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Robert Allan Jones Now Heads the FBI’s Pittsburgh Office

Robert Allan Jones (FBI photo)

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

FBI agent Robert Allan Jones, who was in the Usama Bin Laden Unit, has now been assigned to head up the Pittsburgh Field Office. He most recently served as the assistant director for the Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate.

Jones joined the  FBI in 1996 and was first assigned to the Detroit Field Office, Kalamazoo Resident Agency, where he investigated drug, violent crime, while-collar crime and terrorism cases, a press release says.

In 2002, Jones was promoted to supervisory special agent in the Usama Bin Laden Unit of the Counterterrorism Division. He was promoted to chief of the unit in 2003.

In 2004,  Jones served as supervisory senior resident agent in the Buffalo Field Office, Rochester Resident Agency. In 2007, he served a one-year tour in Iraq as the senior FBI liaison to the Joint Special Operations Command. In 2008, Jones was promoted to assistant special agent in charge of the Cleveland Field Office, where he supervised all intelligence and counterintelligence programs, the release said.

In 2009, Jones was named as legal attaché in Kabul, Afghanistan. In 2011, he returned to FBI headquarters as a section chief in the Counterintelligence Division. In 2012, he was named special agent in charge of the Indianapolis Field Office. In 2014, he returned to headquarters as deputy assistant director in the Counterintelligence Division.

 

Rosenstein’s Right-Hand Man At Justice Is Joining Uber

Scott Schools (Linkedin photo)

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Scott Schools, the Justice Department’s highest ranking career official, and a close adviser to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, is joining Uber Technologies Inc., the Wall Street Journal reports.

Schools becomes the company’s first chief compliance officer, as the ride-hailing giant seeks to move past a series of regulatory problems and other controversies ahead of a highly anticipated initial public offering next year, the Journal rights.

Uber is expected to announce the hiring to staff on Tuesday.

School departed the Justice Department last week, an agency that has come under constant attack by President Donald Trump.

Committee Subpoenas Former FBI Lawyer Who Exchanged Anti-Trump Emails With Agent

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Lisa Page, the former FBI lawyer, finds herself getting ready for the firing squad on Capitol Hill.

You might recall that Page exchanged anti-Trump text messages with FBI agent Peter Strzok, triggering a storm of controversy.

CNN, citing “two congressional sources,”  reports that she has been subpoenaed for a closed-door interview this week with the House Judiciary and Oversight committees.

House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte, a Virginia Republican, subpoenaed Page to attend a deposition on Wednesday, the sources said, one day before Strzok is slated to testify publicly before the two House panels, CNN reports.

Page’s attorney Amy Jeffress issued a statement to CNN saying she’s been working with the committee  to arrange for her client’s “voluntary appearance.”

“We asked the committee staff to explain the scope of the investigation and provide sufficient notice that would allow her to prepare, which are normal conditions for congressional committees, but these committees have not followed the normal process,” Jeffress said. “The FBI has agreed to provide Lisa with her notes and other documents to allow her to prepare, but they have not provided those documents to date, so we are still waiting to work out a reasonable date for her interview. Lisa has cooperated voluntarily with another congressional committee that had no objection to explaining the scope of its investigation or providing sufficient notice for her interview. Lisa also cooperated fully with the OIG investigation and appeared voluntarily for multiple interviews, including after she left the FBI.”

Editorial From Valley News: ATF’s Firearms Tracing Hurt by Absurd Law

By Valley News Editorial Board

When law enforcement agents seek information on guns found at crime scenes, they call the firearms tracing center of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Agents at the tracing center, in West Virginia, then try to establish a chain of custody based on the gun’s serial number, manufacturer, distributor and retailer.

The agents pursue this task in the most inefficient, wasteful and time-consuming manner imaginable, manually searching records — about 800 million of them — because federal law purportedly prevents the center from organizing them into a searchable digital database.

This absurd prohibition needs to be lifted.

The law, the 1986 Firearms Owners’ Protection Act, resulted from a marriage of ideological rigidity and political cowardice. It expressly prohibits “any system of registration of firearms, firearms owners, or firearms transactions or dispositions.”

Of course, if a gun sale is legal, and it’s made by a federally licensed dealer, then all that information exists. The National Rifle Association doesn’t want officers of the law to be able to access it efficiently.

To read the full editorial click here. 

Motorist Won’t Be Charged In Traffic Death Involving FBI Agent and Fire Official

FBI Agent Carlos Wolff.

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Roberto Garza Palacios, 28, of Germantown, Md., will not be charged in the December 2017 traffic death of an FBI agent Carolos Wolff and a deputy state fire marshal on I-270 in Montgomery County, WTOP radio reports.

The decision comes after prosecutors in Montgomery County found there was not enough to charge Roberto Garza Palacios, 28, of Germantown with anything more than a traffic violation.

“This is just a really, really nasty accident,” said Garza Palacios’ attorney Hasim Humayun.

On Dec. 8, FBI agent Wolff and Deputy State Fire Marshal Sander Cohen were struck by a car driven by Garza Palacios as they stood in the left shoulder lane of I-270, next to a concrete median wall, WTOP reports. Cohen had stopped to help Wolff after his car had become disabled, according to police.

“This is just a really, really nasty accident,” Garza Palacios’ attorney Hasim Humayun tells WTOP.

Dershowitz v. E-FBI Agent: Has Trump Done Something Illegal

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Alan Dershowitz debated Asha Rangappa, a former FBI special agent who is now a lecturer at Yale and analyst with CNN, debated Sunday on ABC’s George Stephanopoulos show about President Donald Trump and the Russian collusion investigation, Real Clear Politics reports.

Dershowitz said Trump can only be charged if he grants an interview with Robert Mueller’s investigators.

“You need to commit a crime to be impeached,” Dershowitz said. “If he’s committed previous crimes — there’s no evidence of that — that won’t work. But if he commits the crime of perjury, he’s in Clinton-land.”

Former FBI special agent Asha Rangappa disagreed, arguing there’s a “circumstantial case” for obstruction of justice against the President. “The obstruction case does center on the president’s intent,” she said, “whether he acted corruptly when he fired James Comey. But Mueller does have a lot of circumstantial evidence.”

“He has the conversations between James Comey and the president, he has attempts by the White House to approach the CIA and NSA to try to stymie this investigation, he has his own words on the Lester Holt interview,” she explained. “So he does have a circumstantial case. I do think Mueller wants to sit down and get from his own words what the president had in his mind.”

Weekend Series on Crime History: Mobster Bugsy Siegel

Mueller Wants Manafort to Remain Behind Bars

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Robert Mueller’s team wants Paul Manafort to remain behind bars. Manafort’s lawyers want him released so he can help better prepare for trial, CNN reports.

Prosecutors argue that Manafort’s attempts to contact potential witnesses in his case and influence their testimony are dangerous, the prosecutors argued.

Witness tampering “is no less damaging to the justice system when committed through covert corrupt persuasion than through overt violence,” they wrote to the appellate court Thursday, CNN reports.