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Tag: U.S. District Court

Judge to Hear Arguments about DOJ’s Bid to Dismiss Case against Michael Flynn

Former National Security Adviser Michael T. Flynn

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A judge may decide today whether to accept the Justice Department’s unusual move to dismiss the criminal case against former national security adviser Michael Flynn, a former President Trump appointee who pleaded guilty in December 2017 to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russia.

The case returns to U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District Columbia Circuit ruled in late August that he can does not have to promptly dismiss the case just because the Justice Department sought to drop it.

Sullivan will hear final arguments in the case.

The Justice Department and Flynn want the case to be dismissed, while former federal judge John Gleeson is arguing that Sullivan can move forward and sentence Flynn.

Democrats and legal experts have questioned Attorney General William Barr’s motives for intervening in a case tied to Trump.

FBI Searches for Gunman Who Killed Son, Wounded Husband of New Jersey Federal Judge

U.S. District Court Judge Esther Salas via Rutgers University

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The FBI is on the hunt for a gunman who fatally shot the son of U.S. District Court Judge Esther Salas and critically wounded her husband at their home near North Brunswick in New Jersey on Sunday afternoon.

Salar was not injured.

The gunman, who was still at large Monday morning, was dressed in a FedEx uniform, Forbes reports.

“We’re looking for one suspect,” the FBI said.

Salas is presiding over a civil case in which Deutsche Bank is accused of failing to monitor high-risk clients, including convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

“Judge Salas and her family are in our thoughts at this time as they cope with this senseless act,” New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said on Twitter.

Fed Judge in Detroit Compared Illegal Immigrants to Insects

 

U.S. District Judge Robert H. Cleland

U.S. District Judge Robert H. Cleland

By Allan Lengel
For Deadline Detroit

DETROIT — The language from the federal bench in Detroit was stark and unsettling.

U.S. District Judge Robert H. Cleland compared illegal immigrants to an insect and menacing Japanese beetles in 2013 while sentencing a 21-year-old undocumented immigrant from Mexico. A couple years later, a fellow judge called that analogy disturbing.

“One little attractive iridescent emerald beetle from Japan is not really any threat at all,” Judge Cleland said. “But when it multiplies and hundreds of millions of its offspring or relatives emerge and devastate the ash tree population in the continental United States and elsewhere, it’s a serious problem.

“So the one very attractive little insect is nothing more than interesting, but it’s an example of a very large problem.  And I think that’s what I have here.”

The colorful remarks, contained in a transcript recently obtained by Deadline Detroit, seem germane at a time when immigration is a hot-button issue and more criminal cases are likely to end up before federal judges like Cleland, who continues to serve on the bench.

“It’s very offensive and racist,” comments Brent A. Wilkes, national executive director of the League of United Latin American Citizens in Washington, who was contacted by Deadline. “I feel anyone coming before him would not get a fair hearing because of that racist mentality.”

Judge Cleland, appointed in 1990 by President George H.W. Bush, declined comment.

To read the full story click here.

Ex-FBI Investigator Claims Bureau Hid Evidence in 2001 Anthrax Case

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A former director of the FBI’s anthrax investigation claims the bureau hid evidence that would punch holes in the case that Army scientist Bruce Ivins mailed anthrax-laced letters that killed five people and sickened 27 others in 2001, Fox News reports. 

Richard Lambert claims in a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Tennessee that investigators used flawed scientific methods to arrive at a conclusion to charge Ivins in the anthrax attacks. Ivina later committed suicide before any charges were filed.

Lambert alleges there’s a “wealth” of evidence casting doubt on the case, which “the FBI continues to conceal from Congress and the American people. ”

While he headed up the investigation, he focused heavily on scientist Steven Hatfill.

The FBI declined to comment because of the litigation.

Prosecutors Dropping Drug Conspiracy Charges Because of Alleged FBI Miconduct

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An FBI agent accused of tampering with evidence has prompted federal prosecutors to begin the process of dismissing indictments against 28 defendants, the Washington Post reports.

Half of the defendants were already serving sentences.

Many of the defendants will be in U.S. District Court on Friday for a hearing.

The U.S. attorney’s office is investigating other cases handled by the FBI agent, who was working with a D.C. police task force in the FBI’s Washington Field Office.

In the meantime, the agent has been suspended while authorities investigate.

Authorities have not discussed details of the alleged misconduct, but said the agent is accused of tampering with drug and gun evidence.

Insane Clown Posse Can’t Sue Government Over FBI Gang Report, Judge Rules

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The rap-metal duo Insane Clown Posse has lost its lawsuit against the feds.

U.S. District Judge Robert Cleland dismissed the group’s lawsuit against the FBI and Justice Department,  saying the government can’t be blamed for any fallout from a 2011 FBI report that classified fans of the group as a “loosely organized hybrid gang,”  the Associated Press reported. The fans are known as Juggalos.

The AP reported that the U.S. Justice Department is not responsible for how authorities use a national report on gangs.

Fans claimed they were unfairly targeted by local authorities because of the gang label.

Notorious Mobster ‘Whitey’ Bulger Appeals Convictions Less Than Week After Prison Sentence

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Attorneys for notorious mobster James “Whitey” Bulger plan to appeal his murder and racketeering conviction less than a week after he was sentenced to two life terms in prison, Reuters reports.

The brief filing in U.S. District Court in Boston does not list specific objections.

But Reuters suggests Bulger’s attorneys may be arguing they were wrongly denied the right to argue that Bulger was granted immunity by the FBI.

Retired FBI Agent Jailed After Feds Accuse Him of Contacting Potential Witness

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A retired FBI agent accused of trying to derail an investigation into military fraud was jailed Tuesday pending trial after a federal judge in Utah said he violated terms of his release, the Salt Lake Tribune reports

U.S. District Court judge ordered Robert G. Lustyik Jr., 50, to jail after prosecutors provided “clear and convincing” evidence that the 50-year-old retired agent asked a third party to deliver cash to apotential witness in the case, the Tribune wrote.

“I don’t make the decision lightly, nor do I make it happily, but I think the evidence demands it,” U.S. District Court Judge Dustin Pead said, according to the Tribune.

Lustyik is accused to trying to thwart an investigation into Michael Taylor’s role in the alleged scheme, which the government says involves Taylor and two other men conspiring to land a $54 million contract for security and training services to Afghan special forces by using inside information, the Tribune reported.