Dec 2, 2019

Axios PM

Good afternoon: Today's PM — edited by Justin Green — is 453 words, a 2-minute read.

  • 🚨 Rep. Duncan Hunter will plead guilty in corruption case. Go deeper.

NYC readers: Join me tomorrow at 8am for conversations about the future of philanthropy. RSVP here.

1 big thing: Catholic Church faces "astronomical" liability

Photo: Charles Ommanney/Getty Images

17 years after the Boston Globe published its groundbreaking reporting on sexual abuse by priests, the Catholic Church faces a historic crisis of legal liability.

The big picture: The Church could be on the hook for more than $4 billion in damages, the AP estimates.

  • There could be at least 5,000 new cases against the church in New York, New Jersey and California alone, which are among the eight states with “lookback windows” that allow sex abuse claims no matter how old, the AP reports.
  • 15 states and D.C. have changed their statute of limitations since 2018 to allow for these suits, since so many sexual assault allegations date back decades.

Why it matters: Never before have so many states acted in near-unison to lift the restrictions that once shut people out if they didn’t bring claims of childhood sex abuse by a certain age, often their early 20s.

The bottom line: Los Angeles lawyer Paul Mones, who has won tens of millions in sex abuse cases against the church going back to the 1980s, told the AP that “the zeitgeist is completely unfavorable to the Catholic Church.”

  • “The X-factor here is whether there will be trials,” he said. “If anyone starts trying these cases, the numbers could become astronomical.”
Map: AP
Bonus: Pics du jour
Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Above: Christmas music in the Grand Foyer at the White House, which expects to host 100 open houses and more than 30,000 guests this season.

Below: The East Colonnade, decked out in white.

Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images
2. What you missed
  1. The House GOP impeachment report will claim that President Trump committed “no quid pro quo, bribery, extortion, or abuse of power." Go deeper.
  2. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he and Trump discussed the possibilities of a U.S-Israel defense treaty as well as Israeli annexation of the Jordan Valley in the West Bank in their call last night. Go deeper.
  3. The Trump campaign will no longer allow Bloomberg News to obtain credentials to cover Trump campaign events. Go deeper.
  4. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky publicly pushed back on Trump for withholding military aid this summer while the country was in the midst of a war with Russia. Go deeper.
  5. Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp has reportedly selected Republican donor and businesswoman Kelly Loeffler to fill the soon-to-be-vacant U.S. Senate seat of Johnny Isakson. Go deeper.
3. The WeWork movie

WeWork and co-founder and former CEO Adam Neumann will be brought to the silver screen, per the Hollywood Reporter.

  • The movie will be adapted from the reporting and upcoming book by Katrina Brooker, "which focuses on the intertwined lives and ambitions of Masayoshi Son — CEO of Softbank and massive investor in WeWork — and Neumann."
  • "Brooker has conducted in-depth interviews with Adam Neumann and dozens of sources within SoftBank and WeWork."

Go deeper: The board bungle behind WeWork's fall