Nightly Brief

Your Wednesday night briefing from the staff of Courthouse News

Top CNS stories for today including a federal judge rejecting President Donald Trump’s latest attempt to block a lawsuit alleging he is violating the Constitution by continuing to do business with foreign governments; prosecutors say they have four to six terabytes of data – more than 1.5 million files – ready to turn over to defense counsel for Mariia Butina, whom the government has accused of unlawfully operating as a Russian foreign agent; more than two dozen potential jurors have been excused from serving during former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort’s bank and tax fraud trial in Virginia; Montana’s governor claims in federal court that an Internal Revenue Service decision to abandon disclosure requirements for major donors to dark money groups could result in corporate and foreign donors influencing future elections; the federal government officially lists the coastal areas surrounding the Hawaiian Islands as a protected, critical habitat for the endangered population of false killer whales; the Pew Research Center reports Americans are sharply divided along party lines when it comes to Immigration and Customs Enforcement; the European Union’s top court rules that a series of new biotechnology breeding techniques should fall under the EU’s rules of safety checks and labeling restricting genetically modified organisms, and more.

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National

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, together with his family, from left, Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump, Trump, Melania Trump, Tiffany Trump and Ivanka Trump, cut the ribbon during the grand opening of Trump International Hotel in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

1.) A federal judge on Wednesday rejected President Donald Trump’s latest attempt to block a lawsuit alleging he is violating the Constitution by continuing to do business with foreign governments.

Mariia Butina in Moscow, in a photo she posted to Facebook in October 2013.

2.) Prosecutors said Wednesday they have four to six terabytes of data – more than 1.5 million files – ready to turn over to defense counsel for Mariia Butina, whom the government has accused of unlawfully operating as a Russian foreign agent, but expressed concern they’ll be used to try the case in the media.

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

3.) More than two dozen potential jurors have been excused from serving during the first day of selecting the panel that will hear former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort’s bank and tax fraud trial in Virginia.

Michael Cohen walks down the sidewalk in New York on April 11, 2018. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

4.) President Donald Trump was recorded by his longtime personal lawyer Michael Cohen discussing a cash payment to a former Playboy model who claimed to have had an affair with him, according to a recording provided to CNN on Tuesday.

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, center, arrives for a closed doors meeting with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Wednesday, July 25, 2018, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

5.) A federal judge Tuesday praised the government’s efforts to meet a court-ordered deadline to reunify families separated at the southwest border but sternly reminded government attorneys “this must be a transparent process.”

Regional

This March 22, 2013 photo shows the exterior of the Internal Revenue Service building in Washington. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

6.) Montana’s governor claimed in federal court Tuesday that an Internal Revenue Service decision to abandon disclosure requirements for major donors to dark money groups could result in corporate and foreign donors influencing future elections, and presents a financial and administrative burden on the state.

In this May 19, 2017 photo, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange greets supporters from a balcony of the Ecuadorian embassy in London. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

7.) Prosecuting WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange for publishing leaked documents related to the 2016 presidential election would set a terrible precedent for journalists, the top lawyer for The New York Times said Tuesday.

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8.) The federal government has officially listed the coastal areas surrounding the Hawaiian Islands as a protected, critical habitat for the endangered population of false killer whales living there.

Georgia Republican gubernatorial runoff candidate Brian Kemp goes on stage to declare victory against Casey Cagle during an election night party, Tuesday, July 24, 2018, in Athens, Ga. (AP Photo/John Amis)
9.) Secretary of State Brian Kemp won the Republican nomination for Georgia governor Tuesday evening, bringing an intense runoff race against Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle to a dramatic close.

Research & Polls

In this July 11, 2018 photo, students and community activists march at Northeastern University in Boston demanding the school cancel a multimillion-dollar research contract with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. (AP Photo/Sarah Betancourt, File)

10.) The Pew Research Center reported Tuesday that Americans are sharply divided along party lines when it comes to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, with Republicans supporting the agency just as strongly as Democrats oppose it.

International

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11.) The European Union’s top court ruled Wednesday that a series of new biotechnology breeding techniques should fall under the EU’s rules of safety checks and labeling restricting genetically modified organisms.

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