FOX NEWS FIRST: Michael Flynn to learn his fate; Why Trump is justified in reviewing a Green Beret’s murder case

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Developing now, Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2018

  • Former Trump National Security Adviser Michael Flynn is scheduled to be sentenced Tuesday for lying to FBI investigators amid allegations of wrongdoing during his questioning 
  • There is an effort to convince President Trump to agree to a short-term spending bill to prevent the government from shutting down on Friday, FOX News has learned
  • Fired FBI Director James Comey lashed out at House Republican lawmakers and FOX News after his closed-door testimony on Russia and the Hillary Clinton email investigation
  • Wall Street will be closely watched after big losses on Monday sent U.S. stocks to their lowest levels in more than a year and put the Dow, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite in negative territory for the year. Meanwhile, Federal Reserve will begin day one of its two-day final policy meeting of 2018
  • President Trump has been criticized for pledging to review the case of a former Green Beret charged with murdering a suspected Taliban bombmaker. One retired Army brigadier general tells FOX News why Trump's intervention in the case is justified

THE LEAD STORY – FLYNN TO LEARN HIS FATE: Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn is scheduled to be sentenced Tuesday for pleading guilty to lying to FBI officials in the Russia investigation as outrage over alleged wrongdoing in his questioning by FBI and Justice Department investigators continues to grow ... Flynn's attorneys have claimed in recent days that he was pressured into talking to FBI investigators without having a lawyer present. That led to U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan ordering Special Counsel Robert Mueller to turn over all of the government's documents and "memoranda" related to Flynn's questioning. On Monday, Mueller released Flynn's responses in that fateful Jan. 24, 2017 interview in a heavily-redacted witness report.

Some experts and lawmakers have predicted Flynn's guilty plea will be tossed altogether. Mueller has recommended a lenient sentence for Flynn due to his cooperation in multiple investigations. - Reported by Gregg Re (@gregg_re on Twitter)

RUNNING OUT OF SHUTDOWN OPTIONS ... AND TIME: The White House has been insisting that Congress provide $5 billion to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border despite lawmaker resistance from both parties. Without a resolution, parts of the federal government are set to shut down at midnight Friday. FOX News is told there are some efforts to try to convince President Trump that a short-term spending bill is better ... That would give Trump the opportunity to fight next year over the wall. “I’m not sure that will sell,” said one source.

Some in the White House’s legislative affairs shop are coming to Capitol Hill to discuss options, although multiple Republican sources on Capitol Hill say they are running out of time. Several GOP sources suggest that the Trump administration has broad latitude to determine which workers are essential or not and may try to minimize the impact of a government shutdown. That would mean the shutdown could go for a while. The ball seems to be in the president’s court: Lawmakers from both sides seem willing to punt into the New Year, and fight then. - Reported by Chad Pergram

'FRUSTRATED' COMEY LECTURES HOUSE REPUBLICANS: Former FBI director James Comey blasted House Republicans - and FOX News - on Monday after exiting what he described as a “frustrating” closed-door hearing -- his second Capitol Hill appearance this month where he was called to answer questions on the Russia and Hillary Clinton email probes ...  “Someday, they'll have to explain to their grandchildren what they did today," Comey said of the Republicans on the two House committees that conducted the interview, accusing them of not defending the FBI from President Trump’s attacks.

Republicans, for their part, have accused Comey of not being forthcoming. He was called back to Capitol Hill after an appearance in early December in which he repeatedly claimed not to know or remember the answers to numerous questions. Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, told reporters he was not satisfied with Comey's answers on Monday, either. - Reported by Alex Pappas (@AlexPappas on Twitter

IN THE RED: Wall Street will brace for another potential volatile day on Tuesday after U.S. stocks closed sharply lower Monday, deepening annual losses, ahead of the final Federal Reserve policy meeting of the year and amid continued worries about the impact a trade war with China may have on the U.S. economy ... At the lows of the afternoon the Dow Jones Industrial Average had fallen more than 600 points.

Amid the volatility, the Dow, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite are all sitting in negative territory for the 2018 year, the first down year since 2015. The Russell 2000, a basket of smaller U.S. based companies, closed in bear market territory. The Nasdaq Composite erased its 2018 gains in Monday's sell-off, leaving only the Nasdaq 100 among the closely followed stock averages that remain positive for 2018.

Also on Tuesday, the Federal Reserve will begin its final policy meeting of 2018 - a two-day meeting expected to conclude on Wednesday. The Fed is expected to raise its short-term interest rate by a modest quarter-point, to a range of 2.25 percent to 2.5 percent. - FOX Business

A PRESIDENT'S PREROGATIVE: President Trump has been accused by some critics of trying to influence the outcome of a case involving a decorated Green Beret accused of murder in the death of a Taliban bombmaker. By announcing his decision to "review" the case via Twitter, some critics say the president wielding his influence ... However, Gen. Anthony Tata, retired brigadier general of the United States Army who served as Secretary of Transportation of North Carolina from 2013 to 2015 under Governor Pat McCrory, says the president's actions are justified.

In an op-ed for, Tata writes, "President Donald Trump is perfectly within his legal authority to assert that he will review the case of West Point graduate and Special Forces Major Mathew Golsteyn, who is charged with murdering a Taliban bomb maker in Afghanistan in 2010."

Tata continues: "As commander-in-chief, the president has the ultimate authority and responsibility to review military cases as he sees fit. His tweet does not exert command influence and is neutral in its tenor – rightfully so, as Golsteyn’s is an almost nine-year-old, complex case that puts a warrior in legal jeopardy."


THE GOVERNMENT FOR EVERYTHING - EXCEPT THE WALL: "If government should take over health care, why don't you do the wall [too]?" – Greg Gutfeld, on "The Five," reacting to the impending partial government shutdown. WATCH

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On FOX News: 
FOX & Friends, 6 a.m. ET: Ned Ryun, founder and CEO of  American Majority; David Rubin, a former mayor of  Shiloh, Israel; former Congressman Allen West; Judge Andrew Napolitano, FOX  News’ senior judicial analyst; Joe Fedele, director of  programming for WAKY 103.5; Clayton Morris, former FOX News host; Lawrence Jones, the editor-in-chief of; Jeremy Dulebohn, dog trainer; Ashley Bratcher, actress; Erika Katz, a lifestyle expert.

Special Report with Bret Baier, 6 p.m. ET: Special guests include: U.S. Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C.

On FOX Business:

Mornings with Maria, 6 a.m. ET: Special guests include: Steve Forbes, Forbes Media chairman; Rep. Roger Marshall, R-Kan.; David Kenny, Nielsen CEO; Rob Manfred, commissioner of Major League Baseball.

Varney & Co., 9 a.m. ET: Special guests include: Bradley Tusk, Tuck Holdings CEO and founder; Andy Puzder, former CKE Restaurants CEO; U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Mich.; Thomas Homan, former acting ICE director; David Mulroney, former Canadian ambassador to China.

Cavuto: Coast to Coast, Noon ET: Art Laffer, former economic adviser to President Reagan.

Making Money with Charles Payne, 2 p.m. ET: Eric Schiffer, Patriarch Organization CEO; David Dietze, president and chief investment strategist of Point View Wealth Management, Inc.

Countdown to the Closing Bell with Liz Claman, 3 p.m. ET: Justin Bogie, fiscal affairs senior policy analyst for the Heritage Foundation; Seth Hanlon, senior fellow for the Center for American Progress.

On FOX News Radio:

The FOX News Rundown podcast: What does the future hold for ObamaCare after a judge in Texas ruled the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional? Indiana’s Attorney General Curtis Hill joins the podcast to discuss why he and 19 other state attorneys general worked together to challenge the legality of ObamaCare. Congress needs to agree on a spending bill by Friday night in order to avoid a partial government shutdown. FOX News Radio White House correspondent Jon Decker has the latest developments and U.S. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif. discusses the possibility of a compromise. Plus, commentary by contributing editor with National Review and FOX News contributor, Deroy Murdock.

Want the FOX News Rundown sent straight to your mobile device? Subscribe through Apple Podcasts, Google Play, and Stitcher.

The Brian Kilmeade Show, 9 a.m. ET: The possibility of a government shutdown, the latest in Robert Mueller's investigation and potential key issues in the 2020 election will be the hot topics discussed with the following guests: Allen West, former Florida congressman; Andrew McCarthy, FOX News contributor and former federal prosecutor; and Chris Stirewalt, FOX News political editor.

Benson & Harf, 6 p.m. ET: Guy Benson will be joined by U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla. and House Majority Whip Steve Scalise.

1998: The House debates articles of impeachment against President Bill Clinton.
1944: The U.S. Supreme Court upholds the government's wartime evacuation of people of Japanese descent from the West Coast while at the same time ruling that "concededly loyal" Americans of Japanese ancestry could not continue to be detained.
1892: Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky's ballet "The Nutcracker" publicly premieres in St. Petersburg, Russia; although now considered a classic, it received a generally negative reception from critics.

FOX News First is compiled by FOX News' Bryan Robinson. Thank you for joining us! Enjoy your day! We'll see you in your inbox first thing Wednesday morning.