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Trump’s Lawyers Try to Keep President Calm to Prevent Self-Sabotage

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump is a nightmare client for lawyers.

Predisposed to self-sabotage, Trump is worrying his attorneys about his impulse to be combative in the face of federal investigations.

Vanity Fair reports that Trump’s lawyers are “taking pains to project calm, telling the president he has nothing to fear and that the investigation, which some posits is just getting started, will wind down soon.” 

“The people who have been interviewed generally feel they were treated fairly by the special counsel, and adequately prepared to assist them in understanding the relevant material,” White House lawyer Ty Cobb, who has urged the president to cooperate with Mueller and his team, told The Washington Post. “They came back feeling relieved that it was over, but nobody I know of was shaken or scared.” 

Vanity Fair wrote:

One of the goals of this effort, it appears, is to prevent Trump from flying into a rage and firing Mueller, as several of his allies have suggested he do if it appears Mueller is expanding the scope of his investigation into the president’s finances. “I’ve done my best, without overstepping, to share my view that the perception of the inquiry—that it involved a decade or more of financial transactions and other alleged issues that were mistakenly reported—just wasn’t true, and that the issues were narrower and wholly consistent with the mandate provided by the Justice Department to the Office of the Special Counsel,” he said, adding that he believes the investigation will be wrapped up by the end of the year, or shortly thereafter. As for further revelations regarding foreign contacts that are reportedly on the horizon, Cobb said he does not expect them to “unduly extend the inquiry.”

DOJ Disperses Crime-Fighting Grants to Cities That Help Feds Crack Down on Illegal Immigration

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Local police departments that cooperate with federal immigration officials were given preferential treatment for crime-fighting funds.

The Justice Department dangled more than $98 million as a reward for police departments that cooperate with President Trump’s crackdown on illegal immigration by letting immigration officials inside local jails and notifying the feds about undocumented immigrants, BuzzFeed reports.

At the same time, Trump’s administration is threatening to withhold crime-fighting grants from so-called sanctuary cities.

The Justice Department is disbursing $98.5 million to 179 local law enforcement agencies to hire a total of 802 officers.

About 80% of the 179 agencies that received a grant were given preferential treatment because they have agreed to cooperate with the crackdown on illegal immigration.

“Cities and states that cooperate with federal law enforcement make all of us safer by helping remove dangerous criminals from our communities,” Sessions said in a statement. “Today, the Justice Department announced that 80 percent of this year’s COPS Hiring Program grantees have agreed to cooperate with federal immigration authorities in their detention facilities. I applaud their commitment to the rule of law and to ending violent crime, including violent crime stemming from illegal immigration.”

DEA Task Force Finds Enough Fentanyl to Kill 6 Million People

File photo of pills laced with fentanyl.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A joint investigation involving the DEA netted 16 arrests in New York City and the discovery of cocaine, heroin and enough fentanyl to kill 6 million people, NBC New York reports

DEA agents and local police seized a whopping 25 pounds of fentanyl, a deadly opioid that is resulting in an alarming number of overdoses nationwide.

“This investigation helped shut down a multi-state narcotics operation that dealt in cocaine, heroin and deadly fentanyl,” said NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill. “If these defendants thought they could hide behind a call-in drug delivery service they underestimated the reach of the Bronx District Attorney’s Office and the DEA Strike Force.”

The drugs were smuggled from Florida and other areas and then sold in the Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester County and New Jersey.

The investigation was handled by DEA New York Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Strike Force, a team of federal and local law enforcement agencies.

Other Stories of Interest

Washington Post Writer: Time to Remove J. Edgar Hoover’s Name from FBI Headquarters

The FBI’s current headquarters in Washington D.C., named after J. Edgar Hoover.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

It’s time to remove J. Edgar Hoover’s name from the FBI’s headquarters in Washington D.C.

So argues Washington Post opinion writer Richard Cohen, who called the bureau’s first director a “racist, anti-communist zealot, who, in the name of God and the American flag, set out to destroy Martin Luther King Jr.” 

Cohen points out that other monuments bearing the names of offensive historic figures, like Robert E. Lee, are being removed.

Much of Hoover’s legacy is odious, and it is repellent to honor it anywhere,” Cohen wrote, noting that Washington D.C. is 48% black.

“Yet Hoover reigns unnoticed and unprotested, as if his attempts to destroy King did not matter.”

Apple Served Search Warrant for iPhone of Church Shooter, But Case Unlikely to Go Federal

Church shooter Devin Kelley

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Texas law enforcement has served Apple with a search warrant for data stored on the blood-splattered iPhone used by the gunman in the Texas church shooting that killed 26 people earlier this month.

But the Washington Post reports it’s unlikely the FBI will take the case to federal court, like it did over the locked phone of a terrorist in San Bernardino, because authorities believe Devin Patrick Kelly acted alone and was not tied to terrorists. 

Nevertheless, Texas Rangers served a search warrant to obtain digital photos, messages, documents and other types of data from Kelly’s phone, a second mobile device found near his body and the gunman’s iCloud account, the San Antonio Express-News reports.

It’s unclear whether Apple will comply with the warrant or fight it like the company had in the San Bernardino case.

At the point, the feds are unlikely to make it a federal case.

“We do have a role in supporting the locals, but it’s not in FBI’s wheelhouse to run this case,‘‘ said one law enforcement official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the probe is ongoing. “It’s more of a local investigation at this point.”

Border Patrol Agent Killed in Likely ‘Ambush,’ Beaten to Death by Rocks

File photo of a Border Patrol vehicle, via Wikipedia.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Border Patrol agent who was killed in southwest Texas was likely “ambushed” and beaten to death by rocks, according to the president of the National Border Patrol Council.

Another agent was seriously injured and remains in the hospital following the attack on Sunday.

Rogelio Martinez, 36, and his partner were patrolling the Big Bend Sector when they came under attack by a group of illegal immigrant, Brandon Judd, president of the labor union, said.

“I have been told by several agents that it was a grisly scene, and that his injuries were very extensive,” Judd said Monday in a phone interview with The Washington Post. “We believe he was struck in the head with rocks, or multiple rocks.” 

Both agents received blunt force trauma to the head.

“There were no indications the agents fired their weapons,” Judd told Fox News. 

The FBI is now investigating the assault.

Details remain murky because Customs and Border Protection has yet to disclose what happened.

The agents were patrolling near Interstate 10, in the Van Horn Station area, when they were alerted to illegal immigrant traffic.

Records: Jack Ruby Told FBI Informant to ‘Watch the Fireworks’ Hours Before JFK’s Assassination

John F. Kennedy, via White House archives.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Jack Ruby, who would shoot and kill Lee Harvey Oswald, told an FBI informant to “watch the fireworks” just hours before the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, according to newly released JFK files.

The interaction between Ruby and FBI informant Bob Vanderslice wasn’t relayed to the FBI until March 1977, nearly 14 years after Kennedy was shot, the Independent reports

“The informant stated that on the morning of the assassination, Ruby contacted him and asked if he would ‘like to watch the fireworks’,” the FBI record stated.

“He was with Jack Ruby and standing at the corner of the Postal Annex Building facing the Texas School Book Depository Building, at the time of the shooting.

“Immediately after the shooting, Ruby left and headed toward the area of the Dallas Morning News Building, without saying anything to him.”

Ruby died in jail in 1967.

FBI Releases Mysterious Letter Reportedly from Notorious Hijacker D.B. Cooper

FBI sketch of D.B. Cooper

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The mystery man known as D.B. Cooper sent a letter to newspapers after he parachuted from a plane in 1971 with $200,000 in ransom money.

The letter was among newly released documents about the hijacking case, which marks the 46th anniversary this week, Fox News reports

“I knew from the start that I wouldn’t be caught,” the typewritten letter reads.

“I didn’t rob Northwest Orient because I thought it would be romantic, heroic or any of the other euphemisms that seem to attach themselves to situations of high risk,” he continued.

He added: “I’m no modern-day Robin Hood. Unfortunately (I) do have only 14 months to live.”

Tom Colbert, a Los Angeles TV film producer, said he believes the letter is legitimate.

“We have no doubt it’s from Cooper and the reason is that he cites he left no fingerprints on the plane,” he said. “The reason that’s critical is because it’s absolutely true.”

Cooper, who is not the real name of the suspect, released passengers and crew members and then ordered the pilots to fly to Mexico. While in the sky, Cooper parachuted out the back door over Washington state.

The FBI ended its investigation last year without identifying the hijacker, acknowledging that suspect may have died during the treacherous jump.