Special counsel Robert Mueller wants ex-Trump campaign boss Paul Manafort imprisoned for up to 24 years
- Special counsel Robert Mueller urged a federal judge in Virginia on Friday to sentence ex-Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort to between about 19 years to 24 years in prison.
- Manafort was convicted at trial last Aug. 21 in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia of eight felony counts, which included tax fraud, failure to file a report of a foreign bank and financial accounts, and bank fraud.
- Manafort already is due to be sentenced March 13 in a related criminal case in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. He pleaded guilty in that case in September, days before a scheduled trial, to two counts of conspiracy.
- Earlier this week, the judge in the Washington case, Amy Berman Jackson, said that Manafort had lied several times to the FBI, the special counsel's office and a grand jury.
Donald Trump Says Shinzo Abe Nominated Him for Nobel Peace Prize
- While President Donald Trump was giving a news conference Friday morning to announce a national emergency at the southern border, he took a brief diversion to announce a bit of international news: that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had allegedly written a “beautiful” letter nominating Trump for a Nobel Prize.
- This isn’t the first time Trump has talked about deserving the Nobel Prize, for which 18 Republican Congresspeople announced they nominated him last spring for his efforts to denuclearize North Korea.
- The Washington Post reported that the nomination didn’t make him eligible for the 2018 Nobel Prize since the deadline had passed on January 31.
- Although Trump had reportedly been nominated for the prize on two occasions before the deadline passed, the Post wrote that director of the Norwegian Nobel Institute Olav Njolstad said both were fraudulent and dismissed from consideration.
Pelosi and Schumer say Trump is trying to 'shred the Constitution' with emergency declaration
- The party signaled a protracted fight — both on Capitol Hill and in the court system — to challenge the president's executive action.
- Even before Trump declared the national emergency, he sparked concerns about overreach of executive authority.
- Both Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., will not try to block Trump's executive action.
- Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., said, "Extraconstitutional executive actions are wrong, no matter which party does them." In a statement Friday, Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., "I don't believe a national emergency declaration is the solution" for border security.
- With McConnell supporting the emergency declaration and Republicans holding 53 of 100 Senate seats, it is unclear whether lawmakers could block it.
- Rep. Mark Meadows, a North Carolina Republican and another Trump confidant, argued Congress would lack the votes to override the president's veto.
Former Mass. Gov. Bill Weld Is the First Republican Officially Trying to Challenge Trump in 2020
- Former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld announced Friday that he is launching a presidential exploratory committee, becoming the first Republican to officially look into challenging Trump.
- Not only does Trump enjoy a high approval rating among Republicans, but also Weld himself only recently rejoined the party.
- After serving two terms as the Republican governor of Massachusetts in the early ‘90s, Weld later became New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson’s running mate on the Libertarian Party ticket in the 2016 presidential election.
- Weld reportedly plans to return to his Republican roots, however, running on an agenda of fiscal responsibility.
- While Weld is the first in the GOP to explicitly state his plans to challenge the president, he isn’t the first to express such sentiments.
- As recently as last November, reports suggested that former Ohio GOP Gov. John Kasich is also “very seriously” considering running against Trump in 2020.
The power and pitfalls of the young progressive women of the Democratic Party
- Washington (CNN) - The progressive, Trump-resistant first-term Democrats in the House of Representatives -- a younger, female-dominated, and more racially diverse class -- have wielded their new powers with relish.
- The pattern is a familiar one for the most vocal members of a brand-new, highly motivated majority -- conservative Republicans seized their moment in similar ways when they came to power eight years earlier.
- Ocasio-Cortez's haphazard rollout of her "Green New Deal" environmental proposal, her viral line of questioning about campaign-finance laws, and her declaration of victory as Amazon pulls out of its plans to expand to Queens have all kept her name and her agenda at the forefront of the debate in Washington.
- Many have taken the opportunities in committee hearings to push their agendas and challenge the Trump administration through big moments designed to grab attention, go viral, and earn plaudits from like-minded liberals.
Lawmakers brace for Trump's next move on auto tariffs
- Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley warned Trump against pursuing tariffs in a floor speech Thursday, pointing to the potential for lost jobs and price increases for American consumers.
- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a recent press conference that she had not yet read the House version of Toomey's legislation, "but I do support reclaiming some of Congress' -- it is Congress' prerogative." Her comments came as Grassley has signaled his intent to address the issue in the Senate.
- Virginia Democratic Rep. Don Beyer -- a free-trade voice on the House Ways and Means committee who is one of seven Democratic cosponsors of the lower chamber's version of Toomey's bill -- argued Trump's looming threat to impose auto tariffs could spur action from a Congress that has been reluctant to confront him on the issue.
Republicans pay the price for Trump's wall crusade
- Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell did manage to avert the political disaster of a new government shutdown by securing a pledge Thursday that President Donald Trump will sign a federal funding bill that lacks money for his wall.
- A declaration of a national emergency to bypass Congress and reprogram funds already allocated by lawmakers would represent Trump's most striking assault yet on the system of constitutional order that he is sworn to preserve, protect and defend.
- Thursday's drama included a painful concession for McConnell, who was forced to back off his previous opposition to declaring a national emergency in order to get Trump to sign the funding bill.
- Pelosi is likely to invoke a clause in the 1976 National Emergencies Act that permits Congress to seek to terminate a President's declaration that McConnell appears to have no power to stop from coming to the floor in the Senate.
House and Senate approve deal to avert shutdown, sending measure to White House
- After weeks of uncertainty over whether the President would accept a bill that did not meet his demand for $5.7 billion in border wall funding, the White House announced on Thursday that the President would sign the compromise legislation, but will also take executive action in a bid to get the money the administration wants for border security.
- When the President signs the spending measure into law, it will bring to a close weeks of fighting between congressional Democrats and the White House and Republican lawmakers over border security, a dispute that triggered the longest government shutdown in US history when funding for roughly a quarter of the federal government lapsed as a result of the standoff in December.
Republicans warn Trump against decision to declare emergency to build border wall
- But on Thursday, McConnell said that Trump supported the bill and he had "indicated" that he would support the President's national emergency declaration.
- That announcement paved the way for the Senate to overwhelmingly pass a bill that funds 25% of the federal government, including around $1.375 billion for barriers, which is much lower than Trump's push for $5 billion to fund the border wall.
- If the President proceeds with the declaration, it'll likely be challenged in court and by Democrats in Congress, as critics have argued that Trump cannot use the national emergency authority to free up taxpayer funds and build the border wall he has long promised to his political supporters.
- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said "the President's fearmongering" doesn't make it an emergency.
Congress passes the border security compromise to avert another government shutdown
- WASHINGTON — The border security proposal, along with the rest of the necessary funding legislation, passed both the House and Senate on Thursday and will head to President Trump's desk.
- It passed the House with a tally of 300-128, with some Republicans dissenting over what they believe is insufficient funding for physical barriers along the United States-Mexico border.
- Because Trump also announced he would be supplementing the border security compromise with national emergency declaration to add funding for physical barriers along the US-Mexico border, Republicans are already fretting about the legal challenges such action will face while Democrats are calling it an abuse of power.
- But Republican leadership in both the House and Senate are holding firm in their support of an emergency declaration.
- Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell informed Trump he would support the emergency declaration upon announcing it on the Senate floor.