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Archive for November 22nd, 2017

Most of Homeland Security’s Uniforms Are Bought Outside U.S., Including South of Border

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

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

So much for Made in America.

A report by the Government Accountability Office found that Homeland Security bought 46% of its uniforms from Mexico and Central America, compared to just 42% in the U.S., the Washington Times reports

Homeland Security spent nearly $75 million over the past three years on department uniforms from Mexico, El Salvador and Honduras.

Under Homeland Security rules, the agency is supposed to buy uniforms that originated in the U.S.

The GAO said Homeland Security was aware of the requirements but ignored them.

“As of June 2017, under the current uniforms contract, 58 percent of the value of ordered uniform items by DHS came from foreign sources,” the investigation found.

Other Stories of Interest

Witnesses: Kushner Urged Trump to Fire FBI Director Comey

Jared Kushner. Photo by Lori Berkowitz Photography, via Wikipedia

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump’s son-in-law and White House senior adviser Jared Kushner was behind the firing of former FBI Director James Comey.

According to four people familiar with the discussions, The Wall Street Journal reports that Kushner urged the president to fire Comey during meetings with other top officials.

Kushner believed Comey was too unpredictable, and the White House adviser wrongly believed Democrats would applaud the FBI director’s firing because of his handling of the Clinton investigation. Kushner also believed FBI agents were cheer the firing because of their unhappiness with Comey’s performance.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigative team is looking into the allegations.

“When the president made the decision to fire FBI Director Comey, Mr. Kushner supported it,” Kushner’s attorney, Abbe Lowell, told the the Wall Street Journal.

“There’s no apparent evidence of Jared’s involvement in any decision-making process having to do with Mr. Comey’s firing,” a White House attorney said.

FBI Investigating Mysterious Death of Border Patrol Agent in Texas

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Was a Border Patrol agent killed or did he fall? What about his partner, who is in critical condition at a hospital?

The FBI is investigating what happened to the agents on a treacherous stretch of west Texas late Saturday night.

“There are a number of possible scenarios, but right now we are going to pursue it as an assault on a federal agent,” FBI Special Agent in Charge Emmerson Buie Jr. said during a Tuesday briefing in El Paso, the Los Angeles Times reports. “This is the most important investigation in the El Paso division of the FBI. We will be aggressively investigating all leads.” 

Here’s what the FBI knows: Angelo Rogelio “Roger” Martinez, who was responding to a triggered sensor, was found with “traumatic head injuries” and broken bones. He died early Sunday from head injuries.

His partner, who has not been identified, also was found with head injuries. As of Tuesday evening, he was in critical but stable condition.

The union representing Border Patrol officers insist they were attacked with rocks.

“There’s no way he fell,” Chris Cabrera, a union spokesman and veteran agent based in McAllen, Texas, said of the agent who died. “Border Patrol agents are like mountain goats. They don’t fall. Especially two at the same spot.”

The FBI isn’t so sure. The agents were found at the bottom of a 9-foot-deep culvert in a treacherous area.

The death is still be investigated as a homicide.

Pa. Congressman Under FBI Probe for Allegedly Bribing Opponent to Drop Out

Rep. Bob Brady, D-Pennsylvania.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is investigating whether a Pennsylvania congressman or his campaign bribed his primary opponent to drop out of a 2012 race against him.

A judge authorized a search warrant for the FBI to search the email account of  Rep. Bob Brady, a Democrat, the Daily Beast reports

His primary opponent, Jimmie Moore, dropped out of the primary election in November 2012 after he allegedly accepted $90,000 from Brady’s campaign. The money was allegedly transferred to one of Moore’s aides to pay down services rendered to the Moore campaign.

“The payments were routed in this manner so that the FEC reports filed by the Brady and Moore campaigns would not show that Brady had made a payment to his primary opponent in violation of FECA [Federal Election Campaign Act] contribution limits,” the affidavit states.

The FBI affidavit states that Brady, Moore and three others were likely “involved in the commission of several crimes, including conspiracy, false statements, producing false records, false campaign contribution reports, and violating limits on campaign contributions and expenditures.”

Brady also is under investigation for allegedly lying to the FBI.

Special Counsel Turns Up Heat on Kushner Over Actions During Trump Transition

Jared Kushner

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Special Counsel Robert Muller is investigating contacts between foreign leaders and Jared Kushner, who is President Trump’s son-in-law and a White House senior adviser.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Mueller’s investigators are turning up the heat on Kushner’s interactions with foreign leaders during the presidential transition. 

The investigators have questioned witnesses about their involvement with Kushner.

Among the questions is what role Kushner played in the controversy surrounding a U.N. resolution in December 2016 that criticized Israeli settlement construction.

At the time, President-Elect Trump called for the U.S. to veto the resolution, calling it “extremely unfair to all Israelis.”

Several days later, the resolution passed, but the U.S. abstained from voting.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Israeli officials contacted Trump’s transition team, including Kushner and former White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon.

Special Counsel investigators also are scrutinizing whether Kushner set up meetings and communications with foreign leaders during Trump’s transition.

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