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Justice Department The Trump Adminstration

Barr And Sessions Are Lying About Not Knowing The DOJ Spied On Congressional Democrats: Report

Within a few hours of the blockbuster report from the New York Times that the Justice Department under former President Donald Trump spied on reporters, Democratic members of Congress and their families, the two men who served as attorney general during the Trump administration — William Barr and Jeff Sessions — denied they had any knowledge of the plan.

Barr said that while he was AG, he was “not aware of any congressman’s records being sought in a leak case.”

But could it possibly be true that the two men didn’t have a clue what was taking place? Not according to former Watergate prosecutor Jill Wine-Banks, who said Sunday on MSNBC that there was no way Barr and Sessions were left in the dark:

“In my opinion, no, and let me tell you why. First of all, we had [Osmar] Benvenuto, who was brought in at the recommendation of the U.S. Attorney from New Jersey, who was put in by Barr to replace the New York attorney who he was pushing out. He recommended Benvenuto who came in, and Benvenuto has said — in a recording, that he briefed Barr at least every other week. So, it is not credible.”

Wine-Banks added that if Barr didn’t know, then that means he’s incompetent:

“If Barr didn’t know about this, then Barr is the worst manager, the worst Attorney General ever, because that is his job. The Department of Justice policy requires that there be notice and approval from a higher source. So, it’s not something that you can just subpoena a member of Congress’ records or a reporter’s records without something much more. So, it doesn’t pass what I call the ‘red face test.’ It’s like, could I stand up before a jury and say this in front of them without blushing or giggling? The answer is, no, I couldn’t.”

Fortunately, the Inspector General of the Justice Department is investigating what took place at the DOJ while Trump was in office. Congress has also indicted they will hold hearings. Before those investigations are over with, it seems likely both Barr and Sessions will be forced to testify under oath.

Here’s Jill Wine-Banks on MSNBC:

Categories
Corruption Crime Justice Department The Trump Adminstration

Two Expanding Criminal Investigations Have Bill Barr Worried That The DOJ Is Coming For Him

Over the past couple of weeks, criminal investigations into failed, one-term former President Donald Trump and those connected to him (i.e. Rudy Giuliani) have drawn the most heat and light from the national media, but there are two expanding probes that should have former U.S. Attorney General William Barr worried because they could result in him being indicted.

The first of those scandals has a tie to Giuliani. You may recall that during Trump’s first impeachment, it was brought out that the former president urged the president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, to “work with” Rudy and Barr to dig up dirt on Joe Biden and members of his family, as ABC News reported in September 2019:

“President Donald Trump repeatedly encouraged Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to work with his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani and U.S. Attorney General William Barr to investigate Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, according to a memorandum about a July phone call between the two leaders released by the White House Wednesday morning.”

If if can be proven that Barr played any role in the Ukraine scandal, he could, at the very least, wind up being disbarred for agreeing to be a part of something that was borderline illegal and far beyond what an attorney general is supposed to do.

The much greater threat, however, lies in the grand jury that is seated in Northern Virginia and looking at the reported pardons-for-profit that were handed out in the final days of the Trump administration. All pardons have to go through the Justice Department and the attorney general. If Barr knew cash was being paid to gain pardons and did nothing to stop the activity, then he’s part of a larger conspiracy, and that means he committed a crime.

The pardons scandal is the one that likely keeps Barr up at night and causes him the most angst, if only because criminal penalties apply. His possible role in the hundreds of pardons issued by Trump as he was headed out the door are troubling, and being part of a criminal conspiracy also means that one person may start talking to save himself and implicate others. If and when that happens, Barr is likely to be mentioned and indicted, if only to see if he’ll agree to turn on others such as Trump.

Little by little, all of the Trump administration’s dirt is coming to light. Now it’s time to hold the people who committed the crimes responsible and put them behind bars for a very long time.

 

Categories
Corruption Crime Justice Department The Trump Adminstration WTF?!

Federal Judge Indicates Rod Rosenstein Is Going To Need A Good Criminal Attorney

U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson recently issued a scathing ruling in which she ordered the Justice Department to release a memo from the DOJ’s Office of Legal Counsel which helped support former Attorney General William Barr’s decision not to prosecute failed, one-term former President Donald Trump on charges of obstruction of justice, making it clear that she believed Barr had lied to maintain a narrative that the Mueller report cleared Trump, which it most certainly didn’t.

Judge Jackson wrote:

“The review of the document reveals that the Attorney General was not then engaged in making a decision about whether the President should be charged with obstruction of justice; the fact that he would not be prosecuted was a given.”

Barr had made up his mind prior to receiving the report from Special Counsel Robert Mueller: He would declare that Trump had been cleared by Mueller and urge the country to move on.

But it turns out Barr didn’t pull off his deception alone. Instead, he had lots of help from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

Remember Rod Rosenstein? He’s the one who appointed Mueller after then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions had recused himself because he had a conflict of interest. Rosenstein was seen as a steady, reliable man who would do what was right, not what was politically expedient.

However, as attorney Dirk Schwenk points out in a fascinating Twitter thread, Judge Jackson also exposed Rosenstein as a co-conspirator who had better hope he has a good criminal attorney on retainer:

Be sure and read the above tweet very carefully. Rosenstein and Barr had the OLC memo drafted to help cover up a decision the AG made regarding the Mueller investigation: No matter what Mueller found, Trump would be protected at all costs. That was the prime objective.

Barr, Rosenstein, and the Office of Legal Counsel were all in on the fix from the beginning. They would declare Trump exonerated even if Mueller said otherwise. Mueller was used as a pawn in a larger criminal scheme to assure that Trump wasn’t found guilty.

Rosenstein set the cover-up in place; Barr took the ball and carried it over the goal line. The upper echelons of the DOJ were used to protect Trump instead of protecting the Constitution those same Justice Department officials had sworn to uphold.

Rod Rosenstein is a criminal. So is Barr. So are others at the DOJ who were part of the conspiracy. It’s time to charge them and try them in a court of law.

 

Categories
Crime Donald Trump Justice Department The Trump Adminstration

Former Federal Prosecutor: Bill Barr Faces Criminal Liability For Lying About The Mueller Report

Now that a federal judge has made it clear that former Attorney General William Barr lied about what was contained in the report from Special Counsel Robert Mueller in an attempt to take the heat off failed, one-term former President Donald Trump, another question has now come to the forefront: What happens to Barr for lying to the public and, more importantly, to Congress the courts while he was under oath?

That was the topic of discussion on MSNBC Wednesday, with former acting solicitor general Neal Katyal explaining what happens next for Barr:

“I’m not sitting here feeling good about the fact that I and so many others were right two years ago. I desperately wanted to be wrong. Our system is set up to trust Barr was attorney general of the United States. not the attorney general for President Trump. He was supposed to be for the people. Unfortunately, there was always a degree of corruption around him. He constantly acted like one of Donald Trump’s personal attorneys. Now, with the new decision by the judge into his deception, he’s finally being treated like one of the gang, which he always was.”

Katyal added that U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson was very clear in her ruling that the Justice Department must release a DOJ memo Barr used to bolster his own personal interpretation of the Mueller report. She also noted that Barr had indeed lied under oath:

“She called Barr’s actions in the litigating position disingenuous, which is something you almost never hear a federal judge say about any litigant, particularly not someone from the Justice Department, and particularly not the attorney general of the United States. If a federal judge calls your testimony before the Congress disingenuous, as she did, I think it’s time to start retaining legal counsel, and ideally someone who can save whatever is left of that tattered reputation that you have.”

Host Nicolle Wallace asked Katyal what can be done to the former attorney general now that he’s out of office. Katyal replied:

“Well, I think, you know, this is true about every attorney who surrounded themselves with Donald Trump. They run into criminal liability. You see it — you know, we’ll talk about [Rudy[ Giuliani a bit later. You see it time and again, Michael Cohen, all these other people. Judge Jackson is saying in this opinion, Barr, you testified before Congress, your testimony before Congress was that you had made these decisions. Now it looks like you didn’t actually make these decisions, and this material you’re trying to prevent the American people from seeing you claimed was shielded because you hadn’t made the decisions at the time, but it looks like you did.”

All of that, Katyal concluded, suggests that Barr is in very big trouble legally:

“So, there is the possibility of a criminal investigation into Bill Barr now. There’s also the possibility of civil and disciplinary actions against him as well. I mean, the attorney general of the United States is supposed to be above reproach. Here you have the top lawyer for the entire government, you know, being accused of being disingenuous by an incredibly well-respected judge in D.C.”

This is an open and shut case. A slam dunk. The Justice Department needs to take action and charge Barr to send a message to all future AGs: You’re supposed to defend the Constitution, not the president.

Here’s the full interview with Neal Katyal:

 

Categories
Corruption Justice Department Mueller Report The Trump Adminstration

Judge Orders Release Of DOJ Memo Showing William Barr Lied About The Mueller Report

On Tuesday, a federal judge made it clear that she’s sick and tired of the Department of Justice (DOJ) dragging its feet on the release of a memo from the DOJ’s Office of Legal Counsel which supported the decision by former Attorney General William Barr to not prosecute former President Donald Trump for obstruction of justice for incidents laid out in the final report from Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

Politico reports that not only did U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson issue the ruling, she also accused Barr of being “disingenuous” when he described Mueller’s findings to the American people and Congress.

Specifically, Jackson wrote that the Justice Department’s memorandum to Barr was little more than a document created to justify a decision the former attorney general had already made:

“The review of the document reveals that the Attorney General was not then engaged in making a decision about whether the President should be charged with obstruction of justice; the fact that he would not be prosecuted was a given.”

Jackson also noted that the DOJ’s refusal to hand over the memo in response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, was little more than an attempt to mislead the court:

“Not only was the Attorney General being disingenuous then, but DOJ has been disingenuous to this Court with respect to the existence of a decision-making process that should be shielded by the deliberative process privilege. The agency’s redactions and incomplete explanations obfuscate the true purpose of the memorandum, and the excised portions belie the notion that it fell to the Attorney General to make a prosecution decision or that any such decision was on the table at any time.”

As we’ve long suspected, William Barr declared Trump innocent of all crimes before the Mueller report was ever made public, and he also withheld (via redactions) large sections of the final document in order to create a false narrative that Trump hadn’t engaged in any illegal conduct, even though Mueller’s team found otherwise. That alone proves that Barr is guilty of crimes against the United States.

Judge Jackson should be hailed for her ruling, and even though it can be appealed, it seems unlikely any appellate court will keep the memo or the full Mueller report from being made available to the American public which, after all, paid for the the Russia investigation and the salaries of both Barr and Trump.