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Archive for October, 2018

Watchdog: Trump’s Intervention in FBI Headquarters Violates Emoluments Clauses of Constitution

The FBI’s current headquarters in Washington D.C., named after J. Edgar Hoover.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

President Trump’s bold decision to intervene in a plan to move the FBI headquarters, which is across the street from his hotel, may be a violation of the Emoluments Clauses of the constitution.

NBC News reports that it’s “the strongest evidence yet that the president of the United States is tampering with American security to avoid disadvantaging his businesses.” 

TickletheWire.com previously reported that administration officials, under “direction from the White House,” plotted to end a long-planned project to relocate the FBI to a new suburban campus.

“We cannot have the most powerful person in the world making national and domestic security decisions based on how his business might be impacted,?” wrote Noah Bookbinder and Norman Eisen of the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, which has already filed multiple lawsuits challenging the president’s “flagrant violation of the Emoluments Clause.”

Since 2005, the federal government has been planning to move the FBI out of its cramped, squalid headquarters to the suburbs. But doing so would put the current space up for sale to a possible hotel competitor.

“Were the bureau to relocate, its old space would be sold off to developers to cover some of the cost of the relocation, Bookbinder and Eisen wrote. “And that sale and redevelopment could mean competition for President Trump’s hotel or the restaurants inside of it, and correspondingly less money flowing into his presidential pockets.”

Mueller Asks FBI to Investigate Allegations That Women Were Offered Money to Accuse Him of Sexual Assault

Special counsel Robert Mueller. Photo via FBI.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Special counsel Robert Mueller is asking the FBI to investigate a scheme in which women were allegedly offered money to accuse him of sexual assault.

If true, it’s an ugly exploitation of the #MeToo movement and threatens to undermine legitimate claims of sexual harassment and assault.

Journalists uncovered the alleged hoax when they began receiving telephone call from someone making the offer, The USA Today reports

“When we learned last week of allegations that women were offered money to make false claims about the special counsel, we immediately referred the matter to the FBI for investigation,” Mueller spokesman Peter Carr said.

Mueller has been the subject of constant criticism from President Trump, who claims the special counsel is conducting a “witch hunt” by investigating Trump’s campaign and whether it colluded with Russia to undermine the 2016 presidential election.

A correspondent from HillReporter.com wrote about the offer, saying a man proposed to pay off her credit card debt and issuing a $20,000 check. The caller asked the reporter to use an encrypted communications application to receive more information about the proposal.

“Reluctantly, I downloaded the app and he called me on that app a few minutes later,” the person said in the email to the reporter. “He said (and I will never forget exactly what it was) ‘I want you to make accusations of sexual misconduct and workplace harassment against Robert Mueller, and I want you to sign a sworn affidavit to that effect.’”

Whitey Bulger Murdered in Prison at Age 89

Whitey Bulger

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Boston gangster and killer James “Whitey” Bulger was found murdered at a federal prison in West Virginia Tuesday, NBC News reports.

Bulger, 89, had recently arrived at the high-security penitentiary USP Hazelton in West Virginia, according to the Boston Herald.

The New York Times reports that Bulger was killed by at least two inmates, according to two Federal Bureau of Prisons employees who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the information was not yet public.

 Bulger, after being on the run for years, was convicted in 2013 of participating in 11 murders in the U.S.

 

WikiLeaks Faces Extradition to U.S. in What Could Become Major Break in Mueller Case

Julian Assange on Fox News

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange may be extradited to the U.S. from an Ecuadoran embassy in London in what could become a major victory for special counsel Robert Mueller.

Assange said Monday that Ecuador could soon end his six-year asylum, Reuters reports

Assange, known for releasing sensitive documents through WikiLeaks, could be a big witness in Mueller’s investigation of the Trump campaign and Russia’s interference during the 2016 presidential election.

Mueller has struck plea deals with others tied to Trump in exchange for cooperating with prosecutors.

Assange likely knows more than anyone whether the Trump campaign was involved with leaking hacked emails that hurt Hillary Clinton during the election.

Longtime Trump supporter Roger Stone originally claimed he was in contact with Assange, but he has since walked back those statements.

Border Patrol Agent Accused of Smuggling Cocaine During His Night Shift

Photo via Border Patrol

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

A veteran Border Patrol agent is accused of paying drug traffickers $650,000 for 90 pounds of cocaine while working the night shift at a remote border crossing in southern Arizona. 

Ramon Antonio Monreal-Rodriguez was charged with conspiracy to smuggle cocaine in Tucson and on the Tohono O’odham Reservation, the Arizona Daily Star reports

Monreal-Rodriguez is accused of making cocaine purchases on Sept. 18 and Sept. 22 and keeping some of the drugs in his government-issued car until his shift ended.

The 32-year-old Vail resident, who worked at the Border Patrol’s station in Three Points, was arrested on Sept. 25 on charges of “conspiracy to make false statements in connection with the acquisition of firearms and aiding and abetting the commission of such offenses.”

Monreal-Rodriguez resigned on the day he was arrested.

Federal Prosecutors Seeking Death Penalty Against Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooter

Robert Bowers

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Federal prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for the man who opened fire at a busy Pittsburgh synagogue, killing 11 people and injury six others.

Robert Bowers, 46, who was injured in a shootout with police, is scheduled to appear for his first court appearance Monday.

U.S. Attorney Scott Brady said prosecutors are seeking the death penalty after Bowers burst into the Tree of Life Congregation on Saturday morning and shouted his hatred towards Jewish people as he opened fire. He was armed with an AR-15 and three handguns.

Court records indicate Bowers told one officer, “They’re committing genocide to my people. I just want to kill Jews,” according to CBS News.

It’s a very horrific crime scene,” Wendell Hissrich, the city’s public safety director, told reporters Sunday. “It’s one of the worst that I’ve seen, and Ive been on some plane crashes. It’s very bad.”

Bomb Suspect Left Behind Trail of Clues for FBI

Bombing suspect Cesar Sayoc

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

The part-time DJ arrested on charges of sending bombs to prominent Democrats left a trail of evidence for the FBI.

Lab technicians discovered matching DNA on separate pipe bombs and identical fingerprints on two packages.

On social media, he misspelled “Hilary” Clinton and Debbie Wasserman “Shultz” – the same mistakes made on the mailings.

US News reports that intercepted, bubble-wrapped manila envelopes contained vital forensic evidence that was sufficient for investigators to arrest 56-year-old Cesar Sayoc while he was spinning records at a Florida nightclub. 

“Criminals make mistakes so the more opportunities that law enforcement has to detect them, the greater chance they’re going to be able to act on that, and that appears to be what happened here,” said former Justice Department prosecutor Aloke Chakravarty, who prosecuted the Boston Marathon bombing case.

The evidence led authorities to a man with a long criminal history who appeared to be living in his van.

Sayoc is due in court Monday afternoon.

Weekend Series on Law Enforcement History: President Clinton Nominates Louie Freeh As FBI Director