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Tag: classified information

DOJ, FBI Considers Releasing 9/11 Files Amid Pressure from Victims, Families

World Trade Center after the 9/11 attacks via Wikipedia.

By Steve Neavling

Under pressure from 9/11 victims and their families, the Justice Department said it may release some classified information and documents related to the investigation into the attack. 

Survivors, victims and their families believe the documents may show a connection between the Saudi government and the terrorist attacks. They called on President Biden to skip the 20th anniversary ceremonies of the attack if his administration didn’t divulge the information. 

In a letter filed in federal court Monday, the Justice Department said it will consider releasing the records, Politico reports.

But some survivors and victims weren’t mollified, saying the government has withheld the information for far too long. 

“We appreciate that President Biden recognizes that long-standing questions about the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s involvement in the worst-ever terrorist attack on American soil remain unanswered, but nobody should be fooled by this half-hearted, insufficient commitment to transparency,” Terry Strada, whose husband, Tom, died in the attack, said.

In the DOJ’s letter, the department said the FBI is examining records related to the investigation to determine whether it can be disclosed. 

“The FBI will disclose such information on a rolling basis as expeditiously as possible,” the Justice Department said. 

Trump’s DOJ Secret Subpoenaed House Committee Democrats During Leak Probe

U.S. Capitol

By Steve Neavling

A Justice Department investigation into leaked classified information led prosecutors to secretly subpoena Apple for data from two Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee, as well as their aides and family members. 

The New York Times, which broke news of the subpoenas on Thursday, said records were sought from at least two dozen people tied to the committee, including U.S. Reps. Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell, from 2017 and early 2018. 

Prosecutors were trying to uncover the sources behind media reports related to contacts between Trump associates and Russia. 

In the end, the investigators found no evidence that anyone involved with the committee was behind the leaks. 

The subpoenas included a gag order that prevented Apple from alerting the lawmakers about the investigation. 

The news comes after it was recently discovered that Trump’s Justice Department also secured subpoenas for reporters’ records as prosecutors investigated the leak. 

“Notwithstanding whether there was sufficient predication for the leak investigation itself, including family members and minor children strikes me as extremely aggressive,” said David Laufman, a former Justice Department official who worked on leak investigations. “In combination with former President Trump’s unmistakable vendetta against Congressman Schiff, it raises serious questions about whether the manner in which this investigation was conducted was influenced by political considerations rather than purely legal ones.”

DOJ Appears to Be Investigating James Comey for Years-Old Leak

Former FBI Director James Comey, via FBI.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Former FBI Director James Comey appears to be the target of a Justice Department investigation into a years-old leak of classified Russian intelligence.

Federal prosecutors are trying to determine whether Comey unlawfully providing classified information to reporters, The New York Times reports.

This is the second DOJ investigation examining leaks potentially involving Comey, whom President often calls a “leaker.” Trump recently suggested, without evidence, that Comey should be jailed for “unlawful conduct.”

The second investigation is odd because it’s unusual for prosecutors to launch a probe into leaked classified information years after the fact.

The investigation appears to involve classified information about Russia that was written about by the New York Times and Washington Post in 2017.

IG Report on Comey Reveals How Often Trump And His Supporters Lied

Former FBI Director James Comey.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

By now you’ve heard that former FBI Director James Comey violated bureau policies over his handling of memos he kept on President Trump.

Those memos suggested the president tried to interfere in the FBI’s investigation of Russian meddling during the 2016 presidential election.

What also was revealed Thursday was that the inspector general found “no evidence” that Comey’s leaked memos were classified.

Trump and his apologists have repeatedly claimed, with no evidence, that Comey had leaked classified information.

Congressmen Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., and Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y., were among those making the false allegations.

“We know that Jim Corey has leaked classified information,” Trump’s former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski told the Fox Business Network, repeating that claim on Fox News this month.

Same goes with Fox News legal analyst Gregg Jarrett, who said in April 2018 that Comey “leaked these classified documents to three people who he’s hired as his counsel so he can hide behind the attorney-client privilege on these communications.”

Others who have made the false claims include Fox News host Tucker Carlson and former White House aide Sebastian Gorka.

The mantra even continued after the inspector general report was released. On Thursday, Rep. Scott DesJarlais claimed on Twitter that Comey “leaked classified info.”

To be clear, here’s what the inspector general reports says: “We found no evidence that Comey or his attorneys released any of the classified information contained in any of the Memos to members of the media.”

“I don’t need a public apology from those who defamed me, but a quick message with a ‘sorry we lied about you’ would be nice,” Comey tweeted.

DOJ Creates Department to Investigate FBI Officials Leaking Classified Information

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

So much classified information is being leaked from the FBI that the Justice Department created a new counterintelligence division to address the issue.

Records obtained by The Young Turks show the anti-leak department was created during the first year of President Trump’s administration.

“By law, the FBI is the lead federal agency responsible for the investigation of violations of the espionage laws of the United States,” reads the “Functions and Mission Statement” section of a document dated Nov. 10, 2017.

“The complicated nature of — and rapid growth in — unauthorized disclosure and media leak threats and investigations has necessitated the establishment of a new Unit,” the document reads.

White House: DOJ Should ‘Absolutely Look at” Charging ousted FBI Director

Former FBI Director James Comey

Former FBI Director James Comey

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The White House is striking back at former FBI Director James Comey, saying the Justice Department should “absolutely look at” charging the ousted bureau leader for leaking classified information.

Special counsel Robert Mueller is investigating allegations that President Trump committed obstruction of justice by firing Comey after he refused to back off an investigation.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders reiterated Tuesday that Trump had every right to fire Comey. When she was asked whether Comey should be prosecuted, she said, “That’s not the president’s role,” The New York Times reports. 

She added, “That’s the job of the Department of Justice, and something they should certainly look at.” 

She continued, ““If there’s ever a moment where we feel someone’s broken the law, particularly if they’re the head of the F.B.I., I think that’s something that certainly should be looked at.”

Fox News Corrects Story That Falsely Claim Comey Memos were ‘Highly Classified’

Former FBI Director James Comey.

Former FBI Director James Comey.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Fox News corrected a story that suggested former FBI Director James Comey leaked classified material involving his conversations with President Trump.

Trump, who often accused the media of “fake news,” retweeted the original story after it aired Monday.

The news agency wrongly suggested the Comey memos written by contained “top secret” information. The material actually had a lower-level security classification.

Comey has repeatedly said he did not release classified information.

It wasn’t immediately clear whether any of the reporters have been disciplined.

Kushner Retains Access to Top-Secret Information Despite FBI Investigation

Jared Kushner. Photo by Lori Berkowitz Photography, via Wikipedia

Jared Kushner. Photo by Lori Berkowitz Photography, via Wikipedia

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Although President’s Trump’s son-in-law appears to be the target of the ongoing Russia investigation, he continues to have access to the nation’s most top-secret information.

“The bottom line is that if Kushner were not a family member, he would be dismissed to preserve the political legitimacy of the White House decision-making process and to separate his legal situation from that of the president,” William Yeomans, a former deputy assistant attorney general who spent 26 years at the Justice Department, told Vice News.

But even though Kushner, 36, has been reported to be a “person of interest,” there are no legal grounds to remove his access to classified information.

Someone who has been labeled a person of interest is not limited in what they can and can’t do, and it is business as usual,” said Denise Minor, a former FBI agent who specialized in white-collar crime and counterintelligence during her 28 years at the bureau.

But Kushner’s move are more likely to be scrutinized.

“If someone who knows they are under investigation destroyed notes and material that they should realize may be sought for an investigation, that person could worsen their own  position by giving rise to inferences against themselves, or in an extreme case, could raise the possibility of obstruction of justice,” said Paul Rothstein, a professor at Georgetown Law School.