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Archive for June, 2016

Grand Jury Reviews Case of Possible FBI Misconduct During Wildlife Refuge Standoff

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

FBI agents are facing potential charges over their handling of the Oregon wildlife refuge standoff.

Investigators have taken the case to a grand jury, alleging that an agent fired a gunshot at Robert “LaVoy” Finicum and that the FBI tampered with evidence at the scene, the Oregonian reports. 

Defense lawyers for the protesters have asked a judge to order the release of investigative records involving the FBI’s alleged misconduct.

The occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge last 41 days and led to numerous charges against the protesters.

Presidential Candidates Cost Taxpayers More Than $200M for Secret Service Protection

secret serviceBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The cost to taxpayers to provide Secret Service protection to presidential candidates has skyrocketed this year.

The Secret Service has already spent more than $200 million to protect the candidates, CNBC reports. 

By contrast, the Secret Service spent $113 million for presidential candidate protection in 2012 and about $85 million in 2008.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has come under fire because he took Secret Service agents with hi overseas to celebrate the opening of a golf course this week.

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders also has caught criticism for continuing to use Secret Service agents even after his campaign appears to be over.

Other Stories of Interest

Senate Rejects Legislation to Allow FBI to Search Internet Records without Warrant

computer-photoBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Senate rejected a measure Wednesday that would allow the FBI to search e-mail records and Internet browsing histories of Americans without a warrant.

The USA Today reports the Senate was two votes short of the 60 needed to pass the legislation. The final vote was 58-38.

Last week, the House rejected legislation to ban warrantless surveillance of Americans’ electronic communications.

“In the wake of the tragic massacre in Orlando, it is important our law enforcement have the tools they need to conduct counterterrorism investigations and track ‘lone wolves,’ or (Islamic State)-inspired terrorists who do not have direct connections to foreign terrorist organizations but who seek to harm Americans,” Sen. John McCain said.

But Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., said the bill “won’t make our country safer, but it will take away crucial checks and balances that protect our freedom.”

“FBI agents will be able to demand the records of what websites you look at online, who you email and chat with, and your text message logs, with no judicial oversight whatsoever,” Wyden said. “The reality is the FBI already has the power to demand these electronic records with a court order under the Patriot Act. In emergencies, the FBI can even obtain the records right away and go to a judge after the fact. This isn’t about giving law-enforcement new tools, it’s about the FBI not wanting to do paperwork.”

Men, Women Come Forward to Say They Had Relationship with Orlando Shooter

Omar Mateen

Omar Mateen

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Omar Mateen, the man who opened fire at a gay nightclub in Orlando, frequently used online dating sites seeking both men and women.

CBS News reports that men and women have approached the FBI about having a relationship with Mateen, who was killed in a shootout with police.

One man said he had a two-month sexual relationship with Mateen last year.

“He was very sweet guy, he loved to be cuddled,” said the man in a recorded interview with Univision anchor Maria Elena Salinas that aired Tuesday night. “He had to confess something, that ‘I have a wife’… I asked him ‘does you wife know’ and he said ‘yes she know everything.'”

The man suggested Mateen was likely seeking revenge “for gay Puerto Ricans from when he felt rejected.”

The man added that Mateen’s father was homophobic.

“He told me when his father find out I’m gay, he want to kill me.”

New Book Claims Hillary Clinton Was Brash, Threw Bible at Secret Service Agent

crisis of characterBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A new book claims Hillary Clinton chucked a Bible at a Secret Service agent’s head.

The allegation is just the latest from Gary Byrne, a former Secret Service agent who protected the Clintons in the White House in the 1990s, The Telegraph reports. 

The book, “Crisis of Character” is set to hit the book shelve next week. The author portrays the Clintons as self-serving and disrespectful toward the Secret Service.

Byrne claims agents were assigned to protect Hillary Clinton as “a form of punishment handed down by passive-aggressive middle management.”

“The First Lady had a different sort of liveliness,” he writes. “She once threw a Bible at an agent on her detail, hitting him in the back of the head.”

DEA Has New One-Strike Policy for Agents Who Solicit Prostitutes

DEA Administrator Chuck Rosenberg.

DEA Administrator Chuck Rosenberg.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The DEA is cracking down on sexual misconduct by its agents by instituting a one-strike policy for agents who solicit prostitutes, even if they are off duty.

The Washington Times reports the DEA also will release an internal report on employees’ bad actions and the punishments they’ve received.

“Solicitation of prostitution on duty or off duty, whether you’re in a jurisdiction where it is legal or illegal, first time offense — removal,” DEA Administrator Chuck Rosenberg said.

In 2012, the DEA discovered that some of its agents had hired prostitutes in Columbia while preparing for President Obama’s visit.

Muslim Friend of Orlando Nightclub Shooter Warned FBI about Mateen

Omar Mateen

Omar Mateen

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Two years before Omar Mateen opened fire on an Orlando nightclub, a Muslim friend warned the FBI about concerns that Mateen was becoming self-radicalized.

“The fact that this person was a Muslim, and also that he was a Muslim from my community and somebody that I knew — very, very, very disturbing,” Mohammad Mailk told CBS News.

The two met a decade ago and attended the same mosque.

Malik said he became concerned and called the FBI after Mateen confided that he was inspired by radical Islamic cleric Anwar al-Awlaki’s videos.

“He told me they were very powerful,” he recalled. “That raised the red flag even higher for me.”

The FBI investigated Mateen for the second time in two years, but decided Mateen wasn’t a clear threat. Malik said the FBI never asked him again about Mateen.

“These people that have committed these acts have radicalized on their own — not through the mosque,” Malik said.

Feds: Homeland Security Analyst May Have Been Planning Attack on Superiors

homeland2department-of-homeland-security-logo-300x300By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Homeland Security employee with top-secret clearance tried to enter the agency’s Washington headquarters with a gun, knife, pepper spray, handcuffs and an infrared camera.

Now federal prosecutors are trying to determine whether Jonathan Wienke, an analyst in the Office of Intelligence and Analysis, was planning an attack when he entered the building on June 9, the Associated Press reports. 

Court records indicate the federal government believes there’s probable cause that Wienke “was conspiring with another to commit workplace violence, and more particularly may have been conspiring or planning to commit violence against senior DHS officials in the building.”

Wienke has been charged with carrying a pistol without a license and has since been released. He’s on administrative leave while the investigation proceeds.

Other Stories of Interest