Politics

Russia Investigation Becomes Criminal, Trump Urged to Lawyer Up

President Trump used the occasion of his press conference yesterday to blast the DOJ’s appointment of special prosecutor Robert Mueller to head the investigation into the alleged Russia election conspiracy.

At roughly the same time Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein informed senators behind closed doors that the investigation has now officially become a criminal investigation after reports of James Comey’s logs of his calls with Trump.

And with that revelation, Trump’s allies in the White House are urging he bring on a lawyer to defend him.

It’s probably the last thing he expected and perhaps the worst thing that could happen right now.

Here’s more from Redstate…

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein confirmed to senators in a closed door meeting that the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election has morphed beyond just a counterintelligence investigation, and now includes a criminal investigation.

It is believed that the news of memos kept by former FBI Director James Comey have necessitated a need for outside legal counsel for President Trump, and his advisers are pressing him to hire someone.

From the New York Times:

While the office of the president is represented by the White House counsel, presidents in the past have employed outside lawyers when their private actions were called into question.

Mr. Trump has signaled he is likely to hire a new lawyer, but has not yet made a decision, according to three people who have spoken with him. Aides to Mr. Trump did not immediately comment on his discussions.

Mr. Trump is said to recognize that he needs help beyond the White House counsel. But he is deeply cautious in selecting people he trusts, and he adds new people to his orbit slowly.

He may not have the luxury of moving slowly.

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Politics

Trump: Joe Lieberman Leading Choice for FBI Director

During a rare press conference yesterday, President Trump confirmed rumors on the hill that former Democrat Sen. Joe Lieberman is the frontrunner to replace James Comey as the head of the FBI.

In fact, it’s entirely possible that you’re reading this update after the news of his appointment has already occurred.

The White House moved quickly in the replacement process after interviewing eight candidates for the position.

Lieberman reportedly is close to Trump and has a strong bipartisan reputation having run as Al Gore’s Vice Presidential running mate in 2000 and also having endorsement John McCain in 2008.

Here’s more from Newsmax…

President Donald Trump indicated Thursday that onetime Democratic vice presidential nominee Joe Lieberman is the favorite to become the next head of the FBI, after the shock dismissal of James Comey.

Asked whether the 75-year-old was a frontrunner, Trump responded “yes” — confirming Lieberman’s surprise candidacy.

Lieberman, a former independent senator from Connecticut, ran on a ticket with Democrat Al Gore in 2000, but they were defeated by George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.

In 2008, Lieberman endorsed Republican John McCain.

The choice of a new FBI director will be closely scrutinized with the administration thrown into turmoil by a succession of stunning allegations against Trump, most damagingly that he may have obstructed justice by asking Comey to drop a probe into one of his top advisors.

Trump told television anchors at a lunch Thursday he was close to making a selection.

“I’m very close to choosing an FBI director,” he said.

Trump was not more specific.

Lieberman, 75, a Democrat who became an independent in 2006, met with the president Wednesday.

He apparently “bonded” with Trump, Politico reported, citing “a person familiar” with the meeting. The White House declined to comment.

Lieberman was Vice President Al Gore’s running mate in 2000.

Trump interviewed as many as eight candidates since he fired James Comey last week.

Other candidates included acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, former Oklahoma Gov. Frank Keating, and former senior FBI official Richard McFeely.

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Politics

Worried About Fallout, Dems Poised to Poll-test Impeachment

With impeachment openly being discussed by members of both parties on the hill this week, electoral preparations are already being made by the Democrat Party.

In hopes that the DOJ’s newly appointed special prosecutor might find something worthy of removal, the DNC has begun to prepare polling data from voters to determine whether a hard push for impeachment of President Trump will help their chances in 2018.

Recall that the GOP’s push to impeach President Clinton had a negative impact in the 1998 mid-term elections.

Democrats are hoping to avoid that fallout, should impeachment go from mere possibility to probability.

Here’s more from McClatchy…

Democratic strategists are racing to figure out whether it’s politically wise to call for President Donald Trump’s impeachment, as one bombshell revelation after another about his ties to Russia is forcing candidates for the Senate and House of Representatives to consider the question far sooner than anyone had expected.

In a significant development, party operatives say they expect Democrats to poll-test the public’s views on impeachment, trying to acquire hard data about an issue that until now has not been seriously analyzed. Other strategists say that candidates and party organizations will begin conducting focus groups on the question.

These operatives acknowledge they’ve been caught off guard by the speed with which impeachment has become a relevant issue – and are wary of the political damage it could cause if not handled correctly.

Even 10 days ago, before Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, few party officials had even considered such a dramatic move, which has happened only twice in American history.

“I mean, Jesus, it’s not even Memorial Day!” said one Democratic operative.

Only after testing the question with voters will the party have a firmer sense of how it should act.

 

 

 

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Elections, Politics

Politico: Conservatives Begin to Whisper About ‘President Pence’

Blood is in the water and the knives are out for President Trump in an eerily similar chain of events that harkens to the murder of Julius Caesar.

The terms ‘special prosecutor’ and ‘impeachment’ are being bantered about inside the Beltway as a matter of course.

And now, according to Politico, it’s not the Dems but Republicans who are quietly whispering about a post-Trump fallout that includes mention of President Pence.

Things are dire, folks. And though nothing Trump has done amounts to Watergate, the fact that the leftist media wants it to be true may become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

If a lie is uttered often enough, it eventually becomes true.

Here’s more from Politico…

Not since the release of the Access Hollywood tape, in which Donald Trump bragged about groping women by the genitals, have some conservatives thought so seriously, if a bit wistfully, about two words: President Pence.

The scandals clouding Trump’s presidency — including, most recently, his firing of FBI Director James Comey, his alleged leak of classified information to Russian officials, and reports that he urged Comey to drop an investigation into a top aide — have raised once more the possibility that Trump could be pushed aside and replaced by Vice President Mike Pence.

“If what the [New York Times] reported is true, Pence is probably rehearsing,” one House Republican who asked not to be named quipped Wednesday. “It’s just like Nixon. From the standpoint that it’s never the underlying issue, it is always the cover-up.”

The still far-fetched proposition of removing Trump from office has increasing appeal to Republicans who are growing weary of defending Trump and are alarmed by his conduct in office. But such whispers are cringe-worthy for Pence and his aides, who have made an art of not upstaging the mercurial president. Pence’s press secretary declined to comment for this article.

On the campaign trail, Pence would shut down any conversations about the possibility of his own future bid should Trump lose, telling donors who raised the prospect that he was entirely focused on the race at hand. Aides said that sentiment was sincere — even if they engaged in some thinking about what Pence’s future could entail after a likely loss.

Still, some conservatives are hinting that Pence looks like a particularly good alternative right now, especially as the Justice Department moves ahead with a special prosecutor for the FBI’s Russia probe.

 

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Politics

Amash: First Republican to Talk of Impeachment for Trump

Calls for impeachment of President Trump from the left aren’t news at all, especially with Mad Maxine Waters leading the front on that war.

But now, for the first time, a Republican has uttered the word as a possibility, which is now pouring fuel on the fires at the White House…as if Democrats needed any help.

Rep. Justin Amash made headlines this morning after he pointed out that, should the Comey memo concerning Trump requesting an end to the Flynn investigation be proven true, impeachment proceedings would be warranted.

This is serious, folks, and it’s not going away any time soon.

Here’s more from The Hill…

Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) on Wednesday said reports that President Trump pressed ousted FBI Director James Comey to end an investigation would merit impeachment if true, becoming the first Republican lawmaker to broach the idea.

The New York Times on Tuesday reported that Trump tried to pressure Comey to stop investigating former national security adviser Michael Flynn, citing a memo written by Comey.

Asked by The Hill if the details in the memo would merit impeachment if they’re true, Amash replied: “Yes.”

“But everybody gets a fair trial in this country,” Amash added as he left a House GOP conference meeting.

Asked by another reporter whether he trusted Comey’s word or Trump’s, Amash said: “I think it’s pretty clear I have more confidence in Director Comey.”

Amash is one of only two House Republicans to cosponsor a Democratic bill to establish an independent commission to investigate Russia’s role in the election. Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.) has also endorsed the legislation.

Flynn was ousted as Trump’s national security adviser in February after it was revealed he misled the public and top White House officials about about his communications with a Russian ambassador regarding sanctions.

Amash, a frequent conservative critic of the Trump administration, has broken with the White House on a variety of issues, including healthcare reform and the Justice Department’s new tougher sentencing guidelines.

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Politics

More Leaks: Comey Memo Says Trump Tried To Shut Down Flynn Investigation

Now-former FBI Director James Comey, who testified not so long ago that he never leaked anything at the FBI, just leaked a memo in which he says President Trump asked him to kill the investigation into Mike Flynn over his Russian connections.

According to Comey, he kept detailed notes of every conversation he had with Trump.

But now the White House is denying it, and current FBI officials argue no efforts were made to stop the investigation.

So who’s lying?

The better question is who’s coordinating all the anti-Trump leaks?

Here’s more from Breitbart…

Former FBI Director James Comey associates are leaking more information about his conversations with President Donald Trump, asserting that the president asked Comey to let his former National Security Advisor Mike Flynn go.

“I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go,” Trump told Comey, according to parts of the memo read to the New York Times. “He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.”

At the White House Tuesday afternoon, White House aides denied the story.

“This is not a truthful or accurate portrayal of the conversation between the president and Mr. Comey,” they said, assuring reporters that Trump never asked Comey to shut down the investigation.

They also pointed to a statement from acting F.B.I. director Andrew G. McCabe saying a week ago that there had been no effort to impede the Russian investigation.

According to the Times, Comey kept detailed memos about every conversation he had with Trump over the phone and in person. After Trump spoke to him about Flynn, he shared the memo about the conversation with senior FBI officials.

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Politics

Investigator: Evidence Shows Murdered DNC Staffer Emailed WikiLeaks

The case involving the murder of DNC staffer Seth Rich just blew wide open again.

A report from an investigator unfolded not one but two bombshell details.

First, Rich had forwarded ‘thousands’ of emails to Wikileaks which likely revealed untold details on Hillary’s presidential campaign, not a Russian hack.

Second and even more damning is that the DC police were ordered to stand down on the investigation into the homicide and the order was in coordination with the DNC and the mayor’s office.

You don’t have to be a Mensa graduate to put two and two together for the obvious conclusion that the Clintons might possibly have offed a political dissident (yet again) in order to save their necks.

This story has serious legs.

Here’s more from Breitbart…

Monday during the 10 p.m. ET news broadcast on Fox’s Washington, D.C. affiliate WTTG, correspondent Marina Marraco said an investigation by former D.C. homicide detective Rod Wheeler found that the now-deceased Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich had been emailing with WikiLeaks.

Rich was killed last year in the northwest quadrant of Washington, D.C. According to local police, the incident was likely a botched robbery. However, Rich’s death has been the subject of other speculations given the timing of his death coincided with a WikiLeaks dump of Democratic National Committee emails.

Wheeler explained to Marraco the obstacles he has faced in dealing with both the local police and the FBI during his investigation and argued that Rich’s computer may offer some more details.

“[Neither] the police department nor the FBI have been forthcoming,” Wheeler said. “They haven’t been cooperating at all. I believe that the answer to solving his death lies on that computer, which I believe is either at the police department or at the FBI. I have been told both.”

Wheeler went on to claim that he had a source within the police department who said the computer could link Rich to WikiLeaks. But he noted that a source within the police department told him of a “highly unusual” instruction for police to “stand down” on that murder investigation.

“Actually, I have a source inside the police department that has looked at me straight in the eye and said, ‘Rod, we were told to stand down on this case, and I can’t share any information with you.’ Now, that’s highly unusual for a murder investigation, especially from a police department. Again, I don’t think it comes from the chief’s office, but I do believe there is a correlation between the mayor’s office and the DNC and that is the information that’s going to come out tomorrow.”

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Politics

Report: Justice Scalia Believed Supreme Court was Being Surveilled by Obama

Another shoe drops in the ongoing controversy concerning the Obama administration possibly surveilling multiple Republican presidential candidates including Donald Trump, Rand Paul and at least one other U.S. Senator.

Now Fox News contributor Judge Andrew Napolitano has offered first-hand knowledge that the late Justice Antonin Scalia — whom Justice Neil Gorsuch replaced — believed Obama was surveilling the Supreme Court as well.

In fact, Scalia share his theory with Napolitano face-to-face.

Could this have had anything to do with his unexplained and untimely death?

Here’s more from Gateway Pundit…

Judge Andrew Napolitano, Fox News senior judicial analyst, went on FOX Business Network on Monday to discuss allegations Senator Rand Paul and another senator were under surveillance by the Obama administration.

Napolitano also dropped a bomb on the Obama administration spying on the US Supreme Court.

Judge Napolitano: Justice Scalia told me that he often thought the court was being surveilled. And he told me that probably four or five years ago…If they had to unmask Senator Paul’s name to reveal a conversation he was having with a foreign agent and the foreign agent was hostile to the United States they can do that. That’s not what he’s talking about. They’re talking about unmasking him when he’s having a conversation with his campaign manager when he’s running in the Republican primary.

During the discussion Judge Napolitano also said Barack Obama could be subpoenaed to testify if he viewed the unmasked intelligence.

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Politics

Rand Paul: Another Senator Was Surveilled by the Obama Administration

Over the weekend Sen. Rand Paul dropped a small bomb which really should be sending shockwaves through the media right now.

An honest media, that is, but we digress.

Last month Paul reveled that he had received credible evidence that the Obama administration had surveilled him in addition to Donald Trump.

If this report of a third person being surveilled, there are only a few possibilities if we assume this other senator was another GOP candidate.

Could it have been one among Sens. Rubio, Cruz, or Graham?

Here’s more from Breitbart…

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) earlier this week revealed that another senator had told him that he was surveilled by the Obama administration.

“I know one other senator who’s already confided to me that he was surveilled by the Obama administration, including his phone calls,” he told Fox News on Wednesday.

“So when this all comes out, if there are political figures from the opposition party, it’s a story bigger than any of the allegations with regard to Russian collusion,” he said.

Earlier this month, Paul announced that sources have told him that he has been surveilled by the Obama administration, and that he has requested information from the White House and the congressional intelligence committees on whether he has ever been surveilled, unmasked, or searched for in intelligence reports.

“It’s about your own government spying on the opposition party, that would be enormous if true,” he said. “I don’t know the truth. We’ve asked the intel committees, House and Senate, and I’ve also asked the White House, because there is this whole discussion of Susan Rice unmasking people,” he said.

Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn was fired in February, after a phone call he had with Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak was leaked to the Washington Post.

Listening in on an American’s phone calls is illegal without a warrant, but it can happen legally during surveillance of a foreign target. If Americans are caught up in surveillance of a foreign target, their identities are supposed to be “masked,” or concealed.

However, U.S. officials can request to have their names unmasked if it is necessary to understanding the context of the communications, with the approval of the agency conducting the surveillance.

Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper revealed that last year, 1,934 Americans’ names were unmasked.

Last month it was reported that Susan Rice had unmasked Trump campaign officials — which she has not denied, but only claimed that it was not illegal.

“There was no reason for her to unmask people. Hers was not a position of investigation. Hers was a political position. And for her to get involved with unmasking Trump officials is alarming. If it happened to other people, it’s even more alarming,” he said.

“But we’re going to try to get to the bottom of this. And it’s a very secret world. You have to realize that it’s a world so secret most members of Congress are never allowed.”

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Politics

Dems: Block New FBI Director Until Special Prosecutor Named

President Trump has prepped the media that a replacement Director of the FBI could be named as early as this week, with at least eight candidates being considered.

And since it’s quickly becoming clear that there’s no Watergate scandal underlying the ouster of Comey, Dems have zeroed in on their new strategy to push the knife into Trump’s side.

Democrat Senate heads have announced that they may move to block Trump’s selection for the FBI until the DOJ appoints a special prosecutor to investigate the alleged Russia scandal.

This could be yet another Gorsuch confirmation fight.

Stay tuned.

Here’s more from Breitbart…

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) told CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday that he supports a proposal by Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) to block the confirmation of the next FBI director until a special prosecutor is named to investigate allegations of collusion between Trump’s 2016 campaign and the Russian government.

“We’ll have to discuss it as a caucus, but I would support that move,” Schumer told host Jake Tapper.

However, under the filibuster rule changes initiated by former Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) in 2013, the Senate minority cannot actually block the confirmation of any executive branch appointees. Schumer himself seemed to acknowledge the point implicitly: “The key here, of course, is getting some of our Republican colleagues to join us,” he told Tapper.

There is almost no Republican support for a special prosecutor — largely because there are no crimes yet to prosecute. President Donald Trump is not even under investigation. The FBI’s inquiry has reportedly centered around three Trump campaign aides who played minor roles, and former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. Even perennial gadfly Sen. John McCain has only called for a select committee, not a special prosecutor.

Also, as Breitbart News’ Ken Klukowski has pointed out, Trump was within his legal authority to fire former FBI Director James Comey — something Democrats had demanded for months. Moreover, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who was confirmed last month by the Senate in a 94-6 vote, is overseeing the Russia investigation, with which Trump has not interfered — even if he has objected to the way it is being used by Democrats to justify their 2016 losses and rally political enthusiasm among their frustrated left-wing base.

The Trump administration reportedly interviewed eight possible candidates to replace Comey this weekend, and more continue to be proposed.

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