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Archive for June 1st, 2017

It’s On! Comey to Testify June 8 Before the Senate Intelligence Committee

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

President Trump, via White House

President Trump, via White House

Fired FBI Director James Comey is scheduled to step up to the plate on Thursday, June 8, and talk about President Donald Trump before the Senate Intelligence Committee.

The testimony is expected to draw wide-spread interest domestically and internationally, and is likely to create more problems for Trump, who privately had said disparaging words about Comey. Conversely, it was known in FBI circles that Comey was not a big fan of the president.

Comey has reportedly said that Trump tried to dissuade him from pursuing a probe into the president’s then-National Security Advisor Michael Flynn.

Senators are expected to grill Comey and try to determine how forceful Trump was during talks about Flynn, and whether he actually tried to derail the probe.

In any event, if can’t be good for Trump.

 

Senators Requested that FBI Director Comey Investigate Jeff Sessions for ‘False Testimony’

FBI Director James Comey

FBI Director James Comey

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Two U.S. Senators issued a statement Thursday saying they had asked then-FBI Director James Comey to investigate Attorney General Jeff Session’s “false testimony” during his confirmation hearing. Comey was fired before he could provide a detailed response.

The statement from Senators Patrick Leahy and Al Franken is as follows:

“Earlier this year, Attorney General Sessions provided false testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee in response to our questions regarding his contacts with Russian officials.  He made no attempt to correct his misleading testimony until the Washington Post revealed that, in fact, he had at least two meetings with the Russian ambassador during the 2016 presidential campaign.  Yet the Attorney General never fully explained or even acknowledged the misrepresentations in his testimony, and we remained concerned that he had still not been forthcoming about the extent of his contacts with Russian officials.

“On March 20, we asked then-FBI Director Comey to investigate Attorney General Sessions’ false testimony and any additional contacts he may have had with Russian officials, including reports that he may have met with the Russian ambassador at a small, private Trump campaign event at the Mayflower Hotel in April 2016.  We anticipated that Director Comey would respond to our letter by May 12.  Director Comey was abruptly dismissed on May 9.  Since then we have been in communication with the FBI concerning a response to our letter, and we expect to be briefed on this matter in the near future.

“We served with the Attorney General in the Senate and on the Judiciary Committee for many years.  We know he would not tolerate dishonesty if he were in our shoes.  If it is determined that the Attorney General still has not been truthful with Congress and the American people about his contacts with Russian officials during the campaign, he needs to resign.”

Read copies of letters:  Letter,  Letter, Letter.

DOJ: Resignation Letters of Ousted U.S. Attorneys Are Not Public’s Business

foiaBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department denied a newspaper’s request for copies of the resignation letters from nearly 50 U.S. attorneys who were removed by the Trump administration, but there’s a caveat.

The Justice Department denied the request from the Burlington Free Press without having read any of the letters, public records show. 

Lawyers for the DOJ said the reason for not releasing the records was that they are so “inherently personal.”

The records you have requested are inherently personal and protected from disclosure,” senior Justice Department counsel Vanessa R. Brinkmann wrote, citing a section of the Freedom of Information Act that “pertains to information the release of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of the personal privacy of third parties.”

“None of this information is appropriate for discretionary disclosure,” Brinkmann added.

Open-government advocates and even Sen. Bernie Sanders were astounded, saying the public has a right to see the contents of the resignation letters.

FBI Searches for Suspect Who Made ‘Illicit Sexual Contact’ with Girl at Arlington National Cemetery

Suspect who inappropriately touched a girl at Arlington Cemetery, via FBI.

Suspect who inappropriately touched a girl at Arlington National Cemetery, via FBI.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is on the hunt for a man accused of making “illicit sexual contact” with a girl during Monday’s wreathing-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery. 

Authorities said the unidentified man did not know the girl and “repeatedly inappropriately touched” the victim while standing in the crowd.

The bureau described the man as Hispanic, between 50 and 60 years old, with ”short, spikey, grey and black hair.”

The incident happened around 11 a.m. while the man and girl were standing in a crowd during the ceremony.

The FBI released a photo of the suspect and is asking anyone with information about the man’s identity to call the bureau’s Washington Field Office at 202-278-2000.

Trump Continues to Smear FBI, CIA And Urges Congress to Hear from Carter Page

Carter Page, former campaign advisor for Donald Trump.

Carter Page, former campaign advisor for Donald Trump.

By Steve Neavling 
ticklethewire.com

President Trump continues to undermine testimony by the directors of the FBI and CIA, saying congressional members investigating his campaign’s ties to Russia should hear from one of his former advisers, Carter Page.

According to Trump’s narrative, he is the victim of a “witch hunt” by disgruntled Democrats who are looking for excuses for losing the presidential election. But even sources inside his administration say the president is looking for any excuse to undermine what is a serious, fact-based investigation. 

Trump wants Page to testify about what he described as faulty testimony from the U.S. intelligence community.

“So now it is reported that the Democrats, who have excoriated Carter Page about Russia, don’t want him to testify. He blows away their case against him & now wants to clear his name by showing ‘the false or misleading testimony by James Comey, John Brennan…’ Witch Hunt!” Trump tweeted, referring to the former directors of the FBI and CIA.

Despite the president’s insistence on smearing the investigation, the White House said Wednesday it won’t respond to anymore questions about the investigation.

Democrats fired back, saying James Comey was ousted as FBI director in an attempt to disrupt an investigation that some experts said could lead to Trump’s impeachment.

Comey to Testify That Trump Pressured Him to End Investigation of Top Aide

FBI Director James Comey, via Wikipedia

FBI Director James Comey, via Wikipedia

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

In what could be bombshell testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee, fired FBI director James Comey plans to confirm that President Trump pressured him to stop investigating a top aide’s ties to Russia, CNN reports. 

Such testimony could set the stage for impeachment hearings because it’s largely considered obstruction of justice for a president to interfere with a federal investigation. Just think former President Nixon, whose demise came after he pressured the FBI to stop investigating his campaign.

Although no date has been set, Comey is expected to provide details of his tense interactions with Trump, who fired the FBI director after the bureau refused to end an investigation into possible collusion between the Trump administration and Russia during the presidential election. 

Comey has already met privately with Special Counsel Robert Mueller III to determine what testimony would not compromise the investigation.

While a source told CNN that Comey is unlikely to discuss details of the investigation, he is prepared to reveal his interactions with Trump, which include the president pressuring the FBI to end the investigation of Michael Flynn, Trump’s fired national security adviser. 

Secret Service Arrests Suspect Who Tried to Leap Barricade at White House

whitehouseBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Secret Service, which has come under fire for its lax protection of the White House, wasted no time Wednesday arresting a man who tried to jump over a barricade near the White House grounds.

Officers arrested the suspect as he tried to leap over bike tracks near a park adjacent to the Eisenhower Executive Office building.

“The individual was charged with unlawful entry and transported to the Metropolitan Police Department,” the Secret Service said in a statement.

The incident forced authorities to close Pennsylvania Avenue to traffic around 4:30 p.m. as agents with long guns spread out across the North Lawn.

Fence-jumpers have been a constant problem for the Secret Service for the past two years.

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