As Robert S. Mueller III testifies before two House committees today, Democrats and Republicans are jockeying for position.
Mueller Is in the House
Former special counsel Robert S. Mueller III will testify for the first time today about the Russia investigation in back-to-back House hearings that could bolster support for impeachment — or cripple it. Though the famously tight-lipped Mueller has vowed to confine his remarks to material included in his 448-page final report, the nationally televised hearings could prove momentous if lawmakers prod him to reveal significant new details or if his presentation changes how Americans view the investigation’s outcome and President Trump’s role. Democrats and Republicans have opposing tactics and goals for the hearings, first before the House Judiciary Committee and then before the House Intelligence Committee. Both sides may end up disappointed. Nevertheless, here are some of the key questions they are likely to ask.
-- The Trump administration is moving to end food stamp benefits for 3 million people with proposed new regulations curtailing the leeway of states to automatically enroll residents who receive welfare benefits.
-- An immigration sweep targeting thousands of people nationwide resulted in only 35 arrests, according to Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
-- Trump has sued to block the Democratic-led House Ways and Means Committee from obtaining his tax records from New York state.
-- Joe Biden is trying to position himself as an advocate of criminal justice reform by releasing a plan designed, in part, to offset his history of aligning with law-and-order social conservatives.
After the FBI raided the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power headquarters Monday, Mayor Eric Garcetti is looking to reassure the public by announcing that he’s pushed out the agency’s top executive, David Wright, months ahead of a planned departure. “It’s very clear to me that, given the events of the last 24 hours, we need to have a utility that people can trust and leadership they can trust,” Garcetti said. But the mayor’s pick of a successor to Wright is a DWP veteran, which is not sitting well with some consumer advocates.
Playing With Fire?
With the hottest and driest months of the wildfire season arriving soon, the federal government is short hundreds of firefighters. It’s the result of recruitment problems and the aftermath of the longest federal government shutdown in history. The Times found that the Department of the Interior had at least 241 fewer seasonal firefighters available than expected. Nearly 60% of California’s 33 million acres of forest is owned and managed by the Interior Department and the federal Forest Service. They are often aided by state firefighters.
A New Ballgame
The Dodgers have unveiled plans for a $100-million renovation of Dodger Stadium that will include a new center field plaza with a beer garden, two sports bars, a kids’ play area, and a space for live music. The entrance to the plaza will feature a Jackie Robinson statue, moved from elsewhere at the stadium, with plans for a statue to honor pitcher Sandy Koufax too. The project is expected to be complete in time for next season. One thing that won’t wait till then: extending the protective netting to shield fans from foul balls.
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FROM THE ARCHIVES
On this date in 1969, the Apollo 11 mission returned to Earth after having made history four days earlier by landing on the moon. As the letters to the editor published in The Times on that day and beyond show, not all our readers were overjoyed, with some expressing very earthly concerns.
-- Building a Metro transit line through the Sepulveda Pass as an alternative to the 405 Freeway between the San Fernando Valley and the Westside could cost $13 billion, much higher than earlier estimates.
-- Gov. Gavin Newsom has announced a shakeup of the Department of Motor Vehicles, appointing its third director in a year and backing an overhaul of the agency’s practices.
-- After a Times report revealed that the LAPD ordered an informant to spy on members of a political group planning protests against Trump in 2017, Chief Michel Moore says his agency will soon publish findings of an investigation into the matter.
-- Orange County prosecutors say three members of a family involved in a violent brawl that was captured on video at Disneyland earlier this month have been charged in connection with the melee.
HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS
-- The documentary “The Great Hack” couldn’t be more timely, or unsettling. It’s about the misuse of personal data and how that influenced past elections and might do so in the future.
-- Netflix is having a long, cruel summer and, columnist Mary McNamara writes, the haters couldn’t be happier.
-- Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood” is Sony’s big summer gamble. Will it pay off?
-- L.A. rapper Blueface has a hit single, industry acclaim and arena gigs, but that’s no guarantee in the world of hip-hop.
-- Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello appears destined to face relentless protests this week calling for his resignation.
-- Two members of a police department in a New Orleans suburb were fired — one for a Facebook post calling U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez a “vile idiot” and suggesting that she be shot, the other for “liking” the post.
-- Venezuela’s opposition sought to harness anger over a massive blackout that deepened hardship nationwide, but turnout at a Caracas demonstration was relatively modest.
-- The anti-corruption party of Ukraine’s new president, a television comedian with no prior political experience and a strong anti-corruption agenda, has won a commanding majority of seats in the national parliament.
-- Oscar-nominated screenwriter Phyllis Nagy says she’ll run against Writers Guild of America West’s incumbent president, David Goodman, underscoring rising tensions inside the guild over its three-month standoff with agents.
-- The U.S. Department of Justice opened a sweeping antitrust investigation of big technology companies and whether their online platforms have hurt competition, suppressed innovation or otherwise harmed consumers.
-- When Kawhi Leonard and Paul George are introduced today as Clippers, it promises to be a spectacle unlike any other for the franchise. It also brings to mind what might have been 15 years ago, had Kobe Bryant joined the team instead of the Lakers.
-- Tokyo is facing a rough road to the 2020 Summer Olympics.
-- Columnist Steve Lopez wonders: Why doesn’t the FBI just open a substation at City Hall to save on commute times?
-- Congress should take Mueller’s testimony as a call to action.
WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING
-- Neil Armstrong’s death and a secret $6-million settlement. (New York Times)
-- The beauty of math: Yes, it is an art form. (The Paris Review)
ONLY IN L.A.
It was once known as the Malibu Water Tower. Then, in the 1980s, architect Doug Rucker fashioned it into a home. Now, it has sold for $4.185 million. Take a look inside — and decide whether someone got soaked in this deal.