Thursday Top News Executive Summary
Russia-probe documents, FBI/Jussie Smollett, Green New Deal abandoned, Kate Steinle, border crisis, and more.
President Donald Trump disclosed to Fox News’s Sean Hannity last night that he has “plans to declassify and release” a slew of Russia-related documents, including those used to initiate FISA warrants. Trump explained, “A lot of people wanted me to do it a long time ago. I’m glad I didn’t do it. We got a great result without having to do it, but we will.” He also clarified that “one of the reasons that my lawyers didn’t want me to do it” during the Robert Mueller probe was because Democrats would spin it as “a form of obstruction.” But as Fox News notes, the president now “wants to ‘get to the bottom’ of how the long-running Russia collusion narrative began.”
Earlier this week, Jussie Smollett, whose “record has been wiped clean,” stated, “I would like nothing more than to … move on with my life.” But his getting to move on with his life by walking free from justice may not be as effortless as he thought. According to ABC News, “The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is reviewing the circumstances surrounding the dismissal of the criminal charges against Smollett.” The report elaborates, “The sources insisted it is not an investigation, but a ‘review.’” But for now at least, the book hasn’t been fully closed on Smollett’s hate-hoax.
“Democrats are putting the Green New Deal in the rearview mirror, but they’re not abandoning climate change legislation.” That’s according to The Hill, which adds, “They are instead looking at multiple bills in hopes of advancing elements of the broader initiative.” This pivot follows the Senate’s 0-57 vote on the Green New Deal, which is estimated to cost somewhere in the vicinity of $93 trillion. The Hill rants that “Republicans battered the idea of the Green New Deal, damaging a brand initially promoted by freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.” The truth is that the GND collapsed under its own weight.
One such alternative climate bill is the Climate Action Now Act, which was unveiled in the House on Wednesday. According to National Review. “The Climate Action Now Act would require the president to propose a plan for keeping the U.S. in accord with the Paris deal’s emission-reduction goals, which were agreed to by President Obama in 2015. It would also prohibit the administration from using federal funds to pull out of the deal, as Trump has promised to do in November 2020, the moment it becomes legally possible.” Good luck getting that to Trump’s desk.
“A federal appeals court ruled Monday the parents of Kate Steinle, who was shot and killed by an illegal immigrant in 2015, cannot sue San Francisco for the ‘sanctuary city’s’ failure to tell immigration officials about the shooter’s release,” the Washington Examiner unfortunately reports. However, even the infamous Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals admitted, “The events underlying this case are tragic. And some of Plaintiffs’ claims remain to be litigated in the district court. We hold only that, under California law, the state officials are immune from suit.” In other words, bad laws run a mile deep in California.
Meanwhile, a flustered Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin K. McAleenan yesterday declared, “[The] breaking point has arrived this week at our border. CBP is facing an unprecedented humanitarian and border security crisis all along our Southwest border.” February’s apprehension of 76,000 illegal immigrants is estimated to soon swell to 100,000. And as Fox News notes, “Some arrive with viruses, such as the flu or chickenpox, and others with injuries. McAleenan said crowded detention centers could worsen the situation.”
If at first you don’t succeed, try, try ad nauseum? “Freshman Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) unveiled a resolution on Wednesday that would call on the House Judiciary Committee to investigate whether President Trump committed impeachable offenses, despite a cool reception from most fellow Democrats,” according to The Hill. “Tlaib said she is introducing her resolution so that it ‘ensures we don’t have a lawless society that results in irreparable harm to the American people.’” Recall that Tlaib said “impeach the motherf—er!” in January. And not even an official exoneration by Robert Mueller will sway her.
Good news: “Sens. Kevin Cramer (R., N.D.) and John Kennedy (R., La.) introduced S821, the Freedom Financing Act, in an effort to keep banks with more than $10 billion in assets from denying services to members of the gun industry. The Republicans said the bill was designed to prevent major financial institutions from effectively crippling legal gun transactions they don’t like. They said the banking industry should not be able to decide whether Americans can lawfully purchase legal gun products.” (The Washington Free Beacon)
More good news: “Lawmakers in the House of Representatives reintroduced sweeping bipartisan legislation to rein in and reform the nation’s abuse-prone civil forfeiture laws on Wednesday. If passed, the aptly-named FAIR, or Fifth Amendment Integrity Restoration, Act … would rebalance a system that has become skewed against innocent property owners in every meaningful way.” (The Daily Signal)
What, exactly, is the U.S. still waiting for? “The European Parliament has voted to end daylight saving time in EU member states, a practice that became law back in 1996. … The biannual clock changes will come to an end in 2021 when individual member states will be able to decide whether they will remain on winter time or summer time permanently.” (The Verge)
Humor: Stopped clock named CNN’s most accurate reporter (The Babylon Bee)
Policy: On March 20, Sen. Bernie Sanders groused, “We must follow New Zealand’s lead, take on the NRA and ban the sale and distribution of assault weapons in the United States.” The Washington Examiner’s Siraj Hashmi explains why “New Zealand’s gun laws would be impossible to replicate in the US.”
Policy: “President Trump didn’t spell it out, but there’s a sound rationale for America’s recognizing the Golan Heights as a permanent part of Israel,” says Hudson Institute senior fellow Douglas J. Feith. Get the details at National Review.
For more of today’s editors’ choice headlines, visit In Our Sights.