May 17, 2017

Dems: If Comey memo true, Trump obstructed justice

The Democratic reactions to the NYT report that President Trump asked James Comey to drop the probe into ousted National Security Advisor Mike Flynn:

  • Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer: Has "concerns about our national security…the independence about our nation's highest intelligence agencies…the country is being tested in unprecedented ways. I say to all of my colleagues in the Senate, history is watching."
  • House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi: "If these reports are true, the President's brazen attempt to shut down the FBI's investigation of Michael Flynn is an assault on the rule of law that is fundamental to our democracy…At best, President Trump has committed a grave abuse of executive power. At worst, he has obstructed justice."
  • Rep. Elijah Cummings: "explosive allegation" that "appears like a textbook case of obstruction of justice."
  • Rep. Adam Schiff: "Enough is enough, Congress really needs to get to the bottom of this."
  • Sen. Chris Murphy: "Just leaving Senate floor. Lots of chatter from Ds and Rs about the exact definition of 'obstruction of justice.'"
  • Sen. Richard Blumenthal: "We are witnessing an obstruction of justice case unfolding in real time. I am stunned that any of my colleagues would possibly oppose the appointment of an independent special prosecutor…All of the evidence — including transcripts, tapes, memos, and other documents — must be subpoenaed immediately." He also called for Comey, Sessions, Rosenstein, and Don McGahn to testify.
  • Sen. Dick Durbin: This "appears to cross the line into the obstruction of justice. No one…is above the law. When will a Republican senator step out of the shadows and join us in calling for the appointment of a Special Prosecutor" to get out of the "tangled web of deception?"
  • Sen. Angus King (Independent): "I say it with sadness and reluctance," but if Trump asked Comey to end any investigations, impeachment is on the table.

Go deeper

Minneapolis unrest as hundreds protest death of George Floyd

Tear gas is fired as police clash with protesters demonstrating against the death of George Floyd outside the 3rd Precinct Police Precinct in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on Tuesday. Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Minneapolis police used tear gas during clashes with protesters demanding justice Tuesday night for George Floyd, an African American who died in police custody, according to multiple news reports.

Driving the news: The FBI is investigating Floyd's death after video emerged of a Minneapolis police officer kneeling on his neck for several minutes, ignoring protests that he couldn't breathe. Hundreds of protesters attended the demonstration at the intersection where Floyd died, per the Guardian.

U.S. coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios. This graphic includes "probable deaths" that New York City began reporting on April 14.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam announced plans Tuesday to make wearing face coverings mandatory statewide for most people over the age of 10 when inside public places like retailers, on public transportation and government buildings. He announced the measure, effective Friday, as coronavirus case numbers increased to 39,342.

By the numbers: More than 98,900 people have died from COVID-19 and over 1.6 million have tested positive in the U.S. Over 384,900 Americans have recovered and more than 14.9 million tests have been conducted.

World coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

Japan is preparing a second coronavirus stimulus package worth $1.1 trillion, or about 40% of the country's gross domestic product, Reuters first reported Tuesday night.

Zoom in: The new measure will be funded by government bonds and will include "a raft of loan guarantees and private sector contributions," per Bloomberg.