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News Wrap: Kavanaugh confirmation hearing appears on track despite document delay

In our news wrap Thursday, the National Archives is warning of a document issue on material related to Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, whom Senate Republicans are trying to confirm before the November elections. Judy Woodruff talks with Lisa Desjardins. Also, federal prosecutors in the Paul Manafort trial used a bookkeeper to flesh out charges of bank fraud and tax evasion.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    The battle is officially on tonight over rules to make cars get better gas mileage and emit less pollution.

    The Trump administration called today for rolling back Obama era standards due to take effect over the next years. Officials argued that the result would be cheaper and safer vehicles. California and 19 other states, however, vowed to pursue a legal challenge. We will have a full report after the news summary.

    In the day's other news: The National Archives is warning of a document delay, as Senate Republicans try to confirm President Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, before the November elections. The Archives announced today that it won't finish reviewing material related to work that Kavanaugh did as a White House staffer under President George W. Bush until late October.

    Congressional correspondent Lisa Desjardins joins me now to talk about the implications.

    So, Lisa, we're talking about nearly a million documents.

  • Lisa Desjardins:


  • Judy Woodruff:

    What's in them? Why does this matter?

  • Lisa Desjardins:

    Could be up to a million documents.

    These are the paper Brett Kavanaugh wrote, including e-mails, potentially policy documents, when he worked in the White House Counsel's Office and also when he was staff secretary.

    Now, Judy, Republicans point out, though, a lot of this could also be e-mails that he was just CC'ed on or blind-copied on, things that he didn't actually ring in on.

    So it's not clear exactly how much of this is pertinent to him as a nominee. However, Democrats say they want to see every single piece of paperwork they can for this important nominee.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    So, what effect is this likely to have on the timing of these confirmation hearings?

  • Lisa Desjardins:

    Remarkably, right now, it doesn't look like any effect.

    I spoke to a Democratic aide who is connected to an important office regarding this SCOTUS nomination fight. He said that Chuck Schumer is not requesting a delay because of this document news today.

    However, one issue in that may be the fact that there's a separate place they can get these documents. That's from President George W. Bush's own team. They are separately going through these documents. And Republicans think they will get nearly all one million pages within two to three weeks from the Bush leadership team.

    Democrats say they'd rather an independent team look at it. But I think, Judy, bigger news here, my sources are saying they expect the Kavanaugh confirmation hearing to happen the week after Labor Day. And so far, they don't see anything yet to derail it.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    So, appears to be on track?

  • Lisa Desjardins:

    Right now, it is, but there's, again, a lot of documents to read through in a short period of time.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    For sure.

    Lisa Desjardins, thank you.

    In the Paul Manafort trial, federal prosecutors used a bookkeeper today to flesh out charges of bank fraud and tax evasion against the one-time Trump campaign manager.

    The bookkeeper testified that Manafort never mentioned foreign bank accounts where he allegedly kept millions of dollars earned from lobbying for foreign governments. She also said that he submitted falsified profit-and-loss statements to banks in order to get loans.

    Ivanka Trump, the president's daughter and senior adviser, publicly disagreed today with her father's attacks on the news media. At a Washington event, she was asked about his labeling journalists as enemy of the people.

  • Ivanka Trump:

    I have some sensitivity around why people have concerns and gripes, especially when they are — sort of feel targeted. But, no, I do not feel that the media is the enemy of the people.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Mr. Trump played down any disagreement, and said his daughter answered correctly. He tweeted, "It is the fake news, which is a large percentage of the media, that is the enemy of the people."

    The White House says that President Trump has received a new letter from North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, and sent a reply. Officials gave no details, but early today, the president tweeted to Kim, "Thank you for your nice letter. I look forward to seeing you soon."

    The two leaders held a summit in June. So far, there has been no announcement of any plans for a second meeting.

    The president also praised what he called North Korea's kind action of turning over remains from the Korean War. Vice President Pence joined in formally receiving 55 flag-draped boxes yesterday in Hawaii. The head of the identification effort said early signs suggest the remains are, indeed, of Americans.

    He spoke via videolink at a Pentagon briefing.

  • Dr. John E. Byrd:

    When you do see remains that have indications that they could be a person of European or African ancestry, then being an American is a good first bet. And so we look at that from the standpoint of skeletal morphology, the size and shapes of the bones.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Some 7,700 U.S. service members are still missing from the Korean War. About 5,300 of those are believed to have died fighting inside North Korea.

    Pope Francis today formally changed official Catholic teaching to say the death penalty is never justified. In a statement, he said capital punishment is — quote — "inadmissible" because it is an attack on the inviolability and the dignity of the person. For decades, church policy allowed for executions, but today's statement says that stance is outdated.

    Desert air from North Africa is bringing a new heat wave to Europe, and temperatures could reach 116 degrees in the days ahead. Temperatures easily topped 100 degrees today in parts of Portugal and Spain. Authorities also issued health warnings for dust blowing in from the Sahara Desert. Northern and Central Europe are also enduring extreme heat.

    Here in the U.S., firefighters in Northern California reported more progress against several fires today. But the largest one, the Carr Fire, grew again, fueled by high winds. It has killed six people and destroyed more than 1,000 homes. Thousands of people remain under evacuation orders.

    And in economic news, Apple stock surged again, making it the first publicly traded company to hit $1 trillion in value. That helped the tech-heavy Nasdaq gain 95 points, more than 1 percent. The Dow Jones industrial average lost seven points, and the S&P 500 added 13.

    Still to come on the "NewsHour", rolling back future clean fuel standards imposed under President Obama; protests stop rush-hour traffic in Chicago; federal officials promise to secure the 2018 election; and much more.

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