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Bi-Partisan Bill Seeks to Protect Firing of Special Counsels, Like Robert Mueller

Sen. Lindsey Graham

Sen. Lindsey Graham

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A bi-partisan effort in the Senate has been introduced to prevent the firing of a special counsel, such as Robert Mueller, without judicial review.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, introduced the measure.

“A special counsel cannot be fired when they were entitled to investigate the president or his team unless you have judicial review, not just for Trump, but for any future president,” Graham said when describing the legislation to reporters on Thursday, USA Today reports. “We need a check and balance here.”

Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., co-sponsored the bill.

“I’m introducing this legislation to make sure the president can’t just fire a special prosecutor, that it has to be for cause and that the judicial branch should have a say in whether there is legitimate cause or not,” Booker old MSNBC.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZFwOZ4rYixk&feature=youtu.be&t=202

 The bill comes as rumors swirl that President Trump wants to fire Mueller, who is investigating Russia’s role in interfering with the 2016 presidential election.


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FBI: Husband Killed Wife Aboard Cruise Ship Because She Was Laughing at Him

Emerald Princess, via Wikipedia.

Emerald Princess, via Wikipedia.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Utah man accused of killing his wife aboard an Alaska cruise confided in an acquaintance that he did it because she laughed at him, according to FBI documents released Thursday.

Kenneth Manzanares has been charged with charged with the murder of his 39-year-old wife, Kristy Manzanares, after authorities found him and the couple’s room splattered in blood on the 3,400-passenger Emerald Princess, the Associated Press reports

An acquaintance who saw the blood-splattered room asked the husband what happened, and Manzanares allegedly responded, “She would not stop laughing at me.”

The acquaintance then stopped Manzanares from trying to drag his wife’s body to the balcony.

When the 39year-old suspect was searched by the FBI, Manzanares reportedly said, “My life is over.”


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New Senate Plan Aims to Revive Plan to Find New FBI Headquarters

The FBI's current headquarters in Washington D.C.

The FBI’s current headquarters in Washington D.C.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday raised hopes that the FBI may get a new headquarters after all.

The committee’s new plan would require the FBI to develop a plan within 30 days of the bill’s passage to relocate the FBI headquarters at the J. Edgar Hoover Building, the Washington Post reports

Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., said he wants the FBI to replace his aging, cramped headquarters

“What they’ve said is they’re not going to proceed with the old procurement process,” he said in an interview Wednesday. “They have not indicated that they’re opposed to consolation. In fact we believe they’ll be supportive of moving forward with FBI consolidation.”

The Post reports:

If adopted and passed through a final budget package, the language would redirect the FBI to not only come up with a consolidation plan, but also justify the cancellation, detail the scope and cost for keeping the current headquarters operational until a move and explain how the fiscal year 2017 money will be spent.

The House Appropriations Committee recently adopted similar language based on a proposal from Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.) that would give the GSA 60 days from the bill’s passage to develop an alternative plan for consolidation.

The earlier plan would have awarded the winning bidder a chance to redevelop the Hoover site downtown and helped the government foot the bill for the new project.


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Trump’s New Attorney Calls Special Counsel Mueller ‘Very Respectful And Professional’

Donald Trump, via Wikipedia

Donald Trump, via Wikipedia

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Donald Trump may not view special counsel Robert Mueller in a favorable light, but his newest lawyer does.

“I have a very respectful and professional relationship with Bob Mueller. I think very highly of him,” Ty Cobb, the new White House special counsel, told Politico in an interview

Cobb is not new to political scandals. The prominent Washington white-collar lawyer represented Democrats who were under investigation in the 1990s.

Cobb’s statements come after Trump has repeatedly called Mueller’s investigation a “witch hunt.”

“He knows how to handle a crisis situation,” said Robert Bennett, Cobb’s longtime law partner and a former attorney for President Bill Clinton. “He knows how to deal with the conflicting tensions of congressional and criminal investigations and the media. So the whole question is whether they will to listen to him, whether they’ll follow his advice.”


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Former DOJ Officials Worry about Constitutional Crisis If Trump Removes Sessions

Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Former Justice Department officials are speaking out about President Trump’s incessant public battle with Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

They DOJ veterans are concerned Trump may fire Sessions without any accountability, The Hill reports

“There is a whole constitutional common law — the rules of the road — and it is vital,” said Harry Litman, a former U.S. attorney and deputy assistant attorney general. “It is based on examples of what people can and can’t do, but Trump shows every indication of disregarding it with impunity — and so far he has been able to. It’s kind of terrifying.” 

If Trump removes Sessions, would it create a constitutional crisis?

“I would hope so,” said Peter Zeidenberg, who spent 17 years as a DOJ prosecutor.

“That is the best-case scenario. The worst-case scenario is that Republicans in Congress shrug their shoulders. You would, in effect, have the president being permitted by Congress to quash an investigation simply because he doesn’t like it. I can’t imagine anything more serious than that.”


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FBI Arrests Suspect in Cruise Ship Death of 39-Year-Old Utah Woman

Emerald Princess, via Wikipedia.

Emerald Princess, via Wikipedia.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI has arrested a suspect in the cruise ship death of a 39-year-old Utah woman.

Time reports the suspect was taken into custody late Wednesday and is expected to be charged today in what federal authorities are calling a domestic dispute that led to the Tuesday night death of a woman aboard the Emerald Princess in U.S. waters off Alaska. 

At the time, the ship was carrying 3,400 passengers and 1,100 crew members during a weeklong trip that departed Seattle on Sunday.

Details of the death remain a mystery.

The FBI gets involved in deaths that occur in international or U.S. waters.


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Scaramucci Calls on FBI to Investigate Leaks of Financial Records That Are Public

President Trump’s new communications director, Anthony Scaramucci, via Twitter.

President Trump’s new communications director, Anthony Scaramucci, via Twitter.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump’s new communications director, Anthony Scaramucci, is calling on the FBI to investigate who released his troubling financial disclosure forms.

Seemingly unaware that the forms are public records, which can be accessed here, Scaramucci claimed Wednesday night that the leaker committed a “felony.”

“In light of the leak of my financial disclosure info which is a felony. I will be contacting FBI and the Justice Department,” Scaramucci tweeted.

The tweet has since been deleted.

Scaramucci also tagged White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, with whom he has been feuding.

At 12:47 a.m. Thursday, Scaramucci denied claims that he wanted Priebus investigated by the FBI.

The disclosure form, which was reported by Politico and filed with the Office of Government Ethics, reveals that the Wall Street financier collected $4.9 million from Skybridge Capital, an investment firm he founded in 2005, between January 2016 and June 2017. His stake in the firm could lead to potential conflicts of interest.


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Syracuse.com: Mr. President, Don’t Fire Attorney General Jeff Sessions

President Trump, via White House

President Trump, via White House

By Editorial Board
Syracuse.com

President Donald Trump’s public criticism of his own attorney general, Jeff Sessions, is not merely Trump being Trump. It is part of a campaign to undermine the independence of the Justice Department and lay the groundwork for the president to fire Independent Counsel Robert Mueller, the man in charge of investigating Russia’s meddling in the presidential election.

Don’t do it, Mr. President.

Mueller must finish his investigation. Any attempt to short-circuit it will lead the American people to conclude you have something to hide, and are willing to use the power of your office to hide it. They will not abide a president who puts himself above the law. Even a Congress led by the president’s own party would have no choice but to act.

Let Mueller be Mueller, Mr. President.

Who is he? A decorated Marine veteran of Vietnam; FBI director under two presidents, a Republican and a Democrat; architect of the agency’s terror-fighting mission; the man a former Justice Department colleague describes as “utterly incorruptible” and “ramrod straight in his integrity.” This was how he was described upon taking the job and nothing since has occurred to taint that sparkling reputation.

The president, with scant evidence, accuses Mueller of having conflicts of interest – one of the few reasons an independent counsel can be dismissed. In an interview with the New York Times, Trump warned Mueller not to stray into his family’s business affairs, saying it would be crossing a “red line.” On the contrary, Mueller should follow the evidence wherever it leads. That is the obligation Mueller accepted and has apparently embraced in taking on the independent counsel role.

To read more click here. 


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