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Tag: president trump

Time to Revive Long-Delayed Plan to Build New FBI Headquarters, WP Argues

FBI headquarters, via FBI

By Steve Neavling

The long-planned construction of a new FBI headquarters languished under President Trump. 

Now it’s time to revive the plan “now that facts are back in fashion,” The Washington Post argues in an editorial. 

The Post writes:

Mr. Trump’s meddling derailed an important project that would have saved money and enhanced the security of thousands of FBI employees. Now that he’s gone, the Biden administration should revive the FBI’s relocation to a nearby suburban Virginia or Maryland site.

“The move’s rationale hasn’t changed in the decade since the federal government concluded that the J. Edgar Hoover Building, completed in 1975, had become obsolete to the FBI’s needs. Today, thousands of bureau employees, for whom there is no space at headquarters, are scattered in office buildings around the D.C. region, at significant cost to taxpayers. The danger to pedestrians posed by falling chunks of concrete is such that netting has been installed on the building’s east facade.

The Post said relocation is necessary because the current headquarters is too small to be rebuilt, suggesting a “a nearby suburban campus — of the sort that has worked well for the CIA, in Virginia, and the National Security Agency, in Maryland — would enable the bureau to consolidate headquarters staff in one location, at a savings of hundreds of millions of dollars.”

“A new suburban headquarters would also allow for the construction of other features long deemed priorities, including a separate facility for inspecting trucks and a detached utility plant.”

Read the full editorial here.

Two Democrats Ask FBI to Investigate Trump’s Phone Call with Georgia Officials

President Trump

By Steve Neavling

Two Democrats in the U.S. House are calling on the FBI to investigate President Trump for pressuring Georgia election officials in a phone call to “find” enough votes to overturn his election defeat in the state. 

The Washington Post released audio of the entire call, prompting legal experts to question whether Trump violated the law.

“As members of Congress and former prosecutors, we believe Donald Trump engaged in solicitation of, or conspiracy to commit, a number of election crimes,” Reps. Ted Lieu and Kathleen Rice wrote in a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray.

“We ask you to open an immediate criminal investigation into the president,” they added.

In the call with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, Trump repeated baseless conspiracy theories. Raffensperger rejected Trump’s claims, saying there is no evidence of widespread election fraud. 

The Democrats said the phone call provided “evidence of election fraud” and said “we are making a criminal referral to you to open an investigation into Mr. Trump.”

Federal Task Force Fatally Shoots Man Accused of Killing Trump Supporter in Portland

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A man accused of fatally shooting a President Trump supporter in Portland was killed Thursday as a federal task force tried to arrest him.

Federal investigators were moving in to arrest Michael Reinoehl, 48, when officials say he pulled a gun on the U.S. Marshals Service fugitive task force, The Associated Press reports.

Law enforcement then shot Reinoehl, who was the suspect in the fatal shooting of 39-year-0ld Aaron “Jay” Danielson, a supporter of the right wing group Patriot Prayer.

Reinoehl was shot at roughly the same time that Trump expressed impatience that the suspect was still at large.

On Thursday night, Trump expressed impatience with law enforcement.

“Why aren’t the Portland Police ARRESTING the cold blooded killer of Aaron “Jay” Danielson. Do your job, and do it fast. Everybody knows who this thug is. No wonder Portland is going to hell!” Trump tweeted.

In a social media post, Reinoehl described himself as “100% ANTIFA.”

Ex-FBI Lawyer Lisa Page Refers to Trump As ‘Monstrous, Despicable President’

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

There’s no love between ex-FBI lawyer Lisa Page and President Trump, as was evident with her disparaging remarks about Trump on Twitter on Tuesday.

Page, you might recall, had an affair with FBI agent Peter Strzok. Both exchanged critical texts about Trump, who subsequently mocked their affair.

Her tweet was in reference to Trump’s controversial move to tear gas peaceful protesters so he could stroll over to a church near the White House for a photo opportunity with him holding a bible.

 

Judge in Flynn Case Appoints Ex-Judge to Look Into Case After DOJ Moves to Drop It

Judge Emmet G. Sullivan/court photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

In a case riddled with unusual twists, the federal judge in Washington overseeing the case against President Trump’s former national security adviser Michael T. Flynn has appointed a former prosecutor and judge to oversee and oppose the Justice Department’s effort to drop the case, the New York Times reports.

U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan of Washington appointed former judge, John Gleeson, who is also a former federal prosecutor. Flynn pleaded guilty twice to lying to investigators as part of a larger probe into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. He later tried to withdraw his plea.

Last week, in what many considered a highly unusual move, the Justice Department moved to drop the charges. Subsequently, critics including former federal prosecutors, accused Attorney General William Barr of undermining the rule of law.
Sullivan’s appointment complicates the DOJ’s move to dismiss the case.

Prosecutor Who Resigned Amid DOJ’s intervention of Roger Stone Sentencing Lands New Job

Roger Stone

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A prosecutor who resigned after the Justice Department intervened in the sentencing recommendation for Roger Stone has landed a new job.

Jonathan Kravis, who was on the team prosecuting Trump’s henchman, will head a new public corruption unit for the District of Columbia’s Office of the Attorney General that focuses on ensuring lower-level crimes are prosecuted.

“Here in the District of Columbia, there are numerous local public corruption offenses that are on the code book, in the DC code, that really are not enforced in this jurisdiction right now because the U.S. attorney’s office properly is focused on federal corruption matters,” Kravis said in an interview with The Associated Press on Thursday.

“Those provisions don’t get the attention that they need,” he added.

Among the crimes that often fall between the cracks are campaign finance violations and false statements on financial disclosure forms.

D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine said Kravis has “good old-fashioned lawyering skills.”

“The District of Columbia seeks to have a local prosecutor focused on local public corruption in the same way that every state in America does,” Racine said in the interview.

Column: Ex-Fed Prosecutor — Nuclear Meltdown Gripping Justice Department

Michael J. Stern, a member of USA TODAY’s Board of Contributors, was a federal prosecutor for 25 years in Detroit and Los Angeles. Follow him on Twitter: @MichaelJStern1

Attorney General William Barr on ABC News.

By Michael J. Stern
USA Today

“The Real Housewives” have nothing on the Department of Justice when it comes to drama. I don’t mean to be flippant. But if I can’t marvel at the absurdity of the nuclear meltdown that is gripping the institution to which I dedicated my professional career, I’m afraid I will cry.

I was concerned when the punchline “Donald Trump” came to be preceded by the title “president.” But my beloved DOJ was filled with career prosecutors whose dedication and integrity would keep the ship on course — even if the storm lasted four years.

I was confident that the traditions that made the Justice Department the most respected law enforcement organization in the world would surely allow it to weather any attorney general Trump could install.

But Trump has commandeered the department and sent a clear message: “Investigate me or people close to me and I will undercut years of your hard work, trash your reputation on Twitter, and create a Hobson’s choice between your integrity and your ability to earn a living. And if you pick the former, I will issue a pardon and undo all you worked for anyway.”

Read the full column

FBI Agents Slam Trump for Peddling Conspiracy Theory about Epstein’s Death

President Trump, via White House

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump drew criticism and repulsion from current and retired FBI agents after he retweeted an unfounded conspiracy theory suggesting former President Bill Clinton was linked to the death of Jeffrey Epstein.

Despite mounting questions about how Epstein managed to kill himself so soon after being on suicide watch, no evidence has surfaced to give any conspiracy theory merit.

FBI agents told Business Insider that Trump’s decision to retweet the conspiracy theory to his 63 million followers was irresponsible and dangerous.

“The Epstein case was hypercharged from the get-go,” one current FBI agent, who requested anonymity, said. “The last thing investigators need is the president of the United States fanning the flames with these bullshit theories that have no basis in reality.”

Frank Montoya Jr., a recently retired FBI agent, called Trump’s actions “crazy talk.”

“This would be a bad TV melodrama if it weren’t real,” he added. “The world is watching. Trump may be successfully fooling a third of America with his sociopathic antics, but everyone else … sees how naked the Emperor is, and they are exploiting the advantage.”

Trump has a history of peddling baseless conspiracy theories, from suggesting President Obama was not born in the U.S. to feeding into the idea that Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia may have been murdered in his bed. Since becoming president, he’s suggested elections were rigged and that there’s “a deep state” conspiracy to drive him from office.

Those conspiracy theories make it more difficult for the FBI and other federal law enforcement agencies to do their jobs and undermines confidence in investigations, the agents said.