Biden DOJ

https://news.yahoo.com/ag-garland-reverses-trump-era-171911038.html

The move is one of the first clear indications the Biden administration intends to more aggressively investigate police departments.


by Kristine Phillips

WASHINGTON – Attorney General Merrick Garland reversed a Trump administration policy that restricted the Justice Department's ability to force changes on police departments and other local or state government agencies investigated for abuse.

A memo issued Friday rescinds a previous directive ordering Justice Department attorneys to limit the use of so-called consent decrees. The move – one of the first clear indications that the Biden administration intends to more aggressively investigate police departments accused of civil rights violations – comes on the heels of multiple fatal shootings involving police and amid deepening distrust of law enforcement.

"This memorandum makes clear that the Department will use all appropriate legal authorities to safeguard civil rights and protect the environment, consistent with longstanding Departmental practice and informed by the expertise of the Department’s career workforce," Garland said in a statement.

President-elect Joe Biden has reportedly chosen federal appeals court judge Merrick Garland as his attorney general  Seen here then Vice President Joe Biden congratulates Judge Merrick Garland after he was nominated by President Barack Obama to the Supreme Court in the Rose Garden at the White House March 16 2016 in Washington DC
President-elect Joe Biden has reportedly chosen federal appeals court judge Merrick Garland as his attorney general. Seen here, then Vice President Joe Biden congratulates Judge Merrick Garland after he was nominated by President Barack Obama to the Supreme Court in the Rose Garden at the White House, March 16, 2016 in Washington, DC.
More

For years, the Justice Department relied on consent decrees to reform prisons, jails and police departments accused of abuse. These court-enforced agreements with state and local governments enabled judges to ensure that promised changes are underway.

 

_____________________________________SIGNATURE________________________________________________

Not today Sir, Probably not tomorrow.............................................. bayfront arena st. pete '94
you're finally here and I'm a mess................................................... nationwide arena columbus '10
memories like fingerprints are slowly raising.................................... first niagara center buffalo '13
another man ..... moved by sleight of hand...................................... joe louis arena detroit '14

Comments

  • mickeyratmickeyrat Posts: 26,119
     
    • Attorney General Merrick Garland speaks at the Department of Justice in Washington Monday April 26 2021 The Justice Department is opening a sweeping probe into policing in Louisville after the March 2020 death of Breonna Taylor who was shot to death by police during a raid at her home Mandel NganPool via AP
    • FILE - This undated file photo provided by Taylor family attorney Sam Aguiar shows Breonna Taylor in Louisville Ky Taylor a 26-year-old Louisville Ky emergency medical worker studying to become a nurse was shot several times in her hallway after three plainclothes narcotics detectives busted down the door of her apartment in the middle of the night in March 2020 A grand jury brought no charges against officers in her death although one was indicted for shooting into a neighboring home that had people inside Courtesy of Taylor Family attorney Sam Aguiar via AP File
    • FILE - In this March 13 2021 file photo a protester holds up a painting of Breonna Taylor during a rally on the one year anniversary of her death at Jefferson Square Park in Louisville Ky On Friday April 9 2021 Gov Andy Beshear has signed a partial ban on no-knock warrants a year after the fatal shooting of Taylor AP PhotoTimothy D Easley
    1 / 3

    Justice Department Breonna Taylor

    Attorney General Merrick Garland speaks at the Department of Justice in Washington, Monday, April 26, 2021. The Justice Department is opening a sweeping probe into policing in Louisville after the March 2020 death of Breonna Taylor, who was shot to death by police during a raid at her home. (Mandel Ngan/Pool via AP)

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department is opening a sweeping probe into policing in Louisville, Kentucky over the March 2020 death of Breonna Taylor, who was shot to death by police during a raid at her home, Attorney General Merrick Garland announced Monday.

    It's the second such sweeping probe into a law enforcement agency by the Biden administration in a week.

    The 26-year-old Taylor, an emergency medical technician who had been studying to become a nurse, was roused from sleep by police who came through the door using a battering ram. Her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, fired once. A no-knock warrant was approved as part of a narcotics investigation. No drugs were found at her home.

    The investigation announced Monday is into the Louisville-Jefferson County Metro Government and the Louisville Metro Police Department. It is known as a “pattern or practice” — examining whether there is a pattern or practice of unconstitutional or unlawful policing — and will be a more sweeping review of the entire police department.

    It will specifically focus on whether the Louisville Metro Police Department engages in a pattern of unreasonable force, including against people engaging in peaceful activities, and will also examine whether the police department conducts unconstitutional stops, searches and seizures and whether the department illegally executes search warrants, Garland said.


    _____________________________________SIGNATURE________________________________________________

    Not today Sir, Probably not tomorrow.............................................. bayfront arena st. pete '94
    you're finally here and I'm a mess................................................... nationwide arena columbus '10
    memories like fingerprints are slowly raising.................................... first niagara center buffalo '13
    another man ..... moved by sleight of hand...................................... joe louis arena detroit '14
  • mickeyratmickeyrat Posts: 26,119
     
    FBI starts probe into death of Black man killed by deputies
    By BEN FINLEY and JONATHAN DREW
    Today

    ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. (AP) — The FBI launched a civil rights probe Tuesday into the death of Andrew Brown Jr., a Black man killed by deputies in North Carolina, as his family released an independent autopsy showing he was shot five times, including in the back of the head.

    North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper called for a special prosecutor while pressure built on authorities to release body camera footage of last week's shooting. A judge scheduled a hearing Wednesday to consider formal requests to make the video public.

    The FBI’s Charlotte field office, which opened the civil rights investigation into Brown’s death, said in a statement that its agents planned to work closely with the Department of Justice “to determine whether federal laws were violated."

    The independent autopsy was performed Sunday by a pathologist hired by Brown's family. The exam noted four wounds to the right arm and one to the head. The state’s autopsy has not been released yet.

    The family's lawyers also released a copy of the death certificate, which lists the cause of death as a “penetrating gunshot wound of the head.” The certificate, signed by a paramedic services instructor who serves as a local medical examiner, describes the death as a homicide.

    Brown was shot last Wednesday by deputies serving drug-related search and arrest warrants at his house in the North Carolina town of Elizabeth City, about 160 miles northeast of Raleigh.

    The autopsy results come a day after Brown's relatives were shown a 20-second clip of footage from one deputy's body camera. One of the Brown family lawyers, Chantel Cherry-Lassiter, who viewed the video, said Monday that officers opened fire on Brown while he had his hands on the steering wheel of a car. She said the video showed Brown trying to drive away but posing no threat to officers.

    Brown's son Khalil Ferebee questioned why deputies opened fire.

    “Yesterday I said he was executed. This autopsy report shows me that was correct," he said Tuesday at a news conference. “It’s obvious he was trying to get away. It’s obvious. And they’re going to shoot him in the back of the head?”

    The pathologist, North Carolina-based Dr. Brent Hall, noted a wound to the back of Brown’s head from an undetermined distance that penetrated his skull and brain. He said there was no exit wound. Two shots to Brown’s right arm penetrated the skin. Two others shots to the arm grazed him.

    The shooting prompted days of protests and calls for justice and transparency. Pasquotank County Sheriff Tommy Wooten II has said multiple deputies fired shots but released few other details. Seven Pasquotank County deputies have been placed on leave.

    Local clergy members who called a news conference outside of an Elizabeth City church welcomed the FBI's announcement.

    “Amen. Because the people here are inept, incapable and incompetent," said the Rev. William Barber II, who leads the Poor People’s Campaign, referring to local authorities.

    Brown's lawyers also welcomed the federal agency's involvement: “We have great faith that this caliber of an investigation will prevent any obscuring of the facts released to the Brown family and public and will overcome any local bias that may prevent justice from being served.”

    The State Bureau of Investigation began a probe of the shooting shortly after it happened. It initially said that it would turn its findings over to the local district attorney, as is standard under state laws and procedures.

    But the governor, a Democrat, urged the appointment of a special prosecutor to handle the state's case.

    “This would help assure the community and Mr. Brown’s family that a decision on pursuing criminal charges is conducted without bias,” Cooper said in a statement.

    State Attorney General Josh Stein said state law puts control of criminal prosecutions in the hands of the local district attorney, so his office cannot intervene unless asked. He said he has offered assistance to the local prosecutor, but has only received an acknowledgment.

    “For my office to play a role in the prosecution, the District Attorney must request our assistance,” Stein said.

    District Attorney Andrew Womble, who oversees Pasquotank County, issued a statement noting that state law gives him the power to decide on prosecuting crimes in his district and he stands “ready willing and able to fulfill my statutory obligations.”

    Wednesday's court hearing on the video will consider petitions to release the footage, including filings by a media coalition and by the county attorney on behalf of the sheriff. A North Carolina law that took effect in 2016 allows law enforcement agencies to show body camera video privately to a victim's family, but it generally requires a court to approve any public release.

    It's not clear how soon a judge could rule or how quickly the video would be released if the release is approved. In similar cases, it has sometimes taken weeks for the full legal process to play out.

    The slow movement has prompted an outcry from protesters, the family's lawyers and racial justice advocates, who noted that law enforcement agencies in other states have moved faster. In Columbus, Ohio, the day before Brown was shot, body camera footage was released within hours of an officer fatally shooting a 16-year-old Black girl who was swinging a knife at another girl.

    Democrats in the North Carolina General Assembly filed a measure this month proposing that body camera video be released within 48 hours unless a law enforcement agency asks a court to delay its distribution. But the legislation faces long odds with the GOP controlling both chambers of the Legislature.

    A key Republican lawmaker, state Sen. Danny Britt, issued a statement saying GOP lawmakers are open to considering improvements to the current law. But with a hearing set for Wednesday, he said, the process has had little time to unfold.

    ___

    Drew reported from Durham, North Carolina. Associated Press Writer Gary D. Robertson in Raleigh contributed to this report.


    _____________________________________SIGNATURE________________________________________________

    Not today Sir, Probably not tomorrow.............................................. bayfront arena st. pete '94
    you're finally here and I'm a mess................................................... nationwide arena columbus '10
    memories like fingerprints are slowly raising.................................... first niagara center buffalo '13
    another man ..... moved by sleight of hand...................................... joe louis arena detroit '14
  • mickeyratmickeyrat Posts: 26,119
    I recognize this was in the works before now, however.....

    US indicts 3 on hate crime charges in death of Ahmaud Arbery
    By MICHAEL BALSAMO and RUSS BYNUM
    42 mins ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department brought federal hate crimes charges Wednesday in the death of Ahmaud Arbery, charging a father and son who armed themselves, chased and fatally shot the 25-year-old Black man after spotting him running in their Georgia neighborhood.

    Travis McMichael and his father, Gregory, were charged along with a third man, William “Roddie” Bryan, with one count of interference with civil rights and attempted kidnapping. The McMichaels are also charged with using, carrying and brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence.

    The case is the most significant civil rights prosecution undertaken to date by the Biden administration Justice Department and comes as federal officials have moved quickly to open sweeping investigations into troubled police departments as civil rights takes center stage among the department’s priorities.

    The indictment charges that the McMichaels “armed themselves with firearms, got into a truck and chased Arbery through the public streets of the neighborhood while yelling at Arbery, using their truck to cut off his route and threatening him with firearms.” It also alleges that Bryan got into a truck and then chased Arbery, using the vehicle to block his path.

    Arbery, 25, was killed on Feb. 23, 2020, by three close-range shotgun blasts after the McMichaels pursued him in a pickup truck as he was running through their neighborhood. Arbery had been dead for more than two months when a cellphone video of the shooting was leaked online and a national outcry erupted.

    The Georgia Bureau of Investigation took over the case the next day and swiftly arrested Travis McMichael, who fired the shots, his father, and Bryan, a neighbor who joined the pursuit and took the video. The three men remain jailed on state murder charges and are due back in court in May.

    S. Lee Merritt, an attorney for Arbery’s mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones, applauded the hate crimes charges Wednesday, tweeting that the federal case would “serve as a fail-safe to the state prosecution.”

    “Hate claimed Ahmaud’s life,” Merritt tweeted. “Our justice system must combat intolerance.”

    The McMichaels’ lawyers have said they pursued Arbery, suspecting he was a burglar, after security cameras had previously recorded him entering a home under construction. They say Travis McMichael shot Arbery while fearing for his life as they grappled over a shotgun.

    Local prosecutors have said Arbery stole nothing and was merely out jogging when the McMichaels and Bryan chased him.

    The Justice Department alleges that the men “used force and threats of force to intimidate and interfere with Arbery’s right to use a public street because of his race.”

    In pretrial court hearings in Georgia, prosecutors have presented evidence that racism may have played a role in the man's death.

    Last June, an agent with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation testified Bryan told investigators that Travis McMichael uttered a racist slur right after the shooting as he stood over Arbery, who was bleeding on the ground.

    “Mr. Bryan said that after the shooting took place before police arrival, while Mr. Arbery was on the ground, that he heard Travis McMichael make the statement, ‘f—-ing n—-er,’” GBI agent Richard Dial testified.

    Travis McMichael’s attorneys have denied that he made the remark.

    During a bond hearing in November, prosecutors introduced evidence that Travis McMichael had used racist slurs in a text message and on social media.

    At the time Arbery was killed, Georgia was one of just four U.S. states without a hate crimes law. Amid the outcry over his death, Georgia lawmakers quickly passed a law allowing for an additional penalty for certain crimes found to be motivated by a victim’s race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender, or mental or physical disability.

    The men charged with murdering Arbery won’t face hate crime penalties at the state level because the law was changed after the killing.

    Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr said the state case remained a priority, and he commended “this positive development and the continued push to get answers for Ahmaud’s family, community and our state.”

    Attorneys for Travis McMichael said they were disappointed “that the Justice Department bought the false narrative that the media and state prosecutors have promulgated.”

    “There is absolutely nothing in the indictment that identifies how this is a federal hate crime and it ignores without apology that Georgia law allows a citizen to detain a person who was committing burglaries until police arrive,” attorneys Bob Rubin and Jason Sheffield said.

    Gregory McMichael’s attorneys, Frank and Laura Hogue, did not immediately respond Wednesday to an email seeking comment and Bryan’s attorney, Kevin Gough, said he had no immediate comment because he had not read the federal indictment.

    ___

    Bynum reported from Savannah, Georgia. Associated Press writers Eric Tucker in Washington and Kate Brumback in Atlanta contributed to this report.


    _____________________________________SIGNATURE________________________________________________

    Not today Sir, Probably not tomorrow.............................................. bayfront arena st. pete '94
    you're finally here and I'm a mess................................................... nationwide arena columbus '10
    memories like fingerprints are slowly raising.................................... first niagara center buffalo '13
    another man ..... moved by sleight of hand...................................... joe louis arena detroit '14
  • mickeyratmickeyrat Posts: 26,119
    edited June 2021
     

    Attorney General Merrick Garland said Friday that the Justice Department will dramatically increase its focus on preventing voter suppression by doubling the number of lawyers in the civil rights division, in response to a rash of laws that have made it harder to vote in many states.

    “We will use all existing provisions ... to ensure that we protect every qualified American seeking to participate in our democracy,” Garland said in a speech Friday afternoon.

    Garland compared his action to that taken by former Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, who said that the Justice Department needed “a lot more lawyers” to combat laws in Southern states that were trying to make it harder for African Americans to exercise their right to vote. Kennedy led the department from 1961 to 1964.

    US Attorney General Merrick Garland delivers remarks on voting rights at the US Department of Justice in Washington DC on June 11 2021 Tom BrennerAFP via Getty Images
    Attorney General Merrick Garland at the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., on Friday. (Tom Brenner/AFP via Getty Images)
    More

    Garland said that the modern Justice Department is in a similar position to Kennedy’s DOJ because of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2013 decision in Shelby County v. Holder, which essentially eliminated the policy of “preclearance".

    “The Shelby County decision eliminated critical tools for protecting voting rights,” Garland said.

    In numerous states controlled almost entirely by Republicans, there has been a rash of laws proposed and passed in the name of election integrity to make it harder to vote. Some expansions being rolled back were made to accommodate needs during the COVID-19 pandemic, but the new laws have been pushed by many Republicans who continue to spread the baseless rumors and lies about the 2020 presidential election that former President Donald Trump started and continues to talk about.

    There has also been a host of laws passed and proposed by mostly Republican legislatures to give state politicians the ability to interfere with elections and even to overturn an election result.

    The Shelby decision removed the requirement for state or local governments with a history of racial discrimination to seek permission from the Justice Department before making “changes to state election law — however innocuous — until they have been pre-cleared by federal authorities in Washington, D.C.” Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in a 5-4 majority opinion that “things have changed dramatically” since the 1965 passage of the Voting Rights Act, and that “problems remain in these states and others, but there is no denying that, due to the Voting Rights Act, our nation has made great strides.” Nine states were covered by the law in 1965, and counties and townships in five other states came under the act in its subsequent renewals.

    Chief Justice John Roberts sits during a group photo of the Justices at the Supreme Court in Washington DC on April 23 2021 Erin SchaffAFP via Getty Images
    Chief Justice John Roberts at the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., on April 23. (Erin Schaff/AFP via Getty Images)
    More

    Garland on Friday called preclearance the “most effective tool to protect voting rights over the last half-century.”

    “Today we are again without a preclearance provision, so again the civil rights division is going to need more lawyers,” said Garland, who noted that the doubling of staff will happen in the next 30 days.

    Garland also criticized the growing number of states where Republicans who are loyal to Trump are using the falsehoods about the 2020 election to push for new rounds of audits of the results. In Arizona, Republicans in the state Legislature were the first to organize another redundant examination of the vote that has been condemned by voting experts and even Republican officials in the state as amateurish and pointless. But Trump loyalists in other states are seeking to follow suit.

    Garland said the audit may have violated federal statutes that deal with the safekeeping of election results, and others that deal with voter intimidation.

    The attorney general said the DOJ is also going to step up its investigation and prosecution of “menacing and violent threats” made against election officials at the state and local level, which he said have been on the rise.

    On Friday, Tricia Raffensperger, the wife of Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, spoke publicly for the first time with Reuters about the many death threats the couple has received because her husband has called out Trump’s lies about the 2020 election.





    Post edited by mickeyrat on
    _____________________________________SIGNATURE________________________________________________

    Not today Sir, Probably not tomorrow.............................................. bayfront arena st. pete '94
    you're finally here and I'm a mess................................................... nationwide arena columbus '10
    memories like fingerprints are slowly raising.................................... first niagara center buffalo '13
    another man ..... moved by sleight of hand...................................... joe louis arena detroit '14
  • Halifax2TheMaxHalifax2TheMax Posts: 31,640
    edited June 2021
    From the comments section on a WaPo editorial regarding CYA DISbarr and POOTWH’s Stasi going after dem members of Congress and news outlets. Can’t say I disagree.

    A popover with more user information
    June 12, 2021, 6:25 AM
    bring in barr, sessions, whittaker, rosenstein. 
    any testimony that doesn't comport with the facts will be obvious. 
    prepare a cell for each of these traitors. 

    harris can conduct her own "investigations"...and run a 'secret' government just as cheney did in 2000-2007...answerable to no-one. declare the 2016 elections fraudulent or corrupted by treachery and interference by the russians in order to help trump. hold trump in prison and liable...all judges appointed will be removed, every rule will be nullified as trump was being controlled by the russians. 
    republicans want Banana Republic??? OK....GIVE IT TO THEM. 

    the DOJ will ask the 147 house members to surrender all email, text and cellphone data re Jan 6. 
    any one of these traitors found to have had a hand in the attempted overthrow will be immediately locked up, all 147 will be removed as traitors. 

    the senate will do the same...all who voted against certifying the election will be imprisoned. 

    trump, gullanai and mo brooks will be charged with sedition and inciting a riot, obstruction, bribery, extortion, etc. prison. 

    murdoch and fox will be held liable for willfully promoting false election and covid-19 misinformation. 

    club for growth, ALEC , Americans for prosperity, nra, heritage, cato....any / all of these found to have contributed to the Jan 6 government overthrow will be shuttered and all assets seized. 

    pence, manafort, stone, lewindowski, gates, miller, nielson, devos, perry, wilber ross, sleepy carlson, popmus pomeao, mcghan, stone...all of them sent or returned to Prison. 

    Post edited by Halifax2TheMax on
    09/15/1998, Mansfield, MA; 08/29/00 08/30/00, Mansfield, MA; 07/02/03, 07/03/03, Mansfield, MA; 09/28/04, 09/29/04, Boston, MA; 09/22/05, Halifax, NS; 05/24/06, 05/25/06, Boston, MA; 07/22/06, 07/23/06, Gorge, WA; 06/29/08, 06/30/08, Mansfield, MA; 08/18/08, O2 London, UK; 10/30/09, 10/31/09, Philadelphia, PA; 05/15/10, Hartford, CT; 05/17/10, Boston, MA; 05/20/10, 05/21/10, NY, NY; 06/22/10, Dublin, IRE; 06/23/10, Northern Ireland; 09/03/11, 09/04/11, Alpine Valley, WI; 09/11/11, 09/12/11, Toronto, Ont; 09/14/11, Ottawa, Ont; 09/15/11, Hamilton, Ont; 07/02/2012, Prague, Czech Republic; 07/04/2012 & 07/05/2012, Berlin, Germany; 07/07/2012, Stockholm, Sweden; 09/30/2012, Missoula, MT; 07/16/2013, London, Ont; 07/19/2013, Chicago, IL; 10/15/2013 & 10/16/2013, Worcester, MA; 10/21/2013 & 10/22/2013, Philadelphia, PA; 10/25/2013, Hartford, CT; 11/29/2013, Portland, OR; 11/30/2013, Spokane, WA; 12/04/2013, Vancouver, BC; 12/06/2013, Seattle, WA; 10/03/2014, St. Louis. MO; 10/22/2014, Denver, CO; 10/26/2015, New York, NY; 04/23/2016, New Orleans, LA; 04/28/2016 & 04/29/2016, Philadelphia, PA; 05/01/2016 & 05/02/2016, New York, NY; 05/08/2016, Ottawa, Ont.; 05/10/2016 & 05/12/2016, Toronto, Ont.; 08/05/2016 & 08/07/2016, Boston, MA; 08/20/2016 & 08/22/2016, Chicago, IL; 07/01/2018, Prague, Czech Republic; 07/03/2018, Krakow, Poland; 07/05/2018, Berlin, Germany; 09/02/2018 & 09/04/2018, Boston, MA;

    "If you're looking down on someone, it better be to extend them a hand to lift them up."

    Libtardaplorable©. And proud of it.

    Brilliantati©
  • mickeyratmickeyrat Posts: 26,119
    because he has been a holdover, I'm placing this here...

    Justice official resigning amid uproar over Dems' subpoena
    By MICHAEL BALSAMO
    2 hours ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department’s top national security official is resigning from his position after revelations that the department under President Donald Trump secretly seized records from Democrats and members of the media.

    John Demers, a Trump appointee, will leave by the end of next week, a Justice Department official told The Associated Press on Monday. Demers, who was sworn in a few weeks after the subpoena for the Democrats’ records, is one of the few Trump appointees who has remained in the Biden administration. He had planned for weeks to leave the department by the end of June, a second person familiar with the matter said.

    The official and the person could not discuss the matter publicly and spoke to the AP on the condition of anonymity.

    Demers' resignation comes amid questions about what he knew about the Justice Department’s efforts to secretly seize the phone data from House Democrats and reporters as part of the aggressive investigations into leaks.

    Attorney General Merrick Garland emphasized in a statement Monday that “political or other improper considerations must play no role in any investigative or prosecutorial decisions” and noted the department's inspector general has already launched an investigation.

    “Consistent with our commitment to the rule of law,” he said, “we must ensure that full weight is accorded to separation-of-powers concerns moving forward.”

    News emerged last week that the Justice Department had secretly subpoenaed Apple for metadata from House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff and another Democratic member of the panel, California Rep. Eric Swalwell, in 2018, as their committee was investigating Trump’s ties to Russia. Schiff at the time was the top Democrat on the panel, which was led by Republicans.

    The records of at least 12 people connected to the House intelligence panel were eventually shared with the Justice Department by Apple after the subpoena was issued in 2018. The people included aides, former aides and family members. One was a minor.

    The subpoena, issued Feb. 6, 2018, requested information on 73 phone numbers and 36 email addresses, Apple said. It also included a non-disclosure order that prohibited the company from notifying any of the people and was renewed three times, the company said in a statement.

    Demers has been in charge of the department’s national security division since late February 2018, and his division has played a role in each of the leak investigations.

    He will be temporarily replaced by Mark Lesko, the acting U.S. attorney in the Eastern District of New York, the official said, until President Joe Biden's official pick, Matthew Olsen, is approved by the Senate.

    Olsen is an Uber executive with experience in the Justice Department. He has served as director of the National Counterterrorism Center and as general counsel for the National Security Agency. Demers had remained in place while Olsen awaits a confirmation hearing. Lesko will fill the role until Olsen is confirmed.

    The Justice Department’s inspector general has launched a probe into the matter after a request from Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco. Inspector General Michael Horowitz said he would examine whether the data subpoenaed by the Justice Department and turned over by Apple followed department policy and “whether any such uses, or the investigations, were based upon improper considerations.”


    _____________________________________SIGNATURE________________________________________________

    Not today Sir, Probably not tomorrow.............................................. bayfront arena st. pete '94
    you're finally here and I'm a mess................................................... nationwide arena columbus '10
    memories like fingerprints are slowly raising.................................... first niagara center buffalo '13
    another man ..... moved by sleight of hand...................................... joe louis arena detroit '14
  • mickeyratmickeyrat Posts: 26,119
    guess this should go here too....

    Reality Winner, NSA contractor in leak case, out of prison
    By MICHAEL BALSAMO
    27 mins ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — A former government contractor who was given the longest federal prison sentence imposed for leaks to the news media has been released from prison to home confinement, a person familiar with the matter told The Associated Press on Monday.

    Reality Winner, 29, has been moved to home confinement and remains in the custody of the federal Bureau of Prisons, the person said. The person could not discuss the matter publicly and spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity.

    She was convicted in 2018 of a single count of transmitting national security information. Prosecutors said at the time that her sentence was the longest ever imposed for leaking government information to the news media.

    Her release was hailed as a cause for celebration after advocates had spent years fighting for her release or a pardon. Her lawyer, Alison Grinter Allen, said in a statement that Winner and her family are working to “heal the trauma of incarceration and build back the years lost.”

    She said they are “relieved and hopeful” after her release from prison.

    The former Air Force translator worked as a contractor at a National Security Agency office in Augusta, Georgia, when she printed a classified report and left the building with it tucked into her pantyhose. Winner told the FBI she mailed the document to an online news outlet.

    Authorities never identified the news organization. But the Justice Department announced Winner’s June 2017 arrest the same day The Intercept reported on a secret NSA document. It detailed Russian government efforts to penetrate a Florida-based supplier of voting software and the accounts of election officials ahead of the 2016 presidential election. The NSA report was dated May 5, the same as the document Winner had leaked.


    _____________________________________SIGNATURE________________________________________________

    Not today Sir, Probably not tomorrow.............................................. bayfront arena st. pete '94
    you're finally here and I'm a mess................................................... nationwide arena columbus '10
    memories like fingerprints are slowly raising.................................... first niagara center buffalo '13
    another man ..... moved by sleight of hand...................................... joe louis arena detroit '14
  • mickeyratmickeyrat Posts: 26,119
     
    Justice Department suing Georgia over state's new voting law
    By MICHAEL BALSAMO and CHRISTINA A. CASSIDY
    2 hours ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department is suing Georgia over the state's new election law, alleging Republican state lawmakers rushed through a sweeping overhaul with an intent to deny Black voters equal access to the ballot.

    “Where we believe the civil rights of Americans have been violated, we will not hesitate to act,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said Friday in announcing the lawsuit.

    Republican lawmakers in the state pushed back immediately, pledging a forceful defense of Georgia's law.

    The Biden administration's move comes two weeks after Garland said his department would scrutinize new laws in Republican-controlled states that tighten voting rules. He said the federal government would take action if prosecutors found unlawful activity.

    The suit also comes as pressure grows on the Biden administration to respond to GOP-backed laws being pushed in the states this year. A Democratic effort to overhaul election laws was blocked this week by Republican senators.

    As of mid-May, 22 restrictive laws had passed in at least 14 states, according to the Brennan Center for Justice, which researches voting and supports expanded access. Justice Department officials hinted that prosecutors were looking at other voting laws across the United States and warned that the government would not stand by if there were illegal attempts to restrict voter access.

    The increased enforcement of voting rights laws also signals that President Joe Biden and Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke are making good on a promise to refocus the department around civil rights after a tumultuous four years during the Trump administration. Clarke was one of the nation’s leading civil rights attorneys before her nomination to lead the department's civil rights division.

    Georgia's secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger, said he would contest the suit. The Republican official was harshly criticized by then-President Donald Trump and his allies for rebuffing efforts to challenge the outcome of the state's vote in the 2020 election. Raffensperger largely supported the new law and faces a primary challenge from a congressman backed by Trump.

    “The Biden Administration has been spreading lies about Georgia’s election law for months," Raffensperger said in a statement. "It is no surprise that they would operationalize their lies with the full force of the federal government. I look forward to meeting them, and beating them, in court.”

    Gov. Brian Kemp, R-Ga., said in a statement that the suit was “born out of the lies and misinformation the Biden administration has pushed.”

    He accused Biden and other Democrats of “weaponizing the U.S. Department of Justice to carry out their far-left agenda that undermines election integrity and empowers federal government overreach in our democracy.”

    While much of the more controversial aspects of Georgia's new voting law were dropped before it was passed, it is notable in its scope and for newly expansive powers granted to the state over local election offices.

    The bill, known as SB 202, also adds a voter ID requirement for mail ballots, shortens the time period for requesting a mailed ballot and results in fewer ballot drop boxes available in metro Atlanta — provisions that drew the challenge from the federal government.

    “The changes to absentee voting were not made in a vacuum," Clarke said. "These changes come immediately after successful absentee voting in the 2020 election cycle, especially among Black voters. SB 202 seeks to halt and reverse this progress.”

    The lawsuit also takes aim at another controversial measure — a ban on the distribution of food and water by various groups and organizations to voters standing in line to cast a ballot. Democrats say the support is needed to encourage voters who find themselves in long lines. Republicans argue the measure is needed to prevent unlawful electioneering from happening at polling places.

    In 2020, just two states had ID requirements for voters requesting a mailed ballot. Along with Georgia, lawmakers in Florida have also passed a law requiring additional identification for mail voting. Clarke described the Georgia law as adding “new and unnecessarily stringent” identification requirements to mail voting.

    In Georgia, drop boxes were permitted last year under an emergency rule prompted by the coronavirus pandemic. State Republicans have defended the new law as making drop boxes a permanent option for voters and requiring all counties to have at least one. But critics say the new limits mean there will be fewer drop boxes available in the state’s most populous communities.

    For the entire metro Atlanta area, Democrats estimate the number of drop boxes will fall from 94 last year to no more than 23 for future elections based on the new formula of one drop box per 100,000 registered voters.

    Clarke noted that metro Atlanta is home to the largest Black voting-age population in the state.

    The NAACP and civil rights leaders such as Stacey Abrams applauded the administration's step. NAACP President Derrick Johnson said Georgia’s law was a “blatant assault on the American people’s most fundamental and sacred right, the right to vote.”

    The law already is the subject of seven other federal suits filed by civil rights and election integrity groups that raise a number of claims under the Constitution and the Voting Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination in voting.

    The Supreme Court also is weighing a voting rights dispute from Arizona that predates last year’s election in which the court could again significantly cut back on the use of the voting rights law.

    Eight years ago Friday, the high court removed the Justice Department’s most effective tool in combating discriminatory voting laws: the requirement that states with a history of racial discrimination, mostly in the South, obtain advance approval of any voting changes from the government or a court.

    The department also announced Friday that it was creating a task force and advising FBI and U.S. attorneys to prioritize investigations of threats against election officials.

    ___

    Cassidy reported from Atlanta. Associated Press writers Mark Sherman in Washington and Kate Brumback and Bill Barrow in Atlanta contributed to this report.


    _____________________________________SIGNATURE________________________________________________

    Not today Sir, Probably not tomorrow.............................................. bayfront arena st. pete '94
    you're finally here and I'm a mess................................................... nationwide arena columbus '10
    memories like fingerprints are slowly raising.................................... first niagara center buffalo '13
    another man ..... moved by sleight of hand...................................... joe louis arena detroit '14
  • Halifax2TheMaxHalifax2TheMax Posts: 31,640
    mickeyrat said:
     
    Justice Department suing Georgia over state's new voting law
    By MICHAEL BALSAMO and CHRISTINA A. CASSIDY
    2 hours ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department is suing Georgia over the state's new election law, alleging Republican state lawmakers rushed through a sweeping overhaul with an intent to deny Black voters equal access to the ballot.

    “Where we believe the civil rights of Americans have been violated, we will not hesitate to act,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said Friday in announcing the lawsuit.

    Republican lawmakers in the state pushed back immediately, pledging a forceful defense of Georgia's law.

    The Biden administration's move comes two weeks after Garland said his department would scrutinize new laws in Republican-controlled states that tighten voting rules. He said the federal government would take action if prosecutors found unlawful activity.

    The suit also comes as pressure grows on the Biden administration to respond to GOP-backed laws being pushed in the states this year. A Democratic effort to overhaul election laws was blocked this week by Republican senators.

    As of mid-May, 22 restrictive laws had passed in at least 14 states, according to the Brennan Center for Justice, which researches voting and supports expanded access. Justice Department officials hinted that prosecutors were looking at other voting laws across the United States and warned that the government would not stand by if there were illegal attempts to restrict voter access.

    The increased enforcement of voting rights laws also signals that President Joe Biden and Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke are making good on a promise to refocus the department around civil rights after a tumultuous four years during the Trump administration. Clarke was one of the nation’s leading civil rights attorneys before her nomination to lead the department's civil rights division.

    Georgia's secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger, said he would contest the suit. The Republican official was harshly criticized by then-President Donald Trump and his allies for rebuffing efforts to challenge the outcome of the state's vote in the 2020 election. Raffensperger largely supported the new law and faces a primary challenge from a congressman backed by Trump.

    “The Biden Administration has been spreading lies about Georgia’s election law for months," Raffensperger said in a statement. "It is no surprise that they would operationalize their lies with the full force of the federal government. I look forward to meeting them, and beating them, in court.”

    Gov. Brian Kemp, R-Ga., said in a statement that the suit was “born out of the lies and misinformation the Biden administration has pushed.”

    He accused Biden and other Democrats of “weaponizing the U.S. Department of Justice to carry out their far-left agenda that undermines election integrity and empowers federal government overreach in our democracy.”

    While much of the more controversial aspects of Georgia's new voting law were dropped before it was passed, it is notable in its scope and for newly expansive powers granted to the state over local election offices.

    The bill, known as SB 202, also adds a voter ID requirement for mail ballots, shortens the time period for requesting a mailed ballot and results in fewer ballot drop boxes available in metro Atlanta — provisions that drew the challenge from the federal government.

    “The changes to absentee voting were not made in a vacuum," Clarke said. "These changes come immediately after successful absentee voting in the 2020 election cycle, especially among Black voters. SB 202 seeks to halt and reverse this progress.”

    The lawsuit also takes aim at another controversial measure — a ban on the distribution of food and water by various groups and organizations to voters standing in line to cast a ballot. Democrats say the support is needed to encourage voters who find themselves in long lines. Republicans argue the measure is needed to prevent unlawful electioneering from happening at polling places.

    In 2020, just two states had ID requirements for voters requesting a mailed ballot. Along with Georgia, lawmakers in Florida have also passed a law requiring additional identification for mail voting. Clarke described the Georgia law as adding “new and unnecessarily stringent” identification requirements to mail voting.

    In Georgia, drop boxes were permitted last year under an emergency rule prompted by the coronavirus pandemic. State Republicans have defended the new law as making drop boxes a permanent option for voters and requiring all counties to have at least one. But critics say the new limits mean there will be fewer drop boxes available in the state’s most populous communities.

    For the entire metro Atlanta area, Democrats estimate the number of drop boxes will fall from 94 last year to no more than 23 for future elections based on the new formula of one drop box per 100,000 registered voters.

    Clarke noted that metro Atlanta is home to the largest Black voting-age population in the state.

    The NAACP and civil rights leaders such as Stacey Abrams applauded the administration's step. NAACP President Derrick Johnson said Georgia’s law was a “blatant assault on the American people’s most fundamental and sacred right, the right to vote.”

    The law already is the subject of seven other federal suits filed by civil rights and election integrity groups that raise a number of claims under the Constitution and the Voting Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination in voting.

    The Supreme Court also is weighing a voting rights dispute from Arizona that predates last year’s election in which the court could again significantly cut back on the use of the voting rights law.

    Eight years ago Friday, the high court removed the Justice Department’s most effective tool in combating discriminatory voting laws: the requirement that states with a history of racial discrimination, mostly in the South, obtain advance approval of any voting changes from the government or a court.

    The department also announced Friday that it was creating a task force and advising FBI and U.S. attorneys to prioritize investigations of threats against election officials.

    ___

    Cassidy reported from Atlanta. Associated Press writers Mark Sherman in Washington and Kate Brumback and Bill Barrow in Atlanta contributed to this report.


    The POOTWH's appointees are about to earn their/there/they're keep. Then what? Where does one turn when they've been so efficiently disenfranchised? You think 2022 will be bad? Wait until 2024.
    09/15/1998, Mansfield, MA; 08/29/00 08/30/00, Mansfield, MA; 07/02/03, 07/03/03, Mansfield, MA; 09/28/04, 09/29/04, Boston, MA; 09/22/05, Halifax, NS; 05/24/06, 05/25/06, Boston, MA; 07/22/06, 07/23/06, Gorge, WA; 06/29/08, 06/30/08, Mansfield, MA; 08/18/08, O2 London, UK; 10/30/09, 10/31/09, Philadelphia, PA; 05/15/10, Hartford, CT; 05/17/10, Boston, MA; 05/20/10, 05/21/10, NY, NY; 06/22/10, Dublin, IRE; 06/23/10, Northern Ireland; 09/03/11, 09/04/11, Alpine Valley, WI; 09/11/11, 09/12/11, Toronto, Ont; 09/14/11, Ottawa, Ont; 09/15/11, Hamilton, Ont; 07/02/2012, Prague, Czech Republic; 07/04/2012 & 07/05/2012, Berlin, Germany; 07/07/2012, Stockholm, Sweden; 09/30/2012, Missoula, MT; 07/16/2013, London, Ont; 07/19/2013, Chicago, IL; 10/15/2013 & 10/16/2013, Worcester, MA; 10/21/2013 & 10/22/2013, Philadelphia, PA; 10/25/2013, Hartford, CT; 11/29/2013, Portland, OR; 11/30/2013, Spokane, WA; 12/04/2013, Vancouver, BC; 12/06/2013, Seattle, WA; 10/03/2014, St. Louis. MO; 10/22/2014, Denver, CO; 10/26/2015, New York, NY; 04/23/2016, New Orleans, LA; 04/28/2016 & 04/29/2016, Philadelphia, PA; 05/01/2016 & 05/02/2016, New York, NY; 05/08/2016, Ottawa, Ont.; 05/10/2016 & 05/12/2016, Toronto, Ont.; 08/05/2016 & 08/07/2016, Boston, MA; 08/20/2016 & 08/22/2016, Chicago, IL; 07/01/2018, Prague, Czech Republic; 07/03/2018, Krakow, Poland; 07/05/2018, Berlin, Germany; 09/02/2018 & 09/04/2018, Boston, MA;

    "If you're looking down on someone, it better be to extend them a hand to lift them up."

    Libtardaplorable©. And proud of it.

    Brilliantati©
  • mickeyratmickeyrat Posts: 26,119
     Justice Dept: Republican Rep. Mo Brooks may be sued over Jan. 6 speech to Trump supporters
    By Devlin Barrett and Rachel Weiner

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/legal-issues/mo-brooks-swalwell-lawsuit-trump/2021/07/27/de10122a-ee3a-11eb-bf80-e3877d9c5f06_story.html


    A Republican congressman's Jan. 6 speech at a rally ahead of the riot at the U.S. Capitol is not covered by protections for members of Congress and federal employees, the Justice Department said in a court filing Tuesday — drawing a legal line over attempts to stop the certification of the 2020 election results.
    Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) had argued that he is effectively immune from a lawsuit filed by his colleague Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) that accused Brooks, then-President Donald Trump, and others of fomenting the failed attack on Congress.
    Past court opinions and Justice Department legal interpretations have given broad safeguards to protect elected officials who are sued over their public statements. But in the case of Brooks, the Justice Department decided he went too far.
    The agency “cannot conclude that Brooks was acting within the scope of his office or employment as a Member of Congress at the time of the incident out of which the claims in this case arose,” the court filing said. “Inciting or conspiring to foment a violent attack on the United States Congress is not within the scope of employment of a Representative — or any federal employee.”
    [Jan. 6 hearings open with visceral accounts of Trump supporters’ assaults on police]
    The department’s legal argument concluded that Brooks’s appearance at the rally outside the White House that preceded the riot “was campaign activity, and it is no part of the business of the United States to pick sides among candidates in federal elections.” The issue will ultimately be decided by a judge or an appeals court.
    During a speech at the Jan. 6 rally, Brooks told the crowd to “start taking down names and kicking ass.” He has argued that his statements were part of his work as a representative of a district where 64 percent of voters chose Donald Trump over Biden. As a federal employee, Brooks says, he has immunity from lawsuits for actions taken within the scope of his job.


    continues..
     


    _____________________________________SIGNATURE________________________________________________

    Not today Sir, Probably not tomorrow.............................................. bayfront arena st. pete '94
    you're finally here and I'm a mess................................................... nationwide arena columbus '10
    memories like fingerprints are slowly raising.................................... first niagara center buffalo '13
    another man ..... moved by sleight of hand...................................... joe louis arena detroit '14
  • mickeyratmickeyrat Posts: 26,119
    smart play....
    Garland Says Watchdog Is Best Positioned to Review Trump-Era Justice Dept., Not Him https://nyti.ms/3jhMRmr

    Garland Says Watchdog Is Best Positioned to Review Trump-Era Justice Dept., Not Him

    The attorney general said that various inspector general inquiries would help uncover any wrongdoing and that he wanted to avoid politicizing the work of career officials.

    Image
    Attorney General Merrick B Garland earlier this month Answering questions from reporters at the Justice Department on Tuesday Mr Garland said that reviewing the previous administrations actions was a complicated question
    Attorney General Merrick B. Garland earlier this month. Answering questions from reporters at the Justice Department on Tuesday, Mr. Garland said that reviewing the previous administration’s actions was “a complicated question.”Credit...Pool photo by Tom Brenner
    Published June 22, 2021Updated July 9, 2021

    WASHINGTON — Attorney General Merrick B. Garland backed away on Tuesday from doing a broad review of Justice Department politicization during the Trump administration, noting that the department’s independent inspector general was already investigating related issues, including aggressive leak hunts and attempts to overturn the election.

    Democrats and some former Justice Department employees have pressed Mr. Garland to uncover any efforts by former President Donald J. Trump to wield the power of federal law enforcement to advance his personal agenda. Their calls for a full investigation grew louder after recent revelations that Mr. Trump pushed department officials to help him undo his election loss and that prosecutors took aggressive steps to root out leakers.

    Answering questions from reporters at the Justice Department on Tuesday, Mr. Garland said that reviewing the previous administration’s actions was “a complicated question.” He noted that managers typically sought to understand what previous leaders had done.

    “We always look at what happened before,” he said. But he stopped short of saying that he would undertake a comprehensive review of Trump era Justice Department officials and their actions, in part to keep career employees from concluding that their work would be judged through changing political views.


    continues



    _____________________________________SIGNATURE________________________________________________

    Not today Sir, Probably not tomorrow.............................................. bayfront arena st. pete '94
    you're finally here and I'm a mess................................................... nationwide arena columbus '10
    memories like fingerprints are slowly raising.................................... first niagara center buffalo '13
    another man ..... moved by sleight of hand...................................... joe louis arena detroit '14
  • mickeyratmickeyrat Posts: 26,119
    Garland says authorities will target school board threats
    By GARY FIELDS
    Today

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Attorney General Merrick Garland on Monday directed federal authorities to hold strategy sessions in the next 30 days with law enforcement to address the increasing threats targeting school board members, teachers and other employees in the nation’s public schools.

    In a memorandum, Garland said there has been “a disturbing spike in harassment, intimidation, and threats of violence against school administrators, board members, teachers, and staff who participate in the vital work of running our nation’s public schools.”

    To address the rising problem, Garland said the FBI would work with U.S. attorneys and federal, state, local, territorial and tribal authorities in each district to develop strategies against the threats.

    “While spirited debate about policy matters is protected under our Constitution, that protection does not extend to threats of violence or efforts to intimidate individuals based on their views,” he said.

    The action is in response to an urgent request last week from the National School Boards Association. The group, which represents school board members around the country, asked President Joe Biden for federal assistance to investigate and stop threats made over policies including mask mandates, likening the vitriol to a form of domestic terrorism.

    The association asked for the federal government to investigate cases where threats or violence could be handled as violations of federal laws protecting civil rights. It also asked for the Justice Department, FBI, Homeland Security and Secret Service to help monitor threat levels and assess risks to students, educators, board members and school buildings.

    The group's letter documented more than 20 instances of threats, harassment, disruption, and acts of intimidation in California, Florida, Georgia, New Jersey, Ohio and other states. It cited the September arrest of an Illinois man for aggravated battery and disorderly conduct for allegedly striking a school official at a meeting. In Michigan, a meeting was disrupted when a man performed a Nazi salute to protest masking.

    “We are coming after you,” a letter mailed to an Ohio school board member said, according to the group. “You are forcing them to wear mask — for no reason in this world other than control. And for that you will pay dearly.” It called the member “a filthy traitor.”

    In making the announcement Garland said the Justice Department would use its authority and resources to discourage the threats and “prosecute them when appropriate. In the coming days, the Department will announce a series of measures designed to address the rise in criminal conduct directed toward school personnel.”

    School board members are largely unpaid volunteers, parents and former educators who step forward to shape school policy, choose a superintendent and review the budget, but they have been frightened at how their jobs have suddenly become a culture war battleground. The climate has led a growing number to resign or decide against seeking reelection.

    In a statement, Chip Slaven, NSBA interim executive director and CEO, praised the Justice Department's swift action and pointed to the detrimental impact the threats of violence and intimidation have had on the education system.

    “Over the last few weeks, school board members and other education leaders have received death threats and have been subjected to threats and harassment, both online and in person,” Slaven said. The department's action “is a strong message to individuals with violent intent who are focused on causing chaos, disrupting our public schools, and driving wedges between school boards and the parents, students, and communities they serve.”




    _____________________________________SIGNATURE________________________________________________

    Not today Sir, Probably not tomorrow.............................................. bayfront arena st. pete '94
    you're finally here and I'm a mess................................................... nationwide arena columbus '10
    memories like fingerprints are slowly raising.................................... first niagara center buffalo '13
    another man ..... moved by sleight of hand...................................... joe louis arena detroit '14
  • mickeyratmickeyrat Posts: 26,119
     


    Justice Department sues Texas over new redistricting maps
    3 mins ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Department of Justice sued Texas over new redistricting maps Monday, saying the plans discriminate against voters in the state’s booming Latino and Black populations.

    The lawsuit, filed in the Western District of Texas, claims the state violates part of the Voting Rights Act. The lawsuit notes that the vast majority of Texas’ population growth over the past decade came from Black, Latino and Asian people, but the new maps that state Republicans drew doesn’t give any of these communities new opportunities to choose their own representatives.

    Instead, the maps pack Black and Latino communities into bizarre-shaped districts — a Dallas-area one is referred to as a “seahorse” shape — while preserving safe seats for white Republicans.


    _____________________________________SIGNATURE________________________________________________

    Not today Sir, Probably not tomorrow.............................................. bayfront arena st. pete '94
    you're finally here and I'm a mess................................................... nationwide arena columbus '10
    memories like fingerprints are slowly raising.................................... first niagara center buffalo '13
    another man ..... moved by sleight of hand...................................... joe louis arena detroit '14
  • mickeyratmickeyrat Posts: 26,119
     


    Justice Dept. creating unit focused on domestic terrorism
    By ERIC TUCKER
    21 mins ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department is establishing a specialized unit focused on domestic terrorism, the department's top national security official told lawmakers Tuesday as he described an “elevated” threat from violent extremists in the United States.

    Assistant Attorney General Matthew Olsen, testifying just days after the nation observed the one-year anniversary of the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, said the number of FBI investigations into suspected domestic violent extremists has more than doubled since the spring of 2020.

    “We have seen a growing threat from those who are motivated by racial animus, as well as those who ascribe to extremist anti-government and anti-authority ideologies,” Olsen said.

    The formulation of a new unit underscores the extent to which domestic violent extremism, which for years after the Sept. 11 attacks was overshadowed by the threat of international terrorism, has attracted urgent attention inside the federal government and at the White House.

    But the issue remains politically freighted and divisive, in part because the absence of a federal domestic terrorism statute has created ambiguities as to precisely what sort of violence meets that definition. The U.S. criminal code defines domestic terrorism as violence intended to coerce or intimidate a civilian population and to influence government policy, but there is no standalone domestic terrorism charge, meaning prosecutors have to rely on other statutes.

    Olsen's assessment about growing domestic threats tracked with a warning last March from FBI Director Christopher Wray, who testified that the threat was “metastasizing.” Jill Sanborn, the executive assistant director in charge of the FBI's national security branch who testified alongside Olsen, said Tuesday the greatest threat comes from lone extremists or small cells who radicalize online and look to carry out violence at so-called “soft targets.”

    “This includes both homegrown violent extremists inspired primarily by foreign terrorist organizations as well as domestic violent extremism,” Sanborn said.

    The department's National Security Division, which Olsen leads, has a counterterrorism section. But Olsen told the Senate Judiciary Committee that he has decided to create a specialized domestic terrorism unit “to augment our existing approach" and to “ensure that these cases are properly handled and effectively coordinated” across the country.


    continues...


    _____________________________________SIGNATURE________________________________________________

    Not today Sir, Probably not tomorrow.............................................. bayfront arena st. pete '94
    you're finally here and I'm a mess................................................... nationwide arena columbus '10
    memories like fingerprints are slowly raising.................................... first niagara center buffalo '13
    another man ..... moved by sleight of hand...................................... joe louis arena detroit '14
  • mickeyratmickeyrat Posts: 26,119
       Distinguished pol of the week: Merrick Garland’s boldest move yet

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/01/16/merrick-garland-seditious-conspiracy-indictment-changes-everything/


      Opinion: Distinguished pol of the week: Merrick Garland’s boldest move yet
    Opinion by Jennifer Rubin
    January 16 at 7:45 AM EST
    Attorney General Merrick Garland has faced tough criticism over his perceived timidity. Those concerns were wrong as he made clear this past week.
    The Justice Department revealed massive indictments of members of the Oath Keepers, a far-right extremist group, for their participation in the Jan. 6 insurrection. A total of 19 individuals have been charged with “corruptly obstructing an official proceeding,” referring to Congress’s tabulation of electoral votes. Eleven of them also face charges of seditious conspiracy, which can carry a penalty of up to 20 years in prison, as well as other charges, such as preventing an officer from performing his duties and tampering with official documents.
    Both the seditious conspiracy and the obstruction charges dramatically ratchet up the investigation. It also poses a serious threat to former president Donald Trump and his top cronies.
    The seditious conspiracy charge alleges that Oath Keeper founder and leader Elmer Stewart Rhodes III “conspired with his co-defendants and others to oppose by force the execution of the laws governing the transfer of presidential power by Jan. 20, 2021.” The purpose of the conspiracy, the indictment alleges, was to prevent by force “the lawful transfer of presidential power. ... [I]n an effort to prevent, hinder and delay the certification of the electoral college vote.”
    The complaint enumerates a long list of actions that bolster the conspiracy charges, including encrypted communications, gathering and transporting weapons, recruiting and training teams, and using social media to communicate with co-conspirators. Its description of the group’s accumulated arsenal and paramilitary attack removes any doubt this was some nonviolent protest.
    Most of the Oath Keepers have pleaded not guilty to the obstruction charges. Two have pleaded guilty and are cooperating with investigators. Rhodes has repeatedly denied wrongdoing.
    [E.J. Dionne Jr.: Garland’s caution is an asset when it comes to holding Trump accountable]
    The seriousness of the crimes alleged and the substantial criminal penalties involved would be news enough. But there are four other reasons they matter, especially for Trump, his cronies and any members of Congress who may have been implicated in the plot to prevent Joe Biden from assuming the presidency.
    First, and most important, this is the first time the Justice Department has identified the assault on the Capitol as sedition. Trump apologists had long argued that this was not a “coup” or effort to upset the government. The indictment argues otherwise. Seeking to disrupt the counting of the electoral votes is, if the indictment holds, sedition. And conspiracy to commit that crime is a serious offense entailing long prison terms. By invoking that charge against coup plotters, Garland makes clear he is following up the chain and will look at actions preceding Jan. 6.
    Second, Section 3 of the 14th Amendment disqualifies elected officials from holding federal office if they “have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.” Federal law also states that “whoever incites, sets on foot, assists, or engages in any rebellion or insurrection against the authority of the United States or the laws thereof, or gives aid or comfort thereto, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States.”
    The facts alleged in the seditious conspiracy charge — the attempt to prevent the lawful transfer of power — certainly relate to Section 3. While the mechanism for enforcing this is uncertain, the Justice Department has moved into territory in which Trump and congressional allies could be disqualified from office. One can imagine a flood of lawsuits and proposals for Congress to disqualify those shown to be part of the conspiracy.
    [Jennifer Rubin: What Merrick Garland should say about Jan. 6]
    Third, the indictment plainly lays out a legal avenue for indicting Trump and his cronies should the facts warrant. Trump’s involvement in the plot to storm the Capitol — including his incitement, his failure to halt it once underway and any attempts by aides to coordinate with the Oath Keepers — could implicate him in the seditious conspiracy. Prosecutors would need to show that he made an agreement with at least some conspirators, although it would not be necessary to prove he conspired directly with the Oath Keepers.
    Fourth, even more threatening to Trump is the indictment’s charge of conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, which does not require prosecutors to prove use of force or violence. The law applies to anyone whoever “corruptly . . . otherwise obstructs, influences, or impedes any official proceeding, or attempts to do so.” The interference with the counting of the electoral college votes, in the eyes of the Justice Department, amounts to corruptly obstructing an official proceeding. This might include nonviolent acts such as propounding the “big lie,” pressuring then-Vice President Mike Pence to reject electoral votes, cajoling the Justice Department to discredit the election and implicitly threatening Brad Raffensperger, Georgia’s secretary of state, if he did not “find” enough votes to hand the state to Trump.

    continues...



    _____________________________________SIGNATURE________________________________________________

    Not today Sir, Probably not tomorrow.............................................. bayfront arena st. pete '94
    you're finally here and I'm a mess................................................... nationwide arena columbus '10
    memories like fingerprints are slowly raising.................................... first niagara center buffalo '13
    another man ..... moved by sleight of hand...................................... joe louis arena detroit '14
  • mickeyratmickeyrat Posts: 26,119


    Jury seated in hate crimes trial in Ahmaud Arbery killing
    By RUSS BYNUM
    42 mins ago

    BRUNSWICK, Ga. (AP) — A jury was seated Monday for the federal hate crimes trial of three white men who were convicted of murdering Ahmaud Arbery.

    Twelve jurors and four alternates were selected from a pool of 64 people who were judged qualified to serve as impartial jurors after a week of questioning about the Black man’s killing and their views on racism in America.

    U.S. District Court Judge Lisa Godbey Wood said Friday that attorneys should be prepared to make opening statements Monday. She began by instructing the jurors about the nature of evidence and testimony in final preparations for the trial.

    This is the second time the port city of Brunswick, on the Georgia coast south of Savannah, has hosted a trial in Arbery’s killing, after the same three men were sentenced in state court to life in prison for murder.

    Father and son Greg and Travis McMichael armed themselves and chased the 25-year-old Arbery in a pickup truck after spotting him running in their neighborhood on Feb. 23, 2020. A neighbor, William “Roddie” Bryan, joined the pursuit in his own truck and recorded cellphone video of Travis McMichael blasting Arbery with a shotgun.


    continues....


    _____________________________________SIGNATURE________________________________________________

    Not today Sir, Probably not tomorrow.............................................. bayfront arena st. pete '94
    you're finally here and I'm a mess................................................... nationwide arena columbus '10
    memories like fingerprints are slowly raising.................................... first niagara center buffalo '13
    another man ..... moved by sleight of hand...................................... joe louis arena detroit '14
  • JB16057JB16057 Posts: 861
    Trump mocked the media but as far as I know he never did anything close to something like what's going on with this case. The ACLU is even speaking out if what Project Veritas is saying is true. Project Veritas are not saints by no means but this will be an interesting case.



    Project Veritas Accuses Federal Prosecutors of ‘All-Out Assault on the First Amendment and Free Press’ in Fight About Alleged Ashley Biden Diary

    “We deplore Project Veritas’ deceptions, and we don’t have a full picture of the government’s investigation,” said Brian Hauss, senior staff attorney with the ACLU’s Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project. “But we’re concerned that the precedent set by this case could have serious consequences for press freedom. We’re deeply troubled by reports that the Department of Justice obtained secret electronic surveillance orders requiring sweeping disclosure of ‘all content’ of communications associated with Project Veritas email accounts, including attorney-client communications.”

  • mickeyratmickeyrat Posts: 26,119
    edited April 9
    Admin thing in general but this is major imo

    gift article

    Men posing as DHS employees created potential national security risk, prosecutors say


    Two men accused of posing as federal law enforcement employees and cozying up to Secret Service agents had amassed a stockpile of police weapons, surveillance equipment, devices to make federal government ID cards and access codes to federal agents’ homes, prosecutors said Friday in arguing that the men should remain detained.
    “The Defendants were not merely playing dress-up,” according to a memorandum filed in U.S. District Court in D.C. that alleged the men “engaged in conduct that represented a serious threat to the community, compromised the operations of a federal law enforcement agency, and created a potential risk to national security.”
    The new details came as the two men arrested earlier this week, Arian Taherzadeh, 40, and Haider Ali, 35, appeared by video in federal court on Friday for a hearing in which prosecutors sought their detention, calling them a danger to the public.



    Post edited by mickeyrat on
    _____________________________________SIGNATURE________________________________________________

    Not today Sir, Probably not tomorrow.............................................. bayfront arena st. pete '94
    you're finally here and I'm a mess................................................... nationwide arena columbus '10
    memories like fingerprints are slowly raising.................................... first niagara center buffalo '13
    another man ..... moved by sleight of hand...................................... joe louis arena detroit '14
  • mickeyratmickeyrat Posts: 26,119

    New political restrictions set for Justice Dept. appointees
    By LINDSAY WHITEHURST
    Today

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department will no longer allow political appointees to go to fundraisers and other campaign events under restrictions handed down Tuesday that are aimed at maintaining the department's independence from politics.

    Attorney General Merrick Garland, who is currently overseeing investigations including the FBI search of former President Donald Trump’s home and the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot, said in a memo that the restrictions are to ensure that politics “both in fact and appearance” won't affect the way the law is enforced or how inquiries are carried out.

    Appointees, hired under presidential administrations rather than making long careers at the Justice Department, have been allowed to attend political events passively on their personal time with prior approval. The new policy bans attendance altogether.

    It also removes an exception that had allowed people with close family members running for office to attend political events during presidential election years, and it bars attending such events on the evening of Election Day.

    “It is critical that we hold ourselves to the highest ethical standards to avoid even the appearance of political influence as we carry out the department’s mission,” Garland wrote.

    On his first day in office more than a year ago, Garland vowed to prioritize the Justice Department’s political independence after the departure of Trump, who had insisted on officials' personal loyalty.

    More recently, Trump and his allies have sought to cast the Aug. 9 search at Mar-a-Lago — part of an investigation into the removal of classified records — as a political weaponization of the Justice Department. A rash of online threats against federal agents followed.

    ___

    For more AP coverage of Donald Trump-related investigations, go to https://apnews.com/hub/trump-investigations.

     

    _____________________________________SIGNATURE________________________________________________

    Not today Sir, Probably not tomorrow.............................................. bayfront arena st. pete '94
    you're finally here and I'm a mess................................................... nationwide arena columbus '10
    memories like fingerprints are slowly raising.................................... first niagara center buffalo '13
    another man ..... moved by sleight of hand...................................... joe louis arena detroit '14
  • mickeyratmickeyrat Posts: 26,119
    Prosecutors seek details from Trump’s PAC in expanding Jan. 6 probe  https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2022/09/08/trump-subpoenas-pac-jan-6/ 

     Prosecutors seek details from Trump’s PAC in expanding Jan. 6 probe
    By Josh Dawsey and Isaac Arnsdorf
    September 08, 2022 at 20:32 ET
    The Justice Department is seeking details about the formation and operation of Donald Trump’s post-presidential political operation, according to three people familiar with the probe, sending a raft of subpoenas in a significant expansion of the criminal investigation of the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol and efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election.
    A federal grand jury sent subpoenas on Wednesday to a wide range of former campaign and White House staffers asking for information about the Save America PAC, according to the people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing probe. They described the subpoenas as broad, seeking all documents and communications about opening the PAC and every dollar raised and spent.
    At least one of the subpoenas also demanded information about the plan to submit slates of phony electors claiming Trump won pivotal states, including all communications with several key lawyers and advisers involved in the effort, one of the people said. They include Rudy Giuliani, Boris Epshteyn, Bruce Marks, Victoria Toensing and Joseph DiGenova, this person said.
    [Justice Dept. investigating Trump's actions in Jan. 6 criminal probe]
    Another one of the three people, who has direct knowledge of one of the subpoenas, said the document was “wide ranging” and included multiple other categories of information, but this person declined to describe them. FBI agents served at least some of the subpoenas in person on Wednesday, one of the people with knowledge said.
    Spokesmen for Trump and the Justice Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Some of the details of the subpoenas were reported by ABC and the New York Times.

    continues.....

    _____________________________________SIGNATURE________________________________________________

    Not today Sir, Probably not tomorrow.............................................. bayfront arena st. pete '94
    you're finally here and I'm a mess................................................... nationwide arena columbus '10
    memories like fingerprints are slowly raising.................................... first niagara center buffalo '13
    another man ..... moved by sleight of hand...................................... joe louis arena detroit '14
  • mickeyratmickeyrat Posts: 26,119
    _____________________________________SIGNATURE________________________________________________

    Not today Sir, Probably not tomorrow.............................................. bayfront arena st. pete '94
    you're finally here and I'm a mess................................................... nationwide arena columbus '10
    memories like fingerprints are slowly raising.................................... first niagara center buffalo '13
    another man ..... moved by sleight of hand...................................... joe louis arena detroit '14
  • mickeyratmickeyrat Posts: 26,119
    _____________________________________SIGNATURE________________________________________________

    Not today Sir, Probably not tomorrow.............................................. bayfront arena st. pete '94
    you're finally here and I'm a mess................................................... nationwide arena columbus '10
    memories like fingerprints are slowly raising.................................... first niagara center buffalo '13
    another man ..... moved by sleight of hand...................................... joe louis arena detroit '14
Sign In or Register to comment.