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Tag: FBI

Trump Suggests Former FBI Directors Guilty of Treason, Punishable by Death

President Trump, via the White House.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump made the bold claim that former FBI Director James Comey and former acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe were guilty of treason during a wild press conference Thursday.

The assertion came after NBC reporter Peter Alexander pointed out that the “Constitution says treason is punishable by death,” and then said, “You’ve accused your adversaries of treason. Who specifically are you accusing of treason?”

Trump responded, “Well I think a number of people. And I think what you look is that they have unsuccessfully tried to take down the wrong person.”

So who’s he talking about?

“If you look at Comey, if you look at McCabe, if you look at people probably higher than that.”

It’s unclear who is higher than the director of the FBI. Former President Obama, whom Trump has accused of playing a role in the investigation into Trump’s campaign?

Trump didn’t say whether any of them should be executed, but his response was cringe-worthy. He also does not appear to understand what treason is.

Treason refers to conspiring to overthrow the government or aiding international groups that are enemies of the U.S.

The irony is that Trump has been accused of working on behalf of Russia, a persistent threat to the U.S.

FBI Handled More Domestic Terrorism Cases Than International Terrorism This Fiscal Year

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The number of domestic terrorism arrests have exceeded international terrorism arrests in the current fiscal year that began on Oct. 1.

Domestic cases were 66, compared to 63 international cases.

The trend has prompted the FBI to focus more of its attention on home-grown extremists, a senior FBI counterterrorism official told Reuters.

One recent attack in the U.S. involved a mass shooting that left 11 people dead at a Pittsburgh synagogue.

Many of the attacks involve racially motivated and anti-government extremism, as well as attacks on abortion clinics.

The Internet has been a key source of radicalization in the U.S.

“Terrorism moves at the speed of the Internet,” the official said.

Newly Unsealed Court Documents Reveal Suspicious Ties Between Cohen And Russian-Linked Firm

Michael Cohen, former attorney for President Trump.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump’s longtime personal lawyer and so-called fixer Michael Cohen exchanged hundreds of phone calls and text messages with a Russian-linked firm beginning on Election Day in 2016, according to newly unsealed court documents obtained by several news outlets.

The FBI also discovered that Cohen, who is now serving a three-year prison sentence, received $500,000 for consulting work from Columbus Nova, which is connected to the influential Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg. The company’s CEO Andrew Intrater introduced Cohen to Vekselberg. Vekselberg and Intrater are cousins and business associates.

After the FBI began investigating what appeared to be suspicious emails and bank transfers from Cohen’s accounts, special counsel Robert Mueller followed up with search warrants between July and November 2017 to determine whether the exchanges violated any laws, including wire fraud and money laundering.

The new records also reveal that Cohen received more than $280,000 from Trump since February 2017.

The revelations are important because they show how early Mueller and the FBI were aware of suspicious activity involving Cohen.

Roger Stone Mulls Lawsuit to Determine If He Was Under FBI Surveillance

Roger Stone on ABC’s “This Week.”

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Conservative provocateur Roger Stone is threatening to file a federal lawsuit to determine whether he was under FBI surveillance during the Trump campaign.

“We have strong reason to believe that Mr. Stone was among three advisors to candidate Trump who was under surveillance by the FBI during the 2016 presidential campaign,” Stone’s attorney Paul Jensen wrote in a May 20 letter to the federal government, The Hill reports.

Jensen’s assertion is based on a January 2017 story by The New York Times, which revealed that the FBI had been monitoring Donald Trump associates and the Russian government during the presidential election.

“Having exhausted our administrative remedies we are now contemplating a tort lawsuit as a means to force the government to disclose the facts in this serious matter and to determine if Mr. Stone’s 4th amendment rights were violated,” Jensen’s letter continued.

Stone, who was unable to substantiate his claims, has been charged with seven counts, including making false statements to Congress, obstruction a government investigation and tampering with a witness. He is awaiting trial.

Walmart Shoppers Ran for Cover When FBI Task Force Used Flash-Bang Grenades

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Walmart shoppers were in for a scare Monday when they mistook flash-bang grenades as gunshots.

The FBI Street Task Force in Colorado used the flash-bang devices to help arrest three people.

Unaware of the task force’s presence, shoppers ran for cover.

“All of a sudden all these people started running down the aisle yelling, ‘Active shooter,’ shopper Edward Johnson told CBS4. “The Walmart employees herded us in the backroom and locked the door. We were in there for 15 min then they let us out,” Johnson said. “But, there were cops everywhere. Then, they started arresting a lady. It was absolutely the scariest situation I have ever witnessed.”

No more information was available late Monday.

Michigan Republican Indicted on Charges of Attempted Extortion, Bribery, Lying to FBI

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A federal grand jury has indicted Michigan state Rep. Larry Inman on charges of attempted extortion, bribery and lying to an FBI agent.

The Republican from Traverse City faces up to 15 years in prison after authorities said Wednesday that he solicited money via text messages from the Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters and Millwrights.

In one of the text messages, the third-term Republican wrote, “We never had this discussion.”

In exchange for the money in June, Inman pledged to vote “no” on repealing the state’s prevailing wage law, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Offie for the Western District of Michigan.

“We will get a ton of pressure on this vote,” Inman is accused of texting to a union representative, asking for a larger increase in donations to his campaign. “Its not worth losing assignments and staff for $5,000. . . . My suggestion is you need to get people maxed out.”

House Speaker Lee Chatfield, a Republican, called for Inman to resign.

“Everyone in the House is surprised and disappointed by this news,” Chatfield said in a statement. “The indictment just came to my attention this morning, and I am still gathering more information. There’ll be more to say once we’ve been able to have a longer conversation with Rep. Inman. Until then, I have directed the House Business Office to take control of the representative’s office to ensure consistent services are available for the people of Grand Traverse County. Additionally, Rep. Inman has been removed from his committee assignments effective immediately.”

Inman also is accused of lying to the FBI, denying he solicited bribes.

Russians Hacked 2 Florida Voter Databases, But FBI Won’t Identify the Counties

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Russian hackers accessed voter databases in two Florida counties, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said Tuesday after a meeting with the FBI and Department of Homeland Security.

DeSantis’ meeting came after the Robert Mueller report revealed that “at least one” Florida county’s election system was successfully penetrated by Russians.

DeSantis said he was told to keep the information secret and was unable to identify the two counties that were targeted.

“I’m not allowed to name the counties. I signed a [non]disclosure agreement,” DeSantis told The Miami Herald, emphasizing that he “would be willing to name it” but “they asked me to sign it so I’m going to respect their wishes.”

DeSantis emphasized that the hackers were only able to glimpse at the voter polls and did not manipulate any information.

“It did not affect any voting or anything like that,” he said.

The FBI declined to divulge details to the media, but an FBI spokesperson told The New York Times that “investigators did not detect any adversary activity that impacted vote counts or disputed electoral processes during the 2016 or 2018 elections.”

Report: Steve Bannon Urged FBI Officials in 2017 to Put ‘Differences’ with Trump Behind Them

Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump’s decision to ask then-FBI Director James Comey to pledge loyalty to his presidency was one of the primary reasons special counsel Robert Mueller was appointed.

But it turns out, Trump wasn’t the only White House official to engage with the FBI as it investigated Russia’s role in the presidential election.

A day after Trump asked for Comey’s loyalty in April 2017, then-White House strategist Steve Bannon asked two top FBI officials to put their “differences” with Trump’s administration behind them, according to The Guardian, which cited “people familiar with the matter.”

Bannon’s discussion was with then-Deputy Director of the FBI Andrew McCabe and Bill Priestap, who was then serving as the bureau’s assistant director of counter-intelligence.

According to The Guardian, McCabe documented Bannon’s remarks in a memo obtained by Mueller’s team. Bannon also was questioned about the discussions.

But for reasons that remain unclear, Mueller’s final report never mentioned Bannon’s meetings with the top FBI officials.

Legal analysts said it “was highly unusual for a senior White House official to make such remarks to the FBI officials, especially at a time when the White House was facing scrutiny,” The Guardian reported.

Richard Painter, former White House ethics lawyer for George W. Bush, said the remarks were “reckless” because it could appear that Bannon was pressuring the FBI officials.

“This is the type of conduct that risks obstruction charges. You do not make public comments, you do not contact the FBI or anyone at the DoJ about a pending investigation, and the reason is that those types of contacts can be seen as obstruction of justice,” Painter said. “When you say ‘we are all on the same team’, well, what does that mean?”