On Friday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired Andrew McCabe, the former FBI Deputy Director who was only two days away from his retirement after decades serving at the bureau. The firing puts a portion of McCabe’s pension in jeopardy. Sessions, whose action to fire McCabe may have been a violation of his recusal commitment, justified the firing using a report from the Justice Department’s inspector general. But McCabe hit back quickly, writing that the attacks were “part of this Administration’s ongoing war on the FBI and the efforts of the Special Counsel investigation, which continue to this day.”
Following McCabe’s firing, Trump took to Twitter to gloat over the firing, as well as attack Special Counsel Robert Mueller by name for the first time. Trump’s lawyer echoed the attacks on Mueller, saying, “I pray that Acting Attorney General Rosenstein will follow the brilliant and courageous example of the FBI Office of Professional Responsibility and Attorney General Jeff Sessions and bring an end to alleged Russia Collusion investigation.” Both Republican and Democratic lawmakers are voicing concern over these attacks on the Russia investigation and Mueller, arguing that Trump must not interfere with the Russia probe.
But Trump appears more volatile than ever. If Trump does fire Mueller, make sure you know what the local rapid response actions in your area are.
ACTION OF THE DAY
Share Your Story. In this turbulent political climate, a lot of things are at stake. Whether it’s environmental policies that put your family’s health at risk or the #TaxScam that has left many middle-class Americans wondering where their benefits are, Trump’s policies are having an impact on families across the country. We want to hear your voice—share your story with us today!
#DefundHate. Congress only has until Friday to fund the government, and it’s clear one of the biggest fights ahead is centered around immigration. The Trump administration is asking for $21.5 billion funds for a border wall, more ICE and border agents, and more jail beds to detain up to 52,000 immigrants each day. More beds mean more Dreamers, TPS recipients, and long-term U.S. residents detained and separated from their families. Instead of locking up community members, the government should focus on the areas that desperately need their attention, from Puerto Rico’s slow recovery to the ongoing opioid crisis.
An Ongoing Crisis. Speaking of opioids, Trump is speaking today in Manchester, New Hampshire about the nationwide epidemic, a move that is likely intended to be a campaign stop for Trump. The problem? His plans to combat the opioid crisis are ineffective at best, and dangerous at worst. Instead of adequately funding the fight against opioids and increasing access to health care, his declaration of the crisis as a “public health emergency” did basically nothing. And now, his new proposals include recommending the death penalty for some people who sell drugs illegally, a proposal that is eerily similar to Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte’s extrajudicial war on drugs. But it’s not a huge surprise, considering Trump has said the two have a “great relationship.”
NIFLA v. Becerra. Tomorrow, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on NIFLA v. Becerra. This case concerns the Reproductive FACT (Freedom, Accountability, Comprehensive Care, and Transparency) Act, a California law that helps ensure pregnant women have a way to access accurate, honest, and complete information when they visit a health center. The FACT Act requires facilities covered by the law to disclose if they are not medically licensed, and, for those which are medically licensed, to disclose information stating that there are state programs available to provide free or low-cost family planning services, including abortion, and listing the appropriate contact information. A network of fake women’s health centers, NIFLA, has challenged the FACT Act on the grounds that it violates their free speech rights. Fake centers manipulate women and block them from accessing comprehensive care, and are fighting to secure the legal right to lie to women and politicize health care. Read more about these centers here.
UNDER THE RADAR
Scammed. Over the weekend, Facebook announced it was suspending Cambridge Analytica, a firm that ran Trump’s digital campaign, after evidence came to light that indicates the firm illegally harvested users’ data. According to the New York Times report, Cambridge Analytica “harvested private information from the Facebook profiles of more than 50 million users without their permission.” The firm, which has Steve Bannon and Robert Mercer on its board, is already under investigation for possible ties to Russia interference during the 2016 presidential election.