What to Know in Washington: Trump OKs Search Release; House Vote

  • Post reports FBI had searched for nuclear docs at Mar-a-Lago
  • House poised to clear Democrats’ climate, tax agenda

Bloomberg Government subscribers get the stories like this first. Act now and gain unlimited access to everything you need to know. Learn more.

Former President Donald Trump said he supported the release of documents related to the FBI’s search of his Mar-a-Lago home earlier this week, including a copy of the search warrant and a receipt of items that agents took from the property.

Trump’s announcement came shortly after the Washington Post reported that one category of documents the FBI was looking for related to nuclear weapons. It wasn’t clear if those documents were about US weapons or weapons that belonged to another country, and if they were among the documents agents seized.

Trump made the announcement on his social media site, Truth Social, following a Justice Department request in a Florida court to unseal the documents. Trump’s decision to agree to release the search warrant—something he has had the option of doing on his own since the search took place Monday—heads off a public showdown between the former president’s legal team and Attorney General Merrick Garland.

Mishandling classified information can carry an array of federal felony charges, and information related to nuclear weapons and technology is uniquely sensitive. The head of the Justice Department’s counterintelligence and export control section, Jay Bratt, signed the government’s filing seeking to unseal the warrant and reportedly visited Mar-a-Lago earlier this summer to review the documents in Trump’s possession. Read more from Zoe Tillman.

Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images
Garland after delivering remarks on Thursday.

  • Two Senate Homeland Security Committee RepublicansJames Lankford (R-Okla.) and Rick Scott (R-Fla.)—want Chairman Gary Peters (D-Mich.) to request a briefing from the FBI, DOJ and National Archives on the search. “This is unprecedented action and the FBI and DOJ must be fully transparent about their motivation and objectives,” the two wrote in a letter Thursday, Se Young Lee reports.
  • Trump and his supporters are ratcheting up their baseless claim that FBI agents may have “planted” evidence when they searched Mar-a-Lago. But those claims are unlikely to stand up in court. “It would be very stupid for the FBI to plant evidence,” Christopher Slobogin, director of the Criminal Justice Program at Vanderbilt University, said. “There are cameras all over the Mar-a-Lago compound.” Read more from Erik Larson.
  • The federal judiciary is condemning threats against judges as the US magistrate judge who signed off on the warrant is reportedly the target of online abuse. “Threats against judges fulfilling their constitutional responsibilities strike at the very core of our democracy,” Second Circuit Judge Richard J. Sullivan, who chairs the Judicial Conference Committee on Judicial Security, said in a statement. Read more from Madison Alder.
  • An armed man identified by two officials as Ricky Walter Shiffer, who was also present at the US Capitol on Jan. 6, was shot and killed after firing into an FBI field office in Cincinnati. The man’s motive was unclear, but he appeared to have made posts on Truth Social about his desire to kill FBI agents following the Mar-a-Lago search, NBC reports.

Biden Primes 2024 Run

Biden is preparing to launch his re-election bid in the months after November’s midterm elections, according to multiple aides and allies, setting up a potential 2024 re-match with Trump. Biden’s resolve to mount a second White House bid is hardening even with polls showing that most Democrats would prefer a candidate other than the 79-year-old president.

But people close to Biden describe him as buoyed by recent legislative, economic and foreign policy victories—as well as committed to again deny Trump a return to the Oval Office. “The president has said he’s planning on running again,” said Anita Dunn, a longtime aide who recently returned to the White House. “People should take him at his word.”

Three congressional Democrats have recently suggested Biden make way for a younger successor, while several more have pointedly declined to endorse his re-election. Biden’s approval rating is only about 40%, according to an analysis of polls by FiveThirtyEight. But allies say Biden’s determination has grown amid revelations about Trump and his role in the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection, as well as the former president’s continued embrace by Republicans. Read more from Justin Sink and Josh Wingrove.

MORE ON ELECTIONS & INFLUENCE:

  • New York City’s newly created US House district straddling Lower Manhattan and brownstone Brooklyn appears to represent the ultimate melting pot of Jewish, Black, White, Hispanic, Asian and gay voters concentrated in a city with some of the highest income inequality in the US. But an analysis of likely voters suggests that the diversity is unlikely to be reflected at the polls on Election Day. If past trends continue, the election will be largely decided by people who live in majority White neighborhoods, said John Mollenkopf, the center’s director. Gregory Korte and Marie-Rose Sheinerman have more.

Happening on the Hill

CONGRESS AGENDA:

Permitting resources at several federal agencies would expand under Democrats’ climate-and-tax bill as part of an effort to smooth out the deployment of large clean-energy and infrastructure projects. But the money in the Inflation Reduction Act—which the House is expected to clear and send to Biden’s desk today after over a year of negotiations—would fall short of the broader regulatory overhaul needed to meet climate goals and upgrade the US energy system, according to some who follow permitting. Read more from Stephen Lee and Daniel Moore.

Former Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao has met with the House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection, CNN reports, citing multiple sources. The committee is also talking with former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and former National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien, Airielle Lowe reports.

  • Michelle Kallen, who represented the Jan. 6 House committee in cases involving Stephen Bannon and other Trump administration figures, has joined Jenner & Block as a partner, Justin Wise reports.

Senate Finance Chairman Ron Wyden requested information from Amgen about its efforts to avoid taxes through profit-shifting to subsidiaries in Puerto Rico, specifically related to sales of the arthritis drug Enbrel, according to a release. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) wants information about the discrepancy between where drugs are sold and where the drugmaker’s income is booked for tax purposes. Read more from Lauren Dezenski.

Around the Administration

BIDEN’S SCHEDULE

  • The president has no public events today.

Ukraine is calling on the Biden administration to sanction all Russian private banks to help end the Kremlin’s ability to wage war, according to Kyiv’s envoy to Washington. President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s government wants the US to add a couple of banks per week to its list of sanctioned financial institutions, according to Ambassador Oksana Markarova. She said she conveyed the request to the Treasury. Read more from Eric Martin.

  • President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine set Russia’s economy back four years in the first full quarter after the attack, putting it on track for one of the longest downturns on record. Data due on Friday will show gross domestic product shrank for the first time in over a year, Bloomberg News reports.

Another BlackRock executive is joining the White House, adding to the close ties between the Wall Street heavyweight and Washington. Eric Van Nostrand, a BlackRock managing director who led research for sustainable investments, will be joining the Treasury Department, where he’ll be a senior adviser on issues related to Russia and will report to Ben Harris, assistant secretary of Treasury for economic policy, a person familiar said. Sridhar Natarajan and Eric Martin have more.

A new campaign launched by the Plastics Industry Association criticizes a rule proposed by the federal government’s chief procurement agency aimed at reducing the purchase of single-use plastic goods. Digital ads around Washington will take an “outreach perspective” targeted toward policymakers and the general public, said Matt Seaholm, the president and CEO of the trade group. Kerry Burgott has more.

To contact the reporters on this story: Brandon Lee in Washington at blee@bgov.com; Michaela Ross in Washington at mross@bgov.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Giuseppe Macri at gmacri@bgov.com; Loren Duggan at lduggan@bgov.com

Stay informed with more news like this – from the largest team of reporters on Capitol Hill – subscribe to Bloomberg Government today. Learn more.

Top