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Trump Wants Military Parade on July 4th

President Trump said France’s Bastille Day celebration that he attended in July with French President Emmanuel Macron was such a “beautiful thing to see” that he’s thinking of holding a similar parade in Washington as a salute to the US military, the New York Post reports.

Said Trump: “Because of what I witnessed we may do something like that on July Fourth in Washington down Pennsylvania Avenue… We’re actually thinking about that … having a really great parade to show our military strength.”

Ryan Does Not Agree with Pardon Decision

Speaker Paul Ryan does not agree with President Trump’s decision to pardon controversial former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Said a spokesman: “The speaker does not agree with the decision. Law-enforcement officials have a special responsibility to respect the rights of everyone in the United States. We should not allow anyone to believe that responsibility is diminished by this pardon.”

Why Leaking Trump’s Calls Is Dangerous

David Frum: “Leaking the transcript of a presidential call to a foreign leader is unprecedented, shocking, and dangerous. It is vitally important that a president be able to speak confidentially—and perhaps even more important that foreign leaders understand that they can reply in confidence”.

“Thursday’s leak to The Washington Post of President Trump’s calls with the president of Mexico and the prime minister of Australia will reverberate around the world. No leader will again speak candidly on the phone to Washington, D.C.—at least for the duration of this presidency, and perhaps for longer. If these calls can be leaked, any call can be leaked—and no leader dare say anything to the president of the United States that he or she would not wish to read in the news at home.”

For members: Trump has a serious leak problem.

If Trump Pardons, It Could Be a Crime

Daniel Hemel and Eric Posner: “Consistent with the framers’ design, the Supreme Court has interpreted the president’s pardon power broadly. The president can pardon anyone for any crime at any time — even before a suspect has been charged. Congress cannot withdraw presidential pardons, and prosecutors and courts cannot ignore them.”

“But could a pardon be a criminal abuse of power? Some would argue that would contradict the founders’ vision of unlimited pardon authority. If a president sold pardons for cash, though, that would violate the federal bribery statute. And if a president can be prosecuted for exchanging pardons for bribes, then it follows that the broad and unreviewable nature of the pardon power does not shield the president from criminal liability for abusing it.”

“If it could be shown that President Trump pardoned his family members and close aides to cover up possible crimes, then that could be seen as acting “corruptly” and he could be charged with obstruction of justice.”

Sean Spicer Resigns

Sean Spicer resigned as White House press secretary “telling President Trump he vehemently disagreed with the appointment of New York financier Anthony Scaramucci as communications director,” the New York Times reports.

“His resignation is a blow to the White House chief of staff, Reince Priebus, the former Republican Party chairman who brought Mr. Spicer into the West Wing despite skepticism from Mr. Trump, who initially questioned his loyalty.”

“The appointment of Mr. Scaramucci, a favorite of Mr. Trump’s earliest campaign supporters, was backed by the president’s daughter Ivanka, his son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.”

Trump Seeks Ways to Undermine Russia Probe

Washington Post: “Some of President Trump’s lawyers are exploring ways to limit or undercut special counsel Robert S. Mueller’s Russia investigation, building a case against what they allege are his conflicts of interest and discussing the president’s authority to grant pardons, according to people familiar with the effort.”

“Trump has asked his advisers about his power to pardon aides, family members and even himself in connection with the probe, according to one of those people. A second person said Trump’s lawyers have been discussing the president’s pardoning powers among themselves.”

New York Times: “President Trump’s lawyers and aides are scouring the professional and political backgrounds of investigators hired by the special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, looking for conflicts of interest they could use to discredit the investigation — or even build a case to fire Mr. Mueller or get some members of his team recused.”

Democrats Go In for the Kill on Obamacare Repeal

The Hill: “Buoyed by Republican infighting and the backlash against the GOP legislation, Democrats believe they have momentum as they head toward a final showdown in July.”

“They got a boost on Friday when President Trump muddied the waters for his party by suggesting senators repeal ObamaCare now and replace it later — an option that was roundly rejected by Republicans in January.”

“The GOP tug of war comes as Democrats are united around a single political message: That the bill will give tax breaks to the rich while taking healthcare away coverage for the poor.”

Senate GOP Makes Changes to Health Care Bill

“Senate Republicans and the White House have agreed to add at least $45 billion to their Obamacare repeal bill to address the opioid crisis and are near agreement on allowing consumers to use Health Savings Account money to pay for their premiums,” Politico reports.

“The additions come as Senate Republicans are scrambling to get to 50 votes on their health care legislation. Both additions are expected to help get additional Republicans on board – opioid funding could help win over moderates and HSAs for conservatives. But there is no guarantee the language will do enough to substantially improve the bill’s prospects, Republican sources said.”

McConnell Said Attacks on Heller Were ‘Beyond Stupid’

New York Times: “The majority leader — already rankled by Mr. Trump’s tweets goading him to change Senate rules to scuttle Democratic filibusters — called the White House chief of staff, Reince Priebus, to complain that the attacks were ‘beyond stupid,’ according to two Republicans with knowledge of the tense exchange.”

“Mr. McConnell, who has been toiling for weeks, mostly in private, to put together a measure that would satisfy hard-liners and moderates, told Mr. Priebus in his call that the assault by the group, America First, not only jeopardized the bill’s prospects but also imperiled Mr. Heller’s already difficult path to re-election.”

Sessions Will Testify Before Senate Intelligence Committee

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said that he will testify in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday, amid questions over his role in a series of interactions between former FBI Director James Comey and President Trump, the Washington Post reports.

Sessions is expected to get questions about his involvement in the firing of Comey and the news that he offered his resignation to President Trump at one point recently.

It was not clear if the hearing would be open to the public or behind closed doors.

Exit Polls Suggest No Clear Majority in UK Election

“The U.K. risks plunging into fresh political turmoil after exit polls signaled that the governing Conservative Party failed to achieve an overall majority in Thursday’s election, an unexpected result that raises profound questions about the country’s looming departure from the European Union,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

“In a potentially fatal blow to the premiership of Theresa May, the polls suggested her governing Conservative Party looks set to have fallen short of the 326 seats needed to win a majority in Britain’s 650-seat Parliament. The poll suggested that her party would win 314 seats and the main opposition Labour Party 266 seats.”

Putin Ally Wanted Immunity to Testify

“Oleg Deripaska, a Russian oligarch once close to President Trump’s former campaign manager, has offered to cooperate with congressional committees investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 election, but lawmakers are unwilling to accept his conditions,” the New York Times reports.

“Mr. Deripaska’s offer comes amid increased attention to his ties to Paul Manafort, who is one of several Trump associates under F.B.I. scrutiny for possible collusion with Russia during the presidential campaign.”

“Mr. Deripaska, an aluminum magnate who is a member of the inner circle of the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, recently offered to cooperate with congressional intelligence committees in exchange for a grant of full immunity… But the Senate and House panels turned him down because of concerns that immunity agreements create complications for federal criminal investigators.”

McConnell Rejects Call for Special Prosecutor

“Before President Trump was even sworn into office, congressional Republicans made a pledge: They would be a check on executive power, they said, often making the independence of the legislative branch a centerpiece of their own election campaigns last year,” the New York Times reports.

“But on Wednesday, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and the majority leader, sought to give the beleaguered administration significant cover, strongly defending the firing of the F.B.I. director, James Comey, and resisting calls to challenge Mr. Trump and support a broader inquiry of Russian interference in the election.”

Politico: “After a flurry of GOP statements Tuesday night criticizing Trump for axing Comey so suddenly, there were no new Republican calls on Wednesday for a special prosecutor or select committee to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 presidential elections or possible collusion with the Trump campaign.”