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Tag: senators

3 Senators Believe Michael Flynn Is Cooperating with FBI Investigation

Former National Security Adviser Michael T. Flynn

Former National Security Adviser Michael T. Flynn

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Michael Flynn, the former national security adviser for Donald Trump, could help make or break a case against the president during the special counsel’s investigation.

Three Democratic senators said they believe Flynn is cooperating with special counsel Robert Mueller and may be providing testimony that could incriminate the president.

Flynn found himself in the crosshairs of the investigation after he lied to Vice President Mike Pence and FBI investigators about a meeting with Russians, which lead to his resignation from the Trump administration.

Trump is accused of obstructing justice by trying to get then-FBI Director James Comey to stop investigating Flynn, who briefly asked for immunity during a congressional investigation.

“If you draw conclusions as a prosecutor about what we can see from the Flynn investigation, all the signals are suggesting that he’s already cooperating with the FBI and may have been for some time,” Democratic Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer.

Later in the evening, Sen. Richard Blumenthal agreed, saying, “The likelihood of his cooperation is very high,” the Connecticut Democrat told MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell. “Whether he will be truthful in cooperating, whether in fact he knows enough to justify some kind of agreement with the prosecutors, I think will be told by time.”

Sen. Mark Warner told CNN on Tuesday that Flynn wants immunity.

“Clearly he’s been looking for immunity for some time. He said he would come in and talk to us at the intel committee but only with immunity,” Warner told CNN. “I would have a lot of questions for General Flynn, not only his unreported trips and unreported finances he received from Turkey, from Russia. I’d like to know what kind of conversations he had with Russian officials while he was directly involved in the campaign.”

Senators Introduce Bill Aimed at Increasing Number of Border Patrol Agents

File photo of a Border Patrol agent.

File photo of a Border Patrol agent.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake and Heidi Heitkamp introduced legislation aimed at increasing the number of Border Patrol agents at ports of entry.

The legislation, the Customs and Border Protection and Hiring Retention Act, is deigned to eliminate recruitment obstacles and help retain agents, the Republican and Democrat said in a press release

“Arizona can’t afford for its ports to go on strained and understaffed,” Flake, R-Ariz., said in the release. “By tackling CBP’s hiring problems head-on, this bill will help strengthen border security and facilitate the cross-border trade that is critical to Arizona’s economy.”

The senators said Border Patrol is short of about 1,000 agents.

The legislation would provide incentives for Border Patrol agents to stay on the job and not go to other agencies.

“In my visits with border security officials and personnel in Portal last month and Pembina last year, a key concern I heard over and over from agents on the ground was about their abilities to both attract and retain quality workers to best protect our communities – and it’s those challenges that our bipartisan bill would work to address. This effort expands on my work in the U.S. Senate to make it easier to hire and retain federal employees, like border patrol agents, at remote locations such as at the Northern Border. And my bipartisan bill to assess threats to the Northern Border and examine employee recruitment and retention issues is expected to soon be signed into law. Our border patrol agents work to keep our borders protected, and they need to have the resources and support to keep our communities safe,” said Heitkamp, D-N.D.

Other Stories of Interest

Two Female Senators Urge FBI to Collect More Data on Domestic Violence, Stalking Crimes

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Two female senators are calling for the FBI to collect more information on domestic violence and stalking crimes.

“The seriousness and devastating effects of these crimes, as well as the propensity for repeat victimization, expose a dangerous gap in the FBI’s crime data collection programs,” Sens.Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) wrote in a letter sent Monday to FBI Director James Comey and Attorney General Loretta Lynch, The Hill reports. 

The senators wrote that the FBI collects data on crimes ranging “from homicide to loitering … but no data are collected on stalking and very limited data are collected on domestic violence.”

The senators said a quarter of women are victims of domestic violence, and one in six women are victims of stalking.

“The FBI is already authorized by law to collect data on new crimes without congressional approval, and it has already done so multiple times,” the senators wrote.

“For example, in January 2016, the FBI began collecting crime data on animal cruelty, with the justification that animal cruelty is an early indicator of violent crime,” they added.

Column: Ex-Senators Say We’re Still Not Ready For Bioterrorism Attack

Ex- senators Bob Graham, a Democrat from Florida, and Jim Talent, a Republican from Missouri, served as the chair and vice chair of the Congressional Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism.

Ex-Sen. Bob Graham/gov photo

Ex-Sen. Bob Graham/gov photo

By Bob Graham and Jim Talent
Washington Post Op-Ed Page

The two of us — at the request of Congress and in the service of two presidents — have for the past 30 months led a bipartisan effort to assess the danger of a WMD attack and recommend steps to reduce it.

In December 2008 the commission we led on the prevention of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and terrorism unanimously concluded that unless the world community acts decisively and with great urgency, it is more likely than not that a weapon of mass destruction will be used in a terrorist attack by the end of 2013 — and that a biological attack is more likely than nuclear. This conclusion was publicly affirmed by then-Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell.

Information has since come to light about the possibility that one or more nation-states may choose to provide sophisticated biological weapons to terrorist groups. The scenario that would result is not that of more than two dozen people becoming ill and five dying, as happened after the anthrax mailings in October 2001, but a much darker picture, as described in a November 2009 National Security Council document.

To read more click here.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Senators and Experts Say U.S. Falling Short in Helping Mexico Battle Cartels

border-fence-photo2Just like the mortgage debacle, if we continue to fall short in addressing the Mexican drug war, it will spin out of control and cost more lives in the U.S. The problem has already spilled over into our states. It can only get worse if we continue to fall short.

By R. Jeffrey Smith
Washington Post Staff Writer
WASHINGTON — U.S. efforts to help the Mexican government battle powerful organized crime networks are falling short, and a recent sharp spike in violence south of the border poses a growing threat to U.S. citizens, senators and independent experts told officials from three federal agencies yesterday on Capitol Hill.

Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard (D), who said his state is the principal American gateway for drugs and human smuggling from Mexico, called the Mexican cartels the principal criminal threat for the 21st century. But he criticized Washington’s response as disjointed and called for more intelligence-sharing and better coordination.

“We are not winning the battle,” Goddard told members of the Senate Judiciary subcommittee on crime and drugs.

Lawmakers joined Goddard in calling for a stronger federal response, including heightened efforts to stanch the illicit stream of thousands of American guns and billions of dollars in cash annually flowing southward across the border.

For Full Story