By Scott Shane Mark Mazzetti The New York Times Thu., Sept. 20, 2018 On an October afternoon before the 2016 election, a huge banner was unfurled from the Manhattan Bridge in New York: Vladimir Putin against a Russian-flag background, and the unlikely word “Peacemaker” below. It was a daredevil happy birthday to the Russian president, who was turning 64. In November, shortly after Donald Trump eked out a victory that Moscow had worked to assist, an even bigger banner appeared, this time on the Arlington Memorial Bridge in Washington: the face of U.S. President Barack Obama and “Goodbye Murderer” in big red letters. Police never identified who had hung the banners, but there were clues. The earliest promoters of the images on Twitter were American-sounding accounts, including @LeroyLovesUSA, later exposed as Russian fakes operated from St. Petersburg to influence American voters. The Kremlin, it appeared, had reached onto U.S. soil in New York … [Read more...] about The plot to subvert an election: Unravelling the Russia story so far
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source Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images Judge Brett Kavanaugh sat through several days of hearings last week, during which senators on the Judiciary Committee probed his record and positions to determine his fitness to serve on the Supreme Court. The hearings were routinely interrupted by protesters each day, while Democrats and Republicans on the committee fought with each other about procedure and transparency. Kavanaugh did answer a lot of questions in a number of key areas, including abortion, gun rights, and special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation. The makeup of support and opposition to Kavanaugh’s confirmation in the Senate appears to have held relatively steady throughout the marathon testimony. WASHINGTON – The confirmation hearings for Brett Kavanaugh were a long four days in which lawmakers grilled President Donald Trump’s nominee to serve on the Supreme Court. And while Kavanaugh’s judicial … [Read more...] about Here’s what Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh said about key issues like abortion during his marathon confirmation hearings
By Michael Schwirtz The New York Times Ellen Barry Mon., Sept. 10, 2018 MOSCOW—Sergei V. Skripal was a little fish. This is how British officials now describe Skripal, a Russian intelligence officer they recruited as a spy in the mid-1990s. When the Russians caught Skripal, they saw him that way, too, granting him a reduced sentence. So did the Americans: The intelligence chief who orchestrated his release to the West in 2010 had never heard of him when he was included in a spy swap with Moscow. But Skripal was significant in the eyes of one man — Vladimir Putin, an intelligence officer of the same age and training. The two men had dedicated their lives to an intelligence war between the Soviet Union and the West. When that war was suspended, both struggled to adapt. One rose, and one fell. While Skripal was trying to reinvent himself, Putin and his allies, former intelligence officers, were gathering together the strands of the old Soviet system. … [Read more...] about A spy story: Sergei Skripal was a little fish who had a big enemy
By Adam Liptak Sheryl Gay Stolberg And Emily Cochrane, The New York Times Wed., Sept. 5, 2018 Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh is before the Senate Judiciary Committee for the second day of his Supreme Court confirmation hearing, defending his judicial independence. Sens. Charles E. Grassley of Iowa and Dianne Feinstein of California, as the top members of the committee, get the first questions, followed by the rest of the panel. Each senator has 30 minutes to interrogate Kavanaugh. Protests have already begun. Kavanaugh cites Nixon to assert his independence Answering the first question Wednesday, from Grassley, the Judiciary Committee chairman, Kavanaugh said he would be an independent justice. He cited three Supreme Court landmarks to make his case. Article Continued Below Two were predictable: Brown v. Board of Education, the 1954 decision that ruled segregated public schools unconstitutional, and Youngstown Sheet and Tube Co. v. Sawyer, the 1952 decision … [Read more...] about U.S. senators question Kavanaugh about his record and legal positions
By Marc Fisher The Washington Post Sari Horwitz Fri., Feb. 23, 2018 They are the sons of wealth, brought up in families accustomed to power. They were raised to show and demand respect, and they were raised to lead. They rose to positions of enormous authority, the president of the United States and the special counsel chosen to investigate him. They dress more formally than most of those around them; both sport meticulously coiffed hair. They have won unusual loyalty from those who believe in them. They attended elite all-male private schools, were accomplished high school athletes and went on to Ivy League colleges. As young men, each was deeply affected by the death of a man he admired greatly. Yet Robert Swan Mueller III and Donald John Trump, born 22 months apart in New York City, also can seem to come from different planets. One is courtly and crisp, the other blustery and brash. One turned away from the path to greater wealth while the other spent half … [Read more...] about Mueller and Trump: Born to wealth and raised to lead. Then, they made sharply different choices.