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Tag: Subpoena

House Intelligence Committee Subpoenas FBI, DOJ for Dossier Documents

Donald TrumpBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The House Intelligence Committee has subpoenaed the Justice Department and FBI for records related to the salacious, unverified dossier on President Trump.

Neither agency turned over the records by the Sept. 1 deadline, prompting the committee to issue two more subpoenas to FBI Director Christopher Wray and Attorney General Jeff Sessions to explain why the records weren’t disclosed, the Washington Examiner reports

“We got nothing,” said committee member Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., who is taking a leading role in the Russia investigation. “The witnesses have not been produced and the documents have not been produced.”

Rep. Adam B. Schiff, D-Calif., said during an appearance on MSNBC that Republicans are trying to “discredit” the author of the dossier “rather than looking into how many of the allegations he wrote were true.”

“What we should be most concerned about is whether those sources of the information in the report are true, not in discrediting the author of that report,” Schiff said.

The FBI said it needs more time to determine whether disclosing the documents will interfere with the investigation of special counsel Robert Mueller.

House Oversight Chairman Subpoenas FBI for Full Case File of Clinton Probe

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah.

Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah.

Saying he’s not messing around, House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz subpoenaed the FBI Monday for the full case file of the Hillary Clinton email investigation.

During the contentious meeting in which Democrats accused Republicans of trying to derail Clinton’s presidential campaign, Chaffetz said his committee is entitled to the information, Politico reports. 

“It’s ‘trust, but verify’ is how it works,” Chaffetz told FBI acting legislative affairs chief Jason Herring. “You don’t get to decide what I get to see. I get to see it all.”

When Herring said he was unsure whether he could deliver unedited investigative summaries – known as 302s – Chaffetz delivered the subpoena to the witness table where Herring was sitting.

“I’ve signed this subpoena. We want all the 302s….and you are hereby served,” Chaffetz said.

Chaffetz said the FBI doesn’t get to decide what’s relevant for the committee’s investigation.

“That’s the way a banana republic acts, not the way the United States of America acts,” he said. “I don’t expect to have to issue a subpoena to see unclassified information.”

Rep. Issa Issues Subpoena for Atty. Gen. Holder in Fast and Furious

file photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethwire.com

The battle inside the Beltway over ATF’s Fast and Furious operation continued Wednesday.

Rep. Darrell Issa, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, announced Wednesday that he has sent a subpoena to Attorney General Eric Holder as part of his investigation into the program, Fox News reported.

“Top Justice Department officials, including Attorney General Holder, know more about Operation Fast and Furious than they have publicly acknowledged,” Isssa said in a statement, according to Fox. “The documents this subpoena demands will provide answers to questions that Justice officials have tried to avoid since this investigation began eight months ago. It’s time we know the whole truth.”

Fox reported that the subpoena seeks communications regarding the operation from 16 top Justice officials, including Holder, his chief of staff, Gary Grindler, and the head of the department’s criminal division, Lanny Breuer, as well as correspondence on specific dates to and from the former head of the ATF’s Phoenix field division, William Newell.

 

Justice Dept. Subpoenas NY Times Pulitzer Prize Winner James Risen


Reporter James Risen
By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department and the New York Times have had their fair share of battles in court over testifying.

The latest: Fed prosecutors in Alexandria, Va.,  have subpoenaed Pulitzer Prize winning New York Times reporter James Risen to testify against a former CIA operative who is awaiting trial, Carrie Johnson of NPR reported.

NPR reported that ex-CIA operative Jeffrey Sterling is accused of leaking classified info which wound up in Risen’s book “State of War.”

The subpoena was filed Monday night in Virginia, NPR reported. The Justice Department court filing calls Risen a “critical” eyewitness. Authorities expect Risen to fight the subpoena.

The government wrote in its motion: “As we describe in the following pages, the Supreme Court has held that absent a showing that a criminal proceeding is being conducted in bad faith or for the purpose of harassment, there exists neither a First Amendment nor a common law reporter’s privilege that shields a reporter from his obligation to testify, even if the reporter’s testimony reveals confidential sources and information.”

“Moreover, the Government is unaware of any case in which a court has excluded from a jury’s consideration the testimony of a reporter who personally witnessed a crime, let alone crimes like the ones charged here that are alleged to have endangered the nation’s security. Accordingly, to resolve this issue as expeditiously as possible, we move for the admission of Mr. Risen’s testimony.”

To read more click here.

Read Government Motion

Justice Dept. “Surprised and Disappointed” With Subpoena Issued for ATF

atf file photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — No surprise, politics is surfacing inside the beltway.

The Justice Department on Friday expressed disappointment in a Congressional committee which issued a subpoena for documents from ATF on a controversial gun program,  saying it had already told the committee it planned to cooperate.

“We  are therefore surprised and disappointed when shortly after we notified your staff of our intent to work with the Committee, you nevertheless issued a subpoena a few hours later,” the Justice Department wrote Friday to the committee chair Rep. Darrell Issa. ”  Despite this unnecessary step on your part, we will review the subpoena and work with the Committee to address your concerns.”

The Justice Dept. response came on the same day  Issa, chair of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, announced he had issued a subpoena to ATF after the agency failed to a meet the Wednesday deadline to handover documents pertaining to the gun-walking programs Operation Gunrunner and its offshoot, Operation Fast and Furious.

Operation Fast and Furious let straw purchasers buy guns, all with the hopes that ATF could trace them to the Mexican cartels. Unfortunately, some of the guns have been used in crimes.

The letter, written by Assistant Atty. Gen. Ronald Weich, also stated:

“As you know the Department has been working with the Committee to provide documents responsive to its March 16 request to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Yesterday, we informed Committee staff that we intended to produce a number of responsive documents with the next week.

“As we explained, there are some documents  that we would be unable to provide without compromising the Department’s ongoing criminal investigation into the death of agent Brian Terry as well as other investigations and prosecutions, but we would seek to work productively with the Committee to find other ways to be responsive to its needs.”

Senator Chuck Grassley, who has been pushing the issue and has been critical of ATF, issued a statement on Friday saying:

“According to more than a dozen whistleblowers from the ATF, the bureau knowingly has allowed assault weapons to be sold to these so-called straw buyers, individuals who illegally purchase firearms in the U.S. and then transport the weapons across the border to resell them to Mexican drug cartels. The ATF officials say the practice was intended to trap gun-smuggling networks operating along the southwest border who supply the violent drug –trafficking cartels in Mexico.”

“The agents warned that the practice was headed for disaster. And, their prophecy came true. Instead of intercepting the assault rifles and hand-pistols, the firearms allegedly were allowed to “walk” across the border, without U.S. interdiction, delivering thousands of guns into violent, drug networks in Mexico.

“Tragically, those who might have given the green light to the ill-conceived strategy may now have the blood of U.S. federal agents on their hands.”

“In December, Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was murdered in a shoot-out along the southwest border near Tucson, Arizona. Two AK-47 type assault rifles found at the scene were among the firearms purchased illegally under an operation known as “Fast and Furious.” The murder of another federal agent in February also may have ties to this practice. Special Agent Jaime Zapata of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) was attacked and killed, with a gun purchased by an alleged straw buyer, while on assignment in Mexico.”

Rep. Issa Explains Why He Issued a Subpoena

Grand Jury Subpoenas Ex-Sen. Pete Domenici in U.S. Atty. Firings

Ex-Sen. Pete Domenici

Ex-Sen. Pete Domenici

The subpoena has sent a message that the government is serious about getting to the bottom of the U.S. Attorney firings.

By PETE YOST
Associated Press
WASHINGTON – A federal grand jury has subpoenaed records of former Sen. Pete Domenici, and prosecutors are preparing to interview an ex-aide to former White House political adviser Karl Rove in an investigation of politically tinged firings of U.S. attorneys.
The moves are the clearest sign yet that the criminal inquiry, which began in September, is likely to continue for many months.
Career federal prosecutor Nora R. Dannehy is looking into whether former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, other Bush administration officials or Republicans in Congress should face criminal charges in the dismissals.
Some White House officials, including Rove as well as Domenici, R-N.M., the retired senator’s former chief of staff and others refused to be interviewed in an earlier joint inquiry by the Justice Department’s inspector general and the department’s Office of Professional Responsibility. Rove has said he will cooperate with Dannehy’s investigation.
Tom Carson, a spokesman for Dannehy, declined to comment.
For Full Story

Showdown in the Motown: Detroit Reporter Invokes the Fifth and Refuses to Disclose Sources

An angry ex-federal prosecutor wants to know who in the government leaked damaging information about him. And he wants a reporter to tell him who talked. The reporter is refusing. The drama continues.

David Ashenfelter

Ex-Prosecutor Convertino/law office photo

Ex-Prosecutor Convertino/law office photo

By Joe Swickard
Detroit Free Press
DETROIT — Detroit Free Press reporter David Ashenfelter declined under oath this afternoon to reveal confidential sources in a legal standoff that pits journalistic principles against the obligation to testify under subpoena.
In declining to say who told the newspaper that a federal prosecutor was being investigated for his handling of a botched terrorism case, Ashenfelter invoked the First Amendment of the Constitution that guarantees press freedoms, and his Fifth-Amendment right against self-incrimination.
The newspaper released a statement saying Ashenfelter (far left photo)  took the Fifth because of concerns that he could face legal exposure if the sources are identified and charged with a crime for leaking the information. Richard Convertino, a former federal prosecutor who sought the information from Ashenfelter as part of a lawsuit against the government, contends that it was illegal for the information to be leaked. Convertino also contends that Ashenfelter, by refusing to give up his sources, is aiding anyone who committed a crime.
“Journalists ought not to have to resort to taking the Fifth Amendment, when the First Amendment should be enough to protect them,” the Free Press statement said. “But in light of the allegations made by Convertino in his lawsuit, it is appropriate for Ashenfelter to do so.”
It is not immediately clear what Steven M. Kohn, the attorney for Convertino, will do now.
“We will be seeking the appropriate relief,” said Kohn as he exited the deposition in Ann Arbor after a 55-minute session. Kohn said he may seek to ask a federal judge to hold Ashenfelter in contempt of court and seek other sanctions.
For Full Story

Read ticklethewire.com Column on Convertino