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Tag: Attorney General

Fox News Cries Foul Over Attorney General Eric Holder Denying Exit Interview

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Attorney General Eric Holder has given Fox News the stiff-arm on an exit interview, and the news agency is not happy, The Washington Post reports.

“The Attorney General’s decision does a deep disservice to America’s largest cable news audience and the interests of a free press,” Fox News Executive Vice President Michael Clemente said in a statement.

An exit interview with Holder “would have been spectacular, give the backstory,” The Post wrote.

It was discovered in the spring of 2013 that the Justice Department used heavy-handed tactics in pursuing an investigation against Fox News reporter James Rosen, who was falsely accused of being co-conspirator in a case involving former intelligence analyst Stephen Kim.

Fox News said it wants a chance to address the facts.

“Ultimately, however, we’re not surprised that Holder would try to evade a thorough accounting of his record in office, including his decision to investigate our Chief Washington correspondent, James Rosen through an illegal seizure of emails and phone records of Rosen and his parents. Late today, the DOJ press office said ‘they look forward to accommodating’ FOX News at a future time.’ We’re hopeful but realistic about whether that will actually happen.”

Justice Department Considering Suing Ferguson Over Racial Discrimination

Michael Brown

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department is prepared to sue the city of Ferguson, Mo., if city leaders balk at revising discriminatory police tactics, The Dallas Morning News reports.

Attorney General Eric Holder is expected to reveal the findings from two separate federal investigations into the police shooting of a black 18-year-old, Michael Brown.

Federal investigators are trying to determine whether police violated anyone’s civil rights.

While it’s unlikely that feds will charge the officer who pulled the trigger, the Justice Department is expected to allege that police targeted minorities during traffic stops.

“I think everybody will see when we announce our results that the process that we have engaged in is, as I said back at the time when I went to Ferguson, independent, thorough and based on all the facts,” Holder said Tuesday. “And I am confident that people will be satisfied with the results that will be announced.”

AG Holder Says Drug Cases Down Because Less Focus on Smaller Offenders

Holder speaks in Philadelphia/doj photo

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Federal prosecutors handled fewer drug prosecutions last year because of a new approach to handling smaller non-violent offenders, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Attorney General Eric Holder said at a National Press Club address that prosecutions for drug cases fell 6% last year.

Holder said the feds are placing more focus on larger drug dealers, instead of smaller offenders.

Prior to the change in focus, Holder said drug users were getting sent to prison with no possibility of parole.

“For years prior to this administration, federal prosecutors were not only encouraged — but required — to always seek the most severe prison sentence possible for all drug cases, no matter the relative risk they posed to public safety,” he said. “I have made a break from that philosophy.”

He added: “These numbers show that a dramatic shift is underway in the mind-set of prosecutors handling nonviolent drug offenses. I believe we have taken steps to institutionalize this fairer, more practical approach such that it will endure for years to come.”

Other Stories of Interest

 

Senate Confirmation Hearings Begin Today for Loretta Lynch for Attorney General

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch faces questions Wednesday as Senate confirmation hearings begin for her nomination for Attorney General.

It will be the first Republican-lead confirmation session of the Obama administration, the NBC affiliate in New York points out.

Lynch, who is considered a very able U.S. Attorney, has gotten praise from both sides of the political aisle and is expected to get confirmed. She would replace Eric Holder.

To read more click here. 

FBI Finishes Investigation of Ferguson Police Shooting That Killed Unarmed Michael Brown

Michael Brown

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The FBI has wrapped up its long-anticipated investigation into the police shooting of unarmed Michael Brown in Ferguson, a U.S. official told the Associated Press.

It’s not yet clear whether the Justice Department will pursue a federal civil rights case against former Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson. But legal experts and government officials agree that it’s unlikely that charges will be filed because of the incredibly difficult legal standard.

The New York Times reported that Justice Department lawyers plan to recommend against prosecuting Wilson, but that Attorney General Eric H. Holder has not yet made up his mind.

A grand jury cleared Wilson in the Aug. 9 death of Brown, setting off protests nationwide.

AG Eric Holder Expands Protections for Media, Sets New Standards

Eric Holder

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Prosecutors will have a more difficult time receiving subpoenas or search warrants for reporters under new protections for journalists announced Wednesday by Attorney General Eric Holder. 

McClatchy reports that prosecutors will be required to meet with the department’s Policy and Statutory Enforcement Unit before seeking court permission to take actions against members of the media working on “newsgathering activities.”

The protections include removing the word “ordinary” from the phrase “newsgathering activities.”

“These revised guidelines strike an appropriate balance between law enforcement’s need to protect the American people, and the news media’s role in ensuring the free flow of information,” Holder said.

Members of the media applauded the move.

“We are pleased that the new guidelines protect ‘newsgathering activities’ without qualification whenever the government seeks information related to a journalist’s work reporting and disseminating the news,” declared Bruce D. Brown, executive director of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press.

Obama Administration to Ban Racial Profiling Among Federal Law Enforcement

Atty. Gen. Holder/doj file photo

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

In an effort to curb racial profiling, the Obama administration plans today to announce new rules for federal law enforcement, the Washington Post reports.

Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. wants to prevent federal officials from using gender, race, national origin, religion, sexual orientation and gender identity to open cases. The plan also calls for ending racial profiling from national security cases.

But the new rules won’t cover local governments unless they are working with federal task forces.

Protests have sprung up nationwide following grand jury decisions not to indict two white cops who killed Eric Garner in New York City and Michael Brown in Ferguson, both of whom were young and unarmed.

“At this historic moment in our nation’s race relations, the release of this revised guidance is an important signal of progress, but it does not completely address the need for reform of policing tactics at the state and local level,” said Laura W. Murphy, director of the American Civil Liberty Union’s Washington Legislative Office.

 

Justice Department Issues Scathing Report of Cleveland Police Department’s Abusive Practices

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

A federal examination of the practices and procedures by the Cleveland Police Department prompted the Justice Department to deliver a scatting review of the department with a mandate for sweeping changes, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports.

Attorney General Eric Holder based the findings on a civil rights investigation that involved nearly 600 use-of-force incidents from 2010 to 2013.

Among the problems found were insufficient accountability, ineffective policies and inadequate training.

The 58-page report found that police have shot at suspects without justifiable case, beat people who were in handcuffs and covered up abuse by writing false reports.

“The reality is that there are problems,” Holder said. “But I also think the people of Cleveland should have a sense of hope … that these problems have been identified and that they can be rectified.”