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Archive for July 18th, 2017

Disgraced Ex-House Speaker Dennis Hastert Released From Federal Prison

Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert

Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert, 75, who had long been regarded in the public eye as just a Regular Joe from the Midwest — that is  until his scandal emerged —  has been released from a federal prison hospital in Minnesota and transferred to a halfway house in Chicago, Josh Gerstein of Politico reports.

Hastert pleaded guilty last year to violating money laundering laws  in a case that shocked the country and Beltway insiders. The scandal stemmed from hush money he paid to conceal sexual abuse he committed of students while he was a high school teacher and coach several decades ago.

A federal judge in Chicago sentenced him to 15 months.

Hastert was never charged in the sexual abuse cases because of the statute of limitations. But Politico notes that two men are suing him, alleging they were abused as kids.

 

Secret Service Employee Stole Authentic Money While Examining Counterfeit Cash

Pocketing Some CashBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Secret Service technician whose job was to determine whether suspicious currency was counterfeit pocketed some of the cash that was authentic.

Shaun Qureshi, a 34-year-old Maryland resident who began working in the Secret Service’s Washington field office in 2009 as a”counterfeit technician,” pleaded guilty Friday to one felony count of illegal conversion of property, the Washington Post reports

Authorities said Qureshi sole between $20 and $200 nearly every day for 22 months, accumulating at least $8,000 between January 2013 to October 2014.

Qureshi eventually got caught after inadvertently pilfering counterfeit $100s and trying to deposit the fake money into his account.

Qureshi faces sentencing in October.

Border Patrol Union: Significant Decline in Illegal Crossings ‘Nothing Short of Miraculous’

Border Patrol agent makes an arrest. Photo via Border Patrol.

Border Patrol agent makes an arrest. Photo via Border Patrol.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The significant decline in illegal border crossings between the U.S. and Mexico is “nothing short of miraculous,” National Border Patrol Council President Brandon Judd said on C-SPAN Monday.

“As far as the Trump administration’s efforts on immigration, this is something they campaigned heavily on,” he said. “At six months, where we are on meeting those promises, we are seeing nothing short of miraculous. If you look at the rhetoric that President Trump has given, it has caused a number of illegal border crossings to go down. We have never seen such a drop that we currently have.”

CBP reported a 53% decline in southwest border apprehension since last year, the Washington Examiner reports. The drop in apprehension is believed to be an indicator that fewer people are trying to illegally cross the border. 

Judd attributed the decline to two executive orders that allowed Border Patrol agents to fully enforce the law.

The Border Patrol union endorsed Trump for president.

Fact-Checking Trump Jr.’s Shifting Statements on Meeting with Russian Lawyer

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

CNN’s Jake Tapper and FactCheck.org released a fact-checking video in which they examined Donald Trump Jr.’s changing statements about a June 2o16 meeting with a Russian lawyer at Trump Tower.

President Trump’s eldest son originally said the meeting with Natalia Veselnitskaya was a “short introductory meeting” where “we primarily discussed a program about the adoption of Russian children that was active and popular with American families years ago and was since ended by the Russian government.” 

But the New York Times reported that Trump Jr. met with the attorney after being “promised damaging information about Hillary Clinton.”

A day later, Trump Jr. acknowledged that the lawyer said she had “information that individuals connected to Russia were funding the Democratic National Committee and supporting Mrs. Clinton.”

But, he said, she provided no “supporting information” and that “her statements were vague, ambiguous and made no sense.”

Other Stories of Interest

Former FBI Agent May Have Jeopardized Child Predator Cases

Photo via FBI

Photo via FBI

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A former FBI agent’s conviction in connection with sharing confidential information with a married woman with whom he was having an affair may have jeopardized as many as three child predator cases.

While heading the now-disbanded joint local-federal Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force in northwest Georgia, Ken Hillman allowed Angela Russell and her then-husband Emerson Russell take part in the arrests of suspects, AJC.com reports

In addition, Hillman let Angela Russell past as an underage girl in internet chats during a sting on sexual predators.

Now one to three of the cases that arose from the sting may have been jeopardized because of the Russell’s involvement. The suspects are accused of meeting children for sex in northwest Georgia. 

Top Democrat Requests Secret Service Records on Trump Jr. Meeting

Rep. Elijah Cummings

Rep. Elijah Cummings

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Elijah Cummings, the top Democrat on the House Oversight Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, is requesting documents that would reveal the vetting of who arrived and exited the Trump Tower on June 9, 2016.

Cummings’ request is intended to clear up “recent conflicting reports” on the Secret Service’s role in vetting the Russian-connected officials who met with Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and former campaign manager Paul Manafort at the Trump Tower in June 2016, Business Insider reports. 

On Sunday, President Trump’s lawyer suggested the Secret Service would not have permitted Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya and former Soviet military intelligence officer Rinat Akhmetshin into the Trump Tower if anything nefarious was happening. The Secret Service responded that Trump Jr. was not under the agency’s protection at the time and therefore “would not have screened anyone he was meeting with at the time.”