Reuters US Domestic News Summary

Following is a summary of current US domestic news briefs.

What is the 'fictional narrative' a White House ex-adviser warns against?

U.S. President Donald Trump's former Russia adviser, Fiona Hill, warned lawmakers in the House of Representatives impeachment inquiry on Thursday against promoting what she called a "fictional narrative " that minimizes Russia's attempts to interfere in U.S. elections. 'FICTIONAL NARRATIVE'?

Trump signs funding bill to avert government shutdown this week

President Donald Trump signed legislation on Thursday that will extend funding for a wide range of federal agencies through Dec. 20 and avoid partial government shutdowns that otherwise would have begun on Friday. An administration official said Trump signed the bill that was approved by the Republican-led Senate earlier on Thursday by a vote of 74-20. The Democratic-led House of Representatives passed the measure on Tuesday by a vote of 231-192, with all but a dozen Republicans voting against the funding.

Billionaire Michael Bloomberg files paperwork to run for U.S. president

Billionaire Michael Bloomberg filed paperwork on Thursday with the Federal Election Commission to run for U.S. president as a Democrat, the latest sign that the former New York City Mayor is joining the crowded nominating contest. The filing allows Bloomberg to raise money in a bid for the White House, but an aide said on Thursday that no final decision on whether he will run has been made.

How does impeachment of a U.S. president work?

The U.S. House of Representatives is wrapping up public hearings in its impeachment investigation of President Donald Trump and moving closer to charging him with "high crimes and misdemeanors." The following explains the basics of impeachment, what happens next, and why Trump is unlikely to be removed from office.

Democrats urge U.S. Supreme Court not to protect Trump financial records

A Democratic-led U.S. congressional committee and a Democratic prosecutor in New York on Thursday urged the U.S. Supreme Court not to prevent President Donald Trump's longtime accounting firm from handing over his financial records. The House of Representatives Oversight Committee's filing followed Trump's request last week that the justices put on hold a ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit that Mazars LLP must comply with the panel's subpoena for financial records Trump has sought to keep secret.

Restaurant group sues California city over ban on new natural gas connections

California's restaurant industry sued the city of Berkeley on Thursday, arguing in court papers that its ban on natural gas in buildings will harm eateries by increasing costs and preventing them from preparing many sought-after ethnic delicacies. The suit comes four months after Berkeley became the first U.S. city to ban natural gas hookups in new buildings. Since then, more than a dozen California cities have voted to move toward electrifying their building sectors. This week, Brookline, Massachusetts became the first city outside of California to pass a ban on natural gas in buildings.

'Can I actually say something?' Unflappable expert takes on lawmakers in Trump hearing

A British-born U.S. national security expert never lost her cool during hours parrying heated questions from the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee on Thursday, and emerged as the latest star of the congressional impeachment inquiry. Fiona Hill, who resigned in July after 2 -1/2 years as the White House’s top expert on Russia and Europe, scored point after point during more than five hours of close questioning, calmly absorbing criticism from Republican committee members and at times making the chamber's audience laugh.

Teen in California high school shooting rampage used 'ghost gun' made from parts

A 16-year-old boy who opened fire at his Southern California high school, killing two classmates and wounding three others before shooting himself in the head, used a "ghost gun" built from parts, the local sheriff said on Thursday. Nathaniel Tennosuke Berhow pulled the .45-caliber semi-automatic pistol from his backpack on Nov. 14, his birthday, and shot students at Saugus High School in the Los Angeles suburb of Santa Clarita seemingly at random before turning the gun on himself. He died of his wounds the next day.

Justice Department watchdog to release report on Russia probe December 9

The U.S. Justice Department's internal watchdog said he expects to be able to release on Dec. 9 a long-awaited report on the origins of investigations into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. In a letter sent on Thursday to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz said he expected his office to be able to release the report on Dec. 9 "barring unforeseen circumstances."

Lawmakers to quiz eavesdropping U.S. embassy official in Trump impeachment inquiry

Lawmakers will question an official from the U.S. embassy in Ukraine on Thursday as they seek to learn more about a phone call in which he says he overheard President Donald Trump ask about the status of an "investigation" into a political rival. The public impeachment hearing marks the last scheduled day of marathon sessions by the Democratic-led House Intelligence Committee focused on whether Trump wrongfully pressured Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, a Democrat bidding to face Trump in the 2020 election.