“More than 370 former federal prosecutors who worked in Republican and Democratic administrations have signed on to a statement asserting special counsel Robert Mueller III’s findings would have produced obstruction charges against President Trump — if not for the office he held,” the Washington Post reports.
“The statement — signed by myriad former career government employees, as well as high-profile political appointees — offers a rebuttal to Attorney General William Barr’s determination that the evidence Mueller uncovered was ‘not sufficient’ to establish Trump committed a crime.”
Gerald Seib: “With relatively little investment, the Russian leader is expanding his toehold in the Western Hemisphere and potentially getting access to giant oil and uranium supplies by backing a dictator in Venezuela.”
“With relatively little investment, he has expanded his base of operations in the Middle East by propping up a dictator in Syria and by trying to send some sophisticated Russian military equipment into Turkey. (For the latter effort, he’d actually turn a profit.)”
“And with relatively little investment, and little notice from a distracted international community, he has kept up a low-level war against those fighting a Russian takeover in eastern Ukraine, holding on to a bargaining chip he might find useful someday.”
“He does all this while overseeing an economy roughly the size of South Korea’s, which produces little or nothing the world wants to buy, outside of oil and military gear.”
A Mother Jones investigation “has discovered that another Chinese American Trump supporter and fundraiser also tried to sell access to Mar-a-Lago. This Trump funder, Xinyue ‘Daniel’ Lou, says he ended up failing to pull off this venture, but he tells Mother Jones that he was trying to leverage his donations to Trump and his pro-Trump activism in 2016 by packaging a trip for Chinese businesspeople that would include a stop at Mar-a-Lago.”
“He also notes that he has been instructed by the Republican National Committee to say nothing publicly about his fundraising work for the GOP and Trump, which included rounding up people he described as ‘Chinese’ for a Trump fundraiser in 2017.”
Associated Press: “Once he gets to prison, Cohen will undergo medical and mental health screenings and be assigned a job, such as mowing the grounds or cleaning up the visiting room. He’ll also get sets of clothing, bedding and towels.”
“At the prison camp, about 115 inmates sleep in bunks lined up in barrack-style halls, instead of individual or two-man cells like in higher-security facilities. Recreational amenities include tennis courts, horseshoes and bocce ball.”
New York Times: “As Mr. Cohen heads to prison, the president is newly emboldened and the nation divided over whether the report let Mr. Trump off the hook. And unless the president or any of his family members face charges in the years to come, Mr. Cohen, a former personal-injury lawyer with a hangdog expression and a Long Island accent, may go down as an unlikely big fish caught in the net of Trump World investigations.”
“The mayor of Hoschton, a nearly all-white community 50 miles northeast of Atlanta, allegedly withheld a job candidate from consideration for city administrator because he was black,” the Atlanta Journal Constitutionreports.
Mayor Theresa Kenerly told a member of the City Council she pulled the resume of Keith Henry from a packet of four finalists “because he is black, and the city isn’t ready for this.”
Councilman Jim Cleveland defended the mayor: “I have black friends, I hired black people. But when it comes to all this stuff you see on TV, when you see blacks and whites together, it makes my blood boil because that’s just not the way a Christian is supposed to live.”
“Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee said they will vote Wednesday on whether to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress after Barr missed a deadline to produce a complete version of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report,” the Washington Postreports.
“The panel had set a deadline of 9 a.m. Monday for Barr to provide the unredacted version of Mueller’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 election. It announced the planned vote in a statement Monday.”
“Manager Alex Cora will not join the Red Sox on Thursday when the World Series champions are honored at the White House,” the Boston Globe reports.
“Cora said Sunday he would not be comfortable making the trip, given what he considers the Trump administration’s poor treatment of his native Puerto Rico since Hurricane Maria struck the island in 2017.”
New York Times: “More than halfway into Mr. Trump’s term, he and Mr. Pence have developed what aides describe as a rhythm, in which the president lays out the broad contours of policy and then hands off to the vice president to make the granular sales pitch.”
“Privately, several Republican donors have made it clear to administration allies that they want to hear more about policy from a White House where the dominant story line has been Mr. Trump’s unconventional approach to the presidency. Ideally, they would like for Mr. Trump to be that messenger: They note that Mr. Pence may be an explainer, but he is not a decision maker in the White House on policy. Still, the role Mr. Pence plays has been a comfort to Republicans, particularly those for whom policy is a vital aspect of conservatism.”
Michael Cohen spoke to reporters briefly outside his Manhattan apartment before heading to report to a federal prison facility in upstate New York — suggesting once again that he had more secrets to spill, the Washington Post reports.
Said Cohen: “I hope that when I rejoin my family and friends that the country will be in a place without xenophobia, injustice, and lies at the helm of our country. There still remains much to be told, and I look forward to the day that I can share the truth.”
“The U.S. is deploying a carrier strike group and a number of bombers to the Middle East to serve as a deterrent to Iran based on new intelligence that suggests allied interests and American forces could be imperiled,” the Wall Street Journal reports.
Playbook: “Will Democrats start demanding testimony and document production before they consider partnering with the president on legislation like an infrastructure bill? Remember: Democrats have tons of leverage here. The president needs them to do anything, including keeping the government funded and lifting the debt limit, not to mention more lofty goals like some infrastructure package or a prescription drug bill.”
Politico: “Biden joined the race on the heels of a rough period in which six women publicly complained that Biden’s past touching made them uncomfortable. From his slow response to the controversy and the lack of apology, it wasn’t quite clear if the 76-year-old former vice president could adjust to the realities of campaigning in the #MeToo era — or if the criticism of the overly familiar physical contact even registered.”
“But after nearly a week on the campaign trail, including nearly a half-dozen events in Pittsburgh, Iowa and South Carolina, it appears Biden got the message. Gone are the episodes of canoodling with voters, replaced by a less tactile brand of retail politicking marked by selfies and more physical reserve than Biden is accustomed to.”
Washington Post: “Up to 1 million plant and animal species are on the verge of extinction, with devastating implications for human survival, according to a United Nations report released Monday.”
“The report’s findings underscore the conclusions of numerous scientific studies that say human activity is wreaking havoc on the wild kingdom, threatening the existence of everything from giant whales to small flowers and insects that are almost impossible to see with the naked eye.”