Monday morning news: May 13, 2019

Democrats, Trump administration clash over Mueller report » House Democrats continue to clash with the Trump administration over the Mueller report.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff told ABC’s This Week he’s convinced President Trump obstructed justice during the Russia probe. And he wants to hear what special counsel Robert Mueller has to say about it.

SCHIFF: The first priority has to be get Mueller before the Congress and the American people.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Are you convinced that’s going to happen?
SCHIFF: I am convinced it’s going to happen. That is inexorable. The American people have every right to hear what the man who did the investigation has to say.

Mueller will not testify before the House Judiciary Committee this week as once thought. Chairman Jerrold Nadler said he’s still negotiating with the Justice Department to make that happen.

Last week Nadler’s committee voted along party lines to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress. House leadership has not yet scheduled a vote on the House floor.

Democrats say Barr is stonewalling Congress by not turning over the unredacted Mueller report and all the underlying evidence from the probe. But GOP Congressman John Ratcliffe said Democrats are just playing politics.

RATCLIFFE: They either had to admit their were wrong to the American people or they had to find a villain, and unfortunately, they’ve made Bill Barr that villain. 

Congressman Nadler is also seeking testimony from former White House counsel Don McGahn.

Sen. Graham to unveil asylum changes this week » The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee says he will unveil a plan this week to change asylum laws in the U.S.

Senator Lindsey Graham’s announcement came as border officials report that asylum seekers are overwhelming the southern border.

Graham said he’ll call for the U.S. to add another 500 immigration judges. But other proposed changes may prove more controversial.

GRAHAM: We’re going to stop Central American applications being made at the border because we don’t have enough judges for hearing dates. We’re going to go to a hundred days—can hold for a hundred days so we can actually process the entire family without letting them go.

Preventing asylum claims at the border could raise constitutional questions and would likely trigger a legal challenge.

Graham has worked closely with the White House in crafting the reforms but it’s unclear if any Democratic lawmakers have signed on to the effort.

Gunmen attack Catholic church in Burkina Faso » Terrorists attacked a Catholic church in the West African country of Burkina Faso on Sunday. Gunmen stormed a church in the town of Dablo and opened fire, killing a priest and five worshippers.

Authorities say the gunmen also set fire to a health center and destroyed all places serving alcohol.

No one immediately claimed responsibility, but the attacks bore the hallmarks of Islamic extremists who are active in the area. Terrorists killed six people a Protestant church there two weeks ago.

U.S. officials inspect seized North Korean ship » A North Korean cargo ship seized by the United States is now docked in American Samoa. U.S. officials believe Pyongyang was using it to evade international sanctions. Inspectors will sift through the ship’s cargo this week.

The U.S. Coast Guard’s Amanda Wyrick said the guard chose to inspect it in American Samoa for several reasons. Among them…

WYRICK: A good strong relationship and partnership with the American Samoan government. With that being said, we also already have the resources that are able to ensure the security and the safety of the vessel but most importantly the port of Pago Pago. 

The Indonesian navy detained the vessel in April of last year when its crew appeared to be trying avoid detection. It was carrying thousands of tons of coal which it was allegedly offloading in China and Russia and returning with heavy machinery. Indonesia eventually turned the ship over the U.S.

In March, a United Nations panel reported North Korea was using ship-to-ship transfers to export coal without being detected.

(Department of Justice via AP) This undated photo released by the U.S. Justice Dept, Thursday, May 9, 2019, shows the North Korean cargo ship Wise Honest. 

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