1/ Trump was held in contempt of court and fined $9,000 for repeatedly violating a gag order that barred him from making public statements about witnesses and jurors in his Manhattan criminal trial. Trump was also ordered to remove seven “offending” social media posts and two posts on his campaign website. Judge Juan Merchan warned Trump he could be jailed for further violations. (Associated Press / NPR / Wall Street Journal / Axios / NBC News / CNBC)

  • On the witness stand today: Keith Davidson, the lawyer who represented Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal when they sold their stories of affairs with Trump to the National Enquirer.

  • “I have a blockbuster Trump story,” Davidson said in a text to an Enquirer editor, referring to McDougal’s relationship with Trump.

  • Davidson testified that interest in Stormy Daniels’s story intensified after the emergence of the “Access Hollywood” tape, on which Trump bragged about assaulting women.

  • “Every single time I talked to Michael Cohen he leaned on his close affiliation with Donald Trump,” Davidson testified. “I don’t know if it was ever explicitly stated that ‘I am negotiating this matter on behalf of Donald Trump,’ but it was part of [Cohen’s] identity.”

  • Sources: New York Times / Washington Post / NBC News / Associated Press / CNN / Politico / Bloomberg

2/ House Democrats said they’d block Marjorie Taylor Greene’s effort to remove Speaker Mike Johnson. Greene and two other Republicans hardliners have threatened for weeks to introduce a motion to oust Johnson because he worked with Democrats to approve a $95 billion foreign aid package for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan. “If she invokes the motion, it will not succeed,” House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries said. “From the very beginning of this Congress, House Democrats have put people over politics and found bipartisan common ground with traditional Republicans in order to deliver real results. At the same time, House Democrats have aggressively pushed back against MAGA extremism. We will continue to do just that.” Greene, nevertheless, suggested she’d force a vote anyway, saying: “if the Democrats want to elect him Speaker (and some Republicans want to support the Democrats’ chosen Speaker), I’ll give them the chance to do it.” (Politico / Associated Press / NBC News / Bloomberg / Wall Street Journal / Axios)

3/ Universities across the country called on campus, city and state police officers to quell civil disobedience by students protesting the U.S.-backed Israeli military offensive in Gaza. While the majority of protests have been peaceful, there have been several incidents of antisemitism and violent threats that have marred the demonstrations and made Jewish students feel unsafe on campus. At many schools, students have setup campus tent encampments and called on their universities’ endowments to divest from military weapons manufacturers and defense contractors linked to Israel. At Columbia University, student protesters were threatened with expulsion for occupying Hamilton Hall – the same building that antiwar protesters occupied in 1968. Protesters renamed the building Hind’s Hall, after Hind Rajab, a 6-year-old who was killed in Gaza in January, and then unfurled a banner from the building that said “intifada,” an Arabic word meaning “an uprising.” In Oregon, Portland State University closed its campus after demonstrators took over the school’s library; police officers used riot gear and pepper spray to break up a protest at Virginia Commonwealth University; students who refused to leave an encampment at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill were arrested; and police and state troopers in Texas arrested nearly 80 protesters at the University of Texas at Austin. In total, there have been more than 1,200 arrests made so far related to pro-Palestinian protests and encampments on college campuses across the country. About four dozen encampments on campuses remain. The White House said that while Biden “respects the right to free expression,” he “believes that forcibly taking over a building on campus is absolutely the wrong approach,” and “not an example of peaceful protest.” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, meanwhile, pledged to invade Rafah “with or without” a ceasefire deal “in order to achieve the total victory.” The latest ceasefire proposal calls for 20 to 33 hostages to be released over several weeks in exchange for the “restoration of sustainable calm” and the release of Palestinian prisoners. Israel is awaiting a response from Hamas. Nevertheless, Netanyahu said that “the idea that we will halt the war before achieving all of its goals is out of the question.” (New York Times / CNN / Washington Post / NBC News / Associated Press / NPR / Wall Street Journal / Rolling Stone / New York Magazine / Vox / Axios / Politico / CNN)

4/ The Biden administration will ease federal restrictions on cannabis, reclassifying marijuana from the most strict Schedule I to the less stringent Schedule III. The new rule would not legalize cannabis outright for recreational use, but instead recognize the medical uses of marijuana. It’s the first time that the U.S. government has acknowledged the potential medical benefits of marijuana. (Associated Press / NBC News / Politico / Axios / New York Times / Washington Post)

👑 Portrait of a President.

  1. Trump refused to commit to vetoing a national abortion ban and said he would allow states to monitor women’s pregnancies and prosecute those who violated abortion restrictions

  2. Trump said he’d “absolutely” consider pardoning the hundreds of criminals convicted in connection with the attack on the U.S. Capitol. Trump is currently facing felony criminal charges in connection with Jan. 6.

  3. Trump suggested he’d use the National Guard to deport undocumented migrants. “If they weren’t able to, then I’d use [other parts of] the military.”

  4. Trump refused to rule out the possibility of political violence following the presidential election. “If we don’t win, you know, it depends. It always depends on the fairness of the election.”

  5. Sources: Time / Axios / New York Times / NBC News