AG Bill Barr ‘threatened to quit’ in 2020 after Trump attempted to fire FBI Director Chris Wray

AG Bill Barr ‘threatened to quit’ in 2020 after Trump attempted to fire FBI Director Chris Wray over his handling of the Hunter Biden email scandal

  • Attorney General Bill Barr reportedly threatened to quit in the spring of 2020 over former president Donald Trump’s attempt to fire FBI Director Chris Wray 
  • A source with knowledge of the matter said Barr was introduced to Bill Evanina, a top counterintelligence official, during a meeting at the White House
  • But when Barr realized that Evanina, was being suggested as a potential replacement for Wray, he walked out of the room
  • News that Trump was considering firing Wray made headlines after the election 
  • It was said at the time that Trump had grown increasingly frustrated with the FBI’s handling of the Hunter Biden email scandal

Attorney General Bill Barr reportedly threatened to quit in the spring of 2020 over former president Donald Trump’s attempt to fire FBI Director Chris Wray. 

A source with knowledge of the matter told Business Insider that Barr was introduced to Bill Evanina during a meeting at the White House.  

But when Barr realized that Evanina, a top counterintelligence official, was being suggested as a potential replacement for Wray, he walked out of the room. 

The move was an apparent threat to leave the Trump administration if the former president gave Wray the boot. 

Chris Wray

Attorney General Bill Barr (left) reportedly threatened to quit in the spring of 2020 over former president Donald Trump’s attempt to fire FBI Director Chris Wray (right)

At that point, it was the closest Wray had ever came to getting fired during the Trump administration. 

Wray is currently the FBI director in the Biden administration. he assumed his position in 2017. 

News that Trump was considering firing Wray made headlines after the election.

It was said at the time that Trump had grown increasingly frustrated with the FBI’s handling of the Hunter Biden email scandal.

The Washington Post first reported the possibility, citing sources familiar with Trump’s alleged discussions about Wray’s uncertain future as the FBI director.

Trump had previously voiced his anger at Wray’s public statements on issues like antifa, voting fraud and Russian election interference. 

News that Trump was considering firing Wray made headlines after the election. It was said at the time that Trump had grown increasingly frustrated with the FBI's handling of the Hunter Biden email scandal

News that Trump was considering firing Wray made headlines after the election. It was said at the time that Trump had grown increasingly frustrated with the FBI’s handling of the Hunter Biden email scandal

Trump had charged that emails found on Hunter's (pictured with his dad) laptop could implicate Biden in his son's dealings. Trump was disappointed that Wray hadn't given him a boost in the polls the same way James Comey did with the Hillary Clinton email scandal

Trump had charged that emails found on Hunter’s (pictured with his dad) laptop could implicate Biden in his son’s dealings. Trump was disappointed that Wray hadn’t given him a boost in the polls the same way James Comey did with the Hillary Clinton email scandal

That anger apparently grew, especially after Wray and Barr failed to announce an investigation into potential corruption by Joe Biden and his son Hunter. 

Trump and his allies had charged that emails discovered on Hunter’s laptop could implicate Biden in his son’s international business dealings.

The sources claimed that Trump was disappointed that Wray hadn’t delivered him a pre-election boost in the polls the same way his predecessor James Comey did with the Hillary Clinton email scandal 11 days before the 2016 election.

But Wray had sought to defend the FBI’s independence and its integrity even as it puts him at odds with Trump and his allies. 

At the time, the FBI also tried to avoid confrontations where possible, making clear that it is striving to be responsive to Republican lawmakers on politically charged investigations.

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Police respond to active hostage situation at Wells Fargo bank in Minnesota

BREAKING: Police respond to active hostage situation at Wells Fargo bank in Minnesota after ‘attempted robbery’

  • Police responded to reports of a robbery at a Wells Fargo bank in St. Cloud shortly before 2pm Thursday
  • Unconfirmed number of employees and customers are still being held inside the branch
  • Local police and FBI are currently on the scene allegedly attempting to negotiate 

Police on Minnesota are responding to an active hostage situation inside a Wells Fargo bank.  

An unconfirmed number of bank employees and hostages are currently being held  inside the bank, located in the city of St. Cloud.

Officers responded to a call from the branch shortly before 2pm local time, and the incident is still being listed as ‘active’.  

Scores of local police and the FBI are on the scene reportedly attempting a hostage negotiation.  

‘We can confirm a hostage situation at Wells Fargo’s St. Cloud South branch, located at 200 33rd Avenue South,’ Wells Fargo spokesperson Staci Schiller stated in a release.

‘We are cooperating with local law enforcement and will do whatever we can to assist the authorities in their investigation. We recognize this is a traumatic moment for the community and our colleagues. The safety and security of our customers and employees is our most important priority.’  

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.  

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Hunt for mom-of-three who vanished after texting friend that she was ‘five minutes from home’

The FBI has joined the search for a missing mom-of-three who vanished two weeks ago on the way home from a friend’s house in the early hours of the morning.

Erica Hernandez, 40, has not been heard of since April 18, when she texted her friend to say she was ‘five minutes away from getting home.’

Her family says she was visiting a friend and left around 2:30am.

After the final text her phone was turned off and she hasn’t been heard from since.

 Hernandez is a single mother who has three children, ages 19, 16, and 3 years old.

Her son Dennis, who was 15 years old when his mother first went missing, had his 16th birthday without his mom last Wednesday. 

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She was last seen on April 18

Erica Hernandez, 40, has been missing for over two weeks after she was last seen April 18

Hernandez was seen on a Ring video camera on the night of her disappearance

Hernandez was seen on a Ring video camera on the night of her disappearance

Investigators say she was near Highway 288 and the Beltway when she was last seen driving her 2020 Black GMC Acadia, which has a Texas A&M University Aggie mom sticker attached to it.

Last week, Hernandez’s sister-in-law released Ring doorbell camera video showing Erica leaving their home on the Saturday evening she was last seen. 

Hernandez was wearing jeans and a blue shirt, with her hair pulled back. 

‘We called the hospitals, we asked for her name and asked for Jane Doe’s nothing,’ Eldia Hernandez said to ABC13

‘We’re all frustrated. We’re all in disbelief because this is not like her. This is not her routine. Her kids are her world, and she would never ever leave her kids.’ 

Investigators have looked for Hernandez in Fort Bend County due to a tip, but did not find here there. 

She was also not found in her own neighborhood, according to KHOU.

Hernandez’s SUV has also not been found. 

‘She was mobile. She could have really driven anywhere,’ Lt. Manny Cruz, the Houston Police Department’s commander of the missing person’s unit, previously said. 

Local officials announced that the FBI joined the search effort for Hernandez towards the end of April.

Hernandez was wearing a blue shirt and jeans with her hair pulled back at last sighting

Hernandez was wearing a blue shirt and jeans with her hair pulled back at last sighting

Her family and friends have been campaigning for weeks to find Hernandez

Her family and friends have been campaigning for weeks to find Hernandez

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee claimed the FBI was joining the search in ‘a complimentary and collaborative stance with the Houston Police Department,’ according to NBC News.

‘This mother needs to be found and she needs to be found now,’ Lee said. ‘Someone has seen something. Someone knows something. Someone is not saying something.’ 

Texas EquuSearch, nonprofit volunteers, have also been helping to search for Hernandez.

Albert Flores, who is with the Texas United Coalition, has previously offered a $1,000 reward for information leading to Hernandez.

This week, banners and billboards were revealed across Texas to raise awareness

This week, banners and billboards were revealed across Texas to raise awareness

Hernandez's SUV is missing as well, making the search area for her even larger

Hernandez’s SUV is missing as well, making the search area for her even larger

A GoFundMe has raised over $5,000 towards the search efforts. 

There’s also a dedicated Facebook page providing updates on the search.

A post on Thursday read: ‘It is absolutely heartbreaking. We have been in contact with authorities and they are coming up empty handed, just like us. We have had trips made by family and volunteers to areas that tarot readers have mentioned but have not found her or her car. 

‘Yes we are tired, yes we are mentally drained, yes our spirits are sometimes broken, we feel defeated, we feel exhausted BUT we love our Erica and we will not give up on her!’

Hernandez’s daughter, Briza Armenta, publicly spoke about her mother’s disappearance almost 10 days after she first went missing.

The FBI joined the search towards the end of April, but hasn't had any luck finding her

The FBI joined the search towards the end of April, but hasn’t had any luck finding her

‘It does get to me sometimes, but I’m going to have to be strong, and I have to be OK for my family,’ Briza said, according to KHOU

‘We’re all just trying to stay positive,’ the Texas A&M student added. ‘It’s just a lot of uncertainty right now. We don’t know where she could be. Where to look. We have no idea. We just have no clues right now.’ 

Briza also said to her mom, ‘If you’re watching this, just remember that we’re looking and to be strong and to hold on because we’re coming. We’re going to come, and you’ll be home soon.’

This week, electronic billboards and banners were put up across the state to drive awareness about the search.

One banner, which was unfurled over the Southwest Freeway on Monday afternoon, read ‘Find Erica Hernandez.’

Pictured: A missing poster for Hernandez, who missed her son's birthday recently

Pictured: A missing poster for Hernandez, who missed her son’s birthday recently

‘We can’t imagine there’s not someone out there with information, so the family is begging for people with any kind of information,’ Lee said after the banner was unfurled, according to ABC13.

‘We don’t know what might’ve happened, but we know that she’s a loving mother, and she has three beautiful children that want her to come home.’ 

Ashley Hernandez, Erica’s sister, says the search for Erica will continue.

‘We still need to find her,’ Ashley said. ‘That’s the whole point, you know. Whether I think the outcome is going to be good or bad, we still need to find her and we still need her. 

‘We need her for her family, so I’m not exactly sure where their mind is at, but my mind is not in a good place.’ 

Giuliani allies want Trump to dip into $250M fund to help ex-lawyer

Rudy Giuliani’s advisers are pushing former President Donald Trump’s aides to dip into his $250 million election defense fund to pay his ex-lawyer who’s now under federal investigation.  

The New York Times reported Tuesday on the pressure campaign, on the heels of the FBI searching Giuliani’s home and office space last week. 

The newspaper also reported that Giuliani allies are disappointed the Trump lawyer didn’t receive a pre-emptive pardon from the now former president, despite knowledge of a probe into Giuliani’s Ukrainian dealings. 

Allies of Rudy Giuliani (pictured) want former President Donald Trump to dip into this $250 million election defense fund to pay Giuliani, who’s under federal investigation

Federal agents raided Rudy Giuliani's home and office in New York City last week as part of their investigation into his dealings with Ukraine

Federal agents raided Rudy Giuliani’s home and office in New York City last week as part of their investigation into his dealings with Ukraine

Trump amassed a whopping $250 million war chest, raising money from supporters as he contested the 2020 election result

Trump amassed a whopping $250 million war chest, raising money from supporters as he contested the 2020 election result

Giuliani, the former New York City mayor who led Trump’s effort to overturn the 2020 presidential election result, needs payment for that work as he’s hired lawyers for himself to work on his defense in the federal case. 

Giuliani is under investigation for allegedly violating the Foreign Agents Registration Act. 

Last week, his Manhattan home and office were raided and his electronic equipment seized, as part of the investigation into whether the 76-year-old acted as an unregistered federal agent and lobbied the Trump administration on behalf of Ukrainian officials and oligarchs. 

The investigation was prompted by a case against two Soviet-born men who assisted Giuliani in attempts to dig up incriminating information in Ukraine against Hunter Biden, who was on the board of an energy company there.    

During the late stages of campaigning in the 2020 election, photos that appeared to show Hunter Biden with drug paraphernalia, along with documents and emails, were released to The New York Post by Giuliani.

The authenticity of the information and how Giuliani came to obtain it were immediately called into question and he claimed that the media has been targeting him ever since.

‘This is totally done because they want to destroy my credibility because I have that entire hard drive,’ he told Fox News’ Sean Hannity Monday night. 

Giuliani has additional legal woes as he’s being sued by voting machine companies Dominion and Smartmatic over false claims he made about the devices flipping votes from Trump to now President Joe Biden. 

The Times reported that while Giuliani spearheaded Trump’s effort to overturn election results in swing states, he was never paid for his work. 

‘I want to know what the GOP did with the quarter of $1 billion that they collected for the election legal fight,’ tweeted Bernard Kerik, the former New York City police commissioner on Sunday. 

Kerik had been appointed to his post by Giuliani. 

In a tweet Tuesday, Kerik followed up by saying that he ‘AGREED!’ that Giuliani ‘did more for the president than all of them combined,’ aiming his comments at the Republican National Committee and its chairwoman, Ronna Romney McDaniel. 

‘The day after the election, they walked and never looked back. They abandoned Trump, Giuliani and the people of Arizona, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Georgia,’ Kerik argued. 

The Times reported that Kerik made similar complaints behind closed doors, suggesting that Giuliani should get some of the money raised. 

The paper previously reported that Trump recoiled at the $20,000 a day fee an assistant to Giuliani asked that the ex-mayor be paid for his election-related efforts. 

Trump did reimburse Giuliani for more than $200,000 in expenses, the story said. 

Giuliani’s son Andrew, who worked for the Trump White House, told ABC News that he believed his dad should be compensated.

‘I think all those Americans that donated after November 3, they were donating for the legal defense fund. My father ran the legal team at that point. So I think it’s very easy to make a very strong case for the fact that he and all the lawyers that worked on there should be indemnified,’ the younger Giuliani said. 

‘I would find it highly irregular if the president’s lead counsel did not get indemnified,’ he added.          

FBI publishes a series of cryptic photos which could help save ‘child victims’

FBI publishes series of photos from inside people’s homes on Twitter and asks for public’s help in identifying the homeowners to help save ‘child abuse victims’

  • The FBI on Saturday tweeted a series of images from inside a house, or houses
  • The images showed various rooms, items of clothing and interior decoration
  • One showed a baseball cap, another a calendar, another a stained glass window
  • The FBI said that they hope members of the public will be able to assist them 

The FBI is appealing for information that may lead to the rescue of abused children, tweeting a cryptic image from inside a house, and asking for clues.

The agency issued their request for help as part of what they termed #SeekingInfoSaturday.

The photo they tweeted showed a room with white cupboards around the doorway.

A picture of a car with its doors opening upwards, like the Back to the Future DeLorean, is framed on the wall.

The agency tweeted: ‘The #FBI is seeking information about this image, which may help lead to the rescue of child victims. If you notice something familiar, submit a tip at http://tips.fbi.gov.’

The FBI on Saturday tweeted this image of a room, asking for information to help 'child victims'

The FBI on Saturday tweeted this image of a room, asking for information to help ‘child victims’

They added: ‘No clue or piece of information is too small.’

The FBI then linked to 11 pages of more ‘seeking information’ posters.

Among the images they showed were a red baseball cap emblazed with the letter C; a calendar, illustrated with cars; a green chair and storage chest; and a bright blue t-shirt, with a picture of a cartoon witch.

A bedroom wall was covered in framed certificates, besides a clock with images of cats.

A red baseball cap was pictured, in the FBI's hunt for clues

A red baseball cap was pictured, in the FBI’s hunt for clues

The agency showed the wall of a room, with certificates and a clock decorated with cats

The agency showed the wall of a room, with certificates and a clock decorated with cats

One image showed a turquoise-colored t-shirt with a cartoon witch

One image showed a turquoise-colored t-shirt with a cartoon witch

Another image showed a calendar, decorated with pictures of cars

Another image showed a calendar, decorated with pictures of cars

A red stained glass window was shown in another image, with an image of a dolphin on the glass.

One page showed a swimming pool, perhaps seen from a window, with dark green plastic lounge chairs.

Tips from members of the public are hugely important to the FBI’s work.

‘I think one of the most important things to know about the FBI’s tip line, at www.fbi.gov, is every single piece of information that’s submitted by an individual is reviewed by FBI personnel at FBI Headquarters,’ said Special Agent Eric Reese, watch commander of the Public Access Center Unit, in an interview on the FBI’s website.

‘So there’s nothing that goes unaddressed.

‘We basically listen to everything that people want to submit and we give it its due diligence.’

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‘We kicked him out months ago’: Four Seasons Total Landscaping mocks Rudy Guiliani over FBI raid 

The internet was set ablaze with news that federal agents had raided Rudy Giuliani’s Upper East Side apartment – but one tweet in particular was crowned ‘winner of the internet’ on Wednesday. 

Four Seasons Total Landscaping in Philadelphia earned that unofficial title for its tweet mocking former Donald Trump lawyer Giuliani after his home and office were raided by Department of Justice investigators.   

Soon after news of the Giuliani raid broke, the company tweeted a photoshopped image of FBI agents leaving their yard with the caption: ‘Wrong apartment. We kicked him out months ago.’ 

The tweet had quickly 5000 retweets and 20,000 ‘likes’, and drew fawning praise.

Conservative lawyer George Conway, a prominent critic of Trump’s who is also married to his former counselor Kellyanne Conway, joined in the fun, tweeting: ‘I sense a great deal of schadenfrudy on this site.’

The Department of Justice executed a search warrant Wednesday on Giuliani’s New York City apartment and office, stepping up their investigation of his dealings in the Ukraine.

The probe centers on whether Giuliani acted as an unregistered federal agent and lobbied the Trump administration in 2019 on behalf of Ukrainian officials and oligarchs. 

Four Seasons Total Landscaping, the site of a bizarre Rudy Giuliani press conference in the fall, posted a tweet Wednesday that mocked the raid of his home and office

Rudy Giuliani and the Trump campaign staged their event about the alleged voter fraud outside the company in November

Rudy Giuliani and the Trump campaign staged their event about the alleged voter fraud outside the company in November

Police exit Rudy Giuliani's home on 66th Street in Manhattan on Wednesday

Police exit Rudy Giuliani’s home on 66th Street in Manhattan on Wednesday

Four Seasons Total Landscaping was unexpectedly thrust into the nation’s consciousness last year.  

Days after the 2020 presidential election, and with the result hanging in the balance, Trump announced there would be a ‘big press conference’ at the ‘Four Seasons’ on Saturday morning.

However, this was soon corrected, with the hotel itself tweeting: ‘To clarify, President Trump’s press conference will NOT be held at Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia.

‘It will be held at Four Seasons Total Landscaping — no relation with the hotel.’

Four Seasons Total Landscaping is situated in an industrial part of Philadelphia next to Delaware Valley Cremation Center and Fantasy Island Adult Books, where owners host ‘Dildo Madness’ sales throughout the year. 

Giuliani turned up, along with a large contingent of media, and the location was pointed out for being an unlikely place to fight an election result. 

Since last year’s press conference, Four Seasons Total Landscaping has capitalized on its sudden internet fame, regularly trolling politicians on Twitter.

After posting the tweet making fun of Giuliani, Twitter users praised Total Landscaping’s sense of humor.

‘It’s obvious Four Seasons Total Landscaping is great at providing shade from more than just trees,’ a user called @bookworm474 posted. 

Ray McKigney said: ‘Four Seasons Total Landscaping – the hero we never saw coming’. 

‘Rumor has it Rudy Giuliani still haunts the parking lot of Four Seasons Total Landscaping to this day, yelling at the sky,’ @outofcontroljb wrote. 

‘Todays winner of the internet’, Someone called @PappyUnhappy wrote. 

'It's obvious Four Seasons Total Landscaping is great at providing shade from more than just trees,' a user called @bookworm474 posted

‘It’s obvious Four Seasons Total Landscaping is great at providing shade from more than just trees,’ a user called @bookworm474 posted

'Rumor has it Rudy Giuliani still haunts the parking lot of Four Seasons Total Landscaping to this day, yelling at the sky,' @outofcontroljb wrote

‘Rumor has it Rudy Giuliani still haunts the parking lot of Four Seasons Total Landscaping to this day, yelling at the sky,’ @outofcontroljb wrote

Ray McKigney said: 'Four Seasons Total Landscaping - the hero we never saw coming'

Ray McKigney said: ‘Four Seasons Total Landscaping – the hero we never saw coming’

'Todays winner of the internet', Someone called @PappyUnhappy wrote

‘Todays winner of the internet’, Someone called @PappyUnhappy wrote

Trump's former personal attorney also got in on the action, tweeting: 'Here we go folks'

Trump’s former personal attorney also got in on the action, tweeting: ‘Here we go folks’

The company has also sold merchandise, including a ‘Lawn & Order’ mask that plays on the president’s frequently used phrase ‘law and order’ for $10.

It is also selling ‘Make America Rake Again’ stickers for $5.

And it’s not the only one who’s been cashing in.    

The Philadelphia company announced on its Facebook Sunday that they were selling the masks and other store paraphernalia

The Philadelphia company announced on its Facebook Sunday that they were selling the masks and other store paraphernalia

Media gathers outside Giuliani's apartment on Manhattan's Upper East Side on Wednesday after federal agents raided it

Media gathers outside Giuliani’s apartment on Manhattan’s Upper East Side on Wednesday after federal agents raided it

Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani addresses the media outside Four Seasons Total Landscaping last year

Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani addresses the media outside Four Seasons Total Landscaping last year

The raid on Wednesday indicates the investigation of the former New York City mayor has entered an aggressive new phase. It is unusual for prosecutors to execute a search warrant on a lawyer, particularly one who has privileged conversations with his client, the former president of the United States.

To obtain the search warrant, investigators would have needed to convince a judge they had sufficient reason to believe that a crime was committed and the search would turn up evidence of that. It does not indicate guilt.

Investigators executed warrants at Giuliani’s home on Madison Avenue and his office on Park Avenue and seized electronic devices, a person familiar with the investigation told the AP.

Giuliani’s lawyer, Robert Costello, called the searches unnecessary and said Giuliani had offered to answer questions from prosecutors, except those regarding his privileged communications with Trump.

‘What they did today was legal thuggery,’ Costello told The New York Times . ‘Why would you do this to anyone, let alone someone who was the associate attorney general, United States attorney, the mayor of New York City and the personal lawyer to the 45th president of the United States.’

The United States Attorney’s office in Manhattan and the FBI had wanted to execute the warrant on Giuliani’s Upper East Side pad for months but had been stymied by the political leadership put in place at the Justice Department by President Trump.

The warrant was originally sought last summer but top officials at DOJ raised concerns about issuing a warrant so close to an election.

DOJ rules prevent actions close to an election that might be seen as interference – a matter that came up both in 2016 during the probe of Hillary Clinton’s emails and in 2020 during the investigation, not publicly revealed, into Hunter Biden over potential tax issues.

But after Merrick Garland was confirmed as President Biden’s attorney general, the Justice Department lifted its objection to the search.

Biden vowed to have an independent Justice Department and said he would not interfere in its work.

‘Here we go folks,’ tweeted Michael Cohen, Trump’s former attorney who was also subject of a federal raid and would eventually plead guilty to eight federal counts, including violating campaign finance law.

The Giuliani investigation grew out of a federal investigation of his associates, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, who worked on gathering information about the Bidens during the election.