May 30, 2019

Paul Manafort officially forfeits Trump Tower condo to U.S. government

Trump Tower. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

A federal judge has signed off on a forfeiture order for President Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort to hand over his Trump Tower condo on Fifth Avenue to the U.S. government, according to court documents filed Thursday.

Why it matters: Trump has frequently used the purported cost of the Mueller investigation, which he claims is $40 million, as a line of attack against the special counsel. But when Manafort pleaded guilty last September for violating the Foreign Agents Registration Act, he was forced to forfeit the assets he obtained that were "traceable to the offense." In addition to the condo, Manafort forfeited a Northwestern Mutual insurance policy and at least $11 million from his bank accounts.

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America's dwindling executions

The Trump administration wants to reboot federal executions, pointing to a 16-year lapse, but Pew Research reports the government has only executed three people since 1963.

The big picture: Nearly all executions in the U.S. are done by states. Even those have been steadily dropping for two decades, per the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) — marking a downward trend for all executions in the country.

Top NSC official may be moved after "Anonymous" rumor fallout

President Trump at the Daytona 500. (Photo: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Top Trump administration officials are in discussions to reassign deputy national security adviser Victoria Coates to the Department of Energy from the National Security Council, per two sources familiar with the planning.

Why it matters: Coates' working relationship with National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien, who elevated her to the deputy role only months ago, has strained amid an effort by some people inside the administration to tag her as "Anonymous" — a charge she has vehemently denied to colleagues.

Jeff Bezos commits $10 billion for climate change research

Bezos at Amazon Smbhav in New Delhi on Jan. 15. Photo: Sajjad Hussain/AFP via Getty Images

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos announced the launch of his "Earth Fund" on Monday via Instagram to fund climate change research and awareness.

What he's saying: Bezos says he's initially committing $10 billion to fund "scientists, activists, and NGOS" that are working on environmental preservation and protection efforts.