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Investigators Search for Motive in Mass Shooting at Texas Church

Church shooter Devin Kelley

Church shooter Devin Kelley

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Investigators are trying to determine what motivated a 26-year-old former Air Force member to dress in black commando gear and a tactical vest and open fire at the First Baptist Church in a small Texas town, killing 26 people Sunday.

Among those killed were eight family members.

The gunman fled in his car after a local man began shooting at him, causing the suspect to run off the roadway, where authorities believe he took his own life or was shot in an exchange of gunfire with the armed resident, the Washington Post reports

“There was some gunfire exchanged, I believe, on the roadway also, and then [the gunman’s vehicle] wrecked out,” Wilson County Sheriff Joe Tackitt told CBS News. “At this time we believe that he had a self-inflicted gunshot wound, after he wrecked out.”

Few details were immediately known about the shooter, identified as Devin Kelley, who was released from the Air Force with a bad-conduct discharge in 2014. At one point, Kelley had seven as a logistical readiness airman stationed at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico, according to Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek.

Mueller Has Enough Evidence to Charge Former Trump Official Michael Flynn

Former National Security Adviser Michael T. Flynn

Former National Security Adviser Michael T. Flynn

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Just one week after Special Counsel Robert Mueller announced charges against three former Donald Trump aides in connection with an investigation into alleged collusion with Russia, the investigative team has enough evidence for criminal charges against the president’s former national security adviser, Michael Flynn.

Former FBI Director James Comey has claimed he was fired after being pressured by Trump to drop the investigation against Flynn, who is now under fire for his lobbying work for foreign governments, the Independent reports.

In February, Flynn resigned from the administration after lying to Vice President Mike Pence about his communications with Russian government officials.

Last week, Mueller announced money laundering charges against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his deputy Rick Gates. The former FBI director, who was appointed by the Justice Department, also announced he secured a guilty plea from George Papadopoulos, a former foreign policy adviser for Trump, for lying to the FBI about trying to arrange a meeting between Russian officials and the Trump campaign.

If charged, Flynn would become the first member of Trump’s administration to face prosecution in the growing, wide-ranging investigation into whether the president’s campaign team colluded with Russia to damage the reputation of Hillary Clinton.

Sen. Rand Paul Recovering from Brutal Attack Outside His Kentucky Home

Sen. Rand Paul

Sen. Rand Paul

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul was mowing his grass outside his Kentucky home when he came under a brutal attack by a neighbor Friday.

The attack left the Republican with five broken ribs, lung contusions and injuries to his face. 

His neighbor, Rene Boucher, 59, was charged with one count of fourth-degree assault causing minor injury and has since been released on bond, Reuters reports

“Senator Paul has five rib fractures including three displaced fractures. This type of injury is caused by high velocity severe force,” Doug Stafford, a senior adviser to Paul, said in a statement, according to multiple media reports.

“It is not clear exactly how soon he will return to work, as the pain is considerable as is the difficulty in getting around, including flying,” the reports quoted Stafford as saying. He added that the senator’s type of injury could lead to life-threatening injuries.

Authorities said it wasn’t immediately clear what prompted Paul’s neighbor to enter the senator’s property in a gated community near Bowling Green and tackle him from behind.

Senate Investigators Receive Documents Related to Clinton Probe

Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Senators investigating former FBI Director James Comey’s handling of the Hillary Clinton e-mail case received hundreds of memos related to the bureau’s probe of the former secretary of state and presidential candidate.

Sources told The Hill that the FBI began turning over memos to help Congress’ review of the case.

Included in the memos are details about the FBI’s decision not to pursue criminal charges against Clinton for using her private email as secretary of state to transmit classified information.

The Senate committee’s investigation centers around Comey’s decision to absolve Clinton of criminal wrongdoing before the investigation was completed.

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Conservative Republicans Call for Mueller’s Resignation over ‘Conflicts of Interest’

Special counsel Robert Mueller

Special counsel Robert Mueller

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Three House Republicans introduced legislation calling on Special Counsel Robert Mueller to resign over what they called “obvious conflicts of interest.”

The measure by Reps. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) and Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) comes on the same week Mueller announced money laundering charges against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his deputy Rick Gates. The former FBI director, who was appointed by the Justice Department, also announced he secured a guilty plea from George Papadopoulos, a former foreign policy adviser for Trump, for lying to the FBI about trying to arrange a meeting between Russian officials and the Trump campaign.

Gaetz, who wrote the legislation, insists Mueller has a conflict of interest because he was the FBI director in 2010 when several U.S. government agencies approved the sale of Uranium One, a Canadian energy company, to a Russian nuclear-energy firm. 

Republicans launched two congressional investigations into the sale last month.

“These deeply troubling events took place when Mr. Mueller was the Director of the FBI. As such, his impartiality is hopelessly compromised,” Gaetz said in a statement, according to Business Insider. “He must step down immediately.” 

It wasn’t immediately clear whether other Republicans will support the resolution calling for Mueller’s firing.

Former Trump Aides Under House Arrest After Money Laundering Charges

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Two aides who were influential parts of Donald Trump’s campaign team are now under house arrest as their attorneys go on the defensive.

Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manaf0rt, and another aide, Rick Gates, have been under house arrest since Special Counsel Robert Mueller unsealed a 12-count indictment stemming from their work for a pro-Russian faction in Ukraine, Reuters reports

They have been ordered to wear an electronic monitoring device as they await a tial on money-laundering and other charges.

The aides’ attorneys said they case was embellished and overblown by the special counsel team and unsuccessfully requested that their clients not be forced to wear monitoring device.

U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson said she’s “concerned, very concerned” that an unsecured appearance bond was “not sufficient” without some sort of monitoring.

“If they leave and don’t come back, we need to know where they went,” the judge said.

Trump Blasts Comey As a ‘Failure,’ Suggests FBI Is Incompetent

Former FBI Director James Comey

Former FBI Director James Comey

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

As the special counsel investigation picks up more steam, President Trump continues to go on the offensive, this time suggesting fired FBI Director James Comey’s “leadership was a disaster.”

Trump was responding to Fox News host Tucker Carlson’s show on Thursday, when Carlson blasted the FBI’s record on preventing domestic terrorism and was shootings.

“The @TuckerCarlson opening statement about our once cherished and great FBI was so sad to watch,” Trump tweeted. “James Comey’s leadership was a disaster!”

Carlson called the FBI ‘incompetent” and suggested the bureau missed opportunities to prevent recent mass murders.

“The more likely and in fact the far more terrifying explanation is incompetence,” Carlson said, referring to the Las Vegas shooting that killed 59 people. “The people running this case don’t really know what they’re doing.”

The FBI is investigating whether Trump obstructed justice when he fired Comey in May.