Happy Monday, OP friends. President Trump is back from Davos and about to give his very first State of the Union. And in other news: the No. 2 guy at the FBI is out and we are this much closer to seeing that super secret memo about FBI spying.
We’re still a day out from the SOTU. And already, we’re obsessing over who is bringing who, why they’re bringing who they’re bringing and why auto correct is a thing on our phones, but not on whatever program is used to design the SOTU tickets. We promise we’ll have an even more detailed rundown of everything you need to know tomorrow, but until then, USA TODAY’s Susan Page breaks down what you should be watching for.
After months of being attacked by the president, the deputy director at the FBI abruptly resigned on Monday. Andrew McCabe was expected to make the announcement in March, when he would be eligible for retirement. McCabe served as the agency’s top official in the months after James Comey was fired until the current director, Christopher Wray, was confirmed. Trump was fixated on McCabe’s political leanings — McCabe’s wife ran for the Virginia state legislature as a Democrat — and accused the deputy director of influencing the FBI’s decision not to criminally charge Hillary Clinton over the use of a private email server (something that the FBI has denied). It’s worth remembering that McCabe is far from the only Justice Department official Trump has tangled with since becoming president.
And speaking of DOJ drama, the House Intelligence Committee voted Monday to release a controversial GOP memo that alleges the FBI and DOJ abused their surveillance authority to target then-candidate Donald Trump and his campaign associates. DOJ objects to the release of the document, because it contains classified information that could harm intelligence-gathering. The panel also voted against releasing the counter memo Democrats wrote. Democrats have argued that the memo is merely a distraction from the Russia investigation.
Elsewhere in politics
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