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April 2019


How to Become a Bounty Hunter

Archive for April, 2019

Comey Says To Give Barr Benefit of the Doubt, But Questions His Call on Obstruction

By Allan Lengel

Former FBI Director James Comey said Tuesday that Attorney General William Barr deserves “the benefit of the doubt,” but questioned Barr’s decision on whether President Donald Trump had committed obstruction of justice.

“Bill Barr, our attorney general, deserves the benefit of the doubt,” Comey told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour.

“Give him a chance to show us what he feels like he can’t show us. I have to imagine that former (FBI Director Robert) Mueller wrote the report with an eye towards it being public some day, so I can’t imagine a lot needs to be cut out of it. But let’s wait and see. The attorney general deserves that chance.”

But on the obstruction issue, he said:

“The attorney general’s letter doesn’t make sense in light of my experience,” Comey said. “Thousands of people are prosecuted in this country every year for trying to obstruct an investigation where the underlying thing that was being investigated doesn’t end up proven.”


Ex-Prosecutor Who Was General Counsel to White House Says Congress Should Get Unredacted Mueller Report

Nelson Cunningham (Linkedin photo)

By Allan Lengel

Nelson Cunningham is no stranger to federal law enforcement or Capitol Hill. He served as a federal prosecutor in the Southern District of New York under Rudy Giuliani and was general counsel of the Senate Judiciary Committee under chair, Sen. Joseph Biden. And oh yes, he was general counsel of the White House under Bill Clinton.

Now, he’s jumping into the debate over the Mueller report, saying Congress should get it unredacted.

In a column in Politico he writes:

Attorney General William Barr is right: For public release of the Mueller report, he has no choice but to redact classified information, and also grand jury information pursuant to Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 6(e). It’s not optional — it’s the law, designed to protect both the secrecy of grand jury proceedings and our nation’s security.

But those of us who have pored over Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s earlier court filings know that redacted documents are not just hard to read, they are almost impossible to understand or to comprehend. In other words, they will absolutely not satisfy the public cry for information.

Congressional Democrats are right to demand the full report – but they are wrong to ask the attorney general to violate the law. Instead, they should learn from the lessons of Watergate and the example of Special Prosecutor Leon Jaworski and House Judiciary Chair Peter Rodino. They should demand the full report but only for their own use. They should use it as a road map for their own investigation. And they should not wait.


James Comey for President in 2020?

By Allan Lengel

James Comey for president in 2020?

Well, that’s what the former FBI director suggested in a tweet. Then again, it was April Fools Day and yes, he was just having some fun.

LGBT Workers Claim They’re Facing Increasingly Hostile Environment At Justice Department

By Allan Lengel

The Justice Department, which enforces civil rights laws, is facing a battle within.

The department has grown increasingly hostile toward its own LGBT workers, causing top talent to quit as they experience discrimination and “declining morale,” according to a group of LGBT employees who confronted Attorney General Bill Barr in a letter this week, BuzzFeed reports.

The group DOJ Pride, which represents thousands of employees at the agency, cites its internal survey of LGBT workers who find it “demoralizing” that officials have failed to issue a statement guaranteeing protection from harassment at the Justice Department, BuzzFeed writes.

“I am leaving the DOJ in part due to the DOJ’s treatment of its LGBTQ employees,” one worker said in the October survey, while another complained, “The DOJ is no longer the welcoming, inclusive environment for LGBTQ employees that it once was.”


Congressman Jerrold Nadler: ‘We Will Not Wait Much Longer’ For Mueller Report

Rep. Jerrold Nadler

Allan Lengel

Congressman Jerrold Nadler, chair of the House Judiciary Committee,  writes in an Op-ed piece in the New York Times, about the urgency of Congress getting the report very soon:

Before the formal investigation began, Mr. Trump fired his F.B.I. director. He later fired his attorney general. He reportedly attempted to fire the special counsel himself. Despite this profoundly unacceptable behavior, the special counsel persevered and wrote his report.

We — the members of the Judiciary Committee, the House of Representatives and the entire American public — are still waiting to see that report. We will not wait much longer. We have an obligation to read the full report, and the Department of Justice has an obligation to provide it, in its entirely, without delay. If the department is unwilling to produce the full report voluntarily, then we will do everything in our power to secure it for ourselves.

The entire reason for appointing the special counsel was to protect the investigation from political influence. By offering us his version of events in lieu of the report, the attorney general, a recent political appointee, undermines the work and the integrity of his department. He also denies the public the transparency it deserves. We require the full report — the special counsel’s words, not the attorney general’s summary or a redacted version.

We require the report, first, because Congress, not the attorney general, has a duty under the Constitution to determine whether wrongdoing has occurred. The special counsel declined to make a “traditional prosecutorial judgment” on the question of obstruction, but it is not the attorney general’s job to step in and substitute his judgment for the special counsel’s.