Clicky

DOJ Quietly Drops 5 Charges Against Sam Bankman-Fried
Connect with us
Citizen Frank

Published

on

Five of thirteen charges against Sam Bankman-Fried in relation to the financial collapse of FTX have been withdrawn by the Assistant United States Attorneys for the Department of Justice: Nicolas Roos, Danielle R. Sassoon, Samuel Raymond, Nathan M. Rehn, and Andrew Rohrbach.

A caveat to this is that the prosecutors have requested a second trial in early 2024 for the charges that were initiated earlier in the year.

Bankman-Fried’s lawyers argued that the additional indictments violate the conditions of his extradition and filed for a judicial review with the Supreme Court of the Bahamas on June 13.

Originally charged with only eight counts out of the thirteen, the five charges being withdrawn were added after Bankman-Fried was extradited from the Bahamas to the United States last December. The charges include bank fraud and allegations of bribing a foreign government.

Federal prosecutors said they would not pursue the new charges unless the government of the Bahamas authorized them.

They told the Wall Street Journal, “The government will proceed on the new charges…if The Bahamas consents to trial on these charges, and will not proceed on those counts if The Bahamas denies the Government’s request.”

Last Wednesday, the prosecutors said that the reason for this request was to “simplify the proof at trial and decrease the burden of trial preparation” for Bankman-Fried.

Bankman-Fried’s lawyers have argued that the new charges violate the rules of the extradition treaty between the US and the Bahamas. The extradition treaty states that countries must consent to any charges brought after the extradition takes place.

Judge Lewis Kaplan, the Manhattan judge in charge of the decision, when given the argument from Bankman-Fried’s lawyers, called it “extraordinarily imaginative.”

Bankman Fried allegedly stole billions of dollars from FTX customers while committing numerous counts of fraud. FTX was a corporation that controlled a huge amount of capital in the form of cryptocurrency that went under in 2022.

After his original arrest, Bankman-Fried was transferred to the US after being taken into custody in the Bahamas, where FTX was headquartered.

Advertisement
Click to comment

Top picks for you

News

Elon Musk Says His Trans Son Is ‘Dead’, ‘Killed by Woke Mind Virus’

Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said he was “tricked” into giving consent for his child to go on puberty blockers, adding that he believes “the woke mind virus” figuratively killed his son.

Musk made the comment in an interview with Dr. Jordan Peterson on Monday after he was asked about his thoughts on doctors performing sex change procedures on children, a practice both Musk and Peterson described as “evil.” Musk said that his experience with his child Xavier, who now goes by Vivian Jenna Wilson, opened his eyes to what he called “the woke mind virus,” which he has since vowed to “destroy.”

“It happened to one of my older boys, where I was essentially tricked into signing documents for one of my older boys, Xavier. This is before I had any understanding of what was going on. COVID was going on, so there was a lot of confusion and I was told Xavier might commit suicide if he doesn’t…” Musk told Peterson.

“That was a lie right from the outset,” Peterson interjected.

“Incredibly evil, and I agree with you that the people that have been promoting this should go to prison,” Musk responded.

Musk said it wasn’t explained to him that puberty blockers are “actually just sterilization drugs” when he gave his consent for his son to undergo the treatment. He called the term “gender affirming care” a “terrible euphemism.”

“I lost my son, essentially. They call it deadnaming for a reason,” Musk said.

“The reason it’s called deadnaming is because your son is dead. My son Xavier is dead, killed by the woke mind virus.”

Puberty blockers have been shown to cause long-term fertility problems in boys, a preprint study from Mayo Clinic concluded earlier this year.

The study found that puberty blockers’ impacts may be permanent, disputing claims that such effects can be reversed.

After an extended pause, Musk added, “I vowed to destroy the woke mind virus after that.”

Vivian Musk came out as transgender in June 2022. Around that same time, the then-18-year-old filed a request to change names from Xavier to Vivian and take her mother’s last name, the Daily Mail reported.

“I no longer want to be related to my biological father in any way, shape or form,” Vivian said at the time.

Musk’s pledge to take on the “woke” left likely inspired his latest decision to move the California headquarters for SpaceX to Texas, after Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill into law that will bar school districts from notifying parents if their child uses different pronouns or identifies as a gender that’s different from what’s on school records.

“This is the final straw,” Musk wrote on X, his social media platform, in explaining his decision. “Because of this law and the many others that preceded it, attacking both families and companies, SpaceX will now move its HQ from Hawthorne, California, to Starbase, Texas.”

Go deeper ( 2 min. read ) ➝

News

Kamala Harris Secures Enough Delegates to Win the Democratic Nomination

Vice President Kamala Harris has secured the support of enough Democratic delegates to become her party’s nominee against Republican Donald Trump, according to an Associated Press survey, as top Democrats rallied to her in the aftermath of President Joe Biden’s decision to drop his bid for reelection.

The quick coalescing behind Harris marked an attempt by the party to put weeks of internecine drama over Biden’s political future behind them and to unify behind the task of defeating Trump with just over 100 days until Election Day. Prominent Democratic elected officials, party leaders and political organizations quickly lined up behind Harris in the day after Biden’s exit from the race and her campaign set a new 24-hour record for presidential donations on Monday.

Several state delegations met late Monday to confirm their support for Harris, including Texas and her home state of California. By Monday night, Harris had the support of well more than the 1,976 delegates she’ll need to win on a first ballot, according to the AP tally. No other candidate was named by a delegate contacted by the AP.

California state Democratic Chairman Rusty Hicks said 75% to 80% of the state’s delegation were on a call Tuesday and they unanimously supported Harris.

“I’ve not heard anyone mentioning or calling for any other candidate,” Hicks said. “Tonight’s vote was a momentous one.”

Still, the AP is not calling Harris the new presumptive nominee. That’s because the convention delegates are still free to vote for the candidate of their choice at the convention in August or if Democrats go through with a virtual roll call ahead of that gathering in Chicago.

Harris, in a statement, responded to the AP tally, saying she is “grateful to President Biden and everyone in the Democratic Party who has already put their faith in me, and I look forward to taking our case directly to the American people.”

Worries over Biden’s fitness for office were replaced by fresh signs of unity after a seismic shift to the presidential contest that upended both major political parties’ carefully honed plans for the 2024 race.

Speaking to campaign staff in Wilmington, Delaware, Harris acknowledged the “rollercoaster” of the last several weeks, but expressed confidence in her new campaign team.

“It is my intention to go out and earn this nomination and to win,” she said. She promised to “unite our Democratic Party, to unite our nation, and to win this election.”

She quickly leaned into the themes that will be prominent in her campaign against Trump over the coming 100 days, contrasting her time as a prosecutor with Trump’s felony convictions — “I know Donald Trump’s type,” she said — and casting herself as a defender of economic opportunity and abortion access.

“Our fight for the future is also a fight for freedoms,” she said. “The baton is in our hands.”

The president called into the meeting from his home in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, where he is recovering from COVID-19, to lend his support to Harris. He planned to talk about his decision to step aside in an address to the nation later this week.

“The name has changed at the top of the ticket, but the mission hasn’t changed at all,” Biden said in his first public remarks since announcing his decision to step aside, promising he was “not going anywhere” and plans to campaign on Harris’ behalf.

Biden said of his decision, “It was the right thing to do.”

As he handed off the mantle of leadership to Harris, Biden added: “I’m watching you kid. I love you.”

Harris was headed to the battleground state of Wisconsin on Tuesday as her campaign for the White House kicks into high gear. The event in Milwaukee will be her first full-fledged campaign event since announcing her candidacy.

The AP tally is based on interviews with individual delegates, public statements from state parties, many of which have announced that their delegations are supporting Harris en masse, and public statements and endorsements from individual delegates.

Locking up the nomination was only the first item on the staggering political to-do list for Harris after learning of Biden’s plans to leave the race Sunday morning on a call with the president. She must also pick a running mate and pivot a massive political operation that had been built to reelect Biden to boost her candidacy instead.

On Sunday afternoon, Biden’s campaign formally changed its name to Harris for President, reflecting that she is inheriting his political operation of more than 1,000 staffers and war chest that stood at nearly $96 million at the end of June. She added $81 million to that total in the first 24 hours after Biden’s endorsement, her campaign said — a presidential fundraising record — with contributions from more than 888,000 donors.

The campaign also saw a surge of interest after Harris took over, with more than 28,000 new volunteers registered since the announcement — a rate more than 100 times an average day from the previous Biden reelection campaign, underscoring the enthusiasm behind Harris.

Big-name Harris endorsements Monday, including from Govs. Wes Moore of Maryland, Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan, J.B. Pritzker of Illinois and Andy Beshear of Kentucky, left a vanishing list of potential rivals.

House Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi, who had been one of the notable holdouts, initially encouraging a primary to strengthen the eventual nominee, said she was lending her “enthusiastic support” to Harris’ effort to lead the party.

Harris, if elected, would be the first woman and first person of South Asian descent to be president.

The Democratic National Convention is scheduled to be held Aug. 19-22 in Chicago, but the party had announced before Biden dropped out that it would hold a virtual roll call to formally nominate Biden before in-person proceedings begin. The convention’s rules committee is scheduled to meet this week to finalize its nomination process with a virtual vote as soon as Aug. 1, the party announced on Monday, with the process completed by Aug. 7.

“We can and will be both fast and fair as we execute this nomination,” Jaime Harrison, the Democratic National Committee’s chair, said on a conference call with reporters.

The party said the virtual roll call would feature multiple rounds of voting on nominees if multiple candidates meet the qualification threshold. To qualify, candidates must have the electronic signatures of 300 convention delegates.

Go deeper ( 4 min. read ) ➝

News

The Cunning Ploy Devious Democrats Used to Sabotage Biden’s Campaign

The Democrat Party plot to get Joe Biden to drop out has been long in the works, a Biden insider claims.

That plan came to fruition on Sunday, when the 81-year-old president dramatically announced the end of his campaign before endorsing Vice President Kamala Harris.

However, a source close to Biden’s family is saying that the party put together a ‘palace coup’ over the course of recent weeks, with the president fighting it until he was threatened with being forced out.

The insider says that the disastrous debate against Donald Trump on June 27 – the earliest presidential debate in history – was part of the strategy, despite being publicly requested by Biden on social media.

‘That debate was a set-up to convince Democrats that he couldn’t run for president,’ the source told the New York Post.

Biden was often seen on split screen with his mouth agape and a blank stare during the showdown against Trump last month, immediately sending Democrats into a freak out.

Though publicly, most of the faces of the left stayed behind Biden, in the shadows, party powerbrokers were threatening to invoke the 25th amendment.

Section 4 of the amendment allows for removal of a president who is deemed incapacitated by any kind of illness, injury, or mental impairment.

One of the few trusted by Biden who believed he was being pushed out: troubled son Hunter, who became a gatekeeper for his father after the debate.

‘Hunter felt he was being set up and he was very concerned about his father. These people, these officials were not on Joe’s side,’ the source claimed.

They also said that it might not be a straight shot to the nomination for Harris, despite Biden’s endorsement.

The source claimed that Senator Mark Kelly of Arizona may be a popular pick of delegates, though the former astronaut has already endorsed Harris.

Once Biden was finally, officially convinced to get out, everything moved at the speed of light.

He was isolating with COVID at his $3.4 million holiday home in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, when his shrinking inner circle handed him polling data showing he could no longer beat Donald Trump.

That was when they composed a letter saying it was time for him to step aside for the good of the future of the Democratic party.

Donors had pulled millions of dollars in funds, the list of Democrats telling him to drop out was growing by the day, and polls suggested that his chances of beating Donald Trump were dwindling after his disastrous debate performance.

Biden had previously insisted that he would only step aside if he was shown polling that proved Kamala Harris would fare better than him against Trump, or if he developed a ‘medical condition’. In the end, it was the first of those developments that sealed his fate.

Biden went to bed on Saturday night at the beach house, knowing he would announce his bombshell the next day.

At 1:45 pm on Sunday he began calling his senior staff at the White House and the campaign.

By that time he had already told Harris and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.

At 1:46 pm, his campaign account posted a letter from the president announcing his decision even as he was still on the staff call.

Most of his staff – both in the White House and at the campaign – were shocked. They learned the news online, getting the alert when the @JoeBiden account posted the president’s missive.

It capped a chaotic 48 hours for the Biden family as they hunkered in behind their patriarch with a small, inner circle of longtime aides supporting them. Some were even reporting back to Jill Biden about those staffers deemed disloyal.

Meanwhile, Biden had veered from angry at the pressure from his party to acceptance of the situation.

And once his final decision was made on Saturday night, the rest moved quickly.

Biden called Harris directly to tell her the news.

He also had one-on-one calls with White House chief of staff Jeff Zients and campaign chair Jen O’Malley Dillon, according to reports. He would also speak with his Cabinet, Members of Congress, governors, and supporters.

But it all happened so fast many staff were hurt about the way they learned of the news, although they weren’t surprised by it.

Harris then announced she was running for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Go deeper ( 3 min. read ) ➝

News

Key Takeaways from Secret Service Director’s Congressional Grilling on Trump Shooting

House members on both sides of the aisle left the Oversight Committee hearing on the shooting at former President Donald Trump’s rally feeling unsatisfied and frustrated with the lack of information from Secret Service Director Kimberly Cheatle.

Cheatle declined to provide specifics on how the shooter accessed the roof that allowed him to take aim at Trump and shoot the former president and three others, one fatally, before he was killed by a Secret Service sniper. She also deflected many questions and asked members to speak to the FBI, which is taking point on the federal investigation into the assassination attempt.

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), chairman of the Judiciary Committee, and several other members grilled and blasted Cheatle for her “lame” answers. Jordan at one point asked her if she was “guessing or lying” regarding the Secret Service’s denial of extra security for Trump.

Bipartisan calls for Cheatle to step down grow after disastrous hearing

Democrats and Republicans all agreed that the hearing was disastrous for Cheatle after she failed to provide concrete answers on anything related to the shooting. Frequent answers of “This is an ongoing investigation” caused many members to call on her to resign from both sides of the aisle.

After the hourslong testimony that yielded little to no results, ranking member Jamie Raskin (D-MD) joined Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (R-KY) in asking for Cheatle to resign. Reps. Jared Moskowitz (D-FL), Ro Khanna (D-CA), Byron Donalds (R-FL), and several others called on Cheatle to resign during the hearing.

A group of House Republicans, led by Rep. Nick Langworthy (D-NY), introduced a resolution during the hearing calling for Cheatle’s termination as director of the Secret Service.

Rep. Greg Steube (R-FL), who does not sit on the Oversight Committee, is planning to introduce impeachment articles against Cheatle.

“In light of Kimberly Cheatle’s unacceptable handling of the Trump assassination attempt, her disastrous appearance before the House Oversight committee today, and her refusal to resign, we have no choice but to impeach,” Steube said on X. “I will be filing articles of impeachment against Kimberly Cheatle this afternoon.”

Secret Service was told about ‘suspicious person’ at Trump rally multiple times before shooting

Cheatle said the agency was told about a suspicious person at Trump’s rally many times.

“I don’t have an exact number to share with you today, but from what I have been able to discern, somewhere between two and five times, there was some sort of communication about a suspicious individual,” Cheatle said.

She confirmed the suspicious person was photographed but told Raskin that the Secret Service distinguishes someone as suspicious and, separately, someone as a threat.

She said if someone had been considered threatening, “we never would have brought the former president onstage.”

Cheatle also said no one has been fired or put in a position to lose their job and would not answer whether she is prepared to fire anyone who was at the event when the investigation reveals specific security failures.

Top Intelligence Republican calls on Biden to fire Cheatle for being almost ‘culpable’ in Trump shooting

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Turner (R-OH) said if Trump had been killed in the shooting, Cheatle would have not only looked incompetent but “culpable.”

“Because Donald Trump is alive today, and thank God he is, you look incompetent,” Turner said. “If Donald Trump had been killed, you would have looked culpable. There is no aspect of this that indicates that there has been any protection to Donald Trump.”

“Not only should you resign, if you refuse to do so, President Biden needs to fire you because his life, Donald Trump’s life, and all the other people which you protect are at risk because you have no concept of the aspect that the security footprint needs to be correlated to the threat,” Turner said.

Cheatle grades Secret Service protection of Trump an ‘A’ but acknowledges failures

House Education Committee Chairwoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC), who called the rally shooting an example of a “cascade of failures” at the Secret Service, asked Cheatlewhat “grade” she would give the performance by the agency’s performance at the rally.

“As I’ve stated ma’am, this was clearly a failure,” Cheatle said. “I would grade the agents and officers who selflessly threw themselves in front of the president and neutralize the threat an ‘A.’ I think we need to examine the events that led up to, and prior to, that day.”

Cheatle has not visited site but called Trump to apologize

The director told members that she has not visited the site of the shooting but did apologize to Trump in a phone call after the assassination attempt.

Members of the House Homeland Security Committee visited the site on Monday while the oversight hearing was ongoing.

Members frustrated with Cheatle’s lack of detail after nine days

Many members laughed and shook their heads at Cheatle while she dodged questions on the shooting. When Cheatle said she could not provide specifics on the incident, Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) asked, “Why are you here?” Rep. Lisa McClain (R-MI) also laughed and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) shook her head and said “unbelievable” when Cheatle offered similar remarks.

Rep. Byron Donalds (R-FL) questioned why it has been several days since the shooting and Cheatle has yet to provide concrete details to the public.

“The fact that it’s been nine days and these are simple questions to answer. … This is a joke,” Donalds said. “And, director, you’re in charge. And that’s why you need to go.”

Democrats were also taking issue with the absence of detail in Cheatle’s answers.

“We are currently in the midst of … an especially concentrated presidential campaign,” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) said. “So the idea that a report will be finalized in 60 days, let alone prior to any actionable decisions that would be made, is simply not acceptable.”

“It has been 10 days since an assassination attempt on a former president of the United States. Regardless of party, there need to be answers,” the New York Democrat said. “This is not a moment of theater. We need to make policy decisions, and we need to make them now.”

Rep. Summer Lee (D-PA) asked Cheatle if she “really plans to avoid answering questions” about the shooting, with Cheatle responding that once she had a report, she would come back and answer committee questions.

Moskowitz compares Cheatle’s performance to testimony at Education Committee’s antisemitism hearing

Rep. Jared Moskowitz (D-FL) gave Cheatle an “honest assessment” and said her testimony was not going well, relating it to the statements given by university presidents at the Education Committee’s antisemitism hearing.

“It didn’t go well, and the short end of that story was, the university [presidents] all resigned; they’re gone,” Moskowitz said. “That’s how this is going for you. This is where this is headed. This is — I don’t know who prepared you for this, I don’t know how many times you’ve testified in front of Congress, but a president was almost assassinated live on television … and this being your first opportunity — and I understand there’s an ongoing investigation and I understand there’s things that you can not talk about.”

“But the idea that we’re getting less than you did on television is something that Democrats, independents, or Republicans are going to find unacceptable,” Moskowitz added.

Khanna corrects Cheatle on resignation of Stuart Knight, head of Secret Service during failed Reagan assassination attempt

Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) put Cheatle in the hot seat after correcting her on the path former Secret Service Director Stuart Knight took following the failed assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan.

When asked what Knight did following the shooting, Cheatle said he stayed on as director. Khanna corrected Cheatle, stating that he resigned in 1981. Ultimately, Khanna said, he thinks Cheatle should resign.

“I just don’t think this is partisan,” Khanna said. “If you have an assassination attempt on a president, a former president, or a candidate, you need to resign.”

Biggs calls for independent commission while offering support for task force

While the House is poised to vote on a bill establishing a bipartisan task force to look into the assassination attempt, Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) said he thinks Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) needs to take it a step further due to Cheatle’s lack of answers.

“I am calling, and I’ll support that, on the speaker to give us and put together a truly independent commission of qualified former Secret Service agencies, presidential and VIP Protective Services people who can actually conduct this kind of investigation and give us real answers because I don’t think you’re going to give us those answers,” Biggs said. “You should have come today ready to give us answers. I call upon you to resign today. Today.”

Go deeper ( 6 min. read ) ➝

News

Quinnipiac Poll: Trump 49%, Harris 47%

A race for president between former President Donald Trump and Vice President Kamala Harris is too close to call, according to a poll released Monday by Quinnipiac University.

“The dramatic reset at the top of the Democratic ticket does little to move the race as Vice President Harris enters the fray with numbers similar to President Biden,” said Quinnipiac University Polling Analyst Tim Malloy.

The former presumptive Democratic nominee President Joe Biden decided Sunday to step down from the race, saying he would not be running for reelection and instead endorsed Harris to take his place on the ticket.

One day later, Quinnipiac University pollsters asked likely voters who they would support: Harris or Trump, who accepted the Republican nomination as that party’s presidential candidate during the GOP convention last week.

“Harris and former President Trump are in a race that is too close to call with Trump receiving 49 percent support and Harris receiving 47 percent support,” the poll showed, according to a release. “There is no clear leader as the lead is within the margin of error.”

The poll, conducted July 19 through July 21, included 1,257 self-identified registered voters with a margin of error of 2.8 percent.

According to the poll, a majority of voters, 62 percent, believe that Biden dropping out of the presidential race was the right thing to do, the polls said.

A previous Quinnipiac poll, released June 26, put Trump four points ahead of Biden, 49 to 45 percent in a head-to-head match.

“The political heat rises in this steamy American summer of discord. Trump holds a narrow lead in the head-to-head matchup and is in a slightly better position when all the candidates are included,” Malloy said in June.

Biden has endorsed Harris, as have many other Democratic politicians, including most of Connecticut’s delegation.

“I believe Kamala Harris is the right person to move the Democratic Party and this nation forward,” said state Sen. Gary Winfield, D-New Haven. “She is fiercely intelligent and highly capable of leading in this moment.”

The Democratic Party will formally select its presidential nominee at the Democratic National Convention at Chicago’s United Center beginning Aug. 19.

Go deeper ( 2 min. read ) ➝

News

Beshear Endorses Harris Amid VP Speculation

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear (D) endorsed Vice President Harris for president Monday morning amid speculation over whether he could serve as her running mate.

“I am excited to fully endorse Vice President Harris for the next president of the United States. The vice president is smart and strong which will make her a good president. But she’s also kind and has empathy, which can make her a great president,” he said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

Beshear has boosted his profile among Democrats by winning the governorship of a ruby-red state.

He defeated a Trump-backed GOP challenger to win reelection last year in a state that former President Trump won in 2016 and 2020.

“The contrast between her and those running on the other side couldn’t be clearer,” Beshear said in his statement.

“The vice president is ready, she has my full endorsement, I’m going to do everything I can to support her.”

Endorsements have been coming in for Harris steadily since President Biden dropped out of the race Sunday and endorsed her to be his replacement.

While it is not 100 percent clear that Harris will not have a challenger, it appears more of the drama will be in picking her running mate, and a a slate of governors and senators could be considered for the role.

Go deeper ( < 1 min. read ) ➝

News

Kamala Campaign Raises $81 Million in First 24 Hours

Kamala Harris‘ presidential campaign raised $81 million in the past 24 hours, setting a record for the amount amassed in one day largely from small dollar donors.

Shortly after Joe Biden dropped out of the presidential race on Sunday and endorsed Harris, the vice president officially launched her campaign, with the Biden-Harris operation rebranded as Harris for President.

The campaign said that 888,0000 donors contributed in the past 24 hours, and 60% of them were making their first contribution of the 2024 cycle.

Harris said in a statement on Sunday that “my intention is to earn and win this nomination.”

So far, though, there are no other major rivals, as a succession of Democratic lawmakers and other elected officials have endorsed her candidacy. So too have a series of governors — including Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan, Josh Shapiro of Pennsylvania and Gavin Newsom of California — who had been seen as potential rivals.

Harris appeared early today at the White House at a ceremony to honor NCAA athletes.

In brief remarks, she praised Biden, but did not talk about her candidacy. She then traveled to Wilmington, DE to thank campaign staff.

The Democratic National Committee has not yet said what the process will be for selecting the next nominee.

Go deeper ( < 1 min. read ) ➝

News

Biden Cancels 9 Trips, Won’t Return to White House Until Wednesday

President Biden has canceled nine trips that were scheduled for the next two weeks after suddenly dropping out of the 2024 race, according to reports by The Post.

Biden was scheduled to leave Monday for the West Coast, where he was to make stops in California, Denver, Houston and Austin – but all of those trips have been suddenly canceled, a White House source told The Post.

Biden, who has been isolating with COVID-19, was set to leave his home in Rehoboth, Del., on Monday, but extended his stay until Wednesday after announcing the end of his campaign the night before.

The source was not given any reason behind why the White House cancelled the trips.

Biden’s illness was not immediately connected to the decision, as presidential physician Kevin O’Connor on Monday said Biden had all but recovered from the illness.

“They started canceling stuff when he announced he wasn’t seeking reelection,” the source said, adding that the trips were a mix of campaign and official presidential stops.

“He was supposed to leave today to start the West Coast trip, but they extended his stay in Rehoboth until the 24th,” the source added.

Houston Mayor John Whitmire was anticipating a Biden visit on Thursday to discuss the Hurricane Beryl recovery efforts but said the trip was canceled last-minute.

“I don’t know if the press knows it, but President Biden was going to be here Thursday to recognize our preparation,” Whitmire said Sunday after the president dropped out of the race.

Biden was also tentatively expected to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday, but he has no plans to return to DC.

The president’s next scheduled trip is tentatively set for July 31, where Biden will travel with Vice President Kamala Harris to an yet to be disclosed location, according to the White House source.

He is then set to travel to Chicago the next day and then doesn’t have anything on the calendar until the DNC convention, per the source.

Biden, 81, hasn’t been seen in public since Wednesday night when he was diagnosed with COVID. After the diagnosis, the president was seen struggling to get off Air Force One and into his motorcade.

Harris spoke to Biden’s COVID recovery in her speech speaking about his “legacy” on Monday at the White House. The vice president, who Biden endorsed to replace him as the nominee, said Biden “wanted to be here today.”

“He is feeling much better and recovering fast, and he looks forward to getting back on the road,” Harris added.

Harris flew to Delaware on Monday to say “hello” to the campaign staff, as she is taking over the 2024 bid after Biden’s drop.

Biden – with heavily slurred speech – called into the HQ meeting to speak to staffers and Harris, informing them that “the name has changed at the top of the ticket, but the mission hasn’t changed.”

Biden’s lack of physical presence or video address has led some to be alarmed about his whereabouts, with some Republican members of Congress calling for a “proof of life” check.

The letter announcing the suspension of his campaign was not mounted on official White House letterhead and the signature appeared to be electronically added.

A White House official said Biden received virtual briefings on homeland security and national security from Rehoboth on Monday.

Biden spokesperson Andrew Bates told The Post on Sunday that Biden “looks forward to finishing his term and delivering more historic results for the American people.”

Go deeper ( 2 min. read ) ➝

News

Secret Service Director: Trump Assassination Attempt Agency’s Biggest ‘Failure’ in Decades

The director of the U.S. Secret Service told a House panel on Monday that her agency failed during the assassination attempt targeting former President Donald Trump.

“The Secret Service’s solemn mission is to protect our nation’s leaders. On July 13th, we failed. As the Director of the United States Secret Service, I take full responsibility for any security lapse,” Secret Service Director Kimberly Cheatle told the House Oversight Committee in prepared remarks after she was subpoenaed, adding that the shooting was the “most significant operational failure in decades.”

During the July 13 incident at a rally in Butler, Pennsylvania, a gunman fired at the former president, striking him in the right ear as well as killing one person and wounding two others.

“We must learn what happened and I will move heaven and earth to ensure an incident like July 13th does not happen again. Thinking about what we should have done differently is never far from my thoughts,” Ms. Cheatle said.

Her appearance before the panel occurred as numerous Republican lawmakers and at least one Democrat congressman have demanded that she resign from her position, saying that her agency did not do enough to provide security to the former president. House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) are among those who have called on Ms. Cheatle to step down.

The House Oversight panel’s chairman, Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.), said Monday that the Secret Service underperformed in its “zero-fail mission,” saying there are questions that the agency “lacks the proper management” and also chided it for what he described as a lack of transparency. Instead of providing statements to the public, the Secret Service is delivering information through “whistleblowers” and “leaks” to the media, he said.

“It is my firm belief that … you should resign,” Mr. Comer told the agency director at the start of the hearing on Monday morning. “I urge Director Cheatle to be transparent in her testimony today,” he added.

However, in the midst of such pressure, Ms. Cheatle told ABC News in an interview last week that the shooting was “unacceptable,” stressing that her agency will cooperate with investigations and reviews into the near-assassination.

“I am the director of the Secret Service, and I need to make sure that we are performing a review and that we are giving resources to our personnel as necessary,” she told the network.

She also has, so far, resisted calls to step down, saying in an interview last week that “I do plan to stay on.”

The attack on Trump was the most serious attempt to assassinate a president or presidential candidate since Ronald Reagan was shot in 1981. It was the latest in a series of security lapses by the agency that has drawn investigations and public scrutiny over the years.

President Joe Biden has ordered an independent investigation. The Homeland Security Department and a bipartisan independent panel have said they are also investigating the matter.

On Sunday evening, Ms. Cheatle said in a statement that she would cooperate with the independent review carried out by a so-called “Blue Ribbon Panel.”

“I look forward to the panel examining what happened and providing recommendations to help ensure it will never happen again,” the director said.

Trump Says He Wasn’t Warned

In an interview over the weekend on Fox News, former President Trump said he was given no indication that law enforcement had identified a suspicious person when he took the stage in Pennsylvania. Some rallygoers said in interviews after the attempted assassination that they saw the gunman on the roof before the former president walked out onto the stage and had alerted law enforcement authorities on site.

In an interview with Fox News host Jesse Watters, former President Trump said, “No, nobody mentioned it, nobody said there was a problem” before he took the stage and a gunman opened fire.

“They could’ve said, ‘Let’s wait for 15 minutes, 20 minutes, 5 minutes, something.’ Nobody said. I think that was a mistake,” the former president said.

He also questioned the security lapses and how the gunman was able to access the roof of the building. “How did somebody get on that roof? And why wasn’t he reported? Because people saw that he was on the roof,” he said. “So you would’ve thought someone would’ve done something about it.”

Local law enforcement officers had seen the man and deemed him suspicious enough to put out an alert on a tactical channel and witnesses reported seeing him scaling the building.

After the shooting, the FBI identified Thomas Matthew Crooks, 20, as the suspect. He was shot and killed by a Secret Service sniper moments after he opened fire.

Watch:

Go deeper ( 3 min. read ) ➝

News

Obama Does Not Endorse Kamala Harris for President

Former President Barack Obama did not endorse Vice President Kamala Harris on Sunday to be the Democrat Party’s presidential nominee after President Joe Biden announced that he was ending his reelection campaign.

Obama praised Biden in a lengthy statement for his “remarkable career in public service,” and said that he had “every right to run for re-election and finish the job he started.”

Read Obama’s full statement:

Joe Biden has been one of America’s most consequential presidents, as well as a dear friend and partner to me. Today, we’ve also been reminded — again — that he’s a patriot of the highest order.

Sixteen years ago, when I began my search for a vice president, I knew about Joe’s remarkable career in public service. But what I came to admire even more was his character — his deep empathy and hard-earned resilience; his fundamental decency and belief that everyone counts.

Since taking office, President Biden has displayed that character again and again. He helped end the pandemic, created millions of jobs, lowered the cost of prescription drugs, passed the first major piece of gun safety legislation in 30 years, made the biggest investment to address climate change in history, and fought to ensure the rights of working people to organize for fair wages and benefits. Internationally, he restored America’s standing in the world, revitalized NATO, and mobilized the world to stand up against Russian aggression in Ukraine.

More than that, President Biden pointed us away from the four years of chaos, falsehood, and division that had characterized Donald Trump’s administration. Through his policies and his example, Joe has reminded us of who we are at our best — a country committed to old-fashioned values like trust and honesty, kindness and hard work; a country that believes in democracy, rule of law, and accountability; a country that insists that everyone, no matter who they are, has a voice and deserves a chance at a better life.

This outstanding track record gave President Biden every right to run for re-election and finish the job he started. Joe understands better than anyone the stakes in this election — how everything he has fought for throughout his life, and everything that the Democratic Party stands for, will be at risk if we allow Donald Trump back in the White House and give Republicans control of Congress.

I also know Joe has never backed down from a fight. For him to look at the political landscape and decide that he should pass the torch to a new nominee is surely one of the toughest in his life. But I know he wouldn’t make this decision unless he believed it was right for America. It’s a testament to Joe Biden’s love of country — and a historic example of a genuine public servant once again putting the interests of the American people ahead of his own that future generations of leaders will do well to follow.

We will be navigating uncharted waters in the days ahead. But I have extraordinary confidence that the leaders of our party will be able to create a process from which an outstanding nominee emerges. I believe that Joe Biden’s vision of a generous, prosperous, and united America that provides opportunity for everyone will be on full display at the Democratic Convention in August. And I expect that every single one of us are prepared to carry that message of hope and progress forward into November and beyond.

For now, Michelle and I just want to express our love and gratitude to Joe and Jill for leading us so ably and courageously during these perilous times — and for their commitment to the ideals of freedom and equality that this country was founded on.

Go deeper ( 3 min. read ) ➝

News

Trump and JD Vance Accuse Dems of Leading ‘Coup’ Against Biden, Call to ‘Invoke the 25th Amendment’

Former President Donald Trump and his running mate, JD Vance, slammed the Democratic Party for leading a “coup” against President Biden — with the Ohio senator saying that if Biden isn’t fit to run for president, he shouldn’t be able to serve the rest of his term.

The GOP ticket commented on Biden’s seemingly declining condition and the news that he would not be running for re-election in a clip that aired Monday morning on Fox News, telling “Primetime” host Jesse Watters that Biden shouldn’t get to step down in a way that is only beneficial to his party.

When asked if Biden’s dropping out of the election was a “coup against Joe Biden,” Trump quietly replied with “Sort of,” before Vance jumped in.

“Yeah, I think it is. I mean, look, there’s a constitutional process, the 25th Amendment. If Joe Biden can’t run for president, he can’t serve as president,” Vance replied.

Vance continued voicing his opinion, saying, “And if they want to take him down because he’s mentally incapable of serving, invoke the 25th Amendment. You don’t get to sort of do this in the most politically beneficial way for Democrats. If it’s an actual problem, they should take care of it the appropriate way.”

The interview was taped Saturday before news broke Sunday that Biden was withdrawing from the 2024 general election and endorsing Vice President Kamala Harris as the presumptive new Democratic nominee.

The Ohio senator expressed a similar sentiment hours before Biden’s announcement, writing on social media that if the president wasn’t fit to campaign, he should not be trusted to remain in the White House.

“Not running for reelection would be a clear admission that President Trump was right all along about Biden not being mentally fit enough to serve as Commander-in-Chief,” Vance wrote on X.

“There is no middle ground,” he continued.

During the interview, Trump agreed when asked by Watters if he would investigate the “people that hid Joe Biden’s condition,” including the White House doctors who “keep giving him this wonderful report.”

Watch:

Go deeper ( 2 min. read ) ➝

News

Axios: Biden Delayed Dropping Out Because He Doubted Kamala Could Win

President Biden hesitated to drop his re-election campaign in part because he and his senior advisers worried that Vice President Kamala Harris wasn’t up to taking on Donald Trump, according to three Biden aides familiar with recent talks about his plans.

Biden, 81, ultimately decided to withdraw under pressure from the party and endorsed Harris, but his private anxieties reflect broader questions among some Democratic leaders about Harris as their nominee this November.

This next week will be critical for Harris, 59, to prove doubters wrong as she moves quickly to try to clear the field of potential challengers for the Democratic nomination.

Biden, Bill and Hillary Clinton and many Democratic lawmakers quickly endorsed Harris, but others — including former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, House Democratic leader Hakeem Jeffries, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and former President Barack Obama — did not immediately do so.

“We will be navigating uncharted waters in the days ahead,” Obama said in a statement. “But I have extraordinary confidence that the leaders of our party will be able to create a process from which an outstanding nominee emerges.”

Harris’ time as vice president has been occasionally rocky, defined in part by large staff turnover, retreating from politically risky responsibilities, and mocking from some Beltway insiders.

Much of Harris’ staff has turned over in the past 3½ years.

About half of the vice president’s staff is paid by the Senate, which requires regular disclosures. Of the 47 Harris staffers listed in 2021, only five still worked for her as of this spring, according to the disclosures. Her full staff list is not publicly disclosed.

During Obama’s first term, then-Vice President Biden had far more staff stability, as 17 of 38 of his aides stayed with him over a similar period, according to the disclosures for staff paid by the Senate.

Former Harris aides told Axios the high turnover is partly because of how the vice president treats her staff.

Some former aides said Harris had high standards that some did not want to keep up with, but others felt that she frequently grilled them the way she grilled Trump officials, such as then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions, when she represented California in the U.S. Senate.

Former aides often refer to it as Harris’ “prosecuting the staff.”

During the 2020 campaign, Biden aides recall watching Harris interrogate her then-chief of staff Karine Jean-Pierre to the point that it made others uncomfortable.

After the election, Jean-Pierre moved to the White House’s press team.

A person familiar with the matter said Biden told Jean-Pierre that she was only “on loan” during the campaign and that her move to the White House was always part of the plan.

The relationship between the vice president’s office and the West Wing has often been tense.

White House aides sometimes felt Harris wasn’t a team player and stayed away from any task with risk.

But some Harris aides felt that the White House, particularly top aide Anita Dunn, wasn’t helpful to the vice president.

At times, Harris aides suspected Biden’s team didn’t want to give Harris opportunities to shine to avoid her being seen as a viable alternative to Biden ahead of his re-election bid.

Even so, Dunn worked to elevate Harris during Biden’s campaign, particularly with Harris’ work in pushing to defend abortion rights.

In response to questions for this article, Harris’ chief of staff Lorraine Voles said in a statement: “Anita is a supportive colleague who works closely every day with the Office of the Vice President.”

The tensions between the Biden and Harris staffs could get personal, however.

Some Harris senior aides told others they resented how Biden’s team got frustrated with the optics of Meena Harris, the vice president’s niece, publishing a children’s book just before Biden’s inauguration — but then celebrated when Hunter Biden published his book months later.

Voles added that Biden and Harris’ many achievements in the president’s term were “possible in part due to the hard work of the White House staff who view themselves as one team.”

But some Democrats found the Biden team’s quiet trashing of Harris ironic, given that they had complained for the past decade about how Obama aides had done the same thing to Biden when he was vice president.

Some of the tensions between the Biden and Harris teams are because the principals are very different people, aides to both told Axios.

Biden is a white Irish Catholic man who learned politics by trying to shake every hand in the small state of Delaware.

Harris, 22 years younger, is a multiracial woman who worked her way up in the much larger state of California, where political races often are won by how much money you can raise.

There are personality differences as well: Harris is much more attuned to the pop culture of movies and music, while Biden rarely engages with pop culture in that way.

Harris has been cautious and reluctant to participate in events that weren’t tightly controlled, Harris and Biden aides said.

In 2022, the White House internally pushed Harris to be the headliner for D.C.’s traditional Gridiron Dinner, but she resisted. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo did it instead.

Harris has faced race-baiting from some conservatives, and at times has focused on critical coverage of her in ways aides have found unhelpful — like when she has watched Fox News’ “The Five.”

In April 2022, Harris was the guest for a dinner at D.C. news mogul David Bradley’s home — a salon-style event Bradley hosts with Washington journalists and newsmakers.

Harris’ anxiety about the dinner was such that her staff held a mock dinner beforehand, with staffers playing participants, according to two people familiar with the event.

Harris aides even considered including wine in the mock prep so Harris could practice with a glass or two.

They ultimately decided against it.

In endorsing Harris, Biden said that “my very first decision as the party nominee in 2020 was to pick Kamala Harris as my vice president. And it’s been the best decision I’ve made.”

White House communications director Ben LaBolt added that Harris “has been incredibly loyal and dedicated.”

Rachel Palermo, Harris’ former deputy communications director, told Axios that Harris “has high standards because she is well prepared” and that “she is an incredible legal mind.”

Carmel Martin, Harris’ former domestic policy adviser, added: “I never felt grilled by the vice president. I think she holds high standards for her staff but she is also a great boss and mentor.”

Go deeper ( 4 min. read ) ➝

News

How Kamala Harris Performs Against Trump in the Polls

Before President Biden announced he would discontinue his re-election campaign and endorsed Vice President Harris, recent polls that had been conducted after his disastrous debate performance showed little difference between how he matched up against former President Trump compared to how Harris would.

The New York Times assessed that Harris falls about two percentage points behind Trump in recent polls. The 46% to 48% difference is slightly better for Harris compared to how Biden polled on average – three percentage points behind the Republican presidential nominee, 47% to 44%.

A New York Times/Siena College poll conducted in the battleground state of Pennsylvania from July 9-11, before Biden dropped out and before the assassination attempt on Trump at a rally in Butler, Pennsylvania, showed Harris was only behind by one percentage point in a hypothetical matchup against Trump.

In Virginia, Harris had a five percentage point lead, compared to Biden only polling ahead of Trump in the same state by a razor-thin margin, according to the Times. Harris polled slightly better than Biden in both states among Black voters, younger voters and women.

According to a Washington Post-ABC News-Ipsos poll conducted July 5-9, 70% of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents indicated that they would be “satisfied” if Biden withdrew from the race and Harris was nominated to run as the 2024 Democratic presidential candidate.

In an open-ended question, that poll showed 29% of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents named Harris as their pick for the Democratic nomination if Biden bowed out.

Seven percent of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents referenced California Gov. Gavin Newsom, while 4% said they wanted former first lady Michelle Obama as Biden’s replacement. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer each had 3% of support, though half of Democrats did not specify an alternative candidate.

As pressure mounted from Democrat lawmakers and donors for Biden to step aside, a poll from the AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research released last week found that about six in 10 Democrats believe that Harris would do a good job as president herself.

About two in 10 Democrats do not believe she would, and another two in 10 say they do not know enough to say.

Results of a CNN poll conducted by SSRS and released on July 2 indicated that three-quarters of voters say the Democratic Party would have a better chance of keeping the White House with someone else other than Biden at the top of the party’s ticket.

In a hypothetical match-up, 47% of registered voters supported Trump compared to 45% for Harris, a difference that fell within the survey’s margin of error.

Go deeper ( 2 min. read ) ➝

News

George Soros’s Son Alex Fully Backs Kamala Harris After Biden Drops Out

George Soros’s son and the heir to his liberal empire, Alex Soros, quickly threw his support behind Kamala Harris to be the next president of the United States after President Biden dropped out of the race.

“It’s time for us all to unite around Kamala Harris and beat Donald Trump,” Alex Soros said in a social media post.

“She is the best and most qualified candidate we have. Long live the American Dream.”

The endorsement comes after President Biden said Sunday he was dropping out of the presidential race and endorsed his running-mate to take his place.

Alex Soros, 38, has immense sway in Democratic circles considering his billionaire father is a prolific donor for Democratic and other lefty causes.

The elder Soros has built up the philanthropic organizations, Open Society Foundations, since the 1970s.

Alex Soros previously backed Biden amid calls for the 81-year-old commander in chief to leave the race.

He commended Biden on Sunday following the president’s departure from the 2024 presidential election — which would hae been a rematch against former President Donald Trump.

“Joe Biden is a patriot, a man who has always worked to unite America and stand for the dignity and well being of all Americans,” Alex Soros wrote.

“He has done more in four years than most could dream to accomplish in eight. He will be remembered as an American hero because he is.”

Soros quietly got engaged to Huma Abedin — former Rep. Anthony Weiner’s ex — earlier this year, Page Sixfirst reported this month.

Abedin is a longtime confidante of 2016 Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

Go deeper ( 2 min. read ) ➝

News

Manchin Confirms He Won’t Be Running for President

Sen. Joe Manchin on Monday denied that he would be challenging Vice President Kamala Harris for the Democratic presidential ticket, saying, “I don’t need that in my life.”

The longtime West Virginia leader, who switched from Democrat to independent this year, squashed rumors that he would be going up against Harris in November’s election during an interview on CBS Monday morning.

“I’m not running for office,” Manchin said.

“I’m not going to be a candidate for president … I don’t need that in my life,” he said before calling for a contested primary.

The 76-year-old called for Biden to drop out of the race Sunday morning hours before Biden, 81, announced his withdrawal.

The once-moderate Democrat noted he was “speaking for the middle of this country” as an independent, and that neither Republicans nor Democrats can win without the middle.

“Joe Biden came out of a very contested primary in 2020 and he rose because he was that moderate figure. He always operated in the middle. He could make a deal with people on the right and the left,” Manchin said.

Manchin argued that not holding a primary would be a mistake, but it was already “predetermined.”

“I believe it would help strengthen Kamala and her position too,” he added. “But that’s already been predetermined, so we’ll see what happens. I think it’s a mistake, but it’s one that they have made.”

While saying for a second time that he would not be running for president, Manchin noted he “could not believe” there wouldn’t be a primary election.

“Other countries do it,” he said before criticizing others for not speaking up about the lack of a primary.

“Why is everyone afraid to speak out? Why are they afraid to say ‘This system is wrong’? The Democratic Party has gone too far left. The Republican Party has Donald Trump on the far right. People are looking in the middle, where do you go?”

Manchin continued to vent his frustrations, saying, “Well, we’d like to see that. We’re not going to be able to see a vigorous, not even a three-week primary process.

“No one else is willing to speak up. They just say, ‘We’re falling behind, we’re going to get in line.’ I’m sorry, I don’t agree with that.”

Go deeper ( 2 min. read ) ➝

News

Hunter Biden Drops Lawsuit Against Fox News

Hunter Biden has dropped a lawsuit accusing Fox News of illegally publishing explicit images of him as part of a streaming series.

An attorney for the president’s son filed a voluntary dismissal notice on Sunday in federal court in New York City, three weeks after the lawsuit was filed.

It wasn’t clear why the lawsuit was dropped, and Biden’s attorney didn’t immediately respond to a Monday email seeking comment.

The lawsuit involved images shown in “The Trial of Hunter Biden,” which debuted on the streaming service Fox Nation in 2022.

The series features a “mock trial” of Hunter Biden on charges that he hasn’t faced and includes images of him in the nude and engaged in sex acts, according to the lawsuit.

The complaint claimed that the dissemination of intimate images without his consent violated New York’s so-called revenge porn law.

Fox News described the lawsuit as “entirely politically motivated” and “devoid of merit” when it was filed.

A Fox News spokesperson referred to that statement when asked for additional comment Monday.

The dismissal notice was filed the same day that President Joe Biden dropped out of the 2024 race for the White House, upending the contest less than four months before the election.

Go deeper ( < 1 min. read ) ➝

News

BIDEN DROPS OUT, ENDORSES HARRIS

President Joe Biden announced Sunday that he will end his presidential re-election campaign, bringing an abrupt and humbling conclusion to his half-century-long political career and scrambling the race for the White House just four months before Election Day.

Biden, 81, could not reverse growing sentiment within his party that he was too frail to serve and destined to lose to Donald Trump in November. He backed Vice President Kamala Harris to replace him as the Democratic nominee.

“While it has been my intention to seek reelection, I believe it is in the best interest of my party and the country for me to stand down and to focus solely on fulfilling my duties as President for the remainder of my term,” Biden wrote in a letter posted on X. “I will speak to the Nation later this week in more detail about my decision.”

Biden thanked Harris for “being an extraordinary partner” in his letter and then endorsed her in a subsequent post.

“My very first decision as the party nominee in 2020 was to pick Kamala Harris as my Vice President,” Biden posted. “And it’s been the best decision I’ve made. Today I want to offer my full support and endorsement for Kamala to be the nominee of our party this year.”

Biden and Harris spoke today ahead of the president’s announcement, according to a source familiar with the campaign.

His withdrawal caps a singular national political career, bookended by Richard Nixon’s fall and Trump’s rise. He mounted four presidential bids. He spent 36 years in the U.S. Senate representing tiny Delaware. He rose to the chairmanships of the powerful Judiciary and Foreign Relations committees. And he served eight years as Barack Obama’s vice president.

Reactions from politicians quickly began pouring in.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom wrote in a post on X that Biden “has been an extraordinary, history-making president — a leader who has fought hard for working people and delivered astonishing results for all Americans.”

“He will go down in history as one of the most impactful and selfless presidents,” said Newsom, who was one of the most prominent Biden surrogates. Newsom has also been floated as a possible Democratic presidential contender.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, another prominent Democrat talked about as a future national candidate, called Biden a “great public servant” in a post to X.

“My job in this election will remain the same: doing everything I can to elect Democrats and stop Donald Trump, a convicted felon whose agenda of raising families’ costs, banning abortion nationwide, and abusing the power of the White House to settle his own scores is completely wrong for Michigan,” Whitmer wrote.

The president’s granddaughter Naomi Biden said in a post that she was “nothing but proud today of my Pop,” adding that he has “served our country with every bit of his soul and with unmatched distinction.” First lady Jill Biden posted her husband’s statement to X with a heart emoji.

Across the aisle, Republicans slammed the move and many called on him to resign his office, days after the completion of a Republican National Convention where speaker after speaker slammed the Biden-Harris ticket.

“If Joe Biden is not fit to run for president, he is not fit to serve as President. He must resign the office immediately,” said House Speaker Mike Johnson.

In a brief phone interview with NBC News, Trump reacted to Biden’s decision, calling the president “the worst president in the history of the United States by far.”

When asked whether he was surprised by Biden’s decision, Trump said that Biden “should never have been there in the first place.”

“He should have stayed in his basement,” Trump said.

In a fundraising email, Trump’s campaign said that Biden “quit the race in complete disgrace.”

An unprecedented decision

Biden’s decision to exit the race less than a month before his party’s convention and a few months before voters head to the polls is unprecedented in the modern political era. The last sitting president to abandon a re-election bid was Lyndon Johnson, whose expansion of the Vietnam War in the 1960s split the Democratic Party. But Johnson’s announcement came in March 1968 — eight months before that election.

“We’re in uncharted waters,” said Barbara Perry, a presidential studies professor at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center. “No president has dropped out or died this close to the convention.”

Replacing Biden atop the Democratic ticket is likely to set off internal Democratic tremors as ambitious officials maneuver to become his successor. Factions have already formed around Harris, Whitmer and Newsom.

Harris would seem to be the heir apparent. She broke a barrier as the first female vice president. A woman of color, she enjoys strong support among African Americans, a loyal piece of the Democratic coalition. Overall, though, Harris’ approval rating stood at only 32% in an NBC News poll released earlier this month.

“There’s no one you can name right now who is an obvious substitute,” Perry said. “That’s what makes this so uncertain and chaotic.”

Unlike Republican delegates, who are bound to their candidate, Democratic delegates aren’t, so they are free to do what they want at the convention. Biden could have some influence over the delegates, but they could vote for a different candidate than his chosen pick, pending any rules changes at the convention meant to address this unprecedented situation. The rules currently say that the delegates simply have to “in all good conscience reflect the sentiments of those who elected them.”

The mechanics of putting a new name on ballots also gives rise to myriad legal questions. Republicans could work to throw obstacles in the nominee’s path by mounting legal challenges aimed at keeping that person off the ballot.

Questions about Biden’s capacities dogged him throughout his presidency, but peaked following his debate with Trump on June 27. Combined with his flagging poll numbers, his listless performance sparked a panic among his own party that he couldn’t win in November.

With 51 million people watching, Biden spoke in a raspy voice and often failed to complete thoughts or deliver a cogent explanation of why voters should choose him over Trump. He later attributed his poor performance to exhaustion and a cold. He implored the country not to let one bad night overshadow his accomplishments in office.

Unpersuaded, Democratic lawmakers began calling on him to step aside, a rebellion that started slowly but grew steadily in size and intensity. Thirty-seven congressional Democrats, including independent Sen. Joe Manchin, who previously was in the Democratic Party, had called on Biden to drop out of the 2024 election before he delivered his decision Sunday afternoon.

They appealed to Biden’s patriotism, arguing that if he sincerely believed Trump is a threat to democracy, he needed to put his country first and stand down.

Biden fought back. He held numerous calls and meetings with Democratic officials at all levels to shore up support inside the party — to no avail.

Looking to blunt concerns about his acuity, he gave interviews and held press conferences to prove to voters that he could still think on his feet. But the gaffes kept coming and his poll numbers remained stagnant.

In another bit of bad fortune and timing, Biden tested positive for Covid-19 on July 17, forcing him off the campaign trail.

For Democrats, Biden’s illness created an unwanted contrast. While Trump delivered a triumphal speech accepting the Republican nomination in Milwaukee on July 18, five days after surviving an assassination attempt, Biden was in self-isolation back home.

Biden’s departure is the latest in a series of jarring developments that has made the 2024 presidential race the most chaotic in living memory. Trump easily won the Republican presidential nomination despite splitting his time between the campaign trail and various courtrooms where he was a defendant in criminal and civil cases. In May, a jury in Manhattan convicted him on 34 felony counts related to hush money payments to a porn star.

Then, in short order, Trump rebounded. The Supreme Court issued a much-anticipated ruling on July 1 that immunized Trump from official conduct when he was president, impeding special counsel Jack Smith’s efforts to prosecute Trump for interfering in the 2020 election.

Trump nearly died on July 13 as he appeared at a rally in Butler, Pennsylvania. A gunman lying on a roof 130 yards away fired a bullet that grazed his ear. Trump dropped to the ground in self-defense. Then, his face smeared with blood, he rose and defiantly pumped his fist, yelling “Fight!”

Another fortuitous development came two days later, coinciding with the opening of the Republican convention in Milwaukee that certified Trump’s nomination. Federal Judge Aileen Cannon in Florida dismissed a separate case brought by Smith alleging that Trump improperly retained classified documents that he took home with him when he left the White House in 2021. Cannon, who had been appointed by Trump, ruled that Smith’s appointment was illegal. Smith quickly appealed her ruling.

The rolling streak of news gave Trump a jolt of momentum, allowing Republicans to present an energized and unified front at this month’s convention.

Biden seldom sparked any such enthusiasm. HIs primary campaign was mostly a coronation. He faced token opposition as party leaders cleared the field, betting that having beaten Trump once before, Biden was best positioned to do it again. But poll after poll confirmed that voters harbored doubts about him, believing he was too old and infirm to serve another term.

An AP-NORC survey released July 17 found that a whopping 65% of Democrats believed Biden should exit the race.

Pressed by his voters, abandoned by party leaders, Biden gave in.

Go deeper ( 6 min. read ) ➝

News

Who Could Be Kamala Harris’ Vice President? 5 Candidates

As speculation about President Joe Biden’s 2024 candidacy swirls, some believe Vice President Kamala Harris would become the Democratic nominee. But who could take her place? An expert told Newsweek his thoughts on the candidates.

Biden has faced growing pressure in the aftermath of last month’s debate to step aside and let another Democrat take his place. Top Democrats, like kingmaker and Representative Jim Clyburn, have already signaled that they’d back Harris if Biden leaves the race and polls show that most Democratic voters support Harris at the top of the ticket.

An Economist/YouGov survey conducted this week found that 79 percent would support Harris as the Democratic nominee if Biden were to withdraw from the race. Harris would also benefit from the $91 million war chest that the Biden-Harris campaign has raised.

While she may be the obvious choice to replace Biden, Harris would have to pick her own running mate if she were to become the nominee.

“Truthfully, they all have something to offer,” Audrey Haynes, a politics professor at the University of Georgia, told Newsweek of the contenders. “The Democratic Party has a strong bench and the choice will depend on who is at the top of the ticket. Who will balance the ticket, provide some electoral benefit (perhaps move a swing state) or perhaps expand a voter bloc that may have voters to expand vote margins in close races.”

“At this juncture, a governor, who is popular, and has a strong economic record in their state, would be the most valuable foil for competing with the Trump Vance ticket,” Haynes said. “Neither of whom have the type of executive experience that governors earn over time.”

“A running mate can help a little or hurt a lot,” John Pitney, a politics professor at Claremont McKenna College, told Newsweek. “The key is to pick someone who passes the gravitas test, unlike Dan Quayle and Sarah Palin, and who does not have any background issues, unlike Thomas Eagleton and Geraldine Ferraro. The governors all seem to pass the test, but [opposition research] guys may find out something different.”

Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro

A rising Democratic star, Josh Shapiro is often floated as a possible running mate for Harris. He governs a major battleground state and could help Harris make inroads among voters in the Keystone State.

Shapiro, who comfortably beat Trump-backed Doug Mastriano in 2022, is wildly popular in his home state and enjoys support from both Democrats and Republicans. The only governor with a divided Legislature, Shapiro was able to reach a bipartisan agreement just last week. He’s also been applauded for his handling of major infrastructure crises, including the collapse of the I-95 bridge last year and the train derailment in Ohio, which borders Pennsylvania.

Of all the potential VP contenders, Shapiro might be among the sharpest of the group because his presence could help Democrats secure Pennsylvania, Jeffrey Kraus, a politics professor at Wagner College, told Newsweek.

“Shapiro has never lost an election and is closer to the center of the Democratic Party,” Kraus said.

Michael Gordon, a Democratic strategist and principal at Group Gordon, also said Shapiro would have “the biggest impact on the outcome” of the 2024 election.

“He’s a popular governor of a swing state with a lot of electoral votes. He’s also a young rising star who could inspire voters in other swing states,” Gordon told Newsweek.

But with only two years under his belt, experts think that Shapiro would be wise to continue working for voters in Pennsylvania, especially if he has plans to run for the commander-in-chief position himself later down the line.

“It is hard for me to imagine that Josh Shapiro would want to be anyone’s running mate,” Berwood Yost, Director of the Floyd Institute for Public Policy and Center for Opinion Research at Franklin & Marshall College, told PoliticsPA.com. “He would undoubtedly be a great choice given that he is a popular governor in one of the key states Democrats must carry in 2024, but what benefit would there be for him to take the position?”

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper

Roy Cooper’s governorship has been a sign of hope for Democrats in the Tar Heel state.

While the party hasn’t won a presidential election in the state since 2008, Cooper was elected in 2016 and 2020 despite former President Donald Trump’s Electoral College victories in both elections. Cooper won in 2016 mostly in opposition to a bill banning transgender people from public restrooms of their gender. In 2020, he was reelected for his handling of the pandemic and natural disasters in the state.

Kraus said Cooper might help attract North Carolina voters to the ticket, but because the governor doesn’t have a national profile, he said, “I don’t know what else he might bring to the ticket besides putting North Carolina in play.”

“Roy Cooper can fit the bill too as a popular governor of a swing state,” Gordon said. “He is a safe choice but may not be as inspiring nationally as Shapiro.”

“Shapiro and Cooper might help only a little, but in their closely contested swing states, a little could mean a lot,” Pitney said.

Cooper is also close to Harris, having served as the attorney general in North Carolina at the same time Harris held the position in California. He’s commended her for being able to relate to women voters and appeared alongside her at events in his home state, calling her a “fighter.”

Harris herself has said of Cooper, “I’ve known him for almost two decades, and he is an extraordinary leader.”

Earlier this month, The New York Times reported that Cooper was “an emerging favorite” for Harris.

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer

Gretchen Whitmer’s name has long been floated as a possible presidential candidate, and a Harris-Whitmer ticket would mark the first all-women ticket in history, which Pitney described as “intriguing.”

“Whether the Democrats would run a ticket with two female candidates is an open question,” Kraus said.

Whitmer’s position in Michigan could help the Democratic Party win back voters who abandoned the party in response to Biden’s response to the Israel-Hamas war.

The state, which is home to more than 200,000 registered voters who are Muslim and 300,000 people who claim ancestry from the Middle East and North Africa, has spelled trouble for Biden in recent months. Despite winning Michigan by 154,000 votes in 2020, Biden is now trailing behind Trump by 1.6 percentage points, according to RealClearPolling averages.

Michigan also has a decadeslong streak of voting for the winning presidential candidate. The state has not voted for a losing candidate since 2004.

Whitmer, who easily won reelection in 2022 and brought a Democratic trifecta with her, has expressed her support for Harris. On Tuesday, she said that she would be “eager” to support Harris as the nominee if Biden were to exit the race.

Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear

Andy Beshear impressed many Democrats when he won a second term in the conservative state last year.

“Andy Beshear is a rising star, but Harris won’t win Kentucky, even with him on the ticket,” Gordon said.

Pitney agreed, saying, “Beshear might be a good ambassador to the rim South, but there is little chance of a Democratic ticket carrying Kentucky.”

While Kentucky is not seen as a likely pickup in November and Beshear’s departure to the White House would leave the state without any Democrats, he’s one of the most popular and youngest governors in the country.

A Morning Consult poll conducted last year found that Beshear is tied with Hawaii Governor Josh Green as the most popular Democratic governor among Trump voters. He is also the most popular Democratic governor among Biden voters. The survey showed that Beshear has the highest net approval rating of any Democratic governor in a red state, with overall approval at 60 percent.

Beshear told reporters last week that he had concerns about Biden’s candidacy but that he wasn’t calling for the president to step aside.

At the press conference, he signaled that he would be open to leaving his role for one that helps “the Commonwealth even more” but said that he wasn’t planning to and that his current role is “more than enough for me.”

California Governor Gavin Newsom

Newsom has become one of the most nationally recognizable figures within the Democratic Party.

He drew speculations about his White House ambitions last year when he debated Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, prompting some to ask what Newsom was doing facing off against a Republican presidential candidate when he wasn’t in the 2024 race.

Billed as a red state versus blue state debate, the two governors clashed over taxes, immigration, crime, guns, abortion and the pandemic in a 90-minute event moderated by Fox News. Newsom repeatedly defended Biden as DeSantis argued that the president’s mental state was in decline.

“We have one thing in common, neither of us will be the nominee for our party in 2024,” Newsom said during the debate.

But Newsom as VP could cause problems for Harris since both of them are from California, similar to how observers questioned if Trump picking Senator Marco Rubio could present the same constitutional question since both Republicans were from Florida.

“The reality is that none of these governors really would make a difference to a Harris-led ticket,” Kraus said. “For that matter, Harris might not be the best candidate to lead the ticket, although it seems that will be the only scenario if Biden (and this is not a sure thing) withdraws.”

“At best, the Democrats should focus on retaining the Senate and trying to retake the House. Unless something else happens, Trump seems likely to prevail,” he said.

Go deeper ( 6 min. read ) ➝

News

What Happens Next Now That Biden Has Dropped Out?

President Joe Biden won’t be seeking a second term after all.

After weeks of debating among many Democrats following a poor debate performance in late June, Biden announced Sunday afternoon on social media that he was stepping aside from the race.

It was a stunning reversal from Biden, who despite calls from many in his party, remained defiant that he would remain in the race after collecting more than enough delegates during state primary elections to be officially chosen as the Democratic nominee.

While the news is good in the eyes of some Democrats who were trying to convince Biden to drop out out for fears he couldn’t beat Republican nominee and former President Donald Trump, the big question moving forward is, what’s next?

Here is what the Democrats will need to sort out as their convention from Aug. 19-22 in Chicago approaches.

Where does the money go?

According to recent filings, the Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris reelection campaign had amassed $91 million in donations.

Following his decision, Biden publicly endorsed Harris to be the new nominee.

The campaign has the account registered with the Federal Election Commission in the name of both candidates, so Harris could use those funds if she is chosen as Biden’s replacement, according to experts cited in an AP article.

If Harris decides she doesn’t want to run, only $2,000 could be transferred from those funds to a new candidate.

In a Reuters article, experts disagreed whether the funds would remain intact for a new candidate as long as Harris was still the nominee for Vice President. Regardless, a legal fight would likely ensue if that scenario was attempted.

The Democrats could try and shift funds between various Political Action Committees, but there are limits as to how much and there’s likely little else that can be done with the original campaign fund unless Harris is the nominee.

Can another candidate besides Vice President Kamala Harris be chosen?

Yes, but the process would be complicated and potentially messy. And lots of money would have to be raised in a short amount of time.

If the Democrats open it up to a nomination process, there likely would be a brokered convention.

A brokered convention is when a party’s nominee isn’t selected by a majority in the first round of delegate voting at the party’s nominating convention, according to Ballotpedia.

At that point, delegates are then allowed to vote for another preferred candidate, which paves the way for input from party leadership and maneuvering.

By convention rules, delegates are bound or pledged to candidates that won state primary elections, according to history.com, so Biden would’ve been the choice at the convention had he stayed in the race.

But with Biden now out, it opens everything up.

According to a Reuters article, new candidates would have to get 600 convention delegates to be nominated.

It could lead to candidates lobbying individual state delegations at the convention for support, according to the AP.

The last brokered convention o take place was at the 1952 Democratic National Convention, according to history.com.

During that convention, Tennessee Sen. Estes Kefauver was the frontrunner after winning primaries in 12 states. But some Democrats weren’t happy with his televised hearings about organized crime, and ended up backing Illinois Gov. Adlai Stevenson, a write-in candidate who won the nomination after three rounds of voting.

Stevenson ended up losing badly to Dwight D. Eisenhower in the general election.

What is most important strategy for Democrats now?

In short, it’s unity. Maybe even unprecedented unity. One option would be to get behind Harris and hope her pull with African-American and women voters would be a major threat to Trump.

But if Democrats aren’t on board with Harris and are willing to bypass all the money that’s in the Biden-Harris campaign fund, then they’ll need to get to work in a hurry.

The sooner a new replacement is zeroed on, the better. Donors can (and would have to) pour in millions toward getting behind a new candidate in a quick amount of time, but it would be a lot of easier if that money can go to one candidate instead of several who are lobbying for the nomination.

Regardless of what happens, an unprecedented time in American politics is about to get even more so with what the Democrats will decide on.

Go deeper ( 3 min. read ) ➝

News

Trump Reacts to Biden Dropping Out, Asks Who’s Running the Country?

Former President Trump said President Biden “was not fit to run for president” and is not — and “never was” fit to serve.

The Republican presidential nominee was reacting to Biden’s stunning announcement Sunday afternoon that he is suspending his re-election campaign.

“He is the worst president in the history of our country,” Trump told Fox News Digital in a phone interview Sunday afternoon. “There has never been a president so bad.”

“He is not fit to serve,” Trump continued. “And I ask — who is going to be running the country for the next five months?”

The former president also reportedly told CNN on Sunday that he believes Vice President Kamala Harris would be easier to defeat in November’s election.

Trump also posted on his Truth Social Sunday afternoon, writing, “Crooked Joe Biden was not fit to run for President, and is certainly not fit to serve — And never was! He only attained the position of President by lies, Fake News, and not leaving his Basement.”

Trump said that “all those around him, including his Doctor and the Media, knew that he wasn’t capable of being President, and he wasn’t.”

“Now, look what he’s done to our Country, with millions of people coming across our Border, totally unchecked and unvetted, many from prisons, mental institutions, and record numbers of terrorists,” he wrote. “We will suffer greatly because of his presidency, but we will remedy the damage he has done very quickly.”

He added: “MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”

Trump’s comments come one week after he survived an assassination attempt and just days after formally becoming the 2024 Republican presidential nominee.

Biden announced Sunday that he will suspend his 2024 re-election campaign amid mounting pressure from his Democratic colleagues on Capitol Hill, top donors and Hollywood stars after a disastrous debate performance last month.

The unprecedented announcement came as an increasing number of Democrat lawmakers had begun to publicly call for Biden to step aside and the party’s leadership reportedly was engaged in efforts to convince Biden, 81, he could not win in November’s general election against Trump, the 2024 GOP nominee who Biden defeated four years ago to win the White House.

“It has been the greatest honor of my life to serve as your president,” Biden wrote in a public letter. “While it has been my intention to seek reelection, I believe it is in the best interests of my party and the country for me to stand down and focus solely on fulfilling my duties as president for the remainder of my term.”

Biden said he will formally address the nation later this week about his decision.

“For now, let me express my deepest gratitude to all those who have worked so hard to see me reelected,” Biden wrote. “I want to thank Vice President Kamala Harris for being an extraordinary partner in all this work. And let me express my heartfelt appreciation to the American people for the faith and trust you have placed in me.”

Biden added: “I believe today what I always have: that there is nothing America can’t do — when we do it together. We just have to remember we are the United States of America.”

Biden was diagnosed with COVID-19 on Wednesday, a revelation that came on the heels of several TV interviews and campaign appearances in which the president insisted he was remaining in the race. But the interviews failed to reassure supporters and provided critics — including those on the left — with further evidence that Biden was no longer up to the job.

Biden delivered a strong welcome address to world leaders at last week’s NATO summit in Washington, D.C. The showcase served as an opportunity to prove he was fit to continue his current term and eager and able to lead the nation for another four years.

For a time, it seemed Biden could survive the surge of calls for him to quit the race after House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., announced that they backed Biden’s bid.

But Biden, who has long been known for a propensity to commit gaffes, continued to stumble. His missteps included a glaring error on the world stage at the NATO summit. While speaking on live television, Biden referred to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy as “Putin,” name-checking Russian President Vladimir Putin, whose invasion of Zelenskyy’s Ukraine has precipitated more than two years of hellish war.

Questions over whether Biden would end his campaign remained the top political story heading into last weekend.

But two blockbuster developments in rapid succession — the attempted assassination of Trump at the former president’s rally in western Pennsylvania on Saturday and Trump’s naming Monday at the Republican National Convention of Sen. JD Vance of Ohio as his running mate — briefly halted the fervor over Biden for a couple of days.

But the call on Wednesday by Rep. Adam Schiff, the Democratic Senate nominee in California, for Biden to end his campaign, as well as reporting that top Democrats such as Schumer, Jeffries and former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., had frank conversations with Biden, quickly reignited the political crisis for the president.

Biden’s stunning announcement occurred during the roughest stretch of what was a more than year-long campaign for a second term. Doubts about his viability at the top of the Democratic Party’s 2024 ticket began seeping out into the mainstream after his halting delivery and awkward answers were placed on full display for a national audience during June’s presidential debate with Trump in Atlanta.

Go deeper ( 4 min. read ) ➝

Trending Today