FBI’s Comey Gets Word of His Sacking from TV; Trump-Kremlin Investigation Goes On
‘You’re fired!’ The Trump replay of his TV persona’s sacking of FBI director James Comey, which he learned about on TV while in Los Angeles, could endanger the political independence of the FBI. Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), who is leading the Intelligence Committee investigation into Russian interference in the election is calling the firing “a loss for the bureau and the nation.” The FBI has been investigating possible ties between Trump campaign associates and Russia. The Trump administration claimed Comey was fired over problems with the FBI investigation of Hillary Clinton’s private email server.
Grand jury probe. CNN reported that federal prosecutors have issued subpoenas to associates of former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn in the investigation into Russian meddling in the election.
Census director. John Thompson, the director of the U.S. Census Bureau, is stepping down on June 30. Thompson’s resigned as Congress budgeted less than half the $263 million increase the Census Bureau had requested for 2017. Census advocates say that budget jeopardizes the 2020 census and other surveys. Congressional districts will be redrawn after the census. Republicans likely gained at least 12 seats in the U.S. House after the last census with gerrymandering.
More government secrecy. U.S. Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) has sent letters to a dozen federal agencies the House Committee of Financial Services oversees declaring the documents and communications between the two offices won’t be seen by the public. Hensarling is the chair of the House committee. His letters say that these documents will be exempt from Freedom of Information Act requests. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and the National Credit Union Administration have all agreed not to produce documents requested under the Freedom of Information Act.
Visitor logs. Since Trump refuses to release records of who visits him at the White House or pretty much anywhere else Politico has created a database of anyone Trump is known to have spoken or met with since Jan. 20. Unsurprising findings: he has met with a lot of rich, white men–like United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz, who has had some public relations problems recently, and Robert Murray, the CEO of a coal company.
GoFccYourself. Comedian John Oliver urged viewers Sunday to tell the Federal Communications Commission their opinions about net neutrality where Internet providers must treat internet traffic equally. The FCC says a cyberattack led to people having trouble leaving comments. The new chairman of the FCC, Ajit Pai, wants to roll back net neutrality rules. The FCC is scheduled to vote May 18.