Tag Archives: FBI

Now we know why the GOP refused an FBI investigation and wanted to rush the Kavanaugh nomination to a vote

The White House and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley refused to request an FBI background check in light of the sexual assault allegations of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford against Judge Brett Kavanaugh. This is standard operating procedure for the committee but was refused in this instance, despite Dr. Blasey insisting on an FBI investigation before she presents her testimony.

Sen. Grassley has bullied and threatened Dr. Blasey over presenting her testimony, even threatening to proceed to a confirmation vote as early as Monday without her testimony unless Dr. Blasey agreed to Sen. Grassley’s unreasonable demands.

Legal minds have asked “why refuse an FBI background investigation?” and “what is the rush to confirmation?” since there is no actual deadline, other than the GOP’s political calendar for the midterm election.

Now we know the answer to those questions: the GOP is engaged in a cover-up.

On Sunday night, the New Yorker’s Ronan Farrow and Jane Mayer published an article detailing a new allegation of sexual misconduct against Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh, the Republican Supreme Court nominee. Deborah Ramirez, a Yale classmate from Kavanaugh’s undergraduate years, described a drunken freshman-year dormitory party during which she claims he exposed himself and thrust his penis into her face, causing her to touch it accidentally as she pushed him away. None of it, she said, occurred with her consent.

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The FOX News presidency is a threat to U.S. national security

I previously posted about how the intelligence agencies and the Department of Justice believe that President Trump has “crossed a red line” in ordering the declassification of the Carter Page FISA warrant applications and emails of FBI and Department of Justice personnel in pursuit of his “deep state” conspiracy theory concocted by his co-conspirators in obstruction of justice in the GOP House Freedom Caucus and House Intelligence Committee chairman Rep. Devin Nunes. Abuse of power and obstruction of justice in plain sight.

It turns out that Trump has not even read these documents, and is ordering them released on the advice of his “FOX News cabinet” of advisors who want the materials to further their “deep state” conspiracy theory effort to discredit federal law enforcement agencies and the Special Counsel’s Russia investigation. Trump ordered the government to declassify information he apparently hasn’t read:

It wasn’t a surprise when the White House announced Monday that it was ordering the Justice Department to declassify a set of material related to the genesis of the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. For weeks, President Trump’s allies on Fox News and in the House had been echoing one another’s calls to do precisely that.

So on Monday, that very specific order from Trump: Declassify precisely those pages of the application for a warrant to surveil former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page that were mentioned in a news conference held by 12 staunchly Trump-loyal members of the House in September. What’s more, Trump ordered the department to declassify text messages involving a number of names familiar to the Fox News audience. Former FBI agent Peter Strzok, Justice Department official Bruce Ohr and so on.

Those elected officials and the Fox News hosts who echoed their demand insisted that the declassifications would demonstrate anti-Trump rot in the Justice Department. Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) promised that revelation would help Republicans win in November.

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Roll Call: Kavanaugh Accuser’s Schoolmate Says Assault Was Chatter at School Afterward

As I said in the previous post, the FBI needs to complete a background check of the allegations of Christine Blasey Ford before any testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee:

The FBI could discover circumstantial evidence which matches Dr. Blasey’s description of events and speak to other persons who were at the party in question who could corroborate Dr. Blasey’s description of events (she went upstairs with Kavanaugh and Judge, locked herself in a bathroom, fled the party, etc.) Someone at that party must have saw something. Republicans don’t want to take that risk.

Roll Call reports today that Dr. Blasey’s sexual assault was “chatter” among her classmates contemporaneously around the time that it occurred. Someone at that party must have saw something, and the White House by refusing to request the FBI to conduct a follow-up background investigation is actively engaged in a coverup. Kavanaugh Accuser’s Schoolmate Says Assault Was Chatter at School Afterward:

A schoolmate of Christine Blasey Ford, the California psychology professor who has accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her when they were in high school, backed Ford’s claim Wednesday in a letter she posted to Facebook.

“Christine Blasey Ford was a year or so behind me, I remember her,” wrote Cristina King Miranda, who graduated a year ahead of Ford at Holton-Arms School in Bethesda, Maryland. Holton-Arms is an all-girls school whose students frequently socialized with Kavanaugh’s all-male alma mater, Georgetown Prep.

This incident did happen,” Miranda wrote. “Many of us heard about it in school and Christine’s recollection should be more than enough for us to truly, deeply know that the accusation is true.”

In order for this to have been chatter at the school contemporaneously around the time that it occurred, it means that someone at that party must have saw something and there are corroborating witnesses whom the FBI has not interviewed solely because the White House has refused to direct the FBI to do a  follow-up background investigation.

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A sham hearing and a denial of due process

This is what GOP authoritarianism looks like: a sham hearing and a denial of due process to a victim of sexual abuse.

I explained yesterday, The Senate needs to get this right, and right now it is failing: for judicial background checks, the client is not the Senate but the White House. And the White House Hasn’t Asked FBI to Vet Kavanaugh Allegations, Sources Say.

The FBI background is the legally correct thing to do in fairness to both the accuser and the accused. Due process demands it. As Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) told the Washington Post, “If there’s a hearing before that investigation, the committee is going to be shooting in the dark with questions.” “As a former prosecutor and state attorney general, there’s no way I would put a crime survivor on the stand in front of a jury, let alone the American people, without a full investigation so that I know what the facts are before I start asking questions.”

On Tuesday, Christine Blasey Ford Requested That the F.B.I. to Investigate Kavanaugh Before She Testifies, a reasonable request, as is her right:

Speaking through lawyers, Christine Blasey Ford said she would cooperate with the Senate Judiciary Committee and left open the possibility of testifying later about her allegations against Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh. But echoing Senate Democrats, she said an investigation should be “the first step” before she is put “on national television to relive this traumatic and harrowing incident.”

Republicans signaled Tuesday night that they would not negotiate an alternative date and would go ahead with the hearing without her or declare it unnecessary if she refuses to appear, then possibly move to a vote. They have repeatedly stressed that Monday would be Dr. Blasey’s opportunity to testify, either privately or publicly, and that they planned to move forward with the confirmation process afterward.

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Abuse of power and obstruction of justice in plain sight

Russian asset and crime family boss Donald Trump just keeps digging his hole deeper with the Special Counsel’s investigation.

Yesterday he added two more counts, for abuse of power and obstruction of justice. The GOP House Freedom Caucus co-conspirators who are aiding and abetting his crimes should also be charged.

Steve Benen does a good job of breaking it down. Trump ignores security, crosses ‘red line’ with declassification gambit:

Donald Trump’s abuses have become routine, but that doesn’t make them any easier to tolerate. The president’s move yesterdayafternoon, for example, is awfully tough to defend.

In an unprecedented move that stunned current and former intelligence officials, President Donald Trump on Monday ordered the public release of highly classified documents and text messages related to the FBI investigation into whether his campaign conspired with Russia.

A statement by the White House press office said Trump had directed the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), the Department of Justice and the FBI to declassify about 20 pages of a highly sensitive application for surveillance against Carter Page, a one-time Trump foreign policy aide.

The president suggested two weeks ago that he was considering such a move, but many hoped Trump was just blowing off steam and he’d end up in a more responsible place. That’s obviously not what happened.

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The Senate needs to get this right, and right now it is failing

The Senate Judiciary Committee has scheduled next Monday for a hearing on Christine Blasey Ford’s allegation of sexual assault against Brett Kavanaugh when they were in high school.

While there does need to be a hearing, this is yet again another example of GOP leadership steamrolling the Kavanaugh nomination without all the facts being made available to senators. GOP leadership is setting up this Monday hearing to be another public spectacle like the Anita Hill hearings were in 1991, and that is unfair to Christine Blasey Ford, Brett Kavaaugh, and the Senate. These fools have learned nothing in the intervening years.

Lat week Senator Dianne Feinstein referred the letter of Christine Blasey Ford to the FBI for further background investigation. All 10 Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee signed a letter dated Monday morning urging Grassley to postpone the committee vote, urging that an FBI investigation should conclude before Kavanaugh’s nomination proceeds. Democrats call to delay Kavanaugh committee vote, after accuser comes forward.

The problem is that for judicial background checks, the client is not the Senate but the White House. And the White House Hasn’t Asked FBI to Vet Kavanaugh Allegations, Sources Say:

The White House hasn’t asked the FBI to investigate the allegation that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted a woman when they were in high school, a request required for the bureau to take further action, according to two people familiar with the matter.

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