Monday Top News Executive Summary
Mueller report, Dems unsatisfied, Sanders' foreign interference, illegal immigration, SPLC, sanctions, fentanyl deaths, and more.
On Friday, Robert Mueller officially closed the books on his nearly two-year-long investigation into allegations of complicity between Donald Trump and Russia. According to Attorney General William Bar, “The Special Counsel issued more than 2,800 subpoenas, executed nearly 500 search warrants, obtained more than 230 orders for communication records, issued almost 50 orders authorizing use of pen registers, made 13 requests to foreign governments for evidence, and interviewed approximately 500 witnesses.” All that notwithstanding, Bar says Mueller “did not find that the Trump campaign, or anyone associated with it, conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in these efforts, despite multiple offers from Russian-affiliated individuals to assist the Trump campaign.”
Of course, “Unsatisfied with the four-page summary, the bevy of 2020 candidates demanded the report be made public, a sentiment backed by the House which voted 420-0 in favor of releasing Mueller’s report,” the Washington Examiner says. Kamala Harris, in lockstep with others, fumed, “The Mueller report needs to be made public, the underlying investigative materials should be handed over to Congress, and Barr must testify. That is what transparency looks like. A short letter from Trump’s hand-picked Attorney General is not sufficient.” But as Guy Benson observes, “Mueller publicly & quickly corrected a piece of a Buzzfeed story that he thought was unfair/inaccurate. We’d … know if he thought Barr was distorting the central pillars of his conclusions.”
Speaking of foreign interference… “Bernie Sanders was hit with a complaint [last] week, claiming his presidential campaign violated federal election laws by employing non-Americans in advisory positions. A new complaint by the Coolidge Reagan Foundation filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) notes that three members of the Sanders campaign are foreign nationals, which appears to be a violation of federal election laws that prohibit foreign interference.” (Fox New)
According to Fox News, “A road rage suspect who investigators say shot and killed a Washington state sheriff’s deputy and wounded a police officer [last] week was in the U.S. illegally.” The man “entered the U.S. at Laredo, Texas, in April 2014 on a temporary agricultural worker visa,” and “ICE had no record of him leaving the United States or extending his visa after it expired.” Meanwhile, Reuters reveals, “A caravan of some 1,200 migrants from Central America and Cuba began moving towards the U.S. border from southern Mexico this weekend.” Whether it’s expired visas or flagrant unlawful entry, illegal immigration is a multifaceted threat.
Morris Dees isn’t the only noteworthy SPLC official departing. “The president of the Southern Poverty Law Center, Richard Cohen, announced his resignation Friday, the latest in a series of high-profile departures at the anti-hate organization that have come amid allegations of misconduct and workplace discrimination,” according to the Los Angeles Times. “Cohen told staff that he had asked the center’s board of directors in October to start searching for a new president, citing a need for a transition to a new generation of leadership. But ‘in light of recent events, I’ve asked the board to immediately launch a search for an interim president in order to give the organization the best chance to heal,’ Cohen wrote.”
On Friday, Trump remarked, “It was announced today by the U.S. Treasury that additional large scale Sanctions would be added to those already existing Sanctions on North Korea. I have today ordered the withdrawal of those additional Sanctions!” However, CBS News states, “It is unclear what sanctions Mr. Trump was referring to. … The Treasury Department had just announced new sanctions on two China-based shipping companies it says have aided North Korea in evading existing U.N. sanctions. A National Security Council official said later Friday that the sanctions Mr. Trump is pulling back are not the ones that were just imposed.”
Cracking down: “The Trump administration intensified pressure against socialist dictator Nicolás Maduro’s illegitimate regime with the addition of new sanctions on March 22 — this time targeting Venezuela’s National Development Bank, Bandes. It comes just a day after the administration warned there would be consequences for their arrest of a top aide of Juan Guaidó, the internationally recognized interim president. … On the same day, the Trump administration warned the regime over the detention of Americans that include six executives from Houston-based oil company Citgo Petroleum. The Americans have been jailed in Venezuela since 2017.” (The Epoch Times)
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has divulged troubling new data regarding fentanyl. The period from 2011 to 2016 saw a 1,000% upswing in deaths stemming from fentanyl. As ABC News notes, “The number of fatalities … was relatively stable in 2011 and 2012, with roughly 1,600 deaths each of those years. The number began to increase in 2013, reaching just over 1,900 deaths. Then the death rate doubled each year, skyrocketing to 18,335 overdoses in 2016.” Consequently, fentanyl represents the U.S.‘s deadliest drug.
Nihilism is taking over American culture, the General Social Survey suggests. According to Religion News Service, “Americans claiming 'no religion’ — sometimes referred to as ‘nones’ because of how they answer the question ‘what is your religious tradition?’ — now represent about 23.1 percent of the population, up from 21.6 percent in 2016. People claiming evangelicalism, by contrast, now represent 22.5 percent of Americans, a slight dip from 23.9 percent in 2016.” As The Resurgent’s Jess Fields notes, “Religious ‘nones’ are a big story precisely because most of them are younger, and this is sure to influence American culture in the decades to come. America is simply becoming less and less religious.”
We can already see how anti-Christian ideals are manifested elsewhere. The Washington Examiner’s Becket Adams surreally writes, “The government agency charged with overseeing immigration and passports in the United Kingdom has denied asylum to an Iranian Christian convert from Islam, explaining its verdict is based on its assessment that Christianity is not a ‘peaceful’ religion. … Leviticus, Exodus, Matthew, and … Revelation are ‘filled with imagery of revenge, destruction, death and violence,’ the Home Office explained in its rejection letter, adding Leviticus says specifically, ‘You will pursue your enemies, and they will fall by the sword before you.’” As a result of this Christian’s asylum being rejected, Iran may well put the “infidel” to death.
Humor: Nation’s psychiatric wards prepare for influx of deranged liberals should Mueller report not prove collusion (The Babylon Bee)
Policy: “Amid the shambolic fracas in the British government and Parliament over how and when Brexit should take place, it’s important to step back and remember the why.” Read the Washington Examiner’s latest editorial: “Brexit is, at bottom, about self-rule.”
Policy: “Simply stated, trade deficits are largely irrelevant,” says economist Daniel J. Mitchell. “And since trade balances don’t matter, then it makes no sense to fight trade wars. Especially when protectionist-minded politicians inflict lots of casualties on their own people.” Read his full explanation at the Foundation for Economic Education.
For more of today’s editors’ choice headlines, visit In Our Sights.