The two men convicted of assassinating Malcom X in 1965 were exonerated Thursday after a 22-month investigation found that evidence of their innocence, including FBI documents, was withheld at trial.
Muhammad A. Aziz and the late Khalil Islam spent the last half-century fighting for their freedom before New York County Supreme Court Administrative Judge Ellen Biben granted the motion to vacate their convictions Thursday.
Islam died in 2009. Aziz, now 83 years old, addressed the court Thursday.
“The events that brought us to court today should never have occurred. Those events were and are the result of a process that was corrupt to its core, one that is all too familiar to black people in 2021,” Aziz said. “I hope the same system that was responsible for this travesty of justice also takes responsibility for the immeasurable harm caused to me during the last 55 or 56 years.”
“I regret that this court cannot fully undo the serious miscarriages of justice in this case and give you back the many years that were lost,” Biben said in her ruling before the court erupted in applause.
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, who handled the investigation, spoke following the ruling.
“I apologize for what were serious, unacceptable violations of law and the public trust,” Vance said. “I apologize on behalf of our nation’s law enforcement for this decades-long injustice which has eroded public faith in institutions that are designed to guarantee equal protection under law.”
Vance continued, “Your honor, we can’t restore what was taken away from these men and their families, but by correcting the records, perhaps we can begin to restore that faith.”
Attorney David B. Shanies said Aziz and Islam “experienced the agony of decades in prison for a crime they did not commit. They were robbed of their freedom in the prime of their lives and branded the killers of a towering civil rights leader.”
Watch the reactions below.
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance told a New York state court that new exculpatory evidence uncovered during a two-years-long investigation had made it clear that Muhammad Aziz and Khalil Islam were wrongfully convicted for murdering Malcolm X https://t.co/iLHq94tCrG pic.twitter.com/K8IaZYY6x0
— Reuters (@Reuters) November 18, 2021
A historic motion filed in a New York Supreme courtroom Thursday exonerated the accused two men previously convicted in connection with the murder of Malcolm X.https://t.co/dJUJwJb4zU
— amNewYork (@amNewYork) November 18, 2021
As a result of our Netflix series “Who Killed Malcolm X?”, tomorrow the US history books will be rewritten when two men wrongfully convicted for the assassination of Malcolm X will be exonerated after 55 years, a historic milestone!!
— Abdur-Rahman Muhammad (@arm_legacy) November 17, 2021
Muhammad Aziz, one of two men wrongfully convicted of the murder of Malcolm X, said the decision to throw out the verdict against him 56 years after the assassination could not eliminate the decades he had lost. https://t.co/37Xdi6eqcM pic.twitter.com/8qob6Ao2Qw
— The New York Times (@nytimes) November 18, 2021
BREAKING: Muhammad A. Aziz and Khalil Islam (d.2009), both wrongly convicted of the assassination of Malcolm X, have finally been exonerated. Muhammad and Khalil spent a combined 42 years in prison.
— The Innocence Project (@innocence) November 18, 2021
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‘It’s Not Theirs, It’s Mine’ Trump Told Aides About White House Records Including Classified Documents: NYT
Donald Trump last week claimed all the Dept. of Justice had to do was “ask” for the classified documents, and other items the FBI confiscated a week ago Monday, and he would have returned them, while multiple aides reportedly have quoted him saying those items belonged to him.
“Pat A. Cipollone and Patrick F. Philbin, the White House counsel and his deputy under President Donald J. Trump, were interviewed by the F.B.I. in connection with boxes of sensitive documents that were stored at Mr. Trump’s residence in Florida after he left office, three people familiar with the matter said,” The New York Times Tuesday afternoon reports.
Both were named as Trump’s representatives to the National Archives, so when the Archives discovered it was missing items, including the highly classified documents, NARA reached out to Philbin.
“Mr. Philbin tried to help the National Archives retrieve the material, two of the people familiar with the discussions said. But the former president repeatedly resisted entreaties from his advisers,” the Times’ Maggie Haberman reports.
“’It’s not theirs, it’s mine,’ several advisers say Mr. Trump told them,” according to the Times.
That’s a different response to the one Trump posted to his Truth Social account last week.
“Number one, it was all declassified,” Trump wrote, a claim experts question.
“Number two,” Trump added, “they didn’t need to ‘seize’ anything. They could have had it anytime they wanted without playing politics and breaking into Mar-a-Lago. It was in secured storage, with an additional lock put on as per their request.”
“They could have had it anytime they wanted—and that includes LONG ago,” he continued in a separate post on Truth Social. “ALL THEY HAD TO DO WAS ASK.”
Despite NARA retrieving the 15 cartons in January, there were more items they wanted returned. In May Trump was sent a subpoena, and yet those items were not returned.
In June, a Trump lawyer signed a statement saying there were no classified documents at Mar-a-Lago.
Two months later, on August 8, the FBI executed the search warrant that reportedly secured 11 sets of classified documents.
The Times adds that in June, “officials then used a subpoena to obtain surveillance footage of the hallway outside a storage room at Mar-a-Lago and saw something that alarmed them.”
The Times on Tuesday does not state what “alarmed” them, but Maggie Haberman at the Times on Saturday reported the surveillance footage revealed items being taken out of that locked storage room.
“The Justice Department also subpoenaed surveillance footage from Mar-a-Lago recorded over a 60-day period, including views from outside the storage room,” Haberman reported. “According to a person briefed on the matter, the footage showed that, after one instance in which Justice Department officials were in contact with Mr. Trump’s team, boxes were moved in and out of the room.”
“They also received information from at least one witness who indicated that more material might remain at the residence, people familiar with the investigation said,” she added.
Trump Tweeted ‘Highly Classified Image Taken by a Secret Spy Satellite’ in 2019: Report
In late August of 2019, more than two and a half years into his first and only term, Donald Trump tweeted a photo that many at the time thought might be a classified spy image, setting the internet on fire.
As it turns out, it was.
Calling it “an infamous moment in the Trump presidency — one that former intelligence officials say perfectly illustrated his approach to dealing with state secrets,” NBC News on Tuesday reported that on August 30, 2019, a “former senior intelligence official with firsthand knowledge told NBC News that Trump did indeed tweet a highly classified image taken by a secret spy satellite, as many experts suspected at the time. And in doing so, the official and others said, Trump gave U.S. adversaries keen insights into the U.S. capabilities to spy from above.”
Trump’s Twitter account is gone, permanently suspended after the Jan. 6 insurrection, and with it all the tweets he posted over many years.
But this is a screenshot of that tweet captured by the Internet Archive (with what appears to be Finnish):
“The president tweeted a picture of an Iranian missile launch site that showed a failed ICBM test launch that everybody acknowledged was a highly classified picture taken from space,” former national security adviser John Bolton told NBC News. “He tweeted it out, and that of course declassified it by definition, but also showed what could happen when such a picture, even on a Twitter attachment, was then able to be analyzed by foreign intelligence services.”
“We had this image of the Iranian missile blown up, and it was exquisite intelligence, and he didn’t even wait,” a former senior intelligence official said. “As soon as we showed him, he said, ‘Hey, I’m tweeting this.’”
Trump “spent no time understanding what made something a secret and what we protected,” that former official also told NBC News.
“CIA Director Gina Haspel and Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire tried to talk Trump out of doing it,” NBC News adds, “noting that the U.S. spent billions of dollars developing capabilities to capture images from space, and told Trump, ‘You can’t do this. If you put this out, they’re going understand what our capability is.'”
Falsely, he responded: “Look, I’m the president, I can declassify anything.”
‘Toxic’ Trump Could Lose More Fox Hosts After Mar-a-Lago Search Says Morning Joe: Revelations Are ‘Going to Keep Coming’
Former President Donald Trump appears to be losing one of his top conservative media allies, and MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough said Republicans may finally be willing to cut him loose before he sinks their election chances again.
Fox News host Laura Ingraham said on a recent podcast that Americans are “exhausted” by the former president and may prefer to “turn the page” to another Republican presidential candidate in 2024, and the “Morning Joe” host said they’d be wise to do it sooner rather than later.
“I mean, from my point of view, that would be best for America, but from somebody’s point of view who is interested in the Republican Party defeating Democrats, it would be in the Republican Party’s best interest also if that’s what they did,” Scarborough said. “He has too many negatives. They say it time and again, that guy is not going to ever win back voters he lost in the suburbs of Atlanta or the Philly suburbs or the Detroit suburbs or any of these suburbs. He’s toxic for 55 percent of Americans, and he’s just never going to get those people back, so it does make a lot of sense.”
The former president has been taking on water since the FBI searched his Mar-A-Lago residence as part of an espionage investigation, and Scarborough said his legal problems could sink GOP candidates this fall.
“It makes sense to warn other Republicans, some whom have flocked to Donald Trump over the past week because they wanted to show how loyal they were to him, I mean, they’re having trouble even keeping sort of the defense consistent because he keeps changing his story every three or four hours,” Scarborough said. “One story contradicts another story. You know, we’re just at the beginning of this. The news is going to continue to get worse. This is like the first round of Mike Tyson versus Allen, the boxing club champion of Princeton from 1967. It is not going to get better over the next 14 rounds.”
“You know, it doesn’t make sense for Republicans to embrace this guy, then be shocked by one revelation after another revelation after another revelation,” he added. “They’re going to keep coming.”
Watch the video below or at this link.
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