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Tag: donald trump

Michael Flynn Wants to Withdraw His 2017 Guilty Plea in Mueller Probe

Former National Security Adviser Michael T. Flynn

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

President Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn wants to withdraw his guilty plea to lying to the FBI during the special counsel investigation into Russian interference, his lawyers said in a court filing obtained by Reuters.

Flynn’s change of heart comes after federal prosecutors reversed course and called for up to six months in prison for Flynn, the only member of the Trump administration to plead guilty in the Robert Mueller probe.

The prosecutors called for the stiffer sentence after Flynn began arguing that prosecutors violated his rights.

Flynn pleaded guilty in 2017 to lying to the FBI about interactions with Russia’s ambassador to the U.S.

Carla Provost, First Woman to Lead Border Patrol, Is Retiring

Border Patrol Chief Carla Provost.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Carla Provost, the first woman to lead the U.S. Border Patrol and one of the longest serving members of President Trump’s administration, is about to step down.

The 50-year-old planned to retire in December but stayed on amid infighting over her replacement, The Washington Examiner first reported.

Provost, who began her career with the agency in 1995, became acting chief in April 2017 until the post was made permanent in August 2018. Her leadership came at one of the most contentious times for the Border Patrol, which continues to come under immense fire for its handling of families of undocumented immigrants.

Her replacement will be Rodney Scott, a 27-year agent who was serving as acting deputy chief since October.

Secret Service Arrests Man Who Threatened to Kill Trump on a Live Facebook Video

Chauncy Lump

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The Secret Service says a South Florida security guard was arrested for threatening to kill President Trump on Facebook live.

Chauncy Lump, 26, is accused of making the threat on Friday while wearing a towel “wrapped like a turban” over his head, wearing white cream on his face, and holding what appeared to be a “loaded AK-47,” according to a federal criminal complaint obtained by The Miami Herald.

In the live video, Lump allegedly made several “explicit threats to kill and/or inflict bodily harm upon the President of the United States,” for killing his “leader,” wrote Special Agent Lucas White in the complaint.

If he couldn’t find Trump, Lump allegedly said he would “blow up” Broward County.

Deputies identified Lump, who went by the name “BlackMan Vs America on Facebook,” using public databases. Secret Service agents and deputies showed up to Lump’s apartment and arrested him.

While in custody, Lump said the threat was in response to the killing of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani in a drone strike, according to the complaint.

Read the federal complaint here.

Secret Service Not Laughing at Comedian George Lopez’s Comment about Trump

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The Secret Service isn’t laughing at comedian George Lopez’s joke about assassinating President Trump.

Lopez commented on a media account that indicated there was an $80 million bounty on Trump’s head after the assassination of Iranian Maj. Qasem Soleimani.

“We’ll do it for half,” Lopez wrote on the Chicago Worldstar post.

“The Secret Service is aware of the tweet made by Mr. Lopez,” agency said in a statement Tuesday. “The Secret Service takes all threats against the president and or any of our protectees seriously, and as a matter of practice, we do not comment on matters involving protective intelligence.”

It’s unclear whether the Secret Service plans to interview Lopez.

Federal Prosecutors Reverse Course, Call for 6 Months in Jail for Michael Flynn

Former National Security Adviser Michael T. Flynn

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Federal prosecutors are now calling for up to six months in prison for Michael Flynn, saying the former Trump national security adviser shows no signs of remorse after embracing a combative defense strategy.

The Justice Department initially suggested it was open to probation for Flynn, the only member of the Trump administration to plead guilty in the Robert Mueller investigation. At the time Flynn was cooperating with investigators. But after that, Flynn took a different course and tried in vein to get the case dismissed.

“Far from accepting the consequences of his unlawful actions, he has sought to blame almost every other person and entity involved in his case, including his former counsel,” federal prosecutors wrote in a memo to U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan. “Most blatantly, the defendant now professes his innocence.”

The sentencing hearing is set for Jan. 28.

Republican Congressman Calls for Secret Service Probe of Christmas Card Depicting an Assassinated Trump

Hustler Christmas card.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A Republican lawmaker wants the Secret Service to investigate Christmas cards sent to members of Congress depicting a cartoon of an assassinated President Trump.

The card shows smiling people, including Santa, surrounding Trump’s dead, bleeding body. On the back of the card, the shooter says in a thought bubble, “I just shot Donald Trump on Fifth Avenue. And no one arrested me.”

The quote is a reference to Trump bragging during the 2016 presidential campaign that “I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose any voters, OK?”

A Politico reporter confirmed the card was sent by Hustler Magazine.

On Twitter, Rep. Mike Johnson of Louisiana posted a picture of the card Thursday and called for a Secret Service investigation.

“Here’s all you need to know about the radical Left,” Johnson tweeted. “A young staffer of mine opened this in a stack of holiday mail today. Just imagine if a conservative had distributed such a disgusting and hateful piece about a Democrat. I hope this will be investigated by the @secretservice.”

AG William Barr Contradicts Past Statements about FBI by Defending the Bureau

AG William Barr in Detroit, via DOJ.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Attorney General William Barr is sending mixed messages about the FBI.

After Barr blasted the bureau’s handling of the Russia and Trump campaign investigation, he fully endorsed the FBI at a news conference in Detroit.

“There is no finer law enforcement agency in the world than the FBI,” Barr said in Detroit, standing next to FBI Director Christopher Wray. “I am very grateful to the leadership being provided by Chris Wray.”

Barr’s comments about the bureau are in stark contrast to his and Trump’s recent rhetoric following the DOJ’s inspector general’s report that concluded the FBI acted appropriately in investigating Trump’s campaign.

Here’s what Barr said about the FBI last week: “I think there were gross abuses …and inexplicable behavior that is intolerable in the FBI,” Barr said. “I think that leaves open the possibility that there was bad faith.”

Rick Gates Sentenced to 45 Days in Jail for Lying to FBI, Conspiring to Conceal Money

Former Trump campaign aide Rick Gates with Trump.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Former Trump campaign aide Rick Gates was sentenced Tuesday to 45 days in jail and three years probation for lying to the FBI and conspiring to conceal tens of millions of dollars.

Gates, 47, had faced up to six years in prison, but a federal judge in Washington D.C. showed leniency because of Gates’ help providing information for the special counsel probe.

“He’s had to testify, be identified as a known cooperator in the glare of public attention at a time of deep political division in our society, when people are demonized for being on the other side, and he was seen as turning on his own side,” U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson said, The New York Times reports. “Gates’ information alone warranted, even demanded further investigation from the standpoint of national security, the integrity of our elections and enforcing criminal laws.”

Gates, who pleaded guilty in February 2018, will be able to serve his sentence on weekends, the judge said. Gates also was ordered to pay a $20,000 fine and perform 300 hours of community service.

“I greatly regret the mistakes that I have made, and I have worked hard to honor my commitment to make amends,” Gates said in a prepared statement.

In a sentencing recommendation, Assistant U.S. Attorney Molly Gaston complimented Gates for his assistance in the investigation.

“Under exceedingly difficult circumstances and under intense public scrutiny, Gates has worked earnestly to provide the government with everything it has asked of him and has fulfilled all obligations under his plea agreement,” Gaston wrote this month.

Gates’ attorney, Thomas Green, asked for probation and community service for his client.