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Trump’s Scaremongering about Impact of Government Shutdown Is Overstated

ICE agents are expected to continue working during the shutdown.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

As the federal government shutdown entered its third day on Monday, the impact on Americans is expected to become more clear as the new work week begins.

Nearly half of the federal government’s 2 million civilian are expected to be furloughed until Republicans and Democrats break an impasse over President Trump’s spending plan.

Despite Trump’s claim on Twitter over the weekend that the shutdown jeopardizes Americans’ safety, a vast majority of the military and federal law enforcement will continue working because they are considered essential to public safety. Most employees who work for the FBI, Justice Department, TSA, Border Patrol and other federal law enforcement won’t be furloughed.

While some department such as HUD and EPA will require more than 90% of its employees to stay home until the shutdown ends, only about 17% of Justice Department workers will be required to take off work. But many of those employees may be asked to work without payt.

The shutdown also won’t affect the special counsel investigation of possible collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russia.

Democrats and Republicans are expected to meet again Monday to reach a compromise to end the shutdown.

On Saturday, Trump accused Democrats of endangering Americans in favor of protecting illegal immigrants. But as Trump tweeted during President Obama’s shutdown in 2013, the impact of shutdowns are minimal.

FBI Investigating New Person of Interest in Las Vegas Shooting Rampage

Las Vegas mass shooter Stephen Paddock

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

FBI agents investigating the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. in Las Vegas in October announced they are probing a new person in its investigation.

Local and federal law enforcement had previously believed Stephen Paddock, a 64-year-old high-stakes gambler, acted alone when he went on a shooting rampage from his 32nd floor hotel room that killed 58 people at a concert.

“The FBI has an ongoing case against an individual of federal interest,” Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo told a press conference, but he declined to give details, Newsweek reports.

The Friday announcement of a person of interest is the first indication that another person may have helped Paddock, who killed himself following the attack.

The FBI recently announced that Paddock’s girlfriend likely wouldn’t be charged because she was unaware of the planned attack.

FBI: House Intel Committee Chairman Won’t Share Memo Alleging Surveillance Abuses

Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The controversial Republican head of the powerful House Intelligence Committee claims to have a classified memo suggesting the FBI’s investigation of Russian meddling has been compromised by a bias against President Trump.

Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, a Trump supporter from California, and his staff produced an apparent classified report claiming FBI investigators engaged in surveillance abuses, The Daily Beast first reported. 

“The FBI has requested to receive a copy of the memo in order to evaluate the information and take appropriate steps if necessary. To date, the request has been declined,” said Andrew Ames, a spokesperson for the FBI.

Nunes’ spokesperson Jack Langer dismissed the Daily Beast as “America’s foremost publication regurgitating the Democrats’ talking points.”

The four-page memo has been reviewed by more than 150 members of the House, but Democrats characterized the report as “a misleading set of talking points attacking the FBI.”

Weekend Series on Crime History: The Cali Cartel

What Happens to Mueller’s Trump-Russia Probe Under a Government Shutdown?

Special counsel Robert Mueller

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

If the U.S. Senate can’t avert a government shutdown by ending a spending impasse by midnight Friday, the special counsel investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia won’t be impacted, according to the Justice Department.

That’s because all employees working on the special counsel probe are exempt from furlough since their paychecks don’t come from annual appropriations.

“All employees with the Special Counsel’s Office are considered exempt and would continue their operations in the case of a lapse in appropriations,” Justice Department spokesman Ian Prior told The Hill

Late Thursday, the U.S. House approved a short-term extension on government funding to allow the Senate an opportunity to reach an agreement by midnight to avert a shutdown.

But many Democrats emphatically pledged to reject the GOP plan without concessions that would prevent the deportation of younger immigrants who were brought to the country illegally.

Although Republicans have a majority in the Senate, the funding bill requires 60 votes to overcome a Democratic filibuster.

Off-Duty Border Patrol Agent May Have Acted in Self-Defense in Fatal Shooting

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An off-duty Border Patrol agent suspected of fatally shooting a 33-year-old man over the weekend in El Paso, Texas, may have been acting in self-defense, a spokesman told the El Paso Times on Thursday. 

Police were called to an aggravated assault at 4:30 a.m. Sunday when they found Juan Daniel Jacques shot to death.

Authorities identified the agent as Luis Chavez, who has not been arrested but is under investigation by the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office.

“The exact details of this case are still under investigation,” sheriff’s spokesman Luis Chavez said. “We are investigating all motives of this homicide, to include the possibility of self-defense. No arrests have been made as of yet.” 

Border Patrol leaders also are investigating to determine whether administrative action is warranted against the agent.

FBI Investigating Whether Suspected Russian Mobster Funneled Money to NRA to Help Trump During Election

Russian banker Alexander Torshin, via Wikipedia

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is investigating whether a Russian banker with ties to the Kremlin, mobsters and money laundering illegally funneled money to the National Rifle Association to help Donald Trump win the presidency.

Two sources familiar with the investigation told McClatchy that FBI counterintelligence investigators are scrutinizing the activities of Aleksander Torshin, who has been described as a godfather of a major Russian criminal organization.

Torshin, a leading figure in President Vladimir Putin’s party, is a lifetime member of the NRA. Authorities said Torshin met with Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr., at an NRA event in Kentucky in May 2016, when his father won an early endorsement from the gun-rights group.

The investigation comes as special counsel Robert Mueller continues a far-reaching probe into alleged collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russia to undermine Hillary Clinton’s chances of winning the 2016 election. 

What Looming Government Shutdown Means for Federal Law Enforcement

An ICE agent.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A looming government shutdown under President Trump likely would force up to 850,000 federal employees to stay home until Democrats and Republicans can end a budget impasse.

But a shutdown is unlikely to result in the furloughs of federal law enforcement officials and other “essential” employees from agencies such as the FBI, TSA, Homeland Security, DEA, ICE and Border Patrol.

Still, a shutdown likely would undermine the agencies’ ability to protect people from crime. During the last government shutdown in 2013, which lasted 16 days, the FBI was barred from hiring new agents and paying for training.

A shutdown would not impact the special counsel investigation into possible collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russia because Robert Mueller’s team is exempt from furloughs.

The full impact of a shutdown won’t be known until Monday.

The U.S. Senate has until midnight tonight to reach a bipartisan agreement to avert a shutdown. But Democrats expressed skepticism that an agreement would be reached in time because they are adamantly opposed to a GOP plan to end protections for younger immigrants who were brought to the country illegally.

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