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Tag: jeff sessions

Democratic-Controlled House to Probe Trump’s New AG Matt Whitaker

Rep. Jerry Nadler

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

With Democrats now controlling the House of Representatives, President Trump’s pick for interim attorney general, Matt Whitaker, is likely to face tough scrutiny in the form of hearings.

Rep.  Jerry Nadler, the presumed chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said Whitaker will be summoned early next year as part of the ongoing Russia investigation.

“Our very first witness after January 3, we will summon, if necessary subpoena, Mr. Whitaker,” Nadler told CNN.  

“The very first thing, obviously, is to protect the Mueller investigation,” Nadler said. “The president’s dismissal of Attorney General Sessions and his appointment of Whitaker, who’s a complete political lackey, is a real threat to the integrity of that investigation.” 

The president last week forced the resignation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and replaced him Whitaker, a loyalist and critic of the special counsel investigation into whether Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia to meddle in the 2016 presidential election.

“He’s totally unqualified, and his only qualification seems to be that the President wants him to be the hatchet man to destroy the Mueller investigation,” Nadler said.

Fate of Mueller Investigation Hangs in the Balance After Sessions’ Resignation

Special Counsel Robert Mueller, via FBI.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

The forced resignation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Wednesday presented President Trump with his best opportunity yet to end the special counsel investigation that he has repeatedly dismissed as a “witch hunt.”

Matthew Whitaker, a Trump loyalist and harsh critic of Robert Mueller’s handling of the probe, has been tapped to replace Sessions on at least a temporary basis.

As attorney general, Whitaker could seize control of the special counsel investigation from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who hired Mueller in April 2017 after Sessions recused himself.

Whitaker, a former college football player and U.S. attorney in Iowa, wrote in a column for CNN last year that Mueller would overstep his authority if he investigated the Trump family’s finances.

“This would raise serious concerns that the special counsel’s investigation was a mere witch hunt,” Whitaker wrote, repeating the president’s go-to conspiratorial phrase.

Whitaker has not yet responded to media questions about what he plans to do about the Mueller investigation.

“I am committed to leading a fair department with the highest ethical standards that upholds the rule of law and seeks justice for all Americans,” Whitaker said  Wednesday in a statement, calling Sessions “a man of integrity.”

Democrats wasted no time demanding that Whitaker stay away from the probe because his previous comments indicate he is far too biased to handle it fairly.

“Given his previous comments advocating defunding and imposing limitations on the Mueller investigation, Mr. Whitaker should recuse himself from its oversight for the duration of his time as acting attorney general,” Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said in a statement to the New York Times

If Trump’s administration interferes with the investigation, Democrats could use their new majority in the House to impeach the president. But the bold measure would almost certainly die in the Senate, which needs two-thirds of the vote to impeach.

Read Sessions’ Resignation Letter to ‘Mr. President’

Attorney General Jeff Sessions

President Trump wasted no time dumping Attorney General Jeff Sessions, just one day after the midterm elections.

Sessions, a former Alabama senator, was routinely criticized by Trump for recusing himself from the Russia investigation, a decision that allowed his deputy to hire special counsel Robert Mueller to probe connections between the Kremlin and Trump’s campaign.

Here is his resignation letter, dated Wednesday.

Dear Mr. President:

At your request I am submitting my resignation.

Since the day I was honored to be sworn in as Attorney General of the United States , I came to work at the Department of Justice every day determined to do my duty and serve my country. I have done so to the best of my ability, working to support the fundamental legal processes that are the foundation of justice.

The team we assembled embraced your directive to be a law and order department of Justice. We prosecuted the largest number of violent offenders and firearms’ defendants in our country’s history. We took on transnational gangs that are bringing violence and death across our borders and protected national security. We did our part to restore immigration enforcement. We targeted the opioid epidemic by prosecuting doctors, pharmacists, and anyone else who contributes to this crisis with ne w law enforcement tools and determination. And we have seen results. After two years of rising violent crime and homicides prior to this administration, those trends have reversed—thanks to the hard work of our prosecutors and law enforcement around the country.

I am particularly grateful to the fabulous men and women in aw enforcement all over this country with whom I have served. I have had no greater honor than to work alongside them. As I have said many times, they have my thanks and I will always have their backs.

Most importantly, in my time as Attorney General we have restored and upheld the rule of law—a glorious tradition that each of us has a responsibility to safeguard. We have operated with integrity and lawfully and aggressively advanced the policy agenda of this administration.

I have been honored to serve as Attorney General and have worked to implement the law enforcement agenda based on the rule of law that formed a central part of your campaign for the Presidency.

Thank you for the opportunity, Mr. President.

Sincerely,

Jeff B. Session III

Attorney General

22 State and Local Law Enforcement Agencies Getting ATF Ballistic Imaging Equipment

Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department and ATF  announced Thursday that it will provide ballistic imaging equipment used by ATF’s National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN) to 22 state and local law enforcement agencies.

“Under President Donald Trump, the Department of Justice is prosecuting more firearm offenders than ever before,” Attorney General Sessions said in a statement. “Ballistics technology has given law enforcement an unprecedented ability to make connections between cases and track down dangerous criminals. Today this Department of Justice is once again investing in the 85 percent of law enforcement officers who serve at the state and local levels and we are equipping them with cutting edge technology that will lead to smarter, targeted prosecutions of the most dangerous people in their communities. I have no doubt that this equipment will help to reduce crime in America.”

NIBIN compares images of cartridge casings recovered at crime scenes and firearms recovered by law enforcement to connect shooting incidents and identify shooters.

Acting head of ATF Thomas Brandon.

“Crime Gun Intelligence, including the timely use of the NIBIN network, is the cornerstone of ATF’s violent crime reduction strategy,” said ATF Deputy Director Thomas Brandon in a statement. “By deploying equipment to these 22 law enforcement agencies, investigators will now receive investigative leads within 48 hours. They will have new opportunities to disrupt the shooting cycle and make our communities safer.”

There are 16 agencies receiving NIBIN equipment for the first time:

  • Anchorage, AK PD
    Aurora, IL PD
    Berks County, PA
    Charleston, WV PD
    Cheney, WA State Patrol
    Des Moines, IA PD
    Frederick County, MD Sheriff’s Office
    Ft. Myers, FL PD
    Glendale, AZ PD
    Nassau County, NY Public Safety Center
    Lexington, KY PD
    Miami Gardens, FL PD
    Orange County, NY Intelligence Center
    Pensacola, FL Escambia Co Sheriff
    Richmond, VA PD
    San Bernardino, CA PD
  • Six agencies are receiving additional equipment to enhance their successful crime gun intelligence programs:
  • Baton Rouge, LA State Crime Lab
    Cincinnati, OH PD
    Denver, CO PD
    Detroit, MI PD
    Jacksonville, FL PD
    Philadelphia, PA PD

Updated: Deputy AG Rosenstein Considering Resigning; Will Meet With Trump on Thursday

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein

Update: 3:35 p.m. Monday — Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein will remain put for now,  but will meet with President Donald Trump Thursday to discuss his job, the Washington Post reports.

___________________________________

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who has worked to keep the Justice Department in line with its mission, is considering resigning, the Washington Post reports.

The paper reports that Rosenstein told the White House he’s willing to resign, but it was unclear if the resignation has been accepted.

One Justice Department official tells the Post Rosenstein was on his way to the White House on Monday and was preparing to be fired. But the official said Rosenstein is not resigning.

Meanwhile, in earlier reports, President Trump said he has not decided whether to fire Rosenstein following a New York Times report, that stated he discussed secretly recording the president and invoking the 25th Amendment to remove him from office. 

Asked whether he feels unsettled about Rosenstein, who is overseeing Robert Mueller’s Russia probe, Trump said his administration is investigating.

“I’m not unsettled about anything, but I’ll tell you what. We are looking at it,” Trump told host Geraldo Rivera in an interview Sunday for his new show on WTAM radio in Cleveland. “It’s very early. We just read the reports. ... We will make a determination.”

Trump also indicated Rosenstein was “hired by Jeff Sessions.”

“I was not involved in that process, because you know they go out and get their own deputies and the people that work in the department,” Trump said. “Jeff Sessions hired him.”

Trump has lashed out at Sessions since he recused himself from the Russia investigation, a decision that gave Rosenstein the authority to appoint a special counsel.

Lengel: Trump’s Disgraceful Shaming of His Attorney General Jeff Sessions

President Trump, via the White House

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

On Labor Day, President Donald Trump couldn’t give his mischievous hands a break on Twitter, nor could he let rest the idea that his Attorney General Jeff Sessions is trying to do the right thing. He tweeted:

Two long running, Obama era, investigations of two very popular Republican Congressmen were brought to a well publicized charge, just ahead of the Mid-Terms, by the Jeff Sessions Justice Department. Two easy wins now in doubt because there is not enough time. Good job Jeff….

The tweet was just another attempt by the president into shaming his attorney general into resigning. He’s already fired the FBI director, deputy FBI director and acting Attorney General. Trump knows he’s skating on thin ice and can’t keep firing his way out of trouble. Richard Nixon learned that.

I may not agree with everything Jeff Sessions believes in, but he certainly deserves credit for hanging in there and taking the Justice Department job serious enough to let Rod Rosenstein do his job.

Some Democrats have spoken out loudly about Trump’s shaming of Sessions. Republicans need to follow suit.

 

The tweets.

The shaming.

Disgusting.

 

Trump Says AG Sessions’ Job Is Safe Until Midterm Elections in November. Then What?

President Trump at Indiana rally Thursday.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

President Trump said he will keep his attorney general, Jeff Sessions, on the job until at least the mid-term elections in November, despite blasting the former senator for failing to stop an “illegal investigation” by special counsel Robert Mueller.

“I just would love to have him do a great job,” Trump told Bloomberg, declining to say whether Sessions’ job was safe after November. 

Trump has clashed with Sessions since he recused himself from the investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 election. The recusal allowed Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to appoint Mueller to investigate Russia in May 2017, just days after the president fired FBI Director James Comey.

Trump has called the investigation a “witch hunt” and routinely questions why the Justice Department isn’t investigating Hillary Clinton.

“I’d love to have him look at the other side,” Trump said.

At a rally in Indiana on Thursday night, Trump turned up the rhetoric, threatening to “get involved” in the work of the Justice Department and FBI unless the agencies “start doing their job.”

He also blasted both agencies by suggesting they are letting Clinton get away with crimes.

“What’s happening is a disgrace, and at some point … if it doesn’t straighten out properly … I will get involved,” Trump said.

Trump Threatens to ‘Take Action’ Against FBI, Heightens Campaign to Discredit Russia Probe

President Trump

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

President Trump lashed out at the FBI, Justice Department and Attorney General Jeff Sessions in a series of tweets over the weekend.

As the showdown continues between the president and Robert Mueller over an interview, Trump is pumping up his rhetoric and threats against the groups that are overseeing the investigation of Russia’s meddling.

“Our A.G. is scared stiff and Missing in Action. It is all starting to be revealed – not pretty. IG Report soon? Witch Hunt!” Trump tweeted from his golf resort in Bedminster, New Jersey. 

Trump has been furious with Sessions since he recused himself from the Russia investigation, which continues to pick up steam.

In another tweet, Trump threatened “to get involved” with a public records request involving his former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe.

“Why isn’t the FBI giving Andrew McCabe text messages to Judicial Watch or appropriate governmental authorities. FBI said they won’t give up even one (I may have to get involved, DO NOT DESTROY). What are they hiding?”

The tweets are part of a heightened campaign to sow doubts about the credibility of federal authorities involved in the investigation, which is looking into whether the president obstructed justice or his campaign colluded with Russia.