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Archive for April 17th, 2009

Missouri U.S. Atty. Catherine Hanaway to Step Down and Join Law Firm With Ex-A.G. John Ashcroft

U.S. Atty. Catherine Hanaway

U.S. Atty. Catherine Hanaway

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The exodus of U.S. Attorneys continues.

The Associated Press is reporting that U.S. Attorney Catherine Hanaway of the Eastern District of Missouri will resign to join a law firm with former Attorney General John Ashcroft. Her last day is Sunday.

The wire service reported that the Kansas City law firm will be called Ashcroft Hanaway. AP reported that Hanaway will work in St. Louis and Ashcroft will be based in Washington.

Court of Appeals Orders Detroit Reporter to Answer Pre-trial Questions in Case Involving Confidential Sources

David Ashenfelter

David Ashenfelter

The chess game between an ex-federal prosecutor and a Pulitzer Prize reporter continues to play out in Detroit. The media and federal law enforcement community is watching. The latest court order came down on Thursday.

By JOE SWICKARD
Detroit Free Press
DETROIT — A federal appeals court said this afternoon that Free Press reporter David Ashenfelter will have to sit for pretrial questioning by attorneys for a former federal prosecutor wanting to find out who leaked word to Ashenfelter that he was under an internal investigation.
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Free Press attorneys had asked the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals to halt the deposition process ordered by U.S. District Judge Robert Cleland for next Tuesday, but the appellate court said in a two-page order that Ashenfelter hadn’t shown Cleland abused his discretion.

Ashenfelter has refused to name his source for his 2004 story, citing First Amendment freedom of press protections and Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination.

The former prosecutor, Richard Convertino, came under fire and stood trial for alleged misconduct in a discredited 2003 terror trial. He has said that Ashenfelter may have conspired with the leakers to break federal laws. Convertino was acquitted in 2007 of hiding evidence from defense lawyers in the terror trial.

Cleland has said he’ll decide if Ashenfelter’s assertions are valid on a question-by-question basis.
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OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Transportation Security Administration Hopes to Ditch Airport Rule Against Carrying on Liquids & Gels

JetIf ever there was an annoying rule, it’s the one at the airport about carrying on liquids and gels. The sooner this one goes away the better. I can’t count how many times I’ve forgotten and had to throw out bottles of water at the security checkpoint.

By Budget Travel website
The TSA’s goal is to lift the restrictions on carrying liquids, aerosols, and gels aboard aircraft. Toward that end, the TSA has been rolling out new luggage screening machines that can tell the difference between a harmless drink and a deadly explosive. Already, about 500 of these AT X-ray machines have been installed. That number should be doubled by year-end.

By fall 2009, the TSA hopes to get rid of its rule that you must carry all of your liquids in a single clear bag. For a brief period, you’ll probably still have to place all of your liquids in a plastic bin separate from your laptop and carry-on bag when passing through airport screening machines.

By next winter, the TSA hopes to lift its size restrictions on liquids, which now limit the carry-on size to 3.4 liquid ounces. The timetable depends on how quickly software updates can be installed on all of the machines and how quickly TSA agents can be trained to use the machines correctly. Officials with the British counterpart to the TSA, the transport ministry, have made a similar pledge.

Another change is to move the baggage screening machines from airport terminals, where they clutter the floor, and put them off-site. So-called “in-line” machines at the Las Vegas and Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson airports can test bags for explosives without requiring the physical handling of each bag. Las Vegas airport, for once, has embraced the change because it can use the freed-up terminal space to add more slot machines for waiting passengers to use. (For a video explanation of the new baggage inspection system, see below.)

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httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Yre_NUaAF0&feature=player_embedded

Denver Fed Judge Refuses to Toss Lawsuit Involving Secret Service and Dick Cheney

This case seems to have an amusing aspect to it. Maybe just the thought of Dick Cheney testifying in court seems to have some entertainment value. 

By Felisa Cardona dick-cheney
The Denver Post
DENVER — A federal judge in Denver has declined to toss out a lawsuit against four U.S. Secret Service agents who arrested a man in Beaver Creek in 2006 after he approached then-Vice President Dick Cheney to criticize the Iraq war.

“There are too many disputed issues of material fact to grant summary judgment in this case,” U.S. District Judge Christine Arguello ruled from the bench Tuesday.

Lawyers for the Secret Service had asked that the case be tossed based on “qualified immunity,” meaning the officers are immune from lawsuits if they make an honest mistake in an arrest.

Steven Howards sued the four agents, claiming they violated his civil rights after he was arrested for allegedly harassing Cheney in June 2006. Howards said he simply walked up to Cheney at a Beaver Creek shopping area, touched him and said his policy in Iraq was “disgusting.”
For Full Story