The Pronk Pops Show 1054, March 29, 2018, Story 1: Attorney General Sessions Reveals U.S. Attorney John Huber To Investigate Criminal Activity of FBI, Department of Justice, and Obama Administration Employees — May Appoint Special Counsel Latter If Warranted — Story 2: Clinton Obama Democrat Conspiracy — Videos — Story 3: Trump Has 30 Months To Complete 2,000 Mile Wall — No Wall and Trump Voters and Supporters Will Abandon and Dump Trump —  Stop and Rollback and Deport All 30-60 Million Illegal Alien Invasion of United States Over the Last 26 Years — Videos —

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Story 1: Attorney General Sessions Reveals U.S. Attorney John Huber To Investigate Criminal Activity of FBI, Department of Justice, and Obama Administration Employees — May Appoint Special Counsel Latter If Warranted — Videos

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Goodlatte on Huber’s ability to investigate the DOJ, FBI

Mark Meadows: Obama White House Was Leading Spying on Trump Campaign

Reps. Jim Jordan and Mark Meadows: McCabe lied four times

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Sessions names prosecutor investigating FBI misconduct

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Sean Hannity Mar 29, 2018 – Sean hannity FOX News – Breaking News

Sara Carter Jason Chaffetz Gregg Jarrett on the Investigations on Hannity March 28 2018

 

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Sessions: Federal prosecutor evaluating alleged FBI, DOJ wrongdoing, no second special counsel for now

By Brooke Singman | Fox News

Attorney General Jeff Sessions revealed Thursday a federal prosecutor was evaluating certain issues involving the FBI, the Clinton Foundation and Uranium One, but said he would not appoint a second special counsel at this point.

In a letter directed to Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte and House Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy, Sessions revealed that he asked U.S. Attorney John Huber to lead the evaluation into issues raised by the committees in recent months.

“I write in response to recent letters requesting the appointment of a Special Counsel to review certain prosecutorial and investigative determinations made by the Department of Justice in 2016 and 2017. I take the concerns you raise seriously,” Sessions wrote, noting how important it was that the American people and Congress had “confidence” in the Justice Department.

Congressmen Gowdy and Goodlatte have called for a second special counsel to investigate possible FISA abuses; the attorney general weighs in on 'Fox News @ Night.'

Sessions referenced a November 2017 letter sent by Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd, first reported by Fox News, directing senior federal prosecutors to evaluate “certain issues” requested by congressional Republicans, involving the sale of Uranium One and alleged unlawful dealings related to the Clinton Foundation.

On Nov. 13, 2017, Boyd wrote: “These senior prosecutors will report directly to the Attorney General and the Deputy Attorney General [Rod Rosenstein], as appropriate, and will make recommendations as to whether any matters not currently under investigation should be opened, whether any matters currently under investigation require further resources, or whether any matters merit the appointment of a Special Counsel.”

Sessions revealed Thursday in the letter to top Republican lawmakers in both chambers of Congress that Huber was the senior federal prosecutor leading that effort.

“Mr. Huber is conducting his work from outside the Washington D.C. area and in cooperation with the Inspector General,” Sessions said, noting that Huber’s review would “include a full, complete, and objective evaluation of these matters in a manner that is consistent with the law and facts.”

Sessions revealed that he asked U.S. Attorney John Huber, seen here, to look into the accusations.

Huber is a federal prosecutor, twice confirmed, unanimously, by the Senate as U.S. attorney for the District of Utah in 2015 and again in 2017. Huber previously served in leadership roles within the U.S. Attorney’s Office as national security section chief and executive assistant U.S. attorney.

“I receive regular updates from Mr. Huber and upon the conclusion of his review, will receive his recommendations as to whether any matters not currently under investigation should be opened, whether any matters currently under investigation require further resources, or whether any matters merit the appointment of a Special Counsel,” Sessions said.

Huber ultimately would be the prosecutor to decide whether issues raised by Republicans in Congress warrant the appointment of a second special counsel, Sessions said.

The attorney general cited U.S. Code, noting that the appointment of a special counsel was “reserved for use in only the most ‘extraordinary circumstances,'” and that any special counsel must be “selected from outside the United States Government.”

“To justify such an appointment, the Attorney General would need to conclude that ‘the public interest would be served by removing a large degree of responsibility for the matter from the Department of Justice,” the letter read.

Insight from Daniel Halper, contributing editor with the Washington Free Beacon and author of 'Clinton Inc.'

Sessions added, “The Department has successfully investigated and prosecuted many high-profile resource-intensive matters since the regulations were promulgated in 1999, but the regulations’ standard has been found to be satisfied on only two occasions,” and said it was “more common” to appoint “accountable prosecutors” to conduct investigations within the department.

On March 6, Gowdy, R-S.C., and Goodlatte, R-Va., penned a joint letter to Sessions demanding the appointment of a special counsel to investigate “conflicts of interest” and decisions “made and not made” by current and former Justice Department officials in 2016 and 2017, noting that “the public interest requires” the action.

The letter cited potential Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) abuses, which Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz announced Wednesday would be investigated by his team. 

“The Office of Inspector General will initiate a review that will examine the Justice Department’s and the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s compliance with legal requirements, and with applicable DOJ and FBI policies and procedures, in applications filed with the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) relating to a certain U.S. person,” the Horowitz statement obtained by Fox News read. “As part of this examination, the OIG also will review information that was known to the DOJ and the FBI at the time the applications were filed from or about an alleged FBI confidential source.”

Sessions told lawmakers in his Thursday letter that he understood the Justice Department was “not above criticism,” and noted that if anyone “falls short” of the “highest level of integrity, ethics and professionalism,” he would act.

“I will fulfill my responsibility to take necessary action to protect the integrity of our work,” Sessions wrote, thanking the lawmakers for their “leadership” on the matters, and stating that he would  make their letters available to both Huber and Horowitz.

Fox News’ Bill Mears contributed to this report.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2018/03/29/sessions-federal-prosecutor-evaluating-alleged-fbi-doj-wrongdoing-no-second-special-counsel-for-now.html

 

Who is John Huber, the Utah US attorney investigating claims of FBI misconduct?

U.S. Attorney John W. Huber speaks outside the federal courthouse Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

(CNN)Utah US attorney John Huber was revealed Thursday as the person Attorney General Jeff Sessions tasked with looking into Republican claims of FBI misconduct and whether more should have been done to investigate Hillary Clinton’s ties to a Russian nuclear agency.

Huber, who has served in both Democratic and Republican administrations as a career prosecutor, nearly had his tenure as US attorney cut short last year. In March 2017, shortly after he took charge of the Justice Department, Sessions asked for the resignations of 46 US attorneys who were previous administration holdovers.
Originally appointed by President Barack Obama in 2015, Huber offered his resignation, leaving his fate in the hands of the DOJ.
But President Donald Trump re-nominated Huber in June 2017, and two months later Huber was back at his former post, confirmed by the US Senate for an additional four years.
Last year, former DOJ officials raised concerns over Huber’s appearance at a White House press briefing to tout aspects of Trump’s immigration agenda — something that critics argued blurred the lines of the DOJ’s independence from the White House, NPR reported at the time.
During a June 28, 2017, press briefing alongside the director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Huber spoke on the behalf of the DOJ in support of two bills that sought to enforce harsher penalties for illegal immigrants — “Kate’s Law” and the “No Sanctuaries Act,” both of which were passed in the House.
“The reason why we are in support of these is that it adds tools to the toolbox of prosecutors in the Department of Justice to work on the violent crime problem that we have in our country and beat back this blip so it does not become a trend,” he told reporters at the White House.
“The tools that were given in these two proposed acts allow us to fight back against drug traffickers and transnational gangs,” he said.
Since then, Huber has taken on a leadership role on Sessions’ advisory committee of US attorneys that provide counsel to him and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
Before becoming Utah’s top federal prosecutor, Huber clocked in 13 years as an assistant US attorney with experience handling violent crime and national security cases, according to his official biography.
During his first swearing-in ceremony as a US attorney, Huber was described as a “jock with the soul of a geek,” a protector for others against bullies, and a man who lived by the motto: “Be the hammer, not the nail,” according to The Deseret News.
A Utah native, Huber graduated with honors from the University of Utah in 1989, where he played football, The Deseret News reported, and later went to earn his law degree from the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law in 1995.

John W. Huber

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
John W. Huber
John W. Huber official photo.jpg
United States Attorney for the District of Utah
Assumed office
June 2015
President Barack Obama
Donald Trump
Preceded by David B. Barlow
Personal details
Born 1967 (age 50–51)
Salt Lake CityUtahU.S.
Education University of Utah
University of Utah College of Law

John W. Huber (born 1967) is an American lawyer who has served as the United States Attorney for the District of Utah since June 2015. He was first nominated for the position by President Barack Obama in February 2015.[1] Huber offered his resignation in March 2017 at the request of the Trump administration.[2] However, United States Attorney GeneralJeff Sessions subsequently appointed Huber as interim U.S. Attorney under the Federal Vacancies Reform Act.[3] Huber was renominated by President Donald Trump in June 2017.[4] On August 3, 2017, he was unanimously confirmed by the United States Senate to an additional four-year term as a U.S. Attorney.[5]

Education and legal career

Huber graduated with honors from the University of Utah in 1989. He received his J.D. from the University of Utah College of Law in 1995. Huber began his career in the Weber County, Utah Attorney’s Office, later serving as the chief prosecutor for West Valley City, Utah. In 2002, he joined the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and in 2005 he became an Assistant United States Attorney.[4][6] He has prosecuted firearms crimes, including the case of four people involved with firearms used in the 2007 Trolley Square shooting.[1] Huber was appointed by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions to investigate the FBI’s surveillance of Carter Page and connections between the Clinton Foundation and Uranium One, starting in November 2017.[7]

References

  1. Jump up to:a b Romboy, Dennis (February 5, 2015). “Obama nominates John W. Huber as next U.S. attorney for Utah”. Deseret News. Retrieved 23 June 2017.
  2. Jump up^ “John Huber, US Attorney for Utah, Offers Resignation”. U.S. News & World Report. Associated Press. March 13, 2017. Retrieved 23 June2017.
  3. Jump up^ Romboy, Dennis (June 12, 2017). “Trump nominates Utah U.S. Attorney John Huber to keep job”. Deseret News. Retrieved 23 June 2017.
  4. Jump up to:a b “President Donald J. Trump Announces United States Attorney Candidate Nominations”. The White House. June 12, 2017. Retrieved 21 June 2017.
  5. Jump up^ Burr, Thomas (August 3, 2017). “Senate confirms Huber as U.S. attorney for Utah, returning him to old job”. The Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved 4 August 2017.
  6. Jump up^ Manson, Pamela (March 15, 2017). “Huber to stay as Utah’s U.S. attorney during transition period”. Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved 23 June2017.
  7. Jump up^ Burr, Thomas; Manson, Pamela. “U.S. Attorney for Utah is investigating GOP-raised concerns about the FBI surveilling Trump aide and ignoring Clinton uranium ties”The Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved March 30, 2018.

External links

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_W._Huber

Story 2: Clinton Obama Democratic Conspiracy — Videos

COLLUSION DELUSION: New Documents Show OBAMA Officials, FBI COORDINATED in Anti-Trump Probe

Former Sen. Harry Reid asked James Comey to investigate Trump

Sara Carter

Documents obtained by congressional investigators suggest possible coordination by Obama White House officials, the CIA and the FBI into the investigation into President Donald Trump’s campaign. Those senior Obama officials used unsubstantiated evidence to launch allegations in the media that the Trump campaign was colluding with Russia during the run-up to the 2016 presidential election, according to newly discovered documents and communications obtained by Congress.

The documents also reveal that former Senate majority leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, sent a letter on Aug. 29, 2016, asking former FBI Director James Comey to investigate the allegations, which were presented to him by then CIA Director John Brennan. Brennan had briefed Reid privately days earlier on the counterintelligence investigation and documents suggest Reid was also staying in close touch with Comey over the issues.

The documents, which include text messages from embattled FBI Special Agent Peter Strzok and his paramour Lisa Page, also reveal that former Obama White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough was involved in the initial investigation into Trump’s campaign. Comey, Brennan, and McDonough were the “highest-ranking officials at the FBI, CIA and White House” and were working in concert to ensure an investigation was initiated, congressional members told this reporter.

Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., a member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, was deeply troubled by the findings.

“We’ve been asking for documents with little cooperation of the DOJ and FBI — we’re having to find these unredacted documents on our own,” said Meadows, who’s also chairman of the House Freedom Caucus. “It appears there was a coordination between the White House, CIA, and FBI at the onset of this investigation and it’s troubling.”

President Obama Names Denis McDonough To Be White House Chief Of Staff
President Obama Names Denis McDonough To Be White House Chief Of Staff

Meadows said John Moffa, who was part of the counterintelligence division at the FBI, met with Denis McDonough on August 10, (2016), Meadows added. “What we’re finding is the more we dig the more we realize that there appeared to be a willful coordination between multiple groups outside the Department of Justice and FBI. Moffa was also the FBI agent who helped draft Comey’s July 5, 2016 exoneration letter to Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server.

Meadows said the documents suggest Reid’s briefing from Brennan “was used in Michael Isikoff’s Yahoo News story.”

Isikoff’s article was also used as evidence for the FBI’s FISA warrant being granted against Carter Page. Page was a short-term volunteer advisor on the Trump campaign, who was spied on by the FBI. Congress and the Department of Justice are investigating the FBI’s conduct in obtaining a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant in October 2016 to spy on Page. Page was a central figure in an unverified dossier put together by former British Spy Christopher Steele alleging the Trump campaign colluded with Russia.

In April 2017, The New York Times published the first story about Brennan’s counterintelligence briefing to Reid regarding Trump. The briefings to Gang of Eight congressional members suggested Russia might be helping Trump win the election. Brennan alluded to the unverified allegation that members of the Trump campaign may be colluding with the Russians. The information briefed to the lawmakers expanded the number of people who were aware of the unverified allegations, and played a significant role in the increase of leaks to the media, according to the information obtained by the committee.

“A chain of events suggest the FBI encouraged Reid to write this letter to legitimize its surveillance of Carter Page”

A congressional investigator told this reporter that they believe the FBI was involved in the briefing to Reid but are still waiting for confirmation.

In the letter from Reid to Comey, Reid cites information Brennan shared with him that Trump advisor, referencing Carter Page, and other “high ranking sanctioned individuals” in Moscow were meeting. Reid asks Comey to launch an investigation by the FBI into the Trump Campaign and the Kremlin.

Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV)

The letter, which was obtained by this reporter, refers to reports briefed by Brennan but gives “almost no evidence” regarding the Trump campaign and Russia, according to congressional investigators.

READ: HARRY REID’S LETTER TO JAMES COMEY

For example, the letter only states that “questions have been raised about whether a Trump advisor who has been highly critical of U.S. and European economic sanctions on Russia, and who has conflicts of interests due to his investments in Russian energy conglomerate Gazprom, met with high-ranking sanctioned individuals in Moscow in July of 2016.”

Congressional investigators also note that newly revealed text messages between Strzok and Page also show possible coordination between the FBI, CIA and the Democrats.

RELATED: New Text Msgs Reveal FBI Agent was Friends with Judge in Flynn Case

Shortly after Reid’s letter was revealed in a New York Times article on August 30, 2016, Strzok texts Page saying, “here we go.” He included a link to the story in the text message.

Congressional investigators suggest that the pair were creating inferences “that they knew it would create public calls for an investigation into Russian interference.”

Sept. 23, 2016, Isikoff article, which cites Reid’s letter, is also another example of possible coordination, congressional investigators state. The FBI used the Yahoo news article as part of the evidence in their application to obtain a FISA warrant on Carter Page.

“This sequence of events strongly suggests the FBI encouraged Reid to write this letter to legitimize its surveillance of Carter Page,” congressional investigators stated.

Congressional Findings:

  • What began as an investigation into allegations of Russian cyber hacking of the DNC was eventually broadened into an investigation of the Trump campaign.
  • By sending high-ranking officials and led to brief members of Congress on the possibility of Russian interference in the 2016 election, the DNC hack, and the possibility Trump campaign associates were in contact with Russia, the FBI was given cover for the investigation they had recently opened on Trump with questionable legal justification.
  • The intelligence community has admitted Russian efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election were only the most “recent expression” of their longstanding desire to undermine US elections.
  • It appears based on the information “insurance policy” in case Trump won, these briefings by the intelligence community to Congress, which led to several members calling for investigations into Russian interference and Trump, were perfectly timed to plant seeds of doubt in the outcome of the 2016 election.
  • By utilizing the FBI’s cyber division to look into the DNC hack, the agents exhibiting improper political biases from the FBI’s counterintelligence division, Lisa Page, and Peter Strzok, were offered cover.

https://saraacarter.com/new-documents-suggest-coordination-by-obama-white-house-cia-and-fbi-in-trump-investigation/

 

Story 3: Trump Has 30 Months To Complete 2,000 Mile Wall — No Wall and Trump Voters and Supporters Will Abandon and Dumb Trump —  Stop and Rollback and Deport All 30-60 Million Illegal Alien Invasion of United States Over the Last 26 Years — Videos

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Story 1: Austin Serial Bomber, Mark Anthony Conditt, 23, Blows Himself Up as Police Close In On Bomber’s Car — Videos —

Two people were killed and five injured in five explosions that began on March 2. A sixth device was found before it detonated

See the source image

Mark Conditt’s family didn’t know he was Austin bombing suspect

Austin bombing suspect wrote about gay marriage, abortion in class blog

Austin bombing suspect blows himself up during police confrontation

Police: Austin bombing suspect kills himself with explosive device

Austin serial bomber dead; kills self with explosives

Austin Bomb Suspect Laid Out Views In 2012 Blog

How technology caught the Austin serial bomber

Man suspected of Texas bombings killed himself in police showdown

BREAKING: Austin Bomber’s ‘Treasure Trove’ He Left Behind Just FOUND!

Austin serial bomber was scouting NEW targets to continue his campaign of terror as investigators storm his house and warn that the homeschooled Christian may have sent MORE devices

  • Austin bomber Mark Anthony Conditt, 23, blew himself up as police tried to arrest him about 2am Wednesday
  • Police were able to zero in on the bomber after obtaining CCTV footage of him posting two packages at a FedEx office in Austin on Sunday night
  • Authorities are warning more bombs could be out there because Conditt’s final movements aren’t yet known
  • The bomber had gone on a three week bombing spree that killed two people and injured at least five others
  • The most recent package bomb detonated at a FedEx distribution center near San Antonio early Tuesday
  • Police still do not know the motive behind the attacks or whether the bomber had an accomplice
  • Investigators say Conditt’s Google search history indicated he was researching other addresses
  • Bomber used ‘exotic’ batteries ordered online from Asia to make his bombs and bought some equipment from a local Home Depot store
  • Conditt, who previously worked as a computer repair technician, is believed to have made the bombs himself
  • Neighbors described Conditt as a quiet, studious young man who came from a ‘good Christian’ family
  • His 2012 blog posts indicate he was in favor of the death penalty and was against gay marriage and abortion

The 23-year-old who blew himself up as police tried to arrest him over a string of deadly Austin bombings has been described as a quiet, home-schooled young man.

Mark Anthony Conditt killed himself when he detonated a bomb inside his SUV as police surrounded him near a hotel on Interstate 35, just outside Austin, at about 2am on Wednesday.

Police closed in on the bomber after obtaining CCTV footage of him posting two packages at a FedEx office that intended to target people of color on Sunday night.

Authorities are warning that more bombs could still be out there because they do not know if he posted more devices prior to his death. Investigators say Conditt’s Google search history indicated he was researching other addresses before SWAT teams cornered him.

Police started evacuating the area around Conditt’s home at about 1pm on Wednesday, fearing there could explosives there. They have also questioned his two housemates about their knowledge of the bombings. One roommate was questioned and later released, while the second was still being held for questioning.

The bomber had gone on a three week bombing spree stretching back to March 2. The series of bombings killed two people and injured at least five others. The most recent package bomb detonated at a FedEx distribution center near San Antonio early Tuesday.

Police still do not know the motive behind the attacks or whether the bomber had an accomplice, but did say he wasn’t previously known to law enforcement. Police believe Conditt, who previously worked as a computer repair technician and at a manufacturing company, made all the bombs himself.

Shocked neighbors described Conditt as a quiet, studious young man who came from a good family.

He doesn’t appear to have left much of a trail on social media but his blog posts from 2012 indicate he was in favor of the death penalty and was against gay marriage and abortion. He identified himself as a conservative but said he was not politically engaged and said he had interests in tennis, parkour and gymnastics.

An aerial view of the bomber’s car is pictured above after the 23-year-old detonated an explosive device before police could arrest him

Authorities had zeroed in on the Austin bombing suspect in the last 24 to 36 hours and located his vehicle at a hotel (above) on Interstate 35 in the suburb of Round Rock early Wednesday morning

Police zeroed in on the bomber after CCTV taken at a FedEx office in south Austin emerged showing him dropping off two packages around 7.30pm on Sunday. He appeared to be in disguise and was wearing latex-style gloves to handle the parcels

Conditt was home-schooled growing up with his three younger sisters. He attended Austin Community College from 2010-12 when he 15 but didn’t graduate. He was fired from his sales job at local business Crux Manufacturing in August last year after failing to meet expectations.

He had purchased a property in the Austin suburb of Pflugerville last year and neighbors told the Statesman that he had been living in that home with several housemates prior to the bombings.

His parents Danene and Pat Conditt lived in their family home – a tidy white clapboard, two story house – not too far away. Neighbor Jeff Reeb, 75, told DailyMail.com that Conditt was the eldest of four children and he moved out several years ago.

Shocked neighbors described Conditt as a quiet, studious young man who came from a good family. His blog posts from 2012 indicate he was in favor of the death penalty and was against gay marriage and abortion

‘It doesn’t make any sense, none of it,’ he said. ‘I’d see him when he came back to visit his parents. He’d drive up in his red truck and stay two or three hours.

Other neighbors described the Conditts as a ‘nice Christian family’.

A lone police officer stood guard outside the family home as one of Mark’s sisters ushered FBI and ATF agents inside on Wednesday just hours after her brother had blown himself up.

Gov. Greg Abbott said Conditt was apparently unemployed when he began planting bombs. Abbott added that some of the equipment Conditt used was purchased from Home Depot.

He said that among the items the bomber purchased at Home Depot were five signs saying ‘CAUTION CHILDREN AT PLAY.’ He said he was told a tripwire bomb that injured two men in Austin on Sunday was tied to one of the signs.

Austin Police Chief Brian Manley said officers used CCTV, cell phone data, witness accounts and store receipts to track the bomber to the hotel north of the city.

When officers arrived at the hotel, the man was sitting inside his vehicle and police called for backup before they attempted to make an arrest.

As reinforcements were arriving the man left the hotel and police followed him. The suspect pulled off the city’s main highway and brave officers rammed his car to stop him, knowing it was likely packed with explosives.

Two Austin police officers were approaching his vehicle when he detonated a bomb. One officer fired at the vehicle and the other sustained a minor injury after being thrown back when the bomb went off.

The bomber’s death came just hours after CCTV footage emerged showing the suspect at a Fed-Ex office in the south of the city.

Images show the man wearing a disguise and delivering two packages to the store around 7.30pm on Sunday. It appears he was wearing latex style gloves at the time he posted the packages.

One of the packages subsequently exploded on a conveyor belt at a FedEx sorting facility outside of San Antonio in Schertz just after midnight on Tuesday. The other was intercepted at a facility near Austin airport and was later confirmed to contain a bomb.

 

The 23-year-old who blew himself up as police tried to arrest him over a string of deadly Austin bombings has been described as a quiet, home-schooled young man.

Mark Anthony Conditt killed himself when he detonated a bomb inside his SUV as police surrounded him near a hotel on Interstate 35, just outside Austin, at about 2am on Wednesday.

Police closed in on the bomber after obtaining CCTV footage of him posting two packages at a FedEx office that intended to target people of color on Sunday night.

Authorities are warning that more bombs could still be out there because they do not know if he posted more devices prior to his death. Investigators say Conditt’s Google search history indicated he was researching other addresses before SWAT teams cornered him.

Police started evacuating the area around Conditt’s home at about 1pm on Wednesday, fearing there could explosives there. They have also questioned his two housemates about their knowledge of the bombings. One roommate was questioned and later released, while the second was still being held for questioning.

The bomber had gone on a three week bombing spree stretching back to March 2. The series of bombings killed two people and injured at least five others. The most recent package bomb detonated at a FedEx distribution center near San Antonio early Tuesday.

Police still do not know the motive behind the attacks or whether the bomber had an accomplice, but did say he wasn’t previously known to law enforcement. Police believe Conditt, who previously worked as a computer repair technician and at a manufacturing company, made all the bombs himself.

Shocked neighbors described Conditt as a quiet, studious young man who came from a good family.

He doesn’t appear to have left much of a trail on social media but his blog posts from 2012 indicate he was in favor of the death penalty and was against gay marriage and abortion. He identified himself as a conservative but said he was not politically engaged and said he had interests in tennis, parkour and gymnastics.

Conditt killed himself after detonating a bomb in his car (pictured above) as authorities zeroed in on him early Wednesday

An aerial view of the bomber’s car is pictured above after the 23-year-old detonated an explosive device before police could arrest him

Authorities had zeroed in on the Austin bombing suspect in the last 24 to 36 hours and located his vehicle at a hotel (above) on Interstate 35 in the suburb of Round Rock early Wednesday morning

Police zeroed in on the bomber after CCTV taken at a FedEx office in south Austin emerged showing him dropping off two packages around 7.30pm on Sunday. He appeared to be in disguise and was wearing latex-style gloves to handle the parcels

Police zeroed in on the bomber after CCTV taken at a FedEx office in south Austin emerged showing him dropping off two packages around 7.30pm on Sunday. He appeared to be in disguise and was wearing latex-style gloves to handle the parcels

He had purchased a property in the Austin suburb of Pflugerville last year and neighbors told the Statesman that he had been living in that home with several housemates prior to the bombings.

His parents Danene and Pat Conditt lived in their family home – a tidy white clapboard, two story house – not too far away. Neighbor Jeff Reeb, 75, told DailyMail.com that Conditt was the eldest of four children and he moved out several years ago.

Shocked neighbors described Conditt as a quiet, studious young man who came from a good family. His blog posts from 2012 indicate he was in favor of the death penalty and was against gay marriage and abortion

Shocked neighbors described Conditt as a quiet, studious young man who came from a good family. His blog posts from 2012 indicate he was in favor of the death penalty and was against gay marriage and abortion

‘It doesn’t make any sense, none of it,’ he said. ‘I’d see him when he came back to visit his parents. He’d drive up in his red truck and stay two or three hours.

Other neighbors described the Conditts as a ‘nice Christian family’.

A lone police officer stood guard outside the family home as one of Mark’s sisters ushered FBI and ATF agents inside on Wednesday just hours after her brother had blown himself up.

Gov. Greg Abbott said Conditt was apparently unemployed when he began planting bombs. Abbott added that some of the equipment Conditt used was purchased from Home Depot.

He said that among the items the bomber purchased at Home Depot were five signs saying ‘CAUTION CHILDREN AT PLAY.’ He said he was told a tripwire bomb that injured two men in Austin on Sunday was tied to one of the signs.

Austin Police Chief Brian Manley said officers used CCTV, cell phone data, witness accounts and store receipts to track the bomber to the hotel north of the city.

When officers arrived at the hotel, the man was sitting inside his vehicle and police called for backup before they attempted to make an arrest.

As reinforcements were arriving the man left the hotel and police followed him. The suspect pulled off the city’s main highway and brave officers rammed his car to stop him, knowing it was likely packed with explosives.

Two Austin police officers were approaching his vehicle when he detonated a bomb. One officer fired at the vehicle and the other sustained a minor injury after being thrown back when the bomb went off.

The bomber’s death came just hours after CCTV footage emerged showing the suspect at a Fed-Ex office in the south of the city.

Images show the man wearing a disguise and delivering two packages to the store around 7.30pm on Sunday. It appears he was wearing latex style gloves at the time he posted the packages.

One of the packages subsequently exploded on a conveyor belt at a FedEx sorting facility outside of San Antonio in Schertz just after midnight on Tuesday. The other was intercepted at a facility near Austin airport and was later confirmed to contain a bomb.

Mark Conditt, pictured above with his parents Danene and Pat and his three young sisters, previously worked as a computer repair technician and is believed to have made all the bombs himself

Neighbors described the Conditts as a 'nice Christian family' and his mother had indicated on social media that the 23-year-old had been considering going on a 'mission' after finishing his studies

Police were spotted searching the home where Conditt lived with two others at about 1pm on Wednesday, fearing there could explosives there. They had also earlier evacuated the neighborhood and questioned his two roommates

A heavy law enforcement presence was spotted outside Conditt's home in Pflugerville on Wednesday morning after he blew himself up

His parents Danene and Pat Conditt lived in their family home - a tidy white clapboard, two story house (pictured above) - not too far away from him. Authorities went to the house on Wednesday just hours after Conditt blew himself up

ATF Special Agent George Goodman flew in from Michigan with his five-year-old chocolate lab Bonny to search the parents' property after the series of bombings but didn't locate anything

ATF Special Agent George Goodman flew in from Michigan with his five-year-old chocolate lab Bonny to search the parents’ property after the series of bombings but didn’t locate anything

Two people were killed and five injured in five explosions that began on March 2. A sixth device was found before it detonated

Two people were killed and five injured in five explosions that began on March 2. A sixth device was found before it detonated

Law enforcement sources told KUVE that the tipping point in the investigation came on Tuesday at about 9pm after the CCTV footage emerged.

It led police to the suspect’s home and allowed them to collect cell phone data that enabled them to track him to his hotel.

Timeline of how Austin bomber was busted:

Tuesday:

After 9pm – Authorities identify the suspect after obtaining CCTV footage from a FedEx store in South Austin that shows him posting two packages on Sunday night.

It leads police to his home where they obtain information from his Google history and computer confirming he was looking at where he could ship the devices.

Wednesday:

Around 2am – Police use cell phone data to track Conditt to a hotel on Interstate 35, just outside Austin.

Cops find him sitting in his car and they call for backup to make an arrest.

Just before 3am – As reinforcements are arriving, suspect starts driving away in the direction of the highway.

Officers ram his car to stop him fleeing. As two cops approach his car, he detonates a bomb and kills himself.

8am – Bomber is identified as local 23-year-old Mark Anthony Conditt.

Authorities also got information from Google and from the suspect’s computer history that confirmed the suspect was looking at information on where to ship devices. Based on that information, police were dispatched to two homes on Tuesday night to check for packages.

The bomber is understood to have used ‘exotic’ and foreign batteries ordered online from Asia to make the bombs, NBC reports. Law enforcement said the signature trait is what helped them quickly link all the bombings together.

It is not known if the suspect was planning to deliver a seventh device when police stopped him. Chief Manley said it is not clear why he tried to leave the parking lot of the hotel.

Chief Manley has warned residents not to let their guard down yet, saying there was a possibility that more bombs had yet to be found.

‘We don’t know where this suspect has spent his last 24 hours and therefore we still need to remain vigilant to ensure that no other packages or devices have been left to the community,’ Manley said.

The I-35 was closed off in both directions following the explosion and officers are set to remain on scene until their investigation has been completed.

Austin PD homicide detective David Fugitt said the Conditt family was cooperating ‘above and beyond’ what police could expect. He said a ballistics sniffing dog had been brought to the family home on a quiet cul-de-sac later on Wednesday but stressed that was just a precaution.

‘They are having a difficult time,’ Fugitt said. ‘It’s a shock to their conscience as well.’

He said police have no information that Conditt’s family had any knowledge of Mark’s bombing campaign.

‘They want to express their condolences to the families affected by this.’

He said the family will issue a formal statement later Wednesday.

President Donald Trump, who was earlier criticized for failing to speak out over the shootings, tweeted ‘Austin bombing suspect is dead’ on Wednesday morning. ‘Great job by law enforcement and all concerned,’ he added.

Police say they tracked the bomber to the Round Rock area using CCTV (pictured above), store receipts and cell phone data

Conditt was captured on CCTV cameras sending two packages at a FedEx office on Sunday. He was dressed in disguise and was wearing latex protective gloves at the time

Conditt was captured on CCTV cameras sending two packages at a FedEx office on Sunday. He was dressed in disguise and was wearing latex protective gloves at the time

The packages he sent from Austin were addressed to two places in the city. One exploded at a FedEx facility and the other was found before it could detonate

The packages he sent from Austin were addressed to two places in the city. One exploded at a FedEx facility and the other was found before it could detonate

President Trump, who was earlier criticized for his silence around the attacks, tweeted on Wednesday morning. Republican Ted Cruz also thanked police for their efforts

The series of bombings killed two people and injured at least five others, unnerving residents of Austin, a city of some 1 million people.

The first incident occurred on March 2 when a package bomb exploded at a northeast Austin home, killing a 39-year-old Anthony Stephan House.

Two more package bombs then exploded further south on March 12. Draylen Mason, 17, was killed and his mother was wounded after they opened a package in their kitchen.

A 75-year-old Hispanic woman named by family as Esperanza Herrera was severely injured when a package bomb exploded at her home a few hours later.

On Sunday, two white men aged in their 20s were badly injured when they triggered a ‘near-invisible’ tripwire linked to another explosive device.

A female employee was wounded at a FedEx facility in San Antonio just after midnight on Tuesday when a package exploded while moving between conveyor belts. The package had been posted from a FedEx office in the Austin area and was addressed to a home in Austin.

Hours later, a bomb was discovered at another FedEx facility near Austin airport but was found before it detonated. The package was posted from the same address in Austin as the one that exploded earlier in the day.

The first three devices were parcel bombs dropped off in front of homes around Austin neighborhoods.

The series of bombings bewildered law enforcement officials, who by Sunday began taking the unusual step of publicly calling on the bomber to get in touch and explain why he was carrying out the attacks.

Authorities had initially believed the bombings may be hate crimes because the first two victims were black, but they backed off that theory after Hispanic and white victims from different parts of the city were also affected.

President Donald Trump had earlier been criticized for his silence over the bombing spree given most of the victims were from the city’s historically black and Latino neighborhoods.

Unlike other attacks, such as the Pulse nightclub shooting in Florida, which Trump was quick to label an act of terrorism, the president initially remained silent about the Austin bombs.

Previous victims: Anthony Stephan House, 39, (left) died on March 2 and Draylen Mason, 17, (right) died on March 12 when package bombs were left at their respective homes

A second package was later intercepted and was confirmed to contain another bomb (pictured, FBI agents at the facility where a package exploded)

A second package was later intercepted and was confirmed to contain another bomb (pictured, FBI agents at the facility where a package exploded)

Two men were injured on Sunday after triggering a tripwire bomb, the fourth such explosion in the city in two weeks

Two men were injured on Sunday after triggering a tripwire bomb, the fourth such explosion in the city in two weeks

Three weeks of terror: Timeline of Texas package bomb attacks

Anthony Stephan House, 39, died on March 2 after opening a package delivered to his Austin home

Anthony Stephan House, 39, died on March 2 after opening a package delivered to his Austin home

March 2: Police are called to the scene of an explosion in Austin around 6.55am. Anthony Stephan House, 39, is found with critical injuries and taken to hospital, but is pronounced dead around 7.45am. Officers say the explosion is ‘not part of a larger scheme’.

March 12: At 6.45am officers respond to the scene of another explosion, 12 miles south of the first, which happened in the kitchen of a home. Draylen Mason, 17, is killed in the blast and his mother, aged in her 40s, is badly injured.

Just before noon a second explosion is reported, five miles south of the second. Esperanza Herrera, 75, is taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries.

Investigators say the two explosions are linked and are also connected to the first blast 10 days prior.

Draylen Mason, 17, died on March 12 and his mother was seriously injured after a package exploded in their kitchen

Draylen Mason, 17, died on March 12 and his mother was seriously injured after a package exploded in their kitchen

March 18: Two white men in their 20s are seriously injured in south west Austin after triggering a ‘near-invisible’ tripwire that was attached to a bomb.

Police believe the attack is linked to the first three bombings and say it shows the attacker is intelligent and becoming more sophisticated.

A reward of $115,000 is offered for information on the serial bomber.

March 20: A female worker at a FedEx sorting facility in San Antonio is injured shortly after midnight when a package explodes while being moved between conveyor belts. Police say the package had been posted from a FedEx in the Austin area and was due to return to an address in the city.

Around 6.20am officers are called to another FedEx facility near Austin airport to reports of a suspicious package. It is later discovered to contain a bomb that investigators say is linked to the previous devices. The package was posted from the same address in Austin as the one that exploded earlier in the day.

Another explosion is reported shortly after 7pm at a Goodwill store on Brodie Lane, a short distance from where the two previous packages were posted. However, police later say the device was ‘old, military type ordinances’ that were donated, and is not related to the other attacks.

A female worker at a FedEx sorting facility in San Antonio was injured when a package exploded on March 20

March 21: Police track the bomber to a hotel around 18 miles north of Austin using CCTV footage from the FedEx store and witness description of his vehicle. When they arrive he is sitting inside the vehicle in the parking lot, so they call for backup.

As backup is arriving the vehicle moves away then stops on a frontage road leading to the I-35 freeway. As officers approach the vehicle a bomb detonates, killing the driver and leaving an officer with minor injuries.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5526159/Austin-bomber-shot-dead-police-try-arrest-him.html#ixzz5APnwiyFv

 

Components used to make bombs found inside home of Austin serial bombing suspect

Components used to make bombs found inside home of Austin serial bombing suspect, Tom Abrahams reports.

The suspect in the deadly bombings that terrorized Austin blew himself up early Wednesday as authorities closed in on him, bringing a grisly end to a three-week manhunt.

The young man behind the attacks was identified as Mark Anthony Conditt, an unemployed 23-year-old who bought bomb-making materials at Home Depot. His motive remained a mystery, along with whether he acted alone in the five bombings in the Texas capital and suburban San Antonio that killed two people and wounded four others.

Authorities have detained two people who lived with Conditt. Austin police said Wednesday that one roommate was questioned and later released, while the second was still being held for questioning.

Authorities did not release the names of the roommates, explaining that they have not been placed under arrest.

During a press conference Wednesday afternoon, officials said they found components used in bombs and potential homemade explosives.

Police zeroed in on the 23-year-old man in the last 24 to 36 hours and located his vehicle at a hotel on Interstate 35 in the suburb of Round Rock. Officers were waiting for armored vehicles to arrive before moving in for an arrest when his vehicle began to drive away, Austin Police Chief Brian Manley said at a news conference.

Authorities followed the vehicle, which ran into a ditch on the side of the road, he said.

When members of the SWAT team approached, the suspect detonated an explosive device inside the vehicle, the police chief said. The blast knocked one officer back, and a second officer fired his weapon, Manley said.

Austin police chief giving update on serial bomber who blew himself up in Round Rock

View image on Twitter

Here’s a look at the Austin bomber’s car. Police say Mark Conditt, the 23 yo suspect, blew himself up. Officers say he’s tied to five other explosions, some deadly. @abc13houston

The mayor of Pflugerville, an Austin suburb not far from the site of the first of four bombings, said the suspect lived in his city, just two blocks from his house.

Pflugerville resident Jay Schulze said he was jogging Tuesday night when he was stopped by police and asked about the bombings. He said police flew drones over a home for about six hours between Tuesday evening and early Wednesday morning.

He described the home over which the drones were flying as “a weird house with a lot of people coming and going” and a bit rundown.

Austin was hit with four package bombings starting on March 2. A fifth parcel bomb went off early Tuesday at a FedEx distribution center near San Antonio. Law enforcement sources told ABC News that Conditt used the alias “Kelly Killmore” to ship two packages to FedEx.

Here are how the events of the Austin bombings have unfolded over the last few weeks.

Citing a high-ranking law enforcement official, the Austin American-Statesman reported that authorities had identified the suspect based largely on information, including security video, gleaned after he sent an explosive device from an Austin-area FedEx store.

Officials then tracked Conditt using his vehicle and his cell phone.

He also purchased bomb making materials at a Home Depot near his house, and they included nails and battery packs, according to authorities.

Police warned Wednesday of the possibility that more bombs had yet to be found.

“We don’t know where this suspect has spent his last 24 hours, and therefore we still need to remain vigilant to ensure that no other packages or devices have been left to the community,” Manley said.

Manley said the suspect is believed to be responsible for all the major Austin bombings.

AUSTIN BOMBING SUSPECT IS DEAD. Great job by law enforcement and all concerned!

To say all of your colleagues across the Nation are proud of you, @Austin_Police, @ATFHou, @FBI & all who worked courageously & tirelessly, would be understatement. Now let’s remove that interim title & build the Department which is long overdue. Congratulations. https://twitter.com/chief_manley/status/976405321005531136 

Authorities initially believed the bombings may be hate crimes because the victims of the earliest blasts were black, but they backed off that theory after Hispanic and white victims from different parts of the city were also affected. The suspect was described as white.

Fred Milanowski, an agent with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, said it was “hard to say” if the bombing suspect had acted alone.

“What we do know is we believe the same person built each one of these devices,” said Milanowski, the agent in charge of the Houston division of the ATF. “We are not 100 percent convinced there’s not other devices out there.”

Asked if the suspect built bombs before the Austin attacks, Milanowski said: “We know when he bought some of the components. It’s hard to say whether he was building along the way.”

Austin Mayor Steve Adler thanked law enforcement for their work in bringing down the suspect and urged residents to continue to report anything that appeared suspicious or out of place.

Isaac Figueroa, 26, said he and his brother heard sirens and helicopters early Wednesday in the area and drove toward them, then cut through nearby woods on foot after they hit a police roadblock.

Figueroa said they saw a silver or gray Jeep Cherokee that was pinned between black and white vehicles and “looked like it had been rammed off the road.” He said he saw police deploy a robot to go examine the Jeep.

Federal authorities have blocked off the scene in Pflugerville where they are interviewing Conditt’s former roommates.

Police say those former roommates are not suspects. However, someone was removed from the scene in handcuffs at some point.

President Donald Trump, who had earlier said whoever was responsible for the Austin bombings was “obviously a very sick individual or individuals,” tweeted, “AUSTIN BOMBING SUSPECT IS DEAD. Great job by law enforcement and all concerned!”

The suspect’s death followed a day of rapid-fire developments in the case.

On Tuesday, a bomb inside a package exploded around 1 a.m. as it passed along a conveyer belt at a FedEx shipping center in Schertz, northeast of San Antonio and about 60 miles (95 kilometers) southwest of Austin. One worker reported ringing in her ears and was treated at the scene.

Later in the morning, police sent a bomb squad to a FedEx facility outside the Austin airport to check on a suspicious package. Federal agencies and police later said that package had indeed contained an explosive that was successfully intercepted and that it, too, was tied to the other bombings.

The Schertz blast came two days after a bombing wounded two men Sunday night in a quiet Austin neighborhood about 3 miles (5 kilometers) from the FedEx store. It was triggered by a nearly invisible tripwire, suggesting a “higher level of sophistication” than agents saw in three package bombs previously left on doorsteps, Milanowski said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Russia leak raises questions about staff undermining Trump

A furor erupted at the White House on Wednesday over a damaging leak that revealed President Trump defied his aides’ advice during a congratulatory phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The White House raised the prospect of a staff purge over the disclosure, saying in a statement that it would be a “fireable offense and likely illegal” to give Trump’s briefing papers to the news media.

Chief of staff John Kelly was “frustrated and deeply disappointed” by the leak, a White House official told The Hill.

The official refused to say whether the White House has launched a formal investigation into the incident.

Only a small circle of staff members would have had access to such sensitive briefing documents, according to former White House officials, indicating that the leak may have some from somebody close to the president.

The incident raised concerns among Trump allies that members of own staff could be trying to undermine him.

“’YOU’RE FIRED’ Any free agent leaker(s) on @realDonaldTrump’s National Security Council w/their own agenda/vision for Presidency & America need to be tossed to curb in a NY minute,” Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.) tweetedWednesday.

Zeldin suggested that Obama holdovers on the National Security Council may have been behind the breach. Trump and his allies have frequently warned that a “deep state” of government officials in Washington have constantly tried to torpedo his agenda.

“The ‘what would @brhodes want me to do’ attitude by some in NSC is a disease easily curable,” the New York lawmaker tweeted, referring to Obama deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes.

The person or people responsible for the leak have not been publicly identified.

The leak added to the wave of negative coverage of Trump’s phone call with Putin, frustrating the president, who has faced Russia-related scrutiny ever since he was elected.

The Washington Post and other outlets reported Trump had been warned in briefing materials not to congratulate the Russian leader on his reelection. Aides even included the message “DO NOT CONGRATULATE” in the president’s talking points.

But Trump went ahead and did it anyway, drawing criticism from Republicans on Capitol Hill.

A leading Putin opposition figure was barred from running in the election and international organizations reported instances of ballot-box stuffing and other irregularities during last Sunday’s contest.

Trump also did not confront Putin over a nerve-agent attack against a former Russian double agent in Britain, despite being instructed in briefing papers to do so. Both the U.S. and U.K. have blamed the attack on Russia. Moscow has denied the accusation.

But Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), a critic of Trump’s Russia stance, said Wednesday he was even more upset with the leaks than what the president did or did not say to the Russian leader.

“No, I don’t like that he did it, but you know what I like even less? That there’s someone close to him leaking this stuff out,” Rubio told reporters at the Capitol.

“If you don’t like the guy, quit. But to be this duplicitous and continue to leak things out, it’s dangerous,” the senator added.

The leak appeared to reveal deep frustration among some members of the administration over Trump’s approach toward Russia.

Trump has long argued that forming a good relationship with Putin will help repair strained ties between the U.S. and Russia, despite warnings from advisers, lawmakers and allies that such an outcome is unlikely.

“The Fake News Media is crazed because they wanted me to excoriate him. They are wrong!” Trump tweeted Wednesday afternoon, referring to Putin.

“Getting along with Russia (and others) is a good thing, not a bad thing,” he continued. “They can help solve problems with North Korea, Syria, Ukraine, [Islamic State in Iraq and Syria] ISIS, Iran and even the coming Arms Race.”

Trump did not address the leak of his briefing materials on Twitter. He also did not appear in public Wednesday after his daily schedule was scrapped due to a snowstorm in Washington.

It’s not clear whether the president had read or absorbed the warning from his staff about his call with Putin. The Washington Post reported that national security adviser H.R. McMaster briefed the president orally before the call, but did not raise the caution against a congratulations message.

McMaster, who is reportedly on the verge of being replaced, and others will likely be the subject of scrutiny in any probe of the leaks.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the administration was cracking down on unauthorized disclosures last summer after the Post published full transcripts of Trump’s private calls with the leaders of Mexico and Australia.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) on Wednesday did not comment on the effort. A spokesman said the agency “takes unauthorized leaks extremely seriously” and referred The Hill to Sessions’s remarks from last summer.

At the time, Sessions said the DOJ had tripled the number of active leaks investigations and had created a counterintelligence unit to manage the heavy case load.

There have been few bombshell indictments since then, although one former National Security Agency contractor has been charged with the illegal “transmission of national defense information.”

Jonathan Easley contributed.

http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/379606-russia-leak-raises-questions-about-staff-undermining-trump

 

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Trump’s national security advisers warned him not to congratulate Putin. He did it anyway.

 President Trump also said that he will discuss what he described as an “arms race” with President Putin. 
 March 20 at 7:15 PM 
President Trump did not follow specific warnings from his national security advisers Tuesday when he congratulated Russian President Vladi­mir Putin on his reelection — including a section in his briefing materials in all-capital letters stating “DO NOT CONGRATULATE,” according to officials familiar with the call.Trump also chose not to heed talking points from aides instructing him to condemn the recent poisoning of a former Russian spy in Britain with a powerful nerve agent, a case that both the British and U.S. governments have blamed on Moscow.The president’s conversation with Putin, which Trump described as a “very good call,” prompted fresh criticism of his muted tone toward one of the United States’ biggest geopolitical rivals amid the special counsel investigation into Russia’s election interference and the Trump campaign’s contacts with Russian officials.Although the Trump administration has taken a tougher stance toward Russia recently — including new sanctions last week on some entities for election meddling and cyberattacks — the president has declined to forcefully join London in denouncing Moscow for the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury, England, this month. They remain critically ill.

 

Trump told reporters that he had offered his well wishes on Putin’s new six-year term during a conversation that covered a range of topics, including arms control and the security situations in Syria and North Korea. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters that Skripal’s case was not discussed. Information on Syria and North Korea was also provided to the president in writing before the call, officials said.

In this file photo taken on Friday, July 7, 2017, President Trump meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G-20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany. (Evan Vucci/AP)

“We’ll probably be meeting in the not-too-distant future,” Trump said of Putin, though Sanders emphasized that nothing is planned.

The White House press office declined to comment on the briefing materials given to Trump. Two people familiar with the notecards acknowledged that they included instructions not to congratulate Putin. But a senior White House official emphasized that national security adviser H.R. McMaster did not mention the issue during a telephone briefing with the president, who was in the White House residence ahead of and during his conversation with Putin.

It was not clear whether Trump read the notes, administration officials said. Trump, who initiated the call, opened it with the congratulations for Putin, one person familiar with the conversation said.

The president’s tone drew a rebuke from Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, who wrote on Twitter: “An American president does not lead the Free World by congratulating dictators on winning sham elections. And by doing so with Vladimir Putin, President Trump insulted every Russian citizen who was denied the right to vote in a free and fair election.”

But Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, appeared less concerned, noting that Trump has also offered congratulations to other leaders of more totalitarian states. “I wouldn’t read much into it,” Corker said.

Putin’s latest consolidation of power came in what foreign policy analysts said was a rigged election in which he got 76 percent of the vote against several minor candidates. Some world leaders have hesitated to congratulate Putin, since his reelection occurred in an environment of state control of much of the news media and with his most prominent opponent barred from the ballot.

While Russian President Vladimir Putin was reelected in a landslide victory on March 18, videos emerged of alleged ballot-stuffing at polling stations.

Ahead of Tuesday’s phone call, national security aides provided Trump with several handwritten notecards filled with talking points to guide his conversation, as is customary for calls with foreign leaders, according to the officials with knowledge of the call, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private conversations.

The notecards are similar to the one Trump was photographed clutching during a White House meeting last month with students and parents after the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., officials said.

Trump’s failure to raise Moscow’s alleged poisoning of the former spy in Britain risked angering officials in London, who are trying to rally Britain’s closest allies to condemn the attack. Russia has denied involvement in the March 4 poisoning, but the attack has badly damaged British-Russian relations, and British Prime Minister Theresa May last week announced the expulsion of 23 Russian diplomats in retaliation.

Putin has denied that Russia had any role and called the claim “nonsense.”

Asked about McCain’s criticism, Sanders noted that the leaders of France and Germany also called Putin this week, and she pointed to former president Barack Obama, who congratulated Putin on an election win in 2012.

“We’ve been very clear in the actions that we’ve taken that we’re going to be tough on Russia, particularly when it comes to areas that we feel where they’ve stepped out of place,” Sanders said. “We’ve placed tough sanctions on Russia and a number of other things where we have shown exactly what our position is.”

She emphasized, however, that Trump is determined to establish a working relationship with Putin to tackle global challenges, including confronting North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.

Asked whether the Trump administration believes that Russia conducted a “free and fair” election, Sanders said the administration is focused on U.S. elections.

“We don’t get to dictate how other countries operate,” she said. “What we do know is that Putin has been elected in their country, and that’s not something that we can dictate to them how they operate.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) distanced himself Tuesday from Trump’s congratulatory remarks.

“The president can call whomever he chooses,” McConnell said at his weekly news conference. “When I look at a Russian election, what I see is a lack of credibility in tallying the results. I’m always reminded of the election they used to have in almost every communist country where whoever the dictator was at the moment always got a huge percentage of the vote.”

Trump has largely refrained from criticizing Putin amid special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation of the 2016 election meddling; in February, Mueller indicted 13 Russian nationals on conspiracy charges. The president’s tone has at times been at odds with that of his administration, which has taken stronger actions to counter Russian aggression, including Trump’s authorization of new sanctions against Russia and additional support for Ukrainian troops in their fight against Russian-backed forces.

“It’s blatantly obvious that he has just an inexplicable level of support for President Putin,” said Julie Smith, a European security expert who served as deputy national security adviser for Vice President Joe Biden. “You keep thinking it will change as he sees his own administration take action — that this never-ending well of support for Putin will somehow subside. It’s disheartening at a time when our transatlantic partners really need a boost. Europe is looking to us for leadership on Russia in particular, and they’re not getting it.”

Thomas Wright, director of the Center on the United States and Europe at the Brookings Institution, said Trump’s actions were “a sign he wants a pro-Russia foreign policy,” which conflicts with the harder line from his administration.

“Everyone is trying to figure out what does this mean,” Wright said. “Russia hawks say, ‘Pay attention to us, but not to the president or to the tweets.’ But the reality is, his reaction is policy. The fact that there hasn’t been a stronger sanctions response to the poisoning so far is policy.”

Trump’s applause of Putin’s victory was in line with other congratulatory calls he has made, including to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for winning a much-disputed referendum that increased his already autocratic powers, and to China’s President Xi Jinping for his “extraordinary elevation” after Xi last month engineered the Communist Party’s elimination of presidential term limits.

“I think it’s great. Maybe we’ll have to give that a shot someday,” Trump said in a closed-door speech to Republican donors at his Mar-a-Lago Club in Florida several weeks ago, a recording of which was obtained by CNN.

Karen DeYoung, John Hudson and Jenna Johnson in Washington, and Anton Troianovski in Moscow, contributed to this report.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trumps-national-security-advisers-warned-him-not-to-congratulate-putin-he-did-it-anyway/2018/03/20/22738ebc-2c68-11e8-8ad6-fbc50284fce8_story.html?utm_term=.cf38730b99d9

 

 

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EXCLUSIVE: Fired FBI official authorized criminal probe of Sessions, sources say

PHOTO: U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions picks up his remarks as Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe looks on during a news conference at the Justice Department in Washington, July 13, 2017.Alex Wong/Getty Images, FILE
WATCHTop House Intel Democrat: Even if McCabe firing ‘justified, it can also be tainted’

Nearly a year before Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired senior FBI official Andrew McCabe for what Sessions called a “lack of candor,” McCabe oversaw a federal criminal investigation into whether Sessions lacked candor when testifying before Congress about contacts with Russian operatives, sources familiar with the matter told ABC News.

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Democratic lawmakers have repeatedly accused Sessions of misleading them in congressional testimony and called on federal authorities to investigate, but McCabe’s previously-unreported decision to actually put the attorney general in the crosshairs of an FBI probe was an exceptional move.

One source told ABC News that Sessions was not aware of the investigation when he decided to fire McCabe last Friday less than 48 hours before McCabe, a former FBI deputy director, was due to retire from government and obtain a full pension, but an attorney representing Sessions declined to confirm that.

Last year, several top Republican and Democratic lawmakers were informed of the probe during a closed-door briefing with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and McCabe, ABC News was told.

By then, Sessions had recused himself from the FBI’s probe of Russia’s meddling in the 2016 presidential election, giving Rosenstein oversight of the growing effort.

PHOTO: US Attorney General Jeff Sessions testifies before a House Judiciary Committee hearing on November 14, 2017, in Washington, DC.Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images
US Attorney General Jeff Sessions testifies before a House Judiciary Committee hearing on November 14, 2017, in Washington, DC.

Within weeks, Rosenstein appointed special counsel Robert Mueller to take over the investigation and related inquiries, including the Sessions matter.

Two months ago, Sessions was interviewed by Mueller’s team, and the federal inquiry related to his candor during his confirmation process has since been shuttered, according to a lawyer representing Sessions.

“The Special Counsel’s office has informed me that after interviewing the attorney general and conducting additional investigation, the attorney general is not under investigation for false statements or perjury in his confirmation hearing testimony and related written submissions to Congress,” attorney Chuck Cooper told ABC News on Wednesday.

According to the sources, McCabe authorized the criminal inquiry after a top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont, and then-Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., wrote a letter in March 2017 to the FBI urging agents to investigate “all contacts” Sessions may have had with Russians, and “whether any laws were broken in the course of those contacts or in any subsequent discussion of whether they occurred.”

It’s unclear how actively federal authorities pursued the matter in the months before Sessions’ interview with Mueller’s investigators. It’s also unclear whether the special counsel may still be pursuing other matters related to Sessions and statements he has made to Congress – or others – since his confirmation.

During his confirmation in January 2017, Sessions told the Senate committee that he had not been in contact with anyone connected to the Russian government about the 2016 election. He also said he was “not aware” of anyone else affiliated with the Trump campaign communicating with the Russian government ahead of the election.

Two months later, after a Washington Post report disputed what Sessions told Congress, the attorney general acknowledged he had met the Russian ambassador twice during the presidential campaign, but insisted none of those interactions were “to discuss issues of the campaign.”

Sessions “made no attempt to correct his misleading testimony until The Washington Post revealed that, in fact, he had at least two meetings with the Russian ambassador,” Leahy and Franken said in a statement at the time. “We know he would not tolerate dishonesty if he were in our shoes.”

Sessions called any suggestions that he misled lawmakers “false.”

Nevertheless, charges subsequently brought by Mueller raised more questions over Sessions’ testimony to Congress.

In November, former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos admitted to federal authorities that during the campaign he was in frequent contact with Russian operatives about setting up a meeting between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, and Papadopoulos pitched the idea to Sessions and Trump at a meeting of the then-candidate’s foreign policy team in March 2016.

PHOTO: Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, testified in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee, on Capitol Hill, June 7, 2017. Cheriss May/NurPhoto via Getty Images
Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, testified in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee, on Capitol Hill, June 7, 2017.

Sessions later told lawmakers he “always told the truth,” insisting he didn’t recall the March 2016 meeting when first testifying to Congress. He later remembered the meeting after reading news reports about it, he said.

“We are concerned by Attorney General Sessions’ lack of candor to the Committee and his failure thus far to accept responsibility for testimony that could be construed as perjury,” Leahy and Franken said in their March 2017 letter to then-FBI director James Comey, who was fired by Trump two months later.

It is a federal crime for anyone to knowingly provide false information to Congress – or to a federal law enforcement agency. No charges have been announced against McCabe, and there’s no indication that the FBI has recommended he be charged.

McCabe was fired Friday after the Justice Department‘s inspector general concluded that McCabe misled investigators looking into how Justice Department and FBI officials handled matters associated with the 2016 presidential election.

In October 2016, hoping to push back on a series of news reports questioning whether he might be trying to protect Hillary Clinton, McCabe authorized two FBI officials to speak with a reporter about his efforts to boost the FBI’s investigation of the Clinton Foundation. When he was questioned later about that decision, McCabe “lacked candor – including under oath – on multiple occasions,” Sessions said in a statement announcing McCabe’s firing.

“The FBI expects every employee to adhere to the highest standards of honesty, integrity, and accountability,” Sessions said. “As the [FBI’s ethics office] stated, ‘all FBI employees know that lacking candor under oath results in dismissal and that our integrity is our brand.'”

McCabe vehemently denies misleading investigators, saying in his own statement that he is “being singled out and treated this way because of the role I played, the actions I took, and the events I witnessed in the aftermath of the firing of James Comey.”

For more than a year, Trump and other Republicans have questioned whether McCabe harbored a political bias when making law enforcement decisions as deputy director. McCabe’s critics point to his ties to Democrats, particularly his wife’s failed Democratic run for state senate in Virginia nearly three years ago.

But in an interview with ABC News, McCabe insisted politics was “absolutely not” a factor in any of the decisions he made, noting he has considered himself a Republican all his life.

A representative for McCabe declined to comment for this article.

Franken, one of the two senators who pushed the FBI to investigate Sessions, resigned from Congress in December amid several claims of sexual misconduct.

–ABC News’ Trish Turner and Matt Mosk contributed to this report

http://abcnews.go.com/US/exclusive-fired-fbi-official-authorized-criminal-probe-sessions/story?id=53914006

DOJ gives special counsel internal docs on proposed Sessions resignation, source says

PHOTO: U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions addresses a crowd of law enforcement officers in Louisville, Kentucky, Jan. 30, 2018. JOhn Sommers II/Reuters
WATCHSigns show that special counsel is pursuing a possible obstruction of justice case

In the weeks before special counsel Robert Mueller’s team interviewed Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the Justice Department turned over a cache of internal correspondence, including documents related to the proposed resignation of Sessions last year and emails with the White House about fired national security adviser Michael Flynn, according to a source with knowledge of the matter.

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Details of what the Justice Department has now provided to Mueller’s team, which sources say has been investigating whether President Donald Trump sought to obstruct a federal inquiry into possible connections between his presidential campaign and Russian operatives, reflect how widely investigators are casting their net.

Citing sources familiar with the matter, ABC News reported in November that Mueller’s office was interested in obtaining internal emails related to the firing of FBI Director James Comey and the earlier decision of Sessions to recuse himself from the entire matter, but at the time it was unclear what other type of information Mueller’s office might have been seeking.

PHOTO: Robert Mueller, the special counsel probing Russian interference in the 2016 election, departs Capitol Hill, June 21, 2017.Andrew Harnik/AP, FILE
Robert Mueller, the special counsel probing Russian interference in the 2016 election, departs Capitol Hill, June 21, 2017.

Comey was fired in May of last of year, and days later Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed Mueller as special counsel.

In an Oval Office meeting after Mueller’s appointment, Trump told Sessions he should resign, prompting the attorney general to submit a letter of resignation, according to The New York Times. But Trump ultimately rejected the resignation after advisers warned against it in the wake of Comey’s firing.

A month after that episode, Trump wanted to have White House aides fire Mueller but backed off after White House counsel Don McGahn and others made clear they were opposed to such a move, a source familiar with the deliberations told ABC News.

PHOTO: Former acting Attorney General Sally Yates testifies on May 8, 2017, before the US Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.
Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images
Former acting Attorney General Sally Yates testifies on May 8, 2017, before the US Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.more +

Emails and other documents produced within the Justice Department during that time, including emails with White House officials, have now been sent to Mueller’s office, according to a source with knowledge of the matter.

Sessions and Rosenstein both played key roles in Comey’s high-profile removal. To publicly bolster the controversial move at the time, the White House released two memos written separately by Sessions and Rosenstein, with both faulting Comey for his handling of the FBI’s probe into Hillary Clinton‘s use of a private email server when she was secretary of state. During a House hearing last year, Rosenstein refused to say whether he consulted with the White House before Comey’s firing or whether anyone asked him to write his memo, insisting such questions “may well be within the scope of the special counsel’s investigation.”

The special counsel has already secured charges against four Trump associates, including Flynn.

Flynn was fired only weeks into the Trump administration after then–Acting Attorney General Sally Yates informed White House officials that Flynn lied to them about his contacts with Russian officials.

Referring to the Justice Department, Yates told lawmakers last year, “We believed Gen. Flynn was compromised in regards to the Russians” and “could be blackmailed by the Russians.”

Yates privately brought those concerns to the White House, and Flynn has since pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI, acknowledging that before Trump’s inauguration he spoke about U.S. sanctions against Russia with Russia’s then-ambassador to the United States, Sergey Kislyak.

The Justice Department has now provided Mueller’s team with internal documents related to the matter, according to the source with knowledge of the matter.

Mueller’s team also asked former senior Justice Department officials for information from their time at the department, sources familiar with the request previously told ABC News.

Meanwhile, Sessions has faced public criticism from Trump over his recusal and Rosenstein’s subsequent appointment of Mueller.

At one point last year, Trump told reporters he wouldn’t have nominated Sessions to run the Justice Department had he known Sessions would give up oversight of the investigation.

In announcing his recusal, Sessions said he and “senior career department officials” spent “several weeks” discussing whether his role as top foreign policy adviser to Trump’s presidential campaign last year meant his “impartiality might reasonably be questioned.”

Such internal discussions have been turned over to Mueller’s team, the source familiar with the matter told ABC News.

Sessions was interviewed by Mueller’s team two weeks ago. Rosenstein was interviewed last summer.

In the wake of Flynn’s guilty plea, the former national security adviser is now cooperating with Mueller’s investigation, which has already netted another guilty plea and an indictment against two Trump associates.

Former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos has pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his time with the campaign. In court documents, he said he told Sessions and Trump during a 2016 meeting that he was working with Russians to orchestrate a meeting between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Sessions rejected the suggestion that Papadopoulos should help orchestrate a meeting between the two.

In addition, former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and his former business partner Rick Gates have been indicted on money-laundering and other charges tied to their previous lobbying efforts. They have pleaded not guilty.

http://abcnews.go.com/US/doj-special-counsel-internal-docs-sessions-resignation/story?id=52721241

OFFICE OF PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY

OPR Banner

MEET THE COUNSEL

Robin C. Ashton Photo
Counsel, Office of Professional Responsibility

Robin Ashton became the head of the Office of Professional Responsibility in January, 2011.

ABOUT OPR

The Office of Professional Responsibility, reporting directly to the Attorney General, is responsible for investigating allegations of misconduct involving Department attorneys that relate to the exercise of their authority to investigate, litigate or provide legal advice, as well as allegations of misconduct by law enforcement personnel when related to allegations of attorney misconduct within the jurisdiction of OPR. Learn more.

OPR OBJECTIVES

The objective of OPR is to ensure that Department of Justice attorneys continue to perform their duties in accordance with the high professional standards expected of the Nation’s principal law enforcement agency.

RELATIONSHIP WITH THE INSPECTOR GENERAL

Some allegations of misconduct by Department attorneys do not fall within the jurisdiction of OPR and are investigated by the Office of the Inspector General (OIG). OPR’s jurisdiction is limited to reviewing allegations of misconduct made against Department of Justice attorneys and law enforcement personnel that relate to the attorneys’ exercise of authority to investigate, litigate, or provide legal advice. The OIG is required to notify OPR of the existence and results of any OIG investigation that reflects upon the professional ethics, competence or integrity of a Department attorney. In such cases, OPR will take appropriate action.

https://www.justice.gov/opr

Office of Professional Responsibility

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) is part of the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) responsible for investigating attorneys employed by the DOJ who have been accused of misconduct or crimes in their professional functions. The OPR promulgates independent standards of ethical and criminal conduct for DOJ attorneys, while the DOJ’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) has jurisdiction of non-attorney DOJ employees. Mary Patrice Brown was named acting head of the office in April 2009.[1] Robin Ashton became the head of the office in 2011[2]

The OPR receives reports of allegations of misconduct made against DOJ attorneys from many sources. Nearly half of all such allegations are reported to OPR by DOJ sources, such as the attorney involved.[3] The remaining complaints come from a variety of sources, including private attorneys, defendants and civil litigants, other federal agencies, state or local government officials, judicial and congressional referrals, and media reports. OPR gives expedited attention to judicial findings of misconduct.

The OPR reviews each allegation and determines whether further investigation is warranted. The determination is a matter of investigative judgment that weighs many factors, including the nature of the allegation, its apparent credibility, its specificity, its susceptibility to verification, and the source of the allegation. A decision to open a matter does not give rise to a presumption of misconduct, nor shift the burden of proof to the accused person. The OPR’s investigations involve a wide range of allegations, and the investigative methods used vary accordingly.

In many cases, the OPR notifies the accused attorney and requests a written response. Sometimes, the OPR also makes on-site investigations. The OPR reports the results of the investigation to the component head concerned and to the Office of the Deputy Attorney General. The OPR also advises the complainant and the accused attorney of its conclusion.

OPR has a policy of not reporting or investigating complaints for violation of duty of candor towards the tribunal that may be resolved in court. It does not publish this policy in the Federal Register. OPR does not publish agendas of its meetings or keep minutes of its meetings.[4][5][6]

References

External links

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Office_of_Professional_Responsibility

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1044, March 7, 2018, Story 1: Attorney General Session To Sanctuary State California — Aiding and Abetting The Illegal Alien Invasion of United States Is A Crime — Obey The Law or Else — Videos — Story 2: Do The Right Thing — Restore The American’s People Confidence in The FBI and Department of Justice By Appointing A Second Special Counsel To Investigate and Prosecute The Crimes Committed By The Clinton Obama Democrat Conspiracy To Spy On American People — Videos —

Posted on March 8, 2018. Filed under: 2016 Presidential Campaign, 2016 Presidential Candidates, American History, Barack H. Obama, Bill Clinton, Blogroll, Breaking News, Bribery, Bribes, Business, Cartoons, Communications, Congress, Constitutional Law, Corruption, Countries, Crime, Culture, Deep State, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Donald Trump, Drugs, Economics, Education, Elections, Empires, Employment, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Department of Justice (DOJ), Federal Government, First Amendment, Fiscal Policy, Former President Barack Obama, Fourth Amendment, Free Trade, Freedom of Speech, Gangs, Government, Government Dependency, Government Spending, High Crimes, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, History, House of Representatives, Illegal Immigration, James Comey, Jerry Brown, Labor Economics, Language, National Security Agency, News, Obama, People, Philosophy, Photos, Pistols, Politics, Polls, President Trump, Presidential Appointments, Public Corruption, Radio, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Rifles, Robert S. Mueller III, Rule of Law, Scandals, Second Amendment, Security, Senate, Senator Jeff Sessions, Social Networking, Spying, Spying on American People, Success, Surveillance and Spying On American People, Surveillance/Spying, Tax Policy, Terror, Terrorism, Unemployment, United States Constitution, United States of America, Videos, Violence, War, Wealth, Weapons, Weather, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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 Story 1: Attorney General Session To Sanctuary State California — Aiding and Abetting The Illegal Alien Invasion of United States — Obey The Law or Else — Videos –

Watch U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions take on California’s immigration policies

Sessions calls out California on immigration after announcing DOJ lawsuit

Tucker: Democrats have become the anti-border party

DOJ takes on California over sanctuary status

Hannity: California officials willing to risk American lives

Gov. Jerry Brown: Sessions ‘sowing discord’ instead of proposing immigration reform

California governor calls DOJ lawsuit a ‘political stunt’

1995: Barbara Jordan on “Immigration Reform”

President Trump says he shares immigration views with Barbara Jordan

WATCH: Atty. Gen. Sessions discusses sanctuary cities in Sacramento, CA

America’s Sources of Immigration (1850-Today)

Immigration by the Numbers — Off the Charts

How Many Illegal Aliens Are in the US? – Walsh – 1

How Many Illegal Aliens Are in the US? – Walsh – 2

President Trump’s ‘four pillars’ of new immigration plan

President Trump statement on immigration, green card reform with Sen Tom Cotton, Sen David Perdue

Trump Endorses Bill to Limit Green Card Immigration

Donald Trump explains his immigration plan

Trump: I want an immigration policy that benefits Americans

Trump on immigration: ‘We either have a country or we don’t’

2016 GOP contenders take different stances on immigration

Obama’s Amnesty & How Illegal Immigration Affects Us

President Obama’s Speech on Amnesty For Illegal Immigrants

The 2020 Census is at risk. Here are the major consequences

California leaders rebuke Sessions as ‘going to war’ over state immigration policy

He arrived a day after suing California over its laws to shield immigrants living in the state illegally  

A long-simmering battle between the Trump administration and California over immigration boiled over Wednesday, with Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions deriding the state’s “irrational, unfair and unconstitutional policies” and Gov. Jerry Brown accusing the federal government of launching “a reign of terror.”

“This is basically going to war against the state of California,” Brown declared.

As the Justice Department formally filed a legal challenge to state immigration laws, Sessions told a gathering of law enforcement officers in Sacramento that California was attempting to keep federal immigration officials from doing their jobs, and he charged Democrats with advancing the political agendas of “radical extremists.”

He took particular aim at Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, who had warned immigrant communities about recent federal raids in the Bay Area, and at Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, for praising her actions.

“So here’s my message to Mayor Schaaf: How dare you?” Sessions said of the Brown protege. “Contrary to what you may hear from open-borders radicals, we are not asking California, Oakland or anyone else to actively, effectively enforce immigration laws.”

The remarks drew protests and sharp rebukes from state leaders, underscoring huge rifts over the role of law enforcement in federal immigration policy.

President Trump has made restricting immigration a central focus of his agenda and has frequently criticized California for resistance to his calls to increase deportations. On Wednesday, the White House confirmed that Trump would make his first visit to California since becoming president next week, to assess prototypes for the border wall he wants built between California and Mexico and to attend a GOP fundraiser.

California Democratic leaders and the state’s top law enforcement officer responded with war talk of their own, describing Sessions’ actions as unprecedented. In fiery tweets, speeches and at a news conference at the Capitol, the Democrats said the Justice Department lawsuit is based on lies and challenges California’s sovereignty.

The governor called Sessions’ actions a political stunt, aimed at distracting the public from guilty pleas made by Trump’s advisors in special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s ongoing investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election.

“Let’s face it, the Trump White House is under siege,” Brown said. “Obviously, the attorney general has found it hard just to be a normal attorney general. He’s been caught up in the whirlwind of Trumpism … [and is] initiating a reign of terror.”

State Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles), author of one of the laws targeted by the legal challenge, accused Sessions of having ideology based on “white supremacy and white nationalism.”

De León said he is directing former U.S. Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr., under contract to provide legal advice to the state Senate, to help formulate a response to submit in court. On a conference call with reporters, Holder said legal precedent makes clear that the federal government cannot insist that a state use its resources to enforce federal immigration law.

“From my perspective, the Trump administration’s lawsuit is really a political and unconstitutional attack on the state of California’s well-established rights under our system of government,” Holder said.

The three laws administration officials seek to challenge make it a crime for business ownersto voluntarily help federal agents find and detain undocumented workers, prohibit local law enforcement from alerting immigration agents when detainees are released from custody and create a state inspection program for federal immigration detention centers.

Administration officials allege the laws, passed by the Legislature last year and signed by Brown, blatantly obstruct federal immigration law and thus violate the Constitution’s supremacy clause, which gives federal law precedence over state enactments.

State Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra has pledged to defend the measures in court, saying they work in concert with federal laws. “Our teams work together to go after drug dealers, to combat gang violence, to take down sex-trafficking rings, and we have no intention of changing that,” he said Wednesday.

In his speech to more than 100 police chiefs, sheriffs and other law enforcement officers, Sessions argued that the Trump administration did not reject immigration, but said the U.S. should not reward those who unlawfully enter the country with benefits, such as legal status, food stamps and work permits.

He said the federal government sued California to invalidate and immediately freeze what he called unjust laws.

“We are going to fight these irrational, unfair and unconstitutional policies that have been imposed on you and our federal officers,” Sessions said as he finished his speech to the California Peace Officers Assn., and some officers stood in ovation. “You can be certain about this: We have your back, and you have our thanks.”

As the group welcomed Sessions with applause, a statewide coalition of immigrant rights groups gathered outside to protest his arrival.

The lawsuit and Sessions’ visit are the latest volley in an escalating battle between the Trump administration and Democratic leaders in California, where laws have been passed to extend healthcare, driver’s licenses and education to some of the more than 2.3 million immigrants living in the state illegally.

The event is usually a time for law enforcement officers to mingle with lawmakers, lobby for legislation and receive guidance from leaders on law enforcement priorities across the state. But Sessions’ appearance swept the attention away.

Police officers said the state’s immigration laws had not impeded their jobs so far, but the constant battles between state and federal leaders were affecting their relationships with federal partners.

Fairfield Police Chief Randy Fenn said the lawsuit raised concerns about whether law enforcement agencies would be caught in the middle of a larger immigration battle.

“We are waiting to see how this shakes out,” Fenn said.

Neil Gallucci, second vice president of the state peace officers group, said Sessions’ opinion was important to understand as the federal lawsuit had the potential to change California laws.

“Atty. Gen. Sessions is the top law enforcement officer in the United States of America,” Gallucci said. “It would be foolish for us not to listen to where we may be headed and to understand what all the issues are. That is what this forum is for.”

Though the state government’s foray into immigration issues has drawn criticism outside California in recent months, it has broad support within the state. A January poll by the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California found 58% of likely voters wanted state and local immigration action. Among all adults, support rose to 65% of those surveyed.

Law enforcement officials have been divided on the issue. The most contested of the statutes — the so-called sanctuary state law — limits state and local law enforcement agencies from using any resources to hold, question or share information about people with federal immigration agents, unless they have violent or serious criminal convictions.

For many officers across the state, that won’t change much of their daily work. Some police and sheriff’s agencies already have developed similar restrictions on working with immigration agents, either through their own policies or under local “sanctuary city” rules.

The California Police Chiefs Assn. moved its official position from opposed to neutral after final changes to the bill, but the California State Sheriffs’ Assn. remained opposed.

Outside Sessions’ speech Wednesday, a few hundred people gathered to protest. Right before the speech began, protesters spilled out onto a major street, blocking traffic, and then marched around the building.

Maria Isabel Serrano, 46, from Imperial County, said the attorney general should focus on violent crimes, not immigration.

“This is the only place where we have a sanctuary,” Serrano said in Spanish. “This lawsuit is uncalled for.”

The protests are perhaps just a preview of what’s to come. Trump will make his first trip to California on Tuesday, the White House announced. He will view border wall prototypes in San Diego and raise money at a high-dollar fundraiser in Beverly Hills.

Times staff writers John Myers and Seema Mehta contributed to this report.

http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-pol-ca-sanctuary-state-sessions-lawsuit-20180307-story.html

eff Sessions’s lawsuit against California’s “sanctuary” laws, explained

California tried to make it harder for ICE to round up immigrants. So the federal government is suing the state.

Erin Schaff-Pool/Getty Images

On Wednesday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions is visiting California to sue it.

The Department of Justice has just filed a lawsuit against the state over three laws it passed in 2017 that limit government officials’ and employers’ ability to help federal immigration agents, and that give California the power to review conditions in facilities where immigrants are being detained by the feds. Sessions, in a Wednesday speech to the California Peace Officers’ Association, a law enforcement union, is giving the message in person.

It’s a huge escalation of the Trump administration’s fight against “sanctuary cities” that limit local-federal cooperation on immigration enforcement. After a year of slow-moving or unsuccessful attempts to block “sanctuary” jurisdictions from getting federal grants, Sessions is moving to stop them from passing laws that limit cooperation to begin with. And he’s starting with a shot across the bow: targeting the bluest state in the union, whose 2017 bills represented a model for progressives to use federalism against the Trump administration’s immigration agenda.

California, like any other “sanctuary” jurisdiction, isn’t stopping Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents from being able to arrest, detain, or deport immigrants. In fact, ICE has already responded to the 2017 laws in its own way — by escalating raids in California and claiming that the state’s sanctuary laws force ICE to get more aggressive in its tactics.

Sessions’s lawsuit, legally speaking, is about ensuring that the feds can use any tool in the toolbox of federal immigration enforcement policy, without any restrictions from progressive cities and states. Politically speaking, it’s the next phase in a battle the Trump administration and California are equally enthusiastic about having: an ongoing culture war between progressive politicians who feel a duty to make their immigrant residents feel as safe as possible, and an administration (and its backers) whose stated policy is that no unauthorized immigrant should feel safe.

The lawsuit is mostly a fight to let government employees and business owners cooperate with ICE if they want

The administration’s new lawsuit doesn’t address all of California’s restrictions on cooperation — including some of the “sanctuary” policies that Sessions and other Trump administration officials have complained the most about (like limits on when local jail officials can agree to hold unauthorized immigrants for 48 hours after they’d otherwise be released so federal agents can pick them up).

Instead, it aims at pieces of three different laws California passed last year: one that strictly limits law enforcement cooperation with ICE, one restricting what employers can do when ICE engages in workplace raids, and one about reviews of immigration detention facilities.

Here’s the rundown:

SB 54 (California Values Act): the “sanctuary” law. The Trump administration is suing to allow local law enforcement officials in California to do two things that SB 54 now prevents them from doing: 1) tell federal agents when an immigrant will be released from jail or prison, or give them other “nonpublic” personal information other than the immigrant’s immigration status; and 2) transfer immigrants directly into federal custody from local jails without a warrant from a judge for their arrest (though local officials are allowed to do this if an immigrant has committed certain serious crimes).

The Trump administration argues that the restrictions on what local officials can tell federal ones about a detained immigrant violate federal law — specifically, a provision that bars local and state governments from telling their officials not to share information about “the immigration status … of any individual.” This is the same provision the Trump administration has been using in its attempts to block “sanctuary” jurisdictions from getting federal grants.

California argues that sharing information about when someone will be released from jail or prison is different from sharing information about their “immigration status” itself, so it’s legal for the state to put restrictions on the former. That argument has been upheld by a federal judge in the state — though, notably, not in the same district where the Justice Department is suing.

(Ironically, the ruling that refusing to share release dates didn’t violate federal law came in a civil lawsuit filed against the city of San Francisco by the parents of Kate Steinle, whose murder has become a cause célèbre for immigration hawks including President Trump himself.)

The Justice Department is also arguing that California is restricting federal immigration enforcement by requiring a warrant from a judge to take an immigrant into custody, claiming that federal immigration law was designed to use civil “warrants” from the executive branch (since being in the US without papers is a civil offense, and deportation is technically a civil punishment, rather than criminal).

AB 103: the detention review law. The DOJ is suing to strike down a law that requires the California attorney general to review any facility where immigrants are being detained by federal agents while waiting for an immigration court date or their deportation (or where unaccompanied minors are being held while waiting to be placed with a relative).

The lawsuit argues that where immigrants are detained is a “law-enforcement decision” and California is improperly interfering with it; it also complains that California isn’t placing these restrictions on any other local or federal agency and is targeting immigration enforcement.

AB 450: the workplace-raid law. Just like the DOJ is suing to let law enforcement cooperate more broadly with federal agents with its challenge to SB 54, it’s suing to let employers cooperate with federal agents during workplace raids or audits. The feds are suing to strike down provisions that prevent employers from letting ICE agents access “nonpublic areas” of the workplace during raids or giving ICE agents access to employee records without a judicial warrant. (Though ICE agents would still be allowed to look over an employer’s I-9 files, the form to verify an employee’s ability to work in the US legally.)

And it’s suing to stop employers from having to notify their employees within 72 hours of getting a notice of inspection of I-9 files from ICE and notify them again within 72 hours of getting the results if the employee has been flagged in the system as working illegally.

The DOJ argues that these restrictions “have the purpose and effect of interfering with the enforcement of the [federal] prohibition on working without authorization.”

In the federal government’s view, “California has no lawful interest in assisting removable aliens to evade federal law enforcement.” But California, of course, argues it does: that protecting the safety and well-being of California residents means forcing ICE to meet higher standards of due process before engaging in actions that can affect not only unauthorized immigrants but legal immigrants and US citizens. And this is where the real divide lies.

California’s laws haven’t kept out ICE. They’ve just made ICE officials angrier.

The term “sanctuary” gives the totally misleading impression that cities and states can stop ICE from entering, or from arresting immigrants. They can’t. The laws that immigration hawks have traditionally labeled “sanctuary” policies — a label that, in the wake of the 2016 election, some progressives and Democrats have embraced — are designed to make it harder for the federal government to use local governments as leverage in immigration enforcement.

So when those laws pass, ICE has to do things the hard way: tracking down immigrants after they’re released from jail, for example, instead of just picking them up directly.

That sort of ICE activity is more visible — and often more disruptive to immigrants’ daily lives. When the Trump administration has been criticized for its aggressive immigration tactics, like arresting immigrants in courthouses or in their driveways, it has blamed “sanctuary cities” for forcing them to.

But the Trump administration has also made a point to hype enforcement in “sanctuary” jurisdictions as a way to send a message that immigrants are not safe there. So even as the Justice Department sues California for making it too hard to enforce immigration law, ICE is as visible in the state as ever.

The workplace-raids law the DOJ is suing over didn’t stop ICE from raiding several 7-Eleven franchises in California in January, armed with notices to inspect their I-9 forms. Nor did California’s laws stop ICE from arresting more than 150 immigrants in a massive “sweep” in Northern California in February, including some who allege they were approached at random in public by an ICE agent and asked for their papers (something ICE generally denies it does).

The Trump administration has vocally criticized California officials for trying to impede ICE — it was furious with Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf for alerting the public that the February sweep was coming, for example. But it’s important to understand that the lawsuit isn’t really about ICE’s abilities, but rather about making it easier for the agency to do its job — or, to put it another way, it’s about how many tools ICE has in its immigration enforcement toolbox.

And it’s also, just like the stepped-up raids, another way to remind immigrants that no matter who calls California a “sanctuary,” it can’t really protect immigrants from deportation.

This is a fight both sides are eager to have

Sessions isn’t just going to Sacramento at random. He’s announcing the lawsuit at the convention of the California Peace Officers’ Association — which lobbied against SB 54 and which, according to its executive director, invited Sessions to provide some “clarity” about how local police could work with federal agents in general in the wake of the law.

In reality, law enforcement agents and officials in California (like the rest of America) have been divided on local cooperation with immigration enforcement: Some of them oppose laws like California’s because they hinder officers’ power to decide how to do their jobs, while others want to make sure immigrants aren’t scared out of reporting crimes by worrying local police will turn them over to ICE.

But picking a fight with Democratic politicians — especially in liberal-caricature California — on behalf of cops is the best possible frame for the Trump administration politically. Ever since the presidential primary, Trump has gotten leverage out of attacking “sanctuary cities” for harboring criminals. It’s allowed him to use his favorite theme — that immigrants are criminal and dangerous — while attacking his political opponents.

The legal prospects of the new lawsuit aren’t very good in the short term. Even if the DOJ prevails in the district court, it’ll have to go through the liberal (and presidentially antagonized) Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Politically, though, it’s less important that the Trump administration wins this fight than that it’s picking it at all — it’s reminding its base who the good guys and bad guys are.

Of course, that’s also true for the California government — it’s just that the “good guy” and “bad guy” labels are reversed. California has all but courted a lawsuit from the Trump administration. Attorney General Xavier Becerra left a promising career in the House of Representatives to lead the legal resistance on the West Coast.

Officials have barely bothered to conceal their glee at the news that they’re being sued. “BRING IT ON!” wrote Kevin de León (the state legislator who wrote SB 54) in a Facebook post. Gov. Jerry Brown tweeted at the attorney general: “Jeff, these political stunts may be the norm in Washington, but they don’t work here. SAD!!!”

This isn’t just about the electoral optics for California Democrats in a majority-minority state, in a midterm that could finally push out some of the state’s remaining congressional Republicans. It’s also about the message being sent to immigrants — for Democrats and the administration alike.

The fight over “sanctuary” policies is ultimately a fight over whether fear is a useful tool in immigration enforcement or an evil that can poison whole communities. The official position of the Trump administration is that any unauthorized immigrant in the US should be “looking over [her] shoulder” and worried that ICE will come after her at any time. The biggest change to policy under Trump hasn’t been the scope of deportations or even of arrests — it’s been the aggressive messaging that anyone could be next.

Local and state officials who see unauthorized immigrants as part of their own communities, and who are concerned about the effects that targeting unauthorized immigrants will have on their legal immigrant neighbors and US citizen children, are trying to combat that fear. Laws that force ICE to put more effort into arresting and detaining immigrants are one way to do that. Simply sending the message that some politicians are looking out for immigrants and fighting for them is another — probably not as effective, but something nonetheless.

Fighting in court over California’s laws allows both sides to send the message they want. But in the meantime, ICE will keep working to make sure that its presence is felt in the state, “sanctuary” or no.

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2018/3/7/17088144/california-lawsuit-sanctuary-immigration-law-doj

 

Story 2: Do The Right Thing — Restore The American’s People Confidence in The FBI and Department of Justice By Appointing A Second Special Counsel To Investigate and Prosecute The Crimes Committed By The Clinton Obama Democrat Conspiracy To Spy On American People — Videos —

Congressman Biggs Renews His Call for a Second Special Counsel

Gowdy: Special counsel necessary to investigate FBI process

Judge Napolitano On Gowdy And Goodlatte ‘s Call For Second Special Counsel

GOP lawmakers call for second special counsel over FISA abuse claims

Hannity 03/06/18 9PM | March 06, 2018 Breaking News

Republicans push for Jeff Sessions to appoint second special counsel

Problems GOP may face with starting second special counsel

Gowdy, Goodlatte make case for second independent counsel

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The Pronk Pops Show 1040, February 27, 2018, Story 1: Better Late Then Never — Department of Justice (DOJ) To Reopen FBI Investigations of Hillary Clinton Mishandling of Classified of Documents in Emails and Email Server and Investigation of Abuse of FISA Court Warrants — Appoint A Special Counsel Now! — Videos

Posted on March 1, 2018. Filed under: Addiction, American History, Barack H. Obama, Bill Clinton, Blogroll, Breaking News, Bribery, Bribes, College, Communications, Congress, Constitutional Law, Corruption, Countries, Crime, Culture, Defense Spending, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Economics, Elections, Empires, Employment, Energy, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Department of Justice (DOJ), Foreign Policy, Former President Barack Obama, Freedom of Speech, Government, Government Dependency, Government Spending, Hate Speech, Health Care, Health Care Insurance, High Crimes, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, History, House of Representatives, Human, Human Behavior, Illegal Immigration, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Independence, Iran Nuclear Weapons Deal, James Comey, Language, Law, Legal Immigration, Life, Lying, Media, Natural Gas, Networking, News, Nuclear, Obama, Oil, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, President Trump, Presidential Appointments, Public Corruption, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Robert S. Mueller III, Rule of Law, Scandals, Security, Senate, Senator Jeff Sessions, Spying, Spying on American People, Surveillance and Spying On American People, Surveillance/Spying, Terror, Terrorism, Treason, Trump Surveillance/Spying, United States of America, Videos, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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DOJ will investigate FISA abuse allegations, Jeff Sessions says

Hannity: Major developments in the FISA abuse scandal

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Sessions says DOJ will investigate alleged FISA abuses

Sessions says DOJ will investigate alleged FISA abuses

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Tuesday that the Justice Department will investigate potential abuses of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).

“Yes, it will be investigated,” Sessions told reporters at the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which oversees FISA warrants, according to the Washington Examiner.

He said looking into any abuses is the “appropriate thing” to do.

Sessions’s remarks follow allegations from President Trump last year that Obama administration officials misused their FISA authority to wrongly surveil members of his transition team.

It is not clear if Sessions has opened a formal investigation into the matter, but he said the Justice Department’s inspector general would take it up.

Sessions similarly said on Fox News on Sunday that his department would look into the process for obtaining warrants under FISA. 

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said at a press briefing on Tuesday it is the Justice Department’s responsibility to investigate claims of FISA abuses and that the White House would support the probe.

“I think that’s the role of the Department of Justice, and we’re glad that they’re fulfilling that job,” she said.

Trump has publicly pressed Sessions to open up an investigation into potential abuses of the program, which allows U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies to obtain secret surveillance orders on individuals in the U.S. suspected of being foreign terrorists or spies.

The president claimed last year that the Obama administration improperly wiretapped members of his presidential campaign and transition team, though the White House has not provided any evidence to support that claim. 

Allegations of FISA abuses surfaced again last month, when Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee released a controversial memo alleging that FBI and Justice Department officials misused their authority to obtain a surveillance order on Carter Page, a former Trump campaign adviser.

The committee released a Democrat-authored memo on Saturday countering the claims in the GOP document.

http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/375863-sessions-says-justice-dept-will-investigate-alleged-fisa-abuses

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is pictured. | AP Photo
“We believe the Department of Justice must adhere to the high standards in the FISA court and, yes, it will be investigated. And I think that’s just the appropriate thing,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said. | Susan Walsh/AP Photo

Sessions: Justice Department watchdog investigating GOP Russia memo claims

The Attorney General says his inspector general is probing allegations in a House Republican memo that a secret federal court was misled in 2016.

Updated 

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Tuesday that the Justice Department’s inspector general is looking into a House Republican memo’s claim that prosecutors and FBI agents misled a federal judge when applying for warrants to surveil a Trump campaign adviser with ties to Moscow.

In response to a question at a press conference about government anti-opioid efforts, Sessions appeared to confirm that the Justice Department is investigating the surveillance-related allegations leveled in the memo issued by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) and declassified on Feb. 2 at the order of President Donald Trump.

The GOP memo charged that federal officials did not fully disclose important facts in an October 2016 FISA warrant application to monitor the communications of Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, including that Democrats had funded a private intelligence dossier which was part of the basis for the request.

A spokeswoman for Sessions said his comments were accurate, but referred further questions to aides in the office of Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz. An IG spokesman said: “We’ve received the referral and decline to comment further.”

Horowitz announced in January 2017 that he was opening a review into numerous sensitive issues, including whether political considerations affected the FBI’s handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server. The IG also indicated he planned to examine whether some FBI or Justice Department officials engaged in improper communications with Clinton’s campaign or should have recused themselves.

Horowitz’s announcement of the probe did not indicate any plans to examine issues related to surveillance applications, such as Trump’s claims that his campaign aides were subjected to politically-motivated surveillance before and after the 2016 election.

Over the past year, both Democrats and Republicans have asked Horowitz to expand his inquiry to sweep in various other matters. Before Sessions’ comments Tuesday, there was no explicit indication he had done so. Indeed, Horowitz’s spokespeople have rebuffed media questions about the scope of the review. His answers to lawmakers have also been non-committal.

Horowitz did say in House testimony last November that he expected the election-related review to be completed by March or April of this year.

 

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/02/27/justice-department-gop-memo-russia-investigation-jeff-sessions-428387

 

Trump appears to push for DOJ probe into Hillary Clinton scandals

President Trump took to Twitter Tuesday to promote calls for the Justice Department to investigate alleged criminal activity by his former Democratic presidential rival Hillary Clinton — citing a Fox News analyst who suggested that the DOJ may be sitting on a “treasure trove” of evidence.

Trump quoted Fox News’ Senior Judicial Analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano, who suggested on “The Story with Martha MacCallum” that someone at the department may have evidence of criminality from Clinton or her camp that should be investigated.

Napolitano was, in turn, reacting to an interview Trump gave to Fox’s “Justice with Judge Jeanine” on Saturday night when he suggested that someone should look into the Clinton campaign’s “fraudulent actions” during the 2016 presidential run in relation to the funding of a controversial anti-Trump dossier that was used by the FBI and DOJ to obtain a FISA warrant to spy on Trump campaign aide Carter Page.

In the wake of his election, Trump backed down on his campaign call to have the DOJ investigate Clinton, but he has returned to the “lock her up” theme since then — and has repeatedly criticized Attorney General Jeff Sessions for not investigating Clinton more aggressively.

In his tweets Tuesday, Trump also branded FBI Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe a witch hunt, quoting experts who appeared on “Fox & Friends” to support his long-standing argument that the probe is baseless and that there was no collusion between members of his team and Russian-linked individuals in the 2016 election.

Ken Starr, the independent counsel tasked with investigating Clinton administration controversies in the 1990s, said on Sunday that there has been “no evidence of collusion” so far from the Mueller team, prompting a tweet from the president’s account.

Trump quoted constitutional law professor Jonathan Turley, who also downplayed the probe on Sunday, noting that collusion was implausible based on evidence seen so far.

Trump then tweeted in all caps:

Trump’s tweets come after the release of a Democratic rebuttal to a GOP memo that found that intelligence agencies had used a Democratic-funded dossier as the basis to get a warrant to spy on Page.

DEMS’ REBUTTAL TO GOP FISA MEMO IS RELEASED; TRUMP DEEMS IT A ‘BUST’

Trump branded the Dem memo a “total political and legal bust.”

Trump has repeatedly said there was no collusion from his team and has claimed that the investigation is politically motivated and pushed by Democrats upset by Trump’s win.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2018/02/27/trump-appears-to-push-for-doj-probe-into-hillary-clinton-scandals.html

Today’s Impeach-O-Meter: Republicans Beg Republican to Reopen Hillary Case Closed by Republican

gettyimages874090334

Jeff Sessions at Tuesday’s House Judiciary Committee hearing.

Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

The Impeach-O-Meter is a wildly subjective and speculative daily estimate of the likelihood that Donald Trump leaves office before his term ends, whether by being impeached (and convicted) or by resigning under threat of same.

Republicans have been quite successful of late in elections and control both chambers of Congress and the White House. On Tuesday, given a chance to present a unified response to minority Democrats’ pointed questioning of attorney general Jeff Sessions at a House Judiciary Committee hearing, America’s powerful governing party … squabbled with itself about whether it’s necessary to launch another investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email server.

The background here is that a number of Republican legislators believe Crooked Hillary’s vast past crookedness warrants the appointment of another special counsel. Among them are Virginia Rep. Bob Goodlatte, Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, and Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert, who sit on the Judiciary Committee. Their beef with Clinton involves the server but, as this as this graphic demonstrates, also extends to most of the rest of the events that have ever taken place in the universe:

(Please note that the State Department is presented on this chart as a subsidiary of “Benghazi” and that there is a line between the box on the lower right labeled “Obama” and another box toward the middle which is also labeled “Obama.” What do the binary Obamas have to hide?)

The long and short of this conspiracizing is that Clinton has been let off the hook for the email thing—but also for the majestically overhyped Uranium One “scandal” and for her involvement with the uncorroborated “Steele dossier” which is misleadingly being presented by right-wing figures as the basis of the Trump-Russia investigation—because the entire Obama Justice Department was in the bag for her. The man who has become the face of this alleged Obama deep-state fix, in the right-wing imagination, is former FBI director James Comey.

In reality world, however, Comey is considered a credible figure by nonpartisan observers and the general public. He’s a respected federal law-enforcement lifer who moreoever was himself a registered Republican until very recently. Jeff Sessions, whose job involves maintaining good relations with the federal law-enforcement community and who has tangible (if highly controversial) non-Hillary priorities of his own, does not appear to have an appetite for picking a fight with a former FBI director or spending resources on a special-counsel goose chase. At Tuesday’s hearing, his feelings on the matter broke into the open as he demonstrated spectacularly little patience for Jordan’s rambling Comey/Clinton questions:

Rep. Jordan: We know that Mr. Comey publicized the [email server] investigation and we know he made the final decision on whether to prosecute or not. And then when he gets fired, he leaks a government document through a friend to the New York Times—and what was his goal? To create momentum for special counsel. It can’t be just any special  counsel, it’s Bob Mueller, his mentor. The same Bob Mueller who now is in this investigation with Russian businesses wanting to do business here in the United States. So I guess my main question is, what’s it going to take to actually get a special counsel? What’s it going to take to actually get a special counsel?

Jeff Sessions: It would take a factual basis that meets a standards of the appointment of a special counsel.

Ya burnt, Jim Jordan. Jordan didn’t give up, though:

Jordan: It sure looks like the FBI was paying the author of [the Steele dossier] and it sure looks like a major political party was working with the federal government to then turn an opposition research document, the equivalent of a National Enquirer story, into an intelligence document, take that to the FISA court so they can then get a warrant to spy on the campaign. That’s what it looks like.

Replied Sessions: “‘Looks like’ is not enough basis to appoint a special counsel.” Cold!

Making the whole situation even more bizarre: Jordan and the other legislators pursuing this line of inquiry are just following the lead of Sessions’ boss, who is still mad at his own A.G. for allowing the Russia investigation to go forward and has been taking it out on him for months by whining in public.

Thus do we have Republican legislators carrying water for a Republican president who’s ticked off that his Republican attorney general won’t relitigate a decision that was made by a Republican FBI director. Unified government, indeed.

Today’s meter level is unchanged because 60 percent is already quite high, but it’s a confident 60 percent. Do the people described above seem to you like they’re capable of running the government until 2020 without a self-inflicted catastrophic collapse? 

The FBI’s Fake « Investigation » of Hillary Clinton’s Emails

On September 17th, U.S. President Barack Obama, the boss of the U.S. Government’s Executive Branch — including of federal investigations and prosecutions (including of FBI decisons not to investigate, and not to prosecute) — said that, in this Presidential election,

 “My name may not be on the ballot, but our progress is on the ballot,” and that a voter’s failure to vote for Hillary Clinton would be “an insult to my legacy.”

 This statement by him provides useful background context behind the following news-report (and readers are urged to click onto the link at any point here wherever a given allegation’s veracity is at all in doubt, to see the extensive documentation for it): 

The FBI’s ‘investigation’ into Hillary Clinton’s State Department email operation was fake in three major ways:

1: The FBI chose to ‘investigate’ the most difficult-to-prove charges, not the easiest-to-prove ones (which are the six laws that she clearly violated, simply by her privatization and destruction of State Department records, and which collectively would entail a maximum prison sentence of 73 years). The famous judge Jed Rakoff hasaccurately and succinctly said that, in the American criminal ‘justice’ system, since 1980 and especially after 2000, and most especially after 2010,

« the prosecutor has all the power. The Supreme Court’s suggestion that a plea bargain is a fair and voluntary contractual arrangement between two relatively equal parties is a total myth. … What really puts the prosecutor in the driver’s seat is the fact that he — because of mandatory minimums, sentencing guidelines (which, though no longer mandatory in the federal system, are still widely followed by most judges), and simply his ability to shape whatever charges are brought — can effectively dictate the sentence by how he publicly describes the offense.”

Columnist Debra J. Saunders put it this way“The mandatory minimum sentencing system effectively has allowed federal prosecutors to choose defendants’ sentences by deciding how to charge them.”

If an Administration wants to be merely pretending an ‘investigation’, it’s easy: identify, as the topic for the alleged ‘investigation’, not the criminal laws that indisputably describe what the suspect can clearly be proven to have done, but instead criminal laws that don’t. Prosecutorial discretion is now practically unlimited in the United States. This discretion is an essential feature of any dictatorship. It’s the essence of any system that separates people into aristocrats, who are above the law, versus the public, upon whom their ‘law’ is enforced. It’s the essence of “a nation of men, not of laws.”

But, different people focus on different aspects of it. Conservatives notice it in Clinton’s case because she was not prosecuted.Progressives notice it in Clinton’s case because other people (ones without the clout) who did what she did (but only less of it), have been prosecuted, convicted, and sentenced for it. The result, either way, is dictatorship, regardless of anyone’s particular perspective on the matter. Calling a nation like that a ‘democracy’ is to strip “democracy” of its basic meaning — it is foolishness. Such a nation is an aristocracy, otherwise called an “oligarchy.” That’s the opposite of a democracy (even if it’s set up so as to pretend to be a democracy).

2: The FBI chose to believe her allegations, instead of to investigate or challenge them. For example: On page 4 of the FBI’s record of their interview with Hillary dated 2 July 2016, they noted: “Clinton did not recall receiving any emails she thought should not be on an unclassified system.”

But they already had seen this email. So, they asked her about that specific one:

« Clinton stated she did not remember the email specifically. Clinton stated a ‘nonpaper’ was a document with no official heading, or identifying marks of any kind, that can not be attributed to the US Government. Clinton thought a ‘nonpaper’ was a way to convey the unofficial stance of the US Government to a foreign government and believed this practice went back ‘200 years.’ When viewing the displayed email, Clinton believed she was asking Sullivan to remove the State letterhead and provide unclassified talking points. Clinton stated she had no intention to remove classification markings.”

Look at the email: is her statement about it — that « issues sending secure fax” had nothing to do with the illegality of sending classified U.S. Government information over a non-secured, even privatized, system — even credible? Is the implication by Clinton’s remark, that changing the letterhead and removing the document’s classified stamp, would solve the problem that Jake Sullivan — a highly skilled attorney himself — had brought to her attention, even credible?

Well, if so, then wouldn’t the FBI have asked Sullivan what he was referring to when his email to Clinton said « They say they’ve had issues sending secure fax. They’re working on it.”

The FBI provided no indication that there was any such follow-up, at all. They could have plea-bargained with Sullivan, to get him to testify first, so that his testimony could be used in questioning of her, but they seem not to have been interested in doing any such thing. They believed what she said (even though it made no sense as a response to the problem that Sullivan had just brought to her attention: the problem that emailing to her this information would violate several federal criminal statutes. Clinton, in other words, didn’t really care about the legality. And, apparently, neither did the FBI. Her email in response to Sullivan’s said simply: « If they can’t, turn into nonpaper w no identifying heading and send nonsecure.” So: she knew that it was classified information but wanted to receive it so that she would be able to say, “I didn’t know that it was classified information.” In other words: she was instructing her advisor: hide the fact that it’s classified information, so that when I receive it, there will be no indication on it that what was sent to me is classified information.

3: The FBI avoided using the standard means to investigate a suspect higher-up: obtaining plea-deals with subordinates, requiring them to cooperate, answer questions and not to plead the Fifth Amendment (not to refuse to answer). (In Hillary’s case, the Obama Administration actually did plea-deals in which they allowed the person who was supposed to answer all questions, to plea the Fifth Amendment to all questions instead. This is allowed only when the government doesn’t want to prosecute the higher-up — which in this case was Clinton. That alone proves the Obama Administration’s ‘investigation’ of Clinton’s email system to have been a farce.)

A plea-deal isn’t a Constitutional process: Jed Rakoff’s article explained why it’s not. The process is informal, but nowadays it’s used in more than 97% of cases in which charges are brought, and in more than 99% of all cases (including the 92% of cases that are simply dropped without any charges being brought). That’s the main reason why nowadays «the prosecutor has all the power». Well, the prosecutor in Hillary’s case (the Obama Administration) clearly didn’t want her in the big house; they wanted her in the White House.

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

https://www.mondialisation.ca/the-fbis-fake-investigation-of-hillary-clintons-emails/5546435

18 U.S. Code § 793 – Gathering, transmitting or losing defense information

(a)

Whoever, for the purpose of obtaining information respecting the national defense with intent or reason to believe that the information is to be used to the injury of the United States, or to the advantage of any foreign nation, goes upon, enters, flies over, or otherwise obtains information concerning any vessel, aircraft, work of defense, navy yard, naval station, submarine base, fueling station, fort, battery, torpedo station, dockyard, canal, railroad, arsenal, camp, factory, mine, telegraph, telephone, wireless, or signal station, building, office, research laboratory or station or other place connected with the national defense owned or constructed, or in progress of construction by the United States or under the control of the United States, or of any of its officers, departments, or agencies, or within the exclusive jurisdiction of the United States, or any place in which any vessel, aircraft, arms, munitions, or other materials or instruments for use in time of war are being made, prepared, repaired, stored, or are the subject of research or development, under any contract or agreement with the United States, or any department or agency thereof, or with any person on behalf of the United States, or otherwise on behalf of the United States, or any prohibited place so designated by the President by proclamation in time of war or in case of national emergency in which anything for the use of the Army, Navy, or Air Force is being prepared or constructed or stored, information as to which prohibited place the President has determined would be prejudicial to the national defense; or

(b)

Whoever, for the purpose aforesaid, and with like intent or reason to believe, copies, takes, makes, or obtains, or attempts to copy, take, make, or obtain, any sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, document, writing, or note of anything connected with the national defense; or

(c)

Whoever, for the purpose aforesaid, receives or obtains or agrees or attempts to receive or obtain from any person, or from any source whatever, any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, or note, of anything connected with the national defense, knowing or having reason to believe, at the time he receives or obtains, or agrees or attempts to receive or obtain it, that it has been or will be obtained, taken, made, or disposed of by any person contrary to the provisions of this chapter; or

(d)

Whoever, lawfully having possession of, access to, control over, or being entrusted with any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, or note relating to the national defense, or information relating to the national defense which information the possessor has reason to believe could be used to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of any foreign nation, willfully communicates, delivers, transmits or causes to be communicated, delivered, or transmitted or attempts to communicate, deliver, transmit or cause to be communicated, delivered or transmitted the same to any person not entitled to receive it, or willfully retains the same and fails to deliver it on demand to the officer or employee of the United States entitled to receive it; or

(e)

Whoever having unauthorized possession of, access to, or control over any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, or note relating to the national defense, or information relating to the national defense which information the possessor has reason to believe could be used to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of any foreign nation, willfully communicates, delivers, transmits or causes to be communicated, delivered, or transmitted, or attempts to communicate, deliver, transmit or cause to be communicated, delivered, or transmitted the same to any person not entitled to receive it, or willfully retains the same and fails to deliver it to the officer or employee of the United States entitled to receive it; or

(f)

Whoever, being entrusted with or having lawful possession or control of any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, note, or information, relating to the national defense, (1) through gross negligence permits the same to be removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of his trust, or to be lost, stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, or (2) having knowledge that the same has been illegally removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of its trust, or lost, or stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, and fails to make prompt report of such loss, theft, abstraction, or destruction to his superior officer—Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.

(g)

If two or more persons conspire to violate any of the foregoing provisions of this section, and one or more of such persons do any act to effect the object of the conspiracy, each of the parties to such conspiracy shall be subject to the punishment provided for the offense which is the object of such conspiracy.

(h)

(1)

Any person convicted of a violation of this section shall forfeit to the United States, irrespective of any provision of State law, any property constituting, or derived from, any proceeds the person obtained, directly or indirectly, from any foreign government, or any faction or party or military or naval force within a foreign country, whether recognized or unrecognized by the United States, as the result of such violation. For the purposes of this subsection, the term “State” includes a State of the United States, the District of Columbia, and any commonwealth, territory, or possession of the United States.

(2)

The court, in imposing sentence on a defendant for a conviction of a violation of this section, shall order that the defendant forfeit to the United States all property described in paragraph (1) of this subsection.

(3)The provisions of subsections (b), (c), and (e) through (p) of section 413 of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970 (21 U.S.C. 853(b), (c), and (e)–(p)) shall apply to—

(A)

property subject to forfeiture under this subsection;

(B)

any seizure or disposition of such property; and

(C)

any administrative or judicial proceeding in relation to such property,
if not inconsistent with this subsection.

(4)

Notwithstanding section 524(c) of title 28, there shall be deposited in the Crime Victims Fund in the Treasury all amounts from the forfeiture of property under this subsection remaining after the payment of expenses for forfeiture and sale authorized by law.
(June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 736; Sept. 23, 1950, ch. 1024, title I, § 18, 64 Stat. 1003Pub. L. 99–399, title XIII, § 1306(a), Aug. 27, 1986100 Stat. 898Pub. L. 103–322, title XXXIII, § 330016(1)(L), Sept. 13, 1994108 Stat. 2147Pub. L. 103–359, title VIII, § 804(b)(1), Oct. 14, 1994108 Stat. 3440Pub. L. 104–294, title VI, § 607(b), Oct. 11, 1996110 Stat. 3511.)

 

LII has no control over and does not endorse any external Internet site that contains links to or references LII.

https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/793

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The Pronk Pops Show 1035, February 15, 2018, Story 1: Grand Jury Indicts 13 Russians Trolls and 3 Russian Companies Commit Federal Crimes While Interfering With United States Political System By Sowing Discord in America Including Rallies For and Against Trump After Election — No Impact on Election Outcome and No Americans Colluded With Russians — Trump and Campaign Vindicated — When Will Their Be Indictments of The Clinton Obama Conspiracy? — Is That All There Is? — Videos — Story 2: FBI Epic Failure In Not Stopping Mentally Disturbed Killer in Parkland Florida — Missed Following Up Two Tips — Government Failures Locally, County, State, and Federal Levels — Government Dependence Kills — Videos

Posted on February 21, 2018. Filed under: Addiction, American History, Barack H. Obama, Blogroll, Breaking News, Bribery, Bribes, Cartoons, City, Communications, Computers, Congress, Constitutional Law, Corruption, Countries, Crime, Culture, Deep State, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Donald Trump, Elections, Employment, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Government, First Amendment, Former President Barack Obama, Fourth Amendment, Freedom of Speech, Games, Government, Government Spending, Hardware, Health, High Crimes, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, History, Homicide, House of Representatives, Human, Human Behavior, Independence, Investments, James Comey, Killing, Law, Life, Lying, Media, Mental Illness, Movies, National Interest, News, Obama, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, President Barack Obama, President Trump, Progressives, Public Corruption, Radio, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Regulation, Religion, Resources, Rifles, Robert S. Mueller III, Rule of Law, Russia, Scandals, Second Amendment, Security, Senate, Software, Spying, Spying on American People, Success, Surveillance and Spying On American People, Taxation, Taxes, Technology, Terror, Terrorism, United States of America, United States Supreme Court, Videos, Violence, War, Wealth, Weapons, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Story 1: Grand Jury Indicts 13 Russians Trolls and 3 Russian Companies Commit Federal Crimes While Interfering With United States Political System By Sowing Discord in America Including Rallies For and Against Trump After Election — No Impact on Election Outcome and No Americans Colluded With Russians — Trump and Campaign Vindicated — When Will Their Be Indictments of The Clinton Obama Conspiracy? — Is That All There Is? — Videos —

troll farm

New Word Suggestion

An organization whose employees or members attempt to create conflict and disruption in an online community by posting deliberately inflammatory or provocative comments.
Additional Information

E.g. his username was not from one of the usual troll farms.

Peggy Lee — Is That All There Is? 1969

Is That All There Is

I remember when I was a very little girl, our house caught on fire
I’ll never forget the look on my father’s face as he gathered me up
in his arms and raced through the burning building out to the pavement
I stood there shivering in my pajamas and watched the whole world go up in flames
And when it was all over I said to myself, is that all there is to a fire
Is that all there is, is that all there is
If that’s all there is my friends, then let’s keep dancing
Let’s break out the booze and have a ball
If that’s all there is
And when I was twelve years old, my father took me to a circus, the greatest show on earth
There were clowns and elephants and dancing bears
And a beautiful lady in pink tights flew high above our heads
And so I sat there watching the marvelous spectacle
I had the feeling that something was missing
I don’t know what, but when it was over
I said to myself, “is that all there is to a circus?
Is that all there is, is that all there is
If that’s all there is my friends, then let’s keep dancing
Let’s break out the booze and have a ball
If that’s all there is
Then I fell in love, head over heels in love, with the most wonderful boy in the world
We would take long walks by the river or just sit for hours gazing into each other’s eyes
We were so very much in love
Then one day he went away and I thought I’d die, but I didn’t
and when I didn’t I said to myself, is that all there is to love?
Is that all there is, is that all there is
If that’s all there is my friends, then let’s keep dancing
I know what you must be saying to yourselves
if that’s the way she feels about it why doesn’t she just end it all?
Oh, no, not me I’m in no hurry for that final disappointment
for I know just as well as I’m standing here talking to you
when that final moment comes and I’m breathing my first breath, I’ll be saying to myself
Is that all there is, is that all there is
If that’s all there is my friends, then let’s keep dancing
Let’s break out the booze and have a ball

If that’s all there is

Songwriters: Jerry Leiber / Mike Stoller
Is That All There Is lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc

Russian tactics to create discord during the 2016 election

Steyn: Trump elected because of careless Left demonization

Ingraham: New Russia indictments have White House cheering

Jarrett: Mueller is still focused squarely on Donald Trump

Rod Rosenstein’s Last Ditch Effort to Justify Mueller’s Existence: Indicting 13 ‘Russian Nationals’

Mueller and His Sad Handmaid Rosenstein Dump This Pathetic 37-Page Indictment Against Evil Russians

Joe Digenova: Rosenstein’s Press Conference|Judge Sullivan|Improper Conduct in General Flynn Case

Ben Shapiro: President Trump gets some good news on the Robert Mueller’s investigation! (02-19-2018)

Hannity: Examining key points from Russian indictments

White House reacts to Russia indictments

Tucker: Here’s what seems true about Russia indictments

Tucker: You will here a lot of propaganda about the indictment of 13 Russian citizens accused of trying to meddle in the 2016 election. Here’s what seems true: No evidence any vote was changed and Russia tried to ‘sow discord.’

Carter Page reacts to Russia meddling indictments

Tucker vs Rob Reiner

Trump Tweets 14 Times in 24 Hours on Russia Investigations

James Clapper: No doubt Russia wanted to sway election

Lawrence: Advisers Held Off Donald Trump’s Golfing, But Not His Tweeting | The Last Word | MSNBC

Russian indictment lays out how they financed “sophisticated operation” in the U.S., ex-federal p…

Stelter: Pro-Trump media’s dishonest Russia talking points

Watch Rosenstein’s full announcement of the indictment of 13 Russians

Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein on Feb. 16 announced the indictment of 13 Russians linked to a troll farm as part of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation into meddling in the 2016 election.

Special counsel indicts Russian nationals for meddling

Mueller Indicts 13 Russians, Three Entities for Election Meddling

Media find way to connect Trump to Mueller’s indictments

Doris Day – Dream A Little Dream of Me

Dream A Little Dream Of Me
Stars shining bright above you
Night breezes seem to whisper “I love you”
Birds singing in the sycamore tree
Dream a little dream of me
Say “Night-ie night” and kiss me
Just hold me tight and tell me you’ll miss me
While I’m alone and blue as can be
Dream a little dream of me
Stars fading, but I linger on, dear
Still craving your kiss
I’m longing to linger till dawn, dear
Just saying this
Sweet dreams till sunbeams find you
Sweet dreams that leave all worries behind you
But in your dreams whatever they be
Dream a little dream of me
Stars fading, but I linger on, dear
Still craving your kiss
I’m longing to linger till dawn, dear
Just saying this
Sweet dreams till sunbeams find you
Sweet dreams that leave all worries far behind you
But in your dreams whatever they be
Dream a little dream of me
Songwriters: Fabian Andre / Gus Kahn / Wilbur Schwandt
Dream A Little Dream Of Me lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc, T.R.O. Inc.

 

55 Savushkina Street in St. Petersburg, Russia, the former home of the Internet Research Agency.CreditJames Hill for The New York Times

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia — Operating from St. Petersburg, they churned out falsehoods on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. They promoted Donald J. Trump and denigrated Hillary Clinton. They stole the identities of American citizens. They organized political rallies in several states, and hired a Clinton impersonator for one event, in West Palm Beach, Fla.

On Friday, 13 Russians were indicted by a federal grand jury in Washington on fraud and other charges. Details of their roles in a three-year campaignto disrupt American democracy have begun to emerge from the indictment, other records, interviews and press accounts.

The Oligarch: Yevgeny V. Prigozhin

Photo

Yevgeny V. Prigozhin controlled two companies that financed the operations of the Internet Research Agency, a shadowy troll farm. CreditMikhail Metzel/TASS, via Getty Images

A former teenage champion cross-country skier who was later imprisoned for robbery, Mr. Prigozhin started a hot-dog business as the Soviet Union collapsed and eventually branched into convenience stores and restaurants. He received catering contracts and threw lavish state banquets. He has played host to world leaders like George W. Bush and Jacques Chirac. He developed a close relationship with President Vladimir V. Putin, and has been derogatively called “Putin’s cook.”

According to the indictment, he controlled two companies that financed the operations of the Internet Research Agency, a shadowy troll farm. Created in 2013, it began a so-called translator project in 2014 that targeted Americans and pursued “information warfare against the United States.” It employed hundreds of people and, by the summer of 2016, was spending $1.2 million a month.

In the past five years, Mr. Prigozhin has received government contracts worth $3.1 billion. Lately, he has branched out into areas like recruiting contract soldiers to fight overseas and establishing a popular online news service that pushes a nationalist viewpoint, making him even more indispensable to Mr. Putin. Mr. Prigozhin, 56, declined several interview requests from The New York Times in recent months.

One sign of his connection to the trolls, according to the indictment: In what appeared to be something of an inside joke, people working for the Internet Research Agency paid an American to hold a sign outside the White House — “Happy 55th Birthday, Dear Boss” — to celebrate Mr. Prigozhin’s birthday (June 1) in 2016.

The C.E.O.: Mikhail I. Bystrov

Mr. Bystrov is a retired St. Petersburg police colonel who, according to the indictment, joined the company in February 2014 and became its highest-ranking official. He also led shell entities that were used to conceal its activities, including one called Glavset, a so-called database and information company. It shared an address — 55 Savushkina Street — with the Internet Research Agency. (The troll farm has since moved to Optikov Street, according to the local press.)

The troll farm soon drew notice in Russia: news outlets reported that it employed 250 people in 12-hour shifts to provide a round-the-clock flow of pro-Kremlin posts and comments, praising Mr. Putin and excoriating President Barack Obama and President Petro O. Poroshenko of Ukraine. Monthly salaries ranged from $1,100 for a junior analyst to $1,400 for a blogger to $4,200 a month for senior management.

Mr. Bystrov, who is believed to be 59, has avoided reporters and declined interview requests.

The Executive Director: Mikhail L. Burchik

Mikhail L. Burchik

A young tech entrepreneur, Mr. Burchik, 31, joined the company in October 2013 and became its executive director, the No. 2 official, by March 2014, according to the indictment.

According to online records, he registered a company in 2009 called Add1.ru that was behind a 2014 hoax. In that hoax, a young woman in aviator sunglasses calling herself Zoe Foreman spent hours spamming politicians and journalists about a horrific — and fictitious — chemical plant explosion in Louisiana.

“I have heard of it, but I don’t work in this organization,” he told the journalist Adrian Chen, who wrote about the troll farm in 2015 for The New York Times Magazine. He said he had bought and sold many internet domains and didn’t remember them all.

Mr. Burchik also won government contracts to publish local municipal newspapers, organize lectures and do some video reports.

Throughout the troll farm’s operations to interfere in American politics, including the election, “Burchik was a manager involved in operational planning, infrastructure and personnel,” according to the indictment.

The business news website RBC reported on Friday that Mr. Burchik claimed not to know English well enough to understand what he had been accused of. “If a few hundred million Americans are so worried about the activities of a regular Russian small-business man from the IT-sphere doing website development, then it seems the situation in the country is completely grave,” he said.

Mr. Burchik told Komsomolskaya Pravda, a Russian tabloid, that he was not concerned about being detained while traveling abroad. “I love my country. In Russia there are many beautiful places where you can go,” he said.

GRAPHIC

The Propaganda Tools Used by Russians to Influence the 2016 Election

Thirteen Russian nationals have been charged with illegally trying to disrupt the American political process through inflammatory social media posts and organized political rallies.

OPEN GRAPHIC

Mr. Burchik has worked on several small government projects in St. Petersburg. In 2015 he was awarded a contract worth about $20,000 to develop and publish a newspaper called Dvortsovy Ukrug, for the administration of one of St. Petersburg’s municipal districts, according to government documents.

That same year, another municipal district government awarded him a similar contract to prepare a film about its activities. And in 2012, he won a $4,500 contract for organizing a program for promoting “tolerance and prevention of drug addiction” for local schools.

The Travelers: Anna V. Bogacheva and Aleksandra Y. Krylova

Ms. Bogacheva and Ms. Krylova obtained visas to visit the United States in 2014 “under false pretenses for the purposes of collecting intelligence to inform the organization’s operatives,” according to the indictment. They are said to have embarked on what amounted to a three-week reconnaissance tour, visiting California, Colorado, Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, New York and Texas. Along the way, they bought SIM cards, cameras and drop phones and discussed “evacuation scenarios” and other security measures.

According to the indictment, Ms. Bogacheva oversaw the data analysis group for the “translator project.” A woman with the same name was listed in 2013 on the website of ITMO, a prestigious science university in St. Petersburg, as a doctoral candidate. She worked there from 2011 to 2014, as an engineer in the eScience Research Institute, according to a university spokeswoman. Many of the school’s graduates have gone on to work for the Russian government or for large tech companies.

Ms. Bogacheva also owns IT Debugger, a company that says it has worked with “difficult clients.”

Ms. Krylova became the No. 3 person at the troll farm, according to the indictment. According to what appears to be her LinkedIn profile, she is a graduate of the Moscow State University of Printing Arts, where she studied with the faculty of advertising and public relations.

She was the head of the Federal News Agency, which is believed to be Mr. Prigozhin’s flagship media outlet. The agency is known for its exclusive coverage of Russian private armies on Syria’s front line.

The I.T. Expert: Sergey P. Polozov

Mr. Polozov ran the troll farm’s I.T. department and oversaw the purchase of space on computer servers inside the United States to set up virtual private networks that masked the agency’s Russian location, according to the indictment. After a co-conspirator traveled to Atlanta in November 2014, he gave Mr. Polozov a summary of his trip and expenses.

According to business records and Mr. Polozov’s page on the Russian social network Vkontakte, Mr. Polozov runs a software company called Morkov, which was registered in 2013, and began to recruit web developers and programmers in early 2014.

“In need of people with knowledge of website promotion for full-time work,” he wrote in a Vkontakte post on May 28, 2014. “If interested, send me a personal message. You can send your résumé immediately.”

On Vkontakte, he shared political jokes at the expense of Russia’s rivals and neighbors. One post he shared in June 2015 quoted the Chechen writer German Sadulaev:

The greatest possible mistake is to neglect the Russians. Consider them weak. Offend them. Never offend the Russians. The Russians are never as weak as you think they are. God forbid you expel the Russians or take something from them. The Russians always come back. The Russians will come back and take back what is theirs. But when the Russians return, they do not apply force proportionally. They destroy everything in their path.

The ‘Translators’: Maria A. Bovda and Robert S. Bovda

Not much is known about the Bovdas, including their relationship. According to the indictment, she was the head, and he the deputy head, of the “translator project,” the troll farm’s campaign to target Americans with messages on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube, starting in April 2014. The project employed hundreds of people and, by the summer of 2016, was spending $1.2 million a month. It hid activities through a web of shell companies. According to the indictment, Ms. Bovda and Mr. Bovda both worked for the troll farm for about a year, from November 2013 to October 2014.

The America Specialist: Dzheykhun N. O. Aslanov

According to the indictment, Mr. Aslanov oversaw many of the operations targeting the United States election. An investigation by RBC, a newsmagazine, found that Mr. Aslanov was in charge of the “American department” of the troll farm. It reported that Mr. Aslanov arrived in St. Petersburg in 2000 from his hometown Ust-Kut, in the Irkutsk region. His Vkontakte profile says he graduated from the Russian State Hydrometeorological University in St. Petersburg in 2012, and a university page indicates that he studied economics and wildlife management.

The RBC report says that he spent several months in the United States in 2009, visiting New York and Boston. His work at the troll farm included registering legal entities in the names of his employees.

His name appears in public records as general director of Azimut — which, according to the indictment, was used to funnel money to the troll farm — and of the Reputation Management Center. According to its website, the Reputation Management Center first determines what kind of reputation a client has online through media monitoring, and then creates bots that improve its image through positive posts, “drowns negative reviews in a sea of favorable information about the company” and “creates hype” around it.

The Others: Irina V. Kaverzina, Vadim V. Podkopaev, Gleb I. Vasilchenko, Vladimir Venkov

Ms. Kaverzina grew worried after Facebook revealed last September that it was cooperating with the authorities to look into Russian advertising on the platform. “We had a slight crisis here at work: the F.B.I. busted our activity (not a joke),” she wrote to a relative, according to the indictment. “So, I got preoccupied with covering tracks together with the colleagues,” she added. “I created all these pictures and posts, and the Americans believed that it was written by their people.”

Mr. Podkopaev was an analyst for the “translator project.” He conducted research on the United States and drafted social media messages for the organization, according to the indictment.

Mr. Vasilchenko posted to, monitored and updated social media accounts while posing as Americans or as American grass-roots organizations. He led two subgroups focused on political interference in the United States, including the election. On Vkontakte, he shared a meme in October 2016 that imagined a drinking game in which players took a shot every time Mr. Trump talked about building a wall along the Mexican-United States border or making America great again, told voters to believe him, or complained about being treated unfairly; and every time Mrs. Clinton coughed, sipped water, laughed awkwardly, or mentioned her daughter or President Barack Obama.

Mr. Venkov inhabited multiple social media personas, according to the indictment. Someone with that name belongs to a Facebook group of social media marketing professionals and posted a photo last May of himself wearing a Republican elephant pin.

Why did a Florida shooter FBI tip fall through the cracks?

The FBI says it got a tip about the man accused of murdering 17 people in Parkland, Florida, but never investigated. Director Christopher Wray said on Friday that a caller warned the bureau of Nikolas Cruz’s desire to kill people. Judy Woodruff talks with The Washington Post’s Matt Zapotosky and former assistant attorney general John Carlin.

Former FBI profiler analyzes Florida shooting suspect

Dr Susan Gratia-Hupp – Survivor of the 1991 Kileen TX Lubys Shooting Massacre

What Is An “Assault Rifle”? – You’ve Probably Been Lied To

The Difference Between SEMI-AUTOMATIC and FULLY AUTOMATIC GUNS

Assault Rifle vs. Sporting Rifle

Published on Dec 30, 2012

The media and the anti-gunners are trying to tell Americans that “assault weapons” need to be banned for public safety. The problem is, assault rifles were banned in 1986. What they want to ban now are semi-automatic sporting firearms. The firearms they want to ban account for less than 1% of the firearms used in crime. We need to stop this mindless attack on our Constitutional rights.

Full Auto vs. Semi-Auto with an AK

Inside the AK-47

What is a Bump Stock? Should it be illegal?!

President Trump said the FBI is too focused on trying to prove collusion between his campaign and the Russians and suggested that this may have contributed to the agency’s bungled handling of a tip about the shooter who killed 17 people and injured scores more at a Florida high school last week.”Very sad that the FBI missed all of the many signals sent out by the Florida school shooter. This is not acceptable,” Trump tweeted late Saturday night. “They are spending too much time trying to prove Russian collusion with the Trump campaign – there is no collusion. Get back to the basics and make us all proud!”

The confessed shooter Nikolas Cruz, 19, used an AR-15-style rifle to attack his former high school in Parkland, Fla., on Wednesday. On Friday, the FBI admitted that that it received a tip about Cruz last month that he had been behaving erratically and threatening to kill people, but “protocols were not followed.” Attorney General Jeff Sessions ordered an “immediate review” of the Department of Justice and FBI after officials failed to follow up on that tip. Sessions called the review a “top priority.”

Trump also expressed his dismay with a comment his national security adviser, H.R. McMaster, made during the Munich Security Conference in Germany earlier in the day.

Following the unveiling of Mueller’s indictments of 13 Russian nationals and three Russian entities on Friday, McMaster said “the evidence” of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election “is now incontrovertible.”

“General McMaster forgot to say that the results of the 2016 election were not impacted or changed by the Russians and that the only Collusion was between Russia and Crooked H, the DNC and the Dems,” Trump tweeted. “Remember the Dirty Dossier, Uranium, Speeches, Emails and the Podesta Company!”

As Trump notes, the indictment Friday makes no allegations of collusion, saying, “some defendants, posing as U.S. persons and without revealing their Russian association, communicated with unwitting individuals associated with the Trump Campaign and with other political activists to seek to coordinate political activities.” Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who is overseeing Mueller’s efforts, also said “there is no allegation in the indictment that the charged conduct altered the outcome of the 2016 election.”

Trump’s allegation that his Democratic rival in the election, Hillary Clinton, is guilty of corruption stems from reports and investigations into multiple controversies, including the “Trump dossier,” which contains salacious and unverified claims about his ties to Russia. The opposition research firm that commissioned the dossier was funded in part by Clinton and the Democratic National Committee.

One of the other controversies Trump referenced involves the “Uranium One” deal, which relates to Clinton’s alleged involvement while serving as secretary of state in a quid pro quo scheme that allowed Russia to buy a stake in U.S. uranium production in exchange for donations to the Clinton Foundation.

The Podesta Group, a longtime K Street fixture run for decades by Tony Podesta, brother of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta, collapsed at the end of last year as the firm’s involvement in a lobbying campaign on behalf of pro-Russia forces in the Ukrainian government came under scrutiny from both the press and Mueller.

Trump’s hammering of the FBI comes as a time when the reputation of the federal law enforcement agency had already been facing stern question from Republicans and Trump supporters over concerns of political bias.

Trump is spending the weekend at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Springs, Fla.

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/trump-scolds-fbi-for-missing-many-signs-from-florida-shooter-being-too-focused-on-russia-collusion/article/2649405

Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Friday ordered an “immediate review” of the Department of Justice and FBI after officials failed to follow up on a tip that Nikolas Cruz, who shot up his former Florida high school on Wednesday, could be a threat.The FBI admitted that “protocols were not followed” in this case, and Sessions said a full inquiry would be made. 

“It is now clear that the warning signs were there and tips to the FBI were missed. We see the tragic consequences of those failures,” Sessions said in a statement.

Sessions said he has ordered Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to conduct an “immediate review of our process” at the Justice Department and FBI “to ensure that we reach the highest level of prompt and effective response to indications of potential violence that come to us.”

“This includes more than just an error review but also a review of how we respond. This will include possible consultation with family members, mental health officials, school officials, and local law enforcement,” the attorney general said.

Sessions called the review a “top priority.”

In the meantime, Sessions reviewed how the department has been helping Parkland, Fla., and the surrounding areas in the wake of the deadly shooting. According to the department, there are 250 FBI staff in both Miami and Washington working on the case.

There are also 17 special agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms’s Miami office assisting, and 14 more agents from the ATF’s West Palm Beach and Fort Pierce field offices.

ATF has also completed an “urgent trace” of a recovered firearm through its National Tracing Center and is assisting in ballistics analysis, the Department of Justice said.

The Office for Victims of Crime “has funding available to support victim-assistance activities, such as crisis intervention and grief trauma counseling, and to reimburse victims for certain expenses related to the shooting,” and the Office for Victims of Crime and the Bureau of Justice Assistance “stand ready to assist the state and local authorities,” the DOJ said.

According to reports, Cruz — who has reportedly confessed to the shooting — was seen online posing with guns and knives on Instagram. A defense attorney has described him as “a broken child.”

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/jeff-sessions-orders-review-after-fbi-failed-to-pursue-tip-on-florida-shooter/article/2649328

Susan Boyle – I Dreamed A Dream – Les Miserables – Official Britains Got Talent 2009

I Dreamed a Dream

I dreamed a dream in time gone by
When hope was high and life worth living
I dreamed that love would never die
I prayed that God would be forgiving
Then I was young and unafraid
And dreams were made and used and wasted
There was no ransom to be paid
No song unsung, no wine untasted
But the tigers come at night
With their voices soft as thunder
As they tear your hopes apart
And they turn your dreams to shame
And still I dream he’d come to me
That we would live the years together
But there are dreams that cannot be
And there are storms we cannot weather
I had a dream my life would be
So different from this hell I’m living
So different now from what it seemed
Now life has killed the dream, I dreamed
Songwriters: Alain Albert Boublil / Claude Michel Schonberg / Herbert Kretzmer / Jean Marc Natel
I Dreamed a Dream lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc

Susan Boyle performs Duet with Elaine Paige

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The Pronk Pops Show 1032, February 13, 2018, Story 1: General Flynn Did Not Lie To FBI According To Former FBI Director Comey — Department of Justice Railroaded General Flynn — Videos — Story 2: Former National Security Adviser Susan Rice Last Minute Inauguration Day CYA (Obama) Email On Russia That Obama Wants Investigations By The Book — No Not The Law — Yes The Book was Rules for Radicals by Saul Alinsky — Videos

Posted on February 14, 2018. Filed under: Barack H. Obama, Blogroll, Breaking News, Bribery, Bribes, Cartoons, Communications, Congress, Constitutional Law, Corruption, Countries, Crime, Culture, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Donald Trump, Education, Elections, Empires, Employment, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Department of Justice (DOJ), Federal Government, Foreign Policy, Former President Barack Obama, Freedom of Speech, Government, Government Spending, High Crimes, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, House of Representatives, Human, Human Behavior, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Independence, James Comey, Killing, Language, Law, Legal Immigration, Life, Lying, Media, National Security Agency, News, Obama, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, President Barack Obama, President Trump, Presidential Appointments, Public Corruption, Radio, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Republican Candidates For President 2016, Robert S. Mueller III, Scandals, Security, Senate, Spying, Success, Surveillance and Spying On American People, Surveillance/Spying, Treason, Trump Surveillance/Spying, Unemployment, United States of America, United States Supreme Court, Videos, Violence | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Story 1: General Flynn Did Not Lie To FBI According To Former FBI Director Comey — Department of Justice Railroaded General Flynn — Videos — 

JUST IN: MARK LEVIN Goes After Obama: Where is he? Has he gone into the witness protection?

Sean Hannity Feb 15, 2018 – Breaking News

BREAKING NEWS!!! RUSH LIMBAUGH: GEN. FLYNN INDICTMENT PART OF ‘ONE OF THE MOST GIGANTIC POLITICAL SCANDAL

NEW!!! Russian Collusion Proof Just Took Whole New Turn On Dems

Obama Holdouts at DOJ Railroaded Gen Michael Flynn

FBI director claims there is no bias in agency

Napolitano: Gen. Flynn – Why did he plead guilty to lying?

Why weren’t Hillary Clinton staffers investigated for lying to FBI?

Jason Chaffetz & Trey Gowdy Trust IG Horowitz, 2042

2-3-15 DOJ Inspector General Horowitz Testimony: Return to a “Culture of Openness”

IG Michael Horowitz Opening Statement Hearing Oversight Access Concerns

Clinton campaign looked to fire intel watchdog over email scandal

Joe diGenova describes “Brazen Plot To Exonerate Hillary Clinton”

Ex-inspector general: Blowback came from Clinton allies

Trey Gowdy States Michael Horowitz The I G Uncovered Peter Strzok In FBI Investigation

General Michael Flynn pleads guilty to lying to FBI

Source: Flynn broken financially and emotionally

Jared Kushner directed Michael Flynn to contact Russian ambassador

Michael Flynn may have violated Logan Act: Chad Pergram

President Trump: Lying To The FBI ‘Destroyed’ Michael Flynn’s Life, But Not Hillary’s | NBC News

Flynn unlikely to face charges for lying to FBI, sources say

Meet the Inspector General

Photo of Michael E. Horowitz

Michael E. Horowitz was sworn in as the Inspector General of the Department of Justice (DOJ) on April 16, 2012, following his confirmation by the U.S. Senate.  Mr. Horowitz was previously confirmed by the Senate in 2003 to serve a six-year term as a Commissioner on the U.S. Sentencing Commission.

As Inspector General, Mr. Horowitz oversees a nationwide workforce of more than 450 special agents, auditors, inspectors, attorneys, and support staff whose mission is to detect and deter waste, fraud, abuse, and misconduct in DOJ programs and personnel, and to promote economy and efficiency in Department operations.  Since 2015, he has simultaneously served as the Chair of the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency (CIGIE), an organization comprised of all 73 federal Inspectors General.

Mr. Horowitz worked from 2002 to 2012 as a partner at Cadwalader, Wickersham, & Taft LLP, where he focused his practice on white collar defense, internal investigations, and regulatory compliance.  He also was a board member of the Ethics Resource Center and the Society for Corporate Compliance and Ethics.

Prior to working in private practice, Mr. Horowitz worked in DOJ from 1991 to 2002.  He served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York from 1991 to 1999, where he was the Chief of the Public Corruption Unit and a Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division.  In 1995, he was awarded the Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service for his work on a complex police corruption investigation.  Thereafter, he worked in the DOJ Criminal Division in Washington from 1999 to 2002, first as a Deputy Assistant Attorney General and then as Chief of Staff.  Mr. Horowitz began his legal career as a law clerk for Judge John G. Davies of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California and as an associate at Debevoise & Plimpton.

Mr. Horowitz earned his Juris Doctor, magna cum laude, from Harvard Law School and his Bachelor of Arts, summa cum laude, from Brandeis University.

https://oig.justice.gov/about/meet-ig.htm

Byron York: Comey told Congress FBI agents didn’t think Michael Flynn lied

Congressional investigators are baffled by the turn of events in the Michael Flynn case. But they know they find the Flynn case troubling, from start to finish. (AP)Congressional investigators are baffled by the turn of events in the Michael Flynn case. But they know they find the Flynn case troubling, from start to finish. (AP)

Jan. 23, the Washington Post reported that the FBI had reviewed the Flynn-Kislyak calls and “has not found any evidence of wrongdoing or illicit ties to the Russian government.” (The calls had been intercepted by U.S. intelligence because the U.S. monitored the Russian ambassador’s communications — something which Flynn, a former chief of the Defense Intelligence Agency, surely knew.)

Still, Flynn’s conversation had the attention of the Obama Justice Department, and in particular of deputy attorney general Sally Yates, who reportedly believed Flynn might have violated the Logan Act, a 218 year-old law under which no one had ever been successfully prosecuted. (Two people were charged in the 19th century, but the cases were dropped.)

Despite the high level of classification, word of the Justice Department’s concerns got to the press. On Jan. 12, Washington Post columnist David Ignatius reported that Flynn and Kislyak had talked. “What did Flynn say, and did it undercut U.S. sanctions?” Ignatius asked. “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?”

Three days later, on Jan. 15, Vice President-elect Mike Pence (remember, this was all happening before the Trump administration took office) denied that Flynn had discussed sanctions with the Russian ambassador. “They [Flynn and Kislyak] did not discuss anything having to do with the United States’ decision to expel diplomats or impose censure against Russia,” Pence told CBS.

On Jan. 20, Donald Trump became president. On Jan. 22, the Wall Street Journal reported that “U.S. counterintelligence agents have investigated communications” between Flynn and Kislyak. The investigation “aimed to determine the nature of Mr. Flynn’s contact with Russian officials and whether such contacts may have violated laws.”

On Jan. 24, the Justice Department — the Obama holdover Yates had become the acting attorney general — sent two FBI agents to the White House to question Flynn, who talked to them without a lawyer present.

It has sometimes been asked why Flynn, a man long familiar with the ways of Washington, would talk to the FBI without a lawyer. There seems to be no clear answer. On the one hand, as national security adviser, Flynn had plenty of reasons to talk to the FBI, and he could have reasonably thought the meeting would be about a prosaic issue involved in getting the new Trump National Security Council up and running. On the other hand, the media was filled with talk about the investigation into his conversations with Kislyak, and he might just as reasonably have thought that’s what the agents wanted to discuss. In any event, Flynn went ahead without an attorney present.

In addition, it appears the FBI did not tell White House officials, including the National Security Council’s legal adviser or the White House counsel, that agents were coming to interview the national security adviser over a potentially criminal matter.

Two days later, on Jan. 26, Yates and a high-ranking colleague went to the White House to tell counsel Don McGahn about the Flynn situation. “The first thing we did was to explain to Mr. McGahn that the underlying conduct that Gen. Flynn had engaged in was problematic in and of itself,” Yates testified in a May 2017 appearance before a Senate Judiciary Committee subcommittee. That was an apparent reference to the Logan Act, although Yates never specifically said so. “We took him [McGahn] through in a fair amount of detail of the underlying conduct, what Gen. Flynn had done.”

Yates then explained to McGahn her theory that Flynn might be vulnerable to blackmail. The idea was that Flynn had discussed sanctions with Kislyak, which of course the Russians knew. And then if Flynn lied to Pence, and Pence made a public statement based on what Flynn had told him, then the Russians might be able to blackmail Flynn because they, the Russians, knew Flynn had not told the vice president the truth.

It was a pretty far-fetched notion, but, along with the never-successfully-prosecuted Logan Act, it was apparently the basis upon which the FBI went inside the White House to do an unannounced interview of a key member of the new administration.

In their discussion, McGahn asked Yates: Even if one White House official lied to another, what’s that to the Justice Department? “It was a whole lot more than one White House official lying to another,” Yates testified. “First of all, it was the vice president of the United States and the vice president had then gone out and provided that information to the American people who had then been misled and the Russians knew all of this, making Mike Flynn compromised now.”

Yates went to see McGahn twice, on Jan. 26 and Jan. 27. On Feb. 13, Flynn resigned. That same day, the Washington Post reported that the Justice Department had pursued Flynn on the grounds of a potential Logan Act violation.

“Yates, then the deputy attorney general, considered Flynn’s comments in the intercepted call to be ‘highly significant’ and ‘potentially illegal,’ according to an official familiar with her thinking,” the Post reported. “Yates and other intelligence officials suspected that Flynn could be in violation of an obscure U.S. statute known as the Logan Act, which bars U.S. citizens from interfering in diplomatic disputes with another country.”

On Feb. 14, the New York Times reported that, “Obama advisers grew suspicious that perhaps there had been a secret deal between the incoming [Trump] team and Moscow, which could violate the rarely enforced, two-century-old Logan Act barring private citizens from negotiating with foreign powers in disputes with the United States.” (The paper added that the Obama advisers asked the FBI if Flynn and Kislyak had discussed a quid pro quo, only to learn the answer was no.)

At that point, the public still did not know that the Jan. 24 FBI interview of Flynn had taken place. That report came on Feb. 17, when the Washington Post reported the interview in a story headlined, “Flynn told FBI he did not discuss sanctions.” That was the piece that noted Flynn was in legal jeopardy, and that, “Lying to the FBI is a felony offense.”

Congress, in the meantime, was in the dark about what was going on. Given the intense discussion of the Flynn case in the media, there was no doubt lawmakers were going to want to know what was happening in the Flynn matter, as well as other aspects of the Trump-Russia investigation. (At that point, the FBI had never even publicly acknowledged that there was an investigation into the Trump campaign and Russia.)

So Comey went to Capitol Hill in March to brief lawmakers privately. That is when he told them that the FBI agents who interviewed Flynn did not believe Flynn had lied, or that any inaccuracies in Flynn’s answers were intentional. And that is when some lawmakers got the impression that Flynn would not be charged with any crime pertaining to the Jan. 24 interview.

There was still the possibility Flynn could face legal trouble for something else, like failing to register his representation of Turkey. But as far as the question of a “1001 charge” — a charge of lying to investigators, known by its number in the federal code — some lawmakers took that as a sign that Flynn was out of the woods.

On the other hand, the FBI does not make prosecution decisions. (That was not true, of course, in the case of the Clinton email investigation, in which the attorney general effectively gave Comey the decision of whether or not to prosecute.) It could be that the FBI agents who did the questioning were overruled by Justice Department officials who came up with theories like Flynn’s alleged violation of the Logan Act or his alleged vulnerability to blackmail.

In any event, much happened after the FBI director’s March briefings of Congress. In May, the president fired Comey. The Justice Department, under Trump-appointed deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein, chose Robert Mueller to be the Trump-Russia special counsel. Mueller gathered a number of prosecutors known for tough, take-no-prisoners tactics. And on Dec. 1, Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI.

Yates went on to become a heroine of the Trump resistance (and at least one of Mueller’s prosecutors) after she refused to enforce the president’s travel ban executive order, and Trump summarily fired her. Her legacy lives on in United States v. Michael T. Flynn.

But to outside observers, mystery still surrounds the case. To some Republicans, it appears the Justice Department used a never-enforced law and a convoluted theory as a pretext to question Flynn — and then, when FBI questioners came away believing Flynn had not lied to them, forged ahead with a false-statements prosecution anyway. The Flynn matter is at the very heart of the Trump-Russia affair, and there is still a lot to learn about it.

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/byron-york-comey-told-congress-fbi-agents-didnt-think-michael-flynn-lied/article/2648896

 

Exclusive: CIA Ex-Director Brennan’s Perjury Peril

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes next plans to investigate the role former CIA Director John Brennan and other Obama intelligence officials played in promoting the salacious and unverified Steele dossier on Donald Trump — including whether Brennan perjured himself in public testimony about it.

In his May 2017 testimony before the intelligence panel, Brennan emphatically denied the dossier factored into the intelligence community’s publicly released conclusion last year that Russia meddled in the 2016 election “to help Trump’s chances of victory.”

Brennan also swore that he did not know who commissioned the anti-Trump research document (excerpt here), even though senior national security and counterintelligence officials at the Justice Department and FBI knew the previous year that the dossier was funded by the Hillary Clinton campaign.

Last week, Nunes (R-Calif.) released a declassified memo exposing surveillance “abuses” by the Obama DOJ and FBI in their investigation of Trump’s ties to Russia. It said the agencies relied heavily on the uncorroborated dossier to take out a warrant to secretly surveil a Trump adviser in the heat of the 2016 presidential election, even though they were aware the underlying “intelligence” supporting the wiretap order was political opposition research funded by Clinton allies — a material fact they concealed from FISA court judges in four separate applications.

 Rep. Devin Nunes.

Nunes plans to soon release a separate report detailing the Obama State Department’s role in creating and disseminating the dossier — which has emerged as the foundation of the Obama administration’s Russia “collusion” investigation. Among other things, the report will identify Obama-appointed diplomats who worked with partisan operatives close to Hillary Clinton to help ex-British spy Christopher Steele compile the dossier, sources say.

“Those are the first two phases” of Nunes’ multipart inquiry, a senior investigator said. “In phase three, the involvement of the intelligence community will come into sharper focus.”

The aide, who spoke only on condition of anonymity, said Nunes will focus on Brennan as well as President Obama’s first CIA director, Leon Panetta, along with the former president’s intelligence czar, James Clapper, and national security adviser, Susan Rice, and security adviser-turned U.N. ambassador Samantha Power, among other intelligence officials.

“John Brennan did more than anyone to promulgate the dirty dossier,” the investigator said. “He politicized and effectively weaponized what was false intelligence against Trump.”

Attempts to reach Brennan for comment were unsuccessful.

Several Capitol Hill sources say Brennan, a fiercely loyal Obama appointee, talked up the dossier to Democratic leaders, as well as the press, during the campaign. They say he also fed allegations about Trump-Russia contacts directly to the FBI, while pressuring the bureau to conduct an investigation of several Trump campaign figures starting in the summer of 2016.

Trump campaign Chairman Paul Manafort was wiretapped in addition to Trump adviser Carter Page during the campaign. (Page has not been charged with a crime. Manafort was recently indicted for financial crimes unrelated to the Moscow “collusion” activities alleged in the dossier.)

On Aug. 25, 2016, for example, the CIA chief gave an unusual private briefing to then-Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) in which he told Reid the Russians were backing Trump and that the FBI would have to take the lead in an investigation because the FBI is the federal agency in charge of domestic intelligence and, unlike the CIA, can spy on U.S. citizens.

Two days after Brennan’s special briefing, Reid fired off a letter to then-FBI Director James Comey demanding he open an investigation targeting “individuals tied to Trump” to determine if they coordinated with the Russian government “to influence our election.”

“The Trump campaign has employed a number of individuals with significant and disturbing ties to Russia and the Kremlin,” the then-top Democrat in the Senate added in his two-page letter.

Reid then alluded to Page as one of those compromised individuals and repeated an unproven charge from the dossier that Page had met with two Kremlin officials in Moscow in July 2016 to discuss removing U.S. sanctions on Russia. Page has repeatedly denied the allegation under oath, swearing he never even met the Russian officials named in the dossier.

“Any such meetings should be investigated,” Reid asserted.

Less than two months later, Comey signed an application for a surveillance warrant to monitor Page’s emails, text messages, phone conversations and residence.

Christopher Steele, former British spy.

Unsatisfied with the progress of Comey’s investigation, Reid released an open letter to the FBI chief in late October 2016 accusing him of sitting on evidence. Reid told Comey that from his communications with “other top officials in the national security community, it has become clear that you possess explosive information about close ties and coordination between Donald Trump, his top advisers and the Russian government — a foreign interest openly hostile to the United States, which Trump praises at every opportunity.”

Congressional investigators say that the “explosive information” Reid referred to was the false or unverified claims in the Clinton-funded dossier — which the sources say were passed along by Brennan. They add that Brennan gave more than one briefing.

After Trump won the election, sources say, the CIA director sought to “weaponize” the dossier’s wild accusations against the president-elect.

In early January, just weeks before Trump was inaugurated, investigators say Brennan saw to it that the contents from the dossier were attached to an official daily intelligence briefing for Obama. The special classified briefing was then leaked to the major Washington media, allowing them to use the presidential briefing to justify the publication of claims they had up to that point not been able to substantiate and had been reluctant to run.

CNN broke the news that the dossier — described as “classified documents” — had been attached to the briefing report by the CIA, and had been given to the president. The top-level credence that the government was placing in the dossier gave prominent newspapers, including the Washington Post and New York Times, justification to follow suit.

In addition, BuzzFeed published 35 pages of the dossier in full. (The Internet news outlet was recently sued by Trump campaign lawyer Michael Cohen, whom the dossier accused of conspiring with the Kremlin to pay Russian hackers to steal Clinton campaign emails. It’s one of several libel and defamation lawsuits tied to the dossier.)

At the time, the Washington Post was assured by Obama intelligence officials that “the sources involved in the [dossier’s] reporting were credible enough to warrant inclusion of their claims in the highly classified [presidential] report.” Months later in public testimony, however, Brennan said the dossier and its sources were not credible enough to incorporate the information in a separate January 2017 intelligence report on Russian election interference publicly released by the administration. The published unclassified version of the report nonetheless echoes the dossier’s central assertion that Moscow meddled in the election to help Trump.

Brennan later swore the dossier did not “in any way” factor into the CIA’s assessment that Russia interfered in the election to help Trump. However, congressional investigators suggest a still-classified version of the January 2017 intelligence report contradicts his claim. Also in his May 2017 testimony, Brennan swore he had no idea who commissioned the dossier.

CIA veterans say Brennan was the most politicized director in the agency’s history and was responsible for much of the anti-Trump bias from the intelligence community during the campaign and transition period.

Former CIA field operations officer Gene Coyle, a 30-year agency veteran who served under Brennan, said he was “known as the greatest sycophant in the history of the CIA, and a supporter of Hillary Clinton before the election.”

“I find it hard to put any real credence in anything that the man says,” he added.

Coyle noted that Brennan broke with his predecessors who stayed out of elections. Several weeks before the vote, he said, “Brennan made it very clear that he was a supporter of candidate Clinton, hoping he would be rewarded with being kept on in her administration.” (Brennan is a liberal Democrat. In fact, at the height of the Cold War in 1976, he voted for a Communist Party candidate for president.)

What’s more, his former deputy at the CIA, Mike Morell, who formed a consulting firm with longtime Clinton aide and campaign adviser Philippe Reines, even came out in early August 2016 and publicly endorsed her in the New York Times, while claiming Trump was an “unwitting agent” of Moscow.

Former FBI Director James Comey.

“In the intelligence business, we would say that Mr. Putin had recruited Mr. Trump as an unwitting agent of the Russian Federation,” he claimed. “My training as an intelligence officer taught me to call it as I see it. This is what I did for the CIA. This is what I am doing now. Our nation will be much safer with Hillary Clinton as president.”

Reid repeated Morell’s allegation against Trump in his August 2016 letter to Comey.

Career U.S. intelligence officials say Morell, like Brennan, was personally invested in a Clinton victory.

Morell “had aspirations of being CIA director if she had won,” said former FBI counterintelligence official I.C. Smith, whose service overlapped with Brennan’s.

Investigators are trying to learn if the Clinton campaign shared, through Reines, the early memos on the dossier it was paying for with Morrell before he wrote his Times op-ed.

Morell could not be reached for comment. But he pushed back hard last week against Nunes releasing his memo exposing the FBI’s reliance on the dossier for Trump wiretaps, which he argued “did not have to happen. It undermines the credibility of the FBI in the public’s eyes, and with no justification in my view.”

“What happened here underscores the partisanship and the dysfunction of a very important committee in Congress, and that does not serve Congress well. It doesn’t serve the intelligence community, and it doesn’t serve the country well,” Morell continued earlier this week in an interview with CBS News, where he now works as a “senior national security contributor.”

Sources say Brennan is aware that the House Intelligence Committee is targeting him in its wide-ranging investigation of the dossier and investigative and intelligence abuses related to it, and that Nunes plans to call him and other former Obama administration officials before the panel to question them based on newly obtained documents and information.

Last week, perhaps not coincidentally, Brennan signed a contract with NBC News and MSNBC to be their “senior national security and intelligence analyst.”

On Sunday’s “Meet the Press,” Brennan laced into Nunes for releasing the memo revealing FBI surveillance abuses related to the dossier, claiming the head of the intelligence panel has “abused the office of the chairmanship.”

“It really underscores just how partisan Mr. Nunes has been,” Brennan charged.

In the interview, Brennan claimed he first learned of the existence of the dossier “in late summer of 2016, when there were some individuals from the various U.S. news outlets who asked me about my familiarity with it. And I had heard just snippets about it.”

He further contended that he had neither seen nor read the dossier until a month after the election.

“I did not know what was in there,” Brennan said. “I did not see it until later in that year, I think it was in December.”

Brennan also insisted he did not know who was pulling the strings on the research that went into the dossier.

“I was unaware of the provenance of it as well as what was in it,” he said, and he reasserted that “it did not play any role whatsoever in the intelligence community assessment that was done.”

Obama’s director of national intelligence, James Clapper, is also coming under scrutiny for his role in the dossier.

He joined Brennan in giving Obama a two-page summary of the dossier memos during the presidential briefing in January 2017. Days later, Clapper expressed “profound dismay at the leaks that have been appearing in the press,” and misleadingly referred to the dossier as a “private security company document.”

James Clapper, former director of national intelligence.

The intelligence committee plans to press Clapper to find out if he knew at the time that, in fact, the document was political opposition research underwritten by the Clinton campaign, and whether any of the leaks to the media came from his office.

“I do not believe the leaks came from within the IC [intelligence community],” he maintained at the time, adding that “we did not rely upon [the dossier] in any way for our conclusion” on Russian interference.

In October 2016, during the heat of the campaign, Clapper issued a public report declaring that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s regime directed the cyberattacks on Clinton campaign emails, echoing memos Steele was delivering at the time to the Clinton campaign.

A year later, after it was finally revealed in the national media that the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee funded the research that went into the notorious dossier, Clapper insisted it “doesn’t matter who paid for it.”

“It’s what the dossier said and the extent to which it was — it’s corroborated or not. We had some concerns about it from the standpoint of its sourcing, which we couldn’t corroborate,” Clapper added last October in an interview with CNN.

He went on to strongly suggest that the intelligence assessment report he issued with Brennan, which concluded the Kremlin not only hacked the Democratic campaign but did so specifically to put Trump in the White House, was based on “some of the substantive content of the dossier.”

“But at the same time, some of the substantive content, not all of it, but some of the substantive content of the dossier, we were able to corroborate in our Intelligence Community Assessment from other sources, which we had very high confidence of,” Clapper said.

Investigators say Nunes intends to drill down on exactly who those “other sources” are now that his committee has learned that top officials at both the FBI and Justice Department relied on a Yahoo! News article as their additional sourcing to corroborate the dossier allegations they cited to obtain Trump campaign wiretap warrants — even though it turns out the main source for the Yahoo! story was merely the dossier’s author, Steele, who was disguised as “a Western intelligence source.”

Clapper, who recently signed his own media deal, joining CNN as a paid “contributor,” bashed Nunes on the network and suggested the release of future reports could endanger the intelligence community’s mission. He said his release of the FBI memo was “political” and an “egregious” betrayal of “others in the intelligence community who have a lot at stake here with the whole FISA [surveillance] process.”

https://www.realclearinvestigations.com/articles/2018/02/11/former_cia_director_john_brennan_investigated_for_perjury.html

Dossier’s 10 core collusion accusations remain unverified 20 months later

Christopher Steele, former British intelligence officer in London Tuesday March 7, 2017 where he has spoken to the media for the first time . Steele who compiled an explosive and unproven dossier on President Donald Trump’s purported activities in Russia …
 – The Washington Times – Monday, February 12, 2018

Christopher Steele’s unproven dossier is a mix of felony charges against President Trump and his people, as well as supposed gossip inside the Kremlin over computer hacking and personnel firings.

For the ongoing special counsel investigation into suspected TrumpRussia election coordination, it is helpful to separate what counts: Dust away the atmospherics — supposed Kremlin intrigue — and focus on the collusion charges brought by the former British spy based on his paid intermediaries and Moscow sources. None is identified.

Funded by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic Party, these specific dossier charges of secret spy missions and criminality are what came to permeate the FBI investigation. Republicans say the FBI abused the court process by using the partisan charges to obtain four wiretap warrants against the other campaign. They say the bureau has yet to confirm any charge.

As the dossier today takes on even more importance, The Washington Times identified Mr. Steele’s 10 core collusion accusations. The analysis includes the charges’ status, 20 months after Mr. Steele first contacted the FBI and urged the prosecution of President Trump.

• The Trump campaign launched an “extensive conspiracy” with the Kremlin to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. To date, no public verification.

• Mr. Trump, for decades a developer of tall buildings, maintained an eight-year relationship of give-and-take with Russian intelligence. To date, no public verification.

Mr. Trump and senior campaign aides actively supported the Russia hacking of Democratic Party computers to steal and release stolen emails. To date, no public verification.

• Volunteer Carter Page and campaign manager Paul Manafort personally conspired with Moscow to hack the Democrats’ computers. When the hacking began in 2015, neither man was associated with the Trump campaign. Both deny the charge. Mr. Page testified under oath that he had never met or spoken with Mr. Manafort. To date, no public verification of this dossier part.

• Mr. Page, an Annapolis graduate, an energy investor and a former resident of Moscow, traveled to that city in early July 2016 to deliver a public speech at a university. The dossier says he met with two top Kremlin operatives and discussed bribes for working to lift economic sanctions. Mr. Page testified under oath that he had never met nor spoke with them. He has filed libel lawsuits.

• Mr. Trump engaged with Russian prostitutes during a trip to Moscow in 2013. Mr. Trump has denied this numerous times. To date, no public verification.

• Mr. Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen, secretly traveled to Prague in August 2016. His supposed mission: to orchestrate payments with agents of Vladimir Putin to cover up the hacking. At that point, the hacking was known worldwide. Mr. Cohen repeatedly has denied under oath that he took such a trip and showed his passport. He has filed libel lawsuits, including against Fusion GPS. Fusion co-founder Glenn Simpson, who ordered the dossier, has suggested that Mr. Cohen took a private Russian plane and might have been on a yacht in the Adriatic Sea. To date, there has been no public verification of any of this.

• Russian tech entrepreneur Aleksej Gubarev, owner of XBT Holding, hacked the Democrat Party computers with spyware and pornography. He has denied this repeatedly. He sued Mr. Steele for libel in a London court, where the former spy said the information was raw call-in information and not verified.

• Three Russian oligarchs and shareholders in Alfa Bank were involved in Russian election interference and paid bribes to Mr. Putin. They deny the charges and have filed libel lawsuits.

• Mikhail Kalugin was chief of the economic section at the Russian Embassy in Washington. Mr. Steele accuses him of being a spy and of funding the hacking with skimmed-off pension funds. He was supposedly whisked out of Washington when the hacking scandal broke in August. Washington associates of Mr. Kalugin told The Washington Times that the diplomat announced his planned departure 10 months beforehand. He and his family returned to Moscow. He now works in the Foreign Ministry. A former senior U.S. government official told The Times that Mr. Kalugin was never internally identified as a spy.

Republicans and dossier targets uniformly deride the 35 pages as falsehoods and fabrications. Some Democrats have acknowledged that the collection of memos is flawed.

But there are steadfast dossier believers, such liberal Twitter brigades and Rep. Adam B. Schiff of California, the leading Democrat on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

The FBI used the unverified dossier on Oct. 21, 2016, to obtain a court wiretap warrant on Mr. Page that lasted nearly a year.

Agents included dossier information in the application and three subsequent renewals. The filing was based on the pledge from Mr. Steele that he was not the source of a dossier-type report on Mr. Page that Michael Isikoff reported in Yahoo News in September 2016. But in the London court case, Mr. Steele acknowledged that he was the source.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, Iowa Republican, and Sen. Lindsey Graham, South Carolina Republican, released a declassified referral last week that urges the Justice Department to open a criminal investigation of Mr. Steele for lying to the FBI.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, the committee’s ranking Democrat, issued a rebuttal on Friday.

“Not a single revelation in the Steele dossier has been refuted,” she said, referring to the former MI-6 officer as a “respected and reliable expert on Russia.”

She said the Grassley-Graham referral “provides no evidence that Steele was ever asked about the Isikoff article or if asked that he lied.”

But the Republican senator’s referral said there is ample evidence that Mr. Steele lied.

“There is substantial evidence suggesting that Mr. Steele materially misled the FBI about a key aspect of his dossier efforts, one which bears on his credibility,” the referral said.

The next paragraph, which presumedly details that evidence, is completely redacted.

The two senators wrote, “The FBI already believed Mr. Steele was reliable, he had previously told the FBI he had not shared the information with the press — and lying to the FBI is a crime.”

Four targets of the dossier have filed seven libel lawsuits against Mr. Steele, Fusion GPS and BuzzFeed, which first posted it online on Jan. 10, 2017, during Mr. Trump’s presidential transition.

Then FBI-Director James B. Comey told Mr. Trump in a one-on-one meeting that month that the dossier was “salacious and unverified.”

At the same time, the FBI was citing dossier information before a judge to obtain a second 90-day wiretap warrant on Mr. Page. There would be two more, the last in June 2017.

J.D. Gordon, a former Pentagon spokesman and Trump campaign adviser, has suffered over a year of government, press and congressional scrutiny. All the negative attention is because he had brief encounters with the Russian ambassador at the Republican National Convention.

“At least four dozen Trump associates have reportedly been summoned before the various congressional committees and special counsel over anything and everything related to TrumpRussia,” Mr. Gordon told The Washington Times. “Apart from targeting the president with a high-tech coup, the Democrats and ‘Never Trump‘ Republicans are trying to destroy a large group of innocent people who were merely trying to serve their country in presidential politics.”

https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2018/feb/12/trump-dossiers-10-core-collusion-accusations-unver/

The Ticking Memo

Victor Davis Hanson

The House Intelligence Committee memo is pretty simple. It should not have been classified and thus far withheld from the public. In fact, far more information now needs to be released.

Despite the outcry, as Chairman Devin Nunes clarified, the memo can easily be in the near future supported or refuted by adducing official documents. In other words, the memo makes a series of transparent statements and leaves it up to the criminal-justice system and the public to ascertain subsequent criminal liability.

It is likely that the basic accuracy of the document will not be questioned, but rather opponents, some of them mentioned in the memo, will either ask why the resulting embarrassing information needed to be aired or insist that there are only minor possible crimes in the events it narrates, or both. Remember, officials from the FBI supposedly read the memo before its release to ensure that there were not factual errors or misrepresentations.

In sum, on four occasions during and after the 2016 campaign, the FBI and DOJ approached a federal FISA court — established to allow monitoring of foreign nationals engaged in efforts to harm the U.S. or American citizens deliberately or inadvertently in their service — to surveil Carter Page, a sometime Trump adviser. These requests also mentioned George Papadopoulos, apparently as a preexisting target of an earlier investigation by FBI official Peter Strzok, but according to the memo mysteriously there was not adduced any direct connection between the two individuals’ activities.

The basis of the requests was an anti-Trump dossier that the FBI and DOJ had purchased from a private concern. At the time of their various requests, FBI director James Comey and his deputy, Andrew McCabe, apparently knew that the document was the work of an opposition-research team, hired and paid, through a series of intermediaries, by the Clinton campaign. The same knowledge supposedly was known to DOJ officials Sally Yates, Dana Boente, and Rod Rosenstein, who variously joined the FISA requests. The FBI and DOJ requests to the court were also apparently bolstered by citing news accounts in the popular media about possible Russian collusion, which in circular fashion had been the result of efforts by the authors and purveyors of the dossier to leak its contents to the media. On various later occasions, high FBI officials purportedly admitted to the congressional inquirers both that the FISA requests would not have been made without use of the dossier, and yet its contents could not be verified or in fact were scarcely yet scrutinized. Apparently, no FBI or DOJ officials informed the court over the duration of these various requests that a) the dossier was paid for by the Clinton campaign, b) the FBI in turn apparently paid to obtain it, c) supporting news stories used to substantiate the dossier were the result of deliberately leaking the same document to seed stories in media organizations, or d) a DOJ official both met the author of the dossier and informed the FBI that he was a biased source — but either did not inform other DOJ and FBI officials that his own spouse was a collaborator who worked on the dossier, or such knowledge was known to DOJ and FBI officials but not passed on at some point to the FISA judge, apparently because the court might not have otherwise approved of the request or might have acted to revoke prior requests.

What Is the Larger Context?

What does it all mean — both the memo itself and subsidiary public revelations about the Strzok-Page texts, and the circumstances around the firing or reassignments of several DOJ and FBI top officials?

I don’t think there is any more doubt that the candidacy of Donald Trump terrified top officials of the Obama DOJ and the FBI, James Comey especially. A few may have genuinely believed Trump was a beneficiary of Russian efforts at collusion; more likely, Comey, McCabe, and Strzok may have believed that such a charge was unlikely but still useful as a means to thwart the idea of a Trump presidency. Either way, the DOJ and the FBI deliberately distorted the nature of the FISA court process by either withholding information that they knew would likely negate their requests or misrepresenting the nature of the evidence they produced.

It is also clear from the contacts between Mr. Simpson, Mr. Steele, and representatives of the DOJ and FBI, and the employment of Ms. Ohr on the dossier team, that there were conflicts of interest at best, and, at worst, collusion between Obama DOJ and FBI officials and the de facto contractors hired by the Clinton team to find ways of disseminating supposedly embarrassing information before the November 2016 election.

The larger landscape around the memo’s revelations was not just that DOJ and FBI officials were disturbed by the Trump candidacy. They were also likely assuming that he would not be elected, and thus any questionable efforts to ensure that Trump was not elected might not be investigated in an incoming Clinton administration, but perhaps in some way even rewarded.

The Scope of the Memo

So far, none of the congressional committees have released information about the actual scope and effects of these and possible other FISA court orders — and to what degree, if any, other American citizens were surveilled and whether such resulting surveillance was used by the Mueller investigation to indict individuals, or whether the names of U.S. citizens in such reports were illegally unmasked by Obama officials and then leaked to the media. We are told such information is coming.

Would there ever have been a Mueller investigation without the DOJ and FBI efforts to persuade the FISA court? Would the prior investigations by Peter Strzok (who later expressed strong dislike of Donald Trump and worried over his candidacy to the point of meeting and commiserating with Andrew McCabe) into George Papadopoulos on their own have sustained a subsequent Mueller investigation, or was such a weak agenda to be resuscitated by the FISA surveillance? (I.e., was some impetus for the FISA warrant request an effort to find something that might energize the Strzok efforts?) And who was the FISA judge or judges, and are we to believe that he or they could not have asked a simple question concerning the nature and origins of the dossier? Was he incompetent, biased, or representative of the dangerous tendency of judges to rubber-stamp such FISA requests?

Is This a Scandal?

If all this is not a scandal — then the following protocols are now considered permissible in American electoral practice and constitutional jurisprudence: An incumbent administration can freely use the FBI and the DOJ to favor one side in a presidential election, by buying its opposition research against the other candidate, using its own prestige to authenticate such a third-party oppositional dossier, and then using it to obtain court-ordered wiretaps on American citizens employed by a candidate’s campaign — and do so by deliberately misleading the court about the origins and authors of the dossier that was used to obtain the warrants. Some Historical Context Watergate was about largely failed presidential cover-up attempts to enlist the CIA and FBI to squash an investigation into a politicized burglary. Iran-Contra was supposedly about rogue administration officials trying to circumvent the law by providing arms to a foreign government to release hostages and thereby obtain cash to help perceived friendly foreign agents without knowledge of and in contravention of Congress.

The current internal efforts in the middle of a campaign to weaponize the FBI and DOJ are something new. And it illustrates a larger effort of the prior administration to warp FBI investigations of Hillary Clinton’s unauthorized and illegal email server and other purported improper behavior, as well as efforts of Obama-administration officials to improperly request unmasking of improperly surveilled Americans for improperly political purposes. These efforts come on top of previous attempts to politicize the IRS in order to oppose perceived political opponents and to monitor journalists reporting stories deemed unfavorable to the administration. Finally, unlike past administration scandals, when the press posed as custodians of the public interest and demanded transparency from government agencies, this time around the media are arguing for secrecy and suppression of documents, and are unconcerned with likely violations of the civil liberties of American citizens by overzealous federal officials likely breaking the law.

What about the FBI?

There is much worry that the memo’s release will hurt the FBI. But such concern is predicated on the definition of the FBI.

If the agency is defined as its top echelon, then, yes, the FBI’s highest officials are discredited, the now-compulsive tweeter James Comey especially. But if the FBI is defined by thousands of rank-and-file professional agents, then the agency is not only not discredited, but empowered by a timely reminder that true patriots at the FBI never break federal law on the dubious rationale that their purportedly noble ends justify any means necessary to obtain them.

No one forced FBI director James Comey to withhold critical information from a FISA judge in order to surveil American citizens, or to purchase an opposition-research dossier from a political campaign in the middle of an election cycle. Nor did anyone force Comey to leak confidential notes of a meeting with the president of the United States to the media in a deliberate effort to force appointment of a special counsel. Comey swore that he did not write his letter of legal exoneration until after interviewing Hillary Clinton; we now know that was likely also a false statement. Comey also changed the wording of his original draft to ensure Hillary Clinton’s immunity from possible criminal liability.

No one forced the FBI’s top lawyer and recently reassigned general counsel, James Baker, to leak elements of the so-called Steele dossier to the media during the 2016 campaign

No one forced Peter Strzok and Lisa Page to conduct a romantic affair via FBI secure phones, a texting correspondence that revealed that they both were prejudicial to the object of their own then-current investigation, Donald Trump, or to meet with Andrew McCabe to commiserate about their mutual dislike of Donald Trump. Note that their departures from the Mueller collusion investigation were not immediately announced, but rather such news was released months later to suggest that the reassignments were neither connected nor out of the ordinary.

No one forced a compromised Andrew McCabe to continue with the Hillary Clinton email investigation, despite the fact that his wife had recently received several hundred thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from a Clinton-affiliated political-action committee. No one forced him to concede that without the use of the dossier, FISA warrants would have been unlikely. Who Will Be Held Accountable? Many of the those with possible criminal exposure have already either been fired (Comey, McCabe), reassigned (Page, Strzok, Ohr), or are considered sacrosanct (Obama, Loretta Lynch, etc.). Rod Rosenstein’s fate is, for now, largely a political matter, and only later a legal one.

Still, a special counsel might indict a number of officials for deliberately misleading a federal judge, or violating statutes prohibiting the surveillance of American citizens, or lying while under oath, or he might retract indictments and confessions based on deliberate misrepresentations to a federal judge.A bipartisan 9/11–like commission could at least issue a report and recommendations to ensure that the DOJ and FBI never again intervene in a U.S. election.

By all means, let us see the transcript of the McCabe interview, the Democratic minority memo, the actual FISA court requests, the complete text trove of Page and Strzok, the prior administration’s requests to unmask surveilled American citizens, Clinton-campaign communications about the procurement of the dossier, and the transcripts of those surveilled.

We need to find out whether Russian collusion and interference into the 2016 election was far more devious and complex than believed and whether it involved seeding the research behind the Clinton campaign’s purchased oppositional dossier in order to undermine a U.S. election, leading to the greatest irony of all: a special counsel investigating what likely did not happen while ignoring what likely did — perhaps the greatest political scandal of the modern age. At this point, the only cure for the wound is far more light. THE CORNER The one and only. FULL BLOG   SPONSORED CONTENT The

 http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/456084/nunes-memo-fbi-doj-corruption-ticking-memo

Office of Inspector General (United States)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Office of the Inspector General)

In the United States, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) is a generic term for the oversight division of a federal or state agency aimed at preventing inefficient or illegal operations within their parent agency. Such offices are attached to many federal executive departmentsindependent federal agencies, as well as state and local governments. Each office includes an Inspector General (or I.G.) and employees charged with identifying, auditing, and investigating fraud, waste, abuse, embezzlement and mismanagement of any kind within the executive department.

History

In the United States, other than the military departments, the first Office of Inspector General (OIG) was established by act of Congress in 1976[1] under the Department of Health and Human Services, to fight waste, fraud and abuse in Medicare, Medicaid, and more than 100 other HHS programs.[2] With approximately 1,600 employees, the OIG performs audits, investigations, and evaluations, to establish policy recommendations for decision-makers and the public.

Description

Federal offices of inspectors general

There are 73 federal offices of inspectors general,[3] a significant increase since the statutory creation of the initial 12 offices by the Inspector General Act of 1978.[4] The offices employ special agents (criminal investigators, often armed) and auditors. In addition, federal offices of inspectors general employ forensic auditors, or “audigators,” evaluators, inspectors, administrative investigators, and a variety of other specialists. Their activities include the detection and prevention of fraud, waste, abuse, and mismanagement of the government programs and operations within their parent organizations. Office investigations may be internal, targeting government employees, or external, targeting grant recipients, contractors, or recipients of the various loans and subsidies offered through the thousands of federal domestic and foreign assistance programs.[5] The Inspector General Reform Act of 2008[6] (IGRA) amended the 1978 act[4] by increasing pay and various powers and creating the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency (CIGIE).[7]

Example of an OIG report, from the DoD OIG[8]

Some inspectors general, the heads of the offices, are appointed by the president and confirmed by the senate.[9] For example, both the inspector general of the U.S. Department of Labor and the inspector general of the U.S. Agency for International Development are presidentially appointed. The remaining inspectors general are designated by their respective agency heads,[10] such as the U.S. Postal Service inspector general.[11]Presidentially appointed IGs can only be removed, or terminated, from their positions by the President of the United States, whereas designated inspectors general can be terminated by the agency head.[12] However, in both cases Congress must be notified of the termination, removal, or reassignment.

While the IG Act of 1978 requires that inspectors general be selected based upon their qualifications and not political affiliation, presidentially appointed inspectors general are considered political appointees and are often selected, if only in part and in addition to their qualifications, because of their political relationships and party affiliation. An example of the role political affiliation plays in the selection of an inspector general, and the resulting pitfalls, can be seen in the 2001 Republican appointment (and resignation under fire) of Janet Rehnquist[13] (daughter of former Chief Justice of the United StatesWilliam Rehnquist) to the post of inspector general for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.[14]

While all of the federal offices of inspector generals operate separately from one another, they share information and some coordination through the Council of Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency (CIGIE).[15] As of 2010, the CIGIE[16] comprised 68 offices. In addition to their inspector general members, CIGIE includes non-inspector general representatives from the federal executive branch, such as executives from the Office of Management and Budget, the Office of Personnel Management, the Office of Government Ethics, the Office of Special Counsel, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. CIGIE also provides specialized training to the inspector general community.

Further evidence of coordination between federal offices of inspector generals can be seen by the public through the offices’ shared website,[17] and the use of shared training facilities and resources, such as the Inspector General Criminal Investigator Academy (IGCIA),[18] and their Inspector General Community Auditor Training Team (IGCATS),[19] which are hosted by the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC).

Evidence of the offices’ return on investment to taxpayers can be seen through their semi-annual reports to Congress, most of which are available on each office’s website.[3]

Since the post-9/11 enactment of the Homeland Security Act of 2002,[20] resulting in the amendment of the IG Act of 1978, Section 6e, most presidentially appointed IG special agents have had full law enforcement authority to carry firearms, make arrests, and execute search warrants. Prior to this time, most presidentially appointed IG and some designated IG special agents had the equivalent law enforcement authorities as a result of other statutes or annually required deputation by the U.S. Marshals Service. The 2002 amendment to the IG Act of 1978 made most deputation of presidentially appointed IG special agents unnecessary. Some designated IG special agents, however, still have full law enforcement authority today by virtue of this continued deputation. Some OIGs employ no criminal investigators and rely solely on administrative investigators, auditors, and inspectors.

U.S. offices of inspector general

Presidentially appointed inspectors general

Designated federal entity inspectors general

Special inspectors general

Legislative agency inspectors general

Other federal inspectors general

U.S. military

Within the United States Armed Forces, the position of inspector general is normally part of the personal staff serving a general or flag officer in a command position. The inspector general’s office functions in two ways. To a certain degree they are ombudsmen for their branch of service. However, their primary function is to ensure the combat readiness of subordinate units in their command.

An armed services inspector general also investigate noncriminal allegations and some specific criminal allegations, to include determining if the matter should be referred for criminal investigation by the service’s criminal investigative agency.

The Air Force Inspector General Complaints Program was established to address the concerns of Air Force active duty, reserve, and Guard members, civilian employees, family members, and retirees, as well as the interest of the Air Force. One of the first responsibilities of the Air Force inspector general is to operate a credible complaints program that investigates personnel complaints: Fraud, Waste, and Abuse (FWA) allegations; congressional inquiries; and issues involving the Air Force mission. Personnel complaints and FWA disclosures to the IG help commanders correct problems that affect the productivity, mission accomplishment, and morale of assigned personnel, which are areas of high concern to Air Force leaders at all levels.[85]

See:

Stark Law and Anti-Kickback Statute Enforcement

The OIG develops and distributes resources to assist the health care industry in its efforts to comply with the Nation’s fraud and abuse laws and to educate the public about fraudulent schemes so they can protect themselves and report suspicious activities.[2]

In recent years, the OIG has made an effort to target hospitals and healthcare systems for Stark Law and Anti-Kickback Statute violations pertaining to the management of physician compensation arrangements.[86] In 2015, a fraud alert was issued to publicize the OIG’s intent to further regulate such non-compliance.[87] In light of such efforts and consequent record-breaking settlements, healthcare experts have begun to call for the transition from paper based physician time logging and contract management to automated solutions.[88]

Criticism

Inspectors General have also been criticized for being, rather than guardians of whistleblowers, instead, ineffective, inactive, or at worst, instruments by which whistleblowers are persecuted. One example is from the Securities and Exchange Commission OIG. In a 2011 article by Matt Taibbi, SEC whistleblowers said that complaining to the SEC OIG was “well-known to be a career-killer.”[89] Another example is from whistleblower Jesselyn Radack‘s book Canary in the Coalmine, in which she describes her experience complaining to the Department of Justice OIG; instead of helping her, the IG office helped the DOJ get her fired and restricted from practicing as a lawyer.[90] Another example is from the Thomas Andrews Drake case, in which several complainants to the Department of DefenseOIG over NSA’s Trailblazer Project were later raided by the FBI and some threatened with criminal prosecution.[91]

References

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Office_of_Inspector_General_(United_States)

Story 2: Former National Security Adviser Susan Rice Last Minute CYA Email That Obama Wants Investigations By The Book — No Not The Law — Yes The Book was Rules for Radicals by Saul Alinsky — Videos

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  Your email continued:

President Obama began the conversation by stressing his continued commitment to ensuring that every aspect of this issue is handled by the Intelligence and law enforcement communities “by the book”.  The President stressed that he is not asking about, initiating or instructing anything from a law enforcement perspective.  He reiterated that our law enforcement team needs to proceed as it normally would by the book.
From a national security perspective, however, President Obama said he wants to be sure that, as we engage with the incoming team, we are mindful to ascertain if there is any reason that we cannot share information fully as it relates to Russia.
The next part of your email remains classified.  After that, you wrote:
The President asked Comey to inform him if anything changes in the next few weeks that should affect how we share classified information with the incoming team.  Comey said he would.
It strikes us as odd that, among your activities in the final moments on the final day of the Obama administration, you would feel the need to send yourself such an unusual email purporting to document a conversation involving President Obama and his interactions with the FBI regarding the Trump/Russia investigation.  In addition, despite your claim that President Obama repeatedly told Mr. Comey to proceed “by the book,” substantial questions have arisen about whether officials at the FBI, as well as at the Justice Department and the State Department, actually did proceed “by the book.”
In order for the Committee to further assess the situation, please respond to the following by February 22, 2018:
 
  1. Did you send the email attached to this letter to yourself?  Do you have any reason to dispute the timestamp of the email?
 
  1. When did you first become aware of the FBI’s investigation into allegations of collusion between Mr. Trump’s associates and Russia?
 
  1. When did you become aware of any surveillance activities, including FISA applications, undertaken by the FBI in conducting that investigation?  At the time you wrote this email to yourself, were you aware of either the October 2016 FISA application for surveillance of Carter Page or the January 2017 renewal?
 
  1. Did anyone instruct, request, suggest, or imply that you should send yourself the aforementioned Inauguration Day email memorializing President Obama’s meeting with Mr. Comey about the Trump/Russia investigation?  If so, who and why?
 
  1. Is the account of the January 5, 2017 meeting presented in your email accurate?  Did you omit any other portions of the conversation?
 
  1. Other than that email, did you document the January 5, 2017 meeting in any way, such as contemporaneous notes or a formal memo?  To the best of your knowledge, did anyone else at that meeting take notes or otherwise memorialize the meeting?
 
  1. During the meeting, did Mr. Comey or Ms. Yates mention potential press coverage of the Steele dossier?  If so, what did they say?
 
  1. During the meeting, did Mr. Comey describe the status of the FBI’s relationship with Mr. Steele, or the basis for that status?
 
  1. When and how did you first become aware of the allegations made by Christopher Steele?
 
  1. When and how did you first become aware that the Clinton Campaign and the Democratic National Committee funded Mr. Steele’s efforts?
 
  1. You wrote that President Obama stressed that he was “not asking about, initiating or instructing anything from a law enforcement perspective.”  Did President Obama ask about, initiate, or instruct anything from any other perspective relating to the FBI’s investigation?
 
  1. Did President Obama have any other meetings with Mr. Comey, Ms. Yates, or other government officials about the FBI’s investigation of allegations of collusion between Trump associates and Russia?  If so, when did these occur, who participated, and what was discussed?
Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.  Please contact Patrick Davis of Chairman Grassley’s staff at (202) 224-5225 or Lee Holmes of Chairman Graham’s staff at (202) 224-5972 if you have any questions.
Sincerely,
Charles E. Grassley                                                     Lindsey O. Graham
Chairman                                                                     Chairman
Committee on the Judiciary                                        Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism
                                                                                    Committee on the Judiciary
Enclosure: as stated.
cc:       The Honorable Dianne Feinstein
Ranking Member
Committee on the Judiciary
The Honorable Sheldon Whitehouse
Ranking Member
Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism
Committee on the Judiciary
-30-

 

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1023, January 29, 2018, Story 1: FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe Steps Aside Before Retirement In Early March — Heads Will Roll At FBI and Department of Justice When Details of Plot Are Exposed In Damning Detail — Who Is Next? Bill Priestap – FBI’s Counter-Intelligence Head — and James Baker, Former FBI General Counsel — Videos — Story 2: House Intelligence Committee Votes To Release The 4-Page Memo On FBI Plot Against Candidate and President Trump — Videos

Posted on January 30, 2018. Filed under: Barack H. Obama, Bill Clinton, Constitutional Law, Donald J. Trump, Elections, First Amendment, Fourth Amendment, Hillary Clinton, Human, Human Behavior, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Independence, Insurance, James Comey, Language, Legal Immigration, Life, Lying, Media, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, President Trump, Presidential Appointments, Pro Life, Progressives, Radio, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Regulation, Resources, Robert S. Mueller III, Scandals, Second Amendment, Security, Senator Jeff Sessions, Surveillance and Spying On American People, Taxation, Taxes, Technology, Terrorism, Unemployment, United States Constitution, United States Supreme Court, Videos, Violence, War, Wealth, Weapons, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Scandal of The Century

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Story 1: FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe Steps Aside Before Retirement In Early March — Heads Will Roll At FBI and Department of Justice When Details of Plot Are Exposed In Damning Detail — Who Is Next? Bill Priestap – FBI’s Counter-Intelligence Head — and James Baker, Former FBI General Counsel — Videos —

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Where is Bill Priestap – FBI’s Counter-Intelligence Head

I first came across the name Bill Priestap in early April 2017, as I was going through House Intelligence Committee testimony given by James Comey on March 20, 2017:

STEFANIK: So since, in your opening statement, you confirmed that there is a counter-intelligence investigation currently open and you also referenced that it started in July. When did you notify the DNI, the White House, or senior congressional leadership?

COMEY: It’s a good question. Congressional leadership, some time recently. They were briefed on the nature of the investigation in some detail as I said. Obviously the Department of Justice has been aware of it all along. The DNI, I don’t know what the DNI’s knowledge of it was because we didn’t have a DNI until Mr. Coats took office and I briefed him his first morning in office.

Note: The DNI claim was a lie. James Clapper was Obama’s DNI.

STEFANIK: So just to drill down on this, if — if the open investigation began in July and the briefing of congressional leadership only occurred recently, why was there no notification prior to the recent — to the past month?

COMEY: I think our decision was it was a matter of such sensitivity that we wouldn’t include it in the quarterly briefings.

STEFANIK: So when you state our decision is that your decision? Is that usually your decision what gets briefed in those quarterly updates?

COMEY: No, it’s usually the decision of the head of our counter- intelligence division.

STEFANIK: And just again, to get the detailed — on the record, why was the decision made not to brief senior congressional leadership until recently when the investigation had been open since July? A very serious investigation — why was that decision to wait months?

COMEY: Because of the sensitivity of the matter.

Bill Priestap is the head of the FBI’s Counter-Intelligence Division.

Priestap is not a household name, but he held a pivotal role in the FBI’s exoneration of Clinton, the subsequent Trump-Russia Investigation and surveillance of the Trump Campaign.

Per Comey’s testimony, Priestap was the individual responsible for making the decision notto inform Congressional leadership – the Gang of Eight – about the July 2016 FBI investigation.

At the time, I made the following comments:

I am almost speechless that the FBI’s Director of Counter-Intelligence, Bill Priestap, would make such a decision – or could make such a decision.

The FBI is a division of the DOJ. It is not a fourth branch of the government. Since when does an official within the FBI get to decide when information is disseminated to only certain members of the National Security Council – not all of them – while at the same time refusing to disclose to Congressional leadership?

The Gang of Eight are briefed on classified intelligence matters by the Executive Branch and are responsible for Congressional oversight of all Intelligence AgenciesThey are the “Checks and Balances” for the Intelligence aspect of our government.Anythingintelligence-related must be shown to this committee. If there is a U.S. covert operation, these members know of it and approved it.

Bill Priestap’s name would come up again – in relation to Michael Flynn. Excerpt from an earlier timeline:

December 29 2016 – General Michael Flynn speaks to the Russian Ambassador.

Jan 12 2017 –  Mike Flynn’s Dec 29 2016 call is leaked to Washington Post.

January 19 2017 – The New York Times reports that the FBI, CIA, NSA and Treasury Department are monitoring several associates of the Trump campaign suspected of Russian ties.

January 19 2017 – Obama’s top intelligence and law-enforcement deputies meet to talk about Flynn’s conversation with Kislyak.

January 23 2017 – Acting Attorney General Sally Yates increases pressure on FBI Director Comey regarding Mike Flynn – telling Comey that Flynn could be vulnerable to blackmail.

January 23 2017 – The FBI reports nothing unlawful in the content of Flynn’s call.

January 24 2017 – Mike Flynn is interviewed at the White House by the FBI. It is during this interview that Flynn supposedly lies to the FBI – despite having his calls already cleared by the FBI. The surprise – and unscheduled – interview is conducted by Peter Strzok.

January 25 2017 –  The Department of Justice receives a detailed briefing on Flynn’s interview from the FBI.

January 26 2017 – AG Sally Yates contacts White House Counsel McGahn who agrees to meet with Yates the same day.

January 26 2017 – Sally Yates meets with McGahn. She also brings Bill Priestap, Assistant Director of the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division.

Yates later testifies the meeting surrounds General Flynn’s phone calls and his FBI Interview. She also testifies that Flynn’s call and subsequent interview “was a topic of a whole lot of discussion in DOJ and with other members of the intel community.”

Bill Priestap later presents the FBI’s contributions to the early 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment, or ICA – Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent Elections – to the Senate Intelligence Committee on June 21, 2017.

Sally Yates was Deputy Attorney General prior to January 20, 2017, and Acting Attorney General from January 20, 2017, after Lynch left office upon President Trump’s inauguration.

Yates’ boss was Attorney General Loretta Lynch until Yates became Acting Attorney General. On January 30, 2017, President Trump fired Yates for refusing to enforce the Travel Ban.

Bill Priestap is Assistant Director, FBI Counter Intelligence.

Priestap’s boss is FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe. McCabe’s boss was FBI Director James Comey.

The FBI Director (Comey) reports to the Attorney General (Lynch/Yates).

Now, consider the following timeline: