Former President Donald Trump and the Justice Dept are squaring off in the courtroom.
Can we untangle this web?
The National Archives and Records Admin has spent months trying to get back classified documents from former President Trump. In January, Trump’s team sent 15 boxes of records back. But the National Archives flagged the DOJ to investigate potential mishandling of the records. That led to an FBI search last month at Trump’s private residence Mar-a-Lago and the recovery of more than 100 classified docs. And earlier this week, the DOJ says it has evidence Trump and co. “likely concealed and removed” classified docs before the search.
What’s happening now?
Last week, Trump’s lawyers had made a request for a special master to be appointed to the case. Yesterday, a federal judge began hearing arguments from both sides. It also marked the first time Trump’s lawyers argued in court about the Mar-a-Lago search.
Special master? Sorry. Special master? Sorry.
Yup, we got you. It’s a fancy title for a third-party attorney that the court picks. In this case, they would review all of the evidence the FBI collected from Mar-a-Lago to see if anything was taken that’s not covered by the warrant.
Why does Trump want one?
His lawyers are arguing that some of the material the FBI took might be protected by attorney-client and executive privilege.
How likely is it that the judge will appoint one?
Pretty likely. The judge gave notice indicating she plans to appoint a special master. But TBD when she’ll issue a decision.
This procedural step could have big implications for the Mar-a-Lago saga. Appointing a special master could delay the DOJ’s review of the docs. Especially as the judge considers if former presidents can claim executive privilege.
Yesterday marked the first time the Mar-a-Lago saga made its way to the courtroom. There are still lots of unanswered questions about the Mar-a-Lago search, why Trump had the documents or what exactly was in them. A special master could give more answers, slow the process down, or both.
What got the green light…
Updated COVID-19 booster shots. Yesterday, the CDC director signed off on the shots, allowing them to jump the final hurdle before distribution. Pfizer and Moderna have tweaked their recipes to target Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5, as well as the original COVID-19 strain. Anyone 12 and up is eligible to get a dose of Pfizer's booster, while Moderna is offering theirs to anyone older than 18. And people who already got their primary series or are boosted can also get in on the action — as long as their last shot was more than two months ago. Now that the CDC signed off, new boosters are set to roll out at doctors’ offices and pharmacies. Check for updates here.
What’s got school bells ringing…
Test scores. Yesterday, the National Assessment of Educational Progress (aka the Nation’s Report Card) said kids’ math and reading scores saw the largest dip in 30 years. Right before the pandemic hit, thousands of 9-year-old kids were tested in both subjects. Fast forward to 2022, and a fresh set of students took the assessment. But this time around things aren’t adding up. Those in the bottom 10th percentile saw their scores drop by 12 points in math. That means many third and fourth graders are apparently struggling with reading comprehension and adding fractions with common denominators. Kids of all races are affected. Educators are saying the pandemic is the clear culprit (we all remember the mess remote learning created). One expert said it erased progress and “exacerbated the inequality.”
What’s saying ctrl+alt+retweet…
Twitter. Yesterday, the social media company announced it would test an edit button — a feature people have requested for years. Earlier this year, Twitter tweeted it was working on it. (Who can forget that spicy Elon Musk poll.) Now, anyone who’s paying $4.99 to join Twitter Blue will be able to edit their heart away later this month…with a few caveats. Tweets can only be edited “a few times” within 30 minutes from when they’re published and any edited tweet will have a timestamp. People can also see a tweet’s edit history. And not everyone is pumped: some are worried that bad actors could take advantage of the edit button to spread misinformation (think: by adding it to a tweet that's going viral). Oh, and Twitter said it’s keeping eyes on engagement to see if it should roll the edit feature out to everybody.
What’s got MOXIE…
This. Earlier this week, researchers at MIT said a scaled-up version of a toaster-sized machine (the Mars Oxygen In Situ Resource Utilization Experiment, aka MOXIE) could one day help humans breathe on Mars. The tiny machine can flip carbon dioxide into oxygen — very important since Mars has plenty of carbon dioxide and is somewhere humans would like to reach soon. Meanwhile MOXIE’s been on the Red Planet for over a year, generating air about as efficiently as a small tree. Hopefully it lives up to the hype that Artemis I couldn’t…
No, it’s not the weight of an evil spirit. Close, though. It’s actually the energy drained by devices and appliances when they aren’t being used. And it can seriously drain your wallet. Spooky, we know.
But before you go calling ghostbusters, you’ll wanna check out OhmConnect. They’ll tell you when electricity is most expensive in your area. So you can use less, save more, aaaand help the environment. Oh, and you can manage it all from your smartphone. Give it a go.
Save Your Seat: SkimmU Money
Mark your cals. Our next semester of SkimmU Money kicks off in just a few weeks — four virtual courses that’ll help you build your investment portfolio and reach your next money goal. Register now and get ready to attend live sessions led by investing pros, join Q&As, and more. We’re kicking things off on September 19. Sign up.
Here are today’s recs to help you live a smarter life…
1. Problem-solving beauty products. We've all been through our fair share of beauty-related disasters. So we found the best items to have on hand when you're breaking out, frizzing up, or stressing out. We got you.
2. Items that’ll get you in a good headspace. If rest and relaxation are at the top of your list this holiday weekend, these are our faves to help you celebrate some me time. From an adult coloring book to mini candles that burn for exactly 20 minutes. Wind down.
3. Useful things that’ll relieve all your aches and pains. Like rollers, massagers, and more finds that'll work out your soreness and stiffness — whether you're recovering from a challenging Pilates class or just sitting at your computer all day. Worth it.
4. The best Labor Day sales to shop right now. From athleisure pieces to kitchen and bathroom essentials to mattresses and bedding, we've rounded up tons of deals you won't wanna miss this weekend. Keep calm and shop on.
*PS: This is a sponsored post.
Skimm HQ is OOO for Labor Day. See you back in your inbox on Tuesday.
We like to celebrate the wins, big and small. Let us know how your friends, neighbors, coworkers (and yes, even you) are making career moves, checking off goals, or making an impact in the community.
Caring for students…Erica S (PA). She launched StudentsCare, an organization that connects undergrad college students with hospitalized children, seniors, and other patients to help provide a network of friendship and support through volunteering.
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Allow us to reintro-boost ourselves. Yep, the FDA authorized a new round of updated COVID booster shots. This week on “Skimm This,” we talk to a physician about what’s different about these shots, how they impact immunity, and why you should get one. Check it out.
theSkimm Loyalty Program
Maybe you’re nostalgic for stationery shopping, or maybe you or your kiddo are heading back to class. Either way, we’ve pulled together some exclusive discounts of our fave back-to-school supplies that you’ll want even if you’re not going back to school. Not a member yet? Join now to get access.
Skimm’d by Rashaan Ayesh, Melanie De Lima, Xian Chiang-Waren, and Julie Shain