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–> A midday take on what’s happening in politics and how to have a sense of humor about it.*
*Ha. Haha. Hahah. Sniff. Haha. Sniff. Ha–breaks down crying hysterically.
A lawyer casually asked this … by email?:
The Jan. 6 committee hearing revealed Thursday that former President Trump’s lawyer, John Eastman, who advised him on how to overturn the 2020 election, asked for a pardon in the days following Jan. 6, 2021.
How we know: Eastman literally emailed it.
Eastman wrote in an email to Rudy Giuliani: “I’ve decided I should be on the pardon list, if that is still in the works.”
^ You will probably keep hearing about this Eastman quote.
What we know about Eastman’s role: “Eastman sought to provide the legal justification for pressuring Pence into obstructing Congress’s certification of the 2020 presidential election results, despite privately acknowledging that such a plan would be rejected by the courts.” The full story
Axios’s Lachlan Markay tweeted the best reaction I’ve seen: If you watch HBO’s “Succession,” you’ll get it. The tweet
IT’S FRIDAY! I’m Cate Martel with a quick recap of the morning and what’s coming up. Did someone forward this newsletter to you? Sign up here.
PROGRAMMING NOTE: The 12:30 Report will not publish on Monday. We will be back on Tuesday. Enjoy your weekend, friends!
🔥 Jan. 6 hearings
The Justice Department is staring at a rock — and yup, there it is. There’s the hard place!:
Attorney General Merrick Garland is weighing whether to criminally charge former President Trump over his attempts to overturn the 2020 election.
On one hand: Garland is trying to fix the reputation of the Department of Justice (DOJ) as nonpolitical.
On the other hand: If Trump and his allies aren’t held accountable, it leaves the U.S. at risk of another coup attempt in the future — and leaves American democracy vulnerable.
How Watergate has impacted the decision: “The Watergate break-in during June 1972 set in motion Nixon’s ignominious resignation two years later and prompted a flurry of government ethics and transparency measures. Most relevant to the Jan. 6 probe, the Watergate scandal led to the reassertion of the norm against using the DOJ as a political instrument, in a direct response to interference by the Nixon White House.”
What we know about the potential for prosecution, via The Hill’s John Kruzel
➤ THIS IS PRETTY INTENSE:
Via Business Insider, “New photos show Mike Pence hiding in a secure location after he refused to evacuate the Capitol on Jan. 6 — and the moment he saw Trump’s video praising the rioters.” Photos of Pence in a bunker during the Capitol attack
Check out the front pages today: The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times and The Chicago Tribune all feature front-page headlines about former President Trump and Jan. 6. Screenshots from NBC’s Carl Quintanilla
➤FIVE TAKEAWAYS FROM THURSDAY’S HEARING:
📊 The economy
What do CEOs think about the possibility of the R-word?:
Via The Wall Street Journal’s Alex Harring and Chip Cutter, “Most top executives say they think a recession is looming or already here, according to a new survey, reflecting a rapid deterioration of the economic outlook among business leaders.”
Numbers from the survey: “More than 60% of CEOs expect a recession in their geographic region in the next 12 to 18 months, according to a survey of 750 CEOs and other C-suite executives released Friday by the Conference Board, a business research firm. An additional 15% think the region of the world where their company operates is already in a recession.”
Timing of this survey “The survey, which is based on data collected in May, was conducted before the Federal Reserve on Wednesday approved its largest interest-rate increase since 1994 and Fed officials said it was becoming more difficult to tame inflation while avoiding a recession.” The full WSJ story
➤ ‘FIVE WAYS THE FED’S INTEREST RATE HIKES WILL IMPACT AMERICANS’:
🌎 The World Cup
Here are the venues for the 2026 World Cup:
FIFA announced the 16 host cities for the 2026 World Cup, which will be held in North America.
In the U.S.: Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Miami, New York/New Jersey, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Seattle
In Mexico: Guadalajara, Mexico City and Monterrey
In Canada: Toronto and Vancouver
✌️In the White House
The neon ‘exit’ signs are looking awfully enticing for some:
Via The Hill’s Alex Gangitano and Amie Parnes, “The White House has faced a slew of departures recently, with several top officials announcing at once that they are moving on after 18 months in the administration during a time when President Biden’s job approval rating continues to sink amid consistently poor marks politically.”
For context — this is a normal time frame for exits: “While 18 months is typical for staff turnover in the White House, it comes at a perilous moment for Democrats ahead of crucial midterm elections.” What administration officials are privately saying
🦠 Latest with COVID
The next hoop is complete!:
“The Food and Drug Administration on Friday gave the green light to COVID-19 vaccines for children ages 5 and younger, a key step towards making the shots available to the youngest group of kids.”
How many kids will be eligible?: About 18 million
What happens now?: “Advisers to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are scheduled to meet Friday and Saturday to discuss whether to recommend the use of the shots in young kids. If all goes well, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky could sign off on a favorable recommendation as early as Saturday.”
Because there is only one hoop left to make it through: “With the authorization, vaccines can start being shipped to states and other jurisdictions that pre-ordered the initial batch.” Everything we know, via The Hill’s Nathaniel Weixel
➤ BY THE NUMBERS
Cases to date: 85.8 million
Death toll: 1,007,964
Current hospitalizations: 24,623
Shots administered: 592 million
Fully vaccinated: 66.8 percent of Americans
And they’re both rocking it!:
CNN’s Kate Bennett tweeted a photo of first lady Jill Biden running into a person with the same outfit as her. Photo
The House and Senate are out. President Biden is in Delaware. Vice President Harris is in Pittsburgh for the afternoon.
7:30 a.m.: Biden received the President’s Daily Brief.
10:05 a.m.: Harris, second gentleman Doug Emhoff, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Marcia Fudge and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan left for Pittsburgh.
11 a.m.: Biden and first lady Jill Biden left for Rehoboth, Del.
1:15 p.m.: Harris leads a conversation on removing and replacing lead pipes.
3:25 p.m.: Harris, Emhoff, Fudge and Regan return to Washington, D.C.
4:30 p.m.: Harris and Emhoff visit Dulles International Airport to meet with workers who are facilitating the delivery of baby formula.
All times Eastern.
📺What to watch
8:30 a.m.: Biden hosted the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate (MEF). Livestream
10 a.m.: First lady Jill Biden delivered remarks at the National Parent Teacher Association (PTA) 125th Anniversary Convention in National Harbor, Md.
1 p.m.: Former President Trump speaks at the Faith and Freedom event in Nashville, Tenn. Livestream
🍒 In lighter news
Today is National Cherry Tart Day.
And to leave you on a happy note for the weekend, here’s an example of how all dogs can be placed into one of two categories.