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Attorney For Ex-Hill Staffer Accuses Trump, DOJ of Making Inappropriate Comments About Criminal Case

Attorney Preston Burton

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The lawyer for a former top staff member of the Senate Intelligence Committee charged with lying to the FBI about his contacts with reporters, alleged Wednesday that the Justice Department and President Donald Trump have made inappropriate comments about the case that could poison the jury pool, the New York Times reports.

Attorney Preston Burton made the remarks on Wednesday as his client, James A. Wolfe, pleaded not guilty in U.S. District Court in Washington.

Burton alleged that government officials, including President Trump, made statements that impugned his client’s character by implying that Wolf  had illegally leaked national security secrets.

The Times reports:

Two of the three charges against Mr. Wolfe related to allegations that he told reporters nonpublic information that he had learned as a result of his role as a staff member of the Intelligence Committee. But none of the false statement charges accuse Mr. Wolfe of leaking classified information.

Mr. Burton pointed to a Justice Department news release about the case, which framed Mr. Wolfe’s purported false statements as arising in “the course of an investigation into the unlawful disclosure of classified information.” He also criticized as “glib” comments made by Mr. Trump on Friday when the president spoke to reporters about the case.

 

 

Sessions Says There Could Be More Firings in Wake of IG Report on FBI

Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Attorney General Jeff Sessions hints that there could be more firings after the release of a Justice Department inspector general report on missteps during ex-FBI Director James Comey’s era, The Hill reports.

Sessions told The Hill’s new morning show “Rising” that the IG report will better help the agency improve from past mistakes that led to Comey’s firing last year.

“If anyone else shows up in this report to have done something that requires termination we will do so,” he said.

 

Former DOJ Press Spokesman: Trump Administration Doesn’t Respect Press’s Need to Do Job

Matthew Miller

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Matthew Miller, the former director of public affairs for the Department of Justice under the Obama administration, takes a swipe at the Trump Administration, telling the New York Times:

“I don’t think people in this administration respect the press’s need to do its job at all. And they couldn’t care less about bad press coverage. So both of the checks on what is otherwise their unfettered ability to use the law to obtain journalist records are kind of gone right now.”

Miller is quoted in an article in the Times which talks about the Justice Department seizing years of phone and email records from Ali Watkins, a New York Times journalist, raising concerns that the Trump administration is adopting a highly aggressive approach, continuing a crackdown that ramped up in the Obama years.

To be fair, the Obama administration obtained private records from reporters at Fox News and The Associated Press, triggering strong objections from the media.

Off-Duty FBI Agent Charged in Accidental Shooting at Denver Club

FBI agent Chase Bishop.

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The Denver District Attorney’s Office on Tuesday charged the off-duty FBI agent in connection with the discharge of his weapon while doing a back flip on the dance floor at a Denver nightclub on June 2. A customer suffered a serious, but non-life threatening gunshot injury in the lower leg.

Chase Bishop, 29, is charged with one count of assault in the second degree. He  turned himself in to Denver Police on Tuesday.

Additional charges may be filed based on the results of a pending blood alcohol content (BAC) analysis.

“We are filing this charge now rather than waiting until the BAC report is received, which we understand could take another week, because sufficient evidence has been presented to file it,” District Attorney Beth McCann said in a statement “If an additional charge needs to be filed after further evidence is received, we can file those charges then.”

Bishop is scheduled to make an appearance in court on Wednesday.

McCabe Files Lawsuit, Claiming Feds Refuse to Turn Over Documents Related to His Firing

Ex-FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Fired FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe is digging in for a legal battle.

He’s suing the FBI, the Justice Department and its inspector general for refusing to turn over documents related to her firing, NPR reports. You might recall that McCabe was fired  hours before his planned retirement in March for “lack of candor” regarding information provided to the media.

Consequently, McCabe and his family were stripped of their health care benefits. It also delayed his ability to collect a federal pension.

McCabe’s lawyer, David Snyder, filed the suit, claiming:

“Those requests have been denied by some of the same high-ranking officials who were involved in, or responsible for, the investigation, adjudication, and/or dismissal of Mr. McCabe,” the legal complaint said.

DEA Agent Wants Oklahoma Voters to Know Facts on Pot Measure on the Ballot

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Oklahomans will vote whether to legalize medical marijuana.

So, the head of Oklahoma’s DEA office, Richard Salter, is going around delivering a 45-minute presentation, saying people need to know the facts.  He says the bill is really about recreational use, not medical, News on 6 reports.

“I think Oklahoma will be the first state, if this passes, to have no qualifying medical condition. That means you go to the doctor and say, ‘Even though there’s nothing wrong with me, I’d like a medical marijuana card,’” Salter said.
NewsOn6.com – Tulsa, OK – News, Weather, Video and Sports – KOTV.com |

Oregon Federal Judge Tosses Key Evidence in Criminal Case Against FBI Agent Joseph Astarita

Robert “LaVoy” Finicum was the spokesman of the occupation. Via YouTube.

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A federal judge in Portland dealt a blow to the government’s case against FBI Agent W. Joseph Astarita, who is accused of lying about firing his weapon during a 2016 confrontation with Oregon occupation spokesman Robert “LaVoy” Finicum, who was fatally shot.

U.S. District Judge Robert E. Jones wrote in a ruling filed Monday that part of  the government’s key evidence, a  3D model that pinpointed where prosecutors suspect the agent was standing when he’s accused of firing at Finicum, can’t be used, the Portland Oregonian reports.

The judge concluded that Astarita’s position is based on “fuzzy smudges” from an aerial FBI video and can’t accurately support the placement of the agent at the scene.

The judge wrote that the government can only use the model at trial if a separate eyewitness testimony that places the agent’s position at the scene.

Read the judge’s ruling. 

 

 

Imprisoned Gangster Says He and Whitey Bulger Paid Off 7 FBI Agents, Killed Informants

Steve Flemmi/dateline nbc file photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

For decades, the story of James “Whitey” Bulger was one of the bigger ones to come out of Boston.

Now, his name is back in the news.

Former gangster Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemmi testified Monday that he and Bulger paid off seven FBI agents, killed several informants after they were exposed by a corrupt agent, and lied to implicate others in murders they committed, reports Shelley Murphy of the Boston Globe.

“There was always some sort of story concocted . . . to keep the heat away from us,” Flemmi said under cross-examination at the murder trial of former New England Mafia boss Francis “Cadillac Frank” Salemme.

Murphy writes:

The sordid details of the gangsters’ corrupt relationship with the FBI have emerged in previous trials related to the Bulger saga over the past two decades, but they were new to the jury in the murder case unfolding in federal court in Boston against Salemme, 84, and his codefendant, Paul Weadick, a 62-year-old plumber from Burlington.