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Archive for March, 2017

Trump Defends Michael Flynn After He Offered to Testify Against the President

Former National Security Adviser Michael T. Flynn

Former National Security Adviser Michael T. Flynn

President Trump is defending former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn’s offer to testify in ongoing probes of Russian hacking of the 2016 election in exchange for legal immunity.

Trump wrote on Twitter early Friday morning that investigation had become “a witch hunt,” echoing language used by his former campaign adviser’s attorney.

Flynn’s lawyer told The Wall Street Journal one day earlier that the retired lieutenant general is willing to talk to the House and Senate intelligence panels as part of their probes into Russian election meddling and Trump and his aides’ alleged ties to Moscow. But any testimony or interview would have to come with a promise that Flynn would not be prosecuted.

FBI Releases New Batch of 9/11 Photos from Pentagon Attack

One of a recently released batch of photos of the 9/11. Photo via Wiki.

One of a recently released batch of photos of the 9/11. Photo via Wiki.

The FBI has released previously unseen photos of the aftermath of the 9/11 attack against the Pentagon.

The 27 photos were posted on the bureau’s website “FBI’s Records: The Vault.”

The American Airlines flight crashed after Al Qaeda terrorists gained control of the plane.

The new photos show interior damage, aerial perspectives and footage from the ground. 

Nearly 190 people were killed at the Pentagon.

Man Triggers Security Scare at White House, Says He Had Nuclear Weapon

white-houseBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A man who triggered a security scare outside the White House warned authorities that he had a component of a nuclear weapon and indicated it was a “threat to the president.”

Washington 4 reports that the suspect had previous run-ins with FBI.

Records indicated that Jean-Paul Gamarra, 40, was a drifter and arrested in Lafayette Park.

“Gamarra was asked if he had a bomb with him and Gamarra said no, he had a component to launch a nuclear weapon,” according to the investigator. “Gamarra said he was not there to harm President Trump.”

FBI Director Comey Said He Regrets handling of Clinton Investigation And Is Nonpartisan

FBI Director James Comey

FBI Director James Comey

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

FBI Director James Comey insisted Wednesday that the bureau is nonpartisan and that he’s not worried about the political storm that is brewing over the Russia investigation.

“I know that when I make a hard decision, a storm is going to follow,” Comey said at the Intelligence and National Security Alliance Leadership dinner, CNN reports. “Honestly, I don’t care.”

When asked about the decision to announce the reopening of an investigation of Hillary Clinton, Comey said he regretted his decision. 

“People sometimes look at me and say, ‘Look at what you did, look at what you did,'” Comey said. “Most people are wearing glasses that filter the world according to (their) side.”

FBI Director Tried to Reveal Russian Meddling Months Before Election

Russian President Vladimir Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

FBI Director James Comey was on the verge of publicly announcing an investigation into Russia’s campaign to influence the presidential election in the summer of 2016.

But two sources told Newsweek that President Obama’s administration scuttled those plans. 

During a meeting at the White House, Comey said he wanted to write an op-ed about Russia’s meddling in the election.

“He had a draft of it or an outline. He held up a piece of paper in a meeting and said, ‘I want to go forward, what do people think of this?’” says a source with knowledge of the meeting, which included Secretary of State John Kerry, Attorney General Loretta Lynch, Department of Homeland Security secretary Jeh Johnson and the national security adviser Susan Rice.

The White House balked because it wanted multiple agencies to back the claims.

According to the sources, the op-ed would not have mentioned whether Trump’s campaign was also under investigation.

State Department Employee Charged for Allegedly Lying to FBI

U.S. Department of State headquarters in Washington D.C.

U.S. Department of State headquarters in Washington D.C.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A 60-year-old employee of the State Department was charged Wednesday with two felonies for allegedly making false statements and obstructing an official proceeding.

CBS News reports that Candace Marie Claiborne is accused of concealing numerous contacts with Chinese intelligence agencies. 

Authorities also say Claiborne failed to report gifts from her Chinese contacts.

CBS News reports:

Claiborne allegedly failed to report repeated contacts with two intelligence agents of the People’s Republic of China, and the agents provided tens of thousands of dollars in gifts and benefits to Claiborne and her family over five years, prosecutors said.

According to an affidavit, the gifts and benefits included cash wired to Claiborne’s bank account, an Apple iPhone and laptop computer, Chinese New Year’s gifts, meals, international travel and vacations, tuition at a Chinese fashion school, a fully furnished apartment and a monthly stipend. Some of these gifts and benefits were provided directly to Claiborne, the affidavit alleges, while others were provided through a co-conspirator.

Inspector General: DEA Seizes Money without Ties to Criminal Investigations

Drugs and cash seized in Portland.

Drugs and cash seized in Portland.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The DEA is seizing massive amounts of cash from people who are not connected to a criminal investigation, according to a scathing report by the Justice Department’s inspector general.

In the 74-page report released Wednesday, the inspector general cautioned that the DEA may be violating the civil liberties of people whose is seized, the Washington Post reports.

The inspector general concluded the DEA was unable to demonstrate how asset forfeiture practices benefit criminal investigations.

The Post cites one example:

The DEA took more than $70,000 from a piece of checked luggage without doing any more investigation or attempting to question the owner at the airport — instead simply putting a receipt in the bag and sending it on to its final destination.

“Even accepting that the circumstances surrounding the discovery of this large volume of concealed currency justified law enforcement suspicion and seizure, we find it troubling that the DEA would make an administrative forfeiture without attempting to advance an investigation, especially considering that the DEA had opportunities to contact the potential owners of the currency instead of simply providing written notice of the seizure,” the inspector general wrote.

TSA Screener Fired for Missing Loaded Handgun at Airport in Georgia

airport-people-walkingBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The TSA fired a screener who missed a loaded handgun in a passenger’s bag Sunday morning at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Georgia.

Katrina Jackson, of Alabama, said she had no idea the gun was in her bag. When she later opened her bag to get her passport, she spotted the .38-caliber handgun and immediately notified officials, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports.

The TSA responded in a statement: “This egregious mistake was unacceptable and the officer who was still a probationary employee was immediately and permanently separated from federal service.”

So far this year, screeners at the airport have found 48 guns before they left the security area. The total seized guns last year was 198.

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