Congressional Committees: Re FBI's Independence

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Re: Congressional Committees: Re FBI's Independence

#651

Post by Tiredretiredlawyer » Wed May 02, 2018 8:26 pm

Kendra wrote:
Wed May 02, 2018 7:37 pm
pipistrelle wrote:
Wed May 02, 2018 7:21 pm
Ty Cobb quit? I missed that.
There are rumors he was pushed.
Guiliani wants this over in two weeks remember.


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Re: Congressional Committees: Re FBI's Independence

#652

Post by Kendra » Wed May 02, 2018 8:41 pm

Tiredretiredlawyer wrote:
Wed May 02, 2018 8:26 pm
Kendra wrote:
Wed May 02, 2018 7:37 pm
pipistrelle wrote:
Wed May 02, 2018 7:21 pm
Ty Cobb quit? I missed that.
There are rumors he was pushed.
Guiliani wants this over in two weeks remember.
Aren't those two weeks up?



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Re: Congressional Committees: Re FBI's Independence

#653

Post by Tiredretiredlawyer » Wed May 02, 2018 9:04 pm

Kendra wrote:
Wed May 02, 2018 8:41 pm
Tiredretiredlawyer wrote:
Wed May 02, 2018 8:26 pm
Kendra wrote:
Wed May 02, 2018 7:37 pm


There are rumors he was pushed.
Guiliani wants this over in two weeks remember.
Aren't those two weeks up?
You're right!! Facts. Who needs 'em?


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Re: Congressional Committees: Re FBI's Independence

#654

Post by Addie » Thu May 03, 2018 10:45 am

New York Times
Trump Assails Justice Dept., Siding With House Conservatives in Dispute

WASHINGTON — President Trump plunged into an angry dispute on Wednesday between conservative House Republicans and the deputy attorney general, siding with hard-line lawmakers over his own Justice Department as they pressed for access to sensitive documents related to the special counsel’s investigation and other politically charged cases.

In a Twitter post, Mr. Trump called the legal system “rigged” and amplified the lawmakers’ complaints that the deputy attorney general, Rod J. Rosenstein, was not moving fast enough to turn over the documents they want. The president stepped in just as Mr. Rosenstein appeared to mollify three key committee chairmen who were also demanding internal documents.

“They don’t want to turn over Documents to Congress. What are they afraid of? Why so much redacting? Why such unequal ‘justice?’ Mr. Trump wrote. “At some point I will have no choice but to use the powers granted to the Presidency and get involved!” Which presidential powers Mr. Trump was referring to was not immediately clear.

Distrust between Mr. Rosenstein and Congress has been building over months. In recent weeks, he has made significant gestures to release documents demanded by prominent congressmen, only to be threatened with impeachment by lawmakers from the far-right.


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Re: Congressional Committees: Re FBI's Independence

#655

Post by Kendra » Thu May 03, 2018 11:18 am

Surely Rosenstein has learned this congress can't be trusted with classified documents?



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Re: Congressional Committees: Re FBI's Independence

#656

Post by bob » Sun May 06, 2018 12:51 pm

FOX: in Nunes: AG Jeff Sessions should be held in contempt of Congress:
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes is going to push Congress to hold Attorney General Jeff Sessions in contempt of Congress.

The Californian Republican’s committee has been looking into allegations that the Justice Department and the FBI abused the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act in their scrutiny of the Trump campaign.

“On Thursday we discovered that they are not going to comply with our subpoena,” Nunes said on "Fox and Friends Sunday," adding, “the only thing left to do is we have to move quickly to hold the attorney general of the United States in contempt and that is what I will press for this week.”

Two weeks ago, Nunes sent to Sessions a classified letter, which he said was not acknowledged, and then he sent a subpoena.

Nunes, who did concede that it’s possible Sessions personally is unaware of the subpoena, told "Fox and Friends Sunday" that he won’t accept “excuses” relating to national security concerns in terms of his ongoing investigation of how the Russia probe was handled.
The next step, presumably, would be a lawsuit to compel compliance (regardless of a contempt finding), i.e., like they did to Holder.


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Re: Congressional Committees: Re FBI's Independence

#657

Post by Kendra » Sun May 06, 2018 1:08 pm

Maddow's show on Friday is worth a watch. She talks about Rosenstein and some talks he attended last week with not so subtle warnings about congress trying to mess around with DOJ investigation.



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Re: Congressional Committees: Re FBI's Independence

#658

Post by Addie » Thu May 10, 2018 10:40 am

Salon: Mike Pence is copying Richard Nixon’s Watergate playbook
WaPo: Pence says it’s time for special counsel to ‘wrap up’ Russia investigation
CNN: Mike Pence tells Mueller 'it's time to wrap it up'
Mediate: Adam Schiff Rips Pence: He’s ‘Brought His Sycophancy to a Whole New Level’ With Call to End Mueller Probe


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Re: Congressional Committees: Re FBI's Independence

#659

Post by NotaPerson » Thu May 10, 2018 11:24 am

Addie wrote:
Thu May 10, 2018 10:40 am
WaPo: Pence says it’s time for special counsel to ‘wrap up’ Russia investigation
CNN: Mike Pence tells Mueller 'it's time to wrap it up'
Mediate: Adam Schiff Rips Pence: He’s ‘Brought His Sycophancy to a Whole New Level’ With Call to End Mueller Probe
A bit off-topic perhaps, but George Will had something to get off his chest yesterday regarding Pence...

Trump is no longer the worst person in government
Trump is what he is, a floundering, inarticulate jumble of gnawing insecurities and not-at-all compensating vanities, which is pathetic. Pence is what he has chosen to be, which is horrifying.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions ... 9fd3b551a4


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Re: Congressional Committees: Re FBI's Independence

#660

Post by Addie » Thu May 10, 2018 8:10 pm

WaPo
In bid to reveal secret memo, GOP congressman plans to seek federal audit of Mueller probe

A prominent House Republican plans to ask a federal financial watchdog to audit the office of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, opening a new front of GOP attack on the secretive probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible ties to President Trump’s campaign.

The pending request — from Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), an outspoken Trump defender who chairs the conservative House Freedom Caucus as well as a House oversight subcommittee — appears to be mainly calibrated to force the disclosure of a three-page Justice Department memo spelling out the authorized scope of Mueller’s investigation.

Meadows, speaking Thursday during a taping of C-SPAN’s “Newsmakers” that is to air Sunday, said he believed the audit is required under federal law and could not be completed without an unredacted copy of the memo written in August 2017 by Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein.

“To have some special counsel going on, you know, this particular trail or that particular trail, it’s really not what Congress envisioned, and it’s certainly not what most Americans believe we’re doing,” Meadows said. ...

The 2017 “scope memo” has turned into a major flash point between the Justice Department and a cadre of House Republicans — including Meadows and other members of the Freedom Caucus — who say that Mueller has gone outside the bounds of his original charge to investigate possible ties between Russia and the Trump campaign.


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Re: Congressional Committees: Re FBI's Independence

#661

Post by Addie » Fri May 11, 2018 10:09 am

NBC News
Lawmakers weigh Plan B to protect Mueller's work

WASHINGTON — If Congress can’t protect special counsel Robert Mueller’s job, perhaps it can protect his work.

That’s the thinking among several lawmakers on Capitol Hill, who are discussing ways to safeguard the special counsel’s investigation into possible ties between the Trump 2016 campaign and Russia amid President Donald Trump’s escalating attacks.

As the probe closes in on the White House, much of the public debate has centered on the fate of Mueller and whether Trump might fire the former FBI director, who’s now led the probe for nearly a year. But warnings now from Capitol Hill focus on the possibility of Trump replacing Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who oversees the special counsel probe. If Trump takes that step and installs a loyalist in the job, Mueller’s scope could be narrowed, his resources squeezed, and Rosenstein’s successor could withhold the report from Congress and the public.

Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, who helped draft a bipartisan bill to protect Mueller that passed the Judiciary Committee late last month, confirmed to NBC News Thursday that talks are underway for a “Plan B” after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refused to bring the original legislation for a floor vote.


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Re: Congressional Committees: Re FBI's Independence

#662

Post by Addie » Fri May 11, 2018 12:29 pm

Talking Points Memo
Nunes Seems To Back Off Threats After DOJ Meeting

After a meeting at the Justice Department on Thursday, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) seems to be backing off his threats to hold Attorney General Jeff Sessions in contempt if Nunes does not receive the classified documents he has requested, according to a Thursday Washington Post report.

Nunes and Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) reportedly met with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and other intelligence officials at the DOJ, later issuing a joint statement calling the conversation “productive.”

Despite Nunes’s cooling off, House Speaker Paul Ryan jumped into the fray Thursday, saying that it’s “wholly appropriate” that Nunes get the classified documents, per the Post.

“I expect that we will be able to have an accommodation to honor this request because first of all, it’s our job to do oversight of the executive branch,” Ryan said. “This request is perfectly appropriate within the scope of the committee’s investigation, and I hope and believe and expect that they’ll be complied with.”

It is not fully clear which documents Nunes is trying to get, since much of his request is also classified. However, the DOJ has warned that the declassification of these documents would expose sources and endanger lives.


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Re: Congressional Committees: Re FBI's Independence

#663

Post by Addie » Fri May 11, 2018 7:45 pm

Politico
Comey to skip hearing on Russian interference in 2016 campaign

Former FBI Director James Comey is skipping a closed-door Senate hearing next week to discuss the intelligence community's findings about Russian interference in the 2016 elections.

"Because of a previously scheduled engagement, Jim will not be testifying at this hearing," said his attorney, Daniel Richman.

Comey was among four former intelligence community leaders invited to attend the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing. The other three, former National Intelligence Director James Clapper, former CIA Director John Brennan and former NSA Director Adm. Mike Rogers, are listed as attendees.

The hearing is a highly anticipated review of top intelligence officials' judgments about Russia's election meddling scheme and its intentions in conducting a wide-ranging influence and propaganda operation. The agencies concluded in a January 2017 report that Russia intended to hurt Hillary Clinton's candidacy and later came to favor Donald Trump's bid.

Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee recently accused the intelligence community of employing faulty "tradecraft" when it determined that the Kremlin favored Trump. Democrats on the panel rejected the GOP findings and called it an attempt to protect the president.


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Re: Congressional Committees: Re FBI's Independence

#664

Post by Addie » Thu May 17, 2018 10:02 am

New York Times: Crossfire Hurricane: How the FBI handled the Clinton emails and the Russia-Trump probes


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Re: Congressional Committees: Re FBI's Independence

#665

Post by Addie » Thu May 17, 2018 2:01 pm

Cross-posting

Politico
Mueller hands judge full memo detailing Russia probe scope

However, the memo remains classified and not public, leaving its details hidden.


Special counsel Robert Mueller appears to have provided a federal judge with an unredacted version of the Justice Department memo laying out the scope of his investigation and the potential crimes he's authorized to pursue.

However, the memo — long sought after by President Donald Trump's allies on Capitol Hill, who regularly accuse Mueller of overstepping his bounds — remains classified and not public, leaving its details hidden.

The document was filed as an "unredacted memorandum" under seal with the U.S. District Court's Eastern District of Virginia, where Mueller is expected to try former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort on bank fraud charges.

Mueller's decision to share the classified document comes two weeks after the judge, T.S. Ellis, demanded to see the full scope memo, authored by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Earlier this month, Ellis called for the document during a hearing on Manafort's attempt to toss out some of the charges against him. ...

Trump's staunchest allies on Capitol Hill have since then demanded that the Justice Department provide an unredacted version of the memo to Congress, despite longstanding precedent prohibiting DOJ from sharing records from an ongoing investigation.


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Re: Congressional Committees: Re FBI's Independence

#666

Post by Addie » Fri May 18, 2018 11:40 am

CNN
Officials tell CNN that FBI 'informant' not planted inside Trump campaign

Washington (CNN)An unsupported theory circulating on Capitol Hill and conservative media outlets about an "informant" spying on the Trump campaign reached new heights Friday morning, as President Donald Trump tweeted about the "all time greatest political scandal."

But US officials tell CNN that the confidential intelligence source was not planted inside the campaign to provide information to investigators.

One of the officials said the informant is a US citizen but provided no other details on the identity.

The officials say that the identity of the informant had been closely held at the highest levels of the FBI and intelligence community, and the individual has been a source for the FBI and CIA for years. ...

The maelstrom over the informant began last week, as House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes demanded that the Justice Department turn over documents related to the source, threatening to hold Justice officials in contempt of Congress.
Adding:
Bloomberg: Officials Dispute Trump’s Talk of an FBI Spy Planted in His Campaign


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Re: Congressional Committees: Re FBI's Independence

#667

Post by Kendra » Fri May 18, 2018 11:46 am

Speaking of the informant, might as well dump this here.


Reports are there was indeed at least one FBI representative implanted, for political purposes, into my campaign for president. It took place very early on, and long before the phony Russia Hoax became a “hot” Fake News story. If true - all time biggest political scandal!



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Re: Congressional Committees: Re FBI's Independence

#668

Post by Addie » Fri May 18, 2018 12:00 pm

WaPo
‘Bigger than Watergate’: Trump joins push by allies to expose role of an FBI source

President Trump’s allies are waging an increasingly aggressive campaign to undercut the Russia investigation by exposing the role of a top-secret FBI source. The effort reached new heights Thursday as Trump alleged that an informant had improperly spied on his 2016 campaign and predicted that the ensuing scandal would be “bigger than Watergate!”

The extraordinary push begun by a cadre of Trump boosters on Capitol Hill now has champions across the GOP and throughout conservative media — and, as of Thursday, the first anniversary of Robert S. Mueller III’s appointment as special counsel, bears the imprimatur of the president.

The dispute pits Trump and the Republican chairman of the House Intelligence Committee against the Justice Department and intelligence agencies, whose leaders warn that publicly identifying the confidential source would put lives in danger and imperil other operations.

The stakes are so high that the FBI has been working over the past two weeks to mitigate the potential damage if the source’s identity is revealed, according to several people familiar with the matter. The bureau is taking steps to protect other live investigations that the person has worked on and is trying to lessen any danger to associates if the informant’s identity becomes known, said these people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive intelligence operations.
Adding:
Daily Beast: Report: Trump Wants FBI ‘Mole’ in Russia Probe Outed


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Re: Congressional Committees: Re FBI's Independence

#669

Post by Addie » Fri May 18, 2018 12:09 pm

Washington Monthly - Martin Longman
Trump Is Right, This Is Bigger Than Watergate ...

If there was an informant on the Trump campaign, that informant presumably gathered some incriminating evidence. Following this informant’s leads could indeed lead to a scandal more serious than Watergate. But that’s obviously not what the president meant to convey when he wrote that tweet. ...

I think Frum gets right to the heart of this issue here. From all the evidence we’ve seen so far, it looks like the FBI did not go looking into the Trump campaign’s Russian connections until after they were tipped off by the Australians that there was a problem. Specifically, the Australians told the FBI that George Papadopoulos knew the Russians had thousands of hacked emails that would be damaging to Hillary Clinton’s campaign long before any of those emails were released to the public.

That caused them to investigate. And when they started to investigate, they noticed Russian connections everywhere they looked. We know the bigger names on the list, like Michael Flynn, Paul Manafort, Rick Gates, and Carter Page, but there many more connections. There were people like Tevfik Arif and Felix Sater and Michael Caputo and Boris Epshteyn. There was the Agalarov family. There were curious meetings between campaign leadership and the Russian ambassador and between members of Trump’s family and oligarchs close to Vladimir Putin. It was noticed that the Republican platform was changed to make it more amendable to Russia.

In retrospect, the FBI went to great lengths to limit their investigation, for example, by refusing to directly interview anyone under suspicion lest they tip off that an investigation was under way at all. But they did investigate, as that was their responsibility in a situation where a hostile foreign power was interjecting itself heavily into our election and potentially siding with one candidate over another. The counterintelligence folks are supposed to be on the lookout for attempts by foreign intelligence agencies to recruit or compromise American political figures, so some of this investigation could be considered an effort to help protect a potential Trump administration from compromise or blackmail.

An objective observer would argue that the FBI was too timid and complacent because they were operating on the assumption that Hillary Clinton would win the election. They were more concerned about the accusation that they hadn’t been tough enough on her than with the accusation that they’d failed to alert the public about what they knew about Trump. They were more concerned that aggressively investigation the Russia angle would give Trump a talking point (the one is he using now) than they were about blunting Russia’s efforts to assist him.

Yes, this is bigger than Watergate. But not because there was an informant inside Trump’s campaign.


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Re: Congressional Committees: Re FBI's Independence

#670

Post by Addie » Fri May 18, 2018 9:36 pm

Politico
Warner: Identifying FBI source to undermine Russia probe could be a crime

The top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee warned Friday that his colleagues could be committing a crime if they obtain the identity of a secret FBI source and use it to undermine the ongoing investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) raised the alarm in a Friday evening statement, as Republican allies of President Donald Trump have pressed the Justice Department for details about a source believed to have aided the FBI and Special Counsel Robert Mueller's probe into Trump campaign contacts with Russians.

“It would be at best irresponsible, and at worst potentially illegal, for members of Congress to use their positions to learn the identity of an FBI source for the purpose of undermining the ongoing investigation into Russian interference in our election," Warner said. "Anyone who is entrusted with our nation’s highest secrets should act with the gravity and seriousness of purpose that knowledge deserves.” ...

FBI Director Christopher Wray offered a warning to Congress this week as well, telling the Senate Appropriations Committee that "The day that we can't protect human sources is the day the American people start becoming less safe."

Warner echoed that sentiment Friday.

“The first thing any new member of the Intelligence Committee learns is the critical importance of protecting sources and methods," he said. "Publicly outing a source risks not only their life, but the lives of every American, because when sources are burned it makes it that much harder for every part of the intelligence community to gather intelligence on those who wish to do us harm."
Adding:
NPR: The Russia Investigations: Big Questions Answered, More Big Questions Raised
WaPo: Secret FBI source for Russia investigation met with three Trump advisers during campaign
Associated Press: AP Explains: What’s behind Trump’s FBI spy theory?
WaPo: The FBI didn’t use an informant to go after Trump. They used one to protect him.
WaPo: What do we know about the ‘FBI informant’ Trump keeps talking about?


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Re: Congressional Committees: Re FBI's Independence

#671

Post by Addie » Sat May 19, 2018 8:40 pm

Politico
Trump responds to new FBI informant reports

President Donald Trump on Saturday appeared to respond to new reports that an FBI informant had reached out to multiple campaign aides during the 2016 presidential campaign.

"If the FBI or DOJ was infiltrating a campaign for the benefit of another campaign, that is a really big deal," the president wrote on Twitter.

On Friday night, the New York Times reported that an unnamed FBI informant talked to two campaign advisers who allegedly had suspicious contacts with individuals linked to Russia. The Times did not name the informant, but described the person as an "American academic who teaches in Britain" and who made contact with Trump foreign policy advisers George Papadopoulos and Carter Page.

The alleged informant's name has been published by conservative media outlets and circulated widely on Twitter.
Adding:
Mother Jones - Kevin Drum: In Huge Disappointment, the FBI’s Super-Secret Trump Informant Turns Out to Be . . . Stefan Halper ...

In any case, not to keep you in suspense any longer, the FBI’s informant was Stefan Halper, a guy who worked in the Nixon, Ford, and Reagan administrations and is now Director of American Studies at Cambridge University. He’s the son-in-law of a former CIA executive, and as a member of the Reagan campaign in 1980 he was instrumental in stealing classified documents from the Carter White House and handing them off to the Reagan team, which was paranoid about the possibility that Carter might announce an end to the Iran hostage crisis and thus gain in the polls. He’s such an obvious candidate to be the FBI’s informant that the connection was being publicly bandied about more than a week ago.


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Re: Congressional Committees: Re FBI's Independence

#672

Post by Addie » Sun May 20, 2018 8:32 pm

WaPo
Justice Department calls for inquiry after Trump demands probe into whether FBI ‘infiltrated or surveilled’ his campaign

Under pressure from President Trump, the Justice Department on Sunday asked its inspector general to assess whether political motivation tainted the FBI investigation into ties between Russia and Trump’s campaign — a remarkable step officials hoped might avert a larger clash between the president and federal law enforcement officials.

Trump, who spent much of Sunday railing against the year-old special counsel probe, tweeted in the afternoon that “I hereby demand, and will do so officially tomorrow, that the Department of Justice look into whether or not the FBI/DOJ infiltrated or surveilled the Trump Campaign for Political Purposes — and if any such demands or requests were made by people within the Obama Administration!”

Hours later, the Justice Department responded by saying it had asked its inspector general to expand an ongoing review of the applications to monitor a former Trump campaign adviser “to include determining whether there was any impropriety or political motivation in how the FBI conducted its counterintelligence investigation of persons suspected of involvement with the Russian agents who interfered in the 2016 presidential election.”

The department noted that a U.S. attorney would be consulted if evidence of criminal conduct was found.

“If anyone did infiltrate or surveil participants in a presidential campaign for inappropriate purposes, we need to know about it and take appropriate action,” Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein said in a statement.


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Re: Congressional Committees: Re FBI's Independence

#673

Post by Foggy » Mon May 21, 2018 5:32 am

Rosenstein trolling the OSG. :lol:


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Re: Congressional Committees: Re FBI's Independence

#674

Post by TollandRCR » Mon May 21, 2018 9:14 am

Comey should not have announced that he would skip the closed-door hearings of the Senate Intelligence Committee. He was, or should have been, an important part of the statement about Russian interference made by the Intelligence Community. That Committee gives a lot of evidence that it is doing its work honestly. I can think of no prior engagement that would have been more important.


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Re: Congressional Committees: Re FBI's Independence

#675

Post by Tiredretiredlawyer » Mon May 21, 2018 9:49 am

TollandRCR wrote:
Mon May 21, 2018 9:14 am
Comey should not have announced that he would skip the closed-door hearings of the Senate Intelligence Committee. He was, or should have been, an important part of the statement about Russian interference made by the Intelligence Community. That Committee gives a lot of evidence that it is doing its work honestly. I can think of no prior engagement that would have been more important.
Another way to look at it is that Comey is a distraction to the investigation. The Intelligence Committee has his testimony in other arenas. If it comes to a conclusion negative to Trump without Comey testifying, there is one less line of attack for Team Trump.


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