Thursday Afternoon Update: Punxsutawney Phil’s Prediction, Hunter’s Laptop Legal Update, GOP Removes Ilhan Omar From Key Committee

This article is a companion piece to today’s Morning Wire Afternoon Update. To listen to the podcast version, click here.

Punxsutawney Phil Sees His Shadow

Groundhog Punxsutawney Phil made his annual prediction about whether or not the country will see an early spring or long winter at Gobbler’s Knob in Pennsylvania Thursday morning. Here’s a reading and his determination at the annual tradition:

BREAKING: Groundhog “Punxsutawney Phil” makes his prediction as part of an annual Groundhog Day tradition at Gobbler’s Knob in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania.


— NEWSMAX (@NEWSMAX) February 2, 2023

Hunter’s Lawyers Request Legal Action Over Laptop

Hunter Biden’s lawyers are demanding state and federal investigations into the dissemination of personal material from Hunter’s laptop. Critics say the demand is a tacit admission that the contents are legitimate. The owner of the store where the laptop was left says he had the legal right to the contents after Hunter left it stranded.

FBI To Search Pence’s Home

Federal law enforcement officials are planning to search the home of former Vice President Mike Pence in the coming days after Pence’s legal team found classified material inside the residence last month. Pence directed his team to search his home in Indiana and office at his political advocacy group, Advancing American Freedom (AAF), after the discovery of documents associated with President Biden. No classified papers turned up in the search of Pence’s offices at AAF.

New Jersey Republican Councilwoman Shot Dead

New Jersey Republican councilwoman, Eunice Dwumfour — a 30-year-old part time-EMT and business analyst — was shot dead in her SUV outside her home in Sayreville, New Jersey on Wednesday evening. Authorities say that it was a “targeted” attack and she had multiple gunshot wounds. No more details have been released.

GOP Removes Ilhan Omar From Key Committee

The Republican-led House voted to remove Democratic Representative Ilhan Omar from the chamber’s Foreign Affairs Committee today, citing her anti-Israel rhetoric. Removal of lawmakers from House committees was extremely rare up until two years ago when Democrats removed Republican Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Paul Gosar of Arizona from their assignments. Democrat critics, like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, say the move is “Political Revenge.”

Arctic Temps To Blast New England

While ice storms continue to pummel the south, the Northeast is expected to be slammed by an arctic blast bringing the coldest wind chill in decades. Hazardous conditions are expected Friday night through Saturday.

Mortgage Rates Drop

Mortgage rates on the average 30-year loan dropped below 6% today to 5.99% — for the first time since September. The drop from 6.21% earlier this week would save a borrower nearly $300 on a $400,000 home loan.

McConnell Ousts GOP Challengers

And, two GOP senators have been removed from their committee spots after challenging Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s leadership position. Florida Senator Rick Scott challenged McConnell for the GOP top spot and Utah Senator Mike Lee endorsed Scott. Both have been removed from the Commerce Committee.

This article is a companion piece to today’s Morning Wire Afternoon Update. To listen to the podcast version, click here.

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