Thursday’s Mini-Report, 11.21.19

Updated

Today’s edition of quick hits:

* Another informative day: “Fiona Hill, President Donald Trump’s former top adviser on Russia and Europe, and David Holmes, a counselor for political affairs at the U.S. embassy in Ukraine, testified before the House Intelligence Committee for more than seven hours Thursday – capping the week’s long list of public hearings in the Democratic-led impeachment inquiry.”

* Netanyahu indicted: “Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been indicted on charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust, Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit announced Thursday, prolonging the country’s political uncertainty as it looks set to head into its third national election in a year.”

* Afghanistan: “Two U.S. service members who were killed when their helicopter crashed in Afghanistan have been identified. The Defense Department said Thursday that Chief Warrant Officer 2s David C. Knadle and Kirk T. Fuchigami Jr. died when their helicopter crashed while providing security for troops on the ground in eastern Logar Province.”

* There won’t be a shutdown tonight: “The Senate cleared a monthlong spending bill Thursday, sending it to President Donald Trump’s desk hours before government funding was set to expire at midnight.” (Here’s the roll call on today’s Senate vote.)

* Federal executions: “A judge has temporarily blocked the Trump administration’s plans to resume federal executions after 16 years, halting four scheduled executions to give the inmates time to challenge the new policy.”

* A story to watch: “Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr.’s criminal investigation of the Trump Organization is scrutinizing the actions of one of the president’s oldest and most trusted deputies, ProPublica has learned. The focus on Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg, a 72-year-old accountant now running the business with Trump’s two adult sons, stems from his involvement in arranging a payment to porn actress Stormy Daniels in exchange for her silence about an alleged sexual encounter with Trump (which Trump has denied).”

* SCOTUS: “Lawyers for a U.S. House committee urged the Supreme Court on Thursday not to block a subpoena directing Donald Trump’s accounting firm to turn over several years’ worth of financial documents. It’s likely to produce the first response by the Supreme Court to the growing number of legal battles over access to Donald Trump’s financial secrets.”

* Elijah Cummings’ committee successor: “Veteran New York Rep. Carolyn Maloney was elected Wednesday to lead the powerful House Oversight and Reform Committee, the first woman to hold the job in the panel’s 92-year history.”

* Vindman: “Lt. Col. Alexander S. Vindman is hitting back at the smear campaign against him. A lawyer for Colonel Vindman, the National Security Council’s Ukraine expert, sent a warning letter to Fox News on Wednesday seeking a retraction or correction of an October segment hosted by one of the network’s biggest personalities, Laura Ingraham, which baselessly suggested that the colonel, a decorated Iraq war veteran, might be guilty of espionage.”

* NOAA: “Barry Myers, President Trump’s controversial nominee to lead the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), has withdrawn from consideration due to health concerns, an administration official confirmed Wednesday evening.”

* Refugees: “Last month, for the first time since records began, the number of refugees resettled in the US hit zero. The nosedive is the result of a State Department freeze on admissions, according to a World Relief press release, resulting in hundreds of canceled flights and yet more uncertainty for the thousands of refugees hoping to resettle in the US.”

See you tomorrow.