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Congressman Adam Schiff Prepares to Do Battle to Get Mueller Report

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Expect more drama surrounding the release of the much-anticipated Mueller report.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos on “This Week” on Sunday that his committee will subpoena  Mueller’s final report and even call him to testify before the committee if the report was not made public. He said he’s also prepared to go to court to get the report.

“We will obviously subpoena the report. We will bring Bob Mueller in to testify before Congress. We will take it to court if necessary,” he says.

“In the end I think the [Justice] Department understands they’re going to have to make this public. I think [Attorney General William] Barr will ultimately understand that as well.”

In Tight Job Market, FBI Applicants are Down

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

It may be one of the more coveted jobs in law enforcement, but the tight job market may be having an impact.

The FBI has seen a slump in special agent applicants—from a peak of 68,500 in 2009 to 11,500 in the year that ended in September, reports the Wall Street Journal.

As a result, the FBI is stepping up its recruitment efforts.It’s increased its outreach, targeted women and minorities and relaxed some eligibility requirements, the Journal reports.

ABC and NBC Come Up With New Midseason TV Shows on the FBI

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The FBI and CIA continue to make good fodder for the TV networks.

Mike Hale of the New York Times reports:

Did you know that the F.B.I. is your square dad and the C.I.A. is your hot mom? I didn’t either, until I watched two new midseason television series, NBC’s “The Enemy Within” and ABC’s “Whiskey Cavalier.”

They’re at opposite ends of the spectrum of network formulas: a scaremongering thriller about domestic terrorism (“Enemy”); and a globe-trotting romantic caper (“Whiskey”). But beneath the shootouts and chases they’re kind of the same show. A sad, honest man from the F.B.I. — a beta male despite his considerable physical skills — is forced to partner with a charismatic, rules-breaking woman from the C.I.A. Sparks fly, though perhaps not enough to light a fire.

Neither show engages directly with current political battles (through two episodes, anyway) — there’s no angry president accusing the intelligence agencies of deep-state plotting. “The Enemy Within,” however, eagerly taps into our continuing post-9/11 paranoia.


Weekend Series on Crime History: Watergate and Obstruction of Justice

Could Mueller Drop A Bomb in Manafort Case By Midnight Friday?

Paul Manafort jail mugshot.

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The Mueller probe has produced endless streams of intriguing information.

Can there be more to come on Friday?

The Mueller team is set to to file a sentencing memorandum in U.S. District Court in D.C. in the Paul Manafort case before midnight Friday, CNN reports. Sentencing is set for March 13.

The network reports prosecutors could outline all the juicy facts in the case including Manafort’s criminal business schemes, his attempt to reach out to key contacts after his arrest and the lies he told to prosecutors and a grand jury after he agreed to cooperate with the Mueller investigation.

MSNBC Grills Andrew McCabe About 3-Week Delay in Weiner-Clinton Emails

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

MSNBC’s Ari Melber grilled  former acting director of the FBI Andrew McCabe over the FBI’s three-week delay between discovering Hillary Clinton emails on Anthony Weiner’s laptop and the announcement of their discovery to the public.

McCabe tells MSNBC the three-week delay was not ideal, but it was an “acceptable outcome.”

He also says that it is “undeniable” that the FBI’s actions in the Clinton email investigation, particularly the October 28th letter to Congress, impacted the 2016 election.

Michael James: CNN’s Van Jones Makes Same Mistake As Jussie Smollet

Michael James has spent more than 20 years in sports journalism as a general assignment reporter with the Detroit News, an NBA beat writer for the New York Daily News and as head writer for ESPN’s Quite Frankly With Stephen A. Smith. He has a blog called The Tribe Sports.

Jussie Smollett

By Michael James

If only you had set aside your emotion and rage at all the things truly worthy of your ire in America today, and engaged your critical and analytical mind, you would have known something was off about the alleged attack on Jussie Smollett the moment you heard it.

And many of you did – as did I – but we were in the minority.

While it is true that all kinds of strange and incomprehensible crimes are possible, it never seemed realistic that a B-list, secondary character on Fox Television’s Empire would be attacked on one of the coldest nights in Chicago history in a crime that ticked all the right boxes – racism, homophobia and white nationalism.

Yet and still, Americans from all walks of life – blacks in particular – accepted this wild tale, hook, line and sinker. As did celebrities, athletes and politicians like Nancy Pelosi and 2020 presidential hopefuls Kamala Harris, Joe Biden and Cory Booker.

While the rest of the Windy City was barricaded behind warm closed doors, we were fed a tale of an assault at 2 a.m. by a pair of white Trump supporters who just happened to be carting around a noose, bleach and a MAGA hat, looking for a victim who fit the bill as tightly for their ill intent as Jussie Smollett.

Somehow, despite all the outlandish coincidences that needed to occur for this “crime” to actually happen, many suspended all disbelief, reasoning that in Trump’s America, this could plausibly happen.

Then, they took to Twitter and Facebook to vent their anger.

Even today, when apologies should be flowing like water in the aftermath of Smollett’s arrest for orchestrating the lie, some, like CNN’s Van Jones, are still engaging in ridiculous hyperbole.

In a roundtable discussion, Jones likened Smollet’s demise to the fall of an icon, the baseball player Jackie Robinson, who broke baseball’s color barrier with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947.

Historical Ignorance

In a stunning display of historical ignorance, Jones claimed that Smollet’s role on Empire as a beloved gay black character somehow made him an iconic figure to the black community – on par with the great Robinson.

It was a disgusting comparison which was equal only to the outrageous transgression of Smollett in believing that his hair-brained ruse would withstand the test of time.

In other words, Jones made the same mistake as Smollett: he overestimated Smollet’s importance.

Read more »

FBI’s Top Lawyer Says People Argued Up Until the End Whether to File Charges Against Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Some people inside the FBI felt strongly that Hillary Clinton should have been prosecuted for email scandal. But there were also plenty who trusted then-Director James Comey’s decision not to push for prosecution.

Fox News, citing a transcript of his closed-door testimony before congressional committees last October, reports that  FBI’s top lawyer  James Baker in 2016 thought Clinton and her team should have immediately realized they were mishandling “highly classified” information based on the obviously sensitive nature of the emails. He also believed Clinton should have been prosecuted until “pretty late” in the investigation.

He said high-level officials at the bureau were “arguing about” whether to bring charges against Clinton, “I think, up until the end.”