Today’s News Bits (Updated)

So far today: George Santos has been expelled. An appeals court ruled that Trump can be sued for inciting the January 6 riot. And Sandra Day O’Connor died.

Yesterday we learned that Israel had been sitting on Hamas’s October 7 plan (although they didn’t know the date) for over a year but wasn’t taking it seriously. I liked this part:

Then, in July, just three months before the attacks, a veteran analyst with Unit 8200, Israel’s signals intelligence agency, warned that Hamas had conducted an intense, daylong training exercise that appeared similar to what was outlined in the blueprint.

But a colonel in the Gaza division brushed off her concerns, according to encrypted emails viewed by The Times.

“I utterly refute that the scenario is imaginary,” the analyst wrote in the email exchanges. The Hamas training exercise, she said, fully matched “the content of Jericho Wall.”

“It is a plan designed to start a war,” she added. “It’s not just a raid on a village.”

Sounds like.  If only a man had been the one to report this, huh? Maybe lives would have been saved. And I’m a bit surprised I haven’t heard anything about “October 7 Truth” claiming that Benjamin Netanyahu planned the whole thing so he could bomb Gaza. Give it time.

Anyway, today Israel predictably called off the “pause” and started bombing Gaza again.  Gotta move that story about the botched intelligence off the front page.

Yesterday an appeals court reinstated Judge Engoron’s gag order in the New York finance fraud trial. Trump responded by posting lies about Judge Engoron’s wife. She is not covered in the gag order, although she probably should be. I hope she’s keeping safe.

Oh, and this: “Donald Trump has shared a post on his Truth Social website, calling for Capitol Police officers who ‘beat the hell out of innocent J6 [January 6] protesters’ to face criminal charges.”

For fun: Yahoo News compares Melania Trump’s and Dr. Jill Biden’s White House Christmas decorations. The Biden theme is “definitely less ‘human sacrifice’ and more ‘holiday joy.'”

Liz Cheney’s book will be released December 5. Lots of advance copies are in circulation already, so quotes are turning up in the news. My favorite so far:

As the House went into lockdown on January 6, “Jim Jordan approached me,” Cheney writes, saying, “We need to get the ladies off the aisle,” and, extending his hand, told her, “Let me help you.” To which Cheney responded “Get away from me. You f—ing did this.”

More could yet happen today. We’ll see.

Update: Here we go.

A federal judge on Friday rejected claims by former President Donald J. Trump that he enjoyed absolute immunity from criminal charges accusing him of seeking to reverse the 2020 election, slapping down his argument that the indictment should be tossed out because it was based on actions he took while he was in office.

The ruling by the judge, Tanya S. Chutkan, was her first denying one of Mr. Trump’s many motions to dismiss the election interference case, which is set to go trial in Federal District Court in Washington in about three months.

Mr. Trump’s lawyers had expected the immunity motion to fail. They have been planning for weeks to use the defeat to begin a Hail Mary strategy to put off the impending trial. They intend to appeal Judge Chutkan’s ruling all the way to the Supreme Court if they can, hoping that even if they eventually lose, their challenges will eat up time and keep the case from going in front of a jury until after the 2024 election.

Mr. Trump’s lawyers filed their immunity claims in October in a set of breathtaking court papers that maintained he could not be held accountable for any official actions he took as president, even after a grand jury had returned a four-count criminal indictment against him.