Hurricane Idalia made landfall this week, hitting Florida and making its way up to Georgia and the Carolinas. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis stepped away from his presidential campaign to return home and assure constituents. President Joe Biden will also head to the state Saturday.
Former President Donald Trump continues to make headlines, this week for developments in his Georgia case. Trump pleaded not guilty to charges in his fourth indictment, waiving his right to a hearing and avoiding appearing in Georgia for an arraignment.
Here’s what else you need to know from the week in politics:
Mitch McConnell froze — again
The Senate minority leader was in the middle of a press conference in his home state of Kentucky Wednesday, when he abruptly paused until an aide stepped in.
This was the second time in just weeks McConnell, 81, had such an incident. In July, the senator had to be escorted out of a Capitol press conference with his Republican colleagues. That and his latest scare Wednesday have raised concerns about McConnell’s health.
McConnell’s doctor cleared him to continue his schedule Thursday, saying his “occasional lightheadedness” was due to dehydration and a past concussion.
DeSantis, Biden head for Florida this weekend
After Idalia hit Florida Wednesday as a category 3 hurricane, President Biden announced his plans to visit the state Saturday.
Florida’s governor, Ron DeSantis, who had been in Iowa for his presidential campaign, returned to his home state last weekend. DeSantis said in briefings ahead of the storm and after it made landfall that his administration was prepared to respond to the damage and effects.
“We’re going to do whatever we need to do to help these local communities get back on their feet,” DeSantis said.
This is the second Florida tragedy the governor had to address this week — DeSantis appeared at a vigil Sunday for the three Black victims of a racially motivated shooting in Jacksonville the day prior. He was met with loud boos from the crowd as he spoke there.
Proud Boys sentenced for Jan. 6 charges
Proud Boys members Joseph Biggs and Zachary Rehl were sentenced Thursday to 17 and 15 years in prison, respectively, for seditious conspiracy to overturn the 2020 election and other charges.
Biggs, Rehl and three other members of the far-right group appeared before a judge in Washington, D.C. this week to receive their sentences, after being convicted back in May.
Dominic Pezzola, who was the first to breach the Capitol on January 6, 2021 after smashing a Senate window with a police shield, was sentenced Friday to 10 years in prison. U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly referred to Pezzola as the “tip of the spear” for allowing other rioters to enter the building that day.
“The reality is you smashed that window in and let people begin to stream into the Capitol building and threaten the lives of our lawmakers,” Kelly told Pezzola. “It’s not something that I ever dreamed I would have seen in our country.”
Trump pleads not guilty in Georgia case
The former president will not appear in an arraignment set for next Wednesday, after entering his plea of not guilty through a court filing.
The case in Georgia is Trump’s fourth indictment and accuses him of trying to overturn the state’s election results in 2020.
Others among Trump’s 18 co-defendants have also already entered their pleas and waived their right to a hearing, including his campaign lawyer Sidney Powell.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Week in politics, Trump pleads not guilty, Biden, DeSantis in Florida