Daily Dispatches
Former Deputy Attorney General James Comey
Associated Press/Photo by Evan Vucci, File
Former Deputy Attorney General James Comey

Midday Roundup: Obama to nominate former Bush official to head FBI

Newsworthy

New director? President Barack Obama plans to nominate former Bush administration official James Comey to head the FBI. Comey served as second in command in President George W. Bush’s Justice Department. But that doesn’t mean he won’t face scrutiny from Republican lawmakers. After leaving the Justice Department, Comey worked at Connecticut-based hedge fund Bridgewater Associates, a connection Iowa Sen. Charles Grassley, the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, cited as a point of concern. Comey left Bridgewater earlier this year to take a teaching post at Columbia Law School. During his time in the Bush administration, Comey became a hero to Democrats after he refused to reauthorize the president’s warrantless wiretapping program. Bush revised the surveillance protocols after Comey and current FBI Director Robert Mueller threatened to resign. Mueller is stepping down from his post in September.

Shooting investigation. A Florida man the FBI linked to suspected Boston bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev did not have a weapon when agents interviewing him earlier this month shot him to death. According to law enforcement sources, Ibragim Todashev did not have a knife, as initially reported. FBI officials blamed confusion after the confrontation for the erroneous report. They also said a samurai sword in the man’s apartment might have contributed to the assumption that he had a weapon. Todashev was trained in mixed martial arts, and the FBI agent involved in the confrontation allegedly sustained minor injuries during a struggle. Agents allege Todashev was about to sign a confession to his role in a 2011 triple homicide, in which police believe Tsarnaev also participated.

Greely dies. The Rev. Andrew Greeley, a liberal Roman Catholic priest, sociologist, and prolific novel writer, died yesterday in Chicago at age 85. Greeley was known as an outspoken critic of the Catholic Church on issues including its teaching on contraception and the way it handled the sexual abuse crisis. But he remained a priest, preferring to chastise from within, rather than become a dissident. Greeley’s hugely popular novels, including The Cardinal Sins, published in 1981, earned him millions, but he gave most of his money to the Church and charities. The books frequently included racy plots and gritty detectives. The stories paralleled current events and often involved Catholic controversies.

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Mr. Unpopular? A new poll out today shows that the scandals dogging the White House are dragging down the administration’s approval ratings. According to the Quinnipiac University national poll, a majority of respondents—76 percent—want the government to appoint an IRS special prosecutor. Among Democrats, the desire for an in-depth investigation remains at 63 percent. “Voters apparently don’t like the idea of Attorney General Eric Holder investigating the matter himself, perhaps because they don’t exactly think highly of him,” said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. “Holder gets a negative 23-39 percent job approval rating.”

Leigh Jones
Leigh Jones

Leigh lives in Atlanta and is the managing editor of WORLD's website.

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