Tag Archives: attorney general

Rep. Nunes Aiming to Hold AG Sessions in Contempt for Ignoring Subpoena

Washington, D.C. – House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes, talking with Sunday on Fox and Friends, said he will “move quickly to hold the attorney general of the United States in contempt.”

After Nunes initially sent a letter to Sessions two weeks ago requesting classified information regarding counterintelligence investigations and FISA abuses, which he said was not acknowledged by the Department of Justice, Nunes followed up with a subpoena last week.

Nunes’ warning about holding Sessions in contempt comes in response to Attorney General Sessions’ refusal to comply with that subpoena.

On Thursday “we discovered that they are not going to comply with our subpoena,” he said. While the House intelligence chairman didn’t specify the exact information he was seeking from the DOJ, he called it “very important” information.

The official Justice Department letter refusing to comply with Nunes subpoena was shared with the Washington Examiner, and explained:

“After careful evaluation and following consultations with the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the White House, the Department has determined that, consistent with applicable law and longstanding Executive Branch policy, it is not in a position to provide information responsive to your request regarding a specific individual,” Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd wrote in the letter.

Holding an attorney general in contempt is not without precedent, as the Washington Examiner reported that Congress voted in 2012 to hold then-AG Eric Holder in contempt for “not complying with the investigation into the Obama administration’s Operation Fast and Furious, which included gun trafficking across the border.”

Nunes explained that holding Sessions in contempt is the cumulative result of repeatedly being stifled by the DOJ in procuring information and documentation relating to the House Intelligence Committee’s investigation into government surveillance relating to politicized FISA abuses in surveilling Trump campaign officials.

The California congressman said he’s not going to take any “excuse” that relates to alleged concerns about national security, asking “How many times have we heard this argument throughout this investigation?”

AG Nominee Loretta Lynch Opposes Legal Pot, Ducks Question on Drone Strikes on US Soil

On January 28, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York and attorney general nominee Loretta Lynch testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee as a part of her confirmation hearing. She has been tapped by President Obama to replace outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder. Though the Republican-controlled Senate has the power to confirm or deny her nomination, senators typically show extraordinary leniency in approving presidential appointees. Politico notes that Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) has threatened to block her nomination, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that the Senate will go forward with the vote to confirm Lynch. During her testimony, she gave answers that seemed to contradict the Obama administration’s positions on marijuana legalization and also dodged a question on whether the president has the power to carry out a lethal drone strike on American soil against a US citizen that poses no imminent threat.

Attorney General Eric Holder, who is set to step down as soon as his replacement has been confirmed by the Senate, has taken a decidedly hands-off approach to enforcing marijuana prohibition on states that have taken steps to legalize it for recreational or medical use. NPR notes that Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) asked attorney general nominee Loretta Lynch if she shares President Obama’s views on marijuana, characterizing his position with a quote from the President in which he said to the The New Yorker, “I smoked pot as a kid, and I view it as a bad habit and a vice, not very different from the cigarettes that I smoked as a young person up through a big chunk of my adult life. I don’t think it is more dangerous than alcohol.”

Lynch, a prosecutor, took a hardcore prohibitionist’s stance in contrast with President Obama and Eric Holder, signaling that she might crack down on pot as attorney general. Said Lynch, “Well, Senator, I certainly don’t hold that view, and don’t agree with that view of marijuana as a substance. I certainly think that the president was speaking from his personal experience and personal opinion — neither of which I am able to share.” She continued, “Not only do I not support legalization of marijuana — it is not the position of the Department of Justice, currently, to support the legalization, nor would it be the position should I become confirmed as attorney general.” According to The Los Angeles Times, she said, “I will continue to enforce the marijuana laws, particularly with respect to the money-laundering aspect to it.”

Breitbart highlighted an exchange that took place between Senator Ted Cruz and Loretta Lynch in which the two clashed over the use of drone strikes on US soil against American citizens. Said Cruz, “In your legal judgment, is it constitutional for the federal government to utilize a drone strike against an American citizen on US soil if that individual does not pose an imminent threat?”

Despite the fact that Cruz qualified the question by pointing out the fact that the hypothetical drone strike target does not pose an imminent threat, Lynch replied that she would need more information to determine whether the use of lethal force would be constitutional. Said Lynch, “Well, Senator, I think with respect to the use of lethal force by any means one would always want to look at the law enforcement issues involved there, and, certainly, if you could provide more context there, I could place it in the scope of either a case or an issue that I might have familiarity with.”

After Senator Cruz made several failed attempts to get Lynch’s legal opinion on lethal drone strikes on US soil by rephrasing his question, he said, “I am disappointed that, like Attorney General Holder, you are declining to give a simple, straight-forward answer and, in fact, what I think is the obvious answer of no — the federal government can not use lethal force from a drone to kill an American citizen on American soil if that individual doesn’t pose an imminent threat. I don’t view that as a difficult legal question.”

On the subject of marijuana legalization, Ben Swann released a Truth in Media episode last September which took on the federal government’s mixed messages on cannabis prohibition. Watch it in the embedded player below.

UPDATE: Connecticut Supreme Court rules teen must continue chemotherapy

The Connecticut Supreme Court has ruled a teen must continue to undergo chemotherapy to fight her cancer, despite her wish to not undergo treatment.

The story posted earlier this week described a 17-year-old named “Cassandra C.” in court papers, who was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma. She, with the support of her mother, Jackie Fortin, refused to undergo treatment, but the state of Connecticut’s Department of Children and Families was granted temporary custody of Cassandra so they could force chemo on the teen.

A legal battle ensued over the right for the teen to refuse the treatment, but the Supreme Court of Connecticut has ruled in favor of the DCF.

The chemotherapy treatment Cassandra is undergoing is believed to offer her an 85 percent chance of survival, according to medical experts who testified at the trial. However, these same experts said if she continued to refuse treatment, the teen would likely be dead within two years.

“This is her decision and her rights, which is what we are here fighting about,” said Fortin. “We should have choices about what to do with our bodies.”

Fortin and Cassandra have been asking the courts to recognize the “mature minor doctrine” which would allow a minor who shows the maturity of an adult to be able to make choices in the same capacity as an adult. The Courts ruled, however, Cassandra is not mature in this regards and the doctrine does not therefore apply to her.

Peter Johnson Jr., a legal analyst for FOX News, has said the family in this instance is wrong to think Cassandra can simply refuse treatment, given she is a minor. “The state of Connecticut has an obligation to prevent suicide. If she does not get this treatment, this is a form of suicide, and frankly the American Civil Liberties Union is complicit in her death if she dies,” said Johnson.

Since being under the custody of the DCF, Cassandra has undergone the chemotherapy and doctors have said she is responding well to it.

John E Tucker, the assistant Connecticut attorney general, told NBC News, “To interrupt that treatment would be devastating, even more devastating than delaying the treatment in the initial instance.”

“She knows I love her and I’m going to keep fighting for her because this is her decision,” said Fortin, according to NPR. “I know more than anyone, more than DCF, that my daughter is old enough, mature enough to make a decision. If she wasn’t, I’d be making that decision.”

AG Nominee Loretta Lynch Boasts Having Seized $904 Million Through Asset Forfeitures in 2013 Alone

Civil asset forfeiture is a controversial policy in which the government seizes private property that it believes was either gained through the commission of a crime or used to commit one. However, the items being seized sometimes belong to someone who was never accused of a crime at all or people who later turn out to be completely innocent. Since a civil process is used to seize the items in question, individuals facing the loss of property do so without the benefit of the level of due process that would ordinarily be afforded a criminal defendant.

Through civil asset forfeiture, an innocent couple lost their home when their son was caught with drugs on the property. Many non-criminal motorists have had their cash seized by cops under the default suspicion that anyone carrying cash must be doing so to purchase drugs, even in obviously innocuous situations such as when driving to purchase a car. Politicos on both the left and right side of the political spectrum have characterized civil asset forfeiture as policing for profit, as police agencies often use the technique to obtain cash, cars, and other useful items, a conflict of interests that can lead to serious abuses.

The Washington Post notes that, under President Obama, civil asset forfeitures have doubled. Now, as Eric Holder steps aside as US Attorney General, his potential replacement, nominee and US Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Loretta Lynch, recently announced that her office seized over $904 million in asset forfeitures in 2013 alone.

According to a quote from The Wall Street Journal’s editorial page, “As a prosecutor Ms. Lynch has also been aggressive in pursuing civil asset forfeiture, which has become a form of policing for profit. She recently announced that her office had collected more than $904 million in criminal and civil actions in fiscal 2013, according to the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.” The editorial calls for senators to ask questions in an effort to clarify Lynch’s views on the controversial policy.

Eric Holder will step down from his position as Attorney General once a replacement has been approved by the Senate. Politico is reporting that Loretta Lynch’s confirmation vote will likely be held next year, as Senate Democrats are hesitant to take up the fight to confirm Lynch during the lame duck session.

Videos of Wisconsin GOP candidate allegedly making racist comments not to be released

Videos allegedly showing Wisconsin GOP attorney general candidate Brad Schimel making potentially racist and sexist remarks will not be released after state judge previously ordered them to be shown to the public.

The videos in question were recorded in 2009 and 2013 during statewide prosecutors education conferences.

According to Court House News, Democrats from Wisconsin say the videos depict Schimel making, “offensive racial remarks and ethnic slurs, including but not limited to stereotyped accents, as well as sexist remarks…”

Judge Richard Niess from Dane County in Wisconsin, originally ordered the videos to be released last week.  However, according to the Chippewa Herald, the state’s Justice Department appealed the order and Judge Niess cancelled his order shortly afterward.

Judge Niess is saying he found no evidence of any off kilter remarks on the videos and the remarks were not “earth-shaking in any respect.”

Democrats in Wisconsin are fighting this though, saying the videos should be released since they fall under the state’s open records law.  With the election being one day away, Democrats in the state are also saying material within the videos is relevant to the political climate and the public has a strong interest in seeing the recordings.

Daniel Bach, the attorney for the Democratic Party, said in a statement, according to the Raw Story, “If the public does not have the opportunity to view these tapes by tomorrow, this case is mooted.”

The Wisconsin Assistant Attorney General Anthony Rossomanno, however, said releasing the videos could potentially reveal strategies used by prosecutors, as well as the identities of several victims of sexual predators who were used in examples at the conferences.

The Justice Department also asked the court to consider the fact that the information was being requested by Schimel’s election opponents.  They said, in a statement, “A further issue is whether the court improperly gave weight to public interest in discerning whether there is misconduct by public figures when the requesters themselves created the public interest in that controversy and provided no factual basis for it.”

As of now, the videos will not be released to the public.

In a very House of Cards-like move, SC House Bill will strip Attorney General’s Power


In Netflix’s original series, House of Cards, Kevin Spacey’s character Frank Underwood portrays a “crooked” politician from South Carolina. But South Carolina’s politicians’ real-life behavior would make even Frank Underwood blush. At least Underwood concealed his repugnant actions, but in South Carolina, everything is openly corrupt.


Currently, South Carolina Speaker of the House Bobby Harrell, is being investigated by S.C. Attorney General Alan Wilson on corruption charges. Earlier this year the AG sent the case to a Grand Jury, but Harrell is currently trying to throw Wilson off the case through the courts. See here.


A bill being proposed in the South Carolina legislature – rumored to be orchestrated by Harrell – would do just that. It would strip the state’s attorney general of the right to prosecute statewide officials and members of the executive branch for “acts of public corruption.”


So under this bill, the Speaker of the House would be one of two legislators who would choose the special prosecutor for corruption cases.

The South Carolina Policy Council, a limited-government think tank, appropriately calls this bill: “The Politician Protection Act.”


According to the South Carolina Policy Council, the bill would strip the attorney general of his position as the state’s chief prosecutor. His job description would be left up the legislature. The fact that such a major change was filed “without reference” – meaning it can bypass the ordinary committee process – raises serious concerns about its purpose.

In order words, this is a complete power-grab by SC legislators.


“Over the last year, we’ve noticed a growing number of bills introduced for the sole purpose – apparently – of protecting certain members of the legislature from prosecution for alleged ethics violations,” said the Policy Council of this proposed bill.

Ashley Landess, President of the South Carolina Policy Council told Benswann’s Joshua Cook:

“From the beginning, Bobby Harrell has set himself above the law and manipulated the system to his benefit. That’s why he’s in this mess. But rather than explain himself to the public he is supposed to serve, he continues to smear and intimidate those of us who have stood up to him. Not only has he tried to have the AG thrown off the case with zero legal grounds to do so, he is now trying to persuade a judge to push a criminal investigation back to the ethics committee over which he exercises total control. And today 85 of his colleagues introduced a constitutional amendment to strip the AG of his constitutional authority as chief prosecutor — all because Alan Wilson is the only official with the courage to do his job. This is abuse of power at its worst, and all the more reason Alan Wilson should stay on the case as the only advocate for the people who can’t be intimidated.”

Sources tell Benswann.com that this bill could get a vote tomorrow.