FBI raid » The FBI raided the New York office of President Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen on Monday.
According to The New York Times— agents seized records related to payments made to pornographic performer Stephanie Clifford and other matters.
Those documents are normally protected under attorney-client privilege— unless there is compelling evidence. Fox News legal analyst Andrew Napolitano:
NAPOLITANO: That evidence would have to be such as to persuade a neutral observer, the federal judge, that it is more likely than not that among these seized documents is evidence of crimes by Mr. Cohen or Mr. Cohen and the president.
The Times is reporting that the seized documents included communication between Cohen and the president … and that the warrant was not related to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russian collusion probe— but was referred by him to the U-S Attorney to the Southern District of New York.
Cohen’s attorney— Stephen Ryan— said the search was “completely inappropriate and unnecessary.”
Cohen has admitted making a $130,000 payment to Clifford two years ago for her silence about an alleged affair with Trump more than a decade ago.
The president has denied the affair and knowledge of the payment.
Syrian missile strike » Russia is blaming Israel for a missile strike on a Syrian air base Monday.
That— as Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces face accusations of attacking a rebel-held town with poison gas.
The U.S. has denied responsibility for the retaliatory missile attack that killed 14 people–including 3 Iranian military personnel. Israel won’t comment.
Republican Senator Lindsey Graham on the Armed Services Committee says the attack isn’t going to stop the Assad regime from gassing its own people.
GRAHAM: They really do believe that this will be a one-and-done strike, that the western world is not going to come back. He’s trying to show his enemy, ‘I can do anything to you I want to, the rest of the world just talks.’
Syria says it shot down five missiles while three others landed on the western section of the base in Homs province.
Trump meets with military » AUDIO: Chem victims nat sound
Meanwhile near the rebel-held town of Douma, Syria— dozens of victims received medical aid after Saturday’s gas attack. Rescuers say at least 40 people died in the attack.
On Monday— President Trump met with Pentagon officials about a possible U.S. response— which could include a military strike.
TRUMP: I’d like to begin by condemning the heinous attack on innocent Syrians with banned chemical weapons. We are studying that situation extremely closely and we’ll be making some major decisions over the next 24 to 48 hours.
The UN Security Council also called an emergency meeting over the matter.
TX national guard » AUDIO: Choppers nat sound
Hundreds of Texas National Guard troops deploying by helicopter along the southern border. The first wave of 250 Texas guardsmen began heading for the border Friday. Up to 500 are expected to take position on the Rio Grande— working with Customs and Border Patrol personnel.
On Monday— Texas Governor Greg Abbott said previous National Guard deployments have scared off drug cartels and coyotes bringing in people across the border illegally.
ABBOTT: Every time that we’ve increased the forces on the ground there’s been a decrease of the cartel activity, of the coyote activity because they realize they’re going to be losing money.
On Monday— Arizona deployed 225 National Guard troops as part of President Trump’s call for 4,000 guardsmen on the southern border.
The national guard troops will provide mainly air and reconnaissance support.
Facebook alert and Zuckerberg testimony » Facebook users learned Monday whether they were among the 87 million people who had their personal information stolen by political research firm Cambridge Analytica.
The social media giant posted an alert explaining what happened to users who likely had their data scraped. All users were encouraged to update privacy settings.
At the same time— Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg met with lawmakers behind closed doors about the data breach. Florida Democrat Bill Nelson—
NELSON: The message I wanted to convey to him, that if we don’t reign in the misuse of social media, none of us are going to have any privacy anymore.
Zuckerberg is set to face Senate lawmakers in open session today. Tomorrow— House members will take their turn.
Deficit » The federal government’s annual budget deficit will top $1 trillion by 2020, despite healthy economic growth— according to the Congressional Budget Office.
A new CBO report projects the national debt— now at $21 trillion— will soar to $33 trillion by 2028.
The new estimates are the first since President Trump signed major tax cuts in December— which the CBO predicts will cost the government nearly $2 trillion over 10 years.
AZ teachers » Public school teachers discontent with salaries is now spreading to Arizona.
Instead of the walkouts seen in West Virginia, Oklahoma, and Kentucky— Arizona teachers are planning walk-ins on Wednesday. They’ll hand out flyers and talk with parents about their need for a pay increase— before teaching class.
Susan Williams teaches 2nd and 3rd grade in Tucson.
WILLIAMS: We’re just really looking for community support for our movement. There are teachers who are going to food banks to get food. There are teachers who can’t afford to have their children and themselves on any kind of insurance policy.
The average public school teacher salary nationwide is around $58,000. Arizona teachers average about $10,000 less.
Critics point out that Arizona school districts spend well above the national average on administrative costs and suggest shifting money away from district offices to give teachers a raise.
I’m Jim Henry. Straight ahead: A conversation about the Trump administration’s new policy for immigration judges. This is The World and Everything in It.