The Department of Justice filed Friday evening for the dismissal of a lawsuit brought by President Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, against Special Counsel Robert Mueller, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, and the DOJ itself. Manafort is under indictment as part of Mueller's probe into Russian election meddling, an investigation overseen by Rosenstein and the DOJ.
Friday's filing denies Manafort's allegation that Mueller has operated beyond "the scope of his authority, including with respect to Manafort's ongoing criminal prosecution." "These claims lack merit," said Rosenstein.
Former Apprentice villain Omarosa Manigault Newman is rumored to have a penchant for recording confidential discussions and may be a person of interest in Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation as a result, the New York Daily News reports.
Manigault Newman's last day as the director of communications for the Office of Public Liaison is Saturday. While she claims to be leaving to "pursue other opportunities," the decision to bring "members of her 39-person bridal party to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. for an extended wedding photo shoot" might be the most memorable moment in her short tenure, Politico writes.
Recently, though, Manigault Newman has allegedly been checking out high-profile attorneys, including Harvey Weinstein's former lawyer Lisa Bloom and Bill Cosby's former lawyer Monique Pressley, a person familiar with the meetings told the Daily News. "The 43-year-old apparently believes she may become a fixture in Mueller's investigation," the Daily News writes.
The person close to Manigault Newman said "everyone knows Omarosa loves to record people and meetings using the voice notes app on her iPhone. Don't be surprised if she has secret audio files on everyone in that White House, past and present staffers included."
Manigault Newman told Good Morning America in an interview in December that "when I have a chance to tell my story to tell — quite a story — as the only African-American woman in this White House, as a senior staff and assistant to the president, I have seen things that have made me uncomfortable, that have upset me, that have affected me deeply and emotionally, that has affected my community and my people, and when I can tell my story, it is a profound story that I know the world will want to hear." Read more about what she might have caught on tape at the New York Daily News. Jeva Lange
In an ill-conceived attempt to disprove allegations that her husband doesn't "care for Jews," the wife of former Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore pointed out on the eve of the special election in December that "one of our attorneys is a Jew!"
But the Birmingham-based attorney in question told the Washington Examiner on Tuesday that he was actually one of the reasons Moore was ultimately defeated by Democrat Doug Jones. "There could not be a more passionate supporter of Doug than me!" said Richard Jaffe, who was hired by the Moores in 2016 to defend their son against drug charges.
Moore's comments first raised concern when he claimed Jewish billionaire George Soros is "going to the same place that people who don't recognize God and morality and accept his salvation are going." Moore's wife, Kayla, later insisted that claims that Moore's remark was anti-Semitic were "fake news."
Jaffe plans to attend Jones' swearing in Wednesday in Washington, D.C., the Washington Examiner reports. Jeva Lange
A federal judge on Saturday partially blocked President Trump's suspension of refugee admissions from 11 countries, nine of which are majority-Muslim: Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Mali, North Korea, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. After hearing arguments Thursday, U.S. District Judge James Robart ruled that refugee applications must be processed for those with "a bona fide relationship to a person or entity within the United States."
The Trump administration claimed the ban "is a reasonable and appropriate way for agency heads to tackle gaps" in vetting procedure, but Robart said vetting is already rigorous and that the ban will "harm the United States' national security and foreign policy interests."
The Justice Department said in a statement it "disagree[s] with the court's ruling and [is] currently evaluating the next steps." In the meantime, read The Week's Shikha Dalmia on why the Trump administration's travel restrictions are nonsensical. Bonnie Kristian
Donald Trump Jr. and former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort have reached an agreement with the Senate Judiciary Committee to testify behind closed doors about their 2016 meeting with Kremlin-linked lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya. Lawyers for both men confirmed the deal to ABC News.
Committee chair Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and ranking member Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) had threatened the pair with subpoenas if they did not testify voluntarily for the Senate investigation of Russian election meddling running in parallel with Special Counsel Robert Mueller's probe. "I'm not concerned," Feinstein said of the situation Thursday, "because if they don't [testify] they will be subpoenaed."
President Trump's adviser and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who was also at the meeting, will testify before the Senate and House Intelligence Committees for their Russia inquiries this coming week. Bonnie Kristian
Researchers may have been off by nearly 115,000 years when they estimated that humans arrived in North America about 15,000 years ago. The potential miscalculation was uncovered by a collection of mastodon bones, which were discovered during construction work on a California freeway in 1992. After toiling for years to date the bones, researchers announced this week in a paper published in the scientific journal Nature that they'd determined the remains of the adult male mastodon to be about 130,000 years old — and to contain signs of human activity.
The finding is likely to be controversial. Already, Smithsonian Magazine noted, the question of when humans arrived in North America is "a flashpoint among archaeologists." There is no other evidence to indicate humans arrived tens of thousands of years earlier than has been suggested, but paleontologist Thomas Deméré, one of the study's authors, said they have the evidence to back up the claim. "I realize that 130,000 years is a really old date," Deméré said. "Of course, extraordinary claims like this require extraordinary evidence."
The mastodon bones that were uncovered bear "impact marks suggesting that they had been smacked with a hard object," Smithsonian Magazine reported. Researchers also discovered five massive stones at the site, which they believe humans may have used as hammers or anvils. The stones "showed signs of impact," Smithsonian Magazine said, and the bones were found piled up right around these stones.
"[W]e can eliminate all of the natural processes that break bones like this," said Steven Holen, another study co-author. "These bones were not broken by carnivore-chewing, they were not broken by other animals trampling on the bone." Becca Stanek
William Shakespeare is no longer getting all the credit for the saga of Henry VI. Oxford University Press has announced it's going to list writer Christopher Marlowe's name alongside Shakespeare's on the title page for each of the three Henry VI plays in upcoming editions of the works.
The decision followed new "textual analysis and the use of computerized tools to examine the scripts" by 23 international scholars, whose research determined rivals Marlowe and Shakespeare more than just influenced one another's work, BBC reported. "We have been able to verify Marlowe's presence in those three plays strongly and clearly enough," Gary Taylor of Florida State University told The Guardian. Marlowe, who was once mistakenly thought to actually be Shakespeare, has been suspected of being involved in the creation of the Henry VI plays since the 18th century, but this marks the first time he's getting a share of the credit.
The research further revealed that these three plays might not be the only ones Shakespeare got some help on; now, researchers say the Henry VI trio may be among "as many as 17 plays that ... contain writing by other people, sometimes several hands," The Guardian reported.
That's close to two-fifths of Shakespeare's plays, of which there are 44 in total, that the Bard may not have written entirely alone. But as Shakespeare — or any of his potential co-writers — put it: "What's in a name?" Becca Stanek
A new report by The Times of London out Wednesday suggested Donald Trump's campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, may have played a role in Russia's annexation of Crimea. In a memo written by a Ukrainian prosecutor last year, Manafort is accused of helping Viktor Yanukovych's pro-Russian Party of Regions organize protests against NATO and Kiev that led to the cancelation of NATO exercises. Yanukovych, whose organization is now designated as "criminal," has been largely credited with paving the way for the annexation:
The memo says: "It was [Manafort's] political effort to raise the prestige of Yanukovych and his party — the confrontation and division of society on ethnic and linguistic grounds is his trick from the time of the elections in Angola and the Philippines. While I was in the Crimea I constantly saw evidence suggesting that Paul Manafort considered autonomy [from Ukraine] as a tool to enhance the reputation of Yanukovych and win over the local electorate." [The Times]
Though the memo outlined possible options for prosecuting Manafort for "conspiring with a criminal organization" and "inciting ethnic hatred and separation," charges were never pursued because of a "lack of evidence" after the annexation, The Times reported.
These accusations come on the heels of Manafort's demotion within the Trump campaign and reports that he helped a pro-Russian political party in Ukraine to secretly send millions to lobbying firms in Washington, D.C. Read the full report at The Times. Becca Stanek