Thursday, July 12, 2018

Brian Benczkowski, Trump appointee to lead DOJ Criminal Division, has ties to Russia and Sessions, and insiders see him as a threat to Mueller investigation

Brian Benczkowski, behind Jeff Sessions
A Republican insider -- with ties to a Russian bank and the Don Siegelman case -- has been confirmed by the U.S. Senate as Donald Trump's choice to lead the Criminal Division at the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). One insider describes Brian Benczkowski as a "fixer" for Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and multiple Democrats and news outlets have voiced concerns that the newest Trump appointee could help thwart the Robert Mueller investigation into the Trump-Russia scandal.

Jill Simpson, a whistle blower and retired attorney from northeast Alabama, had personal encounters with Benczkowski during investigation of the Siegelman case as a political prosecution, and she says it's hard to imagine a worse choice to lead the Criminal Division. Benczkowski was confirmed almost strictly along party lines. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va) was the only Democrat to cross over and vote to confirm Writes Simpson, in a Facebook post:

Benczkowski goes back to the EADS Refueling Tanker deal with Oleg Deripaska that Sessions and Manafort and his partner, Rick Davis, at the time were trying to put through, and we, the Alabama Resistance, stopped it by seeing the stories we're told on the Refueling Tanker deal and saved 35,000 American Boeing jobs. Putting a Putin mole in as the chief of the criminal division when he has never tried a case is hoot. I guess all you have to do to get those jobs is kiss Jeff Sessions' and his Russian friend's asses.

This is the second time this week we've had news about a Trump nominee (or confirmee) whose appointment appears geared to protect the White House from the Mueller investigation. The first such news came Monday night with the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court. We've already learned that Kavanaugh can't even manage his own credit cards, in the name of buying tickets to Washington Nationals baseball games. Writes Mother Jones (MoJo), on the latest news about Benczkowski:

The Senate confirmed a top Justice Department official on Wednesday who could help oversee the Trump-Russia investigation, despite his own troubling connections to Russia and his close ties to Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Brian Benczkowski, a former Senate aide to Sessions, was confirmed on a 51-48 vote to lead the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, a job that could give him sway over special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. Several Senate Democrats have argued that Benczkowski should be disqualified due to previous work on behalf of a Russian bank with close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin and a general lack of experience in criminal law.

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) points to several beneath-the-surface reasons for Benczkowski's nomination. From MoJo:

Whitehouse posits several ways in which Benczkowski could undermine the Mueller investigation from his perch atop the Criminal Division, which would give him insight into the investigation. He could share information about the probe with Sessions, who recused himself from the investigation, or with President Donald Trump’s legal team. He could also slow down the investigation by delaying or denying any requests that come to his desk.

And Whitehouse notes that the Trump administration is surely aware that the president could replace Rod Rosenstein with Benczkowski, since anyone confirmed by the Senate to any post can be temporarily appointed to other posts that typically require Senate confirmation. That would transfer oversight of the Russia investigation to him. “There are lots of nefarious explanations for why this guy at this time gets installed in a position with a window into the Mueller investigation,” he says.

Other Democrats have voiced similar warnings. “The Benczkowski vote could mark a pivotal moment in the Russia investigation,” Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) tweeted Tuesday, as the vote on the nomination approached. “The warning signs are clear.”

Jill Simpson, from her experience with the Siegelman case, has seen signs that Benczkowski simply is dishonest. From a second Simpson post at Facebook:

Benczkowski wrote a letter packed with lies about me when I went to D.C. to testify in 2007, and Scottt Horton did a piece about it at Harper's Magazineshowing what a liar Benczkowski was back then, taking his letter apart showing his lies, which we knew he did for Sessions because of the EADS deal he was protecting for the Russians. 
Now Benczkowski has been confirmed to be the chief of the DOJ Criminal Division,  which is a joke. I can't imagine why anyone would approve this known Russian-government employee ( lawyer for Russian-government Alfa Bank) liar. He is a known Sessions fixer; he fixed the Siegelman case, he fixed the Russian Election stuff for Russian Alfa Bank, so  Sessions could cover tracks at the Trump Tower. And now, Trump is giving him this job to fix the Mueller investigation . 
This one appointment shows that our DOJ is no longer reputable. I tried coming forward years ago to stop this [kind of thing] from happening. I am sad, but this will be a complete takeover of government when Russians essentially control the criminal division. Folks must rise up and say, hell no. I am speaking out as I was a direct victim of this Russian ass-kissing lawyer thug, as he wrote a bunch of lies against me when I came forward as a Siegelman witness.

Simpson has more about Benczkowski's affiliations with the corrupt "Alabama Gang," led by Jeff Sessions:

This is not my first rodeo with the very corrupt Mr Brian Benczkowski. Check what the then Sessions fixer Senate Judiciary DOJ staffer, Mr Breczkowski, did to us in the Siegelman case. He repeatedly lied in writing. This is an old article by Scott Horton on the Siegelman case that shows how corrupt a jerk Benczkowski is
He did this to us at the time for Alabama Gang leader Jeff Sessions, his corrupt boss at the time. Now he is set to head the Criminal Division of the DOJ. The guy has zero ethics and morals and would not understand the rule of law if it bit him on the ass. He is Jeff Sessions' fixer and has been for years. Mr. Mueller and his team need to stand against this appointment, or they will get caught in this fixer's trap. We in Alabama have long identified Brian Benckowski as a fixer for for Alabama Gang members, and we all need to stand up and tell all we know on him. This is my start on this Alfa Bank Russian mole bastard.

We reported here at Legal Schnauzer on Benczkowski's dubious actions in the Siegelman case, borrowing from the work of Scott Horton, legal-affairs analyst at Harper's: From that LS post of September 2007, not long after I started this blog:

Isn't it heartening to know that our public officials, particularly ones who take an oath to uphold the law and tell the truth, are capable of telling repeated falsehoods?

And we're not talking about lying in a casual conversation. We're talking about lying in a letter to Congress about matters that go to the very heart of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).

That's what we citizens received when Brian A. Benczkowski wrote the DOJ's official response to a Congressional request for documents related to three cases that appear to involve politically motivated prosecutions. The prosecution of former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman is one of those cases.

It wasn't enough that Benczkowski essentially refused to comply with a request from the governmental body that funds his agency and writes the laws he and his colleagues are sworn to uphold. No, Benczkowski has to tell one lie after another.

Scott Horton, of Harper's, is just the guy to dissect Benczkowski's fact-challenged missive. Horton's verdict? In just two paragraphs, the DOJ's chief Congressional liaison tells seven whoppers. It's not easy to tell seven lies in such a small amount of space. But hey, this guy works in the Bush Justice Department.

How serious could the Benczkowski appointment be? Jill Simpson considers it to be extremely serious, and she levels one more blast:

Glad to see it is now coming to light that Jeff Sessions' former Senate Judiciary staffer Benczkowski (who sent an ugly lying letter to Conyers in the Siegelman matter) went and worked for Russian-owned Alfa Bank ( yes the one in Trump Tower that was believed to be sending info back to Russia for Trump Campaign Project Alamo Team and IRA ) after they got caught in the Steele Dossier investigation and the Alabama Project Alamo Election Stealing investigation. 
Now, Sessions wants his cleaner-fixer, Mr. Benczkowski, to head the Criminal Division of the DOJ. My guess is that it is to clean up for Sessions and Trump "the mess" (which is how the GOP refers to Mueller) at the DOJ. We at the Resistance have known of Mr Benczkowski's Russian hanky panky for a while, going back to Jeff Sessions' Senate days. It appears folks are on Mr. B's trail now, which is good, considering he is woefully unqualified for the job as head of the DOJ Criminal Division. He has zero experience as a civil or criminal litigator, and to our knowledge and the Democrats on the Hill in D.C.,  he's never even filed a federal appeal. 
In a normal Senate and Congress, Benczkowski would be disqualified due to his close association with the Russian government and his representation of the Alfa Bank. Jeff Sessions and Trump, with this appointment, are not fooling anyone; they are bringing in another Putin ass- kissing Russian mole buddy to fix the Mueller situation. But they are caught,  and, the story is out of the bag due to Rachel Maddow's courageous reporting. We at the Alabama Resistance love Rachel and thank God she is seeing the truth is told. 
Generally, the head of the criminal division of the DOJ often becomes, at a future date,  the head of the FBI. So it appears the Russian government is trying to install a former employee ( Alfa Bank job for Benczkowski) as head of the DOJ Criminal Division, with a possible trail to the FBI. This is breath taking to watch, and not in a good way. I wonder if any members of the GOP are loyal to country in D.C.,  or are they all corrupted by Russian money. This appointment is Russia's fix to protect Trump and Sessions. They paid this gentlemen very well to get them off the hook and to let Trump and Sessions off the hook, and sadly they are all Russian moles. These are Russia's useful idiots at the top of the collusion deal.

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