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President Trump, First Lady Melania Trump and their son Barron, 13, leave the White House for Mar-a-Lago on Tuesday. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Trump keeps losing in court, but his legal strategy is winning as he plays for time, The New York Times reports.

Why it matters: Even as the Democrats take Trump to court over ignored subpoenas, he benefits by letting it all bleed out slowly. Voters won't be learning new damaging facts about him before they hit the polls in 2020.

  • "Trump is winning despite losing" as court fights play out over impeachment testimony by former White House counsel Don McGahn, Trump’s financial records and grand-jury evidence in the Russia investigation.

Worth noting:

  • The WashPost reports "serious questions about the accuracy" of Ambassador Gordon Sondland’s account of a phone call in which Trump told him there was no quid pro quo: "[N]o other witness testimony or documents have emerged that corroborate Sondland’s description of a call that day."
  • "The Justice Department's inspector general found no evidence that the F.B.I. attempted to place undercover agents or informants inside Donald J. Trump’s campaign in 2016," people familiar with a draft of the report told the Times.

Go deeper

Updated 4 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Trump grants flurry of last-minute pardons

Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty

President Trump issued 73 pardons and commuted the sentences of 70 individuals early Wednesday, 11 hours from leaving office.

Why it matters: It's a last-minute gift to some of the president's loyalists and an evident use of executive power with only hours left of his presidency. Axios reported in December that Trump planned to grant pardons to "every person who ever talked to me."

49 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Trump revokes ethics order barring former aides from lobbying

Photo: Spencer Platt via Getty

Shortly after pardoning members of Congress and lobbyists convicted on corruption charges, President Trump revoked an executive order barring former officials from lobbying for five years after leaving his administration.

Why it matters: The order, which was signed eight days after he took office, was an attempt to fulfill his campaign promise to “drain the swamp.”

  • But with less than 12 hours left in office, Trump has now removed those limitations on his own aides.

Trump pardons former fundraiser Elliott Broidy

President Trump has pardoned Elliott Broidy, a former top Republican fundraiser who pleaded guilty late last year to conspiring to violate foreign lobbying laws as part of a campaign to sway the administration on behalf of Chinese and Malaysian interests.

Why it matters: Broidy was a deputy finance chair for the Republican National Committee early in Trump’s presidency, and attempted to leverage his influence in the Trump administration on behalf of his clients. The president's decision to pardon Broidy represents one last favor for a prominent political ally.