Trump remained surprisingly quiet throughout Comey's blockbuster hearing

donald trump

As the ousted FBI director wrapped up his blockbuster testimony on Capitol Hill on Thursday, the characteristically outspoken president who fired him started speaking at a religious event a few miles away.

During his roughly 40-minute speech at the Faith and Freedom conference on Thursday, President Donald Trump didn’t mention James Comey.

Trump stayed on message and spoke of his administration’s accomplishments so far and highlighted goals for the future such as passing an infrastructure bill, cutting taxes, and repealing the Affordable Care Act. Trump’s speech fit into his administration’s planned “infrastructure week,” which was meant to showcase an important part of the president’s agenda amid Comey’s testimony.

Even before Trump took the stage at the conference, his Twitter account remained silent as Comey testified. (His son Donald Trump Jr., meanwhile, live-tweeted it.)

Politico had reported Wednesday that Trump’s advisers were keeping him busy Thursday morning to keep him from attacking Comey before his hearing in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

At the hearing, Comey said the Trump administration tried to “defame” him and the FBI by spreading “lies” after the president fired him May 9. Most of the testimony centered on Comey’s interactions with Trump leading up to his abrupt firing.

A source close to Trump told Reuters on Thursday morning that the president disputed two key points Comey made in the prepared, written remarks Comey submitted for the record on Wednesday — that Trump asked him to “let go” of the FBI investigation into his former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, and that Trump asked for his loyalty.

Comey underlined these points as he answered senators’ questions in the nearly three-hour hearing Thursday, adding that he took meticulous notes after every interaction with Trump because Comey “was honestly concerned that he might lie about the nature of” their meeting.

In his speech at the conference, Trump did allude to attacks he believed he and his supporters were under.

“We’re under siege … but we will come out bigger and better and stronger than ever,” Trump said. “We will not back down from doing what is right … We know how to fight, and we will never give up.”

SEE ALSO: James Comey testifies in historic hearing, accuses Trump administration of defaming him

DON’T MISS: COMEY: I documented my meetings with Trump because ‘I was honestly concerned that he might lie’ about them

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Comey shreds Trump administration: ‘Those were lies, plain and simple’

Source link

'Criminal Minds' Star Joe Mantegna Announces Show's Fall Premiere Details, Twitter Can't Wait –




By William Cannon



Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Source link

Wallingford Criminal Defense Lawyer Accused Of Buying Heroin … – Hartford Courant

A criminal defense attorney was arrested Tuesday after police say they witnessed him buy heroin from a former client.

Police said the arrest stems from an investigation into drug sales out of a Mountain View Road home.

On Tuesday, detectives witnessed a transaction between James McCann, 68, and the resident of 20 Mountain View Rd., Heather McKee, and took them both into custody, police said. McCann had previously represented McKee in criminal proceedings, though she was prosecuted under a different name, police said.

In a search of McKee’s home, investigators found 100 bags of heroin along with a bag containing about 2.5 grams of the drug, packaging materials and a digital scale, according to police.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Source link

New study finds that black troops are way more likely to be punished than white troops

sapper claymore us army troops

African-American military service members are more likely to be punished than their fellow white service members, according to a new study released Wednesday by Protect Our Defenders, an advocacy group that has focused on military justice reform.

Depending on the branch and kind of punishment administered, black troops are 29% to 161% more likely to be court martialed or otherwise punished by their commanders than white troops, according to the study.

Protect Our Defenders obtained the demographic statistics of military punishments by submitting requests to each military branch under the Freedom of Information Act. The stats gathered from each branch were from 2006-2015, except for the Navy, which only had figures from 2014-2015. 

Evidence from their findings also hinted at other non-white racial groups being more likely to be punished than whites. 

Here are the key findings from the study: 

  • Black airmen were on average 71% more likely to face a court martial or some other form of non-judicial punishment than white airmen.
  • Black Marines were on average 32% more likely to be found guilty of a court martial or non-judicial proceedings than white Marines. 
  • Black sailors were on average 40% more likely to be “referred to special or general court-martial and 37% more likely to see action taken against them in the case in an average year.”
  • Black soldiers were on average 61% more likely to face a general or special court-martial than white soldiers. 

Black Marines were also 161% more likely to be found guilty at a court-martial hearing than white Marines, while they were 29% more likely to be found guilty at a non-judicial proceeding. 

Black sailors were also more likely to be referred to military justice, but in post-referral outcomes, the disparity practically disappeared. 

US troops soldiers medics war in Afghanistan

Protect Our Defenders recommends reforming the military justice system “to empower legally trained military prosecutors, instead of the commander of the accused, to determine when to refer a case to court-martial, thereby reducing the potential for bias based on familiarity, friendship, race, or ethnicity.”

They also recommend that each military branch collect and publish “racial and ethnic data regarding military justice involvement and outcomes.”

They further suggest that data should be collected about the victims of crimes to check for any racial or ethnic bias, and that research should be conducted to figure out why these racial and ethnic disparities in the military justice system exist. 

A dearth of minority officers might be a factor in these racial and ethnic disparities, Don Christensen, the president of Protect Our Defenders, told USA Today. “In 2016, about 78% of military officers were white, and 8% were black,” the site wrote. 

“It is longstanding Department of Defense policy that service members must be afforded the opportunity to serve in an environment free from unlawful racial discrimination,” Pentagon spokesman Johnny Michael told USA TODAY. “The department will review any new information concerning implementation of and compliance with this policy.” 

SEE ALSO: Marine officers could face charges after allegedly getting drugged and robbed in Colombia

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Watch a US Navy assault ship fire at an inflatable ‘killer tomato’

Source link

Aisha Tyler Reveals 'Criminal Minds' Photo In 'Hot Tub Wine Machine' –

The female leads of Criminal Minds are heating things up in preparation for Season 13 of the CBS drama by spending time together in the hot tub. On Tuesday evening, four of the actresses posed for the snap, which was posted on Twitter by Aisha Tyler.

Tyler shared the snap with the caption: “Hot Tub Wine Machine. SO ready for Season 13. #ladiesontop @CrimMinds_CBS.”

The image shows Aisha Tyler (Dr. Tara Lewis) with three of her fellow co-stars Kirsten Vangsness (Penelope Garcia), A.J. Cook (Jennifer Jareau), and Paget Brewster (Emily Prentiss) chilling in the water while wearing their swimsuits and sunglasses.

Up Next: CBS Sets Fall Premiere Dates For ‘Young Sheldon’, ‘Criminal Minds’ & More

The pic was a smash hit with Tyler’s fans and followers as they retweeted the post more than six hundred times and tossed out over 4k likes.

Judging by Aisha Tyler’s social media accounts, it’s become an off-screen tradition for the four ladies to take a dip in the hot tub together when they aren’t filming Criminal Minds.

Back in March, Tyler shared another snap of the four of them in the swimsuits in the hot tub. She captioned the pic: “Spent yesterday in a hot tub w/ @kristenvangsness @ajcook @pagetpagetgram to celeb @crimminds_cbs wrap! yes. I have a shower cap on. #flossy.”

While the ladies are ready to kick off Season 13 of Criminal Minds, according Tyler’s recent post, her co-stars Kristen Vangness and A.J. Cook were reportedly threatening to leave the series over an issue with their contracts.

More: ‘Criminal Minds’ Stars Reportedly Threatening To Leave The Show Over Equal Wages

Back in May, Deadline reported that Vangness and Cook were ready to walk away from the show in the event that they were not given the contracts they wanted.

Even though Vangness and Cook were in limbo for a time, other cast members confirmed for the next season are Matthew Gray Gubler, Joe Mantegna, Adam Rodriguez, Damon Gupton, Aisha Tyler, and Paget Brewster.




By Hunter Miller



Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Source link

Trump picks white-collar crime lawyer to replace Comey at FBI – Reuters

By Julia Edwards Ainsley and Steve Holland| WASHINGTON

President Donald Trump on Wednesday ended a fraught month-long search for an FBI chief after firing James Comey by selecting Christopher Wray, who has prosecuted and defended white-collar crime cases and represented New Jersey’s governor in a political scandal.

Wray, who must be confirmed to the post by the Senate, and Comey served together in the Justice Department under former President George Bush, and both worked on the government’s case in the Enron Corp fraud scandal in the early to mid-2000s.

Trump’s announcement that he will nominate Wray as director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation came a day before Comey’s eagerly anticipated public testimony before a Senate committee.

In written testimony released by the panel on Wednesday, Comey said Trump told him on Jan. 27 that “I expect loyalty,” and in a Feb. 14 meeting asked him to back off from a probe into former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s ties with Russia.

The Republican president’s search for a replacement for Comey after firing him May 9 was difficult. Leading candidates including former Senator Joe Lieberman took their names out of consideration, and Trump interviewed a series of contenders.

In a statement, Trump called Wray “an impeccably qualified individual” who will serve “as a fierce guardian of the law and model of integrity.”

The White House has given shifting explanations on why Trump fired Comey during an FBI investigation into whether Trump campaign associates colluded with the Russians to help him with the 2016 presidential election. Trump has said he was thinking of “this Russia thing” in dismissing Comey.

Wray served from 2003 to 2005 at the Justice Department under Republican former President George W. Bush as an assistant attorney general in charge of its criminal division and oversaw the department’s Enron task force.

Wray and Comey helped bring the case against Kenneth Lay, the former Enron chairman convicted in 2006. Also involved in the Enron matter was Robert Mueller, then FBI director and now special counsel named after Comey was fired to investigate the Russia affair, as well as Andrew Weissman, who is now working for Mueller.

The web of Enron connections underscores the reliance in Washington, even under a president who vowed to “drain the swamp,” on an elite corps of corporate lawyers whose varied careers often intersect and who sometimes present conflict-of-interest issues.

For instance, after he left the Justice Department and joined top international law firm King & Spalding, Wray represented Republican New Jersey Governor Chris Christie in the so-called Bridgegate scandal over massive traffic jams created as political punishment for a local mayor.


That case and others taken on by Wray while in private practice could pose problems, said American Civil Liberties Union National Political Director Faiz Shakir in a statement.

“Christopher Wray’s firm’s legal work for the Trump family, his history of partisan activity, as well as his history of defending Trump’s transition director during a criminal scandal makes us question his ability to lead the FBI,” Shakir said.

Wray represented Christie in a scandal that resulted in two of the governor’s aides being convicted. Christie, who was a close adviser to Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign and whose name was floated as a possible Comey replacement, was never charged.

Christie on Wednesday called Wray “an outstanding choice, a non-political choice” to head the FBI.

Wray works as a King & Spalding litigation partner and represents companies and individuals in a white-collar criminal and regulatory enforcement matters. King & Spalding has represented Russian companies including state gas monopoly Gazprom, according to its website. According to the website, the firm’s energy practice also has represented businesses taking part in deals involving Russian entities including state-owned oil major Rosneft.

The firm has previous ties to Trump. Bobby Burchfield, a partner in its Washington office, serves as ethics adviser for the trust set up in January to isolate Trump from the day-to-day operations of the Trump business organization. The agreement has been criticized by some ethics experts as inadequate.

Apart from possible conflicts, another question about Wray is whether the longtime white-collar lawyer is equipped to take over an agency that is increasingly focused on detecting and combating terrorism, espionage and cybercrime.

“There are questions about whether he is experienced enough in intelligence, counter-terrorism, counter-narcotics, computer crimes, and issues like that,” said one senior U.S. law enforcement official who asked not to be identified.

“The biggest test the bureau is likely to face is not another Enron,” the official said.

Trump announced his selection of Wray in a surprise, early-morning Twitter message. Some Democratic lawmakers said the president’s timing seemed intended to distract from Comey’s scheduled testimony.

“It is imperative that the next FBI director be of unimpeachable integrity and independence,” Nancy Pelosi, the top House of Representatives Democrat, said. “In light of the president’s constant efforts to block the truth, the nomination of Christopher Wray should be subject to the utmost scrutiny.”

Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Wray’s “impressive credentials make him more than ready” to lead the FBI. Republican House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan said he did not know Wray but that his resume suggests he is “the perfect kind of person” for the job.

(Additional reporting by John Walcott, Susan Heavey, Susan Cornwell, Barbara Goldberg, Richard Cowan, Eric Walsh, Doina Chiacu and Karen Freifeld; Writing by Will Dunham; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe and Cynthia Osterman)

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Source link