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Archive for January 12th, 2018

Weekend Series on Crime: El Chapo’s Court Appearance in New York

Steve Bannon Hires Lawyer Ahead of Interview with Trump-Russia Investigators

Steve Bannon, via Twitter

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Former White House chief adviser Steve Bannon has lawyered up as he prepares to answer questions from officials investigating allegations of collusion between President Trump’s campaign and Russia.

Bannon, who suggested in an explosive new book that some of Trump’s top campaign aides may have violated serious laws, has retained Bill Burck, of the firm Quinn Emanuel, The Daily Beast reports

Burck’s task is to help Bannon prepare for questions from the House intelligence committee as early as next week.

Burck also is representing former Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and White House Counsel Don McGahn as part of the Trump-Russia probe.

Bannon plans to fully cooperate with the investigation, sources told the Daily Beast.

In an interview with Michael Wolff, the author of the tell-all book, “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House,” Bannon described some of Trump’s top campaign aides as naive, unethical and clumsy, seemingly unaware of the repercussions of meeting with a Russian attorney who pledged to provide documents that would “incriminate” Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.

Bannon said he was dumbfounded.

“The three senior guys in the campaign thought it was a good idea to meet with a foreign government inside Trump Tower in the conference room on the 25th floor – with no lawyers. They didn’t have any lawyers.

“Even if you thought that this was not treasonous, or unpatriotic, or bad shit, and I happen to think it’s all of that, you should have called the FBI immediately.”

Bannon even suggested Trump was aware of the Trump Tower meeting.

“The chance that Don Jr did not walk these jumos up to his father’s office on the twenty-sixth floor is zero.”

Bannon, who previously criticized the firing of then-FBI Director James Comey, said he doesn’t expect a conclusion to the special counsel investigation anytime soon. He added that the probe into alleged collision with the Kremlin will focus on money laundering, saying, “They’re going to crack Don Junior like an egg on national TV.”

Since Robert Mueller was appointed in May to lead the Russia-Trump investigation, four members of Trump’s inner circle have been indicted – and two have already pleaded guilty and plan to cooperate with the special counsel’s team.

Other Stories of Interest

Maryland Man Pleads Guilty in Delaware to Posing as FBI Agent

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A Maryland man, who wore a replica FBI badge around his neck, and asked for and received discounts when purchasing certain firearms accessories, has pleaded guilty in Delaware to impersonating an FBI agent, the Associated Press reports.

On Wednesday, Eric Kappesser, 28, of Stevensville agreed to plead guilty to one count of impersonating a federal official, which carries a maximum penalty of three years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Prosecutors agreed to drop a second count of impersonation, as well as one count of unauthorized possession of a badge, AP reports.

Trump Accuses FBI Agent in Clinton Probe of ‘Treason’

President Trump

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

President Donald Trump on Thursday continued his aggressive campaign to try and discredit the FBI as the special counsel’s probe into the Russia affair moves forward.

During an interview with The Wall Street Journal,  Trump said FBI agent  Peter Strzok,  who was ousted from special counsel Robert Mueller’s team last July, committed treason, Business Insider reports. 

“A man is tweeting to his lover that if [former Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton] loses, we’ll essentially do the insurance policy,” Trump said. “We’ll go to phase two and we’ll get this guy out of office.”

“This is the FBI we’re talking about — that is treason,” he continued. “That is a treasonous act. What he tweeted to his lover is a treasonous act.”

David Gelios, Head of the Detroit FBI, Retiring to Take Job in Private Sector

David Gelios

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

DETROIT —  David Gelios, the head of the Detroit FBI since late 2015, who oversaw a number of major investigations involving public corruption in Macomb County and Detroit, is retiring to take a job with the Roger Penske organization, Roop Raj of Fox 2 reports.

Gelios will reach the FBI’s mandatory retirement age of 57 in September. He will step down at the end of the month. A replacement has yet to be named.

“I’ll be a west region vice president of security situated out of San Diego, California,” Gelios tells Fox 2.

Gelios, an affable man who was not easily shaken, served as the chief inspector of the FBI’s Inspection Division before coming to Detroit. His duties included overseeing all FBI field office inspections, national program reviews and agent-involved shooting investigations.

He’s been with the FBI since 1995.

A native of Ohio and graduate of Ball State University in Muncie, Ind., he is a former high school teacher, college coach, and outreach officer for the University of California Office of the President.