Congressional Committees: Re FBI's Independence

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Re: Congressional Committees: Re FBI's Independence

#76

Post by Addie » Sat Dec 16, 2017 9:40 pm

Read the whole thing for more details.

Politico
Trump transition lawyer accuses Mueller of unlawfully obtaining emails ...

As the Trump transition complaint surfaced Saturday, several Democrats and former Justice officials cautioned that it may be an additional attempt at casting doubt on Mueller’s integrity.

“’Private documents’ on a US Government, public email system? What are they afraid was found? Baloney. This is another attempt to discredit Mueller as his #TrumpRussia probe tightens,” Rep. Eric Swalwell, a California Democrat and member of the House Judiciary and Intelligence panels, posted on Twitter.

Rep. Elijah Cummings, the top Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, questioned why Trump officials would be taking issue with an attempt by GSA to cooperate with investigators.

“Our committee has direct jurisdiction over the Presidential Transition Act, and it simply does not support withholding transition team emails from criminal investigators,” the Maryland Democrat said. “The president’s lawyers have said they want to fully comply with special counsel Mueller’s investigation, so it is odd that they now suggest they would have withheld key documents from federal investigators.”

“Why are Trump's lawyers upset that Mueller obtained transition emails from a government agency? (Hint: They're just playing politics, but this is a bad sign for them.)," added former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti on Twitter.


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Re: Congressional Committees: Re FBI's Independence

#77

Post by RTH10260 » Sat Dec 16, 2017 11:18 pm

Addie wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2017 9:40 pm
Read the whole thing for more details.

Politico
Trump transition lawyer accuses Mueller of unlawfully obtaining emails ...
:snippity:
Rep. Elijah Cummings, the top Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, questioned why Trump officials would be taking issue with an attempt by GSA to cooperate with investigators.

“Our committee has direct jurisdiction over the Presidential Transition Act, and it simply does not support withholding transition team emails from criminal investigators,” the Maryland Democrat said. “The president’s lawyers have said they want to fully comply with special counsel Mueller’s investigation, so it is odd that they now suggest they would have withheld key documents from federal investigators.”
:snippity:
Can one read into this statement that Mueller may have asked this Committee for permission or may have informed them (and it didn't even leak)?



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Re: Congressional Committees: Re FBI's Independence

#78

Post by Dan1100 » Sat Dec 16, 2017 11:28 pm

RTH10260 wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2017 11:18 pm
Addie wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2017 9:40 pm
Read the whole thing for more details.

Politico
Trump transition lawyer accuses Mueller of unlawfully obtaining emails ...
:snippity:
Rep. Elijah Cummings, the top Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, questioned why Trump officials would be taking issue with an attempt by GSA to cooperate with investigators.

“Our committee has direct jurisdiction over the Presidential Transition Act, and it simply does not support withholding transition team emails from criminal investigators,” the Maryland Democrat said. “The president’s lawyers have said they want to fully comply with special counsel Mueller’s investigation, so it is odd that they now suggest they would have withheld key documents from federal investigators.”
:snippity:
Can one read into this statement that Mueller may have asked this Committee for permission or may have informed them (and it didn't even leak)?
No, I don't think so. I think he is just saying his committee has jurisdiction and that's why he knows that giving the emails to Mueller is okay.


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Re: Congressional Committees: Re FBI's Independence

#79

Post by Addie » Sun Dec 17, 2017 11:43 am

The Hill
Van Hollen on Russia probe: 'What is the White House afraid of?'

Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) on Sunday urged the White House to let special counsel Robert Mueller complete his federal probe into Russian election meddling, saying Republicans are making a "concerted effort" to undermine its credibility.

"The question is what are they afraid of? What is the White House afraid of? Let's let them [investigators] finish the job and get the facts," Van Hollen said on ABC News's "This Week."

"I think Republicans should end their concerted effort to undermine the credibility of the Mueller investigation. You've got somebody who by all accounts who is an independent person, somebody who's got lots of integrity and you see a concerted effort out of the White House to undermine the investigation," he continued.

"I really hope our Republican colleagues will not join in subverting that process and trying to end this investigation," he said.

Van Hollen's comments come as Republicans have pounced on the investigation after a series of text messages showing an anti-Trump bias from FBI agents serving on Mueller's team surfaced from the 2016 presidential campaign.


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Re: Congressional Committees: Re FBI's Independence

#80

Post by Addie » Sun Dec 17, 2017 12:44 pm

The Hill
GOP rep says he has assurance FBI, DOJ officials will be subpoenaed

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Oh.) said he received an assurance from House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) to issue subpoenas for various senior FBI and Justice Department officials in the wake of the GOP probe into alleged anti-Trump bias in the bureau.

"Chairman Goodlatte has told us he is going to subpoena those individuals," Jordan told Fox News' Jeanine Pirro on "Justice with Judge Jeanine" on Saturday.

Jordan was referring to deputy FBI director Andrew McCabe, senior counterintelligence agent Peter Strzok, FBI attorney Lisa Page, former associate deputy attorney general Bruce Ohr, along with his wife Nellie, who reportedly worked for Fusion GPS, which collected opposition research on Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign.

"There are two fundamental questions: Did the FBI pay Christopher Steele, the author of the dossier, and was the dossier tet basis of getting warrants to spy on people associated with President Trump's campaign," Jordan continued. ...

Jordan's comments come as Republicans delve into claims of anti-Trump bias within the FBI.


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Re: Congressional Committees: Re FBI's Independence

#81

Post by Addie » Sun Dec 17, 2017 4:41 pm

Cross-posting

Politico
Gowdy says courts must settle Trump transition team's spat with Mueller

A top Republican lawmaker on Sunday said the courts — not Congress — should resolve a new complaint from President Donald Trump's transition lawyers about the conduct of special counsel Robert Mueller's team.

"These are issues to be briefed by the parties (or others with cognizable legal claims and standing) and decided by the court — not Congress," a Gowdy spokeswoman said in a statement.

Trump's transition legal team wrote a letter to two congressional committees, including Gowdy's, on Saturday alleging that Mueller's team had inappropriately obtained thousands of transition emails that were housed on government servers. The transition team said it hoped the findings would be "useful in discharging your oversight responsibilities, ensuring the integrity of the special counsel's investigation." It also suggested new laws protecting future presidential transitions from unwanted disclosure of emails.

But Gowdy's spokeswoman said the issues raised by the transition were "specific legal issues" regarding claims of privileged information and that those matters belonged in court, not Congress.

The suggestion comes as legal experts and Democratic lawmakers cast doubt on the transition team claim that Mueller acted inappropriately when he obtained thousands of Trump transition communications directly from the General Services Administration — which housed the transition records — rather than seeking permission from transition officials themselves.


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Re: Congressional Committees: Re FBI's Independence

#82

Post by Suranis » Mon Dec 18, 2017 6:45 am

Gowdy has a point, I would guess. But the real reason he is asking for a court decision is to lay the foundation for months of found on the sunday shows and ranting and raving about this, much like the point of the Benghazi investigations was to constantly rant and rave against Hillary Clinton on the Sunday shows. He isn't interested in the legal issue at all, he just wants an excuse for something to talk about other than Trumps increasingly obvious guilt, much like he didnt want to talk about Hillary Clinton's innocence over Benghazi.


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Re: Congressional Committees: Re FBI's Independence

#83

Post by Turtle » Mon Dec 18, 2017 7:04 am

"There are two fundamental questions: Did the FBI pay Christopher Steele, the author of the dossier, and was the dossier tet basis of getting warrants to spy on people associated with President Trump's campaign," Jordan continued. ...
Didn't these questions get answered in one of the other committees?



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Re: Congressional Committees: Re FBI's Independence

#84

Post by Addie » Wed Dec 20, 2017 5:35 pm

The Hill
Top Intel Dem warns Trump not to interfere with Mueller probe

Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) issued a warning to President Trump on Wednesday, telling the president to not interfere with special counsel Robert Mueller's "critical investigation" into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, called in a speech on the Senate floor for lawmakers to protect the probe floor.

"I believe it is up to every member of this institution, Republican or Democrat, to make a clear and unambiguous statement: that any attempt by this president to remove special counsel Mueller from his position, or to pardon key witnesses in an effort to shield them from accountability or shut down the investigation, would be a gross abuse of power and a flagrant violation of Executive branch responsibilities and authorities," Warner said.

"These are red lines, and we simply cannot allow them to be crossed," he added.

The Virginia senator argued that Mueller should be able to see the investigation entirely through without interference or obstruction from the administration. He said that if the administration attempts to influence the probe in any way, it would not only "call into question this administration's commitment to the truth," but also a possible create a "constitutional crisis."


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Re: Congressional Committees: Re FBI's Independence

#85

Post by Addie » Thu Dec 21, 2017 11:06 am



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Re: Congressional Committees: Re FBI's Independence

#86

Post by Addie » Thu Dec 21, 2017 1:19 pm

Business Insider - Natasha Bertrand
A trio of House Republicans lobbing attacks on Mueller have been in touch with the White House ...

Jordan is not the only congressman seeking to undermine Mueller who has been in touch with the White House in recent weeks.

Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz, the first lawmaker to openly demand that Mueller be fired, discussed the special counsel probe with Trump aboard Air Force One earlier this month ahead of a rally in Florida.

Gaetz, who is friends with longtime Trump confidant Roger Stone and has alleged that Mueller is plotting a "coup d'etat," told Trump he was "concerned that this investigation was infected with bias," according to Politico.

Trump replied, "That’s why you guys have got to do your job,'" Gaetz said.

Republican Rep. Ron DeSantis, another House Judiciary Committee member who put forward a provision in August that would have severely limited the scope and funding of Mueller's probe, was also on the flight with Gaetz and Trump.

Republican Rep. Devin Nunes, meanwhile, has been meeting secretly with a group of House Intelligence Committee Republicans for weeks to build a case that senior leaders of the DOJ and FBI mishandled the contents of the Trump-Russia dossier — a raw intelligence document compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele outlining alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Moscow.


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Re: Congressional Committees: Re FBI's Independence

#87

Post by Addie » Thu Dec 21, 2017 2:03 pm

CBS News
"Mueller is doing a great job," Democrats say

House Democrats Rep. Maxine Waters, D-California, and Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-New York, argued Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling in the presidential election should be allowed to continue.

"We are here today on behalf of at least 171 members of Congress who believe Special Counsel Mueller is doing a great job," Waters said, at a news conference Thursday, surrounded by about 12 other House Democrats. "We are here today on behalf of at least 171 members Congress who believe Mr. Mueller's investigation should and must continue and must not be obstructed."

Mueller is responsible for the special counsel investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election and any connections between President Trump's campaign and the Kremlin. ...

Over the summer, two GOP Senators introduced legislation that would require a panel of federal judges to review any order from Mr. Trump to fire the special counsel. The effort, introduced by Sens. Thom Tillis, R-North Carolina, and Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, is intended to protect Mueller-- also a Republican-- as he and his team work on the investigation.


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Re: Congressional Committees: Re FBI's Independence

#88

Post by AndyinPA » Thu Dec 21, 2017 3:15 pm

I actually found it pretty scary last night to hear that Senator Warner felt that he had to come out and say this.

What are the republicans so afraid of? I think 45 has outlived his usefulness now that they have their wet dream (uh, tax bill). They would be just as happy to have Pence in place as president. I think the guilt goes out to a lot more than just the administration and into the Congress. Remember how Obama tried to get the news out about the Russians last summer, but McConnell, and probably Ryan, said they would scream partisanship if Obama released that news then? There are a lot more (Nunez, Jordan, etc.) who have clearly been aiding and abetting since then. They are a treasonous bunch.



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Re: Congressional Committees: Re FBI's Independence

#89

Post by RVInit » Thu Dec 21, 2017 4:23 pm

IMO Republicans are afraid of Trump's voting base. Those voters don't give a rat's ass about what he does. He COULD stand on 5th Avenue and shoot someone and they WOULD continue to support him. They are a cult. Plain and simple. And they will viciously turn on anyone who doesn't bow down to Trump. Look at what happened to Jeff Flake. Flake has not failed to support one thing that Trump wants to do. He only wants Trump to quit the Twitter, lying, and undermining democracy. That's it. And that was enough for Trump voters to attack and devour him like the rabid horde they are.


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Re: Congressional Committees: Re FBI's Independence

#90

Post by Addie » Thu Dec 21, 2017 9:22 pm

CNN
Top FBI official grilled on Comey, Clinton in Hill testimony

Washington (CNN)FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe faced numerous questions this week about his interactions, conversations and correspondence with his onetime boss, former FBI Director James Comey, spanning both the FBI's Russia investigation and its probe into Hillary Clinton's private email server, according to multiple sources from both parties with knowledge of his testimony.

In private testimony before the House Intelligence Committee this week, McCabe told lawmakers that Comey informed him of conversations he had with President Donald Trump soon after they happened, according to three sources with knowledge of the matter.

The testimony suggests McCabe could corroborate Comey's account, including Trump's ask that Comey show him loyalty, which the President has strongly disputed. Comey previously testified that he briefed some of his senior colleagues at the FBI about this conversation with Trump.

McCabe appeared for more than 16 hours of testimony behind closed doors in two sessions this week before members of the House Intelligence, Oversight and Judiciary committees, amid growing calls for his firing from Republicans critical of the FBI's handling of both investigations.

Intelligence Committee Republicans also grilled McCabe about how the FBI used the dossier compiled by a British agent alleging collusion between Trump and Russia. Some Republicans were dissatisfied with the responses, according to the sources.


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Re: Congressional Committees: Re FBI's Independence

#91

Post by Addie » Thu Dec 21, 2017 10:19 pm

WaPo
FBI’s top lawyer said to be reassigned

The FBI’s top lawyer, James Baker, is being reassigned — one of the first moves by new director Christopher A. Wray to assemble his own team of senior advisers as he tries to fend off accusations of politicization within the bureau.

Baker told colleagues he will be taking on other duties at the FBI, according to people familiar with the matter. In recent months, Baker had been caught up in a strange interagency dispute that led to a leak probe which attracted the attention of senior lawmakers, but people familiar with the matter said that probe had recently ended with a decision not to charge anyone. The leak issue had not played a part in Baker’s reassignment, these people said.

Baker, one of the most trusted, longest-serving national security officials in the government, has served as the head of the FBI’s Office of General Counsel for several years, playing a key role in the agency’s handling of major cases and policy debates, including the FBI’s unsuccessful battle with Apple, Inc. over the growing use of encryption in cell phones.

Baker informed some colleagues in an email Wednesday that his duties were changing at the FBI, according to people familiar with the matter. Two people familiar with the matter said he is being “reassigned’’ by Wray, but they cautioned that the change does not take effect immediately and such a move is a normal part of a new director taking charge at the bureau — not a reflection of the political controversies buffeting the FBI.


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Re: Congressional Committees: Re FBI's Independence

#92

Post by AndyinPA » Thu Dec 21, 2017 10:23 pm

RVInit wrote:
Thu Dec 21, 2017 4:23 pm
IMO Republicans are afraid of Trump's voting base. Those voters don't give a rat's ass about what he does. He COULD stand on 5th Avenue and shoot someone and they WOULD continue to support him. They are a cult. Plain and simple. And they will viciously turn on anyone who doesn't bow down to Trump. Look at what happened to Jeff Flake. Flake has not failed to support one thing that Trump wants to do. He only wants Trump to quit the Twitter, lying, and undermining democracy. That's it. And that was enough for Trump voters to attack and devour him like the rabid horde they are.
Totally agree.



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Re: Congressional Committees: Re FBI's Independence

#93

Post by tek » Fri Dec 22, 2017 7:59 am

Intelligence Committee Republicans also grilled McCabe about how the FBI used the dossier compiled by a British agent alleging collusion between Trump and Russia. Some Republicans were dissatisfied with the responses, according to the sources.
Surprise, surprise!


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Re: Congressional Committees: Re FBI's Independence

#94

Post by Addie » Fri Dec 22, 2017 12:35 pm

WaPo - Jennifer Rubin
Now we know why Republicans are attacking the FBI

CNN reported that Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe this week testified before the House Intelligence Committee and then before members of the House Intelligence, Oversight and Judiciary committees that former FBI director James B. Comey told McCabe that President Trump had asked for a pledge of loyalty. Comey previously testified that the president had requested loyalty; Trump has denied that this took place. ...

The Republicans, by their conduct, implicitly recognize Trump’s weak defense to a potential obstruction charge. Contrary to the Trump attorney’s mumbo jumbo, they realize that a sitting president with a corrupt intent can be cited for obstruction of justice, although the case might need to be prosecuted after he leaves office. Second, Republicans understand that if the fact pattern is believed, Trump at the very least committed an impeachable action (although not necessarily a criminal violation of federal statute) in pressuring the then-FBI director to lay off of Michael Flynn and curtail the Russia investigation. If the facts here were not so damning, Republicans would not find it necessary to call into question the credibility of the entire FBI. Third, the Republicans will have their hands full if they go down this road. Not only McCabe but also other FBI officials may have been told of Trump’s pursuit of a loyalty oath from Trump. Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and National Security Agency director Mike Rogers as well as other members of the White House staff may be privy to Trump’s statements about Comey and efforts to get Comey to relent from investigating Flynn. That’s a lot of people to discredit if the GOP is bent on circling the wagons around a president who has neither the law nor the facts on his side.

The spectacle of Republicans trying to cook up a spurious case of corruption against the entire FBI is strong evidence of their inability to take their constitutional responsibilities seriously. If we are to get a fair investigation and consideration of the facts as well as a mature examination of whether those facts rise to an impeachable offense, it likely won’t come with a GOP majority in control of the House and Senate.


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Re: Congressional Committees: Re FBI's Independence

#95

Post by Addie » Fri Dec 22, 2017 6:44 pm

Politico
Top FBI official linked to reporter who broke Trump dossier story

House Republicans are investigating contact between the FBI's top lawyer and a Mother Jones reporter in the weeks before the left-leaning outlet broke the first news story about the existence of a disputed dossier alleging ties between President Donald Trump and the Kremlin, according to two congressional GOP sources who described documents linking the two men.

The GOP sources said the documents — made available recently to lawmakers by the Department of Justice — revealed that James Baker, the FBI's general counsel, communicated with Mother Jones reporter David Corn in the weeks leading up to the November 2016 election. Corn was the first to report the existence of the dossier on Oct. 31 and that it was compiled by a former, high-level western spy.

The Washington Post reported Thursday that Baker had been reassigned within the FBI, though the reason for the move was unclear.

Corn denied that Baker was a source for his story on the dossier.

"I'm not going to discuss my sources. But in order to prevent the dissemination of inaccurate information, I will say that James Baker was not my source for this story," he said in a statement to POLITICO. ...

Baker was on Capitol Hill on Tuesday as counsel for Andrew McCabe, deputy director of the FBI, who testified to the House intelligence committee in the panel's ongoing Russia probe.


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Re: Congressional Committees: Re FBI's Independence

#96

Post by Suranis » Sat Dec 23, 2017 4:22 am

As I said in another thread, another possibility is that Trump is blackmailing GOP members into letting things slide and to attack the FBI. Remember the Republicans also hacked the GOP, though Trump said that their defences were first rate and the russians didnt succeed, which means the Russians actually went through them like butter.

https://crooksandliars.com/2017/12/sara ... hreatening

This is a pic from the Steele Dossier.

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Re: Congressional Committees: Re FBI's Independence

#97

Post by Addie » Sat Dec 23, 2017 8:44 am

The Hill
Comey: FBI officials being 'attacked for partisan gain'

Former FBI Director James Comey is accusing current FBI leadership of bowing to political pressure by reassigning the FBI’s top lawyer.

“Sadly, we are now at a point in our political life when anyone can be attacked for partisan gain,” Comey tweeted Friday night, in a rare public statement.

“James Baker, who is stepping down as FBI General Counsel, served our country incredibly well for 25 years & deserves better,” he continued. “He is what we should all want our public servants to be.” ...

The new FBI director, Christopher Wray, is reorganizing some of the top leaders at the agency as he forms his own team of senior advisers, The Washington Post reported. It is common for a new director to reorganize when taking charge of an agency.

But according to the New York Times, Wray is also under pressure from President Trump to reassign Comey loyalists within the agency.


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Re: Congressional Committees: Re FBI's Independence

#98

Post by Addie » Sat Dec 23, 2017 2:47 pm

The Hill
McCabe to leave FBI in coming months: report

FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe is planning to retire in the coming months amid accusations of partisanship and bias within the law enforcement agency.

The Washington Post reported Saturday that McCabe plans to step down in a few months when he is fully eligible for pension benefits. That is expected to happen in early March.

McCabe has weathered GOP criticism of the FBI for over a year, with Republicans questioning the agency's handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server and, more recently, the probe into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

McCabe served as former FBI Director James Comey's deputy, and has repeatedly questioned about the agency's actions during the 2016 presidential race. ...

McCabe sat before three congressional committees this week, where he faced questions about his conduct and the FBI's handling of the investigations.
Adding:
Vox: The Republican crusade against Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, explained
Business Insider: Trump rails against deputy FBI director Andrew McCabe, 'leakin James Comey,' and 'phony' Clinton investigation


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Re: Congressional Committees: Re FBI's Independence

#99

Post by Addie » Sat Dec 23, 2017 6:55 pm

The Hill
Key Dem warns FBI against removing McCabe over pressure from Trump

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) warned the FBI on Saturday against removing top officials, including deputy director Andrew McCabe, over criticism from President Trump.

"FBI would set a dangerous precedent if it forced out dedicated career public servants in capitulation to Trump and WH pressure," tweeted Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee.

"President has already removed one top FBI leader — Comey — over Russia; McCabe would be another," Schiff added. ...

Schiff is the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, with lawmakers interviewing McCabe this week as part of a wider probe into Russia's election meddling and the Justice Department's actions throughout the 2016 election.


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Re: Congressional Committees: Re FBI's Independence

#100

Post by Addie » Mon Dec 25, 2017 9:26 am

WaPo
No longer a ‘lonely battle’: How the campaign against the Mueller probe has taken hold

For months, efforts to discredit special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 campaign flickered at the fringes of political debate.

Now, the allegation that FBI and Justice Department officials are part of a broad conspiracy against President Trump is suddenly center stage, amplified by conservative activists, GOP lawmakers, right-leaning media and the president himself. The clamor has become a sustained backdrop to the special counsel investigation, with congressional committees grilling a parade of law enforcement officials in recent days.

“Until recently, it has been a lonely battle,” said Tom Fitton, whose conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch has helped drive the charges by unearthing internal Justice Department documents. “Our concerns about Mueller are beginning to take hold.”

The partisan atmosphere is a sharp departure from the near-universal support that greeted Mueller’s selection as special counsel in May — and threatens to shadow his investigation’s eventual findings. Trump, while vowing to cooperate with the special counsel, has also encouraged attacks on Mueller’s credibility, tweeting that the investigation is “the greatest Witch Hunt in U.S. political history.”


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