Assemblyman Matt Dababneh to resign following sexual misconduct allegations

Assemblyman Matt Dababneh said Friday he is resigning from office at the end of the month, a decision that comes four days after he was publicly accused of masturbating in front of a lobbyist and other inappropriate behavior.

In a resignation letter, Dababneh said the allegations against him are untrue and said he expected a legislative investigation would “bring to light and into focus the significant and persuasive evidence of my innocence.”

“As we battle for change, we must remember that due process exists for a reason,” he wrote. “We should never fight injustice with injustice.”

Dababneh, a Democrat from Woodland Hills, told The Times that his resignation should not be construed as a tacit admission of wrongdoing.

4:20 p.m. This article was updated with additional details from Dababneh’s resignation letter, and comments from We Said Enough.

This article was originally published at 4:15 p.m.

latimes.com

Supreme Court lifts orders to disclose DACA cancellation records

The Supreme Court is pictured. | Getty

All the Republican-appointed justices backed the stay, while all the high court’s Democratic appointees joined a 10-page dissent authored by Justice Stephen Breyer. | Getty

The justices split, 5-4, in dispute over Trump’s decision to end protections for ‘Dreamers.’

A sharply divided Supreme Court on Friday lifted orders the Trump administration was facing to turn over more records detailing the decision to terminate the Obama-era program that offers quasi-legal status and work permits to so-called Dreamers.

The justices voted, 5-4, to grant a temporary stay of orders that a San Francisco federal judge issued requiring federal officials to provide internal legal analyses, studies and other materials the administration gathered in advance of the decision announced in September to wind down the program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA.

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The Trump administration complained that the orders from U.S. District Court Judge William Alsup issued in connection with five pending lawsuits over the cancellation would require officials to review more than 1.6 million documents, diverting the resources of the Department of Homeland Security and Justice Department. Federal government lawyers also complained that the disclosures intruded on executive branch officials’ ability to obtain confidential advice.

All the Republican-appointed justices backed the stay, while all the high court’s Democratic appointees joined a 10-page dissent authored by Justice Stephen Breyer.

“The Government’s arguments do not come close to carrying the heavy burden that the Government bears in seeking such extraordinary relief,” Breyer wrote.

Breyer said the burdens posed by the orders were not wildly inappropriate given the importance of DACA, which he said offered protection to 800,000 people. (Other figures put current enrollment at about 690,000.) The justice also rejected the administration’s claims that it alone should decide what records are relevant to the decision, which President Donald Trump has said was his but was officially made by the acting Homeland Security secretary, Elaine Duke.

“Judicial review cannot function if the agency is permitted to decide unilaterally what documents it submits to the reviewing court as the administrative record,” Breyer added in the dissent. “Effective review depends upon the administrative record containing all relevant materials presented to the agency, including not only materials supportive of the government’s decision but also materials contrary to the government’s decision.”

As is customary in emergency stay rulings, the justices in the Supreme Court’s majority did not explain their rationale.

A Justice Department spokeswoman welcomed the court’s action.

“The Department of Justice is pleased with the Supreme Court’s decision today putting on hold the district court’s overreach,” department spokesman Devin O’Malley said. “The Department of Homeland Security acted within its lawful authority in deciding to wind down DACA in an orderly manner, and the Justice Department believes the courts will ultimately agree.”

The ruling is a temporary one pending further action on the case by the high court.

The suits challenging the cancellation of DACA are expected to move forward in district courts in California and New York as the high court continues to wrestle with the document issue.

http://www.politico.com

Former Fox News anchor says she rebuffed Trump kiss in 2005

Juliet Huddy is pictured. | Getty Images

Juliet Huddy, a current radio host in New York City and a former daytime news anchor on Fox News, said she rebuffed an overture from now President Donald Trump after the two met at his luxury Manhattan high-rise. | Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images

A former Fox News anchor said Friday that President Donald Trump tried to kiss her after a lunch visit to Trump Tower in 2005.

Juliet Huddy, a current radio host in New York City and a former daytime news anchor on Fox News, said she rebuffed an overture from the real-estate mogul after the two met at his luxury Manhattan high-rise.

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The incident, which Huddy revealed on “Mornin!!! with Bill Schulz” on compoundmedia.com, as first reported by Page Six, allegedly occurred near the time he married first lady Melania Trump.

“He took me for lunch at Trump Tower, just us two. He said goodbye to me in an elevator while his security guy was there, rather than kiss me on the cheek he leaned in to kiss me on the lips. I wasn’t offended, I was kind of like, ‘Oh my god,'” she said.

After the alleged incident “everything was copacetic,” Huddy said.

Huddy called it “a weird moment” and said she was “surprised that he went for the lips.” But that she “didn’t feel threatened” and that Trump “never tried anything after that.”

The news came after a series of public officials resigned over mounting allegations of sexual misconduct in recent weeks, including Sen. Al Franken, and Reps. Trent Franks and John Conyers. In his resignation speech on the Senate floor, Franken called out Trump over multiple allegations of sexual misconduct that roiled his campaign for the presidency.

Huddy, who settled claims of sexual harassment against former Fox News star Bill O’Reilly, said Trump later joked about an exchange when he appeared on her daytime show on Fox News.

“I hit on her but she blew me off,” Trump reportedly said.

The former news broadcaster said that while she was mostly surprised by the alleged incident, her view on it has since evolved.

“Now I have matured I think I would say, ‘Woah, no’, but at the time I was younger and I was a little shocked. I thought maybe he didn’t mean to do it, but I was kind of making excuses,” she said.

Huddy also expressed disappointed in Trump standing by O’Reilly, who departed Fox News earlier this year after a wave of allegations of sexual harassment surfaced.

“When all the stuff came out about Bill O’Reilly, Donald Trump was one of the people who said, ‘I don’t believe this happened and I don’t believe he did it.’ … I was actually very disappointed in Trump, I thought, ‘You know what, f–k you.’ He has met me a bunch of times and he knows I am not [a liar],” she said.

After an explosive tape revealed then-candidate Trump boasting about groping women on a hot mic for an “Access Hollywood” interview, several women came forward with allegations of sexual harassment and sexual assault against Trump. He has denied them all.

http://www.politico.com

Trump After Dark: Friday Night Lights edition

Donald Trump is pictured. | Getty Images

President Donald Trump’s seemingly flip comments that he might tolerate a 22 percent top-line corporate tax kicked off a wave of unexpected haggling regarding the tax bill being negotiated by House and Senate leaders. | Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

President Donald Trump headed to Pensacola, Florida for a rally tonight with a lot hanging in the air. And a proven track record that what he says can tilt an already crowded news cycle.

Even before he took the stage, Trump’s seemingly flip comments about the tax bill being negotiated by House and Senate leaders offered a fresh example of what a presidential soundbite can do. As POLITICO’s Nancy Cook report, the president’s seemingly casual mention that he might tolerate a 22 percent top-line corporate tax — instead of the 20 percent one he had insisted was his final offer — kicked off a wave of unexpected haggling.

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It was also fresh evidence that Trump’s mouth can alter events, “the the latest example of the president getting in the way of his party’s major legislative goal, even if unintentionally, and once again shows the perils for policymakers and legislators in the Trump era, when an unexpected, off-the-cuff comment or tweet can undo weeks of work.”

Meanwhile, the tax negotiations are moving along — although there are a few wrinkles. House conservatives seem to have little time for concessions that Maine Sen. Susan Collins fought for in giving her vote for the Senate’s version.

GOP leaders have already conceded that a reconciled bill to vote on won’t be available next week.

Elsewhere in President Trump’s orbit:

ROARING ALONG: The economy added 228,000 jobs in November, assuaging worries after a net job loss during hurricane season.

MAINE THING: The tax deal being negotiated by House and Senate teams could hinge on whether Susan Collins is willing to vote for the bill even as House conservatives have scoffed at her healthcare compromise.

DINA FINISH: Dina Powell, the deputy national security adviser who is also particularly close with Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, will leave the White House early next year.

A LOT OF MAN POWER: Prosecutors obtained 15 search warrants and seized thousands of documents as they built a case against Paul Manafort, court filings show.

HOPEFUL EFFORT: The New York Times reports that Russian operatives tried to make contact repeatedly with White House communications director Hope Hicks during the transition and that they were so fervent the FBI warned her about them.

CIVIL DISCONTENT: President Trump will not speak publically and will only participate in a private event at the opening of the new Civil Rights Museum in Jackson, Mississippi this weekend after his appearance stoked controversy.

MORE MOORE: President Trump offered a second endorsement to Alabama GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore, who is accused of multiple instances of inappropriate behavior with teenagers.

TWEET STORM: President Trump’s tweets, including one about bullets dipped in pigs blood, were a flash point during a contentious court hearing about his travel ban in Richmond, Virginia today.

TEEING OFF ON ‘COFFEE BOY’: George Papadopoulos’ fiancee says he doesn’t know how to make coffee and was far more involved and influential in the Trump campaign than Trump’s advisers portrayed him.

There you have it. You’re caught up on the Trump administration. Happy Friday.

http://www.politico.com

Former Fox News employee: Trump tried to kiss me on the lips

A former syndicated Fox News host said Friday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse Democrat slams Donald Trump Jr. for ‘serious case of amnesia’ after testimony Skier Lindsey Vonn: I don’t want to represent Trump at Olympics Poll: 4 in 10 Republicans think senior Trump advisers had improper dealings with Russia MORE tried to kiss her in an elevator in “2005 or 2006,” which she said surprised her but did not make her feel threatened.

It’s unclear whether Trump was married at the time since Juliet Huddy does not recall the exact date, Page Six reported

“He took me for lunch at Trump Tower, just us two,” Huddy said on Compound Media’s “Mornin’! With Bill Schulz.” “He said ‘goodbye’ to me in an elevator while his security guy was there; rather than kiss me on the cheek he leaned in to kiss me on the lips. I wasn’t offended, I was kind of like, ‘Oh my god.’ ”

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She added that she “didn’t feel threatened,” but was “surprised” that Trump tried to kiss her.

“It was a weird moment,” she said. “He never tried anything after that, and I was never alone with him.”

Huddy said that while she was not offended at the time, in hindsight she would have resisted his advances.

“Now I have matured I think I would say, ‘Woah, no,’ but at the time I was younger and I was a little shocked,” she said. “I thought maybe he didn’t mean to do it, but I was kind of making excuses.”

Trump later joked about the incident, she said. Trump appeared to acknowledge his past with Huddy in an appearance on her Fox News show, saying, “I hit on her but she blew me off.”

Huddy, who appeared on multiple Fox News shows and co-hosted a syndicated show based on New York affiliate channel WNYW, left Fox News after filing a harassment complaint against Bill O’Reilly. She accepted a reported six-figure settlement from Fox’s parent company, 21st Century Fox. O’Reilly was fired earlier this year over sexual harassment allegations.

Huddy added that she was “disappointed” in Trump’s reaction to the O’Reilly news.

“When all the stuff came out about Bill O’Reilly, Donald Trump was one of the people who said, ‘I don’t believe this happened and I don’t believe he did it,’ ” Huddy said. “I was actually very disappointed in Trump, I thought, ‘You know what, f— you.’ ”

Huddy’s comments come amid a national conversation about sexual misconduct by powerful men. More than a dozen accusations of sexual harassment and assault were made against Trump during his 2016 campaign. The White House claims the women making such claims are lying.

After Sen. Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenDemocrats turn on Al Franken Schumer called, met with Franken and told him to resign Overnight Finance: Trump says shutdown ‘could happen’ | Ryan, conservatives inch closer to spending deal | Senate approves motion to go to tax conference | Ryan promises ‘entitlement reform’ in 2018 MORE (D-Minn.) stepped down from the Senate on Thursday over groping allegations, some lawmakers, including Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersSchumer: Franken should resign Franken resignation could upend Minnesota races Avalanche of Democratic senators say Franken should resign MORE (I-Vt.), have called for Trump to step down over the allegations against him.

— Updated 9:38 a.m.

http://thehill.com