Get Our Newsletter



Links

Columnists



Site Search


Entire (RSS)
Comments (RSS)

Archive Calendar

September 2018
S M T W T F S
« Aug   Oct »
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
30  

Guides

How to Become a Bounty Hunter



Archive for September, 2018

Homeland Security Warns of Weaponized Drones in Hands of Terrorists

Drone via CBP.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

The potential for weaponized drones has never been greater.

Fearing that terrorists could use drones to attack Americans, Homeland Security is urging Congress for more authority to stop  malicious drones.

Intelligence officials are warning that terrorist organizations like ISIS have mastered the use of weaponized drones.

In Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro was almost struck by explosives dropped from drones earlier this year. 

“Any time drones are used for an attack, what appears to have been an assassination attempt, it’s gravely concerning,” DHS’ top intelligence official, David Glawe, told CBS News.

Glawe fears that a weaponized drone could threaten the Super Bowl or White House, for example.

But no law enforcement agency has the authority to jam or shoot down drones, Glawe said.

“I think we want the opportunity to have all tools in the toolbox for our law enforcement officers. To identify good from bad is a key component,” Glawe said.

DHS has asked Congress to give the agency power to “redirect, disable, disrupt control of, seize, or confiscate, without prior consent” a drone that “poses a threat.” But after a Senate committee approved the legislation last summer, the bill stalled over concerns from civil liberties groups.

“It’s a problem because it means that DHS can shoot a drone out of the air or seize it and they can do so without ever having a judge look at their actions and determine if they were right,” said Neema Singh Giuliani, legislative counsel with the American Civil Liberties Union. 

Glawe said there is no time to debate the issue.

“This threat is upon us today. I wake up in the morning and night just hoping we don’t have an attack,” Glawe said. 

Russia Investigation at Risk with Potential Departure of Rosenstein

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein testifying before a House committee in December 2017.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

The potential departure of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has raised legal questions over who would succeed him and oversee the special counsel investigation of Russia.

With Rosenstein in charge of the Robert Mueller investigation, a lot is at stake.

Legal experts say President Trump likely has two options if he fires Rosenstein, who has come under fire following reports that he suggested secretly recording Trump and invoking the 25th Amendment to remove him from office.

Under a federal law about the order of succession, Solicitor General Noel Francisco would be the next in line to replace Rosenstein. But Francisco may recuse himself because he worked for Jones Day, a law firm that has represented Trump’s campaign. Next in line is Steven Engel, the head of the Justice Department.

But another law, the Vacancies Act, could give Trump more options because it gives the president the authority to temporarily fill executive positions with acting officers, according to the Wall Street Journal

The Wall Street Journal reports:

But if invoked, the Vacancies Act could open the field—at least on a temporary basis—to a much larger pool of potential successors. The list could include other Senate-confirmed Trump administration officials in and outside the Justice Department. It could also include senior Justice Department officers who haven’t gone through Senate confirmation but have served in the agency for at least 90 days and have attained the highest-level pay grade.

While the Vacancies Act could give Mr. Trump more flexibility, it’s a more legally uncertain path. For one, it’s not clear if the Vacancies Act could be used to replace Mr. Rosenstein if he is fired.

Under the law, a vacancy arises when a relevant officer “dies, resigns, or is otherwise unable to perform the functions and duties of the office.” Legal experts disagree about whether getting fired constitutes being “otherwise unable to perform the functions and duties of the office.” A 1999 Office of Legal Counsel memo—citing Senate floor debate—suggests that a firing would count. The issue would likely be litigated.

Updated: Deputy AG Rosenstein Considering Resigning; Will Meet With Trump on Thursday

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein

Update: 3:35 p.m. Monday — Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein will remain put for now,  but will meet with President Donald Trump Thursday to discuss his job, the Washington Post reports.

___________________________________

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who has worked to keep the Justice Department in line with its mission, is considering resigning, the Washington Post reports.

The paper reports that Rosenstein told the White House he’s willing to resign, but it was unclear if the resignation has been accepted.

One Justice Department official tells the Post Rosenstein was on his way to the White House on Monday and was preparing to be fired. But the official said Rosenstein is not resigning.

Meanwhile, in earlier reports, President Trump said he has not decided whether to fire Rosenstein following a New York Times report, that stated he discussed secretly recording the president and invoking the 25th Amendment to remove him from office. 

Asked whether he feels unsettled about Rosenstein, who is overseeing Robert Mueller’s Russia probe, Trump said his administration is investigating.

“I’m not unsettled about anything, but I’ll tell you what. We are looking at it,” Trump told host Geraldo Rivera in an interview Sunday for his new show on WTAM radio in Cleveland. “It’s very early. We just read the reports. ... We will make a determination.”

Trump also indicated Rosenstein was “hired by Jeff Sessions.”

“I was not involved in that process, because you know they go out and get their own deputies and the people that work in the department,” Trump said. “Jeff Sessions hired him.”

Trump has lashed out at Sessions since he recused himself from the Russia investigation, a decision that gave Rosenstein the authority to appoint a special counsel.

Questions Raised about Border Patrol After Agent Described As Serial Killer

Supervisory Border Patrol Agent Juan David

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

The arrest of a Border Patrol agent accused of killing four women this month has raised an obvious question: Did the federal law enforcement agency miss red flags about a man described as a serial killer?

Eighteen members of the House of Representatives are questioning Customs and Border Protection about its hiring practices and whether it missed warning signs about Juan David Ortiz.

“Like you, our priority is to provide for the well-being and safety of the populations we serve,” the members wrote in a letter sent to CBP Commissioner Kevin McAleenan. “To do so, we must learn from any mistakes made in this case.” 

Ortiz was arrested after a sex worker’s daring escape at gunpoint in Laredo, Tex., and authorities said he has confessed to killing four women by shooting them in the head and leaving their bodies on rural Texas roadsides. 

According to the Associated Press, the former Navy veteran appeared to be living a “typical suburban life” in Laredo, raising two children with his wife. 

‘‘We’re seeking truth, and we’re seeking justice for these victims,’’ Webb County District Attorney Isidro Alaniz told the AP. ‘‘Hopefully, even though motive is not an element to the crime of murder, we will be able to try to piece together what was going on in the mind of this accused killer as to why he did it.’’

In the meantime, investigators are trying to determine whether this month’s four murders were the only ones committed by Ortiz, who joined the Border Patrol in August 2009.

Weekend Series on Crime History: Lessons From the Saturday Night Massacre

Cohen Boasts That He Provided ‘Critical Information’ to Mueller Team

Michael Cohen, former attorney for President Trump.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Michael Cohen, President Trump’s longtime personal lawyer and fixer, said he provided “critical information” to special counsel prosecutors who are investigating whether Trump’s campaign coordinated with Russia to interfere in the election.

Cohen tweeted that he is cooperating without a deal with prosecutors.

Cohen quickly deleted the tweet, saying it was a quote from his lawyer, Lanny Davis.

Davis tweeted what Cohen had deleted: “Good for @MichaelCohen212 for providing critical information to the #MuellerInvestigation without a cooperation agreement. No one should question his integrity, veracity or loyalty to his family and country over @POTUS @realDonaldTrump.”

Cohen was close to the Trump Organization and the campaign and could become a vital witness as special counsel Robert Mueller continues to build a case against the president.

Report: Homeland Security Office ‘Rife with Offensive and Racially Hostile Behavior’

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Homeland Security’s office in Virginia is “rife with offensive and racially hostile behavior,” the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission declared.

Investigators discovered that a supervisor had called black and Latino employees “monkeys,” and one agent’s photo showed a black child in a fried-chicken bucket, according to a report obtained by The Virginian-Pilot

Somer black employees were subjected to race-based discrimination, the repot also found.

Homeland Security plans to appeal the report’s findings.

Ex-FBI Chief Comey: Russia Probe Appears to Be Closing in on Trump

Former FBI Director James Comey.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation appears to be closing in on President Trump as the probe may be nearing its end, former FBI Director James Comey said Wednesday.

In an interview with St. Louis Public Radio, Comey speculated that the cooperation and plea deal with Trump’s former campaign boss, Paul Manafort, are a good indication that the president is in Mueller’s crosshairs.

“I think there’s an argument to be made that the conviction — the plea and cooperation by Paul Manafort — may represent that we’re in the fourth quarter,” Comey said. “The way you normally do investigations is you work from the bottom up, and so they’re getting pretty high.”
At this point, it’s just speculation based on how investigation typically work, Comey added.