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Tag: FBI

Trump’s Newest Strategy to Undermine Investigation: Mueller Can’t Be Trusted

donald trump rallyBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Fake news. Bitter Democrats. Witch hunt.

Those are President Trump’s go-to ways of trying to undermine accusations that he obstructed justice when he allegedly told then-FBI Director James to stop investigating former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

Now Trump is zeroing in on special counsel Robert Mueller, who was appointed by the Justice Department to investigate Russia’s meddling in the presidential election.

Suggesting that Mueller is “very, very good friends” with fired FBI Director James Comey, Trump told Fox News that it’s “bothersome” for Mueller to be involved.

Without a shred of evidence, Trump also suggested that Mueller’s team of lawyers are “all Hillary Clinton supporters.”

Mueller, by the way, is a register Republican and is known for his fierce independence when it comes to investigating politicians. 

Ex-Homeland Security Director Says Politics Prevented Disclosure of Russian Meddling

Former Homeland Security Director Jeh Johnson testifies before the House Intelligence Committee.

Former Homeland Security Director Jeh Johnson testifies before the House Intelligence Committee.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

In what has become typical fashion, President Trump blamed the Obama administration for failing to “stop”  Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

“By the way, if Russia was working so hard on the 2016 Election, it all took place during Obama Admin. Why didn’t they stop them?” Trump tweeted at 9:22 a.m. Thursday.

Truth is, the FBI and other intelligence agencies were trying to stop Russia and had found evidence in August that Kremlin-backed hackers targeted electoral systems in 21 states, officials confirmed Wednesday.

Testifying before the House Intelligence Committee on Wednesday, former Homeland Security Director Jeh Johnson said the Obama administration didn’t immediately reveal Russia’s interference to avoid an appearance of partisanship.

“We were very concerned that we would not be perceived as taking sides in the election, injecting ourselves into a very heated campaign,” Johnson told the committee.

When asked what took the Obama administration so long to disclose the allegations of Russian interference, Johnson cited the need to protect intelligence sources and methods.

Testifying before the House Intelligence Committee on Wednesday, former Homeland Security Director Jeh Johnson said the Obama administration didn’t immediately reveal Russia’s interference to avoid an appearance of partisanship. The public disclosure finally came Oct. 7, when Johnson and James R. Clapper the then-director of national intelligence, said in a joint statement that Russia was involved in cyber “threats and disclosures … intended to interfere with the U.S. Election process.” They also said a Russian company attempted to break in to state voter registration databases, The L.A. Times reported. 

Johnson said the Oct. 7 statement “did not get the attention it deserved” because it was morphed in media coverage later that day by the leak of Trump making crude comments about women on a 2005 “Access Hollywood” tape.

FBI Paints Troubling Portrait of Man Who Opened Fire at Republicans on Baseball Field

James T. Hodgkinson was killed by police after he shot four people at a congressional baseball game.

James T. Hodgkinson was killed by police after he shot four people at a congressional baseball game.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Before firing 60 rounds from a rifle and handgun at an unwitting group of Republican lawmakers and staffers who were practice baseball in Alexandria, Va., James T. Hodgkinson had been living in his van in the parking lot of the YMCA on the outskirts of Washington D.C.

Struggling with his marriage, anger management problems and a beef against Republicans, the unemployed home inspector from Illinois approached the baseball players and asked, “Is this the Republican or Democrat baseball team?”

Soon after the encounter, the 66-year-old retrieved a 7.62-caliber SKS rifle and 9mm handgun from his van before returning and calmly and deliberately opening fire at the lawmakers and their staff.

U.S. Capitol Police special agents and officers from Alexandria returned fire, killing the gunman.

Five people were wounded, including House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., who is in fair condition at the hospital after multiple emergency surgeries.

On Wednesday, the FBI revealed details of a troubled Hodgkinson who had long-simmering hatred for Republicans.

“While the shooter was known to have a history of diagnosed mental illness, he is known, or it was known, to have an anger management problem,” Timothy R. Slater, FBI special agent in charge, said at a press conference Wednesday. “He was struggling in all kinds of different ways.” 

The FBI still doesn’t know why Hodgkinson was in the area, and agents believe he acted alone and that the shooting was spontaneous. 

Trump’s Deputy Assistant Gorka Fired by FBI for Seething Islamophobia

Sebastian Gorka, right, via Facebook.

Sebastian Gorka, right, via Facebook.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Just months before Sebastian Gorka joined the White House as a special adviser to President Trump, he was fired by the FBI for his seething Islamophobic rhetoric, the Daily Beast reveals.

The inflammatory pundit was working for the FBI to lecture agents on counterterrorism issues while serving as a paid consultant for Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.

While instructing the Joint Terrorism Operations Course on the fundamentals of counterterrorism in August 2016, the FBI was disturbed that he was using anti-Muslim rhetoric and suggesting that all Muslims adhered to Sharia law and were prone to radicalization.

A month later, the FBI fired Gorka, who now serves as deputy assistant to the president after working as national security editor for Breitbart under Steve Bannon, the controversial White House strategist.

In a February 2012 speech to the Westminster Institute think tank, Gorka compared Osama bin Laden to “the Martin Luther of Islam.”

As the FBI distanced itself from Gorka, whom the bureau paid $103,000 for training materials between 2012-16, Trump made him a leading supporter of the presidential campaign and continued to embrace him after the real estate mogul was elected.

FBI Says Attacker of Officer at Flint, Mich., Airport is From Quebec

Featured_screen_shot_2017-06-21_at_1.23.26_pm_26642

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The FBI said it is investigating the stabbing of a Flint airport police officer at Bishop International Airport in Flint as an act of terrorism, and identified the attacker as Amor M. Ftouhi, 49, of Quebec, Canada.

Authorities said Ftouhi referenced killings in Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan and yelled “Allahu Akbar,” while stabbing airport officer, Lt. Jeff Neville, in the neck and back. He is listed in stable condition.

One local law enforcement officer said there was no immediate indication that the suspect had ties to Flint.

An affidavit by FBI agent Thomas Sondgeroth said that the suspect yelled “Allahu Akbar,” pulled out a knife and stabbed the officer in the neck.

The affidavit went on to say:

After stabbing the police officer, Ftouhi continued to yell “Allah” several times. He further exclaimed something similar to, “you have killed people in Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan, and we are all going to die.” The law enforcement officer was able to subdue Ftouhi, who asked the officer why he did not kill him.

Amor M. Ftouhi (Facebook photo)

Amor M. Ftouhi (Facebook photo)

“I have also spoken with another FBI agent who reviewed surveillance video of the airport premises, including the location of the stabbing,” the FBI agent wrote in the affidavit. “The agent informed me that at approximately 8:52 a.m., Ftouhi entered the first level of Bishop International Airport carrying a red duffle and a dark satchel bag. At approximately 9:10, Ftouhi went up an escalator to the second level of the airport. At the top of the escalator, Ftouhi turned left to go to a restaurant. At approximately 9:37:56, Ftouhi left the restaurant carrying both bags.

“Ftouhi entered a second-floor restroom at 9:38:15 and left at approximately 9:38:43 without either bag. At 9:38:48, Ftouhi attacked the officer and was subdued by other law enforcement shortly after.”

FBI to Reveal Details Today of Congressional Baseball Shooting in Virginia

Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La.

Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI plans to release details today of the shooting that critically injured House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and four other people last week on a northern Virginia baseball field.

The bureau’s Washington Field Office will reveal the investigative findings by agents and other law enforcement officials.

Scalise, a Louisiana Republican, was critically wounded when he was shot near the hip, but after several surgeries, his condition has upgraded to serious.

James T. Hodgkinson was killed by police after he shot four people at a congressional baseball game. Photo via Facebook.

James T. Hodgkinson was killed by police after he shot four people at a congressional baseball game. Photo via Facebook.

The shooting happened while Scalise and other congressional Republicans were practicing in advance of ann annual charity baseball game against Democrats.

James T. Hodgkinson, a harsh critic of President Trump and an employed home inspector, opened fire at the field and became involved in shootout with police before he was mortally wounded. 

Philip Celestini Named SAC of Intelligence Division at FBI Washington Field Office

Philip Celestini

Philip Celestini

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Philip Celestini, who served as section chief in the Cyber Division at FBI headquarters, has been named special agent in charge of the Intelligence Division in the FBI Washington Field Office.

Celestini joined the FBI in 1992 in the Charlotte Division.

In 2006, Celestini transferred to the Baltimore Division where he served as the Joint Terrorism Task Force coordinator and squad supervisor.

He was later promoted to supervisory senior resident agent of the Rockville, Md.,  RA, where he oversaw criminal and national security investigations in metropolitan Washington and western Maryland.

Celestini starts his new post on July 10.

FBI Refuses to Release Comey’s Trump Memos to Media Because of Ongoing Probe

Former FBI Director James Comey testifies about President Trump before the Senate Intelligence Committee in early June.

Former FBI Director James Comey testifies about President Trump before the Senate Intelligence Committee in early June.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI has declined Freedom of Information Act requests from several media outlets asking for copies of the memos that fired FBI Director James Comey wrote following President Trump’s one-on-one meetings with the bureau boss before he was terminated.

Comey revealed the existence of the memos when he testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee on June 8.

Those memos could be critical evidence to the special counsel team that is investigating whether Trump obstructed justice by firing Comey and allegedly directing him to drop an investigation of former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

In denying the FOIA request, the FBI responded that the records were exempt from disclosure because of “pending or prospective law enforcement proceeding relevant to those responsive records, and the release of the information in these responsive records could reasonably be expected to interfere with enforcement proceedings.”