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Tag: attorney

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

Former FBI attorney Kevin Clinesmith.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

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.”

Wray Taps Former Law Partner to Serve as Top FBI Attorney

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

FBI Director Christopher Wray has named a former law partner to serve as the bureau’s next general counsel.

Jason A. Jones, a partner at law firm King & Spalding LLP, will replaces Dana Boente, who was criticized by Republicans for the FBI’s handling of the investigation into President Trump’s administration. He resigned under pressure in June.

Wray and Jones used to work together at King & Spalding.

Jones previously served as a federal prosecutor for nearly a decade, prosecuting suspects for a range of crimes, including murder, racketeering, terrorism, and money laundering. At the U.S. Attorney’s Office Eastern District of New York, Jones served on the Guantanamo Bay Review Task Force.

In 2014, Jones served as senior counsel to the assistant attorney general. In addition, he served on the attorney general’s Capital Case Review Committee.

Jones later became assistant chief of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Unit in the Justice Department’s Fraud Section, where he investigated and helped prosecute companies and people accused of bribing foreign officials.

After leaving the Justice Department, Jones became a partner at King & Spalding’s Special Matters and Government Investigations team.

A graduate of Dartmouth College with a law degree from Cornell University, Jones received the Attorney General’s Award for Excellence in Furthering the Interests of U.S. National Security, the U.S. Attorney’s Office Award for Excellence in Criminal Litigation, and the Federal Law Enforcement Foundation’s Federal Prosecutor Award.

Ex-FBI Attorney James Baker Joins Twitter As New Deputy General Counsel

Former top FBI attorney James Baker

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

James Baker, the former top attorney for the FBI, has joined Twitter as the social media company’s new deputy general counsel.

Twitter’s general counsel, Sean Edgett, tweeted the announcement Monday.

“Thrilled to welcome @thejimbaker to @Twitter as Deputy General Counsel,” Edgett said. Jim is committed to our core principles of an open internet and freedom of expression, and brings experience navigating complex, global issues with a principled approach.”

The move is certain to infuriate Trump. As general counsel for the FBI during the bureau’s investigation of Russia and Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, Baker played an integral role in the probe, which the president has called a “witch hunt.”

Baker, whom The Washington Post described as “one of the most trusted, longest-serving national security officials in the government,” was reassigned in December 2017. Baker resigned from the FBI in May 2018 and joined the Brookings Institute.

Trump has clashed with Twitter when the social media company began fact-checking some of his tweets.

White House Taps Chad Mizelle As Top Acting Attorney at Homeland Security

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Chad Mizelle, who has been serving as chief of staff of the Department of Homeland Security, has been named the agency’s top acting attorney, CNN reports.

Mizelle was previously the counsel to the deputy attorney general at the Justice Department.

“I am confident that Chad will lead the Office of General Counsel with great honor and will continue to provide sound advice and counsel to Departmental leadership,” Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf said.

In his new role, Mizelle will oversee 2,500 attorneys and take charge of legal issues.

A 2013 graduate of Cornell Law School, Mizelle also was a volunteer attorney for the Trump campaign.

Trump Allies Fear FBI Agents Seized Recorded Conversations in Raid

Longtime Trump attorney Michael Cohen.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

President Trump’s longtime personal attorney, Michael Cohen, was known to record conversations with his clients and associates, stoking fear among the president’s allies that digital audio files were seized in the FBI’s raid of Cohen’s offices and residences earlier this week.

Cohen often recorded phone conversations and replayed them for colleagues, the Washington Post reports

FBI agents seized Cohen’s computers and phones in a raid that sought, among other records, all communications between Cohen and Trump and his campaign aides.

It wasn’t immediately clear whether Cohen taped conversations with Trump, who one associate said was aware of Cohen’s practice of recording phone calls because the attorney often played the recordings he had with other top Trump advisers.

“It was his standard practice to do it,” one source told the Post.

Legal experts said recorded conversations would be bad news for Cohen.

“If you are looking for evidence, you can’t do any better than people talking on tape,” said Nick Akerman, a former Watergate prosecutor.

Other Stories of Interest

New FBI Director Wray to Reassign Bureau’s Top Lawyer

Top FBI attorney James Baker

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI’s top lawyer, James Baker, is being reassigned as the bureau’s new director, Christopher Wray, begins making changes at the senior levels of the agency.

Baker, whom the Washington Post describes as “one of the most trusted, longest-serving national security officials in the government,” informed his colleagues that he expects Wray to appoint a new head of the FBI’s Office of General Counsel. 

It wasn’t immediately clear whether Wray has chosen Baker’s replacement yet.

Baker told colleagues that his reassignment may not take effect immediately and that the move was not unusual when a new director takes over.

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.

Homeland Security Lawyer Sentenced to Month in Jail for Forging Document

justice-dept-photo-with-woman-and-courtBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Homeland Security lawyer who forged documents in a deportation case was sentenced to one month in prison.

Jonathan Love, a former assistant chief counsel, admitted he made a document appear that a Mexican man was ineligible for deportation relief, the ABA Journal reports. 

Love, 58, pleaded guilty to deprivation of rights under the color of the law.

Love said he has no idea why he doctored the document.

“Why did I do this? If I truly knew, I would not be standing here in front of you,” Love wrote in a letter to his sentencing magistrate judge. “It was stupid and unnecessary, and the consequences of my actions have tarnished my hard work and dedication to public service for the last 30 years.”

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