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Trump’s labor secretary broke federal law in sex offender plea deal, judge says
Alexander Acosta — then a U.S. attorney — violated federal law in Jeffrey Epstein sex trafficking case

Alex Acosta, center, talks with Sens. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., left, and Ted Cruz, R-Texas, after the senators introduced him 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)

A plea agreement with financier and sex offender Jeffrey Epstein that Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta had a part in when he was a U.S.attorney  violated federal law, a judge ruled Thursday. 

Officials with Acosta’s office and the White House had not responded to requests for comment at the time this story was published. 

Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan: ‘We can’t green the economy without the power of the free market’
Ohio Democrat continues to position himself for moderate path to party’s presidential nomination

Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, struck a conservative tone in interviews in the early primary state of New Hampshire. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

On a tour of the first-in-the-nation presidential primary state of New Hampshire, Rep. Tim Ryan emphasized that the Democratic Party should not appear to be “hostile to business” and argued that climate change can be addressed in the private sector.

The Rust Belt Democrat has been positioning himself on the moderate path as he considers a run for the party’s 2020 presidential nomination.

Twitter taunts Rep. Eric Swalwell after Trump Tower selfie
There are lots of places in New York to get a cup of coffee

California Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell has been one of President Donald Trump’s top antagonists. (Rep. Eric Swalwell via Twitter)

Rep. Eric Swalwell faced a dilemma Wednesday afternoon. As he trudged past Trump Tower, he wondered where else he could get a good cup of coffee in Manhattan.

“It’s snowing in [New York]. I need coffee. The closest cafe is inside Trump Tower. This is me walking to an alternative,” Swalwell tweeted.

Some Republicans with bases in their districts break ranks with Trump over wall funding
Money shouldn’t be diverted from necessary military construction projects, lawmakers say

Ohio Rep. Michael R. Turner is among the Republican lawmakers with a military base in their districts who opposes the president’s circumvention of congressional spending powers. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Though typically aligned with the White House, some Republicans who have military bases in their districts oppose President Donald Trump raiding $3.6 billion in military construction projects to finance walls along the southern border.

Recent polling finds that most Americans oppose Trump’s circumvention of Congress to divert already-appropriated funds to build a wall, and the percentage of voters who endorse the idea tracks closely to the president's approval rating. 

Echoes of the AUMF in Trump’s national emergency declaration
End run around Congress on domestic spending could diminish yet another power of the legislative branch

Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., said both constitute an "unconstitutional power grab." (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

When President Donald Trump declared a national state of emergency last week to get his way on funding for his border wall, legal scholars warned the move dramatically tilted the balance of power in favor of the White House.

In some ways it parallels the hobbling of Congress’ war authority 18 years ago.

Trump denies asking Whitaker if ally could oversee Cohen probe
Trump also discusses North Korean summit, Sanders’ presidential run and China tariffs during space policy event

Acting attorney general Matthew Whitaker arrives for a House Judiciary Committee hearing in Rayburn Building titled “Oversight of the U.S. Department of Justice,“  on Feb. 8, 2019. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump on Tuesday denied a report that he asked then-Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker if an ally could undo his recusal in an investigation of his former personal attorney and fixer, Michael Cohen.

Longtime Trump ally Geoffrey Berman, the United States attorney for the Southern District of New York, had already recused himself from the Cohen case at the point of Trump’s request. But the president wanted him to oversee an investigation into Trump, Cohen, and payments made during the 2016 campaign to several women to keep them quiet about extramarital affairs with Trump.

Washington mourns former Rep. John Dingell
Former presidents, colleagues in Congress share tributes to the Detroit Democrat

Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., attends a news conference in the Capitol Visitor Center in 2011 to recognize the 46th anniversary of Medicare. (Tom Williams/Roll Call file photo)

The longest-serving member of Congress in history, Rep. John Dingell made an indelible impact on Capitol Hill, the nation’s laws and those who served with him. 

“John Dingell's life reminds us that change does not always come in a flash, but instead with a steady, determined effort,” former President Barack Obama said.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar to announce 2020 plans on Sunday
‘Sunday come to Boom Island — as in Boom Island, drop the mic,’ Minnesota Democrat says

Minnesota Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar announced an event in Minneapolis on Sunday, fueling speculation she’ll enter the 2020 presidential race. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Amy Klobuchar will announce her plans for the 2020 presidential race at Boom Island Park in Minneapolis on Sunday. 

Asked Tuesday on MSNBC after President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address if she will join the crowded field of Democrats competing for the nomination, the Minnesota senator responded, “Sunday come to Boom Island — as in Boom Island drop the mic — and then you’ll find out.” 

Capitol Ink | Subpoenas at the Gate

Democrats are tweaking Trump with their State of the Union guests
Federal contractors, mothers separated from their children at the border are on the list

Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, D-New Jersey, will be accompanied to the State of the Union by Victorina Morales, an undocumented immigrant who worked as a housekeeper at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The floor belongs to Donald Trump for around an hour, maybe more, but the crowd can still speak volumes.

The lawmakers squeezed into the House chamber on Tuesday night probably won’t be yelling back as the president tells them that the state of the union is strong. (Joe Wilson, of “You lie” fame, already tried that with Barack Obama.)