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Secret Service Deals With Malia Obama’s Stalker in NY

Malia Obama (Photo by Master Sgt. Cecilio Ricardo)

Malia Obama (Photo by Master Sgt. Cecilio Ricardo)

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Malia Obama, the oldest daughter of former President Barack Obama, is still feeling the public pain of living a high-profile existence.

Jair Cardoso, 30, of Brooklyn man who stalked her in New York was taken into custody earlier this month after he was caught trying to get to her again at her internship, a law enforcement source tells Alison Fox of AM New York.

Cardoso first went to the TriBeCa building where Malia was interning on April 10, put a sign in the window, screamed her name repeatedly and yelled for her to marry her, the online news site reports. At that time, he was turned away by Secret Service agents.

He was eventually taken to the hospital to undergo a psychiatric evaluation. Secret Service has also notified New York Police about the problem.

 


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Public Advocate Objected to FBI’s Unrestricted Access to NSA Data

Photo: Depositphotos

Photo: Depositphotos

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

In 2015, in her first appearance as a “friend of the court” representing the American public, Amy Jeffress, a former federal prosecutor, argued before the very secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, that the FBI was violating the Fourth Amendment by giving agents “virtually unrestricted” access to data from one of the NSA’s largest surveillance programs that included untold amounts of communications involving innocent Americans, reports Alex Emmons of the the website, Intercept.

One big problem is that while the program is supposed to target foreigners, it ends up capturing a large number of communications from Americans.

“There need be no connection to foreign intelligence or national security, and that is the purpose of the collection,” Emmons told Thomas Hogan, then the chief judge of the court. “So they’re overstepping, really, the purpose for which the information is collected.”

The ACLU released this information on Friday after obtaining it through the Freedom of Information Act, Intercept reports.

The peek behind the curtain shows the ongoing battle between keeping America safe and protecting peoples’ privacy and Constitutional rights.

 


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Comey May Have Wanted to Stay Out of Politics, But He Shaped the Election — N.Y. Times

FBI Director James Comey

FBI Director James Comey

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A New York Times examination of the 2016 election concludes that while FBI Director James Comey insisted on avoiding politics, he ended up shaping the election.

Reporters Matt Apuzzo, Michael Schmidt, Adam Goldman and Eric Lichblau of the New York Times write about the Hillary Clinton email probe:

But with polls showing Mrs. Clinton holding a comfortable lead, Mr. Comey ended up plunging the F.B.I. into the molten center of a bitter election. Fearing the backlash that would come if it were revealed after the election that the F.B.I. had been investigating the next president and had kept it a secret, Mr. Comey sent a letter informing Congress that the case was reopened.

What he did not say was that the F.B.I. was also investigating the campaign of Donald J. Trump. Just weeks before, Mr. Comey had declined to answer a question from Congress about whether there was such an investigation. Only in March, long after the election, did Mr. Comey confirm that there was one.

The paper goes on to write:

An examination by The New York Times, based on interviews with more than 30 current and former law enforcement, congressional and other government officials, found that while partisanship was not a factor in Mr. Comey’s approach to the two investigations, he handled them in starkly different ways. In the case of Mrs. Clinton, he rewrote the script, partly based on the F.B.I.’s expectation that she would win and fearing the bureau would be accused of helping her. In the case of Mr. Trump, he conducted the investigation by the book, with the F.B.I.’s traditional secrecy. Many of the officials discussed the investigations on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to reporters.

 


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Weekend Series on Crime: The Russian Mob


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DOJ Official Leading Trump-Russia Investigation Unexpectedly Leaving

The DOJ's Mary McCord is stepping down during Trump probe.

The DOJ’s Mary McCord is stepping down during Trump probe.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The high-ranking Justice Department official who is heading the government’s investigation into potential ties between Russia and Donald Trump’s campaign announced unexpectedly that she is leaving the DOJ in May.

Mary McCord, acting assistant attorney general for national security, told staff that she is leaving in mid-May, according to NPR. 

“The time is now right for me to pursue new career opportunities,” May told NPR.

The departure leaves an important position unfilled and raises questions about what’s next for the investigation.

NPR writes:

Her exit leaves a huge vacancy at one of the Justice Department’s most important divisions, at a time when the Trump administration is struggling to fill the ranks. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is the only leader so far in the building to have secured Senate confirmation. His picks for deputy and associate attorney general await votes by the full Senate. The administration has not yet announced political appointees for other top posts.

Protecting national security is the top Justice Department priority no matter which political party is in power. The National Security Division, created after the terror attacks on September 11, 2001, has filed criminal charges against Chinese and Russian hackers, sent Americans inspired by the Islamic State and al-Qaida to serve decades in prison and launched counterintelligence probes involving suspected spies.

The investigation into Russian election meddling is one of the highest profile matters in the division’s short history. It’s not clear whether the probe will result in criminal charges against anyone. But both the Justice Department and the FBI are taking it seriously.

Other Stories of Interest


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FBI: Facebook Killer Eluded Investigators When Cellphones Were Turned Off

Steve Stephens, via Facebook.

Steve Stephens, via Facebook.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Several hours after Steve Stephens posted a video on Facebook that shows him killing a 75-year-old man in Cleveland, the FBI determined that one or both of his cellphones were in Erie.

But that was the only evidence investigators had of Stephens’ whereabouts during a 48-hour manhunt that ended with his suicide in Erie.

According to the FBI, the cellphones became inactive shortly after activity was discovered through a tower in Erie.

The FBI is still trying to determine what Stephens did between the time his phone was traced to Erie and his suicide after he was spotted by a fast food worker.

“FBI agents located in Erie, Pa., along with local law enforcement partners canvassed the area in which the last activity occurred but did not locate Stephens,” according to an FBI news release.


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FBI Begins Restricting Media Access to the Bureau Following News Leaks

FBI Director James Comey

FBI Director James Comey

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI rolled out a new media policy that restricts contacts between the news media and bureau employees following controversies over recent leaks.

The policy was announced this week at a Washington conference attended by FBI agents in charge of 56 field offices, CNN reports. 

Under FBI Director James Comey, the bureau has improved media access to the bureau. But the new policy endangers that transparency.

The new restrictions follow leaked information for news stories about contacts between Donald Trump’s campaign and Russian operatives.

Under the new policy, only leaders of the field offices and PR employees are allowed to talk with the media. There are exemptions when proper authorization is given to bureau employees,

The FBI declined to comment.


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Love Lost? Trump Administration Prepares to Charge Wikileaks Founder Julian Assange

Julian Assange on Fox News

Julian Assange on Fox News

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Donald Trump praised the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks while he was running for president.

Now, his administration is preparing charges against the group’s founder, Julian Assange, according to CNN

The charges may include conspiracy, violating the Espionage Act and the theft of government property.

The decision to charge Assange, who revealed troves of damaging e-mails from the Hillary Clinton campaign, belongs to the Justice Department.

U.S. authorities are responding to WikiLeaks releasing 8,000 documents last week revealing secrets about the CIA’s spying capabilities.

Attorney General on Thursday called Assange’s arrest a “priority.”

“We are going to step up our effort and already are stepping up our efforts on all leaks,” he said. “This is a matter that’s gone beyond anything I’m aware of. We have professionals that have been in the security business of the United States for many years that are shocked by the number of leaks and some of them are quite serious. So yes, it is a priority. We’ve already begun to step up our efforts and whenever a case can be made, we will seek to put some people in jail.”

Assange’s lawyer responded.

“We’ve had no communication with the Department of Justice and they have not indicated to me that they have brought any charges against Mr. Assange,” Barry Pollack said. “They’ve been unwilling to have any discussion at all, despite our repeated requests, that they let us know what Mr. Assange’s status is in any pending investigations. There’s no reason why WikiLeaks should be treated differently from any other publisher.”


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