The Pronk Pops Show 1267, May 30, 2019, Story 1: President Trump Goes On Media Offense — Reaction To Mueller Statement — No Collusion, No Obstruction, No Redo — Mueller Was Conflicted and Never Should Have Been Appointed Special Counsel — Impeachment Is A Dirty Word — No High Crimes and Misdemeanors –Absolutely No Grounds For Impeachment — Videos — Story 2: Attorney General Barr Responds To Former Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III Statement — Case Closed — No Collusion and No Obstruction — Mueller Went Beyond His Report By Calling for A Process — Impeachment — Shame on Mueller — Mueller Will Be Taking Questions on His Investigation and Team By Republicans in Senate and House — Videos — Story 3: Trump Tease on Major Statement On Border and Illegal Alien Invasion of United States — Tariffs on Mexico? — Videos

Posted on May 31, 2019. Filed under: 2020 President Candidates, 2020 Republican Candidates, American History, Blogroll, Books, Breaking News, Budgetary Policy, Business, Cartoons, Communications, Congress, Constitutional Law, Countries, Crime, Culture, Deep State, Defense Spending, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Economics, Education, Elections, Empires, Employment, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Government, Foreign Policy, Freedom of Speech, Government, Government Dependency, Government Spending, Health, High Crimes, History, House of Representatives, Human, Human Behavior, Impeachment, Labor Economics, Law, Life, Lying, Media, Mexico, National Interest, National Security Agency, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, President Trump, Progressives, Public Corruption, Radio, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Robert S. Mueller III, Scandals, Senate, Subversion, Tax Policy, Trade Policy, Treason, United States of America | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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See the source imageSee the source imageSee the source imageImage result for new tariffs on mexicoSee the source imageImage result for trump tweet on 5% tariff on Mexican goods 30 May 2019 See the source imageSee the source imageImage result for barr vs muellerSee the source imageSee the source image

 

 

Story 1: President Trump Goes On Media Offense — Reaction To Mueller Statement — No Collusion, No Obstruction, No Redo — Mueller Was Conflicted and Never Should Have Been Appointed Special Counsel — Impeachment Is A Dirty Word — No High Crimes and Misdemeanors –Absolutely No Grounds For Impeachment — Videos —

Trump reacts to Mueller’s Russia probe statement in angry tirade

Hannity: Mueller contradicted himself during statement

Gingrich: Mueller ‘didn’t have the right’ to say what he said

Dershowitz: Shame on Robert Mueller for exceeding his role

The statement by special counsel Robert Mueller in a Wednesday press conference that “if we had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said that” is worse than the statement made by then-FBI Director James Comey regarding Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential campaign. Comey declared in a July 2016 press conference that “although we did not find clear evidence that Secretary Clinton or her colleagues intended to violate laws governing the handling of classified information, there is evidence that they were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information.”

Comey was universally criticized for going beyond his responsibility to state whether there was sufficient evidence to indict Clinton. Mueller, however, did even more. He went beyond the conclusion of his report and gave a political gift to Democrats in Congress who are seeking to institute impeachment proceedings against President Trump. By implying that President Trump might have committed obstruction of justice, Mueller effectively invited Democrats to institute impeachment proceedings. Obstruction of justice is a “high crime and misdemeanor” which, under the Constitution, authorizes impeachment and removal of the president.

Until today, I have defended Mueller against the accusations that he is a partisan. I did not believe that he personally favored either the Democrats or the Republicans, or had a point of view on whether President Trump should be impeached. But I have now changed my mind. By putting his thumb, indeed his elbow, on the scale of justice in favor of impeachment based on obstruction of justice, Mueller has revealed his partisan bias. He also has distorted the critical role of a prosecutor in our justice system.

Virtually everybody agrees that, in the normal case, a prosecutor should never go beyond publicly disclosing that there is insufficient evidence to indict. No responsible prosecutor should ever suggest that the subject of his investigation might indeed be guilty even if there was insufficient evidence or other reasons not to indict. Supporters of Mueller will argue that this is not an ordinary case, that he is not an ordinary prosecutor and that President Trump is not an ordinary subject of an investigation. They are wrong. The rules should not be any different.

Remember that federal investigations by prosecutors, including special counsels, are by their very nature one-sided. They hear only evidence of guilt and not exculpatory evidence. Their witnesses are not subject to the adversarial process. There is no cross examination. The evidence is taken in secret behind the closed doors of a grand jury. For that very reason, prosecutors can only conclude whether there is sufficient evidence to commence a prosecution. They are not in a position to decide whether the subject of the investigation is guilty or is innocent of any crimes.

That determination of guilt or innocence requires a full adversarial trial with a zealous defense attorney, vigorous cross examination, exclusionary rules of evidence and other due process safeguards. Such safeguards were not present in this investigation, and so the suggestion by Mueller that Trump might well be guilty deserves no credence. His statement, so inconsistent with his long history, will be used to partisan advantage by Democrats, especially all those radicals who are seeking impeachment.

No prosecutor should ever say or do anything for the purpose of helping one party or the other. I cannot imagine a plausible reason why Mueller went beyond his report and gratuitously suggested that President Trump might be guilty, except to help Democrats in Congress and to encourage impeachment talk and action. Shame on Mueller for abusing his position of trust and for allowing himself to be used for such partisan advantage.

Alan M. Dershowitz is the Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law, Emeritus, at Harvard Law School. His new book is “The Case Against the Democratic House Impeaching Trump.” You can follow him on Twitter @AlanDersh.

https://thehill.com/opinion/judiciary/445983-dershowitz-shame-on-robert-mueller-for-exceeding-his-role

Story 2: Attorney General Barr Responds To Former Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III Statement — Case Closed — No Collusion and No Obstruction — Mueller Went Beyond His Report By Calling for A Process — Impeachment — Shame on Mueller — Mueller Will Be Taking Questions on His Investigation and Team By Republicans in Senate and House — Videos 

Trump slams Mueller, calls him a ‘never-Trumper’

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Barr says Justice Department and Mueller sparred over “legal analysis” in Russia report

Attorney General William Barr on caring about his reputation: “Everyone dies”

Barr interview exposes new divisions between attorney general and special counsel

Dershowitz: There should no longer be a special counsel

Mark Levin Show Audio Podcast 5/29/19 – Mark Levin Wednesday 29, May 2019

Gowdy breaks down legal implications behind Mueller remarks

Robert Mueller Spoke. And His Message Couldn’t Have Been Clearer. | Deadline | MSNBC

HIGHLIGHTS: William Barr testifies before Senate about Mueller report

FULL: Mueller Report Released Attorney General William Barr News Conference

The Mueller Report – A PBS NewsHour/FRONTLINE Special

DOJ Insider Hits ‘Naïve’ Mueller For ‘Faith’ in AG Barr | The Beat With Ari Melber | MSNBC

Full Mark Warner: Attorney General Bill Barr ‘Ought To Resign’ | MTP Daily | MSNBC

Dershowitz: Shame on Mueller, doesn’t have the guts to make a decision

Mark Levin lambasts Mueller: I think he’s a coward

Trump stands by Barr after testimony

See the source image

 

Sidney Powell on Robert Mueller’s ‘poster boy for prosecutorial misconduct’

LICENSED TO LIE: Exposing Corruption in the Department of Justice

Andrew Weissmann: Five Important Facts

Barr says Mueller “could’ve reached a decision” on whether Trump obstructed justice

 

Tune in to “CBS This Morning” on Friday, May 31, for the full interview with Attorney General William Barr.

Attorney General William Barr said he believes special counsel Robert Mueller could have reached a decision on whether President Trump committed obstruction of justice, regardless of long-standing Justice Department policy that prohibits the indictment of a sitting president.

In his first network interview since being sworn in, Barr said the special counsel, who gave a rare public statement Wednesday reiterating some of the key findings in his more than 400-page report, could have concluded the president broke the law without actually charging him — or cleared him of wrongdoing.

“I personally felt he could’ve reached a decision,” he told CBS News chief legal correspondent Jan Crawford during an exclusive interview in Anchorage, Alaska, on Thursday.

“The opinion says you cannot indict a president while he is in office, but he could’ve reached a decision as to whether it was criminal activity,” Barr added. “But he had his reasons for not doing it, which he explained and I am not going to, you know, argue about those reasons.”

When he became aware that Mueller would not make a determination in his obstruction of justice probe — which investigated 11 instances in which Mr. Trump tried to derail the Russia investigation — Barr said he and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein “felt it was necessary” for them to make decision on the issue.

In a letter to Congress after Mueller submitted his report, Barr said he and Rosenstein concluded that the nearly two-year investigation did not contain sufficient evidence to establish Mr. Trump obstructed justice. 

On Wednesday, Mueller said bringing criminal charges against the president was not an option since the special counsel’s office was part of the Justice Department and bound by its policies — including a legal opinion barring the indictment of a sitting president.

Mueller also ruled out the possibility of issuing a sealed indictment or making an accusation of criminality without pursuing formal charges. If a sealed indictment became public, it could undermine the president’s ability to govern, and making an accusation without bringing charges would not give the president the chance to clear his name in court.

Mueller said the U.S. Constitution “requires a process other than the criminal justice system to formally accuse a sitting president of wrongdoing.” Many Democrats said the special counsel’s remarks represented a referral of his investigation to Congress, which has the power to impeach and remove a president from office.

Barr said Thursday he did not know what Mueller was “suggesting” in his statement.

“The Department of Justice doesn’t use our powers of investigating crimes as an adjunct to Congress,” he added.

Asked about accusations that he has been shielding the president from scrutiny since taking office, Barr said he expected the flurry of criticism, which he noted “goes with the territory of being attorney general in a hyper-partisan period of time.”

“The Department of Justice is all about the law, and the facts and the substance,” he said. “And I’m going to make the decisions based on the law and the facts and I realize that’s in tension with the political climate we live in because people are more interested in getting their way politically.”

Mueller’s statement highlights key differences with Barr on investigation of President Trump

Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III on May 29 said it would be “unfair” to accuse President Trump of a crime since he could not be charged with a crime.

May 29 at 6:21 PM

Departing special counsel Robert S. Mueller III finally spoke publicly Wednesday, and his carefully chosen comments highlight the ways in which he disagrees with his boss, Attorney General William P. Barr, about the facts and the law surrounding the investigation into President Trump.

“If we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so,” Mueller said Wednesday.

Barr had that confidence. He declared in March that while Mueller’s principal conclusions did not include a determination of whether the president had committed the crime of obstruction of justice, Barr had reviewed the evidence and concluded Trump did not break the law.

“The Special Counsel’s decision to describe the facts of his obstruction investigation without reaching any legal conclusions leaves it to the Attorney General to determine whether the conduct described in the report constitutes a crime,” Barr wrote to Congress at the time.

In his report and his public remarks, Mueller indicated he holds a different view on the question of potential presidential crimes, refusing to clear the commander in chief and alluding to Congress’s impeachment power as the constitutional arbiter.

Mueller’s remarks also made clear how heavily his office relied on a long-standing legal opinion from the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel that a sitting president cannot be indicted. That opinion, Mueller said Wednesday, “says that the Constitution requires a process other than the criminal justice system to formally accuse a sitting president of wrongdoing.”

Asked about his disagreements with Mueller, Barr has made a point of emphasizing that when the two men met privately on March 5 to discuss the findings, Mueller said he would not claim the president would have been charged with a crime if he weren’t the president.

“We specifically asked him about the OLC opinion and whether or not he was taking a position that he would have found a crime but for the existence of the OLC opinion. And he made very clear several times that that was not his position,” Barr told reporters last month.

Democrats have accused Barr of misleading lawmakers and the public on this point.

Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, called Mueller’s comments Wednesday “a direct rebuke” of the attorney general’s statements. He accused Barr of “deliberately and repeatedly” misleading the American people on the issue of the OLC opinion.

Spokesmen for Mueller and Barr said Wednesday evening that the two men’s statements about the OLC memo are not in conflict.

Since filing their 448-page report, Mueller and his team have been frustrated by what they perceive as a lack of public understanding about this point — that Justice Department policy and fairness prohibit the special counsel from reaching a decision, even secretly, on whether the president committed a crime.

“That was the Justice Department policy, and those were the principles under which we operated,” Mueller said. “From them we concluded that we would not reach a determination — one way or the other — about whether the president committed a crime. That is the office’s final position, and we will not comment on any other conclusions or hypotheticals about the president.”

Having adopted that stance, Mueller and his team also concluded it would be improper for him to say that the president would be charged with obstruction if it were not for the Justice Department policy, because saying that would also amount to a criminal accusation against Trump, according to people involved in the discussion.

Mueller’s team came to believe that making any sort of impeachment referral to Congress also would fall under the category of accusing the president of a crime, according to people familiar with their discussions who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.

For those reasons, Mueller was guarded in his comments about the findings and wants to avoid being drawn into a back-and-forth in congressional testimony that could be construed as accusing the president of a crime, these people said.

Barr and Mueller also disagreed in other telling ways.

On Wednesday, Mueller said there was “insufficient evidence” to show a conspiracy among Trump associates or Americans to aid Russian efforts to interfere in the 2016 election.

When Barr announced Mueller’s findings, he said there was “no evidence” to show any such conspiracy.

But Mueller’s appearance also sought to play down any tension between the two longtime friends over recent areas of disagreement. After the special counsel’s report was filed in March, Mueller had privately urged the attorney general to quickly release the executive summaries.

Barr refused, arguing he wanted a nearly full version of the document to be released all at once.

“We appreciate that the attorney general made the report largely public,” Mueller said Wednesday. “I do not question the attorney general’s good faith in that decision.”

Mueller also said no one had pressured him to avoid testifying to Congress.

“I hope and expect this to be the only time that I will speak about this matter. I am making that decision myself — no one has told me whether I can or should testify or speak further about this matter,” Mueller said.

Robert Mintz, a former federal prosecutor, said Mueller’s statements show “a major disconnect with Barr on the issue of obstruction of justice.”

“Mueller made clear that he would have exonerated the president on obstruction if he believed the evidence warranted such a finding. Yet Barr, looking at the same evidence, came to the opposite conclusion and issued a statement that the evidence was insufficient to establish that the president committed obstruction of justice,” Mintz said.

Mueller’s appearance Wednesday seemed to put the issue squarely before Congress, while also signaling that, going forward, he would not be a willing participant in that process.

The work, Mueller said, “speaks for itself,” and he said he would not provide Congress any information beyond what lawmakers have in the report.

Trump and his team have been effective in eight weeks of shaping the findings — and his supporters declared Mueller’s statements a fresh political victory for the president.

“Today was phenomenal news. Former Director Mueller said he was going to ride off into the sunset and let his report stand,” said Jason Miller, a Trump adviser and former campaign spokesman. “For Americans who have already made their decision here, that’s very definitive. Everyone has already decided on this issue.”

Trump has repeatedly praised Barr to White House aides and friends — saying he has defended him and proved to be a “real” attorney general. Trump gave positive reviews to Barr’s congressional testimony, his news conference before the report and his public comments, White House officials said.

The president was pleased that Mueller does not want to testify, an aide said.

Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, a New York Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, said Mueller’s comments undercut Barr’s past claims.

At some point, Jeffries insisted, Mueller is “going to tell the whole story.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/muellers-statement-highlights-key-differences-with-barr-on-investigation-of-president-trump/2019/05/29/7ea33408-8243-11e9-bce7-40b4105f7ca0_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.72050afa908e

What is obstruction of justice?

Trump slams Judge Napolitano on obstruction claims

Napolitano: Mueller’s statement is not good news for Trump

10 Potential Cases of Obstruction of Justice in the Mueller Report | NowThis

Opinion | Obstruction of justice is hard to prove, even if Trump makes it look easy

Opinion | Did Trump obstruct justice? Look at the facts.

These are the 10 episodes Mueller investigated for obstruction of justice

The list includes James Comey’s firing and Trump’s changing behavior toward Michael Cohen.

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s report contains 10 instances where President Donald Trump potentially committed obstruction of justice. Now that the report has been released, we know what they are.

Perhaps most explosively, Mueller said in the report that Trump’s “efforts to influence the investigation were mostly unsuccessful, but that is largely because the persons who surrounded the President declined to carry out orders or accede to his requests.”

In a press conference ahead of the report’s release on Thursday, Attorney General William Barr pointed to 10 specific episodes Mueller investigated for obstruction. Though Barr did not disclose what they were, we now know they include Trump’s decision to fire FBI Director James Comey, his attempts to get former Attorney General Jeff Sessions involved in the investigation, and Trump’s call to then-White House counsel Don McGahn to direct him to get Mueller removed.

Barr also said Thursday morning that he and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein “disagreed with some of the special counsel’s legal theories and felt that some of the episodes examined did not amount to obstruction as a matter of law,” but that wasn’t the only factor in their decision-making. Democrats have already said they’d like to hear from Mueller himself on the report, and the debate about whether these should have amounted to a crime is likely only beginning.

Mueller’s final report on his findings of a nearly two-year investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election outlines two lines of inquiry: collusion and obstruction of justice. Mueller did not come to a conclusion on whether Trump committed obstruction of justice — instead, Barr and Rosenstein made the decision that the evidence was “not sufficient to establish” obstruction.

Below are those 10 episodes Mueller examined in the obstruction section. The report also includes the examination of the Trump campaign’s response to reports of Russian support for Trump. The president apparently worried after his election that reports of Russian interference might “lead the public to question the legitimacy” of his victory.

Here are the 10 instances of potential obstruction Mueller outlines in his report:

Trump asking James Comey to let Michael Flynn go

Trump’s reaction to the Russia investigation

The firing of James Comey

Mueller’s appointment and efforts to oust him

Efforts to curtail the Russia investigation

Attempts to stop the public from seeing the evidence

Trump trying to get Jeff Sessions to take back control of the investigation

Trump telling Don McGahn to deny that the president had wanted the special counsel removed

Trump’s team asking Flynn for a “heads up” on information and commending Paul Manafort for not “flipping”

The president’s changing behavior toward Michael Cohen


The news moves fast. Catch up at the end of the day: Subscribe to Today, Explained, Vox’s daily news podcast, or sign up for our evening email newsletter, Vox Sentences.

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2019/4/18/18484947/mueller-report-obstruction-of-justice-summary

Is Mueller Bound by OLC’s Memos on Presidential Immunity?

By Andrew Crespo

Tuesday, July 25, 2017, 9:00 AM

The New York Times recently unearthed a thorough legal memo, prepared twenty years ago for Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr, that advances the view that a sitting president can be indicted while still in office. For those keeping score, this new memo sharpens an internal divide within the Department of Justice on this important question. Two memos authored by the Office of Legal Counsel—one in 1973, in the midst of the Nixon impeachment saga, the other in 2000, on the heels of the Clinton impeachment saga—take the view that a sitting president is immune from indictment. By contrast, two different memos—authored by the Office of Special Counselinvestigating Nixon, and the Office of Independent Counsel investigating Clinton—reach the opposite conclusion.

That these different offices have repeatedly disagreed on this central question isn’t really all that surprising. They have different institutional roles, different missions, and different cultures, all of which might impact their respective approaches to the issue. For present purposes, however, the most important practical question is whether the current special counsel, Robert Mueller, is free to exercise his own independent judgment on the immunity issue, or whether he is instead bound to follow OLC’s take. If it’s the latter, then those two OLC memos would together constitute the single greatest shield protecting President Trump from prosecution: No matter how strong the evidence against him may become, if OLC’s memos are binding then the President simply cannot be indicted until after he leaves office—by which point, it bears noting, the statute of limitations for any relevant conduct may well have expired.

But that’s only if OLC’s memos are binding.  Jack Goldsmith and Marty Lederman take the view that they “almost certainly” are. The New York Times, by contrast, has twice indicated that the issue may not be so clear cut, each time citing a piece that I wroteexpressing some early skepticism on this issue.

That skepticism may well represent a minority view, at least among those with substantial experience working with OLC—experience that Jack and Marty have, and that I do not. Still, even an outsider’s minority view merits an articulation of some of the main points in its favor.

To my mind, there are at least three such points here. First and foremost, the justifications underlying the general practice of treating OLC opinions as binding on executive branch officials do not necessarily apply to the Office of Special Counsel, which is supposed to be insulated from the influence of political appointees when assessing the president’s exposure to criminal liability.  Second, the formal regulations setting out the special counsel’s authority do not clearly compel him to follow OLC’s lead. And third, historical practice suggests that he need not do so.

Let’s take these three points in turn.

 

I. When It Comes to Presidential Immunity, the Normal Reasons for Treating OLC Memos as Binding Do Not Necessarily Apply to the Special Counsel

The notion that OLC opinions bind the Office of Special Counsel draws support from a widely held broader proposition: OLC opinions bind all executive branch officials with respect to whatever legal issues those opinions resolve. As Trevor Morrison explains, that broader proposition is not exactly beyond dispute: “the bindingness of the Attorney General’s (or, in the modern era, OLC’s) legal advice has long been uncertain,” he writes, and is the subject of “almost two hundred years of debate.” That debate, however, can largely be bracketed here. Because even if one accepts OLC’s general authority “to say what the law is” for the rest of the executive branch, it’s not clear that such authority extends to the Office of Special Counsel under the current circumstances.

To see why, just consider OLC’s own explanation for why its opinions are binding, as set out in an opinion it issued back in 1987. According to OLC, that power has two foundations: The first is the attorney general’s “statutory obligation,” delegated to OLC, “to render opinions” when he is requested to do so by one of the heads of the other executive departments regarding any “questions of law arising in the administration of their” duties. The second is the attorney general’s statutory responsibility, “except as otherwise authorized by law,” to “conduct litigation on behalf of the United States,” which “necessarily includes the exclusive and ultimate authority to determine the position of the United States on the proper interpretation” of legal issues.

What stands out most about these two asserted bases of OLC’s authority is that neither clearly supports the claim that the two OLC memos on presidential immunity bind the Office of Special Counsel. As to the first source of authority, neither of those memos was requested by the head of an executive department outside of DOJ, so the attorney general’s duty “to render opinions” to such officials simply doesn’t apply. (Indeed, it’s not altogether clear who requested that these two particular memos be written in the first place.)

That leaves the second source of authority, which by its own terms is subject to an important exception: OLC’s authority to issue binding opinions does not extend to executive branch officials who are “authorized by law” to “conduct litigation on behalf of the United States” without first getting the attorney general’s blessing for the positions they intend to take. Due in part to this exception, independent agencies within the executive branch, to quote former OLC Deputy and now-D.C. Circuit Judge Nina Pillard, are “not…presumptively bound” by OLC’s opinions. Indeed, according to OLC’s own official “Best Practices,” the Office typically won’t even “provide an opinion to an executive agency the head of which does not serve at the pleasure of the president (e.g., an agency head subjected to a ‘for cause’ removal restriction)” unless that agency first agrees to “conform its conduct” to whatever opinion OLC might provide.

The principle that independent officers are not presumptively bound to follow OLC’s opinions is important in the present context because the Office of Special Counsel bears many of the traditional hallmarks of such independence. The special counsel himself can be removed from office only for “good cause,” such as “misconduct” or “dereliction of duty.” Moreover, he has “independent authority” to conduct litigation on behalf of the United States, in the trial courts and on appeal, without being “subject to the day-to-day supervision of any official” in the Department of Justice, including the attorney general. Similarly, he has no obligation to seek preapproval from any such official prior to taking a given course of action.

To be sure, the special counsel is required to keep the attorney general apprised of significant developments in the investigation. And the attorney general does have some authority to block the special counsel from taking a “prosecutorial step” like filing an indictment. That authority, however, is quite limited: the attorney general must “give great weight to the views of the Special Counsel” on the matter, and can only overrule the special counsel if he determines “that the action is so inappropriate or unwarranted under established Departmental practices that it should not be pursued.” Moreover, if the attorney general overrules the special counsel, he must explain that decision to Congress.

In view of these limitations, Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein—the only official with any authority over Special Counsel Mueller, given Attorney General Sessions’s recusal—has made clear that, in his view, Mueller has “full independence” to conduct the pending investigation.  One can parse Rosenstein’s words. But the sentiment they express shouldn’t really be too surprising.  After all, independence from political actors is the very raison d’être for having an Office of Special Counsel in the first place. Absent such independence, criminal investigations of high-level executive branch officials, like the president, simply could not escape the inherent “conflicts and potential conflicts of interest” that would arise if they were overseen by the president’s own political appointees. Indeed, it’s hard to imagine circumstances in which improper structural biases would be more stark or more problematic than a case in which a lawyer is asked to decide whether his boss—the person who picked him for the job and who can dismiss him from it—can be sent to prison.

And yet, that is precisely the question that was put to the Office of Legal Counsel in 1973 and in 2000, as the clouds of indictment drew near to the two presidents then in office.* Crucially, however, unlike the Office of Special Counsel, the Office of Legal Counsel is not insulated from presidential control. On the contrary, as Judge Pillard observes, OLC is subject to a greater degree of political control than many other DOJ offices: not only is it headed by the President’s political appointee, but “all of the OLC deputies are politically appointed as well,” unlike, say, the Office of the Solicitor General, where “three out of the four deputies are career employees.”

As Judge Pillard goes on to observe, “a more politically led office seems less likely to make impartial, arms-length constitutional decisions.” That seems especially true when the constitutional decisions at issue are guided by “neither the text nor the history of the Constitution,” but turn instead on how one balances the president’s interests “as the sole head of the executive branch” against the broader societal interests in ensuring that no person is above the criminal law—which is precisely how OLC describes the nature of the presidential-immunity analysis.

In conducting that interest-balancing analysis, it would hardly be unusual for OLC to place special—and perhaps outsized—emphasis on the president’s side of the ledger. Indeed, to hear Yale Law School’s Bruce Ackerman tell it, OLC “almost always concludes that the president can do what he wants.” One need not endorse so broad a critique, however, to acknowledge the more basic fact that OLC not only works for the president but also tries to “facilitate the objectives of the President” where possible. On the contrary, that is precisely how OLC itself describes its role in its “Best Practices” memo.

That memo goes on to observe that, in addition to facilitating the president’s interests, OLC also typically “keeps the Office of the Counsel to the president appropriately apprised of its work.”  Imagine, however, a White House Counsel calling up the head of OLC for an update on the “Can we indict the Boss?” memo.

The very prospect that such a phone call might occur is why the Office of Special Counsel exists—to avoid such inherent conflicts of interest. And no matter how earnest or upright OLC’s attorneys may be, there is simply no avoiding the central concern: binding the Special Counsel to the judgments of the president’s political appointees, on the very question of the president’s own criminal liability, would significantly undermine the independence that the Office of Special Counsel was built to provide—and that, in the current situation, it has been promised. Given that independence, it’s simply not clear that OLC’s memos, even if generally binding on other executive branch officials, are binding on the Special Counsel here.

 

II. The Special Counsel’s Governing Regulations Do Not Clearly Compel Him to Follow OLC Opinions

Even if one thinks that the Special Counsel has no freestanding obligation to follow these two OLC memos, he is unquestionably bound by his own authorizing regulations, which require him to “comply with the rules, regulations, procedures, practices and policies of the Department of Justice.” Does this regulatory text require the special counsel to follow OLC’s conclusions?

As I’ve previously noted, probably not, given that this “regulatory text seems to focus more on administrative protocols and procedures than on” the “legal analyses” that OLC produces. That textual argument, moreover, grows only stronger once the special counsel regulations are read in the context of their adjacent regulatory provisions, which define the authority of all of the other component offices of the Department of Justice. As those other regulations make clear, there are a host of offices in the Department—ranging from the Office of the Assistant Attorney General for Administration, to the Advisory Committee of U.S. Attorneys, to the aptly named Office of Legal Policy—that are expressly authorized to promulgate “rules,” “regulations,” “procedures,” or “policies” for the Department, and thus to bind the special counsel.

The Office of Legal Counsel, however, is conspicuously not granted such authority. Rather, according to OLC’s authorizing regulation, its central charge is to render “opinions and legal advice to the various agencies of the government.” Indeed, the sole mention of “policies,” “rules,” “regulations,” or “procedures” in OLC’s authorizing regulation is telling. A seemingly peripheral paragraph in OLC’s mandate tasks the Office with “consulting with the Director of the Office of Government Ethics regarding the development of policies, rules, regulations, procedures and forms” necessary to implement the rather mundane provisions of “section 402 of the Ethics in Government Act of 1978.” That narrow statutory provision, however, has nothing to do with OLC’s core opinion-writing duties, let alone with establishing departmental policy concerning immunity from prosecution.** 

In short, while departmental regulations repeatedly and expressly grant other offices within DOJ the power to promulgate “rules, regulations, procedures, and policies” on a wide range of issues—and thus to bind the Office of Special Counsel on those issues—OLC is simply not granted any such authority, except with respect to an unrelated administrative function not relevant here.

 

IIIHistorical Practice Supports Allowing the Special Counsel to Assess the Presidential-Immunity Issue for Himself

Perhaps in recognition of the points raised above, the only other special prosecutors who have ever investigated a sitting president for criminal misconduct both performed their own independent assessments of the presidential-immunity issue, without simply taking OLC’s opinions as binding authority. Neither of those special prosecutors was subject to the exact same regulatory authorization that establishes Mueller’s office. But they were subject to similar provisions defining the scope of their authority.  Specifically, the regulation governing Watergate special prosecutor Leon Jaworski said that he was “subject to the administrative regulations and policies of the Department of Justice.” And the statute establishing Kenneth Starr’s Office of Independent Counsel similarly required him to “comply with the written or other established policies of the Department of Justice respecting enforcement of the criminal laws,” unless doing so “would be inconsistent with the purposes” of the statute.

And yet, notwithstanding these express commands, Jaworski and Starr both sought their own independent analyses of the presidential-immunity question, clearly indicating that they did not consider themselves bound by OLC’s prior conclusions. Indeed, the Starr memo twice acknowledged that the “Office of Independent Counsel is, in general, required to follow Department of Justice regulations governing other federal prosecutors,” an obligation that the memo did not treat as at all inconsistent with its ultimate conclusion, contra OLC, that the president can be indicted. And the Jaworski memo went so far as to expressly acknowledge OLC’s contrary view, before proceeding to reject it.

In short, both of Mueller’s predecessors were bound to follow DOJ policy, but neither considered himself bound by OLC’s memos concerning presidential immunity. Mueller is governed by a different set of regulations, which have scant independent history of their own. And the fact that his predecessors took a close, independent look at the presidential-immunity question does not conclusively determine what Mueller’s obligations are today. But it does offer some persuasive evidence as to the course he is permitted to take.

*          *          *

In sum, unique features of the specific OLC memos at issue here may well cut against the claim that Mueller is bound by them, and neither the regulatory text nor the history of the special counsel’s office requires a contrary conclusion.

And if that all still feels strange, let me close by offering a hypothetical twist to the ongoing Russia investigation that will hopefully make this all feel a bit more concrete. Imagine that, a few months from now, as indictment chatter builds, a newly installed attorney general (Jeff Sessions’ replacement) issues a formal “Opinion of the Attorney General” that opens with the following statement:

Upon careful review of the Constitution’s text, history, and structure, it is the opinion of this Office and of the Department of Justice that close family relatives of the President of the United States—including his spouse, his children, and his children’s spouses—are immune from criminal prosecution for so long as the President is in office.  Moreover, it is the opinion of this office that a President can never be prosecuted, whether during his term of office or thereafter, for any conduct related either to his seeking the presidency or to the performance of his official acts while President.  44. Op. Att’y Gen. 1 (2018)

I may be wrong, but I suspect that were a future attorney general to issue such an opinion, in the midst of the Mueller investigation, he or she would be met with fierce opposition—including, perhaps, from some who now contend that Mueller is bound to follow “the formal opinions of the Attorney General” as articulated by OLC.  Note, however, that the substantive merits of this hypothetical opinion are not exactly absurd.  Prosecuting the President’s children, after all, would surely “interfere with the President’s ability to carry out his constitutionally assigned functions,” perhaps even more so than prosecuting the President himself.  (I’ve represented over 120 people accused of crimes, and most had parents who would have quickly opted to take their child’s place.)  Similarly, the notion that the Constitution might bar a prosecution premised on the President’s official acts or his campaign activities has already been raised by some legal scholars.

To be sure, the attorney general opinion suggested above would certainly draw criticism on the merits. But still, I suspect a significant portion of any potential backlash would stem from the fact that the opinion was issued by the President’s own political appointee—and that even though it articulates principles of general applicability, it has a practical effect much like an anticipatory pardon, shorn of the political complications that an actual pardon would entail.

Of course, like most law professor hypotheticals, this one is in some sense an exaggeration—or at least so one hopes. But it serves to illustrate the central point: The existing OLC memos on presidential immunity, like the hypothetical one above, also function to some degree as de facto anticipatory pardons of potential criminal activity committed by a president, especially given the serious practical challenges that arise when a prosecution is delayed for too long. And the existing OLC memos, like the hypothetical one above, were also crafted by presidential appointees, at the behest of presidents facing genuine prospects of indictment—not by the special counsels whose entire purpose is to insulate presidential charging decisions from precisely such political influence.

Perhaps the current special counsel, exercising the independent judgment that his predecessors embraced, would conclude that OLC is right and that a sitting president is in fact immune from indictment. There is a big and important difference, however, between agreeing with such a view and being forced to adopt it even if you think it’s wrong. The whole point of having a special counsel is to benefit from his independent judgment on precisely this sort of issue.


* It bears noting that the timing of OLC’s two immunity memos is somewhat curious.  According to the “Best Practices” memos written by the heads of OLC under two different administrations, “OLC generally avoids opining on questions likely to arise in pending or imminent litigation involving the United States as a party.” As Nelson Lundexplains, that practice reflects the reality that “OLC does not serve as the mouthpiece for the Solicitor General or the litigating divisions” of the Department of Justice, which “will often defend” or advance a proposition in court “even if OLC would have advised against it.”  When the ball is in the litigating divisions’ court, in other words, OLC typically defers to their authority to articulate the position of the United States.  And when the litigation at issue is a potential criminal prosecution of the president of the United States, the relevant “litigating division” is the Office of Special Counsel.

Yet, in an apparent deviation from its articulated best practices, OLC issued the presidential-immunity memos in the thick of two separate pending cases. Indeed, the first memo actually contradicted the litigating position that Special Counsel Jaworski soon articulated on behalf of the United States to the Supreme Court. And the second opinion was prepared as the Office of Independent Counsel was considering a draft indictment of President Clinton, in a process that had also already generated litigation. The fact that OLC may have deviated from its ordinary best practices to issue these memos—thereby perhaps usurping the special counsels’ rightful authority to articulate the government’s litigating position—may be yet another reason not to treat the memos as binding. [Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this post suggested that the Special Counsel’s Reply Brief in United States v. Nixon was filed in July of 1973. The brief was filed in July of 1974.]

** Coincidentally, a separate section of the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 established the now-defunct Office of Independent Counsel, the predecessor to the Office of Special Counsel currently established by 28 C.F.R. §600 and occupied by Mueller.  OLC’s regulations, however, do not assign it any responsibilities with respect to “policies, rules, regulations, or procedures” connected to that now-expired office, which was created by Section 601 of the Ethics in Government Act, not the Section 402 that is referenced in OLC’s authorizing regulation.

https://www.lawfareblog.com/mueller-bound-olcs-memos-presidential-immunity

Andrew Weissmann

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Andrew Weissmann
Born c. 1958 (age 60–61)
Education Princeton University (BA)
Columbia University (JD)
Signature
Andrewweissmansignature.png

Andrew Weissmann (born c. 1958) is an American attorney. Since 2015 he has been the chief of the criminal fraud section of the U.S. Department of Justice. In June 2017 he was appointed to a management role on the 2017 special counsel team headed by Robert Mueller. To assume that position, Weissmann took a leave from his DOJ post.[1]s

Education

Weissmann has a bachelor’s degree from Princeton University. Following a Fulbright scholarship to the University of Geneva, he attended and graduated from Columbia Law School. He then clerked for Judge Eugene Nickerson in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York.[2]

Career

From 1991 to 2002, Weissmann worked in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York. While there he tried more than 25 cases involving members of the GenoveseColombo and Gambino crime families.[1] He led the prosecution team in the Vincent Gigante case, in which Gigante was convicted.[3]

From 2002 to 2005, Weissmann was deputy director and then director of the task force investigating the Enron scandal.[1] His work resulted in the prosecution of more than 30 people for crimes including perjury, fraud, and obstruction including three of Enron’s top executives, Andrew FastowKenneth Lay. and Jeffrey Skilling. In a follow-up case in U.S. District Court, Weissmann also was successful at arguing that auditing firm Arthur Andersen LLP had covered up for Enron. In that case, which resulted in the destruction of Andersen, he convinced the district judge to instruct the jury that they could convict the firm regardless of whether its employees knew they were violating the law.[3] That ruling was later unanimously overturned by the Supreme Court in Arthur Andersen LLP v. United States, in which the court held that “the jury instructions failed to convey the requisite consciousness of wrongdoing.”[3]

In 2005 Weissmann worked as special counsel under Mueller at the Federal Bureau of Investigation, then went into private practice at Jenner & Block in New York. In 2011 he returned to the FBI, serving as General Counsel under Mueller.[4] Since 2015 he has headed the criminal fraud section at DOJ. Weissmann has taught at NYU School of LawFordham Law School, and Brooklyn Law School.[2]

On June 19, 2017, Weissmann joined Special Counsel Mueller’s team in investigating Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections.[5][6]. He was said to be “the architect of the case against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.” A news report in March 2019 said he would soon leave the Justice Department to become a faculty member at New York University and to work on public service projects.[7]

References

  1. Jump up to:a b c Darren Samuelsohn. Everything we know about the Mueller probe so farPolitico, June 6, 2017.
  2. Jump up to:a b “Press release: Andrew Weissmann Selected as Chief of Criminal Division’s Fraud Section”U.S. Department of Justice. January 9, 2015. Retrieved June 12, 2017.
  3. Jump up to:a b c Willman, David (February 19, 2018). “Mueller deputy Andrew Weissmann has a reputation for hard-charging tactics — and sometimes going too far”. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 20, 2018.
  4. ^ Tom Schoenberg. Trump-Russia: senior US justice official Andrew Weissmann joining investigationSydney Morning Herald, June 1, 2017.
  5. ^ Karen Freifeld. Mueller team lawyer brings witness-flipping expertise to Trump probes Reuters. June 19, 2017
  6. ^ Flegenheimer, Matt (October 31, 2017). “Andrew Weissmann, Mueller’s Legal Pit Bull”The New York Times. Retrieved December 11, 2017.
  7. ^ Carrie Johnson. Top Mueller Prosecutor Stepping DownMorning Edition, NPR, March 14, 2019.

External links

Office of Legal Counsel

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The Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) is an office in the United States Department of Justice that assists the Attorney General‘s position as legal adviser to the President and all executive branch agencies.

Contents

History

The Office of Legal Counsel was created in 1934 by an act of US Congress, as part of a larger reorganization of executive branch administrative agencies. It was first headed by an assistant solicitor general. In 1951, Attorney General J. Howard McGrath made it a division led by an assistant attorney, and named it the Executive Adjudications Division. This name was changed to Office of Legal Counsel in an administrative order by Attorney General Herbert Brownell Jr., issued April 3, 1953.[1]

Responsibilities

The Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) assists the Attorney General of the United States in their function as legal adviser to the President and all the executive branch agencies, hence the appellation “the president’s law firm.”[2] OLC drafts legal opinions of the Attorney General and also provides its own written opinions and oral advice in response to requests from the Counsel to the President, the various agencies of the executive branch, and offices within the Department of Justice. Such requests typically deal with legal issues of particular complexity and importance or about which two or more agencies are in disagreement. The Office also is responsible for providing legal advice to the executive branch on all constitutional questions and reviewing pending legislation for constitutionality.

Usually all executive orders and proclamations proposed to be issued by the President are reviewed by OLC for form and legality, as are various other matters that require the President’s formal approval. In addition to serving as, in effect, outside counsel for the other agencies of the executive branch, OLC also functions as general counsel for the Department of Justice itself. It reviews all proposed orders of the Attorney General and all regulations requiring the Attorney General’s approval.

According to press accounts, OLC has historically acted as a referee within the executive branch and its legal opinions have generally been given deference among the agencies and departments.[3]

Controversies

Trump Administration

During the Trump Administration, questions have been raised about OLC’s capacity for exercising sound, apolitical legal judgment.[4] The Trump OLC has never publicly reached an outcome that has dissatisfied Attorney General Jeff Sessions or President Trump. Multiple executive orders that OLC has approved for lawfulness have, however, been invalidated by federal courts. For example, in November of 2017, a federal judge permanently enjoined Executive Order 13768, which stated that “sanctuary jurisdictions” including “sanctuary cities” who refused to comply with immigration enforcement measures would not be “eligible to receive Federal grants, except as deemed necessary for law enforcement purposes” by the U.S. Attorney General or Secretary of Homeland Security.[5]

OLC also approved as lawful President Trump’s travel ban (“Travel Ban 1”) on January 27, 2017.[4] OLC put its imprimatur on an executive order that prohibited all refugees, immigrants, non-immigrants (travelers, students, patients coming for surgery, etc.), and green card holders from certain Muslim-majority countries from setting foot on U.S. soil.[6] Gannon worked with Rosemary Hart and Scott Stewart of OLC, as well as with John Bash of the White House Counsel’s Office, on the Order.[7] In emails, Stewart referred to the draft order as the “immigration EO about terrorists.”[7] Emails also indicate that OLC intended to approve the Order notwithstanding potential concerns about its lawfulness, with Hart writing in an email a few hours before the Order was signed, “We of course are in a crunch time and we don’t know what sort of leeway we have to be making changes.”[7] On January 30, 2017, Acting Attorney General Sally Yates announced that the Department of Justice would not defend the Order in Court. She was fired that evening.[8] She has since testified that OLC did not notify her of the existence of the draft travel ban before it was issued.[9]

Notwithstanding OLC’s conclusion that the Order was lawful, Travel Ban 1 was never endorsed by a single federal court. After a federal judge in Seattle temporarily blocked Travel Ban 1 from continuing in effect, and the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld that decision, President Trump withdrew the Order and signed a new executive order, Travel Ban 2, which OLC also approved as lawful.[8] President Trump described Travel Ban 2 as a “watered down” version of the first Travel Ban Order, writing on Twitter that “People, the lawyers and the courts can call it whatever they want, but I am calling it what we need and what it is, a TRAVEL BAN!”[10] Federal district court judges in Hawaii and Maryland blocked Travel Ban 2 from going into effect, and the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the Maryland judge’s determination.[11]

On September 24, 2017, President Trump issued a third travel ban executive order, Travel Ban 3, which OLC also approved as lawful. The Supreme Court, in Hawaii v. Trump, ultimately held that under the appropriate standard of review, the Court of Appeals erred in concluding that challengers to Travel Ban 3 were likely to succeed on the merits of their constitutional claim.[12] Justice Kennedy, who provided the fifth vote for that conclusion, authored a concurrence which indicated that while he believed that judicial review of the travel ban was circumscribed by the “foreign affairs power of the Executive,” executive branch lawyers had an independent obligation to ensure that the President was not violating constitutional rights, an obligation they had not fulfilled. Justice Kennedy wrote that while there are “numerous instances in which the statements and actions of Government officials are not subject to judicial scrutiny or intervention,” the “Constitution and the rights it proclaims and protects” are not “confined to those spheres in which the Judiciary can correct or even comment upon what those officials say or do.” Indeed, it is “an urgent necessity that officials adhere to these constitutional guarantees and mandates in all their actions, even in the sphere of foreign affairs.” And “the very fact that an official may have broad discretion, discretion free from judicial scrutiny, makes it all the more imperative for him or her to adhere to the Constitution and to its meaning and its promise.”

Obama Administration

In the first two years of the Obama Administration, OLC at least twice reached an outcome with Administration officials disagreed. In June 2011, New York Times reporter Charlie Savage revealed that President Obama took the unusual step of overruling the Office of Legal Counsel’s advice with respect to the legality of military action in Libya. OLC’s written opinions have historically been considered binding on the executive branch, unless they are overturned by the Attorney General or President.[13] In 2009, Attorney General Eric Holder overturned an unpublished OLC opinion that had concluded that a D.C. voting rights bill pending in Congress was unconstitutional.[14]

George W. Bush Administration

During President George W. Bush’s first term in office, OLC Deputy Assistant Attorney General John Yoo drafted, and Assistant Attorney General Jay S. Bybee signed, a set of legal memoranda that became known as the “torture memos.” These memos advised the CIA and the Department of Defense that the President may lawfully authorize the use of enhanced interrogation techniques widely regarded as torture, including: mental and physical torment and coercion such as prolonged sleep deprivation, binding in stress positions, and waterboarding.

In May 2005, during President George W. Bush’s second term, a set of similar torture memos were approved by Steven G. Bradbury, who served as acting head of OLC from February 2005 through the remainder of President Bush’s second term. Bradbury was first officially nominated on June 23, 2005, and then repeatedly re-nominated because of Senate inaction.[15] His position became a point of political friction between the Republican President and the Democratic-controlled 110th Congress, when Democrats contended that Bradbury was in the position illegally, while Republicans argued that Democrats were using his nomination to score political points.[16][17][18] An opinion issued by the Government Accountability Office concluded that his status was not a violation of the Federal Vacancies Reform Act of 1998.[19]

List of Assistant Attorneys General in charge of OLC

Name Years served Appointed by Notes
Angus D. MacLean 1933–1935 Franklin D. Roosevelt [20]
Golden W. Bell 1935–1939 Franklin D. Roosevelt
Charles Fahy 1940–1941 Franklin D. Roosevelt
Oscar S. Cox 1942–1943 Franklin D. Roosevelt
Hugh B. Cox 1943–1945 Franklin D. Roosevelt
Harold W. Judson 1945–1946 Franklin D. Roosevelt
George T. Washington 1946–1949 Harry Truman
Abraham J. Harris 1950–1951 Harry Truman
Joseph C. Duggan 1951–1952 Harry Truman
J. Lee Rankin 1953–1956 Dwight Eisenhower Became Solicitor General in 1956.
W. Wilson White 1957 Dwight Eisenhower After a short tenure, selected to be first head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.
Malcolm R. Wilkey 1958–1959 Dwight Eisenhower
Robert Kramer 1959–1961 Dwight Eisenhower
Nicholas Katzenbach 1961–1962 John F. Kennedy
Norbert A. Schlei 1962–1966 John F. Kennedy
Frank H. Wozencraft 1966–1969 Lyndon Johnson
William H. Rehnquist 1969–1971 Richard Nixon Later nominated and confirmed as Associate, and subsequent Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.
Ralph E. Erickson 1971–1972 Richard Nixon
Roger C. Cramton 1972–1973 Richard Nixon
Antonin Scalia 1974–1977 Gerald Ford Later nominated and confirmed as Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.
John M. Harmon 1977–1981 Jimmy Carter [21]
Theodore B. Olson 1981–1984 Ronald Reagan Later became U.S. Solicitor General.
Charles J. Cooper 1985–1988 Ronald Reagan
Douglas Kmiec 1988–1989 Ronald Reagan Later U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Malta during the “Arab Spring” uprisings.
William P. Barr 1989–1990 George H. W. Bush 77th and 85th (current) Attorney General.
Michael Luttig 1990–1991 George H. W. Bush
Timothy Flanigan 1991–1992 George H. W. Bush
Walter Dellinger 1993–1994 Bill Clinton Later became acting U.S. Solicitor General.
Beth Nolan 1995 acting [22] Served as acting Assistant AG, OLC, while Deputy Assistant Attorney General. Nominated to become Assistant AG, OLC, but Senate did not vote on the nomination. Became White House Counsel in 1996.
Dawn Johnsen 1996–1998 acting
Randolph D. Moss 1998–2001 Bill Clinton Served as acting AAG from 1998 to 2000; nominated November 9, 1999; Recess-appointed August 3, 2000; confirmed by United States Senate December 15, 2000
Jay S. Bybee 2001 – March 2003 George W. Bush In charge when the OLC issued the Bybee memo and other Torture memos; appointed as a federal judge; started March 21, 2003
Jack Goldsmith October 2003 – June 2004 George W. Bush Later Professor at Harvard Law School and author of The Terror Presidency (2007)
Daniel Levin 2004–2005 acting
Steven G. Bradbury 2005–2009 acting Served as acting AAG 2005–2007 (nominated June 23, 2005; nomination approved by Senate Judiciary Committee but never voted on by full Senate), continued to function as senior appointed official in charge of OLC until January 20, 2009.
David J. Barron 2009–2010 acting Professor at Harvard Law School and served as Acting AAG from January 2009 to July 2010.
Jonathan G. Cedarbaum 2010–2011 acting Served as acting AAG, July–November 2010; continued to function as senior appointed official in charge of OLC until the end of January 2011.
Caroline D. Krass 2011 acting Senior appointed official leading OLC since the end of January 2011 until June 2011, when Virginia A. Seitz was confirmed.
Virginia A. Seitz 2011–2013 Barack Obama Confirmed by the Senate in a voice vote on June 28, 2011. Resigned effective December 20, 2013.[23]
Karl R. Thompson 2014–2017 acting Appointed Principal Deputy AAG on March 24, 2014.[24]
Curtis E. Gannon 2017 acting Appointed Principal Deputy AAG on January 20, 2017.[25]
Steven Engel 2017–present Donald Trump

Only one woman, Obama-appointee Virginia Seitz, has served as the confirmed head of OLC.

Current Political Appointees at the Office of Legal Counsel

Current political appointees at the Office of Legal Counsel include:[26]

  • Steven Engel, Assistant Attorney General
  • Curtis Gannon, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General
  • Henry Whitaker, Deputy Assistant Attorney General
  • Sarah M. Harris, Deputy Assistant Attorney General
  • Liam Hardy, Deputy Assistant Attorney General

References

  1. ^ Huston, Luther A. (1967). The Department of Justice. New York: Frederick A. Praeger.
  2. ^ The President’s Law Firm,” Slate, January 6, 2009.
  3. ^ Klaidman, Daniel; Stuart Taylor Jr.Evan Thomas (2006-02-06). “Palace Revolt”Newsweek. p. 34. Retrieved 2008-10-22.
  4. Jump up to:ab “From the Travel Ban to Family Separations: Malevolence, Incompetence, Carelessness”Lawfare. 2018-07-03. Retrieved 2018-08-19.
  5. ^ CNN, Jeremy Diamond and Euan McKirdy,. “Judge issues blow against Trump’s sanctuary city order”CNN. Retrieved 2018-08-19.
  6. ^ “Justice Department releases letter approving travel ban”POLITICO. Retrieved 2018-08-18.
  7. Jump up to:abc “FOIA Response from DOJ’s Office of Legal Counsel”.
  8. Jump up to:ab CNN, Steve Almasy and Darran Simon,. “A timeline of President Trump’s travel bans”CNN. Retrieved 2018-08-18.
  9. ^ “Trump White House kept travel ban secret from its first attorney general”mcclatchydc. Retrieved 2018-08-19.
  10. ^ “Trump slams Justice Department for ‘watered down’ travel ban”POLITICO. Retrieved 2018-08-18.
  11. ^ “Timeline of the Muslim Ban”ACLU of Washington. Retrieved 2018-08-18.
  12. ^ “Hawaii v. Trump, No. 17-965”(PDF).
  13. ^ Charlie Savage (June 17, 2011). “2 Top Lawyers Lost to Obama in Libya War Policy Debate”The New York Times.
  14. ^ Johnson, Carrie (2009-04-01). “Some in Justice Department See D.C. Vote in House as Unconstitutional”ISSN0190-8286. Retrieved 2018-08-18.
  15. ^ Presidential Nominations database, via THOMAS (accessed January 24, 2009).
  16. ^ Ackerman, Spencer (October 19, 2007). “Who Is Steve Bradbury?”Talking Points Memo.
  17. ^ Kiel, Paul (February 6, 2008). “White House Insists on Confirmation of Torture Memo Author”Talking Points Memo. Retrieved April 18, 2019.
  18. ^ “Webb opens, closes vacant Senate session”. CNN. December 26, 2007.
  19. ^ Kepplinger, Gary L. (2008-06-13). “Federal Vacancies Reform Act of 1998-Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel, U.S. Department of Justice”Government Accountability Office. Retrieved 2017-06-01.
  20. ^ Register, Department of Justice and the Courts of the United StatesUnited States Government Printing Office (1972–1976), p. 131. “Office of Legal Counsel (Formerly Office of Assistant Solicitor General and Executive Adjudications Division,” list of officeholders through 1973.
  21. ^ John M. Harmon bioArchived 2008-12-07 at the Wayback Machine, Graves, Dougherty, Hearon & Moody.
  22. ^ “Nolan to Become 1st Female White House Counsel”Los Angeles Times. August 20, 1999. Retrieved August 2, 2009.
  23. ^http://www.nationallawjournal.com/legaltimes/id=1393242763976
  24. ^ http://www.justice.gov/olc/meet-leadership
  25. ^ “Meet the Leadership”justice.gov. United States Department of Justice. 20 January 2017. Retrieved 2017-06-04.
  26. ^ Benson, Brett (2017). Federal Yellow Book: Winter 2018.

External links

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

Story 3: Trump Tease on Major Statement On Border and Illegal Alien Invasion of United States — Tariffs on Mexico? — Videos

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Trump says US will impose tariffs on Mexican goods

Sarah Sanders weighs in on Trump’s tariff hike on Mexico

President Trump says he’ll put tariffs on all goods from Mexico

Mexico won’t be able to withstand Trump’s tariffs: Brandon Judd

Trump teases ‘big league statement’ on immigration at US-Mexico border

President Trump announces new immigration proposal 02:01

President Donald Trump teased on Thursday that he has a “major statement” forthcoming on illegal immigration into the United States from the southern border.

“It will be a statement having to do with the border and having to do with people illegally coming over the border and it will be my biggest statement so far on the border,” Trump told reporters at the White House.
Trump declined to provide more details about his announcement but said he is not closing the southern border to immigration.
“I’m not closing the border, I’m doing something else,” Trump said.
The President said his announcement is expected either Thursday or Friday.
“This is a big league statement. We are going to do something very dramatic on the border because people are coming into our country,” Trump said.
Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan, traveling in Guatemala, said Thursday morning he has spoken with Trump but did not say anything about a possible announcement.
“In all honestly I was late because the President of the United States wanted an update on my trip — our partnership with Guatemala. So I just got off the phone with him. He’s very happy to hear about our efforts with the government some of the initial successes operationally, announced yesterday. But it’s going to be a whole of the US government effort and whole of Guatemala government and society to work on these challenges together.”
Trump has promised a wall on the US-Mexico border and espoused hardline rhetoric against illegal immigration since the days of his presidential campaign.
Two weeks ago from the White House Rose Garden, Trump pitched a broad immigration proposal to reform border security and legal immigration, but the plan landed with a thud and limited congressional interest.
The President’s push for a border wall has been met with resistance from congressional Democrats, and led to the longest shutdown in US history earlier this year when Trump sought $5.7 billion in funding for his border wall.
Congress instead passed a spending package that provides $1.375 billion for approximately 55 miles of new barriers in the Rio Grande Valley sector, with restrictions on where the structures can be mounted and the types of materials used.
On Tuesday, US Customs and Border Protection awarded a contract to build three new miles of wall on federal land in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas, allowing the agency to start construction where no barriers existed before.
Trump’s tease to a border announcement comes the morning after Robert Mueller spoke for the first time about the Russia investigation since he was appointed special counsel.

Trump tariff threats alarm Mexico growers, economist

Tomato exporter Sergio Esquer Peiro spent much of Friday in hastily called meetings with other stunned growers, trying to evaluate the potential fallout of U.S. President Donald Trump’s threat to slap coercive tariffs on all imports from Mexico.

The sudden announcement caught observers on both sides of the border by surprise and prompted President Andrés Manuel López Obrador to dispatch his top diplomat to Washington for talks seeking to head off the proposed tariffs.

Obrador said Mexico won’t panic over the threatened hike, but economists and those whose livelihoods depend on the trade relationship worth hundreds of billions of dollars a year worry that stiff duties could have dramatic, negative consequences and potentially spark a trade war between the neighboring countries.

Already, Esquer and other exporters were having to contend with a 17.56% tariff on tomatoes imposed after Washington announced in March it was ending a longstanding agreement over alleged Mexican dumping of the fruit. If the new duties do take effect, Esquer is looking at another 5% being slapped on his products — potentially increasing to 25% in subsequent months — unless Mexico does more to stop illegal migration through its territory by a June 10 deadline per Trump’s demand.

“Right now more than anything there is a reaction of disbelief with everything that is going on,” Esquer, who’s been sending tomatoes and other crops to the United States for 60 years, told The Associated Press by phone during a break in the meetings.

“It also goes against the spirit there is between both countries, the agreements we have, the bilateral trade we have, which is very successful,” Esquer continued. “On the other hand, we’ll have to wait for the reaction of U.S. exporters to Mexico, because they are also going to see their exports threatened if Mexico launches some kind of mirror policy.”

From berries and automobiles to machinery and household appliances, all of Mexico’s exports stand to be hit with the tariffs. Avocado growers in Michoacan, electronics factory workers in Tamaulipas, across the border from Texas, auto parts exporters, all would feel the pinch.

Esquer, who does business from the tomato-growing northwestern state of Sinaloa, said it’s not just businessmen who stand to lose, since Mexico’s estimated 700 tomato exporters are responsible for directly generating some 450,000 jobs. According to Mexico’s Agriculture Department, last year some $2 billion in tomatoes were exported to the United States, second only to tequila and ahead of avocados.

The threat also throws into question the future of the USMCA trade deal between the U.S., Mexico and Canada, hammered out in months of contentious negotiations as a replacement for the North American Free Trade Agreement, one of the Trump administration’s most touted achievements.

Trump’s threat came the same day Mexico announced it would begin the process of ratifying the USMCA and less than two weeks after it successfully negotiated the lifting of U.S. steel and aluminum tariffs that had been a roadblock to final approval for the trade deal.

“It would really have a terrible impact on our producers and our exporters,” said Kenneth Smith Ramos, who led then-President Enrique Peña Nieto’s delegation to USMCA talks and is now an international trade consultant at Mexico City-based AGON.

“And it would hurt U.S. producers as well because they rely a lot on Mexican inputs for their production,” he added. “So it would reduce their competitiveness and force them to raise prices, which would ultimately of course hit consumers.”

That means people like Chuck Sholtis, CEO of El Paso, Texas-based Plastic Molding Technology Inc., which employs 100 people. Most of its business involves plastic injection molding for automotive, electronics and business products for maquiladoras, factories in Mexico that are run by foreign companies. Sholtis said his company has already suffered from U.S. steel tariffs on China that increased the costs of their tools, and it’s also been hit by slowdowns at ports of entry

Sholtis said the United States has found a niche in high-tech specialized manufacturing that’s part of a global supply chain. He fears that if more tariffs like this are implemented, or if the USMCA doesn’t take effect, the United States will lose its edge in manufacturing. He’s also worried about possible recession in Mexico and the United States.

“It’s illogical,” Sholtis said, “Tariffs go against one of the stated goals of the administration: to help manufacturing and thereby create high-skilled manufacturing jobs.”

The economic impact for Mexico was swift, with the peso down more than 3% against the U.S. dollar Friday. U.S. stocks likewise tumbled on Wall Street.

Initial macroeconomic projections from economists were also chilling.

Analyst Alfredo Coutiño of Moody’s Analytics said Mexican exports to the U.S. totaled $358 billion last year, or 80% of all goods the country sold overseas. Over the course of a year, he said, a 5% tariff would represent about $18 billion in damage or 1.5% of Mexico’s GDP, while a 25% tariff would amount to $90 billion or 7.3% of GDP.

Banco Base estimated that a 5% tariff could knock 2.85 percentage points off growth of Mexico’s exports, but said a weaker peso would help compensate.

Such tariffs would “likely push Mexico into a recession,” as well as disrupt regional supply chains and hurt investor confidence, Oxford Economics economist Gregory Daco wrote in a report.

Coutiño said Mexico could impose retaliatory penalties, sparking a tariff war.

A second, “less aggressive but potentially more effective” option would be to allow the peso to depreciate to the point where the tariffs would be neutralized, he added.

Via Twitter, Trump argued that “Mexico has taken advantage of the United States for decades. Because of the Dems, our Immigration Laws are BAD. Mexico makes a FORTUNE from the U.S., have for decades, they can easily fix this problem. Time for them to finally do what must be done.”

Mexico already has implemented policies and actions to discourage irregular migration.

Last month, it raided the latest caravan of mostly Central American migrants traveling through the southern state of Chiapas, arresting hundreds and effectively breaking it up. There have been no significant caravans since then, with many migrants saying they now fear to travel in large groups.

Mexico also has deported thousands of migrants and frustrated thousands more with seemingly endless waits for permits that would allow them to travel legally through the country.

But sealing its porous southern border with Guatemala is probably impossible because Mexico lacks sufficient infrastructure to completely patrol a frontier that includes a river passing through dense jungle.

“We are carrying out our responsibility in immigration policy,” López Obrador said Friday morning, while making no promises of new action to stem the flow of mostly Central American immigrants transiting Mexico to reach the U.S. border.

“We have to help so that they don’t enter the United States illegally, but we also have to do it respecting human rights,” said López Obrador. “Nothing authoritarian. They’re human beings.”

López Obrador espouses a longer-term, holistic approach focused on improving security, development and economic opportunity in the migrants’ countries of origin, especially Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador.

For now López Obrador is betting on diplomacy and dialogue.

Foreign Relations Secretary Marcelo Ebrard announced talks would take place next Wednesday in Washington with him and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo leading their respective nations’ delegations.

“There is a disposition for dialogue,” Ebrard tweeted. “We will be firm and we will defend the dignity of Mexico.”

In Ciudad Juarez, across from El Paso, Texas, 21-year-old Jennifer del Carmen Pérez Hernández, said she moved there three years ago because she couldn’t find work in her home state of Veracruz, on the Gulf coast.

Pérez said when she first arrived she was told that if Trump were elected, staff cuts might be possible. She’s kept her job operates an upholstery machine specialized for cars so far, but the tariff threat gives her new cause for concern.

“I’ve worked in sewing the three years that I’ve been in Juarez. It’s what I know,” Pérez said. “If there are cuts and I have to find work elsewhere, I would start at zero.”

___

Associated Press writers Christopher Sherman and Peter Orsi reported from Mexico City, and Cedar Attanasio contributed from Ciudad Juarez.

https://apnews.com/6aca0c83523d411ca78d9c6e9ca50ab4

Damian Paletta and Nick Miroff, Josh Dawsey

President Trump on Thursday said he would impose a 5 percent tariff on all goods entering from Mexico unless it stopped the flow of illegal immigration to the United States, a dramatic escalation of his border threats that could have sweeping implications for both economies.

The White House plans to begin levying the import penalties on June 10 and ratchet the penalties higher if the migrant flow isn’t halted. Trump said he would remove the tariffs only if all illegal migration across the border ceased, though other White House officials said they would be looking only for Mexico to take major action.

After the 5 percent tariffs are imposed on June 10, the White House said it would increase the penalties to 10 percent on July 1 and then an additional 5 percent on the first day of each month for three months. The tariffs would stay at 25 percent “until Mexico substantially stops the illegal inflow of aliens coming through its territory,” a statement by the president said.

 

The economic consequences of Trump’s new plan could be swift and severe. Tariffs are paid by companies that import products, so U.S. firms would pay the import penalties and then likely pass some costs along to consumers. Mexico exported $346.5 billion in goods to the United States last year, from vehicles to fruits and vegetables. And many manufactured items cross the border several times as they are being assembled.

White House officials did not immediately explain how driving up the cost of Mexican goods might stem the flow of migrants. If the tariffs damaged the Mexican economy, more of its citizens would try to cross the border to find work in the United States, experts said.

“Mexico is our friend and neighbor, a partner in trade and security,” said Glenn Hamer, chief executive of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry. “The president’s announcement is baffling and, if carried out, will be terribly damaging.”

Mexico vowed a response that could pitch the Trump administration into a full-scale trade war with one of its largest trading partners. This comes just days after the White House and China imposed stiff penalties on each other’s exports.

At a news conference, Mexico’s deputy foreign minister for North America, Jesús Seade, said the threatened tariffs would be “disastrous” and added that Mexico would respond “strongly.”

In a letter sent Thursday evening, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador addressed Trump in harsh terms, a marked change from the diplomatic posture he has tried to adopt since being elected last July. “President Trump, social problems can’t be resolved through taxes or coercive measures,” López Obrador wrote.

He said he would send his foreign minister to Washington on Friday “to arrive at an agreement that benefits both nations.”

But even as López Obrador suggested that there was a diplomatic solution, he unloaded on Trump for his administration’s immigration policy.

“How did a country of fraternity for all the migrants in the world become, from night to dawn, a ghetto, a closed space,” where migrants are stigmatized and mistreated, López Obrador wrote. He went on: “The statue of liberty is not an empty symbol.”

Trump has often tried to use tariffs and other import penalties as a way to pressure countries into changing behavior, but he has not yet done it on such a scale. In addition, he wrongly has said the cost of tariffs are shouldered by the countries that he targets.

Even some White House officials were caught off guard by the announcement, though planning within the West Wing escalated on Thursday afternoon. Vice President Pence was in Canada on Thursday, meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau about ratifying an updated version of the North American Free Trade Agreement with Mexico, but it’s unclear if Trump’s newest tariff threat could upend those discussions.

White House officials believe Trump has powers under a 1977 law to impose tariffs on all imports from certain countries if he cites a “national emergency.” And several months ago, Trump declared a national emergency along the Mexico border because of a surge in migrants crossing into the United States.

But the 1977 law has never been used to impose tariffs in this way before, and Trump’s new actions could face legal challenges because of the scope of companies that would be impacted.

The new tariff threat combines two of Trump’s favorite issues — immigration and trade — and comes as he has struggled to score victories on either one.

A central element of Trump’s campaign was his assertion that the United States was being “invaded” by people across the Mexico border, a sentiment that resonated with many supporters. He has tried to rework trade rules and build a wall to stop the flow of migrants, but so far his efforts have failed to stem the surge of people crossing the border. Crossings at the U.S.-Mexico border, driven by Central American migrants seeking asylum, have peaked to their highest level in more than a decade.

One senior White House official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations, said there is broad support across the administration to push Mexico further by using tariffs to force action. Other aides, however, tried to talk Trump out of the idea, arguing that the threat would scare global markets and undermine passage of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or USMCA, which was just sent to Congress on Thursday by the White House. The trade deal aims to curb the type of tariffs Trump is now threatening to impose on Mexico.

“Trade policy and border security are separate issues,” Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, said in a statement. “This is a misuse of presidential tariff authority and counter to congressional intent. Following through on this threat would seriously jeopardize passage of USMCA, a central campaign pledge of President Trump’s and what could be a big victory for the country.”

a view of a city with a mountain in the background: A view of Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua State, on May 20. About 7,000 migrants are waiting to enter the United States via El Paso.© Paul Ratje/AFP/Getty Images A view of Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua State, on May 20. About 7,000 migrants are waiting to enter the United States via El Paso.The president teased his plans on Thursday morning, telling reporters outside the White House that he was preparing a “big-league statement” about the border surge, without going into detail.

“We are going to do something very dramatic on the border because people are coming into our country,” Trump said.

On Wednesday, more than 1,000 Central Americans crossed into the El Paso area to surrender to U.S. authorities, the largest group of migrants that U.S. border agents have taken into custody at a single time. Trump tweeted a video of the apprehension late Thursday, declaring that “Democrats need to stand by our incredible Border Patrol and finally fix the loopholes at our Border!”

Deportations by Mexican authorities have increased threefold compared with the same period last year, according to the latest statistics, but the vast majority of Central American migrants appear to be successful at evading arrest en route to the U.S. border.

López Obrador campaigned last year on a promise to decriminalize migration and told audiences it was not Mexico’s job to assist the United States with the “dirty work” of deportations.

Trump has backed down on previous threats aimed at Mexico. He abandoned his oft-repeated campaign promise to make that country pay for a border wall. Trump is now using the powers of his national emergency to redirect U.S. taxpayer funds for the construction of replacement fences and barriers along the border.

In late March, Trump said he would immediately shut down the entire border if the Mexican government didn’t take more steps to prevent the flow of migrants, only to announce a week later that he would delay any action for a year. White House officials had spent days frantically trying to design how such a shutdown would be implemented.

The draft trade agreement sent to Congress on Thursday would, if ratified, replace the 1994 NAFTA deal. The draft allows Trump to send a final agreement in 30 days, a timeline intended to pressure House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who along with other Democrats wants changes to the agreement before any vote.

The top imports from Mexico include vehicles, electrical machinery, machinery, mineral ­fuels, and optical and medical instruments, according to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. The United States also imports a large amount of agricultural products from Mexico.

March 2019 report from the Congressional Research Service said that the 1977 International Emergency Economic Powers Act had never been used before “to place tariffs on imported products from a specific country” but that it could be interpreted as giving the White House that power.

Along the Mexico border, U.S. agents have detained more than 100,000 migrants for each of the past two months, and the numbers in May are expected to be the highest yet.

In recent months, smuggling organizations have been moving large numbers of migrants from southern Mexico using “express buses” that reach the U.S. border in a matter of days. The buses make few stops and have lowered the costs for migration, making the journey faster, easier and cheaper for would-be customers.

U.S. officials say corrupt Mexican officials are allowing the ­buses to pass through highway checkpoints and in other cases facilitating their travel to the border by providing security escorts.

Mexican officials have said they’re doing everything they can to regulate the migration surge, and they provide police escorts in some cases to prevent criminal organizations from kidnapping and extorting families traveling with small children.

A Mexican official, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive diplomatic negotiations, said trade-related talks with U.S. officials have remained “positive,” and noted that López Obrador was also preparing to send the trade deal to lawmakers for approval. The official declined to say whether the White House has conditioned the deal on a migration crackdown by Mexican authorities.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/trump-says-us-to-impose-5-percent-tariff-on-all-mexican-imports-beginning-june-10-in-dramatic-escalation-of-border-clash/ar-AAC9Mz2

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The Pronk Pops Show 1264, May 24, 2019, Story 1: President Trump on Failed Democrat Coup or Take Down of Presidency — No Redo of Mueller Report Will Be Allowed — No Collusion, No Obstruction, No Redo — Declassified All Documents Related To Clinton Obama Democrat Criminal Conspiracy or Failed Coup or Take Down of President Trump — Total Transparency — Videos — Story 2: British Prime Minister May Will Resign on June 7 For Failure to Negotiate An Acceptable Exit From European Union — Leave Means Leave — Lesson For American Political Elitist Establishment — Build Wall Means Build Wall — Videos — Story 3: Gun Barrel Diplomacy — Communist China’s Reneges on Trade Agreement Language With United States and Then Puppet North Korea Chairman Kim Says He Will not Resume Talks — Waste of Time Talking With Communist Dictatorships — Mao: “All power comes from the barrel of a gun.” — Videos —

Posted on May 24, 2019. Filed under: 2020 Democrat Candidates, 2020 Republican Candidates, Addiction, American History, Barack H. Obama, Bill Clinton, Blogroll, Breaking News, Budgetary Policy, Congress, Corruption, Countries, Deep State, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Economics, Elections, Empires, Employment, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Department of Justice (DOJ), First Amendment, Fiscal Policy, Fourth Amendment, Freedom of Speech, Government, Government Dependency, Government Spending, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, History, House of Representatives, Human, Human Behavior, Illegal Immigration, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Labor Economics, Law, Legal Immigration, Life, Lying, Media, Middle East, Monetary Policy, National Interest, News, Nuclear Weapons, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, President Trump, Radio, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Robert S. Mueller III, Security, Senate, Spying, Spying on American People, Success, Surveillance and Spying On American People, Surveillance/Spying, Tax Policy, Taxation, Taxes, Trade Policy, Trump Surveillance/Spying, Unemployment, United States Constitution, United States of America, United States Supreme Court, Videos, Violence, Wall Street Journal, War, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

 

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 1264 May 24, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1263 May 23, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1262 May 22, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1261 May 21, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1260 May 20, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1259 May 16, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1258 May 15, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1257 May 14, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1256 May 13, 2019

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Pronk Pops Show 1254 May 9, 2019

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Pronk Pops Show 1252 May 7, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1251 May 6, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1250 May 3, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1249 May 2, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1248 May 1, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1247 April 30, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1246 April 29, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1245 April 26, 2019

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Pronk Pops Show 1241 April 18, 2019

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Pronk Pops Show 1239 April 15, 2019

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Pronk Pops Show 1232 April 1, 2019 Part 2

Pronk Pops Show 1232 March 29, 2019 Part 1

Pronk Pops Show 1231 March 28, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1230 March 27, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1229 March 26, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1228 March 25, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1227 March 21, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1226 March 20, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1225 March 19, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1224 March 18, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1223 March 8, 2019

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Pronk Pops Show 1221 March 6, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1220 March 5, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1219 March 4, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1218 March 1, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1217 February 27, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1216 February 26, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1215 February 25, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1214 February 22, 2019

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Pronk Pops Show 1211 February 19, 2019

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Pronk Pops Show 1209 February 15, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1208 February 14, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1207 February 13, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1206 February 12, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1205 February 11, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1204 February 8, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1203 February 7, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1202 February 6, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1201 February 4, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1200 February 1, 2019

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Story 1: President Trump on Failed Democrat Coup or Take Down of Presidency — No Redo of Mueller Report Will Be Allowed — No Collusion, No Obstruction, No Redo — Declassified All Documents Related To Clinton Obama Democrat Criminal Conspiracy or Failed Coup or Take Down of President Trump — Total Transparency — Videos —

Image result for president trump leaves for trip to japan answering reporter questions

MUST WATCH: President Trump Takes On Pelosi, Iran, and “Witch Hunt”

 

Trump moves to escalate investigation of intel agencies

President Donald Trump on Thursday granted Attorney General William Barr new powers to review and potentially release classified information related to the origins of the Russia investigation, a move aimed at accelerating Barr’s inquiry into whether U.S. officials improperly surveilled Trump’s 2016 campaign.

Trump directed the intelligence community to “quickly and fully cooperate” with Barr’s probe. The directive marked an escalation in Trump’s efforts to “investigate the investigators,” as he continues to try to undermine the findings of special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe amid mounting Democratic calls for impeachment proceedings.

Press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement that Trump is delegating to Barr the “full and complete authority” to declassify documents relating to the probe, which would ease his efforts to review the sensitive intelligence underpinnings of the investigation. Such an action could create fresh tensions within the FBI and other intelligence agencies, which have historically resisted such demands.

Barr has already asked John Durham, the U.S. attorney in Connecticut, to examine the origins of the Russia investigation to determine whether intelligence and surveillance methods used during the probe were lawful and appropriate. Still, Barr has been directly involved, according to a person familiar with the matter who was not authorized to discuss it publicly, and is also working with CIA Director Gina Haspel, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and FBI Director Christopher Wray.

Trump is giving Barr a new tool in his investigation, empowering his attorney general to unilaterally unseal documents that the Justice Department has historically regarded as among its most highly secret. Warrants obtained from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, for instance, are not made public — not even to the person on whom the surveillance was authorized.

Trump explicitly delegated Barr with declassification power — noting it would not automatically extend to another attorney general — and only for use in the review of the Russia investigation. Before using the new authority, Barr should consult with intelligence officials “to the extent he deems it practicable,” Trump wrote in a memo formalizing the matter.

Trump has frequently claimed his campaign was the victim of “spying,” though the intelligence community has insisted it acted lawfully in following leads in the Russia investigation and conducted surveillance under court order.

Wray vocally opposed the release by Congress last year of details from a secret surveillance warrant obtained by the bureau on a former campaign adviser, Carter Page. The White House had eagerly encouraged Republicans on the House intelligence committee to disclose that classified information, believing it could help undermine the Russia investigation.

Wray, though cooperating with Barr in a review of the origins of the Russia probe, would presumably balk at declassifying classified information that could reveal sensitive sources or methods of investigators.

Despite Mueller finding no evidence to support criminal charges against Americans related to Russia’s actions, his report documented extensive Russian efforts to interfere in the 2016 campaign and willingness on the part of some in Trump’s orbit to accept their aid.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff accused Trump and Barr of trying to “conspire to weaponize law enforcement and classified information against their political enemies.”

“The coverup has entered a new and dangerous phase,” Schiff said in a statement released late Thursday. “This is un-American.”

Typically, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence coordinates declassification work by contacting various agencies where classified material originated to get their input on what should be released or not disclosed based on legal exemptions. The president, however, has the authority to declassify anything he wants.

A former senior intelligence official who served in the Obama administration said their principle concern is that the attorney general, hand-picked by Trump, could declassify and release selective bits to make the previous administration and former senior officials look bad. The former official spoke on the condition that the official would not be named in order to describe the concerns of intelligence professionals.

Thursday’s move further solidifies Barr’s position in Trump’s eyes as a legal warrior on fighting on his behalf.

After Mueller submitted his report to Barr in March, the attorney general released a four-page summary to Congress. Barr’s letter framed the debate about the probe over the next few weeks and, White House officials believe, allowed Trump to declare victory before the release of the full report, the contents of which are far more ambiguous.

Trump also appreciated Barr’s combative stance with lawmakers and reporters as he defended the Justice Department’s handling of the report, and again when he declined to appear before Congress and defied a subpoena, drawing a possible contempt charge. Trump has told close confidants that he “finally” had “my attorney general,” according to two Republicans close to the White House who were not authorized to speak publicly about private conversations.

“Today’s action will help ensure that all Americans learn the truth about the events that occurred, and the actions that were taken, during the last Presidential election and will restore confidence in our public institutions,” Sanders said.

Two of Trump’s congressional allies, Reps. Mark Meadows and Jim Jordan, were seen by reporters earlier Thursday at the Justice Department.

__

Associated Press writers Mike Balsamo, Deb Riechmann and Jonathan Lemire contributed to this report.

https://apnews.com/9e926bfccb5947d5a5f8eb260cb0a7e6

Story 2: British Prime Minister May Will Resign on June 7 For Failure to Negotiate An Acceptable Exit From European Union — Leave Means Leave — Lesson For American Political Elitist Establishment — Build Wall Means Build Wall — Videos

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Prime minister Theresa May’s resignation speech in full

Theresa May resigns amid Brexit deal backlash

Brexit: why Theresa May failed to deliver

Who will replace Theresa May?

Special report: Farage – A New Populism?

Commons leader quits as pressure grows on UK PM Theresa May to resign over Brexit woes

Prominent Brexit supporter and leader of the House of Commons Andrea Leadsom has resigned from British Prime Minister Theresa May’s cabinet…

Donald Trump said Boris Johnson would make a great Prime Minister

Boris Johnson Joins Top Rivals Angling to Replace Theresa May

The most emotional speech of Theresa May’s reign as Prime Minister: Read her tearful Downing Street address in full

Theresa May quit in tears today after a tumultuous two years and 315 days in office – making her the 36th longest serving Prime Minister in British history.

Watched by her husband Philip in Downing Street, Mrs May managed to keep her composure until the emotional moment she finished her 1,000-word speech, breaking down in tears.

The PM set out the things she had achieved in office but admitted she had to quit as Tory leader having failed to deliver her promise: delivering Brexit.

Ever since I first stepped through the door behind me as Prime Minister, I have striven to make the United Kingdom a country that works not just for a privileged few, but for everyone.

And to honour the result of the EU referendum.

Back in 2016, we gave the British people a choice.

Against all predictions, the British people voted to leave the European Union.

I feel as certain today as I did three years ago that in a democracy, if you give people a choice you have a duty to implement what they decide.

I have done my best to do that.

I negotiated the terms of our exit and a new relationship with our closest neighbours that protects jobs, our security and our Union.

I have done everything I can to convince MPs to back that deal.

Sadly, I have not been able to do so.

I tried three times.

I believe it was right to persevere, even when the odds against success seemed high.

But it is now clear to me that it is in the best interests of the country for a new Prime Minister to lead that effort.

So I am today announcing that I will resign as leader of the Conservative and Unionist Party on Friday 7 June so that a successor can be chosen.

I have agreed with the Party Chairman and with the Chairman of the 1922 Committee that the process for electing a new leader should begin in the following week.

I have kept Her Majesty the Queen fully informed of my intentions, and I will continue to serve as her Prime Minister until the process has concluded.

It is, and will always remain, a matter of deep regret to me that I have not been able to deliver Brexit.

It will be for my successor to seek a way forward that honours the result of the referendum.

To succeed, he or she will have to find consensus in Parliament where I have not.

Such a consensus can only be reached if those on all sides of the debate are willing to compromise.

For many years the great humanitarian Sir Nicholas Winton – who saved the lives of hundreds of children by arranging their evacuation from Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia through the Kindertransport – was my constituent in Maidenhead.

At another time of political controversy, a few years before his death, he took me to one side at a local event and gave me a piece of advice.

He said, ‘Never forget that compromise is not a dirty word. Life depends on compromise.’

He was right.

As we strive to find the compromises we need in our politics – whether to deliver Brexit, or to restore devolved government in Northern Ireland – we must remember what brought us here.

Because the referendum was not just a call to leave the EU but for profound change in our country.

A call to make the United Kingdom a country that truly works for everyone. I am proud of the progress we have made over the last three years.

We have completed the work that David Cameron and George Osborne started: the deficit is almost eliminated, our national debt is falling and we are bringing an end to austerity.

My focus has been on ensuring that the good jobs of the future will be created in communities across the whole country, not just in London and the South East, through our Modern Industrial Strategy.

We have helped more people than ever enjoy the security of a job.

We are building more homes and helping first-time buyers onto the housing ladder – so young people can enjoy the opportunities their parents did.

And we are protecting the environment, eliminating plastic waste, tackling climate change and improving air quality.

This is what a decent, moderate and patriotic Conservative Government, on the common ground of British politics, can achieve – even as we tackle the biggest peacetime challenge any government has faced.

I know that the Conservative Party can renew itself in the years ahead.

That we can deliver Brexit and serve the British people with policies inspired by our values.

Security; freedom; opportunity.

Those values have guided me throughout my career.

But the unique privilege of this office is to use this platform to give a voice to the voiceless, to fight the burning injustices that still scar our society.

That is why I put proper funding for mental health at the heart of our NHS long-term plan.

It is why I am ending the postcode lottery for survivors of domestic abuse.

It is why the Race Disparity Audit and gender pay reporting are shining a light on inequality, so it has nowhere to hide.

And that is why I set up the independent public inquiry into the tragedy at Grenfell Tower – to search for the truth, so nothing like it can ever happen again, and so the people who lost their lives that night are never forgotten.

Because this country is a Union.

Not just a family of four nations.

But a union of people – all of us.

Whatever our background, the colour of our skin, or who we love.

We stand together.

And together we have a great future.

Our politics may be under strain, but there is so much that is good about this country. So much to be proud of. So much to be optimistic about.

I will shortly leave the job that it has been the honour of my life to hold – the second female Prime Minister but certainly not the last.

I do so with no ill-will, but with enormous and enduring gratitude to have had the opportunity to serve the country I love.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7066453/The-emotional-speech-Theresa-Mays-reign-Prime-Minister-tearful-address-full.html

Story 3: Gun Barrel Diplomacy — Communist China’s Reneges on Trade Agreement Language With United States and Then Puppet North Korea Chairman Kim Says He Will not Resume Talks — Waste of Time Talking With Communist Dictatorships — Mao: “All power comes from the barrel of a gun.” — Videos

 

NKorea says talks won’t resume unless US changes position

today

North Korea said Friday that nuclear negotiations with the United States will never resume unless the Trump administration moves away from what Pyongyang described as unilateral demands for disarmament.

The statement by an unnamed North Korean foreign ministry spokesman published in state media was the country’s latest expression of displeasure over the stalled negotiations as it continues to press Washington to soften its stance on enforcing sanctions against the North’s crippled economy.

It came as President Donald Trump prepares to travel to Japan this weekend for a summit with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in which the North Korean nuclear issue will likely be high on the agenda.

In the statement carried by Pyongyang’s official Korean Central News Agency, the North Korean spokesman accused the U.S. of deliberately causing February’s collapse of talks between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un with unilateral and impossible demands.

“We hereby make it clear once again that the United States would not be able to move us even an inch with the device it is now weighing in its mind, and the further its mistrust and hostile acts toward the DPRK grow, the fiercer our reaction will be,” the statement said, referring to North Korea’s formal name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

“Unless the United States puts aside the current method of calculation and comes forward with a new method of calculation, the DPRK-U.S. dialogue will never be resumed and by extension, the prospect for resolving the nuclear issue will be much gloomy,” the statement added.

The U.S. has said the Trump-Kim talks broke down because of North Korean demands for sanctions relief in exchange for a partial surrender of its nuclear capabilities. Kim has since declared that the Trump administration has until the end of the year to come up with mutually acceptable terms for a deal.

Friday’s statement follows two separate launches of short-range missiles earlier this month, which ended a pause in North Korea’s ballistic missile launches that began in late 2017 and was seen as measured brinkmanship aimed at increasing pressure on Washington without actually causing the negotiations to collapse. The North has also strongly protested the recent U.S. seizure of a North Korean cargo ship that had been involved in banned coal exports and demanded the vessel to be immediately returned.

Following the collapse of the Trump-Kim summit, North Korea also significantly slowed the pace of its engagement with South Korea, which has been eager to improve bilateral relations and help revive discussions between Washington and Pyongyang.

South Korea earlier this week vowed to push ahead with plans to resume large-scale humanitarian aid to the North. But it’s unclear whether any aid package from South Korea would influence the behavior of North Korea, which has been demanding much bigger concessions from Seoul, such as the resumption of inter-Korean economic projects currently blocked by U.S.-led sanctions against Pyongyang.

https://apnews.com/c20ba627fe4c4c38a45246e4df5ffb8a

 

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 908, June 9, 2017, Story 1: Cover His Assets Comey Leaked Documents To Friend Who Leaked Them To Press — Crime of Mishandling Government Documents with Confession and Evidence — “I Could Be Wrong.” — Trump Winner and Big Lie Media and Lying Lunatic Left Losers — President Trump: No Investigation, No Collusion, No Obstruction, No Evidence — Videos — Story 2: Will Prime Minister May Remain Prime Minister? Yes, But Not For Very Long — Videos — Story 3: President Trump On New Infrastructure and Regulation — Videos

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Pronk Pops Show 908,  June 9, 2017

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Pronk Pops Show 905,  June 6, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 904,  June 5, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 903,  June 1, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 902,  May 31, 2017

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Pronk Pops Show 900,  May 25, 2017

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Pronk Pops Show 895,  May 17, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 894,  May 16, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 893,  May 15, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 892,  May 12, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 891,  May 11, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 890,  May 10, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 889,  May 9, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 888,  May 8, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 887,  May 5, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 886,  May 4, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 885,  May 3, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 884,  May 1, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 883 April 28, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 882: April 27, 2017

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Pronk Pops Show 880: April 25, 2017

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Pronk Pops Show 878: April 21, 2017

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Pronk Pops Show 873: April 13, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 872: April 12, 2017

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Pronk Pops Show 869: April 7, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 868: April 6, 2017

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Pronk Pops Show 866: April 3, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 865: March 31, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 864: March 30, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 863: March 29, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 862: March 28, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 861: March 27, 2017

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Pronk Pops Show 856: March 20, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 855: March 10, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 854: March 9, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 853: March 8, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 852: March 6, 2017

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Pronk Pops Show 849: March 1, 2017

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Story 1: Cover His Assets Comey Leaked Documents To Friend Who Leaked Them To Press — Crime of Mishandling Government Documents with Confession and Evidence — Videos —

The lasting impact of Comey’s testimony

Comey’s leaked memos spark fierce legal debate

Eboni’s Docket: Was James Comey’s leak a crime?

Trump hits back at James Comey’s claims

LAURA INGRAHAM FULL ONE-ON-ONE EXPLOSIVE INTERVIEW WITH SEAN HANNITY (6/8/2017)

Alan Dershowitz Weighs in on James Comey Testimony. Very Interesting!

Alan Dershowitz Says Trump Cannot Be Guilty of Obstruction While Exercizing His Constitutional Autho

Is Trump’s “Obstruction of Justice” Enough For Impeachment?

Do Donald Trump’s Action Amount To Obstruction Of Justice? #POTUS #Justice

Klayman Discusses Comey Testimony and His Obstruction of Justice

Leftist Host Chris Matthews Admits Russia Collusion Narrative Destroyed

Tucker: The truth about what we learned from Comey hearing

Tucker Carlson Interviews Krauthammer on Comey Testimony

Bob Schieffer on “extraordinary” Comey testimony

Bob Woodward says Comey reputation “enhanced” by testimony

Retired Adm. McRaven on Comey testimony, Navy SEAL lessons

Rush Limbaugh gives his opinion about James Comey hearing on Trump-Russia probe (06-08-2017)

Mark Levin Show 06-08-2017 James Comey testifies before Senate Intelligence Committee

Ben Shapiro gives his opinion about James Comey hearing on Trump-Russia probe (06-08-2017)

Will media admit they were ‘dead wrong’ about Russia?

Sen. Graham on Comey statement: Pretty good day for Trump

Sen. Lankford speaks out about Comey’s opening remarks

COMEY ADMITS LEAKING MEMO Through Columbia Law Prof Friend 6/8/2017

Senator Cotton Questions James Comey

Rubio Corners Comey and LAYS REST to Trump-Russia Question

Senator Burr Questions James Comey

Senator Cornyn Questions James Comey

Sen. McCain’s questioning confuses Comey

The fallout from Comey releasing his prepared remarks

FULL: Trump’s Lawyer Marc Kasowitz Press Conference – Responds to James Comey Hearing (FNN)

PRESIDENT TRUMP: The Democrats Are Now Exposed, “James Comey Is A Leaker”

Full hearing: James Comey testifies to Senate intel committee regarding Russia-Trump

James Comey Hearing on Trump/Russia: Opening Remarks and Questioning

FBI Director James Comey EMOTIONAL Opening Statement in Testimony at Senate Hearing 6/8/2017

Sen. Risch to Comey: Trump’s exact words didn’t direct or order you to let go of Flynn probe

WATCH LIVE: James Comey Testifies on President Trump & Russia Investigation at Senate Hearing

Trump Attorney Responds To Testimony By James Comey

Comey: Trump Did Not Ask To Stop Russia Investigation

COMEY HEARING: COMEY FINALLY ANSWERS – “Do You Believe Donald Trump Colluded With Russia?”

Comey: “I was so stunned by the conversation that I just took it in”

COMEY HEARING: On CLINTON EMAILS – “Brutally Unfair” To Call For Special Counsel. “No Case There!”

Marco Rubio Crushes Democrat Media ‘Collusion’ Narrative at Comey Hearing

James Comey Admits Loretta Lynch Tried To Cover Up Hillary Clinton Investigation

James Comey Admits He Leaked Trump Memo To Reporters

FULL TESTIMONY: Former FBI Director James Comey testifies before Senate Intelligence Committee

Many news stories about Russia probe are dead wrong, Comey tells Sen. Lankford

Rubio questions former FBI Director James Comey

Comey ‘never initiated a communication with the president,’ he tells Sen. King

Comey to Sen. Cornyn: FBI agents have duty to report crime

Sen. Harris asks Comey if it was appropriate for Sessions to be involved in firing after recusal

Heinrich Questions Former FBI Director James Comey In Senate Intel Committee Hearing

Comey: ‘I’m A Little Confused Senator’

Former FBI director James Comey full testimony on Donald Trump at Senate hearing

Comey’s testimony makes things better for Trump: Fmr. DOJ official

Judge Napolitano: Comey statement a lot of parsing of words

 

The ‘Independent’ Mr. Comey

His prepared testimony shows why he deserved to be fired.

The desk in the Hart Senate Office Building from which former FBI director James Comey will testify, June 7.

The desk in the Hart Senate Office Building from which former FBI director James Comey will testify, June 7. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE/GETTY IMAGES

The Senate Intelligence Committee released James Comey’s prepared testimony a day early on Wednesday, and it looks like a test of whether Washington can apprehend reality except as another Watergate. Perhaps the defrocked FBI director has a bombshell still to drop. But far from documenting an abuse of power by President Trump, his prepared statement reveals Mr. Comey’s misunderstanding of law enforcement in a democracy.

Mr. Comey’s seven-page narrative recounts his nine encounters with the President-elect and then President, including an appearance at Trump Tower, a one-on-one White House dinner and phone calls. He describes how he briefed Mr. Trump on the Russia counterintelligence investigation and what he calls multiple attempts to “create some sort of patronage relationship.”

But at worst Mr. Comey’s account of Mr. Trump reveals a willful and naive narcissist who believes he can charm or subtly intimidate the FBI director but has no idea how Washington works. This is not new information.

When you’re dining alone in the Green Room with an operator like Mr. Comey—calculating, self-protective, one of the more skilled political knife-fighters of modern times—there are better approaches than asserting “I need loyalty, I expect loyalty.” Of course the righteous director was going to “memorialize” (his word) these conversations as political insurance.

Mr. Trump’s ham-handed demand for loyalty doesn’t seem to extend beyond the events of 2016, however. In Mr. Comey’s telling, the President is preoccupied with getting credit for the election results and resentful that the political class is delegitimizing his victory with “the cloud” of Russian interference when he believes he did nothing wrong.

Mr. Comey also confirms that on at least three occasions he told Mr. Trump that he was not a personal target of the Russia probe. But Mr. Comey wouldn’t make a public statement to the same effect, “most importantly because it would create a duty to correct” if Mr. Trump were implicated. This is odd because the real obligation is to keep quiet until an investigation is complete.

More interesting is that Mr. Trump’s frustration at Mr. Comey’s refusal raises the possibility that the source of Mr. Trump’s self-destructive behavior isn’t a coverup or a bid to obstruct the investigation. The source could simply be Mr. Trump’s wounded pride.

The most troubling part of Mr. Comey’s statement is his belief in what he calls “the FBI’s traditionally independent status in the executive branch,” which he invokes more than once. Independent? This is a false and dangerous view of law enforcement in the American system.

Mr. Comey is describing an FBI director who essentially answers to no one. But the police powers of the government are awesome and often abused, and the only way to prevent or correct abuses is to report to elected officials who are accountable to voters. A director must resist intervention to obstruct an investigation, but he and the agency must be politically accountable or risk becoming the FBI of J. Edgar Hoover.

Mr. Comey says Mr. Trump strongly suggested in February that he close the Michael Flynn file, but after conferring with his “FBI senior leadership” he decided not to relay the conversation to Attorney General Jeff Sessions or any other Justice Department superior. If he thought he was being unduly pressured he had a legal obligation to report, and in our view to resign, but he says he didn’t because “we expected” that Mr. Sessions would recuse himself from Russia involvement.

Well, how did he know? Mr. Sessions didn’t recuse himself until two weeks later. Mr. Comey also didn’t tell the acting Deputy AG, who at the time was a U.S. attorney whom Mr. Comey dismisses as someone “who would also not be long in the role.”

This remarkable presumptuousness is the Comey mindset that was on display last year. He broke Justice Department protocol to absolve Hillary Clinton’s mishandling of classified material, without the involvement of Justice prosecutors or even telling then Attorney General Loretta Lynch. Mr. Comey’s disregard for the chain of legal command is why Mr. Trump was right to fire him, whatever his reasons.

Also on Wednesday two leaders of the intelligence community told the Senate Wednesday that they had not been pressured to cover up anything. “I have never been pressured—I have never felt pressured—to intervene or interfere in any way with shaping intelligence in a political way or in relation to an ongoing investigation,” said Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats. National Security Agency Director Mike Rogers added that he never been asked “to do anything I believe to be illegal, immoral, unethical or inappropriate.”

Meanwhile, Mr. Trump announced that he is nominating respected Justice Department veteran Christopher Wray as the next FBI director. Let’s hope Mr. Wray has a better understanding of the FBI’s role under the Constitution than Mr. Comey does.

Appeared in the June 8, 2017, print edition.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-independent-mr-comey-1496878266

Comey: ‘Lordy, I Hope There are Tapes’
AP

COMEY SAYS HE WAS FIRED BECAUSE OF RUSSIA INVESTIGATION


AP Photo
AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

WASHINGTON (AP) — Former FBI Director James Comey asserted Thursday that President Donald Trump fired him to interfere with his investigation of Russia’s role in the 2016 election and its ties to the Trump campaign.

“It’s my judgment that I was fired because of the Russia investigation,” Comey told the Senate intelligence committee in explosive testimony that threatened to undermine Trump’s presidency.

“I was fired in some way to change, or the endeavor was to change, the way the Russia investigation was being conducted,” Comey testified under oath. “That is a very big deal, and not just because it involves me.”

Comey also accused the Trump administration of spreading “lies, plain and simple” about him and the FBI in the aftermath of his abrupt firing last month, declaring that the administration then “chose to defame me and, more importantly, the FBI” by claiming the bureau was in disorder under his leadership. And in testimony that exposed deep distrust between the president and the veteran lawman, Comey described intense discomfort about their one-on-one conversations, saying he decided he immediately needed to document the discussions in memos.

“I was honestly concerned that he might lie about the nature of our meeting, so I thought it really important to document,” Comey said. “I knew there might come a day when I might need a record of what happened not only to defend myself but to protect the FBI.”

The revelations came as Comey delivered his much anticipated first public telling of his relationship with Trump, speaking at a packed Senate intelligence committee hearing that brought Washington and parts of the country to a standstill as all eyes were glued to screens showing the testimony. The former director immediately dove into the heart of the fraught political controversy around his firing and whether Trump interfered in the bureau’s Russia investigation, as he elaborated on written testimony delivered Wednesday. In that testimony he had already disclosed that Trump demanded his “loyalty” and directly pushed him to “lift the cloud” of investigation by declaring publicly the president was not the target of the FBI probe into his campaign’s Russia ties.

Comey said that he declined to do so in large part because of the “duty to correct” that would be created if that situation changed. Comey also said in his written testimony that Trump, in a strange private encounter near the grandfather clock in the Oval Office, pushed him to end his investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia asked Comey the key question: “Do you believe this rises to obstruction of justice?”

“I don’t know. That’s Bob Mueller’s job to sort that out,” Comey responded, referring to the newly appointed special counsel who has taken over the Justice Department’s Russia investigation.

In a startling disclosure, Comey revealed that after his firing he actually tried to spur the special counsel’s appointment by giving one of his memos about Trump to a friend of his to release to the press.

“My judgment was I need to get that out into the public square,” Comey said.

Trump’s private attorney, Marc Kasowitz, seized on Comey’s affirmation that he told Trump he was not personally under investigation. Though Comey said he interpreted Trump’s comments as a directive to shut down the Flynn investigation, Kasowitz also maintained in his written statement that Comey’s testimony showed that the president “never, in form or substance, directed or suggested that Mr. Comey stop investigating anyone, including suggesting that that Mr. Comey ‘let Flynn go.'”

The Republican National Committee and other White House allies worked feverishly to lessen any damage from the hearing, trying to undermine Comey’s credibility by issuing press releases and even ads pointing to a past instance where the FBI had had to clean up the director’s testimony to Congress. Republicans and Trump’s own lawyer seized on Comey’s confirmation, in his written testimony, of Trump’s claim that Comey had told him three times the president was not directly under investigation.

Trump himself was expected to dispute Comey’s claims that the president demanded loyalty and asked the FBI director to drop the investigation into Flynn, according to a person close to the president’s legal team who demanded anonymity because of not being authorized to discuss legal strategy. The president has not yet publicly denied the specifics of Comey’s accounts but has broadly challenged his credibility, tweeting last month Comey “better hope there are no ‘tapes'” of the conversations.

“Lordy, I hope there are tapes,” Comey remarked at one point Thursday, suggesting such evidence would back up his account over any claims from the president.

Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California asked the question that many Republicans have raised in the weeks since Comey’s firing as one media leak followed another revealing Comey’s claims about Trump’s inappropriate interactions with him.

Discussing the Oval Office meeting where Comey says Trump asked him to back off Flynn, Feinstein asked: “Why didn’t you stop and say, ‘Mr. President, this is wrong,’?”

“That’s a great question,” Comey said. “Maybe if I were stronger I would have. I was so stunned by the conversation I just took it in.”

The hearing unfolded amid intense political interest, and within a remarkable political context as Comey delivered detrimental testimony about the president who fired him, a president who won election only after Comey damaged his opponent, Hillary Clinton, in the final days of the campaign. Clinton has blamed her defeat on Comey’s Oct. 28 announcement that he was re-opening the investigation of her email practices. “If the election were on Oct. 27, I would be your president,” Clinton said last month.

Thursday’s hearing included discussion of that email investigation, as Comey disclosed that then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch instructed him to refer to the issue as a “matter,” not an “investigation.”

“That concerned me because that language tracked how the campaign was talking about the FBI’s work and that’s concerning,” Comey said. “We had an investigation open at the time so that gave me a queasy feeling.”

Many Democrats still blame Comey for Clinton’s loss, leading Trump to apparently believe they would applaud him for firing Comey last month. The opposite was the case as the firing created an enormous political firestorm that has stalled Trump’s legislative agenda on Capitol Hill and taken over Washington.

Under questioning Thursday, Comey strongly asserted the intelligence community’s conclusion that Russia did indeed meddle in the 2016 election.

“There should be no fuzz on this. The Russians interfered,” Comey stated firmly. “That happened. It’s about as unfake as you can possibly get.”

Trump has begrudgingly accepted the U.S. intelligence assessment that Russia interfered with the election. But he has also suggested he doesn’t believe it, saying Russia is a “ruse” and calling the investigation into the matter a “witch hunt.”


http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_COMEY?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2017-06-08-12-37-50

Former FBI Director James Comey’s planned testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday will provide President Trump’s opponents with plenty of opportunities to attack his conduct, while also giving his supporters the context they need to defend his actions.The seven-page opening statement Comey provided to the committee this week sheds new light on a series of private conversations and meetings between the president and the former FBI director that had previously been described only through anonymous leaks to the press.However, the statement contained few new revelations, and GOP allies — including the Republican National Committee quickly seized on the document to argue Trump had done nothing wrong.Here are seven takeaways from Comey’s opening statement, which he is slated to deliver before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday morning.Comey really did tell Trump he was not under investigation three times.In his letter last month asking Comey to resign, Trump thanked the former FBI director for telling him, on three occasions, that he was not personally the subject of an FBI probe.On Jan. 6, according to Comey’s statement, the former FBI director sought permission from the bureau’s “leadership team” to inform the president-elect that he was not under investigation.

“That was true; we did not have an open counter-intelligence case on him,” Comey wrote. He noted the team concluded that he should indeed tell Trump he was not under investigation “if circumstances warranted” during a “sensitive” conversation at Trump Tower about an unverified dossier of salacious allegations against the president-elect.

“During our one-on-one meeting at Trump Tower, based on President-elect Trump’s reaction to the briefing and without him directly asking the question, I offered that assurance,” Comey wrote.

Then, during a Jan. 27 dinner at the White House, Comey cautioned Trump against calling publicly for an investigation of the salacious dossier by warning him that doing so “might create a narrative that we were investigating him personally, which we weren’t.”

Finally, during a March 30 phone call, Comey again told the president he was not the subject of an investigation.

“I explained that we had briefed the leadership of Congress on exactly which individuals we were investigating and that we had told those congressional leaders that we were not personally investigating President Trump. I reminded him I had previously told him that,” Comey noted.

The former FBI director noted, however, that counter-intelligence investigations and criminal investigations differ in their scope and methods.

Comey had far more contact with Trump than with Obama.

The former FBI director noted that he decided to document his conversations with Trump shortly after their first meeting on Jan. 6 at Trump Tower.

“Creating written records immediately after one-on-one conversations with Mr. Trump was my practice from that point forward,” Comey wrote in the statement. “This had not been my practice in the past.”

Comey said he had spoken with former President Obama alone just two times throughout his presidency, and said he did not feel compelled to take notes about either encounter.

“I can recall nine one-on-one conversations with President Trump in four months – three in person and six on the phone,” Comey wrote.

Comey did not perceive any interference on the Russia front.

After a Feb. 14 conversation with Trump in the Oval Office, Comey said he felt uncomfortable with comments the president made about his former national security adviser, Gen. Mike Flynn.

Trump asked Comey to “let this go,” referring to an investigation into whether Flynn made misleading statements to FBI agents about his conversations with the Russian ambassador, Comey said.

But the former FBI director clarified that he did not believe the president was asking him to abandon the bureau’s probe of Russian meddling in the presidential race.

“I did not understand the president to be talking about the broader investigation into Russia or possible links to his campaign,” Comey noted.

Comey never told Sessions about his concerns.

The former FBI director defended his decision not to alert the attorney general to his concerns in February about Trump by arguing that he did not expect Attorney General Jeff Sessions or the acting deputy attorney general beneath him to remain involved in the Russia investigation for much longer.

“We concluded it made little sense to report it to Attorney General Sessions, who we expected would likely recuse himself from involvement in Russia-related investigations. (He did so two weeks later.),” Comey noted.

However, Sessions did not recuse himself until his campaign-era contact with the Russian ambassador surfaced in news reports.

Trump told Comey “it would be good” to find out whether his associates “did something wrong.”

Rather than press Comey to close an investigation of his more distant associates, Trump told the former FBI director he would prefer to learn whether any had committed a crime.

“The president went on to say that if there were some ‘satellite’ associates of his who did something wrong, it would be good to find that out, but that he hadn’t done anything wrong and hoped I would find a way to get it out that we weren’t investigating him,” Comey wrote in his opening statement.

Several of Trump’s former campaign advisers — such as Carter Page, Roger Stone and Paul Manafort — have come under scrutiny for their activities during the presidential race. All three were dismissed from the campaign long before Trump won the White House in November 2016.

Yet one former campaign hand, Flynn, joined Trump in the administration and has since emerged as a top target of investigative focus. And the president did suggest Comey end his efforts to probe Flynn, although the former FBI director suggested the request fell short of obstruction.

Comey does not describe nearly half of his interactions with Trump.

Although the former FBI director claims he interacted one-on-one with Trump on nine separate occasions, his opening statement describes only five of those conversations.

Comey described all three in-person encounters in the statement he provided to the Senate. However, he described just two of the six phone calls he says he had with Trump between Jan. 6 and April 11, the day Comey said he last spoke with the president.

Comey feared Trump wanted a “patronage relationship.”

Comey said Trump’s unexpected move to host him for a private dinner at the White House on Jan. 27 “was, at least in part, an effort to have me ask for my job and create some sort of patronage relationship.”

The former FBI director based that assessment on “[m]y instincts.”

Comey went on to describe an “awkward” moment that occurred when the president described his desire for “loyalty.”

“[T]he president said, ‘I need loyalty, I expect loyalty.’ I didn’t move, speak, or change my facial expression in any way during the awkward silence that followed. We simply looked at each other in silence. The conversation then moved on, but he returned to the subject near the end of our dinner,” Comey noted.

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/7-takeaways-from-comeys-opening-statement/article/2625257

Obstruction of justice

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The crime of obstruction of justice, in United States jurisdictions, refers to the crime of obstructing prosecutors or other (usually government) officials. Common law jurisdictions other than the United States tend to use the wider offense of perverting the course of justice.

Legal overview

Generally, obstruction charges are laid when it is discovered that a person questioned in an investigation, other than a suspect, has lied to the investigating officers. However, in most common law jurisdictions, the right to remain silent can be used to allow any person questioned by police merely to deny answering questions posed by an investigator without giving any reason for doing so. (In such a case, the investigators may subpoena the witness to give testimony under oath in court, though the witness may then exercise their rights, for example in the Fifth Amendment, if they believe their answer may serve to incriminate themselves.) If the person willfully and knowingly tried to protect a suspect (such as by providing a false alibi) or to hide from investigation of their own activities (such as to hide their involvement in another crime), this may leave them liable to prosecution. Obstruction charges can also be laid if a person alters, destroys, or conceals physical evidence.[1]Obstruction charges may also be laid in unique situations such as refusal to aid a police officer, escape through voluntary action of an officer and refusing to assist prison officers in arresting escaped convicts.

Obstruction can include crimes committed by judges, prosecutors, attorneys general, and elected officials in general. It is misfeasance, malfeasance or nonfeasance in the conduct of the office. Most commonly it is prosecuted as a crime for perjury by a non governmental official primarily because of prosecutorial discretion.

Notable examples

  • Richard Nixon was being investigated for obstruction of justice for his alleged role in the cover-up of the break-in at the Watergate hotel during his re-election campaign in 1972. Although it is unknown whether Nixon had foreknowledge of his re-election committee’s “dirty tricks” campaign against Democratic presidential candidates that led to the break-in, he was aware of it after the fact and paid money to keep the participants quiet.
  • Former Vice-Presidential adviser I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby was convicted of obstruction of justice in March 2007 for his role in the investigation of a leak to reporters that named a CIA agent, Valerie Plame. His prison sentence was commuted by President George W. Bush in July 2007, so that Libby was no longer required to serve a two and a half year prison sentence, but was still required to pay a $250,000 fine, be recorded as a convicted felon, obey probation terms, and be disbarred.
  • Conrad Black was convicted of obstruction of justice in July 2007[2] for removing 13 boxes containing financial records from his office in Toronto after they had been sealed by a court order, returning the boxes a few days later.
  • Barry Bonds was convicted of obstruction of justice on April 13, 2011 for his testimony in front of the grand jury during the BALCO steroid scandal.[3] The conviction was later overturned by an appellate court.[4]
  • In United States v. Binion, malingering (feigning illness) during a competency evaluation was held to be obstruction of justice and led to an enhanced sentence.[5]

Obstruction trends

“Anticipatory obstruction of justice” has recently appeared on the horizon in cases such as US v. Wolff.[6] However, the operative section, 1519, passed in 2002, has thus far languished in quasi-obscurity. Titled “Destruction, Alteration or Falsification of Records in Federal Investigations and Bankruptcy,” the provision was passed under Section 802 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002.

The text of the statute is relatively straightforward:

Whoever knowingly alters, destroys, mutilates, conceals, covers up, falsified, or makes a false entry in any record, document, or tangible object with the intent to impede, obstruct, or influence the investigation or proper administration of any matter within the jurisdiction of any department or agency of the United States or any case filed under Title 11, or in relation to or contemplation of any such matter or case, shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both.

Aside from Section 1519’s 20-year maximum prison sentence (no small benefit to the government in big-dollar fraud loss cases such as Wolff), its primary appeal is that it uniquely removes certain key proof burdens from prosecutors’ collective shoulders.

Prosecutors charging violations of Section 1519 must still establish both of the following:

  • The accused knowingly directed the obstructive act to affect an issue or matter within the jurisdiction of any U.S. department or agency.
  • The accused acted at least “in relation to” or “in contemplation’” of such issue or matter.

Not on the list, however, is the requirement that prosecutors demonstrate to the finder of fact which specific “pending proceeding” the accused attempted to obstruct. That is a significant benefit to the government.[7]

See also

Footnotes

External links

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

Story 2: How Long Will Prime Minister May Remain Prime Minister? — Videos

 

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BBC Calls Theresa May “Political LOSER!” Surprising Outcome Of U.K. Election!

A Summary Of The UK General Election 2017

UKIP Nigel Farage Says He’ll Be Back Full Time & Theresa May Needs To QUIT

General election reaction: Special ITV News coverage

What the election means for the UK and Brexit

Steve Hilton on political uncertainty in the UK

U.K. General Election Results, 1802 – 2015

U.S. Presidential Election Results, 1789 – 2016

LIVE: UK General Election Results Programme – BBC News

Robin Leach on the UK election

UK United Kingdom FIRST Election Results

The UK election explained

U.K. Election 2017—What You Need To Know

Shocking UK Exit Poll Suggests Britain’s May Fails To Win Majority

Theresa May ‘should resign’ after having the hubris

UK General Election: UK elections ballot counting begins

May, Corbyn Cast Ballots As Britain Goes To The Polls

Theresa May Could Lose Majority

Polls show UK PM May set to boost majority

Britons not rallying around PM Theresa May?

 

TABLE-British election results: PM May falls short of majority

LONDON, June 9 (Reuters) – Prime Minister Theresa May faced calls to quit on Friday after her election gamble to win a stronger mandate backfired as she lost her parliamentary majority, throwing British politics into turmoil and potentially disrupting Brexit negotiations. Below is a running total for how many seats each party holds. May is unable to get the 326 seats her Conservative party needs for an outright majority. She would need nine more seats, with only two more seats left to declare Party Seats so far Conservative 317 Labour 261 Lib Dems 12 SNP 35 Greens 1 UKIP 0 DUP 10 Other 12 Unreported 2 (Reporting by Alistair Smout and Georgina Prodhan; editing by Guy Faulconbridge)

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/reuters/article-4586860/TABLE-British-election-results-seats-far-party.html#ixzz4jY3jgxZV

 

Humbled Theresa May says losing Tory candidates ‘didn’t deserve it’ but vows to be PM for five more years with support of the DUP… but do her rivals have other ideas?

  • Prime Minister Theresa May has lost seats in the general election in a stunning reversal of her hopes
  • Ashen faced Mrs May vows to stay on despite hammering insisting she can provide ‘certainty’ for the country
  • Mrs May said her government will keep Britain safe by cracking down on terrorism in the recent attacks
  • Serious questions remain over how terrorists behind the atrocities slipped through the net on her watch 
  • She has struck a deal with the 10 MPs from the DUP and is going to see the Queen to ask to form government 
  • But Tories are already breaking ranks to make clear that Mrs May must consider her position after the result
  • Mrs May is expected to reshuffle her cabinet this evening in an attempt to keep a grip on power
  • Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has demanded that Mrs May ‘go’ and make way for government led by him
  • With just one seat left to count, Conservatives are down from 330 to 318, and Labour up from 232 to 262
  • Ministers including Jane Ellison and Ben Gummer have been ousted in a surge by Mr Corbyn’s party 
  • The US woke to the news of a Tory humiliation and President Donald Trump said the result was ‘surprising’ 
  • Fully 23 hours after polls closed across UK, Kensington was claimed by Labour to draw a line under the results 

Theresa May has finally apologised to the Tory MPs who lost their seats overnight but refused to say if her election disaster had weakened her hand in Brexit negotiations

Theresa May has finally apologised to the Tory MPs who lost their seats overnight but refused to say if her election disaster had weakened her hand in Brexit negotiations

A humbled Theresa May has finally apologised to defeated Tory MPs and pledged to stay for five more years – but is now too ‘weak’ to sack rivals including Philip Hammond and Boris Johnson, it was revealed today.

The Prime Minister’s political career is hanging by a thread after she promised to offer ‘certainty’ for Britain as PM – despite the Tories suffering humiliating losses when her election gamble backfired.

She will now rely on the support of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) in Northern Ireland to prop her up when she had hoped for a landslide victory.

Mrs May has said Chancellor Philip Hammond, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, Home Secretary Amber Rudd, Brexit Secretary David Davis and Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon – five favourites to replace her as leader – will keep their jobs.

The Chancellor and Foreign Minister could have been ‘goners’ but she is now ‘too weak to sack them’, a source said, while another expert suggested she has has been ‘taken prisoner’ by her Cabinet colleagues.

Earlier Mrs May stood in Downing Street and declared her determination to carry on for a full five-year term after getting permission from the Queen to form a government, even though she spectacularly lost her Commons majority overnight.

Incredibly she failed to mention that she had humiliatingly lost seats to Labour after calling the election three years early in a bid to capitalise on sky-high poll ratings.

Around two hours later she appeared on TV again and apologised to defeated Tory MPs after she was accused ‘lacking humility’.

Mrs May acknowledged that she had called an election three years early hoping for a ‘large’ majority, adding: ‘That was not the result that we secured’.

She said: ‘As I reflect on the result, I will reflect on what we need to do in the future to take the party forward.

‘I am sorry for those candidates and hard-working party workers who weren’t successful but also particularly sorry for those colleagues who were MPs or ministers who had contributed so much to our country and who lost their seats and didn’t deserve to lose their seats.’

Mrs May today refused to say if her election disaster has killed off Britain’s chances of a good deal to leave the EU – with former Chancellor George Osborne saying: ‘Hard Brexit went in the rubbish bin last night’.

Senior MPs such as Sarah Wollaston, Anna Soubry and Nicky Morgan have openly called for Mrs May to step aside – with the latter suggesting she should go within ‘weeks or months’ because her credibility is shot.

One senior Tory MP told ITV News: ‘We all f***ing hate her. But there is nothing we can do. She has totally f***ed us’.

Mrs May declared her determination to carry on in Downing Street after going to see the Queen to request permission to form a government – even though she has lost her Commons majority

The PM was flanked by husband Philip on the steps of No10 as she delivered her statement after seeing the Queen today

The PM was flanked by husband Philip on the steps of No10 as she delivered her statement after seeing the Queen today

Mrs May was welcomed back into Downing Street by staff after the Queen gave her permission to form a new government

Mrs May was welcomed back into Downing Street by staff after the Queen gave her permission to form a new government

But the Tory leader looked slightly awkward being clapped by No10 staff after her poor showing in the general election

But the Tory leader looked slightly awkward being clapped by No10 staff after her poor showing in the general election

ELECTION 2017 RESULTS

UK results

Show
previous

SeatsVotes

650 of 650 seats declared 326 seats needed for majority
Con Theresa May (48.92%)
318
8short
Prev. held: 331
Lab Jeremy Corbyn (40.31%)
262
64short
Prev. held: 232
SNP Angus Robertson (5.38%)
35
291short
Prev. held: 56
Lib Dem Tim Farron (1.85%)
12
314short
Prev. held: 8
DUP Arlene Foster (1.54%)
10
316short
Prev. held: 8
Green Caroline Lucas (0.15%)
1
325short
Prev. held: 1
UKIP Paul Nuttall
0
Prev. held: 1
Lab vs. ConTurnout: 32,196,224 (68.73%)

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4586042/Stunning-exit-poll-suggests-Theresa-LOST-seats.html#ixzz4jYp3DZSs

 

Story 3: President Trump On New Infrastructure and Regulation — Videos

“In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.”

~President Ronald Reagan

January 20, 1981: From Reagan’s Inaugural Address.

“Prosperity is the best protector of principle.”

~ Mark Twain

Trump launches week focused on improving US infrastructure

President Trump’s Plan to Rebuild America’s Infrastructure

President Trump Participates in the Roads, Rails, and Regulatory Relief Roundtable

President Trump Full Speech @ Department of Transportation 6/9/17

Trump’s full Transportation Department speech

President Trump Hosts Infrastructure Summit with Governors and Mayors

Vice President Pence Gives Remarks at an Infrastructure Summit

 

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