Editors, USA TODAY
Published 3:48 a.m. ET Dec. 7, 2018
Court filings on Manafort, Cohen to show more of Russia probe?
More light could be shed on special counsel Robert Mueller’s closely held investigation into Russia interference on Friday when papers and sentencing documents regarding both Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen’s cases are issued. In Washington, prosecutors are due to file papers explaining last week’s abrupt collapse of a cooperation agreement with Manafort, President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman. The filing is expected to outline what Mueller’s team characterized as Manafort’s repeated lies and additional “crimes,” leading to a breach of his September plea agreement. In New York, Mueller’s team is scheduled to file a sentencing memorandum for Cohen, Trump’s former lawyer, prior to his sentencing on two convictions. Cohen pleaded guilty to a series of campaign finance law offenses as part of an August plea agreement with federal prosecutors in New York.
President Donald Trump says ex-lawyer Michael Cohen is a ‘weak person’ who is ‘lying’ to get a reduced sentence.’ Trump made the comments shortly after Cohen pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about a Trump real estate deal in Russia. (Nov. 29)
Powerful storm to crawl across southern U.S., bringing snow, rain
After dumping heavy rain on Southern California, causing floods and mudslides, a potent, slow-moving storm will move east and intensify on Friday. The National Weather Service said that accumulating snow and ice is likely from eastern New Mexico to western Oklahoma on Friday with snow totals of 4 to 8 inches. The Weather Channel warned that these ice accumulations could cause extensive power outages and tree damage. The storm could also cause flight delays and cancellations at several major airports. Further to the south, very heavy rainfall and flooding will be a big threat with this storm, according to AccuWeather meteorologist Ryan Adamson. The heaviest rain and flood threat Friday will be across southern Texas, where up to 10 inches of rain could swamp the flood-prone Houston area. A few tornadoes could also spin up in southern Texas.
House Republicans to question Comey in private
Former FBI director James Comey is scheduled to testify behind closed doors Friday before members of the House Judiciary Committee. Before Democrats take control of the House next month, the GOP committee leaders want to question Comey about his decision not to prosecute former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for her use of a private email server and about his role in the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. Comey had fought the House subpoena ordering him to testify in closed session but relented after Republicans agreed to release a transcript of the interview within 24 hours, Comey’s lawyer David Kelley said Sunday.
2019 Grammys: Who will get nominated?
The Recording Academy will announce the Grammy nominations on Friday, and they will look slightly different from previous years.The academy is expanding the awards’ biggest four general categories — album of the year, record of the year, song of the year and best new artist — from five nominees to eight, in an effort to better reflect the many entries in main categories and the diversity of the music community. Last year, the Grammys were criticized for snubbing hip-hop artists in main categories and for not giving female artists enough time on-screen during the performances and televised awards. Back in May, Grammys President Neil Portnow announced his plans to step down in 2019 after he was criticized when he said women need to “step up” when asked about the lack of female winners. Possible nominees for next year’s show include Beyoncé, Jay-Z, Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande, Drake, Cardi B and many more.
Pearl Harbor remembered on 77th anniversary of attack
Seventy-seven years after a cunning, stunning strike against a U.S. Navy base that shook the world, service members, vets, dignitaries and members of the public gather Friday for remembrances at Pearl Harbor. They will look back at an event that propelled the U.S. into World War II and changed history. Japanese planes launched from aircraft carriers executed the surprise attack of all surprise attacks on Dec. 7, 1941. The “date which will live in infamy,” as then-President Franklin Delano Roosevelt put it, started out as a quiet Sunday in Honolulu but turned into an explosive scene, filled with sunken ships, destroyed planes and 2,400 dead. Now at least, and at long last, some are coming home.With Pearl Harbor Day coinciding with this week’s tributes to the late President George H.W. Bush recalling his WWII service, it’s a powerful reminder of the Greatest Generation’s thinning ranks.
Contributing: Associated Press