Michael Cohen: I’ll put my family before Trump  

President Trump’s longtime personal attorney, who in the past has steadfastly maintained that he would take a bullet for him, has just “told ABC News he will ‘put family and country,’ ahead of any loyalty to the president.”

From Politico:

Cohen also broke with the president on his criticism of Mueller’s investigation — which Trump has labeled a “witch hunt” — and on his overall criticism of the FBI and Justice Department. The president’s longtime attorney and fixer told Stephanopoulos that “I don’t like the term witch hunt” and that “I don’t agree with those who demonize or vilify the FBI.”

He also condemned Russia for its efforts aimed at interfering in the 2016 presidential election, steps that the U.S. intelligence community has said the Kremlin took with the intention of aiding Trump’s campaign and hindering that of Democrat Hillary Clinton. Cohen’s comments were a sharp departure from Trump, who has been hesitant to criticize Russia for its efforts and has spoken warmly of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has repeatedly denied to Trump that his nation was involved in the 2016 election at all.

“As an American, I repudiate Russia’s or any other foreign government’s attempt to interfere or meddle in our democratic process, and I would call on all Americans to do the same,” Cohen said. “Simply accepting the denial of Mr. Putin is unsustainable.”

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Here’s one unverified file the feds won’t leak: about Loretta Lynch  

From RealClearInvestigations:

The FBI had little problem leaking “unverified” dirt from Russian sources on Donald Trump and his campaign aides – and even basing FISA wiretaps on it. But according to the Justice Department’s inspector general, the bureau is refusing to allow even members of Congress with top security clearance to see intercepted material alleging political interference by President Obama’s attorney general, Loretta Lynch.

That material – which has been outlined in press reports – consists of unverified accounts intercepted from putative Russian sources in which the head of the Democratic National Committee allegedly implicates the Hillary Clinton campaign and Lynch in a secret deal to fix the Clinton email investigation.

“It is remarkable how this Justice Department is protecting the corruption of the Obama Justice Department,” said Tom Fitton, president of Washington-based watchdog Judicial Watch, which is suing for the material.

Lynch and Clinton officials as well as the DNC chairman at the time, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, have denied the allegations and characterized them as Russian disinformation.

True or false, the material is consequential because it appears to have influenced former FBI Director James B. Comey’s decision to break with bureau protocols because he didn’t trust Lynch. In his recent book, Comey said he took the reins in the Clinton email probe, announcing Clinton should not be indicted, because of a “development still unknown to the American public” that “cast serious doubt” on Lynch’s credibility – clearly the intercepted material.

If the material documents an authentic exchange between Lynch and a Clinton aide, it would appear to be strong evidence that the Obama administration put partisan political considerations ahead of its duty to enforce the law.

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Here’s one unverified file the feds won’t leak: About Loretta Lynch  

From Real Clear Investigations:

The FBI had little problem leaking “unverified” dirt from Russian sources on Donald Trump and his campaign aides – and even basing FISA wiretaps on it. But according to the Justice Department’s inspector general, the bureau is refusing to allow even members of Congress with top security clearance to see intercepted material alleging political interference by President Obama’s attorney general, Loretta Lynch.

That material – which has been outlined in press reports – consists of unverified accounts intercepted from putative Russian sources in which the head of the Democratic National Committee allegedly implicates the Hillary Clinton campaign and Lynch in a secret deal to fix the Clinton email investigation.

“It is remarkable how this Justice Department is protecting the corruption of the Obama Justice Department,” said Tom Fitton, president of Washington-based watchdog Judicial Watch, which is suing for the material.

Lynch and Clinton officials as well as the DNC chairman at the time, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, have denied the allegations and characterized them as Russian disinformation.

True or false, the material is consequential because it appears to have influenced former FBI Director James B. Comey’s decision to break with bureau protocols because he didn’t trust Lynch. In his recent book, Comey said he took the reins in the Clinton email probe, announcing Clinton should not be indicted, because of a “development still unknown to the American public” that “cast serious doubt” on Lynch’s credibility – clearly the intercepted material.

If the material documents an authentic exchange between Lynch and a Clinton aide, it would appear to be strong evidence that the Obama administration put partisan political considerations ahead of its duty to enforce the law.

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Garry Kasparov: Donald Trump has more Russian connections than Aeroflot

The chess champion slams Putin over his manipulation of American democracy.

From HuffPost:

Legendary chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov delivered a one-two punch Monday against Russian President Vladimir Putin — and Donald Trump — as he warned of the very serious threat to American democracy that the Kremlin “dictator” continues to pose to America.

“Trump has more Russian connections than Aeroflot,” Kasparov said, referring to the Russian airline in a speech Monday at the Common Good Forum in New York. “I believe in coincidences, but I also believe in the KGB.”

The Russian dissident and human rights activist also accused Trump on MSNBC Monday of “trying to divert” the investigation of Russian interference into the U.S. presidential election to “minor details.” Trump’s “attempts to move away from the core of this investigation into some foolish stories just demonstrates that he is quite desperate, and that he wants to control this process by tweeting and by shouting,” Kasparov added.

Trump’s new fury has been directed at his latest claim that the FBI planted a mole in his campaign, and he ordered the Justice Department to investigate. Last year, he claimed that the Obama administration had ordered the FBI to wiretap meetings in Trump Tower. There is no evidence that happened.

Kasparov suspects that serious secrets about Putin and Trump’s relationship have yet to emerge. It’s suspicious, said Kasparov, that while Trump is “not shy of criticizing anybody or anything, from NATO to Meryl Streep, [he] always refrains from saying one negative word about Vladimir Putin.”

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Holder: DOJ, FBI should reject Trump’s requests

Holder, who served as attorney general under former President Barack Obama from 2009-2015 — and has mooted the possibility of a 2020 presidential campaign — has often publicly criticized Trump.

From The Hill:

Former Attorney General Eric Holder on Monday urged Department of Justice (DOJ) and FBI officials to “simply say no” to President Trump’s demand for an expanded investigation into his claims of FBI wrongdoing as it relates to his campaign.

“More DOJ norms being eroded. Trump — a SUBJECT of the investigation — wants access to material related to the inquiry,” Holder tweeted.

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Trump’s Latest FBI Attack Stuns, Saddens Justice Dept. Officials: ‘We’re in Venezuela’

From the Daily Beast:

President Donald Trump’s latest round of attacks on the FBI has left morale at the Justice Department at a new low, with officials bemoaning what they view as a full-frontal assault on their institution.

“It’s a deliberate campaign to delegitimize institutions where the people who are inside those institutions are professionals and giving up lots of money for the jobs that they’re doing and it’s extremely demoralizing,” said one current federal prosecutor.

“As my father used to say, history goes forward and backward. And things go backward when the trust in bedrock institutions — which are trustworthy, by the way — is diminished for the benefit of a few. It accelerates, and you wake up one day and we’re in Venezuela.”

Trump has been pushing a conspiracy theory that the FBI sicced a spy on his campaign during the election season. In reality, a longtime FBI informant — per numerous reports — spoke with several Trump campaign officials, including Carter Page and George Papadopoulos, and shared the information with FBI investigators. The Daily Caller reported the name of the person believed to be that informant. […]

The attacks have left many in the DOJ feeling beleaguered and demoralized.

“Where I sit, people mostly suffer in silence,” one federal prosecutor told The Daily Beast. He pointed to a piece in the blog Lawfare by Ben Wittes and Quinta Jurecic as capturing “a feeling that’s broadly held” in the department. Wittes and Jurecic wrote that the revelation of the identity of the alleged informant “will have a long tail and big consequences — all of them terrible.”

“You can’t overstate how critical it is for us — and in particular for the FBI — that people who have information to share will trust us to protect them,” the prosecutor continued. “My personal view is that Trump and [House Intel Chair Devin] Nunes must know that their actions will give pause to anyone considering cooperation with the special counsel, and that’s part of their plan — the consequences for law enforcement writ large be damned.”

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US Department of Justice to probe Trump campaign infiltration

“The US Department of Justice will investigate whether FBI agents spied on President Donald Trump’s 2016 election campaign for inappropriate purposes.”

From BBC News:

In a tweet, Mr Trump said he wanted to know whether his predecessor’s administration ordered such a move.

The call comes after US media reports suggesting the FBI had an informant meeting campaign aides.

US Deputy Attorney-General Rod Rosenstein said action would be taken if any infiltration was found.

“If anyone did infiltrate or surveil participants in a presidential campaign for inappropriate purposes, we need to know about it and take appropriate action,” Mr Rosenstein said in a statement.

There is already an investigation into all aspects relating to Mr Trump’s campaign for the 2016 election and whether Russia tried to influence the outcome.

Mr Trump’s latest demand came amid a series of tweets on Sunday denouncing a “witch hunt” that, he said, had found no collusion by his campaign with Russia.

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