At the start of 2023, a lot of people expected politics to be a bit stale, but it ended up being anything but boring.
Let's start with one major story – the Trump indictments.
In April, Donald Trump became the first former president to face a felony indictment.
"Earlier this afternoon, Donald Trump was arraigned on a New York Supreme Court indictment returned by a Manhattan grand jury on 34 felony counts of falsifying business records," Manhattan district attorney Alvin Bragg said after Trump's arraignment.
Those 34 felony charges are linked to alleged hush money payments, but that case was just the beginning.
The second indictment came in Florida where he faces 40 counts related to classified documents found at his Mar-a-Lago residence.
On Aug. 1 Trump was indicted in Washington D.C. on four counts related to the January 6, 2021, insurrection. And two weeks later he and 18 others were indicted in Fulton County, Georgia, for attempting to overturn the 2020 election results.
For Congress, 2023 was the least productive year in decades. But there were plenty of other headlines. The House held two speaker elections and both were unprecedented. In January, it took four days and 15 ballots to select Rep. Kevin McCarthy. Then, after the first-ever motion to vacate, all other House business was on hold for three weeks until Republicans settled on Rep. Mike Johnson as the new speaker.
Major headline number three brings us to wars overseas.
All year long, the United States has been supporting Ukraine in its war against Russia. That led to an unprecedented visit from President Joe Biden, who spent nearly 10 hours on a train to secretly travel to Kyiv.
Then in October, Hamas launched a brutal attack against Israel. President Biden and other leaders quickly condemned the attack. And despite strong bipartisan support in Congress, lawmakers did not approve emergency aid for Israel before going home for the holidays.
The judicial branch also made its mark on 2023. In June, the justices handed down two major decisions. One overturned affirmative action and ended the consideration of race in college admissions. The other blocked President Biden's student loan forgiveness plan, dealing a blow to millions of borrowers across the country.
With the Trump court cases proceeding, more major Supreme Court decisions expected and the upcoming election, 2024 is on track to be another headline-making year in politics.
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