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Tag: Justice Department

Trump Administration Mulls Jailing Leaders of Sanctuary Cities

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump’s uncompromising crackdown on illegal immigration may soon include legal consequences, including jail time, for leaders in so-called sanctuary cities.

The Justice Department announced its exploring “what avenues might be available” to file possible criminal charges against local politicians who provide sanctuary to illegal immigrants, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports

Director Kirstjen Nielsen indicated Wednesday that the DOJ was “reviewing what avenues might be available” to hold sanctuary city leaders accountable for their policies that shelter unauthorized immigrants from deportation.

“The context of this is, of course, not only putting my [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] officers at risk, but also finding an efficient and effective way to enforce our immigration laws,” Nielsen said.

The prospect of filing criminal charges against local officials provoked outrage among some Democrats and civil rights groups.

“In free democracies, you can’t jail people for opposing the president’s policies, policies that courts have found to be lawful,” Vanita Gupta, the chief executive of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and the former head of the civil rights division of the Justice Department, told the New York Times. 

Fox News: Former DEA Official: Holder Was ‘Very Alarmed’ About Hezbollah Probe’s Findings, But There Was No Follow-Up

GOP Trying to Pinpoint DOJ-FBI Leaks to Media That Might Be Creating Anti-Trump Spin

President Trump, via White House

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Political allies of President Donald Trump are working hard to prove a bias on the part of the Justice Department when it comes the Trump-Russia investigation.

In recent weeks, GOP congressional investigators have publicly and privately questioned senior Justice Department and FBI leaders about interactions with reporters covering the Trump campaign’s connections to Russia, hoping to expose any leaks by law enforcement to help put an anti-Trump spin on the case, Kyle Cheney of Politico reports.

“There are a number of other inappropriate communications that have transpired between the FBI/DOJ and media outlets that have not been disclosed,” said Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), a top House conservative and member of the Oversight Committee, according to Politico.

 

FBI Revives Clinton Foundation Probe Amid Politically Charged Claims

Hillary Clinton.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI has revived a dormant investigation into the Clinton Foundation following politically charged accusations of corruption.

Agents at the FBI’s field office in Little Rock, where the foundation has offices in the William J. Clinton Presidential Center, is focused on whether donors received favors or special treatment when Hillary Clinton was secretary of state from 2009-13, the New York Times, the Washington Post and the Hill, report.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office is overseeing the investigation, which quietly became active again a few weeks ago after it stalled before the November 2016 presidential election.

What’s unclear is what prompted investigators to revisit the case.

Trump Lobbied AG Sessions Not to Recuse Himself from Russia Probe

Attorney General Jeff Sessions testified before Congress about contacts between Trump’s campaign and Russia.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump instructed his White House attorney to urge Attorney General Jeff Sessions not to recuse himself from the Justice Department’s Russia investigation.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is leading the probe into alleged collusion between Russia and Trump’s campaign, is aware of the president’s instructions to White House lawyer Donald F. McGahn, the New York Times and Associated Press report

The pair had a discussion just before Sessions announced he was stepping aside because of conflict-of-interest concerns, leaving the issue to his deputy, Rod Rosenstein.

About two months later, in May, Trump fired his FBI director James Comey, who claimed the president pressured him to drop the investigation. That prompted Rosenstein to appoint Mueller to lead the probe, following mounting allegations that Trump was trying to obstruct justice.

News that the president tried to prevent his attorney general from recusing himself raises more questions about whether Trump was trying to influence the election.

Legal Expert: Why Trump Won’t Be Able to Stop Mueller Probe

President Trump, via White House.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Fears that President Trump will orchestrate the termination of special counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating whether the Republican’s campaign colluded with Russia, are likely overblown, argues Jack Goldsmith, co-founder of Lawfare and Harvard Law School professor.

I believe that what we learned in 2017 should give us confidence in 2018 that Trump will not be able to terminate the Mueller investigation,” Goldsmith wrote

Goldsmith points out that the Justice Department “took the proper steps despite the allegiance that political appointees typically feel toward the president who appointed them.”

They did so because they are embedded in and charged with running an institution with rules and norms that they feel personal and professional responsibility to abide by and uphold,” he added.

Yet despite Trump’s rhetorical crusade against Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and fired FBI Director James Comey, the investigation has continued unimpeded.

“In short, the political appointees in the Justice Department who are connected to the Mueller investigation have shown that they follow the rules and norms of the department despite the president’s wishes otherwise,” Goldsmith argued.

Even if Rosenstein gave into political pressure, he’d have trouble justifying kicking Mueller to the curb because he either has to show the special counsel’s proposed steps were “inappropriate or unwarranted under established Departmental practices” or that Mueller participated in “misconduct, dereliction of duty, incapacity, conflict of interest, or for other good cause, including violation of Departmental policies.”

To do that, Rosenstein would need to explain his actions to Congress, which has been unwilling so far to intervene, save for a few conservative Republicans.

Trump’s has other options, but they too would be difficult to pull off. For example, Trump could fire Rosenstein, but he’d have trouble finding a Senate-confirmed official, as required by law, finding a replacement who interfere in the investigation.

Trump Accuses ‘Deep State’ DOJ of Ignoring Clinton Aide Huma Abedin

President Trump

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump’s attacks on his intelligence agencies continued Tuesday morning when he suggested the Justice Department is part of the “deep state” that “must finally act” to jail Huma Abedin, a top Hillary Clinton aide.

“Crooked Hillary Clinton’s top aid, Huma Abedin, has been accused of disregarding basic security protocols. She put Classified Passwords into the hands of foreign agents. Remember sailors pictures on submarine? Jail! Deep State Justice Dept must finally act? Also on Comey & others,” Trump tweeted.

Huma Abedin, via Wikipedia

Trump’s “deep state” comment suggests the Justice Department is composed of powerful interests working to undermine him.

Trump appears to be referring to reports that Abedin forwarded e-mails from her Yahoo account that included passwords to government systems. Millions of Yahoo accounts were hacked.

Republican Congressman Calls for ‘Purge’ of Biased Agents in FBI, DOJ

U.S. Rep. Francis Rooney.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The conservative Republican attack on the FBI’s credibility  continued Tuesday when Rep. Francis Rooney called for the “purge” of the bureau’s “deep state” personnel.

The Florida congressman told MSNBC that the Trump-Russia “investigation is totally off the rails” and that the Justice Department must also clean house. 

“I’m very concerned that the DOJ and FBI, whether you want to call it ‘deep state’ or what, are kind of off the rails,” the Republican said. 

The verbal attacks on the FBI have picked up steam following the discovery that one of the FBI’s top investigators had sent anti-Trump text messages.

In less than a week, Trump slammed former FBI Director James Comey, FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and outgoing FBI general counsel James Baker, raising questions about whether his criticism amounts to witness intimidation