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Reinhart tees up affidavit showdown- POLITICO

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In addition to the media’s push for the affidavit, many Republicans have called for it to be released amid the conservative backlash to the FBI search of Mar-a-Lago. | Steve Helber/AP Photo

THE AFFIDAVIT QUESTION — Today, Magistrate Judge BRUCE REINHART scheduled a hearing for Thursday at 1 pm to determine whether to unseal the affidavit underpinning the FBI’s search of Mar-a-Lago. Several news outlets have requested to make it public, while the Justice Department argued in a Monday filing that doing so could compromise its criminal investigation.

In addition to the media’s push for the affidavit, many Republicans have called for it to be released amid the conservative backlash to the FBI search.

— DONALD TRUMP himself said on Truth Social today, “I call for the immediate release of the completely Unredacted Affidavit pertaining to this horrible and shocking BREAK-IN.”

— Sen. LINDSEY GRAHAM (RS.C.) said on Fox News this morning that DOJ should share the affidavit with senators: “Show your cards. [A.G.] MERRICK GARLAND can’t have it both ways. He can’t give us the inventory, the warrant without telling us why it was necessary to raid the former president’s home.”

But the Justice Department — which maintains that the search was lawful and necessary in its investigation — has told Reinhart that making the affidavit public would “likely chill future cooperation by witnesses.” More from the WSJ

SOWING THE WIND — Trump’s own behavior while in office could hamper any legal effort to claim that he verbally declassified documents he had at Mar-a-Lago, The Daily Beast’s Jose Pagliery reports. “Essentially, Trump’s freewheeling style on Twitter forced the administration to take a harder stance on just what it means to declassify a document — forcing the government to emphasize the rigorous, multi-step nature of the bureaucratic process. He can’t say now it merely takes a wave of his hand.”

PROOF POSITIVE — First lady JILL BIDEN has tested positive for the coronavirus and is experiencing mild, cold-like symptoms, her office announced this morning. Biden wants to remain in South Carolina. She’s also been prescribed Paxlovid to treat the disease.

NEW — @kyledcheney: “JUST IN: Rep. [BENNIE] THOMPSON and [CAROLYN] MALONEY say the DHS IG has failed to comply with their inquiry into missing secret service text messages and threaten to resort to ‘alternate means’ to ensure compliance — likely a subpoena.” The letter

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TRUMP CARDS

2025 DREAMING — WaPo’s Isaac Arnsdorf combs through Trump’s recent speeches to dive into six different “drastic” policy plans the former president could implement if he wins a second term in 2024. The ideas are striking — and definitely stretch the Overton window in some areas. The Arnsdorf platforms explores: “Execute drug dealers … Move homeless people to outlying ‘tent cities’ … Deploy federal force against crime, unrest and protests … Strip job protections for federal workers … Eliminate the Education Department … Restrict voting to one day using paper ballots .”

THE WHITE HOUSE

ABORTION FALLOUT — The White House is rolling out a new three-pronged strategy on abortion rights for the months ahead, Reuters’ Nandita Bose scooped: (1) They’ll bring litigation against states that restrict abortion by relying on the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act and the Federal Food, Drug & Cosmetic Act’s FDA preemption. (2) The administration will develop research and data collection on the effects of limiting abortion access. (3) A new messaging campaign will target both men and women about the impact of having to carry an unwanted pregnancy, along with messaging about government overreach aimed at religious people.

ALL POLITICS

BELLWETHER BREAKDOWN — The results from Washington state’s all-party primaries, typically a harbinger of how the midterms will play out across America, indicate a relatively neutral political environment in which Democrats have managed to paddle out from a Republican red wave, Jessica Piper reports. “This year, the aggregate Democratic vote across the state’s House primaries was more than 5 percentage points worse than Democrats’ performance in the 2018 ‘blue wave’ year. But it was also more than 5 percentage points better than Democrats performed in either 2010 or 2014.”

UNEXPECTED PINTEREST ANGLE — In their latest KFile revelation, CNN’s Andrew Kaczynski and Em Steck uncover far-right Pinterest posts from Arizona GOP secretary of state nominee MARK FINCHEM, including a “Treason Watch List” with JANET NAPOLITANO and JOHN KERRY. Finchem, a member of the extremist Oath Keepers militia, pinned posts that showed ammunition stockpiles, anticipated “war in America,” warned of Sharia law coming to the US and promulgated other conspiracy theories.

AD WARS — A new TV ad from Pennsylvania Lt. gov. JOHN FETTERMAN strikes a populist note, blasting the Washington establishment for economic woes, Fox News’ Paul Steinhauser scooped. “They’re lying about me to take the heat off themselves,” Fetterman says. The high-six-figure ad buy covers Fox News statewide and broadcast in some markets. the ad

— Senate Majority PAC is boosting Sen. CATHERINE CORTEZ MASTO (D-Nev.) and attacking GOP challenger ADAM LAXALT over insulin costs, Roll Call’s Niels Lesniewski scooped. It’s a $1.9 million ad buy.

— And a new DSCC campaign hits BLAKE MASTERS in Arizona with a bilingual TV ad, a digital ad and a Spanish-language radio spot, all centered on the theme of Masters being out of step with ordinary Arizonans. The ads say Masters want to privatize Social Security, cut taxes on the wealthy and ban abortion. More from ABC

— Wisconsin Lt. gov. MANDELA BARNES’ first ad after winning the Democratic Senate primary calls for change in Washington, including cutting taxes on the middle class and bringing more manufacturing to Wisconsin, per Punchbowl’s Max Cohen and Jake Sherman. the ad

ELECTION INFRASTRUCTURE — Georgia is struggling to find enough poll workers for the midterms, thanks in part to the tight jobs market and the increasing politicization of the role, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Mark Niesse reports. “Poll worker shortages at this point before a major election aren’t unusual, but they could turn into a bigger problem.”

SPORTS BLINK — The NBA will schedule no games on Election Day this November. Instead, every team will play the day before and encourage Americans to vote, NBC’s Shaquille Brewster scooped.

STICKING TO THEIR GUNS — The Bexar County, Texas, GOP will consider a censorship tonight of Rep. TONY GONZALES (R-Texas) after he voted for the bipartisan gun reform law and to codify same-sex marriage rights, per the San Antonio Report . Two other counties have already rebuked Gonzales, who represents Uvalde, for straying from party orthodoxy.

— In an unfortunate coincidence for DARREN BAILEY’s Illinois GOP gubernatorial campaign, he held multiple campaign events with the same gun store where the alleged Highland Park mass murderer later bought his gun, Vice’s Cameron Joseph reports.

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JUDICIARY SQUARE

KNOWING KETANJI BROWN JACKSON — The newest Supreme Court justice is the subject of a new September issue feature in Vogue, written by her mentee, ImeIme Umana. ANNIE LEIBOVITZ photographed Jackson at the Lincoln Memorial. “Justice Jackson’s confirmation speaks to a deep-seated American desire to believe that we can transcend our past. We yearn for a country that lives up to the idealized version we hold in our minds,” Umana writes. “The daunting task now confronting Justice Jackson is to take up the work of clearing a path for future generations.”

LISA FAIRFAX, Jackson’s longtime friend, shared with Playbook some of the symbolic significance of the photo shoot, which also harks back to Leibovitz’s images of RUTH BADER GINSBURG and SANDRA DAY O’CONNOR: “[T]his setting of the Lincoln Memorial and the National Mall, and the fact that she is looking up at the Memorial, reflects another instance of her acknowledgment of the important role history has played in shaping her life and in making this moment possible. I also think it is incredibly symbolic that Justice Jackson chose to be photographed in a setting outside of her office because it reflects her recognition that her elevation as the first Black woman on the Supreme Court has meaning beyond her.”

TO CATCH A THIEF — Hundreds of prosecutors and investigators are working on pandemic relief fraud cases across the federal government that stretch into billions of dollars stolen, NYT’s David Fahrenthold reports. But it’s hard for them to keep up with the sheer volume of fraud amid the trillions of dollars in aid that the US handed out during the pandemic.

WAS IN UKRAINE

LATEST ON THE GROUND — New explosions hit a Russian ammunition depot in Crimea today. The attack was Ukrainian sabotage, Kyiv said. Details from the WSJ

FROM THE HORSE’S MOUTH — Russian President VLADIMIR PUTIN today laid blame for the Ukraine war squarely at the feet of the US: “They need conflicts to retain their hegemony,” he said, per the AP. “That’s why they have turned the Ukrainian people into cannon fodder.”

POLICY CORNER

A FAIR HEARING — The FDA issued today a long-gestating rule to allow adults to get hearing aids over the counter and sans prescription, a move hailed by the White House as economic relief for tens of millions of Americans. The change will take effect in two months, and it’s expected to bolster competition in the market and lower prices. More from The Washington Times

AMERICA AND THE WORLD

DANCE OF THE SUPERPOWERS — A Commerce Department-headed oversight process approved 94% of technology exports to China in 2020, despite national security concerns about technological competition with Beijing, WSJ’s Kate O’Keeffe reports. “The Commerce Department says it is focused on long-term, strategic competition with China … Critics say Commerce officials are improperly giving priority to US commercial interests over national security and that an urgent regulatory revamp is necessary to respond to the threat from Beijing.”

ANNALS OF INFLUENCE — The controversial Saudi-backed LIV Golf tournament got some quiet PR assistance from Edelman this year, Hailey Fuchs and Daniel Lippman reveal. It wasn’t made public until now because the contract was through subsidiaries.

PLAYBOOKERS

MEDIA MOVES — Mark Dekan will be COO of the POLITICO Media Group. He currently is CEO of Ringier Axel Springer Polska. “Mark will report to me, and help our team implement our long-term strategic plan — as one company — once it is finalized,” Goli Sheikholeslami wrote in a note to POLITICO staff this morning. … KC Sullivan wants to be the next president of CNBC. He previously was president and managing director of global advertising and partnerships at NBCUniversal, based in London.

TRANSITIONS — The Heritage Foundation is adding Victoria Coates and Erin Walsh as senior fellows. Both are Trump administration alums: Primorac was a USAID leader and the VP’s envoy to Iraq. Coates was a deputy national security adviser and DOE official. Walsh worked at Commerce and the NSC. … Katie Larkin is joining Tiffany Smiley’s Washington Senate campaign as deputy campaign manager. She previously managed Tanya Contreras Wheeless’ Arizona congressional campaign. …

… Lester Davis is now VP, chief of staff at CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield. He most recently was VP of public affairs at SKDK. … John Dring is now senior counsel at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. He previously was an administrative law judge with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

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