"Where you can find almost anything with A Click A Pick!"
Go to content

Past US Headline News March 2019 Page 4

March 2019: Get the latest monthly headline news from multiple news sources and news links. Get real facts, real news from major news originations.  

By Brooke Seipel
The Trump administration has instructed border agents running an asylum program to target Spanish speakers and Latin American migrants, according to memos obtained by The Associated Press. The program was launched in late January to handle the cases of immigrants seeking asylum in the U.S. and initially only was applicable to those turning themselves in at border crossings. According to The Associated Press, a memo from a top Border Patrol official says the program expanded last week to include those illegally crossing the border. The memo also reportedly laid out instructions on who to allow through the traditional asylum process and who to send back to Mexico. Those allowed to go through traditional processes include LGBT migrants, pregnant women, Mexican asylum seekers, children traveling alone, and those in medical distress, according to the AP. Another directive in the memo reportedly orders border officials to check if those seeking asylum are convicted of any felonies and to notify Mexico at least 12 hours prior to their return. Critics have pointed out that the program's guidelines almost solely target Central Americans. A second memo sent to top Border Patrol officials on Tuesday reportedly revealed that the agency is being pressured to employ the program as much as possible. Another memo obtained by the AP showed that the program is being expanded to include people who cross the border illegally between crossing points. The news of the reported memos comes as the southwest border saw a significant jump last month in apprehensions and denials of people attempting to enter the United States.

By John Bowden
President Trump's former longtime attorney Michael Cohen allegedly directed his attorney to contact Trump's lawyers about the possibility of obtaining a pardon, Cohen's attorney and spokesman said Wednesday. Cohen's attorney, Lanny Davis, told The Wall Street Journal late Wednesday that Cohen had asked his former attorney, Stephen Ryan, last spring to inquire about a possible pardon. Davis added that Cohen had been open to a presidential pardon in the weeks after the FBI raided his home, hotel room and office. “During that time period, he directed his attorney to explore possibilities of a pardon at one point with Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani as well as other lawyers advising President Trump,” Davis told the Journal, while calling the talks an “ongoing ‘dangling’ of a possible pardon.” The Hill has reached out to Davis for comment. The Journal had previously reported that Ryan allegedly discussed the possibility of a pardon with Trump's attorneys Jay Sekulow, Rudy Giuliani and Joanna Hendon, following the FBI raid. According to the Journal, Giuliani left open the possibility that Trump could grant Cohen a future pardon, Trump's lawyers said. Giuliani told The New York Times late Wednesday that multiple people facing scrutiny from the Justice Department in connection with Robert Mueller's special counsel probe have reached out to him about a possible presidential pardon. Giuliani's answer reportedly came in response to a question about potential pardon discussions between him and a lawyer who, at the time, was in talks with Cohen about legal representation. “I always gave one answer, and they always left disappointed,” the former New York City mayor told the Times. Giuliani declined to comment to either outlet about whose lawyers had been in contact with him, but he told the Journal, "I would assume ones representing Cohen" were among those lawyers.

By MARIANNE LEVINE
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell hasn’t shied away from publicly criticizing House Democrats’ electoral reform bill and the Green New Deal. But he’ll only allow the Green New Deal to get a Senate vote on the floor. Republicans ripped into the House Democrats’ electoral reform bill, H.R. 1, at a press conference Wednesday, arguing that the legislation was merely a tactic to tilt elections in favor of Democrats. McConnell, who has dubbed the bill the “Democrat Politician Protection Act,” said that the bill is “offensive to average voters” and will not get any floor time in the Senate. When asked at a press conference why he wasn’t bringing the House electoral reform bill to the Senate floor, McConnell responded, with a grin: "Because I get to decide what we vote on.” “What is the problem we’re trying to solve here?” McConnell asked. “People are flooding to the polls.” McConnell in February, however, said he’ll bring a vote on the Green New Deal, the resolution led by freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), in order to challenge Democrats on the measure that Republicans say is far to the left of most Americans. The bill is slated to pass the Democratically-controlled House this week, fulfilling a campaign promise many members made in the last election cycle to overhaul elections. The legislation contains a series of voting reforms Democrats have long pushed for, including automatic voter registration, expansion of early voting, an endorsement of D.C. statehood and a requirement that independent commissions oversee House redistricting. In addition, the bill requires “dark money” groups to disclose donors. Democrats argue that the bill will make it easier to vote and cracks down on money in politics. But Republicans said the bill would amount to federal overreach when it comes to elections. “If the federal government begins to give lots of direction, is the federal government going to give lots of money?” Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) said. “If the federal government give lots of money the federal government always gives lots of control.” House Republicans also blasted their Democratic colleagues for rushing the bill through. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.), ranking member of the House Administration Committee, said the bill falls under the purview of several committees and that did not undergo enough review before heading to the floor. “This bill is being pushed on us,” he said. “What this bill is, is a Democrat push to elect more Democrats.”

By BURGESS EVERETT and MARIANNE LEVINE
The Senate majority leader is moving quickly to confirm appointments to the Circuit and District Courts — likely leaving few vacancies for the next potential Democratic president. President Donald Trump’s stream of judges is about to become a torrent. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and his GOP caucus have long prioritized confirming conservative judges to lifetime appointments. But they’re about to accelerate their ability to unilaterally approve many nominees in dramatic fashion.  The Senate is on track to confirm the 34th Circuit Court judge of Trump’s presidency in the next week and the GOP has three more ready for floor action; that would give Trump roughly 20 percent of the Circuit Court seats in the country after just two years in office. At this rate, McConnell and Trump could leave few, if any, vacancies there for a potential Democratic president in 2021. Even more alarming for Democrats, the GOP is also preparing to pull the trigger on the “nuclear option” and change Senate rules once again with a simple majority to allow much quicker confirmation of lower court judges in the coming months. “The committee is working to put [judges] out on the floor and as soon as they come to the floor the leader’s making it a priority to move them,” said Sen. John Thune of South Dakota, McConnell’s top deputy. “It'll be a high priority for the foreseeable future. I mean, it’s one of the things we can do that we don’t need the House’s help with.”  With the House controlled by Democrats, stocking the judiciary is the most tangible way for Republicans to deliver conservative results during divided government. It’s not that the Senate GOP has no legislative plans. There’s a budget deal to be had to lift stiff spending caps and an inevitable debt ceiling drama to address. But McConnell’s focus remains squarely on bending the arc of the courts to be more supportive of Trump and future GOP presidents, particularly as the fight over the direction of the country shifts increasingly to the courts. Though Trump and McConnell have set an impressive pace at the Circuit Court level, they’ve lagged on District Court vacancies. But that is likely to change as Republicans prepare to sideline Democrats and shave debate time from 30 hours to just two hours for those judges and lower-level executive branch nominees. Trump currently has 128 District Court vacancies to fill, and each one can take multiple days under current rules if any senator demands a delay; if Republicans change the rules, Trump could conceivably fill most of those over the next 20 months. “What you could witness under Senator McConnell's leadership is a situation where an incoming president has very, very few open seats to fill,” added Leonard Leo, a conservative legal advocate who frequently advises Republicans on judicial nominations. Still, Democrats say some liberal judges will opt not to retire as long as Trump is president.

By Bill Hutchinson
A former Palm Beach County, Florida, police officer was found guilty of all charges in the 2015 roadside killing of a church musician. The former Palm Beach Gardens officer, Nouman Raja, was convicted of manslaughter and attempted first-degree murder in the Oct. 19, 2015, shooting death of 31-year-old Corey Jones. Raja was immediately taken into custody once the jury's verdict was announced.  "I have some closure. This is going to be a long journey for me. I'll never forget my son and now I can begin to start the process of healing and doing the things that he desired to do and that's music," Jones' father, Clinton Jones Sr., said after the verdict was read. "I'm going through this mix: Peace, the pressure just left me. And I'm just filled with a lot of joy right now. My emotions are getting pretty wild right now," he said. He thanked the jury for listening to the evidence and staying "focused." "The persevered through the process," he said. This was not about race ... this was about justice."

By Paul Farhi
The Democratic National Committee has decided to exclude Fox News Channel from televising any of its candidate debates during the 2019-2020 cycle as a result of published revelations detailing the cable network’s close ties to the Trump administration. In a statement Wednesday, DNC Chairman Tom Perez cited a story in the New Yorker magazine this week that detailed how Fox has promoted President Trump’s agenda. The article, titled “The Making of the Fox News White House,” suggested that the news network had become a “propaganda” vehicle for Trump. “I believe that a key pathway to victory is to continue to expand our electorate and reach all voters,” said Perez in his statement to The Washington Post. “That is why I have made it a priority to talk to a broad array of potential media partners, including Fox News. Recent reporting in the New Yorker on the inappropriate relationship between President Trump, his administration and Fox News has led me to conclude that the network is not in a position to host a fair and neutral debate for our candidates. Therefore, Fox News will not serve as a media partner for the 2020 Democratic primary debates.” Winning the exclusive rights to televise the 12 candidate debates is considered a prestigious prize in the television business. The debates typically draw large audiences — the first Republican debate in August 2015 attracted a record 24 million viewers — and are a vehicle for promoting the networks’ news programs. Numerous networks, including Fox, have submitted proposals to the DNC to televise one of the 12 scheduled debates, which will start in June. So far, the organization has only awarded rights to the first two — to NBC (along with sister networks MSNBC and Telemundo) and to CNN. In a statement, Fox News Senior Vice President Bill Sammon said: “We hope the DNC will reconsider its decision to bar Chris Wallace, Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum, all of whom embody the ultimate journalistic integrity and professionalism, from moderating a Democratic presidential debate. They’re the best debate team in the business and they offer candidates an important opportunity to make their case to the largest TV news audience in America, which includes many persuadable voters.” The network hosted back-to-back town hall meetings with Democratic candidates Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton in 2016 but did not televise a Democratic debate that year. Fox’s connections to Trump have been documented for years. He had a regular spot on its morning program “Fox and Friends” starting in 2011 and has hired several of its former contributors and executives to work in his administration, including its former co-president, Bill Shine, who is now the president’s deputy chief of staff for communications. Trump has been interviewed many times on the network and has promoted various Fox talking points and personalities on Twitter. Some observers have suggested that the network has become a kind of de facto “state TV,” shaping and promoting Trump’s policy agency. New Yorker writer Jane Mayer added new details about the relationship in her 11,000-word article published this week. Among other things, she reported that Roger Ailes, the network’s late chief executive, may have informed the Trump campaign about a question involving Trump’s treatment of women that former Fox News host Megyn Kelly intended to ask at the first Republican debate in 2015. Mayer also reported that Trump was tipped by Fox sources to a second debate question about whether the candidates would support the Republican nominee for president, regardless of who won. In addition, Mayer wrote that a Fox reporter, Diana Falzone, had detailed information about Trump’s relationship with porn star Stormy Daniels prior to the 2016 election, but network officials declined to publish the story, apparently on orders from Fox Chairman Rupert Murdoch. Fox has denied this account; it said it was unable to confirm Daniels’s story and didn’t publish anything as a result.

By Li Zhou
A poll finds that one-third of Republicans are among those who feel this way. A new Quinnipiac poll indicates many Americans believe President Trump has done illegal stuff. It also suggests that Trump is facing a sharp gender gap heading into 2020. According to the poll, which was conducted in the wake of his former attorney Michael Cohen’s congressional testimony last week, a majority of voters think Trump committed crimes before becoming president. Sixty-four percent of respondents to the survey think that Trump committed a crime prior to taking office, compared to 24 percent who do not and 13 percent who said they didn’t know. When the data is broken out across party lines, a whopping 89 percent of Democrats think Trump committed a crime prior to taking office, while a still-notable 33 percent of Republicans do. Sixty-five percent of independents also said they felt the same. The poll does not specify what it means by “crime” in the question, however. When it comes to the question of potential crimes during Trump’s time in office, people are a bit more unsure. Forty-five percent of respondents said they believed he had committed crimes since taking office, while 43 percent disagreed. Cohen’s testimony in front of the House Oversight Committee, which offered details about everything from hush money payments to Stormy Daniels to racist comments Trump may have made, appears to have resonated with quite a few people. Fifty percent of voters say they believe Cohen more than Trump, according to the poll, and 58 percent believe that Congress should continue to investigate claims he’s made about “Trump’s unethical and illegal behavior.” While most of the poll results are still heavily split between Republicans and Democrats, the survey suggests that a portion of the GOP is also concerned about Trump’s honesty and track record, though the majority of Republican respondents still broadly support his approach to policy. The area where Trump was most likely to get credit from voters was on his handling of the economy. Forty-nine percent of respondents overall said they approved of his work on this issue, while just 38 percent approved of his efforts on foreign policy and 40 percent approved of his approach to immigration issues. “When two-thirds of voters think you have committed a crime in your past life, and almost half of voters say it’s a tossup over whether you committed a crime while in the Oval Office, confidence in your overall integrity is very shaky,” Quinnipiac’s Tim Malloy said in a statement. ”Add to that, Michael Cohen, a known liar headed to the big house, has more credibility than the leader of the free world.”

Analysis by Chris Cillizza, CNN Editor-at-large
(CNN)Even as the 2020 race begins in earnest, President Donald Trump is already suggesting that Democrats cannot beat him fairly -- raising the specter that if he loses next November, he will suggest that the election was not legitimate. "The Democrats in Congress yesterday were vicious and totally showed their cards for everyone to see," Trump tweeted Tuesday, referring to House Democrats' launching of a broad-scale investigation into him. "When the Republicans had the Majority they never acted with such hatred and scorn! The Dems are trying to win an election in 2020 that they know they cannot legitimately win!" Trump 2020 campaign press secretary Kayleigh McEnany echoed that sentiment in a statement on the Democratic investigations. "These desperate Democrats know they cannot beat President Trump in 2020, so instead they have embarked on a disgraceful witch hunt with one singular aim: topple the will of the American people and seize the power that they have zero chance at winning legitimately," she said. And asked Wednesday about the Democratic investigations, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said this: "They continue to be a group totally taken by small radical leftist fringe of their party and they're completely controlled by it, they know that's not enough to beat this President so they're going to look for other ways to do that." All of that rhetoric fits into a very clear pattern: Convince the Trump base that it is not possible for him to lose a fair and legitimate election in 2020. Thus, if he loses, it must be, by definition, illegitimate. None of this should be surprising, given Trump's oft-stated view of the 2016 election -- in which he won the Electoral College but lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton by nearly 3 million votes. Less than three weeks after winning the White House in 2016, Trump sent out this tweet: "In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally." In a meeting with a bipartisan group of lawmakers just days after his inauguration, Trump was at it again -- reportedly telling the gathering that somewhere between 3 and 5 million illegal votes were cast in the 2016 election and, had only legitimate votes been cast, he would have won the popular vote in addition to the Electoral College. Neither Trump nor anyone in his administration has ever provided any evidence of his claims of widespread illegality. A commission formed by Trump -- and chaired by failed Kansas gubernatorial candidate Kris Kobach -- was disbanded after less than a year. And study after study has shown that widespread voter fraud -- of the sort alleged by Trump -- simply does not exist. Of course, Trump is less interested in the facts about voter fraud -- or lack thereof -- than he is about convincing his base that if he loses, it's not because he got less votes, it's because something nefarious is being perpetrated against him by the elites. How do I know? Because Trump was doing it in the 2016 election -- before he knew he actually won. In an interview on Fox News Channel on Election Day 2016, Trump said this: "It's largely a rigged system. And you see it at the polling booths, too. There are reports that when people vote for Republicans the entire ticket switches over to Democrats. You've seen that. It's happening at various places today. It's been reported. In other words, the machines, you put down a Republican and it registers as a Democrat. They've had a lot of complaints about that today." So, yeah.

By Christina Wilkie
President Donald Trump appeared to suggest that the White House may refuse to comply with a slew of requests for documents from House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y. "President Obama ... was under a similar kind of a thing, didn't get one letter. They didn't do anything. They didn't get one letter of the request, many requests were made, they didn't get a letter," Trump said at a White House event. Trump's comment came one day after he signaled what appeared to be an intent to cooperate with the probe. "I cooperate all the time, with everybody," the president said Monday. President Donald Trump on Tuesday appeared to suggest that the White House may refuse to comply with a slew of requests for documents sent this week by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y. Speaking at a White House event, Trump cited what he said was the Obama administration's approach to handling document requests related to congressional investigations. "President Obama, from what they tell me, was under a similar kind of a thing, didn't get one letter. They didn't do anything. They didn't get one letter of the request, many requests were made, they didn't get a letter," he said. Trump's comment came one day after the president sounded a much more conciliatory note, telling reporters Monday, "I cooperate all the time, with everybody." The White House has yet to issue a formal response to Nadler's requests. But Trump's shift from a cooperative stance to a more confrontational one accelerated in the past 24 hours, beginning with a series of tweets late Monday and early Tuesday, and culminating in his remarks Tuesday afternoon. Earlier in the day Tuesday, Trump tweeted that the broadening investigation into his administration represents, "The greatest overreach in the history of our Country. The Dems are obstructing justice and will not get anything done. A big, fat, fishing expedition desperately in search of a crime, when in fact the real crime is what the Dems are doing, and have done!" It's unclear what Trump meant by Democrats "obstructing justice," but he later repeated the idea that any legislative progress would be effectively paralyzed if Democrats pursued the investigative avenues they have already opened up. "Instead of doing infrastructure, instead of doing healthcare, instead of doing so many things that they should be doing, they want to play games," Trump said. "It's too bad, because I'd rather see them do legislation. We negotiated out legislation with so many things that we agreed on, like infrastructure, but they want to focus on nonsense." On Monday, Nadler issued formal document requests to 81 Trump administration officials, entities and associates, including two of Trump's sons, Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr., as well as Trump's family owned real estate company, his 2016 campaign, his presidential transition and his inaugural committee.

Kevin McCoy, USA TODAY
NEW YORK – A state regulator has subpoenaed an insurance provider for The Trump Organization, opening a new front in the widening investigations focused on President Donald Trump, his business, family, and White House administration. Aon, a London-headquartered financial services company that is one of the world's largest insurance brokerages, said it was served a subpoena on Monday by the New York Department of Financial Services.  Donna Mirandola, Aon's vice president of global content marketing, confirmed the subpoena. The insurance brokerage intends to cooperate with the request but would not "comment on specific client matters," she said in an email response. Another person with knowledge of the subpoena confirmed that the request sought records of communications involving Aon, Trump and his company, as well as internal documents for related insurance coverage. The person declined to be named because the subpoena had not been disclosed publicly. A spokeswoman for The Trump Organization did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment. The New York action, combined with moves by the Democratically controlled House, represents the latest in a series of new investigations that could target Trump through the second half of his White House term. News about the subpoena, first reported by The New York Times, comes less than a week after former Trump personal attorney Michael Cohen testified at a congressional hearing that his ex-boss inflated the value of his financial assets to obtain more favorable insurance rates and loans from banks. Separately, the House Judiciary Committee on Monday requested records from 81 "agencies, entities and individuals" linked to the Republican presidential administration along with Trump's family members, present and former associates and his private businesses. Additionally, the House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday announced new hires, including a former federal prosecutor with expertise in battling Russian organized crime. Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., who chairs the panel, has signaled plans to continue an investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

By Dan Mangan, Kevin Breuninger
A federal judge on Tuesday blasts Roger Stone over his new book that criticizes special counsel Robert Mueller, and she demands Stone explain his efforts to comply with a gag order that bars him from bad-mouthing Mueller. Judge Amy Berman Jackson, in a court filing, says, there "is no question that the order prohibited and continues to prohibit the defendant from making any public statements, using any medium, concerning the investigation." Stone, a longtime Republican operative and self-described "dirty trickster," is a friend of President Donald Trump. A federal judge on Tuesday blasted Roger Stone over his new book that criticizes special counsel Robert Mueller, and she demanded Stone explain his efforts to comply with a gag order strictly barring him from bad-mouthing Mueller. Judge Amy Berman Jackson, in a court filing, wrote that there "is no question that the order prohibited and continues to prohibit the defendant from making any public statements, using any medium, concerning the investigation." "It does not matter when the defendant may have first formulated the opinions expressed, or when he first put them into words: he may no longer share his views on these particular subjects with the world," Jackson wrote about Stone, a longtime Republican operative and friend of President Donald Trump. Jackson rejected Stone's request that she "clarify" that her gag order on him does not apply to his new book. The judge also chastised Stone's lawyers for misrepresenting the status of the book, which they now admit is already on sale, despite having told the judge last Friday that its publication was "imminent." If Jackson decides that Stone has disobeyed her gag order, she could revoke his $250,000 signature release bond and order him held without bail until his trial on charges of lying to Congress and witness tampering.He has pleaded not guilty in the case, where he is accused of making false statements about his alleged contacts with WikiLeaks in connection with a purported effort to have that document-release group disclose material hacked from Democrats by Russian agents.

By David A. Fahrenthold, Rachael Bade and John Wagner
New York state regulators have subpoenaed President Trump’s insurance broker, following testimony from former Trump attorney Michael Cohen that Trump exaggerated his wealth to insurance companies. That subpoena — acknowledged Tuesday by broker Aon PLC — signaled another line of inquiry into Trump’s private business, this time by New York’s Department of Financial Services. “As is our policy, we intend to cooperate with all regulatory bodies,” Aon spokeswoman Donna Mirandola wrote in an email. She declined to answer further questions, saying, “We do not comment on specific client matters.” Tuesday was a case study in Trump’s new reality of besiegement as multiplying investigations by state authorities, federal investigators and congressional Democrats began to dig into his business, charity and presidency simultaneously. The White House rebuffed one such inquiry, telling House Democrats it would not provide documents about its process for granting security clearances. But that did not end the confrontation. It probably just delayed it: Democrats are discussing whether to demand that information under subpoena. And, for Trump, other troubles were just behind that one. Another committee of House Democrats said they were preparing to ask for about 10 years of Trump’s tax returns. Trump has declined to release his tax returns, unlike other presidents in the recent past. And still another committee — House Intelligence — announced that it had hired a former federal prosecutor to lead its investigation of Trump’s alleged ties to Russia. Daniel Goldman, a former assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, has a history of prosecuting securities fraud, racketeering and international organized crime. As the inquiries multiplied, Trump’s tweets got short. “PRESIDENTIAL HARASSMENT!” the president wrote on Twitter on Tuesday, seemingly viewing all these inquiries as an effort by his enemies to overwhelm him. At an afternoon event at the White House, Trump told reporters that Democrats had hurt their chances of working with him on policy issues. “It’s too bad, because I’d rather see them do legislation,” Trump said. “Instead of doing infrastructure, instead of doing health care, instead of doing so many things that they should be doing, they want to play games.” The Trump Organization declined to comment Tuesday. Trump still owns his business, although he has handed day-to-day control of it to his sons Donald Jr. and Eric, and to longtime executive Allen Weisselberg. The past few days have accelerated the probes into Trump’s past and present, particularly following testimony by Cohen, once Trump’s self-described “fixer.” Cohen spent seven hours telling a House committee about the inner workings of Trump’s company. At one point, Cohen said that Trump used exaggerated statements of his own wealth to impress journalists, reassure lenders and persuade insurance companies to lower his premiums. “When we were dealing . . . with insurance companies, we would provide them with these copies so that they would understand that the premium, which is based sometimes upon the individual’s capabilities to pay, would be reduced,” Cohen testified. “And all of this was done at the president’s direction and with his knowledge?” asked Rep. William Lacy Clay (D-Mo.). “Yes,” Cohen said.

By Matt Wilstein
‘I mean, this was a billionaire who gave up an unbelievable life to go get punched on the chin every single day,’ Eric Trump told Fox News’ Brian Kilmeade. In a new radio interview with Fox & Friends host Brian Kilmeade, Eric Trump admitted that he sometimes thinks his father becoming president was not worth all of the “pressure” on his family. After giving his guest permission to “punt on this question,” Kilmeade asked, “When you and your dad talk with your family around, do you guys ever look at each other and say, was this worth it? Was it worth it to be—to have the family dynamics be put on this type of pressure?” While Eric Trump said he has not had those specific discussions with his father, he did admit that it is something that has talked about with his wife, Lara Trump. “Have I thought it in my mind? Have I said it casually at dinner with my wife?” he asked. “A hundred percent.” At the same time, he insisted that “there is not a day that goes by where people don’t come up to me on the street and say, ‘Hey, thank you for what your family is doing, like, thank you for the sacrifices you’ve made.’” He said he used to “kind of almost roll my eyes at the statement, ‘thank you for the sacrifices,’” especially when “so many people have paid the ultimate sacrifice” for the country. But now, he gets it. “I mean, this was a billionaire who gave up an unbelievable life to go get punched on the chin every single day,” Eric Trump added. “To get abused, and quite frankly, as a family we’ve done that as well.” Asked by Kilmeade if everything his family has gone through over the past couple of years makes winning reelection more or less important now, Eric Trump answered, “You know what, in a certain way, I want to win this thing.”

By Rosalind S. Helderman and Rachael Bade
A former campaign aide for President Trump, one of 81 people to receive a request for documents this week from the House Judiciary Committee, has already informed the committee that he has no records responsive to their inquiries and he does not plan to testify in front of the panel. The letter from an attorney for Michael Caputo, who worked for Trump during part of the 2016 campaign, represents the first skirmish in what is likely to be broad resistance from Trump aides and associates to new inquiries issued this week by the Judiciary Committee. Caputo told The Washington Post that he has already begun coordinating with four other Trump associates who received requests from the committee this week to begin a joint strategy of resisting requests for testimony. “All four are reluctant to appear because they believe it’s a perjury trap designed to move toward impeachment of the president,” he said. Many of those who received the requests this week have already been interviewed by the House and Senate intelligence committees, as well as special counsel Robert S. Mueller III. But the Judiciary Committee, which has the power to impeach the president, has launched its own wide-ranging probe of Trump campaign aides, business associates and family members as part of what Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) said was a way to explore whether the Trump administration has abused its power. Nadler took control of the committee in January with the new Democratic majority in the House. Caputo attorney Dennis C. Vacco indicated in the letter that a committee staffer asked whether he would be willing to testify in front of the committee, a request that has not yet been made publicly of Caputo or other potential witnesses. Vacco wrote that he told the committee lawyer that Caputo would not commit to appear, given that he already testified in front of other congressional committees. “We see no reason why the House Judiciary Committee cannot obtain the transcript of Mr. Caputo’s testimony” from the House Intelligence Committee, Vacco wrote. A spokesman for the committee declined to comment on Caputo’s letter. A person familiar with the exchange said there was no formal request for Caputo’s testimony but only a casual conversation between Caputo’s lawyer and committee attorney Barry Berke. The Judiciary Committee blitzed dozens of Trump associates with broad requests this week, rather than issuing targeted questions at individuals. The committee asked Caputo, for instance, to produce documents related to a June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower between Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer. Caputo did not attend the meeting and, according to his attorney, has no documents about it.

By Erica Orden, CNN
(CNN) The New York State Department of Financial Services has opened an inquiry into the Trump Organization's insurance practices, sending a subpoena Monday to the company's longtime insurance broker, according to a person familiar with the matter. The nine-page subpoena, sent to Aon Plc, was issued days after President Donald Trump's former personal attorney Michael Cohen suggested in testimony to Congress that the Trump Organization had inflated the value of its assets, this person said. A spokeswoman for Aon on Tuesday confirmed receipt of the subpoena. "We can confirm that we received a subpoena from the New York State Department of Financial Services and, as is our policy, we intend to cooperate with all regulatory bodies," the spokeswoman, Donna Mirandola, said in a statement. "We do not comment on specific client matters." A lawyer for the Trump Organization declined to comment to CNN. The subpoena was first reported by The New York Times. The inquiry by the Department of Financial Services adds to a growing collection of investigations concerning Trump's family business, including an ongoing criminal probe out of the Manhattan US attorney's office and a broad document request on Monday by the House Judiciary Committee, which is seeking records from the company and several of its executives. While the Department of Financial Services doesn't have the ability to bring criminal charges, it can refer its findings to state prosecutors for further action. The department regulates financial institutions and insurers, and it can impose significant fines or other penalties if it finds impropriety. During his testimony last week to the House Oversight Committee, Cohen told lawmakers that Trump had provided inflated assets to an insurance company. Asked who knew Trump had done so, Cohen named three Trump Organization executives: Allen Weisselberg, Ron Lieberman and Matthew Calamari.

By James Comey
James Comey is a former director of the FBI and a former deputy attorney general. Attorney General William P. Barr will decide how much of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s findings and conclusions to share with Congress and the American people. Barr told the Senate Judiciary Committee he would try to be as transparent as possible while abiding by the Justice Department’s long-standing tradition of protecting the privacy rights of the innocent. That makes sense, but past departmental practices suggest he can release far more details than many people may now realize. Providing detailed information about a completed investigation of intense public interest has long been a part of Justice Department practice. It doesn’t happen often, because ordinarily nothing outweighs the privacy interests of the subject of an investigation that ends without public charges. But department tradition recognizes that transparency is especially important where polarized politics and baseless attacks challenge law enforcement’s credibility. In critical matters of national importance, a straightforward report of what facts have been learned and how judgment has been exercised may be the only way to advance the public interest. The Justice Department shared detailed information with the public after the FBI’s investigation of the 2014 killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. His death at the hands of a white police officer touched off unrest around the country. The Justice Department responded to calls for a federal investigation, sending dozens of FBI special agents into Ferguson. After months of careful work, the department declined to bring a federal criminal prosecution. But the Justice Department didn’t just put the boxes in storage. Because there was intense, legitimate public interest — and significant doubt about law enforcement independence — the department publicly released an 86-page report in March 2015 detailing the entire investigation — what was done, what was found and how the evidence compared to governing legal standards, including an evaluation of the conduct and statements of individuals. In October 2015, the Justice Department again shared information about a case involving corrosive doubts. For years, Republicans claimed that the Internal Revenue Service had illegally targeted tea party groups because of their political beliefs. In response to the allegations, the department did an extensive investigation, which ended with no charges being brought. But it didn’t stop there. Because the case posed a significant challenge to public confidence in the institution, the Justice Department provided Congress with an eight-page, single-spaced public report that laid out the investigation, the evidence found and a legal assessment. The department not only explained why no charges were appropriate but also discussed, by name, the conduct of a key subject of the criminal investigation — IRS supervisor Lois Lerner — writing that she had used “poor judgment” but that “ineffective management is not a crime. . . . What occurred is disquieting and may necessitate corrective action — but does not warrant criminal prosecution.” These cases represent the way the Justice Department has always approached its mission — speak only in prosecuted cases, unless the public really needs to know. In 2004, during the George W. Bush administration, the public needed to know more about José Padilla, an American citizen captured in the United States and held by presidential order as an enemy combatant in a Navy brig. It was a breathtaking exercise of presidential power, one that generated intense and legitimate concern across the political spectrum.

By Dan Mangan, Kevin Breuninger
One of those deletions apparently occurs after CNBC reports Sunday that Stone might have violated the terms of his judicial gag order by posting an image on his Instagram account asking "Who framed Roger Stone." That possible violation is noted to the judge in his case Monday by special counsel Robert Mueller, whose office is prosecuting Stone for lying to Congress, witness tampering and other crimes. Two websites used by President Donald Trump's longtime friend Roger Stone to raise funds for his defense against criminal charges lodged by special counsel Robert Mueller and in civil cases have been deleted. At least one of those deletions apparently occurred after CNBC reported Sunday that the Republican operative might have violated the terms of his judicial gag order by posting an image on his Instagram account asking "Who framed Roger Stone." Another of Stone's websites, which itself was titled whoframedrogerstone.com, has also been deleted. The possible gag-order violation was noted to the judge in his case Monday by Mueller, who has charged Stone in Washington, D.C., federal court with lying to Congress, witness tampering and other crimes. If Judge Amy Berman Jackson finds that Stone broke the gag order, she could revoke his $250,000 signature release bond and send him to jail pending trial. Last year, Jackson jailed Stone's former lobbying partner and ex-Trump campaign boss Paul Manafort after he tried to tamper with a witness in the criminal case against him. On Feb. 21, Jackson barred Stone from criticizing Mueller's team or the case against him. She imposed that gag order after Stone posted an image on Instagram showing Jackson's face next to a rifle scope crosshair. Stone, who has pleaded not guilty in his case, has several websites set up in his name. One, stonezone.com, was operating as of late Sunday, according to data from the internet archival service the Wayback Machine. But on Tuesday, visitors to that page were greeted by a message saying, "This page isn't working. www.stonezone.com is currently unable to handle this request. HTTP ERROR 500." The other site, whoframedrogerstone.com, was operating as of Feb. 6, according to the Wayback Machine. It is not clear when that site was pulled down. But visitors to that address on Tuesday saw the message: "403 - Forbidden Error. You are not allowed to access this address. If the error persists, please contact the website webmaster." Stone on Sunday deleted the "Who framed Roger Stone" image from a series of other rotating images on his Instagram story shortly after CNBC sent an email to his lawyer asking about it. In a court filing to Jackson on Monday, Mueller cited CNBC's story detailing the Instagram post by Stone but did not ask the judge to rule that Stone broke her gag order. Another Stone website, stonecoldtruth.com, remained online Tuesday, as does stonedefensefund.com. Both of those active sites contain links for visitors to donate to his legal defense, as does Stone's active Facebook page. However, Stone has significantly changed the language on one of his remaining legal fundraising sites, apparently to comply with the gag order.

By Valerie Block
An attorney for Michael Cohen raised the idea of a pardon with lawyers for the president after federal agents raided Cohen's residence and office in April, The Wall Street Journal reported. The report comes days after Cohen told lawmakers on Capitol Hill last week that he never asked for a pardon from Trump, and that he would not accept one. Trump's lawyers dismissed the idea of a pardon at the time, the WSJ reported. But the paper reported that Rudy Giuliani left open the possibility of an eventual presidential pardon. An attorney for Michael Cohen raised the idea of a pardon with President Donald Trump's lawyers after federal authorities raided Cohen's residence and office in April, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the talks. Congress is now investigating those conversations, documents requested by the House Judiciary Committee revealed on Monday, the Journal said. The pardon discussions happened as Cohen's attorney at that time, Stephen Ryan, was working with Trump's lawyers to determine whether documents seized by the FBI during the April raid were protected by attorney-client privilege, sources told the Journal. The report comes days after Cohen told lawmakers on Capitol Hill last week that he never asked for a pardon from Trump, and that he would not accept one. The WSJ article noted there was no evidence that Cohen himself asked for a pardon or was aware of the alleged pardon discussions. Trump's lawyers – including Jay Sekulow, Rudy Giuliani and Joanna Hendon – dismissed the idea of a pardon at the time, the sources said, according to the Journal. But the paper also reported that Giuliani left open the possibility of an eventual presidential pardon. Ryan also approached attorneys for the Trump Organization, the president's company, about a pardon, the Journal reported. Ryan no longer represents Cohen in the criminal case. If a pardon was not an option, Ryan left the impression that his client Cohen might flip and cooperate with investigators from the Manhattan U.S. attorney's office, the paper added. Ryan and a spokesperson for Giuliani did not return CNBC's requests for comment. A spokeswoman for Cohen told CNBC in an email, "Mr. Cohen stands by his testimony before the House Oversight Committee."

By Brian Schwartz
Longtime friend of President Donald Trump's Tom Barrack will be cooperating with the House Judiciary Committees requests to hand over their requested documents. Barrack was among 81 other witnesses asked to give over documents as part of Chairman Jerry Nadler's investigation into whether the president obstructed justice. Tom Barrack, a personal friend of Donald Trump who chaired the president's inaugural committee, said he would cooperate with the House Judiciary Committee's requests to hand over documents as part of a sweeping probe into Trump's dealings. A spokesman for Barrack told CNBC in an email that the investor "will fully cooperate with the Committee's important work as he has with all government inquiries." Barrack was among 81 individuals and entities asked to submit documents as part of Chairman Jerry Nadler's wide-ranging investigation into Trump, his family and his affairs. These individuals also include current Trump campaign chairman Brad Parscale, Trump Organziation CFO Allen Weisselberg and the president's elder sons, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump. They have been asked to provide the documents by March 18. Barrack, the founder of private equity real estate firm Colony Capital, has been asked to hand over documentation as it pertains to numerous issues involving the president, including foreign governments "discussing, offering, or providing, or being solicited to discuss, offer, or provide, any present or emolument of any kind," to Trump's inaugural committee. The inaugural has been reportedly under investigation by Manhattan prosecutors about how the fund raised and spent a record $100 million. Trump has denounced Nadler, of New York, and other Democratic investigations into his past dealings, which include his work as the head of the Trump Organization. He has denied wrongdoing, and has accused Democrats of using the probes to distract from other issues. The committee has stepped up its investigations after former Trump personal attorney Michael Cohen testified last week in front of three different committees on Capitol Hill. Tom Barrack, a personal friend of Donald Trump who chaired the president's inaugural committee, said he would cooperate with the House Judiciary Committee's requests to hand over documents as part of a sweeping probe into Trump's dealings. A spokesman for Barrack told CNBC in an email that the investor "will fully cooperate with the Committee's important work as he has with all government inquiries." Barrack was among 81 individuals and entities asked to submit documents as part of Chairman Jerry Nadler's wide-ranging investigation into Trump, his family and his affairs. These individuals also include current Trump campaign chairman Brad Parscale, Trump Organziation CFO Allen Weisselberg and the president's elder sons, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump. They have been asked to provide the documents by March 18. Barrack, the founder of private equity real estate firm Colony Capital, has been asked to hand over documentation as it pertains to numerous issues involving the president, including foreign governments "discussing, offering, or providing, or being solicited to discuss, offer, or provide, any present or emolument of any kind," to Trump's inaugural committee. The inaugural has been reportedly under investigation by Manhattan prosecutors about how the fund raised and spent a record $100 million. Trump has denounced Nadler, of New York, and other Democratic investigations into his past dealings, which include his work as the head of the Trump Organization. He has denied wrongdoing, and has accused Democrats of using the probes to distract from other issues. The committee has stepped up its investigations after former Trump personal attorney Michael Cohen testified last week in front of three different committees on Capitol Hill.

By Glenn Kessler, Salvador Rizzo and Meg Kelly
The Fact Checker is keeping a running list of the false or misleading claims Trump says most regularly. Here's our latest tally as of March 3, 2019. (Meg Kelly/The Washington Post). Powered by his two-hour stemwinder at the Conservative Political Action Conference on March 2 — which featured more than 100 false or misleading claims — President Trump is on pace to exceed his daily quota set during his first two years in office. The president averaged nearly 5.9 false or misleading claims a day in his first year in office. He hit nearly 16.5 a day in his second year. So far in 2019, he’s averaging nearly 22 claims a day. As of the end of March 3, the 773rd day of his term in office, Trump accumulated 9,014 fishy claims, according to The Fact Checker’s database that analyzes, categorizes and tracks every suspect statement uttered by the president. Trump’s performance at CPAC is emblematic of his version of the truth during his presidency — a potent mix of exaggerated numbers, unwarranted boasting and outright falsehoods. His speech helped push March 3 to his fourth-biggest day for false or misleading claims, totaling 104. The speech included his greatest hits: 131 times he has falsely said he passed the biggest tax cut in history, 126 times he has falsely said his border wall is already being built and 116 times he has asserted that the U.S. economy today is the best in history. All three of those claims are on The Fact Checker’s list of Bottomless Pinocchios, as well as other claims Trump made during his CPAC speech. Since the Bottomless Pinocchio list was introduced in December, it has continued to grow. The president now has 20 claims that qualify. Here’s a sampling of other claims from the CPAC address, drawn from the database: “A state called Michigan, where — by the way — where Fiat Chrysler just announced a four and a half billion dollar incredible expansion and new plant doubling their workforce. Many, many car companies have moved back to Michigan and are continuing to do so.” Fiat Chrysler did announce this expansion in Michigan, but Trump leaves out that it announced 1,500 layoffs in Illinois at the same time. It’s a big exaggeration to say many car companies have moved back to Michigan, though Chrysler has announced several new investments there under Trump...

Analysis by Stephen Collinson, CNN
(CNN) Nearly everyone in Donald Trump's world just became a potential witness.
House Democrats are laying down a vast net as they ramp up their investigation into deep tracts of the President's personal, business and political life, with a breathtaking document request from a list of 81 people, agencies and entities. They went after the Trump Organization, Trump employees, the Trump presidential campaign, the Trump transition team, the Trump inauguration committee, the Trump White House and blood members of the Trump clan. The intent of the sweeping oversight offensive designed to encircle the President, launched by Rep. Jerry Nadler, the New York Democrat who's the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, is clear. Democrats are eyeing a case that Trump is not fit to continue in his job. "Our goal is to hold the administration accountable for the obstruction of justice, the abuse of power and the corruption," Nadler said on CNN's "Erin Burnett OutFront" on Monday. "Our goal is to protect the rule of law in this country. We have to find out what is going on and we have to lay out a case to the American people and we have to reveal it." While Democrats are convinced they can make a case that denigrates Trump, it is a measure of the political sensitivity of their quest that they are not willing to talk about their options at the end of it. Whether the eventual remedy for that case is impeachment or the 2020 election, in which voters will be asked to reject what Democrats already brand a historically corrupt presidency, is a decision for down the road. "This is not a pre-impeachment hearing," Nadler said. "If we are going to do anything, we have to have proof." Moving forward carefully. It's basic politics for Democrats not to call their investigations an impeachment drive right now. To do so would hand the GOP a gift as it claims the fix is already in -- a case some Republicans are making, as well as arguing that Democrats are trying to reverse a presidential election and that the constant investigations are a classic case of congressional overreach. "(They are) going into every part of his life now. In America, we investigate crimes. We don't investigate people," said Rob Astorino, a prominent Trump supporter, Monday night on CNN. To defuse such claims, the Democratic line is that the majority is simply fulfilling a duty to check a norm-busting President. "To do anything less would be delinquent in our duties to exercise our oversight," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Monday. Perhaps Democrats will not turn up offenses by Trump that would meet the constitutional impeachment threshold of "high crimes and misdemeanors." Or Democratic leaders, sensing the Republican Party will never ditch its President, could conclude that a foiled effort to oust Trump in a Senate trial could harm their political prospects more than his in 2020. But the shadow of a potential impeachment process will never pass, given Nadler's use of terms like "abuse of power" and "obstruction" -- offenses for which presidents have faced impeachment inquiries twice within the last 50 years. And Nadler, as chair of the Judiciary Committee, would preside over any eventual impeachment proceedings -- which would likely be based on evidence that his investigators are now seeking to unearth.

By Kyra Phillips, Katherine Faulders, Matthew Mosk and John Santucci
On Congressional investigations into the White House: "It's never gonna be over". Ty Cobb, the veteran Washington attorney who represented the White House as special counsel Robert Mueller ramped up his investigation into Russian meddling, said he considers the man leading the probe “an American hero” and does not share President Donald Trump’s view that the Russia inquiry is a politically motivated hoax. “I don't feel the same way about Mueller,” Cobb said in an extensive interview for the latest episode of ABC News' podcast The Investigation. “I don't feel the investigation is a witch hunt.”  But as Mueller prepares to convey his findings to the U.S. Attorney General, Cobb maintains a belief that his report will spare the president from any serious political harm. Cobb said he believes Mueller has already revealed the bulk of the findings that the investigation will produce through the sentencing memos and “speaking indictments” issued against a group of 34 defendants that include Russian hackers and the former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort. A so-called speaking indictment sets forth more contextual details on a case than is required by law. The indictment against the Russian hackers was “highly detailed,” he said. “And there's no link to Trump or the campaign. The same thing with Manafort -- they just filed an 800-page sentencing memorandum, and in 800 pages there's no reference to collusion,” Cobb said, referring to Manafort, who was convicted last year of tax and bank fraud charges and pleaded guilty in a separate case to conspiracy charges brought by Mueller as part of his probe.  

By Nicole Hemmer
(CNN)On Monday, the New Yorker's Jane Mayer published an explosive expose on "the Fox News White House," a deeply reported story alleging that the channel had killed a story about Stormy Daniels before the 2016 presidential election and that President Trump tried to spike the AT&T-Time Warner merger apparently because he wasn't happy with the news coverage of his presidency by CNN, which is now owned by AT&T. The story makes clear in vivid detail that Mayer's answer to the headline question about Fox News — "Is it propaganda?" — is a resounding yes. But for some readers, that still left a lingering question: Is it new? After all, presidents have had close ties with media outlets before. Didn't journalists provide cover for the Bush administration during the Iraq War? Didn't MSNBC's Chris Matthews declare he got "a thrill go up his leg" when he listened to Barack Obama's speeches? Haven't mainstream outlets carried water for presidents for decades? Absolutely. Yet the relationship between Donald Trump and Fox News is distinctly different, bringing the channel closer to state television than anything the United States has ever known. There's certainly precedent for some features of Trump's relationship with Fox News. American presidents have long cozied up to the press, seeking favorable coverage for their parties and agendas. And some journalists returned the favor, enjoying the access and prestige of being a White House insider. New York Times columnist Arthur Krock had long been close to John Kennedy, helping him with his senior thesis and even privately advising him on how to handle the CIA. Drew Pearson, a Washington Post columnist, regularly traded favors with Lyndon Johnson, including dropping investigations in exchange for political help and weighing in on speeches and strategy. News outlets have also backed particular candidates, hoping to get their man in the White House. In 1940 Henry Luce, who owned Time, Life, and Fortune, single-handedly engineered Wendell Willkie's nomination. Not only did his magazines popularize the little-known candidate, Luce ensured the coverage was uniformly positive, often to the dismay of journalists working for him. "Take me off this train," begged one Time reporter covering Willkie. "All I can do is sit at my typewriter and write, 'Wendell Willkie is a wonderful man. Wendell Willkie is a wonderful man.'" And journalists have certainly covered up presidents' sexual dalliances. In the mid-20th century, stories of such misdeeds were considered out of bounds, so while it was common knowledge that both Kennedy and Johnson regularly pursued women other than their wives, those lascivious tales never made it into the nation's newspapers. There are even plenty of cases of news outlets acting as court stenographers, credulously repeating the party line even as evidence amassed that an administration was lying (see: Vietnam, Iraq).  Yet despite all the ways journalists and presidents have coordinated in the past, none comes even close to the symbiosis between Fox News and Donald Trump. Not even Fox News has been so in bed with a White House before. While the channel has always been firmly Republican -- Roger Ailes was an adviser to Republican presidents from Richard Nixon to George H.W. Bush before launching Fox News -- it did not have the wholesale influence over George W. Bush that it has over Trump (and vice versa). One metric: the steady flow of personnel from Fox News to the Trump White House. Fox News' Tony Snow served as press secretary to George W. Bush, and while it was unusual for a journalist to move into an administration, it was not unprecedented. For the Trump administration, however, appearances on Fox News have often served as the first step in the interview process. That is, no doubt, how Bush administration official and hawk John Bolton wound up in the White House, despite the fact that Trump regularly bashes interventionism.

By Julia Arciga
Despite the apology, however, at least three other Corsi posts making the same conspiratorial claims about Seth Rich’s murder remain on the InfoWars website. ight-wing conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi on Monday officially retracted and apologized for an InfoWars article he wrote in 2018 claiming that murdered Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich (and his brother Aaron Rich) leaked DNC emails to Wikileaks during the 2016 election. “Dr. Corsi acknowledges that his allegations were not based upon any independent factual knowledge regarding Seth or Aaron Rich,” a statement on InfoWars read. The website claimed that Corsi based his false claims off a Washington Times column by retired Adm. James Lyons, which was also retracted late last year. “It was not Dr. Corsi’s intent to rely upon inaccurate information, or to cause any suffering to Mr. Rich’s family,” the statement read. “To that end, Dr. Corsi retracts the article and apologizes to the Rich family.” Corsi also echoed the apology to the Rich family on his personal Twitter account. “As Christians gentleman [sic], I have sympathy for the suffering the Seth Rich family has gone through.  I hope all will understand that. God Bless,” he wrote, while going out of his way to note for his more conspiracy-minded followers that he was not “threatened” into retracting. I'm not being threatened. My retracted article in error relied on a retracted Wash Times article retracted for making false statements. As Christians gentleman, I have sympathy for the suffering the Seth Rich family has gone through. I hope all will understand that. God Bless  — Jerome R. Corsi, Ph.D. ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (@jerome_corsi) March 4, 2019. A lawyer for Aaron Rich told CNN the retraction was an "important step toward obtaining justice” for the family. “We will continue to litigate our defamation claims against conspiracy theorists who refuse to retract & apologize for similar false statements,” the statement read. The article was one of many featured on Alex Jones’ far-right conspiratorial website describing Seth Rich as a Bernie Sanders supporter who leaked DNC emails to Wikileaks as revenge against the committee backing Hillary Clinton as the party’s candidate. Corsi wrote that Rich was the “likely perpetrator” in the leak because he was “implicated in breaches of email systems,” and he was killed for providing the dump to the website. The Daily Beast previously reported Corsi did acknowledge the fact that hackers—not Rich—were behind the DNC leak in August 2016 emails to his friend and long-time Trump confidant Roger Stone, who has been accused of obstruction of justice, witness tampering, and lying to the House Intelligence Committee about his communications between Wikileaks and the Trump campaign.

By Will Sommer
Newly released email shows the Russia truthers knew full well who supplied Wikileaks. They kept blaming a murdered staffer, even after his parents begged them to stop. Russian hackers weren’t the ones behind the theft of Democratic emails that upended the 2016 presidential race, conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi told his InfoWars fans last year. Instead, Corsi said, Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich had stolen the emails and was murdered in revenge for the heist. But Corsi was lying. In an email to Trump confidante Roger Stone in 2016, Corsi acknowledged that in fact hackers were behind the email theft, according to newly released messages. Despite that admission, both Corsi and Stone played key roles promoting the conspiracy theory about Rich. Stone became one of the first major figures in Trump’s orbit to suggest Rich was murdered over the emails, tweeting on August 10, 2016 that Rich had “ties to DNC heist.” In 2017, after Rich’s parents begged right-wing media personalities to stop pushing conspiracy theories about their son, Corsi put the blame for the email theft on Rich in a three-part InfoWars series. In his InfoWars posts and a series of YouTube videos, Corsi portrayed Rich as a disaffected supporter of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) who stole the emails to get revenge against the DNC and paid for it with his life. Corsi wrote that Rich had clearly been “implicated in breaches of email systems.” The young staffer was, according to Corsi, the “likely perpetrator.” Corsi’s theory helped fuel conspiracy theorists on the right who claim, without evidence, that Rich was murdered on the orders of Hillary Clinton. But emails from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the Trump campaign and Russia show that Corsi knew all along that Russian hackers gave the emails to WikiLeaks. In an August 2, 2016 email, made public Tuesday in draft court papers prepared by Mueller’s office, Corsi told Stone that “hackers” were behind the WikiLeaks releases.

By Laura Jarrett, CNN
(CNN) The Justice Department announced Monday that Attorney General Bill Barr will not step aside from overseeing the special counsel's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, as anticipation grows over when Robert Mueller will deliver his report to the department. "Following General Barr's confirmation, senior career ethics officials advised that General Barr should not recuse himself from the Special Counsel's investigation," Justice Department spokesperson Kerri Kupec said in a statement Monday. "Consistent with that advice, General Barr has decided not to recuse." Prior to his Senate confirmation last month, Democrats had raised concerns about a 19-page memo Barr authored in June 2018 as a private citizen, detailing why he believed President Donald Trump's firing of FBI Director James Comey a year earlier should not constitute obstruction of justice. He also previously offered mixed opinions about the Russia investigation, having praised Mueller but also publicly criticized political donations that several members of the special counsel's team had made to Democrats. Barr told lawmakers he would consult with ethics officials on the recusal issue, but he did not make any pledge to necessarily follow their advice on the Russia probe. Now cleared by ethics officials, the attorney general is poised to receive Mueller's confidential report at any time. As CNN has previously reported, Barr has been closely consulting with top Justice Department officials on the outlines of plans to handle the highly anticipated report, including to what extent it should be shared with Congress, and by extension the public.

By Brett Samuels and Jacqueline Thomsen
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) on Monday issued document requests to 81 individuals and entities as part of a sweeping investigation into President Trump’s campaign, business and administration. The investigation will focus on three key areas, Nadler said: obstruction of justice, public corruption and abuses of power. Here’s a look at each person or group Nadler served with document requests.

1. Alan Garten - Garten serves as the chief legal counsel for the Trump Organization.

2. Alexander Nix - Nix previously served as the head of Cambridge Analytica, a data firm that did work for the Trump campaign and was later embroiled in a Facebook privacy scandal.

3. Allen Weisselberg - Weisselberg is the chief financial officer of the Trump Organization, and has worked for the Trump family for decades. Michael Cohen identified him last week to lawmakers as an individual who was aware of the president’s asset inflation and a scheme to silence women who alleged affairs with Trump.

4. American Media Inc. (AMI) - AMI is the publisher of the National Enquirer and has been accused of engaging in “catch and kill,” a scheme to purchase unflattering stories about Trump and bury them.

5. Anatoli Samochornov - Samochornov was a translator for Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya at a 2016 Trump Tower meeting. Veselnitskaya had promised Trump associates damaging information on former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton ahead of the meeting, but other attendees — including Donald Trump Jr. — said no such information was shared.

6. Andrew Intrater - Intrater is the head of investment firm Columbus Nova and has ties to Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg. The New York Times reported that Intrater gave Trump attorney Michael Cohen a $1 million consulting contract in 2017.

7. Annie Donaldson - Donaldson served as chief of staff to former White House counsel Donald McGahn, who left the administration in October.

8. Brad Parscale - Parscale worked for the Trump Organization prior to joining the president’s 2016 presidential campaign to oversee digital operations. Parscale is the campaign manager for the president’s 2020 reelection bid.

9. Brittany Kaiser - Kaiser is a former employee of Cambridge Analytica and was subpoenaed earlier this year in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.

10. Cambridge Analytica - The data firm made headlines last year over a privacy scandal involving millions of users’ Facebook data. The firm did work for the Trump campaign and has ties to former White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon.


By Dan Mangan
(CNBC) Special counsel Robert Mueller on Monday notified a federal judge about an Instagram post by President Donald Trump's friend Roger Stone that could be in violation of the judge's strict gag order on Stone. The filing by Mueller notes CNBC's story on Sunday detailing the post by Stone, which contained an image of him under the words "Who framed Roger Stone." Stone, 66, is barred from commenting on Mueller's team of prosecutors under the gag order imposed by Judge Amy Berman Jackson in late February. Special counsel Robert Mueller on Monday notified a federal judge about an Instagram post by President Donald Trump's friend Roger Stone that could be in violation of the judge's strict gag order on Stone. The filing by Mueller noted CNBC's story on Sunday detailing the post by Stone, which contained an image of him under the words "Who framed Roger Stone." Mueller did not ask Judge Amy Berman to find Stone in violation of her gag order in the case, where he is accused of lying to Congress, witness tampering and obstructing justice. Stone, 66, is barred from criticizing Mueller's team of prosecutors under the gag imposed on Feb. 21 after he posted an Instagram image of Jackson's face next to a rifle scope's crosshair. If Stone is found by Jackson to have violated that order, she could have him jailed without bail pending his trial. Stone deleted "Who framed Roger Stone" image from a series of other rotating images on his Instagram story Sunday shortly after CNBC sent an email to his lawyer asking about it. The other images suggested that people donate to Stone's legal defense fund, with one saying "I am committed to proving my innocence. But I need your help," and another saying, "I've always had Trump's back. Will you have mine?" "We note for the Court that according to public reporting, on March 3, 2019, the defendant's Instagram account shared an image with the title 'who framed Roger Stone.' A copy of the image is submitted under seal as Exhibit C. 1," Mueller said in the court filing in federal court in Washington, D.C. Stone's posted the "Framed" Instagram image two days after Jackson ordered his defense lawyers to explain why they did not tell her about the planned publication of a book by Stone that could violate her gag order. That order prohibits Stone from "making statements to the media or in public settings about the Special Counsel's investigation or this case or any of the participants in the investigation or the case." The gag covers "posts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or any other form of social media," as well as other forms of communication. Mueller's spokesman, who declined to comment on Stone's post on Sunday, did not immediately return a request for comment. Stone's lawyers did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Earlier Monday, Stone's attorneys told Jackson in a filing that they belived his new book, which has an updated introduction discussing his case, should be allowed to be published because it was written and edited before the judge issued her gag order. But Mueller's filing afterward noted that, "A preview of the defendant's book, including the updated Introduction referenced in the defendant's Motion to Clarify, is currently publicly available on Amazon.com and Google Books."

By The Associated Press
Opponents of President Donald Trump's declaration of a national emergency at the U.S.-Mexico border appear to have enough Senate votes to reject his move, now that Republican Rand Paul of Kentucky has said he can't go along with the White House.   Opponents of President Donald Trump's declaration of a national emergency at the U.S.-Mexico border appear to have enough Senate votes to reject his move, now that Republican Rand Paul of Kentucky has said he can't go along with the White House. The House has voted to derail the action, and if the Senate follows later this month, the measure would go to Trump for his promised veto. Three other Republican senators have announced they'll vote "no" — Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Thom Tillis of North Carolina. Paul makes it four, and assuming that all 47 Democrats and their independent allies go against Trump, that would give opponents 51 votes — just past the majority needed. Congress is unlikely to have the votes to override. "I can't vote to give the president the power to spend money that hasn't been appropriated by Congress," Paul said at a GOP dinner Saturday night at Western Kentucky University, according to the Bowling Green (Ky.) Daily News. "We may want more money for border security, but Congress didn't authorize it. If we take away those checks and balances, it's a dangerous thing." Many lawmakers opposed to the emergency declaration say it tramples Congress' constitutional power to control spending and would set a precedent for future Democratic presidents to make such a declaration for their own purposes. They also are concerned Trump would siphon money from home-state projects to barrier construction. Under the declaration, Trump would divert $3.6 billion from military construction to erect more border barriers. He's invoking other powers to transfer an additional $3.1 billion to construction.

US News March 2019 Page 1

Looking for Older Headline News:


Back to content