Topics and articles chosen with care. Linked articles in bold purple
◆ We’re learning more about one possible connection between Russia and the Trump campaign The Washington Post reports that last summer the FBI and DOJ obtained a FISA warrant to monitor Carter Page, a Trump adviser.
The FBI and the Justice Department obtained the warrant targeting Carter Page’s communications after convincing a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court judge that there was probable cause to believe Page was acting as an agent of a foreign power, in this case Russia, according to the officials.
This is the clearest evidence so far that the FBI had reason to believe during the 2016 presidential campaign that a Trump campaign adviser was in touch with Russian agents. Such contacts are now at the center of an investigation into whether the campaign coordinated with the Russian government to swing the election in Trump’s favor.
Page has not been accused of any crimes, and it is unclear whether the Justice Department might later seek charges against him or others in connection with Russia’s meddling in the 2016 presidential election. …
Page is the only American to have had his communications directly targeted with a FISA warrant in 2016 as part of the Russia probe, officials said.–Washington Post
How involved was Carter Page in the campaign?
In March 2016, Trump identified Page, who had previously been an investment banker in Moscow, as a foreign policy adviser to his campaign. Campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks later described Page’s role as “informal.” –Washington Post
Comment: Reports are that Page’s connection to the campaign was at a lower level and that he never met Trump. We’ll soon learn more, I wager.
◆ Close call for Republicans for open Congressional seat in red-state Kansas Mike Pompeo held the seat until he became Trump’s CIA head. Ron Estes, the state’s treasurer, faced a surprisingly sharp challenge from a Democrat. Estes won, 53% to 46% in a district Trump won by 27 points. The New York Times story is here.
Comment: The race was seen as an early test for Trump. He passed, but just barely.
◆ Florida death-penalty dispute: Gov. takes death-penalty cases away from rogue state prosecutor who refuses to seek the death penalty. She sues him (Miami Herald) Her legal claim: the governor overstepped his authority in removing the cases from her.
◆ United Airlines finally grovels and apologizes. Passenger lawyers up. (Chicago Tribune)
Comment: The airlines initial reaction was to say the passenger was truculent. The viral video killed them and they changed direction.
◆ Latinos in US: A “hidden force turbocharging the US economy,” says CNBC
It’s been nearly 10 years since this country was hit with a recession, the likes of which we hadn’t seen for decades. Businesses across the country were closing their doors and unemployment soared. This bleak situation was sharply magnified among Latinos, which reported a 66 percent drop in wealth and a 13 percent unemployment rate.
Yet during this bleak period, Latino entrepreneurs created new businesses at a startling rate, increasing from 2.3 million in 2007 to approximately 4.1 million today. –CNBC