Dec 4, 2019

House panel seeks investigation into $400 million border wall contract

Security forces near the US-Mexico border in Tijuana, Mexico on Sept. 18, 2019. Photo: Guillermo Arias/AFP via Getty Images

The House Homeland Security Committee requested on Wednesday that the Defense Department inspector general investigate a $400 million contract recently awarded to Fisher Sand and Gravel Co. for constructing a portion of President Trump's border wall.

The big picture: Fisher was not on the Army Corps of Engineers' original list of qualified bidders to build 31 miles of border wall near Yuma, Arizona, per the Washington Post. But Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) cites another report from the Post that alleges Trump has repeatedly urged the Army Corp. to award the contract to Fisher, which is owned by a GOP donor who has made several appearances on Fox News to promote his company.

Read the letter.

Go deeper: $400M in Puerto Rico recovery projects deferred over Trump border wall

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Second judge blocks Trump from using billions in Pentagon funds to build border wall

President Trump. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

A federal judge in California blocked President Trump on Wednesday from diverting $3.6 billion from military projects to build the border wall.

The big picture: This follows a nationwide injunction issued on Tuesday by a Texas judge, who also argued that Trump's national emergency was unlawful. The administration is now blocked from using about one-third of the total funds that were allocated for the border wall, signaling that it intended to appeal after the Texas' judge ruling on Tuesday.

Go deeper: Trump declares national emergency to access $3.6B for border wall

Keep ReadingArrowUpdated Dec 11, 2019

Hacker offers $100,000 for leaks of corporate secrets

Phineas Fisher, a pseudonymous hacktivist famous for leaks from high-profile companies, is offering $100,000 for other hackers to steal and leak controversial corporate documents, Motherboard reports.

Why it matters: Hacktivism — hacking for some perceived public benefit — trailed off in recent years as more hackers chose to monetize their skill sets through thievery and ransom schemes. This offer could reincentivize civic-minded computer crime.

Go deeperArrowNov 18, 2019

Pentagon inspector general to review troop deployments at southern border

An active-duty U.S. Army soldier scans for undocumented immigrants near the U.S.-Mexico border, Sept. 10, Penitas, Texas. Photo: John Moore/Getty Images

The Defense Department's inspector general plans to review how U.S. soldiers are actually used to support security operations at the U.S-Mexico border, according to a memo first reported by NBC News.

Why it matters: The review could answer some questions posed by House Democrats, who are concerned that soldiers deployed to the border could violate laws prohibiting the use of the military in civilian law enforcement.

Go deeperArrowDec 10, 2019