10 Things in Politics: Trump election probe is in trouble

·5 min read
10 Things in Politics: Trump election probe is in trouble

Welcome back to 10 Things in Politics. Sign up here to receive this newsletter. Send tips to bgriffiths@insider.com or tweet me at @BrentGriffiths.

Here's what we're talking about:

What we're watching today: The Olympics officially kick off with the opening ceremony. This will be unlike anything we've ever seen before. Here's how to watch the Olympics.

Fani Willis
Former Fulton County Deputy District Attorney Fani Willis defeated her old boss, Paul Howard, in the August 11 runoff for Fulton County district attorney. AP Photo/John Bazemore

1. TOO MUCH ON GEORGIA'S MIND?: Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis is determined to investigate former President Donald Trump. But the inquiry into his pressuring of Georgia officials after the 2020 election is running into a backlog of other cases and Atlanta's spiking crime rate.

Here's what it means for an investigation Trump allies have long been worried about:

Former associates of Willis say something has to give: "The problem she has is that she's in an elected position and the residents are getting tired of the crime," said Michael Moore, an Obama-era former US attorney for the Middle District of Georgia. "So are you going to dump all your resources into this [Trump] case that may turn into nothing?"

  • Some local officials would support giving more money to Willis' office: Still, she has described "a historic backlog of 12,000 cases." Murders in Atlanta are also up compared with this time in 2019 and 2020, though they remain below their 1990s peak.

There are other concerns too: No one on Willis' anti-corruption team, which is in charge of the Trump inquiry, has significant experience investigating election fraud. Trump's call to Georgia's secretary of state to "find" enough votes to win the state is what sparked the investigation.

Read what former prosecutors say about a DA going up against a former president.

2. CDC Director Rochelle Walensky says this is a "pivotal point" in the pandemic: Walensky said the US was "not out of the woods yet" with the Delta variant spreading across the country, The New York Times reports. The situation is its most grim in states with lower vaccination rates.

3. Biden is heading back out on the campaign trail today: President Joe Biden plans to cross the Potomac to Virginia to campaign for former Gov. Terry McAuliffe, who is seeking to win back his old job in a key off-year race, The Washington Post reports. This is the unofficial kickoff to an expected aggressive schedule stumping for Democrats in next year's midterms.

Alen Hadzic
Alen Hadžić of the US, left, fencing at the Peter Bakonyi Men's Epee World Cup in 2020 in Canada. Devin Manky/Getty Images

4. US Olympic fencing team is in an uproar over the handling of sexual-assault claims: The Olympic alternate Alen Hadžić was suspended shortly after he made the team when fencers and coaches pointed to sexual-misconduct allegations about his time at Columbia University. An arbitrator quickly lifted the suspension, finding the allegations, which Hadžić has denied, were too old to merit barring him from competing in the Olympics.

But the investigation is not over, my colleague reports: Despite this, Hadžić is still in Tokyo. Two people close to the investigation said at least two of his accusers were not even interviewed when the suspension was lifted. Hadžić's inclusion on Team USA contrasts with the situation of other Olympians forbidden from the games.

5. Mississippi wants to overturn Roe: A legal brief filed by the state asks the Supreme Court to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade decision so the state can keep its abortion restrictions in place. Lawyers for Mississippi called the Roe ruling "egregiously wrong" and argued it's outdated. Lower courts have blocked Mississippi's ban on most abortions after 15 weeks. Multiple cases are now trying to fundamentally change abortion rights.

6. NFL is pressuring teams over vaccinations: The league said teams with COVID-19 outbreaks among unvaccinated players during the season would be forced to forfeit games and take a loss, NPR reports. The NFL also says offending teams could be forced to pay their opponents and face other fines, all signs the league is ready to drop the hammer on vaccinations.

7. Hollywood insiders say there's growing tension at Disney: CEO Bob Chapek is said to be chafing at former CEO Bob Iger's "long goodbye" from the media giant. A cinema-industry executive told Insider that Iger, in turn, was frustrated with Chapek and worried he might have harmed the company's carefully cultivated relationships in the all-important China market with the company's "Black Widow" release strategy. More about Disney's drama.

8. Democrats are outraged over new details about FBI's investigation into Brett Kavanaugh: A group of Democratic senators is asking for more answers after the FBI told them the bureau had received 4,500 tips regarding Kavanaugh and turned over "relevant" ones to the White House counsel, which would have been Don McGahn at the time in 2018 when Kavanaugh was a Supreme Court nominee. The FBI says only 10 people were interviewed.

​​9. Think twice if you get a "dinner party" or "pizza king" notification on Facebook: Vaccine opponents have been using code names to prevent their groups from being barred in the wave of misinformation crackdowns, NBC News reported. This follows Biden's recent remark that Facebook was "killing people" by allowing misinformation to spread. The coded language has been used to push disproven vaccine theories.

10. Let the games begin: Sports-medicine experts told Insider their picks for the hardest Olympic sports by various metrics. At the highest level, every effort is superhuman - but that doesn't mean they can't be ranked. Gymnastics was up there, but it wasn't the consensus pick for most physically strenuous. That honor went to water polo.

Today's trivia question: The US first lady, Jill Biden, is attending the Olympics' opening ceremony today, but the president is not. Who was the first sitting president to attend one? Email your guess and a suggested question to me at bgriffiths@insider.com.

  • Yesterday's answer: The only National Historic Landmark outside the US is the Tangier American Legation in Morocco. Smithsonian Magazine reports the 200-year-old building has served as a diplomatic residence, a working consulate, a Peace Corps training center, an espionage headquarters, and a museum. And that's not even the full story.

Read the original article on Business Insider