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Democratic Groups Urge Delay on FBI Director Vote Until Trump Comes Clean on Mueller

Christopher Wray at confirmation hearing.

Christopher Wray at confirmation hearing.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A group of Democratic groups is urging the Senate to oppose the confirmation of Christopher Wray as FBI director until President Trump can assure lawmakers that he won’t fire special counsel Robert Mueller.

A letter addressed to key members of the Senate suggests President Trump “seems intent on thwarting special counsel’s investigation” into Russia’s interference with the 2016 presidential campaign.

“Before moving to confirm a new Trump-selected FBI Director, the Senate should be assured that President Trump and his White House will respect the independence of the FBI’s law enforcement function from White House interference,” according to the letter, signed by nine groups, including Citizens of Responsibility and Ethics, Common Cause and MoveOn.org.

It’s unclear whether the letter will have any impact. Wray has bi-partisan support after pledging independence during his confirmation hearing, and lawmakers are expected to approve the confirmation within a month.

Vintage FBI Surveillance Van Packed with Spying Equipment Sells for $18,700

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

It certainly was a classic.

The 1980s-era FBI surveillance van included features such as a toilet, extra 12-volt vehicle batteries, TV monitors, video recording equipment, DVD players and hidden microphones on the exterior.

A North Carolina resident sold the 1989 Dodge Ram 350 on eBay for $18,7000.

1980s-era FBI surveillance van is for sale on eBay.

1980s-era FBI surveillance van is for sale on eBay.

Ginger Senfeldas said he bought the 1989 Dodge Ram 350 on a government auction website.

“We found out that there’s microphones as we took the side markers out of the van, and there’s microphones hidden in headlights and taillights. That’s why there’s little holes everywhere,” he said.

Senfeldas said there also were handcuffs, binoculars and leftover video from an old stakeout.

The van, which only had 23,5000 miles on it, received 47 bids before the auction ended at 7 p.m. Monday.

LAT: Trump’s Attacks on Session Is about Skirting Justice

President Trump

President Trump

By Editorial Board
Los Angeles Times

It has been obvious at least since President Trump fired former FBI Director James B. Comey — a shocking decision that he acknowledged was done with “this Russia thing” in mind — that Trump is being driven to bizarre and desperate lengths by the FBI investigation into possible ties between his presidential campaign and Russia.

Now Trump’s aversion to the investigation he has wrongly characterized as a “witch hunt” has led him to savage his attorney general, Jeff Sessions. On Tuesday, the president continued that attack, in what is either a prelude to firing Sessions or an attempt to humiliate him into resigning.

Either outcome would make it easier for Trump to engineer the dismissal of Robert S. Mueller III, the former FBI director who is leading the investigation into Russian meddling with last year’s election, connections between Russia and the Trump campaign and “any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation” — including, quite possibly, financial transactions involving Trump and his family.

Trump’s ongoing efforts to impede the investigation through both public and private threats and irresponsible action are deeply inappropriate, to say the least. This is a test of character for Republican members of Congress. They must make it clear to the president that going after Sessions as a way of muscling Mueller will have consequences.

To read more click here.

Teacher, Children Detained by Border Patrol for Refusing to Confirm Citizenship

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol agents detained a California teacher and her children for refusing to answer questions about her citizenship.

Shane Parmely, who is a U.S. citizen, said she and her children were detained for more than an hour.

Parmely posted videos of the confrontation with Border Patrol agents on Facebook, leading many to question whether she was within her rights or had an obligation to comply.

Shane Parmely refused to give her citizenship status to Border Patrol agents.

Shane Parmely refused to give her citizenship status to Border Patrol agents.

When asked by agents if she’s a citizen, Parmely responded, “You can ask me. I don’t have to answer.”

But the Border Patrol agent disagreed, saying she would “be detained here until you state your citizenship.”

Parmely told ABC 10News she refused to reveal her citizenship status in protest of Border Patrol agents routinely targeting anyone who is non-white.

“When you see something that is clearly racist, you have a choice,” Parmely told 10News. “We would have no civil rights if people didn’t question authority or challenge the status quo.”

Other Stories of Interest

Lengel: Jeff Sessions is a Deadman Walking, But he Should Make Trump Sweat

Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

It’s just a matter of time before Jeff Sessions is gone as Attorney General, whether it’s by firing or forced resignation. For now, he’s a Deadman Walking.

President Donald Trump apparently wants him to quit,  and is trying his best through tweets and public statements to humiliate him in to doing so. Sessions should hang in there and force Trump to fire him.

Firing Sessions would be a public relations nightmare. Trump knows that. He can only hope Sessions, who was a Trump loyalist during the campaign, folds under pressure.

So far, in his short tenure, Trump has fired acting Attorney General Sally Yates, FBI Director Jame Comey, and he certainly would like to give the ax to special counsel Robert S. Mueller III.

To fire Sessions would be disastrous, particularly on the grounds that he was acting ethically and recused himself from the Russian probe.

Much to Trump’s disappointment, that recusal opened the door for Mueller to step in.

This isn’t Celebrity Apprentice. Trump can’t fire someone every episode.

If he tries, at some point, the folks on Capitol Hill will  fire him.

 

Driver in Smuggling Operation Said Bodies Were ‘Lying on the Floor Like Meat’

James Matthew Bradley Jr.

James Matthew Bradley Jr.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

They were packed inside a sweltering, pitch-black tractor-trailer, taking turns breathing from a small hole in the semi. The immigrants had no water and banged on the walls of the trailer in vain.

Then they started dying.

James Matthew Bradley Jr., the 60-year-old driver of the tractor-trailer, told authorities Monday he had no idea there was anyone in the truck until he arrived at a Walmart in San Antonio on early Sunday morning. When he opened the door to the trailer, he said “he was run over by ’Spanish’ people and knocked to the ground,” the complaint reads, according to CNN

The Florida man said bodies were “lying on the floor like meat.”

Ten people died. More than a dozen more were in life-threatening condition.

If convicted, Bradley could be sentenced to death on one count of transporting illegal immigrants for financial gain, resulting in death.

Trump Considers Chasing Out AG Sessions As Russia Investigation Heats Up

Attorney General Jeff Sessions during his confirmation hearing in January.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions during his confirmation hearing in January.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The days may be numbered for Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

President Trump has met privately with his advisers to discuss replacing Sessions, and some officials close to Trump are suggesting possible replacements, the Washington Post reports. 

To some in Trump’s inner circle, firing Sessions would make it easier to fire special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, whose fate ultimately is determined by the attorney general.

But in Sessions’ case, the decision was made by Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein because Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation.

Trump has publicly berated Sessions’ for recusing himself. 

If Sessions quits, Trump could replace him with someone who would fire Mueller.

On Monday and Tuesday, Trump attacked Sessions on Twitter.

Giuliani Denies Report That Trump May Appoint Him to Replace Sessions

Rudolph Giuliani

Rudolph Giuliani

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump has mulled replacing Attorney General Jeff Sessions with longtime supporter Rudy Giuliani, Axios reported

But on Monday, the former New York City mayor told CNN the report was untrue and defended Sessions’ “right decision under the rules of the Justice Department” to recuse himself from the Russia investigation.

Numerous outlets reported this week that Trump is hoping Sessions will resign, in no small part because he recused himself from the Russia investigation.

Trump told the New York Times last week, “Sessions should have never recused himself, and if he was going to recuse himself, he should have told me before he took the job and I would have picked somebody else.”