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FBI

Robert Mueller Chalks Up 2 New Records as Director

Atty. Gen. Holder (left) and FBI Director Mueller /fbi file photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Robert S. Mueller III takes on two new records as the FBI director.

For one, he’s the first director to serve a full 10-year term since J. Edgar Hoover died in 1972. And Wednesday, he became the first to get a two-year extension.

Atty. Gen. Eric Holder Jr. swore Mueller in Wednesday to take on the two-year extension beyond his 10-year term. President Obama last week signed legislation allowing the extension.

The President then forwarded the nomination to the Senate, which confirmed Mueller for two more years.

In 1976, Congress enacted a law limiting the FBI Director to a 10-year term to prevent directors from accumulating too much power, as Hoover was perceived to have had.

Mueller’s term was to end in September.

For Ex-Congressman Jefferson, Justice Delayed Means Freedom

exRep. Jefferson at sentencing in 2009 /Sketch by Art Lien/NBC News

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

There’s an old saying: “Justice Delayed is Justice Denied.”

But for ex-Louisiana Congressman William Jefferson, justice delayed means more FREEDOM.

Bruce Alpert, a star reporter for the New Orleans Times-Picayune, reports : ” Almost two years after a federal jury found former U.S. Rep. William Jefferson guilty of 11 counts of public corruption, oral arguments in his appeal have again been delayed.”

Jefferson, now 64,  was sentenced in November 2009 to 13 years in prison, but has been allowed to remain free pending his appeal, which has been delayed and delayed.

The New Orleans paper reported that the  4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals initially scheduled a hearing on the matter in May, but delayed that until September after Jefferson’s lawyer said he need more time to recover from treatment for lymphoma.

Now, the court says it has scheduling conflicts and will hold the hearing in late October, the paper reported.

Jefferson gained national notoriety when the FBI raided his home on Capitol Hill in the summer of 2005 and recovered $90,000 in his freezer. The money had been given to him by a business woman who was working with the FBI as part of a sting.

He lost his bid for re-election in 2008.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

FBI Seeks Public’s Help With Suspicious Package that Damaged a Detroit Women’s Clinic

fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

DETROIT — The FBI is turning to public for help in nabbing the person who left a suspicious package last month outside of a women’s healthcare  clinic  in Northwest Detroit, which caused damage to the clinic.

The FBI said sometime after 1:30 p.m. on Saturday July 16, and before 8:30 a.m. on Monday, July 18, a package was left at Summit Women’s Center located at 15801 West McNicols Road. The outside of the building was burned and a window was broken. Authorities did not describe the object.

The damage to the building may constitute a violation of the FACE Act, a civil rights violation, the FBI said.

The FBI Detroit Field Office is offering a $1,000 reward for any information leading to the identification and arrest of those involved.

Did Niece Provide Key Evidence to FBI on D.B. Cooper?

Pres. Obama Nominates David Barlow for Utah U.S. Attorney

David Barlow/abc4 photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

David B. Barlow, who has served as General Counsel and Chief Counsel for Judiciary for Senator Michael S. Lee since January, has been nominated by the White House to become the U.S. Attorney for Utah.

The announcement on Tuesday comes a days after the FBI announced that David J. Johnson would take over as the head of the Utah FBI.

From 2000 to 2010, Mr. Barlow worked at Sidley Austin LLP, first as an Associate from 2000 to 2006, and then as a Partner from 2006 to 2010, the White House said in a press release.

He graduated graduated from Brigham Young University in 1995 and Yale Law School in 1998.

Justice Wants to Withhold Info in Muslim Calif. Lawsuit

file photo/doj

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department feels it has good reason to hide info in a Southern California lawsuit filed by Muslims who claim the FBI monitored them because of their religion.

The Associated Press reports that Attorney General Eric Holder, in a court filing on Monday, invoked state secrets rules to try and  prevent information from being released in the case.

The filing argues that disclosure of the target of the 2006 surveillance at a mosque could hurt national security.

The story was first reported by Josh Gerstein of Politico.

In February, the ACLU of Southern California and the Los Angeles office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations sued the FBI, AP reported.

Russians Wanted Ex-FBI Agent Robert Hanssen in a Spy Swap, Book Said

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Just how much did the Russians value American turncoats Aldrich Ames and ex-FBI agent Robert Hanssen?

Well, according to a new book by Ronald Kessler, “The Secrets of the FBI”, the Russians tried swapping Hansen and Ames with the U.S. in a spy swap shortly after the FBI arrested 10 Russian spies in June 2010.

The book said CIA Director Leon Panetta called his counterpart, Mikhail Fradkov, the head of the Russian intel service (SVR), to propose a spy swap.

The two worked out a deal in the course of a week. However, the U.S. firmly rejected the idea of swapping Hanssen and Aldrich, the book reported.

FBI agent Hanssen, now 67, spied for Soviet and Russian intelligence services from 1979 to 2001. He is currently serving a life sentence at the Federal Bureau of Prisons Administrative Maximum facility in Florence, Colo.

Ames, 70, a former Central Intelligence Agency counter-intelligence officer and analyst, was convicted of spying for the Soviet Union and Russia in 1994. He is currently serving a life sentence in a federal prison in Allenwood, Pa.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Column: Cutting Pension No Way to Reward FBI Agents for Their Dedication and Service

Konrad Motyka is president of the FBI Agents Association

Konrad Motyka/ticklethewire.com photo

By Konrad Motyka
Huffington Post

As the debate over how to cut federal spending rages in Washington, one idea that will no doubt be raised again as Congress looks for further cuts is a change to the formula by which federal employees contribute to their defined pension plans. It’s important for Congress to understand that this proposal would have national security implications as changes to federal employee pensions will impact FBI Agents and other federal law enforcement officers.

For some, attacking “faceless bureaucrats” in the debate over spending cuts offers an easy sound-bite and generates little opposition. However, when federal employee pensions are targeted, this impacts FBI Agents and other federal law enforcement officers who put their lives on the line each and every day.

Under some proposals, Agents would face more than a fourfold increase in required pension contributions. This translates into a potential 5% cut in pay.

For the majority of FBI Agents, the proposed increase in pension contributions would compound the two-year pay freeze already imposed by President Obama in 2010. All federal law enforcement officers already contribute more of their salaries to their pensions than do other federal employees.

To read more click here.