Election News

Thursday marks one year since a divided Senate confirmed Brian Benczkowski to lead the Justice Department's criminal division.

The 51-48 vote reflected Democrats' worry that he'd try to interfere with the investigation into Russia's attack on the 2016 election.

Things didn't work out that way.

Benczkowski promised to consult with career officials about any possible conflicts with the special counsel probe, but he said this week that never became necessary.

With Jane Clayson

How is it that a multimillionaire got a sweetheart deal for sex crimes? New charges are bringing up old questions about Jeffrey Epstein.

Guests

Julie Brown, Miami Herald investigative reporter, and the reporter behind the paper’s groundbreaking series, “Perversion of Justice.” (@jkbjournalist)

Updated at 5:35 p.m. ET

Labor Secretary Alex Acosta defended a 2008 plea agreement he oversaw as a U.S. attorney in Florida in which multimillionaire and accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein got a light sentence in exchange for pleading guilty to state charges.

"Facts are important, and facts are being overlooked," Acosta told reporters at a news conference Wednesday.

The Trump administration is swinging for a "home run" in the proposal it's crafting for peace between Israelis and Palestinians, but it isn't going to offer "goodies" to get the Palestinians to start negotiations, a key White House adviser told Ari Shapiro on NPR's All Things Considered.

Special Representative for International Negotiations Jason Greenblatt is an assistant to President Trump and has traveled to the Mideast repeatedly over the past two years as part of the peace plan effort by Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law, Jared Kushner.

Facing a backlash, Home Depot sought to distance itself from billionaire co-founder Bernie Marcus after he pledged to back President Trump's bid for re-election in 2020.

Calls to boycott the retailer took off this week on social media as news spread that Marcus told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution late last month that he plans to support Trump's bid for another term.

Indiana Democrats have their first official candidate for governor in the 2020 cycle.

Former State Health Commissioner and health care executive Woody Myers announced his bid Wednesday.

Republican strategist Matt Mackowiak (@MattMackowiak) and Democratic strategist Maria Cardona (@MariaTCardona) join Here & Now’s Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson to discuss Wednesday’s news in politics, including calls for Labor Secretary Alex Acosta to resign over his failure to fully prosecute wealthy sex offender Jeffrey Epstein

The death of Ross Perot on Tuesday serves as a reminder of a key part of American political history: Third party or independent candidates can and have made a difference in presidential elections.

Perot, a child of the Great Depression who became a billionaire, shook up American politics in the 1990s in two independent campaigns for the nation’s highest office.

Updated at 1:15 p.m. ET

A constitutional challenge to President Trump's continued ownership of his businesses has been ordered dismissed by a federal appeals court.

The case was brought by the attorneys general of Washington, D.C., and Maryland, arguing that Trump had violated the domestic and foreign emoluments clauses of the U.S. Constitution by accepting money from state and foreign governments via his Washington hotel and business empire.

Americans owe about $1.6 trillion in student loan debt. That's about twice the current budget for the Defense Department and around 22 times the budget for the Education Department.

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