Friday morning news: June 15, 2018

DOJ IG releases report » Former FBI Director James Comey was insubordinate and broke protocol in his handling of the Hillary Clinton e-mail investigation. That was the conclusion of a report from the Justice Department’s inspector general on Thursday.

The IG said Comey violated Justice Department policies on several occasions, including his July 2016 press conference about the Clinton probe.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters:

SANDERS: The president was briefed on the IG report earlier today, and it reaffirmed the president’s suspicious about Comey’s conduct and the political bias among some of the members of the FBI. 

The report did not accuse Comey of politically motivated wrongdoing. But it did reveal more text messages between FBI investigator Peter Strzok and attorney Lisa Page that showed a clear bias. Here’s Republican Congressman Mike Johnson of Louisiana:

JOHNSON: Peter Strzok, for example, who was the chief investigator of the Clinton email scandal, that he was communicating with his paramour, Lisa Page, and he said at one point, answering her question, could Trump really be the president, and he said ‘no, we’ll stop it.’ There’s evidence here that they were going to use official action of the FBI to intercede and intervene in a presidential election. 

But on the Clinton email probe, the IG report said—quoting here—“We found no evidence that the conclusions by department prosecutors were affected by bias or other improper considerations.”

And Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer declared:

SCHUMER: Anyone who is hoping to use this report to undermine the Mueller probe or prove the existence of a deep state conspiracy against President Trump will be sorely disappointed.

Justice Department Attorney General Michael E. Horowitz will appear at a pair of hearings on Capitol Hill next week.

New York AG sues Trump Foundation » The New York attorney general sued the Donald J. Trump Foundation on Thursday, saying it acted as the president’s personal piggy bank. WORLD Radio’s Jim Henry reports.

JIM HENRY, REPORTER: Attorney General Barbara Underwood, a Democrat, demanded the foundation pay nearly $3 million in restitution. She also wants the charity dissolved.

Underwood claimed the foundation acted as—quote—“little more than a checkbook for payments from Mr. Trump or his businesses to nonprofits, regardless of their purpose or legality.”

A spokeswoman for the foundation, who also serves as its lawyer, has not responded to the claims. But after The Washington Post first reported on the foundation’s finances in 2016, the Trump campaign dismissed the story and the subsequent probe as politically motivated.

Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Jim Henry.

Pompeo touts denuclearization talks in Asia tour » Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tried to erase fears among U.S. allies this week that President Trump would start lifting sanctions on North Korea before it gives up its nuclear weapons.

Pompeo spoke to reporters in Seoul, South Korea on Thursday.

POMPEO: The world should rest assured that the United States, the Republic of Korea, and Japan remain committed to achieving the complete,  verifiable and irreversible denuclearization of North Korea. The U.S. alliances with these two countries are absolutely ironclad.

Pompeo also responded to reports by North Korean state media that the U.S. might start lifting sanctions gradually as Kim Jong Un’s regime begins the process of destroying its nukes. The secretary said that’s not true.

Pompeo also said military drills with South Korea could resume if North Korean leader Kim Jong Un stops negotiating in good faith.

UN sanctions Israel over Gaza violence » The UN General Assembly has approved a resolution blaming Israel for violence in Gaza, while ignoring the role of the Palestinian terror group Hamas.

That led Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley to blast the measure as one-sided.

HALEY: Advancing peace is not the goal of this resolution. I suspect even my Turkish friends know the passage of this resolution won’t change anything, but that it looks good for the people back home to think they’re doing something.

In response to regular and sometimes violent protests in recent months along the Israel-Gaza border, Israeli gunfire has killed more than 120 Palestinians and wounded thousands more. Israel insists it is protecting its border from violent assaults.

I’m Kent Covington. Up next: Culture Friday with John Stonestreet. This is The World and Everything in It.

(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File) In this file July 7, 2016, photo then-FBI Director James Comey testifies before the House Oversight Committee to discuss Hillary Clinton’s email investigation, at the Capitol in Washington. 

WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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