And the White House seeks to change troops’ potential role at the U.S.-Mexico border.
They say they’re change agents. Detractors call them “Never Nancy” naysayers. Who are the dissident Democrats trying to deny Nancy Pelosi the speaker’s gavel?
George Papadopoulos, a onetime foreign policy adviser to the president’s 2016 campaign, had asked the judge to delay his sentence until a separate case is resolved.
President Trump’s current choice to run the E.P.A., Andrew Wheeler, could emerge as an effective and efficient driver of the administration’s environmental and climate deregulation agenda.
An earlier version of the program was canceled after critics raised questions about secrecy pledges and loyalty oaths.
Former Facebook president Sean Parker condemned recent comments made by Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS) that appeared to joke about attending a “hanging,” calling the statements “reprehensible.”Parker, however, told The Daily Beast that his…
Special counsel Robert Mueller urged a federal court on Wednesday to reject former Trump campaign policy adviser George Papadopoulos’ last-minute attempt to postpone his upcoming prison sentence.
Papadopoulos is scheduled to surrender Monday to the Bureau of Prisons to begin a 14-day sentence stemming from his guilty plea last October for making false statements to the FBI.
But after hiring new lawyers, the 31-year old Papadopoulos has shifted course and tried to reopen his case by citing a pending appeal from a longtime aide to Roger Stone who is challenging Mueller’s underlying appointment to investigate connections between the 2016 Trump campaign and Russia.
In a six-page reply filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, Mueller’s prosecutors shredded Papadopoulos for trying to back his way out of his original guilty plea while noting point blank to the judge that there is “no pending appeal in this case” for him to even rule on.
The special counsel lawyers also described Papadopoulos’ initial crime of lying to the FBI about his interactions with a foreign professor who he knew had ties to the Russian government and a Russian female national. And they highlight the terms of the guilty plea, including an explicit agreement to waive his rights to challenge his sentence unless there was newly-discovered evidence or ineffective counsel.
Rehashing Papadopoulos’ own statements during his guilty plea hearing, the Mueller prosecutors reminded the court that the defendant had said he was “grateful for the opportunity [he] was given to assist in this investigation” and had “nothing but respect for the Court and the legal process.” Those comments led U.S. District Court Judge Randy Moss to give Papadopoulos a 14-day sentence, followed by 12 months of supervised release and a $9,500 fine.
Mueller’s team also quoted from a series of Papadopoulos’ since-deleted Twitter posts — “Biggest regret? Pleading guilty[.]” he wrote on Nov. 9 — as well as media appearances where he had questioned his original decision and began signaling his plans to withdraw from the agreement with Mueller.
The attorneys haven’t relied on any new factual allegations in their motion but instead argue that an appeal in another case — filed by the former Stone aide who is resisting a Mueller grand jury subpoena — raised serious issues about the special counsel’s legitimacy and should be resolved before Papadopoulos is required to begin serving his sentence.
“If Mr. Papadopoulos is required to surrender during the pendency of his motion for bail pending appeal, the purpose of his motion would be frustrated,” Christopher LaVigne, one of Papadopoulos’ new lawyers at the firm of Pierce Bainbridge, wrote on Wednesday.
A three-judge panel heard oral arguments earlier this month in the case involving Mueller’s authority, which pits former Stone aide Andrew Miller against the special counsel.
Miller’s attorneys have signaled they want to see their case taken all the way to the Supreme Court, where a conservative majority that includes new Justice Brett Kavanaugh would be a more receptive audience. But that fight is likely to take months with no guarantee it will even get a hearing before the Supreme Court.
Article originally published on POLITICO Magazine
Nancy Pelosi has picked off another Democratic detractor who vowed to oppose the long-time Democratic leader, putting her one step closer to regaining the speaker’s gavel in January.
Rep. Brian Higgins, a New York Democrat who has criticized Pelosi for months and promised to vote against her in the new Congress, announced his support for the California Democrat Wednesday.
“Power has been too consolidated atop the caucus and it was my hope that along with like-minded members, we would forge a new leadership structure,” Higgins said in a statement Wednesday. “Following conversations with Nancy and other caucus leaders, I have renewed confidence that more voices will be heard, that members will each have greater opportunities to advance policies meaningful to the communities and country we love. “
Higgins is the latest Pelosi critic to make an about-face — Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio) announced she was backing Pelosi on Tuesday, just days after openly considering a bid against her. Fudge’s change of heart leaves the rebel group without anyone to challenge Pelosi for the top job.
Higgins’s flip deals another blow to the group of rebels looking to oust Pelosi after her 16 year reign over the caucus. Higgins was one of 16 current and incoming Democrats who signed a letter Monday promising to vote against Pelosi on the floor.
Higgins said he will now back Pelosi after she agreed to support two of his key legislative priorities in the new Congress: a major infrastructure package and legislation dealing with the Medicare enrollment age.
“Some will ask why I have changed my position. The answer is simple: I took a principled stand on issues of vital importance not only to my constituents in Western New York but also to more than 300 million Americans whose lives can be improved by progress in these areas,” he said.
Pelosi put out a statement Wednesday praising Higgins as an “extraordinary leader” on health care issues and saying she was “honored” to have his support.
The question now centers on whether other Democrats who have said they’ll oppose Pelosi for speaker stand firm in their opposition or relent, clearing her path back to the gavel.
Democrats meet next Wednesday for a closed-door vote for speaker and other leadership positions. Pelosi is expected to easily win the vote, which only requires a majority of the caucus.
The expected victory will give Pelosi and her allies more than a month to try to convince Democratic opponents to back her on the House floor in January.
Article originally published on POLITICO Magazine
Washington’s mayor started a heated Thanksgiving discussion early by telling the city she is “annoyed” with a beloved condiment in the nation’s capital.
As Mr. Ayers is discussed as a possible White House chief of staff, his lucrative political businesses are attracting new scrutiny.