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Tag: hearing

Mueller Defends Special Counsel Investigation, Saying It Wasn’t ‘a Witch hunt’

Former special counsel Robert Mueller testifies before congress.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Former special counsel Robert Mueller on Wednesday rejected repeated claims by President Trump that the investigation into Russia’s election interference was a witch hunt.

The defense of his investigation came during several hours of testimony before two congressional committees.

“Your investigation is not a witch hunt, is it?” Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., asked.

“It is not a witch hunt,” Mueller responded.

During most of the hearings, Mueller stuck to his pledge to narrow his responses to his widely reported final report. But that didn’t mean the hearings were without new information.

Earlier in the day, Mueller suggested he did not pursue charges against Trump because of the Justice Department’s position that a sitting president can’t be indicted.

“And I’d like to ask you the reason, again, that you did not indict Donald Trump is because of OLC (DOJ’s Office of Legal Counsel) opinion stating that you cannot indict a sitting president, correct,” Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., asked.

“That is correct,” Mueller said at 10:50 a.m.

But three hours later, Mueller corrected his earlier statement.

“Now, before we go to questions, I want to go back to one thing that was said this morning by Mr. Lieu who said, and I quote, ‘You didn’t charge the president because of the OLC opinion’,” Mueller said. “That is not the correct way to say it. As we say in the report, and as I said at the opening, we did not reach a determination as to whether the president committed a crime.”

During the hearing, Mueller emphasized that one of the most alarming discoveries was the breadth of Russia’s interference during the presidential election. In his opening statement, Mueller said the investigation found “sweeping and systematic” Russian interference during the 2016 election.

He repeated the report’s conclusion that there was not ample evidence that Trump’s election team colluded with Russia.

But, Mueller stressed, the report did not exonerate Trump on obstruction, contradicting the president’s insistence that the special counsel team concluded he did nothing wrong.

“Based on Justice Department policy and principles of fairness, we decided we would not make a determination as to whether the president committed a crime,” Mueller said. “That was our decision then and it remains our decision today.”

House Committee Chairman Warns Barr He Can’t Set Terms for Hearing on Mueller Report

AG William Barr testifies before the Senate Appropriations Committee on Wednesday.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee fired back at Attorney General William Bar for trying to change the proposed format of his testimony on the Russia investigation this week.

“The witness is not going to tell the committee how to conduct its hearing, period,” Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., told CNN on Sunday.

Barr warned committee Democrats that he may not testify to the committee on Thursday unless the format changes.

In addition to allowing five minutes of questioning for each member of the committee, Nadler proposed a second round of questions for both sides to each question Barr for 30 minutes.

Barr has opposed the additional round of questioning, CNN first reported.

The most contentious issue involves the Mueller report and Barr’s four-page summary of it, which Democrats and some others have criticized as one-sided.

Barr also is scheduled to appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday. The committee’s chairman Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said Barr must answer questions about the four-page summary and how it measures up to the full report.

“Well, he gave a four-page summary. Does the report support his summary? Does the report actually indicate there was no collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians?” Graham said during a “Face the Nation” interview Sunday on CBS.

Congressman Calls for Hearing on FBI’s Response to Florida Nightclub Shooter

Rep. John Mica

Rep. John Mica

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Rep. John Mica, R-Florida, is demanding to learn more about the FBI’s response to Omar Mateen, the man who opened fire at a nightclub, killing 49 people.

Mica said he wants to know whether the FBI missed clues before the shooting and what the bureau knew about Mateen when he was previously investigated, WFTV reports. 

Mica is calling for a congressional hearing to get those answers.

Mica suggested that the FBI should have done more earlier but didn’t because of political correctness.

Secret Service Director to Face Tough Questions Today Following More Problems

Joe Clancy

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Not many people want to be in Joe Clancy’s shoes.

The longtime agent that President Obama recently appointed to lead the beleaguered Secret Service will face tough questions from lawmakers today over the latest embarrassment to hit the agency.

Clancy is scheduled to appear before the House Appropriations Committee for a hearing on the budget, but he’s likely to be grilled over the agency’s failure to stop avoidable security lapses and alcohol consumption among agents, CNN reports.

The former director, Julia Pierson, lost her job allowing a fence-jumping at the White House.

Recently, two top-ranking Secret Service officials are accused of being drunk and causing a disruption at a White House command post and an investigation of a potential explosive device.

Other Stories of Interest


FBI: Harvard University Student Sent Bomb Threat to Delay Taking Final Exam

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Harvard University student who wasn’t prepared for his final exam decided to buy himself some time.

On Monday, Eldo Kim, 20, emailed threats that claimed there were “bombs placed around campus” about a half hour before his test, NBC News reports, citing the FBI. Sure enough, the alarms rang at 9 a.m. to evacuate students.

“He knew that his plan had worked,” the affidavit read.

But the next day, the FBI tracked down Kim, who told authorities he was trying to avoid an exam, NBC News wrote.

The Cambridge man is scheduled for a hearing today in U.S. District Court. He faces up to five years in prison, three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine if convicted of communicating the bomb threat, NBC wrote.

 

Sen. Judiciary Committee Expected to Grill Atty. Gen. Eric Holder

grillBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Summer is long gone, but get ready for some serious grilling — Washington style.

Attorney General Eric Holder is scheduled Wednesday morning to go before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on the “Oversight of the Department of Justice” and get grilled on such subjects as Fort Hood and the decision to put 9/11 terrorist suspect Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and others on trial in New York.

He’s expected to face some of his toughest critics, who happen to sit on the committee.