Tag: Sheldon Whitehouse

Pathetic: FBI Director Wray Says Spying is “Not the Term I would Use”

FBI Director Christopher Wray contradicted Attorney General William Barr today saying he wouldn’t use the term “spying” to describe the actions taken by the FBI against the Trump campaign during the 2016 election.

During a Senate appropriations subcommittee hearing, Wray replied, “Well, that’s not the term I would use” when asked about Barr’s use of the word “spying.”

“Well, I mean, look, lots of people have different colloquial phrases. I believe that the FBI is engaged in investigative activity and part of investigative activity includes surveillance activity of different shapes and sizes,” Wray said.

“To me, the key question is making sure that it is done by the book, consistent with our lawful authorities,” the FBI director continued. “That’s the key question. Different people use different colloquial phrases.”

Last month, Democrats lost their minds when Barr said that “spying did occur” during a House Appropriations Committee hearing.

Barr recently doubled down on his claims, telling Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) he wouldn’t stop using the term “spying” to describe what happened to the Trump campaign.

Whitehouse asked, “You used the word spying about authorized DOJ investigative activities…In the entirety of your previous career at the Department of Justice including as attorney general have you ever referred to authorized department investigative activities, officially or publicly, as spying?”

“I’m not going to abjure the use of the word ‘spying,’” Barr said. “My first job was in CIA. I don’t think the word ‘spying’ has any pejorative connotation at all.”

He continued, “I think spying is a good English word that, in fact, doesn’t have synonyms because it is the broadest word incorporating really all forms of covert intelligence collection, so I’m not going to back off the word ‘spying,’ except I will say I’m not suggesting any pejorative and I use it frequently…”

Barr pointed out that many members of the media use the term “spying” to refer to authorized surveillance activities.

“Frankly, we went back and looked at press usage and up until all the faux outrage a couple of weeks ago, it’s commonly used in the press to refer to authorized activities,” he said.

“It’s not commonly used by the Department,” Whitehouse said.

Barr replied, “It’s commonly used by me.”

Watch the epic exchange below:

 

Watch: Awesome Moment Barr Shuts Down Senator, Says He Won’t Stop Using Term “Spying”

Attorney General William Barr shut down Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) after the lawmaker grilled him over his use of the term “spying” to describe the surveillance tactics the FBI employed on the Trump campaign during the 2016 election.

Whitehouse asked, “You used the word spying about authorized DOJ investigative activities…In the entirety of your previous career at the Department of Justice including as attorney general have you ever referred to authorized department investigative activities, officially or publicly, as spying?”

“I’m not going to abjure the use of the word ‘spying,’” Barr said. “My first job was in CIA. I don’t think the word ‘spying’ has any pejorative connotation at all.”

He continued, “I think spying is a good English word that, in fact, doesn’t have synonyms because it is the broadest word incorporating really all forms of covert intelligence collection, so I’m not going to back off the word ‘spying,’ except I will say I’m not suggesting any pejorative and I use it frequently…”

Barr pointed out that many members of the media use the term “spying” to refer to authorized surveillance activities.

“Frankly, we went back and looked at press usage and up until all the faux outrage a couple of weeks ago, it’s commonly used in the press to refer to authorized activities,” he said.

“It’s not commonly used by the Department,” Whitehouse said.

Barr replied, “It’s commonly used by me.”

Breaking: Senate Democrats File Lawsuit, Seek to Block Acting AG Whitaker

Three Senate Democrats have filed a lawsuit today calling the appointment of Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker illegal, according to Reuters.

Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Senator Mazie Hirono (D-HI), say President Trump violated the Constitution and denied the Senate the right to vote on Whitaker’s confirmation.

Blumenthal said in a statement, “President Trump is denying senators our constitutional obligation and opportunity to do our job: scrutinizing the nomination of our nation’s top law enforcement official. The reason is simple: Whitaker would never pass the advice and consent test. In selecting a so-called ‘constitutional nobody’ and thwarting every senator’s constitutional duty, Trump leaves us no choice but to seek recourse through the courts.”

Last week, the Department of Justice released a legal opinion stating that Whitaker could legally serve as acting attorney general, writing, “As all three branches of government have long recognized, the President may designate an acting official to perform the duties of a vacant principal office, including a Cabinet office, even when the acting official has not been confirmed by the Senate.”

Whitaker has come under fire from Democrats who claim his history of comments about Robert Mueller’s probe into President Trump and Russia are grounds for recusal from his oversight role in the investigation.

House Democrat leaders recently sent a letter to an ethics official at the Department of Justice, demanding Whitaker’s recusal, writing, “There are serious ethical considerations that require Mr. Whitaker’s immediate recusal from any involvement with the Special Counsel investigation of the Russian government’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.”

LISTEN: Dan discusses the legality of Whitaker’s appointment as Acting Attorney General

Prior to his appointment as acting attorney general, Whitaker told radio host Andrew Wilkow that there was “no collusion” between Russia and Trump.

“The truth is there was no collusion with the Russians and the Trump campaign,” he said. “There was interference by the Russians into the election, but that was not collusion with the campaign. That’s where the left seems to be combining those two issues.”

Whitaker also appeared on CNN in 2017 and suggested that a new Attorney General could reduce Mueller’s budget and grind the investigation to a halt.

President Trump told Fox News yesterday that he “would not get involved” in Whitaker’s decisions as it relates to his oversight of the Mueller probe, and said he was confident that Whitaker was “going to do what’s right.”

Whitaker was appointed acting attorney general earlier this month, when Attorney General Jeff Sessions submitted his letter of resignation at President Trump’s request.

 

September 28, 2018: Ep. 817 What You Witnessed Yesterday Was a Momentous Shift in American Politics

In this episode I address the momentous shift we all witnessed yesterday in American politics. I cannot underestimate the importance of some of the key moments in the Kavanaugh/Ford hearing. I also address some interesting new developments in the investigation into FISA abuses at the DOJ.

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