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Archive for May, 2017

Stephen Colbert Pokes Fun at FBI Director’s Testimony about Clinton Investigation

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Late night comedian Stephen Colbert had harsh words for FBI Director James Comey following controversial testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Colbert played clips of Wednesday’s committee hearing in which Comey defended his decision to notify Congress that the Hillary Clinton investigation had reopened.

Colbert also ribbed Comey for saying he was “mildly nauseous” for potentially upending the election.

“Maybe it’s morning sickness — after all, you did screw the whole country,” Colbert said. 

Other Stories of Interest

FBI Director Comey Back in the Hot Seat Today When He Testifies Before Congress

FBI Director James Comey.

FBI Director James Comey.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

FBI Director James Comey will be back in the spotlight Wednesday when he testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Democrats are expected to grill Comey for more information on the bureau’s months-long investigation into a potential collaboration between the Trump campaign and Russia to influence the outcome of the presidential election.

But as NBC Chicago reports, Comey isn’t expected to reveal much “because such investigations rarely end in criminal charges that offer a full picture.” 

Counterintelligence investigations rarely result in charges.

“The vast majority of counterintelligence investigations will never see the inside of a courtroom,” said former FBI counterintelligence agent Asha Rangappa, an associate dean of Yale Law School. “The purpose of a counterintelligence investigation isn’t to find people, build a criminal case and put them in jail.”

Usually, the purpose is to identify spies.

President Trump complimented Comey and claimed any allegations of collaborating with the Russians are “phony.”

“FBI Director Comey was the best thing that ever happened to Hillary Clinton in that he gave her a free pass for many bad deeds! The phony Trump/Russia story was an excuse used by the Democrats as justification for losing the election. Perhaps Trump just ran a great campaign?” Trump said in a couple of tweets.

Hillary Clinton in Rare Public Appearance Partly Blames FBI’s Comey, Russian Hacking for Election Loss

Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Hillary Clinton, in a rare public appearance, said she would be president if not for FBI Director James Comey’s decision to release information to Congress about reopening the bureau’s investigation into her use of a private email server.

Comey’s Oct. 28 letter to Congress reversed her momentum going into the Nov. 8 election, Clinton told a CNN anchor at a Women for Women International event in New York.

Clinton also blamed Russian hackers, which the FBI is investigating.

“If the election had been on October 27, I would be your president,” Clinton told CNN moderator Christiane Amanpour.

Clinton added: “I was on the way to winning until the combination of Jim Comey’s letter on October 28 and Russian WikiLeaks raised doubts in the minds of people who were inclined to vote for me but got scared off — and the evidence for that intervening event is, I think, compelling (and) persuasive.”

Still, Clinton said she takes “absolute personal responsibility” for failing to win the election but continued to blame external forces, including “misogyny.”

Just two days before the election, Comey notified Congress that no new evidence was found to conclude that Clinton should face criminal charges.

Justice Department Declines to Charge Baton Rouge Cops in Alton Sterling’s Death

Alton Sterling

Alton Sterling

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department is expected to announce today that it has closed the investigation into the death of Alton Sterling and won’t prosecutor Baton Rouge officers for possible wrongdoing in a case that sparked unrest across the city.

Sterling’s family told the Washington Post on Tuesday that the Justice Department had not informed them of its decision. 

“We have not heard nor received an update and are unaware of any charges that may or may not be filed,” said Ryan Julison, a spokesman for the Sterling family’s attorneys. “We have not received word, nor has the family been given any notice of upcoming updates regarding this case.”

Many civil rights advocates have been nervous about the direction of the Justice Department under Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who has already questioned the oversight of police departments.

The Justice Department has declined to comment.

The Washington Post wrote:

By the police account, officers Blane Salamoni and Howie Lake saw Sterling, 37, outside a convenience store in July after it was reported that a man had threatened someone there with a gun. Sterling, who was selling CDs outside the store, fit the description of that man, according to a search warrant affidavit in the case.

A video of the shooting shows Sterling lying on his back with two officers on top of him. One of the officers appears to yell, “He’s got a gun!” and then shots ring out. A detective wrote in the search warrant affidavit that officers had observed the butt of a gun in Sterling’s front pants pocket. At issue in the investigation was whether Sterling was reaching for the weapon, as officers claimed, when he was shot and killed.

Dallas Gunman Was Under FBI Investigation Before Shooting 3 People

Derick Lamont Brown

Derick Lamont Brown

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI was investigating a Dallas man before he fatally shot his roommate and critically wounded a neighbor and paramedic on Monday.

Derick Lamont Brown, 36, was the subject of an active, open FBI investigation, NBCDFW.com reports. 

Eric Jackson, special agent in charge of the Dallas FBI, confirmed the investigation Tuesday and said his office was reviewing the case file on Brown, who has ties to two black nationalist groups.

The FBI didn’t disclose more information about the open investigation.

No New Border Wall for President Trump Under New Federal Spending Bill

Fence along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Fence along the U.S.-Mexico border.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump’s repeated pledge to build a new border wall has fallen through the cracks under a federal spending bill wending its way through Congress.

But the budget, which is expected to be voted on by Friday, includes a modest $1 billion increase in discretionary spending for Homeland Security.

Nevertheless, Trump’s administration said it’s using $146 million to replace vehicle barriers with “pedestrian fencing,” another $146 million to replace current pedestrian fencing and $49 million to install 35 border gates.

The spending plan expires on Sept. 30.

Trump blamed Democrats for threatening a government shutdown if a new wall was included in the budget.

Other Stories of Interest

FBI: Grand Jury Subpoenas Were Issued in Hillary Clinton Email Investigation Last Year

Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Federal prosecutors investigating Hillary Clinton’s email server issued grand jury subpoenas in the case, according to a court filing this week, Politico reports. 

It previously wasn’t known that the FBI had sought grand jury subpoenas, which indicates authorities were investigating a crime.

The subpoenas were used in an unsuccessful attempt to obtain achieved copies of some of Clinton’s old email messages, according to a filing in a civil lawsuit.  

“The FBI…obtained grand jury subpoenas related to the Blackberry e-mail accounts, which produced no responsive materials, as the requested data was outside the retention time utilized by those providers,” FBI Assistant Director for the Counterintelligence Division E.W. Priestap wrote in a declaration filed Monday in federal court in Washington.

Details of the subpoenas were unclear, but it appears AT&T and Cingular were targeted.

Politico wrote:

While most investigative work in the probe was done via voluntary interviews and provision of evidence, prosecutors and the FBI eventually turned to mandatory process again when the investigation was reactivated weeks before the presidential election. A search warrant was obtained in late October to review copies of additional email messages discovered on a laptop seized from former Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.), the estranged husband of top Clinton aide Huma Abedin. The warrant required the FBI to indicate probable cause that the laptop contained evidence of a crime or some sort of contraband.

Priestap’s declaration was filed in connection with lawsuits conservative watchdog groups Judicial Watch and Cause of Action Institute filed against former Secretary of State John Kerry and Archivist of the U.S. David Ferriero in an effort to force the government to take additional steps to try to recover Clinton’s work-related messages. Tens of thousands of those messages have been retrieved and have already been made public by the State Department.

The government’s new court filing, including Priestap’s statement, sought to establish that there is nothing practical officials can do at this point to try to recover more of Clinton’s messages.

However, Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton said he’s puzzled that the FBI revealed the grand jury action at this juncture.

Female FBI Translator Married ISIS Terrorist She Was Investigating

ISIS flag

ISIS flag

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An FBI translator assigned to investigate an ISIS terrorist wound up falling in love with the German-born jihadist and married him.

Daniela Greene, 38, left her husband in the U.S. to be with a terrorist who was shown on videos holding severed heads, CNN reports. 

The love affair with Denis Cuspert began in 2014, about three years after joining the FBI as a linguist. Greene was assigned to Detroit’s FBI office. 

About six months later, Greene and Cuspert tied the knot in Syria. But she quickly got cold feet and returned to the U.S., where she was charged and later convicted of making false statements involving international terrorism. In August 2016, she was released from prison.

She now works as a hostess in a hotel lounge.