Jordan Candler / May 8, 2020

Friday News Executive Summary

Damning Russia transcripts, Flynn case dropped, jobs reports, and more.

Above the Fold

  • Yesterday, the House Intelligence Committee’s Russia-probe transcripts went public. Chairman Adam Schiff claims they “show precisely what Special Counsel Robert Mueller also revealed: That the Trump campaign, and Donald Trump himself, invited illicit Russian help, made full use of that help, and then lied and obstructed the investigations in order to cover up this misconduct.” But in 2017, former acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe conceded: “There is a lot of information in the [Christopher] Steele reporting. We have not been able to prove the accuracy of all the information.” And in 2018, the former director of national intelligence, James Clapper, acknowledged: “I never saw any direct empirical evidence that the Trump campaign or someone in it was plotting [or] conspiring with the Russians to meddle with the election.” Care to amend your statement, Mr. Schiff?

  • “The Justice Department on Thursday said it is dropping the criminal case against President Donald Trump’s first national security adviser, Michael Flynn,” the AP reports. We recently explained how the FBI leadership cabal targeted Flynn using entrapment. Kimberley Strassel calls this “huge, overdue, and ultimately … justice.” For the most part, yes. But for wholesome justice, maybe Trump should nominate Flynn for FBI director.

  • Today’s jobs report for April calculates that 20.5 million jobs were lost last month and the unemployment rate ballooned to 14.7%. “Both numbers easily smashed post-World War II era records,” according to CNBC. However, CNBC also notes, “Stocks rose Friday even after the ugliest monthly jobs report ever as investors bet the worst of the coronavirus and its impact on the economy has passed.”

  • “The Texas Supreme Court on Thursday ordered the release of salon owner Shelley Luther, who was jailed for opening in violation of the state’s rules, as Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order retroactively eliminating jail time as a consequence for violating the state’s coronavirus restrictions,” Fox News reports. Allie Beth Stuckey wryly observes, “Isn’t it funny how ‘we need to release people from jail so they don’t get COVID’ applies to rapists and pedophiles but not hair stylists?” Gary Bauer also sadly points out, “If she were in California, Illinois, or New York, she’d still be in jail.”

  • A 1996 court document was dug up by the San Luis Obispo Tribune in which the ex-husband of Tara Reade attested: “On several occasions [Tara] related a problem that she was having at work regarding sexual harassment, in U.S. Senator Joe Biden’s office. [Tara] told me she struck a deal with the chief of staff of the senator’s office and left her position.” Recall also Tara’s claim that her mother called into “Larry King Live” and divulged the incident in August 1993. To be clear, none of this evidence is conclusive. But circumstantial evidence doesn’t get anymore damning than this.

Government & Politics

  • Partisan no more: Republicans finally appointed to coronavirus select committee (The Daily Wire)

  • Barack Obama knew details of wiretapped Flynn phone calls, surprising top DOJ official in meeting with Biden, declassified docs show (Fox News)

  • “Increasingly in peril”: GAO report finds Postal Service “not financially sustainable,” recommends congressional action (National Review)

  • Thanks, Bill de Blasio… Travel from New York City seeded the nationwide COVID-19 crisis (Washington Examiner)

Other Notables

  • Tyson reopens meat processing plant in Iowa, which should help ameliorate the supply-chain bottleneck (Hot Air)

  • Justice: Father and son charged with killing black man Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia (AP)

  • Ninety percent of people apprehended at the southern border expelled under new coronavirus order (The Hill)

  • Deaths of despair: The next COVID crisis could be a wave of suicides (Bloomberg)

  • How “convenient”: Chinese medical exports soared in April (The Resurgent)

Closing Arguments

For more of today’s editors’ choice headlines, visit In Our Sights.

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