March 21, 2019

Three days before he was publicly charged with soliciting prostitution at the Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter, Florida, billionaire financier John Childs cut two checks worth $50,000 to the Republican National Committee, Politico reports, citing February campaign finance disclosures. The RNC did not respond to Politico's request for comment, and Childs has previously denied soliciting prostitution.

The most famous figure caught up in the prostitution sting, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, meanwhile, rejected a plea deal Wednesday that would have kept him out of jail in return for admitting he would have been found guilty, performing 100 hours of community service, and taking a course on why prostitution is harmful, CNN reports. Also on Wednesday, attorneys for Kraft and more than a dozen other defendants in the case filed a motion to keep under seal surveillance video allegedly showing Kraft and others in paid sex acts; Florida does not agree with the motion.

Kraft is a longtime friend of President Trump, and Trump wants to invite him to the White House with the Patriots this spring to celebrate New England's Super Bowl championship, Politico reports, adding that White House aides are worried inviting Kraft "could turn a feel-good photo op into an embarrassing media spectacle."

The RNC — whose former national finance chairman Steve Wynn resigned last year after reports of sexual misconduct with employees — ended February with $31.1 million cash on hand after raising $14.6 million last month; the Democratic National Committee raised $6.5 million and finished the month with $7.5 million cash and $4.6 million in debt. Peter Weber

2:07 a.m.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi warned a reporter from the conservative Sinclair TV network not to "mess with" her on Thursday, and The Late Show found that advice sound, to the tune of "Bad Bad Leroy Brown."

Before her "spirited" press conference, "Pelosi had a big announcement" on the impeachment inquiry, Stephen Colbert said in his monologue, though he seemed underwhelmed that "we're about to start the beginning of the middle" of impeaching President Trump. He chuckled at Pelosi's notion that "we Catholics don't hate anyone," historically speaking, but he tipped his hat to her moxie: "Nancy Pelosi prays for the president, and I pray for that reporter. 'Uh, Madame Speaker, follow-up question: Can I have my balls back?'"

It was certainly "a feisty and festive day in Washington, D.C," Jimmy Kimmel said on Kimmel Live. Pelosi announced that "the House Judiciary Committee will now draft articles of impeachment against the president of the Untied States. This is big: This will be the first draft Donald Trump can't dodge."

On Wednesday, "the House heard testimony from four legal scholars, three of whom agreed that Trump's abuse of power is worse than any president in the history of presidents," Kimmel said. "These were professors from Stanford Law, Harvard Law, highly respected schools, and so naturally Trump sent his scariest crow out to discredit their credits." But Kellyanne Conway wasn't alone — Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) tried to co-opt Willie Nelson to mock Stanford and Harvard Law, succeedingly only in making a mockery of himself, Kimmel laughed.

"What? 'Mama's don't let your babies go to Harvard or Stanford'? That took a weird turn," Trevor Noah agreed at The Daily Show, dramatizing Gohmert's bizarre polemic. While most of Wednesday's legal scholars "agreed that DJT needs to GTFO," he added, "according to the Republicans on the committee, these people weren't saying this because they're constitutional scholars; no, they were saying it because they're drinking Trump haterade." And one of them, Pamela Karlan, gifted them "a joke that backfired hard" involving 13-year-old Barron Trump, Noah sighed. "No, professor, what were you doing? You were brought in for your legal expertise, not to try and make jokes. The C in C-SPAN doesn't stand for comedy." He advised people to stick to making fun of Don Jr. and Eric. Watch below. Peter Weber

1:33 a.m.

President Trump's favorite brand of concealer is having a moment.

On Wednesday, The Washington Post published an article about several undocumented immigrants who used to work at Trump's golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey. They revealed that the face makeup he uses is by the Swiss brand Bronx Colors in a shade so potent it would regularly stain his golf shirts and they would have to run down to the pro shop to buy replacements.

Bronx Colors was thrilled by this free advertising, and decided to capitalize on its moment in the spotlight. The company has revived its dormant Twitter account and updated its website with a special promotion: for a limited time, buy any item and receive the Boosting Hydrating Concealer in BHC06, "Donald Trump's favorite Bronx Colors product and color," for free. The concealer is already a steal at €6.50 a tube, and offers "beautiful, natural-looking coverage you can count on." Yes, for just €6.50, you too can have that fluorescent orange glow that no tanning bed can legally provide. Catherine Garcia

12:12 a.m.

Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) pleaded guilty Tuesday to one count of conspiracy to misuse campaign funds, but he has shown no rush to quit Congress. He has blown off reporters who've asked when he is resigning, and as of Wednesday, Politico reports, he had not met with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) to discuss his legal situation. "Our patience is not unlimited," a top Democratic leadership aide told Politico. A GOP lawmaker added that Hunter would be given time to "get his affairs in order .... but not forever."

The House Ethics Committee took the first step in nudging Hunter out the door on Thursday, telling him in a letter to stop voting in the House. If he does vote, the top Democrat and Republican on the committee warned Hunter, "you risk subjecting yourself to action by this committee, and by the House, in addition to any other disciplinary action that may be initiated in connection with your criminal conviction."

"In the past, members who have cut plea deals or been convicted of criminal offenses have come under enormous pressure to leave office quickly or face action by their colleagues, including expulsion," Politico reports. "The late Rep. James Traficant (D-Ohio), for instance, was expelled by the House following his conviction on bribery and other corruption charges. Traficant was convicted in April 2002, but then he refused to resign. Following a 'trial' by the House Ethics Committee, Traficant was expelled from the chamber three months later by a 420-1 vote."

Hunter took a plea deal to avoid dozens of federal counts of campaign finance violations for improperly diverting hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign funds for personal use, including, allegedly, extramarital affairs with lobbyists and congressional staffers. House GOP leaders asked Hunter to give up his committee assignments when he was indicted last year, and when he didn't, they forced his hand. Peter Weber

12:07 a.m.

It was a big day for Michael Orlando Clark Jr., and he wanted all of his kindergarten classmates to be a part of it.

Clark was adopted on Thursday, and his entire class came to the hearing in Grand Rapids, Michigan, filling up the courtroom benches and holding up paper hearts. They introduced themselves to Judge Patricia Gardner and told her how much they loved Clark. As soon as Gardner banged the gavel, making the adoption official, the kids burst into applause.

"We began the school year as a family," Clark's teacher told WZZM. "Family doesn't have to be DNA, because family is support and love." Clark was one of 36 children who were adopted during Kent County's 23rd annual Adoption Day, and he couldn't stop smiling throughout the hearing. After the event, as his father spoke to WZZM about the adoption, he was no longer able to contain his excitement. "I love my daddy," he told the reporter. "I love him so much." Catherine Garcia

December 5, 2019

A sad milestone was reached this week, with the Ray Pfeifer Foundation reporting that 200 New York City firefighters have now died from "9/11 illness."

The foundation, which provides assistance to 9/11 first responders with medical bills not covered by insurance, said that Dennis Gilhooly, a retired FDNY captain, and Brian Case, a retired firefighter, are the 199th and 200th FDNY deaths related to the attacks on the World Trade Center, CBS News reports.

Toxins were released when the World Trade Center towers collapsed, and more than 50,000 people who were exposed have become sick, CBS News says. Studies have found a high number of deaths from non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and brain malignancies among 9/11 first responders and others who were exposed to the dust cloud after the towers fell. Catherine Garcia

December 5, 2019

Uber released a startling 84-page review on Thursday outlining how many reports of sexual abuse the ride-hailing service received in 2018.

In the United States, there were 235 reports of rape, 280 reports of attempted rape, 1,560 reports of groping, and 970 reports of unwanted kissing. "Each of these incidents represents an individual who has undergone a horrific trauma," Tony West, Uber's chief legal officer, told NBC News.

Uber says the victims included both drivers and riders, with passengers accused of sexual assault in 45 percent of cases. "We do four million rides a day," West said. "And when you're operating at that kind of scale, thankfully, 99.9 percent of those rides end with absolutely no safety incident whatsoever." Uber said it has enacted stricter background checks for drivers and added more safety features in the app, including a button that lets users call 911. Catherine Garcia

December 5, 2019

A satellite image captured Thursday shows activity at a rocket launching site that North Korea had previously dismantled, CNN reports.

The image of Sohae Satellite Launching Station, obtained by CNN and analyzed by experts, shows a large shipping container at the facility's test stand, said Jeffrey Lewis, director of the East Asia Nonproliferation Program at the Middlebury Institute. This was the first time analysts have seen this container, he added, and it could indicate that North Korea will soon start conducting engine tests at the site again. These engines would be used to power satellite launchers and intercontinental ballistic missiles, CNN reports.

While at the NATO summit in London on Tuesday, Trump mused that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un "really likes sending rockets up, doesn't he? That's why I call him Rocket Man." Trump also said he has a "good relationship" with Kim, but his remarks still irked Choe Son Hui, North Korea's first vice-foreign minister. According to North Korean state media, Choe declared that "if any language and expressions stoking the atmosphere of confrontation are used once again on purpose at a crucial moment as now, that must really be diagnosed as the relapse of the dotage of a dotard." Catherine Garcia

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