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Tag: Justice Department

DOJ Trying to Force Facebook to Reveal Names Associated with Anti-Trump Event

computer-photo1By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department is trying to force Facebook to disclose the names of everyone who interacted with an event page about an anti-Donald Trump rally during the presidential inauguration.

If the social media giant complies with warrants issued by the DOJ, the federal government would receive the Facebook accounts of everyone who “liked” the disruptj20 page and signed up to attend the protest, Gizmodo reports

The ACLU says the Justice Department’s warrants are a violation of the First and Fourth amendments.

“What is particularly chilling about these warrants is that anti-administration political activists are going to have their political associations and views scrutinized by the very administration they are protesting,” ACLU attorney Scott Michelman told CNN.

Facebook said it plans to fight the warrant.

Manafort Calls on Justice Department to Investigate Leak of FBI Wiretaps

Donald Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, is urging the Justice Department’s inspector general to investigate who leaked to the media information about the FBI conducting several wiretap probes of him, Bloomberg reports.  

Manafort also is asking the Justice Department to release “any intercepts involving him and any non-Americans so interested parties can come to the same conclusion as the DOJ — there is nothing there,” Manafort’s spokesman Jason Maloni said in a statement Tuesday.

Using leaked information, CNN reported Monday that two FISA court orders were obtained by the FBI to authorize wiretapping of Manafort before and after the presidential election.

Of the fact that no charges ever emerged,” Manafort spokesman Jason Maloni said in a statement on Tuesday. The Justice Department’s inspector general “should immediately conduct an investigation into these leaks and to examine the motivations behind a previous administration’s effort to surveil a political opponent.” 

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.”

Significant Portion of Trump’s Travel Ban Set to Expire Before Reaching Supreme Court

U.S. Supreme Court

U.S. Supreme Court

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department is appealing an injunction on President Trump’s travel ban, even though a significant portion of the ban is set to expire by the Oct. 10 court date.

Even more, the entire ban is likely to expire by the time the justices rule on the case, the Washington Post’s Editorial Board wrote

The Justice Department is appealing a federal court’s ruling against the Trump administration’s temporary travel ban of refugees and residents of six majority-Muslim countries.

The Post wrote:

Mr. Trump’s order halts entry into the United States by citizens of the six banned countries for 90days and suspends refugee admissions for 120days. After courts blocked the ban, Mr. Trump clarified that these clocks would begin ticking as soon as the policy was allowed to go into effect. Because the Supreme Court lifted in part the lower-court injunctions against the order on June26, the refugee ban will expire in late October, and the entry ban at the end of September.

As a matter of law, the Supreme Court can’t rule on a case that no longer presents an ongoing issue. Yet the Justice Department hasn’t given any indication of awareness that the court might well dismiss the case without deciding whether the ban is legal. Not only is the department now battling over an injunction on a policy that likely expires in two weeks, but its opening brief before the Supreme Court didn’t even address the issue.

If the White House wants to keep the case alive, Mr. Trump could declare that the clock has yet to start with respect to those immigrants and refugees with “bona fide” connections to the United States, for whom the ban has remained on pause. Or he might extend the order on the grounds that the government has been unable to conduct reviews of vetting procedures — ostensibly what the halt in travel was meant to allow — without the ban fully in place. He could even issue a new ban or make the existing order permanent.

Justice Department to Retry Woman Charged for Laughing During Sessions’ Confirmation Hearing

Attorney General Jeff Sessions

Attorney General Jeff Sessions

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department plans to retry a woman who was arrested and charged for laughing during the conformation hearing of Jeff Sessions.

A judge dismissed the original charges against Desiree Fairooz in July, saying “laughter alone was legally insufficient to convict someone of disorderly or disruptive behavior on Capitol grounds, or disrupting Congress.”

Fairooz laughed when Sen. Richard Shelby said Sessions had a “clear and well-documented” record of “treating all Americans equally under the law.” Noting Sessions’ history on civil rights, Fairooz said she laughed because the claims were so ridiculously false.

Fairooz has rejected a deal with prosecutors to plead guilty, so the 61-year-old is headed back to trial, the Advocate reports. 

The judge in the case vacated the conviction but granted a motion for a new trial, which is scheduled to begin Nov. 13.

Other Stories of Interest

Justice Department Drops Request for IP Addresses of Visitors to Anti-Trump Site

Data securityBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department scaled back its request for information about visitors to an anti-Trump website following claims that the request violated free speech rights.

The Justice Department is no longer seeking the digital addresses that could identify more than 1 million visitors to the website, which helped organize protests on President Trump’s Inauguration Day, the Los Angeles Times reports

In a court filing Monday, government lawyers said they “had no interest in records relating to the 1.3 million IP addresses” of site visitors. Instead, the Justice Department wants information on planning and coordinating protests.

“The government values and respects the 1st Amendment right of all Americans to participate in peaceful political protests and to read protected political expression online. This warrant has nothing to do with that right,” the filing said.

DOJ Program That Combats Terrorism Is Ending After Funds Run Out

virtual_library-terrorism-teamBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department has run out of funding to train officers on combating terrorism and is quietly shutting down the program, even after the deadly violence in Charlottesville, Va. earlier this month.

The last day for the State and Local Anti-Terrorism Training Program is Sept. 30, the Kansas City Star reports

“It makes absolutely no sense,” said Mike Sena, president of the National Fusion Center Association, which runs a network of centers nationwide to help law enforcement combat terrorism.

“Eliminating programs that are critical to preparing our people in the field to identify threats before they manifest and cause harm to our public is an egregious error.”

The task force was revived in 2014.

The Justice Department declined to respond to questions about the program.

Other Stories of Interest

NYT: Internet Users Should Be Alarmed by DOJ’s Pursuit of DreamHost Information

computer-photoBy Editorial Board
New York Times

Do you use the internet? Are you interested in politics? Do you value your privacy? If you answered yes, you should be alarmed by the shockingly broad search warrant sought by the Justice Department, and approved by a judge in Washington, D.C., last month, targeting DreamHost, an internet hosting company based in Los Angeles.

As DreamHost explained in a blog post on Monday, it hosts disruptj20.org, a website that helped organize anti-Trump protests on Inauguration Day, and posted pictures of those protests in the days after. There were large-scale protests across Washington on Jan. 20, most of which involved peaceful marches or sit-ins. But some people turned to violence, breaking store windows, setting fires, throwing rocks at police officers and, in one case, assaulting Richard Spencer, the white nationalist, during a television interview. More than 200 people have been charged with felony rioting.

As part of its continuing investigation, the Justice Department demanded that DreamHost turn over “all records or other information” relating to the site, which received more than 1.3 million requests to view its pages in six days after the inauguration. Those records include personal information like I.P. addresses, which identify a specific computer; data about which of the site’s pages a user viewed, and when; and the type of operating software on that person’s computer. Federal prosecutors are also seeking all emails, photos and other content sent to and from the site.

“That information could be used to identify any individuals who used this site to exercise and express political speech protected under the Constitution’s First Amendment,” DreamHost wrote in its blog post.

It doesn’t matter whether the visitor is suspected of participating in a crime, or is even known to have attended the protests. If someone clicked anywhere on the site from anywhere in the world, the government wants to know.

To read more click here.