Thursday’s Mini-Report, 1.31.19

Today’s edition of quick hits:

* That’s quite a drug bust: “The sensitive nose of a drug-sniffing dog has led to what federal officials say is the largest seizure in US history of fentanyl, the synthetic opioid blamed for the majority of overdose deaths.”

* Stone’s stuff: “Federal investigators probing Roger Stone, the former Trump campaign official indicted last week in the Russia probe, have seized multiple hard drives containing years of communication records from cellphones and email accounts, the special counsel’s office said Thursday. Robert Mueller’s prosecutors, in a new court filing, described the evidence as ‘voluminous and complex’ in asking a judge to delay his trial to give them more time to sift through the seized devices.”

* Pelosi’s quote is the one to pay attention to: “President Donald Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday hardened their positions about a border wall, casting doubt on the prospects of Capitol Hill negotiations intended to reach a compromise and avoid a second government shutdown. ‘There’s not going to be any wall money in the legislation,’ Pelosi, D-Calif., told reporters.”

* Security clearances: “A White House security specialist has been suspended without pay for defying her supervisor Carl Kline, less than a week after NBC News reported Kline approved Jared Kushner for top secret clearance over the objections of career staff. The specialist, Tricia Newbold, had filed a discrimination complaint against Kline three months ago.”

* Seems like a reasonable suggestion: “Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer swiped at President Donald Trump on Wednesday evening, urging America’s top intelligence official to stage an intervention and educate the commander in chief about how important it is for him to back the U.S. intelligence community.”

* Could Wheeler be in trouble? “Key congressional Republicans voiced concerns Tuesday about the prospect that EPA will not set drinking water limits for two toxic chemicals – an issue that raises new hurdles for acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler’s bid to permanently lead the agency.”

* Interesting report from Axios: “After President Trump was elected, private equity firms rushed out to raise giant new infrastructure funds. It was a mistake.”

* Given his previous mockery of her appearance, I imagine this was a little awkward: “President Trump interviewed Heidi Cruz for the job of World Bank president although he’s not offering the post to the Goldman Sachs Group Inc. executive and wife of Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas.”

* The end of a bizarre story: “A Kentucky jury has awarded U.S. Sen. Rand Paul more than $580,000 in damages stemming from a November 2017 dispute in which a neighbor tackled the Republican lawmaker, who was doing yardwork at his home in Bowling Green.”

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.