Posts Tagged ‘FBI’

The FBI Wants the Public to ID Capitol Insurrectionists. Here’s One.

January 7, 2021

The FBI Wants the Public to ID Capitol Insurrectionists. Here's One.

In a statement shared online, the FBI asks the public to help identify the domestic terrorists who broke into the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday:

“The FBI is seeking information that will assist in identifying individuals who are actively instigating violence in Washington, D.C. The FBI is accepting tips and digital media depicting rioting and violence in the U.S. Capitol Building and surrounding area in Washington, D.C., on January 6, 2021.”

They can start with Derrick Evans, a newly-elected Republican member of West Virginia’s House of Delegates. He bragged about the deed, and there are videos.

Since most of the rioters wore no facemasks, it shouldn’t be hard to find other insurrectionists. On Thursday morning, former Obama speechwriter Cody Keenan suggested that questing G-Men should look in the breakfast bar of the Hyatt Regency, two blocks from FBI headquarters. Reporters had been interviewing the seditionists in the Hyatt lobby for days.

Updates:

“US Capitol Building Riot: Justice Dept. Pursues at Least 150 Suspects,” Katie Benner and Adam Goldman, New York Times

“Who were they? Records reveal Trump fans who stormed Capitol,” Michael Biesecker,
Michael Kunzelman, Gillian Flaccus, and Jim Mustian, Associated Press

“‘Trump said I could’: One possible legal defense for accused rioters,” Teri Kanefield and Mark Reichel, Washington Post

More:

“West Virginia delegate records himself storming U.S. Capitol,” Cuneyt Dil, Associated Press

“W.Va. delegate, just sworn in, was among the mob storming U.S. Capitol,” Brad McElhinny, W.Va. MetroNews

“Remove House of Delegates Member Derrick Evans for Terrorism,” Change.org petition

Related:

Online FBI Tip Form

“13 federal criminal laws that the pro-Trump mob may have violated, explained,” Ian Millhiser, Vox

“People at the US Capitol riot are being identified and losing their jobs,” AJ Willingham and Carma Hassan, CNN

Ill-Wind-Blows-Someone-Good Department:

“Trump Supporters Gave D.C. Hotel Business Shot In The Arm Before Capitol Insurrection,” Jon Banister, Bisnow

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Justice Department Stopped FBI From Examining Trump’s Russia Ties

August 31, 2020

Justice Department Stopped FBI From Examining Trump's Russia Ties

“The Justice Department secretly took steps in 2017 to narrow the investigation into Russian election interference and any links to the Trump campaign, according to former law enforcement officials, keeping investigators from completing an examination of President Trump’s decades-long personal and business ties to Russia.”

” … law enforcement officials never fully investigated Mr. Trump’s own relationship with Russia, even though some career F.B.I. counterintelligence investigators thought his ties posed such a national security threat that they took the extraordinary step of opening an inquiry into them. Within days, the former deputy attorney general Rod J. Rosenstein curtailed the investigation without telling the bureau, all but ensuring it would go nowhere.”

— “Justice Dept. Never Fully Examined Trump’s Ties to Russia, Ex-Officials Say,” Michael S. Schmidt, New York Times

Related:

“More evidence of Trump’s subservience to Putin — and we still don’t know why,: Max Boot, Washington Post

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2017: Have a Lethal Christmas!

December 17, 2017

Have a Lethal Christmas!

Francis X. Clines in the New York Times:

“For the single-day binge of gun sales measured annually after Thanksgiving, the F.B.I. received 203,086 requests for background checks. This is the most ever in a single day, topping last year’s Black Friday high of 185,713 requests. (No immediate tweets from President Trump, the candidate of the National Rifle Association, that this is huge in making America great again.)

There were undoubtedly even more guns actually sold, since an F.B.I. request can cover a buyer’s multiple purchases. All seasonal evidence indicates that AR-15 assault rifles, the battlefield knockoffs familiar to so many Americans in the relentless tales of mass shootings, will be under many Christmas trees. ‘Bang for the buck!’ enthused the blog post of one seasonal shopper. ‘I picked up a Bushmaster carbine with rebate for around $400 … I couldn’t be happier.’”

More:

“Guns were Black Friday must-haves, going by the FBI’s record 203,086 background-check requests,” Cleve R. Wootson Jr., Washington Post

Related:

“Sandy Hook mom slams Trump for hosting NRA head on anniversary of shooting,” Jacqueline Thomsen, The Hill

“Americans Don’t Really Understand Gun Violence,” David Bernstein, The Atlantic

“America’s gun problem, explained,” German Lopez, Vox

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Comey Testifies

June 8, 2017

Comey Testifies
Former FBI director James Comey testifies before the Senate Intelligence Committee  at 10:00 AM Eastern Time today, Thursday, June 8th. The Intelligence Committee is investigating links between Russia and the 2016 Trump campaign. Mr. Trump told Lester Holt of NBC News that he fired Mr. Comey to end the FBI’s criminal investigation of the same matter

Yesterday the committee released Mr. Comey’s prepared introductory remarks (highlights here). Today’s Q & A will be streamed live on PBS and many other platforms.

More:

“The Back Story on the 15 Senators Questioning Comey,” David Hawkings, Roll Call

“West Wing aides fearful of directly attacking Comey,”  Matthew Nussbaum, Josh Dawsey, Darren Samuelsohn, and Tara Palmeri, Politico

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Comey Filed a Memo of Trump’s Obstruction Request

May 17, 2017

Comey Filed a Memo of Trump's Obstruction Request

“President Trump asked the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, to shut down the federal investigation into Mr. Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn, in an Oval Office meeting in February, according to a memo Mr. Comey wrote shortly after the meeting.

‘I hope you can let this go,’ the president told Mr. Comey, according to the memo.

The existence of Mr. Trump’s request is the clearest evidence that the president has tried to directly influence the Justice Department and F.B.I. investigation into links between Mr. Trump’s associates and Russia.

Mr. Comey wrote the memo detailing his conversation with the president immediately after the meeting, which took place the day after Mr. Flynn resigned, according to two people who read the memo. The memo was part of a paper trail Mr. Comey created documenting what he perceived as the president’s improper efforts to influence a continuing investigation. An F.B.I. agent’s contemporaneous notes are widely held up in court as credible evidence of conversations.

— “Comey Memo Says Trump Asked Him to End Flynn Investigation,” Michael S. Schmidt, New York Times

More:

“Notes made by former FBI director Comey say Trump pressured him to end Flynn probe,” Devlin Barrett, Ellen Nakashima and Matt Zapotosky, Washington Post

“U.S. lawmakers want to see Comey memo on Trump meeting,” Bill Trott and Peter Cooney, Reuters

“Chaffetz demands Comey-Trump memos in letter to FBI,” Heather Caygle, Politico

“Senate Intel Committee Wants Comey Memos And Testimony,” Allegra Kirkland, TPM Livewire

“Law professor: ‘If the allegations are true, Trump has committed a serious federal crime,’” Dylan Matthews, Vox

“Another Bomb Drops: Initial Thoughts on Trump Asking Comey to Kill the Flynn Investigation,” Helen Klein Murillo, Jack Goldsmith, Susan Hennessey, et al., Lawfare

“Is Trump guilty of obstruction of justice? That depends …,” William Yeomans, The Hill

“What Is Obstruction of Justice? An Often-Murky Crime, Explained,” Charlie Savage, New York Times

“Legal analysts: Trump might have obstructed justice, if Comey’s allegation is true,” Matt Zapotosky, Washington Post

“A Short History of Presidential Obstruction of Justice,” Jon Schwarz, The Intercept

“Donald Trump has committed the exact offense that forced Richard Nixon to resign,”
Updated by Dylan Matthews, Vox

“Comey’s Memo Is the Smoking Gun of Donald Trump’s Watergate,” Jonathan Chait, New York Magazine

“GOP Rep. Justin Amash on Comey memo: if true, there are grounds for impeachment,” Tara Golshan, Vox

“‘I think we’re in impeachment territory,’ says David Gergen, former aide to Nixon and Clinton,” Derek Hawkins, Washington Post

“Is the Comey Memo the Beginning of the End for Trump?” David Remnick, The New Yorker

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El Caudillo Trump Demands Loyalty

May 12, 2017

El Caudillo Trump Demands Loyalty
President Donald Trump invited FBI Director James Comey to dinner in January and asked for his loyalty. Mr. Comey, a career law enforcement official, promised him honesty. Honesty clearly has no place in a Trump administration, so Comey was sacked, then threatened.

As former FBI agent Clint Watts, a fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, observes,  “Trump’s loyalty pledge tactic comes straight from the worst aspects of authoritarians and mob bosses who see their rule above the rule of law.”

More:

“Trump Asked Comey for Loyalty a Day After He Was Warned About Flynn: Report,”  Margaret Hartmann, New York Magazine

“Trump said he was thinking of Russia controversy when he decided to fire Comey,” Devlin Barrett and Philip Rucker, Washington Post

“Trump Threatens Fired FBI Director Comey With ‘Tapes,'” John T. Bennett, Roll Call

“The Threat in President Trump’s Interview with Lester Holt,” Amy Davidson, The New Yorker

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FBI Executive Search

May 11, 2017

FBI Executive Search

After praising FBI Director James Comey since October and expressing confidence in him for the last 100 days, on Tuesday President Trump fired him. The pretext concerned Mr. Comey’s handling of the Clinton email investigation, but the firing came soon after the Director’s congressional testimony about the FBI’s investigation into links between the Trump campaign and Russian operatives.

President Trump, the subject of those FBI investigations, will now pick the next FBI Director. Former Trump campaign advisor Jeff Sessions, now Attorney General, who pledged to recuse himself from any investigations of Trump campaign links to Russia, will help pick the FBI chief heading those investigations. What could be more ethical?

(more…)

FBI Director Comey Seeking New Opportunities

May 10, 2017

FBI Director Comey Seeking New Opportunities

In a stunning act of ingratitude towards the man who made him President, Donald Trump has fired FBI Director James Comey. Maybe it’s a reflex Mr. Trump developed during his reality TV career.

Hey, this couldn’t have anything to do with the ongoing FBI investigation of the Trump Campaign’s Russian ties, could it?

(more…)

Black Friday 2016: High-Caliber Sales

November 29, 2016

Black Friday 2016: High-Caliber Sales
‘Tis the season. As the world prepares to wish for Peace on Earth, Americans spent Black Friday 2016 stockpiling firearms. On the day after Thanksgiving the FBI processed a record 185,713 background checks for gun transactions, more than any single day since the NICS system launched 18 years ago, up from last year’s 185,345 background checks. Jingle bells, pass the shells.

The Trump campaign got $30 million from the NRA, which claimed a Clinton administration would ban the assault-type weapons prized by militias and mass murderers, and would confiscate all privately-owned  firearms. The Obama presidency has been good for gun merchants, who predicted a Trump victory would see a slump in sales, but it hasn’t happened. There are anecdotal accounts that the 2016 election prompted a rise in gun purchases by anxious African Americans. See, Donald Trump is boosting the economy, even before his inauguration.

More:

“FBI runs more background checks than ever after gun sales soar on Black Friday,”Alex Yablon, The Guardian

Related:

“Burglars rob militia family bungalow of guns, machetes, grenades and body armor,” Travis M. Andrews, Washington Post

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FBI: ‘Oops!’

November 7, 2016

FBI: 'Oops!'

After throwing a political hand grenade into the last 10 days of the 2016 presidential election campaign, FBI Director James Comey says it was just a dud. This “oops!” came two days before the election.

On Friday, October 28th, Mr. Comey sent a letter to congressional committee chairmen — i.e., Republican politicians — vaguely associating Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton with emails found on a laptop belonging to well-known creep and  disgraced former congressman Anthony Weiner. Mr. Weiner’s estranged wife is a long-time Clinton aide. On Sunday afternoon November 6th, FBI Director Comey revealed that the emails were inconsequential, like the ones the agency had already cleared.

Donald Trump spent the last week before the election capitalizing on innuendo the Comey letter allowed. Ever hear law enforcement officials say they can’t comment on an ongoing investigation? This is the kind of screw-up that policy is meant to avoid, tainting the reputations of people who are ultimately not charged.

Of course, 40 million Americans have already voted. We’ll never know many voted in the week after James Comey’s ill-advised letter. The damage is done.

More:

“FBI clears Clinton after round-the-clock review of new emails, Comey says,” David Lauter and Del Quentin Wilber, Los Angeles Times

“FBI Director Again Clears Clinton After Review of New Email Trove,” Chas Danner, New York Magazine

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