Sarah Longwell: ‘The Breakup’


“There aren’t enough tax cuts and judges in the world to justify a president who stands on the stage with Vladimir Putin and sides against America’s intelligence community; who ignores, if not invites, foreign interference in our elections and normalizes unprecedented levels of corruption and incompetence; who abdicates moral leadership both at home and abroad; who lies and obstructs justice and then lies about obstructing justice.”

Jussie Smollett googled himself 50 times after alleged attack


In the days after he reported being the victim of a hate crime, Smollett searched his name on Google at least 50 times, CBS Chicago reports. Police found that the former Empire star diligently searched his own name in the aftermath of his alleged assault, sometimes conducting several searches within minutes of each other.

USDA hides studies proving effects of climate change


The Trump administration has refused to publicize dozens of studies conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture that conclude climate change is having negative effects on everything from rice production to allergies. The Agricultural Research Service has issued releases for just two climate-related studies since Trump took office, both of which had results favorable to the meat industry.

Deutsche faces FBI investigation


One of Donald Trump’s favorite lenders, Deutsche Bank, is under investigation by the FBI to determine whether it complied with laws meant to stop money laundering. Deutsche’s compliance division flagged suspicious financial transactions involving the president and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, to their superiors, who opted not to alert government authorities. Trump has rejected the accusations, and Kushner Companies said allegations involving money laundering are “completely made up and totally false.”

Trump’s UN pick under fire for spending 300 days away from current post


The Trump administration’s nominee to be the next US envoy to the United Nations has come under congressional scrutiny for absenteeism after spending more than half her time as ambassador to Canada away from her post. Additionally, a private jet registered to Craft’s husband, a US coal magnate, and used by the ambassador, made 128 flights between the US and Canada during a 15-month span of her tenure in Ottawa.

Evan McMullin: Take Trump literally and seriously


“America is likely to enter a lasting state in which a significant portion of Republicans, Democrats, and independents alike no longer trust the fairness of our elections. If this perception becomes the new normal, or if apathy and a feeling of helplessness become commonplace, it will be even harder to root out and prevent further corruption. Apathy allows leaders seeking to remain in power to more easily manipulate election outcomes, with or without foreign assistance.”

Trump says he will not fire Kellyanne Conway over Hatch Act violation


President Donald Trump said on Friday that he has no plans to fire top aide Kellyanne Conway after an independent federal agency recommended that she be removed from her job after she repeatedly used her office for political purposes. The U.S. Office of Special Counsel sent a report to Trump on Thursday that said Conway repeatedly violated the Hatch Act by criticizing Democratic presidential candidates while speaking in her official capacity. It was the first time the office made such a recommendation for a White House official.

Chao sells stock holdings


Transportation Sec. Elaine Chao has sold her shares in a paving-materials supplier after a Wall Street Journal report that she hadn’t fulfilled a pledge to relinquish the shares. Chao, who is married to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, sold her shares in Vulcan Materials Co. on June 3, according to documents submitted to the Office of Government Ethics.

OSC finds Conway violated Hatch Act, recommends her removal


The Office of Special Counsel (not affiliated with Special Counsel Robert Mueller) has found that Trump aide Kellyanne Conway violated the Hatch Act repeatedly and should be removed from her federal post. Conway’s violations stem from her constant criticism of Democratic candidates while speaking in her official capacity.

McConnell buries plans to protect America from election interference, takes money from voting machine lobby


Russian operatives not only conducted a vast disinformation campaign through Twitter and Facebook, and hacked documents from Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, but also tried to penetrate 21 state election-related networks. But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has reportedly told his colleagues that he will not allow the Senate to vote on election security legislation this session.

Rick Wilson: Every member of Team Trump is now enabling treason


“Let’s not forget, Trump requested this kind of help in 2016. It wasn’t a joke. It wasn’t ‘Trump being Trump.’ It was Trump on live television soliciting Russian intelligence service help in defeating Hillary. He received that help through the GRU’s subsidiary WikiLeaks within hours of his ask. All Vladimir Putin has received in return is an American president who lets the Russian leader run wild, who sides with a former KGB officer over American intelligence services at every turn, and who displays utter obeisance to the Russian leader.”

Democracy crisis in Guatemala


Turmoil hangs over the upcoming election in Guatemala. The election process has been marred by lawsuits and violence, including the assassination of a left-wing mayoral candidate, and it’s occurring in the midst of a constitutional crisis generated by outgoing president Jimmy Morales, who is under investigation for corruption.

Mitch & Elaine: Friends with benefits


Being married to the Transportation Secretary has been quite a boon for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, as Elaine Chao personally designated an aide, Todd Inman, as a special liaison to help McConnell with grant applications and other priorities in his home state of Kentucky. The relationship resulted in at least $78 million for favored projects as McConnell prepared to campaign for reelection, apparently proving it pays to have friends (or spouses) in high places.

More questionable spending by NRA comes to light


Amid financial and leadership crises that could threaten the future of the controversial gun rights group, the National Rifle Association has been allocating some funds in a questionable way. The organization, already facing scrutiny for allegations of lavish spending, including a $200,000 bill for plane travel for one month for CEO Wayne LaPierre, is at it again, routing money to a quarter of its board in the last three years.

Made in the shade: Kushner co made cool $90M


A real-estate company partly owned by Jared Kushner has brought in around $90 million of investment from anonymous foreign sources since he entered the White House in 2017. Ethics experts said the anonymous funding could potentially create a serious conflict of interest for Kushner in his role as a senior adviser to Donald Trump.

USC may sue Lori Loughlin


The college admission scandal continues. USC told lawyers for actress Lori Loughlin and her husband, Mossimo Giannulli, that it anticipates possible legal disputes with the couple over their alleged role in the college admissions scandal, according to a letter from the couple’s attorney filed in federal court.

NC GOP misled a federal court on gerrymandering


Deceased Republican strategist Thomas Hofeller’s hard drives not only reveal the racist origins of the citizenship question on the census but have now also revealed that Republicans in North Carolina misled a federal court to extend the life of their gerrymandered legislative districts. Those districts had been ruled unconstitutional.

Sheikh-down at Trump’s DC hotel?


Last July, wealthy Iraqi sheikh Nahro al-Kasnazan wrote to National Security Adviser John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urging them to forge closer ties with those seeking to overthrow the government of Iran. Four months later, he spent 26 nights in a suite at the Trump International Hotel in Washington. The lengthy stay was unusual, but the venue was not. The hotel has become a popular gathering place for Republican politicians and influential foreigners who have an agenda to pursue with the Trump administration.

Trump owes El Paso $470k


Turns out that President Trump is not good at paying off his debts and owes the city of El Paso, Texas, nearly half a million dollars for the public services rendered during a rally he held in the city in February.

A ‘bridge’ to China, and her family’s business, in the Trump cabinet


The Times found that the Chaos had an extraordinary proximity to power in China for an American family, marked not only by board memberships in state companies, but also by multiple meetings with the country’s former top leader, including one at his villa. That makes the Chaos stand out on both sides of the Pacific, with sterling political connections going to the pinnacle of power in the world’s two biggest economies.

Setting a low Barr


In an interview with CBS News, AG Barr said that he believed Special Counsel Mueller “could’ve reached a decision” on Trump and obstruction. Barr continued on to say that once he was aware that Mueller would not make a decision on obstruction, he and former Deputy AG Rosenstein took it upon themselves to come to a conclusion on the question of obstruction.

James Comey: No treason, just Trump’s lies


“The FBI wasn’t out to get Donald Trump. It also wasn’t out to get Hillary Clinton. It was out to do its best to investigate serious matters while walking through a vicious political minefield… There was no corruption. There was no treason. There was no attempted coup. Those are lies, and dumb lies at that. There were just good people trying to figure out what was true, under unprecedented circumstances.”

Netanyahu’s political crisis


After a close election, Israeli PM Netanyahu celebrated his Likud Party’s victory. More than a month after the election, Netanyahu has failed to form a coalition within the government. The deadline for him to form a coalition is May 29th. In addition to his political struggles, Netanyahu still faces corruption charges and is set to have a hearing on the charges in November.

Donation to Trump inaugural under scrutiny


Real estate mogul Franklin Haney contributed $1 million to Donald Trump’s inaugural committee as he was seeking regulatory approval and financial support from the government for his long-shot bid to acquire the mothballed Bellefonte Nuclear Power Plant in northeastern Alabama. Haney’s hefty donation to Trump’s inaugural committee is being scrutinized by federal prosecutors in New York who are investigating the committee’s finances.

The truth behind the Trump Tower Moscow


We’ve heard a lot about the Trump Tower Moscow, but here’s a new angle: The potential deal came with far greater risk—and far less reward—than previously understood. So why would an “extremely stable genius” with storied dealmaking skills jeopardize his eventual presidency on a mediocre deal with Vladimir Putin’s fingerprints all over it? Good question. The answer is likely that Trump isn’t much of a businessman, but he really, really wanted to do business with Putin.

Timothy O’Brien: Will court decisions spell doom for Trump?


“If all of this comes together, Trump’s accounting records, banking documents, and income tax returns will wind up in Congress’ hands, leaving the president exposed to legal and financial scrutiny in ways he has never experienced in decades as a businessman and public figure. Over the years, Trump has managed to keep his health and academic records under cover and his ties to organized crime largely out of public view as well. He has used a dizzying number of lies and exaggerations to mask his poor track record as a businessman, hide financial problems, and inflate his wealth.”

Manafort-linked banker tried trading loans for position in Trump administration


Stephen M. Calk, CEO of Federal Savings Bank Chicago, was indicted on charges of corruptly soliciting a presidential campaign in exchange for approving millions of dollars in loans. Calk sought to issue the loans to Paul Manafort in an attempt to receive a high ranking position within the Trump administration. He did not receive a position within the Trump administration

Michael Cohen’s Russian connections


A federal court in Washington, D.C., has unsealed five search warrants that Special Counsel Robert Mueller obtained while investigating Donald Trump’s incarcerated former personal attorney, Michael Cohen. The newly unsealed documents show how quickly Cohen worked to build a relationship with the Kremlin—some of his copious contacts with Russian government-linked individuals began on the day Trump won the presidency.

Avenatti’s descent deepens


One-time presidential hopeful Michael Avenatti is buried under legal trouble. He was hit with two more indictments on charges relating to his extortion of Nike and for defrauding his former client Stormy Daniels.