TRANSITION WATCH: Comey under review
From NBC’s Pete Williams and Halimah Abdullah: “The Justice Department Inspector General says he will review how the FBI and Justice Department handled certain aspects of the Hillary Clinton email investigation. The probe by Michael E. Horowitz will include a review of FBI Director James Comey’s news conference in July and his two letters to lawmakers in late October and early November. “In response to requests from numerous Chairmen and Ranking Members of Congressional oversight committees, various organizations, and members of the public, the Office of the Inspector General will initiate a review of allegations regarding certain actions by the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation in advance of the 2016 election,” the Justice Department said in a statement.”
NBC profiles former British intelligence agent Christopher Steele, author of the Trump dossier.
David Ignatius in the Washington Post: “According to a senior U.S. government official, Flynn phoned Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak several times on Dec. 29, the day the Obama administration announced the expulsion of 35 Russian officials as well as other measures in retaliation for the hacking. What did Flynn say, and did it undercut the U.S. sanctions? The Logan Act (though never enforced) bars U.S. citizens from correspondence intending to influence a foreign government about “disputes” with the United States. Was its spirit violated? The Trump campaign didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.”
The Washington Post: “Donald Trump’s Cabinet nominees, in their first round of confirmation hearings on Capitol Hill, have one after another contradicted the president-elect on key issues, promising to trim back or disregard some of the signature promises on which he campaigned.”
And from the Wall Street Journal: “Donald Trump’s picks for top national security posts diverged from the president-elect’s positions on key issues during confirmation hearings a week before the inauguration, increasing uncertainty about what policies the incoming administration will pursue, even on matters almost entirely under White House control.”
The New York Times, on CIA nominee Mike…