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News Story

New Data Center at FBI Site in Idaho to Add 350 Employees

Photo via FBI

Photo via FBI

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A data center under construction at an FBI site in Pocatello, Idaho, plans to hire 350 employees when the building is finished, the Idaho State Journal reports

The influx of employees will include both new hires and transfers.

“We’ve always talked to them about 300 to 400 jobs for this data center so it’s great news,” said Pocatello Mayor Brian Blad.

The FBI center in Pocatello, which opened in 1985, has provided telecommunications and database support for bureau field services nationwide.

The average estimate salary for each job is $60,000 a year.

Bannock County Development Corporation Executive Director John Regetz said he expected the data center to collaborate with Idaho County University.

“It could really expand our high-tech talent base,” he said.

Mueller Requests Documents Related to Trump Jr.’s Statements on Russia Meeting

Donald Trump Jr., via Wikipedia

Donald Trump Jr., via Wikipedia

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Special counsel Robert Mueller is requesting documents from the White House that are related to Donald Trump Jr.’s original statements on the suspicious meeting he had with a Russian lawyer at Trump Tower.

The statement, which was later proven to be false, was drafted on Air Force One and approved by President Trump, the Hill reports

Mueller’s team also wants to interview staffers who were on Air Force One at the time the statement was written.

Trump Jr., who is the president’s eldest son, has become a target of the investigation as Mueller’s team digs deeper into alleged collusion between the president’s campaign staff and Russian operatives.

Earlier this month, Trump Jr. met with Senate investigators.

“Mueller’s investigation appears to be picking up steam as he continues to look into whether Trump campaign associates colluded with the Russians to sway the election in their favor,” the Hill reports.

Three Immigrants Arrested After Border Patrol Agent Assaulted

border-patrol-suv-via-border-patrolBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Border Patrol agent was assaulted while trying to take immigrants into custody Thursday morning in the Lower Valley of Texas.

Three undocumented immigrants were arrested following the assault, the El Paso Times reports

Border Patrol spokesman Ramiro Cordero said the agent was not seriously injured and did not require treatment at a hospital.

Details were fuzzy late Thursday because the case is under investigation, but officials said the unidentified agent was assaulted before the trio of immigrants were arrested.

Border Patrol received help from El Paso County sheriff’s deputies, Socorro police and a CBP helicopter.

Homeland Security Leader Accidentally Gave Out Sex Hotline Number

cell-phone-app-fbiBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Homeland Security leader who was warming the public about dangers of sexual predators passed out business cards for his desk, but there was only one problem: The phone number directed people to a 24-hour sex talk line.

The Desert News reports that Steve Cagen, the new head of the investigative arm of Homeland Security’s Utah division, disseminated his business cards, which contained the wrong phone number.

When reporters called the number, they were greeted with a woman’s voice who said, “Hi, sexy” with sultry music in the background. The woman told callers that they had reached the “hottest fantasy line in North America” while offering “private erotic conversations.”

An ICE spokeswoman later acknowledged that the numbers on Cagen’s business card were wrong.

Other Stories of Interest

Senate Judiciary Committee to Subpoena 2 FBI Officials Over Comey’s Firing

Sen. Chuck Grassley

Sen. Chuck Grassley

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Senate Judiciary Committee is preparing for a showdown with the Justice Department after it prevented two senior FBI officials from testifying on Capitol Hill about President Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey.

The Senate legal counsel plans to subpoena the senior FBI officials – Carl Ghattas and James Rybicki – to force their testimony about Comey’s firing, CNN reports

The Justice Department last week said it was preventing the FBI officials from appearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee because of the DOJ’s “long-standing policy regarding the confidentiality and sensitivity of information relating to pending matters.”

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley and Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., aren’t backing down.

“We’ve got subpoenas at the Senate counsel office,” Grassley told CNN Wednesday, referring to the Senate office that would draft the subpoenas. “When we get done there, I’m gonna have to consult with Sen. Feinstein.”

Eric J. Rommal Tapped to Serve As Special Agent in Charge of New Orleans Division

Eric Rommal, newly appointed FBI Special Agent in Charge of the New Orleans Division.

Eric Rommal, newly appointed FBI Special Agent in Charge of the New Orleans Division.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Eric J. Rommal, a 20-year veteran of the FBI, will begin serving as special agent in charge of the bureau’s New Orleans Division.

FBI Director Christopher Wray made the announcement Wednesday.

Rommal, who most recently served as deputy assistant director in the Directorate of Intelligence, began working for the FBI in 1997 and was assigned to the Atlanta Division, where he investigated violent crime, white-collar crime, cybercrime and health care fraud.

Rommal has served in leadership positions in the Counterterrorism Division and the Washington Field Office.

Rommal will begin working in his new role in November.

Donald Trump Squarely in Crosshairs of Special Counsel Investigation

President Trump, via White House

President Trump, via White House

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Special Counsel Robert Mueller is turning his attention to President Trump’s actions in office, including the termination of his national security advisor and FBI director.

The New York Times also reports Mueller is honing in on an Oval Office meeting between Trump and Russian officials after the president said dismissing Comey had relieved “great pressure” on him.” 

Mueller is asking the White House for documents related to some of Trump’s most scrutinized actions while in office.

The news indicates that Trump is now squarely in the crosshairs of the investigation.

Manafort Offered to Provide Briefings of Presidential Race to Russian Tied to Kremlin

Donald Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort.

Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Paul Manafort, who served as Donald Trump’s campaign chairman, is accused of offering to provide briefings on the presidential election to a Russian billionaire with close ties to the Kremlin, the Washington Post reports

People familiar with the discussions said Manafort made the offer in an email less than two weeks before Trump accepted the Republican presidential nomination.

Manafort requested that his email be provided to Oleg Deripaska, an aluminum magnate who has past connections with Manafort.

“If he needs private briefings we can accommodate,” Manafort wrote in the July 7, 2016, email.

Federal authorities have no evidence yet that Deripaska received the email or any briefings.