FROM Josh Gerstein
James Comey testifies before the Judiciary Committee FBI Director James Comey was back before another Senate Committee today. Asked about telling Congress he was re-opening an investigation of Hillary Clinton just before last year’s election, he said he faced a terrible decision between speaking about or concealing news of the investigation. When pressed about insistence that his revelation made the difference in the election, he replied, "Look, this is terrible. It makes me mildly nauseous to think that we might have had some impact on the election but honestly it wouldn't change the decision." Josh Gerstein, senior White House reporter for Politico and a specialist in Justice and national security, says that Comey also confirmed that he himself is being investigated by the FBI inspector general.
Explaining the latest in Clinton email saga The election is a week away and now we have our October surprise. The FBI is examining tens of thousands of emails that may or may not be related to Hillary Clinton and her use of a private server. FBI director James Comey is being criticized for announcing the investigation on Friday . Some say he may have violated the law.
Inside the Clinton Wikileaks emails Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has promised to dump thousands more hacked emails from the Clinton campaign in the coming weeks. For the last week and a half, Wikileaks has dropped a new batch of emails every day. They come from the private gmail account of Clinton campaign chief John Podesta. So far we’ve seen juicy political gossip, behind-the-scenes strategy sessions and Podesta’s secret for cooking the perfect risotto. But what’s next?
State Department Report says Hillary Clinton Violated Email Rules There was more bad news for Hillary Clinton today from the State Department's Inspector General. An official report concludes that her use of a private e-mail server did not comply with the agency's policies on record-keeping while she was Secretary of State. Clinton herself has acknowledged that it wasn't "the best choice," but emphasizes, "I made a mistake. It was not prohibited. It was not in any way disallowed. And as I've said and as now has come out, my predecessors did the same thing." The website Politico obtained a copy of the report. Josh Gerstein is senior White House reporter.
Will a Reported Crime Wave Kill Criminal Justice Reform? Law-and-order Republicans and liberal Democrats agree: federal prisons are overcrowded because tough sentencing laws in the 1990's went too far. Bipartisan criminal-justice reforms have emerged in the House and the Senate, but the pace is slow. Politicians can't survive the charge of being "soft on crime." Now, after decades of declining crime rates, there's a reported increase — especially in homicides. Is it real? Will it put a stop to one of the few measures lawmakers agree on — in a presidential year?
E-Mail Gate: Is it Real or Politics as Usual? Hillary Clinton has joked about it, called it partisan and blamed it on turf wars between federal agencies, but questions about her use of private email as Secretary of State are not going away. Some intelligence officials say some messages should have been classified – two of them as Top Secret. The FBI is investigating a possible crime, and polls show serious damage to her credibility with the voters. Has Clinton’s damage-control effort backfired? Is the controversy creating an opening for Joe Biden to launch a campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination?
Dream Deferred for Undocumented and Obama The program that was supposed to help fix the nation's immigration crisis and anchor President Obama's legacy has hit another setback. President Obama first announced " deferred action " for undocumented immigrants in 2012. When Congress failed to act, the President announced even broader executive actions in 2014 to protect immigrants who came to the US illegally as children – as well as some parents of US citizens . Twenty-six states sued and a federal judge blocked the program. Yesterday, an appeals court panel upheld that decision . Josh Gerstein, senior White House reporter for Politico , has more on what it means for Obama's immigration efforts.
Attorney General Nominee Loretta Lynch Faces Senate Loretta Lynch will need at least three Republican votes from the Senate Judiciary Committee to become the first African American woman to serve as Attorney General of the United States. She would succeed Eric Holder, who has clashed with the GOP. In her opening statement as her confirmation hearing opened today, she said that she looked forward "to fostering a new and improved relationship with this committee, the United States Senate, and the entire United States Congress. A relationship based on mutual respect and Constitutional balance." Josh Gerstein is senior White House reporter for Politico .
Officials Warn that Torture Report Could Endanger US Lives The US Senate Intelligence Committee is about to release a scathing report on the CIA's so-called "black torture" sites during the Bush Administration. Secretary of State John Kerry reportedly has warned that the information could endanger American hostages overseas. But today, White House Press Secretary Josh Ernst gave it a thumbs up. Josh Gerstein is senior White House reporter for Politico .
Ebola: Public Health and Public Relations Ten thousand people – 70% of those infected -- have died of Ebola in West Africa, but experience in this country shows the virus is not a death sentence after all. In this country, one man died after a Dallas hospital failed to implement federal guidelines for treatment. All seven of the others who’ve been infected have recovered. Nevertheless, eight states have gone beyond federal guidelines to establish mandatory quarantines for those who’ve treated patients with the disease. The President says that might discourage healthcare workers from going to West Africa while there’s still time to prevent a worldwide epidemic. Are the governors taking prudent precautions or playing politics with public health?
Snail Mail Surveillance The U.S. government can tap phones, search emails and track cell phones. Now, a recent report shows investigators also do a fair amount of analog spying through snail mail. The United States Postal Service approved nearly 50,000 requests to monitor Americans’ mail last year for criminal and security investigations.
Clinton Documents Shed New Light on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” On Friday, the Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock released 10,000 pages of previously confidential documents. It’s the last batch of more than 30,000 pages of documents that have been released since February. They reveal new details about behind-the-scenes discussions of the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, among other things.
DNA Evidence If you get arrested for a felony crime here in California, the police can take a sample of your DNA. If you’re found to be innocent, though - and you aren’t convicted of the crime - the police will still hang onto your DNA profile. Privacy advocates hate this practice, and the ACLU challenged it in court. Yesterday, a federal court upheld it, and said California authorities can continue taking and storing suspects’ DNA.
Ricin Letter Sent to Obama Last week, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his gun control group received letters laced with the poison ricin. Today, the Secret Service confirms it intercepted a similar letter address to President Obama. Josh Gerstein is White House reporter for Politico .
Bradley Manning: Hero or Criminal? The pre-trial hearing is almost over in the biggest leak of classified documents in American history. Pfc. Bradley Manning is accused of giving a massive trove of information to WikiLeaks, which published some on line. Was US security damaged? If Manning was the leaker, did he betray his country or tell the public what it needed to know? If a court martial convicts him should he get life in prison? And there’s a broader question. Since much of the information released was inconsequential, why was it classified at all?
Russian probe gets jolt from Yates and Clapper Senate hearing Intelligence officials have long since concluded that Russia interfered in last year's US election. After yesterday's Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, what more do we know about the threat to future elections and how it's being handled by the Trump Administration?
A New York Times op-ed on climate change sparks uproar The New York Times is embroiled in a public furor over a new columnist, who wrote that scientific uncertainty is reason for debate about climate change. Many conservatives are delighted. Is America's leading liberal newspaper fostering climate denial? This is the latest in our series, "The Emotional States of America."
The free-flowing leaks in the Trump White House President Obama tried to clamp down on leakers, but the Trump Administration is besieged almost as never before. Are the "anonymous sources" partisans or worried professionals? Are they endangering the republic or performing a public service?