Tag Archives: Department

Justice Department nears prosecution of ex-FBI official McCabe: sources

Justice Department nears prosecution of ex-FBI official McCabe: sourcesThe U.S. Justice Department moved closer to a politically sensitive prosecution of former top FBI official Andrew McCabe on Thursday by rejecting a request from his legal team to drop the case, according to two sources familiar with the investigation. The notice indicates that the department could soon bring criminal charges against the FBI’s former No. 2 official, who has endured years of criticism by President Donald Trump after playing a key role in the investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia in the 2016 election. McCabe has said those attacks are part of an effort to undermine law enforcement and intelligence professionals.



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Justice Department Inspector General Blasts Comey: ‘Set a Dangerous Example’ by Leaking Memos About Trump

Justice Department Inspector General Blasts Comey: ‘Set a Dangerous Example’ by Leaking Memos About TrumpREUTERSThe Justice Department’s Inspector General has found that former FBI Director James Comey broke internal rules by sharing his memos on conversations with President Donald Trump with people outside the FBI. The Inspector General said in a report released Thursday that Comey set a dangerous example for FBI employees by disseminating a memo in order to put pressure on then-Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to appoint a special counsel after Trump fired Comey in May 2017.“[E]ven when these employees believe that their most strongly-held personal convictions might be served by an unauthorized disclosure, the FBI depends on them not to disclose sensitive information,” the report said. “Former Director Comey failed to live up to this responsibility. By not safeguarding sensitive information obtained during the course of his FBI employment, and by using it to create public pressure for official action, Comey set a dangerous example for the over 35,000 current FBI employees—and the many thousands more former FBI employees—who similarly have access to or knowledge of non-public information.” The report also said that the Justice Department, after reviewing the inspector general’s findings, decided against prosecuting comey over the memos. The decision may disappoint Trump, who once retweeted a meme showing Comey behind bars, and reportedly told the former White House counsel he wanted to prosecute the ex-FBI director.The report found no evidence that Comey or his lawyer shared classified material with reporters—a finding the former FBI director immediately cheered on Twitter. “I don’t need a public apology from those who defamed me, but a quick message with a ‘sorry we lied about you’ would be nice,” he wrote.In the early months of the Trump presidency, Comey had multiple conversations with the president about the Russia probe that he memorialized. In one of those conversations, Trump pressured him to go easy on Michael Flynn, the ex-national security adviser who later pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about conversations with Russia’s ambassador. Comey shared the memo with his lawyer, who then shared it with The New York Times. Comey has drawn blistering criticism from both Democrats and Republicans in the years since the 2016 election season. When he made a public statement on July 5, 2016, criticizing Hillary Clinton’s use of her personal email to do government business, Republicans cheered. But Democrats, irate, lambasted him for sharing derogatory information discovered in the course of a criminal investigation about someone who was not charged with a crime. Comey also shared additional information with Congress about the FBI’s scrutiny of Clinton’s email server in the weeks before Election Day. Clinton’s campaign argued that those revelations caused a decisive downturn in her support and handed the election to Trump.All that endeared Comey to the right, but it didn’t last.At the same time that it was scrutinizing Clinton’s emails, the FBI was also running a counterintelligence investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 campaign. Comey confirmed the existence of the probe in congressional testimony on March 20, 2017.“I have been authorized by the Department of Justice to confirm that the FBI, as part of our counterintelligence mission, is investigating the Russian government's efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election and that includes investigating the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia's efforts,” he said. “As with any counterintelligence investigation, this will also include an assessment of whether any crimes were committed.”Those two sentences really ticked off Trump. A few weeks later, on May 9, he fired the FBI director. The White House cited a memo Rosenstein had written about Comey’s handling of the Clinton investigation as grounds for his firing. But Rosenstein’s memo didn’t actually call for him to be dismissed. And days later, Trump told NBC News’s Lester Holt that he’d actually canned Comey because of the Russia probe. “I said to myself, I said, ‘You know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made up story,’” Trump said. Comey’s firing set off a panic at Justice Department headquarters. And on May 17, Rosenstein named Robert Mueller as special counsel overseeing the probe. Mueller’s work concluded this past spring.Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.



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Biden has another blunder when he can't remember the Department of Health and Human Services

Biden has another blunder when he can't remember the Department of Health and Human ServicesJoe Biden's campaign is on defense again after another campaign trail blunder.



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U.S. will aggressively enforce sanctions over Iran tanker: State Department official

U.S. will aggressively enforce sanctions over Iran tanker: State Department officialThe United States will aggressively enforce its sanctions to prevent the private sector from assisting an Iranian oil tanker that is traveling through the Mediterranean and that Washington wants seized, a State Department official said on Thursday. “The shipping sector is on notice that we will aggressively enforce U.S. sanctions,” the official told Reuters days after warning countries not to allow the tanker to dock. Ship tracking data has shown the ship, Adrian Darya, formerly called Grace 1, last heading toward Greece, although Greece’s prime minister said it was not heading to his country.



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Farmer's threat prompts U.S. Agriculture Department to pull staff from crop tour

Farmer's threat prompts U.S. Agriculture Department to pull staff from crop tourCORALVILLE, Iowa/CHICAGO (Reuters) – The U.S. Agriculture Department said on Wednesday it had pulled all staff from an annual crop tour after an employee was threatened, and three sources said the threat of violence was made during a phone call from an angry farmer. U.S. farmers have complained this month that a government crop report did not reflect damage from historic flooding this spring. Lance Honig, crops chief at the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, was among the USDA staffers who had to leave the privately-run Pro Farmer tour, three sources with knowledge of the situation said.



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Random judge assignment ordered for Don McGahn subpoena case, a victory for Justice Department against House

Random judge assignment ordered for Don McGahn subpoena case, a victory for Justice Department against HouseJudge Beryl Howell ordered the random assignment of a judge for a House case involving Don McGahn, President Donald Trump's former White House counsel



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FBI raids Jeffery Epstein’s ‘paedophile’ island as Justice Department announces staff shakeup at prison where he died

FBI raids Jeffery Epstein’s ‘paedophile’ island as Justice Department announces staff shakeup at prison where he diedThe FBI has conducted a raid on accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein’s private island, according to reports, as two guards assigned to watch the disgraced financier before his apparent suicide in prison were put on administrative leave. Federal officials were seen spreading across the island of Little St James by US vessels and on golf carts, just two days after the disgraced financier died of an apparent suicide in a New York prison. Epstein was facing new sex trafficking and conspiracy charges over allegations he operated an international child sex trafficking ring. The 66-year-old was set to stand trial next year and was facing 45 years in jail if convicted.Kelly Quinn, who was operating a sailing charter near Epstein’s private island at the time of the raid, told NBC News: “We were just trying to look at pretty fish and swim with turtles and here we are in the middle of an FBI raid.”“This has been something on our radar for years,” she added. “We’re all really curious why it’s happening now.”The property, which sits between the larger St Thomas and St John islands, has been dubbed “paedophile island”. Epstein had been accused of trafficking girls who were as young as 12 to his sprawling facilities on the island.A drone flying over Epstein’s residence managed to record the FBI raid. The recording, which was posted to YouTube, shows agents inside a room seemingly going through belongings. The agents later notice the drone and begin shielding their operations with cardboard boxes placed along the windows. News of the FBI raid came as the US Justice Department announced that the warden for the Metropolitan Correctional Centre in New York – where Epstein was being held when he died – had been temporarily reassigned. At least two guards who were on duty at the time of Epstein’s death on Saturday have also been placed on leave, the department said in a statement. The correctional facilities showed “serious irregularities” at the time of Epstein’s death, attorney general William Barr said, adding that the Justice Department and FBI were continuing with their investigations into the death of the disgraced financier.Donald Trump told reporters he wanted a “full investigation” into Epstein’s death. “That’s what I absolutely am demanding,” he said. “That’s what our attorney general, our great attorney general, is doing. He’s doing a full investigation.”



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Jeffrey Epstein: Justice Department launches investigation into accused sex trafficker's apparent suicide amid mounting conspiracy theories

Jeffrey Epstein: Justice Department launches investigation into accused sex trafficker's apparent suicide amid mounting conspiracy theoriesThe US Department of Justice has launched an investigation into the death of Jeffrey Epstein, the disgraced billionaire accused of operating an international sex trafficking ring while abusing countless young girls. Epstein, 66, was found on Saturday morning unresponsive inside a cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Centre in Manhattan, according to the US Bureau of Prisons. He was pronounced dead at the New York Downtown Hospital shortly after, ABC News reported. Attorney general William Barr said he was “appalled” by Epstein’s death in a statement announcing the Justice Department’s inspector general would be investigating the circumstances of the apparent suicide. “I was appalled to learn that Jeffrey Epstein was found dead early this morning from an apparent suicide while in federal custody,” the attorney general said. “Mr Epstein’s death raises serious questions that must be answered.”“In addition to the FBI’s investigation, I have consulted with the inspector general who is opening an investigation into the circumstances of Mr Epstein’s death,” the statement continued. There was no official confirmation by Sunday afternoon that Epstein had in fact died by suicide, although numerous reports said officials believed he hanged himself. Just three weeks earlier, the billionaire – who was scheduled to stand trial next year over sex trafficking and conspiracy charges – was found unresponsive in his cell with seemingly self-inflicted bruises on his neck. The lack of official confirmation led to a brewing of right-wing conspiracy theories alleging the reported death had something to do with Bill Clinton, the former US president, who once was a prominent member of the billionaire’s inner circle, along with other world leaders and powerful elite. The conspiracy theories were given a speakerphone by the White House, as Donald Trump retweeted posts that appeared to refute the death being a suicide while linking Mr Clinton to Epstein. “Died of SUICIDE on 24/7 SUICIDE WATCH? Yeah right!” One tweet read that the president shared, despite reports indicating Epstein was not on suicide watch at the time of his death. Epstein “had information on Bill Clinton [and] no he’s dead,” the tweet continued. > Pedophiles facing federal criminal charges are at high risk for suicide. It happened in several of my Maryland cases when defendants were released on bail. Detained pedophiles require special attention. Stopping people from harming themselves is difficult. t.co/YK4buPXmR9> > — Rod Rosenstein (@RodRosenstein) > > August 10, 2019Hashtags like EpsteinSuicideCoverUp and TrumpsBodyCount were also trending on Twitter across the country on Sunday afternoon. Mr Trump himself has been photographed and seen on video with Epstein, in one instance ogling women at a party with the billionaire in front of media cameras. Epstein was facing 45 years in prison over accusations he sexually abused dozens of underage girls, with many of those victims now expressing frustration over the billionaire’s reported death. “I am extremely mad and hurt thinking he once again thought he was above us and took the easy way out … I still can’t wrap my head around the fact that’s really true,” Jena-Lisa Jones, who was allegedly raped by Epstein at the age of 14, said in a statement to ABC News. “God will have his judgement now.”“I am angry Jeffrey Epstein won’t have to face his survivors of his abuse in court,” Jennifer Araoz, who said she was raped by Epstein at the age of 15, also told the news outlet. “We have to live with the scars of his actions for the rest of our lives, while he will never face the consequences of the crimes he committed the pain and trauma he caused so many people.”Epstein’s suicide watch reported ended after July following daily psychological assessments, CNN reported. He had since been living in the Special Housing Unit of the jail. According to Rod Rosenstein, the former deputy attorney general, “paedophiles facing federal criminal charges are at high risk for suicide”.The former official wrote on Twitter on Saturday: “It happened in several of my Maryland cases when defendants were released on bail.“Detained paedophiles require special attention,” said Mr Rosenstein, who previously served as a US attorney in Maryland. “Stopping people from harming themselves is difficult.”



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US State Department employee is prominent white nationalist leader, report says

US State Department employee is prominent white nationalist leader, report saysAn explosive new report says a US State Department official was the head of a Washington chapter for a white nationalist group and published extremist propaganda online. Matthew Gebert, who serves as a foreign affairs officer in the State Department’s Bureau of Energy Resources, actively promoted white nationalist sentiments and was a prominent member of white nationalism circles, the Southern Poverty Law Centre’s Hatewatch reported Wednesday. Hatewatch said Mr Gebert often discussed the need for a country exclusively built for white people that featured a “nuclear deterrent.” His wife, Anna Vuckovic, was also a blogger who published white nationalist views, according to the report. The two went by the pseudonyms “Coach Finstock” and “Wolfie James,” according to the researchers’ sources. They also regularly invited other white nationalists over their house in Leesburg, Virginia, Hatewatch reported. “[Whites] need a country of our own with nukes, and we will retake this thing lickety split,” Mr Gebert reportedly said on a podcast last year while using his alias.“That’s all that we need,” he added, “we need a country founded for white people with a nuclear deterrent. And you watch how the world trembles.”Mr Gebert first joined the State Department as a fellow in 2013 before eventually being promoted to his current position at the Bureau of Energy Resources. In 2017, Mr Gebert said he was “prepared” to lose his career and paycheck in order to continue promoting white nationalist ideologies, according to Hatewatch. “There are bigger things than a career and a paycheck, and I don’t want to lose mine,” he reportedly said in a podcast at the time. “I am prepared to lose mine. Because this is the most important thing to me in my life … in tandem with my family, of course.”The team of researchers at Hatewatch said they used open-source intelligence methods to connect Mr Gebert to the Twitter handles and online pseudonyms he used to reportedly promote his ideologies. His wife also reportedly shared racist sentiments while offering dating and parenting advice for white nationalists on the right-wing site The Right Stuff. It was previously reported in July 2018 that Mr Gebert donated $ 200 (£165) to a Republican congressional candidate in Wisconsin who was condemned for promoting anti-Semitic views on Twitter.Neither Mr Gebert nor the State Department have commented on Hatewatch's reporting.



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Texas Police Department Under Fire After Viral Photo Shows Officers on Horseback Leading Handcuffed Man By Rope

Texas Police Department Under Fire After Viral Photo Shows Officers on Horseback Leading Handcuffed Man By RopeChief Vernon L. Hale III of the Galveston police department said the officers "showed poor judgment" in the incident and that they did not have any ill intentions with their decision



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