President Donald Trump is under intense fire for congratulating Russian President Vladimir Putin on his election — an election widely denounced as a sham. Putting aside the propriety of an American President congratulating an authoritarian figure (who is accused of interfering with his own election), the most notable element in the story was a leak that said Trump’s national security staff not only warned him not congratulate Putin but included in his briefing materials in all-capital letters the warning “DO NOT CONGRATULATE.” The speed of the leak is astonishing even by the measure of the Trump Administration. It appears that the leaks may have occurred within minutes of the call. Chief of Staff Kelly is reportedly irate with the leak and for good reason.
Municipal Judge Wilfredo Benitez is at the center of a controversy after he reportedly shouted profanities and cited his judicial position after being found passed out by the side of a road. Benitez was later found to be intoxicated. However, his charges were later thrown out by another judge.
There is a fascinating case in Edgewater, Florida where Jason Braun, 41, was arrested after police were able to lift his DNA from a doorbell. The story is an example of advanced forensic tests have become and how little is needed now for a DNA sample.
At the turn of the last century, surrealists had a parlor game in Paris called “The Exquisite Corpse” where writers would create collective stories by writing lines without knowing what preceded them. The lines were often nonsensical like the line that gave the game its name: “Le cadavre exquis boira le vin nouveau. ” (“The exquisite corpse shall drink the new wine.”) With minutes of his firing, former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe became such an exquisite corpse with various politicians adding lines to his story that seemed entirely disconnected to his story. Former FBI Director James Comey used McCabe to pitch his upcoming book while former Attorney General Eric Holder used him to effectively attack career staff at his former agency. The point of the game in both politics and literature is not to advance a coherent narrative but insert your own lines into a collective story.
Derrick Faria, 19, allegedly prefers convenience over stealth in robbing banks. Faria is accused of taking a taxi to the Fifth Third Band in Evansville Indiana to rob it . . . . and then taking the same taxi back home. He allegedly paid for the return trip with some of the money from the bank heist.
Below is my column in the Hill newspaper on the implications of the termination of Andrew McCabe and his revealing public statement. The statement presents a particularly difficult problem of former FBI Director James Comey.
Here is the column: