Showing posts with label GOP Failure. Show all posts
Showing posts with label GOP Failure. Show all posts

August 7, 2019

Republican Rep.Candice Keller Blames Shooting on Drag Queens-She is Ask to Resign by Some

Rep. Candice Keller is under fire after blaming mass shootings on "homosexual marriage" and "drag queen advocates" in a Facebook post. USA TODAY

, Cincinnati Enquirer

COLUMBUS - Ohio Republican Party leader Jane Timken has called on Ohio state Rep. Candice Keller to resign from her seat after the lawmaker's "shocking" comments about Sunday's mass shooting in Dayton
Keller, a Republican from Middletown, Ohio, posted on Facebook on Sunday comments that blamed "drag queen advocates," the Democratic Congress, former President Barack Obama, violent video games and the hatred of veterans for the deaths of nine people and the shooter in Dayton early Sunday. 
Her comments drew the ire of Republicans and Democrats alike. And on Monday afternoon, Timken called for Keller's resignation. 
“While our nation was in utter shock over the acts of violence in El Paso and Dayton, Republican State Representative Candice Keller took to social media to state why she thought these acts were happening," Timken said in a statement. "Candice Keller’s Facebook post was shocking and utterly unjustifiable. Our nation is reeling from these senseless acts of violence and public servants should be working to bring our communities together, not promoting divisiveness.”  
Keller, who lives about 25 miles from Dayton, is running for an Ohio Senate seat currently held Sen. Bill Coley, who is term-limited. Her GOP challengers include Rep. George Lang and West Chester Township Trustee Lee Wong. 
Timken has not spoken with Keller personally about the GOP leader's decision to ask for Keller's resignation, Ohio Republican Party spokesman Evan Machan said. 
Keller responded to Timken's call with a statement: "Establishment moderates have never been fans of mine because I ran against their endorsement and won. As the only conservative in this race, I will be taking my Senate campaign to the voters to decide."
Timken's request was unusual for the chairwoman, who often avoids publicity and rarely gets in the middle of political fights. This is the first time Timken has called on an Ohio official to resign since she was chosen to lead the party in January 2017.
When former Rep. Wes Retherford, R-Hamilton, was arrested after he had passed out at a McDonald's drive-thru, Timken offered a cautious statement: "If these allegations are true, Representative Retherford should resign from office.” Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones also called for Keller to resign on Monday.
"It’s very embarrassing. She doesn’t represent the people in her community with those comments," Jones told The Enquirer. "She’s made a laughingstock out of Butler County, which is a shame."

July 21, 2019

House Republicans Demanding of Amazon to Bring Back Books on Gay Conversion Therapy

 Image result for rats in congress

Earlier this month, Amazon pulled books by a leading proponent of “gay conversion therapy” off their shelves. Now House Republicans want them back.

The Republican Study Committee, a conservative caucus that includes more than 70% of all GOP House members, issued a handout during a private meeting in the Capitol Wednesday asking members to “contact Amazon with concerns” about what they’re calling censorship.

“In recent days, Amazon has banned the sale of several books addressing unwanted same-sex attraction,” according to the handout, obtained by VICE News. “Catholic psychologist, author, and therapist, Dr. Joseph Nicolosi (deceased) penned multiple books to assist men struggling with unwanted homosexual attractions, feelings, and lifestyles.” 
Related image

 The GOP Rodent                
The only way you can describe these republicans that have no idea if it works (Conversion Therapy) or not or what it involves is 'rats.' They are rats and just like Trump they believe they are at the hands of those that call themselves Evangelicals, which I call Anti-Christ-non-angelical. They are connected to those that burn the people they thought were witches. The GOP is directly related to the house republicans in the McCarthy area. They don't have to be related by blood but by morality and in these cases they have none.

The only thing that moves these people is money(power) and votes (power). We have to make sure that on this coming election their number is even more depleted than it was on the last elections. As you can see they don't learn lessons too easily. One punch alone does not do it unless is a knockout. If voters can bring the pendulum back and fix the senate and teach the house we have a constitution and because of it we can not tell a vendor to burn books or to sell any kind of books. If it wasn't so sad it will be kinda funny that people that are graduates of Universities can be so stupid!

October 26, 2018

Republicans Are Using Immigration to Scare Voters Away from The Polls

INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana (Reuters) -
 The commercial opens with an appeal to fear: a hoodie-wearing man prowling an alley, knife in hand. His face remains hidden but the ad makes it clear: He’s an illegal immigrant.  
“We need tough immigration enforcement to keep dangerous criminals out,” says the ad by a national conservative political group, part of an effort to help a Republican challenger, Mike Braun, oust a Democratic incumbent in Indiana and capture a U.S. Senate seat in November’s congressional elections. 
As they try to hang on to control of Congress, Republican candidates are following the lead of President Donald Trump and turning to rhetoric about immigrants as a tactic to motivate voters. The scope of that strategy emerges in a nationwide Reuters examination of ad buys, candidates’ social media posts and polling, as well as dozens of interviews with candidates, voters, and campaign strategists. 
The trend is especially visible on Twitter. Congressional Republicans seeking re-election have dramatically increased the number of tweets they post about immigration since Trump’s election, a Reuters/Ipsos analysis of social media shows. Immigration messaging has surged across the spectrum of Republican-held districts – highly competitive swing seats and reliably Republican ones, in places with immigrant populations both large and small.  
The shift also shows up in the campaign ad wars. In races from Florida to California, in border states and ones with few immigrants, Republicans have poured millions of dollars into advertising that depict illegal immigrants as criminals and vowed enthusiastic support for Trump’s proposed wall at the Mexican border, the Reuters review shows. 
This year, 20 percent of pro-Republican ads in congressional races have cited immigration, according to an analysis of broadcast advertising data through Oct. 15. That’s up from 8 percent in the same period of the 2014 congressional elections and 5 percent in the 2010 races. The analysis was conducted for Reuters by Kantar Media/CMAG, which tracks political ads. 
Spending on Republican ads that mention immigration has more than doubled to $62.4 million this year from the 2014 elections and has quadrupled since the 2010 races, the Kantar Media/CMAG data shows.  Immigration ad spending has also surged in state-level races. (Kantar Media/CMAG estimated earlier this month that total political ad spending for broadcast television would rise to $2.7 billion this year from $2.1 billion in 2014.)  In February, as Braun vied for the party’s nomination for the Indiana Senate seat, he ran a commercial highlighting a deadly highway crash involving a drunk driver who was in the country illegally. “There are lives at stake,” Braun said in the ad. In an interview with Reuters, he said he was not trying to demonize immigrants but was “making a point that border security is important.”  
In Indiana, only about 5 percent of the state’s residents are immigrants, compared with 13.6 percent in the United States as a whole. But in the last two months, nearly a third of television ads sponsored or partially sponsored by Braun have mentioned immigration, said Michael Franz, co-director of the Wesleyan Media Project, a nonpartisan group tracking televised political advertising. Trump won Indiana by nearly 20 points in the 2016 election. 
The attack ad featuring the knife-wielding immigrant was produced by One Nation, a political nonprofit. Spokesman Chris Pack said in a statement that the group works independently of campaigns and “strongly supports the efforts of the President and congressional leadership to reform our broken immigration system.” 
A number of Republican ads link illegal immigrants to crime, but statistics paint a more nuanced picture. While people in the United States illegally have in some instances committed high-profile crimes, multiple studies – including ones from conservative groups like the Cato Institute - have found that immigrants commit crimes at lower rates than native-born Americans.  
National Republican Congressional Committee spokesman Matt Gorman declined to comment on the overall Republican messaging on immigration, but he did say he sees benefits in opposing so-called sanctuary cities, largely Democratic-run metropolises which offer safe harbor to illegal immigrants. Dozens of localities, including New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago, have joined the growing “sanctuary” movement. 
“The issue of sanctuary cities is an issue we have used in several ads this cycle. It’s a potent issue,” he said. “It’s a commonsense thing that many folks are against.” 
Trump won the White House on a promise to crack down on illegal immigrants. He has tried to end a program that gave protection for illegal immigrants who were brought to the United States as children. He has ordered more aggressive enforcement and longer detention. One policy, to separate children from their parents at the southern border, set off an uproar and the president ended the policy in June. 
"The issue of sanctuary cities is an issue we have used in several ads 
this cycle. It’s a potent issue. It’s a commonsense thing that many folks are against."
Trump’s administration has also limited legal immigration, imposing more restrictions on work visas and sharply cutting the number of refugees allowed into the United States. 
A thousands-strong group of immigrants now heading north toward the United States from Central America has inflamed the debate over illegal immigration just days before Americans head to the polls. The caravan has riled up Trump, who is intensifying his efforts to frame the Nov. 6 elections around the threat he says illegal immigrants pose to Americans’ safety.  
Trump’s nationalist tone echoes sentiments rising in parts of Europe since the arrival in 2015 of more than a million people fleeing war and poverty in the Middle East, Africa and beyond. Hungary built a border fence along its southern border with Serbia, and anti-immigration politics have roiled Germany’s parliament. 


The anti-immigration rhetoric, advertisements and campaign events, combined with the party’s embrace of Trump’s immigration crackdown, represent a dramatic evolution of Republicanism under Trump. Anti-immigration themes now dominate a party that for decades was defined by fiscal, social and national security conservatism. 
As recently as 2013, when the Senate passed an immigration bill with bipartisan support, a significant portion of the Republican Party backed immigration reform – including a path to citizenship for some of the 12 million people living in the United States illegally. But those voices have been mostly silenced since the rise of Trump, drowned out by his statements decrying “amnesty for illegals” and “chain migration,” his term for the longstanding U.S. policy that allows legal immigrants to bring family members into the country. 
Immigration is now seen as the top issue for likely Republican voters, especially among those who are older and without a college degree, Reuters/Ipsos polling shows. Twenty-three percent of Republicans said this month immigration was the “most important problem” facing the country, up from 4 percent in January 2012. By contrast, Democrats are far more focused on healthcare, the polls show. 
“Immigration is literally number one - with a bullet - in every survey we do,” said Brandon Moody, a Republican consultant at Axiom Strategies working in the Montana Senate race. Moody says the issue also serves as a kind of shorthand, signaling loyalty to Trump’s agenda.  
The Reuters/Ipsos analysis of Twitter data shows that the number of Republican lawmakers tweeting about immigration has risen sharply since Trump’s election. Reuters and Ipsos searched for immigration-related terms in tweets by Republican federal lawmakers who are seeking re-election in November and have actively tweeted since 2016. 
Across 156 official Twitter accounts of Republican lawmakers and tens of thousands of tweets, the analysis identified 1,409 posts in the first nine months of 2018 which included immigration-related terms and phrases such as “immigrant,” “build the wall” or “border.” That’s a nearly 80 percent increase from 795 posts in the same months of 2017 and more than triple the number from the same period in 2016. 
Reuters reviewed every tweet, weeding out those unrelated to immigration or which were entirely critical of Trump and his policies. The messages varied widely, from statements supporting Trump’s policies to nuanced calls to build a border wall while also reuniting families separated by border authorities.   
The tweets ranged in tone. Some linked immigrants to threats of violence against Americans, like Texas Representative Randy Weber’s Jan. 30 tweets: “President says fix the border so gangs can’t get in & Americans won’t be murdered.” 
Weber’s office declined to comment on the tweet. 
Others praised Trump’s get-tough stance. “Illegal incursions way down, rule of law restored,” wrote Rod Blum, a Republican in Iowa facing a difficult re-election. He tweeted about immigration at least 14 times between January and September. Reuters did not find any tweets by Blum on the subject in 2016 and only a handful in 2017. Blum did not respond to requests for comment. 
Reuters/Ipsos polling indicates that Republican lawmakers are largely preaching to the converted: 77 percent of Republican likely voters in a Sept. 8-17 survey said they supported policies to deport more illegal immigrants. An equal number backed building a wall on the southern border. 
Across the 156 Republican Twitter accounts, Reuters identified only 37 tweets between 2016 and 2018 unambiguously critical of Trump’s immigration policies - almost all criticizing the separation of families at the border. The critical tweets came from 20 lawmakers who had also posted other tweets supporting strengthening border security or cracking down on illegal immigration. 
Some conservatives, while backing stringent curbs on immigration, say the harsh tone has potentially far-reaching consequences – adding to political polarization, spawning harsher enforcement and potentially limiting the party’s appeal to America’s growing minority population. 
“Trump has remade the Republican Party into a blood and soil national political party that is hostile to immigration,” said Steve Schmidt, a former Republican political consultant. He left the party in June in part because of the policy of separating mothers and children at the southern border. Schmidt said the country’s growing Hispanic population ultimately will render the immigration issue “a death knell for the Republican Party.” 
White House spokesman Hogan Gidley said in a statement that Trump supports an immigration system based on the merit of the applicants, which “has nothing to do with race.” 
 “Trump has remade the Republican Party into a blood and soil national 
political party that is hostile to immigration."


While Trump has thrust immigration to the center of the party’s identity, the roots of this transformation began years ago. In Indiana, the state’s Republicans have made a journey that mirrors that of the national party.   
In 2006, Republican legislators pushed a plan in the state legislature that would deny public health services to immigrants who had entered the country illegally. Mike Murphy, a Republican representative from Indianapolis, rose to speak in the glass-domed statehouse. 
Murphy had long worked to bring more Latinos into the party. Since many of the bill’s backers were conservative Christians, Murphy quoted verses from the gospel of Matthew about charity to outcasts and strangers. “I just turned it against them – how do you guys profess to be Christians?” Murphy said. The bill was defeated overwhelmingly. 
That year, Mike Pence, a U.S. congressman from Indiana at the time, was considered a rising conservative star. He waded in with a plan to allow illegal immigrants a path to achieve legal status – though he said they would have to leave the country first. Pence pitched his plan in moral terms, calling immigration reform “a test of the character of the conservative movement.” 
Pence was pilloried by hardliners, who labeled the plan a “stealth amnesty.” The bill went nowhere. 
As the far-right Tea Party movement rose in the Republican Party in 2010, resentment toward immigration increased throughout the state. When a new immigration-related bill came before Indiana lawmakers in 2011, they passed it, granting police the authority to detain people suspected of being illegal immigrants. A federal judge later threw out much of the law. 


In 2015, Pence, then Indiana’s governor, signed an order that aimed to block Syrian refugees from coming to Indiana, a harbinger of Trump’s later ban on immigration from mostly Muslim countries. Pence, now Trump’s vice president, saw his order overturned by a federal appeals judge. 
Pence’s spokeswoman, Alyssa Farah, said Pence has “always been for a strong, secure, enforced border and upholding the rule of law,” and that Indiana’s move to reject Syrian refugees was “fundamentally different” from the issue of illegal immigration in the southern border. “Conflating the issue of illegal immigration from our southern border with whether or not a state accepts refugees from Syria is comparing apples and oranges,” she said. 
During the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump returned frequently to Indiana. At nearly every rally, he hit hard at illegal immigration, reprising crimes committed by people in the country illegally. “Raped, sodomized and killed,” he said at a rally in South Bend on May 2, 2016. “This is all over the country. We’re not taking it any more.” 
Trump’s runaway win in Indiana’s presidential nominating contest a day later sealed his conquest of a crowded Republican field. Since the rise of Trump, Murphy said, it has become nearly impossible to have a civil debate about immigration. “Donald Trump made it ok to hate,” said Murphy, who is still a Republican but no longer in the state legislature. 
The White House declined to comment on Murphy’s comments.  
In sparsely populated Montana, almost 90 percent of the population is white and illegal immigrants are estimated to number only in the few thousands. Voter Sandy Shumaker says she was ignorant about how illegal immigration was affecting the country before listening to Trump. 
Wearing an American flag hat with the slogan “Keep America Great,” the 70-year-old retired nurse said immigration is now one of her top concerns. She did not single out any specific campaign and as a source of her thinking. Yet she echoed concerns about illegal immigrants voting for Democrats, as Trump has claimed without proof, and that Americans are being taken advantage of. 
She was the first person in line for a campaign rally last month headlined by Donald Trump Jr., waiting hours to hear his stump for Matt Rosendale, the Republican challenging Democratic Senator Jon Tester. 
“Open borders are scary,” Shumaker said. “Who knows what else is getting in? Drugs, I could imagine. I don’t know, Middle Eastern people that do not have our best interests at heart? It’s just scary to think about it.” 
Reporting By Joseph Tanfani, Jason Lange and Letitia Stein; Additional reporting by Chris Kahn; Editing by Jason Szep, Ross Colvin and Michael Williams

September 27, 2018

Anita Hill Says Kavanaugh Hearing Cannot Be Fair, Not Fair With Her (Hill) Then, Not Fair Now

 Justice Clarence with his politicly active wife


Twenty-seven years after testifying that then-Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas sexually harassed her, Anita Hill says she believes the upcoming hearing on an alleged sexual assault by the current nominee "cannot be fair and thorough."
As it stands now, the hearing cannot provide the senators "with enough information to reach a reasonable conclusion," Hill tells NPR.
On Thursday, Christine Blasey Ford is set to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee about an incident that she says happened when she and Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh were in high school.
She says that during a party, Kavanaugh drunkenly pinned her down in a bedroom and groped her as a friend of his looked on.
"I thought he might inadvertently kill me," Ford, a research psychologist in California, has said. "He was trying to attack me and remove my clothing." 
Kavanaugh has categorically denied these allegations and a second accusation against him. In a Fox News interviewthat aired Monday night, he said: "I had never sexually assaulted anyone, not in high school, not ever."
While some details of the hearing remain up in the air, the only people currently set to testify are Kavanaugh and Ford.
Ford's lawyer — and Democratic senators — have called for an FBI investigation into the claims. The attorney has also proposed the committee subpoena Mark Judge, the other person Ford says was in the room during the alleged assault.
So far, those requests have not been granted.
A fair process would start with a "real investigation," Hill tells All Things Considered, saying the absence of other witnesses raises concerns about a he-said-she-said situation. "It's only that kind of a situation if it's set up as that kind of a situation," Hill says. "In a real hearing and a real investigation, other witnesses would be called, including witnesses who could corroborate, witnesses who could explain the context of the experiences of Dr. Blasey Ford and Judge Kavanaugh during that period in their lives, as well as experts on sexual harassment and sexual assault."
Hill, who is now a professor of social policy, law and women's and gender studies at Brandeis University, called for a "neutral body" to investigate the allegations. She says Senate members have already indicated "the presumptions they have about the claims that have been made."
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced later Tuesday that a female staff attorney, not senators, would be questioning Kavanaugh and Ford. Fellow Republican and Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley said it was an effort to "depoliticize the whole process."
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer then stated that Democrats on the Judiciary Committee planned to ask their own questions at Thursday's hearing. 
Hill says there is going to be an inherent power imbalance in the hearing. "The very least we can do is balance it out through a fair process."
She found herself in a similar position to Ford when, in 1991, she came forward with allegations against Thomas.
Hill had briefly worked with Thomas at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission — but by the time interest in her story spiked, Hill had already left Washington, D.C., and was working as a law professor at the University of Oklahoma.
According to Hill's congressional testimony, Thomas told her that he was likely to get a political appointment and that if he did, she could come work with him. She followed Thomas to the Education Department, where she worked for one year.
When Thomas moved on to become EEOC chairman, Hill joined him as a special assistant. She held that post from 1982 to '83, when she moved back to Oklahoma. 
Hill initially refused to speak about what happened between her and Thomas. She was "torn between what she saw as her duty to provide information to the committee and her desire not to be publicly identified," as NPR's Nina Totenberg has reported.
An FBI inquiry into her claims began in late September 1991; on Oct. 7, Hill said she was willing to testify.
She recalls a hectic journey from Oklahoma to Washington, where she says she had only about a day to confer with her legal counsel before facing senators. "Experiencing that was just as shocking as it sounds," Hill tells NPR.
Discussing her interactions with Thomas, Hill testified that their working relationship had initially been positive. But several months after she took the job at the Department of Education, she said, "He asked me to go out socially with him."
Hill continued in her testimony: "What happened next and telling the world about it are the two most difficult things, experiences of my life. It is only after a great deal of agonizing consideration and a number of sleepless nights that I am able to talk of these unpleasant matters to anyone but my close friends."
She declined his offer, telling lawmakers that she believed going out with Thomas might jeopardize their professional relationship. She said Thomas pressed her to explain why she said no and tried repeatedly to get her to change her mind.
"My working relationship became even more strained when Judge Thomas began to use work situations to discuss sex," Hill said at the time. She added, "After a brief discussion of work, he would turn the conversation to a discussion of sexual matters. His conversations were very vivid."
The topics ranged from pornography and bestiality to Thomas' "own sexual prowess," she said.
Hill testified that the graphic conversations and pressure tapered off toward the end of Thomas' tenure at the Education Department, prompting her to accept his offer to join her at the EEOC.
In the second half of 1982, she said, Thomas resumed making sexual overtures and pressuring her to go on a date. She began looking for another job and landed one in 1983.
Hill told the committee, "When I informed him that I was leaving in July, I recall that his response was that now, I would no longer have an excuse for not going out with him."
Thomas denied Hill's accusations and called the hearing "a high-tech lynching."
On Oct. 15, 1991, Thomas was confirmed by the Democrat-controlled Senate, by a vote of 52-48.
The personal cost of coming forward was substantial, Hill tells NPR.
"My family was threatened, along with me. My friends were threatened," she says. "Anybody who dared support me was also threatened with loss of life, loss of jobs. You lose privacy."
But, she says, "for me, what it does come down to is that I felt that I had an obligation to come forward."
She says she doesn't regret it.
"Yes, it is true that it's redefined my life in many ways," Hill says, "but in the end, I still have the power to define who I am and what my life stands for."
The allegations by Hill and Ford both concern incidents that they said happened years prior to Thomas' and Kavanaugh's nominations. But Hill argues that for a Supreme Court nominee with a potential life term, incidents long past must be weighed.
"We're talking about an experience that is a reflection — potentially a reflection — on the character and fitness of a nominee," Hill says. "And it has to be taken into account and it has to be taken seriously. And that is fair."

January 17, 2018

The FBI Crumbles To A Few Congressional Republicans Looking to Exonerate Trump

When you have bias men on the President's party looking at sencitive information you can make sure of:   (1) Leaks (2) No more secret cources

The Justice Department’s decision to give congressional Republicans access to documents about FBI investigations risks exposing sensitive sources or material and poses a critical early test for bureau Director Christopher Wray, current and former U.S. law enforcement officials say.  
Some officials view the department as capitulating to a small group of Republicans who are intent on helping President Donald Trump undermine the integrity of the FBI and, by extension, Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into whether Trump or any of his associates helped Russia interfere in the 2016 election.
It’s the latest setback for a law enforcement agency that has long held itself out as doggedly independent and above partisan politics, only to be besieged over the last two years by questions about its handling of politically sensitive investigations into Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Trump.
One agent said he’s now concerned that forms identifying FBI informants would be handed over to Congress. If that happened, he said, it would cause him to think carefully about whether to withhold sensitive information from future reports.
Another agent said recent statements about the bureau by Trump and congressional Republicans have made it more difficult for him to get informants to open up.
Trump has tweeted that the Federal Bureau of Investigations is “in Tatters -- worst in history” and has said a senior official committed “treason.” 
As the Russia investigation continues to hang over the White House, Republicans in Congress have sought to turn the tables on the FBI by calling into question the fairness and methods of senior agents. They’ve been requesting documents and holding public hearings that focus on alleged wrongdoing or political bias by agents.
FBI Chief of Staff James Rybicki is to be interviewed behind closed doors on Thursday by members of two House committees, according to two officials familiar with the plans.
The controversy over giving Republicans access to sensitive investigative materials has struck a nerve because it comes after months of rare, intense political scrutiny of the FBI, including former Director James Comey’s handling of the investigation into former Secretary of State Clinton’s use of a private email server.
In the midst of the 2016 presidential campaign, Comey angered Republicans by announcing that there wasn’t enough evidence to charge Clinton for mishandling classified information, a departure from normal procedures calling for the bureau to remain silent when crimes aren’t found. Then, he angered Democrats by briefly reopening the inquiry shortly before election day, a move Clinton contends cost her the election.
The actions by Comey, who was fired by Trump in May, and the criticism that followed began a shift for an agency that was long viewed as apolitical and whose leaders won support from both parties.

Unrest in Ranks

A dozen current and former officials -- all from the career ranks of the FBI and Justice Department, as opposed to the president’s political appointees -- spoke to Bloomberg News on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive matters and express their concerns.
Their views weren’t uniform but collectively represent unrest and morale problems within the ranks of agents, prosecutors and career officials in response to attacks on the integrity and leadership of the FBI and Justice Department.
Thomas O’Connor, president of the FBI Agents Association, said special agents “are focused on the Constitution and protecting the public” and “their work should be recognized, not denigrated.” The association represents 14,000 active and retired special agents.
“Attacks on our character and demeaning comments about the FBI will not deter agents from continuing to do what we have always done -- dedicate our lives to protecting the American people,” O’Connor said in a statement. “The true story of the FBI cannot be reduced to partisan talking points.”
(The FBI declined to comment for this story)

Meeting With Ryan

Tensions between Republicans and the Justice Department deepened in recent weeks as lawmakers demanded sensitive documents and agency leaders resisted turning them over. The standoff led to a dramatic meeting between House Speaker Paul Ryan, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Wray to discuss potential contempt of Congress charges for failing to turn over documents.
In the end, the Justice Department agreed to give lawmakers material they requested, though it’s unclear whether Republicans will get everything they want.
On Jan. 11, the Justice Department began giving two House committees what could amount to more than 1.2 million documents about FBI investigative decisions made in 2016, including related to the investigation into Clinton. Additional documents are expected to be provided in the coming days.
Current and former officials expressed a number of concerns. One agent said some officials working on Russian counterintelligence probes of any kind might now be hesitant to report their findings to superiors, given the political furor over the Mueller investigation.
A former senior agent said the credibility of the FBI is on the line, and close attention is being paid to how the situation is handled by Wray, who took over as director in August. Agents are waiting to see how assertive the director will be in defending them and other career officials and whether he’ll refuse to hand over documents that might compromise covert sources and operations, the former agent said.

Bias Alleged

Other officials said they’re worried about an effort by Trump and his allies to oust anyone seen as being disloyal to the president. During a hearing in December, Republican Representative Louie Gohmert of Texas named specific FBI officials and asked Wray whether they’ve ever openly displayed a bias against the Trump administration. 
Republican criticism about Mueller’s probe intensified after the recent revelation that a top FBI agent assigned to the special counsel’s team sent anti-Trump texts in the summer of 2016. One exchange by the agent, Peter Strzok, with another senior official included remarks “that there’s no way” Trump would win the election but “we can’t take that risk.” Mueller removed Strzok after learning of the texts.
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal on Jan. 11, Trump said the agent committed “a treasonous act” by plotting to overturn the election results. The president also called for Republican investigators in Congress to conclude their probes swiftly.
Wray hasn’t said anything publicly in response to Trump’s suggestion of treason. However, he has repeatedly defended the integrity and professionalism of the FBI workforce in speeches and congressional testimony.

Inspector General

The documents now being turned over were requested by Republican leaders of the House Judiciary Committee and the Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
Some of the requested documents were outlined in a Nov. 3 letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Rosenstein. The documents sought appear to dovetail with areas that the Justice Department’s inspector general, Michael Horowitz, is investigating, such as the handling of the Clinton probe. Horowitz plans to wrap up his investigation in March or April.
It’s uncertain whether the information being turned over might add to Republican claims of bias in favor of Clinton and against Trump during the presidential campaign, and even to efforts to undercut Mueller’s investigation.
“We want the information that Horowitz has,” Republican Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio said. He said interviews also are being arranged with seven FBI and Justice Department officials, as well as others.
By Chris Strohm and Greg Farrell in Bloomberg
— With assistance by Billy House

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