By Robert A. Vella
Congress rebukes Trump
Today, the U.S. Senate will pass a joint resolution nullifying President Trump’s national emergency declaration to build his border wall project without congressional authorization. So far, at least eight Republican senators have announced their support of the resolution which has already passed the House of Representatives. Although Trump said he will veto the resolution, and it appears Congress doesn’t have enough votes to override a veto, the fact that Congress is standing up to this blatantly unconstitutional abuse of executive power is politically significant; and, it’ll come on the heels of new votes to oppose the president on other serious matters. See:
U.S. grounds 737
Bowing to pressure, the Trump administration has finally agreed to grounding the troubled Boeing 737 MAX airliner involved in two fatal crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia making the U.S. the last nation to do so. See:
Feds probe Cohen-Giuliani
Before he pleaded guilty and began assisting federal prosecutors last summer, Michael D. Cohen, President Trump’s former fixer, spoke with a lawyer who agreed to reach out to the president’s legal team on his behalf.
The lawyer, Robert J. Costello, had about a dozen conversations with Mr. Trump’s lead lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani, according to emails and documents reviewed by The New York Times and interviews with people involved in the matter. In one email, the discussions were characterized as a “back channel of communication.”
Now federal prosecutors have requested the emails and documents from Mr. Costello, according to a copy of the request, which cited an investigation into “possible violations of federal criminal law” but offered no further detail. The request, sent last week, was for any documents related to Mr. Cohen as well as any bills Mr. Costello had sent him.
In one of the emails, sent by Mr. Costello in April 2018 after a conversation with Mr. Giuliani, he assured Mr. Cohen, “Sleep well tonight, you have friends in high places.” He added, in a postscript: “Some very positive comments about you from the White House. Rudy noted how that followed my chat with him last night.”
DOJ inaction on election fraud
The FBI participated in a May surveillance operation of a GOP political operative at the center of an election fraud investigation in North Carolina, newly released court documents show, raising fresh questions about how long it has taken federal prosecutors to pursue the matter.
Federal and state investigators observed Leslie McCrae Dowless meeting with people he hired to collect ballots ahead of last year’s primary election in North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District, according to state search warrants released Wednesday.
State elections officials have said they repeatedly warned federal prosecutors about the ballot irregularities in the 9th District during the past two years, but got little response.
The first public sign of an active Justice Department investigation came this month, when a federal grand jury issued subpoenas in the case.