SHADY DEALMAKER RAISES $5 MILLION FOR TRUMP AND RNC: On one side of a bitter, long-running civil lawsuit over a failed Russian oilfield investment is Elliott Broidy, a top Trump fundraiser who faces questions raised by McClatchy and other news outlets about his work in Romania and with the United Arab Emirates, and about a possible contract to persuade the Justice Department to drop a probe involving Malaysia’s prime minister. In spite of that, Broidy co-hosted an event in Beverly Hills Tuesday night that was projected to bring in $5 million for Trump and the Republican National Committee. He admitted in 2009 that he had paid nearly $1 million in bribes to pension officials in New York state in exchange for their investment with his Israel-focused Markstone Capital fund. His company was forced to forfeit $18 million in management fees, and Broidy avoided prison time by giving prosecutors information on the recipients of his payments.
TRUMP APPOINTS CNBC COMMENTATOR LAWRENCE KUDLOW ECON ADVISOR: President Donald Trump is confirming he's picked CNBC contributor Larry Kudlow as his top economic adviser and says the country is in line for a long run of upbeat financial news. Trump tweets that the U.S. "will have many years of Great Economic & Financial Success, with low taxes, unparalleled innovation, fair trade and an ever expanding labor force leading the way!" Kudlow is succeeding Gary Cohn, a former Goldman Sachs executive, at the White House. Cohn's leaving after a dispute over Trump's decision to impose tariffs on imported steel and aluminum. Kudlow served in the Reagan administration and has emerged as a leading proponent of tax cuts and a smaller government.
NEW DOCUMENTS LINK 2ND TRUMP LAWYER TO STORMY DANIELS COVERUP: New documents show a top lawyer for the Trump Organization was involved in legal efforts to keep adult film star Stormy Daniels from talking about her alleged affair with President Donald Trump. The arbitration documents are signed by Trump Organization lawyer Jill A. Martin and list her address as that of Trump’s golf club in Los Angeles. Michael Cohen, another Trump attorney, has previously acknowledged making a $130,000 payment to Daniels at the end of the 2016 presidential campaign. He has said he was not reimbursed for the payment and said the campaign and Trump Organization were not involved in the transaction. Daniels’ attorney, Michael Avenatti, confirmed the authenticity of the new documents to The Associated Press. The documents were first reported by CNN and The Wall Street Journal.
CHEROKEE COUNTY DSS ILLEGALLY REMOVED CHILDREN FROM PARENTS: "They gave me no choice," said Hogan, 38, who told AP that child-welfare workers wanted to remove his daughter because they believed he placed the girl in an "unclean" home while he was caring for his hospitalized wife. Not only did Cherokee County child-welfare workers bypass that critical legal step with Hogan, they did the same thing with dozens, possibly hundreds, of other parents, according to interviews, court documents and copies of the agreements obtained by the AP. Because a judge and state welfare officials have determined the practice was illegal, the children are at risk of having their lives disrupted again, AP found. Some children who are better off in their new homes might not be allowed to stay there because the agreements did not follow proper protocol. In other cases, children never should have been removed from their parents.
DESPITE ONGOING LAWSUIT, GOVERNOR COOPER WILL APPOINT ELECTION BOARD: Gov. Roy Cooper announced Wednesday that he'll make appointments to a long-delayed new State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement this week while simultaneously continuing to fight the Republican-mandated changes to the board in court. The appointments would allow the organization, which has staff but no appointed board, to clear a backlog of work ahead of this year's elections. Among other things, the board appoints county boards of elections. Those local boards oversee election logistics, including approving early voting sites and certifying election equipment. Twenty-five of North Carolina's 100 counties, including Wake and Cumberland counties, do not have functioning boards because they have too few members.