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Tag: Capitol Hill

Special Counsel Mueller Taps Stephen Kelly to Serve As Liaison to Capitol Hill

US CapitolBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Special Counsel Robert Mueller has added another expert to his team.

Stephen Kelly, who formerly served as the longtime congressional affairs chief for the FBI, has been brought on as liaison to Capitol Hill, The Daily Beast reports. 

“Stephen Kelly is exactly who I would hire if I wanted to share as little information with Congress as possible,” a Hill staffer said.

Kelly will serve an important role because several Capitol Hill committees are investigating Russia’s role in the 2016 presidential election, and the similar probes have caused officials to butt heads now and again.

Not everyone is pleased.

“We think he’s an asshole,” said a source from a Capitol Hill committee that works closely with the Mueller probe. “It’s unfortunate because the relations with Mueller’s legal team are otherwise strong. The lawyers on each side have worked in the same space for years.”

Other Stories of Interest

Secret Service Director Defends Subordinates on Capitol Hill Following High Profile Mishaps

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Secret Service’s first female director was on Capitol Hill on Tuesday to discuss the misbehavior of her male subordinates.

CNN reports that Secret Service Director Julia Pierson brushed off allegations of widespread problems among employees, saying  recent highly publicized allegations were unusual.

“These are isolated incidents of misconduct and we’re working every day to correct our behavior,” Pierson told reporters Tuesday after leaving a closed meeting with top senators on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

Three agents were recently sent home after they were found drunk at a hotel in the Netherlands.

“We’re human and we make mistakes,” Pierson said when asked why the agency continues to be plagued by such problems.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST


High Ranking Justice Dept. Official Suggested Letting Guns Walk, Emails Show

Lanny Breuer

By The Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Newly released Justice Department emails sent to Capitol Hill for a congressional inquiry into a gun-smuggling operation indicate that the head of the department’s criminal division suggested letting some illicit “straw” weapons buyers in the U.S. transport their guns across the border into Mexico where they could be arrested.

According to the emails turned over to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Friday night, the Justice official, Lanny Breuer, made the suggestion to Mexican officials because it “may send a strong message to arms traffickers.”

Mexico has stringent gun control laws with long prison terms as opposed to the U.S., where small-time “straw” buyers working for major arms traffickers seldom face jail time.

To read more click here.

 

Kashmir Lobbyist on Pakistan Payroll Expected to Plead Guilty

istock photo

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

A former capitol hill lobbyist for disputed Kashmir territory between India and Pakistan is expected to plead guilty to federal charged on Wednesday, reports the Washington Post.

Syed Ghulam Nabi Fai, executive director of the Kashmiri American Council at the time of his July arrest, is accused of secretly receiving millions of dollars from Pakistan’s spy service while lobbying on the hill. His hearing is scheduled for Wednesday at a US District Court in Alexandria. U.S. officials over the past many months has accused the spy service of helping the Taliban and even hiding Osama bin Laden.

An FBI affidavit claims Pakistani intelligence paid Fai $500,000 to $700,000, but he never disclosed that while serving as a supposed independent lobbyist. He has been charged with conspiracy to act as an unregistered foreign agent.

To read more click here.

Secret Service Leaves Little to Chance When the Prez Stops in for Lunch

Pres. Obama eats with advisors at another D.C. eatery earlier this month/white house photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

When you’re President and you just happened to drop by a little lunch spot for a bite to eat, the Secret Service leaves little to chance.

The website TMZ reports that the Secret Service on Wednesday swept through Ted’s Bulletin restaurant on 8th Street SE on Capitol Hill  in D.C. with a K-9 unit  before President Obama stopped in and surprised a group of campaign volunteers.

The website reported that the restaurant was closed to the public.

By the way, the website reported that the President ordered up a plain cheeseburger, fries, and side salad and washed it down with water.

He then picked up the tab for the group and paid for the $200-plus lunch with a credit card.

In the photo above, the President was eating with advisors at the Good Stuff Eatery on Pennsylvania Avenue SE on Capitol Hill  on Aug. 3.

FBI Says Violent Threats Against Lawmakers Set Record in 2010

house photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Politics can be a dirty game. It can also be a dangerous one.

The FBI reports that lawmakers were the target of more threats of violence in 2010 than in any other year on record, according to The Hill, a Capitol Hill newspaper.

Some threats involved health care legislation, The Hill reported. And politicians from both sides of the isle were targets including Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

The Hill reported the FBI opened, investigated and closed at least 26 threats against lawmakers.

Last March, The Hill reported, Pelosi got a call from a man who said: “I’m going to come down there and put a bullet in your a– when you leave.”

A McConnell staff member got a call last year from someone who said: “I’m going to kill you and your senator and your staff.”

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Wise-Cracking Mike Stenger of U.S. Secret Service Hanging it Up

Stenger overshadowed by a more youthful look/ticklethewire.com

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Mike Stenger, the wise-cracking, New Jersey bred, 35-year veteran of the U.S. Secret Service whose protective details included President Reagan, Jesse Jackson and Egypt President Anwar Sadat, is hanging up his badge and gun. Friday is his last day.

At a retirement party Thursday at Secret Service headquarters in downtown Washington, Stenger, the assistant director of government and public affairs, delivered a vintage Stenger speech sprinkled with jokes and wise cracks  and shout outs to the many folks he worked with over the years.

Secret Service Dir. Keith Prewitt

Secret Service Dep. Director Kevin Prewitt with Stenger

Secret Service Dir. Mark Sullivan with Stenger

A number of people spoke  including  Secret Service director Mark Sullivan, deputy director Keith Prewitt and Thomas  Harrigan, assistant administrator, chief of operations for DEA.   Agency representatives from the Justice Department, Interpol and Royal Mounted Canadian Police also gave presentations, and his family, including his wife of 38 years, was on hand.

DEA's Harrigan with Stenger

One of the more surprising moments came when a recording was played to the crowd. It was the voice of   Tony Sirico who played “Paulie Walnuts” in the Sopranos. He’s a friend of Stengers.

“I love you, you’re the best,” Sirico said. “They’re losing a good one. You’re top shelf.” Then he signed off with a “badda bing.”

Stenger is going up to Capitol Hill to become assistant Sergeant of Arms for Intelligence and Protective Services for the U.S. Senate. He held a number of posts over the years including special agent in charge of the Washington Field Office.

Lobbyist Indictment Reminder of the Ugly Side of Washington

Tony Soprano

Tony Soprano

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — It was TV mobster Tony Soprano who once muttered: “‘I dunno about morals, but I do got rules.’

Certainly the same could be said for some of the politicians and lobbyists on the Capitol Hill, who never seem to let us down when it comes to perpetuating the unsavory stereotypes of official Washington.

The latest reminder of all of this came Thursday when the feds in Alexandria, Va., indicted Paul J. Magliocchetti, a powerful ex-lobbyist, who is accused of funneling hundreds of thousands of dollars in “laundered campaign contributions to lawmakers, using straw donors and other illicit means to disguise the source of the money,” the New York Times reported. He ran the now defunct PMA Group.

The Times said the indictment of Magliocchetti, a protege of the late Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.), could open the door for the ex-lobbyist to provide evidence against crooked members of Congress.

Could this be the makings of another Jack Abramoff scandal?