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Archive for March 30th, 2018

AG Sessions Rebuffs GOP: No Need for Second Special Counsel to Probe DOJ, FBI

Attorney General Jeff Sessions during a previous congressional committee for failing to disclose his contacts with Russia.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Attorney General Jeff Sessions rebuffed calls from Republican lawmakers to appoint a second special counsel to investigate whether the FBI and Justice Department overextended their authority in surveilling a former Trump campaign aide.

Some House and Senate Republicans urged Sessions to make the appointment, continuing to assail the investigation of Carter Page, a former foreign policy adviser during Trump’s campaign, as politically motivated.

In a letter to three congressional committee chairmen, Sessions said there’s no need– at least not yet – to appoint a special counsel because the matter is already the subject of two separate investigations  – one by the Justice Department inspector general, the other by the U.S. attorney in Utah. 

“I take the concerns you raise seriously,” Mr. Sessions wrote, adding, “I expect every person in this Department to adhere to the highest levels of integrity, ethics, and and professionalism.”

Sessions’ decision was criticized by some Republicans.

“Mr. Sessions, what’s it going to take?” Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) said in a phone interview with Politico. “I’m hopeful this is just one last step Jeff Sessions wants to take before he realizes the obvious, which is there needs to be a second special counsel.”

Special Counsel Probes Sessions’ Russian Contacts at Republican National Convention

Republican National Convention.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Special counsel Robert Mueller is investigating whether Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who was a U.S. senator at the time, had secret conversations with a Russian ambassador at the Republican National Convention and Washington’s Mayflower during Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, according to a new report. 

Mueller’s team also is questioning attendees of the July 2016 convention in Cleveland about a last-minute decision to remove language from the Republican Party platform that was hostile to Russia, Reuters reported, citing two sources familiar with the special counsel probe. 

Investigators want to know the extent of conversations between Sessions and then-Russian Ambassador to the United States Sergei Kislyak. They also are questioning whether Sessions met privately with Kislyak at the Mayflower Hotel in April 2016.

Under oath last year, Sessions originally told lawmakers he had no recollection of contacts between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin, but later acknowledged he did.

Because of his contacts with Kislyak, Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation, which allowed his deputy to appoint Mueller to lead an investigation into collusion and possible obstruction of justice.

Mueller’s team also is inquiring about the removal of language from the GOP’s platform that called for the U.S. to  supply “lethal defensive weapons to Ukraine’s armed forces and greater coordination with NATO on defense planning.”

Diana Denman, a member of the platform committee’s national security subcommittee, told Reuters in 2016 that Trumps team was directly involved in changing the language.

Fired FBI Deputy McCabe Shatters Fundraising Goal for Legal Fund in 1 Day

Former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe with his family in a photo posted on the legal defense fund.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Updated 1t 11 p.m. Friday

Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, fired two days before he was eligible to retire with full benefits, received more than $475,000 from donors in the first 24 hours of his fundraising campaign  to help cover the legal costs of impending federal government investigations.

The GoFundMe campaign quickly exceeded its original goal of raising $150,000, with more than 11,500 donors as of 7:45 a.m. Friday. McCabe raised the goal to $250,000 because the initial response had been “remarkable and beyond our expectations,” according to the legal defense fund.

McCabe, a longtime target of President Trump, maintained he did nothing wrong after Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired him earlier this month. McCabe has repeatedly denied Justice Department allegations that he misled investigators and said he was ousted as part of a Trump to discredit the FBI.

“Andrew McCabe’s FBI career was long, distinguished, and unblemished.  He embraced the most daunting, difficult, and important challenges that the FBI and the country could assign to him over the past 21 years,” the fundraising campaign stated. “He served the United States with courage and distinction in the days following the President’s summary dismissal of former Director James Comey, in one of the most tumultuous periods in the Bureau’s history.

His reward for that has been a termination that was completely unjustified, amidst repeated ad hominem attacks by the President of the United States.”

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