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Justice Department prepares memo for White House outlining impacts of shutdown dragging into March

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Posted at 10:23 PM, Jan 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-24 22:25:29-05

The Department of Justice asked senior managers to compile a list outlining how important functions would be affected if the partial government shutdown were to persist into March, according to law enforcement officials.

One official said managers at component agencies were ordered to complete a memo by the end of Thursday and include a detailed look at the wide-ranging effects a shutdown would have if it continues to drag on for more than another month.

The memo was to include the impact on the agency’s many investigations, including the ability to conduct wiretaps and pay informants, one law enforcement official said.

Kerri Kupec, a Justice spokeswoman, declined to comment.

A senior Office of Management and Budget official told CNN, “prudent management means planning and preparing for events without known end dates. As OMB continues to manage this partial lapse in appropriations, unfunded agencies are being asked to continue to share with OMB an ongoing list of programs that could be impacted within the coming weeks.”

A FBI agents’ advocacy group released a report Tuesday that said the shutdown has already had a major impact, including: the FBI having lost informants that had penetrated groups at the center of terrorism investigations, drug investigations being hampered due to a loss of funding for controlled purchases and problems translating evidence in a multi-year investigation into the MS-13 gang

The officials tasked with putting together memos for the White House now need to project how much worse that situation would become if funding were to remain dry into March.

The Washington Post previously reported White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney is asking leaders across the affected federal agencies to provide a list of highest-impact programs that will be jeopardized if the shutdown continues into March and April, citing people familiar with the directive.