Daily Briefing

10 things you need to know today: June 5, 2019

Harold Maass
British D-Day commemoration
Chris Jackson / Getty Images


Trump heads to D-Day ceremony after promising U.K. trade deal

President Trump concludes his U.K. visit, which prompted protests, on Wednesday by joining Queen Elizabeth, Prime Minister Theresa May, and other world leaders on the southern England coast to mark the 75th anniversary of D-Day. "As we unite to pay tribute to those whose bravery and sacrifice on the beaches of Normandy marked a turning point in the Second World War, we will vow never to forget the debt we owe them," May said. Trump on Tuesday praised May, telling her to "stick around" to strike a "very, very substantial trade deal" with the U.S. Trump suggested that any post-Brexit trade deal with Britain should include access for American companies to Britain's health-care system, but he backed away from the comment after it triggered an uproar.


Nadler brushes off DOJ push to avoid Barr contempt vote

The Department of Justice said Tuesday in a letter to House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) that it would reopen negotiations on releasing the full Mueller report and underlying materials if Nadler drops his push to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt. In the letter, the DOJ said the panel's May vote in favor of holding Barr in contempt was "premature and unnecessary." Barr previously refused to hand over the materials and had President Trump assert executive privilege, but the letter said the committee's latest request was "more reasonable." Nadler responded late Tuesday by calling on the Justice Department to cooperate without conditions. "We are ready to begin negotiating immediately," he said, without indicating the House would delay its scheduled June 11 contempt vote. [The Washington Post, Axios]


House passes bill offering path to citizenship for 'DREAMers'

House Democrats on Tuesday passed the American Dream and Promise Act of 2019, which seeks to offer a path to citizenship to more than two million undocumented immigrants, including "DREAMers" brought to the U.S. as children. Seven House Republicans joined Democrats to pass the bill in a 237 to 187 vote. Under the measure, DACA recipients meeting certain requirements would receive 10 years of legal resident status. After finishing two years of military service or higher education, or working for three years, they would be granted permanent green cards. The bill now goes to the Republican-controlled Senate, which is considered unlikely to approve it. The White House has said President Trump would veto the measure if it somehow made it to his desk. [CBS News ]


Hicks to give Congress campaign documents

Hope Hicks, a former White House communications director and close aide to President Trump, has agreed to give congressional investigators documents related to his 2016 election campaign, a top Democratic lawmaker said on Tuesday. The White House has instructed Hicks and Annie Donaldson, former chief of staff to former White House Counsel Don McGahn, not to comply with subpoenas the House Judiciary Committee issued in May to turn over documents relating to their work for the White House. The committee, which is investigating Trump, set a June 4 deadline for the documents. Judiciary Committee Chair Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) said the White House had "no lawful basis for preventing these witnesses from complying with our request." [Reuters, NBC News]


Virginia governor calls for tighter gun control after mass shooting

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, a Democrat, announced Tuesday that he would call state lawmakers to return to work this summer to consider gun-control legislation following last week's mass shooting at a Virginia Beach local government office. The mass shooting left 12 victims dead. Northam called for the state's pro-gun, Republican-controlled General Assembly to respond to the massacre with "votes and laws, not thoughts and prayers," adding, "The nation will be watching." He did not immediately set a date for the special session. The Republican speaker, Kirk Cox, called Northam's call for a special session "hasty and suspect," given the recent blackface photo scandal that prompted calls for Northam's resignation. Cox said Republicans would push for stiffer sentences for people who use guns in crimes. [The Associated Press]


Trump vows to follow through on threat to impose Mexico tariffs

President Trump said Tuesday that he most likely would make good on his threat to impose a 5 percent tariff on all Mexican goods next week to pressure the country's leaders to stop illegal immigration into the U.S. across the southern border. "We're going to see if we can do something, but I think it's more likely that the tariffs go on," Trump said during his state visit to the U.K., calling a surge of undocumented immigrants an "invasion." Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, whose government on Wednesday will present the U.S. with a proposal to show it is working on resolving the border issue, said he was optimistic the two sides could reach a deal. Senate Republicans discussed blocking Trump's tariffs. He responded by saying they would be "foolish" to do so. [Reuters, The Associated Press]


Trump administration bans cruise ship travel to Cuba

The Trump administration on Tuesday announced a ban on U.S. cruise ship travel to Cuba in an effort to deprive the communist-run Caribbean island's government of much-needed cash. The Treasury Department also said it would end "people-to-people" visits to Cuba, a popular form of educational travel. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the measures, scheduled to take effect on Wednesday, were being taken to punish the Cuban government for playing a "destabilizing role" in the region, including its support for embattled Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro. "These actions will help to keep U.S. dollars out of the hands of Cuban military, intelligence, and security services," Mnuchin said. The moves marked the latest step by President Trump to undo former President Barack Obama's push to restore normal relations with Cuba. [The Associated Press]


Ex-Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School resource officer arrested

Florida authorities on Tuesday arrested a former sheriff's deputy, Scot Peterson, over his failure to stop the 2018 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Peterson was charged with seven counts of child neglect, three counts of culpable negligence, and one count of perjury for staying outside the building instead of doing something to stop the gunman who killed 17 students and teachers, Broward State Attorney Mike Satz said. A report concluded he "retreated to an area of safety" instead of trying to find out where the gunshots were coming from. Broward County Sheriff Gregory Tony announced that he had fired Peterson and another deputy, Brian Miller, for failing to do anything to stop the attacker. [Reuters, South Florida Sun-Sentinel]


Judge dismisses charges against white supremacists accused of inciting violence

A U.S. District Court judge in California has dismissed federal charges against three members of a violent white supremacist group accused of conspiring to riot at California political rallies. Prosecutors said the members of the Rise Above Movement conspired over the internet and traveled to attack demonstrators in Huntington Beach, Berkeley, and San Bernardino. Judge Cormac J. Carney said that the group's ideology was "hateful and toxic" but a law passed during the era of civil rights and Vietnam War protests went too far to restrict constitutionally protected free speech. "Some posts express repugnant, hateful ideas," Carney wrote. "Other posts advocate the use of violence. Most, if not all, are protected speech." On Tuesday, a day after Carney's ruling, a fourth co-defendant, Tyler Laube, filed a motion asking a judge to let him withdraw his guilty plea. [NBC News, Los Angeles Times]


Scientists identify 'most complete opalized dinosaur skeleton in the world'

The bones of a newly-identified species of dinosaur were discovered preserved in opal. The fossils, originally discovered back in the 1980s in an Australian opal field, have just been re-classified as a new species by a study published in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. The opalized fossils belong to four Fostoria dhimbangunmal. While some smaller fossils have been discovered in opal before, these specimens are "the most complete opalized dinosaur skeleton in the world." The bones were found all together, which indicates that the four individuals may have been part of a herd or a family. The new species "fills in a glaring gap in our understanding of duck-billed dinosaur evolution," said Terry Gates, a paleontologist not involved with the study. [CNN, Gizmodo]