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Archive for July, 2017

FBI’s Search for 4 Missing Pennsylvania Men Leads to an Arrest

Cosmo DiNardo, 20.

Cosmo DiNardo, 20.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI’s search for four missing Pennsylvania men helped lead to the arrest of a 20-year-old man connected to the case.

Cosmo DiNardo, of Bensalem, Pa., was arrested Monday and lodged in jail on $1 million bond on a gun charge, according to the Associated Press. 

The FBI, who has not identified DiNardo as a suspect in the men’s disappearance, found the 20-year-old in possession of a shotgun and ammunition, despite a history of mental illness and an involuntary commitment.

The FBI searched for signs of the missing men using heavy equipment at a large property owned by DiNardo’s family.

“The leads are incredibly hot, they’re very fruitful. We’re making great progress, but there’s so much more work to do,” Bucks County District Attorney Matthew Weintraub said. “We’re not going to rest until we get through every inch of that property.”

The FBI was searching the property because of tips.

One of the men went missing Wednesday, and three others vanished Friday.

Investigators suspect foul play.

“I surely believe there is,” Weintraub said.

Woman Facing Up to Year in Prison for Laughing at AG Jeff Sessions

Activist Desiree Fairooz was convicted of disorderly conduct.

Activist Desiree Fairooz was convicted of disorderly conduct.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department is calling for prison time for a woman who laughed during Jeff Session’s confirmation hearing when a Republican senator from Alabama suggested that the attorney general nominee has a record of “treating all Americans equally under the law is clear and well documented,” The Independent reports. 

Activist Desiree Fairooz was arrested, charged and convicted by a jury of “disorderly conduct or disruptive conduct.”

Two activists who showed up at the hearing wearing KKK outfits were also charged with disorderly conduct.

The jury did not buy the suggestion of Fairooz’s attorney that the laugh was a “brief reflexive burst of noise.”

The Justice Department countered that the jury “could reasonably infer that the laugh was a deliberate disruption.”   

“The jury could infer from testimony and video evidence about the laugh and Fairooz’s subsequent conduct that her laugh was an intentional, loud statement of disagreement,” prosecutors said in the filing.

“The jury could have considered that upon being removed, Fairooz had a sign at the ready and loudly proclaimed and demonstrated her views. The jury then could reasonably view the resulting disruption as both an intentional and foreseeable result of the defendant’s course of conduct.”

Fairooz could be sentenced up to a year in prison this week, alongside the two activists who were wearing KKK outfits.

Sen. Richard Shelby is urging the court to impose the maximum penalty.

Other Stories of Interest

Trump Jr. Met with Russian Attorney Over Promised Clinton Material

Donald Trump Jr. and his dad, President Trump, via Twitter

Donald Trump Jr. and his dad, President Trump, via Twitter

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump’s son conceded he met with a Kremlin-connected Russian lawyer after he was promised damaging information on Hillary Clinton during the 2016 campaign.

The president’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and then-campaign head, Paul J Manafort, were also at the meeting.

The meeting with Russian lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, at the Trump Tower in June 2016, first reported by the New York Times on Sunday, raises troubling questions about whether Trump’s inner circle colluded with Russia, which is the subject of special counsel and congressional investigations. 

Trump Jr. changed his account of the meeting after failing to mention Clinton on Saturday, saying the visit was designed to discuss a program that used to allow American adoptions of Russia children. But after the Times’ report, Trump Jr. changed his story in a statement to the media.

Trump spokesman Mark Corallo, insisted Sunday that “the president was not aware of and did not attend the meeting.”

In Trump Jr.’s statement, he said he invited Kushner and Manafort but didn’t reveal the purpose of the meeting.

FBI Investigated Claims That Bob Knight Sexually Assaulted 4 Women

Bob Knight, via Wikipedia.

Bob Knight, via Wikipedia.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Four women who worked at a U.S. spy agency are claiming Hall of Fame basketball coach Bob Knight sexually assaulted them before and after a 2015 speech he delivered to the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency in Springfield. Va.

The Washington Post, citing investigative documents and interviews with spy agency employees, wrote that the women “accused Knight of a range of boorish behavior: from touching them on the shoulder while commenting on the attractiveness of their legs, to hugging them too tightly around the chest, to hitting them on the buttocks, according to documents compiled by investigators and Washington Post interviews with three of the women.” 

Inviting the retired coach to deliver a speech on leadership was an unusual choice, given his often boorish behavior and history of making demeaning comments about women.

The Post wrote:

The women accused Knight of a range of boorish behavior: from touching them on the shoulder while commenting on the attractiveness of their legs, to hugging them too tightly around the chest, to hitting them on the buttocks, according to documents compiled by investigators and Washington Post interviews with three of the women.

The FBI led an investigation to determine the veracity of the allegations, but after about a year and denials from Knight, the case was concluded with no charges by federal prosecutors in Virginia.

Knight’s attorney said the allegations were untrue.

“There is absolutely no credible evidence to support this in our opinion, these allegations,” said James Voyles, an Indianapolis lawyer who represents Knight. The FBI agents, he added, “reported to their superiors that there was no basis for any further action, period.”

Other Stories of Interest

Trump Suggests Fired FBI Director Broke the Law by Releasing Memos

Donald Trump

Donald Trump

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

As the pressure on Donald Trump intensifies over an evolving federal investigation of alleged collusion with Russia, the president is resorting to what he knows best: Attack his perceived enemy on an unrelated issue.

On Twitter Monday morning, Trump wrote, “James Comey leaked CLASSIFIED INFORMATION to the media. That is so illegal!”

The president also tweeted a video Monday morning from Fox & Friends in which former U.S. Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, suggested fired FBI Director James Comey broke the law by disseminating memos about his and Trump’s meetings.

“You can’t do that,” Chaffetz said. “It’s against the law.”

On Sunday evening, Chaffetz also tweeted, “Comey’s private memos on Trump conversations contained classified material. If true, this is bombshell news.”

Trump’s Nominee for FBI Director to Face Questions about Loyalty Vs. Independence

FBI Director nominee Christopher Wray

FBI Director nominee Christopher Wray

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump’s nominee for FBI director, Christopher Wray, will face difficult questions Wednesday during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Perhaps most central is whether Wray can assure Democrats and some Republicans that he will stay independent of Trump, who urged then-FBI Director James Comey to pledge his loyalty to the president.

“Christopher Wray would inherit an FBI that lost its popular leader in an unceremonious firing in May and that has spent the last year investigating whether the Trump campaign coordinated with Russia to win the presidency,” The Washington Post wrote. “During this most consequential probe in decades, he’d be serving under a president who is said to have demanded loyalty from Comey and has appeared insensitive to the traditionally bright boundary between the White House and the FBI.” 

FBI agents and lawyers who know Wray said they don’t believe the former high-ranking Justice Department official under President George W. Bush will have trouble maintaining his independence.   

“The people in the bureau are particularly concerned about what’s going to walk through that door,” said Monique Roth, who worked under Wray in the criminal division. “He is a very steady hand at the helm.”

Weekend Series on Crime History: The Russian Mafia

Secret Service Stops Bulletproof-Clad Man with Knives Trying to Confront Ivanka Trump

Ivanka Trump, via Twitter

Ivanka Trump, via Twitter

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Bronx man wearing a bulletproof vest and carrying two throwing knives tried getting into Trump Tower in New York to see President Trump’s daughter Ivamkqa Trump on Thursday.

But Adames Benitez, 52, was quickly stopped by Secret Service after agents spotted the bulletproof vest around 4 p.m., the New York Daily News reports. 

The suspect told Secret Service agents he was a U.S. senator who owned the building and wanted to speak to Ivanka about her dress line.

A search uncovered two throwing knives, weighted socks and a fake New York State I.D. card.

Prosecutors charged the man with weapons possession and having a fake ID and was ordered to undergo a psychiatric evaluation.

It wasn’t immediately clear whether the man was an imminent threat to Ivanka.