Former President Donald Trump has 10 days to turn himself in to face accusations that he and 18 other people orchestrated a “criminal enterprise” to reverse the results of the 2020 election in Georgia. The sweeping charges, which were brought last night by a local prosecutor in Atlanta, fall under the state’s racketeering statute, which was originally designed to dismantle organized crime groups.
Trump — the current front-runner for the 2024 Republican nomination — now faces 91 felony counts and the possibility of standing trial in four separate cases before next year’s elections.
He denounced the indictment in Georgia today, saying in a post on his social media platform that he would hold a news conference on Monday and release an “Irrefutable” report that would somehow prove his false claims of election fraud in Georgia.
While the gambit is unlikely to ward off the immense and expensive legal threats he faces, it may prove popular among his political base. Trump’s small-dolor donations and poll numbers both picked up around his previous indictments.
“It’s still early,” my colleague Jonathan Swan said. But, “the official Republican Party apparatus, which had been distancing itself from Trump, rallied behind him after his first indictment.”
However, with the Georgia case, other defendants may feel less secure sticking by Trump, Jonathan said. State charges — like those being pursued against Trump in Georgia — cannot be dismissed by Trump if he wins the presidency next year.
“During the Mueller investigation, there was pretty heavy handed rhetoric from Trump hinting that he would pardon certain people,” Jonathan told me. “That tool is not available when it’s a state charge.”
Russia’s financial problems are piling up
The Russian central bank raised interest rates today by the most it has since the early weeks of the war in Ukraine, a dramatic move that underlines the scale of concern about Russia’s economic stability.
The move is designed to both tame inflation and support the ruble, which briefly slipped past the symbolically important exchange rate of 100 to the dollar yesterday. Overall, the ruble has declined 25 percent this year. The roots of Russia’s economic turmoil stem, in part, from the huge government spending increases to pay for its war effort in Ukraine, fueling inflation. Western sanctions have also contributed.
How a fire turned Lahaina into a death trap
Interviews and video evidence reviewed by The New York Times show that the brush fire last week that wiped out Lahaina in Maui ignited under a snapped power line a full nine hours before it roared through town — flaring up in the afternoon after firefighters had declared it contained.
An F.B.I. spy hunter pleaded guilty to aiding an oligarch
Charles McGonigal, the former head of counterintelligence for the F.B.I. in New York, pleaded guilty today to conspiring to violate U.S. sanctions and laundering payments from a prominent Russian oligarch. His plea was a stunning turn for a man who once occupied one of the most sensitive and trusted positions in the American intelligence community, placing him among the highest-ranking F.B.I. officials ever to be convicted of a crime.
Dive deep: My colleagues examined McGonigal’s remarkable rise and greed-fueled fall.
More top news
TIME TO UNWIND
They review movies, but don’t call them critics
When looking for a good movie, some people check out movie rating websites. Others prefer to read established film critics. But many are now turning to TikTok personalities who offer recommendations to their millions of fans.
These reviewers are changing the industry — but many of them don’t want to be thought of as critics. Not only do they sometimes accept payment from studios, but they also want to distance themselves from traditional criticism, which some feel is antiquated and removed from general audiences.
The Matildas unite a nation
Australia has long been proud of its rich sporting traditions like cricket, rugby and Australian rules football. Soccer, however, has largely been an afterthought — at least until the past three weeks.
The whole country, it seems, is now decked out in green and gold to support the Matildas, as the women’s soccer team is known. But in order for Australia to compete in the Women’s World Cup final on Sunday on their home turf, the team must first defeat England, which is heavily favored, tomorrow at 6 a.m. Eastern.
For more: Australian Indigenous leaders hope that soccer can improve outcomes for Indigenous children in remote communities.
A roast battle between a human and a robot
Last month, in a crowded bar in Brooklyn, the fate of humanity hung in the balance. Or at least that’s how the comic Matt Maran portrayed the event, which was billed as the first roast battle pitting artificial intelligence against a human comedian.
Neither side was getting big laughs, but the A.I. was more unflappable, and in the end, it won every round. However, inspired stand-ups shouldn’t fear for their jobs — yet.
“Why did the human stare at the glass of orange juice?” the robot asked in one attempt at a dig against its real life opponent. “They were trying to concentrate.”
Have a witty evening.
Thanks for reading. I’ll be back tomorrow. — Matthew
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