FROM Matt Zapotosky
Rod Rosenstein is in the hot seat Republican Rod Rosenstein -- appointed by Donald Trump to oversee the Russia investigation -- faced heated attacks by fellow Republicans at a hearing today. We learn what happened, and why.
How many White House staffers only have partial security clearance? FBI Director Christopher Wray on Tuesday contradicted the White House’s claim that Rob Porter’s background check wasn’t complete. Porter stepped down as President Trump’s staff secretary last week following news that his two ex-wives and a former girlfriend accused him of domestic violence. We learn why Porter - plus Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner - were granted only temporary security clearance, and what the whole vetting process entails.
Friendly fire in the Trump Administration as president berates AG America's top law enforcement officer is in danger of losing his job. After two days of caustic presidential tweets about Attorney General Jeff Sessions, press secretary Sara Huckabee Sanders was asked about his standing at today's White House briefing. She acknowledged the president's disappointment in Sessions, but told reporters, "I think that's a decision that, if the president wants to make, he certainly will. That frustration certainly hasn't gone away and, you know, I don't think it will." Matt Zapotosky, who covers the Justice Department for the Washington Post 's National Security Team, says the president's anger – not just with Sessions, but with the Justice Department as a whole -- has been simmering for months.
Reviving the war on drugs Barack Obama's Attorney General, Eric Holder, ordered federal prosecutors not to bring charges against minor drug offenders that could lead to lifelong penalties. Today, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said those days are over. "Going forward I have empowered our prosecutors to charge and pursue the most serious offense as I believe the law requires, most seriously readily available offense." Matt Zapotosky of the Washington Post says the new policy will likely lead to more federal prosecutions as well as an increase in the federal prison population.
Private prisons: justice and profits Incarcerating criminal convicts is part of the justice system, which is run by government. So, why do we have private prisons? It goes back to the Reagan Administration, the War on Drugs and the crackdown on crime, which led federal prisons to be overcrowded. But the government refused to build new ones. Privatization was said to be cheaper and more efficient — and a new, very profitable, industry was born. Now, the Obama Administration says private prisons are unsafe, unhealthy and too expensive. As it ends the practice , will states and the Immigration Service go along?
FBI Won’t Recommend Criminal Charges in Clinton Email Investigation FBI Director James Comey announced today that the agency does not recommend bringing criminal charges against Hillary Clinton in the case involving her handling of classified information as secretary of state. Comey did, however, denounce Clinton and her colleagues for the way they handled the private email server. Matt Zapotosky is covering the story for the Washington Post.
Who's to blame for the opioid crisis? Some of the lawyers who took on Big Tobacco are now going after Big Pharma. It’s all about the deadly epidemic of opioid use. Are the drug companies to blame? What about the users? Later, on today’s Talking Point: making sense of Britain’s upset election.
Janesville and the American Dream Janesville, Wisconsin is the hometown of Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan. But he couldn’t prevent the closing of the General Motors factory after 100 years. On this Memorial Day rebroadcast of To the Point, we hear what’s happened to what once was a model of American middle-class unity.
Terrorism and tweets, hate speech and murder Just days before an election, Britain is coping with a rash of deadly terrorism, and Prime Minister Theresa May is on the defensive. And again today, President Trump has tweeted criticism of the Mayor of London. Later, a double murder in Portland, Oregon has revealed the ugly past of a supposedly “progressive” city. One immediate question: is “hate speech” protected by the First Amendment?
Replacing Obamacare: Now you see it… now you don’t As the Senate deliberates replacing Obmacare, health coverage for millions of people is at stake. There've been no public hearings, and a draft measure won't be made public. Is the House version so unpopular that that Senate is hiding a version that looks much the same?