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Judge: Charged Trump Aide Gates Barred from Leaving House for Kids, Holidays

courtroomBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A judge agreed with Special Counsel Robert Mueller on Thursday that Donald Trump aide Richard Gates is a flight risk and therefore should remain under house arrest and should not leave his home for Christmas or to pick up his children from school.

Gates and his business partner, Paul Manafort, the former chairman of Trump’s campaign, were indicted last month and are both facing a dozen federal charges, from conspiracy to money laundering.

Gates was placed under houser arrest and given a $5 million bond.

The judge denied Gates’ request to be allowed to take his children to school every day and to birthday parties and other extracurricular activities, Newsweek reports. The judge also said Gates could not leave, as requested, for Thanksgiving and Christmas. 

Jared Kushner Failed to Disclose Emails about Wikileaks, Russia from 2016

Jared Kushner

Jared Kushner

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law and a White House senior adviser, received emails last year about Wikileaks and a “Russian backdoor overture and dinner invite” without disclosing the information to the Senate Judiciary Committee, Politico reports

Kushner is accused of receiving the emails last September and forwarding them to another campaign official.

The Senate Judiciary Committee, saying that other witnesses have disclosed emails from Kushner that he didn’t turn over, sent a letter to Kushner about the missing documents.

“We appreciate your voluntary cooperation with the Committee’s investigation, but the production appears to have been incomplete,” the pair wrote in a letter dated Thursday to Kushner’s attorney, Abbe Lowell.

In a statement, Lowell said Kushner has been responsive to requests for records.

“We provided the Judiciary Committee with all relevant documents that had to do with Mr. Kushner’s calls, contacts or meetings with Russians during the campaign and transition, which was the request,” Lowell said, adding that he and Kushner had also told the committee they would be open to additional requests for information.

Hacker Accused of Stalking FBI Agent Back in Jail for Criticizing Bureau

hacking By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An alleged hacker accused of online stalking and harassment of an FBI agent is back in jail after criticizing the FBI on a blog post. 

The Texas man, Justin Shafer, had been free of jail after his March arrest on charges of online stalking and harassment of an FBI agent who was investigating a link between him and a notorious hacking group, the TheDarkOverlord

A judge said Shafer violated conditions of his release that included avoiding posts on social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, The Dallas Morning News reports

But 12 days after the order, the 37-year-old criticized the FBI agent on his bog post, prompting a federal magistrate to order him held in custody until trial.

Share’s attorney claims the jailing violating his client’s rights to free speech.

“Mr. Shafer has a First Amendment right to criticize his prosecution and rebut the accusations made against him,” said his New York lawyer, Tor Ekeland, in an appeal of that judge’s order.

Other Stories of Interest

Poll: Most Americans Don’t Believe Mueller Probe Is ‘Witch Hunt’

PrintBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Most Americans don’t buy President Trump’s repeated claims that the special counsel investigation into alleged collusion between the Trump campaign team and Russia is a “witch hunt.”

Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday found that 60% of those surveyed believe Special Counsel Robert Mueller is investigating the issue fairly. By contrast, only 27% people think the investigation is unfair.

Some Congressional Republicans recently introduced a non-binding measure that claims Mueller’s investigation amounts to a “coup” attempt.

The poll found that 47% of Americans believe Trump should be impeached if he fires Mueller, a former FBI director who has announced charges and one conviction against several Trump aides.

Trump’s Nominee for Homeland Security Has Conflict of Interest

Kirstjen Nielsen, via Twitter

Kirstjen Nielsen, via Twitter

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump’s pick to lead the Department of Homeland Security, Kirstjen Nielsen, has found herself in a tough position following the discovery that she was guided through the confirmation process by a private consultant with a conflict of interest.

The consultant and cofounder of Command Group, Thad Bingel, represents companies seeking millions in DHS contracts, the Washington Post reports, citing government-ethics watchdog groups and current and former national security experts. 

Bingel’s firm offers “full spectrum solutions related to safety, security, and intelligence” to clients “on six continents.”

Nielsen was jointed by Bingel as she made rounds on Capitol Hill ahead of the Senate Homeland Security committee’s nomination vote.

“He was introduced to our staff as Nielsen’s aide,” said one Senate staffer, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss the closed-door meeting.

White House spokesman Hogan Gidley denied the relationship amounted to a conflict of interest.

“There’s nothing inappropriate or new about an individual volunteering their time to help prepare a nominee for the Senate confirmation process,” said Hogan Gidley, a White House spokesman, in a statement.

The Post wrote:

In copies of recent emails viewed by The Washington Post, Bingel was included in internal communications between DHS officials and White House staffers working to advance Nielsen’s nomination. The messages involved nearly a dozen officials, and Bingel was the only person who wasn’t a government staffer.

The exchanges show Bingel, a private contractor, leading briefings to DHS officials. Bingel, whose role in Nielsen’s nomination was first reported by Cyberscoop, did not respond to interview requests.

Justice Department Watchdog to Determine by Spring Comey’s Statements on Clinton Before Election

Former FBI Director James Comey testifies about President Trump before the Senate Intelligence Committee in early June.

Former FBI Director James Comey testifies about President Trump before the Senate Intelligence Committee in early June.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department inspector general revealed on Wednesday that he hopes to finish his review by early spring to determine whether FBI Director James Comey improperly made public statements about the Hillary Clinton investigation ahead of the 2016 election. 

“We have interviewed dozens of people. We are not at the 100 level yet, but we’re in the dozens range. We’ve reviewed about 1.2 million records in the course of the investigation,” Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz said, in testimony before a U.S. House of Representatives panel, Reuters reports.

“We are aiming to release the report in late winter/early spring, so hopefully in that March-April time period.”

Earlier this year, Horowitz’s office announced a review of Comey’s decision to release information about the status of the FBI’s investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server.

It’s unusual for the FBI to release information early about an ongoing investigation.

Professor Who Admitted to FBI Burglary in Philadelphia Dies

A Washington Post story on what the stolen documents revealed.

A Washington Post story on what the stolen documents revealed.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

One of the seven conspirators who revealed a dirty campaign of intimidation by the FBI in March 1971 by stealing a cache of documents in burglary of an bureau office in suburban Philadelphia died on Nov. 12 at his home in Philadelphia.

John C. Raines, a Temple University religion professor, was 84, the Washington Post reports

During the burglary, the seven conspirators stole documents that showed a campaign of intimidation by FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover against civil rights and antiwar activists, communists and other dissenters.

One of the documents revealed an that agents were directed to increasingly interview perceived dissenters “to get the point across there is an FBI agent behind every mailbox.”

The burglars, who called themselves the Citizens Commission to Investigate the FBI, disseminated the stolen documents to newspapers.

The leaked reports lead to the formation of the Senate Church Committee, which revealed widespread abuses among intelligence agencies.

Raines kept the explosive secret for 43 years before revealing his identity to a Washington Post journalist, Betty Medsger, who wrote a book-length account of the break-in, “The Burglary: The Discovery of J. Edgar Hoover’s Secret FBI.”

The reported called Dr. Raines’ actions “one of the most powerful acts of resistance in the history of the country.”

Other Stories of Interest

Clinton Compares Trump to a Dictator over Prosecution Threats of Uranium Deal

Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Hillary Clinton slammed President Trump and his administration for threatening to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate her over the Uranium One deal, saying the threats are a dangerous slippery slope that could lead to authoritarianism.

“I regret deeply that this appears to be the politicization of the Justice Department and our justice system,” Clinton told Mother Jones during an interview Wednesday. “Taking myself out of it—this is such an abuse of power. And it goes right at the rule of law.”

Attorney General Jeff Sessions gave the green light to the Justice Department to determine whether Clinton or her aides violated the law over allegations related to the Clinton Foundation and the sale of a uranium company. If so, the Justice Department must decide whether to appoint a special counsel to pursue potential charges.

“If they send a signal that we’re going to be like some dictatorship, like some authoritarian regime, where political opponents are going to be unfairly, fraudulently investigated, that rips at the fabric of the contract we have, that we can trust our justice system,” Clinton said. “It will be incredibly demoralizing to people who have served at the Justice Department, under both Republicans and Democrats, because they know better. But it will also send a terrible signal to our country and the world that somehow we are giving up on the kind of values that we used to live by and we used to promote worldwide.”