TIME Hillary Clinton

The Legal Question Over Hillary Clinton’s Secret Emails

Secretary Hillary Clinton speaks to voters at a town hall meeting in Nashua, New Hampshire, on Tuesday, July 28, 2015.
The Washington Post—The Washington Post/Getty Images Secretary Hillary Clinton speaks to voters at a town hall meeting in Nashua, New Hampshire, on Tuesday, July 28, 2015.

Two key questions: Did she know material was classified and did she act negligently handling it?

Is Hillary Clinton in trouble for having government secrets on her private email server?

Last week, the inspector general for the U.S. intelligence community concluded that some of the emails Clinton and others exchanged on her private server while she was Secretary of State contained classified information.

But the consequences of that revelation were muddied early on by erroneous reports of a request for a criminal inquiry from the Justice Department and by official disagreement over when and whether the information in the emails was actually classified.

Legally, the question is pretty clear-cut. If Clinton knowingly used her private server to handle classified information she could have a problem. But if she didn’t know the material was classified when she sent or received it she’s safe.

There are several laws that make it a criminal offense knowingly to reveal or mishandle classified information. The main one, 18 USC 1924 reads:

Whoever being an officer, employee, contractor, or consultant of the United States, and, by virtue of his office, employment, position, or contract, becomes possessed of documents or materials containing classified information of the United States, knowingly removes such documents or materials without authority and with the intent to retain such documents or materials at an unauthorized location shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for not more than one year, or both.

Clinton has explicitly and repeatedly said she didn’t knowingly send or receive any classified information. “The facts are pretty clear,” she said last weekend in Iowa, “I did not send nor receive anything that was classified at the time.” Intelligence Community Inspector General I. Charles McCullough III, disagrees, saying some of the material was in fact classified at the time it was sent. But in his letter last week to Congressional intelligence committee leaders, McCullough reported that, “None of the emails we reviewed had classification or dissemination markings.” And there has been no indication Clinton knew she was sending and receiving anything classified.

The public doesn’t yet know the content of the classified emails, and the State Department and the inspectors general have tens of thousands still to review. If evidence emerges that Clinton knew she was handling secrets on her private server, “She could have a problem,” says William Jeffress, a leading criminal trial lawyer at Baker Botts who has represented government officials in secrecy cases. Barring that, says Jeffress, “there’s no way in the world [prosecutors] could ever make a case” against her.

Clinton also has to worry about government rules for handling secrets. In December 2009, President Obama signed Executive Order 13526, which renewed the long-running rules for classifying information and the penalties for revealing it.

Under that order, agency heads like Clinton are responsible for keeping secrets safe throughout their departments. And all officers of the government can be suspended, fired or have their security clearance revoked if they “knowingly, willfully, or negligently” disclosed secrets or broke the rules in any other way.

Was Clinton negligent in setting up her private email server and communicating with State Department staff exclusively on it? Says Steven Aftergood, a secrecy expert at the Federation of American Scientists, “The material in question was not marked as classified, making it very hard or impossible to show negligence.”

With 16 months until the 2016 presidential election, Clinton’s opponents will certainly try. And with tens of thousands of emails still to be reviewed, they’ll have plenty of material to work with.

TIME 2016 Election

Donald Trump Applied to Trademark ‘Trumpublican’ and ‘Trumpocrat’

The trademarks are currently classified as abandoned

Businessman and presidential hopeful Donald Trump wanted to add some new trademarks to his collection.

The Washington Post reports the Trump team filed applications to trademark “Trumpocrat” and “Trumpublican” earlier this year. The trademarks are currently classified as abandoned, but they can still be looked up through the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office database.

This isn’t the first time Trump has made use of the trademark office. The real estate magnate has already secured some notable trademarks through the years, the Post notes, including “The Board Room” and “Miss Photogenic Teen USA.”

Trump’s latest applications would have covered the use of the terms on a variety of items, from T-shirts to cufflinks.

[The Washington Post]

TIME Chris Christie

The Political Upside of Chris Christie’s Threats Against Colorado Pot Users

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) holds a town hall meeting at the American Legion Dupuis Cross Post 15 July 2, 2015 in Ashland, New Hampshire.
Darren McCollester—2015 Getty Images New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) holds a town hall meeting at the American Legion Dupuis Cross Post 15 July 2, 2015 in Ashland, New Hampshire.

The upside and downside of going after weed

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie threatened users of marijuana who have been buying the drug legally under state law on Tuesday. “If you’re getting high in Colorado today, enjoy it,” he said, according to Bloomberg. “As of January 2017, I will enforce the federal laws.”

The blunt language ran against the tide of national public opinion, distinguished him from most of his colleagues in the Republican field, and could present problems in key states like Colorado and New Hampshire, where majorities support marijuana legalization. But pollsters say the straight talk might also offer him political upside, by appealing to conservative voters and separating him from his rivals.

An April Pew poll found that 53% of the country now supports marijuana legalization, including 39% of Republicans. On the question of whether the federal government should override state law to bust pot users, 59% of Americans, including 54% of self-identified Republicans, oppose the federal enforcement in states like Colorado.

In Colorado, a crucial 2016 swing state, the numbers are slightly more favorable for legal pot. According to a recent Quinnipiac University Poll, 62% of Colorado voters support recreational marijuana legalization. A poll done for the Denver Post shows how the supporters break down by political party: 66% of Democrats and 62% of Independents said they would vote to legalize marijuana in the state if the ballot came up again, while only 26% of Republicans said they would.

Christie’s tough stance could cut both ways in the primary and general campaign. “You can safely say in Colorado the decision to legalize marijuana is popular,” said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll. “And when you walk in with a broad stroke saying I’m going to take this away, it could negatively affect Chris Christie.”

But Malloy said there’s a potential benefit to Christie’s strong stance, as well. Of the 16 Republican candidates, few others openly share Christie’s support of federal enforcement, though Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and South Caolina Sen. Lindsay Graham have tiptoed around it. Most candidates, from Florida Governor Jeb Bush to Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, instead say they would leave the question of routine marijuana enforcement up to the states. Their views are summed-up by former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, who said, “I think Colorado voters made a choice. I don’t support their choice, but I do support their right to make that choice.”

So Malloy thinks that even if many voters disagree with Christie, his resolute stance on the issue makes him stand out from the rest of the field. “It’s certainly a bold, against the tide claim for Chris Christie,” Malloy said. “When you’re one of 16 and your star is not rising as it was a few years ago, what appears as a principled move could work in your favor.”

Christie has always been opposed to marijuana legalization, both politically and personally: “Never have. It wasn’t my thing,” he said of using the drug on a recent campaign swing.

Andrew Smith, director of the Survey Center at the University of New Hampshire, agreed with Malloy. “What all these guys need to do is separate themselves from the field,” he said. “Part of the way you do that is to distinguish yourself from the other candidates.”

Plus, according to Smith, there’s less of a political downside to being anti-pot in New Hampshire than there is in Colorado. “It’s not a major issue here,” he said, although a recent UNH poll showed 60% of New Hampshire voters support legalization, and 72% support decriminalization. “The libertarian voters, the voters in the Republican Party who are most likely to be proponents of marijuana legalization, first off they’re going to be less likely to vote… and if they are Republicans, they’re probably going to be more the libertarian Rand Paul supporters… There are enough older more conservative republicans, culturally conservative, that would support [Christie] on that.”

TIME Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders Hosts Biggest Organizing Event of 2016 So Far

Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) speaks to guests at the Louisiana Rally with Bernie Sanders at Ponchartain Center on July 26, 2015 in Kenner, Louisiana.
Josh Brasted—Getty Images Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) speaks to guests at the Louisiana Rally with Bernie Sanders at Ponchartain Center on July 26, 2015 in Kenner, Louisiana.

Bernie Sanders hosted a massive grassroots organizing event on Wednesday evening that featured simultaneous parties in all 50 states, as the upstart Democratic candidate seeks to mobilize the progressive base of the party.

Sanders appeared at a house party in Southwest Washington, D.C., and made remarks broadcast simultaneously to all the meeting locations in the country, from Alaska to Florida.

“Tonight is a historical night and all of us are making history,” Sanders said at the event, reading his notes from a music stand. “Why are we seeing spontaneous uprisings if you like and meetings in cities and town all over this country? My answer is the American people are saying loudly and clearly, enough is enough.”

During an abbreviated version of his standard stump speech in which the Democratic presidential hopeful pointed to wealth inequality and racial injustice, Sanders also pointed to the massive size of the event he was hosting.

More than 100,000 people had RSVPed to participate in some 3,500 parties in houses, living rooms and coffee shops, Sanders’ campaign said on Wednesday night, making it the biggest online organizing event of the 2016 campaign. The large turnout Wednesday is an important part of Sanders’ plan to build enthusiasm among the Democratic party’s base.

“Bernie Sanders alone as president of these United States is not going to solve all these problems,” Sanders said. “The only way we take on the Koch brothers and take on the billionaire class, and people who have unbelievable money and power, the only we can do that is when we put together a strong grassroots movement of millions and millions of people.”

“And that is what I mean by political revolution, and that is what you are involved in today,” he added, looking into the camera.

The vast number of parties made for an eclectic mix. One screening party held in Asheville, North Carolina, featured three punk rock bands that helped fundraise for Sanders afterward. Another in Texas was called “Brisket and biscuits for Bernie,” in honor of the food that was served. One event was hosted in a town in the Alaskan wilderness of about 1,000 residents. At another party, a guest brought four live chickens.

The tactical purpose of all parties was to create a larger network of grassroots volunteers, who then can reach a greater network of supporters. The Sanders campaign has relied heavily on volunteers due to its thin staff of approximately 50, a little more than one-tenth the size of Hillary Clinton’s campaign. The viewers at the various house parties were asked to volunteer and join a chain of text messages.

“We need you to bring this movement to your community to do unglamorous but essential work,” said Claire Sandberg, a digital organizer for the campaign who addressed the camera after Sanders. “Like knocking on doors, calling voters, voter registration.”

Sanders arrived about 15 minutes before he was due to go live at the part in the Washington apartment, and in the middle of the crowded foyer spent several minutes working through his handwritten speech notes on a clipboard. (His campaign notes that Sanders writes all his own speeches.)

He joked with his introducer when he accidentally mixed up their papers. “Somebody has the brains here, and it’s not me,” Sanders said. He laughed when one partygoer wearing a beard and a colorful shirt shouted to Sanders, “Can I get you a tie-dye?”

Many of the attendees were Sanders volunteers enthusiastic about the candidate’s message. “You hear the word and you’re like, ‘I’m in,'” said Jon Culver, a 29-year-old who works at a tech startup in Seattle. “The crazy distribution of wealth, income inequality, those are big ones for me. He’s very progressive he’s all for women’s rights and good family values. He’s solid.”

The day of Hillary Clinton’s kickoff rally in early June, the campaign held an online organizing event that included around 650 parties across the country, about one-fifth of the number of events Sanders’ campaign has organized.

The Sanders event’s sheer size is a mark of the grassroots progressive enthusiasm for the liberal Vermont senator, who has repeatedly turned out crowds upwards of 10,000 people, larger than any other campaign.

Sanders has repeatedly emphasized building a large movement in favor of a slew of progressive ideas over his winning the Democratic nomination. He is trailing far behind Hillary Clinton in national polls, with 22% favorability among voters compared with 57% for Clinton.

At the end of the event, the party’s host, Manisha Sharma, a financial services regulatory attorney, gave Sanders a blown-up photo of Mahatma Gandhi with a cleverly selected quote.

Sanders read it: “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, and then you win,'” he read. “Maybe that is what this campaign is about.”

TIME Congress

The Trumpification of Congress

People walk past posters supporting politician Ted Cruz put up by the 'StandWithUs' group during a rally calling for the rejection of the proposed Iran nuclear deal outside the Federal Building in Los Angeles, California on July 26, 2015.
MARK RALSTON—AFP/Getty Images People walk past posters supporting politician Ted Cruz put up by the 'StandWithUs' group during a rally calling for the rejection of the proposed Iran nuclear deal outside the Federal Building in Los Angeles, California on July 26, 2015.

The GOP Establishment better be ready

Love him or hate him, there’s no denying that Donald Trump’s bombastic brand of establishment-hating populism is succeeding: he’s leading in the polls and in media attention. So, perhaps it’s not surprising that some Republicans in Congress are following his example.

On Tuesday, an obscure second-term Republican congressman from North Carolina, Mark Meadows, filed a motion to try and force House Speaker John Boehner from his post. The measure is more than likely to fail, but the move earned Meadows instant media recognition, numerous cable news appearances and instant notoriety.

Meadows isn’t the only one causing congressional GOP leaders headaches these days. During a rare weekend session forced in part by Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell smacked down efforts by Cruz and fellow Tea Partier Sen. Mike Lee of Utah to hijack the amendment process on a transportation bill. The duo had hoped to force votes to defund Planned Parenthood and block President Obama’s deal with Iran but McConnell squashed them, going so far as to distribute an e-mail from a Lee staffer to every Republican senator showing that the pair only sought to play politics with the system, not work for solutions.

“To see the so-called Republican leader whip against allowing a vote to defund Planned Parenthood,” Cruz railed to reporters outside the Senate chamber, “makes clear that the McConnell-[Democratic Senate leader Harry] Reid leadership is united in favor of Big Government.”

Cruz, Lee, Meadows and Trump have one thing in common: their disdain for the Republican establishment. All four are seeking to harness discontent within the GOP base to their advantage. And that discontent pays: all four have raised millions of dollars and each bomb they drop earns them more money, more infamy and more attention—all great things whether one is running for president or fending off a primary challenge in 2016.

The idea of committing some incredible antic or uttering an outrageous statement and then running online to monetize it isn’t a new strategy in Washington. As Michael Scherer and I wrote six years ago, members like Michele Bachmann and Alan Grayson had already honed the online money bomb. What’s new here is the target: leadership.

The problem with this strategy is that it heightens dysfunction in a city where dysfunction has already hobbled the system. McConnell will likely get through a long-term extension of the transportation bill this week, but the House won’t be able to pass that bill so quickly. So both chambers will have to pass a three-month stop gap by the end of the week to give Boehner more time to corral his recalcitrant rank and file on the larger bill.

And if getting a transportation bill through is this tough, what’s facing Congress in the coming months is even more daunting: a potential government shut down and default on U.S. debt. McConnell and Boehner better have some aces up their sleeves. Because as Meadows, Cruz and Lee have shown this week, there’s never been more incentive to play the Trump card.

TIME Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton to Call for Lifting Cuba Embargo

Hillary Clinton Brings Her Presidential Campaign Back To Iowa
Scott Olson—Getty Images Democratic presidential hopeful and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks to guests gathered for a house party on July 26, 2015 in Carroll, Iowa.

Hillary Clinton will declare her support on Friday for lifting the U.S. embargo on Cuba, her campaign said, allying herself with President Obama’s open stance toward the long-isolated island nation.

Speaking at Florida International University Friday morning, Clinton will also criticize Republicans’ opposition to normalizing relations with the country, saying that the right’s arguments against increased engagement are part of a legacy of failed strategies for addressing Cuban relations.

“She will highlight that Republican arguments against increased engagement are part of failed policies of the past and contend that we must look to the future in order to advance a core set of values and interests to engage with Cubans and address human rights abuses,” the Clinton campaign said in a statement.

Clinton will hold her speech in the state that Republican presidential candidates Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio call home. Bush, the former governor, has called Obama’s opening relations with Cuba a “policy misstep” and a “dramatic overreach of his executive authority.” Rubio, who is the son of Cuban immigrants, has also strongly criticized Obama, calling the decision “a terrible one, but not surprising unfortunately.”

The United States has maintained various embargoes on Cuba since 1960, and continues to block trade with the country despite having opened up diplomatic relations with the island nation. Republican Rep. Tom Emmer filed a bill on Tuesday to remove the restrictions on American businesses from trading with Cuba.

Clinton has long supported normalizing relations with Cuba, and as secretary of state pushed Obama to normalize relations with the Communist nation. A February Gallup poll showed that 59% of Americans support reestablishing diplomatic relations with Cuba.

TIME Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton Calls Planned Parenthood Video ‘Disturbing’

Secretary Hillary Clinton speaks to journalists after a town hall meeting in Nashua, New Hampshire, on July 28, 2015.
Melina Mara—The Washington Post/Getty Images Secretary Hillary Clinton speaks to journalists after a town hall meeting in Nashua, New Hampshire, on July 28, 2015.

Hillary Clinton on Tuesday called the undercover videos of a Planned Parenthood official discussing aborted fetal tissue “disturbing,” though she defended the women’s health organization in an interview with the New Hampshire Union Leader.

“I have seen pictures from them and obviously find them disturbing,” the frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination said in an interview with the newspaper.

“Planned Parenthood is answering questions and will continue to answer questions. I think there are two points to make,” Clinton said. “One, Planned Parenthood for more than a century has done a lot of really good work for women: cancer screenings, family planning, all kinds of health services. And this raises not questions about Planned Parenthood so much as it raises questions about the whole process, that is, not just involving Planned Parenthood, but many institutions in our country.”

The Center for Medical Progress released videos this month showing a Planned Parenthood official discussing fetal tissue extraction and reimbursements for clinic costs. Republicans have alleged Planned Parenthood is illegally selling fetal parts and have called for a public defunding of the health service. Planned Parenthood says it received reimbursement legally and only to cover minor expenses.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is among the Republican presidential candidates seeking to make this a 2016 issue as well. “I call upon mainstream reporters to ask Hillary Clinton if she supports Planned Parenthood’s sale of body parts in direct violation of federal criminal law,” he said, according to Politico.

[Union Leader]

TIME People

Penn. Congressman Chaka Fattah Indicted in Racketeering Case

Chaka Fattah
Matt Rourke—AP In this May 7, 2015 photo, Rep. Chaka Fattah, D-Pa., speaks at the School of the Future in Philadelphia.

Fattah has been the subject of a long-running federal investigation

(PHILADELPHIA) — Pennsylvania Congressman Chaka Fattah has been indicted on charges he misappropriated hundreds of thousands of dollars of federal, charitable and campaign funds.

The 11-term Philadelphia Democrat was charged Wednesday with racketeering conspiracy, bribery, conspiracy to commit wire, honest services and mail fraud, and other charges.

Fattah has been the subject of a long-running federal investigation. Four others also have been charged, including people who worked for his campaign and congressional staffs.

Fattah’s office had no immediate comment on the charges. It said it would issue a statement shortly.

TIME Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton Threads the Needle on Keystone Pipeline

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Jim Cole—AP Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton listens to questions during a campaign stop on July 28, 2015, in Nashua, N.H.

She's avoided taking a stance on a hugely symbolic issue, but many environmentalists aren't upset

When an assertive New Hampshire voter asked about the Keystone Pipeline, he gave Hillary Clinton exactly two options.

“As president, would you sign a bill—yes or no, please—in favor of allowing the Keystone XL pipeline,” said the man in the audience at a town hall in Nashua on Tuesday.

Clinton declined to choose either. “This is President Obama’s decision,” she said, citing the White House’s ongoing review of the most controversial oil pipeline in recent years. “If it’s undecided when I become president, I will answer your question.”

Clinton has repeatedly refused this week to take a stand on the controversial Keystone pipeline, saying that she will not comment on a decision the White House still must make. It’s a notable elision because many environmentalists have spent the last few years calling opposition to the pipeline a litmus test for seriousness about fighting climate change.

But despite her hedging, Clinton has won initial approval for her climate change plans from key figures in the environmental movement, including billionaire climate activist Tom Steyer, the Sierra Club and a variety of activists and politicians in the early primary states. Many activists expect President Obama to decide the issue in the coming months, which would make it a moot point in the 2016 race.

Clinton has seized on an ambivalence on the left over Keystone XL’s importance in the 2016 presidential race.

“From our perspective, it’s not problematic,” Michael Brune, executive director the Sierra Club said in an interview of Clinton’s refusal to take a position. “The decision on Keystone will be made long before the election. For the 2016 presidential candidates, their stance on Keystone is only symbolic.”

Among environmental groups, stopping the Keystone pipeline has been a major symbol of the fight to slow fossil fuel extraction. But the pipeline’s importance has faded recently as the Obama administration has set strict regulations on coal-fired power plants and increased fuel standards on cars and trucks. While they still hope to stop Keystone, climate activists now are more likely to talk about the need for the next president to rapidly expand renewable energy, put a moratorium on oil drilling in the Arctic and cut back on fracking.

Keystone, some say, is not a make-or-break climate issue.

“Basically, we’d trade Keystone for a price on carbon or other important policies,” said Robert Cowin, director of government affairs at the Union of Concerned Scientists, a non-profit science advocacy group, speaking figuratively about the broader importance of other legislative approaches to combatting climate change.

Clinton’s position on climate change seems to have hit a delicate balance between satisfying environmental activists and avoiding the anger of moderates and businesses interests who support Keystone. One way she’s done that is by changing the subject from Keystone to other climate change flashpoints.

“To signal that there is only one overriding threat really doesn’t take into account the seriousness of a whole range of issues,” Clinton said Tuesday. “That’s why I’m coming out with a comprehensive clean energy plan.”

“China is building coal-fired power plants, at least one or two every week to meet demands,” she added. “We have dozens of pipelines already crossing our border from Canada, so we have to look at all of this.”

As Secretary of State in 2010, Clinton said she was “inclined” to support Keystone. Her husband, President Bill Clinton, called in 2012 for embracing the pipeline, and Clinton recently hired former Keystone lobbyists Jeff Berman as a consultant to her campaign, though he will not be a policy advisor.

At least one of Clinton’s closest advisors opposes the pipeline. John Podesta, Clinton’s campaign chairman, notably recused himself during his time in the Obama Administration in 2013 from advising on Keystone XL policy because he was a staunch opponent of the project.

Podesta is now advising Clinton on a full range of climate issues, a Clinton campaign official told TIME.

Keystone has long been a rallying call for environmental activists who saw it as a critical last stand in the face of congressional inaction against climate change. Large protests began gathering regularly outside the White House beginning four years ago, with a stream of activists arriving in red traffic vests and polar bear costumes. The virulent opposition took an almost apocalyptic tone: the prominent NASA scientist James Hansen said in June 2011 the pipeline was “game over” for the fight against climate change.

As the climate fight is waged on other fronts, like the federal courts and with the White House’s limits on carbon emissions, Keystone has lost some of its dire urgency for environmentalists compared with four years ago.

Moreover, some evidence shows the actual emissions from the pipeline may not be significant. A State Department review showed in January 2014 the pipeline would deliver 830,000 barrels of oil per day from the Canadian tar sands, or an extra 1.3 million to 27.4 million metric tons of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere each year.

However, because Canadian companies would almost certainly extract the oil anyway, the State Department review also said Keystone XL would likely not have a major effect on the removal of fossil fuels from the ground. Keystone is “unlikely to significantly impact the rate of extraction in the oil sands or the continued demand for heavy crude oil at refineries in the United States,” the department said.

A more recent Environmental Protection Agency letter to the State Department disagreed, however, arguing that the 1,179-mile pipeline would increase oil production by making it cheaper to transport.

Clinton has proposed expanding the United States’ reliance on clean energy dramatically by 2027, moving a third of U.S. energy to renewable sources within ten years of taking office and increasing the amount of solar capacity 700% by 2020. She would extend tax incentives for renewable and give grants to states that adopted clean energy measures.

By not opposing Keystone and giving few details about restricting the fossil fuel industry, Clinton has also avoided scrutiny from businesses and oil companies.

“It’s obvious what Clinton’s thinking is: she’ll be better than any Republican elected, probably by a mile. She simply expects environmentalists to fall in line,” said Larry Sabato, a political scientist at the University of Virginia. “And she wants to keep her business sector happy.”

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley have both criticized Clinton for not taking a stance on Keystone XL. “It is hard for me to understand how one can be concerned about climate change but not vigorously oppose the Keystone pipeline,” Sanders said in a statement. O’Malley has vigorously opposed the pipeline and called for 100% reliance on renewable energy by 2050.

Clinton’s punt on Keystone is not the first time a Democratic candidate has avoided the issue. Four years ago, President Obama announced he was subjecting the pipeline to an Administration review, effectively delaying a decision until after the 2012 election.

Still, for some, Keystone remains a barometer of Clinton’s conviction on climate change.

“Keystone is also a proxy for other questions about extreme energy: Will she stand up to the fossil fuel industry on opening the arctic to oil exploration,” Bill McKibben, a prominent climate change activist said in an email. “What about offshore drilling? Continued leases of coal in the powder river basin?”

“These are things a president gets to decide, so we need to know what she thinks,” McKibben said.

TIME

Morning Must Reads: July 29

Capitol
Mark Wilson—Getty Images The early morning sun rises behind the US Capitol Building in Washington, DC.

Convicted Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard will be released later this year, fulfilling a long-held request of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The White House said it played no role in the parole decision, but speculation that it was tied to the Iran nuclear deal abounds. Republican Rep. Mark Meadows motioned Tuesday to overthrow Speaker of the House John Boehner amid frequent clashes between the GOP leader and the conservative wing of his conference. The motion is all-but-certain to fail, but it is another embarrassment to Boehner.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is signaling he will leave the Florida primary to the dueling campaigns of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Sen. Marco Rubio. The two native sons are locked in a pitched battle for the state’s delegates, and the outcome on March 15 may be one of the most decisive moments of next year’s primary season. Rubio, for his part, is laying low during a season of candidates making more and more outlandish statements to get attention. Content with running below the radar, the freshman senator with broad appeal needs to pick his moment to break out — and hope that his would-be supporters are still around.

Here are your must-reads:

Must Reads

Marco Rubio Takes Low-Key Approach

But when will he break out? [New York Times]

GOP congressman launches bid to oust John Boehner as House speaker

A mutiny attempt on the House floor [Washington Post]

Israeli Spy Pollard Will Be Released by U.S. in November
The White House says it was not a concession to Israel [Wall Street Journal]

Under Oath, Donald Trump Shows His Raw Side

Legal records paint unflattering portrait [New York Times]

Rand Paul defends campaign during N.H. swing

Stagnant, Paul says he’s playing the long game [Boston Globe]

What We Can Learn From Behind-the-Scenes Photos of Dick Cheney on 9/11

A never-before-seen look at a White House during crisis [TIME]

Sound Off

“Imagine a NASCAR driver mentally preparing for a race knowing one of the drivers will be drunk. That’s what prepping for this debate is like” —John Weaver, strategist for Ohio Gov. John Kasich on preparing for the GOP debate.

“This is President Obama’s decision and I’m not going to second-guess him. If it’s undecided when I become president, I will answer your question.” —Hillary Clinton, once again punting on the Keystone XL pipeline Tuesday.

Bits and Bites

Watch the Trailer for Michael Bay’s Benghazi Thriller ’13 Hours’ [Wall Street Journal]

Walker Tells Private Group He’ll Skip Florida Primary [RealClearPolitics]

The Kochs freeze out Donald Trump [Politico]

White House Responds to Petition Urging Obama to Pardon Edward Snowden [TIME]

Former members of Congress not invited to pope’s speech [Washington Post]

Small Businesses Bear Burden of Ex-Im Bank Shutdown [Wall Street Journal]

Feds call meeting with Christie and Cuomo to discuss new transit tunnel [Bergen Record]

The Unique Challenges of Vetting Hillary Clinton’s Email [Wall Street Journal]

 

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