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Tag: donald trump

White House Rebuffs Concerns About Access to Info About FBI Informants

Christopher Wray (File photo)

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Is transparency best in this case or simply dangerous?

Mark Mazzetti of the New York Times reports:

The White House has rebuffed concerns among American intelligence and law enforcement officials and ordered that more lawmakers be given access to classified information about an informant the F.B.I. used in 2016 to investigate possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia, according to two American officials with knowledge of the decision.

Both the director of national intelligence and the director of the F.B.I. tried to keep the classified documents tightly restricted, fearing that a broader dissemination of operational reports and other sensitive material could lead to more leaks of detailed information about the role of the confidential F.B.I. informant.

Some American officials believe, in fact, the reason the White House made the decision was to provide political ammunition to President Trump’s Republican allies who have argued — without any evidence — that the F.B.I. investigation was opened in July 2016 as an effort to keep Mr. Trump from becoming president.

Trump Says FBI Agent Peter Strzok Gets ‘Poor Marks’ For Testimony on The Hill

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Tweeter-in-chief Donald Trump took a shot at FBI agent Peter Strzok, who testified before the joint House Oversight and Judiciary committees Wednesday in a closed-door session.

Mueller Team Could Produce Indictments Addressing Collusion By Fall, Bloomberg News Reports

Special counsel Robert Mueller. Photo via FBI.

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Do folks in the Trump camp need to keep worrying about the Robert Mueller probe?

Bloomberg News, citing a “person familiar with the probe,” reports that Mueller is preparing to accelerate his probe into possible collusion between Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and Russians in the 2016 election.

The source tells Bloomberg that the Mueller team hopes to possibly produce indictments related to collusion by fall.  Mueller, the source says, hopes to soon turn his full attention to the issue, including whether  Trump obstructed justice.

 

Former Senate Staffer Charged With Lying to FBI Wants Trump To Shut Up About His Case

Jim Wolfe (Linkedin photo)

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

James Wolfe, former security director for the Senate Intelligence Committee charged with lying to FBI agents, wants President Donald Trump to shut up.

His lawyer filed a motion on Tuesday to prevent anyone involved with his case — up to and including President Donald Trump — from speaking publicly about the case, CNN reports.

Wolfe’s attorney writes that comments made by Trump and senior Justice Department officials “have threatened Mr. Wolfe’s right to a fair trial under the Sixth Amendment” with an impartial jury and the presumption of innocence, CNN reports.

Last week Trump told reporters that “It’s very interesting that they caught a leaker … it’s a very important leaker.”
Assistant Attorney General John Demers said in a statement last week that the allegations were “doubly troubling as the false statements concern the unauthorized disclosure of sensitive and confidential information.”

Wolfe’s attorney points out that his client has never been charged with leaking classified info.

Rudy Giuliani Calls FBI Agents and Special Prosecutors ‘Wackadoodles’

Rudolph Giuliani

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

In the past year, some people have questioned Rudy Giuliani’s sanity.

On Saturday, he was questioning the sanity of  the FBI agents and special prosecutors investigating President Trump, saying they should go to the psychiatric ward at Bellevue, The Hill reports.

“Instead of investigating President Trump, they should go to Bellevue,” Giuliani said.

He also called the investigators “wackadoodles.”

The former U.S. Attorney and mayor of New York made the comments in Staten Island while campaigning for Republican Rep. Dan Donovan, who has been endorsed by Trump.

Giuliani said the special counsel’s investigation into possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia is “made up of a bunch of distorted human beings who cried” when Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton lost the presidential election in 2016, the Hills reports.

“Ahhhhh we want Hillary,” Giuliani said of the FBI. “What’s going to happen? I need a psychiatrist.”

The #3 Spot in Justice Department Remains Open, and For Good Reason

Rachel Brand (Doj photo)

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The number three position at the Justice Department remains vacant, and for good reason, writes New York Magazine:

The Trump administration can’t seem to fill it, probably because the president has made it clear there’s a good risk of becoming the next target of his ire.

As President Trump continues to denigrate Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Twitter, and his allies in Congress lay the groundwork for him to fire Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, the number-three position at Justice Department has been vacant since Rachel Brand stepped down in February. The official reason given for her departure was that she could not pass up the top legal position at Walmart, but NBC News reported that she told friends she felt “overwhelmed and unsupported” in the job, and feared she would be asked to oversee the Russia investigation.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the Trump administration has put filling the associate attorney general position on the back burner after several candidates expressed similar concerns. Since Sessions has recused himself, if Rosenstein were to do the same oversight of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe would fall to the associate AG. In a Saturday Night Massacre situation, the number-three official could easily wind up as acting attorney general.

Digging A Deeper Hole: Mueller Accuses Paul Manafort of Witness Tampering

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manfort is getting himself in more trouble.

Federal prosecutors on the Robert S. Mueller III team are accusing him of witness tampering and want the judge to consider revoking or revising his release, the Washington Post reports.

Prosecutors accuse Manafort and a longtime associate they linked to Russian intelligence of repeatedly contacting two members of a public relations firm and asking them to falsely testify about secret lobbying they did at Manafort’s behest.

The Post reports:

In court documents, prosecutors with special counsel Robert S. Mueller III allege that Manafort and his associate — referred to only as Person A — tried to contact the two witnesses by phone and through encrypted messaging apps. The description of Person A matches his longtime business colleague in Ukraine, Konstantin Kilimnik.

 

Trump Rips Into Justice Department/FBI for Not Warning Him About Manafort

Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort.

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

President Donald Trump, continuing on his Twitter tear, on Sunday questioned why the Justice Department or FBI did not notify him during the campaign that Paul Manafort was under investigation, insisting that Manafort would have never been hired if he had known, CNN reports.

“As only one of two people left who could become President, why wouldn’t the FBI or Department of ‘Justice’ have told me that they were secretly investigating Paul Manafort (on charges that were 10 years old and had been previously dropped) during my campaign?” Trump wrote on Twitter Sunday morning. “Should have told me!”

In a second tweet, CNN reports, Trump downplayed Manafort’s role on his campaign, saying the Republican strategist “came into the campaign very late and was with us for a short period of time,” but “we should have been told that Comey and the boys were doing a number on him, and he wouldn’t have been hired!”

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