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Tag: donald trump

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.

USA Today Columnist: ICE Should Stop Taking Parents from Children

Courtesy of ICE

Courtesy of ICE

Janet Murguia
USA Today 

The immigration debate in America is the place where conservative principles — fiscal responsibility, federalism and the “preservation of the family unit” — go to die.

As we’ve seen over the past two months, a country that has for centuries been a beacon for the world’s immigrants is now pursuing policies that will surely leave her on the wrong side of history. President Trump’s immigration agenda — one fitfully symbolized by a yet-to-be-built wall — threatens to tear apart American families while leaving a trail of misery across the United States.

As the president’s budget moves from bluster to blueprint, we can clearly see that the campaign rhetoric used to rile racists was not a cynical appeal waiting to be washed away by reason. His funding requests to Congress have set in motion an attempt to massively expand detention camps and escalate an already large deportation force. To put these dollars in perspective, the United States already spends about $18 billion on immigration enforcement. That’s more than on all the other federal law enforcement agencies combined: the ATF, the DEA, the FBI, the Federal Marshals Service and the Secret Service.

What confronts us now is scorched-earth immigration enforcement that will separate as many as 5.7 million American children from their parents. Some of them already have watched as newly emboldened Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents have set upon their families. As White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer put it this past month, The president wants to “take the shackles off individuals in these agencies.”

This practice will have devastating consequences on our nation’s families, as illustrated by the story of 13-year-old Fatima Avelica, whose life was devastated in February by the president’s first nationwide immigration sweep. One month ago, she witnessed and captured on film the ICE arrest of her father Romulo Avelica-Gonzalez after they dropped her younger sister off at school. Agents were acting on a deportation order issued in 2014. Fatima sobbed from the back seat as her father, an undocumented immigrant from Mexico who has lived in the United States for more than 25 years, was put in handcuffs and taken away.

To read more click here. 

New FBI Official Tries to Open Lines of Communication with Congress

congress copyBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

It’s safe to say Greg Brower is feeling pressure from Congress.

Last month, Brower became the FBI’s chief liaison to Capitol Hill, essentially acting as a conduit between Congress and the FBI.

His new job coincides with an FBI investigation into a possible relationship between Russia and Donald Trump’s campaign team to influence the election.

“It’s absolutely critical that the relationship be a good one, that the lines of communication be open, that Congress understands what we’re doing and not doing,” Brower told The Hill.

Brower is a lawyer and former Nevada state senator whose major role, he said, is communication.

The Hill wrote:

For Brower, translating the insular language of the bureau to Congress — where many members are not lawyers nor have experience working with law enforcement — is something that comes naturally given his experience as a former state legislator. 

Although one former House Intelligence Committee staffer expressed surprise that Comey had hired a liaison who started with comparatively few Capitol Hill contacts, Brower noted, “I’ve kind of been there on that side of things and kind of know how that sausage-making process works.

“It’s not just the language differences, but the mentality. I feel like I have, over the years, sometimes literally at the same time, had to think like a lawyer and think like a legislator.”

Part of Brower’s job has been responding to queries from lawmakers who want clarification about anonymously sourced stories on the FBI’s Russia investigation that they have seen in the press. 

It’s often up to Brower to sort out any disconnects between what’s reported and what’s really going on — “as best we can, to the extent we can.” He acknowledges that can sometimes be a difficult task given the bureau’s longstanding policy of not talking about ongoing investigations. 

Dennis Kucinich: FBI Director Must Recuse Himself from Russia Investigation

FBI Director James Comey

FBI Director James Comey

By Former Congressman Dennis Kucinich
Fox News

FBI Director James Comey should recuse himself from all further investigations into the 2016 presidential campaign and its aftermath.

Here’s why:

On Oct. 28, Comey announced the discovery of new Clinton emails, creating a media firestorm that tilted the election toward Donald Trump.

This week, testifying before the House Intelligence Committee, Comey confirmed a report leaked to the media last summer that the FBI was investigating allegations of a connection between the Trump campaign and the Russian government.

Comey could have shared his concerns about both campaigns before the November election, and let the public decide. He did not.

If it was appropriate to withhold information about an investigation into the Trump campaign in July, he should have applied that same logic to the Clinton campaign in October. Hillary Clinton, charged not with a crime but by innuendo, paid the price at the polls. She was convicted in the court of public opinion.

Comey’s announcement this week that the FBI was investigating possible collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government made national and world headlines and rocked the White House.

But why now? Why not eight months ago? Has new, substantive information been brought forward? Was there even a real investigation in July? Or did an insider leak a story to the FBI back then for political purposes?

Someone on the House or Senate Judiciary Committee should ask for the FBI agents’ time sheets over the past eight months to see if the Bureau was actually investigating, or whether this is another case of abuse of process — using an alleged investigation to smear a candidate.

To read more click here. 

 

Poll: Public Largely Supports FBI Investigation into Russian Interference of Election

Donald Trump, via Wikipedia

Donald Trump, via Wikipedia

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The public is largely supportive of the FBI investigation into the possible links between Donald Trump’s campaign team and the Russian government.

The Huffington Post/YouGov poll found that Americans support an investigation by a 17-point margin, 48% to 31%.

The poll also found that about half of Americans believe Russia interfered in the 2016 election, but only about a third believe the intent was to help Trump win.

Opinions on the investigation are largely determined by whom voters supported in the presidential election. More than 80% of Clinton supporters believe the Russia story is a legitimate issue, while Trump voters disagree, 65% to 22%.

CNN Analyst: Michael Flynn May Be Cooperating with FBI’s Probe of Russia

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Michael Flynn, President Trump’s former national security adviser who resigned after misleading Vice President Mike Pence about his relations with Russia, may be talking with the FBI, a CNN national security analyst believes.

Citing sources, Juliette Kayyem said “Mike Flynn is the one who may have a deal with the FBI.”

He added, “That’s why we have not heard from him for some time.”

But Kayyem later walked back some of her claims, writing on Facebook, “I did not say on this segment that I have any confirmation that he is actually cooperating or that I have talked to anyone who does.”

Kayyem said her sources “are increasingly wondering” whether Flynn is cooperating with the FBI investigation into Russian interference during the presidential election.

Will a New FBI Headquarters Ever Be Built? Congress Faces Spending Deadline

Current FBI headquarters

Current FBI headquarters

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

If you’re wondering whether the FBI’s new headquarters will ever be built, you could be forgiven.

For years, federal officials have been planning to build a new headquarters in Maryland or Virginia. But every year passes without funding.

Now Congress is scrambling to secure more than a billion dollars by next month to proceed with the project, the Baltimore Sun reports. 

“A vague, three-sentence statement released this month by the agency overseeing the $2 billion development — as well as silence from President Donald Trump, a former real estate developer — has shifted the discussion from whether the headquarters will be built in Maryland or Virginia to whether its progress will be delayed indefinitely,” the Baltimore Sun wrote.

To keep the project going, Congress must secure $1.4 billion for the building by April 28, when current spending authority expires.

Secret Service Expected to Get ‘Outsider’ Director from the Military

secret-service-3By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump is expected to appoint a new Secret Service director with a senior military rank, the Washington Examiner reports. 

It would be the first time an appointment was made from outside the Secret Service in modern history.

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, a retired Marin general, is said to be in favor over the appointment of a general to lead the Secret Service and help shakeup the beleaguered agency.

The announcement is expected to be made next week.

The identity of the candidate has not been revealed.

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