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March 13, 2017

President Trump can (and did) make Preet Bharara vacate his office as U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York — firing him on Saturday after Bharara refused to resign. But he can't make him go quietly.

The Moreland Commission was set up by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) in July 2013 to investigate corruption in state politics — then abruptly disbanded by Cuomo in March 2014 after, The New York Times reports, "Cuomo had hobbled its work, intervening when it focused on groups with ties to the governor or on issues that might reflect poorly on him." Bharara — who successfully prosecuted more than two dozen New York politicians of both parties for corruption, including the leaders of the state Assembly and state Senate — looked into Cuomo's handling of the Moreland Commission but ultimately concluded there was not enough evidence to prove a federal crime.

So Bharara's tweet on Sunday suggests that he was fired while he was investigating either Trump or his allies. On Sunday's This Week, House Government Oversight Committee ranking Democrat Rep. Elijah Cummings (Md.) touched on that possibility:

Without clarification from Bharara, there's only speculation as to what he meant. Bharara had a lot of enemies and critics: on Wall Street, in government, abroad — the leaders of Russia and Turkey had targeted him — and at Fox News, which Bharara was reportedly investigating, along with its former chief, Roger Ailes. The top name floated to replace Bharara is Marc Mukasey, a white-collar defense lawyer who once worked as a prosecutor in the Manhattan U.S. attorney's office; he's also the son of former Attorney General Michael Mukasey and a member of Ailes' legal team.

CNN's Jeffrey Toobin also noted on Saturday night that Bharara "has been involved in a lot of investigations that are at least peripherally related to Donald Trump," apparently including "some investigations that involve the Trump Organization and Russia." The ongoing investigations in Bharara's office are expected to continue with minimal interruption under career prosecutors, at least for now.

A White House aide criticized Bharara's refusal to resign, telling The Wall Street Journal that all 46 sacked U.S. attorneys were treated in the same way and "45 of the 46 behaved in a manner befitting the office," while "Preet wants everything to be about Preet." Reached for comment, Bharara responded: "It was my understanding that the president himself has said anonymous sources are not to be believed." Peter Weber

November 12, 2018

Amazon has decided to divide its new headquarters between New York City and Northern Virginia, a person with knowledge of the plan told Politico on Monday night.

The headquarters will be split between Long Island City in the New York borough of Queens and Crystal City, with about 25,000 employees at each site.

Wanting a second headquarters equal to the one in Seattle, Amazon first started looking for a site in September 2017. Cities across the United States tried to lure Amazon by offering tax breaks and other incentives, and last week, The Wall Street Journal reported Amazon was going to actually open two new headquarters instead of one. The official announcement could be made as early as Tuesday. Catherine Garcia

November 12, 2018

Over the weekend, President Trump told advisers he wants Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen out as soon as possible, five current and former White House officials told The Washington Post on Monday.

He has complained about her for months and does not think she is doing a good enough job securing the borders, the officials said. Trump and Nielsen were supposed to visit troops stationed at the border in South Texas this week, but Trump canceled the trip.

People close to Nielsen said Trump gets frustrated when she tries to tell him about immigration laws and regulations, and he has berated her during Cabinet meetings. White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, who preceded Nielsen as DHS secretary, is Nielsen's biggest defender in the administration, and he's reportedly trying to either avert her dismissal or postpone it. Officials told the Post that Kelly's word doesn't mean much, because his future at the White House is also uncertain.

Trump has told White House aides that potential replacements for Nielsen include Kevin McAleenan, commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, or David Pekoske, administrator of the Transportation Security Administration, the Post reports. Catherine Garcia

November 12, 2018

At least 42 people have been killed by the Camp Fire in Northern California's Butte County, making it the deadliest fire in state history.

The previous deadliest blaze was the 1933 Griffith Park Fire, which killed 29 people in Los Angeles. The Camp Fire has burned 117,000 acres, destroyed more than 7,100 homes and businesses, and is just 30 percent contained, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said on Monday. Most of the deaths were in the town of Paradise, which was almost entirely wiped out by the fire.

In Southern California, the Woolsey Fire has burned 91,572 acres in Los Angeles and Ventura counties, destroying 370 structures and killing two people. It is only 20 percent contained. Two new fires broke out nearby on Monday, but firefighters were able to quickly get them under control, thanks to ground and air support. Winds are fanning the flames in both Northern and Southern California, and forecasters say it is not expected to rain before Thanksgiving. Catherine Garcia

November 12, 2018

New York City is standing in solidarity with California, as wildfires continue to rage across the state.

On Monday night, the Empire State Building was lit up in blue and gold, California's state colors. The top of the spire glowed red to look like an EMS siren "in sympathy for the victims and those affected by the California wildfires," the Empire State Building tweeted.

The wildfires have killed at least 40 people and destroyed thousands of homes and businesses in Northern and Southern California. Catherine Garcia

November 12, 2018

A friend of Republican operative Roger Stone said he's been told by Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team that he will be indicted for perjury.

"This was one of the most confusing and frightening things I've experienced," Jerome Corsi, a conservative author, commentator, and conspiracy theorist, told NBC News on Monday. "I'm 72 years old and I'm afraid they're going to lock me up and put me in solitary confinement." Mueller is investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, and his prosecutors have reportedly called nearly a dozen of Stone's associates, including Corsi, in front of his Washington, D.C., grand jury.

Corsi said he was interviewed about WikiLeaks obtaining emails hacked from John Podesta, Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman. NBC News reported in October that Mueller's team has communications suggesting Corsi knew ahead of time that WikiLeaks was going to publish Podesta's stolen emails; Corsi said he can't remember ever meeting WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange or receiving information from anyone about Podesta's emails, and claims he "figured out" the emails were going to be published by doing his own detective work. "They have all your emails and phone records," he said of Mueller's team, adding, "They're very good at the perjury trap." Perjury is where you lie to law enforcement. Catherine Garcia

November 12, 2018

Democrat Kyrsten Sinema defeated Republican Martha McSally in the Arizona Senate race, The Associated Press, NBC News, and several other outlets project.

The winner wasn't apparent on Nov. 6, as Arizona still had a lot of votes to count, and on Monday, Sinema's lead over McSally grew to 1.7 percentage points. McSally tweeted her congratulations to Sinema, and said she remains "inspired by Arizonans' spirit" and believes "our state's best days are ahead of us."

Sinema, a three-term congresswoman who bills herself as a moderate, will fill the seat held by retiring Sen. Jeff Flake (R), becoming the first woman in state history elected to the Senate. Catherine Garcia

November 12, 2018

At least three people were killed and 29 injured on Monday when Palestinian militants fired at least 300 rockets and mortar bombs at Israel and Israeli fighter jets bombed buildings across Gaza.

The dead include two Palestinian militants. The violence was triggered by a botched Israeli raid in Gaza late Sunday night that left seven Hamas militants and an Israeli lieutenant colonel dead. Hamas and a smaller group named Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the rockets, with a spokesman saying they retaliated "so the occupation and its supporters know that the lives of our sons come with a price."

An Israeli airstrike destroyed the headquarters of Al Aqsa, the television station run by Hamas; Israel has said the station "broadcasts violent propaganda" and offers "operational messaging" to militants. The Associated Press reports this was likely the most "intense exchange of fire" since 2014. Catherine Garcia

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