Politics

FBI seized top secret documents in Trump estate search

Court papers show that the FBI recovered documents  labeled “top secret” from former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida. The papers released Friday indicate the seized records include some that were marked top secret and also “sensitive compartmented information,” a special category meant to protect the nation’s most important secrets and those that if revealed publicly could cause “exceptionally grave” harm to U.S. interests. The court records did not provide specific details about what information the documents might contain. Trump backed the warrant’s “immediate” release, but contended the government could have had them any time by asking.

Wisconsin GOP leader Vos fires 2020 election investigator

Wisconsin’s Republican Assembly leader on Friday ended a 14-month, taxpayer-funded inquiry into the 2020 election by firing his hand-picked investigator. Assembly Speaker Robin Vos’ firing of Michael Gableman came just three days after the lawmaker narrowly survived a primary challenge from an opponent endorsed by former President Donald Trump and Gableman. Under pressure from Trump, Vos last year announced the inquiry and chose Gableman, a conservative former Supreme Court justice, to lead it. But as the investigation progressed, Vos’ relationship soured with both Gableman and Trump. Gableman found no evidence of widespread fraud. But he had joined Trump in calling for lawmakers to consider decertifying the 2020 election, something Vos said was unconstitutional and impossible.

Iron Range Sen. David Tomassoni dies of ALS complications

State Sen. David Tomassoni, a veteran lawmaker from Minnesota’s Iron Range, has died of complications from the neurological disease ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. He was 69. Tomassoni died Thursday night at a hospice in Duluth. As one of his last major accomplishments, Tomassoni authored a $25 million bill to fund research into the disease and support caregivers. Gov. Tim Walz signed it at an emotional ceremony in March. By then, Tomassoni was confined to a wheelchair and could communicate only with a speech synthesizer. But his sense of humor remained intact, quipping that he should have asked for more.

Minnesota's Finstad sworn in as newest member of Congress

Minnesota Republican Brad Finstad has been sworn as the newest member of the U.S. House. He gives the GOP one more seat, which means Democrats can’t afford to lose more than four votes on close issues. Finstad was surrounded by members of his large family during a photo op afterward Friday with Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Finstad served as state director for USDA Rural Development during the Trump administration. He won a special election Tuesday to fill the seat of the late Republican U.S. Rep. Jim Hagedorn. Finstad faces a quick rematch in November for a full term against Democratic former Hormel Foods CEO Jeff Ettinger.

Man who tried to breach FBI office killed after standoff

The Ohio Highway State Patrol says an armed man who tried to breach the FBI’s Cincinnati office was shot and killed by police after he fled the scene and engaged in an hourslong standoff. A law enforcement official said federal investigators are examining whether the man, identified as 42-year-old Ricky Shiffer, may have had ties to far-right extremist groups, including the Proud Boys. The official said Shiffer is believed to have been in Washington in the days leading up to the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection and may have been present at the Capitol on the day of the attack. The official could not discuss details of the investigation publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

EU says US electric vehicle tax credit could break WTO rules

The European Union says a new U.S. tax credit plan aimed at encouraging Americans to buy electric vehicles could discriminate against European producers and break world trade rules. The Inflation Reduction Act is nearing approval in Congress. It would grant a tax credit of up to $7,500 to lower the cost of an electric vehicle. To qualify, electric vehicles should contain a battery built in North America with minerals mined or recycled on the continent. But European Commission spokeswoman Miriam Garcia Ferrer said Thursday that the bill is “discriminatory, that it’s discriminating against foreign producers in relation to U.S. producers.” The U.S. plan aims to encourage domestic manufacturing and mining.

Kaul, Toney AG race likely to turn on broader issues

Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul will have to go through an experienced Republican prosecutor to win a second term, setting up a fall race that will likely turn on their stances on major national issues such as abortion, gun restrictions and voter fraud. Fond du Lac County District Attorney Eric Toney bested two sharply conservative rivals in Tuesday's primary to win the GOP nomination. Both he and Kaul are seasoned attorneys, which means they'll have to campaign on their stances on larger issues. Kaul has sued to undo Wisconsin's abortion ban and has advocated for tighter gun control laws. Toney charged several people with violating Gov. Tony Evers' stay-at-home order and is prosecuting a number of others for voter fraud.

Trump ties may come back to haunt in swing state Wisconsin

Donald Trump reasserted his grip on Republicans in Wisconsin’s primary, but both Democrats and Republicans say that the former president’s involvement in the state’s key races for governor and U.S. Senate could come back to hurt them in the swing state. Trump’s endorsed candidate for governor, construction company co-owner Tim Michels, beat out the choice of establishment Republicans. Democratic Gov. Tony Evers said Wednesday that means that Michels now “owns” Trump and he won’t be able to moderate for the general election. Trump also backs Republican Sen. Ron Johnson, who faces Democrat Mandela Barnes in November.

Iowa motorist accused of hitting abortion rights protester

An Iowa man faces two criminal charges accusing him of driving his vehicle through a group of abortion rights protestors in Cedar Rapids in June and striking a woman before driving away, court documents posted online Wednesday said. David Alan Huston, 53, of Swisher, is charged with assault with a dangerous weapon — a vehicle — and leaving the scene of a personal injury accident, according to the court documents. There is no evidence to indicate the crash was politically motivated, Black Hawk County Attorney Brian Williams said in a statement. He said there also is no evidence that any protestors acted aggressively.

Biden signs 'burn pits' help for vets, a personal win, too

President Joe Biden has signed veterans health care legislation that ends a long battle to expand benefits for troops who served near toxic “burn pits.” The ceremony Wednesday at the White House was a personal matter for Biden. His son Beau was a major in the Delaware Army National Guard, and he died of cancer after his service in Iraq. Burn pits were used in Iraq and Afghanistan to dispose of chemicals, cans, plastics, medical equipment and human waste. The legislation will help veterans get disability payments without having to prove their illness was the result of their service. Other health care services will be expanded as well.

Takeaways: Trump tightens grip on GOP, narrow Squad victory

After an uneven start, Donald Trump’s tour of revenge ousted Republican members of Congress, unleashed an army of Trump-backed “America First” candidates to beat back the establishment and strengthened his grip on the party. Ron Johnson, the most vulnerable Republican senator up for reelection, will take on Wisconsin’s Democratic lieutenant governor in November in one of this year’s most closely watched Senate contests.Meanwhile, a member of the Squad of progressive lawmakers survived a tough primary challenge from a Democratic rival running on a pro-police platform, while voters in Vermont are poised to send a woman to Congress for the first time in the state’s 231-year history.