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FBI Labels Proud Boys As a Hate Group with ‘Nationalist Ties’

Proud Boys, via Southern Poverty Law Center.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

The FBI has classified the far-right group the Proud Boys as “an extremist group with white nationalist ties,” according to a report issued by a Washington state sheriff’s office.

The self-described “western chauvinist” group was created by Vice Media co-founder Gavin McInnes in 2016, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center

The designation is the first time the group has been classified as “extremist” by the FBO, according to the Guardian

The report, issued by the Clark County Sheriff’ Office, warns local law enforcement that the group is recruiting and has “contributed to the recent escalation of violence at political rallies held on college campuses, and in cities like Charlottesville, Virginia, Portland, Oregon, and Seattle, Washington.”


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Mueller’s Team Defends Its Authority to Investigate Russian Meddling

Special counsel Robert Mueller. Photo via FBI.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s team argued that the appointment of Matthew Whitaker to acting attorney general won’t affect the investigation into Russian interference in the presidential election.

Mueller’s top attorney made the assertion in response to a case filed Andrew Miller, an associate of Roger Stone, who is under investigation for his role in the leaks of Hillary Clinton emails, the Washington Post reports

Miller is challenging the constitutionality of Mueller’s authority to investigate Russia.

“The designation has no effect on the case,” Mueller’s team said of Whitaker’s new position. “The validity of the Special Counsel’s appointment” in May 2017 “cannot be retroactively affected by a change in the official who is serving as the Acting Attorney General.”

Miller’s lawsuit is aimed at blocking a grand jury subpoena from Mueller.


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Ex-Border Patrol Agent Accused of Illegally Selling Hundreds of Firearms

Photo via Border Patrol

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

A former Border Patrol agent is accused of selling hundreds of firearms without a license.

Federal authorities seized more than 200 firearms from the home of Laurence Myers, who was recently indicted., The Arizona Daily Star reports.

Myers, 54, worked at the agency’s Tucson Sector, which confirmed he is no longer employed there.

According to court records, authorities were tipped off by suspicious deposits at a Tucson bank and discovered $300,000 in illegal gun sales.


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Dems, Republicans Warn Trump’s New AG Against Interfering with Mueller Probe

Special Counsel Robert Mueller, via FBI.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Republicans and Democrats are warning President Trump and his new attorney general to keep their hands off the special counsel investigation into Russian meddling.

Adam Schiff, the Democrat who will lead the House Intelligence Committee in January, continued to call the appointment of Matthew Whitaker unconstitutional and pledged to expose any attempts to interfere with Robert Mueller’s investigation.

Republican senators appeared on Sunday news shows to say the Trump administration must not get impede the probe, which includes examining whether Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia.

Schiff called Whitaker’s appointment “flawed” and said he was “chosen for the purpose of interfering with the Mueller investigation.”

Schiff told ABC’s This Week: “He should have absolutely nothing to do with the investigation,” adding: “We will expose any involvement he has in it. He needs to know that if he takes any action to curb what Mr Mueller does we are going to find out about it, we are going to expose it.”


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National President of Fraternal Order of Police Flips Stance on Sentencing Reform After President Dangles ATF Job

Chuck Canterbury (official photo)

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Any denizen of Washington, or observers of the goings on inside the Beltway can’t be too shocked to see high-profile people flip their stance on important issues in exchange for a high-profile law enforcement job.

Chuck Canterbury, national president of the influential Fraternal Order of Police, had previously made it clear that he opposed a sentencing reform bill.

But that’s all changed now that President Donald Trump, who backs the bill, is considering Canterbury to head up ATF, according to Politico, which reports:

Opponents of bipartisan legislation to overhaul federal sentencing guidelines were surprised to see Chuck Canterbury, the head of the influential Fraternal Order of Police, standing beside Trump on Wednesday at an event celebrating the proposed measure. The police group, which Canterbury has headed for more than a decade, had previously opposed the legislation.

It was an unusual move for the law enforcement veteran, who enthusiastically testified at last year’s Senate confirmation hearing on behalf of Jeff Sessions, Trump’s recently dismissed attorney general and a high-profile opponent of the criminal justice reform legislation. Canterbury’s group said in a statement ahead of the president’s endorsement that the First Step Act would boost safety “in our streets and neighborhoods” and better protect police.

Not so surprising that ambition Trumps people’s convictions or lack of.


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Weekend Series on Law Enforcement History: Nixon, Watergate Firings and Elliot Richardson


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FBI Recreated Decoy Heads Used in Notorious Prison Escape from Alcatraz Island

The original decoy heads.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

The FBI has refashioned decoy heads used by inmates in a notorious prison escape from Alcatraz Island more than a half century ago.

The fake heads, which took months for three convicts to make, were placed in their beds before they climbed to the roof and escaped from the island prison in the San Francisco Bay.

Inmates Frank Morris and John and Clarence Anglin slipped into the frigid water and were never seen again.

The daring escape inspired a movie starring Clint Eastwood.

The FBI on Thursday unveiled the near-exact replicas, which were made using a 3D printer at the bureau’s laboratory in Quantico, Va.

The idea was to preserve valuable pieces of American history as the original dummy heads deteriorated.


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Acting AG Tells Sen. Graham He Won’t Interfere with Mueller Probe

Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham said he’s been assured by Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker that he won’t interfere with the special counsel investigation.

In a private meeting in Graham’s office, Whitaker said he would “honor regular order” and allow the probe to continue.

Graham told reporters he doesn’t believe Whitaker will do “anything unsavory” with the 18-month investigation into Russia’s meddling in the presidential election, ABC News reports

“I’ve a lot of confidence that Mr. Mueller will be allowed to do his job and that the legal process that was in place before Mr. Whitaker arrived will be followed,” Graham said.

Graham added, “And I have every confidence he’ll make reasoned decisions when his time comes and that the investigation is not in jeopardy.”

Despite previous comments questioning the legality of the probe, Whitaker told Graham he has no qualms with the investigation.

“He’s seen nothing out of bounds,” Graham said. “No concerns at all about Mr. Mueller.”

A day after the midterm elections, President Trump forced AG Sessions to resign and replaced him with Whitaker, a loyalist and critic of the probe.


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