During a virtual fundraiser that evening, Biden noted that he recently began receiving classified briefings again as the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee and suggested such meddling is underway. “We saw it in ‘16, we saw it in ‘18, and we’re seeing it now,” Biden told donors. “Russia, China, Iran and other foreign actors are working to interfere in our democracy and undermine our faith in our electoral process. We can't let that happen.”
President Trump has never thrown down the gauntlet this way. He has equivocated about whether he accepts the U.S. intelligence community’s consensus that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election. He said during his Helsinki summit with Putin in 2018 that he believes the Russian president's denials.
Trump has even expressed a willingness to benefit from foreign intervention. He told ABC News last year that he would not necessarily notify the FBI if a foreign country offered him dirt on an opponent. “I think I’d want to hear it,” Trump said.
Also on Monday afternoon, the Democratic leaders in the House and Senate, plus the party’s top members on the intelligence committees in each chamber, released a somewhat cryptic letter that they sent last week to FBI Director Chris Wray, with a classified appendix, asking for a full congressional briefing before the August recess. “We are gravely concerned, in particular, that Congress appears to be the target of a concerted foreign interference campaign, which seeks to launder and amplify disinformation in order to influence congressional activity, public debate, and the presidential election in November,” wrote Speaker Nancy Pelosi, House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senate Intelligence Vice Chairman Mark Warner.
Biden seems determined not to repeat the mistakes that he and many of his advisers apparently believe President Barack Obama made in 2016. Obama warned Putin privately to cut out what he was up to, and intelligence agencies released a statement calling out Russia that October, but the administration waited to impose penalties until after the election.
In an excellent new book, “Rigged: America, Russia, and One Hundred Years of Covert Electoral Interference,” David Shimer explores Putin’s effort to undermine former secretary of state Hillary Clinton and boost Trump in 2016. “Putin’s perception of Obama is critical,” Shimer argues. “Vladimir Lenin had a favorite saying: ‘Probe with a bayonet; if you meet steel, stop! If you meet mush, then push!’ Putin aimed to push as far as he could without provoking much pushback. And in Obama, he saw a leader elected to wind down wars, not start them, wary of stumbling into great-power conflict, and largely dismissive of Russia.”
Shimer quotes alumni of the Obama administration lamenting their former boss’s relative cautiousness, particularly the consequences of his failure to strike Syria after the regime used chemical weapons against civilians. He argues that this prompted Putin to charge forward “with his digital bayonet.”
“This was a cautious administration in general,” retired Army Gen. David Petraeus, who led the CIA in 2011 and 2012, told the author. “It was an administration that had a redline that was crossed, and they didn’t act, that said Bashar al-Assad must go, but then did nothing really to make him go, that repeatedly issued ringing rhetorical statements and policies and did not always back them up.”
Leon Panetta, who served as Obama’s first CIA director and then secretary of defense, added: “I think Putin read it as weakness, and read it as an opportunity to be able to not only do Crimea, but to go into Syria without having anyone stop him from doing that, and thirdly then going after our election institutions as well. I think he felt that he would be able to do it and get away with it.”
Michael Morell, who twice served as acting CIA director under Obama, told the author that the then-president’s relative restraint when Putin annexed Crimea – he declined requests to send lethal arms to the Ukrainians to avoid escalation – emboldened the Russians to play in the 2016 U.S. election. “I bet you any amount of money that was part of his calculation, whereas if the United States had pushed back harder on Crimea and on eastern Ukraine, then this might never have happened,” Morell told Shimer. (Obama declined to be interviewed for the book.)
In his Monday statement, Biden said he would “prefer to focus” his energies on “bringing the international community together” to combat the novel coronavirus pandemic and the economic pain it has caused, but he promised to use the full force of the federal government if he wins to make foreign aggressors pay. He said he would enlist the Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, the Department of State and the FBI’s Foreign Influence Task Force. “There's not much I can do about it now except talk about it, and expose it, but it is a serious concern,” Biden explained at the fundraiser.
Trump has refused to retaliate against the Kremlin amid intelligence that the Russians offered bounties for the killing of U.S. troops in Afghanistan, claiming that he was never briefed and then saying there was not enough solid information to act. He has repeatedly cast doubt upon the value of NATO, berating Western European allies and announcing plans to withdraw thousands of U.S. troops from Germany. Trump also retreated from strategically valuable positions in Syria, allowing Russian forces to seize what had been American encampments. Trump has delivered a series of other geopolitical gifts to Putin during his three-and-a-half years in power.
“In spite of President Trump’s failure to act,” Biden wrote in his statement, “America’s adversaries must not misjudge the resolve of the American people to counter every effort by a foreign power to interfere in our democracy, whether by hacking voting systems and databases, laundering money into our political system, systematically spreading disinformation, or trying to sow doubt about the integrity of our elections.”
A Yale-educated historian now earning his doctorate at Oxford as a Marshall Scholar, Shimer’s 384-page book chronicles a century of Russian election interference operations going back to 1919, as well as CIA operations in Italy, Chile and elsewhere during the Cold War. Using declassified archives, Shimer documents KGB efforts to undermine Ronald Reagan during his 1976 primary challenge against President Gerald Ford, who was under fire from the right for pursuing detente.
The Soviets were also determined that year to undermine then-Washington Sen. Henry “Scoop” Jackson’s bid for the Democratic presidential nomination because of his hawkish views. Russian operatives searched unsuccessfully for dirt on him and then forged documents in a bid to falsely frame Jackson as a closeted homosexual as part of what was code-named Operation Vice, according to Shimer. Russians mailed copies of the phony documents to newspapers like the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times, as well as senators like Frank Church (D-Idaho) and Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.), but no one did anything with them.
In the pre-Internet era, and before the launch of pro-Trump cable networks like One America News, the mainstream media’s filter successfully prevented the Russian disinformation campaign from catching on. As Shimer explains, there was a gap between the intent of Soviet leaders and their actual capabilities. The digital era made such operations vastly easier for the Russians.
Shimer writes that previous presidential candidates, including Adlai Stevenson and Hubert Humphrey, rejected overtures from Russian ambassadors to support their campaigns during the Cold War, which kept the Kremlin from wading in more deeply than it otherwise might have into domestic politics.
In contrast, former Trump national security adviser John Bolton alleges in his memoir that Trump privately asked Chinese leader Xi Jinping last year to help him win reelection, which the president has denied. Trump was impeached by the House in December for allegedly abusing his power by pushing Ukraine’s president to announce an investigation of Biden in exchange for military assistance and a coveted White House meeting, but the Republican-controlled Senate voted to acquit him. During the summer of 2016, Trump publicly called on Russia to find emails on Clinton’s server. He later claimed he was joking.
In June, a Ukrainian lawmaker who was once affiliated with a pro-Russian political party and has met with Trump’s private lawyer Rudy Giuliani released 10 edited snippets of what appeared to be Biden’s official vice presidential phone calls in 2016 with Petro Poroshenko, then the president of Ukraine. It was the second cache of recordings the lawmaker, who studied under the KGB in Moscow in the early 1990s, has released since May. The authenticity cannot be verified.
In February, Trump decided not to nominate Joseph Maguire as director of national intelligence after an official on his staff told lawmakers during a classified briefing that the Russians want to see the president reelected.
Last week, security officials in the United States, Britain and Canada jointly warned that hackers linked to a Russian intelligence service are trying to steal information from researchers working to produce coronavirus vaccines. The unit is one of the two Russian spy groups that penetrated the Democratic Party's computers in 2016.
Biden adviser Tony Blinken, who was Obama’s deputy secretary of state in 2016 and previously served as Biden’s staff director when he chaired the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told Shimer for his book that “clearly” the Obama administration did not “do enough in terms of punishment” for Russian interference during 2016.
Former national security adviser Susan Rice, who was also deeply involved in deliberations over how and when to respond to Russian interference in 2016, is now being vetted by Biden as a potential running mate.
In an interview Monday night on the debut episode of Joy Reid’s new MSNBC show, Biden declined to commit to picking an African American woman as his No. 2 but suggested that four of them remain under consideration. Sources with knowledge of the situation have told Sean Sullivan that the black women being vetted include Rice, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Rep. Val Demings (D-Fla.), Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.). Failed Georgia gubernatorial nominee Stacey Abrams has aggressively campaigned for the job, but insiders say her stock fell as the search progressed.
Biden said on MSNBC that the detailed vetting “is just being finished,” and lawyers are presenting him with two-hour briefings on each of the women under consideration. “We’ve gone through about four candidates so far,” he said, adding that he will “narrow the list” and then have “personal discussions with each of the candidates who are left and make a decision.”
During the interview, Biden made sure to reiterate his call for Russia not to mess with the election. “Putin knows I mean what I say,” he said.
E.U. leaders agreed this morning to an $859 billion coronavirus plan.
After 90 hours of negotiations over four days in Brussels, the 27 members of the bloc transcended deep-seated divisions to agree to a compromise to rescue the economies of coronavirus-ravaged countries. “The main disagreement between the leaders of a handful of self-dubbed ‘frugal’ countries — the Netherlands, Sweden, Austria, Denmark and Finland — and their peers was about how much money to ship to hard-hit countries such as Italy and Spain and how much oversight donor countries ought to have over how the funds are spent,” Michael Birnbaum, Quentin Ariès and Loveday Morris report. “To appease them, the portion of grants in the deal was trimmed to $358 billion and the objectors were granted billions more in rebates from their contribution to the shared E.U. budget. … In a win for Hungary and Poland, stipulations that tied access to funds to upholding the rule of law were rolled back in the final draft. Both countries have been censured by Brussels as their leaders have moved against their political opponents and stripped the independence of the judiciary.”
The GOP's relief proposal will probably include payroll tax cuts and tie school money to reopening plans.
“Some of these provisions are already sparking pushback from key Senate Republicans, and an even bigger showdown with Democrats appears inevitable,” Erica Werner, Jeff Stein, Robert Costa and Seung Min Kim report. “That clash could come Tuesday, when Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows are set to meet with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) for the first bipartisan talks on what will almost certainly be the last major coronavirus relief bill before the November elections. Mnuchin and Meadows will also meet with Senate Republicans on Tuesday as they seek to quell any discontent. … Mnuchin said Monday that the White House wants the bill to amount to roughly $1 trillion in new programs, though officials are expected to use budget gimmicks to make the initial package slightly larger. Still, Democrats were looking for a much bigger bill. Their opening offer is a $3 trillion package they passed in May that would extend unemployment benefits, include new stimulus checks, and help cities and states, among other things.”
- Follow the money: A bipartisan group of lawmakers called for scrutiny of a $700 million Treasury Department "loan" to the trucking company YRC Worldwide. “In its latest report, the Covid-19 Congressional Oversight Commission expressed concern that taxpayers were likely to lose money on the loan, noting concerns about YRC’s financial viability,” Jeff Stein and Erica Werner report.
- Reps. Joe Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Michael Burgess (R-Tex.), members of the House subcommittee that will question officials from vaccine makers Pfizer, Merck, Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca and Moderna today, hold shares in at least one of those companies. Kennedy, running for Senate, owns as much as $1.7 million of stock in three of them. (STAT)
- American lab giant Quest Diagnostics warned that it will be impossible to increase covid-19 testing capacity to cope with demand this fall due to the flu season. (Financial Times)
“A University of Oxford group and the British-Swedish pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca reported Monday that their coronavirus vaccine candidate, on which the U.S. and European governments have placed substantial bets, was shown in early-stage human trials to be safe and to stimulate a strong immune response,” William Booth and Carolyn Johnson report. “The study, published in the British medical journal the Lancet and involving 1,077 volunteers, was described as promising. A second report in the same publication on a Chinese vaccine showed what researchers not involved in the study described as modest positive results. … Large-scale, real-world trials of the Oxford vaccine — named ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 — are underway in Britain, Brazil and South Africa. The United States plans to test it later this summer, along with a handful of other candidates, in clinical trials, each with about 30,000 volunteers.”
Hundreds are camping out in Oklahoma’s unemployment lines.
“John Jolley never thought he'd be sleeping in his car awaiting unemployment benefits. But there he was, the owner of a once-successful advertising agency, taking a sweaty nap in a Subaru wagon in a convention center parking lot at 1:45 a.m. on a Wednesday. The pandemic sent his business into a free fall, and now Jolley wanted to be first in line for an unemployment claims event beginning in five hours. He barely dozed, afraid that if he fell into a deep sleep, he would miss the early-morning handout of tickets for appointments with state agents. There would be just 400 tickets handed out for that day’s event. When those ran out, there would be 400 more for appointments the following day,” Annie Gowen reports. “In Oklahoma, one of the poorest states, unemployment — which reached a record 14.7 percent in April — has pushed many to the point of desperation, with savings depleted, cars repossessed and homes sold for cash. Even though the unemployment rate dropped to 6.6 percent in June, the backlog has created unprecedented delays. Oklahoma had approved 235,000 of about 590,000 filed claims by June 21 — a total $2.4 billion payout, far more than in previous years. About 6,000 state claims are pending.
“The Oklahoma Employment Security Commission staff has tried to combat the delays by holding mega-processing events at large arenas in Oklahoma City and Tulsa this month, with masks and social distancing required. So far, they’ve managed to help 6,200 people. … Shelley Zumwalt, the interim director of Oklahoma’s unemployment agency, said the state’s system uses a mainframe computer from 1978 that was quickly overwhelmed by the volume of claims.”
Arizona has become ground zero for the human and economic carnage of reopening too soon.
“Like Florida, Texas and others that opened early, Arizona now ranks as one of the country’s worst coronavirus hot spots, with more than 143,000 cases and more than 2,700 deaths as of this weekend. Some residents in cities such as Phoenix and Scottsdale say the surge is the result of the state’s return to old routines, after Republican Gov. Doug Ducey lifted his stay-at-home order in May in part to give the local economy a boost,” Tony Romm reports. “Nearly 1 million Arizonans … are set to lose extra money in unemployment assistance after this week, leaving them with benefits that are much lower than most other states.”
The pandemic orphaned three children who are now struggling to cope with grief and bills.
“The family had come to the United States eight years earlier after escaping Iraq, a country that had grown increasingly dangerous for Chaldean Catholics like them,” John Woodrow Cox reports. Their parents, Nada, 46, and Nameer, 52, passed away from the virus after being in the hospital for over a month, 20 days apart. Now, the two oldest children, Nash and Nadeen, have had to push their grief aside to focus on keeping their family afloat. “[Nash] opened his first bank account, then applied for unemployment and tried to figure out whether Nadeen might be eligible, too. He decided to use the donations to pay off the house, ensuring that he and his siblings would always have a place to live. … Like Nash, Nadeen struggled at first, burning a pot of red rice she tried to cook and bleaching her brother’s clothes in the wash. She wanted to help, though, and intended to get her driver’s license and keep pursuing her college degree. She’d heard physical therapists made good money, and that was important because, along with Nash, she’d agreed to serve as [their little] sister’s guardian."
Trump will bring back coronavirus briefings in an attempt to revive his reelection campaign.
“As the number of infected Americans surges and as Trump’s coronavirus-related approval ratings plummet, the president is pledging to ‘get involved’ in the daily messaging campaign in a more direct way by returning to the stage where he headlined controversial news conferences in March and April,” Toluse Olorunnipa and Josh Dawsey report. “‘I think it’s a great way to get information out to the public as to where we are with the vaccines, with the therapeutics, and, generally speaking, where we are,’ Trump told reporters Monday. ‘I’ll do it at 5 o’clock, like we were doing. We had a good slot. And a lot of people were watching.’ … While some Republicans criticized the briefings in March and April as unfocused and unhelpful, others welcomed the news Monday that the president would be publicly returning his attention to the pandemic, which now sits atop the list of issues most pressing to voters.”
- In a dark portent for U.S. movie theaters, Warner Bros. postponed the domestic release of the Christopher Nolan movie “Tenet.” With cases surging in the U.S., no major new films are likely to be released in the country until at least September. (Steven Zeitchik)
- Canadian truckers say they’re scared to enter the United States. “I just don’t trust them,” said Dan Carson, an Ontario truck driver who has stopped making regular runs across the Windsor-Detroit border. Americans don’t seem to be taking the coronavirus crisis seriously, he said. (Antonia Farzan)
- Spain’s infection rate has tripled since restrictions were lifted at the end of June. Many of the new clusters have been linked to nightlife. (Farzan)
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) stands alone on masks.
“He is wielding a lawsuit and request for an injunction barring the city’s Democratic mayor and contender for the vice presidential nomination, Keisha Lance Bottoms, from enforcing her ordinance [requiring people to wear masks] or speaking to the media about her authority to do so,” Isaac Stanley-Becker and Griff Witte report. “Kemp, dogged by claims of voter suppression in the 2018 election that he refereed as Georgia’s secretary of state, has … eschewed expert consensus, frequently casting his response to the pandemic in ideological terms … ‘The governor has done many things as of late and said many things as of late that, quite frankly, are simply bizarre,’ Bottoms said Sunday on CBS’s ‘Face the Nation.’”
- The Florida Education Association – Florida’s largest teachers union – sued top state officials over an order mandating the return to in-person classes. The suit asks a judge to stop Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) and Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran from requiring the return of in-person schooling without first reducing class sizes and ensuring that educators have adequate protective supplies. (Matt Zapotosky)
- Missouri Gov. Mike Parson (R) said he accepts that the virus will spread among children when they return to school in the fall, signaling that he would be open to reopening schools even if it leads to children getting infected. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
The Maryland suburbs and Baltimore want to roll back reopenings as case counts climb.
“The top health officers in Maryland’s most populous jurisdictions asked the state on Monday to reconsider what activities to permit amid the coronavirus pandemic, citing a recent jump in new cases across the state,” Ovetta Wiggins, Rachel Chason and Rebecca Tan report. “A spokesman for Gov. Larry Hogan (R), Mike Ricci, said in a statement that the state looks ‘closely at the data every day with public health experts’ and will continue to emphasize caution. Health experts have told The Post, however, that Maryland should close bars and reimpose other restrictions if the state wants to contain the virus and get children back into classrooms this fall." Hogan defended his decision to hold a traditional election in November, despite concerns from voting rights advocates and elections officials, per Wiggins.
Tony Fauci will throw the ceremonial first pitch at the Nationals’ home opener.
“Dr. Fauci has been a true champion for our country during the Covid-19 pandemic and throughout his distinguished career, so it is only fitting that we honor him as we kick off the 2020 season and defend our World Series Championship title,” the Nationals said in a statement. Thursday’s game is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. and will be televised on ESPN. (Scott Allen)
- The NFL agreed to eliminate its preseason and reached a deal with its union on testing. The agreements increased the likelihood that all teams’ camps will open fully by July 28 as scheduled. (Mark Maske)
- The NBA said that none of the nearly 350 professional basketball players tested for the virus at the league’s Disney World campus tested positive. (Teo Armus)
The president’s former lawyer alleges that Trump made “virulent” racist and anti-Semitic comments.
The book manuscript being drafted by Trump's ex-lawyer Michael Cohen alleges that Trump has made racist comments about Barack Obama and the late South African leader Nelson Mandela, according to a new court filing that contends he was sent back to prison this month as retaliation. “The filings from Cohen’s attorneys seek his immediate release from federal custody following his rearrest July 9, less than two months after he was allowed to serve the remainder of his sentence on home confinement because of the coronavirus pandemic,” Shayna Jacobs reports. “His lawsuit alleges that Cohen’s First Amendment rights were violated when he was detained at the federal courthouse in Manhattan during a meeting with probation officers, who had asked him to sign a gag order prohibiting him from speaking to the media or publishing a book while serving the rest of his sentence. …
“Authorities have said Cohen was taken back into custody because he refused to wear an ankle monitor, a claim his legal team disputes. Cohen’s lawyers also contend he did not refuse to acknowledge the media policy authorities presented him before his arrest, but rather that he expressed concerns and asked for an amendment.”
Trump threatened to deploy federal agents to Chicago and other cities led by Democrats.
“Homeland Security officials said Monday they are making preparations to deploy federal agents to Chicago, while Trump threatened to send U.S. law enforcement personnel to other Democratic-led cities experiencing spates of crime,” Nick Miroff and Mark Berman report. “Trump made the pronouncement as he defended his administration’s use of force in Portland, Ore., where agents have clashed nightly with protesters and made arrests from unmarked cars. Calling the unrest there ‘worse than Afghanistan,’ Trump’s rhetoric escalated tensions with Democratic mayors and governors who have criticized the presence of federal agents on U.S. streets … ‘We’re looking at Chicago, too. We’re looking at New York,’ he said. ‘All run by very liberal Democrats. All run, really, by the radical left.’ … Three Department of Homeland Security officials said Monday that the agency has been making preparations to deploy agents from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to Chicago, but the officials said operational details are not yet finalized. … The Chicago Tribune first reported on the plans Monday, saying up to 150 agents would be involved …
“In Portland, [federal agents] remain to defend the Mark O. Hatfield courthouse and other nearby federal buildings that protesters have treated as a proxy for the Trump administration. In response to the president calling Portland protesters anarchists and insinuating that local officials were afraid of them, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown said, ‘this is a democracy, not a dictatorship. We cannot have secret police abducting people in unmarked vehicles. I can’t believe I have to say that to the President of the United States.’”
- DHS authorized personnel to collect information on protesters it says threaten monuments, regardless of whether they are on federal property. (Shane Harris)
- The White House is pushing Rich Higgins, a conspiracy theorist fired from the National Security Council, to be hired for a top Pentagon position. (CNN)
Quote of the day
“I don't need invitations by the state, state mayors, or state governors to do our job. We're going to do that, whether they like us there or not,” acting secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf said in an interview with Fox News.
Most Americans reject defunding police departments and removing Confederate statues.
“A majority of Americans support the Black Lives Matter movement and a record 69 percent say black people and other minorities are not treated as equal to white people in the criminal justice system. But the public generally opposes calls to shift some police funding to social services or remove statues of Confederate generals or presidents who enslaved people, a Washington Post-ABC News poll finds,” Emily Guskin and Scott Clement report. “The share of Americans saying that black people and other minorities do not receive equal treatment in the criminal justice system has risen by 15 percentage points from 2014 — and this year marks the first time a majority of whites has held this view. …
“On the issue of police funding, for example, 55 percent of Americans oppose moving funds from police departments to social services — and 43 percent say they oppose it ‘strongly.’ … There’s even wider opposition to the government paying black Americans whose ancestors were enslaved, with 63 percent saying the government should not pay reparations. Currently, 31 percent favor reparations, up from 19 percent in a 1999 ABC News poll. … The new poll finds that 52 percent of Americans oppose removing public statues honoring Confederate generals, while 43 percent support their removal.”
An “anti-feminist” lawyer has been identified as the suspect in the deadly shooting at a federal judge’s home. “U.S. District Judge Esther Salas was not harmed in the Sunday shooting, which the FBI, the U.S. Marshals Service and local authorities continue to investigate. The FBI and the U.S. attorney’s office in New Jersey identified the dead suspect as Roy Den Hollander,” Tim Elfrink and Devlin Barrett report. “Law enforcement officials said his body was found in Sullivan County, N.Y., about a two-hour drive from the scene of the shooting. The lawyer appeared to have died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, one official said. … He also had a years-long case before Salas in which he was contesting the government’s refusal to allow women to register for the military draft.” Hollander left behind a pro-Trump paper trail and said he volunteered for the campaign, the Atlantic reports. The Trump campaign didn’t respond to a question about the nature of his volunteer work, or whether they had any record of his involvement, reports the Atlantic.
Minnesota passed police accountability measures. “The Minnesota legislature overwhelmingly approved wide-ranging police accountability measures late Monday night, including a ban on chokeholds and neck restraints, almost two months after George Floyd’s death,” Timothy Bella reports. “The deal struck in the legislature — which also prohibits warrior-style training for officers, increases data collection surrounding deadly police-involved incidents and requires officers to intervene among other measures — represents one of the most significant changes in the history of Minnesota’s criminal justice system, backers said. … The House bill, which was authored by members of the People of Color and Indigenous Caucus, also creates a new state unit to investigate deadly police-related incidents.”
The St. Louis couple who aimed their guns at Black Lives Matter protesters was charged. Lawyers Mark McCloskey, 61, and Patricia McCloskey, 63, were each charged with one felony count of unlawful use of a weapon. St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner did not order the couple to surrender or be arrested. Instead, as part of Gardner’s reformist approach to reducing incarceration for low-level crimes, she issued summonses and said she would consider them for a diversion program. (Tom Jackman)
More on 2020
Georgia state senator and state party chairwoman Nikema Williams will replace John Lewis on the November ballot.
“The state Democratic Party’s executive committee, which consists of 44 members, selected Williams after a high-profile panel of Georgia Democrats had narrowed the list of applicants to five,” John Wagner and Felicia Sonmez report. “Williams, 41, was first elected to the Georgia State Senate in 2017, and two years later, she became the first black woman to chair the Georgia Democratic Party. ... In remarks to the executive committee, Williams said she was grieving for Lewis, whom she called ‘a personal hero, friend and mentor.’”
Biden will unveil a plan today for universal preschool, child care and elder care.
“The proposal, which would cost $775 billion over 10 years, would provide universal preschool to 3-and 4-year-old children, fund the construction of new child-care facilities, and offer tax credits and grants to help pay for care positions for the young and the elderly, according to his campaign. It would be funded by rolling back some real estate taxes and by ‘taking steps to increase tax compliance for high-income earners,’ according to the Biden campaign,” Annie Linskey and Matt Viser report. “Biden’s plan would also fund 150,000 community health-care workers, with many targeted to work in low-income and racially diverse areas. It would create a $8,000 tax credit to help low-income families pay for child care. And it would add funding for community colleges so they can provide child care for students.”
The sheriff of Jacksonville, Fla., said he can’t provide security for next month’s Republican convention.
Duval County Sheriff Mike Williams said that, because there’s a lack of clear plans, adequate funding and police officers, “we are still not close to having some kind of plan that we can work with that makes me comfortable that we're going to keep that event and the community safe.” “It’s not my event to plan, but I can just tell you that what has been proposed in my opinion is not achievable right now ... from a law enforcement standpoint, from a security standpoint,” he said. (Politico)
Ruth Bader Ginsburg reflected on her time at Harvard Law, which she shared with only nine other women.
“It’s an unconscious bias. It’s the expectation. You have a lowered expectation when you hear a woman speaking, I think that still goes on,” the justice said when Slate asked her about what difficulties she experienced at Harvard she still sees today. “That instinctively when a man speaks, he will be listened to, where people will not expect the woman to say anything of value. But all of the women in my generation have had, time and again, that experience where you say something at a meeting, and nobody makes anything of it. And maybe half an hour later, a man makes the identical point, and people react to it and say, ‘Good idea.’ That, I think, is a problem that persists.” Slate collected the stories of Ginsburg’s nine classmates and compiled them into a story and a two-part podcast.
A nonprofit run by pro-Trump activist Charlie Kirk has made questionable financial claims – and insiders are cashing in.
Turning Point USA, a tax-exempt charity favored by the Trumps, has seen its revenue reach $28 million – an increase of sevenfold in four years, ProPublica reports. “But behind the scenes, Turning Point USA has entered into questionable financial arrangements, particularly involving Kirk’s mentor, William Montgomery, the lesser-known co-founder who is credited with discovering Kirk. Montgomery, 80, an Illinois entrepreneur and onetime Tea Party activist, is one of three Turning Point insiders who have won lucrative deals from the group to handle its printing, payroll processing and fundraising. … Charities are required to conduct annual independent audits certifying their books are sound in order to fundraise in more than a dozen states. But the accounting firm Turning Point uses has engaged in multiple business relationships with Montgomery … The IRS requires, under the penalty of perjury, that charities attest whether they received an independent audit. Both Kirk and the co-founder have signed off on Turning Point’s filings.”
Social media speed read
Trump tweeted a picture of himself wearing a face mask:
Several players for the San Francisco Giants knelt during the national anthem to show respect for the Black Lives Matter movement. When a fan complained, Major League Baseball defended sharing the video:
Time magazine honored John Lewis:
Videos of the day
Seth Meyers reviewed Trump’s interview on “Fox News Sunday”:
Stephen Colbert remembered John Lewis: