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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "fox-news/news-events/russia-investigation"

DOJ outlines slew of Strzok ‘security violations,’ says wife learned of affair through unsecured phone

The Department of Justice released documents Monday outlining a slew of what it called “unprofessional conduct” and overt “security violations” committed by anti-Trump ex-FBI agent Peter Strzok — including his alleged practice of keeping sensitive FBI documents on his unsecured personal electronic devices, even as his wife gained access to his cell phone and discovered evidence that he was having an affair with former FBI attorney Lisa Page.

The DOJ was seeking to dismiss Strzok’s lawsuit claiming he was unfairly fired from the FBI and deserves to be reinstated. In its filing, the DOJ included an August 2018 letter to Strzok from the FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR), which found that Strzok had engaged in a “dereliction of supervisory responsibility” by failing to investigate the potentially classified Hillary Clinton emails that had turned up on an unsecured laptop belonging to Anthony Weiner as the 2016 election approached.

The situation became so dire, OPR said, that a case agent in New York told federal prosecutors there that he was “scared” and “paranoid” that “somebody was not acting appropriately” and that “somebody was trying to bury this.”

FBI BLAMES SYSTEM-WIDE SOFTWARE FAILURE FOR MISSING STRZOK TEXTS — PHONE FROM MUELLER DAYS TOTALLY WIPED

The New York prosecutors then immediately relayed their concerns to the DOJ, effectively going over Strzok’s head — and leading, eventually, to then-FBI Director James Comey’s fateful announcement just prior to Election Day that emails possibly related to the Clinton probe had been located on Weiner’s laptop.

Additionally, DOJ and OPR noted that although Strzok claimed to have “double deleted” sensitive FBI materials from his personal devices, his wife nonetheless apparently found evidence of his affair on his cell phone — including photographs and a hotel reservation “ostensibly” used for a “romantic encounter.” Strzok didn’t consent to turning over the devices for review, according to OPR, even as he acknowledged using Apple’s iMessage service for some FBI work.

“[My wife] has my phone. Read an angry note I wrote but didn’t send you. That is her calling from my phone. She says she wants to talk to [you]. Said we were close friends nothing more,” one of Strzok’s text to Page read, according to the filing.

Westlake Legal Group Lisa-Page-AP DOJ outlines slew of Strzok 'security violations,' says wife learned of affair through unsecured phone Gregg Re fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/news-events/russia-investigation fox news fnc/politics fnc Edmund DeMarche article 0a8afc1e-0b8d-5468-bf16-6d77a7f23aaa

Former FBI lawyer Lisa Page leaves the Rayburn House Office Building after a closed doors interview with the House Judiciary and House Oversight and Government Reform committees, Friday, July 13, 2018, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

“Your wife left me a vm [voicemail]. Am I supposed to respond? She thinks we’re having an affair. Should I call and correct her understanding? Leave this to you to address?” Page responded.

Strzok then wrote, “I don’t know. I said we were [] close friends and nothing more. She knows I sent you flowers, I said you were having a tough week.”

Strzok’s wife allegedly threatened to send Page’s husband some of the photographs from Strzok’s phone.

OPR and the DOJ also included a slew of Strzok and Page’s anti-Trump text messages, which came as Strzok was overseeing the Clinton email investigation.

An after-hours email sent to Aitan Goelman, a partner with Zuckerman Spaeder LLP and one of Strzok’s lawyers, was not immediately returned.

WATCH REP. GOHMERT UNLOAD ON ‘SMIRKING’ STRZOK: ‘HOW MANY TIMES DID YOU LOOK SO INNOCENT INTO YOUR WIFE’S EYES AND LIE TO HER?’

Strzok, a veteran counterintelligence agent who led FBI investigations into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server and ties between the Trump campaign and Russia, was removed from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team after his anti-Trump texts with Page came to light. He was fired from the FBI last August.

The motion claimed that Strzok cannot succeed on any of his claims. The document said his key role within the agency on some of its highest-profile investigations “imposed on him a higher burden of caution with respect to his speech.”

Strzok, who joined the FBI in 1998 and rose to deputy assistant director of the agency’s counterintelligence division, exchanged over 40,000 text messages on government-issued phones from August 2015 through May 2018, the motion said. One of the messages called then-candidate Trump a “disaster” and suggested that”[w]e’ll stop” him.

Republicans interpreted the text as Strzok saying that he would work to prevent Trump from being elected, but his lawsuit says the message was actually meant to reassure Page, with whom he was having an affair, that the American people would not support a Trump candidacy.

“She knows I sent you flowers, I said you were having a tough week.”

— Text from Peter Strzok to Lisa Page, after Strzok’s wife uncovered evidence of apparent affair.

Trump seized on these messages and used Strzok as a favorite target during the Russia investigation. Trump identified these messages as proof that the investigators were biased in their investigation.

“It is because of those text messages, and the paramount importance of preserving the FBI’s ability to function as a trusted, nonpartisan institution, that Plaintiff was removed from his position, and not because of any alleged disagreement with Plaintiff’s viewpoints on political issues or Tweets from the President,” the motion claimed.

The motion—which identified Attorney General William Barr as the defendant– claimed that Strzok’s allegation that his due process rights were infringed upon would be soundly rejected due to his position on FBI’s Senior Executive Service at the time of his firing. The department also claimed that he was “given ample notice and opportunity to be heard.”

Goelman said at the time that Strzok filed the lawsuit said in a statement, “While many in law enforcement have faced attacks by this president, Pete Strzok has been a constant target for two years. It’s indisputable that his termination was a result of President Trump’s unrelenting retaliatory campaign of false information, attacks and direct appeals to top officials.”

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The lawsuit also says the Justice Department set out to smear Strzok’s reputation and humiliate him when it disclosed nearly 400 text messages he had sent or received.

Fox News’ Brooke Singman, Andrew O’Reilly and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6068743068001_6068740143001-vs DOJ outlines slew of Strzok 'security violations,' says wife learned of affair through unsecured phone Gregg Re fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/news-events/russia-investigation fox news fnc/politics fnc Edmund DeMarche article 0a8afc1e-0b8d-5468-bf16-6d77a7f23aaa   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6068743068001_6068740143001-vs DOJ outlines slew of Strzok 'security violations,' says wife learned of affair through unsecured phone Gregg Re fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/news-events/russia-investigation fox news fnc/politics fnc Edmund DeMarche article 0a8afc1e-0b8d-5468-bf16-6d77a7f23aaa

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Ratcliffe on IG report: Doesn’t take 500 pages to say everything was done right

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6067489990001_6067492566001-vs Ratcliffe on IG report: Doesn't take 500 pages to say everything was done right fox-news/us/congress fox-news/tech/topics/fbi fox-news/news-events/russia-investigation fox news fnc/politics fnc article Andrew O'Reilly 609e8bf3-c016-5cc0-933c-05bed3734498

Rep. John Ratcliffe, R-Texas, said on Sunday that he believes the upcoming Inspector General report on the counterintelligence investigation into Russia and the Trump campaign is going to be damning evidence of wrongdoing by FBI and Justice Department officials and could lead to a full-fledged criminal investigation.

“It doesn’t take 500 pages to tell the inspector general that everything was done properly,” Ratcliffe said during an interview on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures.” “The IG report is going to find that there were problems.”

For more than a year and a half, Inspector General Michael Horowitz has been investigating alleged misconduct related to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, warrants delivered by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC). The Justice Department and FBI obtained warrants in 2016 to surveil Trump adviser Carter Page. It is unclear, at this point, if Page was the only Trump official that the DOJ obtained a FISA warrant against.

DISPUTE ERUPTS AS BRENNAN, COMEY APPEAR TO DISPUTE WHO PUSHED THE STEELE DOSSIER

That highly anticipated report will likely spark new congressional investigations and deliver critical information to other federal reviews probing allegations of abuse by the Justice Department and the FBI.

Horowitz submitted in September a draft of his report to Attorney General Bill Barr, who was reviewing the document — fueling the belief that the public release was coming soon.

President Trump — who has the authority to declassify and release as much of the report as he wants — has been hyping its forthcoming release. “The IG report is going to come out soon, and we’ll see what happens,” the president told reporters last week, adding he’s “waiting for the report like everybody else.”

“But I predict you will see things that you don’t even believe, the level of corruption — whether it’s [James] Comey; whether it’s [Peter] Strzok and his lover [Lisa] Page; whether it’s so many other people — [Andrew] McCabe; whether it’s President Obama himself,” Trump charged.

He added: “Let’s see whether or not it’s President Obama. Let’s see whether or not they put that in.”

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Horowitz has been probing how the infamous and salacious anti-Trump dossier compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele was used to secure the original FISA warrant for Page in October 2016, as well as three renewals.

Horowitz also has looked into why the FBI may have regarded Steele – funded by the Hillary Clinton campaign through law firm Perkins Coie – a credible source, and why the bureau used news reports to bolster Steele’s credibility before the FISA court.

The attorney general has also appointed U.S. Attorney from Connecticut John Durham to take on the probe to investigate possible misconduct by the intelligence community at the origins of the Russia investigation. Durham, who is known as a “hard-charging bulldog” prosecutor, was asked to help Barr “ensure that intelligence collection activities by the U.S. government related to the Trump 2016 presidential campaign were lawful and appropriate.” Durham also is probing whether Democrats were the ones who had improperly colluded with foreign actors.

Fox News’ Brooke Singman contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6067489990001_6067492566001-vs Ratcliffe on IG report: Doesn't take 500 pages to say everything was done right fox-news/us/congress fox-news/tech/topics/fbi fox-news/news-events/russia-investigation fox news fnc/politics fnc article Andrew O'Reilly 609e8bf3-c016-5cc0-933c-05bed3734498   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6067489990001_6067492566001-vs Ratcliffe on IG report: Doesn't take 500 pages to say everything was done right fox-news/us/congress fox-news/tech/topics/fbi fox-news/news-events/russia-investigation fox news fnc/politics fnc article Andrew O'Reilly 609e8bf3-c016-5cc0-933c-05bed3734498

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Trump defends keeping ‘leaker’ Schiff, Pelosi out of the loop on al-Baghdadi raid

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6098458793001_6098457924001-vs Trump defends keeping ‘leaker’ Schiff, Pelosi out of the loop on al-Baghdadi raid Ronn Blitzer fox-news/news-events/russia-investigation fox news fnc/politics fnc article 9568ed45-56f1-5732-8d42-a18d15716fea

President Trump on Monday defended his decision not to give Democratic congressional leaders advance notice of the raid that resulted in the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, saying once again that he was concerned the details would leak out.

When Trump first announced al-Baghdadi’s death Sunday morning, he said he decided not to tell officials including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi because he was afraid leaks could compromise the mission. Speaking to reporters Monday morning, he singled out House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., as the focus of those concerns.

TRUMP SAYS HE KEPT DETAILS OF ISIS OPERATION FROM PELOSI TO AVOID LEAKS

“The only thing is they were talking about why didn’t I give the information to Adam Schiff and his committee, and the answer is because I think Adam Schiff is the biggest leaker in Washington,” Trump said. “You know that, I know that, we all know that. I’ve watched Adam Schiff leak. He’s a corrupt politician. He’s a leaker like nobody has ever seen before.”

Trump, meanwhile, also indicated Monday that he may release some video footage of the raid, which he described in great detail a day earlier.

“We’re thinking about it. … We may take certain parts of it and release it, yes,” Trump said.

Trump went on to blast Schiff for his handling of the impeachment investigation, including when he recited an embellished version of Trump’s July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, which Schiff later described as “parody.” Trump accused Schiff of committing a “criminal act” by putting the inaccurate version of the call on the record.

Trump’s decision not to notify senior members of Congress about the raid was controversial, even as he drew praise for overseeing the successful mission.

ISIS RAID CATCHES DEMS FLAT-FOOTED

“The House must be briefed on this raid, which the Russians but not top Congressional Leadership were notified of in advance, and on the Administration’s overall strategy in the region,” Pelosi said Sunday. “Our military and allies deserve strong, smart and strategic leadership from Washington.”

When asked Sunday if he had told Pelosi about the raid beforehand, he said he did not because he did not want any members of the U.S. forces to die.

“No, I didn’t. I didn’t do that. I wanted to make sure this kept secret,” Trump said. “I don’t want to have people lost.”

Vice President Pence downplayed Trump’s decision to keep Pelosi in the dark during an appearance on “Fox News Sunday” immediately following Trump’s address. The vice president claimed that Trump did not mean to say he did not trust the House speaker.

“I don’t think that was the implication at all,” Pence said. When pressed on the issue, the vice president said, “We maintain the tightest possible security here,” and focused on Trump’s goal, which was to bring al-Baghdadi to justice.

CLICK HERE FOR THE FOX NEWS APP

The president on Sunday described how U.S. forces including military dogs chased down al-Baghdadi in a tunnel in Syria, with the ISIS leader “whimpering and crying” before detonating a suicide vest, blowing up himself and three children.

“He died like a coward,” Trump said.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6098458793001_6098457924001-vs Trump defends keeping ‘leaker’ Schiff, Pelosi out of the loop on al-Baghdadi raid Ronn Blitzer fox-news/news-events/russia-investigation fox news fnc/politics fnc article 9568ed45-56f1-5732-8d42-a18d15716fea   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6098458793001_6098457924001-vs Trump defends keeping ‘leaker’ Schiff, Pelosi out of the loop on al-Baghdadi raid Ronn Blitzer fox-news/news-events/russia-investigation fox news fnc/politics fnc article 9568ed45-56f1-5732-8d42-a18d15716fea

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Comey confident Barr’s findings on him, Russia investigation will restore confidence in DOJ

Westlake Legal Group James-Comey-Reuters Comey confident Barr's findings on him, Russia investigation will restore confidence in DOJ Sam Dorman fox-news/tech/topics/fbi fox-news/politics/justice-department fox-news/person/william-barr fox-news/person/james-comey fox-news/news-events/russia-investigation fox news fnc/media fnc article 680fe561-1bbc-50f1-b40b-28070860a358

Former FBI Director James Comey called on the Justice Department to offer more transparency in the probe into the Russia investigation and indicated that the attorney general’s findings would show no wrongdoing on his and his team’s part.

“I’m not worried about a single thing in connection with any of the matters under investigation,” he said at Politicon on Saturday. “Gather the facts, write a report, and share it with the American people — please do that.”

Comey said transparency would help protect the integrity of the Justice Department.

“The way to protect that is [to] show the folks the facts; lay it out,” he said. “Don’t drip it out, don’t leak it out. Give it out. And I’m confident that when the American people see the picture of why we did what we did, their confidence in the institution will be maintained, restored and protected.”

His comments came amid news that U.S. Attorney John Durham’s probe has transitioned into a criminal investigation. Durham was chosen by Attorney General William Barr to look into the origins of the Russia investigation, which President Trump has called a “witch hunt.”

JAMES COMEY CHANGES MIND, SAYS CONGRESS MAY HAVE A ‘CONSTITUTIONAL DUTY’ TO IMPEACH TRUMP

Comey declined to make any definitive statements about the potential criminal inquiry, indicating that anonymous sources weren’t always reliable.

He also said Durham should try to be as transparent as possible to protect his reputation.

“John Durham is someone who has a strong professional reputation, someone I’ve for years thought was an excellent prosecutor,” Comey said. “I can’t tell what’s going on with the attorney general. I would hope that Mr. Durham will do everything possible to protect his reputation from being damaged by those in leadership, and the most important way he can do that is [to] give us transparency.”

More from Media

In his report on the Russia investigation, former Special Counsel Robert Mueller was unable to conclude that Trump either conspired with the Russians or should be prosecuted for obstruction of justice.

Comey speculated, however, that Mueller thought his report would result in an impeachment inquiry — something Comey said was a congressional duty after details surfaced on Trump’s July 25 call with Ukraine.

He said he didn’t understand how members of Congress could avoid the impeachment inquiry and still think they were fulfilling their oath of office.

MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace, who was moderating the event on Saturday, asked Comey whether he thought the transcript of Trump’s call was enough to impeach him.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Comey said it could be, but acknowledged that he wasn’t privy to all the information that might lead to an accurate accusation.

The former FBI director also praised Mueller but argued that he should have been more transparent with the American people rather than initially give his report to Barr.

Westlake Legal Group James-Comey-Reuters Comey confident Barr's findings on him, Russia investigation will restore confidence in DOJ Sam Dorman fox-news/tech/topics/fbi fox-news/politics/justice-department fox-news/person/william-barr fox-news/person/james-comey fox-news/news-events/russia-investigation fox news fnc/media fnc article 680fe561-1bbc-50f1-b40b-28070860a358   Westlake Legal Group James-Comey-Reuters Comey confident Barr's findings on him, Russia investigation will restore confidence in DOJ Sam Dorman fox-news/tech/topics/fbi fox-news/politics/justice-department fox-news/person/william-barr fox-news/person/james-comey fox-news/news-events/russia-investigation fox news fnc/media fnc article 680fe561-1bbc-50f1-b40b-28070860a358

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Michael Flynn’s claim against FBI is ‘chilling’, says former U.S. Attorney Brett Tolman

Westlake Legal Group brett-time-code Michael Flynn's claim against FBI is 'chilling', says former U.S. Attorney Brett Tolman Julia Musto fox-news/tech/topics/fbi fox-news/shows/fox-friends-weekend fox-news/politics/justice-department fox-news/news-events/russia-investigation fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc article 42b121b9-f52d-5644-b851-d9ef830dad8d

A defense claim that FBI agents manipulated official records, leading to Michael Flynn being charged with lying to investigators, is “chilling,” former Utah U.S. Attorney Brett Tolman said Saturday.

The former national security adviser’s legal team filed an explosive motion Thursday, alleging that FBI agents manipulated records of Flynn’s 2017 interview.

This comes as U.S. Attorney John Durham’s ongoing probe into potential FBI and Justice Department misconduct in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election has transitioned into a full-fledged criminal investigation.

FLYNN LAWYER WANTS PROSECUTORS TO TURN OVER CELLPHONES FROM MYSTERIOUS PROFESSOR LINKED TO RUSSIA PROBE

Appearing on “Fox & Friends: Weekend,” Tolman told host Ed Henry that what’s interesting about Flynn’s conviction is that the government “has to prove that it was knowingly and willfully a misrepresentation by Flynn.”

“So, now what you have are allegations that may suggest this couldn’t have been knowingly and it couldn’t have been willfully if it was staged or if there was manipulation,” Tolman said.

“How was it willful if he thinks he’s having a conversation that is not an interview with a federal agency?” he asked.

DOJ CLASHES WITH FLYNN LAWYERS OVER BID TO OUST PROSECUTORS AND DISMISS CASE

Whether the combative filings will persuade the court in a case where Flynn has already pleaded guilty remains to be seen.

Prosecutors have rejected claims they’re hiding evidence, saying “the government has exceeded its discovery and disclosure obligations in this matter,” including by providing Flynn with thousands of pages of documents.

Federal prosecutors earlier this month called the defense filings a “fishing expedition.”

However, Flynn’s lawyer Sidney Powell is hammering the FBI and DOJ over media leaks and referenced a purported conversation between former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and Washington Post reporter David Ignatius, claiming Clapper told the reporter “words to the effect of ‘take the kill shot on Flynn,’” after he reportedly obtained the transcript of Flynn’s phone calls.

A spokesman for Clapper disputed that report, telling Fox News that he “absolutely did not say those words to David Ignatius.”

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Tolman told Henry: “It’s chilling, and it should give us concern whether we’re Democrat or Republican in this country, that those with the most powerful tools we grant our investigators or our agencies, that you may have operatives or intelligence community working with the FBI to come up with and to conspire to take down either a sitting president or those in his campaign.”

“To do that, with the laws that we have, should concern all of us,” Tolman said.

“We, as a country, want to know that those who have that kind of power are not above the law and we can investigate them as much as any ordinary citizen,” he added.

Fox News’ Brooke Singman contributed to this report. 

Westlake Legal Group brett-time-code Michael Flynn's claim against FBI is 'chilling', says former U.S. Attorney Brett Tolman Julia Musto fox-news/tech/topics/fbi fox-news/shows/fox-friends-weekend fox-news/politics/justice-department fox-news/news-events/russia-investigation fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc article 42b121b9-f52d-5644-b851-d9ef830dad8d   Westlake Legal Group brett-time-code Michael Flynn's claim against FBI is 'chilling', says former U.S. Attorney Brett Tolman Julia Musto fox-news/tech/topics/fbi fox-news/shows/fox-friends-weekend fox-news/politics/justice-department fox-news/news-events/russia-investigation fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc article 42b121b9-f52d-5644-b851-d9ef830dad8d

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Maria Butina arrives in Moscow after Florida prison release, deportation

Maria Butina, who was convicted in the United States after admitting to working as a Russian agent, arrived back in Moscow on Saturday after being released from a Florida prison on Friday, Russia’s foreign ministry said.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials took custody of Butina on Friday morning in order to facilitate her immediate deportation after she was released a facility in Tallahassee, Fla., where she served most of her 18-month sentence.

RUSSIA’S MARIA BUTINA RELEASED FROM FLORIDA PRISON, SET TO BE DEPORTED

The 30-year-old Russia citizen pleaded guilty last December to conspiring to act as an unregistered agent for Russia. Under U.S. federal law, the Justice Department requires the registration of lobbyists and others in the U.S. who do the bidding of foreign governments.

Westlake Legal Group AP19298540623260 Maria Butina arrives in Moscow after Florida prison release, deportation fox-news/news-events/russia-investigation fox news fnc/us fnc Danielle Wallace b81735a5-6c38-527c-9ede-99784d3fecaa article

Maria Butina, the Russian gun rights activist who admitted to being a secret agent for the Kremlin, is seen Aug. 17, 2018. (Alexandria Detention Center via AP)

Butina, a former graduate student at American University, admitted she and former Russian lawmaker Alexander Torshin worked to leverage contacts in the National Rifle Association (NRA) to gather information for the Kremlin about American conservative politics during the 2016 presidential election, when President Trump defeated Hillary Clinton.

Her lawyers said Friday that she was not a spy and that the case had nothing to do with espionage or election interference.

“As the government acknowledged, all of her activity in the United States was, in and of itself, legal but for her failure to file a notice with the Attorney General, an obligation prosecutors acknowledged she was unaware of,” her attorneys, Robert Driscoll and Alfred Carry, said in a statement. “For violating this notice requirement, she pleaded guilty and was sentenced.”

Prosecutors last year claimed Butina used her contacts in the NRA and the National Prayer Breakfast to develop relationships with U.S. politicians to gather such insights. Butina has contended that she was not a spy and that her actions took place out in the open. Her lawyers have said that she was simply a student interested in American politics and better U.S.-Russian relations.

Her case captivated public attention because it unfolded around the same time as former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation, even though the two probes were entirely separate. It also led to scrutiny of the political dealings of the powerful NRA and underscored the variety of tools at Russia’s disposal as it looks to gain a foothold in American institutions.

A report last month from Sen. Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat, alleged that the NRA acted as a “foreign asset” for Russia in the run-up to the election, and that NRA insiders provided access to the American political system to advance personal business interests. The report said the NRA had “engaged in a yearslong effort to facilitate the U.S.-based activities of Butina and Alexander Torshin, the former lawmaker.

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The NRA called the report “politically motivated and contrived.”

“I love both countries, and I was building peace,” Butina said in an interview with NPR last spring. In the same interview, she said she knew that Torshin was providing the information she gathered to Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She said that she was honored to help and believed that her notes and analysis would be valuable to Russian officials.

Butina also said in the NPR interview that has no concerns about returning to Russia because people who know her “know as a matter of fact that I am not a spy nor do I have any secret information.”

“I don’t think I have any problems or I could have any concerns about my safety,” she said. “I don’t see that happening.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group AP19298540623260 Maria Butina arrives in Moscow after Florida prison release, deportation fox-news/news-events/russia-investigation fox news fnc/us fnc Danielle Wallace b81735a5-6c38-527c-9ede-99784d3fecaa article   Westlake Legal Group AP19298540623260 Maria Butina arrives in Moscow after Florida prison release, deportation fox-news/news-events/russia-investigation fox news fnc/us fnc Danielle Wallace b81735a5-6c38-527c-9ede-99784d3fecaa article

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Ex-intel bosses Brennan, Clapper may become trial witnesses in ‘origins’ probe, Andrew McCarthy says

Westlake Legal Group ANDY-CROP- Ex-intel bosses Brennan, Clapper may become trial witnesses in 'origins' probe, Andrew McCarthy says Victor Garcia fox-news/shows/tucker-carlson-tonight fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/news-events/russia-investigation fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc de1e47a3-893a-5a16-950d-d8321198f048 article

Former Assistant U.S. Attorney Andy McCarthy reacted Friday to the latest news that U.S. Attorney John Durham’s ongoing review into the origins of the Russia investigation has transitioned into a full-fledged criminal probe.

McCarthy — author of “Ball of Collusion” — appeared on “Tucker Carlson Tonight” and told guest host Mark Steyn that it’s possible former CIA Director John Brennan and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper may become trial witnesses.

GOP REVEALS NEVER-BEFORE-SEEN STRZOK TEXTS DISCUSSING ‘CRESCENDO OF LEAKS’

“I think you might see them as his trial witnesses if there ever ends up being a trial here,” McCarthy said. “Let’s not forget, Mark, they were called as witnesses by Congress in various proceedings that were relevant to this.

“And in fact, a lot of what I quote from Brennan in the book comes from his own testimony. This is not like, you know, ‘Andy figures out what the CIA was up to.’ We had this guy in, testifying. And he also, you know, whatever. What he didn’t say in his testimony, he said on MSNBC. So, you know, I would think that they’re very relevant witnesses.”

Fox News reported Tuesday that Durham’s probe had expanded significantly based on new evidence uncovered during a recent trip to Rome with Attorney General Bill Barr.

Steyn asked McCarthy if it’s likely the CIA is “on the hook” for the alleged misconduct.

“I think that when you look at this as the full continuum of the investigation, the FBI and the Justice Department are almost late to the party. This actually, I think, started as strands of foreign intelligence that came into the government through the CIA and that ended up with the bureau because the CIA acted as kind of a clearinghouse for it,” McCarthy said.

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“We coordinate with the foreign intelligence and the foreign government in those places. So there was a lot of foreign activity here,” McCarthy added. “That’s where I think the real collusion was.”

Fox News’ Brooke Singman, Gregg Re and Ed Henry contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group ANDY-CROP- Ex-intel bosses Brennan, Clapper may become trial witnesses in 'origins' probe, Andrew McCarthy says Victor Garcia fox-news/shows/tucker-carlson-tonight fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/news-events/russia-investigation fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc de1e47a3-893a-5a16-950d-d8321198f048 article   Westlake Legal Group ANDY-CROP- Ex-intel bosses Brennan, Clapper may become trial witnesses in 'origins' probe, Andrew McCarthy says Victor Garcia fox-news/shows/tucker-carlson-tonight fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/news-events/russia-investigation fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc de1e47a3-893a-5a16-950d-d8321198f048 article

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MSNBC’s Chuck Todd dismisses Durham’s criminal probe into DOJ as ‘largely’ based on Trump’s ‘conspiracy theories’

Westlake Legal Group Chuck-Todd MSNBC's Chuck Todd dismisses Durham's criminal probe into DOJ as 'largely' based on Trump's 'conspiracy theories' Joseph Wulfsohn fox-news/politics/justice-department fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/news-events/russia-investigation fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article 5ae404d8-fa30-5e7f-945c-9488f08699f2

MSNBC anchor Chuck Todd opened his show Friday by dismissing the latest developments in U.S. Attorney John Durham’s criminal probe into the origins of the Russia investigation as something that is “largely” based on President Trump‘s “personal grievances and conspiracy theories.”

It was confirmed Thursday night that Durham’s ongoing investigation into possible wrongdoing by the Department of Justice had shifted into a criminal inquiry. Durham was appointed to investigate the Russia probe origins by Attorney General William Barr.

The “Meet The Press” moderator suggested that Durham’s probe doesn’t actually involve criminal activity.

“Now we do not know when this criminal inquiry began and we do not know what actual crime is being investigated yet, but we do know that this is an inquiry the president has publicly demanded based largely, it seems, on some of the same personal grievances and conspiracy theories that have also fueled his interactions with Ukraine,” Todd told his viewers.

FLUSTERED RACHEL MADDOW DEFENDS RUSSIA INVESTIGATION AS DURHAM PROBE SHIFTS TO CRIMINAL INQUIRY 

He then shifted to what he described as the “biggest development.”

“[What] we are now looking at, perhaps by the president’s design, is a fog of political warfare involving him, his lawyer, his attorney general, the Justice Department and Congress,” Todd said. “You have the president and [his personal attorney Rudy] Giuliani who schemed to get Ukraine to dig up dirt on their political rivals, some of which would get filtered to Barr. You have an impeachment inquiry into that scheme that’s barrelling its way into Congress. You have the president now successfully getting Barr to criminally investigate the Justice Department via the origins of the Russia investigation. And you have the Justice Department scrutinizing Giuliani’s ties to Ukraine after they arrested two of his associates who are involved in the Ukraine matter.”

“Taken together, it’s a circular firing squad of chaos with Ukraine as the connective tissue for all of it,” Todd said.

The anchor went on to suggest that the “current state of American democracy” is a “mess” and that the U.S. government “appears to be coming apart at the seams.”

On Thursday night, Todd’s MSNBC colleague Rachel Maddow appeared visibly flustered while reporting the breaking news on Durham’s investigation.

“This is the news that honestly, we’ve been sort of expecting for some time or thinking that if things got really bad, it might come to this,” Maddow told her viewers. “As of tonight, according to The New York Times, it has come to this.”

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The liberal opinion host also dismissed Durham’s investigation, criticizing what she described as a “frame job” and a “false flag operation” of the Trump campaign.

“That is the conspiracy theory that the attorney general of the United States appears to have been going around the world trying to prove,” Maddow said, later calling Durham’s probe “embarrassing.”

Westlake Legal Group Chuck-Todd MSNBC's Chuck Todd dismisses Durham's criminal probe into DOJ as 'largely' based on Trump's 'conspiracy theories' Joseph Wulfsohn fox-news/politics/justice-department fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/news-events/russia-investigation fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article 5ae404d8-fa30-5e7f-945c-9488f08699f2   Westlake Legal Group Chuck-Todd MSNBC's Chuck Todd dismisses Durham's criminal probe into DOJ as 'largely' based on Trump's 'conspiracy theories' Joseph Wulfsohn fox-news/politics/justice-department fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/news-events/russia-investigation fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article 5ae404d8-fa30-5e7f-945c-9488f08699f2

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Federal judge rules congressional Democrats can have access to Mueller grand jury material

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6093270587001_6093271491001-vs Federal judge rules congressional Democrats can have access to Mueller grand jury material fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/judiciary/federal-courts fox-news/news-events/russia-investigation fox news fnc/politics fnc e6b3a6a7-6b13-50d3-8a59-20541ade80e9 article Alex Pappas

A federal judge ruled Friday that the Democratic-led House Judiciary Committee can have access to redacted grand jury material from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe.

The judge in the case, U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell, gave the Justice Department until Oct. 30 to turn over the redacted portions of the grand jury material sought by the committee.

The Trump administration will likely appeal this ruling — including a request for a stay — to the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit.

The ruling is a key win for Democrats as the House Judiciary Committee begins to tackle articles of impeachment against President Trump.

Mueller found no evidence that Trump conspired with Russia in the 2016 election, but did not come to a finding on whether the president obstructed justice.

Even though the Mueller probe is separate from what the House Intelligence Committee is separately probing in relation to the president’s actions toward Ukraine, potential information in the Mueller grand jury documents could also help the committee craft articles of impeachment – specifically an article dealing with obstruction of Congress.

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Democrats had requested that the department provide the material, which was redacted from Mueller’s report, as part of their ongoing impeachment inquiry against Trump.

Justice Department lawyers argued at a hearing earlier this month that House Democrats already had sufficient evidence from Mueller’s investigation, including copies of summaries of FBI witness interviews.

Fox News’ Bill Mears, Chad Pergram and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6093270587001_6093271491001-vs Federal judge rules congressional Democrats can have access to Mueller grand jury material fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/judiciary/federal-courts fox-news/news-events/russia-investigation fox news fnc/politics fnc e6b3a6a7-6b13-50d3-8a59-20541ade80e9 article Alex Pappas   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6093270587001_6093271491001-vs Federal judge rules congressional Democrats can have access to Mueller grand jury material fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/judiciary/federal-courts fox-news/news-events/russia-investigation fox news fnc/politics fnc e6b3a6a7-6b13-50d3-8a59-20541ade80e9 article Alex Pappas

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Chris Wallace on dueling investigations: ‘Let it all come out’

Westlake Legal Group WALLACE-COPY Chris Wallace on dueling investigations: 'Let it all come out' Julia Musto fox-news/shows/americas-newsroom fox-news/person/robert-mueller fox-news/news-events/russia-investigation fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc c373ca3f-8431-5a0f-9f64-9103e2063aae article

Investigators examining the origins of the Russia investigation should “let it all come out and pursue the truth,” said Chris Wallace, the host of “Fox News Sunday.”

U.S. Attorney John Durham’s ongoing probe into potential FBI and Justice Department (DOJ) misconduct in the Russia investigation has transitioned into a full-fledged criminal investigation.

What prompted the change is unclear, but a source told Fox News that DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s upcoming report on alleged FBI surveillance abuses against the Trump campaign will shed light on why the probe has shifted to a criminal inquiry.

Horowitz announced on Thursday that his report would be available to the public soon, with “few” redactions.

MICHAEL HOROWITZ: FINALIZING OF FISA PROBE REPORT ‘NEARING COMPLETION’

Fox News reported on Tuesday that Durham’s probe had expanded significantly based on new evidence uncovered during a recent trip to Rome with Attorney General William Barr.

Appearing Friday on “America’s Newsroom” with anchor Sandra Smith, Wallace said that “something obviously came up.”

According to Wallace, the investigation’s “new status” means that “they can impanel a grand jury and bring people up to testify before the grand jury. They can subpoena people and, yes, they can bring criminal charges.”

He said that it “obviously puts [the investigation] on a new footing.”

The investigation’s new status means Durham can subpoena witnesses, file charges, and impanel fact-finding grand juries.

Meanwhile, Democrats are hammering the move.

House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff released a statement saying that the reports, “raise profound new concerns that the Department of Justice under Attorney General William Barr has lost its independence and become a vehicle for President Trump’s political revenge. If the Department of Justice may be used as a tool of political retribution, or to help the President with a political narrative for the next election, the rule of law will suffer new and irreparable damage.”

The Judiciary Committee’s ranking member, Rep. Doug Collins, responded via Twitter: “If Durham finds crimes were committed, I’m confident he’ll pursue justice and help restore America’s confidence in our premier law enforcement agency. Chairman Nadler is wrong to suggest this investigation is anything less than an effort to deliver truth and accountability.”

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“And, if you’re one of the people that were involved in the Trump Russia investigation in 2016 — whether it’s James Comey or Andrew McCabe or Strzok or Page or all of those people — they now face the greater possibility, not the certainty, but the possibility of legal jeopardy,” Wallace told Smith.

“I have to laugh because you see the Republicans attacking the Democrats for the impeachment investigation, and now you see the Democrats attacking the Republicans for this investigation,” he noted.

Fox News’ Gregg Re, Jake Gibson, and Ed Henry contributed to this report. 

Westlake Legal Group WALLACE-COPY Chris Wallace on dueling investigations: 'Let it all come out' Julia Musto fox-news/shows/americas-newsroom fox-news/person/robert-mueller fox-news/news-events/russia-investigation fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc c373ca3f-8431-5a0f-9f64-9103e2063aae article   Westlake Legal Group WALLACE-COPY Chris Wallace on dueling investigations: 'Let it all come out' Julia Musto fox-news/shows/americas-newsroom fox-news/person/robert-mueller fox-news/news-events/russia-investigation fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc c373ca3f-8431-5a0f-9f64-9103e2063aae article

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