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Archive for July, 2017

Lengel: Jeff Sessions is a Deadman Walking, But he Should Make Trump Sweat

Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

It’s just a matter of time before Jeff Sessions is gone as Attorney General, whether it’s by firing or forced resignation. For now, he’s a Deadman Walking.

President Donald Trump apparently wants him to quit,  and is trying his best through tweets and public statements to humiliate him in to doing so. Sessions should hang in there and force Trump to fire him.

Firing Sessions would be a public relations nightmare. Trump knows that. He can only hope Sessions, who was a Trump loyalist during the campaign, folds under pressure.

So far, in his short tenure, Trump has fired acting Attorney General Sally Yates, FBI Director Jame Comey, and he certainly would like to give the ax to special counsel Robert S. Mueller III.

To fire Sessions would be disastrous, particularly on the grounds that he was acting ethically and recused himself from the Russian probe.

Much to Trump’s disappointment, that recusal opened the door for Mueller to step in.

This isn’t Celebrity Apprentice. Trump can’t fire someone every episode.

If he tries, at some point, the folks on Capitol Hill will  fire him.

 

Driver in Smuggling Operation Said Bodies Were ‘Lying on the Floor Like Meat’

James Matthew Bradley Jr.

James Matthew Bradley Jr.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

They were packed inside a sweltering, pitch-black tractor-trailer, taking turns breathing from a small hole in the semi. The immigrants had no water and banged on the walls of the trailer in vain.

Then they started dying.

James Matthew Bradley Jr., the 60-year-old driver of the tractor-trailer, told authorities Monday he had no idea there was anyone in the truck until he arrived at a Walmart in San Antonio on early Sunday morning. When he opened the door to the trailer, he said “he was run over by ’Spanish’ people and knocked to the ground,” the complaint reads, according to CNN

The Florida man said bodies were “lying on the floor like meat.”

Ten people died. More than a dozen more were in life-threatening condition.

If convicted, Bradley could be sentenced to death on one count of transporting illegal immigrants for financial gain, resulting in death.

Trump Considers Chasing Out AG Sessions As Russia Investigation Heats Up

Attorney General Jeff Sessions during his confirmation hearing in January.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions during his confirmation hearing in January.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The days may be numbered for Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

President Trump has met privately with his advisers to discuss replacing Sessions, and some officials close to Trump are suggesting possible replacements, the Washington Post reports. 

To some in Trump’s inner circle, firing Sessions would make it easier to fire special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, whose fate ultimately is determined by the attorney general.

But in Sessions’ case, the decision was made by Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein because Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation.

Trump has publicly berated Sessions’ for recusing himself. 

If Sessions quits, Trump could replace him with someone who would fire Mueller.

On Monday and Tuesday, Trump attacked Sessions on Twitter.

Giuliani Denies Report That Trump May Appoint Him to Replace Sessions

Rudolph Giuliani

Rudolph Giuliani

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump has mulled replacing Attorney General Jeff Sessions with longtime supporter Rudy Giuliani, Axios reported

But on Monday, the former New York City mayor told CNN the report was untrue and defended Sessions’ “right decision under the rules of the Justice Department” to recuse himself from the Russia investigation.

Numerous outlets reported this week that Trump is hoping Sessions will resign, in no small part because he recused himself from the Russia investigation.

Trump told the New York Times last week, “Sessions should have never recused himself, and if he was going to recuse himself, he should have told me before he took the job and I would have picked somebody else.”

Kushner Returns for Another Round of Questions from Congressional Committee

Jared Kushner

Jared Kushner

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

After insisting he had “nothing to hide” and acknowledged four meetings with Russians, President Trump’s son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner will return for second day of closed-door interviews with lawmakers on the House Intelligence Committee.

Kushner spent two hours Monday answering questions from Senate investigators about his contacts with Russian officials before and after Trump was elected.

After the meeting, Kushner declared he did nothing wrong.

“I did not collude with Russia nor do I know of anyone else in the campaign who did so. I had no improper contacts,” Kushner told reporters during a prepared statement. “And I have been fully transparent in providing all requested information.”

Kushner released an 11-page statement hours before the Senate meeting. 

Idaho Photographer Arrested for ‘Public Voyeurism’ for Filming FBI Office

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An Idaho man says police violated his First Amendment rights by arresting him for recording video outside of an FBI office.

“I stopped directly across the street and filmed vehicles entering the FBI complex for approximately 10 minutes before a police car drove up behind me,” Sean Johnson wrote to KIFI/KIDK reporter Chris Oswalt in an email. “I was standing on the sidewalk across the street from the complex, near a bus stop. I was just standing there filming, not saying anything to anyone, nor waving my arms around or otherwise causing a commotion.” 

Johnson was approached by an officer who claimed the cameraman was violating the state’s public voyeurism law by recording people without permission. But that law refers to sex crimes.

All federal employees in 2010 were given a three-page memo that states, “Remember the public has the right to photograph the exterior of Federal Buildings from publicly accessible spaces, such as streets, sidewalks, parks or plazas.”

Federal courts have protected the rights of people to photograph and video-record from public space.

“I was taken to jail and held for 15 hours until I paid my bail of $300 directly from my own account,” Johnson wrote in his email. “I have since retained an attorney and the expectation is that the charge of ‘obstruction and delay’ will be dropped by the prosecutor.”

Truck Driver Arrested After 9 Immigrants Found Dead in Sweltering Trailer

Tractor trailer found with 39 people packed inside at a Walmart parking lot in Texas.

Tractor trailer found with 39 people packed inside at a Walmart parking lot in Texas.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Florida truck driver was arrested Sunday after a Walmart security guard discovered nearly 40 people packed into a sweltering tractor trailer parked outside of a Walmart in San Antonio, Texas.

Nine of the people died and more than a dozen others suffered life-threatening injuries in what authorities are describing as a “horrific” case of human trafficking, the Washington Post reports

The driver, James Mathew Bradley Jr., 60, of Clearwater, Fla., is expected to be charged as early as Monday.

The people were discovered at 12:30 a.m. Sunday by a Walmart security guard who was tipped off that immigrants appeared to be inside a tractor trailer in the parking lot.

San Antonio police spokesman Sgt. Jesse Salame said the case is being handled by ICE because of suspected international smuggling.

“They have to be turned over to the custody of somebody,” he told the Post. “They don’t have anywhere else to go.”

Kushner to Face Congressional Investigators Today about Ties to Russia

Jared Kushner. Photo by Lori Berkowitz Photography, via Wikipedia

Jared Kushner. Photo by Lori Berkowitz Photography, via Wikipedia

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Senate Intelligence Committee will privately question senior White House Jared Kushner on Monday as congressional investigators examine claims that President Trump’s campaign team colluded with Russia to influence the presidential election.

Kushner, the son-in-law of Trump, also is scheduled to meet behind closed doors for questioning by the House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday.

The committees also are planning to question Donald Trump Jr. and former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort after negotiating with the men’s attorneys information and a date.

Some lawyers question the wisdom of answering questions that can be used in a future criminal case.

“It’s a very difficult tightrope to walk,’’ said Justin Dillon, a former federal prosecutor now in private practice. “He has to balance the political fallout from taking the Fifth Amendment with the potential criminal fallout of talking.’’