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Tag: media

DOJ Appears to Be Investigating James Comey for Years-Old Leak

Former FBI Director James Comey, via FBI.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Former FBI Director James Comey appears to be the target of a Justice Department investigation into a years-old leak of classified Russian intelligence.

Federal prosecutors are trying to determine whether Comey unlawfully providing classified information to reporters, The New York Times reports.

This is the second DOJ investigation examining leaks potentially involving Comey, whom President often calls a “leaker.” Trump recently suggested, without evidence, that Comey should be jailed for “unlawful conduct.”

The second investigation is odd because it’s unusual for prosecutors to launch a probe into leaked classified information years after the fact.

The investigation appears to involve classified information about Russia that was written about by the New York Times and Washington Post in 2017.

Republican Congressman Calls for Secret Service Probe of Christmas Card Depicting an Assassinated Trump

Hustler Christmas card.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A Republican lawmaker wants the Secret Service to investigate Christmas cards sent to members of Congress depicting a cartoon of an assassinated President Trump.

The card shows smiling people, including Santa, surrounding Trump’s dead, bleeding body. On the back of the card, the shooter says in a thought bubble, “I just shot Donald Trump on Fifth Avenue. And no one arrested me.”

The quote is a reference to Trump bragging during the 2016 presidential campaign that “I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose any voters, OK?”

A Politico reporter confirmed the card was sent by Hustler Magazine.

On Twitter, Rep. Mike Johnson of Louisiana posted a picture of the card Thursday and called for a Secret Service investigation.

“Here’s all you need to know about the radical Left,” Johnson tweeted. “A young staffer of mine opened this in a stack of holiday mail today. Just imagine if a conservative had distributed such a disgusting and hateful piece about a Democrat. I hope this will be investigated by the @secretservice.”

Trump Attorney Rudy Giuliani Flip-Flops on Question about Collusion with Russia

Rudy Giuliani previously on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

President Trump’s attorney, Rudy Giuliani, is now claiming he “never said” the Trump campaign didn’t collude with Russia.

In an extraordinary interview on CNN on Wednesday night, Giuliani acknowledged there may have been “collusion” between the campaign and Russia, but Trump was not involved.

“I never said there was no collusion between the campaign. Or between people in the campaign,” Giuliani told CNN host Chris Cuomo on live television. “I have no idea.”

Truth is, Giuliani and Trump have both denied collusion.

“I have not,” Giuliani insisted. “I said the president of the United States. There is not a single bit of evidence the president of the United States committed the only crime you could commit here, conspired with the Russians to hack the DNC.”

In previous interviews, Giuliani denied anyone in the campaign colluded with Russia. He told Fox News in July that there was “no collusion” and then maintained that “collusion is not a crime.”

Trump has repeatedly insisted no one in his campaign colluded with Russia.

“There was nobody to collude with,” Trump said at a press conference with Vladimir Putin at his side last summer. “There was no collusion with the campaign.”

In previous tweets, including one as recent as December, Trump exclaimed, “No collusion!”

Giuliani’s latest rhetoric comes as Robert Mueller begins collecting more evidence of links between Trump, his campaign and Russia.

Last week, a court filing error by Paul Manafort’s attorneys showed that Manafort, Trump’s former champaign boss, met with Russian-linked operative named Konstantin Kilmnik and shared polling data with him. At one point, Manafort urged Kilimnik to pass the data to Russian oligarch Oleg V. Deripaska, according to the court filing.

Right-Wing Media Gets Whackier, Calling for Abolishment of FBI

Fox News’ Sean Hannity interviews President Trump, via Twitter.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

President Trump’s most stubborn defenders in the right-wing media have taken their attacks on the FBI to another whacky level.

Fox News legal analyst Gregg Jarrett called for scrapping the FBI because, he insisted, it’s part of a deep state conspiracy to bring down the president.

“This is an all-powerful, out of control agency,” Jarrett said on Sean Hannity’s show Monday. “Rogue agency. And frankly, it’s time that it be halted in its tracks and reorganized and replaced with a new organization that has legal restraints imposed upon it and accountable to somebody. When the boss of the FBI Rod Rosenstein is in bed with his subordinates, inventing a counter-intelligence case against the President with no probable cause, no reasonable suspicion, no credible evidence. It is time that the FBI be halted.”

Fox legal analyst Gregg Jarrett just called for the FBI to be disbanded over reports that they are investigating Trump

“Frankly, it’s time that it be halted in its tracks, reorganized and replaced” pic.twitter.com/szhaOSLOve

— Andrew Lawrence (@ndrew_lawrence) January 15, 2019

A day earlier, Joel Pollak from the far right-wing site Breitbart, wrote that it’s “time to scrap the FBI and start over fresh with a reorganized agency under a new name and with an improved commitment to neutrality and accountability.”

Never mind that most of the top FBI officials who have been accused of a running a rogue bureau are lifelong Republicans. Or that fired FBI Director James Comey may have cost Hillary Clinton the presidency by suggesting he was reopening the investigation into her email server just days before the election.

The accusations and suggestions have gotten so bizarre and devoid of evidence that some Republicans are speaking out against the feverish right-wing media.

U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, of Tennessee, recently said Trump has ushered in the “tyranny of the right-wing media” and must be stopped before propaganda replaces facts.

DOJ Creates Department to Investigate FBI Officials Leaking Classified Information

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

So much classified information is being leaked from the FBI that the Justice Department created a new counterintelligence division to address the issue.

Records obtained by The Young Turks show the anti-leak department was created during the first year of President Trump’s administration.

“By law, the FBI is the lead federal agency responsible for the investigation of violations of the espionage laws of the United States,” reads the “Functions and Mission Statement” section of a document dated Nov. 10, 2017.

“The complicated nature of — and rapid growth in — unauthorized disclosure and media leak threats and investigations has necessitated the establishment of a new Unit,” the document reads.

Ex-Senate Aide Who Leaked Information to Reporters Sentenced to 2 Months in Prison

James Wolfe (Linkedin photo)

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

A former Senate Intelligence Committee aide was sentenced to two months in prison Thursday for lying to the FBI about leaking information to reporters covering the panel’s investigation into Russian election meddling.

James A. Wolfe, 58, pleaded guilty in October to one count of making a false statement to FBI agents in a December interview. He falsely told investigators that he did not provide unclassified but protected information about a witness who had been subpoenaed to testify before the committee.

Prosecutors urged the judge to sentence Wolfe to two years in prison, saying he routinely shared sensitive information with “multiple young, female reporters.”

Wolfe, who admitted to providing the information to four reporters, said he lied to the FBI because he didn’t want his wife to find out about an affair.

When Wolfe is released from jail, he will have four months of supervised release and must complete 20 hours of community service for each of those months.

Robert Mueller Makes Short List for Times’s Person of the Year 2018

Special Counsel Robert Mueller, via FBI.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Robert Mueller, the special counsel investigating Russia and Trump’s campaign, made the short list for Time’s Person of the Year 2018.

The magazine ran a lengthy, insightful piece about how the often silent prosecutor has continued his investigation in spite of constant attacks by President Trump and his backers, who claim Mueller is on a “witch hunt.”

Just this year, Mueller charged 34 people and entities with crimes, often convincing them to cooperate as the investigation balloons and begins to focus on the president.

Time wrote:

Mueller’s silence has invited noisy speculation from partisans. To critics on the right, he is an overzealous prosecutor drunk on power and roaming beyond his mandate in a bid to drum Trump out of office. To liberals, he is a crusading hero who won’t quit until he brings the President to justice. The public narrative of Mueller’s investigation this year has often described its central character more as myth than man.

So it is instructive to hear friends and former colleagues talk about Robert Swan Mueller III. Not because they portray a perfect person, but because they describe a complicated one: relentless but circumspect, impatient but thorough, difficult but respected. Mueller, they say, is the kind of man who flicks the lights off and on at his home to inform guests that it’s time to leave a social gathering, and who is so keenly aware of any appearance of impropriety that he won’t even enter the same room as friends who are working on the other side of the Russia case. As FBI director, he twice threatened to resign over matters of legal principle, winning the standoff both times, and was infamous for eviscerating ill-prepared underlings. “If indicting his own mother was the right thing to do,” says former FBI assistant director Tom Fuentes, “he would do it.”

These qualities, manifest in Mueller’s work this year, are why many believe he was ideally suited to oversee the biggest test to the American system of justice since Watergate. As the nation awaits Mueller’s report and the political pressure intensifies, he has led the investigation with the same rigor and sense of duty that has marked his life. “He likes to follow procedures,” says David Kris, former Assistant Attorney General in the national-security division of the Department of Justice. “And those procedures he sees as a safe harbor against the stormy seas of politicization.”

Time placed Mueller on the “short list,” as the No. 3 person of the year for 2018.

Time named a group of journalists it referred to as “The Guardians” as the 2018 Person of the Year, referring to the reporters “who have taken great risks in pursuit of greater truths.”

Mueller Asks FBI to Investigate Allegations That Women Were Offered Money to Accuse Him of Sexual Assault

Special counsel Robert Mueller. Photo via FBI.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Special counsel Robert Mueller is asking the FBI to investigate a scheme in which women were allegedly offered money to accuse him of sexual assault.

If true, it’s an ugly exploitation of the #MeToo movement and threatens to undermine legitimate claims of sexual harassment and assault.

Journalists uncovered the alleged hoax when they began receiving telephone call from someone making the offer, The USA Today reports

“When we learned last week of allegations that women were offered money to make false claims about the special counsel, we immediately referred the matter to the FBI for investigation,” Mueller spokesman Peter Carr said.

Mueller has been the subject of constant criticism from President Trump, who claims the special counsel is conducting a “witch hunt” by investigating Trump’s campaign and whether it colluded with Russia to undermine the 2016 presidential election.

A correspondent from HillReporter.com wrote about the offer, saying a man proposed to pay off her credit card debt and issuing a $20,000 check. The caller asked the reporter to use an encrypted communications application to receive more information about the proposal.

“Reluctantly, I downloaded the app and he called me on that app a few minutes later,” the person said in the email to the reporter. “He said (and I will never forget exactly what it was) ‘I want you to make accusations of sexual misconduct and workplace harassment against Robert Mueller, and I want you to sign a sworn affidavit to that effect.’”