Showing posts with label Law Breaker. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Law Breaker. Show all posts

May 22, 2017

Trump Asked of Heads of Intelligence what He Asked of Comey




Trump asked them to push back against FBI probe, officials say
President Trump asked two of the nation’s top intelligence officials in March to help him push back against an FBI investigation into possible coordination between his campaign and the Russian government, according to current and former officials.
Trump made separate appeals to the director of national intelligence, Daniel Coats, and to Adm. Michael S. Rogers, the director of the National Security Agency, urging them to publicly deny the existence of any evidence of collusion during the 2016 election.
Coats and Rogers refused to comply with the requests, which they both deemed to be inappropriate, according to two current and two former officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private communications with the president.
Trump sought the assistance of Coats and Rogers after FBI Director James B. Comey told the House Intelligence Committee on March 20 that the FBI was investigating “the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia’s efforts.”
Trump’s conversation with Rogers was documented contemporaneously in an internal memo written by a senior NSA official, according to the officials. It is unclear if a similar memo was prepared by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence to document Trump’s conversation with Coats. Officials said such memos could be made available to both the special counsel now overseeing the Russia investigation and congressional investigators, who might explore whether Trump sought to impede the FBI’s work.
What we know about Trump's ties to Russia
White House officials say Comey’s testimony about the scope of the FBI investigation upset Trump, who has dismissed the FBI and congressional investigations as a “witch hunt.” The president has repeatedly said there was no collusion.
Current and former senior intelligence officials viewed Trump’s requests as an attempt by the president to tarnish the credibility of the agency leading the Russia investigation.
A senior intelligence official said that Trump’s goal was to “muddy the waters” about the scope of the FBI probe at a time when Democrats were ramping up their calls for the Justice Department to appoint a special counsel, a step announced last week.

Senior intelligence officials also saw the March requests as a threat to the independence of U.S. spy agencies, which are supposed to remain insulated from partisan issues.
“The problem wasn’t so much asking them to issue statements, it was asking them to issue false statements about an ongoing investigation,” a former senior intelligence official said of the request to 

The NSA and Brian Hale, a spokesman for Coats, declined to comment, citing the ongoing.

“The White House does not confirm or deny unsubstantiated claims based on illegal leaks from anonymous individuals,” a White House spokesperson said. “The president will continue to focus on his agenda that he was elected to pursue by the American people.”
In addition to the requests to Coats and Rogers, senior White House officials sounded out top intelligence officials about the possibility of intervening directly with Comey to encourage the FBI to drop its probe of Michael Flynn, Trump’s former national security adviser, according to people familiar with the matter. The officials said the White House appeared uncertain about its power to influence the FBI.
“Can we ask him to shut down the investigation? Are you able to assist in this matter?” one official said of the line of questioning from the White House.

The new revelations add to a growing body of evidence that Trump sought to co-opt and then undermine Comey before he fired him May 9. According to notes kept by Comey, Trump first asked for his loyalty at a dinner in January and then, at a meeting the next month, asked him to drop the probe into Flynn. Trump disputes those accounts.

Current and former officials said either Trump lacks an understanding of the FBI’s role as an independent law enforcement agency or does not care about maintaining such boundaries.
Trump’s effort to use the director of national intelligence and the NSA director to refute Comey’s statement and to say there was no evidence of collusion echoes President Richard Nixon’s “unsuccessful efforts to use the CIA to shut down the FBI’s investigation of the Watergate break-in on national security grounds,” said Jeffrey H. Smith, a former general counsel at the CIA. Smith called Trump’s actions “an appalling abuse of power.”

Trump made his appeal to Coats days after Comey’s testimony, according to officials.
That same week, Trump telephoned Rogers to make a similar appeal.
In his call with Rogers, Trump urged the NSA director to speak out publicly if there was no evidence of collusion, according to officials briefed on the exchange.

Rogers was taken aback but tried to respectfully explain why he could not do so, the officials said. For one thing, he could not comment on an ongoing investigation. Rogers added that he would not talk about classified matters in public.

While relations between Trump and Comey were strained by the Russia probe, ties between the president and the other intelligence chiefs, including Rogers, Coats and CIA Director Mike Pompeo, appear to be less contentious, according to officials.

Rogers met with Trump in New York shortly after the election, and Trump’s advisers at the time held him out as the leading candidate to be the next director of national intelligence.
The Washington Post subsequently reported that President Barack Obama’s defense secretary and director of national intelligence had recommended that Rogers be removed as head of the NSA.
Ultimately, Trump decided to nominate Coats, rather than Rogers. Coats was sworn in just days before the president made his request.

In February, the Trump White House also sought to enlist senior members of the intelligence community and Congress to push back against suggestions that Trump associates were in frequent contact with Russian officials. But in that case, the White House effort was designed to refute news accounts, not the testimony of a sitting FBI director who was leading an open investigation.
Trump and his allies in Congress have similarly sought to deflect scrutiny over Russia by attempting to pit U.S. intelligence agencies against one another.

In December, Trump’s congressional allies falsely claimed that the FBI did not concur with a CIA assessment that Russia intervened in the 2016 election to help Trump win the White House. Comey and then-CIA Director John Brennan later said that the bureau and the agency were in full agreement on Moscow’s intentions.

As the director of national intelligence, Coats leads the vast U.S. intelligence community, which includes the FBI. But that does not mean he has full visibility into the FBI probe. Coats’s predecessor in the job, James R. Clapper Jr., recently acknowledged that Comey did not brief him on the scope of the Russia investigation. Similarly, it is unclear to what extent the FBI has brought Coats up to speed on the probe’s most sensitive findings.
Adam Entous writes about national security, foreign policy and intelligence for The Post. He joined the newspaper in 2016 after more than 20 years with The Wall Street Journal and Reuters, where he covered the Pentagon, the CIA, the White House and Congress. He covered President George W. Bush for five years after the September 11, 2001, attacks.

Ellen Nakashima is a national security reporter for The Washington Post. She focuses on issues relating to intelligence, technology and civil liberties.
Democracy Dies in Darkness
The Washington Post






November 17, 2016

Nepotism Laws Did Not Barred Trump to Ask Security Clearance for Son in Law




  
In answer to a request to have Trump’s son in law be given security clearance in-spite nepotism laws 
Rep. Elijah Cummings a Senior House Democrat demanded Donald Trump’s transition team explain what role Jared Kushner — the president-elect’s son-in-law — has been playing in their effort, including whether a request had been made for him join top secret classified briefings.

In a letter to Vice President-elect Mike Pence, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) specifically questioned whether Kushner will be participating in the daily defense, intelligence and national security updates. Cummings also noted that Trump’s son-in-law is legally barred from joining the new administration in an official capacity because of anti-nepotism laws.


Kushner wasn’t with Trump in his first national security briefing on Tuesday, but the Maryland Democrat insisted that the president-elect’s reported interests in such a move “demonstrate a breathtaking lapse in judgment and astonishingly cavalier attitude towards our nation’s most sensitive secrets.”

Trump on Wednesday morning took to Twitter to dispute news accounts from CBS News and others that he has been requesting security clearances “for my children,” calling it a “typically false news story.”

But the president-elect’s post didn’t address the role of Kushner, a real estate investor and close adviser to Trump who is believed to be in the running for a White House job or informal outside role.

Cummings, the ranking member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, has already taken issue with Trump’s ethics once before. On Monday, he wrote to the Republican chair of the House panel urging an investigation into the president-elect’s private financial arrangements.

With his latest missive, Cummings isn’t waiting for Trump to publicly ask for Kushner to get clearance. But he did urge Pence to explain exactly what role Kushner will play in the administration while noting Trump “is specifically prohibited from employing or appointing” Kushner to any federal positions under anti-nepotism laws.

Cummings also asked who Trump and his transition team have requested for security clearances, as well as who on the transition team doesn’t have such approval but who is under consideration for the briefings.

October 3, 2016

Follow The Money? Ye$, NYAG Orders Trump Foundation to Stop Fundraising$



                                                                           
 Paying taxes Will go further to help more than an empty hug

The New York attorney general has notified Donald Trump that his charitable foundation is violating state law — by soliciting donations without proper certification — and ordered Trump’s charity to stop its fundraising immediately, the attorney general’s office said Monday.

James Sheehan, head of the attorney general’s charities bureau, sent the “notice of violation” to the Donald J. Trump Foundation on Friday, according to a copy of the notice provided by the press office of state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman (D).

The night before that, The Washington Post reported that Trump’s charity had been soliciting donations from other people without being properly registered in New York state.

According to tax records, Trump’s foundation has subsisted entirely on donations from others since 2008, when Trump gave his last personal donation. This year, the Trump Foundation made its most wide-ranging request for donations yet: It set up a public website, donaldtrumpforvets.com, to gather donations that Trump said would be passed on to veterans’ groups.

But the Trump Foundation never registered under article 7A of New York’s Executive Law, as is required for any charity soliciting more than $25,000 a year from the public. One important consequence: Trump’s foundation avoided rigorous outside audits, which New York law requires of larger charities that ask the public for money.
 
The Washington Post's David A. Fahrenthold explains how Donald Trump directed people who owed him money to make their payments to the tax-exempt Donald J. Trump Foundation instead. 
 
“The Trump Foundation must immediately cease soliciting contributions or engaging in any other fundraising activities in New York,” Sheehan wrote to the foundation, of which Trump himself is still president. The Trump Foundation has no paid employees, and its board consists of Trump, three of his children and one Trump Organization employee. They all work one half-hour per week, according to the charity’s most recent IRS filings.

Schneiderman ordered the Trump Foundation to supply the state, within 15 days, with all the legal paperwork required of charities that solicit money from the public.

In addition, Sheehan ordered that Trump’s foundation provide all the financial audit reports it should have provided in prior years, when it raised money without legal permission. He said that if Trump’s foundation did not stop its fundraising and file the proper paperwork, that would be considered “a continuing fraud upon the people of New York.”

Trump’s campaign has not responded to The Post’s questions about the Trump Foundation’s registration in New York state. The campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment about Schneiderman’s order, sent early Monday afternoon.

April 22, 2013

Reese Witherspoon Gets Busted With Her Husband Jim Toth


Hmm...looks like Reese Witherspoon is pioneering a new movement to prove that a couple who gets arrested together, stays together.

The 37-year-old Legally Blonde actress found herself on the wrong side of the law early Friday morning while her husband, Jim Toth, was being arrested for a DUI.

Cops said they pulled Jim's car over after he was seen weaving in and out of lanes.

Reese's hubby told cops he had only had one drink, but it must have been pretty strong, because he blew a .139 on a breathalyzer test.

While Jim was being arrested, the Oscar-winning actress apparently decided to play the celebrity card.

She first asked the officer if he knew who she was and he basically told her he didn't care.

Well, that didn't sit well with the already agitated actress, who responded with, "You're about to find out who I am ... You are going to be on national news."

Turns out, Reese was the one who ended up on national news because her behavior got so out of hand that the officers decided to arrest her, too, and she was charged with "disorderly conduct".

The two were taken to jail, booked and released around 3:30 a.m.

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