Today’s Headlines: The frenzied effort to try and keep Trump in office

"Stop the steal" protest in Washington on Jan. 6, 2021.
People protest the certification of the 2020 presidential election results in Washington on Jan. 6, 2021.
(Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)

By Laura Blasey and Amy Hubbard

Hello, it’s Friday, June 17, and today we’re leading with a special investigation by The Times’ Sarah Wire, who reports on efforts made after the 2020 presidential election to prove the election had been stolen. Sarah told us she worked on the project since early this year — poring through public records and never-before-seen documents, and conducting months of interviews. It boiled down to a “behind-the-scenes story,” she said, focused on the frenetic weeks between election day in 2020 and Jan. 6, 2021 — “how this operation to collect evidence of fraud came together.”

Here’s Sarah’s story and others you shouldn’t miss today:


Inside the MAGA world scramble to find evidence that the 2020 election was stolen


Days after the 2020 presidential election, before all votes were counted and Joseph R. Biden was declared the winner, cyber experts and analysts piled into suites at the Trump Hotel in Washington, D.C., and other hotel rooms in the area.

The plan was urgent: Crowdsource evidence of electoral fraud to secure a Trump victory with the assistance of his legal team and White House staff.

Weeks later, former Trump National Security Advisor Michael Flynn urged leaders of the effort to move to a more remote location, an isolated South Carolina plantation owned by conservative attorney L. Lin Wood. There, they planned weeks of lawsuits, attempts to access voting machines and how to convince lawmakers to reject key state election results, driven by a frantic mission whose goal was to keep Trump in office.


  • President Trump knew that asking Vice President Mike Pence to unilaterally overturn the 2020 presidential election was illegal but pressured him to do it anyway, the House committee investigating Jan. 6, 2021, argued, also making the case that Trump put Pence’s life in danger during the Capitol insurrection.

Top European leaders visited Kyiv

The leaders of the European Union’s three most influential countries arrived in Ukraine in one of the biggest displays of support for the beleaguered nation after four months of Russian assault.

The visit to Kyiv by French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi took place as criticism grew of Europe’s strategy in supporting Ukraine and after repeated pleas from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky for the West to deliver more and stronger weapons to aid his fighters. To blunt the criticism, the leaders quickly endorsed Ukraine’s candidacy to the European Union.

After the meetings, Macron urged the Russian blockade of Ukrainian ports be lifted to allow the transport of Ukraine’s large — and languishing — grain exports and condemned brutal Russian actions that had killed civilians.

Gascón’s policies may have led to reduced prison time for the man who went on to kill two cops

Justin Flores, who shot and killed two El Monte police officers, could have faced significantly more years in prison when he was last charged with a crime. But one of Los Angeles Dist. Atty. George Gascón’s most heavily criticized policies may have led to a significantly lower sentence, according to documents reviewed by The Times.


‘Whipping ass’ coins featuring a Haitian migrant are under investigation

The coins depict a Border Patrol agent on horseback grabbing a Haitian migrant. They mirror a Sept. 19 photo by Paul Ratje of AFP. Along the coin’s border is written: “Whipping ass since 1924.” U.S. Customs and Border Protection is investigating whether the coin and a similar one, which have been advertised online, were sold by anyone from the agency.

A compromise on a plastics ban has come under fire in the California Legislature. A ballot fight is likely

It appears increasingly likely California voters will get a chance to vote on a tough single-use plastics ban in November, after efforts to craft compromise legislation came under fire this week from groups supporting the ballot measure.

Environmental groups are divided over the compromise bill, which is aimed at restricting single-use plastics but doesn’t go as far as the measure headed to the California ballot.

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The State Community Colleges chief is set to resign. Chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley, a champion of equity and access for underserved students, announced he was stepping down after nearly six years at the helm of the nation’s largest two-year public college system amid rising academic achievement but declining enrollment.

Riverside County’s new supervisor districts diminish Latino voting power, a lawsuit says. The ACLU Foundation of Southern California, local advocacy group Inland Empire United and five residents filed the lawsuit. They’re alleging that the county’s new supervisor districts, adopted in December, violate state redistricting laws.

Ojai looks to allow new cannabis lounges for on-site consumption. The City Council this week signaled interest in moving forward with a proposal to allow three cannabis dispensaries in the city to open lounges where customers could smoke, vape or consume edibles.

USC’s trustees have elected the first woman to serve as the board’s chair. Suzanne Nora Johnson is a former Goldman Sachs executive with deep experience in running corporate and philanthropic boards. She succeeds developer Rick Caruso, who has formally stepped down.

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Kamala Harris unveiled an expansion of a postpartum health program for low-income moms. The vice president announced that a federal program that provided healthcare coverage for lower-income women for up to a year after they gave birth would expand to three additional states and Washington, D.C. The expansion relies on money from the $1.9-trillion stimulus law signed last year.

Detroit is honoring Vincent Chin, whose killing 40 years ago galvanized Asian Americans. Chin was beaten to death by two white men who never served jail time. Forty years later — and amid a rise in hate crimes against Asian Americans — Detroit has partnered with the Vincent Chin 40th Remembrance & Rededication Coalition on a four-day commemoration to honor civil rights efforts that began with Chin’s death.

Juneteenth as a paid holiday? Some states are stalling or saying no. Recognition of Juneteenth, the effective end of slavery in the U.S., gained traction after the police killing of George Floyd in 2020. But after an initial burst of action, the movement to have it recognized as an official holiday in the states has largely stalled.

COVID-19 deaths rose globally, reversing a five-week decline. The number of the disease’s fatalities reported globally increased by 4% last week, according to the World Health Organization. The United Nations health agency said there were 8,700 COVID-19 deaths last week, with a 21% jump in the Americas and a 17% increase in the Western Pacific.


Inside the radically transparent program training theater producers of color. When the pandemic brought the industry to a collective pause — and theater was ubiquitously criticized for its systemic upholding of white supremacy — Miranda Gohh founded Theatre Producers of Color, a 10-week, tuition-free educational initiative on the fundamentals of commercial producing.

Gloria Estefan channeled 44 years of marriage into a Latino-led “Father of the Bride.” HBO’s 2022 iteration finds Andy Garcia and Estefan playing parents on the verge of divorce who are preparing for their daughter’s wedding. Estefan recently spoke to The Times about the delicate balance of remaking a classic.


It’s really happening. Beyoncé announced that her highly anticipated seventh studio album, “Renaissance,” would be coming July 29. The release is set to arrive six years after her last studio album, “Lemonade,” came out. Then: Surprise! Out of the blue, Drake announced his new album would be released — last night. It’s called “Honestly, Nevermind.”

Ezra Miller’s verified Instagram account was deleted as more allegations arose. A verified Instagram account belonging to actor Ezra Miller is no longer on the platform after “The Flash” star allegedly mocked authorities about their whereabouts. Amid growing allegations of misconduct involving teens, court officers have been unable to locate Miller to serve a protective order.

“Cha Cha Real Smooth” is a charmer. Reviewer Jessica Kiang writes of the love story starring Dakota Johnson and the film’s director, Cooper Riaff: “As the movie dances right up to the conventions of this well-worn genre, then deftly slides (To the left! To the right!) to avoid them, you might just find yourself clapping along in spite of it all being terminally uncool. Uncool can be a lot of fun.”


Former SpaceX engineers built a robot that makes $8 pizza. It’s not rocket science, but it is pretty good. With slim labor costs and a chef that never eats, sleeps or takes a break, the team behind Stellar Pizza think they can take a bite out of the country’s $45-billion pizza market.

Revlon, beauty icon in a crowded market, has filed for bankruptcy protection. The 90-year-old multinational cosmetics company has been weighed down by rising debts, global supply chain disruptions and new rivals.

Elon Musk met directly with Twitter employees. It was his first meeting with staff since signing a $44-billion deal to acquire the social network. He told employees they shouldn’t worry about changes to their jobs once he took over — as long as their work is “exceptional,” that is.



The U.S. hasn’t figured out equality, but we sure are experts in the struggle. Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke with LGBTQ journalists about the “deadly serious” challenges to equality. But although the recent wave of anti-LGBTQ laws in the U.S. and abroad are setbacks, writes columnist LZ Granderson, this country is still among the world’s best examples of what LGBTQ equality can look like when we continue to fight.

The Senate gun safety deal may seem like small potatoes. It’s not. Gun lobbies — led by the National Rifle Assn. — have blocked even the tamest gun controls in recent years, warning that they’d start us down “the slippery slope” to more aggressive measures, writes columnist George Skelton. Let’s hope they’re right and this compromise gets timid Republicans comfortable with passing laws that protect schoolchildren from tormented killers armed with assault weapons — and abused women from sick gun-wielding partners.

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SoFi Stadium will host 2026 World Cup matches. The Inglewood venue was among sites selected to host the FIFA World Cup matches. The tournament will be shared by the U.S., Mexico and Canada and will be the largest in history with 48 teams and 80 games.

Hail Dave Roberts. On Wednesday night, the Dodgers manager permitted pitcher Tyler Anderson, who has a disconcerting medical history, to throw a career-high 123 pitches in pursuit of personal glory, writes columnist Dylan Hernández. How reckless. How irresponsible. How absolutely wonderful.

Sue Bird is retiring. The Seattle Storm star announced that the 2022 season would be her last. Bird is a four-time WNBA champion, 12-time All-Star and, at 41, the oldest player in the league.


Want to go to the MLB All-Star game at Dodger Stadium? Tickets for the July 19 game and the July 18 home run derby could put you back some. Prices range from $622 to almost $12,000.


Make berry jelly. Times cooking columnist Ben Mims delves into all sorts of jellies and his “lasting desire to make jelly cool again.” They’ve fallen out of favor, but berry jellies, he writes, can be jewel-toned and lovely to look at. “And if flavored correctly, they’ll taste balanced and complex and not all tooth-achingly sweet.”

Take a hike. The Wild tipped us off to a guided hike to well-loved Mt. Hollywood in Griffith Park. The classic route is a good way to meet members of the local hiking community, writes Mary Forgione. The distance is five miles round-trip with more than 1,000 feet of gain. Register in advance for the Saturday morning hike.

Plan ahead for the June 22 Book Club. “How to Raise an Antiracist” author Ibram X. Kendi will be on hand for the event at USC. He’ll talk with Times columnist Sandy Banks about his book, which is geared toward parents, teachers and other caregivers. Our colleague Anita Chabria wrote that the humanities professor “is a pre-eminent voice not just in understanding the deep roots of racism in our society but also the obligation of each of us to fight it on an individual level.” More info and tickets.


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Mountains and mesas near dark are in shades of indigo. A river trickles in the foreground, with a mirror-like surface.
The Grand Canyon, among competing users of Colorado River water, is seen from Hopi Point on the canyon’s south rim at dusk.
(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

The Colorado River: Where the West quenches its thirst. The subject is troubling — and the images gorgeous — in this photo essay from Times photojournalist Luis Sinco. As staffer Ian James writes in his intro: “To document the Colorado’s central role in life in the Southwest ... Sinco traveled throughout the watershed and captured images that reveal how this river — grand and majestic, yet fragile — is under growing strains and is being pushed beyond its limits. Here is what he saw through his lens.” Los Angeles Times

It’s not just inflation — it’s also the end of the millennial lifestyle subsidy. Three years ago, the Atlantic’s Derek Thompson coined the term the “millennial lifestyle subsidy” to describe the abundance of start-ups offering artificially low pricing for their services. Backed by venture capital, cheap Uber rides, Casper mattresses and Blue Apron meals helped shape the economy, even as the companies behind them hemorrhaged money. The changing economy has put the price throttling to an end. The Atlantic


On a multi-lane freeway, a white Bronco is followed by numerous police cars.
June 17, 1994: O.J. Simpson (not visible) and Al Cowlings in a white Ford Bronco being tailed by multiple police cruisers.
(Al Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Twenty-eight years ago today was “the day Los Angeles stopped.”

On June 17, 1994, police pursued a white Bronco containing murder suspect O.J. Simpson and driven by his friend and former pro football player Al Cowlings. The televised chase riveted viewers far and wide. The Times called it “one of the most surreal moments in the history of Los Angeles criminal justice.” On the 20th anniversary of the incident, The Times published a timeline of the day the chase occurred.

Among the events: Simpson’s lawyer Robert Shapiro receives a call from LAPD officials telling him to surrender his client. Later, Shapiro says his client is a fugitive. Police issue an arrest warrant for former pro football player Al Cowlings (driver of the Bronco). At a news conference, Simpson’s friend Robert Kardashian reads a letter from Simpson that includes the lines: “Don’t feel sorry for me. I’ve had a great life, great friends. Please think of the real O.J. and not this lost person.” The CHP pursues the Bronco across L.A. freeways. Simpson surrenders at his Brentwood home.


TV networks and cable news channels aired two hours of nonstop coverage of the low-speed chase. More than a dozen law enforcement vehicles followed the Bronco. Onlookers gathered at overpasses and ramps. Some people pulled their cars over and got out to wave.

Simpson stood trial in the killing of ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman. He was found not guilty.

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