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Tag: Chuck Grassley

FBI’s Christopher Way Defends Mueller While GOP Says Probe Is Tainted

FBI Director Christopher Wray (file photo)

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

So many politicians, so many opinions.

FBI Director Christopher Wray stood by Special Counsel Robert Mueller during a hearing Monday before the Senate Judiciary Committee, while Republicans asserted the Russian election probe is tainted by anti-Trump bias, Bloomberg New reports.

“I do not believe Special Counsel Mueller is on a witch hunt,” Wray testified.

Sen. Chuck Grassley, the Judiciary Committee’s Republican chairman, said the Inspector General report shows Democrat Hillary Clinton got “kid-glove” treatment from the FBI and Justice Department while they continue to use “brass-knuckle” tactics against Trump, Bloomberg reports.
Meanwhile, Inspector General Michael Horowitz testified that he’s still probing the FBI conduct to see how former Director James Comey handled his private memos and whether underlings may have given sensitive details to reporters.

Fired Deputy Director Andrew McCabe Might Take the Fifth if Called Before Senate Judiciary

FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Fired FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe could remain mum if he’s called before the Senate Judiciary Committee next week.

McCabe’s lawyer fired off a letter to the committee’s chairman, Sen. Chuck Grassley, saying McCabe “will have no choice but to invoke his Fifth Amendment privilege” if called before the committee, reports Politico.

Grassley wants McCabe to testify about a much-anticipated probe by the Justice Department inspector general into the FBI’s conduct during its investigation of Hillary Clinton ahead of the 2016 election.

McCabe’s lawyer Michael Bromwich told Grassley on Monday that immunity would be required before McCabe testified because he is under investigation after the Inspector General concluded he lied to investigators.

Read the complete letter.

 

FBI Signals Possible Investigation of Planned Parenthood, Other Abortion Providers

Planned Parenthood protester in Detroit. Photo by Steve Neavling.

Planned Parenthood protester in Detroit. Photo by Steve Neavling.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI appears poised to investigate allegations that Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers violated the law by selling fetal tissue and body parts.

The FBI recently requested unreacted documents from the Senate Judiciary Committee after its chairman, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, urged the FBI in December to investigate the abortion providers following a lengthy probe into the sale of fetal tissue, The Hill reports

At the time, Grassley told the committee he had enough evidence to prove abortion providers profited in the transfer of tissue and body parts from aborted fetuses. Grassley contends the providers violated a 1993 law that bars selling fetal tissue at a profit.

Neither the FBI nor the Justice Department would comment.

Planned Parenthood, which insists it never violated the law, said it provided more than 3,000 pages of documents and several witnesses to the committee.

“Planned Parenthood strongly disagrees with the recommendations of the Senate Republican staff to refer this matter to the Justice Department, especially in light of the fact that investigations by three other Congressional committees, and investigations in 13 states including a Grand Jury in Texas, have all shown that Planned Parenthood did nothing wrong,” said Dana Singiser, Vice President of Government Affairs for Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

“These accusations are baseless, and a part of a widely discredited attempt to end access to reproductive health care at Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood has never, and would never, profit while facilitating its patients’ choice to donate fetal tissue for use in important medical research,” she added.

Sen. Grassley: Was Trump Warned That Manafort Was Investigated by FBI for Years?

Donald Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort.

Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

If the FBI has been investigating Paul Manafort’s connections to Russia for years before he became Donald Trump’s campaign chairman in 2016, did anyone warn the billionaire reality TV star?

That’s what Sen. Chuck Grassley wants to know. And if there was no warning, why not?

Grassley, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee that is investigating Russia’s interference in the election, wrote a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray on Wednesday for an explanation, CNN reports

The FBI has refused to comment so far.

“I write to inquire about whether the FBI ever provided the Trump campaign with a defensive briefing or other warning regarding attempts to infiltrate the campaign by people connected with, or compromised by, Russian intelligence,” Grassley wrote.

Senate Judiciary Committee to Subpoena 2 FBI Officials Over Comey’s Firing

Sen. Chuck Grassley

Sen. Chuck Grassley

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Senate Judiciary Committee is preparing for a showdown with the Justice Department after it prevented two senior FBI officials from testifying on Capitol Hill about President Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey.

The Senate legal counsel plans to subpoena the senior FBI officials – Carl Ghattas and James Rybicki – to force their testimony about Comey’s firing, CNN reports

The Justice Department last week said it was preventing the FBI officials from appearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee because of the DOJ’s “long-standing policy regarding the confidentiality and sensitivity of information relating to pending matters.”

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley and Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., aren’t backing down.

“We’ve got subpoenas at the Senate counsel office,” Grassley told CNN Wednesday, referring to the Senate office that would draft the subpoenas. “When we get done there, I’m gonna have to consult with Sen. Feinstein.”

GOP Senator Calls for Vote on Trump’s FBI Director Nominee by July

Christopher A. Wray

Christopher A. Wray

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, is calling for the Senate to vote on President Trump’s nominee to replace ousted FBI Director James Comey by July.

Trump officially nominated Christopher Wray for the position earlier this week, but Democrats have expressed numerous concerns about the nominee.

“It’s been my intention of having the nominee before the committee during the month of July and hopefully get it done in time so that he can be confirmed before our summer break,” Grassley told reporters on Thursday. 

The Senate’s recess begins in August. 

Grassley met with Wray on Thursday to begin the process of pushing the nominee through the Senate during an already packed schedule.

Among the concerns expressed by Democrats are Wray’s involvement with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a Trump ally who has declined to say whether he played a role in Wray’s nomination.

U.S. Sen. Grassley Urges Feds to Investigate Planned Parenthood Tissue Sales

Planned ParenthoodBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley is urging the FBI and Justice Department to investigate Planned Parenthood and three tissue-specimen companies over allegations of improperly selling tissues from aborted fetuses.

The call for an investigation came as the Senate Judiciary Committee discovered that three companies charged unlawfully high prices for fetal tissues, the Des Moines Register reports.

“I don’t take lightly making a criminal referral but the seeming disregard for the law by these entities has been fueled by decades of utter failure by the Justice Department to enforce it,” the Iowa Republican said in a statement. “And, unless there is a renewed commitment by everyone involved against commercializing the trade in aborted fetal body parts for profit, then the problem is likely to continue.”

The Des Moines Register wrote:

At issue in the Judiciary Committee report is a 1993 law governing human fetal tissue research that bans buying or selling such tissue — with the narrow exception that suppliers can charge for the cost of transportation, processing, preservation, storage and other costs associated with a transfer.

The law means, in short, that fetal tissues may be transferred for research purposes so long as no one profits from that transfer.

In reviewing transfers from four Planned Parenthood organizations to three specimen companies, however, Grassley’s committee says it has uncovered evidence of profit-making.

Sen. Chuck Grassley Blasts FBI for Rebuffing Judge’s Request for Clinton E-Mails

Sen. Grassley

Sen. Grassley

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI’s decision to reject a judge’s request for information on the bureau’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private e-mail system has prompted outrage from Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley.

Politico reports that Grassley didn’t mince words after the FBI refused to provide information on whether the bureau retrieved e-mail records.

“The FBI is behaving like it’s above the law,” said Grassley, whose committee oversees the bureau. “Simply refusing to cooperate with a court-ordered request is not an appropriate course of action.”

Grassley hasn’t said yet what actions his committee will take.