News from the note…
A round up of the day’s news that might be of interest to you.
This is an OPEN THREAD, folks. Chat about any of the stories listed, share links to stories that caught your eye today, and generally have a good time discussing whatever you want.
A federal judge in Washington, DC, ruled Friday that a lawsuit brought by more than 200 Democrats in Congress against President Donald Trump over foreign payments to his business can proceed.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Connecticut, and the other members allege in the lawsuit that the President is violating the emoluments clause of the Constitution by not seeking their approval for his businesses to accept payments from foreign governments.
Ruling on the President’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit, District Judge Emmet Sullivan held that the Democrats have standing to proceed on their complaint, holding that they properly alleged they suffered an injury for not being able to vote on the President’s perceived receipt of payments from foreign governments.CNN
The years-old mystery of what’s in President Donald Trump’s tax returns will likely quickly unravel if Democrats win control of at least one chamber of Congress.
Democrats, especially in the House, are quietly planning on using an obscure law that will enable them to examine the president’s tax filings without his permission.
The nearly 100-year-old statute allows the chairmen of Congress’ tax committees to look at anyone’s returns, and Democrats say they intend to use that power to help answer a long list of questions about Trump’s finances. Many also want to use it to make public confidential information about Trump’s taxes that he’s steadfastly refused to release.
“Probably the approach would be to get all of it, review it and, depending on what that shows, release all or part of it,” said Rep. Lloyd Doggett, the No. 4 Democrat on the Ways and Means Committee.Politico
The Ohio vice squad that arrested Stormy Daniels at a Columbus strip club this summer is now under federal investigation.
On Thursday, Columbus police chief Kim Jacobs announced the FBI’s Public Corruption Task Force is probing her agency’s vice section for criminal activity in light of “high-profile incidents,” including Daniels’ motorboating bust and the fatal shooting of a 23-year-old woman during a prostitution sting operation.
“Recent high-profile incidents have brought forward a variety of allegations against the Vice section via social media postings and other sources,” a press release from the Columbus Division of Police stated.
“Persons who have knowledge of criminal activity by members of the Columbus Police Vice personnel are asked to call a tip line set up by the FBI to investigate these claims.”
In July, cops cuffed Daniels under an arcane state law that bans nude or semi-nude performers from touching patrons who aren’t family members. The Columbus city attorney dropped charges against Daniels the next day, saying no crime was committed.
Daniels’ attorney called the roundup, which came during the porn actress’ cross-country strip tour, a “politically motivated” setup.The Daily Beast
It was one of the last questions that Rachel Mitchell, the outside counsel for the Senate Republicans, posed to Brett M. Kavanaugh on Thursday: What did his notations on the July 1 entry of his faded 1982 calendar mean?
On it, the then-17-year-old had scrawled: “Go to Timmy’s for skis with Judge, Tom, P.J., Bernie and Squi.”
Kavanaugh offered few additional details during Thursday’s contentious hearing. “It looks like we went over to Timmy’s,” he said, saying he regularly documented such “small get-togethers.”
What occurred on that summer evening 36 years ago could be one of the key questions facing the FBI as it reopens its background investigation into the Supreme Court nominee.
Democrats have seized on Kavanaugh’s notes as possible evidence that supports Christine Blasey Ford’s allegation that she was sexually assaulted by him at a teenage gathering that summer — a charge he vehemently denies.Washington Post
Surrounded by his colleagues in a cramped corridor behind the Senate Judiciary Committee, Senator Jeff Flake was in agony, getting pounded on all sides.
He had already released a statement that he would vote “yes” in the committee and advance Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court to the full Senate floor. But two angry and tearful women had confronted him soon afterward in a Senate elevator, accusing him of telling girls that “assault doesn’t matter.”
Now, as the committee was on the verge of approving the nomination, Mr. Flake, Republican of Arizona, was having second thoughts, according to a half-dozen lawmakers and Senate staff aides who witnessed the scene. Why not accept Democratic demands for a one-week delay in the confirmation vote, he asked his fellow senators, and reopen an F.B.I. background investigation into sexual misconduct accusations against Judge Kavanaugh?
Republicans crowded around him, alarmed. Senators Thom Tillis of North Carolina and John Cornyn of Texas implored him not to waver. This is just a delaying tactic, they said, and would only lead to more allegations that they believed to be false, hurting the judge’s family.
Democrats were on the other side, coaxing him to put off the vote. Senator Chris Coons, Democrat of Delaware, a longtime friend, broke in: This is a mess, he said, and to lift the cloud over Judge Kavanaugh, an investigation was necessary.
But what could really be done in a week? There was a scramble to call Christopher Wray, the F.B.I. director, who could not be reached. The second choice was Rod J. Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general.New York Times