DOJ PROBES TRUMP FOR ESPIONAGE ACT VIOLATIONS: A search warrant newly unsealed on Friday reveals that the FBI is investigating Donald Trump for a potential violation of the Espionage Act and that agents removed classified documents from the former president’s Florida estate earlier this week (Politico). A receipt accompanying the search warrant, viewed by POLITICO in advance of its unsealing, shows that Trump possessed documents including a handwritten note; documents marked with “TS/SCI,” which indicates one of the highest levels of government classification; and another item labeled “Info re: President of France.” Also among the items taken from Mar-a-Lago this week: An item labeled “Executive grant of clemency re: Roger Jason Stone, Jr.,” a reference to one of Trump’s closest confidants who received a pardon in late 2020. The warrant shows federal law enforcement was investigating Trump for removal or destruction of records, obstruction of justice and violating the Espionage Act — which can encompass crimes beyond spying, such as the refusal to return national security documents upon request. Conviction under the statutes can result in imprisonment or fines.


HOUSE GOP CONTORT THEMSELVES TO RALLY TO TRUMP: Republicans who days ago united in preemptive defense of Donald Trump are struggling to stay on the same page following new questions about documents that the former president was holding at his Florida residence (Politico). The FBI’s daylong search at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate this week, personally approved by Attorney General Merrick Garland, sparked near-universal GOP outrage and allegations of a politicized Justice Department. In the wake of reports that the search was tied to concerns Trump may have improperly taken highly classified White House documents related to nuclear weapons and so-called special access operations, however, Republicans are politically diverging. On top of that, the FBI’s search warrant, which was unsealed later Friday, revealed that Trump is being investigated for potential violations of the Espionage Act, obstruction of justice and the removal or destruction of records. The warrant also shows that some of the documents Trump had in his possession were marked top secret, though it doesn’t specify the subject matter. Rep. Elise Stefanik of New York, the House GOP Conference chair, accused Biden and his appointees of “complete abuse and overreach of [their] authority” and “targeting their political opponents,” adding that Trump is Biden’s “likeliest” opponent in the 2024 presidential election.


FBI, DHS ISSUES THREAT ADVISORY; INCIDENTS IN DC, PHOENIX: On Friday, the FBI and DHS issued a joint intelligence bulletin pointing to the increased threat landscape (CNN). Armed Trump supporters gathered outside the Phoenix FBI office after what they call the "unlawful" search of Mar-a-Lago. A man driving a car struck a barrier near the U.S. Capitol early Sunday morning and opened fire before fatally shooting himself, police said (CBS News). The man crashed into the barrier on the east side of the Capitol just after 4 a.m. Sunday morning, and his car went up in flames as he was getting out, U.S. Capitol Police said in a statement. The man fired several shots into the air and turned the gun on himself as officers responded. No one else was hurt.  "At this time, it does not appear the man was targeting any Members of Congress, who are on recess, and it does not appear officers fired their weapons," Capitol Police said. "These threats are occurring primarily online and across multiple platforms, including social media sites, web forums, video sharing platforms, and image boards. The FBI and DHS would like to ensure that law enforcement, court, and government personnel are aware of the range of threats and criminal and violent incidents," the bulletin reads. Friday's joint intelligence bulletin notes an increase in violent threats online against federal officials and facilities, "including a threat to place a so-called dirty bomb in front of FBI Headquarters and issuing general calls for 'civil war' and 'armed rebellion.'" It also states that the FBI and DHS have identified threats against specific individuals, including the federal judge who approved the Mar-a-Lago search warrant.


CHRISTY STUTZMAN FILING FOR 2ND CD: Former legislator Christy Stutzman announced on her Facebook page that she will seek the Republican 2nd CD nomination (Howey Politics Indiana). "This has been such a difficult week and amidst all of the heartbreak, there has been much speculation," said Stutzman, wife of former congressman Marlin Stutzman. "I wanted to let everyone know that regarding the caucus and special election to fill the Indiana 2nd Congressional district seat left vacant by the sudden loss of Congresswoman Jackie Walorski, I will be making an announcement next Monday, August 15th. I would ask for your prayers." Stutzman filed her candidacy with the FEC. State Rep. Curt Nisly filed on Thursday with the Indiana secretary of state's office.


HILL WEIGHING 2ND CD RUN: Curtis Theophilus Hill Jr. has been plotting his political comeback in recent months, and he may have found his opening (Wren, Importantville). Recently, he appeared with Micah Beckwith, the conservative firebrand and former 5th Congressional District candidate, and was involved with a mock grand jury trial of Dr. Anthony Fauci. Now, the former Indiana attorney general and Elkhart Republican— who the Indiana Supreme Court ruled had engaged in professional misconduct by groping four women, suspendinging his law license for 30 days—is eyeing a run to replace the late Rep. Jackie Walorski, according to two Republicans familiar with his thinking. Walorski died in a tragic car crash along with two aides. Hill did not wait for Walorski’s funeral to begin making calls and has worked the phones extensively. Still, he has not yet filed for the caucus, which will be held at 11 a.m. on Aug. 20 at Grissom Middle School in Mishawaka. Hill did not return IMPORTANTVILLE messages seeking comment.


IU, PURDUE TO SPLIT CONTROL OF IUPUI:  Indiana University and Purdue University officials announced plans Friday to split up control of the Indianapolis campus that the schools have shared for more than 50 years, a move they said will lead both schools to expand their presence in the city (AP). The academic division of the 27,000-student campus now known as Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, or IUPUI, is set to take effect in 2024, with the new IU Indianapolis continuing to operate much of the campus and programs in areas including business, science, law, nursing and liberal arts. Purdue said it will control engineering, computer science and technology programs, with an aim to increase their enrollments in coordination with the main Purdue campus in West Lafayette. Leaders from both schools said the changes will allow IU and Purdue to highlight and grow their academic programs and research presence in the state’s largest city. Purdue Board of Trustees Chairman Michael Berghoff said the new structure will give both universities more incentive to invest in Indianapolis programs and could help recruit businesses to the city with higher profiles for each school.


PURDUE SEES INDY GROWTH POTENTIAL: Purdue University says it sees big potential to grow its Indianapolis presence as part of an IUPUI revamp announced Friday that will give both Purdue and Indiana University autonomous identities in the state’s capital city (Orr, IBJ). On Friday, Purdue and IU’s boards of trustees both approved a new agreement that will rebrand much of IUPUI as Indiana University Indianapolis. As part of the agreement, Purdue will continue to operate in Indianapolis but will do so under the Purdue name—with plans to grow enrollment in the city by at least 1,000 and likely more as well as expand or place several programs here. “Many of us at Purdue for years have felt that we would like to have a bigger, more visible and I hope a more impactful presence here in Indianapolis, but the current structure did not permit us to do that,” Purdue President Mitch Daniels said at a Friday afternoon press conference. The changes, which Purdue and IU are describing as a realignment, are expected to be completed by the start of the 2024/2025 academic year. Because the process has just begun, many details are still being worked out.


HOUSE PASSES MORE BIDEN AGENDA: President Biden has often said that America wanted to see big legislative accomplishments. Now that he has delivered on some of his goals, he will find out if those wins give him a boost with voters (Wall Street Journal). The passage along party lines of the $700 billion climate, healthcare and tax bill in the House Friday capped a run of legislative victories for the Democrats and the White House in recent months that also included bipartisan bills to boost U.S. semiconductor manufacturing, support veterans’ healthcare and address mass shootings. With November’s midterm elections looming, Mr. Biden and Democrats hope to use these victories to appeal to the electorate as they seek to defend their narrow majorities in Congress. Their challenge will be moving voters who might not be paying attention to what bills are passing in Washington and have been grappling with economic uncertainty and high gasoline prices for more than a year. Mr. Biden’s approval ratings have been stuck at or just below 40% for months, a grim sign for his party this year, as well as for the president’s chances if he runs for re-election. His handling of the economy has also gotten low ratings.


DEMOCRATS USING ABORTION IN MIDTERM ADS: In Michigan, Democrats took aim at the Republican nominee for governor almost immediately after the primary with a television ad highlighting her opposition to abortion, without exceptions for rape or incest (New York Times). In Georgia, Democrats recently attacked the Republican governor in another television ad, with women speaking fearfully about the specter of being investigated and “criminalized.” And in Arizona, the Republican nominees for both Senate and governor were confronted almost instantly after their primaries with different ads calling them “dangerous” for their anti-abortion positions. All across America, Democrats are using abortion as a powerful cudgel in their 2022 television campaigns, paying for an onslaught of ads in House, Senate and governor’s races that show how swiftly abortion politics have shifted since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in late June.


130K POLLWORKERS QUIT: More than two years into the COVID-19 pandemic -- and with ongoing concerns about political violence -- America is facing a critical shortage of poll workers, experts say. A new national campaign hopes to see veterans and their families fill the gap (ABC News). Some 130,000 poll workers have stopped serving over the past three midterm elections, the group Vet the Vote says. And 20% of local election officials said in a survey this year they were very unlikely or somewhat unlikely to stay on until the 2024 elecĀ­tion, according to the Brennan Center for Justice. Multiple states have reported shortages of poll workers, including California, New York and Texas.


HPI DAILY ANALYSIS: As we await specifics of the FBI search at Mar-a-Lago, the rhetoric in some quarters has been over the top, and we are now witnessing violence and the threat thereof near the U.S. Capitol, Phoenix and the fatal shooting of a man who assaulted the Cincinnati FBI office. We saw the warrant on Friday; now we need to see the affidavit. - Brian A. Howey




GOFF ELECTED 8TH CD GOP CHAIR: Brenda Goff, who is district director for U.S. Rep. Larry Bucshon, was elected to be the new 8th CD chair on Saturday (Howey Politics Indiana).


McDERMOTT PRESSES YOUNG ON DEBATES: Democratic U.S. Senate nominee Thomas McDermott Jr. tweeted (Howey Politics Indiana): "It has been 4 months since I challenged @ToddYoungIN to 9 debates, I'm still waiting on a response. When I visited #Indianapolis, I stopped by his office to try & get some answers about a #debate. In an unshocking turn of events, he was not at his office, the doors were locked."




GOVERNOR: STATE DOES DEEP DIVE INTO HEALTH REFORMS - The first deep dive in decades investigating the status of Indiana's public health systems has identified nearly three dozen areas in need of improvement (Carden, NWI Times). The recently released final report of the Governor's Public Health Commission finds Hoosier health was woefully lacking even before the COVID-19 pandemic exposed significant gaps in the capability of the state and local health departments to respond in a crisis. For example, the commission notes life expectancy in Indiana declined to 77 years in 2019 from a high of 77.5 years in 2010 — nearly two years less than the national average of 78.8 years, and lower than 39 of the 50 states. The Hoosier State also is among the worst in the country for mental health, infant mortality, early adult mortality, obesity, smoking rate and suicide, according to the commission. "Indiana ranks very favorably in economics, opportunity, education and public safety. However, our public health metrics rank us amongst the lowest in the nation. Business and industry require a healthy workforce for our Indiana economy to continue to grow," said former state Sen. Luke Kenley, R-Noblesville, commission co-chairman.


GOVERNOR: REVENUE CONTINUES TO GROW - The state’s latest monthly revenue report had good news for Indiana’s coffers, with nearly every category of tax collections above estimates forecasted in December and largely bolstered by higher-than-expected gambling collections as the state starts the 2023 fiscal year (Downard, Capital Chronicle). Overall, General Fund revenues for July totaled $1.5 billion, or $72.0 million (5.1%) above the December projection and $147.9 million (11.1%) above revenue in July 2021. Over half of the $72 million over the December forecast came from Riverboat wagering tax collections. Gambling continued its COVID-19 recovery, netting $44.3 million (5,231.4%) more than expected, for a total of $45.7 million or $44.3 million (3,290.1%) above revenue in July 2021. Racino wagering tax collections didn’t see the same surge, falling short of the December forecast by $800,000 (6.6%), totaling $10.9 million or $700,000 (5.8%) below their July 2021 collections. Much of the changes in gaming revenue come as a result of Senate Bill 382, which Gov. Eric Holcomb signed into law in March. The bill requires wagering tax be reported and remitted electronically and amended the distribution date for certain taxes. However, the accompanying commentary notes this impact will not carry over through the entire 2023 fiscal year. Sales tax collections were $884.7 million, $13.9 million (1.6%) above the monthly estimate and $54.3 million (6.5%) above last year’s collections for July. In particular, the gas use tax game in $4 million above the forecast while all other sales taxes were $9.9 million greater than estimated.


IU: WHITTEN SURVEYS FIRST YEAR - The IU Trustees made history when they announced Pamela Whitten would be the 19th president of Indiana University (Hinnefeld, Indiana Public Media). Following longtime leader Michael McRobbie, she would be IU’s first woman president. It was a significant choice that raised high hopes for many. “I’ve always considered IU to be among the best public universities in the country,” Whitten said at the April 2021 news conference where trustees introduced her. “I am humbled, and I am honored, and I am excited to be joining the IU family as president.” A year into her tenure, she has impressed some people with her energy and her focus on students. But there’s been no honeymoon. Last fall, a law professor reported that trustees did an end run around their search committee to hire Whitten. Next, graduate student workers in Bloomington stepped up a union campaign and went on strike. Finally, the abortion debate prompted new questions for IU’s leadership this summer.




NOAA: JULY NIGHTS WARMEST IN HISTORY - The continental United States set a record in July for overnight warmth (Axios). The average low temperature for the Lower 48 states in July was 63.6 degrees — beating the previous record, set in 2011, by a few hundredths of a degree, AP's Seth Borenstein reports. NOAA says that's the hottest nightly average for any month in 128 years of record-keeping. July's nighttime low was more than 3 degrees warmer than the 20th-century average. For decades, climate scientists have said global warming from the burning of coal, oil and natural gas would make the world warmer. In Texas, the July daytime average high was over 100 degrees for the first time. The average nighttime temperature was 74.3 degrees.


NEW YORK: RUSHDIE STABBED ON STAGE - The author Salman Rushdie was stabbed roughly 10 times as he prepared to speak at the Chautauqua Institution in western New York on Friday, prosecutors said during an arraignment for the man accused of carrying out the attack (New York Times). Hadi Matar, a 24-year-old New Jersey man who was arrested at the scene, appeared on Saturday afternoon at the Chautauqua County Courthouse in Mayville, N.Y., for his arraignment on charges of second-degree attempted murder and assault with a weapon.


MLB: CUBS DOWN REDS 7-2 - Ian Happ, Willson Contreras and Franmil Reyes homered, and the Chicago Cubs beat the stumbling Cincinnati Reds 7-2 on Saturday night (ESPN). Happ hit an RBI single in the fifth inning and a three-run shot in the seventh, continuing his long run of success at Cincinnati. The All-Star outfielder, who starred at the University of Cincinnati before he was selected by Chicago in the first round of the 2015 amateur draft, has 16 career homers at Great American Ball Park.


MLB: SOX DOWN TIGERS 6-4 - Andrew Vaughn hit a tiebreaking single in the seventh inning for the second consecutive night, AJ Pollock homered in the eighth and the Chicago White Sox beat the Detroit Tigers 6-4 on Saturday night (ESPN). Vaughn had three hits for the White Sox, who moved within 2 1/2 games of AL Central leader Cleveland. Liam Hendriks worked around Kerry Carpenter's first major league hit — a single — and a walk in the ninth for the closer's 25th save in 28 chances.


Sunday Talk


GOV. HOGAN CALLS FOR DOJ TRANSPARENCY: Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said Sunday the Department of Justice will need to be transparent in proving the importance of the unprecedented search of Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago last week but also criticized the response from other Republicans who he said inflamed animus against law enforcement. "I still believe that transparency was and is critically important. I was not one of the people that was just reacting, just defending Donald Trump," Hogan told ABC "This Week" co-anchor Jonathan Karl of the FBI operation at the former president's residence in Florida. "But I understood that, without anyone understanding what this was about, that it was going to and could lead to even further division and angry rhetoric from both sides." "And so, I was happy that they did come out and unseal the documents on the search," Hogan said. "I think it was a step in the right direction. But I think we still have a lot of unanswered questions and we're gonna continue until people understand more."


KEANE SAYS AFGHANISTAN A TERROR HAVEN: Nearly one year after the Taliban retook control of Afghanistan, retired four-star Army Gen. Jack Keane said on Sunday that the country has returned to conditions seen in 2001. In an interview with “Fox News Sunday” guest anchor Gillian Turner, Keane pointed to al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri’s recent presence in Kabul, the country’s capital, as evidence the Taliban is protecting the terrorist group. The United States killed al-Zawahiri in a drone strike last month. “Afghanistan is a sanctuary for terrorism,” said Keane.




RICHMOND: MAN CHARGED WITH SHOOTING COP — Prosecutors on Friday filed two attempted murder charges and four other counts against a man accused of shooting an eastern Indiana police officer in the head during a traffic stop and search for possible narcotics (AP). The Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office also has charged Phillip Matthew Lee, 47, of Richmond, with three drug possession counts for methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin and possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon. A judge set Lee’s bond at $1 million. Richmond police Officer Seara Burton is being treated at a hospital in Dayton, Ohio, following Wednesday’s shooting. Richmond police Chief Michael Britt said Burton was in “extremely critical” condition and has not regained consciousness. Britt told WTHR-TV that Burton was back on a ventilator after breathing on her own Thursday night.


INDIANAPOLIS: BAR ASSN CRITICIZES FOP - "Irresponsible," "inaccurate," "dangerous." The Indianapolis Bar Association did not hold back Friday in a statement condemning Indianapolis Fraternal Order of Police president Rick Snyder for his recent comments on the Marion County judiciary (IndyStar). Snyder has claimed the man who fatally shot Elwood police officer Noah Shahnavaz on July 31 had previously been given light treatment by a Marion County judge. "That's why when we have this officer out of Elwood who was shot and killed, that's by an offender who previously shot at police in Indianapolis, got a lenient modified sentence that let him out of jail early, back on the streets, and now this young officer has lost his life," Snyder said in a Friday episode of the podcast "Real Talk with Rev. Charles Harrison."


VALPARAISO: PLANS FOR SPORTS COMPLEX - Two hundred and forty eight acres of rolling farmland on the city's East Side will soon be transformed into Valparaiso's largest park (DeVore, NWI Times). The Valparaiso/Center Township Board of Parks and Recreation envisions a space full of recreational fields and walking trails.  Stretching from Vale Park Road on the south all the way to 500 North, the new park is part of the "Valparaiso for all Generations" parks department initiative announced in February of this year. Valparaiso for all Generations grew out of the parks department master plan that was released in 2020.


HOBART: BRIDGE COSTS SKYROCKET - The scope of the Colorado Street overpass project could change as construction costs continue to rise (NWI Times). Mayor Brian Snedecor said road project prices “have been skyrocketing,” and that’s caused the estimated cost of the overpass initiative to increase by about $1.2 million. Hobart received about $5.5 million through an Indiana Department of Transportation Trax Grant for the bridge. The city’s match is about $2 million, and Hobart is expected to use proceeds from a 2020 bond issue to cover its portion.