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Tag: FBI

Senior FBI Official Busted for Accepting Free Sports Tickets from Reporters

Stock photo by Steve Neavling

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

A senior FBI official violated federal regulations by accepting two tickets to professional sports events from a reporter without paying for them, the bureau’s Inspector General reported Tuesday.

The senior official, whose identity was not revealed, initially said under oath that he had paid for the tickets from a television correspondent. But five days later, the officials recanted and said the tickets were not paid for.

The inspector general found that the FBI official also accepted free tickets from another reporter.

During the investigation, the official retired, and prosecutors won’t pursue a criminal case.

Both reporters often covered the FBI and Justice Department.

Federal employees are barred from accepting gifts from sources.

Ex-Senate Aide James Wolfe Pleads Guilty to Lying to FBI about Contacts with Reporters

Jim Wolfe (Linkedin photo)

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

A former Senate Intelligence Committee aide pleaded guilty on Monday to lying to the FBI about contacts with reporters covering the panel’s investigation into Russian election meddling.

James A. Wolfe, 57, pleaded guilty to one count of making a false statement to FBI agents in a December interview in which he denied providing unclassified but protected information about a witness who had been subpoenaed to testify before the committee.

In exchange for the guilty plea, prosecutors agreed to drop two similar charges and recommend what amounts to zero to six months in jail, The New York Times reports

A sentencing hearing is scheduled for Dec. 20.

Wolfe had been in charge of handling classified information provided to the committee for 28 years.

During the investigation, information was brought to light that investigators had violated Justice Department guidelines by secretly seizing years of records from a reporter’s phone and email without giving the required advance notices to the news organizations where she had worked.

Wolfe’s lawyers emphasized in a statement that their client had not been charged with leaking classified information.

“We have seen numerous distortions on social and other media of the facts of this matter,” they said. “So we emphasize again today that Jim was never charged with having compromised classified information, nor is such a charge part of today’s plea. Jim has accepted responsibility for his actions and has chosen to resolve this matter now so that he and his family can move forward with their lives.”

How FBI Foiled New York Man’s Plot to Blow Himself Up on Election Day

Paul Rosenfeld

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

The FBI foiled an upstate New York man’s plot to blow himself up on the National Mall in Washington D.C. on Election Day.

Paul M. Rosenfeld, 56, of Tappan, faces up to 20 years in prison on charges of unlawful manufacturing of a destructive device and interstate transportation and receipt of an explosive.

FBI agents arrested Rosenfeld after pulling him over while he was driving last week. 

The bureau was acting on information from a reporter in Pennsylvania who had received letters and text messages from Rosenfeld saying he planned to blow himself up on the National Mall, NBC News reports. Rosenfeld said he wanted to call attention to his belief in “sortition,” the ancient practice of randomly selecting political officials from a large pool of candidates.

The reporter notified authorities.

Federal officials said Rosenfeld confessed to the plot and told FBI agents that he had purchased black powder online and built a bomb in his basement.

During a search of his home, agents found a 200-pound bomb and explosive black powder. 

“Had he been successful, Rosenfeld’s alleged plot could have claimed the lives of innocent bystanders and caused untold destruction,” said FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge William Sweeney.

FBI Recalls Employees from Asia Amid Allegations of Prostitution, Wild Parties

Photo via FBI

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

The FBI has recalled several of its employees working in cities across Asia amid allegations of prostitution and wild parties, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The Justice Department’s inspector general is investigating FBI personnel in about half a dozen cities, including in East and Southeast Asia.

Details of the allegations were murky because the allegations of misconduct are under investigation.

“Upon learning of these allegations of misconduct, action was taken to reassign certain personnel to non-operational roles while the allegations are reviewed,” the FBI said in a statement to CNN. “No additional information will be provided, as the FBI has referred the matter to the DOJ Office of Inspector General.”

The bureau added, “All FBI employees are held to the highest standards of conduct, and allegations against any employee are taken very seriously.”

Owner of Limo Company Tied to Deadly Crash Was an FBI Informant

fbi photo

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

The owner of the limousine company linked to a crash that killed 20 people in New York is a former FBI informant who posed as a recruiter of terrorists and an arms dealer.

Shahed Hussain, who owns Prestige Limousine in Wilton, New York, began working for the FBI to avoid deportation after he faced federal charges for using fake documents to help a would-be taxi driver obtain a driver’s license, the New York Times reports. 

One of his limos plowed through a stop sign Saturday, killing 18 people on board and two pedestrians.

State and federal investigators are scrutinizing the company to help determine the cause of the accident. The limo should not have been on the road because it had failed a state Department of Transportation inspection and the drive did not have a proper license to operate the vehicle.

After Hussain was arrested on fraud charges in December 2001, three months after 9/11, he agreed to become an FBI informant. He worked undercover, helping the FBI ensnare arrests during counter-terrorism stings.

Hussain also testified in high-profile terrorism cases.

Ex-FBI Attorney: Bureau, DOJ Were Not Joking about Removing Trump

Former top FBI attorney James Baker

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Former FBI general counsel James Baker said discussions within the bureau about secretly recording President Trump in an effort to remove him from office was no joke.

Baker served in the leadership role in May 2017, when then-acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein discussed the secret recordings.

Baker shared the information with Congress last week.

“As far as Baker was concerned, this was a real plan being discussed,” a source directly familiar with the congressional investigation told The Hill. “It was no laughing matter for the FBI.”

Rosenstein, who is scheduled to be interviewed behind closed doors on Thursday by House judiciary Committee members, has denied that the discussions were serious.

FBI Director Wray’s Low-Key Approach May Be What the Doctor Ordered

FBI Director Christopher Wray on Sunday in Orlando. (ticklethewire.com photo)

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

ORLANDO —  FBI Director Christopher Wray delivered a serviceable, but unimpressive speech to thousands of members of the federal, state and local law enforcement community on Sunday at the International Association of Chiefs of Police.

He talked about terrorism, the need for the FBI to work closer with local law enforcement, active shooters, officer deaths and the difficulties, but great rewards of working in the field.

Then, after 35 minutes, he was done and walked off stage to an obligatory round of applause. No questions. No schmoozing. No truly inspiring words. It wasn’t a very meaty speech.

Wray is a nice guy. Low key. Serious about the job. But he’s no rock star like his predecessor James Comey, or for that matter, Robert Mueller, a stoic man who looked and acted like an FBI director plucked out of central casting.

But in these challenging times for the bureau, he may be just what the agency needs. He’s flying under the radar in Washington and he’s not a regular fixture on the nightly news. Being a federal law enforcement official,  and flying too high inside the Beltway can lead to a public beheading from the president.

President Donald Trump has been on a jihad to discredit the bureau and the Justice Department as Mueller moves forward like a heat missile in the Russia probe, flipping one Trump insider after another.    

Not since the Nixonian years, has a president displayed such naked hostility toward the bureau.

The bureau has caught hell from Trump for not indicting Hillary Clinton and for investigating Russia ties to his campaign. To top that off, the FBI was put in an untenable situation when it was asked to do a background check on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, but was then handcuffed and prevented from doing a first-rate job. Critics called the investigation a sham. And to some degree, considering agents weren’t allowed to do a full-court press, it was.

Federal agents are divided. Some think Trump is doing a good job. Some think he’s doing a good job, but think he’s a jerk. And some are simply appalled by his behavior and actions, including his free-flowing tweets. Comey never liked Trump, even before the firing.

Wray’s low key approach may not be publicly inspiring, but it may be just what Washington needs at a time like this.

And with all that’s going on, from the Russia probe, to the Trump attacks to the Brett Kavanaugh mess,  it may explain why he kept his head low on Sunday and walked away without allowing questions.

 

Ex-FBI Agent Pleads Guilty to Secretly Photographing Woman in Dressing Room Stall

Photo via FBI

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

A former special agent for the FBI admitted he secretly snapped photos of a 22-year-old woman while she was trying on clothes in a dressing room stall.

Daniel Brown, who worked in the FBI’s New York Field Office, pleaded guilty to four-degree invasion of privacy in exchange for probation and a psychological evaluation, NJ.com reports

“When confronted by the victim, Brown identified himself as a law enforcement officer,” the news release said.

Brown, who will no longer work at the FBI, is expected to be sentenced Dec. 6.