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Mentally Ill Woman Reaches Front Yard of Pres. Bush’s Dallas Home

white house photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

President George W. Bush and wife Laura continue to get the occasional unexpected visitor at their home in Dallas.

The station WTSP reports that a mentally ill woman reached the front yard of the ex-president’s Dallas home on Friday afternoon and was taken into custody for questioning.

Sources told the station that the woman got around the fence and gate that surround the home. The ex-president and his wife weren’t home.

The U.S. Secret Service questioned the woman and has had contact with her in the past, the station reported. It also reported that the Secret Service did not consider her a threat.

Last December, days before Christmas, a motorist tooling around the upscale Dallas neighborhood in his muscle car accidentally hopped the curb and ended up on the lawn of the Bush home. Secret Service at the time it appeared to simply be an accident.

Edwards Case a Test for Justice Dept.’s Public Integrity Section

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — After screwing up the case against Sen. Ted Stevens, the Justice Department’s Public Integrity Section will get another chance — this time with ex-Sen. John Edwards– to prove it can take down a high profile public figure without any major goofs.

You might recall the Public Integrity Section convicted Ted Stevens on very-straight forward public corruption charges in 2008, only to have the whole thing tossed out for prosecutorial misconduct after prosecutors failed to turn over key evidence to the defense.

“This case is just as important for the government as it is for Edwards,” Peter Henning, a law professor at Wayne State University in Detroit and co-author of “The Prosecution and Defense of Public Corruption” told the Christian Science Monitor.

The Public Integrity Section “certainly understands they’re under the microscope,” he said.

Since the Stevens case, the unit has gotten a new new chief, former New York-based federal prosecutor Jack Smith, the Christian Science Monitor reported. And the Justice Department has ordered training for prosecutors to assure that they disclose key evidence to defense attorneys.

“Will a federal prosecutor ever make another mistake in the course of complying with his or her disclosure obligations?” US Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer asked at a recent symposium, according to the paper. “Of course. We are human – and in an age when the discovery in a single case may consist of terabytes of information, the challenges are significant.”

The paper reports that the Justice Department will have its challenges when prosecuting Edwards. The two-time presidential candidate  has claimed he had no idea his aides spent hundreds of thousands of campaign dollars to hide his lover, campaign videographer Rielle Hunter during the 2008 bid for president.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Robert J. Higdon Jr. and Brian S. Meyers of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina along with Deputy Chief Justin V. Shur and Trial Attorneys David V. Harbach II and Jeffrey E. Tsai of the Public Integrity Section in the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.

Column: Ex-FBI Official Paid $20,000 to Probe Miami Police Dept.; Was it Worth it?

By Fred Grimm
The Miami Herald

Paul Philip may have been a dandy FBI agent back in the day. But as an author, his five-page thesis on the Miami Police Department delivered last week – for $4,000 a page – was an affront to us hack writers everywhere.

Philip spent four months researching the travails of a police department awash in controversy, with a string of fatal shootings and the attendant community controversy, with a chief feuding with the mayor, the state attorney and a city commissioner, with questionable promotions, with cops busted for corruption, with department morale ebbing.

It wasn’t like Philip lacked scintillating material for his piece.

Or the motivation – 20 grand, as any drooling freelancer could have told him, ain’t nothing. But apparently Philip suffered an acute case of writer’s block.

To read more click here.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Texas Man Busted for Shining Laser on FBI Plane

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Note to Sammy Ladymon: Find a new hobby.

The 45-year-old Garland, Tex. man was arrested Thursday night after getting caught pointing a laser at an FBI aircraft that was hovering above, NBC DFW reported.

The station reported that the FBI pilot flew over the area in response to complaints from pilots of a bright light.

When an FBI was directed to Ladymon’s home, they found him still pointing the laser at the FBI plane.

The station reported that he faces a misdemeanor charge of illumination of aircraft by intense light.

Weekend Series on Crime History: Drug Lord Pablo Escobar

http://youtu.be/25qKkkecfHQ

It’s Official: John Edward Indicted

John Edwards

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

It’s official.

The  New York Times  is reporting that a federal grand jury in Raleigh, N.C., has indicted two-time presidential candidate John Edwards.

The Times reported that the grand jury, which has been probing Edwards for two years, indicted him on six counts — four involving illegal payments, one involving conspiracy and one involving false statements.

Edwards is accused of  violating campaign finance laws to hide an extra-marital affair.

To read the whole story click.

Prosecutor to Blago: “You Are a Convicted Liar, Correct?”

Ex-Gov on NBC's Celebrity Apprentice

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Loaded for bear, federal prosecutors began their cross examination Thursday of the ever-chatty ex-Ill. Gov. Rod Blagojevich with a very blunt question.

“Mr. Blagojevich, you are a convicted liar, correct?” Assistant U.S. Attorney Reid Schar asked, according to the Chicago Tribune.

“Yes,” answered Blagojevich, according to the Trib. His lawyers tried to object.

The question was in reference to his first trial in which prosecutors convicted him on only 1 of 24 counts — lying to the FBI. The jury was deadlocked on the remaining 23 counts.

Prosecutors on Thursday tried to portray Blago as a slippery sort, the Trib reported.

To read more click here.

House Votes to Slash TSA Budget by $270 Million; Critics Say it Could Threaten Airline Safety

file photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — At a time of heightened concern about aviation security, the Republican-controlled House gave the nod Thursday to legislation that would cut funding for the Transportation Security Administration by $270 million, the Washington Post’s Joe Davidson reported.

“At a time when intelligence tells us that terrorists remain interested in attacking transportation, this amendment would cut TSA’s screening workforce by more than 10 percent,” about 5,000 people, TSA spokeswoman Kristin Lee said according to the Post.

Union leaders hope the Senate rejects the move, the Post reported. The House vote was 219 to 204.

The Post reported that in a letter to House members before the vote, Colleen M. Kelley, president of the National Treasury Employees Union, said the budget cut would “damage the traveling safety of the public and hurt Transportation Security Officers’ ability to do their jobs.”