FROM Adam Schiff
Can America's top law enforcement officer investigate himself? Attorney General Jeff Sessions is accused of "misleading" fellow Senators during his confirmation hearing — and possibly lying in response to written questions. It's all about whether he met with Russia's ambassador as a surrogate for candidate Donald Trump and an advisor to his presidential campaign. Democrats and even some Republicans want him to recuse himself from overseeing an FBI investigation -- if one is going on. Others want him to resign. Note: After our discussion aired, Sessions issued a statement on recusal .
Democrats demand investigation into Trump's ties with Russia President Trump has effectively fired his National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, who tendered his resignation last night. Today, Press Secretary Sean Spicer told reporters, "We got to a point not based on a legal issue but based on a trust issue -- where the level of trust between the President and General Flynn had eroded where he felt he had to make a change." Several Republican Senators have called for investigation. Democrat Adam Schiff, the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, agrees.
Could Russia cause chaos on Election Day? In politics, the worst fear is that voting results can be manipulated by outside sources. Could Russian hackers play a role in November's elections? The answer is "Yes." Photo by kafka4prez "If it's a computer, it can be hacked." That's according to Richard Clarke , who was cyber-security policy advisor to Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama. Democratic Congressman Adam Schiff from Los Angeles is ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee. He has more on what's possible — and what's not — on Election Day in November.
Will the Body Count in Orlando Make a Difference on Capitol Hill? The massacre of 20 children at Sandy Hook Elementary failed to generate the political will for some form of gun regulation in 2012. Now 49 people have been gunned down at a gay club in Orlando – in the worst mass shooting in American history, and Democrats are feuding with Republicans again in the House and the Senate. The latest proposals involve the "gun-show loophole" and the no-fly list. Are the prospects for action better now than they were four years ago? The country already has more guns than people, and the NRA is especially powerful in an election year.
The FBI Wants Apple to Cast Light on 'The Dark Web' The dispute pitting law enforcement against cyber security is dividing members of Congress — and veterans of US intelligence. FBI Director James Comey went to Capitol Hill this week to explain his demand that Apple provide a so-called "back door" to the iPhone of the San Bernardino terrorist Sayed Farook. One surprising opponent is retired General Michael Hayden, who led the CIA and directed the National Security Agency's wiretaps without warrants. He's now a security consultant in the private sector, and he's siding with Silicon Valley against the FBI. We also hear why so-called "back doors" to encryption are not just an issue of an individual's right to privacy but a real danger to American security.
All LAUSD Schools Closed Due to Terror Threat Almost 700,000 students in America's second largest school district were told to stay home today -- when almost 1000 schools were closed because of a terrorist threat deemed "credible" by Superintendent Ramon Cortines.
Terrorism: Diplomacy and Politics In the aftermath of the attacks on Paris, France wants a "grand and single coalition" against ISIS — including the US and Russia. That may be easier said than done . Prime Minister Cameron has agreed to join in conducting airstrikes against ISIS if Parliament approves; and President Putin was in Tehran for talks with Iran's Supreme Leader, who tweeted continued support for Syrian President al-Assad. But President Obama, despite facing increased calls for greater involvement, says he will only be willing if Russia abandons Syria's Assad regime. Meantime, intelligence agencies say the real threat to America is not from overseas, but from home-grown sympathizers -- especially as anti-Islamic rhetoric increases. Will US politics and diplomacy matter if Muslim countries don't lead the charge against ISIS on their own?
Netanyahu’s Victory and About-Face Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has locked up reelection, after a campaign that included rejecting a Palestinian state and a speech before U.S. Congress criticizing the nuclear deal the White House was pursuing with Iran. Neither was welcome news to the Obama administration. The President was not consulted about the speech. Obama also supports a two-state solution in the Middle East. So what does Netanyahu’s re-election mean for an already-tense relationship with the White House?
Mistrust between the US and Israel Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu is running for re-election — at the same time jumping with both feet into American politics. First, he agreed to address the President's nuclear talks with Iran before a joint session of Congress — without telling the White House. The Obama Administration now suspects him of leaking what it calls "misleading" details about the talks with Iran, creating more mistrust. Vice President Biden and other Democrats — including some Jews — will stay away from the speech. Will Israel gain or lose with the American public?
Has Obama's War on Terror Lost a Key Ally? Since the attempted underwear bombing of 2009, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula has not been accused of trying to attack the United States. But its operatives in Yemen have increased from hundreds to thousands — and they claim responsibility for the massacre at Charlie Hebdo. Yesterday, the US conducted its first drone attack of the year against al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. Are President Obama's drone strikes keeping America safe? He admits his strategy is "not neat and not simple," but he calls it "the best option we have." After last week's collapse of a sympathetic Yemini government, is that still true?
Funding for Earthquake Early Warning System Part of the $1.1 trillion in federal spending approved by Congress is $5 million for an earthquake warning system in California. Democrat Adam Schiffrepresents Burbank and Glendale in a district that includes the Jet Propulsion Lab in La Cañada-Flintridge.
Airstrikes Just the Beginning of a Long Campaign President Obama says the participation of five Arab states in last night’s attacks in Iraq “shows the world that this is not America’s fight alone.” The President did not ask Congress for authority to strike targets in Syria. Instead, he relied on intelligence claims that the US was facing an attack on the homeland. Tomorrow, he’ll chair a meeting of the UN Security Council and make the case for a broader coalition.
Will a New Helicopter Noise Law Make Anyone Happy? When President Obama signed the federal budget, it included a new law that attempts to reduce the noise from helicopters in Los Angeles County. It exempts both fire and police helicopters from any restrictions. Democratic Congressman Adam Schiff is the author. He comes from Burbank and represents parts of the Hollywood Hills and the San Fernando Valley.
Crunch Time for Reforming the NSA Since Edward Snowden revealed that the National Security Agency tracks every American phone call, President Obama has been under pressure. In a speech Friday, he'll try to balance demands for privacy against the rule that, when it comes to acts of terror, intelligence agencies can't be wrong — even once. But, while the NSA claims its massive collection of "metadata" has made America safer, both a White House panel and independent research are suggesting otherwise. We look at the President's options, including increased oversight by the courts and Congress and limits on the who, when and why of NSA spying.
The President, Congress and the 'Red Line' in Syria Republican John Boehner and Democrat Nancy Pelosi left the White House today supporting President Obama's plan to punish Syria's use of chemical weapons. But both the parties they lead are sharply divided. So why has the President asked Congress to debate a decision he says he's already made? Without more international backing, does he need time to plead his case to the American people? What if Congress says "no?" What's at stake for American security and international sanctions against weapons of mass destruction?
Is Electronic Surveillance Out of Control? When Edward Snowden revealed that Americans' phone calls and emails were being sucked up by government computers, the President called for a "national conversation." Yesterday, a former judge told the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board he was " frankly stunned " at what's now allowed by the secret court he once served on. How did the National Security Agency get so much power? Do the courts and the Congress understand the technology, let alone provide real supervision? We hear about constitutional rights and homeland security as the "national conversation" gets under way.
Is America turning its back on the world? President Trump has made no secret of his contempt for the United Nations — and he's not alone. But, will proposed cuts in US contributions be counterproductive to America's role in the world and to national security?
East Asia: President Trump's first foreign policy test Starting with North Korea's latest test of nuclear missiles, a chain of events is causing instability in Asia. Could it turn into the first real foreign policy crisis of the Trump Administration?
Trump's travel ban and the long-term agenda The Trump Administration's revised travel ban may be good news for some visa holders and others, but it's still being challenged as unconstitutional. Some reporters call it the beginning of a long-term effort to change the demographic make-up of the United States.
Getting answers on phone taps, Russia and leaking The Directors of the FBI and the NSA testified on Capitol Hill today there's no evidence for President Trump's claim he was wire-tapped by former President Obama. We'll hear about that and the investigation into Russian tampering with last year's presidential campaign.