10 Things in Politics: Trump sees legal danger ahead
Good morning! Welcome back to 10 Things in Politics. Sign up here to get this newsletter in your inbox each day. Send your tips and suggestions to [email protected] or tweet me @BrentGriffiths.
Here’s what you need to know:
- Trump and his advisors think he still faces major legal problems
- DOJ probing Rep. Matt Gaetz over allegations he paid women for sex
- A supervisor said Derek Chauvin should have stopped restraining George Floyd
1. THEY MAY STILL SEE HIM IN COURT: Former President Donald Trump doesn’t think he’s out of the woods yet. His advisors tell him that’s he’s unlikely to face legal repercussions over the deadly Capitol Riot, but they are increasingly worried about prosecutors in New York and Georgia.
Insider dove into Trump’s legal exposure: Top advisors see the two separate probes as “politicized,” but they also see the investigations escalating. As the only twice impeached president, Trump increasingly runs the risk of becoming the only sitting or former president to be indicted.
- One major concern is the Clarence Darrows of the world aren’t on speed dial: “It’s a reality that the traditional rock-star lawyers you would see in a high-stakes matter involving a president or former president … he doesn’t really have access to those people anymore,” a former Trump administration official told Insider.
A reminder of what Trump’s facing:
- In New York, prosecutors are probing the Trump Organization’s finances: Favorable court rulings have given them access to Trump’s tax returns and other financial records. Investigators have also received boxes of evidence from the former daughter-in-law of a top official.
- In Georgia, a newly elected DA is investigating Trump’s efforts to overturn the election: Trump’s call pressuring Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to “find 11,780” remains at the center of his efforts to pressure state officials after narrowly losing its 16 electoral votes.
For more on Trump’s legal fears — and details about his “walk-on” legal team — read our exclusive report here.
2. Lawmakers are gearing up for the fight over Biden’s infrastructure plan: White House chief of staff Ron Klain said Biden is prepared to move forward without GOP support for his $2 trillion infrastructure plan if it comes to it. His comments came as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Republicans wouldn’t support it and a top Republican congressman called the proposal “the biggest economic blunder of our lifetime.”
Here’s what Biden’s plan means for you.
3. DOJ probing Rep. Matt Gaetz over allegations he paid women for sex: The Justice Department is investigating money the Florida congressman and a political ally paid directly to women via apps, The New York Times reports. Gaetz denies ever paying for sex, but The Times reviewed receipts for payments that the women reportedly said were for sex. The congressman also reportedly used ecstasy prior to the encounters. More on the latest here.
- Separately, Gaetz reportedly showed nude photos to fellow lawmakers on the House floor: CNN reports that Gaetz gained a reputation in Congress for bragging about his sexual escapades. Gaetz’s conduct, the network reports, included showing photos and videos of nude women to his colleagues. There is no indication that this is connected to the DOJ investigation.
4. It’s not just Georgia. These states are the new fronts for voting rights battles: Florida, Michigan, and Texas, all battleground states in 2020, have Republican lawmakers undertaking unprecedented efforts to limit mail voting. New figures from the Brennan Center for Justice as of March 24 show that lawmakers in 47 states have introduced a total of 351 measures that would restrict voting. More on the nationwide efforts to make it harder to vote.
5. A supervisor said Derek Chauvin should have stopped restraining George Floyd: Minneapolis Police Sgt. David Pleoger, who worked as Chauvin’s supervisor, testified that he viewed the body camera footage and believed Chauvin could have stopped his use of force on Floyd when he was handcuffed and on the ground. A paramedic also testified that Chauvin was on top of Floyd even when he was unresponsive. More key moments from day four.
- Floyd’s girlfriend wept as she recounted their relationship: Courteney Ross and George Floyd dated until the day he died. Ross told the court they both struggled with opioid abuse and tried to overcome addiction together. Ross also said Floyd was a “mama’s boy,” and that he loved his daughters.
6. Washington moves of the week: Republican lawmakers added to their teams and a former Harris aide is moving to a lobbying firm. Here are some of the other biggest moves this week.
Hunter Lovell, who worked for Sen. Bill Cassidy, became Louisiana Republican Rep. Steve Scalise’s new press secretary; Kiera O’Brien will be joining Republican Alaska Sen. Dan Sullivan’s office; and Patrick Bond will join the office of Sen. Angus King, an independent of Maine.
Outside of Capitol Hill, Yasmin Rigney Nelson, a former senior advisor to then-Sen. Kamala Harris, will become a partner at the lobbying firm Bracewell LLP. Former Trump White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany will be co-anchor of Fox News daytime show “Outnumbered.”
Read the rest of our exclusive list of DC hirings.
7. The top things for your calendar, all times Eastern:
- 8:30 a.m.: The Labor Department releases March’s jobs report
- 11:00 a.m.: Dr. Anthony Fauci and other members of the White House’s pandemic team hold a news briefing
- 10:15 a.m.: Chauvin trial resumes
- 12:30 p.m.: Jen Psaki holds the White House’s daily news briefing
8. Here’s what to expect from today’s jobs report: “After months of either meager gains or unexpected losses, March is poised to be a turning point for the US labor market’s recovery … March had warmer weather, and a faster rate of vaccinations led some states to partially reopen for the first time since the winter’s dire surge in cases.” The consensus is to expect the strongest gains in months.
9. People flocked to Florida and Texas for a lower cost of living during the pandemic. They were shocked by the cost of healthcare: “As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, healthcare enrollment experts are encountering people laid off from their entertainment jobs in New York and California looking for a cheaper state to live in. They are then hit with the healthcare sticker shock in their new homes.”
Find out what’s happening in red states that haven’t expanded Medicaid in our exclusive report.
10. The peeps behind Peeps: Just Born makes 2 billion Peeps a year in their Bethlehem, Pennsylvania factory. We’re in peak Peeps season, so Insider took a look at how they churn out 5.5 million edible chicks and bunnies a day at their facility. In fact, it takes just six minutes to create the iconic treat.
One last thing.
Today’s trivia question: On this day in 1917, who was the House lawmaker that finally took her seat in Congress as the first woman elected to the chamber after her colleagues spent a month debating whether to admit her? Email your guess and a suggested question to me at [email protected]
- Yesterday’s answer: William Howard Taft was the first sitting president to throw out a ceremonial first pitch. He hurled a bouncer to Walter Johnson before a Washington Nationals game on Opening Day. (The current Washington Nationals had to delay their first game due to COVID-19 cases.)
That’s all for now. Have a great weekend!
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