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Archive for June 9th, 2017

Weekend Series on Crime History: Nixon Defends Against Watergate Allegations

Secret Service Will Now Hire Agents with a History of Smoking Pot

marijuana-istockBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Secret Service is having trouble hiring agents, but it’s not because there aren’t enough applicants.

Turns out, the agency is forced to turn down a lot of applicants because of a policy that disqualified people who smoked marijuana in their past, the New York Daily News reports. 

Under the agency’s new policy, job candidates who smoked marijuana in the past aren’t automatically disqualified. The agency will now consider the length of time a person hasn’t smoked pot.

Applicants younger than 24, for example, are still eligible for a job if they had not smoked marijuana for a period of 12 months Candidates who are 28 or older must have refrained from smoking pot for at least five years.

Without the revamped policy, the Secret Service projects it wouldn’t be able to fill thousands of employees.

“We need more people. The mission has changed,” Secret Service Director Randolph Alles said, according to CNN. “It’s more dynamic and way more dangerous than it has been in years past.”

Suspected NSA Leaker Accused of Writing, ‘I Want to Burn the White House Down’

Suspected NSA leaker Reality Winner.

Suspected NSA leaker Reality Winner.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Suspected NSA leader Reality Leigh Winner is accused of writing in a journal, “I want to burn the White House down.”

Investigators found the journal insider her home in Georgia, the USA Today reports. 

A federal judge on Thursday ordered Winner held without bail after she was charged with leaking classified U.S. intelligence documents to the website Intercept.

Winner is accused of writing, “I want to burn the White House Down … find somewhere in Kurdistan to live. Ha-ha!” assistant U.S. attorney Jennifer Solari told a federal judge.

Winner, 25, is a former Air Force linguist.

Trump’s Legal Team Threatens to Sue James Comey for Leaking Memos

Donald Trump

Donald Trump

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Add James Comey to the lengthy list of people Trump has threatened to sue.

The president’s legal team plans to file a complaint against the fired FBI director for leaking memos about his conversations with Trump, two sources familiar with the situation told CNN. The complaints will be filed with the Justice Department’s Inspector General and the Senate Judiciary Committee early next week.

Comey revealed to the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday that he gave his friend a copy of the memos to leak t0 the media in an attempt to inspire the appointment of a special counsel.

The memos detail serious accusations that Trump pressured Comey to end the investigation of former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

As a presidential candidate, Trump often made threats to sue, but never followed through. The list includes Sen. Ted Cruz, the Republican Party of Louisiana, the Washington Post, the New York Times and women who accused him of sexual assault.

Trump Claims ‘Total And Complete Vindication’ in wake of Comey Testimony

President Trump

President Trump

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A predictably defiant President Trump on Friday claimed “total and complete vindication” in the wake of former FBI Director James Comey’s testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee, despite damning revelations that shocked both of Republicans and Democrats.

The president, whom Comey repeatedly called a liar during the blockbuster hearing, borrowed the rhetoric he uses to discredit the media.

“Despite so many false statements and lies, total and complete vindication…and WOW, Comey is a leaker!” Trump tweeted Friday morning.

While it’s impossible to know whether Trump really believes the hearing went in his favor, many legal and intelligence experts said Comey built a strong case that the president was trying to stop the investigation of former national security adviser Michael Flynn, which could be considered obstruction of justice.

Trump’s personal lawyer, Marc Kasowitz, was quick to appoint out that Comey confirmed Trump was not under investigation for possibly colliding with Russia.

But Comey was more nuanced on this issue, saying the FBI was scrutinizing Trump’s actions, which were within “the scope” of the bureau’s investigation.

Comey also raised the explosive allegation that Trump urged him to drop the investigation of Flynn.

Whatever the case, Comey leveled serious allegations against the president, which most likely will be investigated by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, also a former FBI director.

NYT: Comey’s Integrity in Stark Contrast to Trump’s brashness

Former FBI Director James Comey testifies about President Trump before the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Former FBI Director James Comey testifies about President Trump before the Senate Intelligence Committee.

By Editorial Board
New York Times

Weeks after being described by Donald Trump as a “nut job,” James Comey on Thursday deftly recast his confrontation with the president as a clash between the legal principles at the foundation of American democracy, and a venal, self-interested politician who does not recognize, let alone uphold, them.

In sworn testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee, Mr. Comey, the former F.B.I. director, made clear that he had no confidence in the president’s integrity. Why? “The nature of the person,” he said. Confronted with low presidential character for the first time in his career, Mr. Comey began writing meticulous notes of every conversation with Mr. Trump. “I was honestly concerned that he might lie about the nature of our meeting,” he said.

Mr. Comey said he was stunned during one Oval Office meeting by Mr. Trump’s request — which he very reasonably understood as an order — to drop the F.B.I. investigation into Michael Flynn. Mr. Flynn had been forced to resign as national security adviser the day before, after lying about his contacts with Russia. And Russia, Mr. Comey usefully reminded the senators, had gone to unprecedented lengths to disrupt the 2016 presidential election, using “overwhelming” technological firepower.

“This is about America,” Mr. Comey kept saying. Russia “tried to shape the way we think, we vote, we act — that is a big deal,” he added. “They’re coming after America. … They want to undermine our credibility in the face of the world.”

With restrained fury, Mr. Comey described President Trump’s remarks last month that the bureau was a mess and that the director had lost the trust of his agents as “lies, plain and simple.”

Confronted later with the sworn testimony of a dignified and affronted lawman, the White House press office, its own credibility in tatters, was left to feebly insist, “The president is not a liar.”

Mr. Comey is a wily bureaucratic infighter, a sometimes self-righteous official who wrote his notes with care so they would remain unclassified, and therefore eligible to be released to the public. He acknowledged that he engineered some of the notes’ release, which The Times reported last month, to spur the appointment of a special counsel in the Russia investigation. After firing Mr. Comey, Mr. Trump thought he’d cow him by tweeting about the possibility that their private conversations were taped. Mr. Comey bested him with a single sentence on Thursday, telling the panel he hoped there were tapes, as “corroboration” of the abuse of power he’d witnessed.

To read more click here.