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Tag: Mueller

Top DOJ Official Steps Down to Avoid Prospect of Overseeing Special Counsel Probe

Rachel Brand is stepping down as third in command.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Fearing she would be tapped to oversee the special counsel investigation of Donald Trump and Russia, the Justice Department’s third in command decided to step down and avoid the president’s escalating attacks on the DOJ and other federal law enforcement agencies.

Associate Attorney General Rachel Brand, who is taking a job as an executive at Walmart, was already frustrated with mounting, unfilled vacancies under the Trump administration, according to multiple people close to Brand, NBC News reports

Since Brand was next in line to oversee the widening special investigation, she became increasingly worried when President Trump began publicly criticizing the DOJ’s second in command, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

In May, Rosenstein appointed Robert Mueller as special counsel to investigate Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election and whether the Kremlin had any ties with Trump’s campaign. Since then, Rosenstein has been the target of Trump’s relentless criticism in what has become a campaign to undermine confidence in the department overseeing the investigation.

While announcing her departure, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who recused himself from the Russia investigation, called Brand a “lawyer’s lawyer.”

Brand said in a statement, “I am proud of what we have been able to accomplish over my time here.”

Some Think Jana Monroe Should Be in the Mix for FBI Director

 

Jana Monroe

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

There have been plenty names bandied about to replace FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III later this year including Lisa Monaco, a career federal prosecutor, ex-U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald and Jim Comey, the former U.S. attorney in Manhattan

But one name some think should be in the mix is Jana Monroe, the former FBI special agent in charge of the Phoenix division, who is now Director, Corporate Security & Business Continuity Management at Southern California Edison in the Los Angeles area. She worked in the areas of counterterrorism, national security, corporate fraud, white-collar crime, corruption, and compliance crimes

One FBI agent, who thinks it would be wise to consider her, tells ticklethewire.com:

“It would be refreshing and rejuvenating for the FBI to hire someone with her background and leadership skills and style. She comes from the ranks and she’s been involved in the corporate world long enough to bridge the gap between law enforcement and the corporate world. I think Jana would also be great at working in the criminal intelligence and terrorism violations”

 In 2004 to 2006, she served as the head of the Phoenix office.   She was the first female operational Assistant Director of the FBI, tasked with establishing its Cyber Division shortly after 9/11.

 

Agent Daphne Hearn Heads South to Take Charge of FBI’s San Diego Office

Daphne Hearn-FBI L.A.

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

FBI agent Daphne Hearn is heading south — actually just a bit south — to head up the San Diego FBI office.

Hearn, who has served as special agent in charge of the administrative division in Los Angeles, succeeds Keith Slotter, who is retiring after 25 years.

Hearn, a Kansas City, Mo. native, began her FBI career in 1991. She started out in Buffalo and got involved in an organized crime investigation into an international illegal gambling operation with links to the mob in several cities, the FBI said.

In May 1998, she was went off to the Chicago division where she worked organized crime involving the town of Cicero, Ill.

The following year, she was elevated to the Organized Crime Section of the Criminal Investigative Division at FBI Headquarters, the FBI said.

From there she became an assistant inspector with the Office of Inspection at headquarters before heading off to Kansas City as a supervisory special agent.

In November 2005, she was named assistant section chief in the FBI’s International Operations Division. About two years later, she was promoted to assistant special agent in charge of the Investigative Services Branch at the Washington Field Office.

A year later, she was named special assistant to FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III.

In 2009, she was assigned to her current post in Los Angeles.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Sen. Kohl Asks FBI Director Mueller Not to Close Wisc. Offices

Sen. Herb Kohl/gov photo

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

Senator Herb Kohl warned FBI Director Robert Mueller on Wednesday morning about the danger of the FBI’s plan to close three FBI offices in the senator’s home state of Wisconsin, reports WXOW.

Kohl opposed the closures of offices in La Crosse, Kenosha and Wausau, Wisc., telling Mueller that if the closures go through “the Western District of Wisconsin will be especially hard hit, and will lose half of its FBI offices,” according to WXOW. “I have strong objections to these closures,” he said.

Mueller said that the FBI, looking at the Western part of Wisconsin, hopes the coverage will remain the same, with just as many agents overall, despite the office closures. He told Kohl there remained an open “crack” as to the final decision.

To read more click here.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

 

Are the Feds Helping Crackdown on Occupy Wall Street?

Robert Mueller/file fbi photo

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

Many are wondering whether or not the feds are helping crack down on the Occupy Wall Street movements spreading throughout the country, reports the Huffington Post.

Federal agencies deny any involvement, but that doesn’t seem to satisfy all. The Partnership for Civil Justice Fund and the National Lawyers Guild Mass Defense Committee, two civil rights groups, filed freedom of information requests regarding communications between federal law enforcement agencies and local police concerning the protests, according to the Huffington Post.

At a recent appearance in San Francisco FBI director Robert Mueller did little to clear things up. Speaking to the Commonwealth Club, reports SF Appeal, Mueller refused to answer any questions about FBI involvement in the crackdowns. “Many attendees of the talk were eager to ask the FBI director about the Occupy protests, but at the mention of the word, Mueller promised he would duck the question,” SF Appeal reports.

Mueller said the protesters are walking a fine line between exercising their first amendment rights and denying the rights of others to use public spaces. “I’m not going to get too deep in these waters,” he said. Occupy demonstrations are “largely” being dealt with by local authorities, he told listeners, and it has been working differently in various cities.

This comes shortly after an Associated Press report officials from nearly 40 cities discussed via conference calls how to deal with protestors.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST:

 

FBI Lends Hand to the Balkans

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

One lucky FBI agent has won a round trip visit to the Balkan nation of Bulgaria.

Announced on Tuesday during Bulgarian Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov’s U.S. visit, an FBI special agent will be sent to Bulgaria to assist the nation’s cyber crime fighting, reports the Sofia News Agency.

The agent will help with such cases involving child pornography, identity theft and financial crimes.

FBI Director Robert Mueller also made clear that in December he will visit Bulgaria, a nation he said the bureau’s relationship with is “better than ever.”

Tsventanov also met with US Attorney General Eric Holder and plans to meet with many others in the intelligence and federal law enforcement community.

To read more click here.

Fed Judge Killed and Congress Member Critically Wounded in Mass Shooting in Tucson; FBI Director Sent to Az

UPDATE: Sunday, 3 p.m. — FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III said at a press conference that he doesn’t believe a second person wanted for questioning is directly involved in the shooting.

“It was an attack not only against dedicated public servants but against citizens, one being a child,” Mueller said. “This was an attack on our institutions and an attack on our way of life.” CNN, citing sources, said the man has been interviewed and authorities have determined that he has nothing to do with this case.

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Arizona’s Chief U.S. District Judge John Roll was killed and U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Az) was gravely wounded Saturday morning at a mass shooting outside a Tucson grocery store,  authorities said.

Initially it appeared to be the work of a lone gunman, but authorities later said they were actively pursuing a second person, according to CNN.

Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. said in a statement that “FBI Director (Robert)  Mueller is traveling to Arizona to help coordinate the investigation.”

Robert Mueller

“The FBI is working jointly with local law enforcement to investigate today’s events, and I have directed Department prosecutors and law enforcement officials to use every resource necessary to investigate this tragedy, ” Holder said. “I want to assure the people of Arizona and every American that we will hold accountable anyone responsible for these heinous acts.”

CNN reported that in all six  died and 12 were wounded when a gunman opened fire outside a grocery store where the Congress member was conducting a “Congress on Your Corner” neighborhood meeting. A 9-year-old girl died in the attack.

Media outlets identified the shooter as Jared Lee Loughner, 22. A 9mm Glock handgun was recovered at the scene, CNN reported, citing senior law enforcement sources. He was taken into custody.

CNN reported that Dr. Peter Rhee of University Medical Center in Tucson said Giffords had undergone surgery for a single gunshot to the head that passed through her brain. He said he expected her to recover. The Tea Party had targeted her for defeat in this past election, and she barely won.  Giffords opposed Arizona’s controversial immigration law and was an ally of the White House.

Judge Roll was appointed to the federal bench by President George H.W. Bush in 1991. He had served as chief judge in Arizona since 2006.

President Obama issued a statement saying: “We do not yet have all the answers. What we do know is that such a senseless and terrible act of violence has no place in a free society. I ask all Americans to join me and Michelle in keeping Representative Giffords, the victims of this tragedy, and their families in our prayers.”

Related Stories

Column: Ex-FBI Official Says Naming Next FBI Director a Rare Opportunity for a Nonpartisan Appointment

Kathleen McChesney

By Kathleen McChesney, Ph.D.
FBI Executive Assistant Director (ret.)

As Robert S. Mueller III completes the final year of his ten-year term as the Director of the FBI, President Barack Obama and the United States Senate will have the critically important responsibility of nominating and confirming his successor.

This selection process should be devoid of the political posturing and gamesmanship that has surrounded the recent appointments of key government leaders and judges – but can only be so if the participants fully understand why the role of FBI Director is significantly different from other leadership positions.

While the FBI Director is not a political persona, the man or woman in this job exercises tremendous influence on international law enforcement issues and leaders.

The Director frequently makes crucial decisions on matters of national security and federal criminal investigations. He or she must be free to make decisions without fear of political consequences – especially in those cases involving public officials.

Read more »

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