Are you telling me that these docs are nuclear?
Trump facing potential Espionage Act violations
With all the reporting coming out of Florida, it’s all too easy to miss or give short shrift to the news from Cincinnati. It was there that a Trump supporter, enraged by the FBI search of Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort earlier this week, decided to exact revenge on an Ohio bureau field office. The suspect, who previously participated in the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, attempted to breach the building armed with a nail gun and an AR-15 rifle. He eventually fled the scene, exchanging gunfire with law enforcement along the way. He was killed by officers after an hours-long standoff in a cornfield. The attack is the latest example of how extremism, lies, and conspiracies—especially those promulgated by some public officials and media outlets—can fuel real-world danger, not only to democracy but to people’s lives. The suspect’s online posts show a radicalization by such divisive, dangerous rhetoric. Character matters; leaders who lack it have a corrosive influence on society. Sadly, we are witnessing those effects in real time. —Melissa Amour, Managing Editor
House passes Democrats' climate and health care bill, sending it to Biden's desk —CBS News
CDC loosens COVID-19 guidance, regardless of vaccination —The Hill
Author Salman Rushdie stabbed in neck on stage at Chautauqua Institution —The Buffalo News
Criminal trial for Trump Organization to start in October with jury selection —NPR
Historians privately warn Biden: America’s democracy is on the brink —The Washington Post
You got a warrant?
Oh yes indeed. And the details are damning. U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland called Donald Trump’s bluff yesterday, requesting that the search warrant used to gain access to the ex-president’s Florida estate on Monday be unsealed. Garland confirmed that he approved the warrant, which was signed by U.S. Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart. Reinhart unsealed the warrant today, after Trump opted not to object. In fact, along with a lot of typical Trump nonsense, he posted on his Truth Social platform, “Not only will I not oppose the release of documents ... I am going a step further by ENCOURAGING the immediate release of those documents.”
So what do we know? A property receipt unsealed by the court shows FBI agents took 11 sets of classified records from the estate. Federal agents seized four sets of top secret documents, three sets of secret documents, and three sets of confidential documents. News broke last night that some documents potentially included information related to America’s nuclear program, though as of this writing, that hasn't been 100% confirmed.
“Exceptionally grave.” In any case, the list of seized items is so secret that if revealed publicly, it could cause damage to U.S. interests and must be kept in secure government facilities. As a result, Trump is being investigated for possible violations of three federal laws, including the Espionage Act, obstruction of justice, and the removal of government records. —New York Daily News
Whodunit? The search warrant was based largely on information from an FBI confidential human source who was able to identify what classified documents Trump was hiding and even the location of the documents within the estate. But the overall investigation and effort to recover the documents reaches all the way back to the presidential transition 18 months ago. More recently, some additional documents were removed via a grand jury subpoena issued last spring. Stay tuned. —Newsweek
MORE: Chuck Rosenberg: The ‘planted evidence’ lie —Politico
Hosseinmardi: Is cable news killing democracy?
“Exposure to opposing views is critical for functional democratic processes. It allows for self-reflection and tempers hostility toward political outgroups, whereas only interacting with similar views in political echo chambers makes people more entrenched in their own opinions. If echo chambers truly are as widespread as recent attention has made them out to be, it can have major consequences for the health of democracy. Our findings suggest that television—not the web—is the top driver of partisan audience segregation among Americans.” —Homa Hosseinmardi in The Conversation
Homa Hosseinmardi is an associate research scientist in computational social science at the University of Pennsylvania.
MORE: Fox News airs altered photo of Trump raid judge with Ghislaine Maxwell —The Independent
Daley: Gerrymandering got us here. A SCOTUS case could keep us here
“[T]he U.S. Supreme Court will hear a case from North Carolina this fall that could hand state legislatures even more power—perhaps unfettered power, free from any gubernatorial veto or state supreme court oversight—over election law, legislative maps, and potentially the awarding of Electoral College votes. This would put the GOP in charge of every swing state, from Wisconsin to Arizona. Any uprising after the 2024 election would be technical, bloodless, and coldly efficient. Democracy, certainly, will be on the ballot in 2022 and 2024. But in state after state, our crisis of democracy has already arrived.” —David Daley in The Boston Globe
David Daley is a senior fellow at FairVote and the author of "Ratf**ked: Why Your Vote Doesn't Count" and "Unrigged: How Americans Are Battling Back to Save Democracy."
MORE: What if only Democrats or only Republicans had won every redistricting battle? —FiveThirtyEight
A rare primary victory
It’s been a rough primary season for the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Donald Trump last year. To date, 7 of them definitively won’t be returning to Congress next year, either because they lost their primary election or simply opted not to run. There was an exception in Washington’s 4th Congressional District this week, however, as Renewer Rep. Dan Newhouse defeated his GOP challengers (including one endorsed by Trump) to advance to the general election. He joins Rep. David Valadao of California, who prevailed in his primary two months ago. Congratulations, Congressmen. All eyes now turn to Wyoming, where Renewer Rep. Liz Cheney faces a mighty primary challenge of her own. Good luck to Rep. Cheney. —News4Jax
MORE: Tim Roemer: Democrats, stop helping pro-Trump Republicans —The Wall Street Journal
Goldberg: Cultish politics have to go
“If your ‘belief’ in our country is so fragile and pathetic that you will lose ‘hope for our nation’ unless Donald Trump is given free reign to cleanse the land of evildoers, then you don’t actually believe in this nation. If your love of country is contingent on your preferred faction being in power, you’ve confused partisanship for patriotism. … Presidents are not redeemers, messiahs, incarnations of mystical aspirations, or righteous settlers of seething grievances. They’re not god-kings or the fathers of our American family. They’re politicians elected to do some specific things as the head of one branch of one level of government. They get that job for a limited and defined period of time, and afterward they’re simply citizens.” —Jonah Goldberg in The Dispatch
Jonah Goldberg is the editor-in-chief of The Dispatch and a Los Angeles Times columnist. He holds the Asness Chair in Applied Liberty at the American Enterprise Institute and was previously the senior editor at National Review.
MORE: Conservative and evangelical leaders see FBI visit to Trump’s Mar-a-Lago as evidence of persecution —Baptist News Global
Brawner: Can a new kind of party succeed?
“The challenge for any third party is that the American political system favors having only two. The winner-take-all system turns everything into a two-candidate race because voters believe they must vote for the one they dislike the least. The campaign finance system funnels money to Democrats and Republicans as a form of legalized bribery. The culture war turns everything into an us-versus-them contest. … In response, the Forward Party is more specific in one area: democratic reforms.” —Steve Brawner on Magnolia Reporter
Steve Brawner is a syndicated columnist published in 17 outlets in Arkansas.
MORE: Ex-Dem congressional candidate leads N.J. organizing effort for newly-formed independent party —New Jersey Globe
The reaction by prominent Republicans who should and likely do know better accusing the FBI of a politically motivated raid on Mar-a-Lago would be laughable if it were not so serious. How the Department of Justice could possibly get an allegedly politically motivated search warrant application past a judge has yet to be explained.
The fact that such an allegation can be taken seriously by so many is an indication of not only how limited the knowledge of Constitutional law is within the Republican base, but how corrupt an enterprise the Republican Party has become to encourage such notions for political profit. —Steve J., Pennsylvania
I understand Trump not wanting his resort to be searched, but I am sure no judge would issue such a warrant unless there was sufficient cause. If the former president would just cooperate with the authorities, things would go a lot better for him. He really needs to act his age and stop whining. —John C., Florida
The views expressed in "What's Your Take?" are submitted by readers and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff or the Renew America Foundation.