On October 8, 2022, supporters of WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange in England will join hands to form a human chain surrounding Parliament in London. In solidarity, US-based supporters will hold a rally at the Department of Justice in Washington DC, calling on Attorney General Merrick Garland to drop the charges against Assange.
Incumbent Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has won the Republican primary over George P. Bush, the Texas General Land Office commissioner, according to a race call from The Associated Press.
In addition, a few moments before Netanyahu announced his decision to back Gantz for the position, he apparently was made aware that Bennett held his first meeting with Mansour Abbas – the leader of the Islamist Ra’am party – in an effort to form a unity government.
Hours before the High Court of Justice was due to decide on the legality of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s attempts to install a justice minister from his own party, the premier announced Wednesday afternoon he supports the appointment of Blue & White leader Benny Gantz for the position.
In a statement Netanyahu said, „The prime minister submitted a detailed response to the High Court that completely rejects the court’s claim that yesterday’s vote was illegal.“
„However,“ Netanyahu said, „after the prime minister’s attempts at compromise were rejected again this morning, and in order to extract us from this dead end situation and allow the Justice Ministry to function, the prime minister decided to appoint Benny Gantz to the post of Justice Minister for the tenure of the interim government.“
Netanyahu’s refusal to appoint a justice minister is a direct assault on this nation. It is that simple.
His reasoning is also simple: Netanyahu does not want to fill the role with someone who is not subservient and willing to go along with coordinated efforts to escape his bribery trial.
Rather, it is the public danger he constitutes and his conspiring to topple state institutions. Ordinary criminal defendants who behaved as Netanyahu has would have long since been ordered to remain in custody for the duration of legal proceedings, lest they obstruct the investigation and trial, and for disobeying a court order. But we can’t complain to Netanyahu about it, when the court itself gives him license to harm it.
The High Court of Justice was to convene at 5pm Tuesday after the government failed to appoint a justice minister within the time frame allocated by the court.
The latest attempt to end the deadlock over the appointment of the minister failed when the government voted down a move by Blue & White leader Benny Gantz to return to the ministry on a permanent basis.
The justice minister post has remained empty since Gantz’s term as acting justice minister lapsed on April 1. The appointment of a justice minister is a particularly sensitive issue, given that Netanyahu is currently amid an ongoing corruption trial for bribery, fraud and breach of trust.
According to the FT, Bellenhaus, a Wirecard vet who claims he was oblivious to the fraud, told prosecutors that one of the biggest accounting frauds in modern European corporate history began in 2010 when he created a string of shell companies based in Hong Kong and the British Virgin Islands at the behest of Jan Marsalek, the mysterious Wirecard COO who remains on Interpol’s most-wanted list.
Senators voted 70-30 on Garland’s nomination to lead the Justice Department, easily topping the 50 votes needed.
In a weekend interview with Yediot Aharonot, Gantz said „I felt him stabbing me in the back and turning the knife.“
Nissenkorn, whose resignation took effect Friday morning, wrote on Facebook afterward that Gantz made „crazy concessions“ that would have emptied the justice minister post of authority in an effort to keep the government together.
After leaving Blue & White and joining Tel Aviv mayor Ron Huldai’s new The Israelis party, Avi Nissenkorn Wednesday resigned from his position as justice minister.
“The Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) appear to have increasingly abused emergency authorities to justify the use of force against Americans exercising their right to peaceful assembly,” wrote House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) and Oversight and Reform Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.).
Germany has decided that it wants to take advantage of the present sentiment towards Facebook and not let off. This week, Berlin called for more action at a meeting on Monday of the bloc’s justice ministers.
“We cannot accept the public debate being distorted and poisoned,” said German Justice Minister Christine Lambrecht. “Voluntary commitments and self-responsibility are not enough.”
Netanyahu’s strategy is transparent. He doesn’t have a scrap of evidence that would support his claims about Mendelblit. If he did, he wouldn’t need the campaign of mudslinging and lies that he’s conducting.
All Netanyahu wants is to cast doubt on Mendelblit’s motives, strengthen the doubt and cultivate it, until it casts a pall on the integrity of the legal proceedings against him.
Earlier, Hebrew-language broadcaster Channel 13 reported that Justice Ministry officials slammed recent comments of Netanyahu and Likud ministers, saying “They continue the delegitimization campaign against law enforcement authorities when next up will be the judges.
“They [Netanyahu, Likud] repeat the same farcical mantras and lies, and knowingly lie to the public,” they added, according to Channel 13.
Berman leaves behind a string of high-profile prosecutions and investigations. Since he became US attorney in early 2018, the office has prosecuted Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen, is investigating top Trump confidante Rudy Giuliani and indicted the former New York mayor’s associates Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman.
President Trump on Saturday fired the federal prosecutor whose office put his former personal lawyer in prison and is investigating his current one, heightening criticism that the president was carrying out an extraordinary purge to rid his administration of officials whose independence could be a threat to his re-election campaign.
„I learned in a press release from the Attorney General tonight that I was ’stepping down‘ as United States Attorney,“ the statement reads. „I have not resigned, and have no intention of resigning, my position … I will down when a presidentially appointed nominee is confirmed by the Senate. Until then, our investigations will move forward without delay or interruption.“
A coalition of civil rights groups including the ACLU of the District of Columbia is suing President Donald Trump, Attorney General William Barr, Defense Secretary Mark Esper, and other federal officials over the brutal police assault on peaceful demonstrators near the White House Monday that cleared the way for the president’s photo-op at St. John’s Episcopal Church.
n a federal lawsuit, the groups asserted that U.S. and military police officers’ use of horses, batons, shields and riot control agents — including pepper spray, smoke canisters and rubber or plastic projectiles — violated largely peaceful protesters’ constitutional rights of free speech and assembly 30 minutes before a citywide curfew took effect Monday.
The suit — which also names Attorney General William P. Barr as a defendant — was brought by the ACLU of the District of Columbia, the Washington Lawyers’ Committee and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.
Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), a member of the Judiciary Committee with oversight of the FBI, noted that “we’ve got a problem at the FBI.”
“Clearly, we had some people, and maybe still have some people, that don’t understand the rule of law, and nothing’s been done,“ Kennedy said.
In a two-page memorandum to the country’s 93 U.S. attorneys, Barr cautioned that some state and local directives could be infringing on protected religious, speech and economic rights.
“If a state or local ordinance crosses the line from an appropriate exercise of authority to stop the spread of COVID-19 into an overbearing infringement of constitutional and statutory protections, the Department of Justice may have an obligation to address that overreach in federal court,” Barr wrote.
When the pandemic erupted and a state of emergency was declared, Justice Minister Amir Ohana was the first of the ministers to act, and in a rather suspicious manner ordered the work of the courts frozen only a few days before the prime minister’s trial was meant to begin. It later emerged that the move was coordinated with Supreme Court President Esther Hayut and the courts administrator, Yigal Marzel. The state of emergency declared for the courts was then extended to May 10.
WASHINGTON – The “central and essential” evidence used to justify invasive surveillance of an American citizen in the FBI’s probe into Russian interference was, itself, an example of Russian interference, according to once-secret footnotes declassified at the urging of two U.S. Senators. The footnotes, part of the Justice Department Inspector General’s postmortem of the FBI’s flawed operation to spy on Trump campaign aide Carter Page, were released just hours after Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) renewed their push for transparency. The senators expect a fuller declassification in the coming days.
“It’s ironic that the Russian collusion narrative was fatally flawed because of Russian disinformation. These footnotes confirm that there was a direct Russian disinformation campaign in 2016, and there were ties between Russian intelligence and a presidential campaign – the Clinton campaign, not Trump’s.”
The IG report detailed how the FBI’s application for a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant to spy on Page relied heavily on an unverified dossier compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele on behalf of Fusion GPS, which was conducting opposition research for the Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee. According to Footnote 302, in October 2016, FBI investigators learned that one of Steele’s main sources was linked to the Russian Intelligence Service (RIS), and was rumored to be a former KGB/SVR officer. However, the FBI neglected to include this information in its application, which the FISA court approved that same month. Two months later, investigators learned that Glenn Simpson, the head of Fusion GPS, told a Justice Department attorney that he assessed the same source “was a RIS officer who was central in connecting Trump to Russia.” In January, the FISA warrant was renewed.
Declassified footnotes to a Justice Department inspector general report show that the Federal Bureau of Investigation team investigating members of the Trump campaign received classified reports in 2017 identifying key pieces of the Steele dossier as products of a Russian disinformation campaign. This might be only the tip of the iceberg because other recently declassified information demonstrates that even more disinformation may have been planted in Christopher Steele’s reporting.
(July 2, 2019)
Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska said he previously employed Christopher Steele, the author of the Trump dossier.
Deripaska said he hired Steele through his attorneys in London to work on an unspecific legal proceeding.
Steele investigated the Trump campaign on behalf of the Clinton campaign and DNC.
Footnote 350 in the IG report addresses the FBI’s knowledge of Russian contacts with Steele and the potential for disinformation. Steele had „frequent contacts with representatives for multiple Russian oligarchs, we identified reporting the Crossfire Hurricane team received from (redacted) indicating the potential for Russian disinformation influencing Steele’s election reporting.“
The footnote also indicates that warnings to the FBI’s Russia probe became more pronounced over time.
The FBI’s surveillance of Americans including former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page isn’t exactly the issue du jour amid a global pandemic. But on Tuesday, a brutal inspector general’s report suggested that this will be something that the bureau and Congress will have to reckon with in the near future.
Schumer, D-N.Y., called for the investigations on MSNBC Saturday after Burr, R-N.C., Feinstein, D-Calif., as well as Sens. James Inhofe, R-Okla., and Kelly Loeffler, R-Ga., were hit with allegations of selling large amounts of stocks before the coronavirus crisis rocked Wall Street.
“The answer, in one word, is yes. There should be and there will be,” Schumer said on MSNBC. “I don’t own any stocks. I think it’s a very bad idea for senators to own stocks.”
Financial disclosure statements indicated that Sens. Richard Burr, R-N.C.; Jim Inhofe, R-Okla.; Kelly Loeffler, R-Ga.; and Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.; their spouses or advisers sold large chunks of stock around the time lawmakers received behind-the-scenes briefings about the severity of the coronavirus, which has claimed more than 3,600 lives in the USA.
Expected live at 5:30 p.m. ET: The Coronavirus Task Force holds a daily briefing at the White House.
But the Justice Department’s request doesn’t stop there. Instead, the department has also included an idea that should be immediately rejected: letting federal court chief judges halt all court proceedings during an emergency. This provision would apply to “any statutes or rules of procedure otherwise affecting pre-arrest, post-arrest, pre-trial, trial, and post-trial procedures in criminal and juvenile proceedings and all civil process and proceedings.”
“Not only would it be a violation of that, but it says ‘affecting pre-arrest,’” said Norman L. Reimer, the executive director of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. “So that means you could be arrested and never brought before a judge until they decide that the emergency or the civil disobedience is over. I find it absolutely terrifying. Especially in a time of emergency, we should be very careful about granting new powers to the government.”
I have previously objected to how the Justice Department uses grand juries to punish certain individuals who refuse to cooperate with federal investigations.
Horowitz discovered premeditated fraud on the FISC by a DOJ attorney. In 2016, the attorney „altered“ email from „the other U.S. government agency“ (CIA) and submitted a fraudulent application for a warrant to the court. So the FISC approved the warrant.
The target: Carter Page, a Naval Academy graduate and a former Trump presidential campaign associate. Spying on Page — an innocent man — opened a door to spying on President Donald Trump.
U.S. District Judge James Boasberg, the presiding judge on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), issued an order Wednesday setting out an additional framework for the Justice Department and FBI to follow in future FISA proceedings. The order specifies that „no DOJ or FBI personnel under disciplinary or criminal review relating to their work on FISA applications shall participate in drafting, verifying, verifying, reviewing or submitting such applications to the court.“
While official records linking the ATFC to the CIA do not appear widely in available government documents, their collaboration is an open secret. One early report by the Association of Former Intelligence Officers, an advocacy organization for the US intelligence community, noted “the cell has about two-dozen members drawn from the Drug Enforcement Administration, US Central Command, the Treasury Department and the CIA. The FBI is expected to join soon.”
Global news wire Agency France-Presse characterized ATFC as “a multi-agency organization currently comprising about 30 specialists on loan from the Department of Drug Enforcement, Department of the Treasury, Department of Justice, Department of Defense’s CENTCOM, the CIA and the FBI.”
The FBI obtained a warrant in 2016 to eavesdrop on former Trump national security aide Carter Page on suspicions that he was secretly a Russian agent. The Justice Department renewed the warrant three times, including during the early months of the Trump administration.
(25. Dezember 1992)
Mr. Weinberger was scheduled to stand trial on Jan. 5 on charges that he lied to Congress about his knowledge of the arms sales to Iran and efforts by other countries to help underwrite the Nicaraguan rebels, a case that was expected to focus on Mr. Weinberger’s private notes that contain references to Mr. Bush’s endorsement of the secret shipments to Iran.
Barr, who is scheduled to go before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday for his confirmation hearings, ran the Justice Department once before, under President George H.W. Bush.
Back then, the all-consuming, years-long scandal was called Iran-Contra. On Dec. 24, 1992, it ended when Bush pardoned six people who had been caught up in it.
„The Constitution is quite clear on the powers of the president and sometimes the president has to make a very difficult call,“ Bush said then. „That’s what I’ve done.“
Details on latest encryption battle w @CyberScoopNews
Attorney General Bill Barr, along with officials from the United Kingdom and Australia, is set to publish an open letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg asking the company to delay plans for end-to-end encryption across its messaging services until it can guarantee the added privacy does not reduce public safety.
A draft of the letter, dated Oct. 4, is set to be released alongside the announcement of a new data-sharing agreement between law enforcement in the US and the UK; it was obtained by BuzzFeed News ahead of its publication.
The US attorney general met UK intelligence agencies in the summer to discuss Britain potentially cooperating with Donald Trump’s administration on an inquiry examining the FBI’s investigation into alleged collusion with Russia, according to sources.
William Barr met British intelligence officials in London on 29 July at a meeting attended by intelligence agencies from the Five Eyes group.
President Moon pledged to reform the prosecution to reduce its power during his election campaign.
While Cho was tapped as the justice minister to carry out the reform, the prosecution launched a massive investigation into allegations involving him and his family. The investigation has been seen by Cheong Wa Dae as a show of resistance to reform.
The archive we received from our source is vast, and contains many more explosive stories yet to be reported. Just last night, we published another story exposing even more serious improprieties by Judge Moro, widely regarded as the anchor of legitimacy for the Bolsonaro government, that has led for more calls for him to resign. Because of the importance but also complexity of these issues for those outside of Brazil, we created a video explaining what this archive is about, what these revelations mean, and why the consequences of our reporting are so significant not only for Brazil but for the entire democratic world.
Jair Bolsonaro (PSL) has yet to publicly react to the Sergio Moro and Deltan Dallagnol leaks, preferring to understand the full case before he acts.
Although the president’s allies have defended the Justice Minister, his aides have recommended that he wait for more revelations from the talks between the Moro, the former Lava Jato judge, and the operation’s task force members.
A new leaked conversation between chief prosecutor of the Car Wash (Lava Jato) task force, Deltan Dallagnol and current Supreme Justice Minister, Sergio Moro, allegedly show that Supreme Federal Court (STF) judge Luiz Fux was also part of the scheme against former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.
The leak was made by The Intercept Brazil’s executive editor, Leandro Demori, during an interview on Wednesday. The messages show that Dallagnol took on at least once the role of interlocutor between Moro and Fux, while the federal judge was acting in tune with the two.
In the files, conversations between lead prosecutor Deltan Dallagnol and then-presiding Judge Sergio Moro reveal that Moro offered strategic advice to prosecutors and passed on tips for new avenues of investigation. With these actions, Moro grossly overstepped the ethical lines that define the role of a judge. In Brazil, as in the United States, judges are required to be impartial and neutral, and are barred from secretly collaborating with one side in a case.
Other chats in the archive raise fundamental questions about the quality of the charges that ultimately sent Lula to prison.
The Intercept’s only role in obtaining these materials was to receive them from our source, who contacted us many weeks ago (long before the recently alleged hacking of Moro’s telephone) and informed us that they had already obtained the full set of materials and was eager to provide them to journalists.
Informing the public of matters in the public interest and exposing wrongdoing was our guiding principle in doing this initial reporting on the archive, and it will continue to be our guiding principle as we report further on the large number of materials we have been provided.
An enormous trove of secret documents reveals that Brazil’s most powerful prosecutors, who have spent years insisting they are apolitical, instead plotted to prevent the Workers’ Party, or PT, from winning the 2018 presidential election by blocking or weakening a pre-election interview with former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva with the explicit purpose of affecting the outcome of the election.
Retired CIA operative and CNN counterterrorism analyst Phil Mudd talks about British national Christopher Steele, author of the infamous Steele dossier, deciding to talk with U.S. officials about his part in the Trump-Russia investigation.
Mudd predicts things are going to get „ugly“ when Attorney General Bill Barr concludes how the probe was initiated which will give the Trump White House „ammo.“
Moro ruled against Lula and rendered him ineligible to run in the 2018 presidential election at a time when all polls showed that the former president was the clear frontrunner. This gave far-right Jair Bolsonaro a strong lead that resulted in his presidency win.
Bolsonaro then, according to many, “rewarded” Moro by creating an unprecedented powerful position now called the “super justice minister,” which has complete control over all the judicial branch, policing and social control in Brazilian society.
Let me restate that: William Barr is opposed to certain, very narrow subsets of domestic surveillance. Specifically, Barr doesn’t think the government should have spied on Trump and his campaign staff, if that’s what actually happened, which Barr doesn’t actually seem to know.
But if you’re literally anyone else, domestic surveillance is just another name for national security, whether you’re a random Verizon customer or one of the world’s most useful websites.
The Wikimedia Foundation sued the federal government over domestic surveillance back in 2015. The suit lives on four years later …
A source close to Steele told The Times he will meet with investigators in London in the coming weeks. Republicans have long alleged it was Steele’s dossier that improperly led to an FBI inquiry, which ultimately morphed into special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible coordination between the Trump and campaign and Russia during the 2016 election.
– The former British intelligence officer authored what became known as the golden showers dossier
– Congressional investigators sought to interview him without success
– He will meet with unidentified U.S. investigators, a source close to him told the Times of London
– Attorney General Bill Barr ordered a new investigation of the origins of the Russia probe
– The Mueller report did not confirm salacious claims from the dossier
– The report did include a footnote about a Georgian businessman who told Michael Cohen he had ’stopped flow‘ of ’some tapes‘
„This approach threatens national security by subverting longstanding rules and practices that obligate you and other heads of [intelligence community] agencies to safeguard sources and methods and prevent the politicization of intelligence and law enforcement,“ Schiff wrote in the letter to Coats, which was also sent to the heads of the CIA, NSA and FBI.
Attorney General William Barr said he’s not satisfied so far with official accounts justifying the counterintelligence investigation into whether Donald Trump’s presidential campaign was involved in Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.
“These counterintelligence activities that were directed at the Trump campaign, were not done in the normal course and not through the normal procedures as a far as I can tell,” Barr told “CBS This Morning” in an interview broadcast Friday.
Last month, Barr announced he had assembled a team to review the FBI’s original Russia probe which was opened in the summer of 2016. Barr appointed U.S. Attorney from Connecticut John Durham to lead the investigation which will focus on the use of FBI informants as well as alleged improper issuance of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants.
But Barr, in an interview with CBS News that aired Friday, said he has more questions than answers at this point in the probe.
Key allies who share intelligence with the United States could soon be dragged into the middle of Attorney General Bill Barr’s politically-charged Justice Department review of how the Russia investigation began.
President Donald Trump has said he wants Barr to look into the role key intelligence partners, including the United Kingdom and Australia, played in the origins of Russia probe.
The move marked an escalation in Trump’s efforts to „investigate the investigators,“ as he continues to try to undermine the findings of special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe amid mounting Democratic calls to bring impeachment proceedings against Trump.
President Trump has granted Attorney General William P. Barr “full and complete authority” to declassify government secrets, issuing a memorandum late Thursday that orders U.S. intelligence agencies to cooperate promptly with Barr’s audit of the investigation into Russia’s election interference in 2016.
The declassification of documents applies to the Department of State, Treasury, Defense, Energy, Homeland Security, CIA and the Director of National Intelligence.
Mr Steele first approached British intelligence at the £1.7million home of Sir Charles Farr, the chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee, in Wimbledon, south-west London.
Mr Farr, who died in February at 59, was one of Mrs May’s top counter-terrorism advisors at the Home Office.
After leading MI6’s Russia desk, Mr Steele set up a private firm, and was hired by Fusion GPS, a US research company being paid by Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
Theresa May’s spy chiefs were secretly briefed on an explosive dossier of claims about Donald Trump’s ties to Russia before the US president was made aware of its existence, The Telegraph can reveal.
The heads of MI5 and MI6 and one of Mrs May’s most trusted security advisers were told about former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele’s memos on the Trump campaign in the weeks after his November 2016 election victory.
A day earlier, Justice Minister Ionas Nicolaou stepped down. He said his resignation was not an assumption of blame, but that there were “apparent shortcomings” in how police, which come under his ministry’s supervision, had investigated the reports of the women’s disappearances. Police say they will conduct an investigation into any perceived shortcomings.
British police are also assisting inquiries.
The Republican Chairman of the Judiciary Committee Bob Goodlatte asked Rod Rosenstein for a meeting to discuss a report that the deputy attorney general said he was willing to secretly record President Donald Trump.
The report The New York Times published on September 21 cited sources who said Rosenstein wanted to expose the chaos in the White House and potentially build a case for invoking the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office.
Rob Rosenstein, the Deputy Attorney General whose job hangs in the balance, had been expected to learn his fate Monday, but NBC News reports the meeting with President Trump has been postponed until Thursday when the President returns to Washington, D.C..
CNN’s Wolf Blitzer discusses the statement released by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein after the New York Times reported that he discussed secretly recording President Trump in 2017 and discussed plans to use the 25th Amendment to remove the president from office.
The deputy attorney general, Rod J. Rosenstein, suggested last year that he secretly record President Trump in the White House to expose the chaos consuming the administration, and he discussed recruiting cabinet members to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Mr. Trump from office for being unfit.
(1.9.2018) The timeline sketched out by Mr. Ohr shows contacts stretching back to when Mr. Ohr first met Mr. Steele in 2007. It also shows what officials said was the first date on which the two discussed cultivating Mr. Deripaska: a meeting in Washington on Nov. 21, 2014, roughly seven months before Mr. Trump announced that he was running for president. (…)
Mr. Steele served as an intermediary between the Americans and the Russian oligarchs they were seeking to cultivate. He had first met Mr. Ohr years earlier while still serving at MI6, Britain’s foreign spy agency, where he oversaw Russia operations.
(30.8.2018) To believe most media descriptions of Justice Department lawyer Bruce Ohr, he is a nonentity, unworthy of the attention President Trump has given him. This is remarkable, given that Mr. Ohr spent Tuesday confirming for Congress its worst suspicions about the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s abuse of its surveillance and sourcing rules.
(12.8.2018) The communications raise further questions about Steele’s objectivity as an intelligence source, and about Ohr’s motives for maintaining contact with a foreign ex-spy about a Russian billionaire, despite being assigned to a wholly unrelated line of work at the DOJ. Congressional investigators expect Ohr to appear for a closed-door interview on Aug. 28.
(8.8.2018) Emails in 2016 between former British spy Christopher Steele and Justice Department official Bruce Ohr suggest Steele was deeply concerned about the legal status of a Putin-linked Russian oligarch, and at times seemed to be advocating on the oligarch’s behalf, in the same time period Steele worked on collecting the Russia-related allegations against Donald Trump that came to be known as the Trump dossier. The emails show Steele and Ohr were in frequent contact, that they intermingled talk about Steele’s research and the oligarch’s affairs, and that Glenn Simpson, head of the dirt-digging group Fusion GPS that hired Steele to compile the dossier, was also part of the ongoing conversation.
(1.9.2018) Bruce Ohr, a Department of Justice official who has become a frequent target of Trump’s ire at the ongoing investigation into his links to Russia and whether they helped influence the election, and Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence operative who compiled a dossier of reporting on Russian influence on Trump, were both involved in the effort, the New York Times reported.
(17.8.2018) President Trump threatened on Friday to quickly revoke the security clearance of Bruce Ohr, a little-known Justice Department official, for the first time seeking to apply his power to cut access to sensitive information to a midlevel government worker rather than a prominent former national security official.
Departing the White House for a fund-raiser, the president told reporters that Mr. Ohr was “a disgrace” and said incorrectly that Mr. Ohr played a part in starting the investigation into Russian election interference and possible links to Trump associates.
(30.8.2018) The sources said Ohr’s outreach about the dossier – as well as its author, ex-British spy Christopher Steele; the opposition research firm behind it, Glenn Simpson’s Fusion GPS; and his wife Nellie Ohr’s work for Fusion – occurred before and after the FBI fired Steele as a source over his media contacts. Ohr’s network of contacts on the dossier included: former FBI agent Peter Strzok; former FBI lawyer Lisa Page; former deputy director Andrew McCabe; Weissmann and at least one other DOJ official; and a current FBI agent who worked with Strzok on the Russia case.
– FBI and the United States Justice reportedly tried to flip Russian oligarch, Oleg V. Deripaska but he told them they had their story wrong
– Sources say in September 2016 Deripaska labeled investigators‘ claims about Paul Manafort’s links to Russian government as ‚preposterous‘
– However the New York Times reports the investigation involving Deripaska began before Donald Trump announced he was going for the presidency
– Justice Department official, Bruce G. Ohr worked with former British spy Christopher Steele to get six rich Russians to talk
– Trump has used leaked documents as evidence they were plotting against him to form a dossier in the Robert Mueller-led investigation and called Ohr ‚a joke‘
The immediate concern, according to the former CIA operative Glenn Carle, is that turning over information related to FISA records could compromise sources and methods.
„Congressional oversight is not operational control, it’s policy control,“ Carle said. „So it’s not really appropriate for an oversight body and its members to have detailed knowledge of sources and methods, because they are not trained in how to handle that.“
„If anyone did infiltrate or surveil participants in a presidential campaign for inappropriate purposes, we need to know about it and take appropriate action,“ Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said.
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s reaction to reports of possible impeachment for failing to respond to congressional subpoenas was to proclaim that the Justice Department “will not be extorted.”
I suppose he meant to say, “Only we here at the Justice Department do the extorting, with special counsels, daylight raids of people’s attorneys, bankrupting people with legal fees, threats to prosecute family members, and questionable wiretapping of Americans.”
The president’s tweet suggests that friction may be rising again between Trump and Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein, who just a day earlier declared at a public event that “the Justice Department is not going to be extorted” by public and private threats.
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