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FBI

Accused FBI Agent No Stranger to Controversy

FBI agent Mark Rossini always knew how to get attention. Gossip columnists linked him romantically to actress Linda Fiorentino. Unfortunately, this time the attention is not very flattering. He resigned Friday and is expected to plead guilty next Monday to accessing FBI computers for personal use.

Mark Rossini (left)/youtube photo

Mark Rossini (left)/youtube photo

By Jeff Stein
SPY TALK
WASHINGTON –The FBI agent who stands accused of accessing bureau computers for a notorious Hollywood private eye is no stranger to controversy.
Mark Rossini, 46, was a favorite go-to guy for national security reporters when he worked in the FBI’s media relations office. He had come to the job after several years working with the CIA and other intelligence agents at the National Counterterrorism Center, in Virginia.
Tall, handsome and gregarious, Rossini enjoyed schmoozing with reporters over good cabernet and cigars at Les Halles, a French restaurant around the corner from the FBI headquarters on Pennsylvania Avenue.
Over the past year the recently divorced counterterrorism specialist had also been squiring his raven-haired actress girlfriend, Linda Fiorentino, to the Palm and other top restaurants in Washington and New York.
Rossini had also made a splash of sorts when it emerged on Oct. 1, in this column, that the FBI was blocking him from appearing in a public television documentary about pre-9/11 intelligence failures.

For Full Story

Read Criminal Complaint

House Legal Staff Defends Arizona Congressman Accused of Corruption

Once again the legal staff for the House of Representatives finds itself caught in a predicament: defending a member of Congress accused of wrongdoing. The legal staff says it’s intervening to protect the integrity of the institution, not Renzi. Nonetheless, it’s trying to sink the government’s case.  Not a great position to be in.

Rep. Rick Renzi/official photo

Rep. Rick Renzi/official photo

Arthur H. Rotstein
The Associated Press

The legal staff for the U.S. House of Representatives has challenged the constitutionality of the Justice Department’s prosecution of retiring U.S. Rep. Rick Renzi, effectively aligning with Renzi’s defense.
The House counsel, in a friend-of-the-court brief, said federal prosecutors and the FBI repeatedly violated the Constitution’s speech or debate clause, which grants members of Congress protections for their legislative acts.
The Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group of the House noted its filing is intended “to articulate and protect the House’s interests – and not to defend defendant Congressman Richard Renzi.”
For Full Story

Read House of Rep. Counsel Filing

FBI Agent Who Dated Actress is Charged With Illegally Accessing FBI Computer

Actress Linda Fiorentino dated FBI agent/flixster photo

Actress Linda Fiorentino dated FBI agent/flixster photo

UPDATED: Wedenesday 2 p.m.
By Allan Lengel
Ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON — FBI agent Mark Rossini, whose name surfaced in New York gossip columns for dating actress Linda Fiorentino, has been charged with illegally accessing an FBI computer for personal use.
Rossini, who resigned Friday,  was charged with  five misdemeanor counts in a criminal Information  filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Washington. In many instances, when a criminal Information is filed, the defendant ends up pleading guilty.
Rossini had been based in Washington but later transferred to New York, where press reports had him dining with Fiorentino at Elaine’s, a well known uptown restaurant.
Del Quentin Wilber of The Washington Post reported Wednesday that Linda Fiorentino has ties to Anthony Pellicano, the controversial Los Angeles private investigator, who was convicted in May of using illegal wiretaps and rogue cops to dig up info for famous clients.
The Post said that Pellicano’s attorneys in a court filing in March 2007 referenced an FBI report that raised questions about a certain FBI agent’s credibility. The lawyers said the prosecution should have turned over the report during discovery.
Rossini was the source of that document, the Post  reported, attributing that to “one law enforcement official.”
Channing Phillips, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, declined to comment Tuesday night on the case but said a hearing was scheduled for next Monday before U.S. Magistrate Judge John Focciola. Debbie Weierman, a spokeswoman for the FBI in Washington, declined comment.
The court papers charge that Rossini on five different occasions in 2007 in Washington “exceeded his authorized access to a protected computer belonging to the Federal Bureau of Investigation”.
Read Criminal Information
Read 2007 Gossip Report on Rossini and Fiorentino (Radar)
See YouTube Video of Rossini Speaking At Brooklyn Mosque

Fifteen Chicago Area Cops Nabbed in FBI Drug Sting

Surprisingly, so many cops fell for a sting that has been used before around the country. In Detroit, not all that far from Chicago, the FBI ran a similar sting in the early 1990s and nabbed a number of area cops and the common-law brother-in-law of then Detroit Mayor Coleman A. Young.

BY FRANK MAIN
Chicago Sun-Times
CHICAGO — Four Harvey police officers, 10 Cook County jail guards and a Chicago police officer have been charged with providing muscle for what they thought were major drug deals – but were really fake transactions that were part of an FBI sting.
In one of the largest crackdowns on law enforcement officers in recent years, the FBI is accusing the officers of accepting between $400 and $4,000 each on one or more occasions to serve as lookouts and intervene if police or rival drug dealers attempted to interfere with shipments of cocaine and heroin.
For Full Story

Read FBI Affidavit

Ex-Congressman Lederer Busted In Abscam Scandal Dies

Congressman Raymond F. Lederer lost his seat after he was busted in the famous Abscam scandal. It was not a good way to end his political career.

FBI Abscam tape

FBI Abscam tape

By JOHN F. MORRAISON
Philadelphia Daily News
PHILADELPHIA — Raymond F. Lederer, former Democratic Congressman from Philadelphia whose political career ended when he was among 19 people caught up in the Abscam scandal of 1980, died Monday of cancer. He was 70 and lived in Fishtown.
Lederer and Michael “Ozzie” Myers were the two congressmen arrested in the federal sting operation, which used a phony Arab sheikh to offer bribes to elected officials. Three City Council members also were arrested.He was sentenced to Allenwood Prison.
After his conviction, Lederer resigned from Congress in 1981 and went to work as a roofer. However, he retained his leadership of the 18th Ward.
For More Details

Army to Beef Up Security In Labs After FBI Findings in Anthrax

Anthrax Suspect Bruce Ivins

Anthrax Suspect Bruce Ivins

One thing we learned during the anthrax investigation that our nation’s labs had lax security. Now the Army is taking additional steps to tighten things up.

By David Dishneau
The Associated Press
HAGERSTOWN, Md. — The Army announced additional security training Tuesday for workers handling some of the world’s deadliest germs and toxins, part of its response to an FBI finding that an Army scientist was responsible for deadly 2001 anthrax attacks.
The Army also said Tuesday that a lab closed for security shortcomings in April won’t reopen.
The new training to reinforce existing policies was recommended as a first step by a task force reviewing lab security practices after the FBI concluded that Army scientist Bruce Ivins was behind the attacks, said Michael Brady, special assistant to Army Secretary Pete Geren.
The first weeklong refresher course began Monday at the Army’s flagship biodefense lab at Fort Detrick in Frederick, where Ivins allegedly obtained and refined the anthrax used in the deadly mailings that killed five people and sickened 17 others.
For Full Story

See FBI Anthrax Documents

Sen. Durbin Wants Bush to Commute Ex-Illinois Gov Ryan’s Sentence

Yes, it’s Christmas season and Sen. Dick Durbin wants Pres. Bush to give a big gift to ex-Illinois Gov. George Ryan. What better way to say “I love you”.

By Rick Pearson
Tribune reporter
CHICAGO — Despite an acknowledged firestorm of criticism, Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin said Monday that he was asking President George W. Bush to commute the federal corruption sentence of former Republican Gov. George Ryan to time served as an act of compassion and mercy.
“For those who would argue that a commutation makes light of his crimes, it is clear that he has already paid a significant price and will continue to do so as long as he lives,” Durbin wrote of Ryan in a letter to Bush. “Justice is a sword that should be tempered with compassion. Further imprisonment will not, in my opinion, serve the ends of justice.”
The request by Durbin, the second-highest ranking Democrat in Senate leadership, met with support from Ryan’s attorney, former Gov. Jim Thompson, but was assailed by the head of Ryan’s prosecution team and some of the jurors who convicted him.
For Full Story

OTHER STORIES Of INTEREST

FBI Report Says White Supremacists Infiltrating Military

The Southern Poverty Law Center is asking the Pentagon to crackdown on extremist recruits. A previous request went nowhere.

By David Holthouse
Intelligence Report
Southern Poverty Law Center

A new FBI report confirms that white supremacists are infiltrating the military for several reasons. According to the unclassified FBI Intelligence Assessment, “White Supremacist Recruitment of Military Personnel Since 9/11,” which was released to law enforcement agencies nationwide: “Sensitive and reliable source reporting indicates supremacist leaders are encouraging followers who lack documented histories of neo-Nazi activity and overt racist insignia such as tattoos to infiltrate the military as ‘ghost skins,’ in order to recruit and receive training for the benefit of the extremist movement.”
The FBI report details more than a dozen investigative findings and criminal cases involving Iraq and Afghanistan veterans as well as active-duty personnel engaging in extremist activity in recent years.

For Full Story