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Occupiers of Oregon Wildlife Refuge Found Not Guilty in Jury Trial

Burns, Oregon, where the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge is located.

Burns, Oregon, where the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge is located.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The trial involving seven people who participated in the armed occupation of a wildlife refuge in Oregon ended Thursday with each defendant found not guilty of federal conspiracy charges.

Judge Anna Brown announced that the defendants – the standoff’s leader, Ammon Bundy, his brother Ryan and five others – were not guilty of conspiracy to impede federal officers and not guilty of possession of firearms in a federal facility, the Washington Post reports. 

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, a Democrat, expressed disappointment over the jury’s decision.

“The occupation of the Malheur Refuge by outsiders did not reflect the Oregon way of respectfully working together to resolve differences,” Brown said in a statement Thursday.

Defendant Shawna Cox said the acquittal was a victory for the Constitution.

“We have to be vigilant people,” she told reporters. “Wake up, America, and help us restore the Constitution. Don’t sleep with your head in the sand.”

Former FBI Director Mueller Hired to Conduct Security Review of Booz Allen

Former FBI Director Robert Mueller

Former FBI Director Robert Mueller

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Former FBI Director Robert Mueller has been hired by Booz Allan Hamilton, a firm whose employee was charged with stealing classified data from the NSA.

“We take the trust clients place in us seriously and are proud to support our country’s important national security missions,” Craig Veith, Booz Allen’s vice president for external relations, said in a statement, the Washington Post reports. “We are committed to doing our part to detect potential insider threats, which are complex and constantly evolving.”

The employee, Harold T. Martin, is accused of one of the largest thefts of classified material in U.S. history, allegedly stealing at least 50 terabytes of digital data – the equivalent of 500 million pages of information.

Mueller is tasked with reviewing the firm’s security processes.

Booz Allan is the same firm where Edward Snowden worked when he took sensitive information.

News-Journal: Justice Department Finally Collects More Data on Police Shootings

police lightsBy Editorial Board
Daytona Beach News-Journal

Missing from the national debate on police officer-involved shootings, such as when deadly force is justified and how often race plays a role, is one key component: actual data.

It’s been one of the most confounding revelations since civil unrest over a police shooting erupted in Ferguson, Missouri, in summer 2014: No one knows exactly how many people are shot by law enforcement each year, and what the circumstances are in each instance. The federal government doesn’t have the numbers, and neither do most states — including Florida, a deficiency exposed by the Daytona Beach News-Journal last year in “Shots Fired,” its special investigation of civilians being shot by state and local law-enforcement officers.

Since Ferguson, and since “Shots Fired,” more highly publicized officer-involved shootings around the nation have sparked organized protests to draw attention to the issue. What’s needed in the emotional discussion are some cold, hard facts.

Thankfully, the Justice Department recently announced it would start collecting nationwide data early next year on police shootings and other violent encounters with the public. It’s a long-overdue move to establish what should have been a fundamental responsibility of law enforcement from the outset.

Indeed, the Washington Post got the jump on the government last year by compiling its own national database of police shootings, a gap that FBI Director James Comey said was “embarrassing.”

“We can’t have an informed discussion because we don’t have data,” Comey told the House Judiciary Committee last October.

To read more click here. 

Border Patrol Agents: Our Uniforms Should Be Made in the U.S.

Trademark green uniforms worn by Border Patrol agents.

Trademark green uniforms worn by Border Patrol agents.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol agents want the federal government to purchase their uniforms from companies that manufacture the clothes in the U.S.

The trademark green uniform worn by Border Patrol agents is made by VF, a Greensboro, N.C., company that manufactures about half its uniforms outside the U.S. in places such as Mexico, Honduras and El Salvador, Bloomberg reports. 

The fear is that uniforms manufactured outside of the U.S. creates a security risk.

“We don’t want our uniforms falling into the wrong hands,” says Shawn Moran, vice president of the National Border Patrol Council, the union that represents 18,000 agents. “Cartels will try to do whatever they can. They’ve gone so far as to try to clone border patrol vehicles and drive across the border. Having the uniform on could complete that.”

Bloomberg wrote:

For the past year, Trevino and other border agents have been helping the union design a better shirt. In mid-October, they presented their bosses in Washington with a prototype by Massif, an Oregon apparel manufacturer that also produces combat gear for the U.S. Army. The upgraded tops have the same sporty epaulets and pointed collar as the current models, but the fabric is more breathable and cut to fit comfortably underneath body armor. The union earlier this year endorsed Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, who’s campaigned to bring manufacturing back to the U.S.

Professional Pooper Scooper Accused of Impersonating Secret Service Agent

Secret-Service-BadgeBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A man who works for a company that scoops up pet poop has been charged with using a fake Secret Service ID and badge to get the “government rate” for a hotel room.

Christopher Diiorio, 53, was arrested after flashing the ID and badge during a traffic stop in suburban Pittsburgh, the Associated Press reports. 

The professional pooper scooper pleaded not guilty Thursday in federal court to using a false badge, a fraudulent official seal and conspiracy.

Federal authorities say Diiorio purchased the fake ID and badge online.

The foreign company that sent the ID and badge was not named in the indictment.

Diiorio faces up to 15 years in prison.

Other Stories of Interest

Trump Is Lying about Alleged ‘Quid Pro Quo’ in FBI’s Clinton Probe

FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe

FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Donald Trump’s suggestion that a high-ranking FBI official helped Hillary Clinton during the email investigation because of campaign donations to the official’s wife is off base and untrue, Politifact reports. 

Like many of Trump’s claims, this one distorts the truth by misleading people about the timeframe for the donations to Dr. Jill McCabe, who was recruited to run for one of the 40 seats in the Virginia Senate. At the time of the March 2015 donation, the pediatrician’s husband, Andrew McCabe, was focusing on terrorism while working as an assistant director of the FBI’s find office in Washington.

McCabe “consulted with top FBI headquarters and field office ethics officers for guidance, including briefings on the Hatch Act, to prevent against any actual or potential conflict-of-interest, in the event she decided to go forward,” the FBI said in a statement.

Not until three months after McCabe lost the race, Andrew McCabe became the FBI’s deputy director on Feb. 1, 2016. That was the first time he had any oversight of the clinton case. 

“Months after the completion of (his wife’s) campaign, then-Associate Deputy Director McCabe was promoted to Deputy, where, in that position, he assumed for the first time, an oversight role in the investigation into Secretary Clinton’s emails,” according to the FBI statement.

Trump also falsely claimed that Andrew McCabe was responsible for deciding whether to recommend prosecution. That decision was actually FBI Director James Comey’s.

Bar Patron Detained After Allegedly Saying He Would Assassinate Trump

9527-pouring-beer-into-a-glass-pvBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Careful what you say at a bar.

The Secret Service and police detained a man after a patron said he overheard the suspect threaten Donald Trump in a Brooklyn bar, the New York Daily News reports. 

The patron said he overheard Gregory Chang threaten the life of Trump at bar in Williamsburg at about 3:40 p.m.

“I’m going to Lee Harvey Oswald Donald Trump,” Chang is accused of saying. 

After the patron heard Chang’s alleged comments, he called police.

Chang was detained and questioned by officers and members of the Secret Service.

He has released without charges.

Secret Service Agents Protecting Presidential Candidates Often Work for Free

secret serviceBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Secret Service agents who are on the campaign trail are working hundreds of hours of overtime without pay because of a cap on federal income.

Since early 2016, agents have worked overtime for free because of the demanding scheduling during this unusual election cycle, BuzzFeed reports. 

While Secret Service agents are routinely paid overtime, unlike many of their federal cohorts, they are hitting caps on overtime pay.

Agents are prohibited from making more than $160,3000 a year, even if they work around-the-clock.

As a result, hundreds of agents will never get paid for their extra time.

The Senate and House were considering raising the cap by about $10,000, but the measures have essentially stalled.