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Trump’s Ex-Campaign Manager Manafort May Face Another Indictment

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Former campaign manager Paul Manafort and his business partner Rick Gates may face another indictment in the Trump-Russia probe headed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

The Daily Beast reports that Washington D.C. lawyers anticipate Mueller will file a superseding indictment of Manafort and Gates to replace the current indictment. 

“I would expect a superseding indictment to come down relatively soon,” said Jonathan Turley, a George Washington University law school professor.

“There was much in the narrative of the indictment that referenced crimes not charged,” he added. “Prosecutors will often issue a superseding indictment as the grand jury continues its work. There’s also a tactical reason for this, that superseding indictments tend to grind defendants a bit more over time.”

Both men pleaded not guilty to an Oct. 30 indictment that alleges conspiracy against the United States, conspiracy to launder money, failure to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts, being an unregistered agent of foreign principal, false and misleading statements under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, and false statements.

Manafort’s foreign financial transactions may draw potential new tax charges, the indictment hinted.

Other Stories of Interest

Ethics Lawyers: Trump’s Tweets May Amount to Witness Intimidation

President Trump

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump’s persistent and stubborn Twitter attacks may finally land him in hot water.

Several legal experts said Trump’s drumbeat of criticism of the FBI may amount to witness intimidation.

In less than a week, Trump slammed former FBI Director James Comey, FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and outgoing FBI general counsel James Baker.

In a tweet on Saturday, Trump blasted Comey for helping leak a memo to a reporter. The president also claimed that McCabe’s wife’s state Senate campaign received $700,000 from “puppets” of Hillary Clinton.

On Sunday, Trump suggested that McCabe used “his FBI Official Email Account to promote (his wife’s) campaign. You obviously cannot do this.”

Richard Painter, the top ethics lawyer in the George W. Bush administration, said the president is making special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation easier.

Newsweek wrote:

The FBI and special counsel Robert Mueller are investigating Trump’s 2016 campaign, including whether Trump obstructed justice by firing Comey in May—and it’s possible that Comey, McCabe and Baker could be witnesses in that probe. Comey has already testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee, in June, and McCabe met with the House Intelligence Committee on December 19. Both committees are overseeing their own investigations into Russia’s election meddling and possible coordination with the Trump campaign. On December 21, McCabe also met with members of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and the House Judiciary Committee.

Norm Eisen, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and special assistant for ethics and government reform for former President Barack Obama, said Trump is at risk of “witness tampering charges.”

Trump Tweets FBI Is ‘TAINTED’ Because Salacious Dossier Is Unsubstantiated

Donald Trump

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The salacious dossier that claims Donald Trump and Russia may have colluded to undermine Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign remain unsubstantiated, Deputy Director Andrew McCabe testified before Congress last week.

Trump and conservative lawmakers are pouncing on McCabe’s testimony to suggest the FBI’s top ranks are biased against the president and are bent on bringing him down.

The dossier was funded by the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign.

In a tweet Tuesday morning, Trump said the dossier is “bogus” and the FBI is “TAINTED.”

But what Trump didn’t mention is that special counsel is still investigating the report and may determine it has credibility. Furthermore, the special counsel investigation has already charged four people connected to Trump without relying on the dossier. 

Death of Border Patrol Agent’s Death Remains a Hotly Contested Rumor

Border Patrol Agent Rogelio Martinez was found dead at the bottom of a ravine in west Texas.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump was quick to exploit the death of a Border Patrol agent by suggesting – without evidence – that he was killed by illegal immigrants. Other conservative lawmakers made the same premature conclusion.

But a month after Border Patrol Agent Rogelio Martinez was found in a ravine in West Texas and later died, local and federal law enforcement said they still don’t know what prompted the death and added it may have been an accident. Martinez’s partner was severely injured and can’t remember what happened.

Culberson County Sheriff Oscar Carrillo told the Dallas Morning News that the men may have been hit by a truck on a nearby interstate.

“If this was an assault, believe me, as sheriff, I’d be the first one out there emphasizing safety in our community and with our deputies, pairing them up,” he told the newspaper. “But from what I know and see, that was not the case here.”

The theory that the agents were attacked began with the National Border Patrol Council, the border agents’ union. Chris Cabrera, a spokesman for the union, called Carrillo a “dingbat.”

“All these other theories, it’s tarnishing the name of our agents,” he said in an interview with the New York Times

Off-Duty Border Patrol Agent Killed in Motorcycle Crash in California

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An off-duty Border Patrol agent was killed when the motorcycle he was riding appeared to collide with a pickup truck in Southern California.

Alex Franco, who has been a Border Patrol agent since February 2009, drifted into oncoming traffic on the Ortega Highway in San Juan Capistrano on Saturday afternoon, the Associated Press reports

Border Patrol spokesman Ralph DeSio sent the agency’s condolences to Franco’s friends and family.

Trump Slams Deputy FBI Director Who Plans to Retire Soon

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump continued his tirade Sunday against Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, who is expected to retire in a few months following more than a year of attacks by some congressional Republicans.

Citing a Fox News report, Trump claimed in a tweet Sunday morning that “FBI’s Andrew McCabe, ‘in addition to his wife getting all of this money from M (Clinton Puppet), he was using, allegedly, his FBI Official Email Account to promote her campaign. You obviously cannot do this. These were the people who were investigating Hillary Clinton.'”

The tweet follows two others by Trump on Saturday, when the president slammed McCabe and former FBI director James Comey.

“How can FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, the man in charge, along with leakin’ James Comey, of the Phony Hillary Clinton investigation (including her 33,000 illegally deleted emails) be given $700,000 for wife’s campaign by Clinton Puppets during investigation?” Trump tweeted

Trump’s misleading tweet is alluding to McCabe’s wife, Dr. Jill McCabe, whose failed state Senate campaign in 2015 collected donations from the Virginia Democratic Party and Common Good VA, the super PAC led by Democratic Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a longtime Clinton supporter. Neither Clinton nor her family donated to Dr. McCabe.

What Trump also fails to mention is that McCabe was not leading the bureau’s investigation of Clinton. His “oversight role” began in February 2016, months after his wife’s campaign ended.

Also on Tuesday, Trump suggested McCabe is waiting to retire until he’s eligible for full pension benefits.

“FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe is racing the clock to retire with full benefits. 90 days to go?!!!” Trump tweeted

Trump and some Republicans have ramped up their criticism of the FBI as the special counsel investigation continues to widen its investigation into possible collusion between the president’s campaign and Russia.

Critics of Trump say the president is becoming exceedingly anxious about the investigation and is relying on diversionary tactics.

Merry Christmas From ticklethewire.com

How FBI Played Role in Troubled Man’s Alleged Plot to Attack Pier 39 in San Francisco

Everitt Aaron Jameson

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Everitt Aaron Jameson was a quiet, struggling 26-year-old former Marine whose young family had just fallen apart when the FBI first came across him in late September.

A tow truck driver living in Modesto, Calif., Jameson had recently converted to Islam and was “liking” pro-ISIS and pro-terrorism Facebook posts. An undercover FBI employee posing an ISIS leader reached out to Jameson, who reportedly was flattered by the attention.

Jameson and the undercover agent communicated over the next two months. Saying he was inspired by the New York City terror attack on Oct. 31 and the mass shooting in San Bernardino in 2015, Jameson told the agent he had been trained in sharpshooting, the M-16 and AK-47, according to the court filing. Jameson said the ideal location for a terror attack was San Francisco’s Pier 39, a popular tourist destination that could result in massive casualties, the FBI alleged.

“He had been there before and knew that it was a heavily crowded area,” an FBI affidavit filed Friday said. “Jameson explained that he also desired to use explosives, and described a plan in which explosives could ‘tunnel’ or ‘funnel’ people into a location where Jameson could inflict casualties.”

The final plan was to attack people at Pier 39 0n Christmas with a pipe bomb and then shoot people as they fled, according to court records. The FBI said Jameson provided the undercover agent with a map and photos of the site and that he “did not need an escape plan because he was ready to die.”

Jameson, who was discharged from the Marines for lying about his asthma, didn’t have the material needed to carry out the attack, so he asked the undercover agent for an assault rifle, ammunition, powder, nails, timers, tubing and remote detonators.

But by late Monday night, Jameson had cold feet and told the undercover agent, “I … don’t think I can do this after all. I’ve reconsidered.”

Still, the FBI secured a warrant Wednesday and searched Jameson’s home, finding a firearms, ammunitions and a note declaring his intent to attack the non-Muslim world.

Following his arrest, media headlines wrongly declared that the FBI “thwarted” or “foiled” the attack, even though Jameson withdrew from the plot.

Jameson has been charged with attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization, a crime punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

When Jameson’s parents were notified of their son’s alleged plans, they were in disbelief and said he was incapable of carrying out such an attack without the help and encouragement of the FBI. They said Jameson, normally a kind and gentle man, was depressed after losing custody of his two young children – ages 2 and 3 – while his wife was serving time in jail.

“He lost his kids for good and he was devastated,” his father, Gordon Jameson, told the Modesto Bee

“He would never hurt people. Not ever. It’s just unbelievable. That’s not who he is,” his father added, saying his son recently turned to Islam for comfort.

“We’d talk about Jesus – not argue, just talk – and he’d say ‘yeah, Dad, we all believe in the same god,'” his father said. “He never once spoke about hate or wanting to hurt anything. He never said anything about wanting to blow people up.”