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Ex-FBI Attorney: Bureau, DOJ Were Not Joking about Removing Trump

Former top FBI attorney James Baker

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Former FBI general counsel James Baker said discussions within the bureau about secretly recording President Trump in an effort to remove him from office was no joke.

Baker served in the leadership role in May 2017, when then-acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein discussed the secret recordings.

Baker shared the information with Congress last week.

“As far as Baker was concerned, this was a real plan being discussed,” a source directly familiar with the congressional investigation told The Hill. “It was no laughing matter for the FBI.”

Rosenstein, who is scheduled to be interviewed behind closed doors on Thursday by House judiciary Committee members, has denied that the discussions were serious.

NTSB: Limo Crash That Killed 20 People Was ‘Deadliest Transportation-Related Accident’ Since 2009

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

The limo crash that killed 20 people in New York on Saturday was the “deadliest transportation-related accident” in the nation since 2009, according to the National Transportation Safety Board.

NTSB is investigating what caused the limo to crash into another vehicle and pedestrians near Albany.

Killed in the crash were 18 people in the limo and two bystanders.

The limo was packed with people from a wedding party.

“This is one of the biggest losses of life that we’ve seen in a long, long time,” NTSB Chairman Robert Sumwalt told local NBC affiliate WNYT. 

For reasons that aren’t yet clear, the limo failed to stop at an intersection and careened into the parking lot of an Apple Barrel store and café.

“My heart breaks for the 20 people who lost their lives in this horrific accident,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said in a statement. “I commend the first responders who arrived on the scene and worked through the night to help. State police are working with federal and local authorities to investigate the crash, and I have directed state agencies to provide every resource necessary to aid in this investigation and determine what led to this tragedy.”

Border Patrol Agent Accused of Killing 4 Women Far from the Only Agent in Legal Trouble

Supervisory Border Patrol Agent Juan David

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Accused serial killer, Border Patrol Supervisor Juan David Ortiz, is far from the only agent at the agency to be accused of serious crimes in past five years.

Border Patrol Agent Ronald Anthony Burgos-Aviles is accused of killing his 27-year-old lover and the couple’s baby. He was charged in April and has pleaded not guilty.

Between 2014-16, more than 20,000 misconduct cases, which include criminal offenses, were filed against employees of Customs and Border Protection, according to the Government Accountability Office, USA Today reports

Of those, 1,300 involved criminal conduct, ranging from drunken driving to domestic violence. An additional 1,000 cases involved mistreatment of detainees, ranging from physical violence to sexual abuse.

Only about 2% of those cases forced agents to resign, retire or be fired.

Opinion Column By DEA Agent: Cowardly Anonymity, False Accusations, Betrayal, Lost Leadership and Tabloid News

Richard Dobrich is the Senior Executive Service Regional Director of DEA’s Andean Region (Colombia, Ecuador, and Venezuela) and a former Navy SEAL. He is scheduled to retire from DEA at the end of the month. The column is in response to an Associated Press story  that reported that DEA had received an anonymous complaint alleging Dobrich directed Colombian drivers working for the U.S. Embassy in Bogota “to procure sex workers.”

Richard Dobrich (DEA photo)

By Richard Dobrich
For ticklethewire.com

Don’t confuse my situation with the current upheaval in D.C. Mine is not a battle between Red versus Blue, nor He Said versus She Said, nor Accuser versus Accused.

Mine is a story of absurd and unfounded allegations, official leaks, a leadership vacuum, and tabloid press from a supposedly responsible news organization.

I find myself as the subject of a now-debunked anonymous and maliciously false letter which was sent to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of the Inspector General (OIG).

I was accused of engaging in the Colombian sex trade, i.e., soliciting prostitutes while serving as the DEA Regional Director. More specifically, the allegation stated that I directed my local staff to assist me in this despicable conduct.

I was not accused of this phantom behavior by anyone involved in the sex trade – no victims have accused me of any such abhorrent behavior – and let me be clear here, I fully recognize that the sex industry in Colombia has nothing but victims – usually young women with severe economic hardships or deplorable histories of sexual abuse at home during their adolescence.

DEA OPR and DOJ OIG routinely receive allegations of misconduct. The unimpeachable moral conduct of DEA personnel (all U.S. government personnel) form the pillars upon which the Public Trust is built and there is zero tolerance for non-compliance – this is something I have always strongly subscribed to.

Some allegations are confirmed as accurate while others are discredited – in either case there is supposed to be a firewall of confidentiality and neutrality so that DEA OPR and/or DOJ OIG investigators can do their important jobs, in relative secrecy, of uncovering the truth of what has, or has not, happened.

False And Anonymous Letter

In my case, a copy of the totally false and anonymous letter was provided to the Associated Press (AP). The AP didn’t get hearsay from someone “in the know”; no, the AP received an actual copy of the letter from “DEA Sources” (as told to me by the AP).

The AP told me they didn’t know the identity of the anonymous author – presumably the AP knows their “DEA Sources”. Therefore, one can deduce that the AP’s “DEA Sources” are somewhere between DEA Executive “Leadership” or within DEA OPR.

So that’s the scene-setter. The AP gets a hot lead on a scandalous story – “the Senior Executive Regional Director (me) who was sent to Colombia in 2015 in the wake of a sex trade scandal just couldn’t resist the temptation”.

The “story” would have you believe that DEA in Colombia (or maybe it’s just me) can’t behave responsibly and ethically. Let me be unequivocally clear – the AP’s sensational storylines are categorically false and the AP was provided clear FACTS before going to print but they just couldn’t resist their own temptation to sell “print”.

To me, there is nothing more cowardly and pathetic than someone who would author anonymous and patently false accusations, which attack the moral character of someone else without one shred of evidence, not one victim’s voice, nothing other than absolute fiction.

As if a false allegation isn’t enough, I am sickened by the prospect that a “DEA Source” would leak an uncorroborated and wildly unbelievable story to the media before it had been appropriately and properly investigated.

Read more »

FBI Director Wray’s Low-Key Approach May Be What the Doctor Ordered

FBI Director Christopher Wray on Sunday in Orlando. (ticklethewire.com photo)

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

ORLANDO —  FBI Director Christopher Wray delivered a serviceable, but unimpressive speech to thousands of members of the federal, state and local law enforcement community on Sunday at the International Association of Chiefs of Police.

He talked about terrorism, the need for the FBI to work closer with local law enforcement, active shooters, officer deaths and the difficulties, but great rewards of working in the field.

Then, after 35 minutes, he was done and walked off stage to an obligatory round of applause. No questions. No schmoozing. No truly inspiring words. It wasn’t a very meaty speech.

Wray is a nice guy. Low key. Serious about the job. But he’s no rock star like his predecessor James Comey, or for that matter, Robert Mueller, a stoic man who looked and acted like an FBI director plucked out of central casting.

But in these challenging times for the bureau, he may be just what the agency needs. He’s flying under the radar in Washington and he’s not a regular fixture on the nightly news. Being a federal law enforcement official,  and flying too high inside the Beltway can lead to a public beheading from the president.

President Donald Trump has been on a jihad to discredit the bureau and the Justice Department as Mueller moves forward like a heat missile in the Russia probe, flipping one Trump insider after another.    

Not since the Nixonian years, has a president displayed such naked hostility toward the bureau.

The bureau has caught hell from Trump for not indicting Hillary Clinton and for investigating Russia ties to his campaign. To top that off, the FBI was put in an untenable situation when it was asked to do a background check on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, but was then handcuffed and prevented from doing a first-rate job. Critics called the investigation a sham. And to some degree, considering agents weren’t allowed to do a full-court press, it was.

Federal agents are divided. Some think Trump is doing a good job. Some think he’s doing a good job, but think he’s a jerk. And some are simply appalled by his behavior and actions, including his free-flowing tweets. Comey never liked Trump, even before the firing.

Wray’s low key approach may not be publicly inspiring, but it may be just what Washington needs at a time like this.

And with all that’s going on, from the Russia probe, to the Trump attacks to the Brett Kavanaugh mess,  it may explain why he kept his head low on Sunday and walked away without allowing questions.

 

Weekend Series on Crime: The Heroin Problem in the U.S.

Ex-FBI Agent Pleads Guilty to Secretly Photographing Woman in Dressing Room Stall

Photo via FBI

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

A former special agent for the FBI admitted he secretly snapped photos of a 22-year-old woman while she was trying on clothes in a dressing room stall.

Daniel Brown, who worked in the FBI’s New York Field Office, pleaded guilty to four-degree invasion of privacy in exchange for probation and a psychological evaluation, NJ.com reports

“When confronted by the victim, Brown identified himself as a law enforcement officer,” the news release said.

Brown, who will no longer work at the FBI, is expected to be sentenced Dec. 6.

Prosecutors Call for 4-Year Prison Sentence for Ex-FBI Agent Who Leaked Classified Documents

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Federal prosecutors are pushing for a four-year prison sentence for the former FBI agent who acknowledged he disclosed classified terrorist-profiling guidelines to the media.

But former agent Terry Albury’s attorney argues he should not be sentenced to prison during a hearing later this month, Politico reports.

In April, the 16-year FBI veteran pleaded guilty to felony charges of illegal transmission of national security information and illegal retention of the data.

Albury admitted he leaked the bureau’s procedures for handling sources in terrorism investigations, but he said he did it out of concern about the FBI’s interactions with minority communities.