It’s Thursday, May 9, 2019. Let’s start here.
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1. Privileged position
The White House on Wednesday asserted executive privilege over Robert Mueller’s entire report, blocking Democrats from receiving the special counsel’s unredacted findings.
It didn’t stop the House Judiciary Committee from advancing a resolution to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress, but under the assertion, Barr is now protected from criminal prosecution.
BREAKING: The House Judiciary Committee votes along party lines to advance a resolution to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress for not complying with a subpoena for special counsel Robert Mueller’s unredacted report https://t.co/XVxzP6zicX pic.twitter.com/CeDfua6SZ1
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) May 8, 2019
President Donald Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr., who was subpoenaed on Wednesday to appear before the Republican-led Senate Intelligence Committee, may have a harder time if he doesn’t comply.
“He’s a private citizen,” ABC News’ Trish Turner says today on “Start Here,” “so there’s a lot of legal jeopardy he would be facing here.”
2. American heroes
One of the hero students who helped stop a shooter at the STEM School in Highlands Ranch, Colorado, talked to us about the terrifying incident.
Brendan Bialy, 18, said his friend, Kendrick Castillo, 18, charged forward with “no hesitation” in his last moments, which prompted Bialy and another unidentified student to spring into action and take down the suspect.
“Kendrick went out as a hero,” Bialy told reporters. “Kendrick was there, a foot away from the shooter, and instead of running in the opposite direction he ran towards it.”
ABC News Chief National Correspondent Matt Gutman recounts the students’ bravery.
“Were it not for those three heroic young men,” Gutman says, “this could have been much worse.”
3. Taxing situation
In the middle of the president’s ongoing fight with Congress over his recent tax returns, a report from The New York Times offers a detailed look at Trump’s taxes from an earlier era.
Trump’s businesses lost $1.17 billion from 1985 to 1994, according to tax transcripts analyzed by the Times, including $46.1 million in 1985 and hundreds of millions before his much-publicized early-1990s financial collapse.
The report did not include the president’s actual tax returns, but the transcripts reviewed by the Times are official IRS documents that show losses he accrued over a decade.
The president responded to the report by tweeting that it was “very old information” and a “highly inaccurate Fake News hit job!”
….you would get it by building, or even buying. You always wanted to show losses for tax purposes….almost all real estate developers did – and often re-negotiate with banks, it was sport. Additionally, the very old information put out is a highly inaccurate Fake News hit job!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 8, 2019
Are Americans any closer to seeing Trump’s full returns? ABC News Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl isn’t convinced.
“My sense,” Karl says on the podcast, “is that they will do everything they can to prevent that from happening, and are confident that they’ll be able to keep his tax returns from seeing the light of day — at least while it matters here politically.”
4. ‘Public shaming’
Drug commercials later this summer will begin including pricing information in a move to force more transparency from drugmakers, the Department of Health and Human Services announced Wednesday.
Recent studies have shown big pharma spends billions of dollars annually on advertising, with some of the 10 most commonly promoted drugs costing thousands of dollars per month.
“They’re hoping to use public shaming to drive down the cost here,” ABC News’ Devin Dwyer says on “Start Here.”
Stephen Ubl, president of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, said in a statement that industry officials “support providing patients with more transparency about medicine costs,” but believe the new rule raise “operational challenges” and “First Amendment and statutory concerns.”
“Start Here,” ABC News’ flagship podcast, offers a straightforward look at the day’s top stories in 20 minutes. Listen for free every weekday on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeartRadio, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn or the ABC News app. Follow @StartHereABC on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for exclusive content and show updates.
‘I’m genuinely really scared for women and girls all over this country’: Busy Phillips, a mother of two who says she had an abortion at 15, discusses a law passed in Georgia.
‘A sun butter and jelly sandwich’: A school district in Rhode Island that says it’s owed $40,000 in lunch payments now will serve indebted students cold sandwiches instead of hot meals.
From our friends at FiveThirtyEight:
Tottenham somehow topped Liverpool’s dramatics: On Tuesday, Liverpool shocked the world by overcoming a 3-0 semifinal deficit to bounce Lionel Messi and Barcelona from the Champions League. It was one of the most remarkable European victories in the history of a club that’s known for remarkable European victories; it seemed inconceivable that any team would top it for some time. Just 24 hours later, Tottenham Hotspur answered the call.
Doff your cap:
Well done, San Diego Zoo.
And welcome to the world, Doug and Barbara.
For the first time, zoo staffers told The Associated Press on Wednesday, eggs laid by adult African penguins have hatched there.
Doug and Barbara, from separate couples, were born about two months ago and will require a few more weeks of attention from zoo staffers before they’re introduced into the penguin colony.
With only about 23,000 breeding pairs believed extant, African penguins are endangered for reasons including disease, habitat destruction, a lack of food due to overfishing, climate change, pollution and possibly even a few others not directly attributable to humans, who, with truly astounding speed and thoroughness, continue to destroy the planet while putting at risk the existence of at least 1 million different species.