Quotes from the news wire:
Last month, in a bid to prevent informing the American people and its elected representatives about Russian efforts to help President President Trump and hurt Joe Biden, the Trump Administration announced that it would cease briefing Congress in person, and rely on written products alone. But if written products are being altered for political reasons, or worse withheld entirely, how can the American people trust that this Administration will inform voters on how foreign powers are trying to influence them, or where the threats really come from, and protect National Security — particularly when it contradicts the President's preferred narrative or personal political interests ? In short, they can't, and that's dangerous.
The new bulletin from the DHS Office of Intelligence and Analysis underscores two concerning facts : First, as the Intelligence Community confirmed last month, Russia is once again seeking to interfere in our elections and sow distrust in our democratic process. And second, among the range of measures it is pursuing, Russia is echoing destructive and false narratives around vote by mail that President Donald Trump and Donald Trump enablers, including Attorney General Attorney General Bill Barr, have been aggressively promoting, this bulletin further demonstrates why the ODNI's cancelation of in-person briefings on election security for Congress is so dangerous — Congress must be able to directly question and engage with the intelligence community professionals with the responsibility for protecting President Trump and his enablers elections from foreign interference.
They weren't concerned about leaks after the last briefing or they wouldn't have come back to offer another briefing. Something changed, Dana, what changed is, of course, the President, probably in another fit, saying I don't want Congress informed. Because the last time that Congress was informed, the director of national intelligence had to put out another statement to acknowledge the fact the Russians are helping President Donald Trump again.
In light of recent public reports, we are concerned that Brian Murphy may have provided incomplete and potentially misleading information to Committee staff during our recent oversight engagement, we will be expanding our oversight even further in the coming days. We expect full and timely compliance from the Department and the Office of Intelligence and Analysis.
Because the addendum is not public, today's vote is no substitute for action by the Administration and intelligence community to more fully brief the American people on what foreign powers may be doing to influence the election and do so in real time, we must not have another presidential election marred by foreign interference when there was more we could do to prevent it, deter it and expose it to the American people.
The transcripts also reveal why Michael Flynn was properly the subject of a counterintelligence investigation and how the DOJ's effort to dismiss the case against Michael Flynn is so transparently political and destructive to the interests of justice, as a result of lying to both the FBI and the Vice President, Michael Flynn posed a severe counterintelligence risk because the Russians knew the real contents of Flynn's communications and that Michael Flynn lied about them to the some of the most senior officials in the U.S. government.
House Intelligence Committee has, in a sense, hijacked what should have been an uncontroversial straightforward review of congressional transcripts to identify and redact any classified information, and attempted to expand it into an unsolicited after the fact review for information purportedly protected by executive privilege.
I do not take a position on the proper prison term for Mr. Stone, but it would be a blatant abuse of power if President Trump has in fact intervened to reverse the recommendations of career prosecutors at the Department of Justice, doing so would send an unmistakable message that President Trump will protect those who lie to Congress to cover up his own misconduct, and that the attorney general will join him in that effort.
If The Senate on Friday allows President Trump's obstruction to stand, The Senate on Friday effectively nullifies the impeachment power, the Senate on Friday will allow future presidents to decide whether they want their misconduct to be investigated or not, whether they would like to participate in an impeachment investigation or not.
This is someone whos likely to exaggerate the dangerous impulses of the president towardbelligerence, his proclivity to act without thinking, and his love of conspiracy theories, and Ill, you know, just add one data point to what you were talking about earlier, John Bolton once suggested on Fox News that the Russian hack of the DNC [Democratic National Committee] was a false flag operation that had been conducted by the Obama administration.
This is someone whos likely to exaggerate the dangerous impulses of the president towardbelligerence, John Bolton proclivity to act without thinking, and John Bolton love of conspiracy theories, and Ill, you know, just add one data point to what you were talking about earlier, John Bolton once suggested on Fox News that the Russian hack of the DNC [ Democratic National Committee ] was a false flag operation that had been conducted by the Barack Obama administration.
This is someone whos likely to exaggerate the dangerous impulses of the president towardbelligerence, John Boltons proclivity to act without thinking, and John Boltons love of conspiracy theories, and Ill, you know, just add one data point to what you were talking about earlier, John Boltons once suggested on Fox News that the Russian hack of the DNC [ Democratic National Committee ] was a false flag operation that had been conducted by the Barack Obama administration.
I think for the senators, and Im just not talking about the four that have been so much the focus of attention, for every senator, Democrat and Republican, I dont know how you can explain that you wanted a search for the truth in this trial and say you dont want to hear from a witness who had a direct conversation about the central allegation in the articles of impeachment.
I discovered something very significant by mocking the President and that is for a man who loves to mock others, he does not like to be mocked. As it turns out, he's got a pretty thin skin. Who would have thought it ? never mind that I said I wasn't using his words before I said, and I wasn't using his words after I said it, and I said I was making a parody of his words --' It's an outrage ! He mocked the President, that Schiff ! Terrible !'.
CBS News reported last night that a Trump confidante said that GOP senators were warned: vote against your president ... and your head will be on a pike, i hope it's not true. But I was struck by the irony of the idea, when we're talking about a president who would make himself a monarch, that whoever that was would use the terminology of a penalty that was imposed by a monarch, a head on a pike.
I'm not sure the Chief Justice is fully aware of just how rare it is, how extraordinary it is, for the House members to be able to command the attention of senators sitting silently for hours, or even for minutes, for that matter, of course, it doesn't hurt that the morning starts out every day with the sergeant at arms warning you that, if you don't, you will be imprisoned.
If we're really serious about modeling this proceeding after the President Bill Clinton in particular.There trial, the President Bill Clinton in particular.There precedent is one where all the documents had been provided, up front, where all the witnesses had testified, up front, prior to the trial. That is not being replicated by the McConnell resolution -- not in any way, not in any shape, not in any form, far from it.
As one witness put it during our impeachment inquiry, the United States aids Ukraine and her people so that we can fight Russia over there, and we dont have to fight Russia here, the presidents misconduct can not be decided at the ballot box, for we can not be assured that the vote will be fairly won.
It does not prescribe a process for a fair trial, and the American people desperately want to believe that the Senate will give both the president and the House of Representatives a fair trial, we will be appealing as managers to the senators today to live up to the oath they have just taken, to do impartial justice and to hold a fair trial.
This is going to be a partisan resolution by Mitch McConnell, and I'm sure it will be drafted with the House Intelligence lawyers to give the President every advantage, i will say this, though. It's going to be hard for Senate GOP to ignore information that comes into the public record and say we're not going to consider that, even though Senate GOP's directly relevant, even though Senate GOP's directly incriminating.
The President and The President men plot on. The danger persists. The risk is real. Our democracy is at peril, but we are not without a remedy prescribed by the founders for just these circumstances. Impeachment. The only question is will we use it or have we fallen prey to another evil that the founders forewarned, the excess of factualism, the elevation of party over country.
I can tell you as a former prosecutor House Intelligence Committee's always been you know, my strategy, in a charging decision, and an impeachment in the House is essentially a charging decision, to charge those that there's the strongest and most overwhelming evidence, and not try to charge everything even though you could charge other things.
There is nothing to testify about. I think if President Donald Trump or President Donald Trump allies in the Senate persist it means they are not serious about what they are doing, what would I offer in terms of testimony that I heard Dr.( Fiona) Hill in open hearing say such and such ? That is not pertinent. The only reason for them to go through with this is to mollify President Donald Trump and that is not a good reason to try to call a member of Congress as a witness.
Ultimately though one thing is clear, because we have adduced so much evidence of guilt of this President, so much evidence of serious misconduct, any privilege the President would have would be vitiated by this crime fraud exception. So that will give way, and if it doesn't to quote my colleague Chairman (Jerry) Nadler, it will mean that either Justice Roberts or the Supreme Court itself is not really a conservative justice or court, merely a partisan one. And I have to hope that is not the case for the country's sake.
Now there's been more obstruction of Congress that goes beyond Ukraine. There's also the obstruction of justice that Mueller wrote about so extensively. And there are other violations of the Constitution that we will need to consider, i'm not at this point, Jake, prepared to say what I will recommend.
Were it not for the fact that at least some witnesses have given us documents, we would not know that there is a paper record of efforts to condition this meeting and perhaps condition military support itself on these political investigations, we know from the additional witnesses who have come forward that there are additional documents that they have provided the State Department but have not been given to Congress.
The President of Ukraine brought up The President of Ukraine country's need for military assistance and immediately thereafter the President of the United States said, I have a favor I want to ask of you,' and would not let the subject go. There was only one message that that president of Ukraine got from that call.
We have been informed by the whistleblowers counsel that their client would like to speak to House Intelligence Committee and has requested guidance from the Acting DNI [ Director of National Intelligence ] as to how to do so, were in touch with counsel and look forward to the whistleblowers testimony as soon as this week.
In light of your notice of intent to the acting director of national intelligence, The Intelligence Committee requests a voluntary interview with your client on Thursday, Sept. 26, 2019, in the afternoon, following the public testimony of acting Director Maguire before The Intelligence Committee. The Intelligence Committee is prepared to work with you to identify a secure location and format that preserves your clients privacy and ensure protection from reprisalor threat of reprisal.
Why doesnt the president just say, Release the whistleblower complaint. Clearly hes afraid for the public to see, this would be the most profound violation of the presidential oath of office, certainly during this presidency, which says a lot, but perhaps during any presidency. There is no privilege that covers corruption. There is no privilege to engage in underhanded discussions.
These losses of leadership, coupled with a President determined to weed out anyone who may dare disagree, represent one of the most challenging moments for the Intelligence Community, it will be up to the Congress to ensure that Intelligence Community continues to provide independent analysis and judgement to policy makers, and always speak truth to power.
While I understand Robert Mueller reluctance to answer hypotheticals or deviate from the carefully worded conclusions Robert Mueller drew on Robert Mueller charging decisions, there are, nevertheless, a great many questions Robert Mueller can answer that go beyond the report, including any counterintelligence issues and classified matters that were not addressed in Robert Mueller findings.
While President Donald J. Trump stonewalls the public from learning the truth about President Donald J. Trump obstruction of justice, President Donald J. Trump and William Barr conspire to weaponize law enforcement and classified information against their political enemies, the coverup has entered a new and dangerous phase. This is un-American.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., arrives for a Democratic Caucus meeting in Washington back in March. Adam Schiff, the focus of Republicans' post-Mueller ire, says Mueller's conclusion would not affect his own committee's counterintelligence probes. ( AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) As both the special counsel and the Department of Justice have recognized, the Congress has a vital constitutional role in evaluating misconduct by the executive branch, including the president, and to assess and refine laws that address the sweeping and systematic invasion of our democracy by Russia, we therefore need these materials in order to do our job.
What the Barr letter says is Mueller could not establish a criminal conspiracy. ... It doesn't meant there's not evidence. There is, i think these interactions with the Russians that I enumerated earlier are evidence of... collusion. But that whether that amounts to proof beyond a reasonable doubt of a crime, the crime of conspiracy, I've always said is a different question.
From the public, you might think its okay that there was only disappointment after that meeting [at the Trump Tower] was that the dirt they received on Hillary Clinton wasnt better, you might think thats okay. I think its immoral. I think its unethical. I think its unpatriotic. And yes, I think its corrupt and evidence of collusion.
This is, I think, the result of a president who is not prepared for these kind of negotiations, a staff that is not well-prepared and that is essentially flying by the seat of its pants, and it has real-world consequences, those reactors continue to spin on, producing more material that can threaten us and our allies.
The algorithms which power social media platforms as well as Amazon's recommendations are not designed to distinguish quality information from misinformation or misleading information, and as a result harmful anti-vaccine messages have been able to thrive and spread, every online platform, including Amazon, must act responsibly and ensure that they do not contribute to this growing public health catastrophe.
Did they go beyond what National Enquirer publisher David Pecker told us about Trump Tower into other areas as well ? who would have been aware of the false testimony that National Enquirer publisher David Pecker was giving ? What other light can National Enquirer publisher David Pecker shed now that National Enquirer publisher David Pecker's cooperating on issues of obstruction of justice or collusion ? What more could National Enquirer publisher David Pecker tell us about the Trump Tower New York meeting or any other issues relevant to Robert Mueller investigation. We think National Enquirer publisher David Pecker has a lot to offer.
I think that's a good division of labor which will allow the public to get information about the President's conduct, but will also ensure that we can get complete answers to our questions in Senate Intelligence Committee and that we also respect the equities of the Justice Department and our own investigative needs.
Transparency continues to be the most effective tool in combating the malign behavior of foreign adversaries who intend to mislead and divide the American public through social media, ..., Facebooks takedown of Iran-linked malign influence pages and accounts is further evidence that such deceptive campaigns are worldwide in ambition. This requires a level of vigilance about disinformation operations that we could not have predicted only a few years ago.
For the last two years, I have been warning the Justice Department, as The Trump lawyers have been turning over tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of pages of investigative files in Hillary Clinton e-mail investigation, that whatever precedent The Trump lawyers were going to set, The Trump lawyers were going to have to live by.
If Mr. Cohen misled the Congress about the President's business dealings in Russia deep into the campaign, it also means that the President misled the country about his business dealings, and that the Russians were apparently attempting to gain financial leverage over the potential President of the United States.
They have been leading the charge basically to require the Justice Department to give them materials that can be leaked or fed or misrepresented, like the infamous Nunes memorandum, in the service of the president, and in the meantime, they do enormous damage to these institutions. Ultimately, they will be held accountable.
The legal problem for the president is telling false statements about this is evidence of a consciousness of guilt, seemed abundantly clear he was denying knowledge of this payment, both past and present. Why would he be doing that unless he was aware that what he had done was wrong, what he had done was a violation of campaign law?
The FBI had ample reason to believe that Carter Page was acting as an agent of a foreign power based on Carter Page history, including the fact that Carter Page had previously been a target of Russian recruitment, Carter Page travel to Russia, and other information, the renewals of FISA were also appropriate and based on new information obtained by law enforcement.
The president decided the public deserved to see the Nunes memo before he ’d even read it, so he ought to be similarly eager for the American people to see this memo. Given the Adam Schiff memo is based on the same underlying documents as the Republican’s partisan memo, there should be no question as to whether or not the president will approve the new memo’s release. If Adam Schiff refuses, the American people will be forced to wonder : what is the president trying to hide ?
Abundantly and frequently, and in just about every way, when he says to the country 'we don't know,' that's a lie. When he says 'we had no contacts with the Russians,' that's a lie. When his son says 'I had no contacts with Wikileaks,' that's a lie. When General Flynn said 'I never discussed sanctions with the Russian ambassador,' that was a lie. And unfortunately, the list goes on and on.
Whether the additional party or parties present during the meeting with these top Trump campaign personnel at the time Donald Trump had seized the nomination were connected directly with Russia intelligence or not, it is clear the Kremlin got the message that Donald Trump welcomed the help of the Russian government in providing dirt on Hillary Clinton.
We want to make sure the conclusions the intelligence community reached are supported by the underlying raw data. We also were obviously very interested in the US government response when we knew the Russians had hacked us, as well as the issue of whether US persons affiliated with the Trump campaign were coordinating in any way, i think the witnesses were responsive to those questions.
Director Comey testified that Director Comey choice was to ‘ conceal or speak ’ about the Hillary Clinton investigation in the latter two weeks of the campaign, this highly-loaded description meant to justify the decision Director Comey made in the waning days of the presidential campaign is a poor characterization of the choice Director Comey faced. Schiff said the.
Nevertheless, this missile strike and the military action of our forces already in Syria, have yet to be authorized by Congress, congress cannot abdicate its responsibility any longer and should vote on any use of force not made in self defense. This is necessary whether action is taken against terrorist groups or, as here, against regime capabilities.
The President, when I met with him, said that he is happy to have whoever we wanted review the documents. His staff has opposed that, they were opposed to even letting my own staff review the documents, my staff director, so we're still trying to get those documents for the full committee, we would like the White House's help if they are sincere about wanting to share this information and have the oversight functions performed, they are to be facilitating this.
If he's going to make accusations of criminality of anyone, he needs to show evidence to support that kind of a charge, obviously, that's not something he was either able or willing to do with respect to his accusations against Obama. It's not something I suspect he's going to be able to do with Susan Rice either.
This action is long overdue and follows an inexplicable series of events in which the White House played a role in selectively and surreptitiously providing the documents to our Chairman (Nunes), the White House has yet to explain why it attempted to conceal its role in the compilation of these materials. The White House is not a whistleblower and nothing that I was shown justifies such duplicitous conduct.
It certainly is an attempt to distract and to hide the origin of the materials, to hide the White House hand, the question is, of course, why? And I think the answer to the question is this effort to point the Congress in other directions, basically say, 'Don't look at me. Don't look at Russia. There is nothing to see here.'.
Whether the White House's desire to avoid a public claim of executive privilege to keep her from providing the full truth on what happened contributed to the decision to cancel today's hearing, we do not know, but we would urge that the open hearing be rescheduled without further delay and that Ms. Yates be permitted to testify freely and openly.
We've reached the point, after the events of this week, where it would be very difficult to maintain the credibility of the investigation if the chairman did not recuse himself from matters involving either the Trump campaign or the Trump transition team of which he was a member, the questions are profound enough that I think we need to move past it, and ideally that would mean the chairman ought to recuse himself, not only from the investigation involving potential coordination or collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians, but also any oversight of minimization issues affecting the Trump transition since he was a member of that Trump transition team.
The questions are profound enough that I think we need to move past it, and ideally that would mean the chairman ought to recuse himself, not only from the investigation involving potential coordination or collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians, but also any oversight of minimization issues affecting the Trump transition since he was a member of that Trump transition team.
After much consideration, and in light of the Chairman's admission that he met with his source of information at the White House, I believe that the Chairman should recuse himself from any further involvement in the Russia investigation, as well as any involvement in oversight of matters pertaining to any incidental collection of the Trump transition, as he was also a key member of the transition team.
This is not a recommendation I make lightly, as the chairman and I have worked together well for several years; and I take this step with the knowledge of the solemn responsibility we have on the Intelligence Committee to provide oversight on all intelligence matters, not just to conduct the investigation.
Is it possible that all of these events and reports are completely unrelated. ... Yes, it is possible, it is also possible, maybe more than possible, that they are not coincidental, not disconnected and not unrelated and that the Russians used the same techniques to corrupt US persons that they employed in Europe and elsewhere. We simply don't know, not yet, and we owe it to the country to find out.
The wrecking ball it created now has banged into our British allies and our German allies, it's continuing to grow in terms of damage, and he needs to put an end to this, now maybe this is the way he conducted his real estate business, with half-truths and sometimes no-truths and a lot of bluster. That, in my opinion, is no way to run a business. But it's an even worse way to run a country.
It's one thing if the President has a detailed and thoughtful conversation with the intelligence community about what to declassify, what to release to the public, but if, on the other hand, this was simply the President looking for an opportunity to attack his predecessor, and giving little thought to the consequences of what he might be disclosing, that is a big problem.
At this point, we still can't corroborate the theory that terrorism brought it down or there was some structural problem with the plane, certainly, the backdrop is suggestive of terrorism in the sense that we have the Russian plane in Sharm el-Sheikh and we have the aspiration we've seen time and time again, not only of ISIL( Islamic State) now but of AQAP( al Qaeda), still very potent and still very determined to bring down aircraft.
I … think that ISIS may have concluded that the best way to defeat airport defenses is not to go through them, but to go around them with the help of somebody on the inside, and if that's the case, I think there are probably at least a dozen airports in the region and beyond that are vulnerable to the same kind of approach, which is exactly why we have to harden those defenses.
The agency advised those affected to monitor their bank accounts for unusual activity, and to request a credit report along with other safeguards against fraud. The Associated Press, which first reported the breach, cited officials saying that the breach could potentially affect every federal agency. One key question is whether intelligence agency employee information was stolen. This is an attack against the nation, said Ken Ammon, chief strategy officer of software security company Xceedium, who added that the stolen information could be used to impersonate or blackmail federal employees with access to sensitive information. The FBI said in a statement that The FBI was working with interagency partners to investigate the breach, while the DHS said it was continuing to monitor federal networks for suspicious activity and is working aggressively to investigate the extent of the breach. Responding to news of the breach, Congressman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., called on Senate Intelligence Committee to pass cybersecurity legislation passed by the House earlier in the year. This bill will not be a panacea for the broad cyber threats we face, but it is one important piece of armor in our defenses that must be put in place – now.
It is my hope that the administration will be willing to accept important limits in a new authorization as well as the sunset or repeal of the old [ authorizations ], as this will be necessary to ensure strong bipartisan support and meet the goals the president set last summer of refining and repealing the prior authorizations.
It's tough though, particularly when we don't have great intelligence in places like Syria to identify what's happened to Americans who have gone overseas to fight, very opaque and difficult to track. That problem is magnified a hundred times in Europe, where people can travel freely with a passport.
I think you end up funding other hostage taking and the cycle just perpetuates itself, so I think our decision is the right one, rather, try to rescue our hostages than pay ransoms, and, of course, prospectively trying to keep our people out of harm's way. I think that is really the right policy, as painful as it is, and as enormously agonizing as it is for the families of these hostages.