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Congressional Committee Opens Probe into Justice Department Spending

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The Justice Department has come under fire for questionable purchases using taxpayer dollars, WSB-TV 2 reports.

The U.S. House Judiciary Committee found the department spent $600,000 on event planners to organize five Justice Department conferences, the news station found.

Another $10,000 in federal police grants was spent on a pizza party.

The committee has ordered an audit.

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NYT Editorial: ICE Agents Ran Amok in Suburban New York Raids

New York Times
Editorial

In a series of raids in suburban New York in 2006 and 2007, agents of Immigration and Customs Enforcement burst into private homes in the dead of night, without warrants, looking for undocumented immigrants, often in the wrong houses. They pounded on doors, terrorized innocent residents, ineptly drew guns on police officers who were supposed to be their partners, and found hardly any of the gang members they were hunting. It was a stunning display of aggression and incompetence.

It took six years, but the lawsuit filed after the raids finally ended last week, with a settlement approved by a federal district judge in New York. Under the agreement, ICE agents will now have to honor some elementary norms of the Fourth Amendment, which bars unreasonable searches. Its agents will be forbidden to invade private homes without “a reasonable, articulable suspicion of danger.” When they have no warrant and need consent to enter a private home, they will have to ask permission in a language the resident understands, “whenever feasible.” They must also get permission to enter yards and other private areas adjoining homes. The federal government will pay $1 million in damages and fees, including $36,000 to each of 22 plaintiffs.

To read more click here.

Senate Minority Leaders Calls for FBI Investigation After Secret Audiotape Emerged About Ashley Judd


Ashley Judd

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Saying his political opponents secretly recorded an internal campaign meeting, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell wants the FBI to investigate, the New York Times reports.

The Republican from Kentucky discovered the recording when Mother Jones magazine released a 12-minute audiotape from a Feb. 2 campaign staff meeting.

“We’ve always said the left will stop at nothing to attack Sen. McConnell, but Nixonian tactics to bug campaign headquarters is above and beyond,” campaign manager Jesse Benton said in a statement.

The recording revealed that McConnell and his campaign team poked fun at actress Ashley Judd, who is considering running against McConnell.

FBI Takes Over Hunt for Family That Has Been Missing for Three Years

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, which has been unable to solve the mystery of family missing from Fallbrook for three years, is handing the case over to the FBI, the LA Times reports

Sheriff’s officials say they have exhausted “hundreds of tips” about what happened to Joseph and Summer McStay and their young boys Gianni and Joseph Jr.

Authorities believe the family crossed the border into Mexico, where their car was found.

“Due to the fact that the family is believed to be out of the country, and because minor children are involved, the primary investigative responsibility for the case is being transferred to the FBI,” Lt. Glenn Giannantonio, of the Sheriff’s Department homicide detail, said in a statement to the LA Times.

Border Patrol Agent Pleads Guilty To Helping Smuggle Undocumented Immigrant into U.S.

 Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A former Border Patrol agent pleaded guilty Tuesday to helping smuggle an undocumented Mexican immigrant into the U.S. in exchange for a bribe, the El Paso Times reports.

In a Las Cruces federal court, Gabriel Burke, 42, admitted he was persuaded to violate his official duty between December 2011 and February 2012.

Prosecutors allege Burke, who has been free on bond, accepted $1,100 to help the immigrant pass into the U.S., the El Paso Times reported.

When sentenced, Burke faces up to 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

 

Bin Laden Aide Denied Request to Question FBI, Witnesses at Resentencing

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Osama bin Laden’s former secretary won’t be able to question FBI agents and witnesses during his resentencing, Bloomberg reports.

U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan on Tuesday denied the request of Wadih el-Hage, who is serving a life sentence for participating in a plot to kill Americans.

“My past experience with my lawyers is that they delay my requests to the last minute, then use that as an excuse not to do it, therefore I am writing this letter,” he told the judge.

The judge said el-Hage can’t handle case alone as long as he has an attorney.

“Given the aggressive representation of this defendant by his able counsel, this court declines to permit hybrid representation,” Kaplan wrote.

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Michigan Militia Members Sue FBI, Michigan Over Seizure of Guns, Ammo

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Members of a Michigan militia, who were acquitted last year of trying to overthrow the federal government and murder police officers, are suing the FBI and Michigan State Police, saying feds violated their constitutional rights by raiding their homes and seizing their guns, the Detroit Free Press reports.

The March 27 lawsuit was filed by the Hutaree, a militia that believed the Antichrist, possibly President Obama, is leading the country. The goal is to create a “Colonial Christian Republic.”

The raids in March 2010 led to numerous charges but each defendant was acquitted.

During the raid, agents seized more than 40 guns and 100,000 of ammunition.