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Monday, Feb 18th

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Mueller subpoenas former Cambridge Analytica employee

Cambridge AnalyticaSpecial counsel Robert Mueller has subpoenaed a former employee of data firm Cambridge Analytica, a spokesperson for the employee told The Guardian.

The ex-employee, Brittany Kaiser, is cooperating fully with Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, the spokesperson added. Kaiser is also cooperating with congressional and other legal investigations into the actions of Cambridge Analytica.

Cambridge Analytica shut down last year after becoming embroiled in controversy for improperly obtaining data on tens of millions of Facebook users.

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Trump's UN ambassador pick, Heather Nauert, withdraws nomination

Heather Nauert turns down US role

The state department says Donald Trump’s nominee for US ambassador to the United Nation, Heather Nauert, has withdrawn.

The department released a statement on Saturday evening Washington time saying Nauert had withdrawn and another nominee would be announced “soon”.

Nauert said she was grateful to Trump and the secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, for “the trust they have placed in me for considering me for the position of US ambassador”.

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Mueller: Manafort deserves 19.5 to 24.5 years in prison for Virginia convictions

Manafort deserves 19 to 24 year sentence: Mueller

Robert Mueller’s office recommended on Friday that Paul Manafort get up to 24-and-a-half years in prison for his conviction last summer for financial malfeasance.

The special counsel’s suggestion is the opening move in what will be a two-step sentencing process for the 69-year-old former Trump campaign chairman, who appears to be on track to spend the rest of his life in prison absent a presidential pardon.

A jury in Northern Virginia convicted Manafort after a three-week trial in August on eight felony counts, including filing false tax documents, failing to register foreign bank accounts and bank fraud. A month later, on the eve of another trial in Washington, D.C., Manafort pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges in exchange for the special counsel dropping foreign-lobbying and money-laundering charges.

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National emergency: Trump's 'clear abuse of power' faces torrent of lawsuits

Dems act aggainst Trump National Emergency

As state attorneys general across the country threaten to sue the White House over Donald Trump’s declaration of a national immigration emergency on Friday, Democrats and Republicans insisted Trump was overstepping his powers, while legal analysts warned of a dangerous new phase of the Trump presidency.

But the potentially huge fallout from the emergency declaration – which might upset the constitutional balance of powers or divert funding from natural disasters crises – could be contained if an anticipated avalanche of lawsuits succeeds in blocking Trump in court, or if Congress passes a resolution terminating the declaration.

Trump is expected to fight back against such potential obstacles, in what many observers warned would be a direct challenge to the explicit assignment in the US constitution of the power of the purse to Congress – not the president.

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DOJ warns White House that national emergency will likely be blocked

Department of JusticeThe Department of Justice (DOJ) has warned the White House that the courts are likely to block a national emergency declaration to build a wall along the southern border, according to ABC News.

The White House, however, remains confident that it can win on appeal and ultimately have such a declaration approved by the courts, ABC News reported.

The White House and DOJ did not immediately return requests for comment from The Hill.

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Democrats, Republicans warn Trump against declaring emergency over border wall funding

Trump to declare national emergencyThe announcement that President Donald Trump planned to declare a national emergency on Thursday was met almost instantly with fierce criticism from top Democrats and some Republicans denouncing the idea and warning of what is to come.

The president is expected to sign a funding bill, which just passed in the Senate, that will provide $1.375 billion for a 55-mile border barrier – much less than the $5.7 billion that Trump has demanded for a wall along the southern border. After signing the measure he will declare a national emergency to get more funding for a wall, the White House said.

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McCabe says he opened investigations into Trump to put Russia probe 'on solid ground'

Andrew McCabe

Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe on Thursday confirmed the existence of investigations asking whether President Donald Trump was acting knowingly or unwittingly as an agent of Russia, saying in an interview that he was “very concerned” and wanted to ensure the Russia investigation was on solid footing in case he was sacked.

In an interview set to air Sunday on CBS’ “60 Minutes,” McCabe told host Scott Pelley that he took the extraordinary step of opening the investigation in May 2017, almost immediately after he took over as acting director of the FBI in the wake of Director James Comey's firing.

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