FBI report shows thousands more hate crimes in Trump's first year, a record high

In news that will not surprise anyone who is Black, Latinx, Jewish, Muslim, queer, or a member of any other group targeted by hateful idiots, hate crimes in America are way up under Trump. Says who? FBI. Read the rest

Booby-trapped wheelchair takes out FBI agent

Well here's a story you don't run across every day: an FBI agent was recently shot by a booby-trapped wheelchair while searching the former residence of 67-year old Gregory Lee Rodvelt.

Rodvelt was forced to forfeit his home in Williams, Oregon, after his 90-year old mother filed a civil suit against him for elder abuse a few years back. This past September, a real estate lawyer enlisted to sell the Rodvelt's house called local law enforcement to tell them that he'd found a sign posted on the property that warned it was "protected with improvised devices."

From The Oregonian:

They slipped by the minivan outfitted with the spring-loaded jaws of animal snares and avoided a circular hot tub turned on its side and designed to roll over trespassers who triggered a tripwire — something reminiscent of "a scene from the movie 'Indiana Jones.'"

But the FBI special agent and three state police bomb technicians never made it past the empty wheelchair inside the manufactured home they entered on the southern Oregon property, court records say.

The agent was rushed to a hospital in Grants Pass, about 15 miles away. An X-ray found a .410-gauge shotgun pellet in the agent's left leg below the knee.

Ow.

Rodvelt, who's been up shit creek with the law on several occasions in the past, had been serving time in the clink on charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, failure to mark explosives and resisting arrest. However, someone had the genius idea to release him for a two-week period so that he could return to his former home and prepare it for sale. Read the rest

American Bar Association asks the US Senate to slow down and call the FBI

The American Bar Association, implied by apoplectic US Senator Lindsay Graham as offering their "gold standard" rating to Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, has asked the US Senate to investigate said nominee. Seems the ABA also had problems with Kavanaugh in the past, which the Senate also ignored. Read the rest

FBI will face lawsuit for putting people on the No-Fly list for refusing to inform on friends

Even though the DoJ has expressly prohibited using the No-Fly list to gain leverage over potential informants, the FBI has continued its longstanding practice of blackmailing American citizens by putting them on the No-Fly list because they refused to work as informants. Read the rest

Edward Snowden on Malkia Cyril, a multigenerational black rights activist on the front lines of the surveillance wars

For its 25th anniversary, Wired Magazine asked numerous luminaries to pick a figure from the digital world to celebrate; Edward Snowden chose EFF Pioneer Award Winner Malkia Cyril, executive director of the Center for Media Justice and cofounder of the Media Action Grassroots Network, who is one of the leaders in teaching grassroots activists to resist government surveillance. Read the rest

James Comey: A freak of nature with the power to cloud liberals' minds

The Clickhole is in incredible form with Step Right Up And Feast Your Eyes On The Unfathomable Comey, The Man Who Is Both Good And Bad! The Beautiful Monster Who Makes Resisters’ Minds Spin! Betrayer Of Hillary! Enemy Of Trump! Behold This Freak Of Nature! It's a timely reminder that the FBI is a domestic surveillance agency with a long, dishonorable history of antidemocratic suppression of justice movements, and that nice guys with a commitment to decency and shared prosperity do not get appointed to head such institutions. Read the rest

FBI Dir. Wray on Trump's FBI attacks: I'll only comment on 'opinions that matter'

🔥😲 Christopher Wray, the head of the Federal Bureau of Investigations, spoke publicly about the findings of the just-concluded investigation into--among other things--James Comey's 11th-hour actions around the Clinton email investigation, and their effect on the 2016 U.S. Presidential elections. Read the rest

New Vpnfilter analysis: modules attack router owners and target industrial control systems; reinfection still possible, more routers vulnerable

Vpnfilter is the malicious software that targets home routers, thought to be the work of Russian state-affiliated hacker group Fancy Bear, that raised alarm last month on the revelation that it had infected half a million home routers around the world. Read the rest

FBI says to reboot your router ASAP to avoid Russia malware VPNFilter

Have you tried turning it off and on again?

The FBI sent out an urgent bulletin advising anyone with a home or small office internet router to immediately turn it off and then turn it on again as a way to help stop the spread of a malware outbreak with origins in Russia. Read the rest

The FBI's mountain of uncrackable crimephones was nearly entirely imaginary

The FBI has been trying to ban working cryptography since the Clinton years, a losing battle whose stakes go up with each passing day as the number of devices that depend on working crypto to secure them and their users goes up and up and up. Read the rest

Joshua Schulte named as suspect in 'Vault 7' leak of CIA tools to Wikileaks, but charged instead over child porn

Federal investigators believe a man who once worked for the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency is responsible for last year's massive leak of Top Secret CIA hacking tools, court documents reveal. Read the rest

Individual FBI agents can be sued for blackmailing potential informants with no-fly list threats

It's been three years since the filing of a suit against the FBI after agents put several Muslims on the No Fly list to retaliate against their refusal to be conscripted as a confidential informants spying on other Muslims; the FBI's illegal retaliation cost their victims their jobs, subjected them to harassment, and cut them off from visits to family overseas. Read the rest

Paul Manafort was interviewed twice by FBI years before he joined Trump's political campaign

The FBI interviewed Paul Manafort two times when he worked as a consultant for a political party in Ukraine aligned with Russian President Vladimir Putin, in March 2013 and July 2014--that's long before Manafort teamed up with Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign. Read the rest

FBI, DHS, and UK cyber agency warn of Russia internet attack that targets routers

The United States and Britain today accused Russia of launching a new wave of internet-based attacks targeting routers, firewalls and other computer networking equipment used by government agencies, businesses and critical infrastructure operators around the globe. Read the rest

Some Republicans fear that Cohen had taped conversations between himself and Trump that were seized by FBI

On Monday the FBI raided Trump lawyer Michael Cohen's office and home, and now some in the Trump camp worry that Cohen could have had tapes between himself and Trump.

After all, Cohen "had a reputation among campaign staff as someone to avoid, in part because he was believed to be secretly taping conversations," according to the Washington Post. He is known as someone who tapes conversations, stores them, and then plays them back to colleagues.

“We heard he had some proclivity to make tapes,” said one Trump adviser, according to the Washington Post. “Now we are wondering, who did he tape? Did he store those someplace where they were actually seized? . . . Did they find his recordings?”

It is unknown whether Cohen taped conversations between himself and Trump. But two people familiar with Cohen’s practices said he recorded both business and political conversations. One associate said Trump knew of Cohen’s practice because the attorney would often play him recordings Cohen had made of his conversations with other top Trump advisers.

“It was his standard practice to do it,” this person said.

Legal experts said Cohen’s taped conversations would be viewed by prosecutors as highly valuable.

“If you are looking for evidence, you can’t do any better than people talking on tape,” said Nick Akerman, a former Watergate prosecutor.

Such recordings “would be considered a gold mine,” said Stephen Gillers, a law professor at New York University who specializes in legal ethics.

And so, if there are indeed any such tapes, it makes sense that Cohen is scrambling today to get a restraining order against the use of any materials found in Monday's FBI raid. Read the rest

Lawsplaining the FBI raid on Trump's lawyer Michael Cohen

Ken "Popehat" White (previously) is a former US federal prosecutor whose explanations of the minutae of law have been invaluable to my understanding of the legal controversies swirling around Trump and his retinue. Read the rest

FBI raids the office of Trump's longtime lawyer Michael Cohen

Today the FBI raided the office of Trump's longtime personal lawyer, Michael D. Cohen. They seized various documents, including information related to porn actress Stormy Daniels, aka Stephanie Clifford.

According to the New York Times, who first reported on the story:

Federal prosecutors in Manhattan obtained the search warrant after receiving a referral from the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, according to Mr. Cohen’s lawyer, who called the search “completely inappropriate and unnecessary.” The search does not appear to be directly related to Mr. Mueller’s investigation, but likely resulted from information he had uncovered and gave to prosecutors in New York...

The payments to Ms. Clifford are only one of many topics being investigated, according to a person briefed on the search. The F.B.I. also seized emails, tax documents and business records, the person said.

And according to CNN, Trump knew about the raid before it was reported, and, of course, kept up with the story by watching reports about it on TV.

Image: IowaPolitics.com - Trump executive Michael Cohen 014, CC BY-SA 2.0, Link Read the rest

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