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Michael Flynn arrives at the courthouse. Photo: Susan Walsh / AP

The APNewsAlert came at 1:51 a.m.: "Senate narrowly OKs near-$1.5 trillion tax bill, pushing President Trump and GOP close to year's biggest legislative win."

Being there: "Presiding over the Senate, Vice President Pence announced the 51-49 vote to applause from Republicans."

"Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) was the only lawmaker to cross party lines, joining the Democrats in opposition."

"The measure focuses its tax reductions on businesses and higher-earning individuals, gives more modest breaks to others and offers the boldest rewrite of the nation's tax system since 1986."

And yet, this huge accomplishment — even many Republicans long doubted that the Senate would finish its version this year — will be a footnote in news coverage and the national consciousness, blotted out by the massive new legal threat to the White House.

  • Be smart: The White House talking point has been that special counsel Bob Mueller is running a narrow probe that'll be done by Thanksgiving, or for sure by the end of the year. With many choices for offenses that former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn could have pleaded to, Mueller picked the bullseye: Russia.

Inside the West Wing, conversations by Jonathan Swan and me show there's anxiety and fear among Trump confidants:

  • Flynn is clearly desperate, legally, personally and financially. He has been broken by Mueller. And he was at Trump's side during both the campaign and the first three weeks in the White House.
  • No one knows what the decorated Army general will unload. And despite Flynn's credibility problems, Mueller clearly believes he has something substantial to offer, possibly going to the heart of the White House.

N.Y. Times Quote of the Day ... Michael Flynn statement: "I recognize that the actions I acknowledged in court today were wrong, and, through my faith in God, I am working to set things right."

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Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
2 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Key clean power provision likely won't survive in Dems' spending bill

A construction worker walks along a dirt road at the Avangrid Renewables La Joya wind farm in Encino, New Mexico, on Aug. 5, 2020. Photo: Cate Dingley/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A pillar of Democrats' plans to speed deployment of zero-carbon electricity is likely to be cut from major spending and tax legislation they are struggling to move on a party-line vote, per multiple reports and a Capitol Hill aide.

Driving the news: The New York Times, citing anonymous congressional aides and lobbyists, reports that West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin (D) has told the White House he "strongly opposes" the Clean Electricity Performance Program.

Updated 5 hours ago - World

Fatal stabbing of British MP David Amess declared a terrorist incident

Police outside Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea, England, on Oct. 15. Photo: John Keeble/Getty Images

Authorities have declared the death of David Amess a terrorist incident, hours after the Conservative Party lawmaker in the U.K. was fatally stabbed while meeting with local constituents in a church in eastern England on Friday.

The big picture: The Metropolitan Police has found "a potential motivation linked to Islamist extremism."

Biden: DOJ should prosecute those who defy Jan. 6 subpoenas

President Biden speaks with reporters at Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks, Connecticut. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden said Friday that the Justice Department should prosecute those who defy subpoenas from the Jan. 6 select committee.

Why it matters: The president's remarks come one day after Donald Trump ally Steve Bannon failed to show up for a deposition before the committee.