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Week in review: Saturday, June 17, 2023
What does the news landscape look like?
Donald Trump’s indictment was the top story again this week, losing share to other stories over the course of the week.
This is how the top stories were covered on each side of the media yesterday:
• Trump indictment / 2024 GOP race (100% more on the left)
• Minneapolis DOJ probe (111% more on the left)
• Ellsberg / Pentagon Papers (240% more on the left)
Media bias ratings are from AllSides.
This is how articles from liberal and conservative outlets were distributed over the past five days among the top stories.
Liberal outlets used these words more than conservative outlets:
• governor (2.2x)
• officers (2.1x)
• ellsberg (1.4x)
Conservative outlets used these words more than liberal outlets:
• bud (22.5x)
• catholic (16.7x)
• dodgers (10.6x)
What is happening in the top stories?
Now for a deep dive into our top three stories, starting with…
Trump indictment / 2024 GOP race
Key people: Donald Trump, Jack Smith
Donald Trump faces 37 criminal counts related to his handling of classified documents after leaving the White House.
The charges include violations of the Espionage Act, conspiracy to obstruct justice, and making false statements to investigators.
Trump has maintained his innocence and portrayed the case as an effort to undermine his re-election effort.
The indictment unsealed by a Miami grand jury followed a months-long probe led by special counsel Jack Smith.
Trump has been indicted twice, with the first indictment in March by a grand jury in New York on charges related to a hush money payment.
More than 80% of Republican voters believe that Trump should continue running for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination despite facing federal felony charges, according to a survey released by the Marist Poll.
Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy is pushing 2024 White House contenders to commit to pardoning Trump if he is convicted on federal charges over his handling of classified documents.
Former President Trump scored a legal win in a probe looking into Trump National Golf Club Westchester after recently facing some legal woes that included his indictment in the Mar-a-Lago classified documents case.
Miriam Rocah, the district attorney in Westchester County, New York, closed the two-year investigation that was launched to determine if Trump National Golf Club Westchester tried to improperly lower its tax burden in Ossining, and no criminal charges were issued against the former president.
Minneapolis DOJ probe
Key people: Merrick Garland, George Floyd, Derek Chauvin, Jacob Frey, Brian O’Hara
The U.S. Department of Justice launched an investigation into the Minneapolis Police Department following the killing of George Floyd in May 2020.
The investigation was launched in April 2021, a day after former officer Derek Chauvin was convicted of murder and manslaughter in the killing of Floyd.
The investigation concerns whether the Minneapolis Police Department engaged in a pattern or practice of unconstitutional or unlawful policing.
The killing of George Floyd sparked months of mass protests as part of a broader national reckoning over racial injustice.
The investigation relied on department data, records, interviews, and ride-alongs, and found “reasonable cause” to believe that officers’ actions have repeatedly violated the First and Fourth Amendments, as well as the federal Civil Rights Act, the Safe Streets Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The U.S. Justice Department announced on Friday that the Minneapolis Police Department routinely uses excessive force and discriminates against Black and Native American people.
The city has agreed to what will likely be years of federal oversight as it works to reform the Minneapolis Police Department.
The scathing 89-page report vindicated long-standing community complaints of rampant abuse by the police force that predated Floyd’s murder.
The report found that officers frequently violated residents’ constitutional rights, used potentially deadly neck restraints, since banned by the city, and shot at people in situations where there was no immediate threat.
The Congressional Black Caucus called the findings “appalling” but not surprising, given the public outcry from residents and organizers in the City of Minneapolis and the many events that have transpired in the public view in the years leading up to, during, and since the tragic murder of George Floyd.”
Ellsberg / Pentagon Papers
Key people: Daniel Ellsberg, Richard Nixon, Henry Kissinger, Robert McNamara, W. Mark Felt
Daniel Ellsberg was a well-placed member of the government-military elite who leaked the Pentagon Papers, revealing government doubts and deceit about the Vietnam War.
Ellsberg was a Harvard graduate and self-defined “cold warrior” who served as a private and government consultant on Vietnam throughout the 1960s.
Ellsberg risked his life on the battlefield, received the highest security clearances, and came to be trusted by officials in Democratic and Republican administrations.
Ellsberg became disillusioned with the war and U.S. claims that it could be won, and he was skeptical of one of the main justifications for the war; that North Vietnamese victory would risk the global spread of communism.
Ellsberg’s leak of the Pentagon Papers inspired acts of retaliation by President Richard Nixon that helped lead to his resignation and to a landmark Supreme Court ruling on the First Amendment.
Daniel Ellsberg died at the age of 92 after being diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer in February.
Ellsberg’s son announced his father’s death on Twitter, saying that he died peacefully surrounded by family at home and had no pain.
Ellsberg’s legacy as a whistleblower and advocate for transparency and whistleblowers continues to be celebrated.
Ellsberg’s leak of the Pentagon Papers is still seen as a landmark moment in American history and a crucial example of the importance of a free press and government transparency.
Ellsberg’s death has sparked renewed interest in his life and legacy, with many reflecting on his impact on American politics and society.
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