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Archive for November, 2018

Weekend Series on Crime: The Mexican Cartels

Deputy U.S. Marshal — Father of 4 — Fatally Shot in Arizona

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Deputy U.S. Marshal Chase White, 41, was fatally shot Thursday night in Tucson, Az., while serving a fugitive warrant, the agency said Friday. The shooter was taken into custody.

White, who was married and the father of four,  was rushed to Banner-University Medical Center where he succumbed to his injuries later that evening, the agency said in a press release.

After the shooting,  Tucson police and federal officers surrounded the single-story house where the shooter was holed up.  After about an hour standoff, they took the man into custody, the Arizona Daily Star reports. 

“We are all extremely saddened by the tragic line of duty death of our brother, Deputy U.S. Marshal Chase White, last night in Tucson, Arizona,” David J. Anderson, Acting Deputy Director of the U.S. Marshals Service said in a statement. “He was shot and killed while performing his mission.  It’s a dangerous job, but Chase was devoted to making his community and this nation safer. His sacrifice will not be forgotten.”

White joined the Marshals Service in 2015. He was an Air Force reservist, preparing for an upcoming deployment.

Ex-FBI Chief Comey Tries to Block Subpoena to Appear Before House Committee

James Comey testifies about President Trump before a Senate committee.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Former FBI Director James Comey is trying to block a subpoena to appear before the Republican-led House of Representatives on Monday, saying the motive behind the private interview was political.

The House Judiciary Committee subpoenaed Comey, who was fired by Trump in April 2017, earlier this month to answer questions about the FBI in 2016, including why the bureau did not recommend an investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private computer, Time reports.   

Last week, Comey said he would testify in a public hearing, but not a closed-door meeting.

Corey’s attorneys are asking a judge to dismiss the subpoena and delay his appearance before the House committee, which has been repeatedly accused of derailing an objective investigation.

Trump’s Company Offered Putin a $50M Penthouse in Planned Tower in Russia

Russian leader Vladimir Putin

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

The Trump Organization offered Russian President Vladimir Putin a $50 million penthouse as the company negotiated the luxury real estate development during the 2016 presidential campaign, according to several media outlets.

“If we have Putin in the penthouse every oligarch in Russia would want to live in that building,” Felix Sater, a businessman who worked on the project and suggested the idea, told the Washington Post.

The revelations came as Michael Cohen, Trump’s longtime attorney and confidant, pleaded guilty Thursday to lying to Congress about plans to build a Trump Tower in Russia. 

According to BuzzFeed News, Cohen discussed the plan with a representative of Putin’s press secretary.

The Trump Tower in Russia has become a target of Robert Mueller’s investigation into whether Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia.

It wasn’t immediately clear whether Trump was aware of the Penthouse plan.

Trump’s Former Lawyer Cohen Pleads Guilty to Lying to Congress about Russia

Trump Tower in New York City.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

President Trump’s former lawyer and longtime confidant Michael Cohen pleaded guilty Thursday to lying to Congress about plans to build a Trump Tower in Russia, according to multiple news reports.

Cohen has agreed to cooperate with federal prosecutors in what could be a big break for Robert Mueller’s investigation into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia.

The guilty plea came just a few hours after Trump slammed Mueller in another tweetstorm.

“When will this illegal Joseph McCarthy style Witch Hunt, one that has shattered so many innocent lives, ever end-or will it just go on forever?” Trump tweeted.

The timing of the plea coincides with Trump’s plans to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Group of 20 nations summit in Argentina.

Here’s How Trump Responded to 2 Questions from Mueller

President Donald Trump

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

President Trump responded in writing to the special counsel team that he was not notified of a meeting at the Trump Tower between campaign officials and a Russian lawyer who claimed to have dirt on Hillary Clinton.

The president also denied that his former political adviser Roger Stone told him about Wikileaks’ plan to release hacked emails from the Democratic Party that were damaging to Clinton.

That’s according to CNN, which obtained two of the president’s written responses to Robert Mueller’s team investigating whether Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia.

Trump has refused an in-person interview with Mueller’s team and only agreed to answer questions about collision with Russia.

Manafort Reportedly Met Secretly with Wikileaks Founder Julian Assange

Julian Assange on Fox News

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Paul Manafort, the former campaign chairman for Donald Trump, met secretly with Wikileaks founder Julian Assange inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

Sources told the Guardian that Manafort met Assange in 2013, 2015 and in the spring of 2016, which is when Manafort joined the Trump campaign.

Manafort denied the meetings took place.

“I have never met Julian Assange or anyone connected to him,” Manafort said in a statement. “I have never been contacted by anyone connected to WikiLeaks, either directly or indirectly. I have never reached out to Assange or WikiLeaks on any matter.”

Special counsel prosecutors are likely to be interested in the 2016 meeting because several months later Wikileaks dumped a trove of damaging information about Hillary Clinton.

What’s unclear is what the meetings involved.

Manafort, who is in solitary confinement at a prison in Virginia, could receive more time behind bars after Robert Mueller’s special counsel team said he repeatedly lied to the FBI, even after striking a deal to cooperate with prosecutors.

Manafort’s Attorney Leaked Information to Trump’s Legal Team

Ex-Trump campaign leader Paul Manafort.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Paul Manafort’s attorney provided the president’s legal team with updates and details about interviews with federal prosecutors, even after the former Trump campaign boss pledged to cooperate with authorities.

Special prosecutors for Robert Mueller were enraged to discover the discussions were taking place, and some authorities are speculating the secret briefings were Manafort’s way of gaining a presidential pardon, the New York Times reports

Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani confirmed the discussions with the Times.

Manafort’s attorney, Kevin Downing, told Giuliani that Manafort was questioned in-depth about the Trump Tower meeting in which a Russian lawyer secretly gathered with Manafort, Trump’s son Donald Trump Jr., and his son-in-law Jared Kushner. Manafort also was asked whether the president was aware of the meeting.

“He wants Manafort to incriminate Trump,” Giuliani said.

On Wednesday morning, Trump tweeted that “at least 3 major players are intimating that the Angry Mueller Gang of Dems is viciously telling witnesses to lie about facts & they will get relief.”

“This is our Joseph McCarthy Era!”

As is usual with Trump’s Twitter tirades, Trump provided no names or any more detail to back up his claims.