July 10, 2018

On Monday evening, U.S. District Judge Dolly Gee in Los Angeles denied the Trump administration's request to modify a 1997 consent decree to allow migrant families to be detained together for long periods and in unlicensed facilities. The Justice Department's request for changes in the Flores agreement, she wrote, was "a cynical attempt" to shift immigration policymaking to the courts after "over 20 years of congressional inaction and ill-considered executive action that have led to the current stalemate." Gee had rejected a similar request to modify the Flores agreement by former President Barack Obama's administration in 2015, and she said Monday that President Trump's Justice Department had failed to offer new evidence that a revision was necessary.

The Justice Department said it is reviewing Gee's ruling. Another federal judge has ordered Trump to stop separating families at the border and reunite separated migrant families starting Tuesday, giving Trump few options. Under Trump's "zero tolerance" policy, most people crossing the U.S.-Mexico border without permission were jailed, with children sent to separate facilities than their parents, often hundreds or thousands of miles away. When Obama faced a similar influx of migrants from Central America in 2014, he eventually settled on releasing most families together, often on bond or with ankle monitors to assure they returned to court. "Sifting through the government's false narrative, the court clearly found that the Flores settlement has never resulted in the separation of families," said Peter Schey, a lead counsel on the original Flores lawsuit. "President Trump needs to take responsibility for his own misguided policies." Peter Weber

2:27 a.m.

On Wednesday night, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told congressional Democrats and Republicans that the House will "move swiftly" to pass a resolution to terminate President Trump's emergency declaration, and she urged all members of Congress to cosponsor it. "The president's decision to go outside the bounds of the law to try to get what he failed to achieve in the constitutional legislative process violates the Constitution and must be terminated," Pelosi wrote, according to Politico. "We have a solemn responsibility to uphold the Constitution, and defend our system of checks and balances against the president's assault."

Democrats are expected to file the resolution, sponsored by Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas), on Friday, after Trump's emergency declaration is recorded in the federal register. But no vote is likely until mid-March, The Associated Press reports. The resolution is expected to pass easily in the Democratic-controlled House, and when the Senate votes no more than 18 days later, it's plausible at least four Republicans will join Democrats to pass it in that chamber. On Wednesday, Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) became the first Senate Republican to publicly say she will vote for the resolution. There are probably not enough votes to overcome Trump's expected veto. Peter Weber

1:33 a.m.

Special Counsel "Robert Mueller's report may be delivered as early as next week," Stephen Colbert said on Thursday's Late Show. Among the many unknowns are what kind of "summary" Attorney General William Barr will give Congress, and what, if anything, the public will ever know of Mueller's findings. "We might just get the book report version," he said, stiffly reciting: "The Mueller report was a report written by Robert Mueller. It had many pages and was full of information regarding his report. I found the main character of the president to be cartoonish and unbelievable. And the well represents God."

President Trump would prefer we just don't talk about the Russia investigation, or any of the investigations involving him, as The New York Times tallied on Wednesday, Colbert said. Most of the instances of Trump trying to quash investigations are already public knowledge, and all of them are troubling.

"It's all lies — all of it," Colbert said. "The president attacking his Justice Department, trusting [Russian President Vladimir] Putin over his own intelligence community, calling the FBI a bunch of corrupt deep-state coup-plotters is not normal. It is strange. It's like how Jack in the Box sells tacos for some reason. It may not be illegal but it certainly violates something sacred." The Times had one new revelation, though, and it's quite a doozy.

Yes, "President Trump may have committed obstruction of justice," Trevor Noah said at The Daily Show. "And you're probably thinking, 'Uh, is this a rerun of The Daily Show?' No, it's just that Trump keeps doing the same s--t over and over again. It's like that Netflix show Russian Doll, only with way more Russians." The allegation is that "Trump asked [acting Attorney General] Matt Whitaker to interfere in the Michael Cohen investigation, which is highly unethical," he explained. "Basically right now we're at the point where Trump may be obstructing justice into his obstruction of justice case." Watch below. Peter Weber

1:26 a.m.

The clinking of glasses, the well-wishes from his guests, his new wife saying "I do" — David Alianiello was able to hear all of this during his wedding last weekend.

Alianiello, a 34-year-old teacher from Baltimore, was born with congenital hearing loss. A week before his wedding, he received a cochlear implant, which is an electronic device that partially restores hearing. On the big day, Alianiello could "hear the clapping," he told People. "It was the first time I had ever heard clapping. It was fun to be able to experience the different sounds."

Right after getting the implant, Alianiello heard his daughter, Skyli, singing "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star," which was "very sweet," he said. Alianiello and his wife, Cortney, are expecting their second child, and he's looking forward to listening to more songs from Skyli and "the first words my new baby speaks." Catherine Garcia

12:24 a.m.

"Right now in America, more people are killed by opioids than cars," Trevor Noah said on Wednesday's Daily Show. Opioids "are a national emergency — a genuine national emergency," and "if you listen to the president — which by the way I don't recommend you do — but if you do, he'll point his tiny little blame finger where he normally does: South of the border." Seriously, President Trump "blames Mexico for everything," he said. "But in reality, the opioid crisis is as American as baseball or student loan debt."

It's American doctors who widely over-prescribed large amounts of opioids, but they're "basically low-level henchmen," Noah said, and "at the top of the cartel" are the pharmaceutical companies that make and pushed the drugs — like Insys Therapeutics, which "didn't just bribe doctors to push opioids, they sent strippers to bribe the doctors. And let me just say, when a stripper starts paying you, something fishy is going on." And that's "small-time compared to the Pablo Escobar of opioids, the Sackler family," Noah said. He read some of what he called the "straight-up evil" allegations from the Massachusetts case blaming the Sacklers and their company, Perdue Pharma, for making billions by lying about the addictiveness of OxyContin, blaming the addicts, and trying to get approval for children's OxyContin.

"Knowing all the shady s--t that these people are accused of, you'd think the Sackler family would be shunned from society — but in fact, it's the exact opposite," Noah said. "So really, the Sackler family should be as notorious as Pablo Escobar or El Chapo, because they've also gotten so many Americans hooked on drugs. The one difference is, everyone knows those other guys and they know how bad they are, because they've seen TV shows about them." There's no such show about the Sacklers, but The Daily Show changed that. Watch below. Peter Weber

12:12 a.m.

She arrived at the Grand Canyon as a regular visitor, and left as a junior ranger.

Rose Torphy, 103, went to the national park while vacationing in Arizona last month. Inside the gift shop, she started talking with an employee about the junior ranger program, which educates kids about the Grand Canyon and nature. Before long, she was taking the junior ranger oath to take care of the park and signing her certificate. "I'm happy to protect it for my great-grandchildren to visit one day," she said.

The Grand Canyon will celebrate its 100th anniversary of being a national park on Feb. 26, making Torphy three years older. Torphy says the Grand Canyon was "breathtaking," and even though her vacation is over, her junior ranger pin is still on her coat. "She's a spokesperson for the park now," her daughter, Cheri Stoneburner, told Good Morning America. "Everywhere we go, people ask her about her junior ranger pin and she says, 'You're never too old to see the Grand Canyon.'" Catherine Garcia

February 20, 2019

The son of Republican congressional candidate Mark Harris testified in front of the North Carolina State Board of Elections on Wednesday that he cautioned his father against hiring a political operative who used illegal tactics in earlier elections.

The Board of Elections is investigating allegations of voter fraud in November's election in the 9th Congressional District; the race is still undecided, with Harris leading Democrat Dan McCready by 905 votes. John Harris, an assistant U.S. attorney in North Carolina, testified that he told his father that he believed political operative McCrae Dowless illegally collected absentee ballots while working for another Republican candidate in 2016. Despite his son's warning, Mark Harris hired Dowless for his 2018 campaign.

On Monday, Dowless' stepdaughter testified that he hired her to collect absentee ballots, and when she picked up a ballot that was unsealed or not fully filled out, she would mark the Republican candidates. John Harris said he has "no reason to believe that my father or mother knew Dowless was doing the things that have been described. I think they were lied to, and they believed the person who lied to them." Mark Harris, who has said he knew nothing about Dowless' tactics, is expected to testify on Thursday.

If the board decides that "irregularities or improprieties occurred to such an extent that they taint the results of the entire election and cast doubt on its fairness," a new election will be held. Catherine Garcia

February 20, 2019

Michael Cohen will testify publicly before the House Committee on Oversight and Reform on Feb. 27, Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) announced Wednesday.

Cohen, President Trump's former lawyer and fixer, was set to appear before the committee on Feb. 7, but pulled out, saying his family was being intimidated and he was worried about their safety. In a statement, Cummings said his committee will "address the president's payoffs, financial disclosures, compliance with campaign finance laws, business practices, and other matters."

Cohen, who will also testify privately in front of the House Intelligence Committee on Feb. 28, tweeted that he is "looking forward to the American people hearing my story in my voice!" After pleading guilty to violating campaign finance law, Cohen was sentenced in December to three years in prison, and earlier Wednesday, a federal judge granted his request to postpone the start of his sentence by 60 days. Catherine Garcia

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