National News at a Glance
Posted July 21, 2018 7:28 p.m. EDT
Trump Signals Consequences for Cohen Over Secret Recording
President Donald Trump lashed out at his longtime lawyer, Michael Cohen, on Saturday, suggesting that there could be legal consequences for Cohen’s decision to record a discussion they had two months before the 2016 election about paying a former Playboy model who said she had an affair with Trump. With a tweet, Trump signaled open warfare on Cohen, his longtime fixer. The Justice Department is investigating Cohen’s involvement in paying women to quash potentially damaging news coverage about Trump during the campaign. New York law allows one party to a conversation to tape it without the other knowing.
Inquiry Focuses on Publisher’s Support for Trump
Federal authorities examining the work President Donald Trump’s former lawyer did to squelch embarrassing stories before the 2016 election have come to believe that an important ally in that effort, tabloid company American Media Inc., at times acted more as a political supporter than as a news organization, according to people briefed on the investigation. That determination has kept the publisher in the middle of an inquiry that could create legal and political challenges for the president as prosecutors investigate whether the lawyer, Michael Cohen, violated campaign finance law. It could also spell trouble for the company, which publishes The National Enquirer.
Justice Department Releases Secret Carter Page Surveillance Documents
The Trump administration has disclosed a previously top-secret set of documents related to the wiretapping of Carter Page, the onetime Trump campaign adviser who was at the center of highly contentious accusations by Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee that the FBI had abused its surveillance powers. On Saturday, materials — an October 2016 application to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to wiretap Page, along with several renewal applications — were released to The New York Times and several other news organizations that had filed Freedom of Information Act lawsuits to obtain them. The documents were heavily redacted in places.
Ex-'Manhattan Madam’ Expects Subpoena From Mueller
The special counsel’s office has expressed interest in issuing a subpoena to a woman who gained notoriety a decade ago for running a prostitution service in Manhattan, the woman, Kristin Davis, said in a phone interview Saturday. Davis, 43, who was known in the tabloids as the Manhattan Madam, said she was unaware what information she might possess that would be of interest to the special counsel, Robert Mueller, who is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election. One possible topic of interest might be Davis’ long association with Roger J. Stone Jr., the political consultant and longtime Trump adviser.
Fiat Chrysler Taps New Chief Executive After an Unexpected Resignation
For the past 14 years, few executives have had a higher profile or a more profound impact on the global auto industry than Sergio Marchionne, the chain-smoking, deal-making boss of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. His run atop the Italian-American automaker, however, came to an abrupt end Saturday, when the company revealed that Marchionne, 66, had become gravely ill since undergoing shoulder surgery July 5 and had stepped down. The company named Mike Manley, 54, head of the automaker’s North America operations and its Jeep and Ram truck brands, as Marchionne’s successor, effective immediately.
White Nationalist in Vice Video Is Barred From Virginia
Christopher Cantwell, a self-described white nationalist who pepper-sprayed protesters during the demonstrations in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August, pleaded guilty to assault and battery Friday and has been barred from Virginia for five years, prosecutors said. Cantwell, 37, rose as a high-profile activist for the “alt-right” after being featured in a Vice News documentary about the demonstrations. Some mocked him as the “crying Nazi” after he posted a video online in which he fights back tears while describing the aftermath of the demonstrations. Cantwell, who faced 12 months in jail for the crimes, served 107 days. The rest of his sentence was suspended.
$8 Million in Rare Books Vanish; 2 Men Are Charged
The archivist who oversaw a special collection of rare books at the central library in Pittsburgh walked out of the building with items and sold them to a local bookstore owner, authorities said, in a scheme that lasted nearly 20 years. The library archivist, Gregory Priore, 61, and the bookstore owner, John Schulman, 54, were arrested Friday on numerous criminal charges including theft and criminal conspiracy, authorities said. They are accused of trafficking several hundred rare books, maps and other items worth more than $8 million in total, records show. More than $1 million worth of items have been recovered.