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Archive for December 1st, 2017

Michael Flynn Scheduled to Plead Guilty to Lying to FBI

Former National Security Adviser Michael T. Flynn

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser, has reached a plea deal over lying to the FBI about his back channel conversations with the Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, ABC News reports.

He’s set to enter a plea in U.S. District Court on Friday at 10:30 a.m.

A brief statement released by Mueller’s team Friday morning does not say what information Flynn has provided the government as part of this deal, but sources familiar with the agreement told ABC News Friday he has made a decision to assist investigators.

The Washington Post reports:

The charge relates to false statements Flynn made to the FBI on January 24, four days after President Trump was inaugurated, about his meeting with Kislyak during the transition.

Flynn is accused of making false statements to the FBI about asking the ambassador in late December to “refrain from escalating the situation in response to sanctions that the United States had imposed against Russia that same day.” Flynn also told authorities he did not recall the ambassador saying the Russians would moderate their response to Obama administration sanctions after the conversation.

Separately, authorities say Flynn lied about asking the ambassador to delay a vote on United Nations Security Council resolutions.

 

Hawkish CIA Director Pompeo May Replace Tillerson As Secretary of State

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

If all goes as planned, hawkish CIA Director Mike Pompeo will leave his post to become President Trump’s next secretary of state, replacing Rex W. Tillerson, whose relationship with the White House has become strained.

The New York Times also reports that Pompeo likely would be succeeded at the CIA by Sen. Tom Cotton, an Arkansas Republican who has aligned himself with the president on national security issues. 

Trump has not officially approved the plan, which was pitched by White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly.

Pompeo, a hard-line former Congressman from the Tea Party wing of the party, has expressed more hawkish views toward Iran, North Korea and other prominent issues.

A West Point graduate, Pompeo has been unusually vociferous and political for a CIA director, soft-pedaling the link between Trump’s campaign and Russia and endorsing regime change in North Korea. 

Sen. Tim Cotton

Some questions remain about whether Cotton would be tapped to become the CIA director. He’s a strong ally on immigration and national security, but Republicans are hesitant to put a Senate seat in play during what could be disastrous mid-term elections for the party.

When asked by Fox News whether he’d take the CIA position, Cotton didn’t answer directly. 

“I’m very proud to be representing the people of Arkansas,” he said.

The New York Times reports that another potential candidate for the top CIA post is Robert S. Harward, a retired Navy vice admiral who turned down the national security position after Michael T. Flynn’s abrupt departure.

Sheriff: Truck May Have Caused Fatal Injuries to Border Patrol Agent

Border Patrol Agent Rogelio Martinez was found dead at the bottom of a ravine in west Texas.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Although President Trump quickly declared that two Border Patrol agents were brutally beaten by rocks in Texas last month, a local sheriff says the pair may have been struck by a tractor-trailer.

Culberson County Sheriff Oscar Carrillo told the Dallas Morning News he believes a tractor-trailer may have accidentally hit them.

Rogelio Martinez, 36, and his partner were found in a ravine along a treacherous stretch of land near Van Horn in West Texas, about 30 miles from the Mexican border.

Martinez died soon after following traumatic head injuries and broken memories. His partner, who has yet to be identified, reportedly can’t remember what happened and remains hospitalized.

“From the beginning we were radioed to assist in the incident as an injury, not an assault,” Carrillo said. “That’s the way it was communicated to us.”

A day after the injuries were reported, Trump tweeted, “Border Patrol Officer killed at Southern Border, another badly hurt. We will seek out and bring to justice those responsible. We will, and must, build the Wall!”

Trump added that the surviving agent had been “badly beaten.”

The union that represents Border Patrol agents, the National Border Patrol Council, suggested the agents were attacked.

But local authorities and the FBI are more skeptical.

The FBI is now offering a $45,000 reward for information leading to what caused the injuries and death.  

The Remarkable Life of FBI Special Agent Jerry Crowe – 1924-2017

Photo via FBI

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Jerome K. “Jerry” Crowe, a retired FBI special agent who played a significant role in major cases and founded the bureau’s first SWAT team in Los Angels, died following a longtime battle with Alzheimer’s disease, The Daily Breeze reports

He was 93.

The WWII Amy veteran joined the FBI in 1951 and spent all but his first year in the Los Angeles Field Office, before retiring in 1979.

Crowe was an FBI firearms instructor and worked on major cases such as the kidnapping of Frank Sinatra Jr. and Patty Hearst.

In the Sinatra case in December 1963, Crowe was chosen to deliver a $240,000 ransom to the kidnappers. Within days, Sinatra’s only son, who was 19 years old, returned unharmed to his parents, and the kidnappers were arrested.

Crowe founded the FBI’s SWAT team and became its leader in May 1974.

The bureau renamed in Crowe’s honor the FBI Regional Counterterrorism Training Center at the former El Toro Marine Corps Air Station in Orange County in 2011.

“Jerry was an outstanding FBI agent,” read a statement announcing the name change, “who was selected for this honor because it was his foresight in fostering the SWAT concept in Los Angeles and his ability to create and lead the original L.A. SWAT team, which helped to create a legacy that is now an integral and important part of the FBI throughout the nation.”

Crowe was a native of Florida.

The Daily Breeze wrote:

Born in Cocoa, Florida, on Oct. 4, 1924, Crowe was the youngest of three children born to John and Mary Crowe. He graduated from Daytona Beach Mainland High, where he lettered in football and track and field.

Following older brother Jack Crowe into the Army in 1943, he was sent to Europe a year later and, in 1946, was discharged and returned to the United States.

After graduating from Stetson University in DeLand, Florida, in 1950 with a degree in business administration, Crowe joined the FBI. His first supervisor in the FBI, after he was assigned to the bureau’s Seattle office, was Mark Felt, who later gained fame as anonymous Washington Post informant “Deep Throat” in the Watergate scandal.

A lifelong sports fan, Crowe met Los Angeles native Margarita Sanchez at a Los Angeles Rams football game at the Memorial Coliseum in 1952. Married in October 1953 and settling in Redondo Beach in 1957, they reared three children: Jerome, Robert and Nancy.

Before retiring from the FBI, where he mostly was assigned to bank robbery investigations and served as a counselor to the 86th session of the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia, Crowe earned a master’s degree in police administration from Cal State Los Angeles.

After leaving the bureau, he worked as director of security at Gibraltar Savings for more than a decade before retiring.

Paul Manafort Reaches $11M Bond Deal with Mueller’s Team

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, has reached a deal with prosecutors that would free him from house arrest until his trial on federal money laundering and other charges. 

For $11 million worth of real estate, Manafort could shed his GPS tracking device following four weeks of house arrest that required him to stay inside his Virginia residence, with religious and medical exceptions. He could lose the property if he violates bond, Politico reports

“The Defendant will execute an agreement to forfeit four (4) separate real properties if there is a bail violation with a total estimated net value (i.e., fair market value less encumbrances) of approximately $11.65 million. The OSC has agreed that the properties posted provide the reasonable assurance required under the Bail Reform Act,” Manafort lawyers Kevin Downing and Tom Zehnle wrote.

The deal would allow Manafort to travel throughout New York, Florida and Washington D.C.

But if Manafort flees, his wife would be required to turn over $10 million.