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Archive for May 16th, 2012

Edward’s Lawyers Rest; Closings Set for Thursday

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Presidential hopeful John Edwards tried to keep hope alive by passing on testifying at his trial in Greensboro,N.C., CNN reported.

His defense team rested Wednesday, and closing arguments were set for Thursday. The defense also passed on calling his eldest daughter Cate to the stand.

To read more click here.

 

Justice Dept to Issa: Contempt “Unwarranted”

Atty. Gen. Holder on the Hill on Thursday/ttw file photo via C-Span

By TIM MAK
Politico

A top Justice Department official has fired back at Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, telling the Republican congressman that it would be “unwarranted and inappropriate” to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt over the Fast and Furious investigation.

“We believe that a contempt proceeding would be unwarranted given the information the Department has disclosed to the Committee to date; unprecedented given the law enforcement sensitivities at issue; and ill-advised given the damage it would cause to relations between the Executive and Legislative Branches,” Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole wrote in a 13-page letter to Issa. “We believe that the core questions posed by the Committee about Operation Fast and Furious have been answered.”

Cole expressed concern that Issa may begin contempt proceedings. (Some Republicans have suggested drawing the line at Memorial Day if the department does not fully comply with the subpoena.)

Read more

Tucson Stalker Sentenced to 8 Years-Plus in Federal Prison

Shoshanna Utchenik
ticklethewire.com

Sometimes there’s a fine line between an innocent crush and something darker.

And sometimes it’s pretty black and white.

In a case of the latter, Moses Antonio Shepard, 47, of Tucson, had been showering unwanted attention on a woman he met in an NYC health club for nearly 20 years, according to an FBI press release. He was sentenced Monday to 8 years and 4 months in federal prison for making his dreams into her nightmares.

Convicted on two counts of interstate stalking for unwanted emails, letters, phone calls, and visits, Shephard will also have three years supervised release at the end of the sentence.

The FBI emphasizes “Stalking is a serious, potentially life-threatening crime.” said Acting U.S. Attorney Ann Birmingham Scheel in a statement.  “A stalker not only permanently changes the life of his victim, but he also affects the victim’s family, friends, and co-workers.”

 

JPMorgan Chase Faces FBI Investigation on Top of SEC Inquiry

Shoshanna Utchenik
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is starting a preliminary investigation into JPMorgan Chase’s $2 billion- that’s “billion” with a “B”- trading loss, reports the New York Times.

The losses loomed large at Tuesday’s annual shareholder meeting in Tampa. The FBI inquiry comes right on the tail of another one from the Securities and Exchange Commission. Both agencies will look into JPMorgan’s  disclosures and accounting practices. The S.E.C. may also examine whether bank’s risk controls broke down. The feds will face a higher bar than the S.E.C. for bringing a case against the bank.

No individuals have been has been accused of wrongdoing. Reps for the federal investigation stressed that it is “routine for the Justice Department to open a case after a big bank disclosed a huge blunder”.

That’s “blunder” with a big “B”.

To read more click here.

Belated Honors for Federal Agent Lynched in Post-Reconstruction Mississippi

William Henderson Foote, photo ATF

Shoshanna Utchenik
ticklethewire.com

It took a while — a very long while.

The first African-American federal law enforcement officer to be killed in the line of duty after Reconstruction was in 1883. He was lynched by a bloodthirsty mob of 200 townspeople in Mississippi.

Now,   more than a century later, the life and service of William Henderson Foote is being celebrated.

The Washington Post tells the tragic story of William Henderson Foote, a “revenuer,” or deputy tax collector, with the Treasury’s Bureau of Internal Revenue, a predecessor to the ATF.

Though Foote’s agency at the time apparently did nothing to protect him from the lynch mob nor even acknowledge his death, the current ATF did unveil his name on its Memorial Wall during a celebration of his life Monday. As part of National Police Week, his name has also been unveiled on the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial.

Foot was also a civil rights leader, state legislator and local constable. A few days before his murder on Christmas eve of 1883, “with total disregard for his own life, but carrying the inherent responsibility of someone who has been known as a man of the law,” he tried to stop a white “whipping party” intent on lynching a black man, reports the Washington Post, quoting ATF historian Barbara Osteika. A chaotic shoot-out occurred, resulting in the deaths of 3 white men, for which Foote and 10 other black men were arrested.

The white community was not satisfied with the justice system and took vengeance into its own hands, breaking into the prison with a battering ram and dragging Foote and the others to a brutal attack.

Last year, the ATF presented Foote’s great-niece Bettye Gardner with a Gold Star Medal to honor Foote, and great-granddaughter Mattie Patricia Nolcox received one this week.

As the memorial efforts of the ATF and National Police Week attest, it is never too late to heal the wounds of history.

To read more click here.

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