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Archive for April, 2019

How FBI Foiled Domestic Terror Plot in California to Avenge New Zealand Shootings

Mark Steven Domingo, via Justice Department

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Federal law enforcement agents announced Monday they had foiled a domestic terror plot by an Army veteran to detonate bombs at multiple Southern California locations.

Former Army infantryman Mark Steven Domingo, 26, of Los Angeles, was arrested after he accepted what he thought was a live bomb from what turned out to be an undercover FBI agent. The device was a phony explosive.

Domingo, who served in Afghanistan, converted to Islam and said he was going to launch an attack as retribution for the white supremacist shootings at two mosques in New Zealand that killed 50 people, according to the Justice Department.

Federal authorities said he spoke of unleashing an attack aimed at killing hundreds of people, especially white nationalists, Jews, churches and military bases, The New York Times reports.

“Mr. Domingo said he specifically bought three-inch nails because they would be long enough to penetrate the human body and puncture internal organs,” Nicola Hanna, the U.S. attorney for the Central District of California, said at a news conference on Monday.

Domingo posted online that he supported “violent jihad, a desire to seek retribution for attacks against Muslims, and a willingness to become a martyr,” according to the Justice Department.

Domingo was charged Saturday with providing and attempting to provide material support to terrorists. He “planned and took steps to manufacture and use a weapon of mass destruction in order to commit mass murder,” according to the criminal complaint filed Monday.

Read Deputy AG Rosenstein’s Full Letter of Resignation, Ending 2 Tumultuous Years as DOJ’s No. 2

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, via Justice Department.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein submitted his letter of resignation to President Trump on Monday, ending two years as the No. 2 at the Justice Department.

His resignation is effective May 11.

“I am grateful to you for the opportunity to serve; for the courtesy and humor you often display in our personal conversations; and for the goals you set in your inaugural address: patriotism, unity, safety, education and prosperity,” Rosenstein wrote.

Jeffrey Rosen, who served as second in charge at the U.S. Department of Transportation, is expected to take Rosenstein’s place as long as he’s confirmed by the Senate.

Rosenstein served two tumultuous years after he appointed Robert Mueller as special counsel to investigate Russian interference in the presidential election. The appointment enraged Trump.

Attorney General William Barr applauded Rosenstein for his long career in federal law enforcement.

“Over the course of his distinguished government career, he has navigated many challenging situations with strength, grace, and good humor,” Barr said in a statement. “Rod has been an invaluable partner to me during my return to the Department, and I have relied heavily on his leadership and judgment over the past several months.”

Read Rosenstein’s full letter of resignation here:

Rosenstein Resignation Letter by on Scribd

Rosenstein Tells Trump He’ll Leave Next Month

Rod Rosenstein

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

As expected, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is officially leaving.

 In a resignation letter to President Donald Trump, Rosenstein said he will leave his post May 11, the Associated Press reports.

Prison Warden Where Whitey Bulger Was Confined: ‘I think he wanted to die’

Whitey Bulger

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The then-warden of a prison where James “Whitey” Bulgar was confined said he believes the Boston gangster “wanted to die.”

“Quite frankly, I think he wanted to die,” Charles Lockett, the Florida penitentiary’s former warden, told NBC News in an exclusive interview.

“I think whatever issues he had, he had come to peace with them.”

Bulger, 89, was beat to death inside his cell on Oct. 30, 3018, just hours after he was transferred to a West Virginia prison. The transfer came after the wheelchair-bound ex-mob boss threatened a Florida prison nurse who suggested he see an outside heart doctor.

No one has been charged in his death.

Lockett, who retired in late December, spoke out for the first time, saying he doesn’t believe the death was the fault of prison officials.

It’s a tragedy, but I don’t think anyone was deficient in their duty,” Lockett said.

Lockett opened up about his personal feelings for Bulger.

“He killed a lot of people, but he wasn’t a bad old guy,” Lockett said. “Every Friday, I would walk that entire penitentiary and I would see him and he would speak to me. He was a nice, respectable guy, the murderer that he was.”

When a nurse told Bulgar he should be taken to a local hospital to see a heart specialist, the former mob boss lashed out, Lockett said.

“She pressed him to go see the doctor, and he got mad about it,” Lockett said. “He told her point blank, ‘I know people. I still have connections back home.’”

House Committee Chairman Warns Barr He Can’t Set Terms for Hearing on Mueller Report

AG William Barr testifies before the Senate Appropriations Committee on Wednesday.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee fired back at Attorney General William Bar for trying to change the proposed format of his testimony on the Russia investigation this week.

“The witness is not going to tell the committee how to conduct its hearing, period,” Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., told CNN on Sunday.

Barr warned committee Democrats that he may not testify to the committee on Thursday unless the format changes.

In addition to allowing five minutes of questioning for each member of the committee, Nadler proposed a second round of questions for both sides to each question Barr for 30 minutes.

Barr has opposed the additional round of questioning, CNN first reported.

The most contentious issue involves the Mueller report and Barr’s four-page summary of it, which Democrats and some others have criticized as one-sided.

Barr also is scheduled to appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday. The committee’s chairman Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said Barr must answer questions about the four-page summary and how it measures up to the full report.

“Well, he gave a four-page summary. Does the report support his summary? Does the report actually indicate there was no collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians?” Graham said during a “Face the Nation” interview Sunday on CBS.

Weekend Series on Mob History: The New Orleans Mafia

FBI Raids City Hall, Homes of Baltimore Mayor in Kickback Investigation

Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Federal agents raided Baltimore City Hall and two homes owned by Mayor Catherine Pugh as part of an investigation involving the mayor’s self-published children’s books.

The FBI and IRS executed additional search warrants Thursday, targeting her attorney, a former mayoral aide and the Maryland Center for Adult Training, a nonprofit job training program that the mayor once led, the Associated Press reports.

Investigators are trying to determine whether Pugh received kickbacks from her books using bulk sales.

Hours after the raid, Gov. Larry Hogan and other elected officials called for Pugh to immediately resign.

“Mayor Pugh has lost the public trust. She is clearly not fit to lead,” Hogan declared in a statement. “For the good of the city, Mayor Pugh must resign.”

Deputy AG Rosenstein Defended Role in Mueller Report, Fired Back at Critics

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, via Justice Department.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who appointed Robert Mueller in May 2017 to investigate Russian interference during the presidential election, fire back Thursday at politicians and journalists who have questioned his handling of the probe.

Rosenstein defended the nearly two-year special counsel investigation, saying “our nation is safer, elections are more secure, and citizens are better informed about covert foreign influence schemes.”

Speaking at the Public Servants Dinner of the Armenian Bar Association, Rosenstein spoke publicly for the first time since Mueller’s report was made public.

“As acting Attorney General, it was my responsibility to make sure that the Department of Justice would do what the American people pay us to do: conduct an independent investigation,” said Rosenstein, who leaves the Justice Department next month.

Rosenstein and Attorney General William Barr made the decision that President Trump did not obstruct justice.

“I did pledge to do it right and take it to the appropriate conclusion,” Rosenstein said. “I did not promise to report all results to the public, because grand jury investigations are ex parte proceedings. It is not our job to render conclusive factual findings. … We just decide whether it is appropriate to file criminal charges.”