Republicans trying to undermine Russia probes, US Democrats’ memo charges

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Democratic minority on the US House of Representatives Intelligence Committee on Saturday released a response to Republican charges that the FBI and Justice Department have abused the law in their investigation of possible ties between Russia and Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.

The Democrats’ 10-page memo, released on Saturday in partially-redacted form, calls an earlier Republican version “a transparent effort to undermine” the FBI, the Justice Department, Special Counsel Robert Mueller, and congressional probes into possible collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign.

The Republican memo, the Democrats allege, “also risks public exposure of sensitive sources and methods for no legitimate purpose.”

The Democratic memo and a Republican counterattack that included a point-by-point refutation of the minority Democrats’ conclusions, are an escalation of the partisan feuding that Rep. Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the Intelligence Committee, and other members of his party have said is sabotaging the House committee’s investigation.

The latest duel on Capitol Hill comes as Mueller’s investigation gathers steam, including a guilty plea on Friday from Richard Gates, Trump’s deputy campaign manager.

In a message posted on Twitter, Trump responded, “The Democrat memo response on government surveillance abuses is a total political and legal BUST. Just confirms all of the terrible things that were done. SO ILLEGAL!”


Cambridge Analytica CEO claims influence on U.S. election, Facebook questioned

LONDON/SAN FRANCISCO,  (Reuters) – The suspended chief executive of Cambridge Analytica said in a secretly recorded video broadcast yesterday that his UK-based political consultancy’s online campaign played a decisive role in U.S.

Trump, deemed ‘not above the law,’ faces legal storm

NEW YORK,  (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump faced legal challenges from women on two fronts yesterday as a defamation lawsuit brought by a former Apprentice TV show contestant moved forward and a former Playboy model who said she had an affair with Trump sued to undo a confidentiality agreement.

India’s Modi, China’s Xi ready to improve bilateral ties

BEIJING/ NEW DELHI,  (Reuters) – India and China agreed to consult each other on regional and international issues, the Indian side said after a phone call yesterday between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Sixth Texas parcel bomb blast leaves U.S. investigators baffled

AUSTIN/SCHERTZ, Texas (Reuters) – The series of parcel bombs in Texas that have killed two people and put residents on edge escalated yesterday with two more incidents, a bomb that exploded at a FedEx distribution center near San Antonio and one that was discovered before it detonated.

UK wins Brexit transition deal in return for Irish vow

BRUSSELS,  (Reuters) – Britain and the European Union agreed yesterday to a transition period to avoid a “cliff edge” Brexit next year — though only after London accepted a potential solution for Northern Ireland’s land border that may face stiff opposition at home.


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