Reuters US Domestic News Summary

Following is a summary of current US domestic news briefs.

Robert Mueller, who oversaw Trump-Russia probe, returns to private practice

Robert Mueller, the former special counsel who oversaw a two-year probe into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election to help Donald Trump become president, is returning to his old law firm. Mueller, 75, is rejoining WilmerHale as a partner focused on high-profile investigations and crisis management, similar to his work prior to becoming special counsel, the law firm said on Tuesday.

U.S. House impeachment inquiry to intensify; Trump remains defiant

The House of Representatives impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump over his request that a foreign power investigate a domestic political rival is set to intensify this week with testimony due from witnesses concerning allegations made by a whistleblower within the U.S. intelligence community. The whistleblower's complaint cited a July 25 telephone call in which Trump asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to investigate Joe Biden, one of the leading Democratic candidates seeking to challenge him in 2020, and his son Hunter, who sat on the board of a Ukrainian gas company.

Ex-New York congressman pleads guilty in insider trading case

Chris Collins, a former U.S. Congressman from New York state who was known as an early backer of President Donald Trump, pleaded guilty on Wednesday to taking part in an insider trading scheme. Collins, 69, entered his plea before U.S. District Judge Vernon Broderick in Manhattan the day after he resigned his seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.

U.S. judge rejects claim Harvard discriminates against Asian-American applicants

Harvard University's undergraduate admissions program does not discriminate against Asian-American applicants, a federal judge ruled on Tuesday, rejecting a lawsuit brought by opponents of affirmative action and backed by the Trump administration. The lawsuit was brought by a group hoping to eventually overturn U.S. Supreme Court precedents that allow colleges to consider race as one factor in admissions, so long as quotas are not involved.

Restrictive Georgia abortion law temporarily blocked by federal judge

A federal judge on Tuesday temporarily blocked a Georgia law that would have prohibited women from getting an abortion after as early as six weeks of pregnancy. The move stops the legislation from taking effect in January while a legal challenge is pending.

Entrance-exam official agrees to plead guilty in U.S. college cheating scandal

An administrator tied to the U.S. college cheating scandal has agreed to plead guilty to a conspiracy charge and give information to authorities on other people involved in the scheme, according to court papers filed on Tuesday. Igor Dvorskiy, 53, is accused of allowing cheating on college entrance exams he administered in the Los Angeles area.

Drug companies urge appeals court to remove judge from U.S. opioid litigation

Eight drug companies on Tuesday urged a federal appeals court to disqualify the judge overseeing nationwide opioid litigation, in a last-ditch effort to avoid having him preside over a landmark trial in three weeks. The request came six days after U.S. District Judge Dan Polster in Cleveland refused to recuse himself and said he had done nothing to favor the state and local governments suing for damages, including by encouraging settlements.

UAW rejects new GM offer as strike forces 6,000 Mexico layoffs

The United Auto Workers union said on Tuesday it rejected a new comprehensive offer from General Motors Co to end a two-week-old strike, saying the automaker came up short on several fronts including wages, healthcare and temporary workers. The union said it made a counterproposal and warned "there are still many important issues that remain unresolved." Also on Tuesday, GM said the strike by U.S. workers forced it to halt production at its pickup and transmission plants in Silao, Mexico, resulting in temporary layoffs of 6,000 workers.

Ex-Dallas police officer Amber Guyger guilty in wrong-apartment murder

A Dallas jury on Tuesday found former police officer Amber Guyger guilty of murder for accidentally walking into a neighbor's apartment while thinking it was her own and fatally shooting him as he ate ice cream. The Sept. 6, 2018 killing of Botham Jean, a 26-year-old black PwC accountant, by a white officer sparked street protests, particularly when prosecutors initially opted to bring the lesser charge of manslaughter against Guyger, 31.

Owners of dive boat that sank off California coast, killing 34, suspend operations

The owners of a dive boat that caught fire and sank off the California coast on Labor Day, killing 34 people, said on Tuesday they had suspended operations indefinitely during an investigation of one of the state's worst maritime disasters. The 75-foot Conception, owned by dive tour company Truth Aquatics, burst into flames on Sept. 2, killing 33 passengers and a crew member who had been sleeping below decks.