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Tag: Congress

Bill Would Rename Border Patrol Station in Texas in Honor of Fallen Agent

Fallen Border Patrol Agent Donna Doss.

By Steve Neavling

A Texas congressman reintroduced a bipartisan bill that would rename the Border Patrol station in Rocksprings, Texas, in honor of fallen Agent Donna Doss. 

Rep. Jodey Arrington’s bill, called the Donna M. Doss Memorial Act, would rename the station the Donna M. Doss Border Patrol Station. 

“Today, I am reintroducing the Donna Doss Memorial Act, which would designate the Rocksprings Border Patrol Station the ‘Donna M. Doss Border Patrol Station,” Arrington said in a statement Friday. “Donna Doss served our country as a Border Patrol Agent for 16 years and was killed in the line of duty in 2019. Few people in their lifetime will earn the title of hero – Donna Doss unequivocally did, and she deserves to be honored as such. I am enormously grateful for the border patrol and law enforcement across the country who risk their lives everyday working on the front lines. Anne and I continue to pray for her family and the entire Abilene law enforcement community.”

Doss, a 15-year-veteran of Border Patrol, was responding to a call for assistance when she was stuck and killed by a vehicle in Abilene on Feb. 2, 2019.

“It is critical that we honor Border Patrol agent Donna Doss, and her ultimate sacrifice as she bravely and proudly dedicated her life to public service,” Rep. Henry Cuellar, of Texas, said. “This bipartisan legislation will ensure that her commitment to our peace and security will be remembered and will inspire others to serve and protect. I am committed to honoring our brave law enforcement who protect our communities every day and those who sacrificed their own lives in order to ensure the safety of others.”

The National Border Patrol Council (NBPC) and Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association (FLEOA) support the legislation. 

“On behalf of rank-and-file Border Patrol Agents in Texas and across the country, I am honored to express our staunch support for the Donna M. Doss Memorial Act of 2021,” Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council, said. “For over 15 years, Agent Doss put her life on the line each and every day, serving our country and protecting our borders. This legislation will honor her memory, service and courage, as well as the ultimate sacrifice she made. I want to express our gratitude to Congressman Arrington and Congressman Cuellar for their steadfast commitment to ensure that Agent Doss’ service and sacrifice will not be forgotten, and I urge Congress to swiftly pass this bill.” 

FBI Accused of Sweeping Sexual Misconduct Cases ‘Under the Rug’

Photo via FBI.

By Steve Neavling

At least six high-ranking FBI officials have been accused of sexual misconduct in the past five years, and none was disciplined, according to an Associated Press investigation.

Two of the ranking agents were accused of sexual assault this week. 

In each case, the FBI officials retained their full pensions and benefits, even when the allegations were substantiated. Further, after the investigations were over, FBI officials maintained their anonymity and were able to get jobs in the private sector or remain in federal law enforcement. 

“They’re sweeping it under the rug,” said a former FBI analyst who filed a federal lawsuit, alleging a supervisory special agent licked her face and groped her at a colleague’s farewell party in 2017. 

“As the premier law enforcement organization that the FBI holds itself out to be, it’s very disheartening when they allow people they know are criminals to retire and pursue careers in law enforcement-related fields,” said the woman, who asked to be identified in this story only by her first name, Becky.

Some advocacy groups and members of Congress are calling for an investigation of the FBI’s disciplinary process. 

“They need a #MeToo moment,” U.S. Rep. Jackie Speier, a California Democrat, said.

“It’s repugnant, and it underscores the fact that the FBI and many of our institutions are still good ol’-boy networks,” Speier said. “It doesn’t surprise me that, in terms of sexual assault and sexual harassment, they are still in the Dark Ages.”

The FBI said in a statement that it “maintains a zero-tolerance policy toward sexual harassment,” adding that high-ranking agents have been forced out of their positions while allegations are under investigation. 

In one case, an assistant FBI director was accused of sexually assaulting a female subordinate in a stairwell. In another case, a high-ranking FBI official was accused of sexually harassing eight employees. 

Wray Warns of ‘Very Active’ Russian Campaign to Interfere with Presidential Election

FBI Director Christopher Wray testifies before the House Homeland Security Committee.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

FBI Director Christopher Wray warned lawmakers Thursday that Russia continues to be “very active” in meddling with the presidential election, primarily to “denigrate” Democratic nominee Joe Biden.

“The intelligence community consensus is that Russia continues to try to influence our elections,” Wray said while testifying before the House Homeland Security Committee.

He added, “We certainly have seen very active, very active efforts by the Russians to influence our election in 2020 … to both sow divisiveness and discord and … to denigrate Vice President Biden.”

Wray said Russians are using social media and other types of propaganda to wage the misinformation campaign, but so far there is no evidence of hacking emails and election systems.

The FBI director’s testimony predictably drew criticism from President Trump, who has been largely silent on Russian interference.

But Chris, you don’t see any activity from China, even though it is a FAR greater threat than Russia, Russia, Russia,” Trump tweeted. “They will both, plus others, be able to interfere in our 2020 Election with our totally vulnerable Unsolicited (Counterfeit?) Ballot Scam.”

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf defied a subpoena to testify by failing to show up.

Watch Wray’s full testimony here.

FBI Director Wray to Testify Before Congressional Committee, But Chad Wolf to Defy Subpoena to Attend

FBI Director Christopher Wray testifying before the House Judiciary Committee.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

FBI Director Christopher Wray is scheduled to testify before a House committee on Thursday about homeland security threats.

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf, who was subpoenaed to testify, said he does not plan to attend the hearing, The Washington Post reports.

The House Committee on Homeland Security hearing is expected to explore intelligence assessments, which likely will include interference in the presidential election. Senior federal officials warned last month that Russia is trying to undermine Joe Biden’s candidacy.

Officials have said they are increasing security to limit outside interference.

House Committee Launches Investigation into Homeland Security’s Actions in Portland

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The U.S. House Intelligence Committee is investigating Homeland Security’s involvement in protests in Portland and other cities.

The investigation, launched Monday, also will review the dissemination of intelligence reporters on journalists and protesters.

“Let me be clear: the reporting regarding the monitoring of peaceful protesters, creating and disseminating intelligence reports about journalists and protesters, and potential exploitation of electronic devices is deeply troubling, Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., wrote in a letter to top DHS officials.

“The revelations thus far require a full accounting, and, if substantiated, must never be allowed to occur again,” Schiff added. “The Committee is therefore initiating, pursuant to its unique oversight and legislative authority, an investigation of I&A’s activities in Portland and in support of the Department’s response to protests nationwide.”

Homeland Security has drawn intense criticism for clashing with protesters and compiling intelligence reports on journalists covering protests in Portland.

The panel is calling at least nine DHS officials to testify in August.

Schiff ended his letter, saying the committee will consider “all options necessary to obtain compliance—including compulsory process.”

On Monday, Janet Napolitano, the former head of Homeland Security, criticized the department’s role in policing protests in Oregon, calling it “an abuse of authority” in a Washington Post op-ed.

FBI Director Wray Pledges to Fix Flaws Found in FISA Court Applications

FBI Director Christopher Wray testifying before the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

FBI Director Christopher Wray pledged Wednesday to fix the flaws found in the bureau’s applications for the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA).

Testifying before the House Judiciary Committee, Wray addressed findings by Justice Department’s inspector general Michael Horowitz that the bureau bungled its surveillance of Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. Horowitz said that the FBI’s applications to FISA Court to monitor Page contained “significant inaccuracies and omissions” and that agents “failed to meet the basic obligation” to ensure the applications were “scrupulously accurate.”

Horowitz, however, dismissed some conservatives’ longstanding allegations about the investigation into the Trump campaign, including that top FBI officials were motivated by political bias and illegally spied on Trump advisers.

“The failures highlighted in that report are unacceptable. Period,” Wray said. “They don’t reflect who the FBI is as an institution.”

Wray told lawmakers that the bureau had changed policies and procedures to clean up the process. That includes more training for FBI officials who apply for the warrants.

Saying the warrants are important to the FBI’s mission, Wray asked lawmakers to renew the FISA authorities, which are set to expire in March.

“I can assure members of this committee we need those FISA authorities,” Wray said. “We need the agility to stay ahead of the threat or we’re all going to regret it.”

FBI Director Wray to Testify before Congressional Committee about Bureau ‘Oversight’

FBI Director Christopher Wray.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

FBI Director Christopher Wray will take the hot seat Wednesday as he testifies before the House Judiciary Committee about flaws found in the bureau’s investigation into ties between Russia and the Trump campaign.

The hearing, which is set for 10 a.m., will examine oversight issues, including findings by Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz that the bureau bungled its surveillance of Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. Horowitz said that the FBI’s applications to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to monitor Page contained “significant inaccuracies and omissions” and that agents “failed to meet the basic obligation” to ensure the applications were “scrupulously accurate.”

Horowitz also dismissed some conservatives’ longstanding allegations about the investigation into the Trump campaign, including that top FBI officials were motivated by political bias and illegally spied on Trump advisers.

FBI Investigating Whether ‘Criminal Enterprise’ Played Role in Epstein’s Death

Bureau of Prisons Director Kathleen Hawk Sawyer testifying before Congress.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The FBI is investigating whether Jeffrey Epstein’s prison cell death was the result of a “criminal enterprise.”

In testimony before Congress on Tuesday, Bureau of Prisons Director Kathleen Hawk Sawyer admitted investigators are looking into whether anyone other than Epstein was involved in the death, CNBC reports.

But Sawyer also testified that there’s “no indication” that the Aug. 10 death “was anything other than a suicide.”

The testimony came on the same day that two jail guards assigned to watch Epstein were criminal charged with falsifying records to hide the fact that they failed to conduct mandatory safety checks on Epstein on the night of his death.

The FBI has not commented on the investigation.

“I have received no information from the FBI investigation yet,” Sawyer said.