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Archive for August, 2018

Mueller Offers Concessions for an Interview with Trump about Russia Investigation

Special counsel Robert Mueller. Photo via FBI.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s team has offered to change the format for an interview with President Trump that may include limiting some questions and offering some answers to be in writing.

Talks between special counsel prosecutors and Trump’s team have resumed in recent days, but it’s uncertain whether a deal will be reached, PBS reports

Trump has publicly insisted he wants to sit down for an interview, but his legal team has intervened out of concern that he will commit perjury.

Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani earlier this week suggested Trump would agree to an interview if it only relates allegations that his campaign colluding with Russia to undermine the presidential election. Giuliani doesn’t want special counsel to question the president about obstruction of justice.

The negotiations come at a heated time. Trump earlier this week urged Attorney General Jeff Sessions to fire Mueller, calling the investigation a “witch hunt.”

Steve Bannon Calls Mueller a ‘Good Man’ But Suggests Rosenstein Should Be Fired Unless Documents Released

Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Former White House political strategist Steve Bannon called special counsel Robert Mueller “a good man, a combat-veteran Marine” in a strong departure from President Trump’s rhetoric.

But Bannon also insisted in an interview with The Hill that there was no collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russia and that Mueller should release a report on his findings before the mid-term elections so Americans can make up their own minds on the veracity of the investigation. 

“Let the American people, on Nov. 6, let them decide,” Bannon said. “They are going to say that is too thin a reed to hang anything serious on.”

Bannon also suggested Trump should fire Deputy Attorney Rod Rosenstein, who appointed Mueller, if he doesn’t disclose documents related to the Russia investigation.

“If he doesn’t do it in 72 hours, he’s fired. I’d fire him,” Bannon said.

Bannon’s positive comments about Mueller strongly contrast with Trump’s rhetoric.

“Is Robert Mueller ever going to release his conflicts of interest with respect to President Trump, including the fact that we had a very nasty & contentious business relationship, I turned him down to head the FBI (one day before appointment as S.C.) & Comey is his close friend,” the president tweeted. “Also, why is Mueller only appointing Angry Dems, some of whom have worked for Crooked Hillary, others, including himself, have worked for Obama….And why isn’t Mueller looking at all of the criminal activity & real Russian Collusion on the Democrats side-Podesta, Dossier?”

Police Recover Van Stolen by Pennsylvania Fugitive Who Threatened to Kill Trump And Law Enforcement

Shawn Christy

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Police in West Virginia have recovered a van believed to have been stolen by a Pennsylvania fugitive who has been on the run for more than a month after threatening on social media to assassinate President Trump and use “full lethal force on any law enforcement officer” who tries to detain him. 

The FBI, U.S. Marshals Service and local and state police have been trying to track down 26-year-old Shawn R. Christy, who threatened on Facebook in June to shoot Trump and the Northampton County district attorney in the head.

A federal arrest warrant was issued on June 19, and authorities believe he is armed with at least three stolen handguns.

The FBI’s Pittsburgh office said on Twitter that the stolen van was recovered near Nitro, W.V., on Tuesday and has been impounded.

The FBI is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to his arrest.

Christy has a history of threatening elected officials.

According to the Morning Call

In 2010, Christy, then 18 years old, was served with a protection-from-abuse order from former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin for allegedly bombarding her with unwelcome emails. The next year, Christy and his father, Craig, were arrested by federal authorities in Allentown on charges of harassing Palin’s lawyers in phone calls.

Christy pleaded guilty to harassment in that case and was sentenced to probation. He served some time in federal prison when he violated terms of the probation.

He was later sentenced to probation and anger management classes for threatening to shoot a Bangor tax collection clerk, and was then arrested in Schuylkill County on an aggravated assault charge for allegedly swinging a large stick at McAdoo Mayor Stephan Holly.

Anyone with information on Christy’s location is asked to call the FBI at 610-433-6488 or 215-418-4000, or the U.S. Marshals Service at 877-926-8332.

 

Mexican National Accused of Murdering Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry in 2010 Finally in Court

Brian Terry

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

It has been eight years since the murder Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.

Finally, the Mexican gang member accused of killing Terry, which lead to the discovery of the Fast and Furious Scandal, appeared in federal court for the first time Wednesday after he was extradited from Mexico on Monday, the Washington Examiner reports.

Heraclio Osorio-Arellanes pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder and eight other charges at a court in Tucson., Ariz.

Osorio-Arellanes was lodged in jail pending a Sept. 11 trial.

The Mexican national was captured by Mexican authorities in April 2017 and held for18 months until he was extradited to the United States.

“The Department of Justice is pleased that the suspected killer of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry has been successfully extradited to the United States and will now face justice for this terrible crime,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan applauded the extradition.

“We never cease in our efforts to bring those involved in Agent Terry’s murder to the U.S. to face charges for their heinous actions,” McAleenan said in a statement. “I am grateful to our partners in the law enforcement community, both here and in Mexico, who joined us in bringing this criminal to face charges in a U.S. court.”

The Examiner wrote:

Terry was fatally shot on Dec. 14, 2010, during an encounter with a “rip crew” — a gang that steals from drug and human traffickers — near Nogales, Ariz. Terry and several members of the Border Patrol had approached the group to make arrests, but they fled.

One agent fired nonlethal bean bags at the gang. The crew fired at the agents with their AK-47-type assault rifles, killing Terry.

The death of a Border Patrol agent in the line of duty is rare. Since 1924, a total of 124 agents have died while on the job. The events surrounding Terry’s death led to the public learning the guns the gang members had acquired and used in the shooting had originally been purchased from the U.S. government.

Fast and Furious, the name of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives operation, was rolled out in hopes the Obama administration could track who purchased guns and how they were distributed.

FBI Arrests Michigan Man Who Was Placed on 10 Most Wanted List

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

FBI agents arrested a Michigan man who was placed on the bureau’s 10 most wanted list in June for allegedly killing two men, execution-style, in front of 100 people in Benton Harbor on March 25.

Antwan Mims was arrested about 4 p.m. Tuesday in College Park, Ga., according to an FBI news release.

Mims is accused of killing Cortez Lamont Miller and Michael Canthrell Johnson at a house party.

The Detroit Free Press reported that Mims allegedly shot Johnson in the face and Miller in the back outside the house of the party.

Antwan Mims

Mims faces up to life in prison on two counts of first-degree murder.

The FBI had offered a $100,000 reward, but it wasn’t necessary because law enforcement officials tracked Mims on their own.

“When a wanted felon like Mims is placed on the FBI 10 Most Wanted List, his world becomes smaller as that bright spotlight is shined upon him,” Special Agent Timothy R. Slater said in a statement. “Couple that with determined federal, state, and local investigators, his life on the run ends with him in handcuffs.”

Giuliani: Trump’s Legal Team Preparing ‘Counter-Report’ to Rebut Mueller’s Findings on Russia Probe

Rudy Giuliani, president Trump’s attorney.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

President Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani said Wednesday his legal team is preparing a rebuttal in the form a “counter-report” to counter accusations that special counsel Robert Mueller’s is expected to outline a report about the Russia investigation.

Giuliani told the USA Today said he suspects Mueller’s team of prosecutors is “writing the report as we speak.” 

Giuliani said the counter-report would be released after his legal  team reviewed Mueller’s filing with the Justice Department.

Mueller’s office declined to comment, and it’s unclear whether he’s even working on such a report.

Giuliani said he expects Mueller to turn over the report on Sept. 1, which is two months before the midterm elections.

From Riches to Rags: Manafort’s Lavish Lifestyle Takes Center Stage at Criminal Trial

House of Bijan, where Paul Manafort liked to shop.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Before Paul Manafort began leading the presidential campaign of Donald Trump, the Republican political operative lived an extravagant lifestyle, spending more than $1 million on lavish clothes between 2010 and 2014, more than $6 million on seven homes, $820,000 to manicure the lawns, a $21,000 black titanium and crystal watch and a $15,000 ostrich jacket. 

During the second day of the criminal trial Wednesday, prosecutors said Manafort financed his lifestyle by using wire transfers from secret offshore accounts to dodge taxes and lying to banks about his income to acquire loans.

Paul Manafort jail mugshot.

The high-priced consultant accumulated the wealth working for government officials in Ukraine.

Special counsel Robert Mueller, who’s investigating Russian interference during the presidential election, charged Manafort with 18 criminal counts, including tax evasion, bank fraud and conspiracy. If convicted, the 69-year-old could spend the rest of his life behind bars.

A manager and CFO at luxury retailer Alan Couture and the exclusive menswear retailer House of Bijan testified, describing Manafort’s pricey spending habits that included tailored pin-stripe suits, neckwear and jackets.

The defense sought to undermine government witness Paul Gates, a former business partner of Manafort’s, saying Gates often made the payments to buy the luxury items. for Manafort.

Gates cut a plea deal with prosecutors to provide information about Manafort’s expenses.

Trump Urges AG Sessions to Nix Special Counsel Probe of Collusion, Obstruction of Justice

Attorney General Jeff Sessions during his confirmation hearing in January.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

President Trump on Wednesday urged Attorney General Jeff Sessions to nix the special counsel investigation into allegations of collusion and obstruction of justice in his administration and presidential campaign.

“Attorney General Jeff Sessions should stop this Rigged Witch Hunt right now, before it continues to stain our country any further, before it continues to stain our country any further,” Trump wrote in a series of tweets.

Trump continued, “Russian Collusion with the Trump Campaign, one of the most successful in history, is a TOTAL HOAX. The Democrats paid for the phony and discredited Dossier which was, along with Comey, McCabe, Strzok and his lover, the lovely Lisa Page, used to begin the Witch Hunt. Disgraceful!”

Following the tweets, Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani tried to downplay the comments.

“We have been saying for months that it is time to bring this inquiry to an end. The President has expressed the same opinion,” Giuliani said.

Trump has been angry with Sessions since he recused himself from any investigation involving Trump’s campaign because the former senator was involved in the campaign and acknowledged speaking to at least one high-level Russian in the lead-up to the campaign.

That gave Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein authority to appoint Robert Mueller to investigate Russia’s involvement in the campaign following Trump’s firing of then-FBI Director James Comey in May 2017.

Despite Trump’s rhetoric and claims that his campaign and administration did nothing wrong, he continues to refuse to sit down with Mueller for an interview.