GOVERNOR COOPER REMAINS STEADFAST IN DEMAND FOR NEW MAPS AND ELECTIONS: North Carolina Democrats and allies continued to press Republican leaders Monday to redraw legislative maps quickly after the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed last week that nearly 30 districts are illegally racially gerrymandered. Last Monday, the nation’s highest court upheld the lower court decision of three federal judges who originally tossed out the districts in August. The lower court can’t act until formally getting the case back from the Supreme Court, but the judges wrote Friday that they would “act promptly” on when new maps should be drawn and whether a special election is necessary this fall.
CAN DONALD TRUMP FIRE ROBERT MUELLER? Statements made by Trump's friend Christopher Ruddy set off many new questions Monday night. Ruddy, who had been at the White House Monday, told PBS' Judy Woodruff that "I think he's considering perhaps terminating the special counsel. I think he's weighing that option," he said referring to Trump. Technically, it's up to the attorney general to decide what to do with the special counsel. "The attorney general is the one who has to fire him," said CNN's senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin on "Anderson Cooper 360." "(Attorney General) Jeff Sessions is recused here, so it would be up to (Deputy Attorney General) Rod Rosenstein, who was the person who just appointed Bob Mueller a couple of weeks ago." Sessions previously recused himself from any involvement in the Russia investigation due to his role as a prominent campaign adviser and surrogate.
AG JEFF SESSIONS TO TESTIFY IN SENATE TODAY IN TRUMP/RUSSIA PROBE: Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ testimony to the Senate Intelligence committee Tuesday will be open to the public. Sessions is expected to face sharp questioning from his former Senate colleagues about his role in the investigation into contacts between Trump campaign associates and Russia during the 2016 election. His testimony follows fired FBI Director James Comey’s riveting session before the same Senate panel last week. Comey spoke of receiving pressure from President Donald Trump to drop a probe into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn’s contacts with Russia. Comey’s remarks drew an angry response from the president on Friday accusing Comey of lying.
TRUMP'S MUSLIM TRAVEL BAN REJECTED A THIRD TIME, VIOLATES IMMIGRATION LAW: Another appeals court, another defeat for the Trump administration. The San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday refused to reinstate President Donald Trump’s executive order banning travelers from six mostly Muslim countries. A three-judge panel said the administration failed to show that blocking citizens from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen was needed to protect the U.S. The court also found that the president’s order ran afoul of an immigration law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of nationality. While the president has broad authority over immigration, the judges said, to invoke that authority in this case, Trump would have to show the entry of citizens from the six countries would harm the U.S. He made no such showing, they said. “National security is not a ‘talismanic incantation’ that, once invoked, can support any and all exercise of executive power,” the judges wrote.
REPUBLICAN CONGRESSMAN-ELECT WHO BODY-SLAMMED REPORTER GETS "ANGER MANAGEMENT" TRAINING: Congressman-elect Greg Gianforte avoided jail time after pleading guilty Monday to an election-eve assault on a reporter that turned the race for Montana's lone U.S. House seat into a full-fledged political spectacle. The Republican tech entrepreneur instead will serve 40 hours of community service and attend 20 hours of anger management classes for throwing Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs to the ground at Gianforte's campaign headquarters in Bozeman on May 24. West ordered Gianforte to pay $385 in fines and court costs in addition to his 180-day suspended jail sentence, meaning he will be under court supervision until late November and will be able to petition to have the conviction removed from his record.