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Tag: lawyers

Steve Bannon Hires Lawyer Ahead of Interview with Trump-Russia Investigators

Steve Bannon, via Twitter

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Former White House chief adviser Steve Bannon has lawyered up as he prepares to answer questions from officials investigating allegations of collusion between President Trump’s campaign and Russia.

Bannon, who suggested in an explosive new book that some of Trump’s top campaign aides may have violated serious laws, has retained Bill Burck, of the firm Quinn Emanuel, The Daily Beast reports

Burck’s task is to help Bannon prepare for questions from the House intelligence committee as early as next week.

Burck also is representing former Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and White House Counsel Don McGahn as part of the Trump-Russia probe.

Bannon plans to fully cooperate with the investigation, sources told the Daily Beast.

In an interview with Michael Wolff, the author of the tell-all book, “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House,” Bannon described some of Trump’s top campaign aides as naive, unethical and clumsy, seemingly unaware of the repercussions of meeting with a Russian attorney who pledged to provide documents that would “incriminate” Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.

Bannon said he was dumbfounded.

“The three senior guys in the campaign thought it was a good idea to meet with a foreign government inside Trump Tower in the conference room on the 25th floor – with no lawyers. They didn’t have any lawyers.

“Even if you thought that this was not treasonous, or unpatriotic, or bad shit, and I happen to think it’s all of that, you should have called the FBI immediately.”

Bannon even suggested Trump was aware of the Trump Tower meeting.

“The chance that Don Jr did not walk these jumos up to his father’s office on the twenty-sixth floor is zero.”

Bannon, who previously criticized the firing of then-FBI Director James Comey, said he doesn’t expect a conclusion to the special counsel investigation anytime soon. He added that the probe into alleged collision with the Kremlin will focus on money laundering, saying, “They’re going to crack Don Junior like an egg on national TV.”

Since Robert Mueller was appointed in May to lead the Russia-Trump investigation, four members of Trump’s inner circle have been indicted – and two have already pleaded guilty and plan to cooperate with the special counsel’s team.

Other Stories of Interest

Trump’s Lawyers Try to Keep President Calm to Prevent Self-Sabotage

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump is a nightmare client for lawyers.

Predisposed to self-sabotage, Trump is worrying his attorneys about his impulse to be combative in the face of federal investigations.

Vanity Fair reports that Trump’s lawyers are “taking pains to project calm, telling the president he has nothing to fear and that the investigation, which some posits is just getting started, will wind down soon.” 

“The people who have been interviewed generally feel they were treated fairly by the special counsel, and adequately prepared to assist them in understanding the relevant material,” White House lawyer Ty Cobb, who has urged the president to cooperate with Mueller and his team, told The Washington Post. “They came back feeling relieved that it was over, but nobody I know of was shaken or scared.” 

Vanity Fair wrote:

One of the goals of this effort, it appears, is to prevent Trump from flying into a rage and firing Mueller, as several of his allies have suggested he do if it appears Mueller is expanding the scope of his investigation into the president’s finances. “I’ve done my best, without overstepping, to share my view that the perception of the inquiry—that it involved a decade or more of financial transactions and other alleged issues that were mistakenly reported—just wasn’t true, and that the issues were narrower and wholly consistent with the mandate provided by the Justice Department to the Office of the Special Counsel,” he said, adding that he believes the investigation will be wrapped up by the end of the year, or shortly thereafter. As for further revelations regarding foreign contacts that are reportedly on the horizon, Cobb said he does not expect them to “unduly extend the inquiry.”

New York Post: Justice Department Lawyers Get Slap They Deserve

courtroomBy Editorial Board
New York Post

In a stinging slap at the Justice Department, a federal judge last week ordered practically all the lawyers in its main DC office to take ethics training for five years.

At that, they got off lightly: Judge Andrew Hanen said he would have disbarred the lawyers, who had deceived him, if he had the power.

Hanen was the judge who heard the request by 26 states to toss out President Obama’s 2014 executive order granting temporarily legal status to millions of immigrants who aren’t actually legal.

The case is now before the Supreme Court — which is the only reason Hanen didn’t issue a summary judgment against Obama and the lawyers who lied.

Federal rules of civil procedure require attorneys to neither mislead the courts, nor allow the courts to be misled. Hanen found that the Justice lawyers had done just that — in his court.

How so? The states were considering filing for an immediate injunction to stop Justice from implementing the Obama order. The lawyers assured Hanen in court that nothing would go ahead before February 2015, so there was no need.

Then the department went ahead and “legalized” 100,000 illegals — without ever telling the judge.

Hence his fury once he learned the truth.

To read more click here. 

Ex-ATF Agent Jay Dobyns on His Court VIctory: ‘I Hope It Helps the Many Other Abused Employees Who Never Had a Voice’

Jay Dobyns/his website

The following was written after ex-ATF Agent Jay Dobyns’ won his lawsuit against ATF. A federal judge awarded him $173,000 and lambasted ATF. Dobyns, who had gone undercover with the Hells Angels, claimed that the department didn’t do enough to protect his life after getting death threats and having his house catch on fire. The following is from his blog. 

By Jay Dobyns

Today the Honorable Francis M. Allegra of the United States Court of Federal Claims made public his judicial opinion/ruling/findings in the case of Jay Anthony Dobyns v. United States.

I have been vindicated.

First, I must thank God who provided me with strength and faith during these events.

“This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

– Joshua 1:9

I thank those who have supported me; family, friends, peers and strangers but mostly my wife and kids – they have been the true victims here and been forced to suffer to needlessly.

My legal counsel lead by James Reed proved to be extraordinary and brilliant. Jim and his team took on a fight that no else dared. With Jeff Elder and Carson Emmons together they played out a courtroom version of David and Goliath challenging the most well-resourced and powerful law firm in the history of the planet, the United States Department of Justice. Armed with the equivalent of a stone and a slingshot, they won.

Attorney Mark Gidley and the law firm of White and Case in Washington, D.C., invited us into their home and showed us the hospitality and a base of operations that only a firm of that stature could provide.

I thank Judge Allegra for upholding his duty, responsibility and ethics in reaching a fair opinion. He is the type of judge who brings honor and respect to the bench. I was fortunate to argue before such a fine man.

I thank the select few of my ATF peers who displayed the courage to publicly stand by me when doing so put their own careers and reputations at risk. Friends I thought I had vanished while friends I never knew I had arrived. There is nothing comparable to “pressure” in a time of need to find out who truly believes in you.

Two ATF Agents in particular showed themselves to have integrity that rose above the fray. Thomas Atteberry took great professional risk when he pressed for a fair investigation of the crimes against me and was placed under duress for doing so. Christopher Trainor conducted an internal investigation that serves as an example of a diligent quest for the truth. For every lawman who truly seeks unbiased fairness in their work, he set a very high standard to strive for.

Doing the right thing is not always easy but, it is always right.

Those at the Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund proved to be extraordinary in their support. Without them I could not have survived this battle or been able to continue it. They showed faith in me when very few others did and their assistance kept me in the fight when I was on the verge of a knockout.

I thank certain members of the media for their accurate coverage of these events. Without their reporting ATF and DOJ would have gotten away with all of this. The leadership of those agencies take an attitude of “battening down the hatches and allowing the storm to blow over” until they are placed under the microscope of the public’s eye.  Forced transparency. The power of the press and the pen is enormous.

As with anything worth accomplishing in life, none of us can ever do it alone.

It is also most appropriate here to honor the sacrifice of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry whose passing shed light on the conduct of ATF and allowed the events I suffered to find credibility and attention. Prior to Brian’s death the facts and evidence contained in this opinion had been swept under ATF’s dirty rug. It is shameful that the loss of Brian’s life is what it took for the truths of my situation to be exposed.

For Brian, much of the information surrounding his murder is still covered up.

This opinion is not just a victory for me. I hope it helps the many other abused employees who never had a voice or were never able to make it this far. Brian has been instrumental in that and continues to serve his nation even in death.

Read more »

A Bird’s Eye View of Baltimore’s High-Flying Pot Conspiracy

ILLUSTRATION BY NOAH PATRICK PFARR/Baltimore City Paper

By Van Smith
Baltimore City Paper

BALTIMORE — The Lancair IV-P airplane is a sleek four-seater, capable of flying 330 miles per hour and more than 1,500 miles on a tank of gas. The one that was seized in June 2009 from Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport, near Denver, had been purchased the previous summer for $450,000. The buyer, a Delaware company called Air Sky Holdings LLC, still owed the seller about $64,000. But the Lancair was not repossessed due to outstanding debt. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration took it.

What led law enforcers to that Lancair was a game-changing series of events for a sprawling, sophisticated outfit of Baltimore-based potrepreneurs whose illicit, high-volume business had been a veritable license to print money. Its seizure didn’t immediately end the flow of eye-popping amounts of premium weed they’d been moving, but it was a red flag, putting key players on notice that the gig was nosediving into a forest of cops, lawyers, and judges.

And nosedive it did, ultimately resulting in at least three federal cases and possibly dozens of state-level ones, all in Maryland.

To read the full story click here.

FBI Tracked Civil Rights Lawsuits Against Legendary Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant

Bear Bryant

Bear Bryant

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The FBI kept tabs on civil rights lawsuits filed by blacks 40 years ago against legendary coach Paul “Bear” Bryant of the University of Alabama’s  Crimson Tide, the Associated Press reported.

The AP, which obtained FBI documents under the Freedom of Information Act,  reported that for nearly two years agent tracked suits by blacks who were trying to force Bryant to recruit African Americans.

The AP reported that it was unclear why the FBI followed the case, but suggested the agency under Hoover was interested in civil rights infractions.

Bryant died in 1983 at age 69.

Fed Judge Rules the Govt. Illegally Wiretapped Islamic Charity and 2 Lawyers

telephoneBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — A San Francisco federal judge on Wednesday ruled that the government illegally wiretapped phone conversations of an Islamic charity and two American lawyers without a search warrant, the Associated Press reported.

AP reported that U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn Walker found the plaintiffs provided evidence to show “they were subjected to warrantless electronic surveillance.”

The ruling was regarded as a repudiation of the Bush Administration’s  Terrorist Surveillance Program, the AP reported.

The ruling was in response to a suit challenging the program filed by the Ashland, Ore., branch of the Saudi-based Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation and two American lawyers Wendell Belew and Asim Ghafoor, the AP reported.

To read more click here.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Ex-Gov. Blago May Have to Test his Fundraising Skills to Raise Cash For Lawyers

Ex-Gov. Blagojevich

Ex-Gov. Blagojevich

No question ex-Gov. Rod Blagojevich is going to line up a top notch defense team. But he may not get exactly who he wants if he doesn’t come up with cash. Too late to shake down everyone in exchange for favors. He has nothing to offer. Now his fund raising skills will be put to the test.


Lynne Marek
The National Law Journal

Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s criminal defense team is still in flux even as a whopping 75-page federal indictment landed on him this week.

The ex-governor, who was socked with political corruption charges in December, hasn’t been able to solidify his criminal defense team mainly because it has been unclear how he will pay his lawyers if the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Chicago freezes his campaign funds, which otherwise could be used to pay his attorney fees.

While several Chicago criminal defense lawyers, including Terry Gillespie and Alan Brunell, say they have spoken with the governor about working on the case, final decisions have hung in the balance because of a lack of clarity on the money issue and the extensiveness on the indictment. Assessment of those issues can begin now in light of the April 2 indictment naming not only the governor, but also the governor’s brother and campaign fund chairman, Robert Blagojevich, among other defendants.
For Full Story

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Judge  Orders Justice to Turn Over Documents in Stevens Case (Washington Post)

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