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Obama Taps Karl Remon Thompson to Head Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

President Obama selected Karl Remon Thompson to head the once-obscure but powerful Office of Legal Counsel in the Justice Department.

The New York Times reports that the person in charge of the position is responsible for critical legal policy disputes in the war against Al Qaeda.

The Office of Legal Counsel issues binding opinions on the legality of proposed actions.

“During his five years with the department, Karl has distinguished himself as a lawyer of unparalleled intellect and integrity,” Mr. Holder said in a statement. “His guidance has helped the department navigate some of the toughest legal challenges of this administration. I’m grateful that he has agreed to lead the Office of Legal Counsel and look forward to continuing to rely on his superb judgment as he assumes this new role.”

Autopsy Shows FBI Shot Chechen Man Ibragim Todashev 7 Times During Interrogation

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

An FBI agent interviewing Ibragim Todashev shot the Chechen man six times in the body and once in the head after a sudden altercation in his Florida apartment, ABC News reports, citing an autopsy report.

The 27-year-old, who was an associate of suspected Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was being questioned about an unsolved 2011 triple murder in Massachusetts.

After implicating himself, Todashev crashed a coffee table into the back of the head of an FBI agent and came at officers with a long object, according to the findings by Florida State Attorney General Jeffrey Ashton.

The agent responded by opening fire.

The report said there’s “no evidence of close range firing in any of the gunshot wounds.”

To read the autopsy click here.

Report: FBI Is Too Slow When Placing Suspects on Federal Terrorism Watch List

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI takes 44 days on average to place suspects on the federal terrorism watch list when they are referred by another agency, The Washington Times reports.

It takes even longer – 78 days – to remove cleared suspects from the list, according to an audit of the bureau.

The audit also found that the FBI takes 17 business days to add its own suspects to the list – if they are ever added.

To blame are “redundant and inefficient processes” at FBI headquarters, Justice Department Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz said in the audit.

“The report shows that the FBI has given its field offices too much latitude in terms of timeliness to add people to the watch list,” said Marshall Erwin, a research fellow and counterterrorism specialist at the Hoover Institution who has helped lead investigations for the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, the Times wrote.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Here We Go Again: Washington Post Reports that 3 U.S. Secret Service Agents Sent Home From Amsterdam For Drinking


By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Well, this won’t help the U.S. Secret Service if it’s trying to shake it rep as a party-and-get-crazy agency.

Carol D. Leonnig and David Nakamura of the Washington Post report that three Secret Service agents on the presidential detail this week in Amsterdam were sent home and put on administrative leave Sunday after going out for a night of drinking.

The paper, citing “three people familiar with the incident,” said one of the agents was found drunk and passed out in a hotel hallway.

The Post wrote that hotel staff alerted the U.S. Embassy in the Netherlands after finding the unconscious agent Sunday morning, a day before President Obama arrived in the country.

To read the full story click here.

 

Update: Judge Finds FBI Agent in Idaho Who Killed Herself Lied Under Oath About Texting on the Stand

By John Sowell
Idaho Statesman
 
FBI agent Rebekah Morse appears to have lied under oath when she told Chief District Judge B. Lynn Winmill last week that she turned off her phone and wasn’t texting while on the witness stand, the judge concluded Tuesday.

But the texts had nothing to do with the case against Diversified Business Services and Investments. Winmill has now turned to deciding just what to tell jurors about the death of Morse, who carried out the criminal investigation into the company.

“At this point we know she was texting,” Winmill said Tuesday morning. “It was innocuous banter back and forth with her husband. It was not in any way connected with the case.”

To read more click here. 

 

FBI Agent Kills Herself After Being Confronted in Court About Texting on Witness Stand

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

An FBI agent who had testified in a criminal fraud trial in federal court in Idaho killed herself after testifying on March 19, the Idaho Statesmen reports.

FBI agent Rebekah Morse killed herself.

The paper reported that she may have lied under oath when she told Chief U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill last week that she turned off her phone and wasn’t texting while on the witness stand.

The paper reported:

Morse, who carried out the criminal investigation into the company, testified at the trial March 18 and 19. She killed herself sometime the evening of Wednesday, March 19, or Thursday morning.

Transcripts of text messages obtained from Morse’s phone after her death appear to indicate she had sent a message or messages during the time she was on the stand, defense attorney Jeffrey Robinson said.

“She made a deliberate decision to say she wasn’t texting when she was texting from the witness stand,” Robinson said.

A juror notified a court clerk during a break on Wednesday that he or she had seen Morse texting two or three times, according to the court records.

Morse’s phone was taken from her under an order from Winmill and placed in a secured court evidence vault. It remained in the vault after Morse died.

To read more click here. 

FBI Describes Eureka Moment While Watching Videos of Boston Marathon Bombing

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

FBI agents watched the video “hundreds and hundreds” times.

For those investigating the Boston Marathon bombing, the video was a eureka moment, the Boston Globe reports, citing a “60 Minutes” video.

Stephanie Douglas, executive assistant director of the FBI’s national security branch, said the video, which has not been released, shows a man in a white cap droping off a backpack and then failing to turn his head like everyone else when the bomb exploded.

He does not do what everybody else in that video does. He does not turn to his left,” Douglas said. “He instead just stands there for a second or two and walks very deliberately back the same direction that he came in.”

Authorities believe the man in the video was Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, one of the bombing suspects.

Ex-FBI Director Mueller III Joins Law Firm as Partner After Many Years of Public Service

Robert Mueller

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Former FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III is joining the private sector.

The New York Times reports that Mueller, who served as director for 12 years before stepping down in September, is becoming a partner of the law firm WilmerHale.

“Bob brings to the firm his broad range of experience as a career prosecutor, an ability to lead the most sensitive investigations, his steady hand in a crisis and unquestioned integrity,” Robert Novick, co-managing partner of WilmerHale, said in a statement.

Mueller brings quite the background, which includes a Princeton degree, a Bronze Star for his service in Vietnam and years as the U.S. attorney in both San Francisco and Boston.