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US House panels open probe into Justice Department action during 2016 campaign

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The Republican chairmen of two U.S. House of Representative panels on Tuesday said they are probing various Department of Justice actions during the 2016 presidential campaign, including FBI decisions surrounding the investigation into former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s emails.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte and House Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy said they have “outstanding questions” about why former Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey decided to publicly disclose and keep Congress updated on the status of the bureau’s probe into Clinton’s handling of classified information, but never disclosed its probe into President Donald Trump’s campaign associates.

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The probe will also explore the FBI’s decision to “appropriate full decision-making” in declining to prosecute Clinton, rather than leaving it to prosecutors at the Justice Department, they said in a statement.

An FBI spokeswoman declined to comment on the probe.

Ian Prior, a Justice Department spokesman, said the department plans to “fully cooperate with this important congressional investigation.”

Comey, who was fired by Trump earlier this year, could not be immediately reached for comment.

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The joint investigation by the two panels is now the second congressional inquiry into the FBI’s handling of the Clinton investigation.

It also comes as Republicans are starting to gear up for midterm elections, after suffering major setbacks in trying to advance legislation to repeal Obamacare.

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The Senate Judiciary Committee has also been digging into the matter, as part of a broader probe that also encompasses alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 campaign and whether Trump’s campaign associates colluded with the Russians.

In addition, the Justice Department’s inspector general is conducting an inquiry into public statements that Comey made about the Clinton investigation.

It is highly unusual for the FBI to confirm or deny the existence of an investigation.

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However, Comey discussed the status of the probe in 2016.

In July of that year, he held a press conference and testified about why the FBI opted not to refer Clinton for prosecution.

Then in October, he told Congress he was reopening the matter because of new emails found on the computer of disgraced former Congressman Anthony Weiner, who was married to Huma Abedin, the vice chair of Clinton’s campaign.

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On Nov. 6, he said a search of Weiner’s computer had produced no new evidence.

Comey was later fired by President Trump.

A memo drafted by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein recommended firing Comey on the basis of his handling of the Clinton matter, but Trump later said he fired Comey over “this Russia thing.”

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(Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch and Susan Heavey; Editing by Andrea Ricci)

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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Trump approves of North Korea missile tests: ‘I have no problem’ because they’re just ‘short-range missiles’

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On Thursday, in conversation with reporters, President Donald Trump said that he had 'no problem' with North Korea's new round of missile tests.

"Short-range missiles, we never made an agreement on that," said Trump. "I have no problem, we'll see what happens, but these are short-range missiles. They're very standard."

The thought that short-range missiles would still be capable of hitting our allies in the region, like South Korea and Japan, does not seem to have occurred to him.

Watch below:

Trump says he has "no problem" with North Korea testing missiles because they are just "short-range missiles" that are "very standard." pic.twitter.com/fdKtQ6yrBE

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Elections 2016

Russian Twitter propaganda predicted 2016 US election polls

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When Robert Mueller completed his long-awaited investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, he left many questions unanswered.

But one conclusion was unequivocal: Russia unleashed an extensive campaign of fake news and disinformation on social media with the aim of distorting U.S. public opinion, sowing discord and swinging the election in favor of the Republican candidate Donald Trump.

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Elections 2016

Beto O’Rourke calls for a ‘war tax’ in release of health care plan for veterans

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The Democratic presidential candidate uses his eighth policy announcement to focus on an area that he prioritized in Congress.

Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke on Monday morning released a plan to improve the lives of veterans, returning to an area of priority during his time in the U.S. House for his latest 2020 policy rollout.

In keeping with measures he supported in Congress, the plan calls for a "responsible end" to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — reinvesting $1 out of every $2 saved in veterans programs — and the creation of a Veterans Health Care Trust Fund for each future war. The fund would be paid for by a "war tax" on households without service members or veterans.

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