Gregg Re

Michael Flynn was under FBI investigation earlier than previously thought, according to a little-noticed section in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report — and the former national security adviser’s brother told Fox News exclusively this week that the revelation suggested a long-running, high-level effort to “trip him up” and “trap” him.

Buried in the second volume of the Mueller report was a mention of an existing FBI investigation of Flynn “based on his relationship with the Russian government,” which predated Flynn’s phone calls during the presidential transition in December 2016 with then-Russian ambassador Sergei Kislyak that ultimately led to his termination for lying.

It was previously thought that Flynn’s communications with Kislyak – picked up by the U.S. intelligence community – made the FBI suspicious, sparking the Flynn probe.

According to Mueller’s report, “members of the intelligence community were surprised by Russia’s decision not to retaliate in response to the sanctions. When analyzing Russia’s response, they became aware of Flynn’s discussion of sanctions with Kislyak. Previously, the FBI had opened an investigation of Flynn based on his relationship with the Russian government. Flynn’s contacts with Kislyak became a key component of that investigation.”

FOX NEWS EXCLUSIVE: RUSSIAN ACADEMIC SAYS HER CONTACTS WITH FLYNN WERE USED TO ‘SMEAR’ HIM 

After Fox News reported on the development Friday morning, President Trump questioned, in a tweet, why he wasn’t briefed on the probe in 2016 “so that I could make a change?”

That section of the report cites interviews, documented in witness reports known as FBI “302s,” with former acting assistant attorney general Mary McCord, who helped steer the Russia probe, and former FBI director James Comey.

“It was an absolute surprise when the Mueller report came out,” Flynn’s brother Joe told Fox News.

He said his brother “went through 19 sessions with the special counsel — approximately 90 hours of torturous interviews — and this never came up the entire time. And you would have thought it would have, and they would have maybe focused on that, but it didn’t come up at all.”

Joe Flynn, right, said it was an "absolute surprise" to learn that authorities had apparently been investigating his brother, Michael, during the 2016 transition or earlier. (Joe Flynn)

Joe Flynn, right, said it was an “absolute surprise” to learn that authorities had apparently been investigating his brother, Michael, during the 2016 transition or earlier. (Joe Flynn)

The special counsel’s disclosure also sheds new light on a cryptic passage in the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence’s report on Russian interference released last year. The report said Comey, in closed-door testimony, indicated there was an open case on Flynn — which was about to be closed, until Flynn’s calls with the Russian ambassador.

“Director Comey testified that he authorized the closure of the CI [counter-intelligence] investigation into General Flynn by late December 2016; however, the investigation was kept open due to the public discrepancy surrounding General Flynn’s communications with Ambassador Kislyak,” the report said. “Deputy Director [Andrew] McCabe stated that, ‘We really had not substantiated anything particularly significant against General Flynn,’ but did not recall that a closure of the CI investigation was imminent.”

The same Republican report found there was no briefing to warn the Trump campaign that a senior figure like Flynn was under investigation.

“The Trump campaign was not notified that members of the campaign were potential counterintelligence concerns,” even though such a defensive briefing would not have been unusual, the report said.

“My suspicion is that they were doing everything they could to trip him up and to trap him.”

— Joe Flynn, on his brother Michael

“The Trump campaign,” the report continued, “did not receive a general counterintelligence briefing until August 2016, and even then, it was never specifically notified about [George] Papadopoulos, [Carter] Page, [Paul] Manafort or General Flynn’s Russia ties.”

James Trusty, a 27-year Justice Department veteran who worked in the criminal division and served as chief of the organized crime section, told Fox News the wording in the Mueller report likely indicated the existence of an underreported investigation.

“It looks pretty clear to me that the use of the word ‘previously’ is suggesting an independent investigation, but there’s always room for a little fog of war,” Trusty said. “I think there was probably some other investigation; whether a dormant one, or a big one, a little one, we don’t know, but it looks like there was something else out there.”

Flynn’s brother said the passage backed up the family’s long-held concerns.

“Because of his vocal criticism of the Obama administration and specifically the intelligence community which he came out of, my suspicion is that they were doing everything they could to trip him up and to trap him,” Joe Flynn told Fox News.

The Obama administration fired Flynn as head of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA)  in 2014.

The Mueller report’s statement concerning Flynn’s Russian government contacts may have referred to a 2015 dinner in Moscow, in which Flynn sat next to Russian President Vladimir Putin and was paid $45,000 for a speech.

But Joe Flynn said his brother, who had led military intelligence, had kept colleagues in the loop.

“He did participate in an event where he made a speech over in Moscow,” Flynn said. “But he briefed the DIA prior to that and he briefed the DIA after that. He maintained his top-secret security clearance right up until the point. He resigned from his job as national security adviser. So if there was a big problem with what his actions were, why wouldn’t they have revoked his security clearance and told him that there’s an issue here?”

Michael Flynn is still awaiting sentencing in the wake of his guilty plea for lying to investigators about conversations with the Russian ambassador. His case returned to the headlines earlier this week after prosecutors said in a court filing that Flynn had told Mueller’s office that people tied to Congress and the administration tried to influence his cooperation with the probe. The judge has ordered relevant sections of Mueller’s report to be unredacted. The special counsel’s report did not reach a conclusion on whether the president obstructed justice, but Attorney General Bill Barr and then-deputy Rod Rosenstein determined the evidence did not warrant a criminal charge.

Former FBI general counsel James Baker, meanwhile, was recently pressed on other probes involving the Trump team before late July 2016, when the FBI opened an investigation into whether and why Trump aide George Papadopoulos had told an Australian diplomat that the Russians had dirt on Hillary Clinton.

“Just to clarify, was there an open investigation against anybody associated with the Trump campaign before this Papadopoulos investigation was opened, you know, in response to this information?” Baker was asked at the Brookings Institution.

“Not to my knowledge,” Baker replied. It’s not publicly known when the earlier Flynn investigation began.

Fox News asked a spokesperson for the special counsel about the Flynn investigation, including when it started, what was the predicate and whether it was separate from the FBI probe that opened in July 2016. The spokesperson declined to comment.

Source: Fox News Politics

Former White House national security adviser Michael Flynn told Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office that people connected to the Trump administration and Congress reached out and contacted him as he was cooperating with the Russia investigation, and he provided a voicemail recording of one such communication, prosecutors said in a court filing made public on Thursday.

Mueller did not ultimately charge Trump or anyone in his orbit concerning those communications, even though the special counsel’s office examined nearly a dozen episodes for potential obstruction, including purported efforts by the president to discourage cooperation.

For his part, the judge in the case ordered that portions of Mueller’s report that relate to Flynn be unredacted and made public by the end of the month.

Thursday’s order from U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan is the first time a judge is known to have directed the Justice Department to make public any portion of the report that the agency had kept secret. It could set up a conflict with Attorney General William Barr, whose team spent weeks blacking out grand jury information to comply with federal law, along with details of ongoing investigations and other sensitive information.

Prosecutors revealed details about Flynn’s communications in a court filing aimed at showing the extent of his cooperation with Mueller’s investigation into ties between the Trump campaign and Russia. Flynn, a vital witness in the probe, is awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts during the presidential transition period in 2016 with the Russian ambassador to the United States at the time.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller exits St. John's Episcopal Church after attending services, across from the White House, in Washington back in March. Mueller closed his long and contentious Russia investigation with no new charges. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

Special Counsel Robert Mueller exits St. John’s Episcopal Church after attending services, across from the White House, in Washington back in March. Mueller closed his long and contentious Russia investigation with no new charges. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

Prosecutors did not identify the people with whom Flynn was in touch, nor did they detail the conversations.

But they said Flynn recounted multiple instances in which “he or his attorneys received communications from persons connected to the administration or Congress that could have affected both his willingness to cooperate and the completeness of that cooperation.”

Prosecutors say they were unaware of some of those instances, which took place before and after his guilty plea, until Flynn told them about them.

DEEP STATE OF PANIC: BRENNAN, COMEY ASSOCIATES DISPUTE WHO PUSHED DISCREDITED STEELE DOSSIER, AS DOJ PROBE HEATS UP

The report reveals that after Flynn began cooperating with the government, an unidentified Trump lawyer left a message with Flynn’s attorneys reminding them that the president still had warm feelings for Flynn and asking for a “heads-up” if he knew any damaging information about the president.

Sullivan ordered prosecutors Thursday to give him a copy of the audio recording they reference in the court filing, and to make public a transcript of that call.

He also directed them to file publicly the transcripts of any calls with Russian officials such as the ambassador, Sergey Kislyak.

Flynn was supposed to have been sentenced in December, with prosecutors saying he was so cooperative and helpful in their investigation that he was entitled to avoid prison. But after a judge sharply criticized Flynn during his sentencing hearing, Flynn asked for that reckoning to be postponed so that he could continue cooperating with prosecutors and reduce the likelihood of spending time behind bars.

The document also details how Flynn assisted investigators as they looked into whether the Trump campaign conspired with the Kremlin to sway the outcome of the 2016 election.

Flynn described to investigators statements from senior campaign officials in 2016 about WikiLeaks — which received and published Democratic emails that were hacked by Russian intelligence officers “to which only a select few people were privy,” prosecutors said. That includes conversations with senior campaign officials “during which the prospect of reaching out to WikiLeaks was discussed.”

A redacted version of Mueller’s report released last month said that the evidence did not establish a criminal conspiracy between Russia and the campaign, despite multiple efforts by Russian actors to involve the Trump campaign apparatus in election hacking.

Fox News’ Catherine Herridge and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Source: Fox News Politics

Shortly after the 2016 presidential election, then-Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Kathleen Kavalec and Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr discussed new allegations concerning the Trump campaign’s Russia connections that were sourced to British ex-spy Christopher Steele, according to documents made public Wednesday.

The previous month, in October 2016, Kavalec had met with Steele and documented his political motivations in writing — particularly that he was “keen” to see his anti-Trump materials “come to light” prior to the election. Kavelec forwarded her written notes, in which she also pointed out that some of Steele’s claims were apparently false, to a senior FBI executive.

Despite Kavalec’s concerns, the FBI used Steele’s information to obtain a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant targeting former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page just weeks later.

The email correspondence between Ohr and Kavalec highlighted Steele’s influence in the DOJ and State Department even as concerns about his reliability mounted, and shed new light on a pivotal period in federal authorities’ probe of the Trump team.

The documents were unearthed this week as part of a transparency lawsuit by the group Judicial Watch.

On Nov. 21, 2016, Kavalec began by thanking Ohr for stopping by to discuss the OCDETF (Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force), then added: “Regarding the person I mentioned, Simon Kukes, below are a couple of links to the story I mentioned.”

DEEP STATE OF PANIC: DISPUTE ERUPTS OVER WHETHER BRENNAN, COMEY PUSHED STEELE DOSSIER

The first was a Mother Jones piece entitled, “A Major Russian-American Oil Magnate Is Putting Big Money Behind Trump’s Campaign.” The second was an OpenSecrets article, “Russian-born oil magnate gives big to Trump Victory.”

Information on Russian-American oil magnate Simon Kukes, provided by Christopher Steele, was discussed at high levels of the DOJ and State Department, new docs show -- even after Steele's credibility was questioned. (AP Photo/Mikhail Metzel)

Information on Russian-American oil magnate Simon Kukes, provided by Christopher Steele, was discussed at high levels of the DOJ and State Department, new docs show — even after Steele’s credibility was questioned. (AP Photo/Mikhail Metzel)

The articles reported that Russian-American oil magnate Simon Grigorievich Kukes had donated $150,000 to the Trump campaign and a related committee, his first donations in a federal election campaign.

“On this campaign donation story, I just wondered what, assuming this is true, the original source of the funding might have been,” Kevalec wrote, noting that State Department colleague Tom Firestone had previously introduced her to Kukes personally.

Ohr responded: “Thank you for taking the time to meet with us. I really hope we can get something going here.” Ohr did not specify exactly what he meant.

“This is very interesting — I may have heard about him from Tom Firestone as well, but I can’t recall for certain,” Ohr continued. “We will take another look at this. Thanks again, and I look forward to seeing everyone at the next meeting.”

In a follow-up email, Kevalec said she was “re-looking” at her notes from her October 2016 meeting with Steele, whose anti-Trump views are now widely known.

“I see Chris [Steele] said [Simon] Kukes has [sic] some connection to Serge Millian,” Kevalec wrote to Ohr. Millian is a Russian businessman and a purported source for the Steele dossier.

The Hill’s John Solomon first reported details of Kevalec’s meeting with Steele, which Fox News later confirmed. On Nov. 1, 2016, the FBI fired Steele as a source, citing his leaks to the news media.

But the FBI had already relied on much of Steele’s work to pursue a FISA warrant against Page in October 2016. And emails previously uncovered by Judicial Watch revealed that Ohr remained in regular contact with Steele even after he was fired by the FBI as a source — effectively providing Steele a back channel to reach the FBI and Justice Department.

According to Kevalec’s notes, Steele told her of “a technical/human operation run out of Moscow targeting the election” and acknowledged that he wanted his allegations publicized in advance of the 2016 presidential election.

Steele also told Kevalec that “payments to those recruited are made out of the Russian Consulate in Miami,” according to Kevalec’s notes, which quickly debunked Steele’s assertion: “It is important to note that there is no Russian consulate in Miami.”

WHO IS THE US ATTORNEY THAT BARR APPOINTED TO LOOK INTO FBI, DOJ MISCONDUCT?

Fox News reported earlier this year that Ohr’s own meetings with Steele in 2016 were shared by Ohr with his expansive circle of contacts inside the department — including senior FBI leadership and officials later assigned to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.

Additionally, Bruce Ohr’s wife, Nellie, worked for Fusion GPS, the research group that commissioned the dossier and was funded by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC).

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Nellie Ohr conducted extensive opposition research on Trump family members and campaign aides while working for the firm behind the dossier in 2016, according to a transcript of her closed-door interview with Congress released earlier this year.

Her tenure at Fusion GPS lasted from October 2015 to September 2016. Nellie Ohr also testified that when she was hired by the firm’s co-founder Glenn Simpson, he was aware that her husband was a high-level Justice Department official.

Source: Fox News Politics

The White House is set to unveil a sweeping new plan that would radically transform the makeup of immigrants in the United States, ending the visa lottery program and implementing a comprehensive merit-based admissions procedure, three senior administration officials told Fox News on Wednesday.

The move would more than quadruple the number of immigrants admitted because of their work-related skills, while dramatically slashing the number of immigrants admitted because of family ties. Currently, approximately 12 percent of immigrants are admitted based on employment and skills, while 66 percent are admitted based on family connections.

Those percentages, under the new plan, would shift to 57 percent and 33 percent, respectively. Ten percent of immigrants would be admitted on humanitarian or other grounds, but the plan would end the visa lottery program.

In its place: a new “Build America Visa” program that would recognize “extraordinary talent” and “people with professional and specialized vocations,” including exceptional students, Fox News has learned.

Potential immigrants would be assessed using a point-based system, accounting for factors including age, English proficiency, whether each candidate has an offer of employment above a certain wage threshold, and educational and vocational certifications. Pledges to invest and create jobs also would be considered.

The average yearly wage of immigrant families currently is approximately $43,000. The officials said immigrants admitted based on education and skills would have an average family income of $126,000, and they would expect the average yearly wage of all immigrant families to rise to roughly $96,000.

The Trump administration also said it has considered other similar immigration systems. When Canada implemented a merit-based system, it largely resulted in a “pooling” of immigrants from East Asia and the Indian subcontinent. To avoid pooling, the White House said it would add points to immigrant candidates from under-represented countries, but it would not impose caps on certain countries.

GRAHAM UNVEILS BILL TO CHANGE ASYLUM LAW, SEND MIGRANTS BACK HOME

President Trump is set to deliver a major immigration address Thursday afternoon, Fox News has learned, amid previous reports that Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner has been working to finalize a plan that focuses on border security and changes to the legal immigration system.

“I do believe that the president’s position on immigration has been maybe defined by his opponents by what he’s against as opposed to what he’s for,” Kushner said at the Time 100 Summit in New York City last month. “What I’ve done is, I’ve tried to put together a very detailed proposal for him.”

Kushner presented the plan to senators on Capitol Hill on Tuesday.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., told reporters after the presentation that White House officials seemed “well on their way” to winning consensus for a plan that would unite Republicans on the contentious issue. But, he added, “Whether it will or not, I don’t know.”

Graham unveiled his own proposal Wednesday for revamping laws that affect Central American migrants seeking asylum to enter the U.S. Growing numbers of them have been trying to get asylum status in recent years.

Democrats want an easing of restrictions that have prevented many from obtaining citizenship, including for hundreds of thousands of young people brought to the U.S. illegally as children. They’ve been allowed to temporarily live and work in the U.S. under the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which Trump has tried to terminate.

Moderate Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, asked Kushner about protections for DACA recipients but received no specific answer, Republicans said.

“They cannot be excluded from any immigration package,” Collins said afterward.

One Republican official briefed on Tuesday’s meeting said Kushner provided few details and said senators did not seem overly impressed with the plan. Another said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., did not offer his views of the proposal. Both spoke on condition of anonymity to describe the private session.

However, Kushner won a positive reception for his proposal last week from about a dozen of the Senate’s more conservative Republicans.

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Fox News has been told the reason for the push for a skill-based system would be to attract the best and brightest talent, protect American wages, increase the gross domestic product (GDP), and preserve humanitarian values.

Other than adopting a merit-based admissions procedure, the plan also would update the asylum admissions procedure and expedite the adjudication process for people with legitimate asylum claims, the sources told Fox News.

The push has been discussed, broadly, for nearly two years. White House adviser Stephen Miller, in a viral and contentious 2017 exchange with CNN’s Jim Acosta, defended a merit-based immigration system proposed by Republican lawmakers.

“When it comes to immigration, the Statue of Liberty says ‘give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses, yearning to be free,'” Acosta told Miller, kicking off the testy episode. “It doesn’t say anything about speaking English or learning to be a computer programmer. Aren’t you trying to change what it means to be an immigrant coming into this country, if you are telling them you have to speak English. Can’t people learn how to speak English when they get here?”

Miller responded: “Right now it is a requirement to be naturalized that you have to speak English, so the notion that speaking English wouldn’t be part of your immigration system would be very ahistorical.

“I don’t want to get off into a whole thing about history, but the Statue of Liberty is a symbol of American liberty lighting the world,” Miller added. “The poem you are referring to was added later. It is not actually part of the original Statue of Liberty.”

Calling Acosta’s remarks “shockingly ahistorical,” Miller went on to offer something of a history lesson.

“Let’s talk about this,” Miller said. “In 1970, when we let in 300,000 people a year, was that violating or not violating the Statue of Liberty law of the land? In the 1990s, when it was half a million per year, was it violating or not violating the Statue of Liberty law of the land? Tell me what years meet Jim Acosta’s definition of the Statue of Liberty poem law of the land.”

Fox News’ Adam Shaw and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Source: Fox News Politics

A high-level dispute over which senior government officials pushed the unverified Steele dossier amid efforts to surveil the Trump campaign has broken out into the open again, after it emerged that Attorney General William Barr appointed a U.S. attorney to examine the origins of the Russia investigation and determine if the FBI and DOJ’s actions were “lawful and appropriate.”

Sources familiar with the records told Fox News that a late-2016 email chain indicated FBI Director James Comey told bureau subordinates that then-CIA Director John Brennan insisted the dossier be included in the intelligence community assessment on Russian interference, known as the ICA.

Fox News was told that the email chain – not yet public — referred to the dossier as “crown material,” but it was not clear why this apparent code was used. On Tuesday night, former GOP Rep. Trey Gowdy said on Fox News’ “The Story with Martha MacCallum” that “Comey has a better argument than Brennan, based on what I’ve seen.”

A day earlier, Gowdy told Fox News, “Whoever is looking into this, tell them to look into emails” from December 2016 involving Brennan and Comey. Gowdy, who is now a Fox News contributor, said his assessment was based on sensitive Russia records he reviewed as then-chairman of the Republican-led House Oversight Committee.

But in a statement to Fox News, a former CIA official put the blame squarely on Comey.

“Former Director Brennan, along with former [Director of National Intelligence] James Clapper, are the ones who opposed James Comey’s recommendation that the Steele Dossier be included in the intelligence report,” the official said.

Former CIA Director John Brennan pushed to include the Steele dossier in a classified intelligence assessment, sources tell Fox News -- but that claim was disputed by an ex-CIA official.

Former CIA Director John Brennan pushed to include the Steele dossier in a classified intelligence assessment, sources tell Fox News — but that claim was disputed by an ex-CIA official. (AP, File)

“They opposed this because the dossier was in no way used to develop the ICA,” the official continued. “The intelligence analysts didn’t include it when they were doing their work because it wasn’t corroborated intelligence, therefore it wasn’t used and it wasn’t included. Brennan and Clapper prevented it from being added into the official assessment. James Comey then decided on his own to brief Trump about the document.”

Fox News has reached out to Comey’s legal team twice, and provided the statement from the former CIA official, but did not receive a reply on the record.

In March, Republican Sen. Rand Paul leveled similar allegations on Twitter, citing a “high-level source” who said Brennan had “insisted that the unverified and fake Steele dossier” be included in the January 2017 ICA.

FOX NEWS EXCLUSIVE: INTERNAL FBI TEXTS SHOW DOJ WARNED FBI OF ‘BIAS’ IN KEY FISA SOURCE — BUT FBI PRESSED ON

Clapper previously testified that the dossier was not ultimately used in the ICA. News that Comey had briefed Trump personally on the dossier before the inauguration — purportedly to warn him of potential blackmail threats — leaked within days and opened the door for media outlets to publicize the dossier’s lurid claims.

Whether the FBI acted appropriately in obtaining the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant to Trump campaign aide Carter Page is now the subject not only of U.S. Attorney John Durham’s new probe, but also the ongoing review by Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz. U.S. Attorney for Utah John Huber has been conducting his own investigation separately, although details of his progress were unclear.

As one example, in its FISA application, the bureau repeatedly and incorrectly assured the court in a footnote that it “does not believe” British ex-spy Christopher Steele was the direct source for a Yahoo News article implicating Page in Russian collusion, and instead asserted that the Yahoo article provided an independent basis to believe Steele.

Steele has told a British court that he briefed multiple news organizations during the fall of 2016 — including Yahoo News.

Gowdy’s remarks echoed Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, who told Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures” this past weekend that he was pushing to declassify documents that would expose the FBI’s poor efforts to corroborate the dossier.

“There’s a document that’s classified that I’m gonna try to get unclassified that takes the dossier — all the pages of it — and it has verification to one side,” Graham said. “There really is no verification, other than media reports that were generated by reporters that received the dossier.”

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Graham cited a report from The Hill’s John Solomon — which Fox News has not confirmed — that the FBI was told expressly that Steele, the bureau’s confidential informant, had admitted to a State Department contact he was “keen” to leak his discredited dossier for purposes of influencing the 2016 election.

Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Kathleen Kavalec’s written account of her meeting with Steele on Oct. 11, 2016, was sent to the FBI prior to the bureau’s FISA warrant application to monitor Page, according to records unearthed in a transparency lawsuit by Citizens United.

Fox News’ Martha MacCallum contributed to this report.

Source: Fox News Politics

Donald Trump Jr. has reached an eleventh-hour agreement to testify before the Republican-led Senate Intelligence Committee, most likely in June, Fox News has learned.

The development capped a contentious episode that began when the panel, led by Chairman Richard Burr, R-N.C., and Ranking Member Mark Warner, D-Va., subpoenaed the president’s son over remarks he made while testifying before the committee in 2017.

Trump Jr. had been concerned about an open-ended time and subject commitment, Fox News is told. In addition, Fox News has learned Trump Jr. was prepared to make the committee hold him in contempt and had a defiant letter drafted and ready to send — but at the last minute, the committee reached out to resolve the dispute.

Ultimately, the panel agreed to limit questioning to 1 to 2 hours, with narrow room for follow-ups, Fox News has learned. A source familiar with the discussions told Fox News the panel never would agree to limit topics.

TRUMP ‘VERY SURPRISED’ BY DON JR. SUBPOENA, SAYS SON HAS TESTIFED FOR ‘HOURS AND HOURS’ ALREADY

Trump Jr.’s letter of refusal – which was never sent — cited the 20-plus hours of testimony and thousands of documents that he has already given to congressional committees, as well as his exoneration in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report.

The committee’s demand to have Trump Jr. testify again reportedly is related to former Trump attorney Michael Cohen’s testimony earlier this year. Cohen, who reported to prison this week to begin a three-year sentence, told a House committee that he had briefed Trump Jr. approximately 10 times about a plan to build a Trump Tower in Moscow.

The committee’s demand to have Trump Jr. testify reportedly is related to the earlier testimony of former Trump attorney Michael Cohen, seen here. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

The committee’s demand to have Trump Jr. testify reportedly is related to the earlier testimony of former Trump attorney Michael Cohen, seen here. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

But, in 2017, Trump Jr. told the Senate Intelligence Committee he was only “peripherally aware” of the proposal.

In his draft letter to the committee, Trump Jr. pointed out that Cohen has pleaded guilty to multiple federal crimes, including lying to Congress.

The Intelligence Committee’s demand rankled top Republicans, including President Trump and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham.

“Anything based on what Michael Cohen said is worthless testimony. Michael Cohen is a worthless witness, and if I were Donald Trump Jr.’s lawyer I would tell him, ‘You don’t need to go back into this environment anymore, you’ve been there for hours and hours and hours. And nothing being alleged here changes the outcome of the Mueller investigation,'” Graham, R-S.C., said. “I would call it a day.”

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Trump Jr. has testified before congressional committees multiple times as part of their Russia investigations. Trump Jr. first fell under scrutiny in the early summer of 2017, after it was revealed that he helped to organize, and then attend, a meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya in Trump Tower in New York City.

The meeting initially was billed as one where Trump Jr. and members of the Trump campaign could obtain “dirt” on Hillary Clinton for their benefit in the 2016 election. The meeting apparently did not reveal any dirt on Clinton, but Trump Jr., Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner, and former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort attended the June 2016 meeting. Special Counsel Robert Mueller also investigated the meeting.

Both the Moscow project and June 2016 meeting are top priorities for the committee’s questioning, the source said.

Fox News’ Mike Emanuel and Brooke Singman contributed to this report.

Source: Fox News Politics

Attorney General William Barr has appointed a U.S. attorney to examine the origins of the Russia investigation and determine if intelligence collection efforts targeting the Trump campaign were “lawful and appropriate,” a person familiar with the situation told Fox News on Monday evening.

John Durham, the U.S. attorney in Connecticut, will conduct the inquiry, the source said. The move comes as the Trump administration has pushed for answers on why federal authorities conducted the surveillance — as well as whether Democrats were the ones who improperly colluded with foreign actors.

Two sources told Fox News earlier today that Barr was “serious” and had assigned DOJ personnel to the probe. Durham is known as a “hard-charging, bulldog” prosecutor, Fox News is told.

Sources familiar with matter say the focus of the probe includes the pre-transition period — prior to Nov. 7, 2016 – – including the use and initiation of informants, as well as potential Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) abuses.

An informant working for U.S. intelligence posed as a Cambridge University research assistant in September 2016 to try extracting any possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia from George Papadopoulos, then a Trump foreign policy adviser, it emerged earlier this month. Papadopoulos told Fox News the informant tried to “seduce” him as part of the “bizarre” episode.

Durham previously has investigated law enforcement corruption, the destruction of CIA videotapes and the Boston FBI office’s relationship with mobsters. He is set to continue to serve as the chief federal prosecutor in Connecticut.

ROSENSTEIN BLASTS ‘ANGRY’ COMEY, SAYS HE’S BECOME A DISAPPOINTING PARTISAN HACK

U.S. Attorney John Durham has been assigned to probe the origins of the surveillance of the Trump campaign, a source told Fox News.

U.S. Attorney John Durham has been assigned to probe the origins of the surveillance of the Trump campaign, a source told Fox News. (Justice Department)

In January, House Republican Reps. Jim Jordan and Mark Meadows wrote to Durham seeking a briefing, saying they had “discovered” that Durham’s office was “investigating [former FBI General Counsel James Baker” for unauthorized disclosures to the media.”

Durham’s new review would exist alongside the ongoing probe by DOJ Inspector General (IG) Michael Horowitz, who is continuing to review potential surveillance abuses by the FBI — an investigation that began last March and that Fox News is told is nearing completion.

Republicans also have been looking for answers from U.S. Attorney for Utah John Huber, who was appointed a year ago by then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions to review not only surveillance abuses by the FBI and DOJ, but also authorities’ handling of the probe into the Clinton Foundation.

Huber, Republicans have cautioned, apparently has made little progress and has spoken to few key witnesses and whistleblowers. But, in January, then-Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker reportedly indicated at a private meeting that Huber’s work was continuing apace.

FOX NEWS EXCLUSIVE: INTERNAL FBI TEXTS SHOW DOJ PUSHED BACK ON ‘BIAS’ IN KEY FBI FISA SOURCE

Durham’s appointment comes about a month after Barr told members of Congress he believed “spying did occur” on the Trump campaign in 2016. He later said he didn’t mean anything pejorative and was gathering a team to look into the origins of the special counsel’s investigation.

Democrats have pummeled Barr in frustration following revelations in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report that the Trump campaign did not collude with Russian actors, despite numerous offers by Russians to assist the campaign. Mueller’s final report has led to a bitter D.C. battle over the limited number of redactions in the report, which the DOJ says are legally necessary because they pertain to grand jury matters.

In obtaining a secret FISA warrant to surveil former Trump aide Carter Page, the FBI copy-pasted directly from a disputed Washington Post opinion article to suggest the Trump campaign may have been compromised. The bureau also repeatedly assured the court that it “did not believe” British ex-spy Christopher Steele was the direct source for a Yahoo News article implicating Page in Russian collusion.

But, London court records showed that contrary to the FBI’s assessments, Steele briefed Yahoo News and other reporters in the fall of 2016 at the direction of Fusion GPS — the opposition research firm behind the dossier. Fusion GPS was retained by the Hillary Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee (DNC), a piece of information not stated in the FISA application.

The FISA application cribbed word-for-word from the Washington Post article that claimed the Trump campaign had “worked behind the scenes” to “gut” the GOP platform on Russia and Ukraine. The FBI apparently did not conduct its own independent assessment of the piece, which was labeled an “opinion” column by the Post, and Mueller’s probe ultimately found no wrongdoing by the Trump team.

Additionally, internal FBI text messages exclusively obtained by Fox News earlier this year showed that a senior DOJ official raised concerns about the bias in a key FISA warrant, but that FBI officials pressed on.

“There’s a document that’s classified that I’m gonna try to get unclassified that takes the dossier — all the pages of it — and it has verification to one side,” Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures” this weekend. “There really is no verification, other than media reports that were generated by reporters that received the dossier.”

Graham specifically cited the report from The Hill’s John Solomon that the FBI was expressly told that Steele, the bureau’s confidenial informant, had admitted to a contact at the State Department that he was “keen” to leak his discredited dossier for purposes of influencing the 2016 election.

Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Kathleen Kavalec’s written account of her Oct. 11, 2016, meeting with Steele was apparently sent to the FBI, according to records unearthed in a transparency lawsuit by Citizens United.

Fox News’ Brooke Singman and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Source: Fox News Politics

Rod Rosenstein unloaded on former FBI Director James Comey in remarks to the Greater Baltimore Committee (GBC) on Monday evening, slamming Comey’s turn as a “partisan pundit,” reiterating that he deserved to be fired, and faulting him for trampling “bright lines that should never be crossed.”

Rosenstein formally stepped aside as deputy attorney general two days ago. His speech specifically took aim at Comey’s comments earlier this month implying that Rosenstein and Attorney General Bill Barr lacked the “inner strength” to “resist the compromises necessary to survive Mr. Trump.”

Comey also derided Rosenstein’s “character” and suggested his “soul” had been consumed “in small bites.” The former FBI boss, who has taken to posting numerous photographs of himself in nature staring wistfully at trees and roadways since leaving public office, had been showered with media attention in recent months, and his memoir earned him over $2 million.

“Now, the former director is a partisan pundit, selling books and earning speaking fees while speculating about the strength of my character and the fate of my immortal soul,” Rosenstein said. “That is disappointing. Speculating about souls is not a job for police and prosecutors. Generally, we base our opinions on eyewitness testimony.”

COMEY PRIVATE MEMOS CONTAINED SECRET INFORMANT CODE NAME, FAR MORE SENSITIVE INFO THAN PREVIOUSLY KNOWN — WHY?

Although Rosenstein emphasized that he “did not dislike” and even “admired” Comey in the past, he asserted that the former FBI head’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation in 2016 was a grievous and defining professional error.

Former FBI director James Comey, seen here in June 2018, was the target of a blistering speech by Rod Rosenstein. (Justin Tang/The Canadian Press via AP, File)

Former FBI director James Comey, seen here in June 2018, was the target of a blistering speech by Rod Rosenstein. (Justin Tang/The Canadian Press via AP, File)

“The clearest mistake was the director’s decision to hold a press conference about an open case, reveal his recommendation and discuss details about the investigation, without the consent of the prosecutors and the attorney general,” Rosenstein said. “Then, he chose to send a letter to the Congress on the eve of the election stating that one of the candidates was under criminal investigation, expecting it to be released immediately to the public.”

Comey later said he felt compelled to hold the dramatic July 2016 news conference — in which he said that “no reasonable prosecutor” would charge Clinton, even though he said she had been “extremely careless” in handling classified information — because then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch had compromised the DOJ’s appearance of impartiality by allowing Bill Clinton to meet her privately on an airport tarmac as the investigation was ongoing.

Rosenstein added: “Those actions were not within the range of reasonable decisions. They were inconsistent with our goal of communicating to all FBI employees that they should respect the attorney general’s role, refrain from disclosing information about criminal investigations, avoid disparaging uncharged persons, and above all, not take unnecessary steps that could influence an election.”

WHY DID FBI SUBMIT FISA WARRANT APPLICATIONS THAT COPY-PASTED FROM WASHINGTON POST, CITED STEELE DESPITE SIGNS OF BIAS?

Rosenstein called his memorandum supporting Comey’s firing “reasonable under the circumstances,” and said he would have provided a more fleshed-out analysis of the “pros and cons” of terminating the FBI director had he been “asked to make a recommendation before the removal decision was made.”

But, Rosenstein emphasized, Trump “did not tell me what reasons to put in my memo.” The president repeatedly has suggested that Comey’s refusal to acknowledge publicly — as he had privately — that Trump was not under investigation ultimately played a role in his termination.

Still, Rosenstein sounded a note of sympathy for the manner in which Comey was fired. The ex-FBI director reportedly learned of his fate from TV reports.

“If I had been the decision maker, the removal would have been handled very differently, with far more respect and far less drama,” Rosenstein said, “so I do not blame the former director for being angry.”

But, in another shot at Comey’s deeply personal criticisms, Rosenstein went on: “My soul and character are pretty much the same today as they were two years ago. I took a few hits and made some enemies during my time in the arena, but I held my ground and made a lot of friends. And thanks to them, I think I made the right calls on the things that mattered.”

FOX NEWS EXCLUSIVE: INTERNAL FBI TEXTS SHOW DOJ WAS AWARE OF ‘BIAS’ IN DOSSIER SOURCE

The speech to the GBC — a nonprofit association of business leaders that Rosenstein has credited with helping law enforcement, including when he was a U.S. Attorney — was his second in as many years. It followed Rosenstein’s remarks hours earlier to the University of Baltimore School of Law, in which he quoted Special Counsel Robert Mueller and urged graduates to stick to principles despite external pressure.

“So, that is some of what was going on when you gave me that award for courage in government service two years ago,” Rosenstein concluded. “I probably did not deserve it at the time. I do not know whether I earned it since then. But I tried my best. It is nice to be home. Thank you very much.”

Congressional Republicans have accused Rosenstein of intentionally withholding documents and information from Congress, failure to comply with congressional subpoenas and abuse of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).

In particular, Rosenstein was at the DOJ in June 2017 when the third renewal of the government’s FISA warrant to surveil ex-Trump aide Carter Page was submitted. The FISA applications flatly accused Page of conspiring with Russians and included citations to media sources that traced back to British ex-spy Christopher Steele — who was funded in part by Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee (DNC).

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The FISA applications did not state these connections clearly, nor did they mention new revelations that Steele apparently confided in the State Department that he wanted his since-discredited, now-infamous dossier to go public before Election Day in 2016.

A DOJ watchdog review of the department’s FISA practices, among other issues, is expected to be completed within weeks.

Fox News’ John Roberts and Jake Gibson contributed to this report.

Source: Fox News Politics

Just two days after formally stepping aside as Deputy Attorney General, Rod Rosenstein delivered a commencement address Monday at the University of Baltimore School of Law quoting Robert Mueller and urging graduates to stick to “principles” even when they find themselves “standing alone.”

Rosenstein, who oversaw Mueller’s Russia investigation and drew bipartisan fire — at one point, House Republicans introduced articles of impeachment against him — specifically pointed graduates to Mueller’s comments at the College of William & Mary in 2013.

“You will face pressure to compromise on things that matter most, perhaps even to trade virtue for the appearance of virtue,” Rosenstein said. “But, you should exercise caution when uncomfortable circumstances tempt you to disregard principles.”

He continued: “As Robert Mueller once said, ‘There may come a time when you will be tested. You may find yourself standing alone, against those you thought were trusted colleagues. You may stand to lose all that you have worked for, and it may not be an easy call.'”

Mueller was hardly the only notable figure Rosenstein opted to cite. His speech also included quotes from and references to Abraham Lincoln (“Let reverence for the laws be breathed by every American”), William Shakespeare (“Strive mightily, but eat and drink as friends”), and author Robert Fulghum (“The lesson is that with proper care, the roots will grow broad and deep, and the plant will grow tall and strong.”)

ROSENSTEIN SLAMS OBAMA ADMIN IN REMARKS JUST DAYS AHEAD OF DEPARTURE FROM DOJ

Rosenstein, 54, also offered a rare window into his personal life — and the stresses his job placed on his family.

“Before I went to Washington in 2017, my daughter asked whether I would get my picture in the newspaper,” Rosenstein said. “I said no. I told her that ‘deputy attorney general’ is a low-profile job. Nobody knows the deputy attorney general.”

Rosenstein added: “I realize that the modern media often seems to foster incivility, but lawyers have a special responsibility to practice and promote civility. The fundamental purpose of law is to provide a peaceful means to resolve disagreements, so if civility seems to be lacking in public life, that is all the more reason for lawyers to step into the breach.”

Attorney General William Barr, left, pausing as he brings Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, to the podium to ask who has the more stoic face during a farewell ceremony for Rosenstein in the Great Hall at the Department of Justice in Washington last week. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Attorney General William Barr, left, pausing as he brings Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, to the podium to ask who has the more stoic face during a farewell ceremony for Rosenstein in the Great Hall at the Department of Justice in Washington last week. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

In previous remarks late last month, while he was still deputy attorney general, Rosenstein lamented what he called the difficulty of his position, and suggested he had done the best he could under the circumstances.

“The previous administration chose not to publicize the full story about Russian computer hackers and social media trolls, and how they relate to a broader strategy to undermine America,” Rosenstein said at the Armenian Bar Association’s Public Servants Dinner.

“The FBI disclosed classified evidence about the investigation to ranking legislators and their staffers. Someone selectively leaked details to the news media,” Rosenstein continued. “The FBI director announced at a congressional hearing that there was a counterintelligence investigation that might result in criminal charges. Then, the former FBI director alleged that the president pressured him to close the investigation, and the president denied that the conversation occurred. So, that happened.”

Rosenstein compared his tenure to “the story about firefighters who found a man on a burning bed. When they asked how the fire started, he replied, ‘I don’t know. It was on fire when I lay down on it.'”

Attorney General Bill Barr last Friday said he named Ed O’Callaghan to temporarily serve as acting deputy attorney general in the wake of Rosenstein’s departure from the Justice Department.

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Congressional Republicans have accused Rosenstein of intentionally withholding documents and information from Congress, failure to comply with congressional subpoenas and abuse of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).

A DOJ watchdog review of the department’s FISA practices, among other issues, is expected to be completed within weeks.

Source: Fox News Politics

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham exclusively told “Sunday Morning Futures” that he is working to declassify a sensitive “document” that definitively proves that authorities knew the Steele dossier — which the FBI used to justify the secret surveillance of a former Trump aide — lacked any substantial independent corroboration.

Graham also previewed legislation he will introduce on Wednesday to halt what he called the “perfect storm” of illegal immigration that now constitutes an “invasion” at the southern border, and predicted that “90 percent of illegal immigration” from Central America would soon come to an end under his plan.

“There’s a document that’s classified that I’m gonna try to get unclassified that takes the dossier — all the pages of it — and it has verification to one side,” Graham told anchor Maria Bartiromo. “There really is no verification, other than media reports that were generated by reporters that received the dossier.”

Graham added: “So, the bottom line is the dossier has never been independently confirmed. It was used to get a warrant.  They knew the author of the dossier was on the Democrat Party payroll. He hated Trump; they got the warrant anyway. Most Americans should be very upset about that. I’m very upset about it. And we’re going to get to the bottom of it.”

On four occasions, the FBI told the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance (FISA) court that it “did not believe” former British spy Christopher Steele was the direct source for a Yahoo News article implicating former Trump aide Carter Page in Russian collusion, documents released after a lawsuit showed last year.

Instead, the FBI suggested to the court, the September 2016 article by Michael Isikoff was independent corroboration of the salacious, unverified allegations against Trump in the infamous Steele Dossier. Federal authorities used both the Steele Dossier and Yahoo News article to convince the FISA court to authorize a surveillance warrant for Page.

Former British spy Christopher Steele sat for a four-hour videotaped deposition last month.

Former British spy Christopher Steele sat for a four-hour videotaped deposition last month.

But London court records show that contrary to the FBI’s assessments, Steele briefed Yahoo News and other reporters in the fall of 2016 at the direction of Fusion GPS — the opposition research firm behind the dossier.

The FISA application also copied and pasted directly from a Washington Post opinion piece that claimed the Trump campaign had “worked behind the scenes” to “gut” the GOP platform on Russia and Ukraine.

The FBI seemingly conducted no independent review of the opinion article’s disputed claims, which were widely cited as evidence the Trump team was compromised by Russia and working to publicly appease Russian President Vladimir Putin. Despite the brouhaha, Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe only briefly mentioned the episode, saying there was no evidence of misconduct when a lone Trump official vetoed a single delegate’s proposed platform change.

The platform change would have called for providing lethal arms to Ukrainians fighting Russians, rather than defensive arms — in a marked change from then-President Obama’s policy that analysts say would have risked escalating tensions with Putin. The Trump administration ultimately did decide to provide lethal arms to Ukrainians later.

FOX NEWS EXCLUSIVE: INTERNAL FBI TEXTS SHOW DOJ WAS AWARE OF STEELE ‘BIAS’ BEFORE USING HIM TO JUSTIFY SURVEILLANCE

President Trump has vowed to declassify the full FISA applications to surveil Page, and related documents.

Graham indicated, however, that his promised “deep dive” into the Russia probe’s origins is currently pending the completion of Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s own investigation into alleged FBI and DOJ misconduct during the 2016 presidential campaign.

“I’m waiting for Horowitz to get his report done,” Graham said. “But we had a pretty big bombshell this week.”

Graham specifically cited the report from The Hill’s John Solomon that the FBI expressly told that Steele, the bureau’s confidenial informant, had admitted to a contact at the State Department that he was “keen” to leak his discredited dossier for purposes of influencing the 2016 election. Steele also acknowledged that his dossier was funded by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and Hillary Clinton campaign.

“Christopher Steele was trying to leak it to everybody,” Graham said.

Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Kathleen Kavalec’s written account of her Oct. 11, 2016, meeting with Steele was apparently sent to the FBI, according to records unearthed in a transparency lawsuit by Citizens United. Nevertheless, the FBI included claims in Steele’s dossier in its successful FISA warrant application to monitor Page.

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“But-for the dossier, there would be no warrant against Carter Page,” Graham said. “The meeting on Oct. 11 was 10 days before the FISA warrant application. So the FBI was on notice that their confidential informant went to the Department of State to urge the Department of State to take the dossier and leak it to the public to affect the election. That’s about as sick as it gets.”

The only notation that the FBI included in the FISA application to alert the judge as to Steele’s bias was that his information was prepared in connection with a presidential campaign.

Carter Page, one-time adviser to then-candidate Donald Trump, addresses the audience during a presentation in Moscow, Russia, December 12, 2016.

Carter Page, one-time adviser to then-candidate Donald Trump, addresses the audience during a presentation in Moscow, Russia, December 12, 2016. (Reuters)

The application did not mention that the dossier had been funded by the DNC and Hillary Clinton campaign, nor did the application mention that Steele had admitted to wanting the claims in his dossier to go public before Election Day.

News of that surveillance, which also leaked, kickstarted the Trump-Russia collusion narrative.

In letters last week, a slew of Republican senators, including Graham, demanded answers from the State Department, as well as all related documents.

In a pair of missives to FBI Director Christopher Wray and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Sens. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., and Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said there was now clear evidence that Steele was simply out to smear then-candidate Trump.

TRUMP ADMIN CRACKS DOWN ON ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS IN PUBLIC HOUSING

“Based on the publicly-released version of the typed notes of the meeting, it appears Steele’s intent of the meeting with the State Department was to maximize the impact of the unverified information that he had acquired in an effort to undermine the Trump campaign,” Grassley and Johnson wrote. “Further, if that information was included in the material submitted to the FBI, then the FBI may have been aware of Steele’s political motivations before submitting any FISA application.”

The senators specifically  said they want to know when the State Department shared these details with the FBI. Kavalec’s Oct. 13, 2016, email was apparently sent to someone in the FBI, though the recipient’s identity is completely redacted, as is an attachment.

A Central American migrant takes a nap in the shade under a freight train car, during his journey toward the US-Mexico border, in Ixtepec, Oaxaca State, Mexico, Tuesday, April 23, 2019. Whereas in late 2018 and early 2019 Mexican authorities were handing out humanitarian visas and processing asylum requests, they have now largely stopped doing so, instead making migrants wait weeks in the southern town of Mapastepec for visas that never come. (AP Photo/Moises Castillo)

A Central American migrant takes a nap in the shade under a freight train car, during his journey toward the US-Mexico border, in Ixtepec, Oaxaca State, Mexico, Tuesday, April 23, 2019. Whereas in late 2018 and early 2019 Mexican authorities were handing out humanitarian visas and processing asylum requests, they have now largely stopped doing so, instead making migrants wait weeks in the southern town of Mapastepec for visas that never come. (AP Photo/Moises Castillo)

Separately, Graham also announced that he will introduce new legislation on Wednesday to address what he called the “broken” U.S. asylum laws contributing to the ongoing humanitarian crisis along the southern border. Among the changes Graham will seek is to prevent people from asylum at the border, as opposed to a consulate — a move that would raise constitutional issues if implemented.

Graham also said he wants to change the law to permit the U.S. to hold minor children for longer periods, to discourage adults from bringing children to the border as a legal “shield.” Currently, Graham said, adults seeking asylum with children are released into the U.S. and never heard from again. (The Trump administration last year altered its previous zero-tolerance immigration policy to preclude family separations at the border, amid a backlash.)

“We’re going to change the asylum law, that you have to apply in the country where you live, or in Mexico,” Graham said. “We’re going to stop Central American applications being made at the border, because we don’t have enough judges for hearing dates. We’re gonna go to 100 days, we can hold minor children for 100 days so we can actually process the entire family without letting them go. We’re gonna increase judges by 500; we got almost 900,000 backlog of asylum claims. We’re gonna wipe out the backlog [of asylum claims.]”

Graham added: “If you’re an unaccompanied minor, we’re going to send you back to Central America as if you lived in Mexico, which would be a change in our laws. This should stop 90 percent of the illegal immigration from Central America.”

Source: Fox News Politics


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