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Archive for April 9th, 2018

FBI Raids Office of Longtime Trump Attorney Michael Cohen, Seizes Records

Longtime Trump attorney Michael Cohen.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

The FBI raided the office of President Trump’s longtime personal lawyer and confidant Michael Cohen, seizing emails, tax documents and records involving payments to an adult film actress.

Cohen’s lawyer Stephen Ryan confirmed on Monday that federal prosecutors in Manhattan obtained a search warrant after receiving a referral from special counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating whether Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia to undermine the 2016 presidential election, the New York Times first reported

Among the documents seized was information related to porn actress Stormy Daniels, whom Cohen paid $130,000 as part of a non-disclosure agreement to keep quiet about an affair she had with Trump in 2006.

The New York Times reports that the payment is just one of “many topics” being scrutinized by the FBI and does not appear to be directly related to Mueller’s investigation. Other documents include business records and communications between Trump and Cohen.

Ryan called the search “completely inappropriate and unnecessary.”

Cohen’s payment to Daniels has raised eyebrows because it came just days before the 2016 election. While Cohen acknowledged paying Daniels, he insisted the payment didn’t violate campaign finance laws.

Last week, Trump said he knew nothing about the payment.

Roger Stone: Manafort Will Never ‘Roll Over’ on President Trump

Roger Stone on CBS4.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Longtime Donald Trump confidant Roger Stone said the president’s campaign chairman Paul Manafort will not plead guilty or “roll over” on Trump.

Stone told CBS4 that Manafort, who has been charged on numerous counts, including conspiracy and bank fraud, told him he has no plans to cooperate with special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into alleged collusion between Russia and Trump’s campaign to undermine the 2016 presidential election. 

“He’s feisty and combative and he’s not going to plead guilty,” Stone said. “And he’s not going to roll over on this president.”

Manafort’s longtime business associate, Rick Gates, has agreed to cooperate with Mueller’s team and pleaded guilty in February to conspiracy against the U.S. and making false statements to the FBI.

Manafort is expected to face a trial as early as September on one set of charges.

Other Stories of Interest

Border Patrol Agent Charged with Sexual Assault, Tampering with Evidence

Border Patrol Agent David Villarreal

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

A Border Patrol agent in Laredo has been charged with sex assault, tampering with evidence and official oppression.

Agent David Villarreal turned himself into Laredo police last week after being served with arrest warrants, Laredo Morning Times reports

A woman in her 30s reported to police on March 26 that Villarreal sexually assaulted her.

Police declined to release more details.

Sara Melendez, Laredo Sector Border Patrol spokeswoman, said the agency is taking the allegations seriously.

“While it is CBP policy not to comment on an ongoing investigation, such actions will not be tolerated. CBP stresses honor and integrity in every aspect of our mission. CBP personnel perform their duties with honor and distinction, working tirelessly every day to keep our country safe,” she said in a statement.

Stejskal: Following the Making of HBO Docu-drama, I’m Reminded of What I Think Bo Schembechler Would Have Done To Address Penn State Scandal

HBO has produced a docu-drama about Joe Paterno & the Jerry Sandusky/Penn State scandal starring Al Pacino as Paterno. This column first ran in 2012 and is a summary of what the investigation of the scandal revealed and poses the question, how Bo Schembechler would have dealt with the Sandusky and the scandal.

The author (right) Greg Stejksal and late Michigan coach Bo Schembechler

By Greg Stejskal
ticklethewire.com

Last November I wrote a column about how I thought legendary Michigan football coach Bo Schembechler would have handled the Penn State scandal.

Since then Joe Paterno was fired and subsequently died from cancer. Jerry Sandusky was convicted of 46 of 48 counts of sexual child abuse involving 10 boys.

Now the results of an independent investigation, the Freeh report, have been released.

As I had speculated in my column, Joe Paterno knew of allegations of Sandusky’s sexual child abuse as early as 1998. He apparently forced Sandusky to “retire” from the PSU coaching staff (after the 1999 season), but gave him a unique severance package including $168,000 and the designation Assistant Professor Emeritus – thus, allowing Sandusky continued, unrestricted access to Penn State athletic facilities.

This makes Paterno’s actions and inaction in 2002 all the more indefensible. When confronted with an eyewitness account of Sandusky sexually abusing a child in a shower at the PSU football facility, Paterno passed the report to his superiors.

Not Report It 

But rather than actively pursue it, Paterno counseled that the allegations not be reported to law enforcement or child welfare services.

Paterno was an active participant in the cover-up. Then he lied about it under oath.

I am more certain now that faced with the situation that occurred at Penn State, Bo Schembechler would have handled it differently from the beginning, and it would not have ended like this.

Here is the column as it appeared last November:

“Do the Right Thing –Always,” Bo Schembechler

Read more »

DOJ Taps Federal Prosecutor to Oversee Production of Clinton-Related Documents

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department, under intense pressure from Republicans and President Trump, said last week that its tapping a federal prosecutor in Chicago to produce documents related to the FBI’s handling of the Hillary email investigation.

The Justice Department missed a Thursday deadline to provide the House Judiciary Committee with documents related to the inquiry and a report about the department’s decision to fire former FBI Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe.

On Saturday, Trump criticized the DOJ missing the deadline.

“What does the Department of Justice and FBI have to hide? Why aren’t they giving the strongly requested documents (unredacted) to the HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE?,” Trump tweeted “Stalling, but for what reason? Not looking good!”

The documents were subpoenaed last month by committee chairman, Rep. Robert W. Goodlatte, R-Va.

The missed deadline was also criticized by republicans.

“This is unacceptable — it’s time to stop the games,” Rep. Mark Meadows., R-N.C., tweeted.

John Lausch will oversee the production of the documents and will report directly to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the New York Times reports.

DOJ spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores said Sessions requested the appointment.

“By appointing Mr. Lausch to oversee this specific document production, our goal is to assure Congress, the president and the American people that the F.B.I. is going to produce the relevant documents and will do so completely and with integrity and professionalism,” Flores said in a statement.

FBI Solves Mystery of 4,000-Year-Old Egyptian Mummy with Severed Head

The severed, mummified head found in a ransacked tomb, via Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

The FBI solved a century-long mystery over the identify of a 4,000-year-old Egyptian mummy whose severed head was discovered in a burial chamber ransacked by thieves.

It was a major breakthrough for the FBI – and the scientific community – because genetic material had never been successfully extracted from a four-century-old mummy, the New York Times reports

A team of American archaeologists discovered the head in Deit el-Bersha, an ancient Egyptian necropolis. They determined the tomb belonged to a governor called Djehutynakht and his wife, but they were unable to decipher the gender of the head.

So they turned to the FBI, which used advanced DNA sequencing to determine the head belonged to governor by drilling into a tooth extracted from the skull. Odile Loreille, an FBI biologist, used the remains of the tooth, dissolved it in a chemical solution and them ran it through a DNA copy machine.

She deduced from the ratio of sex chromosomes that the skull belonged to a male.

The successful discovery advances a powerful DNA collecting technique that will help the bureau’s forensic studies.