Credit score…Bryan R. Smith/Agence France-Presse — Getty Photos

The Democratic Nationwide Conference kicks off Monday, and the uncertainties round it are legion.

Can a digital political conference unfolding within the midst of a pandemic be compelling? How will the audio system inject power into their performances after they haven’t any viewers cheering them on? Will the American individuals tune in, or is everybody sick of their screens?

Listed here are 5 questions to think about — round conference logistics and extra conventional political points alike — heading right into a essential week for Democrats.

Can the Democrats unite their social gathering — and win over any Republicans? Regardless of the extraordinary circumstances of this yr’s occasion, extra conventional conference imperatives — energizing the social gathering and fascinating swing voters — stay, too. Monday will supply a vivid illustration of the broad coalition the Democrats are hoping to assemble.

Michelle Obama, the previous first woman, is the headliner, however the lineup additionally consists of each Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s progressive major rival, and former Gov. John Kasich, Republican of Ohio.

As Mr. Biden seeks to excite skeptical liberals whereas reaching out to moderates disillusioned with President Trump, Monday will show how Democrats hope to string that needle.

Will the know-how cooperate? When Mr. Biden held a “digital city corridor” occasion in March, issues didn’t go precisely as deliberate. Since then, America has settled in to speaking by way of video, however the know-how dangers on the conference are actual. Will the satellite tv for pc feeds maintain? Will outstanding contributors by chance mute — or unmute — themselves? Will anybody be interrupted whereas recording at house by well-meaning guests, “BBC dad”-style?

The distant model of the conference, nevertheless, additionally brings alternative. Audio system have been inspired to hunt out attention-grabbing places for his or her backdrops. Who will declare probably the most iconic spot?

Can the candidates create any drama? Some politicians — Mr. Biden chief amongst them — thrive off viewers response. How will he and different audio system construct to crescendos and electrify viewers when there is no such thing as a enthralled crowd cheering them on?

This previous week, when Mr. Biden debuted along with his operating mate, Senator Kamala Harris, they’d solely the cameras and a gaggle of journalists to wave to.

Will any new faces emerge? Conventions supply an unmatched platform for up-and-coming politicians to go away an impression in entrance of a nationwide viewers — simply ask Barack Obama, whose keynote handle on the 2004 conference was a pivotal second in his speedy ascent from state senator to U.S. senator to president.

Even in a digital format, there may be nonetheless loads of alternative to get on individuals’s radar throughout the nation. Who will benefit from that probability?

How will Trump reply? One factor is definite: The conference will place lots of consideration on lots of Democratic politicians who will not be keen on Mr. Trump. And Mr. Trump is unlikely to be restrained in his commentary subsequent week.

Probably the most highly effective speeches of the 2016 Democratic conference got here from Khizr Khan, the daddy of a Muslim American soldier who was killed whereas serving in Iraq. Mr. Khan denounced Mr. Trump’s marketing campaign message, and Mr. Trump proceeded to assault Mr. Khan and his spouse, igniting a political firestorm. Will an identical dynamic play out subsequent week?

Credit score…Matt Rourke/Related Press

The Postal Service has warned states that it might not be capable to meet their deadlines for delivering last-minute mail-in ballots, additional fueling the conflict over the brand new postmaster basic’s dealing with of vote-by-mail operations as President Trump continues to rail in opposition to the apply.

In letters despatched in July to all 50 states and the District of Columbia, Thomas J. Marshall, the overall counsel for the Postal Service, instructed most of them that “sure deadlines for requesting and casting mail-in ballots are incongruous with the Postal Service’s supply requirements.”

As many states flip to vote-by-mail operations to hold out elections safely amid the coronavirus pandemic, Mr. Marshall urged these with tight schedules to require that residents request ballots at the very least 15 days earlier than an election — quite than the shorter durations at present allowed underneath the legal guidelines of many states.

“This mismatch creates a threat that ballots requested close to the deadline underneath state legislation is not going to be returned by mail in time to be counted,” Mr. Marshall wrote.

Many states have lengthy allowed voters to request a mail poll near the election, however the Postal Service advised that the big quantity of voting by mail at a time of widespread supply delays meant that states could be higher off constructing extra time into their programs.

Mr. Marshall mentioned Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon and Rhode Island should have no bother, based mostly on their legal guidelines, whereas he requested extra data from Vermont and Washington, D.C. The opposite 45 states, he instructed them within the letters, face the chance that the timetables set by their legal guidelines might depart some voters unable to get their ballots postmarked by Election Day or obtained by election boards in time to be counted.

In response to the warning letters, some states, together with Pennsylvania and Michigan, have known as for extensions on counting late-arriving ballots within the November election.

Credit score…Valerie Macon/Agence France-Presse — Getty Photos

The Postal Service’s inspector basic mentioned Friday she had opened an investigation into complaints that main Democrats have filed in opposition to the postmaster basic, Louis DeJoy, a Republican megadonor and ally of President Trump, who has begun a sequence of cuts to the company that Democrats say have slowed down the supply of mail and endanger vote-by-mail operations.

“We’re in receipt of the congressional request and are conducting a physique of labor to handle issues raised,” a spokeswoman for the U.S. Postal Service inspector basic, Tammy L. Whitcomb, mentioned.

Senator Elizabeth Warren, Democrat of Massachusetts, Consultant Carolyn Maloney, Democrat of New York and others final week requested the inspector basic examine “all current staffing and coverage modifications put in place” by Mr. DeJoy.

“We’ve to see the blatant assaults on our Postal Service from Donald Trump and Louis DeJoy for what they’re: An try to silence the individuals and undermine our democracy,” Ms. Warren wrote on Twitter.

She mentioned the inspector basic was “investigating all facets of our request,” including: “I’ll maintain utilizing each within the toolbox to cease Trump & DeJoy from sabotaging the USPS.”

Mr. DeJoy has argued that he’s modernizing the money-losing company to make it extra environment friendly. Amongst his strikes have been cuts to extra time for postal employees, restrictions on transportation and the discount of the amount and use of mail-processing tools.

Credit score…Al Drago for The New York Instances

President Trump’s re-election marketing campaign has spent tens of tens of millions of {dollars} on tv adverts attacking his Democratic opponent, Joseph R. Biden Jr. Whereas their content material varies tremendously, the techniques used stay fixed: selectively edited remarks and exaggerations.

The New York Instances reviewed 22 adverts from the Trump marketing campaign which have aired since June and which have been tracked by Promoting Analytics. We discovered that 14 of these adverts contained clearly deceptive claims or movies. Right here’s are some examples.

  • Exaggerations about legal justice points: All through a lot of June and July, the adverts centered on activists’ calls to defund the police, with hyperbolic warnings in regards to the ramifications. Two spots featured individuals calling 911 solely to be related to voice recordings saying nobody is there to reply their name, with one spot claiming “violent crime has exploded.” However that’s largely false. In contrast with the identical time interval final yr, violent crime and property crime have decreased by June in massive American cities this yr, although murders have elevated.

  • Distorting Mr. Biden’s positions: A number of Trump marketing campaign adverts take feedback Mr. Biden has made out of context to falsely declare he helps defunding the police, closely elevating taxes on middle-class households and eliminating constitution colleges. The previous vp has repeatedly mentioned that he doesn’t assist calls to defund the police solely, however that federal grants to police departments ought to incentivize reform efforts and greatest practices whereas particular choices about funding needs to be made at an area degree. He helps persevering with federal funding for high-performing public constitution colleges, and whereas his tax proposals would generate a further $four trillion in federal income over the following decade, the wealthiest high 1 % of taxpayers would bear about three-quarters of tax will increase.

  • Private assaults by misleading enhancing: The Trump marketing campaign has taken photographs at Mr. Biden’s psychological acuity by deceptively edited movies and pictures. One advert and its Spanish model name Mr. Biden “clearly diminished” and embody a clip of Mr. Biden saying, “Typically I get up and assume it’s 1920.”

    Whereas Mr. Biden has been vulnerable to gaffes on the marketing campaign path, that particular remark is just not an instance of 1. Moderately, it’s how Mr. Biden has often expressed dismay over the present social and political ambiance. “Some mornings that I get up, I ponder whether or not we live in 2020 or 1920,” he mentioned in January in Texas. “I hear the voices of intolerance singing the refrain of hate, intolerance.”

Credit score…Erin Schaff/The New York Instances

As Joseph R. Biden Jr. introduced that he had chosen Kamala Harris of California as his vice-presidential operating mate, web trolls started working.

Since then, false and deceptive details about Ms. Harris has spiked on-line and on TV. The exercise has jumped from two dozen mentions per hour throughout a current week to over 3,200 per hour in the previous couple of days, based on the media insights firm Zignal Labs, which analyzed international tv broadcasts and social media.

A lot of that rise is fueled by fervent supporters of President Trump and adherents of the extremist conspiracy motion QAnon, in addition to by the far left, based on a New York Instances evaluation of probably the most widespread falsehoods about Ms. Harris. On Thursday, Mr. Trump himself inspired some of the persistent falsehoods, a racist conspiracy concept that Ms. Harris is just not eligible for the vice presidency or presidency as a result of her dad and mom had been immigrants.

“Sadly, this wave of misinformation was predictable and inevitable,” mentioned Melissa Ryan, chief government of Card Methods, a consulting agency that researches disinformation.

Most of the narratives are inaccurate accusations that first surged final yr throughout Ms. Harris’s marketing campaign to develop into the Democratic presidential nominee.

Video

transcript

transcript

Trump Avoids QAnon Conspiracy Idea Query

President Trump shunned disavowing the QAnon conspiracy concept when requested about it by an Related Press reporter. The F.B.I. has known as it a possible home terrorism risk.

“I needed to ask you: You congratulated Marjorie Taylor Greene in a tweet, you known as her ‘a future Republican star,’ Inexperienced has been a proponent of the QAnon conspiracy concept. She mentioned it’s one thing that needs to be, could be value listening to. Do you agree along with her on that?” “Effectively, she did very effectively within the election, she received by rather a lot she was extremely popular. She comes from an incredible state. And she or he had an incredible victory. So completely I did congratulate her, please go forward, go forward —” ”— Particularly on QAnon and her resolution to embrace that conspiracy concept do you agree along with her on that?” “That was the query.” “Go forward, please?”

Video player loading
President Trump shunned disavowing the QAnon conspiracy concept when requested about it by an Related Press reporter. The F.B.I. has known as it a possible home terrorism risk.Credit scoreCredit score…Tom Brenner for The New York Instances

President Trump on Friday refused to disavow the QAnon conspiracy concept, avoiding questions from a reporter about whether or not he agreed with Marjorie Taylor Greene, the Republican nominee for a Home seat in Georgia, in her assist of a motion that has been labeled a possible home terrorism risk by the F.B.I.

Ms. Greene is a proponent of a convoluted pro-Trump conspiracy concept involving a “deep state” of child-molesting Satanist traitors who’re plotting in opposition to the president.

At a information briefing on Friday, an Related Press reporter, Jill Colvin, requested the president whether or not he agreed with Ms. Greene’s assertion that the conspiracy concept was one thing “value listening to.”

“She received by rather a lot,” he responded. “She comes from an incredible state.”

When pressed once more by Ms. Colvin about whether or not he agreed particularly along with her assist of the QAnon conspiracy concept, Mr. Trump didn’t reply the query, and known as on one other reporter.

Earlier, on Twitter, Mr. Trump endorsed Ms. Greene, calling her a “future Republican Star” and “an actual WINNER!”

Mr. Trump has lengthy used his fame and platform to amplify conspiracy theories and undermine his political enemies by muddying the waters relating to details. A day earlier, Mr. Trump appeared to start elevating the lie that Kamala Harris, who was born in California, was not eligible for nationwide workplace as a result of her dad and mom had been immigrants.

“I heard it as we speak that she doesn’t meet the necessities,” Mr. Trump mentioned of Ms. Harris, selling a false assertion from behind the rostrum within the White Home briefing room.

Credit score…Erin Schaff/The New York Instances

A former F.B.I. lawyer intends to plead responsible after he was charged with falsifying a doc as a part of a cope with prosecutors conducting their very own legal inquiry of the Russia investigation, based on his lawyer and court docket paperwork made public on Friday.

The lawyer, Kevin Clinesmith, 38, who was assigned to the Russia investigation, plans to confess that he altered an e-mail from the C.I.A. that investigators relied on to hunt renewed court docket permission in 2017 for a secret wiretap on the previous Trump marketing campaign adviser Carter Web page. Mr. Clinesmith’s lawyer mentioned he had made a mistake whereas making an attempt to make clear details for a colleague.

Mr. Clinesmith had written texts expressing opposition to President Trump, who instantly promoted the plea settlement as proof that the Russia investigation was illegitimate and politically motivated. He opened a White Home information convention by calling Mr. Clinesmith “corrupt” and the deal “only the start.”

Mr. Trump has lengthy been blunt about seeing the persevering with investigation by the prosecutor analyzing the sooner inquiry, John H. Durham, as political payback whose fruits he want to see revealed within the weeks earlier than the election.

Prosecutors didn’t reveal any proof in charging paperwork that Mr. Clinesmith’s actions had been a part of any broader conspiracy to undermine Mr. Trump. And the Justice Division’s impartial inspector basic, Michael E. Horowitz, has discovered that legislation enforcement officers had adequate cause to open the Russia investigation, and located no proof that they acted with political bias.