Trump search affidavit reveals potential for ‘evidence of obstruction’ at Mar-a-Lago – as it happened

Last modified: 08: 59 PM GMT+0

Heavily redacted document also says several documents contained what appear to be Trump’s handwritten notes

Closing summary

It has been a day of drama as the redacted affidavit explaining why the FBI chose to raid Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence was finally published to an eagerly awaiting world. It wasn’t exactly a damp squib. The document – much of which was blanked out – detailed the huge numbers of secret documents squirreled away and security risks they posed.

But due to the large numbers of redactions there was no explosive new line, though one thing does seem certain: this FBI investigation is just getting started and has a long long way to go.

Here’s what else happened today:

  • Amy Coney Barrett was in the news via a Guardian US scoop showing that a faith group she has been closely associated with places huge emphasis on female obedience.

  • Joe Biden and his administration stood by his calling out of the Republican politicians as behaving like semi-fascists. The move drew ire from the rightwing party.

  • Washington is to follow the path of its fellow west coast state California and pursue the eventual ban of sales of new gasoline-powered cars.

  • A Jim Crow-era provision of the Mississippi constitution designed to disfranchise Black voters is constitutional, a federal appellate court ruled.


Dow drops 1,000 points

The Guardian’s Dominic Rushe writes here that there has been a steep drop on Wall Street in response to the latest forecasts on the economy from Federal Reserve chief Jerome Powell.

A 1,000 plus point drop is hardly a catastrophe but it is definitely a nasty fall.

Dominic writes:

US stock markets nosedived on Friday after Federal Reserve chair, Jerome Powell, warned of “pain” ahead as the central bank struggles to bring down inflation from a 40-year high.

Powell’s highly anticipated speech was more hawkish than had been expected, with the Fed chair pledging to do all he could to end rising prices. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost just over 1,000 points, 3%, the S&P fell 3.3% and the Nasdaq dropped almost 4%.

Speaking at the Kansas City Fed’s annual meeting of the world’s central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Powell said the Fed’s “overarching focus right now is to bring inflation back down”.

Read more:


Nikki Haley for 2024?

The former UN ambassador under Donald Trump is often mentioned as a potential 2024 candidate and someone who could – potentially – straddle the two disparate and often bitterly feuding worlds of Trump and non-Trump Republicans.

That sees Haley frequently seek to a perform a difficult dance between courting her old bosses’ favor, but also trying not to seem too close to him.

Politico has the details of some of the people donating to her political future and it makes interesting reading of a long list of Republican stalwarts.

The report says: “Many of the GOP’s biggest donors are among those who funneled anonymous contributions to former U.N ambassador Nikki Haley’s nonprofit as she lays the groundwork for a prospective 2024 presidential bid, according to previously unreported tax documents obtained by Politico.

Haley’s nonprofit policy advocacy group, Stand For America, Inc, has received major donations from people including New York hedge fund manager Paul Singer, investor Stanley Druckenmiller, and Miriam Adelson and her late husband, casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, the Internal Revenue Service filings reveal.

The roster of supporters who gave undisclosed donations in 2019 also includes Suzanne Youngkin, the wife of Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin, himself a possible presidential contender; former Pennsylvania Senate candidate and hedge fund executive David McCormick; and Vivek and Lakshmi Garipalli, members of a New Jersey family that has donated large sums to Democrats – but which gave Haley’s organization $1 million.”


Fascist or not?

It might have seemed an odd question even just a few years ago, but Joe Biden’s speech on Thursday night has put the word “fascism” squarely into mainstream American political discourse.

His accusations that modern Republicans were behaving like semi-fascists certainty triggered questions to his top press spokesperson. The Biden administration – understandably – is standing behind the phrase.

Reuters captures the scene:

The actions of some Republicans allied to former President Donald Trump fit the definition of fascism, White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters on Friday, a day after President Joe Biden said they edged toward “semi-fascism.”

“I was very clear when laying out and defining what MAGA Republicans have done and you look at the definition of fascism and you think about what they’re doing in attacking our democracy. … That is what that is. It is very clear,” Jean-Pierre told a press briefing.

MAGA refers to Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan. Fascism is a political philosophy that exalts nation and often race above the individual and supports an autocratic government led by a dictatorial leader involving the forced suppression of opposition, U.S. dictionary Merriam-Webster says.

In response to Biden’s Thursday evening comments that Trump-allied Republicans embraced violence and hatred, and edged toward “semi-fascism,” the Republican National Committee called the remarks “despicable.”

A key question

Washington Post columnist Helaine Olen seems to have hit the nail on the head with a very simple tweet. Answers on a postcard please… no redactions.

What’s the innocent explanation for Trump keeping all these classified documents?

— Helaine Olen (@helaineolen) August 26, 2022

Arizona judge strikes blow against election fairness skeptics

In just one of many such scenes playing out in courts across the US, Republicans who believe Donald Trump’s unfounded claims of a stolen election and a fraudulent US voting process have suffered a set back.

An Arizona judge has refused to require that Arizona officials count ballots by hand in November, dismissing a lawsuit filed by Republican nominees for governor and secretary of state based on false claims of problems with vote-counting machines.

AP has more:

Kari Lake, who is running for governor, and Mark Finchem, a secretary of state candidate, won their GOP primaries after aggressively promoting the narrative that the 2020 election was marred by fraud or widespread irregularities.

Their lawsuit repeated unfounded allegations about the security of machines that count votes. They relied in part on testimony from Donald Trump supporters who led a discredited review of the election in Maricopa County, including Doug Logan, the CEO of Cyber Ninjas, who oversaw the effort described by supporters as a “forensic audit.”

U.S. District Judge John Tuchi ruled that Lake and Finchem failed to show any realistic likelihood of harm and that their lawsuit must be brought in state, not federal, court. He also ruled that it is too close to the election to upend the process.

“The 2022 Midterm Elections are set to take place on November 8,” Tuchi wrote. “In the meantime, Plaintiffs request a complete overhaul of Arizona’s election procedures.”

Various reactions have been pouring out online over the affidavit.

Virginia Democratic senator Mark Warner, who chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee said:

“It appears, based on the affidavit unsealed this morning, that among the improperly handled documents at Mar-a-Lago were some of our most sensitive intelligence * which is one reason the Senate Intelligence Committee has requested, on a bipartisan basis, a damage assessment of any national security threat posed by the mishandling of this information. The Department of Justice investigation must be allowed to proceed without interference.”

Meanwhile, North Carolina Republican Representative Dan Bishop said:

“So much for transparency,” tweeting alongside a photo of redacted sections of the affidavit. Bishop is a member of the House of Representatives Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee.

Donald Trump’s son Donald Trump Jr. echoed similar sentiments online, tweeting a photo of the redacted affidavit with the caption, “Well this really clears things up.”

Well this really clears things up.

— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) August 26, 2022

‘A deal with the devil’: outrage in Appalachia over Manchin pipeline plan

Nina Lakhani and Oliver Milman report…

Taking on the fossil fuel industry in West Virginia was always going to be a David v Goliath type battle, but after years of protests, lobbying and lawsuits, 68-year-old Becky Crabtree thought the community-led resistance had beaten the Mountain Valley pipeline (MVP) in a fair fight.

So when news broke earlier in August that the state’s fossil-fuel friendly senator Joe Manchin had resurrected the pipeline, Crabtree, a high school science teacher who teaches students about the climate crisis, felt “numb”.

Manchin, a conservative Democrat who receives more campaign financing from the fossil fuel industry – including pipeline companies – than any other lawmaker in Congress, had agreed to back his party’s historic climate legislation before the crucial midterm elections. But only after he negotiated a side-deal to fast-track the MVP.

“It’s the unfairness that makes me so angry. It’s a deal with the devil,” said Crabtree, 68, who owns a 30-acre sheep farm in Lindside, Monroe county.

Full story:

'They are attacking democracy' – White House defends Biden's remarks on Trumpism as "semi-fascism"

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre has just finished briefing the media and taking questions and she was asked about Joe Biden’s remarks at a fundraiser last night where he referred to the “MAGA Republican philosophy” as akin to “semi-fascism”.

Asked to explain what the US president meant by that remark, Jean-Pierre said of right-wing Republicans: “He was very powerful last night. When it comes to ‘MAGA Republicans’, when it comes to the extreme, ultra wing of the Republicans, they are attacking democracy, they are taking away rights and freedoms, they are using threats of violence, taking away voting rights, and he [Biden] called it what it is … and what many would argue, historians would agree with us on.”

“He believes that presidents should be the strongest voice for democracy,” she added.

Jean-Pierre also strove to differentiate between what she referred to as “traditional, conservative” Republicans and the [Trumpist] “Make America Great Again” rightwing loyalists to the former president.

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre speaks to the press moments ago.
The White House press secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre, speaks to the press. Photograph: Michael Reynolds/EPA


Interim summary

A quick recap, blog readers, it’s been a dramatic morning and there will be plenty more news over the coming few hours. But for now, here’s where things stand:

  • Donald Trump has released a statement about the release of the government affidavit that underpinned the search of his Mar-a-Lago club and residence in Florida earlier this month. He posted it on Truth Social, his struggling social media platform that he created after being banned by Twitter.

  • The US Department of Justice and the FBI had “probable cause to believe that evidence of obstruction” would be found at Mar-a-Lago when it sought a warrant to search the property, the affidavit notes.

  • The affidavit is replete with details that would provide “a roadmap” for anyone intent on obstructing the investigation.

  • The affidavit reminds us of the context of the FBI raid on Mar-a-Lago, thus: “The government is conducting a criminal investigation concerning the improper removal and storage of classified information in unauthorized spaces, as well as the unlawful concealment or removal of government records.”

  • While the public waited for the affidavit to be released, we also noted that Joe Biden called the “MAGA Republican” philosophy “semi-fascism” last night, based on the anti-democratic efforts of the more extreme wing of the GOP that hews unfailingly to Trump.

Trump statement released

We have Donald Trump’s reaction, on Truth Social, the social media platform he set up after being kicked off Twitter over the Capitol attack…

Affidavit heavily redacted!!! Nothing mentioned on “Nuclear,” a total public relations subterfuge by the FBI & DOJ, or our close working relationship regarding document turnover - WE GAVE THEM MUCH. Judge Bruce Reinhart should NEVER have allowed the Break-In of my home. He recused himself two months ago from one of my cases based on his animosity and hatred of your favorite President, me. What changed? Why hasn’t he recused himself on this case? Obama must be very proud of him right now!

To unpick:

  • “Nuclear” – it has been reported that some of the materials kept at Mar-a-Lago concerned nuclear weapons. And some concerned Emmanuel Macron, which, by the by, might interest Liz Truss. But anyway…

  • “Break-in” – nope. Warrant duly served, etc, which is why we’re here.

  • “Obama must be very proud” of the judge … we may all remember John Roberts, the chief justice of the supreme court, rebuking Trump for referring to “Obama judges”, etc. We may also all remember Trump’s pride at having installed a huge number of judges himself, including three on Roberts’ court. In short – judges are not meant to act politically but they are politically appointed. And so on.

  • Of Judge Reinhart: he made a donation to Barack Obama in 2008. He also donated to Republicans, if not Donald J Trump.


Attached to the affidavit is a letter from lawyers for Donald Trump, complaining of unfair treatment and asserting a president’s “absolute authority to declassify documents” – both features of his response to the search and the claims of his supporters in Republican ranks and on the right of the US media.

The letter, signed by M Evan Corcoran of Silverman Thompson Slutkin White, begins:

Public trust in the government is low. At such times, adherence to the rules and long-standing policies is essential. President Donald J Trump is a leader of the Republican Party. The Department of Justice (DOJ), as part of the Executive Branch, is under the control of a President from the opposite party. It is critical, given that dynamic, that every effort is made to ensure that actions by DOJ that may touch upon the former President, or his close associates, do not involve politics.”

I refer you back to President Joe Biden’s comment to reporters before the affidavit was filed today, when asked if he thought national security might have been compromised at Mar-a-Lago while Trump was storing classified documents there:

We’ll let the justice department determine that.”

The lawyers’ letter conforms to Trump’s worldview, that attorneys general and the Department of Justice exist to serve presidents politically. Biden’s answer speaks for generally accepted wisdom, which is that the DoJ does not exist for that purpose and is in fact independent of any White House or administration.

The affidavit contain reference to and quotes from a back-and-forth between the DoJ and counsel for Donald Trump (referred to as FPOTUS, or Former President of the United States) over storage of materials at Mar-a-Lago.

After a lot of redactions, the agent writes: “Based upon this investigation, I believe that the STORAGE ROOM, FPOTUS’s residential suite, Pine Hall, the ‘45 Office’ and other spaces within the PREMISES are not currently authorized locations for the storage of classified information or [national defense information, or NDI].

“Similarly, based upon this investigation, I do not believe that any spaces within the PREMISES have been authorized for the storage of classified information at least since the end of FPOTUS’s Presidential Administration on January 20, 2021.”

After more redactions, the affidavit concludes:

Based on the foregoing facts and circumstances, I submit that probable cause exists to believe that evidence, contraband, fruits of crime, or other items illegally possessed … will be found at the PREMISES.

“Further, I submit that this affidavit supports probable cause for a warrant to search the PREMISES described in Attachment A and seize the items described in Attachment B.”

Affidavit details probable cause

The affidavit as released is of course full of redactions, across its 38 pages. But it reveals some interesting nuggets about the search, including that the Department of Justice and FBI had “probable cause to believe that evidence of obstruction” would be found at Mar-a-Lago.

In another interesting section … the affidavit says that on 9 February 2022, the DoJ leaned that a preliminary review of 15 boxes taken to Mar-a-Lago “indicated that they contained ‘newspapers, magazines, printed news articles, photos, miscellaneous print-outs, notes, presidential correspondence, personal and post-presidential records, and ‘a lot of classified records’.

“Of most significant concern was that highly classified records were unfoldered, intermixed with other records, and otherwise unproperly [sic] identified.”

The affidavit reproduces a Trump statement after the issue became public, and then … is extensively redacted. The redacted passage is a chronological retelling of how the issue developed.

The next significant un-redacted passage contains the news that Trump’s own notes were included in the materials in question. It reads as follows:

“From May 16-18, 2022, FBI agents conducted a preliminary review of the FIFTEEN BOXES provided to NARA and identified documents with classification markings in fourteen of the FIFTEEN BOXES. A preliminary triage of the documents with classification markings revealed the following approximate numbers: 184 unique documents bearing classification markings, including 67 documents marked as CONFIDENTIAL, 92 documents marked as SECRET, and 25 documents marked as TOP SECRET. Further, the FBI agents observed markings reflecting the following compartments/dissemination controls: HCS, FISA, ORCON, NOFORN, and SI.

“Based on my training and experience, I know that documents classified at these levels typically contain NDI. Several of the documents also contained what appears to be FPOTUS’s [Trump’s] handwritten notes.


The identity of the FBI agent who filed the affidavit for the Mar-a-Lago search is of course redacted. He or she describes himself or herself as “a Special Agent with the FBI assigned to the Washington Field Office”, trained “at the FBI Academy located at Quantico, Virginia, specific to counterintelligence and espionage investigations”.

“Based on my experience and training,” the agent writes, “I am familiar with efforts used to unlawfully collect, retain, and disseminate sensitive government information, including classified” information.

The agent details the origins of the investigation and the documents sought, which we know much about, and writes: “The FBI’s investigation has established that documents bearing classification markings, which appear to contain National Defense Information (NDI), were among the materials contained in the FIFTEEN BOXES and were stored at the PREMISES in an unauthorized location.

“Further, there is probable cause to believe that additional documents that contain classified NDI or that are Presidential records subject to record retention requirements currently remain at the PREMISES. There is also probable cause to believe that evidence of obstruction will be found at the PREMISES.”

The agent adds: “Based upon the following facts, there is probable cause to believe that the locations to be searched at the PREMISES contain evidence, contraband, fruits of crime, or other items illegally possessed.”



DoJ: Affidavit would be 'roadmap for obstruction'

Speaking of proposed redactions to the affidavit concerning the Mar-a-Lago search … here’s a screengrab of what has been filed today, and quoted in my previous post.

A shot of the DoJ paperwork quoting from the affidavit.
A shot of the DoJ paperwork quoting from the affidavit. Photograph: Court Listener

The document as filed and released continues:

Although the public is now aware that the government executed a search warrant at the premises owned by the former President and seized documents marked as classified, the affidavit is replete with further details that would provide a roadmap for anyone intent on obstructing the investigation.

“Maximizing the Government’s access to untainted facts · increases its ability to make a fully-informed prosecutive decision” … For example …

… and then we have many more black lines.

The paperwork just released, containing portions of the affidavit, is as predicted heavily redacted.

The document says: “Information in the affidavit could be used to identify many, if not all, of these witnesses. For example” – which is followed by a long redacted passage.

The document then adds: “If witnesses’ identities are exposed, they could be subjected to harms including retaliation, intimidation, or harassment, and even threats to their physical safety. As the court has already noted, ‘these concerns are not hypothetical in this case’.”

Another redacted passage follows, then the following text appears:

“Meanwhile, FBI agents who have been publicly identified in connection with this investigation have received repeated threats of violence from members of the public. Exposure of witnesses’ identities would likely erode their trust in the government’s investigation, and it would almost certainly chill other potential witnesses from coming forward in this investigation and others.”

Justice department files redacted Mar-a-Lago search affidavit

The justice department has filed the affidavit justifying the FBI’s search of Mar-a-Lago, a day after a federal magistrate judge ordered its release.

The document has been redacted, but could offer details of the alleged crimes that brought the FBI to Donald Trump’s Florida resort earlier this month and opened up yet another legal front for the embattled former president.

You can read documents concerning the affidavit here.


We have the order to unseal the affidavit used in the FBI search of Mar-a-Lago, but not the redacted affidavit itself, yet.

An expectant Louisiana woman who is carrying a skull-less fetus that would die almost immediately after birth has cemented plans to travel to North Carolina to terminate her pregnancy after her local medical provider dithered on performing the procedure, citing fear that the state’s abortion ban outlawed it.

Standing on the steps of Louisiana’s Capitol building in her hometown of Baton Rouge, Nancy Davis, 36, announced this morning that her grim trip would be next week, financed by more than $30,000 in donations raised by an online GoFundMe campaign launched after she went public with her plight earlier this month.

Her lawyer, the prominent civil rights attorney Ben Crump, called on Louisiana’s lawmakers to at least clarify the wording of their abortion ban – if not repeal it altogether – to prevent anyone else from enduring what Davis and her family had during the last several weeks.

The state’s governor, John Bel Edwards, should call a special legislative session in advance of the regular one scheduled to begin in April of next year to do that if necessary, Crump said.

“Louisiana lawmakers inflicted unspeakable pain, emotional damage and physical risk upon this beautiful mother,” Crump said, gesturing at Davis, who was accompanied by her partner Shedric Cole, their young daughter and her two stepchildren.

“They replaced care with confusion, privacy with politics and options with ideology.

“Ms Davis was among the first women to be caught in this crosshairs of confusion due to Louisiana’s rush to restrict abortion. But she will hardly be the last.”

Here’s more on the story:

Joe Biden has just been asked if he thinks national security might have been compromised at Mar-a-Lago while Donald Trump was storing classified documents there.

The president’s answer, per the wire services and the pool reporter: “We’ll let the justice department determine that.”

Still waiting for the release of the redacted affidavit behind the FBI search of Mar-a-Lago, which is due by noon.

Three new sealed filings have appeared online in the federal court system related to the Mar-a-Lago case, Politico reports:

For those following along at home or elsewhere, 3 sealed filings have been docketed in last 10 minutes in the Trump Mar-a-Lago search warrant case. Not clear whether that's what we're eventually supposed to get or whether DOJ is asking for last-minute changes....

— Josh Gerstein (@joshgerstein) August 26, 2022

Since they are not public, it’s unclear what they are, but a federal magistrate judge gave the justice department until noon eastern time today to make the redacted affidavit justifying the search public.

Why might the FBI have been so worried about the potential that government secrets were stored at Mar-a-Lago?

As we await the release of the redacted affidavit from federal agents’ search of the property, an investigation by The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project appears to indicate that an imposter repeatedly entered the resort last year, and mingled with Donald Trump.

The outlets found that a woman named Inna Yashchyshyn posed as a member of a famous European banking family and managed to get into the ex-president’s Florida club, playing a round of golf at a nearby course with Trump and his ally senator Lindsey Graham in May 2021.

Here’s more from the story:

The ability of Ms. Yashchyshyn — the daughter of an Illinois truck driver — to bypass the security at Mr. Trump’s club demonstrates the ease with which someone with a fake identity and shadowy background can get into a facility that’s one of America’s power centers and the epicenter of Republican Party politics.

Those issues have become even more critical after FBI agents seized boxes of classified and top-secret materials two weeks ago from Mar-a-Lago after executing a search warrant on Mr. Trump’s home.

Her entry — multiple trips in and out of the club grounds — lays bare the vulnerabilities of a facility that serves as both the former president’s residence and a private club, and highlights the gaps in security that can take place.

“That’s his residence,” said Ed Martin, a former U.S. Treasury special agent who spent more than two decades in criminal intelligence. “She shouldn’t have been in there.”

Relax, Californian fans of Gavin Newsom: the governor says he will not be running for president in 2024.

In an interview with ABC News, he was rather vehement in his answer:

California Gov. Newsom tells @mattgutmanabc he has no plans to run for president in 2024 and that Pres. Biden “can sleep better than any modern American president with what he’s accomplished in the last two years.”

— ABC News (@ABC) August 26, 2022

The Democrat is standing for re-election to a second term as California’s governor, and if he wins, will keep the post until January 2027.

However, not all pro-abortion Republicans appear to be equally vulnerable.

A poll released today of voters in Missouri by Saint Louis University and YouGov found Republican candidate Eric Schmitt with a strong lead in the race for the open Senate seat. He was up 49% against his Democratic challenger Trudy Busch Valentine, who polled at 38%.

Schmitt is the state’s current attorney general, and made a point of quickly implementing Missouri’s abortion ban after the supreme court overturned Roe v. Wade. And unlike Arizona, Missouri is these days solidly Republican, having not voted for a Democratic president since 1996.


The states that have newly banned abortion are all Republican led, but not all in the party appear ready to embrace such rhetoric, particularly if they are running for election. Consider the case of Blake Masters.

He’s the GOP nominee for Senate in Arizona, and is up against Democratic incumbent Mark Kelly, who appears to be leading among voters. NBC News reports that, for whatever reason, Masters has removed the most strident anti-abortion rhetoric from his campaign website on Thursday. Five of his six positions have been deleted or rewritten, according to the story, among them, “I am 100% pro-life,” which is now gone entirely.

Also removed is a mention of Masters’ support for “a federal personhood law (ideally a Constitutional amendment) that recognizes that unborn babies are human beings that may not be killed.”

Here’s more from their story:

Masters previously expressed support for “the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, the SAVE Moms and Babies Act, and other pro-life legislation.” The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act would make it a criminal offense to perform or attempt to perform an abortion 20 weeks after conception.

Now the website states he backs “a law or a Constitutional amendment that bans late term (third trimester) abortion and partial-birth abortion at the federal level” and “pro-life legislation, pregnancy centers, and programs that make it easier for pregnant women to support a family and decide to choose life.”

Among the potential reasons why Masters may have opted to soften his rhetoric: Kansas voters’ rejection earlier this month of an effort to change the state constitution to ban abortion.

The White House has condemned a slew of new abortion restrictions that recently went into effect in four states.

“Today marks the latest attack against the fundamental rights of Americans as new abortion bans go into effect in Idaho, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Texas,” press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said.

She continued:

These extreme bans will criminalize abortion, in some cases without exceptions for rape or incest. These near-total abortion bans are part of a growing effort by Republican legislators to roll back the freedoms Americans have relied on for nearly half a century. Today’s radical steps take away women’s reproductive rights and put personal health care decisions in the hands of politicians instead of women and their doctors, threatening women’s health and lives. Americans need to know that these and other fundamental rights, including the right to contraception and marriage equality, are at risk. Congress should act immediately to pass a law restoring the protections of Roe–and people across the country to should make their voices heard.

The Biden Administration’s renewed feistiness was in full effect last night when the normally staid White House twitter account began calling out Republicans.

Whoever was behind the official account took issue with GOP lawmakers who objected to Biden’s student loan relief plan announced earlier this week, and highlighted the politicians’ own history of benefiting from debt forgiveness.

Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene had $183,504 in PPP loans forgiven.

— The White House (@WhiteHouse) August 25, 2022

Congressman Vern Buchanan had over $2.3 million in PPP loans forgiven.

— The White House (@WhiteHouse) August 25, 2022

Congressman Markwayne Mullin had over $1.4 million in PPP loans forgiven.

— The White House (@WhiteHouse) August 25, 2022

Congressman Kevin Hern had over $1 million in PPP loans forgiven.

— The White House (@WhiteHouse) August 25, 2022

Congressman Mike Kelly had $987,237 in PPP loans forgiven.

— The White House (@WhiteHouse) August 25, 2022

Congressman Matt Gaetz had $482,321 in PPP loans forgiven.

— The White House (@WhiteHouse) August 25, 2022

As he courted voters in Democrat-friendly Maryland last night, Joe Biden sought to cast the Republican party as extreme and play up his own recent legislative accomplishments. Joan E Greve was there, and filed this report on the renewed optimism in the Democratic party:

Joe Biden has transformed his rough July into a jubilant August. Last month, the US president was drowning in negative headlines about his handling of numerous crises, from the war in Ukraine to record-high gas prices and the apparent demise of his signature legislative proposal.

Now, as the summer draws to a close, Biden is riding high, powered by the passage of Democrats’ climate and healthcare package and glimmers of hope for his party’s prospects in the midterm elections. That optimism was on vivid display on Thursday, as Biden took the stage for a rally held by the Democratic National Committee in Rockville, Maryland.

“We’ve come a long way in 18 months. Covid no longer controls our lives. A record number of Americans are working,” Biden told the cheering crowd. “We never gave up. We never gave in. We’re delivering for the American people now.”

Get ready to learn more about the investigation that sparked the FBI’s search of Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort earlier this month – but don’t get your hopes up too high.

In response to a lawsuit from media organizations and other groups, a federal magistrate judge yesterday ordered the release of the affidavit from the search, which should contain details like the probable cause that justified the warrant. But Bruce Reinhart also allowed the justice department to redact “the identities of witnesses, law enforcement agents, and uncharged parties… the investigation’s strategy, direction, scope, sources, and methods, and… grand jury information.”

The document could therefore potentially contain lots of blacked out lines rather than new information. But as The Guardian’s Hugo Lowell reported yesterday, “depending on how the affidavit was produced, several former US attorneys said, it could also contain elements that are not directly related to the investigation, such as descriptions of potential crimes that the justice department suspected were being committed at Mar-a-Lago.”


Deadline looms for release of Mar-a-Lago affidavit as Biden decries Republicans' 'semi-fascism'

Good morning, US politics blog readers. The justice department has a noon eastern time deadline to make public the affidavit used to justify the FBI’s search of Mar-a-Lago, after a judge ordered its release yesterday. While the document could provide new details of the investigation, it will also be redacted – perhaps heavily. Meanwhile, Joe Biden last night accused Republicans who aligned with Donald Trump of veering into “semi-fascism” as he sought to rally Democrats’ enthusiasm ahead of the November midterm elections.

And in case that isn’t enough, here’s what else we can expect today:

  • Today is Women’s Equality Day, and Biden is set to make an appearance at a White House meeting on protecting abortion access at 11 am eastern time.

  • Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell is making a major speech on the central bank’s efforts to lower inflation without causing a recession at 10am eastern time.


Maya Yang and Martin Pengelly in New York and Chris Stein in Washington

The GuardianTramp

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Trump under criminal investigation for potential violations of Espionage Act – as it happened
FBI was seeking evidence about whether the mishandling of documents violated three criminal statutes, search warrant shows

Chris Stein

12, Aug, 2022 @9:01 PM

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‘Significant increase’ in online threats as potential Trump indictment looms – as it happened
Most threats are directed at law enforcement and government officials, report says, after ex-president urged supporters to protest

Chris Stein in Washington

21, Mar, 2023 @8:00 PM

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Judge indicates willingness to release redacted Trump search affidavit – as it happened
Justice department says release of document showing probable cause would jeopardize ongoing investigation

Chris Stein in Washington

18, Aug, 2022 @8:24 PM