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Tag: Justice Department

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.

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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.

FBI, DOJ Plan to Propose Redactions to Russia Probe Amid Trump’s Calls for ‘Immediate Declassification’

President Trump answering media questions on Air Force One. Photo via the White House.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

President Trump’s demand for the “immediate declassification” of details of the Russia investigation are likely to be met with proposed redactions by the FBI and Justice Department, Bloomberg reports, citing three people familiar with the matter.

No timeline was been made as the FBI, DOJ and Office of the Director of National Intelligence come through sensitive materials.

On Monday, the White House demanded the declassification of all text messages related to the Russia investigation by Justice Department official Bruce Ohr and several other officials, including former FBI Director James Comey and his deputy, Andrew McCabe.

Once the FBI and DOJ have identified their proposed redactions, the Office of Director of National Intelligence will review the material before handing it over to the White House.

As president, Trump has the authority to release the documents regardless of proposed redactions by the federal agencies.

Trump Launches Fresh Attacks against FBI, DOJ on 9/11 Anniversary

President Trump and his wife Melania Trump at the site of the Flight 93 crash in Shanksville, Pa., via White House.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

President Trump seized on the 17th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks to launch dubious assaults on the FBI and Justice Department.

The president repeated an unfounded allegation by Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., who claimed former FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page employed a “media leak strategy” to undermine his administration, the Washington Post reports.

Trump then criticized the FBI and Justice for failing to act on the dubious claim.

Strzok’s attorney said the “media leak strategy” was referring to an effort to tackle unauthorized disclosures to reporters. 

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.

How Unrelated, Decades-Old Cold Case May Prevent Mueller from Disclosing Russia-Trump Report

Special counsel Robert Mueller. Photo via FBI.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

The unsolved disappearance and apparent murder of a Columbia University professor more than 60 years ago may prevent special counsel Robert Mueller from disclosing revealing information about the Trump campaign and Russia.

The cold case has nothing to do with Mueller’s investigation into potential ties between President Trump’s campaign and Russia, but the six-decade-old mystery has given rise to a legal question that is entirely relevant to the special counsel probe, Politico reports

At issue is whether judges have the right to release grand jury information that typically is kept secret. An appeals court is expected next month to deliver a decision on whether grand jury information can be disclosed in the case of the Columbia University professor Jesus Galindez.

Author and attorney Stuart McKeever, who has been closely following the cold case, is suing the Justice Department for the release of grand jury testimony involving the 1956 disappearance.

If the court sides with the Justice Department’s argument that grand jury information must be kept secret, it could set a precedent that would prevent Mueller from releasing a report on his findings to Congress or the public.

“If the D.C. Circuit were to accept the Department of Justice’s arguments…that would have potentially enormous implications for the future of the information from the Mueller investigation. That could close out a path by which that information becomes public,”  Harvard Law professor Alex Whiting 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.

Group of Conservative Lawmakers Are Trying to Impeach Deputy AG Rosenstein

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

A group of conservative lawmakers are trying to impeach Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, the top official overseeing Robert Mueller’s investigation of President Trump and his campaign’s role in Russian interference during the election.

Eleven Congressional members filed articles of impeachment against Rosenstein on Wednesday, claiming he committed “high crimes and misdemeanors.”

Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., and Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, introduced the politically risky measure.

They and nine other Republicans allege Rosenstein mishandled the FISA surveillance of Carter Page, a former adviser to Donald Trump; a lack of transparency; unnecessarily excessive redactions of documents; and violating a Congressional subpoena, Newsweek reports.

Observers believe it’s incredibly unlikely that the lawmakers will get enough votes to secure an impeachment conviction. The measure requires a majority in the House of Representatives and two-thirds support in the Senate.

Rosenstein appointed Mueller in May 2017 after Trump fired then-FBI Director James Comey – a move that has infuriated the president and his supporters.

Justice Department Reopens Murder Case of Emmett Till

Emmett Till

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department has reopened the 1955 murder case of Emmett Till, a black 14-year-old who was brutally beaten, shot and left for dead in a river in Mississippi for allegedly whistling at a white woman.

Not long after the all-white jury acquitted two white men of Till’s murder, they confessed they were guilty, protected against double jeopardy. They are now dead.

But a central witness in the case, Carolyn Bryant Donham, changed her account of what happened.

The Justice Department declined to comment on the case, and it’s unclear what federal authorities plan to do. Cold cases from the Civil Rights Era rarely lead to convictions.

The Washington Post reports:

Federal prosecutors previously concluded that the statute of limitations for federal charges had run out, and a Mississippi grand jury in 2007 refused to bring charges, including a manslaughter charge that local authorities had sought against Ms. Donham.

Relatives of Emmett welcomed the new probe. But some — including the author of the book that triggered the new inquiry — have questioned what the government is up to. A “completely hypocritical political show” to distract from the ongoing controversies of the Trump administration, said Mr. Tyson. Such skepticism is understandable given the clear disdain Mr. Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions have shown for issues of civil rights and equal justice. Sad that they never seem to see the need to address the inequalities that exist today in the justice system and that victimize black people.

But Emmett’s mother, who died in 2003 without ever getting justice for her son, was right to insist that we not look away from what was done in the name of white supremacy. Let’s hope this new look at the case brings some measure of justice for a crime that must never be forgotten.