WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Donald Trump on Wednesday criticized Attorney General Jeff Sessions for using an “Obama guy” to investigate alleged FISA abuses.
The president’s rage was triggered by Tuesday’s announcement that the Justice Department’s inspector general has been tapped to investigate the allegations, despite the release of memos which reveal FISA warrants to spy on a former Trump campaign adviser that were unlawfully obtained by the DOJ and FBI.
“Why is A.G. Jeff Sessions asking the Inspector General to investigate potentially massive FISA abuse,” Trump tweeted (https://tinyurl.com/ya22pl2p). “Will take forever, has no prosecutorial power and already late with reports on Comey etc. Isn’t the I.G. an Obama guy? Why not use Justice Department lawyers? DISGRACEFUL!”
Sessions confirmed Tuesday, in response to a question from Fox News’ Catherine Herridge, that the accusations of wrongdoing would be investigated at the IG level.
“The inspector general will take that as one of the matters he’ll deal with,” he said referring to DOJ IG Michael Horowitz.
In a statement released Wednesday afternoon, Sessions defended himself and his department.
“We have initiated the appropriate process that will ensure complaints against this Department will be fully and fairly acted upon if necessary,” the statement reads. “As long as I am the Attorney General, I will continue to discharge my duties with integrity and honor, and this Department will continue to do its work in a fair and impartial manner according to the law and Constitution.”
This isn’t the first time the president has publicly criticized Sessions or his team.
He first lashed out a Sessions last year, when the attorney general recused himself from any role in the Justice Department’s investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
In an interview with Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures” earlier this month (https://tinyurl.com/yb7k7s3b), Sessions announced there would be an investigation into how the FBI used the dossier to secure the surveillance.
“That will be investigated and looked at, and we are not going to participate at the Department of Justice in providing anything less than the proper disclosure to the court before they issue a FISA warrant.”
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Former FBI Director James Comey should be the target of an active criminal investigation, says Jeanine Pirro.
Asked about the Comey controversy during an appearance Wednesday night on Fox News’ “Hannity” (https://tinyurl.com/yckpyxo5), the former judge said the time to bring the former FBI director to justice is long overdue.
“Comey needs to be the target of an active criminal investigation,” said Pirro. “I’ve said that a million times. Comey lied to the American people. Comey should’ve been fired the day after he decided that he was ‘the Attorney General.’”
Turning her thoughts toward former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, Pirro said that she, too, should be the subject of a criminal investigation.
“If the statute of limitations hasn’t passed, go for it — or how about you start looking into the Clinton Foundation?” she said.
Pirro went on to say that she believes we’ll soon see “indictments” resulting from misconduct by the FBI.
“President Obama lied to us when he said ‘I’m not involved in anything'” relating to an investigation,” she said, warning the former Obama administration that the public is beginning to put the “pieces of the puzzle” together.
“We’re on the brink of indictments coming down,” said Pirro.
During an opening segment of her own show last month (https://tinyurl.com/y9dtje9a), the “Justice with Judge Jeanine” host called the Hillary Clinton probe “rigged” and “as dirty as it gets.”
“And for all those naysayers who say this is nothing more than a deflection from the Mueller investigation, I got a tip for you, keep your mouths shut. This is as dirty as it gets,” she tweeted.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Democrats on Monday stepped up their efforts to prevent House Republicans from revealing the contents of a FISA memo which Republican leaders have referred to as “shocking”.
The contents of the memo, which those who have read claim to be “worse than Watergate”, allegedly details government surveillance abuses against then-presidential candidate Donald Trump and what role the now discredited anti-Trump “dossier” played in the securing a surveillance warrant on at least one Trump associate, Carter Paige. Further, it is alleged that officials who secured the warrant unlawfully failed to disclose that the dossier in question was financed by Democrats.
South Carolina GOP Rep. Trey Gowdy, who helped write the four-page memo, said Sunday the American people deserve to see what’s in it.
“If you want to know whether or not the dossier was used in court proceedings, whether or not it was vetted before it was used. … If you are interested in who paid for the dossier … then, yes, you’ll want the memo to come out,” Gowdy told “Fox News Sunday.”
Gowdy, chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Affairs, also dropped several hints as to what else may be contained in the document.
“I can’t prove that they were the final decision makers,” Gowdy told “Fox News Sunday.” “But I don’t have to. Two really important people hated (Trump) and would have done anything to protect” (Hillary Clinton).
“Did they have the power to protect her?” Gowdy asked of the FBI’s decision not to prosecute Hillary Clinton for illegally storing classified emails on a home server during her tenure as Secretary of State. “The decision not to charge (Clinton) was made even before they interviewed her. How would you like that deal?”
Fox News senior judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano said when asked about the controversy that the issue goes far beyond government surveillance of Trump. What’s worse, he said, is unlawful spying on the American citizen.
“Let the American people decide,” said Napolitano (http://insider.foxnews.com/2018/01/29/judge-andrew-napolitano-calls-release-fisa-memo-documents). “If Congress knew of the alleged abuses of FISA — that’s the government’s ability to spy on us — by the NSA, our domestic spies, and by the intelligence division of the FBI, they might not have expanded FISA the way they did.”
Rep. Rodney Davis said Monday that he, too, is for the memo’s release.
“I am for more transparency. Let’s start with four pages,” Davis, an Illinois Republican, told CNN. “Then let’s talk about releasing more.”
So far, Democrats have fought hard against the memo’s release.
Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., said last week that Republicans on the committee are seeking to “selectively and misleadingly characterize classified information” in an effort to “protect” President Trump.
Calling the memo a “desperate attempt” by Republicans “to distract attention from the Russia probe” Schiff told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that Republicans are trying to “put the federal government on trial” by intentionally making “scandalous accusations.”
Former secret service agent Dan Bongino slammed Schiff’s comments during an appearance on Fox News, however, calling Schiff “the slimiest of the slimy in the swamp”.
“This is nonsense. Trump has constitutional rights too… The government was unleashed on him during the Obama years,” Bongino said. “Schiff has lied about this memo multiple times now. He’s deliberately manipulating the American public.”
The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence is expected to take a vote Monday afternoon to decide whether or not the memo should be released.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The FBI, Department of Justice and special counsel Robert Mueller will all be in a “world of hurt” once a four-page memo detailing FISA abuses that took place under the Obama administration are revealed, says The New York Post’s Paul Sperry.
“I’m told Steele & Simpson + the FBI & DOJ/NSD + even FISC are all gonna be in a world of hurt when this 4-pp memo + underlying docs hit the fan,” Sperry tweeted on Thursday. (https://twitter.com/paulsperry_/status/956737620758974465?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw&ref_url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.thegatewaypundit.com%2F2018%2F01%2Fsperry-fbi-doj-mueller-gonna-world-hurt-explosive-fisa-memo-goes-public%2F).
“Steele & Simpson are caught in a sh*tstorm of lies, which further tainted the FBI’s FISA warrant to spy on Team Trump,” Sperry continued. “And as a result, the memo is going to create a BIG credibility problem for Mueller, since his team debriefed Steele and tapped into Simpson’s “research” on Manafort and Deutsche Bank. Buckle your seatbelts, sports fans …”.
Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton concurred with Sperry’s comments, adding that Mueller likely knows his clock is ticking.
“My guess is Mueller is racing to “interview” @RealDonaldTrump before his own investigation further implodes with revelations of illegal anti-Trump actions/bias from the “Memo” and text messages. #ReleaseTheMemo”, Fitton tweeted (https://twitter.com/TomFitton/status/956548403831418880).
Fox News legal contributor Judge Andrew Napolitano also said during an apperance on Fox & Friends that, for the good of the American people, the content of the memo should be revealed on the House floor.
“[They] sat on it while the rest of Congress debated and expanded FISA. The rest of Congress should have known what the House Intelligence Committee knows,” said Napolitano (http://insider.foxnews.com/2018/01/25/fisa-surveillance-memo-judge-napolitano-says-contents-must-be-released).
Further, added Napolitano, should the committee vote against releasing it, a member should defy the vote and disclose the memo’s contents on the House floor in order to make it a matter of public record.
“The speech and debate clause of the Constitution protects members of Congress from the legal consequences of what they say on the floor,” said the judge.
The comments come after a New York Times report was published claiming that Trump demanded Mueller’s firing just weeks after the special counsel was appointed by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
The president denied those allegations as he arrived Friday at the site of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
“Fake news, folks. Fake news. Typical New York Times fake stories,” he told reporters.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Members of the House late Thursday called for the declassification and release of a “shocking” classified memo that reportedly details abuse of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) by senior Justice Department and Federal Bureau of Investigations officials relating to their investigation of then-candidate Donald Trump (https://saraacarter.com/2018/01/18/a-bombshell-house-intelligence-report-exposing-extensive-fisa-abuse-could-lead-to-the-removal-of-senior-government-officials/).
Appearing on Fox News’ “Hannity” Thursday night, Florida GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz said “there are people who will go to jail.”
“I think that this will not end just with firings. I believe there are people who will go to jail,” Gaetz told host Sean Hannity (https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2018/01/19/rep_gaetz_people_will_go_to_jail_over_nunes_memo_democrats_afraid_to_release_info.html). “I was very persuaded by the evidence, and it also became clear to me why Chuck Grassley and Lindsey Graham felt it so important to refer this matter for criminal prosecution.”
“The facts contained in this memo are jaw-dropping and demand full transparency. There is no higher priority than the release of this information to preserve our democracy,” continued Gaetz (R-FL), a member of the Judiciary Committee, which oversees the DOJ and the FBI.
At the center of the issue, say Republicans, are admissions of unlawful spying and the “unmasking” of key Trump associates.
“It’s troubling. It is shocking,” Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) said in agreement to Gaetz’s comments. “Part of me wishes that I didn’t read it because I don’t want to believe that those kinds of things could be happening in this country that I call home and love so much.”
Yet another Judiciary Committee member, Rep. Steve King (R-IA), took to Twitter to say what he saw in the memo he found “sickening,” calling it “worse than Watergate.”
“I have read the memo. The sickening reality has set in. I no longer hold out hope there is an innocent explanation for the information the public has seen,” wrote King (https://twitter.com/SteveKingIA/status/954194729511636992). ” I have long said it is worse than Watergate. It was #neverTrump & #alwaysHillary. #releasethememo”.
The revelation caused a near immediate uproar on social media, leading to demands for the memo’s release.
The pressure to do so apparently worked, as the House Intelligence Committee shortly thereafter approved, by a party-line vote, to make the four-page memo available to all members of the lower chamber.
Members were not permitted to take copies of the memo for their own review and were restricted to viewing the document in a special room inside the Capital building.
Democrats were quick to fight back against the memo’s release, calling the document “misleading”.
“[T]he Majority voted today on a party-line basis to grant House Members access to a profoundly misleading set of talking points drafted by Republican staff attacking the FBI and its handling of the investigation,” House Intelligence Committee leader Adam Schiff, (D)-Calif., said in a statement. “Rife with factual inaccuracies and referencing highly classified materials that most of Republican Intelligence Committee members were forced to acknowledge they had never read, this is meant only to give Republican House members a distorted view of the FBI.”
“This may help carry White House water, but it is a deep disservice to our law enforcement professionals,” Schiff added.
Republicans lawmakers, however, say there is no way they are going to allow Democrats to sweep this under the rug.
“What are the Democrats so afraid of,” Goetz countered. “Why don’t they want the American people to know the truth about what was going on with the government, how that impacted the president, his transition, his campaign? And it just seems interesting to me that Democrats don’t want us to know what the entire basis was in the first place for the Mueller probe. They want to drag this out through the midterm elections to try to embarrass this president and distract this Congress from the critical work we have to do to save this great country.”
Meanwhile, Wikileaks, the anti-secrecy website responsible for the leaking of hacked DNC emails during the 2016 election, has offered a $1 million reward to anyone who can provide them with a verified copy.