FACT CHECK: Sessions Vows To Probe FISA Abuse, But Trump’s Patience Appears Thin

February 28, 201812:07 PM ET

Attorney General Jeff Sessions defended himself and the Justice Department on Wednesday after more criticism from President Trump.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Updated at 1:48 p.m. ET

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is trying to defend President Trump in the Russia imbroglio, but Trump has slapped Sessions down — again — for work he says isn’t good enough.

The attorney general said on Tuesday Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz would look into the kernel of what Republicans call the real Russia story: the alleged abuse by the FBI and Justice Department of their surveillance powers.

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Posted by Alex Cooper | Jan 2, 2017 |

There are several key moments in history when one is forced to stop and reflect on the gravity of what has happened. One of those critical historic moments just took place, and now it’s sending shock waves through the political arena.

Let’s take a step back, and look at the timeline of events that led up to what has now happened.

In August of 2014, Obama gave a speech during a press conference where he firmly stated that he “did not have a strategy” to defeat ISIS, insinuating that they were a small “JV” force not to be concerned with.

Then, just two months later, Josh Earnest held a press conference with major media outlets where he told journalists and reporters that, “Our ISIS strategy is dependent on something that doesn’t yet exist.”

The Duo That Made Big Things Happen For ISIS And ISIL

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Latest Bank Scandal No 2: Barclays’ Customer Files Stolen and Sold to Rogue Traders

An apparent massive theft of customer files from Barclays bank is being investigated. Photograph: Dominic Lipinski/PA

An apparent massive theft of customer files from Barclays bank is being investigated. Photograph: Dominic Lipinski/PA

Thanks to Alice

From Press Association –   February 9, 2014


An apparent massive theft of customer files from Barclays bank is being investigated. Photograph: Dominic Lipinski/PA

An investigation is under way after confidential files relating to customers of Barclays Bank were allegedly stolen and sold on to rogue City traders.

The Mail on Sunday said highly sensitive information including customers’ earnings, savings, mortgages, health issues and insurance policies ended up in the hands of unscrupulous brokers.

The leak was exposed by an anonymous whistleblower who passed the newspaper a memory stick containing files on 2,000 of the bank’s customers, the paper said. He claimed it was a sample from a stolen database of up to 27,000 files, which he said could be sold by for up to £50 per file. Continue reading

Ireland puts first bankers on trial since crisis


DUBLIN Fri Jan 31, 2014 1:42pm GMT

The setting sun is seen in a sign outside Government Buildings in Dublin December 5, 2011. REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton

The setting sun is seen in a sign outside Government Buildings in Dublin December 5, 2011.


 (Reuters) – Ireland put three former bankers on trial on Friday in its first such case since the financial crisis that forced it to accept an 85 billion euro (69 billion pounds) international bailout.

The three former executives of collapsed Anglo Irish Bank pleaded not guilty to charges of providing unlawful financial assistance by lending money to others to buy the bank’s shares, boosting its stock price. Continue reading

Pope to World Economic Forum Elite: “Humanity Must Be Served By Wealth, Not Ruled By It’

Pope Francis.(AFP Photo / Vincenzo Pinto)

Pope Francis.(AFP Photo / Vincenzo Pinto)

From RT.com – January 21, 2014


Pope Francis has urged global finance leaders assembled at the Davos World Economic Forum to use their vast wealth for the service for humanity, instead of leaving large portions of the world population mired in poverty and unstable living conditions.

“I ask you to ensure that humanity is served by wealth and not ruled by it,” the pontiff addressed a crowd of 2,500 people in Switzerland on Tuesday. His message was read out by Cardinal Peter Turkson, president of the Pontifical Council for Peace and Justice. Pope Francis asked bankers and business leaders to stimulate inclusive prosperity.

“The growth of equality demands something more than economic growth, even though it presupposes it. It demands first of all ‘a transcendent vision of the person,” Pope Francis said in the message. Continue reading

Vatican’s “Smuggling” Monsignor Re-Arrested for Money Laundering MIllions

Charged... Monsignor Nunzio Scarano's Vatican bank accounts had been used to transfer millions of euros in fictitious donations from offshore companies, police said.  Source: AP

Charged… Monsignor Nunzio Scarano’s Vatican bank accounts had been used to transfer millions of euros in fictitious donations from offshore companies, police said. Source: AP

From AP – January 22, 2014


A Vatican monsignor already on trial for allegedly plotting to smuggle 20 million euros (US$26 million) from Switzerland to Italy has been arrested in a separate case for allegedly using his Vatican bank accounts to launder money.

Financial police in the southern Italian city of Salerno said Monsignor Nunzio Scarano, dubbed “Monsignor 500″ for his purported favored banknotes, had transferred millions of euros in fictitious donations from offshore companies through his accounts at the Vatican’s Institute for Religious Works.

Police said they seized 6.5 million euros in real estate and bank accounts on Tuesday, including Msgr Scarano’s luxurious Salerno apartment, filled with gilt-framed oil paintings, ceramic vases and other fancy antiques. Continue reading

NSA Refuses to Answer Whether it Spies on Congress


Reuters/Kai Pfaffenbach

Russia Today – January 6, 2014


The US National Security Agency sidestepped the issue when a Senator penned a letter to the agency asking if it has conducted surveillance on members of Congress and other American lawmakers, saying only that legislators are just like everyone else.

Senator Bernie Sanders, an Independent who represents Vermont, sent a letter Friday asking officials if the NSA currently is “spying” or ever has on elected legislators. He defined spying as “gathering metadata on calls made from official or personal phones, content from websites visited or emails sent, or collecting any other data from a third party not made available to the general public in the regular course of business.”

The agency replied the next day with a response containing only a pledge that officials would work with Congress to resolve any concerns, yet neglected to clearly answer Sanders’ question.

“NSA’s authorities to collect signals intelligence data include procedures that protect the privacy of US persons. Such protection are built into and cut across the entire process. Members of Congress have the same privacy protections as all US persons,” replied the letter, as obtained by CNN.

US Attorney General Eric Holder offered a similarly vague answer when he was asked at a congressional hearing last summer, telling Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Illinois) that the NSA had no “intent” to spy on politicians, and that he could only disclose more details in a private meeting. Months after that hearing, though, the NSA’s response to Sanders was no less hazy.

“We will continue to work to ensure that all Members of Congress, including Sen. Sanders, have information about the NSA’s mission, authorities, and programs to fully inform the discharge of their duties,” the statement noted.

The very notion that intelligence officials did not outright deny collecting information on members of Congress has been unnerving to observers. Conor Freidersdorf, a staff writer at The Atlantic magazine, pointed out that the NSA’s explanation is an indication that it knows what it is doing.

“Put differently, a program that collects data about virtually every phone call in America cannot help but include the phone numbers that members of Congress dial, as well as the numbers of those who telephone members of Congress. That’s what happens when you hoover up information about everyone,” he wrote.

“Access to that telephone data would be extremely useful for manipulating the legislature,” Freidersdorf continued. “So is it wise to collect it and make it accessible to a secretive executive-branch agency? Even if the NSA has never abused the temptation, will they resist it forever?”