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Tag: Attorney General

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.

 

New AG Loretta Lynch to Work on Improving Relations Between Police, DOJ

Attorney General Loretta Lynch

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

New Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch, the first black woman to take the helm, plans to improve the Justice Department’s reputation with police after her predecessor was criticized for too quickly and harshly criticizing officers over lethal force.

Aides to Lynch told the New York Times that Lynch hopes to boost police morale and improve relations between officers and minority communities.

“Loretta’s confirmation ensures that we are better positioned to keep our communities safe, keep our nation secure, and ensure that every American experiences justice under the law,” Mr. Obama said.

The Justice Department said Lynch is expected to be sworn in Monday.

 

 

Loretta Lynch Makes History: Senate Confirms Her as First African American Woman Attorney General

Loretta Lynch

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Making history doesn’t always come easy.

But that’s what Loretta Lynch did on Thursday, finally securing the Senate confirmation as the new Attorney General, the first African American to do so.

The five month battle played out, with some Republicans opposing her because of her view on immigration reform.

CNN reported that the vote was 56-43.

Ten Republicans, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, joined Democrats, CNN reported. Texas GOP Sen. Ted Cruz was the only senator not to vote.

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.”