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

  • Global: Total confirmed cases: ~22,790,000; deaths: ~796,000

  • U.S.: Total confirmed cases: ~5,608,000; deaths: ~175,000

  • Source: Johns Hopkins University

1/ Biden challenged Americans to overcome Trump’s “season of darkness,” saying “no rhetoric is needed. Just judge this president on the facts.” As he accepted the Democratic Party’s nomination for president, Biden urged Americans to embrace what he called “a path of hope and light” and reject Trump, who “has failed in his most basic duty to the nation: He’s failed to protect us. He has failed to protect America.” During his acceptance speech, Biden condemned Trump without ever mentioning him by name, calling “this a life-changing election” that “will determine what America’s going to look like for a long, long time.” (Washington Post / New York Times / Bloomberg / Politico / Axios / CNBC)

  • 🗳 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)

2/ Trump denounced Biden’s convention speech, saying “I’m the only thing standing between the American dream and total anarchy, madness and chaos.” At a gathering of the Council for National Policy in Arlington, Trump called the Democratic convention the “darkest and angriest and gloomiest” in the country’s history, saying “where Joe Biden sees American darkness, I see American greatness.” Trump claimed that voting by mail is “filthy,” a “disgrace,” and would lead to the “greatest catastrophe” ever while peddling fears about “violent mobs” overtaking U.S. cities. Trump also attacked Obama, saying “you can’t be a great president when much of what he’s done we’ve undone.” (New York Times / NBC News / Washington Post)

3/ More than 70 former national security officials called Trump “unfit to lead,” accusing him of undermining the rule of law, “spreading misinformation,” “undermining public health experts,” aligning himself with dictators and engaging “in corrupt behavior that renders him unfit to serve as president.” The officials, who served under Trump, George W. Bush, George H.W. Bush, and Ronald Reagan, endorsed Biden, saying he has the “character, experience, and temperament to lead this nation.” (New York Times / The Hill)

4/ Trump pledged to send “sheriffs,” “law enforcement,” and “U.S. attorneys” to polling locations to guard against the nonexistent threat of voter fraud on Election Day. An election law expert said Trump does not have the authority to deploy local law enforcement officials to monitor elections. However, when asked by Fox News host Sean Hannity if he was going to “have an ability” to monitor and avoid fraud during the elections, Trump replied: “We’re going to have everything.” While Trump’s campaign could hire off-duty police to work the polls, any attempt to do so would likely draw legal challenges from Democrats, who would argue that the move amounted to attempted voter suppression. (CNN / The Hill / Mother Jones)

  • Trump repeated his unsubstantiated claim that mail-in ballots would lead to voter fraud and claimed without evidence that states expanding mail-in voting because of the coronavirus pandemic aren’t adopting sufficient safeguards against fraud. Five states already holding elections almost entirely by mail without serious issues of fraud. Nevertheless, Trump claimed that mail-in voting “will be a tremendous embarrassment for our country, it will go on forever and you will never know who won. This is a very serious problem and something has to be done about it.” He added: “They all think I’m trying to steal the election. Just the opposite. I want fair results.” (Bloomberg)

  • Trump’s campaign provided no evidence of election fraud involving mail-in ballots after being ordered by a federal court judge to back up its claims about fraud in Pennsylvania’s vote-by-mail system. (The Intercept)

  • The Trump re-election effort has spent more than $1 billion since 2017. The record-breaking sum is the combined effort of the Trump campaign, the Republican Party, and two affiliated committees. The DNC, by comparison, has spent roughly $643 million so far, according to federal records. (Washington Post)

  • [Noted] Facebook Braces Itself for Trump to Cast Doubt on Election Results. “The world’s biggest social network is working out what steps to take should President Trump use its platform to dispute the vote.” (New York Times)

  • [Noted] The Republican Embrace of QAnon Goes Far Beyond Trump. As the president all but endorses the internet-driven conspiracy theory, it is shifting from the fringes of the internet to become an offline political movement. (New York Times)

5/ Postmaster General Louis DeJoy testified that he is “extremely highly confident” that mail-in ballots sent seven days before Election Day will be properly processed and counted. In testimony before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, DeJoy said the agency will continue to prioritize ballots over other mail, but urged the public to “vote early.” DeJoy also defended recent operational changes to the Postal Service, saying the effort is in service of making the mail agency run more efficiently, adding that the USPS will make “dramatic changes” after the election. DeJoy testified that he had never spoken to Trump about the Postal Service, adding that he also had never spoken to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin or White House chief of staff Mark Meadows about the changes. (CBS News / Wall Street Journal / New York Times / New York Times / Politico / Washington Post / NBC News)

  • A former top Postal Service official testified that the Trump administration has been “politicizing” the Postal Service and using Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin to inappropriately influence the organization. David Williams, former USPS Inspector General and former Vice Chair of the USPS Board of Governors, testified that he resigned “when it became clear to me that the administration was politicizing the Postal Service with the treasury secretary as the lead figure for the White House in that effort.” (CBS News)

  • Louis DeJoy’s selection as Postmaster General was “highly irregular” and he was not among the candidates initially vetted for the position by a national search firm hired by USPS leaders. House Oversight Committee Democrats say DeJoy’s name was put forward by John Barger, a member of the Postal Service’s Board of Governors, who also happens to be a Republican donor and managing director at a California-based private investment firm. And, weeks before DeJoy was selected as postmaster general, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin held a series of one-on-one meetings with members of the Postal Service Board of Governors. Neither the Treasury Department nor the Postal Service would confirm that the meetings ever occurred. (Politico / NBC News)

✏️ Notables.

  1. Trump filed an emergency request for a federal appeals court to stop the release of his tax returns. In the motion, Trump’s lawyers asked the court to impose an immediate stay on the case, allowing his legal team time to appeal. (NBC News / CNN)

  2. Steve Bannon pleaded not guilty after being indicted and taken into custody in New York on federal fraud charges. A federal judge agreed to release the former Trump administration chief strategist on a $5 million bond, and his travel will be restricted to New York and Washington D.C.. Bannon is also prohibited from using private jets or boats without prior approval. (Axios)

  3. Trump Jr. attempted to distance himself from the “We Build The Wall” crowdfunding campaign after Steve Bannon and three others were arrested and charged with defrauding donors. Trump Jr.‘s name is listed on the organization’s website as having endorsed the campaign to build a private border wall. (The Hill)

  4. Former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach said in an interview last year that he had spoken with Trump three times about the private border wall project at the center of a federal fraud investigation. Kobach said Trump was “enthusiastic” about the project and it carried his “blessing.” (CNN)

  5. Trump blamed California for its wildfires and threatened to withhold federal money, telling the state “you gotta clean your floors, you gotta clean your forests.” He added: “Maybe we’re just going to have to make them pay for it because they don’t listen to us.” (Politico)