Tuesday on Fox News Channel’s “Fox & Friends First,” Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) argued now that we know there is no collusion between the Trump administration and the Russian government, we can drop the special counsel probe headed up by former FBI Director Robert Mueller.
“[W]e now know there is no collusion between this administration and Russia – so we can drop the Independent Counsel, the Special Counsel – there is no further need,” he said.
Gohmert argued instead that a spotlight should be shined on the collusion within the Department of Justice.
“And now that we know the collusion between Comey and Mueller,” he continued. “He ran things by Mueller before he testified. He also ran things by other people in the Justice Department when he did the memo. There is so much collusion –- real collusion in the Justice Department.”
“[Mueller] needs to recuse himself from this matter,” Gohmert added. “We don’t need a special counsel. That was a ruse, once again, by the dishonest Comey.”
Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor
CNN cut away from a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Tuesday morning, seconds after Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) raised concerns that Special Counsel Robert Mueller had hired a former Clinton Foundation attorney to assist with the probe into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
Graham was questioning Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who was sitting in for Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
Democrats have long accused the Trump campaign of colluding with Russia, though no evidence has emerged. There is also speculation that Special Counsel Mueller will probe allegations of obstruction of justice against President Donald Trump.
Earlier this week, reports emerged that Mueller had hired attorneys for his investigative team who had donated to Hillary Clinton in the past, and one in particular who had represented the Clinton Foundation in its effort to block Freedom of Information Act requests for e-mails on Clinton’s private server.
Graham: Is giving political donations a reason to disqualify somebody for serving in the Special Counsel’s office?
Rosenstein: No, Senator, it is not a disqualification. It is not.
Graham: As a matter of fact, many states, the judges and prosecutors are actually elected. Donations are a part of that system, is that correct?
Rosenstein: Yes, that’s true.
Graham: Would it be a disqualification for somebody in the Special Counsel’s office who had represented Mrs. Clinton in the past to serve?
Rosenstein: You know, Senator, it would depend on facts and circumstances. As a general matter, I think the answer is no.
Graham: Isn’t that much closer to a conflict of interest?
Rosenstein: I don’t want to answer a hypothetical, Senator. Everybody needs to make a determination based on the facts and circumstances of the individual case.
Graham: How would you get it before the Special Counsel? What process could a member of the Senate use to inform the Special Counsel that you’d have a concern about hiring someone that represented Clinton?
Rosenstein: We have a process within the Department of Justice, Senator, so I would encourage you, if you have those concerns, to raise them with [former] Director Mueller or to raise them with me, and I’ll make sure —
Graham: So should I do it to you or to him?
Rosenstein: Well, you could do it to both.
Graham: Okay. That’s fair enough.
Rosenstein: And we have career —
Graham: And I don’t know if I’ll do that, but I’ve read some things that were — I don’t think donations are disqualifying at all, but if you represented the Clinton Foundation or Clinton herself, that would be disturbing to me, but I’ll take care of that.
CNN cut back to the studio shortly after that, while Graham was still questioning Rosenstein.
Earlier, Graham had asked Rosenstein whether there was “any reason, for cause, to fire Mr. Mueller.” Rosenstein had said he did not know of any reason.
The same DOJ regulation the AG Session used to recuse himself is the same one that DISQUALIFIES Hillary’s Attorney from working on the special investigation.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named one of the “most influential” people in news media in 2016. He is the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.
Former Asst. FBI Director Bill Gavin on Comey’s testimony before the Senate
GOP Raises Red Flag Over Mueller’s Impartiality
Rep. Louie Gohmert: Comey’s Dirty; Mueller’s Dirty
Comey facing ‘three-pronged legal attack’ after Kasowitz’s detailed investigation
Lawyers for Donald Trump have been investigating potential leaks coming out of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, including its former director James Comey, going back to at least March, as they prepare to take legal action against the former FBI chief following his bombshell testimony Thursday, FOX Business has learned.
Trump’s private legal team, led by super attorney, Marc Kasowitz, launched its investigation into potential leaks from Comey and his underlings, after a raft of stories began appearing in various publications. Reporters and legal bloggers were citing details on the FBI’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election and the possibility that Trump associates were involved in the matter, FOX Business has learned.
Additionally, Kasowitz and his legal team are preparing a civil complaint against Comey that charges he violated a number of federal laws involving his private conversations with Trump just before his firing in May. The complaint will likely be filed next week with the Department of Justice’s Inspector General’s office and the Senate Judiciary Committee.
“The focus of the complaint will be based on the testimony Comey gave to being the person who leaks the information and the way he did it,” said a person involved in the drafting of the complaint who spoke on the condition of anonymity to FOX Business.
Kasowitz didn’t return a call for comment; Comey didn’t return a call to his home in suburban Washington, DC. The FBI had no comment.
The aggressive stance by Kasowitz against Comey represents a change in strategy for Trump’s legal team; initially the power attorney had backed off going to “war” with Comey after reading the former FBI chief’s written statements on his interactions with the president that were presented to the Intelligence Committee on Wednesday, in advance of the hearing.
Kasowitz believed the prepared remarks exonerated Trump, because Comey conceded that Trump wasn’t a target of the Russian interference probe. But he changed course over comments Comey made Thursday in response to questions from the committee, where the former FBI chief accused Trump of slandering him, and possibly obstructing justice before he fired him in May.
During his testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday, Comey disclosed publicly for the first time that he leaked memos about his meetings with Trump, alleging that the president sought to impede the FBI’s inquiry into whether members of the Trump campaign were involved in a Russian government attempt to sway the 2016 election and defeat Democrat Hillary Clinton.
With that, Kasowitz began planning a “three-pronged legal attack” against Comey, according to a person with direct knowledge of the matter.
A key part of the complaint will be the notion that Comey and his senior staff have been leaking classified information to reporters and legal bloggers for some time; in the complaint Kasowitz is likely to cite alleged conversations with a legal blogger who claims he spoke with Comey about the conversations with Trump involving his investigation.
Still, legal experts say it’s unlikely the complaints by Trump’s legal team will lead to any investigation, let alone future charges.
Stanley Arkin, veteran white collar attorney told FOX Business that the complaint is “a crock of sh*t.”
He went on to say, “They may try because they’re vengeful people. I don’t think what Comey did at this particular point is illegal. It’s just an attempt at a distraction to get away from one of the most open charges ever made against a sitting president.”
John Coffee, professor at Columbia Law School, concurred. “For the inspector general, I would like to know if this is an improper leak,” Coffee said. “These were not governmental records. This was just the personal property of Mr. Comey. If it’s his personal property, it’s not a leak” Coffee said.
Comey’s testimony before the committee represented a seminal event in the smoldering Russian leak investigation as he methodically described what he called pressure by President Trump to impede the FBI investigations and whether Trump associates , including former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, colluded with the Russians.
During Comey’s testimony he described a series of meetings that he memorialized in memos where he alleges Trump pressured him to drop the investigation into Flynn and demanded “loyalty” from him, even though as head of the FBI he runs what is considered an independent investigative agency.
Comey raised eyebrows about his own conduct when he admitted that after his firing by Trump in May he leaked the memos to the New York Times through Dan Richman, a Columbia Law School professor. Kasowitz termed the move as a violation of “unauthorized disclosures to the press of privileged communication with the president” on Thursday at his press conference.
Trump, himself, has remained largely silent about Comey’s disclosures to the committee except for a single tweet on Friday, calling the former FBI director a “leaker” and that he feels “complete vindication.”
Trump accuses Lynch of ‘illegal’ behavior in Clinton email case
June 13, 2017 By Cody Derespina
President Trump on Tuesday accused former Attorney General Loretta Lynch of “illegal” behavior in her handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s secret email server, alleging the ex-top cop provided “protection” for the Democratic presidential nominee.
The president drew attention to Lynch ahead of a Senate hearing where his own AG, Jeff Sessions, is set to testify on the Russia investigation.
Trump’s tweet appeared to draw on the related June 8 testimony of former FBI Director James Comey — whom Trump controversially fired. Comey revealed to Congress that Lynch told him to call the investigation a “matter” when speaking to the press and said he was also troubled by Lynch’s meeting on a Phoenix tarmac with former President Bill Clinton. Comey was so disturbed by the incidents, he held a press conference himself to discuss the case before presenting his findings to Lynch.
“A.G. Lynch made law enforcement decisions for political purposes…gave Hillary Clinton a free pass and protection. Totally illegal!” Trump tweeted.
Trump’s Twitter megaphone was the loudest strike in a growing drumbeat of officials calling for Congress to focus on Lynch. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said Sunday he wanted Lynch to testify. Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., said he wanted to see any memos Comey may have written about Lynch.
Trump on Tuesday also knocked one of his favorite targets, the news media, for an “agenda of hate,” though he didn’t specify which story or stories had riled him up.
Trump wrote: “The Fake News Media has never been so wrong or so dirty. Purposely incorrect stories and phony sources to meet their agenda of hate. Sad!”
He added later: “Fake News is at an all time high. Where is their apology to me for all of the incorrect stories???”
And the day after an appeals court cited one of his tweets in the judges’ opinion to uphold the block of Trump’s travel ban, Trump took to Twitter to rail against the court’s decision at “such a dangerous time” for America.
Trump has frequently criticized the 9th Circuit, considered among the most liberal in the country. Monday’s decision by the court of appeals to uphold a lower court’s injunction on Trump’s controversial executive order temporarily banning immigration from several Muslim-majority countries again drew the president’s ire.
“Well, as predicted, the 9th Circuit did it again – Ruled against the TRAVEL BAN at such a dangerous time in the history of our country. S.C.” Trump tweeted.
The “S.C.” initials at the end of the tweet likely referred to the U.S. Supreme Court, where Trump has said he intends to continue waging his battle to implement the ban.
Sessions: ‘Pretty Stunning Thing’: ‘Appears’ Comey Announced Clinton Findings Without Lynch’s Approval
(CNSNews.com) – When then-FBI director James Comey announced on July 5, 2016 – one week after Attorney General Loretta Lynch met privately with Bill Clinton on an airplane in Arizona — that Hillary Clinton would not be prosecuted for her use of a private email server, Comey’s boss, Lynch, did not know what he was going to do.
“But, in fact, it appears he did it without her approval, totally, and that is a pretty stunning thing,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions told the Senate intelligence committee on Tuesday.
“It is a stunning thing,” he repeated. “It violates fundamental power, and then when he reaffirmed that – the rightness he believed of his decision on May 3 (before Congress)…that was additional confirmation that the director’s thinking was not clear.”
Comey, at the July 5 news conference concerning Clinton’s email practice, said: “Although there is evidence of potential violations of the statutes regarding the handling of classified information, our judgment is that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case.”
Sen. Sessions testified on Tuesday that it is “correct” to say that the Russian investigation did not factor into the recommendation to fire Director Comey.
Sessions indicated that Comey was fired because he was a rogue elephant, going around his boss to make decisions on prosecution.
“I believe we’re going to have a new and excellent FBI director, a person who is smart, disciplined with integrity and proven judgment that will be good for the Bureau,” Sessions said.
Sessions’ letter recommending the firing of Comey did not mention Russia at all.
Sessions, in his letter, said he had concluded that a “fresh start” was needed at the FBI:
“The director of the FBI must be someone who follows faithfully the rules and principles of the Department of Justice and who sets the right example for our law enforcement officials and others in the department,” Sessions wrote.
Sessions: ‘I Did Not Recuse Myself From Defending My Honor Against Scurrilous and False Allegations’
(CNSNews.com) – At the end of his opening statement to the Senate intelligence committee Tuesday afternoon, Attorney General Jeff Sessions told the committee that although he has recused himself from the Russia investigation, he has not recused himself from defending his honor.
“I will finish with this,” Sessions said:
I recused myself from any investigation into the campaigns for President, but I did not recuse myself from defending my honor against scurrilous and false allegations. At all times throughout the course of the campaign, the confirmation process, and since becoming Attorney General, I have dedicated myself to the highest standards.
The people of this country expect an honest and transparent government and that is what we are giving them.
This President wants to focus on the people of this country to ensure they are treated fairly and kept safe. The Trump agenda is to improve the lives of the American people. I know some have other agendas, but that is his agenda and it is one I share.
Sessions said as attorney general, he is responsible for enforcing the laws of the nation, protecting the country from its enemies, and ensuring the fair administration of justice.
I intend to work every day with our fine team and the superb professionals in the Department of Justice to advance the important work we have to do. These false attacks, the innuendo, and the leaks, you can be sure, will not intimidate me. In fact, these events have only strengthened my resolve to fulfill my duty to reduce crime, and to support our federal, state, and local law enforcement officers who work our streets every day.
Just last week, it was reported that overdose deaths in this country are rising faster than ever recorded. The murder rate is up over 10 percent—the largest increase since 1968. Together, we are telling the gangs, the cartels, the fraudsters, and the terrorists—we are coming after you. Every one of our citizens, no matter who they are or where they live, has the right to be safe in their homes and communities.
And I will not be deterred, and I will not allow this great Department to be deterred from its vital mission.
Jeff Sessions full testimony on contacts with Russian officials during 2016 campaign