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Durham report highlights FBI mistakes in Trump-Russia probe: May 16 rundown

May 16, 2023

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The FBI is facing criticism after the release of special counsel John Durham’s report highlighting mistakes made by the department during its investigation of potential links between Russia and the 2016 Trump campaign. And Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has signed a bill that prohibits public colleges from utilizing state funds for diversity, equity, and inclusion programs. These stories and more highlight the rundown for Tuesday, May 16, 2023.

Special counsel report reveals FBI errors in Trump-Russia investigation

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is under scrutiny following the release of a report by special counsel John Durham, who was appointed by the Department of Justice. The report highlights significant mistakes made by the FBI in its investigation into potential links between Russia and the 2016 Trump campaign.

Durham’s report, which comes after nearly four years of investigation, suggests that the FBI lacked substantial evidence when it initiated the probe into the 2016 campaign of former President Donald Trump. Spanning more than 300 pages, the report points out that the FBI heavily relied on leads provided by Trump’s political opponents, which were insufficient to warrant a thorough investigation.

Although acknowledging the FBI’s obligation to examine allegations related to Russia, Durham states that the bureau failed to meet its investigative responsibilities in this particular case, calling the leads that officials pursued “raw, uncorroborated information.” In response to the report’s release, Trump called the FBI’s investigation of him a “disgrace” and asserted that the American public had been deceived during a subsequent interview with Fox News.

Meanwhile, the FBI issued its own statement, acknowledging the mistakes made during the 2016 investigation. The bureau’s leadership stated that they have implemented numerous corrective measures to prevent similar missteps in the future. Durham has been requested to testify before the House Judiciary Committee next week, where lawmakers hope to obtain more information and clarity regarding the FBI’s actions.

Deadly shooting leaves three dead, nine injured in New Mexico

Residents in Farmington, New Mexico, are grappling with the aftermath of a deadly shooting during which an 18-year-old gunman opened fire, resulting in the loss of three lives and leaving nine others wounded. The chaotic scene unfolded as the suspect roamed the neighborhood, targeting innocent residents as he sought victims.

Upon receiving reports of the shooting, four police officers responded to the scene. They engaged with the gunman, who was armed with an AR-15-style rifle and two other firearms, according to the local police chief. Two of the responding officers sustained gunshot wounds and were injured during the exchange. However, the remaining officers confronted the shooter and subdued the suspect with lethal force.

Authorities have not yet disclosed a motive for the shooting. New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said this incident “serves as yet another reminder of how gun violence destroys lives in our state and our country every single day.”

U.S. faces impending risk of default as debt ceiling negotiations continue

The U.S. is rapidly approaching a potential default on its national debt as Congress grapples with the urgent need to raise the debt ceiling. However, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and President Biden find themselves at an impasse, heightening concerns as the deadline looms.

In a bid to find common ground, McCarthy and other top congressional leaders are scheduled to meet with Biden on Tuesday, May 16, just one day before the president is expected to attend the G-7 Summit in Japan. McCarthy said they need to reach a deal before the weekend, allowing ample time for the bill to pass through both chambers of Congress and reach the president’s desk for approval.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has warned that a failure to act on the nation’s debt could result in an “economic catastrophe.” Meanwhile, Biden intends to proceed with his scheduled trip to Japan for the G-7 Summit this week, although the White House has made it clear that the decision is contingent upon the progress made during the debt ceiling negotiations.

Ukraine successfully intercepts hypersonic missile attack on Kyiv

In a recent attack on its capital city of Kyiv, Ukraine claims to have intercepted a total of 18 missiles. Ukrainian officials reported that six of the intercepted missiles were identified as hypersonic weapons, a significant development if confirmed. This would mark the first time Ukraine has successfully neutralized a whole group of the weapons that Russia has previously considered nearly unstoppable.

Hypersonic missiles are known for their incredible speed, capable of traveling up to 10 times the speed of sound. These missiles pose a significant threat due to their high velocity and maneuverability, making them difficult to detect and intercept.

DeSantis cuts funding of diversity programs at Florida public colleges

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, R, has taken another step in his efforts to reform higher education in the state by signing a bill that prohibits public colleges from utilizing state funds for diversity, equity, and inclusion programs. According to DeSantis, DEI programs implemented in colleges are viewed as an attempt to impose an ideological agenda on both students and faculty.

The governor suggested that students interested in studying subjects such as gender ideology should consider attending schools in states like California, saying “if you want to do things like gender ideology, go to Berkeley.” This new legislation has drawn criticism from various free speech organizations, who argue that the new law undermines academic freedom.

North Carolina GOP lawmakers seek to override governor’s abortion veto

Republican lawmakers in North Carolina are pushing to override a veto issued by Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper. The proposed legislation aims to implement a significant change in abortion regulations by restricting the procedure to the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. The state’s Senate is scheduled to vote on the matter later today, but the outcome remains uncertain as to whether there are enough votes to secure the override.

North Carolina currently permits abortions up to 20 weeks into pregnancy, which is comparatively lenient compared to neighboring states in the region. However, with this proposed bill, Republican lawmakers are seeking to enact one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the state’s history.

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