Bloomberg - Evening Briefing - ‘Above the law’

Bloomberg Evening Briefing

Having delayed its ruling until a rare July session and then ordering up a complex fact-finding mission for a lower court judge, the US Supreme Court on Monday largely erased any chance Donald Trump will face trial before November for the Jan. 6 attack on the US Capitol and his alleged effort to keep power after losing the 2020 election. In doing so, the court—with all six members of its Republican-appointed supermajority in agreement (including the three picked by Trump)—put its imprimatur on a historic expansion of presidential power. Trump is accused of conspiring to defraud the US by promoting false claims of election fraud, pressuring the Justice Department to conduct sham investigations, pushing then-Vice President Mike Pence to undercut certification of President Joe Biden’s victory and inciting the 2021 insurrection. Trump, who has pleaded not guilty, claimed he has absolute immunity. The Supreme Court ruled that, for official acts as president, immunity is presumed. “The president is not above the law,” Chief Justice John Roberts wrote for the majority. “But Congress may not criminalize the president’s conduct in carrying out the responsibilities of the executive branch under the Constitution.”

US Chief Justice John Roberts, left, Associate Justice Clarence Thomas, center, and Associate Justice Samuel Alito, right, in 2023. Photographer: Pool/Getty Images North America

If Trump, 78, wins in November, he could instruct the Justice Department to throw out the federal charges against him. Today’s decision—inasmuch as it delays the Jan. 6 case—is the latest in a string of rulings by the high court’s conservative majority in Trump’s favor, decisions that have overruled judgments by district court and appellate judges appointed by presidents from both political parties. Trump has been impeached twice, indicted four times and convicted in a New York prosecution over his manipulation of the 2016 presidential campaign. Of the other two pending cases, Aileen Cannon, a federal judge in Florida appointed by Trump, has been widely criticized by judges and legal experts alike for unorthodox rulings in Trump’s favor. Her decisions have likely delayed beyond the election any trial over Trump’s alleged mishandling of sensitive military secrets. In Atlanta, a state racketeering prosecution tied to alleged efforts by Trump to block Biden from taking office was delayed until fall by a Georgia appeals court as Trump’s lawyers seek to remove the prosecutor. 

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer Photographer: Tierney L. Cross/Bloomberg

Associate US Supreme Court Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas, already the subject of allegations of political bias and ethical violations, respectively, had faced calls to recuse themselves from the immunity case—Thomas because of his wife’s support for efforts to keep Biden from taking office and Alito because flags flown at his homes allegedly suggested sympathy for the cause. But both refused. Aside from the case’s delay, Democratic-appointed justices warned in their dissent that the deeply unpopular court has effectively proclaimed a sitting president exercising his official duties as infallible when it comes to the criminal code. Democrats were less circumspect. Reacting to the majority’s ruling, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said that “this disgraceful decision by the MAGA Supreme Court—which is comprised of three justices appointed by Mr. Trump himself—enables the former president to weaken our democracy by breaking the law.” 

Here are today’s top stories

Bloomberg exclusively reported that the Democratic National Committee is considering formally nominating Biden as early as mid-July to ensure he is on November ballots, while helping to stamp out intra-party chatter of replacing him after last week’s poor debate performance. A potential date for Biden’s nomination is July 21, when the Democratic convention’s credentials committee meets virtually.

The first round of France’s snap legislative elections has narrowed the possible outcomes to two—both of which presage prolonged uncertainty for investors. With by far the biggest share of the vote, Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Rally and its allies are the only group in a position to now take an absolute majority, and therefore control the next government. Alternatively, tactical voting and pacts between rival parties this week could be enough to prevent that from happening, leading to a hung parliament with the far right the biggest faction. Each remaining scenario offers only a cloudy outlook in the medium term for government stability, policy, and implications for the wider region.

The European Central Bank doesn’t yet have sufficient evidence that inflation threats have passed, President Christine Lagarde said—feeding expectations that officials will take a break from cutting interest rates this month. With the euro-zone job market remaining robust, the ECB has time to assess incoming information, Lagarde said Monday in Sintra, Portugal, where she opened the ECB’s annual central-banking forum. 

The Chinese Communist Party’s top ranks gather this month for one of the country’s biggest annual policy meetings, with everything from chip technology to land reform and a revamp to the nation’s biggest tax source possibly in the cards. Here’s what to look for.

BlackRock’s expansion into private markets is set to make Preqin founder Mark O’Hare richer than his new boss. The world’s largest money manager is snapping up Preqin in a $3.2 billion, all-cash acquisition. O’Hare owns nearly 80% of the data firm through his holding company Valhalla Ventures, meaning that, after taxes, he will net roughly $2 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Larry Fink, BlackRock’s founder, has a net worth of $1.7 billion.

Larry Fink Photographer: Jeenah Moon/Bloomberg

But in some circles, that’s all chump change. Steve Ballmer just passed Bill Gates to become the sixth-richest person in the world, the first time the former chief executive of Microsoft has been wealthier than the company’s co-founder. The move came as Microsoft shares rose to a fresh record, bringing their total gain this year to 21%. The company, through its partnership with OpenAI, has been one of the biggest beneficiaries of the artificial intelligence rally that has powered the US stock market higher. More than 90% of Ballmer’s $157.2 billion net worth is in Microsoft shares. Gates, meanwhile, has diversified his $156.7 billion fortune.

A former jet-setting Chicago billionaire was sentenced to seven and a half years in prison for a $1 billion fraud at an advertising startup that included investors such as Goldman Sachs, Google parent Alphabet and Illinois Governor JB Pritzker’s venture capital firm. Rishi Shah, 38, is the co-founder of Outcome Health, which provided television ads in doctors’ offices. He was convicted of more than a dozen fraud and money laundering charges by a federal jury last year.

Rishi Shah  Photographer: Chicago Tribune

What you’ll need to know tomorrow

Yes. Fried Chicken Sandwich Wars Are Back

You could say Chick-fil-A fired the opening shot in this battle in 2015, when the controversial Atlanta chain expanded to New York City, forcing residents of the overwhelmingly Democratic city to choose between their political values and a fried chicken sandwich. Four years later, Popeyes finally got in the game, with a tweet showcasing its brand-new chicken sandwich, setting off a very public back and forth between the two rivals. Lately, one might think things have gone quiet on the chicken front. But no: the Fried chicken sandwich wars were back—if they ever ended at all.

Illustration: Rui Pu

Older messages

Le Pen Crushes Macron — Again

Sunday, June 30, 2024

It was a big night for Le Pen. View in browser Bloomberg Welcome to Balance of Power, bringing you the latest in global politics. Readers of the Paris Edition, Weekend Reading and Economics Daily

Not-so-great debate

Saturday, June 29, 2024

Bloomberg Weekend Reading View in browser Bloomberg US President Joe Biden's main opponent on the debate stage in Atlanta Thursday night wasn't the rambling, falsehood-filled former president

The aftermath

Friday, June 28, 2024

Bloomberg Evening Briefing View in browser Bloomberg It's been a big 24 hours for Donald Trump and the Republican Party. It started last night, when President Joe Biden stepped out onto the debate

The great emptying

Thursday, June 27, 2024

Bloomberg Evening Briefing View in browser Bloomberg Let this sink in: Not long from now, almost one-quarter of all US office space may be vacant. And if work-from-home—the key culprit—persists,

Abortion pivot

Wednesday, June 26, 2024

Bloomberg Evening Briefing View in browser Bloomberg The US Supreme Court appears poised to allow abortions in medical emergencies in Idaho, according to a copy of an opinion briefly posted on its

You Might Also Like

Almost a done deal

Thursday, July 18, 2024

Bloomberg Evening Briefing View in browser Bloomberg For more than two years, inflation has eclipsed everything else at the US Federal Reserve. In a shift eagerly awaited by global markets, that's

🤖 A $600 billion bet

Thursday, July 18, 2024

The globe-spanning troubles that could push prices up, TSMC's on an AI roll, and CO2 butters up Bill Gates | Finimize TOGETHER WITH Hi Reader, here's what you need to know for July 19th in 3:10

Emerging Fintech Frontier - Issue #477

Thursday, July 18, 2024

How fintech is transforming emerging markets globally July 18, 2024 FinTech Weekly dives into the latest innovations driving fintech growth in emerging markets. Discover how Nigeria leads in fintech

👀 Really, is a financial planner worth it?

Thursday, July 18, 2024

Read our honest answers — and what women like you have to say about it. ͏ ‌  ͏ ‌  ͏ ‌  ͏ ‌  ͏ ‌  ͏ ‌  ͏ ‌  ͏ ‌  ͏ ‌  ͏ ‌  ͏ ‌  ͏ ‌  ͏ ‌  ͏ ‌  ͏ ‌  ͏ ‌  ͏ ‌  ͏ ‌  ͏ ‌  ͏ ‌  ͏ ‌  ͏ ‌

URGENT: Trump warned you about this

Thursday, July 18, 2024

Take action now ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌

😬 New trade tremors

Wednesday, July 17, 2024

The US spoils the ASML party, small-caps get a win, and headlong into the eye of the storm | Finimize TOGETHER WITH Hi Reader, here's what you need to know for July 18th in 3:12 minutes. From

Summer correction

Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Bloomberg Evening Briefing View in browser Bloomberg The S&P 500 Index has nowhere to go but down. So says Goldman Sachs tactical strategist Scott Rubner, who cautions “I am not buying the dip.”

I reserved you a spot… want it?

Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Just announced... ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌

College dreams on a budget? SoFi has you covered

Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Explore our affordable college list and SoFi's no-fee student loans ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌

A dramatic blog post from 17-year-old me

Wednesday, July 17, 2024

plus Strava art + double ice cream ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌