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Ex-Secret Service Special Agent Takes Major role on Bravo’s New ‘Spy Games’

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A former Secret Service special agent will appear as one of three judges on Spy Games, a new reality show on Bravo, Forbes reports.

Evy Poumpouras, who served in the protective detail for President Obama, will judge the mental and physical fitness of the contestants.

“Knowing that you don’t know everything is so important,” Poumpouras says, explaining what it takes to be a good spy. “When people think they know everything, that’s the moment when you become obsolete. If you have a big ego, you won’t make it through the training. The ability to hear what someone else is saying can help connect you to people.”

In Spy Games, the contestants share a house and spy on each other as part of regular challenges.

Poumpouras wrote a new book, “Becoming Bulletproof,” which will be published in April.

President Trump’s Third Homeland Security And Counter-Terrorism Adviser Leaves Job

Rear Admiral Peter Brown, via Coast Guard.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

President Trump’s third homeland security and counter-terrorism adviser, Rear Admiral Peter Brown, appears to be on his way out after about six months on the job, Bloomberg reports.

Brown took over for Doug Fears, who left the job in July and returned to the Coast Guard, where Brown had previously served.

Brown was considered one of the president’s most loyal supporters, defending the president when he was mocked for claiming Hurricane Dorian might hit Alabama, contradicting the National Weather Service.

With Brown gone, it’s unclear whether anyone will fill the homeland security adviser position, which Bloomberg says “seems to have narrowed, with counterterrorism, cybersecurity and biodefense playing a less prominent role.”

According to Bloomberg, Brown departed the White House’s West Wing a couple weeks ago and is expected to begin overseeing Puerto Rico recovery following hurricane and earthquake damage.

Trump’s original homeland security adviser was Thomas Bossert, who served in the role from January 2017 to April 2018.

Weekend Series on Crime History: The Real Story Behind the French Connection

DOJ Appears to Be Investigating James Comey for Years-Old Leak

Former FBI Director James Comey, via FBI.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Former FBI Director James Comey appears to be the target of a Justice Department investigation into a years-old leak of classified Russian intelligence.

Federal prosecutors are trying to determine whether Comey unlawfully providing classified information to reporters, The New York Times reports.

This is the second DOJ investigation examining leaks potentially involving Comey, whom President often calls a “leaker.” Trump recently suggested, without evidence, that Comey should be jailed for “unlawful conduct.”

The second investigation is odd because it’s unusual for prosecutors to launch a probe into leaked classified information years after the fact.

The investigation appears to involve classified information about Russia that was written about by the New York Times and Washington Post in 2017.

Former FBI Director Freeh to Investigate Allegations of Financial Wrongdoing at Health Care Company

Former FBI Director Louis Freeh, via FBI.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A heath care company has hired former FBI Director Louis Freeh to investigate financial wrongdoing in hopes of restoring investor confidence after its shares plummeted in December.

The value of the NMC Health Plc’s shares fell sharply after short seller Muddy Waters Capital laid out allegations of financial wrongdoing in a Dec. 17 report against the hospital operator.

The allegations, which the company originally called “unfounded, baseless and misleading,” suggested the company overpaid for its assets, understated debt, inflated cash balances and failed to properly disclose potential conflicts of interest, Bloomberg reports.

NMC created an independent committee to investigate the allegations last month.

“The committee chose Freeh Group to provide a completely independent, unbiased, comprehensive and transparent report that will address all of these allegations,” Jonathan Bomford, chairman of the committee, told Bloomberg.

Freeh, who also was a federal judge, led the FBI from 1993 to 2001. His company, Freeh Group International Solutions LLC, is a risk-management firm that includes accountants, former law enforcement officials, and compliance and security experts.

Border Patrol Celebrates Life of K-9 Killed During Shootout

5-year-old Belgian Malinois, Bulder.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Bulder wasn’t just any dog.

The Belgian Malinois was one of the best Border Patrol K-9s the agency ever had.

Bulder was killed last month during a shootout that occurred as agents tried to execute a search warrant at a home in El Paso.

“Patrol K-9 Bulder was one of the best canines we’ve ever had in our program. The proficiency that we saw from that dog is unrivaled from any other dog I’ve seen in my time and experience in the unit,” Kevin Vicini, BORTAC Team Leader in its K-9 section, said during a ceremony for the dog on Wednesday, KTSM9-TV reports.

The 62-year-old suspect who killed the dog out in a shootout was fatally shot with return fire.

2019 Was Record Year for Guns Confiscated at Airports by TSA

Guns seized at US airports, via TSA

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The TSA seized more firearms at airports in 2019 than any year in its 18-year-history.

TSA officers discovered 4,432 guns in carry-on and checked bags at checkpoints nationwide, a 5% increase over 2018, the TSA announced in a news release.

“The continued increase in the number of firearms that travelers bring to airport checkpoints is deeply troubling,” David Pekoske, the TSA’s administrator, said.

“There is a proper way to travel safely with a firearm. First and foremost, it should be unloaded. Then it should be packed in a hard-sided locked case, taken to the airline check-in counter to be declared, and checked.”

Hartfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) ranked first among the nation’s airports with 323 firearms confiscated. DFW International Airport came in second with 217 guns confiscated. Denver International Airport (DEN), George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH), and Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX) rounded off the top five.

All travelers, apart from law enforcement, are barred from bringing guns in airplanes, though firearms may be stored in checked luggage if all local, state and federal gun laws are followed.

Michael Flynn Wants to Withdraw His 2017 Guilty Plea in Mueller Probe

Former National Security Adviser Michael T. Flynn

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

President Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn wants to withdraw his guilty plea to lying to the FBI during the special counsel investigation into Russian interference, his lawyers said in a court filing obtained by Reuters.

Flynn’s change of heart comes after federal prosecutors reversed course and called for up to six months in prison for Flynn, the only member of the Trump administration to plead guilty in the Robert Mueller probe.

The prosecutors called for the stiffer sentence after Flynn began arguing that prosecutors violated his rights.

Flynn pleaded guilty in 2017 to lying to the FBI about interactions with Russia’s ambassador to the U.S.