Morning Briefing 10/26/2017

Good Thursday morning! Here’s your Morning Briefing:

FBI Informant Cleared To Testify Before Congress On Uranium Deal

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An FBI informant, who witnessed the the efforts of Russia to gain a favorable decision on the Uranium One deal, has been released from a confidentiality agreement with the Department of Justice and is cleared to testify before Congressional committees about his time undercover.

Sarah Isgur Flores, a Department of Justice spokeswoman told The Hill:

“As of tonight, the Department of Justice has authorized the informant to disclose to the Chairmen and Ranking Members of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, as well as one member of each of their staffs, any information or documents he has concerning alleged corruption or bribery involving transactions in the uranium market, including but not limited to anything related to Vadim Mikerin, Rosatom, Tenex, Uranium One, or the Clinton Foundation.”

The informant was undercover eight years ago to report on the Russian nuclear industry’s efforts to win a favorable decision. His information did lead to the convictions of several Russian and American executives who were charged with bribery, extortion, and money laundering.

President Trump Won’t Have To Keep Making Obamacare Payments

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U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria denied an emergency motion from 18 states and Washington, D.C., to force President Trump to continue making the cost sharing reduction (CSR) subsidy payments to health insurers.

Earlier this month, Trump followed through on his threat to cut off the CSR’s if Congress did not pass and Obamacare replacement bill.

After that decision, 18 states and Washington, D.C. signed onto an emergency motion to force the Trump administration to continue making the payments, warning that ending the payments would leak to a spike in premiums.

However, Chhabria said “To be sure, the absence of money for CSR payments does not seem to be causing health care reform to come crumbling down,” and denied that ending the CSR’s would cause immediate injury to residents of the state.

About Those Russian Sanctions…

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It’s been almost a month since the deadline for the Trump administration to impose new sanctions on Russia, and so far that has not happened.

In August, Congress almost unanimously passed legislation codifying existing Russian sanctions, and implementing new sanctions, and President Trump very unhappily signed it into law — rather than face a veto override.

The deadline for the implementation of the sanctions has come and gone almost a month ago and there are no new sanctions. However, the Trump administration says it will implement the new sanctions once the State Department finishes an interagency review.

Have a great Thursday!