Sometimes The Internet Just Makes Politics Difficult

On Sunday, Lifezette posted an article about Senator Elizabeth Warren‘s plan to obstruct the firing of U.S. Attorneys. Evidently Senator Warren has a short memory. Yesterday, The Gateway Pundit posted an article quoting California Democrat Representative Maxine Waters complaining that Barack Obama did not get rid of Bush-era U.S. Attorneys fast enough in May of 2009.

The Gateway Pundit quotes Representative Waters:

Maxine Waters: “As we understand it, the protocol has been that U.S. attorneys hand in their resignations and would give the new administration an opportunity to make new appointments, we don’t see that happening quite fast enough.”

Lifezette posted some tweets from Senator Warren:

Lifezette further reminds us:

While it is true that the Senate confirms any U.S. attorney appointees that a president names, neither the act of firing nor the appointment of replacements is something unusual in the transfer of presidential power.

I guess Senator Warren has forgotten recent history. Please follow the link to read the entire Lifezette article. Senator Warren’s tweets are totally over the top.

 

 

 

Here Comes The Race Card Again

The nomination of Jeff Sessions as Attorney General is a serious threat to the status quo, so the status quo is doing everything it can to block his confirmation. For the political left, that means playing the race card, and they have promptly done that.

The Washington Examiner posted an article today about Jeff Sessions prior history as a U.S. Attorney in Alabama.

The article reports a statement made by Albert Turner, Jr., the son of a farmer who became Martin Luther King, Jr.‘s field director in Alabama and one of his closest associates:

“I have known Senator Sessions for many years, beginning with the voter fraud case in Perry County in which my parents were defendants,” he said. “My differences in policy and ideology with him do not translate to personal malice. He is not a racist.”

“As I have said before, at no time then or now has Jeff Sessions said anything derogatory about my family,” he continued. “He was a prosecutor at the federal level with a job to do. He was presented with evidence by a local district attorney that he relied on, and his office presented the case. That’s what a prosecutor does.”

“I believe him when he says that he was simply doing his job,” he added.

Sessions, while serving as a U.S. attorney in Alabama in 1985, charged both of Turner’s parents and another civil rights activist with tampering with absentee ballots cast by mostly elderly black voters to favor the activists’ preferred candidates in a campaign where both leading contenders were black.

The one thing the political establishment in Washington does not want is an Attorney General who actually enforces the law.

 

An Interesting Twist In The Guantanamo Story

Yesterday, Townhall.com posted an article stating the following:

Testifying in front of the House Appropriations Subcommittee Wednesday, Attorney General Loretta Lynch reiterated that transferring detainees from Guantanamo Bay Prison to the United States is against the law. From the Washington Times:

Attorney General Loretta Lynch said Wednesday that federal law flatly prevents President Obama from sending of the the detainees from Guantanamo Bay to U.S. territory, hurting his ability to follow through on his new closure plan.

“That is the state of the law,” she said, pointing to the most recent defense policy law passed late last year, which cleared Congress on a bipartisan vote and which Mr. Obama himself signed into law.

Lynch also pointed this out during testimony in November of last year.

“With respect to individuals being transferred to the United States, the law currently does not allow that,” Lynch testified in front of the House Judiciary Committee. “Certainly it is the position of the Department of Justice that we would follow the law of the land in regard on that issue.”

Now you do have to be aware of the weasel words in that statement. The weasel words are, “With respect to individuals being transferred to the United States, the law currently does not allow that.” I suspect President Obama will attempt an executive order to supersede that law or find another way to get around it. I seriously doubt he will be stopped from moving Guantanamo prisoners here.

However, so far the Republicans do not plan on making the transfer of terrorists to America totally easy. The article reports:

Speaker Paul Ryan immediately pushed back on the proposal, reminding President Obama about bipartisan legislation recently passed in the House and Senate banning detainees from being transferred. Today, Ryan threatened the White House with a lawsuit should President Obama proceed unilaterally.

Really? A lawsuit? Really? How is that any different than a strongly worded letter or an idle threat? If President Obama attempts to bring terrorists into America, he needs to be impeached. End of story. He will have broken his Oath of Office and needs to be removed.

 

This Could Get Very Ugly Very Fast

The American Thinker posted a story today about a court filing on the last day of 2015 that could have a significant impact on the presidential campaign.

The article reports:

Federal prosecutors in Florida intentionally kept underage victims of billionaire perv Jeffrey Epstein in the dark about his plea deal, newly unsealed court papers reveal.

The documents also show prosecutors wanted to keep the extent of Epstein’s alleged sex crimes away from a judge reviewing the deal.

“I will include our standard language regarding resolving all criminal liability and I will mention ‘co-conspirators,’ but I would prefer not to highlight for the judge all of the other crimes and all of the other persons that we could charge,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Marie Villafana wrote to one Epstein lawyer in September 2007.

Another email shows she agreed to stop sending notifications about the non-prosecution deal to 34 underage girls Epstein allegedly sexually preyed upon after his lawyers complained.

The feds say they struck the deal in return for Epstein pleading to state charges involving a single victim. 

…This plea involved the slap on the wrist sentence of 13 months — and he got to spend his waking hours at his Palm Beach mansion. That is, he only had to check into his “jail” eight hours a day.

The Palm Beach Daily News is taking another look at this story. On January 1st, they reported the following:

Two underage victims of Palm Beach billionaire sex offender Jeffrey Epstein have filed court papers asking to depose top federal officials who were involved in inking the secret deal that saved Epstein from serious federal charges.

FBI agents, current and former federal prosecutors, and Alexander Acosta, the former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, are named in the motion filed by attorneys Brad Edwards and Paul Cassell on behalf of Jane Doe No. 1 and Jane Doe No. 2. The girls were 14 and 13, respectively, at the time of the sex abuse.

The victims filed the motion, in part, because of a new argument Assistant U.S. Attorney Dexter Lee made during a routine status check hearing in November.

Lee said the girls aren’t really victims because they procured other minor girls for Epstein and received money for it so they’re not protected under the federal Crime Victims’ Rights Act.

“Apparently, the government believes that because Epstein pressured some of his young victims into performing sexual acts, those victims themselves were complicit in Epstein’s crimes and, therefore, are barred from seeking relief under the CVRA,” the motion says. “There has never been any public document (or other private document that we have seen) in this or any related case that has ‘accused’ Epstein’s young victims of committing ‘the crime’ that Epstein committed.”

It is very obvious that Epstein’s punishment does not fit the crime. The question is, “Why?” Because Bill Clinton was (or is) a close friend of Epstein, there is a fairly strong possibility that if this case and sentence are seriously investigated, Bill Clinton could be implicated. Stay tuned. Despite the fact that most of the media is ignoring this story, it may not go away, and it may have serious consequences.

Sometimes Justice Is A Slow Process

On Monday, The Daily Signal reported that Federal District Court Judge Susan Dlott granted a motion to compel and ordered the IRS to produce the names of the 298 targeted organizations identified by the IRS for the Treasury Inspector General. Last week U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, Ronald Machen disclosed the Justice Department‘s decision not to charge Lois Lerner with of Congress. This latest decision at least allows the probe of wrong doing by the Internal Revenue Service to continue.

The article reports:

…the plaintiffs have been trying through the discovery process to identify all of the conservative organizations unfairly targeted by the IRS so that they can seek class certification. If they can convince Judge Dlott to certify a class, then the lawsuit would expand from the ten original plaintiffs to all of the organizations on Lois Lerner’s hit list. This would greatly expand the risks to, and potential liability of, the government.

But the IRS, in a fitting bit of irony, refused to turn over the names of the organizations whose applications were mishandled, claiming that would violate the confidentiality requirements of Section 6103.

On April 1, in what must have seemed a cruel April Fool’s joke to the Justice Department lawyers handling the case, Judge Dlott denied a protective order sought by Justice Department to prevent the IRS from being forced to turn over this information. She pointed out that Section 6103 has an exemption for tax information “directly related to an issue in” a judicial proceeding. Since the identity of all of the targeted organizations “is directly related to the issue of class certification in this federal court proceeding,” she granted the plaintiffs’ motion to compel.

According to the article, the IRS will be forced to turn over:

  • All charts, lists, spreadsheets or indexes of groups that had their Applications for Tax Exemption selected or flagged by the IRS for heightened review based on an infamous BOLO (Be On the Look Out) edict issued by IRS officials;
  • The document listing the 298 organizations that the IRS sent the Inspector General on June 11, 2012; and
  • The document titled “Advocacy Case Tracking Sheet” that the IRS sent the Inspector General on the same date.

There is little doubt that the Obama Administration was using the IRS to suppress free speech. Hopefully those at the root of this action will be identified and charged with the appropriate crimes.

Protecting The Rights Of American Businesses

The problem with having a President and a cabinet that lack hands on business experience is that they lack hands on business experience. The quote “A government big enough to give you everything you want, is a government big enough to take away everything that you have.” is attributed to Thomas Jefferson although it is not found in any of his papers. Regardless of who said it, the quote is accurate.

In its Saturday/Sunday edition, the Wall Street Journal posted an editorial about the nomination of Loretta Lynch as U.S. Attorney General. Ms. Lynch is currently in charge of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York. She has been busy there.

The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states:

Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Evidently Ms. Lynch didn’t read that part of the Constitution, and unfortunately, she is not the only government official who did not read that part. As of late, prosecutors have been using civil forfeiture laws to confiscate private property and use the money gained to shore up state and municipal budgets. One example of this in Ms. Lynch’s district is the case of Jeffrey, Richard and Mitch Hirsch. In 2012 the federal government drained their bank account of $446,651.11. The bank account was used for deposits from Bi-County Distributors, a company the brothers have run for 27 years. The company stocks convenience stores in the region with candy and snack food.

The editorial explains:

According to the federal government, the brothers came under suspicion because of the frequent small deposits they made in the bank. Under federal law, banks are required to report cash deposits of more than $10,000 at a time to the Internal Revenue Service. Frequent deposits beneath the $10,000 threshold can also trigger federal scrutiny on suspicion the depositors are seeking to evade federal oversight for crimes like money laundering or drug trafficking.

The Hirsch brothers run a small business that deals in small amounts of cash, a fact that the government surely noticed, since they were never charged with a crime. But more than two years after the government grabbed the hundreds of thousands of dollars, none of it has been returned. According to the Institute for Justice, which is representing the family in a lawsuit, the government has also denied the Hirsches a prompt hearing on the forfeiture, putting it in violation of the 2000 Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act.

Ms. Lynch’s office brought in more than $113 million in civil actions between 2011 and 2013. Unfortunately, these cases have spread across the country. Between 2003 and 2011, annual payments from forfeiture went from $218 million to $450 million.

Many small businesses deposit small amounts of cash at various times of the day. Some do it out of fear of theft, others because that is the way their computer bookkeeping systems work, and others because that is how the timing of their office staff works. A small company I worked for at one point made one deposit a day, but since their computer program could only handle twelve checks on one deposit slip, it appeared to be multiple small deposits.

The editorial in the Wall Street Journal suggests that when Ms. Lunch gets her nomination hearing, someone should ask her about the Hirsches.

 

Avoiding Responsibility As A Way Of Life

Hot Air posted an article today about General Motors’ return to bankruptcy court. Yes, you read that right. General Motors has returned to bankruptcy court to request that Judge Gerber enforce the liability shield it constructed during its 2009 Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings. What General Motors wants is to insure that any lawsuits dealing with the ignition switch defect can only be brought against the Old GM shell.

The article reports:

There are at least 59 potential class-action lawsuits in the works seeking economic loss damages, but to get them, they will have to unwind the liability shield somehow.

One way to do that would be to demonstrate that GM had committed fraud by concealing the ignition switch defect before the bankruptcy. Another potential avenue would be to establish that the bankruptcy shield had denied the plaintiffs due process by depriving them of their day in court now that the ignition switch defect has been made public.

The court proceedings mark the sixth ongoing probe of GM, following investigations launched by Congress, an undisclosed state attorney general, the U.S. Attorney’s office, the SEC, and the NHTSA. GM also has an internal probe trying to determine who knew or should have known about the problem that has claimed at least 13 lives and cost GM car owners millions of dollars.

There are some real questions about who knew about the ignition problem and when they knew, but the bankruptcy proceedings of General Motors were not your ordinary bankruptcy proceedings from the beginning. Taxpayers lost nearly $10 billion in the bailout (see rightwinggranny.com). The rules of bankruptcy were not followed, and essentially the company was turned over to the unions. Evidently the unions had no more regard for the safety of the average American than did the corporate executives.

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Lawyers Are Revolting Against Attorney General Holder

Yesterday Paul Mirengoff at Power Line posted an article about a letter the National Association of Assistant United States Attorneys sent Holder three days ago. The letter was in reference to the Attorney General‘s support of the Durbin-Lee bill, which would overturn the current mandatory minimum sentences not only for marijuana violations but for all drug offenses, including major and repeat trafficking in heroin, meth, PCP and other extremely dangerous, and often lethal, drugs.

The article quotes the letter:

We believe the merits of mandatory minimums are abundantly clear. They reach to only the most serious of crimes. They target the most serious criminals. They provide us leverage to secure cooperation from defendants. They help to establish uniform and consistency in sentencing. And foremost, they protect law-abiding citizens and help to hold crime in check.

The Justice Department under Attorney General Holder has a history of ignoring laws and practicing unequal justice. Hopefully, if this law is defeated, the Justice Department will continue to do its job in accordance with the current law.

Putting drug dealers back on the streets more quickly does not help our society in any way.

 

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The United States Attorney’s Office Has Seized An Iranian Skyscraper In New York City

On Thursday, Fox News reported that the United States Attorney’s Office has seized a skyscraper in New York City allegedly secretly owned by the Iranian government.

The article reports:

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara claimed that the property owner, the Assa Corporation, was nothing more than a front for the state-run bank that financed the building.

“The Judge’s opinion upholds what was the contention of this Office from outset: ‘Assa was (and is) a front for Bank Melli, and thus a front for the Government of Iran,’” Bharara said in a statement.

The building was originally erected in the 1970s by the Phalavi Foundation, a non-profit that was operated at the time by the Shah of Iran and financed by Bank Melli, which is controlled by the Iranian Government. 

After the Iranian revolution, the loan for the building was cancelled in the 1980s and ownership was transferred to Assa and the Alavi Corporation. The U.S. alleges that Assa and Alavi were shell companies set up by the Iranian regime, with the former based in the UK’s Channel Islands to launder money back to the government.

Needless to say, the Alavi Foundation intends to appeal the court’s decision.

The article reports:

The government plans to use money from the seizure to compensate victims of Iranian–sponsored terrorism.

The building is valued at between $500-700 million and recently had $11 million in improvements.

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Limiting The Freedom Of People Who May Disagree With You

James O’Keefe has irked the political left on numerous occasions. He has exposed voter fraud in various locations, at one point receiving Eric Holder‘s ballot in Washington, D.C. He has also exposed some real dishonesty inside the workings of ACORN. The political left would very much like for him to go away, but they seem to be making fools of themselves in their efforts. Tulane University is the location of the latest battle in the war for freedom of speech.

On Monday, The Examiner reported that James O’Keefe was unlawfully detained on the campus of Tulane University by former Louisiana Attorney General Jim Letten. James O’Keefe committed the crime of offering Jim Letten’s wife a copy of his book.

The article reminds us of the past history between Jim Letten and James O’Keefe:

Letten had been the longest serving AG in the US until he was forced to resign, when it was found that his office had posted material on NOLA.com that contained libelous charges against Fred Heebe and other targets of Letten’s office. His second in command and another top deputy confessed to the postings. Letten was never accused of posting himself but there was a question about his investigation into the posts. Letten was asked for his resignation.

Letten’s office leaked emails and other alleged evidence to the press from OKkeefe involving the incident in the office of US Senator Mary Landrieu. Letten says he recused himself from the case, but his office did prosecute the case. He handed the case to US Attorney Jan Mann. Mann was one of the prosecutors posting on NOLA.com.

Patrick Frey at Patterico.com also reported the story. James O’keefe was fined for secretly recording an ACORN employee telling him how to handle his tax returns while smuggling under-age girls into the country to become prostitutes.

Patrick Frey reports:

O’Keefe has maintained that someone from the U.S. Attorney’s office leaked his privileged attorney-client emails, a subject he discusses at length in his book. Letten insists that he had nothing to do with it, if it indeed happened at all. “He’s just very deceitful and deceptive,” Letten said, who again said he had recused himself.

Letten wouldn’t say why he recused himself, but it is most likely because one of the defendants, including Robert Flagan, who is the son of the then acting U.S. Attorney of the Eastern District of Louisiana. Letten and Flagan are social acquaintances.

Letten insisted that he recused himself from the case, but after prodding acknowledged that it was “my office who continued to make the decision.” “When someone recuses themselves it isn’t done lightly,” Letten insisted.

The decision to prosecute O’Keefe and to accept Letten’s recusal was made at “the very highest levels of the Justice Department.” “[O’Keefe] was appropriately convicted.”

Letten declined to answer if his office worked with Attorney General Eric Holder to prosecute O’Keefe.

There’s reason to think that he may have. Last month, J. Christian Adams, a voting rights expert, revealed documents that showed coordination by Holder’s Justice Department with Attorney General Richard Head of New Hampshire after O’Keefe’s successful voter fraud investigations. [Editor’s note: Richard Head has worked directly with Brett Kimberlin associate and professional harasser Neal Rauhauser.]

This is another incident of the unequal justice administered by the Holder Justice Department. It really is time for Eric Holder to leave office.

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Politicizing The Justice Department

Yesterday the Washington Times posted a story about illegal activity on the part of government employees at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

The article reports:

The Treasury Department has admitted for the first time that confidential tax records of several political candidates and campaign donors were improperly scrutinized by government officials, but the Justice Department has declined to prosecute any of the cases.

Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) has asked Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. for an explanation of the lack of prosecutions. Senator Grassley has asked for a reply before July 26.

The article reports:

“Although this may not be indicative of wide spread targeting, any instance is cause for concern,” Mr. Grassley wrote. “Even more alarming, in at least one instance TIGTA referred evidence of ‘willful unauthorized access’ to the United States Attorney’s Office, but criminal prosecution was declined. Decisions such as these directly impact the political process and should be subject to the scrutiny of the American public.”

The IRS did not respond to a request for comment on Mr. George’s findings.

It really is time to clean house in Washington.

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Good News

It is no secret that the Justice Department has gone political under President Obama. For the people who follow such things, it is amazing how unsuccessful they have been in some of their attempted prosecutions. One of those witch hunts has been aimed at Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

USA Today and website called Stand with Arizona are reporting that the investigation of Sheriff Arpaio has now ended and no charges will be filed.

NBC News reports:

The federal government has closed a criminal probe of alleged financial misconduct by Arizona lawman Joe Arpaio, who styles himself as “America’s toughest sheriff,” and no charges will be filed, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said on Friday.

A separate federal investigation relating to allegations of civil rights abuses by Arpaio’s office is continuing. 

That last sentence means that the Justice Department is still looking, hoping they can find something! I think, as Americans, we need to take a really good look at the federal government’s ability to hassle people.

The article at Stand with Arizona expresses it very well:

Friday night releases of embarrassing political revelations are a long and infamous tradition, in order to minimize the exposure of the story to the American people. But this release took the cake: Friday at 5pm, before a Labor Day weekend, and right after the close of the Republican National Convention.

And no wonder. This one was a doozy. After all, this was a political persecution right from the start. The Obama DOJ started this thing less than 100 days after Obama took office, at a time when the Department was not even fully staffed. They were chomping at the bit to go after him. And now it is all for nothing.

Dozens of investigators, 4 Federal prosecutors, countless FBI agents, all working for three damn years to try and bring down Sheriff Joe. We won’t hold our breath waiting for the left-wing media to demand to know how much the DOJ spent on this disgraceful witch-hunt, but you can bet it was in the tens of millions.

And they came up with NOTHING. Because there IS nothing. Because this was never about substance, only politics.

NBC News reported:

Arpaio, who returned from the Republican National Convention on Friday night, said he was “very happy” with decision.

“I send my appreciation to the federal government for their hard work in clearing my office,” he said in a news briefing. 

Arpaio, 80, who is seeking re-election to a sixth term as sheriff in November, has been under a separate federal inquiry since 2008 over allegations that he and his deputies engaged in an extensive pattern of civil rights abuses.

If Sheriff Arpaio has been elected five times, the people of Arizona must think he is doing something right!

 

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It Really Doesn’t Pay To Cover-Up Bad Stuff

Today’s Washington Times is reporting that Arizona is launching its own investigation into Operation Fast and Furious, the government gun running operation that Congress has been trying to investigate for more than a year.

The article reports:

Speaker Andy Tobin created the committee, and charged it with looking at whether the program broke any state laws — raising the possibility of state penalties against those responsible for the operation.

It’s a turnaround from the rest of the immigration issue, where the federal government has sued to block the state’s own set of laws.

The committee is due to report back on March 30.

The article reminds us:

On Friday the chief of the criminal division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Arizona told a House committee he will decline to answer their questions next week, citing his Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination.

The official’s lawyer, in a letter to the committee, said his client is innocent but is “ensnared by the unfortunate circumstances in which he now stands between two branches of government.”

At some point we need to remind people that they don’t have these problems if they follow the law. I am hopeful that the pleading of the Fifth Amendment along with the Arizona committee will result in a serious enough investigation to expose whatever the facts are in this matter. If laws were broken, people need to face the consequences. 

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Sometimes It’s What They Don’t Say

Ed Morrissey at Hot Air noted in a post today that Patrick J. Cunningham, the chief of the Criminal Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Arizona, has said that he will seek Fifth Amendment protection when testifying before Congress.

Representative Darrell Issa, who is chairman of the House Oversight Committee conducting the investigation into Operation Fast and Furious, made the following statement in response to Mr. Cunningham’s claim that he would plead the Fifth Amendment:

 “The assertion of the fifth amendment by a senior Justice official is a significant indictment of the Department’s integrity in Operation Fast and Furious. The former head of the ATF has previously told the committee that the Justice Department is managing its response to Operation Fast and Furious in a manner designed to protect its political appointees.  This is the first time anyone has asserted their fifth amendment right in this investigation and heightens concerns that the Justice Department’s motivation for refusing to hand over subpoenaed materials is a desire to shield responsible officials from criminal charges and other embarrassment.

“Coming a year after revelations about reckless conduct in Operation Fast and Furious were first brought to light, the assertion of the fifth amendment also raises questions about whether President Obama and Attorney General Holder have made a serious and adequate response to allegations raised by whistleblowers.  Did Attorney General Holder really not know a senior Justice Department official fears criminal prosecution or is this just another example of him hiding important facts?  The committee will continue to demand answers.”

Unfortunately, Chicago politics has come to Washington, D. C. The investigation into Fast and Furious is moving ahead–but very slowly. President Obama’s Department of Justice is a political tool being wielded by the administration. The only way to end that is to vote this administration out of office.

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