Briefing National – December 5, 2017

  • President Donald Trump‘s legal team is floating a possible legal defense that the president cannot obstruct justice because he is the nation’s top law enforcement officer [Washington Post].
  • President Donald Trump offered a full-throated endorsement of Alabama Republican Roy Moore on Monday. After that happened, the Republican National Committee reversed course and said they were going to offer financial support for Moore’s campaign after previously cutting ties [Politico].
  • A woman who claims Roy Moore pursued a relationship with her when she was 17, and he was 34 says a high school graduation card signed by Moore is evidence of her claims [Washington Post].
  • Republicans in Congress tried to undermine a budgetary rule they put in place in 2015 in order to discredit an analysis that showed their tax cut package would explode the deficit [New York Times].
  • Conservatives in Congress nearly derail the GOP tax plan to gain more leverage over a must-pass spending bill to fund the government [Politico].
  • Federal prosecutors say former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort has continued to work with a longtime associate that has ties to Russian intelligence. Manafort and the unnamed associate have allegedly been ghostwriting an editorial defending Manaforts work with a pro-Russia political party in Ukraine [Washington Post].
  • WOW! Vice President Mike Pence made it clear to the Republican National Committee that he was ready to take over as the GOP nominee in 2016 after the bombshell Access Hollywood tape threatened to derail Donald Trump‘s presidential campaign [Atlantic].
  • The Supreme Court rules that the third version of the Trump administration’s travel ban can go into effect while there are legal challenges to the action in lower courts [New York Times].
  • Former deputy national security advisor K.T. McFarland may have lied to a Senate committee about her knowledge of discussions between former national security advisor Michael Flynn and a Russian official [New York Times].
  • Border Patrol arrests have dropped to a 45-year low while deportation arrests have soared during the Trump administration [Associated Press].
  • Special counsel Robert Muller has subpoenaed President Donald Trump‘s business dealings with Deutsche Bank [Bloomberg].

On this day in history:

  • 1492 – Christopher Columbus becomes the first European to set foot on the island of Hispaniola (now Haiti and the Dominican Republic).
  • 1831 – Former President John Quincy Adams takes his seat in the House of Representatives.
  • 1848 – In a message to Congress, President James K. Polk confirmed large amounts of gold had been discovered in California.
  • 1933 – The Twenty-first Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which repealed prohibition, was ratified. Utah was the 36th state to ratify the amendment.
  • 1955 – The boycott of city buses in Montgomery, Alabama went into effect following the arrest of Rosa Parks, who refused to give up her seat to a white man.