A pro-Israel activist group is quietly pushing lawmakers on Capitol Hill and key officials in the White House to embrace a plan that would entail paying Palestinian residents in the West Bank to move abroad. The plan is a bid to reshape the ethnic and religious population of territories controlled by Israel, according to the head of the group, called the Alliance for Israel Advocacy.
President Trump told the White House counsel in the spring that he wanted to order the Justice Department to prosecute two of his political adversaries: his 2016 challenger, Hillary Clinton, and the former F.B.I. director James B. Comey, according to two people familiar with the conversation. The lawyer, Donald F. McGahn II, rebuffed the president, saying that he had no authority to order a prosecution.
According to Trump’s own tweet, he would have known Flynn had lied to the FBI at the time Trump asked former FBI Director James Comey to drop the investigation into Flynn, assuring him Flynn had done nothing wrong. On Twitter, Matthew Miller, a former Department of Justice official, echoes that Trump’s new version of events indicates an effort to obstruct Comey’s investigation.
Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel, has asked the White House for documents about some of President Trump’s most scrutinized actions since taking office, including the firing of his national security adviser and F.B.I. director, according to White House officials. Mr. Mueller is also interested in an Oval Office meeting Mr. Trump had with Russian officials in which he said the dismissal of the F.B.I. director had relieved “great pressure” on him.
During a news briefing on Wednesday, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders made the administration’s case for prosecuting former FBI Director James Comey from the White House podium. In making the comments, Sanders is disregarding what was previously an important ethical standard — that the Justice Department has prosecutorial independence. The idea is that the Justice Department should decide who to prosecute based on a unbiased application of the law, not political pressure from the White House. This is something that neither Sanders or her boss seem to value.
The Justice Department is reportedly blocking Senate investigators from speaking with FBI officials who may provide first-hand testimony about Donald Trump's firing of ex-FBI chief James Comey. It is the latest sign that Special Counsel Robert Mueller could be investigating the sacking as part of his Russia-related probe.
President Trump and his advisers are privately discussing the possibility of replacing Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and some confidants are floating prospects who could take his place were he to resign or be fired, according to people familiar with the talks.
President Trump appeared to acknowledge on Friday in an interview that his tweet hinting of taped conversations with James B. Comey was intended to influence the fired F.B.I. director’s testimony before Congress, and he emphasized that he committed “no obstruction” of the inquiries into whether his campaign colluded with Russia.
President Trump put fresh pressure on the second-highest-ranking official at the Justice Department on Friday, raising concerns among the president’s critics that Rod J. Rosenstein could be in danger of being fired, while others argued that if he stays he should recuse himself from his role overseeing the special-counsel probe that has engulfed the White House. “I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director! Witch Hunt,” the president said on Twitter.
Sources with links to the Justice Department confirm that U.S. intelligence has legal copies of all Donald Trump’s “tapes” of his meetings with Director Comey – and that Comey had his own phone legally hacked in order to record suspects, including Trump, Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr, for over a year.
Former New York U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, who led several high-profile corruption cases until President Donald Trump fired him in March, said there is “absolutely” enough evidence to launch an obstruction of justice case against President Trump for his firing of FBI chief James Comey. “No one knows right now whether there is a provable case of obstruction," Bharara said. “[But] there's no basis to say there's no obstruction.”
“When he tells you to do something, guess what? There's no ambiguity in it, there's no, 'Hey, I'm hoping,'“ 39-year-0ld Mr Trump said. - “You and I are friends: 'Hey, I hope this happens, but you've got to do your job.' That's what he told Comey. - “And for this guy [Comey] as a politician to then go back and write a memo: 'Oh, I felt threatened.' He felt so threatened — but he [President Trump] didn't do anything.”
Former FBI director James B. Comey said in dramatic testimony Thursday he could not trust President Trump to tell the truth, leading him to take extraordinary steps to document their private conversations, and to make public the details to spur the appointment of a special counsel to probe the a1dministration over possible links to Russia.
Less than 48 hours before former FBI Director James Comey’s testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee and detailed a January dinner during which he claims President Trump asked him to pledge personal loyalty, two Republican members of committee dined with Trump at the White House. Those members — Marco Rubio (FL) and Tom Cotton (AL) — then spent Thursday’s hearing trying to exonerate Trump of wrongdoing
President Trump on Friday accused James B. Comey, the fired F.B.I. director, of lying under oath to Congress, saying he would gladly provide sworn testimony disputing Mr. Comey’s charge that the president forced him out because of his handling of the investigation into the Trump campaign’s possible collusion with Russia.
Whether or not the president’s actions ultimately rise to “obstruction” according to Mueller’s investigation, however, it’s clear these are serious allegations that suggest a kind of lawlessness in the White House, from a president with little regard for the norms that govern conduct in the Oval Office. Trump’s alleged demand for Comey’s personal loyalty—in a government where officials pledge allegiance to the Constitution, not the president—would itself be a profound attack on the rule of law. In an ideal world, or at least a more functional one, lawmakers on both sides would see and treat this as a crisis that demands resolution, lest it corrode American democracy.
The former US director of national intelligence James Clapper says events in Washington now are more serious than the Watergate scandal of the 1970s, and that it is imperative investigators get to the bottom of the Trump administration’s links with the Putin regime. Clapper used a speech to Australia’s National Press Club on Wednesday to launch a critique of the US president, Donald Trump, describing his decision to cultivate Russia and share intelligence with the Putin regime as “very problematic”. He described Trump’s firing of the FBI chief Jim Comey as “egregious and inexcusable”.
In his statement, Comey makes it clear that Trump was seeking to put pressure on him. “My instincts told me that the one-on-one setting, and the pretense that this was our first discussion about my position, meant the dinner was, at least in part, an effort to have me ask for my job and create some sort of patronage relationship,” Comey said. “That concerned me greatly, given the FBI’s traditionally independent status in the executive branch.”
The day after President Trump asked James B. Comey, the F.B.I. director, to end an investigation into his former national security adviser, Mr. Comey confronted Attorney General Jeff Sessions and said he did not want to be left alone again with the president, according to current and former law enforcement officials.
As top law enforcement officials of the Bush administration (Mueller as FBI Director and James Comey as Deputy Attorney General), both presided over post-9/11 cover-ups and secret abuses of the Constitution, enabled Bush-Cheney fabrications to launch wrongful wars, and exhibited plain vanilla incompetence.
The bureau’s director may have relied on murky intelligence to push aside Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch in 2016. The Russians used fake news to influence Mr. Comey's decision in June to chastise Ms. Clinton and call the investigation completed.
President Trump told Russian officials in the Oval Office this month that firing the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, had relieved “great pressure” on him, according to a document summarizing the meeting. The conversation reinforces the notion that President Trump dismissed him primarily because of the bureau’s investigation into possible collusion between his campaign and Russian operatives.
The very latest reports out this morning have it that Jared Kushner was a major voice pushing to fire James Comey. And the President is “angry” over the backlash to his decision. A shadow of uncertainty must hang over every report like this. We’re hearing these details through interested parties, a yacht basin Lord of the Flies, with different faction leaders gouging each others’ eyes out as the executive branch descends into chaos.
While the latest Comey allegations have forced reluctant Republican leaders to initiate some oversight of Trump, and at least two GOP lawmakers have raised the possibility of impeachment, most members are standing by their man. Here are the some of the arguments GOP members made to reporters as to why Trump’s pressure on Comey to let Flynn off the hook does not constitute an obstruction of justice.
This week, FBI Director James Comey joined Mary McCord, Sally Yates, and Preet Bharara as senior law enforcement officials who either resigned under Trump or were fired outright. As new officials are appointed to take their places, it’s getting hard to keep track of who is responsible for the Trump-Russia investigation. Two of these key officials (Dana Boente and Rod Rosenstein) are Trump appointees; the third (Andrew McCabe) will likely be replaced by a Trump pick soon.
Former national intelligence director hammers the president’s actions, calling James Comey’s firing ‘another victory for Russia’. “I think in many ways our institutions are under assault,” Clapper told CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday. “Both externally, and that’s the big news here, is Russian interference in our election system. And I think as well our institutions are under assault internally.”
In an interview with me this morning, Harvard professor Laurence Tribe, a persistent Trump critic, argued that this demand for loyalty, if it happened, could constitute an effort to obstruct justice, particularly when viewed in the light of the subsequent firing of Comey. “The demand for loyalty from the head of the organization investigating those around you, when you have the power to fire that person — if you wrote a novel about obstruction of justice, this would almost be too good to be true,” Tribe told me.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation. That is the investigation that Sessions promised to stay away from. Firing the man heading the investigation -- especially if Sessions knew that the reason was not the one stated in Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein's May 9 memo -- is a matter "arising from the campaigns for President of the United States." Sessions may have some explanation for why he chose to participate in the firing of Comey. But the attorney general may now be in considerable legal peril.
Another example of right wing media's fake news stories. They claim that the real reason for firing James Comey was the fact that he refused to investigate leaks by Obama administration, without offering any proof that there is actually something to investigate.
Here is an example of fake news. The article refutes its own headline at the end of the article. Article later states that McCabe was not sure if Comey had asked for more funds and that the claim that he is not popular is false.
President Trump on Friday warned James B. Comey, the former F.B.I. director he fired this week, against leaking anything negative about the president and warned the news media that he may cancel all future White House briefings. “James Comey better hope that there are no ‘tapes’ of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!” Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter.
In the weeks before President Donald Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, a federal investigation into potential collusion between Trump associates and the Russian government was heating up, as Mr. Comey became increasingly occupied with the probe. Mr. Comey started receiving daily instead of weekly updates on the investigation, beginning at least three weeks ago, according to people with knowledge of the matter and the progress of the Federal Bureau of Investigation probe. Mr. Comey was concerned by information showing possible evidence of collusion, according to these people.
President Trump has fired the director of the F.B.I., James B. Comey, over his handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails, the White House said on Tuesday.Mr. Comey’s dismissal was a stunning development for a president that benefited from the F.B.I. investigation of the Democratic nominee during the 2016 campaign. Separately, the F.B.I. also is investigating whether members of the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to influence the election.
Donald Trump is either too clueless to understand that today’s firing of James Comey will do nothing to stop the advancement of the Russia investigation, or he’s too egomaniacal and petty to care that the firing won’t help his cause. Either way, this move won’t change anything – other than embolden those working to take him down.
Director James Comey says the FBI's review of new emails involving Hillary Clinton doesn't change the decision not to press charges against Clinton over her use of a private server.
Like many Americans, Sen. Elizabeth Warren wants to know why the DOJ hasn't criminally prosecuted anyone responsible for the 2008 financial crisis. On Thursday, Warren released two highly provocative letters demanding some explanations. One is to DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz, requesting a review of how federal law enforcement managed to whiff on all 11 substantive criminal referrals submitted by the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission (FCIC), a panel set up to examine the causes of the 2008 meltdown