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Archive for July, 2018

Motorist Won’t Be Charged In Traffic Death Involving FBI Agent and Fire Official

FBI Agent Carlos Wolff.

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Roberto Garza Palacios, 28, of Germantown, Md., will not be charged in the December 2017 traffic death of an FBI agent Carolos Wolff and a deputy state fire marshal on I-270 in Montgomery County, WTOP radio reports.

The decision comes after prosecutors in Montgomery County found there was not enough to charge Roberto Garza Palacios, 28, of Germantown with anything more than a traffic violation.

“This is just a really, really nasty accident,” said Garza Palacios’ attorney Hasim Humayun.

On Dec. 8, FBI agent Wolff and Deputy State Fire Marshal Sander Cohen were struck by a car driven by Garza Palacios as they stood in the left shoulder lane of I-270, next to a concrete median wall, WTOP reports. Cohen had stopped to help Wolff after his car had become disabled, according to police.

“This is just a really, really nasty accident,” Garza Palacios’ attorney Hasim Humayun tells WTOP.

Dershowitz v. E-FBI Agent: Has Trump Done Something Illegal

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Alan Dershowitz debated Asha Rangappa, a former FBI special agent who is now a lecturer at Yale and analyst with CNN, debated Sunday on ABC’s George Stephanopoulos show about President Donald Trump and the Russian collusion investigation, Real Clear Politics reports.

Dershowitz said Trump can only be charged if he grants an interview with Robert Mueller’s investigators.

“You need to commit a crime to be impeached,” Dershowitz said. “If he’s committed previous crimes — there’s no evidence of that — that won’t work. But if he commits the crime of perjury, he’s in Clinton-land.”

Former FBI special agent Asha Rangappa disagreed, arguing there’s a “circumstantial case” for obstruction of justice against the President. “The obstruction case does center on the president’s intent,” she said, “whether he acted corruptly when he fired James Comey. But Mueller does have a lot of circumstantial evidence.”

“He has the conversations between James Comey and the president, he has attempts by the White House to approach the CIA and NSA to try to stymie this investigation, he has his own words on the Lester Holt interview,” she explained. “So he does have a circumstantial case. I do think Mueller wants to sit down and get from his own words what the president had in his mind.”

Weekend Series on Crime History: Mobster Bugsy Siegel

Mueller Wants Manafort to Remain Behind Bars

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Robert Mueller’s team wants Paul Manafort to remain behind bars. Manafort’s lawyers want him released so he can help better prepare for trial, CNN reports.

Prosecutors argue that Manafort’s attempts to contact potential witnesses in his case and influence their testimony are dangerous, the prosecutors argued.

Witness tampering “is no less damaging to the justice system when committed through covert corrupt persuasion than through overt violence,” they wrote to the appellate court Thursday, CNN reports.

Rod Rosenstein Losing His Right Hand Man, Scott Schools

Scott Schools (Linkedin photo)

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Another key figure in the Department of Justice is leaving.

Scott Schools, the senior-most career attorney and a top aide to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, will step down to take a job in the private sector, the department announced this week, according to Business Insider.

Schools is Rosenstein’s main adviser. Before Rosenstein, he was an aide to former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates. Schools is regularly briefed on the Mueller probe.

The article doesn’t provide a reason for the departure beyond taking a job in the private sector.

But it can’t be easy working in today’s Justice Department under the Trump administration.

T

Federal Judge Mostly Rejects Justice Department’s Bid to Block California’s Sanctuary Laws

Sanctuary city concept and illegal immigration law government enforcement policies as a highway sign directing to welcoming immigrants with no legal status as a 3D illustration.

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The Trump administration has been continually fighting the concept of sanctuary cities. But the judiciary has not always been helpful in that battle.

The latest: A federal judge on Thursday mostly rejected a bid by the Justice Department to block California’s “sanctuary state” laws, which enact policies friendly to undocumented immigrants, the Washington Post reports, adding:

In a 60-page ruling, U.S. District Judge John A. Mendez said most of the laws, which limit how state businesses and law enforcement agencies can work with federal immigration authorities, are “permissible exercises of California’s sovereign power.”

The judge said California was within its rights to allow state authorities to inspect immigrant detention facilities, and to bar state law enforcement agencies from providing release dates or other personal information to federal immigration authorities. He blocked portions of one law which imposed heavy fines on businesses that gave immigration authorities access to their facilities and records without a court order.

Column: Retired FBI Agent Says Attacks on the Bureau Are ‘Unfair, Unwise and Disgusting’

Robert “Bob” Anderson Jr. served for 21 years in the FBI, retiring as executive assistant director of the Criminal, Cyber, Response and Services Branch. 

Robert Anderson Jr. (Linkedin photo)

By Robert Anderson
For The News Journal 

For nearly as long as the FBI has existed, its motto has been “Fidelity. Bravery. Integrity.” Those words remind us of the “vital part this institution plays in maintaining order and justice,” in the words of President Ronald Reagan.

Having served 21 years in the FBI, it’s personal to me: The oath I took had nothing to do with political party or president. That’s part of what makes America exceptional: We’re a nation of laws, not a nation of lawlessness. We rely on strong institutions, none more so than an impartial, independent justice system.

Today, all Americans should be troubled by attacks on law enforcement, the United States Intelligence Community and the FBI. But more importantly, we need to speak up.

The FBI and the justice system have come under calculated, brutal attack. Influential actors have smeared them as “dishonest,” “corrupt” and “rigged.” They have described the FBI as being “in tatters.” They have likened it to Nazi stormtroopers.

These attacks are unfair, unwise and disgusting.

To read complete column click here.

Mueller Taps Additional Justice Department Resources for His Probe

Special counsel Robert Mueller

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Where this all ends, and when it ends, is anyone’s guess.

Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III is tapping additional Justice Department resources for help with new legal battles as his year-old investigation of Russian interference with the 2016 election continues to expand, Bloomberg reports, adding:

As Mueller pursues his probe, he’s making more use of career prosecutors from the offices of U.S. attorneys and from Justice Department headquarters, as well as FBI agents — a sign that he may be laying the groundwork to hand off parts of his investigation eventually, several current and former U.S. officials said.

Mueller and his team of 17 federal prosecutors are coping with a higher-then-expected volume of court challenges that has added complexity in recent months, but there’s no political appetite at this time to increase the size of his staff, the officials said.