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Archive for August, 2019

Weekend Series on Crime History: The Hit on Crime Boss Frank Cali

Internal Watchdog Discovers DOJ Official Viewed Porn on Government Computers

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A deputy assistant attorney general was looking at “sexually explicit” material on two Justice Department computers and later lied about it, according to a report by Inspector General Michael Horowitz.

The unnamed DOJ official was interviewed twice by the watchdog’s office and then resigned before the investigation was complete.

Horowitz report stated that a “forensic examination of two DOJ computers issued to the DAAG determined that the computers contained data regarding numerous sexually explicit website searches, visits to websites hosting sexually explicit videos, sexually explicit search engine terms, and sexually explicit images.”

During the investigation, Horowitz concluded the official “made false statements under oath.”

In second interview after the internal investigation uncovered forensic evidence, the official “ultimately admitted” that he or she “may have” accessed pornorgraphy on government computers.

IG Report on Comey Reveals How Often Trump And His Supporters Lied

Former FBI Director James Comey.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

By now you’ve heard that former FBI Director James Comey violated bureau policies over his handling of memos he kept on President Trump.

Those memos suggested the president tried to interfere in the FBI’s investigation of Russian meddling during the 2016 presidential election.

What also was revealed Thursday was that the inspector general found “no evidence” that Comey’s leaked memos were classified.

Trump and his apologists have repeatedly claimed, with no evidence, that Comey had leaked classified information.

Congressmen Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., and Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y., were among those making the false allegations.

“We know that Jim Corey has leaked classified information,” Trump’s former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski told the Fox Business Network, repeating that claim on Fox News this month.

Same goes with Fox News legal analyst Gregg Jarrett, who said in April 2018 that Comey “leaked these classified documents to three people who he’s hired as his counsel so he can hide behind the attorney-client privilege on these communications.”

Others who have made the false claims include Fox News host Tucker Carlson and former White House aide Sebastian Gorka.

The mantra even continued after the inspector general report was released. On Thursday, Rep. Scott DesJarlais claimed on Twitter that Comey “leaked classified info.”

To be clear, here’s what the inspector general reports says: “We found no evidence that Comey or his attorneys released any of the classified information contained in any of the Memos to members of the media.”

“I don’t need a public apology from those who defamed me, but a quick message with a ‘sorry we lied about you’ would be nice,” Comey tweeted.

Trump Reportedly Pledges to Pardon Aides If They Break Law Building Border Wall

An existing wall at border of Mexico. Photo via Congress.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

President Trump pledged to issue pardons to his aides if they violate the law to quickly build his long-promised border wall before the 2020 presidential election, The Washington Post reports.

“Don’t worry, I’ll pardon you,” Trump reportedly told officials when discussing the wall.

Trump’s wall is far behind schedule, and a source told the Post that the president emphasized that “people expected him to build a wall, and it had to be done by the election.”

Trump responded by calling the report “another totally Fake story in the Amazon Washington Post.”

“This was made up by the Washington Post only in order to demean and disparage – FAKE NEWS!” Trump tweeted.

Deputy White House press secretary Hogan Gidley said Trump plans to fulfill his promise to protect Americans with new border barriers.

“Donald Trump promised to secure our border with sane, rational immigration policies to make American communities safer, and that’s happening everywhere the wall is being built,” Gidley said.

FBI Raids UAW Locations As Part of Ongoing Corruption Probe

UAW’s Detroit headquarters.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI’s ongoing investigation of corruption within the auto industry led to raids four states targeting the United Auto Workers on Wednesday.

FBI and IRS agents raided the homes of UAW President Gary Jones and former  President Dennis Williams, the union’s northern Michigan conference center, and at least three other locations, The Detroit News reports.

The raids come as the union is renegotiating labor contracts for 158,00o auto workers.

The four-year federal investigation has already netted convictions of UAW officials and Fiat Chrysler executives accused of bribery and misusing funds.

DEA Inches Closer to Opening Up More Marijuana Research

Photo by Steve Neavling.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The DEA’s hesitance to allow for more serious research into marijuana may finally be coming to an end.

The agency announced this week that it’s going to enable more researchers to grow cannabis for studies. For decades, the only entity allowed to research marijuana was the University of Mississippi.

The move could make it easier to legalize marijuana – a step that many states have taken over the past five years.

Marijuana has been illegal on the federal level because it has been labeled a schedule 1 drug, which means it has no medicinal value.

“The main thing that it will likely do is precipitate broader changes in federal policy in marijuana, which will have immense knock-on effects for the industry,” said David Abernathy, vice president of government affairs at the Arcview Group, which markets marijuana research, CNN reports.

Trump Administration Transfers $271M from DHS Agencies to Support Border Enforcement

Photo via Border Patrol

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Department of Homeland Security plans to transfer $271 million from some of its agencies to support the Trump administration’s border enforcement efforts.

ICE will use the money to increase the number of beds for detained immigrants and to finance temporary facilities along the U.S.-Mexico border, CNN reports.

At least $155 million of that money comes from the Federal Emergency Management Agency disaster relief fund as the hurricane season approaches.

The Trump administration announced last week that it plans to hold migrant families indefinitely.

DHS notified Congress of its plans in July.

Congressional Democrats criticized the transfer of funds.

“The Trump administration’s plan to divert money away from FEMA at the start of hurricane season to continue its efforts to separate and jail migrant families is backwards and cruel,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said. “Taking these critical funds from disaster preparedness and recovery efforts threatens lives and weakens the government’s ability to help Americans in the wake of natural disasters. Congress appropriated these funds to meet the American peoples’ priorities and I strongly oppose this effort to undermine our constitutional authority.”

Attorney General William Barr Books Holiday Party at Trump Hotel in D.C.

AG William Barr

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Right or wrong, the optics look bad.

Last month, Attorney General William Barr booked a “Family Holiday Party” in President Trump’s D.C. hotel on Dec. 8 that is likely to deliver Trump’s business more than $30,000 in revenue, Jonathan O’Connell and David Fahrenthold of the Washington Post write.

 The party will include a buffet and an open bar for about 200 people.

The Justice Department says Barr is paying for the party and chose Trump’s hotel only after finding that other hotels were booked.

“Career ethics officials were consulted and they determined that ethics rules did not prohibit him from hosting his annual party at the Trump hotel,” an unnamed Justice official told the Post.