Morning must reads for Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Good Tuesday morning from Salt Lake City. Today is the 164th day of the year. There are 200 days remaining in 2017. Today is the 145th day of Donald Trump’s presidency.

GOP candidates may sue to get on the primary ballot to replace Rep. Jason Chaffetz. Two Republicans turn in signatures to secure a place in August’s primary. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke says Bears Ears should be reduced in size.

The clock:

  • 4 days until the Utah Republican 3rd District nominating convention at Timpview High School (6/17/2017).

  • 4 days until the Utah Democratic State Convention at Weber State University (6/17/2017)

  • 63 days until the 2017 Utah primary election (8/15/2017)

  • 147 days until the 2017 election (11/7/2017)

  • 223 days until the opening day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (1/22/2018)

  • 268 days until the final day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (3/8/2018)

  • 511 days until the 2018 midterm elections (11/6/2018)

  • 1,240 days until the 2020 presidential election (11/3/2020)

Today’s political TL; DR –

  • SCOOP: Some of the Republican candidates vying for Rep. Jason Chaffetz‘s seat in Congress may file suit to force their way on the primary ballot if they’re eliminated at Saturday’s special nominating convention. Why? Because Chaffetz’s seat wasn’t empty when the candidates to replace him were picked [Utah Policy].
  • Provo Mayor John Curtis turned in more than 15,000 signatures on Monday, meaning he’ll likely win a place in August’s primary election. Republican Tanner Ainge‘s signatures also have passed muster, meaning the GOP primary election in the 3rd Congressional District could have 3 candidates [Utah Policy].
  • Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is recommending that the size of the Bears Ears National Monument be reduced from its current 1.35 million acres [Utah Policy, Deseret News, Tribune].
  • Salt Lake County Recorder Gary Ott, who is at the center of much speculation that his health is failing, may retire before the end of the year according to Ott’s girlfriend Karmen Sanone. At the same time, a new report surfaced of Ott being hospitalized in September of last year after he was found “extremely disoriented” in Sanone’s front yard [Deseret News, Tribune].
  • About 10,000 Utahns have signed a petition that’s part of a national lobbying effort to repeal Utah’s new drunk-driving law, which is the strictest in the nation [Tribune, Deseret News].
  • President Donald Trump has re-nominated John Huber to be Utah’s U.S. Attorney. Trump fired Huber and nearly 50 other U.S. attorneys in March, but Huber was appointed to stay on in the interim [Tribune].
  • The Utah State School Board will launch an investigation into skyrocketing fees collected by public schools in the state. There are also allegations that low-income families who qualify for fee waivers have been forced to pay anyway or have been publicly shamed for not paying [Tribune].

National headlines:

  • Must-see TV. Attorney General Jeff Sessions will testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday afternoon. Here’s what he will likely say about new revelations he may have met with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak more times than previously reported [Axios]. However, don’t expect Sessions to reveal anything about his conversations with Donald Trump [Politico].
  • Christopher Ruddy, an associate with President Donald Trump, says the president is considering firing special counsel Robert Mueller, who is probing Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election [Washington Post]. The revelation has caused a bit of a firestorm in Washington. But, there’s actually more smoke than fire here. Ruddy reportedly never actually spoke to Trump about firing Mueller, but was instead “reading between the lines” of what others said [Axios].
  • President Donald Trump holds a bizarre cabinet meeting where he made a number of specious claims about his accomplishments in office, then went around the room and had his cabinet members praise his leadership in front of the media [New York Times].
  • The Russian attack on the 2016 election was much more widespread than originally thought. There is evidence that Russian hackers penetrated the election systems of 39 states, which included attempts to alter voter data [Bloomberg].
  • This is terrifying. Cybersecurity officials have discovered malware that could take down power grids across the globe [Huffington Post].
  • The Senate has reached an agreement to stop President Donald Trump from lifting financial sanctions against Russia without Congress’ approval [The Hill]. 
  • Ivanka Trump says she has been surprised by the “viciousness” and “ferocity” of the attacks on her father since he took office in January [Fox News].
  • This is weird. Former NBA player Dennis Rodman is in North Korea trying to “open a door” to the reclusive country [Associated Press].

On this day in history:

  • 1900 – China’s Boxer Rebellion against foreigners and Chinese Christians erupted.
  • 1966 – The Supreme Court ruled in Miranda v. Arizona that criminal suspects must be informed of their constitutional rights prior to questioning by police.
  • 1967 – President Lyndon B. Johnson nominated Solicitor General Thurgood Marshall to become the first black justice on the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • 1971 – The New York Times began publishing the Pentagon Papers, a secret study of America’s involvement in Vietnam.
  • 1996 – An 81-day standoff ended as 16 members of the anti-government Freemen group surrendered to the FBI and left their Montana ranch.
  • 1997 – A jury voted unanimously to give Timothy McVeigh the death penalty for his role in the Oklahoma City bombing.