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The FBI’s unprecedented search of former President Donald Trump’s Florida residence is ricocheting around government, politics and a polarized country. Trump and his allies are complaining, and others are wondering Tuesday why the Justice Department — notably cautious under Attorney General Merrick Garland — decided to take such a drastic step. The FBI searched Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate as part of an investigation into whether he took classified records there from the White House. That’s according to people familiar with the matter who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing investigation. Trump says agents opened a safe at his home, and he likens their search to “prosecutorial misconduct.”
Voters will choose a Republican nominee for Wisconsin governor on Tuesday. Former President Donald Trump has endorsed businessman Tim Michels, a self-described outsider who has put $12 million into his own campaign, against former Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch, who has support from former Vice President Mike Pence and ex-Gov. Scott Walker. Both candidates falsely claim the 2020 election was rigged, though Kleefisch has said decertifying the results is “not constitutional,” while Michels said “everything will be on the table.” The race to face Democratic Gov. Tony Evers is another proxy war between Trump and Pence, one-time partners now pursuing different futures for the Republican Party.
The FBI has searched former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate as part of an investigation into whether he took classified records from the White House to his Florida residence. That's according to people familiar with the matter who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing investigation. Trump says agents opened up a safe at his home and describes their work as an “unannounced raid” that he likened to “prosecutorial misconduct.” The FBI and Justice Department have not confirmed the search. It marks a dramatic and unprecedented escalation of law enforcement scrutiny of the former president.
The Republican matchup in the Wisconsin gubernatorial race in Tuesday's primary elections features competing candidates endorsed by former President Donald Trump and his estranged vice president, Mike Pence. Democrats are picking a candidate to face two-term GOP Sen. Ron Johnson for control of the closely divided chamber. Meanwhile, voters in Vermont are picking a replacement for U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy, as the chamber’s longest-serving member retires. In Minnesota, U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar faces a primary challenger who helped defeat a voter referendum to replace the Minneapolis Police Department with a new Department of Public Safety.
Republicans who are running to be secretary of state in Wisconsin and Minnesota in primaries Tuesday are repeating Donald Trump’s false claims about the last presidential election and they've suggested they want more authority over how elections are run, especially in Democratic-leaning counties. Wisconsin’s office of secretary of state has no role in elections, but that could change if Republicans are able to win the post this year and pass a law that would empower the office with far more responsibilities. In Minnesota, the leading GOP secretary of state candidate has called the 2020 election a “train wreck.” Connecticut and Vermont also are holding primaries for secretary of state on Tuesday.
Republican Rep. Dan Newhouse, who voted to impeach Donald Trump, advanced to the general election following days of vote counts in Washington state’s primary. But fellow Republican Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler saw her advantage against an opponent endorsed by Trump rapidly shrink to within recount territory. Both drew interparty challenges due to their vote to impeach Trump following the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. Newhouse, the four-term incumbent in the 4th Congressional District in central Washington and Democrat Doug White were essentially tied, with each capturing about 25% of the vote on a crowded ballot. White also advanced to the fall ballot.
Former television news anchor Kari Lake has won the Republican primary for Arizona governor. Lake walked away from her journalism career and was embraced by Donald Trump and his staunch supporters. Her victory Thursday is a blow to the GOP establishment, which lined up behind lawyer and businesswoman Karrin Taylor Robson. Lake said she would not have certified President Joe Biden’s 2020 victory and put false claims of election fraud at the center of her campaign. Former Vice President Mike Pence, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey and others tried to push the GOP to move on from the Trump era of election conspiracies and lies.
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban is urging American conservatives to “take back the institutions,” stick to hardline stances on gay rights and immigration, and fight for the next U.S. presidential election as a pivotal moment for their beliefs. The far-right leader received loud cheers and standing ovations Thursday at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Dallas. Orban has been criticized for undermining his country’s democratic institutions, but his invitation to the large conservative gathering demonstrated the growing embrace between the leader of an autocratic government and Republicans in the U.S. Orban told the crowd to look ahead to the 2024 election, saying they had “two years to get ready.”
Republican Sen. Susan Collins and Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin are making the case for overhauling the 1800s-era Electoral Count Act. The two senators pushed Wednesday for quick passage of their bipartisan compromise that would make it harder for a losing candidate to overturn the legitimate results of a presidential election. The effort comes after former President Donald Trump and his allies pressed courts, state legislatures and Congress to overturn his 2020 loss to President Joe Biden. That Trump effort culminated in the violent insurrection on Jan. 6, 2021, when hundreds of his supporters pushed past police and broke into the Capitol.
Michigan Rep. Peter Meijer, who witnessed the Capitol riot days after taking office in 2021 and then cast one of the 10 Republican votes to impeach Donald Trump over the attack, has lost his reelection bid. Meijer was defeated in a primary Tuesday by Trump-endorsed John Gibbs, a businessman and missionary who served in the Trump administration. Two Republicans in Washington state who incurred Trump’s wrath by voting for impeachment also went before voters. Races involving Reps. Jaime Herrera Beutler and Dan Newhouse were too early to call by Wednesday morning. Trump vowed revenge against the 10 who crossed party lines on the impeachment vote, and he endorsed party challengers to them in the midterm elections.