Comey asked Justice Dept. for money and manpower to investigate Russia/Trump days before he was fired: NYT

Former FBI director James Comey asked the Justice Department for “a significant increase in money and personnel for the bureau’s investigation into Russia’s interference in the presidential election” right before Trump fired him, reports the New York Times. That would sure explain a lot about why Trump suddenly delivered the surprise sacking yesterday. Read the rest

Every member of congress's reaction to Trump firing the FBI Director investigating him

@vidiot_ on Twitter compiled 536 reactions from members of Congress into a simple, easily-scanned Google spreadsheet.

Many haven't said a thing. Democrats seem united in criticism of Trump. Republicans are mostly silent on the matter, with a dozen or so on the record. Of those, they're about equally split between praise and criticism of the firing.

Don't expect Congress to do anything about it. Trump's gift is for grift, and the art of grift is in spotting weak assumptions. What do people think can't be done, but have no will or means to punish or prevent? Read the rest

Report: Trump fired Comey because he would not publicly clear Trump of Russia ties

Trump fired FBI Director James Comey because he "would not publicly state that there were no links between Trump and Russians," reports MSN, citing a paywalled article at The Wall Street Journal. He also hated Comey's relentless attention-seeking from the media, which offered Trump a staggeringly narcissistic excuse to fire him: inappropriate treatment of Hillary's emails.

...there was growing frustration among President Donald Trump’s associates that the former FBI director would not tamp down questions about the president’s alleged connection to Russia. He refused to “say those three little words: ‘There’s no ties,'” the source told WSJ about Trump’s decision to fire Comey without any forewarning. Comey was appointed in 2013 and had not yet served 6 years of what should have been a 10-year term. ... A White House source also said Trump was upset about what he viewed as the former director’s willingness to jump in front of cameras and questioned whether Comey could be independent while keeping such a high media profile. Another White House aide described the former FBI director as a show horse.

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FBI investigating Trump campaign's Russia links, says no info supports Trump's wiretapping claims

At a hearing of the House Intelligence Committee, FBI Director James Comey confirmed Monday that the FBI had launched an investigation into Russian efforts to influence 2016's presidential election and into links and coordination between Donald Trump's presidential campaign and the Russian government.

"Because it is classified, I cannot say more about what we are doing and whose conduct we are investigating," he told the committee, admitting that this would only make the disclosure frustrating. "... we will follow the facts wherever they lead."

He also rebutted the suggestion, presented by Trump on Twitter and elsewhere, that former president Barack Obama wiretapped Trump tower during the election campaign.

"I have no information that supports those tweets, and we have looked carefully inside the FBI," said Comey.

"No individual in the United States can direct surveillance of another individual," he said in response to a question about whether the President had the statutory power to do so. "...No president could."

Asked whether he'd seen any evidence of British involvement in the alleged wiretapping, NSA director Michael Rogers, also attending the hearing, denied it unequivocally.

"That would be expressly against the construct of the Five Eyes agreement," he said, referring to the intelligence-sharing agreement between major western powers in which the US and UK are partners.

Prompted, he agreed with the British that that it was a "ridiculous" suggestion, adding that "it frustrates a key ally of ours."

The hearing is currently underway.

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FBI clears Clinton: "new" emails were duplicates, irrelevant

The FBI has cleared Hillary Clinton over the "new" emails found on disgraced Democratic politician Anthony Weiner's seized computer. The emails, which the FBI thought may be relevant to an earlier investigation of Clinton's inappropriate use of a private email server while in office, turned out to be mostly duplicates of those already covered by the investigation.

FBI Director James Comey told lawmakers Sunday the agency hasn't changed its opinion that Hillary Clinton should not face criminal charges after a review of new emails.

"Based on our review, we have not changed our conclusions that we expressed in July," Comey wrote in the new letter to congressional committee chairmen. Comey dropped a bombshell on the presidential race last month when he sent a letter to Congress saying the FBI had discovered emails in a separate investigation that could be connected to the now-closed probe of whether Clinton mishandled classified information. The move infuriated Democrats and emboldened Republican nominee Donald Trump.

The announcement brings to an end a week of political chaos triggered by Comey's vague letter insinuating—at least to Republicans and the media—that Clinton once again risked legal sanction over the personal email account. Comey, in an oddly Comey-centered press event earlier this summer, then described the private email server as inappropriate but not something worthy of indictment.

In the days that followed Comey's letter to congress, sent barely two weeks before election day, even Clinton's foes found themselves discomfited by the FBI's exquisitely-timed involvement in domestic politics. Trump, though, exalted as polls tightened: though Clinton still leads, the possibility of a landslide (or indeed a Democrat Senate) is now deemed less likely by poll trackers. Read the rest

President Obama slams FBI's Comey on email decision: ‘We Don’t Operate on Incomplete Information’

President Obama made his first public comment on the recent FBI/Clinton email hijinks, just days before the election. Read the rest

Today, Congress finally showed it's willing to fight the FBI on encryption

It took a while, but FBI director Jim Comey got a little bit of the grilling he has earned in the FBI vs. Apple case. Freedom of the Press Foundation's Trevor Timm writes on today's House Judiciary Committee hearings on Capitol Hill, at which both the government and the Cupertino tech giant were represented. Read the rest