Trump’s Liability

Happy Thursday! You may not have enjoyed his performance as much as we did, but you have to admit it made for some riveting television at 8 p.m. last night—and he certainly seemed to have his mojo back.

Seriously: Just look at this go-ahead home run from Cubs third baseman Patrick Wisdom to take the lead over the lowly St. Louis Cardinals.

Quick Hits: Today’s Top Stories

  • Federal prosecutors arraigned GOP Rep. George Santos of New York Wednesday on 13 federal charges including money laundering, wire fraud, theft of public funds, and making false statements to the House of Representatives. Most of the charges stem from Santos’ solicitation of at least $50,000 in campaign donations, which prosecutors allege he spent on personal expenses including designer clothing. The congressman also allegedly collected more than $24,000 in unemployment payments in 2020 while earning $120,000 a year working for an investment company. Santos pleaded not guilty to all charges Wednesday and was released on $500,000 bail. He told reporters he will not resign from his seat and plans to run for reelection next year, but House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said he will not back his bid.
  • Republicans on the House Oversight Committee released a memo Wednesday accusing members of Joe Biden’s family—including his brother James and son Hunter—of influence peddling during his vice presidency by creating more than 20 shell companies to conceal more than $10 million in payments from foreign nationals to the family, business associates, and related companies. The Oversight probe has yet to directly link President Biden to the activity himself.
  • NBC News reported Wednesday that the Biden administration plans to release migrants caught crossing the border into the United States without court dates or a way to track them. Border enforcement and processing resources are at capacity amid record border crossings this week—including 11,000 on Tuesday alone—as the administration’s power under Title 42 to quickly turn away asylum seekers ends today.
  • The Consumer Price Index rose 0.4 percent month-over-month and 4.9 percent annually in April, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Wednesday. The figures represent a shift from 0.1 percent and 5 percent, respectively, in March, and came in lower than economists’ expectations. Despite the monthly acceleration, the annual decrease could encourage the Federal Reserve to pause its rate-hike campaign at the central bank’s next meeting in June.
  • Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters yesterday he opposes GOP Sen. Tommy Tuberville’s hold on more than 180 military promotions. Tuberville has blocked the nominations in protest of the Department of Defense’s post-Dobbs decision to offer administrative leave and pay travel costs for female service members and qualifying dependents seeking abortions. 
  • A U.S. Food and Drug Administration advisory panel voted Wednesday to endorse allowing birth control pills to be sold over the counter. The agency is expected to decide on final approval of the panel’s recommendation sometime this summer. 

Jury Rules for Carroll

Former U.S. President Donald Trump disembarks his plane at Aberdeen Airport.  (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
Former U.S. President Donald Trump disembarks his plane at Aberdeen Airport. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

About a quarter century ago, according to writer E. Jean Carroll, Donald Trump pinned Carroll against a wall in the changing area of a Bergdorf Goodman luxury department store in Manhattan, pulled down her tights, and sexually assaulted her.

Trump denies this claim, but on Tuesday a jury largely sided with Carroll, concluding the former president is liable for sexual abuse and subsequent defamation and ordering him to pay Carroll about $5 million. He’ll likely appeal—and he’s already issued more denials—but the verdict adds to an ever-growing stack of legal troubles and ethical baggage that have the potential to make him unelectable in a general election. But given the Republican Party’s tepid response over the past two days, it’s far from clear Trump’s standing in the GOP presidential primary will take a hit.

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