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Tag: Justice Department

DOJ Denies AG Barr Is Considering Resigning Over Trump’s Tweets

Attorney General William Barr, via DOJ.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department is denying reports that Attorney General William Barr is considering resigning over President Trump’s refusal to stop tweeting about DOJ cases.

“The Attorney General has no plans to resign,” Department of Justice spokeswoman Kerri Kupec said Tuesday night on Twitter.

News that Barr was considering leaving his post began with reports by the Associated Press  and The Washington Post, both of which cited a source close to Barr who said the attorney general had told people he might quit over Trump’s tweets.

Last week, Barr told ABC News that Trump’s tweets about Justice Department cases “make it impossible for me to do my job.”

“I think it’s time to stop the tweeting about Department of Justice criminal cases,” Barr said.

Trump continued tweeting anyway.

According to The Washington Post, Barr’s motive for threatening to quit may have been to send a message to Trump to stop tweeting.

“He has his limits,” a source said.

1,100+ Former DOJ Officials Call for Attorney General Barr’s Resignation

President Trump and AG William Barr, via DOJ.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

More than 1,100 former Justice Department officials are calling for the resignation of Attorney General William Barr after injecting himself into the case of President Trump’s friend and confidant Roger Stone.

“Each of us strongly condemns President Trump’s and Attorney General Barr’s interference in the fair administration of justice,” the letter, released Sunday, states.

The former federal prosecutors and DOJ officials said it was unethical for Barr to intervene in the Justice Department’s sentencing recommendation for Stone, a GOP dirty trickster who was found guilty in November of seven counts of lying to Congress, obstruction and witness tampering. Four prosecutors originally recommended a prison sentence of seven to nine years.

After Trump publicly criticized the recommendation, Barr ordered the Justice Department to file an updated sentencing memo calling for less prison time for Stone.

The four career prosecutors who wrote the original sentencing recommendation resigned from the case.

“Mr. Barr’s actions in doing the President’s personal bidding unfortunately speak louder than his words,” the Justice Department alumni wrote in the letter posted online. “Those actions, and the damage they have done to the Department of Justice’s reputation for integrity and the rule of law, require Mr. Barr to resign.”

Former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe Won’t Face Charges, DOJ Says

Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, via FBI.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe won’t face charges following allegations that he lied to investigators about a media leak.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office alerted McCabe’s attorneys in a letter Friday that “based on the totality of the circumstances and all of the information known to the Government at the time, we consider the matter closed,” USA Today reports.

McCabe told CNN, where he is now a contributor, that he’s relieved the case has been dropped.

“It’s been so unbelievably tense and just such an incredible pressure on all of us,” McCabe said. “We’re all very, very happy. I’m just so glad my kids don’t have to live with this anymore.”

McCabe was accused of misleading investigators about leaking information about the Clinton Foundation probe to the media in the final weeks of the 2016 presidential election.

In August, McCabe filed a lawsuit against the Justice Department after he was fired, saying he was terminated at the behest of Trump’s “unlawful whims.”

AG Barr Says Trump’s Tweets ‘Make It Impossible for Me to Do My Job’

Attorney General William Barr on ABC News.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Attorney General William Barr delivered a rare rebuke of President Trump, saying his tweets about the Justice Department “make it impossible for me to do my job.”

In an interview with ABC News, Barr said, “I think it’s time to stop the tweeting about Department of Justice criminal cases.”

“I’m not going to be bullied or influenced by anybody … whether it’s Congress, a newspaper editorial board, or the president,” Barr said. “I’m gonna do what I think is right. And you know … I cannot do my job here at the department with a constant background commentary that undercuts me.”

Barr’s candid remarks come after Trump injected himself into the case of his friend and confidant Roger Stone, who was convicted in November of seven counts of lying to Congress, obstruction, and witness tampering. Trump tweeted that the sentence recommendation of seven to nine years in prison was “horrible and very unfair” and called it a “miscarriage of justice!” Soon after the tweet, senior Justice Department officials overruled the recommendation, saying it was excessive, prompting a team of prosecutors to withdraw from the case.

Barr defended the department’s decision to overrule the sentence recommendation and insisted Trump was not a factor.

Barr insisted he notified his staff to amend the recommendation before Trump’s tweet, which he said put him in a tough position.

“Do you go forward with what you think is the right decision or do you pull back because of the tweet? And that just sort of illustrates how disruptive these tweets can be,” he said.

After the sentence recommendation was lowered, Trump congratulated Barr.

“Congratulations to Attorney General Bill Barr for taking charge of a case that was totally out of control and perhaps should not have even been brought,” Trump tweeted.

Barr insisted he would never bow to political pressure from Trump.

“If (Trump) were to say, ‘Go investigate somebody because’—and you sense it’s because they’re a political opponent, then the attorney general shouldn’t carry that out, wouldn’t carry that out,” Barr said.

Trump Congratulates AG Barr for Intervening in Roger Stone Sentencing Recommendation

Attorney General William Barr, via DOJ.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A team of career prosecutors withdrew from the case of Roger Stone Jr. after senior prosecutors for the Justice Department sought a shorter sentence for President Trump’s confidant and friend.

The prosecutors had recommended seven to nine years after Stone, a GOP dirty trickster, was found guilty in November on seven counts of lying to Congress, obstruction and witness tampering.

Senior Justice Department officials overruled the sentencing recommendation, saying it was excessive, The New York Times reported on Tuesday. Under the revised recommendation, the Justice Department said the sentence should be “far less,” suggesting the earlier one “does not accurately reflect the Department of Justice’s position on what would be a reasonable sentence in this matter.”

The abrupt and unusual intervention of senior officials raised serious questions about whether the Justice Department – and more specifically, Attorney General William Barr – was bowing to pressure from Trump, who declared on Tuesday that the DOJ’s sentence recommendation was “horrible and very unfair.”

On Wednesday morning, Trump congratulated Barr for intervening.

“Congratulations to Attorney General Bill Barr for taking charge of a case that was totally out of control and perhaps should not have even been brought,” Trump tweeted. “Evidence now clearly shows that the Mueller Scam was improperly brought & tainted. Even Bob Mueller lied to Congress!”

About 10 minutes later, Trump added, “Two months in jail for a Swamp Creature, yet 9 years recommended for Roger Stone (who was not even working for the Trump Campaign). Gee, that sounds very fair! Rogue prosecutors maybe? The Swamp!”

Of the four prosecutors who withdrew from the case, one resigned entirely from the Justice Department.

Legal experts criticized the Justice Department’s intervention.

Michael R. Bromwich, who was the DOJ’s inspector general under President Bill Clinton, tweeted to “all career DOJ employees:” “Report all instances of improper political influence and other misdeeds to the DOJ IG, who is required to protect your identity.”

“This is not what you signed up for. The four prosecutors who bailed on the Stone case have shown the way,” Bromwich tweeted.

Barr Taps Timothy Shea to Serve As D.C.’s Top Interim Attorney

The Justice Department’s Timothy Shea to serve as DC’s top U.S. attorney.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Attorney General William Barr on Thursday named one of his closest advisers, Timothy Shea, to serve as the District of Columbia’s interim U.S. attorney.

Shea, 59, who is currently Barr’s counselor at the Justice Department, will oversee 300 prosecutors at the nation’s largest U.S. attorney’s office, which handles federal and local cases, The Washington Post reports.

Shea will replace Jessie K. Liu, who steps down Friday after President Trump nominated her to become the Treasury Department’s undersecretary for terrorism and financial crimes.

In a statement, Barr said Shea was “a fair prosecutor, skillful litigator, and excellent manager is second-to-none, and his commitment to fighting violent crime and the drug epidemic will greatly benefit the city of Washington.”

Shea’s service at the Justice Department ranges from working as a line prosecutor to serving as associate deputy attorney general.

DOJ Says Surveillance of Carter Page Should Have Ended Earlier

Carter Page, former campaign advisor for Donald Trump.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department says it lacked sufficient evidence to continue surveilling former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page in 2017.

The department revealed its assessment that it should have ended the surveillance sooner in a December letter to the Foreign Surveillance Court, which oversees surveillance of suspected foreign spies.

The letter, which was made public Thursday and obtained by Reuters, suggested the DOJ lacked probable cause to continue wiretapping Page.

The letter follows a review by the DOJ’s internal watchdog that concluded the FBI left out evidence evidence and went too far in its investigation of possible links between Russia and the Trump campaign.

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.