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

WASHINGTON — The Treasury Department said on Monday that it would not release President Trump’s tax returns to Congress, defying a request from House Democrats and setting up a legal battle likely to be resolved by the Supreme Court. Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury secretary, wrote in a letter to Representative Richard E. Neal, Democrat of Massachusetts and the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, that Mr. Neal’s request for the tax returns “lacks a legitimate legislative purpose” and that he was not authorized to disclose them. The decision came after weeks of delays as Mr. Mnuchin said that his department and the Justice Department needed to study the provision of the tax code that Democrats were using to seek six years’ worth of the president’s personal and business tax returns. The request for Mr. Trump’s taxes is the latest instance of the Trump administration rebuffing congressional oversight efforts.

First it was the former White House counsel. Now it is special counsel Robert S. Mueller III. In both cases, President Trump — seemingly petrified of witnesses concerning a report in which he claims to have been exonerated — has tried to suppress testimony from those with the most damning evidence of Trump’s obstruction of justice. The Post reports, “President Trump said Sunday that special counsel Robert S. Mueller III should not testify before Congress, reversing course from his previous position that the decision is up to Attorney General William P. Barr. ‘Bob Mueller should not testify,’ Trump said in an afternoon tweet. ‘No redos for the Dems!’” The House Judiciary Committee is seeking to have Mueller testify on May 15.

A Chinese delegation will come to the U.S. this week for trade talks after President Donald Trump upended negotiations by threatening new tariffs on Sunday, according to sources familiar with the matter. One of the sources briefed on the status of talks said the Chinese would send a smaller delegation than the 100-person group originally planned. It is unclear whether Vice Premier Liu He would still helm this smaller group, an important detail if the team were traveling to Washington with an eye toward sealing a deal. Two senior administration officials described Liu as “the closer,” since he had been given authority to negotiate on President Xi Jinping’s behalf. The team from Beijing was set to start talks with American negotiators on Wednesday as the world’s two largest economies push for a trade agreement. It is unclear whether the talks will still start Wednesday.

“We  believe strongly that, but for the OLC memo, the overwhelming weight of  professional judgment would come down in favor of prosecution for the  conduct outlined in the Mueller Report," the former federal prosecutors  said in a statement. President Donald Trump would have been indicted for  obstruction of justice in special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation  if he did not hold the nation’s highest office, more than 370 former  federal prosecutors argued in an open letter publish on Medium on Monday. The  ex-prosecutors — who have served under both Republican and Democratic  administrations dating back to President Dwight D. Eisenhower — said  Attorney General William Barr's decision not to charge Trump with  obstruction "runs counter to logic and our experience." The  letter added, “Each of us believes that the conduct of President Trump  described in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report would, in the case  of any other person not covered by the Office of Legal Counsel policy  against indicting a sitting President, result in multiple felony charges  for obstruction of justice.” “We believe strongly that,  but for the OLC memo, the overwhelming weight of professional judgment  would come down in favor of prosecution for the conduct outlined in the  Mueller Report," the letter continued.

Washington (CNN) - Hundreds  of former Justice Department officials said in an open letter released  Monday that President Donald Trump would be facing multiple felony  charges stemming from the Russia investigation if he were not President. The  letter posted online by Justice Department alumni, who served under  presidents from both parties, said the report from special counsel  Robert Mueller contained repeated instances of Trump committing  obstruction of justice, and that he would have been charged with obstruction if he was not protected as President by an opinion from the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel that Mueller cited. "We  believe strongly that, but for the OLC memo, the overwhelming weight of  professional judgment would come down in favor of prosecution for the  conduct outlined in the Mueller Report," the letter read. The letter was posted to Medium  and said it was being updated by the group Protect Democracy, a  nonprofit group that has combated the Trump administration. CNN has  reached out to Protect Democracy regarding the letter. The  letter was signed by officials from a wide-range of backgrounds, and  included former US attorneys and other top officials from both parties. The Washington Post, which previously reported on  the letter, which said signatories to the letter included officials  whose time in government included every administration since President  Dwight Eisenhower.

“His  assertion generally that the Chinese are paying these tariffs is just  simply nonsense. It’s a complete misunderstanding of how tariffs work,"  said one senior economist. In threatening an escalation of a trade war with China over  the weekend, President Donald Trump asserted that the tariffs already in  place have boosted the economy. “These payments are partially responsible for our great economic results,” he tweeted on Sunday. Economists disagree.
“It’s  pretty hard to justify the argument that tariffs have strengthened the  economy,” said Dan North, chief economist at Euler Hermes North America.  “In the first quarter GDP report, there was a very sharp reduction in  imports. Of course that makes GDP look bigger, so that would be a result  of the tariffs coming into play. However, that is not a way to grow an  economy,” he said. "The economy has done well in spite of  the tariffs,” said Michael O. Moore, a professor of economics and  international affairs at George Washington University. Moore  said the domestic economy is thriving because of other Trump  administration initiatives like deregulation and a big corporate tax  cut, along with low interest rates.

Stocks tumbled Monday after President Donald Trump threatened to raise tariffs  on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods. The development comes amid  ongoing trade talks between the U.S. and China. Goldman Sachs noted that  Mr. Trump's action suggests the U.S. has reached a "sticking point" in  negotiations. The Dow fell more than 350 points, or 1.3 percent, in the first 10  minutes of trading Monday. Other indices also dropped, including the  S&P 500 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite, where companies like  Apple, Qualcomm and Broadcom, which  rely heavily on Chinese business,  took especially big hits, falling more than 3 percent each in early  trading. According to data provider FactSet, 64.7 percent of Qualcomm's  revenue comes from China. Broadcom's Chinese revenue is 48 percent of  its total and Apple gets nearly one-fifth of its revenue from world's  second largest economy.   

Two US Navy destroyers challenged China's excessive maritime claims in the South China Sea Monday, angering Beijing. The guided-missile destroyers USS Preble and USS Chung-Hoon conducted a  freedom-of-navigation operation, sailing within 12 nautical miles of  two Chinese-occupied reefs in the Spratly Islands, US Navy 7th Fleet  spokesman Commander Clay Doss  told Reuters. The operation, the third by the US Navy in the South China Sea this  year, was specifically intended "to challenge excessive maritime claims  and preserve access to the waterways as governed by international law,"  he said.
 Beijing was critical of the operation, condemning it with rhetoric it  has used to express its displeasure with some previous operations. "The relevant moves by the U.S. warships have infringed on China's  sovereignty and undermined peace and security in relevant waters. We  firmly oppose that," Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Geng  Shuang  told reporters at a press briefing Monday.
Washington The United States is deploying forces to the  Middle East, in response to what administration officials say are  threats of a possible attack by Iran or allied fighters on American  troops in the region. White House national security adviser John Bolton  said in a statement Sunday night that the U.S. is deploying the USS  Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group and a bomber task force to the U.S.  Central Command region, an area that includes the Middle East. Bolton said the move was in response to "a number of troubling and  escalatory indications and warnings." He didn't provide details, but  said the U.S. wants to send a "clear and unmistakable" message to Iran  that "unrelenting force" would meet any attack on U.S. interests or  those of its allies.
"The United States is not seeking war with  the Iranian regime, but we are fully prepared to respond to any attack,  whether by proxy, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, or regular  Iranian forces," he said.

President Trump said Sunday that special counsel Robert Mueller  should not testify before Congress — reversing his position from days  ago, when he said he'd defer to Attorney General William Barr. Across two tweets,  Mr. Trump wrote, "why would the Democrats in Congress now need Robert  Mueller...to testify. Are they looking for a redo because they hated  seeing the strong NO COLLUSION conclusion?" Mr. Trump added, "Bob Mueller should not testify. No redos for the Dems!" Mr.  Trump's tweet came soon after Democratic Rep. David Cicilline, who sits  on the House Judiciary Committee, announced that he is working on  arranging Mueller's testimony. The Rhode Island congressman said he is  hoping to bring Mueller in on May 15, but a date hasn't been confirmed.

Sen. Bernie Sanders  (I-Vt.), a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, said at a campaign  stop in Iowa on Saturday that he would vote to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt if he were in the House. "We  had an attorney general of the United States who refused to come to a  hearing that the House Judiciary Committee called," Sanders said at a  town hall in Perry, Iowa. "If I were a member of the House, I  would vote to hold Attorney General Barr in contempt," he added. "He was  asked to testify, he refused to testify, he refused to provide the  information that the House wanted, and that is unacceptable."

Columbia, South Carolina -- Former Vice President Joe Biden  rang the alarm that "Jim Crow is sneaking back" at a campaign rally in  South Carolina, the south's first primary state that is seen as key to  clinching the Democratic nomination. Biden launched his third bid for  the presidency on April 25 in Pennsylvania, and crisscrossed Iowa before  heading to South Carolina this weekend. Biden held a campaign rally Saturday in Columbia, the Palmetto  State's capital and home to the University of South Carolina. Bidden  added to his usual fighting-for-the-middle-class stump speech by calling  for protecting voting rights and ending "systemic racism." Biden cited numerous states' voting laws which he said are "mostly directed at people of color."

JEJU, South Korea — When North Korea launched a volley of projectiles off its east coast on Saturday, it sought to escalate the pressure on President Trump to return to the negotiating table with a compromise on easing sanctions, analysts said, by signaling that it could scuttle his biggest diplomatic achievement with the North. Saturday’s weapons tests were the most serious by the North since the country launched its Hwasong-15 intercontinental ballistic missiles in November 2017. Although North Korea has not gone so far as to renege on its moratorium on nuclear and ICBM tests, which its leader, Kim Jong-un, announced last year, the Saturday launch indicated that Mr. Kim was toying with the idea of lifting the moratorium, analysts said. Mr. Trump has repeatedly described the moratorium as his biggest achievement on North Korea, citing it as proof that his diplomacy with Mr. Kim has been working. The leaders have met twice: first in Singapore in June and again in Hanoi, Vietnam, in February.

Attorney General William Barr's refusal to appear before the House Judiciary Committee did accomplish one thing, according to Rep. Jaime Raskin, D-Md. "They have succeeded in building a near unanimous sense in the Democratic Caucus that the executive branch of government is in defiance of the Constitution and the rule of law," said Raskin, a former constitutional law professor who sits on both the House Judiciary and Oversight committees. Barr, already under steady attack from Democrats in both the House and Senate, declined to appear Thursday before the House Judiciary Committee because he did not want to be questioned by committee lawyers, only members. Democrats refused to accommodate Barr because Raskin said there's a bigger constitutional principle at stake. "He doesn't dictate to us how we conduct hearings in Congress," he said.

Last month, the White House complained to Attorney General William Barr about special counsel Robert Mueller's findings.

President Trump described his hour-long phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin to reporters on Friday, and said the leader “sort of smiled”  when they discussed the Mueller Report. “He said it started off as a  mountain and it ended up being a mouse, but he knew that because he knew  there was no collusion whatsoever,” Trump said. In his report, Mueller  concluded that the Russians interfered in the 2016 election in a  “sweeping” fashion but did not find that the Trump campaign colluded  with them. When asked whether he thought Mueller should testify before Congress, Trump said that it was up to Attorney General William Barr, who is doing a “fantastic job.” The president also said they talked about the presidential crisis in Venezuela. Putin told him he was “not looking at all to get involved” in the situation, he said. The Kremlin later released their own readout of the call, which made no mention of the Mueller Report.

President Donald Trump doesn't want former White House  counsel Don McGahn to testify before Congress, telling Fox News'  Catherine Herridge, "It's done." "Congress shouldn't be looking anymore,"  Trump said in a Thursday-night interview. "This is all. It's done." "Nobody has ever done what I've done," he continued. "I've given total  transparency. It's never happened before like this. They shouldn't be  looking anymore. It's done." McGahn, who spent 30 hours testifying be special counsel Robert  Mueller's office, featured largely in Mueller's findings on potential  obstruction of justice — which made up one of two volumes in Mueller's  full report on the Russia investigation.

Blackwater founder Erik Prince arranged for political activist James  O’Keefe’s conservative group Project Veritas to receive more than one  round of “training in intelligence and elicitation techniques,” The Intercept reports.  In 2016, the self-styled “guerrilla journalist” group reportedly got  lessons from a retired military intelligence operative. The training  lasted several weeks and ended with the operative, Euripides Rubio Jr.,  reportedly quitting because the group “wasn’t capable of learning.” In  2017, Prince next set Project Veritas up with a former British MI6  officer in hopes of turning the organization into “domestic spies,”  according to report. At the time, O’Keefe posted social-media photos of  the event at Prince’s Wyoming ranch, claiming he was training in “spying  and self-defense” and planned to turn Project Veritas into “the next  great intelligence agency.”

The attorney general of the United  States misled the country about an investigation implicating the  president. Then he lied to Congress. Then he did something worse: He  effectively said that the president of the United States is above the  law. William Barr should resign. My  first experience in public service was as an assistant U.S. attorney in  Los Angeles. That office within the Department of Justice was populated  then, and is now, with men and women of extraordinary talent, love of  country and dedication to the impartial enforcement of the law. The  public servants there and in similar offices around the country deserve  an attorney general who shares their abiding commitment to the rule of  law, demonstrates strength and independence, speaks truth to power and  represents no one person, but all Americans.

During his four-hour back and forth with senators on Wednesday, Attorney General William Barr questioned, and at times seemed to contradict, key findings in special counsel Robert Mueller's report. Time and again, faced with questions from probing Senate Judiciary Committee Democrats about the report's contents, Barr also seemed unfamiliar with some of the report's significant details. When Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., brought up how then-Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort shared polling data in August 2016 with his former business associate, Konstantin Kilimnik -- identified by prosecutors as having ties to Russian intelligence -- Barr struggled.

A popular meme purportedly pits the 2016 Graham against the 2019 version of the senator. - Republicans are hypocrites many of them had said bad things about Trump. Republicans want to investigate anyone except Republicans who has said some bad thigs about Trump. How many Republicans are calling for investigations into Republicans who have said bad things about Trump? None, there are no calls to investigate Republicans who have said bad things about Trump.

A three-judge federal panel unanimously ruled Friday that Ohio’s gerrymandered congressional district map is unconstitutional, and ordered the creation of a new map in time for the 2020 election. This is the latest in a series of decisions across the country striking down partisan maps, including in neighboring Michigan and Pennsylvania. Plus, Supreme Court rulings are pending for cases out of North Carolina and Maryland.

(CNN) - In an interview with Fox News' Catherine Herridge Thursday night, President Donald Trump was asked about the Mueller report and the possibility of former and current aides being called before Congress to testify amid ongoing oversight investigations into Russia's interference in the 2016 election.
"Nobody has ever done what I've done," Trump replied. "I've given total transparency. It's never happened before like this."

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said the two leaders spoke by phone for an hour on Friday. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke Friday and both agreed "there was no collusion" between Moscow and Trump's 2016 presidential campaign, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said. Sanders said that the two briefly discussed special counsel Robert Mueller's report "essentially in the context of that it's over and there was no collusion." She added that she was "pretty sure both leaders were very well aware of (the Mueller report's finding) long before this call took place" because it was "something we've said for the better part of two and a half years."

The notes, scribbled rapidly on a legal pad, captured the fear inside the White House when President Trump raged over the Russia investigation and decreed he was firing the FBI director who led it: “Is this the beginning of the end?” The angst-filled entry is part of a shorthand diary that chronicled the chaotic days in Trump’s West Wing, a trove that the special counsel report cited more than 65 times as part of the evidence that the president sought to blunt a criminal investigation bearing down on him.

House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler is making what he calls a final “counter offer” to Attorney General William Barr’s refusal to grant immediate access to the underlying evidence in special counsel Robert Mueller’s report. In a new letter to Barr on Friday, Nadler (D-N.Y.) is giving the Justice Department until 9 a.m. Monday to comply with his adjusted request before moving forward with an effort to hold Barr in contempt of Congress for defying a committee subpoena demanding Mueller’s full unredacted report and underlying documents by May 1.

Senate Republicans warn the president he can’t replace NAFTA without dropping his tariffs. Before President Donald Trump can get his new North American trade deal passed, he’s got to overcome stiff congressional opposition — from his own party. Senate Republicans say that unless the president removes steel and aluminum tariffs on U.S. allies, his NAFTA replacement isn’t going anywhere. And that’s assuming the president doesn’t follow through with his threat to impose new levies on foreign auto companies, many of which have factories in Southern GOP senators’ backyards.

Washington (CNN) - President Donald Trump's outside-the-box picks for administration posts have long contributed to the allure of his "drain the swamp" mantra. Yet for many of those selections, a life spent outside the "box" -- paired with the President's own rush to name his nominees before they are properly vetted -- have proven ill-fated. Herman Cain and Stephen Moore, two of his picks to sit on the board of the Federal Reserve, have withdrawn their names from contention when it became clear their backgrounds were too pocked even for many Republicans. Dr. Ronny Jackson, his choice to run the Veterans Affairs department, was felled by allegations he improperly dispensed medication in his role as the President's physician. Heather Nauert, who Trump elevated to serve as US Ambassador to the United Nations, withdrew because a nanny she employed didn't have proper work papers.

BOSTON — The billionaire founder of the pharmaceutical company Insys Therapeutics and four other top executives were found guilty on Thursday in a scheme involving bribes and kickbacks to physicians who prescribed large amounts of a fentanyl spray to patients who didn't need the painkiller. After 15 days of deliberations, a jury in Boston federal court reached a first-ever conviction of a drug company CEO in the federal government's fight to combat the opioid crisis, finding the Arizona-based company's founder and former chairman John Kapoor guilty of racketeering conspiracy charges. Also found guilty were: Richard M. Simon, the company's former national director of sales; Sunrise Lee and Joseph A. Rowan, both onetime regional sales directors; and former Vice President of Managed Markets, Michael J. Gurry.

Former Vice President and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden on Wednesday called for Attorney General William Barr to resign, saying that he had lost the confidence of the American people. "I think he’s lost the confidence of the American people," Biden told a group of reporters who asked whether Barr should resign. "I think he should," he added, according to a video shared on Twitter.

America deserves nothing less than objectivity, neutrality, honesty and integrity from our top law enforcement official. William Barr can no longer effectively serve as the attorney general of the United States. He has diminished the office with his partisanship, and the American public simply cannot have faith that he will fairly and impartially oversee any of the criminal and civil investigations regarding President Donald Trump that may be in the Justice Department's pipeline. On Wednesday, Barr testified in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee. His testimony came less than two weeks after the release of a redacted version of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report detailing his nearly two-year investigation into Russian election meddling and possible obstruction by Trump. But Barr’s testimony was overshadowed, before he even began speaking, by the uncovering of a letter Mueller wrote to Barr that suggested Mueller was frustrated by the way the attorney general had initially characterized the report’s findings to Congress.

The network also cut into Lindsey Graham's opening remarks to rebuke his claims that the Mueller report found ‘no collusion.’ During its live coverage of Attorney General William Barr’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, MSNBC cut into the the hearing multiple times to call the attorney general a liar and claim Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Lindsey Graham is nothing more than a “human shield” for President Trump. Using his opening remarks Wednesday morning to assert that Special Counsel Robert Mueller was allowed to conduct his investigation without any interference, Graham—a one-time Trump critic turned loyalist—parroted President Trump’s oft-repeated mantra that there was “no collusion.” Almost immediately, MSNBC anchor Brian Williams broke into the coverage to push back against Graham, citing the Mueller report itself. “We’re reluctant to do this, we rarely do, but the chairman of the Judiciary Committee just said that Mueller found there was no collusion,” Williams said. “That is not correct.” Turning to fellow MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace, Williams noted that “the report says collusion is not a thing they considered” and “it doesn’t exist in the federal code.”

Lindsey Graham kicked off Barr’s testimony by whipping up a Hillary Clinton conspiracy theorySen. Lindsey O. Graham’s metamorphosis over the past three years has been remarkable, transforming from one of President Trump’s harshest critics on the campaign trail into one of his staunchest defenders on Capitol Hill. That is particularly convenient for Trump at this moment given that Graham (R-S.C.) is the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, the panel that on Wednesday hosted Attorney General William P. Barr to discuss the results of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 campaign. That meant that Graham got to control the interview of Barr and to offer an opening statement, setting the table for the day’s discussion. That opening statement focused heavily on wrongdoing by a 2016 presidential campaign. Not Trump’s: Hillary Clinton’s.

WASHINGTON — Robert Mueller objected to Attorney General William Barr's  characterization of the principal findings of the Russia investigation  and asked the attorney general on multiple occasions to release the  special counsel's prepared summaries of the report. Mueller communicated his objections to Barr in a letter on March 27, three days after the attorney general disclosed the special counsel's conclusions in a summary letter clearing  President Donald Trump of having obstructed the investigation into  Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Trump relied on  that summary letter to claim total exoneration. But  in his letter, the first clear window into Mueller's thoughts since he  became special counsel two years ago, he said Barr's summary of the  investigation's principal conclusions "did not fully capture the  context, nature, and substance" of the probe. "There  is now a public confusion about critical aspects of the results of our  investigation," Mueller wrote. "This threatens to undermine a central  purpose for which the Department appointed the Special Counsel: to  assure full public confidence in the outcome of the investigations."

Democrats are incensed at Attorney General William Barr following news reports that indicate the special counsel Robert Mueller had misgivings about Barr's characterization of its Russia investigation. On Tuesday, The New York Times  first reported that the special counsel wrote to Barr saying he  disagreed with the attorney general's summary of its nearly two-year  investigation. Days after Barr submitted his "principal  conclusions" on the investigation, Mueller wrote a letter saying he "did  not fully capture the context, nature, and substance of this office's  work and conclusions," according to The Washington Post.

Attorney General William P. Barr is set to face two days of grilling by congressional Democrats. Fortuitously, this comes just after we’ve learned that special counsel Robert S. Mueller III privately criticized Barr’s highly misleading summary of the Mueller report, which gave President Trump weeks to falsely spin Mueller’s findings as “complete and total exoneration.” Mueller wrote a letter to Barr only three days after Barr released his four-page summary, as The Post reports, complaining that Barr’s summary “did not fully capture the context, nature, and substance of this office’s work and conclusions.” “There is now public confusion about critical aspects of the results of our investigation,” Mueller continued, adding that this will undercut “full public confidence” in the investigation’s findings, thus undermining a “central purpose” of the appointment of a special counsel in the first place.

‘This threatens to undermine a central purpose  for which the Department appointed the Special Counsel,’ the letter  said. Special counsel Robert Mueller wrote a letter to Attorney General  William Barr last month complaining that a four-page memo Barr wrote  characterizing Mueller’s findings “did not fully capture the context,  nature, and substance” of the Russia investigation, two senior Justice  Department officials confirmed to POLITICO on Tuesday.
Mueller sent the letter to Barr on March 27, three days after Barr  issued his four-page summary, and cited “public confusion about critical  aspects of the results of our investigation.”

President Donald Trump went on a Twitter spree Wednesday morning in attempt to show that he has support from firefighters after former Vice President Joe Biden, the newest 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, netted an endorsement from one of the nation's largest firefighter unions last week.  

WASHINGTON — The special counsel, Robert  S. Mueller III, twice pushed Attorney General William P. Barr to  release more of his team’s investigative findings in late March, citing a  gap between Mr. Barr’s interpretation of them and their full report,  according to a letter from Mr. Mueller released on Wednesday. Mr.  Mueller and his investigators also pressed the Justice Department to  include summaries of their work in the hours before Mr. Barr released a  four-page letter of his own on March 24, the new document showed. Mr.  Barr’s letter allowed Mr. Trump to wrongly claim that he had been  vindicated in the Russia investigation. Mr.  Mueller’s letter revealed deep concern about how Mr. Barr handled the  initial release of the special counsel’s findings — which Mr. Mueller  said created “public confusion about critical aspects of the results of  our investigation.”

(CNN) - Before  6:30 a.m. on the East Coast Wednesday morning, President Donald Trump  had retweeted 58(!) comments mostly from accounts claiming to be  firefighters -- or family members of firefighters -- praising him and  attacking the International Association of Fire Fighters and their  recently endorsed candidate for president Joe Biden. The  barrage of retweets -- and the hour in which they came -- suggested  that Trump has Biden very much on his mind these days as the former vice  president begins to tour early primary and caucus states in support of his front-running candidacy for the Democratic nomination.

CNN's Laura Jarrett reads the letter special counsel Robert Mueller sent Attorney General William Barr regarding the Mueller report summary.

Deutsche Bank could share its "rich trove" of documents related to  Donald Trump with investigators looking to probe the president’s  financial dealings.
According to a report from The New York Times,  the "reams" of records in possession of the German lender include  internal corporate documents, parts of Trump's personal and business tax  returns as well as a detailed breakdown of the value of his assets. On April 15, the bank was issued a subpoena by two House committees,  both controlled by the Democrats, to hand over information on Trump’s  finances. Investigators demanded the bank hand over documents related to  Trump's companies, such as “parents, subsidiaries, affiliates,  branches, divisions, partnerships, properties, groups, special purpose  entities, joint ventures, predecessors, successors or any other entity  in which they have or had a controlling interest.” Capital One was  also issued a subpoena by the two committees, prompting Trump, three of  his children and seven of his companies to file a federal lawsuit  against both banks.

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — The Alabama House voted overwhelmingly Tuesday to  outlaw almost all abortions in the state as conservatives took aim at  the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion nationwide. The Republican-dominated House of Representatives voted 74-3 for  legislation that would make it a felony to perform an abortion at any  stage in a woman’s pregnancy. The proposal passed after Democrats walked  out of the chamber after sometimes emotional debate with opponents and  supporters crowding the gallery. The bill now moves to the Alabama  Senate.   

If pressure continues to build, he could be forced to withdraw, much like Herman Cain. Herman Cain  isn’t the only controversial person Trump has considered for the  Federal Reserve board. This week, Senate Republicans are wrestling with  another pick the president has floated for the financial body: conservative commentator Stephen Moore. Moore has yet to be officially nominated, but an outcry over sexist writings he’s previously published deriding women’s involvement in sports could mean that it might not even happen. Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst, the fourth-ranking Republican in  the Senate conference, has been among the most vocal member of the GOP  in sounding the alarm about a number of columns Moore wrote for National  Review in the early 2000s. “I’m not enthused about what he has said in various articles,” she told reporters on Monday,  calling these writings “ridiculous.” Ernst added Tuesday that she has  expressed her concerns to the White House and that several others in the  conference feel the same way.

(CNN) - Two  Swarthmore University fraternity chapters say they are closing their  doors in response to allegations of racist, misogynistic and homophobic  behavior against past members that emerged in recent weeks. The disturbing accounts were included in documents from 2013 to 2016 that were leaked to two campus publications earlier this month. One  of them, the 117-page "Phi Psi Historical Archive," included rape jokes  and racist tropes among the pages of fraternity meeting minutes and  scavenger hunt lists. The documents  also included crude descriptions of sexual encounters and hazing and  references to another fraternity's "rape attic" and "rape tunnel."

Early  Wednesday, the president retweeted 59 people in rapid succession who  replied to a tweet from conservative media personality Dan Bongino. President Donald Trump went on retweeting binge early  Wednesday, promoting tweets from nearly 60 accounts that replied to a  post regarding the International Association of Firefighter's support for former Vice President Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential race. Trump  retweeted 59 replies to conservative media personality Dan Bongino's  tweet within a span of 20 minutes, promoting tweets from users who  claimed firefighters did not support Biden. The binge began after Trump promoted Bongino's initial tweet, claiming that the firemen he knew were not supporting Biden.

The  judge's ruling came in a lawsuit filed against Charlottesville City  Council members who voted in 2017 to remove a statue of Gen. Robert E.  Lee. A Virginia judge has ruled that Charlottesville's Confederate statues are war monuments protected by state law. Judge  Richard Moore's ruling came in a lawsuit filed against Charlottesville  City Council members who voted in 2017 to remove a statue of Gen. Robert  E. Lee. Moore cited  how statues of Lee and Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson depict the men in  military uniforms and on horses associated with them during the Civil  War. Virginia law makes it illegal for local municipalities to remove  war monuments without permission from the state.

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