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Tag: Attorney General

Senators Call for Inspector General Investigation of Ethics Infractions by Justice Department

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A new report shows that Justice Department lawyers committed hundreds of ethics infractions ranging from recklessness to misconduct.

Now a bipartisan group of senators is supporting a bill that would empower the inspector general to conduct an investigation, NPR reports.

The senators want to bypass the traditional route – using the Office of Professional Responsibility, which reports to the Attorney General and has been criticized for being too secretive.

“Current law invites undue influence from the Attorney General’s office into the process and should be changed to ensure the integrity of investigations of misconduct within the Justice Department,” Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, said in a prepared statement.

The bill would give the inspect general limitless jurisdiction.

Some of the cases involve intentionally misleading courts.

Attorney General Holder to Announce Reductions in Drug Sentences Today

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Saying too many Americans are spending an excessive amount of time behind bars for drugs, the Justice Department is expected to announce a proposal today that would reduce some sentences and relieve overcrowded prisons, Reuters reports.

Attorney General Eric Holder is scheduled to deliver the speech at 9 a.m.

The change would impact about 70% of future drug trafficking defendants.

“Certain types of cases result in too many Americans going to prison for far too long, and at times for no truly good public safety reason,” Holder will tell the commission, according to an excerpt of his speech released ahead of time by the Justice Department.

According to a Justice Department estimate, the average sentence for federal drug offenders would decline from 62 months to 51 months.

AG Holder’s Budget Reflects Desire for Criminal Justice, Prison Reforms

Atty. Gen. Eric Holder Jr.

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Attorney General Eric Holder’s proposed $27.4 billion budget places a priority on criminal justice and prison reform, the Washington Post reports.

The budget reflects Holder’s initiative to reduce the number of low-level drug offenders and crack down on recidivism rates with expanded drug treatment programs.

About $173 million is earmarked for criminal justice reform.

“Each dollar spent on prevention and reentry has the potential to save several dollars in incarceration costs,” Holder said in a statement.

“These wise investments can help make our criminal justice system more effective and efficient.”

Dogged by Controversy During First Term, Attorney General Holder Hits Ground Running in Second Term

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

After four years of attacks and controversies, Attorney General appears to be finally settling in during his second term under President Obama.

The Los Angeles Times reports that Holder “has tackled his responsibilities with newfound energy and determination, surprising critics and supporters alike by striking out on a broad, ambitious and unapologetically liberal agenda.”

Here’s what he’s done: shortened prison sentences, pursued mega-banks for fraud and plans to ban federal agents from basing investigations on discriminatory practices.

“I am focusing on issues — really focusing on issues — in these last few weeks that have been near and dear to me for as long as I’ve been a lawyer,” Holder said in an interview. “This whole notion of criminal justice reform, civil rights enforcement — all these are the kinds of things that animated me and that made me want to become a lawyer in the first place.”

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Ex-Fed Prosecutor James Baker Named General Counsel for FBI

James Baker

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

James A. Baker, a former federal prosecutor,  has been named the general counsel for the FBI.

Baker, a University of Michigan Law School graduate, clerked for U.S. District Court Judge Bernard A. Friedman in Detroit before joining the Department of Justice with the Criminal Division through the Attorney General’s Honors Program in 1990. He worked as a federal prosecutor with the division’s Fraud Section.

In 1996, he joined the former Office of Intelligence Policy and Review (OIPR), which later became part of the Justice Department’s National Security Division.

From 2001 to 2007, he served as counsel for intelligence policy and head of OIPR.

Back in 2006, Carol Leonnig of the Washington Post reported  that in 2004 Baker discovered “the government’s failure to share information about its spying program had rendered useless a federal screening system that the judges had insisted upon to shield the court from tainted information. He alerted (U.S. District Judge Colleen)  Kollar-Kotelly, who complained to Justice, prompting a temporary suspension of the NSA spying program.”

From 2008 to 2009, Baker was assistant general counsel for national security at Verizon Business. He then returned to the Justice Department and from 2009 to 2011, served as an associate deputy attorney general where he worked on a range of national security issues, including cyber security.

He last worked as associate general counsel for  Bridgewater Associates, one of the world’s largest hedge fund firms based in Connecticut.

“Jim’s experience as a career prosecutor and as a national security official, as well his experience in the private sector, make him an excellent fit for his new position here at the FBI,” FBI Director James Comey said in a statement.

 

Judge: AG Eric Holder Must Participate in Contempt Case And Can’t Appeal It

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

A federal judge put an end to Attorney General Eric Holder’s request to appeal his contempt case following the bungled gun-running Operation Fast and Furious, Politico reports.

Monday’s ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson potentially puts Holder on the hot seat.

The ruling means the Justice Department likely will be forced to show a log of the events surrounding the botched sting.

A protracted legal battle is expected.

The Justice Department declined to comment on the ruling.

AG Holder to Speak at Funeral of First TSA Agent Killed in Line of Duty

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Attorney General Eric Holder plans to speak at the funeral today of the TSA agent killed in a shooting rampage at Los Angeles International Airport, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The ceremony begins at 11 a.m. at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena for Gerardo I. Hernandez, who became the first TSA worker killed in the line duty.

In addition to Holder, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Rand Beers, TSA Administrator John Pistole and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti are expected to speak.

“We are hurting,” Hernandez’s wife, Ana, said. “I am truly devastated.”

Republican Lawmakers Plan to Remove AG Eric Holder From Office

attorney general/doj file photo

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

House Republicans are planning to remove AG Eric Holder from office by year’s end, Rep. Tod Yoho, R-Fla., told the Gainsville Sun.

“It’s to get him out of office — impeachment,” the Florida freshman said, adding “it will probably be when we get back in [Washington]. It will be before the end of the year. This will go to the speaker and the speaker will decide if it comes up or not.”

Among the reasons for removal is the botched “Fast and Furious” operation, which allowed guns to be placed in the hands of Mexican drug cartels.

The group plans to take the plan to House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, when the lawmakers return from break.

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