Congressional Committees: Re FBI's Independence

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Re: Congressional Committees: Re FBI's Independence

#926

Post by Addie » Sun Sep 23, 2018 11:52 am

The Hill
Gowdy: Declassified documents unlikely to change anyone's mind on Russia investigation

Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) said Sunday that the documents President Trump ordered declassified related to special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation are unlikely to change anyone's views on the probe.

Gowdy said on CBS's "Face the Nation" that "99.9 percent" of the documents Trump ordered declassify are unrelated to the president.

"I generally am on the side of transparency, with the caveat do nothing that jeopardizes national security or impacts or relationship with our allies," said Gowdy, the chairman of the House Oversight Committee.

"I've seen all of it, and with the exception of one document, I don’t think anybody’s mind is going to be changed when they read this stuff," he added. ...

Gowdy on Sunday called it "terrible," "heartbreaking" and "sad" that Trump has often publicly feuded with his own Justice Department, particularly Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Gowdy said he understands Trump's frustration that Sessions recused himself from overseeing the Russia investigation, but added that the Justice Department is a branch that depends on objectivity.



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Re: Congressional Committees: Re FBI's Independence

#927

Post by Addie » Mon Sep 24, 2018 11:23 am

WaPo
Rod Rosenstein, who had been overseeing Russia probe, has offered to resign

Deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein has told White House officials he is willing to resign in the wake of revelations he once suggested secretly recording the president, but it’s unclear if the resignation has been accepted, according to people familiar with the matter.

One Justice Department official said Rosenstein was on his way to the White House Monday and is preparing to be fired.

Rosenstein had been overseeing the investigation of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, who is probing Russian interference in the 2016 election and whether any Trump associates conspired with those efforts. It wasn’t immediately clear what Rosenstein’s departure might mean for that investigation, or who now would oversee it, though that role could naturally fall to Solicitor General Noel Francisco.

One Trump adviser said the president has not been pressuring Rosenstein to leave the job, but his resignation had been a topic of private discussions all weekend. The person said Rosenstein had expressed to others that he should resign because he “felt very compromised” and was now a potential witness in the Russia probe rather than a supervisor, according to a person close to Trump.
Adding:
Axios: Exclusive: Rod Rosenstein is resigning
Bloomberg: Rosenstein Resigns After Reports He Considered Taping Trump, Source Says
Wall Street Journal (pay wall): Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein Expects to Be Fired, Clouding Mueller Investigation

Move follows disclosure of memos saying he suggested wiretapping President Trump



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Re: Congressional Committees: Re FBI's Independence

#928

Post by Addie » Mon Sep 24, 2018 12:29 pm

Talking Points Memo
Nadler: Rosenstein Ouster Would Add To 'Slow Motion Saturday Night Massacre'

House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Jerry Nadler (D-NY) said Monday that the possible ouster of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is “another step that would be evidence” toward concluding that the President has obstructed justice.

“This started with the firing of Comey, the firing of McCabe, the incessant attacks on Attorney General Sessions, the incessant attacks on the FBI, on people like Bruce Ohr, on others, the incessant attacks on the institutions that we depend on to do our police work and protect the integrity of our system,” Nadler told CNN’s Kate Bolduan as news of Rosenstein’s uncertain future developed. “And this is, I think, just another step in the unfolding slow motion Saturday night massacre,” he added.

Asked if Rosenstein’s ouster could be obstruction of justice, Nadler said, “I think that’s another step that would be evidence toward that conclusion.”

And, should Rosenstein depart, Nadler said, there will be a danger, “obviously,” that “whoever supervises Mueller could act in such a way as to impede that investigation in different ways.”



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Re: Congressional Committees: Re FBI's Independence

#929

Post by Addie » Mon Sep 24, 2018 12:53 pm

Reuters
Rosenstein has not resigned, still U.S. deputy attorney general: source

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Rod Rosenstein has not resigned and is still serving as U.S. deputy attorney general, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters on Monday.

Rosenstein had a previously scheduled meeting at the White House at noon on Monday, according to a person familiar with the matter. He is still the deputy attorney general and he attending a “substantive meeting” in that capacity, the person said.

The person confirmed that the topic of resigning did come up in discussions with White House Chief of Staff John Kelly over the weekend, but said the Axios report that Rosenstein had officially resigned was incorrect.
Adding:
The Hill: Schiff calls on Rosenstein not to step down
Daily Beast: Trump Lawyers Demand Mueller Probe ‘Time Out’ if Rosenstein is Ousted

It’s not even clear yet if the deputy attorney general is actually going anywhere. But Trump’s lawyers still want his exit to block, if temporarily, the Russia investigation.



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Re: Congressional Committees: Re FBI's Independence

#930

Post by bob » Mon Sep 24, 2018 1:51 pm

If Rosenstein is fired, the Solicitor General will oversee Mueller's investigation (because there is no AAG presently).

If Rosenstein resigns, the president can appoint an Acting DAG.


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Re: Congressional Committees: Re FBI's Independence

#931

Post by Addie » Mon Sep 24, 2018 2:16 pm

New York Times
Rod Rosenstein Will Meet With Trump to Discuss His Fate

WASHINGTON — President Trump will meet with Rod J. Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, on Thursday to discuss reports that Mr. Rosenstein talked about invoking the 25th Amendment to remove Mr. Trump from office, Sarah Sanders, the press secretary, said on Monday.

The announcement came just hours after the revelation that Mr. Rosenstein was considering resigning, which set off a flurry of speculation about who would replace him at the Justice Department, where Mr. Rosenstein oversees the Russia investigation.

Ms. Sanders, in a statement, said that Mr. Rosenstein and Mr. Trump had “an extended conversation” about the reports — including the fact that Mr. Rosenstein had discussed secretly taping the president. She said the two men will meet on Thursday when the president returns to Washington from New York, where he is attending the United Nations General Assembly.

Over the weekend, Mr. Rosenstein called a White House official and said he was considering quitting, and a person close to the White House said he was resigning. On Monday morning, after again calling John F. Kelly, the White House chief of staff, to discuss the prospect of his resignation, Mr. Rosenstein headed to the White House to meet with Mr. Kelly.

But Mr. Rosenstein later departed the White House, escorted by Mr. Kelly, with his fate at the Justice Department still unclear.



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Re: Congressional Committees: Re FBI's Independence

#932

Post by Addie » Wed Sep 26, 2018 9:14 am

WaPo
House GOP planning to subpoena McCabe memos, call key witnesses

Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee intend to subpoena memos written by former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe and call several key witnesses to testify, including former FBI director James B. Comey, according to panel Democrats.

Committee Republicans informed the Democrats of their intent to subpoena McCabe’s memos Tuesday night. The committee’s procedures require that the minority be given 48 hours’ notice before subpoenas are issued for documents or testimony, meaning the subpoena could be issued as early as Thursday.

Committee Democrats also learned that Republicans were planning to call Comey, as well as former attorney general Loretta E. Lynch, former acting attorney general Sally Yates, former Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos — who recently pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI — and Glenn Simpson, the head of Fusion GPS, the research firm behind a now-famousdossier detailing allegations of President Trump’s business and personal ties to Russia.

Democrats were upset that committee Republicans had been negotiating with potential witnesses without consulting them. They only discovered that the witnesses had been contacted because of communications with one witness’s lawyer, according to a spokesman for the panel’s minority; Democrats then demanded to know whether other letters had been sent out.



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Re: Congressional Committees: Re FBI's Independence

#933

Post by bob » Thu Sep 27, 2018 3:09 pm

TPM: Trump Delays Rosenstein Chat: Doesn’t Want To ‘Interfere With’ Senate Hearing:
President Trump has officially delayed the meeting he’d planned to hold with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein Thursday. The White House said the pair made this decision out of deference to the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing regarding sexual assault allegations against Brett Kavanaugh.

“They do not want to do anything to interfere with the hearing,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement.

* * *

Rosenstein and Trump now plan to meet next week, according to the statement released by Sanders.


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Re: Congressional Committees: Re FBI's Independence

#934

Post by Addie » Tue Oct 02, 2018 1:29 pm

WaPo
Comey says he’s willing to testify before Congress — but only if it’s public

Former FBI Director James B. Comey is willing to testify before two congressional committees investigating the Justice Department’s actions during the 2016 election — but only if he can do so publicly, his lawyer said in a letter Monday.

David N. Kelley, Comey’s lawyer, told Republican leaders of the House Oversight and Judiciary committees that while Comey “respectfully declines your request for a private interview,” he would “welcome the opportunity to testify at a public hearing.”

Kelley wrote that because Comey lacked a security clearance, there should be no concern about his having to discuss classified material. He wrote that he expected the committees would obtain approvals from the FBI for Comey to discuss events while he was in charge there.

“Because Mr. Comey has a variety of commitments in the coming months, please contact me as soon as possible to schedule a hearing date,” Kelley wrote.



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Re: Congressional Committees: Re FBI's Independence

#935

Post by Addie » Tue Oct 02, 2018 3:00 pm

Politico
Rosenstein to meet with House Republicans on Oct. 11

The deputy attorney general has been in the hot seat over a report that he proposed secretly recording the president. ...


The interview, organized by the Republican-led Judiciary and Oversight Committees, follows intense pressure from President Donald Trump's top House allies to question Rosenstein about recent reports that he proposed secretly recording Trump early last year. And it comes as Trump weighs whether to fire Rosenstein.

The precise format of the meeting remains unclear. Some House Republicans have insisted that Rosenstein sit for a transcribed interview that would be treated as an element of the panel’s broader, long-running investigation into the Justice Department and FBI. But House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, who invited Rosenstein to brief lawmakers, has not indicated whether he might allow Rosenstein to appear in a less-formal context to simply brief lawmakers on his response to the reports. His office declined to comment on the plan.

Regardless of the format, the Oct. 11 meeting brings high stakes for Rosenstein, who appointed special counsel Robert Mueller and oversees his investigation. Trump has railed against the Mueller probe of his campaign's contacts with Russia, calling it a "witch hunt," and Democrats view the drama around Rosenstein's future as a means of exerting influence over Mueller's investigation.

Lawmakers say Rosenstein’s visit will be connected to their long-running probe into politically explosive Justice Department and FBI actions in 2016 and 2017, which include federal investigations into Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's use of a personal email server as well as the Trump campaign’s ties to Russian operatives.



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Re: Congressional Committees: Re FBI's Independence

#936

Post by Addie » Tue Oct 02, 2018 10:24 pm

Judiciary.house.gov: Subpoena - Jeff Sessions for October 4 - Re McCabe Memos; "Woods File" (FISA); Russian interference in 2016 Election.
The usual nonsense, ho hum:
The Hill OpEd - John Solomon: Collusion bombshell: DNC lawyers met with FBI on Russia allegations before surveillance warrant



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Re: Congressional Committees: Re FBI's Independence

#937

Post by Addie » Tue Oct 09, 2018 11:44 am

The Hill
This week: Rosenstein set to meet with House GOP

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is set to meet with House Republicans this week as part of the lingering fallout from a bombshell New York Times report.

The interview with the joint House Oversight and Judiciary Committees comes after The Times reported last month that Rosenstein had discussed wearing a wire to record Trump as part of a possible effort to seek his removal from office under the 25th Amendment.

“The 11th is the date that we're shooting for. The leadership and Chairman [Bob] Goodlatte [(R-Va.)], and a number of the conservative members said it should be a transcribed interview in a closed-door setting,” Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) told Hill.TV’s “Rising” last week.

Rosenstein, a frequent target of the president’s frustration, has denied the report, but it’s raised fresh questions about how long he’ll be in the No. 2 Justice Department role as well as potential implications for special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into the 2016 election.

It is unclear in what format Rosenstein would meet with the lawmakers, whether as a transcribed interview as part of the investigation into the FBI and Department of Justice headed by the GOP-controlled Judiciary and Oversight Committees or as something less formal.

But the interview follows repeated calls by House Republicans for Rosenstein to answer questions about the Times report, which other outlets reported were made in jest.



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Re: Congressional Committees: Re FBI's Independence

#938

Post by Addie » Wed Oct 10, 2018 10:43 am

LA Times
FBI director defends Kavanaugh investigation, says it followed 'usual process'

FBI Director Christopher Wray told Congress Wednesday that a controversial FBI background investigation into sexual assault allegations involving Brett Kavanaugh before he was confirmed to the Supreme Court was handled in a way “consistent” with other such probes.

“My folks have assured me that the usual process was followed,” Wray testified to the Senate Homeland Security Committee in response to questions by Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) about the White House’s involvement in the process.

Wray declined to address whether the FBI investigated accusations that Kavanaugh lied during his Senate confirmation hearings, as Democrats have alleged.

When Harris pressed Wray as to why the FBI did not interview Kavanaugh, his chief accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, or 40 other potential witnesses, the FBI director said the investigation was “very specific in scope, limited in scope, and that is the usual process.”

Wray and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen testified at a hearing focusing on threats, including terrorism and interference in elections, facing the country.
Adding:
Politico: FBI's Wray confirms limits on Kavanaugh probe



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Re: Congressional Committees: Re FBI's Independence

#939

Post by Addie » Wed Oct 10, 2018 3:11 pm

WaPo
Rosenstein's interview with Trump's congressional allies postponed indefinitely

Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein’s interview with a joint House panel reviewing the Justice Department investigation of President Trump’s alleged Russia ties will not take place this week as expected, according to congressional aides involved with the planning.

The House Judiciary and Oversight and Government Reform committees were expected to speak with Rosenstein behind closed doors Thursday as part of their probe into federal law enforcement’s conduct during the investigations of Trump’s campaign and former secretary of state Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server. But a dispute over the interview’s terms prevented the committees and the Justice Department from reaching a deal to hold the meeting, according to people familiar with the discussions.

The delay means Rosenstein may not appear on Capitol Hill for an interview until after next month’s election, potentially exposing him to a subpoena. The House Judiciary Committee has frequently used subpoenas in this probe to compel witness testimony and the production of Justice Department documents.

“We have many questions for Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein and expect answers to those questions,” a House Judiciary Committee aide said. “There is not at this time a confirmed date for a potential meeting. Nevertheless, we will continue to provide updates as we have them.”



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Re: Congressional Committees: Re FBI's Independence

#940

Post by Addie » Thu Oct 11, 2018 4:32 pm

Bloomberg
House GOP Subpoenas Glenn Simpson, Founder of Trump Dossier Firm

House Republicans have subpoenaed the founder of the firm that commissioned a dossier alleging ties between Russia and Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, demanding that Glenn Simpson show up Tuesday for a closed-door deposition at the Capitol.

“Mr. Simpson’s attorney has already indicated his client will exercise his privilege not to answer questions at the deposition,” according to a notice circulated Thursday among lawmakers. “It is unclear if Republicans will force Mr. Simpson to assert that privilege in person or not."

Simpson is the founder of Fusion GPS, which hired former British spy Christopher Steele to produce a dossier with unverified allegations, some of them salacious, of ties between Trump and Russians before he became president. President Trump and Republicans say the dossier, funded largely by Democrats and Hillary Clinton’s campaign, is bogus and provided a pretext to begin the Russia inquiry that’s now run by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

If he shows up, Simpson would be questioned by some Republican and Democratic members and staff of the House Judiciary Committee, as well as the Oversight and Government Reform panel, which have been conducting a joint examination of investigative decisions made during the 2016 campaign by the FBI and the Justice Department.

Simpson previously met with the House Intelligence and Senate Judiciary committees, and transcripts of those sessions were released.



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Re: Congressional Committees: Re FBI's Independence

#941

Post by Addie » Wed Oct 17, 2018 9:45 am

The Hill
Fusion GPS co-founder pleads the Fifth in Congress, attorney cries McCarthyism ...

“This committee would make Sen. Joseph McCarthy proud,” Joshua Levy, Simpson’s attorney, said of the joint investigation by the Judiciary and Oversight committees into potential political bias at the FBI and Justice Department.

He made the remarks shortly after Simpson invoked his constitutional right against self-incrimination as protected under the Fifth Amendment.

Fusion GPS commissioned the so-called Steele dossier that included salacious, unsubstantiated allegations about then-candidate Trump’s ties to Russia. The joint investigation in the House is looking into the Justice Department’s handling of the dossier, as well as action at the FBI that some Republicans say demonstrate bias against Trump.

"This committee has destroyed the reputations and careers of prosecutors and agents. It has gratuitously exposed personal aspects of their private lives. It has levied false accusations of criminal wrongdoing against them,” Levy said. “And this mistreatment is no different as applied to our client Mr. Simpson.” ...

Later this week the committee is slated to hear from other individuals tied to the Steele dossier, including former FBI counsel James Baker and Nellie Ohr, whose husband Bruce Ohr, worked as a top official at the Justice Department during the 2016 election.
Adding:
ABC News: Subpoenaed by House panel, Fusion GPS chief pleads fifth on Capitol Hill



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Re: Congressional Committees: Re FBI's Independence

#942

Post by Addie » Thu Oct 18, 2018 7:39 pm

CNN
Rosenstein to face lawmakers on Capitol Hill next week

(CNN) Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein will speak to congressional leaders next week behind closed doors to address reports that he discussed wearing a wire to secretly record President Donald Trump and recruited Cabinet members to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office.

House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte and Oversight Chairman Trey Gowdy said in a statement Thursday that Rosenstein has agreed to be interviewed by the Republican and Democratic leaders of the House Oversight and Judiciary Committees on October 24, in what will be his first appearance on Capitol Hill after he nearly departed the Justice Department last month amid the fallout over his comments about a wire and the 25th Amendment.

The interview will be held behind closed doors in a secure setting, the lawmakers said, but a transcript will be released once it is scrubbed by the intelligence community for sensitive information.

But the interview with just the four committee leaders and a court reporter may not stem the growing criticism of Rosenstein from Trump's closest Republican congressional allies, who have been demanding Rosenstein appear so they can grill the deputy attorney general.



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Re: Congressional Committees: Re FBI's Independence

#943

Post by Addie » Fri Oct 19, 2018 12:16 pm

National Memo
Democrat Charges Nunes Concealed Russia Evidence From Mueller

A top member of the House Intelligence Committee has revealed shocking details about how Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) abused his position as committee chairman to obstruct the Mueller investigation and shield Trump from accountability.

In a blistering op-ed for Nunes’ hometown Fresno Bee, Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA), said that Nunes blocked committee Democrats from following up on leads about “worrisome contacts between the Russians and candidate Trump, his family, his businesses, and his campaign.”

What’s more, Swalwell said, Nunes blocked special counsel Robert Mueller from seeing evidence that “many witnesses committed perjury or offered information relevant to the special counsel’s work” when they testified before the committee.

After months of refusing to release this evidence — specifically, transcripts of the witness interviews from the House Russia investigation — Nunes finally relented a few weeks ago.

But Swalwell revealed that in doing so, Nunes blocked Democrats from sharing the transcripts with Mueller, and with the public.



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Re: Congressional Committees: Re FBI's Independence

#944

Post by Kendra » Fri Oct 19, 2018 12:20 pm

Addie wrote:
Fri Oct 19, 2018 12:16 pm
National Memo
Democrat Charges Nunes Concealed Russia Evidence From Mueller

A top member of the House Intelligence Committee has revealed shocking details about how Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) abused his position as committee chairman to obstruct the Mueller investigation and shield Trump from accountability.

In a blistering op-ed for Nunes’ hometown Fresno Bee, Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA), said that Nunes blocked committee Democrats from following up on leads about “worrisome contacts between the Russians and candidate Trump, his family, his businesses, and his campaign.”

What’s more, Swalwell said, Nunes blocked special counsel Robert Mueller from seeing evidence that “many witnesses committed perjury or offered information relevant to the special counsel’s work” when they testified before the committee.

After months of refusing to release this evidence — specifically, transcripts of the witness interviews from the House Russia investigation — Nunes finally relented a few weeks ago.

But Swalwell revealed that in doing so, Nunes blocked Democrats from sharing the transcripts with Mueller, and with the public.
I thought the transcripts were going to be released to the public? Wasn't that what he said on Maria Bartolomo (sp?) show more than four weeks ago?



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