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Archive for July, 2020

Supreme Court to Consider Dispute Over Secret Grand Jury Materials from Mueller Probe

U.S. Supreme Court

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The dispute between House Democrats and the Trump administration over releasing secret grand jury materials from Robert Mueller’s investigation will be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court.

The court on Thursday said it will take up the case as the House Judiciary Committee seeks secret grand jury information, CBS News reports.

But it’s unlikely court will make a decision before the November election.

The case centers around the August 2019 release of Mueller’s report, which was heavily redacted.

The Justice Department has refused to give congressional leaders access to the grand jury documents in the case.

Democrats say they need the information to determine whether the president committed impeachable offenses.

Secret Service Agents Helping Set Up Pence Trip to Arizona Have Suspected Coronavirus Infections

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Multiple Secret Service agents who were planning Vice President Pence’s trip to Arizona have tested positive for the coronavirus or were showing signs of being infected.

The suspected infections prompted Pence to postpone his trip to Phoenix on Tuesday, The Washington Post reports.

The Secret Service asked Pence’s staff to postpone the trip to Wednesday to give the agency more time to replace eight to 10 agents with suspected infections.

It was the second time in two weeks that Secret Service agents working on campaign events were impacted by COVID-19. At least three Secret Service employees tested positive for the coronavirus after helping set up President Trump’s rally on June 20.

A Pence spokesperson declined to comment on the delay.

“Instead of highlighting Vice President Pence’s concerted effort with Task Force members to visit and support states with new cases, The Washington Post is choosing to use its pages to report on a story of little use to every day Americans attempting to learn more about how coronavirus affects them or the Administration’s response efforts,” Pence spokesman Devin O’Malley said in a statement.

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Witnesses Offer Differing Account of Border Patrol Chase That Ended with 10 Dead in El Paso

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Some witnesses are contradicting Border Patrol’s claims that its agents stopped chasing a speeding vehicle that crashed and killed seven occupants in downtown El Paso on June 25.

Border Patrol officials said agents called off the pursuit because of the dangerous speed.

But witnesses told The Dallas Morning News that agents were still chasing the 2019 Chevrolet Cruze when it crashed into a parked trailer at 2:15 a.m. Two security guards said they saw the Border Patrol vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed with its headlights on and no sirens.

El Paso police are investigating.

“Was there a chase before the crash? Yes. Did it cause the crash? I don’t know,” Police spokesman Robert Gomez said.

At the time of the crash, 10 people were inside the car. Three were injured and remain in the hospital.

Authorities said the car was involved in human smuggling.

“All preliminary information collected thus far indicates that it was indeed a human smuggling event,” Chief Patrol Agent of the El Paso Sector Gloria Chavez said in a statement.

Ex-Secret Service Agent Credited with Saving President Reagan’s Life Plans to Retire from Law Enforcement

Former Secret Service Agent Timothy McCarthy, via Orland PD.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Former Secret Service Agent Timothy McCarthy, who was shot in the chest while protecting President Reagan during an assassination attempt in 1981, is retiring from law enforcement.

The 71-year-old said he decided recently to retire from the Orland Park Police Department in Illinois, where he has served as police chief for 26 years and earned Chief of Police of the Year from the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police in 2016, The Chicago Tribune reports.

McCarthy, who has been the police chief since 1994, was credited with saving Reagan’s life while serving on the president’s Secret Service detail on March 30, 1981. Reagan, McCarthy and two others were shot by John Hinkley Jr.

McCarthy said he plans to retire on Aug. 1 to spend more time with his wife, three children and seven grandchildren.

“This has been absolutely a great run,” the 71-year-old McCarthy said. “Time catches up to you. Sometimes you have to turn to family, and it’s time.”

Matthew J. Hudak Named Chief Border Agent of Laredo Sector

Border Patrol Chief Matthew Hudak.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Matthew J. Hudak, who heads the Border Patrol in the Big Bend Sector, has been named chief Border patrol agent of the Laredo Sector.

Hudak, a 23-year veteran of the agency, will replace Chief Border Patrol Agent Felix Chavez, who plans to retire after serving 34 years with the agency, CBP announced Tuesday.

Hudak, who joined the Border Patrol in 1997, will oversee a 171-mile stretch of the U.S.-Mexico border and 1,800 agents and support staff. Laredo previously served as acting deputy chief patrol agent at the Laredo Sector.

In March 2019, Hudak became head of the Big Bend Sector.

“I would like to thank our neighbors throughout the Big Bend region for their continued support of our agents and the work they do to keep our communities and country safe,” Hudak told KRQE.

“It has been an honor to serve alongside our agents and staff. Every day they have impressed me with their dedication and vigilance.”

Hudak will begin his new assignment on July 5.

FBI Arrests 4 Toledo City Councilmen, Attorney in Sweeping Bribery Scandal

Photo via FBI.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The FBI arrested four Toledo City Council members who are accused of public corruption and accepting kickbacks in exchange for favorable votes.

The bribery charges against Democrats Tyrone Riley, Yvonne Harper, Larry Sykes, and Garrick “Gary” Johnson carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. Harper also was charged with interstate communications with intent to extort.

The council members were arrested without incident early Tuesday.

A private Toledo attorney, Keith Mitchell, is accused of soliciting and funneling bribes to Harper and has been charged with bribery and extortion. The FBI is “actively seeking the whereabouts of Keith Mitchell,” FBI Special Agent Eric Smith said during a news conference, The Toledo Blade reports.

Smith said the council members committed a “fundamental breach” of their public oath.
The scandal involves nearly $35,000 in bribes.

“The residents of Toledo should know, as should every other resident of the Northern District of Ohio, that where there are allegations of public corruption and kickbacks, we and our federal partners will be there every time,” U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman said in a statement.

The council has 12 members.

“I am shocked and heartbroken by today’s arrests,” Toledo Wade Kapszukiewicz said in a written statement. “This is a terrible day for Toledo — and for everyone who believes in the good that can be accomplished through public service.”