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Eric B. Smith, Native of Ohio, to Head Up Cleveland FBI

Eric B. Smith

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Eric B. Smith, a native of Ohio, has been named head of the Cleveland FBI.

Smith, 49, a native of the London, Ohio, joined the FBI in 1999 and was first assigned to the Wichita Resident Agency, Kansas City Field Office, where he worked violent crime, counterterrorism and counterintelligence.

In 2005, he transferred to the Counterterrorism Division at FBI Headquarters. Three years later, he became a supervisor for the Cleveland Field Office’s counterterrorism squad and Joint Terrorism Task Force, according to an FBI press release.  Two years later, he became the FBI’s senior representative to a counterterrorism task force headquartered in Fort Bragg, N.C.

Smith returned to the Cleveland Field Office in 2013, where he was named assistant special agent in charge over counterterrorism and cyber matters and the resident agencies.

In 2015, he took on the role of  chief of staff to the FBI deputy director. He later became special assistant to the Director in 2016.

 

Trump Disses FBI Data As He Tries to Sell People on The Wall

President Trump in El Paso.

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

President Donald Trump has a history of dismissing intelligence and data from his intelligence and law enforcement agencies.

The latest example came Monday night during a rally in El Paso, Texas.

Trump, in his speech, asked supporters to disregard FBI data showing that a border fence didn’t make El Paso safer, and instead believe his assertion that a fence along the southern border was responsible for a dramatic decrease in violent crime in the city, Vox news writes. 

“I spoke to people who have been here a long time,” Trump said, contrasting anecdotes with actual crime date. “They said when the wall went up — it’s a whole different ballgame. Is that a correct statement? Whole different ballgame.”

Federal Jury in New York Convicts Mexican Drug Lord ‘El Chapo’ on All Counts

‘El Chapo’ Guzman

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

As expected Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzmán was found guilty on Tuesday of crimes spanning more than a quarter of a century, NBC News reports.

A federal jury in New York convicted El Chapo, 61, on all 10 count after a trial that lasted almost three months.

After a nearly three-monthlong trial and six days of deliberations, a New York jury found the alleged Sinaloa cartel leader guilty of all counts he was tried on.

 

Ex-FBI Official Andrew McCabe’s New Book Takes Shots A Trump and Others

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Suffice to say, the book does not portray President Trump in a flattering light.

“The FBI has always been the nemesis of criminals. Today the FBI is under attack by the president of the United States,’ writes McCabe, a lifelong Republican who is married to a Democrat.

He also takes shots at others, according to a review in the Guardian newspaper:

Pulling no punches, he takes to task Loretta Lynch, Obama’s second attorney general, for her refusal to recuse from the Clinton email investigation while attempting to maintain a show of being above it all. As McCabe sees it, Lynch and Sally Yates, then deputy attorney general, wrongly viewed “the investigation of Hillary Clinton … likely nominee of the Democratic party, who was being supported by the president of the United States, to whom they owed their jobs … as a case they could handle without prejudice”.

According to McCabe, Lynch and Yates “made a feckless compromise”. Specifically, “they designated career professionals in the National Security Division as decision-makers in this case but didn’t unambiguously commit to abide by those people’s decisions”. It was, he writes, “the worst possible choice afforded by the situation”.

It didn’t end there. There is Lynch’s meeting with Bill Clinton at the Phoenix airport and again McCabe does not mince words: “The tarmac meeting was a horrible lapse in judgment by Loretta Lynch. She should have recused herself … she did not – she made things worse.”

With the advantage of hindsight, McCabe is critical of the decision taken by Comey, his boss at the time, to publicly announce the FBI’s recommendation that no charges should be pursued against Hillary Clinton. In “retrospect”, as McCabe frames it, “perhaps I would have said to Comey, ‘Don’t do it. Let’s be the normal Bob Mueller, say-nothing FBI of old.’”

 

Ex-FBI Director William Webster Helped Feds Bust Jamaican Con Artist

William Webster (Wikimedia Commons)

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Former FBI and CIA Director William Webster helped the FBI nab a  Jamaican man who tried to scam him out of $50,000, Tom Jackman of the Washington Post reports.

The scam took place in 2014.

Webster got a call from a Jamaican man,  who was later identified as Keniel A. Thomas.

Thomas told Webster he had won $72 million and a new Mercedes Benz in the Mega Millions lottery, but he needed to send $50,000 in taxes and fees to get his money. He also told Webster he’d done his homework and knew exactly who he was, according to the Post story.

“You’re a great man,” the Jamaican man cajoled. “You was a judge, you was an attorney, you was a basketball player, you were in the U.S. Navy, homeland security. I know everything about you. I even seen your photograph, and I seen your precious wife.”

Webster contacted the man the next day with the FBI listening. During one of the many conversations, he threatened the life of Webster’s wife, the Post reports.

Thomas was arrested in late 2017 after landing in New York from Jamaica. On Friday, he got a total of six years in prison.

Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker Says He Hasn’t Interfered With Mueller Probe

Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker.

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker says that he hasn’t talked to President Donald Trump about the Mueller probe and not interfered with the investigation in anyway.

That’s what he told the House Judiciary Committee on Friday, Vox news reports. 

During intense questioning by House Judiciary Chair Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Whitaker conceded that he had been briefed, but refused to say how many times and when.

Still, it’s unclear if anyone else in Whitaker’s orbit briefed anyone in the White House about the probe.

Maryland Lawmakers Haven’t Given Up on Luring FBI Headquarters to Their State

Current FBI headquarters

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

For years the hunt was on to find a new location for FBI headquarters, and the likely choices were in Virginia and Maryland.

But in 2017, after a five-year search, the FBI abruptly ended the search. It appeared the current spot would be revamped.

In August 2018, a report from the Inspector General’s office suggested that President Donald Trump was directly involved in ending the FBI’s relocation plans. Some media reports suggested Trump didn’t want a hotel to replace the FBI headquarters and compete with his nearby hotel.

On Friday, in a meeting with the Prince George’s County Delegation to the Maryland House, Sen. Chris Van Hollen said he is working on legislation to ask the General Services Administration to do a prospectus of the three possible new locations for the FBI building, two of which are in Maryland’s Prince George’s County. The other is in Fairfax County, Va, reports WAMU radio. 

“We haven’t given up on the FBI,” Van Hollen said. “Especially with the concerns raised about the current building’s security requirements.”

 

Virginia’s Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax Wants FBI to Investigate Sexual Assault Allegations as He Faces Pressure to Resign

Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Amid cries for his resignation, Democratic Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax is turning to the FBI, The Hill reports. 

Fairfax is asking the FBI to investigate sexual assault allegations against him that have been made by two women.

On Saturday, he released a statement that “all appropriate and impartial investigatory authorities, including the FBI, to investigate fully and thoroughly the allegations against me.”

“The one thing I want to make abundantly clear is that in both situations I knew at the time, and I know today, that the interactions were consensual,” he said.

“I am asking that no one rush to judgment and I am asking for there to be space in this moment for due process,” Fairfax added.

Fairfax has been accused of sexual assault by two women.

Last week, Vanessa Tyson accused Fairfax of sexually assaulting her at the Democratic National Convention in Boston in 2004, saying he “forced [her] to perform oral sex on him.”

“What began as consensual kissing quickly turned into a sexual assault,” Tyson, a college professor from California, said in a statement.

A second woman, Meredith Watson, came forward on Friday, saying through her lawyer that Fairfax raped her in 2000 when they were both students at Duke University.