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Tag: US House

Trump Aides Face Potential Perjury Charges As House Democrats Help Mueller with Records

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

The Democratic takeover of the U.S. House could spell trouble for current and former aides of the president, including his son Donald Trump Jr. and his long-time aide Roger Stone.

Democrats plan to hand Mueller all evidence the House collected during its investigation of Russian interference, according to House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif.

That increases the chances of perjury charges against Trump Jr. and Stone if they lied to Congress during closed-door interviews with the House intelligence committee.

Schiff said Sunday that he plans to soon provide special counsel with transcripts of the congressional testimony, “including for the bringing of perjury charges, if necessary, against any of the witnesses ,but also to see the evidence that they contain.”

“I don’t want to go into enumerating particularly who I have concerns about, but I do have concerns about certainly multiple witnesses,” Schiff told host Jake Tapper on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

“Bob Mueller, by virtue of the fact that he has been able to conduct this investigation using tools that we didn’t have in our committee, meaning compulsion, is in a better position to determine, OK, who was telling the truth?” Schiff said. “Who wasn’t? And who can I make a case against in terms of perjury?”

Schiff said some witnesses felt like they had “some kind of immunity” when Republicans controlled the committee.

“There’s no reason to protect these witnesses,” Schiff said. “There’s every reason to validate Congress’ interest in not having people come before it and lie.”

Democrat-Controlled House to Re-Introduce Bill to Protect Special Counsel Mueller

Special Counsel Robert Mueller, via FBI.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

As Democrats take control of the U.S. House today, the new leaders are expected to introduce new legislation to protect special counsel Robert Mueller.

Incoming House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-NY, plans to re-introduce legislation that would allow Mueller and future special counsels to challenge their termination in the courts, CNN reports.

Nadler is the incoming chairman of the Judiciary Committee, which would be in charge of any future impeachment proceedings.

But the legislation faces an uphill battle because Republicans still control the Senate, which defeated a similar bill last year.

House Passes Bill to Reform Beleaguered Secret Service with More Oversight, Agents

US CapitolBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The U.S. House approved legislation Monday aimed at reforming the beleaguered Secret Service, which has been beset by lax security, poor management and scandals.

The House passed the Secret Service Improvement Act by a 375-16 vote and gained almost universal support from both parties, the Washington Examiner reports. 

The bill calls for more oversight, more training and reforms to the agency’s vulnerabilities.

The Secret Service also will be able to hire at least 80 new agents and 200 additional division officers.

One big change under the bill: The senate must approve the Secret Service director, who previously was appointed exclusively by the president.

“The person entrusted to not only protect the president, but to also head a $1.5 billion federal law enforcement agency, should be subject to the same process of advice and consent of the Senate as his counterparts at other comparable agencies,” said House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., who authored the bill.

U.S. Senate to Vote Soon on Extending Ban on Guns That Evade Metal Detectors, X-Ray Machines

An ORDbot Quantum 3D printer

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The increasing use of 3-D printers has made it easier for people to make plastic weapons that can evade metal detectors and X-ray machines, the Associated Press reports.

The U.S. House responded by passing a bill that would renew the 25-year-old prohibition against plastic firearms by a decade.

After returning from a two-week Thanksgiving recess Monday, the Senate may vote on the bill that day.

But many gun groups are opposed.

“They’ve just spent all year trying to effectively destroy the gun lobby,” Mike Hammond, legislative counsel of the the conservative Gun Owners of America, said of Democrats. “So why in heaven’s name, given this intransigence, should we give them this Christmas present?”

NSA Surveillance on Domestic Calls Narrowly Dodged a House Plan to End the Controversial Practice

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The U.S. House narrowly rejected a plan that would have limited the controversial collection of telephone records on domestic calls Wednesday after the extent of the surveillance was leaked last month, the USA Today reports.

The 217-205 vote means the NSA can continue collecting domestic surveillance without as much as a warrant.

Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich., proposed the amendment and managed to round up a group of conservatives, libertarians and liberals to support it.

The move would have required NSA to collect data more discriminately by focusing on individual suspects.

But critics said the amendment would have killed a powerful tool to keep the country safe from terrorism.

Homeland Security at Risk of Losing Millions Over Handling of Chemical Tracking

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Homeland Security’s struggle to track high-risk chemicals at plants like West Fertilizer Co. could result in the federal agency losing $9 million, The Dallas Morning News reports.

The threat by the U.S. House comes a month after the deadly fire and explosions at the Wester Fertilizer plant in Texas.

Homeland Security officials are under pressure to do a better job tracking dangerous chemicals, especially after government reports recently found oversight problems.

Boehner: Republicans to Take Civil Action Against Obama’s Executive Privilege

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

U.S. House Speaker John Boehner said on Sunday that Republicans plan to file a civil suit to force the Justice Department to  release of more information on the botched ATF drug-running case known as Fast & Furious, ABC News reports.

The suit is the latest effort to force the release of related material after the Justice Department said it would not prosecute Attorney General Eric Holder, who was held in contempt of Congress last week for refusing to turn over the documents.

The Obama administration used executive privilege to block Congressional access to the records.