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3 FBI Agents and Analyst Lied About Taking Steroids, Feds Charge

steroid-needle
By Allan Lengel
For AOL News

WASHINGTON — Three FBI agents and an agency analyst in the Washington area were charged with providing false statements after they allegedly failed to disclose on government forms the use of anabolic steroids and human growth hormones commonly taken in the sports and bodybuilding world, authorities announced today. One agent is a former bodybuilder.

Authorities said the FBI employees received different diagnoses from a doctor, including “pituitary dwarfism” — a stunted-growth condition normally diagnosed in children — and then got numerous prescriptions for the steroids and growth drugs for “which there was no known medical necessity.”

Those charged are James Drew Barnett, 42, and Katia Litton, 42, both FBI agents in the Washington field office; Litton’s husband, FBI agent Matthew Litton, who works for the bureau’s Critical Incident Response Team in northern Virginia; and Ali Sawan, 45, an intelligence analyst with the Counterterrorism Division at FBI headquarters. The FBI did not immediately disclose the status of the four employees, who were arrested today at FBI facilities.

If convicted, each would face up to five years in prison and $250,000 in fines.

To read more click here.

FBI’s Shawn Henry Gets Bureau’s Number 4 Spot

Shawn Henry /fbi photo

Shawn Henry /fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Shawn Henry, who took over in February as head of the FBI’s Washington field office, is returning to headquarters to  fill the number four spot in the bureau, ticklethewire.com has learned.

Henry will take the post of Executive Assistant Director of the Criminal Cyber Response and Services Branch. Prior to going to the Washington field office, he served at headquarters as assistant Director of the Cyber Division.  He’s been with the bureau 21 years.

He replaces Thomas J. Harrington who was recently named to the number three spot at the FBI, replacing Timothy P. Murphy, who moved up to the number two spot.

It was a short reign for Henry at the Washington field office, who is considered a rising star in the bureau.  His replacement at the field office has NOT  been named.

To read his bio click here.

Blago Defense Asks Judge to Dismiss his Conviction

Ex-Gov. Blago while in office/official photo

Ex-Gov. Blago while in office/official photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Just when you thought you’d get a break from some Rod Blagojevich news.

The latest: The Chicago Tribune reports that the ex-Illinois governor’s lawyers have asked the judge who presided over the trial to dismiss the one conviction for lying to the FBI.

The Tribune reports that the lawyers filed a motion claiming the conviction was the result of a “plethora of errors”. Blago was convicted on only one of 24 counts. The jury deadlocked on the remainder.

The defense claims prosecutors served up an overly complicated case that confused jurors, and the judge limited the defense during trial at every turn.

“To be sure, the burden was on the government and the defendant had no obligation to put on a case,” the defense motion said, according to the Tribune. “However, the defendant’s fundamental right to defend himself through cross-examination was stomped upon by obstructionist (and continuous) objections that were sustained by the Court.”

Justice Dept. Civil Rights Official to Meet With Arab Americans in Michigan

Assist. Atty. Gen. Thomas Perez/doj photo

Assist. Atty. Gen. Thomas Perez/doj photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A senior Justice Department civil rights official plans Wednesday to visit the Arab American National Museum in Dearborn and meet with Arab-American and civil rights leaders to discuss civil rights concerns, the Detroit Free Press reported.

The official, Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez, will also attend a press conference on Wednesday where Detroit U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade will announce the formation of a civil rights unit, the Free Press reported.

The paper reported that Imad Hamad, regional director of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, who will be part of the meetings said of Perez: “We welcome him. It’s part of an important dialogue that is needed.”

Actor Kevin Spacey Gets Insight into Jack Abramoff by Doing Film

Kevin Spacey in "Casino Jack"

Kevin Spacey in "Casino Jack"

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Actor Kevin Spacey, who plays disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff in the new film “Casino Jack”,  has some insights into the morally corrupt Abramoff after visiting him in federal prison.

“I read what everyone read about him, and then I started reaching out to him, and it was two different people,” Spacey recalled, according to the Los Angeles Times. “On the one hand he’s funny, almost comedian-like funny, and you can see how he owned a room. And then you look at what they said about him and he’s the devil incarnate. And then there’s the facts.”

The film is set to premiere Thursday at the Toronto International Film Festival, and will hit theaters in the fall. Abramoff pled guilty in 2006 to the defrauding of American Indian tribes and corruption of public officials. He is in a halfway house and set to be released by year’s end.

“Abramoff wasn’t stealing money,” Spacey told the paper.” Yes, he was doing underhanded things. But he wasn’t buying Swiss chalets and helicopters.

“So then it’s like: OK, [Abramoff] is the greediest man on Earth who doesn’t have any self-interest. He was giving money away to build schools. He was giving so much money away he wasn’t even paying his mortgage.”

Director George Hickenlooper also met with Abramoff in prison in Maryland, the Los Angeles Times reported.

“Jack feels really betrayed by President Bush,” Hickenlooper said of the scandal, according to the Times. “His kids used to play in the Oval Office and then he’s saying he didn’t know him?”

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I2oZcpOB07U

Legal Experts Say Alleged Underwear Bomber Not Likely to Get Much in Deal

Suspect Abdulmutallab/u.s. marhsals photo

Suspect Abdulmutallab/u.s. marshals photo

By Allan Lengel
For AOL News

Short of handing over Osama bin Laden, the “underwear bomber” accused of trying to blow up a Detroit-bound plane on Christmas Day isn’t likely to strike up a deal with prosecutors that will set him free any time soon, legal experts say.

“I don’t think they’re going to be flexible, short of him giving them phenomenal active intelligence,” said Brian M. Legghio, a former federal prosecutor in Detroit. “They’re going to be looking at lengthy prison time, 40 or 50 years, if not life.”

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, 24, hinted in court Monday that he might plead guilty to some of the charges. The Nigerian national also fired his court-appointed attorneys, saying they weren’t representing his best interests. He will represent himself.

Just what kind of deal he can hammer out on his own is unclear, but legal experts say he’s made that task all the more difficult by firing his lawyers, who had met with prosecutors on multiple occasions to try to work out a plea deal, according to court records.

To read more click here.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Column: If Californians Vote to Legalize Pot, Justice Dept. Should Sue

Chris Battle served as chief of staff at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and director of congressional and public affairs for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. He is a partner at Adfero Group, a public relations firm in Washington and editor of a blog on homeland and national security.

Chris Battle

Chris Battle

By Chris Battle
U.S. News & World Report

Things are tough in California. An unrestrained state legislature has spent so irresponsibly that the state is continuously begging the rest of us to bail it out with federal tax dollars. Its credit rating literally makes it a riskier bet than Kazakhstan. It has placed so many burdensome regulations on businesses

in the state that they are fleeing as quickly as they can to shutter their doors. Jobs are going with them, of course. Meanwhile, California is also leading the nation in legalized pot shops and stoned citizens.

Yeah, things are tough all over in California all right. And considering their latest stunt, maybe the state’s legislators are taking their cash-strapped cue from the ‘80s flick of the same name–Tough All Over starring Cheech and Chong, those two dope-hazed but lovable caricatures of bong tokers everywhere.

Why not, California’s leading political lights ask, induce a lot more people get high as a way to pay off the state debt?

In November, Californians will vote on the Regulate, Control, and Tax Cannabis Act of 2010, also known as Proposition 19. If passed, California will be the first state in the union to legalize marijuana outright.

To read more click here.

Atty. Gen. Eric Holder : “I am Not Tone Deaf”