from the merging-the-swamps dept.
We had three different political stories submitted. In the interest of trying to keep political discussions from spilling over into other stories, I have merged them all into this one story. If you are not interested in politics, you are free to ignore this story — another story will be along presently. --martyb
Tories Turned Over in UK General Election
Theresa May will visit Buckingham Palace at 12:30 BST to seek permission to form a new UK government, despite losing her Commons majority.
She is seeking to stay in office on the understanding that the Democratic Unionists of Northern Ireland will support her minority administration.
With one seat left to declare, the Tories are eight seats short of the 326 figure needed to command a majority.
In other news:
* The UK stock market is up but the pound is down
* European leaders react with a mix of incredulity, conciliatory statements; Brexit plans in tatters
* Record number of female MPs returned; overall high turnout
Fired FBI Director James Comey Lays out the Case That President Trump Obstructed Justice
Former FBI director James B. Comey on Thursday essentially laid out an obstruction of justice case against President Trump and suggested senior leaders in the bureau might have actually contemplated the matter before Trump removed him as director.
Comey did not explicitly draw any legal conclusions. Whether justice was obstructed, he said, was a question for recently appointed special counsel Robert Mueller. But he said Trump’s request to terminate the FBI’s investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn left him “stunned,” and senior FBI officials considered it to be of “investigative interest.”
Of particular concern, Comey said, was that Trump asked other officials to leave him alone with his FBI director in the Oval Office before saying of Flynn: “He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.”
“Why did he kick everybody out of the Oval Office?” Comey said. “That, to me as an investigator, is a very significant fact.”
President Donald J. Trump Announces Intent to Nominate Christopher A. Wray to be Director of FBI
Today, President Donald J. Trump announced he will nominate Christopher Asher Wray as the new Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Wray graduated cum laude from Yale University in 1989, then continued on to receive his law degree from Yale Law School in 1992. He started his legal career as a clerk to Judge J. Michael Luttig of the United States Court of Appeals.
In 1997, Wray began his extensive public service career as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia. In May 2001, Wray became the Associate Deputy Attorney General of the Department of Justice and within five months he was appointed the Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General. He was a vital member of the DOJ’s operations during and following the 9/11 attacks.
Wray was appointed to serve as the Assistant Attorney General in charge of the U.S. DOJ’s Criminal Division by President George W. Bush and was confirmed unanimously by the Senate. He led federal criminal law investigations in areas, including: securities fraud, healthcare fraud, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and trade sanctions violations, bank secrecy and money laundering offenses, public corruption, and intellectual property piracy and cybercrime. While he was head of the Criminal Division from 2003 to 2005, Wray worked tirelessly to counteract the wave of corporate fraud scandals and to restore trust in the U.S. financial system. At the end of his term, Wray was given the Edmund J. Randolph Award, which is the DOJ’s most prestigious award for leadership and public service.
Since leaving the DOJ in 2005, Wray has worked as a litigation partner at King & Spalding. He chairs the King & Spalding Special Matters and Government Investigations Practice Group, which specializes in white-collar crimes and regulatory enforcement. He has represented Fortune 100 companies and ranked as a leading litigator by Chambers USA, Best Lawyers in America, and Legal 500. Wray has performed successful oral arguments in front of the U.S. Supreme Court, as well as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.
His wealth of experience in government enforcement and jurisprudence makes Christopher A. Wray an outstanding choice as Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The New York Times reports "Trump Ordered Mueller Fired, but Backed Off When White House Counsel Threatened to Quit":
President Trump ordered the firing last June of Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel overseeing the Russia investigation, according to four people told of the matter, but ultimately backed down after the White House counsel threatened to resign rather than carry out the directive.
Mueller Investigation: Three Former Trump Aides Charged
Michael Flynn Pleads Guilty to Lying to the F.B.I.
UK Election Results; Fired FBI Director's Testimony on Trump; Trump Nominates New FBI Director
Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe Thursday rejected assertions by the White House that FBI employees had lost faith in James Comey and that the bureau's probe into Russian election meddling was one of its most minor concerns. "I hold Director Comey in the absolute highest regard. I have the highest respect for his considerable abilities and his integrity," McCabe told members of the Senate intelligence committee. He said Comey, who was fired by President Donald Trump on Tuesday, enjoyed "broad support within the FBI and still does to this day." He added, "The majority, the vast majority of FBI employees enjoyed a deep, positive connection to Director Comey."
Furthermore, he will inform the Senate of any interference with the Russia investigation:
Acting FBI director Andrew McCabe vowed Thursday that he would tell the Senate Intelligence Committee if the White House tried to interfere with the bureau's probe of possible coordination between the Kremlin and the Trump campaign to influence the 2016 presidential election — though he asserted that there had "been no effort to impede our investigation to date."
Meanwhile, President Trump has undermined the White House's messaging on Comey's firing, saying that he planned to fire "showboat" and "grandstander" James Comey regardless of any recommendation from Attorney General Jeff Sessions or Deputy Attorney General Ron Rosenstein. The President also insists that he is not under FBI investigation.