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Tag: jeff sessions

Special Counsel Probes Sessions’ Russian Contacts at Republican National Convention

Republican National Convention.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Special counsel Robert Mueller is investigating whether Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who was a U.S. senator at the time, had secret conversations with a Russian ambassador at the Republican National Convention and Washington’s Mayflower during Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, according to a new report. 

Mueller’s team also is questioning attendees of the July 2016 convention in Cleveland about a last-minute decision to remove language from the Republican Party platform that was hostile to Russia, Reuters reported, citing two sources familiar with the special counsel probe. 

Investigators want to know the extent of conversations between Sessions and then-Russian Ambassador to the United States Sergei Kislyak. They also are questioning whether Sessions met privately with Kislyak at the Mayflower Hotel in April 2016.

Under oath last year, Sessions originally told lawmakers he had no recollection of contacts between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin, but later acknowledged he did.

Because of his contacts with Kislyak, Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation, which allowed his deputy to appoint Mueller to lead an investigation into collusion and possible obstruction of justice.

Mueller’s team also is inquiring about the removal of language from the GOP’s platform that called for the U.S. to  supply “lethal defensive weapons to Ukraine’s armed forces and greater coordination with NATO on defense planning.”

Diana Denman, a member of the platform committee’s national security subcommittee, told Reuters in 2016 that Trumps team was directly involved in changing the language.

Fired FBI Deputy McCabe Shatters Fundraising Goal for Legal Fund in 1 Day

Former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe with his family in a photo posted on the legal defense fund.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Updated 1t 11 p.m. Friday

Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, fired two days before he was eligible to retire with full benefits, received more than $475,000 from donors in the first 24 hours of his fundraising campaign  to help cover the legal costs of impending federal government investigations.

The GoFundMe campaign quickly exceeded its original goal of raising $150,000, with more than 11,500 donors as of 7:45 a.m. Friday. McCabe raised the goal to $250,000 because the initial response had been “remarkable and beyond our expectations,” according to the legal defense fund.

McCabe, a longtime target of President Trump, maintained he did nothing wrong after Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired him earlier this month. McCabe has repeatedly denied Justice Department allegations that he misled investigators and said he was ousted as part of a Trump to discredit the FBI.

“Andrew McCabe’s FBI career was long, distinguished, and unblemished.  He embraced the most daunting, difficult, and important challenges that the FBI and the country could assign to him over the past 21 years,” the fundraising campaign stated. “He served the United States with courage and distinction in the days following the President’s summary dismissal of former Director James Comey, in one of the most tumultuous periods in the Bureau’s history.

His reward for that has been a termination that was completely unjustified, amidst repeated ad hominem attacks by the President of the United States.”

Fired FBI Deputy Director McCabe Denies Wrongdoing, Speaks of Trump’s ‘Cruelty’

Fired FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe spoke out about his termination, denying in a Washington Post op-ed that he did anything wrong. 

“Not in my worst nightmares did I ever dream my FBI career would end this way,” McCabe wrote. 

McCabe denied Justice Department allegations of “lack of candor,” saying, “That is not true. I did not knowingly mislead or lie to investigators.”

He added, “I answered questions as completely and accurately as I could. And when I realized that some of my answers were not fully accurate or may have been misunderstood, I took the initiative to correct them.”

McCabe responded to Trump’s tweet celebrating the firing.

“I was sad, but not surprised, to see that such unhinged public attacks on me would continue into my life after my service to the FBI,” McCabe wrote. “President Trump’s cruelty reminded me of the days immediately following the firing of James B. Comey, as the White House desperately tried to push the falsehood that people in the FBI were celebrating the loss of our director. The president’s comments about me were equally hurtful and false, which shows that he has no idea how FBI people feel about their leaders.

Last week, it was revealed that McCabe had overseen an investigation into whether Attorney General Jeff Sessions committed perjury in congressional testimony about his contacts with Russia.

Sessions ultimately made the decision to fire McCabe for essentially the same allegations that the attorney general was accused of.

Other Stories of Interest

FBI Investigated AG Sessions for Perjury After Failing to Disclose Russia Ties

Attorney General Jeff Sessions was grilled by a congressional committee for failing to disclose his contacts with Russia.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

When Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe just two days before he was set to retire with full benefits last week, Sessions’ justification was for what he described as McCabe’s “lack of candor” in dealing with an internal Justice Department investigation.

But it turns out, McCabe authorized a criminal FBI investigation a year ago into Sessions’ own lack of candor when he told Congress he had no contacts with Russians – a claim he later acknowledged wasn’t true, ABC News reported Wednesday evening. And that’s what prompted Sessions to recuse himself from the Russia investigation, a move that has incensed President Trump because the decision to appoint special counsel Robert Mueller now fell to Sessions’ deputy attorney general.

The discovery that Sessions was under investigation for perjury – essentially the same allegations leveled against McCabe – raises serious questions about Sessions’ ability to lead fair and impartial probes as the nation’s top prosecutor. It also raises questions about whether Sessions’ firing of McCabe was an act of retaliation or even a way to remove a top FBI official who has become a key witness in Mueller’s obstruction of justice case against Trump following the president’s firing of then-FBI Director James Comey.

McCabe kept extensive notes of his interactions with Trump, was among a few FBI officials whom Comey briefed on the president’s alleged pressure to end the Russia investigation and met with Mueller about the obstruction of justice case against Trump.

Soon after Sessions fired him on Friday, McCabe bluntly asserted that his termination was an attempt to undermine the special counsel investigation of Trump.

Sessions’ lawyer, Chuck Cooper, told the New York Times on Wednesday that the attorney general is no longer under investigation.

“The special counsel’s office has informed me that after interviewing the attorney general and conducting additional investigation, the attorney general is not under investigation for false statements or perjury in his confirmation hearing testimony and related written submissions to Congress,” Cooper said in a statement. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/21/us/politics/sessions-fbi-investigation-perjury.html

FBI’s McCabe Makes Final Pitch Against Termination Days Before Planned Retirement

FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe testifies before Congress.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe met with senior Justice Department officials on Thursday to make a final pitch for why he should not be fired just days before he has been planning to retire with full retirement benefits.

The decision whether to fire McCabe ahead of his planned Sunday retirement ultimately belongs to Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Disciplinary officials at the FBI are recommending McCabe’s termination, which would jeopardize pension benefits that he has been accumulating since joining the bureau in 1996.

A yet-to-be-released inspector general report claims McCabe leaked records to a Wall Street Journal reporter to raise questions about the handling of the Clinton Foundation investigation. He’s also accused of misleading investigators with the inspect general’s office about the leak.

McCabe has drawn frequent criticism from Trump, who claims the one-time acting FBI director was part of a “witch hunt” to remove the president from office.

McCabe has denied any wrongdoing and spent several hours making the case to top DOJ officials about why he should not be fired.

FBI Officials Recommend Officially Firing Ex-FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe

FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe testifies before Congress.

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — The FBI, which has taken a beating in the public relations arena in recent times, got some more damaging news on Wednesday.

Officials within the FBI have recommended that the agency’s embattled former deputy director, Andy McCabe, be fired just days before he is set to officially leave government, ABC News reports, citing  a source with knowledge of the recommendation.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions will make the final decision. McCabe was not a favorite, by any means, of the White House, which could influence Session’s decision.

Trump is not well regarded among a number of FBI agents, and James Comey, who was fired as director, didn’t care for the president while he held the top FBI job.

Sources tell ABC that McCabe never intentionally misled investigators and did his best to accurately address investigators’ questions.

The recommendation from the FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility came after an internal report by the Justice Department’s inspector general accused the FBI veteran of misleading investigators looking into an array of matters connected to the 2016 presidential campaign, the source said, according to ABC News.

If fired, McCabe worries that he could lose his full pension, the station reports.

In January, FBI Director Christopher Wray pressured McCabe to quit in advance of an inspector general report examining the agency,  CBS News reported.

McCabe is due to retired on March 18.

 

ICE Spokesman Resigns Over Trump Administration’s ‘Misleading’ Statements on Raid

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

A spokesman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement in San Francisco resigned over what he called “false” and “misleading” statements by the Trump administration and top-ranking immigration officials.

James Schwab told media outlets on Monday evening that Attorney General Jeff Sessions and ICE Acting Director Thomas D. Homan were peddling a false narrative that hundreds of “criminal aliens” eluded arrest because Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf warned immigrants of a forthcoming ICE raid.

Schwab said his concerns about the misleading statements were dismissed, and ICE instructed him to “deflect” questions from the media.

“I quit because I didn’t want to perpetuate misleading facts,” he told the San Francisco Chronicle. “I asked them to change the information. I told them that the information was wrong, they asked me to deflect, and I didn’t agree with that. Then I took some time and I quit.”

After 232 people were detained in the raid, Sessions and Homan claimed as many as 800 “criminals” evaded arrest and were a danger to the public.

Schwab said top officials painted a misleading portrait by inflating the number of people who may have avoided arrest and sensationalizing the danger that each poses.

“I didn’t feel like fabricating the truth to defend ourselves against her actions was the way to go about it,” Schwab said. “We were never going to pick up that many people. To say that 100% are dangerous criminals on the street, or that those people weren’t picked up because of the misguided actions of the mayor, is just wrong.”

In fact, Schwab told Oakland Fox affiliate KTVU that the raid netted more arrests than initially planned.

Trump Accuses Mayor of Endangering ICE Agents, But Attacks Are Rare

An ICE agent.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

President Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions accused Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf of endangering federal agents by warning the public about a forthcoming immigration sweep.

“Here’s my message to Mayor Schaaf: How dare you?” Sessions said Wednesday in Sacramento. “How dare you needlessly endanger the lives of law enforcement just to promote a radical open-borders agenda?”

Thursday, Trump said, “What she did is incredible and very dangerous … She really made law enforcement much more dangerous than it had to be.”

During the four-day enforcement operation, no ICE agents were hurt. In fact, ICE “has experienced relatively few line-of-duty deaths and assaults,” the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

The Chronicle wrote:

According to federal records, a handful of ICE officers are injured in assaults each year, on average. James Schwab, an agency spokesman in San Francisco, said agents face “the same dangers as any other law enforcement officer out in the field.”

No ICE officers were injured or killed in line-of-duty assaults in 2016, the last year in which FBI data are available. In 2015, four officers were injured and none killed in assaults. Seven officers were injured in assaults and none killed in 2014, records show.

However, the FBI records do not appear to reflect some on-duty deaths. Absent, for instance, was the death of San Francisco-based deportation officer Brian Beliso, who according to the agency died of a heart attack he suffered during a foot pursuit in Redwood City on June 8, 2016. And a special agent in New Orleans, J. Scott McGuire, died Jan. 24. 2016, after being injured in a hit and run in Miami Beach, the agency stated on its website.

The reported injuries to ICE officers were among the lowest in federal law enforcement, FBI figures show. In 2016, 484 Customs and Border Protection officers were assaulted. The Bureau of Indian Affairs saw 504 assaults, while the Marshals Service saw 266 assaults.

Other Stories of Interest

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