1/ Trump accused House Democratic leaders of going "stone cold CRAZY" by opening an oversight investigation into his administration and allies, arguing that the lawmakers are needlessly harassing 81 "innocent people" and groups with demands for documents. Trump claimed the Democrats are conducting a "big, fat, fishing expedition" which amounts to "PRESIDENTIAL HARASSMENT!" (Politico / Washington Post)

  • House Democrats plan to request 10 years of Trump's tax returns in the coming weeks. The House Ways and Means Committee is using a 1924 law that gives the chairmen tax-writing committees the ability to demand the tax returns of White House officials. Trump has said he won't allow Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to turn over his personal tax records. The 1924 law, however, doesn't give Mnuchin the ability to deny a congressional request, as the law says he "shall" turn over the records. (Washington Post)

  • House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff hired a former assistant U.S. attorney in the Southern District of New York to lead the committee's investigation into the Trump campaign's ties to Russia. Daniel Goldman has experience fighting Russian organized crime, and has served as the district's deputy chief of the organized crime unit and oversaw prosecutions into traditional organized crime, international organized crime and white collar crime. (Axios / New Yorker)

  • House Democrats introduced a bill to protect White House whistleblowers subject to nondisclosure agreements. The legislation "clarifies that any non-disclosure agreements signed by White House employees do not cover actions protected by federal whistleblower law, and ensures that those in the Administration with knowledge of wrongdoing will not be afraid to speak the truth." (The Hill)

  • Senate Republicans rejected calls to investigate whether Trump committed crimes over a scheme to pay off women alleging extramarital affairs. The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, which investigated Hillary Clinton's email controversy in the last Congress, wants to wait until Mueller finishes his investigation first. (CNN)

2/ New York State regulators issued a subpoena to the Trump Organization's insurance broker. The request comes days after Michael Cohen testified that the Trump Organization inflated the value of its assets to insurance companies. The New York regulators are requesting copies of the insurance policies issued by Aon brokerage to Trump and the Trump Organization, as well as applications and financial statements used to secure the policies. The Trump Organization is now facing scrutiny from federal prosecutors, congressional Democrats, and insurance regulators. (New York Times)

3/ The White House rejected a House Oversight Committee request for documents about Jared Kushner's security clearance and the White House's process for granting security clearances to personnel. White House Counsel Pat Cipollone called it an "overly intrusive document requests." Separately, Trump suggested that the White House will refuse to comply with requests for documents from the House Judiciary Committee. (Axios / Politico / Washington Post / CNBC)

  • 📌 Day 770: Trump ordered John Kelly to grant Jared Kushner a top-secret security clearance last year and overrule concerns by intelligence officials and Donald McGahn, the White House's top lawyer. Both Kelly and McGahn wrote contemporaneous internal memos outlining Trump's "order" to give Kushner the clearance. In January, Trump said he had no role in Kushner receiving his clearance. (New York Times)

4/ Former White House attorney Ty Cobb called Robert Mueller "an American hero" and that he disagreed with Trump's view that the investigation is a politically motivated "witch hunt." Cobb added that he believes Mueller's final report will spare Trump from any serious political harm, and that the investigation will continue into 2020. "[I]t's never going to be over," Cobb said. "I mean, this is going to go through 2020. And if the president is reelected, it'll go beyond that." Cobb said the Trump legal team's confrontational approach to the Mueller probe "wouldn't have been" his strategy, adding that he doesn't "feel the same way about Mueller." (ABC News / NBC News)

5/ Attorney General William Barr will not recuse himself from overseeing Mueller's investigation into the Trump campaign. Last year as a lawyer in private practice, Barr sent the Justice Department an unsolicited 19-page memo that criticized Mueller's investigation into possible obstruction and collusion by Trump as "fatally misconceived." (CNBC / Politico / Reuters)

  • Matthew Whitaker, the former acting attorney general, resigned from the Justice Department over the weekend. Whitaker served from Nov. 7 until he was replaced on Feb. 14 when Barr was sworn in. (Los Angeles Times)

6/ Robert Mueller notified a federal judge about Roger Stone's Instagram post that could be a violation of the judge's gag order. Mueller did not take a position on the post when notifying Judge Amy Berman of Stone's social media post suggesting that he'd been "framed" by the special counsel and ahead of the re-release of a book he co-wrote that explores the "myth of Russian collusion." If Jackson finds that Stone violated his gag order, she could have him jailed without bail pending his trial on charges of lying to Congress, witness tampering and obstructing justice. (CNBC / Politico)

  • Two websites used by Stone to raise funds for his criminal case legal defense have been deleted. (CNBC)

7/ Michael Cohen's attorney raised the possibility of a pardon with Trump's attorneys after the FBI raided Cohen's properties in April. The House Judiciary Committee is currently investigating those conversations between Cohen's attorney, Stephen Ryan, and Trump's attorneys, Jay Sekulow, Rudy Giuliani and Joanna Hendon. Trump's attorneys dismissed the idea at the time, but Giuliani left the possibility open that Trump could grant Cohen a pardon in the future. There is no indication that Cohen personally asked for a pardon, or that he was aware of any discussions on the subject. (Wall Street Journal / CNBC / Washington Post)

poll/ 64% of Americans believe that Trump committed crimes before he was elected. 45% believe that Trump has committed crimes while in office. And, 50% say they believe Cohen more than Trump. (Quinnipiac)


Notables.

  1. T-Mobile spent $195,000 at Trump's Washington hotel after the announcement of its merger with its Sprint last April. Before news of the deal broke on April 29, 2018, only two top officials from T-Mobile had ever stayed at Trump's hotel. (Washington Post / Reuters)

  2. Trump accused India of unfairly shutting out American businesses and announced plans to end special trade treatment for the country. Trump sent a letter to Congress and signaled his intent to remove India from a program that gives developing nations easier access to U.S. markets. The Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program lowers U.S. duties on exports from 121 countries. India was the biggest beneficiary of the program in 2017, with exemptions on $5.6 billion worth of goods. (CNN)

  3. Trump agrees "100%" with keeping a military presence in Syria two months after declaring all U.S. troops are leaving the country. U.S.-backed forces in Syria, however, are holding more than 2,000 suspected Islamic State fighters – at least double previous estimates. (NBC News / Wall Street Journal)

  4. Donor records reveal that Trump or Ivanka have donated to six of the declared or potential 2020 Democratic presidential candidates, including Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, and Kirsten Gillibrand. Harris received money from Trump six years ago, Jared and Ivanka held a fundraiser for Booker, and Gillibrand accepted Trump family donations three times over a seven-year period. Trump gave Harris two donations worth a total of $6,000 in 2011 and 2013, when she was already a rising star in the Democratic Party as California's attorney general. The donations were among several contributions Trump gave to attorneys general who were investigating Trump University or had investigated it in the past. (Politico)

  5. Bernie Sanders will "run and serve as a member of the Democratic Party." Sanders has also filed paperwork for reelection to the Senate in 2024 as an independent. (Politico)

  6. Michael Bloomberg will not run for president in 2020. Bloomberg is expected to still be involved in the 2020 general election, organizing and funding opposition to Trump. (New York Times)

  7. FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb resigned, effective in about a month. Gottlieb is credited with leading the FDA's charge against underaged vaping. (Politico / CNBC / Washington Post)


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