FROM Patrice McDermott
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?
Is Our Government Keeping Too Many Secrets? Bill Clinton's Attorney General, Janet Reno, ordered that government agencies should tell American citizens what they wanted to know, as long as it would "do no harm." After September 11, John Ashcroft changed the standard to tell the public less, rather than more, saying he would defend in court any legal argument against releasing information. While the argument is that, especially in times of war, it's best to err on the side of caution, critics contend that too much secrecy is counterproductive and destroys the openness that leads to trust in representative government. Last week, the House passed what's called "sunshine" legislation . If it passes the Senate, the White House threatens a presidential veto. We talk about privacy, national security--and political embarrassment.
Political appointments and the reshaping of the judiciary President Trump has the chance for a long-term impact -- not just on the US Supreme Court, but on the entire federal court system. And his nominees are likely to get the support of a massive spending campaign by donors who don't have to reveal their names. Can President Trump "pack" the federal court system?
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.
The airline electronics ban and what it means President Trump's Department of Homeland Security has banned all electronic devices larger than cell phones on some foreign airlines flying direct to the US. It's causing confusion as well as inconvenience. Is the motive really just increased security?