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Trump to Submit Written Answers to Mueller’s Questions about Russian Interference

President Trump at Indiana rally.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

President Trump’s legal team may submit written answers to special counsel Robert Mueller as early as this week.

The answers are limited to Russian meddling in the 2016 election and do not involve obstruction of justice allegations, a source familiar with the investigation told NBC News

Trump’s legal team has insisted the obstruction of justice questions are off limits because they involve the firing of then-FBI Director James Comey. Trump’s lawyers argue the president has the authority to hire and fire under Article 2 of the Constitution.

Trump has met at least once this week with his legal team to discuss Mueller’s request for written answers.


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Mueller Expected to Issue New Indictments As New AG Weighs His Options

Special Counsel Robert Mueller, via FBI.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Special counsel Robert Mueller is expected to issue indictments as early this week as acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker weighs whether he should recuse himself from the Russia investigation.

It has been widely speculated that the next two months will be busy for Mueller after going silent during the midterm elections.

But the fate of Mueller’s investigation hangs in the balance after President Trump replaced Attorney General Jeff Sessions with Whitaker, a loyalist who has contended that the special counsel probe is illegal.

Whitaker plans to meet with Justice Department ethics officials this week about whether he should take over the investigation from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

The state of Maryland took legal action Tuesday, arguing that Trump may not “bypass the constitutional and statutory requirements for appointing someone to that office.” Maryland officials believe Rosenstein should have been appointed to replace Sessions as a matter of law. 

Meanwhile, it’s unclear who could be indicted by Mueller’s team after CBS reported that new inducements are expected soon. 

Among those facing potential indictments are GOP strategist and longtime Trump supporter Roger Stone and far-right commentator Jerome Corsi, who said earlier this week that Mueller’s team told him he would be indicted.

So far, Mueller’s team has indicted four people once connected to Trump’s campaign or administration, 12 Russian intelligence officers, 13 Russian nationals, three Russian companies and three other people.


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Border Patrol Agents in South Texas Murdered, Raped & Assaulted At Least 10 People

Photo via Border Patrol

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol agents have murdered, raped, kidnapped or viciously attacked at least 10 people in South Texas over the past four years.

In September, an agent in the Laredo sector, told investigators he had fatally shot four prostitutes during a 12-day killing rampage. Another Laredo agent, Ronald Anthony Burgos Aviles, 29, has been charged with fatally stabbing his girlfriend and their 1-year-old son.

In March 2014, Agent Esteban Manzanares sexually assaulted a teenager and viciously attacked her friend and mother while they tried to seek asylum. Manzanares never stood trial because he killed himself.

The cases have prompted serious questions about the hiring practices of agents and whether the federal agency missed red flags.


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State of Maryland Challenges Whitaker’s Appointment as AG

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

President Trump’s appointment of a loyalist, Matthew Whitaker, to replace ousted Attorney General Jeff Sessions is facing a court challenge.

The state of Maryland plans to ask a federal judge Tuesday to declare that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein should be the acting attorney general, not Whitaker, as a matter of law, the New York Times reports. 

In a draft filing, the state says Trump may not “bypass the constitutional and statutory requirements for appointing someone to that office.”

The request by Maryland is part of a lawsuit in which the state sued Sessions in his official capacity. Ellen L. Hollander, a 2010 Obama appointee to the Federal District Court for the District of Maryland, must identify Sessions’ successor as a defendant in the litigation.

A lot is at stake. The supervision of Robert Mueller as special counsel investigating Russia and Trump’s campaign and administration belongs to the head of the Justice Department, which is the acting attorney general.

Whitaker has long criticized Mueller’s position as illegal. Rosenstein, on the other hand, appointed Mueller in April 2017 to investigate Russia and the role Trump’s campaign played in election meddling.


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Trump Expected to Give the Boot to Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen

Kirstjen Nielsen, via Twitter

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

By now appointees of President Donald Trump have learned to keep an updated resume within arm’s reach. So, many get fired.

The latest, who appears to be headed for a firing is Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, the Washington Post reports. The firing could happen in coming weeks or sooner, the paper reports.

Trump is apparently unhappy with her performance on immigration enforcement.

 


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Acting AG Whitaker Has Ties to Company under FBI Investigation

Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker has ties to a Florida company that is under an FBI investigation for allegedly scamming customers out of $26 million, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Whitaker, whom Trump appointed to replace Jeff Sessions last week, was a paid advisory board member of World Patent Marketing.

The FBI’s Miami office and U.S. Postal Inspection Service shut down the company last year after the Federal Trade Commission accused it of “scamming customers out of $26 million.”

The company is accused of charging customers “thousands of dollars to patent and promote their inventions” while providing “almost no real service.”

People who complained were reportedly threatened.

Whitaker, who was paid $9,375 to serve on the advisory board, reportedly threatened unhappy customers with “serious civil and criminal consequences,” according to documents.


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Democratic-Controlled House to Probe Trump’s New AG Matt Whitaker

Rep. Jerry Nadler

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

With Democrats now controlling the House of Representatives, President Trump’s pick for interim attorney general, Matt Whitaker, is likely to face tough scrutiny in the form of hearings.

Rep.  Jerry Nadler, the presumed chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said Whitaker will be summoned early next year as part of the ongoing Russia investigation.

“Our very first witness after January 3, we will summon, if necessary subpoena, Mr. Whitaker,” Nadler told CNN.  

“The very first thing, obviously, is to protect the Mueller investigation,” Nadler said. “The president’s dismissal of Attorney General Sessions and his appointment of Whitaker, who’s a complete political lackey, is a real threat to the integrity of that investigation.” 

The president last week forced the resignation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and replaced him Whitaker, a loyalist and critic of the special counsel investigation into whether Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia to meddle in the 2016 presidential election.

“He’s totally unqualified, and his only qualification seems to be that the President wants him to be the hatchet man to destroy the Mueller investigation,” Nadler said.


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SNL Takes a Shot at the Fired Jeff Sessions and President Trump

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Saturday Night Live has taken plenty shots at Jeff Sessions as attorney general.

On Saturday night, the show weighed in once again, this time on his firing.


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