Comey's decisions to hold two news conferences and issue letters to Congress about the investigation before the election might have violated Justice Department guidelines.
The Justice Department's internal watchdog said Thursday it will investigate FBI Director James Comey's decision to publicly release information about the bureau's investigation into Hillary Clinton's handling of classified material.
The inquiry by the Justice Department's inspector general will focus on whether "policies or procedures were not followed" when Comey held a July 5 news conference to discuss the case and when he sent letters to Congress just before the election that disclosed his agents were reviewing newly discovered emails pertinent to the Clinton case.
Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz said in a statement that the probe was spurred by "numerous" requests for his office to examine the matter.
Retired Marine Gen. James N. Mattis, President-elect Donald Trump’s pick to head the Pentagon, took little flak at a relatively brief Senate confirmation hearing Thursday that focused in part on his views of social shifts underway in the military.
Mattis signaled that he doesn’t intend to reverse Obama administration decisions that opened combat positions to women, gave gay and lesbian service members protection from discrimination, and lifted bans against transgender men and women serving openly in the military.
"I've never cared much about two consenting adults and who they go to bed with,” he told the Senate Armed Services Committee.
Vice President Joe Biden warned that Donald Trump's public criticism of the intelligence community risked undermining national security, and warned that a failure to repair that relationship would be a "genuine tragedy" for the nation.
"It is really very damaging, in my view, to our standing in the world for the president to take one of the crown jewels of our national defense and denigrate it," Biden said in a discussion with reporters in his West Wing office Thursday.
The president-elect's skepticism about the quality of intelligence only played into Russia's attempts to expand its own influence in the world at the expense of the U.S., Biden said, adding that other world leaders have personally contacted him to express their concern.
Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Kan., said he would "absolutely not" comply with any orders from Donald J. Trump to start using enhanced interrogation techniques again. (Jan. 12, 2017)
Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.), Donald Trump’s pick to head the CIA, told senators at his confirmation hearing that he would not carry out orders from the incoming administration to use torture, a position that puts him at odds with the president-elect.
During the campaign last year, Trump repeatedly said he would bring back waterboarding and other harsh interrogation tactics that the CIA has abandoned and President Obama labeled torture and which now are illegal.
Under questioning Thursday, Pompeo repeatedly assured members of the Senate Intelligence Committee that he would not restart the CIA’s use of secret prisons and brutal interrogation tactics.
President-elect Donald Trump’s decision not to sell his businesses or release his tax returns will provide opportunities for Democrats to try to embarrass him and his allies. Sen. Elizabeth Warren took one on Thursday during the confirmation hearing for Ben Carson, Trump’s choice to head the department of Housing and Urban Development.
Warren (D-Mass.), one of Trump’s biggest antagonists in Congress, noted that HUD steers billions to housing projects and grilled Carson on whether Trump might benefit.
“Can you assure me that not a single taxpayer dollar you give out will financially benefit the president-elect or his family?” Warren said. She said she was trying to “highlight the absurdity” of Trump continuing to hold business interests.
Six Volkswagen executives were indicted Wednesday on federal charges tied to the German automaker’s emissions scandal, and the company agreed to plead guilty to violating U.S. air quality laws.
Top Justice Department and U.S. environmental officials called the legal action, including Volkswagen’s agreement to pay $4.3 billion in fines and penalties, a significant step in the long-running effort to hold the automaker accountable for brazenly dodging pollution rules to tap the lucrative market for “green” cars.
“This is a case that illustrates a company that at very high levels knew of this problem and deliberately chose to continue with this fraudulent behavior,” Atty. Gen. Loretta Lynch said at a news conference also attended by Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy. “Here we saw a company where this knowledge and the choice they made went to the executive level.”
Donald Trump met Thursday with the chief executive of AT&T Inc. amid the president-elect’s outspoken opposition to the telecom giant’s proposed $85.4-billion purchase of Time Warner Inc. and a flare-up in his long-running battle with the media company’s CNN outlet.
Randall Stephenson met with Trump at Trump Tower in New York, according to transition spokesman Sean Spicer.
In a conference call with reporters, Spicer did not provide any details about the meeting and would not comment on whether Trump remained opposed to the deal.
Republicans took a first step early Thursday to repeal Obamacare, but they still have a long way to go and no clear road map for fulfilling their promise to gut and replace the healthcare law.
Senate Republicans narrowly approved a budget package, 51-48, with the House set to vote Friday. Approval would set in place a process for an eventual vote - in weeks or months -- on a bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
But the timeline remains a work in progress, in part because Republicans have not agreed on how to replace Obamacare, and that makes lawmakers increasingly nervous that repealing it will cause constituents to lose their health coverage.
Ben Carson wants to run the Department of Housing and Urban Development because he thinks better housing can help solve what he calls America’s “divisiveness.”
Carson, a former pediatric neurosurgeon with no government experience, has faced scrutiny about why he wants to run the agency, which provides billions of dollars for public housing and other programs.
“It’s a good question,” Carson wrote in prepared remarks released before his confirmation hearing Thursday before the Senate Banking Committee. "I want to help heal America’s divisiveness, and I think HUD is positioned to help in that healing. One of our biggest threats right now is this political division, racial conflict and class warfare. It is ripping this country apart.”
Donald Trump said the nation's highest-ranking intelligence officer had phoned to "denounce" an unsubstantiated report that Russians had gathered salacious blackmail material against him, and had been in touch with his aides.
"James Clapper called me yesterday to denounce the false and fictitious report that was illegally circulated. Made up, phony facts.Too bad!," Trump wrote in a Tweet Thursday.