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NBC’s Pete Williams: Trump’s bogus ‘rigged’ talk pushed Comey to break DOJ rules on elections

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NBC News Justice Correspondent Pete Williams reported on Sunday that Donald Trump’s baseless claim of a “rigged” election influenced FBI Director James Comey to break with the Justice Department’s policy against taking actions that could influence elections.

Although longstanding Department of Justice guidelines have cautioned against disclosing investigative steps within 60 days of an election, Comey recently informed Congress that he had directed the FBI to investigate newly found emails that may or may not be relevant in the probe of Hillary Clinton’s private email server.

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Williams explained on Sunday that Comey, in part, broke with tradition — just 11 days before the election — because of Trump’s bogus warnings about a “rigged” system.

“They believe that they did the right thing by telling Congress about this development,” Williams said on NBC’s Meet the Press. “And their logic goes something like this, that the fact that the discovery of these emails was going to leak, that if it leaked it would come out in all sorts of different ways and be interpreted in all sorts of different ways and that the best way to handle it was just to get out in front of it.”

“And secondly,” he continued, “they thought that if they waited until after election and then it was discovered that they had found these emails, that would play into this whole scenario about how the system is rigged.”

Williams also pointed out that Comey and the FBI still did not know what was in the emails.

“They don’t know whether they are significant to the question of the email investigation,” he explained.

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Watch the video below from NBC, broadcast Oct. 30, 2016.


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Elections 2016

California bill to establish nation’s second public bank applauded as ‘historic challenge to Wall Street domination’

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"If California is serious about addressing racial and income inequities, we must create a banking system that centers people not profits."

In a move advocacy groups celebrated as a "historic challenge to Wall Street domination of municipal finances," a pair of California state lawmakers on Thursday unveiled legislation that would establish the nation's second publicly-owned bank and empower the institution to lend to businesses and local governments fighting to stay afloat amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

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COVID-19

What is China doing to stop Beijing’s new coronavirus outbreak?

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Over 1,000 flights have been cancelled, schools shut and residents urged not to leave Beijing, as Chinese authorities race to contain a fresh outbreak linked to the capital's largest wholesale food market.

The number of confirmed cases in the capital has shot up to 137 within the last week after two months of no cases, and four other provinces have revealed cases linked to the Beijing cluster.

How did the outbreak begin, and what measures are Beijing taking to contain it?

- What is the origin of the cluster? -

Beijing had turned into a virtual fortress at the height of the pandemic, with people arriving from other regions or countries required to undergo quarantines.

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2020 Election

Democrats and Never-Trumpers gaming out ‘doomsday scenarios’ if president refuses to leave office: report

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According to a report in the New York Times, Democratic strategists and Never-Trumper conservatives fear Donald Trump will refuse to leave office should he lose in November and are making plans and figuring out their legal options should such an unprecedented state of affairs come to pass.

The report, by the Times' Reid Epstein, begins with one such possible scenario.

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