In our news wrap Friday, an internal Justice Department report concludes political bias did not affect the FBI’s probe of links between the 2016 Trump campaign and Russia. It also found an FBI lawyer may have altered a document about surveillance of an adviser. Also, four more protesters were killed in a second day of fighting near a key bridge in Baghdad. In all, 14 people have died in 24 hours.
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President Trump says he does not expect to be impeached by the U.S. House of Representatives, but would welcome a trial in the Republican-controlled Senate.
He said today that Republicans got nothing from two weeks of congressional hearings. In fact, multiple witnesses testified that he withheld military aid to try to pressure Ukraine's leader for personal political gain.
But the president had his own take at the White House.
President Donald Trump:
I think we had a tremendous week with the hoax, you know, the great hoax. They call it the impeachment hoax. And that's really worked out incredibly well. And we have tremendous support.
We will take a closer look at where all of this stands, and where it is headed, after the news summary.
A Justice Department report, internal report, concludes that political bias did not affect the FBI's probe of links between the 2016 Trump campaign and Russia. The Washington Post, The New York Times and others say the department's inspector general makes that finding in a forthcoming
There's word that a former FBI lawyer allegedly altered a document on surveillance of a Trump campaign adviser, in 2016. The Washington Post, CNN and others report the Justice Department's inspector general makes that finding in a forthcoming report. He does find that an FBI lawyer altered a document on surveillance of a campaign adviser, but he says the surveillance still had a solid legal basis.
In Iraq, four more protesters were killed in a second day of fighting near a key bridge in Baghdad. In all, 14 have died in the unrest in the last 24 hours. Today, security forces opened fire again, as protesters burned tires. At least 90 were wounded from live fire and tear gas rounds.
Iran says that it has stifled protests over gas prices and arrested some 100 protest leaders. That news came as people in Tehran walked past burned-out banks and gas stations today and Internet access was slowly being restored.
Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo asked Iranians for videos of abuses, so that the U.S. can publicize them.
Vast crowds in Algeria marked a 40th straight Friday of mass protests today, demanding honest elections. Many thousands flooded the streets of Algiers, waving flags and holding banners. They rejected next month's planned presidential vote, over fears that it will be rigged.
Nabila (through translator):
It's a peaceful protest. We came out to say no to the electoral mockery they want to impose to us. People are right. We will keep protesting, and we refuse the election with the same regime which destroyed Algeria.
Demonstrators forced out longtime President Abdelaziz Bouteflika last April. Since then, they have called for the rest of the regime to quit.
Tens of thousands of protesters also rallied in Lebanon, marking the country's independence day. Politicians attended a brief military parade. But the protesters held their own event, carrying flags, singing the national anthem, and demanding that the ruling elite step aside.
China's President Xi Jinping injected a bit of optimism today into trade talks with the U.S. He told a business forum in Beijing that China does want an agreement. But he also said that his government would fight back, if need be.
Later, President Trump said that an accord is — quote — "potentially very close," but that it would have to favor the U.S.
The president also confirmed today that Vice President Mike Pence will be his running mate again next year. In a FOX News interview, Mr. Trump referred to the vice president as — quote — "my friend" and said that he has done a — quote — "phenomenal job."
A major donor to the president's 2017 inaugural will face new federal charges, including obstruction and failing to register as a foreign agent. Court papers say the case against Imaad Zuberi is being filed in New York. He was already accused of campaign finance violations and tax evasion in Los Angeles. Over the years, Zuberi has donated to both major parties.
And on Wall Street, stocks managed a modest rally after three days of losses. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 109 points to close at 27875. The Nasdaq rose 13 points, and the S&P 500 added six.