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In today’s edition, Hunter Biden is found guilty of lying on a gun form, Trump-backed candidates win͏‌  ͏‌  ͏‌  ͏‌  ͏‌  ͏‌ 
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June 12, 2024


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Today in D.C.
  1. Hunter Biden, guilty
  2. G7 meeting
  3. GOP primary results
  4. Hamas responds to ceasefire proposal
  5. Gallup’s global workplace report
  6. Tlaib to the rescue

PDB: Bob Good’s big test

Blinken arrives in Qatar … Inflation data to be released ahead of Fed meeting … EU slaps tariffs on Chinese EVs

— edited by Benjy Sarlin, Jordan Weissmann and Morgan Chalfant


What’s next after Hunter Biden’s guilty verdict

REUTERS/Hannah Beier

Hunter Biden became the first child of a sitting president ever convicted of a felony Tuesday after he was found guilty of lying about his drug use while purchasing a gun. President Biden immediately pledged he would “accept the outcome of this case and will continue to respect the judicial process as Hunter considers an appeal.” (His son’s attorney, Abbe Lowell, said he would “continue to vigorously pursue all the legal challenges available.”) It’s unclear whether Hunter Biden will actually face jail time, though the charges carry a maximum of 25 years. Regardless, Republicans raced to dismiss the outcome. Trump’s campaign called the verdict a “distraction from the real crimes of the Biden Crime Family,” while others — Trump adviser Stephen Miller, for one — suggested the case was actually part of a conspiracy to prevent any investigation that could lead back to the president.


Ukraine will dominate G7 agenda

REUTERS/Elizabeth Frantz

President Biden is heading to Italy for the G7 summit. White House communications adviser John Kirby said the leaders would announce plans to use frozen Russian assets for Ukraine, and new sanctions and export controls targeting Russia’s war machine and economy. President Biden and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy will meet on the sidelines and hold a news conference, Kirby said. Zelenskyy will keep up his pleas for more air defense, which The New York Times reports the US is answering with the deployment of another Patriot missile system. Andriy Zagorodnyuk, Ukraine’s former defense minister, told a group of reporters at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington that Ukraine also needs more drones. “The days of the land war are over,” he said, predicting that Ukraine would mount another offensive once it “creates a substantial force to do that.”

Morgan Chalfant


Trump-endorsed candidates sail to victory

REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Trump-endorsed candidates easily won their primaries on Tuesday, led by South Carolina Rep. Nancy Mace. She held off two challengers with 57%, as pastor Mark Burns secured a runoff slot in the state’s open seat and Rep. William Timmons — who Trump endorsed the day before the primary — edged a conservative opponent by four points. In North Dakota, Julie Fedorchak won the nomination for the state’s sole House seat; in Maine, state Rep. Austin Theriault won easily. And in Nevada, where national Republicans encouraged Trump to back veteran Sam Brown for Senate, he sailed past 11 other candidates.

David Weigel


The most powerful people in the media are gathering in Cannes next week, and we’re on the ground to cover it all. Starting next Monday, Semafor’s Ben Smith and Max Tani will hop between panels, parties, and yachts to bring you the essential guide to marketing and media’s most consequential event.

Whether you’re jetting to Cannes or just want to stay in the loop, subscribe to our pop-up newsletter, Semafor Cannes. Sign up here.


Hamas seeks changes to US-backed ceasefire plan

Amr Nabil/Pool via REUTERS

Hamas responded to the ceasefire proposal backed by President Biden and said it was seeking “amendments” to the plan. The content of the proposed changes is unclear, and the White House has not reacted to the development besides saying it is evaluating Hamas’ response. An Israeli official quoted in The Times of Israel said Hamas had “changed all of the main and most meaningful parameters” and characterized the response as a rejection of the proposal. Meanwhile, the United Nations on Wednesday accused both Israel and Hamas of committing war crimes. The analysis came as part of an investigation into the two sides’ conduct following Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack, which triggered the ongoing war that has left more than 37,000 dead, sparked fears of mass hunger in Gaza, raised tensions across the Middle East, and divided international opinion.


Gallup: Americans are stressed out but thriving

Americans are stressed out at work. Forty-nine percent of people surveyed in the US and Canada last year said they felt stressed a lot the previous day, according to Gallup’s State of the Global Workplace 2024 Report out this morning, ranking second behind only behind the Middle East and North Africa. But it’s not all bad: Americans and Canadians are also the most engaged at work (33% reported being so) and a majority (53%) also say they’re thriving in life. A majority — 54% — of Americans and Canadians also say it’s a good time to get a job, but that’s down 11 percentage points from the previous year.


Tlaib spreads the wealth

REUTERS/Amanda Andrade-Rhoades

Pro-Israel groups couldn’t find a credible primary challenger to Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib this cycle, as the only Palestinian-American in Congress had her best fundraising totals ever — $6.5 million by the end of March. She’s given $500,000 of that to Justice Democrats’ independent expenditure arm, which is focused on protecting two “squad” members facing millions of dollars of spending from AIPAC’s political arm — New York Rep. Jamaal Bowman and Missouri Rep. Cori Bush. Bowman could use the help: Challenger George Latimer leads him 48% to 31%, according to a new Emerson College poll. But more than one-fifth of voters said they are undecided in the race.

David Weigel


Beltway Newsletters

Playbook: Democrats see signs of hope in the tighter-than-expected Ohio special election race, where Republican Michael Rulli defeated Democrat Michael Kripchak to fill the seat vacated by Bill Johnson.

WaPo: Tuesday’s Republican primary results were also a repudiation of candidates running to the right of their opponents, and could be viewed as a warning sign for Rep. Bob Good, R-Va., the chairman of the House Freedom Caucus whose primary is slated for next week.

Axios: Donald Trump Jr. has become a GOP power broker behind the scenes. “I see President Trump as the leader of the party. But I see Don Jr. as building the next generation,” Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind. said.

Punchbowl News: Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee are meeting Thursday to discuss the looming 2025 debate about the Trump-era tax cuts.

White House

  • President Biden championed his administration’s work to strengthen gun laws, hours after Hunter Biden’s conviction on gun-related crimes.
  • Vice President Harris announced a new proposed rule that would ban individuals’ medical debt from their credit reports.
  • Reacting to a Wall Street Journal story about Hamas’ Yahya Sinwar, White House national security communications adviser John Kirby denounced him as caring “nothing at all about the lives of innocent Palestinians” and called Sinwar a “beast.”


  • Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., is planning to attend a meeting with Donald Trump and other GOP senators in Washington on Thursday — representing their first in-person meeting since 2020.
  • Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee will make a unanimous consent request this evening to pass Supreme Court ethics legislation that will fail.
  • The House is slated to vote today on a resolution holding Attorney General Merrick Garland in contempt of Congress for not handing over audio recordings of President Biden’s interviews with special counsel Robert Hur, though Punchbowl reports House Republicans are having trouble coming up with the votes to pass it.
  • The House will also begin consideration of the NDAA.
  • A new report from the House Judiciary Committee accuses Wall Street firms of “colluding with advocacy groups to force companies to shrink their greenhouse gas emissions.” — Reuters
  • The congressional baseball game is tonight.

Outside the Beltway

  • A federal judge in Florida ruled that the state’s restrictions on gender-affirming care for minors and adults are unconstitutional.
  • North Dakota voters approved a ballot measure that sets an age limit for officials representing the state in Congress.


Gasoline prices are falling across the US, pressured by weakened demand and as oil prices have tapered.


CNN interviewed “juror 10” about the deliberations that ended in Hunter Biden’s conviction.


  • Forty-four percent of Democrats have a favorable view of pro-Palestinian campus demonstrations, while 36% disapprove of them, according to a Politico/Morning Consult poll.
  • President Biden has a 52 out of 100 chance of defeating Donald Trump in the presidential election, according to FiveThirtyEight — meaning, if the election were run 100 times, Biden would win 52 times.

On the Trail

The Biden campaign has a new plan to court senior voters. — NBC

Wikimedia Commons

National Security

Eight men from Tajikistan who were on the radar of an FBI terrorism task force because of potential ties to ISIS were arrested by ICE in New York, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles this past weekend. The men crossed into the US through the southern border and initially passed criminal background checks. — NBC

Foreign Policy

  • US ambassador to China Nicholas Burns said he was “angered and deeply troubled” by the stabbing of four US college instructors in China.
  • Ukrainian forces struck Russian missile launch positions inside of Russia, according to Kharkiv’s mayor. — Reuters
  • The CEOs of Microsoft and BlackRock are expected to join the G7 summit in Italy beginning Wednesday “to support Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni’s push to invest in developing countries.” — Bloomberg


  • The Biden administration is considering imposing new restrictions to curb China’s access to technology use for chips that power artificial intelligence. — Bloomberg
  • Elon Musk has allegedly blurred the boundaries with a number of women at SpaceX, including sex with two women who reported directly to him. One woman claimed Musk exposed himself to her and offered to buy a horse for her in exchange for sex acts, and another said he asked her to have his babies, according to The Wall Street Journal. SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell was quoted as saying the Journal’s reporting depicts “a completely misleading narrative.” Musk reportedly did not respond to WSJ’s requests for comment.

Big Read

Can any Republican survive the wrath of Donald Trump these days? House Freedom Caucus Chair Bob Good is about to put that question to the test in Virginia, writes Semafor’s Dave Weigel, where he’s facing a tough primary challenge thanks to his decision to endorse Ron DeSantis for president. Trump, who called Good’s decision a “stab in the back,” has backed his more establishment-friendly primary opponent, putting him at odds with MAGA influencers like former adviser Steve Bannon, who were thrilled when Good helped topple Kevin McCarthy’s speakership. The issue of loyalty to Trump has become even more central to Republican primaries since the former president’s felony conviction in Manhattan, all but consuming several ongoing races where Trump has also endorsed establishment-leaning candidates willing to swear personal fealty to him.


Stories that are being largely ignored by either left-leaning or right-leaning outlets, curated with help from our partners at Ground News.

What the Left isn’t reading: President Biden’s approval rating hit an all-time low in the FiveThirtyEight average.

What the Right isn’t reading: Donald Trump’s former Wisconsin lawyer, Jim Troupis, was suspended from a state judicial ethics panel by the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

Principals Team

Editors: Benjy Sarlin, Jordan Weissmann, Morgan Chalfant

Editor-at-Large: Steve Clemons

Reporters: Kadia Goba, Joseph Zeballos-Roig, Shelby Talcott, David Weigel

One Good Text

Jared Moskowitz is a Democratic congressman from Florida and co-chair of the Congressional Sneaker Caucus, which is hosting its second annual Sneaker Day today.

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