Mar 17, 2018

Democrats fuming over new efforts to stop Russia probe

Senate Judiciary Committee member Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA): Photo: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

A growing number of Democrats are lambasting Attorney General Jeff Sessions' decision to fire Former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe on Friday.

The big picture: This was compounded by President Trump’s personal lawyer, John Dowd, urging Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to shut down Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.

What they're saying:

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.): "Jeff Sessions needs to testify immediately before the Judiciary Committee to answer questions on the firing of Andrew McCabe. He must explain the DOJ’s process and whether this is an attempt to target, punish or silence those investigating Russia and the Trump campaign."

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.): "In the absence of the IG report, it’s impossible to evaluate the merits of this harsh treatment of a 21-year FBI professional. That it comes after the President urged the DOJ to deprive McCabe of his pension, and after his testimony, gives the action an odious taint."

  • Another tweet: "The President, through his lawyer, called on DOJ to end Mueller probe. Obstruction of justice is no less a threat to our democracy when done in the open than behind closed doors. Every representative should condemn this flagrant abuse of power or stop pretending devotion to duty. "

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) in a series of tweets: "McCabe firing is an undisguised attack on Special Counsel investigation - attempting to undermine him as a witness. Added evidence of obstruction of justice.

  • McCabe firing - a shot at Special Counsel - makes legislation protecting the investigation more vital than ever. Investigation putting Oval Office under siege - raising specter of more firings.
  • Firing McCabe - a possible witness to obstruction - exemplifies Pres. Trump’s total contempt for the rule of law. He will stop at nothing to undermine the Mueller investigation.
  • Firing McCabe threatens professional law enforcement with blatant political interference - a disservice to dedicated men and women of FBI and other agencies.

Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.): "Every member of Congress, Republican and Democrat, needs to speak up in defense of the Special Counsel. Now."

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Acting Navy head apologizes for calling fired captain "stupid"

Acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly testifies on Capitol Hill in December. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly apologized Monday for calling Capt. Brett Crozier, the ousted commander of the USS Theodore Roosevelt, "too naïve or too stupid" over his letter pleading for help following a coronavirus outbreak onboard.

The big picture: His apology came after President Trump told a news briefing earlier Monday he would "get involved" following a leak of Modly's remarks to the ship's crew on Crozier, who has since been diagnosed with coronavirus, which were obtained by CNN.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 56 mins ago - Politics & Policy

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  3. 2020 update: Wisconsin Supreme Court blocks governor's attempt to delay in-person primary voting delayed until June.
  4. States latest: West Coast states send ventilators to New York and other states with more immediate need — Data suggest coronavirus curve may be flattening in New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.
  5. World update: U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson moved to intensive care as coronavirus symptoms worsen.
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Former Vatican treasurer George Pell's sexual abuse convictions overturned

Cardinal George Pell at the County Court in Melbourne, Australia, in 2019. Photo: Michael Dodge/Getty Images

George Pell, the former Vatican treasurer, has won his appeal and had his child sexual abuse convictions overturned by Australia's High Court.

Why it matters: The cardinal became last year the highest-ranking Catholic Church official to go to trial and be convicted for sex abuse. But the High Court's ruling means he can be immediately released from prison, where he was serving a six-year sentence.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - World