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‘Vast Evidence That Donald Trump Committed Crimes’: Former DOJ Official Pushes Merrick Garland to Re-Look at Mueller Probe

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In a column for USA Today, a former prosecutor in the Department Of Justice’s Public Integrity division urged Attorney General Merrick Garland to re-open former special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Donald Trump.

According to Noah Bookbinder, who currently serves as the executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics (CREW), recent revelations about ex-AG Bill Barr’s handling of the Mueller report are cause to take another look at it and possibly expand upon it.

Linking to a report that U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson “… blasted the Trump Justice Department for misleading the court about the nature of its internal deliberations before concluding that then-President Donald Trump had not obstructed former special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election,” Bookbinder said that should open the door for the DOJ to investigate obstruction not only by Trump but also Barr.

“Many of us have long suspected that Barr deliberately set out to spin the contents of the Mueller report and manufacture bogus legal analysis in order to protect Trump from facing consequences for the crimes laid out in the report. We now have proof that Barr did exactly that,” the ex-prosecutor charged before noting that, now that Trump is out of office and not protected by a Justice Department policy that limited going after a sitting president, he is fair game.

Quoting a letter signed by 1,000 former federal prosecutors who wrote, “the conduct of President Trump described in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report would, in the case of any other person not covered by the Office of Legal Counsel policy against indicting a sitting president, result in multiple felony charges for obstruction of justice,” Bookbinder pointed out that a roadmap to investigating Trump further already exists.

“The principle that no one is above the law is not self-enforcing. Justice can only be served if law enforcement agencies are willing to pursue justice against anyone who violates the law–regardless of the office they hold. There is no greater threat to the rule of law than failing to hold accountable the most powerful among us,” he wrote before adding, “Neither Mueller nor Barr made a final decision as to whether Trump should be prosecuted for obstruction of justice because DOJ policy precluded that outcome as long as he was president. Now that Trump is no longer president, the department needs to decide whether he will be prosecuted, and Attorney General Merrick Garland should let the American people know how that decision will be made.”

Hammering home his point, he concluded, “There is vast evidence that Donald Trump committed crimes. Time, and litigation, have removed both the legal protection he had as president and the illusory claims of exoneration spun by Barr. Now is the moment for America to see equal justice in action. It’s time to finish what Mueller started.”

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CRIME

New Details Revealed in Florida Republican’s Plot to Disrupt the 2020 Election

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New details have been released in the investigation of former Florida State Sen Frank Artiles (R) over his involvement in running “scam” campaigns in an attempt to disrupt the 2020 election.

With his trial expected to begin August 30, prosecutors are firming up their case against the former GOP lawmaker in a political corruption case the Tampa Bay Times reports, “has roped in prominent players across Florida over the last several months, including a GOP-linked research firm in Gainesville, a top not-for-profit Miami hospital network and a veteran Republican operative who leads a Tallahassee-based political organization.”

According to the Miami Herald, new revelations show that Florida political operative Alex Alvarado — linked to Artiles — was funneling money to sham campaign officials in an effort to disrupt key 2020 state Senate elections.

The report notes that “documents released late Friday, provide new details into the breadth of the criminal investigation into Artiles and his longtime acquaintance, Alexis Pedro Rodriguez.”

“Prosecutors say Rodriguez was recruited by Artiles and paid some $44,000 to change his party affiliation from Republican to no party to qualify on the ballot and attempt to sway the outcome of the Miami-Dade Senate District 37 election. GOP candidate Illeana Garcia won the race by 32 votes. Rodriguez, who shared the same surname as the Democratic incumbent, received more than 6,000 votes,” the Herald reports. “Between June 15 and November 15, 2020, Artiles was under contract to work for veteran Republican political operative Pat Bainter for $15,000 a month, court documents show. Bainter paid Artiles $90,000 and reimbursed him for his travel, a courier service and $4,000 for ‘research,’ according to those documents.”

As part of the scam, one woman who was pregnant and desperate for money agreed to take $1,500 to chair a political committee with no plans to have her do any work.

In testimony 25-year-old Hailey DeFilippis, explained to investigators she was listed as the chair of “The Truth, a dark-money-funded political committee that spent $180,000 on political mail advertisements promoting sham candidates in key 2020 state Senate elections — two in Miami-Dade and one in Central Florida.”

She was later paid $2,500 more for the “inconvenience” after reporters called up asking about the group.

“Artiles signed a contract with Bainter on June 9, 2020. The next day, Rodriguez met Artiles at Artiles’ Palmetto Bay residence to fill out campaign forms, according to investigators who noted in an arrest affidavit that Rodriguez had ‘no prior knowledge as to what forms needed to be completed to qualify as a candidate for elected office and relied on Artiles’ instructions.,'” the report adds. “Neither Bainter nor Gardner have responded to phone calls or emails seeking comment since the Herald learned they were served subpoenas. The powerful GOP-linked research firm, based in Gainesville, also served as a general consultant for Republican Senate campaigns during the 2020 election cycle.”

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CRIME

‘Incel’ With a ‘Manifesto’ Planned Mass Slaughter of Sorority Women ‘Out of Hatred, Jealousy and Revenge’: Feds

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A member of the “incel” movement has been arrested for stocking up on weapons and plotting the mass slaughter of sorority women at an Ohio college campus.

The United States Department of Justice announced on Wednesday that 21-year-old Hillsboro, Ohio resident Tres Genco was arrested by federal agents after they learned of his alleged plot to go on a shooting spree of women at the college.

The DOJ notes that the suspect left a long trail of self-incriminating evidence, including multiple posts he made to a website frequented by incels, a term for men who are involuntarily celibate.

“Genco also allegedly wrote a manifesto, stating he would ‘slaughter’ women ‘out of hatred, jealousy and revenge…’ and referring to death as the ‘great equalizer,'” the DOJ claims. “As part of this investigation, law enforcement agents discovered a note of Genco’s that indicated he hoped to ‘aim big’ for a kill count of 3,000 people and intended to attend military training. Searches of Genco’s electronics revealed that the day he wrote his manifesto, he searched online for sororities and a university in Ohio.”

Federal investigators also found that Genco in 2019 purchased “tactical gloves, a bulletproof vest… a bowie knife, a skull facemask, two Glock 17 magazines, a 9mm Glock 17 clip and a holster clip concealed carry for a Glock.”

Genco also did internet searches in which he asked questions such as “how to plan a shooting crime” and “when does preparing for a crime become attempt?”

Read the DOJ’s full press release at this link.

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CRIME

Russian Government Hackers Broke Into RNC’s Computers Last Week: Report

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Around the same time criminal extortionist hackers in Russia executed a massive international ransomware attack demanding $70 million in bitcoin, Russian government hackers broke into computers at the Republican National Committee.

“The government hackers were part of a group known as APT 29 or Cozy Bear,” Bloomberg News reports, citing people familiar with the matter. “That group has been tied to Russia’s foreign intelligence service and has previously been accused of breaching the Democratic National Committee in 2016, and of carrying out a supply-chain cyberattack involving SolarWinds Corp., which infiltrated nine U.S. government agencies and was disclosed in December.”

On Saturday an RNC spokesperson denied the attack, claiming there was “no indication the RNC was hacked or any RNC information was stolen.”

Bloomberg calls the move “a major provocation to President Joe Biden, who warned Russian President Vladimir Putin about cyberattacks at a June 16 summit.”

Biden has said he will take appropriate action if Putin continues to engage in criminal cyber warfare. Those attacks appear to have increased in recent weeks.

This is a breaking news and developing story. 

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