By Robert A. Vella
On Tuesday, President Trump issued an overt threat to House Democrats in his State of the Union speech which implied that he wouldn’t cooperate with or sign any legislation unless they stopped investigating his ties to Russia, his personal finances, his decision-making processes, and the conduct of his administration. The Dems, led by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, responded by rebuffing his threat and insisting that they are determined to fulfill their government oversight responsibilities as mandated in the U.S. Constitution and that Trump put himself in this situation through the myriad of scandals plaguing his presidency which are being criminally investigated by numerous federal and state law enforcement agencies. This morning, Trump’s palpable fear of accountability erupted in yet another Twitter storm of retaliatory condemnation (see: Trump goes off on sweeping House investigation into Russia, his finances).
While Trump assumes he will be able to conceal the upcoming report on Russian collusion from Special Counsel Robert Mueller, he holds no such delusions about his ability to control the Democratic-led U.S. House of Representatives or even the Republican-led U.S. Senate. To any authoritarian would-be dictator like Trump, the realization of their limited political power must be emotionally unsettling to say the least.
Let’s move on to the other news of the day.
In July 2017, President Trump told a gathering of law enforcement officials to “not be too nice” to arrestees. His remarks were widely perceived as endorsing police brutality and the inhumane treatment of criminal suspects particularly against alleged gang members and illegal immigrants. Such rhetoric emanating from the President of the United States can be very impactful on the minds of Americans and can incite them to carry out his wishes. This is the potentially terrible cost of unrestrained free speech.
(Reuters) – The U.S. Department of Justice late on Wednesday ordered an investigation into a Brooklyn jail where inmates said they spent days in frigid, dark cells after a fire cut power and heat during a cold snap in New York City, media reports said.
In a statement published by the New York Times, the DOJ said its watchdog Office of the Inspector General will examine whether or not the Bureau of Prisons responded appropriately to the incident at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn.
On Monday, law firm Kaplan Hecker & Fink LLP filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn, accusing the Federal Bureau of Prisons of exposing prisoners to inhumane conditions at the detention center. A hearing was set for Feb. 13.
NOGALES, Ariz. — Officials in a small Arizona border city passed a resolution Wednesday night condemning the installation of new razor wire that now covers the entirety of a tall border wall through downtown.
The City Council in Nogales, which sits on the border with Nogales, Mexico, wants the federal government to remove all concertina wire installed within the city limits.
Otherwise, Nogales Mayor Arturo Garino said the city will sue.
City officials say Army troops installed more horizontal layers of the wire along the border wall last weekend.
A record number of firearms were discovered at U.S. airport checkpoints last year, with more than 4,200 guns found at 249 airports nationwide, according to new government data. More than 86 percent of the guns found were loaded, according to the Transport Security Administration (TSA).
The airports that saw the most firearms discovered sit along the Sun Belt, from Atlanta to Arizona, in states with looser gun laws, reports CBS News correspondent Kris Van Cleave. CBS News dug through thousands of police records trying to understand why this problem continues to grow. Our investigation found while thousands of guns are spotted by TSA screeners, some appear to be getting through.
WASHINGTON – As it races to revamp Medicaid by allowing work requirements for the first time, the Trump administration is failing to enforce federal rules directing states to assess the impact of the change on low-income patients who rely on the half-century-old safety net program, a Los Angeles Times analysis shows.
None of the eight states that the administration has cleared to implement a Medicaid work requirement has in place a plan to track whether Medicaid enrollees find jobs or improve their health, two goals often touted by administration health officials.
And nine of the 17 states that have sought federal permission to implement Medicaid work mandates have been allowed by the Trump administration to proceed with their applications despite failing to calculate the number of people who could lose coverage, according to a review of state and federal Medicaid records.
Executives from the telecom giant T-Mobile — which last year asked the Trump administration to approve its megamerger with Sprint — have booked at least 52 nights at President Trump’s D.C. hotel since then, even more than previously reported, according to newly obtained records from the hotel.
The revelations come as political scrutiny of the proposed deal is mounting on Capitol Hill. On Wednesday, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) issued letters demanding information about the T-Mobile executives’ stays and whether Trump was informed of them. The issue is likely to come up at a House subcommittee hearing on the merger next week.
Last month, The Washington Post reported that “VIP Arrivals” lists — issued by the Trump hotel daily to its staff — indicated that T-Mobile executives had stayed repeatedly at Trump’s hotel. On the day after the merger was announced, for instance, the lists showed nine T-Mobile executives were expected to check in.