1/ The Biden administration announced a new $1.85 billion military assistance package for Ukraine to counter the Russia’s invasion. The announcement came as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy arrived in Washington to meet with Biden – his first international trip since Russia invaded his country 10 months ago. The security package includes the Patriot air defense missile system – the most advanced air defense weapon in the U.S. arsenal. “We will support Ukraine pursuing a just peace,” Biden told Zelenskyy in the Oval Office, adding that Putin was trying to “use winter as a weapon” in the ongoing war. Zelensky is also scheduled to address a joint meeting of Congress as lawmakers work to pass a $1.7 trillion spending package, which includes $44.9 billion in assistance for Ukraine. Putin, meanwhile, said Russia has “no limitations” on military spending for the war in Ukraine. (New York Times / Politico / Washington Post / NPR / Bloomberg / Wall Street Journal / Axios / CNN)
2/ The House Ways and Means Committee voted to make six years of Trump’s tax returns public. A 29-page summary report shows that Trump reported millions in earnings between 2015 and 2020, but paid little or nothing in federal income taxes. In 2016 and 2017, Trump paid $750 in federal income taxes. Trump paid a combined $1.1 million in 2018 and 2019. And, in 2020, he paid nothing. In April 2019, House Democrats formally requested six years of Trump’s personal and business tax returns from the IRS to review the effectiveness of the presidential audit program. (New York Times / NBC News / CNN / Politico / Washington Post / Wall Street Journal)
3/ The IRS failed to audit Trump during his first two years in office despite a “mandatory” program that requires annual audits of a president’s tax returns. During Trump’s time in office, the IRS opened one “mandatory” audit – for his 2016 tax return – which didn’t take place until 2019 and wasn’t completed while he was still in office. The House Ways and Means Committee said the IRS presidential audit program was “dormant, at best,” during Trump’s term. Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden, meanwhile, said the IRS “was asleep at the wheel.” (CNN / NPR / New York Times / CNBC)
4/ A former White House aide to Trump told the Jan. 6 Committee that he witnessed Trump “tearing” documents. According to audio from Nick Luna’s deposition, Trump would sometimes tear up notes when he was finished with them. Luna’s testimony follows previous reports that Trump ripped up documents and tried to flush them down the White House toilet. Federal law requires that presidential records are preserved and handed over to the National Archives. Luna also testified that Mark Meadows had instructed him to not enter the room during a meeting with state Republican legislators who wanted to overturn the 2020 presidential election. (CBS News)
5/ The Jan. 6 Committee said it has evidence that the top ethics attorney in the Trump White House advised Cassidy Hutchinson to give misleading testimony. Stefan Passantino, who represented Hutchinson, allegedly urged the former White House aide to pretend to not recall details that she did and to refrain from talking about issues that could cast Trump in a negative light. The committee also said someone had promised Hutchinson a job, which disappeared after she cooperated with the committee. Before her public testimony, Hutchinson replaced Passantino as her lawyer, who was being paid Trump’s Save America PAC. Passantino, meanwhile, took a leave of absence from his law firm Tuesday. (CNN / New York Times)
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