OnPolitics: White House works to bring WNBA star Brittney Griner home




  • In Politics
  • 2022-07-06 21:43:13Z
  • By USA TODAY
 

Greetings, OnPolitics readers!

Former White House counsel Pat Cipollone agreed to give sworn testimony Friday to the House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol, The Associated Press reported.

Cipollone negotiated the testimony after he was subpoenaed, following testimony from other White House aides and Justice Department officials. The testimony will be delivered in private but transcribed.

What was Cipollone's involvement in Jan. 6? Cipollone threatened to resign during an Oval Office meeting Jan. 3, 2021, when Trump threatened to replace acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen with Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Clark, who was more willing to pursue unproven claims of election fraud. Trump relented when top officials from the Justice Department and counsel's office all threatened to resign.

Cipollone also urged Trump not to join the mob marching to the Capitol after his speech on Jan. 6 because of the risk he could be charged with "every crime imaginable," according to former Trump aide Cassidy Hutchinson, who testified June 28.

It's Amy and Chelsey with today's top stories out of Washington.

Pres. Biden speaks with wife of WNBA star Brittney Griner

President Joe Biden spoke by phone Wednesday with Cherelle Griner, the wife of WNBA star Brittney Griner, and read her a letter that he plans to send the basketball player while she remains detained in Russia.

"The president called Cherelle to reassure her that he is working to secure Brittney's release as soon as possible," the White House said in a statement that also singled out Biden's efforts to bring home Paul Whelan, a former Marine serving a 16-year sentence on an espionage conviction. and other U.S. nationals "wrongfully detained or held hostage" in Russia.

The White House would not disclose what Biden's letter says. Biden was joined on the call by Vice President Kamala Harris. Biden's letter is in response to a hand-written letter from Brittney Griner's representatives that was passed on to the White House Monday.

What did Griner's letter to POTUS say? In the letter, Griner expressed her fear that she might stay in prison in Russia forever and called on Biden to use all his power to get her and others who are detained in Russia home.

″As I sit here in a Russian prison, alone with my thoughts and without the protection of my wife, family, friends, Olympic jersey, or any accomplishments, I'm terrified I might be here forever," Griner wrote. "Please do all you can to bring us home. I voted for the first time in 2020 and I voted for you. I believe in you. I still have so much good to do with my freedom that you can help restore."

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Real quick: stories you need to read

  • 'Foul and graphic': Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., one of two Republicans on the Jan. 6 panel, posted audio of threatening phone calls and voicemails from Trump supporters.

  • 'We need to end this horror': Vice President Kamala Harris made an unannounced visit to Highland Park, Ill., Tuesday to comfort a community terrorized by a Fourth of July mass shooting.

  • Kissinger on leadership: In an exclusive interview, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger told USA TODAY's Susan Page that he worries "new leadership will not emerge" in Washington.

  • UK ministers resign from Johnson's parliament: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson says he plans to stay in power despite the resignation of two top Cabinet ministers and several junior members amid ethics scandals.

Trump might announce presidential campaign this summer

Former President Donald Trump has been the subject of scrutiny in the weeks since the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol began its hearings. But witness testimony pointing to Trump and his team as the instigators of the insurrection have not deterred the former president's plans to run for the White House in 2024.

Or so his allies say.

New revelations about his conduct on Jan. 6, 2021, opposition from a growing number of Republicans and the possibility of an indictment for his alleged involvement in the insurrection are spurring Trump to run - if only to confront his enemies, aides say.

Trump spokesman Taylor Budowich said Americans are "hungry" for his leadership.

"As another witch hunt is blowing up in the faces of Democrats, President Trump is in a stronger position now than at anytime before," Budowich said.

But the Jan. 6 investigation is only one of Trump's problems. He is also under investigation by a grand jury in Georgia and, perhaps, the Department of Justice in Washington, and he faces a number of political foes.

These are the companies that will cover employees' travel expenses for abortion access. Do you work for one? -- Amy and Chelsey

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: White House says it's working to bring WNBA star Brittney Griner home

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