3 Things to make you feel more informed
1 Trump Reportedly Sought Change Prosecutor In Cohen Investigation
There’s a new report claiming that President Trump asked former Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker if a change could be made in the investigation of Michael Cohen, Trump's longtime personal attorney. According to the “New York Times,” Mr. Trump asked Whitaker if he could put U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman in charge of the Cohen probe. Why? Berman is a Trump ally, who runs the Southern District of New York – it it’s been suggested that his prosecution of Cohen would be more “favorable.’ Thing is? He had recused himself from the Cohen probe because of his connections to Trump via his attorney, Rudy Giuliani. For his part, President Trump is calling the report nonsense – or more specifically, “fake news.” When asked about the report during a White House photo op, the President denied the claim, adding quote - "I don't know who gave you that."
2 House Panel Probes Flynn, Saudi Arabia
The House Oversight Committee is investigating whether former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn tried to transfer sensitive nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia. If true, that may have been a violation of federal law. The core of the concern? So-called "whistle-blowers" say that days after President Trump was inaugurated, Flynn put a questionable proposal in front of Trump for approval. It included a draft Cabinet memo stating that the president had appointed Tom Barrack, a big-time Trump backer with business ties to the Middle East, as a special representative to implement the plan. House Democrats want to know whether the plan is still under consideration at the White House. Concerns have been raised about whether a transfer of nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia could provoke a dangerous arms race in the volatile Middle East.
3 Report: FBI Investigating Jussie Smollett Letter
Chicago Police have been very interested in getting "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett back in for a chat. If the two men cooperating with police – Ola and Abel Osundairo – are to be believed, Smollett was involved in the planning and execution of what he’s maintained was a hate-crime. But it’s getting worse. Now comes word that federal investigators are looking into whether Smollett had something to do with a threatening letter that was sent to him on the Chicago set of the hit show. In fact, sources are saying the letter is now at the FBI crime lab for testing. As you might recall, the letter was sent just days before the Smollett claimed he was attacked in Chicago. According to the Osundairo brothers, the alleged attack came because Smollett was upset that the studio’s reaction to the letter wasn’t appropriate. And here’s the thing: while state charges surrounding the filing of a false police report are certainly problematic (and do carry a fine and potential jail time), mailing of the letter means that whomever sent it will surely face federal indictment. Conventional wisdom is that any judge overseeing this case will want to “make an example” of the guilty party. Various sources are reporting that grand jury could begin weighing an indictment any time now.