A jury has begun hearing opening arguments on seditious conspiracy charges against the founder of the far-right group Oath Keepers and four of his associates.
According to the Associated Press, the case is the most high-profile indictment sparked by the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol and the most serious so far.
Prosecutor Jeffrey Nestler said Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes and four members were charged with organizing “armed” after the 2020 presidential election result rebellion” to stop the power shift between former presidents Donald Trump and Joe Biden. Today in federal court in Washington, D.C.
“Their goal is to prevent the legitimate transfer of presidential power by any means necessary, including taking up arms against the U.S. government,” Nestler said. “They concocted an armed insurgency plan to crush the bedrock of American democracy.”
Rhodes’ defense attorneys will also have the opportunity to speak with members of the jury, which was decided last week after days of questioning about their feelings about Trump, the uprising and other matters.
A little behind schedule, Biden and First Lady Jill Biden will travel to Ponce, Puerto Rico, on Air Force One.
As he left, Biden spoke to reporters about the purpose of the trip: “I’m going to Puerto Rico because they’re not well looked after. They’re doing their best to catch a hurricane, and I want to see what’s going on today and make sure we do our best to can.”
Biden plans to speak in Puerto Rico 2:30 PM ET.
More updates from the Supreme Court, including Jackson’s first question from the bench.
listen to oral arguments Gentlemen.
Here’s more background on the case the Supreme Court will hear and its impact on democracy, from The Guardian’s Ed Pilkington:
Nine justices on the U.S. Supreme Court will take their seats at the start of the new judicial year on Monday, even as shockwaves from the panel’s previous seismic tenure continue to reverberate across the U.S.
In their first full term, which ended in June, the court’s new 6-3 far-right supermajority shocked the nation by tearing up decades of established law. They have disenfranchised abortion, loosened America’s already lax gun laws, erected roadblocks to tackle the climate crisis, and given religious groups a greater voice in public life.
The fallout from a string of far-right rulings has shaken public confidence in the court’s political neutrality. A Gallup poll this week found that less than half of American adults trust it — a 20-point drop in just two years, since Gallup began recording the trend in 1972. Minimum rating.
The justices have begun to deal with the pressure through public debate. In a recent speech, liberal Justice Elena Kagan undermined the court’s credibility by accusing her conservative colleagues of supporting the Republican cause, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Read the full article here.
New Supreme Court term begins today
The Supreme Court’s new term begins today, with oral arguments starting at 10am.
During today’s session, the court will hear arguments about holding social media companies financially responsible for terrorist attacks, according to the Associated Press.
Relatives of victims of terror attacks in France and Turkey have sued several social media companies, including Twitter and Facebook, for spreading terror messages and inflaming new hires.
Tomorrow, the court will hear arguments over a challenge to the Voting Rights Act, a historic piece of legislation that bans racial discrimination in voting rules.
In the coming months, the court will hear other cases centered on affirmative action, Clearwater enforcement and other issues.
Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, the first black woman to serve on the Supreme Court, will sit on the bench for today’s oral arguments.
On Friday, Jackson celebrated in court with Biden, Kamala Harris and other state officials in attendance.
Biden and First Lady Jill Biden will leave the White House at 10:10 am today for Puerto Rico, where Biden will examine the island’s damage during Hurricane Fiona and announce $60 million for future storm preparations U.S. dollars in federal funding.
Deanne Criswell, administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), will also be with him.
A White House official told CNN more about the trip’s agenda: “They will meet with family and community leaders impacted by Hurricane Fiona, participate in a community service project, help pack food and other essentials, and thank federal and Local officials are working around the clock to help the people of Puerto Rico recover and rebuild … The President will also be briefed on ongoing recovery efforts.”
At least 25 people were killed when Hurricane Fiona made landfall on the island last month, according to Puerto Rico’s health department.
The natural disaster has caused power outages across the island, leaving hundreds of thousands of people without power.
Biden will then visit Florida on Wednesday.
Fiona and Hurricane Ian, which made landfall in Florida last week, were mentioned by Biden during a speech Saturday at the Congressional Black Caucus awards dinner, NBC News reported.
“Our hearts…are heavy, the devastating hurricanes and storms in Puerto Rico, Florida and South Carolina. We owe Puerto Rico so much more than they already get,” Biden said of Hurricane Ian’s impact on South Carolina impact said.
Biden visits Puerto Rico as partisan tensions boil over handling of Hurricane Ian
Good morning American Politics Blog readers!
The extent of the damage from these natural disasters is still being calculated after several tropical storms last month.
today, Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden Will visit Puerto Rico to investigate the damage the island suffered during Hurricane Fiona. Two weeks ago, flooding and landslides from the storm caused power outages across the island, affecting water supplies and leaving millions in darkness without clean water. Hundreds of thousands of people are still without electricity.
Once there, Biden $60 million in infrastructure funding to be announced From Puerto Rico, which passed a bipartisan infrastructure law last year.
Meanwhile, millions of Floridians are struggling to recover Hurricane Ian Landing last week, Ian’s death toll topped 80.
Partisan tensions have boiled over over the handling of the storm, with Republican officials facing criticism for voting against disaster aid in a short-term spending bill, Politico reported.
Florida Gov. DeSantis is facing mounting criticism for spending millions on ‘political stunts’ in the weeks before Ian, privately chartered flights to transport migrants from Texas to the wealthy Martha’s Vineyard community.