legal-affairs

Donors to Rep. Duncan Hunter’s legal defense fund: His uncle, defense contractors
Longtime donors connected to Edison Chouest Offshore also contributed

Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-California, walks down the House steps following a vote in the Capitol. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Donors to a special fund established by Rep. Duncan Hunter to underwrite his legal defense include the board member of the company founded by his uncle and multibillion dollar defense contractors.

Hunter can tap $60,800 in donations to a piggybank separate from his campaign committee — called the Duncan D. Hunter Legal Expense Trust — to finance his legal case. Hunter faces trial in September on 60 federal charges related to spending more than $250,000 in campaign funds on personal expenses such as a family vacation to Italy and dental work.

White House ‘looking into’ Acosta’s role in sex offender’s illegal plea deal
Sarah Huckabee Sanders declined Friday to say whether Trump still has confidence in his labor secretary

Alex Acosta, nominee for Secretary of Labor, talks with Ranking Member Patty Murray, D-Wash., during his Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions confirmation hearing in Dirksen Building, March 22, 2017. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Friday declined to say whether President Donald Trump still has confidence in Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta a day after a federal judge ruled the Justice Department broke the law while Acosta was a U.S. attorney. 

Florida-based U.S. District Judge Kenneth A. Marra ruled Thursday that Acosta — then the U.S. attorney in Miami — signed off on a 2008 plea deal with Jeffrey Epstein, the Palm Beach billionaire and serial sex abuser, without informing victims about what they were doing. 

Previously unseen messages from Harris roil North Carolina House race hearing
Mark Harris said he believed Dowless over his own son about absentee ballot program

North Carolina Republican Mark Harris said he believed operative Leslie McCrae Dowless Jr. over the warnings of his own son. (John D. Simmons /The Charlotte Observer via AP)

The fourth day of hearings into election fraud in North Carolina’s 9th District started with a potential evidentiary bombshell that roiled the proceedings and could extend them beyond this week.

Attorneys for Republican nominee Mark Harris’ campaign committee turned over a new message Wednesday night to the North Carolina State Board of Elections that had not been previously submitted. In the message, Harris asks for an introduction to Leslie McCrae Dowless Jr., the operative who orchestrated the collection of absentee ballots.

3 Takeaways: There’s a big 2020 hue within Trump’s anti-socialism push
'I am not a democratic socialist,' says Dem presidential candidate Kamala Harris

President Donald Trump delivers remarks to the Venezuelan-American community at Florida International University on Monday. He vowed during his speech that "America will never be a socialist country." (Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks via Flickr)

ANALYSIS | President Donald Trump is vowing to rid the Western Hemisphere of socialist governments, but the early days of his push appear as much about his own re-election fight than anything happening in Central and South America.

“The twilight hour of socialism has arrived in our hemisphere,” Trump said to applause from an audience of Venezuelan-Americans Monday in Miami. “And, frankly, in many, many places around the world. The days of socialism and communism are numbered - not only in Venezuela, but in Nicaragua and in Cuba, as well.”

Congress to subpoena full Mueller report if AG Barr withholds parts, Blumenthal says
Mueller could issue his report as early as next week, per media outlets

Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., has said Congress will subpoena the Mueller report if the Justice Department does not publicize it. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democrats in Congress will subpoena the full report of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III if the Justice Department only discloses certain parts of it, Sen. Richard Blumenthal said Thursday.

The Connecticut Democrat is a key member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina is the committee’s chairman, and has subpoena power over the Justice Department.

Brett Kavanaugh could decide how redistricting is done
Newest justice will be center of attention when court hears gerrymandering cases next month

Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, center, at the State of the Union earlier this month. His views on gerrymandering are a bit of a mystery. (Pool/Doug Mills/The New York Times file photo)

Voters keep voicing their frustration with the politically fraught way that state lawmakers redraw congressional districts every 10 years, and have approved ways to outsource the work with hopes of making fairer maps.

Colorado and Michigan approved ballot measures in November to create independent redistricting commissions to prevent one party from carving up a state in such a way as to entrench itself in office. Missouri approved a plan in which a state demographer and a statistical test will help determine lines. Utah approved the creation of an advisory commission.

States, consumer groups blast CFPB’s fintech protections
But financial industry groups are rallying behind bureau’s plan

New York’s Letitia James led 22 other Democratic state attorneys general in a letter to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that slammed the agency for its plans to allow banks and technology firms to develop untested fintech products and services without fear of reprisals from regulators. (Gary Gershoff/Getty Images for Housing Works, Inc., file photo )

State attorneys general, consumer advocates, community activists, and banking regulators are criticizing proposed legal protections for banks and technology firms that develop “innovative” financial products.

The protections would come from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which in December unveiled what it calls a “regulatory sandbox” that will allow firms to develop untested fintech products and services without fear of reprisals from regulators. While the criticism rolls in, financial industry groups are rallying behind the plan, even asking the CFPB to expand the legal safe havens.

‘Domestic terrorist’ planned to target Democrats, prosecutors say
Pelosi, Schumer among several lawmakers on U.S. Coast Guard lieutenant’s list

Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer were among several Democrats targeted for attack by a U.S. Coast Guard lieutenant, federal prosecutors said Wednesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A U.S. Coast Guard lieutenant assigned to the headquarters in Washington “is a domestic terrorist” whose potential victims included numerous Democratic members of Congress, federal prosecutors said in a court filing.

A federal search of Christopher Hasson’s basement apartment in Silver Spring, Maryland, found 15 firearms and more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition, as well as drugs he illegally possessed, prosecutors told a judge Tuesday in a bid to keep him in custody pending a trial.

Mark Harris’ son warned him about Dowless illegally collecting ballots in North Carolina race
Testimony by John Harris contradicts earlier interviews his father gave about GOP operative

The son of North Carolina Republican Mark Harris testified Wednesday that he warned his father about hiring an operative whom he believed ran an illegal ballot operation scheme. Above, Harris, center, campaigns with President Donald Trump and Rep. Ted Budd in Charlotte, N.C., on Oct. 26, 2018. (Sean Rayford/Getty Images file photo)

In remarkable testimony Wednesday afternoon, the son of North Carolina Republican Mark Harris said he warned his father about Leslie McCrae Dowless Jr. illegally collecting ballots before Harris hired him. 

John Harris, the son of the Republican nominee in North Carolina’s 9th District, told his father that collecting ballots was illegal and offered to send his father the statute proving that. 

Mark Harris has ‘nothing to hide,’ expected to testify in NC election fraud case
GOP candidate for contested NC House seat said he did not know campaign consultants were committing crimes

Mark Harris, left, is set to testify before the North Carolina State Board of Elections on Wednesday. (Sean Rayford/Getty Images)

North Carolina Republican Mark Harris is expected to testify Wednesday in what could be the final leg of a three-day hearing on apparent election fraud that may have swung hundreds of votes in his favor during the 2018 midterms.

“He has absolutely nothing to hide,” Alex Dale, one of Harris’ lawyers, told The Charlotte Observer.