3 Stories You Should Read 5/14/2019: Elizabeth Warren, Dan McCready, William Barr
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In the category of: Henchman for hire
CIA, FBI, Director of National Intelligence working with Attorney General Barr to review Russia probe origins
Attorney General William Barr is working closely with the CIA to review the origins of the Russia investigation and surveillance issues surrounding Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, according to a source familiar with the matter, broadening an effort that the President has long demanded to involve all major national security agencies.
Barr is working in close collaboration with CIA Director Gina Haspel, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and FBI Director Christopher Wray, the source said.
There had been speculation as to why Haspel had been spotted at the Justice Department in recent weeks. Wray testified last week he was assisting Barr.
Trump often called for the Justice Department and others to review how the FBI began investigating the connection between his campaign and Russian meddling in the 2016 election. He told reporters Tuesday he did not direct Barr to call on intelligence agencies to join his review of the Russia probe.
“I didn’t ask him to do that,” Trump said at the White House ahead of his departure to Louisiana. “I didn’t know it.”
In the category of: Second act
The special election in a congressional district roiled by ballot tampering allegations, explained.
Democrats get a chance to win another House seat in North Carolina after a ballot tampering scandal overturned an apparent Republican win last year, and they’ll soon find out which Republican they’ll be running against.
In February, after a lengthy investigation, the North Carolina elections board reversed GOP candidate Mark Harris’s apparent 2018 win over Democrat Dan McCready in the Ninth Congressional District and ordered a new special election. The primary for the special election will be held on Tuesday, with the two parties selecting their candidates to fill the Ninth vacancy.
McCready, who trailed Harris by fewer than 1,000 votes in November, is running unopposed and is the presumptive Democratic nominee once again. But Harris, after the embarrassment of the state investigation, isn’t running. Republicans will have to find a new standard-bearer in their bid to hold on to the seat after a humiliating election fraud scandal snatched the win away from them.
During a remarkable hearing in February, state investigators laid out in detail an “unlawful,” “coordinated,” and well-funded plot to tamper with absentee ballots in a US House election that remained uncalled more than three months after Election Day. They established their theory of the case — that a Republican operative contracted by Harris’s campaign, Leslie McCrae Dowless, directed a coordinated scheme to unlawfully collect, falsely witness, and otherwise tamper with absentee ballots — and workers who said they had assisted him in the scheme delivered damning testimony describing their activities.
In the category: Stand your ground
The decision to shun the conservative network is a break from Sen. Bernie Sanders and other 2020 Democrats who have agreed to appear on Fox.
“Fox News is a hate-for-profit racket that gives a megaphone to racists and conspiracists ― it’s designed to turn us against each other, risking life & death consequences, to provide cover for the corruption that’s rotting our government and hollowing out our middle class,” Warren wrote in a series of tweets.
She said Fox News tries to sell itself as a “reputable news outlet” by mixing its “bigotry, racism, and outright lies” with some legitimate journalism in order to bring in ad money.
“A Democratic town hall gives the Fox News sales team a way to tell potential sponsors it’s safe to buy ads on Fox ― no harm to their brand or reputation (spoiler: it’s not),” she said. “I won’t ask millions of Democratic primary voters to tune into an outlet that profits from racism and hate in order to see our candidates ― especially when Fox will make even more money adding our valuable audience to their ratings numbers.”
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