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Dems and Watchdog Groups Want Justice Dept. to Investigate Missing Emails from Bush Lawyers

lost

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Where are the missing emails from Bush lawyers blessing harsh interrogation tactics?

Inquiring minds want to know.

The Washington Post reports that senior Democrats and watchdog groups on Friday asked the Justice Department to investigate the disappearance of what could be key emails.

The paper reported that some are saying the missing emails cast doubt on an “ethics report that cleared the lawyers  of professional misconduct.”

For Full story click here.

Ex-Cong. Jefferson’s Sister and Niece Plead Guilty in Corruption Case

Betty Jefferson

Betty Jefferson

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The New Orleans political dynasty headed by disgraced ex-Congressman William Jefferson and his brother Mose Jefferson, the political operative, continues to crumble.

The New Orleans Times Picayune reports that less than a month before trial, the ex-Congresman’s sister Betty Jefferson,70, a 4th District Assessor, and her daughter Angela Coleman, 53, pleaded guilty Thursday in U.S. District Court to a conspiracy charge for pocketing money from political office and non-profits they controlled over 7 years.

The guilty plea still left in question the future of Jefferson’s brother Mose and his companion Renee Gill Pratt, a former city council member and state rep, who are still scheduled to go to trial March 22 in the case.

Mose Jefferson was recently sentenced to 10 years in prison for bribing a school board official. He has been out free awaiting his latest trial.

To read more click here.

Feds Plan to Call 3 Appeals Court Judges as Witnesses in Retrial of Right Wing Radio Personality

Hal Turner/msnbc photo

Hal Turner/msnbc photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The retrial next week in Brooklyn of right wing web radio talk show host Hal Turner should get interesting.

The National Journal reports that federal prosecutors plan this time to call as witnesses three Court of Appeals judges from the 7th Circuit in Chicago who were the targets of Turner’s venemous verbal attacks on the Internet. The first trial ended in a mistrial after the jury deadlocked.

The Journal reports the three judges expected to testify include Chief Judge Frank Easterbrook, Judge Richard Posner and Judge William Bauer, a former U.S. attorney in Chicago.

Authorities chargd Turner after he he posted Internet messages saying the judges “deserve to be killed” for upholding a Chicago handgun ban.

To read more click here.

Chicago U.S. Atty. Pat Fitzgerald to Personally Prosecute Mumbai Case

Patrick Fitzgerald/doj photo

Patrick Fitzgerald/doj photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Chicago U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, regarded as the gold standard for U.S. Attorneys, plans to personally prosecute two men accused of being part of the 2008 bombings in Mumbai, India that killed 170 people, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

The paper reported that Fitzgerald has personally prosecuted only one case in Chicago since arriving in 2001 from New York.

Fitzgerald had prosecuted terrorism cases in New York and was named a special prosecutor in Washington in the leak case of  CIA operative Valerie Plame, which resulted in the conviction in 2007 of  Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff Scooter Libby.

In Chicago, Fitzgerald will join assistant U.S. Attorneys Daniel Collins and Vicki Peters in prosecuting the Mumbai bombing defendants Tahawwur Rana and David Headley, the paper reported.

House Wants to See if There Was Any Foreign Connection to Anthrax Mailings

Rep. Holt/official photo

Rep. Holt/official photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The FBI may have just officially closed the case in the anthrax murders, but that hasn’t stopped Rep. Holt (D-N.J.) and Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R-Md) from pushing for more answers.

The two successfully got the House on Thursday to approve an amendment to the Intelligence Authorization Bill that would require the Inspector General to examine the possibility of  a foreign connection to the deadly letters that were mailed in 2001 that resulted in the death of five people and the sickening of 17 others.

Last Friday, the Justice Department, FBI and Postal Inspectors announced that they were officially closing the investigation after concluding that scientist Bruce Ivins was responsible for the mailing of the anthrax.  Ivins committed suicide  in July 2008, about a month after the Justice Department agreed to pay a multi-million out of court settlement to scientist Steven Hatfill, who had publicly been named a “person of interest.”  Hatfill had sued the Justice Department, claiming it harmed his reputation and went on a smear campaign against him by leaking information to the press.

The FBI has expressed confidence in its findings that Ivins was the guy, and issued a 92-page report on Friday laying out its case. The report was based on roughly 3,000 pages of documents in a 8-plus year probe that led investigators to six continents.

Read more »

Two More Men Indicted in Plot to Blow Up New York Subway

iStock_000009580566XSmallBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Two men who were already behind bars, were indicted Thursday in New York for being part of an al Qaeda plot to blow up the N.Y. subway, the Justice Department announced.

Adis Medunjanin and Zarein Ahmedzay, were accused of working with Najibullah Zazi to blow up the subway during rush hour, the Justice Department said.

“The facts alleged in this indictment shed further light on the scope of this attempted attack and underscore the importance of using every tool we have available to both disrupt plots against our nation and hold suspected terrorists accountable for their actions,” said Attorney General Eric  Holder in a statement. “This attack would have been deadly, and the many agents, prosecutors and intelligence professionals who worked together seamlessly to thwart it deserve our thanks.”

Ahmedzay, 25, a resident of Queens, N.Y., was originally indicted on Jan. 8, on charges of making material false statements to the FBI about his travels to Pakistan and Afghanistan and about his conversations with a fellow traveler, the Justice Department said.

Medunjanin, 25, also a resident of Queens, was also indicted in January on charges of conspiracy to commit murder in a foreign country and receiving military-type training from a al Qaeda, the Justice Department said.

FBI Arrests Madoff’s Ex-Dir of Operations Daniel Bonventre

jailBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

As conman Bernie Madoff serves his 150 years prison sentence, the FBI continues to chip away at the scandal that devastated many investors.

Blooomberg business news reports that the FBI on Thursday morning arrested Daniel Bonventre, the ex-director of operations for Bernard Madoff Investment Securities LLC, as part of the ongoing probe into the scam.

The 63-year-old is expected to make a court appearance later on Thursday, Bloomberg reported.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in New York issued a press release Thursday morning saying he was being charged with conspiracy, securities fraud, falsifying books and records of a  broker dealer, false filings with the SEC and filing false federal tax returns.

Pres. Nominates U.S. Marshals for West Virginia and North Dakota

u.s. marshalsBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

President Obama on Wednesday nominated  U.S. Marshals for the northern and southern districts of West Virginia and in North Dakota.

The nominees, according to the White House, include: John Foster for the Southern District of West Virginia; Paul Ward for North Dakota and Gary M. Gaskins for the Nothern District of West Virginia.

The bios of each nominee are as follows, as provided by the White House:

*John Foster is a Judicial Security Inspector with the United States Marshals Service (USMS) in the Southern District of West Virginia. Since 2007, he has overseen the protection of federal judges, U.S. attorneys, federal public defenders, and other court personnel. He joined the USMS in 1990 as a Deputy U.S. Marshal. From 1985 to 1990, Mr. Foster was a trooper with the West Virginia State Police in Summersville, WV. He is retired from the West Virginia Air National Guard, in which he served from 1980 to 2000. Mr. Foster was awarded a Regents Bachelor of Arts degree from Glenville State College in 1991. He has also earned an Associate’s Degree in Fire Science from the Community College of the Air Force in 1989, and an Associate’s Degree in Political Science from Marshall University in 1986.

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