Morning Headlines - Thursday, Jul. 20, 2023

U.S. & World and Wisconsin trending headlines, and the meme of the day.

Morning Headlines - Thursday, Jul. 20, 2023

U.S. and World Headlines

All Eyes On A Washington Grand Jury Amid Signs Of Possible Third Trump Indictment

The biggest question about the 2024 presidential campaign so far is whether voters or juries will get to cast the first verdict on Donald Trump.

A White House race that figures to be one of the most fraught in history is again in suspended animation as the political world awaits more potential criminal charges the Republican front-runner is expecting from special counsel Jack Smith.

Trump has lost none of his ability to shatter political conventions. Just months ago, the notion that a former president and potential future commander in chief could be indicted was staggering and unprecedented. Now it’s becoming an almost regular occurrence.

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Inside Kevin McCarthy’s Secret Promise To Expunge Trump’s Record

After House Speaker Kevin McCarthy suggested on national television last month that Donald Trump may not be the GOP’s best presidential nominee in 2024, the former president was furious — and wanted the California Republican to rectify the slight immediately.

“He needs to endorse me — today!” Trump fumed to his staff on his way to a campaign event in New Hampshire, according to people familiar with what happened. McCarthy, after all, had indicated to Trump’s team that he would do so eventually. Why not clean up the mess and announce his support now?

But the House GOP leader — who has felt compelled to stay neutral during the primary so as to not box in his own members — wasn’t ready to do that.

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Five Takeaways From Hunter Biden IRS Whistleblower Hearing

Republicans and Democrats sparred over the significance of the tax crimes investigation into Hunter Biden at a House Oversight Committee hearing that featured two IRS whistleblowers, with the GOP arguing the president’s son was spared from true justice while Democrats argued he was thoroughly investigated by a team formed under the former president and led by a Trump-appointed attorney.

IRS special agent Joseph Ziegler and his supervisor Gary Shapley, who investigated Biden, expressed frustration over how U.S. Attorney for Delaware David Weiss and other prosecutors handled the investigation, alleging authorities slow-walked the case and showed preferential treatment to the president’s son.

The House Ways and Means Committee had first privately interviewed the two whistleblowers, releasing transcripts just days after prosecutors reached an agreement with Biden to plead guilty to two charges of willful failure to pay taxes.

The nearly six-hour hearing relayed little information not already covered in the nearly 400 pages of testimony from the two men, with the whistleblowers saying they could not answer questions outside the scope of that testimony.

But the hearing was revelatory about how both sides of the aisle could use that testimony.

Here are five takeaways from the hearing.

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Illinois Sheriffs Brace For Fallout Of ‘America’s Most Dangerous Law’ After State Supreme Court Ends Cash Bail

Sheriffs in southern Illinois say they are bracing for more crime and more victims that result from the end of cash bail across the state.

"Folks who live here are extremely concerned," Franklin County Sheriff Kyle Bacon told Fox News. "It's an experiment on the backs of victims of crime. I have serious concerns and so do the people that live here."

On Tuesday, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled in favor of eliminating the state's cash bail system. The ruling takes effect Sept. 18, making Illinois the first state to fully abolish cash bail.

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One Winning Ticket Sold For $1.08 Billion Powerball Jackpot - In Los Angeles

There was one winning ticket sold for Wednesday night's estimated $1.08 billion Powerball jackpot, lottery officials said. It was purchased at the Las Palmitas Mini Market in downtown Los Angeles.

The winning numbers were 7, 10, 11, 13 and 24, with a Powerball of 24. The ticket holder or holders will get to pick either a lump sum payment of $558.1 million or an annuity for the $1.08 billion. Both figures are before taxes. Late ticket sales propelled the jackpot past its earlier estimate of $1 billion.

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Wisconsin Headlines

Wisconsin Towns Brace For Next Fight On Local Control Over Large Farms

After a developer began eyeing rural northwest Wisconsin for a large swine farm, five small towns enacted ordinances aimed at curbing environmental and health impacts.

Then, the state’s biggest business and agricultural interest groups fought back. They engaged disaffected residents. Some locals sued. Others ran for political office. New leaders in one Polk County town rescinded regulations on concentrated animal feeding operations, or CAFOs.

Now, officials in the remaining towns with livestock regulations wonder whether they, too, are in legal crosshairs.

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La Crosse Felon Sentenced To 46 Months For Illegal Gun Possession

Kareem Nellem, 30, La Crosse, Wisconsin was sentenced today by Chief U.S. District Judge James D. Peterson to 46 months in federal prison for possessing a firearm as a felon. This prison term will be followed by a 3-year term of supervised release. Nellem pleaded guilty to this charge on April 12, 2023.

On March 30, 2022, the La Crosse Police Department conducted a search of Nellem’s residence in connection to a drug investigation. During the search, officers located a 9mm firearm in a dresser. The investigation revealed that on the same date his residence was searched, Nellem had posted to his publicly accessible Snapchat account a video of himself holding two firearms. The firearm recovered from his residence appeared consistent with one of those firearms. Nellem’s DNA was also later recovered from that firearm.

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WisPolitics Tracks $56 Million In Spending On Wisconsin Supreme Court Race

WisPolitics has tracked more than $56 million spent on this spring’s Supreme Court race — almost four times the previous national record — as liberals flipped control of the body for the first time in 15 years.

And it’s likely the final tab was significantly higher, thanks to issue ads and spending on infrastructure that aren’t reported to the state.

Dems said those efforts add millions to the more than $32 million that WisPolitics tracked in spending by Justice-elect Janet Protasiewicz and the groups backing her.

Meanwhile, conservative former Justice Daniel Kelly and his supporters spent more than $22.5 million, according to campaign finance reports, independent expenditure filings, TV records and interviews. The rest was spent by Jennifer Dorow, Everett Mitchell and their backers ahead of a four-way primary.

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After Michigan Charges Against False Electors, No Word On Wisconsin Investigation

Wisconsin's Democratic Attorney General Josh Kaul declined to say whether he's investigating Wisconsinites who are accused of trying to subvert the 2020 election by casting fake electoral votes.

On Tuesday, Michigan's AG Dana Nessel put a spotlight on the issue when she announced felony charges against 16 Michiganders who signed certificates falsely attesting to former President Donald Trump's victory and sent them to the National Archives.

Their goal was to overturn the 2020 presidential election results, Nessel said. Trump tried to use the dueling slates of electors to pressure then-Vice President Mike Pence into certifying the election in Trump's favor.

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Sharp-Tailed Grouse Hunting Season Remains Closed For 2023

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) today announced that although the spring population survey results indicate a slight increase, the sharp-tailed grouse hunting season remains closed for 2023. Permits and applications will not be available or accepted this year.

Each year, the sharp-tailed grouse advisory committee, consisting of interested conservation groups and DNR wildlife biologists, uses spring dancing ground surveys to evaluate the population’s size and make a recommendation about a hunting season. Based on the review of spring population data and lek distribution, concerns remain around the long-term viability of the sharp-tailed grouse population.

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Last Update: Jul 20, 2023 7:10 am CDT

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