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Archive for February 5th, 2010

Weekend Series on History: Nixon Talks to Atty. Gen. John Mitchell About Supreme Court Prospect Mildred Lillie

Cleveland DEA Agent Acquitted on All 18 Counts Including Perjury and Obstruction of Justice

cleveland
By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Cleveland DEA Agent Lee Lucas, accused of perjury, obstruction of justice and violating civil rights in a case that involved framing people in a sting,  was acquitted by a federal jury Friday, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported.

The paper reported that DEA agent Lee Lucas broke into tears Friday after the jury cleared him of  all 18 counts stemming from a 2005 investigation.

“The truth finally came out after all those years,” said Lucas, 41, as he walked from the courtroom, the Plain Dealer reported.

The charges against Lucas stemmed from a 2005 drug investigation that resulted in about two dozen indictments, the paper reported.

Nearly all the charges were dropped after a key informant  admitted framing people “by staging phone calls and purposely identifying the wrong people as drug sellers,” the paper reported.

“Prosecutors accused Lucas of lying in written reports and in court to corroborate” the informant’s testimony, the paper reported.

To read more click here.

Sen. Mitch McConnell Critical of A.G. Eric Holder, Obama and FBI

A.G. Holder’s Letter Gives Insights Into Detaining Terrorists Arrested on U.S. Soil

Eric Holder Jr.

Eric Holder Jr.

This analysis of Atty. Gen. Eric Holder’s letter gives some insights into the administration’s view of detaining suspected terrorists arrested on U.S. soil. It may explain why the case against Christmas Day bomber and others like it — the shoe bomber —  have been handled in the way they have.

By Chisun Lee
ProPublica

The five-page letter [1] (PDF) that U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder issued this week defending the decision to treat the Christmas Day bomber suspect as a criminal suspect, rather than as a wartime captive, offered new insight into the Obama administration’s view of the limits of preventive detention.

The letter suggests that the administration sees virtually no legal foundation for holding terrorism suspects arrested on U.S. soil in preventive detention and has very little interest in trying to create any.

He didn’t confine his reasoning to the specifics of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab’s case, but instead offered an overarching view of the current state of the law.

“Some have argued that had Abdulmutallab been declared an enemy combatant, the government could have held him indefinitely without providing him access to an attorney,” Holder wrote. “But the government’s legal authority to do so is far from clear.”

Read more »

Authorities Expect Fraudulent Haiti Fundraisers to Hit Facebook and Twitter

facebook-logo
By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — The social networks like Facebook and Twitter, which have revolutionized communication among the masses, is likely to be fertile ground for con artists trying to cash in on Haiti fundraising scams, according to USA Today.

The paper reports that authorities are bracing for that  possibility.

So far, authorities have gotten more than 170 complaints about fundraising scams linked to earthquake relief, USA Today reports.

“We’re seeing a lot of computer-based fraud — unsolicited e-mails, bogus websites,” David Nanz, chief of the FBI’s economic crimes unit told USA Today, adding, they’re also seeing “traditional stuff (in which) people are just raising money on the street fraudulently.”

To read more click here.

Anger Issues for Anger Management Counselor Who Allegedly Pulled Gun on 2 Deputy U.S. Marshals in D.C. suburb

fairfax countyBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Under the category of “What’s Wrong With This Picture?”, an anger management counselor was in federal court Thursday for allegedly pulling a gun on two deputy U.S. Marshals in Northern Virginia over a parking flap, the Washington Post reports.

The Post’s Tom Jackman reports that a federal judge ordered Jose L. Avila, 57, who is also a domestic violence counselor, held without bond pending a detention hearing Friday in U.S. District Court in Alexandria. He has been in the Fairfax County Jail since Jan. 25.

Avila, a former priest, encountered the deputy marshals outside a apartment complex in Annandale in Fairfax County, a suburb of Washington.

To read the full story click here.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Obama Nominates U.S. Attys for N. Dakota and Connecticut

David Fein/law firm photo

David Fein/law firm photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON – President Obama nominated Timothy Purdon for the U.S. Attorney post in North Dakota, and David Fein for Connecticut.

The President decided to pass on selecting Connecticut’s acting U.S. Attorney Nora Dannehy,who had been appointed in 2008 to lead the probe into the controversial U.S. Attorney firings around the country under the Bush administration.

“Today, I nominate David Fein and Timothy Purdon to serve as US Attorneys on behalf of the people of Connecticut and North Dakota,” President Obama said in a statement. “Their esteemed legal careers to date leave no doubt that they will be relentless in their pursuit of justice and serve their fellow Americans with distinction. I am grateful for their selfless commitment to public service.”

Here are their bios, according to the White House press release:

Read more »