1/ Kevin McCarthy blocked Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell from serving on the House Intelligence Committee in retribution for the Democratic-led House stripping Marjorie Taylor Greene and Paul Gosar of their committee assignments in 2021 for embracing violence against Democratic members of Congress. McCarthy accused Schiff of lying when he served as chairman of the panel and “severely undermined its primary national security and oversight missions – ultimately leaving our nation less safe.”McCarthy also argued that Swalwell was unfit to serve on the committee because he was targeted by a suspected Chinese spy as part of an influence campaign in 2014, before he served on the intelligence panel. There’s no evidence of wrongdoing in relation to the allegation against Swalwell. Nevertheless, McCarthy said he made the decision “because integrity matters to me.” (Bloomberg / Washington Post / New York Times / CNN / Wall Street Journal)
2/ A former senior FBI counterintelligence official in New York was arrested over his ties to a Russian oligarch. Federal prosecutors charged Charles McGonigal with violating U.S. sanctions, conspiracy, and money laundering for working in 2021 with Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, who was sanctioned for interfering in the 2016 presidential election. From August 2017 through his retirement in September 2018, McGonigal allegedly concealed his relationship with Deripaska from the FBI while secretly taking cash payments of more than $225,000 and trying to get Deripaska removed from a U.S. sanctions list. (Washington Post / New York Times / ABC News / NBC News / Associated Press / NPR / CNBC / CNN)
- Perhaps related: On October 4, 2016, FBI Director James Comey named McGonigal as the special agent in charge of the Counterintelligence Division for the New York Field Office. Weeks later, on October 31, the FBI concluded that their investigation into Russian collusion, finding no link between Trump and the Russian government. This was 8 days before the Trump-Clinton election.
3/ About a dozen classified documents were found at Pence’s Indiana home. Like Biden, Pence turned them over to the FBI. While Pence has repeatedly said he didn’t have classified documents in his possession, his representative to the National Archives said a “small number of documents” with classified markings were “inadvertently boxed and transported” to Pence’s home at the end of Trump’s administration. FBI investigators, meanwhile, found six additional classified documents while conducting a search of Biden’s Delaware home. Those six items are in addition to materials previously found at Biden’s Wilmington residence and in his private office. (CNN / New York Times / CNN / Politico)
4/ The U.S. has seen at least 39 mass shootings so far this month and more than 60 people have been killed. In the deadliest shooting of 2023 so far, 11 people were killed and nine other injured when a gunman opened fire in a dance studio as people celebrated the Lunar New Year in Monterey Park, California. (NBC News / CBS News / New York Times)
5/ The Biden administration will send 31 M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine, following agreement with Germany to deliver 14 of its Leopard 2 tanks. European allies will also send enough tanks to assemble two Leopard tank battalions — equivalent to at least 70 tanks. Biden said the tanks would “enhance the Ukrainians’ capacity to defend its territory, adding that “there is no offensive threat to Russia. If Russian troops return to Russia, where they belong, this war would be over today.” (Associated Press / Washington Post / New York Times / Wall Street Journal / CNN / Politico)
6/ The Doomsday Clock moved up to 90 seconds to midnight. The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists set the clock 10 seconds closer than last year due in part to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and threats of nuclear war, the threats of climate change, and concerns about more pandemics caused by humans. “We are sending a message that the situation is becoming more urgent,” Bulletin President Rachel Bronson said. “Crises are more likely to happen and have broader consequences and longer standing effects.” (USA Today / Associated Press)
7/ Facebook will reinstate Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts “in coming weeks” following a two-year suspension for inciting violence in the wake of the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection. “However, we are doing so with new guardrails in place to deter repeat offenses,” the company said. Nick Clegg, the company’s president, global affairs, added: “We’ve always believed that Americans should be able to hear from the people who want to lead the country. We don’t want to stand in the way of that.” (Axios / CNN / CNBC)
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