1/ Former National Enquirer publisher David Pecker returned to the stand on the seventh day of Trump’s election interference trial involving falsified business records. Pecker testified that he spoke with Trump and Michael Cohen about paying Karen McDougal $150,000 to keep her story of an affair with Trump quiet ahead of the 2016 presidential election. “We didn’t want the story to embarrass Mr. Trump or embarrass or hurt the campaign,” Pecker said. Cohen told Pecker should pay the fee to kill the story, which prompted him to ask who would reimburse him. Cohen allegedly told Pecker: “Don’t worry. The boss will take care of you” which Pecker said he took to mean either Trump or the Trump Organization would pay him back. Pecker also testified that he knew that Cohen didn’t have the authorization “to buy, to acquire or spend any money” without Trump’s prior approval. The payment to McDougal was disguised as a deal for her to write a health and fitness column and appear on magazine covers, which Pecker acknowledged was unlawful. Trump faces 34 charges of falsifying business records to cover up hush money payments made by Michael Cohen. (New York Times / Washington Post / Associated Press / NBC News / CNN / ABC News / USA Today)

2/ The Supreme Court appeared likely to reject Trump’s claim of absolute immunity from prosecution for trying to subvert the 2020 election, but appeared open to granting some level of immunity to former presidents for crimes committed while in office. Trump’s lawyers argued that his efforts to overturn the 2020 election were “official acts” taken in office, but did concede that some of the alleged conduct supporting the criminal charges against Trump were private. Chief Justice John Roberts raised the prospect of returning the case to the appeals court to distinguish between Trump’s official acts as president and his private ones, a result that could jeopardize the ability to hold a trial before the November election. “I’m not focused on the here and now of this case,” Justice Brett Kavanaugh said. “I’m very concerned about the future.” Justice Neil Gorsuch added: “I’m not as concerned about this case so much as a future one. We’re writing a rule for the ages.” Justice Samuel Alito also said he didn’t want to talk about the “particular facts,” but rather to talk “in the abstract.” Instead, Alito suggested an alternate reality in which granting immunity “is required for the functioning of a stable democratic society” because it gives an incumbent president to “leave office peacefully” after losing an election. Alito explained: “If an incumbent who loses a very close, hotly contested election knows that a real possibility after leaving office is not that the president is going to be able to go off into a peaceful retirement but that the president may be criminally prosecuted by a bitter political opponent, will that not lead us into a cycle that destabilizes the functioning of our country as a democracy?” Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, meanwhile, said: “The most powerful person in the world could go into office knowing that there would be no potential penalty for committing crimes. What disincentive is there for turning the Oval Office into the seat of criminality in this country?” (Associated Press / CNN / Washington Post / NBC News / NPR / New York Times / Wall Street Journal / Bloomberg / Politico)

3/ A grand jury in Arizona indicted 18 Trump allies – including Mark Meadows, Rudy Giuliani, and Boris Epshteyn – on felony charges related to their efforts to overturn Trump’s 2020 election loss in the state. Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes said a state grand jury approved criminal charges against 11 Republicans who submitted a certificate falsely declaring they were “duly elected and qualified” electors and claiming that Trump won the state. The document was sent to Congress and the National Archives, where it was ignored. Meadows, Giuliani, Epshteyn, Jenna Ellis, John Eastman and Christina Bobb, and Mike Roman were also accused of aiding the unsuccessful “fake elector” schemes to award the state’s electoral votes to Trump instead of Biden. The indictment also describes Trump as an unindicted co-conspirator. Arizona joins Michigan, Georgia, and Nevada to bring charges against “fake electors.” (NPR / Washington Post / Associated Press / Wall Street Journal / Politico / CNN / NBC News / New York Times)

4/ A federal judge upheld the verdict and $83 million in damages awarded to E. Jean Carroll by a jury, which found Trump liable for defamation in January. Judge Lewis Kaplan also rejected Trump’s request for a new trial, writing that “Trump’s argument is entirely without merit both as a matter of law and as a matter of fact.” (CNN / ABC News / CBS News / Axios)

5/ The EPA issued a new rule requiring coal-fired power plants to capture 90% of their carbon dioxide emissions or shut down. The new rules are expected to cut 1.4 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions – roughly equivalent to the power sector’s 2022 emissions. When burned, coal emits more carbon dioxide than any other fuel source, and power plants are the second biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions behind transportation. (New York Times / NPR / Wall Street Journal / Associated Press)