Posted tagged ‘Attorney General Jeff Sessions’

DeSantis: House Intel Committee Has Brought in Some ‘Big Names’ to Answer Questions About Leaks

July 16, 2017

DeSantis: House Intel Committee Has Brought in Some ‘Big Names’ to Answer Questions About Leaks, PJ Media, Debra Heine, July 16, 2617

House Judiciary Committee member Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) said that the House Intelligence Committee has already brought in some “big names” — “more than the press knows” — to answer questions about leaks of classified information to reporters.

When asked by Hugh Hewitt on MSNBC Saturday morning whether the committee was planning to call up Obama’s former “foreign policy guru,” Ben Rhodes, DeSantis said that he’s spoken to the committee’s chairman, Trey Gowdy of South Carolina, about Rhodes but that he would defer to Gowdy to identify people of interest in the leak investigation.

DeSantis, a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, the House Judiciary Committee, and the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, said in an interview with the Washington Free Beacon last week that President Trump needs to purge Obama holdovers still working in the federal government.

DeSantis told the Beacon that “the holdovers and their allies outside the White House are responsible for an unprecedented series of national security leaks aimed at damaging the Trump administration’s national security apparatus.”

He singled out Obama’s chief propagandist, Ben Rhodes, as the person responsible for most of the leaks and called on Congress to press Attorney General Jeff Sessions and others to make sure they are looking into the situation.

DeSantis told Hewitt that he has drafted a letter to send to Sessions, asking that he investigate the leaks.

So I’ve prepared a letter. We’re going to be sending that next week, I imagine I’ll have a number of my colleagues joining it, asking the Justice Department to look into all these things, but then report back to us whether they are doing it or not, because, Hugh, you know, you’re very knowledgeable in national security.

We have certain intelligence authorities that are coming up for review this year. And if you don’t have anyone, say, being prosecuted for the Michael Flynn leaks, that was FISA material, then you’re not going to be able to do things like reauthorize 702 of the FISA statute, which is due by the end of the year. So I think if there’s no action being taken, I think it actually has a big effect on what we’re able to do in Congress.

And I’m somebody, I want to empower our intelligence agencies. I think it’s very important. But it’s very difficult to make that case to the American people if that information is then being used for domestic political warfare.

Asked if he would call Rhodes in to testify, DeSantis replied:

I’ve talked to Chairman Gowdy about it, and remember, they are doing things on the Intelligence Committee, and they’re doing a lot more than what the press knows in terms of some of the people that they have brought in. And they’ve brought in some pretty big names that I’m not authorized to say. So I want to defer to his judgment about whether that would be more appropriate in terms of the leak investigation that they’re doing on the Intelligence Committee. But I would like to bring him in to talk to him about it, because I want to figure out how all this information was getting out from the FISA intercept on…

DeSantis differentiated between the leaks that are coming from Obama holdovers in the Trump administration and standard “whistleblower” leaks.  These leaks, he argued, are an attack on the president.

“It’s not just people are leaking because they think something was wrong with the government and they want some sunlight,” DeSantis explained. “But this is concerted leaks designed to attack the sitting president. So I think the character of the leaks are different, and I think Comey’s leaks are part of that bushel.”

He cited as an example how conversations Trump has had with a foreign leaders have gone through the National Security Council and somehow ended up on the front page of the newspaper.

“And so we’ve gotten lot of information saying look, there’s only so many places that would come from,” the congressman said. “And the Obama holdover working with Rhodes, that’s a place we’ve been encouraged to look. So I want to look at that, because I think that it’s distorted the president’s ability to simply conduct foreign relations if there’s going to be selective leaking of his conversations with foreign leaders in ways that are damaging to him or at least purporting to damage him. That’s not the way we want our government to function.”

To answer his final question, Hewitt called on DeSantis to use his “prosecutorial chops”:

“If you had to guess who was going to get indicted, if anyone – Donald Trump Jr., James Comey or Ben Rhodes — what would your guess be?” he asked.

DeSantis answered: “I want to know what are in those Comey memos and see whether there’s classified information. I mean, I don’t think Donald Trump Jr. is going to get indicted. I think he had a meeting. I don’t think a criminal offense was committed. In terms of the political judgment, I think that’s fair to criticize. But I don’t think that there was a crime committed there.”

He forgot to mention Rhodes.

 

ABC News: Christians Who Believe In The First Amendment Are A ‘Hate Group’

July 14, 2017

ABC News: Christians Who Believe In The First Amendment Are A ‘Hate Group’, The Federalist, July 13, 2017

ABC News’ Pete Madden and Erin Galloway smeared Christians who believe the Bill of Rights secures religious liberty as a “hate group,” in an article this week headlined, “Jeff Sessions addresses ‘anti-LGBT hate group,’ but DOJ won’t release his remarks.” The lede of the story made it clear this was not just the work of a rogue headline writer but the failure of the reporters themselves:

Attorney General Jeff Sessions delivered a speech to an alleged hate group at an event closed to reporters on Tuesday night, but the Department of Justice is refusing to reveal what he said.

First, a note that you can — and should — read the prepared remarks of the Attorney General here at The Federalist.

Who is this “hate group”? Alliance Defending Freedom is not a hate group at all, but a civil liberties organization that battles for religious liberty. And they’re not a fringe group either. They just weeks ago won their most recent Supreme Court victory — Trinity Lutheran v. Comer — 7-2. It was their fifth Supreme Court victory in seven years, during which time they’ve had no losses at the high court.

And the group is ranked among the top law firms in the country for its successes at the Supreme Court.

Most recently the non-profit law firm found out that the Supreme Court agreed to hear another one of their cases dealing with artistic freedom and religious liberty.

To characterize such an accomplished civil rights group as a ‘hate group’ is unacceptable and inexcusable. It boggles the mind why ABC News, in the midst of cratering credibility, would disparage Christian efforts in favor of religious liberty in such a mendacious way.

How in the world did this happen?

Well, for some reason ABC News chose to wholly adopt the Southern Poverty Law Center’s framing for the significance of the attorney general’s speech to the group. Check it out:

Here’s why reporters such as Pete Madden and Erin Galloway should be wary before slightly rewriting SPLC press releases and passing off the work as their own. SPLC previously had a reservoir of credibility based on a history of good work exposing legitimately nefarious individuals and groups. In recent years, however, that reservoir has all but dried up as SPLC has gone after reasonable groups it merely disagrees with politically but labels as hate groups. It engages in this campaign while ignoring serious problems on the left.

SPLC has the gall to list the Family Research Council as a “hate group,” for instance, even after an SPLC follower used an SPLC “hate map” to locate the Family Research Council offices in Washington, D.C., and commit an act of terrorism and attempted mass murder against the group. Thankfully, the SPLC-inspired terrorist was stopped by the security guard he shot when he arrived. Read all about that incident here.

The most recent attempted assassination by a left-wing terrorist was also a follower of SPLC. As Jeryl Bier wrote in the Wall Street Journal, “The Insidious Influence of the SPLC: Its branding of ‘hate groups’ and individuals is biased, sometimes false—and feeds polarization.”

Last week the SPLC found itself in the awkward position of disavowing the man who opened fire on Republican members of Congress during baseball practice. “We’re aware that the SPLC was among hundreds of groups that the man identified as the shooter ‘liked’ on Facebook,” SPLC president Richard Cohen said in a statement. “I want to be as clear as I can possibly be: The SPLC condemns all forms of violence.”

It’s not just Christians who SPLC targets. SPLC also faces legal action for placing British Muslim author and counter-extremism activist Maajid Nawaz on an anti-Muslim “hate list.”

The Southern Poverty Law Center has put my name on a list that calls me an ‘anti-Muslim extremist’. I am the only Muslim on the list. This list has smeared my name and possibly put me in physical danger. This is a message to those who think they can throw around damning labels like ‘Islamophobe’ ‘racist’ and ‘Nazi’ without any evidence and simply get away with it.

You can read more about Nawaz’s plight here at The Atlantic.

ABC News can certainly quote the Southern Poverty Law Center’s extreme views, but it shouldn’t build a story around the wholesale acceptance of their flawed premises. That turns journalism into anti-religious propaganda on behalf of a partisan group. Media outlets do not want to be perceived as enemies of average Americans. They should avoid giving people reason to view them as just that.

How should Trump deal with the deep state?

June 15, 2017

How should Trump deal with the deep state? Fox News via YouTube, June 14, 2017

 

The Story : Krauthammer: AG Sessions exposed absurdity of Russia probe : 6/13/2017

June 14, 2017

The Story: Krauthammer: AG Sessions exposed absurdity of Russia probe: 6/13/2017, Fox News via YouTube

 

 

Peter Schweizer: Jeff Sessions Ending DOJ Handouts to Activist Groups ‘a Tremendous Victory’

June 12, 2017

Peter Schweizer: Jeff Sessions Ending DOJ Handouts to Activist Groups ‘a Tremendous Victory’, Breitbart, Dan Riehl, June 12, 2017

Scott Olson/Getty Images

President of the Government Accountability Institute, Peter Schweizer, spoke with Breitbart News Daily SiriusXX host Raheem Kassam on Monday regarding Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ decision to end Department of Justice handouts for leftist groups, which has come to be known as something of a “slush fund.”

As Breitbart News reported:

For decades, through a variety of initiatives, the DOJ has insisted on donations to third parties as part of the settlements it reaches with defendants, especially corporations. In the Obama administration, this practice took on the character of a “slush fund,” which funneled hundreds of millions of dollars from these corporate defendants and put it into the hands of non-government organizations.

Recipients have included left-wing “community organizer” groups such as the National Council of La Raza, or “The Race,” a Latino racial advocacy group that supports mass illegal immigration. Other recipients include the National Urban League, the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, and NeighborWorks America, which is a congressionally chartered mortgage aid group that itself has come under widespread criticism.

“This is a tremendous victory people ought to be very encouraged by,” said Schweizer.

The idea got its start under Eric Holder as far back as the Clinton administration. “The problem is, it got distorted, as so many things do in Washington, DC,” added Schweizer. “And so rather than going to the victims of what a company might have done, they ended up giving it to activist groups. And many of these activist groups, like La Raza, like others, not only didn’t do things to alleviate the activity that had taken place, they actually used the money for things like voter registration.”

“These were politically active groups,” he added.

DOJ Charges California Felon With Dealing Heroin, Illegally Building and Selling Machine Guns

May 14, 2017

DOJ Charges California Felon With Dealing Heroin, Illegally Building and Selling Machine Guns, Washington Free Beacon, May 14, 2017

(Please see also, Bad Hombre Crackdown: Sessions Ramps War on Drug Traffickers. — DM)

WASHINGTON, DC – MAY 12: U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions speaks during an event at the Justice Department May 12, 2017 in Washington, DC. Sessions was presented with an award “honoring his support of law enforcement” by the Sergeants Benevolent Association of New York City. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

The Department of Justice charged a California man on Thursday with dealing heroin, illegally manufacturing machine guns, and illegally selling those same guns.

“Illegally manufacturing and brokering the sale of guns and drugs on the streets of San Diego poses a tremendous danger to our community,” acting U.S. attorney Alana W. Robinson said in a statement. “Prosecuting firearms offenses is a top priority for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and we will continue our efforts to disrupt the availability of illegal guns in our city.”

The Department of Justice alleges in a complaint filed in federal court that 39-year-old La Jolla, Calif., resident Paul Joseph Holdy sold a variety of firearms to undercover agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives as well as the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The agencies say they covertly purchased 19 firearms from Holdy over the course of several months in 2016—included were a number of fully automatic firearms that Holdy had manufactured himself.

Since Holdy was previously convicted of dealing drugs, he was prohibited from possessing any firearms. Additionally, since he did not have a license to manufacture or sell firearms, he was prohibited from building or selling them.

“Firearms traffickers are responsible for the crimes committed with the guns they provide to felons and gang members,” ATF Los Angeles Field Division Special Agent in Charge Eric Harden said in a statement. “Felons cannot skirt the system by manufacturing and selling untraceable firearms from unfinished lower receivers. ATF will use its resources to strategically target and identify these criminals and interrupt the illegal flow of firearms to those who are prohibited from possessing firearms under the law.”

“Illegal firearms and narcotics trafficking cannot be tolerated on our streets,” FBI Special Agent in Charge Eric S. Birnbaum said in a statement. “The FBI will continue to identify, disrupt and dismantle these traffickers in order to keep our communities safe.”

On top of the firearms charges, Holdy was also charged with distribution of heroin. The operation is the result of a partnership between federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies as a part of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force. That task force focuses on disrupting and dismantling drug and weapons trafficking rings across the country.

Holdy now faces as many as 30 years in prison and $1.25 million in fines.

Bad Hombre Crackdown: Sessions Ramps War on Drug Traffickers

May 13, 2017

Bad Hombre Crackdown: Sessions Ramps War on Drug Traffickers, Breitbart, Ryan Saavedra, May 12, 2017

AFP

“We are returning to the enforcement of the laws as passed by Congress, plain and simple,” Sessions said. “If you are a drug trafficker, we will not look the other way, we will not be willfully blind to your misconduct.”

Sessions made clear that the criminals he is referring to are not low-level offenders but rather major players in America’s war on drugs.

“These are not low-level drug offenders we, in the federal courts, are focusing on,” Sessions said. “These are drug dealers, and you drug dealers are going to prison.”

Breitbart Texas reported on Thursday that the Department of Homeland Security had concluded a six-week nationwide crackdown on gangs which led to the arrests of over 1,000 confirmed gang members.

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United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions directed federal prosecutors to pursue the most severe penalties for defendants with the most serious and provable crimes.

Sessions instructed federal prosecutors to “charge and pursue the most serious, readily provable offense” in an eight-paragraph memorandum sent to more than 5,000 assistant U.S. attorneys across the country on Thursday.

In a speech on Friday, Sessions highlighted the rapidly increasing crime rates in U.S. cities and pointed to drugs as the main cause.

“The murder rate has surged 10 percent nationwide. The largest increase in murder since 1968 and we know that drugs and crime go hand-in-hand, they just do, the facts prove that so,” Sessions said. “Drug trafficking is an inherently dangerous and violent business. If you want to collect a drug debt, you can’t file a lawsuit in court. You collect it with the barrel of a gun.”

The memo sent by Sessions also rescinded the policies of former attorney general Eric Holder Jr., effectively immediately.

“We are returning to the enforcement of the laws as passed by Congress, plain and simple,” Sessions said. “If you are a drug trafficker, we will not look the other way, we will not be willfully blind to your misconduct.”

Sessions made clear that the criminals he is referring to are not low-level offenders but rather major players in America’s war on drugs.

“These are not low-level drug offenders we, in the federal courts, are focusing on,” Sessions said. “These are drug dealers, and you drug dealers are going to prison.”

Sessions said that under the Trump Administration, the Department of Justice (DOJ) would stand behind law enforcement agencies across the U.S.

“We will do all that we can to keep you safe and promote public support for honorable officers in your dangerous work,” Sessions said.

Sessions encouraged all Americans to find a way to show their gratitude for law enforcement as he pointed out that those working in the field do so to help keep America safe.

“Bring a home cooked meal to your local precinct. Go to a national memorial service or simply shake the hand of a police officer and say thank you for your service,” Sessions said.

The move by Sessions against drug traffickers comes after he announced on April 28 that the DOJ was going to start targeting the notoriously violent MS-13 street gang, Breitbart Texas reported.

Results can already be seen across the country as federal agencies look to rid America’s streets of crime.

Breitbart Texas reported on Thursday that the Department of Homeland Security had concluded a six-week nationwide crackdown on gangs which led to the arrests of over 1,000 confirmed gang members.