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Democrats press for a Monday vote to launch their anti-Nunes memo

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4:18 a.m. ET

A week after Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee voted along party lines to release the classified memo compiled for Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) and not release the classified rebuttal written for the committee’s top Democrat, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), Schiff is pushing for a do-over on Monday evening. The four-page Nunes memo purports to show that the FBI improperly omitted the political origins of a dossier used to obtain a FISA warrant to surveil former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, while the 10-page Schiff memo reportedly shoots those assertions down. While Democrats are still pushing back against the Nunes memo, Nunes says he has other memos in the works.

Even though Republicans blocked the Schiff memo last week, some of those same Republicans, plus House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), have suggested they now favor releasing the memo, so long as sensitive national security information is redacted. If the House Intelligence Committee does approve the memo’s release, President Trump has five days to object — he signed off on releasing the Nunes memo unredacted on Friday — and if he does, the full House could overrule him.

Trump has trumpeted the Nunes memo as a document that “totally vindicates” him in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russian election-meddling investigation, an assertion dismissed Sunday by Republican members of the House Intelligence Committee, as well as almost all intelligence experts. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) warned Trump in a letter that “a refusal to release the Schiff memo … will confirm the American people’s worst fears that the release of Chairman Nunes’ memo was only intended to undermine Special Counsel Bob Mueller’s investigation.”

9:31 a.m. ET

House Intelligence Committee ranking member Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) didn’t bat an eye Monday when President Trump blasted him as being “one of the biggest liars and leakers in Washington.” Responding to Trump’s tweet, Schiff said:

Mr. President, I see you’ve had a busy morning of “Executive Time.” Instead of tweeting false smears, the American people would appreciate it if you turned off the TV and helped solve the funding crisis, protected Dreamers or…really anything else. https://t.co/lVqQRu2Gjl

Ouch. Meanwhile, government funding is once again about to expire — this time on Thursday — and senators are pessimistic about reaching a long-term deal for people brought to the United States illegally as children by Trump’s deadline of March 5.

9:17 a.m. ET

Vice President Mike Pence is bringing the father of Otto Warmbier as his guest to the Olympics Opening Ceremony in PyeongChang, South Korea, reports. Otto Warmbier was 21 when he was imprisoned by North Korea in 2016 for allegedly attempting to steal a propaganda poster from his hotel room. He was medically evacuated to the United States in a coma last June, which was apparently caused by an unknown injury from a year prior. He died shortly after returning to the U.S.

Pence is leading the 2018 U.S. Winter Olympic delegation and will bring Otto’s father Fred as his guest. Pence’s presence in South Korea is intended to “reinforce the strong U.S. presence on the Korean Peninsula and send a clear signal to the North Korean regime,” a White House official told CBS News. North Korea and South Korea have defused tensions ahead of the international sporting event, going as far as to agree to march under a unified flag.

In an emotional press conference last year, Fred Warmbier praised President Trump for bringing his son home. “The era of strategic patience for the Warmbier family is over,” he additionally told The Washington Post in a criticism of the Obama administration’s handling of the incident.

8:24 a.m. ET

President Trump blasted House Intelligence Committee ranking member Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) as “one of the biggest liars and leakers in Washington” on Monday, dimming hopes that a classified Democratic rebuttal to the so-called Nunes memo might get released:

Little Adam Schiff, who is desperate to run for higher office, is one of the biggest liars and leakers in Washington, right up there with Comey, Warner, Brennan and Clapper! Adam leaves closed committee hearings to illegally leak confidential information. Must be stopped!

The Nunes memo, compiled for committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), was released last Friday after Republican members voted for its declassification and likewise blocked the release of a Democratic memo. Now, though, some of the same Republicans plus House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) have suggested they are in favor of releasing the Democratic memo.

The four-page Nunes memo purports to show that the FBI improperly omitted the political origins of a dossier used to obtain a FISA warrant to surveil former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. The Democratic memo reportedly shoots those assertions down.

“This doesn’t bode well for declassification of the Democratic memo,” tweeted ‘s Kyle Cheney in response to Trump’s tweet. “If [Trump] disapproves, it would force the House into a full, closed session to override him.”

7:38 a.m. ET

Starting in 2019, for the first time in 77 years, alimony won’t be deductible for U.S. taxpayers, thanks to the Republican tax overhaul passed in December. That means that the new tax law “could soon lead to a surge in married couples calling it quits,” reports, citing divorce lawyers. “Now’s not the time to wait,” said Mary Vidas, former chairwoman of the American Bar Association’s family law section. “If you’re going to get a divorce, get it now.”

For wealthy divorcés, especially, the deduction meant they could pay roughly 60 cents for every dollar of alimony. Divorce lawyers say the change in the tax law could lead to more contentious divorce cases and lower alimony payments when it kicks in, disproportionally hurting women. But ending the deduction is also projected to raise $6.9 billion over 10 years, helping defray the $1 trillion-plus cost of the tax bill. “This is one of the many provisions of the law that removes special rules applicable only in certain circumstances in order to help simplify the code and reduce tax rates for all Americans,” said a spokesman for House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas), who put together much of the tax legislation.

Couples have all of 2018 to “use the alimony deduction as a bargaining chip in their negotiations with estranged spouses,” Politico say, but in some states, the clock starts running down fast, thanks to cooling-off periods of up to six months. “You can’t just file for a divorce today, and expect that you’re going to be divorced tomorrow,” said Los Angeles lawyer Ed Lyman. You can .

7:38 a.m. ET

With a March 5 deadline looming for finding a legislative answer for people brought to the U.S. illegally as children, senators are reportedly considering a temporary fix that would put the issue off for another year, reports. “That may be where we’re headed because, you know, Congress is pretty dysfunctional,” warned Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.).

Still, with a temporary fix increasingly looking like the only realistic option, senators aren’t happy: “I think that’s a lazy way out of fixing a problem that we’re on the brink of being able to fix,” argued Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) while Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) said “I’m a little concerned that if it’s a very short-term fix that [DACA recipients are] still living in fear of what’s gonna happen, rather than knowing that they can live in this country and work towards becoming a citizen, assuming they have a good record.”

Last month, the government partially shut down after Democrats insisted they couldn’t agree to a budget unless DACA was addressed. With the budget deadline coming up again on Thursday of this week, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) told CNN’s State of the Union: “I don’t see a government shutdown coming, but I do see a promise by [Sen. Mitch] McConnell to finally bring this critical issue that affects the lives of hundreds of thousands of people in America, finally bringing it to a full debate. That’s what we were looking for when there was a shutdown. We’ve achieved that goal, we’re moving forward.”

6:43 a.m. ET

The Super Bowl may have paid (controversial) homage to Minnesota’s late, great Prince, but during the live afterparty at Minneapolis’ Orpheum Theatre, Jimmy Fallon did a special tribute to another Minnesota native, Bob Dylan. Dressed in full Dylan garb, Fallon performed an updated version of Dylan’s “The Times They Are A-Changin’,” pulling in Twitter, #MeToo, and, of course, President Trump, though not by name.

The song isn’t funny, really, and it isn’t supposed to be. “Come leaders who bully like internet trolls, we’ll curse you with four-letter words ‘love’ and ‘hope,'” Fallon’s Dylan sings. “For we will go high even when you go low, the order is re-arranging / For you have the power, but we have the vote / The times they are a-changin’.” You can read the lyrics at ‘s YouTube page, and if you don’t appreciate the message, Fallon’s spot-on early Dylan impression might be worth watching anyway. Peter Weber

6:10 a.m. ET

A 51-year-old Maryland man is in stable condition after a hunting accident involving a Canada goose. The hunter, Robert Meilhammer, was in a hunting party in Easton, Maryland, when one of his companions shot the goose, who then fell about 90 feet before landing on Meinhammer, knocking him out and two of his teeth, and causing facial injuries and “severe” head trauma, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources reports. He was airlifted to Baltimore for treatment. An adult Canada goose weights 12 to 14 pounds, NPR News notes, and their wingspan can reach nearly 6 feet.

Source

http://theweek.com/speedreads/753170/democrats-press-monday-vote-release-antinunes-memo

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