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Legal Experts: DeSantis ‘Reckless Decision’ May Have Violated Federal Law – Immigrants Are ‘Victims of Kidnapping’

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Legal and immigration experts are responding to Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis‘ decision to send two private planes filled with undocumented immigrants to the tiny island of Martha’s Vineyard (pop.17,000), in what some are calling an inhumane political stunt, as well as a possibly illegal act, including “kidnapping.” One attorney says that would make them not only victims of a crime, but eligible for U.S. government issued visas.

California Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom Thursday afternoon sent a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland urging the Dept. of Justice to investigate what he said may be “criminal” acts including “kidnapping” and violations of “RICO” statutes.

Jules Bernstein, founder of Louis D. Brandeis Legacy Fund for Social Justice, and a longtime attorney who has argued before the U.S. Supreme Court, says DeSantis’ actions may “have constituted a federal crime.”

READ MORE: ‘I’d Burn the Building’: In Abortion Debate Lawmaker Says He’d Let All Children Burn to Death if He Could Only ‘Save’ Some

“Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’s reckless decision to deceive 50 poor and homeless migrants from Latin America into traveling, at Florida’s citizen’s expense, to Martha’s Vineyard, by misleading them into thinking that jobs and housing awaited them, was not merely an outrageous and villainous deed. It may also have constituted a federal crime,” Bernstein writes in a letter published by The Martha’s Vineyard Times.

Civil Rights Attorney Andrew C Laufer on social media says it “could be kidnapping.”

“They usually have immigrants sign consent/waivers when they transport them.Don’t believe they’re enforceable.If they Feds get involved, since they crossed state borders, could be kidnapping. It’s not human trafficking bc DeSantis, et al didn’t exploit them for labor or sex act.”

Elizabeth de la Vega, a former federal prosecutor of organized crime case and served as Chief of the San Jose Branch of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California says, “I hope DOJ will act asap against DeSantis & this crime, which is kidnapping in violation of 18 USC § 1201. The law doesn’t require forcible taking; it applies to ‘inveigling.’ It also forbids doing so for ransom, reward or ‘otherwise,’ a term that’s interpreted broadly.”

READ MORE: J6 Committee Posts Oath Keepers’ Walkie-Talkie Audio From Insurrection – ‘No Safe Place for Any of These MFers’

Immigration attorney Rachel Self, of Martha’s Vineyard, agrees the immigrants were “kidnapped.”

“The response to this crisis among the legal and humanitarian communities, and the Martha’s Vineyard community at large, has been nothing short of incredible,” Self wrote, according to The Times. “The people who arrived last night are not alone, and we will make sure they know it – this is what our community is all about. We welcome them, and we are deeply grateful for the opportunity to help them in any way we can.”

Self is preparing to take legal action.

“We believe they are victims of kidnapping, and the perpetrators of this breathtakingly cruel political stunt should know that it may well result in every individual who was induced onto those planes by fraud becoming eligible for a U visa,” she writes.

“A U visa is a nonimmigrant visa granted to victims who cooperate with law enforcement, prosecutors, or other authorities in the investigation of a crime, and in the First Circuit (the Federal jurisdiction which includes Massachusetts), people with pending U visas are protected from deportation,” Self adds.

“We call on federal, state, and local authorities to collect and preserve evidence, beginning with the tail numbers of the aircraft used in the commission of this offense. Using human beings – families and children – as political pawns says far more about Governor DeSantis’s callousness and disregard for human life than it does about the people of Martha’s Vineyard.”

She continued to blast the Florida governor who is facing a tough re-election battle against Democrat Charlie Crist.

DeSantis, she adds, “sent those planes here hoping to expose hypocrisy; he does not believe anyone when they say they care about people like migrants fleeing an oppressive socialist regime in Venezuela, because he himself cannot conceive of caring about them. He’s made it perfectly clear he views them as subhuman. He has revealed nothing but his own heartlessness – and the truth that the people of Martha’s Vineyard are as good as it gets and better embody the moral values he purports to have.”

 

 

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CRIME

Trump Mocked for ‘Sidelining’ His New $3 Million Attorney: ‘Must Have Given Him Actual Legal Advice’

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It’s no secret Donald Trump has been virtually unable to hire highly-respected attorneys to defend him in the many legal and civil cases he is facing for a variety of alleged crimes and misdeeds, including his actions surrounding fraudulent efforts to overturn a free and fair election and the January 6 insurrection, his retention and refusal to return hundreds of classified documents, and his alleged real estate and tax fraud cases, and more.

One of the rumored reasons Trump, a former President, has been unable to retain quality legal representation is he “has a long history of allegedly not paying his bills,” as Vanity Fair has noted.

Trump did manage to hire what many consider a qualified and respected attorney for his legal issues surrounding his classified documents case.

READ MORE: ‘Bright-Red, Ear-Splitting Alarm Bell’: Former Top GOP Congressman Blasted for ‘Normalization’ of Fascism (Video)

Chris Kise, the former solicitor general for Florida, agreed to work for Trump but only if he was paid up front.

Thanks to Trump’s massive fundraising operation Kise is being paid millions, effectively by Trump supporters.

Kise is also no longer leading the case.

CNN reports Kise “has been sidelined from the Mar-a-Lago documents investigation less than a month after he was brought on to represent Trump in the matter, two sources familiar with the move tell CNN.”

READ MORE: Embattled Trump-Appointed DHS Inspector Was Given Phones of Secret Service Agents in July, Raising ‘New Questions’: Report

“Kise’s hiring came with an unusual price tag of $3 million, paid for by Trump’s outside spending arm. The retainer fee, paid upfront, raised eyebrows among other lawyers on Trump’s team, given the former President has a developed a reputation for not paying his legal fees.”

Legal experts are mocking Trump for sidelining his top attorney.

“Obviously this means the lawyer must have given Trump actual legal advice,” teased George Conway.

“Which is just RUDE,” replied attorney Ken White.

MSNBC/NBC News legal analyst and anchor Katie Phang asked, “So Kise is a $3 million dollar benchwarmer?”

“Trump is already throwing over Chris Kise after signing a $3M retainer and convincing him to leave Foley & Lardner? That seems … not smart,” says Liz Dye, who writes about law and politics. “Chaos monkey gonna chaos monkey, I guess.”

Dan Berman, CNN Politics managing editor for legal, immigration, and the Supreme Court serves up the perfect headline: “Trump’s 3 Million Dollar Man is sidelined already.”

LA Times columnist Harry Litman, a frequent guest on MSNBC and a former U.S. Attorney offered perhaps the most amusing response:

“The one credible lawyer that Trump has hired in years, Chris Kise, paying $3M up front, now has been demoted and is no longer leading the MAL defense. Must be Trump’s payback for the fix he’s now in w/ Judge Dearie. He thinks he’s Goldfinger/Dr.No but he’s really Austin Powers.”

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CRIME

Trump Acknowledges Past Business Interactions With the Mob in New Book

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In an upcoming book from New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman, former President Donald Trump acknowledged past business interactions with organized crime.

CNN reports that Haberman’s new book, titled “Confidence Man: The Making of Donald Trump and the Breaking of America,” offers new details about Trump’s past business practices, which came into the public spotlight earlier this week when New York Attorney General Letitia James filed a civil lawsuit alleging the former president and three of his adult children engaged in years of systemic fraud.

One particularly noteworthy detail involves Trump’s admission of having to deal with organized crime figures as part of the price of doing business as a real estate developer in New York.

“Well, anybody that built in New York City, whether you dealt with them indirectly, or didn’t even know they existed, they did exist,” Trump said. “Well, you dealt, you had contractors and you don’t know if they were mob or controlled or maybe not controlled, but I will tell you getting bids sometimes is very tough. You’d get one bid, it’d be a high end disappointing bid. And then there was nobody else to bid.”

Haberman also reports that Trump was directly involved in the drafting of a misleading earnings statement that earned a rebuke from the Securities and Exchange Commission, despite the fact that his attorneys said at the time that Trump had no involvement in the statement.

“Haberman reports that a former company consultant, Alan Marcus, said that Trump personally marked up a draft of the release in question and made existing projections rosier,” CNN writes. “Trump denied that account, according to Haberman.”

 

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CRIME

My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell Under DOJ Investigation for Identity Theft – We Know Because He Posted the Search Warrant: Report

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Mike Lindell, the far right extremist and conspiracy theorist who is also CEO of My Pillow is suing the U.S. Dept. of Justice in an attempt to get his cell phone returned after federal agents, he says, executed a search and seizure warrant on him at an Indiana Hardee’s fast food restaurant drive-thru on his way back from a duck hunting trip. Lindell’s attorneys posted a copy of the warrant. Lindell is reportedly under investigation for identity theft, conspiracy to defraud the United States, and other potential crimes.

Lindell, a top Trump ally and advisor who is now financially supporting a fascist white supremacist and Christian nationalist, “is under U.S. federal investigation for identity theft and for conspiring to damage a protected computer connected to a suspected voting equipment security breach in Colorado,” Reuters reports.

“The new details about the focus of the investigation were confirmed on Wednesday after Lindell’s attorneys uploaded a copy of a search and seizure warrant approved by U.S. Magistrate Judge Tony Leung for Minnesota federal court on Sept. 7.”

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The magistrate judge “approved the warrant based on probable cause that Lindell and other possible co-conspirators may have violated federal laws prohibiting identity fraud, conspiracy to defraud the United States and causing intentional damage a protected computer.”

“The warrant says FBI agents were authorized to use Lindell’s fingerprints to access his phone and to hold the phone in front of Lindell’s face to activate facial recognition technology, if necessary,” Law & Crime adds.

Last week attorney Alan Dershowitz claimed the Biden administration is targeting Lindell for his political views.


 

 

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