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President Trump uses executive privilege to block the release of the Mueller report; Istanbul’s mayoral race will get a redo.
- President Donald Trump has asserted blanket executive privilege over the unredacted Mueller report, further escalating the conflict between the White House and House Democrats. [NYT / Nicholas Fandos]
- This is the first time the president has used his executive privilege in the ever-more-contentious battle over the Mueller report. His order bars lawmakers from seeing not only a full, unredacted version of the Mueller report but any underlying evidence used in the investigation as well. [The Hill / Morgan Chalfant and Jordan Fabian]
- Trump’s order was issued Wednesday morning, just before the House Judiciary Committee began its vote on holding Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress for failing to meet the deadline to provide a full Mueller report. House Democrats and the Justice Department had been attempting to negotiate a settlement regarding the Mueller report on Tuesday but failed. [Politico / Kyle Cheney and Andrew Desiderio]
- Although the House passed the contempt resolution, it is unlikely that Barr will pay a fine or go to jail as a result. This, however, will be the first step for Democrats to attempt to charge Barr with a crime. [Vox / Ella Nilsen]
- House Democrats and the White House are about to enter a long and bitter legal fight as the legislative and executive branches battle for power. [CNN / Stephen Collinson, Laura Jarrett, and Veronica Stracqualursi]
- This move, however, will not interfere with Mueller testifying to the committee, although it may now restrict the amount of information he can reveal. The committee is still trying to nail down a specific date for his hearing. [Washington Post / Rachael Bade, Carol D. Leonnig, and Matt Zapotosky]
An election redo in Turkey
- Turkey’s electoral authorities ordered a redo of the Istanbul mayoral elections to be held on June 23 after the president’s party met a crushing defeat in March. [Anadolu Agency / Busra Nur Bilgic]
- The defeat of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Istanbul was devastating because it was the president’s hometown and where he launched his political career as mayor. AKP has had an iron grip on the city, which is its own financial powerhouse, since the ’90s. [CNN / Sheena McKenzie and Murat Baykara]
- When AKP lost in the mayoral race, however, it was seen as a referendum on the current government and its handling of the economic crisis in the country. The party, however, refused to accept the results, claiming voter fraud, and asked the Supreme Election Council for a do-over — which it has now granted. [Reuters / Ece Toksabay and Jonathan Spicer]
- Erdogan’s side has celebrated the decision as a victory for Turkish democracy. The opposition party and several foreign diplomats, however, have criticized the government for manipulating the outcomes of the unfavorable election results. [AP / Suzan Fraser]
- The opposition party has accepted the rerun, although it’s called for the results from previous elections — including the national elections from last year — to be canceled as well. [Al Jazeera]
- Opposition candidate Ekrem Imamoglu has made it clear that he’s ready for the standoff. The withdrawal of other opposition candidates could make a difference. [NYT / Megan Specia]
- Although Erdogan is determined to win, even people in his own party are wary about the rerun and the damage it could do to Turkish democracy. [BBC / Mark Lowen]
- 5-year-old Ahmad Sayed Rahman lost a leg as a baby when he was hit by a bullet during a battle between Taliban and Afghan government forces. A video of him dancing with joy in his new prosthetic leg went viral. [Washington Post / Sharif Hassan]
- Denver narrowly passed a ballot that would decriminalize hallucinogenic mushrooms. [NYT/ Patricia Mazzei]
- In Rhode Island, students who owe schools lunch money will only receive sunflower butter and jelly sandwiches until they can pay off their debt. [CBS News / Caitlin O’Kane]
- A new survey reported that Americans spend almost $18,000 a year on “nonessential” items on average — though the expenses that fall into that category are a matter of debate. [Bustle / Lucia Peters]
- In an effort to increase transparency, pharmaceutical companies will now have to indicate prices for prescription medicines in TV ads if a month’s supply costs more than $35. [CNBC / Berkeley Lovelace Jr.]
“Executive privilege is not a cloak of secrecy that drapes across our nation’s capital from the White House to the Justice Department.” [Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) in response to Trump asserting his executive privilege]
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