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Arizona Aid Group Says Border Patrol Raid Endangered Lives of Ill Migrants

border patrol 3By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol agents have long abided by an informal agreement to allow migrants to seek medical attention at a camp in the Arizona desert to prevent more deaths of people crossing the border.

But that has changed under the Trump administration after 15 trucks and about 30 agents raided the camps and detained four immigrants Thursday, the Associated Press reports. 

The crackdown prompted volunteers with the aid group, No More Deaths/No Mas Muertas, to say the “staged military siege” endangered the lives of undocumented immigrants.

‘‘The type of operation they are doing, for me, is unprecedented,’’ said Catherine Gaffney, a longtime volunteer for the group.

Although the group asked Border Patrol for more time to treat immigrants with heart-related illnesses, agents swarmed the camp anyway.

One of those captured had a prior felony conviction for drug possession and had previously been deported.

‘‘They didn’t need 30 agents to apprehend four sick people,’’ Gaffney said.

Border Patrol said the four men were taken to the hospital but were in good condition. 

Trump’s Nominee for FBI Director Still Represents Gov. Christie in Bridgegate Scandal

Christopher A. Wray

Christopher A. Wray

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Even after President Trump nominated Christopher Wray for the new FBI director post, the attorney continues to work as New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s personal attorney in connection with the Bridgegate investigation, trial and aftermath.

Wray, whose law firm has collected $2.1 million from New Jersey taxpayers, never stopped his legal work seven months after two of the governor’s former aides were found guilty of conspiring to shut down George Washington Bridge access lanes, the Asbury Park Press reports. 

Trump nominated Wray on June 7 after the president fired James Comey as the FBI’s director.

A hearing has yet to be set on Wray’s confirmation.

Wray is collecting $340 an hour.

Christie, a Trump adviser, has a close relationship with Wray and said the attorney who “would provide great leadership at the FBI.”

But Christie continues to evade questions about his role in Wray’s nomination.

“I don’t talk about what advice I give to the president of the United States,” Christie said.

With No Evidence, Gingrich Insists Comey ‘May Be Under Investigation’

Newt Gingrich

Newt Gingrich

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, a longtime aide to Donald Trump, provided no evidence but suggested that former FBI director James Comey “may be under investigation.”

Gingrich, who is promoting his new book, “Understanding Trump,” made the comments on “This Week” Sunday, saying, “If you have an obstruction case, Comey has got to be one of the major witnesses.”

Gingrich also questioned the integrity of an investigation that involves special counsel Robert Mueller, but appeared to contradict himself on the investigation.

“Special counsel happens to be a close friend of Comey, which is weird, because, under Justice Department rules, Mueller can’t investigate Comey.”

ABC host Marth Raddatz responded, “Comey isn’t under investigation.”

Other Stories of Interest

Republican Congressman Chaffetz Slams Trump, Sessions on Transparency

Rep. Jason Chaffetz was the chairman of the House Oversight Committee.

Rep. Jason Chaffetz was the chairman of the House Oversight Committee.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz, the oversight leader of Congress with just two weeks left in office, slammed President Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions in an interview with Sinclair Broadcast Group

“The reality is, sadly, I don’t see much difference between the Trump administration and the Obama administration,” the chairman of the House Oversight Committee said over the weekend.

The Utah Congressman, who announced his resignation last month, said Sessions is “worse” than Obama’s attorney general, Loretta Lynch, when it comes to transparency.

“The attorney general has not changed at all. I find him to be worse than what I saw with Loretta Lynch in terms of releasing documents and making things available,” Chaffetz said. “That’s my experience, and that’s not what I expected.” 

Read the full interview here

Weekend Series on Crime History: The Mongols and Law Enforcement

Putin Jokingly Offers Comey Asylum in Russia, Comparing ex-FBI Boss to Snowden

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Russian President Vladimir Putin joked Thursday that he’s willing to grant asylum to fired FBI Director James Comey, comparing him to NSA leaker Edward Snowden.

Speaking at a question-and-answer session with Russian voters, Putin asked, “What’s the difference then between the FBI director and Mr. Snowden?”

“In this case, he (Comey) is not the head of a special service but a human rights activist who defends a certain position,” Putin said.

Putin added, “If he is subject to any sort of persecution in connection with this, we will be ready to give him political asylum in Russia. And he should know about this.”

But don’t confuse Putin’s trademark sardonic humor with support for Comey.

During the same session, Putin criticized the former FBI director for suggesting Russia was meddling in the presidential election, saying Comey “gave no evidence” of his allegations.

Putin said Russia was not involved in “any sort of underground, subversive activity.”

Other Stories of Interest

Special Counsel Mueller Adds 13 Attorneys to Team Investigating Russia, Trump

Robert Mueller

Robert Mueller

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Robert Mueller, the special counsel investigating the Russia investigation and President Trump, has added 13 lawyers as part of a high-powered team to help with the wide-ranging probe.

Among the seasoned attorneys are James Quarles and Jeannie Rhee, both of whom work for Mueller’s old law firm, WilmerHale, CNN reports.  Mueller also brought on Andrew Weissmann, who led the Enron investigation.

“That is a great, great team of complete professionals, so let’s let him do his job,” former independent counsel Kenneth Starr, who investigated President Bill Clinton in the 1990s, told ABC News.

Not everyone agrees. Quarles, Rhee and Weissmann are heavy political donors, contributing almost exclusively to Democrats. Records show the trio spent at least $53,000 supporting Democratic candidates since 1998.

Only five of the 13 lawyers have been identified so far.

Mueller’s investigation of possible ties between Trump’s campaign and Russia has expanded to an inquiry into whether the president obstructed justice after suggesting to then-FBI Director James Comey to drop the investigation of former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

Friday morning, Trump attacked the allegations in a tweet, saying “nobody has been able to show any proof. Sad!”

Trump, Nixon Both Described Obstruction of Justice Probes As ‘Witch Hunt’

Illustration of a witch hunt, via Wikipedia.

Illustration of a witch hunt, via Wikipedia.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump continues to insist he is the victim of a “witch hunt” in attempt to discredit the numerous federal investigations targeting him and his inner circle.

But he’s not the first president to claim he’s the victim of a political witch hunt.

photo-jun-15-1-18-34-pmFormer president Richard Nixon used the same phrase to describe the Senate Watergate hearings that led to his resignation. A Washington Post headline on July 22, 1973 read, “Nixon Sees ‘Witch-Hunt,’ Insiders Say.” 

Like Trump, Nixon was accused of obstruction of justice for trying to disrupt the investigation.

On Thursday, Trump tweeted, “This is the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history!”

Here’s a look at Trump’s other tweets in which he insists he’s the victim of a witch hunt: