Perspectives; Thoughts; Comments; Opinions; Discussions

Posts tagged ‘Court’

New York Dem Arrested for Stealing from Hurricane Sandy Victims


 

Reported By Joe Setyon | January 11, 2018 at 10:46am

URL of the original posting site: https://www.westernjournalism.com/new-york-democrat-arrested-for-stealing-from-victims-of-hurricane-sandy/

New York State Democrat Assemblywoman Pamela Harris was arrested Tuesday for allegedly defrauding the federal and state governments out of $60,000, including $25,000 in FEMA funds that were allocated for residents left homeless in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

But officials say Harris — who represents parts of Brooklyn in the state assembly — was not among the homeless. Instead, her Coney Island residence was still intact following the devastating 2012 storm, according to the New York Daily News.

The 57-year-old remained in her home after the storm but allegedly filed fake paperwork to prove she was paying rent for a residence in Staten Island. FEMA then compensated her with money that was set aside for “temporary housing assistance,” officials said.

In an effort to cover up what she had done, Harris is accused of telling witnesses they should lie to the FBI.

“Harris was busy brewing a storm of her own — one that resulted in her receiving significant payouts by the very federal agency charged with helping those truly in need,” said William Sweeney Jr., the head of the bureau field office in New York.

Prior to her 2015 election to the state assembly, Harris ran a non-profit training and mentoring organization. But she allegedly pocketed $34,000 that the city council had given to her group to pay for rent. Officials believe Harris used $10,000 to pay for vacations — including one on a cruise ship. She also allegedly used stolen money to shop for lingerie from Victoria’s Secret, as well as pay off bills she had accumulated from Kohls and the mortgage on her Coney Island home.

For her alleged crimes — which authorities say took place between 2012 and 2016 — Harris was charged with wire fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, making false statements, bankruptcy fraud, witness tampering and conspiracy to obstruct justice, according to the Daily News. Harris pleaded not guilty and was released on $150,000 bond.

“Ms. Harris has been an invaluable community organizer and a well-regarded legislator,” her attorneys said in a statement. “Especially given her background, we are disappointed that Ms. Harris was indicted.”

“She has pleaded not guilty, and we look forward to her day in court and an opportunity there to present the full facts.”

The Democrat assemblywoman’s arrest came the same week New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a lawsuit against the five largest oil companies in the nation, claiming Sandy’s destruction was amplified due to the climate change those companies contributed to. The storm struck the city in October 2012, leaving more than 40 New Yorkers dead and causing tens of billions of dollars in damage.

“After Sandy, it became clear that climate change was an active threat to our lives. It may have happened five years ago, but we are still dealing every day with the destruction it caused,” de Blasio tweeted Wednesday.

“It’s time for Big Oil to pay for that damage.” 

De Blasio also noted that New York is “the first major American city to take this action against fossil fuel companies.”

New York’s road to recovery has been a long one, with multiple resiliency projects being carried out in order to prevent future natural disasters from affecting the city in a similar manner, according to Politico.

“The city seeks to shift the costs of protecting the city from climate change impacts back onto the companies that have done nearly all they could to create this existential threat,” the lawsuit reads, as reported by the New York Post.

Moreover, de Blasio wants the city’s pensions to divest from oil companies. But according to the National Association of Manufacturers — an industry trade group — this move will come with a high price tag, as it could cost city employees $2.8 billion over 20 years.

“Divestment won’t do anything to cut greenhouse gas emissions. All it does is pass stocks from one shareholder to another,” NAM Vice President Chris Netram said Wednesday.

Just In: Judge Issues A Decision In The Bundy Ranch Case


Reported By Randy DeSoto | December 20, 2017 at 3:36pm

URL of the original posting site: https://www.westernjournalism.com/judge-issues-a-decision-in-the-bundy-ranch-case/

A federal judge declared a mistrial on Wednesday in the case against Cliven Bundy and his co-defendants, stemming from their 2014 standoff in Nevada with the Bureau of Land Management over grazing rights.

U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro ruled that federal prosecutors unlawfully withheld information they were required to turn over to the defense including surveillance video, maps and FBI interview information, the Las Vegas Journal Review reported. The judge stated prosecutors knew or should have known of the existence of this evidence that may have been helpful to Cliven, Ammon and Ryan Bundy, and co-defendant Ryan Payne.

“Considered collectively, she said, the evidence that was withheld was favorable to the defendants and its untimely disclosure was prejudicial in that it ‘undermined the confidence of the outcome of the trial,’” Navarro found, according to the Journal Review.

The men are accused of conspiring to block federal agents from enforcing a court order to confiscate the Bundys’ cattle, which was grazing on public lands.

“Cliven Bundy had failed to pay grazing fees and fines for years,” according to The Associated Press. “The men are also charged with firearms crimes, threatening a federal law enforcement officer, obstruction of justice and extortion in a trial that began (on Nov. 14) in U.S. District Court in Las Vegas.”

Bundy contended the federal government lacks the constitutional authority to own vast tracks of western lands, stating it instead belongs to the states and the people. He and the others present were protesting what they contended was unlawful conduct by the federal government in seizing his cattle.

As previously reported by The Western Journal, a federal whistleblower sent a memo to the Department of Justice last month alleging malfeasance in the handling of the investigation in the Bundy Ranch standoff.

Special agent Larry Wooten, who worked on the investigation (until being removed in February), wrote in the 18-page memo, “I routinely observed, and the investigation revealed a widespread pattern of bad judgment, lack of discipline, incredible bias, unprofessionalism and misconduct, as well as likely policy, ethical, and legal violations among senior and supervisory staff.”

He added their actions, “adversely affected our agency’s mission and likely the trial regarding Cliven Bundy and his alleged co-conspirators and ignored the letter and the intent of the law.”

Wooten chronicled in his memo that those overseeing the investigation showed clear prejudice against the Bundys, their supporters and the Mormon faith, which the ranchers profess.

BLM agents prominently displayed booking photos with “X’s” drawn over the faces of the Bundys, according to Wooten.

The agent recounted that when he reported what he was seeing to the agent-in-charge of the investigation, Dan Love, he came to realize the supervisor was “aware of the issues, participated in, or instigated the misconduct himself.”

Wooten accused Love, who was in charge of the cattle roundup at the Bundy ranch, of intentionally ignoring direction from the U.S. Attorney’s Office and his superiors “in order to command the most intrusive, oppressive, large scale and militaristic trespass cattle impound possible.”

Washington state Rep. Matt Shea, spoke out forcefully to the media last week after seeing Wooten’s memo, stating in an interview with Redoubt News, “a sniper rifle is not due process.”

“The government in the trial was saying, or at least implying that there were no snipers on site, and then this document details that there were in fact snipers on site,” Shea told The Western Journal. “These were being pointed at Americans who were protesting lawfully.”

The representative has been a longtime advocate for significant portions of federal lands held in the west being turned over to the states. Shea said the clear bias shown by the investigators is exculpatory and can be used to impeach the government witnesses at the Bundy trial. He noted that Navarro cited the Wooten memo in her Wednesday ruling.

According to ABC affiliate KTNV, a new trial in the Bundy case will likely begin in February. Based on what he has seen, Shea does not believe a mistrial is an adequate remedy.

“The withheld evidence doesn’t just give reason for a mistrial,” he said. “It looks like there needs to be a dismissal.” 

Shea added: “I don’t think this stops with a mistrial and a dismissal, I think this continues with an investigation,” into the BLM.

Fox News reported that “jurors acquitted (Ammon and Ryan Bundy) of taking over a federal wildlife refuge in Oregon for more than a month in early 2016 and amid calls for the U.S. government to turn over public land to local control.”

Liberals Launch Program to Increase No. of Illegals Allowed to Stay by 1,100%


Reported By Ben Marquis | November 13, 2017 at 2:17pm

URL of the original posting Site: https://conservativetribune.com/liberals-program-illegals-allowed/?

Since President Donald Trump took office, there has been a marked difference in the manner in which the federal government deals with illegal immigration, both on the border and within the country.

Deportations are reportedly rising, but liberals are intent on reversing that trend and allowing as many illegals to remain lawfully in the country as long as possible, and they appear to now be using taxpayer funds to do so.

The liberal New York City-based Vera Institute of Justice just announced via a press release the formation of a new program known as the Safety and Fairness for Everyone Cities Network.

The SAFE Cities Network provides publicly-funded legal representation to both legal immigrants and illegals involved in deportation and detainment hearings at no cost to the immigrants themselves. Some localities have begun similar programs on their own already.

The program is based on a study by the New York Immigrant Family Unity Project that was conducted in one particular New York City immigration court, the results of which the Vera Institute now intends to attempt to duplicate nationwide.

That study found that immigrants facing deportation hearings had only a 4 percent success rate of avoiding deportation when representing themselves, but that their success rate was about 48 percent when they were provided with legal representation — an estimated increase of 1,100 percent.

The organization touted, “Network members come from 11 politically, economically, and ethnically diverse jurisdictions that are united in their commitment to the belief that … a crucial way to keep our communities safe is to ensure legal representation for those whose future depends on it.”

Except that the 11 Network members aren’t exactly as “politically” diverse as the Vera Institute would have the public believe. Just check out the list of participating jurisdictions and see if you can spot the one thing they all have in common.

The 11 Network members are: Atlanta, GA; Austin, TX; Baltimore, MD; Chicago, IL; Columbus, OH; Dane County, WI; Oakland/Alameda County, CA; Prince George’s County, MD; Sacramento, CA; San Antonio, TX; and Santa Ana, CA.

If you noticed that all of those cities and/or counties are liberal-dominated and Democrat-controlled, even if they are in a “red” state, then you would be correct.

The Vera Institute proudly proclaimed that under their initiative, “[Eleven] jurisdictions are providing funding for trained legal service providers to represent immigrants facing deportation proceedings supplemented by a catalyst grant administered by Vera.”

What that means is that Vera provided some private funding up front to start the program, but that participant jurisdictions will continue the program with taxpayer dollars.

Were this initiative to be completely funded by private dollars, we would have no qualms with it whatsoever, as it would be nothing more than liberals putting their money where their mouths are and funding a venture to protect illegals by themselves. But this program will utilize taxpayer money, funds that will inevitably come from individuals vehemently opposed to the program who will nevertheless be paying for it. That is not right.

Furthermore, can we expect liberal organizations like the Vera Institute to formulate similar programs using taxpayer funding to provide for the “free” legal defense of American citizens facing hearings for violations of gun or tax laws or other government regulations? After all, wouldn’t that be “fair” to everyone?

We highly doubt it.

H/T LawNewz

Trump Gets Key Win From 8th Circuit


Reported 

URL of the original posting site: http://www.westernjournalism.com/trump-gets-key-win-from-8th-circuit/

The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Monday that a state has the right to defund Planned Parenthood. The 2-1 ruling specifically provided that while plaintiff Medicaid recipients who brought the suit are entitled to care, they cannot dictate that care includes Planned Parenthood facilities.

“The plaintiffs are asserting a right — the absolute right to a particular provider of their choosing — that (the law) does not grant them,” Judge Steven Colloton wrote in the majority opinion.

Several states, including Arkansas, the defendant in the suit, voted to defund Planned Parenthood after the release of a series of undercover videos that allegedly showed executives from the top abortion provider in the country discussing the sale of aborted babies’ body parts.

In April, Congress voted and President Donald Trump signed into law legislation guaranteeing states the right to defund Planned Parenthood, overriding an Obama administration Department of Health and Human Services regulation that had gone into effect two days before Trump took office. The regulation mandated that “states and localities could not withhold money from a provider for any reason other than an inability to provide family planning services,” The New York Times reported.

In a statement, Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson described the 8th Circuit Court’s ruling as “a substantial legal victory for the right of the state to determine whether Medicaid providers are acting in accordance with best practices, and affirms the prerogative of the state to make reasoned judgments on the Medicaid program.”

The 8th Circuit’s jurisdiction includes Arkansas, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, and North and South Dakota.

Planned Parenthood noted that it had won federal suits against other states that sought to defund the organization.

“To date, seven other states (Alabama, Arizona, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas) have sought to bar Planned Parenthood from Medicaid, and all have been blocked by federal courts,” Planned Parenthood said in a statement.

Louisiana has asked the 5th Circuit to rehear the case en banc, meaning all of the justices (rather than just three) would preside. The differing rulings between the eighth and other circuit courts make it more likely the Supreme Court will take up the matter.

“This is not over,” said Planned Parenthood Federation of America chief medical officer Raegan McDonald-Mosley. “We will do everything in our power to protect our patients’ access to birth control, cancer screenings and other lifesaving care. Extreme politicians are trying to defund and shut down Planned Parenthood — and this is not what Americans want.”

Jerry Cox, the executive director of the Family Council, an Arkansas-based conservative group, told public radio station KUAR, “The videos aside, the question is should the state of Arkansas do business with an organization that aborts babies, when they don’t need to.”

Arrested Dem IT staffer’s attorney is MAJOR Clinton ally. Chris Gowen worked for both Bill and Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation.


Posted July 26, 2017 09:32 AM by Jordan Schachtel

URL of the original posting site: https://www.conservativereview.com/articles/arrested-dem-it-staffers-attorney-is-major-clinton-ally

 

Bill and Hillary Clinton | USMC Lance Cpl. Cristian L. Ricardo | WikimediaCommons 

The attorney for a prominent Democratic congressional employee at the center of a major criminal investigation has deep ties to the Clinton machine in Washington.

Attorney Chris Gowen is serving as the lawyer for Imran Awan, a Pakistani-American IT professional who was apprehended at Dulles Airport this week as he reportedly attempted to leave the country for Pakistan.

Awan has been charged with bank fraud (which the Daily Caller reports as a potentialplaceholdercharge for much more serious coming charges), and the FBI has been deeply involved in the process, leading some to suspect that there may be a foreign espionage component to the investigation. As an IT staffer, Awan secured highly sensitive information from several members of Congress, including representatives in the House Intelligence and Foreign Affairs committees. Imran Awan is just one of the individuals in a criminal probe. Other suspects in the investigation reportedly fled to Pakistan.

After Awan’s arrest, Gowen immediately jumped into the fray, alleging that Awan was a victim of Islamophobia. He labeled Awan’s arrest as part of “a right-wing media-driven prosecution by a United States Attorney’s Office that wants to prosecute people for working while Muslim.”

His statement displays a remarkably similar tone to the one often promulgated by his former boss, Hillary Clinton, who often spoke of a vast right-wing conspiracy” to undermine her family and her leftist ideals.

Gowen’s past includes several stints in the Clinton machine’s orbit. He began his legal life as a public defender but left that job for the Bill Clinton White House. At the time, he also worked for then-Senator Hillary Clinton. Years later, he jumped on board Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign, directing advance operations there, according to his biography from his law firm, Gowen Rhoades Winograd & Silva, PLLC. In another bio page, Gowen states he has consulted with former Democratic presidential contenders John Kerry and John Edwards.

Another biography, from American University, says Gowen worked with several controversial Clinton projects, including The Clinton Global Initiative, The Clinton Foundation, and The Clinton Health Access Initiative.

In 2012, Gowen went to bat for Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin, whose family is deeply connected to the Muslim Brotherhood. After GOP reps explored Abedin’s nefarious ties, Gowen pledged to “stand with Huma.”

Along with his private practice, the longtime Clinton aide is also an adjunct professor at American University Washington College of Law, where he teaches courses in legal ethics and law practice management.

Gowen’s Clinton connections are intriguing on another level, given that Awan’s employer in the House, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, remains a close Clinton confidant. The former Democratic National Committee chair resigned from her position after emails surfaced alleging she attempted to tip the scales of the Democratic primary in Clinton’s favor. Wasserman Schultz was also the 2008 campaign co-chair of Hillary Clinton’s first failed run for president.

It remains unclear at this time how Imran Awan managed to link up with Gowen and retain his services.

A preliminary hearing for Mr. Awan is scheduled for August 21.

Tag Cloud

%d bloggers like this: