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January 1, DOJ Leak Probe Focuses on Comey



This Day in History | 1961

Dwight Eisenhower, the commanding general of the American military during World War II, ends his presidency with a televised farewell address including a warning to the nation about the “military industrial complex”. 

Good morning Middle Americans!

Former FBI director James Comey has been pretty quiet lately. Maybe that’s because every time he opens his mouth he seems to do more damage to his already damaged reputation. 

Or, maybe that’s because he’s apparently under the microscope of a DOJ investigation into damaging leaks during Comey’s time at the FBI.  One of the things that makes Washington super swampy is the way some people use leaks to damage others for personal gain.  

Also today, it turns out 11 American troops were hurt when Iran fired missiles at Al-Assad airbase in Iraq. This is a different story than we first heard from the Pentagon. Some of the troops had to be flown to German for brain trauma and concussion treatment. 

Finally, the impeachment trial of President Trump has commenced. Testimony will start next Tuesday.  What will that look like? That all depends on four Republican Senators who are not exactly staunch allies of President Trump’s. 

Read all about it. 

– Fraser Dixon 

Comey Appears to be the Focus of DOJ Leaks Investigation 

(New York Times) – Federal prosecutors in Washington are investigating a years-old leak of classified information about a Russian intelligence document, and they appear to be focusing on whether the former F.B.I. director James B. Comey illegally provided details to reporters, according to people familiar with the inquiry.

The case is the second time the Justice Department has investigated leaks potentially involving Mr. Comey, a frequent target of President Trump, who has repeatedly called him a “leaker.” Mr. Trump recently suggested without evidence that Mr. Comey should be prosecuted for “unlawful conduct” and spend years in prison.

The timing of the investigation could raise questions about whether it was motivated at least in part by politics. Prosecutors and F.B.I. agents typically investigate leaks of classified information around the time they appear in the news media, not years later. And the inquiry is the latest politically sensitive matter undertaken by the United States attorney’s office in Washington, which is also conducting an investigation of Mr. Comey’s former deputy, Andrew G. McCabe, that has been plagued by problems.

Take a closer look at the investigation here

Eleven US Troops Were Injured in Jan. 8 Iran Missile Strike

(Defense One) – Nearly one dozen American troops were wounded in Iran’s Jan. 8 missile attack on Iraq’s al-Asad air base. This week, they were medically evacuated to U.S. military hospitals in Kuwait and Landstuhl, Germany, to be treated for traumatic brain injury and to undergo further evaluation, several U.S. defense and military officials have confirmed to Defense One

Senior military and Trump administration officials had said on Jan. 8 that 11 Iranian missiles had caused “no casualties, no friendly casualties, whether they are U.S., coalition, contractor, et cetera.” 

In the past week, news organizations that were granted access to the base to film the damage and interview military personnel have reported that no Americans were killed, wounded, or “seriously injured.” But the New York Times reported on Monday that some personnel had been treated for concussions

Find out more here.

Four Republicans Could Prevent Trump’s Quick Acquittal

(Bloomberg) – Donald Trump’s impeachment moves to the GOP-controlled Senate where the president and Democrats will battle over a small group of Republicans whose votes will determine the course of a trial on whether he should be removed from office.

The Senate proceedings will begin formally on Thursday with a show of pageantry that includes the reading of two impeachment articles and U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts swearing in 100 senators as jurors. Yet one of the most pressing and contentious issues — whether to meet Democratic demands for witnesses — will remain unresolved for more than a week.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said that’s his preference as well, but it may be up to his Republican colleagues, Senators Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Mitt Romney and Lamar Alexander.

Read more here

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