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Rep. Nadler Criticizes FBI in Letter to Director Mueller Over Anthrax Probe

Rep. Nadler/gov photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The top Democrat on the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution fired off a letter Wednesday to FBI Director Robert S. Mueller accusing the agency of providing “incomplete and misleading” information on the 2001 anthrax attacks to the committee.

Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) letter focuses on the amount of “silicon” that was contained in the deadly anthrax letters. He asks that the FBI forward any information that could shed light on the subject.

The FBI told the ticklethewire.com on Thursday  that the bureau “received the letter yesterday and we  will respond directly to Congressman Nadler.”

The following is the letter:

May 25, 2011
The Honorable Robert S. Mueller, III
Director
Federal Bureau of Investigation
J. Edgar Hoover Building
935 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20535-0001

Dear Director Mueller:

I am writing with respect to the investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) into the 2001 anthrax attacks and information provided by the Department of Justice (DOJ)/FBI to me about that case, which appears to have been incomplete and misleading.

On September 16, 2008, the House Committee on the Judiciary, on which I sit, conducted an oversight hearing of the FBI at which you testified. At that hearing, I asked you the following: “[W]hat was the percentage of weight of the silicon in the powders that your experts examined?” You testified that you would get back to me. On November 26, 2008, I sent to you this follow-up question in writing: “What was the percentage of weight of the silicon in the powder used in the 2001 anthrax attacks?”

On April 17, 2009, then-Acting Assistant Attorney General M. Faith Burton, of the DOJ Office of Legislative Affairs, responded with the following answer:

FBI Laboratory results indicated that the spore powder on the Leahy letter contained 14,470 ppm of silicon (1.4%). The spore powder on the New York Post letter was found to have silicon present in the sample; however, due to the limited amount of material, a reliable quantitative measurement was not possible. Insufficient quantifies of spore powder on both the Daschle and Brokaw letters precluded analysis of those samples.

Read more »

Judge Rules Az. Shooter Jared Loughner Incompetent; Loughner Has Outburst in Court

Jared Loughner/pima county sheriff photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

In a ruling that comes as little surprise, a federal judge on Wednesday in Arizona ruled that Jared L. Loughner, who killed 6 and wounded 13 others including Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, is not mentally competent to stand trial, the New York Times reported.

U.S. District Judge  Larry A. Burns of  Tucson ruled that Loughner will be sent to a psychiatric facility until Sept. 21. At that point,  a hearing will be held to revisit his competency,   the New York Times reported.

If his status remains the same, he’ll be periodically re-evaluated.

“At the present time, Mr. Loughner does not have a rational understanding of these proceedings,” Judge Burns said, according to the Times.

The Times reported that the judge issued the ruling minutes after Loughner, 22, was dragged out of the courtroom. At one point he shouted, according to the Times:

“Thank you for the freak show. She died right in front of me. You’re treasonous.”

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Rahm Emanuel and Jesse Jackson Jr. Make Cameo Appearances in Blago Trial

Rahm Emanuel

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Newly minted Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel made a cameo appearance Thursday  in the Rod Blagojevich public corruption retrial in downtown Chicago that lasted only a few  minutes, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Under questioning by defense attorney Sheldon Sorosky, Emanuel was asked his occupation, according to the Trib.

“Mayor of the City of Chicago,” Emanuel said.

“Is it safe to say it is a new job for you?” Sorosky asked.

“Unless your subscription to the newspaper ended recently, yes,” Emanuel said.

Under questioning, Emanuel denied that  he was ever asked as a Congressman to have his brother arrange a fundraiser for Blago, in exchange for the release of a $2 million grant to a school in Emanuel’s congressional district, the Trib reported.

Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr./campaign photo

He also denied that he was ever asked to set up  a nonprofit that would be headed up by  Blagojevich in exchange that Blago appoint Obama’s  friend Valerie Jarrett to the U.S. Senate, the Tribune reported.

Rep. Jackson denied allegations that he wanted to give Blago a $1.5 million campaign contribution in exchange for getting the Senate seat vacated by President Obama, the Trib reported.

Jackson testified that he had waged a very public campaign to get the appointment.

“I talked with all sorts of people about the United States Senate seat,” Jackson said, according to the Trib.

Justice Dept. Gives Green Light to Indict John Edwards, NBC Reports

John Edwards

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Once a presidential hopeful, John Edwards now faces far less hopeful times.

NBC News reports that the Justice Department has given the OK to file charges against Edwards, 57,  for alleged violations of  campaign finance laws stemming from a cover up of an extra-marital affair with Rielle Hunter.

NBC reported that a plea bargain is possible.

A federal grand jury in North Carolina is looking into the case.

Edwards ran as vice president in 2004 and also campaigned for president in 2004 and 2008.

Mobster Plotted to Kill Fed Prosecutor in NY, Witness Testifies

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Former boss of the Bonanno crime family Vincent “Vinny Gorgeous” Basciano plotted to kill a mob-busting federal prosecutor at an upper East Side Italian restaurant over an issue of disrespect, a government witness testified Tuesday in federal court in New York, the New York Daily News reported.

Ex-mobster Dominick Cicale testified that Basciano planned to kill Assistant U.S. Attorney Greg Andres at Campagnola, an upper East Side Italian restaurant, the Daily News reported.

The testimony came during the death penalty phase for Basciano, who was convicted last week for ordering a hit on a mobster.

Cicale testified that a private eye passed on a message to  Basciano in the spring of 2004 from then-Bonanno boss Joseph Massino, who was in prison.

“Joe Massino wanted to let Vinny know the prosecutor was disrespectful … and the prosecutor ate at Campagnola’s every Thursday night,” Cicale testified, according to the Daily News.

Basciano was waiting for the OK to execute the prosecutor, but nothing ever happened, the Daily News reported.

FBI Says Corrupt U.S. Border Agents a Serious Threat

FBI Arrests Man For Being Too Friendly With Himself in the Friendly Skies

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

On flights across the country, there are passengers who yak too much, or lean their seat way too far back or take up your elbow rest.

And there’s Kyle Pearce, 25, in a category all to his own.

The FBI arrested the Florida man last Thursday at the Denver airport after he flew on a United flight from Spokane to Denver and masturbated on the flight “to the point of ejaculation”, according to The Smoking Gun.

He was charged with making an “obscene and indecent exposure of his person” on an aircraft, The Smoking Gun reported.

“I heard a noise and looked over and saw his penis,” said one female witness in a written statement according to The Smoking Gun. She added, “He ejaculated & got some on the seat.”

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Let the Show BEGIN! Blago Expected to Testify at His Retrial

Ex-Gov on NBC's Celebrity Apprentice

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Ex-Gov. Rod Blagojevich was once known for his political prowess. But in the past 18 months or so he’s been known more for being an entertaining sort.

He’s appeared on Letterman. And the Daily Show. And he did a commercial promoting pistachios. And he went on The Celebrity Apprentice with The Donald.

Now brace yourself for more entertainment.

The Chicago Tribune reports that Blago plans to testify in his own defense at his corruption retrial. The paper cites “several sources familiar with the former governor’s decision.”

“Blagojevich has been preparing to take the witness stand for several days and worked in depth on his possible testimony over the weekend, sources said. It was unclear how soon he could be called to testify, but the defense is scheduled to begin presenting evidence Wednesday at the Dirksen U.S. Courthouse,” the Trib reported.

Too bad cameras aren’t allowed in the federal courtroom in downtown Chicago. This may well be his best performance.

Blago passed on testifying in his first trial, which for the most part, was a major embarrassment for U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald. Blago was convicted on only 1 of 24 counts — lying to an FBI agent.

http://youtu.be/SH6B5s4uWEQ