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Crime Donald Trump Justice Department Mueller Report Russia Investigation

AG Merrick Garland Is Being Urged To Charge Trump And Barr With Crimes Detailed In The Mueller Report

While he’s been unfairly blamed by some progressives for not going after failed, one-term former President Donald Trump as his first order of business since being sworn in as attorney general, rest assured that Merrick Garland and prosecutors with the Justice Department are indeed taking a close look at possible federal crimes Trump can be charged with.

And now we have a former top DOJ official laying out a roadmap for Garland the Department of Justice to follow as it relates to the Mueller investigation and possible crimes detailed within the Mueller report.

Noah Bookbinder is a former prosecutor in the Department Of Justice’s Public Integrity Division. He currently works as executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics (CREW). And he has written a brilliant column published in USA Today that makes clear there’s plenty of fire where we see smoke as it relates to the Russia investigation.

In his op-ed, Bookbinder urges AG Garland to take another look at the Mueller investigation:

“Many of us have long suspected that Barr deliberately set out to spin the contents of the Mueller report and manufacture bogus legal analysis in order to protect Trump from facing consequences for the crimes laid out in the report. We now have proof that Barr did exactly that.”

Bookbinder also quotes a letter signed by 1,000 former federal prosecutors which reads in part:

“The conduct of President Trump described in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report would, in the case of any other person not covered by the Office of Legal Counsel policy against indicting a sitting president, result in multiple felony charges for obstruction of justice.”

But the most powerful portion of Bookbinder’s piece is saved for the conclusion. He writes:

“There is vast evidence that Donald Trump committed crimes. Time, and litigation, have removed both the legal protection he had as president and the illusory claims of exoneration spun by Barr. Now is the moment for America to see equal justice in action. It’s time to finish what Mueller started.”

Those among you who may have given up on Merrick Garland need to cut him some slack. He’s a good man who believes in the rule of law. And that alone is very bad news for lifetime crooks like Donald Trump and his handpicked puppet, Bill Barr.

Categories
Congress Justice Department

House Judiciary Committee To Merrick Garland: Boot The Trump Appointees From DOJ Or Face Consequences

Thanks to great reporting from the New York Times, we know that the Department of Justice regularly spied on Democratic members of Congress who were doing their duty and conducting oversight of the administration.

According to the Times:

“As the Justice Department investigated who was behind leaks of classified information early in the Trump administration, it took a highly unusual step: Prosecutors subpoenaed Apple for data from the accounts of at least two Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee, aides and family members. One was a minor.

“All told, the records of at least a dozen people tied to the committee were seized in 2017 and early 2018, including those of Representative Adam B. Schiff of California, then the panel’s top Democrat and now its chairman, according to committee officials and two other people briefed on the inquiry. Representative Eric Swalwell of California said in an interview Thursday night that he had also been notified that his data had been subpoenaed.”

The report set off a firestorm on Capitol Hill, with calls for hearings on the spying and demands that those responsible for carrying out the acts be charged with crimes.

Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, focused his attention on the current head of the DOJ, Attorney General Merrick Garland, and he demanded that Garland fire every single Trump appointee currently working at the Justice Department or else his committee will act decisively.

Nadler released a statement which reads in part:

“I am grateful that Inspector General Horowitz has committed to investigating both cases.  His work here will be invaluable.  An investigation by his office is, however, no substitute for swift action by the Department of Justice. 
 
“The Committee has been in communication with DOJ, and we have made our position clear.  The Department has a very short window to make a clean break from the Trump era on this matter.  We expect the Department to provide a full accounting of these cases, and we expect the Attorney General to hold the relevant personnel accountable for their conduct.  If the Department does not make substantial progress towards these two goals, then we on the Judiciary Committee will have no choice but to step in and do the work ourselves.”

That’s not just an idle threat. The House Judiciary Committee has tremendous power and decides how much funding the DOJ will receive each year. If AG Garland doesn’t weed out those who were appointed by Trump or played a role in the spying on members of Congress, Nadler’s committee can make life hell for the Justice Department and the attorney general.

The time has come to clean house at the DOJ. Every single person who has a connection to the Trump administration must be investigated, terminated, and charged if it can be proven they broke the law.

Categories
Corruption Crime GOP Justice Department

Here’s How Merrick Garland Is Becoming Every Republican’s Worst Nightmare

Though he’s only been on the job for a few months, Attorney General Merrick Garland has already made it clear that he plans to start dismantling some of the most disgusting tenets of the Trump administration and run the Department of Justice (DOJ) in strict adherence with the U.S. Constitution.

For example, the DOJ announced recently that it would be restoring the use of consent decrees for abuses committed by police departments across the country:

“In easing restrictions placed on the use of consent decrees, the Justice Department is making it easier for its prosecutors to use the tool to force changes at police departments and other government agencies with widespread abuse and misconduct.”

The DOJ under Garland is also going after longtime Trump stooge Roger Stone, who owes nearly $2 million in back taxes to the IRS. Justice filed suit against Stone demanding immediate repayment of the money he and his wife owe the government, which means that Stone can either comply or face imprisonment for failure to comply.

Those two moves alone are antithetical to everything Republicans have been pushing for the past four years with Trump as president: That police can abuse or kill anyone and get away scot-free and that friends of the Donald are immune to facing any consequences for their actions. Under Trump, the GOP ran roughshod over the rights of anyone who wasn’t on their side while coddling those who supported their neo-fascist agenda of hatred, scapegoating, and grift.

What does this tell us about what to expect from Merrick Garland and the DOJ in the months ahead? Well, consider what remains on the agenda:

  • The conclusion of an investigation into the January 6 Capitol insurrection, which could well result in criminal charges being filed against Donald Trump and his son, Don Jr., along with some Congressional Republicans such as Sens. Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley.
  • A second look at the Russia investigation and the release of the full, unredacted report from former Special Counsel Robert Mueller
  • Possible criminal charges against the Trump family, the Trump Organization, and others associated with the Trump corporation.
  • Charges being filed against Rudy Giuliani, Steve Bannon, and other close Trump associates who may have served in the administration, i.e. Stephen Miller.
  • Filing suit against states such as Georgia and Texas that have passed new voter suppression legislation.
  • A return to the rule of law without interference from the White House and in accord with the way things are supposed to be done.

Attention, Republicans: The days of lawlessness that existed for you under Trump are over with. Merrick Garland is going to flush some of you right down the crapper.

 

Categories
Corruption Justice Department U.S. Senate

Is Merrick Garland’s DOJ About To Investigate Mitch McConnell And His Wife For Corruption?

We recently learned that the Inspector General for the Department of Transportation recommended that the Department of Justice investigate the then-Secretary of Transportation, Elaine Chao, for using her office to personally enrich herself and her family.

According to the New York Times:

“In a report made public on Wednesday, the inspector general said the Justice Department’s criminal and public integrity divisions both declined to take up the matter in the closing weeks of the Trump administration, even after the inspector general found repeated examples of Ms. Chao using her staff and her office to help benefit her family and their business operations and revealed that staff members at the agency had raised ethics concerns.

“’A formal investigation into potential misuses of position was warranted,’ Mitch Behm, the department’s deputy inspector general, said on Tuesday in a letter to House lawmakers, accompanying a 44-page report detailing the investigation and the findings of wrongdoing.”

Not surprisingly, the Trump DOJ refused to open a criminal investigation of Chao, who just so happens to be married to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who may have also enriched himself as a result of his wife’s actions.

However, there’s about to be a new, ethical AG leading the Justice Department: Merrick Garland, who is expected to be confirmed by the Senate within the next few days. Will Garland’s DOJ take a closer look at Chao and McConnell?

Keep in mind that McConnell refused to even hold confirmation hearings for Garland when he was nominated to serve on the Supreme Court by Barack Obama. Might that still be sticking in the craw of the new attorney general?

More importantly, however, is a much more fundamental issue: Should public officials be subject to the same laws and rules as the rest of us? If not, then there’s clearly two tiers of justice: One for the connected and one for everyone else.

Merrick Garland needs to take a hard look at the Chao file and make his own determination. And if the evidence suggests filing charges against the former head of the Department of Transportation and her husband, then they should be held accountable.