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Tuesday, April 16, 2019
Uproarious Partisan Battle Scene Roiling In Washington
Welcome to The Hill’s Morning Report. Happy Tuesday! Our newsletter gets you up to speed on the most important developments in politics and policy, plus trends to watch. Co-creators are Alexis Simendinger and Al Weaver(CLICK HERE to subscribe!). On Twitter, find us at @asimendinger and@alweaver22.
Washington is on pins and needles for the next 48 hours ahead of the expected release of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Thursday. As Attorney General William Barr has said for weeks, the report will feature redactions to protect grand jury material and information relating to other investigations, much to the chagrin of Democratic lawmakers who want the whole unredacted report released immediately.
As Jacqueline Thomsen writes, the report is expected to reveal the findings of Mueller's 22-month investigation as well as the evidence collected by investigators during that time.
It is also expected to set up a showdown between House Democrats and the Justice Department over what’s out of view behind thick black lines. Barr said last week that he does not plan to ask court permission to release grand jury material included in the report. A federal appeals court ruled earlier this month that a judge does not have the inherent authority to release grand jury information, making it less likely that those details will become public.
NBC News: White House officials worried about being exposed by Mueller report.
Ed Rogers: Mueller may be done, but Barr is just getting started.
> President Trump triggered a looming battle between the administration and House Democratic lawmakers over his nascent plan to release migrants into sanctuary cities.
"Due to the fact that Democrats are unwilling to change our very dangerous immigration laws, we are indeed, as reported, giving strong consideration to placing Illegal Immigrants in Sanctuary Cities only,” Trump tweeted on Monday, days after he said he was considering the possibility.
House Democrats officially weighed in on Monday as Reps. Jerrold Nadler(D-N.Y.), Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) and Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), three committee chairmen, wrote to acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney and acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenanquestioning the proposal, calling it “alarming” (Bloomberg).
Nadler, Cummings and Thompson wrote that “the plan appears to have been specifically designed to target Democratic districts,” adding that it runs counter to Immigration and Customs Enforcement policy guidelines.
The Democratic trio also called for the Trump administration to hand over emails and other communications "concerning such a transfer or release of immigration detainees to or in specific locations of the U.S.” that took place between White House and Homeland Security officials.
> House Democrats defended Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) as she continued to receive criticism from Trump after he attacked her for comments she made about 9/11. Trump escalated his attacks Monday by tweeting that Omar has control over Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). He refused to remove a video he tweeted Friday over Omar’s remarks.
As Cristina Marcos and Mike Lillis report, it’s a change from past controversies involving Omar, one of the first two Muslim women elected to Congress, as fellow Democrats who rebuked her over what were viewed as anti-Semitic comments are now rushing to her defense.
“There have been occasions when she's made comments that she's apologized for that were inartful or that were taken as anti-Semitic. This was certainly not one of them,” Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) ChairwomanKaren Bass (D-Calif.) said Monday on a call with reporters.