Nicandro Iannacci // 11/8/19 //
The impeachment inquiry continues with a barrage of news about various witnesses, including John Bolton and Mick Mulvaney. Reports emerge that the President asked Attorney General Barr to clear him of wrongdoing, but Barr refused. And a federal judge orders the President to pay $2 million for misusing funds from the Trump Foundation.
The House continues to seek and receive testimony from numerous witnesses.
Sens. Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) asked the State Department to release records related to Hunter Biden (POLITICO).
The House GOP plans to deflect blame from President Trump to U.S. Ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondlund, Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, and acting COS Mick Mulvaney (WaPo).
For their part, House Democrats are divided about what issues to ultimately include in articles of impeachment (BuzzFeed News).
The Ukraine scandal echoes campaign-law scandals faced by Presidents Nixon and Clinton, writes Kenneth P. Doyle at Bloomberg Government.
Still, the president probably didn’t violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, writes Matthew Stephenson at Global Anticorruption Blog.
TRUMP: INVESTIGATIONS & LITIGATION
The trial of Trump adviser Roger Stone continues this week.
Since Border Patrol agents started conducting initial asylum screenings in June, they have approved fewer than half of them, a steep drop from the usual rate (BuzzFeed News).
JUSTICE & SAFETY
Even as President Trump touts the passage of the First Step Act, DOJ is arguing that hundreds of prisoners are ineligible for its benefits (WaPo).
The U.S. accused Iran of intimidating nuclear inspectors after an inspector was blocked from the country’s main enrichment site and briefly stopped from leaving the country (WSJ).
CONFLICTS OF INTEREST
Donations from an American businessman resulted in access to the president for the donor’s son and a Turkish businessman with close ties to Turkish President Erdogan (CREW).
DOE Secretary Betsy DeVos refused to testify before the House Education and Labor Committee about the DOE’s collection of debt from Corinthian College students, drawing a subpoena threat from the committee (POLITICO).
The EPA inspector general is in an ongoing legal dispute with EPA chief of staff Ryan Jackson over Jackson’s efforts to influence a scientist’s congressional testimony (WaPo).
The Trump administration will allow coastal communities to take sand from protected ecosystems to replenish their beaches, after receiving a request from Rep. Jeff Van Drew (D-N.J.), who voted against the impeachment inquiry (NYT).
NOAA officials did not intend to publicly rebuke the president for his false prediction of the path of Hurricane Dorian (NYT).
CHECKS & BALANCES
RULE OF LAW
A forthcoming book by an anonymous Trump administration official claims senior officials considered residing en masse in a “midnight self-massacre” to sound a public alarm about the president’s conduct (WaPo).