Posts Tagged ‘Senate Intelligence Committee’

Summer Intern Speaks Outside White House

July 24, 2017

New Jersey youngster Jared Kushner spoke to White House reporters Monday, claiming credit towards his Citizenship Merit Badge. He’s a good boy, say his counselors.

Every summer well-connected, rich white American youths who can afford to work without pay descend upon the Nation’s Capital. They serve a vital function, staffing federal government offices while our elected officials are playing golf at their private clubs. Inevitably, the inexperienced and unsupervised young folks get into trouble. Everybody just shrugs.

More:

“Kushner’s damning account: At the very least, he’s in over his head,” Jennifer Rubin, Washington Post

“Jared Kushner’s explanations on Russia reveal a man wholly unsuited to his job,” Ed Pilkington, The Guardian

“CNN analyst rips Kushner’s statement to shreds: He’s going to solve the Middle East but can’t fill out forms,” Eric W, Dolan, Raw Story

“Jared Kushner Blames Basically Everyone — Donny, His Assistant, His Tough Job — For the Russia Headache,” Emily Jane Fox, Vanity Fair

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Jeff Sessions Stonewalls the Senate

June 15, 2017

Jeff Sessions Stonewalls the Senate

On Tuesday, Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III appeared in front of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and defended his sacred honor by testifying to nothing. He did not exactly invoke executive privilege; he invoked the president’s right to invoke executive privilege at some unspecified later date. Mr. Sessions did this on the authority of the “historic policies of the Department of Justice” for which he could not cite written records, saying unnamed Justice Department career employees had told him there were such traditions. To be fair, during his long career Mr. Sessions has consistently championed historic policies, notably segregation.

For some reason, Democratic members of the Intelligence Committee were not keen on having a sworn witness in a congressional proceeding who refused to testify on unnamed grounds.

More:

“Sessions to Wyden in testy exchange: ‘I am not stonewalling,’” Devlin Barrett, Washington Post

“Sen. Kamala Harris leaves Sessions ‘nervous’ in interrogation over his refusal to disclose conversations with Trump,” Michael Finnegan, Los Angeles Times

“Dem Senator to Sessions: You’re ‘Impeding the Investigation,’” Daily Beast

“Explaining Executive Privilege and Sessions’s Refusal to Answer Questions,” Charlie Savage, New York Times

“Did Sessions and Trump conspire to obstruct justice?” Clark D. Cunningham, The Conversation

“Sessions could earn a ticket to the grand jury,” Mike Allen, Axios

 

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Credibility: Comey Versus Trump

June 12, 2017

On June 8th, former FBI Director James Comey testified under oath before the Senate Intelligence Committee that President Trump asked him to end the FBI investigation of former White House advisor Michael Flynn’s Russian contacts.

Senator Martin Heinrich ( D – NM): “A lot of this comes down to who should we believe. Do you want to say anything as to why we should believe you?”

James Comey: “I think people should look at the whole body of my testimony because, as I used to say to juries when I talked about a witness, you can’t cherry-pick it. You can’t say ‘I like these things he said, but on this, he’s a dirty, rotten liar’. You can’t say, ‘I like these things he said but on this, he’s a [rot]ten liar’. You have to take it together.”

“… in looking at any witness, you look at consistency, track record, demeanor, record over time, that sort of thing.”

President Trump refuted Mr. Comey’s charges that he sought to impede the Flynn investigation, and offered to testify under oath about the matter. The last time Donald Trump offered sworn testimony, in 2007, he was forced to admit to lying 30 times.

Video clip: Fred Astaire and Jane Powell in Royal Wedding (1951). Music by Burton Lane, with lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner

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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 to Testify on June 8th

June 1, 2017

Comey to Testify on June 8th

The Senate Intelligence Committee has scheduled public testimony by recently terminated FBI director James Comey for 10:00 AM Eastern Time on Thursday, June 8th. The session will be streamed live on PBS.

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.

More:

“Comey to testify publicly next week,” Morgan Chalfant, The Hill

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James Comey to Testify Before the Senate Intelligence Committee

May 19, 2017

James Comey to Testify Before the Senate Intelligence Committee

Recently terminated FBI director James Comey, the career law enforcement official who keeps meticulous records of all his meetings, has agreed to publicly testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee in a few weeks. The announcement will probably be dismissed as “more showboating” by America’s Showboater-in-Chief, Donald Trump.

The Intelligence Committee is investigating links between Russia and the 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.

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Never Fear, Jared’s Here

April 3, 2017

President Trump, has appointed son-in-law Jared Kushner to run his new Office of American Innovation. And what could be more innovative than giving your daughter’s husband a job? The goal of this new biz exec “SWAT team” is to run the federal government “like a great American company.” Would that be like the four companies Donald Trump bankrupted, or the one that landed Jared Kushner’s daddy in prison?

Trump in-law Kushner may have little time to spearhead SWAT raids. He’ll be talking to the Senate Intelligence Committee about his meeting with Sergey Gorkov, head of the Russian state development bank Vnesheconombank (VEB), sanctioned by the U.S.in 2014 after Russia seized the Ukraine. The meeting was in December, while Mr. Kushner still ran the family business, the multibillion-dollar Kushner Companies. He still owns some Kushner Company assets.

The Intelligence Committee inquiry isn’t a fishing expedition. Last year a New York VEB employee, Evgeny Buryakov, admitted he was actually a Russian SVR spy. Mr. Buryakov is serving two and a half years in a US prison.

More:

“America’s government can’t be run like a business. That’s a feature, not a bug.” Jeff Spross, The Week

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CIA: Whitehouse-Sanctioned Torture

December 10, 2014

CIA: Whitehouse-Sanctioned Torture

“5 questions about the CIA detention and interrogation report you wish you didn’t have to ask,” Adam Goldman, Washington Post

“Senate report on CIA torture claims spy agency lied about ‘ineffective’ program,” Spencer Ackerman, Dominic Rushe, and Julian Borger, The Guardian

“10 appalling findings in the Senate’s torture report,” Luke Brin, Salon

“16 absolutely outrageous abuses detailed in the CIA torture report,” Dylan Matthews, Vox

“The Most Gruesome Moments in the CIA ‘Torture Report,'” Shane Harris, Daily Beast

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Resort Property May Be Available Soon

December 2, 2012

Resort Property May Be Available

Senator Dianne Feinstein, chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, asked the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to look for alternative USA housing for the uncharged inmates our government has been holding for over a decade at Guantanamo Bay. The GAO found 104 sites, 98 Justice Department and 6 military prisons suitable for holding terrorism convicts. Mind you, those guys haven’t been convicted of anything, but you get the idea.

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