Each Friday, Torchlight Media will publish a summary of the major news that happened for that week: the announcements and events, the twists and turns of ongoing stories, and all of the other highlights in between. Our goal is to give you a big-picture look at the week’s news so that even if you can’t follow everything yourself, you can have a general sense of where things stand. We hope, too, that seeing the highlights laid out will help you separate the small, pointless stories that crop up over the week from the more impactful, ongoing stories.
Here’s what’s in the spotlight for this week.
- The House Intelligence Committee voted to release the so-called Nunes Memo, named for the Republican chair of the committee. The memo allegedly describes improprieties by the FBI during its surveillance of the Trump campaign. The FBI was investigating allegations that the campaign was colluding with Russia to win the 2016 election.
- President Trump delivered his first State of the Union address. He called immigration reform in line with his previously-stated, hardline views, and asked Congress to pass laws making it easier for the heads of executive departments to fire subordinates. He also called for significant additional infrastructure spending.
- The FBI released a statement calling the Nunes Memo inaccurate, and criticizing the decision to make it public. According to the statement, the memo omits certain facts and, due their absence, leads readers to reach an inaccurate conclusion. Such statements by the bureau are historically rare.
- Lawyers for Rick Gates, an employee of Paul Manafort who was indicted last fall as part of the Mueller investigation, withdrew from the case. The withdrawal comes as the case approaches trial.