Saturday in Whitewater will be sunny with a high of forty-one. Sunrise is 6:40 AM and sunset 5:45 PM, for 10h 54m 59s of daytime. The moon is a waning crescent with 1.1% of its visible disk illuminated.
On this day in 1980, it’s a Miracle on Ice at the Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, NY, as the US hockey team defeats the Soviets, 4-3.
Recommended for reading in full —
Toluse Olorunnipa, Ashley Parker, and Josh Dawsey report Trump embarks on expansive search for disloyalty as administration-wide purge escalates:
President Trump has instructed his White House to identify and force out officials across his administration who are not seen as sufficiently loyal, a post-impeachment escalation that administration officials say reflects a new phase of a campaign of retribution and restructuring ahead of the November election.
Johnny McEntee, Trump’s former personal aide who now leads the effort as director of presidential personnel, has begun combing through various agencies with a mandate from the president to oust or sideline political appointees who have not proved their loyalty, according to several administration officials and others familiar with the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.
The push comes in the aftermath of an impeachment process in which several members of Trump’s administration provided damning testimony about his behavior with regard to Ukraine. The stream of officials publicly criticizing Trump’s actions frustrated the president and caused him to fixate on cleaning house after his acquittal this month.
“We want bad people out of our government!” Trump tweeted Feb. 13, kicking off a tumultuous stretch of firings, resignations, controversial appointments and private skirmishes that have since spilled into public view.
The National Security Council, the State Department and the Justice Department are targets of particular focus, according to two administration officials, and there have recently been multiple resignations and reassignments at each of those agencies.
Sally Yates writes Trump thinks the Justice Department is his personal grudge squad:
The imperative of Justice Department independence from political influence has deep roots. After the Watergate scandal, Attorney General Griffin Bell sought to reestablish Justice’s independence and ensure that the department would be “recognized by all citizens as a neutral zone, in which neither favor nor pressure nor politics is permitted to influence the administration of the law.” The nation had lost faith in the Justice Department and the rule of law, so during the Carter administration Bell instituted strict limits on communications between the White House and Justice to prevent any “outside interference in reaching professional judgment on legal matters.”
While the policy is ostensibly still in effect, it is a hollow ode to bygone days. From virtually the moment he took office, President Trump has attempted to use the Justice Department as a cudgel against his enemies and as a shield for himself and his allies. He ran off Jeff Sessions after Sessions’s recusal in the Russia investigation rendered Sessions useless to protect him. The president has attempted to order up investigations of his perceived political enemies and enlist the department to protect his friends. With every blow, the wall of Justice independence has wobbled a bit more. This week, it teetered on the verge of collapse.