2:13 PM 12/15/2017 – President Donald Trump said that there was tremendous anger over the FBI’s disgraceful behavior

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M.N.: And this is absolutely correct and the truth, regardless of his own problems. But it is more than that: the FBI’s behavior is not just “disgraceful”, it is plainly and overtly CRIMINAL in many instances, about which we simply do not know or do not know enough, and in various areas. We do have to learn about it and to understand the nature of these problems, that is why we do need the thorough, independent, objective and definitive investigation of the FBI, its work, methods, etc. I still cannot believe that the things that the FBI does are happening in America. But we better believe this, and we better look into this. This is absolutely vital and essential. Do you want your children to grow up as slaves: psychologically, morally, emotionally? And that what the FBI does, in one word: it tries to enslave people by controlling and subjugating them, in various ways, and with their various “techniques”. And at the same time, they are grossly, patently, and obviously incompetent in the Criminal Justice and the National Security matters. This situation became simply intolerable, and it demands the urgent attention of the Congress and the American people. 

President Donald Trump said that there was tremendous anger over the FBI’s disgraceful behavior,

criticizing the Bureau just before he appeared at its training facility in Quantico, Virginia, to praise the nations police officers the Washington Post. Its a shame what happened to the FBI Trump told reporters as he prepared to depart for a ceremony at the FBIs National Academy, where more than 200 law enforcement officers graduated from a training program..

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President Donald Trump said that there was tremendous anger over the FBIs disgraceful behavior, criticizing the Bureau just before he appeared at its training facility in Quantico, Virginia, to praise the nations police officers the Washington Post. Its a shame what happened to the FBI Trump told reporters as he prepared to depart for a ceremony at the FBIs National Academy, where more than 200 law enforcement officers graduated from a training program..In an annual press conference on Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin praised President Trumps job performance, saying Washington was consumed by spy mania and that the Russian investigation was invented by people who are in opposition to Trump to characterize his work as illegitimate. The Wall Street Journal  that Putin spoke favorably about the U.S. economy, attributing rising stock exchange numbers to Trump. The Russian president also questioned the investigation of contacts between former national security adviser Michael Flynn and the former Russian ambassador to the United States, Sergey Kislyak, saying it was a world wide practice for diplomatic teams to understand what people will do if they come into power and how to react to it. Putin also dismissed his domestic competitors in the Russian presidential election. POLITICO  that Trump called Putin to thank him for his remarks on the U.S. economy, and to discuss how they can resolve the issue of North Koreas nuclear program. The two leaders spoke for 10 minutes with no one listening in, including national security adviser H.R. McMaster.

President Trump suggested this morning that he has not dismissed the idea of pardoning former national security adviser Michael Flynn after he pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI earlier this month CNN. Speaking to reporters on the South Lawn of the White House this morning, Trump said he was not ready to talk about pardons, saying well see what happens, lets see. Trump instead focused attention on the Department of Justice and the FBI, saying that people were very, very angry about what is happening at the two agencies. His lawyer for the Russia investigation, Ty Cobb, told CNN after Trumps remarks that the president is not considering pardoning Flynn.

Senate Republicans are attempting to shield special counsel Robert Mueller from mounting GOP fury about purported  evidence that his team was biased against Trumpthe Post. As House Republicans demand a special counsel to investigate Robert Mueller in the face of newly-released anti-Trump, pro-Hillary Clinton text messages between FBI agent Peter Strzok and FBI attorney Lisa Page, Senate Republicans have come to Muellers aid. Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) are among those defending Mueller, saying that the FBI officials conduct does not impinge on Muellers integrity in investigating Russian interference into the 2016 presidential election.

Robert Mueller has requested employee emails from Cambridge Analytica, a data firm that worked for President Trumps campaign to the Journal. The request sought the emails of all employees who had worked on the Trump campaign and was made before the media reported in October that Cambridge CEO Alexander Nix had contacted Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange during the 2016 presidential election. The ties between Cambridge Analytica and Wikileaks are also of interest to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, according to that committees ranking member, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.).

Foreign Policy  the secret history of the Russian consulate in San Francisco, detailing its busy activity.

In a continuing feud between the State Department and the White House, a White House official said that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has not learned his lesson from the last time, after Tillerson recently offered to start diplomatic talks with North Korea over its nuclear program the Post. The official also stated that our allies know at this point hes not really speaking for the administration and that he cannot stay in the job for much longer. White House spokesman Raj Shah rebutted this assertion, saying Trump is pleased with his national security team, which includes Secretary Tillerson.

National security adviser H.R. McMaster is under fire from critics who say the three star general is hurting efforts to recruit members to the Presidents Intelligence Advisory Board, Foreign Policy . Oracle Corporation executive Safra Catz and tech magnate Peter Thiel have both reportedly turned down jobs leading the advisory board in part over concerns about McMaster, although others dispute that account. This latest charge is just the latest in an ongoing feud between factions on the National Security Council.

A new U.S. Army study of U.S. participation in the battle for Mosul, code-named Eagle Strike, details that difficulties in sharing imagery contributed to different understandings what was going on during hostilities the Journal. Explaining that a common operational and intelligence picture is critical, the report also raised concerns about the militarys response to the ISIS drone threat, the use of private contractors, training for urban warfare, and the means by which American forces communicated with Mosuls trapped residents. The report will be used in making training decisions, helping to inform the approach to future conflicts, according to Center for Army Lessons Learned Director Col. Mike Pappal.

The Post  that ISIS used rockets supplied by the United States, some of which appear to have been provided to Syrian rebels battling President Bashar al-Assad. The revelation is part of a report by Conflict Armament Research, a weapons-tracking group based in Britain that has documented more than 40,000 firearms and munitions across Iraq and Syria stemming from field investigations.

Sen. Todd Young (R-In.) is holding up the confirmation of Trumps nominee to be the State Departments top legal counsel, Jennifer Newstead, in an effort to persuade the Trump administration to pressure Saudi Arabia to end its stranglehold on aid to Yemen Foreign Policy. The now nearly three-year-old conflict in Yemen has been largely overlooked by the U.S. government, despite U.S. supplies of bombs and fuel to the Saudis. International aid organizations said the senators efforts were responsible for the White Houses nudge last month to Saudi Arabia to lift a blockage on U.N. flights and shipments to Yemen.

The Military Times  that new satellite imagery shows that this year, China has built infrastructure covering 72 acres in the Spratly and Paracel islands to equip its larger outposts as air and naval bases. The islands, part of disputed territory in the South China Sea, have long been a source of tension between the United States and China, but those tensions have eased in the past year. The activity comes as China joins negotiations with southeast Asian nations to agree on a code of conduct for the South China Sea.

Jessica Trisko Darden of the Post  how far Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte will go to stop terrorism in light of his recent extension of martial law for a second time in his home province of Mindanao, where militants associated with the Islamic State have made a stronghold.

Britains Chief of Defense Staff Air Chief Marshal Stuart Peach warned that Britain and its NATO allies must defend deep-sea cables against potentially disastrous attacks by the Russian navy, Reuters . The vulnerability of the cables, which carry 95 percent of the worlds daily communications and over $10 trillion in daily transactions, are a new risk to our way of life, according to Peach.

 

ICYMI: Yesterday on Lawfare

Philip Carter  how changing norms surrounding civilian-military relations as a result of the Trump administration may apply in the future.

Benjamin Wittes  his thoughts about Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosensteins testimony before the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday.

Chris Mirasola  the proceedings of the military commission trying commission for the week of Dec. 4.

Paul Rosenzweig  an amicus brief he filed in the Microsoft warrant case.

Stewart Baker  this weeks Cyberlaw Podcast: Did AlphaGo Launch an Arms Race with China?

Matthew Kahn  British barrister David Andersons independent assessment of British counterterrorism intelligence.

Baker  a reasonable explanation of the meaning behind the insurance policy text by FBI agent Peter Strzok.

 

Email the Roundup Team noteworthy law and security-related articles to include, and follow us on Twitter and  for additional commentary on these issues.  to receive Lawfare in your inbox. Visit our  to learn about upcoming national security events, and check out relevant job openings on our .

UK defense chief says Russia poses risk to undersea cables

LONDON (AP) – The head of Britain’s military says Russia could try to sever undersea communications cables, and protecting them is a defense priority for NATO.Air Chief Marshal Stuart Peach says cutting or disrupting the cables could have a “potentially catastrophic” economic effect.

Peach told an audience at the …

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NYC Woman Charged With Laundering Money Through Cryptocurrencies to ISIS

A Long Island woman A woman in Long Island has been accused of bank fraud and laundering more than $85,000 worth of Bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies to support the Islamic State.The Department of Justice said on Thursday that the 27-year-old woman, Zoobia Shahnaz, is being charged with bank fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and three counts of money laundering, ABC News reported.

“The defendant defrauded numerous financial institutions and obtained over $85,000 in illicit proceeds, which she converted to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies,” the Department of Justice DOJ explained in a statement about the unsealed five-count federal court indictment.

“She then laundered and transferred the funds out of the country to support the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS),” the DOJ statement continued. “After consummating the scheme, the defendant attempted to leave the United States and travel to Syria. Shahnaz, a U.S. citizen, was arrested yesterday.”

According to the court record, Shahnaz worked as a lab technician in a hospital in Manhattan up until June 2017, and around June 2016 she volunteered in Jordan with the Syrian American Medical Society.

As part of her volunteer work, she was working in a refugee camp where the prosecutors said “ISIS exercises significant influence.”

Shahnaz’s Shahnazs attorney, Steve Zissou, said she never attempted to help ISIS and ISIS, she only wanted to help the Syrian refugees she had come across while volunteering.

“Whatever she did was for humanitarian purposes only,” Zissou said.

Yet prosecutors claim Shahnaz fraudulently obtained six credit cards and a loan from a Manhattan bank, which she then used to procure $85,000 to convert to cryptocurrencies in order to transfer the funds overseas and provide financial support to from ISIS. Agents have accused the Long Island resident of providing conflicting explanations about the wire transfers.

Shahnaz was suspected of foul play while attempting to board a suspicious flight at JFK airport in New York City on July 31. She was questioned by law enforcement officials at the airport while attempting to board a flight to Pakistan with a layover in Turkey. Her return flight was booked for Sept. 4 from Istanbul, Turkey back to JFK.

Prosecutors pointed out that ISIS recommends those who wish to travel and join ISIS buy round trip tickets because it appears less suspicious.

She is being held without bail, pending trial. Her next court date is Jan. 5.

The post NYC Woman Charged With Laundering Money Through Cryptocurrencies to ISIS appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

DOJ: Early Media Release of FBI Agents Texts Were Not Authorized

The Department of Justice on Thursday acknowledged that (DOJ) has acknowledged some members of the media received copies of texts between two FBI agents before members of Congress did, and saidbut  the disclosures “were not authorized.”In  the statement to Politico, Department of Justice DOJ spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores said key members of the House Judiciary Committee were given copies of the texts between Peter Strzok and Lisa Page ahead of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s public testimony on Wednesday, Business Insider reports.

Some messages between Strzok and Page expressed support for Hillary Clinton and disdain toward then-presidential candiate Donald Trump during the 2016 election.

Strzok was part of the operation overseeing the Clinton email investigation, and both agents worked for a time on the special counsel investigation into alleged Russian meddling and collusion. Once the texts were uncovered over the summer, Strzok was removed from special counsel Robert Mueller’s Muellersinvestigation and relegated to the FBI’s human-resources department. Page had previously left her stint on the team before Mueller’s office was made aware of the text messages.

After sharing the text messages with lawmakers, the Department of Justice’s DOJs public affairs division then shared the same messages with reporters, but some members of the media “had already received copies.”

“As we understand now, some members of the media had already received copies of the texts before thatbut that but those disclosures were not authorized by the department,” Flores said.

The text were uncovered in July as part of an ongoing investigation by the Department of Justice’s DOJinspector general into how the FBI handled the probe into Clinton’s use of a private email server while serving as secretary of state.

Department of Justice DOJ official on Wednesday told Business Insider the department “often” provided reporters with the information they give to congressional Congressional committees to “avoid any confusion.”

The department’s DOJs statements were made in response to Democratic ranking members of the House Judiciary Committee asking for an explanation of the early media release, and inquiring whetherif the Office of Inspector General (OIG) was consulted before the release. The Democrats also sent a similar letter to Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz.

The department DOJ consulted with a senior career ethics adviser advisor who, despite Flores’ description that the release was not initially authorized, authorize, “determined that there were no legal or ethical concerns, including under the Privacy Act, that prohibited the release of the information to the public either by members of Congress or by the department,” Politico reported.

Rosenstein also addressed the release of information to the media on Wednesday during the public hearing.

“Generally speaking, our goal is to be as forthcoming with the media as we can, when it is lawful and appropriate to do so,” Rosenstein said during the hearing. “So I would not approve anybody disclosing something that was not appropriate to disclose.”

The post DOJ: Early Media Release of FBI Agents Texts Were Not Authorized appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

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