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Vox Sentences: Memos on memos

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The Comey memos go public; the DNC files a multimillion dollar lawsuit against the Russian government, the Trump campaign, and WikiLeaks; violence continues along the Gaza border.

Releasing the memos (the Comey memos this time)

The Washington Post/Getty Images
  • The infamous memos that former FBI Director James Comey wrote after his meetings with President Trump became public on Thursday, shedding light both on the Trump presidency and on Comey himself. [NYT / Nicholas Fandos]
  • Republicans in the House requested the memos last week, threatening to subpoena the Justice Department if they weren’t released. Thursday, the DOJ complied, and the memos leaked soon afterward. You can read them for yourself here: [Vox / Jen Kirby]
  • House Republicans were hoping to find evidence for Trump’s repeated, but unverified, claims that Comey has leaked classified information. The memos themselves don’t seem to support that assertion. They also aren’t especially flattering for the president, who comes across as rambling and often inappropriate. [The Atlantic / David Graham]
  • The memos also provide a more detailed picture on National Security Adviser Michael Flynn’s firing after only 24 days in office. Comey noted that Trump said he had “serious reservations” about Flynn — partly because he didn’t tell Trump about a phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin. [Vox / Alex Ward]
  • The memos, which hew closely to Comey’s testimony before Congress, also describe the former FBI director feeling pressured to pull back from the investigation into the Trump campaign’s possible collusion with Russia. [Politico / Kyle Cheney]
  • That wasn’t the only news in the past 24 hours on the Trump-Russia investigation: On Friday, the DNC filed a multimillion dollar lawsuit against Russia, the Trump campaign and WikiLeaks alleging a conspiracy to disrupt the 2016 election. The lawsuit reveals details that weren’t previously known about Russian election interference, like the exact date on which Russia hacked the DNC computer system. [The Washington Post / Tom Hamburger, Rosalind S. Helderman, and Ellen Nakashima]
  • This move isn’t unprecedented, but it is rare. The last time the DNC used a similar legal tactic was 36 years ago during the Watergate scandal, when they sued Richard Nixon’s reelection campaign for breaking into DNC headquarters. [Axios / Alexi McCammond]

Friday protests at the Gaza border are escalating

  • It’s the fourth Friday in a row of protests along the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip. Friday, four people, including a 15-year-old boy, were killed by the Israeli army. 445 Palestinians were injured in the day’s protests, including 96 who were wounded by Israeli army fire. [The AP via CBS News]
  • The protests are calling for the “right of return” for the hundreds of thousands of Palestinians and their descendants displaced by the creation of the state of Israel and the blockade that has crippled life in the Gaza Strip since 2008. [The Guardian / Hazem Balousha and Oliver Holmes]
  • In preparation for the protest on Friday morning, the Israel Defense Forces dropped leaflets in Gaza warning residents against trying to use violence against Israeli civilians and soldiers or attempting to damage, cross, or even come near the border fence. [Ynetnews / Yoav Zitun and Elior Levy]
  • According to the IDF, some of the protesters on Friday burned tires and tried to fly kites with firebombs attached to them into Israeli territory. At least one kite was marked with a swastika, and several succeeded in reaching Israeli territory and were taken down. [The Times of Israel / Toi Staff & Judah Ari Gross]
  • The protests, in which Israeli troops have so far killed 35 Palestinians, have drawn widespread condemnation, and likely influenced actress Natalie Portman’s decision not to accept a prize in Israel due to “recent events.” [Reuters]



“If your child got abducted in Albuquerque, you got all the resources of the Amber [Alert] program. … But if your child was abducted on the Navajo reservation, there was basically nothing there.” [Detective Jim Walters, a child abduction specialist, to Esquire / Rachel Monroe]

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