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Homeland Security Memo Says ICE Is Running Out of Money Because of Detention Surge

border fence photoBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Is the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency running out of money because of a surge in the number of immigrants in detention?

The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this week that ICE is on the verge of running out of money unless it receives $136 million to continue operating through Dec. 9.

But after the story was published, a DHS spokeswoman claimed the story was wrong.

Now the Wall Street Journal has a Homeland Security memo that appears to back up the earlier report that ICE is running out of money. The Journal reports today that a memo says, “ICE requests an additional $136 million for this account through Dec. 9, 2016,” and if the agency doesn’t get it, “our funds will run out on November 12.”

“Without the requested funding ICE will not fulfill its detention requirements… Insufficient funding would force ICE to reject any new book-ins, including these recent border crossers that fall within Priority 1 of the Secretary’s enforcement priorities,” the memo says.

Deputy Director of ICE, Daniel Ragsdale, called the memo a “draft which was never reviewed by ICE leadership,” adding, “this type of adjustment is common, and has been done in years past.”

DEA Shows Major Culture Shift in How It Handles Drug Bans After Kratom Reversal

Kratom pill, via Wikipedia.

Kratom pill, via Wikipedia.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The DEA appears to be undergoing a major shift in how it handles the war on drugs.

After mounting public pressure, the DEA backed down on its pledge to ban Kratom, a south-east Asian plant that proponents say is an effective treatment for addiction to opioids.

“This is an unprecedented action. It’s never happened before,” said agency spokesman Russ Bayer, the Guardian reports. “We’ve never withdrawn a notice to temporarily schedule any substance but we want to move through this process in a transparent manner.” 

Bayer said the DEA is changing its approach to drugs under acting director Chuck Rosenberg.

“We have had kind of a cultural, organizational transformation during the past year,” Bayer said. “Our core mission has remained the same. It will always be to go after the biggest, most sophisticated, most violent drug traffickers and organizations responsible for the supply of drugs. But Mr Rosenberg has brought in an added emphasis, an increased awareness of some of the other functions that DEA needs to be engaged with. First and foremost community outreach, educating the public in terms of drug abuse, talking about addiction as being a disease.”

Lengel: Why FBI Director Comey Was Right Not to Recommend Charges Against Hillary Clinton

FBI Director James Comey

FBI Director James Comey

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Fox News reported on Thursday that FBI agents and federal prosecutors are upset that FBI Director James Comey recommended no criminal charges against presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton  for the mishandling of classified information– and that Attorney General Loretta Lynch ultimately concurred.

“It is safe to say the vast majority felt she should be prosecuted,” the senior FBI official told Fox News.

I’ve spoken to agents, current and retired, in the past several weeks who have expressed disappointment, and in some cases, embarrassment that the bureau didn’t pull the trigger.

Granted, charges could have been filed. No question. Comey, a former federal prosecutor himself, said as much.

“Although there is evidence of potential violations of the statutes regarding the handling of classified information, our judgment is that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case,” Comey said in July in his statement.  “Prosecutors necessarily weigh a number of factors before bringing charges. There are obvious considerations, like the strength of the evidence, especially regarding intent. Responsible decisions also consider the context of a person’s actions, and how similar situations have been handled in the past.”

Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton

It’s not unusual for agents and prosecutors to push for charges, and it would certainly be understandable in this case.  But this is a special case.  In this instance,  it was best to err on the side of caution. An air tight case is one thing. A case that might crumble, is another, particularly under these extraordinary circumstances.

Imagine if you will, that the Justice Department, at the recommendation of the FBI, decided to indict. Unquestionably, the Democratic Party would have pressured Clinton to step aside in the middle of the campaign.

Then let’s just say, after the November election, after Trump or Bernie Sanders or Joe Biden got elected, Clinton went to trial and was acquitted.

Would the FBI and the Justice Department have really wanted to be credited with derailing a presidential candidate, who would later declare that her prosecution was politically motivated, and that she was wrongfully charged?

I think the answer is No.

Some folks will strongly disagree.

But I think ultimately, it’s best for the American people to decide this one.

 

FBI Senior Official On Hillary Clinton: ‘It Is Safe To Say The Vast Majority Felt She Should Be Prosecuted’

Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Here’s a little more fuel for the political fire.

An unnamed person closely involved in the probe into Hillary Clinton’s mishandling of classified information,  tells Fox News that career agents and attorneys on the case unanimously believed the Democratic presidential nominee should have been charged. A second official says it may not have been unanimous but indicated the vast majority felt that way.

The first source tells FoxNews.com that FBI Director James Comey’s July 5 announcement that he would not recommend charges left members of  the investigative team dismayed and disgusted.

“No trial level attorney agreed, no agent working the case agreed, with the decision not to prosecute — it was a top-down decision,” said the source, whose identity and role in the case has been verified by FoxNews.com.

The second, source, a high-ranking FBI official, told Fox News that it might not have been a unanimous decision, but “it was unanimous that we all wanted her [Clinton’s] security clearance yanked.”

“It is safe to say the vast majority felt she should be prosecuted,” the senior FBI official told Fox News. “We were floored while listening to the FBI briefing because Comey laid it all out, and then said ‘but we are doing nothing,’ which made no sense to us.”

 

Congressional Leaders Suggest FBI Director Comey Lied Under Oath about Clinton Probe

FBI Director James Comey

FBI Director James Comey

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Congressional leaders are raising questions about whether FBI Director James Comey misled lawmakers or even perjured himself over the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s emails.

New letters show the FBI made immunity deals and side agreements with several witnesses in the case, the New York Post reports. 

One of those agreements prevented investigators from reviewing e-mails from Clinton’s Chief of Staff Cheryl Mills to Paul Combetta, who was Clinton’ server administrator. Yet the FBI “knew of conference call between Secretary Clinton’s attorneys and Mr. Combetta, his use of BleachBit, and the resulting deletions, further casting doubt on why the FBI would enter into such a limited evidentiary scope of review.”

That raises serious questions: Did Comey really investigate Clinton and her aides for obstruction of justice, as he told Congress after clearing Clinton of wrong doing?

While speaking under oath, Comey told Congress that he reviewed all of the evidence and concluded no one was trying to hide information.

“We did not find evidence to indicate that they did the erasure to conceal things of any sort,” he swore. “We didn’t find evidence of evil intent to obstruct justice there.”

FBI Suspects Russia Hacked Emails of Clinton Campaign Chairman

hacker-istock-photoBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI suspects what Democrats have been saying for weeks: Russian intelligence agencies hacked the emails of Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman and a contractor handling Florida voter data, the Wall Street Journal reports. 

And now top Russian officials are no longer denying the country was involved in a separate attack of the Democratic National Convention. President Vladimir Putin, for example, said it’s irrelevant who hacked the computer records.

“Everyone is saying, ‘Who did it?’” Mr. Putin said at an investor forum in Moscow. “But does it matter that much? It’s what’s inside the information that matters.”

Just weeks before the election, the FBI has uncovered numerous political targets for hackers.

Clinton’ campaign chairman, John Pedesta, also suggested Russian intelligence agencies are behind the hacks of his emails.

“This level of meddling by a foreign power can only be aimed at boosting Donald Trump and should send chills down the spine of all Americans, regardless of political party,’’ accusing Trump of “continuing to side with the Russians.”

Investigators Say Small Plane Crash in Connecticut Appears to Be ‘Intentional Act’

East Hartford, Conn.

East Hartford, Conn.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Investigators are coming to a chilling conclusion about the small plane crash in East Hartford, Conn.: It appears to be “the result of an intentional act,” the National Transportation Safety Board said Wednesday.

The NTSB plans to hand over the case to the FBI, ABC News reports. 

Earlier Wednesday, the agency said, “If there is reason for us to believe that a criminal event has occurred, then we will take formal steps to transfer the investigation to the FBI.”

The crash killed a student pilot and seriously injured the instructor when the plane hit a utility pole and caught fire.

Investigators are looking into information that the student pilot was a Jordanian national.

“We are in touch with the relevant U.S. authorities on this matter as they undergo their investigation,” the Embassy of Jordan in Washington D.C. wrote in a statement.

The FBI has been interviewing the surviving flight instructor, Arian Prevalla, 43, who was upgraded to fair condition from critical condition Wednesday.

The family of Prevalla said they don’t have much information.

“We are all, of course, glad he survived. As of now, we have not been able to speak to him because the FBI was still questioning him.”

FBI Investigating Bomb Found in Backpack Outside Colorado Police Station

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is investigating the discovery of an explosive device in a backpack outside a police department in a small Colorado town.

The bag was found by a Nederland place detective and discovered “suspicious articles” that were later deemed to be an improvised explosive device, police Marshal Paul Carrill said, the Associated Press reports. 

The backpack was searched by two robots, and the device was found to be active but failed to detonate.

“It’s difficult to interpret why someone would do this,” said Carrill, who declined to disclose if police have identified the backpack’s owner. “It is my hope and intent, for the health and safety of the community to get to the bottom of why.”

Carroll is asking the public to come forward with information because “the individual or individuals who may have assembled this could be a risk to their neighbors.”