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Archive for August 15th, 2018

Majority of Americans Want Mueller to End Russia Probe Before Midterm Elections

Special Counsel Robert Mueller, via FBI.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Most Democrats and Republican believe special counsel Robert Mueller should wrap up his lengthy Russia investigation before the midterm elections in November, according to a new poll.

The survey released Tuesday found that a majority of Democrats, Republicans and independents all agreed that Mueller should, before the elections, issue a report detailing the allegations against Trump and his campaign. https://www.cnn.com/2018/08/14/politics/cnn-poll-trump-russia-election/index.html

Of those who believe the investigation should end before the elections, 57% were Democrats, 72% were Republicans and 69% were independents.

Overall, 66% of voters support ending the probe before the midterms.

Nearly half – 47% – of those surveyed said they support Mueller’s handling of the investigation.

About 55% of Americans disapprove of how Trump responded to the investigation. Only 34% said they support Trump’s response.

Violent Felon Who Shot Student And 3 Cops Used Gun Purchased After Passing FBI Background Check

Marlin Mack

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Marlin Mack, a 25-year-old convicted felon with an extensive rap sheet, legally purchased a gun after passing an FBI background check and then used the weapon to shoot and kill a university graduate student and wound three Kansas City police officers in July.

Mack, who was killed in a gun fight with police, managed to legally purchase the gun despite being a convicted felon with a violent past that includes using a high-powered pistol to rob a woman at gunpoint and then trying to kill the man who called police.

How Mack was able to purchase a gun remains a mystery.

Neither the FBI nor the ATF has returned media inquiries.

Jury to Deliberate on Fate of Manafort After Closing Arguments Today in 10-Day Trial

Paul Manafort

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

President Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort’s lawyers rested their case in the two-week fraud trial, presenting no evidence and calling no witnesses Tuesday.

Today, both sides will deliver closing arguments that summarize the 10 days of testimony in the first trial stemming from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russia.

This jacket was among many pieces of clothing used to show Manafort’s lavish lifestyle.

Then, the fate of the 69-year-old Republican operative will land in the hands of a jury, who will determine whether Manafort is guilty of bank and tax fraud. A conviction could send him to prison for the rest of his life.

During closing arguments, prosecutors will try to convince the jury that Manafort hid millions of dollars he made lobbying for a pro-Russian Ukrainian party in foreign bank accounts to avoid paying taxes. They’ll also point to evidence that he received millions of dollars in loans by hiding his true income after he lost his consulting job.

The prosecution said Manafort was motivated by financing an extravagant lifestyle that included lavish clothes and six homes.

His defense team likely will place blame on people who testified against Manafort and admitted wrongdoing, including his former business partner Rick Gates.

No matter what verdict the jury hands down, Manafort’s troubles are far from over. He faces a second criminal trial in a case that alleges lobbying crimes and money laundering.

Manafort has refused to reach a plea agreement with prosecutors in exchange for more information that could reveal more about Trump and his campaign’s role in working with Russia to undermine the 2016 presidential election.

A lot is at stake for Mueller, who continues to be attacked by Trump as heading a politically connected “witch hunt.” The lack of a conviction during Mueller’s first trial would surely be used by Trump to continue to undermine the special counsel, the FBI and Justice Department.

But a conviction would give the president less ammunition to continue undermining the credibility of the investigation, which began in May 2017 after he fired then-FBI Director James Comey.

Amy Hess, Special Agent in Charge of FBI’s Louisville Division, Gets Promoted to Headquarters

FBI Special Agent Amy Hess has been promoted to executive assistant director of the Criminal, Cyber, Response and Services Branch at the bureau’s headquarters.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Amy Hess, who served as special agent in charge of the FBI’s Louisville Division for the past two years, is taking a job at FBI headquarters in Washington D.C., making her one of the highest-ranking women in the bureau.

Hess will serve as executive assistant director of the Criminal, Cyber, Response and Services Branch, overseeing the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division, Critical Incident Response Group, Cyber Division, International Operations Division and Victim Services Division, the bureau wrote in a news release.

Hess joined the bureau in 1991, joining the Kansas City field office. From there, she served a variety of important roles, from assistant special agent in charge of the Phoenix Field Office and on-scene commander of the FBI’s counterterrorism operations in Afghanistan to chief of staff in the National Security Branch to special agent charge of the Memphis Field office.

The FBI has yet to name Hess’ replacement.