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Archive for January, 2021

DOJ’s IG Investigating Whether Department Tried to Overturn Election

Inspector General Michael Horowitz testifying before Senate Judiciary Committee.

By Steve Neavling

The Justice Department’s inspector general said Monday he’s launching an investigation into whether any department officials “engaged in an improper attempt” to overturn the presidential election. 

The announcement follows news reports that former President Trump tried to get department officials to challenge election results.

“The inspector general is initiating an investigation into whether any former or current D.O.J. official engaged in an improper attempt to have D.O.J. seek to alter the outcome of the 2020 presidential election,” IG Michael Horowitz said in a statement, The New York Times reports

Before resigning in December, then-Attorney General William Barr said there was no evidence of widespread election fraud, contradicting Trump’s repeated and false assertions that the election was stolen from him.

Ex-TSA Agent Gets 60 Days in Jail for Tricking Woman into Showing Her Breasts at LAX

By Steve Neavling

A former TSA agent charged with detaining a woman and tricking her into showing him her breasts in June 2019 has been sentenced to 60 days in jail and two years of probation. 

Jonathon Lomeli was accused of deceiving the woman to get her to expose herself to him at Los Angeles International Airport. 

Lomeli pleaded no contest Friday to using fraud or deceit to falsely imprison the woman and was also ordered to attend 52 classes addressing sexual compulsion, The Associated Press reports.

Lomeli also has been banned from serving as a security guard. 

According to the woman, Lomeli advised her he had to check the inside of her bra to ensure she wasn’t concealing anything and told her to pull her pants from her waist so he could examine. While in an elevator, she said Lomeli told her he could screen here there and told her to show her breasts before looking down her pants. 

She said he also told her she had nice breasts after notifying her that she could leave. 

Comey Regrets Not Standing Up More to Trump

Former FBI James Comey in previous testimony, via FBI.

By Steve Neavling

FBI Director James Comey said he should have stood up more to former President Trump. 

In an interview with British program, Channel 4 News, Comey said he did “think about some of my encounters with President Trump.”

“For example, when he demanded loyalty and we ended up on this odd compromise where he demanded ‘honest loyalty.’ I should have stood up and said ‘no’ you are not going to get any kind of loyalty from the FBI director, but instead I compromised to avoid a conflict with him,” Comey said. 

“I don’t want to be too tough on myself because I stood up well enough to get fired, but there are things like that I would do differently.” 

When asked if he still believes President Biden should pardon Trump so the country can move forward, Comey also said “it is a close question.”

“On balance, it would be better for the United States if the Department of Justice didn’t prosecute him for his obstructions of justice and his extortions and his other crimes committed while he was president,” he said. “Whether President Biden pardons him is another question.”

Comey added, “I think it’s important that we as a country not give him center stage in our nation’s capital for the next three years which a prosecution would.”

Weekend Series on Crime History: Swindler Bernie Madoff

Demonstrators Attacked ICE Building in Oregon, Leading to Arrests

ICE building damaged in Portland, Or. Twitter/@LauraJedeed

By Steve Neavling

At least eight people have been charged in demonstrations that left an ICE building vandalized in Portland, police said. 

Shortly after 9 p.m. Wednesday, police said a group of roughly 150 people converged on the ICE building on the 4300 block of S. Macadam, tagging it with graffiti that included messages such as “Reunite families now” and “Kill cops!!!”

Some demonstrators were wearing gas masks and helmets and carrying batons, fireworks, shields, umbrellas, rocks and pepper ball guns, police said

Federal officers converged on the building at about 9:45 and pushed protesters back. In the meantime, Portland made arrests. 

Earlier in the day, protesters also attacked the Democratic Party of Oregon’s headquarters, smashing windows and spraying graffiti. 

‘Unintentional Ripple:’ Biden to Keep Wray, Says White House Press Secretary

Christopher Wray is sworn in as the new FBI director. Photo via FBI.

By Steve Neavling

Let’s try that again. 

A day after the new White House press secretary told reporters she was unsure if President Biden had confidence in FBI Director Christopher Wray, Jen Psaki circled back with an unequivocal response. 

“I caused an unintentional ripple yesterday so wanted to state very clearly President Biden intends to keep FBI Director Wray on in his role and he has confidence in the job he is doing,” Psaki wrote on Twitter on Thursday. 

Former President Trump appointed Wray to a 10-year term in 2017 after firing then-FBI Director James Comey, a move that prompted the appointment of Robert Mueller as special counsel. 

Wray and Trump had a rocky relationship because the FBI director refused to peddle unfounded claims about widespread fraud in the election. Wray also denied the Mueller probe was a “witch hunt,” as Trump often claimed. 

Biden has pledged to restore faith in the Justice Department’s independence. 

Ex-CBP Officer Sentenced to 30 Months in Prison for Bribery

Photo via Border Patrol

By Steve Neavling

A former CBP officer from Nogales has been sentenced to 30 months in prison after pleading guilty to bribery. 

Jose Rosalio Fuentes, 58, was a CBP officer assigned to canine duty at the Nogales Port of entry in early 2018 when he allowed an undocumented immigrant into the U.S. in exchange for a $6,000 cash bribe. 

Fuentes, who knew the migrant was a convicted felon, allowed the man to enter the U.S. through the Nogales Port of Entry during his shift. A surveillance camera captured Fuentes pretending to swipe the migrant’s ID card at the port of entry before allowing him to pass through the pedestrian gate. 

Fuentes also was sentenced last week to three years of probation and a $6,000 fine. 

The investigation was led by Southern Arizona Corruption Task Force, which includes members from the FBI, the Homeland Security-Office of Inspector General, Immigration and Custom Enforcement-Office of Professional Responsibility, CBP-Office of Professional Responsibility, Tucson Police Department, and the DEA. 

The Public Integrity Section of the U.S. Attorney’s Office prosecuted the case. 

Update: Biden to Keep FBI Director Christopher Wray

FBI Director Christopher Wray in Atlanta. Photo via FBI.

By Steve Neavling

Update: Thursday, 4:22 p.m.President Joe Biden plans to keep FBI Director Christopher Wray in his post, a senior administration official tells CNN.


Posted From Thursday Morning

Will President Biden keep Christopher Wray at the helm of the FBI? 

Asked if Biden has confidence in the FBI director, the White House’s new press secretary didn’t have a direct answer. 

“I have not spoke with him about specifically FBI Director Wray in recent days,” Jen Psaki said at the Biden administration’s first news conference, The Washington Post reports.

A government officials told The Post that there was no indication that Biden was worried about Wray, who was often criticized by President Trump for failing to peddle baseless claims about election fraud. 

Wray took over as director in 2017 after Trump fired then-FBI Director James Comey in May of that year. 

Directors traditionally serve 10-year terms.