It has been an eventful week. For all past newsletters (and more), make sure to go to the blog at http://www.electreport.blogspot.com
Flynn Pleads Guilty
Last Friday, former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, under investigation from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe, plead guilty to lying to the FBI. An official White House statement noted that the plea only implicated Flynn, and nobody else. But, nevertheless, an official plea is an important thing for Mueller to have and shows the effectiveness of the Russia probe thus far.
“He told the judge he has not been coerced to plead guilty or been promised a specific sentence. Flynn faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison, according to federal sentencing guidelines, though the judge Friday morning stressed he could impose a harsher or lighter sentence.” (CNN)
This charge is perhaps even bigger of a deal than the previous indictment of Paul Manafort, since Flynn was actively a member of both the transition team and Trump’s White House and had a role with Trump much more recently and more directly.
Senate Passes Tax Cuts
By a vote of 51-49, the Senate approved the Republican tax overhaul plan this week. All Democrats and retiring Republican Bob Corker voted nay, and all other Republicans voted yes. Corker’s statement was mainly focused on the bill’s adding to the deficit: “I am not able to vote for legislation that could deepen the debt burden on future generations.”
I don’t need to write here about why the tax cuts are terrible - I’m sure you can find many more economically-minded people who have written things much better than what I would write. But this vote gets the bill dangerously close to passing and harming the American economy. This bill may be the first big “success” for Trump’s Congress, and while it has still been incredibly difficult for them to do that, it is still a very scary thought that the Republicans’ slim Senate majority is still enough to impose their agenda on the country.
Travel Ban Confirmed by SCOTUS
Donald Trump’s third travel ban, which restricts entry to the country by people from Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Chad, North Korea, and Venezuela, was upheld by the Supreme Court. The order had been previously partially blocked by lower courts, and further challenges are still making their way through the legal system, but for now it stands as law.
Trump Retweets Hate Group
President Trump came under fire for re-tweeting anti-Muslim hysteria from the “Britain First” twitter account, representing the ultra right-wing party of the same name. A horrible thing to do regardless, but one of the videos was literally fake, depicting a “Muslim migrant” who was not Muslim and had lived his entire life in the Netherlands. He was criticized by Prime Minister Theresa May (who he then tweeted against, to the wrong Twitter account), and American politicians from both parties. Britain First, however, were very proud to be exposed to a wide audience and thanked Trump.
Thanks for reading! Feel free to let me know what you think.