5 things you need to know now
5 things you need to know now
  • Mueller report will reportedly be available within 'weeks'

  • Vote to override Trump's veto on national emergency fails in House

  • Senators vote against Green New Deal

  • Prosecutors drop all criminal charges against Jussie Smollett

  • Patriots owner Kraft pleads not guilty to solicitation

The Justice Department expects Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report on Russian interference in the 2016 election to be publicly available in "weeks, not months," CNN and NBC reported on Tuesday. Attorney General William Barr provided his summary of Mueller's findings on the Trump campaign's conduct and whether President Trump obstructed justice to Congress on Sunday, but lawmakers have demanded to see the full report. Several prominent Democrats called on Barr to release the report by April 2, but the DOJ hasn't said whether it will commit to that deadline. Barr said the report did not determine that Trump colluded with Russian interference, and Barr said there was insufficient evidence to bring further charges, though Mueller wrote that his findings did "not exonerate" the president.

Source: NBC News, CNN

President Trump's national emergency is still standing, after the House on Tuesday failed to override his veto on a resolution to block his declaration. Though some Republicans joined Democrats, there was no two-thirds majority among lawmakers who wanted to reverse Trump's veto, which he signed earlier this month. Trump declared a national emergency on the southern border, saying an influx of migrants and overloaded immigration system required additional measures like a border wall. Both the House and Senate voted for a resolution disapproving of the move, with many Republicans joining in the rebuke. In the first veto of his presidency, Trump shut down the resolution, and a vote to override his veto was expected to fail since the effort was largely led by Democrats, who have a slim majority in the House and are outnumbered in the Senate.

Source: Bloomberg

The Senate roundly defeated Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Ed Markey's (D-Mass.) Green New Deal on Tuesday, with 57 senators voting "no" and 43 voting "present." Every Republican voted against the non-binding climate resolution, and Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.), Kirsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), Doug Jones (D-Ala.), and Angus King (I-Maine) joined them. The Green New Deal calls for a dramatic overhaul of America's infrastructure to cut carbon emissions. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) called for the vote knowing it would be easily defeated, hoping it would put Democrats on the record as backing the controversial resolution. Some Democrats have publicly supported the proposal, but Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) called for them to vote "present" to avoid what he called a "stunt" by McConnell.

Source: NPR, Reuters

All charges against Empire actor Jussie Smollett were dropped on Tuesday, Smollett's lawyers said, saying "his record has been wiped clean." Smollett said earlier this year he had been physically attacked by two men who yelled racist and homophobic slurs in Chicago, prosecutors later charged him with filing a false report and said Smollett had invented the story to boost his profile. On Tuesday, his attorneys maintained that Smollett was attacked in January, and said he was a victim of Chicago officials who "vilified" him. Smollett maintained his innocence after he was hit with 16 felony counts last month.

Source: BuzzFeed News, CNN

Robert Kraft, the owner of the New England Patriots, pleaded not guilty to charges on two misdemeanor counts of first-degree solicitation on Tuesday. Prosecutors alleged last month that Kraft solicited a prostitute in Jupiter, Florida, saying they obtained video evidence but would drop the charges if he paid a fine and agreed to admit his guilt and do community service. Kraft apologized last week, but is now asking for a jury trial. Kraft could be assigned 100 hours of community service and a $5,000 fine if found guilty, as well as an unlikely sentence of up to a year in prison.

Source: ESPN
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