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News Story

Warrants Shows How Far FBI Went To Get Into Michael Cohen’s Cell Phone

Longtime Trump attorney Michael Cohen.

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A search warrant for Michael Cohen’s properties included some pretty interesting orders to get into his cell phone.

CNN reports:

 In one warrant application for Cohen, an FBI agent requested authorization “to press the fingers (including thumbs) of Cohen to the Touch ID sensors of the Subject Devices, or hold the Subject Devices in front of Cohen’s face, for the purpose of attempting to unlock the Subject Devices via Touch ID or Face ID.”

One warrant requested not simply access to three of Cohen’s Gmail accounts, as well as other email accounts, but also some of the wide array of information Google keeps for its users by default, including search history, web cookies associated with an account, device information, and a host of other metadata categories.

Warrant Shows FBI Was Looking Into Michael Cohen Long Before 2018 Raid

Michael Cohen, former attorney for President Trump.

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A search warrant released Tuesday shows that the FBI had been looking into attorney Michael Cohen since July 2017, long before agents raided his Manhattan home and office in April 2018, NBC News reports.  

The FBI raid netted more than 4 million electronic and paper files.

U.S. District Judge William H. Pauley III ordered the warrant released with redactions after media organizations including The Associated Press requested it be made public.

Staten Island Man Charged in Murder of Gambino Crime Boss Frank Cali

Anthony Comello

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Anthony Comello, 24, of Staten Island man, has been arrested in the execution-style killing of Gambino crime family boss Frank Cali last week outside of his Staten Island home, the New York Daily News reports.

Comello was arrested down the Jersey Shore.

One motive may have been that Comello was angry that Cali was preventing him from seeing his niece.

But NYPD Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea said he hadn’t ruled out that Comello was working with others.

“Let me reiterate this (investigation) is far from over,” said Shea. “Was he acting alone? Was he acting for other people? Were others involved? What was the motive? I do not have all the answers for you.”

Police days earlier had said they were not ruling out the possibility that just-out-of-prison Gene Gotti, brother of the late John Gotti, was involved.

Attorney General William Barr Wants to Return To Basics After Stormy Times

Trump’s attorney general pick, William Barr.

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

These have not been easy times for the Justice Department, which has seen two attorney generals fired by President Donald Trump.

So, Attorney Gen. William Barr has the tall task of establishing stability.

Del Quentin Wilber of the Los Angeles Times writes:

In his first month in office, Atty. Gen. William Barr has sent a reassuring message to the beleaguered Justice Department — he wants a return to basics after years of disruptive firings, tweet storms and scandals.

In briefings, Barr has asked detailed questions about cases, suspects and legal arguments. He has wandered his fifth-floor hallway to converse about the law.

And he declined the traditional “clap in” where a newly confirmed attorney general walks through the building and subordinates applaud. Instead, Barr held a three-hour reception in his conference room.

Ex-FBI Assistant Director: Trump Did Right Thing By Calling For Release of Mueller Report

Chris Swecker

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Chris E. Swecker, who retired from the FBI as an assistant director of the Criminal Investigative Division, and currently practices law in North Carolina, endorses the idea of publicly releasing the Mueller report.

In a guest column on Fox News’ website, Swecker writes:

President Trump did the right thing Saturday by calling for the public release of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report examining Russia’s interference in our 2016 presidential election and allegations of Trump campaign cooperation with Russia.

Unlike Democrats in the House of Representatives – who are preparing so-called investigations that will be political theater to fuel their 2020 election ambitions – Mueller is conducting a serious probe. The special counsel’s investigation began in May 2017 and is now apparently drawing to a close.

The American people have a right to know what Mueller finds. More than $25 million collected from our taxes has been spent on his investigation. Although the president has frequently denounced the Mueller probe as a “witch hunt” – and called it “illegal” and “conflicted” Friday – he still said the report should be released.

 

Ex-U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara Thinks the Mueller Probe Isn’t Ready to Conclude

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Speculation about  when the Mueller probe will come to an end has heated up. It could be any time now, people inside the Beltway say.

But former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara of New York sees it differently.

On Sunday, Bharara said it doesn’t appear that special counsel Robert Mueller is finishing up his probe.

“I’m an outsider now, and I don’t still run the Southern District of New York, and I’m not aware of what’s going on with various investigations that sometimes intersect with the special counsel’s investigation,” Bharara said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

“But I think people should view with some skepticism the notion that gets breathlessly reported every week that the Mueller investigation is coming to an end.”

Authorities Search for ‘Substantial’ Number of Firearms Stolen From ATF Facility in West Virginia

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Federal authorities are searching for a “substantial” number of firearms and gun parts stolen from a government disposal facility in Martinsburg, W.Va., USA Today reports.

Christopher Yates, a security contractor assigned to the ATF  repository in West Virginia, has been charged in connection with the missing weapons and parts.

Yates has allegedly acknowledged transferring at least some of the stolen property to an unidentified person Maryland.

 

Trump Claims Sen. John McCain Gave Controversial Dossier to FBI & Media to Sink His Campaign

President Donald Trump

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

President Donald Trump continues to stir up controversy via Twitter.

On Sunday, he accused the late Sen. John McCain in a tweet of working with the Democrats during the 2016 presidential election by giving the Christopher Steele dossier to the FBI and media to help sink his campaign,  the Washington Times reports.

Several reports say McCain didn’t hand over the dossier to the FBI until after the 2016 election.  It was circulated to the media through one of McCain’s aides, David Kramer, after the election, the Times reports.

Trump has denied the allegations contained in the controversial document.