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Tag: Attorney General

Rosenstein: Leak Investigations Won’t Target Journalists

typewriter-reporterBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department’s escalation of probes into government leaks will not target journalists, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said Sunday.

“We don’t prosecute journalists for doing their jobs,” Rosenstein said on “Fox News Sunday.” “That’s not our goal here.”

The Justice Department announced last week that it was stepping up investigation into government leaks. Under the Trump administration, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said leak investigations have tripled.

“We will not allow rogue anonymous sources with security clearances to sell out our country any longer,” Sessions said at a news conference Friday.

Rosenstein clarified Sessions’ position on Sunday.

“The attorney general has been very clear that we’re after the leakers, not the journalist,”  Rosenstein said. “We’re after the people who are committing crimes.”

Other Stories of Interest

DOJ Threatens to Withhold Crime-Fighting Help to 4 Cities over Immigration Policies

ICE agents, via ICE.

ICE agents, via ICE.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department is stepping up pressure on four cities to cooperate with immigration enforcement, threatening to stop providing federal help to crack down on crime.

To continue receiving crime-fighting assistance, San Bernardino, Stockton, Baltimore and Albuquerque must help federal agents with inmates who are undocumented immigrants.

But the Los Angeles Times says the threat “appeared poorly thought out” because neither of the four cities operate a jail, and two have no sanctuary policies. 

The Justice Department didn’t respond to the Times’ questions about the selection of the four cities.

Former DOJ Officials Worry about Constitutional Crisis If Trump Removes Sessions

Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Former Justice Department officials are speaking out about President Trump’s incessant public battle with Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

They DOJ veterans are concerned Trump may fire Sessions without any accountability, The Hill reports

“There is a whole constitutional common law — the rules of the road — and it is vital,” said Harry Litman, a former U.S. attorney and deputy assistant attorney general. “It is based on examples of what people can and can’t do, but Trump shows every indication of disregarding it with impunity — and so far he has been able to. It’s kind of terrifying.” 

If Trump removes Sessions, would it create a constitutional crisis?

“I would hope so,” said Peter Zeidenberg, who spent 17 years as a DOJ prosecutor.

“That is the best-case scenario. The worst-case scenario is that Republicans in Congress shrug their shoulders. You would, in effect, have the president being permitted by Congress to quash an investigation simply because he doesn’t like it. I can’t imagine anything more serious than that.”

Syracuse.com: Mr. President, Don’t Fire Attorney General Jeff Sessions

President Trump, via White House

President Trump, via White House

By Editorial Board
Syracuse.com

President Donald Trump’s public criticism of his own attorney general, Jeff Sessions, is not merely Trump being Trump. It is part of a campaign to undermine the independence of the Justice Department and lay the groundwork for the president to fire Independent Counsel Robert Mueller, the man in charge of investigating Russia’s meddling in the presidential election.

Don’t do it, Mr. President.

Mueller must finish his investigation. Any attempt to short-circuit it will lead the American people to conclude you have something to hide, and are willing to use the power of your office to hide it. They will not abide a president who puts himself above the law. Even a Congress led by the president’s own party would have no choice but to act.

Let Mueller be Mueller, Mr. President.

Who is he? A decorated Marine veteran of Vietnam; FBI director under two presidents, a Republican and a Democrat; architect of the agency’s terror-fighting mission; the man a former Justice Department colleague describes as “utterly incorruptible” and “ramrod straight in his integrity.” This was how he was described upon taking the job and nothing since has occurred to taint that sparkling reputation.

The president, with scant evidence, accuses Mueller of having conflicts of interest – one of the few reasons an independent counsel can be dismissed. In an interview with the New York Times, Trump warned Mueller not to stray into his family’s business affairs, saying it would be crossing a “red line.” On the contrary, Mueller should follow the evidence wherever it leads. That is the obligation Mueller accepted and has apparently embraced in taking on the independent counsel role.

To read more click here. 

Trump Continues Attack on AG Sessions for Third Consecutive Day

Attorney General Jeff Sessions

Attorney General Jeff Sessions

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump continued his public attacks on Attorney General Jeff Sessions for a third consecutive day on Wednesday, this time for failing to fire the FBI’s acting director over his wife’s political connections to Hillary Clinton.

The criticism of Sessions’ handling of Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe has raised speculation that Trump is setting up the attorney general’s firing.

Trump has been fuming over Sessions’ decision to recuse himself from the Russia investigation, a decision that allowed the deputy AG to hire a special counsel to director the probe.

Some Republicans have come to Sessions’ defense, warning the president not to remove the attorney general.

Trump Considers Chasing Out AG Sessions As Russia Investigation Heats Up

Attorney General Jeff Sessions during his confirmation hearing in January.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions during his confirmation hearing in January.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The days may be numbered for Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

President Trump has met privately with his advisers to discuss replacing Sessions, and some officials close to Trump are suggesting possible replacements, the Washington Post reports. 

To some in Trump’s inner circle, firing Sessions would make it easier to fire special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, whose fate ultimately is determined by the attorney general.

But in Sessions’ case, the decision was made by Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein because Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation.

Trump has publicly berated Sessions’ for recusing himself. 

If Sessions quits, Trump could replace him with someone who would fire Mueller.

On Monday and Tuesday, Trump attacked Sessions on Twitter.

Giuliani Denies Report That Trump May Appoint Him to Replace Sessions

Rudolph Giuliani

Rudolph Giuliani

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump has mulled replacing Attorney General Jeff Sessions with longtime supporter Rudy Giuliani, Axios reported

But on Monday, the former New York City mayor told CNN the report was untrue and defended Sessions’ “right decision under the rules of the Justice Department” to recuse himself from the Russia investigation.

Numerous outlets reported this week that Trump is hoping Sessions will resign, in no small part because he recused himself from the Russia investigation.

Trump told the New York Times last week, “Sessions should have never recused himself, and if he was going to recuse himself, he should have told me before he took the job and I would have picked somebody else.”

AG Sessions Hires Personal Attorney As Russia Investigation Heats Up

Attorney General Jeff Sessions during his confirmation hearing in January.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions during his confirmation hearing in January.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

It was only a matter of time.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who failed to disclose meetings with a top Russian official during his confirmation hearing, has retained a personal attorney.

The Washington Post reports that Sessions’ new attorney is Washington lawyer Charles Cooper, a longtime friend in Washington. 

Also this week, Trump’s personal attorney hired a personal attorney for himself.

When Sessions testified last week before the Senate Intelligence Committee, Cooper was sitting behind the attorney general.

“I do represent the Attorney General, but, as with all clients, do not comment on confidential client matters,” Copper wrote in an email to the Post.

Cooper, a partner with Cooper & Kirk, declined to say why he was retained by Sessions, whose normally sharp memory gets fuzzy when asked about meeting with top Russian officials.

Justice Department spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores said Cooper is “the attorney general’s longtime friend and counsel.”

Cooper even assisted Sessions during his confirmation hearing in January.