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Tag: Justice Department

Justice Department Blocks FBI from Conducting Full Investigation of 2 U.S. Senators

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

FBI agents investigating corruption have uncovered allegations of wrongdoing against two key U.S. senators – Democrat Majority Leader Harry Reid and Republican Sen. Mike Lee – but there’s a big problem.

The Justice Department has prevented the FBI from launching a full investigation, the Washington Times reports.

The investigation, rather, is being led by one Republican and one Democratic state prosecutor in Utah.

Typically, corruption cases involving elected officials involve the Justice Department’s public integrity section.

But the Justice Department is declining the FBI’s request to use a federal grand jury and subpoenas to determine the accuracy of the allegations.

“There are allegations, but they are very serious allegations and they need to be looked at by somebody,” Sim Gill, a Democrat who is the elected chief prosecutor in Salt Lake County, told The Times. “If true, or even if asserted, they truly should be investigated and put to rest, or be confirmed.”

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Senate Narrowly Rejects Obama’s Choice to Lead Justice Department’s Civil Rights Unit

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The U.S. Senate on Wednesday narrowly rejected President Obama’s choice to lead the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.

The 47-52 vote was shy of the majority needed, the New York Daily News reports.

Debo Adegbile couldn’t muster a majority because eight Democrats joined all 44 Republicans in voting no.

At issue was Adegbile’s role in offering legal help to a man who shot a Philadelphia police officer.

Obama didn’t say whether his office would give the appointment another go.

Obama called the rejection a ““travesty based on wildly unfair character attacks against a good and qualified public servant.”

Justice Department Lifts 3-Year-Long Ban on Hiring New Attorneys

 Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department is looking to go on a hiring spree.

After three long years, the Justice Department is finally lifting a ban on hiring that will bring in new attorneys, The Baltimore Sun reports.

The news comes after Congress restored funding to the Justice Department.

“After years of doing more with less, we will begin to fill critical vacancies and we will resume the normal hiring process for federal agents, prosecutors, for analysts and for the other staff that we need to fulfill our mission,” Holder said in a video announcement.

Influential Justice Department Official Steps Down Quietly After Less Than 3 Years on Job

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Virginia Seitz, the leader of an influential Justice Department office that handles surveillance and security, quietly resigned from her job after less than three years on the job, NPR reports.

Seitz received Senate confirmation in 2011, taking over the unit responsible for the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel.

Sources told NPR that Seitz was well-liked but the job was demanding, and she’s grieving from the loss of a close friend last year.

“Ms. Seitz served for 2 1/2 years in one of the most demanding jobs at the department and was deeply admired throughout the building. Her reasons for leaving were entirely personal, and we respected that,” said Justice Department spokesman Brian Fallon.

Justice Department: No More Secret Subpoenas for News Organization – With Exceptions

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The Justice Department has pledged to stop secretly subpoenaing news organizations – for the most part.

Fox News reports that the Justice Department is changing its policy to notify news agencies of its desire to obtain records in leak investigations.

The revision will allow news organizations to challenge search warrants or subpoenas in federal court, Fox News wrote.

The change comes after the Justice Department subpoenaed telephone records of reporters and editors at the Associated Press.

The Justice Department, however, said exemptions may apply in some cases.

Justice Department Threatens to Yank Federal Funding to States Over Prison Compliance

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

States have two choices: Comply with federal prison standards to reduce inmate rape or lose federal grant money.

The Montgomery Advertiser reports that the Justice Department sent all 50 states a letter last week warning that would lose 5% of their federal funding if they are in compliance with the Prison Rape Elimination Act.

The deadline to respond is May 15.

The letter comes just a month after the Justice Department released a report that showed serious problems, including inmate rape, at the Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women in Wetumpka, Ala.

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Dogged by Controversy During First Term, Attorney General Holder Hits Ground Running in Second Term

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

After four years of attacks and controversies, Attorney General appears to be finally settling in during his second term under President Obama.

The Los Angeles Times reports that Holder “has tackled his responsibilities with newfound energy and determination, surprising critics and supporters alike by striking out on a broad, ambitious and unapologetically liberal agenda.”

Here’s what he’s done: shortened prison sentences, pursued mega-banks for fraud and plans to ban federal agents from basing investigations on discriminatory practices.

“I am focusing on issues — really focusing on issues — in these last few weeks that have been near and dear to me for as long as I’ve been a lawyer,” Holder said in an interview. “This whole notion of criminal justice reform, civil rights enforcement — all these are the kinds of things that animated me and that made me want to become a lawyer in the first place.”

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Justice Department Sues State of Rhode Island Over Alleged Discrimination of Minority Applicants

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department has sued the state of Rhode Island for allegedly discriminating against black people and Hispanics in its hiring corrections officers.

The Providence Journal reports that the state discriminated against minority applicants for entry-level corrections officers jobs.

State officials fired back Tuesday, saying they did nothing wrong.

“The state does not agree with the DOJ’s preliminary interpretation of the data the complaint is based on … and will respond accordingly,” said Amy Kempe, spokeswoman for the attorney general.

The Justice Department alleges the state’s written and video examinations are biased toward white people.