Tomorrow, before the Senate Judiciary Committee we will hear the true and untold story behind Former FBI Director James Comey’s firing. And with countdown clocks and cocktail specials, it is being billed as the blockbuster of the summer.
To add fuel to the fire, last night it was reported that Comey told Attorney General Jeff Sessions he did not want to be alone with Trump after Trump asked Comey to end an FBI investigation into Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.
While Trump’s attempts to manipulate Comey and his subsequent firing have the potential to make for great TV drama, it is crucial to remember the story that got us here: Trump’s ties to Russia. Just days after abruptly firing Comey, Trump himself admitted the reason he did so was “this Russia thing with Trump.” Comey was fired because he was investigating Trump’s connections to Russia. Full stop. So before tomorrow’s hearing, watch this video for a refresher on what exactly Comey was investigating when he was fired.
ACTION OF THE DAY
#LetUsTestify. Right now, the Senate is working in secret on their ACA repeal bill that’s almost entirely like the House version. They are planning on submitting their bill to the CBO with zero input from experts or the people whose lives will be impacted by the bill. If you are one of the millions of people who will be hurt by Trumpcare, sign this letter to demand a say in the future of our health care.
Christopher A. Wray. Speaking of FBI Directors… This morning Trump announced (via Twitter) his decision to name Christopher Wray as FBI Director. Wray was assistant attorney general under President George W. Bush and most recently represented Gov. Chris Christie in the Bridgegate scandal.
Tehran. Yesterday, gunmen stormed two historic sites in Tehran, killing at least 12 people in gunfire and suicide blasts. ISIS claimed responsibility for the attacks, which would mark the group’s first major attack in Iran.
Qatar. ICYMI, Trump has again taken to Twitter to discuss diplomatic affairs. Yesterday, Trump supported several Middle Eastern countries’ decision to suspend ties with Qatar, calling the move, “the beginning of the end to the horror of terrorism!” Trump seems to have forgotten what he knew just weeks ago, that Qatar—home to the largest U.S. military base in the region—is a crucial strategic partner in the Middle East. The rest of the Trump Administration does not necessarily seem to be on board with Trump’s assessment, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and the Pentagon both put out statements calling for security and stability in the region. More on the implications of Trump’s statements here.
Dezinformatsiya. Also known as disinformation. Ahead of congressional hearings on the Department of Justice’s Russia investigation, a new CAP report finds that Russia has invested heavily in developing its disinformation capabilities, treating these tools as a new weapon system to be used against liberal democratic societies.
#IAmStilIn. Fallout from Trump’s decision to leave the Paris Agreement continues. But so does resistance to it. Yesterday, Hawaii became the first state to legally support the goals of the Paris Agreement. You can support the states, cities, businesses, investors, universities, and other entities taking strong climate action by joining #IAmStillIn. Get involved here: IAmStillIn.org.
UNDER THE RADAR
Pulse. It has been nearly a year since the Pulse nightclub shooting—the largest mass shooting in U.S. history—which claimed 49 lives and injured 53 others. It was a hate-motivated attack on LGBTQ and Latinx communities. One year later, the U.S. has still failed to pass comprehensive gun safety measures, protect LGBT! people from discrimination, or to help prevent another tragedy like Pulse. Join us along with the Pride Fund to End Gun Violence for a discussion of the political and advocacy landscape one year after Pulse, the recent rise of hate violence in the U.S., and how weak gun laws contribute to hate-motivated violence. Watch the event here.
Clean Slate. Yesterday, the Pennsylvania Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously approved a bipartisan Clean Slate bill. The legislation would enable individuals to have qualifying minor records permanently sealed after they have remained crime-free for a set period of time. Even a minor criminal record can present lifetime barriers to opportunity, putting jobs, housing, education, and more out of reach. Enabling Pennsylvanians with minor criminal records to earn a clean slate would make it possible for them to get past these barriers, get to work, and provide for their families—while strengthening the economy and enhancing public safety.