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Posts tagged ‘corruption’

Appalachian Justice: Here’s How WV Handles an Out-of-Control Supreme Court


Reported By Ben Marquis | August 8, 2018 at 1:31pm

The issue of corruption among elected officials is one that enrages many American citizens as far too often it seems that the “powers that be” are willing to let suspected corrupt officials slide or slink away quietly without ever being held accountable to the people. However, in at least one instance it appears that won’t be the case. The four sitting justices on West Virginia’s state Supreme Court are collectively facing 14 counts of impeachment for alleged corrupt activities, according to the Charleston Gazette-Mail.

The 14 articles of impeachment against the justices were approved on Tuesday by the West Virginia House Judiciary Committee and include such charges as corruption, neglect of duty and “unnecessary and lavish” spending of taxpayer money, among other allegations.

The articles of impeachment will soon be submitted to the House for a vote, and if they obtain a majority will then proceed to the Senate. If two-thirds of the senators approve the impeachment articles, a trial will commence that would require another two-thirds majority for conviction, at which point the justices would be removed from the bench and barred from ever seeking public office in the state again.

“It’s a sad day, and it certainly isn’t a cause for celebration,” Judiciary Chairman John Shott said Tuesday, according to the Gazette-Mail.

The four justices charged under the articles of impeachment, which stem from violations of the impeachable offenses listed in Section 9, Article 4 of the West Virginia Constitution, include

  • Chief Justice Margaret Workman (four counts)
  • Justices Robin Davis (four counts),
  • Allen Loughry (eight counts)
  • Beth Walker (two counts).

All four justices face charges of “unnecessary and lavish” spending of taxpayer money to renovate their offices. They’re also accused of failing to develop and maintain court policies with regard to the use of state resources.

Davis, Loughry and Workman also face a charge of signing documents that authorized pay for senior status judges in excess of what was allowed by law. Loughry faces additional charges that include allegedly using a state vehicle for personal travel, using state-owned computers and furniture in his home and using taxpayer money to have artwork, documents and personal photos framed.

Former Justice Menis Ketchum, who resigned from his seat on the bench last month, escaped being named in the articles of impeachment by virtue of his recent resignation, which removed him from the oversight of the Judiciary Committee. It is worth noting that Ketchum just pleaded guilty to one count of federal wire fraud. Loughry was also recently hit with a 23-count federal indictment that included 16 counts of mail fraud, three counts of making false statements to federal investigators, two counts of wire fraud and one count each of obstruction of justice and witness tampering.

On top of that, Loughry — who was suspended from the bench without pay on June 8 — has also been charged with 32 counts of violating state’s Code of Judicial Conduct by the West Virginia Judicial Investigation Commission for similar charges included in the articles of impeachment, as well as for lying to lawmakers, the media and the public about his alleged conduct.

Of course, there were several lawmakers who opposed the articles of impeachment, not necessarily because they believed the justices were innocent of the charges against them, but because taking out all of the sitting justices in one fell swoop would allow Republican Gov. Jim Justice to appoint their replacements, most likely for at least a two-year term, given the close proximity and limited time-frame between now and November’s elections.

Such was the argument put forward by Democrat Del. Mike Pushkin, who said he didn’t like the fact that all four justices were grouped together in the articles of impeachment, as well as by Democrat Del. Barbara Fleischauer, minority chairwoman of the committee, who likened the move to an attempted “coup” against an entire branch of the state government by Republicans.

“We said this to our committee when we started, this was a no-win situation,” Chairman Shott said of those accusations. “Especially in an election year, there’s going to be people who will spin it however it creates the most advantage to them. That’s just part of the process.”

While impeaching all of the sitting justices on the state’s Supreme Court at once does seem rather drastic — and certainly opens the door to partisan complaints — it nevertheless also appears to be the correct remedy in this case for holding apparently corrupt elected officials accountable for their actions. It will be interesting to see how this plays out over the next few weeks and months.

Thank You For Spying


Drawn and Posted by Chip Bok | May 24, 2018

URL of the original posting site: http://bokbluster.com/2018/05/24/spying/


spying

Eric Holder’s Justice Department threatened Fox News Reporter James Rosen as a co-conspirator under the espionage act. Except Holder never really intended to charge Rosen. It was all a pretext to spy on his phone calls and emails to find out who in the government was leaking information to him.

The Obama administration also spied on the phone records of Associated Press journalists.

More Spying

And of course they lied about spying on us too.

This week Joy Behar, of all people, outed James Clapper for spying on the Trump campaign. Clapper claimed Trump should be happy about this because his agent was really spying on Russians.

The Washington Post and New York Times find this explanation perfectly reasonable.

Michael Cohen Swamp Fox


Drawn and Posted by Chip Bok | May 17, 2018

URL of the original posting site: http://bokbluster.com/2018/05/17/swamp-fox/

swamp fox

Looks like Michael Cohen could afford to pay Stormy Daniels $130,000. Though, based on past behavior, I wonder if he first tried to sell her access to the president for a future “encounter.”

Swamp Fox

According to The Hill he tried to hit up the Qatari government for a cool million in exchange for access. Also on Cohen’s client access list were Novartis and ATT.

It’s the way of the swamp. But not illegal.

Democrat Mega Scandal: NYC Mayor De Blasio Office Involved in Bribery, Prostitution and Illegal Weapons!


Reported |

NYC’s Liberal Mayor Bill De Blasio has found himself in a mess as three separate scandals hit his office, including bribery, prostitution and an illegal weapons arrest! In addition, a local businessman claims he raised $80,000 for the De Blasio campaign in exchange for various deals. As well, a prostitute is testifying a major de Blasio donor “watched and directed” her sex games with members of the NYPD.

Democrat Mega Scandal: NYC Mayor De Blasio Office Involved in Bribery, Prostitution and Illegal Weapons!

Rev-In Article

Reagan Stevens, the deputy director for Mayor De Blasio’s Office of Criminal Justice, was arrested Saturday for illegal weapons possession while sitting in a car that ‘reeked of weed’ near the scene of a Saturday night shooting. Stevens was charged with two counts of criminal possession of a weapon. A 9mm gun with the serial number scratched off and a shell casing were found in the glove compartment. Cops noticed there was a “strong odor of marijuana” wafting from the SUV.

She was arrested with two men, Montel Hughes, 24, and driver Caesar Forbes, 25. They are also accused of gun charges as well as of carrying knives at the time of their arrest. Cops also found five Ziploc bags of pot in Hughes’ coat pocket. A gravity knife was also recovered from the pocket of his pants. Cops found the loaded handgun in the car. When no one claimed ownership, police took the three of them into custody.

The trio’s arrest followed a burst of five gunshots that activated an NYPD “ShotSpotter” device in Jamaica at 9:42 p.m. Saturday. The five shots fired from the car were caught on surveillance cameras. Moreover, the gun found in the car has an eight-round magazine and had three rounds left in it. A spent round was found on the driver’s side floor.

Stevens managed youth and strategic initiatives.

Her main job is implementing a 2017 state law that will raise the age at which kids can be prosecuted as adults for non-violent crimes from 16 to 18. Prior to her current position, Stevens served as the Deputy Director of the Mayor’s Action Plan’s Behavioral Health and the Criminal Justice System Task Force. She also spent 15 years implementing crime prevention, adolescent diversion programs and alternatives to incarceration at the Kings County District Attorney’s office.

De Blasio is notoriously pro strict gun control:

Just last month he joined a student walkout in Brooklyn. He told students: ‘You are making so clear to this whole country that you are sick of the violence, you’re sick of the madness, you’re sick of the slaughter and you won’t stand for it.’

The city’s Office of Criminal Justice suspended Stevens without pay from her job.

‘We take these allegations very seriously,’ said the statement.

But this is the third high profile scandal for Democrat De Blasio this year.

Harendra Singh, a Long Island restaurateur, raised as much as $80,000 for De Blasio in exchange for various deals. He pleaded guilty earlier this year to trying to bribe the mayor in hopes of getting a better lease.

Singh testified under oath on Thursday that he steered tens of thousands of dollars to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s political campaigns in return for favorable treatment by the city. Singh also claims that De Blasio not only knew of the illegal arrangement, but encouraged it and actively helped the restaurateur.

“He made many phone calls,” Mr. Singh said of the mayor. “His office was working very hard, from his deputy mayor to his assistant to his intergovernmental affairs person. Everyone was working.”

A one-time high-end hooker at the center of an NYPD corruption scandal is expected to testify that a major de Blasio donor “watched and directed” her alleged sexcapades with cops.

Former prostitute Gabi Grecko traveled to Las Vegas in early 2013 with Jeremy Reichberg and Jona Rechnitz. They were both major contributors to Bill de Blasio’s mayoral campaign. She claims Reichberg supervised the trysts.

During the private flight to Sin City, Grecko also performed “services” for the duo’s guests. They included retired NYPD Deputy Inspector James Grant, the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s Office has charged.

Grecko will discuss the mile-high hookups on the stand during the trial.

Reichberg’s lawyers have pushed to block prosecutors from bringing up “any evidence” Grecko and Reichberg had a sordid tryst mid-air. They claim that would have “the potential for unfair prejudice.”

DOJ Inspector General Opens Investigation Into Obama Administration’s FISA Abuse


Reported |

Department of Justice inspector general Michael Horowitz opened an investigation Wednesday into possible FISA abuses by the Justice Department and FBI officials and the nature of contacts between the FBI and a confidential source.

Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz, who operates independently from Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the Trump administration, announced Wednesday afternoon he will launch an investigation into alleged FISA abuse during the Obama administration.

“Department of Justice (DOJ) Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz announced today that, in response to requests from the Attorney General and Members of Congress, the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) will initiate a review that will examine the Justice Department’s and the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) compliance with legal requirements, and with applicable DOJ and FBI policies and procedures, in applications filed with the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC)  relating to a certain U.S. person,” the DOJ Office of the Inspector General released in a statement Wednesday. “As part of this examination, the OIG also will review information that was known to the DOJ and the FBI at the time the applications were filed from or about an alleged FBI confidential source.  Additionally, the OIG will review the DOJ’s and FBI’s relationship and communications with the alleged source as they relate to the FISC applications.”

DOJ spokesman John Lavinsky said in a statement accompanying the announcement.

Lavinsky explained that “as part of this examination, the OIG also will review information that was known to the DOJ and the FBI at the time the applications were filed from or about an alleged FBI confidential source.”

Lavinsky noted that the investigation was prompted by requests from several members of Congress and Attorney General Jeff Sessions. House Republicans recently released a memo claiming widespread abuse of the FISA process on the part of the DOJ and FBI in order to obtain a surveillance warrant on former Trump campaign associate Carter Page.

The timing of the investigation and the reference to members of Congress point to Page as the U.S. person. The statement’s reference to a confidential source similarly floats concerns found in the Republican memo which found that the FBI and the DOJ did not disclose the political origins of the Steele dossier in its FISA application and revealed previously undisclosed testimony from former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe that an investigation into Page would not have occurred without Steele’s dossier.

The nature of contacts between DOJ officials and Steele during the opening of an investigation into the 2016 Trump campaign has been the nature of some controversy. The Republican memo especially expressed concern over the nature of meetings between Steele and DOJ official Bruce Ohr, whose wife worked for Steele for some time.

“If circumstances warrant, the OIG will consider including other issues that may arise during the course of the review,” the statement continues.

Michael Isikoff@Isikoff

Breaking: In response to requests from AG and members of Congress, DOJ IG Horowitz says he will investigate the FBI’s request for FISA warrant on “a U.S. person”– a reference to Carter Page. Probe will include role of “confidential FBI source”-a reference to Christoper Steele.

Horowitz has also been investigating for months potential misconduct at the FBI during the criminal investigation into Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s mishandling of classified information. That report is due any day.

About a month ago, The Hill reported, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Tuesday that the Justice Department will investigate potential abuses of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). “Yes, it will be investigated,” Sessions told reporters at the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which oversees FISA warrants, according to the Washington Examiner. He said looking into any abuses is the “appropriate thing” to do.

Trump has publicly pressed Sessions to open up an investigation into potential abuses of the program, which allows U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies to obtain secret surveillance orders on individuals in the U.S. suspected of being foreign terrorists or spies.

The president claimed last year that the Obama administration improperly wiretapped members of his presidential campaign and transition team, though the White House has not provided any evidence to support that claim.

Allegations of FISA abuses surfaced again last month, when Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee released a controversial memo alleging that FBI and Justice Department officials misused their authority to obtain a surveillance order on Carter Page, a former Trump campaign adviser.

It’s about time the Obama administration and those in it paid the price for all their shenanigans. Personally, I hope all those involved including Yates, Mueller, Comey, Rosenstein, Page and Strzok and others all rot in jail. It’s time to let the Americans know that just because you are employed and work in the “high levels” of government that does not excuse you from the law. No one is about the law.

Isn’t that right, Hillary?

Resources: Townhall, Daily Caller, The Hill

More Politically INCORRECT Cartoons and More for February 28, 2018


Developing: Broward County Sheriff Ordered Deputies Not to Arrest


Reported By Rebekah Baker | February 27, 2018 at 1:42pm

URL of the original posting site: https://conservativetribune.com/broward-county-sheriff-ordered-deputies-not-arrest/

Just when it seemed like the government incompetence surrounding the events leading up to the Parkland, Florida high school massacre couldn’t get any worse, new information reveals that political motivations and bad policy in the leadership at the sheriff’s office had a pivotal role in failing to prevent the shooting.

First, it was the FBI. A tip that outlined the shooter’s “gun ownership, desire to kill people, erratic behavior, and disturbing social media posts, as well as the potential of him conducting a school shooting,” was given to the FBI only six weeks before the deadly massacre occurred, NBC reported. The FBI failed to follow up.

Then, it was local law enforcement. Multiple agents within the Broward County Sheriff’s department cowered in the face of danger, and waited outside the Stoneman Douglas high school as innocent students were killed inside.

And there’s more: According to CNN, “Records obtained from the sheriff’s office by CNN show the law enforcement agency received at least 45 calls for service relating to Cruz or his brother from 2008 to 2017, before the attack at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland on Feb. 14.

So was it pure incompetence, or was something more sinister at play? It may have been both.

According to a report from RedState, a deeply embedded system of public corruption at the sheriff’s department may be to blame for the murderous shooter slipping right through the sheriff department’s fingers. As reported by CNN, dozens of calls were made to local law enforcement about Nickolas Cruz with descriptions such as “mentally ill person,” “child/elderly abuse,” “domestic disturbance,” “missing person,” and more. Most of those warning calls resulted in “no written report.”

What in the world would have motivated an “oversight” like that? According to RedState, it all comes back to Sheriff Israel.

First elected as sheriff in 2012, Israel’s run for re-election in 2016 was highly criticized and controversial, according to an August 2016 report from Sun Sentinel.

“Sheriff Scott Israel has hired from the ranks of his political supporters, building a community outreach wing his critics say doubles as a re-election team,” the Sentinel explained. “Israel’s opponents say he’s built a publicly funded political machine, paying back supporters with jobs and using them to keep him in office. They say the money could be better spent, particularly after the sheriff complained about not having enough funding to secure the county courthouse, where a murder suspect recently escaped.”

In other words, Israel rewarded his political supporters with high-paying cushy jobs within the sheriff’s office. The outreach manager position, for example, earned a $78,489 salary. That position was held by the husband of Israel’s campaign manager, the Sentinel reported.

So, a group of unqualified people filled the positions at the sheriff’s office. And we wonder why they failed to stop Nickolas Cruz?

It gets worse. An ominous foreshadowing of the deadly shooting was revealed in the form of a 2016 sheriff re-election campaign questionnaire. “Why are you running and what gives you an edge over your opponents?” the questionnaire asked Israel.

See Israel’s answer below:

I am the incumbent Sheriff for the past four years, and a career law enforcement officer with over three decades in the profession.  The results speak for themselves. As our sheriff, I successfully implemented new policies and approaches to public safety that sharply reduced violent crime and burglary rates – the sharpest declines in the entire State of Florida. My innovative initiatives also helped keep children in school and out of jail, greatly expanding the juvenile civil citation program and making issuance of civil citations mandatory for BSO deputies. I worked to combat gun violence by openly lobbying legislators to curtail Stand Your Ground, block open carry legislation, and block legislation allowing concealed guns on school campuses. 

(Emphasis added.)

You read that right. Policies put into place within the sheriff’s department by Israel Scott discouraged arresting or expelling juveniles, apparently even if their behavior was violent or threatening.

Cruz had a history of violence at school and was never officially expelled. He had a history of violent behavior at home but was never arrested. And one day, he stormed into a school building and murdered 17 innocent people — but it was too late.

When pressed for answers on allegations about his alleged public corruption, Israel deflected. “Lions don’t care about the opinions of sheep,” he reportedly said at the time.

And lions apparently care more about their own interests than the lives of those they swore to protect.

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