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Archive for July, 2017

Teen Killed by Liquid Meth After Border Agents Tell Him to Drink It


By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Cruz Velazquez Acevedo was just 16 years old when he began screaming in pain and convulsing after drinking liquid methamphetamine shortly after crossing the U.S. Mexico border to San Diego.

Teen drinks liquid meth after Border Patrol agents told him to prove he didn't have drugs in the bottle.

Teen drinks liquid meth after Border Patrol agents told him to prove he didn’t have drugs in the bottle.

According to a lawsuit filed about three-and-a-half years after his death, Border Patrol agents told Acevedo to drink the amber-colored liquid to prove it wasn’t laced with drugs, the Washington Post reports

A surveillance video shows Acevedo taking four sips from a drink he insisted was apple juice.

“My heart! My heart!” he screamed before dying two hours later, according to court records.

The U.S. has agreed to pay Acevedo’s family $1 million win the wrongful-death lawsuit filed against the agency and two border officers.

His family’s attorney, Eugene Iredale, acknowledged Acevedo broke the law, but he said, “It wasn’t a death penalty case.”

“To cause him to die in a horrible way that he did is something that is execrable.”

House Democrats: Give FBI Director Authority to Reject Security Clearance for White House Staff

Jared Kushner

Jared Kushner

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI director would have the authority to reject security clearance for White House staff it there is a national security risk under a measure introduced by a group of House Democrats.

More than 20 Democrats have expressed support for the bill, called the Security Clearance Review Act, the Hill reports

The measure is in response to serious questions raised about the security clearance of President Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner, who is accused of colluding with Russian officials to interfere with the presidential election.

Donald Trump’s refusal to hold his senior staff accountable for their deceptions on Russia have sadly made this legislation necessary,” said Rep. Don Beyer, D-Va., who co-sponsored the bill. “Despite all we have learned about his secret meetings with Russians, Jared Kushner apparently continues to hold his clearance.”

Incoming DHS Secretary Has 3 Decades of Experience with 3 Administrations

Deputy Homeland Security Director Elaine Duke.

Deputy Homeland Security Director Elaine Duke.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Washington veteran Elaine Duke, who is set to become the acting Homeland Security secretary today after a dramatic shakeup, has served in high-ranking positions in three administrations.

Duke, who served as deputy secretary, is expected to become acting secretary today to temporarily replace Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, a retired four-start Marine Corps general who will become President Trump’s chief of staff.

Reince Priebus resigned from the position after the Trump administration made it clear they didn’t want him on staff anymore.

Duke has plenty of federal government experience.

The Hill wrote:

Duke has nearly three decades of experience working for the federal government, including time at DHS and the Department of Defense, serving under both Democratic and Republican presidents.

She previously served as under secretary for management and chief procurement for DHS, where she was responsible for managing the agency’s $47 billion budget. 

Duke was also the deputy assistant administrator for acquisition at the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), where she delivered a program to meet a new mandate after 9/11 to federalize passenger and baggage screening at U.S. airports

ICE Eyes Idaho Jail As New Location to House Detained Immigrants

jail2photoBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An Idaho jail could soon house immigration detainees and eventually be used for immigration hearings as ICE officials look for more detention space.

ICE is looking for a new location after losing access to 300 beds at the Utah County Jail in Spanish Fork, Utah, Magic Valley reports

Local officials said they don’t plan on act on the proposal until ICE provides more details about using the Jerome County Jail in south-central Idaho.

“It’s something ICE is dealing with internally, and Jerome County is kind of just waiting for their response as to what they want to do,” said Commissioner Roger Morley.

Because of a lack of space for detainees, ICE must send undocumented immigrants to Seattle or Salt Lake City.

“(Salt Lake City) believes the addition of 50 beds at Jerome County Detention Center would allow for streamlined detention operations and facilitate fewer and less frequent transfers of detainees out of state,” according to a document obtained by Magic Valley.

Other Stories of Interest

Judge: 17 Years Is Too Long to Wait for FBI Records under FOIA

judge and gavelBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A judge slammed the FBI for saying it would take 17 years to provide public records to a documentary film filmmaker.

U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler of Washington said the FBI’s insistence that it would take until 2034 to provide records about anti-war and civil rights activists in the 1960s and ’70s was unacceptable, Politico reports. 

The judge rejected the FBI’s proposed timeline, which is based on the bureau’s policy of release large record requests at a pace of 500 page a month. The bureau insisted that a quicker pace could shut down the FBI’s FOIA operation.

Documentarian Nina Seavy, who is 60, said she can’t wait 17 years to get about 110,000 page of records from the FBI.

Neither didn’t the judge.

“Neither proffered justification is persuasive,” the Clinton appointee wrote. “In the name of reducing its own administrative headaches, the FBI’s 500-page policy ensures that larger requests are subject to an interminable delay in being completed. Under the 500-page policy, requestors must wait 1 year for every 6,000 potentially responsive documents, and those who request tens of thousands of documents may wait decades.”

The judge also didn’t buy the argument that providing records at a pace faster than 500 pages a month would jeopardize smaller FOIA requests.

“If the FBI really wanted to demonstrate that processing larger FOIA requests would impact the processing of other requests there are numerous data points it could provide the Court,” Kessler said. “Instead, the limited data the FBI has provided suggests exactly the opposite.”

Weekend Series on Crime History: Nixon Talks to J. Edgar Hoover About Attacks on Cop

Key Republican Senator: Firing Mueller ‘Could Be the Beginning of the End’ for Trump

Sen. Lindsey Graham

Sen. Lindsey Graham

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Sen. Lindsey Graham delivered a strong warning Thursday to Donald Trump that if he fires special counsel Robert Mueller, it “could be the beginning of the end” of Trump’s presidency.

The South Carolina Republican said any attempt to remove Mueller would cross a serious “red line,” Politico reports. 

“Any effort to go after Mueller could be the beginning of the end of the Trump presidency unless Mueller did something wrong,” Graham told reporters on Capitol Hill.

Graham, as reported today by Tickle the Wire, introduced a bi-partisan bill to prevent the termination of special counsel without judiciary review.

“We need a check and balance here,” Graham said.

Ex-U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade: ‘Trump Sees The Position of Attorney General as His Personal Lawyer’

Barbara McQuade was  the first woman to serve as the U.S. Attorney in Detroit.  She was appointed by President Barack Obama and was sworn in Jan. 4, 2010. In March, she was among the remaining 46 U.S. Attorneys in the country from the Obama administration who were forced to resign. She is currently a professor at the University of Michigan Law School.

U.S. Attorney McQuade

U.S. Attorney McQuade

By Barbara McQuade

The President’s comments disparaging the attorney general are damaging to the Department of Justice and the American public.  Regardless of whether you agree with the policies of Jeff Sessions, Trump’s efforts to insult, marginalize or push him out should be deeply concerning.

Trump’s comments that Sessions should not have recused himself from the Russia investigation suggests that Trump sees the position of attorney general as his personal lawyer.  In fact, the attorney general takes an oath to support and defend the Constitution.

By complying with DOJ ethics rules, Sessions was doing his job properly.  Trump would rather have Sessions ignore ethics rules so that he could maintain control of the Russia investigation, rather than allow that duty to fall to his deputy from Baltimore, where, as Trump says, there are not a lot of Republicans. This statement wrongly suggests that DOJ makes decisions based on politics, and undermines public confidence in its decisions.

Trump’s comments about investigating Hillary Clinton are also deeply troubling.  The case was declined last summer.  To suggest reopening it now creates the impression that Trump is seeking to use the Department of Justice to punish his political enemies.  It is critically important that the Department of Justice act with independence in bringing criminal cases, and that it not become the machinery of partisan politics.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

I also think that Trump’s comments about the attorney general are demoralizing to the rank and file employees of the Department of Justice. They need a leader who is advocating for them and their priorities in the President’s cabinet. To see their leader disparaged by the President diminishes the stature of the office of attorney general and the Department of Justice.  The men and women who have dedicated their talents in careers to seeking justice and serving the public deserve much better.

It may be that the President is trying to coerce sessions into resigning.  If Sessions resigns rather than is fired, Trump has more options available to replacing him, including appointing an acting attorney general from among any of his already confirmed appointees, without any additional Senate confirmation.