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Tag: Justice Department

Trump, Justice Department Pledge to Fight Orders Stopping Travel Ban

Donald Trump, via Wikipedia

Donald Trump, via Wikipedia

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department and President Trump criticized two judges’ decisions Wednesday to halt the revised travel ban by ruling it is discriminatory against Muslims.

The Justice Department contends Trump’s executive order “falls squarely within his lawful authority in seeking to protect our nation’s security,” the Washington Post reports. 

It’s unclear what step the government will take next.

At a rally in Nashville on Wednesday, Trump lashed out at the court decisions, saying he would take the case to the Supreme Court. He event suggested returning to his original executive order, which was a more sweeping ban.

“Let me tell you something. I think we ought to go back to the first one and go all the way,” Trump said. “The danger is clear, the law is clear, the need for my executive order is clear.”

Federal judges in Maryland and Hawaii struck down the order on religious discrimination grounds, pointing to Trump’s statements during the campaign that he wanted to ban all Muslims from entering the U.S.

DOJ Expected to Announce Charges Against Yahoo Hackers with Russian Ties

hacking By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Four people with suspected ties to the Russian government are expected to be charged soon for alleged hacking attacks against Yahoo!, sources told ABC News. 

The Justice Department is expected to announce today charges against three people in Russia and one in Canada.

Federal authorities expected to arrest the Canadian, but detaining the Russian suspects may be more difficult because officials don’t have access to them yet.

Yahoo was breached in 2013 and 2014, affecting 1.5 billion user accounts.

The Justice Department is holding a press conference this morning.

Democrats Urge FBI to Investigate Whether AG Sessions Lied Under Oath

Attorney General Jeff Sessions during the Trump campaign.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions during the Trump campaign.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Attorney General Jeff Sessions maintains he never lied under oath by denying he communicated with Russian officials, but Democrats aren’t so sure.

Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee is asking the FBI to investigate whether Sessions lied under oath during his confirmation hearing, the Hill reports. 

Lawmakers penned a letter to FBI Director James Comey and Channing D. Phillips, the U.S. attorney for Washington D.C., urging them to investigate whether Sessions broke the law.

“Efforts by Attorney General Sessions to assert that his testimony was not false or even misleading because he met with the Russian Ambassador in his capacity as a Senator, rather than a campaign representative, appear to be disingenuous at best as the questions put to him did not in any way ask if the meeting was campaign related,” they wrote.

Sessions acknowledged Thursday that he met with Russian officials twice during Trump’s campaign, but insisted the subject of the election was never discussed. Sessions also pledged to recuse himself from future investigations into the Trump campaign.

Jeff Sessions Admits Meeting with Russian Officials But Denies He Committed Perjury

Jeff Sessions discusses his communication with Russians.

Jeff Sessions discusses his communication with Russians.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Attorney General Jeff Sessions acknowledged today that he met with Russian officials at least twice during the Donald Trump campaign, but insisted the election was never discussed.

During a press conference at 4 p.m., Sessions also said he plans to recuse himself from future investigations into the Trump campaign after consulting with Justice Department staff.

“I have decided to recuse myself from any existing or future investigations of any matters related in any way to the campaigns for President of the United States,” Sessions said.

The attorney general insisted he didn’t commit perjury by denying he had communication with Russian officials during his confirmation hearing, saying the meetings were unrelated to the presidential campaign.

Reports that suggested he exchanged information with the Russians, Sessions said, are “totally false.”

Sessions said he was having trouble remembering details of the discussions with a Russian ambassador.

“I don’t remember a lot of it,” Sessions said.

Meanwhile, some Democrats are calling for Sessions to resign and want a special prosecutor appointed to investigated the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia.

AG Sessions’ Alleged Meeting with Russian Envoy Prompts Calls for Special Prosecutor

AG Jeff Sessions at his confirmation hearing.

AG Jeff Sessions at his confirmation hearing.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Pressure is mounting on Republicans to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate Russia’s role in the election after a bombshell revelation that Attorney General Jeff Sessions spoke twice with Russia’s ambassador to the U.S. during the election and lied about it during his confirmation hearing.

The Washington Post and New York Times reported that then-Sen. Sessions had a private conversation with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in September, which was the peak of what intelligence officials said was a Russia cyber campaign to disrupt the U.S. presidential race.

During the campaign, Sessions was a top surrogate for the Trump campaign.

Sessions followed up with a statement Wednesday night: “I never met with any Russian officials to discuss issues of the campaign. I have no idea what this allegation is about.”

The latest revelation prompted Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., to concede that if Sessions spoke with a Russian diplomat, “then for sure you need a special prosecutor.”

Constitutional law expert Laurence Tribe said on Twitter it appears Sessions committed perjury for lying to Congress.

“Looks like it to me: it was a knowing & deliberate falsehood made under oath on a clearly pertinent matter.”

AG Sessions Indicates Justice Department Will ‘Pull Back’ on Investigating Police Abuses

AG Jeff Sessions at his confirmation hearing.

AG Jeff Sessions at his confirmation hearing.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The numerous federal investigations into troubled police departments under the Obama administration may be a thing of the past.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said on Tuesday that the federal government won’t be monitoring police departments as it had in the past.

Sessions claimed in his first speech as attorney general that the Justice Department investigations undermined police efforts nationwide.

“We need, so far as we can, in my view, help police departments get better, not diminish their effectiveness,” Sessions told the National Association of Attorneys General. “And I’m afraid we’ve done some of that. So we’re going to try to pull back on this, and I don’t think it’s wrong or mean or insensitive to civil rights or human rights.”

He added that the Trump administration is working “out of a concern to make the lives of people in particularly the poor communities, minority communities, live a safer, happier life so that they’re able to have their children outside and go to school in safety and they can go to the grocery store in safety and not be accosted by drug dealers and get caught in crossfires or have their children seduced into some gang.”

Sessions claimed that monitoring police departments did not help combat rising violence in some cities.

“One of the big things out there that’s, I think, causing trouble and where you see the greatest increase in violence and murders in cities is somehow, some way, we undermine the respect for our police and made, oftentimes, their job more difficult,” he said.

LA Times: AG Sessions Must Recuse Himself from Probes of Trump Ties to Russia

AG Jeff Sessions at his confirmation hearing.

AG Jeff Sessions at his confirmation hearing.

By Editorial Board
Los Angeles Times

If Donald Trump’s campaign colluded with efforts by Russia to help him defeat Hillary Clinton — a nightmare scenario for which no evidence has been produced so far — it would be first and foremost a political and constitutional crisis. But it also likely would involve violations of federal law. And even if such collusion  didn’t take place, there could be other matters involving Russia and Trump associates that would require decisions by the Department of Justice.

That department is now headed by Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions, who as a senator from Alabama was an early and enthusiastic supporter of Trump’s candidacy. And President Trump, as he made clear at his stream-of-consciousness news conference last Thursday, rejects concerns about improper relationships between his campaign and Russia as a “ruse” and “fake news” fabricated  “to try and make up for the loss of the Democrats.”

Given these facts, Sessions must recuse himself from any decision pertaining to those relationships

Former DOJ Official Warns Europe of Russia Meddling in Elections

ballot box flintBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A former Justice Department official warned European countries about the risks of Russia launching cyber attacks to meddle in their elections.

Former Assistant Attorney General John Carlin, who served in the Obama administration, said the U.S. wasn’t aggressive enough to deter hacking and leaking of Democratic Party emails prior to the presidential election, Reuters reports. 

“What we did was too late,” Carlin said during a panel discussion on election hacking at the RSA cybersecurity conference. “We weren’t bringing deterrence at all to the table.”

U.S. intelligence officials believe Russia hacked the Democratic Paty nan effort to disrupt the election and swing it in favor of Trump.

“Pre-election, it’s vital that not just the United States but partners like Germany, like France make it clear what the red line is, that there’s going to be strong deterrence and that in terms of deterrence, our policy has got to be we are going to take action until the action stops,” Carlin said.

“So there is no ceiling on the level we will ratchet up the deterrence when you are undermining a core value.”