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Comey Hearing Confirms Counter-Intel Investigation into Trump Campaign; No Evidence of Trump’s Wiretap Claim

FBI Director James Comey announced on Monday that his bureau’s probe of suspected Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election also includes looking into alleged ties between Trump campaign officials and Moscow. In testimony before the House intelligence community, Comey provided few other details about the inquiry and which individuals might be targets. He did note that the probe was initiated late July of last year. “I have been authorized by the DOJ to confirm that the FBI, as part of our counterintelligence mission, is investigating… Keep Reading

Corruption Case Against Sen. Menendez Can Proceed, SCOTUS Rules

The Supreme Court won’t consider throwing out corruption charges filed against Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.). Justices did not give any reasoning for not granting Menendez a hearing, as is the norm. The lawmaker’s appeal was one of many on Monday that the high court declined to hear. The decision means prior rulings on the indictment will stand, and that a criminal trial can now proceed this fall. Last summer, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia rejected Menendez’s arguments for dismissing the charges. Menendez… Keep Reading

Senior Navy Officials Accused of Interfering in Sexual Assault Investigation

The Pentagon is investigating charges that senior Navy officials “adversely affected the independence” of an internal probe into the “career paths” of those who claim to be victims of sexual assault. The Department of Defense Inspector General said Wednesday that it is launching the inquiry after receiving “hotline allegations.” Carolyn Hantz, an official within the Pentagon’s primary watchdog, disclosed the opening of the investigation in a letter her naval counterparts. “This evaluation will include but is not limited to reviewing relevant supporting documentation and interviews… Keep Reading

Trump the Slasher Releases 2018 Budget: Climate Change, Job Assistance, the Arts Take Backseat to War and the Wall

Fifteen major government departments would see their funding cut, and 19 agencies would be completely eliminated under the proposed budget released by the White House on Thursday. The preliminary document calls for massive spending reductions at the Environmental Protection Agency, the State Department, the Agricultural Department, and the Labor Department. All would see more than a fifth of their budget go up in smoke. The cutbacks finance significant spending increases at three departments: Defense (up 9 percent), Homeland Security (up 7 percent), and Veterans’ Affairs… Keep Reading

Congress Approves of Drug Test Measure that “Vilifies Unemployed Workers”

Congress has voted to jettison Labor Department regulations that limit who can be drug-tested before collecting unemployment benefits from state governments. The Senate on Tuesday passed a resolution under the Congressional Review Act, disapproving of the rule in a 51-48 party line vote. Lawmakers in the House had already advanced the measure, and it now only needs the signature of President Trump before the Obama-era framework is fully scrapped. “It isn’t some fringe or mean-spirited notion that there’s a connection between the use of illegal… Keep Reading

Charges Filed Against Russian Hackers—Unrelated to DNC, Podesta Breach

The Justice Department filed charges against Russian intelligence operatives for their alleged role in a 2014 cyber attack against a half-million Yahoo users. The indictments mark the first time that any such charges have been brought against members of the Russian government, which is often accused by US officials of sponsoring aggressive cyber warfare. Four people were charged altogether. Among those standing accused of hacking, economic espionage, and wire fraud, are Dmitry Dokuchaev and Igor Sushchin—members of the FSB, a Russian intelligence and law enforcement… Keep Reading

Federal Judge: FBI Can Keep Secret Rules on Warrantless Espionage of Reporters

A federal judge in San Francisco declined on Monday to force the FBI to reconsider a request to divulge guidelines for spying on journalists without a warrant. District Judge Haywood Gilliam Jr. ruled that the agency had properly responded to public records requests at the heart of the litigation, under Freedom of Information Act requirements. The Freedom of the Press Foundation, which filed the lawsuit, had claimed the FBI failed to reference a relevant memo, in response to prior FOIA requests and litigation filed by… Keep Reading

Watchdog Calls for Conflict-of-Interest Probe Into Trump Advisor

A Washington-based non-profit organization is calling on the White House counsel to determine if one of Trump’s assistants broke laws on self-dealing. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) filed a complaint on Tuesday, alleging that Christopher Liddell–a presidential aide and the Director of Strategic Initiatives–blended governmental duties with his own private interests. In a letter to White House Counsel Donald McGahn, the liberal watchdog group laid out its case against Liddell, and suggested the matter be turned over to the Justice Department for a criminal… Keep Reading

Trump Budget Puts 12 Million People at Risk of Losing Housing

Twelve million Americans could find themselves less secure in their housing situation, if President Trump’s budget is approved by Congress. Proposed cuts to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) could see 8 million people lose public housing, while an additional 4 million could see rental subsidies disappear, according to a report published Sunday by The Washington Post. The newspaper, which obtained the information in a “preliminary budget document,” said that overall outlined cuts to HUD would see the agency’s budget erode by $6… Keep Reading

Trump Pentagon Considering More Troops for Afghanistan War

The Trump Administration is considering the deployment of more troops to Afghanistan, according to testimony Thursday before the Senate Armed Services Committee. Gen. Joseph Votel, the leader of US Central Command, told the panel that the Pentagon is developing a new strategy, and that it will likely include an uptick in soldiers serving in the 15-year-old conflict. “I do believe that it will involve additional forces to ensure that we can make the ‘advise and assist’ mission more effective,” Votel told committee chair John McCain… Keep Reading

Pruitt Flings Open E.P.A. Doors to Anti-Science Conservative Ideologues

Donald Trump’s top environmental regulator said Thursday that he doesn’t believe carbon dioxide is the main factor changing the planet’s climate. Environmental Protection Agency head Scott Pruitt told CNBC that the cause for ongoing warming is still undetermined, when asked if the carbon emissions made up the “primary contributor” to ongoing planetary changes. “I think that measuring with precision human activity on the climate is something very challenging to do and there’s tremendous disagreement about the degree of impact, so no, I would not agree… Keep Reading

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