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Federal Judge Mostly Rejects Justice Department’s Bid to Block California’s Sanctuary Laws

Sanctuary city concept and illegal immigration law government enforcement policies as a highway sign directing to welcoming immigrants with no legal status as a 3D illustration.

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The Trump administration has been continually fighting the concept of sanctuary cities. But the judiciary has not always been helpful in that battle.

The latest: A federal judge on Thursday mostly rejected a bid by the Justice Department to block California’s “sanctuary state” laws, which enact policies friendly to undocumented immigrants, the Washington Post reports, adding:

In a 60-page ruling, U.S. District Judge John A. Mendez said most of the laws, which limit how state businesses and law enforcement agencies can work with federal immigration authorities, are “permissible exercises of California’s sovereign power.”

The judge said California was within its rights to allow state authorities to inspect immigrant detention facilities, and to bar state law enforcement agencies from providing release dates or other personal information to federal immigration authorities. He blocked portions of one law which imposed heavy fines on businesses that gave immigration authorities access to their facilities and records without a court order.

Column: Retired FBI Agent Says Attacks on the Bureau Are ‘Unfair, Unwise and Disgusting’

Robert “Bob” Anderson Jr. served for 21 years in the FBI, retiring as executive assistant director of the Criminal, Cyber, Response and Services Branch. 

Robert Anderson Jr. (Linkedin photo)

By Robert Anderson
For The News Journal 

For nearly as long as the FBI has existed, its motto has been “Fidelity. Bravery. Integrity.” Those words remind us of the “vital part this institution plays in maintaining order and justice,” in the words of President Ronald Reagan.

Having served 21 years in the FBI, it’s personal to me: The oath I took had nothing to do with political party or president. That’s part of what makes America exceptional: We’re a nation of laws, not a nation of lawlessness. We rely on strong institutions, none more so than an impartial, independent justice system.

Today, all Americans should be troubled by attacks on law enforcement, the United States Intelligence Community and the FBI. But more importantly, we need to speak up.

The FBI and the justice system have come under calculated, brutal attack. Influential actors have smeared them as “dishonest,” “corrupt” and “rigged.” They have described the FBI as being “in tatters.” They have likened it to Nazi stormtroopers.

These attacks are unfair, unwise and disgusting.

To read complete column click here.

Mueller Taps Additional Justice Department Resources for His Probe

Special counsel Robert Mueller

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Where this all ends, and when it ends, is anyone’s guess.

Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III is tapping additional Justice Department resources for help with new legal battles as his year-old investigation of Russian interference with the 2016 election continues to expand, Bloomberg reports, adding:

As Mueller pursues his probe, he’s making more use of career prosecutors from the offices of U.S. attorneys and from Justice Department headquarters, as well as FBI agents — a sign that he may be laying the groundwork to hand off parts of his investigation eventually, several current and former U.S. officials said.

Mueller and his team of 17 federal prosecutors are coping with a higher-then-expected volume of court challenges that has added complexity in recent months, but there’s no political appetite at this time to increase the size of his staff, the officials said.

FBI Agent Peter Strzok May Not Comply With Subpoena to Testify on Hill

Peter Strozk

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The drama surrounding FBI agent Peter Strzok continues.

On Tuesday, his lawyer suggested Strzok  might not comply with a recent subpoena issued by two powerful House committees, according to his attorney, The Hill reports. 

“My client will testify soon, somewhere, sometime,” Lawyer Aitan Goelman tells CNN’s Chris Cuomo on Tuesday night. “We just got this subpoena today, so I don’t know whether or not we are going to be testifying next Tuesday in front of these two particular House subcommittees.”

Goelman says he thinks the real motive behind the subpoena is not about seeking the truth, but rather “it is a chance for Republican members of the House to preen and posture before their most radical conspiracy-minded constituents.”

Happy 4th of July From ticklethewire.com

Radio Personality Comes Under Secret Service Scrutiny for Prank Call to Trump; Hires Michael Avenatti

John Mendez (Twitter photo)

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The Secret Service doesn’t have a great sense of humor when it comes to matters involving the president.

After prank calling President Donald Trump on Air Force One, radio personality John “Stuttering John” Melendez was reportedly brought in for questioning Monday by the Secret Service, reports the website, NorthJersey.com

To add to it all, he’s turned to Stormy Daniels’ omnipresent attorney  Michael Avenatti for help.

Comey Defends His Legacy at Aspen Ideas Festival

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Fired FBI director James Comey seems to be on a campaign to protect his legacy.

On Saturday, he spoke at the Aspen Ideas Festival, defending his controversial actions before the 2016 presidential election and likening President Donald Trump to a forest fire that must be “contained,” reports Scott Condon of the Aspen Times.

In an interview with journalist Katie Couric in front of several hundred audience members,  he said history will vindicate him in the Hillary Clinton email controversy.

“Whether you agree with them or not, they were good decisions in the way that they were made and values that guided them,” Comey said. “I actually think in the long run people will see that.”

Updated: FBI Agent Peter Strzok Will Testify in Public Hearing

Peter Strozk

Update: 4:06 p.m. Tuesday — Well it turns out that FBI agent Peter Strozk will be testifying after all before the joint House Judiciary and Oversight and Government Reform committee’s public hearing on July 10. His attorney said he wasn’t going to testify. But the committee issued a subpoena, and so, he’ll be there.

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

FBI agent Peter Strzok, whose critical emails of presidential candidate Donald Trump triggered a firestorm inside the Beltway, has been advised not to testify before a House Judiciary Committee public hearing on July 10.

Strozk would “happily” answer lawmakers’ questions about the beginnings of the government’s Russia collusion investigation but was instructed by a bureau lawyer that he shouldn’t, his attorney said, according to Bloomberg.

Attorney Aitan Goelman complained in a letter to the staff of the House Judiciary Committee that Republicans have been “grandstanding” and “twisting” Strozk’s answers from a closed-door interview last week Bloomberg reports.

For now, he won’t testify, Goelman said.