News & Politics

The Morning Briefing: Manafort Subpoenaed Again, Sessions to Look Into Leaks and Much, Much More

President Donald Trump speaks about the healthcare vote during a joint news conference with Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, July 25, 2017. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Good Wednesday Morning.

Here is what’s on the President’s agenda today:

  • In the morning, President Donald J. Trump will receive his daily intelligence briefing.
  • In the afternoon, the President will deliver remarks to the American Legion Boys Nation and the American Legion Auxiliary Girls Nation.
  • The President will then participate in a jobs announcement.

Senate intel committee hearing today

Today the Senate Intelligence Committee will hold a hearing on the Foreign Agents Registration Act and attempts to influence the 2016 election.

A subpoena was issued last night for Paul Manafort to appear at the hearing today. From the release:

“While we were willing to accommodate Mr. Manafort’s request to cooperate with the committee’s investigation without appearing at Wednesday’s hearing, we were unable to reach an agreement for a voluntary transcribed interview with the Judiciary Committee.  Mr. Manafort, through his attorney, said that he would be willing to provide only a single transcribed interview to Congress, which would not be available to the Judiciary Committee members or staff.  While the Judiciary Committee was willing to cooperate on equal terms with any other committee to accommodate Mr. Manafort’s request, ultimately that was not possible. Therefore, yesterday evening, a subpoena was issued to compel Mr. Manafort’s participation in Wednesday’s hearing. As with other witnesses, we may be willing to excuse him from Wednesday’s hearing if he would be willing to agree to production of documents and a transcribed interview, with the understanding that the interview would not constitute a waiver of his rights or prejudice the committee’s right to compel his testimony in the future.”

Appearing in front of the committee is Bill Browder. Here is copy of his opening remarks — I highly recommend you read them.

This is particularly worrying for Putin, because he is one of the richest men in the world. I estimate that he has accumulated $200 billion of ill-gotten gains from these types of operations over his 17 years in power. He keeps his money in the West and all of his money in the West is potentially exposed to asset freezes and confiscation. Therefore, he has a significant and very personal interest in finding a way to get rid of the Magnitsky sanctions.

Go read!

Sessions to announce criminal investigations into intel leaks

It looks like Jeff Sessions is beginning to understand that he has to operate his agency in the media or else the president assumes the AG is not doing his job.

Sources tell Fox News that Sessions will announce several investigations into the numerous leaks coming from the intelligence community.

A U.S. official familiar with the discussions said Tuesday that the planned announcement surrounding stepped-up efforts on leak investigations has “been in the works for some time and will most likely happen sometime in the next week.”

The investigations will look at news reports that publicized sensitive intelligence material, according to officials who have been briefed on the matter.

And along those lines…

Sessions cracks down on sanctuary city funding

The time has come for cities to play ball with the feds or else get their money yanked.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Tuesday that sanctuary cities must give federal immigration authorities access to jails and alert them when someone facing deportation will be released from custody in order to receive certain law enforcement grants.

Sessions rolled out the new rules as part of his promised crackdown on sanctuary cities, so called because they do not cooperate with federal immigration agents.

“So-called sanctuary policies make all of us less safe because they intentionally undermine our laws and protect illegal aliens who have committed crimes,” Sessions said in a statement. “These policies also encourage illegal immigration and even human trafficking by perpetuating the lie that in certain cities, illegal aliens can live outside the law. … We must encourage these `sanctuary’ jurisdictions to change their policies and partner with federal law enforcement to remove criminals.”

The new requirements will take effect in September.

Tillerson taking a rest

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is “just taking a little time off,” but has no plans to step down. Rumors were swirling yesterday that he was looking to hit the eject button and bounce from the State Department.

CNN reported over the weekend that a potential “Rexit” at Foggy Bottom was brewing and that Tillerson might resign before the end of the year. The report pointed to the former ExxonMobil CEO’s growing frustration with the administration, which was exacerbated by President Trump’s public attacks on Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

“The secretary has been very clear he intends to stay here at the State Department” Nauert told reporters when asked about the resignation rumors, according to The Hill. “We have a lot of work that is left to be done ahead of us. He recognizes that. He is deeply engaged in that work.”

However…

CNN said Tillerson told “friends outside of Washington” that he intended to remain at the State Department at least through the end of the year, but the network also cited two anonymous sources who said they thought he might leave sooner than that.

Those sources added that Tillerson “could have been venting after a tough week.”

I bet he leaves soon.

Photo of the day:

A woman is launched into the air during a pro-government candidates’ rally in Caracas, Venezuela, Tuesday, July 25, 2017. Across Venezuela, pro-government candidates to the Constitutional Assembly held their last campaign rallies ahead of Sunday’s historical vote. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

Other morsels:

Dem Rep. Luis Gutierrez Has Now Paid His Wife More Than $400,000 From His Campaign Funds

L.A. man accused of smuggling king cobras in potato chip cans

California imam caught on video allegedly encouraging American Muslims to annihilate Jews

Princeton Hopes To Promote ‘Healthy Masculinity’ On Campus

Al Gore issues alarmist warning about how climate change will increase refugees to US

Family of man accused of murdering Jews will get $3K a month from US-funded Palestinian Authority

Inspector General Opens Criminal Investigation Into Wasteful Afghan Army Uniforms

Couple arrested for mutilating gator, trying to sell its meat

Kansas woman sets apartment on fire after trying to kill bug by setting it on fire with a lighter

There’s Now A Dating App For Verified Twitter Users

Sperm counts of Western men plummeting, analysis finds

And that’s all I’ve got, now go beat back the angry mob!