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HC Wake-Up Call: Manafort Reaches Tentative Plea Deal, Senator Claims to Have Secret Kavanaugh Document & Cyclist Who Flipped Off Trump is Running for Office


Good morning, Her Campus! With a break-neck news cycle, there is no possible way for you to stay on top of every story that comes across your feeds—we’re all only human, after all.

But, life comes at you fast. So grab a cup of coffee and settle in for this quick and dirty guide to stories you might’ve been sleeping on (like, literally. It’s early.)

Paul Manafort Reaches Tentative Plea Deal With Special Counsel

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort has tentatively reached a plea deal with special counsel Robert Mueller that will head off his upcoming trial, sources familiar with the negotiations told ABC News.

It is unclear at this time if Manafort has agreed to cooperate with special counsel or is simply agreeing to guilty plea, which would avoid the stress and expense of a trial. The deal is expected to be announced in court on Friday.

via Shawn Thew/EPA/REX via Shutterstock

According to ABC News, Manafort and his defense attorney spent more than four hours in negotiations on Thursday with special prosecutors involved in the investigation looking into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Word of the agreement comes as Manafort’s second trial was set to begin later this month in Washington D.C.

Manafort was set to face criminal charges in a federal court in Washington D.C. for failure to register his foreign lobbying and for money laundering conspiracy related to his Ukrainian political work.

In another case earlier this year in Virginia, Manafort was found guilty on five charges of tax fraud, one charge of hiding foreign bank accounts and two counts of bank fraud, and faces a maximum of 80 years in prison. He has not yet been sentenced in that case.

Senator Dianne Feinstein Claims to Have Secret Brett Kavanaugh Document

California Senator Dianne Feinstein acknowledged on Thursday that she has a document concerning Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, but she has so far refused to share the document despite requests to do so from fellow Democrats on the Senate Judiciary committee.

“I have received information from an individual concerning the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court,” Feinstein said in a statement. “That individual strongly requested confidentiality, declined to come forward or press the matter further, and I have honored that decision. I have, however, referred the matter to federal investigative authorities.”

via Reuters

Multiple sources told The Huffington Postthat the document in question, which was first reported by The Intercept, is a letter sent to California Rep. Anna Eshoo regarding potential sexual misconduct involving Kavanaugh and a woman when they were both in high school.

The White House took issue with Feinstein’s announcement on Thursday, saying that the senator never brought up the letter when she spoke with him or at his hearings.

“Not until the eve of his confirmation has Sen. Feinstein or anyone raised the specter of new ‘information’ about him,” White House spokeswoman Kerri Kupec said, blaming Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer for an “11th hour attempt to delay” Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation.

“Throughout 25 years of public service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has thoroughly and repeatedly vetted Judge Kavanaugh, dating back to 1993, for some of the most highly sensitive roles,” Kupec said. “He has served in the Office of Independent Counsel, the White House, and on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, all before his nomination earlier this year to serve as Associate Justice on the Supreme Court.”

Sen. Chuck Grassley, who is the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, did not comment on the document since he had not seen it, but said he was aware of the matter.

“All I know is what I read, and I wouldn’t make any judgment of it until I get more information,” Grassley told reporters.

Sen. Dick Durbin told BuzzFeed on Thursday that the matter had been referred to the FBI. According to HuffPost, an FBI official said the bureau received the information on September 12 and “included it as part of Judge Kavanaugh’s background file, as per the standard process.”

The document is only the latest occurrence to create controversy during Kavanaugh’s confirmation process. Democrats had previously attempted to postpone Kavanaugh’s confirmation, and their attempts to subpoena hundreds of thousands of Kavanaugh documents that have been deemed privileged and unavailable to the public were voted down on Thursday.

The Cyclist Who Flipped Off President Trump is Running for Office

Juli Briskman, a marketing executive, achieved internet fame back in October 2017 after a picture of her flipping of President Donald Trump’s motorcade while on her bicycle went viral. While the photo ended up costing Briskman her job at a government contracting firm, Briskman is taking up a new career: running for public office.

The Washington Post reported that Briskman is running for to represent the Algonkian District on the Loudon County Board of Supervisors in the 2019 Virginia elections, where she will go up against Republican incumbent Suzanne M. Volpe.

On her crowdfunding campaign page, Briskman writes that she has been heavily involved in her community over the past 20 years and says she is “not one to sit idle.”

“Whether it’s standing up for a cause, such as our First Amendment rights to peacefully protest the policies of the Trump administration, or working to ensure our children and teachers are given every opportunity to succeed, I do not back down when I see something is not right,” Briskman wrote.

Briskman said that “the Algonkian District has been poorly represented by our supervisor,” citing recent votes to cut school funding and stall public transportation.

She also told the Post that she hadn’t considered running for public office until her photo went viral.

“We have a right to peacefully protest and criticize and express dissent toward our government,” Briskman said. “I’ve gotten some feedback that folks say you should respect the president. Even if you don't like what they’re doing, you shouldn’t show this sort of disdain. And I simply disagree, and I think the Constitution grants me that privilege.”

One thing is for certain: it’s good to see women across the nation, regardless of what they believe in, standing up to fight for what they think is best for their communities.

What to look out for…

Today is National Cream-Filled Donut Day, so make sure to head to your favorite donut shop and treat yo’ self.

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