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Tag: President Obama

Democrats Demand Apology from CIA Director After Agency Spied on Senate Staffers

CIA Director John Brennan

CIA Director John Brennan

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A group of Democrats is calling for President Obama to demand an apology from CIA Director John Brennan for spying on Senate staffers, The Hill reports. 

“We believe that it is necessary for you to address this matter directly,” Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) wrote in a letter to Obama on Thursday.

“We ask that you instruct Director Brennan to acknowledge that the CIA’s unauthorized search of Senate files was improper and will not be repeated.”

The Democrats said it’s “wholly unacceptable” that Brennan never acknowledged publicly “that this search was improper.”

Senators revealed in March 2014 that the CIA broke into a walled-off computer and searched Senate files.

The documents were related to an investigation by the Intelligence Committee of the CIA’s use of torture.

The CIA’s inspector general discovered that five agency employees had “improperly accessed” the computer in mid-2014.

Other Stories of Interest

Sen. Marco Rubio Slams Justice Department, Says It Won’t Indict Hillary

Sen. Marco Rubio

Sen. Marco Rubio

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Sen. Marco Rubio earlier this week slammed the Justice Department and said he doubted prosecutors would bring an indictment in Hillary Clinton’s email scandal, according to a report in Newsmax.

Appearing on Fox News Sean Hannity show, said if he’s elected, “there will be real accounting with a real Justice Department and a real attorney general” and “we’re going to hold people accountable.”

He said he doubts the Obama administration’s Justice Department will indictment Hillary Clinton in the email case even though Clinton “didn’t care that she exposed classified and sensitive information.”

Justice Department Plans to Hire More Attorneys to Handle Clemency Cases

jail2photoBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Obama’s push to grant early release to federal prisoners has prompted the Justice Department to announce it’s drastically increasing the number of attorneys to handle the clemency, The Daily Caller reports. 

The Office of the Pardon Attorney is looking for 16 attorney advisors to help handle the clemency cases.

The hiring would more than double the agency’s staffing level, which currently has seven permanent attorneys.

The Justice Department has encouraged federal prisoners to petition for early release.

Under the initiative, announced in April 2014, federal prisoners who served at least a decade in prison for non-violent crimes are eligible.

President Obama to Announce Executive Actions to Tighten Gun Control

president obama state of unionBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Obama is expected to announce a long-awaited executive action on gun control this week in his final year as president, Politico reports. 

The White House said the measures would curb gun violence.

Citing people familiar with the proposals, Obama would require more small-scale gun sellers to be licensed, making them subject to background checks.

Obama also wants to tighten rules for reporting stolen or lost guns.

Obama proposed even stiffer gun regulations but Congress was unlikely to approve any new curbs on firearms.

Other Stories of Interest

FBI Beefs Up Presence in 3 Major U.S. Cities Ahead of New Year’s Eve

new york city3 cabsBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Federal authorities are heightening security in several highly populated locations on New Year’s Eve after President Obama said a threat overseas may involve three American cities, The Source reports. 

During a security briefing, President Obama was warned of possible targets that include New York, Los Angeles and Washington.

The FBI is beefing up its presence in some of the 24-hour command centers around the country.

Secret Service Stops Man from Flying Drone Alongside President Obama’s Motorcade in Hawaii

DroneBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A recreational drone alarmed Secret Service agents after it was seen flying alongside President Obama’s motorcade in Hawaii, the International Business Times reports. 

Agents approached the operator and ordered him to land the drone.

The operator complied and was not arrested.

“The Secret Service is aware of this incident. The subject was completely unaware that the Presidential motorcade would be transiting the area of operation and immediately complied with law enforcement requests to cease and desist. No charges were filed. The motorcade proceeded without further incident,” the agency said in a statement late Monday, according toWABC, an ABC News affiliate for New York.

Obama is on vacation in Hawaii.

Lengel: The Terrible Message President Obama is Sending About ATF and the U.S. Marshals Service

president obama- white house photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Imagine if you will, if there was an interim director of the FBI and President Barack Obama announced that he wasn’t going to bother nominating the interim director to a permanent post because he didn’t want to expend the political capital and energy.

Imagine the message that would send: Presumably that the FBI wasn’t worth the trouble, that it wasn’t worth the effort, that it wasn’t really that important of a law enforcement agency.

Well, The Hill newspaper reports that Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced that the President wasn’t going to nominate U.S. Marshals Service Acting Director David Harlow nor interim ATF head Thomas Brandon for a Senate confirmation. That means both will be deputy directors.

It not only sends a message to the agencies and its workers that “you’re not that important,” it also sends the same message to lawmakers on Capitol Hill, who set their budgets, and to the public at large.

The U.S. Marshals Service transports prisoners, hunts fugitives and protects federal courthouses and judges. Sounds pretty important to me.

ATF enforces our gun laws and investigates explosions. That also sounds pretty important.

Interestingly, at a time when President Barack Obama is shouting from the mountain tops about the importance of cracking down on gun violence, he’s whispering behind closed doors that ATF, which could help in the battle,  is not a very high priority to him.

President Obama and Attorney General Loretta Lynch need to step up and defend their law enforcement agencies.

It’s the right thing to do.

Senior Homeland Security Official Flip-Flops on Gun Sales to People on Terrorist Watch List

gunsBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A senior Homeland Security official who suggested last week that President Obama’s plan to ban firearm sales to people on the government’s terrorist watch list was misguided has taken an entirely different tone, the Washington Times reports. 

Alan Bersin seemed to undermine Obama’s proposed ban in sworn testimony to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, saying that he didn’t think it would be appropriate to ban gun sales based on one’s presence on the terrorist watch list.

Bersin was repeating the opinions of many Republicans who feel it’s a violation of the Second Amendment to create such a ban because of the lower standards of evidence to place someone on the no-fly list.

But following the testimony, Bersin issued a statement that he agrees with President Obama and Democrats that a ban is needed because of the dangers of terrorism.

“To be clear, it is the administration’s position that Congress should act to make sure no one on a no-fly list is able to buy a gun. This is a matter of national security and common sense, and it is a position I and the department support,” Mr. Bersin said in the statement.

Some Republicans lashed out, saying Bersin was likely pressured to change his tone.

“I think he said what he meant, and his bosses weren’t happy with that answer. We’ve seen that multiple times from this administration,” Rep. Blake Farenthold, a Texas Republican, told the Washington Times.

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