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8:40 PM ET, February 6, 2019


 Top Items: 
Betsy Woodruff / The Daily Beast:
Paul Erickson, Russian Agent Maria Butina's Boyfriend, Indicted for Fraud  —  The federal indictment in South Dakota alleges that he ran a criminal scheme from 1996 to 2018 using a chain of assisted living homes.  —  Betsy Woodruff  —  Paul Erickson, the American political operative …
Seth Tupper / Rapid City Journal:
Erickson, already mixed up in Russia probe, is charged with wire fraud and money laundering  —  A South Dakota man has been charged with wire fraud and money laundering just two months after his girlfriend pleaded guilty to acting as an illegal foreign agent for Russia.
U.S. Department of Justice:
Sioux Falls Man Charged with Wire Fraud and Money Laundering  —  United States Attorney Ron Parsons announced that a Sioux Falls, South Dakota, man has been indicted by a federal grand jury on 11 counts of Wire Fraud and Money Laundering.  —  Paul Erickson, age 56, was indicted on February 5, 2019.
Nicholas Fandos / New York Times:
House Expands Russia Inquiry as Pelosi Declares Democrats Will Not Be Cowed  —  WASHINGTON — The House Intelligence Committee on Wednesday launched a broad inquiry into the potential influence that Russia and other foreign powers may be exercising over President Trump, acting just hours …
Spencer Ackerman / The Daily Beast:
House Intel Democrats Just Restarted and Supercharged the Trump-Russia Probe  —  Armed with subpoena power, Schiff will look at whether anyone connected to Trump was at risk of being co-opted by a foreign power—and if ‘those in Congress’ obstructed any probes.
Discussion: Hullabaloo
House intelligence chair announces sweeping investigation into Trump's finances and Russia  —  (CNN)House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff announced Wednesday a broad investigation his committee would undertake “beyond Russia” into whether President Donald Trump's financial interests are driving his actions.
Morgan Chalfant / The Hill:
Mueller probe filings raise prospect of more indictments
Discussion: POLITICUSUSA, The Root and Raw Story
Sen. Amy Klobuchar's Abuse Of Staff Scared Off Candidates To Manage Her Presidential Bid  —  At least three people withdrew from consideration to lead the senator's nascent campaign — in part because of Klobuchar's history of mistreating her staff.  —  At least three people have withdrawn …
Discussion: Political Wire
Associated Press:
Virginia Attorney General Says He Wore Blackface at College Party  —  Richmond, Va. (AP) — Virginia sank deeper into political turmoil Wednesday when another top Democrat — Attorney General Mark Herring — admitted putting on blackface in the 1980s, when he was a college student.
Will Sommer / The Daily Beast:
Hillary Clinton Blackface Hoax Explodes After Virginia Scandals  —  The photo is clearly not the 2016 Democratic nominee.  And yet, it's finding its way around pro-Trump Twitter.  —  See What's Happening in Right-Wing Media From the Safety of Your Inbox.  —  Blackface scandals …
Washington Post:
Virginia Attorney General Herring says he wore blackface in college
Ken Cuccinelli / Washington Examiner:   Got governor trouble? Here's how Virginia's succession law works
Ben Paviour / Community Idea Stations:
Fairfax Retained Kavanaugh's Lawyers After Allegations Surfaced  —  Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax at a rally on Capitol Square in Jan. 2017.  —  Democratic Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax has retained the law firm of Wilkinson Walsh + Eskovitz—the same firm that represented then-Supreme Court nominee …
Karen Tumulty / Washington Post:
Democrats rallied around Christine Blasey Ford. Will they do the same with Vanessa Tyson?
Julia Prodis Sulek / Mercury News:
Virginia Lt. Gov. Fairfax accuser told friend at Stanford about 2004 sexual assault
Matt Flegenheimer / New York Times:
Beto O'Rourke Was Once Adrift in New York City.  Now He's Searching Again.  —  As the former Texas congressman weighs a run for president, his rebel-in-moderation youth offers revealing parallels to his search for direction now.
Discussion: The Week
Julie K. Brown / miamiherald:
Justice Department opens probe into Jeffrey Epstein plea deal  —  The Department of Justice has opened an investigation into Secretary of Labor Alex Acosta's role in negotiating a controversial plea deal with a wealthy New York investor accused of molesting more than 100 underage girls in Palm Beach.
Discussion: Splinter
Sophie Tatum / CNN:
CNN to host town hall with Howard Schultz  —  Howard Schultz: Both parties have failed at immigration  —  Washington (CNN)CNN will host a town hall next week in Houston with former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz as he mulls a presidential bid in 2020.  —  Schultz, who said last month …
Lindsey Bever / Washington Post:
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez didn't take kindly to being called ‘sullen’ at State of the Union address  —  During President Trump's State of the Union address, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez stood out among a sea of women wearing white as a tribute to U.S. suffragists.  —  At times she remained seated as others stood.
Zack Whittaker / TechCrunch:
Many popular iPhone apps secretly record your screen without asking  —  And there's no way a user would know  —  Many major companies, like Air Canada, Hollister and Expedia, are recording every tap and swipe you make on their iPhone apps.  In most cases you won't even realize it.
Washington Post:
T-Mobile executives seeking merger approval booked more than 52 nights at Trump's hotel — more than previously known  —  Executives from the telecom giant T-Mobile — which last year asked the Trump administration to approve its megamerger with Sprint — have booked at least 52 nights …
Discussion: Motherboard
Joseph Cox / Motherboard:
Big Telecom Sold Highly Sensitive Customer GPS Data Typically Used for 911 Calls
Wall Street Journal:
‘This One Here Is Gonna Kick My Butt’—Farm Belt Bankruptcies Are Soaring  —  Throughout much of the Midwest, U.S. farmers are filing for chapter 12 bankruptcy protection at levels not seen for at least a decade, a Wall Street Journal review of federal data shows.
Discussion: Axios
Jane Lytvynenko / BuzzFeed News:
This Altered Photo Of Women Lawmakers In KKK Hoods Is Spreading And Twitter Is Refusing To Stop It  —  Twitter is allowing an altered photo comparing women members of Congress who wore white to the State of the Union to the KKK to continue to circulate on its platform on Wednesday despite …
Washington Post:
‘It will take off like a wildfire’: The unique dangers of the Washington state measles outbreak  —  VANCOUVER, Wash. — Amber Gorrow is afraid to leave her house with her infant son because she lives at the epicenter of Washington state's worst measles outbreak in more than two decades.
David Harsanyi / The Federalist:
The State Of American ‘Fact-Checking’ Is Completely Useless  —  With a veneer of impartiality, fact-checkers engage in a uniquely dishonest style of partisanship.  —  If media wants to challenge the context and politics of Republican arguments, that's their prerogative.
Joe Concha / The Hill:
Daily Caller reporter Benny Johnson joining Turning Point USA  —  Benny Johnson, a former reporter at the Daily Caller, is joining Charlie Kirk's Turning Point USA, The Hill has confirmed.  —  In his new role, Johnson, whose past work has included serving as a viral politics editor at BuzzFeed and TheBlaze …
John Solomon / The Hill:
Mueller hauled before secret FISA court to address FBI abuses in 2002, Congress told  —  Robert Mueller, the former FBI director and current special prosecutor in the Russia case, once was hauled before the nation's secret intelligence court to address a large number of instances …
Discussion: The Gateway Pundit
Henry J. Gomez / BuzzFeed News:
Top Democrats In The Early 2020 Primary States Haven't Heard Anything From Joe Biden  —  As Joe Biden decides whether or not to run for president in 2020, top Democratic leaders in the first caucus and primary states have heard little, if anything, from the former vice president.
Discussion: Political Wire and CNN
NBC News:
On Trump's calendar, just 17 intelligence briefings in 85 days  —  U.S. officials also say Trump does not regularly read the written intelligence briefing sent over daily.  —  WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump, who doesn't regularly read the daily intelligence summary prepared for him …
Chris Stirewalt / Fox News:
Dems grow uneasy with their new moralism  —  **Want FOX News Halftime Report in your inbox every day?  Sign up here.  On the roster: Dems grow uneasy with their new moralism - The Rulebook: Thucydides, FTW - Warren stumbles again on native heritage question - Outlook brightens on a deal after Trump speech …
Discussion: Associated Press
Sarah D. Wire / Los Angeles Times:
Trump seems to soften his threat to halt emergency funding for California fire victims … A month after tweeting that he might order FEMA to cut federal disaster funding to California fire victims, President Trump declined to renew that threat and indicated that talks with state officials were going well.
New York Times:
It's Official: 2018 Was the Fourth Warmest Year on Record  —  NASA scientists announced Wednesday that the Earth's average surface temperature in 2018 was the fourth highest in nearly 140 years of record-keeping and a continuation of an unmistakable warming trend.
Discussion: theGrio and Common Dreams
Associated Press:
Pelosi says Trump ‘threats’ have no place in Congress  —  WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump's suggestion in his State of the Union address that Democrats abandon their investigations of his administration is a “threat” that has no place in Congress.  —  Pelosi told reporters Wednesday …
Discussion: USA Today and Shareblue Media
Debra J. Saunders / Las Vegas Review-Journal:
Trump: Dean Heller lost re-election because he didn't excite voter base  —  WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump called former Sen. Dean Heller “a terrible senator” who lost his re-election bid because he had been “extraordinarily hostile” to Trump during the 2016 election.
Discussion: Joe.My.God.
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 More Items: 
Nick Wadhams / Bloomberg:
U.S. Erupts in Fury as Germany Extradites Terrorist to Turkey
Tim Mak / NPR:
Trump Ally Tries To Remove Parkland Fathers From Gun Violence Hearing
Discussion: Washington Post, The Hill and Newsweek
Sahil Kapur / Bloomberg:
Democratic 2020 Contenders Swing Left in a Return to Party's FDR Roots
Claudia Grisales / Stars & Stripes:
Navy revises rules in wake of linguist's death in Syria
Discussion: and Task & Purpose
Susan B. Glasser / New Yorker:
Trump Vows to Stop America from Turning Into a Venezuelan Socialist Hellscape
Gillian Friedman / Deseret News:
A Utah Orthodox rabbi said his childhood nanny sexually abused him for 10 years.
Peter Wehner / The Atlantic:
What I've Gained by Leaving the Republican Party
Discussion: Raw Story
 Earlier Items: 
Ryan McCrimmon / Politico:
Farmers nearing crisis push back on Trump trade policies
Discussion: Raw Story
Laura Bassett /
“Doing This Job Feels Like Spinning on a Log in the Water”: How the Women of CNN Pull off …
Jamelle Bouie / New York Times:
The Stacey Abrams Revolution
Discussion: Mother Jones
Melissa Nann Burke / Detroit News:
John Dingell in hospice care after cancer diagnosis
Discussion: CNN, USA Today and Detroit Free Press
Washington Post:
Congressional negotiators seek contours of border deal as shutdown looms
Amber Athey / The Daily Caller:
Daily Caller Editor In Chief Locked Out Of Account For Tweeting ‘Learn To Code’
Austin Carr / Bloomberg:
Inside Wisconsin's Disastrous $4.5 Billion Deal With Foxconn
Fact Check: Trump's State Of The Union Address