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Former Secret Service Agent Had a Special Mission: Protecting Queen Elizabeth II

By Steve Neavling

Jim Helminski was new to his job as a Secret Service agent when he was assigned to protect Queen Elizabeth II while she was in Kentucky in 1984. 

It was a good learning lesson, he told Fox 56.

“Well you know it is one of your very first protectees, it is something that you begin to think about,” Helminski said. “You think about what you learn from that. You learn how to deal with people at that level and having the queen break you in is a pretty interesting thing to say.”

Helminski also protected the queen in 1986, giving him some personal time with the royal highness. 

“What I ended up doing was driving her from place to place so I had some alone time with the queen, some very nice conversations with her,” Helminski said. “Went to each and every one of the venues that she went at so I got to watch her interact with us, common people.”

He recalled her sense of humor.

“She had a very queenly British sense of humor,” said Helminski. “I can recall driving down one of our Kentucky country roads and going past a group of bikers and all she could say was ‘that seems way too sweaty for me.’”

The queen died Friday at the age of 96. 

DOJ Says It Will Appeal Special Master Ruling for Trump Documents

By Steve Neavling

The Justice Department plans to appeal U.S. District Judge Aileen M. Cannon’s order to allow a special master to review the documents seized at Mar-a-Lago last month if the judge doesn’t restore investigators’ access to the material.  

On Monday, Cannon granted Trump’s request for a special master to review the documents, preventing investigators from reviewing the highly-sensitive material that was found at former President Trump’s house in Florida. 

In a court filing, prosecutors said the order would cause “irreparable harm” to federal authorities’ efforts to protect national security, Politico reports

“In order to assess the full scope of potential harms to national security resulting from the improper retention of the classified records, the government must assess the likelihood that improperly stored classified information may have been accessed by others and compromised,” Justice Department counterintelligence chief Jay Bratt said in the filing. “But that inquiry is a core aspect of the FBI’s criminal investigation.”

Bratt argued that Trump has no right to claim ownership of the classified documents. 

“That authority falls upon the incumbent President, not on any former President, because it is the incumbent President who bears the responsibility to protect and defend the national security of the United States,” Bratt wrote.

In a 54-page court filing last week, federal prosecutors said the raid on Trump’s house in Florida came after he and his advisers refused to turn over highly classified documents.

Former FBI Special Agent Battles Health Impact from 9/11 Crash Site

By Steve Neavling

As a special FBI agent following the Sept. 11, 2011, terrorist attacks, Lauren Schuler spent five days combing through the debris at the Pentagon, where American Airlines Flight 77 crashed, killing 64 people aboard and another 125 in the building. 

Now, Schuler tells New Castle News, she’s paying the price for being exposed to toxic health hazards during the 9/11 recovery.

About 15 years after the search, Schuler was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a dangerous type of blood cancer that forced her to get a kidney transplant. 

The FBI says 18 of its employees – 16 special agents, a supervisory investigative specialist, and an electronics technician – have died “while helping evacuate victims from the Twin Towers, or by the significant health issues brought on by the immediate and sustained work they performed at each of the crash sites.”

 “While I would never minimize what happened on that day, the way people were killed so heartlessly by those terrorists, I just have to say that the number of people who have died since is many more,” Schuler said. “I don’t want those people to be forgotten. I don’t want the 18 employees of the FBI who died from their illnesses to be forgotten.”

Barr Says DOJ ‘Getting Very Close’ to Indicting Trump, But Shouldn’t Charge Him

President Trump and AG William Barr, via DOJ.

By Steve Neavling

Former Attorney General William Barr said Wednesday that he believes the Justice Department is “getting very close” to having sufficient evidence to indict former President Trump for removing classified documents when he left the White House.

In an interview with Fox News, Barr said that investigators must decide if they can make a “technical” case against Trump for stashing the classified documents at Mar-a-Lago. 

“I think they’re getting very close to that point, frankly,” Barr, who was Trump’s attorney general, said. 

Barr said there’s another issue, and that’s whether to indict a former president. 

“What will that do to the country, what kind of precedent will that set, will the people really understand that this is not, you know, failing to return a library book, that this was serious,” Barr said.

Ultimately, Barr said, he doesn’t want Trump to be indicted. 

“And so you have to worry about those things, and I hope that those kinds of factors will incline the administration not to indict him, because I don’t want to see him indicted as a former president,” Barr said.

He added, “But I also think they’ll be under a lot of pressure to indict him, because — one question is, look, if anyone else would have gotten indicted, why not indict him?”

Barr is not alone in thinking Trump could soon be indicted. Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen told MSNBC that he expects the Justice Department will soon indict Trump.

“If the adage that no one is above the law holds true, then Donald should have been indicted already and facing consequences,” said Cohen. “I think that there’s going to be an indictment and relatively soon. I believe there will also be congressional hearings with Donald in the hot seat where, you know, either he’ll come in willingly—which I don’t think he will—or via subpoena.”

In a 54-page court filing last week, federal prosecutors said the raid on Trump’s house in Florida came after he and his advisers refused to turn over highly classified documents.

Meanwhile, U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon granted Trump’s request for a special master to review documents seized from Mar-a-Lago, a decision that will temporarily prevent federal prosecutors from using the documents in their investigation. 

FBI Found Document on Foreign Nation’s Nuclear Capabilities at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago

Mar-a-Lago (Facebook photo)

By Steve Neavling

Among the documents seized by the FBI from former President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home was a document detailing a foreign government’s military defenses, including its nuclear capabilities, The Washington Post reports.

The document, which was found during an FBI search of Trump’s house on Aug. 8, was “so closely guarded that many senior national security officials are kept in the dark about them,” according to The Washington Post

The only officials with authority to know the details of the special-access programs were the president, some members of his Cabinet or a near-Cabinet-level official, unnamed officials said. 

The newspaper didn’t identify the foreign government. 

Trump’s lawyer Christopher Kise criticized the leaks, saying they “continue with no respect for the process nor any regard for the real truth.” 

But Kise didn’t deny the report. 

“Moreover, the damage to public confidence in the integrity of the system simply cannot be underestimated,” Kise said. “The responsible course of action here would be for someone — anyone — in the Government to exercise leadership and control. The Court has provided a sensible path forward which does not include the selective leak of unverifiable and misleading information. There is no reason to deviate from that path if the goal is, as it should be, to find a rational solution to document storage issues which have needlessly spiraled out of control.”

In a 54-page court filing last week, federal prosecutors said the raid on Trump’s house in Florida came after he and his advisers refused to turn over highly classified documents.

Meanwhile, U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon granted Trump’s request for a special master to review documents seized from Mar-a-Lago, a decision that will temporarily prevent federal prosecutors from using the documents in their investigation. 

In an interview with Fox News on Tuesday, former Attorney General William Barr slammed the judge’s decision to appoint a special master.

“The opinion, I think, was wrong, and I think the government should appeal it. It’s deeply flawed in a number of ways,” Barr said.

“I don’t think the appointment of a special master is going to hold up, but even if it does, I don’t see it fundamentally changing the trajectory. In other words, I don’t think it changes the ball game so much as maybe we’ll have a rain delay for a couple of innings.”

Central Figure in Navy Bribery Scandal Flees House Arrest, U.S. Marshals Say

Leonard Glenn Francis via U.S. Marshals

By Steve Neavling

Less than three weeks before his sentencing date, the central figure in one of the biggest scandals in U.S. naval history cut off his ankle monitor while under house arrest and fled, the U.S. Marshals Service said Tuesday. 

Leonard Glenn Francis, who is known as Fat Leonard, cut off his GPS anklet on Sunday morning and fled his home in San Diego. 

“Members of the San Diego Fugitive Task Force went to Francis’ residence, in an attempt to locate him,” the U.S. Marshals said in a news release. “After announcing themselves, task force officers made entry into the residence through an unlocked door. After a thorough check of the residence, officers were unable to locate Francis. Officers were able to locate the GPS ankle monitor that had been cut off.”

Sentencing was scheduled for Sept. 22 after Francis was found guilty in 2015 of bribing officers with gifts and millions of dollars in cash in exchange for information about the movement of naval ships. 

More than 30 naval officers have been charged in connection with the case. 

“In his plea agreement, Francis conceded that over the course of the conspiracy, he and [his contracting company] gave public officials millions of dollars in things of value, including over $500,000 in cash; hundreds of thousands of dollars in the services of prostitutes and associated expenses; hundreds of thousands of dollars in travel expenses, including airfare, often first or business class, luxurious hotel stays, incidentals and spa treatments; hundreds of thousands of dollars in lavish meals, top-shelf alcohol and wine and entertainment; and hundreds of thousands of dollars in luxury gifts, including designer handbags and leather goods, watches, fountain pens, fine wine, champagne, Scotch, designer furniture, consumer electronics, ornamental swords and hand-made ship models,” the Justice Department said in a news release.