What to Know in Washington: Trump to Surrender, Plead Not Guilty
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Five days after he became the first former US president to be indicted, Donald Trump will surrender to law enforcement officers in lower Manhattan to be booked, hear the charges against him, and enter his plea: Not guilty.
Trump, who is making a comeback bid for the White House, is set to be arraigned this afternoon following his indictment by a New York state grand jury on March 30. The city’s police department, the Secret Service and other authorities are on high alert given the political firestorm over the case.
The former president will plead not guilty “very loudly and proudly,” his lawyer Joe Tacopina said Sunday on CNN.
The indictment stems from Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s probe of hush money payments made just before the 2016 election to cover up an alleged decade-old affair. Trump’s then-fixer Michael Cohen, now a fierce critic, has testified that his boss covertly reimbursed him for the payments.
Falsifying business records can be a misdemeanor under New York law. For prosecutors to prove Trump committed a felony, they would have to show it was part of an effort to commit or conceal a second crime. Trump denies the affair and any illegal acts.
Trump, 76, must now grapple with the criminal case even as he pursues the Republican nomination in the 2024 race. It comes as he faces a separate investigation of his bid to overturn the 2020 election result in Georgia, as well as a federal special counsel’s inquiry into those efforts and his handling of government documents. Either—or both—of those probes could result in criminal charges on top of Bragg’s.
Trump also faces civil suits by New York’s attorney general, who accused him of manipulating property valuations, and a writer who alleges he raped her, which he denies. He says the indictment and the pending probes and suits are baseless and part of a partisan effort to take him down. Read more from Patricia Hurtado and Greg Farrell.
- Broadcasting Barred: The judge presiding over Trump’s criminal case isn’t allowing journalists to use broadcast recording equipment or any electronic devices in the courtroom during the hearing. Read more
- Defense Hire: Trump has hired former federal prosecutor Todd Blanche, who once represented Paul Manafort, to help defend him against criminal charges brought by Bragg. Read more
White House’s Bank, Oil Headache
- Biden at 2:45 p.m. in Washington meets with the President’s Council of Advisers on Science and Technology to discuss ongoing work
- At 1:30 p.m., White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre gives a briefing
Biden Downplays OPEC Cut, Says It Won’t Be as ‘Bad as You Think’
President Joe Biden downplayed the impact of a surprise OPEC+ announcement over the weekend that it would slash oil production by more than 1 million barrels per day.
“It’s not going to be as bad as you think,” Biden said Monday during a trip to Minnesota, where he was asked about the decision. Administration officials in Washington have sought to strike a balance between denouncing the move and not further souring relations with Saudi Arabia.
- Yellen’s Criticism: Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen criticized the move by OPEC+ to cut output, saying it was “unconstructive” and would add to the uncertainty overhanging global growth. Read more
Yellen Says US Banks Are ‘Stabilizing,’ After Tumultuous March
Yellen also said the situation around US banks was “stabilizing,” though regulators stood ready to repeat the extraordinary actions taken in March to contain depositor runs.
- FDIC’s Offer: The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. plans to start marketing a $60 billion loan portfolio it retained in receivership following the collapse of Signature Bank in the coming months. Read more
- Small Banks: Credit unions and community banks are worried that increased sharing of consumer data under a pending CFPB rule would lead to increased liability for data providers when information is incorrect. Read more
Key Election in Wisconsin Today
Democrats Road-Test 2024 Abortion Strategy in Costly Court Race
The most expensive race for a state Supreme Court seat in US history has given Democrats a chance to workshop ways to keep abortion rights front and center after some victories in the 2022 midterms.
Liberal Democrats hope to take control of the Wisconsin State Supreme Court for the first time in 15 years today with a win by Janet Protasiewicz, who is favored over Republican-backed Daniel Kelly, after the state Democratic Party and outside groups poured money into the race.
Democrats see a Protasiewicz win as key to holding on to the state in future elections after Trump won in 2016 and Biden flipped it back in 2020. And, with abortions unavailable in the state since last summer, they said they believe the issue is key to getting her onto the bench.
Counties to Watch in Wisconsin’s Supreme Court Election Results
As votes are counted, Door County between Green Bay and Lake Michigan will be one to watch. It’s the only county that voted to re-elect both Gov. Tony Evers (D) and Sen. Ron Johnson (R) in 2022, as well as breaking for Biden in 2020.
MORE IN ELECTIONS & POLITICS
- Concealed Carry: The White House denounced Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) for signing a bill that allows the carrying of a concealed weapon without a permit. Jean-Pierre called his decision “shameful so soon after another tragic school shooting.” Read more
- Santos’ Challenger: Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.), who embellished his resume by claiming to have worked on Wall Street, will face a Republican primary challenge from someone who actually did—Kellen Curry, a former JPMorgan Chase official. Read more
- Misinformation Conviction: Right-wing social media influencer Douglass Mackey was convicted in a New York federal court for conspiring to deprive people of their right to vote in the 2016 election and now faces up to 10 years in jail. Read more
What Else We’re Reading Today
- Child Labor: Lawmakers in Congress are moving to tighten regulations on child labor amid a recent uptick in violations and uncovered exploitative practices. But the proposals on the Hill vary in scope. Read more
- Farm Bill: Sen. Peter Welch (D-Vt.), who represents the most rural US state on the Senate’s committee of farm bill writers, wants to make sure rural development isn’t forgotten this year. Read more
- Alaska Project: A federal judge in Alaska denied a bid by environmentalists and an indigenous group to block ConocoPhillips from opening a gravel mine at its $8 billion Willow oil project in the state. Read more
- US & China: The Biden administration is pushing back against Chinese claims the US is containing the rise of the world’s second-biggest economy, with a top diplomat saying tougher economic measures are needed. Read more
- States’ GDPs: The economies in nearly half of US states barely grew or even shrank since the pandemic, underscoring the unevenness of the nation’s recovery. Read more
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