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Archive for June, 2018

Ex-ATF Agent Says Gun Tracing System is ‘Insane’

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

“The privacy rights of the gun owner have trumped my right not to get shot in the head,” David Chipman, senior policy advisor for the gun control group Giffords, tells station WTSP.

“When you see the tracing center, and how difficult it is for patriots to do their job, that isn’t accidental,” Chipman tells the station. “That’s been set up that way and that’s what makes it so frustrating for the people who are not just trying to solve gun crime, but prevent it from ever happening in the first place.”

In Manafort Case, Encrypted Messages Don’t Mean Much if People Involved in the Conversation Are Snitches

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

How did special counsel Robert Mueller’s people get Paul Manafort’s encrypted messages that suggested he was tampering with witnesses?

In a court filing, Mueller writes that FBI investigators obtained messages that Manafort—who was indicted for money laundering, tax fraud, and other charges in October—sent to witnesses in his case in an attempt to convince them to lie about lobbying work they performed for him, reports Slate magazine.

Manafort allegedly used WhatsApp and Telegram, two security-focused messaging apps that boast end-to-end encryption, Slate notes, adding that ” end-to-end encryption isn’t that useful if one of the people in the conversation is a snitch. The court filing claims that two of the witnesses Manafort were trying to contact simply handed all of his Telegram messages over to the authorities.”

 

Fired Deputy Director Andrew McCabe Might Take the Fifth if Called Before Senate Judiciary

FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Fired FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe could remain mum if he’s called before the Senate Judiciary Committee next week.

McCabe’s lawyer fired off a letter to the committee’s chairman, Sen. Chuck Grassley, saying McCabe “will have no choice but to invoke his Fifth Amendment privilege” if called before the committee, reports Politico.

Grassley wants McCabe to testify about a much-anticipated probe by the Justice Department inspector general into the FBI’s conduct during its investigation of Hillary Clinton ahead of the 2016 election.

McCabe’s lawyer Michael Bromwich told Grassley on Monday that immunity would be required before McCabe testified because he is under investigation after the Inspector General concluded he lied to investigators.

Read the complete letter.

 

Bar Patron Shot By Off-Duty, Dancing FBI Agent to Get Free Drinks for Life

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Well, if there’s an upside to being shot by an FBI agent in a bar, here it is.

The Mile High Spirits in Denver, where a patron was shot in the leg by a dancing, off-duty FBI agent over the weekend, says the victim can “enjoy complimentary drinks forever” at the club.

Denver Police questioned the agent at headquarters before releasing him to an FBI supervisor, USA Today reports. Police are awaiting awaiting lab results to see if alcohol was a factor.

CBS News identified the agent as Chase Bishop of the bureau’s Washington Field Office.

In a Facebook posting, the bar wrote:

At Mile High Spirits, we pride ourselves on being a craft distillery with high-quality products and an engaging customer experience, in a fun and safe atmosphere. It is shocking that the only shooting to ever occur at our establishment came about as a result of an FBI agent entering our distillery tasting room carrying a loaded firearm without our knowledge, in violation of our rules. As a result of his misconduct, one of our innocent patrons was shot.

Our security team was able to execute a catastrophic event plan, ensuring, the safe exit of all patrons in the establishment after the shooting. We are deeply saddened by the events that occurred and look forward to speaking with representatives of the FBI, so we can come to understand his presence and his need to be armed in our establishment. The whole team at Mile High Spirits is praying for the victim’s quick recovery, and he’s welcome at Mile High Spirits to enjoy complimentary drinks forever.

Mile High Spirits Team

DEA Agent Fatally Shoots Suspect in Drug Probe in Chicago

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A DEA agent fatally shot a suspect in a drug probe on Chicago’s west side on Saturday morning, WLS TV reports.

The DEA said it was conducting surveillance on, “an individual and a location known as a multiple-kilogram cocaine distribution point,”  the station reports.

A marked police car attempted to conduct a traffic stop on the suspect, Gus Tousis, 43, of Bartlett, who  fled and temporarily got away from law enforcement, the station reports.

Authorities attempted a second traffic stop, and Tousis, according to the DEA, turned his vehicle at a DEA agent and hit the agent, who fired his gun. Tousis died at the scene, the DEA said. The agent sustained non-life threatening injuries.

Digging A Deeper Hole: Mueller Accuses Paul Manafort of Witness Tampering

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manfort is getting himself in more trouble.

Federal prosecutors on the Robert S. Mueller III team are accusing him of witness tampering and want the judge to consider revoking or revising his release, the Washington Post reports.

Prosecutors accuse Manafort and a longtime associate they linked to Russian intelligence of repeatedly contacting two members of a public relations firm and asking them to falsely testify about secret lobbying they did at Manafort’s behest.

The Post reports:

In court documents, prosecutors with special counsel Robert S. Mueller III allege that Manafort and his associate — referred to only as Person A — tried to contact the two witnesses by phone and through encrypted messaging apps. The description of Person A matches his longtime business colleague in Ukraine, Konstantin Kilimnik.

 

Trump Won’t Give Up on Hammering Jeff Sessions

President Donald Trump

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

President Donald Trump can’t get over the fact Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself in the Russia investigation.

He’s constantly tweeting about it and Tuesday was no different.

Retired FBI Agent on Agent’s Gun Firing on Dance Floor: ‘Shocked At The Poor Judgment’

James Gagliano (Linkedin photo)

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Over the weekend, an off-duty FBI agent in Denver made headlines when his gun slipped out of his pants on the dance floor and he accidentally fired it while trying to grab it. A patron was shot and wounded in the leg.

James A. Gagliano, a CNN law enforcement analyst and a retired FBI supervisory special agent, weighs in  on  CNN:

As a retired agent myself, I have mixed emotions about the dance floor incident.

Part of me sees a young agent out for an evening of innocent fun and electing to blow off some steam. It’s hard not to consider the fact that the bureau has been dealt a series of recent body blows — some self-inflicted and others pure partisan opportunism. With half the country calling for the agency’s head, who wouldn’t concede a harried agent a deserved night out to forget about things? Plus, I’ve always believed in the cautionary proverb: There but for the grace of God, go I.

Yet I also can’t help but be shocked at the poor judgment exhibited by a member of what is still the world’s premier law enforcement agency. Agents are expected to display sound judgment. This agent should have taken better care to conceal and secure his weapon. Even before he lost control of it, you can clearly see the weapon’s outline against his shirt in the video. That’s an egregiously unacceptable concealment effort.
And knowing he was armed, he may have elected to avoid the dance-off.