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Tag: Rod Rosenstein

Washington Post: Senate Should Confirm Trump’s Nominee for No. 2 Spot at DOJ

rod_rosenstein_us_attorneyBy Editorial Board
Washington Post

Though President Donald Trump’s opening weeks have been chaotic and dispiriting, the nation’s new chief executive has still managed to make a few good choices. One of his best was nominating Rod Rosenstein to be the No. 2 at the Justice Department. The sooner the Senate confirms him, the sooner the administration will have another adult in its top ranks. So it’s unfortunate that Mr. Rosenstein faced demands from Democrats at his Tuesday confirmation hearing that no one in his position should accede to.

As deputy attorney general, Mr. Rosenstein would oversee the daily operations of a vast, 115,000-person bureaucracy responsible for enforcing laws on everything from hate crimes to antitrust. After nearly three decades in the Justice Department, serving under presidents of both parties, “Rod Rosenstein has demonstrated throughout his long career the highest standards of professionalism,” Sen. Benjamin Cardin, D-Md., testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee. The senator praised Mr. Rosenstein’s “nonpartisan” approach and noted his wide support among Democratic officials in Maryland, where Mr. Rosenstein serves as U.S. attorney and has had notable success prosecuting gang crime and political corruption.

Instead of that record, Mr. Rosenstein’s hearing was dominated by the recusal of Attorney General Jeff Sessions last week from issues involving Russia and the 2016 presidential election. With Mr. Sessions sidelined, Justice Department decisions regarding any investigation into Russia’s meddling and contacts between Mr. Trump’s circle and Russian officials would fall to Mr. Rosenstein.

He assured senators that “political affiliation is irrelevant to my work” and promised to “support any properly predicated investigation related to interference by the Russians or by anybody else in American elections.”

To read more click here. 

Atty. Gen. Holder Appoints D.C. and Baltimore U.S. Attys to Probe National Security Leaks

Ron Machen Jr./doj photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Attorney General Eric Holder assigned the U.S. Attorneys from D.C. and Baltimore to launch criminal probes into national security leaks to members of the media.

In a press release issued Friday, Holder said D.C. U.S. Attorney Ron Machen and Baltimore U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein will lead the probes.

The leaks center around the the disrupted bomb plot by al Qaeda and a New York Times story about the U.S. cyberattack program targeting the Iranian nuclear program.

“These two highly-respected and experienced prosecutors will be directing separate investigations currently being conducted by the FBI,” Holder said. “I have every confidence in their abilities to doggedly follow the facts and the evidence in the pursuit of justice, wherever it leads.”

Baltimore Man Pleads Guilty in FBI Sting that Targeted Military Recruiting Center

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A 22-year-old Baltimore man pleaded guilty Thursday in federal court in Baltimore to plotting to blow up an armed forces recruiting station in Catonsville, Md., the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Baltimore said.

Antonio Martinez, aka Muhammad Hussain, a U.S. citizen, pleaded guilty to attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction against federal property. He had been arrested on Dec. 8, 2010, after he attempted to detonate what he believed to be explosives at the armed forces recruiting station.

“We are catching dangerous suspects before they strike, and we are investigating them in a way that maximizes the liberty and security of law-abiding citizens,” said U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein in a statement. “That is what the American people expect of the Justice Department, and that is what we aim to deliver.”

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said, according to his plea agreement, on Oct. 22, 2010, Martinez broached the subject of  attacking military targets with an FBI confidential source (CS). During the recorded conversations that followed between Martinez, the confidential sources and later, an FBI undercover agent, “Martinez identified his target—an armed forces recruiting station in Catonsville—and spoke about his anger toward America, his belief that Muslims were being unjustly targeted and killed by the American military and his desire to commit jihad to send a message that American soldiers would be killed unless the country stopped its ‘war’ against Islam.”

The feds  said Martinez attempted to recruit a number of people to join in the plot, and one of them tried to dissuade him from committing jihad.

At one point, the FBI confidential source introduced his “Afghani brother”, who ended up being an undercover FBI agent who posed as someone interested in the plot.

Md. Man With Fake Teaching Credentials Gets 21 Months; Taught Law Enforcement Including FBI

William Hillar

 By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Who the heck is William G. Hillar?

Well, if you read his online bio you’d see that he had some darn impressive credentials in the military, had a Ph.d and he’s been raking in cash teaching, conducting workshops and giving speeches, and that he received training in counter-terrorism and psychological warfare while in the armed forces.

Problem is, federal authorities say, he’s a fraud.  His credentials were totally bogus.

On Tuesday, Hillar, 66, of Millersville, Md., was sentenced  in Baltimore federal court to 1 year and 9 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for lying about his military experience and academic credentials in order to gain employment for teaching and training. He was also ordered to pay restitution of $171,415 and perform 500 community hours at the Maryland State Veterans Cemeteries.

The Christian Science Monitor reported that he duped government agencies including the FBI’s Command College, which paid him $17,369 from 2000 to 2010, according to court documents.

“William G. Hillar claimed that he had earned praise as a hero, but the truth is that he deserves condemnation as a liar,” said U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein in a statement. “He did not serve in the U.S. Army, did not receive military training in counter-terrorism and psychological warfare, and did not lose his daughter to sex traffickers.”

Authorities alleged that Hillar, for at least the past 10 years, has been teaching, leading workshops, giving speeches and conducting training for public and private sector clients under false pretenses.

A website that has been taken down contained a “Bio Info” page that stated “William G. Hillar is a retired Colonel of the U.S. Army Special Forces and had served in Asia, the Middle East, and Central and South America, and his training included tactical counter-terrorism, explosive ordnance, emergency medicine and psychological warfare.

It also said Hillar “holds a B.A. in Psychology, and M.A. in Education, a Ph.D. in Health Education, and an honorary Doctorate in Intercultural Relations, authorities said.

But a court affidavits states that a search of military and civilian records for Hillar in November 2010 showed he had not served with the U.S. Army, and instead, was an enlisted sailor in the U.S. Coast Guard reserves from 1962 to 1970.

Authorities alleged that he was never deployed at the locations stated on his website, nor was he given any Coast Guard training in tactical counter-terrorism, explosive ordnance, emergency medicine and psychological warfare.

He attended the University of Oregon from 1970 to 1973, but he did not earn a Ph.D, authorities said.

Moreover, the government’s sentencing memorandum states that Hillar fabricated a gruesome tale that his own daughter had been kidnaped, forced into sex slavery, sodomized and tortured before being hacked to death with machetes and thrown into the sea.

He claimed that this experience and his life story was the basis for the 2008 film “Taken”. Authorities said the press attention from the film generated free press for Hillar.

Hillar admitted that he fabricated the story about his daughter, who was alive and well, authorities said.

 

N.Y. U.S. Atty. Announces Promotions: Balt. U.S. Atty. Creates Money Laundering Section

U.S. Atty. Preet Bharara/doj photo

U.S. Atty. Preet Bharara/doj photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON — There’s no shortages of changes in the U.S. Attorney offices around the country these days.

In the New York Southern District, newly installed U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara announced on Monday the promotion of a number of prosecutors including Boyd Johnson III, who is one of the candidates the White House has  interviewed  to head the DEA, and who headed the infamous Eliot Spitzer probe.

In Baltimore, U.S. Atty. Rod J. Rosenstein, a holdover from the Bush administration, announced the creation of a three-lawyer, two paralegal, Asset Forfeture and Money Laundering Section.

“This new unit will work with federal authorities with state and local officails on a wide range of cases in wihch federal forgeiture and money laundering statutes can help punish and deter crime,” Rosenstein said in a prepared statement.

In New York, Reuters news service reported, that Boyd Johnson moves up to the number two spot in the office as deputy U.S. Attorney.  He headed the probe into the Emperors Club VIP, that resulted in four guilty pleas. Spitzer was never charged, but the scandal forced him to resign as governor.

Other promotions in the New York office, according to Reuters, include:

  • Raymond Lohier was named chief of the criminal division’s securities and commodities fraud task force.
  • Miriam Rocah becomes chief of the criminal division’s organized crime unit.
  • Daniel Stein jumps to chief of the criminal division’s public corruption unit.
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