When Government Ignores The Constitution

Yesterday The Washington Free Beacon posted an article yesterday about an incident in San Jose, California, that should give us pause.

The article reports:

In 2013, Lori Rodriguez called San Jose police to her home because her husband was having a mental health crisis and making violent threats. Seven years later, she is petitioning the Supreme Court to force the city to return her guns.

“It’s not right. I shouldn’t have to do this to get back what’s mine,” Rodriguez told the Washington Free Beacon. “They violated several of my constitutional rights.”

Rodriguez claims police ordered her to open the couple’s gun safe so they could seize all of the weapons in the home after her husband was detained for making threats that the city says included “shooting up schools.” Cops seized not only her husband’s weapons but also the guns that were personally registered to Rodriguez. The city has repeatedly rebuffed her requests to return her property.

The suit is now the sole case with Second Amendment implications remaining before the Court after the justices rejected 10 other gun-rights cases on June 15. Rodriguez’s legal challenge comes as the federal government and a number of states debate “red flag” bills that would allow authorities to deny gun rights to citizens. It has the potential to clarify the extent to which the Second Amendment protects individuals from seizures of firearms.

San Jose city attorney Richard Doyle did not respond to a request for comment. The city defended its actions, saying that authorities were within their rights to confiscate the guns, calling Rodriguez’s claim “borderline frivolous.”

“If the government has lawful authority to effect the forfeiture and observes the requirements of due process in so doing, it has complied with the Constitution,” Doyle said in a brief submitted to the Supreme Court on Wednesday. “The forfeiture does nothing whatever to impair the previous owner’s right to buy, possess, or use firearms, and notwithstanding that the owner may recover the full market value of the guns through their transfer and sale.”

The article continues:

Several of the guns confiscated from Rodriguez by San Jose police have special sentimental value, according to Rodriguez. Police confiscated not only handguns that she and her husband purchased but also a war souvenir inherited from a family member.

“One of them is a gun my great uncle brought back from WWII,” she said. “I really want that one back. You can’t replace that one, obviously.”

Don Kilmer, Rodriguez’s lawyer, said that while the case implicates the 2nd Amendment, in addition to the 4th and even 14th Amendments, it ultimately comes down to an undisputed fact: Lori Rodriguez is not prohibited from owning the firearms San Jose took from her house.

“Her mental health has never been at issue,” Kilmer told the Free Beacon. “The law that the city is holding these guns under says that you can confiscate weapons of people who are mentally ill. Lori is not mentally ill.”

In the years since the initial police call, the Rodriguez family continues to live together, but Lori has taken steps to ensure she can legally own the confiscated firearms. She has transferred all of the firearms into her name and she is the only family member who knows the combination to the gun safe. Her lawyers argue that she is in compliance with all California gun laws—including those for individuals who live with people who can not own firearms themselves.

If her husband was the problem and he had no access to the gun safe, how can the city justify taking her guns away? This is definitely overreach.

When Science Becomes Political

Yesterday Hot Air posted an article titled, “Here’s three examples of why public trust in the scientific community is waning.” Taken together, these examples illustrate how ridiculous some members of the ‘scientific community’ have become in their statements against President Trump and in their support of all things of the political left.

The first example:

The protests over the death of George Floyd have brought to the surface a good example of why so many in the general public no longer trust what public health professionals are saying about the coronavirus pandemic. The information being given to us is confusing and ever-changing. Now the information is being filtered through the lens of social justice activism.

…An open letter signed by 1,300 epidemiologists and public health experts says that “protests against systemic racism, which fosters the disproportionate burden of COVID-19 on Black communities and also perpetuates police violence, must be supported.” These professionals specifically say that their support of racial injustice protests does not mean they endorse other gatherings – you know, like protests about stay-at-home orders. The open letter actually says that “COVID-19 among black patients is yet another lethal manifestation of white supremacy.” Wow. Take that, white people.

The second example:

Example two is one of the scientists from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI). They, too, have written a letter. Scientists from the philanthropic organization funded by Zuckerberg but separate from Facebook are none too pleased that the evil Orange Man is allowed to post freely on Facebook without censorship. They long for some authoritarian action (stricter policy enforcement) to be taken against the President of the United States because he spreads “inaccurate information and incendiary language contrary to CZI’s mission to “build a healthier, just, and more inclusive future.”

The third example:

A third example comes from Dr. Fauci and the CDC. Separately they have sent messages that large protests will likely produce a spike in coronavirus cases. Fauci said Friday that protests are “the perfect set-up” for spreading COVID-19. Fauci was sure to put into his warning that the protesters have a constitutional right to do so “because the reasons for demonstrating are valid.” Thanks, Doc. Validity doesn’t override the danger to the public though, does it? Also, he mentions that tear gas and pepper spray make people cough and sneeze, thus increasing the possibility of transmitting the virus.

Somehow I seem to remember that there were a lot of people very concerned when business owners were protesting. There were some serious questions asked about whether the pandemic overrode constitutional rights. It seems as if those questions have disappeared now that the political left is protesting (rioting and looting).

Please follow the link above to read the entire article. There are a lot of details that are very interesting.

I think all of us are beginning to wonder if we can trust anyone who claims to be an expert.

Sometimes Justice Takes A Long Time

Yesterday John Solomon posted an article at Just The News detailing some new information in the investigation of General Michael Flynn. People who have followed this story closely have had doubts about the charges against the General from the beginning.

The article reports:

A senior FBI official’s handwritten notes from the earliest days of the Trump administration expressed concern that the bureau might be “playing games” with a counterintelligence interview of then-National Security Adviser Michael Flynn to get him to lie so “we could prosecute him or get him fired.”

The notes and other emails were provided to Flynn’s lawyers under seal last week and released Wednesday night by court order, providing the most damning evidence to date of potential politicalization and misconduct inside the FBI during the Russia probe.

The notes show FBI officials discussed not providing Flynn a Miranda-like warning before his January 2017 interview — a practice normally followed in such interviews — so that he could be charged with a crime if he misled the agents, the officials said.

The article includes a link to all of the FBI notes that were recently unsealed.

This is one of the notes:

“What is our goal? Truth/Admission or to get him to lie, so we can prosecute him or get him fired?,” the handwritten notes of the senior official say. The notes express further concern the FBI might be “playing games.”

The fact that they were even discussing the idea of getting General Flynn fired does not say good things about their motives.

The article includes other evidence that the interview with General Flynn might have been a set-up to frame him and have him removed from office:

Among the new evidence released Wednesday night is an email chain involving former FBI lawyer Lisa Page and Strzok, the lead agent in the Russia probe known as Crossfire Hurricane. In the email exchange, the two and others discuss whether the FBI has to follow its normal rules and give Flynn the customary “1001 warning” at the start of his interview that if he misled agents he could be charged criminally.

“I have a question for you,” Page wrote in an email that included Strzok. “Could the admonition re 1001 be given at the beginning at the interview? Or does it have to come following a statement which agents believed to be false? Does this policy speak to that?

She added: “It seems to be if the former then it would be an easy way to just casually slip that in, Of course you know sir federal law makes it a crime to…”

A while later, Page gets an emailed response: “I haven’t read the policy lately, but if I recall correctly, you can say it any time. I’m 90 percent sure about that, but I can check in the a.m.”

The mere fact that FBI agents were using phrase like “slip that in” when talking about a warning designed to protect someone’s constitutional rights is certain to give Flynn’s lawyers more fodder to argue in court that his January 2017 interview was a set up as Powell has argued,

The people behind this operation need to be in jail. They have totally mishandled the trust the government placed in them to execute equal justice under the law.

Just for the record– so far none of this news has shown up on the Drudge Report. I am wondering how the mainstream media will report it (assuming they will report it).

Losing Our Constitutional Rights One At A Time

As we celebrate Resurrection Day tomorrow, most of us won’t be gathered in our churches to celebrate. In some places we won’t even be able to do celebrations reminiscent of drive-in movies where we gather in our cars and listen to the sermon on our car radios (with the windows up even). That is an unnecessary restriction that some states have imposed and that the citizens of those states are tolerating. We really need to rethink this.

Meanwhile, The Washington Examiner reported yesterday that Governor Northam of Virginia has signed several pieces of gun control legislation into law.

The article reports:

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam signed several pieces of gun control legislation into law, including mandating background checks on every gun sale, ordering reporting of lost and stolen firearms, and reinstating the state’s former one-handgun-purchase-a-month policy.

…Following Virginia Democrats’ takeover of both chambers of the state legislature in the 2019 elections, the party put forth a slew of gun control measures to be considered in the 2020 legislative session.

The signing of the slate of bills comes nearly three months following the rally of over 20,000 gun rights activists in the Virginia Capitol to protest the legislation. The gun laws will go into effect on July 1.

The article mentions two of the laws that did not pass:

Two major gun control bills, the assault weapons ban and magazine capacity limits, were proposed and debated while Virginia lawmakers were in session but, ultimately, failed to pass both chambers of the state legislature. However, supporters of the bills have advocated to bring them back in the next session.

Northam also proposed amendments to legislation currently being debated in the Virginia state legislature’s upper and lower chambers.

Senate Bill 35 and House Bill 421 would enable municipalities to regulate firearms in public buildings, parks, recreation centers, and during permitted events. Senate Bill 479 and House Bill 1,004 would bar individuals subject to protective orders from possessing firearms, require them to turn over their firearms within 24 hours, and would require them to certify to the court that the weapons were turned in.

The Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution states:

A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

That right was put in there to protect Americans from an overreaching government.–not to make sure they could go hunting. We are at the point where government overreach is here. Hopefully the laws signed by the Governor will be overturned by the Supreme Court, but the laws like this need to be stopped long before they get to the Supreme Court. I am hopeful that the people of Virginia will embrace their history and remove this Governor from office in the next election.

A Guest Post From Mark Jones, Chairman, Surry County Republican Party

America Needs to Go Back to Work

We have to put America back to work, and we have to do it sooner rather than later! President Trump’s instincts on this issue were right when he suggested a gradual, careful, and measured shift in parts of the Country. Most areas are mildly impacted with little strain on hospitals (which was the stated reason for the lockdowns in the first place). Putting America back to work is critical for so much more than our economy as it impacts our LIBERTIES, FREEDOMS, and our VERY WAY OF LIFE. THE CURE OF A TOO LONG LOCKDOWN WILL BE WORSE THAN THE DISEASE.

I have written multiple e-mails trying to put COVID-19 into perspective. I agree we MUST DO EVERYTHING we can to fight the disease and protect the elderly and vulnerable. Any loss of life is tragic, but I have used unequivocal data and research from several respected Universities to demonstrate that the death rate from the disease is being over-stated by the mainstream Media. Articles in the New England Journal of Medicine and additional articles by Stanford University Doctors support this and have been e-mailed and posted on the Surry GOP Facebook site. I’ll make them available to anyone who missed them.

The Media has scared the American people into believing we must destroy our American way of life, our freedoms, and our economy to save humanity from COVID-19. This is a lie. The Democrats, with help from the Media, are exploiting this crisis in an attempt to fill every socialist wish list on the planet including free “stuff” for everyone, on-line voting (to help them cheat), and TIGHT GOVERNMENT CONTROL OF EVERY ASPECT OF OUR LIVES (a socialist’s dream). The Democrats also want to hurt Trump who is set to face a very weak Democrat candidate (whether Biden, Cuomo, or someone else) this Fall. While the President is doing a good job under impossible circumstances against a hostile Media, Democrats continually try to exploit this disease to advance their Agenda rather than help America recover and go back to work. The longer panic-driven lockdowns occur, the more it plays into the Democrats’ hands, and the more Americans become used to their totalitarian philosophies.

To be fair, Republicans seem to have been scared and forgotten any concept of smart spending or concern about National deficits and debt. Many objective analyses of the so-called “Historic” and “Bipartisan” $2.2 Trillion Bill show that MUCH LESS than half of the Bill actually helps businesses or impacts COVID-19. The Senate, supposedly a “deliberative body”, sent it over to the House in a panic-driven rush. We were assured “it had to be done immediately”. Leaders in the U.S. House were in such a rush to pass the Bill they refused to debate or even record votes for and against. Wasteful and non-COVID spending in the Bill includes money for tens of millions of people still working along with funding for the Kennedy Center, Planned Parenthood, Unions, and National Public Radio. NO SENATOR OR HOUSE MEMBER SHOULD BE PROUD OF THAT BILL. Americans deserve better from our leaders. Our children already face monumental debt and will face inflation worsened by the Bill. Economics 101 tells us bad things happen when you borrow and print money and infuse it into a system where people cannot make products. Congress talks about passing another and more massive Bill as if it must happen. Over the long-term, our very way of life and economic survival is at stake. Will leaders encourage spending sanity?

If you dare to speak out against the crackdown on freedoms and the massive spending, the Media trots out statistics from the misrepresented death toll of this disease. They will be quick to tell you about the latest tragic death as if to suggest that anyone who suggests we are on the wrong track just doesn’t care. If hyped death tolls don’t suffice, they film Italian Hospitals and present the video as coming from New York (CBS did this and publicly admitted it as reported in the New York Post). When lies are exposed, they bury the retraction. They fail to provide perspective. The first two deaths in North Carolina occurred on a day when five people died of the flu. Did the Media tell you? Do they talk about the 99% with mild reactions to the disease?

A commonly used and 65-year old anti-malarial drug (Hydroxychloroquine) shows promise for severe cases and as protection for Health Care workers, but the Media only criticizes the President for giving false hope and calls the drug “unsafe”. Multiple Doctors have reported that thousands of people have been successfully treated for COVID-19 with the drug. Millions of people have safely taken this drug for Malaria and Lupus for decades, yet the Media seems almost afraid that it might work and be safe for COVID-19. Ask yourself why the Media almost gleefully reports the worst news possible and why they refuse to focus on the fact that WELL OVER 99% (remember tens of thousands of people have gone untested) OF INFECTED PEOPLE HAVE MILD COMPLICATIONS from this illness. Multiple scientific papers support this, were provided in prior messages, and are available upon request.

The same people telling us we need to lock down for months and not worry about our economy are the same people who criticized the President for closing travel from China. They are the same people who complained when the President closed travel from Europe and the same people who encouraged large gatherings for Chinese New Year in New York and Mardi Gras in New Orleans. They are the same people who favor open borders to allow illegal immigrants to become undocumented voters.

The United Nations is now calling for a 10% tax on every Country in the World to “fight COVID-19”. Henry Kissinger called for a “New World Order” in the Wall Street Journal. Many nations, and some American Democrats, have called for GOVERNMENT TAKEOVER of everything from businesses to banks in order “to fight COVID-19”. This is a dream-come-true for Socialists determined to advance their Agenda and SHOULD SCARE ALL MAINSTREAM AMERICANS more than the latest misrepresented death tolls from the Media. Never let a crisis go to waste! Fear will compel people to comply!

What the experts are not telling you is that their own models show severe lockdowns only DELAY THE EFFECTS of the disease until round two comes next winter. Multiple scientific papers show it and have been provided. Do we shut down America for months or even years? Do Doctors decide? That seems to be what the Media and Democrats favor – especially if they can force shut down through the Elections and force electronic or mail-in voting. Every time the President talks of finding creative ways to go back to work, the Media becomes frantic. HOW MUCH OF OUR FREEDOM AND OUR WAY OF LIFE WILL WE SACRIFICE FOR A FALSE SENSE OF SECURITY? In addition to public health, we must also consider economic health and American Constitutional Liberties.

America must be smart enough to refuse to allow fear to rule our lives. Our Constitutional Rights and Liberties are what set us apart from the rest of the World. When President Trump suggested putting segments of our economy back to work, he was quickly attacked and told we could not do that. If “Essential Services” like grocery stores, gas stations, and hardware stores can remain open, can’t we figure out ways to open many other segments of our economy? How far will we allow the Media and fear to push us? As Benjamin Franklin famously said, “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety”.

If you have had enough of the fear and panic driven by the mainstream Media, I encourage you to speak up. Write and call elected officials including Republicans in our State and National Legislature. Write and call to support President Trump and Vice President Pence. They are doing a great job against impossible opposition from many Democrats and many Media outlets. Refuse to let fear deprive you of what made America special in the first place. Think for yourself. Ask yourself if this is the Country our forefathers fought to defend. It is time the American people let our leaders know we don’t want to see our American liberties and our economy destroyed out of fear and panic. How many of our rights and liberties will we sacrifice? When do we put segments of American Society back to work? When do sensible and courageous political leaders step up?

 

This Needs To Be Dealt With

The Gateway Pundit posted an article today with the following headline:

Three Years Ago a FISA Report Confirmed Obama Admin Was Sending FISA Obtained Information on Americans to Non Government Entities We Still Don’t Know Whose Data Was Sent to What Companies

This is a serious violation of the Fourth Amendment rights of Americans.

The article states:

The FISA Court Ruling showed widespread abuse of the FISA mandate. According to the report, Obama’s FBI, NSA and DOJ performed searches on Americans that were against their 4th Amendment rights. This went on for years. One paragraph in the report states that 85% of the Section 704 and 705(b) FISA searches made during the time of the audit (a few months in 2015) were non-compliant with applicable laws and therefore criminal.

In addition, Obama’s DOJ and FBI were illegally searching Americans against their rights. Unbeknownst to most Americans, Obama’s FBI was providing this information to outside contractors who had no business or legal cause or claim for the information.

A review of the report showed on page 19 that the Court stated that Obama’s NSA had an institutional “lack of candor”.

The article includes the report.

The article concludes:

The level of corruption within Obama’s NSA, FBI and DOJ is shocking.

To date no one has been charged with crimes or is serving time as a result of the many crimes committed by this group of government hoodlums.  We still don’t know what companies were receiving personal information on which Americans during the Obama years.

It’s been more than four years!!!

It is high time that those responsible for violating the constitutional rights of American citizens be brought to justice.

Michael Flynn and FBI Misconduct

Yesterday Fox News posted an article about the case of Michael Flynn.

The article reports:

“I did not lie to them.”

With those words in a declaration and supplemental motion filed Wednesday, former national security adviser Michael Flynn formally asked a federal judge for permission to withdraw his guilty plea for making false statements to two FBI agents in the White House back on Jan. 24, 2017.

In a sweeping argument that took aim at the bureau’s “outrageous” conduct, Flynn’s legal team highlighted a slew of information that has come to light since Flynn’s plea — including that no precise record of Flynn’s statements to the agents exists and that the original handwritten FD-302 witness report from the interview is “missing,” with subsequent versions later “edited” in some undisclosed manner by anti-Trump FBI officials.

Moreover, Flynn’s team maintained he had no reason to lie about his communications with the Russian ambassador concerning how the country should respond to sanctions imposed by the Obama administration, or a then-pending vote on Israel in the United Nations. After all, Flynn said, he knew federal officials “routinely monitor, record, and transcribe” conversations like the ones he had with Russian diplomats.

The article continues:

Horowitz further revealed that Pientka (FBI Agent Joe Pietnka) was part of an apparent undercover operation to essentially spy on the Trump campaign and Flynn during a routine intelligence briefing in August 2016.

Pientka’s “participation in that presidential briefing was a calculated subterfuge to record and report … anything Mr. Flynn and Mr. Trump said in that meeting,” Flynn’s lawyers wrote. Morever, the FISA court itself has rebuked the FBI as a whole, the filing noted.

Pientka “bore ultimate responsibility for four falsified applications to the FISA court and oversaw virtually every abuse inherent in Crossfire Hurricane — including suppression of exculpatory evidence,” Flynn’s team added.

The FBI has repeatedly refused to respond to Fox News’ request for clarification on Pientka’s status, even as Republicans in Congress have sought to question him.

The article concludes:

In December, U.S. District Judge Emmitt Sullivan had seemingly crushed Flynn’s hopes for ditching his guilty plea, saying that Flynn had waived his constitutional rights to obtain exculpatory information by pleading guilty.

Then, earlier this month, Flynn moved to withdraw his guilty plea for this first time —  just days after the Justice Department reversed course to recommend up to six months of prison time in his case, alleging he was not fully cooperating or accepting responsibility for his actions.

On Wednesday, the govenrment kept its recommendation of between zero and six months in prison, but specifically stated it would not “oppose” a sentence of probation. That walkback was notable, and signaled that Flynn likely will not serve time in prison.

Flynn’s lawyers, earlier this month, argued that “because of the government’s bad faith, vindictiveness and breach of the plea agreement,” Flynn’s plea should be withdrawn. That led to Wednesday’s supplemental filing — and, perhaps, new life for Flynn’s defense team.

Please follow the link to read the entire article–it includes a lot of significant details. I hope that Michael Flynn is not only exonerated, but reimbursed for the legal expenses he has incurred defending himself from a smear campaign.

The Other Side Of The Story

Impeachment continues. We all know that President Trump’s constitutional rights were violated during the initial hearings in the House of Representatives–he was not allowed to face his accusers, his lawyers were not allowed to call witnesses, and much of the cross examination of the Democrats’ witnesses was disallowed or limited. All of those things are in violation of the constitutional rights supposedly allowed ALL American citizens. Now the President’s defense team is making their case to the Senate.

Townhall posted an article today that lists six facts that were either misrepresented or omitted in the House Managers’ presentation to the Senate.

The article reports:

According to Purpura (White House Deputy Counsel Mike Purpura), there are six key facts that “have not and will not change.”

1. The transcript proves President Trump didn’t condition military aid or a meeting on anything.

“The paused security assistance funds aren’t even mentioned on the call,” Purpura said.

2. Ukrainian officials said they never felt pressured into investigating former Vice President Joe Biden or his son, Hunter, for corruption. They also said quid pro quo never took place.

3. President Zelensky and other Ukrainian officials were unaware of the paused military aide.

“The security assistance was paused until the end of August, over a month after the July 25th call,” Purpura said.

4. None of the Democrats’ witnesses say President Trump tied an investigation into the Bidens to the military aid or a meeting.

5. “The security assistance flowed on September 11th and a presidential meeting took place on September 25, without the Ukrainian government announcing any investigation,” Purpura said.

6. President Trump has been a strong supporter of Ukraine.

“The Democrats’ blind eye to impeach the president does not and cannot change the fact, as attested to by the Democrats’ own witnesses, that President Trump has been a better friend and supporter of Ukraine than his predecessor,” Purpura explained. “Those are the facts.”

What a colossal waste of taxpayers’ money this trial has been when everyone could have simply read the transcript of the telephone call in question. We need to vote anyone out of office who has promoted the idea that President Trump has committed an impeachable offense. I truly believe that the rush to impeach has more to do with the crimes of some Congressmen that may be revealed in the Durham report than anything President Trump has or has not done.

Yesterday In Virginia

There was a Second Amendment rally in Richmond, Virginia, yesterday. 22,000 Second Amendment supporters showed up on Martin Luther King Day to support the Second Amendment. The media was predicting riots. On Sunday I posted an article based on a Canada Free Press story that predicted a ‘false flag’ operation by Antifa. That did not materialize.

Yesterday John Hinderaker at Power Line Blog posted a few observations about the rally. The headline on his article was, “Pro-Gun Rally In Richmond Is Peaceful; Liberals Hardest Hit.”

The article notes:

Today an estimated (by police) 22,000 people demonstrated at the Virginia capitol in Richmond in favor of Second Amendment rights, which are being threatened by the newly-elected Democratic majority in that state’s legislature. Liberal news outlets were hoping the rally would turn violent, and their disappointment when it didn’t was palpable.

The article includes this picture and comment from The Washington Post:

The Babylon Bee probably had the best headline and article:

The Babylon Bee headlines: “Media Offers Thoughts And Prayers That Someone Would Start Some Violence At Gun Rights Rally.”

Somber members of the press offered their thoughts and prayers that someone would start some violence at the gun rights rally in Virginia today.

Reporters expressed their grief and condolences as the violence they hyped has so far failed to materialize.

“Nobody has so much as fired a shot. This is an unbelievable tragedy,” said one teary-eyed MSNBC reporter, clearly caught up in the anguish of the moment.

The article cited one possible reason Antifa decided to stay home:

Antifa threatened to show up at the rally, and likely would have created violence if it had done so. But for some reason, the group’s leaders changed their minds. Maybe they focused on the fact that the 2x4s, pipes and baseball bats with which they are used to beating up innocent bystanders might not fare so well in this crowd. One young guy who looked suspiciously like a leftist advocated jumping the fence and killing people. The genuine demonstrators denounced him as an “infiltrator”–which I suspect he was–and told him to “get the f*** out.”

The article concludes:

Virginia’s Democrats are unabashedly in favor of gun confiscation. Why is it that when Democrats take control of a legislative body, they instinctively move to confiscate legally-owned firearms from law-abiding citizens, in violation of the Second Amendment? It would take a psychiatrist to answer that question. Certainly a student of crime statistics wouldn’t be able to explain it. Whatever the cause, the Democrats’ move against the citizens’ constitutional rights is manna from Heaven for Republicans, many of whom mingled with the demonstrators and endorsed their cause.

I would also like to note that those who attended the rally cleaned up after themselves before they left. It is also interesting to me that when so many ‘good people with guns” are in one place, there is no violence.

Protecting Americans From Unlawful Surveillance

Yesterday Judicial Watch posted the following Press Release:

(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced it today filed a lawsuit against Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and the House Intelligence Committee for the controversial subpoenas issued for phone records, including those of Rudy Giuliani, President Trump’s lawyer. The phone records led to the publication of the private phone records of Giuliani, Congressman Devon Nunes, journalist John Solomon, Trump attorney Jay Sekulow, attorney Victoria Toensing, and other American citizens.

Judicial Watch filed the lawsuit under the public’s common-law right of public access to examine government records after it received no response to a December 6, 2019, records request (Judicial Watch v Adam Schiff and U.S. House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (No. 1:19-cv-03790)):

    1. All subpoenas issued by the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on or about September 30, 2019 to any telecommunications provider including, but not limited to AT&T, Inc., for records of telephone calls of any individuals;
    2. All responses received to the above-referenced subpoenas.

Schiff is a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, currently serving as Chairman of the United States House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. Schiff is being sued in his capacity as Chairman of that committee. The new lawsuit states:

The records are of critical public importance as the subpoenas were issued without any lawful basis and violated the rights of numerous private citizens.

Disclosure of the requested records would serve the public interest by providing information about the unlawful issuance of the subpoenas.

The requested records fall within the scope of the public’s right of access to governmental records as a matter of federal common law.

“Adam Schiff abused his power to secretly subpoena and then publish the private phone records, in potential violation of law, of innocent Americans. What else is Mr. Schiff hiding?” asked Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “Schiff and his Committee ran roughshod over the rule of law in pursuit of the abusive impeachment of President Trump. This lawsuit serves as a reminder that Congressman Schiff and Congress are not above the law.”

What Adam Schiff did is inexcusable. Private phone records are private unless subpoenaed. What was the basis for the subpoena? This is simply another instance where someone aligned with the deep state chose to ignore the rights of American citizens for his own purposes. If this is not stopped and people held accountable, Americans will continue to be subject to unwarranted violations of their constitutional rights.

Respecting The Constitutional Rights Of Americans

Yesterday John HInderaker at Power Line Blog posted an article with the following headline, “Schiff Obtained Phone Records of Nunes, Journalist, Others.”

How in the world did Adam Schiff get access to those phone records?

The article notes:

The mainstream media is abuzz with stories about Nunes communication with “Rudy Giuliani during key aspects of his Ukraine pressure campaign.” Nunes was in touch with John Solomon around the times he published major articles. And on and on. The telephone records don’t include the actual conversations. They identify who was calling whom and how long they spoke.

Schiff has crossed the line of decency with this move. Once again, he has abused his power. Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton tweeted that obtaining these records is a remarkable abuse of President Trump’s constitutional rights. I would argue that it’s an abuse of the constitutional rights of all of the above. These are KGB tactics.

Well, fair is fair. Republicans should obtain Schiff’s phone records, those of the so-called whistleblower, Eric Ciaramella, and the colleague with whom he had a “bro-like” relationship, you know, Sean Misko, the one Schiff hired as an aide the day after the whistleblower’s complaint was submitted.

The repellent Adam Schiff has managed to reach a new level of depravity.

This is not something that should be happening in America. It is a total disregard for the constitutional rights of the people involved. However, this is not a new tactic by the political left.

In October 2014, I posted an article about Sharyl Attkisson. She was fired from CBS for her reporting on Operation Fast and Furious. As you remember, that was President Obama’s gun-running operation that was supposed to bring Americans to the point where they overturned the Second Amendment.

The article from rightwinggranny noted:

Attkisson says the source, who’s “connected to government three-letter agencies,” told her the computer was hacked into by “a sophisticated entity that used commercial, nonattributable spyware that’s proprietary to a government agency: either the CIA, FBI, the Defense Intelligence Agency or the National Security Agency.”

The breach was accomplished through an “otherwise innocuous e-mail” that Attkisson says she got in February 2012, then twice “redone” and “refreshed” through a satellite hookup and a Wi-Fi connection at a Ritz-Carlton hotel.

The spyware included programs that Attkisson says monitored her every keystroke and gave the snoops access to all her e-mails and the passwords to her financial accounts.

“The intruders discovered my Skype account handle, stole the password, activated the audio, and made heavy use of it, presumably as a listening tool,” she wrote in “Stonewalled: My Fight for Truth Against the Forces of Obstruction, Intimidation, and Harassment in Obama’s Washington.”

But the most shocking finding, she says, was the discovery of three classified documents that Number One told her were “buried deep in your operating system. In a place that, unless you’re a some kind of computer whiz specialist, you wouldn’t even know exists.”

“They probably planted them to be able to accuse you of having classified documents if they ever needed to do that at some point,” Number One added.

It’s time to charge people with a crime when they violate the civil rights of an American citizen. I hope this will happen (but I am not optimistic).

How Much Privacy Is A President Entitled To?

Hot Air posted an article today about the ongoing court battle regarding the Congressional subpoena of former White House Counsel Don McGahn. Counsel McGahn was summoned by the House Judiciary Committee to answer questions about the time he worked for President Trump.

The article reports:

Whether or not he would appear was a bone of contention for a while until a federal judge issued a dramatic proclamation on Monday, stating that “Presidents are not kings” and ordering McGahn to appear.

Well, that lasted for all of three days. By Wednesday evening, that same judge had backed down, allowing a request from the Justice Department to delay the implementation of the ruling until the appeals process has played out. Of course, this doesn’t mean McGahn (and the President) are totally off the hook, but they’ve at least bought a bit of breathing room. (Daily Mail)

The article concludes:

That doesn’t mean that the final decision on McGahn won’t cast a long shadow, however. How this plays out will have consequences for the ongoing impeachment circus. At issue here is the question of whether or not aides to the President are shielded from revealing details of private conversations they’ve had with the boss or the counsel they offered. Also, whether or not that shielding lasts indefinitely even after they’ve left their positions with the White House.

That sort of privacy has long been assumed to be part of the President’s executive privilege. But does that extend to investigations of potential criminal conduct? That’s the question that will be answered when the dust settles on McGahn’s subpoena. If he’s ordered to show up and testify, that could open the gate for numerous other Trump aides to be called in to talk about all of the Ukraine events. And that’s likely not something President Trump will want to see after we’re in the thick of the final push to next year’s election.

I guess my question is whether or not the President has the same civil rights as ordinary citizens, If you are an ordinary citizen, your conversations with your lawyer are protected by law. We saw this Constitutional principle violated when Michael Cohen’s offices were raided. Now the question is whether or not we are going to continue to violate President Trump’s Constitutional rights. All of us need to remember–if the President does not have Constitutional rights, then none of us have Constitutional rights.

What Is Going On Behind The Curtain

The circus in Washington just gets worse. Today the House of Representatives voted to conduct an investigation without allowing the defendant his constitutional rights. However, a closer look at what is going on provides some clues to a larger scheme.

Yesterday Breitbart posted an article the provides some insight into what is actually happening.

The article reports:

The House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry resolution would officially authorize probes into U.S. President Donald Trump that are unrelated to the Ukraine-linked allegations that triggered the investigation to impeach him, including efforts to obtain the commander in chief’s tax returns.

Unveiled on Tuesday, the text of the resolution states that the measure orders “certain committees” to continue investigating whether there is sufficient evidence to impeach Trump and “for other purposes,” without explaining what those purposes are.

In other words, the resolution, expected to be voted on this week, would authorize any ongoing Trump investigations under the sun. The measure is expansive, breathing new life into a wide range of non-Ukraine probes, including an ongoing investigation by the House Judiciary Committee into whether Trump paid money to silence sexual affairs accusations.

In other words, they are redoing the Mueller investigation with Adam Schiff in charge. As Lavrentiy Beria, head of Joseph Stalin’s secret police, once said, “Show me the man and I’ll show you the crime.” That is exactly opposite from the way the American justice system is supposed to work, but unfortunately the House of Representatives has decided to ignore the principles behind the American justice system.

I can easily predict what is going to happen. The Democrats are going to demand that President Trump release his tax returns for the past 10 years or so. The President is going to refuse. This will then go to court. It will be tied up in court until after the 2020 election. In the meantime, the Democrats will accuse the President of obstructing justice. How many of the tax returns have we seen of Congressmen who entered Congress with an average net worth and are now millionaires? The vote on impeachment is garbage, and those voting for the investigation need to be investigated.

Don’t Hold Your Breath Waiting For Consequences

On October 9, One America News reported the following:

The United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court has ruled that the FBI previously violated Americans’ privacy rights by conducting unreasonable searches. The FISA Court opinion disclosed Tuesday revealed that the FBI violated constitutional rights and federal law through their warrant-less internet surveillance program.

A 2018 review revealed the bureau used their raw intelligence database in 2017 and 2018 to administer tens of thousands of searches on private U.S. citizens. The searches were conducted on some occasions to screen FBI personnel and sources, involving emails and phone numbers. In one instance, the court stated that an FBI contractor searched his family, staff members and himself on the database.

Federal law requires the database only be used to gather evidence of a crime or foreign intelligence information. According to the ruling, the FBI violated the law authorizing the program as well as the Fourth Amendment, which bars the government from conducting unreasonable searches.

Following the court’s decision, the FBI said it would apply new procedures as to how the database is used in order to better protect personal privacy.

The Foreign Intelligence Service Act has been under scrutiny for some time. Former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page has argued the Obama-era FBI may have used its FISA authority unlawfully against him.

Years ago I took a critical thinking course taught by a former NSA employee. At the beginning of the course, he assured us that guidelines that protected Americans from illegal surveillance were being followed. He stated that in his experience anyone who violated those guidelines was escorted out immediately. About a year later, I talked to him and he apologized for misleading the class. He commented that upon further research he found violations tolerated and sometimes encouraged. Unfortunately there were a lot of things that went on during the Obama administration regarding the politicization of government agencies that we are just now beginning to uncover. It is my hope that the people who chose to violate the civil rights of American citizens will be held accountable. If they are not, the abuses of power will continue.

The Truth May Be Slightly Different Than What You Have Heard

The Gateway Pundit today posted an article about some recent comments by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Some of Secretary Pompeo’s recent comments have been totally misrepresented in the press.

The article reports:

Pompeo told reporters how Democrats in the House violated fundamental principles, contacted State Department officials directly and told them NOT to contact legal counsel.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo: Back to first principles. The predicate of your final question about objecting to what the folks on Capitol Hill have asked. It’s fundamentally not true. What we objected to was the demands that were put that deeply violate the fundamental principle of separation of powers. They contacted State Department employees directly. They told them NOT to contact legal counsel at the State Department. That’s been reported to us. They said the the State Department wouldn’t be able to be present. There are important constitutional prerogatives that the executive branch has to be present so that we can protect the important information so our partners, countries like Italy, can have confidence that the information they provide can have with the State Department will continue to be protected. So the response that I provided them was one that could acknowledge that we will of course do our constitutional duty to cooperate with this co-equal branch but we are going to do so in a way that is consistent with the fundamental values of the American system. And we won’t tolerate folks on Capital Hill bullying, intimidating State Department employees.

What kind of kangaroo court were the Democrats planning? The ‘don’t contact legal counsel’ approach was used on General Flynn, and that didn’t work out too well for him. What we have here is Democrats in the House violating constitutional rights of American citizens. I guess the Democrats have failed to get enough spies into the inner circle of Mike Pompeo and now feel the need to find another way to spy on him. This is ridiculous.

Using The American Court System Against Americans

Yesterday The Gateway Pundit posted an article about a ruling by Federal Judge Anthony Trenga.

The article reports:

Federal Judge Anthony Trenga, a George W. Bush appointee ruled on Wednesday that the US government’s watchlist of over 1 million people violates the Constitutional rights of those placed on the list.

Terror-tied CAIR [Counsel on American Islamic Relations] filed the lawsuit in 2016 challenging the constitutionality of the US government’s terror watchlist which currently has over 1 million people in a database the FBI has labeled “known or suspected terrorists.”

CAIR is an unindicted co-conspirator in the largest terror funding case in US history, and they are now trying to force the US government to dissolve a list of people deemed to be dangerous terrorists.

The article includes an portion of an AP report:

The watchlist, also known as the Terrorist Screening Database, is maintained by the FBI and shared with a variety of federal agencies. Customs officers have access to the list to check people coming into the country at border crossings, and aviation officials use the database to help form the government’s no-fly list.

The watchlist has grown significantly in size over the years. As of June 2017, approximately 1.16 million people were included on the watchlist, according to government documents filed in the lawsuit. In 2013, the number was only 680,000. The vast majority are foreigners, but according to the government, there are roughly 4,600 U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents on the watchlist as well as of 2017.

First of all, I would like to point out that people who are not American citizens do not have Constitutional rights. The American Constitution applies to Americans. CAIR was named an an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation Case (the largest terror funding case in US history). If you are unfamiliar with the case, please look up the government exhibits in the case. Those exhibits include the Muslim Brotherhood’s plan to use the freedoms we have as Americans to undermine our government. CAIR has many questionable ties to groups that do not have the best interests of America as a priority. CAIR has been using our court system against us for years. If this ruling stands, Americans will be less safe. We are slowly sinking back into the naivete that we had before September 11, 2001.

Using Our Laws Against Us

In February, Judicial Watch reported that a group of illegal aliens working in a slaughterhouse and meatpacking plant in East Tennessee were arrested by ICE agents. These illegal aliens, aided by the Southern Policy Law Center (SPLC), are suing the federal agents that arrested them.

The article reports:

Represented by an extremist nonprofit that lists conservative organizations on a catalogue of “hate groups,” seven illegal immigrants detained in a workplace raid are suing the federal agents that arrested them, claiming that they were racially profiled for being Latino. In a federal court complaint filed this week by their pro bono attorneys at the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), the illegal aliens assert that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents violated their Constitutional rights against illegal seizures and to equal protection under the Fourth and Fifth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.

The raid occurred last spring at a slaughterhouse and meatpacking plant in a small rural town called Bean Station in east Tennessee. Agents from ICE and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) raided the facility as part of a lengthy investigation into the owner’s multi-million-dollar tax evasion and fraud scheme. About 100 illegal aliens were arrested, most of them from Guatemala and Mexico and some had been previously deported from the U.S. more than once. At least 54 people were deported immediately, some were released and others faced federal or state charges, according to a local news report following the seize.

The owner of the business, James Brantley, eventually pled guilty to multiple federal crimes, including tax fraud, wire fraud, and employment of unauthorized illegal aliens. The feds say he avoided paying nearly $1.3 million in taxes by hiring at least 150 illegal aliens and paying them off the books in cash. The scheme began in 1988 and continued through 2018 when he got busted. Brantley had reported to the IRS that he had only 44 wage-earning employees, according to the Department of Justice (DOJ). To avoid Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) tax obligations, unemployment insurance premiums, unemployment tax and workers’ compensation insurance premiums he paid illegal immigrants in cash at a rate of $8-$10 per hour.

Since when do illegal aliens have constitutional rights–they are not American citizens, and they are breaking the law by being here.

The article also states:

Leftist groups went ballistic, asserting that illegal immigrants were victims whose “rights” were violated by the federal government. Outraged, the SPLC called it the largest workplace immigration raid since the George W. Bush administration. “What happened on April 5, 2018 was law enforcement overreach, plain and simple,” said the group’s senior supervising attorney Meredith Stewart. “We, as a nation, have a shared set of ideals, rooted in the Bill of Rights: We have a right to be free of racial profiling and unlawful arrests. If we are not willing to uphold those ideals for everyone in this country, then we are all at risk of losing our rights.” In the complaint, SPLC attorneys write that the federal officers conspired to plan and execute the forceful and prolonged seizure of the meatpacking plant’s Latino workforce solely on the basis of their actual or apparent race or ethnicity.

If the workers were here illegally, why would anyone characterize the arrests as unlawful? Isn’t it lawful to arrest people who break the law?

I hope a judge throws this case out of court. The person running the business was breaking the law by hiring the illegals, but the illegals were also illegal. They are not protected by the U.S. Constitution. Does anyone believe that if they entered Mexico illegally that they would be under the protection of the Mexican constitution?

The Problem With Telling Lies Is That You Have To Keep Your Stories Straight

Michael Cohen has been caught lying to Congress. That shouldn’t really be a surprise to anyone, but it happened. The Daily Caller posted the details today.

The article reports:

A lawyer for Michael Cohen says that the former Trump fixer directed his former attorney to inquire about a presidential pardon, a claim which, if true, would contradict Cohen’s congressional testimony on Feb. 27.

Lanny Davis told The Wall Street Journal Wednesday night that Cohen instructed Stephen Ryan, his previous lawyer, to raise the prospect of a pardon shortly after the FBI raided Cohen’s home in April 2018.

“During that time period, [Cohen] directed his attorney to explore possibilities of a pardon at one point with Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani as well as other lawyers advising President Trump,” Davis told The Journal.

That statement directly contradicts what Cohen told the House Oversight and Reform Committee in public testimony on Feb. 27.

Michael Cohen is not stupid. I am sure that when he saw the “Mueller Train” coming at him full speed, he was open to trying anything to get out of its way. I believe he would say anything to Congress to limit his jail time and any jail time for his wife. It is unfortunate that some on the Mueller team have resorted to the kind of theatrics and bullying that has been a major part of this investigation. We need to take action in the future to see that all Constitutional rights of Americans are protected–even when a Special Counsel is involved.

There Is A Reason The House Of Representatives Has Had To Do All Of The Work On The Illegal Surveillance Of The Trump Campaign And Transition Team

Have you wondered why all the information and investigation of the illegal surveillance of the Trump campaign and transition team has come out of the House of Representatives rather than out of the Senate? Well, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence has the reputation for being one of the leakiest, most politicized, and most corrupt committees in Washington. The current chairman of the committee is Senator Richard Burr of North Carolina; the current vice-chairman is Senator Mark Warner of Virginia. Both are seriously entrenched creatures of the Washington swamp. That fact explains the following report.

Yesterday The Gateway Pundit posted the following:

Chairman of the Senate Intel Committee Richard Burr (R-NC) said on Tuesday there were “sound reasons” why the judges issued FISA warrants on Carter Page.

The newly released Carter Page FISA docs, although heavily redacted, reveal the FBI and DOJ relied on Hillary’s phony dossier and liberal media reports as ‘evidence’ presented to the court in order to wiretap Page.

The FBI omitted the fact that the dossier was paid for by Hillary and the DNC.

This is not only criminal, but unconstitutional, says investigative reporter, Paul Sperry.

So spying on an American citizen based on information bought and paid for by a political opponent is now justified? Under what constitution? Has this man read the Fourth Amendment? Donald Trump’s constitutional rights were violated. If this is allowed to stand, we can expect it to happen again to anyone who disagrees with the party in power. That is not a good thing.

The article continues:

Even the argument the FBI thought Carter Page was an agent of the Russians doesn’t hold water. Carter Page was never charged or arrested for being a Russian spy, furthermore, not too long ago Page was actually helping the FBI take down Russians.

So now the FBI expects us to believe Carter Page flipped and became an agent for the Russians…yet they never arrested him?

Comey, Rosenstein, McCabe and Sally Yates all signed the FISA applications even though Hillary’s fraudulent Russia dossier was used as a pretext to obtain the warrants.

According to Senator Burr, these are “sound reasons.”

“I don’t think I ever expressed that I thought the FISA application came up short. There (were) sound reasons as to why judges issued the FISA,” Burr said to CNN.

Hopefully my fellow voters in North Carolina will remove this man from office during the next election. I don’t care if a Democrat replaces him–he has not lived up to his Oath of Office to defend the Constitution.

UPDATE: It should be noted that a copy of the unredacted FISA application was delivered to the committee on March 17, 2017. This was then leaked to the media by a staffer on the committee. That is one of many questionable actions by the committee regarding the illegal surveillance of the Trump campaign.

 

States Begin To Examine Civil Asset Forfeiture

Yesterday Hot Air posted an article about a move in Texas to abolish Civil Asset Forfeiture. I have written about this procedure in the past (here, here, and here). One of the most common examples of Civil Asset Forfeiture occurs when the government accuses a small business owner of making multiple deposits of less than $10,000 in order to avoid federal regulations that track such deposits. The law has been used to take assets away from small business owners with little regard for their Constitutional rights. The assets seized can be sold and the money used to shore up local budgets. Needless to say, there is a lot of temptation there for some local governments. A few states have taken action to limit these forfeitures. Texas is now joining them.

The article reports:

Texas is looking to become the third state in the last year to abolish civil asset forfeiture, and replace it with criminal asset forfeiture. State Senator Konni Burton filed a bill last month which requires a felony conviction before law enforcement can gobble up someone’s property. It’s a major step in Texas’ fight for justice reform which has saved the state $3B (while crime rates are at record lows).

…There’s just one problem…the asset forfeiture laws are being misapplied in cases where people who are not convicted of crimes, end up losing their property because prosecutors and police believe they “may have” been involved in/had knowledge of a crime. A Philadelphia family was forced out of their home because their son was arrested on drug charges, even though it didn’t appear they knew what the 22-year-old was doing. A Texas man had over 53-thousand dollars in cash donations for an orphanage and school seized after he was pulled over in Oklahoma.

The home and money were eventually returned to their rightful owners after the cases got a ton of press. But Right on Crime Deputy Director Derek Cohen points out media attention doesn’t always happen, because the numbers aren’t really sexy (emphasis mine).

Ordinary citizens trying to run a business and live their lives should not have to worry about a government that almost arbitrarily can take their assets. It is good to see Texas moving in the right direction. Hopefully now the federal government will follow suit.