Step one: cleanse the skin?
Lawmakers, friends, colleagues and family members memorialized President George H.W. Bush in Washington on Wednesday.
The public mourning for the 41st president included a number of reminders of a way politics used to happen — or at least how it seems like it used to happen. Here’s what The New Yorker’s Susan Glasser wrote about the service:
George H. W. Bush became so close to Bill Clinton, who defeated him in the 1992 Presidential election, that George W. Bush included Clinton in a list of the late President’s “sons by another mother.” Bush the elder was almost certainly not a brilliant politician, and we can leave it to historians to debate whether [Bush biographer Jon] Meacham, in his brilliant tribute to the President, was overly generous in eulogizing Bush as “America’s last great soldier-statesman” and a “twentieth-century founding father.” But, whether or not he was great, few seem to doubt that he was good. What better respite from the news could there be in today’s Washington?
In the Mueller investigation, investigators recommended that former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn serve no jail time, due to his cooperation with investigators.
Take a look at some of the documents from the court filing:
Prosecutors credit Flynn with agreeing to cooperate early, saying it “likely affected the decisions of related firsthand witnesses to be forthcoming with the [special counsel office] and cooperate” https://t.co/Ty1nlrZAm2 pic.twitter.com/I8WJbj5xKU
— Zoe Tillman (@ZoeTillman) December 5, 2018
What could Michael Flynn have shared with investigators to get no jail time?
The killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi continues to polarize Capitol Hill. Senator Lindsay Graham said, after a briefing by CIA chief Gina Haspel, that he was certain that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was involved.
From NBC News:
“There’s not a smoking gun — there’s a smoking saw,” Graham said after leaving an intelligence briefing by CIA director Gina Haspel for a small group of senators. “You have to be willfully blind not to come to the conclusion that this was orchestrated and organized by people under the command of MBS and that he was intricately involved in the demise of Mr. Khashoggi.”
The Washington Post also reported this week that a lobbyist, funded by the Saudis, reserved 500 rooms at the Trump hotel in Washington, D.C. shortly after Trump’s election in 2016. The Post reported that the lobbyists spent around $270,000 to purchase these rooms.
In Alabama, an independent autopsy revealed that EJ Bradford, a black man, was shot from behind by police. The killing on Thanksgiving evening has made headlines because police originally blamed Bradford for escalating a conflict at a mall. The police department has retracted that statement.
How are Bradford’s family, and the police department, responding to the autopsy results?
This week, The New York Times continued to detail years of alleged abuse by former CBS Chief Executive Les Moonves, including allegations of sexual misconduct that have not previously been reported. Moonves is up for a $120 million severance package, but a new report from lawyers hired by CBS says the company has justification to deny the sum.
From the Times’ report:
Investigators wrote that they had found that Mr. Moonves “received oral sex from at least 4 CBS employees under circumstances that sound transactional and improper to the extent that there was no hint of any relationship, romance, or reciprocity (especially given what we know about his history of more or less forced oral sex with women with whom he has no ongoing relationship).”
Most of the Moonves allegations happened many years ago, according to the reports. CBS is the most-watched television network, and Moonves was once a tremendously powerful figure in the entertainment industry.
The Miami Herald reported this week about a deal that President Trump’s Labor Secretary, Alexander Acosta, cut with lawyers for multi-millionaire Jeffery Epstein. Epstein is accused of “assembling a large, cult-like network of underage girls — with the help of young female recruiters — to coerce into having sex acts behind the walls of his opulent waterfront mansion as often as three times a day, the Town of Palm Beach police found,” according to the Herald. Epstein served 13 months in county jail and an FBI investigation into his crimes was stopped.
Epstein issued a public apology on Thursday, although his victims say that it’s not enough. “I’m still waiting for our apology for ruining our lives and taking away the innocence from every one of us,’’ Michelle Licata, told The Herald.
We’re taking you into the weekend with the news that made headlines around the country.
Text by Gabrielle Healy.
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Preet Bharara is the former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York.