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Archive for May, 2019

FBI Director Wray Defends Bureau, Says No Evidence ‘Spying’ Occurred

FBI Director Christopher Wray

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

FBI Director Christopher Wray distanced himself from Attorney General William Barr, saying Tuesday he’s unaware of any illegal surveillance and that he doesn’t use the politically charged term “spying.”

“That’s not the term I would use,” Wray told senators at a budget hearing when asked about Barr’s allegations that the bureau may have abused their powers in investigating Trump’s campaign.

The question came from Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., who said he “was very concerned by” Barr’s “use of the word spying, which I think is a loaded word.”

Wray also was asked if he had “any evidence that any illegal surveillance” of Trump’s campaign occurred.

“I don’t think I personally have any evidence of that sort,” Wray said.

The FBI director also offered to help explain to Barr how the Russia investigation began.

FBI Translator Arrested on Charges of Lying to Investigators about Terrorism Probe

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A translator working for the FBI has been arrested on charges of lying to investigators about having contact with a suspect in a terrorism investigation.

Abdirizak Jaji Raghe Wehelie, 66, of Burke, Virginia, was arrested Saturday and charged with obstructing an investigation and making false statements to the FBI, the Justice Department wrote in a news release.

The Justice Department  accused Wehelie of having a personal relationship with a terrorism suspect, who had left a voicemail on Wehelie’s phone. When Wehelie translated the call, he failed to disclose the connection or reveal that it was his phone that the suspect had called.

The terrorism suspect’s phone was under court-ordered surveillance.

According to federal prosecutors, Wehelie later disclosed that he had been friends with the suspect for years.

Wehelie faces up to 25 years in prison.

House Committee Sets Contempt Hearing for AG Barr

Attorney General William Barr testified before Senate committee.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The House Judiciary Committee is planning to vote Wednesday on whether to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress for defying a subpoena to turn over special counsel Robert Mueller’s redacted report by Monday’s deadline.

But first, committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., has agreed to meet with Justice Department officials to “negotiate” the report’s release, Axios reports.

In a letter to Nadler on Monday, Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd reminded Nadler that he and the committee have been offered to look at an “even-less-redacted version” of the report.

Barr failed to meet the committee’s demands to turn over the full report Monday, and he also did not appear at a hearing last week focused on the Mueller report.

“Although the Committee has attempted to engage in accommodations with Attorney General Barr for several months, it can no longer afford to delay, and must resort to contempt proceedings,” the contempt resolution reads.

Trump Flip Flops, Says Mueller ‘Should Not Testify’ Before Congress

Special Counsel Robert Mueller, via FBI.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump has reversed his position on whether special counsel Robert Mueller should testify before Congress, suggesting Democrats want “a redo” of the investigation.

Two days after telling reporters that Attorney General William Barr should decide whether Mueller testifies, Trump on Saturday changed his tone.

“Bob Mueller should not testify. No redos for the Dems!” the president tweeted Sunday.

“After spending more than $35,000,000 over a two year period, interviewing 500 people, using 18 Trump Hating Angry Democrats & 49 FBI Agents — all culminating in a more than 400 page Report showing NO COLLUSION — why would the Democrats in Congress now need Robert Mueller to testify,” Trump wrote on Twitter.

“Are they looking for a redo because they hated seeing the strong NO COLLUSION conclusion? There was no crime, except on the other side (incredibly not covered in the Report), and NO OBSTRUCTION,” Trump added.

Bar told a Senate committee last week that he has no objection to Mueller testifying.

Trump Picks Mark Morgan, Former Border Patrol Chief And FBI Agent, to Lead ICE

Former Border Patrol chief, Mark Morgan

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Mark Morgan, a former FBI Agent, border hardliner and veteran of the Obama administration, has been chosen by President Trump to lead Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

“I am pleased to inform all of those that believe in a strong, fair and sound Immigration Policy that Mark Morgan will be joining the Trump Administration as the head of our hard working men and women of ICE,” Trump tweeted. “Mark is a true believer and American Patriot. He will do a great job!”

Morgan will replace former acting ICE Director Ronald Vitiello, who resigned in April
.
During the final days of the Obama administration, Morgan became the first outsider to serve as chief of the Border Patrol. After clashing with a union for Border Patrol agents, Morgan left his position the same month Trump became president in January 2017.

Morgan also served two decades as an FBI agent.

Weekend Series on Crime History: The Jimmy Hoffa Story

Mexican Police Arrest Cartel Member Accused in 1985 Torture, Murder of DEA Agent

Ezequiel Godinez Cervantes is in custody.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Mexican police arrested a 77-year-old man accused in the 1985 torturing and killing of DEA Agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena Salazar.

The arrest of Ezequiel Godinez Cervantes is major break in what was the first time a cartel had murdered a DEA agent.

DEA Agent Enrique Camarena

The FBI tipped off Mexican authorities that Godinez had crossed the border.

“The killing of an American agent on foreign soil was a huge game changer for the United States,” Gretchen Von Helms, a criminal defense attorney who has no ties to the case, told NBC 7 San Diego. “They were obviously very interested in protecting their agents down there and at the time the DEA operated in Mexico much like it was in the United States. You didn’t believe that you could be killed.”

Camarena was working undercover in February 1985 when he disappeared. His body was found a month later on a ranch in Guadalajara, Mexico.

The Guadalajara Cartel accused the agent of taking down a marijuana plantation.

“His name has morphed into a symbol of the drug wars between the United States and Mexico,” Von Helms told NBC 7.

Camarena was depicted in the Netflix show “Narcos: Mexico.”

Godinez, who also is accused of killing two Americans he mistook for DEA agents, was handed over to immigration officials for planned extradition to the U.S., where he will be charged.

FBI Sent Investigator to Question Trump Aide about Russia’s Involvement

Former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos, via LinkedIn.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI in 2016 sent an undercover investigator masquerading as a research assistant to meet with Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos as part of a counterintelligence investigation into the campaign’s ties to Russia, The New York Times reports.

The meeting happened at a London pub after Papadopoulos suggested to an Austrian diplomat that the campaign had “received indications from the Russian government that it could assist the campaign through the anonymous release of information damaging to candidate Clinton,” according to Robert Mueller’s report.

Ultimately, the operation “yielded no fruitful information,” The Times reports.

The operation shows how far the FBI was willing to go to determine whether Trump’s campaign was working with Russia in its attempts to interference in the 2016 presidential campaign.

The newly discovered information gives Trump and his supporters fuel to claim the FBI improperly “spied” on him to derail his campaign. Whether the counterintelligence probe was improper is the subject of an investigation by the Justice Department’s inspector general.

Last month, Attorney General William Barr said he believes “spying did occur.”
The Trump campaign released the following statement:

“There is a word for this in the English language: Spying. Democrats and their media friends have expressed horror at the term, but there is no other way to describe it: The FBI spied on the Trump campaign in 2016. For two years, Democrats and their allies in the media have lied to the American people about the Russia collusion hoax, when all along the real scandal was the Obama Administration using the Justice Department to spy on a political adversary’s campaign. As President Trump has said, it is high time to investigate the investigators.”