Attorney General Bill Barr is changing the rules on how the Dept. of Justice and the FBI can open investigations into possible foreign interference in presidential campaigns or counterintelligence investigations of presidential candidates.
The FBI opened the counterintelligence investigation into the Trump campaign, including Russia’s interference, with the approval of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
But Attorney General Barr wants to make any future investigations harder to open. On Monday he told reporters that any counterintelligence investigations into presidential campaigns will require his approval, and that of the FBI Director, The Hill reports.
“One of the things that we agreed on is that the opening of a counterintelligence investigation of a presidential campaign would be something that the director of the FBI would have to sign off on and the attorney general,” Barr said.
CNN reports Barr’s decision “is also certain to renew criticism that Barr has undermined the Justice Department’s independence and is injecting politics into a significant and sensitive decision-making process.”
Barr’s announcement came on the same day The New York Times reported Russia hacked Burisma, the Ukraine gas company at the center of the Trump impeachment, meaning Russia is already interfering in the 2020 election.
French far-right leader Marine Le Pen announces 2022 presidential bid
French far-right leader Marine Le Pen isn’t wasting time. She announced her intention to stand in France’s 2022 presidential elections.
“My decision is made,” Le Pen said Thursday as she presented her New Year’s wishes.
Le Pen said she is proposing a “grand alternative to put the country back on its feet” and create “national unity.”
Le Pen reached the runoff in the 2017 election but lost badly to Emmanuel Macron, who is now in the midst of one of the most difficult periods of his presidency. In addition to the grassroots yellow vest movement that’s seeking social and economic justice, Macron is facing a strike over reforms to the country’s pension system that has run for 43 days.
Dutch art sleuth finds rare stolen copy of ‘Prince of Persian poets’
A stolen 15th-century book by the famed Persian poet Hafez has been recovered by a Dutch art detective after an international "race against time" that drew the alleged interest of Iran's secret service.
The gold-leafed volume worth around one million euros ($1.1 million) was found to be missing from the collection of an Iranian antiques dealer after his death in Germany in 2007.
It sparked a decade-long search for one of the oldest surviving copies of the "Divan of Hafez" -- the collected works of the poet who remains extremely popular in Iran and has inspired artists worldwide.
MSNBC’s Morning Joe: Trump doesn’t realize how much trouble he’s in — and GOP unsure how to defend him
MSNBC's Joe Scarborough said President Donald Trump is fooling himself on impeachment.
Trump insists he did nothing wrong in his actions toward Ukraine and complains that he's the victim of an impeachment "hoax," but the "Morning Joe" host said that most Americans disagree.
"He's talking to himself when he talks about a perfect phone call, yeah," Scarborough said. "He says it's a hoax, because what he's facing now isn't even what he was facing with (Robert) Mueller. There's more of a split when it came to what the American public believed, but he said it's a hoax and nobody can believe this is happening, and etc., etc., etc., and yet over 70 percent of Americans want a full and fair trial."