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Archive for May, 2018

Weekend Series on Crime History: The Crazy Don

Giuliani Says Mueller Agrees to Narrow Scope in Trump Investigation

Trump attorney and former New York City mayor Rudolph Giuliani.

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Rudy Giuliani says special counsel Robert Mueller has agreed to narrow the scope of a potential interview with President Donald Trump from five topics to two, CNN reports.

Giuliani, who has become Trump’s latest TV attorney,  tells CNN’s Chris Cuomo on “New Day” that Mueller is not considering asking the President about his former personal attorney Michael Cohen, who’s under investigation in New York over his business dealings.
Giuliani said Friday said the “the main focus we want is Russia.”

Oregon Man Convicted of Engaging in Sexual Conduct With Children At His Orphanage in Cambodia

Kingdom of Cambodia – vector map

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

An Oregon man, who was a Christian missionary running an orphanage in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, was found guilty this week in federal court of  engaging in illicit sexual conduct in a foreign place, traveling with the intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct and aggravated sexual abuse.

Daniel Stephen Johnson, 40, Coos Bay, Ore., was charged in December 2014 after serving a one-year sentence in Cambodia for sexually abusing some of the same victims, the Justice Department said. Evidence at trial showed that Johnson was a Christian missionary who traveled between the United States and Cambodia, along with other countries in Southeast Asia.

He started an orphanage in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, that housed several Cambodian children, and over a period of years beginning in 2005, he  engaged in sexual abuse and attempted to sexually abuse at least nine children who resided at his orphanage, the Justice Department charged.  The victims ranged in age from eight to 17-years-old.

“While Stephen Johnson held himself out as a selfless missionary helping orphans in Cambodia, in reality he exploited that cover to sexually abuse the children entrusted to his care,” Acting Assistant Attorney General John Cronan said in a statement. “Today’s conviction is a testament both to the courage of the victims, who traveled to the United States to provide critical testimony against their abuser, and to the steadfast commitment of our prosecutors and law enforcement partners to seeing that Johnson be held to account for his terrible crimes.”

Sally Yates: Trump ‘Tearing Down the Legitimacy’ of the Justice Department

Former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Sally Yates, the acting Attorney General fired by President Donald Trump last year, says the president’s caustic tweets aimed at Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and special counsel Robert Mueller are collectively “tearing down the legitimacy” of the Justice Department, Yahoo! News reports.

Yates, speaking at the 2018 Ideas Conference hosted by the Center for American Progress on Tuesday, urged the country not to ignore Trump’s attacks on the rule of law, Yahoo! News reports.

“What I worry about is the normalization of so much that is not normal,” said Yates.

“There is a time-honored tradition at the Department of Justice, at least since Watergate, that is nonpartisan,” Yates said. “There is a wall between the Department of Justice and the White House when it comes to criminal investigations and prosecutions.”

Trump has been hammering away at that wall so often and with such ferocity, she said, “nobody’s rolling their eyes anymore,” Yahoo! reports.

 

Trump Camp Wants to Expose FBI Informant; DOJ Worries that Could Put Lives in Danger, Screw Up Other Operations

President Trump

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The Trump camp continues to wage war on the FBI and the Justice Department.

His allies allies are waging an increasingly aggressive campaign to undercut the Russia investigation by exposing the role of a top-secret FBI source, the Washington Post reports, adding that the effort reached new heights Thursday as Trump alleged that an informant had improperly spied on his 2016 campaign and predicted that the ensuing scandal would be “bigger than Watergate!”

The  Justice Department and intelligence agencies have warned that publicly identifying the confidential source would put lives in danger and imperil other operations.

The Post reports:

The stakes are so high that the FBI has been working over the past two weeks to mitigate the potential damage if the source’s identity is revealed, according to several people familiar with the matter. The bureau is taking steps to protect other live investigations that the person has worked on and is trying to lessen any danger to associates if the informant’s identity becomes known, said these people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive intelligence operations.

Trump Wants Justice Department to Go After Oakland Mayor For Tipping Off Residents About ICE Raids

Oakland’s Mayor Libby Schaaf (Facebook photo)

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

California in particular has been bumping heads with President Donald Trump over immigration policy.

The latest: Trump wants the Department of Justice to investigate Oakland’s Mayor Libby Schaaf  for obstruction of justice after she warned constituents of upcoming raids by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents across northern California, Newsweek reports.

“I mean, you talk about obstruction of justice, I would recommend you look into obstruction of justice for the mayor of Oakland, California, Jeff,” Trump said, motioning to Sessions during a White House roundtable discussion with California elected officials and law enforcement officers.

“She informed them, and they all fled—or most of them fled—and that whole operation, that took a long time to put together,” Trump said.

 

Lawmakers Concerned About Allegations of Misconduct in DEA’s Haiti Office

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is concerned about allegations of misconduct involving the DEA’s  Haiti office and the effectiveness of the office’s efforts to fight drugs in that country, the Miami Herald reports.

Committee Chairman Rep. Trey Gowdy and Rep. Elijah E. Cummings of Maryland have written to Justice’s Inspector General Michael Horowitz requesting that he review allegations of potential mismanagement and misconduct in the Haiti office that has eight employees.

“Because of the seriousness of these allegations, we request that your office initiate a review,” the May 14 letter said.

The letter offers few specifics but raises serious concerns relating to the handling of personnel matters and whistleblower retaliation, among other things, the paper reports.

 

Inspector General Report on FBI’s Handling of Hillary Clinton Probe Has Been Completed

Hillary Clinton

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Will the report be a bombshell?

Probably.

A draft of the Justice Department’s Inspector General report addressing a wide-ranging set of allegations that department protocols were flouted when the FBI investigated Hillary Clinton’s handling of classified information, has been completed, CNN reports, citing unnamed sources with knowledge of the matter.

Inspector General Michael Horowitz informed lawmakers on Capitol Hill Wednesday that his office has provided leadership at the Justice Department and FBI with a copy of the draft report and has requested that they review it for classified information.

“We will update you on the specific timing for the report’s release, and I will be prepared to provide a briefing and testify publicly about our findings and conclusions as soon as the report is released,” Horowitz wrote in a letter to members of various committees, CNN reports.

The report could give President Donald Trump, a regular basher of the FBI and Justice Department, some fodder.