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Tag: election

Sen. Bernie Sanders Calls for Dismantling ICE, CBP And Pausing Deportations

Sen. Bernie Sanders at a Detroit rally. Photo by Steve Neavling.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders unveiled his immigration plans Thursday, calling for a moratorium on deportations and an end to ICE raids and President Trump’s “racist and ineffective” wall at the U.S.-Mexico border.

The long-anticipated plan, entitled “A Welcoming and Safe America for All,” pushes for a pathway to citizenship and says “Trump has manufactured” a humanitarian crisis at the border.

Sanders also wants to dismantle ICE and CBP and “redistribute their functions to their proper authorities.” To do so, Sanders is calling for the restructuring of the Department of Homeland Security, an agency that the Vermont senator voted against in 2002.

Under the plan, the Justice Department would once again handled deportation, enforcement and border authority. The Treasury Department would take over customs. And the State Department would handle naturalization and citizenship authority.

If elected, Sanders says he will “end the barbaric practice of ripping children from their parents and locking children in cages” on his first day in office.

Sanders also pledges to end Trump’s “racist and disgusting Muslim ban and instruct DOJ to drop any litigation or funding restrictions relating to sanctuary cities.”

Bernie Sanders Proposes barring ‘Disreputable’ Law Enforcement Officials from Testifying in Court

Bernie Sanders

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders unveiled a sweeping criminal justice reform plan that includes a proposal aimed at “disreputable” federal law enforcement officials.

Sanders is calling for the creation of a list of “disreputable” federal law enforcement officials who would be barred from testifying in court so testimony from untrustworthy sources does not lead to criminal convictions.”

Sanders also proposed providing “financial support to pilot local and state level no-call lists.”

The plan does not specify the process of deeming law enforcement officials as “disreputable.”

Sanders’ nearly 6,000-word reform plan also calls for cutting the country’s prison population in half and purging the criminal justice system of “institutional racism and corporate profiteering.”

Sex Coaches Jailed in Thailand Claim to Have Evidence of Russian Interference in Election

Russian leader Vladimir Putin

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

The FBI has tried to arrange a meeting with two self-proclaimed “sex coaches” housed in a Thai jail over claims that they have information about Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election.

FBI agents attempted to set up a meeting with Anastasia Vashukevich and Alexander Kirillov, both Belarusian citizens, but the bureau was rebuffed by Thai officials who insist only the detainees’ lawyers and family members are allowed to have access to them, CNN reported Tuesday

The U.S. Embassy in Bangkok received handwritten letters last month from the women, who offered to provide evidence of Russian meddling in exchange for asylum.

The women were arrested along with other Russian-Speaking sex coaches at a seminar in Thailand last month.

Vashukevich claims to be a former mistress of a Russian oligarch with close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin. In the letter, she said she witnessed meetings between the oligarch, Oleg Deripaska, and unidentified Americans in 2016 and 2017.

Deripaska denies the affair.

Read: 37-Page Indictment of Russians Interfering with U.S. Elections

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein

The Justice Department on Friday announced the indictments of 13 Russians and three Russian groups accused of waging a sophisticated, covert propaganda campaign to help get Donald Trump elected.

Special counsel Robert Mueller unveiled the 37-page indictment, which you can read here. 

Special counsel Robert Mueller

The indictment alleges the Russians stole the identities of Americans, spread falsehoods on social media, staged political rallies and exploited flashpoint issues, such as race, immigration and religion, to sow divisions.

“The indictment alleges that the Russian conspirators want to promote discord in the United States and undermine public confidence in democracy,” Rod  Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general overseeing the investigation, said in a brief news conference announcing the charges. “We must not allow them to succeed.”

The indictment amounted to a detailed rebuttal of President Trump’s claims that Russian interference was a “hoax” peddled by the “fake news.”

FBI: U.S. Should Have Foreseen Russia’s Meddling in Election

FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe

FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

U.S. authorities should have foreseen Russia’s efforts to meddle in the presidential election because of the Kremlin’s actions in the past, said FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.

While the extent of Russia’s involvement was surprising “in some ways,” McCabe said the intelligence community had plenty of reasons to be suspicious.

“The fact is, the Russians have been targeting us with everything they have over the last 50 years,” McCabe said, CNN reports. “We sort of should have seen this coming.”

Whatever the case, McCabe said investigators will ensure Russia “pays” for its actions.

But that doesn’t mean the U.S. will be able to stop Russia in the future.

“The experience in the 2016 elections allowed us to diagnose the problem,” McCabe said. “Have we cured it yet? Absolutely not.”

Russia Targeted at Least 21 States in Hacking Scheme During 2016 Election

Cyber crime expert, via FBI.

Cyber crime expert, via FBI.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Homeland Security alerted 21 states that Russian tried to hack their election systems in 2016.

Some of the states were critical battlegrounds in the presidential election, including Pennsylvania, Florida, Ohio, Wisconsin, Iowa and Arizona, according to the Washington Post

Homeland Security didn’t release details or say whether the hacking attempts were successful.

“We need Congress and the president to help states with their security systems for elections and ensure funding for more secure equipment where needed, and we need it to happen now,” Connecticut Secretary of State Denise Merrill (D) said. “Rather than investigating this attack on our democracy from a hostile foreign power, the Trump administration has formed a commission to prove that he won the popular vote, an idea that has been entirely discredited by numerous studies.

At least one state’s election system was breached, according to Bloomberg

In early July 2016, a contractor who works two or three days a week at the state board of elections detected unauthorized data leaving the network, according to Ken Menzel, general counsel for the Illinois board of elections. The hackers had gained access to the state’s voter database, which contained information such as names, dates of birth, genders, driver’s licenses and partial Social Security numbers on 15 million people, half of whom were active voters. As many as 90,000 records were ultimately compromised.

Russian Cyberattacks on Election Systems Adds Pressure to Homeland Security

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Mounting evidence that Russia used cyberattacks to impact the presidential election has turned up the heat on Homeland Security to protect America’s democratic system from hackers.

Homeland Security officials told the Senate Intelligence Committee last week that they have evidence to suggest Russian operatives targeted election systems in 21 states.

The Hill reports that lawmakers are urging the department to help states protect their election systems. 

“I’m deeply concerned about the danger posed by future interference in our elections,” Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., the vice chairman of the intelligence panel, said Wednesday. “We have elections in 2018, but in my home state of Virginia, we have statewide elections this year. So this needs a sense of urgency.”

Senators asked Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly to provide more details about the targeted election systems, including which states were targeted.

(D-Ore.). “We obviously need to know about vulnerabilities, so that we can find solutions, and we need better cybersecurity to protect elections from being hacked in the first place.”

FBI Director Says He Has No Regrets about Handling of Hillary Clinton Probe

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

FBI Director James Comey told a Senate committee on Thursday that he felt “mildly nauseous” that he may have affected the outcome of the presidential election, but said he would do it over again.

Comey was hammered with questions for four hours from the Senate Judiciary Committee.

“Lordy, has this been painful,” Comey said. “I’ve gotten all kinds of rocks thrown at me and this has been really hard, but I think I’ve done the right thing at each turn.”

Comey insisted he had a responsibility to notify Congress that new information had prompted the FBI to reopen the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s email scandal less than two weeks before the election.

Sen. Patric Leahy, D-Vt., was not happy, he told the Washington Post after the hearing. 

“I would have been satisfied if he had done what all Republican and Democratic administrations have done in the past,” Leahy said. “The Justice Department has a procedure. You do not release information like that just before an election.”

Comey offered new details about what lead up to his decision to notify Congress of the investigation.

“Somehow, her emails were being forwarded to Anthony Weiner, including classified information,’’ Comey said, adding later, “His then-spouse Huma Abedin appears to have had a regular practice of forwarding emails to him for him to print out for her so she could deliver them to the secretary of state.”