Politics: Russia Inquiry Review Is Said to Criticize F.B.I. but Rebuff Claims of Biased Acts - - PressFrom - US
  •   
  •   
  •   

Politics Russia Inquiry Review Is Said to Criticize F.B.I. but Rebuff Claims of Biased Acts

23:25  22 november  2019
23:25  22 november  2019 Source:   nytimes.com

Giuliani pens op-ed slamming 'unprecedented' impeachment inquiry

  Giuliani pens op-ed slamming 'unprecedented' impeachment inquiry Rudy Giuliani, President Trump's personal attorney, penned an op-ed published Tuesday slamming the House's "unprecedented" impeachment investigation.The op-ed, which comes a day before the House holds its first public hearings in the inquiry, claims Trump's interactions with Ukraine were "innocent" and that House Democrats are unfairly targeting his client."The manner in which [Rep. Adam Schiff] and Speaker Nancy Pelosi are conducting this impeachment investigation is unprecedented, constitutionally questionable, and an affront to American fair play," Giuliani wrote in The Wall Street Journal.

He will also sharply criticize as careless one of the F . B . I . case The report is also said to conclude that Joseph Mifsud, a Russia -linked professor who told a Republicans have criticized any use of political opposition research in applications for Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act wiretaps, which

WASHINGTON — Federal prosecutors reviewing the origins of the Russia investigation have asked witnesses pointed questions about any anti-Trump bias among former F . B . I . officials who are frequent targets of President Trump and about the earliest steps they took in the Russia inquiry

WASHINGTON — A highly anticipated report by the Justice Department’s inspector general is expected to sharply criticize lower-level F.B.I. officials as well as bureau leaders involved in the early stages of the Trump-Russia investigation, but to absolve the top ranks of abusing their powers out of bias against President Trump, according to people briefed on a draft.

Michael Horowitz sitting on a table: Michael E. Horowitz, the Justice Department’s inspector general, will release a report on aspects of the F.B.I.’s investigation into Russia’s election interference and the Trump campaign.© Erin Schaff for The New York Times Michael E. Horowitz, the Justice Department’s inspector general, will release a report on aspects of the F.B.I.’s investigation into Russia’s election interference and the Trump campaign.

Investigators for the inspector general, Michael E. Horowitz, uncovered errors and omissions in documents related to the wiretapping of a former Trump campaign adviser, Carter Page — including that a low-level lawyer, Kevin Clinesmith, altered an email that officials used to prepare to seek court approval to renew the wiretap, the people said.

Union raises money to help U.S. diplomats pay impeachment legal bills

  Union raises money to help U.S. diplomats pay impeachment legal bills USA-TRUMP/IMPEACHMENT-DIPLOMATS (UPDATE 1):UPDATE 1-Union raises money to help U.S. diplomats pay impeachment legal billsWASHINGTON, Nov 18 (Reuters) - The union representing U.S. diplomats said on Monday it has raised tens of thousands of dollars in the last week alone to help defray the legal costs of foreign service officers who have testified in U.S. President Donald Trump's impeachment inquiry.

WASHINGTON — The federal prosecutor tapped to scrutinize the origins of the Russia investigation is conducting only a review for now and has not opened any criminal inquiry , a person familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.

The memo is said to stress that the application used information from a former British intelligence agent, Christopher Steele, without adequately Another person familiar with that exchange said the team had bought Russia -theme calendars to give out to the agents and analysts investigating

Sign Up For the Morning Briefing Newsletter

Mr. Horowitz referred his findings about Mr. Clinesmith to prosecutors for a potential criminal charge. Mr. Clinesmith left the Russia investigation in February 2018 after the inspector general identified him as one of a handful of F.B.I. officials who expressed animus toward Mr. Trump in text messages and resigned about two months ago, after the inspector general’s team interviewed him.

Though Mr. Trump’s allies have seized on the messages from Mr. Clinesmith and his colleagues as proof of anti-Trump bias, Mr. Clinesmith has not been a prominent figure in the partisan firefight over the investigation. His lawyer declined to comment, as did a spokeswoman for Mr. Horowitz.

Fact check: Trump's false claims about Ukraine, DNC server

  Fact check: Trump's false claims about Ukraine, DNC server A day earlier, a key impeachment witness — Trump's former Russia expert — called this conspiracy a "fictional narrative" that serves Moscow's interests.During a nearly hour-long phone interview with "Fox & Friends" Friday morning, Trump defended his administration's freeze on military aid to Ukraine earlier this year as well as his July 25 call with the Ukrainian president that prompted a whistleblower complaint, saying he was simply trying to root out corruption in the country.

That inquiry is part of Mr. Mueller’s broader examination of how Russian operatives interfered in Mr. Trump had caught the attention of F . B . I . counterintelligence agents when he called on Russia during Mr. Trump had refused to criticize Russia on the campaign trail, praising President Vladimir V. Putin.

His inquiry is the third known investigation focused on the opening of an F . B . I . counterintelligence investigation during the 2016 presidential campaign into “ I do have people in the department helping me review the activities over the summer of 2016,” Mr. Barr said in congressional testimony on May 1

More broadly, Mr. Horowitz’s report, to be made public on Dec. 9, portrays the overall effort to seek the wiretap order and its renewals as sloppy and unprofessional, according to the people familiar with it. He will also sharply criticize as careless one of the F.B.I. case agents in New York handling the matter, they said.

At the same time, however, the report debunks a series of conspiracy theories and insinuations about the F.B.I. that Mr. Trump and his allies have put forward over the past two years, the people said, though they cautioned that the report is not complete. The New York Times has not reviewed the draft, which could contain other significant findings.

In particular, while Mr. Horowitz criticizes F.B.I. leadership for its handling of the highly fraught Russia investigation in some ways, he made no finding of politically biased actions by top officials Mr. Trump has vilified like the former F.B.I. director James B. Comey; Andrew G. McCabe, the former deputy who temporarily ran the bureau after the president fired Mr. Comey in 2017; and Peter Strzok, a former top counterintelligence agent.

Sen. John Kennedy slams Pelosi for using impeachment as a 'routine political weapon'

  Sen. John Kennedy slams Pelosi for using impeachment as a 'routine political weapon' Speaking on “Fox News Sunday,” Kennedy dodged a question by Chris Wallace on whether Trump was asking Ukraine to investigate corruption or to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, and instead called out Pelosi for politicizing the impeachment process. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); “Speaker Pelosi is acting in a manner that is insincere, even by the standards of Congress,” Kennedy said. “She is turning impeachment into a routine political weapon.

Justice Department officials have shifted an administrative review of the Russia investigation closely overseen by Attorney General William P Mr. Barr expressed skepticism of the Russia investigation even before joining the Trump administration. Weeks after being sworn in this year, he said he

Mr. Horowitz repeatedly said he found no evidence that the F . B . I . rigged the outcome. “Our review did not find documentary or testimonial evidence directly The Republican National Committee, though, distributed talking points to supporters criticizing a “fervent anti-Trump bias ” and calling for Mr

The early accounts of the report suggest that it is likely to stoke the debate over the investigation without definitively resolving it, by offering both sides different conclusions they can point to as vindication for their rival worldviews.

The wiretap of Mr. Page emerged as a political flash point in early 2018, though it was one relatively narrow aspect of the sprawling inquiry that found that Moscow sought to help Mr. Trump win election and that his campaign expected to benefit, but found insufficient evidence to charge any conspiracy with the Trump campaign.

a man in a suit standing in front of a brick building: The report in particular is expected to scrutinize the process of obtaining and  renewing court permission to wiretap Carter Page, a former Trump campaign adviser.© Drew Angerer/Getty Images The report in particular is expected to scrutinize the process of obtaining and renewing court permission to wiretap Carter Page, a former Trump campaign adviser.

Rod J. Rosenstein, the former deputy attorney general who oversaw legal matters related to the 2016 election, asked Mr. Horowitz to scrutinize the wiretap and broader issues related to the investigation, absorbing pressure from Mr. Trump and his allies.

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court first approved wiretapping Mr. Page, who had close ties to Russia, as a suspected unregistered agent of a foreign power in October 2016, after he had left the campaign.

Pompeo suggests debunked Ukraine election meddling theory should be probed

  Pompeo suggests debunked Ukraine election meddling theory should be probed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday suggested that Ukraine should be investigated over allegations that it interfered in the 2016 election, a debunked theory advanced by President Donald Trump that witnesses told the congressional impeachment inquiry was spread by Russian spy agencies. Pompeo was asked at a news conference if the United States should probe accusations of Ukrainian election meddling that Trump's fellow Republicans have raised in the Democrat-led U.S. House of Representatives probe into whether Trump abused his power for domestic political gain.

Among claims that Mr. Steele compiled from sources was that Mr. Page secretly met a Russian official promising compromising information about Hillary Another F . B . I . lawyer involved in obtaining the warrant, Sally Moyer, told the same committees in October that it was “a close call” but “ I think we

Some messages criticized the Clinton team and the Obama administration, but the officials appeared appalled at some of Donald J. Trump’s comments F . B . I . officials who worked directly with Mr. Strzok on the Clinton and Trump investigations said they never detected any bias in his investigative work.

The Justice Department obtained three renewal orders. The paperwork associated with the renewal applications contained information that should have been left out, and vice versa, the people briefed on the draft report said.

The email Mr. Clinesmith handled was a factor during the wiretap renewal process, according to the people. Mr. Clinesmith took an email from an official at another federal agency that contained several factual assertions, then added material to the bottom that looked like another assertion from the email’s author, when it was instead his own understanding.

Mr. Clinesmith included this altered email in a package that he compiled for another F.B.I. official to read in preparation for signing an affidavit that would be submitted to the court attesting to the facts and analysis in the wiretap application.

The details of the email are apparently classified and may not be made public even when the report is unveiled.

The investigators’ referral of its findings on Mr. Clinesmith went to John H. Durham, a prosecutor assigned by Attorney General William P. Barr to himself re-examine the Russia case and its origins. The referral from Mr. Horowitz’s team appears to be at least in part the basis for the elevation of Mr. Durham’s inquiry from an administrative review to a criminal investigation, the people said.

Russia Inquiry Review Is Expected to Undercut Trump Claim of F.B.I. Spying

  Russia Inquiry Review Is Expected to Undercut Trump Claim of F.B.I. Spying The Justice Department’s inspector general found no evidence that the F.B.I. attempted to place undercover agents or informants inside Donald J. Trump’s campaign in 2016 as agents investigated whether his associates conspired with Russia's election interference operation, people familiar with a draft of the inspector general’s report said. The determination by the inspector general, Michael E. Horowitz, is expected to be a key finding in his highly anticipated report due out on Dec. 9 examining aspects of the Russia investigation. The finding also contradicts some of the most inflammatory accusations hurled by Mr. Trump and his supporters, who alleged not only that F.B.I.

He said the move made it more important than ever for the special counsel in the Russia inquiry , Robert S. Mueller III, to complete his investigation. “As individuals who have cherished and helped preserve the right of Americans to free speech — even when that right has been used to criticize us

That , the report is said to claim , suggests that the judge was misled. The rollout of the “It’s like they put out a book review of a book they never read,” said Representative Eric Swalwell, Democrat of Mr. Nunes has previously advanced alarming claims about the Russia investigation and surveillance

Additionally, Mr. Clinesmith worked on both the Hillary Clinton email investigation and the Russia investigation. He was among the F.B.I. officials removed by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, after Mr. Horowitz found text messages expressing political animus against Mr. Trump.

Shortly after Mr. Trump’s election victory, for example, Mr. Clinesmith texted another official that “the crazies won finally,” disparaged Mr. Trump’s health care and immigration agendas, and called Vice President Mike Pence “stupid.” In another text, he wrote, in the context of a question about whether he intended to stay in government, “viva la resistance.”

In a June 2018 report by Mr. Horowitz about that and other politically charged texts, which identified him as “F.B.I. Attorney 2,” Mr. Clinesmith said he was expressing his personal views but did not let them affect his official actions.

The inspector general apparently did not assert in the draft report that any of the problems he found were so material that the court would have rejected the Justice Department’s requests to continue surveilling Mr. Page. But the people familiar with the draft were uncertain about whether Mr. Horowitz said the problems were immaterial, or instead avoided taking a position on that question.

CNN first reported that the draft accused a lower-level lawyer of altering a document. Mr. Clinesmith’s identification and details about the findings have not previously been reported.

In a phone call to “Fox & Friends” on Friday, Mr. Trump played up the initial revelations to claim that “they were spying on my campaign and it went right to the top and everybody knows it and now we’re going to find out” and “they tried to overthrow the presidency.” The accounts of Mr. Horowitz’s findings do not support that assertion.

House Judiciary Panel Asks Trump if He Will Present Impeachment Defense

  House Judiciary Panel Asks Trump if He Will Present Impeachment Defense The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee asked President Trump on Friday whether he intends to mount a defense during the committee’s consideration of impeachment articles, setting a deadline of next Friday for Mr. Trump and his lawyers to decide if they will present evidence or call witnesses. In a letter to the president, Representative Jerrold Nadler, Democrat of New York and the committee chairman, said Mr. Trump has the right to review the evidence against him, ask questions of his accusers during public hearings that begin next week and present evidence and request witness testimony.

The corrections said that the inspectors general had made a “security referral” rather than a “criminal referral” and that the referral did not request that Mrs For the Clinton campaign, minimizing the significance of the inquiry was important to prevent it from becoming a bigger political liability as she

After opening the Russia inquiry about a month later, they took steps, those officials said , to ensure that details of the F . B . I . officials concluded they had the legal authority to open the investigation after receiving information that Mr. Papadopoulos was told that Moscow had compromising information on

And in other crucial respects, the draft inspector general report is said not to corroborate conspiracy theories and insinuations offered by Mr. Trump and his allies about the early stages of the Russia investigation, before Mr. Mueller was appointed as special counsel and took it over.

For example, the draft report also concludes that the F.B.I. had enough evidence to meet the legal standard for opening the investigation, though Mr. Horowitz emphasized that the bar is low, the people said.

The report is also said to conclude that Joseph Mifsud, a Russia-linked professor who told a Trump campaign official that Russia had damaging information on Mrs. Clinton in the form of hacked Democratic emails — a key fact used to open the investigation — was not an F.B.I. informant. That undercuts an assertion of conservative critics of the inquiry.

None of the evidence used to open the investigation came from the C.I.A. or from a notorious dossier of claims about Trump-Russia ties compiled by Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence agent whose research was funded by Democrats, the report concludes, according to the people briefed on it.

Mr. Trump’s allies have complained about how the Justice Department used information from the Steele dossier in the wiretap applications. Along with evidence from other sources, the filings cited some information from Mr. Steele’s dossier about meetings that Mr. Page was rumored to have had with Kremlin representatives during a trip to Russia that year.

Republicans have criticized any use of political opposition research in applications for Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act wiretaps, which are among the most intrusive tools investigators have and are highly regulated. But the people briefed on the draft said Mr. Horowitz does not criticize them for the basic fact that they used the information.

Apple will take a 'deeper look' at disputed borders in Maps

  Apple will take a 'deeper look' at disputed borders in Maps Apple might just rethink its approach to disputed borders following its change to Crimea for Russian users. A spokeswoman told the BBC in a statement that Apple would have a "deeper look" at how it handles contested borders in Maps in the wake of the controversy, and that there might be more changes as a result of the review. You shouldn't expect it to reverse its Crimea changes, however. The company stressed that it was only labeling Crimea as Russian to obey that country's law, and that the territory would still be listed as Ukranian for everyone else.

■ The F . B . I . director, James B . Comey, publicly confirmed an investigation into Russian interference in the presidential election and whether associates of the president were in contact with Moscow. ■ Mr. Comey also said the F . B . I . had “no information” to support President Trump’s allegation that Barack

Still, people familiar with questions asked by Mr. Horowitz’s investigators have suggested that he is likely to conclude that the filings exaggerated Mr. Steele’s track record in terms of the amount of value that the F.B.I. derived from information he supplied in previous investigations. The court filings in the Page wiretap application said his material was “used in criminal proceedings,” but it was never part of an affidavit, search warrant or courtroom evidence.

But it remains unclear what other judgments Mr. Horowitz is preparing to render about related disputes related to the use of Mr. Steele’s information in the surveillance materials.

The wiretap applications contained a lengthy footnote telling the judges that Mr. Steele’s research was believed to have been commissioned by someone seeking information that would damage the Trump campaign. But it did not specifically identify the funders — the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign.

The original October 2016 application said investigators did not know the identity of Mr. Steele’s patrons. But even in 2017, after they specifically learned that Democrats paid a research firm to unearth material that could hurt Mr. Trump, law enforcement officials did not update the language in the renewal applications.

Defenders of the bureau’s inaction argued that the original footnote was sufficient to alert the surveillance court that Mr. Steele gathered the information in a political context and noted that it is standard practice to keep names of individual Americans or organizations out of such documents.

It also remains unclear what the inspector general concluded about Mr. Steele’s contacts with Bruce Ohr, a Justice Department official. Mr. Ohr, an expert on Russian organized crime and himself a frequent target of Mr. Trump, spoke with Mr. Steele several times after the F.B.I. terminated its relationship with him. Mr. Ohr briefed the bureau about those conversations. His wife also worked for the opposition research firm that hired Mr. Steele.

In his comments to Fox on Friday, Mr. Trump appeared to be looking past Mr. Horowitz’s report and potentially anticipating its complex findings. “Perhaps even more importantly,” he said, “you have Durham coming out shortly thereafter.”

Apple will take a 'deeper look' at disputed borders in Maps .
Apple might just rethink its approach to disputed borders following its change to Crimea for Russian users. A spokeswoman told the BBC in a statement that Apple would have a "deeper look" at how it handles contested borders in Maps in the wake of the controversy, and that there might be more changes as a result of the review. You shouldn't expect it to reverse its Crimea changes, however. The company stressed that it was only labeling Crimea as Russian to obey that country's law, and that the territory would still be listed as Ukranian for everyone else.

—   Share news in the SOC. Networks

Topical videos:

usr: 5
This is interesting!