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Tag: Justice Department

DOJ Appears to Be Investigating James Comey for Years-Old Leak

Former FBI Director James Comey, via FBI.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Former FBI Director James Comey appears to be the target of a Justice Department investigation into a years-old leak of classified Russian intelligence.

Federal prosecutors are trying to determine whether Comey unlawfully providing classified information to reporters, The New York Times reports.

This is the second DOJ investigation examining leaks potentially involving Comey, whom President often calls a “leaker.” Trump recently suggested, without evidence, that Comey should be jailed for “unlawful conduct.”

The second investigation is odd because it’s unusual for prosecutors to launch a probe into leaked classified information years after the fact.

The investigation appears to involve classified information about Russia that was written about by the New York Times and Washington Post in 2017.

Federal Prosecutors Reverse Course, Call for 6 Months in Jail for Michael Flynn

Former National Security Adviser Michael T. Flynn

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Federal prosecutors are now calling for up to six months in prison for Michael Flynn, saying the former Trump national security adviser shows no signs of remorse after embracing a combative defense strategy.

The Justice Department initially suggested it was open to probation for Flynn, the only member of the Trump administration to plead guilty in the Robert Mueller investigation. At the time Flynn was cooperating with investigators. But after that, Flynn took a different course and tried in vein to get the case dismissed.

“Far from accepting the consequences of his unlawful actions, he has sought to blame almost every other person and entity involved in his case, including his former counsel,” federal prosecutors wrote in a memo to U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan. “Most blatantly, the defendant now professes his innocence.”

The sentencing hearing is set for Jan. 28.

FBI Employees Also Exchanged Pro-Trump Text Messages During Campaign

Inspector General Michael Horowitz testifying before Senate Judiciary Committee.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

President Trump has long seized on anti-Trump text messages between two FBI employees to push his unfounded conspiracy theories that the bureau tried to undermine his candidacy.

Turns out, some FBI employees were found to have tweeted politically charged text messages in favor of Trump.

Testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz revealed that he also found pro-Trump text messages between FBI employees.

“So FBI employees held personal political views that were both favorable & unfavorable toward the candidate at that time?” Sen.Dianne Feistein D-Calif., asked.

“Correct,” Horowitz responded without elaborating.

Trump Distorts IG’s Conclusions And Then Blasts FBI Director Wray for Backing Report

FBI Director Christopher Wray and John Glover. Photo via FBI.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

President Trump ripped into FBI Director Christopher Wray on Tuesday morning, presumably for backing the inspector general’s conclusion that the bureau didn’t improperly open its investigation into the Trump campaign.

“I don’t know what report current Director of the FBI Christopher Wray was reading, but it sure wasn’t the one given to me,” Trump tweeted. “With that kind of attitude, he will never be able to fix the FBI, which is badly broken despite having some of the greatest men & women working there!”

Trump’s criticism is as baffling as it is predictable. Inspector General Michael Horowitz clearly contradicted Trump’s conspiracy theory that his campaign was subjected to “a major SPY scandal,” as he tweeted in May 2018.

Horowitz’s report concluded that the FBI’s investigation was justified and unbiased, albeit plagued with a series of missteps. The report also found that the FBI did not improperly open its investigation into the Trump campaign.

Wray issued a lengthy response to the repot, saying he fully accepts the “findings and embraces the need for thoughtful, meaningful remedial action.”

Trump’s attempts to distort the report’s findings didn’t sway many on Twitter.

DOJ Watchdog Report Set for Release Today, Dismisses Trump’s Claims of FBI Spying

IG Michael Horowitz, via DoJ.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department’s internal watchdog is set to announce today that top FBI and DOJ officials did not illegally spy on Trump’s campaign in 2016, delivering a blow to one of the president’s most repeated and unfounded conspiracy theories.

The report examined the investigation into possible coordination between Trump’s campaign and Russia and found that the FBI had sufficient evidence to open the probe ahead of the 2016 election, according to several media accounts.

Michael Horowitz, the DOJ’s inspector general, concluded that the FBI did not improperly launch the investigation, dismissing Trump’s wild claims that the bureau turned rogue in an effort to smear his campaign.

The report, however, is expected to document mistakes by some FBI and DOJ officials. But none of the missteps changed the course of the investigation, the report is to conclude.

Nevertheless, Trump likely will seize on the missteps to bolster his unproven claims.

Rod Rosenstein Was ‘Angry, Ashamed, Horrified’ by Trump’s Abrupt Firing of Comey

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein told the FBI he was “angry, ashamed, horrified and embarrassed” about the abrupt firing of then-FBI Director James Comey, according to the latest release of documents related to the Robert Mueller investigation.

The documents shed more light on Rosenstein, who called for a special counsel investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, since his boss, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, had recused himself.

Rosenstein said he met with White House officials on May 8, 2017, and came under the impression that Comey was going to be fired. Rosenstein was told to write a memo criticizing the FBI director.

That day, Rosenstein wrote a memo outlining Comey’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation.

Mueller report, via Buzzfeed.

Expecting that he or Sessions would be tasked with firing Comey, Rosenstein asked to speak with Comey the next day. But he quickly discovered that Comey had been fired via email.

He told the FBI that he was surprised that media accounts of the firing claimed it was Rosenstein’s idea to terminate the FBI director.

Rosenstein said he was asked to attend a press conference about Comey’s firing, but he refused, telling a Justice Department spokeswoman that he “cannot participate in putting out a false story.”

A few days later, Rosenstein appointed Mueller as special counsel, a decision that made Trump “angry, surprised, and frustrated,” according to Hope Hicks, one of the president’s closest aides.

Former FBI Lawyer Accused of Altering Document Related to 2016 Russia Probe

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A former FBI lawyer is accused of altering a document related to the 2016 Russia investigation.

The accusations are part of Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report on the FBI’s actions during the Russia investigation. The report is expected to be released Dec. 9.

The former low-level FBI lawyer is accused of doctoring a document associated with the court-ordered surveillance of former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, The Washington Post reports.

The allegations are contained in a draft of the report, which says the lawyer altered an email to support his erroneous claim that the FBI had factual basis for the surveillance application.

The altered report, however, did not change Horowitz’s position that there was proper legal and factual basis in the application.

Justice Department Launches Plan to Crack Down on Gun Violence

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department unveiled a nationwide initiative aimed at reducing gun violence and enforcing federal firearm laws.

Dubbed “Project Guardian,” the five-point plan includes coordinated prosecution, enforcement of firearm laws and background checks, improved information sharing, coordinated response to mental health denials, and crime gun intelligence coordination.

The plan calls for strengthening partnerships among the ATF, federal prosecutors, and state and local law enforcement to enforce existing laws.

The deputy attorney general is tasked with overseeing the implementation of the plan.

“I know you share my grave concern regarding the gun violence that has plagued our communities and that you are committed to preventing gun violence whenever possible,” Attorney General William Barr said in a news release. “By initiating Project Guardian, we take an important step in increasing the safety and security of our communities. I look forward to hearing in the coming months about your implementation of this program, which will help make our country a safer place for all.”