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Tag: Justice Department

Obama’s Nominee for Civil Rights Post in Justice Department Faces Heated Criticism from Foes

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Obama’s nominee for head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division has drawn strong criticism from opponents of the appointment of Debo Adegbile, Fox News reports.

They’ve described the former NAACP lawyer as “radical,” “dangerous” and “outside the mainstream.”

Now he’s being criticized for playing a role in overturning the death sentence of Mumia Abu-Jamal, who was convicted in the 1981 killing of a Philadelphia police officer.

Asked about the overturned sentence, Adegbile responded: “It’s important, I think, to understand that in no way does that legal representation, zealously as an advocate, cast any aspersion or look past the grievous loss of Sergeant Faulkner.”

Justice Department Investigates Whether Laws Broken During New Jersey Bridge Scandal

Christopher Christie

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Federal investigators are trying to determine whether any laws were broken during the lane closures at the George Washington Bridge between New York and New Jersey, the Wall Street Journal reports.

“The Port Authority Office of Inspector General has referred the matter to us, and our office is reviewing the matter to determine whether a federal law was implicated,” Rebekah Carmichael, a spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney in New Jersey, said.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s close aides are accused of engineering the traffic lane by closing lanes leading to the bridge, the Journal wrote.

Whether a crime was committed is another question.

“There’s federal funds in this thing, but does that mean there’s a federal crime? It’s hard to tell right now if there’s anything like that,” Stephen Ryan, a former federal prosecutor, said. “The real risk in a thing like this is a coverup or a lie to investigators.”

httpv://youtu.be/LLANg3im0jY

So What Prompted Shooting of Ibragim Todashev in Florida? FBI Finishes Up Internal Probe

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A lot of mystery has surrounded the shooting death of Ibragim Todashev, a friend of one of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects.

Now the FBI say it’s “eager” to release the results of an internal investigation into the May 22 shooting, which happened during a lengthy interrogation by an agent, the Boston Globe reports.

The report is expected to be released soon – once the Justice Department reviews it and writes a report.

The FBI has declined to comment on the shooting, and the father of Todashev has called for justice.

 

Justice Department Considers Easing Restrictions on Loans for Investors in Marijuana Industry

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

With the legalization of marijuana in Colorado, investors want to open up businesses to sell pot.

Trouble is, they are reluctant to borrow money because of Justice Department regulations on such loans, the Motherboard reports.

The Justice Department, which until recently was still aggressively pursuing pot shops, is considering easing those regulations so banks can lend money to people involved in the marijuana industry.

Businesses now are barred from legally borrowing money to set up a marijuana business in most cases, the Motherboard reports.

Former Sesame Street Actor Tapped for High-Ranking Justice Department Post

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

A child who grew up as an actor on Sesame Street in the 1970s was tapped by President Obama for a high-ranking Justice Department position, the USA Today reports.

Obama nominated Debo P. Adegbile to be the new assistant attorney general for civil rights.

If confirmed by the Senate, Adegbile will fill the position vacated by Tom Perez, the new secretary of labor, the USA Today wrote.

Appeals Court: FBI Does Not Have to Release Memo Granting Permission to Gather Phone Records

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A confidential Justice Department legal opinion on the extent of the FBI’s surveillance authority does not have to be released to the public, a federal appeals court ruled, the Washington Post reports.

The January 2010 memo gave the FBI permission to gather phone call records from telecommunications companies.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled that the memo was not subject to the Freedom of Information Act.

“The District Court correctly concluded that the unclassified portions of the OLC Opinion could not be released without harming the deliberative processes of the government by chilling the candid and frank communications necessary for effective governmental decision-making,” the court said in its opinion written by D.C. Circuit Judge Harry T. Edwards.

Justice Department Puts Off Decision to Indict Virginia Gov. Robert McDonnell and Wife

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Will Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell and his wife get indicted?

We may soon find out.

Rosalind S. Helderman, Carol D. Leonnig and Sari Horwitz of the Washington Post report that the Justice Department last week had notified him and his wife that they would be charged in connection with a gift scandal.

But the Post reports that  senior Justice Department officials “delayed the decision after the McDonnells’ attorneys made a face-to-face appeal in Washington, according to people familiar with the case.

The Post wrote:

Dana J. Boente, the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, told the McDonnells’ legal teams that he planned to ask a grand jury to return an indictment no later than this past Monday, people familiar with the conversations said.

Some element of the lawyers’ arguments apparently persuaded the Justice Department to delay, according to people with knowledge of the case. The people spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the case. On Friday, the day after the meeting, McDonnell’s attorneys were told that the decision would be put on hold, the people said. A final decision about whether to press charges is now not expected before Jan. 2, and could come as late as February, they said.

To read more click here.

U.S. Citizen Says He Was Held by FBI For 4 Months, Endured Harsh Treatment in Africa

 
 Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A U.S. citizen claims in a lawsuit filed by the federal government that he was held for four months, endured harsh interrogation and was later released after it was discovered he had done nothing wrong, the Reason reports.

Amir Meshal is represented by he ACLU, which contends its client was unfairly mistreated.

The Justice Department said the case shouldn’t move forward because of national security concerns.

The ACLU, which is to appear in court today on the issue, wrote:

The American Civil Liberties Union will appear in court on Wednesday on behalf of a U.S. citizen who was illegally detained and mistreated by American officials in three east African countries in 2007. After fleeing unrest in Somalia, New Jersey resident Amir Meshal was arrested, secretly imprisoned in inhumane conditions, and harshly interrogated by FBI agents over 30 times before ultimately being released without charge four months later. …

In December 2006, Meshal was studying in Mogadishu when civil unrest broke out. He fled to neighboring Kenya, where he wandered in the forest for three weeks seeking shelter and assistance before being arrested. He was then repeatedly interrogated by FBI agents, who accused him of receiving training from al Qaeda, which Meshal denied. The American interrogators threatened him with torture and kept him from contacting a lawyer or his family.

Meshal was subsequently rendered to Somalia and then Ethiopia, where he was secretly imprisoned in filthy conditions with inadequate access to food, water, and toilets for more than three months, and again harshly interrogated by U.S. officials, who bore responsibility for his rendition and continued detention.