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Rep. Devin Nunes at a Trump event. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

There's one sentence in the last paragraph of the GOP memo that could thwart President Trump's efforts to discredit the Russia probe, the Washington Post points out. “The Papadopoulos information triggered the opening of an FBI counterintelligence investigation in late July 2016 by FBI agent Pete Strzok."

Why it matters: This line undermines the argument that the FBI counterintelligence investigation happened because the Trump dossier set it in motion. Instead, it points to a former Trump campaign associate (who has since been charged in Mueller's probe) as the reason.

Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee wrote as much in their response to the Devin Nunes memo: “This ignores the inconvenient fact that the investigation did not begin with, or arise from Christopher Steele or the dossier, and that the investigation would persist on the basis of wholly independent evidence had Christopher Steele never entered the picture.”

Background, per WashPost:

  • The FBI received information about Papadopoulos near the end of July 2016.
  • The Australian government alerted the FBI to Papadopoulos' bragging about having access to damaging information on Hillary Clinton, provided by Russians.
  • Per WashPost: "Papadopoulos bragged to one of their diplomats during a boozy night at a London bar in May 2016."
  • In October, Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russians
  • Trump and those close to him have since tried framing Papadopoulos as a person with no real connection to the campaign, similar to an intern.

Go deeper

Virginia lawmakers vote to legalize marijuana in 2024

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam. Photo: Alex Edelman/Getty Images

Lawmakers in Virginia on Saturday approved compromise legislation that would legalize marijuana in 2024, putting the state a step closer to becoming the first in the South to end prohibition on the drug, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reports.

Why it matters: The legislation will make Virginia the 16th state to legalize marijuana, per Politico. It would add to a slate of laws that have seen Virginia move in a more progressive direction during the tenure of Gov. Ralph Northam.

Scammers seize on COVID confusion

Data: FTC; Chart: Sara Wise/Axios

Scamming has skyrocketed in the past year, and much of the increase is attributed to COVID-related scams, more recently around vaccines.

Why it matters: The pandemic has created a prime opportunity for scammers to target people who are already confused about the chaotic rollouts of things like stimulus payments, loans, contact tracing and vaccines. Data shows that older people who aren't digitally literate are the most vulnerable.

14 hours ago - Health

FDA authorizes Johnson & Johnson's one-shot COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use

Photo: Illustration by Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The Food and Drug Administration on Saturday issued an emergency use authorization for Johnson & Johnson's one-shot coronavirus vaccine.

Why it matters: The authorization of a third coronavirus vaccine in the U.S. will help speed up the vaccine rollout across the country, especially since the J&J shot only requires one dose as opposed to Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech's two-shot vaccines.

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