“A trial beginning today in San Antonio to determine the constitutionality of Texas’ 2013 redistricting maps is expected to set the stage for changes to state and congressional districts ahead of the 2018 election.” The judges “will not hear opening arguments but will go straight into hearing evidence from a number of plaintiffs, according to court records.” Evidence about the state House maps is expected first, followed by evidence about the congressional maps.” (San Antonio Express-News)
THE FIELD. Former Housing and Urban Development official Judith Canales (D) is considering a run against Rep. Will Hurd (R) and said possible redistricting won’t affect her decision. She served as a “administrator for Rural Business and Cooperative Programs in the Department of Agriculture” and is “based in Eagle Pass, where she once served as assistant city manager. … Speculation also has focused on Assistant U.S. Attorney Jay Hulings, who attended Harvard Law School and served nearly two years as the deputy chief counsel for the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.” (San Antonio Express-News)
THE STAKES. “It’s unclear when the panel will rule after this week’s hearing wraps up. But local election administrators have said they need clarity on district boundaries by October so they have enough time to prepare for the March primaries, send out voter registration cards and meet other electoral deadlines. If the court rules that the 2013 maps must be fixed ahead of the elections, it could set off a scramble to finalize a version of the state maps that are acceptable to the court without delaying the upcoming elections.” (Texas Tribune)
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"Saudi Arabia said Saturday that Jamal Khashoggi, the dissident Saudi journalist who disappeared more than two weeks ago, had died after an argument and fistfight with unidentified men inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. Eighteen men have been arrested and are being investigated in the case, Saudi state-run media reported without identifying any of them. State media also reported that Maj. Gen. Ahmed al-Assiri, the deputy director of Saudi intelligence, and other high-ranking intelligence officials had been dismissed."
"Special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation is scrutinizing how a collection of activists and pundits intersected with WikiLeaks, the website that U.S. officials say was the primary conduit for publishing materials stolen by Russia, according to people familiar with the matter. Mr. Mueller’s team has recently questioned witnesses about the activities of longtime Trump confidante Roger Stone, including his contacts with WikiLeaks, and has obtained telephone records, according to the people familiar with the matter."
"Special Counsel Robert Mueller is expected to issue findings on core aspects of his Russia probe soon after the November midterm elections ... Specifically, Mueller is close to rendering judgment on two of the most explosive aspects of his inquiry: whether there were clear incidents of collusion between Russia and Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign, and whether the president took any actions that constitute obstruction of justice." Mueller has faced pressure to wrap up the investigation from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, said an official, who would receive the results of the investigation and have "some discretion in deciding what is relayed to Congress and what is publicly released," if he remains at his post.
"The Justice Department on Friday charged a Russian woman for her alleged role in a conspiracy to interfere with the 2018 U.S. election, marking the first criminal case prosecutors have brought against a foreign national for interfering in the upcoming midterms. Elena Khusyaynova, 44, was charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States. Prosecutors said she managed the finances of 'Project Lakhta,' a foreign influence operation they said was designed 'to sow discord in the U.S. political system' by pushing arguments and misinformation online about a host of divisive political issues, including immigration, the Confederate flag, gun control and the National Football League national-anthem protests."