On Wednesday Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) said he had seen classified information indicating U.S. investigators had surveilled phone calls made from Trump Tower during the campaign. If you leave President Obama out of the allegation, what Rep. Nunes says may well be true. Comey said the FBI had been investigating since July and was looking into many different activities and persons. Breitbart News claims, implausibly, that the conversations had nothing to do with Russia.
The FBI’s widening investigation into Russian subversion is now looking into continuing threats against a Washington, D.C. pizza shop targeted by right-wing conspiracy mongers.
Comet Ping Pong Pizza, a popular, family-oriented shop in an upscale northwest Washington, D.C. neighborhood, came under relentless online attack last year because of its owner’s friendship with senior members of the Hillary Clinton campaign as well as David Brock, founder of Media Matters for America, a website that tracks press coverage critical of the Clintons.
After reciting some of the troubling facts in the Trump investigation, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), the committee’s ranking Democrat, observed that the likelihood of all these connections being merely coincidental is extremely small. Former White House counsel John Dean, whose 1973 testimony helped to break Nixon’s Watergate defense, went further, saying he sees the Trump White House in a familiar “cover-up mode.”
Director James B. Comey confirmed for the first time Monday that the FBI is investigating possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian authorities during the 2016 election campaign. Comey said the investigation was examining whether “there was any coordination” between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government.
“I think the president has one of two choices, either to retract [the wiretapping charge against Obama] or to provide the information that the American people deserve,” said the Arizona Republican on CNN.
Patriots must unite and start winding down this bizarre presidency. This is no longer about Republicans and Democrats; it’s about forestalling a national emergency.
The attack of a Sikh man in Washington state comes after a man of Indian origin was killed and two other people were wounded in a shooting at a Kansas bar that federal agencies are investigating as a hate crime.
An imperiled president says the state of the union demands radical change and asks the help of a supine Congress, while an imperiled administrative state seeks to protect constitutional government with the help of a burgeoning civil society protest movement and unknown allies in the FBI and CIA.
In the drama of Watergate, the Nixon White House was brought down by the coverup — notably its attempt to stymie the FBI. Similar maneuvers by the Trump White House in its current distress are sufficiently blatant and ridiculous to inspire a Danziger tableau.
Do Trump and his associates have something to hide — something even bigger and uglier than Watergate? The ferocity of their reactions certainly arouses suspicion, and so did their peculiar effort to conceal the misconduct of fired national security adviser Michael Flynn, which they attempted to hide even from the hapless vice president.
Spats between the White House and intelligence agencies are hardly new, though in decades past these feuds tended to be on policy grounds. Trump’s, however, is more personal. Now, the question is not whether he continues to wage war with the intelligence establishment—it is how far he is willing to go.
Top White House officials have been reviewing Flynn’s contacts with the Russians and whether he discussed the possibility of lifting U.S. sanctions on Russia once Trump took office. That would potentially be in violation of a law banning private citizens from engaging in foreign policy, known as the Logan Act.
“He’s not out of the woods,” said a U.S. official who is familiar with the transcripts of intercepted communications between Flynn and the Russian ambassador to the United States, Sergey Kislyak, in late December. This official said Flynn “did discuss sanctions.”
The FBI has been examining Flynn’s contacts with Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, according to reports. At issue is whether Flynn tried to undermine the Obama administration’s move to toughen sanctions against Moscow after concluding that Russia had meddled in the U.S. election.
Erring on the side of recklessness comes at a high price. It undermines the constitutional rights America values most. It harms our international image. It hands a recruitment tool to terrorists. We know this now. Time to apply the lesson.
In the short term, if the president just ignores the intelligence community that’s obviously extremely dangerous, because the decisions won’t be made based on the facts. But in the long run, you can actually have an impact on the intelligence community itself. So that a young person coming out of a graduate program decides instead of going to the CIA, I’m going to instead go to Goldman Sachs, and make a lot more money anyway.
The Trump dossier is an intelligence file, not a prosecution memo; its purpose is not to prove a case but to point a direction. And as subsequent coverage in the Guardian and Financial Times indicated, its author Christopher Steele is no mere purveyor of gossip. He is a highly respected and experienced former official of MI6, the British foreign intelligence service, where he oversaw the agency’s work in Russia and Eastern Europe for decades.
An unprecedented pre-presidential inauguration feud between Donald Trump and intelligence agencies that soon will be under his command could harm U.S. security if not quickly defused. These disputes could prompt the departure of personnel and lead those who remain to take fewer risks to counter security threats.
“What are Hillary Clinton’s people complaining about with respect to the F.B.I. Based on the information they had, she should never have been allowed to run – guilty as hell,” Trump wrote on Twitter on Friday.
The Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General said its probe would focus in part on decisions leading up to public communications by FBI Director James Comey regarding the Clinton investigation, and whether underlying investigative decisions may have been based on “improper considerations.”
Barred by the U.S. Constitution from seeking a third four-year-term, Obama told former adviser David Axelrod in a podcast that Americans would have backed his vision.
“I’m confident that if I had run again and articulated it, I think I could’ve mobilized a majority of the American people to rally behind it,” Obama said, referring to his 2008 campaign message of hope and change.
What exactly do Trump voters think they’re getting out of the Russian connection? Most simply don’t care. They’ve basically chosen party over country. They dislike Americans who vote Democratic far more than Putin, a distant figure. And most are too busy gloating and rationalizing Trump’s boasts to worry about the Kremlin’s arm lock on the White House.
After an Alex Jones listener attempted to “self-investigate” Pizzagate and ended up firing his gun inside the restaurant — and subsequent media coverage — Jones deleted the damning YouTube video.
In a letter filed in Manhattan federal court, Abedin said she was never provided a copy of the warrant, nor was her estranged husband, Anthony Weiner, whose computer contained the emails in question.
There is considerable anxiety about the potential for violence after a bitter national election. The data kept on hate crimes won’t reassure anyone.
James Comey should not simply be fired as director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. He must be barred forever from any form of public service.