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December 16, 2019

Comey: ‘I Was Wrong’ About FBI Procedures

This Day in History | 1773

Angry American colonist dumped hundreds of chest of tea into Boston Harbor to protest unfair taxation by the British Monarchy.  It was the first act of defiance by the colonists against the crown. 

Good Morning Middle Americans!

It was not a good look for former FBI director James Comey. On Chris Wallace’s Fox News Sunday, Comey failed to answer Wallace’s simple questions about whether misconduct occurred at the FBI on Comey’s watch.  Comey clearly has something to hide and is on the defensive. Everyone is now looking ahead to the results of U.S. Attorney John Durham’s on-going investigation.  Could Comey be one of the people facing criminal charges? Not likely, but not impossible either. 

Also it’s going to be another crazy week on Capitol hill, with a full house vote on impeachment. And Democrats are calling for some key player from President Trump’s inner circle to testify. Will they show? Will they be forces to show? 

Something you might not have heard about — Chinese diplomats have been expelled from the US, after they breached a US military base. 

Finally, Clint Eastwood’s new film which has been hailed by critics as a masterpiece suffered a lack-luster opening weekend. The film has created a controversy over the way a reporter is portrayed in the film. 

Read all about it!

– Fraser Dixon

Comey Admits ‘Real Sloppiness’ in FBI Russia Warrant Request

(Fox News) – Former FBI Director James Comey admitted on “Fox News Sunday” that the recently released Justice Department Inspector General’s report on the launch of the FBI’s Russia investigation and their use of the surveillance process showed that he was “overconfident” when he defended his former agency’s use of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).

This comes days after Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report and testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee detailed concerns that included 17 “significant errors and omissions” by the FBI’s investigative team when applying for a FISA warrant to monitor former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. Horowitz referred “the entire chain of command” to the FBI and DOJ for “how to assess and address their performance failures” during the probe, which was conducted while Comey was in charge.

Watch Chris Wallace’s interview with former FBI Director James Comey here

Democrats Seek Bolton, Mulvaney for Impeachment Trial

(Reuters) – U.S. Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer proposed in a letter released on Sunday that at least four witnesses including acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney and former national security adviser John Bolton be subpoenaed to testify in the expected impeachment trial of President Donald Trump.

In the letter to Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Schumer proposed that Mulvaney and Bolton be subpoenaed for the trial expected in January along with a Mulvaney adviser, Robert Blair, and a budget official, Michael Duffey.

Trump is expected to become the third U.S. president to be impeached when the full Democratic-led House of Representatives votes on the charges, likely this week, setting up a trial in the Republican-controlled Senate. Schumer suggested it could begin as soon as Jan. 7 with the swearing-in of U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts, who will preside.

USA  Secretly Expels Chinese Diplomats for Breaching Military Base

(NY Times) – The American government secretly expelled two Chinese Embassy officials this fall after they drove on to a sensitive military base in Virginia, according to people with knowledge of the episode. The expulsions appear to be the first of Chinese diplomats suspected of espionage in more than 30 years.

American officials believe at least one of the Chinese officials was an intelligence officer operating under diplomatic cover, said six people with knowledge of the expulsions. The group, which included the officials’ wives, evaded military personnel pursuing them and stopped only after fire trucks blocked their path.

The episode in September, which neither Washington nor Beijing made public, has intensified concerns in the Trump administration that China is expanding its spying efforts in the United States as the two nations are increasingly locked in a global strategic and economic rivalry. American intelligence officials say China poses a greater espionage threat than any other country.

Read more about the security breach from the New York Times

Controversy Kills Clint Eastwood’s ‘Excellent’ Richard Jewell Film 

(Page 6) – Clint Eastwood’s new film about the 1996 Olympics bombing marked his worst box office opening as a director amid controversy about the portrayal of a female reporter.

“Richard Jewell,” which depicts a security guard falsely accused of being involved in bomb plot, pulled in a dismal $5 million from 2,502 theaters over the weekend, according to The Wrap.

The results could be the worst nationwide opening for the 89-year-old director since 1980’s “Billy Bronco,” which garnered $3.7 million.

In comparison, Eastwood’s 2014 “American Sniper” earned $89 million in its opening weekend while his 2016 film “Sully” raked in $35 million.

Find out more about the film and the controversy here


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