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Trump-Installed DHS Inspector General Who Ignored Text Deletions Violated ‘Prohibition on Unethical Conduct’: Report

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Joseph Cuffari, the Dept. of Homeland Security Inspector General who neglected to timely inform Congress of losses of data on cell phones of Secret Service agents and DHS officials during the lead up to and the day of the 2021 insurrection was the subject of a report that found he violated ethics guidelines.

Cuffari “previously was accused of misleading Justice Department investigators and running ‘afoul’ of ethics regulations while he was a federal agent in charge of a DOJ inspector general field office in Tucson, according to a newly disclosed government report,” The Washington Post reports Wednesday evening.

In that report “investigators said they did ‘not believe’ Joseph V. Cuffari’s explanation for why he failed to inform his supervisors — against federal rules — about his testimony in a lawsuit brought by a federal prisoner.”

READ MORE: ‘Coverup of Treason’: Trump-Appointed IG, Under Investigation, Knew of Missing Secret Service and DHS Texts Far Earlier

The authors of the report said, “We concluded Cuffari’s actions violated the IG manual’s prohibition on unethical conduct,” the Post states. Though never publicly released, the report “also noted that he may have violated guidelines by using his government email to lobby for a position as inspector general for the Arizona National Guard, among other issues.”

There are now questions about Cuffari’s vetting after being nominated by then-President Donald Trump to “one of the most important oversight jobs in government, experts said, and about his suitability to lead a staff of 750 auditors and investigators with oversight of an agency with a workforce of 240,000 and a $50 billion budget.”

In addition to the wiped Secret Service cell phones, many are alarmed by news top Trump Dept. of Homeland Security officials and  Pentagon officials’ phones were also wiped after January 6.

READ MORE: Watchdog to DOJ: Secret Service ‘Likely’ Broke Federal Criminal Law by Deleting Text Messages

The former Director of the United States Office of Government Ethics, Walter Shaub, on Wednesday afternoon called for Cuffari to be terminated.

“President Biden, fire this corrupt DHS inspector general. Cuffari must go!” tweeted Shaub, now a Senior Ethics Fellow at the Project on Government Oversight (POGO).

On Monday, Politico reported Cuffari sent an email to his staff calling the criticism “meritless.”

READ MORE: ‘Destruction of Potentially Vital Evidence’: Secret Service Deleted Messages From Jan. 6 After Investigator’s Request

“Cuffari didn’t specify which criticisms were, in his view, without merit,” Politico added. “But two hours after he sent his note, a pair of House committee chairs blasted out a letter saying they’d obtained evidence showing Cuffari’s office ‘may have secretly abandoned efforts to collect text messages from the Secret Service more than a year ago.'”

 

 

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‘Pretty Big ‘A-Ha’ Moment’: J6 Staffer Reveals White House Switchboard Called Rioter’s Cell Phone During Insurrection

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On Friday, 60 Minutes revealed that Denver Riggleman, a key staffer for the House Select Committee on January 6, discovered the White House switchboard patched through to the phone of a Capitol rioter — while the attack was in progress.

“Riggleman, an ex-military intelligence officer and former Republican congressman from Virginia, oversaw a data-driven operation for the January 6 committee, pursuing phone records and other digital clues tied to the attack on the Capitol. He stopped working for the committee in April,” reported Keith Zubrow.

“You get a real ‘a-ha’ moment when you see that the White House switchboard had connected to a rioter’s phone while it’s happening,” said Riggleman to 60 Minutes’ Bill Whitaker. “That’s a big, pretty big ‘a-ha’ moment.”

He added that “I only know one end of that call. I don’t know the White House end, which I believe is more important. But the thing is the American people need to know that there are link connections that need to be explored more.”

This comes after a series of damning revelations about the involvement and support of former President Donald Trump in encouraging the people storming the Capitol.

One of the biggest allegations to come out of the public hearings by the select committee was the claim by former White House staffer Cassidy Hutchinson that Trump demanded the rioters be allowed onto the premises because “they’re not here to hurt me” — and that he lunged at his security detail in the car after they refused to take him to the Capitol to join the attackers.

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‘Bite You in the Back’: Retired Justice Stephen Breyer Issues ‘Rigid’ Warning to Former Colleagues in New Interview

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In an interview with CNN’s Chris Wallace that will air on Sunday night, recently retired Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer cautioned his former colleagues to think hard and deep about issuing any more rulings that could plunge the country into turmoil like the last session’s Dobbs decision that overturned reproductive rights for women.

According to Breyer, there is little thought given by some of his colleagues that their decisions could come back to haunt them.

Speaking with Wallace he explained, “You start writing too rigidly and you will see, the world will come around and bite you in the back,” before adding, “Because you will find something you see just doesn’t work at all. And the Supreme Court, somewhat to the difference of others, has that kind of problem in spades.”

He then elaborated, “Life is complex, life changes. And we want to maintain insofar as we can – everybody does – certain key moral-political values: democracy, human rights, equality, rule of law, etc. To try to do that in an ever-changing world. If you think you can do that by writing 16 computer programs – I just disagree.”

READ MORE: Trump lashes out at ‘lonely and pathetic’ critic in late-night attack on CNN: ‘I was probably the only one watching’

As for the overturning of Roe v Wade, he claimed he vehemently opposed the 6-3 ruling that resulted in massive protests not only outside the court but in front of some justice’s homes.

“And you say did I like this Dobbs decision? Of course, I didn’t. Of course, I didn’t,” Breyer exclaimed. “Was I happy about it? Not for an instant. Did I do everything I could to persuade people? Of course, of course. But there we are and now we go on. We try to work together.”

You can read more from his yet-to-be-shown interview here.

 

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Trump Judge Smacks Down Dershowitz’s Demand DOJ Give Back Mike Lindell’s Seized Cell Phone in Scathing Ruling

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My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell will not be getting his cell phone back any time soon, even after his new lawyer, Alan Dershowitz, demanded it from a federal court in their First, Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Amendment lawsuit against Attorney General Merrick Garland and FBI Director Chris Wray.

Lindell’s phone was seized by federal agents at a Minnesota Hardee’s drive-thru after a duck hunting trip the shredded foam entrepreneur and right wing conspiracy theorist recently took. Last week he accused the federal government of engaging in “Gestapo tactics” for taking his phone, despite a warrant that shows he is reportedly under investigation for possible identity theft, conspiring to damage a protected computer connected to a suspected voting equipment security breach, and conspiracy to defraud the United States.

On Tuesday Dershowitz and three other attorneys filed suit against the DOJ in a Minnesota federal court.

READ MORE: Mike Lindell’s New Attorney Alan Dershowitz Is Suing DOJ Demanding ‘Special Master’ to Return His Cell Phone

On Wednesday Dershowitz and the other attorneys filed a memorandum demanding the judge appoint a special master, and in an interview on Lindell’s streaming video website went so far as to state, “What we’re seeking is what President Trump got in the Mar-a-Lago case, the appointment of a special investigator to look into this – or return of the cell phone.”

On Thursday United States District Court Judge Eric Tostrud of Minnesota, appointed by Donald Trump in 2018, responded, in this order posted by Politico’s Kyle Cheney.

“Denied,” he wrote in his ruling, while criticizing the attorneys’ work, presumably including Dershowitz’s.

“Plaintiffs,” Judge Tostrud wrote, “have not served Defendants [Garland and Wray] with the Complaint, or at least Plaintiffs have not yet filed any proof of service.”

That was just the first slap.

Lindell’s attorneys, including Dershowitz, had said the seizure of Lindell’s phone constituted an “emergency,” and filed a request for a temporary restraining order.

READ MORE: ‘Hero’ and ‘National Treasure’ Raskin Receives Massive Praise for Speech Decimating GOP Opposition to J6 Committee

Judge Tostrud spent the next several pages of his Thursday order explaining all the technical and legal reasons why the motion requesting Lindell’s phone be returned were faulty or just wrong.

Among them: “A temporary restraining order is an ‘extraordinary remedy.'”

Other legalese include, “The request does not comply with Rule 65(b),” “With respect to subparagraph (b)(1)(B), however, Plaintiffs’ attorney filed no certification,” and “Plaintiffs do not discuss the Rule or cite any authority that might explain why the cellphone’s return is appropriate under the Rule.”

Other damning language includes, “But that’s it,” “that’s understating things,” and “it would be a stretch to grant relief.”

READ MORE: FBI Grabbing Mike Lindell’s Phone May Yield Info on Fascist White Supremacist and Christian Nationalist He Is Bankrolling

Then there’s this one: “It is a familiar rule that courts of equity do not ordinarily restrain criminal prosecutions.”

The Judge even cites Wednesday evening’s 11th Circuit smack-down of Donald Trump’s attempt to claim 100 classified documents may or may not be classified but should be returned to him, in his criticisms.

Top national security attorney Brad Moss referred to that as he mocked Dershowitz, saying, “nice lawyering, sir.”

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