not having it
February 11, 2020

The Justice Department's decision to reportedly back off its sentencing recommendation for President Trump's longtime adviser Roger Stone apparently wasn't well-received by all of his prosecutors.

Upon learning the Department reversed course and said seven to nine years was "grossly disproportionate" given Stone's offenses — which include lying to Congress, witness tampering, and obstructing a House investigation related to 2016 Russian election interference — prosecutor Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron Zelinsky withdrew from Stone's case. However, it looks like he'll be sticking with the Justice Department and returning to his old job in Maryland.

Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Adam Jed and Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Marando later said they'd be doing the same. Meanwhile, Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Kravis is resigning from the department altogether.

The decisions by the prosecutors appear to be in protest of what they consider interference from Justice Department higher-ups. The sentencing recommendation was reversed after Trump tweeted angrily about it, although there's no confirmation if the White House was directly driving the change.

Update 6:25 p.m. ET This story has been updated to reflect Jed and Marando's decisions. Tim O'Donnell

June 22, 2017

The Senate's health-care bill was written in such secrecy that as of Thursday morning, even many Republicans had not yet laid their eyes on the actual text. While Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) briefed the White House staff on the bill's details Wednesday, the actual document is only set to be made public Thursday.

Democrats have issued scathing statements condemning the Republicans for their closed-door tactics, but even some Republicans are feeling their patience splinter. Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R) issued a sarcastic answer to the Independent Journal Review's Haley Byrd after being asked if she'd seen the text:

"As the Senate prepares to finally loop in the American public, already several news reports from outlets like The Washington Post and Politico have published what they're hearing is in the bill," Vox writes. "They are all sourced to lobbyists and aides."

Along with Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Murkowski is one of the Republicans' sharpest critics of the health-care bill, and her vote could be critical in deciding if it passes or not. In anticipation of pressure from the White House, she told Politico that if the bill "doesn't work for Alaska, it doesn't make any difference who's calling me." Jeva Lange

March 29, 2017

Rep. Maxine Waters multitasked on Tuesday night, dressing down Fox News host Bill O'Reilly while at the same time sharing an empowering message for women.

On Tuesday morning, Fox & Friends had shown a clip of Waters speaking out against President Trump. "I didn't hear a word she said," O'Reilly told the Fox News morning hosts. "I was looking at the James Brown wig." Waters hit back later that day. "I'm a strong black woman and I cannot be intimidated," she said on All In with Chris Hayes. "I cannot be undermined."

Speaking directly to the women watching, Waters implored them not to "allow these right-wing talking heads, these dishonorable people, to intimidate you or scare you. Be who you are, do what you do, and let us get on with discussing the real issues of this country." When a woman "stands up and speaks truth to power," people will attempt to "put her down," Waters added. "I am not going to be put down, I am not going anywhere. I am going to stay on the issues." For his part, O'Reilly told Time his comment about her hair was "dumb. I apologize." Catherine Garcia

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