Sessions fires McCabe before he can retire

Trump had repeatedly attacked the veteran FBI official
by Pete Williams / Mar.16.2018 / 10:02 PM ET / Updated Mar.16.2018 / 10:53 PM ET

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe during a news conference on July 13, 2017 at the Justice Department in Washington, DC.Alex Wong / Getty Images

WASHINGTON — Attorney General Jeff Sessions late Friday night accepted the recommendation that former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, who took the reins of the agency during the turbulent days after the abrupt firing of James Comey, be terminated — two days before he was to retire and become eligible for full pension benefits.
Though McCabe — who has been attacked by President Donald Trump — stepped down as deputy director in late January, he remained on the federal payroll, planning to retire on Sunday. The firing places his federal pension in jeopardy.

Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe fired

Unlike Trump’s removal of Comey last year, which produced widespread resentment inside the FBI, McCabe’s termination was recommended by the agency he served for 21 years.
Sunday is McCabe’s 50th birthday, which would have made him eligible for certain substantial retirement benefits.
Related: McCabe: Trump wants to destroy me to stop Mueller probe
The FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility proposed the termination, based on the findings of the Justice Department’s inspector general. That office has been examining the bureau’s handling of the Clinton e-mail investigation.
“After an extensive and fair investigation and according to Department of Justice procedure, the Department’s Office of the Inspector General provided its report on allegations of misconduct by Andrew McCabe to the FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility,” Sessions said in a statement at about 10 p.m. ET Friday night. “The FBI’s OPR then reviewed the report and underlying documents and issued a disciplinary proposal recommending the dismissal of Mr. McCabe. Both the OIG and FBI OPR reports concluded that Mr. McCabe had made an unauthorized disclosure to the news media and lacked candor — including under oath — on multiple occasions.”

Attorney General Jeff Sessions fires Andrew McCabe

In statement released after the firing was announced, McCabe said: “This attack on my credibility is one part of a larger effort not just to slander me personally, but to taint the FBI, law enforcement, and intelligence professionals more generally. It is part of this Administration’s ongoing war on the FBI and the efforts of the Special Counsel investigation, which continue to this day. Their persistence in this campaign only highlights the importance of the Special Counsel’s work.”
As part of the inquiry, McCabe was questioned about conversations FBI officials had with a reporter in October 2016 regarding the FBI’s investigation of the Clinton Foundation. The inspector general’s report, which has not been made public, concluded that McCabe was not completely candid in answering questions about those conversations, according to officials familiar with the report.
The findings of the inspector general apparently played a role in McCabe’s decision to step down in late January from the deputy director post.
In a message to employees at the time, FBI Director Christopher Wray said, “It would be inappropriate for me to comment on specific aspects of the IG’s review right now. But I can assure you that I remain staunchly committed to doing this job, in every respect, ‘by the book.’ I will not be swayed by political or other pressure in my decision making.”

White House deems public servant Andrew McCabe a “bad actor”

After Comey was fired in May 2017, McCabe became the FBI’s acting director. Two days later, he was asked at a congressional hearing if the shake-up was affecting operations.
“Quite simply put, sir, you cannot stop the men and women of the FBI from doing the right thing, protecting the American people, and upholding the Constitution,” he replied, a comment that cheered the FBI’s rank and file.
But McCabe became a target of Republicans who questioned the FBI’s impartiality in how the Clinton investigation was conducted.
When McCabe’s wife, Jill, ran for the state Senate in Virginia in 2015, she accepted a donation from a political action committee controlled by Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a friend and supporter of Hillary Clinton’s — and that became the basis for a series of Twitter attacks from Trump.
“Problem is that the acting head of the FBI & the person in charge of the Hillary investigation, Andrew McCabe, got $700,000 from H for wife!” Trump wrote in July 2017, erroneously claiming that McCabe had a role in facilitating the contribution.
The next day, the president asked in a tweet, “Why didn’t [Attorney General] Sessions replace Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, a Comey friend who was in charge of the Clinton investigation?”
President Donald Trump tweeted a shot at McCabe early Saturday, minutes after midnight.
“Andrew McCabe FIRED, a great day for the hard working men and women of the FBI – A great day for Democracy. Sanctimonious James Comey was his boss and made McCabe look like a choirboy. He knew all about the lies and corruption going on at the highest levels of the FBI!” the president claimed.
In response to criticism that McCabe should not have played a role in the Clinton investigation, the FBI said he consulted with internal ethics officials who concluded that because his wife’s campaign ended before the investigation began, there was no conflict.
The number-two official at the FBI is now Acting Deputy Director David Bowdich, who supervised the investigation of the deadly 2015 shooting at the San Bernardino, California, community center.

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Sessions greenlights police to seize cash, property from people suspected of crimes but not charged

Attorney General Jeff Sessions plans to ramp up asset seizures, especially ‘from drug dealers’

By Sari Horwitz July 19, 2017
The Justice Department announced a new federal policy Wednesday to help state and local police take cash and property from people suspected of a crime, even without a criminal charge, reversing an Obama administration rule prompted by past abuse by police.
Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein said the Justice Department will include more safeguards to prevent the kind of problems that have been documented in the past. Police departments will be required to provide details to the Justice Department about probable cause for seizures, and federal officials will have to more quickly inform property owners about their rights and the status of the seizures.
“The goal here is to empower our police and prosecutors with this important tool that can be used to combat crime, particularly drug abuse,” Rosenstein said at a news briefing. “This is going to enable us to work with local police and our prosecutors to make sure that when assets are lawfully seized that they’re not returned to criminals when there’s a valid basis for them to be forfeited.”

Two years ago, then-Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. barred state and local police from using federal law to seize cash and other property without criminal charges or warrants. Since 2008, thousands of police agencies had made more than 55,000 seizures of cash and property worth $3 billion under a Justice Department civil asset forfeiture program, which allowed local and state police to make seizures and then share the proceeds with federal agencies.

A Washington Post investigation in 2014 found that state and local police had seized almost $2.5 billion from motorists and others without search warrants or indictments since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The Post series revealed that police routinely stopped drivers for minor traffic infractions, pressed them to agree to searches without warrants and seized large amounts of cash when there was no evidence of wrongdoing.
Police then spent the proceeds from the seizure with little oversight, according to the Post investigation. In some cases, the police bought luxury cars, high-powered weapons and armored cars.

“You’re never going to eliminate allegations of abuses,” Rosenstein said, “never going to eliminate mistakes 100 percent. But I think this new policy is going to position us very well to make sure there are very few credible allegations of abuse, and where there are we’re going to make it a priority to follow up.”
The new policy from Attorney General Jeff Sessions authorizes federal “adoption” of assets seized by state and local police when the conduct that led to the seizures violates federal law. Rosenstein said that the department is adding safeguards to ensure that police have sufficient evidence of criminal activity when property is seized. Property owners will receive notice of their rights within 45 days, which is twice as quickly as required by current law. Law enforcement agencies will be required to provide officers with more training on asset forfeiture laws, he said.
State and local law enforcement officials supported the change, but Democratic and Republican lawmakers were skeptical.

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) called Sessions’s policy “troubling” and said it would “expand a loophole that’s become a central point of contention nationwide.”

“Criminals shouldn’t be able to keep the proceeds of their crime, but innocent Americans shouldn’t lose their right to due process, or their private property rights, in order to make that happen,” Issa said in a statement.
[Jeff Sessions’ defense of civil asset forfeiture, annotated]
Holder tweeted that Sessions’s policy was “another extremist action” and said the Obama administration policy was “a reform that was supported by conservatives and progressives, Republicans and Democrats.”
Kanya Bennett, legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union, called the action “outrageous.”
“We are talking about people who have not been convicted of a crime and are often not given a day in court to reclaim their possessions,” Bennett said. “Civil asset forfeiture is tantamount to policing for profit, generating millions of dollars annually that the agencies get to keep.”

At a meeting with county sheriffs on Feb. 7, President Trump made clear to law enforcement officials that he is a strong supporter of the civil asset forfeiture program and told the Justice Department to rescind the Obama administration restrictions.
On Wednesday, Sessions defended the reversal at a meeting with representatives from the Fraternal Order of Police, the National Sheriffs’ Association, the Major Cities Chiefs Association and other law enforcement officials who back the new policy.
“Civil asset forfeiture is a key tool that helps law enforcement defund organized crime, take back ill-gotten gains and prevent new crimes from being committed, and it weakens the criminals and the cartels,” Sessions said.

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The FBI will be investigated for its failure to investigate the Florida school shooter

February 17, 2018

Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Friday ordered a review of FBI procedure following the agency’s admission it did not investigate a January tip about Nikolas Cruz, the 19-year-old who confessed to killing 17 people at a high school in Parkland, Florida, on Wednesday.
“It is now clear that the warning signs were there and tips to the FBI were missed,” Sessions said in a statement. “We see the tragic consequences of those failures.” The review will be led by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and will also examine relevant Department of Justice operations more broadly.
This comes amid increasing calls for FBI Director Christopher Wray to resign in response to this investigatory failure. Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) is among those who have demanded Wray step down in a statement calling the FBI’s conduct “unacceptable.” Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) also condemned the agency and asked for a congressional probe to accompany the internal investigation. Bonnie Kristian

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Jeff Sessions Just Killed The Dreams Of Millions Of Trumpkins (REPORT)

Posted by Conover Kennard on 14 Nov 2017

With special counsel Robert Mueller closing in, Trump supporters have been in panic-mode looking for anything to pin on Hillary Clinton. So, their latest Benghazi is the 2010 uranium deal. Republicans have been itching for the Department of Justice to appoint a special counsel to investigate Hillary Clinton, but Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Tuesday just shocked conservatives by pushing back on calls to probe the matter which has already been largely debunked.

During a heated exchange with Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) at a Tuesday House Judiciary Committee meeting, Sessions said it would take “a factual basis that meets the standard of a special counsel” for the Justice Department to appoint a special counsel.

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Politico reports:

Jordan said he thought evidence unearthed in the last year about how FBI decided not to charge Clinton over her handling of classified information at the State Department appeared to be enough to warrant a special counsel.
“‘Looks like’ is not enough basis to appoint a special counsel,” Sessions responded.

“We will use the proper standards and that’s the only thing I can tell you, Mr. Jordan,” Sessions continued. “You can have your idea but sometimes we have to study what the facts are and to evaluate whether it meets the standards it requires.”

Ranking Member John Conyers (D-MI) asked Sessions about the appropriateness of Trump’s public efforts to meddle in the work of the Department of Justice as he projected several of Donald’s tweets.

Trump has repeatedly hammered Sessions and the Department of Justice to launch further probes of Clinton.

Sessions told the committee it would be inappropriate for the president to direct him to target a political rival.

“I have not been improperly influenced and would not be improperly influenced” by Trump, he said.

“I would say the Department of Justice can never be used to retaliate politically against opponents, and that would be wrong,” he added.

After that, conservative heads exploded across the country.

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