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Liberal advocacy group Public Citizen yesterday sent a formal letter of complaint to the U.S. House of Representatives about Carl Icahn, over his unpaid advisory role in the Trump White House. In short, it argues that Icahn should have registered as a lobbyist before advocating for a change to the EPA's ethanol mandate ― a change that could benefit Icahn's holdings in CVR Energy.

Icahn responded publicly by calling Public Citizen's claims "fake news" (no Carl, that's not what "fake news" is) and then basically arguing his case on the EPA rules (as opposed to the lobbying issue, which he quickly dismissed by saying his lawyers signed off).

Bottom line: It was entirely predictable that accusations of conflict would emerge over Icahn, who continues to pull double-duty as a billionaire activist investor (managing his own money) and as a special advisor to President Trump on regulation.

Go deeper

Capitol repairs, security top $30M since Jan. 6 attacks

Photo: Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

The Architect of the Capitol Brett Blanton on Wednesday said that repairs and security expenses related to the Jan. 6 insurrection have already cost more than $30 million.

The state of play: Congressional appropriations committees have allocated the $30 million for repairs and perimeter fencing around the Capitol building through March 31, per NPR.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

White House stands by imperiled Tanden nomination after Senate panel postpones hearing

Neera Tanden. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/The New York Times/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Senate Homeland Security Committee is postponing a confirmation hearing scheduled Wednesday for Neera Tanden, Axios has learned, a potential death knell for President Biden's nominee to lead the Office of Management and Budget.

The latest: Asked Wednesday afternoon whether Tanden has offered to withdraw her nomination, Psaki told reporters, "That’s not the stage we’re in." She noted that it's a "numbers game" and a "matter of getting one Republican" to support the nomination.

Acting Capitol Police chief: Officers were unsure of lethal force rules on Jan. 6

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Acting U.S. Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman wrote in prepared remarks for a House hearing on Thursday that officers in her department were "unsure of when to use lethal force" during the Jan. 6 insurrection.

Why it matters: Capitol Police did deploy lethal force on Jan. 6 — shooting and killing 35-year-old Ashli Babbit — but have faced questions over why officers appeared to be less forceful against pro-Trump rioters than participants in previous demonstrations, including those over Black Lives Matter and now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.