McCabe sues FBI, DOJ, blames Trump for his firing | TheHill


Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe is suing the Justice Department and FBI over his termination from the agency last year, arguing that his firing was a politically motivated move stemming from President Trump‘s attacks against him and other Department of Justice (DOJ) officials.

McCabe alleges in the lawsuit filed Thursday that Trump administration officials “responded to Plaintiff’s two decades of unblemished and non-partisan public service with a politically motivated and retaliatory demotion in January 2018 and public firing in March 2018 — on the very night of Plaintiff’s long-planned retirement from the FBI.”

He claims that the actions have harmed his “reputation, professional standing, and dramatically reduced his retirement benefits.”

In the 48-page complaint, McCabe alleges that Trump was at the heart of his firing, saying the president “purposefully and intentionally caused the unlawful actions of Defendants … and other Executive Branch subordinates that led to Plaintiff’s demotion and purported termination.”

“It was Trump’s unconstitutional plan and scheme to discredit and remove DOJ and FBI employees who were deemed to be his partisan opponents because they were not politically loyal to him. Plaintiff’s termination was a critical element of Trump’s plan and scheme.”

Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that he was firing the No. 2 FBI official last March, pointing to findings from a DOJ watchdog that McCabe had made an unauthorized disclosure to the news media and “lacked candor — including under oath — on multiple occasions.”

The firing came shortly before McCabe would have been eligible for his pension, after more than 20 years at the bureau.

McCabe is asking a judge to find that “his demotion was unlawful and his purported termination was either a legal nullity,” and to award him with the retirement benefits he had planned on receiving as a former deputy director of the FBI.

 

Source: McCabe sues FBI, DOJ, blames Trump for his firing | TheHill

‘So many lies’: Trump attacks McCabe over explosive CBS interview | US news | The Guardian


Donald Trump returned to the attack against Andrew McCabe on Monday, in response to an interview in which the former deputy FBI director discussed his new book and made claims damaging to the president.

In the interview, broadcast by CBS 60 Minutes on Sunday night, McCabe discussed among other matters:

  • How deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein was told by Trump to write a memo justifying the firing of FBI director James Comey in May 2017
  • How, following the firing of Comey, McCabe ordered investigations of whether it was done to impede the investigation of Russian election interference and whether Trump was acting on behalf of the Russian government
  • How he believes that is why he himself was fired
  • Discussions about whether Trump could be removed from office under the 25th amendment
  • Discussions about whether Rosenstein should wear a wire to record the president
  • How Trump ignored US intelligence advice on North Korea’s nuclear capability and said: “I don’t care. I believe Putin

Trump attacked McCabe on Twitter on Thursday, when CBS released excerpts of the interview, and again on Sunday night, when it was broadcast in full. Before dawn on the Presidents Day holiday, he returned to the offensive.

“Wow,” the president tweeted. “So many lies by now disgraced acting FBI director Andrew McCabe. He was fired for lying, and now his story gets even more deranged. He and Rod Rosenstein, who was hired by [former attorney general] Jeff Sessions (another beauty), look like they were planning a very illegal act, and got caught.

“There is a lot of explaining to do to the millions of people who had just elected a president who they really like and who has done a great job for them with the Military, Vets, Economy and so much more. This was the illegal and treasonous ‘insurance policy’ in full action!”

 

Source: ‘So many lies’: Trump attacks McCabe over explosive CBS interview | US news | The Guardian

Thinking the unthinkable about Donald Trump | Salon.com


According to reports last weekend, the FBI first began to suspect Trump was working for Russia when he fired FBI Director James Comey in May of 2017. “Counterintelligence investigators had to consider whether the president’s own actions constituted a possible threat to national security,” The New York Times reported. “Agents also sought to determine whether Mr. Trump was knowingly working for Russia or had unwittingly fallen under Moscow’s influence.”

Let’s stop right there and have a look at the operative words in the Times report, “working for Russia.” People who have been following the Trump-Russia story, now more than two years old, have considered a lot of possibilities with Trump and Russia, but it seems from the reaction the Times story produced, whether Trump was actually “working for Russia” hasn’t been one of them for many. The subject of this particular corner of the FBI investigation raises a couple of interesting questions. What did the “work” Trump may have been doing for Russia consist of? Why would an independently wealthy businessman like Trump “work” for a country which has opposed us around the world for so long?

From Trump’s reaction to the Times report over the weekend, he appeared to have been unaware that the FBI was exploring the question of whether he worked for Russia. But if you look back at what we might call Trump’s “Russia denials,” especially those he made during the campaign — which were often spontaneous and unprompted by allegations by Democrats or questions from the press — it seems that at least working with Russia was constantly on his mind.

As early as July 26, 2016, during his campaign for president, Trump woke up and tweeted, “For the record, I have ZERO investments in Russia.” He wasn’t even the Republican nominee yet.

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

For the record, I have ZERO investments in Russia.

21.8K people are talking about this
On October 10, 2016, during the second presidential debate, Clinton speculated that Trump was always praising Putin “maybe because he wants to do business in Moscow, I don’t know the reasons.”  Trump quickly fired back: “I have no businesses there. I have no loans from Russia.” Clinton had not raised the question of “loans from Russia.” Trump did.

In the third debate on October 20, when Trump said Putin had “no respect” for her or President Obama, Clinton shot back, “Well, that’s because he’d rather have a puppet as president of the United States.” Trump seemed threatened by the charge. “No puppet. No puppet,” he cried defensively. “You’re the puppet! No, you’re the puppet!”

 

Source: Thinking the unthinkable about Donald Trump | Salon.com

U.S. House Democrats eye reported FBI probe of Trump | Reuters


The New York Times reported that the probe began in the days after Trump fired James Comey as director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in May 2017 and said the agency’s counterintelligence investigators had to consider whether Trump’s actions constituted a possible threat to national security.

Trump rejected the Times piece in a late Saturday night interview on Fox News as “the most insulting article I’ve ever had written” and lashed out at Comey and the FBI in half a dozen tweets.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler said his panel “will take steps to better understand both the president’s actions and the FBI’s response to that behaviour” in coming weeks. He also said lawmakers would seek to protect investigators from the president’s “increasingly unhinged attacks.”

“There is no reason to doubt the seriousness or professionalism of the FBI, as the president did in reaction to this story,” Nadler, a New York Democrat, said in a statement.

“We have learned from this reporting that, even in the earliest days of the Trump administration, the president’s behaviour was so erratic and so concerning that the FBI felt compelled to do the unprecedented – open a counterintelligence investigation into a sitting president,” Nadler said.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff said he could not comment on the specifics of the report, but said his committee would press ahead with its probe of Trump’s contacts with Russia.

“Counterintelligence concerns about those associated with the Trump campaign, including the president himself, have been at the heart of our investigation since the beginning,” said Schiff, a California Democrat.

Schiff said meetings, contacts and communications between Trump associates and Russians, as well as “the web of lies about those interactions, and the president’s own statements and actions,” have heightened the need to follow the evidence where it leads.

Trump took notes from his interpreter made during a 2017 meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Hamburg and took other steps to conceal details of their conversations, a report in the Washington Post said on Saturday.

Trump denied on Fox News that he was keeping anything under wraps on his face-to-face meetings with Putin.

 

Source: U.S. House Democrats eye reported FBI probe of Trump | Reuters

FBI asked to investigate suspected double hoax against Mueller | US news | The Guardian


The FBI has been asked to investigate whether a hoaxer offered women money to make false allegations about Robert Mueller, the special counsel investigating Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.

Several journalists and bloggers in the US received an email this month purporting to be from a woman who had been offered money to smear Mueller with bogus claims of inappropriate behaviour decades ago.

After Mueller’s office was told about the email, it referred the matter to federal investigators, who are now likely to examine whether the hoax scheme described in the woman’s email is real – or if the email itself contains false information.

 

Source: FBI asked to investigate suspected double hoax against Mueller | US news | The Guardian

Donald Trump and the erosion of democratic norms in America | US news | The Guardian


Ask people with deep knowledge of the US justice department about the damage Donald Trump might be doing to the country, and the conversation quickly flips back to Watergate.

Following Richard Nixon’s failed attempt to pull the plug on a special prosecutor who turned out to be on to something, the need for investigators to work free from White House interference was recognized by the public and reinforced by elected officials.

But now Trump is president, the public can seem apathetic or amnesiac and the norms governing justice department independence are being tested. Severely.

In interviews, two former assistant attorneys general, law professors and analysts from across the political spectrum used recurring words to describe Trump’s assault on justice: “dangerous”, “alarming”, “high-stakes”.

Some analysts warn that national security has also been endangered, as Trump has undermined public trust in the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and intelligence agencies whose work is often conducted in secret and who therefore depend uniquely on such trust to function.

The question is whether Trump’s snips and snaps at the norms of justice department independence represent some greater dislocation: a constitutional crisis of some kind or even an erosion of the rule of law in America, as some commentators have posited.

In recent weeks, Trump has escalated his war on his perceived foes in the Department of Justice (DoJ), which hosts the office of special counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating alleged collusion between Moscow and Trump campaign officials.

That investigation, Trump has informed his Twitter followers, is the work of a “criminal deep state” engaged in a “WITCH HUNT” originally engineered by none other than Barack Obama.

If the Trump-supporting public is bothered by that kind of freewheeling conspiracy talk, there’s little sign of it. The president’s average approval rating is hovering close to 42%, pretty good for him. But others are deeply bothered by Trump’s seemingly nonstop provocations directed at the FBI, the attorney general, the intelligence apparatus and other DoJ agencies.

On Thursday, Trump casually granted a pardon to the race-baitingconservative commentator Dinesh D’Souza, who pleaded guilty in 2014 to campaign finance charges. The pardon was taken as a potential signal to former associates not to “flip” and cooperate with federal prosecutors – because even if they are convicted, a pardon may be waiting.

 

Source: Donald Trump and the erosion of democratic norms in America | US news | The Guardian

Trump’s Dangerous High-Wire Act : Counter Punch


It’s one thing for President Trump to go around recklessly calling anyone he disagrees with (or who has ever criticized him) a “liar” or “traitor” or “crook” or “loser.” Apparently, this behavior is what an insecure and bullying former real estate man-child regards as a projection of presidential leadership. On the other hand, one can argue that it was this cringe-worthy adolescent behavior that got him elected in the first place.

But Trump’s latest iteration of the classic “smear job” has the potential to not only come back and bite him on the rear end, it has the potential to irrevocably cripple his presidency. When he unwisely (what else is new?) and precipitously launched a public attack on the vaunted FBI, he made what could be a fatal error.

While Trump adheres to no ideology (prior to and during his

Source: Trump’s Dangerous High-Wire Act  : Counter Punch

Stoking Islamophobia and Secession in Texas — from an office in Russia – CNNPolitics


A rally was planned, the FBI was alerted, police showed up. Here’s how Islamophobia in Texas was stoked from an office in Russia.

Source: Stoking Islamophobia and Secession in Texas — from an office in Russia – CNNPolitics

The Daily 202: Firing FBI director Comey is already backfiring on Trump. It’s only going to get worse. – The Washington Post


As GOP support cracks, POTUS will likely come to regret this blunder

Source: The Daily 202: Firing FBI director Comey is already backfiring on Trump. It’s only going to get worse. – The Washington Post

The Memo: Trump ignites firestorm | TheHill


President Trump dropped a bombshell Tuesday — and the aftershocks could blow back to hurt the commander-in-chief himself.

Trump’s decision to fire FBI director James Comey stunned Washington when it became public late afternoon.

The official reason given for Comey’s firing pertained to his conduct during the bureau’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails.

The case against Comey was set out in a remarkable letter by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who said he “cannot defend” how Comey had treated Clinton.

In the polarized political climate of 2017, there is zero chance that Democrats and other critics of Trump will accept the stated explanation as the real reason for Comey’s removal.

Source: The Memo: Trump ignites firestorm | TheHill