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Tag: Eric Holder

Justice Department Won’t Force New York Times Reporter James Risen to Reveal Source

Reporter James Risen

By Pete Williams
NBC News

WASHINGTON — Attorney General Eric Holder has decided against forcing a reporter for The New York Times to reveal the identity of a confidential source, according to a senior Justice Department official.

The reporter, James Risen, has been battling for years to stop prosecutors from forcing him to name his source for a book that revealed a CIA effort to sabotage Iran’s nuclear weapons program.

The government wanted Risen’s testimony in the trial of a former CIA official, Jeffrey Sterling, accused of leaking classified information.

But now, according to the Justice Department official, Holder has directed that Risen must not be required to reveal “information about the identity of his source.”

To read more click here.

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.”

Justice Department to Launch Civil Rights Investigation into Eric Garner’s Death

Eric Garner with his children, via National Action Network

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Soon after a grand jury declined to indict a white New York City cop in the death of Eric Garner, a black man who was selling cigarettes, the Justice Department will conduct its own civil rights investigation.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said during a press conference today that Attorney General Eric Holder was preparing to closely examine the case to determine whether civil rights charges are warranted, the Huffington Post reports.

“They made clear that the investigation initiated by the U.S. attorney would now move forward, move expeditiously, and be a thorough investigation,” de Blasio said.

The announcement comes after a Staten Island grand jury decided not to indict New York City Police Officer Daniel Pantelo, who placed Garner in a chokehold after arresting him on July 17 for selling single cigarettes.

In a video, Garner can be heard screaming, “I can’t breathe,” before his body went limp.

A medical examiner determined Garner’s death was a homicide caused by the chokehold.

Statement From Attorney Eric Holder:

Good evening. I want to provide an update regarding the case involving Eric Garner, a Staten Island resident, who died tragically in July.

Since Mr. Garner’s death, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York, the Civil Rights Division and the FBI have been monitoring the local case closely while allowing the local investigation, led by the District Attorney’s office in Staten Island, to proceed first.

Earlier today, the grand jury declined to return an indictment in this case. Now that the local investigation has concluded, I am here to announce that the Justice Department will proceed with a federal civil rights investigation into Mr. Garner’s death.

This afternoon I spoke with the widow of Eric Garner to inform her and her family of our decision to investigate potential federal civil rights violations. I have been in touch with President Obama and Mayor de Blasio regarding our decision as well.

Our prosecutors will conduct an independent, thorough, fair and expeditious investigation.

In addition to performing our own investigative work, the Department will conduct a complete review of the material gathered during the local investigation.

Read more »

AG Eric Holder to Unveil Stiff New Racial Profiling Protocols After Ferguson

Attorney General Eric Holder in Orlando

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Speaking at a church where Martin Luther King once preached, Attorney General Eric Holder announced Monday that he soon will be unveiling stringent new protocols for reducing profiling by federal law enforcement, Time reports.

The new protocols would represent the first change to racial profiling guidelines on the federal level in more than a decade.

“In the coming days, I will announce updated Justice Department guidance regarding profiling by federal law enforcement, which will institute rigorous new standards—and robust safeguards—to help end racial profiling, once and for all,” Holder said at the first of several planned regional community discussions in the aftermath of the Ferguson grand jury decision. “This new guidance will codify our commitment to the very highest standards of fair and effective policing.”

Although President George W. Bush barred racial profiling through the Justice Department’s Guidance Regarding the Use of Race by Federal Law Enforcement Agencies, he left exemptions for national security.

Holder, who has said he was the target of racial profiling, said more changes are needed.

“We are dealing with concerns that are truly national in scope and that threaten the entire nation,” Holder told the thousands of attendees. “Broadly speaking, without mutual understanding between citizens–whose rights must be respected–and law enforcement officers–who make tremendous and often-unheralded personal sacrifices every day to preserve public safety–without that trust, without that interaction, there can be no meaningful progress. Our police officers cannot be seen as an occupying force disconnected from the communities they serve. Bonds that have been broken must be restored. Bonds that never existed must now be created.”

Eric Holder Applauds The Nomination of Loretta Lynch for Attorney General

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

President Obama has nominated Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch, 55, to replace Eric Holder as attorney general. She would be the first black woman to head up the department.

Attorney General Eric Holder released a statement Saturday:

 “Loretta Lynch is an extraordinarily talented attorney, a dedicated public servant, and a leader of considerable experience and consummate skill. I am certain that she will be an outstanding Attorney General, and I am delighted to join President Obama in congratulating her on this prestigious appointment.

“Throughout her career, and especially during her tenure as United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York – during both the Clinton and Obama Administrations – Loretta has earned the trust and respect of Justice Department employees at every level, in Washington and throughout the country. She is held in high regard by criminal justice, law enforcement, and civil rights leaders of all stripes. And from her time as a career attorney, prosecuting high-profile public corruption cases, to her leadership of sensitive financial fraud and national security investigations, she has proven her unwavering fidelity to the law – and her steadfast dedication to protecting the American people.”

 

Justice Department Releases 64,000+ Pages of Fast & Furious Documents to U.S. House

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

After resisting for years, the Justice Department finally sent Congress 64,280 pages of documents involving the botched Fast and Furious investigation on Tuesday, the Washington Times reports.

The disclosure prompted Republicans to assert that President Obama was acknowledging he had withheld the documents illegally by claiming executive privilege.

The House of Representatives even sued for the documents’ release.

“When Eric Holder wants to know why he was the first attorney general held in criminal contempt of Congress, he can read the judge’s order that compelled the production of 64,280 pages that he and President Obama illegitimately and illegally withheld from Congress,” said Rep. Darrell E. Issa, California Republican and chairman of the House Oversight Committee.

The administration is not backing down from its position that the documents did not need to be released.

Homeland Security Deputy Secretary Emerges As Top Candidate to Replace AG Holder

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The next U.S. attorney general may be the deputy secretary of the Homeland Security Department, the New York Post reports, citing “well-placed sources.”

The short list of candidates to replace Attorney General Eric Holder is Alejandro Mayorkas, a Cuban-American lawyer.

“He’s one of the top candidates. He has all the qualifications needed to succeed in the job,” one insider said.

Mayorkas is backed by the National Fraternal Order of Police, which is the nation’s largest law enforcement officers’ organization.

“The FOP enthusiastically supported his nomination to his current post as Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and it has been a true pleasure working with him in that capacity over the last year,” Canterbury wrote. “We have no doubt that Mr. Mayorkas has the requisite ability and experience to lead the U.S. Justice Department and meet the challenges in the years ahead.”

Other names that have emerged are Labor Secretary Thomas Perez and Solicitor General Donald Verrilli.