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White House Can’t Pull the Trigger; Delays Emergency Request to Require Gun Reporting Along the Mexican Border


By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — The White House just can’t seem to pull the trigger.

James V. Grimaldi of the Washington Post reports that White House budget officials once against delayed a decision for at least two months on an emergency request that would require gun dealers along the Mexican border to report people who buy two or more assault weapons in five days.

The Post reported that the White House officials want to show more transparency and give the public more time – until Feb. 14 – to comment on the proposal.

The NRA has opposed the rule and ATF has been pushing for it to help clamp down on guns going into Mexico and into the hands of the cartels. It’s the second time implementation of the rule has been delayed.

To read more click here.

Weekend Series on Crime History: Watergate- Howard Baker vs H.R. Haldeman

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=COYZScMEnhs

Nixon Talks to Haldeman During Watergate

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rm5FIs9V0VA

Fed Judge Shoots Down New Trial For Highest Ranking Arab-American FBI Agent

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — A D.C. federal judge on Wednesday shot down a request for a new civil trial for the FBI’s highest-ranking Arab American agent, who claimed the agency retaliated against him after he filed a discrimination complaint, the  Blog of Legal Times reported.

Agent Bassem Youssef, a supervisory agent and unit chief in the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division, claimed at  trial in September that the FBI discriminated against him and delayed his career advancement because he is Egyptian and that he filed the discrimination complaint, according to the ruling by U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly.

Specifically, Youssef contended that the bureau blocked him from participating in inspections of FBI offices at a certain juncture in his career. The  inspections provide a training opportunity that leads to inspection certification, which can be helpful in getting promotions. He eventually obtained the certification, but he claimed two years later than he should have.

Justice Department lawyers claimed he was denied the inspection opportunities at one point  because he had transferred to a new unit and missed too much work.

The jury found Youssef had not proven his case and judge consequently ordered that “costs be taxed against Youssef.”

The judge in denying a new trial  ruled Wednesday  that he “was not actually harmed” by the denial to go on certain inspections in 2005.

The FBI has sought reimbursement in the case for $32,431.46 in costs; $446 for fees for service of summons and subpoenas; $615.50 in copying fees; $5,924.66 in witness fees and $25,445.30 fees for transcripts.

The judge ruled Thursday that the agent should pay some costs and not others, but that the  Justice  Department “should submit a revised bill of costs” excluding certain expenditures.

Read ruling

U.S. Marshals Help Nab Hell’s Angels Member in Buenos Aires

Paul Eischeid/kpho tv

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

South American authorities on Thursday nabbed a member of the Hell’s Angels Motorcycle Club  who was on the U.S. Marshals Top 15 Most Wanted Fugitive List for allegedly murdering a Phoenix area woman in 2001.

Paul Merle Eischeid, 39,  a former Charles Schwab stockbroker, was captured in Buenos Aires by Argentinean authorities, the U.S. Marshals Service said.

The U.S. Marshals Service said it had developed information about Eischeid’s whereabouts along with Diplomatic Security Service.  The information was then passed on to the Interpol and local Argentinean authorities, and an Interpol Red Notice was issued.

Eischeid was  also wanted  on federal drug trafficking and racketeering charges, authorities said.

“Eischeid’s crimes were horrendous and his potential for continued violence made his arrest a priority for the U.S. Marshals,” Stacia A. Hylton, Director of the U.S. Marshal Service, said in a statement.

Eischeid was charged in the 2001 murder Cynthia Garcia, who was allegedly attacked while attending a party at the Hell’s Angels’ clubhouse in Mesa, Az., the Marshals Service said.

She was severely beaten, thrown in the trunk of a car, and taken to the desert where she was brutally stabbed, said David Gonzales, U.S. Marshal for the Arizona district.

ATF Investigating Whether VA. Inmate Used Facebook to Threaten Witnesses

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Apparently Facebook isn’t just for chatting it up with old pals or initiating a discussion about the latest Monet art exhibit.

ATF is investigating allegations that a Virginia inmate used Facebook to threaten government witnesses in his upcoming arson case, station WSLS reported.

The station, citing a federal search warrant for his cell, said investigators were trying to determine if inmate John Conner Jr. contacted his girlfriend via phone and mail and had her contact witnesses in his upcoming trial through his Facebook account.

Conner, an inmate serving a six year sentence at the Western Virginia Regional Jail in Salem, Va., is awaiting trial in April on federal charges that he set his ex-girlfriend’s duplex on fire on Nov. 15, 2008 when they were still together, WSLS reported.

The station reported that he set the fire after his girlfriend spit in his face during a spat.

Milwaukee FBI Agent Shoots and Wounds Drug Suspect Who Tried to Flee

Oral Arguments Delayed in ex-Rep. William Jefferson’s Appeal

William J. Jefferson

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Convicted ex-Rep. William Jefferson of money-in-the-freezer fame has had his fair share of disputes with the federal government.

But this time around he’s got to be pleased with the government, which, according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune, has asked and gotten more time to file briefs in the case.

After all, he remains free pending his appeal on his 2009 conviction on 11 of 16 public corruption counts. The judge sentenced him to 13 years.

The more delays, the longer he’s assured of staying out of prison in a case that began in 2005 with an FBI sting.

Oral arguments before the U.S. Court of Appeals were set to begin the week of March 22, Bruce Alpert of the Times-Picayune reported.

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va. announced the delay, Alpert reported, to give prosecutors another month to file briefs, the Picayune reported.

The briefs must be filed by March 10 and Jefferson’s lawyers will have 10 days to respond.

Still, the Picayune reported that a ruling could possibly come by summer.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Senate Report Critical of FBI and Pentagon in Ft. Hood Shooting

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — A Senate report on the Fort Hood shooting takes a sharp shot at the FBI for failing to share critical information with military about shooter Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, the Associated Press reported.

AP wrote that the report — to be released Thursday — also criticized the Pentagon for failing to make changes to identify potentially violent Islamic extremists.

AP wrote that the report noted that the an FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force failed to share information with the military that Hasan’s had repeated contact with U.S.-born radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who was anti-American and encouraged Muslims to kill U.S. troops in Iraq.

AP reported that the FBI did not share the information because it concluded Hasan was not linked to terrorism.

AP reported that FBI has since revised its procedures about notifying the military and plans to increase training for task force members when it comes to searching databases during investigations.

UPDATED: 1 p.m. Thursday; FBI response:

The FBI recognizes the value of congressional oversight and agrees with much in the report and many of its recommendations. During the internal FBI review undertaken immediately after the attack at Fort Hood, we identified several of the areas of concern outlined in the report, and, as noted in the report, have implemented changes to our systems and processes to address them. We will review each of the report’s recommendations and adopt them, as appropriate.

While concluding that the FBI’s transformation to an intelligence-driven organization remains a work in progress, the report recognizes the FBI’s substantial progress and many successes, led by Joint Terrorism Task Forces, in disrupting terrorist plots by homegrown extremists.

In addition, we look forward to the recommendations of Judge William H. Webster, who is conducting an independent, outside review of the FBI’s actions with respect to Fort Hood. Judge Webster and his team are evaluating the corrective actions taken to determine whether they are sufficient and whether there are other policy or procedural steps the FBI should consider to improve its ability to detect and prevent such threats in the future.

To read more click here.