May 18th, 2009
11:05 AM ET
6 years ago

High court declines to step into Jefferson case

The U.S. Supreme Court is refusing to hear former congressman William Jefferson's appeal.
The U.S. Supreme Court is refusing to hear former congressman William Jefferson's appeal.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – The Supreme Court refused Monday to settle an ongoing dispute over the prosecution of former congressman William Jefferson on corruption charges.

The justices' denial of the onetime lawmaker's appeal means his criminal corruption trial is likely to proceed to trial later this month.

The Louisiana Democrat claims he was the victim of an overly aggressive FBI raid of his Capitol Hill offices in May 2006. He was indicted 13 months later on public corruption charges.

At issue in the appeal was whether he had constitutional protection as a lawmaker - so that evidence obtained in that search should not have been presented to the grand jury to obtain the indictment.

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Filed under: Supreme Court • William Jefferson
May 18th, 2009
09:54 AM ET
6 years ago

Obama raises cash in Indiana

 Obama raised cash for congressional candidates Sunday in Indiana.
Obama raised cash for congressional candidates Sunday in Indiana.

(CNN) - Call him Fundraiser-in-chief.

Before heading home from Indiana yesterday, following his commencement address at The University of Notre Dame, the president stopped off in Indianapolis for two political fundraisers.

About 40 people attended a $15,000-per-couple event for the Democratic National Committee, which raised between $300,000 and $400,000 for the party. Some 650 people packed a second fundraiser, for four Indiana Democratic congressmen. Tickets for that even ranged from $250 to $5,000 per person.

Indiana native John Mellencamp performed at the larger fundraiser. For Mellencamp, it was a return to politics. The rock legend took to the stage at Obama campaign events last year during the Indiana primary.

Last November, Obama became the first Democratic presidential candidate to win Indiana since 1964.

Reflecting on that victory, the president told the crowd that, "I know that I'm here tonight because of you, and folks like you across this country who made the phone calls, and knocked on the doors, and registered voters, and dug deep and gave whatever you could, because you were hungry for new ideas and new leadership and a new kind of politics."

Sunday night's events were the first fundraisers Obama has attended outside Washington since becoming president in January. Obama is scheduled to team up with Sen. Harry Reid for a fundraiser for the Senate Majority Leader next week in Las Vegas. Reid is up for re-election next year.

According to local reports, some 100 people protesting Obama's economic policies demonstrated outside the downtown Indianapolis hotel where the two fundraisers were held.


Filed under: Uncategorized
May 18th, 2009
08:59 AM ET
6 years ago

McAuliffe blasted by rival for supporting Hillary Clinton

McAuliffe supported Hillary Clinton in the Democratic presidential primary campaign.
McAuliffe supported Hillary Clinton in the Democratic presidential primary campaign.

(CNN) - Virginia gubernatorial candidate Brian Moran is hammering his Democratic primary rival Terry McAuliffe for backing Hillary Clinton instead of Barack Obama throughout much of the presidential race.

The Moran campaign is hoping a new 60-second radio ad running on black radio stations in Virginia will remind African-American voters - likely to be a crucial voting block in the June 9 Democratic primary - of McAuliffe's full-throated support for Clinton and his past criticisms of Obama.

"Terry McAuliffe may have a lot of big money for his campaign, but don't let that hide the truth," the ad's narrator says. "The truth is, Terry McAuliffe led the campaign that ran the '3 a.m.' attack ad against Barack Obama. McAuliffe worked to put up the ads that questioned Obama's ability to be president."

The new attack is especially pointed because McAuliffe has gone to great lengths to model elements of his gubernatorial campaign after Obama's, which won Virginia in both the Democratic primary and the general election. In March, McAuliffe's campaign ran an ad on black radio stations proclaiming: "In 2008, our voices were heard when we elected our president, Barack Obama."

But Moran's new ad claims that, "if Terry McAuliffe had his way, Barack Obama wouldn't be our president today." Referring to a light-hearted appearance by McAuliffe on The Daily Show last June, the ad says that "McAuliffe even went on national TV and joked Barack Obama could, quote, 'kiss my ass.'"

The McAuliffe campaign called the ad "false and misleading" and accused Moran of "trying to divide Democrats again, especially at a time when we all need to come together to help President Obama get the economy back on track." The campaign said McAuliffe "fought tirelessly" for Obama after the primaries ended.

Moran and McAuliffe are competing against Creigh Deeds for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination. The winner of that contest will face Republican Bob McDonnell in the general election.

UPDATE: The McAuliffe campaign responded again Monday by rolling out the endorsement of Tom Daschle, who co-chaired Obama's campaign.

"From the day Hillary Clinton ended her historic bid for president, Terry worked tirelessly to unify our party around Barack Obama and get him elected President," Daschle said in a statement. "His energy and enthusiasm were tremendous assets on the campaign trail and we were grateful to have him on our side."


Filed under: Terry McAuliffe
May 18th, 2009
05:04 AM ET
6 years ago

POLITICAL HOT TOPICS: May 18, 2009

ALT TEXT

The CNN Washington Bureau’s morning speed read of the top stories making news from around the country and the world.

WASHINGTON/POLITICAL
For the latest political news: www.CNNPolitics.com.

CNN: Obama calls for 'common ground' on abortion at Notre Dame
President Obama delved into the abortion debate in a controversial Notre Dame commencement address Sunday, calling for a search for common ground on one of the most divisive issues in American politics.

CNN: Obama girds for Supreme Court fight
President Obama has started arming for the possibility of a major Supreme Court nomination battle, pulling a longtime Democratic power player into the White House to help run the confirmation process, senior administration officials told CNN.

CNN: Iraq war case wasn't built on the waterboard, Liz Cheney says
Waterboarding was not used to produce intelligence that linked Iraq to al Qaeda in the run-up to the war in Iraq, former Vice President Dick Cheney's daughter said Sunday.

CNN: GOP leader on Pelosi's claim: Provide proof or apologize
House Minority Leader John Boehner turned up the heat Sunday in the escalating war of words between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, congressional Republicans, and the CIA over Pelosi’s knowledge of enhanced CIA interrogation techniques including water boarding.

CNN: Obama to visit Ghana in July
President Obama will rack up plenty of frequent flyer miles this summer with planned trips in Africa, Russia and Italy.

CNN: Obama names moderate Republican as envoy to China
President Obama announced Saturday that his choice for U.S. ambassador to China is moderate Republican Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, who expressed some surprise at the appointment.

NYT: Pakistan Is Rapidly Adding Nuclear Arms, U.S. Says
Members of Congress have been told in confidential briefings that Pakistan is rapidly adding to its nuclear arsenal even while racked by insurgency, raising questions on Capitol Hill about whether billions of dollars in proposed military aid might be diverted to Pakistan’s nuclear program.

Washington Post: At Geithner's Treasury, Key Decisions on Hold
The delay is one of many hitches that have slowed a host of important policy actions in the four months since Timothy F. Geithner became Treasury secretary. While Geithner has taken dramatic steps to address flashpoints in the economy, the work of carrying out those policies has bogged down because critical decisions about how to do so aren't being made, interviews with a broad range of federal officials show.

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Filed under: Political Hot Topics
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