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Archive for November 3rd, 2017

Conservative Republicans Call for Mueller’s Resignation over ‘Conflicts of Interest’

Special counsel Robert Mueller

Special counsel Robert Mueller

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Three House Republicans introduced legislation calling on Special Counsel Robert Mueller to resign over what they called “obvious conflicts of interest.”

The measure by Reps. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) and Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) comes on the same week Mueller announced money laundering charges against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his deputy Rick Gates. The former FBI director, who was appointed by the Justice Department, also announced he secured a guilty plea from George Papadopoulos, a former foreign policy adviser for Trump, for lying to the FBI about trying to arrange a meeting between Russian officials and the Trump campaign.

Gaetz, who wrote the legislation, insists Mueller has a conflict of interest because he was the FBI director in 2010 when several U.S. government agencies approved the sale of Uranium One, a Canadian energy company, to a Russian nuclear-energy firm. 

Republicans launched two congressional investigations into the sale last month.

“These deeply troubling events took place when Mr. Mueller was the Director of the FBI. As such, his impartiality is hopelessly compromised,” Gaetz said in a statement, according to Business Insider. “He must step down immediately.” 

It wasn’t immediately clear whether other Republicans will support the resolution calling for Mueller’s firing.

Former Trump Aides Under House Arrest After Money Laundering Charges

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Two aides who were influential parts of Donald Trump’s campaign team are now under house arrest as their attorneys go on the defensive.

Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manaf0rt, and another aide, Rick Gates, have been under house arrest since Special Counsel Robert Mueller unsealed a 12-count indictment stemming from their work for a pro-Russian faction in Ukraine, Reuters reports

They have been ordered to wear an electronic monitoring device as they await a tial on money-laundering and other charges.

The aides’ attorneys said they case was embellished and overblown by the special counsel team and unsuccessfully requested that their clients not be forced to wear monitoring device.

U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson said she’s “concerned, very concerned” that an unsecured appearance bond was “not sufficient” without some sort of monitoring.

“If they leave and don’t come back, we need to know where they went,” the judge said.

Trump Blasts Comey As a ‘Failure,’ Suggests FBI Is Incompetent

Former FBI Director James Comey

Former FBI Director James Comey

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

As the special counsel investigation picks up more steam, President Trump continues to go on the offensive, this time suggesting fired FBI Director James Comey’s “leadership was a disaster.”

Trump was responding to Fox News host Tucker Carlson’s show on Thursday, when Carlson blasted the FBI’s record on preventing domestic terrorism and was shootings.

“The @TuckerCarlson opening statement about our once cherished and great FBI was so sad to watch,” Trump tweeted. “James Comey’s leadership was a disaster!”

Carlson called the FBI ‘incompetent” and suggested the bureau missed opportunities to prevent recent mass murders.

“The more likely and in fact the far more terrifying explanation is incompetence,” Carlson said, referring to the Las Vegas shooting that killed 59 people. “The people running this case don’t really know what they’re doing.”

The FBI is investigating whether Trump obstructed justice when he fired Comey in May.

ISIS Claims Responsibility for NYC Terrorist Attack, Calls Suspect ‘Soldier of the Caliphate’

Suspected terrorist Sayfullo Saipov.

Suspected terrorist Sayfullo Saipov.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

ISIS claimed responsibility Thursday for the terrorist attack in New York City earlier the week that killed eight people and wounded another dozen.

The statement in the group’s weekly newsletter declared the truck attack as “one of the most prominent attacks targeting Crusaders in America.”

The group called the suspect, Sayfullo Saipov, 29, a “soldier of the Caliphate” and said the attack was a response to ISIS’ call to target “citizens of the Crusader countries involved in the alliance against the Islamic State.”

“On Tuesday, 11 Safar, one of the soldiers of the Islamic State attacked a number of crusaders on a street in New York City, close to the monument for the 9/11 raid, which resulted in killing and wounding more than 60 crusaders, and unto Allah is all praise,” the newsletter said in a translation by SITE Intelligence Group, a company that tracks extremist groups.

It should be noted that 12 people – not more than 60 – were injured in the truck attack.

According to a complaint filed against the suspect, investigators said Saipov was a recently radicalized immigrant who plotted the attack about a year ago after getting his inspiration from ISIS videos. 

Kushner Becomes Focus of Special Counsel Investigation, Turns over Documents

Jared Kushner

Jared Kushner

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The widening special counsel investigation that has so far led to three charges against President Trump’s former campaign aides is now zeroing in on White House special adviser Jared Kushner, who is Trump’s son in law.

Kushner has turned over documents to the special counsel team that is investigating whether Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia to help defeat Hillary Clinton.

According to CNN, the FBI is interested in Kushner’s role in former FBI Director James Comey’s firing. 

But sources close to the investigation say Kushner is not yet a target of the investigation.

In June 2016, Kushner attended a meeting at the Trump Tower between top Trump campaign officials and a group of Russians. 

DEA Arrests Border Patrol Agent on Drug Possession Charges in Texas

Border Patrol Agent Gregory Dylan Sessions

Border Patrol Agent Gregory Dylan Sessions

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Border Patrol agent has been arrested and charged on drug possession charges in Texas.

The DEA busted Gregory Dylan Sessions, who posted a $20,000 bond and has been released from jail, MySanAntonio.com reports

Sessions, who is assigned to the Carrizo Springs Station, which is about 80 miles north of Laredo, has worked with the agency for six years.

“U.S. Customs and Border Protection stresses honor and integrity in every aspect of our mission, and the overwhelming majority of CBP employees perform their duties with honor and distinction, working tirelessly every day to keep our country safe,” read a statement from Customs and Border Protection Spokesman Dennis Smith. “We do not tolerate corruption within our ranks, nor acts which tarnish our agency’s reputation. We fully cooperate with any criminal or administrative investigations of alleged misconduct by any of our personnel, on or off duty.”

Details of the arrest remain murky. It wasn’t immediately clear what drugs were involved.

Other Stories of Interest