Loading...
BYH: To the powers of PCC. You made the campus smoke free, that is ok. I hope that you never forget that Tobacco formed,...

Burr could use position to calm political rhetoric

Trump Russia Probe Senate-3

Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Richard Burr, R-N.C., left, and Vice Chairman Mark Warner, D-Va., in October update reporters on the status of their inquiry into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. elections, at the Capitol in Washington.

Loading…

Monday, February 12, 2018

U.S. Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., is a cautious guy. That’s a good trait for the senator leading his chamber’s Intelligence Committee.

In keeping with his deliberate style, Burr hasn’t commented on the report released by the House Intelligence Committee, which is chaired by Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif. Burr’s staff said Monday he would have no comment, citing his committee’s ongoing investigation.

But Burr would serve the country well during this super-heated moment by lending his measured voice to correct some of the inflammatory remarks made by elected officials, especially President Trump.

Some background: FBI agents and prosecutors in October 2016 wanted a judge’s permission to spy on Carter Page, a former Trump campaign adviser who’d stopped advising the campaign near the end of that summer.

The Nunes memo says those agents and prosecutors failed to tell a judge that opposition research about Russian election interference was funded by by Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee.

The Nunes memo says that Andrew McCabe, then deputy director of the FBI, said that no surveillance would have been requested without the information from the opposition research. Democrats dispute that characterization.

Trump has used the Nunes report to say that the entire investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 elections is corrupt. “This memo totally vindicates ‘Trump’ in probe,” he tweeted. “The top Leadership and Investigators of the FBI and Justice Department have politicized the sacred investigative process in favor of Democrats and against Republicans....”

If prosecutors did not reveal that the opposition research received funding from Democrats, they should have. But there are a number of facts that show Nunes’ conclusion — that the FBI and top Justice Department officials were “abusing their authority for political purposes” — was overstated:

■ Starting in October 2016, judges approved the surveillance of Page four times over the course of a year; each renewal required a separate finding of probable cause.

■ Page already was on the FBI’s radar as part of a separate investigation into Russian influence. Page bragged in a 2013 letter that he was an adviser to the Kremlin, Time magazine reported.

■ The Nunes memo confirms that the FBI investigation into the Trump campaign began in July 2016, several months before the warrants were sought to spy on Page. The investigation was triggered by information about Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos, who pleaded guilty last year to lying to the FBI.

■ Among those signing off on the warrants was Rod Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general. He’s a Republican. So is FBI Director Christopher Wray.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., warned that “elected officials, including the president, must stop looking at this investigation through the warped lens of politics and manufacturing partisan sideshows.”

Amen to that.

Burr, as chairman of the Intelligence Committee, has a big platform. By urging the loudest partisan voices to pipe down and by re-stating his commitment to a quest for the facts, Burr could help win the confidence of the American people that their leaders are focused on determining the truth, regardless of where it takes them.

The News & Observer

Loading…

Humans of Greenville

@HumansofGville

Local photographer Joe Pellegrino explores Greenville to create a photographic census of its people.

Editorials

August 18, 2018

In Tom Fetzer’s defense of his recent actions as a member of the UNC Board of Governors, he was right about one matter: Secrecy is not paramount in the search for a new chancellor at one of our state universities.

Fetzer, in a column published by The News & Observer, defended his…

1S7A6269-8

August 17, 2018

Even — or especially — among those who agree human-caused global warming is happening, the footnote has been the understanding that no individual weather event or catastrophe is caused by the overall temperature rise.

Until this summer in the Northern Hemisphere.

It’s not just hot…

Western Wildfires-7

August 16, 2018

Cooke Communications N.C. today joins newspapers across the nation writing in response to President Donald Trump’s regular attacks against journalism and the press.

Too many nights to count, journalists sit in nearly empty city council chambers, school board meeting rooms and county office…

press.jpg

August 15, 2018

The U.S. and North Korea are again publicly disagreeing about progress toward the North’s denuclearization, and that’s no surprise. This was likely to happen once President Trump agreed to “phased” progress and dropped demands that the North agree up front to reveal and…

Trump North Korea

August 14, 2018

The Trump administration has reportedly instructed its top diplomats to engage in direct talks with the Taliban. That’s a welcome and important step toward ending the wasteful war in Afghanistan.

A preliminary discussion was held last month in Qatar, the Washington Post reported, after The…

US Afghanistan

August 12, 2018

The numbers are troubling and on the edge of embarrassing — 2,386 North Carolina elementary school teachers have failed the math portion of their licensing exam since 2013. So says a report presented to the state Board of Education last week.

The failure rate on those math tests is getting…

Teacher Protests-13

August 11, 2018

It’s unexpectedly good news that Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina wants to lower some of its premium rates for 2019, as the Journal’s Richard Craver reported Wednesday. This is the first rate decrease in Blue Cross of North Carolina’s history since it entered the…

Health Care Overhaul What Now

August 10, 2018

The debate over 3D-printed guns blew up last week. Many people rightly see this issue as being about the Second Amendment right to bear arms, it’s also about the First Amendment and free speech.

The plans for a basic 3D-printed gun have been around for a couple of years, but the federal…

3D Guns Lawsuit

August 09, 2018

Does the constitutional right to armed self-defense extend outside the home? The Supreme Court didn't address that issue when it a decade ago issued a landmark ruling affirming an individual's right to keep firearms in the home for personal protection. Now, that question is on the front burner with…

Supreme Court Kavanaugh Roe v Wade

August 08, 2018

Some 13 weeks till Election Day, and "The warning lights are blinking red," says the U.S. director of national intelligence. "I cannot emphasize enough the vulnerability," says Sen. Marco Rubio. "We could be just a moment away from it going to the next level," says the FBI director. On Thursday,…

Georgia Runoff Governor-36
107 stories in Editorials. Viewing 1 through 10.
«First Page   «Previous Page        
Page 1 of 11
        Next Page»   Last Page»