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Archive for May 3rd, 2017

FBI Director Comey Back in the Hot Seat Today When He Testifies Before Congress

FBI Director James Comey.

FBI Director James Comey.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

FBI Director James Comey will be back in the spotlight Wednesday when he testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Democrats are expected to grill Comey for more information on the bureau’s months-long investigation into a potential collaboration between the Trump campaign and Russia to influence the outcome of the presidential election.

But as NBC Chicago reports, Comey isn’t expected to reveal much “because such investigations rarely end in criminal charges that offer a full picture.” 

Counterintelligence investigations rarely result in charges.

“The vast majority of counterintelligence investigations will never see the inside of a courtroom,” said former FBI counterintelligence agent Asha Rangappa, an associate dean of Yale Law School. “The purpose of a counterintelligence investigation isn’t to find people, build a criminal case and put them in jail.”

Usually, the purpose is to identify spies.

President Trump complimented Comey and claimed any allegations of collaborating with the Russians are “phony.”

“FBI Director Comey was the best thing that ever happened to Hillary Clinton in that he gave her a free pass for many bad deeds! The phony Trump/Russia story was an excuse used by the Democrats as justification for losing the election. Perhaps Trump just ran a great campaign?” Trump said in a couple of tweets.

Hillary Clinton in Rare Public Appearance Partly Blames FBI’s Comey, Russian Hacking for Election Loss

Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Hillary Clinton, in a rare public appearance, said she would be president if not for FBI Director James Comey’s decision to release information to Congress about reopening the bureau’s investigation into her use of a private email server.

Comey’s Oct. 28 letter to Congress reversed her momentum going into the Nov. 8 election, Clinton told a CNN anchor at a Women for Women International event in New York.

Clinton also blamed Russian hackers, which the FBI is investigating.

“If the election had been on October 27, I would be your president,” Clinton told CNN moderator Christiane Amanpour.

Clinton added: “I was on the way to winning until the combination of Jim Comey’s letter on October 28 and Russian WikiLeaks raised doubts in the minds of people who were inclined to vote for me but got scared off — and the evidence for that intervening event is, I think, compelling (and) persuasive.”

Still, Clinton said she takes “absolute personal responsibility” for failing to win the election but continued to blame external forces, including “misogyny.”

Just two days before the election, Comey notified Congress that no new evidence was found to conclude that Clinton should face criminal charges.

Justice Department Declines to Charge Baton Rouge Cops in Alton Sterling’s Death

Alton Sterling

Alton Sterling

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department is expected to announce today that it has closed the investigation into the death of Alton Sterling and won’t prosecutor Baton Rouge officers for possible wrongdoing in a case that sparked unrest across the city.

Sterling’s family told the Washington Post on Tuesday that the Justice Department had not informed them of its decision. 

“We have not heard nor received an update and are unaware of any charges that may or may not be filed,” said Ryan Julison, a spokesman for the Sterling family’s attorneys. “We have not received word, nor has the family been given any notice of upcoming updates regarding this case.”

Many civil rights advocates have been nervous about the direction of the Justice Department under Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who has already questioned the oversight of police departments.

The Justice Department has declined to comment.

The Washington Post wrote:

By the police account, officers Blane Salamoni and Howie Lake saw Sterling, 37, outside a convenience store in July after it was reported that a man had threatened someone there with a gun. Sterling, who was selling CDs outside the store, fit the description of that man, according to a search warrant affidavit in the case.

A video of the shooting shows Sterling lying on his back with two officers on top of him. One of the officers appears to yell, “He’s got a gun!” and then shots ring out. A detective wrote in the search warrant affidavit that officers had observed the butt of a gun in Sterling’s front pants pocket. At issue in the investigation was whether Sterling was reaching for the weapon, as officers claimed, when he was shot and killed.

Dallas Gunman Was Under FBI Investigation Before Shooting 3 People

Derick Lamont Brown

Derick Lamont Brown

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI was investigating a Dallas man before he fatally shot his roommate and critically wounded a neighbor and paramedic on Monday.

Derick Lamont Brown, 36, was the subject of an active, open FBI investigation, NBCDFW.com reports. 

Eric Jackson, special agent in charge of the Dallas FBI, confirmed the investigation Tuesday and said his office was reviewing the case file on Brown, who has ties to two black nationalist groups.

The FBI didn’t disclose more information about the open investigation.

No New Border Wall for President Trump Under New Federal Spending Bill

Fence along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Fence along the U.S.-Mexico border.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump’s repeated pledge to build a new border wall has fallen through the cracks under a federal spending bill wending its way through Congress.

But the budget, which is expected to be voted on by Friday, includes a modest $1 billion increase in discretionary spending for Homeland Security.

Nevertheless, Trump’s administration said it’s using $146 million to replace vehicle barriers with “pedestrian fencing,” another $146 million to replace current pedestrian fencing and $49 million to install 35 border gates.

The spending plan expires on Sept. 30.

Trump blamed Democrats for threatening a government shutdown if a new wall was included in the budget.

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