Week In The News: Border Wall Lawsuit, Acosta Accusations, North Carolina Election Fraud

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Mark Harris, Republican candidate in North Carolina's 9th Congressional race, prepares to testify during the fourth day of a public evidentiary hearing on the 9th Congressional District voting irregularities investigation. (Travis Long/The News & Observer via AP, Pool)
Mark Harris, Republican candidate in North Carolina's 9th Congressional race, prepares to testify during the fourth day of a public evidentiary hearing on the 9th Congressional District voting irregularities investigation. (Travis Long/The News & Observer via AP, Pool)

With David Folkenflik

The ACLU and 16 states sue Trump over the border wall. Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta faces accusations he gave too much deference to a billionaire sex offender. A new election ordered in North Carolina. Our reporters’ roundtable convenes.

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Ginger Gibson, national political correspondent for Reuters. (@GingerGibson)

Ed O’Keefe, political correspondent, CBS News. (@edokeefe)

Jack Beatty, On Point news analyst. (@jackbeattynpr)

From The Reading List

Fortune: "What Happens Next in the Case of Trump vs. 16 U.S. States" — "Sixteen states filed a federal lawsuit on Monday challenging President Donald Trump’s national emergency declaration to fund a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

"Trump declared a state of emergency along the southern border Friday, which frees up federal funding and circumvents the budget deal Congress passed to avoid a second government shutdown, which allocated nearly $1.4 billion to border fencing. Trump’s emergency order would give him $6.7 billion more, the Guardian reports.

"The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, argues that Trump does not have the power to divert funds for constructing a border wall because Congress controls spending."

Reuters: "North Carolina orders new U.S. House election after 'tainted' vote" — "North Carolina’s elections board on Thursday ordered a new election for a U.S. House seat after officials said corruption surrounding absentee ballots tainted the results of a 2018 vote that has embarrassed the Republican Party.

"The bipartisan board’s 5-0 decision came after Republican candidate Mark Harris, confronted by days of evidence that an operative for his campaign orchestrated a ballot fraud scheme, called for a new vote in the state’s 9th Congressional District.

"'It’s become clear to me that the public’s confidence in the 9th District seat general election has been undermined to an extent that a new election is warranted,' Harris said on the fourth day of the hearing in Raleigh, the state capital."

NPR: "As Pope Holds Sex Abuse Summit, U.S. Catholics Not Hopeful For 'Bold Moves'" — "Never in the history of the Roman Catholic Church has a pope ordered bishops from around the world to come together and consider how many priests abuse children sexually and how many church officials cover for the abusers. The scandal of clergy sex abuse has deep roots in church history, but church leaders have been notoriously reluctant to acknowledge it and deal with the consequences.

"Not surprisingly, when Pope Francis summoned more than 100 bishops to a meeting in Rome to address the 'Protection of Minors in the Church,' the announcement raised expectations that it could mark a turning point in the Church's lagging response to the ongoing clergy abuse crisis. The three-day meeting begins Thursday.

"In the weeks that followed the Pope's announcement, however, U.S. Catholics in particular have become disappointed over his characterization of the summit as a gathering that will merely feature 'prayer and discernment,' hardly an ambitious vision for what could have been a momentous event."

Reuters: "U.S. presidential hopeful Warren urges universal childcare, 'ultra-millionaire' tax" — "U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat running for president, on Tuesday proposed a universal childcare program, paid for by a tax on high-net-worth individuals, to help families unable to find affordable care.

"The program would be funded largely by the federal government and would use existing childcare facilities and in-home providers.

"The proposed tax would apply to individuals with a net worth of $50 million or higher, which the senator from Massachusetts has dubbed the 'Ultra-Millionare Tax.' Her campaign estimates the tax would generate $2.75 trillion in government revenue in 10 years."

CBS News: "Bernie Sanders' 2020 campaign raises more than $1 million in less than 4 hours" — "Sen. Bernie Sanders has raised more than $1 million for his 2020 presidential campaign in less than four hours, his team confirms, putting him well ahead of other contenders who launched their bids with strong financial support.

"Sanders, I-Vermont, formally joined the presidential race Tuesday morning, telling 'CBS This Morning' he intends to win the Democratic nomination and the White House next year.

"'We're gonna win,' he told 'CBS This Morning' co-host John Dickerson. In his second run, Sanders is vowing to launch a grassroots movement that will 'lay the groundwork for transforming the economic and political life of this country.' "

NBC News: "Why charges against Jussie Smollett are considered a felony" — "Actor Jussie Smollett has been charged by the Cook County State’s Attorney office with felony disorderly conduct for allegedly filing a false police report claiming he was the victim of a hate-crime attack in Chicago.

"The state alleges Smollett filed a false report with Chicago police on Jan. 29, when he claimed he was assaulted by two masked men who hurled racist and homophobic slurs.

"Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson, speaking at a press conference, skewered Smollett and false police reports generally. He said that while no violent crimes went uninvestigated as a result of Smollett's claims, Johnson suggested that the hundreds of killings in Chicago represented a more serious problem deserving of national attention than a celebrity’s allegedly false police report."

Brian Hardzinski produced this hour for broadcast.

This article was originally published on February 22, 2019.

This program aired on February 22, 2019.


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