The longest government shutdown in US history came to an end on Friday after Trump agreed to temporarily reopen shuttered departments. The shutdown lasted 35 days and left 800,000 federal workers unpaid. Lawmakers have until February 15 to come up with a new plan to fund the government. If they're unable to resolve the ongoing border wall funding dispute, the government will partly close again. Trump has vowed to get backpay to federal employees shortly, presumably within the three-week negotiation window they have. Polls suggest that the majority of Americans disapprove of Trump's current job performance and blame him and his party for the shutdown.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi told Trump that it would be inappropriate to give his State of the Union address - which is traditionally given on January 29 from the House floor- during the shutdown and said she would deny him access to the building. Trump capitulated, saying he would not make the statement until the government was reopened. It's unclear how the reopened government will affect this, as no hard date is yet scheduled.
There were new developments in the Mueller investigation this week. Former Trump associate and longtime advisor Roger Stone was arrested by the FBI at his Florida home on Friday morning on an indictment brought forth by Mueller. The indictment included seven charges, with multiple counts of obstruction, witness tampering, and lying to Congress. Stone has come under scrutiny for his involvement with WikiLeaks and contact with founder Julian Assange about Clinton's campaign during the 2016 election. Trump's former campaign chairman, Steve Bannon, is also believed to be involved. Mueller's complaint also says that Stone attempted to intimidate a witness with ties to Assange. Stone defiantly denied any allegations that he colluded with Russia and refused to "bear false witness" by testifying against Trump.
Right-wing pundits and Stone supporters have claimed the charges against Stone are false and that Mueller's investigation is politically biased. The White House has attempted to distance itself from the arrest, saying that it "has nothing to do with the president." Trump defended himself in his usual Twitter fashion by continuing to label Mueller's investigation as a "witch hunt" and claiming there was "NO COLLUSION!"
The prosecution of former Trump associate Paul Manafort also continued, with the Mueller investigation pressing the courts be strict in his sentencing due to the "multiple discernible lies" he told that were not "mere memory lapses." The senate has also subpoenaed Trump's former attorney, Michael Cohen, to testify in mid-February. Also, earlier in the week, Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani had to retract comments implying that Trump was involved in plans to building a namesake tower in Moscow in 2016. Trump was reportedly furious over the matter.
As scandal and political theater captures the national attention, the Trump administration quietly continues to advance its deregulatory agenda. New data shows that fines levied against polluters by the EPA have dropped to their lowest level since 1994.