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By EUGENE DANIELS, RYAN LIZZA, TARA PALMERI and RACHAEL BADE
10/09/2021 09:55 AM EDT
Steven Bannon indicated Friday he will not comply with the House Jan. 6 committee's subpoena. | Alex Wong/Getty Images
BREAKING OVERNIGHT — Texas’ abortion ban is back in effect after the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down a lower court ruling that had temporarily blocked its enforcement. The DOJ has until Tuesday to respond in court. More from KUT in Austin
JAN. 6 INVESTIGATION STEAMROLLS FORWARD — Over the last 24 hours, we’ve seen major developments in the ongoing investigation into the pro-Trump Jan. 6 riots that sought to overthrow democracy in America.
1) Executive privilege waived: “President JOE BIDEN will not invoke executive privilege to shield an initial set of records from DONALD TRUMP’s White House that’s being sought by congressional investigators probing the Jan. 6 Capitol attack,” report Nicholas Wu, Kyle Cheney, Betsy Woodruff Swan and Meridith McGraw.
— What comes next: Trump has 30 days to challenge the decision in court, after which time, the National Archives will release the documents to the Jan. 6 panel. The former president is already asserting privilege over 45 specific documents requested from the committee, and indicated in a letter that he wants to bar the release of additional documents “potentially numbering in the millions.”
2) Committee subpoenas hit deadlines: The first wave of high-profile subpoenas from the Jan. 6 committee have been served, and not all of the subjects are cooperating, as Nicholas, Kyle, Betsy and Meridith detail:
— What comes next: In a statement from Jan. 6 Committee Chair BENNIE THOMPSON (D-Miss.) and Vice Chair LIZ CHENEY (R-Wyo.), the panel said it “will not allow any witness to defy a lawful subpoena or attempt to run out the clock, and we will swiftly consider advancing a criminal contempt of Congress referral.” If they’re serious, a criminal referral would require a full floor vote in the House. More from NYT’s Maggie Haberman and Luke Broadwater
— Something to watch: “Congress’ Jan. 6 investigators face an inevitable reckoning with their GOP colleagues,” by Kyle Cheney and Olivia Beavers
3) Major new allegations from a Capitol Police whistleblower: “A former high-ranking Capitol Police official with knowledge of the department’s response to the Jan. 6 attack has sent congressional leaders a scathing letter accusing two of its senior leaders [acting chief SEAN GALLAGHER and assistant chief YOGANANDA PITTMAN] of mishandling intelligence and failing to respond properly during the riot,” scoop Daniel Lippman and Betsy Woodruff Swan.
— What the whistleblower claims: (1) Gallagher and Pittman deliberately chose not to help officers under attack on Jan. 6, (2) the pair had enough intelligence before the riot to justify demanding National Guard reinforcements but didn’t share their intel and instead approved an inadequate security plan, (3) Pittman lied to Congress about the intel the Capitol Police had, and (4) leaders in Congress “purposefully failed” to tell the truth about the Capitol Police’s actions.
Good Saturday morning. Thanks for reading Playbook. Drop us a line: Rachael Bade, Eugene Daniels, Ryan Lizza, Tara Palmeri.
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RECONCILABLE DIFFERENCES — Two important stories this morning on the reconciliation package and Democrats’ internal squabbles over what to include.
— SENATE MODERATES VS. HOUSE MODERATES: Don’t say we didn’t warn you. On Friday, we highlighted a report from Mother Jones’ Kara Voght on the brewing fight between moderate Dems in the Senate vs. moderate Dems in the House — specifically, Sen. JOE MANCHIN (D-W.Va.) vs. Rep. MIKIE SHERRILL (D-N.J.) — over whether to means-test child care benefits or make them universal.
That fight is now front and center. On the front page of this morning’s NYT, Jonathan Weisman and Emily Cochrane plunge into the Manchin-Sherrill divide, which is dicey terrain for Democrats. On the one hand, they may need to bend to Manchin’s demands to get the reconciliation package through the Senate. On the other, means-testing child care could imperil the Dems’ House majority, which was built largely on the support of suburban women in middle class-to-affluent swing districts where a universal policy is much more popular.
— SINEMA TAKES AIM AT CLIMATE PROPOSALS: Arizona Sen. KYRSTEN SINEMA, whose seemingly inscrutable political beliefs have led to the gnashing of progressives’ teeth on both Capitol Hill and Twitter, “wants to cut at least $100 billion from climate programs” in the reconciliation package, reports NYT’s Coral Davenport, citing two sources familiar.
That comes as a bit of a surprise, considering Sinema’s past advocacy for climate legislation and recent interest in taxing carbon. And it also carries risks for the senator and her home state: “Arizona is already on the front lines of the extreme weather that scientists say is worsened by a warming planet,” writes Davenport, who notes that Grand Canyon State is in a “mega-drought” and that in 2021 alone, “about half a million acres of the state have been consumed by wildfire.”
FWIW, Sinema comms director JOHN LABOMBARD strongly denied the NYT report, writing on Twitter: “Neither Senator Sinema nor our office have requested or demanded such cuts, nor have we ever heard of any such demands. Once again, the NY Times relies on anonymous sources and gets it flat wrong.”
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9 THINGS WE READ THAT STUCK WITH US
— It’s the one piece of political analysis that everyone is talking about: “David Shor Is Telling Democrats What They Don’t Want to Hear,” by NYT’s Ezra Klein. Read it, and feel smarter. Companion reading: “The Democrats’ Privileged College-Kid Problem,” a Shor convo with POLITICO Magazine’s Ian Ward out this morning.
— New evidence about the mysterious illness known as “Havana syndrome” is increasing U.S. confidence that it’s the result of directed-energy attacks waged by Russia or another hostile foreign government, report Andrew Desiderio and Lara Seligman.
— The governments of other wealthy nations contribute an average of $14,000 per year for a toddler’s child care. In the U.S., that number is just $500, per an analysis by NYT’s Claire Cain Miller.
— Biden became the first president to issue a proclamation of Indigenous Peoples’ Day, notes CNN’s Donald Judd. The holiday will be marked on Monday, which it shares with Columbus Day.
— Former Federal Reserve economist CLAUDIA SAHM sounds off about LARRY SUMMERS, bad economists and makes a pointed critique of the Biden administration’s handling of unemployment in a Q&A with Victoria Guida for POLITICO Magazine.
— This weekend, American officials will meet with Taliban leaders for the “first face-to-face meeting at a senior level since Washington pulled its troops from Afghanistan and the hardline group took over the country,” Reuters’ Humeyra Pamuk reports.
— Three major cities — Boston, Seattle and Cincinnati — could elect their first mayors of Asian descent this fall, Marissa Martinez reports, in what would be “a significant leap for Asian American and Pacific Islander political representation.”
— Even as people of color fueled Texas’ population growth, the Texas Senate adopted a new congressional map on Friday that would reduce the number of seats in which Black and Hispanic residents make up the majority of eligible voters, Texas Tribune’s James Barragán reports.
— The Ozy news car crash continues, as former employees accuse the outlet of potentially violating commercial email laws: If an email address tried to unsubscribe from its newsletters, they’d still be “kept on the distribution lists and even re-subscribed under the direction of Ozy management,” Forbes’ Jemima McEvoy reports.
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PHOTO OF THE DAY: Evacuees from Afghanistan wait for a U.S. bound flight at a base in Ramstein, Germany. | Lukas Schulze/Getty Images
THAT WAS THE LAST TIME — In a letter to President Biden on Friday evening, Senate Minority Leader MITCH MCCONNELL said that he will no longer help Democrats raise the debt ceiling, making clear, in the words of WaPo’s Amy B Wang, that he “would be willing to allow the United States to default on its national debt rather than work with Democrats.”
— In a subtly scathing look at the past week on Capitol Hill, NYT’s Carl Hulse writes that lawmakers are “addicted to cliffs,” and now “almost never act until they absolutely must — and even then, they usually punt.” Hulse writes that “Congress is headed toward more cliffs than Wile E. Coyote.”
THE WHITE HOUSE
CRYPTO CRUNCH — The White House is “weighing an executive order on cryptocurrencies as part of an effort to set up a government-wide approach to the white-hot asset class,” report Bloomberg’s Jennifer Epstein and Benjamin Bain. The order would “charge federal agencies to study and offer recommendations on relevant areas of crypto — touching on financial regulation, economic innovation and national security.”
MAILING IT IN — NBC News’ Jane Timm reports that the DNC is “seeking to intervene in a lawsuit brought by Pennsylvania Republicans aimed at curbing the use of mail voting,” arguing in a motion Friday that the state’s mail-in voting law is “valid and constitutional.”
THE VACCINATION EFFORT — Nationwide, millions of vaccines for kids are “‘ready’ to go,” WaPo’s Lena H. Sun writes, with a campaign kickoff expected as soon as early November. But officials warn that “vaccinating children is likely to be a more challenging process than it was for adults and teens.”
— Stat News’ Olivia Goldhill deep dives on what went wrong with COVAX, an initiative aiming to “give people in rich and poor nations equitable access to the [vaccine.]”
MEANWHILE, IN FLORIDA … Florida’s state board of education voted Friday to “authorize sanctions on eight local school districts for not following instructions from Gov. RON DESANTIS’s administration that makes masks optional,” NYT’s Johnny Diaz reports.
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AMERICA AND THE WORLD
PULLOUT FALLOUT — “An Islamic State suicide bomber struck at a mosque packed with Shiite Muslim worshippers in northern Afghanistan on Friday, killing at least 46 people and wounding dozens,” report AP’s Samya Kullab and Tameem Akhgar. “In its claim of responsibility, the region’s IS affiliate identified the bomber as a Uygher Muslim, saying the attack targeted both Shiites and the Taliban for their purported willingness to expel Uyghers to meet demands from China.”
BEYOND THE BELTWAY
COMING SOON TO A FOX NEWS CHYRON — California Gov. GAVIN NEWSOM Friday signed a bill into law that would “require students to complete an ethnic studies course to graduate from high school,” Mackenzie Mays reports. “High school students won’t be required to take the courses for graduation until 2029, while schools will be required to offer ethnic studies courses starting in 2025, giving districts and education officials time to fully develop coursework,” Mackenzie writes.
CLICKER — “The nation’s cartoonists on the week in politics,” edited by Matt Wuerker — 15 funnies
GREAT WEEKEND READS, curated by Ryan Lizza:
— “Who Is the Bad Art Friend?” by Robert Kolker for NYT Magazine: “Art often draws inspiration from life — but what happens when it’s your life? Inside the curious case of Dawn Dorland v. Sonya Larson.”
— “What we lost when Gannett came to town,” by The Atlantic’s Elaine Godfrey: “In the absence of local coverage, all news becomes national news: Instead of reading about local policy decisions, people read about the blacklisting of Dr. Seuss books. Instead of learning about their own local candidates, they consume angry takes about Marjorie Taylor Greene.”
— “Leaving Afghanistan Behind,” by Matt Gallagher for Esquire: “The longest war in our nation’s history is over. As these six eyewitness perspectives attest — a commanding general, a sniper, an interpreter, and others — although the fighting is done, the battle over its memory is just beginning.”
— “As Louisianans Flee Hurricanes, Natural Gas Dollars and Jobs Flood In,” by Bloomberg’s Shannon Sims: “Roofless homes, floating coffins, and a massive, thriving port — a visit to an American boomtown.”
— “Identity Fraud,” by Gawker’s Jenny Zhang: “In the hands of people who are both marginalized and disingenuous, identity has been stripped of meaning and transformed into a rhetorical cudgel, alternately used to silence detractors and assume a kind of moral posture. I call this ‘Identity Fraud’: a knowing misuse of identity that primarily benefits those brazen enough to wield this maneuver.”
— “What Is Texas?” by National Review’s Kevin Williamson: “The fight over the Lone Star State’s identity.”
— “The Vegan Food Wars of DC,” by Nancy Scola for Washingtonian: “A crew of innovator chefs and entrepreneurs have turned Washington into a hub of plant-forward dining. But they have all kinds of competing ideas about what meat-free fare should be.”
— “A Botched Circumcision and Its Aftermath,” by Gary Shteyngart for The New Yorker: “The constant discomfort of a genital injury creates a covenant of pain. It is impossible to think about anything else.”
— “‘If He Makes a Successful Return in 2024, Democracy’s Done,’” by POLITICO Magazine’s Katelyn Fossett: “Talking Trump, Russia and the wage gap with Fiona Hill.”
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Pope Francis received Nancy Pelosi for a private meeting at the apostolic palace this morning, the Vatican announced.
Mitt Romney welcomed the birth of his first great-grandchild.
Kamala Harris gently trolled Doug Emhoff after he posted a photo of himself in Dodgers gear and the VP clad in the Giants’ orange-and-black. (Good news for the Veep: The Giants won, 4-0.) Related reading: L.A. Times’ Mark Z. Barabak on how the Dodgers-Giants rivalry encapsulates California’s ultimate divide.
Ted Cruz was also clad in orange on Friday as he watched the Houston Astros beat the Chicago White Sox in Game 2 of the ALDS.
Chris Meagher was festooned with a sash reading “Groom To Be” — a gift from Jen Psaki during Friday’s White House press briefing ahead of his wedding next week to Vanessa Valdivia.
SPOTTED at a book party for Bret Baier hosted by Adrienne Arsht: Kellyanne Conway, Michael LaRosa, Peter Doocy, Norah O’Donnell, Margaret Brennan, Phil Rucker, Rep. Michael Waltz and ambassadors from eight countries (Colombia, Spain, Ecuador, Jordan, Germany, Brazil, Argentina, Norway). All guests were required to take a Covid rapid test and wait in Arsht’s driveway for their results before entering the outdoors event. Baier’s book, “To Rescue the Republic: Ulysses S. Grant, the Fragile Union, and the Crisis of 1876,” ($28.99) is out Tuesday, and he has a tour of presidential libraries planned to promote it.
ANNALS OF DIPLOMACY — The White House announced several new ambassador nominees: Mari Carmen Aponte to Panama, Douglas Hickey to Finland, George Tsunis to Greece, Joseph Donnelly to the Vatican and Bruce Turner as U.S. representative to the Conference on Disarmament.
TRANSITIONS — Alison Share is joining the National Endowment for the Humanities as director of congressional affairs. She previously was senior policy adviser and counsel for Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Mich.). … Ashley Wilson is joining Catholics for Choice as director of comms and strategy. She previously was grasstops advocacy manager at Friends Committee on National Legislation.
WEDDING — Dan Elliott and Tom Shea, via NYT: “Mr. Shea, 55, [is] the senior adviser at New Paradigm Agency, a communications and public affairs consultancy in Washington. … Mr. Elliott, 71, retired as the library and archives director at the Philadelphia Museum of Art … [T]hey finally wed Sept. 17 at the Palazzo Falson, a house museum in Mdina, Malta.”
HAPPY BIRTHDAY: WaPo’s Aaron Blake … Miles Taylor … NPR’s Juana Summers … Justin Barasky of Left Hook … Rachel Pearson … Clare Krupin … former Reps. Tom Perriello (D-Va.) and Artur Davis (D-Ala.) … Chris Kofinis of Park Street Strategies … Peter Billerbeck of House Foreign Affairs … FEMA’s David Bibo … Jodie Kelley of the Electronic Transactions Association … Becki Donatelli … ABC’s Justin Fishel … Russell Dye of House Judiciary … Kat Skiles of Narrative Creative Agency … Facebook’s Carrie Adams … State Department’s Anne Simon … C-SPAN founder Brian Lamb (8-0) … Shailagh Murray … Ryan Ramsey … Russell Moore of Christianity Today (5-0) … David Jacobson (7-0) … Amy Dacey of the Sine Institute at American University … Michael Tubman … E&E News’ Arianna Skibell
THE SHOWS (Full Sunday show listings here):
“Face the Nation”: Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) … Fiona Hill … Mary Daly … Scott Gottlieb … Chris Krebs … Anthony Salvanto.
“Full Court Press”: Anthony Fauci … Jeanne Marrazzo.
“Fox News Sunday”: House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) … Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.). Panel: Jason Riley, Jacqueline Alemany and Harold Ford Jr. Power Player: Alec Lace.
“This Week”: Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen … Nick Clegg. Panel: Donna Brazile, Chris Christie, Julie Pace and Maggie Haberman.
“Meet the Press”: Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) … Nick Clegg … Stephanie Grisham. Panel: Donna Edwards, Yamiche Alcindor and David French.
“The Sunday Show,” guest-hosted by Tiffany Cross: Michael Li … Phillip Atiba Goff … Jacqueline Charles … Yvonne Kwan … Versha Sharma … DNC Chair Jaime Harrison … Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.).
“State of the Union”: Nick Clegg … Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) … Terry McAuliffe.
“Inside Politics”: Panel: Tamara Keith, Eva McKend, Lauren Fox, Jeff Stein, Michael Warren and Leana Wen.
“Sunday Morning Futures”: Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) … House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy … John Ratcliffe … Candace Owens.
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