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Chuck Grassley Tag

Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), also a member of the committee, have asked the Department of Justice to investigate Christopher Steele, the author of the infamous dossier on then-candidate Donald Trump. The senators told the DOJ that they believe Steele made false statements to the FBI concerning his talks with news outlets about the dossier.

After Trump fired him, James Comey leaked four (4) of seven (7) internal FBI memos he created regarding his interactions with Trump to a Columbia Law School professor, for the purpose of passing on the contents to a reporter. The professor did just that, and it created the basis for NY Times reporting that Trump had demanded a "loyalty" pledge and also raised the issue of shutting down the investigation into Michael Flynn. Comey would testify to the same effect before Congress, which is when the fact of his leak came out under questioning by Susan Collins, almost by accident, and without any meaningful follow up to the bombshell testimony.

USA Today has dropped another article on the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) as the publication continues its investigation into the department. This investigation discovered that a VA policy has allowed hospitals to hire health care providers with revoked licenses, but it's illegal to do so thanks to a 1999 law:
The VA issued national guidelines in 2002 giving local hospitals discretion to hire clinicians after “prior consideration of all relevant facts surrounding” any revocations and as long as they still had a license in one state. But a federal law passed in 1999 bars the VA from employing any health care worker whose license has been yanked by any state.

Top Republicans in Congress continue to scrutinize the anti-President Donald Trump texts between FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page. The two officials were romantically involved and worked on Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation. He kicked Strzok off the team over the summer due to these texts. But a specific text caught the eye of the top Republicans. In this one, it mentions an "insurance policy" against Trump's presidency and a man named Andy, which they have assumed means FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.

Donald Trump took office with the unprecedented ability to reshape the federal judiciary, with over 100 vacancies as of the Inauguration. Trump had the possibility of nominating in just one term in office nearly half the federal judiciary. Democrats' removal of the judicial filibuster in 2013 (the so-called Nuclear Option) cleared the way for Republicans to fill these vacancies regardless of Democrat objections, assuming Republicans retain control of the Senate in 2018.

The GOP in Congress are no doubt desperate for a victory after the failed Obamacare repeal attempts, but that desperation could come back and bite them. They want to pass the tax bill before Christmas, but all the rushing and late nights have caused errors. From The Washington Post:
Questionable special-interest provisions have been stuffed in along the way, out of public view and in some cases literally in the dead of night. Drafting errors by exhausted staff are cropping up and need fixes, which must be tackled by congressional negotiators working to reconcile competing versions of the legislation passed separately by the House and the Senate.

This past summer, Special Counsel Robert Mueller removed an FBI agent from his investigation into possible collusion between Russia and President Donald Trump's campaign due to anti-Trump messages he sent. The news was only made public over the weekend. This agent, Peter Strzok, is also the man who changed former FBI Head James Comey's description of Hillary Clinton's handling of classified information on her private server when she served as secretary of state. Strzok also served as the No. 2 official in the counterintelligence division and led the investigation into her server.

I noted yesterday that Chuck Grassley finally appears ready to clear the backlog in Judiciary Committee hearings on Appeals and District court judicial nominees, by preventing withholding of "blue slips" from becoming de facto filibusters, Chuck Grassley rips up “blue slip” stall, Al Franken left groping for alternative delay tactic. It then will be up to Mitch McConnell to get nominees floor votes, and to overcome Democrat stalling tactics to draw out each nominee, even the ones they don't oppose. The goal has to be:

I recently noted frustration with Democrat delay tactics for judicial nominations, including the withholding of "blue slips" to prevent confirmation proceedings to proceed, Trump judicial confirmations moving along, but not fast enough:
Every single vacant seat should be filled as quickly as possible. Some progress is not good enough. Grassley and McConnell need to clear all roadblocks, and Trump needs to fill the pipeline.
It looks like Grassley finally is getting the message, as Politico reports:

In numerous prior posts we have followed the tortuous process of getting Trump federal judicial nominees confirmed. Democrats have thrown down every procedural delay possible, even for nominees they didn't oppose. What Democrats fear is that Trump will take advantage of the historic opportunity handed him to reshape the federal judiciary for a generation to come. We first covered this Democrat fear in December 2016, and how the Democrats' 2013 decision to remove the filibuster for judicial nominees below the Supreme Court level cleared the way, Dems’ Nuclear Option will allow Trump to fill over 100 court vacancies quickly.

House Judiciary Committee Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) and House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-SC) have announced an investigation into the handling of the Hillary Clinton email scandal by the FBI and Department of Justice. The two committees will also investigate why the FBI didn't announce its investigation into then-GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump's campaign associates. From The Washington Examiner:
The probe will be conducted by two congressional panels responsible for overseeing the Justice Department and government operations in general. The investigators will review then-FBI Director James Comey's various decisions pertaining to the Clinton investigation, such as his unusual announcement that she should not face indictment.

The rot in many institutions cannot be undone in one presidential term or even two. In part that's because of the entrenched permanent bureaucracy, in part because many (if not most) important institutions are not part of government. Higher Ed is a prime example. Over two generations, faculty hiring and infighting has led to an environment at close to all top tier universities and colleges that is hostile to non-progressive ideas and people. Read about my alma mater, Hamilton College, for the script on how the takeover happened there, Western Civilization driven off campus at Hamilton College. One institution that can be changed in a single presidential term (and definitely two) is the federal judiciary.

A few GOP lawmakers in the House and Senate have announced they are open to legislation that will ban bump stocks, a device allegedly used by Stephen Paddock in the Las Vegas massacre. This device "is a sliding stock that when pressed against a shooter’s shoulder allows a semi-automatic gun to shift backward and forward with the recoil of each shot fired." Authorities found bump stocks in Paddock's room, but we do not know for sure if he used them during the massacre.

In a puzzling move, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced last month that the Department of Justice would be ramping up asset forfeiture. Mary wrote at the time:
Civil forfeiture remains a controversial issue in America since it’s “a process by which the government can take and sell your property without ever convicting, or even charging, you with a crime.” The procedures are civil, which means defendants do not receive the same protections given to criminal defendants. It’s one of the few issues that garners bipartisan support.
That bipartisan support is now even more evident as Congress moves to defund asset forfeiture.

Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, sent a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray to inform him that the committee found in unredacted parts in transcripts that former FBI Director James Comey decided to write a statement to exonerate then-presumptive Democrat presidential candidate before the FBI finished its investigation into her emails.

For several months we have been highlighting the unique opportunity presented to Donald Trump to reshape the federal judiciary. That opportunity has largely been lost in a liberal media trying to take down Trump over Russia, Russia, Russia, as I previously wrote, While you were focused on COMEY, Trump nominated another group of CONSERVATIVE Judges:
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