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Archive for April 7th, 2017

Weekend Series on Crime History: JFK’s Secret Service Agents Break Their Silence

Secret Service Agent Protecting VP Pence Suspended After Meeting with Prostitute

hooker1By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Secret Service agent assigned to protect Vice President Pence was suspended after an alleged meet-up with a prostitute in a Maryland hotel.

The Secret Service told the Washington Post it “is aware of an alleged incident involving an off-duty Secret Service employee.” 

The agency required the agent, who was placed on administrative leave, to surrender all equipment.

“We are exploring the full range of disciplinary actions,” the spokesman said.

After police responded to a call about suspicious activity in a hotel room in Maryland, the agent was arrested and charged with solicitation.

“The Secret Service takes allegations of criminal activity very seriously,” the spokesman said in the statement.

“The Secret Service is committed to ensuring that all employees are held to the highest level of professional and ethical standards of conduct.”

Twitter Sues Homeland Security to Protect Anonymity of Trump Critic

twitter-birdBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Twitter is suing Homeland Security after it threatened court action if the social media giant didn’t reveal the identity of a Twitter account – “@ALT_uscis” or “Alt Immigration” – that has been critical of the Trump administration.

The lawsuit alleges Homeland Security received a summons demanding the name, login information, phone number, mailing address and IP address of the Twitter user, NPR reports.

Twitter ignored Homeland Security’s request to not reveal the summons and instead wants a federal court to declare the summons “unlawful and enforceable.”

The account is one of several “rogue” accounts believed to be created by anonymous employees of the federal government, though that has not been confirmed. The Associated Press reports that they were told the account was run by “employees and former employees of the agency.”

Lawyers for Twitter said the summons violates the First Amendment rights of @ALT_uscis and is therefore unenforceable.

Ex-FBI Director Mueller III Appointed to Oversee Takata air bag claim fund

Former FBI Director Robert Mueller

Former FBI Director Robert Mueller

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

DETROIT — Former FBI Director Robert Mueller III has been appointed by a federal judge to oversee the disbursement of nearly $1 billion in restitution to victims of the deadly Takata air bag case, USA Today reports. 

U.S. District Judge George Steeh issued an order Thursday afternoon to appoint Mueller, who also played a role as settlement master in the Volkswagen diesel emissions case.

“In the end, the court determines that Mr. Mueller is the best candidate for the position, based in part on the parties’ support of his appointment, as well as the court’s comfort and trust in his impeccable credentials, his relevant experience in settlement negotiations, his familiarity with the automotive industry in general, and based upon his well-known reputation for integrity,” Steeh said in his order.

Mueller’s job includes recommending who receives restitution and how much they receive.

The Takata pleaded guilty to fraud in federal court, resulting in a $1-billion settlement with the U.S.

Air bag defects have killed at least 16 people worldwide and injured many more.

Secret Service Faces Serious Challenges to Meet Demands of Trump Family

secret serviceBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Secret Service has been forced to make cost-cutting concessions because of the increasing demands and rising costs of protecting the new first family.

The strain of the demands has resulted in the Secret Service pulling dozens of agents from criminal investigations to serve two-week stints to protect members of the Trump family, the New York Times reports. 

One of the extra burdens is protecting the first lady and youngest son in Manhattan’s Trump Tower. The family’s travel habits also have required agents to work more overtime hours and spend more time away from home. In addition, the Secret Service is protecting Mar-a-Lago in Florida.

“They are flat-out worn out,” said Representative Jason Chaffetz, Republican of Utah, the chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

“It’s like being on a bike that you never get off of,” said the committee’s top-ranking Democratic member, Representative Elijah Cummings of Maryland.