'Start Here': Jussie Smollett investigation takes another turn, California to sue Trump, aid to Venezuela blocked

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February 18, 2019, 5:55 AM

It's Monday, Feb. 18, 2019. Let's start here.

1. Smollett case takes another turn

The two brothers interrogated by police investigating the alleged attack on Jussie Smollett in Chicago told authorities that the "Empire" actor allegedly paid them to help him orchestrate and stage the crime, sources told ABC News on Sunday.

Detectives have not independently verified the allegations, said a law enforcement source briefed on the investigation, throughout which Smollett has cooperated with police, according to the actor's legal team.

ABC News' Josh Margolin and Stephanie Wash discuss the latest developments.

2. California to sue Trump

President Donald Trump on Friday declared a national emergency to "confront the national security crisis on our southern border."

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said Sunday on "This Week" that his state "definitely and imminently" will be filing a lawsuit in response.

ABC News Supreme Court Contributor Kate Shaw says she thinks the Trump administration won't be looking to speed up any potential rulings around the order.

PHOTO: President Donald Trump speaks during an event in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington, D.C., to declare a national emergency in order to build a wall along the southern border, Feb. 15, 2019.
President Donald Trump speaks during an event in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington, D.C., to declare a national emergency in order to build a wall along the southern border, Feb. 15, 2019.
Susan Walsh/AP

3. Venezuela aid blocked

A second wave of U.S. humanitarian aid intended for Venezuela arrived on Saturday at the Colombian border town of Cucuta -- and there it remains.

President Nicolas Maduro, clinging to power as opposition to his regime grows, refuses to allow it into Venezuela.

Freelance journalist Cody Weddle tells us Maduro has been quietly reaching out foreign powers looking to secure more support.

PHOTO: Venezuelan migrant Yanela Aleman cries as she sings her national anthem in La Parada, near Cucuta, Colombia, on the border with Venezuela, Feb. 17, 2019.
Venezuelan migrant Yanela Aleman cries as she sings her national anthem in La Parada, near Cucuta, Colombia, on the border with Venezuela, Feb. 17, 2019.
Fernando Vergara/AP

4. Former cardinal defrocked

Over the weekend, the Catholic Church officially defrocked Theodore McCarrick, the former cardinal of Washington, D.C., after an investigation into sexual abuse allegations.

McCarrick has been accused of molesting a 16-year-old altar boy while working in the Archdiocese of New York decades ago. He denied the allegation but has not commented on his punishment by the church.

ABC News' David Wright has the latest.

PHOTO: Retired Cardinal Theodore McCarrick stands before the Mass of Installation for Archbishop Donald Wuerl at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception Washington D.C., June 22, 2006.
Retired Cardinal Theodore McCarrick stands before the Mass of Installation for Archbishop Donald Wuerl at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception Washington D.C., June 22, 2006.
Joshua Roberts/Reuters, FILE

Other news:

'Enough people in the Senate who are concerned': Sen. Tammy Duckworth says on "This Week" that Congress could propose a resolution ending the president's national emergency declaration.

'It appears that there are some material untruths or lies in that affidavit, and that's a problem': A narcotics agent in Houston is accused of lying to get a warrant for a raid that kills two people and gets four officers, including himself, shot.

'Oakland teachers cannot afford to live in Oakland': More than 3,000 educators vote to strike.

From our partners at FiveThirtyEight:

Did the Cubs miss their chance to be a dynasty? ... Chicago seemed poised to follow up that magical run by becoming a dynasty in the coming seasons. That's not quite how things have played out.

Last 'Nightline':

Serial killer Ted Bundy's murder spree instills fear in the Pacific Northwest: Part 1: After being arrested in Utah, Bundy was found guilty of aggravated kidnapping for his failed attempt to abduct Carol DaRonch. He later escaped police custody while awaiting trial there for murder.

VIDEO:  Serial killer Ted Bundy's murder spree instills fear in the Pacific Northwest: Part 1
After being arrested in Utah, Bundy was found guilty of aggravated kidnapping for his failed attempt to abduct Carol DaRonch. He later escaped police custody while awaiting trial there for murder.

Ted Bundy on the run makes his final stop in Florida: Part 2: Bundy was sentenced to death in the electric chair for the murders of Margaret Bowman and Lisa Levy and for the murder of Kimberly Leach. He was executed Jan. 24, 1989.

VIDEO:  Ted Bundy on the run makes his final stop in Florida: Part 2
Bundy was sentenced to death in the electric chair for the murders of Margaret Bowman and Lisa Levy and for the murder of Kimberly Leach. He was executed on Jan. 24, 1989.

Today's must-see photo:

A rainbow is seen as SDF fighters keep watch from a rooftop on the outskirts of Baghouz, Syria. (photo credit: Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

PHOTO: SDF fighters keep watch from a rooftop on the outskirts of Bagouz, Feb. 17, 2019, in Bagouz, Syria.
SDF fighters keep watch from a rooftop on the outskirts of Bagouz, Feb. 17, 2019, in Bagouz, Syria.
Chris McGrath/Getty Images

For more great photos from around the world CLICK HERE.

Literally hot on social:

Flames spew from a manhole in New York City after people in the area reported several explosions.

VIDEO: Flames spew from a manhole in New York City after people in the area reported several explosions.
Flames spew from a manhole in New York City after people in the area reported several explosions.

All right, you're off and running. Get the latest news on ABCNews.com and on the ABC News app. Details on how to subscribe to "Start Here" are below. See you tomorrow.

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