Sen. Chuck Schumer Will Oppose Jeff Sessions’ Nomination for Attorney General



Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) in 2015 Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has come out against President-elect Donald Trump’s attorney general pick, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), noting that he doesn’t believe Sessions will be willing to go against Trump should the law require he do so.

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Schumer released a strongly worded statement noting that the role of attorney general must ensure the rights of all Americans.

“The attorney general of the United States has a sacred obligation to enforce our laws and uphold the Constitution. The law gives a voice to the voiceless, it protects the oppressed from the powerful, and it defends the rights of all people, regardless of gender, sexuality, or religion,” Schumer’s statement read, the New York Times reports.

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“The attorney general must wake up every single day ensuring the rights of all Americans—immigrants, minorities, young and old, gay and straight, disabled and not—are protected. Every right—freedom of speech, freedom of religion, the freedom to vote, or any other enshrined in our Constitution or the law—must be protected for every American,” Schumer continued.

While it isn’t shocking that the Democratic leader is strongly opposed to the Southern senator who’s steeped in allegations of racism, it’s worth noting that Sessions’ confirmation vote will most likely be split across party lines.

Read more at the New York Times.


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Spy Chief Tries to Make Peace With Trump Over Russian Dossier



Director of National Intelligence James Clapper Jr. in 2014 Alex Wong/Getty Images

President-elect Donald Trump held his first press conference since winning the presidency, to less-than-stellar reviews. Trump was combative and elusive when questioned about Russia’s involvement in his bid to become president and compared the U.S. intelligence agencies to Nazis after unclassified information was leaked to the press.

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On Wednesday evening, James R. Clapper Jr., the director of national intelligence, released a rare statement in an attempt to smooth things over. Clapper assured the president-elect that the leaks did not come from inside the U.S. intelligence community, the New York Times reports.

“I emphasized that this document is not a U.S. intelligence community product and that I do not believe the leaks came from within the IC. The IC has not made any judgment that the information in this document is reliable, and we did not rely upon it in any way for our conclusions. However, part of our obligation is to ensure that policymakers are provided with the fullest possible picture of any matters that might affect national security,” Clapper’s statement read.

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Clapper added that the intelligence community made no judgment on the documents or the allegations within. According to the Associated Press, the documents were passed around Washington for months before they began being reported on.

While nothing in Clapper’s letter indicated that the allegations were fictitious or false, that didn’t stop Trump from going to Twitter early Thursday morning to recount his interpretation of Clapper’s explanation.

It’s going to be a long four years.

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Read more at the New York Times and the Associated Press.


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2 Women Arrested for Helping Man Wanted in Orlando, Fla., Police Shooting



Markeith Loyd, who is wanted in connection with the slaying of his pregnant ex-girlfriend, as well as the fatal shooting death of Orlando, Fla., Police Master Sgt. Debra Clayton
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Two women were arrested in Florida on Wednesday for helping a man wanted in the fatal shooting of his pregnant ex-girlfriend and an Orlando, Fla., police officer, officials announced, according to Reuters. The women reportedly helped the man on separate occasions over the last month.

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Jameis Slaughter, 25, an ex-girlfriend of murder suspect Markeith Loyd, was taken into custody Wednesday on a charge of accessory after the fact to first-degree murder, an arrest affidavit from the Orange County Sheriff’s Office showed.

Slaughter is accused of collecting money for and being in contact with Loyd over the past month.

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“Approximately 1 1/2 hours after Sergeant Clayton was murdered, Jameis Slaughter’s vehicle drove to the Walmart and circled the area where Markeith Loyd escaped,” the affidavit read.

Loyd, 41, is wanted in the slaying of his ex-girlfriend Sade Dixon, 24, who was pregnant at the time of her death. Dixon’s brother, Ronald Stewart, was also injured in the Dec. 13 incident. On Monday, Loyd allegedly gunned down Orlando Police Master Sgt. Debra Clayton after she spotted him at a local Wal-Mart.

A massive manhunt is still underway for Loyd, and authorities are offering a $100,000 reward for information leading to his capture.

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Loyd’s niece Lakensha Smith Loyd was also taken into custody Wednesday on a charge of accessory after the fact to first-degree murder. The niece is accused of going to a restaurant where her uncle once worked to collect money for him.

On Tuesday a manager at the restaurant, Zarghee Mayan, was also arrested for allegedly helping Loyd.

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Read more at Reuters


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