January 11, 2019

As President Trump looks set to declare a national emergency in an attempt to fund his proposed border wall, the question on everyone's mind is: Can he get away with that? Two legal experts from Fox News and CNN have some opinions on the matter — and they're the opposite of what you might expect from each network.

First up is Fox News' Andrew Napolitano, who argued both on-air and in an op-ed that Trump's attempt to get around Congress to fund the wall by diverting funds set aside for other purposes won't fly.

"The Supreme Court has made it very clear, even in times of emergency, the president of the United States of America cannot spend money unless it has been authorized by the Congress," Napolitano said. He compared the situation to President Harry Truman trying to seize steel mills without the authorization of Congress in 1952, which the Supreme Court ruled he lacked the authority to do. Napolitano suggested Trump won't even go through with this and that it's just a "bargaining technique," adding, "This 'declaring an emergency and spending money however I want' is not going to happen."

But over on CNN, legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin argued Trump diverting money toward the wall after declaring a national emergency is "probably" legal, or at least "unlikely to be stopped by the court," per HuffPost. He had two main reasons, one being that the president's emergency powers are fairly broad. But the other is that he doesn't see the courts finding a plaintiff who'd have standing to sue over it "at any early point in the process." Therefore, even though Toobin made clear both on air and in a New Yorker op-ed that Trump shouldn't circumvent Congress in this way, he said that "at least in the short-term, I think that if President Trump wanted to do this, the courts would let him." Brendan Morrow

7:00 p.m.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller will appear before the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday with one of his longtime aides, Aaron Zebley, by his side, people familiar with the matter told The New York Times on Tuesday.

At the last minute, Mueller requested Zebley be sworn in as a witness, but instead, he will be there as Mueller's counsel, offering guidance on how to answer questions about the two-year investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election and obstruction of justice.

Zebley was a deputy special counsel with "day-to-day oversight of the investigations conducted by the office," Mueller spokesman Jim Popkin said. Zebley was also Mueller's chief of staff when he served as FBI director. Mueller is also appearing before the House Intelligence Committee on Wednesday, but it's unclear if he made the same request to the panel. Catherine Garcia

5:53 p.m.

Snap is finally on the upswing again after its disastrous 2018 redesign.

On Tuesday, Snapchat's parent company revealed the app gained 13 million new users in the second quarter, its largest boost since it went public in 2017. It also reported a boosted revenue of $388 million up 48% from a year earlier, sending stocks up 11% in post-market trading, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Snapchat had been either losing users or remaining stagnant from when it posted its IPO until the first quarter of 2019. It also saw a year of falling stock numbers, hitting a record low of $4.99 at the end of last year. Shares have since rebounded 180% to hit $16.50 after Snap shared its Q2 earnings Tuesday, though that's still below its debut price of $17, CNBC notes.

Snap's 203 million total user base exceeds the 192 million expectation analysts predicted for this quarter, Snap said on Tuesday. That's largely thanks to popular gender-swapping filters that apparently even helped one college student catch an alleged predator cop. An updated Android interface also helped retain and add users, Snap said. Snap expects its revenue and user base to continue growing in the third quarter, with an anticipated Q3 revenue of between $410 million and $435 million. Kathryn Krawczyk

5:10 p.m.

You might want to get the tissues out for Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's eulogy for her former colleague, the late former Justice John Paul Stevens, who died last week at 99.

Ginsburg kept her remarks short and sweet, but they lent credence to reports that Stevens was not only a well-respected judicial mind, but a man of high character — with a sense of humor to go along with it.

Stevens was laid to rest in a private ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery on Tuesday, but CNN obtained a transcript of Ginsburg's eulogy. She spoke of how Stevens was actively playing sports and traveling across the Atlantic well into his 90s. In fact, the two of them saw each other at a conference in Lisbon, during what turned out to be the last week of Stevens' life.

On their last evening there, Ginsburg said she told Stevens that it was her dream to remain on the bench as long as he did. (Stevens, who served for 35 years, has the third longest Supreme Court tenure in U.S. history). Stevens' response? Stay longer.

At the end of the day, Ginsburg said, "in a capital city with no shortage of self-promoters" the "genuinely genial, unpretentious, and modest" Stevens "set a different tone." Read the full remarks at CNN. Tim O'Donnell

4:42 p.m.

Comedian Jon Stewart on Tuesday celebrated the Senate's passage of a bill permanently reauthorizing the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund, saying fighting for the cause alongside 9/11 first responders has been the "honor of my life."

Stewart spoke after the Senate overwhelmingly passed the bill extending funding through 2092 in a 97-2 vote, ensuring that it remains funded for the remainder of the 9/11 first responders' lives, as NBC News reports.

"I will always be so proud to have been associated" with the fight to extend the fund, Stewart said on Tuesday. "...We can never repay all that the 9/11 community has done for our country, but we can stop penalizing them. And today is that day that they can exhale." Stewart went on to say that "unfortunately, the pain and suffering of what the heroes go through is going to continue," but today should "begin the process of being able to heal."

The former Daily Show host blasted Congress in a fiery, viral testimony last month, pleading with lawmakers to permanently extend the fund. But Stewart clearly didn't want to take too much credit for the bill's passage, sarcastically quipping after Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) heaped praise on him, "Yes, I think we can all agree I'm the real hero."

9/11 first responder and advocate for the fund John Feal also spoke on Tuesday after embracing Stewart, saying there's "no joy" or "comfort" in passing the bill after "18 years of pain and suffering." After deciding he'll miss "nothing" about Washington, D.C., Feal blasted the two Senators who voted against passing the bill, Sens. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.), pointing to the overwhelmingly successful vote and telling them, "We whipped your asses." Brendan Morrow

4:41 p.m.

Harsher words have never been tweeted.

On Tuesday, a very confusing thread popped up on the account of U.K. Independent MP Jared O'Hara. It was seemingly written in the third person, calling "Jared" the "most disgustingly morally bankrupt person I have ever had the displeasure of working with." And that was far from the most incendiary comment in the thread.

The thread goes on to accuse O'Mara of having a "vile, inexcusable contempt for the people who voted you in" and relays the authors' fears that O'Mara will close down his whole office "once again" after this thread. The tweet's author then finally reveals himself as Gareth Arnold, whose Twitter bio says he "used to work for an MP."

O'Mara has had a troubled two years in Parliament, quickly coming under fire for misogynist and homophobic comments he made online long before his election. He soon resigned from the Labour party and became an independent. In April, he temporarily shut down his office after most of his staffers quit or were fired — something Arnold referenced in his tweets.

The thread stayed up for more than an hour, likely because of this reason Arnold tweeted from his own account.

Journalist Yashar Ali soon noted that Arnold is known for trolling right-wing politicians with massive online campaigns.

3:47 p.m.

In addition to the risks of nasty sunburns or shark attacks that we all think of when summer comes, new research suggests we might want to add another risk onto our radar: that of drug addiction.

A new study, published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine on Tuesday, shed light on a disturbing trend, revealing that people are more likely to try a drug for the first time during summer. In some cases, that's just a teenager trying marijuana for the first time; but other instances aren't so harmless. The study found that a third of LSD use, 30 percent of ecstasy use, and 28 percent of cocaine use began during the summer months.

So why summer? Some of it might have to do with the fact that school isn't in session. Having a sudden influx of free time can lead to "a slight but consistent increase" in young people's willingness to try new drugs, CNN reported. But the change isn't restricted just to teenagers: Adults, too, may have more exposure to situations where they might be offered drugs. "If you're going out, maybe just because of the warmer weather, you might be hanging out with people more," explained Joseph Palamar, the study's lead author. Simply being around other people, at places like the beach or a music festival, can increase your risk of being offered drugs.

Unfortunately, summer weather can make it unsafe to try drugs for the first time: "If you try ecstasy on a whim, and you're drunk, and you're dancing in 90-degree weather, that is dangerous," Palamar said. Because drugs can have unexpected effects on the body, taking them without planning ahead can be especially risky.

Read more about this strange seasonal trend at CNN. Shivani Ishwar

3:39 p.m.

Article II of the United States Constitution bestows executive power on the office of the presidency. For example, the article establishes the president as the commander-in-chief of the military and grants the office the power of pardons. But it's also sandwiched between Articles I and III, which are the foundations for the powers of the legislative and judiciary branches. You know, the whole checks and balances thing. It's unclear, however, if President Trump understands this.

During a speech at Turning Point USA's Teen Action Summit, Trump played his usual hits. But while railing against the Democrats for their "witch hunt" into 2016 Russian election interference and alleged obstruction of justice, Trump mentioned that he has "an Article II," which would allow him to do whatever he pleases.

But rest assured, he said he doesn't "even talk about that."

Trump has, in fact, talked about it on more than one occasion, often in the context of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation.

It appears that Trump usually brings up Article II when he's arguing that he could have fired Mueller and didn't. As The Washington Post's Aaron Blake pointed out, Trump might not actually think he has wide-reaching, unchecked powers as president — just that he could have put an end to the investigation. Whatever he believes, he's managed to get everyone talking about it. Tim O'Donnell

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