Thursday, 20 October 2022:

  • Russian-backed authorities in Kherson say they have relocated 15,000 civilians.

  • Zelensky says Russia plans to blow up a major dam in a ‘false flag’ attack, flooding southern Ukraine.

  • A plea to Ukrainians: Charge phones and forgo microwaves amid an energy squeeze.

  • Russian errors prompted the deployment of Iranian drone personnel to Ukraine, a U.S. official says.

  • E.U. leaders back measures to limit energy prices.

  • Ukraine has an opportunity to capitalize on Russian weakness, U.S. intelligence says.

  • The E.U. and the U.K. place sanctions on Iran for supplying Russia with drones.

  • On the ground: Bloodied Ukrainian soldiers get field medicine in Bakhmut, on the eastern front line.

Trump Claims He Owns White House Pardon and Immigration Policy Records. A letter to the special master overseeing a review of files seized from Mar-a-Lago has opened a window on disputes over an initial batch. The New York Times, Charlie Savage, Thursday, 20 October 2022: “Former President Donald J. Trump is claiming that nine documents seized by the F.B.I. from his Florida residence are his personal property — but the Justice Department says they are official records that should be deposited with the National Archives, according to a new letter to the special master who is overseeing a review of the materials. The letter, filed on Thursday by the Justice Department, describes disputes over ownership and executive privilege claims involving a batch of 15 records that have undergone early review. It likely foreshadows larger fights to come over the main bulk of roughly 13,000 documents and other materials F.B.I. agents took from Mar-a-Lago, Mr. Trump’s club and residence, in a court-authorized search in August. The materials from the initial tranche that Mr. Trump maintains belong to him include six packages submitted to him when he was president supporting requests that he grant clemency to pardon-seekers; two documents related to his administration’s immigration policies; and an email addressed to him from a person at a military academy, it said. But the Justice Department, in its letter, scoffed at the notion that any of those materials belong to Mr. Trump. It cited the Presidential Records Act, which says all documentary materials created or received by a president, his staff or his office in the course of official activities are government property that should go to the National Archives when a president leaves office. Of the pardon packages, for example, the Justice Department wrote: ‘Those requests were received by plaintiff in his capacity as the official with authority to grant reprieves and pardons, not in his personal capacity.’

Courts Reject Challenges to Biden Plan on Student Debt. A federal judge ruled that six states lacked standing to block the program, and Justice Amy Coney Barrett indicated the same thing about a taxpayers’ association. The New York Times, Adam Liptak, Thursday, 20 October 2022: “Attempts to block President Biden’s student debt relief programs were dealt dual setbacks on Thursday, as a federal judge in Missouri and Justice Amy Coney Barrett rejected challenges to the sweeping measure, one that could cost the government hundreds of billions of dollars. Judge Henry E. Autrey of the Federal District Court in St. Louis dismissed the more prominent of the two lawsuits, one brought by six Republican-led states. The suit accused Mr. Biden of overstepping his authority under a 2003 federal law that allows the education secretary to modify financial assistance programs for students ‘in connection with a war or other military operation or national emergency.’… Judge Autrey, who was appointed by President George W. Bush, did not rule on the larger issue in the lawsuit, which was brought by Nebraska, Missouri, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas and South Carolina. Instead, he said the states had not suffered injuries of the sort that gave them standing to sue. ‘While plaintiffs present important and significant challenges to the debt relief plan,’ the judge wrote, ‘the current plaintiffs are unable to proceed to the resolution of these challenges.’ The states said they planned to appeal…. In a second development on Thursday, Justice Barrett rejected a separate challenge to the debt relief program, this one from a taxpayers’ association in Wisconsin. Justice Barrett denied the association’s challenge without comment, which is the court’s custom in ruling on emergency applications. She acted on her own, without referring the application to the full court, and she did not ask the administration for a response. Both of those moves were indications that the application was not on solid legal footing.” See also, The Supreme Court won’t block the student loan debt relief program, at least for now, NPR, Nina Totenberg, Thursday, 20 October 2022: “The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to block the rollout of the Biden administration’s student debt relief plan, allowing the program to move forward – at least for now. Loan forgiveness is scheduled to begin as early as Sunday. Justice Amy Coney Barrett, who is assigned to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, was the one who received the emergency application. Presumably the court’s other justices agreed with her decision. Within hours of the Supreme Court action, another closely watched challenge to the program, this one brought by six GOP-led states, was tossed out by a federal district court in Missouri.” See also, Supreme Court delivers one of two legal wins for Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan, CNN Politics, Ariane de Vogue and Katie Lobosco, Thursday, 20 October 2022: “Federal courts on Thursday delivered two wins for President Joe Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan. Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett rejected a challenge to the program brought by a Wisconsin taxpayers group. And on the same day, a federal district court judge rejected a separate lawsuit brought by six Republican-led states. Student loan cancellations, worth up to $20,000 per eligible borrower, could show up on borrowers’ accounts as soon as Sunday. Lawyers for the government agreed in court documents to hold off on discharging any debt before October 23 as it faces several legal challenges. The appeal at issue in the Supreme Court case was considered an uphill battle because lower courts had ruled that the group, the Brown County Taxpayers Association, did not have the legal right or “standing” to bring the challenge. Under normal circumstances, taxpayers don’t have a general right to sue the government over how it uses taxpayer funds.”

Court Rules South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham Must Testify in Georgia Elections Inquiry. A federal appeals court ruled that the senator must appear before the special grand jury that is investigating efforts to overturn Donald Trump’s election loss in Georgia. The New York Times, Richard Fausset and Danny Hakim, Thursday, 20 October 2022: “A federal appeals court ruled on Thursday that Senator Lindsey Graham must appear before the special grand jury that is investigating efforts by former President Donald J. Trump and his allies to overturn Mr. Trump’s election loss in Georgia, although the court set limits on the kinds of questions Mr. Graham could be asked. The ruling means that Mr. Graham, at some date after the Nov. 8 midterm elections, will most likely have to travel to the Fulton County courthouse in downtown Atlanta to answer questions about phone calls he made to the Georgia secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger, in the weeks after the 2020 election. In a court document issued this summer, Judge Robert C.I. McBurney of Fulton County Superior Court wrote that Mr. Graham, in the course of those phone calls, ‘questioned Secretary Raffensperger and his staff about re-examining certain absentee ballots cast in Georgia in order to explore the possibility of a more favorable outcome for former President Donald Trump.’ Neither Mr. Graham’s media representative nor his lawyers could be reached for comment on Thursday, and a spokesman for Fani T. Willis, the Fulton County district attorney, declined to comment. But the six-page ruling, from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit in Atlanta, is a blow for Mr. Graham, the South Carolina Republican who transformed from a critic of Mr. Trump to an avid fan and his golfing partner over the course of Mr. Trump’s one term in office.” See also, Court rules South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham must testify in 2020 Georgia election investigation, The Washington Post, Ann E. Marimow, Thursday, 20 October 2022: “Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) must appear before a Georgia grand jury investigating possible attempts by President Donald Trump and his allies to disrupt the state’s 2020 presidential election, a federal appeals court said Thursday. Graham’s lawyers had asked the court to block a subpoena from Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis (D), claiming that a sitting senator is shielded from such investigations. But a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit denied Graham’s request and upheld a lower-court ruling narrowing the range of questions prosecutors can ask. ‘Senator Graham has failed to demonstrate that this approach will violate his rights under the Speech and Debate Clause,’ the order states, referring to the constitutional provision that protects lawmakers from being questioned about legislative activity.”

Former White House Counsel Pat Cipollone and former US Senator Kelly Loeffler testify to grand jury in Georgia investigating Republican efforts to overturn the 2020 election results in that state, CNN Politics, Sara Murray, Zachary Cohen, and Evan Perez, Thursday, 20 October 2022: “Prosecutors in Georgia have secured grand jury testimony from two prominent witnesses – former US Sen. Kelly Loeffler and former White House Counsel Pat Cipollone – in their investigation into efforts to overturn the 2020 election results in that state, sources familiar with the matter tell CNN. Their grand jury appearances in recent months, which have not been previously reported, highlight the wide-ranging investigation underway as Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis probes efforts by former President Donald Trump and his allies to try to keep him in power. Cipollone was the top White House lawyer at the end of the Trump administration and attended some of the meetings where Trump and his allies discussed ways to subvert the election results. He was among the former President’s advisers who pushed back along with the Justice Department, which found no evidence to support the claims of widespread fraud.”

Trump adviser Kash Patel has appeared before grand jury in Mar-a-Lago document probe, CNN Politics, Katelyn Polantz, Zachary Cohen, and Casey Gannon, Thursday, 20 October 2022: “Kash Patel, a top adviser to former President Donald Trump who has been deeply involved in disputes over classified records Trump kept from his presidency, appeared recently before the federal grand jury looking into the handling of documents at Mar-a-Lago, sources familiar with the matter tell CNN. Patel spent several hours throughout the morning of October 13 before a grand jury at the US courthouse in Washington, DC. But it’s not clear if Patel answered the grand jury’s questions or declined to respond citing his Fifth Amendment protections, which is within his rights. He is one of a handful of advisers around Donald Trump after his presidency who could have legal risk related to the Mar-a-Lago situation, according to court records and the sources, though it’s unclear if he is a target of the Justice Department probe. Patel served as a national security and defense official during the administration, and this summer became one of Trump’s designees to interact with the National Archives and the Justice Department as both agencies have tried to repossess classified records Trump kept from his presidency.”

Jurors at Oath Keepers Trial Get Panoramic View of Chaos on January 6. Prosecutors in the seditious conspiracy trial of Stewart Rhodes and four other members of the far-right militia continued to set out evidence of the group’s role in the storming of the Capitol. The New York Times, Alan Feuer and Zach Montague, Thursday, 20 October 2022: “As Stewart Rhodes, the leader of the Oath Keepers militia, stood in the angry pro-Trump crowd outside the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, a barrage of intelligence reports from others in the far-right group streamed into his cellphone. Protesters had stormed the building’s grounds. The riot police were on their way. Officers had already been injured. ‘American blood on the Capitol steps,’ one of his members wrote. But Mr. Rhodes, far from condemning the violence, seemed almost to be giddy. ‘Patriots are taking it into their own hands,’ he wrote back. ‘They’ve had enough.’ The messages from Jan. 6, revealed on Thursday at the seditious conspiracy trial of Mr. Rhodes and four of his subordinates, were shared with the jury along with striking audio and video recordings of the Capitol attack, presenting what amounted to a panoramic view of the chaos at the building and the move to push inside it as the crowd began to overwhelm the police. Here, in one message, was a description of the mob hurling rocks and chunks of concrete. There, in another, was an account of flash grenades exploding. The jury saw images of riled-up Trump supporters chanting violent threats at law-enforcement officers and then in a rush bursting through the Capitol’s doors.”


Friday, 21 October 2022:


Russian Invasion of Ukraine: U.S. defense secretary Lloyd Austin speaks with Russian counterpart; Zelensky warns Putin plans ‘false flag’ attack, The Washington Post, Andrew Jeong, Victoria Bisset, and Maite Fernández Simon, Friday, 21 October 2022: “Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin held calls with his Russian and Ukrainian counterparts Friday — the first such exchange since May. Details of the call between Austin and Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu were closely guarded. According to Air Force Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder, a Pentagon spokesman, Austin emphasized the importance of maintaining lines of communication amid the ongoing conflict. Russia’s Defense Ministry said the two officials discussed ‘relevant aspects of international security, including the situation in Ukraine.’ The last time Shoigu and Austin spoke was in May. Austin also spoke with Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov and reiterated the United States’ unwavering commitment to ‘supporting Ukraine’s ability to counter Russia’s aggression,’ according to Ryder. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky accused Russia of mining the dam at a major hydroelectric power station near the Russian-occupied city of Kherson in preparation for a ‘false flag attack,’ which he said could lead to widespread flooding and destroy the water supply in much of the south of the country. A member of the president’s team pledged that Ukraine would ‘hit back even harder’ if such an attack took place.

  • The European Union agreed early Friday to pursue measures to ‘protect its citizens and businesses’ against Russia’s ‘weaponization of energy,’ though there was no consensus on capping the price of natural gas. The agreement responds to Russia’s efforts to limit exports of natural gas to Europe over E.U. support for Ukraine and Western moves to avoid importing Russian energy more broadly, resulting in skyrocketing energy bills.
  • A U.S. think tank said a Russian effort to sabotage the Kakhovka dam could be used to cover up a future Russian retreat from the region. The Institute for the Study of War said it could be a tactic to distract from Russian losses. Andriy Yermak, the head of Ukraine’s presidential office, said Ukraine would not ‘succumb to peace by coercion.’
  • The European Council signed a ‘unanimous commitment’ to lower energy prices, guarantee supply and reduce demand, European Council President Charles Michel said. But E.U. countries still need to agree on details on how to achieve those goals. The bloc had been fiercely divided about directly intervening in energy markets. The leaders of Germany and Hungary have expressed concerns that price caps would result in reduced gas supplies for the European Union, driving producers to seek higher bidders in other regions.
  • Russia ‘is deliberately delaying’ grain exports from Ukraine, Zelensky said Friday evening, though he did not provide details as to how the Kremlin may be doing so. The Washington Post could not confirm the veracity of his statement. In a U.N.-brokered deal this summer, The Post reported, the two countries agreed to allow agricultural exports after a Russian blockade locked more than 20 million tons of grain in Ukrainian Black Sea ports. Last year, Ukraine accounted for 10 percent of global wheat exports, according to the United Nations.

Russian Invasion of Ukraine: Russia Masses Troops in Belarus, but New Offensive Appears Unlikely. As Russia moved thousands of troops into Belarus, Ukraine and the Pentagon played down the likelihood that Moscow would launch a new push into Ukraine from the north. The New York Times, Friday, 21 October 2022:

  • Are the new Russian forces in Belarus a feint, or preparation for a new push into Ukraine?

  • Russian forces have killed 11 people in Donetsk in the last day, Ukrainian officials say.

  • At the U.N. Security Council, calls multiply for an investigation into Iran’s sale of drones to Russia.

  • Zelensky accuses Russia of deliberately slowing grain shipments.

  • The U.S. and Russian defense secretaries have a rare conversation.

  • U.S. lawmakers visit Kyiv as Republican leaders raise questions about future aid.

  • ‘I thought I would not come out alive’: Liberated Ukrainians describe life under occupation.

January 6 Aftermath: January 6 Panel Issues Subpoena to Trump, Setting Up Legal Battle Over Testimony. While the former president has suggested he might testify live before the committee, it was far more likely that the demand would lead to a legal fight. The New York Times, Luke Broadwater and Michael S. Schmidt, Friday, 21 October 2022: “The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack issued a subpoena on Friday to Donald J. Trump, paving the way for a potentially historic court fight over whether Congress can compel testimony from a former president. The subpoena was the most aggressive step taken so far in what was already one of the most consequential congressional investigations in decades. It came weeks before the midterm congressional elections, as the Justice Department conducts a separate criminal inquiry into efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election, and was likely to thrust Mr. Trump and the Jan. 6 committee into a legal battle that could ultimately be decided by the Supreme Court. In a wide-ranging, four-page document issued alongside the subpoena, the panel directed Mr. Trump to produce an extensive list of documents and communications — including phone calls, texts, encrypted messages and email — related to nearly every aspect of his effort to invalidate the 2020 election between the dates of Nov. 3, 2020, and Jan. 6, 2021. It asked for material on the former president’s bid to create false slates of pro-Trump electors in states he lost, his connections to the militia groups that attended the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol, any attempts to delay or disrupt the electoral count by Congress on that day, and his interactions with members of Congress.” See also, Trump subpoena from January 6 House committee sets deadlines for testimony and documents. It is not clear whether Trump will comply with the subpoena, which could set off a protracted legal debate. The Washington Post, Jacqueline Alemany, Friday, 21 October 2022: “The House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol issued a subpoena Friday for testimony and documents from former president Donald Trump, setting off a potentially prolonged legal battle with little historic precedent. The committee requested that Trump testify under oath on or about Nov. 14, as well as any documents by Nov. 4 related to the former president’s sweeping efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election and block the transfer of presidential power. While the subpoena was anticipated, it is a remarkable escalation in the investigation into whether the deadly violence on Jan. 6 was the direct result of Trump’s actions in the weeks after he lost his bid for reelection. ‘As demonstrated in our hearings, we have assembled overwhelming evidence, including from dozens of your former appointees and staff, that you personally orchestrated and oversaw a multipart effort to overturn the 2020 presidential election and to obstruct the peaceful transition of power,’ Chairman Bennie G. Thompson (D-Miss.) and vice chair Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) said in a statement, part of a 10-page letter to Trump.”

Some of the classified documents the FBI recovered from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence included U.S. secrets about Iran and China. Iran’s missile program and U.S. intelligence work aimed at China were among the most sensitive material seized by the FBI, people familiar with the matter say. The Washington Post, Devlin Barrett, Friday, 21 October 2022: “Some of the classified documents recovered by the FBI from Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home and private club included highly sensitive intelligence regarding Iran and China, according to people familiar with the matter. If shared with others, the people said, such information could expose intelligence-gathering methods that the United States wants to keep hidden from the world. At least one of the documents seized by the FBI describes Iran’s missile program, according to these people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe an ongoing investigation. Other documents described highly sensitive intelligence work aimed at China, they said. Unauthorized disclosures of specific information in the documents would pose multiple risks, experts say. People aiding U.S. intelligence efforts could be endangered, and collection methods could be compromised. In addition, other countries or U.S. adversaries could retaliate against the United States for actions it has taken in secret.”

Georgia Election Interference Investigation: South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham Asks Supreme Court to Spare Him From Testifying in Georgia. Mr. Graham has been fighting a subpoena requiring him to appear before a special grand jury examining efforts to overturn former President Donald Trump’s election loss. The New York Times, Richard Fausset, Friday, 21 October 2022: “Senator Lindsey Graham asked the Supreme Court on Friday to stay a lower court’s order that would force him to testify before a special grand jury investigating efforts to overturn former President Donald J. Trump’s election loss in Georgia. The appeal by Mr. Graham, the South Carolina Republican and Trump confidant, is the latest in a protracted legal fight that he has been waging to defy a subpoena requiring him to answer questions before the special grand jury in Atlanta. Dozens of witnesses have already testified in the secret proceedings. Some, including Rudolph W. Giuliani and several other lawyers aligned with Mr. Trump, have tried unsuccessfully to avoid traveling to Atlanta to do so. But none has fought as long or as hard as Mr. Graham, who was subpoenaed in July. Soon after, he had the matter moved to the federal court system, arguing that forcing him to testify would raise constitutional issues. He pointed to the Constitution’s Speech and Debate Clause, which says that members of Congress cannot be questioned on matters pertaining to their legislative duties. On Thursday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit in Atlanta rejected the argument that the Speech and Debate Clause fully shielded Mr. Graham from having to testify. Mr. Graham responded with an emergency application on Friday, asking the Supreme Court for a stay while he appeals the ruling, and, if necessary, a ruling enjoining the special grand jury from questioning him until the appeal is resolved. The filing notes that Mr. Graham was issued a fresh subpoena on Friday compelling him to testify on Nov. 17.” See also, South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham asks Supreme Court to block his Georgia 2020 election testimony. Graham was summoned for grand jury questioning on attempts to overturn the results of the election in that state. The Washington Post, Robert Barnes and Ann E. Marimow, Friday, 21 October 2022: “Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) asked the Supreme Court on Friday to block his required appearance before a Georgia grand jury investigating possible attempts by President Donald Trump and his allies to disrupt the state’s 2020 presidential election. A unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit on Thursday turned down Graham’s attempt to block a subpoena from Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis (D), in which the lawmaker claimed a sitting senator is shielded from testifying in such investigations. A district court judge had said Graham must appear, but narrowed the range of questions that prosecutors can ask.” See also, South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham asks the Supreme Court to block a subpoena from an Atlanta grand jury investigating 2020 election interference, CNN Politics, Tierney Sneed and Ariane de Vogue, Friday, 21 October 2022: “Sen. Lindsey Graham asked the Supreme Court on Friday to block a subpoena from the Atlanta-area special grand jury investigating efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election in Georgia. The South Carolina Republican filed the emergency request at the high court after the 11th US Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with a lower-court judge on Thursday that the grand jury could seek his testimony. Graham maintains that his efforts in Georgia after the 2020 election were legislative activities protected by the Speech or Debate Clause of the US Constitution. But the three-judge appellate panel ruled that ‘communications and coordination with the Trump campaign regarding its post-election efforts in Georgia, public statements regarding the 2020 election, and efforts to “cajole” or “exhort” Georgia election officials’ are not constitutionally protected. The emergency request was filed with Justice Clarence Thomas, who oversees the 11th Circuit. Thomas is likely to refer the matter to the full court.”

Steve Bannon Sentenced to 4 Months in Prison for Contempt of Congress. Bannon was found guilty of two counts of contempt of Congress this summer for defying a subpoena from the House January 6 committee. The New York Times, Glenn Thrush and Alan Feuer, Friday, 21 October 2022: “Stephen K. Bannon, a longtime adviser to former President Donald J. Trump who aided in the effort to overturn the 2020 election, was sentenced on Friday to four months in prison for disobeying a subpoena from the House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol. Mr. Bannon, 68, was found guilty of two counts of contempt of Congress this summer after Judge Carl J. Nichols rejected an array of arguments offered by Mr. Bannon’s defense team, including that he was protected by executive privilege from being compelled to testify. ‘Others must be deterred from committing similar crimes,’ said Judge Nichols, a Trump appointee, who also imposed a fine of $6,500 on Mr. Bannon. Mr. Bannon will remain free pending his appeal. The sentence, coming a year after Mr. Bannon was held in contempt by the House, is two months short of what federal prosecutors had requested this week.” See also, Steve Bannon sentenced to 4 months in prison for contempt of Congress, CNN Politics, Tierney Sneed, Matt Meyer, Aditi Sangal, Holmes Lybrand, and Melissa Macaya, Friday, 21 October 2022: “Former Trump adviser Steve Bannon appeared in a federal court in Washington, DC, on Friday and was sentenced for contempt of Congress after defying a subpoena from the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol attack…. Guilty on two counts: A federal jury found Bannon guilty in July of contempt for refusing to appear for the panel’s deposition and produce documents. The conviction was a victory for the House committee as it aimed to seek cooperation of reluctant witnesses in its historic investigation. The sentence: Judge Carl Nichols – a Trump appointee – sentenced Bannon to four months on each count — running concurrently — along with a fine of $6,500. The sentence is less than what federal prosecutors sought. The Justice Department wanted Bannon to be sentenced to six months and be fined $200,000. He won’t have to serve his sentence yet: After Bannon was sentenced, the federal judge said the ex-Trump aide wouldn’t have to serve his sentence until the appeal of his conviction plays out, which is what Bannon had requested. He did decline Bannon’s request that he receive only probation for the offense.”


Saturday, 22 October 2022:


Russian Invasion of Ukraine: Zelensky underscores scope of Russian attacks; Kremlin-backed Kherson authorities urge evacuation, The Washington Post, Kelly Kasulis Cho, Adela Suliman, David L. Stern, Nick Parker, and Robyn Dixon, Saturday, 22 October 2022: “Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Saturday warned that Kremlin-backed forces will continue to focus on destroying energy stations in a bid to destabilize the nation they invaded in February. Russian missile attacks struck his country’s north, south, east and west Saturday in a ‘barrage’ of at least three dozen rockets that wiped out power to nearly 1.5 million people. Crews had revived electricity in some areas, Zelensky said Saturday evening, ‘but in many cities, in many districts, recovery work is still ongoing. We are trying to return power to people as soon as possible.’ Meanwhile, Russian authorities in illegally annexed Kherson urged civilians to leave the city ‘immediately’ Saturday afternoon in an effort to portray Kyiv as an aggressor in southern Ukraine and send residents into Kremlin strongholds. Ukrainian troops have been pushing out Russian forces in the country’s south and east, with clashes in cities that Kyiv seeks to liberate. Earlier this week, Zelensky accused Moscow of seeking to blow up a major hydroelectric dam in Nova Kakhovka near Kherson, potentially flooding southern areas. ‘Destroying the dam would mean a large-scale disaster,’ he warned in a television address, urging the West to act ‘powerfully and quickly’ to prevent such an outcome. Russia has denied the accusations.

  • Concern is growing about the Kakhovka dam this weekend as a potential target. Earlier in the week, Zelensky accused Russian forces of mining the hydroelectric plant, one of Ukraine’s largest power facilities, in preparation for a ‘false flag’ attack. He did not provide evidence of the Russian plot but told European Council leaders that the infrastructure attack could lead to flooding in 80 settlements and destroy much of southern Ukraine’s water supply. Kremlin-backed officials have instead claimed that Ukraine is planning to blow up the 1956 dam on the Dnieper River to flood Russian-occupied Kherson and have evacuated thousands of people from the city in preparation. The Washington Post could not independently verify the claims.
  • Russia has begun to withdraw from Kherson’s western region, the Institute for the Study of War said Friday. Ukraine’s Southern Operational Command said the same day that Russian forces were ‘actively’ moving military equipment and several units to the east bank of the Dnieper River. On Saturday, the Ukrainian military Facebook account said Russian-backed forces had left the small villages of Charivne and Chkalove, stealing cars and goods on their way north, toward the Dnieper River crossing.
  • Occupying Russian authorities told residents to flee Kherson on Saturday afternoon, urging them to take ‘documents, money, valuables and clothes.’ News-service photos showed people boarding ferries and buses in Kherson, pets and luggage in tow. Ukrainian troops have been advancing toward the city in an effort to upend the Russian-backed administration that was installed there under an orchestrated annexation violating international law. In an effort to lure Kherson residents into places with stronger Kremlin footholds, Russian cities and the occupied Crimean region were offering incentives such as payments and housing assistance, according to Moscow-backed authorities’ Telegram accounts.
  • Russian forces have erected a ‘barge bridge’ across the Dnieper River as they struggle to retain control of Kherson, according to a daily intelligence update from Britain’s Defense Ministry. The use of heavy barge bridges was common in Soviet-era operations, the ministry said, adding that this is probably ‘the first time the Russian military have needed to utilise this type of bridge for decades,’ a move likely to have ‘material and logistics benefits.’
  • Russian airstrikes slammed areas across Ukraine, including Kyiv, Volyn, Kirovograd and Odessa on Saturday, wiping out power for almost 1.5 million people. Its air force said it had shot down at least 18 Russian cruise missiles. Odessa regional governor Maksym Marchenko said two rockets hit energy infrastructure, wiping out power in some areas, while authorities said repair crews were restoring power to networks. Zelensky urged Ukrainians to be ‘even more careful than before about the need to consciously consume electricity. The stability of the power industry of our entire state depends on each city and district of Ukraine.’ Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba decried the ‘barrage of Russian missiles aimed at critical civilian infrastructure.’
  • In his nightly address Saturday, Zelensky highlighted the breadth of Russia’s airstrikes. ‘The geography of this new massive strike is very wide: Volyn, Odesa, Khmelnytsky region, Kirovohrad region, Dnipropetrovsk region, Rivne region, Mykolaiv region, Zaporizhia region and other places,’ he said. Lutsk Mayor Ihor Polishchuk said three Kh-101 missiles ‘destroyed’ a power facility Saturday in Ukraine’s northwest. Nearby, the Rivne region implemented electricity restrictions to stabilize distribution. Ukrainian authorities have been using such restrictions in recent weeks while Russia has targeted electrical infrastructure.
  • Washington sees no evidence of Moscow ending the war soon, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken told reporters Friday alongside his French counterpart. Instead, he said, the Kremlin is ‘doubling and tripling down’ on its aggression in Ukraine. ‘Every indication is that far from being willing to engage in meaningful diplomacy, President [Vladimir] Putin continues to push in the opposite direction,’ Blinken said.
  • A bipartisan congressional delegation met Zelensky in Kyiv, including Reps. Michael R. Turner (R-Ohio), Jim Himes (D-Conn.) and Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.). The group ‘talked about financial support, about our political interaction, about what new anti-European and anti-democratic steps to expect from Russia,’ Zelensky said Friday. The visit came after House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) this week signaled that the GOP would oppose more aid to Ukraine. President Biden said this week that he is worried that Republicans may cut aid to Ukraine if they win back the House.

Russian Invasion of Ukraine: Scenes From the Front Line. The war in Ukraine has reached into every pocket of the country–from urban areas to the countryside, where soldiers monitor drones to pinpoint deadly attacks and civilians brace for destruction. The New York Times, Saturday, 22 October 2022: “More than seven months after Russia invaded Ukraine, the country’s front line stretches hundreds of miles. It starts in the eastern Donbas region before it arcs south toward the Black Sea. On endlessly circulated and regurgitated maps, the front line looks almost like a crescent moon of shaded-red areas (Russian-held) that collide with shaded-white areas (Ukrainian-held). But that’s just the front line on paper. From the ground, the maps mean little. For most of the country’s civilians, Ukraine’s front lines are amorphous. The range of artillery and cruise missiles means that death can find them far from the troops and tanks. Hospitals, schools, local markets — everything can be a target. The front line is in urban areas and in the countryside.”

Trump Mar-a-Lago investigation proceeds on two tracks: One public and one unfolding mostly behind closed doors. The special master part of the case is more visible but likely less consequential than the investigation unfolding behind the scenes. The Washington Post, Perry Stein and Devlin Barrett, Saturday, 22 October 2022: “The FBI’s unprecedented criminal probe of a former president has unfolded on two tracks in the 11 weeks since agents searched Donald Trump’s Florida residence and club — one mostly public, the other mostly behind closed doors. In the more public-facing part, litigation over the appointment of a special master to sift through thousands of seized documents has reverberated through every level of the federal court system, with the special master — essentially an outside expert — voicing skepticism about Trump’s claims that some of the material should be shielded from the FBI. In contrast, the bureau’s investigative activity is harder to track, though some details are slowly trickling out. Agents have interviewed multiple witnesses about the handling of government papers at Mar-a-Lago. The Washington Post reported last week that a Trump employee told federal agents that he moved boxes of documents at Mar-a-Lago at the specific direction of the former president, and the FBI has video surveillance to back it up.”

Sunday, 23 October 2022:


Russian Invasion of Ukraine: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to speak at a Crimea Platform summit this week; British official warns of Kremlin pretext, The Washington Post, Rachel Pannett, Annabelle Timsit, Brittany Shammas, and Praveena Somasundaram, Sunday, 23 October 2022: “House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) confirmed Sunday evening that she will represent the United States at a Crimea Platform summit this week, saying she and other leaders will ‘deliver an unmistakable statement of our solidarity with Ukraine in its fight for freedom.’ British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace warned his Russian counterpart, Sergei Shoigu, against escalation of Moscow’s war against Ukraine after Shoigu phoned him and three other defense leaders of NATO countries on Sunday to claim that Ukraine was planning to detonate a ‘dirty bomb’ with Western help. The British Defense Ministry tweeted that Wallace ‘refuted these claims and cautioned that such allegations should not be used as a pretext for greater escalation.’ It said Wallace reiterated Western support for Ukraine and a desire to de-escalate the conflict. U.S. officials also denied Shoigu’s claims. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky rebuffed Shoigu’s comments, saying in his nightly address that it is not his country but Russia that has been the aggressor. ‘If Russia calls and says that Ukraine is allegedly preparing something,’ he said, ‘it means one thing: Russia has already prepared all this.’ Analysts have warned in recent days that Russia could blow up a Ukrainian hydroelectric dam at Nova Kakhovka, which would flood the Russian-occupied city of Kherson and surrounding territory. Ukraine and Russia have accused each other of targeting the dam, which Russia controls. Kremlin-backed authorities are also stepping up efforts to relocate civilians from Kherson to Crimea and other occupied regions, in what Ukrainian officials have called an attempt by Moscow to ‘depopulate’ areas of Ukraine that Kyiv is poised to recapture.

  • Pelosi said Sunday evening on Twitter that ‘Russia is waging an unprovoked, all-out assault on Ukraine’ and confirmed that she will attend a summit of the Crimea Platform in Croatia on Tuesday. The summit is centered on Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea and its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February, and Pelosi said she looks forward to ‘discussing how we can further support the people of Ukraine as they defend Democracy.’
  • In the call Sunday, Shoigu warned of uncontrolled escalation in the war against Ukraine, and he claimed that Ukraine was preparing a bomb designed to release radioactive material. He spoke to Wallace, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar and French Defense Minister Sébastien Lecornu on Sunday. Ukraine gave up its nuclear weapons in 1994 in return for a Russian guarantee that it would never attack Ukraine. Russia has aired similar claims, while providing no evidence, that Ukraine was planning attacks with dirty bombs or bioweapons.
  • In a separate call, Shoigu talked to U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, two days after they had discussed the war in Ukraine. In a Pentagon news release, Austin said he ‘rejected any pretext for Russian escalation’ and reaffirmed the importance of communication ‘amid Russia’s unlawful & unjustified war against Ukraine.’ Later Sunday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Twitter that he had spoken with Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba and likewise rejected ‘Russia’s false allegations.’
  • Zelensky used Shoigu’s escalation rumblings to call for more sanctions on Russia and support for Ukraine. Noting that his nation gave up its nuclear arsenal, he called on the world to ‘react in the toughest possible way’ to punish Russia.
  • Kuleba said Shoigu’s comments were ‘as absurd as they are dangerous.’ ‘Firstly, Ukraine is a committed NPT [Non-Proliferation Treaty] member: we neither have any “dirty bombs” nor plan to acquire any,’ Kuleba tweeted. Dara Massicot, a senior policy analyst who studies the Kremlin’s military at Rand Corp., said on Twitter that Shoigu’s call ‘reads like Russian false flag groundwork.’ ‘Troubling that it’s happening at the defense minister level,’ she said.
  • Two pilots died Sunday after a plane crashed into a residential building in Irkutsk, Siberia, Russia’s Emergencies Ministry said in a statement, adding that the crash occurred during an Su-30 warplane’s test flight. No residents were killed, regional governor Igor Kobzev said. He declared a state of emergency in the district, according to his Telegram channel. Sunday’s crash was the second incident of its kind in less than a week. On Monday, a Russian Su-34 crashed into a nine-story residential building in Yeysk, opposite the Ukrainian port city of Mariupol. At least 15 people were killed, according to Reuters.
  • Occupying Russian authorities ordered residents to leave Kherson and urged them to take ‘documents, money, valuables and clothes’ with them. Photos showed people boarding ferries and buses in Kherson, pets and luggage in tow. Officials are promising government payments of 100,000 rubles (about $1,600) and housing certificates to purchase an apartment for those who comply. Ukrainian officials called Russia’s order illegal.
  • Russian authorities are reducing the volume of water in the reservoir behind the Nova Kakhovka dam to minimize damage if it is destroyed, a Russian-installed regional official said, per Russian news reports. Vladimir Leontyev also claimed that it was Ukraine, not Russia, that would seek to destroy it. Meanwhile, Zelensky has accused Russia of laying explosive mines at the dam in an effort to create ‘a large-scale disaster’ in an area it is on the verge of losing control over. The Washington Post could not verify the claims. If the dam were damaged, it could flood the banks of the Dnieper River and compromise the water supply in Crimea.

Russian Invasion of Ukraine: In Calls With Russia’s Defense Minister, Europe and U.S. Warn Against Escalation. The Pentagon said the U.S. defense secretary had rejected any pretext for Russian escalation in his call with Sergei K. Shoigu. The New York Times, Sunday, 23 October 2022:

  • In a call, U.S. and Russian officials discuss Russia’s escalating threats against Ukraine.

  • Russian attacks are seen as an attempt to stretch Ukraine’s resources.

  • A Russian fighter jet crashes into a home in Siberia, killing the two pilots.

  • Zelensky says some power is already back on after another wave of Russian strikes on infrastructure.

  • More Ukrainian officials accuse Russia of intentionally slowing grain shipments.

  • Using adoption, Russia turns Ukrainian children into spoils of war.

  • Russian-installed authorities tell civilians to ‘immediately’ leave Kherson, a key southern city.

Trump Plans to Challenge the 2022 Elections–Starting in Philly. The former president is fixated on challenging the results of Pennsylvania’s Senate race, which he views–as one source puts it–as a ‘dress rehearsal for Trump 2024.’ Rolling Stone, Asawin Suebsaeng and Adam Rawnsley, Sunday, 23 October 2022: “In early September, Donald Trump welcomed a handful of Republican allies to Manhattan’s Trump Tower with an urgent message: He saw a ‘scam’ happening with midterm election voting in Philadelphia and elsewhere in Pennsylvania, and he wanted conservatives to do something about it.’During our briefing, he was concerned that 2020 is going to happen again in 2022,’ says former senior Trump administration official Michael Caputo, referencing Trump’s debunked assertion that voter fraud in Philadelphia helped win Pennsylvania for Joe Biden. Caputo — who attended the meeting alongside Bradford County Commissioner Doug McLinko and retired CIA officer Sam Faddis — says they had a message back to the former president: ‘Our team encouraged him to be concerned … [Furthermore], I’m advising Republicans to recruit and train election observers and a team of attorneys to oversee historically problematic precincts.’ But it’s not just one meeting, and it’s not just Philly. In recent months, Trump has convened a series of in-person meetings and conference calls to discuss laying the groundwork to challenge the 2022 midterm election results, four people familiar with the conversations tell Rolling Stone. In these conversations, pro-Trump groups, attorneys, Republican Party activists, and MAGA diehards often discuss the type of scorched-earth legal tactics they could deploy.”

The Trump Tapes. 20 interviews that show why he is an unparalleled danger, The Washington Post, Bob Woodward, Sunday, 23 October 2022: “In more than 50 years of reporting, I have never disclosed the raw interviews or full transcripts of my work. But after listening again to the 20 interviews I conducted with President Donald Trump during his last year as chief executive, I have decided to take the unusual step of releasing them. I was struck by how Trump pounded in my ears in a way the printed page cannot capture. In their totality, these interviews offer an unvarnished portrait of Trump. You hear Trump in his own words, in his own voice, during one of the most consequential years in American history: amid Trump’s first impeachment, the coronavirus pandemic and large racial justice protests…. In 2020, I ended ‘Rage’ with the following sentence: ‘When his performance as president is taken in its entirety, I can only reach one conclusion: Trump is the wrong man for the job.’ Two years later, I realize I didn’t go far enough. Trump is an unparalleled danger. When you listen to him on the range of issues from foreign policy to the virus to racial injustice, it’s clear he did not know what to do. Trump was overwhelmed by the job. He was largely disconnected from the needs and leadership expectations of the public and his absolute self-focus became the presidency…. ‘The Trump Tapes’ leaves no doubt that after four years in the presidency, Trump has learned where the levers of power are, and full control means installing absolute loyalists in key Cabinet and White House posts. The record now shows that Trump has led — and continues to lead — a seditious conspiracy to overturn the 2020 election, which in effect is an effort to destroy democracy. Trump reminds how easy it is to break things you do not understand — democracy and the presidency.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says Trump isn’t ‘man enough’ to testify before the House committee investigating the January 6 insurrection, Politico, Olivia Olander, Sunday, 23 October 2022:House Speaker Nancy Pelosi goaded former President Donald Trump on the airwaves Sunday, saying she doesn’t think he’ll testify for the committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection. ‘I don’t think he’s man enough to show up,’ Pelosi (D-Calif.) told MSNBC’s ‘The Sunday Show’ host Jonathan Capehart in a wide-ranging interview. She also suggested Trump’s lawyers might not want him to show up, since he would be testifying under oath and possible penalty of perjury.”


Monday, 24 October 2022:


Russian Invasion of Ukraine: White House says Russian ‘dirty bomb’ claims are transparently false, The Washington Post, Rachel Pannett, Annabelle Timsit, Praveena Somasundaram, and Miriam Berger, Monday, 24 October 2022: “Ukraine invited United Nations nuclear inspectors to investigate claims made by Russia’s defense minister that Kyiv is preparing to use a ‘dirty bomb’ on its own territory with Western help. The United States, Britain and France rejected the allegations, and Ukraine accused Russia of attempting to create a pretext for escalating the conflict. White House spokesman John Kirby told reporters on Monday that the accusations are ‘false, and transparently so.’ Monday marks eight months since Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, and the war grinds on.

  • Ukraine’s foreign minister invited the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Rafael Mariano Grossi, ‘to urgently send experts to peaceful facilities in Ukraine which Russia deceitfully claims to be developing a dirty bomb.’ Dmytro Kuleba said on Twitter Monday that Grossi agreed. It’s the latest development in a back-and-forth between Moscow, Kyiv and Western powers over Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu’s unfounded claim that Ukraine is planning to use so-called dirty bombs — explosive weapons designed to widely disperse radioactive material — in the war.
  • ‘The IAEA inspected one of these locations one month ago and all our findings were consistent with Ukraine’s safeguards declarations,’ Grossi said in a statement on Monday. ‘No undeclared nuclear activities or material were found there.’
  • ‘The world would see through any attempt to use this allegation as a pretext for escalation,’ the U.S., British, and French foreign ministers said in a joint statement. ‘We further reject any pretext for escalation by Russia,’ the Western diplomats added. Ukraine gave up its nuclear weapons in 1994 in return for a guarantee from Russia that it would not attack Ukraine.
  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky accused Russia of manufacturing false threats in his nightly speech. ‘If Russia calls and says that Ukraine is allegedly preparing something, it means one thing: Russia has already prepared all this,’ Zelensky said of Shoigu’s claims.

Russian Invasion of Ukraine: Ukraine Says Russian Troops Will Fight for the Key Southern City of Kherson as Proxy Government Flees. There were growing signs that the occupation government in the southern city of Kherson was preparing the city for fighting ahead of a possible Ukrainian counteroffensive. The New York Times, Monday, 24 October 2022:

  • A senior Ukrainian official said Russia’s occupation administration in Kherson is leaving.

  • The State Dept. warns that ‘dirty bomb’ claims could be a pretext for Russian escalation.

  • Russian talk show host suspended after saying Ukrainian children should be drowned or burned.

  • A court near Moscow is expected to rule on Brittney Griner’s appeal on Tuesday.

  • House progressives urge the Biden administration to engage in direct talks with Russia.

  • Italy’s new right-wing government seeks to reaffirm support for Ukraine.

  • More Ukrainian officials accuse Russia of intentionally slowing grain shipments.

Russian Invasion of Ukraine: Russia hits power grid; Iran accused of stepping in, NPR, Tuesday, 24 October 2022: “Monday marks eight months since Russia launched its large-scale invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24. As the week begins, here’s a look ahead and a roundup of key developments from the past week. What to watch this week: The United States, France and Britain are dismissing Russia’s recent accusation that Ukraine could be planning to use a so-called dirty bomb — an explosive laced with nuclear material — in its own territory. On Tuesday, U.S. basketball star Brittney Griner appears back in court for an appeal against her nine-year sentence in Russian prison. Also this week, Germany hosts conferences on rebuilding and doing business in Ukraine, with Ukraine’s prime minister and the European Commission president due to attend. What happened last week: Russian President Vladimir Putin decreed martial law in Russian-occupied regions of Ukraine, Oct. 19, while also raising security threat levels in Moscow and Russian border areas. Earlier in the day, Kremlin-installed authorities asked civilians to evacuate Kherson, in southern Ukraine, ahead of an anticipated advance by Ukrainian forces. Kherson is one of the Russian occupied territories the Kremlin claimed to annex last month. By the weekend, as many as 25,000 people had evacuated, Reuters reported citing a Kremlin-appointed official in Russian media. Iranian military personnel are directly engaged in Crimea helping Russia conduct drone attacks on Ukraine, the White House said Oct. 20. National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said Russia has purchased dozens of drones from Iran and Iranian forces are helping hit infrastructure, civilians and military targets across Ukraine. Ukraine’s government posted then deleted a tweet wishing to return former Prime Minister Boris Johnson to office in the United Kingdom. Before Johnson exited the race, the official Kyiv account had posted a meme saying ‘Better Call Boris’ with a doctored image from the TV show Better Call Saul. Russian strikes caused the worst damage to Ukraine’s power grid since the war began, cutting off electricity to more than 1.4 million households in the country.”

Justice Clarence Thomas Briefly Shields South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham From Georgia Elections Inquiry Subpoena. The justice’s order was an ‘administrative stay’ that will almost certainly not be the Supreme Court’s last word on the matter. The New York Times, Adam Liptak, Monday, 24 October 2022: “Justice Clarence Thomas on Monday temporarily shielded Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, from having to answer questions from a special grand jury in Georgia investigating efforts to overturn former President Donald J. Trump’s election loss in the state. Justice Thomas’s brief order was an ‘administrative stay,’ meant to give the court some breathing room to weigh the senator’s emergency application asking the Supreme Court to bar the grand jury from questioning him. On Saturday, Justice Thomas, who oversees the appeals court whose ruling is at issue, ordered prosecutors to respond to the application by Thursday. Such a request for a response is almost always a sign that the full court will weigh in on the matter. Prosecutors appear to be particularly interested in any efforts Mr. Graham may have made to urge officials in Georgia, including its secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger, to address allegations of voting irregularities before Congress was to vote in January 2021 to certify that President Biden was the legitimate winner of the presidential election.” See also, Supreme Court puts temporary hold on Graham grand jury election testimony, The Washington Post, Robert Barnes and Ann E. Marimow, Monday, 24 October 2022: “Justice Clarence Thomas on Monday put a temporary hold on an order that Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) appear before a Georgia grand jury investigating possible attempts by President Donald Trump and his allies to disrupt the state’s 2020 presidential election. Thomas’s brief order appears to be an attempt to maintain the status quo as Graham’s petition to the Supreme Court advances. Prosecutors face a Thursday deadline for responding to Graham’s request, which usually means the full court will consider the issue.”

Samuel Alito Assured Senator Ted Kennedy in 2005 of Respect for Roe v. Wade, Diary Says. In the senator’s recollection, the Supreme Court justice who wrote the opinion overturning the abortion ruling tried to show Mr. Kennedy that he was not a threat to Roe. The New York Times, John A. Farrell, Monday, 24 October 2022: “Senator Edward M. Kennedy looked skeptically at the federal judge. It was Nov. 15, 2005, and Samuel A. Alito Jr., who was seeking Senate confirmation for his nomination to the Supreme Court, had just assured Mr. Kennedy in a meeting in his Senate office that he respected the legal precedent of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 court decision that legalized abortion. ‘I am a believer in precedents,’ Judge Alito said, in a recollection the senator recorded and had transcribed in his diary. ‘People would find I adhere to that.’ In the same conversation, the judge edged further in his assurances on Roe than he did in public. ‘I recognize there is a right to privacy,’ he said, referring to the constitutional foundation of the decision. ‘I think it’s settled.’ But Mr. Kennedy, a Massachusetts Democrat and longtime supporter of abortion rights, remained dubious that November day that he could trust the conservative judge not to overturn the ruling. He brought up a memo that Judge Alito had written as a lawyer in the Reagan administration Justice Department in 1985, which boasted of his opposition to Roe. Judge Alito assured Mr. Kennedy that he should not put much stock in the memo. He had been seeking a promotion and wrote what he thought his bosses wanted to hear. ‘I was a younger person,’ Judge Alito said. ‘I’ve matured a lot.’ The answer did not assuage Mr. Kennedy, who went on to vote against Judge Alito’s confirmation. If the judge could configure his beliefs to get that 1985 promotion, Mr. Kennedy asked in a notation in his diary, how might he dissemble to clinch a lifetime appointment to the nation’s highest court. Justice Alito wrote the majority opinion this past June in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the momentous Supreme Court decision that put aside 50 years of precedent and overturned Roe. Respect for longstanding precedent ‘does not compel unending adherence to Roe’s abuse of judicial authority,’ he wrote. ‘Roe was egregiously wrong from the start.'”


Tuesday, 25 October 2022:


Russian Invasion of Ukraine: Congressional Progressive Caucus withdraws Ukraine letter; Brittney Griner appeal rejected, The Washington Post, Rachel Pannett, Annabelle Timsit, Erin Cunningham, Miriam Berger, and Maham Javaid, Tuesday, 25 October 2022: “The Congressional Progressive Caucus, a group of liberal Democrats, withdrew on Tuesday a letter to President Joe Biden urging negotiations with Russia to end the war in Ukraine, The Washington Post reported. Progressive Caucus chair Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) said the letter, which triggered backlash among other democrats and in Ukraine, was prepared by staff and sent on Monday without proper vetting. A Russian court rejected U.S. basketball star Brittney Griner’s appeal against her more than nine-year prison sentence on drug charges Tuesday. The WNBA star has been imprisoned since her Feb. 17 arrest on charges of entering Russia with vape cartridges containing cannabis oil, which her lawyers said were prescribed to her as part of treatment for chronic pain and other conditions.

  • ‘Timing in diplomacy is everything,’ Rep. Sara Jacobs (D-Calif.), one of the signatories to the letter withdrawn by the Congressional Progressive Caucus, tweeted Tuesday. ‘I signed this letter on June 30, but a lot has changed since then. I wouldn’t sign it today.’
  • ‘We are very disappointed,’ Maria Blagovolina and Alexander Boykov, Griner’s attorneys, said in a statement after Tuesday’s decision. ‘We still think the punishment is excessive and contradicts the existing court practice.’ Griner addressed the court through an interpreter. ‘I want to apologize for this mistake,’ she said. ‘I did not intend to do this, but I understand the charges brought against me,’ adding that she hoped that her guilty plea was taken into account.
  • The unfounded Russian allegation about Ukraine planning to use a ‘dirty bomb’ — an explosive weapon designed to scatter radioactive material — was discussed at the U.N. Security Council on Tuesday. Russian Ambassador Vasily Nebenzya, addressing the council in a letter seen by The Post, urged Western nations ‘to exert their influence’ on Kyiv to prevent what he called a potential ‘act of nuclear terrorism.’ The United Nations did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday.
  • The U.N. nuclear watchdog is preparing to visit two sites linked to the nuclear industry at Kyiv’s request. Russian state media, citing an official, claimed without evidence that Ukraine was using the locations in Kyiv and Dnipropetrovsk to prepare a ‘dirty bomb.’ International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi said his group inspected one of those locations a month ago and that ‘no undeclared nuclear activities or material were found there.’
  • Let me just say, Russia would be making an incredibly serious mistake if it were to use a tactical nuclear weapon,’ Biden told reporters Tuesday.

Russian Invasion of Ukraine: Biden Warns Russia Against Using Nuclear Weapons as ‘Dirty Bomb’ Accusations Fly. Russia and Ukraine accused each other of planning to use a bomb to spread radioactive material, raising fears in the West that Russia might use such an attack as a pretext to launch a nuclear weapon. The New York Times, Tuesday, 25 October 2022:

  • A Russian court upholds Griner’s sentence, adding to pressure on the U.S. to negotiate her release.

  • U.S. officials and Griner’s supporters vow to keep fighting.

  • Amid Backlash, Liberal House Democrats Retract Call to Pursue Ukraine Ceasefire.

  • Ukraine accuses Russia of doing secret work at a nuclear plant that may be preparation for a radiological attack.

  • Russia’s unsupported ‘dirty bomb’ claims reverberate in right-wing U.S. communities.

  • European leaders in Berlin pitch a ‘Marshall Plan’ for Ukraine.

Department of Justice asks judge to force Trump White House lawyers to testify in January 6 investigation, CNN Politics, Katelyn Polantz, Sara Murray, and Evan Perez, Tuesday, 25 October 2022: “The Justice Department is asking a federal judge to force the top two lawyers from Donald Trump’s White House counsel’s office to testify about their conversations with the former President, as it tries to break through the privilege firewall Trump has used to avoid scrutiny of his actions on January 6, 2021, according to three people familiar with the investigation. The move to compel additional testimony from former White House counsel Pat Cipollone and deputy White House counsel Patrick Philbin just last week is part of a set of secret court proceedings. Trump has been fighting to keep former advisers from testifying before a criminal grand jury about certain conversations, citing executive and attorney-client privileges to keep information confidential or slow down criminal investigators.”

Dr. Mehmet Oz: Abortion Should Be Between a Woman, Her Doctor, and ‘Local Political Leaders.’ The quack doctor may have sounded smooth in his debate against John Fetterman, but his actual words were frightening. Jezebel, Susan Rinkunas, Tuesday, 25 October 2022: “Pennsylvania Lt. Governor John Fetterman (D) and Republican Mehmet Oz faced off in their first and only debate Tuesday night. The public servant and quack TV doctor faced off on many issues, including abortion, which the latter candidate said should be between ‘women, doctors, [and] local political leaders.’ Oz sounded very slick, as you might expect a TV doctor to sound, but his actual words were frightening. A prime example was when the moderators asked the candidates about abortion. They noted that Oz opposes abortions except in the cases of rape, incest, and to protect the life of the pregnant person, and asked if he thought abortion should be banned in the U.S. Oz responded that ‘there should not be involvement from the federal government’—but state lawmakers? That’s apparently fine with him. ‘As a physician, I’ve been in the room when there’s some difficult conversations happening,’ Oz said. ‘I don’t want the federal government involved with that at all. I want women, doctors, local political leaders, letting the democracy that’s always allowed our nation to thrive to put the best ideas forward so states can decide for themselves.'”


Wednesday, 26 October 2022:


Russian Invasion of Ukraine: Body of U.S. citizen killed in war released to Ukraine; Russia stages annual nuclear force drills, The Washington Post, Erin Cunningham, Whitney Juckno, Victoria Bisset, Adam Taylor, Sammy Westfall, and Emily Rauhala, Wednesday, 26 October 2022: “Russia began its annual nuclear exercises Wednesday, with President Vladimir Putin observing the large-scale drills of the country’s strategic forces via video. While the drills are routine, Moscow has threatened to use nuclear weapons several times since invading Ukraine in February. The exercises came as Putin, in a meeting with the security services of former Soviet states on Wednesday, repeated the unfounded claim that Ukraine is planning to use a ‘dirty bomb,’ an explosive device that includes radioactive material. Western officials have repeatedly denounced the claim as misinformation. ‘Nobody believes the nonsense Russian accusations toward Ukraine,’ Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu said in an interview with The Washington Post. Still, recent nuclear rhetoric has Western governments concerned, Reinsalu said, because of fear that Russia could ‘itself commit a nuclear terror attack’ as a form of provocation.

  • CIA Director Bill Burns traveled to Ukraine earlier this month to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and other officials, CNN reported Wednesday, citing two sources familiar with the trip. If confirmed, the visit comes amid a Russian escalation in Ukraine, including the illegal annexation of four territories and ramped-up airstrikes targeting the country’s energy infrastructure.
  • Russia’s exercises Wednesday included training for a ‘massive nuclear strike… in retaliation for the enemy’s nuclear strike,’ state media quoted Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu as saying. The drills also included the launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile and other cruise missiles, according to the RIA Novosti news agency.
  • Despite the drills, Russia’s ambassador to the U.K. said that Moscow has no plans to use nuclear weapons. ‘It is out of the question,’ Andrey Kelin said in an interview with CNN that was broadcast Wednesday. He said that Shoigu, who has spoken with his counterparts in multiple countries in recent days, has ‘assured every minister’ that Russia is not going to use nuclear weapons.
  • The body of a U.S. citizen who died fighting in Ukraine has been identified and released to Ukrainian custody, the State Department said in a statement Wednesday. Joshua Jones, 24, was fighting alongside Ukraine’s military when he was killed in August, Ukrainian officials said. A CNN team witnessed the transfer from Russian to Ukrainian forces in the Zaporizhzhia region on Wednesday. ‘The remains will soon be returned to the family,’ the State Department said.

Russian Invasion of Ukraine: Putin Repeats Unsupported ‘Dirty Bomb’ Claim, Fueling Fears of Escalation. The Russian leader said, without offering evidence, that Ukraine was planning to detonate a bomb designed to spread radioactive material. Washington warned that Moscow could be trying to create a pretext for its own attack. The New York Times, Wednesday, 16 October 2022:

  • Putin repeats unfounded accusations that the West has labeled disinformation.

  • The C.I.A. director visited Ukraine this month.

  • The U.S. re-evaluates ties with Saudi Arabia over an oil-production cut that could benefit Russia.

  • New U.S. sanctions target Russian efforts to manipulate the politics in Moldova, a neighbor of Ukraine.

  • The Nova Kakhovka dam looms large in the possible battle for Kherson.

  • Ford and Mercedes move to sell assets in Russia, completing an exodus of automakers.

  • The leaders of France and Germany meet amid tensions over Europe’s defense and energy policies.

  • Ukrainian authorities receive the body of a U.S. Army veteran who volunteered to help fight Russia.

Mark Meadows Ordered to Testify in Georgia Election Investigation. Mark Meadows, a former White House chief of staff, has been fighting to avoid testifying about efforts to keep former President Donald Trump in power after he lost the 2020 election. The New York Times, Richard Fausset and Danny Hakim, Wednesday, 26 October 2022: “Mark Meadows, the former White House chief of staff who was deeply involved in efforts to keep former President Donald J. Trump in power after the 2020 election, was ordered by a South Carolina judge on Wednesday to travel to Atlanta to testify in a criminal investigation into election meddling. Mr. Meadows, 63, has been fighting to avoid appearing before a special grand jury that has been investigating election interference in Georgia by Mr. Trump and his allies. The inquiry is being led by Fani T. Willis, the district attorney of Fulton County, Ga.” See also, Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows ordered to testify before Georgia grand jury, The Washington Post, Amy B Wang and Tom Hamburger, Wednesday, 26 October 2022: “Former Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows must testify before a Georgia grand jury investigating Republican efforts to reverse the 2020 presidential election results in the state, a South Carolina judge ruled Wednesday. Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis (D) has said her inquiry is examining ‘the multistate, coordinated efforts to influence the results of the November 2020 election in Georgia and elsewhere.’ Because Meadows does not live in Georgia, she could not subpoena him to testify, but she filed a petition in August for him to do so. South Carolina Circuit Court Judge Edward Miller ruled Wednesday that Meadows must comply with a subpoena as his testimony is ‘material and necessary to the investigation and that the state of Georgia is assuring not to cause undue hardship to him.'”

Justice Clarence Thomas’ refusal to recuse himself is thumbing his nose at the law, Los Angeles Times, Laurence H. Tribe and Dennis Aftergut, Wednesday, 26 October 2022: “There’s a sad lesson for the law and the country in Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’ Oct. 24 stay of a federal appeals court’s order that Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) comply with a subpoena to testify before a grand jury in Fulton County, Ga. The district attorney there is conducting a criminal investigation into the parties involved in trying to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election. In government, even Alexander Hamilton’s ‘least dangerous’ branch — the judiciary — becomes dangerous when there is no enforcement mechanism behind a law. Title 28, Section 455 of the United States Code is the federal statute that applies to Thomas. It provides: ‘Any justice, judge, or magistrate judge of the United States shall disqualify himself in any proceeding in which his impartiality might reasonably be questioned’ or his spouse ‘is known by the judge to have an interest that could be substantially affected by the outcome of the proceeding.’

Attorney General Merrick Garland Formally Bars the Justice Department From Seizing Reporters’ Records. The rule codifies and expands a policy he issued in 2021, after it came to light that the Trump administration had secretly gone after records of reporters for The Times, The Washington Post, and CNN. The New York Times, Charlie Savage, Wednesday, 26 October 2022: “The Justice Department on Wednesday formally banned the use of subpoenas, warrants or court orders to seize reporters’ communications records or demand their notes or testimony in an effort to uncover confidential sources in leak investigations, in what amounts to a major policy shift. The rules institutionalize — and in places expand — a temporary policy that Attorney General Merrick B. Garland put in place in July 2021, after the revelation that the Justice Department, under Attorney General William P. Barr, had secretly pursued email records of reporters at The New York Times, The Washington Post and CNN. ‘These regulations recognize the crucial role that a free and independent press plays in our democracy,’ Mr. Garland said in a statement. ‘Because freedom of the press requires that members of the news media have the freedom to investigate and report the news, the new regulations are intended to provide enhanced protection to members of the news media from certain law enforcement tools and actions that might unreasonably impair news gathering.’ The broad prohibitions are a major change in how the Justice Department has come to approach leak investigations in the 21st century, when it began a crackdown that spans administrations of both parties and has put pressure on reporting on matters of national security. The publisher of The Times, A.G. Sulzberger, who was put under a gag order in 2021 that shielded from his own newsroom’s view a legal fight over the email logs of Times journalists, praised the new policy while calling on Congress to pass a law further strengthening such protections.”

Prosecutors Seek Testimony on Trump’s Claims to Have Declassified Documents. The Justice Department is seeking to compel Kash Patel, an ally of the former president, to answer questions about assertions that material taken from the White House had been declassified. The New York Times, Adam Goldman, Charlie Savage, and Michael S. Schmidt, Wednesday, 26 October 2022: “Federal prosecutors investigating former President Donald J. Trump’s handling of national security documents want to question one of his confidants about a claim that Mr. Trump had declassified national security documents he took when he left the White House. That claim has hovered over the investigation since the confidant, Kash Patel; Mr. Trump himself; and other allies said publicly that Mr. Trump had declassified the documents while still president. No evidence has emerged that Mr. Trump did so, and Mr. Trump’s lawyers have not repeated the claim in an ongoing court dispute with prosecutors over materials seized by the F.B.I. during a search of Mar-a-Lago, his Florida estate, in August. But the Justice Department’s interest in questioning Mr. Patel about the claim shows that prosecutors see it as potentially relevant to their investigation into the handling of the documents and whether Mr. Trump or his aides obstructed the government’s efforts to reclaim them.”

U.N. climate office said in a new report that the world is ‘nowhere near’ hitting climate targets. Latest estimates say temperatures will rise to 4.5 degrees Fahrenheit above pre-industrial averages by the end of the century. NBC News, Chantal DaSilva, Wednesday, 26 October 2022: “The world is ‘nowhere near’ hitting its targets to cut greenhouse gas emissions, putting it on track to soar past the limit for global warming that countries committed to in the landmark 2015 Paris Agreement, the United Nations has warned. That means the planet is on course for a future marked by unprecedented heat waves, destructive storms and drought, as well as the extinction of animal and plant species. Current plans would see temperatures rise to 2.5 degrees Celsius (4.5 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial averages by the end of the century, the U.N.’s climate office said in a new report Wednesday revealing its latest estimates. That figure, which is based on 193 national emissions targets, is a full degree higher than the goal set out in the Paris climate pact, which aimed to limit warming by 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit). The U.N. said in a news release Wednesday that while countries are ‘bending the curve of global greenhouse gas emissions downward,’ these efforts ‘remain insufficient to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius by the end of the century.'” See also, U.N. report says world falls ‘pitifully short’ of meeting climate goals, The Washington Post, Sarah Kaplan, published on Thursday, 27 October 2022: “Despite a high-profile promise to boost ambitions at last year’s U.N. climate summit, nations have shaved just 1 percent off their projected greenhouse gas emissions for 2030, a new United Nations report found — leaving Earth on track to blow past a safe temperature threshold by almost a full degree. Thursday’s report on the emissions gap — the gulf between national plans to reduce carbon pollution and the actual cuts needed to avert catastrophic warming  found that countries’ strongest climate pledges put the Earth on a path to warm by a dangerous 2.4 degrees Celsius (4.3 degrees Fahrenheit) by the end of the century. And few nations have implemented the policies needed to meet even these lackluster targets, the report said.” See also, Climate Pledges Are Falling Short, and a Chaotic Future Looks More Like Reality. With an annual summit next month, the United Nations assessed progress on countries’ past emissions commitments. Severe disruption would be hard to avoid on the current trajectory. The New York Times, Max Bearak, Wednesday, 26 October 2022: “Countries around the world are failing to live up to their commitments to fight climate change, pointing Earth toward a future marked by more intense flooding, wildfires, drought, heat waves and species extinction, according to a report issued Wednesday by the United Nations. Just 26 of 193 countries that agreed last year to step up their climate actions have followed through with more ambitious plans. The world’s top two polluters, China and the United States, have taken some action but have not pledged more this year, and climate negotiations between the two have been frozen for months. Without drastic reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, the report said, the planet is on track to warm by an average of 2.1 to 2.9 degrees Celsius, compared with preindustrial levels, by 2100. That’s far higher than the goal of 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) set by the landmark Paris agreement in 2015, and it crosses the threshold beyond which scientists say the likelihood of catastrophic climate impacts significantly increases. With each fraction of a degree of warming, tens of millions more people worldwide would be exposed to life-threatening heat waves, food and water scarcity, and coastal flooding while millions more mammals, insects, birds and plants would disappear.”

20 Democratic Senators Ask Supreme Court to Reject Once-Fringe Theory in elections Case. The so-called independent state legislature theory is at the center of a Supreme Court case involving the electoral maps in North Carolina. The theory runs afoul of normal checks and balances, the senators wrote. The New York Times, Nick Corasaniti, Wednesday, 26 October 2022: “A group of 20 Democratic senators filed a brief on Wednesday urging the Supreme Court to reject a legal argument that would give state legislatures extraordinary power over federal elections. The brief, filed by Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, draws parallels to the checks and balances of the federal government — especially Congress — as a clear indication that the so-called independent state legislature theory runs afoul of the Constitution. The senators argue that while the Constitution grants state legislatures the responsibility of setting the time, location and manner of federal elections, the Constitution also requires state legislatures to follow the same procedures when making rules for federal elections that they use to make other state laws. The clause, they write, ‘does not allow state legislatures to bypass the same restrictions imposed by state constitutions — the very documents that create and empower them.’ Once considered a fringe argument found only in the far reaches of conservative legal thought, the independent state legislature theory is now at the center of a redistricting case in North Carolina before the Supreme Court. Set to be heard in December, that case, Moore v. Harper, involves a congressional map drawn by the Republican-led legislature that was rejected by the state’s Supreme Court as a partisan gerrymander. Republican lawmakers sued, arguing that the court had no authority to reject the map. The North Carolina Republicans have argued that the clause means state legislatures alone are responsible for drawing congressional districts, and the courts have no role to play. Should the Supreme Court side with the North Carolina Republicans, it could give state legislatures across the country broad authority to write voting laws, draw district maps and set other electoral rules without being subject to review by state courts.”

That Cardboard Box in Your Home Is Fueling election Denial. A previously unreported book in profits for the shipping supply giant Uline has provided the funds for a deeply conservative Midwestern family to bankroll anti-democracy causes around the country. ProPublica, Justin Elliott, Megan O’Matz, and Doris Burke, Wednesday, 26 October 2022: “Much of the cardboard and paper goods strewn about our homes — the mail-order boxes and grocery store bags — are sold by a single private company, with its name, Uline, stamped on the bottom. Few Americans know that a multibillion-dollar fortune made on those ubiquitous products is now fueling election deniers and other far-right candidates across the country. Dick and Liz Uihlein of Illinois are the largest contributors to Pennsylvania gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano, who attended the Jan. 6 rally and was linked to a prominent antisemite, and have given to Jim Marchant, the Nevada Secretary of State nominee who says he opposed the certification of Joe Biden’s election victory in 2020. They are major funders to groups spreading election falsehoods, including Restoration of America, which, according to an internal document obtained by ProPublica, aims to ‘get on God’s side of the issues and stay there’ and ‘punish leftists.'”


Thursday, 27 October 2022:


Russian Invasion of Ukraine: Putin decries Western ‘liberal elites’ and plays down nuclear fears in global affairs speech, The Washington Post, Erin Cunningham, Kelly Kasulis Cho, Victoria Bisset, Adam Taylor, and James Bikales, Thursday, 27 October 2022: “Russian President Vladimir Putin decried ‘liberal elites’ of the West in a speech Thursday that appeared aimed largely at conservatives abroad, while playing down fears that Russia would use a nuclear weapon in Ukraine. ‘There are two Wests: the traditional West, with Christian values above all, with which we share common antique roots, and the cosmopolitan West, which is a tool of liberal elites,’ he said in his address at the Valdai Discussion Club, a Kremlin-affiliated research institute. ‘No one will put up with the dictates of this West in Russia.’ Putin said ‘there is no point, politically or militarily’ to a nuclear strike on Ukraine, but he did not back off from unsupported claims that Ukraine is preparing to use a ‘dirty bomb’ — an explosive containing radioactive material — on its own soil. Kyiv and Western governments have dismissed the accusation and warned that Moscow could use it as a pretext for escalating the war.

  • In his address, Putin said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) decision to visit Taiwan in August was ‘delusional.’ ‘The whole West is coming down on us, fighting Russia,’ he said. ‘Well, why at the same time ruin relations with China?’ He made dismissive use of the Russian word babushka, or grandmother, to describe her.
  • Russia would target ‘quasi-civilian infrastructure’ in space if Moscow believes it served military purposes, said Konstantin Vorontsov, the Russian official at the United Nations, on Wednesday. ‘Apparently, these states do not realize that such actions in fact constitute indirect participation in military conflicts.’ While Vorontsov did not mention specific companies, his comments come less than two weeks after Elon Musk suggested that he could continue funding the Starlink satellite service that is providing internet for Ukraine’s military.
  • Ukraine’s energy system was once again targeted by Russia overnight, the country’s main grid operator Ukrenergo said early Thursday. The damage at facilities in central Ukraine means that further disruption to the power supply is possible in a number of regions, including Kyiv, it added. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a Wednesday speech that energy workers face unprecedented pressure as Russian attacks against energy infrastructure intensify ahead of winter.
  • The United States and allies slammed Russia for wasting the time of the U.N. Security Council and spreading conspiracies for again raising its accusation that the U.S. has ‘military biological programs’ in Ukraine. ‘How much more of this nonsense do we have to endure?’ Britain’s U.N. Ambassador Barbara Woodward asked the council on Thursday.
  • The suspected Russian spy arrested in Norway this week attended a seminar on hybrid threats recently that included a scenario about responding to a pipeline explosion, according to Norwegian media, a coordinator for the group that hosted the event, and a photograph from the event. Paivi Mattila, a professor at Laurea University of Applied Sciences in Finland who coordinates the EU-HYBNET program, told The Washington Post that the suspected spy attended the event.

Russian Invasion of Ukraine: Putin Rails Against ‘Western Elites’ in Speech Aimed at U.S. Conservatives. The Russian leader’s annual address at a foreign policy conference included a familiar litany of criticisms of the West. The New York Times, Thursday, 27 October 2022:

  • Putin’s remarks seem to be aimed at conservatives in the U.S. and Europe.

  • Russian loyalists in Kherson abscond with the remains of a commander who helped inspire Putin’s invasion.

  • Biden calls Putin’s nuclear threats ‘dangerous’ as his defense secretary says the U.S. has no evidence of plans to use a dirty bomb.

  • The European Central Bank raises rates to tame inflation spurred in part by Russia sanctions.

  • Ukraine says it has moved forces north in case of aggression from Belarus.

Federal court clears the way for Donald Trump’s tax records to be handed over to Democratic lawmakers, The Washington Post, Rachel Weiner, Thursday, 27 October 2022: “The full U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit declined to reconsider an August ruling from three judges that gave a House committee the right to Trump’s tax returns for 2015 to 2020. The former president can still challenge the decision in the U.S. Supreme Court, but the appeals court declined a request from Trump to automatically hold the release of records pending that challenge. The House Ways & Means Committee sought the records in 2019, saying they would inform legislation to improve the way presidents are audited by the Internal Revenue Service. Under Trump, the Treasury Department refused to hand over the documents; under President Biden, Trump sued to bar the agency from doing so. He argued the lawmakers’ true purpose was political. But the appeals panel agreed with a lower court that lawmakers had ‘a legitimate legislative purpose’ in examining the records, which was to assess whether the current audit system is sufficient. ‘It is not our place to delve deeper than this,’ the appeals panel wrote. ‘The mere fact that individual members of Congress may have political motivations as well as legislative ones is of no moment.'” See also, Appeals court clears way for IRS to turn over Trump tax returns to House committee, CNN Politics, Tierney Sneed and Katelyn Polantz, Thursday, 27 October 2022: “The House Ways and Means Committee is set to receive former President Donald Trump’s IRS tax returns in one week after a federal appeals court on Thursday declined Trump’s request to hold up the release. The Supreme Court could still intervene if Trump appeals. A three-judge panel on the DC Circuit Court of Appeals decided they won’t put the handover of the former president’s tax returns on hold after the full appeals court rejected Trump’s request that they review an earlier decision allowing for the release of the returns. The case is one of several long-running lawsuits where the Democratic-led House is trying to access years of financial records related to Trump, especially his tax returns.”

Albuquerque Cosper Head, the Man Who Dragged an Officer Into January 6 Mob, Is Sentenced to 90 Months. The sentence for the defendant was one of the most severe penalties handed down so far in the Justice Department’s investigation of the Capitol attack. The New York Times, Alan Feuer, Thursday, 27 October 2022: “A Tennessee man was sentenced on Thursday to seven and a half years in prison for dragging a police officer protecting the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, into an angry pro-Trump crowd that brutally assaulted the officer. The man, Albuquerque Cosper Head, pleaded guilty in March to assaulting the officer, Michael Fanone, who has emerged as an outspoken advocate for the officers who were subjected to the mob violence on Jan. 6. The sentence was one of the most severe penalties handed down so far in the Justice Department’s investigation of the Capitol attack. As part of his plea, Mr. Head, a 43-year-old construction worker, admitted that during the violence outside the Capitol, he grabbed Mr. Fanone around the neck and told the crowd around him, ‘I got one!’ Mr. Head then forcibly hauled Mr. Fanone down the Capitol steps and into the mob, where he was beaten, kicked and attacked with a stun gun. Some in the crowd tried to strip Mr. Fanone of his service weapon as one rioter threatened to kill him with his own gun.”


Friday, 28 October 2022:


Russian Invasion of Ukraine: Russia Says Mobilization is Complete; Pentagon offers modest new aid package for Ukraine, The Washington Post, Andrew Jeong, Victoria Bisset, Adam Taylor, and Praveena Somasundaram, Friday, 28 October 2022: “The Pentagon announced Friday an additional $275 million in defense aid for Ukraine, a sum smaller than that offered in many previous packages. The items offered are to include ammunition, vehicles and satellite communications equipment — no counter-drone equipment or air defense systems. Russia’s controversial mobilization to send reinforcements to fight in Ukraine is complete, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu reported to President Vladimir Putin in a televised meeting Friday, with 300,000 summoned for duty — the precise number Putin had requested. Russians are paying careful attention to the details because little about the ‘partial mobilization’ had gone as planned, The Washington Post reported. Moscow has moved toward ‘a long-term, defensive posture’ on the front lines in Ukraine over the past six weeks, the British Defense Ministry said Friday in its daily intelligence update, adding that this was likely a sign that Russian forces in Ukraine were ‘currently only capable of defensive operations.’

  • Air travel is back up in Russia, but due to sanctions, European plane maker Airbus has raised questions about the safety of its planes there. ‘They fly outside of the usual and agreed and standardized way of cooperation between authorities, airlines and aircraft manufacturers because of the sanctions,’ Airbus chief executive Guillaume Faury said on a Friday earnings call. ‘So, we cannot really monitor and support as we do with our customers in normal times. And that’s something that is indeed creating some concerns on the safety side.’ Russia’s largest airline, Aeroflot, has 119 Airbus airplanes in service, according to its website.
  • Ukraine’s main grid operator Ukrenergo announced Friday that energy usage limits would once again be enforced in response to Russian attacks the previous day. Households in Ukraine’s central and northern regions, including the capital Kyiv, would be impacted, as well as industrial consumers across the country, the company said in a statement. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in his nightly address on Friday that 4 million residents have been affected by blackouts across the country.
  • Ukraine on Thursday began purchasing electricity from Slovakia, a move Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, now a top security official, said in a post to Telegram on Friday would ‘not give the desired stability in the operation of the Ukrainian energy system.’ He called on Kyiv to ‘recognize the legitimacy of Russia’s demands.’ Mykhailo Podolyak, a senior adviser to Zelensky, said in a tweet that Medvedev’s remarks amounted to an admission of ‘official terrorism’ targeting Ukraine’s energy systems, meant to deny electricity to millions of civilians.
  • Russia’s security services are working to undermine Moldova’s pro-Western government, according to sensitive materials obtained by Ukrainian intelligence and reviewed by The Post. The documents illustrate how Moscow continues to try to manipulate countries in Eastern Europe even as its military campaign in Ukraine falters.

Russian Invasion of Ukraine: Kremlin Says Russia Has Completed Draft for Ukraine War and Plans No More Call-Ups. The government’s decision to end the draft, which had been met with protests, appeared aimed at maintaining support for the war among Russians. The New York Times, Friday, 29 October 2022:

  • Kyiv’s forces press their advance in the south and work to hold off a Russian assault in the east.

  • The U.S. announces more military aid for Ukraine, including guided rockets and artillery ammunition.

  • Moscow adds 1,000 troops to defend the southern city of Kherson, Ukraine’s military says.

  • A U.S. program aims to keep sensitive weapons in Ukraine.

  • In some of his sharpest remarks yet, Germany’s president condemns Putin for upsetting the world order.

  • A government-connected Kremlin critic’s flight from Russia raises questions about who is still safe.

Attack on Nancy Pelosi’s Husband: Intruder Seeking House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Attacked Her Husband With a Hammer. The assailant was yelling ‘Where is Nancy?’ according to a person briefed on the assault. Her husband, Paul Pelosi, was hospitalized with a skull fracture, and the police said the suspect would be charged with attempted homicide. The New York Times, Kellen Browning, Tim Arango, Luke Broadwater, and Holly Secon, Friday, 29 October 2022: “In the early hours of Friday morning, the intruder entered through a back door of the stately home in San Francisco’s upscale Pacific Heights neighborhood, yelling, ‘Where is Nancy?’ Nancy Pelosi, the House speaker, was thousands of miles away in Washington, D.C., protected by her security detail, but her husband, 82-year-old Paul Pelosi, was home. By the time police officers arrived after being dispatched at 2:27 a.m., they found the assailant and Mr. Pelosi wrestling for control of a hammer. The intruder then pulled the hammer away and ‘violently attacked’ Mr. Pelosi with it in front of the officers, said William Scott, San Francisco’s chief of police. As leaders from across the political spectrum rushed to condemn the attack, Mr. Pelosi underwent surgery to repair a skull fracture and other injuries. He remained in a San Francisco hospital on Friday afternoon and was expected to make a full recovery, according to Speaker Pelosi’s office. While the police said they were still investigating the motive and were questioning a suspect they had in custody, the incident heightened fears of political violence less than two weeks before the midterm elections. The assault came as threats and violence against political figures have surged in America, especially after the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol, which brought the Democratic speaker, other lawmakers and the Republican vice president within feet of rioters threatening their lives. ‘This was not a random act,’ Chief Scott said. ‘This was intentional.’ The police identified the attacker as 42-year-old David DePape, and Chief Scott said the man would be charged with attempted homicide, assault with a deadly weapon, elder abuse, burglary and ‘several other additional felonies.’ The suspect remained in the hospital as of Friday evening with undisclosed injuries. Brooke Jenkins, the San Francisco district attorney, said the authorities were looking into whether blog posts by someone using the same name as the suspect that contain hateful comments were linked to him and might speak to his motive. In an interview, she said that she was aware of the social media and blog posts that were circulating and that the authorities were investigating everything. Two blogs written by a user who called himself ‘daviddepape’ contain an array of angry and paranoid postings, including antisemitic sentiments and concerns about pedophilia, anti-white racism and ‘elite’ control of the internet. Law enforcement authorities, including Ms. Jenkins, have not said whether the blogs — or a Facebook page bearing the same name — were written by the same Mr. DePape who is accused of assaulting Mr. Pelosi.” See also, Alleged Paul Pelosi attacker posted multiple conspiracy theories, CNN Politics, Casey Tolan, Curt Devine, Daniel A. Medina, and Majlie de Puy Kamp, Friday, 28 October 2022: “The man who allegedly attacked House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband early Friday posted memes and conspiracy theories on Facebook about Covid vaccines, the 2020 election and the January 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol, and an acquaintance told CNN that he seemed ‘out of touch with reality.’ David DePape, 42, was identified by police Friday as the suspect in the assault on Paul Pelosi at the speaker’s San Francisco home. Three of DePape’s relatives told CNN that DePape has been estranged from his family for years, and confirmed that the Facebook account – which was taken down by the social media company on Friday – belonged to him.” See also, Attack on Nancy Pelosi’s husband follows years of Republicans demonizing her. Police say a man with right-wing views who broke into the House speaker’s home yelled ‘Where is Nancy?” before assaulting Paul Pelosi with a hammer. The Washington Post, Ashley Parker, Hannah Allam, and Marianna Sotomayor, published on Saturday, 29 October 2022: “In 2010, Republicans launched a ‘Fire Pelosi’ project — complete with a bus tour, a #FIREPELOSI hashtag and images of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) engulfed in Hades-style flames — devoted to retaking the House and demoting Pelosi from her perch as speaker. Eleven years later, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) joked that if he becomes the next leader of the House, ‘it will be hard not to hit’ Pelosi with the speaker’s gavel. And this year, Pelosi — who Republicans have long demonized as the face of progressive policies and who was a target of rioters during the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol — emerged as the top member of Congress maligned in political ads, with Republicans spending nearly $40 million on ads that mention Pelosi in the final stretch of the campaign, according to AdImpact, which tracks television and digital ad spending.” See also, Pelosi Attack Highlights Rising Fears of Political Violence. The assault of the House speaker’s husband inside their home comes as threats against members of Congress have increased in recent years. The New York Times, Catie Edmondson, published on Saturday, 29 October 2022: “Members of Congress have watched warily in recent years as threats and harassment against them have crescendoed, privately worrying that the brutal language and deranged misinformation creeping into political discourse would lead to actual violence. The assault of Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband, Paul, inside their San Francisco home early Friday morning by an intruder who shouted ‘Where is Nancy?’ and bludgeoned him with a hammer before being taken into custody by police seemed to confirm their worst fears, vividly bringing to life the acute danger facing elected officials amid a rise in violent political speech…. Nearly two years after supporters of former President Donald J. Trump stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, inspired by his lies of a stolen election, sending members of Congress and the vice president fleeing for their lives, the toxic stew of violent language, conspiracy theory and misinformation that thrives in digital spaces continues to pose a grave threat.”

Welcome to hell, Elon, The Verge, Nilay Patel, Friday, 28 October 2022: “You fucked up real good, kiddo. Twitter is a disaster clown car company that is successful despite itself, and there is no possible way to grow users and revenue without making a series of enormous compromises that will ultimately destroy your reputation and possibly cause grievous damage to your other companies. I say this with utter confidence because the problems with Twitter are not engineering problems. They are political problems. Twitter, the company, makes very little interesting technology; the tech stack is not the valuable asset. The asset is the user base: hopelessly addicted politicians, reporters, celebrities, and other people who should know better but keep posting anyway. You! You, Elon Musk, are addicted to Twitter. You’re the asset. You just bought yourself for $44 billion dollars. The problem when the asset is people is that people are intensely complicated, and trying to regulate how people behave is historically a miserable experience, especially when that authority is vested in a single powerful individual…. Here are some examples: you can write as many polite letters to advertisers as you want, but you cannot reasonably expect to collect any meaningful advertising revenue if you do not promise those advertisers ‘brand safety.’ That means you have to ban racism, sexism, transphobia, and all kinds of other speech that is totally legal in the United States but reveals people to be total assholes. So you can make all the promises about ‘free speech’ you want, but the dull reality is that you still have to ban a bunch of legal speech if you want to make money. And when you start doing that, your creepy new right-wing fanboys are going to viciously turn on you, just like they turn on every other social network that realizes the same essential truth.”

Top national security prosecutor David Raskin joins Trump Mar-a-Lago investigation. National security law experts say prosecutors have amassed evidence that meets some key criteria for charging the former president. The Washington Post, Devlin Barrett, Perry Stein, and Josh Dawsey, Friday, 28 October 2022: “One of the Justice Department’s most experienced national security prosecutors has joined the team overseeing the intensifying investigation of classified documents at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home and private club, people familiar with the matter said. National security law experts interviewed by The Washington Post say prosecutors appear to have amassed evidence in the case that would meet some of the criteria for bringing charges against the former president — an unprecedented action that they said probably would only happen if the Justice Department believes it has an extremely strong case. David Raskin, who served for many years as a senior federal prosecutor in New York City, and more recently has worked as a prosecutor in Kansas City, Mo., has been assisting in the investigation into Trump and his aides, according to the people familiar with the matter who, like others interviewed for this article, spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe an ongoing investigation.”


Saturday, 29 October 2022:


Russian Invasion of Ukraine: Russia pauses grain deal after Ukraine strikes warships in Sevastopol, The Washington Post, Kelly Kasulis Cho, Victoria Bisset, Andrea Salcedo, Justine McDaniel, and Mary Ilyushina, Saturday, 29 October 2022: “Russia suspended its U.N.-brokered deal to allow Ukrainian grain shipments through the Black Sea, state agencies said Saturday, after a drone attack that damaged at least one of its warships near the Crimean city of Sevastopol. Ukraine and Russia signed the deal this summer after the Russian navy blockaded shipments from Odessa and two other Ukrainian ports. Last year, Ukraine accounted for 10 percent of global wheat exports, according to the United Nations. One of Russia’s warships sustained ‘minor damage’ in the attack, Moscow said earlier Saturday. Without offering evidence, the Russian Defense Ministry accused Britain of training and guiding the Ukrainian unit behind the drone attack, and of being behind explosions that hit the Nord Stream gas pipelines carrying natural gas from Russia to Europe in September. Britain responded that Russia was making ‘false claims of an epic scale,’ while a Ukrainian official appeared to mock Russia’s claims as ludicrous.

  • The Kremlin will ‘no longer guarantee the safety of civilian dry cargo ships participating in the Black Sea Grain Initiative and will suspend its implementation from today for an indefinite period,’ Russia’s Foreign Ministry said Sunday.
  • Saturday’s drone attacks off the Crimean city of Sevastopol lasted several hours, the Russian-installed governor, Mikhail Razvozhaev, said on Telegram. He urged residents not to write social media posts or share video about what they saw, saying that would provide Ukrainian forces with information about the city’s defenses. Sevastopol is the largest city in Crimea, which was illegally annexed by Moscow in 2014.
  • U.N. Secretary General António Guterres on Friday urged participating countries to allow a renewal of the Black Sea Grain Initiative, which is set to expire Nov. 19. The agreement facilitates the safe shipment of grains and fertilizer from Ukraine. Many countries, particularly in Africa and the Middle East, rely on Ukrainian grain and fertilizer to feed their populations. The initiative can be automatically renewed if no party objects, but Russia’s move to suspend its responsibilities may jeopardize such a renewal.
  • The strikes were carried out by Ukrainian special forces and destroyed at least three Russian warships, the Mariupol City Council said on Telegram. Anton Gerashchenko, adviser to Ukraine’s minister of internal affairs, tweeted earlier that ‘several’ Russian warships were destroyed, including a frigate and a landing ship, ‘according to some sources.’ The Washington Post could not verify the number of ships damaged or destroyed.
  • Russia’s Defense Ministry accused British specialists of helping to plan the drone attacks, offering no evidence to support the claims. It also blamed the British navy for recent explosions at the Nord Stream gas pipelines, again without evidence.
  • Britain called Russia’s claims an ‘invented story’ designed ‘to detract from their disastrous handling of the illegal invasion of Ukraine,’ adding that it ‘says more about the arguments going on inside the Russian Government than it does about the West.’ Meanwhile, Gerashchenko mocked the Russian claims, tweeting that people should listen to further military briefings from Russia ‘to find out what else [the U.K., U.S.] & combat mosquitoes are guilty of.’
  • Zelensky said about 4 million people are under energy-use restrictions as Ukraine attempts to stretch scarce resources after Russian forces destroyed infrastructure around the country. His warning came as Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko told Britain’s Telegraph newspaper that the capital is preparing for the ‘worst-case scenario’ as winter approaches and warned that people would freeze to death if Western countries do not send blankets and generators.

Russian Invasion of Ukraine: Russia Says It’s Suspending Participation in Grain Deal With Ukraine. The Russian Defense Ministry said Moscow was halting participation in the United Nations-brokered agreement after what it said was a Ukrainian attack on its Black Sea Fleet in Crimea. The New York Times, Saturday, 29 October 2022:

  • Russia’s decision upends a deal designed to ease the global food crisis.

  • A drone attack damaged a Black Sea Fleet minesweeping vessel, Russia says.

  • Here’s how the grain deal between Ukraine and Russia worked.

  • Ukraine and Russia exchange more than 100 prisoners of war, officials say.

  • Some four million Ukrainians face restrictions on power use.

  • Zelensky says that Russia is turning Kherson into a ‘zone without civilization.’


Sunday, 30 October 2022:


Russian Invasion of Ukraine: Turkey and U.N. Push to Revive Grain Deal They Helped Broker. The top E.U. diplomat urged Russia to reverse its decision to suspend participation in the deal that allows for the export of grain from Ukrainian ports, saying it risks worsening a global food crisis. The New York Times, Sunday, 30 October 2022:

  • The U.N. and Turkey work to restore the suspended grain deal.

  • Russia says it has recovered wreckage of the sea drones used to attack its Black Sea Fleet.

  • ‘Too scary to stay’: Ukrainians along the front line in Kherson are fleeing as fighting escalates.

  • The U.S. says Russia is ‘weaponizing’ food by halting grain shipments.

  • A tribute to Stalin’s victims carries on in Moscow, on a smaller scale, after being banned.

  • Russia’s decision upends a deal designed to ease the global food crisis.

Nancy Pelosi, Vilified by Republicans for Years, Is a Top Target of Threats. The attack on the husband of Speaker Nancy Pelosi, which appeared to target her, came after more than a decade of Republican efforts to demonize and dehumanize the most powerful woman in Washington. The New York Times, Annie Karni, Catie Edmondson, and Carl Hulse, Sunday, 30 October 2022: “In 2006, as Nancy Pelosi was poised to become the first female speaker of the House, Republicans made a film spoof that portrayed an evil Democratic empire led by ‘Darth Nancy.’ In 2009, the Republican National Committee ran an advertisement featuring Ms. Pelosi’s face framed by the barrel of a gun — complete with the sound of a bullet firing as red bled down the screen — a takeoff on the James Bond film ‘Goldfinger’ in which the woman second in line to the presidency was cast as Pussy Galore. This year, a Republican running in the primary for Senate in Arizona aired an ad showing him in a spaghetti western-style duel with Democrats, in which he shoots at a knife-wielding, mask-wearing, bug-eyed woman labeled ‘Crazyface Pelosi.’ The name echoed former President Donald J. Trump’s many derisive monikers for Ms. Pelosi, including ‘Crazy Nancy.’ The attack on Ms. Pelosi’s husband, Paul Pelosi, on Friday, which left him with a fractured skull and appeared to be part of a planned attack on the speaker herself, came after a yearslong campaign by Republicans to demonize and dehumanize Ms. Pelosi in increasingly ugly ways. For the better part of two decades, Republicans have targeted Ms. Pelosi, the most powerful woman in American politics, as the most sinister Democratic villain of all, making her the evil star of their advertisements and fund-raising appeals in hopes of animating their core supporters. The language and images have helped to fuel the flames of anger at Ms. Pelosi on the right, fanned increasingly in recent years by a toxic stew of conspiracy theories and misinformation that has thrived on the internet and social media, with little pushback from elected Republicans.”

Despite Eastman appeal, January 6 House committee accesses 8 disputed emails. A federal judge had ruled they were evidence of a likely crime. Politico, Kyle Cheney, Sunday, 30 October 2022: “Congressional investigators have obtained eight disputed emails that attorney John Eastman — a key architect of Donald Trump’s effort to subvert the 2020 election — had asked a federal appeals court to shield from lawmakers. Eastman revealed in a Sunday court filing that he delivered a link to the Jan. 6 select committee providing access to the eight emails last week — an effort to comply with a federal district court judge’s order — but asked the committee to refrain from reviewing the records while he mounted an appeal. Instead, the select committee rejected his request, questioning whether a formal appeal had been lodged, and downloaded the documents, Eastman indicated. He is now asking the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to demand that the select committee return or destroy the documents — and prevent the panel from making use of them until the appeals court takes action.” See also, January 6 House committee obtains eight emails showing possible planning of post-election crime, CNN Politics, Katelyn Polantz, Sunday, 30 October 2022: “The House select committee investigating the January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol has obtained eight emails from late 2020 that a judge determined show Donald Trump and his lawyers planning to defraud courts and obstruct the congressional vote on the presidency. A new court filing from Trump’s then-attorney John Eastman disclosed that the House said it had accessed the emails on Friday. The House probe has been fighting for the records for months, and a federal judge cleared the way for the committee to receive them in recent weeks, calling them possible evidence of the planning of crimes on Trump’s behalf. Eastman had tried several last-ditch attempts to hold off the committee. The panel declined to comment to CNN. The emails that the committee finally has accessed include four communications between Trump attorneys that appear to indicate they knew details they submitted to courts to challenge the election were false, and four emails that reveal them discussing filing lawsuits as a way to hold off congressional certification of Trump’s electoral loss, Judge David O. Carter previously revealed. One of the emails describes concern the lawyers had about submitting a declaration signed by Trump himself in a lawsuit challenging the election, which said the election fraud allegations it presented to the court were true, the judge’s previous opinion revealed. The Trump-signed statement was sent to court, even though the lawyers knew the allegations within weren’t sound, according to the court record. Eastman is now asking the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals for an order telling the House to return or destroy the eight emails.”

Elon Musk, in a Tweet, Shares Link From Site Known to Publish False News. The tweet on Sunday, which was later deleted, posted an article that made baseless allegations about the attack on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband. The New York Times, Kurtis Lee, Sunday, 30 October 2022: “Three days after Elon Musk purchased Twitter, the billionaire posted a tweet that advanced baseless allegations about the recent attack on the husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. The tweet, on Sunday, raised anew questions about how, or if, Mr. Musk will act to combat misinformation and hate speech on the social media site. On Saturday, Hillary Clinton, the former first lady and 2016 Democratic presidential nominee, posted a tweet assailing Republicans for spreading ‘hate and deranged conspiracy theories’ that she said had emboldened the man who attacked Ms. Pelosi’s husband, Paul, inside the couple’s home in San Francisco early Friday. In a reply to Mrs. Clinton’s tweet, Mr. Musk wrote, ‘There is a tiny possibility there might be more to this story than meets the eye’ and then shared a link to an article in the Santa Monica Observer. The article alleges that Mr. Pelosi was drunk and in a fight with a male prostitute. Mr. Musk’s tweet was later deleted, and it was not immediately clear who had deleted it. A 2021 editorial in The Los Angeles Times about websites that ‘masquerade as legitimate local newspapers’ noted that the Santa Monica Observer, ‘owned by onetime City Council candidate David Ganezer, is notorious for publishing false news.’ In 2016, for example, the publication advanced a claim that Mrs. Clinton had died and that a body double was sent to debate the Republican presidential nominee, Donald J. Trump.” See also, Elon Musk, new owner of Twitter, tweets unfounded anti-LGBTQ conspiracy theory about Paul Pelosi attack. Musk sent the since-deleted tweet, which linked to a story on a website that has a history of publishing false information, to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Musk’s tweet had more than 24,000 retweets and 86,000 likes late Sunday morning before he deleted it. NBC News, Julianne McShane, Sunday, 30 October2022: “Elon Musk, the new owner of Twitter, tweeted and deleted an unfounded anti-LGBTQ conspiracy theory Sunday morning about the attack on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband from a website that has a history of publishing false information. Musk responded to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton when she tweeted out a Los Angeles Times story about how David DePape, the suspect in the attack on Paul Pelosi, had spread far-right conspiracy theories. Clinton tweeted the link to that story along with the message: ‘The Republican Party and its mouthpieces now regularly spread hate and deranged conspiracy theories. It is shocking, but not surprising, that violence is the result. As citizens, we must hold them accountable for their words and the actions that follow.’ Musk wrote to Clinton at 8:15 a.m. Sunday, linking to a story published on a right-wing website called the Santa Monica Observer that questioned the circumstances of the attack on Pelosi, according to an archived version of the story. ‘There is a tiny possibility there might be more to this story than meets the eye,’ he wrote. (The website was no longer accessible late Sunday morning.)”


Monday, 31 October 2022:


Russian Invasion of Ukraine: Power and water outages in Kyiv and key cities after strikes on infrastructure, The Washington Post, Isabelle Khurshudyan, Leo Sands, Sammy Westfall, and Jennifer Hassan, Monday, 31 October 2022: “Russia unleashed a fresh wave of attacks across Ukraine on Monday, damaging more than a dozen critical infrastructure facilities and causing sustained power outages, Ukrainian officials said. Ukraine’s prime minister, Denys Shymal, reported missile and drone strikes on 18 targets in 10 regions, the heaviest and most widespread strikes since a similar barrage two weeks ago. ‘Damage to the electric grid and water supply are serious concerns directly harming the civilian population,’ a senior U.S. defense official said Monday, speaking on the condition of anonymity under ground rules set by the Pentagon. The strikes come after drones targeted and damaged Russian warships in the Crimean Peninsula over the weekend. Ukraine has not claimed responsibility for the attack — but Russia used the assault to justify withdrawing from a United Nations-brokered deal to safeguard grain exports from Ukraine.

  • Multiple districts in the capital, Kyiv, have been cut off from power, and 80 percent of the city is without water after strikes on nearby facilities, Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said.
  • Two strikes hit critical infrastructure in the city of Kharkiv, its mayor said on Telegram, leaving part of the region without power. In Zaporizhzhia, the governor accused Russian forces of damaging a critical infrastructure facility. No casualties have been reported there so far but officials warned of interruptions to infrastructure supplies.
  • Ukraine said it resumed agricultural exports out of its Black Sea ports Monday despite Russia’s withdrawal from the U.N.-brokered grain deal safeguarding the passage of the cargo vessels. According to Reuters, Turkey and the U.N. also resumed their inspections of ships departing Ukraine.

Russian Invasion of Ukraine: Russia Says Ship Traffic Through Grain Corridor Is ‘Unacceptable.’ After suspending its participation in a grain deal brokered by Turkey and the U.N., Moscow said it wouldn’t guarantee security for any cargo vessels crossing the Black Sea. The New York Times, Monday, 31 October 2022:

  • A Russian missile barrage hits infrastructure in Kyiv and other cities.

  • Kyiv loses water, forcing residents to line up at the city’s wells.

  • Oleg Tinkov, a former banking tycoon, renounces his Russian citizenship.

  • The U.S. extends the enforcement of sanctions on Russian oil deliveries to January.

  • Moldova condemns Russian strikes after missile debris lands in its territory.

  • The war in Ukraine is slowing the recovery in global employment, a U.N. agency says.

Russian Invasion of Ukraine: Russia drops grain deal, claiming drones hit its ships, NPR, NPR Staff, Monday, 31 October 2022: “As the week begins, here’s a look ahead and a roundup of key developments from the past week. What to watch this week: Another week began with Russia launching a wave of attacks hitting Ukraine’s capital Kyiv and other areas, causing damage including outages in electricity, cellphone service, water supplies and other destruction. There will likely be fallout after Russia pulled out of a United Nations-brokered deal to export Ukrainian grain. The U.N. Security Council is meeting to discuss the issue Monday. What happened last week: Progressive Democrats sent, then withdrew, a letter urging President Biden to seek diplomacy with Russia toward a cease-fire in Ukraine. Thirty members of Congress had signed the letter, which caused a backlash, including from fellow Democrats, but some signatories explained they signed it soon after it was drafted in early summer and much has changed since. Russia practiced conducting a nuclear strike on Oct. 26, in its first big nuclear drill since invading Ukraine this year. The Kremlin’s defense minister said it was a rehearsal for responding to a nuclear attack. It came as NATO carried out its annual Steadfast Noon nuclear exercises. President Vladimir Putin repeated the allegation, without evidence, that Ukraine is preparing to set off a dirty bomb. The U.S. and allies dismiss this as a false pretext for Russia’s own possible future actions. Germany’s president acknowledged a ‘bitter failure’ of his and other governments’ policies toward Russia. In his national address on Oct. 28, President Frank-Walter Steinmeier said Russia’s war has ‘reduced the European security order to ashes.’ Russia accused Ukraine of a ‘massive’ drone attack on its Black Sea fleet and civil ships over the weekend, off the coast of Crimea. Moscow also alleged ‘British specialists’ were involved in directing the drones as well as damaging gas pipelines, which London denied. Russia suspended its role in a deal allowing Ukrainian grain to be exported through the Black Sea, citing the alleged drone strikes. The move drew condemnation from Western leaders and the U.N., which brokered the arrangement to ease a global food crisis.”

Trump Organization Trial: Prosecutor Says Trump’s Company Evaded Taxes on Lavish Perks to Executives. ‘This case is about greed and cheating,’ a prosecutor told jurors as the tax fraud trial of two of the former president’s companies started in Manhattan. Defense attorneys sought to cast blame on executives, contending they acted on their own. The New York Times, Jonah E. Bromwich, Ben Protess, William K. Rashbaum, and Maggie Haberman, Monday, 31 October 2022: “The criminal tax fraud trial of Donald J. Trump’s family business kicked off in Manhattan on Monday with the prosecution and the defense each taking aim at a different man. For the prosecutors, it was Mr. Trump. For the defense, it was Allen H. Weisselberg, despite his having served for decades as the Trump Organization’s loyal chief financial officer. Neither man is on trial — Mr. Trump was not indicted, and Mr. Weisselberg pleaded guilty, agreeing to testify truthfully in exchange for a lenient sentence. But they entered the spotlight in place of the faceless corporations that are the actual defendants. The prosecutors, who need to grab the jury’s attention in a trial that hinges on financial minutiae, sought to link the company to its owner, Mr. Trump, a deeply unpopular figure in his former hometown. The defense lawyers, facing a mountain of evidence against the company, targeted Mr. Weisselberg, the prosecution’s star witness, seeking to undermine his credibility at every turn. The trial looms large as a test for the Manhattan district attorney’s office, whose related criminal investigation of Mr. Trump has been subject to close scrutiny. It also represents a personal test for the former president, with a symbolic importance that outstrips the pain of a possible $1.62 million fine. Of all the legal challenges that Mr. Trump is facing — including several criminal investigations related to his final days in the White House — none has been as vexing for him as the investigation into his family business. And no other provides such a window into a world he has tried to keep out of the public eye.” See also, Jury hears opening statements in Trump Organization’s criminal trial, The Washington Post, Shayna Jacobs, Monday, 31 October 2022: “The Trump Organization chose ‘greed and cheating’ in a years-long scheme to avoid taxes by using tactics that illegally benefited executives and the organization, a prosecutor said during opening statements in the company’s criminal tax fraud trial Monday. Former president Donald Trump’s namesake organization, including its payroll-processing subsidiary, the Trump Payroll Corporation, is on trial in New York Supreme Court on charges involving scheme to defraud, conspiracy, criminal tax fraud and falsifying business records. Prosecutors are expected to examine what they describe as off-the-books bonuses that were doled out to top employees at Trump’s private business as a matter of practice. The public airing comes as Trump faces investigations tied to the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the U.S. Capitol and efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election.”

Trump Asks Supreme court to Block the House From Obtaining His Tax Returns. The request would further delay a long-running request by the House Ways and Means Committee as the midterm election looms. The New York Times, Charlie Savage, Monday, 31 October 2022: “Former President Donald J. Trump asked the Supreme Court on Monday to intervene in the long-running dispute over whether a House committee can obtain access to his tax returns. In a 31-page filing, lawyers for Mr. Trump asked Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. to freeze matters while they prepare 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. If the Supreme Court does not grant the request for an emergency stay, the appeals court would issue a so-called mandate completing its ruling on Wednesday, which would free the Treasury Department to turn over the records. Whether the Supreme Court decides to extend a judicial order that has blocked the Treasury Department from complying with the request while the matter was litigated before the appeals court could effectively decide whether the House committee obtains the documents, which it has sought since 2019.” See also, Donald Trump asks the Supreme court to stop release of his tax returns, The Washington Post, Rachel Weiner, Monday, 31 October 2022: “Former president Donald Trump has asked the Supreme Court to intervene and prevent members of Congress from obtaining his past tax returns in an appeal filed Monday. Should the court decline, the records are set to be turned over to the House Ways and Means Committee on Thursday. ‘The Committee has no pressing need for Applicants’ information so it can study generic legislation about funding and regulating future IRS audits of future Presidents,’ his attorney Cameron Norris wrote, saying the release of records would cause Trump ‘irreparable harm.’ Norris filed the request as he was arguing in front of the Supreme Court against using race as a factor in college admissions. Last week, the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit declined to review earlier rulings finding that lawmakers are entitled to the documents. The court also said it would not put the release of the papers on hold while Trump continues a legal fight that began in 2019. But the Supreme Court could issue an emergency order keeping the records from being released this week. Lawmakers said they needed Trump’s tax returns from his time in office to help evaluate the effectiveness of annual presidential audits. Trump argued that their aims were actually to embarrass him politically, but federal judges have consistently ruled that the lawmakers established the ‘valid legislative purpose’ required for disclosure.'”

Supreme Court Affirmative Action: Supreme Court Hears Affirmative Action Cases From Harvard and U.N.C. the justices heard two cases concerning admissions programs that take into account race to foster educational diversity. The conservative supermajority appeared ready to reconsider decades of precedents and to rule that the programs were unlawful. The New York Times, Adam Liptak, Monday, 31 October 2022: “The Supreme Court on Monday appeared ready to rule that the race-conscious admissions programs at Harvard and the University of North Carolina were unlawful, based on questioning over five hours of vigorous and sometimes testy arguments, a move that would overrule decades of precedents. Such a decision would jeopardize affirmative action at colleges and universities around the nation, particularly elite institutions, decreasing the representation of Black and Latino students and bolstering the number of white and Asian ones.”

Paul Pelosi’s alleged attacker is charged with attempted kidnapping. The Department of Justice alleged that David DePape broke into the home through a glass door and then went looking for Nancy Pelosi. Politico, Nicholas Wu and Jeremy B. White, Monday, 31 October 2022: “David DePape, the alleged perpetrator of the attack on Paul Pelosi, told police he planned to hold Speaker Nancy Pelosi hostage and was going to break ‘her kneecaps’ if she ‘lied’ to him, according to federal charging documents released Monday. The new revelations from the harrowing attack on Paul Pelosi, 82, came as the Justice Department charged 42-year-old DePape with assault and attempted kidnapping of the speaker following his alleged break-in at the Pelosi home. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California brought the charges against DePape. The kidnapping charge carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, and the assault charge carries a maximum sentence of 30 years. Local prosecutors also leveled multiple felony charges against DePape on Monday.” See also, Paul Pelosi suspect is charged with attempting to kidnap House speaker Nancy Pelosi and attempted murder, CNN Politics, Zachary Cohen, Marshall Cohen, and Evan Perez, Monday, 31 October 2022: “Paul Pelosi ‘is making steady progress on what will be a long recovery process,’ House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement Monday, following the announcement of state and federal charges against the man accused of attacking him. ‘Since the horrific attack on Paul early Friday, we have been deluged with thousands of messages conveying concern, prayers and warm wishes,’ the statement said. ‘Our family thanks everyone for their kindness.’ David DePape, 42, has been charged with a litany of crimes, including assault, attempted murder and attempted kidnapping, following last week’s break-in at the couple’s San Francisco home, the US attorney’s office and San Francisco district attorney announced on Monday. He was charged with one count of ‘attempted kidnapping of a US official,’ according to the US attorney’s office for the Northern District of California. That charge relates to Nancy Pelosi, who DePape told police he planned to ‘hold hostage,’ according to an FBI affidavit also unsealed on Monday. The attempted kidnapping charge carries a maximum of 20 years in prison. DePape also was charged with one count of assault of an immediate family member of a US official with the intent to retaliate against the official. That charge relates to a crime allegedly committed against Paul Pelosi and carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison. The federal charges against DePape are in addition to state charges, which the San Francisco district attorney said later Monday include ‘attempted murder, residential burglary, assault with a deadly weapon, elder abuse, false imprisonment of an elder, as well as threats to a public official and their family.'” See also, Intruder Wanted to Break Speaker Pelosi’s Kneecaps, Federal Complaint Says. Federal prosecutors filed charges on Monday against the man the police said broke into House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s San Francisco home and struck her husband with a hammer. The New York Times, Kellen Browning, Glenn Thrush, and Tim Arango, Monday, 31 October 2022: “The man, lugging a backpack stuffed with rope, zip ties and a hammer, entered the mansion in San Francisco’s exclusive Pacific Heights neighborhood through a back door, leaving shards of glass on the ground. The intruder woke up the husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and later attacked him, fracturing his skull. The assailant’s mission, he would later tell the police, was to take hostage and perhaps break the kneecaps of Ms. Pelosi, whom he saw as the “leader of the pack’”of lies told by the Democratic Party.’ All of it was detailed on Monday in a federal complaint against David DePape, 42, who was charged with attempting to kidnap Ms. Pelosi and assaulting a relative of a federal official. San Francisco’s prosecutor later filed six additional state charges against Mr. DePape. The attack on the morning of Oct. 28 came amid an increase in politically motivated violence just ahead of next week’s midterm elections. And the Justice Department’s swift action in bringing criminal charges on Monday against the suspect reflected the sense of urgency at the highest levels of the American government to confront an issue that officials view as a stark threat to the nation.” See also, Alleged Pelosi attacker now faces federal and state charges. The suspect said he wanted to break the House speaker’s kneecaps to send a message to other Democrats, authorities said. The Washington Post, Devlin Barrett, Eugene Scott, and Holly Bailey, Monday, 31 October 2022: “Federal authorities on Monday filed attempted kidnapping and assault charges against the alleged home invader accused of striking House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband with a hammer in front of police officers, and later claiming he wanted to break her kneecaps to send a message to other Democrats. The charges were contained in a court filing that recounts incriminating statements that the defendant, David Wayne DePape, 42, made following his arrest in the early morning hours Friday at the Pelosi home in San Francisco. The court papers offer a horrifying summary of Pelosi’s 82-year-old husband, Paul Pelosi, being awakened in the middle of the night by a strange man in his bedroom, demanding to know where his wife was. When Paul Pelosi said she would not be back home for days, DePape allegedly said he would wait.” See also, Republicans Continue to Spread Baseless Claims About Pelosi Attack. Some of the conspiracy theories have already seeped into the Republican mainstream. The New York Times, Steven Lee Myers and Stuart A. Thompson, Monday, 31 October 2022: “Donald Trump Jr., the former president’s son, continues to post jokes about it. Dinesh D’Souza, the creator of a discredited film about the 2020 election called ‘2000 Mules,’ accused the San Francisco Police Department on Monday of covering up the facts. Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, Republican of Georgia, wrote that the ‘same mainstream media democrat activists’ who questioned former President Donald J. Trump’s ties to Russia were now silencing the new owner of Twitter, Elon Musk. The reason: Mr. Musk deleted a post linking to a newspaper that once claimed Hillary Rodham Clinton was dead when she ran for president in 2016. In the days since Paul Pelosi, the 82-year-old husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, was attacked by an intruder asking, ‘Where is Nancy?’, a litany of Republicans and conservatives have spread baseless conspiracy theories about the assault and its motives.”

How Election Subversion Went Mainstream in Pennsylvania. In the state’s midterms–which could determine the balance of the Senate and the integrity of the Presidential race in 2024–Democrats are fighting for the vote. Republicans are fighting to undermine it. The New Yorker, Eliza Griswold, Monday, 31 October 2022: “Doug Mastriano, the fifty-eight-year-old Republican candidate for governor [of Pennsylvania] and a onetime insurrectionist …. is, by almost any measure, one of the most extreme candidates currently running for office. Since 2019, when he was elected to the State Senate, he has supported prayer in schools, the abolition of gay marriage, and conversion therapy, a medically discredited practice to ‘reverse’ homosexuality. Pennsylvania’s Republican legislature has tried to ban abortion, but it has been blocked by the Democratic governor, Tom Wolf. Mastriano has promised to outlaw the procedure without exception, and to prosecute women who get abortions and doctors who perform them for murder. Perhaps most notably, in 2020, Mastriano was one of the architects of the attempt to overturn the results of the Presidential election and award Pennsylvania’s electoral votes to Donald Trump. On January 6, 2021, he attended the insurrection at the Capitol. (Mastriano did not respond to repeated requests for comment for this article, but he has said that he left the Capitol when it ‘was no longer a peaceful protest.’) J. J. Abbott, a political strategist with Commonwealth Communications, told me, ‘He engaged in a conspiracy to overturn Pennsylvania’s election. And there’s little dispute about that.'”

Brazil Election: After Defeat, Bolsonaro Is Silent, and Brazil Braces for Turmoil. The far-right leader has yet to concede after his defeat to his leftist opponent Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva on Sunday, raising fears that he could refuse to accept the results and set off unrest. It is unclear what he will say on Tuesday, or when he will speak. The New York Times, Jack Nicas, Flávia Milhorance and André Spigariol, Monday, 31 October 2022: “For months, President Jair Bolsonaro claimed the only way he would lose Brazil’s presidential election was if it was rigged. On Monday, a day after he lost, he declined to immediately concede to his leftist challenger, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, leaving Latin America’s largest democracy on edge over whether there would be a peaceful transition of power. Mr. Bolsonaro spent much of Monday holed up at the presidential offices, meeting with top advisers and Brazil’s minister of defense. At least some of the advisers urged the president to concede, but it was not clear if he had yet reached a decision on what to do, according to three government officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private meetings. By Monday evening, nearly a full day after election officials had declared Mr. da Silva the new president-elect, Mr. Bolsonaro had yet to speak publicly. He was spending Monday evening working on a response at the presidential palace, with a plan to say something on Tuesday, though what he would say was unclear, according to a senior administration official who spoke on the condition of anonymity. Mr. Bolsonaro’s silence was unsettling for Brazil. He has consistently claimed, without evidence, that the country’s electronic voting system is rife with fraud and that the left was planning to rig the vote. As a result, millions of his supporters have lost faith in the integrity of their nation’s elections, according to polls, and many have said publicly that they are prepared to take to the streets at his command.”








Even though the Trump administration is no longer in office, I am continuing to post summaries of the daily political news and major stories relating to this tragic and dangerous period in US history. I will try to focus on the differences between the Trump administration and the Biden administration and on the ongoing toxic residual effects of the Trump administration and Republicans. I usually post throughout the day and let the news settle for a day or so before posting.

I created Muckraker Farm in 2014 as a place to post muckraking (investigative) journalism going back to the 19th century. Recently I have been able to make time to return to this original project. You can find these muckraking pieces under the Home Page link at the top of this site. Thanks for reading!