D.C. briefly

At least 125 Republican campaigns and conservative political groups spent more than $3.5 million at President Donald Trump's resorts, hotels and restaurants since January 2017, the month he was sworn in, according to an analysis by McClatchy. The list includes Trump supporters like House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California and Rep. Mark Meadows of North Carolina, chairman of the Freedom Caucus. By comparison, candidates and political groups spent less than $35,000 at Trump properties for the entire two-year 2014 election cycle, according to FEC records.

A federal judge upheld the constitutionality of special counsel Robert Mueller's appointment on Monday, finding Acting Attorney General Rod Rosenstein lawfully named Mueller in May 2017 in a challenge to an indictment brought by a Russian firm accused of funding an internet trolling operation targeting U.S. voters. U.S. District Judge Dabney Friedrich, a 2017 Trump appointee, was the latest trial-level judge to cast doubt on arguments advanced by conservative legal thinkers about the validity of Mueller's appointment.

Prosecutors on Monday rested their tax evasion and bank fraud case against Paul Manafort, a longtime Washington operator and Trump's former campaign chairman. The case now goes to Manafort's defense team, which is expected to lay the blame for wrongdoing with Rick Gates, the former Manafort protégé.

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