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Tag: Attorney General

Appointment of Second Special Counsel to Probe Clinton Could Backfire

Attorney General Jeff Sessions testifies before the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions testifies before the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Former and current Justice Department officials are worried about the political fallout if Attorney General Jeff Sessions appoints a second special counsel to investigate Hillary Clinton.

During heated testimony before the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, Sessions appeared to back away from his public suggestion that he may appoint a special counsel over an Obama-era uranium company deal and recent news that Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Convention funded the salacious dossier that outlines Trump’s ties with Russia.

The appointment of a second prosecutor could stoke distrust of the Justice Department’s independence since President Trump and Republicans are looking to distract from the current special counsel investigation of the president’s associates and their ties to Russia. 

“To have the winning side exploring the possibility of prosecuting the losing side in an election — it’s un-American, and it’s grotesque,” said John Danforth, a former special counsel who investigated the FBI’s role in a violent standoff with a cult in Waco, Tex., according to the Washington Post. “The proliferation of special counsels in a political setting is very, very bad.”

Peter R. Zeidenberg, who once served as deputy special counsel in the probe of former White House aide Lewis “Scooter’’ Libby, said the appointment of a second special counsel will backfire.

I think the vast majority of people at DOJ would be completely disgusted and demoralized by it,’’ said Zeidenberg, referring to the Justice Department. “They don’t like feeling that they are political tools to be used by the president.’’

Late-Night Comedians Poke Fun at Sessions’ Selective Memory

Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Photo by Gage Skidmore, via Wikipedia.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Photo by Gage Skidmore, via Wikipedia.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ hazy, selective memory during testimony to the House Judiciary Committee created a lot material for late-night comedians.

When asked questions about Trump’s campaign and ties to Russia, Sessions often responded, “I don’t recall.”

“There were so many meetings about collusion, I’ve got the collusion confusion. It’s like brain fever with the vapors at the same time. I do believe,” “The Late Show” Stephen Colbert said.

“I’m starting to get a little worried here. Is something wrong with Jeff Sessions? Did he get hit by a big coconut on his way into the chamber?” he added.

“The Tonight’s Show” host Jimmy Fallon joked about Sessions’ memory.

“At one point he was questioned about his stance on marijuana. You know, ’cause it’s a little odd when a guy’s anti-weed, but seems to forget every conversation he’s every had,” Fallon said.

Trevor Noah, host of the “Daily Show,” illustrated how Trump’s international policies allowed the China to become the most powerful nation in the world, surpassing the U.S.

DOJ Mulls Appointment of Special Counsel to Investigate Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department is weighing whether to appoint a special prosecutor to investigative Hillary Clinton.

In a letter to the House Judiciary Committee, the department said it would look into allegations that the Clinton Foundation received donations liked to a 2010 decision by the Obama administration to permit a Russian agency to buy Uranium One.

The records came in response to a formal request from congressional Republicans for the Justice Department to investigate Clinton.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who has recused himself from election-related issues, and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, are responsible for oversight of the prosecutors’ decision on appointing a special counsel, according to the letter.

“These senior prosecutors will report directly to the attorney general and the deputy attorney general, as appropriate, and will make recommendations as to whether any matters not currently under investigation should be opened, whether any matters currently under investigation require further resources, or whether any matters merit a special counsel,” Stephen E. Boyd, an assistant attorney general, said in the letter to the House Judiciary Committee.

Rep. Adam B. Schiff, Democrat of California, blasted the letter.

Sessions to Face Tough Questions Today about Russia Communicating with Trump Team

Attorney General Jeff Sessions

Attorney General Jeff Sessions

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

How much did Attorney General Jeff Sessions know about Donald Trump’s campaign aides communicating with Russia?

Sessions, who has provided shifting, sometimes contradictory answers to questions about Russia’s connection to the Trump Campaign, will testify Tuesday before the House Judiciary Committee amid discoveries that suggest he knew more than he let on.

The committee plans to ask the former Alabama senator about his involvement and conversations about Trump aides traveling to Russia or trying to set up a meeting with Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin

According to testify from former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser, George Papadopoulos, it appears Sessions did know about contacts between Russia and Trump campaign officials.

The committee’s 17 Democrats wrote in a letter that Sessions’ statements include “inconsistencies” that need to be hashed out during today’s testimony.

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.