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CBP Investigates Offensive Posts on Border Patrol Facebook Group

Photo via Border Patrol

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is investigating a secret and offensive Facebook group reportedly used by current and former Border Patrol agents.

ProPublica, a nonprofit investigative news outlet, revealed the group, which included offensive content and demeaning posts that targeted undocumented immigrants and U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

One of the posts included an illustration of President Trump pushing the congresswoman’s head toward his crotch. In another post, a member encouraged agents to toss a “burrito at these bitches,” referring to members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.

Commenters also questioned the authenticity of a viral photo of a drowned man and his younger daughter.

Ocasio-Cortez said the posts reflect “a violent culture.”

“This isn’t just about ‘a few bad eggs,'” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted. “This is a violent culture.”

Border Patrol chief Carla Provost slammed the social media page as “completely inappropriate.”

“These posts are completely inappropriate and contrary to the honor and integrity I see — and expect — from our agents day in and day out,” Provost said in a pubic statement. “Any employees found to have violated our standards of conduct will be held accountable.”

Matthew Klein, assistant commissioner of the Office of Professional Responsibility, cited CBP’s Standard of Conduct, which states, “Employees will not make abusive, derisive, profane, or harassing statements or gestures, or engage in any other conduct evidencing hatred or invidious prejudice to or about one person or group on account of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age or disability. This includes comments and posts made on private social media sites.”

“Today, U.S. Customs and Border Protection was made aware of disturbing social media activity hosted on a private Facebook group that may include a number of CBP employees,” Klein said. “CBP immediately informed DHS Office of the Inspector General and initiated an investigation.”

Sen. Schumer Calls on ATF to Help Investigate Dominican Republic Deaths

Chuck Schumer, via Twitter.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Sen. Chuck Schumer is calling on the ATF and CDC to help the FBI investigate the deaths of Americans in the Dominican Republic.

“With the spate of sicknesses & deaths of New Yorkers & Americans vacationing in the Dominican Republic,” Democrat from New York tweeted, “The federal government must double its efforts on getting to the bottom of things.”

At least nine Americans have died following similar symptoms while vacationing in the Dominican Republic since June 2018.

“ATF & more CDC experts should help the FBI with fact-finding. Now,” the Senate minority leader said.

The FBI is assisting the Dominican Republic with toxicological analysis.

Agents Fear Riots Because of Deplorable Conditions at Border Station

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The conditions were so deplorable at an El Paso border station that agents were beginning to arm themselves because they feared a riot, according to an internal report by the Homeland Security’s Inspector General.

Despite the documented evidence, DHS Acting Secretary Kevin McAleenan on Friday insisted that news reports about poor conditions for children at the facility were “unsubstantiated.”

The IG report, first obtained by NBC News, documented overcrowded cells, a lack of showers or clean clothes, outbreaks of lice, flu, chickenpox and scabies, and more than half of the immigrants being held outside. Babies had no clean clothing or soft mats on which to sleep.

“With limited access to showers and clean clothing, detainees were wearing soiled clothing for days or weeks,” the report said.

The report also cited declining morale among agents who were worried about riots or hunger strikes. Some agents were even considering retiring early or moving to another agency.

“The current situation where immigrants are simply giving themselves up to the border patrol [and border patrol must detain] is causing low morale and high anxiety. They are seeing more drinking, domestic violence and financial problems among their agents,” the report said.

Weekend Series on Crime History: Nixon Finds out FBI’s Mark Felt is Deep Throat

Trump Profits from Secret Service Agents Who Protect Him

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump is profiting from the Secret Service agents who protect him.

In his first year as president, the Secret Service was charged more than $200,000 for using the Trump International Hotel, which is just five blocks from the White House, according to documents obtained by NBC.

One of the bills exceeded $30,000 for just two days of use by the Secret Service.

The Secret Service declined to discuss the bills.

Some critics have claimed Trump has violated the Constitution’s emoluments clause, which makes it illegal for federal officials to accept benefits from foreign or state governments without congressional approval.

Trump’s financial disclosure forms show his hotel generated more than $40.8 million in revenue in 2018, compared to $40.4 million in 2017.

Mark Morgan Promoted to Replace Sanders as CBP Head

Mark Morgan will head CBP.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Acting ICE Director Mark Morgan will replace John Sanders as head of Customs and Border Protection.

Sanders resigned from ICE earlier this week following growing criticism of the deplorable conditions reported at border facilities.

Morgan had previously served as chief of Border Patrol before taking over as head of ICE in May.

“I am confident he will bring the same commitment to the agency as it continues to navigate the current humanitarian and operational crisis,” Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan said in a statement.

ICE will promote Matthew Albence , deputy director of the agency’s deportation operations, to replace Morgan.

“Assuming the role of Acting Director of ICE is Matthew T. Albence, who has been performing the duties of the agency’s Deputy Director since August 2018. Mr. Albence brings years of experience, as he’s held a number of key positions within the ICE domain,” McAleenan said in a statement.

Albence faced criticism last year when he told a congressional committee that family detention centers are “more like summer camp” than jail.

Since Albence and Morgan will appointed, rather than nominated, they will not have to be confirmed by the Senate.

FBI Training Academy Under Fire over ‘Disturbing’ Claims of Gender Discrimination

FBI academy, via FBI.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

House Judiciary Committee leaders are requesting the Justice Department’s internal watchdog investigate the FBI’s training academy after 16 women accused the bureau of gender discrimination.

The women claimed in a lawsuit filed last month that they were disproportionately disciplined and were subjected to a male-biased review process and overt sexual discrimination at the academy in Quantico, Va.

Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., and ranking Republican Douglas Collins, R-Ga., sent a letter to DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz, saying the allegations were “disturbing” and “require an investigation into the FBI’s training and selection practices for new agents,” The Washington Post reports.

“If true, such conduct cannot be tolerated,” the lawmakers wrote. “The selection process employed by the FBI must be free from discrimination on the basis of factors such as gender and race, and individuals hired to these important positions should reflect the diversity of our country.”

Horowitz’s office declined to comment.

According to the lawsuit, the women were discharged, but seven still work at the FBI in other capacities.

“Because of the FBI’s history of tolerating the Good Old Boy Network, the subjective evaluations by these male instructors result in female trainees being written up and subsequently dismissed at a rate significantly and disproportionately higher than their male counterparts,” the lawsuit alleges.

FBI’s Ex-Top Lawyer Blasts Trump for Claiming Mueller Broke the Law without Evidence

President Trump

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The FBI’s former top lawyer blasted President Trump for claiming without evidence that Robert Mueller committed a crime by deleting text messages between two FBI employees.

James Baker, who was the FBI’s general counsel during the Russia investigation, said Trump’s accusations were “unacceptable.”

“Accusing Americans of crimes without a factual basis and having him just pronounce this is just unacceptable,” Baker said on CNN. “If the president thinks that Robert Mueller committed a crime, then he should direct the attorney general to conduct an investigation and then not talk about it.”

The accusations come less than 24 hours after Mueller agreed to testify before two House committees. Mueller was reluctant but said he would after receiving subpoenas.

“Mueller terminated them illegally. He terminated all of the emails,” Trump said in an interview with Fox Business. “Robert Mueller terminated their text messages together. He terminated them. They’re gone. And that’s illegal. That’s a crime.”

Trump was referring to text messages between former FBI agent Peter Strzok and former FBI lawyer Lisa Page, who were involved in a romantic relationship and swapped disparaging remarks about the president.

Insider points out that thousands of those text messages were released last year by the Justice Department’s Inspector General. A technical glitch resulted in an additional 19,000 text messages being erased.