DRIVING THE DAY
ANOTHER AWFUL SCENE AT THE CAPITOL — PBS NewsHour’s Lisa Desjardins: “Multiple sources tell me overnight a man set his car on fire and drove into a barricade near the U.S. Capitol. He started shooting indiscriminately, ultimately shot and killed himself.” Click here for her full Twitter thread … Read the Capitol Police press release
— Flashback: Capitol Police Officer WILLIAM F. “BILLY” EVANS was killed in April 2021 after a Virginia man drove his car into a Capitol barricade. In 2013, a Connecticut woman was shot and killed near a Capitol checkpoint after smashing her car into a White House barricade then fleeing down Pennsylvania Avenue. Both drivers suffered from mental illness.
HEADS UP — “Five Americans among injured in Jerusalem shooting attack,” by CNN’s Amir Tal and Hadas Gold: “Around 1:30 am local time Sunday (6:30 p.m. ET), police said in a statement that a ‘terrorist armed with weapons shot at a bus and vehicles in a parking lot near the Old City of Jerusalem.’”
SOME HOPEFUL NEWS — Author SALMAN RUSHDIE “was taken off a ventilator and able to talk Saturday, a day after he was stabbed as he prepared to give a lecture in upstate New York,” per the AP.
BULLETIN — Another delegation of lawmakers is visiting Taiwan today and Monday — just under two weeks after Speaker NANCY PELOSI’s visit to the island nation angered China and resulted in military demonstrations in the region. The five-member delegation is led by Sen. ED MARKEY (D-Mass.), who is joined by Reps. JOHN GARAMENDI (D-Calif.), ALAN LOWENTHAL (D-Calif.), DON BEYER (D-Va.) and AUMUA AMATA COLEMAN RADEWAGEN (R-American Samoa). They are planning to meet with Taiwanese officials, per the American Institute in Taiwan. More from the AP
MAR-A-LAGO LATEST — There’s a trio of big stories from the WSJ, NYT and WaPo on the FBI’s search of DONALD TRUMP’s Mar-a-Lago compound up that are worth your time this morning:
— From WSJ’s Rebecca Ballhaus, Vivian Salama and Alex Leary are up this morning: Perhaps the most interesting period of time to examine in light of this week’s search are Trump’s final days in the White House. The WSJ takes a look at those hours in January 2021 and what former aides had to say about Trump’s handling of important documents.
“At 12:50 a.m. on Jan. 20, 2021, his last day in office, he issued a list of 143 pardons and commutations, generating more presidential records required to be turned over to the National Archives. The result was a rushed and chaotic exit from the White House that is now at the center of a federal investigation into Mr. Trump’s handling of classified documents and other presidential material after leaving office.”
Said an anonymous former aide: “If you only start packing with two days left to go, you’re just running low on time. … And if he’s the one just throwing things in boxes, who knows what could happen?”
Aides told the WSJ that it wasn’t uncommon for documents to travel to Mar-a-Lago with Trump when he was president, but some didn’t find the practice wise: “Some aides grew concerned when the president would ask to hold on to a sensitive document while at his Florida resort because they didn’t always know where the document would end up, the aide said.”
— NYT’s Maggie Haberman and Glenn Thrush reported on Saturday that at least one Trump lawyer “signed a written statement in June asserting that all material marked as classified and held in boxes in a storage area at Mr. Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence and club had been returned to the government.”
They write that the statement offers “a possible indication that Mr. Trump or his team were not fully forthcoming with federal investigators about the material. And it could help explain why a potential violation of a criminal statute related to obstruction was cited by the department as one basis for seeking the warrant used to carry out the daylong search of the former president’s home on Monday.”
New information on what prompted the DOJ action: “The Justice Department also subpoenaed surveillance footage from Mar-a-Lago recorded over a 60-day period, including views from outside the storage room. According to a person briefed on the matter, the footage showed that, after one instance in which Justice Department officials were in contact with Mr. Trump’s team, boxes were moved in and out of the room.”
And then there’s this interesting tidbit: Ahead of A.G. MERRICK GARLAND’s news conference on Thursday, “a person close to Mr. Trump reached out to a Justice Department official to pass along a message from the former president to the attorney general. Mr. Trump wanted Mr. Garland to know that he had been checking in with people around the country and found them to be enraged by the search. The message Mr. Trump wanted conveyed, according to a person familiar with the exchange, was: ‘The country is on fire. What can I do to reduce the heat?’”
— Here’s WaPo’s Josh Dawsey, Rosalind Helderman, Jacqueline Alemany and Devlin Barrett: “Trump’s secrets: How a records dispute led the FBI to search Mar-a-Lago”
On Trump’s mood: “Immediately after the search, Trump seemed to believe the FBI had played into his hands. Instead of exhibiting any concern, two people who spoke to him Monday evening both reported that Trump was ‘upbeat,’ convinced the Justice Department had overreached and would cause Republicans to rally to his cause and help him regain the presidency in 2024.
“‘He feels it’s a political coup for him,’ said one friend, who spoke to Trump repeatedly during the week. Like many others interviewed for this article, the person spoke on the condition of anonymity given the sensitivity of the criminal probe. By Friday, however, the unsealed court records showed agents had seized 11 sets of classified documents, among other things. Republicans’ howls of protest became somewhat more muted, and people around Trump said his buoyant mood at times turned dark.”
— MEANWHILE, House Oversight Chair CAROLYN MALONEY (D-N.Y.) and House Intel Chair ADAM SCHIFF (D-Calif.) sent an letter to DNI AVRIL HAINES asking her to “conduct a review and damage assessment of the documents recovered by the FBI, WaPo’s Jacqueline Alemany writes.
Referencing the WaPo report that the Mar-a-Lago documents included nuclear information, the two wrote: “If this report is true, it is hard to overstate the national security danger that could emanate from the reckless decision to remove and retain this material.”
Appearing on CBS’ “Face the Nation” this morning, Schiff said: “I have not heard back yet. But I’m confident we will get one and I’m confident the intelligence community will do a damage assessment that is, I think, fairly routine when there has been the potential risk of disclosure of national security information or classified information.”
Good Sunday morning. Thanks for reading Playbook. Get in touch: [email protected]. Or reach out to the rest of the team: Rachael Bade, Eugene Daniels, Ryan Lizza.
SUNDAY BEST …
— Sen. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D-Minn.) on GOP criticism of the FBI, on NBC’s “Meet the Press”: “I thought in the old days the Republican Party used to stand with law enforcement. And I hope some of them do today because this kind of rhetoric is very dangerous to our country.” And on the comparatively more secure environment for storing classified materials at the Capitol: “As a senator, I know when I look at the classified documents, I’ve got to go in a special room. … I can’t even wear my Fitbit.”
— Sen. MIKE ROUNDS (R-S.D.), on “Meet the Press,” said the release of the Mar-a-Lago :search warrant and receipt “brings more questions” for authorities to answer: “I think releasing the affidavit would help. At least that would confirm that there was justification for this raid. … I think it’s very important, long term, for the Justice Department, now that they’ve done this, to show that this was not just a fishing expedition.”
On if he would vote for Trump in 2024: “I’ll keep my powder dry with regards to your last question. I think right now we’re going to focus on the 2022 election.”
— Rep. MIKE TURNER (R-Ohio) on Garland, on CNN’s “State of the Union”: “He has a lot of questions to answer. … No one is above the law. Donald Trump is not above the law and Attorney General Garland is not above the law either.”
On the documents recovered from Mar-a-Lago: “We don’t know what they are. We don’t know if they rise to the level of being a national security threat.” More from Nick Niedzwiadek
— Arkansas Gov. ASA HUTCHINSON on supporting the FBI, on “State of the Union”: “We need to pull back on casting judgment on them. … We cannot say that, whenever they went in and did that search, that they were not doing their job as law enforcement officers. If you want to hold people accountable, it is the Department of Justice.”
— Maryland Gov. LARRY HOGAN on if he would run for president in 2024 as an independent, on ABC’s “This Week”: “That’s not something I’ve ever considered, no. But I can tell you, I understand why all the people are talking about that because they’re frustrated with both parties and a majority of people are really kind of fed up with Democrats and Republicans and all this angry rhetoric and toxic, divisive politics.”
BIDEN’S SUNDAY — The president has nothing on his public schedule.
VP KAMALA HARRIS’ SUNDAY — The VP has nothing on her public schedule.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
9 THINGS FOR YOUR RADAR
1. BIDEN HIS TIME:Our colleague Christopher Cadelago has the report from South Carolina, where Biden is vacationing and enjoying a bit of a political homecoming to a state that was perhaps more important than any other in clinching his presidency. But there’s a contrasting reality on the ground: “The communities that elevated him have been battered, increasing the reliance on national media narratives that shape views of the president’s uneven standing,” Chris writes.
“Biden’s footing in South Carolina is a microcosm of his current political fortunes writ large. Democrats here say they are willing to give him time to turn things around for himself. They’re heartened by recent legislative progress. But in dozens of interviews with people around the state, including current and former leaders and many of Biden’s ardent 2020 supporters, it’s clear they are anxious about his future and not ruling out the idea that someone else could be the party’s standard bearer in two years.”
— Related read: “Joe Biden got the vibe shift he needed. Now he’s looking to make it count,” by CNN’s Edward-Isaac Dovere
2. PRIMARY COLORS: “Green, Aiona win party nominations in Hawaii’s race for governor,” by WaPo’s David Weigel. Notably: Democratic Rep. KAI KAHELE, who abandoned a safe House seat for the governor’s race, won about 14 percent of the vote – roughly 50 points behind Lt. Gov. JOSH GREEN.
3. PELOSI’S NEXT MOVE:NYT’s Shane Goldmacher has the latest reporting on the much-watched decision that awaits Pelosi after the midterms and how the race to succeed her in San Francisco is shaping up. Said Dem operative DAN NEWMAN: “This is very much the campaign that shall not be named. … Nancy Pelosi is a force of nature, and no one wants to appear in any way disrespectful or dismissive.” Goldmacher writes: “Wrapped up in the elder Ms. Pelosi’s decision and its timing are intertwined questions of power, legacy and dynasty, and how fully a barrier-breaking, notoriously competitive public figure can stage-manage her exit.”
4. COUNTRY ROADS: Given how vital Sen. JOE MANCHIN was to the passage of Dems’ reconciliation package, it’s only right that his home state of West Virginia will provide a clear indication of the bill’s impact. “The economic stakes are immense in all of Appalachia, but especially in West Virginia, which went from a central part of the economy to one of the poorest states in the country as people, capital and industry fled,” WaPo’s Jeff Stein writes from Charleston. “In the 1950s, more than 100,000 West Virginians worked in coal, which powered American industry. That number remained as high as 54,000 into the 1980s. It has continued to gradually decline since then, hitting just 12,000 workers — the lowest figure since 1890, early in the Industrial Revolution — last year, according to federal data.”
5. MONKEYPOX LATEST: “Monkeypox may be here to stay,” by Krista Mahr, Megan Messerly and Katherine Ellen Foley: “Experts say the U.S. may still be able to prevent population-wide spread, but it may be too late for some within the LGBTQ community.”
6. JAN. 6 AND ITS AFTERMATH: “Some Capitol rioters try to profit from their Jan. 6 crimes,” by AP’s Michael Kunzelman: “In one case, federal authorities have seized tens of thousands of dollars from a defendant who sold his footage from Jan. 6. In another case, a Florida man’s plea deal allows the U.S. government to collect profits from any book he gets published over the next five years. And prosecutors want a Maine man who raised more than $20,000 from supporters to surrender some of the money because a taxpayer-funded public defender is representing him.”
7. THE POST-ROE MESSAGING:NYT’s Shane Goldmacher and Katie Glueck have a breakdown on the flood of abortion-related ads that have supercharged some of the tightest congressional races across the country: “In the roughly 50 days since the Supreme Court’s ruling, Democrats have flooded the airwaves in many of the nation’s most closely watched contests, spending nearly eight times as much as Republicans have on ads talking about abortion — $31.9 million compared with $4.2 million, according to data from AdImpact, a media tracking firm. And in the closest Senate and governor’s contests, Republicans have spent virtually nothing countering the Democratic offensive.”
8. CLIMATE FILES: “A disastrous megaflood is coming to California, experts say, and it could be the most expensive natural disaster in history,” by CNN’s Payton Major, Judson Jones and Brandon Miller
9. NYT’S LOCAL ANGLE: The NYT editorial board issued its endorsements in the key New York Democratic primaries coming up on Aug. 23. They’re backing Rep. JERRY NADLER in NY-12 against fellow Rep. CAROLYN MALONEY, Rep. SEAN PATRICK MALONEY in NY-17 and DANIEL GOLDMAN in the hotly contested NY-10. Read the endorsements and click through to each candidate’s interviews
An exchange from SPM’s interview that caught attention: “NYT: Do you own a gun? SPM: No. NYT: Have you ever fired a gun? SPM: Excuse me, I do own a gun. I inherited an old 22 rifle from my dad, which sits in a closet somewhere in a house we don’t use very much. NYT: Have you ever fired it? SPM: Yes, of course.”
— Related read: “Biaggi wants to defeat the DCCC boss in New York. Her ex-staff has a story to tell,” by Anna Gronewold
And then there was this eyebrow-raiser from Carolyn Maloney: “NYT: Should President Biden run again? MALONEY: Off the record, he’s not running again. NYT: Not off the record. On the record. MALONEY: On the record? No, he should not run again.”
Rand Paul wants to repeal the Espionage Act.
Al Franken is hosting “Jimmy Kimmel Live” on Tuesday.
The Congressional Women’s Softball Game rosters are out. Stephanie Bice, Shelley Moore Capito, Kirsten Gillibrand and Debbie Wasserman Schultz captain the members team, while Gretchen Frazee and Emily Goodin lead the Bad News Babes into the post-Abby Livingston era.
WHAT PLAYBOOKERS ARE READING: A roundup of the most-clicked links from the past week in Playbook.
1. This newly relevant Onion article from 2017: “Mar-A-Lago Assistant Manager Wondering If Anyone Coming To Collect Nuclear Briefcase From Lost And Found”
2. “In Harvard admissions case, will justices cherry-pick their history?” by WaPo’s Ruth Marcus
3. “A ‘Classic Ward 3’ Dispute is Playing Out in Palisades, as Neighbors Battle Over Sidewalks and Street Closures,” by Washington City Paper’s Alex Koma
4. “FBI Quest for Trump Documents Started With Breezy Chats, Tour of a Crowded Closet,” by WSJ’s Alex Leary, Aruna Viswanatha and Sadie Gurman
5. “Read the unsealed DOJ documents underpinning search of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago,” POLITICO
HAPPY BIRTHDAY: Sen. Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.) … Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.) … White House’s Rob Flaherty and Alia Awadallah … NYT’s Adam Goldman … Boris Epshteyn … Tim Carney of the Washington Examiner and AEI … Erik Sperling … POLITICO’s Peter Canellos … E&E News’ Avery Ellfeldt … Bill Couch … WaPo’s Lori Montgomery … NYT’s Katrin Bennhold … Dan Sena of Sena Kozar Strategies … David Ellis … Elliott Hulse of the World Bank … Jessica Pavel … Denise Feriozzi of Civitas Public Affairs … Eric Wohlschlegel … Paige Decker of the House Ways and Means GOP … Josh Freed … Edelman’s Jere Sullivan … Sean Miles of the Mayfair Group … Lynne Cheney … former Reps. Tom Campbell (R-Calif.) and Robin Hayes (R-N.C.) … Matt Lauer of Mercuria Energy Trading and MSLGroup … Catalist’s Molly Chapman Norton
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CORRECTION: An earlier version of Playbook misstated the first name of the candidate that the New York Times editorial board endorsed in NY-10. It is Daniel Goldman. It has also been updated to clarify that it was Carolyn Maloney who said President Biden “should not run again.”