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Tag: sen. grassley

Grassley Questions Independence of Acting FBI Director McCabe

Sen. Chuck Grassley

Sen. Chuck Grassley

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley is joining conservative pundits and President Trump allies in attacking the credibility of acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe.

In a letter to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, the Iowa Republican is raising questions about the independence of McCabe at a time when the FBI is investigating former national security adviser Michael Flynn, Politico reports

Grassley suggested McCabe may have a conflict of interest because his wife received donations from a Clinton supporter, Gov. Terry McAuliffe, while running for a Virginia state Senate seat. Grassley pointed to an active investigation by the Justice Department inspector general into whether the donation should have prompted McCabe to recuse himself from the Hillary Clinton email probe.

“That evidence and the failure to recuse calls into question whether Mr. McCabe handled the Flynn investigation fairly and objectively, or whether he had any retaliatory motive against Flynn for being an adverse witness to him in a pending proceeding,” Grassley wrote.

In a series of Tweets on Thursday, Trump’s personal attorney Jay Sekulow also raised the issue.

“The conflicts of interest are clear and the American people should not tolerate this.”

Senate Judiciary Committee to Probe Political Influence of FBI Investigations

Sen. Chuck Grassley

Sen. Chuck Grassley

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Senate Judiciary Committee plans to investigate attempts to influence FBI investigations under the Trump and Obama administrations.

Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, called for the congressional probe to explore why President Trump really fired former FBI Director James Comey’s firing and whether anyone in Obama’s administration tried to influence the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email server.

Grassley’s call for a wide-ranging investigation comes in response to Democrats requesting to investigate whether Trump obstructed justice by firing Comey, Politico reports. 

“The Judiciary Committee has an obligation to fully investigate any alleged improper partisan interference in law enforcement investigations,” Grassley wrote to his Democratic counterpart, Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California. “It is my view that fully investigating the facts, circumstances, and rationale for Mr. Comey’s removal will provide us the opportunity to do that on a cooperative, bipartisan basis.”

Grassley believes an investigation into the handling of Clinton’s use of a private email service is called for after Comey testified last week that he was concerned the Justice Department “could not credibly complete the investigation and decline prosecution without grievous damage to the American people’s confidence in the justice system.”

Sen. Grassley Demands Answers from DEA about ‘Brutal Captivity’ of College Student

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Sen. Chuck Grassley wants answers.

The Republican from Iowa is demanding details of the treatment of Daniel Chong, who was detained and deprived of water and food for five days, the Hill reports.

“The American people still do not know the full details about Mr. Chong’s mistreatment and abuse,” Grassley wrote. “And despite this inexcusable behavior and long-overdue findings, the American people still have no idea whether these agents and administrators are still working for the DEA.”

The letter to DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart comes after an Inspector General report that “raises even more questions.”

“Not only were there specific failures by specific agents and employees that led to Mr. Chong’s brutal captivity, as well as a possible attempted cover up by senior DEA officials, but the entire system itself was set up to fail and forestall any future review,” Grassley wrote. “This is wholly unacceptable.”

Chong, a college student, reached a $4.1 million settlement with the DEA.

Sen. Grassley Wants Heads to Roll at Secret Service

ATF’s Tom Brandon Named ticklethewire.com’s Fed of the Year

Tom Brandon/atf photo

 By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Thomas E. Brandon, the straight-shooting, well respected and extremely able veteran of ATF, who was sent around the country this year to try and mend some of the agencies pressing problems, has been named ticklethewire.com’s Fed Of The Year for 2011.

Brandon, an ex-Marine who is currently ATF’s number two person in Washington, started the year off as special agent in charge of ATF’s Detroit office, where he was very well respected.

In the spring, after the agency started coming under Congressional fire for Operation Fast and Furious, Brandon was sent off to Phoenix to head up that office and try and improve morale and straighten out matters.

Fast Furious was created in the Phoenix office. Under Fast and Furious, ATF encouraged Arizona gun dealers to sell to straw purchasers, all with the hopes of tracing the weapons to the Mexican cartels.

Problem was, ATF lost track of many of the guns, some of which surfaced at crime scenes on both sides of the border. Some members of Congress like Rep. Darrell Issa and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Ia) went on the attack, criticizing ATF. Some even suggested folding it into the FBI.

In late August, acting director  Ken Melson stepped down. In October, as part of a major shakeup at the agency,  Brandon was summoned from Phoenix to become the number two guy in Washington.

We think it speaks volumes that Brandon has been sent to the agency’s hotspots to help straighten out things at a time the agency has come under fire, the likes of which hasn’t been seen since Waco.  To boot, it’s easy to find street agents who respect Brandon, who has been an agent since 1989.

Brandon is the fourth person to receive the Fed of the Year Award.  Previous recipients have included Chicago U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald (2008),  Warren Bamford, who headed the Boston FBI (2009) and Joseph Evans, regional director for the DEA’s North and Central Americas Region in Mexico City (2010).

 

Fed Agents Raid Suburban D.C. Home of ex-National Archives Employee

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — U.S. Marshals assisted federal agents in a raid earlier this week at  the  suburban Washington  home of a man who had retired from the National Archives, the website TBD reported.

The raid, which resulted in the seizure of materials, came in wake of a report that cited “significant weaknesses” in the agency’s security, TBD reported.

TBD reported that the Government Accountability Office conducted “the audits at the behest of Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) after news broke last year that several important historical documents, including the original patent for the Wright Brothers’ flying machine, had gone missing.”

Tuesday’s raid , lead by special agents from the National Archives and Records Administration’s Office of Inspector General, was at the Rockville, Md., home of  Leslie Waffen, who had worked at the Archives for more than 40 years, most recently as the head of the Motion Picture, Sound, and Video unit, TBD reported.

The Washington Post, citing an unnamed law enforcement official, reported that Waffen directed agents to his basement where they removed “10 to 20 boxes.”

Authorities declined to say what they were after.