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Trump’s Tweetstorm May Be Considered Obstruction And Witness-Tampering

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

President Trump’s habit of firing off incendiary tweets without consulting with White House attorneys may have landed him in hot water.

As special counsel Robert Mueller’s team investigates whether Trump obstructed justice in connection with his 2016 presidential campaign, he “edged closer to an open display of obstruction of justice and witness tampering,” The Washington Post reports

In a series tweet Monday, Trump urged former aides aim to refuse to cooperate with the federal investigators and even appeared to imply threats against those who do.

It began with an attack on his former attorney Michael Cohen, suggesting he should receive no deals for cooperating with investigators.

“‘Michael Cohen asks judge for no Prison Time.’ You mean he can do all of the TERRIBLE, unrelated to Trump, things having to do with fraud, big loans, Taxis, etc., and not serve a long prison term? … He lied for this outcome and should, in my opinion, serve a full and complete sentence,” Trump tweeted.

Subjects of criminal investigations are prohibited from retaliating against people who testify against them. 

Trump followed up the tweet with a quote from Stone: “I will never testify against Trump.”

Trump added, “This statement was recently made by Roger Stone, essentially stating that he will not be forced by a rogue and out of control prosecutor to make up lies and stories about ‘President Trump.’ Nice to know that some people still have ‘guts!’ ”

The Washington Post wrote:

So where he threatened a stick against Cohen, Trump offered a carrot to Stone, signaling where their allegiances should lie. This proof of potential witness tampering and obstruction of justice is made even stronger by the fact that the messaging is from the person who holds the most powerful get-out-of-jail-free card: a presidential pardon.”

Taken together, Trump’s statements Monday are a message not only to Cohen and Stone, but also to anyone else who may be considering testifying or cooperating against the president or any of his associates. And the message is quite clear: Those who cooperate with law enforcement and agree to be witnesses against Trump will be punished, while those who keep his secrets will be protected.

The tweets Monday are not, alas, isolated incidents. The president has tweeted before that he is being persecuted by the special counsel’s office, purportedly threatened those in a position to preserve the Mueller investigation, asked for loyalty of those who might prosecute his confederates and engaged in a host of additional conduct evincing an intent to block Mueller’s work, as well as committing overt acts seemingly directed at obstructing the investigation.

FBI Raids Home of Atlantic City Mayor Gilliam, Removing Computer, Boxes

Atlantic City Mayor Frank Gilliam

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Federal agents on Monday raided the home of Atlantic City Mayor Frank Gilliam, removing a computer, printer and white cardboard boxes.

The FBI was tight-lipped about the search.

“We are here in an official capacity, executing a search warrant. That’s all we can say,” FBI Agent Jessica Weisman told the Morning Call.

The IRS also was at the home.

Gilliam declined to answer questions from the media.

Secret Service Agent Recalls Kindness of George H.W. Bush While Protecting the Former President

Secret Service Agent Jim Napolitano with then-President George Bush

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

As a Secret Service agent, Jim Napolitano spent a lot of time protecting President George H.W. Bush and his family.

“We were there looking for anything that could be a possible problem,” Napolitano told Click2Houston.com

Napolitano remembers getting struck by a golf ball to shield First Lady Barbara Bush during a golf tournament. And he recalls the tense time he was with Bush when the former president was aboard a 747 jet with a hole in the wing.

From his time traveling to the country with Bush, Napolitano remembers what he described as Bush’s constant kindness.

“He taught a lot of people by his actions how to treat others,” Napolitano said. “At the Houstonian, I saw him treat everyone from the maintenance guys to the gardeners to the head of the hotel all the same. He was always very gracious and kind to everyone.”

Ex-FBI Director Comey Reaches Deal to Meet Privately with GOP-Controlled House Committee

Former FBI Director James Comey on ABC’s 20/20.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Former FBI Director James Comey has made a deal with Republicans to testify privately before the House Judiciary Committee after threatening to block a subpoena to appear.

The deal comes after Comey’s attorney, David Kelley, contested a House subpoena on the grounds that it was equivalent to “dragging (Comey) into a dark alley” and asked, “What its the purpose of keeping it out of the public eye?” according to the USA Today

In a deal with House Republicans, Comey agreed to testify as long as a transcript of the interview is released within 24 hours and that the former FBI boss can speak publicly about the testimony.

Comey, who was fired by President Trump in April 2017, said he was primarily concerned that Republicans would selectively use the testimony to try to discredit the Robert Mueller investigation.

The House committee is expected to ask Comey about the FBI’s decision to drop the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server and his involvement in the probe into Russian meddling in the presidential election.

“Grateful for a fair hearing from judge,” Comey tweeted on Sunday. “Hard to protect my rights without being in contempt, which I don’t believe in. So will sit in the dark, but Republicans agree I’m free to talk when done and transcript released in 24 hours. This is the closest I can get to public testimony.” 

Weekend Series on Crime: The Mexican Cartels

Deputy U.S. Marshal — Father of 4 — Fatally Shot in Arizona

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Deputy U.S. Marshal Chase White, 41, was fatally shot Thursday night in Tucson, Az., while serving a fugitive warrant, the agency said Friday. The shooter was taken into custody.

White, who was married and the father of four,  was rushed to Banner-University Medical Center where he succumbed to his injuries later that evening, the agency said in a press release.

After the shooting,  Tucson police and federal officers surrounded the single-story house where the shooter was holed up.  After about an hour standoff, they took the man into custody, the Arizona Daily Star reports. 

“We are all extremely saddened by the tragic line of duty death of our brother, Deputy U.S. Marshal Chase White, last night in Tucson, Arizona,” David J. Anderson, Acting Deputy Director of the U.S. Marshals Service said in a statement. “He was shot and killed while performing his mission.  It’s a dangerous job, but Chase was devoted to making his community and this nation safer. His sacrifice will not be forgotten.”

White joined the Marshals Service in 2015. He was an Air Force reservist, preparing for an upcoming deployment.

Ex-FBI Chief Comey Tries to Block Subpoena to Appear Before House Committee

James Comey testifies about President Trump before a Senate committee.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Former FBI Director James Comey is trying to block a subpoena to appear before the Republican-led House of Representatives on Monday, saying the motive behind the private interview was political.

The House Judiciary Committee subpoenaed Comey, who was fired by Trump in April 2017, earlier this month to answer questions about the FBI in 2016, including why the bureau did not recommend an investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private computer, Time reports.   

Last week, Comey said he would testify in a public hearing, but not a closed-door meeting.

Corey’s attorneys are asking a judge to dismiss the subpoena and delay his appearance before the House committee, which has been repeatedly accused of derailing an objective investigation.

Trump’s Company Offered Putin a $50M Penthouse in Planned Tower in Russia

Russian leader Vladimir Putin

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

The Trump Organization offered Russian President Vladimir Putin a $50 million penthouse as the company negotiated the luxury real estate development during the 2016 presidential campaign, according to several media outlets.

“If we have Putin in the penthouse every oligarch in Russia would want to live in that building,” Felix Sater, a businessman who worked on the project and suggested the idea, told the Washington Post.

The revelations came as Michael Cohen, Trump’s longtime attorney and confidant, pleaded guilty Thursday to lying to Congress about plans to build a Trump Tower in Russia. 

According to BuzzFeed News, Cohen discussed the plan with a representative of Putin’s press secretary.

The Trump Tower in Russia has become a target of Robert Mueller’s investigation into whether Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia.

It wasn’t immediately clear whether Trump was aware of the Penthouse plan.