IRS Targeting, AP Dragnet: Obama and the Shadow of Scandal
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Washington is focused this week on potential scandals involving the FBI’s sweeping investigation of the Associated Press and the IRS targeting of conservative groups applying for tax exemptions. We look for the facts behind the accusations. Also, the Eurozone recession drags on. On Reporters Notebook, did the US send an amateur to spy on Russia?
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Eurozone Recession Drags On ()
The once-thriving Eurozone is sinking fast, with the economy contracting for the sixth straight quarter. Germany's slight recovery has failed to offset recessions in France and Italy. Brian Blackstone reports from Frankfurt for the Wall Street Journal.
The Obama Administration and the Shadow of Scandal ()
Attorney General Eric Holder is being grilled by a Congressional committee today about possible scandals in two agencies with investigative powers. The Obama Administration stands accused of abusing its powers to uncover leaks to reporters and make sure that taxes are being paid. In both cases, the devil is in the details. Was a terrorist threat really bad enough to justify the FBI's massive seizure of phone records from the Associated Press? Did the IRS target right-wing groups for partisan reasons or because they were more likely than liberal groups to be looking for tax exemptions? With the White House on the defensive against Republicans — and the national press corps — we update both stories.
- Kim Barker: ProPublica, @kim_barker
- Chris Littleton: Littleton and Associates, @clittleton
- Ed Kilgore: Democratic Strategist, @ed_kilgore
- Michael Crowley: Time magazine, @CrowleyTIME
American Spy Removed from Russia in Strange Caper ()
The State Department is not talking, but Russians are slapping their thighs about Ryan C. Fogle, officially third secretary of the political department of the US Embassy in Moscow. He's persona non grata after showing up at a meeting with what appeared to be spying gear amateurish enough to embarrass James Bond. Video released by the Russians first shows Fogle face down as a Russian agent pins his hands behind his back, then, later, being questioned by a Russian official with other US diplomats standing by.
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