🗳️ The trial that threatens Trump’s candidacy,
🇺🇦 Zelensky’s desperate bid,
⚖️ How a congressman avoided J6 treatment 🔒,
And everything else you need to know.
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Zelensky panics as Ukraine is forgotten
The other war: As the world’s eyes turn to Israel, another U.S.-backed nation is desperately trying to remain relevant. A new TIME profile of Volodymyr Zelensky details the Ukrainian president’s “struggle to keep Ukraine in the fight” — and to maintain his access to America’s purse strings.
Doom and gloom: Across the board, Ukraine’s situation is worsening in its war with Russia. About a fifth of its territory is under enemy control, the Ukrainian death toll is in the tens of thousands, and international support is waning.
Worn out his welcome: The mood shift is evident on Capitol Hill. As TIME details, Zelensky received a “hero’s welcome” during his first trip to D.C. at the end of the last year, and support for Ukraine aid was overwhelmingly bipartisan.
Last month, however, Zelensky’s second trip to America was met with an icy reception: Congress refused his appeal to deliver a public speech, and Ukraine aid failed to make it into the next government spending package.
How bad? There’s been a double-digit drop in support for Ukraine aid among Americans since June.
Losing it: Zelensky’s aides told TIME that the Ukrainian leader’s mood is grim compared to what it was two years ago. What’s more, some are worried that Zelensky’s determination is turning into delusion: “We’re out of options,” one said. “We’re not winning. But try telling him that.”
No end in sight: Victory for Ukraine isn’t in the cards anytime soon — but neither is any kind of negotiated peace. TIME reports that the idea is “taboo” among Zelensky and his advisers and that the Ukrainian president is “dead set against even a temporary truce.”
WHAT WE'RE WATCHING
💰 Republicans propose diverting IRS funds to Israel. A House bill would cut $14.3 billion in funding to the IRS — authorized by President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act — and give the same amount to Israel. House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) backs the bill, representing a bold first move as a party leader. The legislation doesn’t stand a chance in the Democrat-controlled Senate. (NBC News)
📄 Israeli document suggests forcing Gazans into Egypt. Israel has considered relocating Gazan civilians to camps in Sinai after defeating Hamas, a leaked document shows. The strategy also involves the construction of cities for the civilians and a buffer to keep them out of Israel. The government says these ideas are not part of a concrete plan. (Times of Israel)
⚖️ Court protects Texas’s razor wire at border. The Biden administration may not remove Texas’s razor wire at the southern border to let migrants cross illegally, a federal judge ruled in a temporary restraining order. The judge said Texas’s attorney general is likely to succeed in his claim that the federal government has no right to interfere with the barrier. (Epoch Times)
✈️ NYC offers migrants flights away from city. New York City Mayor Eric Adams wants to give migrants free plane tickets to any location they choose. This comes as over 130,600 asylum-seekers have arrived in the city since 2022, putting more strain on resources. Adams is demanding a federal “decompression strategy” so that his self-declared “sanctuary city” is less burdened. (Axios)
WHAT WE’RE HEARING
Hamas has used hospitals and other civilian structures in its defense strategy for over a decade, according to a think tank analysis. (Foundation for Defense of Democracies)
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) wants to put aid for Ukraine and Israel in the same legislation, siding with President Biden against his colleagues. (Axios)
Trump’s candidacy threatened in Colorado trial
What’s happening: The trial jeopardizing former President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign in Colorado began yesterday in state court. Seeking to bar Trump from the 2024 ballot, attorneys for the plaintiffs argue that the January 6, 2021, Capitol riot disqualifies him from holding public office under the Constitution’s “insurrection” clause.
Does that describe Trump? Trump told his supporters to “peacefully” protest, did not instruct them to enter the building, and called for peace after rioting broke out. The Department of Justice brought no contrary evidence in its January 6 indictment against Trump.
Why it matters: Regardless of the facts, Colorado Judge Sarah Wallace is likely to rule against Trump, denying Colorado voters the right to choose their president. An appointee of Democrat Gov. Jared Polis, she has dismissed every one of Trump’s legal arguments so far.
Her background: Wallace has personally donated to Colorado Turnout Project, an anti-January 6 group formed in response to the “extremists who stormed the Capitol” that “aims to prevent violent insurrections.”
However: Whichever side loses the case is likely to appeal, starting a lengthy legal battle.
Rep. Bowman enjoys a favorable justice system
After single-handedly disrupting a House proceeding, the leftist congressman has managed to avoid the January 6 treatment.
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POLL RESULTS FROM YESTERDAY
Have you lost trust in elite colleges?
⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️ 🤔 Unsure (9)
👍 Yes: “They have reduced themselves to nothing more than propaganda outlets for left wing political causes.” — Austin
👍 Yes: “College is a scam. Unless you are training in a STEM program (and even then you might not need a 4-year university), stay away.” — Marie
👎 No: “You can’t lose what you never had!” — Stephanie
IN THE LOOP
Federal Judge Tanya Chutkan has reinstated a gag order on President Trump, dismissing an appeal as meritless. (NPR)
The Biden administration will collaborate with law enforcement officials on college campuses to address threats against Jewish students. (NBC News)
Record numbers of Indians are illegally entering the U.S., some seeking asylum due to religious threats in India and others drawn by economic opportunities. (Wall Street Journal)
Russian President Vladimir Putin blamed the recent riot against Jews at a Dagetsan airport on Ukraine and the West — with no evidence. (Times of Israel)
Mossad Chief David Barnea reportedly traveled to Qatar over the weekend to visit officials who are negotiating for the release of hostages held by Hamas. (Axios)
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