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Tag: Justice Department

Report on Sen. Stevens’ Prosecutors Doesn’t Call for Charges, But Finds Plenty Wrong

Ex-Sen. Ted Stevens/campaign photo

By Nedra Pickler
Associated Press

WASHINGTON – The special prosecutor who investigated the botched case against late Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens is not recommending criminal charges against any of the Justice Department attorneys who tried him despite finding widespread misconduct beyond what has yet been publicly revealed.

The findings in a two-and-a-half-year investigation by Washington lawyer Henry F. Schuelke III were revealed Monday in an order from U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan. Sullivan wrote that the investigation found the Stevens prosecution was “permeated” by the prosecutors’ concealment of evidence they collected that could have helped the senator’s defense.

The full 500-page report remains under seal until the Justice Department has a chance to respond, but Sullivan says he will release it publicly.

To read more click here.

Justice Dept. Launches Probe into Miami Police Fatal Shootings

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department on Thursday announced a civil rights investigation into the Miami Police Department involving deadly use of force in nine police shootings  — eight of which were fatal.

“In the past 16 months, we have seen nine police involved shootings that are of concern and are the premise of our investigation,”said Assistant Attorney General Thomas E. Perez in a statement in Miami. “Since July 2010, MPD officers shot and killed eight young men and critically wounded a ninth man. By comparison, the country’s largest police force, the New York City Police Department had one fatal shooting for every 4,313 officers in 2010, while Miami had one fatal shooting for every 220 officers. Washington D.C., with a larger population and police force, had no fatal shootings by police in 2010, compared to five by the Miami Police Department.”

Perez said all but one of the shootings occurred within the proximate neighborhoods of Little Haiti, Overtown, and Liberty City, in northeast Miami. He said two of the shootings involved unarmed subjects, and that six out of the eight fatal shootings were by cops in specialized units like the gang unit, SWAT, tactical robbery unit, and the canine unit.

Atty. Gen. Holder Harangued Over Caribbean Trip

file photo

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

Attorney General Eric Holder can’t get a break. On break from congressional hounding over ATF’s Fast and Furious program, Holder is now being criticized over an ongoing visit to the Caribbean.

The Daily Beast reports that Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), who has been sharply critical of  Holder over the Fast and Furious Operation, is ripping into him for traveling for five days to the islands just days after President Obama announced a new austerity program to save billions in federal spending and travel.

“One would think that agreements could be signed on a more abbreviated schedule that saves the attorney general time he continually indicates he doesn’t have, as well as taxpayer money,” said House Oversight and Government Reform Committee chairman Issa, according to The Daily Beast.

Holder has been traveling to sign law-enforcement agreements with local agencies, and to discuss a Medicare fraud sting in the area, according to the Daily Beast. Holder also held a summit with other AGs in the area and plans to attend an international conference on promoting democracy in the Western Hemisphere.

To read more click here.

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State Rep. Accepts Lobbyist Cash, Pleads Guilty

Terry Spicer

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

A former state representative in Alabama  pleaded guilty Tuesday to accepting cash, gifts and campaign money from a businessman and a lobbyist in exchange for political favors, the Justice Department said.

Terry Spicer,  46, who had been cooperating with the government long before 11 arrests were made in a  vote-buying investigation involving the the Alabama Legislature, admitted to accepting monthly cash payments from lobbyists, gifts of ski trips to Breckenridge, Colo.

Authorities said that from 2006 to 2010, Spicer accepted bribes from Jarrod Massey, a former lobbyist in Montgomery, Ala., and his client, businessman Ronnie Gilley.

Spicer admitted receiving cash, campaign services and a ski vacation from Massey in exchange for Spicer using his official position to obtain lobbying business for Massey.

Spicer also admitted that he accepted campaign contributions and entertainment concert tickets from businessman Gilley in return for Spicer’s official assistance in favor of Gilley’s business projects and interests, the Justice Department said.

Both Massey and Gilley have pleaded guilty to paying and offering bribes to Spicer and other legislators.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Justice Dept. Official Apologizes For Not Notifying Boss About “Gun Walking” Cases

Lanny Breuer

By Carrie Johnson
NPR

WASHINGTON — A top political appointee in the Obama Justice Department says he made a “mistake” when he didn’t flag questionable tactics used by federal agents in a gun-trafficking case for his superiors last year.

Lanny A. Breuer, assistant attorney general in charge of the criminal division, told NPR he found out in April 2010 that agents at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives had let more than 400 guns connected to suspicious buyers cross the Southwest border during the Bush years, but he didn’t tell senior leadership at the Justice Department.

“Knowing what I know now, I wish that I had alerted the deputy or the attorney general at the time,” he said.

To read more click here.

 

Read NY Times story 

OK Bill O’Reilly, You Can Stop Mentioning the $16 Muffin

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

Folks like talk show host Bill O’Reilly talked incessantly about the government spending $16  a muffin at a conference even after press reports began to surface that the Justice Department report on the issue  probably wasn’t true. The Hilton hotel had disputed it all along, saying the price included multiple breakfast items.

Well, now it’s really official. Last week the Justice Department’s inspector general issued a revised version of an earlier report on conference expenditures that had made front page headlines in September, reports Government Executive.

“After further review of the newly provided documentation and information,” acting Inspector General Cynthia Schnedar said in a statement, “we determined that our initial conclusions concerning the itemized costs of refreshments at the . . . conference were incorrect.”

 

The original report had made mention of $16.80 muffins at an August 2009 Justice Department event at the Capital Hilton in Washington, D.C. Calling the report a “wake-up call” on wasteful spending on conferences, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, had called for the firing of some department employees at the time.

“We hope that our correction of the record for this one conference among the 10 conferences we reviewed does not detract from the more significant conclusion in our report: government conference expenditures must be managed carefully, and the department can do more to ensure that taxpayer dollars are spent wisely and accounted for properly,” the new report said.

To read more click here.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Justice Dept. Being Hard-nosed About Leaks: Still Fighting to Get NY Times Reporter to Disclose Sources

Reporter James Risen

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Nearly three years into the Obama administration, the Justice Department appears to be as hard-nosed about challenging reporters’ rights to protect confidential sources as it was under the Bush administration.

The latest: The Justice Department has gone to the Court of Appeals to challenge District judge, who ruled that New York Times investigative reporter James Risen did not have to disclose his sources at the trial of a CIA officer accused of leaking top secret info, Politico’s Josh Gerstein reported.

The Justice Department on Wednesday filed the papers challenging U.S. District Court Judge Leonie Brinkema’s ruling in July.

At the time, the judge ruled that Risen’s testimony was covered by a “reporter’s privilege,” and that the government failed to show that information was essential to proving its case, Politico reported. Risen works out the Time’s Washington bureau.

Politico reported that ex-CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling was indicted last year on charges of disclosing to Risen info about the agency’s efforts to undermine Iran’s nuclear weapons program. Trial, which was set to begin this month, has been delayed because of the appeal.

The executive director of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, Lucy Dalglish, called the appeal troubling but not surprising.

“I’m not surprised at all,” Dalglish told Politico.  “The Obama administration has made it absolutely clear they detest leakers and they are going to be very aggressive against leakers.”

 

FBI Dir. Mueller Honored Along With Some Who Played Role in Russian Spy Network

FBI Dir. Robert Mueller/fbi file photo

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

FBI Director Robert Mueller was awarded one of the Justice Departments highest honors on Wednesday for his “outstanding professionalism and exemplary integrity,” reports CNN.

The award was one of more than 300 commendations, forty-nine of them among intelligence officials, including counterespionage agents, for their roles in catching 10 Russian secret agents in the summer of 2010.

The Russian “deep cover” operatives had carefully constructed false identities. FBI agents had decrypted the agents’ messages back to Moscow and conducted extensive surveillance, using an “exceptionally creative and tenacious multiyear investigation.”

New Deputy Director Sean Joyce accepted the award for Mueller, who was traveling for “personal business,” according to CNN. The award is named after US Attorney General Edward Levi

Another 65 law enforcement officials were commended for their work in the investigation and prosecution of Faisal Shahzad and n attempted  May 2010 bombing in Times Square.

To read more click here.