06-21-2018  6:58 pm      •     
The Skanner Report
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NEWS BRIEFS

AG Rosenblum Seeks Info from Oregonians

Oregon Attorney General seeks information on children separated from families at border ...

Community Forum: How Does Law Enforcement Interact With Vulnerable Populations?

Forum will focus on public safety and examine mental health and addiction issues ...

King County Council Recognizes Juneteenth

The Metropolitan King County Council recognizes a true 'freedom day' in the United States ...

Unite Oregon Hosts ‘Mourn Pray Love, and Take Action’ June 20

Community is invited to gather at Terry Schrunk Plaza at 6 p.m. on World Refugee Day ...

MRG Foundation Announces Spring 2018 Grantees

Recipients include Oregon DACA Coalition, Kúkátónón Children’s African Dance Troupe, Komemma Cultural Protection Association ...

Washington, other states plan to sue over family separations

SEATAC, Wash. (AP) — Washington, California and at least nine other states are planning to sue the Trump administration over its separation of immigrant families at the U.S.-Mexico border, saying the president's executive order halting the practice is riddled with caveats and fails to...

Oregon allows rancher to kill a wolf after calves attacked

ENTERPRISE, Ore. (AP) — Oregon wildlife managers have issued a permit that allows a rancher in Eastern Oregon to kill a wolf after three of his calves were injured by the predators last week.The Department of Fish and Wildlife said Thursday they confirmed that the calves were hurt by wolves...

Infant found at Seattle encampment in protective custody

SEATTLE (AP) — A 5-month-old infant found at a Seattle homeless encampment is in protective custody as police investigate child neglect.Seattle Police said Thursday on its blog that the child was removed in late May from an unsanctioned homeless encampment where people were reportedly using...

Washington, other states plan to sue over family separations

SEATAC, Wash. (AP) — Washington, California and at least nine other states are planning to sue the Trump administration over its separation of immigrant families at the U.S.-Mexico border, saying the president's executive order halting the practice is riddled with caveats and fails to...

OPINION

How Washington’s 'School Achievement Index' Became School Spending Index

New assessment categorizes schools not by quality of education, but level of funding officials believe they should receive ...

Black Mamas Are Dying. We Can Stop It.

Congresswoman Robin Kelly plans to improve access to culturally-competent care with the MOMMA Act ...

Hey, Elected Officials: No More Chicken Dinners...We Need Policy

Jeffrey Boney says many elected officials who visit the Black community only during the election season get a pass for doing nothing ...

Juneteenth: Freedom's Promise Still Denied

Juneteenth is a celebration of the de facto end of slavery, but the proliferation of incarceration keeps liberation unfulfilled ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

3 men face hate crimes charges in Minnesota mosque bombing

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A grand jury added federal civil rights and hate crimes violations to the charges three Illinois men face in the bombing of a mosque in suburban Minneapolis, prosecutors announced Thursday.The new five-count indictment names Michael Hari, 47, Michael McWhorter, 29, and Joe...

Intel CEO out after consensual relationship with employee

NEW YORK (AP) — Intel CEO Brian Krzanich resigned after the company learned of what it called a past, consensual relationship with an employee.Intel said Thursday that the relationship was in violation of the company's non-fraternization policy, which applies to all managers. Spokesman...

Governor orders probe of abuse claims by immigrant children

WASHINGTON (AP) — Virginia's governor ordered state officials Thursday to investigate abuse claims by children at an immigration detention facility who said they were beaten while handcuffed and locked up for long periods in solitary confinement, left nude and shivering in concrete...

ENTERTAINMENT

Koko the gorilla used smarts, empathy to help change views

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Koko the gorilla, whose remarkable sign-language ability and motherly attachment to pet cats helped change the world's views about the intelligence of animals and their capacity for empathy, has died at 46.Koko was taught sign language from an early age as a scientific...

Directors Guild says industry is still mostly white and male

NEW YORK (AP) — A new study by the Directors Guild of America finds that despite high-profile releases like "Get Out" and "Wonder Woman," film directors remained overwhelmingly white and male among the movies released last year.The DGA examined all 651 feature films released theatrically in...

Demi Lovato sings about addiction struggles on 'Sober'

NEW YORK (AP) — Demi Lovato celebrated six years of sobriety in March, but her new song indicates she may no longer be sober.The pop star released "Sober " on YouTube on Thursday, singing lyrics like: "Momma, I'm so sorry I'm not sober anymore/And daddy please forgive me for the drinks...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

No. 1 Sun: Phoenix takes Ayton; Trae Young, Doncic swapped

NEW YORK (AP) — The Phoenix Suns stayed close to home for their first No. 1 pick. The Dallas Mavericks...

Charles Krauthammer, prominent conservative voice, has died

NEW YORK (AP) — Charles Krauthammer, the Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist and pundit who helped shape and...

ABC orders 'Roseanne' spinoff for fall minus Roseanne Barr

LOS ANGELES (AP) — ABC, which canceled its "Roseanne" revival over its star's racist tweet, said Thursday...

Suu Kyi says outside hate narratives driving Myanmar tension

YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — A social media account run by the office of Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi quotes...

Merkel pledges 0 million loan for troubled Jordan

AMMAN, Jordan (AP) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday promised a 0 million loan to troubled...

Eurozone gets deal to pave way for end to Greece's bailout

LUXEMBOURG (AP) — Eurozone nations agreed on the final elements of a plan to get Greece out of its...

FBI Director James Comey testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, July 14, 2016. The FBI informed Congress Friday, Oct. 28, 2016, it is investigating whether there is classified information in new emails that have emerged in its probe of Hillary Clinton's private server. The FBI said in July its investigation was finished. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)
ERIC TUCKER, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The FBI's announcement that it recently came upon new emails that may be pertinent to the Hillary Clinton private email server investigation raised more questions than answers.

FBI Director James Comey said in a letter to Congress on Friday that the bureau had discovered the emails while pursuing an unrelated case and would now review whether the messages were classified.

The three-paragraph announcement, though vague in details, immediately resurfaced an issue that has dogged Clinton for her entire campaign — and will clearly persist for the remaining 10 days.

Some questions and answers:

 

Q: WHERE DID THESE EMAILS COME FROM?

A: The emails referenced in Comey's letter emerged during a wholly separate criminal sexting investigation into former Rep. Anthony Weiner, the estranged husband of Huma Abedin, one of Clinton's closest aides, a U.S. official with knowledge of the matter told The Associated Press .

Federal authorities in New York and North Carolina are investigating online communications between Weiner, a New York Democrat who is separated from Abedin, and a 15-year-old girl.

It was not clear from Comey's letter who sent or received the emails in question, what they were about, or what connection, if any, they might have to the earlier Clinton investigation.

Q: WHY IS THIS COMING OUT NOW, 10 DAYS BEFORE THE ELECTION?

A: Apparently because the emails were found very recently. In his letter to Congress, Comey said he had been briefed only Thursday by the investigators.

There likely wasn't a perfect solution: Releasing the letter now opened Comey to partisan criticism that he was dropping a significant development too close to an election. But keeping it under wraps until after Nov. 8 would surely have led to criticism that he was sitting on major news until after a new president had been elected.

Comey has acknowledged there are no easy decisions on timing in the case. In an internal email sent Friday to FBI employees, he said he was trying to strike a balance between keeping Congress and the American people informed and not creating a misleading impression about the emails given their significance was not yet known.

"In trying to strike that balance, in a brief letter and in the middle of an election season, there is significant risk of being misunderstood, but I wanted you to hear directly from me about it," he wrote.

Q: WHAT KIND OF POLITICAL IMPACT MIGHT THIS HAVE?

A: It's too soon to tell, but the email matter is something Clinton thought was behind her months ago. Comey couldn't guarantee the FBI's review would be over by Election Day.

Her campaign chairman, John Podesta, said it was "extraordinary" for the public to see a letter like that so soon before the election.

Clinton herself called on the FBI to immediately release the full details of what it is now examining. She said she did not expect the additional review to produce conclusions different from the ones reached in July, when the investigation was closed without charges.

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump immediately seized on the news, saying "perhaps finally justice will be done."

Q: IS THIS DISCLOSURE STANDARD FOR THE FBI?

A: No, but neither was the Clinton email investigation.

 

In a nod to the extraordinary nature of an election-year probe into a presidential candidate, Comey promised extraordinary transparency as he announced the conclusion of the investigation last July.

"I am going to include more detail about our process than I ordinarily would, because I think the American people deserve those details in a case of intense public interest," Comey said at an unusual news conference in which he announced the FBI would not recommend criminal charges against Clinton or anyone else.

Since then, the FBI has periodically released investigative files — that is, summaries of witnesses who were interviewed. Those materials aren't typically seen by the public.

Comey has served in government under both Democratic and Republican administrations. He speaks repeatedly about the need for the FBI to be accountable to the public. His letter Friday seemed in keeping with a statement he made to Congress last month, that although the FBI had concluded its investigation, "we would certainly look at any new and substantial information" presented to it.

Q: BUT WHY WAS THE LETTER SO VAGUE?

A: For one thing, the FBI avoids publicly discussing ongoing criminal investigations, or even confirming that it has one open. Comey surely wouldn't want to use a letter to Congress to release information about an open case.

It also appears from the letter that the FBI isn't sure yet what it has. Comey said the FBI cannot yet assess whether the material is significant, or how long it would take to complete the additional work.

All that said, the letter's vagueness was immediately seized upon by critics as unacceptable and leaving the American people in the dark.

Q: WHAT HAPPENS NOW? DOES THIS INCREASE THE LIKELIHOOD THAT SOMEONE COULD BE CHARGED?

A: The FBI will review the emails to see if they were classified and were improperly handled.

But it's impossible to say based on Comey's letter that anyone is in greater jeopardy than before.

The FBI announced in July that scores of emails from Clinton's server contained information that was classified at the time it was sent or received. So, additional emails determined to be classified might do nothing to change the legal risk for anyone who sent them.

Comey said in July that the FBI had found no evidence of intentional or willful mishandling of classified information, of efforts to obstruct justice or of the deliberate exposure of government secrets. Those were elements that Comey suggested were needed to make a criminal case.

Nothing in the letter appears to change that standard.

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