Justice Dept. watchdog criticizes asset forfeiture program

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A government watchdog on Wednesday identified what it called weaknesses in the Justice Department's asset forfeiture program, including poor data collection and analysis and inadequate training of local and state officers. The program, long criticized by advocacy groups concerned about oversight, permits law enforcement to take possession of cash and property seized during investigations.

Questions, answers about funding threats to sanctuary cities

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Trump administration is issuing a fresh threat to withhold or revoke law enforcement grant money from communities that refuse to cooperate with federal efforts to find and deport immigrants in the country illegally. Attorney General Jeff Sessions' announcement this week combined two issues at the fore of the promised crackdown on so-called sanctuary cities.

Questions, answers about funding threats to sanctuary cities

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Trump administration is issuing a fresh threat to withhold or revoke law enforcement grant money from communities that refuse to cooperate with federal efforts to find and deport immigrants in the country illegally. Attorney General Jeff Sessions' announcement Monday combined two issues at the fore of the promised crackdown on so-called sanctuary cities.

Lebanese businessman appears in US court in sanctions case

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A Lebanese businessman who the United States says has provided millions of dollars to the Hezbollah militant group has pleaded not guilty to federal criminal charges that he violated sanctions. Kassim Tajideen, who was arrested in Morocco earlier this month, made his first court appearance in Washington on Friday and was ordered detained after Justice Department prosecutors called him a flight risk.

A look at the wiretap flap from Trump tweets to Capitol Hill

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Donald Trump's startling allegation that former President Barack Obama tapped his phones during last year's election is pitting the White House against U.S. intelligence officials, sparking grave concern in law enforcement circles and alarming Democrats and Republicans alike. A look at the controversy: TRUMP'S ALLEGATION On Saturday, March 4, while at his Florida estate, Trump angrily tweeted that Obama was behind a politically motivated plot to upend his campaign.

Justice investigating California GOP congressman

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Justice Department is investigating California Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter for possible campaign violations. The House Ethics panel has been investigating allegations that Hunter improperly used campaign funds to pay for tens of thousands of dollars in personal expenses, such as trips to Hawaii and Italy and tuition for Hunter's school-age children. The panel said in a statement Thursday that it is delaying the inquiry at the request of the Justice Department.

Justice Department probes Calif. Republican Rep. Hunter

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Justice Department is investigating California Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter for possible campaign finance violations, an allegation the lawmaker dismisses as inadvertent mistakes. The House Ethics Committee has been investigating allegations that Hunter improperly used campaign funds to pay for tens of thousands of dollars in personal expenses, such as trips to Hawaii and Italy and tuition for Hunter's school-age children.

Update on the latest news, sports, business and entertainment:

CONGRESS-HEALTH OVERHAUL Trump urges support for health care legislation WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Donald Trump is urging people to call their lawmakers to express support for the Republican legislation to repeal and replace "Obamacare." Trump posted a video on Twitter Thursday asking people to get behind the plan. He says that people were "given many lies" about the Affordable Care Act.

Bid to strip terrorist's citizenship may mark new Trump way

CHICAGO (AP) -- The Department of Justice has taken the rare step of seeking to strip a convicted terrorist of his U.S. citizenship as he serves the last several years of a 20-year prison sentence for plotting to destroy New York's Brooklyn Bridge. Some national security experts suggested Tuesday the move might signal a new, tougher line under President Donald Trump.

FBI director blasted by Democrats after probe revelation

WASHINGTON (AP) -- FBI Director James Comey's testimony that the bureau has been quietly investigating possible links between associates of President Donald Trump and Russian officials since the summer enraged Democrats who already blamed him for rattling the 2016 campaign's closing days.

Democrats blast FBI director after probe revelation

WASHINGTON (AP) -- FBI Director James Comey's testimony Monday that the bureau has been quietly investigating possible links between associates of President Donald Trump and Russian officials since the summer enraged Democrats who already blame him for rattling the 2016 campaign's closing days.

Morning Coverage Outlook

COVERAGE OUTLOOK Planning for 3/20/2017: -------------------------------------------------------------------- HIGHLIGHTS -------------------------------------------------------------------- DC, TRUMP-RUSSIA - FBI Director James Comey says the FBI and Justice Department have no information to substantiate President Donald Trump's claims that former President Barack Obama wiretapped him before the election. Comey and National Security Agency Director Michael Rogers are testifying before the House Intelligence Committee on allegations of Russian hacking and whether there were any connections between Moscow and Trump's campaign. See National.

The Latest: Trump keeping tabs on Russia hearing, tweeting

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Latest on a congressional inquiry into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election (all times local): 3:05 p.m. President Donald Trump is keeping tabs on the congressional hearing on Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. He's tweeting that the FBI and National Security Agency are telling Congress that Russia did not influence the electoral process.