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Tag: FBI

Fed Judge in South Carolina Blasts FBI in Dylann Roof Gun Purchase

Dylann Roof

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

U.S. District Judge Richard M. Gergel of South Carolina blasted the FBI  in a court order filed Monday for a parade of  errors and a series of “abysmally poor policy choices” that allowed Dylann S. Roof to unlawfully buy the gun that he used to kill nine African-American people in a Charleston church in 2015, the News York Times reports.

That being said, the judge granted the government’s motion to dismiss about 15 lawsuits filed against it, which had alleged negligent management of criminal databases and performance of background checks.

The judge noted that the lawsuits had uncovered “glaring weaknesses” in the background check system, but the government could still claim immunity.

The National Instant Criminal Background Check System, operated by the F.B.I., demonstrated in a variety of ways that it was “hopelessly stuck in 1995,” Judge Gergel wrote, according to the Times.  But he noted that  “the victims of this tragedy” had no legal remedy.

Salon: What’s Buried in IG Report, How Rogue FBI Agents Helped Undermine Clinton Campaign

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A piece in Salon Magazine, an online publication, is titled: “Here’s what’s buried beneath that FBI report: How rogue agents sabotaged the Clinton campaign.”

The piece suggests that FBI agents in the New York office helped Rudy Giuliani, who was campaigning for Donald Trump in 2016, by leaking information.

Heather Digby Parton writes:

I think everyone remembers that Rudy Giuliani played a significant role in the Trump presidential campaign and was especially visible during the last month or so. On Oct. 25, 2016, he made a couple of TV appearances in which he hinted broadly that the campaign had an October surprise coming.

On “Fox & Friends” he was asked if Trump had anything planned other than “inspiring rallies” and he said “yes” (at the 8:50 mark). When asked what that was, he responded this way:

“Heh-heh-heh,” Mr. Giuliani laughed. “You’ll see.”

Appearing to enjoy his own coy reply, Mr. Giuliani resumed chuckling: “Ha-ha-ha.”

“When will this happen?” Ms. Earhardt asked.

“We got a couple of surprises left,” Mr. Giuliani said, smiling.

Later that day he appeared on another show and gleefully reiterated his claim. You can see it at the two-minute mark in the following video:

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.

National Review: Serious Problems at the FBI and Justice Department

By Andrew C. McCarthy
National Review 

It has become a refrain among defenders of the FBI and Justice Department that critics are trying to destroy these vital institutions. In point of fact, these agencies are doing yeoman’s work destroying themselves — much to the chagrin of those of us who spent much of our professional lives proudly carrying out their mission.

The problem is not the existence of miscreants; they are an inevitable part of the human condition, from which no institution of any size will ever be immune. The challenge today is the ethos of law-enforcement. You see it in texts expressing disdain for lawmakers; in the above-it-all contempt for legislative oversight; in arrogant flouting of the Gang of Eight disclosure process for sensitive intelligence (because the FBI’s top-tier unilaterally decides when Bureau activities are “too sensitive” to discuss); in rogue threats to turn the government’s law-enforcement powers against Congress; and in the imperious self-perception of a would-be fourth branch of government, insulated from and unaccountable to the others — including its actual executive-branch superiors.

To read the full column click here.

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.”

FBI Agent Peter Strzok Volunteers to Testify Without a Subpoena

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Now, this could be must-see-TV.

Peter Strzok, the FBI agent who sent anti-Trump messages to a colleague while leading the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s emails and Russia’s involvement in the Trump campaign, says he’s willing to voluntarily testify before the House Judiciary Committee or any other committee, New York Magazine reports.

The magazine notes that Strzok could expose more information about those probes.

House Judiciary chairman Bob Goodlatte was preparing to subpoena Strzok as part of the House investigation into the FBI’s conduct during the 2016 election.

But Strzok’s lawyer, Aitan Goelman, wrote in a letter to Goodlatte released Sunday Strzok was willing to testify without a subpoena.

Jonathan Turley: Fired FBI Director James Comey Can’t Hide the Damage He Caused the FBI

Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University

Jonathan Turley (GWU photo)

By Jonathan Turley
For The Hill

James Comey once described his position in the Clinton investigation as being the victim of a “500-year flood.” The point of the analogy was that he was unwittingly carried away by events rather than directly causing much of the damage to the FBI. His “500-year flood” just collided with the 500-page report of the Justice Department inspector general (IG) Michael Horowitz. The IG sinks Comey’s narrative with a finding that he “deviated” from Justice Department rules and acted in open insubordination.

Rather than portraying Comey as carried away by his biblical flood, the report finds that he was the destructive force behind the controversy. The import of the report can be summed up in Comeyesque terms as the distinction between flotsam and jetsam. Comey portrayed the broken rules as mere flotsam, or debris that floats away after a shipwreck. The IG report suggests that this was really a case of jetsam, or rules intentionally tossed over the side by Comey to lighten his load. Comey’s jetsam included rules protecting the integrity and professionalism of his agency, as represented by his public comments on the Clinton investigation.

The report will leave many unsatisfied and undeterred. Comey went from a persona non grata to a patron saint for many Clinton supporters. Comey, who has made millions of dollars with a tell-all book portraying himself as the paragon of “ethical leadership,” continues to maintain that he would take precisely the same actions again.

To read the full column click here.

FBI Director Christopher Wray Writes: ‘IG’s Report Makes Clear That We Have Some Work To Do’

Christopher Wray has been the director of the FBI since August 2017.

Christopher Wray (File photo)

By Christopher Wray
For USA Today

There has been no shortage of commentary and debate about the FBI lately, and the new report from the Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General is a welcome contribution from an independent voice on events of the 2016 election season. The Bureau is entrusted with a lot of authority to carry out our mission, and with that power comes close scrutiny. That’s as it should be. Fair and independent oversight makes the FBI a stronger organization — and that, in turn, makes our country safer.

While the Inspector General didn’t find any evidence of political bias or improper consideration impacting the investigation under review, all of us at the FBI take this report seriously, and we accept its findings and recommendations. We’ve already taken steps to address many of the concerns it raises. We’ll change what we need to change and improve what can be made better and stronger, and we’ll move forward with renewed focus and determination. Because that is the essence of the FBI — we learn from the past, we get better at what we need to do, and we continually strive to be the very best we can be.

The IG’s report makes clear that we have some work to do, but I also want our fellow citizens to realize something important about the scope of this report. It’s focused on a specific set of events in 2016, and on a narrow set of employees connected to those events. Nothing in the IG’s report impugns the integrity of our workforce as a whole, or the FBI as an institution.

Read full column

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