1/ The Justice Department plans to release a redacted copy of Robert Mueller’s report “by mid-April, if not sooner,” according to Attorney General William Barr. In a letter to the chairmen of the House and Senate judiciary committees, Barr noted that the report is “nearly 400 pages long” and the Justice Department needs to redact sensitive portions of it, including secret grand jury testimony, classified materials and information about other ongoing federal investigations. Barr added that the White House would not see the report before he sent it to Congress. Barr offered to testify after the report is released, suggesting May 1 for the Senate committee and May 2 for the House committee. (Washington Post / New York Times / Politico / CNN) / Reuters)
2/ Trump repeated his threat to close the U.S.-Mexico border as early as “next week” if the Mexican government doesn’t “immediately” stop all undocumented migrants crossing into the U.S., saying he’s “not playing games.” Trump has repeatedly threatened to close the border, but he’s never attached a specific timetable. (CNN / New York Times / Washington Post / ABC News / Vox)
3/ A federal judge blocked a Trump administration rule allowing millions of Americans to buy health insurance that doesn’t conform to Affordable Care Act coverage requirements, calling it “clearly an end-run around the ACA.” The rule would make it easier for small businesses to offer health insurance plans outside the ACA, which would be both less expensive and provide fewer health protections. (Politico / Washington Post / CNN)
poll/ 75% of Americans think Mueller’s full report should be made public, including 54% of Republicans. 66% said they want Mueller to testify before Congress with 64% wanting Barr to testify. (NPR)
Trump held his first 2020 campaign rally since Mueller wrapped up his investigation into Russian interference into the 2016 election, which he claimed to be his “complete and total exoneration.” “After three years of lies and smears and slander, the Russia hoax is finally dead,” Trump told the crowd. “The collusion delusion is over.” Trump also used his time on stage to attack House Intelligence Committee chair Adam Schiff, who has led the charge to investigate Trump’s dealings with Russia and continues to insist that he has seen clear evidence of collusion. “Little pencil-neck Adam Schiff,” Trump said at the rally. “He’s got the smallest, thinnest neck I’ve ever seen.” Trump also called for retribution against “All of the Democrat politicians. The media bosses. Bad people. The crooked journalists,” and everyone else who “paid for, promoted, and perpetuated the single greatest hoax in the history of politics, they have to be — I’m sorry — they have to be accountable,” Trump said. The crowd responded with chants of “Lock them up!” (New York Times / NBC News / Politico / Mediaite)
Mike Pompeo met with Saudi Prince Khalid bin Salman, who lied to senators about his role in the murder of Jamal Khashoggi. According to the CIA assessment of Khashoggi’s murder, Khalid bin Salman encouraged Khashoggi to visit the embassy to retrieve required documents for his marriage. (Washington Examiner / Talking Points Memo / Washington Post)
Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans are planning to change Senate rules in order to speed up the confirmation of most of Trump’s nominees. A Senate resolution, approved by the Senate Rules Committee in February, would cut the time allotted for floor debate on from 30 hours to two hours for all nominations except for Cabinet choices, nominees for the Supreme Court and appellate courts and some independent boards. (Washington Post / Politico)
A Trump appointee directed millions of dollars in government contracts to Republican communications consultants during her time as administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Some of the deals Seema Verma managed were approved over the objections of agency staffers, who were concerned that she was spending federal funding on GOP consultants to amplify coverage of her own work. (Politico)
Trump’s nominee to serve as third in command at the Justice Department has withdrawn herself from consideration, following opposition from conservative senators who had concerns that U.S. Attorney Jessie Liu would not be strong enough in opposing abortion rights. Barr reportedly got into a “shouting match” with Utah Republican Sen. Mike Lee, a key leader opposing Liu’s bid. (NPR / CNN / The Hill)
Linda McMahon will resign as the head of the Small Business Administration to chair the pro-Trump super PAC America First Action. The former chief executive of World Wrestling Entertainment had rumored to replace Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. (Politico / New York Times)
Trump claimed he had “overridden” proposed cuts and “authorized a funding of the Special Olympics” after Betsy DeVos spent three days defending her plan to eliminate funding for the program. The White House can make budget recommendations to Congress, but can’t actually implement cuts. (Reuters / CNN / CNBC)
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