Tag Archives: US Dept of Justice

A look at Robert S. Mueller III….

The LA Times does a piece on the guy after Donald Trump & Co….

It has some of the good, the bad and bit of the ugly….

But points to a man who is dogily on the case, and who’s legacy will be written about in the end as a federal cop….

Image result for mueller

When he was named special counsel in May, Robert S. Mueller III was hailed as the ideal lawman — deeply experienced, strait-laced and nonpartisan — to investigate whether President Trump’s campaign had helped with Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

The accolades squared with Mueller’s valor as a Marine rifle platoon commander in Vietnam and his integrity as a federal prosecutor, a senior Justice Department official and FBI director from 2001 to 2013, the longest tenure since J. Edgar Hoover. He was praised by former courtroom allies and opponents, and by Democrats and Republicans in Congress.

But at 73, Mueller’s record also shows a man of fallible judgment who can be slow to alter his chosen course. At times, he has intimidated or provoked resentment among subordinates. And his tenacious yet linear approach to evaluating evidence led him to fumble the biggest U.S. terrorism investigation since 9/11.

Now, as he leads a sprawling investigation aimed at the White House, Mueller’s prosecutorial discretion looms over the Trump presidency.

On what terms would Mueller offer immunity from prosecution to investigative targets? How broadly will he interpret his mandate to probe not only the 2016 campaign but also matters that “may arise directly from the investigation”?

Will he target Trump’s sprawling family business and financial empire and the years before the developer ran for the White House?…

Investigators and lawyers who have worked with Mueller say that his legacy as special counsel will depend, ultimately, on his resolve, his integrity and especially his judgment.

“If he believes somebody has committed a crime, he’s going to do whatever he can to hold them accountable,” said a former FBI colleague. “Trump’s name or brand is not going to back down Mueller.”…

More…

image..newsweek.com

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Open Thread for August 15, 2016…Desperate time for Republicans…

Must be….

Some Republicans are STILL begging the Fed’s to charge Hillary Clinton with SOMETHING…

She’s been  thru the Benghazi hearings….

She’s been thru the email examination….

She’s past the foundation questions….

She’s been thru the email server examination….

Now the Republicans are asking to subject her to a perjury  charge for dealing with the GOP House fishing expedition …..

Donald Trump on the other hand ?

He’s in court on SEVERAL Civil cases…

For one he’s gone after the judge with racial and heritage disses…

(That one got him in hot water)

He just settled one for $10 M…..

Nobody cares, Right?

Most of those Republicans KNOW their nominee is working for a loss come November….

So these people are trying to save the day for their party by keeping at something that is NOT gonna happen….

Their voters have put them in this mess….

The Department of Justice isn’t gonna get them out of it, no matter how despoerate they are with a guy repping them from an Alternate Universe….

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BP settles on Oil Spill…$18.7 Billion….

As predicted….

BP is still in business….

And has got a settlement that is within what they THOUGHT they would have to put aside….

The money goes to Southern states….

The compoanies stock has gone up today….

The Gulf seems ok on the surface…But.

BP has reached an $18.7-billion settlement with federal, state and local governments that resolves years of litigation over the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

The agreement, announced Thursday morning, covers claims from Florida, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana as well as U.S. claims stemming from the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion, federal and state officials announced.

“Today, I am pleased to say that after productive discussions with BP over the previous several weeks, we have reached an agreement in principle that would justly and comprehensively address outstanding federal and state claims, including Clean Water Act civil penalties and natural resource damages,” Atty. Gen. Loretta Lynch announced.

The settlement announcement comes as a federal judge was preparing to rule on how much BP owed in federal Clean Water Act penalties.

The 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster spewed 3.19 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico after an explosion that killed 11 people, in one of the nation’s worst environmental disasters…

More….

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Lynch clears the Senate Judiciary Committee ….

The US Attorney for the New York Southern District, Lorretta Lynch,  is on her way to becoming the nations first Black Attorney General….

They have questioned her on Immigration..But she WILL be working for the President, and as such , she will be required to support his policies…

So….

While some Republican Senator’s might want to mess with Lynch?

They will confirm her…..

Because above all?

They REALLY want Eric Holder gone….

President Obama’s nominee for attorney general cleared a hurdle Thursday, as a Senate panel signed off on Loretta Lynch over the objections of some Republicans.

Lynch will now head to the full Senate for confirmation after the Judiciary Committee voted 12-8 to move forward with her nomination.

Lynch, whose nomination was pending before the committee for 110 days, received unanimous support from Democrats on the committee and was also backed by three Republicans.

Majority Republicans raised some concerns about Lynch but are anxious for a new person to replace outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder, with whom they have had a contentious relationship over the years.

“Eric Holder is ready to go, and I wish him well,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who voted in favor of Lynch. “Quite frankly, it would be good to turn the page and have a new attorney general.”

More….

image…nbcnews.com

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Texas will get hit with a Federal Suit on its Voter ID Changes….

The Supreme’s haven’t stop the Government from suing states on this….

Just have removed the requirment that the state pre-clear their actions….

CNN) — The U.S. Justice Department said Thursday that it will file a lawsuit seeking to stop a controversial Texas law that would require voters to show identification at voting booths.

The department wants a court to declare that the law, passed in 2011, violates part of the federal Voting Rights Act and voting guarantees provided in the 14th and 15th Amendments.

“Today’s action marks another step forward in the Justice Department’s continuing effort to protect the voting rights of all eligible Americans,” U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said. “… The department will take action against jurisdictions that attempt to hinder access to the ballot box, no matter where it occurs.”

Source….

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The Government decides to oppose the American/US Airlines merger…

photo….nydailynews

Interesting since America has already started painting its fleet in a logo that  repesents the mergerd company….

The Justice Department and a number of state attorneys general are challenging the proposed $11 billion merger between US Airways Group Inc. and American Airlines’ parent company, AMR Corp.

The Justice Department says the merger would result in the creation of the world’s largest airline. The government says a combination of the two companies would reduce competition for commercial air travel in local markets and would result in passengers paying higher airfares and receive less service.

More….

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The Dept of Justice will continue fight for Voter Rights…

Attorney General has signaled that the Supreme Court action today has left the Voting Rights Law intact except for the Section 4 ruling…..

And that the Government will continue to keep an eye on things and go to court to challenge what it thinks are violations of American’s, of all colors, voting rights….

Attorney General Eric Holder denounced the Supreme Court’s ruling against the Voting Rights Act on Tuesday, and warned in a televised statement that despite the “serious and unnecessary setback” the Obama administration will vigorously enforce the law against any state or local government that seeks to discriminate against the rights of voters.

“The Department of Justice will continue to carefully monitor jurisdictions around the country for voting changes that may hamper voting rights,” Holder said. “Let me be very clear: we will not hesitate to take swift enforcement action — using every legal tool that remains available to us — against any jurisdiction that seeks to take advantage of the Supreme Court’s ruling by hindering eligible citizens’ full and free exercise of the franchise.”

The Court’s 5-4 decision in Shelby County v. Holder invalidated Section 4 of the historic 1965 law, eliminating a critical tool for the federal government to proactively snuff out discriminatory voting laws. The provision required specific state and local governments with a history of voter discrimination, as determined by Congress, to seek federal preclearance before making any changes to their voting laws. The administration retains the ability to sue to block voting laws after they take effect.

“Like many others across the country, I am deeply disappointed with the Court’s decision in this matter,” the attorney general said. “This decision represents a serious setback for voting rights – and has the potential to negatively affect millions of Americans across the country.”

Holder cited recent examples in Texas and South Carolina where federal courts favorably cited the value of the now-gutted VRA provision to prevent voting laws from disproportionately harming Latino and black voters.

 More….

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Confusion on why the Government doesn’t go after the Big Banks?…Not Really….

The Huffington Post is out with a piece that reports that the Department of Justice has NO ANALYSIS that the Big Banks would suffer if the Department pursued criminal charges against the Big Banks….  ( To Big to Fail )……

While the piece seems to make a point about stuff written on paper ….It does NOT deal with the almost certain reality that the US Government (White House?) STILL believes that it should NOT rock the apple cart and go after the Banks criminally….

Now if the Huffington piece is questioning the DOJ’s policy of prosecuting the Master of the Universe…That’s one thing….But the DOJ gets it’s marching orders from the White House….And even absent evidence of a Bank problem if  Banker’s start doing  doing perp walks….The White House IS worried about ‘collateral damage’ if the Government does start locking people up….

The shame of the matter is guys like Mike Taibbi have shown that the Bankers, Masters of the Universe , KNOW that the Government is afraid to take them to task, and has so far has just leveled fines…..

We’ll all wait to see what the future holds on this….

But I wouldn’t bet on much changing on the this….

DOJ officials have previously defended the lack of criminal charges against banks suspected of wrongdoing in large part by pointing to the so-called “collateral consequences” associated with filing a criminal indictment against a leading financial institution.

Two examples occurred in December, when HSBC, the U.K. banking giant, settled allegations that it violated U.S. sanctions and facilitated the movement across the U.S. financial system of tainted money by Mexican drug cartels, and UBS, the Swiss bank, settled claims it manipulated world interest rates.

At the Justice Department’s news conference to announce the HSBC settlement,Lanny Breuer, then-assistant attorney general for the criminal division, was asked why the agency did not pursue a criminal indictment.

“If you think that by doing a certain thing you risk either a charter being revoked, you think that counterparties in a massive financial institution may go away, you think that there is a risk that many, many innocent people will be harmed from a resolution,” Breuer said, “and by another resolution you think you can mitigate the risk of innocent people suffering, the economy being affected, and you can hone in on those and the institutions and address the issues underlying. To the Department of Justice, that’s a very real factor, and so it is a factor you consider.”

Asked whether jobs were a factor in DOJ’s decision, Breuer replied: “Collateral consequences were absolutely a factor.”

Criminal charges in the financial services industry can be the equivalent of a corporate death sentence. The failure of Arthur Andersen, one of the five largest accounting firms in the U.S., was due to a criminal indictment related to accounting fraud at Enron.

During a separate news conference to announce the UBS settlement, Breuer said: “In the world today of large institutions where much of the financial world is based on confidence, one of the things we want to ensure as we come forward to a right resolution is to ensure that counterparties don’t flee an institution, that jobs are not lost, that there is not some world economic event that is disproportionate to the resolution we want.”

Holder then stepped in and quickly added: “The impact on the stability of the financial markets around the world is something we take into consideration…..

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The President is looking for new FBI Director….

Current FBI Director Robert Muller will retire come September…..

The President has a wide field to choose from although the FBI Association has made known that they would favor GOP House member Mike Rogers  from Michigan , who was a agent for 5 years, before becoming a member of the US House…..

photo…nytimes.com

…from the WashPost March 31, 2013….

Mueller, 68, will step down Sept. 4 after 12 years on the job. Since taking the helm a week before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, Mueller has overseen the bureau’s transformation into a worldwide counterterrorism operation.

The director’s job is limited to 10 years by law, but the Senate in 2011 extended Mueller’s term for two years at the request of President Obama after a search for a replacement failed.

Officials said the administration wants to find a successor soon so that person can be vetted, nominated and confirmed before Congress goes on summer recess. In the early stages, the process is being coordinated by the Justice Department.

“Mueller will leave very big shoes to fill,” said one Justice Department official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press. “Two years ago, he was portrayed as the indispensable man. Now, the FBI is going to have to do without the indispensable man in a matter of a few months.”

Among the names that have surfaced as contenders are Monaco, who oversaw the National Security Division at Justice before moving to the White House; Merrick B. Garland, chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit; James B. Comey, deputy attorney general in the George W. Bush administration; Neil MacBride, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; and Patrick J. Fitzgerald, former U.S. attorney in Chicago….

More….

Note….

While most peopel think of the FBI as a stand alone agency ….It infact reports to the US Department of Justice…..

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BP Oil Spill Civil Trial set to begin …..Breaking….Trial delayed for a week….

The Associated Press ‏ @AP  (2/26/12 – 3:36PM)

BREAKING: Gulf oil spill trial delayed, allowing another week for settlement talks, people close to case say -RJJ

The civil trial is set to begin in a New Orleans Courtroom while settlement talks continue….

The Trial could set the civil penalties and percent of responsibilities for the parties involved…

In addition, the outcome of THIS matter could effect other civil suits and a possible criminal investigation by the Justice Department….

An unfair resolution could also spell political trouble in the region for the Administration……

Lawyers involved in the case said settlement talks were continuing through the weekend. Unlike Exxon, which spent two decades fighting damage claims over the 1989 Exxon Valdez tanker spill in Alaska, BP has been eager to put to rest the entire affair surrounding its ill-fated Macondo exploration well. But while opposing sides often reach agreement on the eve of trials, lawyers familiar with the case said the trial would probably move ahead. “The parties remain significantly far apart,” said one of the lawyers, on the condition of anonymity because negotiations are ongoing.

Firm numbers were hard to come by, but some sources said that the private plaintiffs group and the Justice Department were each seeking more than $25 billion in civil claims. If the Justice Department decides to file criminal charges, that would be a separate trial.

Possible outcomes

Any settlement by the Justice Department could have political impact if voters see it as not large enough given the size of the spill and of BP, still one of the world’s biggest oil giants. The associate attorney general in charge of negotiations, Thomas J. Perrelli, also oversaw talks that led to the recent $26 billion foreclosure abuse settlement with major banks. Perrelli, a law school acquaintance of President Obama, is leaving the department March 9 after three years as its No. 3 official.

If the trial moves ahead, lawyers for the plaintiffs’ steering committee and the Justice Department are expected to attack BP and rig owner Transocean, saying that their gross negligence and willful misconduct led to the blowout on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, which caught fire and sank April 20, 2010, killing 11 people and eventually spilling as much as 4.9 million barrels of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico.

If found guilty of gross negligence, BP and Transocean could have to pay $4,300 a barrel instead of $1,100 a barrel in federal fines under the Clean Water Act and Oil Pollution Act for oil that was not recaptured. (Under one scenario,BP pays $3.5 billion)

More….

Photo…Washington Post

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Civil Rights and Latino groups complain about Administrations use of the Secure Communities program in Alabama ….

Civil Rights and Latino goruops are angrey and protesting the fact that……

On one hand the Department of Justice is FIGHTING the program….

On the other the Department of Homeland Security is using the same progam in Alabama to deport people….

(A lot of Latino/Hispanic parents have stopped sending their children to school because of the Alabama law)

“You have two agencies that are pursuing courses that are inconsistent with each other,” said Joanne Lin, a legislative council for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), in an interview.“In Alabama, DHS is continuing to operate its immigration program, which means you have people who are definitely being processed and referred for deportation. DHS is actively pursuing a program that, in my view, undermines DOJ’s litigation.”

Matt Chandler, a spokesman for DHS, said that the department was keeping close tabs — through its Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties — on whether the civil rights of those arrested under the new law are violated.

“We will closely follow this monitoring to ensure that local law enforcement in Alabama, and elsewhere, are not leveraging Secure Communities in a way that threatens individuals’ civil rights or civil liberties,” said Chandler in a statement to The Hill.

While the ACLU and the Southern Poverty Law Center have called for a suspension of the Secure Communities program in Alabama until the constitutionality of the new state immigration law is determined by the courts, the National Council of La Raza and the immigration reform advocacy group, America’s Voice, said the White House needs to better organize its approach.

More……..

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Google’s anti-trust problems keep piling up…..

Google logo

The Federal Trade Commission is considering launching a probe into Google’s dominance of the online search engine market, according to a report.

But before the FTC initiates any antitrust investigation, the agency is waiting to see whether the U.S.Justice Department goes through with an antitrust lawsuit it’s been mulling over to try to stop Google’s $700-million purchase of ITA Software, according to a report from Bloomberg, which cited two unnamed people “familiar with the matter.”

ITA builds online flight and ticket information software for airline companies. The Justice Department would be investigating how Google plans to integrate the flight-information company into its search engine.

Likewise, a possible FTC investigation into Google’s search-related products could look into similar matters, according to the Bloomberg report.

Both the FTC and Justice Department are responsible for enforcing antitrust laws. Sometimes they negotiate which will take on large investigations such as the Google case would be, the report said.

Officials at the Mountain View, Calif.-based tech giant were not available for comment Tuesday morning, but Adam Kovacevich, a Google spokesman, told Bloomberg in an email that consumers were free to choose whichever search engine they prefer…..

More…

 

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The Dept of Justice is going after Wikileaks and Julian Assange….

Do not be surprised about this…..

The wild and woolly Wikileaks expects this and is the process of quickly trying to turn itself into a media organization….

The point I made here holds true..

The mistake Assange made in the opening salvo of this dance is that he announced that he was ‘after ‘ the US Government and that the US Secretary of State should quit her job….

That has been cast aside in the interest of Assange and Wikileaks trying to save their butts…

Me…I have no problem if they are a honest news organization…(but this is AFTER the fact on the leaks )

Not if they are anarchist’s….


The site has changed it mission and now is quite clear in NOT encouraging people to send it ‘classified material’…..

We know that’s not true…

But lets see if they can actually play by the rules  and put out other stuff…..


As I have mentioned here…

The US doesn’t have to press Espionage Charges…

They can go after other things easier to prove in a court of law….


First the Swede’s get their chance…

Then the US…..

And Julian Assange is STILL in JAIL….

By bringing a case against Mr. Assange as a conspirator to Private Manning’s leak, the government would not have to confront awkward questions about why it is not also prosecuting traditional news organizations or investigative journalists who also disclose information the government says should be kept secret — including The Times, which also published some documents originally obtained by WikiLeaks.

“I suspect there is a real desire on the part of the government to avoid pursuing the publication aspect if it can pursue the leak aspect,” said Daniel C. Richman, a Columbia law professor and former federal prosecutor. “It would be so much neater and raise fewer constitutional issues.”

It has been known that investigators were looking for evidence that one or more people in Boston served as an intermediary between Private Manning and WikiLeaks, taking a disk of files he had copied from a computer while deployed in Iraq and somehow delivering it to the Web site.

But Mr. Lamo said Private Manning also sometimes uploaded information directly to Mr. Assange, whom he had initially sought out online. The soldier sent a “test leak” of a single State Department cable from Iceland to see if Mr. Assange and WikiLeaks were who they claimed to be, Mr. Lamo said.

“At some point, he became satisfied that he was actually talking to Assange and not some unknown third party posing as Assange, and based on that he began sending in smaller amounts of data from his computer,” Mr. Lamo said. “Because of the nature of his Internet connection, he wasn’t able to send large data files easily. He was using a satellite connection, so he was limited until he did an actual physical drop-off when he was back in the United States in January of this year.”

Still, prosecutors would most likely need more than a chat transcript laying out such claims to implicate Mr. Assange, Professor Richman said. Even if prosecutors could prove that it was Private Manning writing the messages to Mr. Lamo, a court might deem the whole discussion as inadmissible hearsay evidence……

More……

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Is there a spy swap in the making?……The White House and State take the case from the FBI and Justice….

Everyone seems to be mum on the subject…

But a swap would serve as good thing for the US and the Russian’s ….

Both governments actually seem embarrassed  on a political level about the whole thing…

And want it to go away…..

Holder and the Department of Justice are being forced  out of the picture because they dropped this one in the White Houses lap without a heads up….

This gave Holder no good reviews on the political side……


Less than two weeks after arresting 10 people suspected of being secret Russian agents, the federal government is in talks with lawyers for the defendants about a broad and rapid resolution to the case, according to people who have been briefed on the discussions.

The proposed resolution could allow all the defendants to plead guilty to fewer charges or charges carrying lesser penalties or even time served, and it could result in deportations or agreements that allow them to return to Russia.

The proposed resolution could lead to a series of relatively quick guilty pleas, allowing the defendants to receive some kind of legal benefit and the government to avoid a series of protracted trials.

All 10 defendants who are in custody have been charged with conspiring to act as unregistered agents of a foreign government, and eight were also charged with conspiring to commit money laundering. The eight could face up to 25 years in prison if convicted. Another defendant is at large.

Prosecutors have not accused the defendants of passing classified information to their Russian handlers. But a resolution would allow the United States government to avoid a long legal battle in which sensitive information about intelligence techniques could be exposed.

Such a deal would also eliminate the possibility that a high-profile case would serve as an irritant to relations between the United States and Russia. Although both countries have made clear they do not expect the charges to damage relations, the case has dominated worldwide news accounts in the past week, and indictments and potential trials could keep the case on the front pages for months to come.

Neither defense lawyers nor the federal prosecutor’s office in Manhattan would comment on any such talks, and the talks may end up going nowhere. But court documents made public last week by the government show that some defendants were freely discussing their ties to Russian intelligence and perhaps that will ease the way to negotiated pleas.

More….

This of course raises all kinds of issues…..

What happpens to the kids?….Again…

Most where born in the US and are US citizens….

Where do they go?

Vicky Perez IS a US citizen…..What happens to her ? (She’s still in jail even after a judge agreed to let her have bail)

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The US Charges 10 as Russian Sleeper spys in New York…….

A sketch depicts defendants Anna Chapman, left, Vicky Pelaez, "Richard Murphy," "Cynthia Murphy" and "Juan Lazaro" in Manhattan federal court.

[ A sketch depicts defendants Anna Chapman, left, Vicky Pelaez, “Richard Murphy,” “Cynthia Murphy” and “Juan Lazaro” in Manhattan federal court. ]

If this sticks…..

Well …..WTF?

First….. why publicize the whole thing?

This sstuff goes on all the time….

Politically it’s gonna be a embarrassment for Obama who just got finished take Medvedev for hamburgers?

Did the FBI want the spotlight?

Did the US Attorney?

Did Holder?

Did the White House sign-off on this?

When did they tell Obama?

A ring of 10 Russian “moles” operated a spy ring in the US for years, using New York as a favored location for passing cash and electronic gear in Cold War scenarios right out of a James Bond movie, federal investigators said today.

The suspects, most of them married couples with children, were told by Moscow to become “Americanized,” infiltrate “policymaking circles” and pass secrets to Moscow.

READ THE COMPLAINT: PART ONE

READ THE COMPLAINT: PART TWO

Among details from court documents filed in Manhattan today:

— A senior Russian spy, who used the name “Christopher Metsos,” served as go-between and moneyman for agents across the country. In one case he buried cash in upstate Wurtsboro that was dug up two years later by a Yonkers couple who joined the ring.

— Metzos turned over an orange bag of cash to a Russian government official in May 2004 when they passed one another on a stairway at the Forest Hills LIRR stop. Other hand-overs and meetings between spies occurred in coffee shops in midtown and Fort Greene, Brooklyn, a Sunnyside, Queens restaurant and a subway entrance at Columbus Circle.

— One of two married spies from Montclair, N.J., who used the name “Cynthia Murphy,” told Moscow in February 2009 that she had “several work-related personal meetings” with a prominent New York financier, who was a big campaign fundraiser. “Of course, he is a very interesting target,” Moscow replied.

— Spies based on Boston gave their handlers in May 2006 information about changes at the head of the CIA that they said came from a well-connected “former legislative counsel for the US Congress,” they told Moscow.

— The Boston spies also boated in 2004 that one of their agents had talks with a US nuclear expert about research on bunker-buster warheads.

More…..

Obama not happy about arrests……

The alleged agents were directed to gather information onnuclear weapons, American policy toward Iran, C.I.A.leadership, Congressional politics and many other topics, prosecutors say. The Russian spies made contact with a former high-ranking American national security official and a nuclear weapons researcher, among others. But the charges did not include espionage, and it was unclear what secrets the suspected spy ring — which included five couples — actually managed to collect.

After years of F.B.I. surveillance, investigators decided to make the arrests last weekend, just after an upbeat visit to President Obama by the Russian president, Dmitri A. Medvedev, said one administration official. Mr. Obama was not happy about the timing, but investigators feared some of their targets might flee, the official said.

Criminal complaints filed in Federal District Court in Manhattan on Monday read like an old-fashioned cold war thriller: Spies swapping identical orange bags as they brushed past one another in a train station stairway. An identity borrowed from a dead Canadian, forged passports, messages sent by shortwave burst transmission or in invisible ink. A money cache buried for years in a field in upstate New York.

But the network of so-called illegals — spies operating under false names outside of diplomatic cover — also used cyber-age technology, according to the charges. They embedded coded texts in ordinary-looking images posted on the Internet, and they communicated by having two agents with laptops containing special software pass casually as messages flashed between them.

Neighbors in Montclair, N.J., of the couple who called themselves Richard and Cynthia Murphy were flabbergasted when a team of F.B.I. agents turned up Sunday night and led the couple away in handcuffs. One person who lives nearby called them “suburbia personified.” Others worried about the Murphys’ elementary-age daughters, who were driven away by a family friend…..

The “Illegals Program”…….

Prosecutors said the “Illegals Program” extended to other countries around the world. Using fraudulent documents, the charges said, the spies would “assume identities as citizens or legal residents of the countries to which they are deployed, including the United States.

Illegals will sometimes pursue degrees at target-country universities, obtain employment, and join relevant professional associations” to deepen false identities.

One message from bosses in Moscow, in awkward English, gave the most revealing account of the agents’ assignment. “You were sent to USA for long-term service trip,” it said. “Your education, bank accounts, car, house etc. — all these serve one goal: fulfill your main mission, i.e. to search and develop ties in policymaking circles and send intels [intelligence reports] to C[enter].”

It was not clear what the intelligence reports were about, though one agent was described as meeting an American government employee working in a nuclear program. The defendants were charged with conspiracy, not to commit espionage, but to fail to register as agents of a foreign government, which carries a maximum sentence of 5 years in prison; 9 were also charged with conspiracy to commit money laundering, which carries a maximum penalty of 20 years. They are not accused of obtaining classified materials.

More…..

Note.….Something tells me Attorney General Holder is gonna lose points on this one, which looks like good media story but a weak case (look at what they charged with….most not even with spying, )…..Prediction…..

Holder has consistently caused pain for the administration in his actions…..The NYC trial…The Terrorist questioning saga…..

Do not be at all surprised if he doesn’t make it past 2012…….

Just a thought……

Update …..A 11th ‘illegal’ was caught in Europe this morning…..

As they roll up the network ….expect more arrests……

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