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Tag: grand jury

Special Counsel Probe of Trump, Russia Ties Nets First Criminal Charges

Special counsel Robert Mueller

Special Counsel Robert Mueller

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The special counsel appointed to investigate possible collusion between Donald Trump’s campaign and Russia has produced its first charges in the early stages of what has become a wide-ranging inquiry, CNN reports.

A grand jury in Washington D.C. approved the charges Friday, and an arrest could come as early as Monday.

Details were still murky Friday because the charges are still sealed by judge’s order. It wasn’t immediately clear, for example, who is being charged and what crimes were allegedly committed.

As of late Friday evening, Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office has declined to respond to questions about the charges, but top lawyers in the probe were seen entering the grand jury room earlier in the day. 

In May, was appointed by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to lead the investigation into escalating questions about Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election. The appointment came shortly after Trump abruptly fired then-FBI Director James Comey, who testified before Congress that the president pressured him to end the investigation of his former national security adviser, Michael Flynn. 

The special counsel probe has broadened in scope and includes inquiries into whether Trump obstructed justice or whether some of his campaign team violated foreign lobbying laws or had financial ties to Russia.  

What a Grand Jury Means for Special Counsel’s Investigation of Russia, Trump Team

Robert Mueller

Robert Mueller

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Special counsel Robert Mueller has impaneled a grand jury as he and his team of 16 prosecutors dig deeper into allegations that Donald Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia to meddle in the 2016 presidential election.

The grand jurors, who are responsible for examining subpoenaed documents and listening to witness testimony, will ultimately decide whether charges are warranted.

That’s significant because it means Mueller is exploring the possibility of pursuing criminal charges. 

The grand jury gives Mueller the power to issue subpoenas and compel witnesses to testify.

The scope could easily grow as subpoenas and testimony comes in. 

Border Patrol Agent Charged with Lying to Grand Jury about Expense Vouchers

border patrolBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Border Patrol agent out of Tucson was charged with lying to a grand jury in San Diego following a military housing voucher scheme.

Agent David Wayne Skinner testified about two Marines who were accused of fraud by claiming to be renting each other’s homes, the San Diego Union Tribune reports

The Marines collected a total of more than $200,000 in travel expense vouchers that were supposed to be for their lease payments.

Skinner claimed to be one of the Marine’s landlords.

Hillary Clinton’s 33,000 Missing Emails May Still Be Retrievable

Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Hillary Clinton’s 33,000 missing emails may have not been permanently deleted after all.

But as the New York Post reports, the emails likely exist in several locations and could be recovered by federal authorities if a grand jury is impaneled.

In May, an executive with the company that maintained Clinton’s private email server told FBI agents that the subpoenaed emails weren’t permanently remove.

The Post writes:

Unless one of Clinton’s aides had the capability to log in to the PRN server as an administrator and remove a mailbox, her archived mailboxes more than likely still reside somewhere in that system. And they may also materialize on an internal “shared drive” that PRN created to control access to the Clinton email accounts among PRN employees. PRN has been under FBI order to preserve all emails and other evidence since the start of its investigation last year.

Clinton’s missing “personal” emails may also be captured on a Google server. According to FBI notes, Combetta “transferred all of the Clinton email content to a personal Google email address he created.” Only the FBI never subpoenaed Google to find out.

The FBI documents also reveal that Hillary’s server was mirrored on a cloud server in Pennsylvania maintained by Datto Inc., a tech firm that performs cloud-to-cloud data protection.

Grand Jury Reviews Case of Possible FBI Misconduct During Wildlife Refuge Standoff

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

FBI agents are facing potential charges over their handling of the Oregon wildlife refuge standoff.

Investigators have taken the case to a grand jury, alleging that an agent fired a gunshot at Robert “LaVoy” Finicum and that the FBI tampered with evidence at the scene, the Oregonian reports. 

Defense lawyers for the protesters have asked a judge to order the release of investigative records involving the FBI’s alleged misconduct.

The occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge last 41 days and led to numerous charges against the protesters.

Prosecutor Delivers 15-Minute Speech After Grand Jury Decision in Tamir Rice Case

Tamir Rice

Tamir Rice

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A grand jury on Monday decided not to indict two police officers who fatally shot Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old black boy who was playing with a pellet gun.

Here is the transcript of Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty’s speech after the grand jury decision:

One promise I made was to fundamentally change how cases are handled when a police officer kills a civilian, to end the traditional system where the prosecutor privately reviewed police reports, then decided whether an officer should be charged. That secrecy, which appeared arbitrary, without a public investigative report, undermined community confidence. It was clear we needed a more rigorous, independent investigation of police use-of-deadly-force cases.

Although not required by Ohio law, I now have all evidence reviewed not just by the prosecutor in these cases or this office but by the citizens of the grand jury sitting as an investigative panel to hear all the evidence and make the final call. Our office also shares with the public completed, independent investigative reports so that there will be no mystery about what occurred or rumors in a citizen’s death. This transparency gives our community an opportunity to correct errors — in policy, training, tactics, hiring, equipment — far more quickly, instead of waiting sometimes years until the opportunity and enthusiasm for reform are lost, the lessons are forgotten. Here, we want the lessons learned and applied.

Today the grand jury completed its thorough investigation of the fatal shooting of 12-year-old Tamir Rice on (Nov.) 22, 2014, at the Cuddell Recreation Center. Based on the evidence they heard and the law as it applies to police use of deadly force, the grand jury declined to bring criminal charges against Cleveland police officers Timothy Loehmann and Frank Garmback. That was also my recommendation and that of our office after reviewing the investigation and the law.

A short time ago, we informed Tamir’s mother of the grand jury’s decision. It was a tough conversation. We again expressed the condolences of our office, the sheriff’s detectives and everyone else who has worked so diligently on this case and our sincere wish that these events on that traumatic day at the Cuddell rec center had unfolded differently. She was broken up, and it’s very hard. We explained to her that this was a difficult decision also but that to charge police, even in a situation that was as undeniably tragic as the death of her son, the state must be able to show that the officers acted outside the constitutional boundaries set forward by the Supreme Court of these United States.

Read more »

FBI Raids Allentown City Hall in Pennsylvania; Many Questions Loom

Allentown, PA

Allentown, PA

A federal grand jury investigation has prompted FBI agents to raid Allentown City Hall in Pennsylvania last week, The Morning Call reports. 

Agents spent hours collecting records dating from 2005 to present, said Susan Ellis Wild, Allentown’s solicitor.

“There are a number of things in the search warrant,” Wild said. “It was not terribly specific.”

What remains unclear is target of the investigation.

Some city officials have said they were interviewed by the FBI about city contracts, but they didn’t offer more details.

FBI Agent Accused of Bankrolling Lavish Lifestyle with Seized Drug Money

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An FBI agent is accused of bankrolling his lavish lifestyle with money seized from drug dealers.

Scott M. Bowman, 44, has been charged with stealing more than $100,000 confiscated from suspected drug dealers, according to a grand jury indictment unsealed Thursday, the Los Angeles Times reports. 

Bowman is accused of spending the money on a $27,500 sports car, a $44,000 Dodge Challenger, $25,000 worth of sound systems and wheels, $15,000 for cosmetic surgery for his wife and $1,000 boxing tickets.

In one case, according to the indictment, Bowman opened an evidence bag and removed “a substantial amount.”

Bowman “put his own greed above the trust placed in him by the FBI and the American public,” Assistant Atty. Gen. Leslie R. Caldwell said in a statement. “Corrupt law enforcement agents not only compromise those investigations in which they are involved, but also damage the reputations of fellow law enforcement officers who are dedicated to public service and the protection of all Americans.”

Bowman also was charged with obstruction of justice, witness tampering, money laundering and falsification of records.