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Tag: jeff sessions

FBI Notified Sessions He Wasn’t Required to Disclose Foreign Contacts While Senator

Attorney General Jeff Sessions testified before Congress about contacts between Trump’s campaign and Russia.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI informed an aide to Attorney General Jeff Sessions that he was not required to disclose foreign contacts while he was performing government duties when he was a senator, according to a newly released document first reported by CNN

The document bolsters the Justice Department’s explanation for why Sessions did not disclose his contacts with a Russian ambassador on security clearance forms. 

An unidentified FBI agent informed Sessions’ aide in an email that “he was not required to list foreign government contacts while in official government business unless he developed personal relationships from such contacts.”

Sessions failed to disclose his meeting with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak on his security clearance application form.

DEA to Open New Office to Combat Prescription Painkiller Abuse

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The DEA is opening if first new field office in nearly 20 years in an effort to combat prescription-opioid abuse.

The DEA’s 22nd office will be based in Louisville, Kentucky, where prescription painkillers have been especially problematic, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Wednesday.

USA Today reports that at least 90 federal drug agents will be redeployed to the Louisville office to open a new front on the battle against prescription painkiller abuse. 

“I know that this crisis is daunting,” Sessions said, referring to government estimates that 64,000 Americans died from drug overdoses last year. “But we can, and we will turn the tide.”

FBI Allows Tens of Thousands of People with Outstanding Warrants to Buy Guns

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The names of tens of thousands of people wanted by police have been purged from the FBI criminal background check database this year after the FBI narrowed its legal interpretation of “fugitives from justice.”

In February, the FBI said only people who have crossed state lines are considered “fugitives from justice,” prompting the removal of tens of thousands of names, the Washington Post reports

That means fugitives under the old definition can now buy guns, unless they are barred for some other reason. In other words, people with outstanding warrants are now allowed to buy firearms.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said he ordered the FBI and ATF to conduct a comprehensive review of the criminal background check database.

Other Stories of Interest

DOJ Disperses Crime-Fighting Grants to Cities That Help Feds Crack Down on Illegal Immigration

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Local police departments that cooperate with federal immigration officials were given preferential treatment for crime-fighting funds.

The Justice Department dangled more than $98 million as a reward for police departments that cooperate with President Trump’s crackdown on illegal immigration by letting immigration officials inside local jails and notifying the feds about undocumented immigrants, BuzzFeed reports.

At the same time, Trump’s administration is threatening to withhold crime-fighting grants from so-called sanctuary cities.

The Justice Department is disbursing $98.5 million to 179 local law enforcement agencies to hire a total of 802 officers.

About 80% of the 179 agencies that received a grant were given preferential treatment because they have agreed to cooperate with the crackdown on illegal immigration.

“Cities and states that cooperate with federal law enforcement make all of us safer by helping remove dangerous criminals from our communities,” Sessions said in a statement. “Today, the Justice Department announced that 80 percent of this year’s COPS Hiring Program grantees have agreed to cooperate with federal immigration authorities in their detention facilities. I applaud their commitment to the rule of law and to ending violent crime, including violent crime stemming from illegal immigration.”

Mueller Requests Justice Department Documents Related to Comey’s Firing

Robert Mueller, via FBI

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Special Counsel Robert Mueller has requested documents from the Justice Department as part of his investigation into possible collusion between President Trump’s campaign and Russia.

Among the documents are those related to Trump firing then-FBI Director James Comey and to Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ decision to recuse himself from the Russian probe, ABC News reports.

Mueller’s team is interested in the interactions between Justice Department officials and the White House.

Mueller is trying to determine whether Trump or any other administration official wielded improper influence over an ongoing investigation.

Sessions said last week that he is willing to cooperate with the investigation.

L.A. Times: Mission of Justice Department Is Not ‘Lock Her Up’

Attorney General Jeff Sessions

Attorney General Jeff Sessions


By Editorial Board
Los Angeles Times

We live in a country of laws and no one should be above them. That includes the president. And it also includes Hillary Clinton, the president’s former campaign opponent. Where there is reason to believe wrongdoing or self-dealing has occurred in violation of the laws there should be an investigation and if necessary a prosecution.

But the calls by some Republicans for a special counsel to investigate Clinton smack of something other than a desire for evenhanded enforcement of the law. Rather, they are part of a desperate effort by the president, his allies in Congress and the right-wing media to take the focus off the tangled investigations into the Trump campaign’s conduct, and particularly into any possible collusion with Russia.

Earlier this month Trump tweeted: “Everybody is asking why the Justice Department (and FBI) isn’t looking into all of the dishonesty going on with Crooked Hillary & the Dems.” Meanwhile, Republican members of Congress have offered up a grab bag of incidents and insinuations they claim justify the appointment of a special counsel.

This dubious bill of particulars includes Clinton’s (minimal) role as secretary of state in the approval of the purchase by a Russian company of a controlling stake in Uranium One, a uranium company whose major investor had contributed to the Clinton Foundation; the investigation of Clinton’s use of a private email server (yes, they’re still on about that); and the Democrats’ funding of the so-called “dossier” about Trump and Russia, which some Republicans theorize was the genesis of electronic surveillance of members of the Trump campaign.

On Tuesday Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions told the House Judiciary Committee that any decision to name another special counsel would be guided by law, not politics. But his comments were only partly reassuring.

To read more click here.

Clinton Compares Trump to a Dictator over Prosecution Threats of Uranium Deal

Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Hillary Clinton slammed President Trump and his administration for threatening to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate her over the Uranium One deal, saying the threats are a dangerous slippery slope that could lead to authoritarianism.

“I regret deeply that this appears to be the politicization of the Justice Department and our justice system,” Clinton told Mother Jones during an interview Wednesday. “Taking myself out of it—this is such an abuse of power. And it goes right at the rule of law.”

Attorney General Jeff Sessions gave the green light to the Justice Department to determine whether Clinton or her aides violated the law over allegations related to the Clinton Foundation and the sale of a uranium company. If so, the Justice Department must decide whether to appoint a special counsel to pursue potential charges.

“If they send a signal that we’re going to be like some dictatorship, like some authoritarian regime, where political opponents are going to be unfairly, fraudulently investigated, that rips at the fabric of the contract we have, that we can trust our justice system,” Clinton said. “It will be incredibly demoralizing to people who have served at the Justice Department, under both Republicans and Democrats, because they know better. But it will also send a terrible signal to our country and the world that somehow we are giving up on the kind of values that we used to live by and we used to promote worldwide.”

Appointment of Second Special Counsel to Probe Clinton Could Backfire

Attorney General Jeff Sessions testifies before the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions testifies before the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Former and current Justice Department officials are worried about the political fallout if Attorney General Jeff Sessions appoints a second special counsel to investigate Hillary Clinton.

During heated testimony before the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, Sessions appeared to back away from his public suggestion that he may appoint a special counsel over an Obama-era uranium company deal and recent news that Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Convention funded the salacious dossier that outlines Trump’s ties with Russia.

The appointment of a second prosecutor could stoke distrust of the Justice Department’s independence since President Trump and Republicans are looking to distract from the current special counsel investigation of the president’s associates and their ties to Russia. 

“To have the winning side exploring the possibility of prosecuting the losing side in an election — it’s un-American, and it’s grotesque,” said John Danforth, a former special counsel who investigated the FBI’s role in a violent standoff with a cult in Waco, Tex., according to the Washington Post. “The proliferation of special counsels in a political setting is very, very bad.”

Peter R. Zeidenberg, who once served as deputy special counsel in the probe of former White House aide Lewis “Scooter’’ Libby, said the appointment of a second special counsel will backfire.

I think the vast majority of people at DOJ would be completely disgusted and demoralized by it,’’ said Zeidenberg, referring to the Justice Department. “They don’t like feeling that they are political tools to be used by the president.’’