Cohen Subpoenaed, Trump Crumbled

Michael Cohen has been subpoenaed to testify before the Senate, and the standoff between Nancy Pelosi and the president ended with Trump buckling to her demands.

It’s been a whirlwind 24 hours. In the same day that the president insisted he would hold the State of the Union address despite House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s insistence otherwise, he then buckled and agreed to postpone the address.

In a similar turn of events, just as Michael Cohen’s lawyers announced that he would not be appearing in front of Congress due to threats from the president and Rudy Giuliani, the Senate Intelligence Committee subpoenaed him to appear before them. This testimony, however, will be behind closed doors, while his testimony before the House Oversight Committee would have been public.

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North Korea Summit: Take Two

Last week, the White House confirmed that the president will once again meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to discuss denuclearization.

The meeting is supposed to take place before the end of next month, although an official date and location have not yet been established. Many suspect, however, that Hanoi, Vietnam will eventually be chosen.

South Korean diplomats are urging both nations to “deliver concrete results on denuclearization” rather than a series of grand photo-ops like the last summit.

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Trump to Move Ahead with SOTU

The president is insisting on delivering his State of the Union address despite critical shortages in security staffing due to the government shutdown.

However, because House Speaker Nancy Pelosi controls whether or not a resolution to convene a joint session of Congress, it is unclear whether or not anyone would be there to hear his address in the first place.

Pelosi previously declined to invite the president to deliver the address on the basis that shortages in security staff would endganger government officials. During a SOTU, virtually every member of the government is present, from lawmakers to Supreme Court Justices, requiring an immense security detail.

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BuzzFeed v. Mueller

Last week, Robert Mueller’s office quashed a report by BuzzFeed claiming the president directed Michael Cohen to lie to Congress. BuzzFeed, however, stands by the report.

The initial report claimed that Trump directed his then lawyer, Michael Cohen, to lie to Congress regarding the status of the negotiations for the Trump Tower in Moscow.

Within hours of its release, Mueller’s office publicly denounced the validity of the report, but BuzzFeed is standing by its reporting.

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A Foreign Agent for President

A bombshell New York Times piece reports that the FBI has been investigating the president due to concerns that he may be working “on behalf of Russia.”

The investigation was apparently launched shortly after Trump fired former FBI director James Comey over the launch of a probe into potential Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

In essence, investigators have been attempting to determine whether or not the president’s actions — namely, firing Comey — consitute a national security threat, and if he has been knowingly or unknowingly compromised by Russian influence.

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Trump’s Shutdown Address

The president addressed the nation last night on the 18th day of the government shutdown and continued to place the blame on Democrats.

UPDATED 1/11/2019 04:23 PM PST: Rather than declaring a national emergency to raid defense funds, the president actually plans on dipping into funds set aside for disaster relief in California, Puerto Rico, and Texas to pay for his wall.

Trump spoke as 800,000 federal workers have been furloughed or forced to work without pay for more than two weeks, including important security officials like TSA agents, the Coast Guard, and federal fire fighters.

The current shutdown is now second only to the 21-day closure that occurred under the Clinton administration beginning December 1995.

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Trump Requests a Meeting Amidst Shutdown Crisis

As the government shutdown enters its second week and the chaos ramps up, the president has requested a bipartisan meeting with lawmakers.

TSA agents are working the holiday travel rush without pay and visitors at national parks are being forced to defecate in the roads as the shutdown over border wall funding continues.

In the first display of cooperation in weeks, the president is calling for a bipartisan meeting with lawmakers to discuss a solution.

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Trump Tries to Leverage Shutdown

The president and his lawyers are attempting to take advantage of the government shutdown to delay a lawsuit against him over violations of the emoluments clause.

His lawyers argue that the suit would be too much of a distraction from the president.

U.S. District Judge Peter Messitte of Maryland, however, disagrees, and has refused the request to delay the suit on the basis of the government being shut down.

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President Reveals Special Forces in Iraq via Twitter

Donald Trump tweeted a video of himself with special forces in Iraq that were previously undisclosed during his trip to visit the troops.

The U.S. Navy SEAL team is clearly pictured in the video despite the sensitive nature of their deployment.

It is incredibly rare for a president, or the government in general, to release the identity of a specific team during their deployment, much less to release clearly identifying images.

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The Shutdown Continues

Federal workers are beginning to feel the weight of an extend shutdown, and there doesn’t appear to be any relief in sight.

The worst part? There is reportedly zero discussion currently taking place on the issue, meaning no progress is being made.

With the president visiting troops in Iraq and the House set to switch to Democratic control January 3, fears are mounting that the shutdown could continue into next month.

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