Comey Sought to Expand Russia Inquiry

Thursday, May 11, 2017Screen Shot 2017-05-11 at 11.29.49 AM

Good Thursday morning, 
Here are some of the stories making news in Washington and politics today:
— The First Draft Team

5 Ways Politics and Legal Matters Mixed

By MATT APUZZO
Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House deputy press secretary, briefing reporters on Wednesday. “I don’t think there’s a necessary need” for the Justice Department to appoint a special prosecutor, she said.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House deputy press secretary, briefing reporters on Wednesday. “I don’t think there’s a necessary need” for the Justice Department to appoint a special prosecutor, she said. Doug Mills/The New York Times

President Trump’s abrupt firing of James B. Comey as F.B.I. director stunned Washington and prompted bipartisan concerns that Mr. Trump was interfering with the independence of the agency. Nonetheless, the episode was only one of several moments that, in a more conventional administration and during less tumultuous times, would be seen as political intrusions in matters of law enforcement.
Have a look at other such instances »
A photographer from TASS, Russia’s official news agency, captured President Trump’s meeting with the Russian foreign minister, Sergey V. Lavrov, in the Oval Office on Wednesday. The American press was denied access.

Trump Bars U.S. Press, but Not Russia’s, at Meeting With Russian Officials

By JULIE HIRSCHFELD DAVIS

White House officials blocked reporters from covering the meeting with President Trump and top Russian officials but gave a Russian photographer access.

The J. Edgar Hoover F.B.I. building in Washington on Tuesday. Morale inside the bureau has taken a hit with the firing of its director, agents say.

Inside the F.B.I., Stunned Agents Wonder About Future of Russia Inquiry

By ADAM GOLDMAN AND CHARLIE SAVAGE

Agents said that they were still under a cloud from the F.B.I.’s role in the election and that President Trump’s firing of James B. Comey further hurt morale.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaking in New York last month.

How Does Comey’s Fall Play in Hillaryland? No One’s Celebrating

By MARK LANDLER

Hillary Clinton’s satisfaction at seeing the F.B.I. director lose his job is offset by worries that it could derail the Russia inquiry, her friends say.

How Every Lawmaker Has Reacted So Far to the F.B.I. Director’s Firing

By AUDREY CARLSEN, KENAN DAVIS, JASMINE C. LEE, K.K. REBECCA LAI, FORD FESSENDEN AND ADAM PEARCE

Reaction has ranged from support for the decision to calls for a special counsel.

Senator Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, arrived at the United States Capitol on Wednesday.
ON WASHINGTON

Comey’s Firing Could Imperil Republicans’ Legislative Agenda

By CARL HULSE

The dismissal added another volatile element to the partisanship engulfing the capital and raised the prospect of another confirmation fight in the Senate.

A ban on keeping large electronics such as laptops in carry-on baggage for flights to the United States from 10 Muslim-majority countries could be extended to cover all flights from Europe.

U.S. May Ban Laptops From Carry-On Baggage on Flights From Europe

By RON NIXON AND ERIC SCHMITT

The action would extend an order restricting travelers through airports in 10 Muslim-majority countries from carrying laptops, tablets and other devices in the cabin.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, right, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on Capitol Hill last week.

Democrats Aghast at Comey’s Firing, Despite Anger Toward Him

By NICHOLAS FANDOS

Democrats drew a distinction between their criticism of his investigation into Hillary Clinton and their feelings about his firing. President Trump called them hypocrites.

Rod J. Rosenstein, center, at his confirmation hearing to be deputy attorney general in March.

Justice Official’s Reputation for Impartiality Is Tested by Comey Firing

By REBECCA R. RUIZ

Rod J. Rosenstein, a career prosecutor who took pains to be apolitical, became the force behind the F.B.I. director’s firing two weeks after becoming deputy attorney general.

Representative Tom MacArthur angered constituents with an amendment on pre-existing conditions that helped the Republican health care bill pass in the House.

He Won House Health Care Battle, but Democrats Hope He’ll Lose Re-Election War

By EMMARIE HUETTEMAN

Tom MacArthur, a New Jersey Republican, helped woo the conservatives with an amendment on pre-existing conditions. Angry constituents at home have Democrats looking to an election fight.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the deputy White House press secretary, briefed reporters on Wednesday.
FACT CHECK

Fact Check: The White House’s Justifications for Firing Comey

By LINDA QIU

Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the deputy White House press secretary, made dubious claims to defend President Trump’s decision.

Speaker Paul D. Ryan touring the Accel Inc. packaging factory in New Albany, Ohio, on Wednesday.

Where’s Paul Ryan in All the Comey Chaos? In Ohio, Talking Taxes

By ALAN RAPPEPORT

Brushing off questions on the new drama that threatened to stall Republicans’ agenda, the House speaker stayed focused on a subject dear to his heart.

The author, seated at right, types out his New York Times article while Lindsay Walters, the special assistant to the president and deputy press secretary, distributes past statements by Senator Chuck Schumer about his lack of confidence in the F.B.I. director, James Comey.<br /><br /><br />

Breaking the News About Comey’s Firing, One Sentence at a Time

By MICHAEL D. SHEAR

“Sean just said it. Go. Put it up!” I yelled.

STRANGE DAYS

How Abnormal Was Comey’s Firing? Experts Weigh In

By QUOCTRUNG BUI, CLAIRE CAIN MILLER AND KEVIN QUEALY

A panel of governance experts said it was the most significant action so far in the Trump presidency, and among the most abnormal.

Dan Heyman, left, a reporter for the Public News Service in West Virginia, and his lawyer, J. Timothy DiPiero.

Reporter Arrested in West Virginia After Persistently Asking Questions

By CHRISTOPHER MELE

The reporter tried to get Tom Price, the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, to answer a question about the new health care legislation.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, second from left, with his counterparts from Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia in Vilnius, Lithuania, on Wednesday.

Jim Mattis, in Lithuania, Reaffirms U.S. Commitment to NATO

By GARDINER HARRIS

The defense secretary reassured Baltic nations rattled by recent Russian actions and by cyberattacks against NATO troops stationed in Lithuania.

John H. Thompson had served at the Census Bureau since 1975.

Census Director to Resign Amid Worries Over 2020 Head Count

By JONAH ENGEL BROMWICH

John H. Thompson had appeared at a congressional hearing last week to tell lawmakers that the next census was expected to run over its estimated cost.

Right and Left: Partisan Writing You Shouldn’t Miss
Read about how the other side thinks. We have collected political writing from around the web and across ideologies.
From the Right
• Mollie Hemingway in The Federalist:
“Anyone is welcome to believe that this firing was unwise, and to make the case for that, but it’s wise to make that case calmly.”
Mollie Hemingway believes Mr. Trump was right to fire Mr. Comey and lists the reasons the F.B.I. director had to go. She also addresses critics of the president who have described his action as a “coup,” writing: “Trump fired someone who worked for him. He fired someone in whom people in both major political parties had lost confidence.” Read more »
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From the Left
•  John Nichols in The Nation:
“Sessions should step down. Immediately.”
John Nichols reminds his readers that Mr. Sessions promised to recuse himself from all matters related to an investigation into Russia. Mr. Sessions’s involvement in Mr. Comey’s dismissal is intolerable to Mr. Nichols and grounds for removal. If Mr. Sessions refuses to resign, Mr. Nichols calls upon House Democrats and Republicans to move for his impeachment. Read more »
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