Legal experts, including former federal prosecutors, appear in agreement that U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) is likely to be facing a good deal of trouble from the Dept. of Justice after an NBC News report reveals his ex-girlfriend testified before a grand jury in his ongoing sex trafficking probe Wednesday and is in talks for an immunity deal.
NBC News’ Marc Caputo reports this is “a major development that suggests the Department of Justice may be moving closer to indicting him.”
Gaetz’s ex-girlfriend “has been in talks for months with prosecutors about an immunity deal. Under a possible deal, she would avoid prosecution for obstruction of justice in return for testifying in the investigation into whether Gaetz in 2017 had sex with a 17-year-old female for money and whether months later he and others violated a federal law prohibiting people for paying for prostitutes overseas.”
Based on the NBC News report legal experts are saying it’s likely time is running out for Gaetz.
“Significant,” says former FBI Assistant Director Frank Figliuzzi, now an NBC News National Security Contributor. “Expect some public drama from Gaetz,” he warns.
Former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance, the well-known NBC News/MSNBC legal analyst and law professor adds, “Matt Gaetz seems to be moving closer to being indicted-locking in the girlfriend’s testimony under oath before the grand jury is a critical step.”
Another former U.S. Attorney, Harry Litman, says “given what we know from [Gaetz’s] buddy [Joel] Greenberg about his MO,” the Florida Congressman’s ex-girlfriend “could provide very damning testimony.”
Former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti is even more definitive.
“Prosecutors would not ‘lock in’ Gaetz’s ex-girlfriend’s testimony before the grand jury unless they were getting close to wrapping up their investigation and expected that investigation to result in an indictment,” Mariotti explains. Asked his estimation for an “ETA,” he responds:
I don’t know for sure. But prosecutors don’t want to have witnesses lock in their testimony if they’re still gathering other evidence. They want to make sure they can use all the evidence to refresh the witness’s memory in order to minimize inconsistencies or mistakes.
— Renato Mariotti (@renato_mariotti) January 12, 2022
Attorney Aaron Parnas appears more convinced things are moving quickly: “This shows me that the timeline for indictment has likely sped up.”
Meanwhile, former Trump attorney Michael Cohen took something of a victory lap on reading the news:
— Michael Cohen (@MichaelCohen212) January 12, 2022
Enjoy this piece?
… then let us make a small request. The New Civil Rights Movement depends on readers like you to meet our ongoing expenses and continue producing quality progressive journalism. Three Silicon Valley giants consume 70 percent of all online advertising dollars, so we need your help to continue doing what we do.
NCRM is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. From unflinching coverage of religious extremism, to spotlighting efforts to roll back our rights, NCRM continues to speak truth to power. America needs independent voices like NCRM to be sure no one is forgotten.
Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure NCRM remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to NCRM, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.
Secret Service ‘Better Than Quantico’ at Retrieving Deleted Texts Says Ex-Prosecutor Who Wants ‘Criminal Investigation’
Former federal prosecutor Glenn Kirschner is calling for a “criminal investigation” into the U.S. Secret Service‘s deleted text messages, revealing that the agency’s forensic experts are “even better than” the FBI’s Quantico lab at retrieving data like deleted text messages.
“I am not fully buying an innocent explanation,” Kirschner, who was a federal prosecutor for nearly three decades, told Zerlina Maxwell on her MSNBC on Peacock show Wednesday.
Kirschner notes that “cell phone providers will purge text messages over time,” but says, “what’s gotten me, got me so sort of frustrated and a little bit angry,” is when “I was a federal prosecutor at the D.C. U.S. Attorney’s Office, and we obtained evidence – cell phone evidence, and it looked like the target, the owner of that cell phone had deleted information off of it, you know where we went to have a forensic search and a recovery of deleted information taken from those cell phones? We went to the United States Secret Service Forensic Sciences Division, because they are the premier unit.”
“I’m going to say even better than the lab down at Quantico, the FBI lab. They are the premier unit that can recover deleted information off of cell phones and computers,” he explains.
“I am hugely concerned these text messages should have been preserved in the first instance. They should be turned over to authorities, whether congressional or law enforcement authorities, they should be backed up. They should still be retrievable.”
“If they did nothing wrong, they should welcome a law enforcement investigation,” Kirschner adds, noting “if they have nothing to be concerned about they should welcome an FBI investigation of how it is that this important, historic evidence was deleted.”
On Thursday he added to his commentary, tweeting: “A criminal investigation should be opened into the destruction of this extremely important evidence.”
The Department of Homeland Security’s Inspector General notified the House and Senate Homeland Security Committees last week that the U.S. Secret Service erased text messages from January 5 and 6, 2021, after the OIG specifically requested them.
Wednesday night new reporting from The Washington Post revealed the Inspector General knew as early as February that the texts had been deleted, but did not notify Congress until July.
The U.S. House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack subpoenaed the Secret Service for the text messages but the agency handed over only one.
“House investigators also learned that the texts were seemingly lost as part of an agency-wide reset of phones on 27 January 2021,” The Guardian reported Wednesday, “11 days after Congress first requested the communications and two days after agents were reminded to back up their phones.”
Watch Kirschner’s remarks below or at this link:
Former US Attorney Says ‘Strong Case’ That ‘Trump Committed 5 Counts of Manslaughter’
Well-known University of Michigan Law School professor of law and former U.S. Attorney Barb McQuade announced Wednesday that in her opinion a “strong case” can be made that Donald Trump, the former president, “committed 5 counts of manslaughter” on January 6, 2021.
McQuade did not specify who the victims are, but there are at least five deaths associated with the January 6 insurrection. Among them, Ashli Babbitt, and Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick, along with three others who died of natural causes or accidental death. At least four law enforcement officers who responded to the January 6 attack later died by suicide.
“I think a strong case can be made that Trump committed 5 counts of manslaughter on Jan 6 by recklessly causing the unintended deaths of others,” McQuade, who is also an NBC News/MSNBC legal analyst said.
“Under DC law, manslaughter occurs when a person recklessly causes an unintentional death. Under the federal Assimilative Crimes Act, state (or DC) law can be charged federally when it occurs on federal property,” she added. “For manslaughter, it’s not necessary to show that the defendant intended the deaths to occur. That’s what makes it different from murder.”
Central to her argument is this key claim:
“As president, Trump has a duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed. His failure to call up the national guard or even to call off the mob could be described as ‘causing’ the 5 unintentional deaths [at] the Capitol.”
“To prove Trump acted recklessly, prosecutors would need to show he was aware of a risk and chose to ignore it. Here, he knew the crowd was armed and angry. And he could see on TV that they were engaging in violence. Death of an officer or member of the mob was a very real risk,” she continued. “Of course, he himself was the one who set this risk in motion by summoning the mob and then lighting the fuse with his Ellipse speech urging them to march to the Capitol, but that conduct raises some sticky 1st Amendment concerns. His inaction in stopping the violence does not.”
“Manslaughter should not displace the wider charges of attacking our democracy by engaging in a conspiracy to defraud the United States, obstruct an official proceeding or commit sedition, but should supplement those crimes to address the harms he caused with those deaths,” she warned.
Reinforcing her strong remarks, McQuade also quipped, “DOJ, you up yet?”
Several former DOJ officials who started out defending Attorney General Merrick Garland’s handling of the January 6 insurrection – including the fact that the leaders of the insurrection have yet to be charged – have since made clear they believe the Attorney General has not grasped the seriousness of not indicting those at the top, including Donald Trump.
Highland Park Shooting Deaths Include Both Parents of Two Year Old Found at Scene of July 4th Massacre
On Twitter Sunday afternoon in the aftermath of the July 4th Highland Park mass shooting a photo of a young boy appeared in several tweets. He was described as lost, good samaritans assumed he had become separated from his parents in the mayhem of the massacre, and people were trying to reunite him with his family.
CBS Chicago reporter Marissa Parra now reveals the boy’s name is Aiden, but he won’t be reunited with his parents: both were shot dead by the Highland Park gunman.
Remember this little boy found wandering alone after #HighlandPark parade? We’ve just found out why… both his parents were killed💔
A fundraiser has been started for Irina and Kevin McCarthy’s 2-yo son Aiden as he grows up without them
— Marissa Parra (@MarParNews) July 5, 2022
“Kevin McCarthy, 37, and Irina McCarthy, 35, were among the seven people [who] were killed during the mass shooting,” CBS Chicago reports.
“We took him to safety under tragic circumstances, came together to locate his grandparents, and prayed for the safety of his family,” reads the story on a GoFundMe page hoping to raise money for Aiden.
“Sadly, I need to share his name…Aiden McCarthy. And he needs more of our help,” it adds. “At two years old, Aiden is left in the unthinkable position; to grow up without his parents,” it adds. “Aiden will be cared for by his loving grandparents, Misha and Nina Levberg, and he will have a long road ahead to heal, find stability, and ultimately navigate life as an orphan. He is surrounded by a community of friends and extended family that will embrace him with love, and any means available to ensure he has everything he needs as he grows.”
About $475,000 has quickly been raised with more than 7600 people contributing. The top donation is $5000.
- RIGHT WING EXTREMISM3 days ago
‘God Anointed Him’: Christian Right Expert Explains Conservative Outrage After FBI Raided Trump’s Mar-a-Lago
- News2 days ago
Legal Experts: ‘Case Against Trump Became Immeasurably Stronger’ After He Says He Pleaded the Fifth
- RIGHT WING EXTREMISM3 days ago
Experts Call on Trump to Release Search Warrant and Inventory List as His Supporters Talk of ‘Civil War’
- News3 days ago
‘He Was Going to Sacrifice You’: Pence Mocked for Rushing to Support Trump After FBI Mar-a-Lago Raid
- RIGHT WING EXTREMISM3 days ago
‘Pledging to Sue’: Christian Nationalist GOP Nominee Subpoenaed by J6 Committee ‘Didn’t Answer a Single Question’
- RIGHT WING EXTREMISM2 days ago
House Republicans Visited Trump After FBI Raid to Urge Him to Announce Run for President
- RIGHT WING EXTREMISM2 days ago
Dem Congressman Posts Horrific Audio of Violent Death Threat Against Him and His Family by Caller Praising ‘Trump 2024’
- BREAKING NEWS3 days ago
Federal Appeals Court Rules House Can Have Trump’s Tax Returns – Committee Expects Them ‘Immediately’