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Tag: Senate Judiciary

Fired Deputy Director Andrew McCabe Might Take the Fifth if Called Before Senate Judiciary

FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Fired FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe could remain mum if he’s called before the Senate Judiciary Committee next week.

McCabe’s lawyer fired off a letter to the committee’s chairman, Sen. Chuck Grassley, saying McCabe “will have no choice but to invoke his Fifth Amendment privilege” if called before the committee, reports Politico.

Grassley wants McCabe to testify about a much-anticipated probe by the Justice Department inspector general into the FBI’s conduct during its investigation of Hillary Clinton ahead of the 2016 election.

McCabe’s lawyer Michael Bromwich told Grassley on Monday that immunity would be required before McCabe testified because he is under investigation after the Inspector General concluded he lied to investigators.

Read the complete letter.

 

Sen. Grassley: Secret Service Director Taking Scandal Seriously

Mark Sullivan/s.s. photo

UPDATE, Wed, 8 a.m.:  CBS News  is reporting that there were up to 20 prostitutes involved with the Secret Service agents and military aides, and that the Secret Service wants to polygraph the people involved.
 
 
By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Under the category of “He better be taking this seriously if he wants to keep his job” comes the conversation Sen. Chuck Grassley had with Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan.

Grassley, the Senate Judiciary Committee’s ranking Republican member, issued a press release Tuesday saying that he was briefed by Sullivan about the latest scandal involving allegations that 11 Secret Service employees hired prostitutes in Colombia before President Obama arrived for a summit.

And guess what? Sullivan is taking this seriously. Really. Does he have a choice?

Here’s what Grassley had to say:

“Director Sullivan called me today to provide the latest on the incident with Secret Service agents and prostitutes in Colombia.It sounds like he’s taking the situation very seriously.

“It was welcome news that he has called on the Inspector General for an independent review. The allegations against a few agents in the Secret Service have given the entire agency a black eye, and a transparent, independent review should help the agency regain some respect from the American taxpayers and from people around the world.”

 

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

FBI Training Said Arabs Were Prone to “Jekyll & Hyde Temper Tantrums”

By Spencer Ackerman
WIRED

The FBI taught its agents that they could sometimes “bend or suspend the law” in their hunt for terrorists and criminals. Other FBI instructional material, discovered during a months-long review of FBI counterterrorism training, warned agents against shaking hands with “Asians” and said Arabs were prone to “Jekyll & Hyde temper tantrums.”

These are just some of the disturbing results of the FBI’s six-month review into how the Bureau trained its counterterrorism agents. That review, now complete, did not result in a single disciplinary action for any instructor. Nor did it mandate the retraining of any FBI agent exposed to what the Bureau concedes was inappropriate material. Nor did it look at any intelligence reports that might have been influenced by the training. All that has a powerful senator saying that the review represents a “failure to adequately address” the problem.

“This is not an effective way to protect the United States,” Sen. Richard Durbin, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee overseeing the FBI, tells Danger Room about the inappropriate FBI counterterrorism training. “It’s stunning that these things could be said to members of our FBI in training. It will not make them more effective in their work and won’t make America safer.”

To read the full story click here.

Read the NY Times Story

Sen. Judiciary Sets Hearing for Proposal to Extend FBI Dir. Mueller’s Tenure

Robert Mueller/file fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — The wheels are starting to churn in the movement to extend FBI Director Robert S. Mueller’s stay for two years beyond his 10-year term.

The Senate Judiciary Committee has scheduled a hearing for Wednesday at 10 a.m. to address the issue.

After a search began to replace Mueller, the White House instead proposed to keep Mueller on the job.

Mueller has enjoyed bipartisan popularity on the Hill. Some Senators have proposed legislation tailored specifically to Mueller that would allow him to stay on for two more years beyond September, when he was set to step down. The bill is expected to pass.

Inside the FBI, there are mixed opinion as to whether he should stay on. Some have praised him for his leadership in in the post 9-11 era in what proved to be one of the more challenging tenures for any FBI director.

But some agents feel it was time for Mueller, 66, to go, and have been critical of his focus on certain crimes and intelligence issues at the expense of others. They also have long advocated for a former agent to take the job — Mueller is a former federal prosecutor — saying the agent would better understand their mindset and mission.

Mueller turns 67 in August.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Atty. Gen. Holder Gets Grief in the Heartland; Protesters Interrupt Speech

Eric Holder Jr./ticklethewire.com file photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder Jr.  gets his fair share of grief inside the Beltway, particularly from Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

But some of that grief on Friday came from elsewhere: the heartland.

Minnesota Public Radio reported that Holder’s speech in Minneapolis at a conference on preventing youth violence was  interrupted several times by protesters who say the FBI, under Holder’s reign,  has expanded surveillance on Arabs and Muslims and targeted peace groups.

The Star-Tribune reported that several protesters were led out of the morning speech after repeatedly standing to shout. Another 50 or so stood outside banging on drums and chanting for the FBI to stop violating First Amendment rights of people.

One of the protesters, Tracy Molm, told MPR that after the speech she spoke to Holder, who said they would have to agree to disagree on what activities are protected by the First Amendment, MPR reported.

“He can disagree all he wants, but people around the country believe these attacks need to end because they’re killing our free speech rights, our ability to question our government, and our ability to speak out,” Molm said, according to MPR.

Senators Introduce Legislation to Extend FBI Dir. Mueller’s Term; Sen. Grassley Has Mixed Feelings

Robert Mueller III last year in Denver at IACP / file fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

In an unusual sign of bipartisanship, the top Democrats and Republicans of the Senate Judiciary Committee and Senate Select Committee on Intelligence introduced legislation Thursday that would allow  FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III to extend his 10-year term by two years.

Top ranking senators said the bill would provide a “one time extension” and would apparently keep the 10-year term limit in place for future directors. Mueller began serving as director in 2001 and was set to step down this September. One co-sponsor of the bill, Sen. Chuck Grassely (R-Ia.),  said he had some mixed feelings given that existing legislation that limits the term to 10-years was put in place for a reason.

President Obama caught many off guard when he announced that he wanted Mueller to stay on past September. Next to J. Edgar  Hoover, Mueller is the longest serving director.

The president said he wanted it to keep some continuity. Some applauded the move. But some agents inside the bureau felt it was time for Mueller to move on.

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), one of  the Senators who co-sponsored the bill to extend Mueller’s term, said in a statement :

“Bob Mueller has served tirelessly and selflessly for 10 years, and is undoubtedly ready to begin the next phase of his life.”

“But he has characteristically answered duty’s call and indicated his willingness to continue his service. We should fulfill our duty, as well, and join together without delay to secure the continuity and stability that is demanded at this time, and that is needed to keep our country safe.”

Sen. Grassley  said he favored the bill, but had some concerns.

“The ten-year term for an FBI director is good for the agency and our country. It was designed to insulate the FBI Director from the political process and ensure that no one Director amass too much power. It has worked for thirty-five years. But, we live in extraordinary times.

” Given the complex and uncertain time we live in, the good work of Director Mueller following September 11, and a heightened alert to terrorist attack following the death of Osama Bin Laden, this one-time statutory exemption that will extend the term of FBI Director Mueller’s term by two years is the right decision. I do this with trepidation, though, because of the constitutional and precedential concerns associated with this action.”

“I look forward to a hearing in the Judiciary Committee so we can address those concerns.”

Atty. Gen. Holder Expects Pakistan Raid to Net More Names on Terrorist Watch List

Atty. Gen. Holder before House Judiciary day before/ticklethewire.com

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Expect to see more names added to the U.S. terrorist list as a result of evidence snatched in Pakistan during the Osama bin Laden mission last weekend.

That’s what Atty. General Eric Holder Jr said Wednesday in testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, according to CNN.

“The material that was seized from that residence is being reviewed by an inter-agency team: CIA, Justice, other intelligence agencies, other law enforcement agencies are contributing people and machines to go through that material,” Holder said. “As we glean information from that material, we will make appropriate decisions with regard to who might we add to the terrorist watch list, the No Fly list, all those things,” Holder told the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Sen. Charles Schumer, D-New York, asked, “You expect you probably will add people as a result of what you got?”

Holder replied, according to CNN: “My guess is that we probably will.”

Holder also said the Justice Department is trying to anticipate any retaliation by terrorists.

“I had a conference call with all of the United States attorneys, I believe on Tuesday maybe on Monday, going through with them ‘think steps’ that we wanted them to take, making sure they as well as all the federal investigative agencies, were on their toes and being mindful of the fact that this is a difficult time for this nation after the death of bin Laden,” Holder said.

FBI Director Mueller Says Budget Crisis Could Leave 1,100 Jobs Open

Robert Mueller/file fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — The endless political bickering over the budget could spell trouble for the FBI.

ABC News’ Jason Ryan reports that FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III told a Senate committee Wednesday that the government’s current budget crisis could result in the FBI being unable to fill as many as 1,100 positions, which includes agents and analysts. If a new budget is not passed, the bureau will have to operate under 2010 levels.

“Under the current levels in the continuing resolution, the FBI will have to absorb over $200 million in cuts; and without any changes, the current continuing resolution will leave us with over 1,100 vacant positions by the end of the year,” Mueller told the Senate Judiciary Committee, according to ABC.

“Put simply, these cuts would undermine our efforts to continue to transform the bureau and undermine our efforts to carry out our mission.”

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