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Tag: investigation

Justice Department May Reopen Investigation into 1955 Killing of Emmett Till

Emmett Till

Emmett Till

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department is considering reopening its investigation into the brutal 1955 killing of Emmett Till.

The infamous case took a new turn recently when a witness, Carolyn Bryant Donham, admitted she lied during the murder trial when she testified that the black teenager touched her.

Till’s killers were not convicted.

“Nothing that boy did could ever justify what happened to him,” Donham was quoted as saying in a new book, “The Blood of Emmett Till.”

“The Department is currently assessing whether the newly revealed statement could warrant additional investigation,” Acting Assistant Attorney General T.E. Wheeler II wrote U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson in a letter, the Clarion-Ledger reports. 

But Wheeler warned that historic cases such as this are difficult to prosecute.

“We caution, however, that even with our best efforts, investigations into historic cases are exceptionally difficult, and there may be insurmountable legal and evidentiary barriers to bringing federal charges against any remaining living persons,” he wrote.

Till was only 14 when two brothers abducted him on false claims that he wolf-whistled at Donham. Till was brutally beaten and shot in the head.

His death was a major impetus for the civil rights movement.

Other Stories of Interest

Trump’s Political Consultant Roger Stone Jr. Is Under an FBI Investigation

Donald TrumpBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump’s political consultant Roger J. Stone Jr. is under investigation for possibly colluding with the Russians to help interfere in the presidential election.

Stone, a full-time provocateur, was mentioned during a hearing of the House Intelligence Committee on Monday, when FBI Director James Comey was asked if he was familiar with Stone, the New York Times reports. 

“Generally, yes,” Comey responded before saying he wouldn’t discuss individual people.

Hillary Clinton campaign chairman, John D. Podeta, accused Stone, 64, of knowing about the hacks before they became public.

“Trust me, it will soon the Podesta’s time in the barrel,” Stone had mused on Twitter before Podesta’s emails were released.

When asked how Stone would know about the leak before it happened, Comey balked, saying “That’s not something I can comment on.”

The New York Times wrote:

Mr. Stone has denied advance knowledge of the hacks or any involvement with the Russians. But his public statements have given investigators something to focus on.

Before the Podesta emails were released, Mr. Stone said in a speech that he had “communicated with” Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder — whom he has defended for years — and that he had a large trove of material on the Clintons that he would publish shortly before the election. He has acknowledged having communicated over Twitter with the online persona Guccifer 2.0, who American officials believe is a front for Russian intelligence officials. And there was the Podesta tweet.

But Mr. Stone has explanations for each: The timeline of his “benign” contacts with Guccifer 2.0 — “who may or not be a Russian asset” — disproves claims of collusion; his communication with Mr. Assange was through an intermediary and was “perfectly legal;” and the Podesta tweet referred to information in an article he wrote that appeared two months later, not any emails.

Now under scrutiny by both F.B.I. and Senate investigators, Mr. Stone has hired two lawyers to represent him. But in an interview, Mr. Stone maintained that this was “a scandal with no evidence.”

Secret Service Agents Investigated for Snapping Selfies with Trump’s Grandson

secret serviceBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Two Secret Service agents are under investigation for taking selfies with President Trump’s sleeping 8-year-old grandson last weekend.

The agents were driving Donald III to Manhattan from Westchester County, where Trump has an estate, Mother Jones reports.

Agents began taking selfies with Trump’s grandson when he fell asleep in the car.

The boy was “freaked out” by the selfies, a source told Mother Jones.

When he reached his destination, the boy told his mom what had happened, prompting an investigation.

“The US Secret Service is aware of a matter involving two of our agents and one of our protectees,” a Secret Service spokesman said. “Our Office of Professional Responsibility will always thoroughly review a matter to determine the facts and to ensure proper, long-standing protocols and procedures are followed. The Secret Service would caution individuals to not jump to conclusions that may grossly mischaracterize the matter.”

Democrat Questions FBI Director’s Willingness to Investigate Trump’s Ties to Russia

Russian leader Vladimir Putin

Russian leader Vladimir Putin

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

FBI Director James Comey has shown virtually no willingness to cooperate with a Congressional investigation into potential ties between Russia and President Trump’s campaign, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee said Monday.

“I have yet to be convinced … by the director of the FBI that we will have the fulsome kind of cooperation that we will need,” Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., told reporters in the Capitol, The Hill reports.

Without the full cooperation of the FBI and Comey, Schiff said there’s little the Intelligence Committee can do.

“We can’t become the FBI, we can’t send out our own investigators spanning all over the globe,” Schiff said. “We will need their cooperation, and whether we will get that in as fulsome a manner as we need has yet to be determined, in my view.” 

Schiff’s comments came just hours after Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., said he’s seen “no evidence” of ties between Russia and Trump’s campaign.

“What I’ve been told, by many folks, is that there’s nothing there — but we’re absolutely looking into it,” Nunes said.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: FBI Went too Far Running a Child Porn Site

hacking By Editorial Board
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The FBI is supposed to protect children from predators, not use them as pawns in a pornography sting. That is what happened, however, and now the agency is under fire from civil rights groups, defense attorneys and even some scholars and federal judges. Not for the first time — remember when agents impersonated a journalist in pursuit of a teenager who was making bomb threats to a school? — the FBI has demonstrated embarrassingly poor judgment in an internet-based investigation.

For two weeks in 2015, after seizing control of a child porn website, the FBI not only allowed the site to remain operational but operated it, becoming what The Seattle Times called “one of the largest purveyors of child pornography on the internet.” The goal of Operation Pacifier was to identify those who used the site and file charges against them. By the time the FBI pulled the plug, it had the goods on nearly 190 people, thanks to special technology it used to hack into users’ computers.

When is distribution of child porn not a crime? According to the FBI, when it’s the one doing the distributing. Its operation of the site allowed visitors to access pornographic images, further exploiting the victims. It’s even been accused of improving the site’s functionality, making it friendlier for porn-seekers to use during the sting.

To read more click here. 

Trump’s Former Campaign Manager: Clinton Lost Because of FBI Announcement

Donald TrumpBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Donald Trump’s former presidential campaign manager said Hillary Clinton lost the race because of the FBI’s renewed investigation of her private email server.

“With 11 days to go, something amazing happened,” Corey Lewandowski said late Wednesday, referring to the final days of the 2016 race, according to The Telegraph.

“The FBI’s director James [Comey] came out on a Friday and he said they may be reopening the investigation into ‘Crooked Hillary’s’ emails,” he said. “What that did was remind people that there are two different rules in Washington – those of the elites and the privileged, and those for everybody else.”

Lewandowski said Comey’s controversial announcement resulted in an upset.

“When Comey moved forward with that investigation…it allowed the campaign a little spring in their step, and for them to redouble their efforts,” he said.

“In those last eleven days, Mr. Trump was exceptionally disciplined. He used a teleprompter, and he did less media. The team used social media like no campaign in history. And then, Donald Trump won the election campaign by the largest majority since [former President] Ronald Reagan in 1984.”

Boston Globe: Lawmakers Should Scrutinize FBI After Election Day

Director James B. Comey

Director James B. Comey

By Editorial Board
Boston Globe

At least the FBI got the last act of its October fiasco right. On Sunday afternoon, two days before Election Day, director James B. Comey wrote in a letter to Congress that the bureau had finished its review of thousands upon thousands of e-mails related to Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s server, and that no criminal charges would be recommended. The bureau does deserve credit for working so rapidly, and giving the American people a bit more clarity after it cryptically disclosed the new inquiry a little over a week ago.

The bottom line: Comey’s conclusion from an earlier investigation stands. Clinton should not have used her own server while Secretary of State, which made her communications vulnerable to hacking, but her mistakes were not criminal. There is no evidence that national secrets were stolen, or that anyone was harmed as a result of her e-mail setup. She has still rightly apologized for her actions.

So things stand where they were in July, when Comey said that because there was no evidence of criminal intent, no reasonable prosecutor would charge Clinton in the case. The hyperventilating from Republican nominee Donald J. Trump aside, it could not be clearer that Clinton’s e-mail practices do not disqualify her for the presidency, then or now.

But the bureau’s diligence over the last week doesn’t erase serious questions about its conduct, which should come under greater scrutiny from lawmakers after the election. There are plausible suggestions that at least some members of the bureau acted out of partisan motivations that have no place in law enforcement, and that Comey made an error in judgment disclosing the new review’s existence in a letter noteworthy for its vagueness and innuendo. Comey’s communique was one that — by virtue of its timing alone — demanded clarity, and his effort was anything but.

To read more click here. 

NTSB to Investigate Cause of N.Y. Train Derailment That Injured 33 People

Long Island Rail Road train, via Wikipedia.

Long Island Rail Road train, via Wikipedia.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The National Transportation Safety Board will determine what caused a 12-car commuter train and a work train to sideswipe each other in New York, leading to 33 injuries of 33 people, four seriously, Gob. Andrew M. Cuomo said Sunday.

State officials said the eastbound Long Island Rail Road train derailed after it sideswiped a yellow maintenance train, leaving a “splatter of yellow paint where the first collision occurred,” the Washington Post reports. 

“Both trains were running in the same direction — one was a work train, one was a revenue train and they sideswiped each other,” said Cuomo. “The question is why.”