Wednesday’s Mini-Report, 3.20.19

Today’s edition of quick hits:

* The right call: “A federal judge ruled late Tuesday that the Interior Department violated federal law by failing to take into account the climate impact of its oil and gas leasing in the West.”

* Brexit: “Top officials of the European Union tossed Prime Minister Theresa May a life line on Wednesday, saying they would allow Britain to push back its departure date from the bloc, but only if Parliament endorsed her withdrawal plan.”

* This is not a vote of confidence in the health of the recovery: “Not only did the Federal Reserve decide Wednesday not to raise interest rates, but it also indicated that no more hikes will be coming this year.”

* Mueller probe: “Former Trump campaign adviser Rick Gates – a central cooperating witness for special counsel Robert Mueller – has been advised by prosecutors not to cooperate with the House Judiciary Committee’s broad investigation of President Donald Trump, his lawyer told lawmakers in a recent letter obtained Wednesday by POLITICO. But Gates’ lawyer, Thomas Green, left open the possibility of assisting the panel ‘in the coming months.’”

* In related news: “Prosecutors with special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s team on Tuesday cited the ‘press of other work’ in asking a judge to give them until April 1 to respond to the court about a request from The Washington Post to unseal records in Paul Manafort’s criminal case.”

* Keep an eye on this one: “A confidential government report has provided President Donald Trump with a legal rationale to impose heavy new tariffs on foreign cars as soon as this spring, a prospect fiercely opposed by White House officials and congressional Republicans alarmed by its enormous economic and political stakes.”

* I think this was only the second time Justice Clarence Thomas has spoken from the bench in over a decade: “The U.S. Supreme Court appeared likely Wednesday to rule in favor of a Mississippi death row inmate who said the state prosecutor repeatedly kicked black people off the jury each time he was tried for the same murders, in a case that prompted Justice Clarence Thomas to break a three-year silence on the bench.”

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

Wednesday's Mini-Report, 3.20.19