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Archive for June 25th, 2019

Controversy Surfaces in Wake of FBI Officials Attending Dodgers’ Playoff Game

Dodger Stadium (deposit photo)

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Some FBI agents in the Los Angeles division have been bothered by allegations that top brass attended a Dodgers playoff game last Fall for free while the team was under federal investigation, the website, True Pundit reports.

A source confirms to ticklethewire.com that some agents were concerned about the appearance of a conflict, and said the top brass in question included three special agents in charge in the LA division– Matthew Moon, Voviette Morgan and Stephen Woolery. Other members of the FBI LA office were also there.

The matter has been the subject of a probe by the Office of Inspector General, which on Wednesday morning declined comment. The Los Angeles FBI also declined comment on Tuesday.

Top management was supposedly at the game to get briefed by law enforcement and security personal at Dodger Stadium.  One question is whether they stayed afterwards to watch the game and enjoy complimentary food, one person said.

“There were agents who were assigned to the game for special events, so the SACs (special agents in charge) had no business being there — or maybe one,” said the source who talked about agents’ concerns. “They just took advantage of the situation.”

The source went on to say that FBI management has been quick to go after agents for “unsubstantiated allegations, but they seem to be immune to the rules they’re enforcing. ”

Last October, Sports Illustrated reported that the U.S. Department of Justice had launched “a sweeping probe” into possible corruption tied to the recruitment of international players, centered on potential violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. The Dodgers figured prominently in the probe, which is not being overseen by the LA FBI office.

The magazine also reported that multiple alleged victims of smuggling and human trafficking operations have already  given evidence to law enforcement agents or testified before a federal grand jury.

In its report, the publication, True Pundit, erroneously reported that the game in question was during the World Series. It was a post-season game, but not the World Series. Some other facts in the story were also suspect including allegations that the officials “racked up” a massive tab in freebies running into the tens of thousands of dollars.

Lawrence Berger, a New York Attorney representing the top brass in the Los Angeles FBI, tells ticklethewire.com “there’s no truth to any of the allegations in the publication. I understand the Office of Inspector General has reviewed the story and agrees that there’s nothing factual in that. But they haven’t yet issued a report.”

Sports Illustrated cited a “thick dossier of documentation”  that was provided to the FBI at the beginning of the probe and that the “Los Angeles Dodgers, a franchise with extensive scouting and development operations in the Caribbean, figure most prominently in the dossier.”

Sports Illustrated went on to report:

 Internal communications by the Dodgers show concerns about what team officials called a “mafia” entrenched in their operations in the Caribbean and Venezuela, including a key employee who dealt “with the agents and buscones” and was “unbelievably corrupt.” Other personnel were suspected of being tied to “altered books” or “shady dealings,” according to the documents.

 

Michael Driscoll, Counterterrorism Expert, Named Special Agent in Charge of New York’s Criminal Division

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Michael J. Driscoll, a 23-year veteran of the FBI and a counterterrorism expert, has ben named special agent in charge of the Criminal Division for the bureau’s New York Field Office.

Most recently, Driscoll served as a section chief in the Criminal Investigative Division at FBI headquarters.

Driscoll began his FBI career in 1996 at the New York Field Office, where he worked on counterterrorism. During his time in New York, he help investigate al Qaeda conspirators involved in the 1998 bombing of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania and the 9/11 attacks in 2001.

For his work investigating al Qaeda, Driscoll earned an Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Services in 2002.

In 2004, Driscoll was transferred to FBI headquarters to serve as the bureau’s representative to the al Qaeda Department of the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center.

Driscoll returned to the New York Office when he was promoted to supervisor in 2005, taking charge of the squad responsible for extraterritorial investigations in Africa. His counterterrorism work continued in the New York Hudson Valley region before being promoted to the coordinating supervisory special agent for New York’s Counterterrorism Program.

In 2013, Driscoll became assistant legal attaché for London, where he oversaw the Cyber Program and worked closely with U.K. law enforcement and intelligence services.

in 2016, Driscoll became assistant special agent in charge of the Philadelphia Field Office’s Cyber and Counterintelligence Programs.

Two years later, Driscoll returned to FBI headquarters as chief of the Violent Crime Section.

A graduate of State University of New York in Albany, Driscoll earned his law degree from Hofstra University School of Law in Hampstead, N.Y. He briefly worked as an attorney in commercial litigation.

Trump Won’t Say If He Has Confidence in FBI Director Wray

FBI Director Christopher Wray in Atlanta. Photo via FBI.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump would not say whether he has confidence in his FBI Director Christopher Wray during an interview with The Hill.

The president also emphasized that he disagrees with Wray’s opinion that FBI agents didn’t spy on his 2016 campaign.

Wray told Congress in May he would not describe FBI investigations as “spying” when asked about Attorney General Bill Bar’s assertion that federal law enforcement officials “spied” on the Trump campaign.

“I mean, I disagree with him on that and I think a lot of people are disagreeing,” Trump told The Hill. “You may even disagree with him on that.”

When asked about his level of confidence in his FBI director, Trump said, “Well, we’ll see how it turns out.”

Trump’s response raised eyebrows because he fired then-FBI Director James Comey in April 2017, a decision that led to the appointment of Robert Mueller as special counsel.

Later, Trump’s first attorney general, Jeff Sessions, fired then-acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe.