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U.S. President Trump speaks at the Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit in Atlanta, Georgia
U.S. President Donald Trump departs after delivering remarks at the Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S., April 24, 2019. REUTERS/Leah Millis

April 25, 2019

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday said he had never ordered his White House counsel at the time, Donald McGahn, to fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller, as described in the report Mueller wrote about the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election and whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia.

“As has been incorrectly reported by the Fake News Media, I never told then White House Counsel Don McGahn to fire Robert Mueller, even though I had the legal right to do so. If I wanted to fire Mueller, I didn’t need McGahn to do it, I could have done it myself,” Trump wrote on Twitter.

The Democratic chairman of the House judiciary panel has issued a subpoena for McGahn to testify and provide documents to the committee, but it is not clear whether the White House will comply. Trump has vowed to fight every subpoena from House Democrats probing his administration.

(Reporting by Makini Brice; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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The U.S. Capitol building is seen through flowers in Washington
The U.S. Capitol building is seen through flowers in Washington, U.S., April 23, 2019. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

April 25, 2019

By Jan Wolfe

(Reuters) – The U.S. Congress does not arrest and detain people for ignoring its subpoenas anymore, but it still has significant power to demand witnesses and documents, and Republican President Donald Trump is putting that power to the test.

“We’re fighting all the subpoenas,” Trump told reporters at the White House on Wednesday.

In another display of his disregard for Washington norms, Trump is defying subpoenas issued by Democrats in the House of Representatives, who have launched numerous investigations of him, his businesses, family and administration.

He earlier this week filed an unprecedented lawsuit seeking to block a congressional subpoena intended to force an accounting firm to disclose information about his financial dealings as a businessman.

Here is how the congressional subpoena, contempt and enforcement process works.

What is a subpoena?

A subpoena is a legally enforceable demand for documents, data, or witness testimony. In Latin, “sub poena” means “under penalty.”

Subpoenas are typically used by litigants in court cases. The Supreme Court has also recognized Congress’s power to issue subpoenas, saying in order to write laws it also needs to be able to investigate.

Congress’ power to issue subpoenas, while broad, is not unlimited. The high court has said Congress is not a law enforcement agency, and cannot investigate someone purely to expose wrongdoing or damaging information about them for political gain. A subpoena must potentially further some “legitimate legislative purpose,” the court has said.

What can Congress do to a government official who ignores one?

If lawmakers want to punish someone who ignores a congressional subpoena they typically first hold the offender “in contempt of Congress,” legal experts said.

House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings said on Tuesday that his panel will vote on holding a former White House security director, Carl Kline, in contempt for failing to appear for questioning. The committee wants to ask him about allegations that the Trump administration inappropriately granted clearances to some of the president’s advisers.

The contempt process can start in either the House or the Senate. Unlike with legislation, it only takes one of the chambers to make and enforce a contempt citation.

Typically, the members of the congressional committee that issued the subpoena will vote on whether to move forward with a contempt finding. If a majority supports the resolution, then another vote will be held by the entire chamber.

The Democrats have majority control of the House; Trump’s Republican Party holds the Senate. So any contempt finding in months ahead is likely to come from the House.

Only a majority of the 435-member House needs to support a contempt finding for one to be reached. After a contempt vote, Congress has additional powers to enforce a subpoena.

Ross Garber, a lawyer in Washington, said Trump’s lawyers will likely argue that any subpoenas and contempt citations issued now expire when a new Congress is seated in January 2021.

But Washington lawyer Garber said there is debate among lawyers about that question, which has not been settled by the Supreme Court.

How is a contempt finding enforced?

The Supreme Court said in an 1821 case that Congress has the “inherent authority” to arrest and detain recalcitrant witnesses.

In a 1927 case, the high court said the Senate acted lawfully in sending its deputy sergeant-at-arms to Ohio to arrest and detain the brother of the then-attorney general, who had refused to testify about a bribery scheme known as the Teapot Dome scandal.

It has been almost a century since Congress exercised this arrest-and-detain authority, and the practice is unlikely to make a comeback, legal experts said.

Alternatively, Congress can ask the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, a federal prosecutor, to bring criminal charges against a witness who refuses to appear. There is a criminal law that specifically prohibits flouting a congressional subpoena.

But this option is also unlikely to be pursued, at least when it comes to subpoenas against executive branch officials.

“It would be odd, structurally, because it would mean the Trump administration would be acting to enforce subpoenas against the Trump administration,” said Lisa Kern Griffin, a former federal prosecutor and a law professor at Duke University.

For this reason, in modern times Congress has opted for a third and final approach to enforcing a contempt finding: getting its lawyers to bring a civil lawsuit asking a judge to rule that compliance is required.

Failure to comply with such an order can trigger a “contempt of court” finding, enforced through daily fines and even imprisonment, Griffin said.

In 2012, the House, then controlled by Republicans, subpoenaed internal Justice Department documents related to a failed federal law enforcement operation to track illegal gun sales, dubbed “Fast and Furious.”

Democratic then-President Barack Obama’s attorney general, Eric Holder, refused to comply, citing a doctrine called “executive privilege.” The House voted to hold him in contempt in a rare instance of Congress taking such action against a sitting member of a president’s Cabinet.

Can Trump persuade a court to quash the subpoenas?

Just as Congress can sue to enforce a subpoena, Trump has shown a willingness to sue to block one.

On Monday, Trump brought a constitutional challenge to a subpoena issued by the House Oversight Committee for his financial records. The subpoena was sent to Mazars USA, an accounting firm, and seeks eight years of his financial statements.

Cummings has said the records are related to its investigation of allegations that Trump inflated or deflated financial statements for potentially improper purposes.

Garber said there was some merit to Trump’s argument that the subpoena power is being improperly used to unearth politically damaging information about him, rather than to help Congress make laws or set budgets.

But Edward Kleinbard, a lawyer who formerly served as chief of staff to Congress’ Joint Committee on Taxation, said Congress is well within its power to investigate whether the president complied with tax laws and similar statutes.

(Reporting by Jan Wolfe; editing by Kevin Drawbuagh and Jonathan Oatis)

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FILE PHOTO: A Ghanian woman poses while holding her family's passports with a U.S. visa in Accra
FILE PHOTO: A Ghanian woman poses while holding her family’s passports with a U.S. visa in Accra, Ghana February 1, 2019. Reuters/Francis Kokoroko/File Photo

April 24, 2019

By Steve Holland and Jeff Mason

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A merit-based immigration proposal being put together by White House senior adviser Jared Kushner could lead to an increase in U.S. visas for highly skilled workers, sources familiar with the effort said on Wednesday.

Kushner is expected to present the comprehensive plan next week to President Donald Trump, who will decide whether to adopt it as his official position or send it back for changes, the sources said.

The plan does not propose ways to address young people who came to the United States illegally as children who were protected by President Barack Obama in the 2014 program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), or those people who have Temporary Protected Status, the sources said.

Democrats, whose support the White House would need to advance any kind of immigration legislation through Congress, have insisted that the DACA recipients be protected.

Kushner has held about 50 listening sessions with conservative groups on immigration, a senior administration official said. He has been working with White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett and policy adviser Stephen Miller on the plan and the sources said there has been some intense behind-the-scenes jockeying about the plan.

At a Time magazine forum in New York on Tuesday, Kushner said he was working well with Miller, an immigration hawk, on the topic. The two men are both long-time Trump advisers.

“Stephen and I haven’t had any fights,” he said with a smile.

That drew skepticism from immigration advocate Marshall Fitz of the Emerson Collective, who gave Kushner credit for advancing criminal justice reform but said immigration was a dramatically different issue that Miller was dominating at the White House.

“It’s impossible to see how Kushner could navigate an issue this freighted with history and central to the president’s re-election strategy in a way that would actually move the ball forward,” Fitz said.

As a White House candidate in 2016 and throughout his presidency, Trump has advocated a hard-line policy on immigration, pushing for a wall to be built on the U.S.-Mexico border and using bruising rhetoric to describe people who have fled Central American countries to enter the United States.

Republicans have largely supported his immigration proposals, but the latest White House plan aims to bring them together on a broader basis.

Some in the U.S. business community have asked that the number of highly skilled visas be raised to attract more employees from abroad for specialized jobs amid a booming U.S. economy. Trump himself has talked of the need to bring in more skilled workers.

The immigration plan would either leave the number of highly skilled visas each year at the same level or raise it slightly, the sources said.

The overall goal is to reshape the visa program into a more merit-based system, a key Trump goal. Officials working on the plan have been reviewing the systems used by Canada and Australia as possible models for the Trump effort.

The group has been working on a guest-worker program as part of the proposal to address the U.S. agriculture community’s need for seasonal labor while not hurting American workers, but nothing has been finalized, the sources said. Trump has sought to court farmers in key battleground states to boost his chances of re-election in 2020.

The proposal will include recommendations for modernizing ports of entry along the U.S. border to ensure safe trade while preventing illegal activity. It will also address asylum laws to take account of Trump’s desire to reduce the number of people who overstay their visas, the sources said.

Kushner, who is Trump’s son-in-law, is also a main architect of a Middle East peace proposal that the president is expected to unveil this summer.

His objective on the immigration plan at the very least is to have a document that represents the president’s immigration policy and provide something that Republicans can rally around.

(Reporting by Steve Holland and Jeff Mason; additional reporting by Mica Rosenberg; Editing by Tom Brown)

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The U.S. Capitol building is seen through flowers in Washington
The U.S. Capitol building is seen through flowers in Washington, U.S., April 23, 2019. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

April 24, 2019

By Ann Saphir and Trevor Hunnicutt

SAN FRANCISCO/NEW YORK (Reuters) – Stephen Moore, the economic commentator that U.S. President Donald Trump has said he will nominate to the Federal Reserve Board, is drawing new fire from top Democrats for his comments denigrating, among other targets, women and the Midwest.

But Republicans, whose 53 to 47 majority in the U.S. Senate gives them the final say on whether Moore’s pending nomination is confirmed, have not weighed in since news surfaced this week documenting Moore’s long history of sexist remarks, some of which he says were made jokingly.

As a Fed governor, Moore would have a say on setting interest rates for the world’s biggest economy. Some economists and Democratic lawmakers have questioned his competence, citing his support for tying policy decisions to commodity prices and his fluctuating views on rates. This week though, it is his comments about gender and geography that are drawing criticism.

“What are the implications of a society in which women earn more than men? We don’t really know, but it could be disruptive to family stability,” Moore wrote in one column in 2014.

In 2000, he opined that “women tennis pros don’t really want equal pay for equal work. They want equal pay for inferior work.” The New York Times among others has documented many other instances where he expressed similar viewpoints.

It’s just added evidence that Moore is unfit for the Fed job, vice chair of the joint economic committee Carolyn Maloney told Reuters.

“Those include his reckless tendency to politicize the Fed as well as his bizarre and sexist comments about women in sports that came to light this week,” she said.

Republicans, she said, “should also take note that Moore has said capitalism is more important than democracy. That’s a dangerous comment that further confirms my belief that Moore shouldn’t be allowed on the Fed Board.”

Maloney earlier this month sent a letter urging Republican Senator Mike Crapo and Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown to oppose Moore’s nomination. Crapo and Brown are the chair and vice chair, respectively, of the Senate banking committee, which would be Moore’s first stop in any confirmation hearings.

Senators Elizabeth Warren and Charles Schumer, both Democrats, have also publicly criticized Moore as well as businessman Herman Cain, who withdrew his name from consideration for the Fed this week amid mounting objections. Cain said he stopped the process because he realized the job would mean a pay cut and would prevent him from pursuing his current business and speaking gigs.

The Senate banking panel’s 13 Republican members, contacted by Reuters about their views on Moore’s suitability for the Fed role after his derisive commentary about women came to light, all either did not respond or declined to comment.

But Brown on Wednesday blasted Moore for comments he made in 2014 calling cities in the Midwest, including Cincinnati, the “armpits of America.” Brown demanded an apology.

“It would be your job to carefully consider monetary and regulatory policies that support communities throughout the country — even those you apparently consider beneath you,” Brown wrote in a letter to Moore. “Based on your bias against communities across the heartland of our country, it’s clear that you lack the judgment to make important decisions in their best interest.”

On Wednesday, Moore told Reuters his earlier remarks on women were not in accord with his current views.

“I DO regret writing that column 17 years ago and it does not reflect my feelings today,” he said, referencing a column on his dim view of women’s participation in the game of basketball.

His views on the Midwest also had improved, now that Trump is in office.

“I’m writing a column about Ohio right now as a matter of fact. Trump is making Ohio great again. It’s a wonderful renaissance. Was just in Cleveland a few weeks ago and the vitality is back.”

(Reporting by Ann Saphir and Trevor Hunnicutt; Editing by Andrea Ricci)

Source: OANN

U.S. President Trump attends the 2019 White House Easter Egg Roll in Washington
U.S. President Donald Trump attends the 2019 White House Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, U.S., April 22, 2019. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

April 24, 2019

By Roberta Rampton

ATLANTA (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump touted progress in the fight against opioid abuse on Wednesday and promised to hold drugmakers accountable for their part in the crisis, a day after his administration brought its first related criminal charges against a major drug distributor and company executives.

America’s opioid epidemic, especially damaging in rural areas where Trump is popular, has been a focus for the Republican president.

On Tuesday, the government charged drug distributor Rochester Drug Co-operative Inc and company executives for their role in fueling the epidemic. The company agreed to pay $20 million and enter a deferred prosecution agreement to resolve charges it turned a blind eye to thousands of suspicious orders for opioid pain killers.

“We are holding big Pharma accountable,” Trump said at the Rx Drug Abuse and Heroin Summit in Atlanta.

Deaths from opioid overdose in the United States jumped 17 percent in 2017 from a year earlier to more than 49,000 according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Deaths from potent synthetic opioids like fentanyl surged 45 percent in that time, according to the CDC.

Hundreds of lawsuits by state and local governments accuse drugmakers such as Purdue Pharma of deceptively marketing opioids, and distributors such as AmerisourceBergen Corp, Cardinal Health Inc and McKesson Corp of ignoring that they were being diverted for improper uses.

Trump said he convinced Chinese President Xi Jinping in a December meeting in Argentina to designate fentanyl as a controlled substance.

China last month listed all fentanyl-related substances as controlled narcotics after criticism from Trump, though its government blamed U.S. culture for abuse of the drug and said the amount of fentanyl going from China into the United States was “extremely limited.”

“Almost all fentanyl comes from China,” Trump said on Wednesday. “They are going to make it a major crime.”

Little has come of Trump’s earlier calls for executing drug dealers. But the administration has taken some action to address the crisis on other fronts.

Trump declared the opioid crisis a public health emergency in October 2017. Last week, U.S. health officials said they will spend $350 million in four states to study ways to best deal with the opioid crisis on the local level, with a goal of reducing opioid-related overdose deaths by 40 percent over three years in selected communities in those states.

The Democratic National Committee said in a statement before Trump’s remarks that his proposed Medicaid cuts and efforts to overturn the Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare, could make the opioid problem worse.

Trump has used the crisis to support his call for building a wall on the border with Mexico, saying it would help keep out heroin and other illegal drugs and curb the crisis.

(Reporting by Roberta Rampton; Writing by Caroline Stauffer; Editing by Kevin Drawbaugh, David Gregorio and Bill Berkrot)

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Trumps depart the White House in Washington
U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump depart the White House in Washington, U.S., April 24, 2019. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

April 24, 2019

By Susan Heavey

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump vowed on Wednesday to fight all the way to the Supreme Court against any effort by congressional Democrats to impeach him, even though the U.S. Constitution gives Congress complete authority over the impeachment process.

Trump’s threat, made in a morning tweet, came as the White House launched a fierce legal battle to fight subpoenas from Democrats in the House of Representatives for documents and testimony from his administration.

Democrats remain divided on whether to proceed with Trump’s impeachment after Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia inquiry. Trump defiantly proclaimed on Twitter that the investigation “didn’t lay a glove on me.”

“If the partisan Dems ever tried to Impeach, I would first head to the U.S. Supreme Court,” the Republican president, who is seeking re-election next year, said without offering details about what legal action he envisioned.

The Constitution gives the sole power of impeachment and removing a president from office to the House and the Senate, not the judiciary, as part of the founding document’s separation of powers among the three branches of the federal government.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democratic leaders have remained cautious over launching impeachment proceedings against Trump ahead of the 2020 election, although they have left the door open to such action. Others in the party’s more liberal wing have demanded impeachment proceedings.

Mueller’s findings, released in a redacted report last week, detailed about a dozen episodes of potential obstruction of justice by Trump in trying to impede the inquiry but stopped short of concluding that he had committed a crime.

The report said Congress could address whether the president violated the law. Mueller separately found insufficient evidence that Trump’s campaign engaged in a criminal conspiracy with Russia in the 2016 presidential race.

House Democrats have stepped up their oversight of the Trump administration since taking control of the chamber in January, from Trump’s tax returns and White House security clearances to the investigation into Russian interference in U.S. politics.

Trump has ordered officials not to comply with subpoenas, and has filed a lawsuit to prevent material from being turned over to lawmakers.

“We’re fighting all the subpoenas,” Trump told reporters at the White House on Wednesday.

CONSTITUTION

Under the Constitution, Congress is a co-equal branch of government alongside the executive branch and the judiciary.

The Constitution empowers Congress to remove a president from office for “treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors.” The House is given the power to impeach a president – bring formal charges – and the Senate then convenes a trial, with the senators as jurors, with a two-thirds vote needed to convict a president and remove him from office.

The Constitution gives no role to the Supreme Court in impeachment, though it does assign the chief justice the task of presiding over the Senate trial. Conservative John Roberts currently serves as chief justice.

That would not preclude Trump from proceeding with litigation to tie up the issue in the courts, despite Supreme Court precedent upholding congressional impeachment power. In 1993, the nation’s top court ruled 9-0 in a case involving an impeached U.S. judge that the judiciary has no role in the impeachment process.

Lawrence Tribe, a constitutional law professor at Harvard who has been critical of Trump, said the U.S. founding fathers had considered but ultimately scrapped the idea of allowing the Supreme Court to have any role in the impeachment process.

“Not even a SCOTUS filled with Trump appointees would get in the way of the House or Senate,” Tribe said in a series of tweets on Wednesday.

Some congressional Republicans have urged the country to move forward after the Mueller report, while a few, including Senator Mitt Romney, have condemned Trump’s actions. Some conservatives outside of Congress have urged congressional action in the wake of Mueller’s report.

(Reporting by Susan Heavey, Steve Holland, Roberta Rampton and Makini Brice, Writing by John Whitesides, Editing by Andrea Ricci and Alistair Bell)

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FILE PHOTO: Former Vice President Biden speaks to reporters after speaking at electrical workers’ conference in Washington
FILE PHOTO: Former Vice President Joe Biden who is mulling a 2020 presidential candidacy, speaks to the media after speaking at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers’ (IBEW) construction and maintenance conference in Washington, U.S., April 5, 2019. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts/File Photo

April 24, 2019

By Chris Kahn

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Former Vice President Joe Biden, expected to declare his run for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination on Thursday, leads all other candidates in the race and draws his strongest levels of support from minorities and older adults, according to a new Reuters/Ipsos public opinion poll.

The April 17-23 poll released on Wednesday focused on the vote preferences of 2,237 Democrats and independents: the two groups that may select the Democratic nominee in most of the statewide contests ahead of the 2020 general election.

(Graphic: Who is running in 2020 – https://graphics.reuters.com/USA-ELECTION/010091471JC/index.html)

According to the poll, 24 percent would vote for Biden over 19 other declared and potential candidates.

Another 15 percent said they would support U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who ran a competitive campaign for the Democratic nomination in 2016.

No other candidate received more than 7 percent of public support, and 21 percent said they “don’t know” which candidate they would back in a primary.

The poll measures how potential voters feel right now. Many may change their minds as they become better acquainted with the candidates. It has a credibility interval, a measure of precision, of 2 percentage points for the combined group of Democrats and independents.

The statewide nominating contests will kick off in early February next year, led by Iowa.

Biden, 76, who has sought the Democratic presidential nomination twice before, remains widely popular since he left the White House in 2016 after two terms as vice president. The former longtime U.S. senator will announce he is seeking the Democratic nomination https://reut.rs/2IAxNys on Thursday, a source familiar with the plans said on Tuesday.

Sixty-three percent of all Americans say they have a “favorable” impression of Biden, including 88 percent of Democrats, 59 percent of independents and 39 percent of Republicans.

In comparison, 58 percent of Americans said they have a favorable view of Sanders and Pete Buttigieg, the 37-year-old mayor of South Bend, Indiana, whose upstart campaign has out-raised some of his more established rivals this year.

All three appear to have stronger bipartisan appeal than Republican President Donald Trump. According to the poll, 44 percent of all adults said they have a generally favorable view of Trump.

Biden receives his strongest levels of support from older adults and minorities.

Thirty-two percent of adults who are 55 years old and older said they would vote for Biden over other candidates. And 30 percent of nonwhite adults, including about 4 in 10 African-Americans, said they would back Biden for the nomination.

The poll shows that at this early stage of the presidential campaign, Americans say they will vote for candidates who have been in the national spotlight for a long time.

Their preferences may change once they get to know other candidates for the Democratic nomination.

More than 80 percent of Democrats said they were at least “somewhat familiar” with Biden and Sanders.

Sixty-seven percent of Democrats were familiar with Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, and about half said they were familiar with former U.S. Representative Beto O’Rourke of Texas or U.S. Senators Kamala Harris of California and Cory Booker of New Jersey.

The rest of the field appears to be largely unknown by a majority of Democrats.

The Reuters/Ipsos poll was conducted online in English throughout the United States. It gathered responses from 4,018 adults in all, including 1,449 Democrats, 1,437 Republicans and 788 independents.

(To see the poll question and answers, please see: https://tmsnrt.rs/2W7qykY.)

(Reporting by Chris Kahn; Editing by Leslie Adler and Jonathan Oatis)

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A person in an Easter Bunny costume looks on as U.S. President Trump attends the 2019 White House Easter Egg Roll in Washington
A person in an Easter Bunny costume looks on as U.S. President Donald Trump attends the 2019 White House Easter Egg Roll in Washington, U.S., April 22, 2019. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

April 24, 2019

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s main eavesdropping agency on Wednesday said allegations that it had been asked by the Obama administration to spy on Donald Trump after the 2016 presidential election were utterly ridiculous and should be ignored.

Trump on Wednesday tweeted that a former CIA analyst, Larry Johnson, had accused Britain of spying on the Trump campaign. Trump said: “It is now just a question of time before the truth comes out, and when it does, it will be a beauty!”

When asked about the tweet, a GCHQ spokesman said: “The allegations that GCHQ was asked to conduct ‘wire tapping’ against the then President Elect are nonsense. They are utterly ridiculous and should be ignored.”

(Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge, Editing by Paul Sandle)

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U.S. President Donald Trump and U.S. first lady Melania Trump arrive aboard Air Force One at Palm Beach International Airport
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to reporters as he greets supporters on the tarmac at Palm Beach International Airport, as he arrives to spend Easter weekend at his Mar-a-Lago club, Florida, U.S., April 18, 2019. REUTERS/Al Drago

April 24, 2019

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump is opposed to current and former White House aides testifying to congressional committees on Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia report, the Washington Post quoted him as saying on Tuesday.

In an interview with the newspaper, Trump said the White House cooperated with Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and did not need to comply with congressional committees, which are probing possible obstruction of justice by Trump.

“There is no reason to go any further, and especially in Congress where it’s very partisan – obviously very partisan,” Trump said, according to the Post.

Earlier, the Post reported that the White House was planning to oppose a subpoena issued by the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee for former White House Counsel Don McGahn to testify.

The Post said the White House planned to assert executive privilege to prevent McGahn and other current and former Trump administration officials from testifying.

Trump said the White House lawyers had not “made a final, final decision” about whether to assert executive privilege, according to the Post.

But Trump said he opposed cooperating with House Democrats, who he said were trying to score political points against him.

“I don’t want people testifying to a party, because that is what they’re doing if they do this,” the Post quoted Trump as saying.

According to the Mueller report, Trump called McGahn in June 2017 to say he should tell Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to remove the special counsel because he had conflicts of interest. McGahn did not carry out the order.

(Reporting by Eric Beech; Editing by Mohammad Zargham and Peter Cooney)

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Former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden speaks at a rally with striking Stop & Shop workers in Boston
Former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, a potential 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, speaks at a rally with striking Stop & Shop workers in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S., April 18, 2019. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

April 23, 2019

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden plans to announce he is seeking the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination for the 2020 election on Thursday, NBC news reported.

Biden, who will join a crowded field seeking to win the White House back from Republican President Donald Trump, will then travel to Pittsburgh on Monday, followed by trips to all four early voting states in coming weeks, an NBC news reporter said on MSNBC, citing unnamed sources involved in the planning.

(Reporting by Susan Heavey; Editing by Tim Ahmann)

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