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FBI Investigating Leaks to Media about Foiled al Qaeda Plot

Shoshanna Utchenik
ticklethewire.com

Authorities are investigating leaks about a thwarted al Qaeda plot to blow up a U.S.-bound plane, reports the New York Times. FBI Director Robert Mueller told a Congressional Committee Wednesday that the the leaks are compromising national security efforts and would be pursued accordingly.

White House efforts to prosecute individuals who leak security information have found bipartisan support.

Said Senator Charles Grassley (R. Iowa), the ranking member of the committee, “Our international partners have been wary of cooperating with us in the wake of the WikiLeaks affair, in which our ability to keep their confidence was severely damaged.” For the record, the AP reportedly held the information about the foiled plot for two weeks before publishing in response to pleas from the White House and CIA.

Since his administration started cracking down on the sources of media leaks that potentially threaten national security: the NY Times reports there have been 6 prosecutions under Obama in contrast with only 3 ever before.

To read more click here.

Ousted Secret Service Agent Embroiled in More Trouble

NY Daily News Editorial: FBI Director Robert Mueller Must Stop Shutting Out NYPD

Director Mueller testifying on the Hill/fbi file photo

By The New York Daily News
Editorial Page

The pettiness was appalling as FBI Director Robert Mueller explained why the feds had left Police Commissioner Ray Kelly out of the loop on the underwear bomb plot.

“As I told Ray, he’s always welcome to call,” Mueller said. Question, Mr. G-man: Must Kelly say, “Pretty please,” too?

Mueller’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday was disturbing. Heretofore, he had shown no tolerance for the guerrilla warfare his terror fighters have waged against the NYPD. But his remarks under questioning by Sen. Chuck Schumer suggested infection by the same strain of professional jealousy.

Too many in the FBI chafed as Kelly built a domestic and international intelligence division that has been crucial to protecting New York. The force has foiled numerous homegrown plots.

To read more click here.

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Edward’s Lawyers Rest; Closings Set for Thursday

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Presidential hopeful John Edwards tried to keep hope alive by passing on testifying at his trial in Greensboro,N.C., CNN reported.

His defense team rested Wednesday, and closing arguments were set for Thursday. The defense also passed on calling his eldest daughter Cate to the stand.

To read more click here.

 

Justice Dept to Issa: Contempt “Unwarranted”

Atty. Gen. Holder on the Hill on Thursday/ttw file photo via C-Span

By TIM MAK
Politico

A top Justice Department official has fired back at Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, telling the Republican congressman that it would be “unwarranted and inappropriate” to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt over the Fast and Furious investigation.

“We believe that a contempt proceeding would be unwarranted given the information the Department has disclosed to the Committee to date; unprecedented given the law enforcement sensitivities at issue; and ill-advised given the damage it would cause to relations between the Executive and Legislative Branches,” Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole wrote in a 13-page letter to Issa. “We believe that the core questions posed by the Committee about Operation Fast and Furious have been answered.”

Cole expressed concern that Issa may begin contempt proceedings. (Some Republicans have suggested drawing the line at Memorial Day if the department does not fully comply with the subpoena.)

Read more

Tucson Stalker Sentenced to 8 Years-Plus in Federal Prison

Shoshanna Utchenik
ticklethewire.com

Sometimes there’s a fine line between an innocent crush and something darker.

And sometimes it’s pretty black and white.

In a case of the latter, Moses Antonio Shepard, 47, of Tucson, had been showering unwanted attention on a woman he met in an NYC health club for nearly 20 years, according to an FBI press release. He was sentenced Monday to 8 years and 4 months in federal prison for making his dreams into her nightmares.

Convicted on two counts of interstate stalking for unwanted emails, letters, phone calls, and visits, Shephard will also have three years supervised release at the end of the sentence.

The FBI emphasizes “Stalking is a serious, potentially life-threatening crime.” said Acting U.S. Attorney Ann Birmingham Scheel in a statement.  “A stalker not only permanently changes the life of his victim, but he also affects the victim’s family, friends, and co-workers.”

 

JPMorgan Chase Faces FBI Investigation on Top of SEC Inquiry

Shoshanna Utchenik
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is starting a preliminary investigation into JPMorgan Chase’s $2 billion- that’s “billion” with a “B”- trading loss, reports the New York Times.

The losses loomed large at Tuesday’s annual shareholder meeting in Tampa. The FBI inquiry comes right on the tail of another one from the Securities and Exchange Commission. Both agencies will look into JPMorgan’s  disclosures and accounting practices. The S.E.C. may also examine whether bank’s risk controls broke down. The feds will face a higher bar than the S.E.C. for bringing a case against the bank.

No individuals have been has been accused of wrongdoing. Reps for the federal investigation stressed that it is “routine for the Justice Department to open a case after a big bank disclosed a huge blunder”.

That’s “blunder” with a big “B”.

To read more click here.