• 😷 Dept. of “We Have It Totally Under Control.”

  • Global: Total confirmed cases: ~22,505,000; deaths: ~790,000

  • U.S.: Total confirmed cases: ~5,554,000; deaths: ~174,000

  • Source: Johns Hopkins University

  • 🗳 How To Vote In The 2020 Election In Every State. Everything you need to know about mail-in and early in-person voting in every state in the age of COVID-19, including the first day you can cast your ballot in the 2020 election. (FiveThirtyEight / NBC News / Wall Street Journal)

1/ More than 1.1 million people filed for unemployment last week after dipping below a million the week before. Jobless claims have come in over the one million mark for 21 out of the last 22 weeks and the unemployment rate remains at around 10% five months after the coronavirus pandemic began. (CNBC / Wall Street Journal / New York Times / The Hill / CNN)

2/ A federal judge rejected Trump’s effort to block the Manhattan district attorney from obtaining eight years of his tax returns, dismissing arguments that Cyrus Vance’s grand jury subpoena was “wildly overbroad” and issued “in bad faith.” Vance’s grand jury investigation is looking into payments made to Stormy Daniels before the 2016 election. The district attorney’s office also recently suggested that it’s investigating Trump and his company for “alleged bank and insurance fraud.” Last month, the Supreme Court ruled that Trump is not immune from investigation. Trump, meanwhile, told reporters that “we’ll probably end up back in the Supreme Court,” saying “This is a continuation of the witch hunt, the greatest witch hunt in history. There’s never been anything like it.” Trump’s planned appeal will likely push the matter past the election. And even if Vance defeats Trump’s legal challenges, the documents will still be covered by grand jury secrecy laws. (New York Times / Axios / Politico / Washington Post / CNBC / Bloomberg / CNN / Associated Press / Reuters)

3/ Stephen Bannon and three other men were arrested and charged with defrauding donors to a crowdfunding campaign that claimed to be raising money for the construction of a private wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. The campaign, called “We Build the Wall,” was publicly supported by several of Trump’s allies, and raised more than $25 million. Bannon personally took in over $1 million from the scheme via a non-profit he controls, “and at least some of it was used to cover hundreds of thousands of dollars in [his] personal expenses,” according to the indictment. Also named in the indictment is Brian Kolfage, the founder and president of We Build the Wall, Andrew Badolato, and Timothy Shea. According to prosecutors from the Southern District of New York, the four men “orchestrated a scheme to defraud hundreds of thousands of donors […] capitalizing on their interest in funding a border wall to raise millions of dollars, under the false pretense that all of that money would be spent on construction.” The United States Postal Inspection Service assisted in the investigation. Hours after Bannon’s arrest, Trump said he felt “very badly,” but claimed he knew “nothing” about the fundraising project or the people involved with it. (New York Times / Washington Post / Axios / NPR / Politico / Wall Street Journal / Bloomberg / NBC News / CNN / CNBC)

  • [Analysis] Three people who led Trump’s 2016 campaign have now faced criminal charges. Corey Lewandowski was arrested on misdemeanor battery charges after he grabbed a Breitbart reporter’s arm at a Trump property in Florida. Paul Manafort was sentenced to more than seven years in prison after being convicted or pleading guilty to bank and tax fraud, witness tampering, and conspiracy against the United States. And now Stephen Bannon, who was arrested on federal fraud charges related to a scheme that redirected private donations intended for building a privately financed wall on the border with Mexico to himself and others. (Washington Post)

4/ Obama called out and criticized Trump during his speech at the Democratic National Convention, warning that Trump represents an existential threat to American democracy. “That’s what’s at stake right now — our democracy,” Obama said. Adding that Trump has had “no interest in using the awesome power of his office to help anyone but himself and his friends,” because he had “no interest in treating the presidency as anything but one more reality show.” Obama also underscored the consequences of Trump’s failures as president, saying “170,000 Americans dead, millions of jobs gone, our worst impulses unleashed, our proud reputation around the world badly diminished, and our democratic institutions threatened like never before.” Obama concluded: “Donald Trump hasn’t grown into the job because he can’t.” Meanwhile, at the White House, Trump responded on Twitter: “HE SPIED ON MY CAMPAIGN, AND GOT CAUGHT! WHY DID HE REFUSE TO ENDORSE SLOW JOE UNTIL IT WAS ALL OVER, AND EVEN THEN WAS VERY LATE? WHY DID HE TRY TO GET HIM NOT TO RUN?” (New York Times / Politico / NBC News / Axios / CNN)

  • [Transcript] Barack Obama’s DNC speech. (CNN)

5/ Trump praised supporters of the QAnon internet conspiracy theory because he heard “they like me very much, which I appreciate.” The FBI has said QAnon — which baselessly alleges that a cabal of sex traffickers within the “deep state” is engaged in a global fight to take down Trump — poses a domestic terrorist threat. While Trump claimed that he doesn’t know much about the conspiracy theory, he said he’s “heard that it is gaining in popularity,” adding: “I’ve heard these are people that love our country.” When a reporter told Trump that the central premise of the QAnon theory is that Trump is saving the world from a satanic cult of pedophiles and cannibals connected to the Democratic Party, Trump responded: “Is that supposed to be a bad thing or a good thing? If I can help save the world from problems, I am willing to do it. I’m willing to put myself out there.” (Axios / Politico / NBC News / New York Times / CNN / Reuters)

✏️ Notables.

  1. The Department of Health and Human Services will reverse course and have hospitals report COVID-19 data to the CDC again. In July, HHS had instructed hospitals to no longer report new cases, hospital capacity, inventories, and other key data through the CDC’s National Health Safety Network, but to instead use the HHS Protect system, which has been plagued by delays and inconsistencies in data since being implemented. (Wall Street Journal)

  2. The U.S. Postal Service instructed maintenance managers around the country not to reconnect or reinstall any mail sorting machines they had already disconnected. The emails were sent shortly after USPS Postmaster General Louis DeJoy said he was “suspending” his new policies “to avoid even the appearance of any impact on election mail.” (Vice News)

  3. Trump’s cabinet officials had a 2018 show-of-hands vote in the White House Situation Room to move forward with separating migrant children, despite Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen warning that there were not enough resources to separate parents, prosecute them for crossing the border, and return them to their children in a timely manner. None of the 11 officials at the meeting said separating families would be inhumane, and any moral argument regarding immigration “fell on deaf ears” inside the White House, one official said. (NBC News)

  4. Trump ordered Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen to leave her post in D.C. and go to the border at least half a dozen times, according to Miles Taylor, who worked in the Department of Homeland Security from 2017 to 2019. According to Taylor, Trump at one point told Nielsen to “‘Get your ass on TV at the border, what are you doing, what the hell are you doing?’” (Politico)

  5. The Trump administration is moving forward with a plan to sell F-35 fighter jets and advanced armed drones to the United Arab Emirates. The UAE is currently working with the Trump administration on a plan to formalize diplomatic ties with Israel. American officials say the new push to sell the advanced weapons is not a direct reward for the Emirati role in any particular diplomatic breakthrough, but they did not deny that it comes as a result of the broader diplomatic effort to forge official ties between the two Middle Eastern nations. Some parts of the Israeli government have voiced concerns about the sale, and Congress is unlikely to approve it without the support of the Israeli government. (New York Times)

  6. The Trump administration asked the Supreme Court to decide whether Trump can block his critics on Twitter. An appeals court previously ruled that Trump’s practice of blocking critics violates the First Amendment. (Politico)

  7. A former Department of Homeland Security chief of staff said Trump once asked him and other officials whether the U.S. could trade Greenland for Puerto Rico because, in Trump’s words, “Puerto Rico was dirty and the people were poor.” (NBC News)

  8. The National Susan B. Anthony Museum and House declined Trump’s pardon of the late women’s suffrage leader, who was charged in 1872 with voting illegally. The museum noted that “If one wants to honor Susan B. Anthony today, a clear stance against any form of voter suppression would be welcome.” (Yahoo News)