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7:40 PM ET, February 21, 2019


 Top Items: 
Julie K. Brown / miamiherald:
Federal prosecutors broke law in Jeffrey Epstein case, judge rules  —  A judge ruled Thursday that federal prosecutors — among them, U.S. Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta — broke federal law when they signed a plea agreement with a wealthy, politically connected sex trafficker and concealed …
Josh Gerstein / Politico:
Judge: Prosecutors violated law in dealings with Jeffrey Epstein victims
Discussion: The Daily Beast and Hill Reporter
Matthew Choi / Politico:
Judge broadens gag order against Roger Stone after Instagram post  —  Roger Stone must shut up about Robert Mueller and the Russia investigation.  —  That was the mandate from a federal judge on Thursday, who slapped a gag order on the longtime Donald Trump associate just days after he posted …
Tierney Sneed / Talking Points Memo:
Stone Testifies In Off-The-Rails Hearing About Instagram Post  —  Roger Stone said he was “heartfully sorry” Thursday for a threatening Instagram post he published Monday about the judge in his case, U.S. District Amy Berman Jackson.  —  He made the comments from the stand at a hearing on Thursday.
Discussion: Hullabaloo and Balloon Juice
Federal Judge Extends Gag Order To Roger Stone Over Instagram Post
Discussion: Daily Kos and Hill Reporter
Zoe Tillman / BuzzFeed News:   Roger Stone Can No Longer Talk About His Case — Or Robert Mueller — After Posting A Photo Of The Judge With Crosshairs
Amy Gardner / Washington Post:
N.C. board declares a new election in contested House race after the GOP candidate admitted misspeaking under oath  —  BREAKING NEWS: Mark Harris, during testimony this afternoon to the North Carolina State Board of Elections, said a new election was warranted in the hotly contested race, which Harris led by 905 votes.
Raleigh News & Observer:   Mark Harris suddenly calls for a new election in the 9th District, leaves hearing
Leigh Ann Caldwell / NBC News:   Republican candidate's son shakes up North Carolina hearing with surprise testimony
The Charlotte Observer:
NC state board votes for new election in 9th district after Harris calls for new race
Discussion: FiveThirtyEight and NPR
Kara Scannell / CNN:
IRS analyst charged in leak of Michael Cohen's bank records  —  (CNN)An analyst with the Internal Revenue Service was charged with disclosing confidential reports about Michael Cohen's bank records that revealed the President's former lawyer sought to profit from his proximity to the White House.
Rebecca Ballhaus / Wall Street Journal:
Ex-Trump Lawyer Michael Cohen to Testify at Open House Hearing Feb. 27
Discussion: Raw Story
Neal K. Katyal / New York Times:
The Mueller Report Is Coming.  Here's What to Expect.  —  A concise report will probably act as a “road map” to investigation for the Democratic House — and to further criminal investigation by other prosecutors.  —  Mr. Katyal was an acting solicitor general under President Barack Obama.
Discussion: Washington Post, Raw Story and Althouse
Khadeeja Safdar / Wall Street Journal:
Meet Under Armour CEO's Unusual Adviser: An MSNBC Anchor  —  Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank was questioned last year by the company's board over his ties to MSNBC anchor Stephanie Ruhle, who has traveled on his private jet and provided input on a range of business matters, according to current and former executives.
Asawin Suebsaeng / The Daily Beast:
Trump White House Is Forcing Interns to Sign NDAs and Threatening Them With Financial Ruin  —  Not even the interns are exempt from the legally dubious rite of passage practiced by the Trump White House.  —  Asawin Suebsaeng  —  When the Trump White House welcomed its newest batch …
American Democracy in Crisis: The Fate of Pluralism in a Divided Nation  —  The 2018 Election  —  Views of President Trump  —  After two years in office, the public's view of President Trump remains negative.  As of late December 2018, when this survey was conducted …
Emma Green / The Atlantic:   These Are the Americans Who Live in a Bubble
Jared Keller / Task & Purpose:
Trump claims border wall is under construction ‘right now’ using fence repair footage from 5 months ago  —  With a legal fight challenge mounting from state governments over the Trump administration's use of a national emergency to construct at the U.S.-Mexico border, the president has kicked his push for the barrier into high gear.
Alex Isenstadt / Politico:
Hogan rips RNC for shielding Trump from primary challenge  —  Republican Gov. Larry Hogan said Thursday he expects to make a springtime trip to New Hampshire as he weighs a 2020 challenge to Donald Trump — and accused the Republican National Committee of going to extraordinary lengths to shield …
George F. Will / Washington Post:
Trump is trashing the Constitution. Larry Hogan shows how Republicans should respond.
Discussion: Cafe Hayek
Astead W. Herndon / New York Times:
2020 Democrats Embrace Race-Conscious Policies, Including Reparations  —  From the very first day of the 2020 presidential race, when Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts blamed “generations of discrimination” for black families earning far less than white households …
Marianne LeVine / Politico:
Schumer: Senate Dems to introduce measure to block Trump's national emergency  —  Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Thursday that Senate Democrats will introduce a resolution to block President Donald Trump's national emergency declaration.  —  The Senate Democrats' resolution …
Wall Street Journal:
Trump Inaugural Committee Challenged Vendor Requests and Budgeting, Documents Show  —  In the weeks before his inauguration, top officials on President Trump's inaugural committee repeatedly sounded alarms about the budgets submitted by several vendors, according to correspondence, committee records and draft budgets.
Washington Post:
Residents of another Manhattan building vote to remove ‘Trump Place’ name  —  For the second time in four months, the name “Trump Place” will come down from a New York building's facade, after condo owners at 120 Riverside Blvd. voted to have the name removed.
Discussion: Raw Story and Political Wire
David Armstrong / STAT:
Purdue's Sackler embraced plan to conceal OxyContin's strength from doctors, sealed deposition shows  —  In May 1997, the year after Purdue Pharma launched OxyContin, its head of sales and marketing sought input on a key decision from Dr. Richard Sackler, a member of the billionaire family that founded and controls the company.
Antonia Noori Farzan / Washington Post:
‘Jerk punks’ torched a statue of General Lee.  It honors a WWII veteran, not the Confederate leader.  —  Just outside downtown Dunn, N.C., a historic antebellum-style house honors Maj. Gen. William C. Lee, a hometown hero often described as the father of the U.S. Army's airborne infantry.
Jonathan Bernstein / Bloomberg:
Trump's Presidency Is Getting Weaker  —  A defeat for the president's “Space Force” proposal was typical - and telling.  —  This week offered two prime examples of why Donald Trump's presidency has been weaker than most people realize.  —  First: “Although President Donald Trump tweeted …
Nick Bilton / Vanity Fair:
“She Never Looks Back”: Inside Elizabeth Holmes's Chilling Final Months at Theranos  —  At the end, Theranos was overrun by a dog defecating in the boardroom, nearly a dozen law firms on retainer, and a C.E.O. grinning through her teeth about an implausible turnaround.
Tony Leys / Des Moines Register:
Steve King: ‘I have nothing to apologize for,’ plans to run for re-election  —  Rep. Steve King addresses recent quotes on white supremacy and western civilization during a town hall event in Iowa  —  A defiant Rep. Steve King confirmed Thursday that he will run for a 10th term as an Iowa congressman …
Brian Schwartz / CNBC:
Russian-backed US energy company hires lobbying firm with connections to Trump to help with China deal  — A lobbying firm run by former advisors to President Donald Trump is representing American Ethane Company, an energy producer funded by Russian billionaires that is involved with a Chinese aluminum company.
Adam B. Schiff / Washington Post:
An open letter to my Republican colleagues  —  Adam B. Schiff, a Democrat, represents California's 28th Congressional District in the House and is chairman of the Intelligence Committee.  —  This is a moment of great peril for our democracy.  Our country is deeply divided.
Sam Dean / Los Angeles Times:
Facebook decided which users are interested in Nazis — and let advertisers target them directly  —  Facebook makes money by charging advertisers to reach just the right audience for their message — even when that audience is made up of people interested in the perpetrators of the Holocaust or explicitly neo-Nazi music.
Nina dos Santos / CNN:
This man could shed light on Trump mystery, Senate witness says  —  London and Moscow (CNN)Senate investigators want to question a Moscow-based American businessman with longstanding ties to President Donald Trump after witnesses told them he could shed light on the President's commercial …
Benjamin Parker / The Bulwark:
Laura Ingraham Goes All In on the Duke  —  “Sometimes it isn't being fast that counts, or even accurate; but willing.”  —John Wayne  —  Let's stipulate for a moment that John Wayne's 1971 Playboy interview is news (which is apparently unrelated to the word “new") and that …
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 More Items: 
Felicia Schwartz / Wall Street Journal:
What's the Hot Device in Startup Nation? The Fax Machine
Law & Crime:
Exclusive: Twitter Suspends ‘US Freedom Army’ Accounts After Alleged Connections to Russian Bots
Marie Claire:
One of These Women Could Be Our Next President
Discussion: The Daily Caller
Marc A. Thiessen / Washington Post:
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is an economic illiterate — and that's a danger to America
Discussion: Jacobin
Bryan Lowry / Kansas City Star:
‘Wide open race’ and open wallets in Kansas after Pompeo rules out 2020 Senate run
Jamelle Bouie / New York Times:
Sanders Has an Advantage, and It's Not About Economics
Discussion: The Atlantic
 Earlier Items: 
Charles Duhigg / New York Times:
America's Professional Elite: Wealthy, Successful and Miserable
Will Sommer / The Daily Beast:
Turning Point USA Students Call on Candace Owens to Step Down
Discussion: Raw Story and Right Wing Watch
Nate Silver / FiveThirtyEight:
How Bernie's 2020 Map Might Change Without The #NeverHillary Vote
Discussion: New York Times
Tal Kopan / San Francisco Chronicle:
Trump administration begins effort to strip work permits for immigrant spouses
Deconstructed / The Intercept:
Crazy in Gov: Why Won't the Media Discuss Trump's Mental Instability?
Nogales International:
Town says it's ‘taken action’ after marshal's encounter with young journalist
Discussion: Hit & Run