Posted: April 20, 2017 Filed under: Breaking News, Foreign Policy, Law & Justice, Politics, Russia, U.S. News | Tags: Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Chuck Grassley, Devin Nunes, Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Donald Trump, Donald Trump presidential campaign, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, James Comey, Reinhold Niebuhr, Twitter, United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary
The FBI spied on a Trump associate. Do they have evidence that Trump colluded with Russians, or was this a rampant abuse of power?
These latest leaks of classified information appear to be in response to Sen. Charles Grassley’s inquiry to FBI Director James Comey on behalf of the Senate Judiciary Committee he chairs. Grassley noted a February 28 Washington Post report, which used anonymous sources to report the FBI had made plans to pay dossier author Christopher Steele to continue investigating Trump before the election.
Paying an opposition researcher to investigate the Republican nominee for president in the run-up to the election “raises further questions about the FBI’s independence from politics, as well as the Obama administration’s use of law enforcement and intelligence agencies for political ends,” Grassley wrote.
[Read the full story here, at thefederalist.com]
Grassley demanded that the FBI turn over all records relating to the agreement, interviews of Steele, information on any government officials outside the FBI discussing the agreement with Steele, information on how the FBI obtained the dossier, any official reports that used Steele-collected information, any indication the FBI used the information before verifying it, and various other information, including:
9. Has the FBI relied on or otherwise referenced the memos or any information in the memos in seeking a FISA warrant, other search warrant, or any other judicial process? Did the FBI rely on or otherwise reference the memos in relation to any National Security Letters? If so, please include copies of all relevant applications and other documents.
These latest leaks answer that question. And the leaks about what intelligence agencies were doing during the presidential campaign begin to answer questions about whether the U.S. government has hard evidence that the Trump campaign had foreknowledge of Russian meddling and coordinated with Russians about that meddling, or whether there was rampant abuse of power in stripping an innocent U.S. citizen of his right not to be surveilled by his own government. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: November 16, 2016 Filed under: Breaking News, Crime & Corruption, Law & Justice, U.S. News | Tags: Barack Obama, Bernie Sanders, CBS News, CBSN, Chris Wallace, Chuck Grassley, Democratic Party (United States), Donald Trump, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton presidential campaign, James Comey, Republican Party (United States), Twitter
Congress continues investigations into Hillary Clinton
Catherine Herridge and Pamela K. Browne report: At least four congressional investigations into Hillary Clinton’s personal email use and mishandling of classified information are expected to go forward even after the former secretary of state’s election loss last week, Republican lawmakers tell Fox News.
The probes, which cover allegations that Clinton lied to Congress about her email practices in October 2015 and that government records were destroyed, are ongoing and not dependent on the election’s outcome, two senior Republican senators said.
“I still don’t have the information I need,” Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, told Fox News. Johnson said the work of his committee, with jurisdiction over government records and the mishandling of classified information, would be careful not to disrupt President-elect Donald Trump’s priorities.
“I think it’s one of the messages of this election that the public is disgusted when they see double standards, when they think people in high places, high government officials can get away with what ordinary citizens can’t,” he said. “So, I just think it’s extremely important to follow this thing through and get all the information. Make it public.” Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: January 9, 2016 Filed under: Crime & Corruption, Mediasphere, Politics, White House | Tags: Chuck Grassley, EmailGate, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, Madison, The Pantsuit Report, United States Department of State, United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary, Wisconsin
John R. Schindler writes: Back in October I told you that Hillary Clinton’s email troubles were anything but over, and that the scandal over her misuse of communications while she was Secretary of State was sure to get worse. Sure enough, EmailGate continues to be a thorn in the side of Hillary’s presidential campaign and may have just entered a new, potentially explosive phase with grave ramifications, both political and legal.
The latest court-ordered dump of her email, just placed online by the State Department, brings more troubles for Team Hillary. This release of over 3,000 pages includes 66 “Unclassified” messages that the State Department subsequently determined actually were classified; however, all but one of those 66 were deemed Confidential, the lowest classification level, while one was found to be Secret, bringing the total of Secret messages discovered so far to seven. In all, 1,340 Hillary emails at State have been reassessed as classified.
There are gems here. It’s hard to miss the irony of Hillary expressing surprise about a State Department staffer using personal email for work, which the Secretary of State noted in her own personal email. More consequential was Hillary’s ordering a staffer to send classified talking points for a coming meeting via a non-secure fax machine, stripped of their classification markings.
[Read the full text here, at the Observer]
This appears to be a clear violation of Federal law and the sort of thing that is a career-ender, or worse, for normals. The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee termed that July 2011 incident “disturbing,” and so it is to anyone acquainted with U.S. Government laws and regulations regarding the handling of classified material.
But the biggest problem may be in a just-released email that has gotten little attention here, but plenty on the other side of the world. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: October 6, 2015 Filed under: Censorship, Crime & Corruption, Law & Justice, Science & Technology, U.S. News | Tags: Bill Clinton, Chuck Grassley, Emmet Sullivan, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution, Hillary Clinton, Ron Johnson (U.S. politician), The Pantsuit Report, United States Department of Justice, United States Department of State, United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary, United States Senate Homeland Security Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations
Cloudy With a Chance of Thunderstorms.
Greg Gordon reports: Hillary Clinton hired a Connecticut company to back up her emails, and due to a technical glitch some may still reside on one of the firm’s “cloud” storage sites, a Republican Senate committee chairman revealed.
The disclosures, in a letter Monday from Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson, heighten the possibility that some of Clinton’s more than 31,000 personal emails may still be recovered. She said last March that she deleted them all upon turning over her official emails to the State Department in December 2014.
Congressional committees have voiced skepticism as to whether the 30,940 emails that the Democratic presidential candidate handed over represented all of her official emails. The FBI is separately investigating whether Clinton’s arrangement put classified information at risk.
His letter to the chief executive of Datto Inc. of Norwalk, Conn., offers the first public confirmation that Clinton or her aides arranged for a backup of her email server after leaving office.
The letter also recounts a series of events that led an employee of Colorado-based Platte River Networks to air suspicions in an email as to whether “this whole thing really is covering up some shaddy shit,” according to an excerpt of an email cited by Johnson, who is chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.
[Read the full story here, at McClatchy DC]
On May 31, 2013, four months after Clinton left office, the Clinton Executive Service Corp., which oversaw her email server contracts, hired Platte River to maintain her account. Its New Jersey-based server replaced the server in the basement of her New York home that handled her emails as secretary of state.
At the same time, Platte River retained Datto to set up a virtual backup server that could provide immediate recovery if the primary server failed, Johnson said in his letter. Datto says it offers two kinds of backup storage: a private cloud virtual server that takes data from a server and converts it into “virtual machines that can be booted instantly,” and an off-site “secure cloud.”
The Clinton firm chose the private cloud virtual server for Platte River to manage, Johnson wrote. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: September 22, 2015 Filed under: Crime & Corruption, Law & Justice, Politics | Tags: Benghazi, Chuck Grassley, Daily Mail, Emmet G. Sullivan, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Hillary Clinton, Huma Abedin, Judicial Watch, United States Department of Justice, United States Department of State
The FBI refused to cooperate Monday with a court-ordered inquiry into former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s email server, telling the State Department that they won’t even confirm they are investigating the matter themselves, much less willing to tell the rest of the government what’s going on.
“We still do not know whether the FBI — or any other government agency for that matter — has possession of the email server that was used by Mrs. Clinton and Ms. Abedin to conduct official government business during their four years of employment at the State Department.”
— Judicial Watch
Judge Emmet G. Sullivan had ordered the State Department to talk with the FBI and see what sort of information could be recovered from Mrs. Clinton’s email server, which her lawyer has said she turned over to the Justice Department over the summer.
The FBI’s refusal, however, leaves things muddled.
“At this time, consistent with long-standing Department of Justice and FBI policy, we can neither confirm nor deny the existence of any ongoing investigation, nor are we in a position to provide additional information at this time,” FBI General Counsel James A. Baker wrote in a letter dated Monday — a week after the deadline the Justice Department had set for the FBI to reply.
Judicial Watch, a conservative public interest law firm that is pursuing at least 16 open records cases seeking emails from Mrs. Clinton and her top aides, said at this point it’s not even clear what Mrs. Clinton provided, since all that’s been made public at this point are the former secretary of state’s public comments and some assertions, made through her lawyer, to the State Department.
“We also do not know whether the server purportedly in the possession of the FBI — an assumption based on unsworn statements by third parties — is the actual email server that was used by Mrs. Clinton and Ms. Abedin to conduct official government business during their four years of employment at the State Department or whether it is a copy of such an email server. Nor do we know whether any copies of the email server or copies of the records from the email server exist.”
Judicial Watch is prodding the courts to try to delve more deeply into Mrs. Clinton’s emails, and the group said a number of questions persevere about both Mrs. Clinton and top aides such as Huma Abedin, who did public business on an account tied to the server Mrs. Clinton maintained.
“These emails Judicial Watch forced out through a federal lawsuit show that Huma Abedin used her separate clintonemail.com account to conduct the most sensitive government business, endangering not only her safety but the safety of Hillary Clinton and countless others.”
— Judicial Watch
“We still do not know whether the FBI — or any other government agency for that matter — has possession of the email server that was used by Mrs. Clinton and Ms. Abedin to conduct official government business during their four years of employment at the State Department,” Judicial Watch said.
[Read the full text here, at Washington Times]
“We also do not know whether the server purportedly in the possession of the FBI — an assumption based on unsworn statements by third parties — is the actual email server that was used by Mrs. Clinton and Ms. Abedin to conduct official government business during their four years of employment at the State Department or whether it is a copy of such an email server. Nor do we know whether any copies of the email server or copies of the records from the email server exist,” the group said in its own court filing Monday afternoon. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: August 11, 2015 Filed under: Crime & Corruption, Mediasphere, Politics, White House | Tags: Bill Clinton, Bob Corker, Cheryl Mills, Chuck Grassley, Clinton Foundation, Director of National Intelligence, Doug Band, Hillary Clinton, Huma Abedin, International Atomic Energy Agency, Iran, John Kerry, Nuclear program of Iran, Richard Burr, United States Department of State, United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence
Classified emails discovered on the server Clinton maintained at her New York home contained material more sensitive than previously known.
WASHINGTON – Anita Kumar, Marisa Taylor, and Greg Gordon report: As pressure builds on Hillary Clinton to explain her official use of personal email while serving as secretary of state, she faced new complications Tuesday. It was disclosed her top aides are being drawn into a burgeoning federal inquiry and that two emails on her private account have been classified as “Top Secret.”
The inspector general for the Intelligence Community notified senior members of Congress that two of four classified emails discovered on the server Clinton maintained at her New York home contained material deemed to be in one of the highest security classifications – more sensitive than previously known.
“We will follow the facts wherever they lead, to include former aides and associates, as appropriate.”
— Douglas Welty, a spokesman for the State Department’s inspector general
The notice came as the State Department inspector general’s office acknowledged that it is reviewing the use of “personal communications hardware and software” by Clinton’s former top aides after requests from Congress.
“Both the State Department and Intelligence Community inspectors general should be looking into the staff use of the Clinton private server for official State Department business. This means giving both inspectors general access and custody of all emails that haven’t already been deleted.”
“We will follow the facts wherever they lead, to include former aides and associates, as appropriate,” said Douglas Welty, a spokesman for the State Department’s inspector general.
“From what is publicly known, it appears that the investigation thus far has focused so much on the former secretary of state, that it’s gotten lost that high-level staff apparently also used this server too.”
— Sen. Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Judiciary Committee
Despite the acknowledgment, the State Department inspector general’s office has left numerous unanswered questions, including exactly who and what is being investigated. The office initially declined to comment and referred questions to the Intelligence Community inspector general’s office, which said it is not currently involved in any inquiry into aides and is being denied full access to aides’ emails by the State Department. Clinton, herself, is not a target.
[Read the full text here, at McClatchy DC]
The expanding inquiry threatens to further erode Clinton’s standing as the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination. Since her reliance on private email was revealed in March, polls in crucial swing states show that increasing numbers of voters say Clinton is not honest and trustworthy, in part, because of her use of private emails.
Sen. Chuck Grassley, the Republican chairman of the Judiciary Committee, wants Clinton and her aides to “come clean and cough up” information about their personal email use. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: August 3, 2015 Filed under: Crime & Corruption, Politics, White House | Tags: Anthony Weiner, Chuck Grassley, Clinton Foundation, Doug Band, Hillary Clinton, Huma Abedin, John Kerry, The Washington Post, United States Department of State, United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary
Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Chuck Grassley called into question a $33,000 payment Abedin received from the State Department for leave she hadn’t used.
Sarah Westwood reports: An investigation may have found evidence a top State Department aide to Hillary Clinton took advantage of government employment rules with potential conflicts of interest and overpayments.
“As an example of the potential conflicts of interest at play, Grassley cited an email exchange in which Band pressed Abedin to encourage her State Department boss, Hillary Clinton, to facilitate a White House appointment for one of his clients.”
In a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry Thursday, Sen. Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said an inspector general probe suggested Huma Abedin leveraged her State Department job to benefit her two other employers at the time: the Clinton Foundation and a consulting firm called Teneo Strategies.
Teneo Strategies was founded by a longtime aide to Bill Clinton, Douglas Band, and boasted the former president as a paid board member when it first launched in 2011.
Abedin allegedly sent or received more than 7,000 emails on her government account that involved Band, the letter said.
As an example of the potential conflicts of interest at play, Grassley cited an email exchange in which Band pressed Abedin to encourage her State Department boss, Hillary Clinton, to facilitate a White House appointment for one of his clients.
Judith Rodin, the Teneo client in question, was then president of the Rockefeller Foundation, “which donated hundreds of millions of dollars to the Clinton Foundation, a fact which Mr. Band allegedly noted in his email to Ms. Abedin,” the letter said.
“[E]mail evidence allegedly suggests that Ms. Abedin and Ms. Mills shared a desire to find a way to ensure the Department paid for Ms. Abedin’s travel to and from New York,” the letter continued. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: May 1, 2015 Filed under: Crime & Corruption, Law & Justice, White House | Tags: Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Chuck Grassley, Clinton Foundation, Hillary Clinton, Huma Abedin, Private Sector, The New York Times, The Pantsuit Report, The Wall Street Journal, United States Department of State
JW Launches New Lawsuit over Clinton Cover-Up
Revelations this week lead one to wonder not so much whether Hillary Clinton can win the Democratic nomination for president, but whether she can stay out of jail. Last week, we learned about apparent Clinton, Inc. tax fraud, bribery and money laundering to help Putin corner America’s uranium market, and abuse of office to reward funders of the Clinton Cash Machine – not to mention Judicial Watch’s bombshell of untoward Saudi influence and corruption in Hillary Clinton’s State Department. This week, we received more news about apparent money laundering out of India; lies by Clinton, Inc. about more Putin-connected contributions out of Canada; and more cover-up from another Hillary operation that focused on health care.
[Also see – Frankenhillary: Bad at almost everything—and winning by Daniel Halper]
JW’s chief investigative reporter brought us up to date with more reporting about yet another Clinton front:
Then there is Teneo Holdings, a global consulting firm with deep Clinton connections. Teneo serves as a kind of private-enterprise satellite to Clinton Inc. Doug Band, Mr. Clinton’s right-hand man for many years, is a Teneo founder. Huma Abedin, Mrs. Clinton’s right-hand woman for many years, was a senior advisor to Teneo at the same time she held a top position as part of Mrs. Clinton’s inner circle at the State Department. Bill Clinton was both a paid adviser to Teneo and a client. Secretary of State Clinton’s former Economic Envoy to Northern Ireland, Declan Kelly, is a Teneo co-founder and CEO.
I am not naïve about the difficulty of prosecuting Hillary Clinton over this scandal. The Wall Street Journal had a major story yesterday about how American banks and other corporations are complaining about the Obama Justice Department’s strict interpretation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which prohibits bribes of foreign officials. A Justice Department that would, correctly or incorrectly, ride herd on American companies engaged in alleged bribery of foreign officials has yet to move against Hillary Clinton over series of apparent crimes, including bribes she and her whole family were in on from foreign governments!
Kudos to our friend Peter Schweizer of the Government Accountability Institute whose new book has done so much to hold the Clinton machine accountable (“Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich”) Schweizer, I’m told, made smart use of our documents in his soon-to-be released book, which describes how money was funneled through the Clinton Foundation by foreign governments while Hillary Clinton was serving as secretary of state. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: October 21, 2014 Filed under: Crime & Corruption, U.S. News | Tags: Administrative leave, Chuck Grassley, Government Accountability Office, Job Growth, Leave of absence, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, United States Office of Personnel Management
Tens of Thousands of Federal Workers on Extended Paid Leave
For The Washington Post, Lisa Rein reports: Tens of thousands of federal workers are being kept on paid leave for at least a month — and often for longer stretches that can reach a year or more — while they wait to be punished for misbehavior or cleared and allowed to return to work, government records show.
“It’s not authorized by any law. Bureaucrats are abusing it.”
— Sen. Charles E. Grassley
During a three-year period that ended last fall, more than 57,000 employees were sent home for a month or longer. The tab for these workers exceeded $775 million in salary alone.
“OPM has turned a blind eye to this, and it’s shameful. There’s no sense of urgency.”
— Debra Roth, general counsel for the Senior Executives Association
The extensive use of administrative leave continues despite government personnel rules that limit paid leave for employees facing discipline to “rare circumstances” in which the employee is considered a threat. The long-standing rules were written in an effort to curb waste and deal quickly with workers accused of misconduct.
While the employees stayed home, they not only collected paychecks but also built their pensions, vacation and sick days and moved up the federal pay scale.
And the comptroller general, the top federal official responsible for auditing government finances and practices, has repeatedly ruled that federal workers should not be sidelined for long periods for any reason.
“Six months went by, and we didn’t hear anything. You’re so anxious. You don’t know if you’ve got a job. You’re getting paid, but it’s no vacation.”
— Scott Balovich, who was put on administrative leave from his IT systems job at the NOAA in Alaska
But a report by the Government Accountability Office, first made public by The Washington Post on its Web site Monday, found that 53,000 civilian employees were kept home for one to three months during the three fiscal years that ended in September 2013. About 4,000 were idled for three months to a year and several hundred for one to three years. This is the first time the government has calculated the scope and cost of administrative leave.
Auditors found that supervisors used wide discretion in putting employees on leave, including for alleged violations of government rules and laws, whistleblowing, doubts about trustworthiness, and disputes with colleagues or bosses. Some employees remain on paid leave while they challenge demotions and other punishments.
“The Office of Personnel Management rule book lists dozens of reasons for allowing paid leave, such as donating an organ, house-hunting before a job transfer and attending the funeral of a relative in the military. Snow days also are permitted.”
While the employees stayed home, they not only collected paychecks but also built their pensions, vacation and sick days and moved up the federal pay scale. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: July 15, 2014 Filed under: Humor, Mediasphere, Politics | Tags: Chuck Grassley, Dave Camp, Greta Van Sustren, Internal Revenue Service, IRS, Lois Lerner, Smidgen, Smidgen Report, YouTube
Posted: March 10, 2014 Filed under: Education, U.S. News | Tags: Chuck Grassley, Government Accountability Office, Jeh Johnson, Student and Exchange Visitor Program, U.S.Immigration and Customs Enforcement, United States Secretary of Homeland Security
Photo by: J. Scott Applewhite
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement doesn’t even consistently collect information or have the tools to monitor all of the foreign students who take part in the optional practical training (OPT) program, the Government Accountability Office said in a new report released late Friday.
“The problems with [optional practical training program] are extensive and serious. The report not only calls into question the department’s oversight of the program, but also whether such lack of oversight is a serious national security risk”
— Sen. Charles E. Grassley, the Iowa Republican.
“The problems with OPT are extensive and serious. The report not only calls into question the department’s oversight of the program, but also whether such lack of oversight is a serious national security risk,” Sen. Charles E. Grassley, the Iowa Republican who released the report, said in a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson.
Officials who run the Student and Exchange Visitor Program have deemed OPT to be a low-risk program, but the new findings suggest that may be wrong.
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: January 13, 2014 Filed under: Law & Justice, Self Defense, White House | Tags: Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives, California, Chuck Grassley, Daily Caller, Darrell Issa, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, tobacco, Todd Jones
Brendan Bordelon reports: California Rep. Darrell Issa, the Republican chair of the House Oversight Committee, accused the Obama administration of waging “a war on guns” after new reports of “rogue” sting operations by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) conducted during 2013.
Issa spoke to Fox News
’ Shannon Bream Sunday about a report by the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel
, which claimed
that ATF agents operating firearm stings in 6 separate cities “took advantage of the mentally ill, set up stings near churches and schools and made decisions which some claim actually increased crime in their neighborhoods.” Issa and Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley
sent a letter
to ATF Director Todd Jones
this week to demand answers on the tactics and how often they’ve been used.
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: October 23, 2013 Filed under: Economics, U.S. News | Tags: American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, Child tax credit, Chuck Grassley, Harry Reid, Illegal immigration, Internal Revenue Service, Mike Enzi, Tax credit
Program began during tea party targeting
Patrick Howley reports: The scandal-plagued Internal Revenue Service (IRS) sent $4.2 billion in child tax-credit checks to illegal immigrants the year the agency began targeting conservative groups, according to a new report from Watchdog.Org.
The IRS sent illegal immigrant families $1,000 checks totaling $4.2 billion through the federal government’s Additional Child Tax Credit program in the year 2010, when the agency’s improper targeting of conservative and tea party groups began. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: September 28, 2013 Filed under: Science & Technology, U.S. News | Tags: Chuck Grassley, Facebook, Inspector General, National Security Agency, NSA, Telephone number, United States, United States Department of Justice
The NSA has released some details of 12 incidents in which analysts used their access to America’s high-tech surveillance infrastructure to spy on girlfriends, boyfriends, and random people they met in social settings. It’s a fascinating look at what happens when the impulse that drives average netizens to look up long-ago ex-lovers on Facebook is mated with the power to fire up a wiretap with a few keystrokes. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: September 25, 2013 Filed under: Space & Aviation | Tags: Ames Research Center, Chuck Grassley, Google, Moffett Federal Airfield, Moffett Field, NASA, Pete Worden, Space Act Agreement
Google’s founders, Sergei Brin and Larry Page, have saved millions of dollars in fuel costs and property taxes through a lease deal with NASA Ames that allows them to house their private aircraft at Moffett Field, according to an investigation by NBC Bay Area. Read the rest of this entry »