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Archive for May 18th, 2017

Justice Department Vows to Crackdown on Leakers

Attorney General Jeff Sessions during the Trump campaign.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions during the Trump campaign.

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Some critics have said President Donald Trump has often been more obsessed with leaks than the substance involving possible improprieties.

Now, the  the Justice Department is responding, vowing to aggressively prosecute government officials who leak classified information, the Daily Beast reports.

 

“As the Attorney General has said, the Department of Justice takes unlawful leaks very seriously and those that engage in such activity should be held accountable,” an official told The Daily Beast.

 

Trump Transition Team Knew Flynn Was Under Investigation Before Trump Appointed Him National Security Advisor

Former National Security Adviser Michael T. Flynn

Former National Security Adviser Michael T. Flynn

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Here’s a pretty good reason why President Donald Trump should have known better than to appoint Michael T. Flynn national security adviser under the circumstances.

The New York Times reports that Flynn told President Trump’s transition team weeks before the inauguration that he was under federal investigation for secretly working as a paid lobbyist for Turkey during the campaign. The paper cites “two people familiar with the case.”

Despite that Trump proceeded to appoint him to the important position.

Flynn first made the disclosure about the investigation on Jan. 4 to the transition team’s chief lawyer, Donald F. McGahn II, the Times reports.

Let The Seriousness Begin: The Stoic Ex-FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III Appointed Special Counsel in Russian Mess

Former FBI Director Robert Mueller

Former FBI Director Robert Mueller

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Ex-FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III, the stoic leader of the bureau from 2001 to 2013, has been appointed special counsel to investigate whether the Russians influenced the 2016 campaign and the administration of President Donald Trump.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced the appointment on Wednesday, saying in a statement:

“In my capacity as acting Attorney General, I determined that it is in the public interest for me to exercise my authority and appoint a Special Counsel to assume responsibility for this matter. My decision is not a finding that crimes have been committed or that any prosecution is warranted. I have made no such determination. What I have determined is that based upon the unique circumstances, the public interest requires me to place this investigation under the authority of a person who exercises a degree of independence from the normal chain of command.”

“Each year, the career professionals of the U.S. Department of Justice conduct tens of thousands of criminal investigations and handle countless other matters without regard to partisan political considerations. I have great confidence in the independence and integrity of our people and our processes. Considering the unique circumstances of this matter, however, I determined that a Special Counsel is necessary in order for the American people to have full confidence in the outcome. Our nation is grounded on the rule of law, and the public must be assured that government officials administer the law fairly. Special Counsel Mueller will have all appropriate resources to conduct a thorough and complete investigation, and I am confident that he will follow the facts, apply the law and reach a just result.”

Rosenstein’s appointment of Mueller isn’t likely to make Trump very happy. In fact, sources tell ticklethewire.com that Trump was very unhappy when Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself of the investigation, giving Trump less control of the matter.

Appointments of special counsels have usually not ended very well for different presidential administrations.

Mueller, a former federal prosecutor, is known as a no-nonsense guy. He became director days before Sept. 11, 2001, and was subsequently tasked with shifting resources to deal address terrorism. After a while, some complained too many resources were being taken away from some of the basic duties like addressing white collar crimes and violence.

He was replaced in 2013 by James Comey, who was appointed by President Barack Obama.

He played to mixed reviews within the bureau. He had his loyal folks within, but he also had agents who were glad to see him go.

That being said, no one expects him to pull punches in the probe.

Mueller has resigned from his private law firm to avoid any conflicts of interest.