Washington (CNN) - A top congressional Republican complained Thursday that FBI jets are being used too much on travel for the FBI Director and Attorney General and not enough for FBI missions.
Senator Charles Grassley of Iowa expressed particular concern about the use of two Gulfstream V planes. "These luxury jets were supposedly needed for counterterrorism, but it turns out that they were used almost two-thirds of the time for jet-setting executive travel instead," Grassley said.
Washington (CNN) - Sen. Robert Menendez's office issued a statement Wednesday saying he had traveled several times on a plane belonging to a Florida eye doctor who had given political donations to Menendez but that all the trips were "paid for and reported appropriately." The office also denied allegations the New Jersey Democrat had engaged the services of prostitutes.
The statement was issued after FBI agents searched the West Palm Beach office of the ophthalmologist, Dr. Salomon Melgen. Investigators were seen carrying out boxes during the search, which began Tuesday night and continued into Wednesday. An FBI spokesman in Florida confirmed there was "law enforcement activity" at the location where the search occurred but did not mention Melgen or anyone else and did not explain what agents were investigating.
(CNN) – Sen. Dianne Feinstein, Senate Intelligence Committee chairwoman, said she hopes to talk to Gen. David Petraeus and will urge him to testify on the Benghazi, Libya attacks as previously scheduled.
"I believe he will. I think he's a responsible person and I believe he will come. We are going to try to set that up today," she said in an interview to air Tuesday on CNN's "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer."
Washington (CNN) – An angry Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein warned again Monday she would investigate why the FBI did not notify oversight committees about its probe into CIA Director David Petreaus after the bureau determined he was having a secret and risky extramarital affair.
"...A decision was made somewhere not to brief us, which is atypical," the California Democrat told NBC's Andrea Mitchell about how the top Democrats and Republicans on the House and Senate intelligence committees are usually briefed on key developments. "This is certainly an operationally sensitive matter. But we weren't briefed. I don't know who made that decision."
Washington (CNN) – Congressional leaders agreed Thursday on the need for a full investigation of what one called a recent "cascade" of leaked classified information but differed on exactly how the inquiry should be conducted.
After meeting with Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, the top Democrats and Republicans on the intelligence committees of the House and Senate pledged a bipartisan effort to halt the leaks now and pass legislative changes to prevent future leaks.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - He buried two older brothers killed by assassins' bullets, and FBI files released Monday showed that Sen. Edward Kennedy was the subject of seemingly endless threats throughout his political career.
The more than 2,000 pages made public included threats that ranged from the obscene ramblings of troubled people to angry warnings of death and violence against Kennedy, who was a U.S. senator from Massachusetts from 1963 until his death in 2009. Many of the documents, including poor-quality mimeographs of news articles and official government memos, have handwritten notations on them, presumably by FBI officials who looked them over.
A particular focus of the threats, profane messages, defaced photos and other items was the 1969 auto accident in which a car driven by Kennedy ran off a bridge on Chappaquiddick Island - part of Martha's Vineyard - resulting in the drowning death of the lone passenger, Mary Jo Kopechne.
Federal officials said the spike in threats began around the debate over health care reform. (Photo Credit: Getty Images/File)
Washington (CNN) – Federal law enforcement and Congressional authorities are reporting a large increase in threats against lawmakers, a law enforcement official tells CNN. The officials said the spike in threats began around the debate over health care reform.
Since October, 50 threats against members of Congress have been reported to the FBI, said the official, who spoke only on the condition of anonymity. In the previous year, less than 20 were reported to federal law enforcement authorities. When threats are received by lawmakers, the U.S. Capitol Police and in some cases, the FBI, investigate.
Members of the House and Senate reported nearly three times as many threats in the first three months of this year, compared to the last three months of 2009, Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Terrance Gainer told The Washington Post. He said nearly all of the incidents appeared to have come from opponents of health care. Gainer did not respond to requests for comment from CNN.
"There has been a spike in threats against members of Congress since passage of the legislation," according to the law enforcement official, who was not authorized to speak on the record about the Congressional investigations.
Washington (CNN) - Attorney General Eric Holder agreed Thursday to find out and promptly report what actions, if any, were taken by the Justice Department after a 2004 FBI warning of a looming financial crisis.
Under pressure from the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, Holder promised to advise the panel by the end of January whether the government heeded the warning from an assistant FBI director that the growing mortgage fraud caseload could signal a problem with potentially wide economic repercussions.
The bipartisan commission appointed by Congress is trying to determine the precise causes of the nation's financial crisis, and believes mortgage lending practices were instrumental in the economy's near-meltdown.
Washington (CNN) - The FBI received "actionable intelligence" from Nigerian bombing suspect Umar Farouk AbdulMutallab in the first hours after his arrest, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said Tuesday.
According to authorities, AbdulMutallab tried to detonate explosives hidden in his underwear as a flight from Amsterdam, Netherlands, made its final approach to Detroit, Michigan, on Christmas Day. The device failed to fully detonate, instead setting off a fire at the man's seat.
AbdulMutallab was arrested on charges of attempting to destroy an aircraft. He will face his first court hearings Friday.
U.S. authorities have said AbdulMutallab may have received training from al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, which is based in Yemen.