Thursday morning news: June 13, 2019

House panel votes to hold top Trump admin officials in contempt » Democrats on a House panel voted Wednesday to hold two top Trump administration officials in contempt of Congress.

CUMMINGS: The Committee On Oversight and Reform hereby adopts this report recommending that Attorney General William Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross be held in contempt. 

Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings heard there. The vote sends the measures to the full House.

Cummings said the committee took the vote because Barr and Ross failed to comply with subpoenas for documents related to adding a citizenship question to the 2020 census.

The White House took preemptive action hours earlier, asserting executive privilege on the matter.

The Justice Department said officials had “engaged in good-faith efforts” to satisfy the committee’s oversight needs and said the vote was “unnecessary and premature.” But Cummings fired back, saying he hasn’t seen good-faith efforts.

CUMMINGS: Instead it appears to be another example of the administration’s blanket defiance of Congress’ constitutionally mandated responsibilities. 

But GOP Congressman Jim Jordan, who serves on the Oversight panel said Democrats have a clear agenda.

JORDAN: You are so concerned the Supreme Court’s going to rule on this that you’ve got to get it done before that happens. We know that. Members of this committee have said they’re trying to influence the court. 

The Supreme Court is expected to rule on the citizenship question later this month.

U.S. to send 1,00 troops to Poland » AUDIO: [Sound of jet]

An F-35 fighter jet soared over the White House on Wednesday to mark a new U.S. military agreement with Poland. The NATO ally has ordered more than 30 F-35s from the U.S.

And at a joint news conference with his Polish counterpart, President Trump announced that the U.S. will send a thousand troops to Poland.

TRUMP: Poland will still provide basing and infrastructure to support military presence of about 1,000 American troops. The Polish government will build these projects at no cost to the United States. Poland will pay for this. 

Trump suggested earlier in the day that some of those troops could be shifted from Germany.

Senate Intelligence Committee questions Donald Trump Jr. » The president’s oldest son, Donald Trump Jr., spoke to the Senate Intelligence Committee behind closed doors for about three hours Wednesday.

Lawmakers followed up on a 2017 interview with the same panel as part of its two-year-long Russia investigation.

Trump Jr. previously said he was only—quote—”peripherally aware” of a plan to build a Trump Tower in Moscow. But the president’s former lawyer Michael Cohen contradicted him in testimony to a House panel.

On Wednesday, Trump Jr said his answers to the committee weren’t any different this time around.

TRUMP JR: There was nothing to change. If there needed to be clarification because Michael Cohen, who let’s not forget is serving time right now for lying to these very investigative bodies, I’m happy to do that. I don’t think I changed anything of what I said because there was nothing to change. 

The panel was also interested in talking to him about other topics. Those included a 2016 campaign meeting with a Russian lawyer that captured the interest of special counsel Robert Mueller.

After the meeting Trump Jr. told reporters that he’s “glad this is finally over.”

Illinois governor signs pro-abortion bill into law » The governor of Illinois has signed a controversial pro-abortion bill into law. Pro-life activists are calling it the most extreme in the nation. WORLD Radio’s Kristen Flavin reports.

KRISTEN FLAVIN, REPORTER: As expected, Democratic Governor J.B. Pritzker on Wednesday signed the so-called “Reproductive Health Act” into law.

The new law will strip all protections from unborn children, allowing abortions all the way up to the moment of birth. It will also repeal the state’s ban on partial-birth abortion. But the gruesome procedure is still banned federally—except to save a mother’s life.

The governor celebrated the signing, saying—“Today Illinios is making history once again,” adding, “We proudly proclaim that we trust women.”

Pro-life groups said it’s nothing to celebrate. The Susan B. Anthony List said the law makes Illinois “the most extreme pro-abortion state in the nation.”

Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Kristen Flavin.

Demonstrations continue against proposed Hong Kong law » Protesters crowded the streets of Hong Kong well into the evening last night as they continued to demand lawmakers reject a controversial bill.

AUDIO: [Sound of Hong Kong protest]

The measure would allow courts to extradite those accused of crimes to be tried in mainland China.

Earlier in the day, police clashed with thousands of demonstrators who blocked roads in protest. Authorities fired tear gas and rubber bullets into the crowd.

AUDIO: [Hong Kong tear gas]

At least 22 people sustained injuries. The revolt was spirited but mostly peaceful, though video footage showed some hurling rocks, bottles, and other objects at police.

Organizers built barricades and supplied snacks, water bottles, and in one instance, a Bible.

The police commissioner said the demonstrations were an organized riot and condemned what he called “irresponsible behavior.” But Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen expressed solidarity with the people of Hong Kong, saying, “We see their thirst for human rights protection and democratic rule of law.”

St. Louis Blues win first ever Stanley Cup championship » AUDIO: [Sound of game]

It took a half-century, but the NHL’s longest wait for a Stanley Cup championship is over.

AUDIO: For the first time in their history, the St. Louis Blues are the Stanley Cup champions!  

The last time the Blues played in the Stanley Cup Final was 49 years ago. They were swept by the Boston Bruins that year.

But last night, they defeated the Bruins in Boston 4-to-1 in game-7.

Ryan O’Reilly scored in a fourth straight game for St. Louis, becoming just the third player ever to do that in the Stanley Cup Final. And Blues netminder Jordan Binnington almost shut out the Bruins with 32 saves.

(AP Photo/Michael Dwyer) St. Louis Blues’ Vladimir Tarasenko, of Russia, carries the Stanley Cup after the Blues defeated the Boston Bruins in Game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup Final, Wednesday, June 12, 2019, in Boston. 

WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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