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Detroit Public Corruption Case: Ex-Aide Calls Cong. Conyer’s Wife “Crazy” And Possibly “Beyond Medication”

Sam Riddle/facebook

Sam Riddle/facebook

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

In Detroit–  an economically ailing city where routine services are stretched thin, and jobs, like a Detroit Lions victory, are tough to come by —  citizens are witnessing another sad chapter in federal court involving public corruption.

This times it’s the very talkative and controversial political consultant Sam Riddle,  whose trial began Monday. He is alleged to have had a corrupt partnership with his former boss, convicted ex-Detroit City Councilwoman Monica Conyers, the wife of Congressman John Conyers, chair of the House Judiciary.

But with the sad corruption charges has come some entertainment.

In court, prosecutors played wiretapped conversations in which Riddle describes Monica Conyers as “crazy” and possibly “beyond medication”, according to the Detroit News.

“We’re not dealing with a normal person situation here,” Riddle told a business person.

Conyers has pleaded guilty to five  bribery charges and awaits sentencing March 10. Riddle is charged with extortion-related crimes stemming from his time as a top aide to Monica Conyers.

Read Full Story

Other Shoe Drops: 2nd NBA Player Jarvaris Crittenton Pleads Guilty of Gun Charge

Javaris Crittention

Javaris Crittention

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — The other shoe dropped Monday in the gun drama involving suspended Washington Wizards’ star Gilbert Arenas.

The other figure in the scandal, Wizards player Jarvaris Crittenton, 21, who has been injured all year, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of possession of an unregistered Firearm and was sentenced to one year probation, D.C. U.S. Attorney Channing Phillips announced.

D.C. Senior Superior Judge Bruce Beaudin  also ordered Crittenton to perform community service through the NBA’S Haiti project, and perform community service with a children’s organization in Washington, D.C., the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

Authorities say Crittenton had brought a firearm to the Verizon Center in the Chinatown district of downtown in December 2009 following an argument with Arenas on a plane two days earlier.

According to a U.S. Attorney press release:

“The factual proffer presented at the plea hearing, on December 19, 2009, into the early morning hours of December 20, 2009, Crittenton and Arenas became involved in a verbal exchange following a card game.

“In a heated exchange, Arenas stated he was too old to fistfight and threatened to shoot Crittenton in the face. Crittenton responded that he would shoot Arenas in his surgically-repaired knee. On the shuttle bus from the airplane to the terminal, Arenas further stated that he was going to burn or blow up Crittenton’s car when they came to practice the following Monday. According to Crittenton, he believed that Arenas intended to harm him.”

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Fed Judges Want Congress and White House to Clarify Dententions of Suspected Terrorists

The ongoing debate over how much rights suspected terrorist get needs some clarification. There’s no simple answer, but we also can’t ignore our Constitution and what America stands for when it comes to a fair and just legal system.

Judge Lamberth

Judge Lamberth

By Chisun Lee
ProPublica

Three judges on the federal trial court hearing challenges brought by Guantanamo prisoners are calling on Congress and the Obama administration to enact a law to address one of the nation’s most perplexing moral and legal dilemmas: When can the United States indefinitely detain terrorism suspects?

In lengthy interviews, Chief Judge Royce Lamberth and two of his colleagues on the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., said that deciding whether to release these prisoners raises unprecedented questions about security and liberty that need to be addressed by lawmakers. Their willingness to discuss their concerns in detail — something federal judges rarely do in cases pending before them — underscores the seriousness with which they view the lack of guidance from lawmakers.

“Judges aren’t in the business of making law — we interpret law,” said Judge Reggie Walton, a George W. Bush appointee. “It should be Congress that decides a policy such as this that has a monumental impact on our society and makes a monumental impression on the world community.”

Lamberth, a Reagan appointee, said the judges are struggling “to adapt legal principles to a whole new sphere of human existence that we’ve never witnessed in history as far as I know.” The problem, he and the other judges say, is that the battle against terrorist groups doesn’t fit the classic definition of war, with clearly defined enemies who would be released when the conflict was settled. Because U.S. law doesn’t currently have any other option for captives held in a conflict without end, terrorism detainees could be locked up for life, the judges say.

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Message Supposedly From Osama bin Laden Takes Credit for Failed Detroit Plane Bombing

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=btxf7bdjBN0

Editorial: North Dakota Paper Criticizes Obama For Not Nominating U.S. Atty in N.D. and Other States

white house photo

white house photo

The Grand Forks Herald
Editorial Page
GRAND FORKS, N.D. — Sure, the economy and health care reform hurt Martha Coakley in Massachusetts. But in her Senate campaign’s crucial last week, the Democratic candidate made a bad situation worse. Coakley angered Catholics, Red Sox fans and independent voters with her slips of the tongue; and after you’ve turned off those three groups in Massachusetts, you don’t have many people left.

The Obama administration’s “unforced errors” aren’t as bad as Coakley’s. But here’s one such error that the administration could and should correct:

The administration should nominate a U.S. attorney for North Dakota. For that matter, it should speed up a process that now is lagging badly and nominate more U.S. attorneys in other states.

“President Barack Obama enters his second year in office having filled only a third of the 93 top federal prosecutor spots in the nation,” the Houston Chronicle reported last week.

“The Obama administration is well behind where presidents Bush and Bill Clinton were at this point.”

To read more click here.

Underwear Bomber Claimed There was a Second Bomb on Plane

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — The badly burned underwear bomber told authorities as he was led away on Christmas Day that there was a second bomb aboard the Northwest plane that have arrived from Amsterdam, when in fact there was not, the Associated Press reported.

Suspect Abdulmutallab/u.s. marhsals photo

Suspect Abdulmutallab/u.s. marhsals photo

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab made incriminating statements to Customs officials on the way to the University of Michigan Hospital in Ann Arbor, and then to the FBI during about 50 minutes of questioning at the hospital, AP reported.  The FBI did not give him his Miranda Rights during that time, the AP reported.

It was during that time he admitted having been trained and instructed by al Qaeda in Yemen, the AP reported. The news agency said law enforcement investigators do not have to read the Miranda Rights to a suspect if they are trying to end a pending public threat to the public.

The FBI interview ended when the suspect was given medication.

“He would not be questioned again for more than five hours,” AP reported. ” By that point, officials said, FBI bosses in Washington had decided a new interrogation team was needed. They made that move in case the lack of a Miranda warning or the suspect’s medical condition at the time of the earlier conversations posed legal problems later on for prosecutors.”

The handling of the suspect has become a flash point of debate. Some Congressional members have argued that he should have been treated as an enemy combatant. They say he stopped talking once he was given a public federal defender.

To read more click here.

Meanwhile, NPR reports that British and U.S. intelligence authorities have linked Abdulmutallab to two men accused of being part of  terrorist plots in the United Kingdom.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Ex-Fed Prosecutor Zane Memeger Expected to Get Philly U.S. Atty. Post; Charles Oberly Expected to Get Delaware

Zane Memeger/law firm photo
Zane Memeger/law firm photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON –After months of speculation and uncertainty, it appears former federal prosecutor Zane D. Memeger, a partner in a big city law firm, is expected to be nominated as U.S. Attorney in Philly, the Philadelphia Inquirer is reporting.

The Inquirer reports that Memeger was a assistant U.S. Attorney in Philadelphia for 11 years before joining the  law firm of Morgan Lewis in 2006 in its Philadelphia office.

The paper also reported that Charles M Oberly III, a former state attorney general, is likely to get the nod from President Obama for the U.S. Attorney job in Delaware.

To read more click here.

FBI Arrests Suburban Detroit Man Who Posed as Agent Collecting Money for Haiti

fbi logo largeBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

There are those  who are trying to figure out how to help the folks in Haiti. And then there are those who are trying to figure out how scam the charity-minded people.

On Friday, the FBI arrested a suburban Detroit man who impersonated an FBI agent collecting money for Haiti, WDIV news in Detroit reported.

Authorities told WDIV that Kevin Balfour, 34, of Warren, Mi., flashed a gold badge with the letters “FBI” on it and “told people he might be deployed to Haiti and that he was collecting money to help the children.”

The station reported that he also used his FBI credentials to get free food and drinks from a local bar.

OTHER WEEKEND STORIES