Not too much news since yesterday, so just some brief bullets...
- The fate of the tax bill is not looking good. Multiple GOP moderates in the House, and a few GOP Senators have spoken out against it since it dropped yesterday. The bill will be marked up in the Ways & Means Committee next Wednesday, where we expect to see major changes - especially since the JCT analysis says that it violates the Senate's Byrd Rule.
- The president is off to the Asia now, where he will be attending a summit, meeting President Duterte of the Philippines (accused of genocide - NBD), and trying to negotiate peace in the Korean peninsula.
- As I mentioned yesterday, Carter Page testified without a lawyer to the House Intel Committee for over 6 hours yesterday. According to his own statements after the testimony, and those of members in the meeting, he invoked the 5th on a number of occasions, but also did a lot of talking. One of the things he said was that he told Jeff Sessions about the Russia meeting proposal. OOPS. Democrats in the Senate are now demanding that the AG reappear in front of the Judiciary Committee, and even Republicans are wanting to hear more from him, but haven't gone as far as suggesting a new hearing yet.
- The Department of Justice is filing a complaint with SCOTUS against the ACLU, claiming that they misled the DOJ regarding the timing of Jane Doe's abortion. Seems like they're beating a dead horse right now, but who knows. Seems like they're seeking disciplinary action against Jane Doe's lawyers. I'd like to think that SCOTUS doesn't bother itself with such petty matters. At this stage, I have a lot more faith in the ACLU to make a good argument than the DOJ.
- Manafort and Gates will appear in court again early next week to receive their bond hearing. Yesterday the judge sent them back home on house arrest with electronic tracking for the weekend, and issued a gag order on Manafort's attorney to not speak about the case to the press. The trial date is set for May 7. Mueller's team expects the prosecution's side of the trial to last 3 weeks. Manafort's lawyer says he will file pretrial motions of dismissal for evidence obtained "unlawfully".
- Last night, the president's Twitter account shut down for 11 minutes. Reportedly, an outgoing employee was having a laugh, Twitter called it "human error", but now folks in the national security space are calling it a major risk. I'll be interested to see what if anything happens about this.
Other than that, not much happening up here!
I expect that I will NOT have time to do an update Monday. I should be able to push out breaking stuff, but don't expect a big analysis in the morning.