“This is the most intense I’ve ever seen him,” Vermont Rep. Peter Welch, who supports the deal, said.Rep. Jerrold Nadler, a New York Democrat, said Obama told the lawmakers: “This is very important and you should vote on your real convictions, not based on politics.”The president’s focus on marshaling enough Democratic votes to sustain a veto of legislation disapproving of the nuclear deal is evident. He blew past a deadline to say goodnight to his daughters, Sasha and Malia, in order to keep taking questions from lawmakers on the ins and outs of the deal. The majority of House Democrats had gone to the White House earlier Wednesday, but roughly 20 returned to hear from Obama and a handful of Cabinet secretaries.Lawmakers say this is the most invested in winning over lawmakers on a policy priority they’ve seen Obama during his seven years in office. He’s pitching Democrats on a variety of fronts: sending emissaries to Capitol Hill for briefings, inviting lawmakers on golf outings and spending hours personally calling and meeting with lawmakers to answer questions about the agreement.“He is very engaged on this issue … and it was probably one of the most remarkable moments I’ve had in Congress,” said California Rep. Jackie Speier. “We were sitting in the Blue Room … and the president spent almost two hours with us and answered every question with specifics, clarity and — I think — persuasion.”Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, a strong supporter of the deal, organized the Wednesday night meetings at the White House. They occurred on the eve of lawmakers’ departure from Washington for their long summer recess, when they’re expected to face heavy pressure to oppose the Iran accord. At the initial meeting with House Democrats at the White House Wednesday, Obama urged lawmakers not to be distracted by political pressure. Groups opposed to the agreement are threatening to spend $40 million over the August recess on television ads opposing the deal. That money, and the political pressure groups like AIPAC are putting on lawmakers, came up frequently.Obama said, “You can’t allow yourself to be subject to political pressure,” on such an important vote, said one Democrat.Among the members on hand for the White House gathering were Rep. Brad Sherman of California, John Larson of Connecticut, Speier, Tony Cárdenas of California, Joe Kennedy of Massachusetts and Steve Cohen of Tennessee. Several White House Cabinet members attended, including Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, Energy Secretary Ernset Moniz, Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell and Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.Sarah Wheaton contributed to this report. Also On POLITICO lobbying Old Europe pushes Iran deal By Michael Crowley Poll: Americans don’t support Iran deal By Eliza Collins It was a side of President Barack Obama many of the 20 House Democrats who gathered in the White House’s Blue Room Wednesday night hadn’t seen before: engaged, direct, even a little bit personal.Obama dived into his pitch on the Iran nuclear deal, demonstrating his command of the nuances as lawmakers peppered him with questions. But the president who has infamously shied away from hardball politics when it comes to selling his policies also made abundantly clear he’s making an exception to secure what would be the biggest foreign policy triumph of his two terms.He told the lawmakers they “owe me” the chance to persuade them to support the nonproliferation agreement, according to multiple members in attendance. He repeated comments made to lawmakers last week that they would not get a pass on the Iran bill — that he wants, and expects, their support. Obama, of course, has become well known for avoiding the grueling task of building relationships with lawmakers, which many in Congress used to being stroked and cajoled have taken as a snub. The lack of outreach has even hurt the president in the past. This year, Democrats bucked the White House on major trade legislation and a bill giving Congress a say on the Iran deal. In the past, congressional Democrats have been at odds with Obama on budget and tax deals he’s hatched with Republicans.But it appears, at this late date, that the White House has learned the value of including lawmakers early, Democrats said.“It’s a different White House. He’s working this differently than I’ve ever seen him work anything and I think it’s making a difference,” said one Democrat, who requested anonymity.Obama asked Democrats who plan to support the deal to go public early, a message that lawmakers have heard repeatedly from their pro-deal colleagues. Many are following that advice. Michigan Rep. Dan Kildee, who attended the White House briefings, announced Thursday that he would vote to push the deal forward.Republicans are united in opposition to the Iran deal and will likely pass a resolution registering their opposition when Congress returns from its summer recess in September. Obama has pledged to veto that measure, meaning it will likely fall on House Democrats to sustain that veto. Senate Democrats could also provide the votes to preserve the Iran agreement, but that conference is more skeptical than its counterpart in the House, where senior staffers already predict they have the votes to back Obama.“I’m confident [we have the votes] because of the nature of the agreement,” Pelosi said Thursday. “It’s really pretty exciting. It’s probably one of the most important endeavors members will be engaged in. It’s your vote that they are going to be held accountable for.”
ABC/Paula Lobo(LOS ANGELES) — Prosecutors have decided not to file charges in Brooklyn Nine-Nine star Terry Crews’ sexual assault case against Hollywood agent Adam Venit, ruling the case is not a felony.The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office says in a document obtained by Variety that it rejected the filing because Venit “didn’t make contact” with Crews’ skin when he grabbed his genitals, adding, “there was no restraint involved.”The case was sent to the L.A. City Attorney for possible misdemeanor prosecution, but was also rejected, due the statute of limitations, which is one year for a misdemeanor.Crews reported the incident to the Los Angeles Police Department back in November, alleging that Venit had grabbed his crotch at an industry party at Hutchinson restaurant in February 2016.Crews is also pursuing a civil case against Venit.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.