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.
Trump's Russia ties intensify with Comey firing Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe contradicted the Trump White House today, insisting the Bureau had not lost faith in former Director James Comey. He promised to notify the committee of any interference into investigation of the Trump campaign's contacts with Vladimir Putin's Russia. What do we know about those contacts… and how they relate to Trump's business interests and those of his family?
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."
Trump fires FBI Director James Comey Vice President Mike Pence took the Administration's lead today in explaining why the President fired the Head of the FBI, saying, "The president made the right decision at the right time." Trump's action is being compared to the so-called "Saturday Night Massacre" that led to President Richard Nixon's resignation in 1973.