Wednesday’s Mini-Report, 1.23.19

Today’s edition of quick hits:

* Today’s mass shooting: “A suspected gunman was in custody Wednesday after five people were shot dead at a SunTrust bank in Sebring, Florida, according to police and local officials. The Highlands County sheriff’s office said a SWAT team stormed the bank after negotiations failed and the suspect ‘eventually surrendered.’”

* Crisis in Venezuela: “Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro said his government was breaking relations with the United States and gave diplomatic personnel 72 hours to leave the country after President Donald Trump on Wednesday backed the country’s opposition leader, Juan Guaidó, as interim president.”

* He’s likely to be subpoenaed: “Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer and fixer, is delaying his public testimony before Congress ‘due to ongoing threats against his family from President Trump’ and members of his legal team, Cohen attorney Lanny Davis said in a statement Wednesday.”

* I assume the White House will ignore this, too: “House Democrats are prepared to support increased spending on border security, but not a wall, if President Trump agrees to reopen the government first, lawmakers and aides said Wednesday.”

* This law would have prevented some women from getting abortions before they knew they were pregnant: “Iowa’s ‘fetal heartbeat’ law, the most restrictive abortion ban in the United States, was declared unconstitutional Tuesday, as it violates the Iowa state constitution, a state judge ruled.”

* Irony: “In the midst of a partial government shutdown stalemate over a border wall, the State Department has had to cancel, for now, an international conference focused on border security – due to that very shutdown.”

* This strikes me as a good question: “The House Judiciary Committee wants to know if acting attorney general Matthew G. Whitaker has ever been briefed on special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation of Russian interference in the U.S. election and, if so, whether Whitaker shared any such information with President Trump or his lawyers.”

* It’s taken a long time for Trump to sour on Rudy Giuliani: “Trump was apoplectic after a pair of weekend media interviews by his personal lawyer, in which Giuliani said that the president had been involved in discussions to build a Trump Tower in Moscow through the end of the 2016 campaign – a statement that enraged Trump because it contradicted his own public position, according to two sources close to the president.”

* I’m looking forward to some court rulings on this: “A senior senator is now asking whether the Trump administration has been complying with federal law in implementing the partial government shutdown, now entering its fifth week.”

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

Wednesday's Mini-Report, 1.23.19