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Wednesday, May 10, 2017

RSN: Behind Comey's Firing: An Enraged Trump, Fuming About Russia, Chuck Schumer Calls for Special Prosecutor, Suggests Cover-Up in Response to Comey Firing


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Behind Comey's Firing: An Enraged Trump, Fuming About Russia 
President Donald Trump had grown angry over the Russia investigation and that the FBI director wouldn't support his claims that President Barack Obama had tapped his phones in Trump Tower. (photo: Getty Images)
Josh Dawsey, Politico
Dawsey writes: "President Donald Trump weighed firing his FBI director for more than a week. When he finally pulled the trigger Tuesday afternoon, he didn't call James Comey. He sent his longtime private security guard to deliver the termination letter in a manila folder to FBI headquarters."
Steven W. Thrasher | Did Stephen Colbert Cross a Line? The Government Doesn't Get to Decide That 
Steven W. Thrasher, Guardian UK
Thrasher writes: "The federal government should not be investigating people making jokes, criminalizing laughter or prosecuting WikiLeaks, just as 30 state governments should not be drafting new bills to criminalize protest."
Chuck Schumer Calls for Special Prosecutor, Suggests Cover-Up in Response to Comey Firing
Austin Wright and Seung Min Kim, Politico
Excerpt: "Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York and other Democrats ratcheted up calls for a special prosecutor to investigate the Trump campaign's ties to Russia after FBI Director James Comey's firing on Tuesday - an abrupt dismissal that also raised concerns from a stream of Republicans on Capitol Hill."
Journalist Arrested for Asking Trump Cabinet Member About Healthcare Bill
Samantha Schmidt, The Washington Post
Schmidt writes: "An officer in the capitol pulled veteran reporter Dan Heyman aside, handcuffed him and arrested him. He was jailed on the charge of willful disruption of state government processes and was released later on $5,000 bail."
Tom Price. (photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg/Getty Images)
Tom Price. (photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg/Getty Images)

s Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price walked through a hallway Tuesday in the West Virginia state capitol, veteran reporter Dan Heyman followed alongside him, holding up his phone to Price while attempting to ask him a question.
Heyman, a journalist with Public News Service, repeatedly asked the secretary whether domestic violence would be considered a preexisting condition under the Republican bill to overhaul the nation’s health care system, he said.
“He didn’t say anything,” Heyman said later in a news conference. “So I persisted.”
Then, an officer in the capitol pulled him aside, handcuffed him and arrested him. Heyman was jailed on the charge of willful disruption of state government processes and was released later on $5,000 bail.
Authorities said while Secret Service agents were providing security in the capitol for Price and Kellyanne Conway, special counsel to the president, Heyman was “aggressively breaching” the agents to the point where they were “forced to remove him a couple of times from the area,” according to a criminal complaint.
Heyman “was causing a disturbance by yelling questions at Ms. Conway and Secretary Price,” the complaint stated.
But Heyman said he was simply fulfilling his role as a journalist and feels that his arrest sets a “terrible example” for members of the press seeking answers to questions.
“This is my job, this is what I’m supposed to do,” Heyman said. “I think it’s a question that deserves to be answered. I think it’s my job to ask questions and I think it’s my job to try to get answers.”
Price and Conway were visiting Charleston, W.Va., to hear about efforts to fight opioid addiction in a state that has the nation’s highest drug overdose death rate. They met privately with state and local policymakers and members of several groups, including officials of an addiction treatment center and an addiction hotline, according to the Associated Press.

Before Heyman’s arrest, no police officer told him he was in the wrong place, Heyman said. He was wearing a press pass as well as a shirt with a Public News Service logo on the front, and identified himself to police as a reporter, he said.
At the news conference, Heyman’s lawyer called the arrest a “highly unusual case” and said he has never had a client arrested for “talking too loud.” The lawyer, Tim DiPiero, described Heyman as a mild-mannered, reputable journalist and called the arrest “bizarre” and “way over the top.”
Heyman has worked as a reporter for about 30 years, and his stories have appeared in the New York Times, NPR and other national news outlets, he said. Since 2009, he has worked as a West Virginia-based producer and reporter for Public News Service, a nonprofit news service that provides content to media outlets while also publishing its own stories.
Lark Corbeil, chief executive and founder of Public News Service, said Heyman’s arrest took the organization “very much by surprise.”
“From what we can understand, he did nothing out of the ordinary,” Corbeil said in an interview with The Washington Post. “He was doing what any journalist would normally do, calling out a question and trying to get an answer.”
The American Civil Liberties Union of West Virginia said in a statement that Heyman’s arrest constituted “a blatant attempt to chill an independent, free press.” It called the charges against Heyman “outrageous” and demanded they be dropped immediately.
“This is a dangerous time in our country,” the statement read. “Freedom of the press is being eroded every day.”
“Today was a dark day for democracy,” the ACLU of West Virginia added. “But the rule of law will prevail. The First Amendment will prevail.”
Heyman said he has been reporting on health care issues for many years, calling it “well-trodden ground” in his coverage. As a veteran journalist, he is used to criticism, he said, but he has never heard of a reporter being arrested for asking a question. Heyman said he thinks the public relies on journalists aggressively “pursuing the truth.”
“If they don’t like the stories I write, that’s fine,” Heyman said. “They can criticize me all they want.”
“But just saying that I shouldn’t be able to do my job is a bit ridiculous,” he added.
Chelsea Manning Finally Set to Be Released Next Week
Excerpt: "Chelsea Manning, the former army intelligence analyst, is set to be released from military prison after seven long years, she confirmed on Twitter Tuesday."
Pentagon Plans to Boost US Troops in Afghanistan
Al Jazeera
Excerpt: "US military officials and advisers to Donald Trump's administration have drafted a proposal to increase the number of soldiers in Afghanistan, according to several media reports in the United States."
Italian Forces Ignored a Sinking Ship Full of Syrian Refugees and Let More Than 250 Drown, Says Leaked Audio
Anna Momigliano, The Washington Post
Momigliano writes: "Until Monday, the public did not know that the refugees had alerted Italian authorities that they were in distress as early as five hours before their ship sank. Even though the refugees̢۪ ship called the Italian coast guard and warned that it was floating adrift, taking on water and had wounded children aboard, Italian authorities refused to intervene for several hours."
Emergency Declared at Nuclear Waste Site in Washington State
Stefanie Spear, EcoWatch
Spear writes: "The Department of Energy declared an emergency Tuesday at a plutonium-handling facility at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington state after a tunnel partly collapsed. Federal officials said, there was 'no indication of a release of contamination at this point.'"

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