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Tag: president trump

Democrats to Special Counsel Mueller: We Have Evidence Michael Flynn Broke Law

Former National Security Adviser Michael T. Flynn

Former National Security Adviser Michael T. Flynn

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Democrats say they have evidence that President Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn broke the law by failing to disclose a trip that involved a potential business deal between the Saudi government and a Russian nuclear power agency.

House Democrats provided details in a letter to special counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating wether Trump campaign aides colluded with Russia to win the White House.

Rep. Elijah Commungs, D-Md., and Eliot Engel, D-New York, sent the letter, which was not signed by any Republicans.

CNN reported:

Democrats sought information from three American companies in June after Newsweek reported that Flynn traveled to the Middle East in the summer of 2015 to broker a $100 billion deal between the companies, Saudi Arabia and Russia’s nuclear power agency. In response, officials from the US companies provided statements to the Democrats, confirming Flynn’s trip in 2015.

When Flynn returned to the US several months later and reapplied for his security clearance, he never disclosed the trip or the contacts he had with foreign nationals as part of the trip, the Democrats say.

Border Patrol Barred from Speaking to Congressional Members, Lawyers During Travel Ban

Protest at Detroit Metropolitan Airport. Photo by Steve Neavling.

Protest at Detroit Metropolitan Airport. Photo by Steve Neavling.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

When President Trump’s travel ban went into effect in late January, Custom and Border Protection employees directed personnel at airports to ignore members of Congress and treat lawyers with suspicion, according to a new report.

Ahead of the ban, Homeland Security officials ordered airport staff to treat lawyers as through they were “protesters” and to ignore members of Congress, documents obtained by the Daily Beast and the James Madison Project show. 

Congressional members expressed shock.

“I’m extremely troubled that CBP [Customs and Border Protection] employees would be instructed by superiors to ignore Congressional representatives trying to do their job, especially under such circumstances,” said Sen. Cory Booker, a New Jersey Democrat. “We suspected as much at the time, but it’s jarring to see it in black and white. I’ll be seeking more information from CBP on this matter.”

In a Jan. 28 email, a CBP officials forbid employees from interacting with members of Congress. 

“As stated on the call earlier today, you and your staff are NOT to engage with the media or Congressional representatives at this time,” emailed Todd Owen, the executive assistant commissioner of CBP’s Office of Field Operations, on Jan. 28. “Please make sure your subordinate Port Directors are following this direction. Please report any such requests to acting AC[REDACTED] from Congressional Affairs. Thank you.”

During protests at airport, CBP refused to answer questions from Congress about how many people were detained.

There are also questions whether all those detained at the airport had access to immigration lawyers.

Secret Service to Test Drone to Protect Trump at His Golf Course

drone-1142182_960_720By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

As the Secret Service looks for new ways to protect President Trump while he is vacationing at his New Jersey golf club, the agency will test a security drone.

Reuters reports that the Secret Service plans to test a small tethered unmanned aircraft system this month while the president is visiting the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster. 

The testing comes as the president is expected to spend an extended period at the golf course this month.

While the Secret Service declined to discuss specifics of the drone, the agency said the idea was to determine the vehicle’s potential for protecting the president.

A Trump Coverup? President Drafts Misleading Letter about Son’s Meeting with Russians

Donald Trump Jr., via Wikipedia

Donald Trump Jr., via Wikipedia

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump personally drafted his son’s misleading statement in response to a report that Eric Trump Jr. met with a Russian lawyer during the 2016 campaign, the Washington Post reveals

The president’s advisers wanted to release a statement that was truthful so there was no chance it was repudiated later.

But that changed when the president decided to personally dictate the statement himself, suggesting the meeting with the Russian lawyer was to discuss “a program about the adoption of Russian children.” The statement emphasized the meeting was “not a campaign issue at the time.”

Turns out, those claims were misleading, with Trump Jr. acknowledging he was promised damaging information about Hillary Clinton as part of a campaign by the Russians to help the elder Trump get elected.

The president’s advisers are now concerned that the president’s “direct involvement leaves him endlessly vulnerable to allegations of a coverup.”

Trump’s personal lawyer, Jay Sekulow, denied the president was behind the statement.

“But he was,” the Washington Post responded.   

Fox News Corrects Story That Falsely Claim Comey Memos were ‘Highly Classified’

Former FBI Director James Comey.

Former FBI Director James Comey.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Fox News corrected a story that suggested former FBI Director James Comey leaked classified material involving his conversations with President Trump.

Trump, who often accused the media of “fake news,” retweeted the original story after it aired Monday.

The news agency wrongly suggested the Comey memos written by contained “top secret” information. The material actually had a lower-level security classification.

Comey has repeatedly said he did not release classified information.

It wasn’t immediately clear whether any of the reporters have been disciplined.

Trump Interviewed Mueller for FBI Director Job Before Special Counsel Appointment

Former FBI Director Robert Mueller.

Former FBI Director Robert Mueller.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump met with former FBI Director Robert Mueller to ask if he’d want to become the bureau’s top boss again, just a day or two before Mueller was appointed special counsel over the investigation into Russia meddling with the presidential election.

The discussion between Trump and Mueller was revealed by Trump friend and Newsmax CEO Chris Ruddy in an interview on PBS’ “NewsHour” Monday evening. 

Ruddy said the president “was looking at (Mueller) potentially to become the next FBI director. That hasn’t been published but it’s true.”

Mueller haws served 12 years as FBI director.

Now Ruddy and other Trump allies are saying Mueller shouldn’t have accepted the special counsel job because of his recent discussion with Trump.

Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders confirmed Tuesday that Trump interviewed Mueller for the top FBI job.

In Ruddy’s interview with PBS, he suggested the president should fire Mueller as special counsel.

Kushner Retains Access to Top-Secret Information Despite FBI Investigation

Jared Kushner. Photo by Lori Berkowitz Photography, via Wikipedia

Jared Kushner. Photo by Lori Berkowitz Photography, via Wikipedia

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Although President’s Trump’s son-in-law appears to be the target of the ongoing Russia investigation, he continues to have access to the nation’s most top-secret information.

“The bottom line is that if Kushner were not a family member, he would be dismissed to preserve the political legitimacy of the White House decision-making process and to separate his legal situation from that of the president,” William Yeomans, a former deputy assistant attorney general who spent 26 years at the Justice Department, told Vice News.

But even though Kushner, 36, has been reported to be a “person of interest,” there are no legal grounds to remove his access to classified information.

Someone who has been labeled a person of interest is not limited in what they can and can’t do, and it is business as usual,” said Denise Minor, a former FBI agent who specialized in white-collar crime and counterintelligence during her 28 years at the bureau.

But Kushner’s move are more likely to be scrutinized.

“If someone who knows they are under investigation destroyed notes and material that they should realize may be sought for an investigation, that person could worsen their own  position by giving rise to inferences against themselves, or in an extreme case, could raise the possibility of obstruction of justice,” said Paul Rothstein, a professor at Georgetown Law School.

Two High-Profile Prospects for FBI Director Express Disinterest

Judge Merrick Garland (White House photo)

Judge Merrick Garland (White House photo)

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Two high-profile prospects for the FBI director job have signaled they don’t want it, reports Reuters.

Advisers to Judge Merrick Garland and Sen. John Cornyn said they discouraged them from seeking the post, cautioning that they would be leaving important, secure jobs for one fraught with politics and controversy, reports Reuters.

Nominating Garland, who failed to get confirmed as a justice for the U.S. Supreme Court under the Obama administration, may have been a way for the White House and the GOP to extend an olive branch to the Democrats. Cornyn, because of his clear partisanship, might have had a difficult time getting confirmed by his fellow senators.

In any event, it’s perceived that any new director will come into a politically charged and potentially unstable environment. Not the most ideal of circumstances considering the job is already inherently stressful.

The White House has indicated that it would like to have a nominee by Friday.

 

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