McGahn: Effort to get Mueller fired was 'point of no return'
Former White House counsel Don McGahn told lawmakers in a closed-door interview last week that he regarded President Donald Trump’s demand to have special counsel Robert Mueller fired as “a point of no return” for the administration if carried out.
McGahn: Effort to get Mueller fired was 'point of no return'
Former White House counsel Don McGahn told lawmakers in a closed-door interview last week that he regarded President Donald Trump's demand to have special counsel Robert Mueller fired as “a point of no return" for the administration if carried out. McGahn, who resisted Trump's directive that he contact then-Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to press for Mueller's removal from the Russia investigation, said it seemed “an inflection point” that would have prompted Rosenstein either to fire Mueller or resign himself, according to a transcript released Wednesday by the House Judiciary Committee.news.yahoo.com
Sessions and top aides pushed for separating migrant families despite warnings, report finds
"[W]e need to take away children," Sessions said during a call in May 2018, according to contemporaneous notes taken by several U.S. attorneys. Rosenstein told investigators from the inspector general's office that he understood the zero tolerance policy would result in children being separated from their families. Many of the migrant parents separated from their children in 2017 and early 2018, however, were deported without them, complicating reunification efforts. Mr. Biden has pledged to create a task force to help locate separated parents who have yet to be located. "The incoming administration must reunite the separated families in the United States, but we cannot stop there," Gelernt said.cbsnews.com
GOP presses ahead after election with Russia probe review
Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., questions former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2020, on a probe of the FBI's Russia investigation. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, Pool)WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump may have lost his bid for reelection, but that hasn’t stopped Senate Republicans from pressing forward with their politically charged probe of the FBI’s Russia investigation. “This is a last ditch, desperate undertaking to deal with President Trump’s grievances about that election,” Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois said of the hearing. Most of the criticism of the Russia investigation has centered on flaws in applications to surveil former Trump campaign aide Carter Page. Even so, a Justice Department inspector general report from last year concluded that the Russia investigation was opened for a valid and legitimate purpose.
GOP lawmakers grill Comey on leadership of Russia probe
The hearing was part of a review of the Russia probe by the GOP-led Senate Judiciary Committee. Though Comey acknowledged the FBI’s shortcomings in the surveillance of Page, he also described that aspect of the probe as a “slice” of the broader Russia investigation, which he defended as legitimate and valid. The inspector general report, and documents released in recent months, have raised questions about the reliability of that research. Comey defended the investigation, which was opened after a campaign adviser boasted that he had heard Russia had damaging information about Clinton. But Republican lawmakers have seized on the critical aspects of the watchdog report to cast broader doubt on the Russia investigation.
Ex-FBI agent: Attacks from Trump 'outrageous' and 'cruel'
Strzok, a former FBI agent who was fired because of derogatory text messages about Donald Trump, writes in a new book that he believes the president has been compromised by Russia. Strzok, for his part, expresses measured regret for the texts in Compromised: Counterintelligence and the Threat of Donald J. Trump, due out Tuesday. Special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation revealed significant contacts between the Trump campaign and Russia but found insufficient evidence of a criminal conspiracy. By his own count, Strzok says, Trump has attacked him since then more than 100 times in tweets. After Trump accused Strzok of treason, he appealed to the FBI for a statement condemning the remarks, but got none.
Raw feelings abound as Senate turns back to Russia probe
WASHINGTON WASHINGTON (AP) Two Republican-led Senate committees have launched election-year investigations into the Justice Departments Russia probe, resurrecting the issue at the urging of President Donald Trump while reigniting the partisan hostility that comes along with it. In a Senate office building next door, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee approved its own slate of three dozen subpoenas related to the Russia probe over strong Democratic objections. Speaking on the committees investigation, Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, told Johnson that I continue to be concerned that this is politically motivated even as he voted to move ahead. The president has continued to rail against the Russia probe, which he calls a hoax. Among the names on that list is Trumps Democratic opponent, Joe Biden, who was vice president when the Russia probe began.
Grassley vows to block Trump nominees over watchdog firings
(Greg Nash/Pool via AP)WASHINGTON WASHINGTON (AP) Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley says he is blocking two Trump administration nominees until the White House provides adequate reasons for the termination of two inspectors general. Grassley has been seeking answers on President Donald Trump's recent firings of several inspectors general, including Michael Atkinson, inspector general for the intelligence community, and State Department Inspector General Steve Linick. Atkinson, who was fired as intelligence community inspector general in April, advanced a whistleblower complaint that resulted in the presidents impeachment. A 2008 law requires the president to provide Congress with a written explanation at least 30 days prior to removing an inspector general. The law is intended to prevent politically motivated terminations, although there is little Congress can do to block an IGs firing.
Rosenstein defends naming special counsel for Russia inquiry
Rosenstein was appearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee at the first in a series of oversight hearings that coincide with accelerated election-year efforts to review the FBI's Russia investigation. Though Rosenstein was a Trump appointee, he has often been regarded with suspicion by many supporters of the president, and Trump himself, for his role in the Russia investigation. Rosenstein assumed oversight of the Russia investigation after then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions withdrew from the inquiry. The inspector general's report said senior Justice Department officials were given incomplete information by the FBI. The Justice Department moved to dismiss the case last month, saying Flynn's contacts with the diplomat were entirely appropriate and that the FBI had insufficient basis to interview him.
Graham calls Rosenstein as first witness in Russia probe
WASHINGTON Former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein will testify next week at a Senate committee hearing on the Justice Department's Russia investigation, the panel chairman said Wednesday. The hearings are part of a broader effort by allies of President Donald Trump to call into question decisions and actions made during the Russia investigation. The Justice Department has launched multiple reviews of the Russia probe, and the Trump administration has recently declassified material aimed at casting Obama administration officials in a negative light. Rosenstein is a pivotal figure in the Russia investigation. He added: Independent law enforcement investigations, judicial review, and congressional oversight are important checks on the discretion of agents and prosecutors.