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News Story

Politics As Usual: Rep. John Lewis Tried to Block Georgia U.S. Atty. Nominee

There’s no way getting around the fact that the selection of a U.S. Attorney remains highly politicized. It seems there must be a way to minimize that. Unfortunately, no one has found one — or seems to want to find one.

Rep. John Lewis/ gov photo
Rep. John Lewis/ gov photo

By EVAN PEREZ and DOUGLAS A. BLACKMON
The Wall Street Journal
WASHINGTON — Georgia Rep. John Lewis, one of Washington’s most prominent Democrats, called the White House earlier this year to try to block the appointment of a federal prosecutor who won convictions against more than a dozen public officials in Atlanta — including former Mayor Bill Campbell, a longtime friend and ally of Mr. Lewis.

After queries from The Wall Street Journal, Mr. Lewis’ contacted White House Counsel Greg Craig late last month to withdraw his objections to the nomination of the prosecutor, Sally Q. Yates, for U.S. Attorney in Atlanta. Two government officials with knowledge of the matter described the calls.

Within days, the White House forwarded the name of Ms. Yates, currently the senior assistant U.S. Attorney in Atlanta, to the Justice Department for a final round of background checks before she is officially nominated as the top prosecutor for the Northern District of Georgia. Ms. Yates — if nominated by President Barack Obama as expected — would require approval by the Senate.

Mr. Lewis declined to comment. A top aide to the congressman said Mr. Lewis’s initial lack of support for Ms. Yates had nothing to do with her role in prosecuting Mr. Campbell or other public figures. The aides said the recommendations made by Georgia’s congressional delegation were based on candidate qualifications.

For Full Story

U.S. Capitol Police Officer Arrested After Pointing Gun in Maryland Hotel Dispute

Whatever really happened, it’s not good for the U.S. Capitol Police image. Some charges were dropped but the officer still faces some others.

us-capitol-police-badge

By Ruben Castaneda
Washington Post Staff Writer

U.S. Capitol Police Officer Victor E. Bryant and his girlfriend, Angela Montgomery, checked into a room at the Hampton Inn in National Harbor one afternoon last month. The Charles County couple planned on attending a concert, drinking some beer and spending the night.

Members of the Day family from Michigan checked into the Hampton Inn a few hours later. They were in Maryland for a family reunion and were looking forward to taking in some of Washington’s sights.

A hotel worker mistakenly assigned them the room already given to Bryant and Montgomery. The two sets of hotel guests don’t agree on what happened when they encountered each other later that night. But it clearly didn’t go well.

By the end of the evening, Bryant was in handcuffs, charged with three counts of assault for allegedly pointing his service weapon at two members of the Day family and a hotel worker and threatening to shoot one of the Days.

For Full Story

NY Daily News Reports in Terrorist Case that NY Imam Was FBI Informant Who Became Double Agent

new-york-map

This is getting messy. Did the FBI lose a great informant or did it finally get rid of one who hurt the agency far more than he  helped it? And the more that comes to light in the case, more serious it seems.

BY Elizabeth Hays and Helen Kennedy
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITERS
NEW YORK — The Queens imam arrested in the Denver terrorism probe is an FBI informant who the feds say became a double agent – tipping suspects that they were in the government’s cross hairs.

Ahmad Afzali, 37, insisted he’s been loyally helping the feds root out extremists since 9/11.

His lawyer Ron Kuby calls him a fall guy.

“I think the FBI is angry that they blew this case, and they want to blame poor Imam Afzali for blowing the investigation,” Kuby said.

For Full Story

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Feds Probing Possible Presidential Election Violation Involving a Pa. Local Union Official

This certainly can’t be the only potential presidential  election violation that has gone unnoticed up until now. But will the feds uncover more?

By Timothy J. Burger
Bloomberg
John McCain/gov photo

John McCain/gov photo

Federal investigators are probing whether a local union president at a Pennsylvania U.S. Energy Department laboratory improperly helped President Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign on government time by using government facilities, union lawyers said.

The U.S. Office of Special Counsel is probing whether Ronald Demicheli improperly taped a video criticizing 2008 Republican presidential nominee John McCain in an office at the National Energy Technology Laboratory near Pittsburgh, said Ward Morrow, a lawyer for the American Federation of Government Employees.

Demicheli is president of the union’s Local 1916, which represents employees at the Energy Department lab and nearby research facilities of the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health.

For Full Story

FBI Offers $5,000 Reward for Return of Weapons Stolen From Agent’s Car in Indianapolis

handgun-photoBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is going all out to retrieve  weapons and equipment stolen from an agent’s car in the northwest sector of Indianapolis earlier in the week.

Michael S. Welch, special agent in charge of the Indianapolis office, announced that the bureau was offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the identification and arrest of those responsible for the theft of three stolen weapons: H&K MP5/10A3 10 mm gun, a Rock River Arms LAR15 rifle and a Springfield 1911A1 .45 caliber handgun.

Additionally, thieves made off with a large green duffel-style gear bag that contained an FBI SWAT uniform and two sets of body armor, the FBI said.

According to the FBI, the theft took place between the evening hours of Sept. 16 and the early morning of Sept. 17 when burglars went on a spree, breaking into 10 other vehicles or homes.

The Associated Press originally reported that the guns were stolen from the agent’s home.

Read FBI Press Release

Weekend Series on History: The Rise and Fall of NY Mobster Salvatore “Sammy the Bull” Gravano

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5AKYdk1pxIA

NY Daily News Reports that Denver Man at Center of NY Terrorism Probe Wants to Cut Deal with FBI

UPDATE: Sunday 12:45 a.m.  FBI Arrests Father and Son in Terror Probe (NY Times)

The FBI is expected to run down counterterrorism leads and check them out thoroughly. And that’s what the agency seems to be doing in this case. But it’s still not clear how big of a deal this was.denver-map

BY James Gordon Meek In Washington, Judith Crosson In Denver and Rocco Parascandola and Larry Mcshane In New York
N.Y. DAILY NEWS WRITERS

The Afghan national at the center of a reputed Al Qaeda terror cell probe was trying to cut a deal Friday after two days of FBI grilling, sources told the Daily News.

Lawyers for Najibullah Zazi, 25, were negotiating with federal officials for an agreement where he could admit receiving military training – but deny plans to injure any Americans, sources familiar with the case said.

Zazi arrived at the FBI’s Denver office Friday for a third day of questioning. He did a pair of eight-hour Q&A sessions with federal agents on the two previous days.

For Full Story

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

NBA Star Arrested for Carrying 3 Guns (Fanhouse)

Justice Dept. Review of CIA Detainee Abuse to Focus on Small Number of Cases

This will continue to be a political hot potato. But it seems that the Justice Dept. should look into cases in which CIA employees went beyond the guidelines of interrogation.

torture 2

By Carrie Johnson, Jerry Markon and Julie Tate
Washington Post Staff Writers
WASHINGTON — The Justice Department’s review of detainee abuse by the CIA will focus on a very small number of cases, including at least one in which an Afghan prisoner died at a secret facility, according to two sources briefed on the matter.

On Friday, seven former CIA directors urged President Obama to end the inquiry, arguing that it would inhibit intelligence operations in the future and demoralize agency employees who believed they had been cleared by previous investigators.

For Full Story