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Man Arraigned For Assaulting FBI Agent With His Truck

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Fugitive Cedrick Hill, 26, was arraigned in Atlanta on a federal charge of assaulting an FBI agent with his truck while attempting to evade arrest during an incident in January in suburban Atlanta. Hill was wanted at the time on federal drug charges, authorities said Thursday.

“The actions of this defendant were reprehensible, with absolute disregard for the life of our agent,” said Murang Pak, acting special agent in charge of FBI Atlanta office in a statement. “The agent was dragged for about a quarter mile at high speeds before the defendant stopped the vehicle due to the defendant’s injuries.  Our agent displayed tremendous courage and calm under fire during this very difficult situation.  Fortunately, our agent is recovering from his injuries and will have his day in court for this blatant attack on a federal officer.”

A federal grand jury indicted Hill on the charges earlier this month.

The incident happened on Jan. 5 when FBI agents located Hill in the foyer of a hotel in Sandy Springs, Ga. and announced he was under arrest.

Then, according to a press release:

Hill began to put his arms behind his back, but pulled away as the agent began to handcuff him.  Hill then allegedly ran through the lobby and exited the hotel with the agent in pursuit.  The defendant ran to his truck to escape arrest.  The agent attempted to stop him, and became lodged in the driver’s side door.

With the agent dangling from the door, Hill allegedly sped through the parking lot at a high rate of speed and hit another vehicle, crushing the agent at the point of impact and breaking his arm and femur.  The agent managed to discharge his service weapon with his free hand, striking Hill twice.

Despite being shot, Hill drove out of the hotel parking lot, crossed Interstate 285, and turned down an access road before stopping the vehicle and releasing the injured agent onto the side of the road.  The injured agent managed to call 911 and request medical care for himself and Hill.  The defendant drove back to the hotel, where he was treated by first responders and later arrested.  The agent remained on the side of the road until he was located by first responders.

House Committee Approves $5 Billion for Trump’s Border Wall

An existing wall at border of Mexico. Photo via Congress.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

President Trump’s much-touted border wall is advancing to the full House of Representatives after a committee approved $5 billion in funding for the project.

The House Appropriations Committee voted along party lines, advancing the measure with a 29-22 vote.

The bill also provides a $3.7 billion increase in funding for Homeland Security, pushing the total to $51.4 billion; money for 400 new ICE agents; and $1.9 billion for cybersecurity efforts, The Hill reports

“It is outrageous that House Republicans have prioritized unnecessary funds for President Trump’s border wall and cruel immigration policies rather than fighting terrorism through substantial new investments in first responder grants or growing the economy and creating jobs through job training, making college more affordable, or research and development initiatives,” said Rep. Nita Lowey (N.Y), the top Democrat on the committee, told the Hill.
The $5 billion would finance 200 miles of a wall along the border with Mexico.

Trump has requested $25 billion to fund the wall.

“Globalization, cybersecurity, and terrorism are changing our way of life and we need to change with it. This bill fully supports our men and women on the frontline who work tirelessly to keep us safe. The bill also provides the necessary funding for critical technology and physical barriers to secure our borders,” said committee Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-N.J.).

Group of Conservative Lawmakers Are Trying to Impeach Deputy AG Rosenstein

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

A group of conservative lawmakers are trying to impeach Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, the top official overseeing Robert Mueller’s investigation of President Trump and his campaign’s role in Russian interference during the election.

Eleven Congressional members filed articles of impeachment against Rosenstein on Wednesday, claiming he committed “high crimes and misdemeanors.”

Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., and Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, introduced the politically risky measure.

They and nine other Republicans allege Rosenstein mishandled the FISA surveillance of Carter Page, a former adviser to Donald Trump; a lack of transparency; unnecessarily excessive redactions of documents; and violating a Congressional subpoena, Newsweek reports.

Observers believe it’s incredibly unlikely that the lawmakers will get enough votes to secure an impeachment conviction. The measure requires a majority in the House of Representatives and two-thirds support in the Senate.

Rosenstein appointed Mueller in May 2017 after Trump fired then-FBI Director James Comey – a move that has infuriated the president and his supporters.

Trump, Giuliani Slam Cohen over Secretly Recording Conversations

Longtime Trump attorney Michael Cohen.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

President Trump and his attorney Rudy Giuliani slammed Michael Cohen for secretly recording a conversation about a hush payment to a former Playboy model just two months before the presidential election.

In a bizarre tweet Wednesday morning, Trump questions Cohen’s ethics.

“What kind of a lawyer would tape a client? So sad! Is this a first, never heard of it before? Why was the tape so abruptly terminated (cut) while I was presumably saying positive things? I hear there are other clients and many reporters that are taped – can this be so? Too bad!”

In an interview with Fox News, Giuliani blasts Cohen, a longtime attorney of Trump’s, as ”a pariah to the legal profession.” 

“I question the strategy of doing it, of trying to make the tape say what it doesn’t say, or putting out a tape in which you’re kind of proud of the fact that you’re a lawyer taping your client and then thinking you could cooperate with the government?” Giuliani said of Cohen’s character.

It’s believed about 12 recordings exist between Cohen and Trump.

How Hush Payment in Secret Cohen Tape May Show Trump Broke the Law

President Trump answering media questions on Air Force One. Photo via the White House.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

The secret recording of Donald Trump discussing a hush payment to a former Playboy model who claimed they had an affair strongly suggests the president and his team knew about the payment and lied about it.

But did he break the law?

The payment to former Playboy model Karen McDougal came just two months before the presidential election, and that’s important because many election experts believe the money would need to be disclosed as part of Trump’s campaign finances.

“If Trump did want a cash payment, that might have been to conceal evidence — at the time — of what may have been a violation of campaign finance law,” the New York Times wrote. “Other aspects of the call show Trump preoccupied with the election, and as Philip Bump points out, this suggests Cohen was, for all practical purposes, making this payment as an “agent” of Trump’s campaign, making this a potential undisclosed campaign expenditure, which could be illegal.”

Former U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade told the New York Times that it’s significant that Trump mentioned cash.

“If this expenditure was made on behalf of the campaign and it was not disclosed, and it was done willfully, that’s a crime,” McQuade said. If Trump wanted that done in cash, McQuade continued, “it suggests an effort to conceal the payment. If you’re hiding things, prosecutors often see that as some indication that you believe you were guilty, that you knew what you were doing was illegal. Taking steps to cover it up does tend to establish that willfulness. That could be incriminating.”

The Times added:

McQuade added that in such a scenario, prosecutors could conceivably see Trump as a “co-conspirator” in a “conspiracy to violate campaign finance laws,” though McQuade added that it’s unlikely that prosecutors would bring such charges against a sitting president, even by naming him as an “unindicted co-conspirator.” Still, McQuade added that if more evidence emerged of additional instances of such payments, “the case may become more significant.”

Trevor Noah Says Cohen Tape Is ‘Perfect Audiobook for Our Road Trip to Hell’

Comedy Central’s Trevor Noah.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Late-night hosts had fun with the disclosure of a secretly recorded conversation between Trump attorney Michael Cohen and the president over hush payments to a Playboy playmate.

“Ever since Vladimir Putin annexed Trump’s balls in Helsinki, President Trump has been having a rough time back home,” Comedy Central’s Trevor Noah said. “Half of America thinks he acted treasonous with Putin, some Republicans say he’s being manipulated, and last week Paul Ryan furrowed his brow extra hard, so you know he means business.”

Noah described the tapes as “the perfect audiobook for America’s road trip to hell”.

“At this point, it would be weirder if Russia didn’t have blackmail material on Trump, because everyone seems to have blackmail material on President Trump,” Noah said. “Michael Cohen has tapes, Access Hollywood has tapes, Howard Stern has tapes. Even Eric has tapes: his most prized possession is a voicemail his dad left him during a butt dial.”

Stephen Colbert also got in on the action, launching into 12 Days of Christmas after saying, Stormy Daniels’ lawyer Michael “Avenatti was right, because today it was revealed the feds actually have 12 Michael Cohen audio recordings.”

Justice Department Reopens Murder Case of Emmett Till

Emmett Till

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department has reopened the 1955 murder case of Emmett Till, a black 14-year-old who was brutally beaten, shot and left for dead in a river in Mississippi for allegedly whistling at a white woman.

Not long after the all-white jury acquitted two white men of Till’s murder, they confessed they were guilty, protected against double jeopardy. They are now dead.

But a central witness in the case, Carolyn Bryant Donham, changed her account of what happened.

The Justice Department declined to comment on the case, and it’s unclear what federal authorities plan to do. Cold cases from the Civil Rights Era rarely lead to convictions.

The Washington Post reports:

Federal prosecutors previously concluded that the statute of limitations for federal charges had run out, and a Mississippi grand jury in 2007 refused to bring charges, including a manslaughter charge that local authorities had sought against Ms. Donham.

Relatives of Emmett welcomed the new probe. But some — including the author of the book that triggered the new inquiry — have questioned what the government is up to. A “completely hypocritical political show” to distract from the ongoing controversies of the Trump administration, said Mr. Tyson. Such skepticism is understandable given the clear disdain Mr. Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions have shown for issues of civil rights and equal justice. Sad that they never seem to see the need to address the inequalities that exist today in the justice system and that victimize black people.

But Emmett’s mother, who died in 2003 without ever getting justice for her son, was right to insist that we not look away from what was done in the name of white supremacy. Let’s hope this new look at the case brings some measure of justice for a crime that must never be forgotten.

No, FBI Agent Wasn’t Murdered to Cover Up Clinton Scandal

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Conspiracy theorists are peddling a false narrative that an FBI agent was murdered as part of a conspiracy to keep him quiet about corruption by Hillary Clinton.

The origin of the far-fetched story appears to come from a fake news site, Neon Nettle

An FBI Special Agent, who was anticipated to expose the extent of Clinton and Obama malpractice and corruption in the “Operation Fast and Furious” cover-up before a US Federal Grand Jury, has been found dead at his home.

The FBI official’s wife was also found dead at the scene with the couple both being murdered using the 52-year-old agent’s own gun.Special Agent David Raynor was “stabbed multiple times” and “shot twice with his own weapon,” according to local media reports. Raynor’s tragic death comes just one day before he was due to testify before a US Federal Grand Jury.

He was widely expected to testify that Hillary Clinton acted illegally to protect Obama administration crimes while covering up the Fast and Furious scandal.

But the fact-checking website Snopes puts that theory to rest, citing Anne Arundel County Police Lt. Ryan Frashure, who said Raynor killed himself.

“There is nothing in the investigation that turned up evidence indicating it’s anything other than a domestic-related suicide,” Frashure said. “When our officers confronted [Raynor], he committed suicide in front of our officers. He was given verbal commands to drop the weapon, and when [officers] were approaching him, that’s when he put the gun to his head.”

Snopes continues:

Investigators believe Raynor stabbed his 54-year-old wife, Donna Fisher, to death near their home in Crownsville, Maryland, before killing himself. The couple had been in the midst of divorce proceedings and, Frashure said, were “having serious domestic issues.” The week they died they were in court fighting over custody of their 10-year-old daughter.

According to investigators, no evidence suggests Raynor’s death was in any way connected to the Fast and Furious operation, an Obama-era “gunwalking” scandal. Moreover, “Fast and Furious” had nothing to do with Hillary Clinton’s State Department, as it involved the Phoenix division of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ (ATF), an organization within the United States Department of Justice (DOJ).

Neon Nettle’s sole documentation for their claim that Raynor died “just one day before he was due to testify before a US Federal Grand Jury” was a link to an eight-month-old news articleabout the shooting death of a Baltimore homicide detective, an article that made no mention of David Raynor, the FBI, Hillary Clinton, or “Fast and Furious.” (The slain detective was scheduled to testify before a federal grand jury, but that case was about Baltimore police accused of shaking down citizens and conspiring with drug dealers, not about the ATF and gunwalking in Arizona.)