Day 866: False light.
1/ The White House directed Hope Hicks not to cooperate with a House Judiciary Committee subpoena for documents related to her White House service. The White House also instructed Annie Donaldson, the former deputy White House counsel, not to turn over the documents. Rep. Jerrold Nadler said the documents are no longer covered by executive privilege “if they ever were” and that the White House’s move was “part of President Trump’s continued obstruction of Congress.” Hicks, however, said she will hand over documents related to Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. (CNN / Washington Post / CNBC / NBC News / Politico)
2/ The Justice Department agreed to reopen negotiations with the House Judiciary Committee for Robert Mueller’s full, unredacted report if the House removes its threat to hold Attorney General Bill Barr in contempt next week. In a letter to committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, the Department said it would only “resume negotiations” if the committee reversed its previous recommendation that Barr be held in contempt. The committee subpoenaed for Mueller’s report and the underlying material in April. When Barr didn’t comply, they held a committee contempt vote. (Talking Points Memo / Axios / Washington Post)
3/ Trump vowed to move forward with imposing tariffs on Mexican imports next week, warning Republican senators they would be “foolish” to try and stop him. Any vote to disapprove the tariffs would likely face a presidential veto. The 5% tariffs on all Mexican goods, rising to 25% over time, are intended to force Mexico to stop the Central American migrants from seeking entry into the U.S. (New York Times)
- Trump’s tariffs on China, Mexico, Europe and other governments would nullify the gains from his $1.5 trillion tax cut for low- and middle-income earners, according to two new analyses. (New York Times)
4/ Republican senators warned Trump that they were prepared to block his effort to impose tariffs on Mexican imports. Senators told the White House and Justice Department there could be a disapproval vote if Trump moves forward and they may have enough support to override a veto. After a closed-door meeting with White House officials, Mitch McConnell told reporters that “there is not much support in my conference for tariffs, that’s for sure.” Republican senators are worried that the tariffs on all imported goods from Mexico will impact the economy and their home states. (Washington Post / New York Times / Politico)
- Earlier in the day: Congressional Republicans are discussing whether or not they may have to vote to block Trump’s latest proposed tariffs against Mexico. The vote would be the most dramatic defiance of Trump by the GOP since he took office, and could also block millions of dollars in funding for Trump’s border wall, since Trump’s plan to impose tariffs on Mexico relies on his national emergency declaration. Congress has the right to override the national emergency determination by passing a resolution of disapproval. (Washington Post)
5/ The owners of the former Trump Panama hotel accused the Trump Organization of evading taxes and creating a “false light” around one of the hotel’s finances. The accusations, made in a legal filing in Manhattan federal court, claimed that Trump’s family cheated a foreign government and that the Trump Organization “made fraudulent and false claims to the Panamanian tax authorities” in order to “cover up its unlawful activities.” The Trump Organization called the claims “completely false.” (New York Times / Washington Post / NBC News)
The House passed the $19.1 billion disaster aid package after Republicans blocked the bill on three separate occasions. The vote was 354-58, sending the measure to Trump’s desk, where he is expected to sign it. Once the bill is signed into law, funding will be released to communities recovering from hurricanes, wildfires, tornadoes, floods, and other recent disasters. (Politico)
Dozens of migrant children spent up to 39 hours in a van while waiting to be reunited with their parents. What was supposed to be a 30-minute ride to reunite with their parents at an ICE facility in Texas in July, turned into a two-night ordeal in the back of a van for the children, all of whom are between 5 and 12 years old. Most spent at least 23 hours in the vans. Emails between employees of the nonprofit government contractor responsible for transporting the children reveal frustrations with the lack of preparation by ICE and senior leadership at the Department of Health and Human Services. (NBC News)
The Trump campaign spends $37,500 a month for office space in Trump Tower that “four or five” campaign staffers work at. The cost per-square-foot is nearly triple what the Republican National Committee pays at a newly opened office in northern Virginia it shares with the campaign. (HuffPost)
Paul Manafort will be transferred to the Rikers Island and most likely be held in isolation while facing state fraud charges. Manafort is serving a seven-and-a-half-year federal prison sentence after being convicted of bank fraud, tax and conspiracy last year. (New York Times / Fox News)
The Trump administration twice authorized U.S. companies to share sensitive nuclear power information with Saudi Arabia after the assassination of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi by the Saudi government. In all, the Department of Energy has approved the transfer of nuclear information from U.S. companies to Saudi Arabia seven times under Trump. (Reuters / The Guardian / Axios)
The Trump administration banned U.S. cruise ships from visiting Cuba as part of an effort to roll back the Obama-era efforts to restore relations between the United States and Cuba. (Associated Press)
The EPA blamed the media for the public’s concerns about climate change. Andrew Wheeler argued that the press is doing a “disservice to the public” and needs to help “fix” the “perception” that the environment is getting worse. (Talking Points Memo)
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