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Fired Deputy Director Andrew McCabe Might Take the Fifth if Called Before Senate Judiciary

FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Fired FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe could remain mum if he’s called before the Senate Judiciary Committee next week.

McCabe’s lawyer fired off a letter to the committee’s chairman, Sen. Chuck Grassley, saying McCabe “will have no choice but to invoke his Fifth Amendment privilege” if called before the committee, reports Politico.

Grassley wants McCabe to testify about a much-anticipated probe by the Justice Department inspector general into the FBI’s conduct during its investigation of Hillary Clinton ahead of the 2016 election.

McCabe’s lawyer Michael Bromwich told Grassley on Monday that immunity would be required before McCabe testified because he is under investigation after the Inspector General concluded he lied to investigators.

Read the complete letter.

 

Bar Patron Shot By Off-Duty, Dancing FBI Agent to Get Free Drinks for Life

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Well, if there’s an upside to being shot by an FBI agent in a bar, here it is.

The Mile High Spirits in Denver, where a patron was shot in the leg by a dancing, off-duty FBI agent over the weekend, says the victim can “enjoy complimentary drinks forever” at the club.

Denver Police questioned the agent at headquarters before releasing him to an FBI supervisor, USA Today reports. Police are awaiting awaiting lab results to see if alcohol was a factor.

CBS News identified the agent as Chase Bishop of the bureau’s Washington Field Office.

In a Facebook posting, the bar wrote:

At Mile High Spirits, we pride ourselves on being a craft distillery with high-quality products and an engaging customer experience, in a fun and safe atmosphere. It is shocking that the only shooting to ever occur at our establishment came about as a result of an FBI agent entering our distillery tasting room carrying a loaded firearm without our knowledge, in violation of our rules. As a result of his misconduct, one of our innocent patrons was shot.

Our security team was able to execute a catastrophic event plan, ensuring, the safe exit of all patrons in the establishment after the shooting. We are deeply saddened by the events that occurred and look forward to speaking with representatives of the FBI, so we can come to understand his presence and his need to be armed in our establishment. The whole team at Mile High Spirits is praying for the victim’s quick recovery, and he’s welcome at Mile High Spirits to enjoy complimentary drinks forever.

Mile High Spirits Team

DEA Agent Fatally Shoots Suspect in Drug Probe in Chicago

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A DEA agent fatally shot a suspect in a drug probe on Chicago’s west side on Saturday morning, WLS TV reports.

The DEA said it was conducting surveillance on, “an individual and a location known as a multiple-kilogram cocaine distribution point,”  the station reports.

A marked police car attempted to conduct a traffic stop on the suspect, Gus Tousis, 43, of Bartlett, who  fled and temporarily got away from law enforcement, the station reports.

Authorities attempted a second traffic stop, and Tousis, according to the DEA, turned his vehicle at a DEA agent and hit the agent, who fired his gun. Tousis died at the scene, the DEA said. The agent sustained non-life threatening injuries.

Digging A Deeper Hole: Mueller Accuses Paul Manafort of Witness Tampering

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manfort is getting himself in more trouble.

Federal prosecutors on the Robert S. Mueller III team are accusing him of witness tampering and want the judge to consider revoking or revising his release, the Washington Post reports.

Prosecutors accuse Manafort and a longtime associate they linked to Russian intelligence of repeatedly contacting two members of a public relations firm and asking them to falsely testify about secret lobbying they did at Manafort’s behest.

The Post reports:

In court documents, prosecutors with special counsel Robert S. Mueller III allege that Manafort and his associate — referred to only as Person A — tried to contact the two witnesses by phone and through encrypted messaging apps. The description of Person A matches his longtime business colleague in Ukraine, Konstantin Kilimnik.

 

Trump Won’t Give Up on Hammering Jeff Sessions

President Donald Trump

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

President Donald Trump can’t get over the fact Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself in the Russia investigation.

He’s constantly tweeting about it and Tuesday was no different.

Retired FBI Agent on Agent’s Gun Firing on Dance Floor: ‘Shocked At The Poor Judgment’

James Gagliano (Linkedin photo)

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Over the weekend, an off-duty FBI agent in Denver made headlines when his gun slipped out of his pants on the dance floor and he accidentally fired it while trying to grab it. A patron was shot and wounded in the leg.

James A. Gagliano, a CNN law enforcement analyst and a retired FBI supervisory special agent, weighs in  on  CNN:

As a retired agent myself, I have mixed emotions about the dance floor incident.

Part of me sees a young agent out for an evening of innocent fun and electing to blow off some steam. It’s hard not to consider the fact that the bureau has been dealt a series of recent body blows — some self-inflicted and others pure partisan opportunism. With half the country calling for the agency’s head, who wouldn’t concede a harried agent a deserved night out to forget about things? Plus, I’ve always believed in the cautionary proverb: There but for the grace of God, go I.

Yet I also can’t help but be shocked at the poor judgment exhibited by a member of what is still the world’s premier law enforcement agency. Agents are expected to display sound judgment. This agent should have taken better care to conceal and secure his weapon. Even before he lost control of it, you can clearly see the weapon’s outline against his shirt in the video. That’s an egregiously unacceptable concealment effort.
And knowing he was armed, he may have elected to avoid the dance-off.

U.S. Secret Service Overpaid Presidential Campaigns About $4 Million for Plane Travel

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The U.S. Secret Service is owed some money.

The agency overpaid presidential campaigns an estimated $4 million for plane travel during the 2016 election, a government watchdog says in a new report obtained by CNN.

A Government Accountability Office report found that Secret Service officials realized eight months before Election Day that they were using the wrong formula to calculate the costs, “but did not ensure the agency reverted to its longstanding policy.”
The Secret Service says it has asked the campaigns that were overpaid to provide the government refunds.

ATF Is Lenient on Punishment When Guns Are Sold Illegally, the N.Y. Times Reports

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

One of ATF’s jobs is to police  gun sales. But something seems to be off, at least according to a story by Ali Watkins of the New York Times, who reports:

As they inspect the nation’s gun stores, federal investigators regularly find violations of the law, ranging from minor record-keeping errors to illegal sales of firearms. In the most serious cases, like a sale of a gun to a prohibited buyer, inspectors often recommend that gun dealers lose their licenses.

But that rarely happens. Senior officials at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives regularly overrule their own inspectors, allowing gun dealers who fail inspections to keep their licenses even after they were previously warned to follow the rules, according to interviews with more than half a dozen current and former law enforcement officials and a review of more than 100 inspection reports.

One store was cited for failing to conduct background checks before selling a gun. Another store owner told investigators he actively tried to circumvent gun laws. One threatened an A.T.F. officer, and another sold a gun to a customer who identified as a felon. All were previously cited by the A.T.F. In each instance, supervisors downgraded recommendations that the stores’ licenses be revoked and instead let them stay open.

ATF declined requests to comment on the story.