The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump ramps up fight by asserting executive privilege

The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump ramps up fight by asserting executive privilege
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--> A midday take on what's happening in politics and how to have a sense of humor about it.*

*Ha. Haha. Hahah. Sniff. Haha. Sniff. Ha--breaks down crying hysterically.

 

The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump asserts executive privilege over Mueller report | House panel voting to hold Barr in contempt | Trump calls NYT story on his taxes 'highly inaccurate Fake News' | What we know about Trump's business losses | DNC in tough spot as debates near | Trump to hold Florida rally this evening | Prince Harry, Meghan Markle name son Archie

  

HAPPENING NOW

Democrats: This ain't over yet!:

The House Judiciary Committee is expected to vote to hold Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrUkrainian officials and Giuliani are sharing back-channel campaign information: report Will Democrats be up to the task of publicly interviewing Mueller? A question for Robert Mueller MORE in contempt of Congress. http://bit.ly/2V8WsvV

Why: Because Barr's Justice Department refused to give Congress an unredacted version of special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerThis week: Mueller dominates chaotic week on Capitol Hill Top Republican considered Mueller subpoena to box in Democrats Kamala Harris says her Justice Dept would have 'no choice' but to prosecute Trump for obstruction MORE's Russia report.

Livestream of the hearing: https://cs.pn/2vHZH3h

Live blog of updates: http://bit.ly/2V8WsvV

Tidbit -- five minutes before the hearing started: No Democrats had taken their seats. Photo: http://bit.ly/2LueQjf

 

EARLIER THIS MORNING FROM PELOSI:

House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiPelosi, Mnuchin reach 'near-final agreement' on budget, debt ceiling Wendy Davis launches bid for Congress in Texas Steyer calls on Pelosi to cancel 'six-week vacation' for Congress MORE (D-Calif.) said Attorney General William Barr should be held in contempt of Congress. What about impeaching Barr?: Pelosi said impeachment of the attorney general is not "off the table." http://bit.ly/2Yi52ul

Pelosi also weighed in on Trump's impeachment: "Every single day the president is making a case -- he's becoming self-impeachable, in terms of some of the things he's doing." http://bit.ly/2vKAdCf

 

WHAT DO THEY WANT? AN INVESTIGATION! WHEN DO THEY WANT IT? NOW!:

Via The Hill's Jordain Carney, Democrats are trying to convince the Justice Department's inspector general to investigate Attorney General William Barr over his handling of special counsel Robert Mueller's report. http://bit.ly/2VSHb6Q

 

Trump hit the 'Executive Privilege' button:

Via The Hill's Morgan Chalfant and Jordan Fabian, "President TrumpDonald John TrumpChelsea Clinton announces birth of third child Ukrainian officials and Giuliani are sharing back-channel campaign information: report Trump attacks 'the Squad' as 'racist group of troublemakers' MORE has asserted executive privilege over special counsel Robert Mueller's unredacted report and the underlying evidence, the Justice Department said Wednesday." http://bit.ly/2VrcupV

Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd wrote in a letter: "We are disappointed that you have rejected the Department of Justice's request to delay the vote of the Committee on the Judiciary on a contempt finding against the Attorney General this morning. ... Accordingly, this is to advise you that the President has asserted executive privilege over the entirety of the subpoenaed materials." http://bit.ly/2VrcupV

  

It's Wednesday. I'm Cate Martel with a quick recap of the morning and what's coming up. Send comments, story ideas and events for our radar to cmartel@thehill.com -- and follow along on Twitter @CateMartel and Facebook.

Did someone forward this to you? Want your own copy? Sign up here to receive The Hill's 12:30 Report in your inbox daily: http://bit.ly/2kjMNnn

  

GETTING TRACTION

The New York Times obtained Trump's old taxes and Trump is not pleased: 

The New York Times's Russ Buettner and Susanne Craig obtained President Trump's tax information from 1985 to 1994. https://nyti.ms/2J8dKI0

What we know: "Year after year, Mr. Trump appears to have lost more money than nearly any other individual American taxpayer, The Times found when it compared his results with detailed information the I.R.S. compiles on an annual sampling of high-income earners. His core business losses in 1990 and 1991 -- more than $250 million each year -- were more than double those of the nearest taxpayers in the I.R.S. information for those years."

And did not have to pay income taxes: "Trump lost so much money that he was able to avoid paying income taxes for eight of the 10 years."

Keep in mind: This tax information is not from the years that congressional Democrats are demanding. Democrats want Trump's last 10 years of returns.

Read the full report: https://nyti.ms/2J8dKI0

  

AND IN CLASSIC NEW YORK TIMES STYLE:

The Times published five takeaways from its own reporting:  

  1. "Mr. Trump was deep in the red even as he peddled deal-making advice.
  2. In multiple years, he appears to have lost more money than nearly any other individual taxpayer.
  3. He paid no federal income taxes for eight of the 10 years.
  4. He made millions posing as a corporate raider -- until investors realized he never followed through.
  5. His interest income spiked in 1989 at $52.9 million, but the source is a mystery."

Explanations for each: https://nyti.ms/2PRFXDA

 

This morning -- the reaction we were all waiting for:

President Trump reacted to the New York Times report, calling the reporting "a highly inaccurate Fake News hit job." http://bit.ly/2VOd80d

Trump's explanation of the reporting: "Real estate developers in the 1980's & 1990's, more than 30 years ago, were entitled to massive write offs and depreciation which would, if one was actively building, show losses and tax losses in almost all cases. Much was non monetary. Sometimes considered 'tax shelter,' you would get it by building, or even buying. You always wanted to show losses for tax purposes....almost all real estate developers did -- and often re-negotiate with banks, it was sport. Additionally, the very old information put out is a highly inaccurate Fake News hit job!" http://bit.ly/2YhYXy1

  

T-MINUS 50 DAYS

It's almost 2020 debate season:

Via The Hill's Jonathan Easley, with just 50 days until first the presidential primary debate, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) is in a tough spot. http://bit.ly/2VS4zl1

The DNC is trying to be accommodating: "Democrats interviewed by The Hill say the DNC has been as transparent and inclusive as possible in putting together the first round of debates -- a far cry from 2016, when the national party was accused of limiting and burying the forums in an effort to pave the way for former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonChelsea Clinton announces birth of third child Ukrainian officials and Giuliani are sharing back-channel campaign information: report A question for Robert Mueller MORE's nomination."

Yeah, but: "The massive field of contenders vying for the 20 spots on stage next month in Miami has placed the spotlight back on the DNC as it seeks to accommodate the largest and most diverse field of primary contenders in history."

  

IN OTHER NEWS

A school shooting in Colorado:

Via The Associated Press, "Two students opened fire Tuesday inside a charter school in an affluent suburb of Denver not far from Columbine High School, killing a teenager, wounding eight and spreading terror before they were taken into custody, authorities said." http://bit.ly/2PTSIO3

The school: "The public charter school that focuses on science, technology, engineering and math has more than 1,850 students in kindergarten through 12th grade." 

Timing: The shooting happened one week after two students were killed and four wounded at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. It also happened three weeks after Colorado marked the 20th anniversary of the shooting at the neighboring Columbine High School.

 

OVER THE POND

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle introduce their baby boy!:

Earlier today, the former Meghan Markle and Prince Harry stood in a hall at Windsor Castle and introduced their new baby to the world. http://bit.ly/2H7flKR

Just announced -- the baby's name: Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor – That rolls off the tongue. http://bit.ly/2vKIPJ9

From Markle: "It's pretty amazing. I have the two best guys in the world, so I'm really happy." She also described motherhood as "magic." 

On the baby's temperament: "He has the sweetest temperament. He's really calm," Meghan said.

^Then Harry jumped in: "I wonder who he gets that from."

Watch the full remarks with their new baby -- this is too cute: http://bit.ly/2WCtF4F 

What a happy little family: 

Photo of the queen meeting baby Archie: Awwwww. http://bit.ly/2Vlsg5I

Tidbit: Here's what happens to gifts sent to the new baby: http://bit.ly/2Ja103u

  

NOTABLE TWEETS 

This has to be a joke:

Here's the back story to the water venture: https://nym.ag/2VRvv4e

 

ON TAP

The House and Senate are in.

Not happening today: First daughter Ivanka TrumpIvana (Ivanka) Marie TrumpTrump steps up attacks on 'Squad' after post-rally furor Trump says he doesn't care if attacks on 'Squad' hurt him politically EXCLUSIVE: Career officials rebut claims of White House interference in security clearance process MORE canceled a scheduled appearance in Colorado after a school shooting in the Denver area. http://bit.ly/2VnDyGx 

11:30 a.m. EDT: President Trump held a Cabinet meeting.

1:30 p.m. EDT: First and last votes in the House.

3:25 p.m. EDT: President Trump leaves the White House for Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida.

6:15 p.m. EDT: President Trump tours areas affected by Hurricane Michael.

12:20 a.m. EDT Thursday: President Trump gets back to the White House.

May 16: The Hill is hosting an event on the future of work, "Workers and The Innovation Age." Featured speakers: Sens. Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownThe Hill's Morning Report - A raucous debate on race ends with Trump admonishment On The Money: Senators unload on Facebook cryptocurrency | Tech giants on defensive at antitrust hearing | Democrats ask Labor Department to investigate Amazon warehouses Hillicon Valley: Senators unload on Facebook cryptocurrency plan | Trump vows to 'take a look' at Google's ties to China | Google denies working with China's military | Tech execs on defensive at antitrust hearing | Bill would bar business with Huawei MORE (D-Ohio) and Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanFighting the opioid epidemic: Congress can't just pass laws, but must also push to enforce them The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by JUUL Labs - House to vote to condemn Trump tweet Rising number of GOP lawmakers criticize Trump remarks about minority Dems MORE (R-Ohio); Reps. Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-Del.) and Tim WalbergTimothy (Tim) Lee WalbergPro-trade group targets Democratic leadership in push for new NAFTA The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Pass USMCA Coalition - Restrictive state abortion laws ignite fiery 2020 debate On The Money: Mnuchin signals officials won't release Trump tax returns | Trump to hold off on auto tariffs | WH nears deal with Mexico, Canada on metal tariffs | GOP fears trade war fallout for farmers | Warren, regulator spar over Wells Fargo MORE (R-Mich.); and Megan J. Smith, founder and CEO of Shift7 and former U.S. chief technology officer. Details and how to RSVP: http://bit.ly/2H9NHhq

  

WHAT TO WATCH

2:30 p.m. EDT: A Senate Judiciary subcommittee is holding a hearing on border security. Livestream: https://cs.pn/2Vo8bMb

4 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence speaks at the Federalist Society's Seventh Annual Executive Branch Review Conference at The Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C. Livestream: http://bit.ly/2J9mGwF

8 p.m. EDT: President Trump holds a campaign rally in Panama Beach, Fla. Livestream: https://cs.pn/2VVwVus

 

NOW FOR THE FUN STUFF...

Today is National Coconut Cream Pie Day.

 

And because you made it this far, here's one of the best dog smiles I've seen in a while: http://bit.ly/2V9am1h