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Archive for January 12th, 2017

Things Just Keep Getting More Interesting: Inspector General to Investigate FBI’s Dealings With Hillary Clinton Emails

FBI Director James Comey

FBI Director James Comey

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

These days, Washington is anything but dull. President elect-Donald Trump just had his first press conference  since the election. The Senate is conducting confirmation hearings for Trump appointees. And now this.

Justice Department Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz announced Thursday, as a result of requests from politicians and organizations,  that his office will examine the way the FBI handled the Hillary Clinton email scandal.

Specifically, his office will look into:

  • Allegations that Department or FBI policies or procedures were not followed in connection
  • Allegations that Department or FBI policies or procedures were not followed in connection
    with, or in actions leading up to or related to, the FBI Director’s public announcement on
    July 5, 2016, and the Director’s letters to Congress on October 28 and November 6, 2016,
    and that certain underlying investigative decisions were based on improper considerations
  • Allegations that the FBI Deputy Director should have been recused from participating in
    certain investigative matters;
  • Allegations that the Department’s Assistant Attorney General for Legislative Affairs
    improperly disclosed non-public information to the Clinton campaign and/or should have
    been recused from participating in certain matters;
  •  Allegations that Department and FBI employees improperly disclosed non-public
    information; and
  •  Allegations that decisions regarding the timing of the FBI’s release of certain Freedom of
    Information Act (FOIA) documents on October 30 and November 1, 2016, and the use of a
    Twitter account to publicize same, were influenced by improper considerations.

Many U.S. Airports Allow Loaded Guns Outside of TSA Screening Areas

gun-161223_960_720

By Allan Lengel and James Gordon Meek
ABC News

Not only is it legal in America to transport unloaded, cased and locked firearms as checked luggage on airlines, but to the dismay of airport security officers it is also legal to carry a loaded weapon into 11 of the top 20 major airports including Los Angeles, Atlanta, Phoenix and Las Vegas — which all have had incidents, as ABC News has found.

The killing of five travelers inside a Florida airport last week allegedly by a man who legally transported a handgun from Alaska in his checked luggage has renewed concerns over state laws that allow firearms to be carried into baggage claim and ticketing areas in half of the busiest U.S. airports.

While airport security has been significantly tightened since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, gun-friendly state laws nationwide allow law-abiding citizens to possess firearms in areas outside of the TSA passenger screening security bubble like the check-in lounge and baggage claim, even in major terminals.

In some instances, gun rights advocates carrying loaded AR-15 assault rifles through public areas of major American airports have caused a stir, despite having a legal right to openly carry their weapons.

Some airports allow only “open carry,” while others require that weapons be concealed by individuals who hold state gun permits that are given to those who pass background checks.

To read the full story click here.

Former British-Based Spy Authored Controversial Report on Trump

Donald Trump

Donald Trump

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The author of report on comprising material Russia allegedly has on President-elect Donald Trump is Christopher Steele, a former officer in Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service, people familiar with him told Reuters. 

Steele spent years working for the agency, known as MI-6, in several cities, including Russia.

Steele is known for working on the corruption scandal involving FIFA, the international soccer’s governing body, and supplied the FBI with the information.

Steele investigated Trump on behalf of unidentified Republicans who opposed Trump.

Steele stopped working with the FBI about a month before the election because he believed the bureau wasn’t interested and was acting too slowly.

Reuters wrote:

Steele’s reports circulated for months among major media outlets, including Reuters, but neither the news organizations nor U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies have been able to corroborate them.

BuzzFeed published some of Steele’s reports about Trump on its website on Tuesday but the President-elect and his aides later said the reports were false. Russian authorities also dismissed them. 

Associates of Steele said on Wednesday he was unavailable for comment. Christopher Burrows, a director and co-founder of Orbis with Steele, told The Wall Street Journal, which first published Steele’s name, that he could not confirm or deny that Steele’s company had produced the reports on Trump.

U.S. Intelligence Agencies Informed Trump of Salacious Allegations in Dossier

Donald Trump, via Wikipedia

Donald Trump, via Wikipedia

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The nation’s intelligence services revealed to President-elect Donald Trump that they and Russia had salacious allegations about him in a 35-page dossier that included comprising personal information.

U.S. officials provided Trump, President Obama and congressional leaders with a two-page summary of the dossier after it became exceedingly clear that many news organizations had the information, the The Washington Post  reports. The FBI, CIA, Director of National Intelligence and the NSA agreed it was a good idea to inform Trump of the allegations. 

Trump denied the claims in the dossier, calling the information fake news and accusing intelligence agencies of Nazi-like tactics.

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper Jr. said he told Trump that a “private security company” made the allegations and that U.S. spy agencies had “not made any judgment that the information in this document is reliable.”

“However, part of our obligation is to ensure that policymakers are provided with the fullest possible picture of any matters that might affect national security,” Clapper said.

Sen. Booker Blasts Trump’s Choice for Attorney General, Jeff Sessions

Sen. Cory Booker

Sen. Cory Booker

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Sen. Cory Booker delivered passionate testimony Wednesday that claimed Sen. Jeff Sessions would not seek justice for everyone if he was the next U.S. attorney general.

“If confirmed, Senator Sessions will be required to pursue justice for women, but his record indicates that he won’t,” the New Jersey Democrat said. “He will be expected to defend the equal rights of gay and lesbian and transgender Americans, but his record indicates that he won’t. He will be expected to defend voting rights, but his record indicates that he won’t. He will be expected to defend the rights of immigrants and affirm their human dignity, but the record indicates that he won’t.”

Despite complaints from opponents of Sessions, it appeared unlikely that Democrats could stop the Republican-controlled Senate from confirming him.

Civil Rights and immigration advocates have opposed Sessions’ appointment.

Former attorney general Michael Mukasey disagreed, saying Sessions is “thoroughly dedicated to the rule of law and the mission of the department.”

First Female Special Agent in Charge of Knoxville FBI Division Speaks Out

fbi logo largeBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Late last year, Renae McDermott became the first woman to be appointed as Special Agent in Charge of the Knoxville FBI division.

It’s a significant achievement sine only 12% of the senior-ranking positions in the FBI are held by women, WBIR reports. 

McDermott’s career with the FBI began in 1989, holding positions in Dallas, Albuquerque and Washington D.C. headquarters.

Before the appointment, McDermott served as special assistant to FBI James Comey.

When McDermott was growing up in Pittsburgh, she wanted to be a farmer. But while in college, she discovered a desire to help children.

“I knew I wanted to be a public servant after I went through the not being a dairy farmer, a veterinarian or a teacher. I ended up finding a good niche with the FBI,” McDermott said.

While she has worked in counter-terrorism and cyber crimes, most of her work involving fighting violent crime.

“The most proud (moment of my career) was probably an investigation that happened when I was initially an agent in Miami. A kidnapping of a mother and two sons at Christmastime. We worked diligently on it for a week and we recovered them alive. That has been and will be one of the highlights early on in my career,” she said.