Reuters US Domestic News Summary

Following is a summary of current US domestic news briefs.

U.S. Republican senators ask Treasury for suspicious activity reports on Hunter Biden

The Republican chairmen of two U.S. Senate committees have asked the Treasury Department to provide any reports of money laundering or fraud related to former Vice President Joe Biden's son's business dealings with a Ukraine energy firm, according to a letter seen by Reuters on Friday. The letter seeks "suspicious activity reports," which are documents that financial institutions file with the Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network whenever there is a suspected case of money laundering or fraud. It was unclear whether any such reports exist related to Hunter Biden, the former vice president's son. [https://tmsnrt.rs/2s6ZdoF ]

Exclusive: U.S. Navy secretary backs SEAL's expulsion review, despite Trump objection

U.S. Navy Secretary Richard Spencer said on Friday a Navy SEAL convicted of battlefield misconduct should face a board of peers weighing whether to oust him from the elite force, despite President Donald Trump's assertion that he not be expelled. "I believe the process matters for good order and discipline," Spencer told Reuters, weighing in on a confrontation between Trump and senior Navy officials over the outcome of a high-profile war-crimes case.

Trump says he will allow states to import prescription drugs to lower costs

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Friday he will soon release a plan to let Florida and other states import prescription medicines to combat high drug prices, and he blasted the Democrat-led House for not going far enough in a drug-pricing bill. "We will soon be putting more options on the table," Trump wrote in a series of tweets, adding that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi "and her Do Nothing Democrats drug pricing bill doesn’t do the trick."

Colorado man faces new charges for plotting to bomb synagogue

An avowed white supremacist being held without bond for plotting to bomb a Colorado synagogue this month has been indicted on additional charges of attempted arson and using explosives to commit a felony, federal prosecutors said on Friday. The two additional charges against Richard Holzer, 27, on top of an earlier count of attempting to obstruct religious services by force, could send him to prison for 50 years, U.S. Attorney Jason Dunn said in a statement.

Trump accuses impeachment witness of lying, defends use of Giuliani

President Donald Trump on Friday accused a witness in the Democratic-led impeachment inquiry of lying and offered an explanation for his controversial use of his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani on Ukraine policy, saying Giuliani's crime-fighting abilities were needed to deal with a corrupt country. Trump made his remarks the day after the fifth and final scheduled day of public hearings in the U.S. House of Representatives inquiry, which threatens his presidency even as he seeks re-election in November 2020.

Ex-CIA officer sentenced to 19 years in prison for conspiring to spy for China

A former CIA case officer was sentenced by a federal judge in Virginia on Friday to serve 19 years in prison, after he pleaded guilty in May to conspiring to become a spy for China, federal prosecutors announced. Jerry Chuan Shing Lee, 55, left the CIA in 2007 and moved to Hong Kong. A few years later, in 2010, he was approached by two Chinese intelligence officers who offered to pay him $100,000 and to take care of him “for life” for information he had acquired as a CIA officer.

Warren taps all-woman lineup to chair U.S. presidential campaign

U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren announced on Friday that her presidential campaign will be chaired by a diverse group of congresswomen elected in 2018 in a record-breaking wave of women who helped Democrats retake the U.S. House of Representatives. Presidential campaign chairs often play public-facing roles interacting with voters. Warren chose three women seen as rising stars in the Democratic Party with national profiles.

Former Trump official Bolton says Twitter account 'liberated' from White House control

U.S. President Donald Trump's former national security adviser John Bolton said on Friday that Twitter Inc had returned control of his personal account to him after it had been taken over by the White House. "We have now liberated the Twitter account, previously suppressed unfairly in the aftermath of my resignation as National Security Advisor," Bolton told his more than 790,000 followers in his first tweets since resigning in September.

New hearing, same sentence for convicted Penn State child molester Jerry Sandusky

A resentencing hearing on Friday for former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky resulted in the same penalty that he received after his 2012 conviction for sexually assaulting teenage boys: 30 to 60 years in prison, likely the rest of his life. Sandusky was granted the hearing because of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that minimum sentencing requirements, such as those on which his original sentence was based, were unconstitutional.

Trump says ban of some flavored e-cigarette products could lead to illegal sales

U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday expressed concerns that enacting his administration's proposed ban on many flavored e-cigarette and vaping products would lead to people obtaining them illegally. Trump also raised worries during a raucous meeting with public health and industry representatives that illegal e-cigarette and vaping products could be substandard.