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Archive for December 27th, 2017

Fetuses Immersed in Brain Tissue Found at Detroit Warehouse

FBI agents made grisly discoveries at a Detroit warehouse were body parts were improperly stored. Photo by Steve Neavling.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

When the FBI raided a rundown warehouse in Detroit in December 2013, they made grisly discoveries at what turned out to be a black-market body parts business.

Agent found infected bodies dismembered with chainsaws, rotting, un-embalmed heads soaked in mouthwash and water, and human remains washed down the drain or thrown into the regular garbage.

New and disturbing photos obtained by Reuters show that federal investigators also found four preserved fetuses, which appear to be in their second trimester, immersed in a dark liquid that included human brain tissue. 

It’s unclear what Arthur Rathburn, owner of International Biological Inc., intended to do with the fetuses and how he obtained them. Selling fetuses for profit is a violation of federal law.

“This needs to be reviewed,” said U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., who recently chaired a special U.S. House committee on the use of fetal tissue.

Rathburn is accused of defrauding medical researchers and educators by sending them infected body parts, without the families’ consent, from a rundown warehouse.

Rathburn has pleaded not guilty and is facing a trial in January in a criminal case that, until now, made no mention of fetuses.

Russian Hackers May Have Access to FBI’s Fingerprint-Analysis Software

Fingerprint analysis, via FBI.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Russian firm with close ties to the Kremlin created the code used by the FBI’s fingerprint-analysis software, raising concerns that foreign hackers may be able to obtain sensitive biometric information on millions of Americans, according to documents and two whistleblowers.

Authorities also are worried that Russians could compromise national security by infiltrating the FBI’s computer systems, BuzzFeed reports

The software also is used by roughly 18,000 of other law enforcement agencies in the U.S.

The Russian code was inserted into the fingerprint system by a French company, a former subsidiary of the Paris-based conglomerate Safran, which concealed Russia’s involvement from U.S. officials.

Republican Congressman Calls for ‘Purge’ of Biased Agents in FBI, DOJ

U.S. Rep. Francis Rooney.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The conservative Republican attack on the FBI’s credibility  continued Tuesday when Rep. Francis Rooney called for the “purge” of the bureau’s “deep state” personnel.

The Florida congressman told MSNBC that the Trump-Russia “investigation is totally off the rails” and that the Justice Department must also clean house. 

“I’m very concerned that the DOJ and FBI, whether you want to call it ‘deep state’ or what, are kind of off the rails,” the Republican said. 

The verbal attacks on the FBI have picked up steam following the discovery that one of the FBI’s top investigators had sent anti-Trump text messages.

In less than a week, Trump slammed former FBI Director James Comey, FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and outgoing FBI general counsel James Baker, raising questions about whether his criticism amounts to witness intimidation

Report Slams Justice Department for Inappropriate Handling of Sexual Misconduct Cases

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department is increasingly mishandling sexual harassment complaints and often failing to properly discipline government employees who behave inappropriately, according to the DOJ’s Office of Inspector General.

The report, which called on “high level action,” citied examples of some employees receiving mild forms of discipline and even later getting bonuses or performance awards, the Washington Post reports

The number of sexual misconduct allegations has increased since 2012 and include senior officials.

“We’re talking about presidential appointees, political appointees, FBI special agents in charge, U.S. attorneys, wardens, a chief deputy U.S. marshal, a U.S. marshal assistant director, a deputy assistant attorney general,” DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz said.

Trump’s Ex-Campaign Manager Manafort May Face Another Indictment

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Former campaign manager Paul Manafort and his business partner Rick Gates may face another indictment in the Trump-Russia probe headed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

The Daily Beast reports that Washington D.C. lawyers anticipate Mueller will file a superseding indictment of Manafort and Gates to replace the current indictment. 

“I would expect a superseding indictment to come down relatively soon,” said Jonathan Turley, a George Washington University law school professor.

“There was much in the narrative of the indictment that referenced crimes not charged,” he added. “Prosecutors will often issue a superseding indictment as the grand jury continues its work. There’s also a tactical reason for this, that superseding indictments tend to grind defendants a bit more over time.”

Both men pleaded not guilty to an Oct. 30 indictment that alleges conspiracy against the United States, conspiracy to launder money, failure to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts, being an unregistered agent of foreign principal, false and misleading statements under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, and false statements.

Manafort’s foreign financial transactions may draw potential new tax charges, the indictment hinted.

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