New law used to keep shooting plot suspect from getting gun

RUTLAND, Vt. (AP) - A day after Vermont's governor signed a package of gun control measures , one of the new laws was used to keep a school shooting plot suspect from possessing dangerous weapons.

A superior court judge signed an extreme risk protection order Thursday saying Jack Sawyer, 18, ...

Scooter Libby, Bush official, pardoned by Trump for obstruction of justice

President Trump issued a pardon Friday to former Vice President Dick Cheney's top aide, saying his 2007 conviction for obstructing the probe into the leaking of a CIA operative's identity, saying the conviction now appears to be tainted.

The decision to grant clemency to I. "Scooter" Lewis Libby is likely ...

Poll: Slim majority supports single-payer health care

Just over half of U.S. adults back single-payer health care, according to a poll released Friday that says the idea of government-run health care is still a partisan issue but finds favor with enough independents to produce a slim majority of public support.

All told, 51 percent of adults support ...

Trump issues pardon for Scooter Libby

President Trump on Friday pardoned I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, the former Bush administration official convicted in the investigation into the leak of a CIA officer's identity."I don't know Mr....

Yates warns Trump against impeding special counsel probe

NEW YORK (AP) - Sally Yates, the former acting U.S. attorney general, said Friday that she is just as concerned President Donald Trump might fire Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein as she is that he might move against Robert Mueller, the special counsel leading a Justice Department probe into Russian ...

John Lewis to throw Washington Nationals first pitch on Jackie Robinson Day

Rep. John Lewis, Georgia Democrat representing the state's 5th Congressional District, will throw out the first pitch Sunday for the Washington Nationals on Jackie Robinson Day, the team announced Friday.

Although Robinson was not the first black baseball player to play in the majors, Major League Baseball celebrates April 15 ...

Former CIA chief Brennan says Trump’s presidency is ‘collapsing’

Former CIA director John Brennan taunted President Trump on social media Friday that his presidency is "collapsing."

"Your kakistocracy is collapsing after its lamentable journey," Mr. Brennan tweeted at the president. "As the greatest Nation history has known, we have the opportunity to emerge from this nightmare stronger & more ...

The Latest: Valerie Plame denounces potential Libby pardon

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Latest on "Scooter" Libby (all times local):

11:15 a.m.

Former CIA operative Valerie Plame says President Donald Trump's plans to pardon I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby send a message "that you can commit crimes against national security and you will be pardoned."

Plame was exposed as a ...

Lawyers For Michael Cohen, Joined By Trump, Fight To Halt Government Review Of Searched Evidence

Mark Wilson / Getty Images

Lawyers for Michael Cohen, joined by a lawyer representing President Donald Trump, were in federal court Friday morning, asking a federal judge to halt review of the evidence seized in the searches against Cohen earlier this week.

The concerns raised by Cohen and Trump's lawyers surround the attorney-client privilege and how items seized in Monday's searches should be reviewed, and by whom.

"The dispute before the court is who should make the determination" on attorney-client privilege, US District Judge Kimba Wood noted as the hearing began, but matters quickly got delayed when an attorney for Trump sought more time to review the government's filing in the matter.

Cohen, Trump's longtime personal attorney, was the subject of widely publicized search warrants that were executed at his office, home, and Manhattan hotel room on April 9.

Attorneys from the Southern District of New York (SDNY) US Attorney's Office represented the prosecution in the hearing before Wood on Friday, the first official confirmation that SDNY is running the investigation that led to the warrants against Cohen.

In the hearing, the prosecutors made clear their preference to review the seized materials for privilege by using a "taint team," lawyers from the US Attorney's Office who are uninvolved in the investigation or prosecution of the matter, to review the materials.

Cohen, on the other hand, is asking the court to appoint a special master to review the materials for attorney-client privilege — before anyone from the US Attorney's Office would do so. Cohen was represented at the hearing by Todd Harrison, one of his lawyers from McDermott Will and Emery.

Trump's lawyer, however, was — at this point — just asking for more time. Joanna Hendon, a partner at Spears and Imes, said that she had only been retained by Trump on Wednesday evening.

"This is the president of the United States," Hendon told Wood, arguing that, as the privilege-holder, he should be involved in the proceedings. "These interests are so weighty."

Wood has given Trump until 11 a.m. Monday to let the court know if the president will be making any argument different than that being advanced by Cohen regarding the treatment of the seized materials.

The hearing itself was continued until 2 p.m. Monday.

Another hearing on a secondary issue — whether the transcript of a sidebar discussion with the lawyers and the judge from Friday morning's hearing should be made public — is set for later today, at 2 p.m. Friday.

One of Cohen's lawyers, Stephen Ryan, previously said that the warrants were sought by the SDNY US Attorney's Office upon a referral from Special Counsel Robert Mueller's office. The special counsel's office has not, however, commented on the matter.

Friday's 10:30 a.m. proceeding was announced by the court late Thursday night, but no additional information was given at that time.

This is a developing story. Please check back at BuzzFeed News for the latest.

NRA endorses Casey Cagle, Georgia politician who led fight against Delta

ATLANTA (AP) — The National Rifle Association has endorsed Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle in the Georgia governor's race, two months after Cagle publicly vowed to punish Delta Air Lines for cutting business ties with the NRA.

In a news release Thursday, the NRA said Cagle had "never wavered" from his ...

House votes to let ‘Dreamers’ continue to get licenses

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - The state House of Representatives has voted to let "Dreamers" in Rhode Island continue to get driving licenses, regardless of federal action.

The House voted Thursday to extend protections for Rhode Island recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, better known as DACA. Dreamers ...

Editorials from around New England

Editorials from around New England:

___

VERMONT

The Caledonian-Record

April 11

A recent decision by the United States Department of Commerce - to impose duties on Canadian newsprint imports - could end up killing many of America's last remaining newspapers.

The move followed a complaint by a single paper mill ...

Ada County lifts gun show ban at Expo Idaho

BOISE, Idaho (AP) - Ada County officials will allow gun shows again at the Boise-area fairgrounds after a ban was imposed on the events more than two years ago.

The Idaho Statesman reports county commissioners on Tuesday adopted a new set of rules that aim to make gun shows safer ...

Joe Biden’s Establishment Politics Playbook

Jeff Swensen / Getty Images

Joe Biden hasn’t decided whether he’s running for president, but he has assembled a coalition of 30 of some of the biggest names in Washington last month to help shape his domestic policy, from union presidents to former top Obama administration officials to bank officials.

Announced last month, the Biden Institute’s new Policy Advisory Board is the next major piece in what is shaping up to look like a very familiar playbook: a potential presidential run rooted in old-school, establishment politics, capitalizing on his broad popularity among Americans and vast experience in politics. It’s also a sign of what might be a weakness for Biden in a potential primary.

People close to Biden maintain he has made no decisions about whether to challenge Trump in 2020. But the work he is doing now, they say, is with a goal of keeping options open in the event of a presidential run. Said one former Biden adviser, “He’s building out a host of different pieces, and he’s definitely doing that with an eye towards the presidency and the future.”

Though many of Policy Advisory Board members say joining doesn’t mean they’re signing on to support him if he runs for president, the adviser said, “They have to know what they’re doing to some extent. It doesn’t lock them to him, but it certainly encourages them to stay close to him.”

The list of names, with the occasional exception, offers a glimpse of the people that would be likely to orient themselves around Biden in the event of a run: corporate leaders, union bosses, and longtime Obama allies.

There’s senior Obama adviser David Plouffe; former acting Attorney General Sally Yates; top executives at Edelman, JP Morgan Chase, and Morgan Stanley; and the presidents of the Service Employees International Union, the United Farm Workers, and the International Association of Firefighters. There is also Steve Schmidt, a prominent Republican campaign strategist, and former hedge fund boss Eric Mindich.

In a sign of what Biden might face in a presidential primary, though, some progressives see Biden’s advisers as a sign of a candidate that is too centrist, closely tied to corporate and party interests.

“I think this is a missed opportunity for the former vice president, particularly if he’s thinking of running,” said Jim Dean, the chair of Democracy for America, a progressive PAC, of the advisory board. “Most of these folks have corporate-driven missions — they’re funded by big business. The folks that really need to be on a panel like this right now are people that you and I have not heard of that are living the reality that most Americans live on.”

More than a half-dozen members sidestepped questions from BuzzFeed News about whether they wanted the former vice president to run in 2020. Asked if SEIU president Mary Kay Henry had joined in part because she thinks Biden should consider a run, a spokesman said she joined because Biden was "a leader in how we develop and implement public policies that ensure the dignity of all working people."

Many cited longstanding personal commitments to Biden, and a belief that on the issue of the economy and working-class jobs, he speaks uniquely to the kinds of voters that the Democratic Party lost to Trump in 2016.

“The first reason I joined is out of personal loyalty to Biden,” said Larry Summers, a top Obama economic adviser and the former president of Harvard. “The second reason I did it was I think that he’s very focused on what I think is probably the central economic issue for the future of our country — which is improving the lives of working people.”

If he does run, Biden will also likely face some sharp critiques of his 1990s record, from his past role in the 1995 crime bill and the Anita Hill hearings, to his relative political centrism. At a time when the political forces favor opposition, Biden likes to talk about compromise.

Dean, of Democracy for America, said Biden’s advisers were unlikely to consider how closely the vice president’s economic concerns were tied to issues of racial justice.

Biden “comes from working-class roots, and we don’t question that, but times are not the same as when he was going through them,” Dean said. “There’s a racial lens to this that wasn’t as present during the vice president’s time growing up in Scranton.”

Bianchi, the board’s chair and a longtime Biden ally, said the group planned to begin by tackling civil rights issues, adding that "racial economic justice was discussed at length in the initial meeting."

In the year and a half Biden has been out of office, he’s created a network of initiatives that play to his probable strengths: the Penn-Biden Center, which studies foreign policy and diplomacy, including a growing interest in trade issues and problems of globalization, on which Biden has been vocal. There’s the “cancer moonshot,” the Biden Cancer Initiative, which was born out of Biden’s wrenching personal history with his son’s death from cancer in 2015, and the Biden Foundation, which focuses on the social issues he’s kept close — namely gay rights and violence against women.

At the Foundation, those issues have their own new advisory boards, too, stocked with activists and names like Cyndi Lauper and Judy Shepard, Matthew Shepard's mother.

There’s also Biden's book, Promise Me, Dad; the next leg of his drawn-out book tour, in May, is taking him to many of the red states where people have speculated Democrats have a chance of overperforming in 2018 and beyond — Georgia and Tennessee, as well as North Carolina.

The Biden Institute, at the University of Delaware, does domestic policy work — particularly the economic issues that are Biden’s bread and butter. But it will also tackle things like criminal justice and environmental issues, said Bianchi.

The Institute’s advisory board is stocked with longtime Biden loyalists, like the president of the powerful International Association of Firefighters, Harold Schaitberger. The IAFF threw itself in support of a Biden run in 2015, before he had made any formal announcements. When he said he would not run, the union waited months to support Clinton.

This time, Schaitberger said, the situation is much the same. “I wouldn’t want to get in front of my membership or my leadership, but if Joe Biden decided to offer himself up in service to the country, we’d be hard-pressed not to support him,” he said.

But most declined to even allude to supporting Biden if he ran. “I haven’t picked a horse yet,” said Deepak Gupta, a top attorney and Institute board member who has led cases against the Trump administration. Like just a small number of people in the Democratic Party, he said, Biden “has the ability to speak to working-class Americans in a way that resonates with them.”

Schaitberger and others on the board described a Democratic Party adrift — and Biden as one of the few people who could right it by refocusing the party on economic issues.

“Hopefully we’re going to see the political community getting their voice back and start speaking again to workers, and moving away from some of the identity politics stuff,” Schaitberger said. Biden is “clearly a voice that knows how to speak to workers.”

“I know by January, I have to make that decision,” Biden said in a speech at Vanderbilt University on Tuesday. “If God Almighty himself came down today and said, 'The nomination is yours,' I’d say no. Where I'll be in eight months, I don’t know. In the meantime, I'll do everything I can to be sure we elect a Democratic Congress.”