Congressional Committees: Re 2016 Elections & Russia

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Dolly
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Re: Congressional Committees: Re 2016 Elections & Russia

Post #51 by Dolly » Fri Mar 03, 2017 12:52 am

REP. TED LIEU: ATTORNEY GENERAL SESSIONS MUST RESIGN IMMEDIATELY
March 2, 2017 Press Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

REP. TED LIEU: ATTORNEY GENERAL SESSIONS MUST RESIGN IMMEDIATELY
Mr. Lieu also calls for two special prosecutors to investigate Sessions and Trump Administration ties to Russia

Washington – Today, Congressman Ted W. Lieu (D | Los Angeles County) issued the following statement regarding reports that Attorney General Jeff Sessions made false statements about interactions with Russian officials during his confirmation hearings:

“America, we have a problem. In less than two months, two senior Trump Administration officials have been caught red-handed making false statements about their contacts with high-ranking officials of the Russian Government. The duplicity on the part of Mike Flynn and now on the part of Attorney General Sessions underscores the absolute necessity for independent investigations. I call for the immediate appointment of two special prosecutors. One to investigate all Trump Administration ties to Russia and the second prosecutor to investigate Sessions for perjury.”

“Lying to Congress by an Executive Branch official is so serious that there's a specific law criminalizing it, 18 U.S.C. 1001. Moreover, a massive trust gap now exists between the American people and the top law enforcement officer of the United States.”

“In order for Congress to provide essential oversight of the Executive Branch, we must have faith that the testimony we receive from government officials is true. Sessions lied to Congress under oath during his confirmation hearing when he said, ‘I did not have communications with the Russians.’ As a Member of the House Judiciary Committee with oversight over the Department of Justice, I can no longer trust our Attorney General. Jeff Sessions must tender his resignation immediately."

https://lieu.house.gov/media-center/pre ... mmediately

https://www.facebook.com/RepTedLieu/

http://www.lieu.house.gov/

Proudly representing California's 33rd Congressional District.


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Re: Congressional Committees: Re 2016 Elections & Russia

Post #52 by Dolly » Fri Mar 03, 2017 1:24 am

Senate Dem calls for Treasury probe into Trump business ties to Russia

The top Democrat on the Senate Banking Committee called on the Treasury Department Thursday to investigate whether President Trump’s business empire violates international financial sanctions and terrorism funding laws.

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) claimed in a Thursday letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin that Trump’s refusal to divest from the Trump Organization could expose him to money laundering, illicit finance and sanctions violations.

Brown said Mnuchin should ask Trump for a list of his company’s “investors, business partners, politically exposed persons and related actors.”

“President Trump’s refusal to disclose his business dealings makes it unclear whether he and his family may be exposed to terrorist financing, sanctions, or money laundering risks through their relationships with investors and associates from Russia and other nations,” Brown said. “It is in the interest of the American people and the Trump family that Treasury independently assess any risks associated with these investors to make sure they are not at risk of violating U.S. laws.”

Brown cited several Trump-branded development projects that were funded by Russian investors, quoting Donald Trump Jr.’s remarks at 2008 presentation.

“Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets; say in Dubai, and certainly with our project in SoHo and anywhere in New York,” said Trump Jr. “We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia." <SNIP>

http://thehill.com/policy/finance/32204 ... -to-russia


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Re: Congressional Committees: Re 2016 Elections & Russia

Post #53 by Addie » Fri Mar 03, 2017 9:31 am

The New Yorker

Sessions Revelations Leave Donald Trump in Another Fine Russian Mess ...

Whatever happens to Sessions, attention will inevitably focus on Trump. Two days after his well-received address to a joint session of Congress, the President finds himself in another fine Russian mess. Sessions isn’t merely a White House aide or a Presidential adviser; during the campaign, he was arguably Trump’s most important political backer, and now he’s the top law-enforcement officer in the country. If Caesar’s wife had to be above suspicion, surely the same thing applies to the Attorney General.

Had the revelations about Sessions’s meetings with Kislyak come as a one-off thing, the White House could perhaps have tried to shrug them off. But they are part of a much bigger story, which is still evolving. The number of Trump associates who have been accused of having undisclosed contact with Russian agents, or who have reportedly been investigated by the F.B.I., now stands at six: Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign manager; Michael Cohen, his personal lawyer; Roger Stone, a longtime political associate; Carter Page, an oil-industry consultant who acted as one of his foreign-policy advisers; Flynn; and now Sessions.

Raising the pressure on the Attorney General, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday that U.S. counter-intelligence officials have been looking into any contacts Sessions may have had with Russian officials during the spring and summer of last year. Citing anonymous sources, the Journal story said that these inquiries were “part of a wide-ranging U.S. counterintelligence investigation into possible communications between members of Mr. Trump’s campaign team and Russian operatives.”

The outcome of the inquiry wasn’t clear, the Journal said. If it is still proceeding, the story noted, it means that F.B.I. agents are in the remarkable and unenviable position of having to investigate their boss. (The F.B.I. is part of the Justice Department.) According to the Journal, “The FBI’s role in the investigation into Mr. Sessions’ conversations left the agency ‘wringing its hands’ about how to proceed, said one person familiar with the matter.” ...

For the Trump White House, the stories in the Post, the Journal, and the Times were a triple whammy. On Thursday afternoon, before Sessions spoke with the media, Trump said that he had “total” confidence in the Attorney General. Still, the Russia imbroglio is perhaps the only issue on which it is conceivable that large numbers of Republicans in Congress might break with the President. Amid the lovefest between Trump and congressional Republicans on Tuesday night, a proper public investigation seemed impossible to imagine. But, now, who knows? The F.B.I. and other counter-intelligence agencies are still on the case. And, whatever happens to Sessions, it looks like he won’t be in a position to interfere.


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Re: Congressional Committees: Re 2016 Elections & Russia

Post #54 by Addie » Fri Mar 03, 2017 11:50 am

VOX

Bush ethics lawyer: Trump's Russia scandal so far is "much worse" than the early stages of Watergate ...

Painter argues that not only was there no wiggle room around Sessions’s recusal from any investigations into the Trump campaign’s alleged ties with Russia, but there is a case for Sessions to resign from the attorney general post altogether — and the White House isn’t helping the situation with its response to the whole thing. ...

Richard Painter
The facts now in this investigation are much worse than the facts in the early stages of Watergate, which was a simple break-in ordered by midlevel campaign officials — not by the president. Here we have facts that are much worse: We have a foreign power that has orchestrated a break-in. It’s a much worse situation than the outset of Watergate.

Tara Golshan
What have you made of the White House’s response to this? You were the ethics lawyer under the Bush administration — are they following the guidance you would have given in this situation?

Richard Painter
I don’t see much of a response. They are blowing it off. It’s very clear President Trump needs to immediately find out who in his campaign had any communications with the Russians about anything. Find out what those communications were to the best of his ability and find out who in the administration knew what the Russians were doing. He needs to support a thorough inquiry, not a cover-up — that is the mistake Nixon made with Watergate.

Their public comments have been atrocious so far. They keep accusing CNN of fake news; then the spokesperson for the Kremlin accuses CNN of fake news. What we are seeing is the White House putting themselves on the same page as the Kremlin, when they have been spying on the United States and attacked our democratic system in 2016. That is a terrible posture they are in.


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Re: Congressional Committees: Re 2016 Elections & Russia

Post #55 by Addie » Fri Mar 03, 2017 1:01 pm

Salon - by Digby

How much did Russian hacking affect congressional races? And how deeply was the GOP involved? ...

By September, the hacker had released documents in close House races in Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Ohio, Illinois and North Carolina, working with Republican bloggers who disseminated the information for them. They also posted information on Rep. Ben Ray Luján, D-N.M., the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chair, even though he was effectively running unopposed.

Both Luján and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi wrote letters to Ryan asking him not to use the material and received no response. His spokeswoman told the Times that Ryan had no control over how the stolen information was used. Nonetheless, there were some Republicans who refused to do so, saying it was inappropriate. They were rare.

I don’t think anyone believes it’s likely that Paul Ryan personally colluded with the Russians in this operation. The fact that many Republicans, some affiliated with the National Republican Congressional Committee and a group closely affiliated with Ryan, eagerly used it to win their campaigns is not surprising. But it is highly unlikely that Republican strategists or party officials with strong knowledge of the House campaigns didn’t collude with the hackers at some point, because it’s difficult to believe that Russians would have which House races to target without some help from people with expertise concerning the 2016 map.

Republican congressional leaders must be thanking their lucky stars daily that the Trump administration is such a scandal-ridden Dumpster fire. If things ever calm down in the White House, somebody might just turn his or her attention to the question of what Paul Ryan knew and when.


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Re: Congressional Committees: Re 2016 Elections & Russia

Post #56 by Addie » Sun Mar 05, 2017 4:06 pm

LA Times

Nunes, acceding to White House, says Trump's wiretap claim will be investigated

Although many Republicans were caught unawares by President Trump’s unproven claim that the Obama White House ordered the wiretapping of Trump Tower, Rep. Devin Nunes has promised to look into it.

Nunes (R-Tulare), who chairs the House Intelligence Committee, said the probe of the president’s allegation would be wrapped into an existing investigation of Russia’s role in the 2016 presidential campaign.

Obama, through a spokesman, denied Trump’s wiretap claim, which was made Saturday on Twitter. And James Clapper, the former director of national intelligence, said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that no such surveillance had been carried out during the campaign against Trump or his aides.

Nunes, who has been publicly skeptical as to whether there was any collusion with Russia by Trump or his camp, said the intelligence committee would “make inquiries into whether the government was conducting surveillance activities on any political party's campaign officials or surrogates."

The White House on Sunday demanded that Congress investigate whether Obama abused his executive powers, without providing any evidence the former president had done so.


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Re: Congressional Committees: Re 2016 Elections & Russia

Post #57 by TexasFilly » Sun Mar 05, 2017 4:32 pm

Devin Nunes is a disgrace. He's escaped my radar until recently. He probably deserves his own thread.


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Re: Congressional Committees: Re 2016 Elections & Russia

Post #58 by Addie » Sun Mar 05, 2017 4:44 pm

Think Progress

Senator suggests FBI has transcripts that might point to collusion between Trump and Russia

During an interview with NBC News’ Andrea Mitchell on Friday, Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE) expressed frustration that the intelligence community has so far resisted congressional requests to be forthcoming with their investigations into the Trump administration’s communication with Russian officials. He also suggested there were transcripts detailing what the FBI and other agencies know.

For months now, the intelligence community has been looking into whether senior officials within the Trump campaign (and now Trump White House) communicated or colluded inappropriately with Russian officials. The administration has already lost one cabinet official for his failure to disclose inappropriate communication with Russian diplomats, and on Thursday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced his recusal from all ongoing and future investigations involving Russia after he too failed to disclose communications with Russian officials.

Democrats—and more than a few Republicans—on the Senate and House intelligence committees are insisting that the intelligence community cooperate with their own investigations into possible collussion or coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia to sway the outcome of the November election. So far, the FBI has resisted full disclosure of their findings.

‘‘I would say at this point we know less than a fraction of what the FBI knows,” said Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) the top-ranking Democrat on the House intelligence committee, after a closed-door hearing with FBI Director James Comey. Committee chair Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) was less critical of Comey’s testimony, but did agree that the committee expected more information from Comey. He called the hearing “a good first step.”

“It think it’s important that the outcome of that counterintelligence investigation be fully shared with the intelligence committees, both in the house and the senate,” said Coons on Friday. “There are transcripts that provide very helpful, very critical insights into whether or not Russian intelligence and senior Russian political leaders, including Vladimir Putin, were cooperating, were colluding with the Trump campaign at the highest levels to influence the outcome of our election.”


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Re: Congressional Committees: Re 2016 Elections & Russia

Post #59 by Addie » Sun Mar 05, 2017 8:58 pm

The Hill

House Judiciary Dems to ask WH counsel for details of communications with FBI, Justice

Several Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee plan to send a letter Monday to White House Counsel Don McGahn, asking him to detail communications between his office and the FBI and Justice Department.

“We write to express our concern regarding reports of improper contacts between your office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, concerning the FBI’s ongoing review of efforts by the Russian government to unlawfully influence the U.S> presidential election in favor of Mr. Trump,” the letter begins.

The Democratic lawmakers go on to detail the events of the weekend, after President Trump tweeted an unsubstantiated claim that President Obama had wiretapped Trump Tower during the presidential election. ...

But “more troubling,” they say, are reports of contact between McGahn’s office and law enforcement. The letter offers examples of reporting that said White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus asked the FBI director to knock down reports of Trump campaign ties to Russia.

“If these reports are accurate, then these communications are both inappropriate and in violation of Department of Justice guidance,” the Democrats write.

The letter asks that McGahn provide a description by March 24 “of any and all contacts or other communications (including phone contacts, emails, texts, voicemails, notes or other forms of contact, whether written, oral or otherwise) between anyone employed by or associated with the White House and any official or representative of the FBI or the Department of Justice, relating to any investigation into Russian interference in the recent presidential election and any related matter.


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Re: Congressional Committees: Re 2016 Elections & Russia

Post #60 by Sunrise » Mon Mar 06, 2017 1:03 am

Addie wrote:The Hill

House Judiciary Dems to ask WH counsel for details of communications with FBI, Justice

Several Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee plan to send a letter Monday to White House Counsel Don McGahn, asking him to detail communications between his office and the FBI and Justice Department.

:snippity:

The letter asks that McGahn provide a description by March 24 “of any and all contacts or other communications (including phone contacts, emails, texts, voicemails, notes or other forms of contact, whether written, oral or otherwise) between anyone employed by or associated with the White House and any official or representative of the FBI or the Department of Justice, relating to any investigation into Russian interference in the recent presidential election and any related matter.



Probably my bias is showing, but I greatly doubt that there will be much pertinent information provided by McGahn. Sorta the old 'dog ate the homework' routine. Anyone the SFV picks for his team, and especially his attorneys, knows full well how secretive SCROTUS is about his handiwork.



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Re: Congressional Committees: Re 2016 Elections & Russia

Post #61 by Addie » Mon Mar 06, 2017 10:14 am

Politico

Chaffetz: I've seen no evidence Obama ordered wiretap of Trump

House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Jason Chaffetz said Monday that he has seen no evidence that would support President Donald Trump’s accusation that former President Barack Obama had ordered an illegal wiretap of Trump Tower during last year’s presidential campaign.

“I learned a long time ago, I'm going to keep my eyes wide open,” Chaffetz (R-Utah) said on “CBS This Morning.” “You never know when you turn a corner what you may or may not see. But thus far I have not seen anything directly that would support what the president has said.”

Trump made his explosive and unsubstantiated accusation on Saturday morning, when he wrote on Twitter that he had “just found out that Obama had my ‘wires tapped’ in Trump Tower just before the victory.” While the president leveled the charge with certainty, White House officials have not yet offered any proof to back Trump’s claims and have instead called for a Congressional investigation to verify them.

Chaffetz was seemingly open to the notion of a Congressional inquiry into Trump’s allegation, telling “CBS This Morning” that the House Intelligence Committee, chaired by Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), would take the lead in checking it out. The House Oversight Committee, Chaffetz said, “will play a supporting role.”

And while he conceded that he had not yet seen any evidence to support Trump’s claim, Chaffetz seemed open to the idea that Trump might be in possession of some proof that has yet to come to light. Both Obama and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper have flatly denied that such a wiretap was ever put into place, but the Utah lawmaker said Trump likely would not have made the accusation without some piece of evidence.


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Re: Congressional Committees: Re 2016 Elections & Russia

Post #62 by bob » Mon Mar 06, 2017 10:32 am

but the Utah lawmaker said Trump likely would not have made the accusation without some piece of evidence.

The current president started his rise to political fame nearly six years ago exactly by making an evidence-free accusation against Obama.


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Re: Congressional Committees: Re 2016 Elections & Russia

Post #63 by Addie » Mon Mar 06, 2017 11:28 am

CNN

Coons: Senate intel committee to get access to 'raw data' on Russia

Washington (CNN)The Senate Intelligence Committee will gain access this week to the "raw intelligence" relevant to Congress' probe of Russia's role in the presidential election, Sen. Chris Coons said Monday.

The Delaware Democrat told CNN's Alisyn Camerota on "New Day" that he did not expect the information to become public but that it is a welcome step for members who had asked more than a dozen agencies, organizations and individuals to preserve communications related to the investigation into Russian interference.

"I'm encouraged that this week, the Senate Intelligence Committee is getting access to the raw intelligence that is directly relevant to this Russia investigation," Coons said. "There is a significant body of data -- they will begin the process of accessing it, and I don't think anything is going to be made public. Nothing is going to come out publicly, and the intelligence committee has a very important, very sensitive job to do here. I am encouraged they're not being prevented from getting access to the information so far."

Coons is not a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, but that panel had sent letters asking for the materials to be retained last month. Russia's cyberintrusions and the Kremlin's support for President Donald Trump when he was a candidate and President-elect are the subject of multiple federal inquiries, both on Capitol Hill and elsewhere.


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Re: Congressional Committees: Re 2016 Elections & Russia

Post #64 by Addie » Mon Mar 06, 2017 11:34 am

Politico

Schumer calls for DOJ watchdog to probe Trump-Russia investigation

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) is calling for an “immediate” investigation by the Justice Department’s independent watchdog into federal probes of communication between Donald Trump’s team and Russian officials during the 2016 campaign.

In a letter being released Monday, the Senate’s top Democrat raised questions of potential political interference from the White House into the federal investigation. Among the issues Schumer wants Michael Horowitz, DOJ’s inspector general, to look into are whether any White House official has attempted to interfere with the federal probe and whether Sessions and Trump discussed the issue when the two men met privately in the Oval Office last month.

Schumer also demanded to know whether DOJ officials have faced pressure from the White House regarding the federal investigation, and whether Sessions’ refusal to recuse himself — until late last week — was “improper” under DOJ guidelines.

“As Inspector General, your mission is to detect and deter misconduct, as well as to investigate alleged violations of criminal and civil laws by DOJ employees,” Schumer wrote to Horowitz. “Many troubling facts and questions have emerged with respect to the role of Russia in our election and the investigation of that role by the federal government.”


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Re: Congressional Committees: Re 2016 Elections & Russia

Post #65 by Addie » Mon Mar 06, 2017 11:45 am

Business Insider

Former Trump adviser says Senate Intelligence Committee asked him to preserve information about his Russia ties

Carter Page, an early foreign policy adviser to Donald Trump's presidential campaign, said Monday that the Senate Intelligence Committee has asked him to preserve information concerning his Russia-related activities throughout 2016.

In a letter obtained by Business Insider dated March 5, Page thanked Sen. Richard Burr — the Republican chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee — and Sen. Mark Warner, a ranking member of the committee, for their "recent correspondence regarding information that you might at some point desire for ongoing investigations into the 2016 U.S. Election."

As part of its investigation into whether associates of President Donald Trump had improper contact with Russian officials during the 2016 campaign, the Senate Intelligence Committee sent letters to unspecified “organizations, agencies and officials” in late February asking them to preserve materials that might be relevant to the investigation, The Washington Post has reported.

It had been unclear whether the letters were sent specifically to individuals affiliated with Trump. ...

The FBI is reportedly investigating contacts Page and several other current and former Trump associates had with Russian officials during the election. An unverified dossier about Trump's ties to Russia, compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele at the request of anti-Trump Republicans, named Page as a liaison between the Trump campaign and Russian officials. ...

In his letter to Warner and Burr, Page said he was "eagerly" awaiting "your Committee’s call to help finally set the record straight following the false evidence, illegal activities as well as other lies distributed by Mrs. Hillary Clinton’s campaign and their associates in coordination with the Obama Administration, which defamed me and other supporters of the Trump campaign."


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Re: Congressional Committees: Re 2016 Elections & Russia

Post #66 by Addie » Mon Mar 06, 2017 1:06 pm

Talking Points Memo - Josh Marshall

This Is Ridiculous

There are a few points worth making on the President's claim about former President Obama wiretapping him.

First, regardless of whether any of this sounds true and regardless of whether such a tap would require a judicial finding of probable cause against the target, there's a much bigger problem: Congressional investigations such as these are almost entirely a matter of Congress ferreting out and examining things that happened within the executive branch. To use a clumsy but helpful analogy, this kind investigation means having the folks in Congress's house find out what's in the President's house. But the President is in the President's house. He doesn't need to investigate. He knows. He's in the house! He owns the house!

Now, one might speculate that the executive branch is so vast and sprawling that the President somehow needs Congress to come in and figure out what's going on. But here the President has already kneecapped himself. Here's why.

The President says this happened. He says he has the evidence. He knows it happened. If he knows it happened, there's nothing to investigate. The President has plenary power to declassify and publicize anything he wants. Anything. He can do it by the book or he can do it basically by fiat with no one involved at all.

My best guess is that is a typically Trumpian development in that it involves both abject lying and a big splat of ignorance, laziness and ridiculousness of simply having no idea of how the different branches connect with each other. He hasn't realized that demanding a congressional investigation is different when you're President rather than some old guy getting angry watching Fox News in the living room. The President is in essence demanding Congress investigate him. Yes, he thinks it's Obama. But he inherited Obama's house. Whatever Obama did, Trump owns it.


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Re: Congressional Committees: Re 2016 Elections & Russia

Post #67 by Addie » Mon Mar 06, 2017 4:30 pm

Haha - Grassley "forgets" it was Republicans who started this fire :lol:

The Hill

Grassley probes FBI's ties to British spy who investigated Trump

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) has opened an inquiry into allegations the FBI worked with the British spy who authored a controversial opposition research dossier on President Trump during the 2016 election.

In a Monday letter to FBI Director James Comey, Grassley asked for records pertaining to any agreements the agency may have had with Christopher Steele. The MI6 agent wrote an explosive memo on behalf of Trump’s political enemies alleging that the Russians had compromising information on the president. ...

“The idea that the FBI and associates of the Clinton campaign would pay Mr. Steele to investigate the Republican nominee for President in the run-up to the election raises further questions about the FBI’s independence from politics, as well as the Obama administration’s use of law enforcement and intelligence agencies for political ends,” Grassley wrote. ...

In his letter, Grassley asks for all records regarding Steele’s investigation, details of the agreement between the FBI and Steele, the FBI’s policies for using outside investigators, and whether the bureau has relied on any of the information Steele has provided in seeking warrants.


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Re: Congressional Committees: Re 2016 Elections & Russia

Post #68 by Addie » Mon Mar 06, 2017 6:18 pm

Foreign Policy

Trump Knows the Feds Are Closing In on Him

The president’s recent tweets aren’t just conspiratorial gibberish – they’re the erratic ravings of a guilty conscience. ...

Out of all of these revelations it was the news about Sessions — which may open him to perjury charges — that was the most significant. In response to the Post report, the attorney general was forced to recuse himself from the Kremlingate inquiry, much to the fury of President Trump, who was not consulted about this decision. This is what led to Trump’s wild-eyed rants on Twitter, designed to distract from the real scandal and to convince his more credulous followers that he is the victim of a plot by his predecessor.

But why would Sessions’ recusal make Trump so unhinged? The president must have felt relatively confident that the “Kremlingate” probe would go nowhere as long as it was in the hands of Trump partisans such as Sessions, Rep. Devin Nunes of the House Intelligence Committee, and Sen. Richard Burr of the Senate Intelligence Committee. But with Sessions out of the picture, the way is now clear for the deputy attorney general — either the current placeholder, career Justice Department attorney Dana Boente, or Trump’s nominee to replace him, Rod Rosenstein, another career government lawyer — to appoint a special counsel because of the “extraordinary circumstances” surrounding this case.

A special counsel would not have the same degree of autonomy as the independent counsels who in the post-Watergate era probed executive-branch misconduct until the law authorizing such appointments expired in 1999. Independent counsels were appointed by, and answerable to, a three-judge panel; special counsels can be appointed, and fired, by the Justice Department. But a special counsel would be expected to investigate much more aggressively than the White House would like, and firing a special counsel would only aggravate the scandal. In addition to a special counsel, Congress could and should appoint a joint select committee to look into Kremlingate and issue a public report, but a special counsel would be likely to conduct a more professional investigation and, unlike lawmakers, would possess the power to indict, which may help loosen the tongues of suspects.

There is a good reason why Trump and his partisans are so apoplectic about the prospect of a special counsel, and it is precisely why it is imperative to appoint one: because otherwise we will never know the full story of the Kremlin’s tampering with our elections and of the Kremlin’s connections with the president of the United States. As evidenced by his desperate attempts to change the subject, Trump appears petrified of what such a probe would reveal. Wonder why?



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Re: Congressional Committees: Re 2016 Elections & Russia

Post #69 by Hercule Parrot » Mon Mar 06, 2017 7:37 pm

A former National Security Agency (NSA) counterintelligence officer says US agents have “considerable intelligence” of high-level Russians discussing collusion with Donald Trump’s election team.

John Schindler, a security expert specialised in espionage and terrorism, tweeted : “Ahem: US IC has considerable SIGINT featuring high-level Russians talking about their collusion with Team Trump.” ...

In another tweet, he said: “One intercepted convo between two senior Kremlin guys talking about collusion w/Trump isn’t a big deal; a bunch of them = a very big deal.”

Later, he added: “I’m confident that any serious investigation of #TrumpRussia will find enough intel to end Trump’s admin and send people to jail.”

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world ... 13266.html



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Re: Congressional Committees: Re 2016 Elections & Russia

Post #70 by Sunrise » Mon Mar 06, 2017 8:54 pm

Hercule Parrot wrote:A former National Security Agency (NSA) counterintelligence officer says US agents have “considerable intelligence” of high-level Russians discussing collusion with Donald Trump’s election team.

John Schindler, a security expert specialised in espionage and terrorism, tweeted : “Ahem: US IC has considerable SIGINT featuring high-level Russians talking about their collusion with Team Trump.” ...

In another tweet, he said: “One intercepted convo between two senior Kremlin guys talking about collusion w/Trump isn’t a big deal; a bunch of them = a very big deal.”

Later, he added: “I’m confident that any serious investigation of #TrumpRussia will find enough intel to end Trump’s admin and send people to jail.”

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world ... 13266.html



Please be right, Mr. Schindler! :pray: :pray: :pray: :pray: :pray:



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Re: Congressional Committees: Re 2016 Elections & Russia

Post #71 by Addie » Tue Mar 07, 2017 8:08 am

Politico

McCain on Trump's wiretap claim: 'I haven't seen anything like this'

Sen. John McCain on Monday demanded the release of any evidence backing up President Donald Trump's claim that President Barack Obama wiretapped Trump Tower in the run-up to the presidential election, blasting the White House’s refusal to answer additional questions about the matter.

McCain said the American people “have a right to know on what basis the president of the United States said that his predecessor had broken the law by wiretapping Trump Tower.”

“I haven't seen anything like this,” the Arizona Republican told reporters, explaining that the Trump administration “should answer questions.”

“The American people should demand it,” McCain continued. “The dimensions of this are huge.” ...

“This is unprecedented,” he added. “I have never heard of a president of the United States accusing his predecessor or any other president of the United States of violating the law.”


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Re: Congressional Committees: Re 2016 Elections & Russia

Post #72 by Dolly » Tue Mar 07, 2017 11:24 am

Addie wrote:Foreign Policy

Trump Knows the Feds Are Closing In on Him
.............
But why would Sessions’ recusal make Trump so unhinged? The president must have felt relatively confident that the “Kremlingate” probe would go nowhere as long as it was in the hands of Trump partisans such as Sessions, Rep. Devin Nunes of the House Intelligence Committee, and Sen. Richard Burr of the Senate Intelligence Committee. But with Sessions out of the picture, the way is now clear for the deputy attorney general — either the current placeholder, career Justice Department attorney Dana Boente, or Trump’s nominee to replace him, Rod Rosenstein, another career government lawyer — to appoint a special counsel because of the “extraordinary circumstances” surrounding this case.

A special counsel would not have the same degree of autonomy as the independent counsels who in the post-Watergate era probed executive-branch misconduct until the law authorizing such appointments expired in 1999. Independent counsels were appointed by, and answerable to, a three-judge panel; special counsels can be appointed, and fired, by the Justice Department. But a special counsel would be expected to investigate much more aggressively than the White House would like, and firing a special counsel would only aggravate the scandal. In addition to a special counsel, Congress could and should appoint a joint select committee to look into Kremlingate and issue a public report, but a special counsel would be likely to conduct a more professional investigation and, unlike lawmakers, would possess the power to indict, which may help loosen the tongues of suspects.

There is a good reason why Trump and his partisans are so apoplectic about the prospect of a special counsel, and it is precisely why it is imperative to appoint one: because otherwise we will never know the full story of the Kremlin’s tampering with our elections and of the Kremlin’s connections with the president of the United States. As evidenced by his desperate attempts to change the subject, Trump appears petrified of what such a probe would reveal. Wonder why?


At The Hill, there is LIVE COVERAGE: DOJ nominee on the hot seat over Russia
This link keeps being updated with new info.

With Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s decision Thursday to recuse himself from any investigations into Russia’s connections to Donald Trump's presidential campaign, focus is turning to the Department of Justice’s secondary leaders.

Deputy Attorney General nominee Rod Rosenstein and Aassociate attorney general nominee Rachel Brand will face the national spotlight Tuesday during their confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

They are likely to face sharp questions about how they might handle investigations into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election or ties to the Trump campaign, as well as the president's unsubstantiated accusation that former President Obama wiretapped Trump Tower during the campaign.


Rosenstein declines to endorse — or condemn — a special prosecutor
11:04 a.m.
..........
Grassley pushes back on need for independent counsel
10:14 a.m.
In a jam-packed committee room where attendees sat shoulder-to-shoulder — hinting at the level of interest in what would normally be a routine confirmation hearing — committee chair Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) kicked off proceedings with a fierce rebuttal of calls for an independent prosecutor in any ongoing investigation into Russian interference in the election.
"The notion that somehow a special counsel will bring facts to light just isn’t true," Grassley said.

http://thehill.com/homenews/administrat ... nate-panel


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Re: Congressional Committees: Re 2016 Elections & Russia

Post #73 by Dolly » Tue Mar 07, 2017 5:06 pm

House intel panel sets date for first Russia hearing

The House Intelligence Committee has set a date for its first hearing on Russian meddling in the 2016 election, panel leadership announced Tuesday.

Katie Bo Williams ✔ @KatieBoWill
HPSCI will hold first public hearing in Russia investigation Monday March 20 at 10 am1:02 PM - 7 Mar 2017


The panel's first public hearing on "Russian Active Measures," set for a week from Monday, will seek testimony from a number of high-profile officials, including FBI Director James Comey, NSA Director Mike Roger and Sally Yates, the former acting attorney general, who notified the White House about concerns over former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn's conversations with Russia's ambassador.

Katie Bo Williams ✔ @KatieBoWill
preliminary witness list: Comey, Rogers, Brennan, Clapper, Yates, Alperovitch and Henry from Crowdstrike. https://twitter.com/katiebowill/status/ ... 7811563521
1:04 PM - 7 Mar 2017


The announcement of the hearing date comes as questions about Trump and his aides' ties to Moscow intensify. Flynn resigned from his post last month after it was revealed that he discussed sanctions with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in the month before Trump took office.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions also faced scrutiny last week for not disclosing to the Senate two meetings with Kislyak when he was a campaign surrogate for President Trump. That revelation prompted him to recuse himself from federal investigations into Russian efforts to influence the election and Trump's ties to the Kremlin.

http://thehill.com/policy/national-secu ... ia-hearing


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Re: Congressional Committees: Re 2016 Elections & Russia

Post #74 by Addie » Tue Mar 07, 2017 6:57 pm

Politico

CIA providing raw intelligence to senators for Trump-Russia probe

The CIA has begun providing raw intelligence documents to members of Congress who are investigating Russia’s meddling in the presidential election, two senators said Tuesday.

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee and the majority whip, said he visited CIA headquarters in Langley, Va., on Monday to view “four large binders full of classified information that’s been made available to the committee to conduct” its wide-ranging investigation.

Sen. Mark Warner, the Intelligence Committee’s top Democrat, said he planned to travel to Langley on Wednesday to view the raw intelligence documents, which formed the basis of the intelligence community’s assessment that Russia sought to sway the election in favor of President Donald Trump.

Warner emphasized that the documents were “not the extent of the information we'll need” to conduct the Intelligence Committee’s Russia investigation, which will include looking into contacts between the Trump campaign and Russian officials. ...

“I have regular conversations with [FBI] Director [James] Comey,” Warner said Tuesday. “I am confident that we're going to get all the information we need to get to the bottom of this in a way that we can let the American people know what happened or didn't happen.”


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Re: Congressional Committees: Re 2016 Elections & Russia

Post #75 by Addie » Wed Mar 08, 2017 12:56 pm

The Hill

Senators want warrant request, court documents for supposed Trump wiretapping

Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) are requesting the Justice Department and FBI hand over any potential application for a warrant to wiretap the Trump campaign.

"We request that the Department of Justice provide us copies of any warrant applications and court orders ... related to wiretaps of President Trump, the Trump Campaign, or Trump Tower," the two senators wrote in a letter to Dana Boente, the acting deputy attorney general, and FBI Director James Comey. ...

The senators added that once they are able to review a warrant request or any potential court orders they would "proceed as appropriate with the oversight the President has requested.”

The letter comes after Graham told reporters earlier this week that the Judiciary subcommittee that he oversees with Whitehouse would dig into Trump's claim that the Obama administration wiretapped him ahead of the election. ...

The two senators added in their letter that, if Trump's claim is true, they would "take any abuse of wiretapping authorities for political purposes very seriously."

"We would be equally alarmed to learn that a court found enough evidence of criminal activity or contact with a foreign power to legally authorize a wiretap of President Trump, the Trump Campaign, or Trump Tower," they wrote.


Adding:

The Hill

Top Intel Dem to seek testimony from ex-MI6 spy behind Trump dossier

The top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee says he plans to seek testimony from the British spy behind a shadowy, unconfirmed dossier full of salacious allegations about President Trump’s ties to Russia.

The author of the dossier, former MI6 officer Christopher Steele, recently emerged from hiding, after a month out of the public eye following the publication of the document by Buzzfeed in January.

“We certainly want to get to the bottom of the details of that dossier and report what has been substantiated, what hasn't, and find out just how he based those conclusions and to whatever degree he is willing to share with us any sources of his information,” Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Tuesday night. ...

But it came after weeks of fierce wrangling over what should fall under the purview of the investigation — and how strong the evidence is indicating contact between the campaign and Russian officials.

“I'll certainly be requesting [Steele’s] testimony and if there's an issue about whether he is willing to come before the committee, I can say I am more than willing to go to him and I know there are other members of the committee would join me in that,” Schiff said Tuesday.


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