1/ The Senate Judiciary Committee voted along party lines to approve William Barr's nomination to become attorney general and succeed Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker. All 12 Republicans on the panel voted for Barr, while all 10 Democrats voted against him. Democrats cited an unsolicited memo Barr wrote last year to Rod Rosenstein objecting to the obstruction of justice aspect of the Mueller probe was "fatally misconceived" and that "Mueller should not be permitted to demand that the President submit to interrogation about alleged obstruction." Barr also argued that Trump firing James Comey, and before that asking Comey to stop the investigation into Michael Flynn were within his powers as head of the executive branch. A final vote on Barr's nomination in the full Senate is expected next week. (ABC News / CNN / Reuters / NPR)

2/ Whitaker won't testify before the House Judiciary Committee unless he receives a written assurance that he won't be served with a subpoena. Whitaker's threat came after the committee voted to give Chairman Jerry Nadler the authority to subpoena Whitaker for testimony if he didn't appear or answer questions at Friday's planned oversight hearing. Democrats have until 6 p.m. today to respond. (CNN / Washington Post / Axios / Globe and Mail / New York Times)

3/ The Ways and Means Subcommittee on Oversight met to examine the process for obtaining Trump's tax returns. One law they're looking at from 1924 allows the chairman of the tax-writing subcommittee to privately review anyone's tax returns. Once they secure the documents, the committee would need a majority vote in order to release them to the public. (ABC News)

4/ Trump complained about the wave of oversight investigations into his administration launched by the new Democratic majority in the House, claiming that he's being subjected to "unlimited presidential harassment" that "Never happened before!" to previous presidents. Trump tweeted that there was "no reason" for the House Intelligence Committee to open an investigation into whether his decision-making as president is motivated by financial gain, while calling Adam Schiff a "political hack." (Politico / NBC News / New York Times)

  • Trump is reportedly "furious" at Schiff for trying to hire White House employees to help with the House Intelligence Committee's oversight of the president. Schiff has already hired one former career official at the National Security Council, Abigail Grace, who left the White House last year. A second career employee detailed to the Trump White House is also considering joining the staff. Trump called the committee "nuts" and "a continuation of Witch Hunt!" (Bloomberg / CNN)

  • The Republican Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee said that "based on the evidence to date" the committee could not definitively say there was collusion between Trump and the Russians. Burr was Trump's national security adviser during the campaign. (CBS News / Politico)

  • 📌Day 748: The House Intelligence Committee voted to send more than 50 witness interview transcripts from its Russia investigation to Robert Mueller, who could use them to then prosecute potential perjury or obstruction of justice by Trump associates. Among the transcripts are testimonies by Trump Jr. and Jared Kushner. Mueller has already prosecuted Michael Flynn for lying to both the House and Senate intelligence panels about the failed Trump Tower Moscow project. Mueller has also charged Roger Stone with lying to the House Intelligence Committee. (Politico / ABC News)

  • 📌 Day 748: The House Intelligence Committee will also "investigate any credible allegation" into whether Trump's financial interests are driving his decision-making process. Chairman Adam Schiff announced that the committee would look "beyond Russia" and will examine "whether any foreign actor has sought to compromise or holds leverage, financial or otherwise, over Donald Trump, his family, his business, or his associates." (CNN)

poll/ 87% of Americans say Robert Mueller's investigators should produce a full, public report on their findings. 48% believe that Trump's campaign colluded with the Russian government to help get him elected. (CNN)

poll/ 40% of voters approved of the job Trump is doing as president – a record low. 55% disapprove. (Morning Consult)


Notables.

  1. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ed Markey released an outline for the "Green New Deal," which would set a "10-year national mobilization" to shift away from fossil fuels by "upgrading all existing buildings" in the country for energy efficiency, work with farmers "to eliminate pollution and greenhouse gas emissions," and overhaul the transportation systems to reduce emissions, as well as develop national health care coverage, add job guarantees, and more. The resolution is not likely to go before the House for a vote, and there's little chance of a Green New Deal getting a vote in the Republican-controlled Senate. Parts of the plan, however, could be turned into legislation to address climate change. (NPR / Politico / New York Times)

  2. The Southern District of New York is still investigating Michael Cohen, acknowledging in a court filing that "aspects" of the investigation involving Cohen "remain ongoing." Judge William Pauley partially unsealed documents pertaining to the April 9, 2018, raid of Cohen's home, office and hotel room. Pauley said there are other subjects of the ongoing investigation beyond Cohen. (CNN)

  3. The boyfriend of Russian spy Maria Butina was indicted by a federal grand jury for wire fraud and money laundering. Paul Erickson was arrested and pled "not guilty" to charges that allege he used a chain of assisted living homes, called Compass Care, to run a criminal scheme from 1996 to 2018. He also allegedly defrauded his investors using a company called Investing with Dignity and claiming to be "in the business of developing a wheelchair that allowed people to go to the bathroom without being lifted out of the wheelchair." The indictment also alleges that Erickson fraudulently claimed to be building homes in the Bakken oil fields of North Dakota. His case is separate from the case against Butina in Washington, D.C. (Daily Beast)

  4. Trump will not meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping before a March 1 deadline to achieve a trade deal. (Reuters)

  5. The U.S. military will pull all American forces out of Syria by the end of April, despite the Trump administration having no plan to protect its Kurdish partners when they leave. (Wall Street Journal)

  6. The Trump administration plans to roll back Obama-era restrictions on payday lenders and vehicle title loans. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau wants to get rid of a rule that requires payday lenders and others who provide "Certain High-Cost Installment Loans" to try and find out if borrowers can afford to pay back the loans before making them. The rollback happened just after Trump replaced the previous CFPB director with Mick Mulvaney, who now serves as acting White House Chief of Staff. (NBC News / Politico)

  7. New rules by the Trump administration will make it easier for U.S. weapons manufacturers to export semi-automatic weapons, flamethrowers, and some grenades overseas. Manufacturers will no longer need to obtain licenses from the State Department in order to sell certain weapons to foreign countries. Instead, they'll only need to get a no-fee license from the Commerce Department. (NBC News)

  8. T-Mobile executives involved in the company's merger with Sprint last year have booked more than 52 nights at Trump's D.C. hotel since then. Newly obtained records from the hotel show T-Mobile executives booked more nights than previously reported, sometimes staying in rooms that cost up to $2,246 per night. Trump still owns the hotel, despite turning day-to-day control over to his sons Eric and Don Jr. (Washington Post)

  9. Trump appealed to religious leaders with anti-abortion comments during the national prayer breakfast, saying "All children, born and unborn, are made in the holy image of God," and that "Every life is sacred, and every soul is a precious gift from heaven." (Washington Post / ABC News)

  10. A former Fox News reporter is expected to be appointed to lead the State Department's efforts to counter foreign propaganda and disinformation. Lea Gabrielle was the general assignment reporter for "Shepard Smith Reporting." She is expected to be officially named the special envoy and coordinator of the Global Engagement Center this week. (CNN)