‘White House Plumbers’ exploits absurdities of Watergate
In May 2017, comedian John Oliver tauntingly coined the phrase “Stupid Watergate” to refer to then-President Donald Trump’s ever-growing list of scandals at the time, including his reported dealings with Russia, the investigation into Michael Flynn and his firing of former FBI Director James Comey.
Judge tosses Trump's Russia probe suit against Clinton, FBI
A federal judge in Florida has dismissed Donald Trump’s lawsuit against 2016 Democratic rival Hillary Clinton and former top FBI officials, rejecting the former president’s claims that they and others acted in concert to concoct the Russia investigation that shadowed much of his administration.
Did Trump break the law? FBI search raises fresh questions
Whether an FBI search of Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence is a prelude to criminal charges is unknown — especially unclear since other investigations into mishandling of classified information have ended without prosecution or in misdemeanor plea deals.
Riot lawsuit just part of Trump's post-impeachment problems
The former "Apprentice" contestant is trying to get her defamation lawsuit against former President Donald Trump moving again now that he's no longer president. Federal prosecutors in Washington, meanwhile, have charged some 200 Trump supporters with crimes related to the riot, including more serious conspiracy charges. There has been no indication that Trump would be charged in the riot though prosecutors have said they are looking at all angles. The same U.S. attorney's office in Manhattan also appears to have moved on from its investigation of Trump’s inaugural committee. Recently, her office has won a series of court rulings forcing Trump’s company and a law firm it hired to turn over troves of records.
White House: Biden confident in FBI head, will retain him
FBI Director Christopher Wray speaks during a briefing about the upcoming presidential inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, at FEMA headquarters, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, Pool)WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden has confidence in FBI Director Chris Wray and plans to keep him in the job, the White House press secretary said Thursday. FBI directors are given 10-year terms, meaning leadership of the bureau is generally unaffected by changes in presidential administrations. But Biden's spokeswoman, Jen Psaki, was notably noncommittal when asked at her first briefing Wednesday whether Biden had confidence in Wray. "I have not spoken with him about specifically FBI Director Wray in recent days," Psaki said.
'MLK/FBI' probes when bureau bugged Martin Luther King Jr.
Yet only two days later, on Aug. 28, 1963, the FBI’s head of domestic intelligence, William C. Sullivan, sounded an internal alarm on King. Absolutely not.’ In some ways, you could even say we were a little bit complicit.”On one hand, “MLK/FBI” enhances the legacy of King. Not just King’s indiscretions but an explosive and controversial allegation discovered by Garrow in FBI records that King watched while a woman was sexually assaulted. “A big part of my thinking two years ago is that everyone needs to be prepared for what will be in the full transcripts and the surviving tapes," Garrow said. The FBI’s recordings of King are under court seal at the National Archives until Jan. 31, 2027.
FBI, Justice Department leaders stay out of sight after riot
When Rosen spoke, he did it through a nearly four-minute prerecorded video released at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday by the Justice Department. Rosen has not once addressed Justice Department reporters since becoming acting attorney general late last month. Beyond those statements, Justice Department spokesman Marc Raimondi said, the department has issued “significant" amounts of information through the offices that are running it. Gerson, who became acting attorney general after Barr left the department at the end of George H.W. I was empowered to speak for the Department of Justice in the administration that I was in,” Gerson said.
Biden introduces Merrick Garland as attorney general pick
President-elect Joe Biden is set to name Garland as Attorney General. If confirmed by the Senate, which is likely, Garland would take over as the U.S. attorney general at a critical moment for the country and the agency. His confirmation prospects as attorney general were all but ensured when Democrats scored control of the Senate majority by winning both Georgia Senate seats. Biden also introduced three others for senior Justice Department leadership posts on Thursday, including Obama administration homeland security adviser Lisa Monaco as deputy attorney general and former Justice Department civil rights chief Vanita Gupta as associate attorney general, the No. Garland was selected over other finalists including former Sen. Doug Jones, D-Ala., and former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates.
Robert Mueller does rare interview in 'Oath' podcast
Mueller, the ex-FBI director, rarely speaks publicly and has been virtually silent about his special counsel experience since testifying before Congress in July 2019. In two separate podcast episodes, each nearly an hour, Mueller doesn't talk about his work as special counsel. The Mueller interview is a bookend to Rosenberg's two-parter with Mueller's successor as FBI director, James Comey, in the podcast's first season. The experience inspired a lifetime of public service, primarily because Mueller was grateful to have survived. In the Mueller interview, Rosenberg said he relished the opportunity to get to know someone he knew only as a boss.
Ex-Trump campaign aide sues over Russia probe surveillance
“Since not a single proven fact ever established complicity with Russia involving Dr. Page, there never was probable cause to seek or obtain the FISA Warrants targeting him on this basis,” the lawsuit says, using the acronym for the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. The lawsuit to some extent echoes the conclusions of a Justice Department inspector general report that found significant problems with the four applications. In the complaint, Page accuses the FBI of relying excessively for information on Christopher Steele, a former British spy whose research during the 2016 campaign into Donald Trump's ties to Russia was funded by Democrats. The suit names as defendants the FBI and the Justice Department, as well as former FBI Director James Comey, former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and additional officials who were involved in the Russia investigation.
Trump team making false argument about his 2016 transition
President Barack Obama shakes hands with President-elect Donald Trump in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016. President Trump and his allies are harking back to his own transition four years ago to make a false argument that his own presidency was denied a fair chance for a clean launch. Press secretary Kayleigh McEnany laid out the case from the White House podium last week. That's a far cry from the description issued by McEnany as pressure mounts for Trump to concede and for his administration to begin cooperating with Biden's transition team. But Trump's team largely ignored advice from Obama staffers, leaving briefing books unopened and ignoring special iPads loaded with materials.
NYT's Maggie Haberman has deal for Trump book
NEW YORK – One of the top chroniclers of the Trump administration, New York Times White House reporter Maggie Haberman, has a book deal. Penguin Press announced Thursday that the Pulitzer Prize winner's book, currently untitled, would come out in 2022. “Maggie Haberman’s book will be an instant classic, a definitive and fascinating account of Donald Trump, his life and his presidency," Penguin vice president and publisher Scott Moyers said in a statement . Haberman was represented by the Javelin literary agency, whose other clients include former FBI Director James Comey and former National Security Advisor John Bolton. In 2017, Haberman and fellow Times reporter Glenn Thrush reached an agreement with Random House for a book on Trump, but the deal fell through after Thrush was accused by several women of sexual harassment.
GOP presses ahead after election with Russia probe review
Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., questions former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2020, on a probe of the FBI's Russia investigation. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, Pool)WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump may have lost his bid for reelection, but that hasn’t stopped Senate Republicans from pressing forward with their politically charged probe of the FBI’s Russia investigation. “This is a last ditch, desperate undertaking to deal with President Trump’s grievances about that election,” Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois said of the hearing. Most of the criticism of the Russia investigation has centered on flaws in applications to surveil former Trump campaign aide Carter Page. Even so, a Justice Department inspector general report from last year concluded that the Russia investigation was opened for a valid and legitimate purpose.
Trump books will continue after Trump leaves office
NEW YORK – One of publishing's most thriving genres of the past four years, books about President Donald Trump, is not going to end when he leaves office. In 2021 and beyond, look for waves of releases about the Trump administration and about the president's loss to Democratic candidate Joe Biden. “But there are tens of millions of Americans who look to the Trump presidency as an important time and are fans of his administration. Center Street, a Hachette Book Group imprint, has published Donald Trump Jr., Newt Gingrich and Judge Jeanine Pirro among others. Any publisher signing with Trump or a top administration official might face the anger not just of Trump critics among the general public, but from within the industry.
Job on the line, Wray threads needle on controversial issues
FBI Director Christopher Wray speaks during a press conference at the Department of Justice, Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020, in Washington. (Jim Watson via AP)WASHINGTON – Less than four years into his 10-year term, FBI Director Christopher Wray’s future in the job is decidedly uncertain heading into the presidential election. President Donald Trump has been escalating his rhetoric against Wray, angry over his public statements on issues like antifa, voting fraud and Russian election interference. Wray's future is seen as uncertain because Trump has already fired one FBI director and repeatedly lashed out at Wray. If he wins, he could seek an FBI director more willing to back his political agenda.
2020 Watch: Is it too late for President Trump to turn things around?
___THE BIG QUESTIONSIs it too late for Trump to turn things around? Will there be a Supreme Court effect? Without winning Florida, Trump has virtually no path to reelection. He dispatched Vice President Mike Pence to the state over the weekend after sending two of his sons late last week. Just think about how much has happened in the last 22 days: Trump nominated a Supreme Court justice, he led the ugliest presidential debate in modern history and he was hospitalized with a deadly virus.
AP Explains: Trump slams Russia probe; Dems cry foul
Ratcliffe, the director of national intelligence, has been working to declassify details about the Russia investigation, which culminated in the 2019 report by former special counsel Robert Mueller. (Gabriella Demczuk/The New York Times via AP, Pool)WASHINGTON – The Russia probe is back in the political spotlight. Moreover, intelligence professionals blasted John Ratcliffe, the director of national intelligence and a Trump loyalist, for going along with the declassification, saying it was a flagrant example of using intelligence for political purposes. Trump remains irritated by the Russia probe because he thinks it de-legitimizes his presidency. Trump detractors dismissed the intelligence as Russian disinformation, although Ratcliffe insisted it was not.
GOP lawmakers grill Comey on leadership of Russia probe
The hearing was part of a review of the Russia probe by the GOP-led Senate Judiciary Committee. Though Comey acknowledged the FBI’s shortcomings in the surveillance of Page, he also described that aspect of the probe as a “slice” of the broader Russia investigation, which he defended as legitimate and valid. The inspector general report, and documents released in recent months, have raised questions about the reliability of that research. Comey defended the investigation, which was opened after a campaign adviser boasted that he had heard Russia had damaging information about Clinton. But Republican lawmakers have seized on the critical aspects of the watchdog report to cast broader doubt on the Russia investigation.
Lawyers: Trump son won't testify in NY probe before election
Eric Trump, the son of President Donald Trump, speaks at a campaign rally for his father, Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2020, in Saco, Maine. The lawyers argued Eric Trump’s “extreme travel schedule” related to his father’s reelection campaign prevented him from testifying sooner in state Attorney General Letitia James’ civil probe. James sought court intervention after Eric Trump's lawyers abruptly canceled an interview with investigators that had been planned for late July. Eric Trump, the third of Trump’s five children, visited a Trump campaign field office in Portsmouth, New Hampshire on Thursday and attended an event titled "Fighting for Maine Lobster with Eric Trump." Eric Trump’s lawyers have proposed four dates for him to testify, the earliest being Nov. 19, which they contend is just 30 days after others are scheduled to be deposed in the investigation.
Comey to testify before Senate panel weeks before election
WASHINGTON – Former FBI Director James Comey will testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Sept. 30, appearing just a month before the presidential election as Republicans have tried to make the case that he and his agency conspired against Donald Trump in 2016. Comey, whom Trump fired in May 2017, will be a featured witness in Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham’s investigation into the origins of the Justice Department’s Russia probe. His report also examined several instances in which Trump tried to obstruct his investigation but said he could not come to a conclusion on whether Trump obstructed justice. Republicans, and Trump himself, have repeatedly said they believe the department was conspiring against the president before and after the election. Graham, a close ally of Trump, said Thursday that “the day of reckoning is upon us” when it comes to the beginning of the Russia probe.
Maddow beneficiary of scramble for attention by authors
NEW YORK – It's high season for books that pick apart Donald Trump's presidency, and Rachel Maddow is a big beneficiary. With less than two months before the election, authors are elbowing each other for space on the best-seller lists. Conservative authors have also sought attention for new books during the political season. That was the case with Schmidt's book. Maddow gave more attention to Schmidt's discussion about why Trump's personal and business dealings with Russia have not been investigated.
Ex-FBI agent: Attacks from Trump 'outrageous' and 'cruel'
Strzok, a former FBI agent who was fired because of derogatory text messages about Donald Trump, writes in a new book that he believes the president has been compromised by Russia. Strzok, for his part, expresses measured regret for the texts in Compromised: Counterintelligence and the Threat of Donald J. Trump, due out Tuesday. Special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation revealed significant contacts between the Trump campaign and Russia but found insufficient evidence of a criminal conspiracy. By his own count, Strzok says, Trump has attacked him since then more than 100 times in tweets. After Trump accused Strzok of treason, he appealed to the FBI for a statement condemning the remarks, but got none.
Clock is ticking on Trump comeback as early voting nears
FILE - In this June 20, 2020, file photo President Donald Trump arrives on stage to speak at a campaign rally at the BOK Center in Tulsa, Okla. Trump is privately reassuring Republicans anxious about his deficits to Democrat Joe Biden, noting there are three months until Election Day and reminding them of the late-breaking events that propelled his 2016 comeback. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)
Clock is ticking on Trump comeback as early voting nears
And they warned that time is running out: The first state to hold early voting, the vital battleground of North Carolina, begins the process Sept. 4. Trump campaign officials said the focus in August will be on states where more than half of the ballots will be cast before Election Day. The digital countdown clock on the wall may say 90-some days, but we all know the calendar is condensed with early voting, said campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh. Still, the Trump campaign has been wavering for weeks. They also downplayed the chances of losing reliably Republican states, though Trump did make a campaign stop in Texas last week.
Ex-FBI agent Strzok due out with book about Trump, Russia
This cover image released by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books & Media shows "Compromised Counterintelligence and the Threat of Donald J. Trump" by Peter Strzok. The book will offer an insiders view on some of the most sensational and politically freighted investigations in modern American history, including into whether the 2016 Trump campaign coordinated with Russia to sway the presidential election. Strzok briefly served on special counsel Robert Mueller's team but was removed from his role after the Justice Department inspector general flagged derogatory and pejorative text messages about Trump that Strzok sent and received during the 2016 campaign. In a statement announcing the book, the publishing company said the Trump administration used his private expression of political opinions to force him out." Andrew Weissmann, a former Justice Department prosecutor who served on Mueller's team, is due out with a book in September.
Under Trump, 'You're fired!' even greets federal prosecutors
Bharara had a snickering response to news that his successor as top federal prosecutor was stepping down from the job. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)NEW YORK Former Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara had a snickering response to news that his successor as top federal prosecutor was stepping down from the job. Doesn't sound like stepping down, Bharara tweeted soon after the announcement was made Friday night that Geoffrey S. Berman was out. He explained he was appointed by Manhattan federal judges and wouldn't budge until a successor was confirmed by Congress. A few months into his work, Manhattan judges appointed him permanently because Trump never formally nominated him.
Senate panel authorizes subpoenas in new Russia probe
The committee rarely moves forward on subpoenas without bipartisan support, and hasnt done so in more than a decade. Democrats have argued that the errors in the surveillance do not invalidate the Russia investigation, which ultimately found that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election but found insufficient evidence to establish a criminal conspiracy with Trumps campaign. The list also includes some current officials who dealt with the investigation, including Attorney General William Barr and FBI Director Christopher Wray. Grahams investigation is one of several diving into the Russia investigation, a subject that has followed Trump throughout his presidency. The Justice Department has its own internal probe separate from the inspector generals investigation, and the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee is also looking at the matter.
Raw feelings abound as Senate turns back to Russia probe
WASHINGTON WASHINGTON (AP) Two Republican-led Senate committees have launched election-year investigations into the Justice Departments Russia probe, resurrecting the issue at the urging of President Donald Trump while reigniting the partisan hostility that comes along with it. In a Senate office building next door, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee approved its own slate of three dozen subpoenas related to the Russia probe over strong Democratic objections. Speaking on the committees investigation, Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, told Johnson that I continue to be concerned that this is politically motivated even as he voted to move ahead. The president has continued to rail against the Russia probe, which he calls a hoax. Among the names on that list is Trumps Democratic opponent, Joe Biden, who was vice president when the Russia probe began.