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Tag: Republicans

LA Times: Congressional Republicans Ignore Facts to Protect Trump

U.S. Capitol

By Editorial Board
Los Angeles Times

Following President Trump’s questionable lead, some congressional Republicans are trying to sow doubt about the integrity and impartiality of the FBI and the investigation led by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III. That investigation already has resulted in an indictment of Trump’s former campaign chairman and a guilty plea by his first national security advisor, and it shows no sign of concluding.

On Thursday, four days after Trump tweeted that the FBI’s reputation was “in tatters,” Rep. Robert W. Goodlatte (R-Va.), the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, told FBI Director Christopher A. Wray: “We cannot afford for the FBI — which has traditionally been dubbed the premier law enforcement agency in the world — to become tainted by politicization or the perception of a lack of even-handedness.”

True enough, but the question is whether such a perception is fair or the result of politically motivated exaggeration by the president and his supporters. So far the evidence points strongly in the latter direction. That comes as no surprise — the attacks on the FBI fit a clear pattern of misdirection and deflection by the Trump administration and its GOP allies on the issue of Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

To read more click here.

Republicans Scrambled to Discredit Intensifying Trump-Russia Probe

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Many Republicans are scrambling to discredit Special Counsel Robert Mueller as the investigation into the cozy relationship between Donald Trump’s campaign and Russia intensifies.

The smear campaign is taking on a new urgency after several of Trump’s campaign aides have been charged and are said to be cooperating with the special counsel team.

Republicans are seizing the opportunity following revelations that a top FBI official, Peter Strzok, was removed from the special counsel team for sending text messages critical of President Trump.

“The question really is, if Mueller was doing such a great job on investigating the Russian collusion, why could he have not found the conflict of interest within their own agency?’” Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., asked at a news conference, according to the Washington Post

Sen. Chuck Grassley

Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, suggested the special counsel investigation is a partisan-driven campaign designed to smear Trump.

“Strzok’s behavior and involvement in these two politically-sensitive cases raises new concerns of inappropriate political influence in the work of the FBI,” Grassley wrote in a letter to the Justice Department and FBI.

Republicans Warn of ‘Coup’ if Robert Mueller Continues Russia-Trump Probe

Special counsel Robert Mueller

Special counsel Robert Mueller

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A conservative group of Republicans called for Robert Mueller to resign, saying the special counsel’s investigation amounts to an attempted overthrow of the government.

“We are at risk of a coup d’etat in this country if we allow an unaccountable person, with no oversight, to undermine the duly-elected President of the United States,” said Florida Congressman Rep. Matt Gaetz from the chamber floor, Newsweek reports

Gaetz and other members of the House Freedom Caucus proposed a non-binding motion last week to demand Mueller resign or be fired because of “obvious conflicts of interest.” They allege Mueller has a conflict because he was the FBI director when the Obama administration approved a deal allowing a Russian company to buy a Canadian energy company with uranium operations in 2010.

“We’ve got to clean this town up, and it will start with the resignation of Mr. Mueller and a proper investigation of all of this underlying case involving Comey, Lynch, the Clintons, and Russia,” Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert said Wednesday.

Conservative Republicans Call for Mueller’s Resignation over ‘Conflicts of Interest’

Special counsel Robert Mueller

Special counsel Robert Mueller

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Three House Republicans introduced legislation calling on Special Counsel Robert Mueller to resign over what they called “obvious conflicts of interest.”

The measure by Reps. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) and Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) comes on the same week Mueller announced money laundering charges against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his deputy Rick Gates. The former FBI director, who was appointed by the Justice Department, also announced he secured a guilty plea from George Papadopoulos, a former foreign policy adviser for Trump, for lying to the FBI about trying to arrange a meeting between Russian officials and the Trump campaign.

Gaetz, who wrote the legislation, insists Mueller has a conflict of interest because he was the FBI director in 2010 when several U.S. government agencies approved the sale of Uranium One, a Canadian energy company, to a Russian nuclear-energy firm. 

Republicans launched two congressional investigations into the sale last month.

“These deeply troubling events took place when Mr. Mueller was the Director of the FBI. As such, his impartiality is hopelessly compromised,” Gaetz said in a statement, according to Business Insider. “He must step down immediately.” 

It wasn’t immediately clear whether other Republicans will support the resolution calling for Mueller’s firing.

Group of Republicans Criticize Trump’s Border Wall, Offers Multi-Faceted Alternative

border patrol 3By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump’s most famous campaign pledge – to build a border wall and get Mexico to pay for it – has been attacked by his own party as clumsy, cost-prohibitive and singularly focused.

On Thursday, a group of Republican senators unveiled legislation that would increase border security without having a severe impact on trade, the Washington Post reports

The legislation, which is backed the chamber’s No. 2 Republican, Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, calls for $15 billion over four years to increase Border Patrol agents, ICE officers, immigration judges and prosecutors and to improve border security infrastructure such as fences, surveillance and levees.

“Border security is not a one-size-fits-all proposition; we need an approach that will work at each unique place along the U.S.-Mexico border,” Cornyn told reporters Thursday.

The idea, the senators said, was to “regain the public’s confidence” after what the Post called “several rocky legislative months.”

House Committee Strips Funding for Long-Delayed New FBI Headquarters

The FBI's current headquarters in Washington D.C.

The FBI’s current headquarters in Washington D.C.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The long-delated project to build a new FBI headquarters just hit another major snag.

A House Appropriations subcommittee on Thursday approved rescinding $200 million for a new headquarters in Maryland or Virginia, the Baltimore Sun reports. The current headquarters has become cramped and obsolete.

By stripping the money, 11,000 new jobs also are at stake.

“It is reprehensible that House Republicans are playing politics with our national security by rescinding $200 million in funding for the new, fully consolidated FBI headquarters,” Democratic Reps. Steny Hoyer of Southern Maryland and Anthony G. Brown of Prince George’s County said in a joint statement. “House Republicans must stop delaying this project.”

Democrats are hoping to restore the funding.

FBI Paints Troubling Portrait of Man Who Opened Fire at Republicans on Baseball Field

James T. Hodgkinson was killed by police after he shot four people at a congressional baseball game.

James T. Hodgkinson was killed by police after he shot four people at a congressional baseball game.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Before firing 60 rounds from a rifle and handgun at an unwitting group of Republican lawmakers and staffers who were practice baseball in Alexandria, Va., James T. Hodgkinson had been living in his van in the parking lot of the YMCA on the outskirts of Washington D.C.

Struggling with his marriage, anger management problems and a beef against Republicans, the unemployed home inspector from Illinois approached the baseball players and asked, “Is this the Republican or Democrat baseball team?”

Soon after the encounter, the 66-year-old retrieved a 7.62-caliber SKS rifle and 9mm handgun from his van before returning and calmly and deliberately opening fire at the lawmakers and their staff.

U.S. Capitol Police special agents and officers from Alexandria returned fire, killing the gunman.

Five people were wounded, including House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., who is in fair condition at the hospital after multiple emergency surgeries.

On Wednesday, the FBI revealed details of a troubled Hodgkinson who had long-simmering hatred for Republicans.

“While the shooter was known to have a history of diagnosed mental illness, he is known, or it was known, to have an anger management problem,” Timothy R. Slater, FBI special agent in charge, said at a press conference Wednesday. “He was struggling in all kinds of different ways.” 

The FBI still doesn’t know why Hodgkinson was in the area, and agents believe he acted alone and that the shooting was spontaneous. 

FBI to Reveal Details Today of Congressional Baseball Shooting in Virginia

Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La.

Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI plans to release details today of the shooting that critically injured House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and four other people last week on a northern Virginia baseball field.

The bureau’s Washington Field Office will reveal the investigative findings by agents and other law enforcement officials.

Scalise, a Louisiana Republican, was critically wounded when he was shot near the hip, but after several surgeries, his condition has upgraded to serious.

James T. Hodgkinson was killed by police after he shot four people at a congressional baseball game. Photo via Facebook.

James T. Hodgkinson was killed by police after he shot four people at a congressional baseball game. Photo via Facebook.

The shooting happened while Scalise and other congressional Republicans were practicing in advance of ann annual charity baseball game against Democrats.

James T. Hodgkinson, a harsh critic of President Trump and an employed home inspector, opened fire at the field and became involved in shootout with police before he was mortally wounded.