Today is Oct 9, and this is the list of stories I am watching…
1-Russia investigation ‘origins’ probe expands
John Durham, the U.S. attorney reviewing the origins of the 2016 counterintelligence investigation into Russia and the Trump campaign, is probing a wider timeline than previously known, according to multiple senior administration officials. The timeline has grown from the beginning of the probe through the election and now has included a post-election timeline through the spring of 2017, up to when Robert Mueller was named special counsel.
DML: One name to zero in on… OBAMA
2-White House announces it will not comply with House Dems’
The White House said in a defiant eight-page letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and top Democrats on Tuesday that it will not participate in their “illegitimate and unconstitutional” impeachment inquiry, charging that the proceedings have run roughshod over congressional norms and the president’s due-process rights. The letter, written by White House counsel Pat Cipollone tees up a head-on collision with Democrats in Congress, who have fired off a slew of subpoenas in recent days concerning the president’s alleged effort to get Ukraine to investigate political foe Joe Biden during a July phone call with Ukraine’s leader. This means no additional witnesses under administration purview will be permitted to appear in front of Congress or comply with document requests, a senior White House official told the Associated Press.
DML: The White House argues the formal impeachment inquiry is not legitimate because the House has not voted to begin an investigation into Trump. He has a valid point.
3-Mueller was pursuing FBI director job when he met with Trump in 2017
Fox News is reporting that when Robert Mueller met with President Trump in May 2017, he was pursuing the open post as the director of the FBI – something the former Russia probe special counsel denied under oath during congressional testimony this summer. These officials also told Fox News that government documents showed Mueller was pursuing the job as a candidate himself.
DML: If DC is totally screwed up, tell me what is.
4-NBA Commissioner Adam Silver heads to China to salvage relationship
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver is going to Shanghai to try and repair the league’s relationship with China, according to TMZ. Silver spoke with the media on Tuesday to discuss China essentially blackballing the Houston Rockets after team general manager Daryl Morey tweeted out support for protesters in Hong Kong. China’s basketball association suspended cooperation with the Rockets over the tweet. In addition, the tweet drew a public rebuke from Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta and an apologetic initial statement from the NBA, which, in turn, rankled several U.S. politicians who felt the league cared more about its financial interests and was kowtowing to a brutal regime known for human rights violations.
DML: Screw the NBA, and screw China.
5-Jury finds Johnson & Johnson must pay $8B in Risperdal case
Johnson & Johnson, still reeling from settling two Ohio opioid-related lawsuits for more than $20 million, was slapped with an $8 billion judgment Tuesday over its antipsychotic drug Risperdal. A jury in Philadelphia, according to legal web site Law360, hit the drug giant with the staggering payout “after agreeing the company had recklessly ignored the risks that the antipsychotic drug Risperdal could lead to breast growth in adolescent boys as it pushed the medication for use in children.” The drug comes from a J&J subsidiary, Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc. The judgment came about on behalf of Nicholas Murray, a Maryland resident who grew breasts after he started using Risperdal as a nine-year-old in 2003 to help control symptoms related to autism.
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