Rosenstein, Kavanaugh, and more top news from today

Rosenstein, Kavanaugh, and more top news from today

A big question on Monday in Washington: Would Rod Rosenstein lose his job?

The deputy attorney general who reportedly floated the idea of removing President Donald Trump from office headed to the White House on Monday expecting to be fired. He was not. But he will face Trump in a Thursday meeting, and what happens there could affect the course of this presidency.

Here's a quick recap: 

  • Friday: The New York Times reports that Rosenstein discussed recording Trump using a wire and using the 25th Amendment to remove him. Rosenstein denies the report.
     
  • Saturday: Rosenstein mulls over a resignation while meeting with John Kelly, Trump's chief of staff, according to a person familiar with the matter but not authorized to comment publicly. 
     
  • Monday: Rosenstein meets again with Kelly at the White House. Trump spokeswoman Sarah Sanders suggests Rosenstein's fate will be finalized Thursday. Rumors fly: Axios reports Rosenstein offered to resign, while NBC reports that Rosenstein would force the White House to fire him.

Why this matters: Rosenstein oversees the Russia investigation swirling around Trump. What does that mean? Republican lawmakers stayed largely silent, but Democrats had an idea: potential obstruction of justice. "The Senate must pass legislation to protect special counsel Robert Mueller TODAY," Sen. Kamala Harris tweeted, calling it "a matter of preserving the rule of law."

Trump's lawyer has already has already called for a "time out" in the investigation if Rosenstein goes. And who could take over then? Meet Solicitor General Noel Francisco. 

A second woman accuses Kavanaugh. A third may be on the way.

A second woman has accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assaulting her decades ago. In a Sunday New Yorker report, Deborah Ramirez says Kavanaugh exposed himself to her while they were freshmen at Yale University. Also on Sunday, Michael Avenatti, the attorney representing Stormy Daniels, said he represents a third woman with "information" on Kavanaugh. That woman was not Ramirez, he said.

All that adds to Christine Blasey Ford’s claim last week that Kavanaugh assaulted her at a party in 1982. In an interview with Fox News on Monday night, Kavanaugh flatly denied the allegations leveled against him by the two women. He also plans to fight for confirmation to the nation’s highest court. 

How's it playing out? Fallout from Ramirez's allegations has been swift. Kavanaugh protesters showed up at senators' offices by the dozens on Monday. Later, hundreds of protesters marched to the Supreme Court while women nationwide conducted a #BelieveSurvivors walkout at 1 p.m. ET.

What happens now? Ford and Kavanaugh are set to testify before senators on Thursday. Democrats have called for a halt to the hearing. Some lawmakers have asked Kavanaugh to withdraw.

Just a reminder: Two Republicans rejecting Kavanaugh's nomination would probably be enough to derail it, and protesters are looking for "hero" GOP lawmakers. Here are the two Republicans everyone's watching.

Rosenstein, Kavanaugh, and more top news from today

A break from Washington:

  • Wow: A teen survived at sea for seven weeks on a wooden trap before being rescued.
  • The long effort to jail Bill Cosby for sexual assault turned a corner Monday as his sentencing began
  • Disney will redo Princess Tiana in "Ralph Breaks the Internet" after complaints that the black character's skin tone got lighter and her nose got narrower.
  • The white Dallas officer accused of killing a black neighbor after entering his apartment has been fired

Underworld connections. An FBI case gone awry. Welcome to The City.

A dump towers six stories above a Chicago neighborhood, creating a habitat for crime and filling the air with noxious dust. A tour de force through Chicago’s underbelly follows: Politicians get indicted. An FBI case goes awry.  A community is tested — all under the specter of racism in America. Welcome to The City, the new investigative podcast from USA TODAY. Find it on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen.

This compilation of stories from across the USA TODAY Network was brought to you by Josh Hafner and Mabinty Quarshie.

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