Trump’s Syria Strike Was Best Choice Amid Bad Options

Miller & Sokolsky, USA Today
Friday night’s U.S., British and French missile strikes against three sites associated with Syrian chemical weapons will not change the battlefield balance in Syria, bring us closer to ending Syria’s violence, or perhaps even deter Bashar Assad over time from using chemical weapons.

Comey’s Blistering Interview About Donald Trump

Amy Sorkin, The New Yorker
"I don’t know whether folks notice this, but, in Washington, Democrats tend to wear blue—men tend to wear blue ties. Republicans tend to wear red ties,” James Comey, the former director of the F.B.I., told George Stephanopoulos in an interview, sections of which were aired on “20/20,” on Sunday night (ABC News posted other clips and a full transcript online). Comey, whose six-feet-eight-inch frame seemed folded into his chair, didn’t wear any tie for the interview. Stephanopoulos had just asked Comey about how he’d decided what to put on for the press...

APNewsBreak: California rejects border duties for troops

SAN DIEGO (AP) - California has rejected the federal government's initial plans for National Guard troops to the border because the work is considered too closely tied to immigration enforcement, two U.S. officials told The Associated Press.

The state informed federal officials it will not allow its troops to fix ...

Michael Cohen Is In Court Over Materials The FBI Seized In A Criminal Investigation

Michael Cohen

Mary Altaffer / AP

President Donald Trump's longtime personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, arrived at the federal court in Manhattan on Monday afternoon for a hearing relating to materials seized from his home, office, and hotel room.

This is the second day of hearings in the case. On Friday, US District Judge Kimba Wood demanded Cohen appear on Monday — creating a frenzy of reporters outside the courthouse in lower Manhattan. Michael Avenatti, the lawyer for Stormy Daniels, who is suing Cohen in a separate case, also came to court. "It's a Stormy day," he told reporters before going inside.

Daniels is also expected to be in attendance.

Cohen is asking Wood for an order allowing his lawyers or a special master appointed by the court to first review the materials before anyone from the US Attorney's Office in the Southern District of New York — which executed the warrant — does so.

The US Attorney's Office has proposed to use a so-called "taint team" to conduct the initial review — lawyers from the office who are not involved in the Cohen investigation — to determine what, if any material, should be shielded from the investigators because it is protected by attorney-client or another privilege.

Cohen's lawyers from McDermott Will and Emery, however, argue that appointing a special master would "avoid even a hint of impropriety here in the review of Mr. Cohen’s data and documents."

Trump has also brought in his own lawyers from Spears and Imes to protect his interests as one of Cohen's clients. They, in a filing on Sunday night, made clear that they believe Cohen and Trump's lawyers should receive copies of the seized materials to make their own assessment of which documents are privileged.

Although the issue of who gets the initial review of the seized materials is the primary focus of the hearing, Wood at the first set of hearings on Cohen's request this past Friday made it clear that she wanted to a list of Cohen's claimed clients. That request came as a result of Cohen's lawyer at the hearing, Todd Harrison, claiming that "thousands" of documents involved would be protected by attorney-client privilege. Wood pushed back against the claim, asking for information about his clients.

In a Monday morning filing, Cohen claimed only three legal clients since leaving his job at the Trump Organization in January 2017 and operating as a solo practitioner: Trump; GOP fundraiser Elliott Broidy; and a third, unnamed individual.

Donald Trump admits ‘not all’ of his Cabinet picks were so hot

President Trump engaged in a bit of rare self-criticism about the quality of his Cabinet Monday while praising two of his top economic advisers, Labor Secretary Alex Acosta and Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin.

Introducing Mr. Mnuchin and Mr. Acosta at a roundtable discussion on the economy in Hialeah, Florida, ...

Government watchdog groups renew call for Albany reforms

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Government watchdog groups are renewing their call on Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the New York state Legislature to agree on measures that will strengthen transparency and crack down on corruption.

Members of six groups on Monday called on Cuomo, the Republican-led Senate and the Democrat-controlled ...

The Latest: Blagojevich wife disappointed in court decision

CHICAGO (AP) - The Latest on Supreme Court refusing to take up Rod Blagojevich's appeal; (all times local):

12:30 p.m.

The wife of imprisoned former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich says she and their two children are disappointed that the Supreme Court decided not to hear her husband's appeal of his ...

The Latest: Colorado teachers push for more school funding

DENVER (AP) - The Latest on Colorado teachers pushing for more funding for schools (all times local):

11:40 a.m.

Dozens of Colorado teachers are at the state Capitol pushing for more money for schools.

They rallied outside the building Monday, holding signs and chanting slogans like "You left me no ...

Judge tells Italy to release aid group’s migrant rescue boat

MADRID (AP) - An Italian judge has ordered Italy to release a Spanish aid group's rescue ship that was impounded for taking 218 migrants to Italy, finding that the ship was operating in an emergency when it launched the rescue, the group said Monday.

Proactiva Open Arms said the ship ...

Lawyers: Journalist was detained by ICE because of reporting

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - Lawyers for a journalist who was arrested in Tennessee and then placed in an immigration detention facility say the government was trying to suppress his reporting and violated his rights of freedom of speech and the press.

Attorneys have asked a federal court to release Manuel ...

Trump admits mistakes with Cabinet picks

President Trump on Monday conceded he made mistakes in assembling his Cabinet, which has already seen three departures.Trump made the rare admission while praising Labor Secretary Alex Acosta and Treasury Secretary...

Missouri ethics nominees: No promises made to Greitens

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Gov. Eric Greitens' two nominees to the Missouri Ethics Commission say they did not promise anything to anybody in exchange for their nominations.

The governor nominated former Democratic state representative Wayne Henke and retired financial analyst and Republican Bill Birkes to the ethics commission Friday.

...

White House says Trump still wants to remove U.S. troops from Syria

President Trump hailed the success of the U.S.-led missiles strikes on Syria Monday, boasting that the Russian military was unable to shoot down even one of the allies' missiles last weekend.

"With over 100 missiles shot in, they [Russia and Syria] didn't shoot one down," Mr. Trump said to cheers ...

Donald Trump watched portions of James Comey’s interview, White House says

President Trump watched "bits and pieces" of fired FBI Director James B. Comey's network television interview and didn't learn anything, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Monday.

Mr. Trump "didn't watch the whole thing" of Mr. Comey's hourlong appearance with ABC News' George Stephanopolous, she told reporters.

"We ...

EPA’s Pruitt broke law with $43,000 phone booth: Report

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt broke the law by building a soundproof $43,000 phone booth in his office and not telling lawmakers about it, a federal watchdog said Monday in a report that calls on the agency to immediately acknowledge that it violated federal statutes.

In its report, the Government Accountability ...