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Schiff Says DOJ Should Reopen Hush-Money Case After Trump Leaves Office

Rep. Adam Schiff on “Face the Nation”

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump has dodged potential charges in at least two cases because of the Justice Department’s position that a sitting president can’t be indicted.

But what happens after Trump leaves office is an open question.

On Sunday, House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., said on “Face the Nation” that he believes the 2016 hush-money case to silence two women “will be reopened when he leaves office provided that the statute of imitations has not run, and the Justice Department will have to weigh whether to indict a former president.”

The case involves payments made to women who said they had affairs with Trump.

“From my point of view, if the evidence supports that, he should be indicted,” Schiff said. “And it’s certainly the view of the Justice Department, that’s reflected in that indictment, that Donald Trump was the one who coordinated and directed that illegal scheme.”


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What to Expect from Mueller’s Testimony Before Congress This Week

Special counsel Robert Mueller Mueller.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Robert Mueller, the special counsel who investigated Russian election interference, will testify before two U.S. House committees on Wednesday.

Mueller reluctantly agreed to testify after Democrats issued a subpoena.

So what should Americans expect?

Democrats are hoping Mueller’s testimony will provide new and compelling evidence against Trump. Republicans plan to excoriate Mueller over what they consider FBI bias against the president.

If history is any indication, Mueller will be factual, dispassionate and nonpartisan.

Mueller has already said that everything he knows about the investigation is inside his 448-page report. So it’s unlikely Democrats will get dramatic, new testimony.

Mueller has repeatedly said he found no evidence that Trump colluded with Russia. But Mueller’s report makes clear that Trump may have obstructed justice and that the special counsel did not pursue charges against the president because of the Justice Department’s position that sitting presidents cannot be indicted.

On Sunday, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff said on Face the Nation that he plans make clear to Americans that there’s “a pretty damning set of facts that involve a presidential campaign in a close race welcoming help from a hostile foreign power.”

“Who better to bring them to life than the man who did the investigation himself?” Schiff asked.


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Weekend Series on Crime History: The FBI Agent Who Turned Out to Be A Spy


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DOJ’s Opinion That Presidents Cannot Be Indicted Factored into Hush-Money Probe

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department’s opinion that a sitting president cannot be charged played a role in federal prosecutors’ decision to end the hush-money investigation, the USA Today reports, citing a person familiar with the situation.

It had previously been unclear why the Justice Department closed its investigation into hush money to women who had accused Trump of having sex with them.

Prosecutors have alleged the hush money violated campaign-finance law.

The DOJ’s opinion also factored into special counsel Robert Mueller’s decision to not pursue charges against the president.


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Border Patrol Agent Accused of Sexually Harassing Woman Whose Son Was in Custody

Via CBP

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

An undocumented Guatemalan woman in California alleges that a Border Patrol agent sexually harassed her while she was awaiting news about her 12-year-old son being held in custody at a detention center, The Washington Post reports.

In a complaint against CBP, the 48-year-old woman says the agent exploited her vulnerability and began conversing with her on Facebook. But instead of learning more about her son’s situation, she said the agent forced her to watch him masturbate.

Her 12-year-old son was captured trying to cross the border in April, hoping to reunite with his mother, who was working as a housekeeper and sending money back to her family. The boy was placed in custody at a Border Patrol station in Clinton, Texas, where agents contacted the mother to tell her about her son.

That’s when the mother came into contact with the Border Patrol agent.
Here’s how the Post described a 25-minute Facebook Messenger chat:

The man appeared to be lying on a bed, with the camera aimed at the lower half of his body. She could see his dark brown shorts, legs and bare feet.

She thought it strange and asked to see his face. He flashed the camera upward for a moment before settling it again on his shorts.

He told her about his family life, a failed relationship, how he attended church. Then he asked whether she was single.

She demurred … He asked her whether there were people nearby.

When she said there were not, he slipped his hand inside his shorts and appeared to start masturbating, she said.

“‘Look at me. Look at me,’ ” she remembered him pleading when she looked away. “ ‘Do you like it?’ ”

At that point, she said her phone died. Afraid the agent would retaliate against her son, she reached out to an immigration legal-aid group, which filed her complaint with CBP.

The boy said the agent was cruel and threatening. He said the agent told children they would “regret coming to this country.” He described unsanitary, overcrowded and inhumane conditions.


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Sen. Schumer Calls on FBI to Investigate FaceApp over National Security ‘Concerns’

FaceApp

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer urged the FBI to investigate the popular, Russian-developed FaceApp over “concerns” that it “could pose national security and privacy risks for millions of US citizens.”

“FaceApp’s location in Russia raises questions regarding how and when the company provides access to the data of US citizens to third parties, including potentially foreign government,” Schumer wrote in a letter to the FBI and Federal Trade Commission.

He added, “Russia remains a significant counterintelligence threat.”

The app, which was the most popular free app in the Apple Store this week, provides a photo filter that transforms features of any face, like making users look younger or older.

Schumer called on the FBI to assess whether the data and images used by the app could find “its way into the hands of the Russian government.”

“It would be deeply troubling if the sensitive personal information of U.S. citizens was provided to a hostile foreign power actively engaged in cyber hostilities against the United States,” Schumer wrote.

The FaceApp’s terms of service grants the company permission to use people’s voice, name and photos for commercial purposes, even after it’s deleted.


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Smuggler Sentenced to Prison for Trying to Run over Border Patrol Agent

Photo via Border Patrol

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A 38-year-old human smuggler was sentenced to 44 months in prison Tuesday for trying to run over a Rio Grande Valley Border Patrol agent.

The incident happened after authorities approached Miguel Mendez-Fajardo, a Mexican national, at his stash house in Mission on suspicions he was harboring undocumented immigrants.

Mendez-Fajardo responded by trying to run over a Border Patrol agent. He eventually crashed into a ditch.

Mendez-Fajardo was convicted in March 2019.

After serving his sentenced, Mendez-Fajardo is expected to be deported.


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Reputed Gangbanger Found Guilty of Shooting FBI Special Agent

Ronnell Watson, via Instagram

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A reputed gang member accused of ambushing an FBI agent and shooting him in the back in broad daylight in Brooklyn was found guilty by a jury Wednesday.

After three hours of deliberations, Ronell Watson was found guilty on charges of attempted murder of a federal officer, assault of a federal officer and possessing and discharging a firearm, New York Post reports.

The reputed Crips gangbanger was accused of shooting FBI Special Agent Christopher Harper, who was parked in a car in front of Watson’s house in Brooklyn. Moments after Harper was shot in the back, he was heard telling an NYPD office, “I’m gonna die, I’m gonna die.”

Harper survived the shooting and learned about the verdict a few minutes after the jury delivered it. He pumped his fists but declined to comment.

Defense attorney Michelle Gelernt claims his client panicked when he saw a strange car with tinted windows quickly approaching him.

“Ronell Watson was no assassin,” she said. “He’s just as afraid of agent Harper as agent Harper is of him.”

Watson faces up to life behind bars when sentenced.


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