Weekly News Bites #022 | Trump to be indicted...again, and did Biden take a $5 million bribe?
All of the top stories 📰 of the week in small bites.
It’s FRIDAY, June 9! YAY
Some of the stories this week!
“$5 million for one Biden and $5 million for the other Biden”
Former President Donald Trump announced on June 8 that he had been indicted by special counsel Jack Smith in relation to an investigation into his handling of classified documents.
CNN is reporting that Former President Trump admitted in a July 2021 recording that he possessed undisclosed classified information and had not declassified it.
California Governor Gavin Newsom has introduced a proposal for a new amendment to the US Constitution aimed at addressing the nation's "gun violence crisis."
A federal judge, Robert Hinkle, has issued a preliminary injunction blocking a new Florida law that bans gender-affirming medical care for transgender youth.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams has proposed a plan to pay homeowners to shelter migrants in their spare rooms.
Three months prior to the bombing of the Nord Stream natural gas pipeline, the Biden administration received information from a close ally revealing a planned covert attack on the pipeline by the Ukrainian military.
A quick message:
Today we are presented with a good example of why it is necessary to read and collect news from sources across the bias spectrum, which is my goal with this newsletter.
There are two major stories today involving the two major presidential candidates, Trump and Biden. However, they are not being reported on equally. Left-leaning publications are focused on Trump’s indictment and CNN obtaining a transcript of a recording of Trump admitting to mishandling classified documents. In contrast, right-leaning publications are focused on the recent revelations from a confidential human source that Biden took a $5 million bribe. Both of which are included in today’s newsletter.
However, because of editorial choices from biased publications, it is possible that you would miss one of these stories, which are particularly relevant during an election year.
As the battle for the presidency heats up, it is important that we make the effort to inform ourselves and not end up spoon-fed the stories and the narratives the State and the Media want us to know.
This is a one-woman show, and I do have a life, so I am bound to miss something but one of my goals with this newsletter is to help make it easier to be fully informed.
Also, to be clear, the newsletter aggregates news stories and provides short summaries. Sharing a story does not reflect any opinions. I do not share opinions or analyses in the newsletter. I leave my long-form articles for that.
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P.S. I also take requests for long-form investigative stories, comment or DM me. 😉
→ Former President Donald Trump announced on June 8 that he had been indicted by special counsel Jack Smith in relation to an investigation into his handling of classified documents. Trump expressed his disbelief and criticized what he referred to as the "corrupt Biden Administration" for allegedly targeting him while overlooking similar issues with past presidents. He claimed innocence and highlighted his popularity in the polls for the 2024 presidential election. Republicans reacted with outrage, accusing a two-tiered justice system, while Democrats saw the indictment as evidence of the justice system functioning properly. This indictment follows Trump's previous indictment on state business records charges in New York. Investigations into Trump and allegations related to the 2020 election results are ongoing.
→ CNN is reporting that Former President Trump admitted in a July 2021 recording that he possessed undisclosed classified information and had not declassified it. Despite his public claims to the contrary, Trump explicitly stated in the transcript that he could no longer declassify the document, which pertained to a potential attack on Iran. The recording was made during a meeting with two authors working on an autobiography for his former chief of staff, Mark Meadows. Trump sought to counter an article from The New Yorker that suggested Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley had dissuaded him from attacking Iran. Trump and his legal team were informed of an indictment against him in the classified documents case.
→ A contentious debate is unfolding on Capitol Hill regarding funding for the Justice Department and FBI. While Trump allies threaten to cut funding if the agencies target Trump, Senate Republicans are concerned about providing political ammunition to Democrats. The issue intensifies as lawmakers focus on the annual spending bills for federal law enforcement. Some Republicans, like Sen. Hawley, advocate for significant FBI reforms, including the idea of breaking up the agency. The potential conflict of interest arising from a trial led by the Department of Justice under President Biden's administration adds to the complexity. Meanwhile, GOP leaders criticize the limited cooperation of the FBI and Department of Justice with Republican lawmakers, while Democrats accuse Republicans of wanting to defund federal law enforcement. The debate over using the appropriations process to deter Trump's prosecution comes as he maintains a significant lead in the polls for the upcoming presidential primary. Amidst these tensions, Attorney General Merrick Garland and FBI Director Christopher Wray face mounting pressure. Former Attorney General Bill Barr predicts an imminent federal indictment of Trump.
→ California Governor Gavin Newsom has introduced a proposal for a new amendment to the US Constitution aimed at addressing the nation's "gun violence crisis." The amendment called the "28th Amendment," seeks to enforce universal background checks, raise the minimum age for a firearm purchase to 21, implement a waiting period for purchasing firearms, and prohibit the civilian purchase of "assault weapons." Newsom claims that these measures respect America's gun-owning tradition while addressing the need for common-sense gun safety. The proposal would require either a constitutional convention called by at least 34 state legislatures or approval by two-thirds of the House and Senate, as well as at least 38 state legislatures. Newsom's plan has garnered bipartisan support, although critics, including the National Rifle Association, have voiced opposition
→ The Oklahoma Statewide Virtual Charter School Board has voted 3-2 to approve the establishment of St. Isidore of Seville Catholic Virtual School, which would be the first religious charter school in the United States. The decision has sparked controversy and raised concerns about the use of taxpayer dollars to fund a religious institution, leading to questions about the constitutionality of the move. Critics argue that it violates the separation of church and state and undermines religious freedoms. However, supporters of the school argue that Oklahoma law allows for religious charter schools and view it as a victory for religious liberty. The approval has divided top officials in Oklahoma, with the governor supporting the decision but the attorney general calling it unconstitutional. The school is prepared for potential legal action and believes the matter may ultimately be resolved by the US Supreme Court, hoping for a favorable ruling given previous decisions regarding religious schools.
→ Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination in the 2024 presidential election. In his speech, delivered in Manchester, New Hampshire, Christie openly criticized former President Donald Trump, highlighting what he sees as a leadership crisis. While acknowledging he is considered a long shot in the primary, Christie emphasized his determination to present his values and earn support. Christie previously ran for president in 2016, endorsed Trump but later distanced himself from the former president. Despite low poll numbers and challenges ahead, Christie's entry adds a new dimension to the Republican primary race, which is largely dominated by Trump and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.
→ Former U.S. Vice President Mike Pence has officially declared his candidacy for the 2024 Republican race for the presidency, setting up a competition against former President Donald Trump. Pence's campaign filed a declaration of candidacy with the Federal Election Commission, and he will launch his campaign with a video and speech in Iowa. This move pits Pence against Trump, whom he once supported but distanced himself from after Trump's actions following the 2020 election. Pence joins a growing field of Republican candidates, including Tim Scott, Nikki Haley, Doug Burgum, and Chris Christie. Some within the Republican Party worry that a large number of candidates could split the anti-Trump vote and give the nomination to Trump.
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→ Fox News has accused former prime-time anchor Tucker Carlson of violating his contract with the network by launching his own Twitter show. This breach of contract claim could potentially lead to legal action against Carlson, escalating the ongoing dispute between the two parties. Carlson's lawyers argue that any legal action by Fox would infringe upon his First Amendment rights. Previously ousted from Fox News due to a defamation settlement with Dominion Voting Systems, Carlson has accused Fox of fraud and claims that the network intentionally reneged on promises made to him. The network's general counsel sent a letter stating that Carlson is in breach of his contract, emphasizing exclusive services to Fox. Carlson's legal team objects to blocking his Twitter appearances, citing that Twitter is not a direct competitor to Fox News. As tensions rise, Carlson has been seeking support to negotiate his contract release, with Fox allegedly aiming to sideline him until 2025.
→ Apple unveiled its high-priced augmented-reality headset, the Vision Pro, at its annual developer conference, entering a market dominated by Meta. Priced at $3,499, more than three times the cost of Meta's most expensive headset, the Vision Pro boasts augmented reality features and partnerships in sports and entertainment. However, Wall Street's response was lackluster. While some see potential in the headset, including the ability to select content with eye movements and a unique exterior display, it may take years for the product to gain mainstream popularity. Apple's headset will be available in the U.S. early next year and in more countries in 2024.
→ A federal judge, Robert Hinkle, has issued a preliminary injunction blocking a new Florida law that bans gender-affirming medical care for transgender youth. The law, signed by Governor Ron DeSantis in May, prohibited treatments such as puberty blockers and hormone therapy for transgender adolescents. However, the judge ruled that the law violates the constitutional rights of the plaintiffs and prevents medically appropriate treatments widely accepted by the medical community. The injunction prevents the state from denying care to three plaintiffs and halts broader enforcement of the law. The decision is part of a broader national debate as more states pass similar bans.
→ The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) recently declared a "national state of emergency for LGBTQ+ people" due to what they perceive as an increase in anti-LGBTQ+ legislation across states. However, critics argue that this declaration is politically motivated and exaggerated. It's worth noting that the current period coincides with "pride month," a time when the LGBTQ+ community is widely celebrated, with increased acceptance and representation. Support for gay marriage and LGBTQ+ rights is at an all-time high. While there may be pushback against certain aspects of the movement, it doesn't indicate a danger or a desire to ostracize the community as a whole. Some argue that the HRC's declaration is misleading and unnecessarily raises tensions.
→ New York City Mayor Eric Adams has proposed a plan to pay homeowners to shelter migrants in their spare rooms as the city grapples with finding accommodations for the increasing number of asylum seekers. The plan, referred to as the "private residence" proposal, aims to compensate local homeowners for hosting asylum seekers. Adams revealed that religious leaders have agreed to house adult male migrants overnight at 50 places of worship in the city. While specifics about the compensation and implementation of the plan are yet to be disclosed, the mayor emphasized that it would be more cost-effective than placing migrants in shelter hotels. Some homeowners have criticized the proposal, expressing concerns about affordability and the lack of details. The city is currently housing asylum seekers in emergency sites across the five boroughs.
→ Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has confessed to organizing two controversial migrant flights from Texas to California. The State of Florida released video footage showing asylum seekers being recruited in El Paso and then transported to Sacramento via private planes. The migrants appeared to willingly sign legal waivers and expressed satisfaction with their treatment. DeSantis ordered the video's release amidst inquiries about the flights' origins and orchestrators. California Governor Gavin Newsom threatened DeSantis with criminal charges, accusing him of leaving migrants in front of a Sacramento church after promising them jobs. It was later revealed that the Florida Division of Emergency Management operated the flights. These actions by DeSantis come after his involvement in similar flights from San Antonio to Martha's Vineyard. While not a border state, DeSantis has actively engaged in the migrant crisis and deployed Florida law enforcement officers to the Texas border. However, officials in El Paso denied any involvement in the recent flights and urged respectful treatment of migrants.
→ China and Cuba have allegedly reached a secret agreement to establish an electronic eavesdropping facility on the island, raising concerns for the U.S. The facility, if built, would allow China to gather electronic communications from the southeastern U.S., including military bases and ship traffic. However, both the U.S. and Cuban governments have strongly denied the report. The Biden administration is alarmed by the potential threat posed by such an agreement. While the details of the location and construction remain unclear, the reported deal comes amid tensions between the U.S. and China over various issues. Senators Warner and Rubio expressed concern over the potential threat to national security. If realized, the facility would expand Beijing's spying capabilities and provide access to signals intelligence as far north as Washington.
→ The partial destruction of the Nova Kakhovka hydroelectric dam on the Dnipro River has led to a blame game between Moscow and Kyiv. The breach resulted in widespread flooding in the Kherson region, raising concerns about a potential humanitarian crisis. Ukrainian President Zelenskyy blamed "Russian terrorists" for the incident, while NATO chief Stoltenberg accused Russian forces of destroying the dam. However, the Kremlin spokesperson Peskov claimed that the breach was a deliberate act of sabotage by the Ukrainian side. The dam's destruction affects agricultural irrigation, the cooling of a nuclear power plant, and the region's residents. The situation further intensifies the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, with both sides making conflicting claims about military operations and territorial control.
→ Three months prior to the bombing of the Nord Stream natural gas pipeline, the Biden administration received information from a close ally revealing a planned covert attack on the pipeline by the Ukrainian military. The attack involved a small team of divers under the command of the Ukrainian armed forces commander-in-chief. The information, collected by a European intelligence service and shared with the CIA in June 2022, provides specific evidence linking Ukraine to the sabotage. The intelligence report was posted on Discord by an Air National Guard member and revealed details about the planned attack, including the number of operatives and methods. German investigators found similarities between the planned attack and the actual bombing in September. While there is no conclusive evidence of Russian involvement, some European officials privately suggest that Ukraine was behind the attack. The Ukrainian government has denied involvement, and the White House declined to comment on the matter.
→ Jamie Foxx's health scare following the COVID-19 vaccine has attracted attention and sparked speculation about potential blood clot complications. In April, the actor was reportedly hospitalized, experiencing partial paralysis and vision loss. However, recent updates from his daughter and sources close to him suggest a remarkable recovery and progress in his health. Despite media speculation, Foxx's family emphasizes that he has been out of the hospital for weeks and is recovering well. While some believe his condition is related to the vaccine, others dismiss these claims as unfounded. Conservative commentators hope that if the vaccine is indeed the cause, Foxx will use his platform to discourage its use. However, Foxx's family maintains privacy regarding his health information, leaving the public to await further updates on his recovery and response to these rumors.
→ Anna Sorokin, also known as Anna Delvey, is making use of her time on house arrest by starting a podcast called "The Anna Delvey Show." The main theme of her podcast is productive rule-breaking, as she aims to change her public image and distance herself from her reputation as a con artist and scammer. Having posed as a German heiress, Sorokin deceived banks and wealthy individuals, ultimately leading to her conviction for larceny and theft. After serving three years in prison, she was detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and later released to home confinement pending a deportation hearing. Now, Sorokin hopes that her podcast, featuring various expert and celebrity guests, will provide her with an opportunity to share her side of the story and regain control over her narrative.