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Tag: Attorney General

Justice Department Tries to Force Sanctuary Cities to Cooperate Under Budget Proposal

Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump is not giving up on his plan to strip federal funding from so-called sanctuary cities.

A month after a judge in San Francisco temporarily blocked Trump’s  efforts to starve municipalities of federal money for failing to fully cooperate with immigration enforcement, the Justice Department is trying to change the law to give the federal government more leverage over localities when it comes to immigration enforcement, the Washington Post reports.

Local law enforcement agencies have expressed numerous reason for refusing to fully cooperate. Some police departments and sheriff’s offices are opposed because it’s an unfunded mandate, has legal implications and makes the community more unsafe because undocumented immigrants are afraid to report crimes.

The Post wrote:

Justice Department officials have said that under current law, holding illegal immigrants upon request is voluntary. And in a memo Tuesday, Sessions seemed to concede that his power in the matter was limited.

He declared that sanctuary cities, even under Trump’s executive order, were only those places that violated the particular federal law that stops local officials from putting any restrictions on information sharing with ICE. Only such jurisdictions, he said, were at risk of losing federal funding.

If the Justice Department’s proposal were to become law, though, all jurisdictions that do not honor detainer requests will be at risk. The law would block cities from enacting policies that stop compliance with legal Department of Homeland Security requests, including “any request to maintain custody of the alien for a period not to exceed 48 hours.”

Trump’s Search for New FBI Director Starts from Scratch Again

President Trump, via White House

President Trump, via White House

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Just a week after President Trump said he was “very close” to choosing a new FBI director, his administration is now starting from scratch, a senior administration official told CNN.

That means former Sen. Joe Lieberman is no longer the leading candidates.

Trump, who sources said had narrowed down his choices to just a handful of finalists, now wants more candidates from which to pick.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has taken a big role in the process, interviewing candidates, including acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, former congressman and FBI special agent Mike Rogers, and Fran Townsend, former Homeland Security adviser to President George W. Bush. If appointed, Townsend would be the first woman to lead the FBI in the bureau’s history.

What’s unclear is whether Trump’s often combative relationship with the intelligence community and his treatment of former FBI Director James Comey would make the job less appealing to qualified candidates.

Among the candidates who have already bailed out are former Assistant Attorney General Alice Fisher, Associate Judge Michael Garcia of the New York Court of Appeals, career FBI official Richard McFeely, Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn and South Carolina Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy.

Sally Yates Reveals She Warned President Trump about Michael Flynn

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Sally Q. Yates thought she had urgent information.

Less than a week after Trump took office, the acting attorney general rushed to the White House with news that National Security Adviser Michael Flynn had lied to the vice president and was vulnerable to blackmail by Russian officials, the New York Times reports.

“We wanted to tell the White House as quickly as possible,” Yates told a Senate Judiciary subcommittee on Monday. “To state the obvious: You don’t want your national security adviser compromised with the Russians.”

But Trump didn’t fire Flynn, who remained in office for 18 more days. Flynn finally lost his job when the media exposed his false statements.

Yates said she has no idea why Trump waited so long.

“I don’t have any way of knowing what, if anything, they did,” Yates said. “If nothing was done, then certainly that would be concerning.”

The FBI also is investigating whether Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia to influence the presidential election.

Jones: Jeff Sessions Shows No Respect for Black Lives After Consent Decree Review

Attorney General Jeff Sessions during the Trump campaign.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions during the Trump campaign.

Solomon Jones
Philadelphia Inquirer

After the recent actions of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, even the few black voters who supported Donald Trump despite his bigoted campaign rhetoric must now admit the obvious. A vote for Trump was a vote for racist policies.

Sessions’ decision to order a broad review of federal agreements with dozens of law-enforcement agencies is nothing short of an attack on black and brown people. After all, those agreements were necessitated by systemic police abuses targeting minority communities. Attempting to pull out of those agreements – most of which have already been approved in federal court – delivers an indisputable message: Black lives don’t matter to the Trump administration.

And make no mistake. This is about black lives.

That truth is not lost on activists who’ve long fought systemic police abuses targeting blacks. Few of them are surprised that Sessions – who once was denied a federal judgeship based largely on allegations of racism – is the man leading the charge.

“Jeff Sessions’ entire career in the justice system is rooted in racism and anti-blackness,” Asa Khalif, who leads Pennsylvania Black Lives Matter, told me. “If there was ever a time to rally and stand together as black people, it’s now.”

Given that Trump thanked black people for not voting after his surprising Electoral College victory, I think Khalif is right. We must stand together, because the examination of police departments across the country were spurred by high-profile police killings of unarmed African Americans. The same black people featured prominently in Justice Department reports that meticulously documented patterns of systemic police abuse.

The Obama administration compiled one such report following the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray, who died after suffering a spinal injury in a police van when officers failed to properly restrain him with seat belts. Based on interviews, documents and an extensive review of six years of data, the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division concluded that the Baltimore Police Department engaged in an ongoing pattern of discrimination against African Americans.

The report minced no words in laying out the truth.

“BPD’s targeted policing of certain Baltimore neighborhoods with minimal oversight or accountability disproportionately harms African-American residents,” the report said. “Racially disparate impact is present at every stage of BPD’s enforcement actions, from the initial decision to stop individuals on Baltimore streets to searches, arrests and uses of force. These racial disparities, along with evidence suggesting intentional discrimination, erode the community trust that is critical to effective policing.”

To read more click here. 

Ex-Deputy AG Sally Yates Says Trump Tried to Limit Her Testimony on Russia

Former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates

Former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Trump administration has tried to limit former deputy Attorney General Sally Yates’ congressional testimony on possible Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Her lawyer, David O’Neil, said the Justice Department was claiming her actions as a deputy attorney general were “client confidences” and therefore should not be disclosed without written permission, Fortune reports.

“We believe that the Department’s position in this regard is overbroad, incorrect, and inconsistent with the Department’s historical approach to the congressional testimony of current and former senior officials,” O’Neil wrote in a March 23 letter to Justice Department official Samuel Ramer.

The White House denied any interference with Yates’ plans to testify.

“We have no problem with her testifying, plain and simple,” White House spokesman Sean Spicer said.

Yates said she still plans to testify but won’t reveal any classified information.

FBI Investigating More than 300 Refugees for Potential Terrorist, AG Sessions Says

Attorney General Jeff Sessions (file photo)

Attorney General Jeff Sessions (file photo)

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

To justify the latest travel ban involving Muslim countries, Attorney General Jeff Sessions spoke Monday about the potential terror threat some refugees in the U.S. pose.

“[M]ore than 300 people who came here as refugees are under FBI investigation for potential terrorism-related activities,” Sessions said, according to CBS News.

He also said that those who are “seeking to support or commit terrorist attacks here will try to enter through our refugee program.”

Jeff Pegues of CBS noted in a website story that the officials will not say what countries these refugees came from,  when they came to the U.S. or if their legal status changed since arriving here.

Democrats Urge FBI to Investigate Whether AG Sessions Lied Under Oath

Attorney General Jeff Sessions during the Trump campaign.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions during the Trump campaign.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Attorney General Jeff Sessions maintains he never lied under oath by denying he communicated with Russian officials, but Democrats aren’t so sure.

Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee is asking the FBI to investigate whether Sessions lied under oath during his confirmation hearing, the Hill reports. 

Lawmakers penned a letter to FBI Director James Comey and Channing D. Phillips, the U.S. attorney for Washington D.C., urging them to investigate whether Sessions broke the law.

“Efforts by Attorney General Sessions to assert that his testimony was not false or even misleading because he met with the Russian Ambassador in his capacity as a Senator, rather than a campaign representative, appear to be disingenuous at best as the questions put to him did not in any way ask if the meeting was campaign related,” they wrote.

Sessions acknowledged Thursday that he met with Russian officials twice during Trump’s campaign, but insisted the subject of the election was never discussed. Sessions also pledged to recuse himself from future investigations into the Trump campaign.

Jeff Sessions Admits Meeting with Russian Officials But Denies He Committed Perjury

Jeff Sessions discusses his communication with Russians.

Jeff Sessions discusses his communication with Russians.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Attorney General Jeff Sessions acknowledged today that he met with Russian officials at least twice during the Donald Trump campaign, but insisted the election was never discussed.

During a press conference at 4 p.m., Sessions also said he plans to recuse himself from future investigations into the Trump campaign after consulting with Justice Department staff.

“I have decided to recuse myself from any existing or future investigations of any matters related in any way to the campaigns for President of the United States,” Sessions said.

The attorney general insisted he didn’t commit perjury by denying he had communication with Russian officials during his confirmation hearing, saying the meetings were unrelated to the presidential campaign.

Reports that suggested he exchanged information with the Russians, Sessions said, are “totally false.”

Sessions said he was having trouble remembering details of the discussions with a Russian ambassador.

“I don’t remember a lot of it,” Sessions said.

Meanwhile, some Democrats are calling for Sessions to resign and want a special prosecutor appointed to investigated the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia.