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Archive for February 26th, 2018

Robert ‘Mac’ McIntrye, a Retired Member of DEA-Detroit Police Task Force, Dies at Age 72

Robert “Mac” McIntyre

By Allan Lengel

DETROIT — Robert “Mac” McIntyre, a Vietnam vet and retired Detroit Police officer who worked on a DEA/Detroit Police Task Force in the 1980s and 90s, died Jan. 30 in Michigan. He was 72.

Born on March 23, 1945, McIntyre served in the U.S. Marines from 1963 to 1967. While in Vietnam he was wounded and received the Purple Heart.

After returning to the states, McIntyre  joined the Detroit Police Department in June 1969.  After the Police Academy, he was assigned to the First Precinct.

As a result of his work ethic and performance on the job, he was elevated to the Special Operations Section (SOS) Division, according to former members of the DEA Detroit Group One Task Force.

While in the SOS Division, he worked vice, the Larceny Unit, and was eventually assigned to a plainclothes felony crew.  He was the recipient of numerous letters of commendation, departmental citations, and he received the DPD Life Saving Award.

In 1986, he joined the DEA task force in the Detroit Division at a time crack cocaine was ravaging the city and big violent gangs with names like the Chambers Brothers dominated the drug trade.  He was the case agent on a number of investigations and “was exemplary” in undercover operations, the former task force members said.

In 1994, he was promoted to sergeant and returned to the Detroit Police Department.  He was was assigned to the 12th Precinct Patrol Section and then in 1995, he was transferred to the Narcotic Enforcement Division (NED).

While assigned to NED, he supervised a narcotic enforcement group and was involved in the execution of hundreds of narcotic search and seizure warrants. In August 1995, after a 26 year career, he retired.

The previous year, he married Carolyn Gardner. They moved to Howell, Mich., north of Detroit.

Family described him as a caring grandfather who  cherished his dogs. He also had a love of  golf and enjoyed a good game of cribbage with friends.

He is survived by his wife Carolyn; step sons William, Darren (Bernadette); grandchildren Donovan, Anthony, Alexandra; and sister Pat Moore

Poll: Most Americans Trust Special Counsel Mueller Over Trump

President Trump, via the White House.

By Steve Neavling

Most Americans aren’t buying President Trump’s relentless campaign to undermine confidence in the special counsel team investigating whether his campaign colluded with Russia.

A new USA Today/Suffolk University Poll finds a majority of Americans trust Robert Mueller’s investigation over the president’s denials of collusion. 

Of the 1,000 registered voters polled after the indictments of 13 Russians and three companies, 58% said they have a lot or some trust in Mueller’s probe, while 57% said they have little or no trust in Trump’s denials.

The survey also found that more Americans are taking seriously the allegations that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election. Of those polled, 75% take the charges filed by Mueller seriously, while just one in five don’t.

In March 2017, another USA Today/Suffolk Poll found that 63% took Russian interference seriously, while 31% did not.

The survey’s findings spell trouble for the president, who continues to insist the investigation is a “witch hunt” perpetuated by his own FBI and Justice to take him down.

Dems’ Rebuttal Contradicts Key Republican Claims in Controversial Memo

Rep. Adam Schiff.

By Steve Neavling

A declassified Republican memo that President Trump claimed “vindicates” him is full of “distortions and misrepresentations,” according to a Democratic rebuttal that undercuts the GOP’s core arguments.

The rebuttal, released late Saturday afternoon, includes key FBI documents that contain the exact wording used by the bureau to gain authority to spy on a former Trump campaign operative. 

The Republican majority on the House Intelligence Committee released its memo in January, claiming the FBI misled a secret surveillance court by failing to mention the origins of a controversial dossier used as evidence to secure a warrant to surveil Carter Page, who was under investigation for being a Russian operative. Trump and some Republicans used the memo, which was partially funded by the Democrats, to bolster their claim that the FBI was on a partisan mission to destroy Trump’s candidacy.

But the Democratic rebuttal, which Trump initially declined to release, offers a more detailed and nuanced explanation of the FBI’s handling of the dossier and suggests the FISA court knew Steele was an anti-Trump source. In the rebuttal, Democrats cited a key line in the bureau’s documents that state “the FBI speculates” Steele was hired to find “information that could be used to discredit Campaign #1’s (Trump’s) campaign. That contradicts the key claim by Republicans and Trump who alleged the FBI failed to mention the political nature of the dossier.

“This is a pretty thorough demolition,” Julian Sanchez, an expert on surveillance at the libertarian Cato Institute, wrote on Twitter about the rebuttal memo.

The rebuttal also points out that Page was under investigation long before the dossier was used to extend the warrant because the FBI feared he was a Russian operative.

Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said on Sunday that the dossier undermines the argument that the bureau is part of the “deep state.”

“I’m not surprised the White House tried to bury this memo response as long as they could,” Schiff said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” ‘’But it’s important for the public to see the facts, that the FBI acted appropriately in seeking a warrant on Carter Page, that they are not part of some deep state as the president would like the public to believe. ”

Still, Trump slammed the memo in a tweet Sunday: “The Democrat memo response on government surveillance abuses is a total political and legal BUST. Just confirms all of the terrible things that were done. SO ILLEGAL!”

Former FBI Official Says Election Interference Designed to Distract from Russian Foreign Policy

Leo Taddeo (Twitter photo)

By Steve Neavling

The key reason Republicans have been interfering in U.S. elections is to “amplify” political disputes among American in an effort to distract from Russian foreign policy initiatives, a former FBI official said Sunday.

The indictments filed against 13 Russian operatives earlier this month indicate the interface “really undermined” American democracy, said Leo Taddeo, the former special agent in charge of the Special Operations/Cyber Division of the FBI’s New York office.

“I think it’s fairly clear the Russians have a cheap and effective way to sow discord and confusion and really undermined the basic principles of democracy,” Taddeo, told AM 970AM. “It really wouldn’t matter what the issue was, as long as people were disagreeing.”

Tadeo said the election meddling was a cheap and effective way to sow discord among Americans.

“They’re going to target whatever makes people passionate, whatever will get them out. And they’re going to try to amplify that disagreement and create the kind of division that creates a distraction from America focusing on what Russia thinks is important — things like Ukraine and other foreign policy issues,” he said.

“If Americans aren’t so confident in their president or the Congress or their government in general, then it makes America weaker when it comes time to act on the foreign stage … It’s a brilliant use of a simple technique that’s cheap relative to other intelligence operations [designed] to weaken us,” Taddeo added.

Trump’s Attorneys Explore Ways to Limit President’s Testimony in Mueller Probe

President Trump

By Steve Neavling

Donald Trump’s lawyers, who have been exploring legal routes to prevent the president from testifying in the special counsel investigation, are willing to consider a sit-down interview if the questions are “limited in scope.”

The president’s lawyers are considering whether to give Trump the green light to testify on conditions that the questions “don’t test his recollections in ways that amount to a potential perjury trap,” a source close to Trump’s legal team told the Wall Street Journal

For now, Trump’s lawyers are exploring all options for Trump’s testimony before Robert Mueller’s investigation into whether the president obstructed justice and if his campaign team colluded with Russia to undermine the presidential election.

“Everything is on the table,” the source said.

Those options include providing written responses and limited verbal testimony.

Trump initially boasted that he would testify, but his lawyers strongly discouraged an interview, fearing the president would lie and perjure himself.

Mueller’s team repeatedly wants to question Trump’s decisions to fire then-FBI Director James Comey and former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who has been indicted in the probe.

Border Patrol Agents Warn Trump Wall Will Drain Vital Resources at Checkpoints

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

By Steve Neavling

Border Patrol agents are questioning President Trump’s proposed border wall, saying the plan would draw resources away from the agency’s already understaffed at busy checkpoints.

Agents who inspect vehicles and scrutinize drivers at the Laredo North checkpoint said Trump’s contention that a wall is the most effective way to reduce illegal immigration ignores the importance of checkpoints, The Associated Press reports

The AP wrote:

The Trump administration’s latest budget proposal includes $1.6 billion to start building a wall that the administration has estimated will cost $18 billion. It asks for funding to hire more Border Patrol agents. It also includes $33 million to build a new Border Patrol station in Freer, Texas, northeast of Laredo. But it doesn’t directly address needs at other checkpoints, and it proposes zeroing out new spending on tactical infrastructure like roads used by border agents and replacement border fencing.

The proposal also would end funding for efforts to find and destroy border tunnels built by cartels to get under existing barriers. Border security experts have warned that constructing a wall will lead to smugglers trying to dig more tunnels.

Some Democrats are calling for an investment in scanners, interceptor boats, radio towers and other improvements.

“They’re taking money away from proven law enforcement systems to put it into this 14th century solution,” said Rep. Henry Cuellar, a Laredo Democrat who sits on the US House subcommittee directing homeland security funding.

The CBP declined to comment on the wall proposal.