3 min read

Wake Up To Politics - April 12, 2019

I'm Gabe Fleisher, reporting live from WUTP World HQ in my bedroom. It’s Friday, April 12, 2019. 297 days until the 2020 Iowa caucuses. 571 days until Election Day 2020. Have comments, questions, suggestions, or tips? Email me at gabe@wakeuptopolitics.com.

Report: White House proposed releasing migrants in sanctuary cities

Via The Washington Post...

"White House officials have tried to pressure U.S. immigration authorities to release detainees onto the streets of “sanctuary cities” to retaliate against President Trump’s political adversaries, according to Department of Homeland Security officials and email messages reviewed by The Washington Post."

"Trump administration officials have proposed transporting detained immigrants to sanctuary cities at least twice in the past six months — once in November, as a migrant caravan approached the U.S. southern border, and again in February, amid a standoff with Democrats over funding for Trump’s border wall."

"House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s district in San Francisco was among those the White House wanted to target, according to DHS officials. The administration also considered releasing detainees in other Democratic strongholds."

"White House officials first broached the plan in a Nov. 16 email, asking officials at several agencies whether members of the caravan could be arrested at the border and then bused “to small- and mid-sized sanctuary cities,” places where local authorities have refused to hand over illegal immigrants for deportation."

"The White House told U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement that the plan was intended to alleviate a shortage of detention space but also served to send a message to Democrats. The attempt at political retribution raised alarm within ICE, with a top official responding that it was rife with budgetary and liability concerns, and noting that 'there are PR risks as well.'"

"After the White House pressed again in February, ICE’s legal department rejected the idea as inappropriate and rebuffed the administration."

A trio of indictments

Assange: "WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been charged with helping the former Army intelligence specialist Chelsea Manning access Defense Department computers in 2010 in an effort to disclose secret government documents, the US Justice Department announced Thursday morning, hours after Assange was forcibly removed by authorities from the Ecuadoran embassy in London." (CNN)

Craig: "In an indictment that seized the attention of the capital’s K Street lobbying corridor, Gregory B. Craig, a White House counsel in the Obama administration, was charged on Thursday with lying to the Justice Department and concealing information about work he did in 2012 for the government of Ukraine. The indictment of Mr. Craig, 74, stemmed from an investigation initiated by the office of the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III." (The New York Times)

Avenatti: "Michael Avenatti, former attorney for Stormy Daniels, has been indicted by a federal grand jury in California on 36 counts, including embezzling from a paraplegic, court documents released Thursday show. Avenatti, 48, faces charges of wire fraud, failure to collect and withhold payroll taxes, attempting to obstruct the IRS, failing to file tax returns, aggravated identity fraud, bank fraud and false testimony under oath during bankruptcy." (NBC News)

Cain expected to withdraw from Fed consideration

Herman Cain is expected to withdraw his name from consideration for the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, ABC News reports.

President Trump announced last week that he planned to nominate Cain, the former CEO of Godfather's Pizza and a 2012 Republican presidential candidate, and conservative economist Stephen Moore — both political allies of his — to seats on the traditionally-politically-independent board. Neither has been formally nominated by the president.

Cain's prospective nomination, in particular, sparked opposition from Senate Republicans; by Thursday, four had announced plans to vote against the appointment, enough to sink his chances of confirmation (as long as he received no support from Senate Democrats). Sens. Kevin Cramer (ND), Cory Gardner (CO), Lisa Murkowski (AK), and Mitt Romney (UT) were the Republicans who announced plans to oppose Cain.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) publicly offered blunt advice to the White House on Thursday on nominations. "There are two things the administration ought to consider before nominating someone: first a background check and second, likelihood of confirmation. And generally better to check that up in advance before you send that nomination up," he said. “There are a number of members...who had some reservations about some of the names that have been mentioned."

Do you like Wake Up To Politics? Share it with your colleagues, friends, and family! Please forward this newsletter to them and tell them to sign up at wakeuptopolitics.com/subscribe!

White House schedule

POTUS: At 11:30 a.m., President Trump receives his intelligence briefing. At 2:25 p.m., he delivers remarks on 5G deployment in the United States. At 3:15 p.m., he meets with the Fraternal Order of Police Executive Board.

Congress schedule

Neither chamber of Congress is in session today. House Democrats have decamped to Leesburg, Virginia for their annual caucus retreat, as they mark their 100th day since reclaiming the House majority today.

Supreme Court schedule

The justices meet for their weekly Friday conference.

*All times Eastern

Thanks so much to everyone who has already filled out the Wake Up To Politics podcast survey! If you didn't have a chance to weigh in, you can find the survey here.