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Comey Defends His Legacy at Aspen Ideas Festival

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Fired FBI director James Comey seems to be on a campaign to protect his legacy.

On Saturday, he spoke at the Aspen Ideas Festival, defending his controversial actions before the 2016 presidential election and likening President Donald Trump to a forest fire that must be “contained,” reports Scott Condon of the Aspen Times.

In an interview with journalist Katie Couric in front of several hundred audience members,  he said history will vindicate him in the Hillary Clinton email controversy.

“Whether you agree with them or not, they were good decisions in the way that they were made and values that guided them,” Comey said. “I actually think in the long run people will see that.”

Updated: FBI Agent Peter Strzok Will Testify in Public Hearing

Peter Strozk

Update: 4:06 p.m. Tuesday — Well it turns out that FBI agent Peter Strozk will be testifying after all before the joint House Judiciary and Oversight and Government Reform committee’s public hearing on July 10. His attorney said he wasn’t going to testify. But the committee issued a subpoena, and so, he’ll be there.

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

FBI agent Peter Strzok, whose critical emails of presidential candidate Donald Trump triggered a firestorm inside the Beltway, has been advised not to testify before a House Judiciary Committee public hearing on July 10.

Strozk would “happily” answer lawmakers’ questions about the beginnings of the government’s Russia collusion investigation but was instructed by a bureau lawyer that he shouldn’t, his attorney said, according to Bloomberg.

Attorney Aitan Goelman complained in a letter to the staff of the House Judiciary Committee that Republicans have been “grandstanding” and “twisting” Strozk’s answers from a closed-door interview last week Bloomberg reports.

For now, he won’t testify, Goelman said.

Deputy White House Counsel Uttam Dhillon Expected to Head DEA

Uttam Dhillon (Linkedin photo)

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The musical chairs continues at the DEA.

Uttam Dhillon,  deputy White House counsel, is expected to be named the next interim head of the DEA, replacing  Robert W. Patterson, who  announced last month he was leaving the agency after a 30-year DEA career, the Washington Post reports.

The agency has a long history of keeping interim heads for years without being confirmed.

Dhillon has played a key role in internal discussions surrounding the firing of FBI director James B. Comey and the special counsel’s probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election,  the Post writes.

Michael Cohen Says His Loyalty Is To His Family And Country

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Attorney Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s fix-it guy, may not be as loyal to Trump as he originally said.

In the first in-depth interview since the FBI raided his office and homes in April, Cohen signaled to ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos his willingness to cooperate with special counsel Robert Mueller and federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York.

“My wife, my daughter and my son have my first loyalty and always will,” Cohen said. “I put family and country first.”

Personal Assistant To Manafort Granted FBI Access to Storage Locker

Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort.

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The drama of the Paul Manafort’s case continues to unfold.

The latest: A personal assistant to Manafort granted the FBI access to a storage locker, allowing the government to secure evidence that President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager is trying to suppress, Mark Hosenball and Nathan Layne of Reuters reports.

The disclosure was made public during testimony on Friday in a federal court hearing in Virginia.

FBI special agent Jeff Pfeiffer made the disclosure at a hearing to consider whether evidence from the locker and a separate search of Manafort’s home, both in the Washington, D.C., suburb of Alexandria, could be used in a Manafort trial set for July, Reuters reports.

 

Weekend Series on Crime: The Australian Mafia

Retired FBI Official Kevin Kendrick: ‘House Republicans Are An Absolute Joke’

The writer was as assistant special FBI agent in charge of the Detroit field office from 1999-2002 and retired in 2006 as head of the Charlotte Division in North Carolina. 

Kevin Kendrick

By Kevin Kendrick

House Republicans are an absolute joke.

Jim Jordan is especially an utter embarrassment to the country.

If I lived in his district in Ohio, I would seriously consider moving. The way all of these men are scrambling to protect Trump is disgusting because they are intentionally attempting to harm career government employees and undermine entire agencies in the process.

Instead of making an earnest effort to determine the root cause of what is known Russian interference in our elections, these quislings are attempting to silence the messengers.

Instead of showing concern about the increasingly troubling relationship between so many in Trump-world to Russia and specifically, Russian intelligence operatives, they would rather whine about the length of the investigation and clamor for its resolution.

Trey Gowdy, one of the more sensible lackeys, appeared histrionic today saying it was time to wrap up the investigation. (Yes, this is the same Trey Gowdy that spent 2.5 years investigating Benghazi that resulted in all of those indictments. And by “all of those indictments”, I mean ZERO. None. Perhaps ‘nada’ works best with these guys.)

They completely ignore all of the activity by Trump and his band of comrades. It’s as if Peter Strzok arranged for the meeting in Trump Tower. And that Peter Strzok made up the lies on the plane about why that meeting occurred. That Peter Strzok told Lester Holt about why Trump wanted to fire Comey. That Peter Strzok invited the Russian ambassador and others into the Oval Office to brag about firing Comey.

That Peter Strzok arranged for Michael Flynn to lie to investigators and then plead guilty. That Peter Strzok caused all of the money laundering Manafort has been charged with as well as the latest charges of witness tampering.

That Peter Strzok made Trump ask Russia to continue looking for HRC’s emails. It’s as if Peter Strzok orchestrated all of the activity leading up to the 20 indictments and five guilty pleas thus far obtained in this case.

I am literally ashamed of this activity by those who call themselves representatives of the American people. Each and every one of them needs to take a look at that oath they took to support the Constitution…and not a tyrant in the making.”

Ex-Chief Counsel for ICE Sentenced to 4 Years For Identity Theft Scheme

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Former Chief Counsel Raphael A. Sanchez of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Office of Principal Legal Advisor (OPLA) was sentenced this week to four years in prison for an  identity theft scheme involving the identities of numerous aliens, the Justice Department said.

Sanchez, 44, of Seattle, pleaded guilty on Feb. 24, to one count of wire fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft.  Aside from the sentence, U.S. District Judge Robert S. Lasnik of the Western District of Washington also ordered Sanchez to pay $190,345.63 in restitution.

Sanchez, who was responsible for immigration removal proceedings in Alaska, Oregon and Washington, admitted he devised a scheme to defraud aliens in various stages of immigration removal proceedings with ICE.

Sanchez used the personally identifiable information of those aliens to open lines of credit and personal loans in their names, manipulate their credit bureau files, transfer funds to himself and t purchase goods for himself using credit cards issued in their names.

“Raphael Sanchez was entrusted with overseeing the honest enforcement of our country’s immigration laws,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General John Cronan in a statement.  “Instead, Sanchez abused that trust, and capitalized on his position at ICE to exploit his victims and line his own pockets.”