Trump Administration, Week 115: Friday, 29 March – Thursday, 4 April 2019 (Days 799-805)


Passages in bold in the body of the texts below are my emphasis. This is an ongoing project, and I update the site frequently. Because I try to stay focused on what has actually happened, I usually let the news ‘settle’ for a day or so before posting. I hope readers will peruse the articles in full for a better understanding of the issues and their context; our democracy and our future depend on citizens who can distinguish between facts and falsehoods and who are engaged in the political process.


Friday, 29 March 2019, Day 799:


Attorney General William Barr Says Mueller Report Will Be Redacted and Made Public by Mid-AprilThe New York Times, Katie Benner, Friday, 29 March 2019: “The special counsel’s report on the investigation into Russia’s election interference will be made public by mid-April, Attorney General William P. Barr told lawmakers on Friday, adding that the White House would not see the document before he sent it to Congress. ‘Everyone will soon be able to read it,’ Mr. Barr wrote in a letter to the chairmen of the congressional judiciary committees. Prosecutors from the office of the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, and other law enforcement officials are scouring the report for sensitive information to black out before releasing it, including secret grand jury testimony, classified materials and information about other continuing federal investigations, Mr. Barr wrote. He said the report — which covers Moscow’s campaign to sabotage the 2016 presidential race, whether any Trump associates conspired and whether the president obstructed the inquiry — was nearly 400 pages, plus supplements. He said he planned to testify on Capitol Hill in early May, shortly after the report’s release, to discuss it with lawmakers.” See also, Attorney General William Barr tells Congress the Mueller report will be delivered by ‘mid-April, if not sooner,’ The Washington Post, Devlin Barrett and Karoun Demirjian, Friday, 29 March 2019: “Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s report detailing his investigation of President Trump and Russia’s election interference will be delivered to Congress ‘by mid-April, if not sooner,’ Attorney General William P. Barr said Friday in a letter offering important new details about how the document will be edited before its public release.” See also, Attorney General William Barr’s letter to Congress detailing plans to deliver the Mueller reportThe Washington Post, Friday, 29 March 2019. See also, 5 takeaways from William Barr’s letter about releasing the Mueller reportThe Washington Post, Aaron Blake, Friday, 29 March 2019.  See also, Attorney General William Barr Plans Mid-April Release of Redacted Mueller ReportThe Wall Street Journal, Byron Tau, Friday, 29 March 2019: “The Justice Department expects to release a redacted version of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian interference by mid-April, the attorney general told Congress, in the face of continued pressure from Democrats demanding to see the full document.” See also, Democrats stand firm on early April deadline for Mueller reportThe Hill, Friday, 29 March 2019: “House Democrats are standing by their April 2 deadline for the Justice Department to send special counsel Robert Mueller’s full report to Congress. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) asserted in a statement Friday that the deadline ‘still stands’ after Attorney General William Barr told lawmakers he expects to have the report ready to send to Congress and release publicly by mid-April, ‘if not sooner.’ Nadler also welcomed Barr’s willingness to testify to Congress on May 2 and said he would take that date under consideration; however, he underscored that House Democrats view it as ‘critical’ that the attorney general appear before the committee ‘immediately’ to explain his four-page letter from Sunday outlining Mueller’s core findings. ‘As I informed the Attorney General earlier this week, Congress requires the full and complete Mueller report, without redactions, as well as access to the underlying evidence, by April 2,’ Nadler said in a statement Friday afternoon. ‘That deadline still stands.'”

Trump signs permit for construction of controversial Keystone XL pipelineThe Washington Post, Brady Dennis and Juliet Eilperin, Friday, 29 March 2019: “President Trump signed a new order Friday granting permission for the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, marking the White House’s latest effort to jump-start one of the most controversial infrastructure proposals in recent U.S. history. Trump’s presidential permit gives TransCanada, the Calgary-based firm behind the project, permission to ‘construct, connect, operate and maintain’ the pipeline in U.S. territory. The order appears aimed at addressing a ruling from a federal court judge in Montana last fall, who halted the project after finding the Trump administration had inadequately considered the environmental impact of the project before allowing it to move forward. That ruling faulted the State Department for not doing a sufficient review as required under the National Environmental Policy Act. But because that law applies to agency actions, as opposed to those by the White House, the president may be able to sidestep the issue by granting the permit himself rather than delegating the cross-border permit to the secretary of state.”

Trump Directs the State Department to End Aid to 3 Central American CountriesThe New York Times, Katie Rogers, Zolan Kanno-Youngs and Michael D. Shear, Friday, 29 March 2019: “President Trump said on Friday that there would be a ‘very good likelihood’ that he would seal off the United States border with Mexico next week, even as he moved to punish Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador for migrant caravans by cutting off all foreign aid to the countries. The moves escalated a sustained berating of countries he blames for being unable to stop the flow of migrants trying to make their way north.” See also, Trump plans to cut U.S. aid to 3 Central American countries in fight over U.S.-bound migrants, The Washington Post, Mary Beth Sheridan and Kevin Sieff, published on 30 March 2019.

Continue reading Week 115, Friday, 29 March – Thursday, 4 April 2019 (Days 799-805)

Bernie Sanders Says ‘No’ to Incrementalism, Highlighting Divide Among DemocratsThe New York Times, Sydney Ember, Friday, 29 March 2019: “When House Speaker Nancy Pelosi introduced legislation this week to strengthen the Affordable Care Act, Democrats across the ideological spectrum were quick to express their support: moderates, liberals, even Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the often uncompromising progressive freshman. But not Bernie Sanders. When asked on Tuesday night whether he, too, supported the House bill, Mr. Sanders was defiant. ‘No,’ he said tersely. ‘No,’ he said again, when pressed. ‘The incremental reform that I support is phasing in ‘Medicare for all.’”

Andrew Beal’s Big Bet on a Fossil-Fuel Future for CaliforniaThe New York Times, Ivan Penn and Thomas Kaplan, Friday, 29 March 2019: “California has positioned itself as a leader in the fight against climate change. It leads the nation by far in solar power. And it is working to reduce carbon emissions throughout the energy sector, with a goal of making the electricity grid carbon-free within a generation. But its clean-energy goals are colliding with a Texas billionaire who has staked a fossil-fuel claim in California and is aiming to get federal regulators on his side.”

Trump’s Inaccurate Claims on Mueller, Health Care, and the Great LakesThe New York Times, Linda Qiu, Friday, 29 March 2019: “At a rally in Michigan, President Trump misstated the findings of the special counsel investigation, misleadingly promised to protect patients with pre-existing conditions, and falsely described funding for a restoration program for the Great Lakes.”

Nevada Democrat accuses Joe Biden of touching and kissing her without consentThe Washington Post, Michael Brice-Saddler, Friday, 29 March 2019: “A onetime Democratic nominee for Nevada’s lieutenant governor accused former vice president Joe Biden on Friday of touching and kissing her without her consent during her campaign in 2014, an experience she says left her feeling mortified, embarrassed and confused. In an essay published by The Cut, Lucy Flores wrote that when she learned the then-vice president had offered to appear at a rally in Nevada to support her campaign, she was grateful. But that feeling changed, she said, when Biden approached her from behind as she was getting ready to address the crowd. She wrote that she felt the vice president place two hands on her shoulders before moving closer to her from behind. Then, she says, Biden kissed her on the back of her head.” See also, Nevada Democrat Accuses Joe Biden of Touching and Kissing Her at 2014 Campaign RallyThe New York Times, Matt Stevens and Sydney Ember, published on Saturday, 30 March 2019: “A former Nevada state assemblywoman has accused Joseph R. Biden Jr. of touching and kissing her at a 2014 campaign event for Democrats in what she called a mortifying episode that left her feeling ‘powerless to do anything about it.’ In an essay published on Friday by New York Magazine’s The Cut, the former assemblywoman, Lucy Flores, a Democrat, said she was 35 at the time of her encounter with Mr. Biden, who was then vice president. Mr. Biden, she wrote, had agreed to come to a rally to help her fledgling campaign for lieutenant governor of Nevada. Ms. Flores wrote that at first, she had been ‘grateful and flattered.’ But as she was preparing to take the stage, she said, she ‘felt two hands on my shoulders’ and ‘froze.’ ‘Why is the vice-president of the United States touching me?’ she recalled wondering. ‘I felt him get closer to me from behind,’ she continued. ‘He leaned further in and inhaled my hair. I was mortified.’ Then, she added: ‘He proceeded to plant a big slow kiss on the back of my head. My brain couldn’t process what was happening. I was embarrassed. I was shocked. I was confused.'”


Saturday, 30 March 2019, Day 800:


Federal Judge Finds Trump’s Order to Open Arctic Waters and Parts of the North Atlantic Coast to Oil Drilling Was UnlawfulThe New York Times, Coral Davenport, Saturday, 30 March 2019: “In a major legal blow to President Trump’s push to expand offshore oil and gas development, a federal judge ruled that an executive order by Mr. Trump that lifted an Obama-era ban on oil and gas drilling in the Arctic Ocean and parts of the North Atlantic coast was unlawful. The decision, by Judge Sharon L. Gleason of the United States District Court for the District of Alaska, concluded late Friday that President Barack Obama’s 2015 and 2016 withdrawal from drilling of about 120 million acres of Arctic Ocean and about 3.8 million acres in the Atlantic ‘will remain in full force and effect unless and until revoked by Congress.’ She wrote that an April 2017 executive order by Mr. Trump revoking the drilling ban ‘is unlawful, as it exceeded the president’s authority.’ The decision, which is expected to be appealed in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, immediately reinstates the drilling ban on most of the Arctic Ocean off the coast of Alaska, a pristine region home to endangered species including polar bears and bowhead whales where oil companies have long sought to drill. Along the Atlantic coast, it blocks drilling around a series of coral canyons that run from Norfolk, Va., to the Canadian border which are home to unique deepwater corals and rare fish species.” See also, Federal judge declares Trump’s push to open up Arctic and Atlantic oceans to oil and gas drilling illegalThe Washington Post, Juliet Eilperin, Saturday, 30 March 2019: “A federal judge in Alaska declared late Friday that President Trump’s order revoking a sweeping ban on oil and gas drilling in the Arctic and Atlantic oceans is illegal, putting 128 million acres of federal waters off limits to energy exploration. The decision by U.S. District Judge Sharon Gleason is the third legal setback this week to Trump’s energy and environmental policies. The judge, who was appointed to the federal bench by President Barack Obama in 2012, also blocked on Friday a land swap the Interior Department arranged that would pave the way for constructing a road through wilderness in a major National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska. Earlier this week, U.S. District Judge Lewis T. Babcock, who was appointed by President Ronald Reagan, ruled that Interior’s Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service illegally approved two gas drilling plans in western Colorado. The judge said officials did not adequately analyze wildlife and climate impacts in their plans — which were challenged by a coalition of environmental groups — to drill 171 wells in North Fork Valley, which provides key habitat for elk and mule deer.”

Georgia Is the Latest State to Pass Fetal Heartbeat Bill as Part of Growing TrendThe New York Times, Sarah Mervosh, Saturday, 30 March 2019: “Tensions over a growing movement to ban abortion after a fetal heartbeat can be detected intensified this week as lawmakers in Georgia passed a bill that stands to become one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the country. The bill, which narrowly passed in the Republican-controlled legislature on Friday, is expected to be signed into law by Gov. Brian Kemp, a Republican. The measure generally prohibits the procedure after doctors can discern a fetal heartbeat, a milestone that happens around six weeks of pregnancy — before some women know they are pregnant. Georgia’s so-called fetal heartbeat bill passed as momentum for similar proposals is building in several Republican-controlled state capitals. The governors in Mississippi and Kentucky signed fetal heartbeat measures into law in recent weeks, and other states — including Florida, Missouri, Ohio, Tennessee and Texas — are expected to approve similar measures this year. But the efforts have so far not gained traction in the courts, which quickly halted the fetal heartbeat bill from taking effect in Kentucky and found similar measures in Iowa and North Dakota unconstitutional. The measures clash with Supreme Court decisions that have recognized a woman’s right to an abortion until a fetus is viable outside the womb, usually around 24 weeks into a pregnancy.”

Joe Biden is blindsided by dose of 2020 realityPolitico, Marc Caputo, Saturday, 30 March 2019: “Joe Biden is enduring the roughest stretch of any candidate in the Democratic presidential primary, and he’s not even a candidate yet. In a two-week period in which his attempts to smooth a path into the 2020 race only seemed to underscore the obstacles confronting his prospective candidacy, the former vice president got a concentrated dose of what’s in store for him if he embarks on a third run for the White House. The hardest hit came Friday, when Lucy Flores, Nevada’s Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor in 2014, said she was made uncomfortable by Biden’s attentions that year when he was too physical with her at a campaign event…. From that encounter to his ongoing apology tour for the way he handled sexual harassment allegations against Justice Clarence Thomas to an awkward float about a possible running mate to mounting questions about his son’s business dealings in Ukraine, Biden has been reminded in short order of the lingering questions he’ll need to address. Namely, whether there is a place for a 76-year-old white male career politician in a historic diverse field of candidates, and whether his long career in public service has left him with a record that is out of sync with a party that’s rapidly moving leftward.” See also, Joe Biden Says He Did Not Act Inappropriately with Lucy FloresThe New York Times, Matt Stevens and Sydney Ember, Saturday, 30 March 2019: “Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., under pressure to respond to allegations that he touched and kissed a former Nevada assemblywoman, Lucy Flores, went on the defensive Sunday morning with a sweeping statement saying he did not believe he acted inappropriately but acknowledging that he had made ‘expressions of affection’ during his years on the campaign trail. In his statement, he emphasized that ‘not once — never — did I believe I acted inappropriately,’ but pledged to listen to any accuser. He did not describe in detail the ‘expressions of affection,’ but said there were also ‘countless handshakes, hugs’ and attempts to ‘support and comfort’ people he met. ‘I may not recall these moments the same way, and I may be surprised at what I hear,’ Mr. Biden said. ‘But we have arrived at an important time when women feel they can and should relate their experiences, and men should pay attention. And I will.’ Mr. Biden, who is expected to announce in April whether he will join the 2020 Democratic primary field, issued his statement two days after an essay by Ms. Flores was published on Friday in New York Magazine’s The Cut. Ms. Flores, a Democrat, said she was 35 at the time of her encounter with Mr. Biden, who was then vice president.”

Trump Turns U.S. Policy in Central America on its HeadThe New York Times, Elisabeth Malkin, Saturday, 30 March 2019: “President Trump’s plan to cut off aid to three Central American countries for failing to stop the flow of migrants toward the United States breaks with years of conventional wisdom in Washington that the best way to halt migration is to attack its root causes. The decision also runs counter to the approach advocated by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador of Mexico, among others. Mr. López Obrador has been lobbying Washington to join his government in investing billions of dollars in Central America and southern Mexico, arguing that economic development and reducing violence are the most effective ways to encourage Central Americans to remain home. Cutting off aid is ‘shooting yourself in the foot,’ said Adriana Beltrán, the director of citizen security at the Washington Office on Latin America, a human rights research group that tracks aid closely.”

Beto O’Rourke, Praising Immigration, Kicks Off Presidential Campaign in El PasoThe New York Times, Stephanie Saul, Saturday, 30 March 2019: “Beto O’Rourke officially kicked off his campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination Saturday morning, quoting the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., raising populist themes and praising the way immigration has enriched El Paso and the nation. Speaking at a downtown rally near the border with Mexico, Mr. O’Rourke said that his hometown, El Paso, its embrace of immigration and its rich ties with Mexico represented the best of the American experience, adding that the challenges facing the country presented ‘a moment of truth.’ Quoting Dr. King, he said El Paso and its Mexican neighbor of Ciudad Juárez were ‘caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny.'”

Stephen Moore, Trump’s planned nominee for the Federal Reserve Board, was held in contempt of court for failing to pay his ex-wife over $300,000.00The Guardian, Jon Swaine and David Smith, Saturday, 30 March 2019: “Stephen Moore, the economics commentator chosen by Donald Trump for a seat on the Federal Reserve board, was found in contempt of court after failing to pay his ex-wife hundreds of thousands of dollars in alimony, child support and other debts. Court records in Virginia obtained by the Guardian show Moore, 59, was reprimanded by a judge in November 2012 for failing to pay Allison Moore more than $300,000 in spousal support, child support and money owed under their divorce settlement. Moore continued failing to pay, according to the court filings, prompting the judge to order the sale of his house to satisfy the debt in 2013. But this process was halted by his ex-wife after Moore paid her about two-thirds of what he owed, the filings say. In a divorce filing in August 2010, Moore was accused of inflicting ’emotional and psychological abuse’ on his ex-wife during their 20-year marriage. Allison Moore said in the filing she had been forced to flee their home to protect herself. She was granted a divorce in May 2011. Moore said in a court filing signed in April 2011 he admitted all the allegations in Allison Moore’s divorce complaint. He declined to comment for this article.” See also, Stephen Moore, Trump’s planned nominee for the Federal Reserve Board, was found in contempt of court for failing to pay his ex-wife more than $333,000The Washington Post, Heather Long, published on Friday, 5 April 2019: “Stephen Moore, President Trump’s planned nominee for the Federal Reserve Board, was found in contempt of court in 2013 for failing to pay his ex-wife more than $330,000 in alimony and child support, court documents show. A court in Fairfax County, Va., ordered Stephen Moore to sell his home in order to pay his ex-wife, Allison Moore, the money he legally owed her but had failed to pay for months. Stephen Moore ended up paying $217,000, although only after the court sent several police officers, two realtors and a locksmith to his home to change the locks and prepare the property for sale, records show…. Stephen and Allison Moore, who have three children together, were married for two decades before divorcing in 2011. Allison Moore began divorce proceedings in 2010, and her divorce complaint said her then-husband opened a account and had a mistress.”


Sunday, 31 March 2019, Day 801:


Joe Biden Scrambles to Stem Crisis After Lucy Flores’s AllegationThe New York Times, Sydney Ember and Jonathan Martin, Sunday, 31 March 2019: “Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. scrambled on Sunday to contain a quickly growing crisis for his likely presidential bid, putting forward several former female aides and allies to praise his treatment of women after Lucy Flores, a former Nevada legislator, accused Mr. Biden of kissing and touching her…. Yet even as Mr. Biden defended himself, and his former staff members praised his conduct as a boss, some of the former vice president’s would-be rivals in the 2020 Democratic field and some allies said that Ms. Flores’s claim should be taken seriously.” See also, Who Is Lucy Flores, the Woman Accusing Joe Biden of Kissing Her? The New York Times, Matt Stevens and Sydney Ember, Sunday, 31 March 2019. See also, Joe Biden’s affectionate, physical style with women comes under scrutinyThe Washington Post, Elise Viebeck, Colby Itkowitz, Michael Scherer, and Matt Viser, Sunday, 31 March 2019: “In some of the photos, Joe Biden is behind the women, his hands on their shoulders, as he whispers in their ears. He embraces Hillary Clinton, his hands around her torso. He kisses a young girl’s head, his fingers framing her face, as she looks blankly toward the camera. This affectionate and sometimes intimate physical style is one of the former vice president’s trademarks, a defining feature of the warm and upbeat persona he has built during more than four decades in the national spotlight. But the appropriateness of Biden’s physical behavior toward women is now being questioned, after a female Democratic politician penned a viral Internet piece describing an alleged 2014 encounter that left her offended and uncomfortable.” See also, Joe Biden responds to allegation of unwanted touching and kissing: ‘Not once–never–did I believe I acted inappropriately,’ The Washington Post, Felicia Sonmez, Sunday, 31 March 2019.

The Criminal Investigations That Sprouted From Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s InvestigationThe New York Times, Larry Buchanan and Karen Yourish, Sunday, 31 March 2019: “The special counsel’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election is over, but federal prosecutors are pursuing a slew of criminal inquiries that grew out of the investigation.”

Trump Administration Defends Plan to Close the Border, Telling Democrats, ‘We Told You So,’ The New York Times, Katie Rogers, Sunday, 31 March 2019: “Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff, defended President Trump’s threat to end assistance to three Central American countries and to close parts of the United States border with Mexico next week, saying on Sunday that it would take ‘something dramatic’ to prevent Mr. Trump from carrying out that plan. ‘Why are we talking about closing the border?’ Mr. Mulvaney said in an interview on ABC’s ‘This Week.’ ‘Not to try and undo what’s happening, but simply to say, look we need the people from the ports of entry to go out and patrol in the desert where we don’t have a wall.’ Mr. Trump’s attempt to seal off the border by building a wall, and mulling the closure of ports to tamp down on immigration and drug smuggling, is at odds with a nagging reality: Smuggling activity largely comes through ports of entry, according to government data. And the president’s move to cut off aid to Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador ignores a longstanding strategy touted by aid groups and military experts — including the president’s former chief of staff — that supporting those countries actually makes the border safer.”


Monday, 1 April 2019, Day 802:


White House Whistle-Blower Tells Congress of Irregularities in Security ClearancesThe New York Times, Nicholas Fandos and Maggie Haberman, Monday, 1 April 2019: “A whistle-blower working inside the White House has told a House committee that senior Trump administration officials granted security clearances to at least 25 individuals whose applications had been denied by career employees for ‘disqualifying issues’ that could put national security at risk, the committee’s Democratic staff said Monday. The whistle-blower, Tricia Newbold, a manager in the White House’s Personnel Security Office, told the House Committee on Oversight and Reform in a private interview last month that the 25 applicants included two current senior White House officials, in addition to contractors and other employees working for the office of the president, the staff said in a memo it released publicly. The memo does not identify any of the 25 people. But one of the senior White House officials appears to be Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser.” See also, White House Whistle-Blower Tricia Newbold Did the Unexpected: She Returned to WorkThe New York Times, Katie Rogers, Monday, 1 April 2019. See also, White House whistleblower says 25 security clearance denials were reversed during Trump administrationThe Washington Post, Rachael Bade and Tom Hamburger, Monday, 1 April 2019: “A White House whistleblower told lawmakers that more than two dozen denials for security clearances have been overturned during the Trump administration, calling Congress her ‘last hope’ for addressing what she considers improper conduct that has left the nation’s secrets exposed.” See also, The White House overruled 25 security clearance denials according to a White House whistleblower, Andrew Desiderio, Politico, Monday, 1 April 2019: “A White House Personnel Security Office employee is alleging that senior Trump administration officials often rebuffed national security concerns to grant high-level security clearances to people who initially were denied access to top-secret information, a pattern she described as troubling and one she said continued for months. That employee, Tricia Newbold, laid out a series of explosive allegations, often implicating Carl Kline, the former White House personnel security chief. She kept a list of White House officials whose clearance applications initially were denied but eventually overruled, and said the list includes as many as 25 people, some of whom had daily access to the president. ‘According to Ms. Newbold, these individuals had a wide range of serious disqualifying issues involving foreign influence, conflicts of interest, concerning personal conduct, financial problems, drug use, and criminal conduct,’ aides wrote in the 10-page memo, summarizing Newbold’s testimony.” See also, A Trump Administration Whistleblower Says the White House Reversed Rulings Denying 25 Security ClearancesThe Wall Street Journal, Natalie Andrews and Rebecca Ballhaus, Monday, 1 April 2019.

Why the N.R.A. (National Rifle Association) Opposes New Domestic Abuse LegislationThe New York Times, Sheryl Bay Stolberg, Monday, 1 April 2019: “The National Rifle Association, the nation’s largest gun lobby, has settled on its next target on Capitol Hill: blocking Congress from reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act, a 1994 law that assists victims of domestic and sexual violence. The House is set to vote on the legislation this week; the law expired in February. But the bill includes a new provision — aimed at curbing sexual violence by expanding law enforcement’s ability to strip domestic abusers of their guns — that the N.R.A. does not like. The measure closes the so-called boyfriend loophole by barring those convicted of abusing, assaulting or stalking a dating partner or those subject to a court restraining order from buying or owning firearms. Under current federal law, those convicted of domestic abuse can lose their guns if they are — or were formerly — married to their victim, live with their victim, have a child with their victim or are a parent or guardian of their victim. The proposed provision would extend those who can be convicted of domestic abuse to include stalkers and current or former boyfriends or dating partners.”

Connecticut woman says then-Vice President Joe Biden touched her inappropriately at a Greenwich fundraiser in 2009Hartford Courant, Neil Vigdor, Monday, 1 April 2019: “A Connecticut woman says Joe Biden touched her inappropriately and rubbed noses with her during a 2009 political fundraiser in Greenwich when he was vice president, drawing further scrutiny to the Democrat and his history of unwanted contact with women as he ponders a presidential run. ‘It wasn’t sexual, but he did grab me by the head,’ Amy Lappos told The Courant Monday. ‘He put his hand around my neck and pulled me in to rub noses with me. When he was pulling me in, I thought he was going to kiss me on the mouth.’ Lappos posted about the alleged incident on the Facebook page of Connecticut Women in Politics Sunday in response to a similar account by former Nevada legislator Lucy Flores, which comes as Biden is considering a 2020 run for president. Flores accused Biden of kissing her on the back of her head in 2014, when she was a candidate for lieutenant governor. Lappos, 43, who is now a freelance worker with nonprofit agencies, said she felt extremely uncomfortable when Biden approached her at the 2009 fundraiser for U.S. Rep. Jim Himes, D-4th, where she was volunteering. At the time, Lappos was a congressional aide to Himes, who she said was not in the room when the incident took place. ‘I never filed a complaint, to be honest, because he was the vice president. I was a nobody,’ Lappos said. ‘There’s absolutely a line of decency. There’s a line of respect. Crossing that line is not grandfatherly. It’s not cultural. It’s not affection. It’s sexism or misogyny.'” See also, Second woman alleges that Joe Biden touched her inappropriatelyThe Washington Post, Felicia Sonmez and Elise Viebeck, Monday, 1 April 2019. See also, A Second Woman Says Biden’s Touching Made Her UncomfortableThe New York Times, Sydney Ember and Jonathan Martin, Monday, 1 April 2019.

Seeking Full Mueller Report, the House Judiciary Committee Prepares to Vote on SubpoenaThe New York Times, Nicholas Fandos, Monday, 1 April 2019: “The House Judiciary Committee has scheduled a vote on Wednesday to authorize a subpoena that Democrats can use to try to force the Justice Department to hand over an unredacted copy of the special counsel’s report and underlying evidence. The move on Monday by Representative Jerrold Nadler of New York, the committee’s chairman, made clear that Democrats are not satisfied with Attorney General William P. Barr’s assurances on Friday that he will produce a full, albeit redacted, copy of the nearly 400-page report to Congress by mid-April.”

U.S. officials said aid to El Salvador helped slow migration. Now Trump is canceling it. The Washington Post, Kevin Sieff, Monday, 1 April 2019: “Until last week, U.S. officials held up El Salvador as proof that foreign aid could help curb migration. The partnership between the two countries drew praise from diplomats, members of Congress and even America’s top border enforcement official. Then President Trump announced that he was withdrawing economic assistance to the Central American country and its neighbors Guatemala and Honduras. ‘They haven’t done a thing for us,’ the president said Friday. The claim baffled development officials and Salvadorans, who saw the country’s cooperation with the United States on security, civil society and economic development as a success story, inasmuch as it achieved the Trump administration’s goal of slowing the flow of migrants heading north to the United States.” See also, Trump Wants to Cut Aid to Central America. Here Are Some of the Dozens of U.S.-Funded Programs. The New York Times, Megan Specia, published on Tuesday, 2 April 2019: “President Trump, in his most recent rebuke of Central American nations for what he says is their failure to address the issue of migration, announced plans to cut off aid to three nations — Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador — known as the Northern Triangle. Critics of the cuts say they will target programs aimed at preventing violence, curbing extreme poverty and hunger, and strengthening the justice system — the very problems residents of those countries give for leaving home and pursuing a more stable future elsewhere.”

Impasse Over Aid for Puerto Rico Stalls Billions in Federal Disaster ReliefThe New York Times, Emily Cochrane, Monday, 1 April 2019: “The Senate on Monday blocked billions of dollars in disaster aid for states across the country as Republicans and Democrats clashed over President Trump’s opposition to sending more food and infrastructure help to Puerto Rico. Opposition came from both parties for different reasons. Most Republicans refused to endorse a recovery bill passed this year by the House. They cited Mr. Trump’s opposition to the bill’s Puerto Rico funding, as well as their own concerns that the bill lacked money for Midwestern states, like Iowa and Nebraska, that have since been devastated by flooding and tornadoes. For their part, Democrats balked at a separate measure drafted by Senate Republicans that included the money for the Midwest, arguing that a proposed $600 million in nutritional assistance for Puerto Rico was not enough. The Republican legislation had no chance in the House.” See also, Massive disaster relief bill stalls in the Senate over Puerto Rico disputeThe Washington Post, Erica Werner and Jeff Stein, Monday, 1 April 2019.

Where 2020 Democratic candidates stand on the electoral college, court packing, and changes to democracyThe Washington Post, Kevin Uhrmacher, Kevin Schaul, and Jeff Stein, updated on Monday, 1 April 2019: “The Democratic Party’s 2020 presidential candidates have called for a number of changes to the rules of American democracy, backing plans to abolish the electoral college, eliminate the Senate filibuster and lower the voting age to 16, among other far-reaching proposals. The push to reform U.S. democracy comes amid frustration among liberals about losing multiple presidential elections in which Democrats won the popular vote, as well as the successful effort by congressional Republicans to block President Barack Obama’s pick for the Supreme Court. Republicans have assailed these ideas as attempts to tilt the playing field in Democrats’ favor, with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) calling a House proposal to make Election Day a federal holiday a ‘power grab.’ But activists have pushed these questions to the forefront of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary.”

Rancor and Raw Emotion Surface in Supreme Court Death Penalty RulingThe New York Times, Adam Liptak, Monday, 1 April 2019: “In a 5-to-4 decision that revealed fault lines and considerable friction over the use of the death penalty, the Supreme Court on Monday ruled that a death row inmate in Missouri may be executed by lethal injection notwithstanding a rare medical condition that he says will cause excruciating pain. The majority accused the inmate of gamesmanship and delay. The decision made clear that feelings are still raw at the court over its 5-to-4 decision in February to allow the execution of a Muslim inmate in Alabama after his request to have his imam be present was denied, with the majority saying he should have asked sooner. Last week, the court stayed the execution of a Buddhist inmate in Texas in similar circumstances, over two noted dissents, with the majority apparently satisfied that the request had been timely.”

Gun rights groups celebrate win as judge rejects California’s ban on high-capacity magazinesThe Washington Post, Fred Barbash, Monday, 1 April 2019: “Gun rights advocates are hailing a federal court ruling striking down California’s ban on high-capacity gun magazines as perhaps the broadest and most forceful judicial statement yet of the right to bear arms, an antidote to what they see as treatment of the Second Amendment as a ‘disfavored right.’ The sweeping decision by San Diego-based U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez declared unconstitutional a section of Proposition 63, approved by the state’s voters in 2016 after several mass shootings, which forbids possession of gun magazines that hold more than 10 rounds.”

As Education Secretary Betsy DeVos Eases Sexual Assault Rules, Her Old High School May Provide a Test CaseThe New York Times, Erica L. Green, Monday, 1 April 2019: “[Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is moving] to overhaul the law that governs school sexual assault — and to bolster the rights of the accused while narrowing the responsibilities that schools have to investigate sexual misconduct…. Ms. DeVos’s proposed regulations have garnered more than 105,000 public comments, making Title IX one of the most contentious rules in the department’s history. Her efforts to strengthen the due-process rights for accused students have been assailed by victims rights advocates as gutting protections for those who have been assaulted, harassed or raped.”

The children of slain Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi have received houses in Saudi Arabia and monthly payments as compensation for killing of their fatherThe Washington Post, Greg Miller, Monday, 1 April 2019: “The children of slain Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi have received million-dollar houses in the kingdom and monthly five-figure payments as compensation for the killing of their father, according to current and former Saudi officials as well as people close to the family. Khashoggi’s two sons and two daughters may also receive much larger payouts — possibly tens of millions of dollars apiece — as part of ‘blood money’ negotiations that are expected to ensue when the trials of Khashoggi’s accused killers are completed in the coming months, according to the officials and others who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive talks. The previously undisclosed payments are part of an effort by Saudi Arabia to reach a long-term arrangement with Khashoggi family members, aimed in part at ensuring that they continue to show restraint in their public statements about the killing of their father by Saudi operatives in Istanbul six months ago, the officials said.” See also, Saudi Arabia Is Giving Slain Journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s Children Money and Real EstateThe New York Times, David D, Kirkpatrick, published on Tuesday, 2 April 2019.

Kamala Harris raised $12 million in first quarter, her campaign saysThe Washington Post, Chelsea Janes, Monday, 1 April 2019: “Sen. Kamala D. Harris, who declared her candidacy for president in late January, raised $12 million in the first quarter, half of which came from digital donations, according to her campaign.”

Trump has made 9,451 false or misleading claims over 801 daysThe Washington Post, Glenn Kessler, Salvador Rizzo, and Meg Kelly, Monday, 1 April 2019: “It was only 200 days ago, on his 601st day in office, that President Trump exceeded 5,000 false or misleading claims. Now, on his 801st day, the count stands at 9,451, according to The Fact Checker’s database that analyzes, categorizes and tracks every suspect statement the president utters. That’s a pace of 22 fishy claims a day over the past 200 days, a steep climb from the average of nearly 5.9 false or misleading claims a day in Trump’s first year in office.”


Tuesday, 2 April 2019, Day 803:


Lori Lightfoot elected Chicago mayor, becoming the first black woman and first openly gay person to win the officeThe Washington Post, Mark Guarino and Mark Berman, Tuesday, 2 April 2019: “Voters in Chicago made history on Tuesday by electing Lori Lightfoot, a former federal prosecutor, as the city’s first black female mayor. Her commanding victory capped a grueling campaign in which Lightfoot, who will become the city’s first openly gay mayor, defeated more than a dozen challengers en route to winning her first elected office. Lightfoot, 56, is now set to lead the nation’s third-largest city as it continues to grapple with gun violence, alleged public corruption, ongoing efforts to reform the police force and an exodus of black residents. In the runoff election on Tuesday, she defeated Toni Preckwinkle, president of the Cook County Board of Commissioners, in a contest fraught with historic meaning, given that it featured two black women vying to succeed outgoing Mayor Rahm Emanuel.” See also, Lori Lightfoot Is Elected Chicago Mayor, Becoming the First Black Woman to Lead the CityThe New York Times, Julie Bosman, Mitch Smith, and Monica Davey, Tuesday, 2 April 2019: “Chicago became the largest American city ever to elect a black woman as its mayor as voters on Tuesday chose Lori Lightfoot, a former prosecutor, to replace Rahm Emanuel. When she takes office in May, Ms. Lightfoot also will be the city’s first openly gay mayor. Ms. Lightfoot, who has never held elective office, easily won the race, overwhelming a better-known, longtime politician and turning her outsider status into an asset in a city with a history of corruption and insider dealings. Ms. Lightfoot, 56, beat Toni Preckwinkle, a former alderman who is president of the Cook County Board and who had for years been viewed as a highly formidable candidate for mayor.” See also, Lori Lightfoot, Chicago’s Incoming Mayor, Ran on Outsider AppealThe New York Times, Mitch Smith, published on Wednesday, 3 April 2019: “After Rahm Emanuel announced he would not seek another term as Chicago’s mayor, the field of would-be replacements seemed to grow by the day. Lori Lightfoot, a former federal prosecutor who had never held elective office, often seemed an afterthought in a mounting list of prominent names — a member of the Daley political dynasty, the head of the county’s Democratic Party, a former leader of Chicago’s public school system. Yet on Tuesday, voters sided with Ms. Lightfoot in overwhelming margins, handing her a resounding victory as she prepares to become the first African-American woman and first openly gay person to serve as Chicago’s mayor. Ms. Lightfoot’s outsider status and her pledge to combat political corruption resonated across the city’s traditional dividing lines of race and class. With 97 percent of precincts reporting, she had received 73 percent of the vote and was leading in all 50 City Council wards…. Ms. Lightfoot, a Democrat, used her acceptance speech to underscore the historic nature of her victory. As her wife and daughter stood nearby, Ms. Lightfoot said her win proved that Chicago was ‘a city where it doesn’t matter what color you are’ and ‘where it doesn’t matter who you love, just as long as you love with all your heart.” She also reiterated her promise to invest in struggling neighborhoods, not just the booming downtown, a hallmark theme of her campaign pitch.”

Trump Vows to Close the Border Between the U.S. and Mexico, Even if It Hurts the EconomyThe New York Times, Jim Tankersley and Ana Swanson, Wednesday, 2 April 2019: “President Trump acknowledged Tuesday that closing the southern border with Mexico could damage the United States economy, but said protecting America’s security was more important than trade. In remarks from the Oval Office, Mr. Trump reiterated his threat to shut the border if Mexico, America’s third largest trading partner, cannot restrict a flow of asylum seekers trying to cross into the United States. But the president’s economic team, concerned about the damage from such a move, said it was looking for ways to limit the fallout if Mr. Trump does do so.” See also, White House looks to minimize the economic impact of Trump’s threatened closure of the Mexico borderThe Washington Post, Damian Paletta and Josh Dawsey, Tuesday, 2 April 2019: “Senior White House officials are exploring ways to exempt commercial trade from President Trump’s threat to shut down the U.S. border with Mexico, three people briefed on the discussions said, amid warnings that blocking the flow of goods between the two countries would have severe consequences for the U.S. economy. In brief remarks, Trump on Tuesday again threatened to close the border but would not definitively say whether he would do so, and he has not divulged his plans even to some of his closest aides. But the White House is bracing for the possibility and internal planning has reached an advanced stage, according to the three people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to disclose the deliberations.” See also, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says closing down the border between the United States and Mexico would have a ‘catastrophic’ impact, Marianne Levine, Politico, 2 April 2019: “Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, in a rebuke to President Donald Trump, said on Tuesday that closing the border between the United States and Mexico would potentially be ‘catastrophic.’ Trump first threatened on Twitter on Friday to close the southern border if Mexico did not do more to prevent undocumented immigrants from coming to the United States. He reiterated on Tuesday that if Mexico or Congress didn’t do more to address the issue, he would shut it down. Trump acknowledged on Tuesday that closing the border would have negative economic consequences — particularly when in terms of trade with Mexico — but he said security took precedence.”

Trump Retreats on Health Care After Senator Mitch McConnell Warns It Won’t HappenThe New York Times, Robert Pear and Maggie Haberman, Tuesday, 2 April 2019: “President Trump backed off plans to introduce a Republican replacement for the Affordable Care Act after Senator Mitch McConnell privately warned him that the Senate would not revisit health care in a comprehensive way before the November 2020 elections. Reversing himself in the face of Republican consternation, Mr. Trump said his party would not produce a health care plan of its own, as he had promised, until after the elections, meaning he will only try to fulfill his first-term promise to repeal and replace his predecessor’s signature program if he wins a second term.” See also, Trump abandons plan for pre-election vote on health care after talking to Senator Mitch McConnellThe Washington Post, John Wagner and Erica Werner, Tuesday, 2 April 2019. See also, Trump punts health care until after 2020 presidential electionPolitico, Quint Forgey and John Bresnahan, published on Monday, 1 April 2019.

Scrutinizing White House Security Clearances, House Committee on Oversight and Reform Subpoenas Carl Kline, the Former Head of the Personnel Security Division at the White HouseThe New York Times, Julia Jacobs, Tuesday, 2 April 2019: “The House Committee on Oversight and Reform voted Tuesday to issue a subpoena to the former head of the personnel security division at the White House after a whistle-blower accused him of putting national security in jeopardy by mismanaging security clearances. The whistle-blower, Tricia Newbold, a manager in the White House’s Personnel Security Office, told the committee in a private interview last month that senior Trump administration officials granted security clearances to at least 25 individuals whose applications had been denied by career employees for ‘disqualifying issues,’ including drug use and criminal conduct, the committee’s Democratic staff said in a memo released on Monday. Ms. Newbold said the top personnel security official, Carl Kline, reversed a decision to deny a clearance for a senior White House official after a background check turned up multiple concerns, including possible foreign influence. She also said Mr. Kline granted a security clearance to a second White House official despite concerns voiced by a specialist. When Ms. Newbold repeatedly pointed out his actions, she said he discriminated against her over her short stature, which is caused by a form of dwarfism. She filed a complaint against him with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.” See also, The House Oversight and Reform Committee votes to subpoena former White House official Carl Kline over security clearancesThe Washington Post, Rachael Bade, Tuesday, 2 April 2019. See also, House Democrats approve subpoena for White House security clearances probe, PoliticoAndrew Desiderio, Tuesday, 2 April 2019.

House Committee on Oversight and Reform votes to subpoena testimony and documents related to citizenship question on the 2020 CensusThe Washington Post, Tara Bahrampour, Tuesday, 2 April 2019: “The House Oversight and Reform Committee voted Tuesday to compel the Trump administration to provide more information on its decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census. The 23-to-14 vote authorizes committee Chairman Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.) to issue subpoenas for a deposition of John Gore, principal deputy assistant attorney general, and to Attorney General William P. Barr and Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross for documents related to the decision. One Republican, Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.), voted with the Democrats. It comes three weeks before the Supreme Court is set to consider whether the question will be allowed on forms that every U.S. household will be required to fill out next year. Two federal judges have struck down the question, saying Ross’s actions in adding the question were in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act.”

Trump hits out at ‘crazed and incompetent’ Puerto Rican leaders after disaster bill failsThe Washington Post, Tim Elfrink, Tuesday, 2 April 2019: “Hours after the Senate voted down a disaster relief package that Democrats argued didn’t include enough money to help storm-ravaged Puerto Rico, President Trump took to Twitter on Monday night to lash out at the opposition party and the island’s leaders. Trump, who has reportedly said in private that he doesn’t want ‘another single dollar’ going to Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria, again complained about funding for the island and called San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz, a frequent critic, ‘crazed and incompetent.'” See also, Nearly everything Trump just said about Puerto Rico is wrongThe Washington Post, Philip Bump, Tuesday, 2 April 2019. See also, Trump Lashes Out Again at Puerto Rico, Bewildering the IslandThe New York Times, Annie Karni and Patricia Mazzei, Tuesday, 2 April 2019.

Ex-National Security Officials Sue to Limit Censorship of Their BooksThe New York Times, Charlie Savage, Tuesday, 2 April 2019: “A newly filed lawsuit is challenging a censorship system the government uses to ensure that millions of former military and intelligence officials spill no secrets if they decide to write articles and books after they move on from public service. In an unusual constitutional complaint filed on Tuesday in Federal District Court in Maryland, a group of former officials declared that the prepublication review system, to which they are required to submit writing that relates to their former work for the rest of their lives, is ‘dysfunctional’ and unjustifiably restricts their free-speech and due-process rights. The system is plagued by a patchwork of ambiguous policies and vague standards that puts too much discretionary power in the hands of reviewing officials, who can delay or discriminate against lower-ranking people who criticize government actions, while speedily clearing favorable memoirs and other writings by retired senior officials, the lawsuit said.” See also, Five former federal employees say the CIA and the NSA are censoring them. Now they’re suing. The Washington Post, Deanna Paul, Tuesday, 2 April 2019: “Five former federal employees filed a lawsuit against several agencies Tuesday, alleging that the government’s pre-review process for publication is an unconstitutional ‘system of censorship.’ The review process, which applies to millions of government workers, requires former intelligence agency and military personnel to get approval before writing, publishing or speaking about their service. The restriction applies to a wide range of writings: fiction and nonfiction, book-length manuscripts, opinion pieces and academic engagements.” See also, Former U.S. Intelligence and Military Officials Sue Over Manuscript Screening RulesThe Wall Street Journal, Dustin Volz and Byron Tau, Tuesday, 2 April 2019: “A group of former U.S. intelligence and military officials filed suit against the Trump administration over rules that require them to submit book manuscripts and other writings for review long after leaving government service. The lawsuit, filed in the federal district court in Maryland Tuesday against several intelligence leaders, including Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, argues the system of pre-publication review amounts to unconstitutional censorship.” See also, Lawsuit Says Widespread Censorship of Former Government Employees Violates the First AmendmentThe Intercept, Alex, Emmons, Tuesday, 2 April 2019: “For officials in the Trump administration, leaving the government and writing a book has become a reliable and lucrative exit strategy — so much so that it has created a small army of literary agents who specialize in snapping up the next tell-all memoir. For anyone with name recognition in D.C., it has perhaps never been easier to scoop up a sizable advance and make the best-seller list. But for rank-and-file members of the intelligence community, the process is not so easy. Employees who formerly had access to sensitive information must submit manuscripts for a government ‘pre-publication review,’ intended to ensure that they don’t divulge official secrets. The result has been a massive system that processes thousands of submissions, in which the rules are broad and vague, and vary from one agency to another. The process can drag on for months or, in some cases, years, and can force authors to choose between deleting text or publishing pages of type blacked out by U.S. government censors. But the American Civil Liberties Union and Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University are challenging this redaction regime. In a lawsuit filed on Tuesday, the groups allege that pre-publication review amounts to a ‘far-reaching system of prior restraint,’ and that the government’s arbitrary and sometimes confounding censorship decisions are unconstitutional under the First Amendment.”

Bernie Sanders Raised $18 Million in 6 Weeks, His 2020 Campaign SaysThe New York Times, Thomas Kaplan, Tuesday, 2 April 2019: “Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont raised $18.2 million over the first six weeks of his presidential bid, his campaign announced Tuesday, a display of financial strength that cements his status as one of the top fund-raisers in the sprawling Democratic field. Mr. Sanders received almost 900,000 contributions from 525,000 individual donors, his campaign manager, Faiz Shakir, said. The average donation was $20, compared with $27 in Mr. Sanders’s 2016 presidential campaign, he said. Mr. Shakir said that a majority of Mr. Sanders’s donors were under the age of 39, and that 20 percent of all donors had not contributed to Mr. Sanders’s previous campaigns. He said that 88 percent of the total money raised came from donors giving $200 or less.”

Trump wrongly claims his father was born in Germany–for the third timeThe Washington Post, Aaron Blake, Tuesday, 2 April 2019: “Of all the odd, counterfactual and conspiratorial claims President Trump has made over the past four years or so, this one may take the cake: He said Tuesday that his father was born in Germany, even though he wasn’t. It is at least the third time he has said this. ‘My father is German — was German,’ Trump said. ‘Born in a very wonderful place in Germany, so I have a great feeling for Germany.’ This is not true. Fred Trump is of German descent, and his father was a German immigrant. But Fred Trump was born in New York.”


Wednesday, 3 April 2019, Day 804:


Senate Republicans Go ‘Nuclear’ to Speed Trump Judicial and Administrative ConfirmationsThe New York Times, Glenn Thrush, Wednesday, 3 April 2019: “The ‘cooling saucer’ of the United States Senate keeps going into the microwave. For the third time in six years, the majority party in the Senate detonated the so-called nuclear option on Wednesday to unilaterally change years-old rules of the chamber with a simple-majority vote. This time, to work through a backlog of President Trump’s judicial and administration nominations, Republicans cut the time between ending debate and a final confirmation vote on executive-branch nominees and district court judges from 30 hours to two. The change was a provocative step that reignited a bitter partisan fight over presidential nominations that has raged for a decade and spanned presidencies from both parties. Democrats dwelled at length over the blockade that stopped Judge Merrick B. Garland from ascending to the Supreme Court in the final year of Barack Obama’s presidency to angrily question how Republicans could complain about the handling of Mr. Trump’s nominees. ‘There’s no other word but hypocrisy,’ Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader, said.” See also, Republicans change Senate rules to speed Trump’s judicial and administrative nominations as leaders trade charges of hypocrisyThe Washington Post, Paul Kane, Wednesday, 3 April 2019.

Representative Richard Neal (Democrat-Massachusetts), Chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, Demands Six Years of Trump’s Personal and Business Tax Returns From the I.R.S.The New York Times, Nicholas Fandos, Wednesday, 3 April 2019: “The chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, using a little-known provision in the federal tax code, formally requested on Wednesday that the I.R.S. hand over six years of President Trump’s personal and business tax returns, starting what is likely to be a momentous fight with his administration. Representative Richard E. Neal, Democrat of Massachusetts, hand-delivered a two-page letter laying out the request to Charles P. Rettig, the Internal Revenue Service commissioner, ending months of speculation about when he would do so and almost certainly prompting a legal challenge from the Trump administration. Responding to questions from reporters in the Oval Office, Mr. Trump suggested that he would fight the request because, he said, he was being audited.” See also, House Democrats seek six years of Trump’s personal and business tax returnsThe Washington Post, Erica Werner, Damian Paletta, and Josh Dawsey, Wednesday, 3 April 2019: “The House Ways and Means Committee asked the IRS Wednesday for six years of President Trump’s personal and business tax returns, a request the president has already said he will fight. ‘Congress, as a coequal branch of government, has a duty to conduct oversight of departments and officials,’ Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard E. Neal (D-Mass.) said in a statement. ‘The Ways and Means Committee in particular has a responsibility to conduct oversight of our voluntary federal tax system and determine how Americans — including those elected to our highest office — are complying with those laws.'” See also, Trump’s Tax Returns Requested by Representative Richard Neal, Chair of the House Ways and Means CommitteeThe Wall Street Journal, Richard Rubin, Wednesday, 3 April 2019: “The chairman of the House’s tax-writing committee formally requested President Trump’s tax returns on Wednesday, kicking off what is likely to be a bruising legal fight. In a letter to the Internal Revenue Service, Rep. Richard Neal (D., Mass.) asked for six years of Mr. Trump’s personal returns and some of his business returns, invoking a federal law that allows the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee to seek any person’s tax information.”

The House Judiciary Committee Approves Subpoena for Mueller Report and All the Underlying Evidence Used to Reach His ConclusionsThe New York Times, Nicholas Fandos, Wednesday, 3 April 2019: “The House Judiciary Committee authorized its chairman on Wednesday to use a subpoena to try to force the Justice Department to give Congress a full copy of Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s report and all of the underlying evidence used to reach his conclusions. The chairman, Representative Jerrold Nadler of New York, said he would not immediately issue the subpoena. But the party-line vote won by Democrats who control the committee ratchets up pressure on Attorney General William P. Barr as he decides how much of the nearly 400-page report to share with lawmakers.” See also, House Judiciary Committee votes to authorize subpoenas to obtain the full Mueller report and all the underlying evidenceThe Washington Post, Rachael Bade, Wednesday, 3 April 2019: “A House panel voted Wednesday to authorize subpoenas to obtain special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s full report on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, laying down a marker in a constitutional power struggle that could end up in the courts. The House Judiciary Committee voted 24-17 along party lines to authorize its chairman, Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), to subpoena the report and underlying documents of Mueller’s probe from Attorney General William P. Barr. The panel, which has jurisdiction over impeachment, also voted to subpoena five former White House officials they believe may have received documents relevant to the special counsel’s probe.” See also, House Judiciary Committee Authorizes Subpoenas for Full Mueller ReportThe Wall Street Journal, Natalie Andrews, Wednesday, 3 April 2019: “The House Judiciary Committee voted to authorize subpoenas for the complete version of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 election and alleged obstruction of justice by the president, escalating House Democrats’ battle with the Trump administration. Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D., N.Y.) decided to demand the document after Attorney General William Barr said he would miss a Tuesday deadline imposed by House leadership to produce the report. Mr. Nadler has called Mr. Barr’s plan to hand over a redacted copy by mid-April insufficient.”

Some on Mueller’s Team Say Report Was More Damaging Than Barr RevealedThe New York Times, Nicholas Fandos, Michael S. Schmidt, and Mark Mazzetti, Wednesday, 3 April 2019: “Some of Robert S. Mueller III’s investigators have told associates that Attorney General William P. Barr failed to adequately portray the findings of their inquiry and that they were more troubling for President Trump than Mr. Barr indicated, according to government officials and others familiar with their simmering frustrations. At stake in the dispute — the first evidence of tension between Mr. Barr and the special counsel’s office — is who shapes the public’s initial understanding of one of the most consequential government investigations in American history. Some members of Mr. Mueller’s team are concerned that, because Mr. Barr created the first narrative of the special counsel’s findings, Americans’ views will have hardened before the investigation’s conclusions become public.” See also, Some members of special counsel Robert Mueller’s team are frustrated by the limited information Attorney General William Barr has shared about the Russia investigationThe Washington Post, Ellen Nakashima, Carol D. Leonnig, and Rosalind S. Helderman, published on Thursday, 4 April 2019: “Members of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s team have told associates they are frustrated with the limited information Attorney General William P. Barr has provided about their nearly two-year investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and whether President Trump sought to obstruct justice, according to people familiar with the matter. The displeasure among some who worked on the closely held inquiry has quietly begun to surface in the days since Barr released a four-page letter to Congress on March 24 describing what he said were the principal conclusions of Mueller’s still-confidential, 400-page report. In his letter, Barr said that the special counsel did not establish a conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia. And he said that Mueller did not reach a conclusion ‘one way or the other’ as to whether Trump’s conduct in office constituted obstruction of justice. Absent that, Barr told lawmakers that he concluded the evidence was not sufficient to prove that the president obstructed justice. But members of Mueller’s team have complained to close associates that the evidence they gathered on obstruction was alarming and significant. ‘It was much more acute than Barr suggested,’ said one person, who, like others, spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the subject’s sensitivity.” See also, Potentially damaging information in Mueller report ushers in new political fightThe Washington Post, Ashley Parker, Ellen Nakashima, Devlin Barrett, and Carol D. Leonnig, published on Thursday, 4 April 2019. See also, Some on Mueller team say evidence against Trump is stronger than Attorney General William Barr disclosedNBC News, Ken Dilanian, Julia Ainsley, and Pete Williams, Wednesday, 3 April 2019: “Some members of special counsel Robert Mueller’s team have expressed frustration that Attorney General William Barr cleared President Donald Trump of obstruction of justice, and they believe the evidence that Trump sought to impede the investigation is stronger than Barr suggested in his March letter summarizing Mueller’s findings, a U.S. official who has spoken with the members tells NBC News.”

House Intelligence Committee Seeks Documents From Trump’s InauguralThe New York Times, Maggie Haberman and Ben Protess, Wednesday, 3 April 2019: “The House Intelligence Committee has asked one of the top contractors to President Trump’s inaugural to provide it with documents about the event, a person familiar with the situation said on Wednesday, opening up a new line of inquiry into the planning and financing of the ceremonies. The committee asked for documents from and an interview with Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, who had been a close friend of the first lady, Melania Trump, and who had helped plan the celebrations and parties around the inaugural, the person said. The request was disclosed by a lawyer for Ms. Winston Wolkoff in a letter this week to the inaugural committee.”

Jared Kushner is identified as the senior White House official whose security clearance was denied by career officialsThe Washington Post, Tom Hamburger, Rachael Bade, and Ashley Parker, Wednesday, 3 April 2019: “The senior White House official whose security clearance was denied last year because of concerns about foreign influence, private business interests and personal conduct is presidential son-in-law Jared Kushner, according to people familiar with documents and testimony provided to the House Oversight Committee. Kushner was identified only as ‘Senior White House Official 1’ in committee documents released this week describing the testimony of Tricia Newbold, a whistleblower in the White House’s personnel security office who said she and another career employee determined that Kushner had too many ‘significant disqualifying factors’ to receive a clearance. Their decision was overruled by Carl Kline, the career official who then headed the office, according to Newbold’s interview with committee staff.”

Trump Administration Is Sued Over Rollback of School Lunch StandardsThe New York Times, Erica L. Green and Sean Piccoli, Wednesday, 3 April 2019: “A coalition of states and advocacy organizations sued the Trump administration on Wednesday over its rollback of school nutritional standards championed by the former first lady Michelle Obama that required students be served healthier meals. In lawsuits filed Wednesday, the groups claim that the administration illegally issued rules last year that weakened requirements that school meals contain less salt and more whole grains. The rules were part of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, a crucial part of Mrs. Obama’s signature ‘Let’s Move’ campaign. The suits claim the Agriculture Department violated the Administrative Procedure Act, issuing its rules with little public notice and no reasoned explanation and against overwhelming opposition from the public. The courts have already struck down a series of high-profile rule changes by the administration for the same reason.”

House votes to rebuke Trump’s attempt at a court-ordered destruction of ObamacareThe Washington Post, John Wagner, Wednesday, 3 April 2019: “The Democratic-led House of Representatives passed a resolution Wednesday calling on the Justice Department to halt its new advocacy for abolishing the Affordable Care Act, a move the measure calls ‘an unacceptable assault’ on Americans’ health care. The House vote comes amid renewed jockeying over a prominent issue in last year’s midterm elections that President Trump has thrust back into the spotlight with his attempt at a court-ordered end to President Barack Obama’s signature health-care law.” See also, House Condemns Trump Administration for Legal Attack on the Affordable Care ActThe New York Times, Robert Pear, Wednesday, 3 April 2019: “The House voted Wednesday to condemn the Trump administration for pushing a federal appeals court to obliterate the Affordable Care Act, and it urged the Justice Department to defend the law in court. The vote, 240-186, was nonbinding, but it documented the House’s support of the health law, which was passed nine years ago without the votes of any Republicans. With the resolution, Democrats sought to put Republicans on the record for failing to come to the defense of the health law’s most popular provisions, such as protecting people with pre-existing medical conditions and mandating coverage for ‘essential health benefits,’ like mental health coverage, prescription drugs, emergency services and maternity care.”

Beto O’Rourke’s 2020 Campaign Raised $9.4 Million in 18 DaysThe New York Times, Thomas Kaplan, Wednesday, 3 April 2019: “Former Representative Beto O’Rourke of Texas raised $9.4 million over the first 18 days of his presidential bid, his campaign said on Wednesday, the latest sign of his ability to attract online donors even within a packed Democratic field. The total, which represents Mr. O’Rourke’s fund-raising haul for the first quarter of the year, is smaller than the first-quarter numbers of two rivals, Senators Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Kamala Harris of California. But Mr. O’Rourke only joined the presidential race in mid-March.”

On Tuesday, Trump claimed wind turbines cause cancer. Today, 19 senators urged more federal funding for them. The Washington Post, John Wagner, Wednesday, 3 April 2019: “The morning after President Trump claimed that noise from wind turbines can cause cancer, a bipartisan group of 19 senators announced a push for ‘robust’ funding of federal programs to support the industry, calling it an ‘American success story.’ A letter, spearheaded by Sens. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa), to an appropriations panel noted that the wind industry employs more than 100,000 U.S. citizens and said funding was needed ‘to ensure America remains a leader in wind energy technology.’ Those who signed the letter, including five Democratic presidential candidates, did not mention Trump’s comments at a fundraising dinner on Tuesday. But in a call with reporters, Grassley called the president’s comments ‘idiotic,’ according to the Des Moines Register.”  See also, We Fact-Checked Trump’s False Claims on the Perils of Wind PowerThe New York Times, Brad Plumer, Wednesday, 3 April 2019.

Fact-checking Trump’s latest tweetstormThe Washington Post, Salvador Rizzo and Glenn Kessler, Wednesday, 3 April 2019: “Over the past two days, Trump tweeted a slew of suspect claims on immigration, Obamacare, the census, disaster relief for Puerto Rico and the Russia investigation. Each of them is worth a closer look.”


Thursday, 4 April 2019, Day 805:


U.S. Role in Yemen War will End Unless Trump Issues Second VetoThe New York Times, Catie Edmondson, Thursday, 4 April 2019: “The House on Thursday gave final passage to a bipartisan resolution forcing an end to United States military involvement in Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen, sending President Trump a pointed rebuke over his continued defense of the kingdom after the killing of a dissident journalist, Jamal Khashoggi. The 247-to-176 vote, with 16 Republicans joining all House Democrats, invoked the rarely used War Powers Act to curb the president’s executive power to wage war without congressional approval. It most likely sets up the second veto of Mr. Trump’s presidency, this time to publicly defend a four-year conflict that the United Nations has deemed the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, with thousands of civilians killed and millions suffering from famine. The Senate passed the resolution in March, 54 to 46. ‘The vote in the Senate and in the House makes it clear that the United States will not continue to follow the despotic, anti-democratic leadership coming out of Saudi Arabia,’ said Senator Bernie Sanders, independent of Vermont and one of the lead sponsors of the resolution. ‘The United States should not be led into a war by a despotic, undemocratic, murderous regime.'” See also, With vote to end U.S. involvement in Yemen’s war, House sets up Trump’s second vetoThe Washington Post, Karoun Demirjian, Thursday, 4 April 2019: “The House voted Thursday to end U.S. participation in Yemen’s civil war, denouncing the Saudi-led bombing campaign there as worsening an already dire humanitarian crisis and sending the measure to President Trump for his expected veto. The vote was 247 to 175, with one member voting ‘present,’ and fell largely along party lines. It reflected the division between Democrats and Republicans over how to address Saudi Arabia’s efforts to defeat Yemen’s Houthi rebels, who are backed by Iran, and their inability to find consensus on confronting Trump’s embrace of Saudi leaders after the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The CIA concluded that Khashoggi’s death was ordered by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.” See also, House rebukes Trump with vote ending U.S. support for Yemen warPolitico, Andrew Desiderio, Thursday, 4 April 2019: “The House on Thursday approved a measure to cut off U.S. support for the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen’s bloody civil war, in yet another harsh, bipartisan rebuke of President Donald Trump’s foreign policy. Trump is expected to veto the measure, which passed with support from Republicans and Democrats in both chambers.” See also, On Yemen, Congress Has Spoken. It Wants the U.S. Out. Now the Ball Is in Trump’s Court. The Intercept, Alex Emmons, Thursday, 4 April 2019: “The House voted again on Thursday to end the U.S. role in Yemen’s war, finally sending a bill to President Donald Trump’s desk and potentially setting up the second veto of his presidency. The 247-175 vote, largely along party lines, is a sign that Democrats will continue to try and hold Trump accountable for his close relationship to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and congressional Republicans will largely line up to try and protect him.”

In Rebuke to the National Rifle Association, the House Expands the Violence Against Women Act to Restrict Gun Purchases by Convicted Domestic AbusersThe New York Times, Emily Cochrane, Thursday, 4 April 2019: “The House on Thursday rebuffed a furious lobbying campaign by the National Rifle Association and approved a revamped Violence Against Women Act that would expand law enforcement’s ability to restrict gun purchases by convicted domestic abusers. The legislation passed easily, 263 to 158, but the divided vote came on what was once a broadly bipartisan measure first passed in 1994. In recent years, partisan rancor over efforts to expand the protections of the legislation have clouded efforts to renew it, and this year, the divide was over gun control. The provisions would close the so-called boyfriend loophole and bar those under a restraining order or who were convicted of abusing, assaulting or stalking a domestic partner from buying guns. The N.R.A. seized on the new measures and warned Congress that it would track and publish how lawmakers voted, hoping to intimidate Republicans and Democrats in Republican-leaning districts.” See also, House renews the landmark 1994 Violence Against Women Act, forcing Republicans to choose between the National Rifle Association and protecting womenThe Washington Post, Mike DeBonis, Thursday, 4 April 2019: “A Democratic bill to help victims of sexual assault and domestic abuse forced House Republicans — including their shrunken corps of female lawmakers — to choose Thursday between backing a renewal of the landmark 1994 Violence Against Women Act, or standing with the National Rifle Association. The GOP mostly sided with the NRA, which strongly opposed the bill over its expansion of gun control.”

Trump backs off threat to close the US-Mexico borderPolitico, Caitlin Oprysko, Thursday, 4 April 2019: “President Donald Trump eased off his threat to shut down the U.S.-Mexico border, instead giving Mexico a ‘one-year warning’ and threatening to first impose auto tariffs before closing the border. ‘The only thing frankly better, but less drastic than closing the border, is to tariff the cars coming in,’ he told reporters at the White House on Thursday. ‘We’re going to give them a one-year warning and if the drugs don’t stop or largely stop, we’ll put tariffs on Mexico and products, in particular cars.'” See also, Trump backs off threat to close border, saying he’ll give Mexico ‘one-year warning’ on drugs and migrantsThe Washington Post, David Nakamura and Felicia Sonmez, published on Friday, 5 April 2019: “Facing widespread opposition, President Trump backed down Thursday from his threat to close the southern border, instead giving Mexico a ‘one-year warning,’ but also leaving his administration with no clear path to deal with a record surge of migrant families. Trump had issued an ultimatum on Twitter late last week that he would move to seal the border to trade and travel if Mexican authorities did not halt illegal immigration.” See also, Trump Retreats on Threat to Close Mexican Border, Offering a ‘One-Year Warning,’ The New York Times, Annie Karni and Zolan Kanno-Youngs, Thursday, 4 April 2019: “President Trump said on Thursday that he planned to give Mexico a ‘one-year warning’ before closing the southern border, retreating on a threat he made last week that he would close the border in the coming days if Mexico did not halt all illegal immigration…. [T]he White House has backed off that time frame for an action that would carry severe economic consequences if Mr. Trump followed through with it. Nearly $1.7 billion of goods and services flow across the United States-Mexico border every day, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. About 500,000 legal workers, students, shoppers and tourists also cross the border daily. Mr. Trump’s latest reversal came after Republican lawmakers and his own economic advisers warned him of the consequences of the move. Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and the majority leader, said, ‘I would hope we would not be doing that sort of thing.'”

House Adds Lawsuit to Challenges Against Trump’s Declaration of a National Emergency at the Southwestern BorderThe New York Times, Emily Cochrane and Charlie Savage, Thursday, 4 April 2019: “The House will file a lawsuit challenging President Trump’s declaration of a national emergency at the southwestern border, Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Thursday, the latest in a series of efforts to stop Mr. Trump from securing money that Congress refused to give him for his promised wall. ‘The president’s action clearly violates the Appropriations Clause by stealing from appropriated funds, an action that was not authorized by constitutional or statutory authority,’ Ms. Pelosi said in a statement. ‘The House will once again defend our democracy and our Constitution, this time in the courts,’ she added. ‘No one is above the law or the Constitution, not even the president.’ The Trump administration has argued that Mr. Trump’s moves to spend more taxpayer dollars on border barriers than Congress had agreed to give him are lawful because he is invoking statutes that granted the president the power to move money around under urgent circumstances. Those statutes placed few limits on a president’s authority to determine that such situations exist.”

In February Trump Asked Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to Prioritize a Confirmation Vote for Michael J. Desmond, His Nominee to Be the Chief Counsel of the Internal Revenue ServiceThe New York Times, Maggie Haberman and Nicholas Fandos, Thursday, 4 April 2019: “President Trump earlier this year asked Senator Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, to prioritize a confirmation vote for his nominee to be the chief counsel of the Internal Revenue Service, indicating that it was a higher priority than voting on the nomination of William P. Barr as attorney general, a person familiar with the conversation said. White House aides insisted for months that the confirmation of the nominee, Michael J. Desmond, a tax lawyer from Santa Barbara, Calif., was a top priority after passage of the tax bill in 2017. But the request by Mr. Trump, made to Mr. McConnell on Feb. 5, raised questions about whether the president had other motivations. For months, the president has seethed over vows by congressional Democrats that they would move to obtain his tax returns from the I.R.S. And this week, the House Ways and Means Committee chairman, Representative Richard E. Neal, Democrat of Massachusetts, formally asked the I.R.S. for six years of the returns, using an obscure provision in the tax code to do so.”

Michael Cohen’s Lawyers Say He Could Aid Trump Inquiries, If Only He Had More Time Out of PrisonThe New York Times, Maggie Haberman and Nicholas Fandos, Thursday, 4 April 2019: “Lawyers for Michael D. Cohen, President Trump’s former personal lawyer and fixer, told congressional lawmakers in a letter on Thursday that Mr. Cohen can best help their oversight inquiries if he remains out of prison to sift through millions of his documents — and they asked the help of Democrats in persuading prosecutors to help him do so. The lawyers told Democratic members of congressional committees who have either subpoenaed his testimony or have asked him to appear voluntarily over the course of the past year that Mr. Cohen has been essential to their investigations, and they reminded them of the help they have sought from him even after his public hearing in February.”

FBI Director Christopher Wray says white supremacy is a ‘persistent, pervasive threat’ to the USCNN, Marshall Cohen, Thursday, 4 April 2019: “FBI Director Christopher Wray said Thursday that white supremacy presents a ‘persistent’ and ‘pervasive’ threat to the United States, breaking from President Donald Trump, who has sidestepped questions of whether white nationalists present a growing problem.”

California lawmakers sue the Trump administration as border county cares for 11,000 asylum seekersThe Washington Post, Eli Rosenberg, Thursday, 4 April 2019: “San Diego county’s Republican-dominated board of supervisors filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday against the Trump administration, claiming that policy changes in the way the federal government treats asylum seekers have strained the city’s finances and health services. The Trump administration ended the so-called ‘Safe Release’ program in October, which gave asylum seekers who had crossed the border assistance in reaching final destinations with family members and friends, the lawsuit noted. ‘Now, large numbers of asylum seekers and accompanying family members are forced to remain in the County, without sufficient means to support themselves, because Defendants abruptly stopped providing asylum seekers with assistance in reaching their final destination,’ it reads. ‘In response to Defendants’ sudden and unlawful change in policy … the County has been forced to expend substantial funds and other resources to provide medical screening and care to the asylum seekers.’ The lawsuit, which was filed in District Court in Southern California, amounts to one more rebuke of the Trump administration’s harsh immigration policies and rhetoric by a border city.”

Immigrant Activist Claudio Rojas Deported Ahead of Miami Film Festival Premiere of ‘The Inflitrators,’ Democracy Now!, Amy Goodman, Thursday, 4 April 2019: “In Florida, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents have deported an undocumented Argentine immigrant rights activist who was arrested last month shortly before a film showcasing his activism premiered at the Miami Film Festival. Claudio Rojas was featured in the film ‘The Infiltrators,’ which tells the story of undocumented activists who went undercover to expose abuses at a Broward County immigration detention center. Rojas has lived in the U.S. for 19 years and is a father and grandfather of U.S. citizens. His attorney called the deportation a ‘travesty of justice,’ telling the Miami Herald, ‘It’s clear that this is retaliation.’ Click here to see our interview from the Sundance Film Festival with the director of “The Infiltrators” and two of the activists who appear in the film.

David Bernhardt, Trump’s Pick for Interior Secretary, Continued Lobbying After Officially Vowing to Stop, New Files ShowThe New York Times, Coral Davenport, Thursday, 4 April 2019: “A previously undisclosed invoice indicates that David Bernhardt, President Trump’s choice to lead the Interior Department, continued to lobby for a major client several months after he filed official papers saying that he had ended his lobbying activities. The bill for Mr. Bernhardt’s services, dated March 2017 and labeled ‘Federal Lobbying,’ shows, along with other newly disclosed documents, Mr. Bernhardt working closely with the Westlands Water District as late as April 2017, the month Mr. Trump nominated him to his current job, deputy interior secretary. In November 2016, Mr. Bernhardt had filed legal notice with the federal government formally ending his status as a lobbyist.”

Trump plans to nominate Herman Cain to the Federal Reserve Board, aiming to add his supporter to the independent central bankThe Washington Post, Damian Paletta, Heather Long, and Tracy Jan, Thursday, 4 April 2019: “President Trump said he will nominate former GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain to the Federal Reserve’s board of governors, a move that would significantly escalate the White House’s effort to exert political pressure on the U.S. central bank. ‘I’ve recommended Herman Cain. He’s a very terrific man, a terrific person. He’s a friend of mine,’ Trump, who interviewed Cain for the position in January, said Thursday at the White House. ‘I have recommended him highly for the Fed. I’ve told my folks that’s the man.’ Cain, a restaurant industry executive, rose to national prominence during the 2012 GOP primary season as his campaign became famous for a simplified tax plan, known as 9-9-9. But his candidacy unraveled over complaints that he sexually harassed multiple women.” See also, Trump Says He Intends to Nominate Herman Cain for a Seat on the Federal Reserve Board. Selection of Mr. Cain, along with proposed nomination of Trump’s former campaign adviser Stephen Moore, marks effort to install Fed critics on the central bank’s seven-seat board. The Wall Street Journal, Nick Timiraos and Alex Leary, Thursday, 4 April 2019: “President Trump said Thursday he intends to nominate former GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain to the Federal Reserve’s board of governors, signaling his desire to remake the nation’s central bank after complaining about it for months. The selection of Mr. Cain, following the president’s decision to nominate his former campaign adviser Stephen Moore, marks an effort to install two Fed critics and loyal Trump supporters on the central bank’s powerful seven-seat board. While the nominations would be subject to Senate confirmation, they would underscore Mr. Trump’s growing unhappiness with Fed policy under Jerome Powell, whom the president tapped to lead the central bank…. The records of both Messrs. Cain and Moore could make for bruising confirmation fights. Mr. Cain faced sexual-harassment accusations during his presidential campaign, which ended in 2011. The accusations, denied by Mr. Cain, resulted in settlements by the restaurant trade group, where he served for years as CEO.” See also, Trump Says He Wants Herman Cain, Former Pizza Executive, for the Federal Reserve BoardThe New York Times, Alan Rappeport, Neil Irwin, and Maggie Haberman, Thursday, 4 April 2019: “President Trump said on Thursday that he planned to nominate Herman Cain, who abandoned his 2012 presidential bid in the face of escalating accusations of sexual misconduct, for a seat on the Federal Reserve Board.”

New Mexico is the 14th state to pledge its electoral votes to the winner of the popular voteCNN, Katie Bernard, Thursday, 4 April 2019: “New Mexico is the latest state to join a compact pledging to devote its electoral votes to the winner of the popular vote in future presidential elections if enough states sign on…. New Mexico is the 14th state to join the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, bringing it to 189 electoral votes. The states will not shift their vote allocations until their combined electoral votes equal 270, enough to decide a presidential election. California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington state and the District of Columbia have also joined the compact.”