Law enforcement officials became so concerned by President Donald Trump’s behavior in the days after he fired FBI Director James Comey that they began investigating whether he had been working for Russia against U.S. interests.

The investigation the FBI opened into Trump also had a criminal aspect, which has long been publicly known: whether his firing of Comey constituted obstruction of justice. No evidence has emerged publicly that he was secretly in contact with or took direction from Russian government officials.

“Wow, just learned in the Failing New York Times that the corrupt former leaders of the FBI, almost all fired or forced to leave the agency for some very bad reasons, opened up an investigation on me, for no reason & with no proof, after I fired Lyin’ James Comey, a total sleaze!” Trump tweeted.

“So it has come to this: The president of the United States was asked over the weekend whether he is a Russian agent. And he refused to directly answer.”

The partial federal government shutdown, which entered its 22nd day Saturday, is now the longest closure in U.S. history.

Trump and congressional Republicans deserve most of the blame for the government shutdown, now in its record 23rd day, according to a new ABC News/Washington Post poll.

Trump, in a rambling series of Saturday tweets, promised to resolve a 22-day government shutdown that’s now the longest in U.S. history — without offering a single detail.

The previous record dates back to the Clinton administration when a 21-day shutdown resulted from a clash between President Bill Clinton and the GOP Congress that lasted from December 1995 to January 1996.

Trump has stepped back from declaring a national emergency to pay for a border wall, under pressure from congressional Republicans, his own lawyers and advisers, who say using it as a way out of the government shutdown does not justify the precedent it would set and the legal questions it could raise.

As the federal shutdown continues, the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society is offering low-cost pet care and a pet food pantry to federal employees who have been furloughed or are working without pay.

For the first time in modern history, New York will have five House members in charge of committees.

…that includes Rep. Nita Lowey, chairwoman of the powerful House Committee on Appropriations, an 81-year-old grandmother who got her start in public life as the head of the PTA at Public School 178 in Queens, a short walk from the boyhood home of America’s most famous tweeter, Trump.

In the two months since her election, Queens Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has had the uncanny ability for a first-term member of Congress to push the debate inside the Democratic Party sharply to the left, forcing party leaders and 2020 presidential candidates to grapple with issues that some might otherwise prefer to avoid.

Hawaiian Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, an Iraqi vet who became the first Hindu member of Congress, has decided that she will seek the Democratic nomination for president in 2020, and will make a formal announcement in the next week.

Former Obama administration official Julián Castro launched his bid for the White House on Saturday, becoming the first Latino candidate in an increasingly crowded field.

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren floated her likely presidential bid in New Hampshire, visiting the early primary state Saturday to deliver a message of economic populism and clean government.

NYC Mayor de Blasio refused to rule out running for president in 2020, saying: “You never know what life brings.”

Chris Churchill: “Left and right, progressive and conservative, we all agree that (U.S. Sen. Kirsten) Gillibrand’s decision to locate her presidential campaign headquarters in Troy is great for the city and its ever-evolving downtown. It’s good for the region.”

New Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis suspended Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel on Friday over his handling of February’s massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, saying he “repeatedly failed and has demonstrated a pattern of poor leadership.”

A trial in New York over the Trump administration’s move to cut off permission for thousands of Haitians to live in the U.S. is spotlighting emails between officials downplaying health and safety crises in the Caribbean nation as they tried to justify the change.

As New York’s leaders push to legalize marijuana in the state, Westchester will no longer prosecute some marijuana offenses and will reduce charges for some others in a bid to lessen the legal blow for many people.

While there’s broad agreement on the idea of legalization, there’s no consensus on a long list of details that must be figured out first.

Cuomo is expected to lay out his plan to legalize recreational marijuana in New York on Tuesday, the latest major step in the state’s move toward allowing the drug for adult use.

Teens in New York might soon be banned from buying all tobacco products after Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a proposal to raise tobacco and e-cigarette sales age from 18 to 21.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s top official, acting chair Fernando Ferrer, will hire an independent consultant to review plans to avoid the full shutdown of the L train subway tunnel connecting Brooklyn and Manhattan.

New York City’s subway chief Andy Byford has improved subway service and drawn praise for a customer-focused approach since taking the job a year ago. He says the past year has been the busiest of his life.

The NY Daily News: “Since the MTA is a state entity and the current governor is already in the hot seat, make it official and grant the governor a few more board members to make a majority.”

There will be not one, but two women’s march events in Manhattan next week – a product of an ugly feud over what and who should be represented.

The new date of the controlled demolition of the eastern portion of the old Tappan Zee Bridge — scrubbed for Saturday due to high winds that hampered preparations — is now roughtly set for 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 15, according to the Tappan Zee Constructors.

Also to be included in the executive budget: the Child Victims Act, which would ensure anyone who abuses children will be held accountable criminally and civilly and that survivors of childhood sexual abuse have a path to justice.

The governor is renewing his push to pass tougher gun laws – a proposal that would be the first of its kind in U.S. would make gun laws even stronger throughout the state.

Former state Sen. Dave Valesky, who lost his seat in a Democratic primary to Sen. Rachel May last fall, has been appointed to a post in the Cuomo administration: Deputy commissioner of Ag and Markets.

The “Long Island Nine” is gone, and all the state Senate seniority that went with it. But Democrats vow Long Island’s clout won’t be diminished.

Even though the L train shutdown is off, political leaders in Manhattan and Brooklyn want to keep some of the contingency plans that came with it.

State investigators are digging into union-busting claims leveled last month against NewYork-Presbyterian Hudson Valley Hospital in Cortlandt.

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, one of the world’s leading research institutions, announced on Friday that it would bar its top executives from serving on corporate boards of drug and health care companies that, in some cases, had paid them hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.

State Sen. James Skoufis plans to make prescription drug costs an opening topic for the Senate investigations committee he now leads, examining the role of industry middlemen known as pharmacy benefit managers to determine if any impropriety is taking place.

Legislators are taking a hard look at changing how much control the mayor has over the Department of Education, said state Sen. John Liu, the chairman of the Senate’s New York City Education Subcommittee.

The seventeen new state senators who are getting ready to wield power in Albany are also learning to navigate its many corridors of power – both figuratively, and literally.

The fate of a 64 percent raise for state lawmakers may depend on an inside peek into Albany’s opaque “three-men-in-a-room” negotiations.

As a battle over the issue brews in Albany, a group of landlords that manages and owns more than a third of New York City’s rent-regulated apartments plans a new self-policing plan to fine and boot members who harass and discriminate against tenants. Critics are skeptical.

A new plan for putting banking smart chips in New York City IDs has advocates terrified that City Hall is inadvertently creating a backdoor for the feds to go after undocumented immigrants. The initiative is also being overseen by a deputy mayor with ties to financial services giant MasterCard.

About 200 people — including at least one superhero — gathered Saturday to protest the city’s plan to put a six-lane temporary roadway on the Brooklyn Heights Promenade for six years while repairing a ­ ­1 1/2-mile stretch of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway.

NYC Chancellor Richard Carranza’s shakeup of services for more than 150,000 kids who are learning English in the public schools is running into trouble, concerned staffers charge.

The casino industry in and around the Capital Region saw an improved financial performance in 2018 and is preparing new promotions to keep the momentum going in 2019. The least-certain but most-desired item on their lists appears to be sports betting.

An Federal Communications Commission report released last month claims that the state has been shortchanging communities in the state for years, essentially double billing taxpayers for public safety.

St. John Fisher College has indefinitely suspended cheerleading activities after it says a video surfaced purportedly showed members of the team using discriminatory language.

A Brooklyn sex toy company says the MTA is sexist because it banned vibrator ads while allowing ones for erectile dysfunction.

The Watertown Daily-Times: “We appreciate Mr. Cuomo’s desire to protect due process for New York residents who own firearms. But we seriously doubt that a state Legislature now completely controlled by Democrats will create a bill that accomplishes this goal.”

A highly unusual public feud broke out between prosecutors and top police officials on Friday after the Manhattan district attorney’s decision to drop charges against one of the men pummeled by the police with batons during a chaotic arrest in Washington Heights.

Steven H. Pollard, an FDNY firefighter who died at age 30 after falling 50 feet from a Brooklyn overpass in the line of duty, was mourned at his funeral as a brave hero who was able to meet a childhood goal.

Most­ New York state LGBTQ students suffer discrimination at school — but only half report it to administrators, according to a new report.

Five new elected state Supreme Court judgeships were added this month in Suffolk County, in the Hudson Valley and New York City after questions were raised over the long-standing practice in which governors appointed many of these criminal and civil judges even though the state constitution says voters must choose them.

Nassau County Executive Laura Curran is making key staffing changes in the new year.

The Chrysler Building, currently owned by an Abu Dhabi wealth fund and the Tishman Speyer real estate empire, is now going up for sale. There is not an obvious buyer.

Megyn Kelly has finalized her exit deal with NBC, nearly three months after she wondered aloud on-air why it was inappropriate for white people to dress up in blackface for Halloween.

According to two people familiar with the negotiations, Kelly was paid the outstanding balance on her contract, a figure that amounts to roughly $30 million.

“Saturday Night Live” comedian Michael Che’s stand-up special to benefit public housing featured a star-studded line-up and raised nearly $110,000 before the doors to the event even opened.