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White House Counsel Predicts ‘Narrow’ Probe of Russia Will Be Quick

President Trump, via White House

President Trump, via White House

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

White House special counsel Ty Cobb has a positive forecast for the investigation into Russians interfering with the presidential election.

Cobb told Reuters that he believes the probe led by former FBI Director Robert Mueller will wrap up quickly and exonerate Trump. 

Cobb, who said he’s in contact with Mueller’s investigative team, contends the probe appears to be “narrow” and should be over by the end of the year.

“I’d be embarrassed if this is still haunting the White House by Thanksgiving and worse if it’s still haunting him by year end,” Cobb told Reuters, adding: “I think the relevant areas of inquiry by the special counsel are narrow.”

Cobb provided no evidence to back up his claims.

DOJ Program That Combats Terrorism Is Ending After Funds Run Out

virtual_library-terrorism-teamBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department has run out of funding to train officers on combating terrorism and is quietly shutting down the program, even after the deadly violence in Charlottesville, Va. earlier this month.

The last day for the State and Local Anti-Terrorism Training Program is Sept. 30, the Kansas City Star reports

“It makes absolutely no sense,” said Mike Sena, president of the National Fusion Center Association, which runs a network of centers nationwide to help law enforcement combat terrorism.

“Eliminating programs that are critical to preparing our people in the field to identify threats before they manifest and cause harm to our public is an egregious error.”

The task force was revived in 2014.

The Justice Department declined to respond to questions about the program.

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Family: FBI Manipulated Schizophrenic Son to Inspire Bomb Plot in Oklahoma City

Bombing suspect Jerry Drake Varnell

Bombing suspect Jerry Drake Varnell

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The family of a man accused of trying to detonate what he believed was a bomb outside of a bank in downtown Oklahoma City said the suspect is a paranoid schizophrenic and was manipulated by the FBI.

The mother and stepfather of 23-year-old Jerry Drake Varnell said undercover agents took advantage of their son’s mental condition and that he was incapable of carrying out an attack without additional help.

Varnell lived at home and was jobless because of his mental illness, Clifford and Melonie Varnell, of Oklahoma, said in a statement picked up by the Associated Press

“The FBI came and picked him up from our home, they gave him a vehicle, gave him a fake bomb, and every means to make this happen,” the statement said, adding that authorities “should not have aided and abetted a paranoid schizophrenic to commit this act.”

The FBI declined to comment this week.

Varnell faces up to 20 years in prison on a charge of attempting to use explosives to destroy a building in interstate commerce.

Varnell “has suffered through countless serious full-blown schizophrenic delusional episodes and he has been put in numerous mental hospitals since he was 16 years old,” the family’s statement said. 

The Varnells said their son is easily manipulated and that they believe the confidential informant who tipped off the FBI may have inspired the attempted attack.

Secret Service Investigates State Senator Who Wrote, ‘I Hope Trump Is Assassinated’

Missouri State Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal

Missouri State Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Secret Service is investigating a Missouri state senator after posting on Facebook that she’s hopes someone assassinates President Trump.

Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal commented on her personal Facebook page, “I hope Trump is assassinate.” 

The Democratic senator deleted the post, which prompted an investigation by the Secret Service.

Chappelle-Nadal told the Kansas City Star that she made the comment because she was frustrated with the “trauma and despair” the president is causing by minimizing the white supremacist violence in Charlottesville, Va. 

“The way I responded this morning was wrong,” she told The Star. “I’m frustrated. Did I mean the statement? No. Am I frustrated? Absolutely. The president is causing damage. He’s causing hate.”

Chappelle-Nadal eventually deleted the post.

“It was wrong for me to post that,” Chappelle-Nadal said. “But I am not going to shy away from the damage this president is causing.”

Trump has caught criticism from both Democrats and Republicans for blaming “both sides” and “many sides” for the violent rally that ended in the death of an anti-racist protester who was among a group of people struck by a car driven by an alleged Nazi sympathizer from Ohio.

NYT: Internet Users Should Be Alarmed by DOJ’s Pursuit of DreamHost Information

computer-photoBy Editorial Board
New York Times

Do you use the internet? Are you interested in politics? Do you value your privacy? If you answered yes, you should be alarmed by the shockingly broad search warrant sought by the Justice Department, and approved by a judge in Washington, D.C., last month, targeting DreamHost, an internet hosting company based in Los Angeles.

As DreamHost explained in a blog post on Monday, it hosts disruptj20.org, a website that helped organize anti-Trump protests on Inauguration Day, and posted pictures of those protests in the days after. There were large-scale protests across Washington on Jan. 20, most of which involved peaceful marches or sit-ins. But some people turned to violence, breaking store windows, setting fires, throwing rocks at police officers and, in one case, assaulting Richard Spencer, the white nationalist, during a television interview. More than 200 people have been charged with felony rioting.

As part of its continuing investigation, the Justice Department demanded that DreamHost turn over “all records or other information” relating to the site, which received more than 1.3 million requests to view its pages in six days after the inauguration. Those records include personal information like I.P. addresses, which identify a specific computer; data about which of the site’s pages a user viewed, and when; and the type of operating software on that person’s computer. Federal prosecutors are also seeking all emails, photos and other content sent to and from the site.

“That information could be used to identify any individuals who used this site to exercise and express political speech protected under the Constitution’s First Amendment,” DreamHost wrote in its blog post.

It doesn’t matter whether the visitor is suspected of participating in a crime, or is even known to have attended the protests. If someone clicked anywhere on the site from anywhere in the world, the government wants to know.

To read more click here. 

Vermont Man Accused of Spraying Liquid Manure on Marked Border Patrol Car

Border Patrol car covered in liquid manure. Photo via CBP.

Border Patrol car covered in liquid manure. Photo via CBP.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Vermont man accused of spraying liquid manure on a marked Border Patrol car pleaded not guilty Thursday to charges of disorderly conduct and simple assault of a law enforcement officer with fluids.

Authorities said Mark Johnson, 53, covered the vehicle in manure after telling an agent that he should do more to arrest people in the country illegally, the Associated Press reports.

The agent said Johnson sprayed the car after shouting profanities on Aug. 3 in Alburgh, a community just out of the Canadian border on a peninsula in Lake Champlain.

DEA Discovered 30,000 Counterfeit Pills Laced with Deadly Fentanyl

About 30,000 pills laced with fentanyl were discovered by the DEA. Photo via DEA.

About 30,000 pills laced with fentanyl were discovered by the DEA. Photo via DEA.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The DEA and Tempe Police Department seized about 30,000 counterfeit pills containing the powerful and deadly opioid fentanyl.

Local and federal authorities said the pills, discovered Sunday during a traffic stop, are tied to Mexico’s Sinaloa Cartel, Tucson News Now reports. 

“This massive seizure removed thousands of potentially lethal doses of this powerful narcotic off the streets,” said Doug Coleman, Special Agent in Charge of DEA in Arizona. “DEA will never relent in its pursuit of Mexican cartels who manufacture huge quantities of fake oxycodone pills using fentanyl.”

Fentanyl, a potent synthetic opioid that is much more powerful than heroin, is to blame for thousands of deaths a year.

The counterfeit pills were made to look like oxycodone.

Authorities said Mexican cartels are lacing pills with fentanyl, which is cheaper and easier to produce.

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