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Wednesday, Aug 16th

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Judge declines to remove block on Trump sanctuary cities order

Judge William OrrickA federal judge in California has denied a request by the Trump administration to remove an injunction halting President Donald Trump's executive order on so-called sanctuary cities from being implemented.

The move further thwarts the Trump White House's attempt to effectively penalize cities providing safe haven to undocumented immigrants by threatening to strip them of federal funding.

On Thursday U.S. District Judge William Orrick III in San Francisco moved to decline a request by the Justice Department to reconsider whether a memo by Attorney General Jeff Sessions narrowed the scope of Trump's executive action and lifted the need for an injunction. The judge said the narrower interpretation released by Sessions did not alter the court's initial April decision to impose the block.

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What we know about the Trump legal team shakeup

Ty Cobb new legal adviser to TrumpPresident Donald Trump is shaking up his outside legal team that is charged primarily with responding to the federal probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

John Dowd, who joined the legal team in mid-June, is replacing Trump's longtime personal lawyer, Marc Kasowitz, as lead attorney representing the president, Dowd confirmed to ABC News.

The newest lawyer in the group, Ty Cobb, will take the lead in managing the team's external response to the Russia probe.

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Financier Anthony Scaramucci accepts Trump offer to head White House communications

John ScaramucciProminent Wall Street financier Anthony Scaramucci has accepted the position of White House communications director offered to him by President Donald Trump, sources confirm to ABC News.

Scaramucci is replacing Mike Dubke, who resigned in May only three months after being hired. Axios first reported the planned hiring of Scaramucci.

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Sean Spicer quits as White House press secretary

Sean Spicer quitsSean Spicer quit his job as White House press secretary Friday after President Trump decided to tap Anthony Scaramucci as the White House communications director, according to news reports.

Spicer objected to the hiring, according to The New York Times and Associated Press. He had taken on the communications director duties after the resignation of Mike Dubke back in May.

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U.S. Expected to Announce Ban on Tourist Travel to North Korea

US to ban travel to N KoreaAmerican citizens are expected to be banned soon from traveling to North Korea, travel agencies said Friday, a move confirmed by one U.S. official.

It was not immediately clear whether there would be exemptions to the travel restrictions. This comes a month after the death of Otto Warmbier, a U.S. college student who passed away after falling into a coma while imprisoned in North Korea.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson previously floated the idea of travel restrictions to the reclusive nation during testimony last month before the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

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Trump Aides, Seeking Leverage, Investigate Mueller’s Investigators

MuellerPresident Trump’s lawyers and aides are scouring the professional and political backgrounds of investigators hired by the special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, looking for conflicts of interest they could use to discredit the investigation — or even build a case to fire Mr. Mueller or get some members of his team recused, according to three people with knowledge of the research effort.

The search for potential conflicts is wide-ranging. It includes scrutinizing donations to Democratic candidates, investigators’ past clients and Mr. Mueller’s relationship with James B. Comey, whose firing as F.B.I. director is part of the special counsel’s investigation.

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WSJ: Special Counsel, Congress Probing Possible Money Laundering By Manafort

Paul ManafortThe special counsel and congressional committees investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election are looking into possible money laundering by President Donald Trump’s former campaign chair Paul Manafort, the Wall Street Journal reported late Thursday.

The Wall Street Journal reported, citing a single unnamed source familiar with the matter, that special counsel Robert Mueller, who is overseeing the federal probe into Russian meddling, began an inquiry several weeks ago into possible money laundering by Manafort.

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JPMorgan Whistle-Blowers Set to Reap Record $61 Million Bounty

JP Morgan whitleblowersTwo whistle-blowers are set to share a record $61 million award from the Securities and Exchange Commission for helping make the case that JPMorgan Chase & Co. failed to disclose to wealthy clients that it was steering them into investments that would be most profitable for the bank.

The SEC issued letters on Wednesday notifying six whistle-blower applicants of the preliminary decision. The letters said that two of them would share almost a quarter of the record asset-management settlement that the SEC reached with the bank in December 2015.

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Deutsche Bank expects subpoenas over Trump-Russia investigation

Deutsche Bank subpoenas expectedExecutives inside Deutsche Bank, Donald Trump’s personal bankers, are expecting that the bank will soon be receiving subpoenas or other requests for information from Robert Mueller, the special counsel who is investigating possible collusion between the Kremlin and the Trump campaign.

A person close to the matter who spoke to the Guardian on the condition of anonymity said Mueller’s team and the bank had already established informal contact in connection to the federal investigation.

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