Graham Vows to Investigate Whether ‘Bureaucratic Coup’ Tried to Oust Trump

Senator Lindsey Graham, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, vowed on Sunday to investigate whether the top officials at the Justice Department and the F.B.I. plotted an “attempted bureaucratic coup” to remove President Trump from office, and said he would subpoena the former F.B.I. director and the deputy attorney general if necessary.

Mr. Graham, Republican of South Carolina, was reacting to an interview in which the former F.B.I. deputy director, Andrew G. McCabe, confirmed an earlier New York Times report that the deputy attorney general, Rod J. Rosenstein, had suggested wearing a wire in meetings with Mr. Trump and that Justice Department officials had discussed recruiting cabinet members to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Mr. Trump from office.

Mr. Rosenstein has disputed the account.

“I think everybody in the country needs to know if it happened,” Mr. Graham said on the CBS program “Face the Nation,” calling Mr. McCabe’s assertion “beyond stunning.” He added: “I’m going to do everything I can to get to the bottom of Department of Justice, F.B.I. behavior toward President Trump and his campaign.”

Asked by the program’s host, Margaret Brennan, if he would subpoena Mr. McCabe and Mr. Rosenstein to testify, Mr. Graham said, “How can I not if that’s what it takes?” He promised to have a hearing to find out “who’s telling the truth.”

A Democratic member of the Judiciary Committee, Senator Chris Coons of Delaware, agreed with Mr. Graham that Mr. McCabe’s remarks “deserve scrutiny.” But he took issue with Mr. Graham’s characterization of the situation.

“I don’t think that this frankly rises to the level of some deep state conspiracy or a serious attempt at what Senator Graham called an administrative coup,” said Mr. Coons, also speaking on “Face the Nation.” “I suspect that once this is fully discussed, it’ll be clearer that this was a brief or passing conversation that’s been taken out of context.”

Mr. McCabe made the explosive remarks in an interview with the CBS program “60 Minutes,” released in part on Thursday, in advance of its full airing Sunday evening. He said Justice Department officials became so alarmed by Mr. Trump’s decision in May 2017 to fire James B. Comey, the bureau’s director, that they discussed whether to recruit cabinet members to invoke the 25th Amendment, which outlines the succession plan should the president become incapacitated, resign or die in office.In a second clip of the interview aired Sunday on “Face the Nation,” Mr. McCabe said he spoke to the president just after Mr. Comey was fired, and subsequently ordered the bureau’s team investigating Russia’s election interference to look into whether Mr. Trump had obstructed justice by firing Mr. Comey. The F.B.I. also began examining whether Mr. Trump had been working on behalf of Russia against American interests.

Mr. McCabe said that he and others were “concerned about a national security threat.”He continued: “And the idea is, if the president committed obstruction of justice, fired the director of the F.B.I. to negatively impact or to shut down our investigation of Russia’s malign activity and possibly in support of his campaign, as a counterintelligence investigator you have to ask yourself, ‘Why would a president of the United States do that?’”

Mr. McCabe said that he and others were “concerned about a national security threat.”He continued: “And the idea is, if the president committed obstruction of justice, fired the director of the F.B.I. to negatively impact or to shut down our investigation of Russia’s malign activity and possibly in support of his campaign, as a counterintelligence investigator you have to ask yourself, ‘Why would a president of the United States do that?’”
Mr. McCabe made the explosive remarks in an interview with the CBS program “60 Minutes,” released in part on Thursday, in advance of its full airing Sunday evening. He said Justice Department officials became so alarmed by Mr. Trump’s decision in May 2017 to fire James B. Comey, the bureau’s director, that they discussed whether to recruit cabinet members to invoke the 25th Amendment, which outlines the succession plan should the president become incapacitated, resign or die in office.In a second clip of the interview aired Sunday on “Face the Nation,” Mr. McCabe said he spoke to the president just after Mr. Comey was fired, and subsequently ordered the bureau’s team investigating Russia’s election interference to look into whether Mr. Trump had obstructed justice by firing Mr. Comey. The F.B.I. also began examining whether Mr. Trump had been working on behalf of Russia against American interests.

Mr. McCabe said that he and others were “concerned about a national security threat.”He continued: “And the idea is, if the president committed obstruction of justice, fired the director of the F.B.I. to negatively impact or to shut down our investigation of Russia’s malign activity and possibly in support of his campaign, as a counterintelligence investigator you have to ask yourself, ‘Why would a president of the United States do that?’”

Mr. McCabe said that he and others were “concerned about a national security threat.”He continued: “And the idea is, if the president committed obstruction of justice, fired the director of the F.B.I. to negatively impact or to shut down our investigation of Russia’s malign activity and possibly in support of his campaign, as a counterintelligence investigator you have to ask yourself, ‘Why would a president of the United States do that?’”
Mr. McCabe said that he and others were “concerned about a national security threat.”He continued: “And the idea is, if the president committed obstruction of justice, fired the director of the F.B.I. to negatively impact or to shut down our investigation of Russia’s malign activity and possibly in support of his campaign, as a counterintelligence investigator you have to ask yourself, ‘Why would a president of the United States do that?’”

He added, “So all those same sorts of facts cause us to wonder, is there an inappropriate relationship, a connection between this president and our most fearsome enemy, the government of Russia?”

Mr. McCabe was fired by Jeff Sessions, the attorney general at the time, on the eve of his retirement in March 2018, after being accused of a lack of candor. The “60 Minutes” interview was part of a book tour to promote his memoir, “The Threat: How the F.B.I. Protects America in the Age of Terror and Trump,” which will be released this week.

FOLLOW THE LINK FOR THE FULL REPORT – JR

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/17/us/politics/lindsey-graham-face-the-nation.html

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Berlin Vows to Crack Down on Arab Criminal Gangs

Seized by fears of being labeled xenophobic, Berlin officials have allowed a parallel world to emerge in Germany’s capital – one inhabited by criminal gangs of Middle Eastern origin. But is it too late for a crackdown?

After years of inaction, Berlin law enforcement authorities are finally taking the growing issue of migrant gangs seriously. The city’s government on Monday announced a crackdown on migrant criminal gangs, unveiling a five-point plan which they said would help tackle the issue. Their new crime fighting strategy includes enhanced cooperation between police and the prosecutor’s office, as well as social welfare and youth services. Together they hope to crowdsource information-gathering on gang activities.

Other measures will involve harsher punishments for minor violations committed by gang members and a system of youth crime prevention, which is designed to help young gang members avoid becoming career criminals.

Ethnic clans

The exact number of the gangs or of their membership is apparently unclear. However, around a dozen such groups are known to German police. A report by the Tagesspiegel daily claims that there are several “Arab clans” that, together, comprise some 200 members. However, there may in fact be more, as members are usually extremely tight-lipped about their criminal ties.

Commonly known as the “Arab clans,” these criminal groups in fact come from various backgrounds but are all of Middle Eastern origin. The list of gangs known to police includes Palestinian gangs as well as groups consisting of Turkish Kurds and refugees that fled the Lebanese Civil War, Germany’s Focus magazine reports.

The gangs are also reported to maintain ties with their countries of origin. Its members, who are often already third generation migrants, still identify themselves not as Germans but as Arabs, the daily added.

Parallel society

Over the decades, the gangs have created a parallel world in the German capital as they built their vast criminal networks consisting of numerous shady businesses financed through ill-gotten gains. Some criminal groups have been active in Berlin for almost half a century, as their first members arrived in Germany in the 1970s.

In July, Berlin police discovered and confiscated as many as 77 real estate assets belonging to just one such family, which were all bought with criminal money. The confiscated properties were worth a combined €9.3 million ($10.5 million).

The gangs are usually involved in the drug trade as well as robberies. Several such groups were behind a number of recent high-profile cases that made headlines in Germany and beyond.

High-profile crimes

In December 2014, five members of a criminal gang broke into two jewellery stores in a shopping center located in Western Berlin not far from the Berlin Zoo and the famous Tiergarten Park. Armed with axes and machetes, the masked robbers stormed the facilities in broad daylight, pepper-spraying shoppers and injuring 13 people. They managed to steal Rolex watches and jewelry worth €817,000 ($923,050) before fleeing the scene.

Although the raiders were later caught, the police still failed to find the valuables they stole, German media reported. In March 2017, another ethnic gang stole an extremely rare commemorative coin in a daring, middle-of-the-night heist that targeted the world-famous, UNESCO-listed Bode Museum in Berlin.

The coin they stole was known as the ‘Big Maple Leaf’ and was issued by the Royal Canadian Mint in 2007. The coin is reportedly worth €920,000 (around $1 million) in its current form. The 100kg of gold, however, would sell for roughly €3.7 million ($4.2 million) at current market value. The coin has not been found yet, with the police believing that the culprits might have actually melted it down.

More recently, German police report a spike in gang violence, as rival ‘families’ have been launching attacks against each other for weeks. In one such attack, a notorious gang member and repeat offender was shot down near the now-defunct Berlin Tempelhof Airport. Police then had to guard his funeral in order to prevent any further violence. Notably, the ceremony was attended by some 2,000 people, according to local media reports.

Fear of ‘xenophobic’ label?

One of the hurdles facing German law enforcement is the risk of being labeled as xenophobic for going after migrant groups – even if they’re criminals.

An association of Berlin criminal defense lawyers has even questioned the notion that “clan crime” exists, arguing that the term is too vague.

Hannes Honecker, the head of the association, said that speaking about “clan crime” is taking a page from right-wing populists like Alternative for Germany (AfD), a right-wing political party that is gaining traction in Germany. He added that such “depreciative” rhetoric conjures the picture of “large homogenous … criminal families, which do not exist.”

Meanwhile, according to Focus, the German police have long preferred not to systematically target the ethnic gangs, treating their crimes as isolated cases instead, precisely out of fear of being labeled xenophobic.

But as the criminal gangs continue to consolidate their presence in Berlin, Germany may have to put aside political correctness and opt instead for safer streets.

FOLLOW THE LINK FOR THE FULL REPORT – JR

https://www.infowars.com/berlin-vows-to-crack-down-on-arab-criminal-gangs/

PEACE! North and South Korea agree to ‘COMPLETE denuclearisation’ as Moon Jae-in vows ‘there will be no war’ with Kim Jong-un

The declaration included promises to pursue military arms reduction, cease “hostile acts,” turn their fortified border into a “peace zone,” and seek multilateral talks with other countries, such as the United States.

In his first ever press conference in front of the world’s media Kim Jong-un said:“We are one nation we cannot be separated. We share the same blood.

“We are living with each other. We are brothers.”

The Koreas said they hope the parties will be able to declare an official end to the war by the end of this year.


What’s happened so far:

  • Kim Jong-un met with South Korean President Moon Jae-in on the southern side of the demilitarised zone in the border truce village of Panmunjom
  • He made history as the first North Korean leader to cross into the South since the Korean War ended in 1953
  • The leaders displayed signs of unity and peace as they shook hands on both sides of the border line
  • Kim signed a guest book at the Peace House, in which he wrote: “A new history begins now”
  • Referring to missile tests, Kim joked “[we] won’t interrupt your early morning sleep anymore”
  • Kim offered to visit South Korean presidential mansion after Moon suggested more summits
  • The pair have planted a commemorative pine tree from 1953 – the year the Korean War armistice was signed – at the border truce village.
  • The countries have agreed to the the complete denuclearisation of the peninsula and hope to declare the war officially over by the end of this year.

FOLLOW THE LINK FOR THE FULL REPORT – JR

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/6154655/north-south-korea-agree-denuclearisation-kim-jong-un-moon-jae-in/