Washington

Ex-FBI lawyer to plead guilty in Russia probe

A former FBI lawyer intends to plead guilty after he was charged with falsifying a document as part of a deal with prosecutors conducting their own criminal inquiry of the Russia investigation, according to his lawyer and court documents made public Friday. Kevin Clinesmith, 38, who was assigned to the Russia investigation, plans to admit that he altered an e-mail from the CIA that investigators relied on to seek renewed court permission in 2017 for a secret wiretap on former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, who had at times provided information to the CIA. Clinesmith’s lawyer said he made a mistake while trying to clarify facts for a colleague. President Donald Trump immediately promoted the plea deal as proof that the Russia investigation was illegitimate and politically motivated, opening a White House news conference by calling Clinesmith “corrupt” and the deal “just the beginning.”

President ignores queries about QAnon

President Donald Trump on Friday twice ignored a question about whether he supports QAnon, a convoluted, right-wing, pro-Trump conspiracy theory. A reporter asked the president about the theory at a White House briefing after Trump tweeted his congratulations to a QAnon-supporting candidate. Marjorie Taylor Greene, who won her House primary runoff in Georgia this week, has called the theory “something worth listening to and paying attention to” and called its source, known as Q, a “patriot.” Trump praised her as a “future Republican Star.” “She won by a lot. She was very popular and she comes from a great state and she had a tremendous victory,” Trump said, sidestepping the question.

Florida

Trump campaign to target Jewish voters

Boasting that they are about to embark on “the largest, most sophisticated, most targeted state-of-the-art campaign” in history, leaders of a conservative Jewish advocacy organization announced that they plan to spend up to $10 million this fall in Florida and other swing states on behalf of President Donald Trump. Republican Jewish Coalition leaders said they have been gathering data about Jewish voters across the country in preparation for a targeted campaign to advertise Trump’s successes in the U.S. and Middle East. At least $1 million will be spent on TV, and more than $1 million on digital ads and mailers, they said.

California

Judges strike down gun magazine ban

A three-judge panel of the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday threw out California’s ban on high-capacity ammunition magazines, saying the law violates the U.S. Constitution’s protection of the right to bear firearms. “Even well-intentioned laws must pass constitutional muster,” appellate Judge Kenneth Lee wrote for the panel’s majority. California’s ban on magazines holding more than 10 bullets “strikes at the core of the Second Amendment — the right to armed self-defense.” He noted that California passed the law “in the wake of heart-wrenching and highly publicized mass shootings,” but said that isn’t enough to justify a ban whose scope “is so sweeping that half of all magazines in America are now unlawful to own in California.” California Attorney General Xavier Becerra’s office said it is reviewing the decision and he “remains committed to using every tool possible to defend California’s gun safety laws and keep our communities safe.”

News services