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Tag: donald trump

Oops! Fox News Falsely Reports Homeland Security Director Resigns

Homeland Security Director Alejandro Mayorkas.

By Steve Neavling

Fox News host Harris Faulkner falsely reported Monday that Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas had resigned while she interviewing former President Trump. 

During the live broadcast, Faulkner interrupted Trump to tell him, “I want to double-check this with our producers: The DHS secretary, Alejandro Mayorkas, has resigned, Mr. President.”

Trump chimed in, “Well I’m not surprised. Good. That’s a big victory for our country.”

“Hold on, let me stop, let me listen to my team one more time,” the host said. “Forgive me, that has not happened. And I apologize.”

Trump responded, “OK, cross off that victory.”

Fox News was excoriated on social media. 

Whistleblowers Accuse High-Ranking DOJ Official of Injecting Politics into Hiring

By Steve Neavling

Two whistleblowers have accused a high-ranking Justice Department official of injecting politics into the hiring process by appointing an inexperienced attorney over more qualified candidates. 

Jeffrey Bossert Clark was acting assistant attorney general in charge of the department’s Civil Division when he conducted a bogus interview process for the assistant director position of the Civil Division, the whistleblowers alleged in documents obtained by NPR.

The whistleblowers are calling for an investigation in a letter to House and Senate lawmakers and the DOJ’s inspector general. 

The appointment came just days before Clark left the post in January. 

The five-page letter states that Clark appointed an attorney who “volunteered and was part of the DOJ litigation team defending a controversial Trump administration policy … that barred pregnant, unaccompanied minors in federal immigration custody from obtaining abortions.”

In an email to CNN, Clark defended the appointment. 

“Civil Division managers sent me three candidates to interview, each of whom they rated well-qualified. I interviewed all three using the same process I had used for other positions. I think it’s very unfortunate that the disappointed applicants would attack their own colleague’s selection,” he said. “That candidate had strong leadership qualities and was the best qualified. Pointing to that lawyer’s work on the Garza litigation, with a D.C. Circuit decision that came out years befoe I joined the Civil Division, is just a baseless attempt to cast aspersions.”

FBI Arrests Trump Appointee Accused of Assaulting Police, Storming Capitol on Jan. 6

Frederico G. Klein in an image filed by the FBI.

By Steve Neavling

The FBI has arrested a political appointee of former President Trump who is accused of assaulting police and storming the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

Frederico G. Klein, 42, a former State Department aide, was charged with multiple felony accounts, including unlawful entry, violent and disorderly conduct, obstructing Congress and law enforcement, and assaulting an officers with a dangerous weapon, according to a criminal complaint obtained by The New York Times.

Videos show Klein, wearing a red “Make America Great Again” hat, resisting and assaulting officers with a stolen riot shield, and storming the Capitol with a pro-Trump mob, according to court documents.  

Before working at the State Department, Klein was on Trump’s presidential campaign team. 

At the time of the riot, Klein was a State Department employee with Top Secret security clearance. He is the first member of Trump’s administration to be arrested in the riot. 

“Klein quickly pushed his way to the front-left side of the crowd and to the doorway to the Capitol building, where he physically and verbally engaged with the officers holding the line,” the F.B.I. said.

The FBI has arrested more than 300 people for their alleged roles in the riot. 

FBI, Homeland Security Warn of Potential Plot to Seize Control of Capitol Today

U.S. Capitol

By Steve Neavling

The FBI and Department of Homeland Security warned that domestic extremists “discussed plans to take control of the U.S. Capitol and remove Democratic lawmakers on or about March 4,” the date that far-right conspiracy theorists believe former President Trump will be sworn in for a second term. 

The agencies sent a joint intelligence bulletin, titled “National Capitol Region Remains Attractive Target for Domestic Violent Extremists,” to local and state law enforcement agencies late Tuesday, NBC News first reported.

After the U.S. Capitol Police issued a similar warning, House leaders canceled Thursday’s legislative session. The Senate still plans to meet.

Extremists, emboldened by the Jan. 6 insurrection, may “exploit public gatherings either formally organized or spontaneous to engage in violence,” the memo states. 

According to adherents of QAnon, a right-wing conspiracy group that believes a secret cabal of Satan worshipers is running a global child sex-trafficking ring, former President Trump will be sworn in for a second term for the “true Inauguration Day” on March 4. 

Update: Ex-FBI Attorney Clinesmith Sentenced to Probation for Altering Email in Carter Page Surveillance Case

Former FBI attorney Kevin Clinesmith.

By Steve Neavling

Updated: 7:44 p.m. Sunday-– Former FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith was sentenced Friday in U.S. District Court in D.C. to probation for altering an email used to obtain continued surveillance of former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.

The prosecutor in the case had asked for prison time.

________________________________

From Friday

The former FBI lawyer who pleaded guilty in August to altering an email used to seek the continued surveillance of former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page is scheduled to be sentenced today.

The Justice Department is seeking a prison sentence of between two to six months for Kevin Clinesmith, who admitted he doctored the email, which was submitted to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA). 

Attorneys with special counsel John Durham previously said in a court filing that the case “filed public disgust of the FBI and entire” FISA program.

“An attorney — particularly an attorney in the FBI’s Office of General Counsel — is the last person that FBI agents or this Court should expect to create a false document,” prosecutors Anthony Scarpelli and Neeraj N. Patel wrote. “This Court’s sentence should be designed, in part, to send a powerful message to the community that this type of conduct — falsifying information to hide facts from a court — will not be tolerated.”

Clinestmith faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison, but the sentencing guidelines call for zero to six months behind bars. 

Clinestmith’s attorneys are requesting probation and community service. 

“By altering a colleague’s email, he cut a corner in a job that required far better of him. He failed to live up to the FBI’s and his own high standards of conduct,” lead Clinesmith defense attorney Justin V. Shur wrote in a sentencing request.

Clinestmith’s guilty plea stems from the investigation into how the Obama administration investigated Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. The email suggested that Page was not a source for the CIA, even though he had a relationship with the agency.

Clinesmith admitted he was guilty but said he believed at the time that his statement about Page was true.

Comey: Prosecuting Trump for Inciting Riot Will Give Him Attention He Craves

Former FBI James Comey in previous testimony, via FBI.

By Steve Neavling

Former FBI Director James Comey said federal prosecutors shouldn’t charge President Trump for his role in inciting the Capitol riot because it would give him the attention he craves. 

“The country would be better off if we did not give him the platform that a prosecution would for the next three years,” Comey told the British broadcaster Sky News.

“Instead, turn off the camera lights,” said Comey, whom Trump fired as FBI director in 2017 while he was leading an investigation into possible collusion with Russia by Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.

“I’d like to see some of the lights go out and he can stand on the front lawn at Mar-a-Lago and shout at cars in his bathrobe and none of us will hear it,” he said.

Trump fired Comey as FBI director in 2017, leading to the appointment of Robert Muller as special counsel overseeing the investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. 

Comey, 60, said he supports the Senate convicting Trump as part of the House’s impeachment. But, Comey said, a prosecution would further divide the country. 

“The country needs to find a way to heal itself, and the new president needs the opportunity to lead and heal us — both literally and spiritually,” Comey said. “And that will be much, much harder if the Donald Trump show is on our television screens every single day in the nation’s capita

FBI Investigating 160+ Related to U.S. Capitol Siege, with Sedition Charges Possible

Alex Gakos/Shutterstock.com

By Steve Neavling

The FBI is investigating more than 160 cases connected to the storming of the U.S. Capitol last week, and federal prosecutors are considering sedition charges against some of them.

During a news conference Tuesday, the FBI and Justice Department pledged to aggressively investigate all leads following the violent riot. 

The bureau has received more than 100,000 videos, photos and other forms of digital media related to the Capitol siege, said Steven D’Antuono, assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office.

“To be clear, the brutality the American people watched with shock and disbelief on the 6th will not be tolerated by the FBI,” D’Antuono told reporters. “The men and women of the FBI will leave no stone unturned in this investigation.”

Acting U.S. Attorney Michael Sherwin said 70 people have already been charged, and that number is expected to grow into the hundreds. 

To read D’Antuono’s full prepared statements, click here.

Secret Service Officer Under Investigation over Facebook Posts about Trump Election

By Steve Neavling

A Secret Service officer is under investigation for allegedly posting a comment on Facebook that suggested lawmakers who formally accept the electoral college vote are guilty of treason. 

The unnamed officer also posted President Trump’s baseless conspiracy theories about widespread election fraud, The Washington Post reports

One of the memes posted on Facebook shows Trump shaking hands with himself under the title “Here’s to the Peaceful Transition of Power.”

One day after the Capitol riot, the officer allegedly posted a comment that accused lawmakers who formalized President-elect Joe Biden’s victory of “committing treason on live tv.”

“Good morning patriots!” the post read. “Yesterday started out beautiful and as usual Antifa soured the mood and attacked police and an Air Force veteran was murdered….It’s OFFENSE time finally!!”

A Secret Service spokeswoman responded, “The U.S. Secret Service carries out its law enforcement mission in an objective and apolitical manner. Any allegation that an employee is not carrying out their duties in that manner will be investigated. As this is a personnel matter, the agency will not be commenting.”