Weekly Roundup, March 26th – April 1st

Politics might be easily mistaken for primetime drama, given the level of web-weaving and entanglement from this past week. In the fallout of Devin Nunes’ midweek press conference, questions arose regarding the circumstances around Nunes’ intelligence reports. Amid accusations that Nunes is attempting to “cover up” a yet-undiscovered criminal activity, many have been calling for Nunes to recuse himself from heading the Russian probe. Nunes refuses to do so. Similarly, former national security adviser Michael Flynn offered to testify in exchange for immunity, an arrangement which was subsequently denied. Many reference Flynn’s financial ties to Russia as a potential source. Speculation grows stronger, as the Trump administration has been accused of attempting to prevent Sally Yates from testifying in this case. This leads some analysts to suggest that we ought to look to the 9/11 Commission as an example of a successfully bipartisan investigation.

The Government Accountability Office, a Congressional watchdog group, announced an intent to review the handling of classified material at the president’s Florida Mar-a-Lago resort, as well as the financials between the White House and Trump hotels.

A new executive order will effectively roll back many of the Obama administration’s measures to curtail climate change. Though the order was presented as an opportunity for economic growth, Larry Light presents an overview of the power industry’s trends and argues that the industry has little reason to return to coal even with fewer federal regulations in place. This order has also allowed the Dakota Access Pipeline to move forward; the BBC presents an overview of the project and the risks entailed by continuing.

Late in the week, Seattle joined a growing number of legislatively-minded cities and filed a lawsuit against the president’s “sanctuary cities” executive order. The order threatens to remove funding from cities providing sanctuary for undocumented residents. Seattle is seeking a judicial ruling to determine whether the order violates the 10th Amendment.

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