5 things you need to know now
5 things you need to know now
  • House Democrats issue subpoena for full Mueller report

  • Mueller's report outlines obstruction evidence, Russian election interference

  • Joe Biden begins fundraising for 2020 campaign

  • Judge: Residents of Flint can sue federal government

  • Flu season longer but less deadly than 2018's

House Judiciary Chair Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) issued a subpoena on Friday to obtain the full, unredacted version of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report on Russian election interference and the Trump campaign's conduct surrounding the meddling. The House Judiciary Committee approved the subpoena earlier this month, anticipating a desire for an unredacted report and Mueller's underlying documentation. The subpoena has now been fired off, demanding to see Mueller's evidence and summaries of key witness interviews by May 1. If Attorney General William Barr ignores it, the Judiciary Committee could hold him in contempt, setting up a potentially lengthy court battle. Nadler said the report was troubling and "it now falls to Congress to determine the full scope of that alleged misconduct."

Source: The New York Times

The Justice Department on Thursday released Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report on the Trump campaign's conduct surrounding Russian election interference in 2016. The report, which determined that Russia interfered in the election in a "sweeping and systematic fashion," says President Trump and his campaign did not criminally conspire with the Russian efforts, but it did not determine whether any conduct constituted obstruction of justice. The report says evidence obtained "about the president's actions and intent presents difficult issues that prevent us from conclusively determining that no criminal conduct occurred." Citing 10 instances of suspicious behavior, Mueller said Trump tried to "influence" the investigation but was "mostly unsuccessful" because aides refused to "carry out orders."

Source: Justice Department

Former Vice President Joe Biden is accepting donations for a presidential bid, though he has not yet announced the launch of an official campaign. He is widely expected to jump into the 2020 race in the coming weeks, and sources told CNN he will do so next week. Biden has run for president twice before, and polls show he could quickly become the Democratic frontrunner once he announces his bid. Democratic donors and party fundraisers received emails in recent days encouraging financial support for Biden, asking donors to send checks to Democratic consulting firms. Biden cannot officially accept any donations until he enters the race.

Source: The New York Times, CNN

A federal judge ruled on Friday that residents of Flint, Michigan, can move forward with a lawsuit against the federal government regarding the city's lack of clean drinking water. The government is not immune from legal action, ruled Judge Linda Parker of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. She didn't rule that the government was negligent in 2014 when Flint's drinking water first became contaminated with lead, but said the Environmental Protection Agency could be sued by residents who have criticized the slow response to the crisis. EPA employees knew lead was leaching from old pipes, said Parker, saying the "lies went on for months while the people of Flint continued to be poisoned."

Source: The Associated Press, The Hill

This year's flu season is shaping up to be record-breaking in duration, despite a sharp decrease in the number of flu-related deaths from last year. A surprise second wave has drawn this year's season out to 21 weeks and counting, making it the longest in a decade and one of the longest seasons since the government started tracking seasons 20 years ago. An estimated 35,000-50,000 Americans have died from issues related to the disease in 2018-19, compared to 80,000 in 2017-18. Last year's season lasted 19 weeks and was the deadliest in 40 years. Although an unpredictable virus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says this year's flu season should be nearing its end.

Source: The Associated Press
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