10 things you need to know today: August 9, 2022
Trump says the FBI raided his Florida home, Arbery's killers get 2nd life sentences for hate crime conviction, and more
Trump says FBI searched Mar-a-Lago
Former President Donald Trump said Monday that FBI agents raided his Mar-a-Lago estate and club in Palm Beach, Florida, and "even broke into my safe!" The operation appeared to focus on material Trump improperly brought with him from the White House, including classified documents. Trump said the search was unnecessary because he was cooperating with federal agencies, claiming it was meant to discourage him from running for president in 2024. "Such an assault could only take place in broken, Third-World Countries," he said. Trump allies issued calls to "defund" the FBI. The search came as the Justice Department intensifies its parallel investigation into Trump's effort to stay in office despite his election loss.
Travis and Gregory McMichael get 2nd life sentences for Arbery hate crimes
A judge on Monday sentenced Gregory and Travis McMichael, the white father and son convicted of killing Ahmaud Arbery in 2020, to life in prison on federal hate-crime charges. A jury convicted the men for violating the unarmed Black man's civil rights because of his race. The younger McMichael was shown on cellphone video shooting Arbery at close range with a shotgun after the three white men chased him down in their pickup trucks as he jogged through their Georgia neighborhood. The McMichaels and neighbor William "Roddie" Bryan, who took the video of the killing, had already been sentenced to life for November convictions on state murder charges. Bryan got 35 years on the hate-crime charges.
Jan. 6 committee gets Alex Jones' text messages
Two years' worth of conspiracy theorist Alex Jones' text messages have been handed over to the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol attack by a mob of then-President Donald Trump's supporters, CNN reported Monday, citing a person familiar with the situation. Jones' lawyer accidentally gave the contents of Jones' cellphone to an attorney who represented the parents of a child killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre. The parents sued Jones for defamation for his claims that the massacre, which left 20 children and six educators dead, was a hoax. A jury last week said Jones should pay nearly $50 million in compensatory and punitive damages.
Biden visits flood-damaged Kentucky, pledges aid for 'as long as it takes'
President Biden and first lady Jill Biden on Monday visited Kentucky, where they surveyed unprecedented flood damage from recent storms and met with families and first responders. At least 37 people died as floodwaters swept through areas swamped with up to 10 1/2 inches of rain in 48 hours last month. Forecasters have warned that thunderstorms through Thursday could cause more flooding. Gov. Andy Beshear said the flooding was "unlike anything we're ever seen," and he credited Biden with providing federal aid quickly. Biden pledged to continue helping the state recover. "We're not leaving, as long as it takes, we're going to be here," he said.
Michigan AG alleges conspiracy to break into voting equipment
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel (D) has filed a petition seeking a special prosecutor to continue an investigation into whether her Republican challenger in November's election, Matt DePerno, was involved in a conspiracy to break into voting equipment, seeking evidence to support former President Donald Trump's voter-fraud allegations. Nessel said that since DePerno is her election opponent, she can't pursue the investigation due to a conflict of interest. Reuters reported Sunday that DePerno, a Trump ally, submitted a document in a failed voter-fraud lawsuit with a photo of a voting machine that had a serial number matching one of five machines Nessel had said was accessed without authorization. DePerno tweeted that Nessel's investigation was politically motivated.
U.S. pledges another $1 billion in security aid for Ukraine
The Biden administration on Monday announced another $1 billion in military aid to help Ukraine resist Russia's invasion. The aid will mark the biggest shipment yet of U.S. rockets, ammunition, and other arms from Defense Department stockpiles, including more rockets for the High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) that Ukrainian forces have used to target far-off Russian command centers. The U.S. now has committed more than $9 billion in security assistance to Ukraine since Russian invaded in February. "At every stage of this conflict, we have been focused on getting the Ukrainians what they need, depending on the evolving conditions on the battlefield," said Colin Kahl, undersecretary of defense for policy.
Poll: 1 in 5 with serious illness had trouble accessing care in pandemic
One in five Americans in households where someone had a serious illness had trouble accessing health care during the coronavirus pandemic, according to a poll released Monday by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. "From a health and a good care standpoint, that's just too high," said Mary Findling, the assistant director of the Harvard Opinion Research Program. Other studies have found that patients delayed everything from cancer screenings to routine diabetes, pediatric, and mental health care. The disruptions hit minority patients hardest. Thirty-five percent of American Indian and Alaska Native households and 24 percent of Black households reported having trouble accessing care for serious illness, compared to 18 percent of white households.
Olivia Newton-John dies at 73
Olivia Newton-John died from breast cancer Monday at her California ranch. She was 73. "Olivia has been a symbol of triumphs and hope for over 30 years sharing her journey with breast cancer," her husband, John Easterling, wrote on Instagram and Facebook. The singer and actress was perhaps best known for her role as Sandy alongside John Travolta in the film version of Grease, as well as for hit songs, including 1981's "Physical." She had 14 Top 10 singles from 1973 to 1983, as well as four Grammys. Her "You're the One That I Want" duet with Travolta sold more than 15 million copies. Travolta said in an online post that Newton-John "made all our lives so much better."
Gabby Petito's family files wrongful death lawsuit against Utah police
Gabby Petito's family announced Monday that they are filing a wrongful death lawsuit accusing Moab, Utah, police of failing to protect her by properly investigating a suspected domestic violence incident involving her fiancé, Brian Laundrie. The lawsuit seeks $50 million in damages. Police interviewed Petito and Laundrie in August 2021 during a cross-country road trip. Body-camera footage showed Petito distraught, saying she slapped Laundrie first, then he grabbed her face. Neither pressed charges. Petito's body was found in Bridger-Teton National Forest in Wyoming on Sept. 19, 2021. Investigators said she had been dead at least three weeks, and had been strangled. Laundrie was later found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He admitted in writing that he killed Petito.
Historian David McCullough dies at 89
Bestselling author and television host David McCullough has died at his home in Hingham, Massachusetts. He was 89. McCullough won Pulitzer Prizes for his presidential biographies Truman (!992), which topped The New York Times' best-seller list for 41 weeks, and John Adams (2001). The historian earned National Book Awards for The Path Between the Seas: The Creation of the Panama Canal (1977) and Mornings on Horseback (1981), which was about a young Theodore Roosevelt. Fans and critics hailed him for his readable prose and exhaustive research. The Adams biography took McCullough seven years, and hit No. 1 on the Times best-seller list in its first week. Truman took him 10 years.