News from the note…
A round up of the day’s news that might be of interest to you.
This is an OPEN THREAD, folks. Chat about any of the stories listed, share links to stories that caught your eye today, and generally have a good time discussing whatever you want.
President Donald Trump said Tuesday that his decision to declassify documents related to the Justice Department’s Russia probe is “a great service to the country” and expressed regret that he had not fired former FBI Director James Comey earlier.
In an interview with the Hill, Trump said he believes that his crusade against the FBI, whose past leadership he has criticized as biased against him, will ultimately reveal corruption inside the bureau. Uncovering that corruption, the president said, could be one of the “crowning achievements” of his administration.
“I hope to be able put this up as one of my crowning achievements that I was able to … expose something that is truly a cancer in our country,” the president said in the interview.Politico
The United States is ready to restart negotiations with North Korea “immediately”, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday, with the aim of completing North Korea’s denuclearization by January 2021.
Pompeo said he had invited North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho to meet in New York next week where they are both due to attend the United Nations gathering of world leaders.Reuters
Cristhian Bahena Rivera, the 24-year-old man accused of killing University of Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts earlier this year, pleaded not guilty on Wednesday and had his trial set for next April by a judge.
USA Today reports that Iowa District Court Judge Joel Yates scheduled Bahena Rivera’s trial for April 16, 2019, after the defendant waived his right to a trial within 90 days.
Lawyers for Bahena Rivera say their client, who listened to a translation of the proceedings through headphones, is “anxious to get this going.” The attorneys would not say whether they would seek to move Bahena Rivera’s case out of Poweshiek County, where the case gained national attention after remarks from President Trump and other Republicans.The Hill
Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley said Wednesday that he is focused on “doing everything” to make Christine Blasey Ford, who has accused President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee of sexually assaulting her when they were teenagers, comfortable with speaking to his committee, but continued to resist Ford’s call for an FBI investigation into the claims.
“We are doing everything that we can to make Dr. Ford comfortable to coming before the committee in an open session or a closed session, or a public or a private interview,” the Iowa Republican told reporters on Capitol Hill Wednesday. “That’s four different ways she can choose to come. So, I’m not worried about anything other than just focusing for the next few days on encouraging her to come.”CNN
Christine Blasey Ford threw a Supreme Court confirmation into turmoil with her decision to step forward with sexual assault allegations against Brett Kavanaugh — but she also broke the delicate social code of the affluent Maryland suburbs where they both grew up.
Their families have traveled for decades in the same prep school and country-club circles, populated by Washington power players — including plenty of lawyers, lobbyists and government officials whose shared goal is to avoid public embarrassment.Politico
A woman who helped kidnap Elizabeth Smart when she was a teenager has been released from a Utah prison after 15 years in custody.
Utah State prison spokeswoman Kaitlin Felsted said in a statement that Wanda Barzee was released Wednesday following a surprise announcement last week that authorities had miscalculated the amount of time she should serve.
The 72-year-old was previously scheduled to be released in 2024.AP
Iran, North Korea, Syria and … commas. While Mike Pompeo is focused on a number of key geopolitical concerns, an email obtained by CNN suggests that the secretary of state also appears to have had it, up to, here, with, the rampant, improper use of commas by State Department staff.
In the last few months, two emails have gone out from Pompeo’s top staff to employees throughout the State Department giving careful, meticulous instructions on comma usage.
The latest email, sent in early September and obtained by CNN, gives “updated guidance … regarding correct use of commas in paper for Department principals.”
“The Secretary has underscored the need for appropriate use of commas in his paper (both their inclusion and omission),” the email declares. It also notes that Pompeo prefers adherence to the Chicago Manual of Style, which states “effective use of the comma involves good judgment, with the goal being ease of reading.”CNN