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Tag: Attorney General

House Intelligence Committee Threatens FBI, AG with Contempt over Russia Dossier

Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif.

Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The House Intelligence Committee is trying to force the FBI and attorney general to provide information on how the bureau has used a salacious dossier while investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

The FBI and attorney general have been threatened with contempt if they don’t testify before the committee later this week, The Hill reports

Committee Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., issued a subpoena for information on the dossier that was compiled by former spy, Christopher Steele. Neither the FBI nor the Attorney General’s Office has responded by the Sept. 1 deadline.

Democrats are accusing Nunes of a partisan effort to undercut the basis of the FBI investigation.

Mueller, New York AG Team up to Investigate Paul Manafort

Donald Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort.

Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Special counsel Robert Mueller is teaming up with New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman on the investigation into President Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, Politico reports

The news means the investigation is intensifying and that Trump won’t have the authority to pardon Manafort on any future state charges. As a result, Mueller will have more leverage to convince Manafort to cooperate with authorities on the larger investigation into Trump’s campaign.

In the past few weeks, the state and federal teams have shared information and discussed the case frequently.

Much of the focus is on potential financial crimes, including money laundering.

It’s too early to say whether charges will be filed.

 “Nothing is imminent,” said one of the people familiar with the case.

Trump Asked AG Sessions to Close Criminal Case Against Joe Arpaio

Former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

Former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump asked Attorney General Jeff Session earlier this year to close the criminal case against former Arizona county sheriff Joe Arpaio, a partner in the crackdown of illegal immigration, the Washington Post reports

Trump was advised that it would be inappropriate to drop the criminal case against Arpaio, who was found in contempt of court for ignoring a federal judge’s order to stop ordering the detainment of people based solely on suspicions that they were undocumented immigrants.

So on Friday, the president issued his first pardon for Arpaio, one of the president’s allies in the “birther” movement.

“We knew the president wanted to do this for some time now and had worked to prepare for whenever the moment may come,” said one White House official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the action.

AG Sessions: Car Attack in Charlottesville ‘Does Meet the Definition of Domestic Terrorism’

Suspect James Alex Fields

Suspect James Alex Fields

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said this morning that an Ohio driver who plunged into a crowd of counter-protesters in Charlottesville, Va., “does meet the definition of domestic terrorism.”

The driver, 20-year-old James Fields, killed one person and injured 19 others.

“It does meet the definition of domestic terrorism in our statute,” Sessions said on ABC News’ “Good Morning America” today. “We are pursuing it in the (Justice Department) in every way that we can make a case.”

Sessions said the driver could be charged with more serious, federal charges.

“You can be sure we will charge and advance the investigation towards the most serious charges that can be brought because this is unequivocally an unacceptable evil attack,” he said. “Terrorism investigators from the FBI are working on the case as well as civil rights division FBI agents.”

The car slammed into a group of people protesting white supremacists who turned up in droves to protest the planned removal of a statue of a Confederate general.

AG Sessions’ Extreme Position on Marijuana Worries States That Legalized It

Photo by Steve Neavling.

Photo by Steve Neavling.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who said earlier this year that marijuana “is only slightly less awful” than heroin, has prompted concerns among states that have legalized marijuana use.

Despite a federal law banning marijuana use, eight states have approved marijuana for recreational use. Nearly 30 states have legalized medical marijuana.

In letters released last week, Sessions warned four governors that he had “serious concerns” about legalizing marijuana, the Los Angeles Times reports

The letters were vague enough that states aren’t sure whether Sessions plans to crack down on legalization. Sessions said he wanted to talk with governors about his concerns.

“The letters did appear to be a bit off base, and in several instances referred to the way things were but are no longer. But more importantly, the letters did not tell the states they lack the authority to sell marijuana,” Mason Tvert, a co-director of Colorado’s 2012 legal marijuana initiative, said.

Chicago to File Suit Over Threat to Withhold Federal Funds to ‘Sanctuary’ Cities

Chicago cityscape, via Allen McGregor on Wikipedia.

Chicago cityscape, via Allen McGregor on Wikipedia.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The city of Chicago plans to sue the Justice Department today over threats to punish municipalities that don’t assist federal immigration officials.

The decision comes after Attorney General Jeff Sessions said so-called sanctuary cities will lose federal grants if they don’t turn over names of undocumented immigrants to the feds.

“Chicago will not let our police officers become political pawns in a debate,” Chicago Mayor Ram Emanuel told the Chicago Tribune. “Chicago will not let our residents have their fundamental rights isolated and violated. And Chicago will never relinquish our status as a welcoming city.”

The city plans to file suit “first thing on Monday morning,” officials told the Tribune.

Rosenstein: Leak Investigations Won’t Target Journalists

typewriter-reporterBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department’s escalation of probes into government leaks will not target journalists, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said Sunday.

“We don’t prosecute journalists for doing their jobs,” Rosenstein said on “Fox News Sunday.” “That’s not our goal here.”

The Justice Department announced last week that it was stepping up investigation into government leaks. Under the Trump administration, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said leak investigations have tripled.

“We will not allow rogue anonymous sources with security clearances to sell out our country any longer,” Sessions said at a news conference Friday.

Rosenstein clarified Sessions’ position on Sunday.

“The attorney general has been very clear that we’re after the leakers, not the journalist,”  Rosenstein said. “We’re after the people who are committing crimes.”

Other Stories of Interest

DOJ Threatens to Withhold Crime-Fighting Help to 4 Cities over Immigration Policies

ICE agents, via ICE.

ICE agents, via ICE.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department is stepping up pressure on four cities to cooperate with immigration enforcement, threatening to stop providing federal help to crack down on crime.

To continue receiving crime-fighting assistance, San Bernardino, Stockton, Baltimore and Albuquerque must help federal agents with inmates who are undocumented immigrants.

But the Los Angeles Times says the threat “appeared poorly thought out” because neither of the four cities operate a jail, and two have no sanctuary policies. 

The Justice Department didn’t respond to the Times’ questions about the selection of the four cities.