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Brian Dugan Becomes Special Agent in Charge of Norfolk Field Office

Brian Dugan, special agent in charge of the Norfolk Field Office in Virginia.

By Steve Neavling

Brian Dugan, a 22-year veteran of the FBI, has been named special agent in charge of the Norfolk Field Office in Virginia. 

Dugan most recently was the section chief of the HUMINT Operations Section in the Directorate of Intelligence at FBI headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Dugan became a special agent with the FBI in 1998, getting assigned to the San Diego Field Office, where he primarily investigated domestic terrorism. 

In 1999, he joined the San Francisco Field Office to investigate gangs.

In 2006, Dugan became an instructor at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Va., where he developed new law enforcement and human intelligence courses for the bureau. 

In 2009, he left the FBI Academy and began working on a violent gang squad in the Northern Virginia Resident Agency of the Washington Field Office.

In 2013, Dugan was promoted to supervisory special agent and joined the Chicago Field Office, where he led a squad investigating child pornography and human trafficking. He also established a new gang squad addressing gun and gang violence on the city’s north side. 

In 2017, Dugan was promoted to assistant special agent in charge of a counterintelligence branch at the Washington Field Office, where he investigated and helped prosecute several espionage subjects and ran counterproliferation operations.

In 2019, Dugan became section chief in the Directorate of Intelligence.

Before joining the FBI, Dugan served in the U.S. Marine Corps. and was commissioned as a second lieutenant, rising to captain and serving in Japan, Korea, and Russia. 

He earned a bachelor’s degree of science in criminal justice from Pennsylvania State University and a master’s in business administration from Touro University of California.

FBI Agent Wounded in Shootout in Louisiana ‘Expected to Make Full Recovery’

By Steve Neavling

An FBI agent is recovering after being wounded in a shootout with a murder and kidnapping suspect at a Louisiana motel last week.

The bureau on Friday declined to say whether the agent was still hospitalized, but said the unidentified agent “is in stable condition, in good spirits and is expected to make a full recovery,” NOLA.com reports

The agent, who worked out of the New Orleans Field Office, was among a coalition of local, state and federal law enforcement who tried to execute a search warrant on James David Hawley, 47, at a Pineville motel. After a several-hour standoff, the agent was struck by a bullet during a shootout with the suspect, the FBI said. 

Hawley is accused of kidnapping his ex-girlfriend, Thoue Nichole Bronowski, 45, after killing her mother Norma Matko, 69, of Belmont County. Authorities said he fled to Louisiana with Bronowski. 

The last agent from the New Orleans Field Office to be shot in the line of duty was wounded trying to arrest a kidnapping suspect at a Louisiana motel in May 2015. The agent survived. 

Barr Reportedly Considering Stepping Down Before Trump’s Term Ends

Attorney General William Barr, via Justice Department.

By Steve Neavling

Attorney General William Barr is considering resigning before the end of President Trump’s term, The New York Times reports, citing three sources familiar with the matter. 

Barr and Trump were generally on good terms until the attorney general said last week there was no evidence of widespread election fraud, contradicting the president’s baseless claims.

On Wednesday, Trump declined to say whether he still has confidence in Barr and repeated his disputed allegations of election crimes.

Barr, 70, was sworn in as attorney general on Feb. 19, three months after Sessions resigned under pressure. 

The sources told The Times it’s still possible Barr will remain in his position. 

If Barr steps down, he would be replaced by Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey A. Rosen. 

Weekend Series on Crime: Central America’s Most Violent Gang

DOJ Calls for Prison Sentence for Ex-FBI Attorney Clinesmith Who Altered Email in FISA Request

Former FBI attorney Kevin Clinesmith.

By Steve Neavling

The Justice Department is seeking a prison sentence for the former FBI lawyer who pleaded guilty in August to altering an email used to seek the continued surveillance of former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.

Kevin Clinesmith admitted he doctored the email, which was submitted to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA). 

Attorneys with special counsel John Durham are calling on a sentence of between two to six months, saying in a court filing that the case “filed public disgust of the FBI and entire” FISA program, The Washington Post reports.

“An attorney — particularly an attorney in the FBI’s Office of General Counsel — is the last person that FBI agents or this Court should expect to create a false document,” prosecutors Anthony Scarpelli and Neeraj N. Patel wrote. “This Court’s sentence should be designed, in part, to send a powerful message to the community that this type of conduct — falsifying information to hide facts from a court — will not be tolerated.”

Sentencing is set for Dec. 10. Clinestmith faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison, but the sentencing guidelines call for zero to six months behind bars. 

Clinestmith’s attorneys are requesting probation and community service. 

“By altering a colleague’s email, he cut a corner in a job that required far better of him. He failed to live up to the FBI’s and his own high standards of conduct,” lead Clinesmith defense attorney Justin V. Shur wrote in a sentencing request.

Clinestmith’s guilty plea stems from the investigation into how the Obama administration investigated Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. The email suggested that Page was not a source for the CIA, even though he had a relationship with the agency.

Clinesmith admitted he was guilty but said he believed at the time that his statement about Page was true.

Trump Slams Barr for Refusing to Make Baseless Claims about Election Fraud

President Trump and AG William Barr, via DOJ.

By Steve Neavling

The chummy relationship between President Trump and Attorney General William Barr has soured since the nation’s top law enforcement official contradicted the president’s baseless claims about widespread election fraud. 

At a White House event on Thursday, Trump complained about Barr, saying “He hasn’t done anything” about voter fraud, NBC News reports.

Trump declined to say whether he still has confidence in his attorney general. 

“Ask me that in a number of weeks from now,” Trump said. “They should be looking at all of this fraud. This is not civil. He thought it was civil. This is not civil. This is criminal stuff. This is very bad, criminal stuff.” 

Trump has not ruled out firing Barr, sources told NBC News

Barr told the Associated Press on Tuesday that the DOJ has found no evidence of widespread voter fraud.

A few hours later, Trump met with Barr, and the lengthy meeting was “contentious,” CNN reports.

Trump and his lawyers have not shown any evidence of widespread voter fraud or irregularities, but that hasn’t stopped them from claiming the election was stolen from the president. 

FBI Agent Wounded During Shootout with Murder Suspect at Louisiana Motel

James David Hawley, 47.

By Steve Neavling

An FBI agent was wounded in a shootout with a murder and kidnapping suspect at a Louisiana motel on Wednesday. 

The suspect, James David Hawley, 47, of Cleveland, was shot dead after a coalition of local, state and federal law enforcement tried to executive a search warrant at the Pinveille motel, which lead to a several-hour standoff, NOLA.com reports.

The kidnapping victim was rescued.

The FBI agent, who was not identified, worked out of the New Orleans Field Office. The agent was hospitalized and still receiving treatment as of Wednesday afternoon. 

Hawley is accused of kidnapping his ex-girlfriend, Thoue Nichole Bronowski, 45, after killing her mother Norma Matko, 69, of Belmont County. 

Authorities said he fled to Louisiana with Bronowski. 

FBI agents from the bureau’s inspection division are investigating the shootout. 

Biden Plans to Keep FBI Director Wray If Trump Doesn’t Fire Him First

FBI Director Christopher Wray, via FBI.

By Steve Neavling

President-elect Joe Biden plans to keep Christopher Wray at the helm of the FBI as long as President Trump doesn’t fire him first, The New York Times reports.

Wray was sworn in as FBI director on Sept. 28, 2017, more than four months after Trump nominated him to the position. With a 92-5 vote, the Senate confirmed the appointment on Aug. 1, 2017. 

FBI directors are appointed to 10-year terms, but Trump has hinted he may fire Wray, who has contradicted the president’s baseless claims of election fraud.

Wray replaced FBI Director James Comey, whom Trump terminated in May 2017 after refusing to pledge loyalty to the president. 

In October, the FBI agents Association called on the next president to ensure Wray is able to finish his 10-year term for the “stability, credibility and integrity” of the bureau.