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Tag: Democrats

How Trump’s Boorish Temperament Is Exposing Him to More Scrutiny

donald trump rallyBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

If President Trump thought firing FBI Director James Comey would rein in the bureau’s robust federal investigation of ties between Russia and Trump’s campaign, the billionaire-turned-political newcomer made a terrible, potentially fateful miscalculation.

Trump’s brazen decision Tuesday to terminate the man who was leading the growing investigation prompted a far-reaching call for an independent special counsel to examine whether the president’s campaign conspired with Russia to interfere with the 2016 election. Some also are questioning whether Comey’s firing constitutes obstruction of justice since he was looking into potential crimes committed by the president and some of his inner circle.

Former FBI Director James Comey

Former FBI Director James Comey

After drawing fierce criticism from both sides of the aisle, Democrats on Wednesday called for an independent special counsel to investigate the allegations. Then on Thursday, 20 attorneys general from across the country urged the Justice Department to appoint a special counsel.

Despite the reaction, Trump continues to take to Twitter and TV to blame the investigation on “fake news” and Democrats who “fabricated” the allegations “as an excuse for losing the election.”

Trump’s Bold Choice to Fire Comey May Lead to a Special Prosecutor

Donald Trump, via Wikipedia

Donald Trump, via Wikipedia

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

After Donald Trump boldly fired the FBI director in the middle of an investigation into his presidential campaign’s ties to Russia, Democrats said the only way to assure a fair investigation is to appoint a special prosecutor.

Democrats compared Trump’s actions to President Richard Nixon, who tried to obstruct a federal investigation into his inner circle before resigning in 1974.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said the investigation must be led by someone independent of Trump, CNN reports

“This investigation must be run as far away as possible from this White House,” Schumer said.

Sen. Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate intelligence committee, said he wants to hear what Comey knows about the investigation.

“I still want him to come and testify, even as former FBI director,” Warner said in an interview on CNN’s “Erin Burnett OutFront.”

Sen. Ed Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat, expressed an urgency to appoint a special prosecutor.

“We are careening ever closer to a Constitutional crisis, and this development only underscores why we must appoint a special prosecutor to fully investigate any dealings the Trump campaign or administration had with Russia,” said Sen. Ed Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat, in a statement.

Homeland Security Secretary Kelly Considers Body Cams for Border Patrol Agents

Body cams, via Wikipedia

Body cams, via Wikipedia

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

As complaints continue about President Trump’s toughened immigration policies, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said Tuesday that he will consider body cameras for Border Patrol and ICE agents, the San Antonio Express-News reports.

Kelly met with Congressional Hispanic Caucus members and said he would investigate credible charges of civil rights violations.

In a meeting three weeks ago with Democratic lawmakers, Kelly insisted the agency lacked enough money to buy body cameras.

“We believe that this would increase transparency and would make sure that ICE agents are doing their jobs properly, that Border Patrol agents are doing their job properly,” said U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-San Antonio, who has led the push for the body cameras. “He (Kelly) said he is committed to that, and hopefully that will become ‘part of our job.’”

Castro called out Kelly’s claims that the agency doesn’t have enough money for body cams, noting that Trump’s budget calls for an infusion of $2.8 billion for discretionary spending at Homeland Security.

“There are tremendous safety and accountability benefits to having video records of law enforcement activity – both for the officers and for the public,” Castro wrote.

FBI Director Is Holding Back Details of Trump-Russia Probe, Democrat Says

FBI Director James Comey

FBI Director James Comey

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Democrats who hoped to learn more about the investigations into Russian meddling in the U.S. elections were disappointed after a closed-door meeting with FBI Director James Comey.

“At this point we know less than a fraction of what the FBI knows,” said U.S. Representative Adam Schiff, the leading Democrat on the House intelligence committee, Newsweek reports. 

Schiff said the committee plans to investigate the potential collusion between Russia and Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.

Disappointed that the FBI failed to give the panel a full intelligence briefing, Schiff said Comey will be called back.

“There were very large areas that were walled off, and those walls are going to have to come down if we are going to do our job,” Schiff said.

Sen. Warren Pledges to Continue Fight Against Appointment of Sessions As AG

Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Senate narrowly confirmed Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Mass., as attorney general, but Democrats are not done fighting.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., pledged to fight the appointment, saying “this is just the beginning” of opposition from Democrats, the Washington Post reports. 

Warren, a potential 2020 presidential candidate, said she fears Sessions will bring “his racism, sexism & bigotry” to the Justice Department.

Senate Expected to Confirm Jeff Sessions as Attorney General Today

Jeff Sessions at the confirmation hearing.

Jeff Sessions at the confirmation hearing.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump’s controversial pick for attorney general, Jeff Sessions, is expected to be confirmed by the Senate Wednesday. 

Senate Democrats held a late-night session Tuesday to show opposition to Sessions because of concerns that he is racist.

If Sessions is confirmed today, he won’t have much time to celebrate. Among his biggest priorities is likely fighting on behalf of Trump’s immigration restrictions. He also is expected to help crack down on illegal immigration by increasing deportations.

Supporters say Sessions is highly qualified after serving 12 years as U.S. attorney in Alabama and two years as state attorney general.

California Democrats Hire Former AG Eric Holder to Fight Trump Agenda

Former Attorney General Eric Holder

Former Attorney General Eric Holder

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Democratic leaders of the California Legislature have a new weapon against legal fights with President-elect Donald Trump – former Attorney General Eric Holder.

Holder, who was severing as a Washington lawyer, is expected to be used on issues like the environment, immigration and criminal justice, the New York Times reports. 

“Having the former attorney general of the United States brings us a lot of firepower in order to prepare to safeguard the values of the people of California,” Kevin de León, the Democratic leader of the Senate, said in an interview. “This means we are very, very serious.”

The decision to hire Holder came after California Democrats watched in surprise as Trump selected his controversial cabinet.

“It was very clear that it wasn’t just campaign rhetoric,” Mr. de León said of Mr. Trump’s proposals over the past year. “He was surrounding himself with people who are a very clear and present danger to the economic prosperity of California.”

Holder served as attorney general under President Obama from 2009 to 2015.

“I am honored that the Legislature chose Covington to serve as its legal adviser as it considers how to respond to potential changes in federal law that could impact California’s residents and policy priorities,”Holder said in a statement. “I am confident that our expertise across a wide array of federal legal and regulatory issues will be a great resource to the Legislature.”

FBI Agent: Informant Says He Was Discouraged from Investigating Republicans in PA Probe

Harrisburg Capitol Building in Pennsylvania.

Harrisburg Capitol Building in Pennsylvania.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An FBI agent said an informant in a statehouse sting in Pennsylvania notified him that he was pressured to only target Democrats.

The case has snagged five Democrats and no Republicans.

FBI Special Agent Richard Haag made the comments in a defense filing for Democratic state Rep. Vanessa Lowery Brown, the Washington Post reported Sunday.

State investigators denied any partisan motive.

“Never, ever was he told to steer towards one party or another,” former state prosecutor Frank Fina told the newspaper, speaking of informant Tyron Ali.

The informant’s cooperation began in 2010 to gain leniency in a state fraud case. In a 2013 email, Haag wrote that Ali asserted that he had been “reprimanded” for questioning Republicans and was told “not to make any initiative in contacting Republicans in the future.”