12:30 Report

The Hill’s 12:30 Report — Guardsman accused of leaking documents charged under Espionage Act

WCVB-TV via AP
This image made from video provided by WCVB-TV, shows Jack Teixeira, in T-shirt and shorts, being taken into custody by armed tactical agents on Thursday, April 13, 2023, in Dighton, Mass.

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–> A midday take on what’s happening in politics and how to have a sense of humor about it.* 

*Ha. Haha. Hahah. Sniff. Haha. Sniff. Ha–breaks down crying hysterically. 

BREAKING NEWS 

Guardsman accused of leaking classified documents charged under Espionage Act:

Jack Teixeira, the Massachusetts Air National Guard airman accused of leaking classified documents, was charged this morning with violating the Espionage Act and another statute that prohibits the unauthorized removal of classified documents.

Teixeria, 21, appeared in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts in Boston; he did not enter a plea. Charges under the Espionage Act carry a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. 

More on this developing story from The Hill’s Rebecca Beitsch

COLOR FROM THE COURT ROOM:

“Teixeira was wearing a beige prison-issued outfit and was handcuffed. He sat next to his lawyer, looked around the room, and nodded at his family in the first row,” according to The Washington Post.

Teixeria spoke briefly during his court appearance, according to the Post. The judge “asked Teixeira if he understood that he has the right to be silent. Teixeira answered yes. The judge reminded him, ‘Your words can be used against you.’ At the end of the proceedings, Teixeira’s father shouted, ‘Love you, Jack!’ — to which the suspect responded, ‘Love you, too, Dad.’ ” 

THE CONTEXT:

Teixeira oversaw the Discord group Thug Shaker Central, which is where more than 100 classified documents related to Ukraine, intelligence gathered from spying on allies and other matters first appeared. 

He was arrested without incident in Massachusetts on Thursday.

The Hill’s Rebecca Beitsch has the full story.

It’s Friday (!), April 14. I’m Mychael Schnell, filling in for Cate and Liz today, with a quick recap of the morning and what’s coming up. Did someone forward this newsletter to you? Sign up here.  

Just in — Supreme Court 

Biden administration, drugmaker asks Supreme Court to pause restrictions on abortion pills:

The Biden administration and the company that manufactures a brand name version of a commonly used abortion pill have formally asked the Supreme Court to pause a ruling that would roll back changes that make it easier to access the drug. 

Danco Laboratories and U.S. Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar penned separate filings, both of which urged the bench to pause District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk’s decision that invalidated the Food and Drug Administration’s approval of mifepristone, known as the abortion pill.

WHAT ARE THEY SAYING?

Both parties referenced “chaos” that would happen if the order took effect. 

  • Prelogar: “The abrupt shift in the regulatory landscape that would be required by the lower courts’ orders raises a host of unprecedented issues and has put FDA and regulated entities in an impossible position.” 
  • Danco: “Unless the Court stays the Fifth Circuit’s decision, tomorrow will mark the beginning of an unheralded period of national uncertainty over the legal conditions governing medi­cation abortion… The injunction leaves manufacturers, suppliers, distributors, and prescribers without statutory or regulatory guidance.” 

Get up to speed on the filings from The Hill’s Nathaniel Weixel

ICYMI: Weixel also took a look at the test the Supreme Court will face when it comes to abortion pills. Read it here

🏃 2024 

The GOP’s hottest club for 2024 hopefuls is … the NRA convention: 

2024 Republican presidential hopefuls — both announced and expected — are flocking to the National Rifle Association’s annual meeting in Indiana today for a weekend confab that is looking more and more like a campaign stop. 

Confirmed speakers: Full list 

  • Former President Trump 
  • Former Vice President Mike Pence 
  • Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) — video message 
  • Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley — video message 
  • Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) — video message 
  • GOP presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy 
  • Former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) 
  • New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu (R) 

FOR THE FIRST TIME IN FOREVER: The convention will be the first time Trump and Pence appear at the same event since leaving office.

The convention traditionally draws a number of GOP presidential candidates who want to display their support for the Second Amendment and appeal to the Republican base of voters. The gun group, however, has watched its financial power decrease in recent years amid legal battles. 

THE CONTEXT:

This year’s event falls under the shadow of recent mass shootings that have plagued the U.S. It’s taking place about 115 miles from the bank in Louisville, Ky., where five people were killed, and less than 300 miles away from Nashville, where three children and three adults were fatally shot at a private Christian school. 

And as The Hill’s Caroline Vakil reports, the gathering also puts a spotlight on the generational divide among Americans when it comes to the issue of stricter gun laws and the tricky position Republicans are finding themselves in. 

THE VIEW FROM 1600 PENNSYLVANIA AVENUE:

The Biden administration is sending around a White House fact sheet today criticizing House Republicans and those attending the meeting — as Politico reported this morning — zeroing in on some of the conference’s funding proposals, which the White House says would slash funding from safety- and mental health-related programs. 

The memo: “This week, a small group of firearms industry representatives will convene at the National Rifle Association’s annual meeting. What’s missing from the meeting agenda? Any effort to address the soaring number of children being killed with guns, including assault weapons, in our schools and communities. Guns are the number one killer of kids in America – and these deaths are rising,” the memo reads.

In Congress 

Sen. Feinstein faces down Democratic firestorm:

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) is facing mounting pressure to resign as her medical condition keeps her sidelined from Washington — which is stymying Democratic business in the Senate  — with no clear return date. 

Her prolonged absence has put Senate Democrats in a tough spot: They’re down a body on the Judiciary Committee, bringing the panel to an even split which has left the caucus unable to advance partisan nominees to floor votes.  

SHOULD SHE STAY OR SHOULD SHE GO?: Reps. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) and Dean Phillips (D-Minn.) called on Feinstein to resign this week — arguing that she is unable to carry out her responsibilities in her current condition — but some Democrats are coming to the Californian’s defense.

  • Former Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.): “She deserves the respect to get well and be back on duty and I just, it’s interesting to me, I don’t know what political agendas are at work that are going after Sen. Feinstein in that way. I’ve never seen them go after a man who was sick in the Senate in that way.”

Don’t forget, Feinstein has already said she plans to retire at the end of her current term in 2024.

WORTH NOTING:

Khanna is co-chair of Rep. Barbara Lee’s (D-Calif.) campaign to succeed Feinstein in the Senate, and California Gov. Gavin Newson (D) has vowed to name a Black woman to the seat. Reps. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and Katie Porter (D-Calif.) are also running to succeed Feinstein. Pelosi is backing Schiff.

At least one House Democrat is putting those pieces together: “It’s no secret the governor said he would appoint a black woman if there were ever a senate vacancy. Calling for Senator Feinstein to resign as she battles shingles is a cynical way for Barbara Lee’s sole California congressional endorsement Ro Khanna to try and force an appointment of Barbara Lee, who trails far behind the race in fundraising,” a House Democrat told The Hill by text message on Thursday. 

WHERE ARE WE NOW?:

Feinstein asked that she is temporarily replaced on the Judiciary panel, but as The Hill’s Al Weaver reports, that process has little precedent. But it could play a key role in whether or not the floodgates open for more Democrats to call on Feinstein to resign. 

More on Feinstein’s situation from Al and yours truly. 

NBC News: Republicans want to make it difficult for Senate to replace Feinstein on key panel 

🐥 Notable tweets 

Video of suspected leaker’s arrest: 

A helicopter camera captures the moment that Jack Teixeira was taken into custody yesterday by federal agents in Massachusetts. Watch it here, from CBS News.

Tampa Bay Rays tie MLB record for longest winning streak at start of the season:

The Tampa Bay Rays beat the Boston Red Sox last night 9-3, bringing their record for the season to 13-0 — which ties the MLB record for the longest winning streak to begin a season in the modern era. Players — and fans — celebrated the feat after the final out. Take a look, from Bally Sports Sun: Rays. They’ll face the Toronto Blue Jays later today. 

On tap 

The House and Senate are out until next week. President Biden is in Ireland and Vice President Harris is in New York. 

  • 6:45 a.m.: President Biden departed Dublin, Ireland, en route to County Mayo, Ireland. 
  • 8:15 a.m.: Biden arrived in County Mayo, Ireland. 
  • 9 p.m.: Biden toured The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Knock. 
  • 9:20 a.m.: Vice President Harris departed Joint Base Andrews en route to LaGuardia International Airport. 
  • 10:25 a.m.: Harris arrived at LaGuardia International Airport. 
  • 10:30 p.m.: Biden toured the Mayo Roscommon Hospice. 
  • 12 p.m.: Harris delivered remarks at the National Action Network (NAN) National Convention. 
  • 12: 30 p.m.: Biden visited the North Mayo Heritage and Genealogical Centre’s Family History Research Unit. 
  • 2:20 p.m.: Harris will depart LaGuardia International Airport en route to Los Angeles International Airport. 
  • 4:15 p.m.: Biden will deliver remarks at St. Muredach’s Cathedral. 
  • 6:05 p.m.: Biden will depart County Mayo, Ireland, en route to Dublin, Ireland. 
  • 7:05 p.m.: Biden will depart Dublin, Ireland en route to Dover, Del., and will spend the weekend in Rehoboth Beach. 
  • 8:30 p.m.: Harris will arrive at Los Angeles International Airport. 

All times Eastern. 

📺 What to watch 

  • 11:10 a.m.: Justice Department news conference. Watch
  • 12 p.m.: Harris delivered remarks at the National Action Network (NAN) National Convention. Watch 
  • 4:15 p.m.: Biden will deliver remarks at St. Muredach’s Cathedral. Watch 
    A little fun fact: Lore has it that the 19th-century cathedral was built using bricks from the president’s great-great-great grandfather, Edward Blewitt

🌷 In lighter news 

Today is National Gardening Day, and the weather in D.C. couldn’t be more perfect! Plant your own garden or enjoy a walk around to take in the tulips and other flowering plants this weekend! 

And because you made it this far, check out this orphaned baby elephant getting a new family. 🐘 

Tags 12:30 Report abortion pill Department of Justice DeSantis Donald Trump Jack Teixeira President Biden Supreme Court

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