Giuliani Joins Trump Legal Team

Friday, April 20, 2018Screen Shot 2018-04-20 at 7.34.17 AM

Good Monday morning,
Here are some of the stories making news in Washington and politics today:
  • Rudolph W. Giuliani, the former New York City mayor and longtime friend of President Trump, will join the president’s legal team in an effort to quickly resolve the special counsel investigation into Russian election interference and possible ties to Trump associates.

  • Federal prosecutors are examining whether they have sufficient evidence to open a criminal investigation into Andrew G. McCabe, the former F.B.I. director, his lawyer said, as a result of a Justice Department inspector general report repeatedly faulting him for misleading investigators.

  • The Justice Department sent to Capitol Hill redacted copies of a set of closely kept memos written by James B. Comey, the former F.B.I. director, about his interactions with President Trump.

  • North Korea has dropped its demand that American troops be removed from South Korea as a condition for giving up its nuclear weapons, South Korea’s president said Thursday in presenting the idea to the United States. But in Washington, the Trump administration privately dismissed the idea that it was a capitulation by the North.
  • Federal regulators are poised to impose a $1 billion fine on Wells Fargo for years of selling unnecessary products to customers, the toughest action by the Trump administration against a major bank.
  • Documents reveal new details about the efforts of Elliott Broidy to exploit his White House connections, raising questions about whether Trump administration officials knew of his attempts.

— The First Draft Team
On Washington

Push for Special Counsel Bill Shows G.O.P.’s Rising Fear Mueller Will Be Fired

By CARL HULSE
A bill to protect Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel, is backed by a bipartisan group of senators but is opposed by House Republicans.

A bill to protect Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel, is backed by a bipartisan group of senators but is opposed by House Republicans. Saul Loeb/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Senator Mitch McConnell’s unilateral declaration this week that he would not allow a vote on legislation to protect the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, provoked outrage from Democrats who said Mr. McConnell was giving President Trump carte blanche to oust the leader of the investigation into Russian election interference and the president’s inner circle.
In reality, the bipartisan bill would stand little chance of passage even if Mr. McConnell, the Kentucky Republican and majority leader, relented and allowed it to be debated and approved by the Senate. House Republicans are adamantly opposed. And if the bill somehow cleared Congress, Mr. Trump would have no incentive to sign a measure limiting his power. On top of that, the legislation might not be constitutional.
But supporters of the bill are pressing ahead anyway, intensifying a dispute that underscores both rising concern among Republicans that Mr. Trump might fire Mr. Mueller and uncertainty about just how they would react if he did.
Read more »

Senator Tammy Duckworth, an Illinois Democrat, arrived at the Capitol with her 10-day-old daughter, Maile, on Thursday.

‘It’s About Time’: A Baby Comes to the Senate Floor

By SHERYL GAY STOLBERG

Senator Tammy Duckworth’s new baby daughter made history, becoming the first infant to appear on the Senate floor. Even Mitch McConnell smiled.

Planning for the strike of 105 missiles on three targets — chemical weapons storage and research facilities near Damascus and Homs — took nearly a full week.

Missile Strikes Are Unlikely to Stop Syria’s Chemical Attacks, Pentagon Says

By THOMAS GIBBONS-NEFF

A military intelligence report found that the Syrian government is expected to resume its chemical weapons program, despite President Trump saying “mission accomplished.” Here’s how the strike unfolded.

Jim Bridenstine, a Republican congressman from Oklahoma, will be the first elected official to lead NASA.

Trump’s NASA Nominee, Jim Bridenstine, Confirmed by Party-Line Senate Vote

By KENNETH CHANG

The Oklahoma congressman’s nomination languished for more than seven months as senators raised objections to his record, and now additional concerns have been raised.

The World Economic Outlook news conference at the headquarters of the International Monetary Fund in Washington on Wednesday. “The present good times will not last for long,” said Maurice Obstfeld, chief economist of the I.M.F.

If the World Economy Is Looking So Great, Why Are Policymakers So Gloomy?

By NEIL IRWIN

As officials gather for the I.M.F. and World Bank convene in Washington, worries about trade and debt are building.

Trump Wants to Close Trade Gap, but Leaves Export Agency in Limbo

By ALAN RAPPEPORT

The Export-Import Bank has been effectively crippled, and big business groups are angry that the board of the bank has been left completely vacant.

James B. Comey being sworn in during a hearing before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence in Washington in 2017.

UNBUTTONED

James Comey Still Looks the Part

By VANESSA FRIEDMAN

The former F.B.I. director has made the rounds this week, offering his take on what “ethical leadership” means. If we’re going by appearances, it’s a lot like the movies.

AT&T’s chief executive, Randall Stephenson, called the blockbuster merger with Time Warner a “vision deal” that would allow AT&T to better compete with Silicon Valley giants.

AT&T Chief Attacks Lawsuit to Block Time Warner Merger

By CECILIA KANG

Randall Stephenson, AT&T’s chief executive, defended his deal to buy Time Warner and said a combined company would be no different from those that exist in Silicon Valley.

Harriott Daley with a row of telephone operators in 1928. By the time she retired, she was supervising a corps of 50 loyal “hello girls.”

Overlooked No More: Harriott Daley, the Capitol’s First Telephone Operator

By ALEXANDRA JACOBS

Daley, who became a switchboard operator in 1898, made sure members of Congress were just a phone call away from their constituents.

Drones like the Reaper have been the workhorse and controversial symbol of the fight against insurgents in Afghanistan and the tribal regions of Pakistan.

Trump Administration Seeks to Expand Sales of Armed Drones

By GARDINER HARRIS

A day after the president promised to slash red tape involved in weapons sales, the administration announced new policies, but experts said they would do little to speed exports.

Judge Halts Transfer of American ISIS Suspect to Other Country

By CHARLIE SAVAGE

A judge has blocked the U.S. from transferring an American citizen, held in Iraq for seven months as an “enemy combatant,” to the custody of another country.