Thursday, September 28

Trump backs unsealed warrant, House gets key inflation act: 5 Things podcast

On today’s episode of the 5 Things podcast: Trump says he won’t fight move to unseal Mar-a-Lago search warrant

The former president continues to say investigations against him are part of a ‘witch hunt.’ Plus, the Inflation Reduction Act moves to the House, reporter Jordan Mendoza looks at what’s next for falling gas prices, Deshaun Watson’s suspension appeal will be decided and money reporter Terry Collins explains which cities are best for fixer-upper homes.

Podcast:True crime, in-depth interviews and more USA TODAY podcasts right here.

Hit play on the player above to hear the podcast and follow along with the transcript below.This transcript was automatically generated, and then edited for clarity in its current form. There may be some differences between the audio and the text. This transcript was automatically generated, and then edited for clarity in its current form. There may be some differences between the audio and the text.

Taylor Wilson:

Buenos dias. I’m Taylor Wilson and this is 5 Things you need to know Friday, the 12th of August, 2022. Today, Trump says he won’t fight a move to unseal the Mar-a-Lago warrant, plus dropping gas prices and more .

Here are some of the top headlines:

  1. A man was shot and killed after attempting to breach security at an Ohio FBI office yesterday morning. Law enforcement officials said he was believed to be present at the January 6th Capitol riot and a USA TODAY review of online postings by an account in his name shows he recently posted angry reactions to the FBI raid on former president Donald Trump’s home.
  2. Vanessa Bryant left a federal courtroom yesterday as a witness testified about being shown photos of body parts from the 2020 helicopter crash that killed nine people, including her daughter, Gianna, and NBA legend, Kobe Bryant. This was day two of Vanessa Bryant’s civil trial against Los Angeles County. She accuses Sheriff’s Department and Fire Department employees of taking and sharing photos of her loved ones from the crash scene.
  3. And Mexico has raised its key interest rate to 8.5%. That’s the highest in 16 years.

Attorney General Merrick Garland said yesterday that the Justice Department had filed a motion to unseal the search warrant and property receipt from the search FBI agents carried out this week at former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home in Florida.

AG Merrick Garland:

The department filed the motion to make public the warrant and receipt in light of the former president’s public confirmation of the search, the surrounding circumstances and the substantial public interest in this matter.

Taylor Wilson:

On Monday, agents searched Trump’s residence and his safe. Sources familiar with the matter told USA TODAY that the move is part of an investigation related to Trump’s alleged removal of classified documents from the White House when he left office. He’s denied that accusation and said he’s the victim of a witch hunt, that’s despite Trump appointing himself FBI director Christopher Wray. For his part, Wray spoke out this week against Trump supporters making violent threats in the wake of the FBI search.

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Christopher Wray:

Any threats made against law enforcement, including the men and women of the FBI, as with any law enforcement agency, are deplorable and dangerous.

Taylor Wilson:

As for the unsealing request, Trump and his lawyers have until today before they formally decide whether or not to oppose the Justice Department’s request to unseal the search warrant and related materials. But Trump said last night, he will not oppose and said he actually encourages the release. We also now know that Trump was served a subpoena two months before the FBI search, with federal authorities seeking sensitive government documents. That gives new context to the Justice Department’s efforts to secure government records they believe the former president had stored there after his White House term had ended.

The Inflation Reduction Act heads to the House today, where it’ll likely get its final passage in Congress. The bill includes the biggest investment ever in the US to fight climate change and a cap on out of pocket prescription drug costs for seniors in Medicare. It also has billions toward federal deficits, along with a new corporate minimum tax. The legislation narrowly passed the Senate along party lines after a long session of debate and ultimately, Vice President Kamala Harris casting the tie breaking vote.

Vice President Kamala Harris:

The yeas are 50. The nays are 50. The Senate being equally divided, the Vice President votes in the affirmative.

Taylor Wilson:

Republicans have blasted the legislation as reckless spending.

As you heard yesterday on the show, gas prices have dropped below $4 a gallon on average nationwide. It’s the first time in five months that’s happened after a long period of price rises even reached $5 a gallon earlier this summer. Drivers, especially ones who worked professionally, hope this is just the beginning of lower prices. For-hire driver Glen Smith in Louisiana told the AP that things are better, but still too high.

Glen Smith:

I’m not tickled pink. I’m happier that it’s less than it was because there for a while, every two days I put $50 of gas in my car. Every two days. And I ain’t working that much. But it’s $12 to run to the airport and back to drop off in the city. $12 trip

Taylor Wilson:

So what direction will prices go now? Reporter Jordan Mendoza has more with producer PJ Elliott.

Jordan Mendoza:

It’s a huge turn from what we saw in June, and when the war in Ukraine first started because we were seeing prices just jump, jump, jump, but now they just keep dropping. And so now the national average is at $3.99, which is the first time it’s been under $4 since March. And one reason that we’re seeing that, there’s numerous factors that contribute to this, but the cost of oil has gone down tremendously since it peaked in June. We have a less demand in gas, and that probably is contributing to the fact that there are people seeing gas prices and then not wanting to use their cars. So that’s probably playing a part in the demand and also the Biden administration’s doing their best they can to release oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. So you mix all these together and we’re starting to see gas prices finally go down.

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PJ Elliott:

Are they going to continue to drop?

Jordan Mendoza:

When you ask experts, it’s the hardest question for them to answer because there is no clear cut answer. If you would’ve asked them this question about, maybe two months ago, they’re going to say prices could probably go up to $6 over a gallon of gas. There’s really no clear answer. And while for the time being it looks like prices could continue to keep dropping, we’re going to be entering hurricane season. And that’s where a lot of oil refineries are at. That’s going to be playing a major part into whether these prices can continue to go down or they go back up. So is there really a clear cut answer? No, but if things, you have to sway one way or the other, they’re trending in a good direction for consumers.

PJ Elliott:

So let’s talk areas for a second. Where are they the most expensive and where are they the cheapest?

Jordan Mendoza:

yeah. So gas, the most expensive on the West Coast. And it’s always been, the answer’s been California has the most expensive gas, but actually now it’s Hawaii. They are just a cent over California. Hawaii’s at $5.39 and California’s at $5.38. And a lot of the West Coast states, you’re still seeing it with the most expensive gas, where the cheapest gas you’re going to find is actually going to be in Texas. Texas is averaging at $3.49 and a lot of the surrounding states around it, Southeastern states like Georgia and we have some Midwestern states like Oklahoma and Arkansas and things like that. So Midwest, Southeast is where you’re going to find cheapest gas, but West Coast you’re going to be paying a lot more than what the national average still is.

Quarterback Deshaun Watson is scheduled to start today’s Cleveland Browns’ preseason opener, but that depends on whether a decision is made in the NFL’s appeal of his six game suspension for personal conduct policy violations. Though, the decision could mean an even longer suspension for Watson, something Commissioner Roger Goodell is pushing for. Disciplinary Officer Sue L Robinson, an independent arbitrator chosen together by the league and players union, handed Watson a six game suspension after a disciplinary hearing in June. Watson’s discipline comes from more than two dozen allegations of sexual misconduct or sexual assault during massage appointments by women hired by him.

Are you possibly looking to buy a fixer upper home instead of one ready to move into? Producer PJ Elliott and Money Reporter Terry Collins have a list of the top US cities for fixer uppers and how much you could save.

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Terry Collins:

Well, if you’re in the cities of Milwaukee, Philadelphia, Detroit, Memphis, Baltimore, Dallas, Miami, Fresno, California, if you live in those areas, those metropolitan areas, you might stand the best chance of paying a very low price for a house that’s called a fixer upper, that may need a lot of repair.

PJ Elliott:

So what is the cost difference between the average of a house that’s ready to go, ready to move into and one of the fixer uppers and how much does it cost to renovate a home?

Terry Collins:

Well, the mean cost of a fixer upper home in the US is about 225,000. And so with the average price of a new home ranging between, depending on where you live, starting somewhere between maybe the high 300,000s to 400,000s and maybe even higher. It could be a significant difference. So the 225,000 is about 45% cheaper than turnkey homes in cities that are about the same size. So think of it in terms of, if you’re in Detroit, you could get a fixer upper home that may cost maybe somewhere between 150 to 200,000 compared to buying a new home that could be double that, think of the savings you may make . And then put into, maybe some repairs that may be maybe a fraction or a half of that. You’re probably saving a lot more money than what you anticipated. It’s within your budget.

PJ Elliott:

Are there any other reasons why people might go for the fixer upper rather than homes ready to go on the market?

Terry Collins:

I think it might be possible just money, just saving money. And if you are interested in that, maybe you could also maybe want to do it for an investment purposes. You know what I mean? Go buy a fixer upper, get it in good enough shape to be re-sold on the market. In some cases you may be able to double what you paid for and recover the cost that way, and then maybe make some sort of a profit. Most of the homes on StorageCafe’s list of top cities that low cost fixer uppers are dominated by blue collar working class cities. And that’s not so much a coincidence because when you look at those areas, working class people, everyone needs a home. And so whether you’re trying to find something that’s brand new or something that may need a lot of attention, the market is pretty much cooling, but at the same time, new and used houses are still pretty expensive.

Taylor Wilson:

Thanks for listening to 5 Things. You can find us seven days a week right here, wherever you’re listening right now. Thanks to PJ Elliott for his great work on the show, and I’m back tomorrow with more than 5 Things from USA TODAY.

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