Congressional Committees: Re 2016 Elections & Russia

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much ado
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Re: Congressional Committees: Re 2016 Elections & Russia

Post #501 by much ado » Wed May 17, 2017 8:53 pm

If it were only a joke, he would not have felt the need to stress that this was just "in the family".



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Re: Congressional Committees: Re 2016 Elections & Russia

Post #502 by Chilidog » Wed May 17, 2017 8:56 pm

Me neither.



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Re: Congressional Committees: Re 2016 Elections & Russia

Post #503 by kate520 » Wed May 17, 2017 9:02 pm

The last page has Scalise talking about tight family. Is that Steve Scalise? The same Scalise who threatened to throw a reporter off a balcony for asking an inconvenient question?


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Re: Congressional Committees: Re 2016 Elections & Russia

Post #504 by June bug » Wed May 17, 2017 9:18 pm

Maybe there's more there than I think. Without hearing the words spoken it's hard to tell whether it was serious or not. Reading them, it seemed believable to me that Ryan was just doing a riff on "what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas".



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Re: Congressional Committees: Re 2016 Elections & Russia

Post #505 by Addie » Wed May 17, 2017 9:19 pm

The Hill

Intel panels: House, Senate Russia probes to proceed

The House and Senate Intelligence Committees say their probes of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election will continue despite the appointment of a special counsel for the matter.

“The appointment of a special counsel is not a substitute for a vigorous investigation in Congress and the House Intelligence Committee will take steps to ensure our investigations do not conflict and ensure the success of both efforts,” Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), the panel’s ranking member, said in a statement Wednesday.

“The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence will continue its own investigation and to the extent any deconfliction is required, we will engage with [former FBI] Director [Robert] Mueller and our expectation is that he will engage with the Committee as well,” Chairman Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Vice Chairman Mark Warner (D-Va.) said in a joint statement.


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Re: Congressional Committees: Re 2016 Elections & Russia

Post #506 by Addie » Wed May 17, 2017 9:29 pm

The Hill

Chaffetz sees no 'actual crime' for special Russia prosecutor to investigate

House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) on Wednesday broke with the broad bipartisan consensus supporting the appointment of a special counsel to investigate Russia's meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

"I have not seen any evidence of actual collusion. Where is the actual crime that they think they need a special prosecutor to prosecute?" he asked during an interview with Fox News host Tucker Carlson.

While President Trump has repeatedly denied collusion between his campaign and Moscow during the presidential election, those allegations are part of the broader investigation into Russia's actions during the election.

Prior to the Department of Justice appointment of former FBI Director Robert Mueller as a special counsel, most Republicans held off from backing the need for a special appointment. However, on Wednesday night a growing number quickly endorsed the move as a path forward on investigating Russia's election interference in the midst of an increasingly muddled investigation. Trump fired the man leading the investigation at the FBI, former director James Comey, last week. The president's actions raised questions about the independence of the probe as well as additional allegations of interference by the White House.

"I don't think they should have actually appointed somebody," Chaffetz said on Fox News, while also praising Mueller's credentials.


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Re: Congressional Committees: Re 2016 Elections & Russia

Post #507 by pipistrelle » Wed May 17, 2017 11:05 pm

Addie wrote:The Hill

Chaffetz sees no 'actual crime' for special Russia prosecutor to investigate


But he's not a "prosecutor," as Chaffetz must know (and if he doesn't, he shouldn't be commenting). When does he become irrelevant?



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Re: Congressional Committees: Re 2016 Elections & Russia

Post #508 by tek » Thu May 18, 2017 6:51 am

Chaffetz sees his power to derail things vanishing..



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Re: Congressional Committees: Re 2016 Elections & Russia

Post #509 by Tiredretiredlawyer » Thu May 18, 2017 10:03 am

tek wrote:Chaffetz sees his power to derail things vanishing..

...but his future job at Fox News in view. He has to make negative comments about any possible Republican fault, responsibility or wrongdoing to stay relevant to the viewers.


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Re: Congressional Committees: Re 2016 Elections & Russia

Post #510 by Addie » Thu May 18, 2017 10:31 am

CBS News

Comey "most definitely" wants to testify before Congress -- and he wrote more memos: Source

WASHINGTON -- Former FBI Director James Comey "most definitely" wants to testify before Congress -- and wrote other memos in addition to the one claiming President Trump asked him to drop an FBI investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn, a source familiar with Comey's thinking told CBS News' Andres Triay.

The Senate Intelligence Committee and the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform have invited Comey to testify about the FBI investigation into Russian meddling and any ties to Mr. Trump's associates, as well as the events surrounding his ouster.

On Wednesday, the Department of Justice appointed former FBI director Robert Mueller to be the special counsel in charge of the Russia investigation.

But the memo documenting Comey's February meeting with the president that prompted that invitation may not be the only memo that exists. Comey wrote other memos, although this source didn't elaborate on that point. Other people familiar with Comey's style of working told CBS News they fully expect more Comey memos exist.


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Re: Congressional Committees: Re 2016 Elections & Russia

Post #511 by Addie » Thu May 18, 2017 11:56 am

Associated Press

Flynn's lawyer says he won't answer subpoena

A lawyer for fired National Security Adviser Michael Flynn has informed the Senate Intelligence Committee he will not honor its subpoena for private documents. That's according to the panel's chairman, Republican Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina.

Burr told reporters Thursday about the response from Flynn's lawyer. Burr says the panel's members are not surprised and says, "We'll figure out on Gen. Flynn what the next step, if any, is."

The committee is one of several on Capitol Hill investigating possible collusion between Russia and President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign.


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Re: Congressional Committees: Re 2016 Elections & Russia

Post #512 by Addie » Thu May 18, 2017 12:34 pm

Business Insider

'What does Flynn have on Trump?': Flynn indicated he had a story to tell — and Trump has been eager to defend him ...

"Trump's team knew about [Flynn's] ties to Russia and they knew about his work with Turkey," said Rep. Eric Swalwell, a Democrat who sits on the House Intelligence Committee. "What's most concerning is that it looks like they just didn't care. So you have to ask yourself — were Flynn's prior relationships an asset?"

The developments came as Flynn refused a subpoena for documents from the Senate Intelligence Committee, according to Sen. Richard Burr, the Republican chair of the committee.

Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings, ranking member of the House Oversight Committee, renewed his call for the White House to release any documents related to Flynn that may aid the committee's investigation into his foreign contacts and payments. The White House has so far declined to do so.

"The White House has been obstructing our congressional investigation, covering up for Michael Flynn, and refusing to provide a single document in response to our bipartisan request. Now we can see why,” Cummings said in a statement.


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Re: Congressional Committees: Re 2016 Elections & Russia

Post #513 by Tiredretiredlawyer » Thu May 18, 2017 12:48 pm



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Re: Congressional Committees: Re 2016 Elections & Russia

Post #514 by Addie » Thu May 18, 2017 12:53 pm

Good. Maybe with him out of the way, the House Oversight Committee can actually get something done. :thumbs:

Tiredretiredlawyer wrote:CHAFFETZ LEAVING JUNE 30!!!!!!

http://gephardtdaily.com/breaking-home/ ... early/amp/


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Re: Congressional Committees: Re 2016 Elections & Russia

Post #515 by RVInit » Thu May 18, 2017 1:02 pm

If only we could get lucky enough that he decides to take a vacation starting tomorrow today and ending June 30.

Either way... :cheer1: :cheer: good riddance. One down, how many to go? I won't be happy until all the tea baggers are gone from the White House and Congress.


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Re: Congressional Committees: Re 2016 Elections & Russia

Post #516 by Addie » Thu May 18, 2017 1:07 pm

This is clipped from a TIME article already posted elsewhere:

Inside Russia’s Social Media War on America ...

As they dig into the viralizing of such stories, congressional investigations are probing not just Russia’s role but whether Moscow had help from the Trump campaign. Sources familiar with the investigations say they are probing two Trump-linked organizations: Cambridge Analytica, a data-analytics company hired by the campaign that is partly owned by deep-pocketed Trump backer Robert Mercer; and Breitbart News, the right-wing website formerly run by Trump’s top political adviser Stephen Bannon.

The congressional investigators are looking at ties between those companies and right-wing web personalities based in Eastern Europe who the U.S. believes are Russian fronts, a source familiar with the investigations tells TIME. “Nobody can prove it yet,” the source says. In March, McClatchy newspapers reported that FBI counterintelligence investigators were probing whether far-right sites like Breitbart News and Infowars had coordinated with Russian botnets to blitz social media with anti-Clinton stories, mixing fact and fiction when Trump was doing poorly in the campaign.

There are plenty of people who are skeptical of such a conspiracy, if one existed. Cambridge Analytica touts its ability to use algorithms to microtarget voters, but veteran political operatives have found them ineffective political influencers. Ted Cruz first used their methods during the primary, and his staff ended up concluding they had wasted their money. Mercer, Bannon, Breitbart News and the White House did not answer questions about the congressional probes. A spokesperson for Cambridge Analytica says the company has no ties to Russia or individuals acting as fronts for Moscow and that it is unaware of the probe.

Democratic operatives searching for explanations for Clinton’s loss after the election investigated social media trends in the three states that tipped the vote for Trump: Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. In each they found what they believe is evidence that key swing voters were being drawn to fake news stories and anti-Clinton stories online. Google searches for the fake pedophilia story circulating under the hashtag #pizzagate, for example, were disproportionately higher in swing districts and not in districts likely to vote for Trump.


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Re: Congressional Committees: Re 2016 Elections & Russia

Post #517 by Addie » Thu May 18, 2017 3:56 pm

Reuters

Ex-CIA chief Brennan to testify before House Intelligence Committee

Former Central Intelligence Agency Director John Brennan will appear before the U.S. House of Representatives Intelligence Committee on May 23, as part of its investigation of Russia and the 2016 U.S. election, the committee said on Wednesday.

Brennan will appear in a session open to the public and press, followed by a closed session.


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Re: Congressional Committees: Re 2016 Elections & Russia

Post #518 by pipistrelle » Thu May 18, 2017 5:58 pm

Why is Chaffetz bowing out so prematurely? Even if nothing was going on, it would seem odd.



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Re: Congressional Committees: Re 2016 Elections & Russia

Post #519 by Chilidog » Thu May 18, 2017 6:07 pm

pipistrelle wrote:Why is Chaffetz bowing out so prematurely? Even if nothing was going on, it would seem odd.


There are a number of rumors on that

1) The Russians were blackmailing him
A) over an affair
B) over some financial shenanigans

Or

2) the FBI has flipped him
A) over financial irregularities

Or

?????

It does seem odd as his congressional career is pretty well set.



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Re: Congressional Committees: Re 2016 Elections & Russia

Post #520 by Mikedunford » Thu May 18, 2017 6:27 pm

Addie wrote:Associated Press

Flynn's lawyer says he won't answer subpoena

A lawyer for fired National Security Adviser Michael Flynn has informed the Senate Intelligence Committee he will not honor its subpoena for private documents. That's according to the panel's chairman, Republican Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina.

Burr told reporters Thursday about the response from Flynn's lawyer. Burr says the panel's members are not surprised and says, "We'll figure out on Gen. Flynn what the next step, if any, is."

The committee is one of several on Capitol Hill investigating possible collusion between Russia and President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign.


Like Burr, I'm not shocked.

A lawyer is, of course, ethically prohibited from advising a client to commit a crime. However, lawyers can advise clients on the potential consequences of different courses of action.

Blowing off the subpoena could result in charges for Contempt of Congress. However, Congress' actual power (as opposed to its theoretical power) to punish contempt is very limited. There has to be floor action in at least one house, that generates a referral to the US attorney, who theoretically should initiate prosecution but historically has often blown off the Congressional demand for action. In the event that the contempt is prosecuted, there's a 12-month maximum. And the power to imprison to coerce compliance is, IIRC, restricted to the duration of the current Congress (i.e. would expire in January 2019.)

Getting caught destroying material covered by the subpoena, on the other hand, would put Flynn on the hook for obstruction, which has a substantially harsher set of possible punishments. Same goes for perjury. And for making false statements to federal LEOs. And, almost certainly, for influencing policy as a member of the government in ways that favor the nation that you hadn't gotten around to disclosing was paying you to lobby on their behalf.

So, yeah, absent immunity, I'm not at all shocked that he's blowing off the subpoena.


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Re: Congressional Committees: Re 2016 Elections & Russia

Post #521 by Addie » Thu May 18, 2017 6:38 pm

CNN

Devin Nunes continues reviewing Russia intelligence, despite recusal

(CNN)The former head of the House Russia investigation, Rep. Devin Nunes, is continuing to review intelligence relating to Russia, a move that has Democrats grumbling that he has violated the spirit of his recusal.

Nunes, a California Republican, took a trip to the CIA this week to review Russia intelligence, according to House intelligence committee sources. As word of Nunes trip trickled out among lawmakers this week, it angered Democrats who thought that they had moved past the chaos spurred by Nunes' coordination with the White House. ...

"I don't talk about intelligence," Nunes said Thursday, when asked why he was still reviewing Russian intelligence. ...

A senior House Republican aide noted that Nunes is still the chairman of the House intelligence committee and has duties, which still require him to review classified intelligence. The aide added that House Speaker Paul Ryan is not setting the terms of Nunes' recusal from the leadership of the investigation.


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Re: Congressional Committees: Re 2016 Elections & Russia

Post #522 by Addie » Thu May 18, 2017 6:52 pm

Mediaite

‘It’s Now…a Criminal Investigation’: After Deputy AG Briefing, Lindsey Graham Says Russia Probe Now Criminal

Following a rare briefing of the entire Senate by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, Senator Lindsey Graham met with a pack of reporters on Capitol Hill to discuss the latest on the probe into Russian interference in the election.

And after Rosenstein’s appointment of former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special counsel, Graham announced that the probe has fundamentally changed in nature.

“It’s now considered a criminal investigation,” Graham said.

Graham added that Congress will now have “severely limited” ability to conduct any investigation, and seemed to suggest that some of his colleagues on the Hill who banged the drum for a special counsel didn’t fully grasp the ramifications.

“I think a lot of members want the special counsel to be appointed, but don’t understand that you’re pretty well knocked out of the game,” Graham said. “And that’s probably the way it should be.”


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Re: Congressional Committees: Re 2016 Elections & Russia

Post #523 by bob » Thu May 18, 2017 6:55 pm

pipistrelle wrote:Why is Chaffetz bowing out so prematurely? Even if nothing was going on, it would seem odd.

Ehhh. It is relatively common for elected officials who have announced their intention to not seek re-election to leave early -- especially when the actual election is not imminent.

And doubly especially so when there is a dumptruck of money just waiting -- the sooner, the better.


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Re: Congressional Committees: Re 2016 Elections & Russia

Post #524 by pipistrelle » Thu May 18, 2017 7:16 pm

bob wrote:
pipistrelle wrote:Why is Chaffetz bowing out so prematurely? Even if nothing was going on, it would seem odd.

Ehhh. It is relatively common for elected officials who have announced their intention to not seek re-election to leave early -- especially when the actual election is not imminent.

And doubly especially so when there is a dumptruck of money just waiting -- the sooner, the better.


Why did he run then? All he had to do was stay around a bit longer, then start his new career. And this cuts short his fervent anti-public lands agenda. Why now?



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Re: Congressional Committees: Re 2016 Elections & Russia

Post #525 by bob » Thu May 18, 2017 7:24 pm

pipistrelle wrote:Why now?

To spend more time his money family.


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