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Hacker Who Harassed FBI, CIA Directors Sentenced to 5 Years in Prison

Justin Liverman, via LinkedIn.

Justin Liverman, via LinkedIn.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A hacker who exposed private online accounts of the directors of the CIA and FBI, among others, in 2015 has been sentenced to five years in prison.

The Washington Post reports that 23-year-old Justin Liverman harassed leaders at the CIA and FBI and was a member of the “Crackas With Attitude” collective. 

The accounts were breached by a British teenager impersonating officials. Liverman and a co-defendant harassed the victims with the exposed information.

The harassment included threatening and explicit phone messages.

Co-defendant Andrew Otto Boggs was sentenced to two years in prison, and the British teenager is being prosecuted in his country.

Significant Portion of Trump’s Travel Ban Set to Expire Before Reaching Supreme Court

U.S. Supreme Court

U.S. Supreme Court

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department is appealing an injunction on President Trump’s travel ban, even though a significant portion of the ban is set to expire by the Oct. 10 court date.

Even more, the entire ban is likely to expire by the time the justices rule on the case, the Washington Post’s Editorial Board wrote

The Justice Department is appealing a federal court’s ruling against the Trump administration’s temporary travel ban of refugees and residents of six majority-Muslim countries.

The Post wrote:

Mr. Trump’s order halts entry into the United States by citizens of the six banned countries for 90days and suspends refugee admissions for 120days. After courts blocked the ban, Mr. Trump clarified that these clocks would begin ticking as soon as the policy was allowed to go into effect. Because the Supreme Court lifted in part the lower-court injunctions against the order on June26, the refugee ban will expire in late October, and the entry ban at the end of September.

As a matter of law, the Supreme Court can’t rule on a case that no longer presents an ongoing issue. Yet the Justice Department hasn’t given any indication of awareness that the court might well dismiss the case without deciding whether the ban is legal. Not only is the department now battling over an injunction on a policy that likely expires in two weeks, but its opening brief before the Supreme Court didn’t even address the issue.

If the White House wants to keep the case alive, Mr. Trump could declare that the clock has yet to start with respect to those immigrants and refugees with “bona fide” connections to the United States, for whom the ban has remained on pause. Or he might extend the order on the grounds that the government has been unable to conduct reviews of vetting procedures — ostensibly what the halt in travel was meant to allow — without the ban fully in place. He could even issue a new ban or make the existing order permanent.

FBI Investigating Russian-Funded News Agency’s Role in Presidential Election

sputnik_logo-svgBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI its investigating whether Sputnik, a Russian-government-funded news agency, is operating in the U.S. as an undeclared propaganda arm of the Kremlin in possible violation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act.

Yahoo News reports that FBI agents have questioned a former White House correspondent for Sputnik. 

The FBI is reviewing thousands of internal Sputnik emails and documents to determine if the news agency played a role in the Russia’s campaign to interfere with the 2016 presidential election.

Andrew Feinberg, the news agency’s former White House correspondent, turned over the emails to the FBI and was questioned by agents for more than two hours.

Feinberg said the focus of the interview was of the agency’s “internal structure, editorial processes and funding.”

“They wanted to know where did my orders come from and if I ever got any direction from Moscow,” Feinberg told Yahoo News. “They were interested in examples of how I was steered towards covering certain issues.”

Other Stories of Interest

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Prosecutors Call on FBI to Help Investigate Violent Arrest of Nurse in Utah

Arrest of nurse Alex Wobbels caught on video.

Arrest of nurse Alex Wobbels caught on video.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI has been asked to join a criminal investigation into the violent arrest of a local nurse who was trying to protect the constitutional rights of a patient in Utah.

District Attorney Sim Gill in Salt Lake City wants the FBI to help determine whether the arresting officer or anyone else on the police force violated the civil rights of the nurse, Alex Wobbels, whose July 26 arrest went viral, according to a letter made public Thursday

“We request an investigation in addition to any other criminal or other investigation of the matter,” Gill wrote in the letter. “In order to be thorough, and given the gravity of the rights potentially implicated, all issues must be completely examined to restore the public trust currently compromised by the actions depicted in the publicly released video recordings of the incident. It is essential that all individuals and institutions associated with this incident should be investigated to document the roles they played in the incident to prevent such a thing from happening again. Our community and its citizens deserve nothing less.”

The arrest was caught on a police body camera, prompting widespread outrage at Detective Jeff Payne’s handling of the nurse. The hospital also barred police from having contact with nurses.

FBI Investigating ‘Terrorism Links’ to Post Office Bombing in Indiana

police-lineBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is trying to determine “if there are any terrorism links” to the bomb that exploded at an East Chicago, Ind., post office on Wednesday, but insisted “there is no ongoing public safety concern.”

The Chicago Tribune confirmed from the FBI that a pipe bomb caused the explosion shortly after 6:30 p.m. 

“At this time, investigators are still trying to ascertain if there are any terrorism links,” FBI spokeswoman Chris Bavender said in a release.

The explosion injured a female post office employee, who sustained non life-threatening injuries.

The post office was “up and running for business” Thursday morning, U.S. Postal Inspector Mary T. Johnson said.

“There is no disruption of mail delivery service,” Johnson said.

The post office was not damaged in the explosion.

Mueller’s Team Wants to Interview White House Staffers over Trump Tower Statement

Robert Mueller, via FBI

Robert Mueller, via FBI

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s team wants to interview White House staffers who may have been involved or witnessed a misleading statement about Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with a Russian lawyer at Trump Tower, CNN reports

Mueller’s team is trying to learn how the statement aboard Air Force One was crafted and who was involved.

The investigation may determine whether anyone from the White House was trying to obstruct justice by intentionally issuing a misleading statement.

CNN wrote:

The interviews with White House staffers who were aboard Air Force One have not begun, the sources said. They currently involve only a small number of people, but the sources cautioned that number could increase. At this time, Mueller has not asked to interview President Trump. Trump Jr. was on the Hill Thursday for an interview with the Senate Judiciary Committee.

In his first response to a report this summer about his meeting at Trump Tower, the President’s son claimed in a statement that he “primarily discussed a program about the adoption of Russian children” during his meeting with a Russian lawyer he believed to be connected to the Russian government. That claim was later debunked by multiple accounts of the meeting.

New FBI Director Says He’s Seen No Evidence of White House Interference in Russian Probe

Christopher Wray is sworn in as the new FBI director. Photo via FBI.

Christopher Wray is sworn in as the new FBI director. Photo via FBI.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

New FBI Director Christopher Wray insists he’s seen no evidence that the White House tried to interfere in the ongoing investigation into possible collusion between Russia and Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.

“I can say very confidently that I have not detected any whiff of interference with that investigation,” Wray said, according to the Washington Post

Wray added that he has “enormous respect” for Mueller, who was fired earlier this year, prompting an investigation into alleged obstruction of justice.

Wray said the FBI wants to ensure Russians don’t interfere in future elections.

“I’m impressed with the strides that we’ve made on that front,” Wray said.