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Tag: FBI

Senate Judiciary Committee to Subpoena 2 FBI Officials Over Comey’s Firing

Sen. Chuck Grassley

Sen. Chuck Grassley

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Senate Judiciary Committee is preparing for a showdown with the Justice Department after it prevented two senior FBI officials from testifying on Capitol Hill about President Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey.

The Senate legal counsel plans to subpoena the senior FBI officials – Carl Ghattas and James Rybicki – to force their testimony about Comey’s firing, CNN reports

The Justice Department last week said it was preventing the FBI officials from appearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee because of the DOJ’s “long-standing policy regarding the confidentiality and sensitivity of information relating to pending matters.”

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley and Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., aren’t backing down.

“We’ve got subpoenas at the Senate counsel office,” Grassley told CNN Wednesday, referring to the Senate office that would draft the subpoenas. “When we get done there, I’m gonna have to consult with Sen. Feinstein.”

Eric J. Rommal Tapped to Serve As Special Agent in Charge of New Orleans Division

Eric Rommal, newly appointed FBI Special Agent in Charge of the New Orleans Division.

Eric Rommal, newly appointed FBI Special Agent in Charge of the New Orleans Division.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Eric J. Rommal, a 20-year veteran of the FBI, will begin serving as special agent in charge of the bureau’s New Orleans Division.

FBI Director Christopher Wray made the announcement Wednesday.

Rommal, who most recently served as deputy assistant director in the Directorate of Intelligence, began working for the FBI in 1997 and was assigned to the Atlanta Division, where he investigated violent crime, white-collar crime, cybercrime and health care fraud.

Rommal has served in leadership positions in the Counterterrorism Division and the Washington Field Office.

Rommal will begin working in his new role in November.

Fugitive Chicago Cop Captured After 14 Years on the Run

Former Chicago cop Eddie C. Hicks was on the lam since 2003.

Former Chicago cop Eddie C. Hicks was on the lam since 2003.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A former Chicago police sergeant accused of using bogus search warrants to steal cash, drugs and guns was arrested 14 years after he went on the lam.

Eddie C. Hicks, who failed to show for his court hearing in June 2003, was arrested in Detroit and taken back to Chicago in federal custody, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. 

One of Hicks’ co-defendants, Lawrence Knitter, was sentenced to nine years in prison in 2005.

Federal authorities allege they busted Hicks and others on tape plotting to steal drugs from drug dealers. They are accused of posing as DEA Task Force officers while making traffic stops, and they forged search warrants to raid homes, apartments and hotel rooms.

Hicks, a 30-year veteran of the Chicago Police Department, worked in the narcotics section between 1992 and 1997, when he is accused of stealing from drug dealers.

Manafort Calls on Justice Department to Investigate Leak of FBI Wiretaps

Donald Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, is urging the Justice Department’s inspector general to investigate who leaked to the media information about the FBI conducting several wiretap probes of him, Bloomberg reports.  

Manafort also is asking the Justice Department to release “any intercepts involving him and any non-Americans so interested parties can come to the same conclusion as the DOJ — there is nothing there,” Manafort’s spokesman Jason Maloni said in a statement Tuesday.

Using leaked information, CNN reported Monday that two FISA court orders were obtained by the FBI to authorize wiretapping of Manafort before and after the presidential election.

Of the fact that no charges ever emerged,” Manafort spokesman Jason Maloni said in a statement on Tuesday. The Justice Department’s inspector general “should immediately conduct an investigation into these leaks and to examine the motivations behind a previous administration’s effort to surveil a political opponent.” 

FBI Wiretapped Trump Campaign Chair Manafort Beginning in 2014

Donald Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort.

Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The federal government may be closer to proving Donald Trump’s campaign was encouraging Russia to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort has been under FBI surveillance beginning in 2014, CNN reports.

The surveillance included wiretapping and other types of searches that began in 2014, when Manafort was under investigation for work he did involving a group of Washington consulting firms for the former ruling party of Ukraine.

The wiretapping was permitted under a secret order authorized by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Court.

The information collected prompted concerns by the FBI that Manafort was encouraging Russia to meddle in the election. In 2016, the FBI obtained a second warrant because of suspicions that Manafort was acting as an agent of a foreign power. That warrant involved the bureau’s investigation into suspected collision between Trump’s campaign and the Russian government.

FBI Interviews Former Sputnik Reporter To Determine If Agency Should Register as Foreign Agent

sputnik_logo-svgBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI suspects the Russian web-based media outlet Sputnik was a propaganda machine that spread misinformation during the 2016 election in an attempt to get Donald Trump elected.

To further understand the internal working of Sputnik, the FBI interviewed one of its former employees – an American journalist named Andrew Feinberg.

The FBI interviewed Feinberg for two hours on Sept. 1 in hopes of learning more about the inner workings of the suspected propaganda machine, CBS News reports

So what did the FBI want to know?

“They wanted to know how I ended up there, you know, who paid me, who signed my checks, what a typical day was like,” Feinberg told CBS News national security correspondent Jeff Pegues. “Who I took my orders from … they wanted to know everything.”

Agents believe Sputnik was involved in “covert intelligence operations” and “paid media trolls.”

Feinberg said he was fired after just four months for refusing to write a story that he believed was wrong.

“They only will run a story … when it meets a certain criteria that the angle that the story takes is one that meets their worldview,” he said.

“The worldview of Vladimir Putin?” Pegues asked.

“Well that’s where the money’s coming from,” Feinberg said.

FBI Reportedly Identifies Suspect in Attempted Extortion of Kevin Hart

Actor Kevin Hart, via Wikipedia

Actor Kevin Hart, via Wikipedia

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI has identified a suspect in the extortion attempt against actor Kevin Hart, TMZ reports

The suspect is accused of contacting the comedian and demanding a “multi-million dollar” sum to prevent the “sexual provocative” video that allegedly features the Hart from going public.

The video prompted Hart, 38, to admit to “a bad error of judgment” in an Instagram post in which he appeared to admit to cheating on his pregnant wife. Hart also said he was targeted by someone for “financial gain.”

The iPhone video shows a man believed to be Hart in a sexually provocative position with a woman at a club and later under the covers in a bedroom.

Fans of Insane Clown Posse Rally Against FBI’s Classification of Them as ‘Gang’

A Juggalo/facebook

A Juggalo, via facebook

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

More than 1,000 fans of the rap duo Insane Clown Posse rallied in Washington D.C. on Saturday to protest the FBI’s classification of them as a gang.

The band’s fans, known as Juggalos, protested in front of the Lincoln Memorial.

The band filed suit against the Justice Department in an attempt to reverse the FBI’s designation of the fans as a gang. The lawsuit says the Juggalos as a peaceful community.

The FBI classified the group’s fans as a “loosely organized hybrid gang” in 2011.