Good morning, and welcome to the Global Situation Report for Friday, 22 December 2023.
- DEMS AND MEDIA PRESSURE THOMAS TO RECUSE FROM TRUMP CASE: Congressional Democrats and media outlets are pressuring Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas to recuse himself from any decision on former President Trump’s disqualification from the Colorado primary ballot or immunity from prosecution.
- Judicial ethics expert Steven Lubet said Thomas would be required to recuse himself under the new code of ethics adopted by the Supreme Court in November.
- Why It Matters: Any decision by the Supreme Court on Trump’s disqualification that isn’t unanimous will very likely escalate distrust among whoever is on the losing end. Chief Justice Roberts and the rest of the court likely see the outcome of a split decision, and could negotiate a unanimous decision whether or not Thomas recuses himself. The court also has the option to not take up the appeal and to let the Colorado state Supreme Court decision stand, which would not set a binding precedent but would provide ammunition for Democrats in other states to move to strike Trump from their ballots. – R.C.
2. LINDSEY GRAHAM: SANCTIONS FROM HELL COMING IF CHINA INVADES: Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said he is prepared to draft “sanctions from hell” against China if they make moves to seize Taiwan, adding that China invading Taiwan “will be making Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine look wise.”
- Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said the U.S. should stop selling weapons to Taiwan and “stop interfering in China’s internal affairs.”
- Why It Matters: Chinese President Xi Jinping told President Biden during their meeting at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) conference in November that China will “reunify” with Taiwan, but the timing has not been decided. If China does make its move, it’s not clear that U.S. sanctions would do enough to deter China after sanctions seem to have failed to take down Russia following the invasion of Ukraine. Sanctioned goods are still flowing into Russia, Russia is making more money from oil now than before the war, and the Russian industrial base has ramped up. The sanctions may have done more damage to European economies than the Russian economy. The U.S. and China have a stronger economic integration, and sanctions against China could have more severe economic blowback against the United States. – R.C.
3. BIDEN TO SEND BLINKEN, MAYORKAS TO MEXICO: The Biden White House is sending Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to engage Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) in talks over border security.
- During a phone call, Biden and AMLO “agreed that additional enforcement actions are urgently needed” to re-open two ports of entry closed due to unprecedented flows of illegal immigrants.
- Rep. Reuben Gallego (D-Z) on Thursday called on DHS and the Department of Transportation to “take steps to uncover” and “wherever possible shut down illegitimate travel agencies” facilitating migration from Central America to the United States. In a letter, Gallego said that travel agencies outside the Western Hemisphere advertise travel packages that promise transportation to the U.S.-Mexico border. A statement from Customs and Border Protection (CBP) confirmed those activities.
- Meanwhile, the Biden administration is challenging a Texas law that will allow the state to conduct border surveillance and enable state and local police to enforce immigration law. The Biden administration says the state’s enforcement is unconstitutional.
- Why It Matters: It’s an open secret that Biden’s lax border policies are setting up Democrats to campaign on amnesty and a pathway to citizenship for tens of millions of illegal immigrants to remake the American electorate. Biden is pivoting on border security now because he’s being hurt in the polls, but only after an estimated 4.5 million illegals have already entered during his term. For some context, Donald Trump won Florida in 2020 by fewer than 400,000 votes while an estimated 1.8 million illegal immigrants call Florida home. Trump won Texas by more than 600,000 votes while roughly 2 million illegals live in the state. Future elections are likely to experience a catastrophic loss of legitimacy when amnestized voters flip conservative strongholds like Texas and Florida. – M.S.
THAT’S A WRAP: This does it for today’s edition. Thank you for reading. If you know folks who would also like to receive this email, would you please forward it to them? We appreciate you spreading the word. – M.S.