National News

National News at a Glance

Posted November 7, 2018 10:01 p.m. EST
Updated November 7, 2018 10:06 p.m. EST

Jeff Sessions Is Forced Out as Attorney General as Trump Installs Loyalist

President Donald Trump fired Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Wednesday, replacing him with a loyalist who has echoed the president’s complaints about the special counsel investigation into Russia’s election interference. Sessions delivered his resignation letter to the White House at the request of the president, who tapped Matthew G. Whitaker, Sessions’ chief of staff, as acting attorney general. Rod Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, had overseen the investigation after Sessions recused himself in March 2017, citing his role in Trump’s presidential campaign. Democrats demanded on Wednesday that Whitaker also remove himself from taking charge of the inquiry.

Trump Vows ‘Warlike Posture’ if Democrats Investigate Him

President Donald Trump threatened Wednesday to adopt a “warlike posture” against Democrats if they use their newly won control of the House to investigate his financial and political dealings. The president began a postelection news conference with an offer to work across party lines, but his conciliatory tone quickly turned contentious. And barely an hour later, he announced the firing of Attorney General Jeff Sessions in defiance of Democrats who saw an effort to impede the Russia investigation. “The firing of Jeff Sessions will be investigated and people will be held accountable,” said Rep. Jerry Nadler of New York.

Lasting Implications for the Courts as Republicans Gain in the Senate

Republicans’ expansion of their Senate majority means that the conservative legal movement is poised to expand and entrench its influence over the federal courts, leaving Democrats with dwindling hopes of being able to swiftly diminish that imprint even if they win the White House in 2020. The net pickup by Republicans of about three seats leaves President Donald Trump and the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, positioned to accelerate their record-breaking pace of appointing federal judges. The White House and McConnell will now have more room to get young and outspoken conservatives through even if a few Republicans break ranks.

Parkland Activists Took On the NRA. Here’s How It Turned Out.

After the shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida, survivors found themselves taking on the National Rifle Association as they crisscrossed the country rallying young adults to register and vote against candidates opposed to gun control. On Tuesday, the students got a dose of reality: Ron DeSantis was elected governor of Florida, and Rick Scott was leading the vote for U.S. senator. Both were endorsed by the NRA. "Things didn’t necessarily go our way but we know that this is the start, that it’s going to be a long road,” one of the students, David Hogg, said Wednesday.

Ex-Congressman Sentenced to 10 Years for Stealing Charitable Donations

A former U.S. representative from Texas was sentenced Wednesday to 10 years in prison and ordered to pay about $1 million in restitution after being convicted of stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars meant for charity and using it to pay for personal expenses and his political campaigns. In April, a federal jury found the former congressman, Steve Stockman, 61, guilty on 23 counts — including money laundering, conspiracy and making false statements — after prosecutors alleged that he had orchestrated a yearslong scheme to defraud charitable donors. Two of Stockman’s former aides also pleaded guilty last year.

Dead Pimp Cruises to Victory in Nevada State Election

In life, Dennis Hof claimed many titles: “America’s pimp” and “the P.T. Barnum of Booty,” based on his notoriety as an outspoken brothel owner in Nevada. He called himself the “Trump of Pahrump,” nodding to his political style and the town he called home. In death, Hof earned a new title: Nevada state assemblyman. On Tuesday, Nevada voters resoundingly elected Hof weeks after he was found dead in a brothel he owned in Crystal, Nevada, at age 72. His election means that county commissioners from his district will pick a replacement, who must be a Republican and live there.

Man Who Destroyed Trump’s Hollywood Star Is Ordered to Pay Nearly $9,500

A 24-year-old man who destroyed President Donald Trump’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame with a pickax in July reached a plea deal Wednesday requiring him to pay nearly $9,500 for the marker’s replacement. Austin Mikel Clay pleaded no contest to one felony count of vandalism, according to a news release from the Los Angeles County district attorney office. Clay was also sentenced to three years of formal probation, one day in county jail and 20 days of community labor, according to the release. He must also attend counseling.