“A panel of federal judges struck down North Carolina’s congressional map on Tuesday, condemning it as unconstitutional because Republicans had drawn the map seeking a political advantage. The ruling was the first time that a federal court had blocked a congressional map because of a partisan gerrymander, and it instantly endangered Republican seats in the coming elections. … Republican officials in the General Assembly said Tuesday evening that they intended to appeal the ruling.
“Judge James A. Wynn Jr., in a biting 191-page opinion, said that Republicans in North Carolina’s Legislature had been ‘motivated by invidious partisan intent’ as they carried out their obligation in 2016 to divide the state into 13 congressional districts, 10 of which are held by Republicans. The result, Judge Wynn wrote, violated the 14th Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection.”
“The unusually blunt decision by the panel could lend momentum to two other challenges on gerrymandering that are already before the Supreme Court—and that the North Carolina case could join if Republicans make good on their vow to appeal Tuesday’s ruling” (New York Times)
“The ruling blocks the state from conducting any elections under the 2016 map and orders the state’s General Assembly to redraw congressional districts by Jan. 24 for the 2018 elections. … But because it’s the middle of an election year, the court is also appointing a so-called special master to develop a remedial plan in case the the General Assembly fails to deliver a plan or their plan doesn’t remedy the partisan gerrymander.” (Roll Call)
The DCCC is targeting Reps. Richard Hudson (R-08), Robert Pittenger (R-09), and Ted Budd (R-13).
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"A federal judge has found a witness in contempt for refusing to testify before the grand jury hearing evidence in special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. U.S. District Chief Judge Beryl Howell made the ruling Friday after a sealed hearing to discuss Andrew Miller’s refusal to appear before the grand jury. Miller is a former aide to longtime Trump confidant Roger Stone."
Paul Manafort's former business partner Rick Gates said in court today that "he conspired with Manafort to falsify Manafort’s tax returns. Gates said he and Manafort knowingly failed to report foreign bank accounts and had failed to register Manafort as a foreign agent."