Politics & Government

Politics, elections, law, military and veteran's affairs

How Does The Law Apply To The President?

Jun 4, 2018

This weekend, news broke that President Donald Trump’s attorneys sent a memo to Special Counsel Robert Mueller arguing “that the president cannot illegally obstruct any aspect of the investigation into Russia’s election meddling because the Constitution empowers him to, ‘if he wished, terminate the inquiry, or even exercise his power to pardon,'” the New York Times reports.

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The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday in favor of a Colorado baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple. But the 7-to-2 decision was on the narrowest of grounds and left unresolved whether business owners have a free speech right to refuse to sell goods and services to same-sex couples.

Updated at 10:40 p.m. ET

Former President Bill Clinton revisited the controversy over his affair with Monica Lewinsky on Monday, saying he does not feel he owes the former White House intern an apology.

Clinton, interviewed on NBC's Today show by correspondent Craig Melvin, was asked if he had ever apologized to Lewinsky:

Melvin: "I asked if you'd ever apologized. And you said you had."

Clinton: "I have."

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President Trump's attorney Rudy Giuliani tells ABC's "This Week" that the president has the power to pardon himself.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "THIS WEEK")

RUDY GIULIANI: He probably does. He has no intention of pardoning himself.

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How much does President Trump's power protect him from the special counsel?

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Lawmakers return to Capitol Hill this week to confront an unplanned and unpredictable immigration debate. Republicans and Democrats alike believe the outcome could be a decisive factor for voters in elections this November that will determine control of Congress.

A divided House GOP Conference will hold a closed-door session on Thursday to build a strategy around immigration legislation scheduled for the floor the third week of June — a deal promised to the rank-and-file by reluctant GOP leaders before the Memorial Day break.

Updated 10:18 a.m. ET

President Trump has the "absolute" power to pardon himself, he argued on Monday morning, then asked rhetorically why he would use it because he hasn't done anything wrong.

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On Monday at 10 a.m., the Supreme Court might release opinions in a number of significant cases on this year's docket, deciding the fate of President Trump's travel ban, public sector unions and political redistricting — among other possibilities.

The finance ministers from the six non-U.S. members of the G-7 issued a statement Saturday criticizing the trade actions taken by the Trump administration.

The U.S. announced Thursday that it would extend tariffs — 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum — to Canada, Mexico and the European Union, citing national security concerns as the main reason for implementation.

California's Unusual Primary System

Jun 3, 2018

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House Democrats believe they can win more Republican-controlled congressional seats in California this year than any other state in the country.

But, first, they need to prevent their own candidates from ruining their plans.

The June 5 primary has taken on near-mythic importance for Democrats aiming to regaining control of the House in November. They hope that high disapproval ratings for the Republican-led Congress and President Trump will create a rush of enthusiasm for Democrats in areas where GOP control is already tenuous.

In a confidential letter obtained by The New York Times, lawyers for President Trump reveal their legal strategy and inform special counsel Robert Mueller that Trump will not comply with requests for an interview. The letter, dated Jan. 29, also says Trump can use his executive powers to pardon if needed.

Defense Secretary James Mattis is warning China there will be consequences if it continues its military buildup in the South China Sea. In comments at the Shangri-La Dialogue, an international security forum in Singapore over the weekend, Mattis said Beijing's moves were designed to intimidate other countries in the region.

"China's policy in the South China Sea stands in stark contrast to the openness that our strategy promotes, it calls into question China's broader goals," Mattis said.

An Equal Rights Amendment In Virginia

Jun 2, 2018

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As California joins seven other states in holding its primary Tuesday, one spotlight is on a handful of congressional seats in suburban Orange County, where Democrats think they can take back control of the House. That's in part due to the region's fast-changing demographics.

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This week in the Russia investigations: If "collusion" is now fully partisan in the House, the Senate and the public, that is good news for the president.

The politics of the Russia imbroglio took a little-noticed but important break last week for President Trump and the White House.

On Monday, freshman Rep. Tom Garrett, R-Va., announced he will not seek re-election. On Wednesday, he requested an investigation into his own congressional staff.

"This is (a) SENSITIVE request on behalf of the member who would like to audit several employees," reads an official IT incident receipt that was reviewed by NPR.

President Trump has ordered Energy Secretary Rick Perry to take immediate steps to help financially troubled coal and nuclear power plants.

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The U.S. is not only in a trade fight with the European Union but also with allies closer to home. Mexico and Canada are both disappointed by the new aluminum and steel tariffs. The Canadians have promised to retaliate.

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The European Union is fighting back against tariffs on aluminum and steel announced by the Trump administration. Here's Cecilia Malmstrom, the EU's commissioner for trade, speaking today in Brussels.

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We're going to turn in to some of the other big political stories of the week, and we're joined this Friday by David Brooks of The New York Times. Hey there, David.

DAVID BROOKS, BYLINE: Hello.

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