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Archive for January, 2017

ATF: Former Border Patrol Agent Busted with Silencer, Meth, Machine Gun Parts

Border Patrol

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A former U.S. Border Patrol agent faces federal charges after he was arrested in Everett, Wash., for allegedly in possession of homemade silencers and parts to build a machine gun. 

Authorities say they found a Border Patrol badge, several silencers and parts to make a fully automatic AR-15 in a car that was crashed by Shannon Keoni Gaillard, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports. 

Authorities also allege that Gaillard, 32, appeared to have been smoking meth and using steroids.

“Gaillard’s possession of this type of ammunition indicates an intent to reduce the sound signature associated with gunshots … to avoid the detection of unlawful firearms use and/or criminal activity,” the agent said in court papers. “This also is consistent with possession of a silencer, which acts to reduce the noise associated with the discharge of a firearm by reducing the sound of rapidly expanding gases which cause loud noises.”

Other Stories of Interest

Seattle Debates Removing FBI Cameras Under President Trump’s Administration

Seattle surveillance cameras, via Seattle City Council.

Seattle surveillance cameras, via Seattle City Council.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Seattle is considering removing federal surveillance cameras around the city to avoid potential misuse under President Trump’s administration.

The Seattle City Council plans to call for the removal of the cameras, which have been operating since at least 2015, Seattle Weekly reports. 

Leading the move is Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant.

“It is totally unacceptable for the City of Seattle to be complicit in federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies surveilling Seattle’s public spaces,” Sawant said in a press release. “As a sanctuary city we should not be filming our general population, and we certainly should not be sending that data to law enforcement agencies now being run by the Trump administration.”

Among her concerns is “normalizing a Big Brother mentality.”

Secret Service Agent in Trouble After Saying She Wouldn’t Take Bullet for Trump

secret-service-3By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A secret agent is under fire after suggesting on Facebook that she wouldn’t take a bullet for Donald Trump.

The Secret Service said it’s “taking appropriate action,” USA Today reports. 

Special Agent Kerry O’Grady wrote, “As a public servant for nearly 23 years, I struggle not to violate the Hatch Act. So I keep quiet and skirt the median. To do otherwise can be a criminal offense for those in my position. Despite the fact that I am expected to take a bullet for both sides. But this world has changed and I have changed. And I would take jail time over a bullet or an endorsement for what I believe to be disaster to this country and the strong and amazing women and minorities who reside here. Hatch Act be damned. I am with Her.”

O’Grady removed the post several days later and said she would protect the president as required by law.

“It was an internal struggle for me but as soon as I put it up, I thought it was not the sentiment that I needed to share because I care very deeply about the mission,” she said.

President Trump to Retain James Comey As FBI Director

FBI Director James Comey

FBI Director James Comey

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

FBI Director James B. Comey, who has incensed both Democrats and Republicans for his handling of the Hillary Clinton investigation, is expected to retain his position under President Donald Trump, the Washington Post reports. 

Comey has served four years of his 10-year term, and many thought Trump would ask for his resignation.

The FBI declined to comment on Comey.

Despite the move, the FBI will continue investigating Russia’s interference with the U.S. presidential election.

President Trump to Launch Plans Today for Building Wall at Mexico Border

border fence photoBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Donald Trump is moving forward with his plans to build a wall along Mexico, signing an executive action Wednesday to direct federal resources to the project.

Today, Trump begins speaking about his immigration plans, which will be rolled out over the next several days, CNN reports. 

Trump tweeted on Tuesday, “Big day planned on NATIONAL SECURITY tomorrow. Among many other things, we will build the wall!”

Trump’s first executive action will direct Homeland Security to begin construction of the border wall. In addition, Trump wants to increase staff at Customs and Border Protection by 5,000 to reduce immigrants fleeing violence in Central America.

How Trump plans to pay for the wall remains unclear. He wants Homeland Security to determine how much money is available to fund the wall’s construction.

Trump has insisted Mexico will pay America back for the wall, but Mexican officials said they have no such intention.

FBI Intercepts Communication Between Russian Ambassador, Trump Adviser

Lt. Michael T. Flynn

Lt. Michael T. Flynn

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI reviewed communication between the Russian ambassador to the U.S. and retired Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn, who is President-elect Trump’s choice for national security adviser.

The Washington Post reports that no evidence of wrongdoing or illicit ties to the Russian government were found. 

The communication from December was intercepted during a routine electronic surveillance of Russian officials and agents in the U.S.

The intercepts show that the intelligence community continues to investigate Russian government influence in the U.S. election.

Nevertheless, the FBI found nothing unusual while reviewing intercepts of communication between Flynn and the ambassador.

The conversations appeared to be about setting up a meeting with Trump to talk about Syria.

President Trump’s Hiring Freeze Worries FBI, DOJ, Homeland Security

money-photoBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Donald Trump’s call for a hiring freeze has caused alarm in federal agencies like the FBI, Justice Department and Homeland Security.

During Trump’s announcement Monday, he said the military won’t be impacted by the hiring freeze that began Monday, the Sacramento Bee reports. 

Members of Congress want more information about the impact of the hiring freeze, which could mean far fewer FBI agents and Justice Department attorneys.

“This is a very complex government and you want to be really careful with your edicts because chances are they’re going to come back and bite you if you’re not careful,” said Rep. John Garamendi, D-Walnut Grove.

“We’re going to stop hiring. Really? What about TSA? What about the Border Patrol? What about the guy doing cybersecurity for the Justice Department?” he asked.

Republican Rep. Tom McClintock supports the order but cautioned against blanket hiring freeze.

“I applaud President Trump’s determination to pare back the federal government,” McClintock wrote in a statement to The Sacramento Bee. “The plan’s success, though, rests in redesigning the service delivery systems, eliminating unnecessary agencies and reforming the direct spending programs. Otherwise, you run the risk of shorting manpower in your top priority functions while continuing over-staffing of low priority or unnecessary agencies.”

Kellyanne Conway Gets Secret Service Protection After Threats

Kellyanne Conway

Kellyanne Conway

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Saying she has received death threats, President Trump’s adviser Kellyanne Conway is receiving protection from the Secret Service.

The White House counselor and Trump’s final campaign manager said she received a suspicious “white substance” at her home, the New York Post reports. 

She blamed it on the media.

“Because of what the press is doing now to me, I have Secret Service protection,” she said. “We have packages delivered to my house with white substances. That is a shame.”

Barack Obama’s closest adviser, Valerie Jarrett, also received Secret Service protection.