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Tag: FBI

Obama Administration Admits It Improperly Approved 175 Immigrants for Citizenship

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Obama’s administration acknowledged this weekend that it approved about 175 immigrants for citizenship without properly running their names through the FBI’s name-check databases.

That means the federal government may have missed red flags to disqualify some of them from naturalization, the Washington Times reports. 

The error was blamed on computer code, affecting about 15,000 applicants.

Because of the error, the government has halted “all naturalization ceremonies already in the pipeline and banned U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services officers from approving new citizenship applications beginning on Nov. 29, when officials acknowledged the problem in an internal email that was later obtained by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte,” The Times wrote.

Daniel M. Renaud, associate director at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, told all officers in an internal email “not to approve or oath any naturalization cases in ELIS,” referring to the Electronic Immigration System that serves as the case management system for processing applications.

“At this point we are not confident that proper FBI Name Checks have been run on certain ELIS cases. At this point we are uncertain of the scope of the problem,” he wrote.

More than Dozen FBI Agents Fell Seriously Ill from Massive Cedar Sculpture in Office

Photos via Instagram.

Photos via Instagram.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

More than a dozen FBI agents have become seriously ill after a massive cedar sculpture was installed in their Miami field office.

The federal government paid $750,000 for the 17-foot-tall sculptures, which was made from western red cedar, Artnet.com reports. 

Authorities believe the agents fell ill because of allergies to the sculpture’s cedar dust.

“The health and safety issues surrounding the sculpture were real,” Richard Haley, the FBI’s assistant director of finance overseeing department property, wrote in a document, as Politico reports.

“One employee required an 11-day hospital stay and none have been able to return to work at the new field office.”

The GSA spent $412,000 removing the artwork and cleaning the offices.

FBI Agent: Informant Says He Was Discouraged from Investigating Republicans in PA Probe

Harrisburg Capitol Building in Pennsylvania.

Harrisburg Capitol Building in Pennsylvania.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An FBI agent said an informant in a statehouse sting in Pennsylvania notified him that he was pressured to only target Democrats.

The case has snagged five Democrats and no Republicans.

FBI Special Agent Richard Haag made the comments in a defense filing for Democratic state Rep. Vanessa Lowery Brown, the Washington Post reported Sunday.

State investigators denied any partisan motive.

“Never, ever was he told to steer towards one party or another,” former state prosecutor Frank Fina told the newspaper, speaking of informant Tyron Ali.

The informant’s cooperation began in 2010 to gain leniency in a state fraud case. In a 2013 email, Haag wrote that Ali asserted that he had been “reprimanded” for questioning Republicans and was told “not to make any initiative in contacting Republicans in the future.”

USA Today: James Comey Should Remain FBI Director to Hold Trump Accountable

FBI Director James Comey

FBI Director James Comey

By Editorial Board
USA Today

Perhaps no public official emerged from the presidential campaign more battered than FBI Director James Comey. Republicans savaged him in the summer for declining to seek prosecution of Hillary Clinton for mishandling classified information that passed through her private email server. Democrats were apoplectic when he brought the email inquiry back into the limelight just days before the election.

On Thursday, Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook blamed her defeat in large part on Comey’s “total breach” of Justice Department protocol. “It’s mind-boggling why he did this.”

Should Comey, who is three years into a 10-year term, resign or be fired?

His critics should be careful what they wish for. Comey’s departure would open the door for President-elect Donald Trump to appoint the next FBI director, one who might not have Comey’s reputation for speaking truth to power. The phrase has become a cliché, but the people who actually have the guts to do it in Washington are rare, especially when the power they’re speaking to is the president of the United States.

Comey has displayed that sort of courage and independence in the past, and the FBI’s leader might well need such strengths during a Trump administration. The Trump family’s far-flung international business interests could present conflicts that come under the FBI’s purview. The director might also have to deal with Trump’s mistaken and dangerous belief that the president decides who gets investigated or prosecuted. Those jobs fall under the authority of the FBI  and the Justice Department — not the White House.

To read more click here. 

Jamaican Gangster Tied to Quadruple Murder Added to FBI’s 10 Most Wanted List

Marlon Jones

Marlon Jones

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The newest addition to the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted list is a Jamaican gangster accused of being involved in a quadruple homicide at an underground restaurant in Los Angeles.

Marlon Jones, who has been described as violent with an extensive criminal background, disappeared after the Oct. 15 shootout.

Police are still investigating the shooting, which lead to the arrests of two men.

“While attending a birthday party on October 15, 2016, Jones allegedly shot and killed a rival Jamaican gang member,” the FBI said in a statement. “The party was being held at a crowded home in the West Adams District of Los Angeles which had been temporarily converted into a restaurant, according to detectives with the LAPD’s Criminal Gangs Homicide Division who are investigating the murders. According to detectives, an exchange of gunfire took place between rival gang members, leaving four dead and ten others wounded.”

Jone has been charged with four counts of suspicion of murder.

Ads said he fled Los Angeles after the shooting to avoid prosecution.

Senator Demands Answers about Suspension of Whistleblowing FBI Agent

Sen. Chuck Grassley

Sen. Chuck Grassley

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Senate committee chairman wants more information from the Justice Department about an FBI agent who was suspended after blowing the whistle on a former Louisiana district attorney accused of trading sex for leniency, the Associated Press reports. 

FBI Special Agent Mike Zummer filed an ethics complaint in 2013 against a federal prosecutor, Fred Harper, of New Orleans.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, said Zummer complained that Harper’s relationship with a defense attorney may have resulted in a lenient plea agreement for former St. Charle Parish District Attorney Harry Morel.

The FBI suspended Zummer and his security clearance earlier this year after he made the conflict-of-interest allegations in a letter to a judge.

“That looks like it could be a misuse of the security clearance process to mask retaliation for protected whistleblowing,” Grassley wrote in Nov. 15 letters to Attorney General Loretta Lynch and FBI Director James Comey.

Grassley said he has not yet received a response.

Many Questions Unanswered a Year After San Bernardino Terrorist Attack

San Bernardino couple who opened fire at a holiday party.

San Bernardino couple who opened fire at a holiday party.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

It has been a year since Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik killed 14 people in a terrorist attack in San Bernardino, but the FBI is still struggling to answer key questions.

Feds conducted more than 600 interviews, served dozens of search warrants and waged a legal battle with Apple to unlock Farook’s iPhone.

But according to the Los Angeles Times, federal authorities “still don’t have answers to some of the critical questions posted int he days after the Dec. 2, 2015, attack at the Inland Regional Center.

One of the FBI’s most pressing concerns is whether the couple received help or whether anyone was aware of the couple’s plot.

“There are unanswered questions in this case,” FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said. “There is an ongoing investigation into did they get financial or material support from anyone else.”

FBI to Gain Authority to Hack Millions of Computers After Senate Failed to Stop Changes

Data securityBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is about to get the authority to hack millions of computers under President-elect Donald Trump.

That’s because lawmakers at midnight failed to stop changes to the federal code of criminal procedure, Huffington Post reports. 

Starting Thursday, the changes allow a Department of Justice official to get a warrant that lets the FBI hack numerous devices by asserting that a single computer crime may involve million of networked devices.

Opponents of the changes said there’s no assurance from law enforcement officials that people’s privacy won’t be violated.

“At midnight tonight, this Senate will make one of the biggest mistakes in surveillance policy in years and years,” said Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., who tried with a Republican and Democratic senator to delay or rein in the new FBI powers. “Without a single congressional hearing, without a shred of meaningful public input, without any opportunity for senators to ask their questions in a public forum, one judge with one warrant would be able to authorize the hacking of thousands, possibly millions of devices, cell phones and tablets.”

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