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Archive for July, 2017

Muslim Group: FBI Nominee Wray Has Troubling History with Immigrant Detainees

    FBI Director nominee Christopher WrayFBI Director nominee Christopher Wray

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

FBI nominee Christoper Wray has a troubling history with mistreating immigrant detainees in the aftermath of 9/11, a Muslim civil rights group warned senators.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR is urging the Senate Judiciary Committee to grill Christopher Wray during his confirmation hearing next week, the AJC.com reports

At issue is Wray’s reported communication blackouts between hundreds of immigrant detainees and the outside world while he was serving in a high-ranking position in the Justice Department for former President George W. Bush.

According to a story in the Daily Beast, Wray directed his employee to curtail communication between the detainees and the outside world while serving as principal deputy attorney general. 

“Many of the leads that resulted in the detention of these immigrants were based on discriminatory religious and ethnic profiling and were meritless suspicion,” the group said.

Although CAIR didn’t take a public position on the nomination, the group claimed Wray’s communication blackouts were “unconstitutional.”

Other Stories of Interest

Trump Insists in Poland That ‘Nobody Really Knows’ if Russia Meddled in Election

Donald Trump

Donald Trump

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump once against split with U.S. intelligence agencies on whether Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election.

“I think it was Russia … and I think it could have been other countries,” Trump said when asked about the alleged meddling at a press conference in Warsaw ahead of the G-20 summit in Germany.

The president later said the hackers could just be “other people.”

“A lot of people interfere” in elections, Trump said, adding “nobody really knows for sure.”

The CIA and FBI have said conclusively that overwhelming evidence indicates Russia tried to influence the election in favor of Trump.

The president’s reluctance to acknowledge Russia’s involvement comes amid a special counsel investigation into whether Trump’s campaign colluded with Moscow to upset the election.

Trump also is meeting with Putin on Friday.

Trump: ‘Everyone’ at G-20 Is Talking about DNC’s Handling of Cyberattacks

President Trump

President Trump

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

At the G-20 summit in Germany, President Trump claimed “everyone here is talking about” how Democrats handled cyberattacks during last year’s presidential election. 

It’s unclear why leaders of the world’s wealthiest and developing countries would be caught up in old election news at a gathering designed to promote international financial stability. What’s more likely is that Trump is trying to divert attention away from a very active investigation into whether his campaign conspired with Russia to meddle in the election. 

In a tweet Friday morning, Trump claimed “everyone is talking about why John Podesta refused to give the DNC server to the FBI and the CIA. Disgraceful!”

On Thursday, Trump used the international stage to slam America’s intelligence agencies, the Democratic National Committee, the media, Russia and former President Obama.

Russians Prime Suspects in Cyberattacks Targeting U.S. Nuclear Plants

Bellefonte Nuclear Power Plant, via the U.S Tennessee Valley Authority.

Bellefonte Nuclear Power Plant, via the U.S Tennessee Valley Authority.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI and Homeland Security have warned that Russia is the chief suspect behind recent computer network breaches at U.S. nuclear power plants and other energy facilities.

Federal authorities said hackers have been targeting the computer networks of companies that operate the energy plants in what security specialists worry could be a search for vulnerabilities in the electrical grid, Bloomberg reports. 

Among the targets was the Wolf Creek nuclear facility in Kansas, which runs a nuclear power plant on a lake shore near Burlington, Kan.

A joint report from both intelligence agencies did not indicate whether the cyberattacks were intended to cause destruction or access industrial secrets.

But officials were worried enough to issue an urgent amber alert, the second-highest rating for a potential threat.

The possibility that Russia is involved has alarmed U.S. intelligence agencies because Russian hacker managed to disable parts of Ukraine’s electrical grid and are believed to be testing advance technology to disrupt power supplies.

‘You Don’t Want to Do This,’ FBI Agent Advised Thief Who Stole Bureau-Issued SUV

Chicago cityscape, via Allen McGregor on Wikipedia.

Chicago cityscape, via Allen McGregor on Wikipedia.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

It was good advice for a thief.

“I’m the police! I’m the police!” an FBI agent exclaimed. “You don’t want to do this.”

Despite the agent’s pleas outside of a Chicago gas station early Monday morning, the teenager who had snuck into a bureau-issued SUV sped off, dragging the agent about a half block, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. The 32-year-old agent injured his back, arm and hip.

Inside the stolen 2014 Chevrolet Equinox were firearms and radio and tactical equipment.

The 17-year-old should have taken the agent’s advice.

By 7:21 p.m. Monday, the SUV was discovered a few blocks from the FBI’s Chicago headquarters. The teen, who has a long rap sheet, was arrested and charged as a juvenile, now facing time behind bars. 

Confirmation Hearing Set for July 12 for Trump’s FBI Director Nominee

Christopher A. Wray

Christopher A. Wray

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump’s nominee for FBI director will testify during a confirmation hearing on July 12.

Sen. Chuck Grassley, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, made the announcement Wednesday, setting the stage for what could be a contentious hearing.

Wray, who led the Justice Department’s Criminal Division under former President George W. Bush, is seeking confirmation for a 10-year term.

Democrats plan to grill Wray about his representation of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie involving the Bridgegate scandal.

If confirmed, Wray will take over the bureau after Trump’s controversial – and some say illegal – firing of Director James Comey.

President’s Choice for FBI Director Supported Trump Foes Comey, Yates

FBI Director nominee Christopher Wray

FBI Director nominee Christopher Wray

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Donald Trump’s choice for the next FBI director doesn’t see eye-to-eye with the president on two former high-ranking Justice Department officials.

Roll Call reports that Christopher Wray previously voiced support for FBI Director James Comey and acting Attorney General Sally Yates, both of whom have been fired by Trump. 

Wray, for example, was among 10 former DOJ officials who expressed support in a letter to the Senate for Comey’s nomination to lead the FBI in 2013. The letter lauded Comey for his “integrity and independence.”

In another letter, Wray was among 12 former DOJ officials who recommended Yate’s nomination to the No. 2 post in the Justice Department, saying she garnered the respect of her peers “both in the Department and out.”

The recommendations are inconvenient for a president who has claimed Comey and Yates are partisan hacks bent on taking down Trump.   

Homeland Security Secretary Meets with Mexican President over Drug Cartels

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto met with U.S. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly on Wednesday to discuss ways the countries can jointly combat drug cartels.

The high-level talks come ahead of a planned meeting between President Trump and Nieto on Friday at the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany.

In the first of three days of meetings, Nieto “emphasized the importance that both countries’ authorities continue working jointly to fight transnational organized crime, based on the shared responsibility that both nations have recognized,” said a statement from the Mexican president’s office, according to ABS-CBN

Nieto expressed concerns about the high demand for drugs and illegal weapons in the U.S., which helps fuel the cartels.