Archive for the ‘Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ category

Uranium One Means Mueller Must Recuse Himself from Russia Probe

October 19, 2017

Uranium One Means Mueller Must Recuse Himself from Russia Probe, PJ MediaRoger L Simon, October 18, 2017

(Please see also, How Much Did Mueller and Rosenstein Know about Uranium One? — DM)

(AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

At the end of their lengthy editorial regarding the new Uranium One revelations —  “Team Obama’s stunning coverup of Russian crimes” — the New York Post editorial board writes:

Until September 2013, the FBI director was Robert Mueller — who’s now the special counsel probing Russian meddling in the 2016 election. It’s hard to see how he can be trusted in that job unless he explains what he knew about this Obama-era cover-up.

I’ll go the Post one better. Virtually whatever Mueller has to say about his involvement or non-involvement in this metastasizing scandal, he must recuse himself immediately for the most obvious reasons of propriety and appearance. Frankly, it’s outrageous that he, Ron Rosenstein, or anyone who even touched the Uranium One investigation now be involved with the current probe — unless the real name of the FBI is actually the NKVD.  This is not how a democracy is supposed to work, even remotely.  Forget transparency — this was deliberate occlusion.

The collusion Trump & Co have been accused of is chickenfeed compared to twenty percent of U.S. uranium ending up in Putin’s hands under the aegis of Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Eric Holder, the latter two members of CFIUS (the inter-agency committee that reviews the transfer of U.S. companies to foreign entities and was then chaired by Timothy Geithner).  We have heard disturbing allegations of this for some time, via “Clinton Cash” and even from the New York Times, but the new disclosure that a 2009 FBI investigation of this possible nucleardeal uncovered kickbacks, money laundering, and bribes from the Russian company involved (Rosatom) and yet it still was given the go-ahead by the Obama administration is — I can think of no better word — appalling.  How could it have come to pass that this occurred?  Why are we supposed to believe anyone now?

On Wednesday, Senator Grassley asked Attorney General Jeff Sessions: “What are you doing to find out how the Russian takeover of the American uranium was allowed to occur despite criminal conduct by the Russia company that the Obama administration approved the purchase?”

Evidently, not much.  At least so far. In fact Sessions said that Deputy Attorney General Ron Rosenstein, who led this long-hidden investigation, should “investigate himself.”

No, Jeff.  You may have properly recused yourself from the Russian investigation, despite Trump’s criticism, but this one is your job.  You run the Department of Justice and therefore the FBI.  Something is rotten as much as it ever was in Denmark.  Indeed it’s worse, since nuclear weapons were not even dreamed of in Hamlet’s time.  So don’t be like Hamlet.  Act now.

For starters, Mueller must step down.  We cannot have an investigation of this magnitude that half the country will completely disrespect — and for increasingly good reason.  History will mock it, also for good reason.  On top of that, with our country as split as it is, the results could be catastrophic.

Equally important, the reputation of the FBI must be resuscitated.  Speaking entirely as a private citizen, I do no trust the FBI anymore. To be honest, it scares me. And I am certain I am not alone.  It feels like an often-biased organization so bent on self-preservation that it hides evidence and lets the powerful off the hook. That’s the royal road to totalitarianism.  No, it’s not the NKVD yet.  No one that I know of is being hauled off in the middle of the night.  But very few of us know what it is really up to, how it makes its frequently dubious decisions, or whether it is working for the good of the citizenry at all.  Almost everything we learn of its investigations is so heavily redacted, no one but one of the myriad leakers seems to know what it means — and they’re usually lying.  This, as they say, will not end well.

People can dismiss my view by claiming I am a right-wing ideologue, but the problem transcends administrations, as have FBI directors.  Something is wrong with the system.  No one seems to be watching the watchers, from the FBI to the NSA.  Other than Senator Grassley, will anyone have the guts to save us?

How Much Did Mueller and Rosenstein Know about Uranium One?

October 19, 2017

How Much Did Mueller and Rosenstein Know about Uranium One? American ThinkerDaniel John Sobieski, October 19, 2017

Back in July, I called for a criminal investigation into Hillary Clinton’s collusion with Russia to turn over control of 20 percent of our uranium supplies to Russian interests in return for some $145 million in donation to the Clinton Foundation. Now it turns out that there was one, an FBI investigation dating back to 2009, with current Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller up to their eyeballs in covering up evidence of Hillary’s collusion, bordering on treason, with Vladimir Putin’s Russia:

Prior to the Obama administration approving the very controversial deal in 2010 giving Russia 20% of America’s Uranium, the FBI had evidence that Russian nuclear industry officials were involved in bribery, kickbacks, extortion and money laundering in order to benefit Vladimir Putin, says a report by The Hill….

John Solomon and Alison Spann of The Hill: Federal agents used a confidential U.S. witness working inside the Russian nuclear industry to gather extensive financial records, make secret recordings and intercept emails as early as 2009 that showed Moscow had compromised an American uranium trucking firm with bribes and kickbacks in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, FBI and court documents show….

From today’s report we find out that the investigation was supervised by then-U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein, who is now President Trump’s Deputy Attorney General, and then-Assistant FBI Director Andrew McCabe, who is now the deputy FBI director under Trump.

Robert Mueller was head of the FBI from Sept 2001-Sept 2013 until James Comey took over as FBI Director in 2013. They were BOTH involved in this Russian scam being that this case started in 2009 and ended in 2015.

If evidence of bribery, kickbacks, extortion, and money laundering in the Uranium One affair are not grounds for a special prosecutor assigned to investigate Hillary Clinton, what is? Rosenstein and Mueller, by their silence on this investigation hidden from Congress and the American people, are unindicted co-conspirators in Hillary’s crimes and should be terminated immediately.

One can understand the Obama Justice Department covering up and slow-waking this investigation, but what about the Trump DOJ and our missing-in-action Attorney General Jeff Sessions? Was this the reason Democrats were hot-to-trot on him recusing himself from all things Russian? How could Rosenstein sit before Congress and not say anything, only to appoint Mueller to investigate Team Trump? Rosenstein and Mueller are poster children for duplicity and corruption.

Collusion itself is not a crime but jeopardizing American national security by conspiring to supply the Russian nuclear program with our uranium is a crime of the highest order. No one to date has provided any evidence that any favor was granted as a result of that meeting or that the Trump campaign benefited in any way from the meeting.

One cannot say the same thing about Hillary Clinton and her role in the Uranium One deal with Russia. Clinton played a pivotal role in the UraniumOne deal which ended up giving Russian interests control of 20 percent of our uranium supply in exchange for donations of $145 million to the Clinton Foundation. That, ladies and gentlemen, is a federal crime. As Clinton Cash author Peter Schweitzer has noted:

Tuesday on Fox Business Network, “Lou Dobbs Tonight,” Breitbart editor at large and the author of “Clinton Cash,” Peter Schweizer said there needs to be a federal investigation into the Russian uranium deal then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s State Department approved after the Clinton Foundation receiving $145 million from the shareholders of Uranium One…

Discussing the Clinton Foundation receiving $145 million from the shareholders of Uranium One, he continued, “Look, there are couple of things that are extremely troubling about the deal we touched on. number one is the amount of money $145 million. We are not talking about a super PAC giving a million dollars to support a candidate. We are not talking about campaign donations. We are talking about $145 million which by the way is 75 percent or more of the annual budget of the Clinton Foundation itself so it’s a huge sum of money. Second of all we are talking about a fundamental issue of national security which is uranium — it’s not like oil and gas that you can find all sorts of places. They are precious few places you can mine for uranium, in the United States is one of those areas. And number three we are talking about the Russian government. A lot of people don’t realize it now, in parts of the Midwest American soil is owned by Vladimir Putin’s government because this deal went through. And in addition to the $145 million Bill Clinton got half a million dollars, $500,000 for a 20-minute speech from a Russian investment bank tied to the Kremlin, two months before the State Department signed off on this deal. It just stinks to high heaven and I think it requires a major investigation by the federal government.”

Yet seemingly the only thing warranting a major federal investigation is a wasted 20 minutes of Donald Trump Jr’s life that he will never get back. Democrats and the media and, again, apologies for the redundancy, had no problem with Bill Hillary Clinton brokering deals giving Russia and Putin 20 percent of our uranium supply to benefit Clinton Foundation donors, including Canadian billionaire Frank Giustra.

Giustra earlier had a cozy relationship with Bill Clinton and participated in and benefitted from his involvement in a scam run by the Clinton Foundation in Colombia.

Clinton donor Giustra benefited significantly from his association, even if the people of Columbia didn’t:

When we met him (Senator Jorge Enrique Robledo) in his wood-paneled office in Colombia’s Capitol building in May, his desk was stacked high with papers related to Pacific Rubiales’s labor practices, the result of years of investigative work by his staff. He did not see the Clinton Foundation and its partnership with Giustra’s Pacific Rubiales as either progressive or positive. “The territory where Pacific Rubiales operated,” he said, thumbing through pages of alleged human-rights violations, “was a type of concentration camp for workers.”…

In September 2005, Giustra and Clinton flew to Kazakhstan together to meet the Central Asian nation’s president. Shortly thereafter, Giustra secured a lucrative concession to mine Kazakh uranium, despite his company’s lack of experience with the radioactive ore. As Bill Clinton opened doors for Giustra, the financier gave generously to Clinton’s foundation.

As the New York Times reported, this mutual back-scratching gave Clinton donor Giustra control of a significant portion of the world’s uranium supply:

Late on Sept. 6, 2005, a private plane carrying the Canadian mining financier Frank Giustra touched down in Almaty, a ruggedly picturesque city in southeast Kazakhstan. Several hundred miles to the west a fortune awaited: highly coveted deposits of uranium that could fuel nuclear reactors around the world. And Mr. Giustra was in hot pursuit of an exclusive deal to tap them.

Unlike more established competitors, Mr. Giustra was a newcomer to uranium mining in Kazakhstan, a former Soviet republic. But what his fledgling company lacked in experience, it made up for in connections. Accompanying Mr. Giustra on his luxuriously appointed MD-87 jet that day was a former president of the United States, Bill Clinton…

Just months after the Kazakh pact was finalized, Mr. Clinton’s charitable foundation received its own windfall: a $31.3 million donation from Mr. Giustra that had remained a secret until he acknowledged it last month. The gift, combined with Mr. Giustra’s more recent and public pledge to give the William J. Clinton Foundation an additional $100 million, secured Mr. Giustra a place in Mr. Clinton’s inner circle, an exclusive club of wealthy entrepreneurs in which friendship with the former president has its privileges…

In February 2007, a company called Uranium One agreed to pay $3.1 billion to acquire UrAsia. Mr. Giustra, a director and major shareholder in UrAsia, would be paid $7.05 per share for a company that just two years earlier was trading at 10 cents per share.

Now isn’t that special? Both the Clintons and their donor made out handsomely. Uranium One, which was gradually taken over by the Russians, would later be involved in a curious deal involving Hillary Clinton when she was Secretary of State. As the New York Times reported:

At the heart of the tale are several men, leaders of the Canadian mining industry, who have been major donors to the charitable endeavors of former President Bill Clinton and his family. Members of that group built, financed and eventually sold off to the Russians a company that would become known as Uranium One.

Beyond mines in Kazakhstan that are among the most lucrative in the world, the sale gave the Russians control of one-fifth of all uranium production capacity in the United States. Since uranium is considered a strategic asset, with implications for national security, the deal had to be approved by a committee composed of representatives from a number of United States government agencies. Among the agencies that eventually signed off was the State Department, then headed by Mr. Clinton’s wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton.

As the Russians gradually assumed control of Uranium One in three separate transactions from 2009 to 2013, Canadian records show, a flow of cash made its way to the Clinton Foundation. Uranium One’s chairman used his family foundation to make four donations totaling $2.35 million. Those contributions were not publicly disclosed by the Clintons, despite an agreement Mrs. Clinton had struck with the Obama White House to publicly identify all donors. Other people with ties to the company made donations as well…

Soon, Uranium One began to snap up companies with assets in the United States. In April 2007, it announced the purchase of a uranium mill in Utah and more than 38,000 acres of uranium exploration properties in four Western states, followed quickly by the acquisition of the Energy Metals Corporation and its uranium holdings in Wyoming, Texas and Utah.

So in exchange for donations, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, along with husband Bill, gave Vladimir Putin’s Russia, a nuclear power, control of 20 percent of the world’s uranium supply. Is that what Hillary Clinton meant by a “Russian reset”? Yet neither Congressional Democrats, who accuse Trump and his son of being too cozy with Moscow, nor their wholly owned subsidiary, the mainstream media, are eager to talk about the Clinton uranium deals with Russia.

Actually, we no longer need an investigation of Hillary Clinton and Uranium One. This FBI investigation in conjunction to what we already knew is prima facie evidence of criminal corruption and intentionally putting of American national security at risk for personal financial gain. If an indictment of Hilary Clinton is not forthcoming, then Jeff Sessions should also be fired.

Daniel John Sobieski is a freelance writer whose pieces have appeared in Investor’s Business Daily, Human Events, Reason Magazine and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications.

Sessions Calls on Congress to End Abuse of Asylum Process

October 12, 2017

Sessions Calls on Congress to End Abuse of Asylum Process, Washington Free Beacon, October 12, 2017

Attorney General Jeff Sessions / Getty Images

“Individuals who wanted to enter illegally, and individuals who had hired smugglers, were aware of the fact that if they said the words ‘credible fear’ the odds are that they would be released and that they’d be allowed to continue into the United States.”

The result of the Obama administration guidance was a skyrocketing rate of credible fear exception applicants.

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Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Thursday called for Congress to swiftly pass policy proposals from the Trump administration that would help rectify abuses of the asylum process.

Sessions addressed the Executive Office for Immigration Review, which oversees the administration of America’s immigration courts.

“The immigration laws that Congress has enacted are some of the most generous in the world,” Sessions said. “Indeed, we will soon reach the highest level of non-native born Americans in our history.”

However, a failure to properly enforce immigration laws has resulted in an estimated 11 million illegal immigrants currently living in the United States. One of the ways by which said aliens take advantage of the immigration system is through so-called “credible fear” claims for asylum seekers, Sessions said.

The Department of Homeland Security uses a process called “expedited removal” to remove certain immigrants without a full hearing or the laborious process used in more complicated immigration cases. Exceptions are made for illegal immigrants who claim to have a “credible fear” of persecution in his or her country of origin, who are allowed to avoid the expedited removal process and proceed to a full immigration court hearing.

“This is an important exception,” Sessions said. “We have a generous asylum policy that is meant to protect those who, through no fault of their own, cannot co-exist in their home country no matter where they go because of persecution based on fundamental things like their religion or nationality. Unfortunately, this system is currently subject to rampant abuse and fraud.”

Under the credible fear procedure, an asylum seeker has a preliminary interview, which may then make him eligible for a subsequent formal hearing to grant asylum. Historically, the ashylum seeker was detained while awaiting the hearing, unless the would-be asylee explicitly requested parole.

That changed in 2009, when the Obama administration issued new guidance that made the consideration for parole automatic. What that meant in practice is that asylum seekers were no longer detained, but were all-but-automatically released into the population after their interview—meaning they only sometimes showed up to their subsequent formal hearing.

“This is a pretty easy way into the United States,” explained Andrew Arthur, a former federal immigration judge and Resident Fellow in Law and Policy for the Center for Immigration Studies. “Individuals who wanted to enter illegally, and individuals who had hired smugglers, were aware of the fact that if they said the words ‘credible fear’ the odds are that they would be released and that they’d be allowed to continue into the United States.”

The result of the Obama administration guidance was a skyrocketing rate of credible fear exception applicants.

In 2009, the DHS reported doing around 5,000 credible fear reviews. By 2016, that number reached 94,000. In 2009, around 4,000 asylum seekers were placed in removal proceedings; in 2016, that number is more than 73,000. At the border, some 3,000 people sought credible fear exemptions in 2009; 2016 saw more than 69,000. In all, an illegal alien has an 88 percent chance of avoiding expedited removal by making a credible fear claim.

Even if asylum seekers do show up to court, litigating an asylum claim is relatively low cost, and every asylum case is required to have a full hearing.

“That’s why there’s a common, fatalistic refrain you’ll hear from immigration judges and immigration enforcement that ‘the case isn’t over until the alien wins,'” Sessions said.

The credible fear process also poses a threat to national security: Sessions noted that at least five Somali terrorists had taken advantage of the process to try to gain access to the United States.

“I think the expedited removal/credible fear process has been largely ignored up to this point,” Arthur said, “and I think that it poses a much more serious risk to the national security than even the legal immigration process does.”

Sessions called for Congress to pass President Donald Trump’s new bevy of immigration proposals, released earlier this week. Among those proposals are recommendations to tighten standards in the immigration system, increase the standard of proof in initial interviews, impose penalties for frivolous or fraudulent asylum applications, and tighten the standards for parole.

Trump also pushed for an expansion of the personnel and resources of the immigration court system, the overwhelming backlog in which Sessions has made a priority of reducing.

“The president’s proposals on asylum reform especially are crucial,” Arthur said. “There are many loopholes in the asylum system, and the president appropriately has noted that we need to elevate the threshold standard of proof in credible fear interviews.”

Sessions, for his part, was resolute in supporting the administration’s proposed changes.

“What we cannot do—what we must not do—is continue to let our generosity be abused,” he said. “We cannot capitulate to lawlessness and allow the very foundation of law upon which our country depends to be further undermined.”

3800 Gang Members Charged in Transnational DOJ Operation

October 2, 2017

3800 Gang Members Charged in Transnational DOJ Operation, BreitbartJohn Binder, October 2, 2017

Susan Walsh/Associated Press

In February, President Trump issued the Enforcement Federal Law with Respect to Transnational Criminal Organizations and Preventing International Trafficking Executive Order to help crackdown on transnational gangs like MS-13.

Since signing that executive order, Sessions created a transnational network of law enforcement agencies to dismantle violent criminal cartels and gangs in the U.S. and Central America.

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A transnational operation led by Attorney General Jeff Sessions yielded charges against more than 3,800 gang members from the United States, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.

Sessions, along with law enforcement officials throughout Central America, announced that Operation Regional Shield resulted in charges against thousands of gang members from the violent El Salvadorian MS-13 and 18th Street gangs.

“MS-13 is one of the most violent and ruthless gangs in America today, endangering communities in more than 40 states,” Sessions said. “But under President Trump’s strong leadership, the Department of Justice is taking them off our streets.”

“Today, we are announcing that our partnership with law enforcement in Central America, has yielded charges against more than 3,800 gang members just in the last six months,” Sessions continued. “More than 70 of these defendants were living in the United States, from California to Ohio to Boston.”

“MS-13 coordinates across our borders to kill, rape and traffic drugs and underage girls; we’ve got to coordinate across our borders to stop them,” Session said. “That’s exactly what our courageous and professional DOJ agents and attorneys are doing. We will continue to maintain this steadfast policy and dismantle this gang.”

In March, Sessions promised to take on violent cartels and street gangs, traveling to Long Island, New York and southern California to warn MS-13 of the Department of Justice (DOJ) action that would be taken against them and their leaders.

The 3,800 gang members charged included:

  • More than 70 gang members living in the U.S., residing in California, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, and Virginia;
  • 248 gang members living in Guatemala, with six firearms seized;
  • 14 businesses and 11 luxury vehicles seized;
  • 12 money laundering MS-13 gang members; and
  • More than 1,400 gang members living in El Salvador.

Two specific cases in the operation were outlined by the DOJ:

One indictment unsealed yesterday in the District of Massachusetts charges Edwin Manica Flores aka Sugar, Chugar and Shugar, an MS-13 leader incarcerated for murder in El Salvador, with a RICO conspiracy for alleged criminal activity he directed in the United States as the leader of MS-13’s “East Coast Program.”

Charges filed in Long Island on July 19 against 17 MS-13 members for 12 murders, including the April 11 quadruple murder of four men in Central Islip; racketeering; attempted murders; assaults; obstruction of justice; arson; conspiracy to distribute marijuana; and firearms.

In February, President Trump issued the Enforcement Federal Law with Respect to Transnational Criminal Organizations and Preventing International Trafficking Executive Order to help crackdown on transnational gangs like MS-13.

Since signing that executive order, Sessions created a transnational network of law enforcement agencies to dismantle violent criminal cartels and gangs in the U.S. and Central America.

Jason Chaffetz Full Interview With Judge Jeanine Pirro (9/30/2017)

October 1, 2017

Jason Chaffetz Full Interview With Judge Jeanine Pirro (9/30/2017), Fox News via YouTube, September 30, 2017

 

Exclusive – Jeff Sessions Orders Look into ‘DOJ Slush Fund’ Payments to Leftists

August 4, 2017

Exclusive – Jeff Sessions Orders Look into ‘DOJ Slush Fund’ Payments to Leftists, BreitbartIan Mason, August 4, 2017

An internal Department of Justice memorandum obtained by Breitbart News Friday indicates Attorney General Jeff Sessions is trying to get to the bottom of the DOJ “slush fund” for left-wing groups he dismantled in June.

The memo asks all components of the DOJ to recount the last ten years of payments made to non-governmental organizations as third parties in settlements and provide that information to Associate Attorney General Rachel Brand, the number three Justice official. These “cy pres” payments were a long-standing policy of having mostly corporate defendants, for example in a civil rights suit, agree to pay into charities as part of their settlement with the government to avoid further prosecution.

In recent years, especially during the Obama administration, the practice increasingly funneled funds to left-wing “community organizing” groups such as the now renamed National Council of La Raza, or “The Race,” a Latino racial advocacy group that supports mass illegal immigration. Congressional Republicans and conservative groups decried the payments for years, often characterizing the system as a “slush fund” for leftists but, since they were made under the auspices of the Department of Justice using broad, decades-old legislation, it was difficult to rein in.

Attorney General Sessions, however, put a stop to the payments unilaterally in June, issuing a department-wide memo prohibiting all payments to third parties in settlements not under three narrow exceptions, for example, genuine victim compensation. The announcement was widely heralded as a victory by conservatives.

The new memo, dated July 28, goes further, commanding DOJ attorneys to look back into the history of these settlements and report back every payment that would not meet the new standards laid down in June. Payments agreed to but not yet paid out are also to be identified. Every component is to be reported to Associate Attorney General Brand by the end of the month.

The exact long-term intent of this data collection effort could not be inferred from the memo, but the assembled information will give a much clearer picture of this practice that estimates claim may have given left-wing activists hundreds of millions of dollars wrenched from the hands of American corporations.

 

Jeff Sessions warns government leakers: You ‘will be prosecuted’

August 4, 2017

Jeff Sessions warns government leakers: You ‘will be prosecuted’, Washington ExaminerKelly Cohen, August 4, 2017

(How about those who publish the leaked material? — DM)

Attorney General Jeff Sessions unveiled a new Department of Justice crackdown on leaks. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Friday that the Justice Department is ramping up steps to investigate and prosecute government leakers, a day after transcripts of President Trump’s calls with two foreign leaders were leaked to the Washington Post.

“Criminals who would illegally use their access to our most sensitive information to endanger our national security are in fact being investigated, and will be prosecuted,” he said in a press conference.

Sessions stressed that his department doesn’t confirm or deny specific investigations, but made it clear there are many more leak investigations ongoing today than there were less than a year ago.

“Since January, the department has more than triple the number of active leak investigations compared to the number pending at the end of the last administration,” he said. “And we’ve already charged four people with unlawfully disclosing classified material or with concealing contacts with federal officers.”

Sessions also stressed repeatedly that a way to solve the problem is to change the culture in government, which routinely leaks classified information.

“This culture of leaking must stop,” he said.

Sessions was joined by Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and National Counterintelligence and Security Center Director William Evanina from the Justice Department headquarters on Friday in Washington.

Trump, who has criticized Sessions in recent weeks, said he wanted Sessions to crack down on the leaks that have plagued his administration since he took office. The attorney general told Fox News’ Tucker Carlson last week that he has “not been happy with the past prosecutions and investigations of criminal leaks.”

The Washington Post released the transcripts of Trump’s calls in late January with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and noted the transcripts had notes indicating the National Security Council had classified them. The full transcripts, the Post said, were “produced by White House staff” and based on records kept by White House notetakers.