Morning Briefing: 5 Things for Thursday – Everything You Need to Know About Today’s Jim Comey Hearing
Here’s What You Need to Start Your Day
Good Thursday Morning!
Today is the highly anticipated Senate Intelligence CommitteeÂ hearing during which former FBI Director Jim Comey will speak in public for the first time. There’s great expectation surrounding his testimony, and we’re here to tell you what you need to know, how to watch, and what willÂ â€“ and will notÂ â€“ happen.
Here areÂ five things you need to know for today:
- TheÂ United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence hearing will begin at 10 AM EDT. You can watch on all major cable news channels, plusÂ CNBC and the Fox Business Network.Â ABC, CBS, NBC, and PBS will also carry the hearing live, as will Univision, and, of course C-SPAN 3 on cable TV. Most online major new outlets will also live stream online. Twitter has partnered with Bloomberg News to carry the livestream as well. And the Senate Intelligence Committee’s website also has a livestream.
- All focus will be on Comey, but important too will be the Senators asking questions. Each has their own agenda, and you sure as heck can expect most of the RepublicansÂ to try to protect President Trump and attack Comey’s credibility and character. The Washington Post has an excellent backgrounder on each of the Senators asking questions today.
- It’s important to remember, if you’re discussing impeachment, that the actions of a president do not need to meet a legal standard of the crimes with which he theoretically might be charged. Impeachment is not a criminal trial per se. It is a political trial. So when star showboating attorneys like Alan Dershowitz go on TV to protect Trump, you know you can rely on dedicated patriotic Americans like Congressman Ted Lieu (D-CA), a former prosecutor, to correct them:
Dear Mr. Dershowitz: You may want to read the first Article of Impeachment for Nixon. (Hint, it shows you are wrong in a bigly way). https://t.co/9VAJjrTbGq
â€” Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) June 8, 2017
Killer ending. Read this from the former counsel to Watergate special prosecutors: https://t.co/g0RHBkaLoH pic.twitter.com/DDLw1QQUDn
â€” Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) June 8, 2017
- President Trump’s personal attorney issued a ludicrous statement after Jim Comey’s written testimony was released Wednesday afternoon, a day early. He claimed Trump feels totally vindicated. He shouldn’t. It shows Trump repeatedly asked Comey to drop the investigation. Trump, in a widely-watched press conference, if the Comey testimony is correct, lied:
Comey: Trump urged me to drop the Flynn investigation https://t.co/rD23zT0iPL
Watch Trump on 5/18 deny doing this: â€œNo. No. Next question.â€ pic.twitter.com/fVjUpMfBOO
â€” Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) June 8, 2017
- Vox’s Ezra Klein:
The GOP efforts to spin the Comey testimony for Trump are disturbing. If Republicans donâ€™t have higher standards than this, weâ€™re screwed.
â€” Ezra Klein (@ezraklein) June 7, 2017
TIME’s Zeke Miller got a hold of the GOP’s talking points they’re giving to the few Republicans willing to stand up publicly to defend TrumpÂ â€“ like Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi. Remember, they’re propaganda; not necessarilyÂ factual, likely cherry-picked and out of context. Take a look:
Here are the RNC talking points to Trump allies on Comey’s testimony tomorrow pic.twitter.com/8X9NKTQHMe
â€” Zeke Miller (@ZekeJMiller) June 8, 2017
The President told the director of the FBI to lay off his close aide, lied about doing so and fired the director when he persisted.
â€” Christopher Hayes (@chrislhayes) June 7, 2017
Around the time Trump fires Comey, WH starts talking about giving the Russians their compounds back. Sometimes this stuff isn’t complicated.
â€” Matthew Miller (@matthewamiller) June 8, 2017
- Final thought: The media has over-hyped today’s hearing. It’s vital and important, but this is about protecting our democracy, the rule of law, and getting at the truth. It’s about integrity. Don’t expect bombshells. Do expect your Senators to act like statesmen, putting country before party and digging to get to the truth. Those who don’t, don’t have the integrity required for the job.
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‘Disgraced’ Trump-Appointed Florida Judge Initially Assigned to Oversee Ex-President’s Criminal Case: Report
A federal judge whose highly-controversial rulings favoring Donald Trump were derided by legal experts and judges on a higher court, has been initially assigned to the U.S. Dept. of Justice’s criminal case against the ex-president, who appointed her to the bench three years ago.
Judge Aileen Cannon, known for agreeing to Trump’s request by assigning a special master to review the entirety of federal government documents the FBI retrieved from Mar-a-Lago last summer during the execution of a search and seizure warrant will, at least for now, oversee the government’s case allegedly charging Donald Trump with seven different felony categories in its classified documents probe, according to ABC News.
“The summons sent to former President Donald Trump and his legal team late Thursday indicates that U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon will be assigned to oversee his case, at least initially, according to sources briefed on the matter,” ABC News reports.
READ MORE: Trump Lawyers Blindsided by Existence of Bombshell Recording – ‘They Don’t Know How to Defend This’: Maggie Haberman
“Cannon’s apparent assignment would add yet another unprecedented wrinkle to a case involving the first federal charges against a former president: Trump appointed Cannon to the federal bench in 2019, meaning that, if Trump is ultimately convicted, she would be responsible for determining the sentence – which may include prison time – for the man who elevated her to the role.”
Cannon, agreeing to Trump’s request to appoint a special master last September, also halted the Dept. of Justice’s use of those materials, which included at least one hundred classified documents, in its criminal investigation into Trump.
Harvard University professor emeritus of constitutional law, Laurence Tribe, called Judge Cannon’s special master decision “utterly lawless,” and said: “She has disgraced her position as an Article III judge.”
ABC News notes that “Legal experts [had] accused Cannon of handing Trump a series of head-scratching victories over the course of those proceedings,” and added, “Cannon’s order was ultimately thrown out in its entirety by an 11th Circuit Court of appeals panel, which found she overstepped in exercising her jurisdiction in the probe.”
The 11th Circuit issued a scathing rebuke of Judge’ Cannon’s decision to appoint the special master. One week later, without explanation or reasoning, she overruled the special master’s decision and extended deadlines – decisions which favored Donald Trump.
RELATED: ‘Pure Essence of Judicial Corruption’: Morning Joe Panelists ‘Stunned’ by Cannon’s Ruling on Classified Docs
Cannon is not the only judge whose name appears on the summons.
“In addition to Cannon, Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart’s name also appeared on the summons sent to Trump on Thursday, the sources said,” ABC adds. “Reinhart, who was sworn in as a magistrate judge in 2018, is also familiar with the proceedings against Trump: he signed off on the initial search warrant of Mar-a-Lago last year and later ruled to unseal the search affidavit – decisions that made him the target of antisemitic jabs on the internet.”
The New York Times in August of last year reported, “in a segment on Fox News, a host showed a manipulated photo that appeared to show Judge Reinhart seated on a plane with Ghislaine Maxwell, Mr. [Jeffrey] Epstein’s companion who had been convicted last year of aiding Mr. Epstein in sexually abusing minors.”
Brian Kilmeade, the Fox News host, the following day tweeted: “Last night while subbing for Tucker Carlson, we showed you an image of Judge Bruce Reinhart w/ Ghislaine Maxwell that was sourced on screen to a meme pulled from Twitter & wasn’t real. This depiction never took place & we wanted to make clear that we were showing a meme in jest.”
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The Times noted “the scrutiny of Judge Reinhart has also prompted the local authorities to step up security. His synagogue canceled a Friday night Shabbat service last week in response to multiple antisemitic threats, and the police in his neighborhood said officers had intensified patrols near his house.”
Professor of Law Joyce Vance, an NBC News/MSNBC contributor and former U.S. Attorney responded to the news of Cannon’s assignment. Pointing to an earlier case as precedent, Vance says: “This is persuasive authority that Judge Cannon must step aside if the case falls to her as a permanent assignment. Her court & certainly the 11th [Circuit] won’t tolerate the damage it would do to their credibility if she failed to voluntarily recuse.”
Trump Lawyers Blindsided by Existence of Bombshell Recording – ‘They Don’t Know How to Defend This’: Maggie Haberman
CNN on Friday morning obtained a bombshell transcript of a recording in which former President Donald Trump boasts of retaining “secret” military information that he never declassified while he was president.
Appearing on CNN shortly after this news broke, New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman revealed that the former president’s team was essentially blindsided by this recording’s existence.
“I don’t think they quite know how to defend this… from what we have heard,” she said. “They were… startled by the existence of this tape. This tape was something that they learned existed when this aide to Trump testified. The prosecutors were already in possession of this tape. They didn’t get it from the aide, although it appears the aide had a copy when it was subpoenaed later, but this is has been described to us by multiple sources… as a really problematic piece of evidence for Trump.”
Haberman predicted that the recording’s existence would not change the Trump legal team’s overall defense strategy, however.
READ MORE: ‘He’s just not that smart’: Trump buried by Morning Joe for handing investigators all they need
“I think they are going to stick that their line: ‘He says things, he didn’t mean it a certain way,'” she said. “I am sure they can come up with all kinds of explanations for why he used the language he used. But it’s on tape.”
Trump is due in court in Miami next week to face seven felony counts related to his handling of top-secret government documents.
Watch the video below or at this link.
Image via Shutterstock
Trump Indicted by Grand Jury: Reports
Donald Trump’s attorneys have been notified a grand jury has voted to indict the ex-president on numerous federal charges and ordered to appear in a Miami court next Tuesday, according to ABC News, CNN, and NBC News. Trump on his Truth Social account made a similar claim..
“Former President Donald Trump has been indicted in the special counsel’s classified documents probe, sources familiar with the matter tells CNN,” the network reports. “Trump has been charged with seven counts in the indictment, according to another source familiar with the matter.”
CNN has two sources confirming that Trump has been indicted pic.twitter.com/xY7aFXo9dL
— Acyn (@Acyn) June 8, 2023
“We’re learning from our sources that there appears to be at least seven counts here,” ABC News’ Katherine Faulders reported on-air, ABC News online reports.. “This ranges from everything from the willful retention of national defense information to conspiracy to a scheme to conceal to false statements and representations.”
MSNBC on-air reports NBC News has confirmed the Trump indictment, and NBC News online reports the indictment is “in connection with his mishandling of more than 100 classified documents that were discovered last year at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, making the twice-impeached former commander-in-chief the first former president to face federal criminal charges.”
Watch this currently ongoing ABC News live streaming video:
BREAKING: Former Pres. Trump has been indicted for a second time, sources familiar confirm to @ABC News.
@PierreTABC joins @DavidMuir: “This is perhaps one of the most consequential investigations the Justice Department has done in recent memory.” pic.twitter.com/klwOQjGoiK
— ABC News Live (@ABCNewsLive) June 8, 2023
In three separate entries on his Truth Social platform, Trump writes: “The corrupt Biden Administration has informed my attorneys that I have been Indicted,” along with several false allegations NCRM will not publish.
“I have been summoned to appear at the Federal Courthouse in Miami on Tuesday, at 3 PM,” he adds.
He also declares he is “innocent.”
This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change.
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