The ranking members of the House Oversight and Judiciary committees want to subpoena two of the data firms hired by President Donald Trump’s campaign team for documents related to their potential engagement with foreign actors like Russia and WikiLeaks during the election.
Reps. Elijah Cummings and Jerry Nadler sent a letter to Cambridge Analytica’s CEO Alexander Nix and Giles-Parscale cofounder Brad Parscale — who also served as the Trump campaign’s digital director — in October. The letter asked whether their firms received “information from a foreign government or foreign actor” at any point during the election.
The letter was also sent to the heads of Deep Root Analytics, TargetPoint Consulting, and The Data Trust, which were among the outfits hired by the Republican National Committee to bolster the Trump campaign’s data operation.
Whereas Deep Root, TargetPoint, and The Data Trust responded to the documents request, Cambridge Analytica did not. Parscale’s response, moreover, was insufficient, the Democrats said.
“As I made clear in the 60 Minutes interview cited in your letter, I share your concerns and would not want foreign governments meddling in our elections,” Parscale wrote, referring to his interview with CBS earlier this year about Russia’s election interference. “But as I stated in that same interview, I do not have any firsthand knowledge of foreign interference in the 2016 election.”
BREAKING: The following states are suing Trump's FCC in order to preserve #NetNeutrality
— Ed Krassenstein (@EdKrassen) December 14, 2017
If you’re lucky enough to live in one of these states, good! If you’re not, call your state attorney’s office and ask if they’re joining the lawsuit.
Today’s episode of House Oversight Committee Follies featured a concerted effort on the part of Republicans to make the case that Mueller is biased and should either be fired or another special prosecutor appointed to investigate him. This is thanks to the likes of Fox News’ “Judge” Jeanine Pirro (who has a grudge and a vested… Continue Reading →
So it turns out that Mike Cernovich, the same person who tried to get Sam Seder fired, is also connected to this manufactured smear against Chuck Schumer!
A story that had been teased out seductively on social media as being true abruptly sank into a fiery fake news wreck before ever reaching orbit on Tuesday. … in exchange for answers about what went haywire with the promised scoop. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s office told Newsweek that he was to have been the victim of the fake news story—one purporting … Continue Reading →
WASHINGTON — The Justice Department invited a group of reporters to its offices on Tuesday night to view private text messages that were sent during the election by Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, former investigators on special counsel Robert Mueller’s team, Business Insider has learned.
President Donald Trump’s allies have seized on the texts, which were critical of Trump, as evidence that special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation has been tainted. The texts were obtained as part of an investigation by the DOJ’s inspector general into how the FBI handled the probe into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s private email server last year.
Strzok, a veteran counterintelligence agent who was among those overseeing the Clinton investigation, was abruptly removed from Mueller’s Russia probe in late July and relegated to the human resources department. Page left Mueller’s team over the summer for unrelated reasons.
It is “highly unusual” for the DOJ to release correspondences that are the subject of an ongoing investigation to Congress, let alone to the press, a congressional committee source told Business Insider on Wednesday. The source emphasized that none of the leaks came from Capitol Hill, which obtained the texts from the DOJ separately on Tuesday.
“It’s appalling behavior by the Department,” said former DOJ spokesman Matthew Miller. “This is an ongoing investigation in which these employees have due process rights, and the political leadership at DOJ has thrown them to the wolves so Rosenstein can get credit from House Republicans at his hearing today.”
One source close to the process who requested anonymity to discuss internal DOJ deliberations said the texts were given to reporters in case they did not leak in time for Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s public hearing on Wednesday morning.
In the year since Donald Trump was elected president on a promise to “drain the swamp” of Washington’s corruption, Americans have become more, not less, convinced that Washington is corrupt, and that the White House is the most corrupt institution in U.S. government. Continue Reading →
NBC News reports this morning that Bob Mueller’s investigations seems focused on creating an accurate timeline of White House actions after they were informed of Flynn’s vulnerability to blackmail by Russia: The questions about what happened between Jan. 26 and Flynn’s firing on Feb. 13 appear to relate to possible obstruction of justice by President Donald… Continue Reading →
There are three avenues Mueller is exploring. Did the Trump team aid and abet the Russian efforts to hack and steal e-mails with an eye toward influencing with the U.S. presidential election? Did the president try to obstruct the investigation into those efforts? What was the nature of any financial arrangements Trump may have had with Russians linked to the Kremlin? Many of the Trump defenses seem to be unraveling.
U.S. intelligence agencies have reported “with high confidence” that the Russian government was behind break-ins to the email accounts of Democratic operatives during the 2016 presidential campaign as part of a campaign to “undermine public faith in the U.S. democratic process” and harm Hillary Clinton’s “electability and potential presidency.” In a January report, the agencies said that Russian President Vladimir Putin and his government “developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump.”
The question now is whether Trump or his team knew about this and facilitated the dissemination of the stolen material through WikiLeaks and other sources. The secrecy and contradictory accounts of their communications with Russian sources undercuts their repeated claims that their contacts were innocent.
By last week, Trump opponents were taking to public forums to talk about the evidence supporting an obstruction-of-justice case against Trump himself. That’s based on a chain of events involving Trump’s effort to pressure James Comey to drop the Russia probe and then firing him as director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation when he didn’t.
News organizations have also reported that Trump tried to influence other key officials to curtail investigations, including National Intelligence Director Dan Coats, National Security Agency director Admiral Mike Rogers and House Intelligence Committee chair Richard Burr. Coats and the others have avoided commenting directly on these accounts, which nevertheless appear to worry the White House enough to produce a claim last week by Trump’s personal lawyer, John Dowd, that a president can never be guilty of obstruction because he is the chief law-enforcement officer under the Constitution.
With Republican megadonors like Charles Koch, 82, and his brother David, 77, advancing in age, a top GOP senator from the Kochs’ home state has proposed a special tax break for moguls who bequeath their riches to so-called “dark money” groups that advocate for policies and bankroll lawmakers’ election ads. Continue Reading →