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Tag: Attorney General

Judge Orders Pennsylvania Attorney Gen. Kathleen Kane to Stand Trial

Kathleen G. Kane/Twitter

Kathleen G. Kane/Twitter

By Craig R. McCoy and Angela Couloumbis
Philadelphia Inquirer Staff

A Montgomery County judge on Monday ordered Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane to stand trial on criminal charges after a hearing in which one of Kane’s most trusted aides testified against her, and the judge repeatedly rejected her legal arguments.

Prosecutors say Kane, a Democrat who is the state’s top law enforcement officer, broke the law by orchestrating a leak to a newspaper reporter in a bid to embarrass a foe, and then lied about it under oath. Using Kane’s testimony before the grand jury that investigated the leak, prosecutors attempted to show that she repeatedly lied in an effort to cover up her actions.

They called David Peifer, a special agent in the Attorney General’s Office, who was a member of Kane’s inner circle. Peifer, the first witness to take the stand, described meeting with Kane in March 2014 and giving her information she is charged with leaking to the press.

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FBI Launches Investigation into Pennsylvania Attorney General

Kathleen G. Kane/Twitter

Kathleen G. Kane/Twitter

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane has found herself on the other side of the law.

After state authorities began investigating her over an allegedly shady deal with a union and trip to Haiti, the FBI is making its own inquiry, The Philadelphia Inquiry reports. 

Kane is under investigation following allegations that she offered a better contract to union officials in her office if they supported her embattled chief of staff. Investigators also are looking into how she paid for a trip to Haiti last year.

She also is accused of leaking information to embarrass a critic and then lied under oath about it.

It wasn’t immediately clear how involved the FBI was, and a spokesman for the FBI office in Philadelphia declined to comment.

Investigators: DeKalb County Officials ‘Rotten to the Core’ with Corruption

DeKalb_County_Georgia_Incorporated_and_Unincorporated_areas_Atlanta_Highlighted Map_of_Georgia_highlighting_DeKalb_CountyBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

DeKalb County government is “rotten to the core,” investigators said, outlining allegations of bribery, theft of government property and corruption, AL.com. 

“The misconduct starts at the top and has infected nearly every department we have looked at,” wrote the investigators, former Georgia Attorney General Mike Bowers and Richard Hyde. “Expenses range from the petty to the absurd.”

Investigators called the findings “stunning” but declined to identify suspects until the report was finalized.

From cruises to the Bahamas to a Christmas tree, county officials are accused of using tax dollars to buy a variety of services and items.

Eric Holder: Plea Deal Possible to Bring Back NSA Leaker Snowden

Edward Snowden

Edward Snowden

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department could make a deal to convince NSA leaker Edward Snowden to return to the U.S. after he fled in 2013 following the shocking release of secret surveillance documents.

That’s according to former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, who spoke to Yahoo News about the issue.

Holder said the U.S. likely would be interested in striking a deal with the whistleblower and even conceded that Snowden’s document leak “spurred a necessary debate” on surveillance.

“I certainly think there could be a basis for a resolution that everybody could ultimately be satisfied with. I think the possibility exists.”

But current AG Loretta Lynch didn’t seem as open to a deal.

“This is an ongoing case so I am not going to get into specific details but I can say our position regarding bringing Edward Snowden back to the United States to face charges has not changed,” Lynch spokeswoman Melanie Newman said in an email.

FBI, Marshals Service Bestowed ‘Black Hole Award’ for Refusing to Disclose Records

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

It’s not an award to celebrate.

The Utah Headlines Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists bestowed the Black Hole Award to the U.S. Marshals Service and the FBI.

The Deseret News published a letter to the Attorney General from the journalist group.

The group explained that the agencies won the award for refusing to disclose any information about the April 21, 2014, shooting at a federal courthouse in Salt Lake City.

The shooting by a U.S. marshal killed defendant Siale Angilau, and the case was investigated by the FBI.

“Those few facts and that the Department of Justice elected not to prosecute the marshal comprise what we know,” the group wrote. “No one at the Marshals Service or the FBI will answer more questions. The Marshals Service has denied multiple requests made for documents under the Freedom of Information Act. A request to the FBI has been pending for a year.”

Senate Confirms Sally Yates As No. 2 at Justice Department

Sally Yates

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Anger over President Obama’s executive actions on immigration wasn’t enough to prevent the Senate confirmation of a new deputy attorney general on Wednesday.

Sally Yates, known for cracking down on crime in Georgia, was confirmed to the No. 2 position in the Justice Department with by a 84-12 vote in the Senate, Politico.com reports.

Some Republicans tried to prevent the confirmation on the grounds that the president’s executive actions on immigration were unconscionable. But Lynch gained strong support from the GOP.

“She is an experienced and dedicated prosecutor with a well-deserved reputation for fairness, integrity, toughness. She is a confirmed leader in this crucial position,” the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Patrick Leahy, of Vermont, said.

Yates replaces James Coles, who resigned at the beginning of the year.

AG Loretta Lynch Tested with Baltimore Riot, Releases Plan of Action

Loretta Lynch

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

New Attorney General Loretta Lynch received her first big test after riots broke out in Baltimore this week.

Lynch, the first black female attorney general, released a statement soon after violence broke out, examining what happened and “going beyond the criminal civil right investigations” launched last week by her predecessor Eric Holder into the death of Freddie Gray, The National Journal reports.

Read Lynch’s statement:

“I condemn the senseless acts of violence by some individuals in Baltimore that have resulted in harm to law enforcement officers, destruction of property and a shattering of the peace in the city of Baltimore.  Those who commit violent actions, ostensibly in protest of the death of Freddie Gray, do a disservice to his family, to his loved ones, and to legitimate peaceful protestors who are working to improve their community for all its residents.

“The Department of Justice stands ready to provide any assistance that might be helpful.  The Civil Rights Division and the FBI have an ongoing, independent criminal civil rights investigation into the tragic death of Mr. Gray.  We will continue our careful and deliberate examination of the facts in the coming days and weeks.  The department’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services has also been fully engaged in a collaborative review of the Baltimore City Police Department.  The department’s Community Relations Service has already been on the ground, and they are sending additional resources as they continue to work with all parties to reduce tensions and promote the safety of the community.  And in the coming days, Vanita Gupta, head of the Civil Rights Division, and Ronald Davis, Director of Community Oriented Policing Services, will be traveling to Baltimore to meet with faith and community leaders, as well as city officials.

“As our investigative process continues, I strongly urge every member of the Baltimore community to adhere to the principles of nonviolence.  In the days ahead, I intend to work with leaders throughout Baltimore to ensure that we can protect the security and civil rights of all residents.  And I will bring the full resources of the Department of Justice to bear in protecting those under threat, investigating wrongdoing, and securing an end to violence.”

Loretta Lynch Sworn In; Becomes the Nation’s 83rd Attorney General

Attorney General Loretta Lynch

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Loretta E. Lynch, the Brooklyn U.S. Attorney, was sworn in Monday by Vice President Joe Biden as the new Attorney General.

Lynch, 55, the first African-American female to hold the post, faced some turbulent waters, and became a political football on Capitol Hill, as high-profile appointees often are. After a lot game playing, the Senate last week finally confirmed the nomination by President Obama. She is the nation’s 83rd attorney general.

In her speech at her confirmation, she said:

 I look out over all of you gathered here today, my overwhelming reaction is one of profound gratitude. I must, of course, thank the President for his faith in me in asking me to lead the department that I love to even greater heights.

Thank you, Mr. Vice President, for your presence and your comments here today, and for your steadfast support and wise counsel throughout the process. I also must thank Senators Schumer and Leahy for their support, over the years and now, and for making the floor of the U.S. Senate a welcoming place for me and my family. And of course, my wonderful family. As you can see, we’re quite a force multiplier!

Many of you have come to know my father through this process. He has been at every hearing and every vote. But he didn’t just start now. I remember looking up as a young Assistant U.S. Attorney starting my first trial and seeing him there – and he came to every one thereafter. He has encouraged me in all things, even when my choices were not the ones he would have made for me. In that, he has been the best of fathers. Without him, I would not be here today, being sworn in as the 83rd Attorney General of the United States, just one week after his 83rd birthday.

And my mother, who could not be here today but is never far from my thoughts or my heart. She grew up in a world where she was always told what she could not do or could not be, but always knew in her heart that she could soar. She did what would have seemed impossible in the small North Carolina town of her youth. She raised a daughter whom she always told, whatever the dream, whether lawyer, prosecutor or even Attorney General, “of course you can.”

I must also thank my wonderful husband, who has supported all of my choices and my dreams. I would not trade his love and support for all the riches in the world – because to me, they are all the riches in the world.