The Lawyers Are Busy

Monday, June 19, 2017Screen Shot 2017-06-19 at 08.12.35

Good Monday morning, 
Here are some of the stories making news in Washington and politics today:
  • Michael T. Flynn’s foray into consulting has become a legal and political quagmire, driven by the same disdain for boundaries that once propelled his rise in the military. His business ties are now the subject of a broad inquiry by a special counsel investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible collusion with Trump associates.

  • A member of President Trump’s legal team said that the president was not under investigation by the special counsel looking into Russia’s election-year meddling, contradicting Mr. Trump’s assertion in a tweet that he is a subject of the widening inquiry.

  • Military experts say that in outsourcing decisions on troop levels in Afghanistan to the Pentagon, the president has abdicated his duty to defend troop deployments.
  • After a frantic search through twisted wreckage and flooded cabins of the American destroyer Fitzgerald for missing sailors, bodies were found in the berthing compartments of the destroyer after it collided with a cargo vessel.
  • Jared Kushner is said to be reconsidering his legal team: Some of his allies have questioned the link between his current lawyer and the special counsel appointed to investigate the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia.

— The First Draft Team

High-Stakes Referendum on Trump Takes Shape in a Georgia Special Election

Campaign signs for Karen Handel, the Republican candidate, and Jon Ossoff, a Democrat, in Roswell, Ga., ahead of the special election on Tuesday.

Campaign signs for Karen Handel, the Republican candidate, and Jon Ossoff, a Democrat, in Roswell, Ga., ahead of the special election on Tuesday. Audra Melton for The New York Times

ATLANTA — Taking the stage in a half-filled airplane hangar to rally supporters of the Republican candidate Karen Handel, Health Secretary Tom Price could not help but point to the record-shattering surge of liberal money that has flooded into the special House race here.
“The out-of-state money is crazy,” said Mr. Price, whose vacated congressional seat is up for grabs on Tuesday.
Following Mr. Price, Sonny Perdue, the agriculture secretary and a former Georgia governor, was even more direct.
“I know some of you out there, some Republicans may even be turned off by our president,” said Mr. Perdue, before making the case for his boss.
The two Trump cabinet secretaries, both Georgia Republicans, had unwittingly revealed the twin hurdles standing in Ms. Handel’s path heading into Tuesday’s election: Democratic enthusiasm is soaring across the country while the sort of pastel-and-polo-clad Republicans who reside in this district are uneasy about what they see in Washington and have decidedly mixed views of President Trump.
Read more »
A handout provided by an official Iranian news site shows a missile launched by the Revolutionary Guards Corps from western Iran, toward Islamic State bases in Syria.

U.S. Fighter Jet Shoots Down Syrian Warplane


An American warplane shot down a Syrian warplane on the same day Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps also launched missiles into Syria.

How Much Do You Know About Solving Global Warming?


A new book presents 100 potential solutions. Can you figure out which ones are top ranked?

North Korea Accuses U.S. of ‘Mugging’ Its Diplomats in New York


Officials returning from a United Nations conference were about to board a plane when federal agents seized a package they were carrying, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said.

The stage of the Delacorte Theater, in Central Park, ahead of Saturday night’s production of “Julius Caesar.”

Protesters Outside ‘Julius Caesar’ in Central Park, and Laughs Inside


Just a day after the “Shakespeare in the Park” play was interrupted by protesters who rushed on stage, a few demonstrators picketed, and the production was adjusted to address the episode.

Right and Left: Partisan Writing You Shouldn’t Miss
Read about how the other side thinks. We have collected political writing from around the web and across ideologies.
From the Right
• Noah Millman in The American Conservative:
“Violence is the opposite of communication; it is, in fact, an expression of the belief that communication is impossible. So responding to violence by calling for self-censorship has it precisely backward.”
Heated political rhetoric has nothing to do with the shooting in Alexandria, Va., this week, Mr. Millman writes. What our “acute politico-tribal polarization” does lead to, at least partly, is the impulse to politicize such tragedies, he says. He goes on to argue that we should not self-censor for fear that someone will take our words the wrong way, and that we should speak “as if we know those who disagree with us, even fervently, are also listening” — a sentiment that readers of this series on partisan writing should find familiar. Read more »
From the Left
• Miriam Pensack in The Intercept:
“Carried out under the unlikely banner, for Trump, of human rights and democracy, the shift is instead more likely to re-impose hardships on ordinary Cubans.”
Any policy that impedes travel to Cuba, Ms. Pensack writes, will necessarily harm the people of the country. She argues that the decision by the Trump administration to reverse President Barack Obama’s engagement with Cuba is more about political expediency than it is about protecting human rights. Read more »
More selections »