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Supreme Court to hear arguments over Trump’s ballot eligibility: The Morning Rundown: Feb. 8, 2024

Feb 8

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The case to keep former President Donald Trump off the ballot heads to the Supreme Court. And Disney has its sights set on the video game industry with an Epic announcement. These stories and more highlight The Morning Rundown for Thursday, Feb. 8, 2024.

Supreme Court to hear arguments on Trump’s ballot eligibility

The Supreme Court is set to hear oral arguments regarding whether former President Donald Trump is eligible to run for the presidency again. The nine justices will ultimately decide if the Colorado Supreme Court was just in its decision to bar Trump, the GOP frontrunner, from the state’s primary ballot over Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, known as the insurrection clause. The clause bans anyone who took an oath to support the Constitution and then engages in insurrection to hold office again.

Trump and his team are arguing Section 3 does not apply to Trump for several reasons, saying the provision does not cover the president, that his actions leading up to and on Jan. 6, 2021, do not constitute an insurrection, and that Congress, not state or federal courts, enforces the clause.

As the future of the 2024 presidential election hangs in the balance, Trump’s name remains on the ballot in Colorado and Maine, where his candidacy is also being contested. Both sides have asked the court to move swiftly. When the justices issue their decision, it will be historic, as the Supreme Court has never before made a ruling directly concerning the 155-year-old clause.

Special counsel concludes investigation of Biden classified documents

The special counsel looking into President Joe Biden’s handling of classified documents has concluded his investigation. Attorney General Merrick Garland informed Congress on Wednesday, Feb. 7, that Special Counsel Robert Hur has completed the yearlong investigation.

A report is expected to be released soon to lawmakers and the public after the White House reviews it for potential executive privilege issues. Classified documents were found in Biden’s Washington D.C. office, which he used after serving as vice president, and at his home in Delaware.

The president has denied any wrongdoing. Multiple media outlets suggest Hur’s report is not likely to recommend any charges. Garland said he is committed to making as much of the report public as possible.

Senate Republicans block bipartisan bill on border security, foreign aid

Efforts to pass legislation over additional aid to Ukraine and Israel will continue in Congress on Thursday, Feb. 8. Senate Democrats plan to hold a vote to advance a standalone foreign aid bill after Republicans rejected the $118 billion bipartisan package that included immigration policies on Wednesday, Feb. 7.

Five Democrats joined the majority of Republicans in voting against the bill. Only 4 of the Senate’s 49 Republicans vote for it. Senate Republicans argued the bill did not do enough to address the border crisis, with former President Trump and House Speaker Mike Johnson both coming out against the package.

Johnson tried earlier this week to get a bill passed strictly for Israel aid, but that failed in a House vote. It is unclear how the House would vote should the $96 billion foreign aid package make it through the Senate.

US airstrike kills Iranian-backed militia leader in Iraq

U.S. forces killed a senior leader of an Iranian-backed militia in Iraq on Wednesday, Feb. 7. The U.S. carried out an airstrike in Baghdad, killing a commander of Kata’ib Hezbollah, who officials said was responsible for directly planning and participating in attacks on U.S. forces in the region.

Officials said the latest strike was part of the retaliatory actions authorized by President Biden following the killing of three U.S. soldiers at a base in Jordan in January. In a statement, U.S. Central Command said the U.S. will continue to take “necessary action to protect our people.” It added there are “no indications of collateral damage or civilian casualties at this time.”

Search efforts on for 5 Marines on board missing helicopter found in California

Search and rescue efforts are well underway for five U.S. Marines in California after the helicopter they were in went missing during what the military called a routine training flight from Nevada to San Diego overnight on Tuesday, Feb. 6.

“All we know right now is that the search is ongoing for, for the helicopter and the crew,” National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said. “Obviously, our hopes are of the best here. But this was a MH-53, Marine Corps, MH-53, a large helicopter that was on its way from Creech Air Force Base to San Diego. And that’s really all we know. We’re watching this closely. And and again, our thoughts are for the best.”

According to the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, at around 1 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 7, the CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter was reported “overdue” at the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego. The military announced that it located the aircraft but not the crew in a mountainous region at 9:08 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 7.

Local media outlets reported that the helicopter was located by a drone at 5,800 feet in a rugged area with the weather likely impacting rescue efforts from the ground. Heavy cloud cover on Wednesday morning, Feb. 7, prevented the local sheriff’s department from sending its helicopter up.

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection told CBS that nothing was located at the location, which is reportedly being hit with heavy snow. According to reports, before going missing, the helicopter’s last-known location was reported at 11:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 6. There is still no sign of the crew, President Biden has been briefed on the situation, according to a White House spokesperson.

Disney investing $1.5 billion in Epic Games

It’s game on at Disney, as the media giant is making its biggest move into the gaming world. Disney is investing $1.5 billion in Epic Games, the makers of Fortnite. The companies said the collaboration will create new video games and an entertainment universe where players can engage with content from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, and more.

This is not the first partnership between the two companies, as Disney characters have appeared on Fortnite in the past. It is not yet known when this new project will launch.

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THE CASE TO KEEP FORMER PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP OFF THE BALLOT HEADS TO THE SUPREME COURT

AND — DISNEY HAS ITS SIGHTS SET ON THE VIDEO GAME INDUSTRY WITH AN EPIC ANNOUNCEMENT.

THE MORNING RUNDOWN STARTS NOW.

TODAY IS THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 8TH.

THANK YOU FOR JOINING US.

I’M KARAH RUCKER.

THIS MORNING – THE SUPREME COURT IS SET TO HEAR ORAL ARGUMENTS IN THE CASE DECIDING WHETHER FORMER PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP IS ELIGIBLE TO RUN FOR PRESIDENT AGAIN.

THE NINE JUSTICES WILL ULTIMATELY DECIDE IF THE COLORADO SUPREME COURT WAS RIGHT IN ITS DECISION TO BAR TRUMP FROM THE PRIMARY BALLOT USING SECTION 3 OF THE 14TH AMENDMENT.

REMEMBER — THAT’S KNOWN AS THE INSURRECTION CLAUSE – WHICH BANS OFFICIALS FROM HOLDING PUBLIC OFFICE AGAIN IF THEY TOOK AN OATH TO SUPPORT THE CONSTITUTION AND THEN ENGAGED IN INSURRECTION.

TRUMP AND HIS TEAM ARGUE THIS DOES NOT APPLY TO TRUMP FOR SEVERAL REASONS — SAYING THE PROVISION DOESN’T APPLY TO THE PRESIDENT – THAT HIS ACTIONS LEADING UP TO AND ON JANUARY 6TH DON’T CONSTITUTE AN INSURRECTION – AND THAT CONGRESS ENFORCES THE CLAUSE – NOT STATE OR FEDERAL COURTS.

AS THE FUTURE OF THE 2024 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION HANGS IN THE BALANCE – TRUMP’S NAME REMAINS ON THE BALLOT IN COLORADO – AS WELL AS IN MAINE WHERE HIS CANDIDACY IS ALSO BEING CONTESTED.

BOTH SIDES HAVE ASKED THE COURT TO MAKE A TIMELY DECISION.

WHEN THE JUSTICES DO RULE ON THE CASE – IT’LL BE A HISTORIC ONE — AS THE SUPREME COURT HAS NEVER BEFORE MADE A RULING DIRECTLY CONCERNING THE 155-YEAR-OLD CLAUSE.

SPECIAL COUNSEL ROBERT HUR HAS CONCLUDED HIS YEAR-LONG INVESTIGATION INTO PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN’S HANDLING OF CLASSIFIED DOCUMENTS.

AND A REPORT DETAILING THE INVESTIGATION IS EXPECTED TO BE RELEASED SOON TO LAWMAKERS AND THE PUBLIC.

THAT WILL COME AFTER THE WHITE HOUSE REVIEWS IT FOR POTENTIAL EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE ISSUES.

CLASSIFIED DOCUMENTS WERE FOUND IN BIDEN’S WASHINGTON D.C. OFFICE HE USED AFTER BEING VICE PRESIDENT — AS WELL AS AT HIS HOME IN DELAWARE.

THE PRESIDENT HAS DENIED ANY WRONGDOING.

MULTIPLE MEDIA OUTLETS SUGGEST THE REPORT IS NOT LIKELY TO RECOMMEND ANY CHARGES.

U-S ATTORNEY GENERAL MERRICK GARLAND SAYS HE IS COMMITTED TO MAKING AS MUCH OF THE REPORT PUBLIC AS POSSIBLE.

EFFORTS TO PASS LEGISLATION OVER ADDITIONAL AID TO UKRAINE AND ISRAEL WILL CONTINUE IN CONGRESS TODAY –

SENATE DEMOCRATS PLAN TO HOLD A VOTE TO ADVANCE A STANDALONE FOREIGN AID BILL – AFTER THE 118 BILLION DOLLAR PACKAGE THAT INCLUDED BORDER MEASURES FAILED TO PASS.

FIVE DEMOCRATS JOINED THE MAJORITY OF REPUBLICANS VOTING AGAINST THE BILL.

ONLY 4 OF THE SENATE’S 49 REPUBLICANS VOTED FOR IT.

SENATE REPUBLICANS ARGUED THE BILL DID NOT DO ENOUGH TO ADDRESS THE BORDER CRISIS –

WITH FORMER PRESIDENT TRUMP AND HOUSE SPEAKER MIKE JOHNSON BOTH COMING OUT AGAINST IT.

JOHNSON TRIED EARLIER THIS WEEK TO GET A BILL PASSED STRICTLY FOR ISRAEL AID BUT THAT FAILED IN A HOUSE VOTE.

IT’S NOT CLEAR HOW THE HOUSE WOULD VOTE SHOULD THE 96 BILLION DOLLAR FOREIGN AID PACKAGE PASS THE SENATE.

BUT REPUBLICAN LEADERSHIP HAS SAID BEFORE — THEY WOULD NOT VOTE FOR A FOREIGN AID DEAL UNLESS HELP FOR THE SOUTHERN BORDER IS ALSO PRIORITIZED.

WHICH COULD PLACE CONGRESS — BACK TO SQUARE ONE.

A SENIOR LEADER OF AN IRANIAN-BACKED MILITIA IN IRAQ WAS KILLED BY U.S. FORCES ON WEDNESDAY.

THE U.S. CARRYING OUT AN AIRSTRIKE IN BAGHDAD – KILLING A COMMANDER OF KATA’IB (KATIBE) HEZBOLLAH – WHO OFFICIALS SAY WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR DIRECTLY PLANNING AND PARTICIPATING IN ATTACKS ON U.S. FORCES IN THE REGION.

OFFICIALS SAY THIS LATEST STRIKE WAS PART OF THE RETALIATORY ACTIONS AUTHORIZED BY PRESIDENT BIDEN FOLLOWING THE KILLING OF THREE U.S. SOLDIERS AT A BASE IN JORDAN LAST WEEK.

IN A STATEMENT – U.S. CENTRAL COMMAND SAYING THE U.S. WILL CONTINUE TO TAKE “NECESSARY ACTION TO PROTECT OUR PEOPLE.”

ADDING THERE ARE “NO INDICATIONS OF COLLATERAL DAMAGE OR CIVILIAN CASUALTIES AT THIS TIME.”

SEARCH AND RESCUE EFFORTS CONTINUE FOR 5 U-S MARINES IN CALIFORNIA AFTER THEIR HELICOPTER WENT MISSING ON WHAT THE MILITARY CALLED A ROUTINE TRAINING FLIGHT FROM NEVADA.

JOHN KIRBY – NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL SPOKESMAN: “All we know right now is that the search is ongoing for, for the helicopter and the crew. Obviously, our, our hopes are of the best here. But this was a MH-53, Marine Corps, MH-53, a large helicopter that was on its way from Creech Air Force Base to San Diego. And that’s really all we know. We’re we’re watching this closely. And and again, our thoughts are for the best.”

WHITE HOUSE NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL SPOKESMAN JOHN KIRBY SPEAKING AS THE SEARCH FOR THE MARINES BEGAN WEDNESDAY.

ACCORDING TO OFFICIALS, AT ABOUT 1 A-M, THE HELICOPTER WAS REPORTED “OVERDUE” AT A MARINE CORP STATION IN SAN DIEGO.

AROUND EIGHT HOURS LATER  — LOCAL AUTHORITIES LOCATED THE HELICOPTER IN A MOUNTAINOUS AREA OF PINE VALLEY, CALIFORNIA — BUT THERE WAS NO SIGN OF THE CREW.

WINTER WEATHER IS IMPACTING RESCUE EFFORTS — WITH SNOW AND RAIN IN THE FORECAST FOR THE AREA.

AND HEAVY CLOUD COVER ON WEDNESDAY MORNING PREVENTED THE LOCAL SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT FROM SENDING UP ITS OWN HELICOPTER TO SEARCH FOR THE MISSING MARINES.

FINALLY THIS MORNING – IT’S GAME ON AT DISNEY AS THE MEDIA GIANT IS MAKING ITS BIGGEST MOVE INTO THE GAMING WORLD.

DISNEY IS INVESTING ONE POINT FIVE BILLION DOLLARS IN EPIC GAMES – THE MAKERS OF FORTNITE.

THE COMPANIES SAYING THE COLLABORATION WILL CREATE ALL NEW VIDEO GAMES AND AN ENTERTAINMENT UNIVERSE WHERE PLAYERS CAN ENGAGE WITH CONTENT FROM DISNEY, PIXAR, MARVEL AND MORE.

THIS IS NOT THE FIRST PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN THE TWO COMPANIES – AS DISNEY CHARACTERS HAVE APPEARED ON FORTNITE IN THE PAST.

IT IS NOT YET KNOWN WHEN THIS NEW PROJECT WILL LAUNCH.

THESE ARE YOUR TOP STORIES FOR THIS THURSDAY.

ALONG WITH THE MORNING RUNDOWN — YOU CAN NOW SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWEST PODCAST — WEAPONS AND WARFARE.

FIND OUT MORE INFORMATION ON BOTH SHOWS AT OUR WEBSITE SAN DOT COM.

UNBIASED. STRAIGHT FACTS. THAT’S STRAIGHT ARROW NEWS.

WE’LL SEE YOU BACK HERE TOMORROW.

UNTIL THEN I’M KARAH RUCKER. HAVE A GREAT DAY!

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