Thursday’s Mini-Report, 3.1.18

Today’s edition of quick hits:

* New news on Mueller’s probe: “Special Counsel Robert Mueller is assembling a case for criminal charges against Russians who carried out the hacking and leaking of private information designed to hurt Democrats in the 2016 election, multiple current and former government officials familiar with the matter tell NBC News.”

* Speaking of Russia: “President Vladimir Putin’s assertion Thursday that Russia is testing a range of new nuclear-powered weaponry reveals a Kremlin that has become increasingly emboldened by the Trump administration and skilled at stoking East-West tensions, analysts say.”

* The right call: “A federal judge has permanently barred Indiana from trying to prevent Syrian refugees from resettling in the state under an order Vice President Mike Pence championed as governor.”

* HUD: “The White House said Thursday that a pricey purchase order for a lavish dining room set for the office of Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson had been cancelled, after the reported price tag – more than $31,000 – sparked intense backlash.”

* Everyone saw last night’s A block on this, right? Jared Kushner’s family business “received loans after White House meetings.”

* I’m filing this Anastasia Vashukevich story away for future reference: “A self-described sex expert whose videos highlighted the ties between one of Russia’s richest men and the Kremlin has been jailed in Thailand and is calling for U.S. help, claiming she has information about links between Russia and President Trump.”

* This drama is not near over: “One of the top deputies to VA Secretary David Shulkin has actively lobbied Capitol Hill to demand his boss’s resignation, according to two people with knowledge of the effort.”

* I remember the Trump campaign promising a 2016 press conference on the future First Lady’s immigration background, which never actually happened. The latest: “In 2000, Melania Knauss, a Slovenian model dating Donald Trump, began petitioning the government for the right to permanently reside in the United States under a program reserved for people with ‘extraordinary ability.’”

* This, too, is a weird one: “Trump’s Nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize Was Apparently Forged. Twice.”

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

Thursday's Mini-Report, 3.1.18