Trump Justice Department

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), »

In search of the origin

Featured image House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes has sought documents and information bearing on the origin of the Trump-Russia counterintelligence investigation. The official origin of the probe is dated July 31, 2016, yet the FBI had its wheels in spin well before then. At RealClearPolitics Lee Smith has now set forth “The Mysterious Seven Preludes of the FBI’s Trump-Russia Probe.” The House subpoenaed relevant documents. The Department of Justice dragged its »

Rosenstein’s rot

Featured image Catherine Herridge reports a story on Deputy Attorney Rod Rosenstein that dates back to a January 2018 meeting. Here is the dramatic opening: Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein threatened to “subpoena” emails, phone records and other documents from lawmakers and staff on a Republican-led House committee during a tense meeting earlier this year, according to emails reviewed by Fox News documenting the encounter and reflecting what aides described as a »

Senator Grassley requests (again)

Featured image I will try to omit continued professions of difficulty keeping up with the true scandals surrounding the fabricated scandal of Trump-Russia collusion, or of disbelief over the bureaucratic obstruction that amounts to defiance when oversight beckons. In the spirit of Ciceronian praeteritio and rhetorical disgust, I wonder how long the authorities at the Department of Justice can abuse the patience of the Senate with their continued resistance? We have grown »

A long game that’s taking too long

Featured image In a column called “Mitch McConnell is winning the long game,” George Will praises the Majority Leader. And not without justification. Though McConnell is sometimes criticized by conservatives for lack of legislative successes, Senate Republicans have accomplished quite a bit under his leadership, notwithstanding the slimness of their majority. Will quotes McConnell’s recitation of the major accomplishments during the past 18 months: The largest tax reduction in 31 years has »

On Mueller’s appointment

Featured image Steven G. Calabresi is the Clayton J. and Henry R. Barber Professor of Law at Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law. In an intriguing column for The Hill this week, Professor Calabresi gives a glimpse of “The mess Rod Rosenstein made.” I was surprised by Rosenstein’s noncompliance with the Department of Justice’s own (very simple) regulations on the appointment of Special Counsel at the time he originally appointed Robert Mueller. »

Mysteries of the probe (2)

Featured image In his National Review column “Outrageous redactions to the Russia report,” Andrew McCarthy looks at the now unredacted portions of the House Intelligence Committee report that we posted here on Friday night. About those now unredacted redactions graciously approved by the FBI: “[W]hat we find out is that they were concealing their own questionable judgments and conflicting explanations for their actions; their use of foreign-intelligence and criminal-investigative authorities to investigate »

Mysteries of the probe (1)

Featured image What is the basis of Robert Mueller’s appointment as Special Counsel? The regulations provide that the appointment of Special Counsel rests in part on the determination that criminal investigation of a person or matter is warranted (28 CFR § 600.1). The jurisdiction of the Special Counsel is established by the Attorney General or his surrogate and the Special Counsel is to be provided with a specific factual statement of the »

Paging Sally Yates

Featured image Victor Davis Hanson is an author, classicist, military historian, former university teacher, and incredibly prolific columnist. Like a writer of science fiction, he calls on a vivid imagination to conjure an alternative universe. In the alternative universe of his imagination, Democrats are held to the same standards as Republicans. Take, for example, his column “What if Mueller questioned Barack Obama?” It is in its own way a Swiftian satire of »

A BRIDGES too far

Featured image Tonight, the Department of Justice/FBI will continue its 17-year practice of meeting quarterly with representatives of the Muslim community in southeast Michigan. It’s called a BRIDGES meeting. BRIDGES stands for Building Respect in Diverse Groups to Enhance Sensitivity. Not security, which should be the FBI’s mission. Sensitivity. Indeed, the U.S. Attorney’s office in Michigan no longer even mentions trying to prevent jihad as the mission of BRIDGES. Rather, the point »

Waiting for the Comey memos

Featured image At the Daily Caller, Chuck Ross reports that Republican chairmen of three House committees have demanded that the Department of Justice provide copies of the memos written by former FBI Director James Comey following his meetings with President Trump. “There is no legal basis for withholding these materials from Congress,” according to the letter by Reps. Bob Goodlatte, Trey Gowdy, and Devin Nunes sent to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein »

What is the FBI hiding? (5)

Featured image In this series we have followed the FBI’s withholding of an unredacted version of the Electronic Communication (“EC”) that initiated the FBI counterintelligence investigation culminating in the Mueller project. Around the time I wrote part 4 of the series yesterday, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein finally gave House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes and Rep. Trey Gowdy a look at a less redacted or minimally redacted copy of the document. »

What is the FBI hiding? (4)

Featured image House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes has sought an unredacted copy of the Electronic Communication (“EC,” in intelligence jargon) that opened the counterintelligence investigation leading to surveillance of the Trump campaign and culminating in the Mueller project. The document has been under subpoena for months. In previous parts of this series — part 1, part 2, and part 3 — I have posted correspondence and comments bearing on the FBI’s »

A couple of things that might be done

Featured image In a pair of posts, Scott asks “What is to be done?” now that Robert Mueller has caused the office, home, and hotel room of Michael Cohen to be raided. Scott lays out several options and notes some of their shortcomings. Last night, in my first take on the raid, I considered one option, firing Mueller. I felt I needed more information before advocating this “nuclear” option. I still do. »