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May 2021


How to Become a Bounty Hunter

FBI Investigating Allegations by TV Star Jon Cryer That Ex-Wife May Have Hired Hitman, TMZ Reports

Jon Cryer/cbs photo

Jon Cryer/cbs photo

By Allan Lengel

Drama for the cast of “Two and a Half Men” seems to be going  far beyond the tv screen.

TMZ is reporting that the FBI is investigating allegations by Jon Cryer, who co-stars with Charlie Sheen on the CBS hit,  that his ex-wife may have hired a hitman to kill him.

The tv tabloid reported that “Cryer and his ex have been embroiled in a bitter custody fight, which has gotten even more intense recently.”

Sheen has had his fair amount of drama over the past years. Sounds like they’re ready for a reality tv show.

Justice Dept. Fires Back As Tension Mounts With Office of National Intelligence

Fingerpointing: A favorite sport in Washington

Fingerpointing: A favorite sport in Washington

By Allan Lengel

WASHINGTON — Let the fun begin.

The Justice Department is firing back as tension between the agency and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence seems to be on the rise.

On Wednesday, Intelligence Director Dennis Blair told a Congressional committee that he was never consulted before the FBI decided to interrogate the underwear bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab and charge him in a civilian court instead of a military one. He also said the bomber should have been interrogated by a new special unit, even though he forgot to mention the unit was not yet operational.

The Obama administration was reportedly furious over the remarks, and Thursday said Attorney Gen. Eric Holder Jr. had made the determination to try the underwear bomber as a civilian.

Also on Thursday, Justice Department’s chief spokesman Matthew Miller issued a statement that said:

“Since September 11, 2001, every terrorism suspect apprehended in the United States by either the Bush administration or the Obama administration has been initially arrested, held or charged under federal criminal law.

“Al Qaeda terrorists such as Richard Reid, Zacarias Moussaoui and others have all been prosecuted in federal court, and the arrest and charging of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was handled no differently. Those who now argue that a different action should have been taken in this case were notably silent when dozens of terrorists were successfully prosecuted in federal court by the previous administration.

“In the hours immediately after Abdulmutallab allegedly attempted to detonate an explosive device on board a Northwest Airlines flight, FBI agents who responded to the scene interrogated him and obtained intelligence that has already proved useful in the fight against Al Qaeda.

“It was only later that day, after the interrogation had already yielded intelligence, that he was read his Miranda rights. After the Department informed the President’s national security team about its planned course of action, Abdulmutallab was charged in criminal court.

Read more »

FBI Busts Maryland Police Lt. On Allegations That Included Phone Texts of Sexually Explicit Photos With Teen Girl He Was Having Affair With

anne arundel police patch 2

By Allan Lengel

WASHINGTON — The FBI arrested a lieutenant from a suburban Maryland police department on child pornography charges stemming from his alleged relationship with a teenage girl and the exchange of sexually explicit photos  and messages via phone texts, the  U.S. Attorney’s Office in Baltimore announced Thursday.

James Cifala, 47, of the county police department in Anne Arundel,  a bedroom community considered a suburb of both Baltimore and Washington, was arrested Wednesday night at the police station. He made his initial appearance in federal court in Baltimore on Thursday. He was being detained pending a detention hearing Friday.

“The complaint alleges that a sworn law enforcement officer violated his oath in an egregious manner by engaging in a relationship with a child who was more than 30 years younger,” U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein of Baltimore said in a statement.

“I hope this case will send a wake up call to parents about the need to monitor their children’s use of cellular telephones and other communication devices.”

According to a court affidavit, parents of the teenage girl contacted the FBI to report their daughter’s sexual relationship with an adult, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office alleged that “FBI agents recovered sexually explicit text message conversations between the girl and “Johnny,” who has been identified as James Cifala.”

The FBI recovered images and text messages from the girl’s cell phone allegedly showing that “Cifala exchanged sexually explicit text messages with the girl and that she transmitted sexually explicit pictures of herself to Cifala’s cell phone at his request,” authorities said.

Authorities said that FBI agents executed a search warrant at Cifala’s home on January 20 and “observed furnishings that allegedly match the background of a sexually explicit photograph Cifala sent to the girl.”

If convicted, Cifala faces a mandatory minimum sentence of five years and a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

Senate Confirms ex-U.S. Attorney and Atlanta Fed Judge Beverly Martin to Court of Appeals

atlanta-map1By Allan Lengel

WASHINGTON — The Senate on Wednesday confirmed the nomination  of U.S. District Judge Beverly Martin, a former U.S. Attorney, to the  federal court of appeals judge in Atlanta, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

Martin joins the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which includes Georgia, Alabama and Florida.

“It is humbling that President Obama and his administration thought of me for this job,” Martin, 54, said shortly after the vote, according to the newspaper.

In 1998,  President Clinton appointed her as the U.S. Attorney in Macon, Ga., and two years later he made her a U.S. District Court judge.


Officials Regret Curbs on Adding to No Fly List ( NY Times)

Newsweek Reports Obama Admin. Flabbergasted Over Intelligence Dir. Testimony on Detroit Bomber and Demanded Correction

Dennis Blair/gov photo

Dennis Blair/gov photo

By Allan Lengel

WASHINGTON — Newsweek’s Michael Isikoff reports that the Obama administration was flabbergasted Wednesday when Director of National Intelligence Adm. Dennis Blair testified before Congress  and said  the infamous Christmas Day underwear bomber  should have been questioned by a special interrogation unit that doesn’t exist rather than by the FBI.

Newsweek reported that one senior official described Blair’s comments as misinformed on multiple levels. And officials were concerned it  gave Republicans more fuel for the criticism of the handling of the Detroit case.

“People are annoyed, angry, and frustrated about this,” said the senior official, who asked not to be identified, speaking about Blair’s testimony, according to Newsweek.

The official added, according to Newsweek, that the White House had ordered Blair to “correct” his remarks, which he did in the afternoon.

“He’s taking a mulligan on this,” the official said,  according to Newsweek.

To read the full report click here.

Read report from Wednesday

Please Make Them Go Away: The Salahi Circus Comes to Congress

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President Nominates 5 More U.S. Attorneys

Loretta Lynch/law firm photo
Loretta Lynch/law firm photo

By Allan Lengel

WASHINGTON — With still plenty slots to fill nationwide, President Obama on Wednesday nominated lawyers for U.S. Attorney posts in Louisiana, West Virginia, Kentucky and New York, the website Main Justice reported.

The nominees, according to Main Justice, include Stephanie  Finley for the Western District of Louisiana;  R.  Booth  Goodwin for the Southern District of West Virginia; David Hale for the Western District of Kentucky; Kerry Harvey for the Eastern District of Kentucky and Loretta Lynch for the Eastern District of New York.

FBI Dir. Mueller Warns Terrorist Threats “More Dangerous With Each Passing Day”; And Intelligence Director Misspeaks

By Allan Lengel

WASHINGTON – Some of  the Who’s Who of the federal law enforcement and intelligence community came to Capitol Hill at multiple hearings to talk about terrorism and security, including FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III Mueller, who warned of the dangers ahead.

“As the Christmas Day attempted bombing illustrates the threats we face are becoming more diverse and more dangerous with each passing day,” Mueller said in a statement before Congress.

Mueller testifying before Congress/cspan photo

Mueller testifying before Congress/cspan photo

“We not only face threats from al Qaeda, but also from self directed groups not part of al Qaeda’s formal structure, which have ties to terrorist organizations through money or training.”

Meanwhile, Dennis Blair, the director of National Intelligence apparently misspoke when testifying before Congress. He  said before a decision was made to prosecute in civilian court, underwear bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab  should have been interrogated by the High Value Interrogation Group, a concept created last year after the President decided to close Gitmo, the Associated Press reported.

“That unit was created exactly for this purpose — to make a decision on whether a certain person who’s detained should be treated as a case for federal prosecution or for some of the other means,” Blair told the Senate homeland security committee. “We did not invoke the HIG in this case; we should have.”

He also said he was not consulted before a decision was made to question the bomber and prosecute him in a civilian court.

The problem is the unit was created in concept only.  It is not yet operational. In other words, it is non-existent.

Dennis Blair/cspan photo
Dennis Blair/cspan photo

But a press report on the  Washington Post website portrayed Blair as being critical of the FBI  and of  the decision to prosecute in civilian court and not use the interrogation unit.

Blair subsequently issued a statement on his agency’s website:

“My remarks today before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs have been misconstrued. The FBI interrogated Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab when they took him into custody. They received important intelligence at that time, drawing on the FBI’s expertise in interrogation that will be available in the HIG once it is fully operational.”

The Post reported Thursday that he added: “There should be a decision process right at the outset as to the balance between intelligence-gathering and evidence for prosecution.”

Fair to say, whatever the truth is here, there are differences that need to be ironed out between the intelligence community and the FBI.

Some on Capitol Hill have been highly critical that the administration did not choose to declare Abdulmutallab an enemy combatant. They feel authorities could have gotten far more intelligence from him.

FBI agents interviewed the attempted bomber after his arrest and reportedly got valuable intelligence. However, he clammed up after he was appointed public federal defenders.

Some who have defended the move to prosecute in civilian court have pointed out that the shoe bomber Richard Reid was taken to a civilian court as well.

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