Americans furious with President Donald Trump‘s possibly criminal acts have taken solace in the fact that should the Mueller investigation lead to federal prosecution but fail, state attorneys general could prosecute him.
Also, should President Trump decide to pardon those involved in illegal acts, say, for example, colluding with Russia, or money laundering, he can only pardon them for federal crimes – they can still be prosecuted under state laws.
Thursday morning the U.S. Supreme Court announced it is taking up a case involving double jeopardy. In short, if the plaintiff is successful, it would no longer be legal for someone to be prosecuted by a state if the federal government has already tried – or pardoned – them.
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) June 28, 2018
Norman Ornstein, a resident scholar at a conservative think tank and the co-author of One Nation After Trump: A Guide for the Perplexed, the Disillusioned, the Desperate, and the Not-Yet Deported, makes clear what is happening.
I fear the fix is in. Kennedy agrees to take double jeopardy case, Supreme Court will act to shield Trump from state prosecutions.
— Norman Ornstein (@NormOrnstein) June 28, 2018
Former federal prosecutor Joyce White Vance, a frequent legal expert on MSNBC, also weighs in:
In my experience, state prosecutors typically stay their case to let a federal prosecution proceed when both plan to prosecute. If long-settled double jeopardy rules change, there will be all sorts of negative impacts, both legal & practical. https://t.co/sSQOb2gs32
— Joyce Alene (@JoyceWhiteVance) June 28, 2018
The U.S. Supreme Court has twice ruled that “double jeopardy” does not violate the Fifth Amendment. The Court does not generally explain why it accepts cases for review.
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QAnon Cultists Pledge Loyalty to Matt Gaetz Despite Learning of His Underage Sex Trafficking Probe
Some backers of the QAnon conspiracy theory are proudly sticking with Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) even after learning he’s facing a sex trafficking investigation involving a 17-year-old girl.
Twitter account @pinealdecalcify, which follows QAnon Telegram channels, has found that many Q devotees believe that Gaetz is being set up by the feds as a way to cover up for Democrats’ purported global sex trafficking ring.
“The SMEARING of MAGA patriots has no end!” declared one QAnon devotee.
“Not surprising for the deep state FBI,” wrote another. “Hang in there Matt.”
Many Q believers also raised suspicions about the fact that Gaetz is being investigated for potentially dating a 17-year-old girl — the number 17 has specific relevance to QAnon supporters, as Q is the 17th letter in the alphabet.
“The ’17’ is a dead giveaway on BS!” wrote one Q fan.
QAnon fans’ defense of Gaetz is particularly ironic because the entire point of the conspiracy theory is to uncover a global underage sex trafficking ring supposedly being run by the leaders of the Democratic Party.
Check out some more messages from QAnon devotees defending Gaetz below.
Q followers voice their support of Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz, who has been accused of sex trafficking a minor.
Supporters of the Q theory often defend their conspiracy-based movement by claiming that they are anti-pedophilia and anti-sex trafficking activists. pic.twitter.com/E2e90nkUer
— allie mezei (@pinealdecalcify) March 31, 2021
are you fucking kidding me pic.twitter.com/2yGbOvADLY
— allie mezei (@pinealdecalcify) March 31, 2021
Donald Trump’s ‘Eyes and Ears’ at DOJ Was Just Barred From the Building: Report
The Associated Press reported Thursday that President Donald Trump’s eyes and ears at the Justice Department was barred from entering the building.
The report revealed that Heidi Stirrup, “an ally of top Trump adviser Stephen Miller,” was pressuring Justice Department staff to hand over sensitive documents and information about alleged “election fraud” and other issues that are important to Trump.
Attorney General Bill Barr told the AP on Tuesday that there was no widespread election fraud or voter fraud, as Trump has claimed for the past several weeks since losing the 2020 election. Trump alleged that Barr “hasn’t looked very hard.”
Stirrup was put into the DOJ as a kind of go-between to hand information to the White House.
“She was told within the last two weeks to vacate the building after top Justice officials learned of her efforts to collect insider information about ongoing cases and the department’s work on election fraud,” the Associated Press reported, citing sources.
Less than 20 minutes later, Trump appointed the aide to the Board of Visitors to the US Air Force Academy.
This story was published at 3:05 PM. Seventeen minutes earlier, the WH sent out an email announcing that Trump has appointed the aide in question to the Board of Visitors to the US Air Force Academy https://t.co/gnRcl9PgqV https://t.co/2EztgZYYNs
— Lachlan Markay (@lachlan) December 3, 2020
Image: Official White House Photo by Joyce N. Boghosian via Flickr
Federal Agencies Tapped Phones of Portland’s Racial Justice Protestors to Prove They’re Terrorists
Two current officials from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have confirmed that the DHS and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) teamed up with the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) during this summer’s racial justice protests in Portland, Oregon for a covert operation focused on “extracting information from protester’s phones.”
The officials told The Nation that a DHS colleague with expertise in electronic surveillance was sent to Portland as part of “an interagency task force” using a classified cell phone cloning attack to “intercept protesters’ phone communications.”
“Cell phone cloning involves stealing a phone’s unique identifiers and copying them to another device in order to intercept the communications received by the original device,” The Nation explains. It’s a tactic conducted to better understand your target, their network and their planning. The DEA is believed to have had a “special key” to help carry out the surveillance.
While it’s unclear who specifically was targeted by the surveillance, “They were abusing people’s rights,” one official said. The DHS hasn’t responded to congressional calls to explain the program either.
The officials quoted in The Nation’s article say that colleagues from the DHS were asked to “volunteer” to participate in the program, something departments do to conduct operations outside of the department’s official and legal capacity.
The overall goal, the officials state, was to substantiate thin claims by Attorney General William Barr that Antifa (anti-fascist) activists are receiving foreign sponsorship, something that is a necessary criterion to formally designate the group as a terrorist organization, something Trump vowed to do as recently as yesterday.
Considering that the U.S. has a long history of surveilling, harassing and possibly even killing racial justice activists since before the Civil Rights era, this newest program is hardly surprising, albeit still frightening.
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