🔍 Trump allies take plea deals in Georgia case,
🏛 GOP’s search for a new speaker of the House,
🪖 A potential hot war in the Middle East 🔒,
And everything else you need to know.
☕️ Welcome back. I’m Ari, and this is Upward News. Every day, our team scours 100s of sources to bring you need-to-know news and insights you won’t find in the MSM—all in 5 minutes. Were you forwarded this email? Sign up here.
Republicans struggle to find a new Speaker of the House
What’s happening: After Democrats helped a group of rogue House Republicans oust Rep. Kevin McCarthy as speaker of the House, the GOP keeps failing to elect a new speaker.
How it started: Rep. Matt Gaetz spearheaded the effort to boot McCarthy with the support of eight other House Republicans. They were all, with one exception, some of the most right-wing members of the house. They were dissatisfied with McCarthy’s lack of action as speaker in addressing the border crisis and cutting spending, viewing him as a member of the establishment.
Since then: Rep. Jim Jordan made a bid to become House speaker but lost in three separate public votes and then again in a secret ballot. Some members cited opposition to his hardline stance on government spending, while others resisted his strong-arm campaign tactics.
Also: Rep. Tom Emmer dropped out of the speaker race just hours after securing the GOP nomination. Former President Donald Trump hurt his chances significantly after deriding him as a “Globalist RINO.” It then became clear he wouldn’t get the votes.
Who’s next? Republicans have nominated deeply conservative Rep. Mike Johnson (R-La.) as speaker. Johnson defended the former President during the impeachment saga and has been outspoken about the problems with the FBI and the federal government’s censorship.
Why it matters: The GOP is framing itself as a viable alternative to Joe Biden and the Democrats in the run-up to the 2024 election, but the recent infighting undercuts the image it wants to sell to the American people.
WHAT WE'RE WATCHING
🇨🇳 Chinese diplomat headed to DC. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi is set to arrive in DC this week to hold talks with White House officials about the instability in the Middle East. The Biden administration is hoping it can convince Chinese leaders to use their influence to keep Iran out of the Israel-Hamas war and prevent it from escalating further. (Washington Post)
⚠️ Biden’s reelection campaign in serious trouble. A recent Harvard-Harris poll shows that voter support for President Joe Biden's reelection is dropping, particularly due to dissatisfaction with his approach to voter’s top issues: inflation, migration, and the economy. With a 53 percent disapproval rate among voters and another war erupting in the Middle East, Democrats are raising questions about his ability to regain public support. (Breitbart)
📚 Oregon drops education standards. Oregon’s Department of Education has decided to remove essential skills requirements for high school graduation until the year 2028, claiming these requirements unfairly impact students of color. Oregon has one of the lowest graduation rates in the nation, leading to growing concerns among parents about the quality of education in the state. (New York Post)
🔇 Democrats call to censor Substack and Rumble. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Rep. Joe Morelle (D-NY), wrote a letter to Amazon expressing concerns about "misinformation" disseminated via Alexa through using Rumble as an information source. Their letter was prompted by a Washington Post report that an Alexa device claimed the 2020 election was "stolen" in response to a question about the winner. (Must Read Alaska)
WHAT WE’RE HEARING
The White House said Iran is “actively facilitating” attacks on U.S. military bases in the Middle East. (Reuters)
Senator JD Vance (R-OH) is trying to convince colleagues that aid for Ukraine and Israel should be divided into separate bills. (Fox News)
Rep. Marjorie Taylor-Greene (R-GA) is bringing a resolution to censure Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) for “sympathizing with terror organizations” and “antisemitic activity.” (Fox News)
Trump gets mob boss treatment with guilty pleas
What’s happening: So far, four people have pled guilty in the Georgia criminal case centered around former President Donald Trump’s 2020 election challenges. As part of their plea deals, they will each avoid prison time and have agreed to testify against Trump if asked.
Why it matters: Prosecutors are winning over co-defendants with soft plea deals to focus on convicting Trump — a common tactic in racketeering cases when prosecutors have their eye on a leading figure. Their testimonies could significantly hurt Trump’s defense at trial.
The Trump Mafia? Historically, the Department of Justice has used this strategy to take down powerful crime bosses. Rudy Giuliani built his career as a prosecutor by using the federal RICO Act against New York gangsters in the 1980s. Ironically, Giuliani is now a co-defendant in Trump’s case preparing to fight state RICO charges.
Criticism: Some analysts, including legal experts, have argued that Willis uses Georgia’s racketeering law too broadly, even in cases involving street gangs. This adds to a growing list of reasons why her overall case against Trump may be weak. Most Americans also agree the charges against Trump are political.
However: A former federal prosecutor predicts two of the lawyers pleading guilty will likely testify against Trump in the federal case related to the 2020 election.
Washington panics about a global hot war
Iran is the main sponsor of the Middle East war. America fears a hot war with it.
These premium sections are for members only. Upgrade today and save time with unlimited access to need-to-know news and expert insights you won’t find in the mainstream media.
POLL RESULTS FROM YESTERDAY
Do you believe the George Floyd case was fair?
⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️ 🤔 Unsure (49)
👍 Yes: “The video says it all. The police were out of line and deserve their punishment.” — Anonymous
👎 No: “There was too much public pressure for it to be impartial.” — Anonymous
🤔 Unsure: “Sadly, it is increasingly difficult to trust any news story, even with this ‘new’ report. As with most, I’m sure the truth lies mostly hidden.” — Bridget
IN THE LOOP
Israel is willing to delay its ground invasion of Gaza to get large numbers of hostages released. (Axios)
Jack Lew has secured enough votes to be the next U.S. ambassador to Israel after Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) pledged support. (The Hill)
A female IDF unit reportedly killed almost 100 Hamas terrorists when they invaded Israel. (Jerusalem Post)
House Republicans sent a letter asking Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser to rename “Black Lives Matter Plaza” and remove a street painting due to BLM’s support for Hamas. (Senate.gov)