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Archive for March, 2019

Trump Claims Sen. John McCain Gave Controversial Dossier to FBI & Media to Sink His Campaign

President Donald Trump

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

President Donald Trump continues to stir up controversy via Twitter.

On Sunday, he accused the late Sen. John McCain in a tweet of working with the Democrats during the 2016 presidential election by giving the Christopher Steele dossier to the FBI and media to help sink his campaign,  the Washington Times reports.

Several reports say McCain didn’t hand over the dossier to the FBI until after the 2016 election.  It was circulated to the media through one of McCain’s aides, David Kramer, after the election, the Times reports.

Trump has denied the allegations contained in the controversial document.

Weekend Series on Crime History: The Constitutional Crisis During Watergate

Ex-FBI Agent Peter Strzok Told Congress That Election Meddling Was Far More Important Than Hillary Email Scandal

Peter Strzok testifying on The Hill. (File photo)

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Controversial ex-FBI official Peter Strzok told Congress during a closed-door interview last June  that “a hostile foreign power . . . seeking to clandestinely influence our presidential election” was a far graver threat than the charge that Clinton was mishandling classified information, the Washington Post reports.

A transcript of the interview was released Thursday by the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee.

Strzok also argued before a joint congressional panel last year that text messages he sent expressing disdain for Donald Trump had been misconstrued to be more disparaging than intended, the Post reports.

 

Authorities Turn Watchful Eye to Gene Gotti in Murder of Frank “Franky Boy” Cali in Staten Island

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

It had been decades since a Mafia boss was hit in New York.

But on Wednesday, Frank (Franky Boy) Cali, the alleged Gambino crime boss, was shot down in front of his Staten Island home.

Now, authorities are turning a watchful eye to just-out-of-jail Gene Gotti, brother of the late John Gotti, who was released from prison six months ago after serving 29 years for dealing heroin, reports the New York Daily News.

Authorities are looking at several theories including whether Gotti, the younger brother of late Gambino godfather John Gotti and a capo before going to prison, is now looking to claw back his stake in the family business, the Daily News writes.

 

Ex-FBI Lawyer Lisa Page Says Bias Did Not Impact Trump-Hillary Probes

Lisa Page, via social media.

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Former FBI lawyer Lisa Page said last year on Capitol Hill that any bias in the FBI against Donald Trump did not impact the bureau’s  investigations of the Trump campaign’s suspected Russia ties and of Hillary Clinton’s emails.

Her comments before theHouse Judiciary and Oversight committees were included in a transcript released Tuesday by the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, the Washington Post reports:

Page, who came to prominence over anti-Trump texts she exchanged with former FBI counterintelligence official Peter Strzok while both were assigned to the Clinton and Trump investigations, stressed that senior bureau officials were also expressing anti-Clinton animus — but that neither affected how agents working those cases carried out their jobs.

“Many of us in law enforcement dislike the subject of our investigations. We are not keen on pedophiles and fraudsters and spies and human traffickers,” Page said. “That is fine. What would be impermissible is to take that harsh language and to act in some way that was illegal or against the rules. And we don’t do it.”

Read the Transcript

Head of ATF on Proposed Budget and Trimming Fat: ‘Now We’re Trimming into Bone’

Acting head of ATF Thomas Brandon.

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

One way to cut back on enforcement of the nation’s gun laws is to reduce funding to the top agency tasked with that job.

On Wednesday, Thomas Brandon, head of ATF, broke with the White House on the administration’s 2020 budget proposal that calls for ATF cuts, saying it would further damage the agency, which is already straining for resources, the Washington Times writes.

Brandon told lawmakers on Capitol Hill that the proposed budget would results in ATF losing 377 positions to attrition.

“You hear people say, ‘trim the fat.’ Then we trimmed into muscle and now we’re trimming into bone,”  Brandon testified before a House Appropriations subcommittee. “ATF won’t be able to do what it can do today.”

Brandon also said discussed benefits of a bill the White House opposes that extends the amount of time the FBI can get to perform gun-purchase background checks, the Times reports.

 

A Sickly Paul Manafort Gets 3.5 More Years

Paul Manafort jail mugshot.

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A sickly Paul Manafort was sentenced to another 3.5 years in prison Wednesday.

U.S. District Judge Judge Amy Berman Jackson of D.C. sentenced him to 43 months, which is in addition to the 47 months he received by a federal judge in Alexandria, Va. in a separate case, the Washington Post reports. 

“This defendant is not public enemy number one, but he’s also not a victim either,” Jackson said. “There’s no question this defendant knew better, and he knew exactly what he was doing.”

There’s no indication to date whether President Donald Trump will pardon him. Trump has expressed sympathy for Manafort.

FBI Busts the Privileged in College Scam

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Well, well, well.

Apparently some of the privileged folks can’t bear to see their kids go to mediocre college.

So, we have this.

Thirty-three well-heeled parents, including Hollywood celebrities including Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman, were implicated Tuesday in a nationwide bribery and fraud scheme to help students gain admission to elite colleges and universities, the New York Times reports. 

College athletic coaches were also implicated for allegedly taking bribes to help students gain admissions to schools like Yale and Stanford.

Read indictment