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Tag: president trump

Judge in Flynn Case Appoints Ex-Judge to Look Into Case After DOJ Moves to Drop It

Judge Emmet G. Sullivan/court photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

In a case riddled with unusual twists, the federal judge in Washington overseeing the case against President Trump’s former national security adviser Michael T. Flynn has appointed a former prosecutor and judge to oversee and oppose the Justice Department’s effort to drop the case, the New York Times reports.

U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan of Washington appointed former judge, John Gleeson, who is also a former federal prosecutor. Flynn pleaded guilty twice to lying to investigators as part of a larger probe into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. He later tried to withdraw his plea.

Last week, in what many considered a highly unusual move, the Justice Department moved to drop the charges. Subsequently, critics including former federal prosecutors, accused Attorney General William Barr of undermining the rule of law.
Sullivan’s appointment complicates the DOJ’s move to dismiss the case.

Prosecutor Who Resigned Amid DOJ’s intervention of Roger Stone Sentencing Lands New Job

Roger Stone

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A prosecutor who resigned after the Justice Department intervened in the sentencing recommendation for Roger Stone has landed a new job.

Jonathan Kravis, who was on the team prosecuting Trump’s henchman, will head a new public corruption unit for the District of Columbia’s Office of the Attorney General that focuses on ensuring lower-level crimes are prosecuted.

“Here in the District of Columbia, there are numerous local public corruption offenses that are on the code book, in the DC code, that really are not enforced in this jurisdiction right now because the U.S. attorney’s office properly is focused on federal corruption matters,” Kravis said in an interview with The Associated Press on Thursday.

“Those provisions don’t get the attention that they need,” he added.

Among the crimes that often fall between the cracks are campaign finance violations and false statements on financial disclosure forms.

D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine said Kravis has “good old-fashioned lawyering skills.”

“The District of Columbia seeks to have a local prosecutor focused on local public corruption in the same way that every state in America does,” Racine said in the interview.

Column: Ex-Fed Prosecutor — Nuclear Meltdown Gripping Justice Department

Michael J. Stern, a member of USA TODAY’s Board of Contributors, was a federal prosecutor for 25 years in Detroit and Los Angeles. Follow him on Twitter: @MichaelJStern1

Attorney General William Barr on ABC News.

By Michael J. Stern
USA Today

“The Real Housewives” have nothing on the Department of Justice when it comes to drama. I don’t mean to be flippant. But if I can’t marvel at the absurdity of the nuclear meltdown that is gripping the institution to which I dedicated my professional career, I’m afraid I will cry.

I was concerned when the punchline “Donald Trump” came to be preceded by the title “president.” But my beloved DOJ was filled with career prosecutors whose dedication and integrity would keep the ship on course — even if the storm lasted four years.

I was confident that the traditions that made the Justice Department the most respected law enforcement organization in the world would surely allow it to weather any attorney general Trump could install.

But Trump has commandeered the department and sent a clear message: “Investigate me or people close to me and I will undercut years of your hard work, trash your reputation on Twitter, and create a Hobson’s choice between your integrity and your ability to earn a living. And if you pick the former, I will issue a pardon and undo all you worked for anyway.”

Read the full column

FBI Agents Slam Trump for Peddling Conspiracy Theory about Epstein’s Death

President Trump, via White House

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump drew criticism and repulsion from current and retired FBI agents after he retweeted an unfounded conspiracy theory suggesting former President Bill Clinton was linked to the death of Jeffrey Epstein.

Despite mounting questions about how Epstein managed to kill himself so soon after being on suicide watch, no evidence has surfaced to give any conspiracy theory merit.

FBI agents told Business Insider that Trump’s decision to retweet the conspiracy theory to his 63 million followers was irresponsible and dangerous.

“The Epstein case was hypercharged from the get-go,” one current FBI agent, who requested anonymity, said. “The last thing investigators need is the president of the United States fanning the flames with these bullshit theories that have no basis in reality.”

Frank Montoya Jr., a recently retired FBI agent, called Trump’s actions “crazy talk.”

“This would be a bad TV melodrama if it weren’t real,” he added. “The world is watching. Trump may be successfully fooling a third of America with his sociopathic antics, but everyone else … sees how naked the Emperor is, and they are exploiting the advantage.”

Trump has a history of peddling baseless conspiracy theories, from suggesting President Obama was not born in the U.S. to feeding into the idea that Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia may have been murdered in his bed. Since becoming president, he’s suggested elections were rigged and that there’s “a deep state” conspiracy to drive him from office.

Those conspiracy theories make it more difficult for the FBI and other federal law enforcement agencies to do their jobs and undermines confidence in investigations, the agents said.

Trump Claims Sen. John McCain Gave Controversial Dossier to FBI & Media to Sink His Campaign

President Donald Trump

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

President Donald Trump continues to stir up controversy via Twitter.

On Sunday, he accused the late Sen. John McCain in a tweet of working with the Democrats during the 2016 presidential election by giving the Christopher Steele dossier to the FBI and media to help sink his campaign,  the Washington Times reports.

Several reports say McCain didn’t hand over the dossier to the FBI until after the 2016 election.  It was circulated to the media through one of McCain’s aides, David Kramer, after the election, the Times reports.

Trump has denied the allegations contained in the controversial document.

Cohen’s Attorney Once Inquired About Getting a Trump Pardon

Michael Cohen

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Was Michael Cohen looking for a safety net from the get-go?

Apparently so, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal which says Cohen’s attorney once approached President Trump’s lawyers about a pardon following the FBI raid on Cohen’s properties last year.

But the idea was dismissed by Trump’s lawyers, including Jay Sekulow, Rudy Giuliani and Joanna Hendon.

Poll Shows More Find Robert Mueller Credible Than President Trump

Special counsel Robert Mueller

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Americans see Robert S. Mueller III as  being far more credible than President Trump, but the public has scattered and partisan perceptions of Mueller’s motives and findings so far, a new Washington Post-Schar School poll reveals.

The Post reports that by a 56 to 33 percent margin, more say they trust Mueller’s version of the facts than Trump’s.

Nearly two years into his investigation, Mueller has charged 34 people and secured guilty pleas from some of Trump’s closest advisers, including his former campaign chairman, deputy campaign chairman, national security adviser and personal lawyer, the Post notes.

FBI Agent Peter Strzok Volunteers to Testify Without a Subpoena

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Now, this could be must-see-TV.

Peter Strzok, the FBI agent who sent anti-Trump messages to a colleague while leading the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s emails and Russia’s involvement in the Trump campaign, says he’s willing to voluntarily testify before the House Judiciary Committee or any other committee, New York Magazine reports.

The magazine notes that Strzok could expose more information about those probes.

House Judiciary chairman Bob Goodlatte was preparing to subpoena Strzok as part of the House investigation into the FBI’s conduct during the 2016 election.

But Strzok’s lawyer, Aitan Goelman, wrote in a letter to Goodlatte released Sunday Strzok was willing to testify without a subpoena.