Attorney General Bill Barr’s statements today on supposed “spying” by the FBI on the Trump campaign before the Senate Committee on Appropriations were indefensible. They were at once indecipherable and contentless, on the one hand, and incendiary, on the other hand.
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Ranking Member of the House Committee on the Judiciary Doug Collins (R-Ga.) released the transcript of House Judiciary and Oversight committees' interviews with former FBI General Counsel Jim Baker from October 3 and October 18, 2018. The full transcripts are available below.
Part One (October 3)
McKeever v. Barr, a ruling issued by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit on April 5, rejects the argument that federal judges can release grand jury evidence whenever they think it’s in the public interest. The holding may be bad news for those in Congress who want to see such evidence from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report.
On April 5, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled in McKeever v. Barr, a case concerning the court’s power to release material protected under grand jury secrecy. Its opinion, which holds that a district court lacks inherent authority to disclose the grand jury records, may make it more difficult for those who have called upon Attorney General William Barr to release Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report to obtain its full and unredacted findings.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has ruled in McKeever v. Barr, a case concerning whether federal courts have the inherent authority to release grand jury information protected under Rule 6(e) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. A divided panel found that courts do not have this inherent power, with Judge Sri Srinivasan dissenting. The decision is available in full here and below.
The official position of the Department of Justice—according to a legal brief filed in February—is that association with a terrorism charge is so stigmatizing that defendants should not be publicly identified, even after conviction. Doing so would lead to “harassment, embarrassment, barriers to reintegration and renewed public attention.” It might even expose defendants to “the potential for violence or renewed contact” by extremist groups “plotting future terrorist attacks or intimidating witnesses.”
On April 3, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of New York charged Thomas Alonzo Bolin with making false statements about his possession of firearms to FBI agents in the course of an investigation into possible violations of federal civil rights and firearms laws.
At 11:00 a.m. on March 1, 1974, lawyers and reporters gathered in Judge John Sirica’s courtroom in Washington. The Watergate special prosecutor’s office had issued its usual bland announcement: A “proceeding” would take place. In court, Special Prosecutor Leon Jaworski said that the grand jury had materials to submit to the judge: an indictment and a sealed report. The grand jury foreman, a Library of Congress trade analyst named Vladimir Pregelj, handed Judge Sirica two sealed envelopes.
According to a criminal complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, Secret Service agents at President Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida arrested a woman who allegedly attempted to enter the resort carrying two Chinese passports along with four cell phones, a laptop, an external hard drive and a thumb drive containing malware. The woman, identified as Yujing Zhang, was charged with making false statements and trespassing.
On March 24, Attorney General William Barr sent a letter to Congress that summarized the “principal conclusions” of the report filed the previous week by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.