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Archive for November 16th, 2017

Poll: Most Americans Don’t Believe Mueller Probe Is ‘Witch Hunt’

PrintBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Most Americans don’t buy President Trump’s repeated claims that the special counsel investigation into alleged collusion between the Trump campaign team and Russia is a “witch hunt.”

Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday found that 60% of those surveyed believe Special Counsel Robert Mueller is investigating the issue fairly. By contrast, only 27% people think the investigation is unfair.

Some Congressional Republicans recently introduced a non-binding measure that claims Mueller’s investigation amounts to a “coup” attempt.

The poll found that 47% of Americans believe Trump should be impeached if he fires Mueller, a former FBI director who has announced charges and one conviction against several Trump aides.

Trump’s Nominee for Homeland Security Has Conflict of Interest

Kirstjen Nielsen, via Twitter

Kirstjen Nielsen, via Twitter

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump’s pick to lead the Department of Homeland Security, Kirstjen Nielsen, has found herself in a tough position following the discovery that she was guided through the confirmation process by a private consultant with a conflict of interest.

The consultant and cofounder of Command Group, Thad Bingel, represents companies seeking millions in DHS contracts, the Washington Post reports, citing government-ethics watchdog groups and current and former national security experts. 

Bingel’s firm offers “full spectrum solutions related to safety, security, and intelligence” to clients “on six continents.”

Nielsen was jointed by Bingel as she made rounds on Capitol Hill ahead of the Senate Homeland Security committee’s nomination vote.

“He was introduced to our staff as Nielsen’s aide,” said one Senate staffer, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss the closed-door meeting.

White House spokesman Hogan Gidley denied the relationship amounted to a conflict of interest.

“There’s nothing inappropriate or new about an individual volunteering their time to help prepare a nominee for the Senate confirmation process,” said Hogan Gidley, a White House spokesman, in a statement.

The Post wrote:

In copies of recent emails viewed by The Washington Post, Bingel was included in internal communications between DHS officials and White House staffers working to advance Nielsen’s nomination. The messages involved nearly a dozen officials, and Bingel was the only person who wasn’t a government staffer.

The exchanges show Bingel, a private contractor, leading briefings to DHS officials. Bingel, whose role in Nielsen’s nomination was first reported by Cyberscoop, did not respond to interview requests.

Justice Department Watchdog to Determine by Spring Comey’s Statements on Clinton Before Election

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

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

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department inspector general revealed on Wednesday that he hopes to finish his review by early spring to determine whether FBI Director James Comey improperly made public statements about the Hillary Clinton investigation ahead of the 2016 election. 

“We have interviewed dozens of people. We are not at the 100 level yet, but we’re in the dozens range. We’ve reviewed about 1.2 million records in the course of the investigation,” Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz said, in testimony before a U.S. House of Representatives panel, Reuters reports.

“We are aiming to release the report in late winter/early spring, so hopefully in that March-April time period.”

Earlier this year, Horowitz’s office announced a review of Comey’s decision to release information about the status of the FBI’s investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server.

It’s unusual for the FBI to release information early about an ongoing investigation.

Professor Who Admitted to FBI Burglary in Philadelphia Dies

A Washington Post story on what the stolen documents revealed.

A Washington Post story on what the stolen documents revealed.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

One of the seven conspirators who revealed a dirty campaign of intimidation by the FBI in March 1971 by stealing a cache of documents in burglary of an bureau office in suburban Philadelphia died on Nov. 12 at his home in Philadelphia.

John C. Raines, a Temple University religion professor, was 84, the Washington Post reports

During the burglary, the seven conspirators stole documents that showed a campaign of intimidation by FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover against civil rights and antiwar activists, communists and other dissenters.

One of the documents revealed an that agents were directed to increasingly interview perceived dissenters “to get the point across there is an FBI agent behind every mailbox.”

The burglars, who called themselves the Citizens Commission to Investigate the FBI, disseminated the stolen documents to newspapers.

The leaked reports lead to the formation of the Senate Church Committee, which revealed widespread abuses among intelligence agencies.

Raines kept the explosive secret for 43 years before revealing his identity to a Washington Post journalist, Betty Medsger, who wrote a book-length account of the break-in, “The Burglary: The Discovery of J. Edgar Hoover’s Secret FBI.”

The reported called Dr. Raines’ actions “one of the most powerful acts of resistance in the history of the country.”

Other Stories of Interest

Clinton Compares Trump to a Dictator over Prosecution Threats of Uranium Deal

Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Hillary Clinton slammed President Trump and his administration for threatening to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate her over the Uranium One deal, saying the threats are a dangerous slippery slope that could lead to authoritarianism.

“I regret deeply that this appears to be the politicization of the Justice Department and our justice system,” Clinton told Mother Jones during an interview Wednesday. “Taking myself out of it—this is such an abuse of power. And it goes right at the rule of law.”

Attorney General Jeff Sessions gave the green light to the Justice Department to determine whether Clinton or her aides violated the law over allegations related to the Clinton Foundation and the sale of a uranium company. If so, the Justice Department must decide whether to appoint a special counsel to pursue potential charges.

“If they send a signal that we’re going to be like some dictatorship, like some authoritarian regime, where political opponents are going to be unfairly, fraudulently investigated, that rips at the fabric of the contract we have, that we can trust our justice system,” Clinton said. “It will be incredibly demoralizing to people who have served at the Justice Department, under both Republicans and Democrats, because they know better. But it will also send a terrible signal to our country and the world that somehow we are giving up on the kind of values that we used to live by and we used to promote worldwide.”

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