A federal judge on Friday ruled that the White House had to return press credentials to CNN’s Jim Acosta — at least temporarily — rebuking President Trump’s decision to yank them after a contentious press conference.
Washington, DC, Judge Timothy J. Kelly issued his ruling after hearing nearly two hours of oral arguments about CNN’s request for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction on Wednesday.
The judge emphasized that his decision was based on the Fifth Amendment since Acosta was denied his right to due process — and not on the question of whether the White house can bar reporters from the grounds.
“If at some point after restoring the hard pass the government would like to move to vacate the restraining order on the grounds that it has fulfilled its due process obligations, then it may, of course, do so and I will promptly address that and then the remaining basis of the (temporary restraining order),” Kelly said.
Hillary Clinton must answer more questions under oath regarding her emails, a conservative watchdog group declared Wednesday.
"Breaking: Court rules late today Hillary Clinton must answer more email questions — including key q's about the setting up of her email system," Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton tweeted after a hearing in federal court.
U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan heard the case, which stems from a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit regarding the controversial employment status of longtime Clinton aide Huma Abedin, who was granted a "special government employee" designation to accept outside employment while she was working at the State Department.
About 1,200 auditors sharpened their pencils and pored over the Pentagon's accounting books and were able to identify discrepancies that will likely take years to resolve, Reuters reported.
The undertaking was massive and an early goal for the Trump administration. These auditors looked into spending on military personnel and weapons systems, the report said.
Patrick Shanahan, the deputy secretary of defense, said "the fact that we did the audit is substantial," and said the agency "never expected to pass."
A Pentagon spokesman clarified that an audit is not a ‘pass-fail’ process and noted that it did not receive the lowest possible rating in any area. Reuters reported that Shanahan did not mention how much money was unaccounted for in the study.
"Some of the compliance issues are irritating to me," he said. "The point of the audit is to drive better discipline in our compliance with our management systems and procedures."
The Justice Department has filed charges under seal against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, a person familiar with the matter confirmed Friday after prosecutors inadvertently tipped off the information in a court filing.
Any charges against Assange, who has been taking cover for years in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, could help illuminate whether Russia coordinated with the Trump campaign to sway the 2016 presidential election. They would also suggest that, after years of internal wrangling within the Justice Department, prosecutors have decided to take a more aggressive stance against the secret-sharing website.
The person who confirmed that Assange had been charged spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the charges had not been made public. It was not immediately clear what charges Assange could face or when they might become unsealed.
The Washington Times
President Trump to nominate former coal lobbyist Andrew Wheeler as head of Environmental Protection Agency
President Donald Trump said Friday he plans to nominate acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler as the permanent head of the environmental agency.
"He’s done a fantastic job and I want to congratulate him," Trump said about Wheeler during a Presidential Medal of Freedom ceremony in the East Room of the White House. Wheeler was in the audience attending the event when the president made the announcement.
"Congratulations, Andrew," Trump said, as a casual aside during the formal ceremony. "Great job.”
Wheeler, a former EPA bureaucrat, Capitol Hill aide and energy lobbyist known for his low-key manner, was named acting administrator in July after the ouster of his embattled predecessor Scott Pruitt. At the time, Wheeler was Pruitt's deputy.
Wheeler still must be confirmed by the Senate before he can be the EPA's permanent chief.
President Donald Trump pledged his support for a major overhaul of sentencing laws and prisoner re-entry programs at the White House on Wednesday.
Trump's backing for the package, which is still being drafted in the Senate, has been seen as a key factor in providing political cover for Republicans and Democrats to vote for an overhaul that would diminish criminal penalties for some offenders and make it easier for former inmates to find work.
Trump framed a planned reduction in certain mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses and other proposed sentencing provisions as a bid to fix President Bill Clinton's 1994 anti-crime law.
"It rolls back some of the provisions of the Clinton crime law that disproportionately harmed [the] African-American community," Trump said at a White House event.
At the same time, he praised a bipartisan push for re-evaluating criminal justice issues — even though none of the lawmakers who joined him at the White House were Democrats.
The first wave of migrants from the Central American caravan has arrived in the Mexican city of Tijuana — about 80 members of the LGBT community, some of whom were seen scaling a fence along the coastal border community.
They split off from the larger group of more than 3,600 migrants in Mexico City after what Honduran migrant Cesar Mejia told reporters was weeks of discriminatory treatment by locals and other travelers, according to NPR.
Several people jumped or crawled through openings in the fence onto US soil Sunday but quickly ran back when Border Patrol agents approached, Fox 5 San Diego reported.
Whenever we arrived at a stopping point, the LGBT community was the last to be taken into account in every way. So our goal was to change that and say, ‘This time we are going to be first,’ ” Mejia said.
The group in Tijuana included Hondurans, Guatemalans, Nicaraguans and Salvadorans, including transgender men and women, and also several children.
Most plan to use their status as members of a persecuted class to request asylum in the United States as early as Thursday, the news outlet reported.
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy defeated Rep. Jim Jordan Wednesday to retain his post as the top Republican in the House a week after Democrats flipped control of the chamber.
Mr. McCarthy of California won 159-43.
Most of the other leadership races were uncontested and decided on a voice vote.
Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana was named minority whip and Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming became the House Republican Conference Chair as her father former Vice President Dick Cheney, sporting a cowboy hat, looked on from the room.
Rep. Tom Emmer of Minnesota was tapped to lead the National Republican Congressional Committee, the House GOP’s campaign arm. Rep. Mark Walker of North Carolina was elected Republican Conference Vice Chair and Rep. Jason Smith of Missouri became Republican Conference Secretary.
In the only other competitive race, Rep. Gary Palmer of Alabama defeated David Schweikert to lead the Republican Policy Committee.
Sen. Jeff Flake announced Wednesday that he will not vote to advance any new judicial nominees through the Judiciary Committee, nor will he vote to confirm picks on the Senate floor, until he gets his way on unrelated legislation to prevent the firing of special counsel Robert Mueller.
Mr. Flake made the announcement on the Senate floor minutes after his bid to pass the bill failed.
His threat could block the committee from approving any more judges this year, since the GOP only holds a one-seat majority on the panel.
It’s less catastrophic to approving judges on the Senate floor, where the GOP holds 51 seats. Even losing Mr. Flake, Republicans could still approve judges on a 50-50 vote with Vice President Mike Pence breaking the tie.
Still, the senator’s move was a major escalation in the battle over Mr. Mueller, who is investigating the 2016 election, Russian interference and Trump campaign figures’ behavior.
Mr. Flake and Sen. Chris Coons tried to get the Senate to pass a bill that would have prevented Mr. Mueller from being fired without good cause.
Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Wednesday was named Senate Democratic leader as both parties met to decide their leadership teams for the next Congress.
Schumer was reelected as minority leader by acclamation in the closed-door meeting, according to a source.
Schumer, in a statement, said he was “excited and humbled” to remain in the top Democratic spot.
“We have a unique opportunity in the new Congress to reach more bipartisan agreements to get things done for families across the country, and we will be ready to work with the president and our Republican colleagues on issues where we agree,” he said.
“However, we will not shy away from standing up to President Trump and Congressional Republicans with everything we’ve got when the values we as Americans hold dear are threatened,” he added.
Schumer, who has served in the post since 2017, was not expected to face competition for the caucus’s top spot.