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Tag: donald trump

Trump’s Threats of Large-Scale ICE Raids Never Materialized

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump threatened mass roundups of undocumented immigrants over the weekend, but nothing remotely close to that happened.

There were only scattered reports of ICE raids in New York City and a small town in Florida.

Raids expected in major cities, including Houston, Los Angeles, Chicago, Phoenix, Denver, Philadelphia and Atlanta, never happened, at least not on a large scale. Many of those cities only saw large protests, which underscore the anxiety nationwide as immigrant communities grapple with what’s next.

Mayors in Los Angeles and New York City criticized Trump’s threats.

“Here’s the blunt truth: @realDonaldTrump isn’t trying to ‘secure our borders.’ He’s trying to make America HATE again,” New York Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted.

Ice declined to comment on the raids – or lack of them.

“As always, ICE prioritizes the arrest and removal of unlawfully present aliens who pose a threat to national security, public safety and border security,” an ICE spokeswoman told The Wall Street Journal.

White House officials walked back some of the threats of large-scale raids.

“I take issue with the word ‘raids,’” Stephanie Grisham, the White House press secretary and communications director, said Sunday. “These are law enforcement officials carrying out law enforcement operations as they have done in the past and will continue to do.”

Trump Profits from Secret Service Agents Who Protect Him

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump is profiting from the Secret Service agents who protect him.

In his first year as president, the Secret Service was charged more than $200,000 for using the Trump International Hotel, which is just five blocks from the White House, according to documents obtained by NBC.

One of the bills exceeded $30,000 for just two days of use by the Secret Service.

The Secret Service declined to discuss the bills.

Some critics have claimed Trump has violated the Constitution’s emoluments clause, which makes it illegal for federal officials to accept benefits from foreign or state governments without congressional approval.

Trump’s financial disclosure forms show his hotel generated more than $40.8 million in revenue in 2018, compared to $40.4 million in 2017.

FBI’s Ex-Top Lawyer Blasts Trump for Claiming Mueller Broke the Law without Evidence

President Trump

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The FBI’s former top lawyer blasted President Trump for claiming without evidence that Robert Mueller committed a crime by deleting text messages between two FBI employees.

James Baker, who was the FBI’s general counsel during the Russia investigation, said Trump’s accusations were “unacceptable.”

“Accusing Americans of crimes without a factual basis and having him just pronounce this is just unacceptable,” Baker said on CNN. “If the president thinks that Robert Mueller committed a crime, then he should direct the attorney general to conduct an investigation and then not talk about it.”

The accusations come less than 24 hours after Mueller agreed to testify before two House committees. Mueller was reluctant but said he would after receiving subpoenas.

“Mueller terminated them illegally. He terminated all of the emails,” Trump said in an interview with Fox Business. “Robert Mueller terminated their text messages together. He terminated them. They’re gone. And that’s illegal. That’s a crime.”

Trump was referring to text messages between former FBI agent Peter Strzok and former FBI lawyer Lisa Page, who were involved in a romantic relationship and swapped disparaging remarks about the president.

Insider points out that thousands of those text messages were released last year by the Justice Department’s Inspector General. A technical glitch resulted in an additional 19,000 text messages being erased.

Reluctant Mueller to Testify Before House Committees; Trump Declares ‘Presidential Harassment’

Special counsel Robert Mueller. Photo via FBI.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Former special counsel Robert Mueller has reluctantly agreed to testify in open session before Congress on July 17.

Mueller will appear before the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees after being issued a subpoena to discuss the Russia investigation.

Mueller undoubtedly will be questioned about evidence that President Trump obstructed justice. In his final report, Mueller documented 10 instances of Trump trying to thwart the investigation. But Mueller did not conclude whether the president’s actions amounted to a crime, citing a Justice Department policy preventing the indictment of a sitting president.

The decision to press forward belongs to Congress.

Last month, Mueller insisted he would not testify.

“Any testimony from this office would not go beyond our report,” Mueller said on May 29. “It contains our findings and analysis, and the reasons for the decisions we made. We chose those words carefully, and the work speaks for itself. The report is my testimony. I would not provide information beyond that which is already public in any appearance before Congress.”

In a letter to Mueller on Tuesday, Reps. Jarrold Nadler, D-N.Y., and Adam Schiff, D-Calif., chairman of the committees, addressed the special counsel’s reluctance to testify.

“The American public deserves to hear directly from you about your investigation and conclusions,” the chairmen wrote. “We will work with you to address legitimate concerns about preserving the integrity of your work, but we expect that you will appear before our committees as scheduled.”

After the announcement of Mueller’s plans to testify, Trump tweeted, “Presidential Harassment.”

The hearings could accelerate impeachment proceedings in the House.

Trump Won’t Say If He Has Confidence in FBI Director Wray

FBI Director Christopher Wray in Atlanta. Photo via FBI.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump would not say whether he has confidence in his FBI Director Christopher Wray during an interview with The Hill.

The president also emphasized that he disagrees with Wray’s opinion that FBI agents didn’t spy on his 2016 campaign.

Wray told Congress in May he would not describe FBI investigations as “spying” when asked about Attorney General Bill Bar’s assertion that federal law enforcement officials “spied” on the Trump campaign.

“I mean, I disagree with him on that and I think a lot of people are disagreeing,” Trump told The Hill. “You may even disagree with him on that.”

When asked about his level of confidence in his FBI director, Trump said, “Well, we’ll see how it turns out.”

Trump’s response raised eyebrows because he fired then-FBI Director James Comey in April 2017, a decision that led to the appointment of Robert Mueller as special counsel.

Later, Trump’s first attorney general, Jeff Sessions, fired then-acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe.

Comic Publisher to Transform Mueller Report into a Graphic Novel

Special Counsel Robert Mueller, via FBI.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

It’s not easy getting Americans to read Robert Mueller’s dense, 450-page report.

A San Diego-based comic publisher may have found a way to make it more digestible – turning the dense report into a graphic novel half its size.

IDW Publishing is planning to publish an illustrated version of the report, which is the result of a two-year investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election. Spoiler alert: Mueller does not exonerate Trump of obstruction of justice.

Shannon Wheeler, an award-winning New Yorker cartoonist, is drawing the illustrations. The graphic novel is being written by veteran journalist Steve Duin.

IDW Publishing brands the graphic novel as “a comprehensive, understandable, and readable graphic novel version of the book every patriot needs.”

“Shannon and Steve have done an incredible job taking the rotten ingredients catalogued by Robert Mueller and turning them into a delicious satirical feast,” the book’s editor, Justin Eisinger, said. “It’s funny. It’s maddening. But it’s a great resource for anyone that wants to be informed about the findings of the most important law enforcement document created in our lifetime.”

Here’s how the publisher describes the book:

See Trump berate his Attorney General. Watch a petulant Commander-in-Chief lob insults at the White House counsel. Witness the “witch hunt” as it happened, cataloged as only the top lawman in the country could!

This staggering laundry list of questionable contacts, misleading statements, unreported engagements, and possible coordination — enough to stun any student of the U.S. Constitution — is laid bare with a cold, satirical edge.

You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. You may Tweet in anger. But most importantly, you will be reading the report for yourself!

Trump Pledges to Deport ‘Millions’ of Undocumented Immigrants

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump warned Monday night that ICE will be deporting “millions” of undocumented immigrants beginning next week.

“Next week ICE will begin the process of removing the millions of illegal aliens who have illicitly found their way into the United States. They will be removed as fast as they come in,” Trump tweeted.

The announcement came one day before Trump is expected to announce his re-election bid.

An administration official told The Associated Press that the deportation will target more than 1 million people who remain at large after receiving final deportation orders by federal judges.

The threat of mass arrests prompted many on Twitter to compare the actions to Kristallnacht, a reference to Nazis rounding up tens of thousands of Jewish people and taking them to concentration camps. Others said the comparison is offensive to Jews who ended up massacred and their communities burned.

Whatever the case, mass arrests by ICE typically aren’t announced.

House Dems Expect to Hold AG Barr in Contempt This Week over Mueller Report

Attorney General Barr testifying Wednesday on Capitol Hill.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The Democrat-controlled House of Representatives is expected to vote Tuesday to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress after he refused to turn over unredacted copies of the Robert Mueller report.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., issued a subpoena for the records, but Barr rejected it, and the White House invoked executive privilege over the document.

House Democrats also are expected Tuesday to support holding former White House counsel Don McGhan in contempt for refusing to testify before Congress or disclose documents. The White House has invoked executive privilege to prevent McGhan from testifying or releasing documents.

Democrats believe they have the votes to hold both men in contempt, which would enable the House members to file lawsuits in hopes that a judge will order Barr and McGhan to comply.

What’s unclear is how long it would take for a lawsuit to wend its way through the court systems.