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Tag: Congress

Fewer FBI Agents, Border Patrol Officers Under Budget Cuts

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Washington’s funding crisis likely will mean fewer FBI agents and border patrol officers as Congress tries to cut $55 billion from domestic programs, the Associated Press reports. The across-the-board, 8%-12% cuts are set to go into effect Jan. 2.

It’s unclear, however, whether those cuts would remain as Republicans and Democrats try to reach a deal for more targeted reductions, the AP reported.

Legislators said the cuts may be temporary while more permanent cost-cutting solutions are found.

FBI May Be Required to Collect Data Soon on Hate Crimes Against Sikhs

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI would be required to collect information on hate crimes committed against Sikh Americans under an initiative between the agency and the U.S. Justice Department, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.

The effort was spearheaded in April by U.S. Rep. Joe Crowley (D-NY), who lives in a sizeable Sikh district. More than 90 other members of Congress endorsed the letter.

“We met with folks from Justice to discuss the letter and the possibilities are moving forward on that,” Crowley told the Journal Sentinel.

The effort comes after a gunman killed six people at a Sikh Temple in Wisconsin.

STORIES OF OTHER INTEREST

Justice Dept. Won’t Prosecute Eric Holder for Contempt

Atty. Gen. Holder/doj file photo

 
By Sari Horwitz
Washington Post

WASHINGTON –– The Justice Department has told House leaders that Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr.’s decision to withhold certain documents about a flawed gun operation from Congress is not a crime and he will not be prosecuted for contempt of Congress.

Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole explained the decision, which was expected, in a letter to House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio). The letter was released publicly Friday, just over a week after President Obama invoked executive privilege to withhold the documents.

In May 1984, Theodore B. Olson, then assistant attorney general, wrote that U.S. attorneys are not required to refer congressional contempt charges to a grand jury or prosecute an executive branch official “who carries out the President’s instruction to invoke the President’s claim of executive privilege before a committee.”

To read more click here.

Breaking News: House Votes to Holder Atty. General Holder in Contempt

doj photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

In an election year, where politicians in Washington eat and breath partisan politics, the House voted Thursday to hold Atty. General Eric H. Holder Jr. in contempt. He becomes the first Attorney General to be held in contempt of Congress.

The Republican led contempt action was in response to allegations that Holder had failed to produce documents relating to the botched ATF Fast and Furious operation that encouraged Arizona gun dealer to sell to middlemen, all with the hopes of tracing the weapons to the Mexican cartels.

The Washington Post reported that the vote was 255 to 67.

What happens now?

The House will send the matter to the D.C. U.S. Attorney Ronald Machen, who will have to decide whether to file criminal charges against Holder, who is his boss.

In a statement, according to the Post, Holder said the vote “is the regrettable culmination of what became a misguided – and politically motivated – investigation during an election year.” Holder added that the Republicans leading the investigation “have focused on politics over public safety.”

To read more click here.

U.S. Atty Who Went After Edwards Wins Republican Nomination for Congress in N.C.

U.S. Atty. George Holding

Shoshanna Utchenik
ticklethewire.com

While once-presidential hopeful John Edwards stands trial in Greensborough N.C. for campaign finance violations, the U.S. Attorney who secured his indictment celebrated a different kind of victory 75 miles down the road in Raleigh Tuesday.

George Holding won the Republican nomination for Congress in North Carolina this week, purportedly riding the coattails of former Sen. John Edwards’ infamy, reports Politico.

While losing opponents former Wake County commissioner Paul Coble got 34% of the vote and Navy veteran Bill Randall trailed behind at 22%, Coble echoed questions raised by Edwards’ attorneys about Holding’s path to glory.

Did the Bush appointee and former aide to the late GOP Sen. Jesse Helms pursue the high-profile Edwards case solely for political and personal gain? Holding says no.

He told Politico, “When I was the United States Attorney, I took an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States and everything I did was an effort to comply with that oath.”

Holding is favored to win the congressional race against Democratic opponent Charles Malone, a former journalist and Army veteran, due to the make-up of the newly drawn 13th district.

To read more click here.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

 

Second Trial Against Baseball Star Roger Clemens Begins on Monday

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Fed prosecutors in D.C. will get a second chance on Monday to try and convict baseball great Roger Clemens of lying to Congress about using performance enhancing drugs after the screwing up big time the first time around.

Jury selection begins Monday in D.C. federal court,  just blocks from the Capitol.

U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton last July declared a mistrial after the prosecution introduced a video which contained evidence Walton had barred.

Some had thought the judge would not grant a new trial.

The government came under criticism by some, saying it was wasting its resources by going after someone like Clemens. But others argued that people who lie before Congress should be punished.

 

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

 

 

FBI Director Mueller Says Special Interrogation Group Used More Than a Dozen Times in Past 2 Years

Director Mueller testifying on the Hill/fbi photo

By CNN

WASHINGTON — A special group set up to interrogate captured terror suspects has been mobilized more than a dozen times in the past two years, FBI Director Robert Mueller said Wednesday.

“It’s been effective,” Mueller told a House appropriations subcommittee when asked about the use of the so-called High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group, known as HIG. “Over the last two years I think we’ve had 14 instances where we’ve deployed elements of the HIG to conduct interrogations.”

Mueller did not list the cases in which the HIG was used. A law enforcement official said the HIG can be deployed both overseas and in the United States and can be used in interrogations with U.S. citizens as well as non-citizens.

To read more click here.

Read his statement to Congress

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

 

Congressman Michael Grimm — an Ex-FBI Agent — Keeps Suspicious Business Ties

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

After leaving the FBI, Congressman Michael G. Grimm invested about a million bucks of borrowed money in a Texas real estate investment. Looking for a builder for the project, Grimm found a former FBI agent he had served with in New York–an agent who was at the time under indictment on state racketeering charges, according to the New York Times.

The builder, Carlos Luquis, was later convicted for his role in stealing $2 million from Texas taxpayers, and eventually served 18 months in prison.

Even so, Congressman Grimm continued to do business with Luquis through two other companies. “Mr. Grimm’s ties to Mr. Luquis reflect a checkered business background that seems to clash in some ways with his image as a straight-arrow veteran of the Marine Corps and the F.B.I.,” writes the Times. “That image has been crucial to his ascent in the Republican Party.”

To read more click here.