Trump Justice Department

Dear Chairman Nadler

Featured image House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler wanted information about the investigation that Attorney General Barr has commissioned into the spying conducted by the FBI and others involved in the Trump-Russia probe. Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd responded to Nadler yesterday by letter (embedded below). Barr has named United States Attorney John Durham to conduct the investigation. Analyze this: the investigation is “broad in scope and multifaceted[.]” The investigation is to »

Judge Sullivan stands down

Featured image Judge Emmet Sullivan ordered the government to produce transcripts of recordings in the case against Michael Flynn, over which he is presiding. Before getting to the government’s excused defiance of this order, I want to reiterate a point that has consumed my interest because of its revelatory qualities. It is thanks to Judge Sullivan that we have the unedited transcript of Trump attorney John Dowd’s voicemail message to Flynn lawyer »

The Barr factor, cont’d

Featured image FOX News has now posted Bill Hemmer’s entire interview with Attorney General William Barr in San Salvador (video below). In the course of this fantastic interview Hemmer asked a series of questions about Barr’s investigation of the Russia hoax. All of Barr’s answers throughout, including his discreet nonresponses and amused smiles, are of intense interest. Yesterday I quoted Barr: “What I will say is that I’ve been trying to get »

The Barr factor

Featured image The current conflict between John Brennan and James Comey — see Vivek Saxena’s compilation here — puts Saxena in mind of Mad Magazine’s long-running Spy Versus Spy feature. It puts me in mind of the Iran-Iraq war according to Henry Kissinger: “It’s a pity both sides can’t lose.” Well, maybe both sides can lose. Bill Hemmer sat down with Attorney General Barr in San Salvador yesterday. Hemmer took the opportunity »

William Barr speaks

Featured image I was tied up all day yesterday attending the trial of Mohamed Noor. This morning I tracked down the FOX News video of Attorney General Barr’s press conference on the release of the Mueller report (full video below). Perhaps not surprisingly, it doesn’t quite conform to what I heard about it in the news on the radio coming home. I thought that readers who were also otherwise engaged yesterday might »

Barr brings accountability

Featured image Kim Strassel devotes her weekly Wall Street Journal column today — “Barr brings accountability” (behind the Journal’s column) — to the news that Attorney General William Barr is undertaking a review of the surveillance of the Trump presidential campaign conducted by the FBI and intelligence agencies under the Obama administration. As we have frequently observed, we weren’t meant to learn a blessed thing about this surveillance. Strassel picks up this »

“Spying did occur”

Featured image Democrats cannot handle the truth. We saw this yesterday in their uniform reaction to Attorney General Barr’s acknowledgment that “Spying did occur” on the Trump presidential campaign. The link is to today’s Wall Street Journal editorial (by Kim Strassel, I am quite sure, and behind the Journal’s paywall. Somewhere near the top of this post, however, I want to quote a sentence from Mollie Hemingway’s Federalist column on the Barr »

Ineffective Democrat subpoenas

Featured image A House panel voted yesterday to authorize subpoenas to obtain Robert Mueller’s full report on Russian interference in the 2016 election. The vote was strictly along party lines. Democrats aren’t going to issue the subpoena yet. First, they will negotiate with the Justice Department. But Democrats are holding a losing hand. This subpoena, like all the others House Democrats are thinking about issuing, cannot, in all likelihood, be effectively enforced. »

Jessie Liu withdraws [UPDATED]

Featured image I wrote here about Jessie Liu, the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia and the Trump administration’s nominee for Associate Attorney General, the number three position at the Justice Department. Liu’s nomination concerned me because she was the Vice President of the National Association of Women Lawyers (NAWL) when that organization opposed and condemned the nomination of Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court. NAWL stated: [Alito] is not qualified »

Report: Mueller not recommending any more indictments

Featured image As Steve notes, special counsel Robert Mueller has submitted his report to attorney general William Barr. This completes the Mueller investigation, though not its outgrowth in the office of the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York. Fox News reports that Mueller has not recommended any new indictments. Thus, President Trump will not be indicted based on the Mueller report. What we don’t know is why. Is it »

The Klobuchar Kriterion

Featured image Senator Amy Klobuchar — Minnesota’s own presidential candidate — proudly joined all but three of the Senate’s other Democrats to vote yesterday against the confirmation of William Barr as Attorney General. Her tweet below provides the short form of her stated rationale. My statement on AG nominee William Barr: pic.twitter.com/ghbg67uWX8 — Amy Klobuchar (@amyklobuchar) February 14, 2019 Klobuchar gave a speech on the floor of the Senate in which she »

Fear & loathing at the DoJ: Finale

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 »

Mysteries of the Mueller probe

Featured image Andrew McCarthy’s weekly NR column poses this pointed question: “For precisely what federal crimes is the president of the United States under investigation by a special counsel appointed by the Justice Department?” He observes: “It is intolerable that, after more than two years of digging — the 16-month Mueller probe having been preceded by the blatantly suspect labors of the Obama Justice Department and FBI — we still do not »

A word from Cleta Mitchell

Featured image In “More Mueller madness” I mention today’s Wall Street Journal editorial decrying the wrong done to our friend Cleta Mitchell in connection with the Russia investigation(s). Cleta is the prominent Foley & Lardner partner and campaign finance expert. The Journal editorial is “Anatomy of a Fusion smear” (truncated but accessible here on Outline). That Fusion smear was planted in his accustomed style by Glenn Simpson with a few of his »

Either Ohr

Featured image The mind-boggling scandal of the Obama administration’s treatment of the Trump presidential campaign continues to unravel, but you’d never know from taking in your news via the mainstream media. Former Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr is scheduled to testify under oath this week before the House Judiciary and Oversight Committees on August 28. Ohr seems to have served as a conduit for Christopher Steele’s continued service to the FBI »

In which Andrew McCarthy unloads

Featured image NR posted Andrew McCarthy’s column on last week’s development in the Mueller probe under the bland headline “Mueller’s politicized indictments of twelve Russian intelligence officers.” I think it might more properly have been headed In which Andrew McCarthy unloads on Rod Rosenstein and Robert Mueller. Among several other salient points, McCarthy observes: “The only point of the new indictment is to justify Rosenstein’s decision and Mueller’s existence.” If you overlooked »

Senate confirms Benczkowski; it’s time to confirm Dreiband and Clark too

Featured image On Wednesday, the Senate confirmed Brian Benczkowski as head of the Criminal Division of the Justice Department. Thus, a year and a half into the Trump administration, the Senate has finally confirmed one of Trump’s nominees to a key assistant attorney general position. Three other such key positions remain vacant. They are head of the Civil Rights Division (Eric Dreiband), head of the Environment and Natural Resources Division (Jeff Clark), »