We start with the biggest story of the day and discuss whether or not this hurts or helps the former President in his pursuit to be president again. Then we discuss some bigger stories that deserve more attention than they will likely get in the shadow of Trump’s indictment:
We spend the first part of the show talking about the fact that we are now back in unprecedented times: In a first for a former US president, Donald Trump was indicted on criminal charges by a New York grand jury yesterday, his lawyers and prosecutors said.
The charges against Trump have not been revealed yet and are typically kept confidential until the defendant’s first court appearance, known as an arraignment. CNN reports that Trump will be arraigned in New York City next Tuesday. However, we know that the investigation revolves around the $130,000 paid to porn star Stormy Daniels as hush money by Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen. Despite denying the affair and allegations of involvement in the payment, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg accuses Trump and his company of falsifying business records to conceal the payment. A successful conviction is not guaranteed and relies on an untested “novel legal theory,” which would require the prosecution to prove that Trump falsified the records to hide or commit a separate crime.
After the indictment, Democrats praised the justice system for holding the powerful accountable, while Republicans accused Democrats of attempting to damage Trump’s 2024 election prospects, which he may use as a campaign talking point. Trump will be fingerprinted and photographed during his arraignment in New York next week, and this could be the first of several indictments as he is currently being investigated in three other criminal probes, including one involving classified documents.
Here are two other major stories that might get overshadowed because of the Trumo news
On Thursday, a federal judge in Texas ruled that Obamacare’s requirement for health insurance to cover preventive health care at no cost is unconstitutional and struck it down nationwide. The ruling affects PrEP for HIV, cancer screenings, mammograms, and some prenatal care including screenings for gestational diabetes and preeclampsia. Insurance companies can choose to continue covering these services cost-free, but others may go back to charging deductibles or co-pays. This could lead to people not getting adequate health care and getting sick or dying. Two Texas companies sued the Department of Health and Human Services in 2020, claiming they wanted to provide health insurance to employees that didn’t cover PrEP drugs because they objected to it “on religious grounds.” The judge ruled that the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) did not have the constitutional authority to decide what preventive care should be covered without cost-sharing. The case is Braidwood Management Inc. v. Xavier Becerra and the plaintiffs’ lawyer is Jonathan Mitchell, the architect of the Texas abortion ban and a strident homophobe. Braidwood’s owner is Republican megadonor Steven Hotze, who has compared gay people to termites that “eat away at the very moral fabric of the foundation of our country.” He’s also been charged for bankrolling a 2020 election fraud scheme. The Biden administration will likely appeal the Obamacare ruling, but it may face a conservative supermajority Supreme Court. This decision comes as we await a ruling from a different Texas judge in a case where anti-abortion groups sued the Food and Drug Administration to revoke approval for a key medication abortion drug.