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70+ National Security Officials Pledge to Vote for Biden, Saying Trump Is ‘Unfit to Serve’

Flie photo

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

More than 70 former Republican national security officials, including an ex-FBI director and former members of President Trump’s administration, plan to vote for Joe Biden.

In a letter, signed by a group called “Former Republican National Security Officials for Biden,” the 73 officials said President Trump is corrupt and unfit to serve.

“We are profoundly concerned about the course of our nation under the leadership of Donald Trump,” the letter reads. “Through his actions and his rhetoric, Trump has demonstrated that he lacks the character and competence to lead this nation and has engaged in corrupt behavior that renders him unfit to serve as President.”

Those who signed the letter include former FBI Director William Webster; John Negroponte, the first director of National Intelligence; Michael Leiter, former director of the National Counterterrorism Center; and Michael Heyden, former CIA director.

The letter provides 10 reasons the officials don’t believe Trump is fit to be president. They say Trump is “unfit to lead during a national crisis,” “solicited foreign influence,” “aligned himself with dictators and failed to stand up for American values,” “disparaged our armed forces, intelligence agencies, and diplomats,” “undermined the rule of law,” “dishonored the office of the presidency,” “divided our nation,” “attacked and vilified immigrants” and “imperiled America’s security by mismanaging his national security team.”

“We have concluded that Donald Trump has failed our country and that Vice President Joe Biden should be elected the next President of the United States,” the letter reads.

EX-FBI Lawyer Pleads Guilty to Doctoring Email Used for Surveillance of Trump Adviser Carter Page

Former FBI attorney Kevin Clinesmith.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A former FBI lawyer pleaded guilty Wednesday to altering an email used to seek the continued surveillance of former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.

Kevin Clinesmith, 38, admitted he doctored the email, which was submitted to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA).

The guilty plea stems from the investigation into how the Obama administration investigated Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

The email suggested that Page was not a source for the CIA, even though he had a relationship with the agency.

Clinesmith admitted he was guilty but said he believed at the time that his statement about Page was true.

“At the time, I believed that the information I was providing in the email was accurate,” Clinesmith told Judge James E. Boasberg of the Federal District Court for the District of Columbia, The New York Times reports. “But I am agreeing that the information I inserted into the email was not originally there, and I inserted that information.”

Sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 10. He faces up to six months in jail based on sentencing guidelines.

‘Operation Legend’ Leads to Nearly 1,500 Arrests in 8 U.S. Cities, Barr Announces

Attorney General William Barr, via Justice Department.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Nearly 1,500 people have been arrested across eight cities as part of “Operation Legend,” an anti-crime initiative recently launched by the Justice Department, Attorney General William Barr announced Wednesday.

Since the operation began on July 8, about 217 of those arrests involved federal crimes, most of them drug- and gun-related. ATF agents also seized nearly 400 firearms, Barr said.

“In just a few short weeks, federal investigators working side-by-side with state and local law enforcement have begun to make significant progress towards reducing violence related to illegal firearms, drug trafficking and other crime in our neighborhoods,” U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman said in a news release. “In Cleveland, Operation Legend’s law enforcement operations have already resulted in 32 defendants charged federally with various drug trafficking and firearms violations. These early results show the potential that Operation Legend has to make our cities and communities a safer place for everyone to live.”

The operation involves more than 1,000 agents from the ATF, DEA, and FBI, along with the U.S. Marshals Service, in eight cities: Chicago, Albuquerque, Cleveland, Detroit, Milwaukee, St. Louis, Memphis and Indianapolis. The operation is named in honor of LeGend Taliferro, a 4-year-old boy who was fatally shot while he was sleeping in the morning of June 29 in Kansas City.

Click here for a breakdown of arrests by city.

Authorities Seize Nearly $700,000 in Cash Stowed Away by Border Patrol Agent Accused of Drug Trafficking, Prosecutors Say

Photo via Border Patrol

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Authorities found more than $680,000 in the home, vehicle, and safe deposit box of a Border Patrol agent who has been charged with drug trafficking, federal court documents show.

Carlos Victor Passapera Pinott, 53, assigned to the Tucson Sector Ajo Border Patrol Station, has been charged with multiple counts of conspiracy and possession with intent to distribute controlled substances.

Federal agents found $370,000 in at his house and vehicle and another $311,000 in a safe deposit box, Tucson.com reports.

Prosecutors say Passapera was caught loading two duffel bags full of drugs into a vehicle at an airport in Phoenix. The bags contained 21 kilograms of cocaine, one kilogram of heroin and one kilogram of fentanyl, plus some 350,000 pills believed to fentanyl, according to prosecutors.

If convicted, Passapera faces up to life in jail and a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison.

Comey Celebrates Anniversary of 19th Amendment Sporting an ‘Elect More Women’ T-Shirt. Clinton Wasn’t Amused

Former FBI Director James Comey

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

On the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment on Tuesday, former FBI Director James Comey sported a T-shirt that read “Elect More Women.”

“#19th Amendment is an important anniversary but the vote is not enough,” Comey tweeted. “We need more women in office. VP and Virginia governor are good next steps.”

The tweet received a variety of responses. Hillary Clinton responded with a GIF of herself smirking.

Some political observers believe Clinton would have won the 2016 presidential election if Comey hadn’t decided to notify Congress that the FBI had reopened the case of her use of a private computer just 11 days before the election.

Comey has defended his decision, but said he felt “mildly nauseous” that he may have affected the outcome of the election.

Kamala Harris Picks ‘Pioneer’ as Secret Service Code Name

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Sen. Kamala Harris, the presumptive Democratic vice presidential nominee, has chosen her Secret Service code name, CNN reports.

Secret Service agents will refer to Harris as “Pioneer,” an apparent nod to being the first woman of color on a major party ticket.

The Secret Service began protecting Harris last week, soon after Joe Biden selected her as the candidate for vice president.

“Over time, the (Secret Service) protectees have almost taken on the persona of the call sign that they had selected,” Jonathan Wackrow, a former Secret Service special agent, tells CNN.

“With (former President Barack) Obama, ‘Renegade’ is a great example: how he went against the establishment in some of the things that he had done, and like Barbara Bush, whose call sign was ‘Tranquility,’ embodied the tranquility and peacefulness in a time of war,” Wackrow says.

Biden’s code name is “Celtic,” and his wife’s is “Capri.”

The Secret Service’s code name for President Trump is “Mogul,” and his wife’s is “Muse.”

Watch 13-Minute Axios Interview Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf’s interview with Axios.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf discussed Portland protests, systemic racism, domestic terrorism and other issues in this 13-minute interview with Axios.

Wolf pushed back against “this idea that we have systemic racism.”

“That means that we have designed a system that every law enforcement officer that goes through a law enforcement academy, a training facility, is somehow installed with racist views,” Wolf says.

He adds, “Again, I’m not saying that there’s not racist tendencies in some law enforcement officers. I think I wanna be clear about that. But again, what people mean by systemic racism is that we have designed an institution, a law enforcement institution, to be racist from the get-go. And I just — I don’t subscribe to that. I don’t believe in that.”

Other members of Trump’s administration who have denied systemic racism are White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow, National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien, and Attorney General Bill Barr.

The Government Accountability Office said last week that Wolf and Ken Cuccinelli, a senior official performing deputy secretary duties, were not appointed through a valid process and therefore aren’t legally qualified to hold their positions. The Trump administration rejected the findings, saying the were “erroneous.”

Watch the full interview here:

Two Top Homeland Security Officials Were Illegally Appointed, Not Qualified to Hold Posts

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The top two acting Homeland Security leaders were not appointed through a valid process and therefore aren’t legally qualified to hold their positions, the Government Accountability Office has determined.

The appointments of Chad Wolf, acting Department of Homeland Security secretary, and Ken Cuccinelli, a senior official performing deputy secretary duties, violated the laws detailing who can fill Senate-confirmed posts, the GAO said. They have been serving in their positions since November.

“Because the incorrect official assumed the title of acting secretary at that time, subsequent amendments to the order of succession made by that official were invalid,” the GAO said Friday, as reported by The New York Times.

Without the ability to enforce its findings, the GAO was referring the case to Homeland Security’s inspector General and Congress.

The White House said it’s not acting on the findings.

“D.H.S. is expressly authorized by Congress in the Homeland Security Act to designate its acting secretaries,” Judd Deere, a White House spokesman, said. “G.A.O. is not. And G.A.O.’s opinion substituting its views for that of the agency’s is not only wrong, but laughable.”

Some Democrats called for the officials to resign and said their policy decisions could be invalidated.

“President Trump’s efforts to install political sycophants to implement his extreme policies in an end run around the law and Senate have finally caught up with him,” Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. said in a statement. “The determination by an independent congressional watchdog today invalidates actions Mr. Cuccinelli and Mr. Wolf have taken and both should immediately step down from their illegal roles.”