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5 Takeaways From the Release of the Democratic Memo

It also discussed Moscow’s apparent overtures to another Trump campaign official and its general meddling during that period, which prompted the F.B.I. to open the Trump-Russia investigation in late July — before the bureau’s investigative team received Mr. Steele’s information.Some of that material remains redacted in the version of the memo made public on Saturday.By contrast, Republicans have portrayed Mr. Steele’s information as the central focus of the application, filed to the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. The Republican memo said it formed “an essential part” of the application, and in a separate memo, Senators Charles E. Grassley and Lindsey Graham, Republicans of Iowa and South Carolina, stated that “the bulk” of the application was Mr. Steele’s information.The Democratic memo also says that what the F.B.I. did use from Mr […]

2 Weeks After Trump Blocked It, Democrats’ Rebuttal of G.O.P. Memo Is Released

At the conference on Saturday, Representative Devin Nunes of California, the committee’s Republican chairman, said the newly released memo showed that Democrats were engaged in a cover-up and were “colluding with parts of the government” to carry it out.The Democratic memo underwent days of review by top law enforcement officials after the president blocked its outright release two weeks ago, with the White House counsel warning that the document “contains numerous properly classified and especially sensitive passages.” On Saturday afternoon, after weeks of haggling over redactions, the department returned the document to the committee so it could make it public.The release was expected to be the final volley, at least for now, in a bitter partisan fight over surveillance that has driven deep fissures through the once-bipartisan Intelligence Committee.Representative Adam B. Schiff, the top Democrat on the committee, said on Saturday that the Democratic memo should “put to rest” Republican assertions of wrongdoing against the former Trump aide, Carter Page, in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act process.“Our extensive review of the initial FISA application and three subsequent renewals failed to uncover any evidence of illegal, unethical or unprofessional behavior by law enforcement and instead revealed that both the F.B.I. and D.O.J. made extensive showings to justify all four requests,” he said in a statement.Republicans, including Mr […]

New York Today: New York Today: Albany Agenda

Weather.init(); }()); Warm and foggy. What kind of February weather is that? The record for this date is 69 degrees. We will come close, with a high of 65. […]

News Analysis: The Real Aim of the Nunes Memo Is the Mueller Investigation

Republicans are pushing the narrative that a cabal of politically biased law enforcement officials set out to sabotage Mr. Trump. And they are portraying a dossier written by Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence agent, which laid out unverified claims that Russia had compromised Mr. Trump and was conspiring with him, as the fountainhead of the Russia investigation. That assertion disregards unrelated evidence that Russia sought to influence the election and the pattern of contacts between Russians and Mr […]

Government Shutdown Begins as Budget Talks Falter in Senate

“Senate Democrats own the Schumer Shutdown,” the White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, said in a statement. “Tonight, they put politics above our national security, military families, and our country’s ability to serve all Americans.”Democrats, calling it the “Trump shutdown,” countered that Republicans were responsible for the management of a government in their control.GraphicThese Factions in Congress, Split Over ‘Dreamers,’ Could Lead to Government ShutdownA deal to avoid closing the federal government hinges on Senate Democrats, and some Republicans, who want to include protections for young undocumented immigrants.OPEN Graphic“Every American knows the Republican Party controls the White House, the Senate, the House,” Mr. Schumer said. “It’s their job to keep the government open.”In addition to funding government operations through Feb. 16, the House-passed bill would extend funding by six years for the popular Children’s Health Insurance Program, a provision intended to secure Democratic votes.But Democrats were seeking concessions on other priorities, such as protecting young undocumented immigrants from deportation, increasing domestic spending, securing disaster aid for Puerto Rico and bolstering the government’s response to the opioid epidemic.Federal agencies had prepared for the shutdown; on Thursday night, officials at the White House Office of Management and Budget instructed federal agency leaders to give their employees informal notice of who would be furloughed and who would not if funding lapsed.Formal notifications are to be given as early as Saturday morning, budget office officials said, insisting on anonymity to brief reporters about the details of what the White House called “lapse planning and shutdown operations.”Continue reading the main storyMore than one million active-duty military personnel will serve with no lapse, they said, but could not be paid until the shutdown ends. Agencies like the Energy Department that have funding that is not subject to annual appropriations can use that money to stay open, the officials said, and the administration is encouraging them to do so. Most mandatory programs — entitlements such as Social Security that are automatically funded rather than subject to congressional appropriations — can continue without disruption.Officials said Mr. Trump may travel on Air Force One to carry out his constitutional responsibilities, including a planned trip next week to Davos, Switzerland […]

House Republicans’ Hard-Line Immigration Stand Clashes With Trump Overture

But the House measure, put forth by a group that includes two committee chairmen — Judiciary’s Robert W. Goodlatte of Virginia and Homeland Security’s Michael McCaul of Texas — was far more expansive.It would require employers to use an Internet-based system, known as E-Verify, to confirm that they are hiring only legal workers; crack down on so-called sanctuary cities by denying them federal grants; allow for the detention of minors who are arrested at the border with their parents; and toughen sentences for criminals who have been deported and return illegally.The measure would end the diversity visa lottery program, as Mr. Trump wants, and end family-based migration for all relatives other than spouses and minor children. It would offer three-year renewable work permits to DACA recipients, without offering them a path to citizenship.The new House Republicans’ stand underscored the uncertainty about immigration. Mr. Trump’s positions vacillate daily […]

On Washington: Republicans’ 2018 Resolution: Bipartisanship. Will It Last?

Democrats say they are open to Republican overtures and would like to see bipartisan progress on immigration, public works and domestic spending. […]