Congressional Committees: Re FBI's Independence

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Re: Congressional Committees: Re FBI's Independence

#101

Post by Addie » Mon Dec 25, 2017 3:00 pm

Newsweek
Trump’s Tweets About FBI Could Be Witness Intimidation, Former White House Lawyers Say ...

“Normally, someone being investigated for obstruction of justice who intimidates and threatens three key witnesses against him (here Comey, McCabe and Baker) risks additional witness tampering charges,” tweeted Norm Eisen, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and special assistant for ethics and government reform for former President Barack Obama.

Richard Painter, a professor at the University of Minnesota Law School who served as chief ethics lawyer in the George W. Bush White House, agreed. “Using Twitter on Christmas Eve to intimidate a witness (McCabe) in a criminal investigation is not a very Christian way to celebrate the holiday,” he tweeted. “But it does make Mr. Mueller’s job easier and that’s a nice thing to do. Merry Christmas!”

The main federal law regarding tampering with a witness, victim or informant is 18 U.S. Code § 1512. Among other violations, the code calls for punishing “whoever knowingly uses intimidation, threatens or corruptly persuades another person, or attempts to do so” in order to “influence, delay or prevent the testimony of any person in an official proceeding” or “cause or induce any person to withhold testimony, or withhold a record, document or other object, from an official proceeding.”

This is not the first time that legal and ethics analysts have questioned whether Trump could be intimidating witnesses through Twitter. After Trump tweeted in May, “James Comey better hope that there are no ‘tapes’ of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press,” Peter Zeidenberg, a former federal prosecutor, told Newsweek, “He’s trying to affect the testimony of a witness, which you’re not supposed to do.” ...

But Alex Whiting, a Harvard Law School professor and former federal prosecutor, pointed out to Ryan that to violate the witness intimidation law, Trump’s remarks must cross “the line from the ordinary kinds of attacks that investigation targets or defendants might make...over to statements designed to interfere with a witness’s testimony.” To determine whether they violate the law, Whiting said, “you would examine his statements carefully to assess to what extent they were threatening, whether they indicated that there might be consequences to testifying, whether they indicated pressure to withhold or fabricate testimony.”


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Re: Congressional Committees: Re FBI's Independence

#102

Post by Addie » Tue Dec 26, 2017 9:56 am

The Hill
Trump slams FBI, Clinton for 'garbage' dossier

President Trump on Tuesday lashed out at the FBI and the Clinton campaign on the Russia dossier compiled against him and his 2016 campaign.

"WOW, @foxandfriends 'Dossier is bogus. Clinton Campaign, DNC funded Dossier. FBI CANNOT (after all of this time) VERIFY CLAIMS IN DOSSIER OF RUSSIA/TRUMP COLLUSION. FBI TAINTED.' And they used this Crooked Hillary pile of garbage as the basis for going after the Trump Campaign!" Trump tweeted, the latest in his ongoing smear on the FBI. ...

Some Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee, which has investigated witnesses in connection with the dossier, have begun to probe into the FBI and Justice Department handling of the look into incendiary claims included in the document. ...

Trump has also targeted the FBI in recent weeks for what many Republican lawmakers believe was a biased and politically motivated approach to its investigation of collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign. ...

The Committee has attempted to slap contempt citations on the Department and the FBI for its investigation into claims of Russian collusion in the dossier.
Apparently he responded to a satirical the wrong Twitter account, the Dummy.


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Re: Congressional Committees: Re FBI's Independence

#103

Post by Addie » Tue Dec 26, 2017 12:08 pm

The Hill
GOP lawmaker calls for 'purge' of FBI

Rep. Francis Rooney (R-Fla.) on Tuesday called for a "purge" of the FBI, warning of "deep state" figures at work in the agency.

Rooney said during an interview on MSNBC that the American people have "very high standards" for the country's government agencies, and suggested they aren't being met.

He was pressed during the interview on whether he is trying to discredit the Department of Justice, and by extension the investigation into Russia's election interference.

"I don't want to discredit them. I would like to see the directors of those agencies purge it," he replied.

"And say, look, we've got a lot of great agents, a lot of great lawyers here, those are the people that I want the American people to see and know the good works being done, not these people who are kind of the deep state."


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Re: Congressional Committees: Re FBI's Independence

#104

Post by dcsalmon » Tue Dec 26, 2017 5:12 pm

Addie wrote:
Tue Dec 26, 2017 12:08 pm
The Hill
GOP lawmaker calls for 'purge' of FBI

Rep. Francis Rooney (R-Fla.) on Tuesday called for a "purge" of the FBI, warning of "deep state" figures at work in the agency.

Rooney said during an interview on MSNBC that the American people have "very high standards" for the country's government agencies, and suggested they aren't being met.

He was pressed during the interview on whether he is trying to discredit the Department of Justice, and by extension the investigation into Russia's election interference.

"I don't want to discredit them. I would like to see the directors of those agencies purge it," he replied.

"And say, look, we've got a lot of great agents, a lot of great lawyers here, those are the people that I want the American people to see and know the good works being done, not these people who are kind of the deep state."
The FBI?? Part the deep state? Come on.



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Re: Congressional Committees: Re FBI's Independence

#105

Post by Addie » Tue Dec 26, 2017 8:32 pm

The Hill
Bush ethics chief: FBI director needs to stand up to Trump or resign

A top ethics lawyer during President George W. Bush's administration says FBI Director Christopher Wray needs to tell President Trump and other Republicans to stop targeting his agency or resign.

“FBI Director Chris Wray [is] allowing himself and the FBI to be humiliated by Trump and by political hacks in Congress,” Richard Painter, a White House ethics lawyer in Bush's second term, tweeted Tuesday.

“Wray needs to do his job and tell all of them to cut it out. If Wray can’t do that he should resign.” ...

Wray sent an email to FBI staffers defending the agency earlier this month after Trump went after the bureau.

The FBI director wrote that he was “inspired by example after example of professionalism and dedication to justice demonstrated around the bureau. It is truly an honor to represent you.”


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Re: Congressional Committees: Re FBI's Independence

#106

Post by Addie » Wed Dec 27, 2017 8:00 am

The Hill
Ex-Watergate prosecutor: Trump FBI attacks may amount to obstruction of justice

A Former Watergate prosecutor said Tuesday that President Trump's new attacks on the FBI could amount to obstruction of justice.

"It is also a possible obstruction of justice, witness intimidation, and it's obstructing justice by saying to agents you better not dig too deep, you better not find anything because I will attack you," Jill Wine-Banks said during a segment on MSNBC.

"And this is the president of the United States, it is congressmen who have a national audience and can make people's lives miserable."

Wine-Banks said if you're interfering with an investigation by doing that, then that's obstruction of justice.


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Re: Congressional Committees: Re FBI's Independence

#107

Post by Addie » Wed Dec 27, 2017 9:20 am

The Hill
FBI Agents Association reports $140K in donations amid Trump criticism

An organization representing current and former FBI agents on Tuesday said it received more than $140,000 in donations to the group's two charities, amid ongoing criticism directed at the agency by President Trump.

The FBI Agents Association tweeted on Tuesday that the charitable donations will go toward improving the lives of the children of deceased FBI agents.

"This month, more than 2,000 donors contributed over $140,000 to our two charitable funds. This money will send the children of deceased Agents to college and help FBI families in need," the association tweeted.

The announcement comes several days after Benjamin Wittes, a journalist and friend of former FBI Director James Comey, tweeted that he donated $1,000 to the organization in retaliation for Trump's Twitter attacks on FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.


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Re: Congressional Committees: Re FBI's Independence

#108

Post by Addie » Wed Dec 27, 2017 10:49 am

The Hill
Sanders fiercely defends Mueller, warns of constitutional crisis

From the moment Robert Mueller was named special counsel to investigate the Russia scandal, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has been a fierce defender of his due to the former FBI director's extraordinary reputation for integrity and professionalism in law enforcement and the law.

This past Christmas weekend, there existed a tale of two political figures: President Trump continued his attack on the FBI, and he publicly displayed his paranoia over the dossier compiled by former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele. Meanwhile, Sanders warned the nation that if Trump fires Mueller or pardons suspects or witnesses in the investigation, he will provoke a constitutional crisis.

Reasonable people might ask what compelled Trump, when so many Americans were singing Christmas carols and exchanging gifts, to use the holiday weekend to continue his vendetta against the FBI through his false accusation that investigations of the Russia scandal are witch hunts and to continue his repeated attacks against the Steele dossier.

The most likely answer lies in a concept commonly used by lawyers in criminal cases called “consciousness of guilt.” This means that lawyers, judges and juries will consider the behavior of a suspect to determine whether the suspect acts in a way consistent with innocence or guilt.


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Re: Congressional Committees: Re FBI's Independence

#109

Post by RTH10260 » Wed Dec 27, 2017 2:09 pm

Addie wrote:
Tue Dec 26, 2017 9:56 am
The Hill
Trump slams FBI, Clinton for 'garbage' dossier

President Trump on Tuesday lashed out at the FBI and the Clinton campaign on the Russia dossier compiled against him and his 2016 campaign.

"WOW, @foxandfriends 'Dossier is bogus. Clinton Campaign, DNC funded Dossier. FBI CANNOT (after all of this time) VERIFY CLAIMS IN DOSSIER OF RUSSIA/TRUMP COLLUSION. FBI TAINTED.' And they used this Crooked Hillary pile of garbage as the basis for going after the Trump Campaign!" Trump tweeted, the latest in his ongoing smear on the FBI. ...
:snippity:
Apparently he responded to a satirical the wrong Twitter account, the Dummy.
DEPLORABLE

That's the only thing I can say when a potus jumps onto :turd: floating on the internet and is unable to first consult inhouse with his advisors prior to lashing out based on self chosen Fake News. Seems this self declared so called precedential clown is unable to control his own administration. IFF newsworthy he ought to get such information thru his briefings and not by Faux News and twit posts.

did I already mention this: D E P L O R A B L E

:brickwallsmall: :brickwallsmall: :brickwallsmall: :brickwallsmall: :brickwallsmall: :brickwallsmall: :brickwallsmall: :brickwallsmall: :brickwallsmall: :brickwallsmall:



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Re: Congressional Committees: Re FBI's Independence

#110

Post by RTH10260 » Wed Dec 27, 2017 2:19 pm

Addie wrote:
Tue Dec 26, 2017 12:08 pm
The Hill
GOP lawmaker calls for 'purge' of FBI

Rep. Francis Rooney (R-Fla.) on Tuesday called for a "purge" of the FBI, warning of "deep state" figures at work in the agency.
:snippity:
Another law maker taking checks from the Russians? They would like soooooo much to operate their spy rings with as little interuption as possible by the FBI. :doh:

PS. who would he give the task to determine the members of the "dark deep state" to get pushed out. And how does he think he can replace those agents and their experience with equal quality resources on the short run?



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Re: Congressional Committees: Re FBI's Independence

#111

Post by Addie » Thu Dec 28, 2017 9:41 am

The Hill
Dem: US enemies 'in their wildest dreams' wouldn't imagine president attacking FBI

Rep. Jim Himes (D-Conn.) on Thursday ripped President Trump's attacks on the FBI, arguing enemies of the United States would never have dreamed a U.S. leader would attack the nation's federal law enforcement authorities.

"The enemies of the United States — name them, North Korea, Iran, Russia — in their wildest dreams they would never imagine that the president of the United States would tar and eviscerate the FBI, the DOJ, the CIA," Himes said during an interview on CNN.

"These are all institutions that our enemies hate because they keep us safe, because they do the hard work of American national security.

"The president — since he became president a year ago — has gone out of his way to damage not just the morale, but the standing of these institutions in the American peoples' mind," he said.


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Re: Congressional Committees: Re FBI's Independence

#112

Post by Addie » Sat Dec 30, 2017 5:23 pm

The Guardian
Trump aide told Australian diplomat Russia had dirt on Clinton – report

According to a report published by the New York Times on Saturday, Papadopoulos made the revelation to Alexander Downer, the Australian high commissioner to the UK, “during a night of heavy drinking” at the Kensington Wine Rooms in London in May 2016.

Papadopoulos reportedly told Downer that Russian officials possessed thousands of emails that could harm Clinton’s candidacy.

Australia is part of the “Five Eyes” intelligence alliance, with the US, UK, Canada and New Zealand. When WikiLeaks began publishing hacked emails from Democratic officials two months later, Australian officials passed the information to their US counterparts, the Times report stated. The FBI then began its investigation. ...

The dossier grew out of a commission by a conservative website to Steele’s firm, Fusion GPS, for opposition research during the Republican primary. It was later funded by the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign.

The NYT report stated that Steele was interviewed by the FBI in October 2016, three months after he presented some of his findings to agents in Rome. But US officials told the NYT Steele’s research was not the catalyst for the counterintelligence inquiry into Russian election interference.
Adding:
Vox: Report: Trump aide’s drunken night kicked off Russia investigation ...

So it looks like it wasn’t the dossier after all

Trump and many of his allies have alleged that it was the now-infamous Steele dossier, a document filled with lurid allegations about Trump’s links to Russia, that drew the FBI’s interest. The Times’ reporting convincingly disputes that account.


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Re: Congressional Committees: Re FBI's Independence

#113

Post by Addie » Wed Jan 03, 2018 6:15 pm

Politico
Deputy AG, FBI director make unannounced visit to Paul Ryan's office

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Chris Wray made an unannounced visit to Speaker Paul Ryan's office Wednesday as the Justice Department grapples with an increasingly hostile faction of House Republicans demanding documents related to the bureau's Russia probe.

Rosenstein was spotted entering Ryan's office, and a spokesman for the speaker confirmed that Rosenstein and Wray had requested the meeting. A second person familiar with the meeting said it was related to a document request issued over the summer by House intelligence committee chairman Devin Nunes. ...

It was not immediately clear what Rosenstein and Wray sought from Ryan. But they've been increasingly at odds with Nunes over his demands to produce documents related to the Russia probe and the use of the dossier. Nunes is also leading a subset of GOP members of the intelligence committee to investigate the Justice Department, with an eye on what some Republicans in Congress have characterized as corruption and political in its top ranks.

But that effort itself has divided Republicans, many of whom are allies of the FBI and are concerned that the escalation of a discrepancy over documents — fanned by Trump allies in Congress and media — could result in lasting damage to the perception of the agency as an independent arbiter of the law.


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Re: Congressional Committees: Re FBI's Independence

#114

Post by Addie » Thu Jan 04, 2018 12:05 pm

The Hill
Grassley rejects Comey defense: Law enforcement not independent

Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley (R) appeared to respond to former FBI Director James Comey on Twitter Wednesday night, saying that America does not have an independent judiciary but rather one subject to congressional oversight.

In a tweet, the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee warned that powerful bodies of law enforcement can lead to abuses such as those that occurred under former FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover.

"Law enforcement shld NOT be independent of constitutional oversight," Grassley tweeted. "Like the military, FBI/DOJ accountability to ELECTED leaders is essential for liberty. We are ACCOUNTABLE to the PEOPLE in our representative govt. Hoover FBI was unaccountable/did great harm w abuses of power."

Grassley's tweet appeared to be in response to a tweet posted by Comey earlier Wednesday, in which the former FBI director questioned where the defenders of an independent judiciary and FBI could be found in government.

"Where are the voices of all the leaders who know an independent Department of Justice and FBI are essential to our liberty? “You are not only responsible for what you say, but also for what you do not say.” — Martin Luther," Comey tweeted.


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Re: Congressional Committees: Re FBI's Independence

#115

Post by Addie » Thu Jan 04, 2018 12:19 pm

Business Insider - Natasha Bertrand
2 GOP lawmakers are calling on Sessions to resign — and it looks like a ploy to kill the Russia probe

Republican Reps. Mark Meadows and Jim Jordan on Thursday called on Attorney General Jeff Sessions to resign in an op-ed published by the conservative Washington Examiner, citing leaks coming out of the FBI they said Sessions appeared unable to "control."

"Attorney General Jeff Sessions has recused himself from the Russia investigation, but it would appear he has no control at all of the premier law enforcement agency in the world," the lawmakers wrote.

"It is time for Sessions to start managing in a spirit of transparency to bring all of this improper behavior to light and stop further violations," they said. "If Sessions can't address this issue immediately, then we have one final question needing an answer: When is it time for a new attorney general? Sadly, it seems the answer is now."

Meadows and Jordan, who have been fiercely critical of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into potential collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, seemed particularly irked by a New York Times report published last weekend that seemed to undermine the popular GOP talking point. The Times story suggested that the so-called Steele dossier, the document that contains unverified allegations of collusion, did not trigger the FBI's Russia probe.


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Re: Congressional Committees: Re FBI's Independence

#116

Post by RVInit » Thu Jan 04, 2018 12:58 pm

Jim Jordan was particularly repulsive during Rod Rosenstein's recent testimony to the Congressional oversight committee. I would love to see him thrown out of office and replaced by a Democrat


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Re: Congressional Committees: Re FBI's Independence

#117

Post by Mikedunford » Thu Jan 04, 2018 1:17 pm

RVInit wrote:
Thu Jan 04, 2018 12:58 pm
Jim Jordan was particularly repulsive during Rod Rosenstein's recent testimony to the Congressional oversight committee. I would love to see him thrown out of office and replaced by a Democrat
That's probably gonna require taking the OH legislature and redistricting in 2020. OH-4 looks kinda-sorta-slightly gerrymandered to an insane degree:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/c ... 29.tif.png


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Re: Congressional Committees: Re FBI's Independence

#118

Post by Addie » Thu Jan 04, 2018 8:29 pm

The Hill
Sessions aide sought damaging info on Comey before his firing: report

An aide to Attorney General Jeff Sessions asked a Capitol Hill staffer if they had any damaging information about former FBI Director James Comey just days before his firing, according to a new report.

The New York Times reports that in the days following Comey’s May testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, an aide to Sessions asked a congressional staff member whether they had information on Comey that could be damaging, reportedly in an attempt to undermine Comey.

A person with knowledge of the meeting told The Times that Sessions wanted to see a negative article about Comey every day in the press. ...

The meeting reportedly occurred just days before President Trump fired Comey. Trump fired the FBI chief based on the recommendation of Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who wrote in a letter that he "cannot defend the Director's handling of the conclusion of the investigation of Secretary Clinton's emails, and I do not understand his refusal to accept the nearly universal judgment that he was mistaken."

Trump reportedly intended to send a letter to Comey before his firing describing the Russia investigation as “fabricated and politically motivated,” according to The Times, but was stopped by aides.


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Re: Congressional Committees: Re FBI's Independence

#119

Post by Addie » Thu Jan 04, 2018 8:38 pm

Daily Beast
Report: White House Lawyer Lied to Trump to Block Comey’s Firing

A White House lawyer reportedly lied to President Donald Trump in an attempt to prevent him from firing FBI director James Comey by conveying to the president that he needed “cause” to fire Comey. According to The New York Times, the lawyer, Uttam Dhillon, believed that if Trump fired Comey, it would set off an investigation into the president’s attempts to interfere with the ongoing investigation into Russia’s election meddling. Sure enough, special counsel Robert Mueller began investigating the circumstances surrounding Comey’s firing, including whether Trump obstructed justice. The Times also reports that Mueller corroborated Comey’s memos in which he claimed that the president asked him to lay off of former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who was later indicted as part of the Mueller probe. The Times also reported that Trump instructed White House counsel Don McGahn to prevent Attorney General Jeff Sessions from recusing himself from any Russia-related matters. The effort failed, and Trump has publicly complained about Sessions’ decision to recuse himself.


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Re: Congressional Committees: Re FBI's Independence

#120

Post by Slim Cognito » Fri Jan 05, 2018 8:35 am

Addie wrote:
Thu Jan 04, 2018 8:29 pm
The Hill
Sessions aide sought damaging info on Comey before his firing: report

...

The meeting reportedly occurred just days before President Trump fired Comey. Trump fired the FBI chief based on the recommendation of Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who wrote in a letter that he "cannot defend the Director's handling of the conclusion of the investigation of Secretary Clinton's emails, and I do not understand his refusal to accept the nearly universal judgment that he was mistaken."

Trump reportedly intended to send a letter to Comey before his firing describing the Russia investigation as “fabricated and politically motivated,” according to The Times, but was stopped by aides.
I'm confused. I thought, when Comey was first fired, the excuse was that Comey had been too hard on Clinton, and that excuse would bring the democrats around to Trump. Am I missing something?


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Re: Congressional Committees: Re FBI's Independence

#121

Post by Tiredretiredlawyer » Fri Jan 05, 2018 10:34 am

You are correct, Slim. That was in Rosentein's letter, I think.


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Re: Congressional Committees: Re FBI's Independence

#122

Post by Addie » Fri Jan 05, 2018 11:46 am



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Re: Congressional Committees: Re FBI's Independence

#123

Post by Addie » Fri Jan 05, 2018 12:18 pm

The Hill
Schiff: Case that Trump obstructed justice is getting stronger

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) said Friday that reports that President Trump attempted to order Attorney General Jeff Sessions to not recuse himself from the Russia investigation is evidence the White House attempted “to obstruct justice." ...

Schiff, the top Democrat on the House intelligence Committee, said if true, the reports show that Sessions may have been “trying to set up some predicate for firing [Comey] without disclosing what the true reason was.”

“If this was part of an effort to conceal the real motive for firing Comey, that’s very pertinent to obstruction of justice,” Schiff told the Post.

Schiff said The Times’ reporting make it clear that Sessions should appear before the House Intelligence Committee for more questioning.


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Re: Congressional Committees: Re FBI's Independence

#124

Post by Addie » Fri Jan 05, 2018 4:56 pm

The Hill
Ex-Watergate prosecutor on Trump: I can make a case for obstruction of justice

A former Watergate prosecutor said Thursday she believes there is enough evidence to bring an obstruction-of-justice case against President Trump over his firing of FBI Director James Comey last year.

Jill Wine-Banks told MSNBC's "All In with Chris Hayes" that she believes she could bring a successful case against Trump, adding that there is "so much evidence" that Trump meant to obstruct the investigation into possible collusion between his campaign and Russia by firing Comey. ...

"There is so much evidence now, and as was said, it's not one piece, it's the total picture. The pieces of the puzzle are fitting together and they spell obstruction," Wine-Banks said.

"You don't need an underlying crime for the crime of obstruction," she added. "To impede an investigation, whether you were part of the original crime or not, you have committed a separate crime: Obstruction of justice." ...

"It is also a possible obstruction of justice, witness intimidation, and it's obstructing justice by saying to agents, 'You better not dig too deep, you better not find anything because I will attack you,'" she said in December.


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Re: Congressional Committees: Re FBI's Independence

#125

Post by Addie » Fri Jan 05, 2018 5:15 pm

USA Today
FBI documents: Andrew McCabe had no conflict in Hillary Clinton email probe

FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, whom President Trump has blamed for influencing the decision not to criminally charge Hillary Clinton for her use of private email server, did not oversee that inquiry while his wife was running for state office in Virginia as a Democrat, according to bureau records released Friday.

The internal documents, published on the FBI's website, support what the bureau has asserted previously: that McCabe had no conflicts when he assumed oversight of the Clinton investigation. His role began in February 2016, following his appointment as deputy director and three months after his wife, Jill McCabe, lost her bid for a state Senate seat.

McCabe has been repeatedly targeted by Trump and some Republican lawmakers, who accuse the long-time FBI official of exerting undue and partisan influence over the Clinton probe.

As recently as last month, Trump seized on McCabe's role in the Clinton inquiry and his wife's political bid, noting that Jill McCabe received nearly $470,000 from a political action committee associated with Clinton ally and Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe.


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