Mueller report: no new indictments recommended, says DoJ official – as it happened

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1.44am GMT

Well, it happened. Special counsel Robert Mueller completed his report and gave it to the attorney general. But that’s not all! Here’s a rundown of the biggest stories of the day.

1.25am GMT

If you’re like me, you probably have a ton of questions about the Mueller report. What happens next? Will Trump be impeached? Why did the DOJ say not to expect more indictments? Who is going to keep the local witch population under control now that the witch hunt is over?

Never fear! The Guardian’s political reporters want to help. Use this form to tell them your questions, and they’ll do their best to track down the answers and report back!

12.57am GMT

It’s been a banner headline kind of day.

Tomorrow’s @nytimes tonight: We’ll@let this one speak for itself. #nytimes pic.twitter.com/PhxeFc5lmj

12.33am GMT

Let’s say your name is Bob, you’ve just turned in a big report that’s been hanging over your head for literally YEARS, it’s a Friday night … what do you do next?

My money is on Mueller getting deeply into Korean skincare and cryptocurrency, but the internet-at-large has also weighed in, and my colleague Matthew Cantor has all the best jokes here.

11.56pm GMT

If you think politics in the US has gone a bit mad, just take a gander across the pond, where mentalist Uri Geller (you know, the guy who bends spoons with his mind) is promising to stop Brexit using, well, his super strong spoon-bending mind.

In an open letter to Theresa May, Geller promised that he will prevent the UK’s exit from the EU, saying, “I feel psychically and very strongly that most British people do not want Brexit … As much as I admire you, I will stop you telepathically from doing this – and believe me I am capable of executing it.”

BREAKING: @TheUriGeller has today written a letter, handed exclusively to the Jewish Telegraph, to @theresa_may to state that he will “not allow you to lead Britain into #Brexit“. pic.twitter.com/IIkPL2Z9g7

11.29pm GMT

How did the Mueller investigation manage to keep its secrets under wraps for two years?

My colleagues Oliver Laughland and Jon Swaine have a new article looking at the “leak-proof inquiry”:

Behind the walls of a nondescript concrete office building in south-west Washington DC, special counsel Robert Mueller has meticulously compiled one of the most important investigations in American history.

There have been 37 indictments or guilty pleas and 199 criminal charges. Five people, including some of Donald Trump’s closest former advisers, have been sent to prison.

11.15pm GMT

Pardon the Mueller Time interruption, but my colleague Vivian Ho is reporting on a deeply concerning data breach by the US disaster relief agency:

The US disaster relief agency unnecessarily released sensitive identifiable data, including banking information, of 2.3m disaster survivors to an outside contractor, according to a report by theOffice of Inspector General.

The survivors, who were affected by hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, as well as the 2017 wildfires in California , had provided their information to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (Fema) while applying for transitional sheltering in hotels.

11.05pm GMT

Here’s a fun blast from the past, courtesy of historian Michael Beschloss. William Barr’s tie is a choice.

Attorney General William Barr and Assistant Attorney General Robert Mueller, 1991: #AP pic.twitter.com/PiYvFxQUIC

10.50pm GMT

Here’s a small update on how the special counsel’s office will be wound down over the next few days:

Statement from Peter Carr, spokesman for the special counsel’s office: “The Special Counsel will be concluding his service in the coming days. A small number of staff will remain to assist in closing the operations of the office for a period of time.”

10.39pm GMT

Tom McCarthy and Jon Swaine have also put together this helpful explainer with answers to all your most pressing questions about the Mueller report.

One thing to keep in mind: there are still lots of other investigations into Trump. Per Tom and Jon:

Yes, lots. While the special counsel’s office has concluded its work, investigations taken up by federal prosecutors in the southern and eastern districts of New York continue, and prosecutors have also been active in the eastern district of Virginia and the District of Columbia. Unlike Mueller, those prosecutors are not bound by narrow authorizations dictating what activity they can investigate, and there is no pressure to hasten the investigations.

10.36pm GMT

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10.29pm GMT

Here’s my colleague Tom McCarthy on Robert Mueller, the “pain in the ass” who took on Trump:

The formidable edifice of Mueller’s personal reputation built over a 50-year career as a public servant, which began with voluntary conscription in the US Marine Corps at age 21, featured multiple distinguished turns as a federal prosecutor and culminated with the top job at the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Along the way, Mueller, 74, won a reputation among Republicans and Democrats alike as an intimidatingly hardworking, methodical and serious straight-shooter for whom personal integrity and adherence to the justice department playbook have always been granite-etched fact.

10.25pm GMT

Adam Schiff, chair of the House intelligence committee, has an important reminder about the “no new indictments” line from the Justice department: the special counsel’s investigation is not the only game in town.

Schiff to @MSNBC on ‘no further indictments’: “It doesn’t mean, of course, that Main Justice, or the Southern District of New York U.S. Attorney’s office or the Eastern District or others may not bring indictments … It’s entirely possible … there will be other indictments.”

10.13pm GMT

A few more Democratic presidential candidates are out with statements demanding the complete release of the Mueller report.

As Donald Trump said, “Let it come out.” I call on the Trump administration to make Special Counsel Mueller’s full report public as soon as possible. No one, including the president, is above the law.

Americans deserve to know the truth now that the Mueller report is complete. The report must be released immediately and AG Barr must publicly testify under oath about the investigation’s findings. We need total transparency here.

Release the Mueller report to the American people.

10.01pm GMT

NBC News has multiple sources confirming that Mueller is not recommending any further indictments.

NBC News: Multiple senior U.S. law enforcement officials say that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Office will not be bringing forth any further indictments.

Reported with @JuliaEAinsley

10.00pm GMT

Lindsey Graham, chair of the Senate judiciary committee, has released a statement:

The Department of Justice has notified me and Ranking Member Feinstein that the Mueller Report has been turned over to Attorney General Barr. This notification indicates that Attorney General Barr will pursue as much transparency as possible.

Importantly, the notification also indicates that there were no areas of disagreement between the Attorney General or the Acting Attorney General and Special Counsel Mueller regarding courses of action. This information is specifically required to be disclosed by the regulations governing Special Counsel reports.

9.55pm GMT

BREAKING: Mueller is not recommending any further indictments in Russia probe – Senior Justice Department official https://t.co/U196YV5GTW pic.twitter.com/u4FFOQ122D

9.47pm GMT

Mueller may have finished his report, but that doesn’t mean his work is entirely done. According to BuzzFeed News reporter Zoe Tillman, he and a few other staff will remain employed as they “close up the office”.

Note: DOJ spox says that Mueller will remain special counsel until a time TBD by Barr — Mueller and a small contingent staff are still in place to close up the office https://t.co/mV6jU8edB4

Mueller’s gonna just rest his eyes for a minute and then see if there are any Thin Mints still left in the freezer… https://t.co/safKK0KkE2

9.46pm GMT

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9.40pm GMT

And here’s a joint statement from Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer, calling for the public release of the full report:

Now that Special Counsel Mueller has submitted his report to the Attorney General, it is imperative for Mr. Barr to make the full report public and provide its underlying documentation and findings to Congress. Attorney General Barr must not give President Trump, his lawyers or his staff any ‘sneak preview’ of Special Counsel Mueller’s findings or evidence, and the White House must not be allowed to interfere in decisions about what parts of those findings or evidence are made public.

The Special Counsel’s investigation focused on questions that go to the integrity of our democracy itself: whether foreign powers corruptly interfered in our elections, and whether unlawful means were used to hinder that investigation. The American people have a right to the truth. The watchword is transparency.

9.37pm GMT

The Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, has also issued a response to the report. While he says he hopes for “as much openness and transparency as possible”, he is not demanding the immediate release of the full report.

Here’s the full statement:

I welcome the announcement that the Special Counsel has finally completed his investigation into Russia’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 elections. Many Republicans have long believed that Russia poses a significant threat to American interests. I hope the Special Counsel’s report will help inform and improve our efforts to protect our democracy.

I am grateful we have an experienced and capable Attorney General in place to review the Special Counsel’s report. Attorney General Barr now needs the time to do that.

9.32pm GMT

A number of Democratic lawmakers (and presidential hopefuls) are quick out of the gate with calls for the full release of the Mueller report.

This report should be made public immediately. https://t.co/Q2JCExqYaA

Attorney General Barr—release the Mueller report to the American public. Now. https://t.co/sqz8eoTjLD

Congress and the American people deserve to judge the facts of the Mueller report for themselves. It must be provided to Congress immediately, and the AG should swiftly prepare a declassified version for the public. Nothing short of that will suffice.

A.G. Barr has confirmed the completion of the Special Counsel investigation. We look forward to getting the full Mueller report and related materials. Transparency and the public interest demand nothing less. The need for public faith in the rule of law must be the priority. pic.twitter.com/QYA2xCR1QW

9.27pm GMT

President Trump’s attorneys have also responded to the report’s release, according to NBC News.

JUST IN: President Trump’s attorneys on Mueller report submission:

“We’re pleased that the Office of Special Counsel has delivered its report to the Attorney General pursuant to the regulations. Attorney General Barr will determine the appropriate next steps.”

9.25pm GMT

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders issued a statement on the report’s release on Twitter.

The next steps are up to Attorney General Barr, and we look forward to the process taking its course. The White House has not received or been briefed on the Special Counsel’s report.

9.22pm GMT

My colleague Jon Swaine has the context you need on the conclusion of special counsel Mueller’s investigation:

Mueller’s move signals the end of a sprawling criminal inquiry that has dominated the first two years of Donald Trump’s presidency, prompting furious attacks from Trump and his allies.

The investigation led to the criminal convictions of Trump’s campaign chairman, deputy chairman, personal attorney and two policy advisers. The president’s longtime friend and adviser Roger Stone was also indicted.

9.19pm GMT

Here’s a picture of the full text of Barr’s letter to congressional leaders, from AP reporter Chad Day.

“I am reviewing the report and anticipate that I may be in a position to advise you of the Special Counsel’s principal conclusions as soon as this weekend,” Barr writes.

9.14pm GMT

The Mueller report is now in the hands of the attorney general, William Barr. The next step is for Barr to report to Congress, something that could happen “as soon as this weekend”, according to a letter he sent congressional leaders.

Barr notified congressional leaders in a letter that said he is “reviewing the report and anticipate that I may be in a position to advise you of the special counsel’s principle conclusions as soon as this weekend.” https://t.co/OAN03thTqY

9.04pm GMT

Robert Mueller has delivered his completed report to attorney general William Barr, the Justice department has said.

Mueller’s move signals the end of the special counsel’s two-year criminal inquiry, which led to the criminal convictions of Trump’s campaign chairman, deputy chairman, personal attorney and two policy advisers.

9.01pm GMT

Here we go.

BREAKING: The House Judiciary Committee is told to expect notification by 5pm that the Mueller report has been delivered to Barr

8.59pm GMT

The federal judge who oversaw the trial of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort’s has recommended that he serve his sentence at the Federal Prison Camp in Cumberland, Maryland, according to a new court filing.

Manafort was sentenced to seven and half years in prison for bank fraud, tax fraud, and other crimes.

8.45pm GMT

Here’s another reaction to Trump’s reversal on North Korea sanctions, from Senator Elizabeth Warren, a leading Democratic presidential candidate.

Mr. President: Chairman Kim is not your buddy, and the North Korean nuclear program is a national security threat to the United States. Reversing North Korea’s sanctions hours after they were announced is chaos. Foreign policy by tweet does not make Americans safer. https://t.co/6kFtD7bT3W

North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the “Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times.” Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!

8.17pm GMT

Hello all! This is Julia Carrie Wong in Oakland taking the helm of the politics live blog for the rest of your Friday.

While DC frets over Schrödinger’s Mueller report, President Trump’s Twitter diplomacy took another turn, with his surprise announcement reversing the Treasury Department’s decision on sanctions against North Korea.

Trump is making critical national security decisions on the fly. Sanctions are a policy tool to slow and stop the regime’s illegal activity, not something the President should reverse because he “likes” the North Korean dictator. https://t.co/uGykepS0NV

8.09pm GMT

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7.58pm GMT

Donald Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani seems just as mystified as the rest of official Washington about the timing of the Mueller report.

“They said it was going to be at noon or 12:30,” he told the New York Times this afternoon at the Trump International Hotel. “It’s not going to be Saturday, so they’ve got to do it today.”

7.54pm GMT

New Jersey Senator and presidential candidate Cory Booker endorsed his state’s bill to legalize marijuana.

“All too often, communities of color and low-income individuals are unjustly impacted by our broken drug policies, but by including measures to expunge records and reinvest in the communities most impacted, our state has the opportunity to lead in prioritizing social justice,” Booker said Friday, according to the Hill.

7.42pm GMT

San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz will run for governor of Puerto Rico in 2020, she announced Friday.

“We have to break away from the chains that tie us down in order to have a promising future and break our cycle of poverty,” Cruz said in announcing her run, NBC News reported.

7.34pm GMT

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is condemning her party’s move to discourage primaries against incumbents by refusing to hire political consulting firms that work on such campaigns. The New York Democrat famously defeated longtime Rep. Joe Crowley last year.

The majority of Americans live in safe districts, where gen election isn’t competitive.

By stymieing primaries, you deny most voters their best chance at choosing their representative. We also deny the party the opportunity of training up a future bench, something we badly need.

7.28pm GMT

While we continue to wait for the Mueller report, new attorney general William Barr is rolling out an agenda that goes beyond his department’s most notorious investigation.

One of his priorities is fighting the opioid crisis, the Wall Street Journal reports. And Barr plans to propose limiting federal judges’ ability to issue nationwide injunctions, a pet peeve for Donald Trump.

7.21pm GMT

The White House does support the Treasury Department’s announced sanctions on Venezuela, unlike the ones on North Korea.

“President Donald J. Trump is committed to preventing Nicolas Maduro and his regime from further stealing Venezuela’s resources and wealth for their personal gain, while the people of Venezuela suffer from lack of food, medicine, and reliable power and water,” press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement.

7.05pm GMT

The US treasury department has slapped new sanctions on Venezuela’s banking sector.

The sanctions target Venezuela’s state-controlled bank, the Banco de Desarrollo Economico y Social de Venezuela, or BANDES, as the Trump administration seeks to increase pressure on president Nicolas Maduro.

7.00pm GMT

The US posted its biggest monthly budget deficit in history last month, Bloomberg News reports.

The budget gap jumped to $234 billion in February, up from $215 billion in February 2018.

6.58pm GMT

Beto O’Rourke was one of just two Democrats to oppose measures to condemn Russia after its invasion of Iraq, the Daily Beast reports.

The Texas congressman voted against an aid package for Ukraine in 2014. He also voted against a resolution condemning Russian president Vladimir Putin for “carry[ing] out a policy of aggression against neighboring countries aimed at political and economic domination.”

6.55pm GMT

“There is not even the pretense of a national security process. Hard to imagine what would occur if there were a real crisis,” said Richard Haass, the president of the Council on Foreign Relations, citing Donald Trump’s announcements of foreign policy by tweet on two consecutive days. Thursday, he announced on Twitter that the US is recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights.

in just 24 hours the secstate was surprised by Golan Heights tweet & now @realDonaldTrump has lifted new Treasury sanctions vs NK b/c he likes Chairman Kim. There is not even the pretense of a national security process. Hard to imagine what would occur if there were a real crisis

6.51pm GMT

Adam Mount, a nuclear expert at the Federation of American Scientists, said Donald Trump’s reversal of punishments against companies that violated North Korean sanctions will make it more difficult to maintain pressure against the North.

“The message this sends is unmistakable. After refusing to consider sanctions relief at Hanoi, Trump volunteers to loosen enforcement in order to preserve the talks,” he told CNN. “It shovels leverage to other side, assuring them their tactics could work.”

6.48pm GMT

Presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg, reacting to Donald Trump’s reversal of his administration’s latest North Korea sanctions, says, “The United States of America no longer has a foreign policy.”

The United States of America no longer has a foreign policy. https://t.co/SnMkzYadG6

6.34pm GMT

Former astronaut and US Senate candidate Mark Kelly has returned $55,000 he was paid for a speech in the United Arab Emirates, CNN reported.

The event was sponsored by the country’s crown prince and attended by UAE leaders. Kelly spoke alongside his twin brother and fellow astronaut Scott Kelly.

6.29pm GMT

National Security Adviser John Bolton yesterday praised the North Korea sanctions that Donald Trump has now reversed.

Bolton yesterday on North Korea sanctions —> https://t.co/b3MUX6WN1c

5.55pm GMT

The White House clarifies that Donald Trump is reversing the sanctions against companies doing business with North Korea announced last night.

“President Trump likes Chairman Kim and he doesn’t think these sanctions will be necessary,” press secretary Sarah Sanders said, according to Bloomberg News.

BREAKING: Yes, Trump just reversed sanctions on North Korea his admin imposed last night.

“President Trump likes Chairman Kim and he doesn’t think these sanctions will be necessary,” Sarah Huckabee Sanders says.

Less than 24 hours ago, top National Security Council officials sat down reporters in the EEOB to walk through these #NorthKorea sanctions and how important they are

5.50pm GMT

It’s not entirely clear what Donald Trump was referring to when he tweeted that he was reversing sanctions announced today by his Treasury Department against North Korea.

The department announced sanctions today against Iran, not North Korea. Separately, yesterday it was announced that two companies would be punished for violating existing North Korean sanctions.

Comes on the day that Treasury imposed sanctions on Iran, not North Korea. Regardless, is the president overruling @stevenmnuchin1 and career officials on sanctions policy? https://t.co/sSFgcNxrXT

CONFUSION. Treasury hasn’t announced any additional sanctions against North Korea today. It did announce new sanctions against Iran.

Yesterday, Treasury said it would punish two shipping companies for violating *existing* North Korea sanctions. https://t.co/3lS0A24PhJ

Treasury announced sanctions last night on two Chinese shipping companies allegedly helping North Korea evade sanctions. National security adviser Bolton called them “important actions.” Are these what POTUS is rolling back? https://t.co/3JUQ4BpBYH

5.45pm GMT

Hillary Clinton is asking for support for a flight attendant and DACA recipient faced with possible deportation after working on a flight to Mexico.

This is an awful story: A DACA recipient in good standing was told by her airline she could work on a route to Mexico. Now she’s in detention and ICE is threatening to revoke her status.

Please sign and get the word out: https://t.co/T98oNTwOFY

5.37pm GMT

Some poor reviews for Donald Trump’s appointee to the Federal Reserve board.

This is the first genuinely bad Trump pick for the Fed. But make no mistake: It’s a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad pick. He hasn’t gotten a thing right in twenty years, (check the record), and the Senate should not confirm him. https://t.co/q701SriSZz

Stephen Moore is unfit to serve on the Fed Board. https://t.co/sI8SRaVlyN @PeterContiBrown @norbertjmichel @DavidBeckworth @michaelsderby via @CatoInstitute

I’ve been following Trump’s new Fed nominee for more than twenty years. He is not a smart person. https://t.co/63zCvZa7Wk

5.33pm GMT

The White Houses’s declaration that ISIS has been completely defeated in Syria appears not to square with facts on the ground.

CNN’s Bed Wedeman, in eastern Syria, reports that while the territory held by ISIS is very small, there is still gunfire coming from ISIS positions. “The fighting is not over,” he said.

Despite Sarah Sanders’s comments that Islamic State territory in #Syria has been 100% eliminated, I can still hear clashes and airstikes from where I am in #Baghuz. #ISIS has not been defeated.

5.28pm GMT

Donald Trump says he has ordered the reversal of sanctions against North Korea that were announced just today by his own Treasury Department.

It was announced today by the U.S. Treasury that additional large scale Sanctions would be added to those already existing Sanctions on North Korea. I have today ordered the withdrawal of those additional Sanctions!

5.21pm GMT

Former White House staff secretary Rob Porter must admit wrongdoing to move on from allegations of domestic violence, his ex-wife said Friday.

“I can’t speak for any therapy or counseling, or remorse or repentance that Rob has done privately, but in order to be able to step back into public service, there has to be some sort of public acknowledgment that what you did was wrong and you would like to have another space, another shot. And I think that’s the piece that’s missing for me,” Jennie Willoughby said in an interview with CNN.

5.14pm GMT

CNN has confirmed that Beto O’Rourke asks for permission before he climbs up on people’s counters.

5.09pm GMT

The House Judiciary Committee is asking a Trump administration official to clarify his testimony about the government tracking the pregnancies and menstrual cycles of young immigrant women in federal custody.

Rep. Jerry Nadler, the chair of the House judiciary committee, told Scott Lloyd, the former head of the Office of Refugee Resettlement, that his February testimony before Congress appears inconsistent with the facts, the Hill reported.

4.55pm GMT

Presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke called Friday for ending cash bail.

He noted his own past arrests for drunk driving and burglary, and said he was able to post bail both times because his family has the money.

4.51pm GMT

Rep. Ruben Gallego wrote to the joint chiefs of staff to ask if military readiness if being hurt by the diversion of resources to the US southern border.

Congress needs to know the extent of the damage that Trump is causing to our military readiness with his diversion of troops & resources to the southwest border. Military leaders are sounding the alarm. I’m asking the Joint Chiefs of Staff for answers. pic.twitter.com/iSmHlfjTW1

4.48pm GMT

Donald Trump has made his nomination of former campaign adviser Stephen Moore to the federal reserve board Twitter-official.

It is my pleasure to announce that @StephenMoore, a very respected Economist, will be nominated to serve on the Fed Board. I have known Steve for a long time – and have no doubt he will be an outstanding choice!

4.47pm GMT

More signs of possible tension between Trump and Fox News. Trump in recent days has criticized the network’s news reporters (while praising its pro-Trump opinion presenters).

It was a rather chilly March morning…. https://t.co/mOiWfJxwGi

4.42pm GMT

Donald Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani tweeted a misleading video clip claiming that Rep. Ilhan Omar took classes on terrorism.

What is she laughing at in recalling her terrorism classes? This represents the future of the Democrat Party? God help us. https://t.co/Qoo2UMBGN1

4.36pm GMT

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is moving to deter primary challenges to Democratic incumbents.

The DCCC sent out a list of hiring standards to political consulting firms Friday, saying it will not do business with any firm that works to oust a sitting member of Congress, National Journal reported.

NEW: @DCCC makes moves to block primary challenges against Dem incumbents.

Per new hiring standards DCCC won’t contract with or recommend to House campaign any political firm that works against a sitting member. That’s a stark financial deterrent

More: https://t.co/NPmXyQyef8

4.33pm GMT

Donald Trump will appoint his former campaign adviser Stephen Moore to the federal reserve board, he said Friday.

“He’s going to be great on the fed,” Trump told reporters in Florida.

4.31pm GMT

The White House says ISIS has been fully defeated in Syria.

Arriving in Florida, Donald Trump showed reporters a map to make his point.

….There is nothing to admire about them, they will always try to show a glimmer of vicious hope, but they are losers and barely breathing. Think about that before you destroy your lives and the lives of your family!

4.06pm GMT

The Treasury Department will waive penalties for more taxpayers who had too little in taxes withheld from their 2018 paychecks, officials announced Friday.

People who paid at least 80% of their tax liability during the year will not get hit with penalties, the Hill reported. Normally the threshold is 90%, and Treasury previously said they would lower it to 85%.

3.57pm GMT

Cory Booker’s presidential campaign has won an endorsement from a South Carolina state lawmaker.

State Rep. John King is backing Booker, the Associated Press reported. He is the first South Carolina lawmaker to make an endorsement.

3.54pm GMT

Louisiana Rep. Cedric Richmond calls Rep. Steve King a “white supremacist” after the Iowa Republican disparaged victims of Hurricane Katrina.

My heart goes out to all Iowans. Though it unsettles me that @SteveKingIA would dare compare them to the countless victims of Katrina, many of whom lost their lives. When people show you who they are, believe them. Steve King is a white supremacist and I won’t stand for it.

3.53pm GMT

The deputy US attorney who oversaw the prosecution of Trump lawyer Michael Cohen is set to leave his post.

Robert Khuzami plans to leave the job at the US Attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York next month, CNN reports.

3.31pm GMT

Former Vice President Joe Biden may wait until the end of April to announce a run for president, CNN reports.

Biden is expected to make a decision about whether to run in the next week or so, but if he decides to run, his team may take another three weeks to plan a launch.

3.22pm GMT

Iowa Rep. Steve King criticized the victims of Hurricane Katrina at a town hall Thursday, suggesting they sat around waiting for government help.

King has a history of controversial remarks and was stripped of his committee assignments for comments about white supremacy.

These comments are disgusting and disheartening. When communities are affected by disasters, we come together to help each other, not tear each other down. https://t.co/APpg8a82hW

3.15pm GMT

Donald Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani says the wait for the Mueller report is like “waiting for a baby.”

Giuliani told the Washington Post he has no information to indicate when the report will be delivered.

3.12pm GMT

The Trump administration hit Iran with new sanctions on Friday while Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was denouncing Iran’s growing influence on a visit to Lebanon, the Associated Press reports:

The Treasury Department said the sanctions target 31 Iranian scientists, technicians and companies affiliated with Iran’s Organization for Defense Innovation and Research, which had been at the forefront of the country’s former nuclear weapons program. Officials said those targeted continue to work in Iran’s defense sector and form a core of experts who could reconstitute that program. Fourteen people, including the head of the organization, and 17 subsidiary operations are covered by the sanctions.

The sanctions freeze any assets that those targeted may have in U.S. jurisdictions and bar Americans from any transactions with them. But, officials say the move will also make those targeted “radioactive internationally” by making people of any nationality who do business with them subject to U.S. penalties under so-called secondary sanctions.

2.41pm GMT

As more advertisers pull out of Tucker Carlson’s Fox News show, the show is increasingly filling commercial space with ads for Fox’s own programming, the Hollywood Reporter reports.

The show has broadcast a growing number of “house ads” for Fox News, Fox Nation, Fox television and Fox Sports.

2.09pm GMT

Donald Trump accused the Democratic party of being anti-Jewish, when asked about several presidential hopefuls choosing to skip an AIPAC conference.

“The Democrats have very much proven to be anti-Israel,” he told reporters as he departed the White House.

Trump repeated his claims that Democrats are “anti-Israel” and “anti-Jewish,” ahead of his meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu next week and the pro-Israel group AIPAC’s annual policy conference https://t.co/w6VgE5zkKh pic.twitter.com/Y8Fe4wqgQi

2.04pm GMT

Beto O’Rourke is on a campaign swing through South Carolina today, where he’s drawing big crowds, the Huffington Post reports.

O’Rourke said he would support a wealth tax.

Beto meets Willie McLeod, one of the Friendship Nine, who was arrested in 1961 after he refused to leave the lunch counter at McCrory’s pic.twitter.com/meYnpWqvbp

New (I think): Beto O’Rourke tells me in SC that he’s willing to support some form of a wealth tax so “we don’t have princes and princesses, kings and queens, a concentration of wealth and power, and that’s exactly what we have right now”

2.03pm GMT

“I have no idea about the Mueller report,” Donald Trump told reporters as he departed the White House.

He attacked both Mueller’s investigation and multiple probes being conducted the Democratic-controlled House.

1.55pm GMT

Donald Trump, as he departed for Florida, told reporters he doesn’t know when the Mueller report will be released, according to AP. He again hit the investigation as a “witch hunt.”

President Trump, leaving for Florida, says he does not when the Mueller Report will be released and once again claimed the entire probe was a “witch hunt” pic.twitter.com/31VXHkjXBI

1.48pm GMT

Massachusetts Rep. Seth Moulton, long viewed as a rising star, is now on the outs in Washington after leading a faction that unsuccessfully sought to topple House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. And he’s struggling to gain traction with a potential presidential bid, the Boston Globe reports.

Moulton made a trip to South Carolina this week, where the Globe reports he drew an audience of 22 students at a time when even longshot candidates have drawn crowds of hundreds.

1.32pm GMT

The Supreme Court is set to consider North Carolina’s congressional district maps next week, in a case opponents hope will lead to the court’s first-ever ruling striking down a map is too partisan.

Bloomberg News reports on the case, which has arguments scheduled for Tuesday. The justices will consider both the North Carolina map, drawn by Republicans, and a Maryland map drawn by Democrats.

1.19pm GMT

Donald Trump offered some more insight into his decision to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, which has provoked global anger.

He compared it to his decision to move the US embassy to Jerusalem, noting past presidents have promised during their campaigns to move the embassy and recognize the Golan Heights but never followed through.

1.12pm GMT

Democratic presidential candidate Kirsten Gillibrand pitched her ideas to improve the asylum process while touring a law clinic at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas that helps immigrants with legal matters.

The Associated Press reports this morning on Thursday’s events:

The senator from New York kicked off her first presidential campaign trip to Nevada by meeting with immigration law students. The 2020 White House hopeful took notes while the students described the cases they’ve worked on and the problems they’ve encountered in the U.S. legal system as they try to help immigrants, including unaccompanied minors.

Gillibrand, who has stressed her role as a mother on the campaign trail, spoke to the students while she picked up and examined several small pieces of canvass with painted handprints of those unaccompanied children whose cases were handled by the clinic.

1.06pm GMT

A close reading of Donald Trump’s interview with Fox Business Network, where he again went after John McCain, suggests he may have been given some kind indication the network would not ask about the issue.

Trump suggests Fox promised him they wouldn’t ask about McCain

“I thought you weren’t supposed to bring it up.” pic.twitter.com/9R3Z0K1O1b

1.00pm GMT

Donald Trump ripped the Green New Deal as the “most preposterous thing” and said he hopes Democrats will move forward with it because it will hurt them politically.

Trump tore into the proposal to combat climate change in an interview with Fox Business Network that aired Friday morning.

12.49pm GMT

A federal judge in San Francisco will scrutinize the Trump administration’s policy of returning asylum seekers to Mexico during a court hearing Friday to help him decide whether to block the practice. The Associated Press reports:

Civil rights groups have asked Judge Richard Seeborg in San Francisco to put the asylum policy on hold while their lawsuit moves forward. Seeborg was not expected to rule immediately.

The policy began in January at the San Ysidro border crossing in San Diego, marking an unprecedented change to the U.S. asylum system . Families seeking asylum are typically released in the U.S. with notices to appear in immigration court.

12.47pm GMT

Donald Trump is heading for his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida Friday, where he’ll meet with Caribbean leaders to discuss the crisis in Venezuela.

Trump is scheduled to depart the White House at 9:30am and arrive at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida at 12:25pm.

12.39pm GMT

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein hinted last year that the Mueller report would not include harsh condemnation of anyone who has not been charged with a crime.

Talking Points Memo obtained a letter Rosenstein sent to Senator Chuck Grassley on June 27, 2018.

12.33pm GMT

As Washington braces yet again for the possible release of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report, Donald Trump is warning that “people will not stand for it” if the report portrays him badly.

The ominous warning came in an interview with Fox Business Network released Friday morning.

The #CNNStakeout team is up early outside Mueller’s office. They’re not alone . Like yesterday, more media present outside the office this morning. @FossumSamuel @emsteck

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Source: north-korea
Link : Mueller report: no new indictments recommended, says DoJ official – as it happened

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