Is the United States on the brink of a government shutdown?

If an agreement isn’t made before midnight on Saturday, the lives of millions of American citizens could be significantly affected.


The US is on the brink of a federal government shutdown after hard-right Republicans in Congress rejected a longshot effort to keep offices open.

The move comes as they fight for steep spending cuts and strict border security measures that Democrats and the White House say are too extreme.

Come midnight on Saturday, if there is no deal in place, federal workers will face furloughs, more than 2 million active duty and reserve military troops will work without pay and programmes and services which countless Americans rely on will begin to face shutdown disruptions.

The Senate is set to hold a rare Saturday session to advance its own bipartisan package that is supported by Democrats and Republicans and would fund the government for the short-term, up until 17 November.

Even if the Senate can rush to wrap up its work this weekend to pass the bill – which also includes money for Ukraine aid and US disaster assistance – it won’t prevent an almost certain shutdown amid the chaos in the House.

On Friday, a massive hard-right revolt left Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s latest plan to collapse.

“Congress has only one option to avoid a shutdown – bipartisanship,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell echoed that sentiment, warning his own hard-right colleagues there is nothing to gain by shutting down the federal government.

“It heaps unnecessary hardships on the American people, as well as the brave men and women who keep us safe,” McConnell said.

Despite this rhetoric, the federal government is heading straight into a shutdown that poses grave uncertainty for federal workers in states all across America and the people who depend on them – from troops to border control agents to office workers and scientists.

Families which rely on Head Start for children, food benefits and countless other programs large and small are confronting potential interruptions or outright closures. At the airports, Transportation Security Administration officers and air traffic controllers are expected to work without pay, but travellers could face delays in updating their US passports or other travel documents.

Congress has so far been unable to fund the federal agencies or pass a temporary bill in time to keep offices open for the start of the new fiscal year.

It’s down, in large part, to the fact that McCarthy has faced insurmountable resistance from right-flank Republicans who are refusing to run government as usual.

McCarthy’s last-ditch plan to keep the federal government temporarily open collapsed in dramatic fashion Friday as a robust faction of 21 hard-right holdouts opposed the package.

Despite the package’s proposed steep spending cuts of nearly 30% to many agencies and severe border security provisions, they called it insufficient.

The White House and Democrats rejected the Republican approach as too extreme, with the Democrats voting against it.

The House bill’s failure a day before Saturday’s deadline to fund the government leaves few options to prevent a shutdown.

“It’s not the end yet; I’ve got other ideas,” a clearly agitated McCarthy told reporters as he exited the chamber – but none have yet come to fruition.


Later on Friday, after a heated closed-door meeting of House Republicans that pushed into the evening, McCarthy said he was considering options.

Among them, there is the suggestion of a two-week stopgap funding measure similar to the effort from hard-right senators that would be certain to exclude any help for Ukraine in the war against Russia.

Even though the House bill has already axed routine Ukraine aid, an intensifying Republican resistance to the war effort means the Senate’s plan to attach $6 billion (about €5.6bn) to the funds President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is seeking from the US may have bipartisan support from Democrats – but not from most of McCarthy’s Republicans.

Republican Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky is working to stop the Ukraine funds in the Senate package entirely.

“We continue to work through trying to find out of this,” McCarthy told reporters. “There are no winners in a government shutdown and I think that’s the best way forward, make sure the government does not shut down.”


The White House has brushed aside McCarthy’s overtures to meet with President Joe Biden after the speaker walked away from the debt deal they brokered earlier this year that set budget levels.

On Friday, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre urged agreement between factions, saying: “The path forward to fund the government has been laid out by the Senate with bipartisan support – House Republicans just need to take it.”

Catering to his hard-right flank, McCarthy had returned to the spending limits the conservatives demanded back in January as part of the deal-making to help him become the House speaker.

The House package would not have cut the Defence, Veterans or Homeland Security departments but would have slashed almost all other agencies by up to 30% – steep hits to a vast array of programs, services and departments Americans routinely depend on.

It also added strict new border security provisions which would kick start building the hugely contentious wall at the southern border with Mexico, among other measures. Additionally, the package would have set up a bipartisan debt commission to address the nation’s mounting debt load.


As soon as the floor debate began, McCarthy’s chief Republican critic, Matt Gaetz of Florida, announced he would vote against the package, urging his colleagues to “not surrender”.

Gaetz added that the speaker’s bill “went down in flames as I’ve told you all week it would.”

He and others rejecting the temporary measure want the House to keep pushing through the 12 individual spending bills needed to fund the government, typically a weeks-long process, as they pursue their conservative priorities.

Republican leaders announced later on Friday that the House would stay in session next week, rather than return home, to keep working on some of the 12 spending bills.

Some of the Republican holdouts, including Gaetz, are allies of Donald Trump, who remains as President Biden’s chief rival in 2024. The former president has been encouraging the Republicans to fight hard for their priorities and even to “shut it down.”


The hard right, led by Gaetz, has been threatening McCarthy’s ouster, with a looming vote to try to remove him from the speaker’s office unless he meets the conservative demands.

It’s still unclear, though, if any other Republican would have support from the House majority to lead the party.

Late on Friday, Trump turned his ire to McConnell on social media, complaining that the Republican leader and other GOP senators are “weak and ineffective” and making compromises with Democrats. He urged them, “Don’t do it!”

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Here’s How Much Ron DeSantis Is Worth

The Florida governor has spent much of his adult life railing against liberal elites. In 2023, he wrote a book about it — and it made him rich.

By Kyle Mullins, Forbes Staff

Even as his poll numbers stagnate and his political capital wanes, Ron DeSantis has seen one thing go right in 2023: His bank account balance keeps rising. Sitting at around $300,000 in 2021, a lucrative book deal made the Florida governor a millionaire by the end of last year. Today, he’s worth an estimated $1.5 million.

DeSantis has the simplest finances of anyone making a serious run at the presidency. He did not build a sprawling real estate empire (like Donald Trump), nor start a billion-dollar biotech company (like Vivek Ramaswamy), nor sit on corporate boards (like Nikki Haley), nor marry a Wall Street spouse (like Chris Christie), nor give a bunch of high-dollar speeches (like Mike Pence). DeSantis, the 45-year-old once seen as the heir apparent to a Trumpified Republican Party, owns just one equity holding: a recently purchased oil fund worth $15,000 to $50,000, according to his financial disclosure report. Outside of that, two small pensions and a big pile of cash, there’s nothing else. He resides in the Florida governor’s mansion and does not even own a house. On his most recent financial disclosure, he reported two cash accounts that Forbes estimates have roughly $1.4 million between them — most of it book income from the past two years.

He didn’t come from big money. Born to working-class parents from the Midwest, DeSantis spent most of his childhood in Dunedin, Florida, a Gulf Coast city minutes from Tampa Bay. His father installed Nielson television ratings devices, and his mother worked as a nurse. His Little League team represented the South at the Little League World Series in 1991.

DeSantis’ baseball chops took him all the way to Yale University in 1997. In the book that made him his money, titled “The Courage to be Free: Florida’s Blueprint for America’s Revival,” he says his cultural background made him stick out among the prep-school coastal elites. “I was geographically raised in Tampa Bay,” he writes, “but culturally my upbringing reflected the working-class communities in western Pennsylvania and northeast Ohio—from weekly church attendance to the expectation that one would earn his keep. This made me God-fearing, hard-working and America-loving.”

The future presidential candidate’s four years at Yale were defined, in his telling, by baseball, working various campus jobs and encounters with “unbridled leftism.” Evidently undeterred, DeSantis moved further north, earned a law degree from Harvard University in 2005, then — in a bold move for someone with sizable student loans — eschewed a Big Law job or judicial clerkship in favor of an officer’s commission and prosecutor position in the Navy. In 2006, he met his future wife, Casey, a Jacksonville-area reporter and television anchor, shortly before deploying to Iraq.

After returning to the States, DeSantis bought a $307,500 home near Jacksonville in 2009. He worked with the Department of Veterans Affairs to take out a $314,000 loan, enough to cover the entire purchase price. Ron married Casey at Disney World in 2010, left active-duty service and joined a Florida-based law firm that finally gave him a six-figure salary. He harbored political ambitions, though: His first book, “Dreams from Our Founding Fathers: First Principles in the Age of Obama,” didn’t make him much money, but it earned him some cachet among conservatives, which came in handy when he launched a run for Congress.

He won an east-coast seat in 2012 and the $174,000 salary that came with it, a major boost for someone who reported holding less than $20,000 in stock and cash just before taking office. DeSantis plowed the extra funds into a savings account and a second, $242,000 home in Palm Coast, Florida that he sold in 2018 for a small gain. His five years in Congress, combined with his military service, provided him a federal pension worth just over $50,000 today.

While in Washington, DeSantis hewed to the right-wing line: Per one measure, he was more conservative than 87% of Republicans in his final two years. Then he turned his sights on statewide office. He reportedly sucked up to Trump on Fox News and Air Force One, winning the president’s endorsement before even declaring a run for governor. In the primary, DeSantis emphasized his Trump ties, running an ad that showed the congressman “building a wall” with his kids and reading them the “Art of the Deal.” He won by a wide margin, then upset Democrat Andrew Gillum to become governor of America’s third-largest state, even as a blue wave crested nationwide.

The victory came with a pay cut: DeSantis’ new salary was 25% lower than his congressional one. Casey had left her reporting job in 2018. But they also had one fewer expense, housing. They ditched their Jacksonville-area home for $460,000 — paying off their mortgage and walking away with an estimated $150,000 — to take up residence in the governor’s mansion. At this point, they were worth less than $300,000.

During the COVID-19 pandemic and national fights over reopening, DeSantis grew his profile, picking culture war battles that kept him on television. He railed — and legislated — against mask and vaccine mandates, “woke” corporations and “critical race theory.” In his 2022 reelection race, he crushed former Florida governor Charlie Crist by nearly 20 points, winning yet more national attention.

The attention offered a business opportunity, which DeSantis seized. He authored a book that provided $1.25 million in 2022 and at least $725,000 in 2023. In “Courage to be Free,” the Yale and Harvard graduate blasts “elites” and the “ruling class,” calling the Democratic Party a “woke dumpster fire.” His net worth quintupled from $300,000 at the end of 2021 to an estimated $1.5 million today.

He also seized a political opportunity, declaring a run for the presidency in May. “Decline is a choice,” he said in an announcement video, promising to lead a “great American comeback.” But his poll numbers have slipped, as the baseball player from Dunedin struggles to gain any support in two debate performances while the criminally indicted real estate mogul from Queens runs away with the race without even showing up.

If DeSantis doesn’t catch up to Trump, he’ll at least be able to keep his job as governor of Florida—and perhaps write another book.

Dan Alexander and Kavya Gupta contributed reporting.


MORE FROM FORBESHow Trump, Master Of Avoiding Paper Trails, Finally Got Caught With OneMORE FROM FORBESThis Surprising Obsession Drives Vivek Ramaswamy And His Presidential CampaignMORE FROM FORBESHere’s How Much Joe Biden Is WorthMORE FROM FORBESHow Nikki Haley Built An $8 Million Fortune (And Helped Bail Out Her Parents)MORE FROM FORBESHere’s How Much Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Is Worth

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Checks & Imbalances: Vivek Ramaswamy’s Driving Obsession

Today we take a close look at Vivek Ramaswamy’s business career – and what it tells us about his political ambitions.

This Surprising Obsession Drives Vivek Ramaswamy And His Presidential Campaign

On what feels like the hottest morning amid the hottest August in recorded history, Vivek Ramaswamy sits coolly on a plush leather couch in his campaign bus, chomping on an apple and brimming with self-belief, reports John Hyatt. Thirty-six hours earlier, the 38-year-old political neophyte was the breakout star in the first Republican presidential debate of the 2024 primary season. “My gut instinct is that I’m going to be the nominee, that I’m going to win the general election in a landslide,” he says, before positing why that could be: “I think I am closer to Trump in 2015 than Trump today is to Trump in 2015. You only get to be the outsider once.”

That’s among the more truthful things he’s in the habit of saying. Eight years ago, Donald Trump turned every American political assumption upside down. He ran for president as a businessman without any political experience, any realistic platform or any repercussions from scandals that would have blown out pretty much every politician, ever. Instead, he was grievance personified, which, combined with uncanny messaging instincts, enabled him to pull an inside straight and punch his ticket to the White House.

MORE FROM FORBESThis Surprising Obsession Drives Vivek Ramaswamy And His Presidential Campaign

Tracking Trump

How Trump, Master Of Avoiding Paper Trails, Finally Got Caught With One

Donald Trump has all kinds of tricks to avoid paper trails. He refuses to use email. He ditches cell phones. He’s famous for tearing documents to shreds, reports Dan Alexander. And when asked about something nefarious, like the inflated net worth statements he sent to lenders over the years, he feigns ignorance, even to authorities: “I didn’t get involved in it very much.”

But it’s hard to both convince lenders that you stand by documents and to persuade prosecutors that you had little to do with those same documents. That explains how Trump landed in his current predicament, accused by New York State of engaging in a years-long fraud by telling banks and insurers he had more money than he actually did. Judge Arthur Engoron sided with prosecutors Tuesday, ruling before the trial had even started that Trump was personally liable for fraud.

MORE FROM FORBESHow Trump, Master Of Avoiding Paper Trails, Finally Got Caught With One

Did Judge Kill The Trump Organization? What Fraud Ruling Means For Ex-President’s Business

A New York judge ordered the dissolution of businesses owned by former President Donald Trump and his associates in a ruling Tuesday that found the ex-president and his company committed fraud—a decision that could have a devastating impact on Trump’s company and its operations in New York, though the full scope of the order still remains to be seen, reports Alison Durkee.

MORE FROM FORBESDid Judge Kill The Trump Organization? What Fraud Ruling Means For Ex-President’s Business

By The Numbers

$17.5 billion

The estimated value of Rupert Murdoch and family’s fortune.


The amount of campaign donations Sen. John Fetterman (D-Penn.) plans to return to Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), “in envelopes stuffed with $100 bills,” after the latter was indicted.

At least eight

The number of investigations, criminal cases and lawsuits involving Rudy Guiliani.

From The News Desk

How TikTok Has Exposed Celebrities And Politicians’ Closest Personal Contacts

Beyonce. Ed Sheeran. Charli D’Amelio. The Bidens. Members of Congress. Abortion activists.

They’re just a handful of the high-profile celebrities and public figures whose closest contacts could be searched and scrutinized by nearly any TikTok or ByteDance employee around the world this year with few restrictions, according to people familiar with one of the company’s social graph tools and a trove of internal images, videos, audio and communications related to it that were obtained by Forbes, reports Alexandra S. Levine.

MORE FROM FORBESHow TikTok Has Exposed Celebrities And Politicians’ Closest Personal Contacts

Sen. Robert Menendez Pleads Not Guilty To Bribery Charges

Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) pleaded not guilty to three felony counts Wednesday after being indicted for allegedly taking bribes from several New Jersey businessmen, marking Menendez’s second set of criminal charges—as the senator maintains his innocence in the case and refuses to leave Congress, reports Alison Durkee.

MORE FROM FORBESSen. Robert Menendez Pleads Not Guilty To Bribery Charges

Here’s How Much 2024 Presidential Candidate Larry Elder Is Worth

Larry Elder pitches his presidential campaign as an act of personal sacrifice, reports Monica Hunter-Hart. “I’m not flush like some of the other candidates, so this is a big financial hit for me,” says the California media icon, who Forbes estimates is worth $4 million. “I gave up my nationally syndicated column. I gave up my radio show. I gave up my TV show.”

MORE FROM FORBESHere’s How Much 2024 Presidential Candidate Larry Elder Is Worth

Bernie Sanders Has Hauled In $2.5 Million In Book Payments Since 2011

Sen. Bernie Sanders earned $2.5 million from book advances and royalties from 2011 through 2022, according to his annual financial disclosures. During that period, political committees for the Vermont independent bought $843,000 worth of books from his publishers.

MORE FROM FORBESBernie Sanders Has Hauled In $2.5 Million In Book Payments Since 2011


Vivek Ramaswamy named his biotech company Roivant Sciences. What does “Roi” stand for?

a. Radiating overconfidence internally

b. Return on investment

c. Riding on Iowa

d. Rupture of integrity

Check if you got it right here.

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#Checks #Imbalances #Vivek #Ramaswamys #Driving #Obsession

Trump Committed Fraud By Inflating His Assets, Judge Rules


Former President Donald Trump and his company committed fraud by overstating the value of their assets, a New York judge ruled Tuesday, siding with state Attorney General Letitia James in her wide-ranging suit against the former president and the Trump Organization, which is still set to go to trial next week with a narrower scope.

Key Facts

James sued Trump, the Trump Organization and his business associates—including Trump’s children—for fraud, alleging in civil court the ex-president made hundreds of false statements that inflated the value of Trump Organization assets to boost his net worth and obtain more favorable business deals.

Manhattan-based Judge Arthur Engoron found Trump and the other defendants committed fraud, releasing his opinion Tuesday, six days before the case is set to go to trial, after James’ office argued Engoron should rule on the issue now because “no trial is required” to find Trump liable.

Engoron wrote that the documents uncovered in the case “clearly contain fraudulent valuations that defendants used in business,” and none of Trump’s defenses hold up, including his claim that he could always find a “buyer from Saudi Arabia” for one property or that measuring square footage is a “subjective process.”

The judge pointed to several Trump properties that were overvalued, including Mar-A-Lago, a building on Park Avenue, an estate in Westchester County and his penthouse in Trump Tower—which had an inflated square footage even after Forbes asked him about the exaggeration, Engoron notes.

As a result, Engoron canceled several of Trump’s business certificates and ordered the dissolution of Trump-related LLCs.

Engoron also sanctioned several of Trump’s attorneys $7,500 for making arguments the court had repeatedly tossed out.

Trump and his co-defendants opposed James’ motion to rule on the fraud question right away, arguing in court the valuations were subjective and James is just “uneducated” about real estate, and brought their own motion asking the court to rule in their favor and throw the case out entirely ahead of trial.

What To Watch For:

The trial against Trump and his business allies is set to begin on Monday and run until December, though that date remains slightly up in the air. An appeals court temporarily delayed the trial earlier this month amid a lawsuit between Trump and the judge—the appellate judges will hear arguments this week, and could let the trial proceed as scheduled. While Engoron already ruled on part of the case by finding Trump and his co-defendants guilty of fraud, the trial will still go forward on other allegations—such as falsifying business records, financial statements and committing insurance fraud—as well as determining whether there was intent to commit fraud and the damages Trump and his co-defendants will face. Trump’s attorneys said in a statement Tuesday that “While the full impact of the decision remains unclear, what is clear is that President Trump will seek all available appellate remedies to rectify this miscarriage of justice.”

What We Don’t Know:

What punishments Trump and his business could face at trial. James’ lawsuit asks the court to impose a range of penalties on the defendants, including barring Trump from engaging in any commercial real estate acquisitions for five years, blocking him and his children from serving as officers or directors in any New York business and forcing the defendants to pay an approximately $250 million fine.

Big Number:

$3.6 billion. That’s how much Trump inflated his net worth by overstating the value of his assets on financial documents, James alleged in court filings, calling the number a “conservative” estimate. The AG alleges Trump used the exaggerated assets to inflate his net worth by between $1.9 billion and $3.6 billion per year between 2011 and 2021, including by misstating the value of his properties at Trump Tower and Mar-A-Lago in Florida, which the lawsuit alleges Trump valued as a private residence instead of a social club.

Chief Critic:

Trump’s attorneys argued in court that the ex-president didn’t fraudulently overstate the value of his assets, but rather claimed the valuations were accurate based on Trump’s “perspective [as] a creative and visionary real estate developer who sees the potential and value of properties that others do not.” Trump attorney Christopher Kise argued at a hearing Friday: “The case comes down to prosecuting the defendants for engaging in successful business transactions.” In a statement Tuesday, Trump’s attorneys called the action an “outrageous decision” that is “completely unhinged from the facts and governing law.”

Forbes Valuation:

$2.5 billion. That’s Trump’s estimated net worth, according to Forbes’ real-time tracker. Forbes has exposed previous Trump efforts to misstate the size and value of his real estate properties, including exaggerating the size of his Manhattan penthouse, which was cited in James’ lawsuit.

Key Background:

James sued Trump, his company and his business associates in September 2022, following a years-long investigation that began in March 2019. Trump was deposed as part of the investigation, though he refused to answer questions and invoked his Fifth Amendment rights, after being held in contempt of court for not complying with the subpoena. Since James filed the lawsuit, the AG has notched a win in court as Engoron appointed an independent monitor to oversee the Trump Organization’s activities, though an appeals court also dismissed James’ claims against Ivanka Trump in the case and forced Engoron to narrow the case. The Trump Organization has separately been found guilty of tax fraud in a different case brought by the Manhattan district attorney, in which the company was ordered to pay $1.6 million for a scheme in which executives were paid through personal expenses that weren’t taxed, such as private school tuition, apartments and car leases.

Further Reading:

Checks & Imbalances: A Forbes Look At The Trump Fraud Lawsuit (Forbes)

Exclusive Recording, Documents Bolster Trump Fraud Lawsuit (Forbes)

Trump Inflated Net Worth By $3.6 Billion, New York Attorney General Says (Forbes)

NY AG James Sues Trump For Fraud (Forbes)

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House Republicans clash with Attorney General Garland, accusing him of favouring Hunter Biden

House Republicans clashed with Attorney General Merrick Garland on Wednesday, accusing him and the Justice Department of the “weaponization” of the department’s work in favor of President Joe Biden ‘s son Hunter.

Garland’s appearance before the House Judiciary Committee was the first in two years and came at an unprecedented moment in the department’s history: He’s overseeing two cases against Donald Trump, the first former president to face criminal charges, and another against the sitting president’s son.

Republicans on the committee — led by Rep. Jim Jordan, the chairman — set the tone with accusations that the Justice Department is favoring the Biden family, while targeting his opponent, Trump.

“There’s one investigation protecting President Biden. There’s another one attacking President Trump,” Jordan, Republican of Ohio, said in his opening statement. “The Justice Department’s got both sides of the equation covered.”

Garland — carefully and deliberately — defended the country’s largest law enforcement agency of more than 115,000 employees at a time when political and physical threats against agents and their families are on the rise.

“Our job is not to take orders from the president, from Congress, or from anyone else, about who or what to criminally investigate,” the attorney general said.

He added, “I am not the president’s lawyer. I will also add that I am not Congress’s prosecutor. The Justice Department works for the American people.”

The central line of questioning in Republicans’ arsenal surrounded allegations that the Justice Department interfered in the yearslong case into Hunter Biden and that the prosecutor in charge of that case did not have the full authority he needed to bring the necessary charges to the younger Biden.

Early in the hearing, Republican Rep. Mike Johnson of Louisiana asked Garland whether he had talked with anyone at FBI headquarters about the Hunter Biden investigation. The attorney general’s response began with a long pause before he said: “I don’t recollect the answer to that question,” later adding “I don’t believe that I did.”

Garland then said repeatedly that he purposely kept the details of the investigation at arms length, to keep a promise not to interfere.

His testimony also comes just over a week after Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., launched an impeachment inquiry into his boss, President Biden, with a special focus on the Justice Department’s handling of Hunter Biden’s yearslong case.

The White House has dismissed the impeachment inquiry as baseless and worked to focus the conversation on policy instead. Hunter Biden’s legal team, on the other hand, has gone on the offensive against GOP critics, most recently filing suit against the Internal Revenue Service after two of its agents raised whistleblower claims to Congress about the handling of the investigation.

Republicans contend that the Justice Department — both under Trump and now Biden — has failed to fully probe the allegations against the younger Biden, ranging from his work on the board of Ukrainian energy company Burisma to his tax filings in California and Washington D.C.

An investigation into Hunter Biden had been run by the U.S. Attorney for Delaware, Trump appointee David Weiss, who Garland kept on to finish the probe and insulate it from claims of political interference. Garland granted Weiss special counsel status last month, giving him broad authority to investigate and report his findings.

Asked by Republican Rep. Dan Bishop of North Carolina whether he had tried to figure out if Weiss was facing any hurdles in bringing charges against the president’s son, Garland said he had purposely kept his distance to keep a promise not to interfere.

“The way to not interfere was to not investigate an investigation,” Garland said.

Weiss, since 2018, has overseen the day-to-day running of the probe and another special counsel, Jack Smith, is in charge of the Trump investigation, though Garland retains final say on both as attorney general.

Garland said no one at the White House had given him or other senior officials at the Justice Department direction about the handling of the Hunter Biden investigation. Asked whether he had spoken with Weiss, Garland said he had followed his pledge not to interfere in the investigation but declined to say whether or how often he had spoken with the newly named special counsel, citing the ongoing investigation.

Democrats, for their part, sought to focus on other criminal-justice issues, including domestic terrorism, hate crimes and gun violence. Rep. Jerry Nadler, the top Democrat on the committee, decried what he called Republicans’ focus on “long discredited conspiracy theories” about Hunter Biden and a laptop said to have belonged to him.

“That is their goal. They want to divide this country and make our government appear like it’s broken,” Nadler said.

Democrats labored to undermine what they see as Republican misinformation in their ongoing defense of Trump, who is now the Republican front-runner to challenge Biden in next year’s election. They say Republicans are trying to detract attention from the indicted former president’s legal challenges and turn a negative spotlight on Biden.

Last week, Weiss used that new authority to indict Hunter Biden on federal firearms charges, putting the case on track toward a possible trial as the 2024 election looms.

Jordan, along with the Republican chairmen of the Oversight and Ways and Means committees launched an investigation into Weiss’ handling of the case, which was first opened in 2018 after two IRS agents claimed in congressional testimony in May that the Justice Department improperly interfered with their work.

Gary Shapley, a veteran IRS agent assigned to the case, testified to Congress that Weiss said in October 2022 that he was not the “deciding person whether charges are filed” against Hunter Biden. That testimony has been disputed by two FBI agents also in that meeting who told lawmakers that they have no recollection of Weiss saying that.

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What are the charges against former U.S. President Donald Trump?

Former U.S. President Donald Trump’s police booking mugshot released by the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office in Atlanta, Georgia.
| Photo Credit: Fulton County Sheriff’s Office via Reuters

The story so far: Donald Trump on August 24 became the first President, either sitting or former, to have his mugshot taken at a jail in the country, on racketeering and conspiracy charges for trying to overturn the 2020 election results in Georgia.

According to official records, he was booked on 13 charges at the Fulton County Jail in Atlanta and released on a $200,000 bond. This was the fourth criminal case against Mr. Trump since he became the first former U.S. President to be indicted earlier this year.

The Hindu looks at charges against Mr. Trump so far.

New York

Mr. Trump was indicted by a Manhattan grand jury on charges related to payments made to hush claims of an extramarital sexual encounter, prosecutors and defence lawyers said on March 31, 2023.

Mr. Trump was allegedly involved with adult actor Stormy Daniels in 2006. During the 2016 presidential campaign , Mr. Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen arranged a $130,000 payment to Ms. Daniels to stop her from disclosing any information. He also arranged for the publisher of the tabloid National Enquirer o pay Playboy model Karen McDougal $1,50,000 to suppress her story of Mr. Trump’s affair.

Mr. Cohen officially surrendered to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in August 2018 and was sentenced to three years in prison for the hush money to Ms. Daniels, characterised as “excessive campaign contribution”. He spent most of his sentence in home confinement.

Mr. Trump pled not guilty to 34 felony counts of falsifying business records.


In the State of Florida, Mr. Trump has been charged with mishandling classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago estate. He was also accused of obstructing government efforts to recover the records. Mr. Trump held on to classified documents that contained information on national defence when he left the White House in January 2021.

Out of the 37 charges against him, 31 relate to violations under the U.S. Espionage Act. This Act was enacted by the Congress in 1917, just months after the U.S entered World War I. Some of the charges levied against Mr. Trump under this Act carry a potential sentence of 20 years in prison.

Mr. Trump pled not guilty to 37 federal criminal charges relating to possession of classified documents. Later, three more charges were added by the prosecutors, bringing the total count to 40.


Mr. Trump was charged on four counts in the State of Washington for his alleged efforts to overturn his 2020 presidential election defeat. This was the third criminal case against Mr. Trump, after those in New York and Florida.

The former President appeared in a federal courthouse in Washington D.C. on August 3 before Indian American Magistrate Judge Moxila Upadhyaya. The indictment was filed by Special Counsel Jack Smith who led an investigation into the allegations that Mr. Trump tried to overturn the election result.

Charges levied against Mr. Trump included conspiracy to defraud, witness tampering, conspiracy against the rights of citizens, and obstruction of and attempt to obstruct an official proceeding.

While the indictment does not directly accuse Mr. Trump of being responsible for the January 6, 2021 riots when a mob entered Capitol Hill, the obstruction charges indirectly relate to it.

Mr. Trump pled not guilty to four criminal charges alleging he tried to overturn the result of the 2020 presidential election, which he lost to current U.S. President Joe Biden.

U.S. District Court Judge Tanya Chutkan has approved March 4, 2024, as the trial date in Mr. Trump’s election subversion conspiracy case. It’s right before Super Tuesday, when more than a dozen States will vote in a primary to pick the Republican presidential candidate for 2024. Despite his legal troubles, Mr. Trump appears to be among the favourites to secure the nomination.


Mr. Trump and 18 of his allies were indicted in Georgia on August 14 with charges related to scheming to overturn his 2020 election loss in the State. He was booked on 13 charges in Atlanta’s Fulton County jail on August 24 and had his mugshot taken.

Other defendants in the case include former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows. Mr. Giuliani surrendered on August 23 and had his mugshot taken, while Mr. Meadows surrendered on August 24.

The indictment against Mr. Trump and allies also mentions an alleged scheme to tamper with voting machines in one county of Georgia to steal data.

The defendants will be arraigned next week, on September 6.

Do the charges disrupt Mr. Trump’s presidential plans?

Apparently not.

The Trump campaign reportedly raised more than $7 million since he was booked at a jail in Georgia and his mugshot was released.

According to survey research company Morning Consult, Mr. Trump is the leading candidate among Republicans aspiring to be the party’s face in the presidential polls scheduled to be held in late 2024. Despite not attending the first Republican presidential primary debate held on August 23, Mr. Trump has retained the top rating among the party’s candidates. Morning Consult’s survey reveals Mr. Trump polled 58% as of August 29, while his closest contender Ron DeSantis polled only 14%. The survey also reveals that Mr. Trump’s popularity has consistently grown since December 2022, but the same cannot be said about other Republican presidential hopefuls.

(With inputs from news agencies)

  • Donald Trump on August 24 became the first President, either sitting or former, to have his mugshot taken at a jail in the country, on racketeering and conspiracy charges for trying to overturn the 2020 election results in Georgia. According to official records, he was booked on 13 charges at the Fulton County Jail in Atlanta and released on a $200,000 bond.
  • Mr. Trump was indicted by a Manhattan grand jury on charges related to payments made to hush claims of an extramarital sexual encounter, prosecutors and defence lawyers said on March 31, 2023.
  • In the State of Florida, Mr. Trump has been charged with mishandling classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago estate. He was also accused of obstructing government efforts to recover the records. Mr. Trump held on to classified documents that contained information on national defence when he left the White House in January 2021.

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Trump chief of staff Meadows denies two allegations in Georgia indictment as he takes witness stand

Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows took the witness stand at a hearing on August 28 to deny two of the allegations made against him in a Georgia indictment accusing him of participating in an illegal scheme to overturn the 2020 election.

Meadows, who was charged this month along with former President Donald Trump and 17 other people, is seeking to fight the charges in federal court rather than in state court. As part of that effort, he testified that he never asked White House personnel officer John McEntee to draft a memo to Vice President Mike Pence on how to delay certification of the election.

“When this came out in the indictment, it was the biggest surprise for me,” Mr. Meadows said Monday. He later said, “Me asking Johnny McEntee for this kind of a memo just didn’t happen.”

He also said he did not text the Georgia secretary of state’s office chief investigator, Frances Watson, as the indictment alleged. Rather, he said he believes that text was sent to Jordan Fuchs, the secretary of state’s chief of staff.

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, who used Georgia’s racketeering law to bring the case, alleges that Trump, Meadows and the others participated in a wide-ranging conspiracy to try to keep the Republican president in power illegally even after his election loss to Democrat Joe Biden. Willis argues that Meadows’ actions were political in nature and not performed as part of his official duties.

The extraordinary testimony from Trump’s former chief of staff came as two of the former president’s attorneys listened attentively in the courtroom. Monday’s hearing in Georgia involved just one of four criminal cases that Trump is currently facing. In Washington, a judge overseeing a federal case over charges that Trump sought to illegally subvert the results of the 2020 election set a trial date for March 4, 2024, right in the heart of the presidential primary calendar.

Lawyers for Meadows argue that his actions that gave rise to the charges in the indictment “all occurred during his tenure and as part of his service as Chief of Staff.” They argue that he did nothing criminal and that the charges against him should be dismissed, and they want U.S. District Judge Steve Jones to move the case to federal court to halt any proceedings against him at the state level.

It was unclear when the judge planned to make his decision.

During Monday’s hearing, Meadows attorney George J. Terwilliger III quickly called his client to the stand and asked him about his duties as Trump’s chief of staff. The lawyer then walked him through the acts alleged in the indictment to ask if he had done those as part of his job. For most of the acts listed, Meadows said he had performed them as part of his official duty.

In the cross-examination, prosecutor Anna Cross ticked through the same acts to ask Meadows what federal policy was being advanced in each of them. He frequently answered that the federal interest was in ensuring accurate and fair elections, but she accused him several times of not answering her question.

Willis’ team argues that the actions in question were meant solely to keep Trump in office. These actions were explicitly political in nature and are illegal under the Hatch Act, which restricts partisan political activity by federal employees, they wrote in a response to Meadows’ notice of removal to federal court. They believe the case should remain in Fulton County Superior Court.

The allegations against Meadows include participating in meetings or communications with state lawmakers along with Trump and others that were meant to advance the alleged illegal scheme to keep Trump in power; traveling to Atlanta’s suburbs where a ballot envelope signature audit was happening; arranging a phone call between Trump and a Georgia secretary of state investigator; and participating in a January 2021 phone call between Trump and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger during which Trump suggested Raffensperger could help “find 11,780 votes” needed for him to win Georgia.

Cross asked Meadows on Monday why he was present in an Oval Office meeting with Michigan legislators in which, the indictment alleges, Trump made false claims about election fraud in the state. Meadows said he was responsible for managing the president’s time and it was important for someone to keep the meeting moving and wrap it up when it was finished.

Willis’ team subpoenaed several witnesses to appear at Monday’s hearing, including Raffensperger, Watson and two lawyers who did work for Trump in Georgia in the aftermath of the election but who were not named in the indictment. The team has also submitted excerpts of previously taken depositions of several people, including former Meadows assistant Cassidy Hutchinson.

Two of Trump’s attorneys in the Georgia case, Steve Sadow and Jennifer Little, watched the proceedings in the courtroom, as did lawyers for at least one other co-defendant in the case.

Willis’ team argues that Meadows is not entitled to immunity under the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution, which basically says that federal law takes precedence over state law, because his actions were “improper political activity” that weren’t part of his official duties and the evidence shows that he had “personal or criminal motivations for acting.”

In response to Willis’ team’s filing, Meadows’ lawyers said all that is at issue at the moment is whether the case should be moved to federal court and that he has met that “very low threshold.”

Meadows was a federal official and his actions were part of that role, they wrote, noting that the chief of staff has “broad-ranging duties to advise and assist the President.” The merits of his arguments of immunity cannot be used to decide whether the case should be moved to federal court, they argued.

They added that the “Hatch Act is a red herring, particularly at this stage,” and shouldn’t even be discussed until after the case is moved to federal court. “Nonetheless, Mr. Meadows complied with federal law in connection with the charged conduct,” they wrote.

At least four others charged in the indictment are also seeking to move the case to federal court, including U.S. Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark. The other three — former Georgia Republican Party chair David Shafer, Georgia state Sen. Shawn Still and Cathy Latham — are among the 16 Georgia Republicans who signed a certificate declaring falsely that Trump had won the 2020 presidential election and declaring themselves the state’s “duly elected and qualified” electors.

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Trump surrenders at Atlanta jail, gets mugshot taken and is then released

Former U.S. President Donald Trump was arrested at a Georgia jail on August 24 on racketeering and conspiracy charges for trying to overturn the 2020 election results in the southern State.

During a brief session lasting less than 30 minutes, the 77-year-old Mr. Trump was booked on 13 charges at Atlanta’s Fulton County Jail, according to records published by the sheriff’s office.

Mr. Trump’s height was listed by the jail as six foot three inches (1.9 meters), his weight as 215 pounds (97 kilograms) and his hair color as “Blond or Strawberry.”

Explained | The indictment against Donald Trump 

Mr. Trump left Atlanta jail roughly 20 minutes after surrendering, reported AP. He was released on $200,000 bond and headed back to the airport for his return flight home to New Jersey.

Mr. Trump arrived in Georgia on August 24 evening to surrender on charges that he illegally schemed to overturn the 2020 election in that State, a county jail booking that yielded a historic first: a mug shot of a former American President.

Mr. Trump’s surrender, coming amid an abrupt shake-up of his legal team, follows the presidential debate in Milwaukee the night before featuring his leading rivals for the 2024 Republican nomination — a contest in which he remains the leading candidate despite broad legal troubles. His presence in Georgia, though likely brief, is swiping the spotlight anew from his opponents after the debate in which they sought to seize on his absence to elevate their own presidential prospects.

Mr. Trump landed in Atlanta shortly after 7 p.m. and was to be driven, through the city’s rush-hour traffic, to jail for the booking process. Wearing his signature white shirt and red tie, he offered a wave and thumbs up as he descended the steps of his private plane.

The Fulton County prosecution is the fourth criminal case against Mr. Trump since March when he became the first former President in U.S. history to be indicted. Since then, he’s faced federal charges in Florida and Washington, and this month he was indicted in Atlanta with 18 others — including his ex-chief of staff, Mark Meadows, and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani — under a racketeering statute normally associated with gang members and organized crime.

Former President Donald Trump steps off his plane as he arrives at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, on Aug. 24, 2023, in Atlanta.
| Photo Credit:

Mr. Giuliani surrendered on August 23 and posed for a mug shot. Meadows, who had sought to avoid having to turn himself in while he sought to move the case to federal court, turned himself in August 24. The bond was set at $100,000.

Explained | How will the indictments affect Donald Trump?

The criminal cases have spurred a succession of bookings and arraignments, with Mr. Trump making brief court appearances before returning to the 2024 campaign trail. He’s turned the appearances into campaign events amid a far lighter schedule than his rivals, with staff delighting in wall-to-wall media coverage that has included news helicopters tracking his every move.

The campaign has also used the appearances to solicit fundraising contributions from his supporters as aides paint the charges as part of a politically motivated effort to damage his reelection chances. As Mr. Trump was en route from New Jersey to Atlanta, his campaign sent a message saying, “I’m writing to you from Trump Force One, on my way to Atlanta where I will be ARRESTED despite having committed NO CRIME.”

As afternoon turned to evening, scores of Mr. Trump supporters had gathered outside the jail where the ex-president was to surrender, some waving flags with Trump’s name, as officials tightened security measures.

His Atlanta surrender was different from prior ones, requiring him to show up at a problem-plagued jail — but without an accompanying court appearance for now. And unlike in other cities that did not require him to pose for a mug shot, Fulton County officials have taken a booking photo as they would any other defendant.

District Attorney Fani Willis has given all of the defendants until August 25 afternoon to turn themselves in at the main Fulton County jail. On August 24, her office proposed an October 23 trial date, though the complexities of the 19-person case — and potential scheduling conflicts with other Mr. Trump prosecutions — would appear to make it all but impossible. The date seemed to be a response to early legal manoeuvring by at least one defendant, Kenneth Chesebro, who requested a speedy trial.

Just ahead of his expected surrender, Mr. Trump hired a new lead attorney for the Georgia case.

Prominent Atlanta criminal defence attorney Steve Sadow took the place of another high-profile criminal defence attorney, Drew Findling, who had represented Mr. Trump as recently as Monday when his bond terms were negotiated. But by August 24 Mr. Findling was no longer part of the team, according to a person with knowledge of the change who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.

Mr. Sadow, who has represented a rapper, Gunna, who pleaded guilty last year in a racketeering case also brought by Willis, said in a statement that “the president should never have been indicted. He is innocent of all the charges brought against him.”

“We look forward to the case being dismissed or, if necessary, an unbiased, open-minded jury finding the president not guilty,” he added. “Prosecutions intended to advance or serve the ambitions and careers of political opponents of the President have no place in our justice system.”

It’s not the first time this year that Mr. Trump has shaken up his legal team either in the run-up to an indictment or in the immediate aftermath. One of his lead lawyers, Tim Parlatore, left the legal team weeks before Mr. Trump was indicted in Florida on charges of illegally hoarding classified documents, citing conflicts with a top Trump adviser. Two other lawyers, James Trusty and John Rowley, announced their resignations the morning after that indictment was returned.

Mr. Trump has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing. He said in a social media post this week that he was being prosecuted for what he described in capital letters as a “perfect phone call” in which he asked the Republican Secretary of State, Brad Raffensperger, to help him “find 11,780 votes” for him to overturn his loss in the State to Democrat Joe Biden.

Mr. Trump is expected to turn himself in at the Fulton County jail, which has long been a troubled facility. The Justice Department last month opened a civil rights investigation into conditions, citing filthy cells, violence and the death last year of a man whose body was found covered in insects in the main jail’s psychiatric wing. Three people have died in Fulton County custody in the past month.

Unlike in other jurisdictions, in Fulton County, arraignments — in which a defendant appears in court for the first time — generally happen after a defendant surrenders at the jail and completes the booking process, not on the same day. That means Mr. Trump could have to make two trips to Georgia in the coming weeks though the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office has said some arraignments in the case may happen virtually if the judge allows, or he could waive Mr. Trump’s arraignment.

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Donald Trump to skip Republican presidential primary debates

Former U.S. President Donald Trump confirmed Sunday that he will be skipping Wednesday’s first Republican presidential primary debate — and others as well.

“The public knows who I am & what a successful Presidency I had,” Mr. Trump wrote on his social media site. “I WILL THEREFORE NOT BE DOING THE DEBATES!” His spokesman did not immediately clarify whether he plans to boycott every primary debate or just those that have currently been scheduled.

The former president and early GOP front-runner had said for months that he saw little upside in joining his GOP rivals on stage when they gather for the first time in Milwaukee Wednesday, given his commanding lead in the race. And he had made clear to those he had spoken to in recent days that his opinion had not changed.

“Why would I allow people at 1 or 2% and 0% to be hitting me with questions all night?” he said in an interview in June with Fox News host Bret Baier, who will be serving as a moderator. Mr. Trump has also repeatedly criticised Fox, the host of the August 23 primetime event, insisting it is a “hostile network” that he believes will not treat him fairly.

Mr. Trump had been discussing a number of debate counterprogramming options, according to people familiar with the discussions. He has taped an interview with ex-Fox News host Tucker Carlson, who has been hosting a show on the website formerly known as Twitter, according to one person who requested anonymity to discuss private planning. The interview is expected to air Wednesday.

“We cannot confirm or deny — stay tuned,” said Mr. Trump spokesman Steven Cheung. Mr. Carlson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The idea had been one of several alternatives Mr. Trump had floated in conversations in recent weeks. They included possibly showing up in Milwaukee at the last minute or attending but sitting in the audience and offering live commentary on his Truth Social site. He had also discussed potentially calling into different networks to draw viewers from the debate, or holding a rally instead.

The decision marks another chapter in Mr. Trump’s ongoing feud with Fox, which was once a staunch defender, but is now perceived to be more favorable to his leading rival, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. Fox executives and hosts had lobbied Mr. Trump to attend, both privately and on the network’s airwaves. But Mr. Trump, according to a person close to him, was unswayed, believing executives would not have been wooing him if they weren’t concerned about their ratings.

A person familiar had said earlier Sunday that Mr. Trump and his team had not notified the Republican National Committee of his plans.

Rivals want him to debate

Meanwhile, Mr. Trump’s rivals had been goading him to appear and preparing in the hopes that he might, concerned that a no-show might make them appear like second-tier candidates and deny them the opportunity to land a knockout blow against the race’s Goliath that could change the trajectory of the race.

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, one of the few candidates willing to directly take on Mr. Trump, has been accusing the former president of lacking “the guts to show up” and calling him “a coward” if he doesn’t.

A super PAC supporting Mr. DeSantis released an ad in which the narrator says: “We can’t afford a nominee who is too weak to debate.” And the DeSantis campaign spokesman Andrew Romeo added that, “No one is entitled to this nomination, including Donald Trump. You have to show up and earn it.”

Mr. Trump has pushed back on the attacks, telling Newsmax’s Eric Bolling that he saw little benefit in participating when he’s already leading by a wide margin.

“It’s not a question of guts. It’s a question of intelligence,” he said.

Mr. Trump has also said that he will not sign a pledge to support the eventual Republican nominee if he loses the nomination — a requirement set by the Republican National Committee for appearing on stage.

“Why would I sign it?” he said. “I can name three or four people that I wouldn’t support for president. So right there, there’s a problem.”

Nonetheless, his advisers insisted for weeks that he had yet to make a final decision, even as they acknowledged it was “pretty clear” from his public and private statements that he was unlikely to appear.

Not the first time

It’s not the first time Mr. Trump has chosen to skip a major GOP debate.

During his 2016 campaign, Mr. Trump decided to forgo the final GOP primary face-off before the Iowa caucuses and instead held his own campaign event — a flashy telethon-style gathering in Iowa that was billed as a fundraiser for veterans.

While the event earned him headlines and drew attention away from his rivals, Mr. Trump went on to lose the Iowa caucuses to Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas — a loss some former aides have blamed, at least in part, on his decision to skip the debate.

In 2020, Trump pulled out of the second general election debate against now-President Joe Biden after the Commission on Presidential Debates, a nonpartisan group that has hosted general election debates for more than three decades, sought to make it virtual after Mr. Trump tested positive for COVID-19. He refused, saying he would only debate on stage.

Mr. Trump is not the only candidate who will likely be missing Wednesday’s event. Several lesser-known rivals appear unlikely to reach the threshold set by the RNC to participate. To qualify, candidates must have received contributions from at least 40,000 individual donors, with at least 200 unique donors in 20 or more states. They also must poll at at least 1% in three designated national polls, or a mix of national and early-state polls, between July 1 and Aug. 21.

Candidates who have met the qualifications include Mr. DeSantis, Mr. Christie, former vice president Mike Pence, tech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, and South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott.

Beyond the fundraising and polling requirements, the RNC has said candidates must also sign the pledge agreeing to support the eventual party nominee as well as agreeing not to participate in any non-RNC sanctioned debate for the remainder of the election cycle. The RNC is boycotting events organised by the Commission for Presidential Debates, alleging bias.

“I affirm that if I do not win the 2024 Republican nomination of President of the United States, I will honor the will of the primary voters and support the nominee in order to save our country and beat Joe Biden,” reads the pledge, according to a copy posted by Mr. DeSantis to the social media site X. Candidates also must pledge not to run as an independent, write-in candidate or third-party nominee.

While several candidates, including Mr. Christie and former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson have taken issue with the requirement, former Texas Rep. Will Hurd so far is the only one who has said definitively that he will not sign the pledge because he refuses to support Mr. Trump if he becomes the eventual nominee. Mr. Christie has said he will sign whatever is needed to get him on the stage.

In addition to voicing opposition to the loyalty pledge, Mr. Trump has suggested he is opposed to boycotting general election debates hosted by the Commission on Presidential Debates. “You have, really, an obligation to do that,” he said in a radio interview this spring.

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Here’s How Much 2024 Presidential Candidate Tim Scott Is Worth

Tim Scott’s real estate empire is a speck compared to Donald Trump’s. Given where the South Carolina senator started, that’s still pretty impressive.

Unlike some of his competitors for the presidency, Tim Scott inherited neither a great fortune nor a prominent last name. Instead, he grew up in poverty. Nonetheless, the senator managed to start his own business, build a small real estate portfolio, win elections and become a millionaire—proving that the American Dream is still possible, even for a poor, Black kid from South Carolina.

Scott got his big break in 2010, when he won election to the U.S. House—guaranteeing him a $174,000 annual salary, nearly triple the $60,000 he had paid himself as the owner of an insurance business. He took office in January 2011 and sold his firm for more than $500,000 three months later. Before long, he started writing books, including two alongside former South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy, and eventually earned more than $700,000 as an author between 2017 and 2022.

What has Scott done with his money? Worth just over a million dollars today, he completely or partially owns at least five properties: one in D.C. and four in the Palmetto State. That real estate portfolio accounts for the majority of his net worth. He also holds a federal pension that’s worth an estimated $265,000 after 12 years on Capitol Hill. Rounding out his portfolio: a collection of equity holdings, including shares in blue-chip names like Apple, Boeing, Coca-Cola and Target.

It’s a far cry from where he started. Growing up just north of Charleston, South Carolina as the grandson of a cotton picker and son of a single mother, Scott worked at a movie theater and dreamed of becoming a professional football player. But politics also intrigued him, starting with a run for student council in eighth grade and continuing through high school. He was eventually elected student government president, overcoming a more accomplished opponent and what he refers to as his own “impressively prominent” buck teeth.

After graduating, Scott worked 70 hours a week at the movie theater, got braces to fix his front teeth and went off to college, where, thanks to a group called the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, “Jesus became everything” to him. His religiosity still shows up today when he delivers scripture-quoting speeches—or even utters his campaign slogan, “Faith in America.” Scott earned a political science degree from Charleston Southern University in 1988.

He started working as a salesman in college and continued after he got his degree, selling increasingly valuable products over time—vacuums, then men’s clothing, then insurance policies. In 1999, at 34 years old, he opened his own Allstate franchise. Shaking off a first week with zero sales, his agency eventually won a Rookie Agency of the Year award for South Carolina. His secret: promising customers a quote within an hour of receiving their request.

Real Estate Riches

After growing up in poverty, Tim Scott acquired his childhood home, in addition to at least four other properties. His mini empire now accounts for the bulk of his million-dollar fortune.

Around this time, he also began selling voters on his ideas. He was first elected to the Charleston County Council in 1995—the first Black Republican elected to any office in South Carolina since Reconstruction. He joined the GOP, he says, because the local Democratic Party told him to “wait my turn and go to the back of the line.”

In the 2000s, Scott began dabbling in South Carolina real estate. Alongside Michael Sally, a realtor who now serves on Hanahan, South Carolina’s city council, he bought two rental properties in 2005, one in Goose Creek and the other in Summerville, for a combined $250,000. The pair barely broke even on the latter, which they sold in 2008, but the Goose Creek house is worth an estimated $270,000 today, more than twice as much as it initially cost, and there is only an estimated $40,000 of debt remaining on the mortgage.

Scott’s political career blossomed just a few years later. He chaired the Charleston County Council in 2007 and 2008, then served two years in the South Carolina House from 2009 to 2011, before making the jump to the U.S. House of Representatives. In 2013, he was appointed to a vacant Senate seat by none other than Nikki Haley, then South Carolina’s governor and now a presidential candidate competing against Scott. In just four years, he’d gone from his county council to the U.S. Senate.

Scott, who is not married, ditched his insurance company, freeing him up to focus on his new job—and, eventually, a string of real estate deals. In 2013, he upgraded his personal residence from a 2,300 square foot North Charleston home to a 3,000 square foot Hanahan home, selling the former to longtime aide Joe McKeown. Then in 2017, he upgraded again, paying half a million dollars for 3,400 square feet less than a mile away. Smart move. That home is now worth an estimated $800,000, before subtracting the estimated $440,000 left on the mortgage.

In 2017, Scott also bought a one-bedroom apartment, which he shares with McKeown, just a short walk from the Capitol for $325,000. It still has an estimated $230,000 of debt on it and is worth around $360,000 today. And in 2018, Scott acquired two more rental properties in South Carolina. One he bought with Michael Sally, the realtor and city councilor. The other was his childhood home. Together, the two homes are worth over $400,000 and have an estimated $85,000 of debt on them.

In the last two years, Scott has slowed down his buying spree, instead opting to invest some of his cash in stocks and mutual funds. Some of his investments are in the sorts of companies you might expect a Republican to support, like Palantir Technologies, cofounded by GOP billionaire donor Peter Thiel; and Tesla, the car giant helmed by Elon Musk.

But his most useful asset as a presidential candidate may be his own story, a rags-to-riches tale Scott loves to share with voters. “I am honored to have our stories woven together into the greater story of America,” he wrote in his 2022 memoir. “Though our lives are but a single thread, together we will weave a beautiful tapestry. And I, for one, plan to make my story count!”


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