Category Archives: FBI

'Nunes memo' published after Trump declassifies controversial document

Trump has allowed the release of the memo, which Democrats say is a crude attempt to undermine Mueller’s Trump-Russia investigation

Republicans on Friday released a controversial memo that alleges an abuse of power by the FBI in its investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, after Donald Trump declassified the document and accused top officials of bias.

The House intelligence committee chairman, Devin Nunes, published the memo minutes after the president’s approval, despite a warning from the Department of Justice that it would be a “reckless” act. Democrats have portrayed the memo as a crude attempt to undermine the credibility of the Robert Mueller investigation into possible collusion between the Kremlin and members of the Trump campaign.

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Source: gad

Who is Devin Nunes and why is he sowing confusion in the Russia inquiry?

The congressman at center of the FBI memo storm has rushed forward to bolster Trump’s criticism of the FBI and justice department

One night in Washington last March, Devin Nunes received a call to head to the White House to see secret intelligence reports. Over the next week, he briefed the president, failed to keep his clandestine meeting a secret, spoke expansively – if confusingly – about classified information, and earned the ire and mockery of his colleagues in Congress.

Now Nunes is back. Confusion has followed.

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Source: gad

FBI has 'grave concerns' about Trump plan to release controversial memo

In statement attributable to FBI director – appointed by Trump – agency raises concerns about ‘material omissions of fact’ in document

The FBI said on Wednesday it had “grave concerns” about Donald Trump’s apparent intention to release a memo said to contain classified information about the bureau’s investigation into one of the president’s campaign aides.

After both Trump and the House speaker, Paul Ryan, made public statements supporting the so-called Nunes memo’s release, the fight over its fate took an extraordinary twist with the FBI’s highly unusual statement, which was ultimately attributable to the bureau director, Christopher Wray, Trump’s own appointee.

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Source: gad

The Guardian view on Trump’s State of the Union: platitudes, few plans and plenty of division | Editorial

Trump happily applauded his own address to Congress. The rest of us should not

Rituals are designed not merely to embody but preserve and perpetuate a community’s beliefs. One danger is that they are hollowed out, form superseding substance as people forget their meaning. This was the risk Thomas Jefferson identified when he abandoned the State of the Union address as disturbingly monarchical, and judged that the constitutional requirement to inform and make recommendations to Congress could be satisfied in writing. It was not until over a century later that Woodrow Wilson – pursuing a stronger, more forceful presidency, in part via publicity and press controls – would reinstate it. An event that theoretically focused on accountability became a moment of showmanship: ideal for Donald Trump, who through his years as developer, reality star and now president has projected an image, pocketed proceeds and indulging his whims, while those around him get on with their unsavoury business.

On Tuesday he basked in the limelight. He was applauded (including by himself) merely for being Teleprompter Trump, not Twitter Trump, as the shorthand has it: sticking to a speech that repeated all the platitudes expected of an American president. These occasions rarely prove memorable, let alone groundbreaking; but previous administrations have at least tried to set a course and send a clear message of priorities. Despite its length and grandiosity, the address was mostly self-congratulation, laying out little in the way of plans. The pro-forma calls for bipartisanship and unity, designed to make him more palatable to the wider public, were garnished with winks to his base. It was designed to provide only enough (very minimal) respectability to allow Republicans to continue pursuing their goals without having to oust him. It was a presidential speech in the sense of being “in the style of a president”, rather than in rising to the office. It was a speech that talked of “all of us, together” while furthering the cause of division with the comment that “Americans are dreamers too”; the attack on “disastrous Obamacare”; the announcement that “we have ended the war on clean coal”; the dig that “we proudly stand for the national anthem”.

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Source: gad

Second Trump-Russia dossier being assessed by FBI

Exclusive: memo written by former journalist Cody Shearer independently sets out some of the allegations made by ex-spy Christopher Steele

The FBI inquiry into alleged Russian collusion in the 2016 US presidential election has been given a second memo that independently set out some of the same allegations made in a dossier by Christopher Steele, the British former spy.

The second memo was written by Cody Shearer, a controversial political activist and former journalist who was close to the Clinton White House in the 1990s.

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Source: gad

FBI investigates whether Russia banker used NRA to fund Trump campaign – report

Banker with links to Putin faces questions over whether he funneled money through NRA, amid scrutiny over gun rights group’s Russia ties

The FBI is investigating whether a Russian banker with close ties to Vladimir Putin funneled money through the National Rifle Association to support Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, it was reported on Thursday.

Foreign contributions to American political campaigns are illegal.

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Source: gad

Steve Bannon to meet with Mueller’s investigators instead of testifying

Bannon is expected to be interviewed by prosecutors instead of testifying before a grand jury, after he received a subpoena

Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon will meet with special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigators, according to a person familiar with the decision.

Bannon is expected to be interviewed by prosecutors instead of testifying before a grand jury. He is expected to cooperate with the special counsel, said the person, who was not authorized to speak publicly about private conversations. It is unclear when the interview will occur.

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Source: gad