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Archive for February 1st, 2017

Lengel: Sally Yates Sets the Right Tone for Law Enforcement in Trump Era

Former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates

Former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Acting Attorney General Sally Yates wasn’t going to be around very long at the Justice Department considering she was a holdover from the Obama administration.

Nonetheless, she should be commended for standing up to President Donald Trump, who implemented an executive order that was poorly thought out and executed.

Hopefully she has set a tone and a message to the White House: Federal law enforcement will not compromise its principles when asked to do something that violates the law.

It’s not likely to be the last time the administration directs federal law enforcement officials to do something questionable.

The president on Tuesday, when announcing his Supreme Court nominee, talked about the importance of the Constitution and the rule of law. We should take him at his word that he places great importance on upholding the law, not bending or breaking it.

In the coming months and years, some law enforcement officials may be forced to make a choice between doing the right thing for the country or keeping their jobs and following a White House order.

Hopefully they’ll do the right thing.

They can always get another job.

They can’t always get another reputation.

 

DHS Secretary Says He Knew Trump’s Travel Ban ‘Was Coming’

Marine Gen. John Kelly

Marine Gen. John Kelly

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Homeland Security Security Secretary John Kelly denied reports on Tuesday that he was blind-sided by President Trump’s executive order that imposes a travel ban on seven predominately Muslim countries.

“We did know the executive order was coming,” Kelly said at a news conference, NBC News reports. “We had people involved in the general drafting of it. Clearly this whole approach was part of what then-candidate Trump talked about for a year or two. So we knew all this was coming.”

He added: “It wasn’t a surprise that it was coming.”

According to a senior administration official, Kelly was informed of the upcoming executive order before Trump’s inauguration and after his confirmation hearing.

Kelly also denied the immigration restrictions amounted to a “ban on Muslims.”

“Religious liberty is one of our most fundamental and treasured values,” he said. “This is a temporary pause that allows us to better review the existing refugee and visa vetting system.”

FBI: White Supremacists, Domestic Extremists Infiltrated Law Enforcement

police lightsBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI has found that “white supremacists and other domestic extremists” have been getting jobs with law enforcement agencies across the country.

“Domestic terrorism investigations focused on militia extremists, white supremacist extremists, and sovereign citizen extremists often have identified active links to law enforcement officers,” reads a classified FBI counterterrorism policy guide obtained by The Intercept.

Although law enforcement was aware of the threat posed by right-wing extremist, the agencies have failed to properly combat the infiltration of domestic extremists or even address the systemic issue.

“No centralized recruitment process or set of national standards exists for the 18,000 law enforcement agencies in the United States, many of which have deep historical connections to racist ideologies. As a result, state and local police as well as sheriff’s departments present ample opportunities for white supremacists and other right-wing extremists looking to expand their power base,” The Intercept wrote.

Chicago Tribune: Trump Wrong for Ousting of AG Yates over ‘Unconstitutional’ Order

Former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates

Former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates

By Editorial Board
Chicago Tribune

President Donald Trump, the former TV reality star, has never said “You’re fired” like this.

His decision Monday night to oust acting Attorney General Sally Yates heightens the drama over his deplorable executive action on immigration. Trump’s move is petulant and unsettling, especially for Americans with long memories. That said, amateur historians rolling out comparisons to Richard Nixon‘s 1973 “Saturday Night Massacre” — the firing of his attorney general over Watergate — are overwrought.

We don’t know how this confrontation will end, but we’re certain we know where it is headed: to a cluster of federal courts. That’s where the Trump administration will attempt to defend the president’s overly broad order temporarily halting the country’s refugee program and banning citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States for 90 days. The countries are Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

Trump’s sweeping directive, signed Friday, was intended to protect the country from terrorism, but it’s deeply problematic and arguably unconstitutional. It was rolled out too quickly, without adequate time to debate its merits or explain the scope. The Associated Press reports that at least three top national security officials — Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly and Rex Tillerson, who is awaiting confirmation to lead the State Department — have told associates they were not aware of details of the directive until around the time Trump signed it.

To read this click here. 

White House Press Secretary Defends Firing of Acting Attorney General

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer defended President Trump’s decision to fire Acting Attorney General Sally Yates, saying she serves at the pleasure of the executive branch. 

New Border Patrol Chief Appointed Under President Trump’s Administration

Border Patrol chief Ron Vitiello.

Border Patrol chief Ron Vitiello.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol has a new leader under President Trump’s administration.

Acting Commissioner Kevin McAleenan named his replacement, Ron Vitiello, according to the agency’s Twitter account on Tuesday.

“I am pleased to announce the appointment of Ron Vitiello as U.S. Border Patrol Chief,” McAleenan wrote.

The National Border Patrol Council – the agents’ union – supported the appointment of Vitiello, who had endorsed Trump during the election.

Vitiello joined Border Patrol more than 30 years ago and most recently served as CBP’s executive assistance commissioner for operations support.

Vitiello briefly served as acting Border Patrol chief and also had the role of deputy chief in the Obama administration.

No Senate confirmation is required.

Mark Morgan resigned as Border Patrol chief less than a week ago.

Other Stories of Interest

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