Trump Aides and False Electors Indicted in Arizona

Happy Friday! Congratulations to USC quarterback Caleb Williams, who was selected #1 overall in the NFL Draft last night and is headed to the Chicago Bears.

We don’t follow the NFL quite as closely as *cough cough* some others on staff, but we follow it closely enough to know that getting to pick first isn’t exactly a sign of a thriving program. Anyway, we’re rooting for you, Caleb: The vibes of our Monday morning editorial meetings this fall depend on you!

Editor’s Note: Laugh all you want. The Bears’ general manager Ryan Poles’ years-long plan to “take the [NFC] North and never give it back” has now fully come to fruition.

Quick Hits: Today’s Top Stories

  • The Ukrainian military received an American-supplied long-range version of the Army Tactical Missile Systems (ATACMS) this week, U.S. defense officials confirmed on Thursday, after the Biden administration had for months resisted sending the long-range weapons. The missiles were a previously undisclosed part of an aid shipment announced in March and have nearly double the range—190 miles—of the ATACMS Ukraine received last year. Ukrainian forces reportedly used the missiles in overnight strikes on Wednesday to hit Russian targets in Crimea. More of the longer-range systems are headed to Ukraine as part of the latest aid package, which included a clause mandating their delivery. 
  • The Pentagon on Thursday announced the temporary withdrawal of approximately 75 U.S. Special Operations personnel from Chad. The African nation requested that U.S. forces halt operations at an airbase near the capital of N’Djamena but, unlike neighboring Niger, has not moved to eject all U.S. military personnel. American officials said the removal could be temporary and that they plan to continue reviewing the U.S. security partnership after Chad’s presidential elections on May 6. 
  • Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry resigned Wednesday, clearing the way for a nine-member transition council to be sworn in Thursday morning. Henry has been unable to return to the country since he left in late February, as criminal gangs took over most of the capital. Michel Patrick Boisvert, a former economics and finance minister, was appointed acting prime minister. The council is expected to approve the arrival of a Kenyan peacekeeping force to combat gang violence and help restore order.
  •  The Bureau of Economic Analysis reported Thursday that real gross domestic product (GDP) grew at an annual rate of 1.6 percent in the first quarter of 2024, significantly below expectations. A Dow Jones survey of economists had projected GDP to grow at a 2.4 percent annualized rate between January and March; the third and fourth quarters of last year saw such GDP growth of 4.9 and 3.4 percent, respectively.
  • The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) restored net neutrality rules—regulations that prevent internet service providers from blocking or slowing traffic to particular websites—in a 3-2 vote Thursday. Net neutrality rules were first instituted in 2015 under the Obama administration but were repealed by the Trump administration in 2017.
  • The U.S. fertility rate fell to 1.62 births per woman last year, according to a data analysis released on Thursday from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics—a 2 percent decline from 2022 and another record low. The birth rate ticked up slightly during the pandemic, but the 2023 levels confirm the return to its long-term decline.

‘Oh, Sounds Like Fraud!’

Kelli Ward, then a Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate, gives a concession speech with her husband Michael Ward in Scottsdale, Arizona, on August 28, 2018. (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)
Kelli Ward, then a Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate, gives a concession speech with her husband Michael Ward in Scottsdale, Arizona, on August 28, 2018. (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)

By now, the story is a familiar one: On December 14, 2020, 11 people met at the Arizona Republican Party headquarters. The group included the chairwoman of the Arizona GOP, Kelli Ward, and her husband, Michael, as well as Gregory Safsten, the executive director of the state party, Jacob Hoffman, a representative-elect in the Arizona House, Anthony Kern, an outgoing member of the Arizona State Senate, and seven others.

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