Arnie Seipel | WOSU Radio

Arnie Seipel

When Labor Secretary Alex Acosta steps down on July 19, his deputy Patrick Pizzella will step in as acting head of the department.

The acting secretary will have some company.

The Defense Department is currently led by acting Secretary Mark Esper, who is expected to be confirmed in the coming weeks.

Special counsel Robert Mueller made his first — and as he promised, only — public remarks about the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and the possible obstruction of that investigation.

Mueller announced his resignation from the Department of Justice and the formal closure of his office and said that he has chosen not to testify before Congress. Mueller summarized his office's findings about Russian interference in the 2016 election and addressed why he did not reach a determination as to whether President Trump committed a crime.

Updated at 11:17 p.m. ET

Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen is leaving her post, President Trump announced Sunday as he continues to focus on restricting border crossings amid a recent surge. Nielsen had recently warned a congressional panel of a "catastrophe" on the southern border after the number of crossings hit a 10-year high.

Updated at 9:20 p.m. ET

President Trump's former lawyer and fixer, Michael Cohen, is set to appear on Capitol Hill next week to give highly anticipated testimony before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

The hearing was originally scheduled for earlier in the month but was delayed after Cohen cited "threats" from the president and attorney Rudy Giuliani.

Updated at 7:18 a.m. ET

Ohio Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown took a step towards a 2020 presidential campaign, announcing a tour of states holding early presidential primaries next year.

Seeking to counter President Trump's appeal to white, working-class voters that helped him flip Ohio and other key midwestern states, Brown is launching a "Dignity of Work" tour through Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina.

The partial government shutdown is now the longest in history, as Saturday marks Day 22. The previous record was 21 days, set in the winter of 1995-96 when President Bill Clinton and House Speaker Newt Gingrich were at odds over budget cuts.

The House of Representatives will vote on a funding bill to end the partial government shutdown on Thursday, the first day of the new Congress when Democrats will take control of the chamber and are expected to elect Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., as speaker.

A raw, emotional scene played out on Capitol Hill on Friday morning, minutes after Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake, one of a handful of Republicans expected to decide the fate of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, announced he would vote in favor of confirmation.

Two women confronted the Republican lawmaker as he boarded an elevator, telling him they are survivors of rape and sexual assault. Their identities were not immediately available to NPR.

Updated at 7:50 a.m. ET

Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, along with the American public, are hearing, for the first time, on Thursday directly from Christine Blasey Ford, the university professor who has accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault when they were both teenagers in high school.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions' future was cast further into doubt on Wednesday after President Trump made clear how broad his displeasure is with the man he tapped to lead the Department of Justice.

"I don't have an attorney general," Trump told Hill.TV in an interview on Tuesday.

The Republican National Convention in 2020 will be held in Charlotte, N.C., the party announced on Friday. The city was the only known contender to formally bid for the convention, and it is the city that hosted Democrats' convention in 2012 when President Barack Obama was renominated.

"We look forward to seeing the Queen City take center stage as the Republican Party renominates President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence," Republican National Committee chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said in a statement.

Updated at 10:10 p.m. ET

A day after the Republican members of the House intelligence committee released their findings from the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 campaign, which cleared President Trump's campaign of collusion, Democrats from the committee said today it was "premature" for the majority GOP members to conclude the probe, and that they would keep investigating.

Updated at 9:30 a.m. ET

President Trump is facing calls to act in the wake of the latest mass shooting, which killed 17 people Wednesday at a high school in Florida, and the White House is not ignoring them. The president will participate in a pair of listening sessions on school safety this week, and on Monday morning the White House said he supports efforts to improve the federal background check system, something Congress has expressed broad support for without acting on after past shootings.

While a lot of furious negotiation has been going on behind the scenes on Capitol Hill to end a partial government shutdown, to voters and cable news viewers it may look like most of the work in Washington is going into pointing fingers.

As the countdown to shutdown hit zero, an official White House statement called Democrats "obstructionist losers."

Democrats pointed to President Trump's inconsistent statements on immigration to say he's an unreliable negotiating partner.

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