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More Questionable Behavior from Trump, T Admin, DOJ, and R's vs Dems, Press, Justice

Top Dem says FBI is prioritizing Trump-sought investigations

Ron Wyden accuses the FBI of not sharing information with Democrats.

A top senator is accusing the FBI of keeping Democrats in the dark about the agency’s disclosures to Republican-led Senate committees, revealing that the FBI later made a mea culpa and pledged not to repeat the apparent violations of congressional oversight norms.

Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon, the top Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee, said in a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray on Monday that the bureau was improperly providing documents and other information to Republicans, sometimes without even informing Democrats of their existence.

“I am deeply concerned that by violating its own policies the FBI is again succumbing to political pressure from Republicans to damage the Democratic presidential candidate,” Wyden wrote in his letter, obtained by POLITICO.

“Providing documents to committee majorities without disclosure to the minority is unacceptable,” Wyden later added. “Providing access to documents for review by Republican staffers without notice to, or inclusion of, Democratic staff is also unacceptable.”

Wyden’s letter is the latest salvo in the ongoing partisan battle over Senate Republicans’ investigations targeting top Obama administration officials, including the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, former Vice President Joe Biden.

Those investigations are being helmed primarily by Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.). Democrats have accused their GOP counterparts of using the probes to boost President Donald Trump’s reelection chances by targeting the president’s political opponents, most notably Biden.

Wyden listed several instances in which he says the FBI provided documents to the majority party without informing Democrats or giving them access to the information.

For example, according to Wyden, the FBI allowed Republican aides to view sensitive documents related to an FBI briefing Trump received shortly before assuming office, but Democrats were “not informed of or provided an opportunity to participate in this review.” A similar practice was followed for documents related to defensive briefings provided to the Trump campaign and presidential transition staff, Wyden said.

The senator cited an Aug. 7 letter from the FBI’s congressional affairs director stating that the agency has “surged resources in order to expedite the processing” of the GOP requests for information related to the Trump transition team. According to Wyden, the letter also states that the FBI’s compliance is due to “extraordinary and unique circumstances, and should not be construed as precedent setting in any regard.”

Wyden said FBI congressional affairs staffers “described these circumstances as an oversight that will be remedied going forward.” He also said that in a staff-level phone call earlier this month, those FBI aides “declined to discuss” whether the agency had determined that the Republicans’ investigations serve a valid legislative purpose.

“Nonetheless, the representatives of the FBI stated that providing this sort of highly sensitive information to committees without clear jurisdiction over such matters was indeed extraordinary and would not be repeated in the future,” Wyden added.

Reached for comment on Monday, a spokesperson for the FBI said the agency is working with both committees to provide information. “The same access is being provided to members of the majority and minority and to their respective staffs,” the spokesperson added.

Taylor Foy, a spokesman for Grassley, noted that Wyden never requested such information from the FBI.

“Nevertheless, Sen. Grassley has frequently called on all administrations to respond to oversight requests from members of Congress’ majority and minority parties,” Foy added. “It appears that the FBI is committed to doing that with these requests — many of which date back to when Sen. Grassley chaired the Judiciary Committee.”

Though Wray is a Trump appointee, he has often angered congressional Republicans, especially when it comes to their oversight of the FBI’s actions before and after the 2016 presidential election, in which the Trump campaign was the target of a counterintelligence investigation related to Russian interference in the campaign.

Last week, Johnson issued a subpoena to Wray demanding all documents related to that probe. Two days later, Graham released a statement detailing a phone conversation with Wray, saying the FBI chief was “committed to being helpful — in an appropriate manner — by balancing the needs of privacy for Bureau employees with public transparency for the benefit of the American people.”

“Director Wray expressed to me his commitment to holding accountable those who may have committed violations of law or policy, providing appropriate due process sooner rather than later,” Graham continued.

Indeed, Trump has openly encouraged the Senate GOP-led investigations, even pushing Graham at one point to haul in former President Barack Obama before the Judiciary Committee — a suggestion Graham flatly rejected.

Johnson, meanwhile, has accused Democrats of seeking to undermine his investigations targeting the Obama administration and the Biden family, specifically the former vice president’s son Hunter and his role on the board of a Ukrainian energy company.

Earlier this month, U.S. intelligence agencies said Kremlin-aligned Ukrainians are seeking to interfere in the 2020 presidential election by pushing similar corruption claims about Biden, specifically naming a Ukrainian lawmaker, Andriy Derkach, who has sent information about Biden to top Trump allies on Capitol Hill.


The thought that USPS Postmaster DeJoy could be fired by the Board of Directors of the USPS, is now moot, given the make up of the USPS Board of Directors.

Most members of the U.S. Postal Service’s board of governors have numerous ties to the Republican Party as well as President Donald Trump’s associates and administration.

The Postal Service’s leadership is under increasing scrutiny with just under three months until the general election between Trump and presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden.

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy himself was a prolific fundraiser for Trump and the Republican Party before he landed the top USPS job in June. The board members were all appointed by Trump.

Most members of the U.S. Postal Service’s board of governors, who were responsible for selecting Louis DeJoy as postmaster general, have numerous ties to the Republican Party as well as to President Donald Trump’s associates and administration.

According to a CNBC review of public documents and disclosures, five of the six members of the board, including Chairman Robert Duncan, are linked to GOP and Trump circles through various campaign, legal and financial connections.


A post was merged into an existing topic: Congressional Oversight 2020 - election edition

A post was merged into an existing topic: Congressional Oversight 2020 - election edition

SDNY comes in and arrests Steve Bannon on Campaign fraud for a “We Build the Wall” campaign, defrauding hundreds of thousands of investors - :boom:

Others include Timothy Shea, who was Acting DEA and Brian Kolfage, a Iraq war veteran, and Andrew Badolato.

Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon has been arrested after being charged with defrauding hundreds of thousands of donors through their campaign “We Build the Wall.”

Bannon, along with three of his associates were indicted by investigators at the U.S. Southern District of New York on Thursday. They allege that the group of conservative leaders defrauded donors and that led to raising “more than $25 million to build a wall along the southern border of the United States,” according to the press release.

The United States Postal Inspection Service assisted in the investigation.

The others mentioned in the indictment are Timothy Shea, who in May was announced as the Acting Administrator of Drug Enforcement Administration, **Brian Kolfage, a Iraq war veteran, and Andrew Badolato. **
The campaign was intended to raise money to help President Donald Trump fulfill a campaign promise of building a border wall along the border. Instead, prosecutors allege, that Bannon and his team profited off of the arrangement.

Prosecutors claim that the defendants “collectively received hundreds of thousands of dollars in donor funds from ‘We Build the Wall,’ which they each used in a manner inconsistent with the organization’s public representations,” according to the indictment.

“The defendants defrauded hundreds of thousands of donors, capitalizing on their interest in funding a border wall to raise millions of dollars, under the false pretense that all of that money would be spent on construction,” Acting U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss, said in a statement. “While repeatedly assuring donors that Brian Kolfage, the founder and public face of We Build the Wall, would not be paid a cent, the defendants secretly schemed to pass hundreds of thousands of dollars to Kolfage, which he used to fund his lavish lifestyle. We thank the USPIS for their partnership in investigating this case, and we remain dedicated to rooting out and prosecuting fraud wherever we find it.”

Former Trump campaign CEO and White House chief strategist Steve Bannon was indicted in New York on fraud charges related to a fundraising campaign to build a border wall, federal prosecutors said.

Bannon is among four people indicted for allegedly defrauding hundreds of thousands of donors to the online “We Build the Wall” campaign.

Manhattan federal prosecutors allege that Bannon, campaign leader Brian Kolfage, Andrew Badolato and Timothy Shea “received hundreds of thousands of dollars in donor funds from We Build the Wall, which they each used in a manner inconsistent with the organization’s public representations.”

“We Build the Wall” began as a GoFundMe campaign in late 2018, designed to raise money directly from the public to build a border wall in the face of Congressional opposition.

Adding Statement from SDNY

According to the Indictment[1] unsealed today in Manhattan federal court:

Starting in approximately December 2018, BRIAN KOLFAGE, STEPHEN BANNON, ANDREW BADOLATO, and TIMOTHY SHEA, and others, orchestrated a scheme to defraud hundreds of thousands of donors, including donors in the Southern District of New York, in connection with an online crowdfunding campaign ultimately known as “We Build The Wall” that raised more than $25 million to build a wall along the southern border of the United States. In particular, to induce donors to donate to the campaign, KOLFAGE repeatedly and falsely assured the public that he would “not take a penny in salary or compensation” and that “100% of the funds raised . . . will be used in the execution of our mission and purpose” because, as BANNON publicly stated, “we’re a volunteer organization.”

Those representations were false. In truth, KOLFAGE, BANNON, BADOLATO, and SHEA received hundreds of thousands of dollars in donor funds from We Build the Wall, which they each used in a manner inconsistent with the organization’s public representations. In particular, KOLFAGE covertly took for his personal use more than $350,000 in funds that donors had given to We Build the Wall, while BANNON, through a non-profit organization under his control (“Non-Profit-1”), received over $1 million from We Build the Wall, at least some of which BANNON used to cover hundreds of thousands of dollars in BANNON’s personal expenses. To conceal the payments to KOLFAGE from We Build the Wall, KOLFAGE, BANNON, BADOLATO, and SHEA devised a scheme to route those payments from We Build the Wall to KOLFAGE indirectly through Non-Profit-1 and a shell company under SHEA’s control, among other avenues. They did so by using fake invoices and sham “vendor” arrangements, among other ways, to ensure, as KOLFAGE noted in a text message to BADOLATO, that his pay arrangement remained “confidential” and kept on a “need to know” basis.

KOLFAGE, 38, of Miramar Beach, Florida, BANNON, 66, of Washington, D.C., BADOLATO, 56, of Sarasota, Florida, and SHEA, 49, of Castle Rock, Colorado, are each charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, each of which carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.

The statutory maximum penalties are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendants would be determined by the judge.

Ms. Strauss praised the outstanding investigative work of the USPIS and the Special Agents of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. She also thanked the U.S Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Florida for their assistance.

The case is being handled by the Office’s Public Corruption Unit. Assistant United States Attorneys Nicolas Roos, Alison G. Moe, and Robert B. Sobelman are in charge of the prosecution.

The charges contained in the Indictment are merely accusations. The defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.


Beat me to it, here are more articles.

Official Statement:

Timothy Shea is Trump’s Acting Administrator of Drug Enforcement Administration since May!!!


Prosecutor and MSNBC commentator Neal Katyal says that Trump has not been able to block the subpoenas from Cy Vance. More to come.

Judge Throws Out Trump Challenge to Manhattan DA Subpoena for Tax Records

The ruling comes a month after the Supreme Court rejected the president’s earlier claims of absolute immunity from state criminal subpoenas. While the top court rejected the immunity argument, it said the president was entitled to object to the subpoena on alternative grounds

President Donald Trump’s effort to fight a subpoena for his tax records issued by the Manhattan district attorney was rejected on Thursday by a federal judge in New York, handing another loss to the president in a high-profile case that has already made its way to the Supreme Court.

U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero said that the president failed to show that the subpoena would pose an unfair burden, siding in favor of Manhattan D.A. Cy Vance, Jr., who has said his office is pursuing an investigation of potential violations of state law.

The subpoena, directed to the president’s longtime accounting firm Mazars USA, seeks the president’s personal and business records, including tax returns, dating to 2011.


You love to see it. :smirk:


Yes…“Show me the money…”


Some of the money instead funded luxury cars, home renovations, cosmetic surgery, and a 2019 Jupiter Marine boat named Warfighter.

Steve Bannon Arrested on Charges of Stealing From ‘Build the Wall’ Fundraiser


The former White House chief strategist allegedly received more than $1 million that was raised to build Trump’s border wall through a non-profit organization under his control.


Wow. It really WAS like the Spanish Armada!


USPS Headquarters Tells Managers Not to Reconnect Mail Sorting Machines, Emails Show

“We are not to reconnect any machines that have previously been disconnected.”


*He was aboard a 150-foot-long yacht in Long Island Sound, off the coast of Westbrook, Connecticut,when he was arrested, law enforcement sources told NBC News. Bannon is not the owner of the vessel and the arrest was made without incident.


That’s, like, a really really big yacht, you guys.


From Axios PM…

Steve Bannon, President Trump’s former chief strategist, was charged with fraud by federal prosecutors in New York.

  • He, along with three others, allegedly defrauded donors out of hundreds of thousands of dollars with a crowdfunding campaign that raised money to privately build a portion of the wall at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Bannon was taken into custody aboard the Lady May, a 152-foot yacht (listing price: $27.9 million) off the Connecticut coast.

Take a :eyes: at this boat

  • You can’t make this up: “Bannon was arrested by inspectors from the U.S. Postal Service,” per the Hartford Courant.
  • All three of Bannon’s cellphones are now disabled, according to Axios’ Jonathan Swan.

Bigger than a blue whale.


Wow, that yacht is bigger than my house. Must be nice to be a grifter, bankrolled by a billionaire, well, until you get arrested.


this is Guo Wenjui- the Billionaire…and this WSJ article came out yesterday, so they must have known something big was coming.


Yes, curious as to the coincidental firing/dismissal of AG Berman and the end run that AG Strauss did by getting the Postal Inspectors and internal SDNY agents to do the arrest. Suggests that Strauss needed to bypass AG Barr because as we know, Barr would have stopped it.

Andrew Weissmann was on Mueller’s team


Some post interview analysis from Ex-CIA head, Brennan on his interactions with US Atty John Durham, who is doing a final report (for Barr) and some think may be part of an October surprise.

The Washington Post: Ex-CIA director John Brennan questioned for 8 hours in U.S. Attorney John Durham’s probe, a Brennan adviser says

In a statement, Nick Shapiro, Brennan’s former deputy chief of staff, said U.S. Attorney John Durham informed Brennan he was “not a subject or a target of a criminal investigation” but rather “a witness to events that are under review.”

Barr tapped Durham more than a year ago to review the FBI’s 2016 probe into possible coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign. Since then, Durham has questioned FBI and intelligence community witnesses on many topics, including why the FBI opened the probe in the first place and why the bureau pressed forward as one aspect, an examination of former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page’s ties with Russia, seemed to produce no real results.

He has also asked about the intelligence community’s January 2017 assessment that the Russian interference operation was ordered by Russian President Vladimir Putin — and designed to help Trump.

In the statement, Shapiro said Brennan, who was interviewed at CIA headquarters, “welcomed the opportunity to answer Mr. Durham’s questions,” some of which were about that assessment.

“Brennan provided details on the efforts made by the Intelligence Community to understand and disrupt the actions taken by Russia to interfere in the 2016 presidential election,” Shapiro said. “Brennan expressed appreciation for the professional manner in which Mr. Durham and his team conducted the interview.”

But Shapiro indicated that Brennan, who served as CIA director from 2013 to 2017, also expressed some skepticism about the Durham review, asking “why the analytic tradecraft and the findings of the [intelligence community assessment] are being scrutinized by the Department of Justice,” particularly in light of the findings by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III and the bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee about how Russia showed a willingness to aid the Trump campaign, and the Trump campaign a willingness to use that to its advantage.

Brennan, according to Shapiro, “also told Mr. Durham that the repeated efforts of Donald Trump and William Barr to politicize Mr. Durham’s work have been appalling and have tarnished the independence and integrity of the Department of Justice, making it very difficult for Department of Justice professionals to carry out their responsibilities.”


Navalny was transported to Germany last night to be treat there for the poisoning
that befell him on the way to Moscow.

Looks like Sen. Marco Rubio is the only US representative who has said anything official from
the Government. And Sen Rubio is on the Senate Intel Committee, noting that this is the 31st assassination attempt at at Puten foe/opponent/defector with 19 successful over the past 16 years.


Court orders Donald Trump to pay legal fees in Stormy Daniels suit