Friday, December 7, 2018

No collusion!

Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker’s position at the Department of Justice continues to draw scrutiny from both Congress and watchdog groups, as does that of Assistant Attorney General Brian Benczkowski, who previously represented the Russian entity Alfa Bank and has been screened off from the special counsel investigation into Russian election interference.

  American Oversight
The assistant AG represented a Russian bank. Jesus wept.
At the time of his confirmation in July, senators voiced concern about Benczkowski’s ties to Alfa Bank, which is owned by oligarchs connected to the Russian government. American Oversight began looking into Benczkowski’s ethics determinations in the following months, and last week received documents in response to a September FOIA request for records about any of his recusals and ethics waivers.

The documents contain communications between the DOJ and senators including Dick Durbin and Sheldon Whitehouse. Durbin and Whitehouse relate their concern over the possibility that Benczkowski could exercise, or appear to exercise, an undue influence over actions taken by the special counsel. The most recent letter contained in the documents comes from Assistant Attorney General Stephen E. Boyd on October 18, who told the senators that Benczkowski “requested to be—and is currently—screened off from any matters regarding Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, including any prosecutions arising from the investigation.”


American Oversight also received a copy of Benczkowski’s ethics compliance form, dated October 9, which indicates he received authorization to participate in certain matters related to a “former client.” This week’s letter from Senate Democrats requested more information about this authorization, saying that what they had received from DOJ was too heavily redacted and that the White House usually made such authorizations public.
I had forgotten about Benczkowski.  So much shit it's hard to keep anything in mind.  And this is a big deal.  He should have never been confirmed. 


...but hey, do what you will anyway.

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