Hill.TV’s “Rising” program, beginning at eight a.m., options retired Military Gen. Stanley McChrystal, former commander of U.S. operations in Afghanistan, and Rep. Eric SwalwellEric Michael SwalwellSwalwell says Butina responsible plea reveals ‘inflow of Russians’ into US ‘political bloodstream’ Swalwell: Michael Cohen ‘is aware of the place all of the our bodies are buried’ Swalwell rips Trump: ‘He’s a mendacity president and a mendacity president is a weak president’ MORE (D-Calif.), who says he believes Trump could be indicted as a sitting president. http://thehill.com/hilltv
President TrumpDonald John TrumpProsecutors investigating Trump inaugural fund, pro-Trump tremendous PAC for potential unlawful overseas donations: NY Instances George Conway: Why take Trump’s phrase over prosecutors’ if he ‘lies about nearly all the pieces’ Federal decide says lawsuit over Trump journey ban waivers will proceed MORE is taking cost of his personal authorized protection as threats mount and former allies cooperate in secrecy with federal prosecutors.
Over Twitter and in interviews on Fox Information, the president is laying the groundwork for a protection he may at some point make to prosecutors investigating his marketing campaign.
On Thursday, the president made the case that election yr funds made by his former lawyer Michael Cohen to bury tales about alleged affairs don’t represent marketing campaign finance violations.
“I by no means directed [Cohen] to do something flawed…No matter he did, he did on his personal. …What he did was all unrelated to me aside from the 2 marketing campaign finance fees that aren’t felony and should not have been on there. They put that on to embarrass me.” — Trump
Learn Trump’s full Fox Information interview HERE.
Whereas particular counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US ought to applaud alternative of Mueller to steer Russia probe MORE’s probe has acquired the majority of the eye for the previous yr, prosecutors on the Southern District of New York, the place the Trump Group is predicated, have change into more and more aggressive in investigating the president’s marketing campaign.
Late Thursday, The Wall Road Journal reported that the federal prosecutors in Manhattan launched an investigation into whether or not Trump’s inaugural committee misspent a number of the document $107 million in donations it raised, together with allegations the committee traded entry for cash. The New York Instances is reporting that investigators are additionally scrutinizing overseas donations to a pro-Trump tremendous PAC.
“That doesn’t have something to do with the president or first girl.” — White Home press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders
The information comes a day after Cohen was sentenced to a few years in jail for a spread of economic crimes and one felony marketing campaign finance violation. A few of these crimes had been found by Mueller however handed off to the Southern District of New York for prosecution.
Cohen can be making the rounds for media interviews earlier than he stories to jail in March. This morning he’ll be interviewed by George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”
Cohen has admitted to creating an election yr cost to adult-film star Stormy Daniels to remain quiet about an affair she says she had with the president years in the past. He additionally has admitted to paying the corporate that owns the Nationwide Enquirer for the rights to a narrative from Karen McDougal, the previous Playboy mannequin who additionally claims to have had an affair with Trump.
Cohen says Trump ordered him to make the funds, which prosecutors have argued had been an effort to affect the 2016 election and subsequently quantity to marketing campaign finance violations.
The president has denied the affairs and initially denied understanding concerning the funds.
Now, he’s publicly making the case that the funds weren’t unlawful as a result of they had been personal transactions meant to defend him from embarrassing allegations, to not affect the election. And he’s placing the blame for the funds squarely on Cohen, whilst Cohen has testified that Trump directed him to write down the checks.
There are two different wild playing cards right here. Trump’s good friend David Pecker, the chairman of American Media Inc., which owns the Nationwide Enquirer, has an immunity take care of prosecutors investigating the McDougal cost. The funds got here from the Trump Group, and Chief Monetary Officer Allen Weisselberg can also be cooperating with prosecutors below the safety of an immunity deal.
A number of media retailers are reporting that Trump was within the room when Cohen and Pecker negotiated the McDougal cost.
The talk raging in Washington is whether or not the Manhattan prosecutors would have the ability to persuade a jury that the funds are tantamount to marketing campaign finance violations and whether or not a sitting president could be indicted.
“I feel the Justice Division must re-examine that OLC opinion, Workplace of Authorized Counsel opinion, that you just can not indict a sitting president below circumstances by which the failure to take action could imply that individual escapes justice. If it had been the case that it was now or by no means … that if you happen to wait till after the president leaves workplace they’ll now not be delivered to justice, that must create definitely an exception to that OLC rule.” — Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffIntel panel expects to refer extra circumstances of suspected mendacity to Mueller Adam Schiff: Justice ought to ‘re-examine’ whether or not it may indict sitting president Democrats sign rising curiosity in inspecting ties between NRA, Russia MORE (D-Calif.), doubtless the following chairman of the Home Intelligence Committee
Schiff simply days in the past mentioned Trump faces the “actual prospect of jail time” after he leaves workplace (CBS Information).
The OLC memo is HERE.
Views and Evaluation
The Hill: Intel panel expects to refer extra circumstances of suspected mendacity to Mueller.
The Washington Put up: Mueller’s remedy of cooperating witnesses suggests finish of Russia probe could also be close to.
Andrew Napolitano: Funds could doom Trump’s presidency.
Hans A. von Spakovsky: Neither Trump nor Cohen violated marketing campaign finance legal guidelines.
Renato Mariotti: Did Trump simply transfer a step nearer to unindicted co-conspirator?
James Freeman: Information retailers had a special view of marketing campaign finance legislation when the legislation was utilized to others.
LEADING THE DAY
SHUTDOWN: We’re eight days away from a partial authorities shutdown and lawmakers aren’t any nearer to a spending settlement.
The Hill: Trump leaves GOP in turmoil with shutdown looming.
Trump is demanding any spending bundle embody $5 billion for a border wall. Senate Minority Chief Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerA missed alternative for Democrats within the border wall showdown We now have the funds we have to safe the border Anti-wall just isn’t a border coverage: How Democrats can promote an immigration plan MORE (D-N.Y.) says Democrats received’t budge from their supply of $1.three billion (The Hill).
In a Thursday tweet, Trump known as Democrats “absolute hypocrites” for supporting border fencing prior to now.
“Let’s not do a shutdown, Democrats – do what’s proper for the American folks!” — Trump
Sen. Richard ShelbyRichard Craig ShelbyOn The Cash: GOP senator floats choices to stop shutdown | Republicans surprised by Trump shutdown menace | Schumer insists Dems will not budge on wall | Pelosi expects fierce struggle over Trump tax returns | Trump warns GM will not be handled effectively after layoff GOP senator floats choices to stop shutdown The Hill’s Morning Report — The place the shutdown struggle stands MORE (R-Ala.), chairman of the Appropriations Committee, has floated a number of potentialities aimed toward bridging the deadlock (The Hill).
But when an settlement is reached, it’s going to come simply days or hours earlier than the shutdown.
Home lawmakers have already gone house for the weekend. The following votes aren’t scheduled till Wednesday, though members have been instructed to be on name in case that adjustments.
Senate GOP Whip John CornynJohn CornynGOP senator floats choices to stop shutdown Congress strikes deal on invoice for sexual harassment circumstances involving lawmakers The Hill’s Morning Report — Takeaways from the battle royal within the Oval Workplace MORE (R-Texas) summed up the state of play in an interview with The Hill.
Home Republicans don’t have the votes to cross a spending invoice with $5 billion for Trump’s wall. If they’d the votes, they might have handed a invoice this week.
Benefit: Democrats, a minimum of for now.
Keep in mind: Within the final shutdown battle earlier this yr, Senate Democrats blocked a Home-passed funding invoice. That’s a giant a part of the rationale they bought the blame and subsequently backed down.
Bloomberg Information has a rundown of what is going to occur if the related federal companies shut down at midnight on Dec. 21.
About 400,000 workers would work with out pay and one other 350,000 can be furloughed. The Division of Homeland Safety can be among the many companies impacted, that means pay can be delayed for border brokers and Secret Service brokers defending Trump, who is anticipated to be vacationing at Mar-a-Lago.
IN FOCUS/SHARP TAKES
CONGRESS: Lawmakers’ challenges to Trump continued Thursday past investigations and a possible shutdown. Senators voted to finish U.S. help for the Saudi-backed warfare in Yemen, regardless of energetic lobbying within the Capitol towards the measure by the secretary of state and protection secretary (The Hill).
Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoMegyn Kelly on Mika Brzezinski’s remark controversy: ‘I hope she’s forgiven’ In a single day Protection: Senate bucks Trump with Yemen warfare vote, decision calling crown prince ‘accountable’ for Khashoggi killing | Home briefing on Saudi Arabia fails to maneuver needle | Inhofe casts doubt on House Power Senate Dems urge Trump to proceed nuclear arms management negotiations after treaty suspension MORE and Protection Secretary James MattisJames Norman MattisOvernight Protection: Senate bucks Trump with Yemen warfare vote, decision calling crown prince ‘accountable’ for Khashoggi killing | Home briefing on Saudi Arabia fails to maneuver needle | Inhofe casts doubt on House Power Trump administration asks Supreme Courtroom to quickly enable transgender army ban Senate votes to finish US help for Saudi warfare, bucking Trump MORE additionally tried with out success to influence senators to oppose a measure that names Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman “accountable” for the homicide of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi (The Hill).
The Senate accepted the joint decision by voice vote after it attracted the preliminary help of retiring retiring Senate Overseas Relations Committee Chairman Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerOvernight Protection: Senate bucks Trump with Yemen warfare vote, decision calling crown prince ‘accountable’ for Khashoggi killing | Home briefing on Saudi Arabia fails to maneuver needle | Inhofe casts doubt on House Power Senate passes decision naming crown prince ‘accountable’ for Khashoggi slaying Senate votes to finish US help for Saudi warfare, bucking Trump MORE (R-Tenn.), Kentucky’s Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMcConnell units Monday take a look at vote on felony justice invoice Senate votes to finish US help for Saudi warfare, bucking Trump Former FBI official says Mueller received’t be ‘coloured by politics’ in Russia probe MORE, the bulk chief, and different Republicans (Bloomberg).
Reuters: The Senate twice defied the president on Thursday.
McConnell this week reluctantly sided with White Home needs to deliver a bipartisan felony justice reform invoice to the ground. Senators are bracing for a struggle as the bulk chief tries to squeeze the measure into the year-end agenda.
Regardless of Trump’s endorsement of the invoice, Senate conservatives are working to defeat it and are drafting amendments that might pressure their colleagues via a collection of robust votes (The Hill).
Within the Home, lawmakers despatched a invoice to Trump’s desk that overhauls Congress’s sexual harassment insurance policies (The Hill).
The time period restrict proposals introduced this week by Rep. Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D’Alesandro PelosiOvernight Protection: Senate bucks Trump with Yemen warfare vote, decision calling crown prince ‘accountable’ for Khashoggi killing | Home briefing on Saudi Arabia fails to maneuver needle | Inhofe casts doubt on House Power On The Cash: GOP senator floats choices to stop shutdown | Republicans surprised by Trump shutdown menace | Schumer insists Dems will not budge on wall | Pelosi expects fierce struggle over Trump tax returns | Trump warns GM will not be handled effectively after layoff Will Congress rating headlines or legislative wins in subsequent session? MORE, the California Democrat who is anticipated to be Speaker in January, expose a generational divide in her caucus (The Hill).
Pelosi anticipates fierce resistance from the White Home and Trump’s legal professionals if (or when) Democratic overseers demand the president’s tax returns, backed by subpoena energy (The Hill).
Home – weapons: What to look at subsequent yr as Democrats take up payments to deal with gun violence and attempt to detour round roadblocks within the GOP-controlled Senate (The Hill).
WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF WATCH: The president is anticipated to fulfill along with his former marketing campaign deputy David Bossie and Bossie’s co-author Corey LewandowskiCorey R. LewandowskiTrump says he is down to 5 candidates for chief of employees David Bossie: ‘Humbling’ to be mentioned for Trump’s chief of employees Lewandowski, Florida state senators tussle over Trump’s affect on midterms: report MORE, a former Trump marketing campaign supervisor, for lunch on the White Home (The Washington Put up). The get-together was deliberate earlier than the president introduced that John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE, his chief of employees, will go away the job by Jan. 2. Bossie’s title has appeared on lists of potential picks. Trump mentioned on Thursday he’s interviewed a handful of candidates.
Trump met with former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie Thursday night and considers him a candidate for the chief’s job (Axios). Christie, as soon as a competitor with Trump for the GOP presidential nomination, was additionally in command of an early model of Trump’s transition planning in 2016 earlier than being faraway from that position. Christie later known as the transition “brutally unprofessional” (The Guardian and writer Michael Lewis in “The Fifth Threat”).
Some Trump advisers are selling son-in-law Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerProtesters host dance social gathering exterior Stephen Miller’s house Dem lawmaker pledges hearings after CIA briefing on Khashoggi Trump indicators order aimed toward revitalizing economically distressed communities MORE, a senior adviser to the president, to steer the West Wing employees (Reuters), however that alternative is seen as unlikely.
The Related Press: Trump’s seek for new chief of employees has actuality TV really feel.
And within the Christmas spirit, the president welcomed former White Home chief of employees Reince PriebusReinhold (Reince) Richard PriebusThe Hill’s Morning Report — The place the shutdown struggle stands Santorum not keen on White Home chief of employees position Trump says he is contemplating 10 to 12 contenders for chief of employees MORE to a Thursday night social gathering at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Priebus and Kelly made merry on the state flooring.
Assad’s regime killed an American — and nobody appears to care, by Jason Rezaian, The Washington Put up. Layla Shweikani, a U.S. citizen with Syrian roots, was tortured and executed.
‘His soiled deeds’: Michael Cohen mentioned Trump led him into darkness. The courts introduced him into the sunshine, by The New York Instances editorial board.
The Morning Report is created by journalists Jonathan Easley [email protected] & Alexis Simendinger [email protected]. Ideas? Suggestions? We need to hear from you! Share The Hill’s reporting and newsletters, and encourage others to SUBSCRIBE!
WHERE AND WHEN
The Senate adjourned till three p.m. Monday, when senators are to renew consideration of the Home model of the felony justice reform invoice.
The Home is out till Dec. 19, when voting will start at 6:30 p.m.
The president and first girl Melania TrumpMelania TrumpProsecutors investigating Trump inaugural fund, pro-Trump tremendous PAC for potential unlawful overseas donations: NY Instances Prosecutors probing Trump inauguration spending: report Melania Trump’s favorability plunges in new ballot MORE will host two night Christmas receptions on the White Home.
Treasury Division Assistant Secretary David Kautter speaks at midday throughout a luncheon hosted by the Institute on Present Points in Worldwide Taxation. Location: J.W. Marriott Resort, Washington.
Secretaries Pompeo and Mattis meet with the U.S.-Canada 2+2 ministerial members on the Division of State at 11 a.m. Pompeo holds a joint press convention at 1:10 p.m. with Mattis, Canadian Minister of Overseas Affairs Chrystia Freeland and Canadian Minister of Protection Harjit Sajjan. Pompeo delivers remarks and administers the oath of workplace at 2 p.m. to the 150th Overseas Service specialist class. He meets with Slovenian Overseas Minister Miro Cerar on the division at three p.m.
Supreme Courtroom Affiliate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg delivers remarks at 10 a.m. on the Nationwide Archives naturalization ceremony marking Invoice of Rights Day.
> Airways: Racist, homophobic and ageist abuse by passengers in addition to sexual harassers and “inappropriate touching” are an rising downside for business airways (Bloomberg).
> Human trafficking: Misplaced women of Indonesia are amongst 61,000 lifeless and lacking migrants in Asia and across the globe (The Related Press). A latest AP investigation documented greater than 60,000 lifeless or lacking migrants worldwide.
> The humanities: Actress Sondra Locke, 74, and singer Nancy Wilson, 81, are amongst entertainers who died this yr. Locke, an Academy Award-nominated actor and director, was finest identified for her co-starring roles with Clint Eastwood. Her dying in November was first reported on Thursday (The Related Press). Wilson was an iconic, Grammy-winning music stylist and torch singer who retired from touring seven years in the past (The Related Press).
And eventually … Kudos to the winners of this week’s Morning Report Quiz — about White Home chiefs of employees. No scarcity of readers are savvy about West Wing senior presidential advisers via the many years. Our salutes this morning go to Rob Couhig, Chris Weston, John van Santen, David Straney, William Chittam, Dennis Cherry, Sandy Sycafoose, Joel Brill, Steven Nemerovski, B.J. Ford, Milt Mungo, Rosemarie Soriano, Larry Charles, Chloe Coniaris and Noel St. Pre.
They knew that the youngest White Home chief of employees thus far was Dick Cheney, who served former President Gerald R. Ford and earned excessive reward in that difficult position at age 34.
Former President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaA sea change for sexual conduct on campus Anti-wall just isn’t a border coverage: How Democrats can promote an immigration plan Obama receives Robert F. Kennedy human rights award MORE relied on 5 chiefs of employees throughout his two phrases, topping presidential tallies.
James A. Baker III was former President Ronald Reagan’s chief of employees on the time of an assassination try in 1981, when the president and three others had been shot and wounded.
On the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, in Sarasota, Fla., former President George W. Bush was studying to elementary college college students when Andrew Card, his chief of employees, leaned in to whisper, “America is below assault.”