The Department of Justice (DOJ) is comprised of 60 Agencies. The organizational view is presented here. There are 93 U.S District Attorneys and 94 Districts (Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands share a District Attorney). The DOJ employs approximately 115,000 individuals with about 35,000 of these contained within the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI). In 2015, the DOJ had an operating budget of $31 billion.
And the DOJ is a swamp.
Under Obama, the DOJ was fundamentally pushed to the left by Attorney General Eric Holder and then by his successor, Loretta Lynch. Sally Yates rounded out the Obama appointed DOJ leadership with her famously short stint before being fired by President Trump.
J. Christian Adams—who served in the Department of Justice under President George W. Bush – points to the DOJ’s notoriously left-leaning Civil Rights Division, saying that “it touches more parts of American’s lives than any federal agency and impacts issues like police, voting, schools, transgender, hiring practices, education. It’s not just voting rights, it’s everything.”
Mr. Adams highlights the highly politicized DOJ hiring practices put in place by Obama and Eric Holder in an extensive series of investigative articles. His conclusion in his final article – located at bottom of the article listing:
“The Justice Department is forbidden by federal law from hiring employees based on political affiliation. Yet the resumes revealed the following ideological breakdown among the new hires:
Leftist lawyers: 113
Moderate, non-ideological, or conservative lawyers: 0
The matter-of-fact evidence should lead any reasonable observer to believe the DOJ has employed an illegal political litmus test during the interview process.”
He ends with the following:
“Loretta King, while serving as the acting assistant attorney general for civil rights at the outset of the Obama administration, ordered the resumes of highly qualified applicants to be rejected only because they didn’t have political or left-wing civil rights experience. Multiple DOJ sources with direct knowledge of hiring committee practices have confirmed this to me.”
And when Mr. Adams says Leftist he really means Extreme Leftist. Take a look at the resumes for yourself. It’s disheartening.
I have written about the Department of Justice previously.
Eric Holder was appointed Attorney General by Obama – after serving years earlier as Deputy Attorney General under Bill Clinton. In 2012, Eric Holder became the first – and only – Attorney General to be held in Contempt of Congress on both civil and criminal grounds. The vote was 255-67 with 17 Democrats breaking rank to side with the contempt vote.
It was Holder who came up with the process for doling out settlements from the financial crisis to activist groups. Holder presided over the unlawful investigation of certain members of the media. Under Holder’s command, the Department of Justice secretly obtained two months of telephone records of reporters and editors for the Associated Press. The DOJ also monitored the personal email and phone of Fox News reporter James Rosen. And it was Holder who refused to prosecute anyone in the IRS targeting of 426 conservative groups during the Obama Administration. Holder ultimately resigned but was not prosecuted by the Department of Justice – unsurprising since it had been his department. I discuss Holder’s activities a bit more in The Left’s Russian Hypocrisy.
In The Department of Justice’s Slush Fund, I discussed the ways in which money levied as fines from the financial crisis were then controlled and disbursed by DOJ officials with little or no accountability. It is disturbing. As noted by Congressional Committee Chair Bob Goodlatte in a letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch:
“A Judiciary Committee investigation has revealed that, in just the last two years, DOJ has directed nearly $1 billion to activist groups, entirely outside of Congress’s spending and oversight authority”
“DOJ has used the [$2 billion Volkswagen] settlement to fund the [Obama’s] Administration’s electric vehicle initiative after Congress has twice refused to pay for it.”
“The Judgement Fund’s use to pay the interest in a recent settlement with Iran has also raised concerns.”
The Congressional Committee also noted the Justice Department’s stonewalling tactics:
“For over a year, DOJ provided none of the requested internal communications pertaining to the controversial settlement provisions. Rather, DOJ provided just sixty pages of emails between DOJ and outside parties. Furthermore, because of duplicative email chains, those sixty pages amounted to fewer than ten distinct emails. DOJ claimed in September 2015 not to have understood that internal communications were sought. This contention is difficult to credit in light of the unambiguous language in Committee letters and hearing questions. Finally, on March 18, 2016, 15 months after the initial request, DOJ relented and agreed to let the Committee review the internal documents, but only at DOJ, and subject to restrictions on releasing the documents’ contents. The internal documents confirm that DOJ conceived of the mandatory donation provisions.”
Then we have the handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton and her email server – discussed in Comey’s Crimes:
A reminder while reading – the FBI is an agency of the DOJ. The Attorney General is the FBI Director’s boss.
The FBI found Clinton guilty of essentially every act they investigated. Despite these findings, Director Comey cleared Clinton by making a statement that “no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case”. This allowed Loretta Lynch at DOJ to announce the matter closed. It also allowed Clinton to pronounce herself cleared of all wrongdoing. Note, the FBI does not decide who will be prosecuted. They investigate.
The Department of Justice reportedly refused to empanel a grand jury in either the e-mail case or in connection with the FBI’s investigation of the Clinton Foundation pay-for-play allegations.
The FBI – and DOJ – granted immunity to five Clinton staff members – and agreed to destroy the evidence (laptops) when finished. These aides included Cheryl Mills, former Chief of Staff and Mrs. Clinton’s personal attorney along with Heather Samuelson, former senior advisor. Both women were present as attorneys for Clinton during the FBI Clinton Interview despite being interviewed as witnesses and offered immunity.
Director Comey did not interview Clinton until the end of the investigation – three days before the press conference where he announced his conclusions. This runs against standard FBI protocol. Typically (always) they get the witness on record early so they can see how the testimony holds against what they find in the investigation.
The FBI ignored direct evidence that Clinton’s aides knew about the server and helped to cover its existence up. This is particularly important in regards to Cheryl Mills. She took on the role of personal attorney to Clinton upon leaving the State Department – since she was able to claim she didn’t know about the server until that time all conversations with Mrs. Clinton are protected by attorney-client privilege. There are emails that were public at the time and in the possession of the FBI that directly show Mills and Huma Abedin discussing the server as far back as 2010.
On March 2, 2015 the NY Times broke the server story. On March 4, 2015 the House Select Committee on Benghazi issued a subpoena for Clinton to produce her emails. On March 31, 2015 an employee of the company that maintained the server deleted the archive mailbox from the server. The FBI found a work ticket related to the deletion that referenced a call with Clinton attorneys David Kendall and Cheryl Mills. This is destruction of evidence under subpoena and somehow the FBI chose not to investigate further.
The FBI did not pursue “intent” with Mrs. Clinton during the late hour interview. While this may not sound all that important, simple acceptance of the explanation that the server was purely for personal convenience allowed for Mrs. Clinton not to be charged with evading federal statutes. Indeed, lack of intent was one of the primary excuses Comey used in his decision to declare her cleared.
And, of course, there was no investigation regarding Bill Clinton’s famously clandestine meeting with the head of the Department of Justice, Loretta Lynch on a private plane in Phoenix just days before the FBI announced its decision.
It was the DOJ that shielded the Clinton Foundation from FBI investigation. According to the Wall Street Journal, “as the probe of Mrs. Clinton’s email use wound down in July, internal disagreements within the bureau and the Justice Department surrounding the Clintons’ family philanthropy heated up”. But the FBI investigation was continually stymied by DOJ officials. “Los Angeles agents had picked up information about the Clinton Foundation from an unrelated public-corruption case and had issued some subpoenas for bank records related to the foundation. Anticorruption prosecutors at the Justice Department told the FBI they wouldn’t authorize more aggressive investigative techniques, such as subpoenas, formal witness interviews, or grand-jury activity.”
As I note in the Clinton Global Initiative’s Closing Confirmation, The Clinton Foundation was about financial access to power represented by the Clintons. The Clinton Global Initiative was the primary doorway connecting the Clintons to corporate and foreign donors interested in gaining political entry to Washington. And the Clinton Foundation had been very good at collecting donations. The Wikileaks email dumps provided a stark window into those activities. If you want to infuriate yourself all over again, give Wiki(d) Leaks a read.
President Trump has been stymied by DOJ lawyers from the start of his administration. It is likely that senior DOJ and FBI officials colluded against him in the Michael Flynn investigation. I touched on this aspect yesterday.
It is entirely possible that Comey was the one doing the taping referenced in Trump’s now-infamous tweet:
“James Comey better hope that there are no “tapes” of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!”
Consider the following timing of events:
On January 24th, the FBI interviewed Mike Flynn.
On January 25th, the Justice Department receives briefings on Flynn from the FBI.
On January 26th, DOJ Acting Attorney General Sally Yates and FBI Assistant Director of Intelligence Bill Priestap rush to the office of White House Council Don McGahn to discuss Flynn.
On January 27th, they return for a second meeting with McGahn. McGahn questions Yates, “Why does it matter to DOJ if one White House official lies to another?”
On the evening of January 27th, President Trump has dinner with FBI Director Comey – a previously scheduled dinner.
President Trump asks Director Comey if he is under investigation, BUT he wisely does not ask about the Flynn investigation. Which could – would – be seen as impeding a federal investigation by the media.
It actually does not matter if it was Comey or Trump who did the taping, but I find it very interesting that President Trump chose to fire Comey when the FBI Director was in Los Angeles – 3,000 miles from his FBI office.
Judicial Watch has just announced it has “filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Justice for emails of former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates from her government account… Ms. Yates was involved in the controversy concerning Gen. Michael Flynn, allegedly warning the Trump White House in early January about General Flynn’s contacts with the Russian ambassador, Sergei Kislyak.”
We shall see what Judicial Watch’s FOIA lawsuit brings to light. My guess is the results will prove interesting. Especially with Jeff Sessions – an honest Attorney General – now heading the department.
President Trump famously called both the Department of Justice and the FBI corrupt during the election. I think he had a point.
The listing of scandals, cover-ups and obfuscations by the DOJ during Obama’s tenure is almost endless. I have provided but a few of many examples of DOJ misdeeds.
The Department of Justice is not. Mr. Sessions has his work cut out for him.
older post Lies, Damn Lies & the Media (and Comey)