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February 2019


How to Become a Bounty Hunter

Archive for February, 2019

Maryland Lawmakers Haven’t Given Up on Luring FBI Headquarters to Their State

Current FBI headquarters

By Allan Lengel

For years the hunt was on to find a new location for FBI headquarters, and the likely choices were in Virginia and Maryland.

But in 2017, after a five-year search, the FBI abruptly ended the search. It appeared the current spot would be revamped.

In August 2018, a report from the Inspector General’s office suggested that President Donald Trump was directly involved in ending the FBI’s relocation plans. Some media reports suggested Trump didn’t want a hotel to replace the FBI headquarters and compete with his nearby hotel.

On Friday, in a meeting with the Prince George’s County Delegation to the Maryland House, Sen. Chris Van Hollen said he is working on legislation to ask the General Services Administration to do a prospectus of the three possible new locations for the FBI building, two of which are in Maryland’s Prince George’s County. The other is in Fairfax County, Va, reports WAMU radio. 

“We haven’t given up on the FBI,” Van Hollen said. “Especially with the concerns raised about the current building’s security requirements.”


Virginia’s Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax Wants FBI to Investigate Sexual Assault Allegations as He Faces Pressure to Resign

Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

By Allan Lengel

Amid cries for his resignation, Democratic Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax is turning to the FBI, The Hill reports. 

Fairfax is asking the FBI to investigate sexual assault allegations against him that have been made by two women.

On Saturday, he released a statement that “all appropriate and impartial investigatory authorities, including the FBI, to investigate fully and thoroughly the allegations against me.”

“The one thing I want to make abundantly clear is that in both situations I knew at the time, and I know today, that the interactions were consensual,” he said.

“I am asking that no one rush to judgment and I am asking for there to be space in this moment for due process,” Fairfax added.

Fairfax has been accused of sexual assault by two women.

Last week, Vanessa Tyson accused Fairfax of sexually assaulting her at the Democratic National Convention in Boston in 2004, saying he “forced [her] to perform oral sex on him.”

“What began as consensual kissing quickly turned into a sexual assault,” Tyson, a college professor from California, said in a statement.

A second woman, Meredith Watson, came forward on Friday, saying through her lawyer that Fairfax raped her in 2000 when they were both students at Duke University.

Weekend Series on Crime History: Bobby Kennedy vs. Jimmy Hoffa

Mueller Team Accuses Manafort of Minimizing Conduct of An Associate With Ties to Russian Intelligence

Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort.

By Allan Lengel

President Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort has some big problems.

Robert Mueller’s team is accusing Manafort of continuing to minimize the conduct of an associate with alleged ties to Russian intelligence, even after he agreed last year to plead guilty and cooperate with prosecutors, according to a newly released court transcript, reports Josh Gerstein of Politico,  who goes on to write:

The partially redacted transcript, of a lengthy hearing that took place behind closed doors on Monday, shows that Mueller’s team contended that when Manafort was debriefed by prosecutors and FBI agents, he seemed to be trying to avoid providing information that could be damaging to Konstantin Kilimnik, a Russian-Ukrainian national who was deeply involved in Manafort’s political consulting work in Ukraine.

“I think Mr. Manafort went out of his way in this instance … to not want to provide any evidence that could be used with respect to Mr. Kilimnik,” deputy special counsel Andrew Weissmann told U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson during the court session, which spanned more than four hours, including a lunch break.

Ex-DEA Official: Sean Penn Should Be Behind Bars for ‘El Chapo’ Stunt

Sean Penn and “El Chapo,” via Twitter.

By Allan Lengel

Jack Riley, the former number 2 guy at the DEA, has never been one to mince words. In this case, he’s got some strong ones for actor Sean Penn. He thinks the actor should be behind bars for interfering in the apprehension of the drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.

“Oh, my God! If I could get my hands on Sean Penn!” Riley tells the N.Y. Post.  “The people he put at risk because of that stunt. He should be in jail.”

The Post explains:

On Oct. 2, 2015, Mexican marines were finally closing in on the drug lord. They had tracked him to a rugged hilltop compound in La Tuna. Just as the order was about to be given to move in, two people inexplicably arrived: Sean Penn and Kate del Castillo, a Mexican soap opera actress who had praised Chapo online. The two were there ostensibly to speak to Guzman about making a film of his life, but Penn later published an infamously softball interview with the kingpin in Rolling Stone.

Fearing the actors would be caught in the crossfire, commanders ordered the marines to stand down. The military waited for the celebrities to leave and, instead of going in on foot, chose to attack by helicopter. They lost the element of surprise, and El Chapo escaped again.

In 2015, Riley was named Fed of the Year. 

FBI Agent Shot and Wounded in Idaho While Serving Search Warrant

By Allan Lengel

An FBI agent was shot and wounded Thursday while trying to serve a search warrant at a home near the Nez Perce Tribal Fish Hatchery at Cherrylane in rural Nez Perce County in Idaho, The Lewiston Tribune reports.

The agent is recovering from non-life threatening injuries, according to a news release issued by the FBI Salt Lake City division.

The suspect, Manuel P. Villalobos III, 42, was arrested and booked at the Nez Perce County Jail at about 7:30 a.m. Thursday.

The FBI issued a statement:

“On February 7, 2019, an FBI agent was shot while conducting court-authorized activity in Lenore, Idaho, near Lewiston.  The agent suffered non-life threatening injuries.  No other information will be released at this time.”


How Will Dems Address Mueller Probe in 2020?

President Trump, via White House

By Allan Lengel

How will the Robert Mueller probe play out in the 2020 presidential campaign with Democrats?

Good question. For one, it may be too early to tell since the investigation is not yet complete. But that isn’t stopping people from strategizing.

 Politico’s Darren Samuelsohn writes that the Dems are already trying to figure out how to address the issue:

Behind the scenes, the candidates, campaign aides and consultants are already plotting how to publicly address the scandal that has consumed President Donald Trump. They know the campaign that gets it right could break free from the cluttered 2020 pack. In the early primary and caucus states, the Democratic hopefuls are already encountering “simmering, seething outrage” about Trump’s possible ties to Russia, said one strategist for a 2020 campaign. The candidate who taps into that anger could ride the wave to the nomination.

Speaking up could have disastrous ramifications, though. Much like Democratic candidates in the 2018 midterm elections, the party’s presidential hopefuls are wary of appearing consumed by — and politicizing — a scandal that grips regular Rachel Maddow viewers but seems confusing and distant from the kitchen tables of many Americans.

GAO Report Shows the Efforts Secret Service Must Go Through to Protect Trump at Mar-a-Lago

Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Fla.

By Allan Lengel

Secret Service has its challenges protecting President Donald Trump at his Mar-a-Lago private club in Palm Beach, Fla.  where the president often mingles freely with guests and club members.

A report by the Government Accountability Office, prompted by a referral from Democrats in February of 2017 after reports Trump discussed national security with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in front of club dinner guests after a North Korean missile test, found that the Secret Service provides several layers of security at the club when Trump is in town, writes Benjamin Siegel and Lucien Bruggeman of ABC News.

The report shows:

  • The Secret Service, Coast Guard and local law enforcement patrol the adjacent waterways and entrances to Mar-a-Lago.
  • Secret Service sweeps rooms Trump is known to frequent.
  • Secret Service does background checks of staff.

Read full report.