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The motorcade of President George W. Bush curled through the lush streets of Bel-Air one night in October 2006 and slowed to a stop at the Colonial Revival mansion of Elliott Broidy.

It was a big moment for Broidy, certifying his arrival in the upper tier of Los Angeles wealth and power. He’d summoned 250 blue-chip donors to hear Bush speak on the lawn, then gather on the tennis court for dinner. The banquet yielded $1 million for the Republican National Committee.

Broidy was founder and chairman of Markstone Capital Partners, a private equity fund. The firm, it turned out, was built on a foundation of corruption. Broidy got caught in 2009 paying kickbacks and pleaded guilty.

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  • White House
Michael Avenatti speaks at the Iowa Democratic Wing Ding in Clear Lake, Iowa.
Michael Avenatti speaks at the Iowa Democratic Wing Ding in Clear Lake, Iowa. (Associated Press)

Michael Avenatti, the self-styled provocateur taking on the president for porn actress Stormy Daniels, told Iowa Democrats on Friday that the party needs a bare-knuckle fighter to take back the White House — and he's considering formally casting himself in the role.

In a political scene unthinkable just months ago, Avenatti was the closing speaker at the Democratic Wing Ding in Clear Lake, Iowa, a traditional stop for presidential hopefuls. His remarks came after a tour through the early-voting state that included a visit to the state fair and meetings with key Democratic officials.

"What I fear for this Democratic Party that I love is that we have a tendency to bring nail clippers to gunfights," Avenatti told an enthusiastic crowd in the Surf Ballroom and Museum. "Tonight I want to suggest a different course. I believe that the Democratic Party must be a party that fights fire with fire."

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  • Supreme Court
Judge Brett Kavanaugh
Judge Brett Kavanaugh (J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press)

The Senate is scheduled to begin the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh on Sept. 4.

Sen. Charles E.Grassley, the Iowa Republican who chairs the Judiciary Committee, said Friday the committee will launch up to four days of review that Tuesday, beginning with opening remarks from senators.

Kavanaugh will face questions Wednesday, Sept. 5, followed by testimony from legal experts and people who know the judge.

Candelaria, an asylum seeker, at La Clinica Del Pueblo in the Mount Pleasant neighborhood in Washington.
Candelaria, an asylum seeker, at La Clinica Del Pueblo in the Mount Pleasant neighborhood in Washington. (Al Drago / For The Times)

Xiomara started dating him when she was 17. He was different then, not that yet the man who pushed drugs and ran with a gang. Not the man who she says berated and raped her, who roused her out of bed some mornings only to beat her.

Not the man who choked her with an electrical cord, or put a gun to her head while she screamed, then begged, “‘Please, please don’t kill me — I love you.’”

Fleeing El Salvador with their daughter, then 4, the 23-year-old mother pleaded for help at a port of entry in El Paso on a chilly day in December 2016.

It’s practically a dictionary definition to say that banks provide financial services. But when it comes to the new tax law, that’s not how the Treasury Department sees it.

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Keith Davidson, a former lawyer for Stormy Daniels.
Keith Davidson, a former lawyer for Stormy Daniels. (Heidi Gutman / ABC)

A former lawyer for Stormy Daniels dropped a defamation suit Thursday that he filed in June against the porn actress and her attorney Michael Avenatti.

The lawyer, Keith Davidson, negotiated a $130,000 payment in 2016 for Daniels in return for her silence about her alleged affair with Donald Trump.

Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, fired Davidson and replaced him with Avenatti.

For senators facing reelection in November, the August recess is typically a frantic dash to squeeze in last-minute campaigning back home. And this year the window is even narrower because the summer break is shorter than usual.

Republicans need to keep control of the House to protect President Trump from the Russia investigation, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes said at a recent fundraiser, according to an audio recording released Wednesday.

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The U.S. on Wednesday cleared the way for a new round of sanctions against Russia after the State Department formally concluded that Moscow violated the international ban on chemical weapons with a nerve agent attack this year against a former Soviet spy and his daughter.