It’s a bad day for former President DONALD TRUMP.
FIRST, THERE’S THIS BOMBSHELL— “Trump Organization and CFO Allen Weisselberg Expected to Be Charged Thursday,” by WSJ’s Corinne Ramey: “The Manhattan district attorney’s office is expected to charge the Trump Organization and its chief financial officer with tax-related crimes on Thursday, people familiar with the matter said, which would mark the first criminal charges against the former president’s company since prosecutors began investigating it three years ago.
“Mr. Trump himself isn’t expected to be charged, his lawyer said. [ALLEN] WEISSELBERG has rejected prosecutors’ attempts at gaining his cooperation, according to people familiar with the matter. The defendants are expected to appear in court on Thursday afternoon, the people said. The Trump Organization and Mr. Weisselberg are expected to face charges related to allegedly evading taxes on fringe benefits, the people said. … If prosecutors could show the Trump Organization and its executives systematically avoided paying taxes, they could file more serious charges alleging a scheme, lawyers said.” Brookings legal experts, including former House impeachment lawyer NORM EISEN, just released a new report about the ex-president’s liability on these issues.
MEANWHILE … C-SPAN released its fourth historians survey of presidential leadership and found that Trump ranked fourth to last in terms of best national leaders. He leads presidents FRANKLIN PIERCE, JAMES BUCHANAN and ANDREW JOHNSON, who was also impeached. (Cue the “low-ratings C-SPAN” statement from Trump.)
Topping the list is ABRAHAM LINCOLN. BARACK OBAMA gets 10th place and GEORGE W. BUSH gets 29th. More from Maeve Sheehey
SELECT COMMITTEE VOTE LOOMS LARGE OVER TRUMP’S GOP SKEPTICS — House Republicans still angry with Trump for his behavior on Jan. 6 face a difficult vote around 2:30 p.m.: whether to support Speaker NANCY PELOSI’s move to name a select committee to probe the Capitol siege.
In 2014, seven Democrats joined Republicans to back the creation of the House GOP’s Benghazi committee, as our colleague Nicholas Wu notes.
Jan. 6 was an attack on American soil, yet it appears likely that fewer Republicans will cross party lines to support a select committee. At least two of the House Republicans who backed Trump’s second impeachment — JOHN KATKO (R-N.Y.) and ANTHONY GONZALEZ (R-Ohio) — say they won’t back this idea because panel members won’t have even representation.
Never mind that the House GOP’s last select committee similarly was weighted toward the majority.
This is not a good omen for the panel. If anything, it’s a sign that this is going to get extremely messy, extremely fast — which is just what Republicans want. The less credibility the select committee has, the more they can dismiss its findings as partisan, like they did with Trump’s first impeachment.
We’re not sure if you caught it Tuesday, but Pelosi suggested she would give herself veto authority over any members House Minority Leader KEVIN MCCARTHY selects to sit on the committee. This comes out of a fear from Democrats that they’ll name people like Rep. MARJORIE TAYLOR GREENE (R-Ga.) — or that they’ll name some of the more than 100 House Republicans who objected to the electoral college.
But Pelosi telling the minority who they can and cannot pick — if that’s how this turns out — would not be a good look for the kickoff of this committee.
WATCH — Some Republicans aren't happy about Pelosi's new Jan. 6 committee: On this episode of The Breakdown, Ryan discusses the purpose and mission of the select committee, who we can expect to see on the committee and how Republicans are responding. Ryan also breaks down the political implications that this committee could impose on Republicans, as this investigation may focus on members of their own party, including Trump.
Good Wednesday afternoon.
HEADS UP — Reuters’ @steveholland1: “Final ring of fencing around Lafayette Square – gone.” With pic
HOORAY BEER! — “The White House Is Marking COVID ‘Independence Day’ With Free Beer And Bill Pullman,” by NPR’s Tamara Keith: “America hasn't quite reached President Biden's July 4th vaccination goal, but the White House isn't letting that get in the way of a good party. Starting Saturday, Biden and other administration officials will fan out around the country to celebrate that hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19 are way down and life is getting back to normal.
“And even though not quite 70% of American adults got their first shot by the Independence Day milestone, Budweiser is officially unlocking its free beer giveaway, one of many incentives dangled to try to lure people to roll up their sleeves ahead of July 4. That news was announced by actor BILL PULLMAN, who reprised the epic presidential speech of in the 1996 blockbuster ‘Independence Day,’ a movie about an alien invasion.” The 2:12 ad
BUT THE GOP IS GOING ON OFFENSE ON RISING PRICES — The NRCC is up with new ads against 11 vulnerable Democrats, blaming the party for the rising cost of everything from burgers to gas. Spox MICHAEL MCADAMS tweets the reel.
STOCKPILE STATUS — “America’s pandemic stockpile struggles to ramp up,” by Erin Banco: “Supplies of critical medical products in the Strategic National Stockpile are still well below federal targets more than 18 months after the coronavirus first emerged in the United States, according to internal data obtained by POLITICO.”
FED FILES — “Fed Unity Cracks as Inflation Rises and Officials Debate Future,” by NYT’s Jeanna Smialek and Jim Tankersley: “Federal Reserve officials spoke with one voice throughout the pandemic downturn, promising that monetary policy would be set to full-stimulus mode until the crisis was well and truly behind America. Suddenly, they are less in sync.
“Central bankers are increasingly divided over how to think about and respond to emerging risks after months of rising asset values and faster-than-expected price increases. While their political counterparts in the White House have been more unified in maintaining that the recent jump in price gains will fade as the economy gets past a reopening burst, Washington as a whole is wrestling with how to approach policy at a moment of intense uncertainty.”
THE BIDEN ADMINISTRATION — “Inspector general overseeing federal housing agency resigns, months after watchdog report finds abuse of authority,” WaPo: “The inspector general overseeing the Federal Housing Finance Agency resigned Tuesday, two months after a scathing watchdog report alleged that she abused her authority, retaliated against employees and blocked an investigation into her conduct. …
“In a letter to staff on Tuesday, a copy of which was obtained by The Post, [LAURA] WERTHEIMER did not acknowledge the Integrity Committee’s report or its allegations. She wrote that ‘President Biden should have the opportunity to fill both the FHFA Director and IG positions with his own nominees’ and that she ‘had no intention of staying for seven years.’ Wertheimer will leave her post at the end of July.”
POLICE REFORM UPDATE — “Fraternal Order of Police lobs Congress a warning on police reform talks,” by Marianne LeVine
POLICY CORNER — “Virtual care becomes a common cause in a divided Congress,” by Ben Leonard: “A set of telemedicine policies the Trump administration adopted during lockdowns is emerging as an unexpected bipartisan rallying point as lawmakers begin to weigh life after Covid-19. The coverage policies are due to lapse once the health emergency ends, which could limit telehealth payments to rural providers and doctors with existing relationships with patients.
“Lawmakers are lining up to decide what Medicare will pay for after the pandemic is over, with sponsors of a leading Senate plan confident they have the votes to include it in a must-pass piece of legislation this year. Telehealth lobbyists so far have failed to get extensions into Covid relief packages, in part due to concern over how they could drive up health spending and potentially invite fraud.”
ALL THE WAY TO THE BANKS — “Joining Trump at border, GOP congressman eyes path to power,” by AP’s Brian Slodysko: “Whatever that future may hold, the 41-year-old [Rep. JIM] BANKS is working aggressively to play a prominent role in it. A politician with mountaintop ambition, he is rising in the ranks of the House Republicans — and in the estimation of the mercurial Trump.
“Banks’ [recent] overnight trip to Trump’s Bedminster resort punctuated a political journey from a county council seat in small-town northeast Indiana to prominence in Congress in little more than a decade. It also served as a testament to the conversion Banks underwent from Trump critic to unapologetic supporter. … On Wednesday, Banks was invited to join Trump for a tour of the U.S.-Mexico border in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley, where the former president was expected to rail against illegal immigration.”
BENDING BIDEN’S EAR — “The most influential think tank of the Biden era has a new leader,” by Sam Stein and Natasha Korecki: “PATRICK GASPARD, a longtime Democratic operative who served most recently as president of the GEORGE SOROS-run Open Society Foundations, will take over as president and CEO of the Center for American Progress.
“His hiring ends a monthslong process to find a replacement for NEERA TANDEN, who left the post to become a senior adviser to President Joe Biden. And it immediately makes the 53-year-old Haitian-American one of the most powerful players in progressive politics outside of elected office. … Recently, there have been organizational concerns over the composition of the president’s bipartisan infrastructure deal; particularly, the absence of investments in climate and care initiatives. And like other liberal institutions, CAP is adjusting to a political climate in which its domestic priorities are being stymied by institutional hurdles, chiefly the Senate filibuster.”
REDISTRICTING READ — “Democratic-Leaning Suburbs Pose Redistricting Challenge for GOP,” by WSJ’s Chad Day, Cameron McWhirter and Dante Chinni in Gwinnett County, Ga.: “State officials and lawmakers across the country are preparing to redraw congressional districts this fall based on new population totals from the 2020 census. Republicans, who have greater control over the process because they hold majorities in more states with partisan redistricting processes, are grappling with how to approach once-reliably conservative suburbs that have more recently swung toward Democrats. …
“The process is complicated by the fact that the last election, which typically offers clues to the direction of the electorate, took place under the unusual circumstances of a pandemic with former President Donald Trump, a polarizing figure, atop the ticket. Those redrawing the districts must decide whether the results were an aberration — despite losing the White House and control of the Senate, many Republicans were heartened by the narrowing of the Democratic majority in the House — or should guide maps for the next decade.”
AUDIT FEVER — “Trump-backers want to export the Arizona ‘audit’ across the country,” by Zach Montellaro: “A monthslong examination of all the ballots from the 2020 election in Arizona’s most populous county may be winding down soon. But now the state is spreading the “audit” playbook across the country. Supporters of former President Donald Trump … are behind a new push to review the results in states including Michigan, Georgia, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
“The new drive is worrying state election administrators, who say the efforts will further inflame conspiracy theories and erode faith in the American democratic system. The burden of these reviews could fall on the shoulders of state and local election officials, further complicating a field where many are worried about a brain drain due to exhaustion and threats workers faced in the aftermath of the 2020 election.”
SO MUCH FOR NO VAX PASSPORTS! — “Media and Tech Elite Will Have to Show Proof of Vaccination as They Head to Sun Valley,” by Vanity Fair’s Joe Pompeo: “The annual ‘summer camp for billionaires’ is back, but the likes of MARK ZUCKERBERG, SHERYL SANDBERG, and JEFF BEZOS are being told to show their COVID vaccination cards — and to leave the kids at home.”
SPOTTED at a reception hosted by Gloria Dittus and Cathy Merrill Williams at Dittus’ home Tuesday for this year's Washington Women in Journalism Awards honorees, Norah O’Donnell, Yamiche Alcindor, Susan Glasser and Karen Attiah: Karen Pierce, Peter Baker, Matt Shay, Katherine Lugar, Jane Adams and Julia Ioffe. Pic
SPOTTED at Niki Christoff’s inaugural event for Christoff & Co. with women in tech at The Line Hotel on Tuesday night: Virginia Boney, Danielle Burr, Anna Mason, Margaret Nagle, Tiffany Moore, Susan Hendrick, Heather West, Stephanie Gunter, Megan Capiak, Michelle Russo, Lauren Claffey Tomlinson, Megan Brown, Gail Levine and Juleanna Glover.
FIRST IN PLAYBOOK — Tim Lim is joining Fireside Campaigns as a senior adviser. He previously was a partner at Bully Pulpit Interactive, a member of the Biden campaign/transition’s national finance committees and a longtime Democratic strategist.
— Anne Harkavy and David Marsh have been named COS and deputy COS in the Office of the Director at the Office of Personnel Management. Harkavy most recently was the founding executive director of Democracy Forward Foundation and is a Biden-Harris transition alum. Marsh most recently was senior adviser to the COS at OPM and is also a Biden-Harris transition alum.
TRANSITIONS — Canaan McCaslin and Ashlee Jordan are joining the Georgetown Institute of Politics. McCaslin will be director of programming and previously was campaign manager for Rep. Kathy Castor’s (D-Fla.) reelect. Jordan will be assistant director of programming and previously was civic engagement program coordinator for the University of Chicago Institute of Politics. …
… Guy Hicks is retiring today as head of government relations at Airbus, after nearly 17 years at the company. Matthew Mazonkey will move up to succeed him. … April Kapu will be president of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners. She previously has been associate chief nursing officer for advanced practice nursing at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
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