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  • Writer's pictureDanielle Uehara

Weekly News Blast | Aug 20-27

Charges against former president Donald Trump came to a head as he was booked in a Fulton County Jail last Thursday (Gage Skidmore, Flickr).

Former President Donald Trump Booked in Fulton County Jail

On August 24, former president Donald Trump turned himself into the Fulton County Jail on state charges for his efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election in Georgia. He is currently facing 13 separate counts in the state; the deadline for him and his 18 co-defendants to turn themselves in was Friday, August 25, at noon.

Trump arrived at the jail around 7:30 p.m. EST. However, according to jail records, he was only there for about 20 minutes, released on a $200,000 bond agreement his attorneys made with District Attorney earlier this week. While at the Fulton County Jail, Trump was fingerprinted and his mugshot taken, making him the first U.S. president to have such actions taken against him.

Through all this, Trump has maintained his position of innocence, saying, “What has taken place here is a travesty of justice. We did nothing wrong at all, and we have every single right to challenge an election we think is dishonest.” In addition, he accused Willis, a Democrat, of only charging him because he is running for the presidency.

Initially, both sides had proposed a trial date for March. However, one of the defendants, Kenneth Chesebro, filed a motion for a speedy trial date, so Willis recommended the trial be moved up to October 23. Trump then filed a motion opposing the request and stated that he wishes to sever his case from Chesebro’s and postpone the trial until after the 2024 Presidential Elections.

Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin’s Plan for Banning Abortions

Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin, a potential 2024 presidential candidate, has plans to echo policies in Arizona and Florida that place significant restrictions on abortion. Virginia currently allows abortion during the first and second trimesters (up to about 26 weeks), making it the least restrictive Southern state. Abortion is permitted during the third trimester only if the pregnant person’s life is in danger, as certified by three doctors. However, Youngkin’s new budget plan devotes $50,000 to banning all abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. The only exceptions would be in the case of rape, incest, and the mother’s safety. He also reintroduced a proposal prohibiting state Medicaid dollars from covering abortion in cases of physical or mental fetal deformities. State Senator L. Louise Lucas, a Democrat and president pro tempore of the state Senate, believes that the budget allocated to the ban is the bare minimum, meaning that there will most likely be additional criminal penalties attached to his abortion proposal.

Even though he stated that abortion was not among the top three issues for most Republicans, Youngkin believes stricter abortion policies could help drive voters to the polls. Virginia Democrats have vowed to defeat this portion of his budget plan, but their success hinges on a vacancy in the State Senate. If the Democrats win the race to replace the seat, it would add another vote for abortion rights. In other words, the results of this race could determine the future of abortion rights in the state.

Republicans Discuss Impeachment Inquiry into President Biden

House Republicans are discussing initiating an impeachment inquiry into President Biden as the House Oversight Committee continues investigating the Biden family’s foreign business dealings. It is believed that as Vice President, Biden used bribery and other dubious means to help his son, Hunter Biden, influence the domestic policy of a foreign nation and accept benefits from foreign nationals in exchange for favors. According to Republicans, through such conduct, President Biden endangered the security of the U.S., threatened the integrity of the democratic system, interfered with a peaceful transition of power, imperiled a coordinated branch of government, and demonstrated that he will remain a threat if he is allowed to remain in office. Should this be true, it could warrant an immediate impeachment, trial, and removal of President Biden from office.

Some, like Republican Ralph Norman, argue that there is enough evidence “not to just start to inquiry, but… to impeach him.” On the other hand, Republican Don Bacon said, “We should have some clear evidence of a high crime or misdemeanor, not just assuming there may be one. I think we need to have more concrete evidence to go down that path.” House Speaker Kevin McCarthy hinted that the House may start an official inquiry this fall, although he clarified that the impeachment is not for political purposes. McCarthy stated that the inquiry launching will be determined by whether the Biden administration produces the documents and information that House Republicans are seeking.



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