Perspectives

We Look Behind the Washington Headlines with NPR Security Editor


Posted on:

< < Back to

The news in Washington D.C. regarding the investigation of the Trump campaign for possible conspiracy with Russians in the 2016 election and possible obstruction of justice on the part of the President is roiling.
According to Philip Ewing, National Security Editor for National Public Radio (NPR), the news comes at such a rapid pace that all journalists are scrambling to keep up with the latest developments and skirmishes.
Ewing, in this edition of “Spectrum,” attempts to bring us up-to-date on the latest moves by the parties and gives us perspective behind the Washington headlines we read and hear each day.
Most recently we have had attacks on the FBI and the Department of Justice by the White House. Meanwhile, some Republicans in Congress are raising questions about the investigative techniques used by the FBI.
These accusations of wrong-doing on the part of law enforcement are clearly part of President Trump’s defense strategy to ward off any potential damage from the Robert Mueller investigation, says Ewing.
That attack concept also has permeated the Republican side of the House Intelligence Committee chaired by Republican Devin Nunes. Last week, he released a memorandum claiming to outline improprieties by the FBI and the Justice Department in obtaining a warrant from a special court to secretly listen to conversations of former Trump campaign aide Carter Page.
The memorandum was unclassified by President Trump and released to the public and the media last Friday by the House Committee prompting the Democrats to seek to release their own 10 page memorandum contra to the GOP missive, according to Ewing.
On Monday, Feb. 5th, the House Intelligence Committee unanimously sent the Democratic memorandum to President Trump for a decision whether to declassify its contents. The President has five days to decide whether to declassify all or part of the memorandum. We await his decision.
Meanwhile, according to the New York Times, President Trump’s lawyers are advising him not to voluntarily submit to an interview with Mueller’s team for fear of possible perjury, Ewing adds.
As the “Battle of the Memos” goes on in Congress, other matters in Washington are getting limited attention. For example, the deadline for passing a federal spending bill elapses this week. Although Ewing says that he does not expect another government shut-down, some in Congress are working feverishly to come up with solutions to the funding impasse.
Also, this week President Trump refused to impose new sanctions on the Russians. This refusal is in direct contradiction to the wishes of Congress. Congress, by an overwhelming majority in both Houses, mandated the President to impose new sanctions against Russia. The President refused and that issue is now at an impasse between the White House and Congress.