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5 things you need to know now
5 things you need to know now
  • Trump's inaugural committee reportedly under federal criminal investigation

  • Senate votes to end support for Saudi-backed Yemen war

  • Jared Kushner reportedly considered for chief of staff

  • 7-year-old migrant girl dies of dehydration in Border Patrol custody

  • Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announces new inductees

Federal prosecutors in New York City have begun a criminal investigation into whether President Trump's 2017 inaugural committee misspent any of its record $107 million haul and whether any of the committee's biggest donors sought access to or special favors from the incoming Trump administration for their donations, The Wall Street Journal reports. Donating money for political favors or diverting funds from a nonprofit like an inaugural committee could both run afoul of federal law. It isn't known if Trump is implicated in that investigation, but NBC News confirms that Trump was at a meeting where fixer Michael Cohen and National Enquirer publisher David Pecker reached a deal to protect Trump's campaign from past Trump extramarital dalliances. Cohen was just sentenced to three years in jail for crimes including hush payments that arose from that deal.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, NBC News

The Senate voted 56-41 on Thursday to withdraw American support for a Saudi-led war in Yemen. Just minutes later, it unanimously voted to condemn Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for journalist Jamal Khashoggi's murder. Both moves are major rejections of President Trump, seeing as he never wavered in his support of the kingdom despite Khashoggi's murder and Saudi Arabia's apparent human rights violations against Yemeni civilians.

Source: The Washington Post

President Trump is reportedly considering his son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner to be his next chief of staff. His consideration puts Kushner on the list of five possible candidates Trump said he is looking at after current Chief of Staff John Kelly announced his departure Saturday. Kelly spent months possibly on the outs with Trump, and Vice President Mike Pence's Chief of Staff Nick Ayers was reportedly set to take his place. But Ayers turned down the job Sunday, leaving the field wide open for a potential replacement. Longtime loyalist Newt Gingrich has been floated as a frontrunner. Kushner reportedly met with Trump about the job and is touting his policy accomplishments in an effort to secure it.

Source: HuffPost

On Thursday, U.S. Customs and Border Protection said a 7-year-old girl from Guatemala died of dehydration and shock more than eight hours after the Border Patrol took her into custody, along with her father and 161 other migrants who turned themselves in after crossing into New Mexico from Mexico on Dec. 6. The following morning, the unidentified girl began having seizures and registered a temperature of 105.7 degrees. She "reportedly had not eaten or consumed water for several days," CBP said, and she died at a hospital in El Paso "less than 24 hours after being transported." It isn't clear if she was given water in those eight hours. "Our sincerest condolences go out to the family of the child," CBP spokesman Andrew Meehan said.

Source: The Washington Post, The Associated Press

The 2019 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees were announced Thursday, with Radiohead, Janet Jackson, and Def Leppard among the latest to be enshrined in Cleveland. Joining them in the March induction ceremony will be Stevie Nicks (already in as a member of Fleetwood Mac), The Cure, Roxy Music, and The Zombies. Among the acts who will be left out despite a nomination: Devo, Kraftwerk, LL Cool J, and Rage Against the Machine.

Source: Pitchfork
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