Connect with us

General

Current FBI agents and former intel officials are breathing a sigh of relief that Rosenstein still has his job after a whirlwind morning in Washington

Published

on

Loading...

[ad_1]

  • Justice Department veterans and current and former intelligence officials expressed relief that deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein had not resigned or been fired following a wild Monday morning of conflicting news reports.
  • If Rosenstein steps down, said one current FBI agent who requested anonymity to speak about internal matters, “[Robert] Mueller’s finished.”
  • But another current FBI agent emphasized that the special counsel Mueller has taken steps to ensure relevant divisions of the DOJ and FBI are briefed on investigative matters that fall under their purview.
  • “If the DAG is fired or resigned, that’s a blow to the public facing aspect of the investigation, but it in no way means the entire thing would be shut down,” they said. “The president would have to fire everybody at the FBI and DOJ for that to happen.”

Washington flew into a frenzy on Monday morning following initial reports that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein expected to leave his job. But hours later, he was attending a regularly scheduled meeting at the White House.

Rosenstein’s job was thrown into question after The New York Times reported on Friday that he discussed wearing a wire around the president and advocated for invoking the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office. Rosenstein vehemently denied the report’s allegations, and subsequent media reports also called some of the details into question.

On Monday, the White House and the Justice Department offered differing accounts following conflicting reports about Rosenstein’s highly publicized trip to the White House.

White House officials told the Washington Post that Rosenstein offered to resign in the wake of The Times story.

But Justice Department officials told the Post that while Rosenstein went to the White House on Monday expecting to be fired, he did not offer to resign, despite reportedly weighing the option over the weekend following The Times’ report.

White House Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Rosenstein had an “extended conversation” with the president about the news on Monday and that the two would meet again on Thursday.

DOJ veterans and current and former intelligence officials expressed relief in the aftermath of a wild morning that the deputy attorney general remains in his position.

‘He is the only person, the one buffer, protecting Mueller’


Robert Mueller.play

Robert Mueller.

(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

If Rosenstein steps down, said one current FBI agent who requested anonymity to speak about internal matters, “Mueller’s finished.”

They were referring to the special counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating Russia’s interference in the 2016 election and whether the Trump campaign colluded with Moscow to sway the race in his favor. Rosenstein currently oversees the Russia investigation.

Bob Deitz, a former top lawyer at the CIA and the National Security Agency, said one of the biggest questions that would arise from a potential Rosenstein ouster would be, “if not he, who?”

“Someone else would become deputy attorney general, and if it isn’t someone like Rod — who has enormous integrity and is smart and honest — then who?” Deitz said. “And when someone great leaves, all it does is open up the possibility that some hack will be appointed in their place.”

Following the mix-up Monday over whether or not Rosenstein would resign or be fired, Vanity Fair reported that Trump, allegedly looking to shift the news cycle away from his embattled Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, decided that firing Rosenstein could take some of the heat off Kavanaugh.

Loading...

“The strategy was to try and do something really big,” Vanity Fair cited one anonymous source “briefed on Trump’s thinking” as saying. The report said the leak about Rosenstein’s potential resignation could have been the result of that calculus.

If Rosenstein resigned, “it would be disappointing because he would abdicate his responsibility,” said the former federal prosecutor Jeffrey Cramer. “He is the only person, the one buffer, protecting Mueller.”

Mueller is authorized not only to probe Russia’s interference in the election, but any and all matters that may arise as a result of that. Federal guidelines also give him broad authority, stating that he is not subject “to the day-to-day supervision of any official of the department.”

But Cramer warned that the biggest danger stemming from Rosenstein’s potential ouster has nothing to do with his replacement ending the Russia investigation, because the political blowback from such a move would be too much.

“Keep in mind that Mueller can’t indict anyone or do anything of importance without the approval of whoever’s overseeing him,” he said. “That puts that person in a very powerful position. They won’t shut it down, but they can slow-walk the investigation. That’s the biggest concern.”

‘Quitting is basically handing the president victory on a silver platter’


Donald Trump.play

Donald Trump.

(Oliver Contreras-Pool/Getty Images)

If Rosenstein had resigned instead of being fired, “it would play into Trump’s hands,” said Glenn Carle, a retired CIA operative.

The president has long targeted Rosenstein and other DOJ officials who he believes are working against him.

If Rosenstein were to step down, Carle said, it would solve one of Trump’s problems without adding another layer to a growing obstruction case against him.

He added that it would also allow the president to appoint a loyalist to oversee Mueller, which could “deal a grievous blow to the idea of the Justice Department serving the Constitution and the laws rather than an individual.”

Cramer agreed.

“If he gets fired, he gets fired,” he said of Rosenstein. “There’s some nobility in that. Quitting is basically handing the president victory on a silver platter.”

Another current FBI agent said there was “no doubt that rank and file would be angry if Rod Rosenstein stepped down or got fired because of that NYT report.”

“Many were on high alert this morning,” they added.

But they noted that Mueller has also taken steps to ensure that certain divisions of the DOJ and FBI are briefed so they could potentially continue the investigation if Trump fires him or Rosenstein.

“If [Rosenstein] is fired or resigned, that’s a blow to the public facing aspect of the investigation, but it in no way means the entire thing would be shut down,” they said.

“The president would have to fire everybody at the FBI and DOJ for that to happen.”



[ad_2]

Loading...
Continue Reading

General

Public officers above 58 years and with pre-existing conditions told to work from home: The Standard

Published

on

Loading...

Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua. [File, Standard]
In a document from Head of Public Service, Joseph Kinyua new measure have been outlined to curb the bulging spread of covid-19. Public officers with underlying health conditions and those who are over 58 years -a group that experts have classified as most vulnerable to the virus will be required to execute their duties from home.

Loading...

However, the new rule excluded personnel in the security sector and other critical and essential services.
“All State and public officers with pre-existing medical conditions and/or aged 58 years and above serving in CSG5 (job group ‘S’) and below or their equivalents should forthwith work from home,” read the document,” read the document.
To ensure that those working from home deliver, the Public Service directs that there be clear assignments and targets tasked for the period designated and a clear reporting line to monitor and review work done.
SEE ALSO: Thinking inside the cardboard box for post-lockdown work stations
Others measures outlined in the document include the provision of personal protective equipment to staff, provision of sanitizers and access to washing facilities fitted with soap and water, temperature checks for all staff and clients entering public offices regular fumigation of office premises and vehicles and minimizing of visitors except by prior appointments.
Officers who contract the virus and come back to work after quarantine or isolation period will be required to follow specific directives such as obtaining clearance from the isolation facility certified by the designated persons indicating that the public officer is free and safe from Covid-19. The officer will also be required to stay away from duty station for a period of seven days after the date of medical certification.
“The period a public officer spends in quarantine or isolation due to Covid-19, shall be treated as sick leave and shall be subject to the Provisions of the Human Resource Policy and procedures Manual for the Public Service(May,2016),” read the document.
The service has also made discrimination and stigmatization an offence and has guaranteed those affected with the virus to receive adequate access to mental health and psychosocial supported offered by the government.
The new directives targeting the Public Services come at a time when Kenyans have increasingly shown lack of strict observance of the issued guidelines even as the number of positive Covid-19 cases skyrocket to 13,771 and leaving 238 dead as of today.
SEE ALSO: Working from home could be blessing in disguise for persons with disabilities
Principal Secretaries/ Accounting Officers will be personally responsible for effective enforcement and compliance of the current guidelines and any future directives issued to mitigate the spread of Covid-19.

Loading...
Continue Reading

General

Uhuru convenes summit to review rising Covid-19 cases: The Standard

Published

on

Loading...

President Uhuru Kenyatta (pictured) will on Friday, July 24, meet governors following the ballooning Covid-19 infections in recent days.
The session will among other things review the efficacy of the containment measures in place and review the impact of the phased easing of the restrictions, State House said in a statement.
This story is being updated.
SEE ALSO: Sakaja resigns from Covid-19 Senate committee, in court tomorrow

Loading...
Continue Reading

General

Drastic life changes affecting mental health

Published

on

Loading...

Kenya has been ranked 6th among African countries with the highest cases of depression, this has triggered anxiety by the World Health Organization (WHO), with 1.9 million people suffering from a form of mental conditions such as depression, substance abuse.

KBC Radio_KICD Timetable

Globally, one in four people is affected by mental or neurological disorders at some point in their lives, this is according to the WHO.

Currently, around 450 million people suffer from such conditions, placing mental disorders among the leading causes of ill-health and disability worldwide.

The pandemic has also been known to cause significant distress, mostly affecting the state of one’s mental well-being.

Get breaking news on your Mobile as-it-happens. SMS ‘NEWS’ to 20153

With the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic attributed to the novel Coronavirus disease, millions have been affected globally with over 14 million infections and half a million deaths as to date. This has brought about uncertainty coupled with difficult situations, including job loss and the risk of contracting the deadly virus.

In Kenya the first Coronavirus case was reported in Nairobi by the Ministry of Health on the 12th March 2020.  It was not until the government put in place precautionary measures including a curfew and lockdown (the latter having being lifted) due to an increase in the number of infections that people began feeling its effect both economically and socially.

A study by Dr. Habil Otanga,  a Lecturer at the University of Nairobi, Department of Psychology says  that such measures can in turn lead to surge in mental related illnesses including depression, feelings of confusion, anger and fear, and even substance abuse. It also brings with it a sense of boredom, loneliness, anger, isolation and frustration. In the post-quarantine/isolation period, loss of employment due to the depressed economy and the stigma around the disease are also likely to lead to mental health problems.

The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) states that at least 300,000 Kenyans have lost their jobs due to the Coronavirus pandemic between the period of January and March this year.

KNBC noted that the number of employed Kenyans plunged to 17.8 million as of March from 18.1 million people as compared to last year in December. The Report states that the unemployment rate in Kenya stands at 13.7 per cent as of March this year while it stood 12.4 per cent in December 2019.

Loading...

Mama T (not her real name) is among millions of Kenyans who have been affected by containment measures put in place to curb the spread of the virus, either by losing their source of income or having to work under tough guidelines put in place by the MOH.

As young mother and an event organizer, she has found it hard to explain to her children why they cannot go to school or socialize freely with their peers as before.

“Sometimes it gets difficult as they do not understand what is happening due to their age, this at times becomes hard on me as they often think I am punishing them,”

Her contract was put on hold as no event or public gatherings can take place due to the pandemic. This has brought other challenges along with it, as she has to find means of fending for her family expenditures that including rent and food.

“I often wake up in the middle of the night with worries about my next move as the pandemic does not exhibit any signs of easing up,” she says. She adds that she has been forced to sort for manual jobs to keep her family afloat.

Ms. Mary Wahome, a Counseling Psychologist and Programs Director at ‘The Reason to Hope,’ in Karen, Nairobi says that such kind of drastic life changes have an adverse effect on one’s mental status including their family members and if not addressed early can lead to depression among other issues.

“We have had cases of people indulging in substance abuse to deal with the uncertainty and stress brought about by the pandemic, this in turn leads to dependence and also domestic abuse,”

Sam Njoroge , a waiter at a local hotel in Kiambu, has found himself indulging in substance abuse due to challenges he is facing after the hotel he was working in was closed down as it has not yet met the standards required by the MOH to open.

“My day starts at 6am where I go to a local pub, here I can get a drink for as little as Sh30, It makes me suppress the frustration I feel.” he says.

Sam is among the many who have found themselves in the same predicament and resulted to substance abuse finding ways to beat strict measures put in place by the government on the sale of alcohol so as to cope.

Mary says, situations like Sam’s are dangerous and if not addressed early can lead to serious complications, including addiction and dependency, violent behavior and also early death due to health complications.

She has, however, lauded the government for encouraging mental wellness and also launching the Psychological First Aid (PFA) guide in the wake of the virus putting emphasis on the three action principal of look, listen and link. “When we follow this it will be easy to identify an individual in distress and also offer assistance”.

Mary has urged anyone feeling the weight of the virus taking a toll on them not to hesitate but look for someone to talk to.

“You should not only seek help from a specialist but also talk to a friend, let them know what you are undergoing and how you feel, this will help ease their emotional stress and also find ways of dealing with the situation they are facing,” She added

Mary continued to stress on the need to perform frequent body exercises as a form of stress relief, reading and also taking advantage of this unfortunate COVID-19 period to engage in hobbies and talent development.

“Let people take this as an opportunity to kip fit, get in touch with one’s inner self and  also engage in   reading that would  help expand their knowledge.

Loading...
Continue Reading

Trending