Sessions Department of Justice

Trump pacifies Cory Gardner on marijuana issue

Featured image For months, Sen. Cory Gardner has been blocking the Trump administration from staffing key positions at the DOJ. Among these position are Assistant Attorney General, Civil Division; Assistant Attorney General, Civil Rights Division; Assistant Attorney General, Criminal Division; and, until Gardner was finally shamed into relenting, Assistant Attorney General, National Security Division. In all, around 20 positions reportedly were affected. You might think that Gardner’s obstruction leaves these key divisions »

Sessions is moving shrewdly on the FISA abuse investigation

Featured image Early this month, President Trump tweeted: Why is A.G. Jeff Sessions asking the Inspector General to investigate potentially massive FISA abuse. 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! Trump’s tweet was foolish at several levels, as I argued here. For one thing, folks who know what they’re talking about »

The Wheels of Justice Grind Slowly

Featured image The Inspector General of the Department of Justice announced yesterday that he will investigate potential abuse of the FISA process by the FBI in connection with its surveillance of Carter Page, and perhaps more broadly of the Trump presidential campaign: Department of Justice (DOJ) Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz announced today that, in response to requests from the Attorney General and Members of Congress, the Office of the Inspector General »

Fear & loathing at the DoJ , cont’d

Featured image In the memoir Cardiac Arrest: Five Heart-Stopping Years as a CEO on the Feds’ Hit List (written with Stephen Saltarelli), Howard Root tells the story of his experience as chief executive officer of Vascular Solutions caught in the crosshairs of the federal government when prosecutors sought to put his company out of business and to send him to the big house. Howard touched on one aspect of his story in »

Is Jeff Sessions’ job safe?

Featured image Probably not. I doubt that anyone’s job is safe in the Trump administration. However, the Washington Examiner reports that the attorney general has received assurances from the White House that his job is safe. That’s the good news. The bad news is that John Kelly, who gave Sessions the assurances, may not be safe for long in his job of chief-of-staff. There are good reasons why Sessions may not be »

Influential Dem operative “stands with McCabe” even if he’s guilty

Featured image Ron Klain is a longtime Democratic operative. Among other important posts, he served as chief of staff to two vice presidents, Al Gore and Joe Biden. Klain is a personable guy. He was liked and respected by conservatives I know who dealt with him during the Clinton years. These days, though, Klain is so committed to the anti-Trump resistance that guilt and innocence don’t matter to him anymore, at least »

Sessions sacks Andrew McCabe

Featured image This evening, Attorney Jeff Sessions fired Andrew McCabe. Until recently, McCabe was the deputy director of the FBI. He stepped down from that position, but remained a Justice Department employee pending his retirement, which was set to take place this weekend. The firing took place 26 hours before the retirement. It means McCabe will lose a significant portion of his pension. McCabe promptly issued an angry statement. He claimed, among »

Who can investigate whom?

Featured image Pressure is mounting for the appointment of a special counsel to investigate how the FBI and the Justice Department handled interactions with the Trump campaign and the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. Sens. Charles Grassley and Lindsey Graham say that although the inspector general is doing a good job with his investigation, he faces constraints. Thus, they want a special counsel. To the extent the inspector general »

Scott Pruitt for Attorney General? Let’s hope not

Featured image Within limits, personnel churn in an administration has advantages. Removing poor performers or folks who resist the president’s agenda seems like a no-brainer. And when an outsider assumes the presidency with a shallow bench of supporters, we shouldn’t be surprised to see turnover early on. Churn doesn’t necessarily entail chaos, but it fosters uncertainty and intrigue. Accordingly to this story in the Washington Post by four — count them, four »

DOJ sues California over sanctuary state measures

Featured image The Justice Department has filed suit against the state of California over its policies that protect illegal immigrants from U.S. immigration authorities. The lawsuit challenges the legality of three separate California laws. First, the California Values Act (SB 54) strictly limits state and local agencies from sharing information with federal officers about criminals or suspects unless they have been convicted of serious crimes. Second, the Immigrant Worker Protection Act (AB »

Up in smoke, Part Two

Featured image In a post called “Up in Smoke,” I discussed Sen. Cory Gardner’s decision to put a hold on all pending Justice Department nominees in retaliation for Jeff Sessions’ revocation of a memo issued by the Obama DOJ regarding enforcement of federal law regarding marijuana. The memo in question discouraged federal prosecutors in most cases from bringing charges wherever the drug is legal under state law. Sessions called the memorandum unnecessary »

Up in smoke

Featured image I wrote here about the void in the Trump/Sessions, where four nominees for Assistant Attorney General positions are being held up due to Senate inaction. The four positions are crucial ones: Assistant Attorney General, Civil Division; Assistant Attorney General, Civil Rights Division; Assistant Attorney General, Criminal Division; and Assistant Attorney General, National Security Division. Why can’t these nominees get a vote? Apparently, it’s because of marijuana. Sen. Cory Gardner is »

The gap at DOJ

Featured image Rachel Brand, the third highest ranking official in the Justice Department has resigned. She will become Walmart’s “Executive Vice President, Global Governance and Corporate Secretary.” With Brand’s departure, here is what the top echelon of the Department of Justice looks like: Attorney General – Jeff Sessions Deputy Attorney General – Rod Rosenstein Associate Attorney General – vacant Solicitor General – Noel Francisco Assistant Attorney General, Civil Division – vacant, nomination »

Justice Department sides with free speech on campus

Featured image The Justice Department has filed a statement of interest siding with two conservative groups that have sued the University of California at Berkeley for violating their First Amendment rights. The DOJ’s filing argues that the plaintiffs — the Young America’s Foundation and the Berkeley College Republicans — properly pleaded that Berkeley violated these rights, and that therefore the court should not to dismiss the plaintiffs’ case at the pleadings stage. »

“Sessions tries to regain Trump’s favor”

Featured image That’s the top headline in today’s Washington Post (paper edition). I’m not sure why it’s newsworthy, though. Naturally, a Cabinet member wants to be in the good graces of his boss, the president. There’s no job security, and not much chance of being very effective, without the president’s favor. It would be newsworthy if a Cabinet member tried to curry favor by acting lawlessly. However, nowhere in the Post’s article »

Schumer succeeds in obstructing key DOJ nominees

Featured image The Washington Post reports that “nearly a year into President Trump’s administration, the Justice Department lacks Senate-confirmed appointees in leadership posts running the national security, criminal, civil rights and other key divisions.” “The problem shows no sign of abating anytime soon,” the Post adds. The Post is correct. Not only are key leadership posts vacant, but it now appears they will remain vacant until at least the Spring. Moreover, this »

Fear & loathing at the DoJ: Andrew McCarthy comments

Featured image There is no one whose opinion I wanted more than that of former Assistant United States Attorney Andrew McCarthy on “Fear and loathing at the DoJ.” He knows what he is talking about. I am grateful that he took the time to read the post, watch the video of Howard Root’s account of the criminal case against him (Howard, that is), and comment via Twitter (below). Andy’s tweet to his »