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August 2020


How to Become a Bounty Hunter

Archive for August 17th, 2020

Two Top Homeland Security Officials Were Illegally Appointed, Not Qualified to Hold Posts

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf.

By Steve Neavling

The top two acting Homeland Security leaders were not appointed through a valid process and therefore aren’t legally qualified to hold their positions, the Government Accountability Office has determined.

The appointments of Chad Wolf, acting Department of Homeland Security secretary, and Ken Cuccinelli, a senior official performing deputy secretary duties, violated the laws detailing who can fill Senate-confirmed posts, the GAO said. They have been serving in their positions since November.

“Because the incorrect official assumed the title of acting secretary at that time, subsequent amendments to the order of succession made by that official were invalid,” the GAO said Friday, as reported by The New York Times.

Without the ability to enforce its findings, the GAO was referring the case to Homeland Security’s inspector General and Congress.

The White House said it’s not acting on the findings.

“D.H.S. is expressly authorized by Congress in the Homeland Security Act to designate its acting secretaries,” Judd Deere, a White House spokesman, said. “G.A.O. is not. And G.A.O.’s opinion substituting its views for that of the agency’s is not only wrong, but laughable.”

Some Democrats called for the officials to resign and said their policy decisions could be invalidated.

“President Trump’s efforts to install political sycophants to implement his extreme policies in an end run around the law and Senate have finally caught up with him,” Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. said in a statement. “The determination by an independent congressional watchdog today invalidates actions Mr. Cuccinelli and Mr. Wolf have taken and both should immediately step down from their illegal roles.”

Former FBI Lawyer to Plead Guilty to Doctoring Email During Russia Investigation

Former FBI attorney Kevin Clinesmith.

By Steve Neavling

A former FBI lawyer plans to plead guilty to altering an email used to seek the continued surveillance of a former Trump campaign adviser as part of the investigation into how the Obama administration investigated Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Kevin Clinesmith, 38, is expected to plead guilty to a false statement charge involving mail, a felony punishable by up to five years in prison, The Washington Post reports.

Clinesmith, who worked with FBI on obtaining surveillance warrants against former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, is accused of doctoring an email to suggest that Page was not a source for the CIA, even though he had a relationship with the agency.

During a news conference Friday, Trump called Clinestmith “a very corrupt FBI attorney who falsified FISA warrants in James Comey’s very corrupt FBI.”

“That’s just the beginning, I would imagine, because what happened should never happen again,” Trump said.

Clinestmith’s attorney responded, “Kevin deeply regrets having altered the email. It was never his intent to mislead the court or his colleagues as he believed the information he relayed was accurate. But Kevin understands what he did was wrong and accepts responsibility.”