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Archive for March, 2015

Petraeus Reaches Deal to Plead Guilty to Misdemeanor But Will Likely Not Face Prison Time

By Adam Goldman and Sari Horwitz
Washington Post

WASHINGTON — Lawyers for David H. Petraeus have reached an agreement with federal prosecutors for the retired general and former CIA director to plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge in connection with his handling of classified materials.

As part of the agreement, Petraeus admitted to improperly retaining classified material, according to documents filed Tuesday in federal court in Charlotte. Petraeus has also acknowledged he misled FBI investigators, officials said.

Federal prosecutors will not seek prison time for the retired four-star general but instead will ask a judge to impose a probationary period of two years.

To read more click here. 

FBI Faces $30M Lawsuit in Fatal Shooting of Ibragim Todashev in Florida

Ibragim Todashev

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Florida-based Muslim advocacy group is suing the FBI after an agent fatally shot Ibragim Todashev, a Chechen national who was friends with one of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects, The Boston Herald reports.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations is suing for $30 million in the wrongful death lawsuit.

“We are seeking answers and justice for someone who was shot seven times by an FBI agent in his own home after hours of interrogation,” CAIR Florida Civil Rights Director Thania Diaz said in a statement. “A few key weaknesses in FBI practice are unfortunately highlighted all too well in this case.”

A spokesman for the FBI did not comment.

The FBI agent was not charged in the shooting because the Florida state attorney determined the shooting was self-defense.

 

Ex-Virginia Cab Driver Captured After Being Placed on ‘Most Wanted Terrorist’ List

Liban Haji Mohamed

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Less than two months after the FBI added a Washington-area cabbie to the bureau’s “Most Wanted Terrorist ” list, the Somali-born U.S. citizen was arrested and taken into custody of the Somali government, Reuters reports.

Liban Haji Mohamed, 29, was added to the list for allegedly providing support to the Somali-based terrorists al Shabaab.

The Somali government arrested Shabaab several days ago, but whether the country sends him back to the U.S. is still anyone’s guess.

Mohamed left the U.S. in 2012 after living in the northern Virginia suburbs near Washington.

Elite Surveillance Team Accuses FBI of Nepotism, Favoritism at Expense of Investigations

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com
 
Members of FBI surveillance teams are getting fed up with what they say are internal politics and nepotism that are distracting from the mission of tracking terrorists, spies and mobsters, The Washington Times reports.

The newspaper reviewed FBI memos that showed at least three relatives of FBI supervisors landing jobs on the elite surveillance team. Two were “fast-tracked to full special agent status,” The Times wrote.

Agents with more experience are being passed up by politically connected officials.

One longtime surveillance team member is even seeking whistleblower protection as he explains the issue to the Justice Department’s inspector general and the Senate Committee on the Judiciary.

When the whistleblower launched complaints, he said he was given a poor personnel review.

The newspaper reviewed FBI memos that showed at least three relatives of FBI supervisors landing jobs on the elite surveillance team. Two were “fast-tracked to full special agent status,” The Times wrote.

Agents with more experience are being passed up by politically connected officials.

One longtime surveillance team member is even seeking whistleblower protection as he explains the issue to the Justice Department’s inspector general and the Senate Committee on the Judiciary.

When the whistleblower launched complaints, he said he was given a poor personnel review.

Denver Post: Republicans Must Stop the Antics over Homeland Security Funding

By Denver Post 
Editorial Board 

House Speaker John Boehner seemingly wants radical conservatives in the Republican caucus to stop threatening a pointless, partial shutdown of the Department of Homeland Security as a response to President Obama’s immigration orders. But if so, there is a simple solution: Let the House vote on the Senate-passed measure.

By most accounts, the Senate measure, which provides funding for DHS through September, would pass the House, too. It would also put a stop to futile attempts by some Republicans to force the administration to abandon its immigration policies. Which isn’t going to happen.

An end to the impasse is in view, and Boehner should seize it.

To read the full column, click here.

Other Stories of Interest

 

Showdown Over Homeland Security Budget Expected to Intensify As GOP Regroups

John A. Boehner

House Speaker John A. Boehner

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The showdown between Democrats and Republicans over Homeland Security is elected to intensify this week as both sides dig in for a fight.

The Washington Times reports that GOP House Speaker John Boehner said Sunday that he’s preparing for a fight to defund President Obama’s immigration actions.

“Remember what’s causing this, it’s the president of the United States overreaching and it’s not just on immigration,” Mr. Boehner said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

Boehner wasn’t so successful last week when Republicans broke ranks to pass a temporary funding bill to avoid a shutdown.

“We do have some members who disagree from time to time over the tactics that we decide to employ,” Mr. Boehner said. “But remember that Republicans are united in this idea that the president has far exceeded his constitutional authority and we all want to do things to stop the president from his illicit activity.”

Other Stories of Interest


FBI Lab Lost Hair Sample in Arson Case Against New Jersey Police Officer

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Prosecutors may have a tougher time proving their case against a New Jersey police officer accused of setting a captain’s front porch ablaze because the FBI lab lost a critical hair sample collected at the scene, NJ.com reports.

Edison Police Officer Michael Dotro was charged with aggravated arson and five counts of attempted murder for allegedly setting the fire at the home of Capt. Mark Anderko.

“Taken together, the lost hair and the sample that excluded Dotro could make it more difficult for the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office to prove the officer started the fire,” NJ.com wrote.

Prosecutors have said Dotro, a 14-year veteran with a long disciplinary history, lied about his whereabouts during the fire.

“We don’t think there’s sufficient evidence to tie Mr. Dotro to the arson, and it is our belief that because of the lack of evidence, they’ve brought additional indictments which would not normally be prosecuted but for the fact it is the Edison Police Department and Mr. Dotro,” Dotro’s lawyer, Robert Norton, said.

Prosecutors declined to comment.

 

 

Justice Department to Release Highly Critical Report of Ferguson Police

Michael Brown

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department is preparing to release a highly critical report of police in Ferguson, accusing them of making discriminatory traffic stops and creating an environment that bred animosity among African Americans, The New York Times reports.

The report, which could be released as early as this week, says Ferguson police disproportionately ticketed and arrested African Americans, while also relying on them for fines to help balance the budget.

The report follows the police shooting death of Michael Brown in August, which led to months of protests.

But the Justice Department does not plan to charge the officer, Darren Wilson, following a civil rights investigation.

What’s different about this report is it will “give the context for the shooting, describing the mounting sense of frustration and anger in a predominantly black city where the police department and local government are mostly white,” The New York Times wrote.