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FBI Arrests Roger Stone on Charges of Lying about Communications with WikiLeaks

Roger Stone

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Roger Stone, a longtime Trump loyalist and Republican strategist with a tattoo of Richard Nixon on his back, was arrested Friday by the FBI as part of the investigation over his communications with WikiLeaks.

The seven-count indictment alleges Stone lied to and obstructed the House Intelligence Committee’s investigation of Russian interference during the 2016 election, the New York Times and other media outlets report.

Before dawn today, FBI agents arrested Stone at his home in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Stone is expected to appear at a federal courthouse today at 11 a.m., according to Mueller’s office.

The indictment alleges Stone misled lawmakers on the committee about his communications with WikiLeaks, which released stolen emails to sabotage Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. He’s also accused of intimidating a witness.

Stone’s attorney, Grant Smith, said the charges were “ridiculous” and that “this is all about a minor charge about lying to Congress about something that was apparently found later.”

16 Years Ago Today: Department of Homeland Security Began Operations in Response to 9/11

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Today is the 16th anniversary of the Department of Homeland Security beginning operations in response to the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

The 22-agency department was established by President George W. Bush and was the largest reorganization of the federal government since the Department of Defense was created following World War II.

Bush tapped Tom Ridge, a former Republican governor of Pennsylvania, to lead an agency whose mission was to coordinate all “homeland security” efforts.

Official operations began on Jan. 24, 2003.

The department absorbed border protection, cybersecurity, immigration, the U.S. Coast Guard and the Secret Service.

The Department of Homeland Security operates with a $40.6 million budget and has 240,000 employees.

Former Trump Campaign Boss Manafort Denies Lying to Robert Mueller’s Team

Paul Manafort’s mugshot

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Lawyers for Paul Manafort, the convicted former campaign boss for President Trump, claimed Wednesday that Robert Mueller’s prosecutors have unfairly accused him of lying to them after he entered a plea deal.

Mueller’s team has alleged Manafort breached his plea agreement by lying to prosecutors about his contacts with Trump administration officials and his interactions with Konstantin Kilimnik, who has alleged ties to Russian intelligence.

Manafort’s attorneys argued in a court filing that Mueller failed to show that Manafort “intentionally provided false information.”

Manafort, 69, has been in solitary confinement and faces sentencing in two different cases.

Trial Begins for DEA Agent Accused of Leading Corrupt Drug Task Force

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

A federal corruption trial began Tuesday for a former DEA agent charged with 10 criminal counts, from perjury to falsifying government records, as part of a sprawling investigation of a New Orleans-based task force.

Chad Scott, who led the task force, “betrayed his duties and abused his power by lying, cheating and manipulating so he could get what he wanted,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy Duree told the jury during opening arguments, NOLA.com reports.

The task force is accused of dealing drugs, shaking down suspects and pocketing cash during raids.

Duree told the jury that Scott even “got a dope dealer to buy him a truck.”

Two members of the task force have pleaded guilty and are expected to testify against the longtime former agent during the trial.

As a result of the investigation, some drug cases were dropped or overturned.

In all, Scott was charged with 10 criminal counts, including obstruction of justice and conspiracy.

Scott faces a second trial in October on four more charges, including conspiracy and stealing property.

FBI Details How Shutdown Is Impeding Investigations of Terrorism, Violent Crime, Child Trafficking

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

The government shutdown is hindering the FBI’s investigations of terrorism, child trafficking and violent crimes, according to a report issued Tuesday by a group representing the bureau’s 13,000 special agents.

The 72-page report, Voices from the Field, describes how agents are being hampered by a shutdown that has no end in sight.

The spending freeze has left the bureau with no money for confidential informants, witnesses at criminal trials, translators, paralegals and other support staff. Agents also are working without pay.

“The shutdown has eliminated any ability to operate,” an unnamed agent who works on counterintelligence investigations said in the report. “The fear is our enemies know they can run freely.”

Another unnamed agent said the bureau has been unable to help crack down on violent gangs.

“I currently investigate a particularly violent street gang,” an agent from the FBI’s central region said in the report. “I have had to tell our local law enforcement partners that I cannot assist in funding these operations because my field office does not have money. This means that the one chance we may have to take down several violent individuals may pass us by and we may not get the chance again.”

Without money for confidential informants, agents are at risk of “losing them and the information they provide forever,” an agent said in the report.

“It’s not a switch that we can turn on and off.”

Former DEA Special Agent Found Dead in Jail After Domestic Violence Arrest

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

A former assistant special agent in charge of the DEA’s St. Louis division has been found dead in jail a day after he was arrested on allegations of domestic violence.

Larry “Jay” Reavis, 51, was shaking in a cell in the St. Louis County Jail about 8:30 a.m. Friday. A little more than an hour later, he was pronounced dead, St. Louis Post Dispatch reports.

Sources said Reavis may have been experiencing alcohol withdrawal and that there were no signs of trauma or a suicide.

Police were called to the jail for a medical call at 9:41 a.m. Friday.

Jail officials declined further comment and are expected to provide more details this week.

Senator Urges FBI to Launch Perjury Investigation into Homeland Security Secretary

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkley is asking the FBI to investigate whether Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen committed perjury over border rhetoric.

“I am just sick and tired of this administration lying to the American people, lying to Congress, doing it under oath,” the senator from Oregon told CNN‘s John Berman on “New Day.” 

A draft memo released last week contradicted claims by the Trump administration that it had no policy to separate families apprehended at the border. Just last month, Nielsen doubled down on that claim while testifying before Congress.

“I write to request an investigation to determine whether Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen committed perjury during her sworn testimony before the House Committee on the Judiciary on December 20, 2018,” Merkley wrote in his request to FBI Director Christopher Wray. “Compelling new evidence has emerged revealing that high-level Department of Homeland Security officials were secretly and actively developing a new policy and legal framework for separating families as far back as December 2017.”

Merkley said he hasn’t heard back from the FBI yet, adding, “This is the official, right way to initiate referral to the FBI for pursuit of an investigation regarding perjury.

In a written statement, a DHS spokeswoman told CNN the agency “has never had a blanket policy of separating families in custody.

“What this pre-decisional, pre-deliberative memo – as well as previously leaked pre-decisional, pre-deliberative documents – shows is that the Secretary was provided a menu of options to prevent the humanitarian crisis we predicted at that time and which has manifested itself today,” the statement read. “Secretary Nielsen specifically rejected a policy proposal to separate all family units in DHS custody.”

Weekend Series on Crime History: The Watergate Hearings