Former Adviser Called Russia Ties ‘Treasonous’
Subpoena. Former Trump adviser Steve Bannon has been subpoenaed by the special counsel, Robert Mueller, to testify before a grand jury as part of the investigation into possible links between Trump associates and Russia.
The move marked the first time Mueller is known to have used a grand jury subpoena to seek information from a member of Trump’s inner circle. Bannon refused to answer questions from the House intelligence committee about his time in the White House, prompting the panel to subpoena him.
Bannon was quoted in Michael Wolff’s explosive Fire and Fury expose calling Trump Russia ties “treasonous” and “unpatriotic.”
Deferred justice. The Justice Department will ask the Supreme Court to overturn a judge’s ruling and allow the Trump administration to dismantle a program that provides work permits to undocumented immigrants raised in our country. The move would allow the government to bypass the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit in its bid to phase out the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program beginning in March. U.S. District Judge William Alsup in San Francisco issued a temporary injunction halting plans to end the program while a lawsuit challenging the Trump administration’s decision is pending. The administration has also appealed the judge’s injunction.
Trump physical. A White House physician said Trump is in “excellent” overall health and performed “well” in a cognitive screening exam. The exam was limited to screening for cognitive impairment and was not part of a larger psychological examination. Trump takes 81 milligrams daily of aspirin for cardiac health, 11 milligrams daily of Crestor for cholesterol and 1 milligram daily of Propecia for hair-loss prevention. Dr. Ronny Jackson did say that Trump could benefit from a low-fat diet and exercise. Trump is 6-foot-3 and weighs 239 pounds.
Independent agency. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s rejection of Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s proposal to prop up the coal and nuclear power sectors was a clear sign to the Trump administration of the agency’s independence, a commissioner said. The comment comes a week after FERC rejected Perry’s plan to increase rates for plants that keep a 90-day supply of fuel onsite, something only coal and nuclear plants do, under the guise of preventing future power shortages that could lead to blackouts.
Oil spill. The worst oil spill in U.S. history cost BP another $1.7 billion. The court-supervised settlement program for the 2010 spill is winding down. The disaster on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig killed 11 people and caused an 87-day uncontrolled oil spill, spewing millions of barrels of oil into the water before it was stopped. The catastrophe has already cost BP more than $60 billion. Trump wants to expand oil drilling to most continental U.S. waters.