Morning Report — Trump’s ’24 trials may be limited to New York

Editor’s note: The Hill’s Morning Report is our daily newsletter that dives deep into Washington’s agenda. To subscribe, click here or fill out the box below.

Former President Trump described a Manhattan trial Tuesday as “falling apart” amid new developments that made it increasingly likely that the only courtroom he’ll see as a criminal defendant before Election Day is in New York City.

A federal judge in Florida handling the government’s classified documents and obstruction case against Trump said Tuesday that legal issues and eight undecided rulings will postpone a trial indefinitely. Judge Aileen Cannon was appointed by the former president and has been accused by critics and some legal analysts of slow-walking pending appeals ahead of a trial. The next dates Cannon sets for lawyers are in July.

It’s doubtful that either of two Justice Department special counsel cases against the former president, including interference with the 2020 election before he left office, will go to trial in South Florida and Washington, D.C., before Trump faces voters on Nov. 5.

Separately by late June or early July, the Supreme Court will rule on the former president’s claim that he has absolute immunity against prosecution for decisions he made while president.

If elected and sworn in, Trump could dismiss federal indictments against him, but he would not have similar sway in the pending New York hush-money case, or in Georgia, where he faces criminal racketeering charges for allegedly attempting with allies to overturn the state’s 2020 presidential election. 

“This is a very revealing day in court,” Trump told the news media as he left the courthouse in New York Tuesday.

He scowled and exchanged notes with his lawyers in the courtroom but did not publicly comment afterward about the explicit testimony of Stormy Daniels, a prosecution witness called to bolster a criminal case alleging forged business documents to mask a hush payment Trump paid through his former lawyer, Michael Cohen, to silence the porn star.

“Their case is totally falling apart,” the former president continued. “In the meantime, I’m stuck. I’m here,” he complained, referring to his campaign schedule.

▪ The Hill’s Niall Stanage: Five takeaways from a dramatic day at the Trump trial. One key question for jurors: witness credibility. “I hate him,” Daniels said during her testimony.

▪ The Hill: Five questions looming over Trump’s hush money trial.

Tuesday began with Justice Juan Merchan’s denial of a mistrial sought by Trump’s lawyers tied to Daniels’s salacious, embarrassing testimony (The Hill). The former president has denied the affair and all charges.

While Trump campaigned for the White House in 2016, Cohen paid Daniels $130,000 to prevent disclosure of what she says was an awkward and unexpected sexual encounter with the former president in July 2006 at a celebrity golf outing in Lake Tahoe. That payment is the foundation for the Manhattan district attorney’s 34 counts, including allegedly falsifying business records to disguise hush payments. A sexual affair is not illegal, nor are hush payments. Without conceding a dalliance, Trump’s lawyers are laying the groundwork that their client broke no law and was motivated to protect his marriage, although even his allies have testified that Trump’s presidential race was on his mind at the time Daniels was paid.

The defense argued that Daniels changed her story and that the jury also heard inappropriate details about her alleged sexual encounter with Trump. “I do think some things were better unsaid,” the judge said. “I don’t believe we are at the point where a mistrial is warranted.” 

The New York trial resumes Thursday with continued cross-examination of Daniels.

Meanwhile, in Georgia, Fulton County prosecutor Fani Willis (D), whose office is prosecuting Trump and some of his allies in a racketeering case alleging 2020 election interference, said Tuesday she will not cooperate with a state Senate investigative committee led by Republicans because she asserts she broke no law (Atlanta Journal-Constitution).


Bully pulpit: “I’m calling on all Americans to stand united against antisemitism and hate, in all its forms,” President Biden said Tuesday at the Capitol during the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Annual Days of Remembrance ceremony.

Biting back: TikTok sued the federal government Tuesday over a new law that would force its Chinese owner, ByteDance, to sell the popular social media app or face a U.S. ban.

Boeing’s woes: A rocket valve problem late Monday forced the company to call off its first astronaut launch. Two NASA test pilots had just strapped into Boeing’s Starliner capsule for a flight to the International Space Station when the countdown was halted.

Sexual harassment: At the Federal Deposit Insurance Commission, leaders failed to provide a workplace that was safe from sexual harassment, discrimination and fear of retaliation, according to an investigation by an independent law firm, which called for a “necessary” cultural and structural change at the banking regulator (The Hill).


International Rafah 050724 AP Ismael Abu Dayyah

© The Associated Press / Ismael Abu Dayyah | Israel on Tuesday began targeted strikes in Rafah in southern Gaza.


ISRAEL IS MOVING FORWARD with an offensive in the southern Gaza city of Rafah, closing a vital route for aid, even as cease-fire negotiations with Hamas remain tentatively intact. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told his country in a video address Tuesday that he had ordered troops “to operate in Rafah” as his government rejected a cease-fire proposal backed by Hamas on Monday.

The tank brigade in Gaza provided the latest development in a constantly changing 24 hours after Hamas on Monday announced it would accept a cease-fire proposal mediated by Egypt and Qatar. Israel announced the deal didn’t meet its core demands and rejected it, though officials said the government would continue discussing the proposal (CBS News).

The Biden administration said Tuesday that negotiations on a Gaza cease-fire should be able to close the gaps between Israel and Hamas despite Israeli forces’ actions in Rafah. But Hamas official Osama Hamdan, speaking to reporters in Beirut, warned that if Israel’s military aggression continued in Rafah, there would be no truce agreement (The Washington Post and Reuters). Despite warnings from Biden that Israel should not move forward in Rafah without a robust plan to safeguard civilians, the White House thinks the Israeli operation to capture Rafah doesn’t cross Biden’s “red line” that could lead to a shift in U.S. policy toward the Gaza war (Axios).

The Wall Street Journal: Palestinians thought a cease-fire had been clinched. Then the tanks rolled in.

Still, the United Nations and aid groups are raising urgent alarm for Israel to reopen Gaza’s border crossings and de-escalate operations in Rafah to address a humanitarian catastrophe for more than one million Palestinians in the enclave (The Hill). The Israeli military said Wednesday that it’s reopened the Kerem Shalom crossing into Gaza, a key terminal for the entry of humanitarian aid, but aid workers say the closure of Rafah, which is the only gateway for the entry of fuel for trucks and generators, could have severe repercussions (CBS News).

“The closure of both the Rafah and Kerem Shalom crossings is especially damaging to an already dire humanitarian situation. They must be re-opened immediately,” said U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres. “Rafah is the epicenter of humanitarian operations in Gaza. Attacking Rafah will further upend our efforts to support people in dire humanitarian straits as famine looms.”

▪ The Washington Post: The U.S. paused a shipment of thousands of bombs to Israel amid the rift over Rafah. One U.S. official described the move as a “shot across the bow” intended to underscore the seriousness of Washington’s concerns about the looming offensive.

▪ Politico: The Biden administration’s report due today on whether Israel has violated U.S. and international humanitarian law during the war in Gaza has been delayed.

▪ The Guardian: With fuel dwindling for aid trucks and main entry points to south of Gaza closed, Rafah residents wonder how they will survive.

▪ The Hill: The U.S. military has finished building a temporary pier off the coast of Gaza to deliver humanitarian aid.


The House will meet at 10 a.m.

The Senate will convene at 10 a.m.

The president will receive the President’s Daily Brief at 8:45 a.m. Biden will travel to Milwaukee, Wis., for remarks at 11:45 a.m. at Gateway Technical College focused on his economic agenda, followed by a campaign event in Racine County at 1:15 p.m. The president will fly to Chicago for his second campaign event of the day at 4:30 p.m. local time. He returns to the White House tonight.

Vice President Harris will speak about abortion and reproductive rights at a political event in Philadelphia at 2:30 p.m. Back in Washington, Harris will headline the EMILY’s List annual gala at 7 p.m. at The Anthem.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen will meet at 4 p.m. with members of the Bank Policy Institute Board at the Treasury Department. 


Politics Biden and Trump 081122 AP MMGG

© The Hill / Madeline Monroe/Greg Nash/Associated Press-Susan Walsh/Associated Press-Lynne Sladky | Former President Trump and President Biden.


CHECKMATE: Biden today will contrast his economic and legislative initiatives with Trump’s during a trip to Wisconsin to boast about new Microsoft jobs and tech opportunities. In Racine, Wis., Biden will rewind the checkered history of Foxconn with Microsoft’s newly announced $3.3 billion investment to build a new artificial intelligence (AI) datacenter on the same site (The Hill).

Biden says it will mean 2,300 union construction jobs and 2,000 permanent jobs “over time.” With a political megaphone, the White House says, “The datacenter will be built on the same land as a failed $10 billion investment from Taiwanese electronics manufacturer Foxconn six years ago,” a reference to Trump-supported Foxconn tech ambitions for Wisconsin in 2017, which faltered. 

SIX-MONTH SURPRISE: Rarely is a presidential candidate on a glide path to the White House, with unexpected developments known for derailing momentum. While Biden and Trump easily clinched their parties’ nominations, and the race has largely proceeded as anticipated, a game-changing situation — or two — could upend the race in the six months before November’s election. Several issues are already simmering, from global crises the White House is managing to Trump’s legal troubles. The Hill’s Jared Gans rounds up five possible twists that could shake up the presidential race in the coming months.

IN INDIANA Tuesday, Trump and Biden won their respective primaries. Notably, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, who dropped her bid for the Republican nomination earlier this year, netted more than 20 percent of GOP votes in the Hoosier State.

Rep. Victoria Spartz (R-Ind.) won the Republican nomination for another term in the House, fending off a challenge from the right. The first Ukrainian-born member of Congress, Spartz faced opposition from several challengers, most notably state Rep. Chuck Goodrich (R), who attacked her over her support for Ukraine amid Russia’s invasion of the country.

Meanwhile, Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.) came out on top of a crowded GOP primary in Indiana’s gubernatorial race. Braun, a first-term senator, beat out five other Republican hopefuls, and is heavily favored to win in November.

PROTEST UPDATES: Nationwide campus demonstrations in support of peace in Gaza, support for Palestinians and backing for Israel put some university commencement plans into upheaval. Critics blame university administrators and the demonstrators, and sometimes both (The Hill). … Major labor unions, some of which note their membership ties to university employees, back pro-Palestinian campus protesters amid their own calls for an elusive cease-fire in Gaza (The Hill). 


▪ Here are the major ballot measures to watch in 2024.

▪ The Texas House seat in the 28th Congressional District leans Democratic rather than being a likely Democratic win in November following Friday’s federal indictment of Democratic Rep. Henry Cuellar and his wife on bribery and other charges, reports Kyle Kondik, Sabato’s Crystal Ball managing editor at the University of Virginia Center for Politics.

▪ The partisan chasm on immigration proposals is so wide that there is little, if any, common ground to be found between the right and left on policy solutions, according to a new poll commissioned by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.

▪ The youngest generation of American workers is prepared to move away from states that pass abortion bans and to turn down job offers in states where they are in place, according to a new survey from CNBC/Generation Lab.

▪ “Terrifying”: Democrats say they have plans to keep Electoral College electors safe from political violence in November.

▪ Young voters are far more likely than other Americans to support Palestinians. But few cite the conflict as a top source of discontent with the president.


Congress Dome 100323 AP Mark Schiefelbein

© The Associated Press / Mark Schiefelbein | The Capitol in 2023.


HOLD YOUR GROUND: That’s part of the advice Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) has heard from Senate Republicans who counsel against making any promises to Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) impacting future military aid for Ukraine, The Hill’s Alexander Bolton reports.

The administration will request another round of Ukraine aid at the end of the year, according to GOP senators, and they want Johnson to have the flexibility to move such a request through the narrowly divided House. During a private meeting with Johnson on Monday, Greene sought to use leverage to get him to commit to not backing additional military help for Ukraine.

Greene vs. Speaker: Greene softens her threat to force a House vote to oust her party’s conservative Speaker.

Border: Fifteen House Democrats facing a tough campaign cycle urged Biden Tuesday to take executive action on the border (CBS News). Among lawmakers who sent the president a letter: Reps. Angie Craig of Minnesota; Michigan’s Elissa Slotkin, in a race for an open Senate seat; Susan Wild and Matt Cartwright of Pennsylvania, and Nevada’s Susie Lee and Steven Horsford.

Republicans and some Democrats have criticized the administration over immigration policy, arguing for legislative changes that have eluded Congress for decades. A bipartisan Senate bill proposing to tighten immigration and border policies, which Biden said he would sign, fell apart this year when Trump and Senate Republicans balked.


■ We need regime change in Iran and Russia, by Garry Kasparov, guest essayist, The Wall Street Journal.

■ Biden will either toughen up on the border or lose reelection, by Juan P. Villasmil, opinion contributor, The Hill.


Closer Mt. Fuji 040622 AP Kiichiro Sato

© The Associated Press / Kiichiro Sato | Japan’s Mt. Fuji, pictured in 2022.

And finally … Overtourism. It’s a thing.

Japan decided swarms of smartphone-wielding photo enthusiasts clumped in one spot in the town of Fujikawaguchiko to gaze at scenic Mount Fuji are too much. The throngs gazing toward the vista on the Japanese island of Honshu will see a gigantic black screen that will obstruct the view, according to The Associated Press.

Imagine trying to block tourists’ sight lines from spots in the Grand Canyon. Or Niagara Falls. Or the Statue of Liberty.

Stay Engaged

We want to hear from you! Email: Alexis Simendinger ( and Kristina Karisch ( Follow us on social media platform X: (@asimendinger and @kristinakarisch) and suggest this newsletter to friends!

Source link

About The Author

Scroll to Top