The Hill's Campaign Report: DOJ, intel to be major issues in 2020
Welcome to The Hill’s Campaign Report, your daily rundown on all the latest news in the 2020 presidential, Senate and House races. Did someone forward this to you? Click here to subscribe.
We’re Julia Manchester, Max Greenwood and Jonathan Easley. Here’s what we’re watching today on the campaign trail.
On Thursday, May 21, The Hill hosts Advancing the American Economy, a national virtual summit to discuss a responsible reopening of the US economy. Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinThe Hill’s Coronavirus Report: Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas says country needs to rethink what ‘policing’ means; US cases surpass 2 million with no end to pandemic in sight The Hill’s Morning Report – Treasury, Fed urge more spending, lending to ease COVID-19 wreckage Minnesota AG Keith Ellison says racism is a bigger problem than police behavior; 21 states see uptick in cases amid efforts to reopen MORE joins Editor-in-Chief Bob CusackRobert (Bob) CusackThe Hill’s 12:30 Report: Thousands expected for George Floyd’s Houston visitation The Hill’s Morning Report – Capitol Hill weighs action on racial justice as protests carry on The Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by Facebook – Mnuchin: More COVID-19 congressional action ahead MORE for a headline interview followed by an afternoon of discussions with leading CEOs and national health experts. Additional speakers to be announced. Register Now!
LEADING THE DAY: DOJ, intel to be major issues in 2020
Attorney General William BarrBill BarrMilley discussed resigning from post after Trump photo-op: report OVERNIGHT DEFENSE: Joint Chiefs chairman says he regrets participating in Trump photo-op | GOP senators back Joint Chiefs chairman who voiced regret over Trump photo-op | Senate panel approves 0B defense policy bill Trump finalizing executive order calling on police to use ‘force with compassion’ MORE said Monday that he does not expect a criminal investigation into former President Obama or former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenHillicon Valley: Biden calls on Facebook to change political speech rules | Dems demand hearings after Georgia election chaos | Microsoft stops selling facial recognition tech to police Trump finalizing executive order calling on police to use ‘force with compassion’ The Hill’s Campaign Report: Biden campaign goes on offensive against Facebook MORE as part of U.S. Attorney John DurhamJohn DurhamGOP votes to give chairman authority to subpoena Obama officials Barr asks US attorney to further investigate ‘unmasking’ in 2016 Rosenstein to testify as part of Graham’s Russia investigation probe MORE’s probe into the origins of the FBI’s investigation into whether Trump colluded with Russia in 2016.
But don’t expect the issue to go away any time soon.
Obama and Biden were among those who received a classified intelligence report identifying Trump’s former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn on a phone call with the former Russian ambassador.
Trump’s allies have accused Obama of illicitly using the intelligence community and news media to sabotage the incoming Trump administration in early 2017.
The “unmasking” of Flynn was not a crime — it is common for top level administration officials with access to classified intelligence reports to make and receive unmasking requests. However, leaking a classified report to the news media is a crime, and there is speculation that Durham is investigating who leaked details about the Flynn call to The Washington Post.
Republicans, including Barr, view the scores of leaks and investigations into Trump’s dealings with Russia as meant to undermine his presidency.
They’re worried about intelligence leaks harming Trump in the run-up to the 2020 election.
Democrats, meanwhile, are worried that Russia will once again be looking to interfere on Trump’s behalf in the 2020 election.
They believe Barr has politicized the DOJ and see the intelligence community as a buffer against what they view as Trump’s lawlessness.
Expect those arguments to play out fiercely over the course of the rest of the year, with Democrats worried that law enforcement is working against them and Republicans worried about sabotage from the intelligence community and leaks to the news media.
— Jonathan Easley
Barr doesn’t expect Obama, Biden investigations, by Morgan Chalfant.
Trump attacks Biden with new, true crime-styled website, by Julia Manchester.
Five unanswered questions on COVID-19 and the 2020 elections, by Niall Stanage.
Trump, Biden signal bitter general election with latest attack ads, by Tal Axelrod.
Democrats worry Biden will be defined by Trump attacks, by Amie Parnes.
Stephen MooreStephen MooreWhite House gets jolt from strong jobs report The Hill’s Campaign Report: DOJ, intel to be major issues in 2020 Sunday shows – Trump trade adviser knocks Obama, whistleblower, CDC MORE: Democrats will pay a price with voters for hurting the economy.
Jessica Tarlov: Trump’s ignorance as strength.
J.T. Young: Now is the time for the left’s third-party run.
FROM THE TRAIL:
Republican National Committee (RNC) chairwoman Ronna McDanielRonna Romney McDanielGOP moves main 2020 convention events, including Trump speech, to Jacksonville GOP votes to scale back Charlotte convention, move Trump acceptance speech The Hill’s Morning Report – DC preps for massive Saturday protest; Murkowski breaks with Trump MORE is ruling out the possibility of a virtual convention amid the coronavirus pandemic. The Hill’s Rebecca Klar reports.
Click Here: Putters
Biden said on Monday that he would rescind the Keystone XL Pipeline permit if elected, undercutting a major priority for President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE. The pipeline, which would deliver oil from Canada to the U.S., has been blocked in court and is facing an appeal from the Trump administration. Rebecca Beitsch reports.
Biden on Monday also accused Trump of “fanning the flames” of “hate, fear and xenophobia” against Asian Americans during the coronavirus outbreak. Jonathan reports.
Rep. Justin AmashJustin AmashOver 1,400 pro athletes, coaches call on Congress to back bill ending qualified immunity House Democrats set to introduce proposed ban on chemical weapons Mark Cuban says he’s decided not to run for president MORE (L-Mich.) has decided against a third-party presidential run, saying on Saturday that the “circumstances don’t lend themselves to my success as a candidate,” Tal reports reports. Amash revealed last month that he was exploring a bid for the Libertarian Party’s presidential nomination.
FROM CONGRESS & THE STATES:
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) released its latest list of House and Senate endorsements exclusively to The Hill on Monday, marking the one-year anniversary of the House’s passage of the Equality Rights Act. In the Senate races, the group endorsed Kansas State Sen. Barbara Bollier and former North Carolina State Sen. Cal Cunningham, both Democrats, as well as Democratic incumbent Sens. Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinOVERNIGHT DEFENSE: Joint Chiefs chairman says he regrets participating in Trump photo-op | GOP senators back Joint Chiefs chairman who voiced regret over Trump photo-op | Senate panel approves 0B defense policy bill Trump on collision course with Congress over bases with Confederate names Tim Scott to introduce GOP police reform bill next week MORE (Ill.), Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerVirginia senator calls for Barr to resign over order to clear protests Trump asserts his power over Republicans Expanding tax credit for businesses retaining workers gains bipartisan support MORE (Va.) and Jeanne ShaheenCynthia (Jeanne) Jeanne ShaheenWarren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Mnuchin indicates openness to more PPP loans in next COVID-19 relief bill On The Money: GOP turning against new round of ,200 rebate checks | Millions of Americans frustrated by delayed unemployment checks | Senate votes to give coronavirus relief program more flexibility MORE (N.H.). In the House, the group has endorsed a number of Democratic lawmakers facing uphill reelection bids, including Reps. Abby FinkenauerAbby Lea FinkenauerIowa Republican Ashley Hinson wins House primary Gloves come off as Democrats fight for House seat in California The Hill’s Campaign Report: Buzz builds around Warren for VP MORE (Iowa) and Joe CunninghamJoseph CunninghamRepublican Nancy Mace to face Joe Cunningham in South Carolina House race OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Trump rule limits states from blocking pipeline projects | EPA finalizes rule to regulate cancer-linked chemical | Democrats want Congress to help plug ‘orphan’ oil and gas wells Gun control group rolls out House endorsements MORE (S.C.), and Virginia Reps. Elaine LuriaElaine Goodman LuriaGun control group rolls out House endorsements The Hill’s Campaign Report: DOJ, intel to be major issues in 2020 House GOP lawmaker breaks with party to back proxy voting MORE and Abigail SpanbergerAbigail Davis SpanbergerGun control group rolls out House endorsements The Hill’s Campaign Report: DOJ, intel to be major issues in 2020 Human Rights Campaign rolls out congressional endorsements on Equality Act anniversary MORE. See the full list here.
Prominent Republicans and conservative outside groups are lining up in droves behind Rep. Steve KingSteven (Steve) Arnold KingGOP lawmakers say Steve King’s loss could help them in November The Hill’s Campaign Report: Biden on the cusp of formally grasping the Democratic nomination The Hill’s 12:30 Report: Sights and sounds from the protests MORE’s (R-Iowa) primary challenger Randy Feenstra, eager to do away with a long-time lawmaker who party insiders see as a thorn in their side, Jonathan reports. Party leaders such as Karl RoveKarl Christian RoveKarl Rove: The days of ‘lock ’em up and throw away the key’ are long gone Longtime GOP Rep. Steve King defeated in Iowa primary Five things to watch in Tuesday’s primaries MORE and Rep. Steve StiversSteven (Steve) Ernst StiversGOP lawmakers say Steve King’s loss could help them in November Longtime GOP Rep. Steve King defeated in Iowa primary Five things to watch in Tuesday’s primaries MORE (R-Ohio), the former chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), have given money to Feenstra and national groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce are spending heavily to boost him ahead of the June 2 primary.
Progressives are embracing super PACs like never before as they look for ways to wield influence over the 2020 election cycle in the wake of Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Hill’s 12:30 Report: Milley apologizes for church photo-op Harris grapples with defund the police movement amid veep talk Biden courts younger voters — who have been a weakness MORE’s (I-Vt.) presidential campaign, The Hill’s Max Greenwood reports. Among the groups that have popped up over the past month are America’s Promise PAC, led by Sanders’s senior adviser Jeff Weaver, and Nuestro PAC, led by former Sanders adviser Chuck Rocha. Justice Democrats, the liberal group aligned closely with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezAttorney says 75-year-old man shoved by Buffalo police suffered brain injury How language is bringing down Donald Trump Highest-circulation Kentucky newspaper endorses Charles Booker in Senate race MORE (D-N.Y.), has also filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission to start a so-called Carey Committee, similar to a super PAC.
The Committee to Protect Medicare is pumping six figures into a new digital ad running in Florida, Arizona, Michigan and Wisconsin attacking Trump for talking about winding down his coronavirus task force. “If Donald Trump wants to retire from coronavirus duty, we can retire him for good this November,” the ad states. After initially saying he would bring the task force to an end, Trump backtracked and has since added several new members to the team. Democrats view Florida, Arizona, Michigan and Wisconsin as battleground states that Trump won in 2016 that Biden is positioned to win back in 2020.
Watch the Committee to Protect Medicare ad HERE.
Who do you trust more to lead the country through the COVID-19 pandemic?
Trump: 41 percent
Biden: 38 percent
MARK YOUR CALENDARS:
(Keep in mind these dates could change because of the outbreak.)
Hawaii Democratic primary
District of Columbia primaries
New Mexico primaries
Rhode Island primaries
South Dakota primaries
West Virginia primaries
New Jersey primaries
Alabama Republican Senate primary runoff
Democratic National Convention
Republican National Convention
One hopeful thing
A Georgia nonprofit is looking to help the homeless during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Good News Network reports that Love Beyond Walls has installed a number of portable sinks where homeless individuals can wash their hands across Atlanta in March.
And since then, the effort spread to a number of other U.S. cities including Columbus, Ohio; Austin,Texas; New Orleans and Baltimore when the group’s founder Terence Lester teamed up with hip-hop musician Lecrae.
Love Beyond Walls says they have hopes of installing more portable sinks over the next few months.