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June 2021


How to Become a Bounty Hunter

News Story

Trump Aide Hope Hicks to Meet with House Committee Investigating Russia’s Interference

President Trump at the White House, via the White House.

By Steve Neavling

President Trump’s longtime political aide Hope Hicks is scheduled to testify behind closed doors with the House Intelligence Committee that is investigating Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.

Hicks, the White House communications director who served as the spokeswoman for Trump’s campaign, is considered a key witness because of her longstanding relationship with the president and his family.

White House Communications Director Hope Hicks.

It’s not yet clear when she will appear before the committee or what questions she will answer. Her scheduled appearance was first reported by CBS News

The Democrats’ top committee member said he’s hoping Hicks won’t “stonewall” the committee like other current and former White House workers who refused to answer questions.

“We hope obviously that she will be fully cooperative, but at this point I don’t know what we can expect, except that we expect her to come in soon and we hope that she will fully cooperate,” Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., said Monday.

Former NFL Superstar Charles Tillman Tackles New Career As FBI Agent

Former NFL superstar Charles Tillman joins the FBI. Photo via the U.S. Marines.

By Steve Neavling

Former Chicago Bears superstar Charles “Peanut” Tillman is now an FBI agent.

The former All-Pro cornerback recently graduated from the FBI training academy and will begin tackling crime during a standard two-year probationary period for new agents, the Chicago Tribune first reported. 

Tillman’s interest in law enforcement predates his time as a professional football player. While at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette, Tillman earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. His father, Donald Tillman Jr., served as a sergeant in the Army.

Tillman also is known for his charitable giving and support of the military. In 2010, he spent eight days on a tour with troops in Iraq and Kuwait.

After playing 12 of his 13 seasons for the Bears, Tillman was a major force behind the Panthers’ 15-1 record and appearance in Super Bowl 50 in 2015.

Judge Refuses to Dismiss Charges Against FBI Agent Over Oregon Refuge Standoff

LaVoy Finicum was shot and killed during the standoff at an Oregon Wildlife Refuge. Photo via YouTube.

By Steve Neavling

The FBI agent charged with repeatedly lying to state and federal investigators about firing two shots at leading Oregon standoff protester Robert “LeVoy” Tinicum’s truck in 2016 will face trial after a judge refused to dismiss any of the criminal counts.

Attorneys for FBI Agent W. Joseph Astarita tried to get some of the charges dismissed, arguing the three counts of making a false statement and two counts of obstruction of justice are prejudicial and unnecessarily repetitive, the Oregonian reports

U.S. District Judge Robert E. Jones dismissed those claims, calling the defense motion premature.

The agent’s attorney, Meghan Ferguson, argued the indictment was an “impermissible five-count pileup” related to one alleged lie that should amount to no more than one charge.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Gary Sussman, a member of the FBI’s elite Hostage Rescue Team, defended the charges, saying Astarita liked to three supervisory FBI agents and in two interviews with Oregon State Police detectives.

“Defendant told different lies at different times to three different FBI supervisors with different roles and responsibilities,” Sussman argued.

John Brosnan Named Special Agent in Charge of N.Y. Field Offices’ Criminal Division

Special Agent John Brosnan appointed to lead the Criminal Division for the New York Field Office.

By Steve Neavling

John Brosnan, who most recently served as the section chief of the Violent Crimes Against Children Section of the Criminal Investigative Division, has been named special agent in charge of the Criminal Division for the New York Field Office.

That’s where Brosnan began his career as a special agent in 1995, investigating  white-collar crime. He’ll return to the office in March. 

During his 22-year career with the bureau, Brosnan has held leadership positions in the Philadelphia Division and the Counterterrorism Division

Brosnan, who is a certified public accountant and certified fraud examiner, was appointed by FBI Director Christopher Wray.

Robert ‘Mac’ McIntrye, a Retired Member of DEA-Detroit Police Task Force, Dies at Age 72

Robert “Mac” McIntyre

By Allan Lengel

DETROIT — Robert “Mac” McIntyre, a Vietnam vet and retired Detroit Police officer who worked on a DEA/Detroit Police Task Force in the 1980s and 90s, died Jan. 30 in Michigan. He was 72.

Born on March 23, 1945, McIntyre served in the U.S. Marines from 1963 to 1967. While in Vietnam he was wounded and received the Purple Heart.

After returning to the states, McIntyre  joined the Detroit Police Department in June 1969.  After the Police Academy, he was assigned to the First Precinct.

As a result of his work ethic and performance on the job, he was elevated to the Special Operations Section (SOS) Division, according to former members of the DEA Detroit Group One Task Force.

While in the SOS Division, he worked vice, the Larceny Unit, and was eventually assigned to a plainclothes felony crew.  He was the recipient of numerous letters of commendation, departmental citations, and he received the DPD Life Saving Award.

In 1986, he joined the DEA task force in the Detroit Division at a time crack cocaine was ravaging the city and big violent gangs with names like the Chambers Brothers dominated the drug trade.  He was the case agent on a number of investigations and “was exemplary” in undercover operations, the former task force members said.

In 1994, he was promoted to sergeant and returned to the Detroit Police Department.  He was was assigned to the 12th Precinct Patrol Section and then in 1995, he was transferred to the Narcotic Enforcement Division (NED).

While assigned to NED, he supervised a narcotic enforcement group and was involved in the execution of hundreds of narcotic search and seizure warrants. In August 1995, after a 26 year career, he retired.

The previous year, he married Carolyn Gardner. They moved to Howell, Mich., north of Detroit.

Family described him as a caring grandfather who  cherished his dogs. He also had a love of  golf and enjoyed a good game of cribbage with friends.

He is survived by his wife Carolyn; step sons William, Darren (Bernadette); grandchildren Donovan, Anthony, Alexandra; and sister Pat Moore

Poll: Most Americans Trust Special Counsel Mueller Over Trump

President Trump, via the White House.

By Steve Neavling

Most Americans aren’t buying President Trump’s relentless campaign to undermine confidence in the special counsel team investigating whether his campaign colluded with Russia.

A new USA Today/Suffolk University Poll finds a majority of Americans trust Robert Mueller’s investigation over the president’s denials of collusion. 

Of the 1,000 registered voters polled after the indictments of 13 Russians and three companies, 58% said they have a lot or some trust in Mueller’s probe, while 57% said they have little or no trust in Trump’s denials.

The survey also found that more Americans are taking seriously the allegations that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election. Of those polled, 75% take the charges filed by Mueller seriously, while just one in five don’t.

In March 2017, another USA Today/Suffolk Poll found that 63% took Russian interference seriously, while 31% did not.

The survey’s findings spell trouble for the president, who continues to insist the investigation is a “witch hunt” perpetuated by his own FBI and Justice to take him down.

Dems’ Rebuttal Contradicts Key Republican Claims in Controversial Memo

Rep. Adam Schiff.

By Steve Neavling

A declassified Republican memo that President Trump claimed “vindicates” him is full of “distortions and misrepresentations,” according to a Democratic rebuttal that undercuts the GOP’s core arguments.

The rebuttal, released late Saturday afternoon, includes key FBI documents that contain the exact wording used by the bureau to gain authority to spy on a former Trump campaign operative. 

The Republican majority on the House Intelligence Committee released its memo in January, claiming the FBI misled a secret surveillance court by failing to mention the origins of a controversial dossier used as evidence to secure a warrant to surveil Carter Page, who was under investigation for being a Russian operative. Trump and some Republicans used the memo, which was partially funded by the Democrats, to bolster their claim that the FBI was on a partisan mission to destroy Trump’s candidacy.

But the Democratic rebuttal, which Trump initially declined to release, offers a more detailed and nuanced explanation of the FBI’s handling of the dossier and suggests the FISA court knew Steele was an anti-Trump source. In the rebuttal, Democrats cited a key line in the bureau’s documents that state “the FBI speculates” Steele was hired to find “information that could be used to discredit Campaign #1’s (Trump’s) campaign. That contradicts the key claim by Republicans and Trump who alleged the FBI failed to mention the political nature of the dossier.

“This is a pretty thorough demolition,” Julian Sanchez, an expert on surveillance at the libertarian Cato Institute, wrote on Twitter about the rebuttal memo.

The rebuttal also points out that Page was under investigation long before the dossier was used to extend the warrant because the FBI feared he was a Russian operative.

Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said on Sunday that the dossier undermines the argument that the bureau is part of the “deep state.”

“I’m not surprised the White House tried to bury this memo response as long as they could,” Schiff said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” ‘’But it’s important for the public to see the facts, that the FBI acted appropriately in seeking a warrant on Carter Page, that they are not part of some deep state as the president would like the public to believe. ”

Still, Trump slammed the memo in a tweet Sunday: “The Democrat memo response on government surveillance abuses is a total political and legal BUST. Just confirms all of the terrible things that were done. SO ILLEGAL!”

Former FBI Official Says Election Interference Designed to Distract from Russian Foreign Policy

Leo Taddeo (Twitter photo)

By Steve Neavling

The key reason Republicans have been interfering in U.S. elections is to “amplify” political disputes among American in an effort to distract from Russian foreign policy initiatives, a former FBI official said Sunday.

The indictments filed against 13 Russian operatives earlier this month indicate the interface “really undermined” American democracy, said Leo Taddeo, the former special agent in charge of the Special Operations/Cyber Division of the FBI’s New York office.

“I think it’s fairly clear the Russians have a cheap and effective way to sow discord and confusion and really undermined the basic principles of democracy,” Taddeo, told AM 970AM. “It really wouldn’t matter what the issue was, as long as people were disagreeing.”

Tadeo said the election meddling was a cheap and effective way to sow discord among Americans.

“They’re going to target whatever makes people passionate, whatever will get them out. And they’re going to try to amplify that disagreement and create the kind of division that creates a distraction from America focusing on what Russia thinks is important — things like Ukraine and other foreign policy issues,” he said.

“If Americans aren’t so confident in their president or the Congress or their government in general, then it makes America weaker when it comes time to act on the foreign stage … It’s a brilliant use of a simple technique that’s cheap relative to other intelligence operations [designed] to weaken us,” Taddeo added.