Monday's politics & policy stories

Judge lifts restraining order on Mary Trump on eve of book release

Photo: Simon & Schuster

A New York judge on Monday lifted the temporary restraining order that had prevented Mary Trump from publicly discussing a tell-all book set to be released July 14 about her uncle, President Trump.

Why it matters: Mary Trump, a trained psychologist, portrays the president as a dangerous sociopath and alleges in her book that Donald Trump's sister Maryanne had concerns about her brother's fitness for office, among other things.

House Judiciary Committee releases transcript of Geoffrey Berman testimony

Geoffrey Berman. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The House Judiciary Committee on Monday released the transcript of its closed-door interview with Geoffrey Berman, the former top federal prosecutor in Manhattan who was forced out by Attorney General Bill Barr last month.

Why it matters: House Democrats have seized on Berman's testimony, in which he claimed the attorney general sought to "entice" him into resigning so that he could be replaced by SEC chairman Jay Clayton, to bolster allegations that the Justice Department has been politicized under Barr.

Jul 13, 2020 - Politics & Policy

The nationwide K-12 tipping point

Photo: Karen Ducey/Getty Images

The doors of public schools are swiftly slamming shut for many Americans ahead of this next school year.

Driving the news: Los Angeles and San Diego are starting out online-only this fall, forcing 825,000 students to learn with a laptop.

Jul 13, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Biden campaign condemns White House attacks on Fauci

Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

The Biden campaign issued a statement on Monday slamming President Trump for reportedly seeking to discredit Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, as the coronavirus pandemic continues to rage in the U.S.

The state of play: Over the weekend, a number of media outlets received a statement from an unnamed White House official that listed the times Fauci was "wrong on things" in the pandemic's early days.

Jul 13, 2020 - Podcasts

Teachers union president on reopening schools

The school year begins soon in certain states, but we're getting further away from a national consensus on if and how schools should reopen for in-person learning.

Axios Re:Cap talks with Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, to better understand where we are and where we’re going.

Go deeper: Los Angeles and San Diego public schools will be online only this fall

Jul 13, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Justice Department releases Trump's clemency order for Roger Stone

Photo: Johnny Louis/Getty Images

The Justice Department's Office of the Pardon Attorney on Monday released the clemency order President Trump signed for his associate Roger Stone, who had been sentenced to 40 months in prison for lying to Congress and other crimes stemming from the Mueller investigation.

Why it matters: The federal judge who sentenced Stone had sought clarification on the exact scope of the commutation that the White House controversially announced on Friday night.

McEnany denies White House issued "opposition research" on Fauci

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany denied Monday that the White House released "opposition research" on Anthony Fauci’s handling of the coronavirus, despite the fact that multiple media outlets received a statement from an unnamed White House official that listed the times Fauci was "wrong on things" in the pandemic's early days.

The big picture: McEnany painted the statement as "a direct answer to what was a direct question" for a Washington Post piece, but the administration forwarded that document to other outlets, including CNN, which described it as "[resembling] opposition research on a political opponent."

George Soros' foundation to invest $220 million in racial justice efforts

Photo: Popow/ullstein bild via Getty Images

George Soros' philanthropic group, the Open Society Foundations, announced Monday it will invest $220 million in racial justice organizations and leaders that "helped to create and now sustain the momentum towards racial equality."

Why it matters: The windfall "will immediately reshape the landscape of Black political and civil rights organizations" while positioning Soros' foundation "near the forefront of the protest movement," the New York Times' Astead Herndon writes.

Jul 13, 2020 - Health

Mick Mulvaney: "We still have a testing problem in this country"

Mick Mulvaney. Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Former White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney wrote in a CNBC op-ed published Monday that if Congress seeks to pass another relief package, it should treat the economic crisis as "public-health driven" and avoid traditional fiscal measures like providing stimulus checks.

The big picture: Striking a vastly different tone from that of President Trump, who has boasted about the U.S.' testing capabilities and downplayed the severity of the health crisis, Mulvaney called for any stimulus package to "be directed at the root cause of our recession: dealing with Covid."

Former Mueller prosecutor to detail investigation in new book

Robert Mueller. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Random House announced Monday that Andrew Weissmann, a former prosecutor for special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, will release a new book, titled "Where Law Ends: Inside the Mueller Investigation," about the probe on Sept. 29.

Why it matters: Weissmann helped Mueller lead the case against former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, who ultimately pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges in 2018. Random House says the book will showcase "the painful deliberations, and mistakes of the team — not to mention the external efforts by the president and Attorney General William Barr to manipulate the investigation to their political ends."

Jul 13, 2020 - Health

More than 1,000 CDC employees call out "ongoing and recurring acts of racism"

Photo: Jessica McGowan/Getty Images

More than 1,000 employees at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have signed a letter highlighting "ongoing and recurring acts of racism and discrimination" against Black employees at the agency, NPR reports.

The state of play: By Sunday evening, about 9% of the agency's workers had signed the letter, which claims the CDC has fostered an "oppressive monoculture that stifles the growth of Black professionals and inhibits their ability to fully contribute their talents and skills."

Washington Redskins will change team name

Photo: Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

The Washington Redskins announced Monday that the NFL team plans to change its name.

Why it matters: It brings an end to decades of debate around the name — considered by many to be racist toward Native Americans. The change was jumpstarted by nationwide protests against systemic racism in the U.S. this summer.

Jul 13, 2020 - Sports

DeSean Jackson's anti-Semitic posts kick off weeklong firestorm

Photo: Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

When Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson posted an anti-Semitic quote on Instagram last week, falsely attributed to Adolf Hitler, it set off a firestorm that built over a week.

What happened: Jackson first apologized within a day, claiming he "didn't realize what this passage was saying," but plenty of people jumped into the fray from various sports leagues to both defend and criticize him over the incident.

Jul 13, 2020 - World

China bans Cruz and Rubio over Xinjiang criticism

Photos: Graeme Jennings/Pool/Getty Images; Al Drago/Pool/Getty Images

China said Monday that it will ban entry to Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) over their criticisms of human rights abuses in Xinjiang, AP reports.

The big picture: The move seems to be retaliatory after the U.S. announced sanctions on four Chinese officials for human rights abuses against Uighur Muslims and other ethnic minorities in the region last week.

Roger Stone says he plans to campaign for Trump

Roger Stone appears yesterday outside his home in Fort Lauderdale. Photo: Johnny Louis/Getty Images

Roger Stone told Axios in a phone interview that he plans to write and speak for President Trump's re-election now that Stone "won't die in a squalid hellhole of corona-19 virus."

"I'm asthmatic," said Stone, 67. "Sending me to a prison where I could not be socially distanced ... would, I think, be a death sentence."

Planned Parenthood launches digital ad campaign for Biden

Photo: Erik McGregor / Contributor

Planned Parenthood Votes, the political arm of the national reproductive rights group, is ramping up its general election efforts, launching five-figure digital ad campaigns across nine battleground states.

Why it matters: This is the group's biggest election cycle effort yet, part of a larger $45 million investment ahead of November's election, and provides a glimpse of how Democrats are trying to take down President Trump on women's health issues while boosting Joe Biden as the alternative.

Pro-Trump PAC drops $23 million on summer anti-Biden ads

Screenshot: America First Action

America First Action, a leading pro-Trump super PAC, will focus on Arizona, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin in a $23 million anti-Biden summer ad campaign beginning next week.

Why it matters: The ad buy signals which swing states the groups sees as most vulnerable for President Trump. Arizona and Wisconsin were not included earlier this year in the core battleground strategy.