What We’re Following
Michael Flynn’s Plea: The former national-security adviser pleaded guilty to the charge of lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russia, and agreed to cooperate with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s ongoing investigation. Of the four indictments in the probe so far, Flynn’s comes the closest to President Trump; court filings indicate that he was operating on behalf of the president’s transition team. His guilty plea raises new questions about whether Trump obstructed justice in urging former FBI Director James Comey not to prosecute Flynn. Now congressional Democrats say it’s crucial to prevent the White House from interfering with the investigation.
Taxing Times: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says his party has the votes needed to pass its tax-overhaul bill, putting Republicans closer than ever to accomplishing one of their major legislative goals. The bill, which could pass as soon as this evening, would amount to $1.4 trillion in tax cuts, which supporters claim would pay for themselves by boosting the economy, but a bipartisan group of economists is skeptical that these promises will play out. Annie Lowrey explains why.
Affairs of State: President Trump and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson are still denying that Tillerson is set to be removed from his position—but his flubbed attempt to reorganize the State Department demonstrates amply that he’s unfit to lead it, writes Eliot A. Cohen. Mike Pompeo, the current CIA director and Tillerson’s expected successor, may be a more effective leader—yet his past statements about Muslims suggest that he’s unlikely to keep bigoted behavior from the president in check.