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House Judiciary Chair Jerrold Nadler is expected to request documents from over 60 people and organizations tied to President Trump and his businesses today, as his committee investigates potential obstruction of justice and other crimes by the president and his allies. Congressional probes will look into some of Trump’s closest business partners, including Allen Weisselberg, the CFO of the Trump Organization, his son Donald Trump Jr., as well as the Justice Department. This is Congressmember Nadler on ABC’s “This Week.”
Rep. Jerrold Nadler: “It’s very clear that the president obstructed justice. It’s very clear. Eleven hundred times he referred to the Mueller investigation as a witch hunt. He tried to—he fired—he tried to protect Flynn from being investigated by the FBI. He fired Comey in order to stop the Russian thing, as he told NBC News.”
Nadler’s statements come as other Democratic committees have also indicated they are investigating Trump on multiple fronts. House Oversight Chair Elijah Cummings said last week he would like to question Weisselberg and Trump’s children, as well, and the House Ways and Means Committee is reportedly planning to request Trump’s past tax returns.
Meanwhile, Trump spoke for over two hours at the Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Maryland, Saturday, railing against Mueller’s investigation into his 2016 campaign. He said, “You put the wrong people in a couple of positions, and they leave people for a long time that shouldn’t be there, and all of a sudden they’re trying to take you out with bullshit.”
Kentucky Senator Rand Paul has indicated he would vote in favor of a measure blocking Trump’s emergency declaration, which seeks to divert billions of federal dollars to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. Last week, Republican Senators Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski and Thom Tillis said they will join their Democratic colleagues to vote in favor of the bill. Paul’s vote would provide the Senate with the one-vote majority needed in order to pass the resolution. Lawmakers in the House passed a resolution last week blocking Trump’s national emergency; however, neither the House nor the Senate have enough votes to override a presidential veto, which Trump has vowed to use.
A group of 29 Central American parents have entered the U.S. at its border with Mexico Saturday and are now being processed by immigration officials, after the group demanded an opportunity to be reunited with their children who are in the United States. The parents, who come from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, were separated from their children last year because of the Trump administration’s family separation policy and were then deported back their home countries. The families are asking to be reunited and for their asylum claims to be reconsidered. The parents were accompanied by religious leaders and immigrant rights groups, who are providing them with legal services. This is one of the parents in the group, from Honduras.
Oscar Santiago Vindel Sevilla: “My son is at a detention center in Texas. He has been detained there in a foster home for 11 months, and they have not been able to hand him over, because my nephew, who lives in the United States, does not have his papers in order. That is why.”
Reporter: “There is a risk you will be detained in the United States. Is it worth it?”
Oscar Santiago Vindel Sevilla: “We all run the risk, but we would do anything for our children.”
The U.S. and South Korea have canceled their upcoming annual joint military exercises in a move that’s likely to ease tensions with North Korea, which views the exercises as a provocation. The move comes days after the highly anticipated summit between President Trump and Kim Jong-un fell apart without a deal or any substantial progress made on dismantling North Korea’s nuclear arsenal. The U.S. and South Korea will instead engage in much smaller-scale and less publicized drills. Trump said canceling the massive military exercises will save the U.S. hundreds of millions of dollars.
As tensions between India and Pakistan appeared to stabilize over the weekend, ground fighting on Friday and Saturday killed at least five civilians and two soldiers in the disputed, Indian-administered region of Kashmir, according to local reports. Some residents of Pakistani border towns in the line of fire fled heavy shelling in the area, seeking safety in nearby makeshift shelters.
On Friday, the pilot of a downed Indian aircraft was released by Pakistan in an effort to ease tensions between the two nuclear powers, after India carried out airstrikes inside Pakistan Tuesday for the first time since 1971.
Pakistan resumed some flights over the weekend after temporarily shutting down its airspace last week, with a full resumption of flights expected from today.
In the West Bank, Israeli forces shot three Palestinians after a car reportedly rammed into an Israeli military vehicle Monday near the city of Ramallah. Israeli reports said two Palestinians involved in the car ramming were killed by Israeli fire, while a third Palestinian was injured.
Venezuelan opposition leader and self-proclaimed interim president Juan Guaidó announced he would return to the country after visiting several Latin American nations over the past week to rally support for his leadership and the ousting of sitting President Nicolás Maduro. Guaidó, who risks arrest upon his return, has called for fresh protests against the Venezuelan government. In a Washington Post interview Sunday, Guaidó said that his arrest by Maduro’s government would amount to a coup d’état.
In Algeria, protests continued over the weekend after embattled President Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s campaign confirmed he would be running for a fifth term. A representative for Bouteflika filed the official paperwork on Sunday, despite elections rules stating a candidate must file in person. The ailing leader, who has been in power since 1999 but has rarely been seen in recent years, said he would not serve his full term, if elected, and would schedule new elections next year. Algerians have been taking to the streets to call for Bouteflika to end his presidency for the past two weeks. Police used tear gas and water cannons to disperse demonstrators in the capital Algiers.
In Oakland, California, teachers and students are set to return to the classroom today after union members approved a new contract ending the 7-day strike, with teachers demanding fair wages, smaller class sizes and more resources for their students. The deal includes an 11 percent salary raise and a one-off 3 percent bonus. Some educators are warning the fight is far from over, though, as the deal only includes a 5-month moratorium on school closures, but many worry these could resume after this time limit. The school district is also voting on further budget cuts to Oakland schools.
In related news, a member of the district’s school board apologized Sunday after video of her apparently grabbing a kindergarten teacher on a picket line by the neck went viral over the weekend.
In more news from California, protesters took to the streets of Sacramento over the weekend after the county’s district attorney announced Saturday the two police officers who shot and killed 22-year-old, unarmed African American Stephon Clark in his grandmother’s backyard last year will not face criminal charges. Police were responding to a vandalism complaint when they saw Clark. They initially claimed he was holding a gun, but later admitted they found only his cellphone near his body. After officers unleashed 20 bullets into Clark, they waited for over five minutes before approaching him to administer medical attention.
On Saturday, independent Vermont senator and 2020 hopeful Bernie Sanders officially kicked off his presidential run in his hometown of Brooklyn, New York. Senator Sanders addressed a crowd of thousands at his alma mater, Brooklyn College.
Sen. Bernie Sanders: “Our government will be based on justice, on economic justice, on social justice, on racial justice, on environmental justice. Today, I welcome you to a campaign which tells the powerful special interests, who control so much of our economic and political life, that we will no longer tolerate the greed of corporate America and the billionaire class.”
Senator Sanders offered a more personal glimpse into his life than at previous rallies. He spoke of his father coming to the U.S. to escape anti-Semitism in Europe, where the Holocaust claimed the lives of many of his relatives, and of growing up in a working-class family in New York. Sanders also spoke out against institutional inequality and the need for criminal justice reform, and renewed calls from his 2016 campaign for a $15 minimum wage, Medicare for all and free public college tuition.
In other 2020 election news, former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper announced today he will seek the Democratic nomination for president. Hickenlooper served as the mayor of Denver before becoming governor. Hickenlooper oversaw a number of progressive policies in Colorado, including the legalization of marijuana. In 2017, he led a bipartisan effort with Ohio Republican Governor John Kasich to stop the repeal of the Affordable Care Act.
He has been criticized by environmentalists for his relationship with the fossil fuel industry. In November, he stood against Proposition 112 in the midterm elections, which would have required companies to place new wells at least 2,500 feet from homes, schools, waterways and other areas designated as “vulnerable.” Hickenlooper joins a crowded field of 14 Democratic candidates and is the second governor to enter the race, following Washington Governor Jay Inslee’s announcement last week.