What’s New

This morning on Fault Lines we went over several contradictions in Bill Browder’s testimony, which you can watch for yourself just below.

Browder Point-by-Point

Browder not knowing about Magnitsky having a law degree or going to law school.

Browder contradicting himself on who drafted the complaint that led to the Prevezon case – early in the deposition he says he would imagine that the US attorney drafted the complaint, whereas later in the deposition he says “I provided to the New York District Attorney’s office a Complaint”

Browder says the investigation into him was closed in 2005 but can’t remember who told him this or whether they were in a position to know if it was true.

News Roundup

State of the Union

  • The theme is building a safe, strong America
  • Some congressional and justice officials will be boycotting the event, in eluding Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and members of the Congressional Black Caucus

House Republicans vote to release controversial FISA memo

  • Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee voted Monday evening to release a four-page memo written by its chairman Rep. Devin Nunes
  • The Assistant Attorney General called the move to release it “extraordinarily reckless”
  • Trump has five days to review the memo before deciding on its release, and was reported by the WaPo on Sunday as being in favor of its release

Deputy FBI Director McCabe resigns

  • FBI Assistant Deputy Director David Bowdich has been appointed the bureau’s acting deputy director
  • He was eligible to retire in March but with his accumulated leave can step down early
  • The Pres. did not answer a reporter’s question at the White House about the departures, although the press secretary said Trump and the White House were not part of McCabe’s choice

CIA Director concerned about Russia China election interference

  • Mike Pompeo told the BBC that the Chinese “have a much bigger footprint” to exert influence than the Russians do, encouraging his interviewer to compare “the scale of the economies” of the two countries
  • “We can watch very focused efforts to steal American information, to infiltrate the United States with spies – with people who are going to work on behalf of the Chinese government against America”

This season’s flu epidemic on track to be highest since 2009’s swine flu

  • The deaths of seven children were reported last week, bringing the season’s total up to 37
  • This year’s virus, H3N2, which first appeared in 1968 and is also known as the “Hong Kong flu,” is usually the most lethal of the seasonal strains
  • The flu is hitting the elderly and, unusually, the 50 to 64 cohort, heaver than infants – according to a doctor, “Baby boomers have higher hospitalization rates than their grandchildren right now”

Kenya Demonstrations and Presidential Showdown

  • Raila Odinga was sworn in as “the people’s president” in what’s being called treason by the de jure government
  • Kenyan authorities shut down the top three TV stations to prevent live coverage of the event
  • Odinga preparing

Syria conference in Sochi

  • Talks on the Syrian war are being held in the Russian city of Sochi
  • Turkey-backed rebels are refusing to leave the Sochi airport in a last-minute protest against Syrian government flags on the branding for the conference
  • The opposing coalition didn’t appear at the conference in Sochi, which was also what happened during the UN-led talks on the Syrian war in Vienna last week

Catalan election

  • The Catalan parliament speaker postponed a vote for a new regional head which was planned for today while insisting that the self-exiled leader Carles Puigdemont is the only viable candidate
  • Puigdemont can’t be elected while in exile, and tensions are high as observers wait to see whether he will appear in the city – and Puigdemont may have baited them by posting a picture on Instagram of a street leading up to the Catalan parliament
  • New elections are called if a presidential candidate fails to win a majority in parliament and no alternative candidate emerges for two months after – the Parliament would then be dissolved and new elections convened 40-60 days later

Top Stories

New York Times: Supporters Fear Trump’s Speech Will Lack the Edge They Love

Washington Post : House panel votes to release memo alleging missteps by FBI in Russian probe

Drudge Report : House Votes To Release ‘The Memo’ Details FBI Abuses

The Daily Caller : ‘Gone Evil’ | EXCLUSIVE: Sexual Assault Investigation Opened On Democrat Mega-Donor Tied To Hillary And John Podesta

Breitbart News : Angel Dad: ‘Treasonous’ Amnesty Puts ‘Foreign Invaders’ over ‘American Families’

Slate : Waste of the Union

HuffPost : Tonight: Teleprompter Trump Gives SOTU

BuzzFeed : For Pete’s State! Trump’s First State Of The Union Address Is Tonight. Here’s What To Expect.