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Archive for July, 2018

Mueller Indicts 12 Russian Nationals for Hacking the Dems During 2016 Election

 

Rod Rosenstein announces indictment (DOJ photo)

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Twelve Russian nationals were charged Friday with hacking Democrats to interfere with the 2016 presidential election, prompting some top Democrats to urge President Donald Trump to cancel his meeting with Vladimir Putin.

The indictment, which came from the Robert Mueller probe, says that the defendants are members of the GRU, a Russian Federation intelligence agency within the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Russian military.

The Justice Department accuses the officers of engaging “in a sustained effort to hack into the computer networks of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the Democratic National Committee and the presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton, and released that information on the internet under the names ‘DCLeaks’ and ‘Guccifer 2.0’ and through another entity.”

“The Internet allows foreign adversaries to attack America in new and unexpected ways,” said Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein in a statement. “Together with our law enforcement partners, the Department of Justice is resolute in its commitment to locate, identify and seek to bring to justice anyone who interferes with American elections. Free and fair elections are hard-fought and contentious, and there will always be adversaries who work to exacerbate domestic differences and try to confuse, divide, and conquer us. So long as we are united in our commitment to the shared values enshrined in the Constitution, they will not succeed.”

To read the Justice Department press release click here.

Son of Mob Associate Refuses to Assist FBI After Getting Shot Three Times

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Salvatore Zottola, the son of a Bonanno crime family associate, ain’t cooperating with the FBI after being shot three times.

Zottola was critically wounded in an attempted hit outside his sprawling Bronx home.

Law enforcement sources tell the New York Post has denied the FBI access to his houses’ cameras. He was shot while walking to his car Wednesday morning.

He is at the Jacobi Medical Center and has made it clear to investigators he’s not cooperating.

 

White House Rebuffs Concerns About Access to Info About FBI Informants

Christopher Wray (File photo)

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Is transparency best in this case or simply dangerous?

Mark Mazzetti of the New York Times reports:

The White House has rebuffed concerns among American intelligence and law enforcement officials and ordered that more lawmakers be given access to classified information about an informant the F.B.I. used in 2016 to investigate possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia, according to two American officials with knowledge of the decision.

Both the director of national intelligence and the director of the F.B.I. tried to keep the classified documents tightly restricted, fearing that a broader dissemination of operational reports and other sensitive material could lead to more leaks of detailed information about the role of the confidential F.B.I. informant.

Some American officials believe, in fact, the reason the White House made the decision was to provide political ammunition to President Trump’s Republican allies who have argued — without any evidence — that the F.B.I. investigation was opened in July 2016 as an effort to keep Mr. Trump from becoming president.

New York Daily News Editorial: GOP ‘Stooped To New Lows To Smear A Public Servant’ Peter Strozk

Peter Strzok testifying on The Hill.

By New York Daily News Editorial Board

Republicans beclowned themselves in a committee hearing Thursday as they desperately tried to discredit FBI agent Peter Strzok.

Strzok is the deep-state punching bag of President Trump because, while heading up investigations into both Russian interference in the Trump campaign and Hillary Clinton’s email server in 2016, he said negative things about the man who would be President to Lisa Page, the Justice Department lawyer with whom he was having an affair.

Ergo, claims Trump, Strzok and Page were key operatives in a vast left-wing conspiracy to bring him down. Which means everything that follows, including Robert Mueller’s special counsel investigation, is fruit of a poisonous tree.

The caricatures come easy to the President and his cronies in Congress, who Thursday tried to brand Strzok a political henchman and, for good measure, untrustworthy philanderer.

As they stooped to new lows to smear a public servant, it was Republican Reps. Trey Gowdy and Louie Gohmert who showed themselves to be faithless cowards.

To read full editorial click here. 

As Barbs Fly, FBI Agent Peter Strzok Defends His Professionalism

Peter Strzok testifying on The Hill.

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

During a contentious hearing on Capitol Hill, FBI agent Peter Strzok, whose anti-Trump views have landed him in the hot seat, defended himself.

“Let me be clear, unequivocally and under oath: not once in my 26 years of defending my nation did my personal opinions impact any official action I took,” Strzok, told House lawmakers investigating what Republicans say is evidence of rampant bias at the top levels of the F.B.I., according to a report in the New York Times, which reported:

But in defending himself and his agency, Mr. Strzok had to weather hours of blistering attacks by Republicans, whose accusations drifted from personal animus toward President Trump to blatant lying and moral misconduct with a senior F.B.I. lawyer, Lisa Page.

In his first public comments since volumes of private text messages between Mr. Strzok and Ms. Page were disclosed, the agent concluded opening remarks with a pointed broadside against his antagonizers.

Secret Service Issues Guidance For Schools to Prevent Shootings

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

In these crazy times, this makes a lot of sense.

The U.S. Secret Service is urging U.S. schools to establish teams that can assess threats and prevent shootings such as the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida that left 17 people dead, USA Today reports.

The Secret Service released a report Thursday offering schools guidance on spotting suspicious behavior and figuring out when and how to intervene, the paper writes. The report was prepared by the National Threat Assessment Center in an effort launched after the Feb. 14 Parkland shooting.

The report recommends the creation of “threat teams” comprised of teachers, coaches, guidance counselors, mental health authorities and law enforcement to manage central reporting systems within the schools.

FBI Agent Who Headed Reagan Assassination Attempt Dies

John Nicholas Meisten III (FBI photo)

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Retired FBI agent John Nicholas Meisten III, who headed the probe into the attempted assassination of President Reagan, has died. He was 76.

Meisten  died June 30 at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center after an eight-year battle with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, the Cincinnati Enquirer reports.

“My father rarely spoke of his career to anyone but former FBI agents or his closest friends,” daughter Kimberly Meisten told the paper. “He had a calling to serve his country and a passion for justice. The contributions he made during his career with the FBI, along with the relationships he made with so many exceptional men and women in his FBI family, were some of the most fulfilling and cherished times of his life.”

To read his obituary click here.

FBI Agent Peter Strzok to Appear Before Congressional Committee Today

Peter Strzok

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Controversial agent Peter Strzok, who previously appeared before a closed-door Congressional committee hearing, will appear on Thursday in an open hearing before the House Judiciary Committee, NPR reports.

Strzok played a key role in the probes into Hillary Clinton’s private emails and the Russian-election connection. But he got into trouble when it became known that he wrote anti-Trump remarks to Lisa Page, an FBI lawyer he was having an extramarital affair with.

Stay tuned.