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Archive for March 19th, 2018

Trump Hires Conspiracy Theorist to Join Legal Team Involved in Mueller Probe

Attorney Joseph E. diGenova

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Donald Trump, who has escalated his high-stakes campaign to discredit U.S. intelligence officials involved in the special counsel investigation, hired a tenacious, longtime Washington lawyer who has peddled a conspiracy theory that the FBI and Justice Department framed the president.

Joseph E. diGenova, a former Ronald Reagan-era U.S. attorney, will join the president’s legal team as an outspoken voice for Trump, but he won’t be taking a leading role role, the New York Times reports.

“Former U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia Joe DiGenova will be joining our legal team later this week,” said Jay Sekulow, one of the president’s personal lawyers. “I have worked with Joe for many years and have full confidence that he will be a great asset in our representation of the President.”

DiGenova has claimed that a secretive group of FBI agents and Justice Department officials fabricated the Russia investigation to hurt Trump’s chances of winning the 2016 presidential election.

“There was a brazen plot to illegally exonerate Hillary Clinton and, if she didn’t win the election, to then frame Donald Trump with a falsely created crime,” he said on Fox News in January.

DiGenova added, “Make no mistake about it: A group of F.B.I. and D.O.J. people were trying to frame Donald Trump of a falsely created crime.”

DiGenova has been unable to provide evidence to substantiate the far-fetched plot.   

Trump, who had avoided referring to special counsel Robert Mueller on the advice of his lawyers, slammed the investigation on Monday as a “total WITCH HUNT with massive conflicts of interest!”

On Sunday, Trump falsely claimed on Twitter that Mueller’s team has “12 hardened Democrats, big Crooked Hillary supporters, and Zero Republicans.”

Mueller is a registered Republican who was appointed by Republican Deputy Attorney General Jay Rosenstein after Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, who also is a Republican.

Trump stepped up his assault against the FBI and Justice Department following a spate of recent news that Mueller’s team has expanded its investigation to examine the business dealings of the president and his family.

So far, Mueller has indicted at least 19 people and three companies as part of its evolving investigation that began with allegations that Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia.

Republicans Warn Trump of Impeachment If He Fires Mueller Or Interferes in Probe

Sen. Lindsey Graham

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Donald Trump’s escalating assault on the FBI, Justice Department and the special counsel team now pursing an obstruction of justice case against the president drew strong warnings from Republicans who are worried about Trump’s next move.

The president ramped up his rhetoric against federal law enforcement leaders and for the first time targeted special counsel Robert Mueller in a string of inflammatory and often misleading tweets over the weekend that have raised concerns that Trump may be setting the stage for Mueller’s termination.

Those concerns were heightened when Trump’s attorney John Dowd, who had refrained from criticizing Mueller in the past, said Saturday he prays Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein will “bring an end” to Mueller’s 10-month investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential campaign.

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina warned that any attempts to fire Mueller would trigger impeachment proceedings against the president, who is accused of obstructing justice with the termination of former FBI Director James Comey.

“If he tried to do that, that would be the beginning of the end of his presidency because we’re a rule-of-law nation,” Graham said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

Trump made a series of misleading, bold claims against the FBI, Justice Department and Mueller’s team, repeating his assertion that the investigation is a “witch hunt,” despite the special counsel netting indictments against at least 19 people and three companies so far.

Republicans warned Sunday of serious consequence if Trump refuses to cooperate with Mueller’s team.

Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., a member of the House Intelligence Committee, pledged “a very, very long, bad 2018” if Trump tries to interfere in the probe. Gowdy also questioned why Trump’s attorney called for the end of the investigation that is rooting out Russians who “attacked our country.”

On “Fox News Sunday,” Gowdy said Trump’s attorney should have nothing to worry about if the president is innocent.

“If you’ve done nothing wrong, you should want the investigation to be as fulsome and thorough as possible,” Gowdy said.

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., said he did not like how Trump’s administration handled the termination of McCabe, and he defended Mueller’s investigation. 

“I remain confident that the special counsel is going to conduct a probe that is fair and thorough and is going to arrive at the truth and is not going to go down rabbit holes that are not places that we need to be going,” Rubio said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

Trump’s White House attorney, Ty Cobb, released a statement later Sunday, saying the president isn’t planning to interfere in the special counsel investigation.

“In response to media speculation and related questions being posed to the administration, the White House yet again confirms that the president is not considering or discussing the firing of the special counsel, Robert Mueller,” Cobb said.

Fourth Package Explosion in Austin Injures 2, Raising Suspicions of a Link With Previous Packages

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Local and federal authors believe a string of deadly package explosions in Austin, Texas, may be racially motived after two more people were injured Sunday evening when an explosive device detonated.

The latest explosion – the fourth so far this month – happened in southern Austin around 8:30 p.m., prompting police to urge nearby residents to stay in their homes until 10 a.m. this morning.

The latest device was different because it appears a tripwire triggered the explosion in an area of Austin far from the other package bombs.

“We will not be able to send school buses into the neighborhood on Monday,” Austin Police Chief Brian Manley said in a late-night news conference. “In addition to that, we’re going to ask the residents in the Travis County neighborhood to stay in your homes tomorrow morning and give us the opportunity to process the scene once the sun comes up.”

The victims in Sunday’s blast were men in their 20s who were being treated at a hospital for non-life-threatening injuries.

Authorities weren’t immediately certain the blast was related to three unsolved package explosions in Austin this month that killed two people and injured two others, but police are working under the belief that the bombings are connected.

The first two victims, 39-year-old Anthony Stephan House and 17-year-old Draylen Mason, are black and have ties to two prominent African Americans families connected to an East Austin church that has long fought for racial justice. The third bomb targeted a hispanic resident and her mother.

The race of Sunday’s victims weren’t release Sunday night.

The FBI and ATF are assisting local police in the probe.

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