Tag Archives: Cyber Crime

Senator John McCain’s response to GOP attacks on the FBI and DOJ

Arizona’s Senator John McCain responded to the release of the controversial Nunes Memo in a statement. STATEMENT BY SASC CHAIRMAN JOHN McCAIN ON PARTISAN ATTACKS ON THE FBI & DOJ:

U. S. Senator John McCain

Washington, D.C. ­– U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ), Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, released the following statement on partisan attacks on the FBI and Department of Justice:

“In 2016, the Russian government engaged in an elaborate plot to interfere in an American election and undermine our democracy. Russia employed the same tactics it has used to influence elections around the world, from France and Germany to Ukraine, Montenegro, and beyond. Putin’s regime launched cyberattacks and spread disinformation with the goal of sowing chaos and weakening faith in our institutions. And while we have no evidence that these efforts affected the outcome of our election, I fear they succeeded in fueling political discord and dividing us from one another.

“The latest attacks on the FBI and Department of Justice serve no American interests – no party’s, no president’s, only Putin’s. The American people deserve to know all of the facts surrounding Russia’s ongoing efforts to subvert our democracy, which is why Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation must proceed unimpeded. Our nation’s elected officials, including the president, must stop looking at this investigation through the warped lens of politics and manufacturing partisan sideshows. If we continue to undermine our own rule of law, we are doing Putin’s job for him.”

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Donald Trump and his congressional allies are a clear and present danger to American democracy

For those of you who have been distracted by other less important matters, as of today we are officially in a constitutional crisis.

The threat to our democracy is now at DEFCON 1. To paraphrase, “Now is the time for all good men and women to come to the aid of their country.” This is not a drill.

Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee disregarded a Justice Department  letter last week to Rep. Devin Nunes, the committee’s Republican chairman, from Stephen E. Boyd, an assistant attorney general, advising him it would be “extraordinarily reckless” to release the “Nunes Memo” drawing on classified information without official review.

According to the ranking minority member on the committee Rep. Adam Schiff, and the Transcript of House Intelligence Committee Meeting Regarding the Nunes Memo, the committee chairman, Devin Nunes, despite meeting with FBI Director Wray on Sunday regarding the concerns of the FBI, refused to even hear from the FBI in the committee hearing regarding their concerns for national security sources and methods (pp.2-21):

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It should be noted that this committee hearing was the first time it was disclosed to Democrats on the committee that chairman Devin Nunes and several Republican members on his committee were conducting their own investigation into the FBI and Department of Justice, something that was not approved by a vote of the committee.

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Trump refuses to impose new sanctions on Russia despite ongoing cyber war attacks against the U.S.

CIA Director Mike Pompeo said in an interview with the BBC on Monday that he expects Russia to try to meddle in the 2018 midterm elections. The director of the CIA expects Russia will try to meddle in the 2018 midterm elections:

“I have every expectation that they will continue to try and do that,” Pompeo told BBC reporter Gordon Corera. “But I’m confident that America will be able to have a free and fair election (and) that we will push back in a way that is sufficiently robust that the impact they have on our election won’t be great.”

Pompeo also told the BBC that, despite some cooperation on anti-terrorism efforts, he views Russia as an adversary, stressing that they are still trying to influence the US and Europe.

Despite the fact that the U.S. is still under cyber war attacks from a hostile Russian government, Putin’s Puppet in the White House on Monday refused to impose new sanctions on Russia that Congress had overwhelmingly approved. Trump Administration Won’t Impose Sanctions on Buyers of Russian Arms:

The Trump administration announced Monday that it had decided against imposing any sanctions on countries that buy Russian military equipment, saying that a new law was already deterring billions of dollars in such purchases.

The law required that sanctions be imposed against large purchasers of Russian arms, but it granted exceptions for a variety of reasons. The administration explained the exceptions it was citing to members of Congress in a classified briefing on Monday.

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In unprecedented move, GOP House Intelligence Committee jeopardizes national security to aid Donald Trump in obstruction of justice

Donald Trump is engaged in a slow-motion “Saturday Night Massacre” purge to get to Special Counsel Robert Mueller. He does not necessarily have to fire Mueller, but he can put him on an island by replacing everyone in the chain of command around him with yes-men who will deny Mueller resources, or deny his requests for subpoenas of documents or witnesses, etc., to effectively impede his investigation.

As I pointed out in a link to Foreign Policy yesterday, it reported on an organized campaign to discredit top DOJ and FBI leadership, expressly so that they would lose power in acting as witnesses to support Comey.

President Donald Trump pressed senior aides last June to devise and carry out a campaign to discredit senior FBI officials after learning that those specific employees were likely to be witnesses against him as part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, according to two people directly familiar with the matter.

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The FBI officials Trump has targeted are Andrew McCabe, the current deputy FBI director and who was briefly acting FBI director after Comey’s firing; Jim Rybicki, Comey’s chief of staff and senior counselor; and James Baker, formerly the FBI’s general counsel. Those same three officials were first identified as possible corroborating witnesses for Comey in a June 7 article in Vox. Comey confirmed in congressional testimony the following day that he confided in the three men.

FBI Director Wray replaced Jim Rybicki last week. Baker was reassigned in December. And now McCabe is gone.

Trump has previously attempted to force Attorney General Jeff Sessions to resign, and to force Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to resign, who is now the target of the #ReleaseTheMemo smear campaign from Rep. Devin Nunes, FAUX News (aka Trump TV) and Russian intelligence bots. Russia-linked Twitter accounts are working overtime to help Devin Nunes and WikiLeaks.

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The GOP war on law enforcement and the rule of law to obstruct justice

The Republican Party has abdicated its constitutional duties and patriotic loyalty to country, and instead has sworn fealty to an egomaniacal authoritarian madman who is the titular head of their party. GOP members of Congress are complicit in a conspiracy to cover-up and to aid and abet obstruction of justice by the Trump administration. They are accessories to a crime.

The Washington Post editorializes today, GOP leaders’ complicity grows as their members undermine the rule of law:

A FOREIGN power interfered in the 2016 presidential election. U.S. law enforcement is trying to get to the bottom of that story. Congress should be doing everything possible to make sure the investigation can take place. Instead, to protect the president of their party, who may or may not be complicit, Republican leaders in Congress are allowing and encouraging the baseless slander of the investigators.

It is a new low for the leadership, and one that could do lasting harm to the nation.

Cravenness in the Republican leaders’ response to Donald Trump is nothing new. During the presidential campaign, few stood up to his nativism and ugly ethnic slurs. Since he became president, even fewer have stood by their previous commitments to U.S. leadership abroad and fiscal responsibility at home. As he has trampled long-established norms, such as releasing annual tax returns, we’ve heard not a peep from the Article I branch.

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Donald Trump tried to fire the Special Counsel last June – testify about that under oath

On Wednesday, in an impromptu press conference that was in defiance of the “Church Lady” in the White House, chief of staff Gen. John Kelly, Trump bristles under some of his orderly chief of staff’s restrictions, President Trump “proceeded to field a rush of questions on the Russia investigation with answers that rattled his lawyers and senior aides and left Kelly dealing with the fallout.”

Trump Says He Is Willing to Speak Under Oath to Mueller:

President Trump said on Wednesday that he was willing and eager to be interviewed by Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel investigating Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential campaign, insisting that he has done nothing wrong.

“I’m looking forward to it, actually,” Mr. Trump said of talking to Mr. Mueller, answering months of speculation over whether he was willing to submit to questions from the special counsel[.]

“I would love to do that — I’d like to do it as soon as possible,” the president told reporters on Wednesday of the prospect of being interviewed by Mr. Mueller, adding that his lawyers have told him it would be “about two to three weeks” until it takes place. Almost as an afterthought, he added, any such interview would be “subject to my lawyers, and all of that.”

Yeah, that was a big caveat. Let the lawyer walk back begin:

Ty Cobb, the White House lawyer leading the response to the investigation, said Mr. Trump was speaking hurriedly and intended only to say that he was willing to meet.

“He’s ready to meet with them, but he’ll be guided by the advice of his personal counsel,” Mr. Cobb said. He said the arrangements were being worked out between Mr. Mueller’s team and the president’s personal lawyers.

[T]here are no discussions about Mr. Trump speaking before a grand jury, which is how prosecutors speak to witnesses under oath. Interviews with agents and prosecutors are not conducted under oath, but lying to the F.B.I. is a felony.

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