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Arrests Cody dillon hogan Department of Justice Intelwars news Sexual Abuse the daily caller

Man pleads guilty to using $50 gift card to solicit videos of a 9-year-old girl being sexually abused

An Arkansas man has pleaded guilty to using a $50 gift card in order to solicit videos of a 9-year-old girl being sexually abused, authorities announced Wednesday.

What are the details?

As highlighted by The Daily Caller, 26-year-old Cody Dillon Hogan of Leachville, Arkansas, reportedly met with an undercover FBI agent who was posing as the guardian of a fictional 9-year-old girl.

The Department of Justice stated that Hogan sent the agent a photo of his genitalia and requested “naughty” pictures of the “child” in question. He then sent a $50 gift card as payment for video of the child being sexually abused.

“Over the following several weeks, Hogan tried to solicit the agent to send videos of the ‘child’ being molested and even informed the agent of various methods of sending the video,” the Daily Caller reported.

During one exchange with the unnamed agent, Hogan reportedly said, “After I see this video there could be all kinds of money and requests coming your way lol.”

After communicating over a period of months, authorities raided his home and arrested him. He was charged with using the internet to solicit and pay an individual to molest a 9-year-old child and to creating a video recording depicting this sexual abuse

“Hogan admitted in an interview with agents he tried to solicit the videos and that he had been successful in soliciting pornographic photos of other children between the ages of 4 and 8 years old, authorities said,” the outlet noted.

What did the authorities find?

Authorities said that they discovered at least 20 and as many as 30 videos on his phone featuring children who were “engaged in sexually explicit conduct.”

“A search of Hogan’s cellphone and his homemade computer revealed that these devices contained hundreds of videos and images depicting the sexual abuse of young children, including sadistic and masochistic conduct,” a release from the DOJ read.

Hogan faces a minimum of 15 years in prison and up to 30 years if convicted on the charges.

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Bitcoins Colonial Pipeline Darkside Department of Justice Intelwars ransomware Seize the ransom

Justice Dept. recovers most of ransom Colonial Pipeline paid to DarkSide hackers

The Department of Justice announced Monday that agents have recovered $2.3 million of the roughly $4.4 million in cryptocurrency the Colonial Pipeline paid ransomware criminal group DarkSide following its cyberattack that shut down nearly half the fuel supply to the eastern U.S.

What are the details?

A federal judge signed off on the warrant earlier in the day for federal officials to seize the ransom, and officials recovered 63.7 bitcoin of the total amount 75 bitcoin in the effort, according to a news release from the DOJ’s Office of Public Affairs.

DOJ Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco said in a statement regarding the news:

“Following the money remains one of the most basic, yet powerful tools we have. Ransom payments are the fuel that propels the digital extortion engine, and today’s announcement demonstrates that the United States will use all available tools to make these attacks more costly and less profitable for criminal enterprises. We will continue to target the entire ransomware ecosystem to disrupt and deter these attacks. Today’s announcements also demonstrate the value of early notification to law enforcement; we thank Colonial Pipeline for quickly notifying the FBI when they learned that they were targeted by DarkSide.”

The Colonial Pipeline was attacked on May 7, shutting down the nation’s largest pipeline that supplies 45% of the East Coast. The shutdown lasted for a week, and panic sparked a run on gas in several of the impacted states leading several governors to declare states of emergency and gas prices to spike nationwide.

President Joe Biden said at the time that the hackers were likely Russian, but had not been linked to the Russian government.

What else?

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal regarding the ransom payment, Colonial Pipeline CEO Joseph Blount explained, “I know that’s a highly controversial decision. I didn’t make it lightly. I will admit that I wasn’t comfortable seeing money go out the door to people like this.”

As TheBlaze previously reported:

The FBI discourages organizations from paying a ransom in a ransomware attack because “paying a ransom doesn’t guarantee you or your organization will get any data back,” and it “also encourages perpetrators to target more victims and offers an incentive for others to get involved in this type of illegal activity.”

“When Colonial was attacked on May 7, we quietly and quickly contacted the local FBI field offices in Atlanta and San Francisco, and prosecutors in Northern California and Washington D.C. to share with them what we knew at that time,” Blount said in a statement Monday, according to Fox Business. “The Department of Justice and FBI were instrumental in helping us to understand the threat actor and their tactics. Their efforts to hold these criminals accountable and bring them to justice are commendable.”

Blount is set to testify before congressional panels this week, the Associated Press reported.

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DOJ closes investigation into Ashli Babbitt’s death, will not charge officer who shot her in Capitol riot

Federal prosecutors in Washington, D.C., will not charge the U.S. Capitol Police officer involved in the shooting death of a woman during the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol, the U.S. Department of Justice announced Wednesday.

The DOJ said in a statement that there is insufficient evidence to file criminal charges against the officer who shot and killed 35-year-old Ashli Babbitt.

“Officials examined video footage posted on social media, statements from the officer involved and other officers and witnesses to the events, physical evidence from the scene of the shooting, and the results of an autopsy. Based on that investigation, officials determined that there is insufficient evidence to support a criminal prosecution,” the department said.

Babbitt, an Air Force veteran from San Diego, had participated in the protest of the 2020 presidential election results that turned violent when a mob of individuals invaded the Capitol. She had joined the crowd of people that broke into the Capitol building while a joint session of Congress was meeting to certify the Electoral College vote.

As rioters stormed into the building, video footage that circulated on social media appeared to show Babbitt with others outside the “Speaker’s Lobby” near the chamber of the U.S. House of Representatives. Capitol police officers had used furniture to set up barricades to stop people from entering the lobby or the House chamber as members of Congress were evacuated. Some rioters attempted to break through the glass doors to the Speaker’s Lobby, attacking the glass with flagpoles, helmets, or other objects.

At one point, Babbitt attempted to climb through one of the windows that had been smashed open. A Capitol Police officer inside the Speaker’s Lobby fired a single shot from his firearm, which struck her in the left shoulder, prosecutors said. U.S. Capitol Police emergency responders administered aid to Babbitt, who was transported to Washington Hospital Center, where she died of her injuries.

Babbitt is one of five people who lost their lives during the events at the Capitol on Jan. 6, including a police officer. Three other people died because of medical emergencies.

A criminal investigation was launched to determine whether the officer who shot Babbitt violated any federal laws. After a review of the evidence, prosecutors determined they could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the officer who shot Babbitt willfully broke the law.

“Specifically, the investigation revealed no evidence to establish that, at the time the officer fired a single shot at Ms. Babbitt, the officer did not reasonably believe that it was necessary to do so in self-defense or in defense of the Members of Congress and others evacuating the House Chamber,” prosecutors said. “Acknowledging the tragic loss of life and offering condolences to Ms. Babbitt’s family, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and U.S. Department of Justice have therefore closed the investigation into this matter.”

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Two men charged with alleged assault on Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, who died after riot

Federal law enforcement authorities have arrested and charged two men with assaulting U.S. Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick with bear spray during the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol building, but the cause of his death is still unknown.

Julian Khater, 32, of Pennsylvania and George Tanios, 39, of West Virginia were arrested Sunday and will appear in federal court Monday, the Washington Post reports. The two men were allegedly seen on video recordings taken at the Lower West Terrace of the Capitol at 2:14 p.m., where Sicknick and other police officers were standing guard behind metal bicycle racks.

Arrest papers obtained by the Post allege that Khater asked Tanios for bear spray, which he later appears on video to discharge into the face of Sicknick and two other police officers.

The two men are charged with nine counts including assaulting three officers with a deadly weapon, civil disorder, and obstruction of a congressional proceeding. If convicted, they could each face up to 20 years in prison.

Officer Sicknick was one of five people who died during and after the riot. Kevin Greeson, 55, of Athens, Alabama; Benjamin Philips, 50, of Ringtown, Pennsylvania; and Rosanne Boyland, 34, of Kennesaw, Georgia, died of medical emergencies. Ashli Babbitt, 35, was fatally shot by police during a confrontation inside the Capitol building. Initial reports suggested that Sicknick had died from blunt force trauma after being struck by a fire extinguisher, but later reporting revealed that medical examiners did not find signs that the officer sustained any blunt force trauma.

A spokeswoman for the deputy mayor for public safety in D.C. told the Washington Post that autopsy reports for Sicknick are still pending as of Monday. Police have not determined the cause of Sicknick’s death and have not charged Khater and Tanios with homicide. Police said surveillance video and officer-worn body camera footage show clear evidence of the assault, regardless of whether those actions led to the officer’s death.

The Associated Press reported that investigators theorize Sicknick may have ingested the chemical substance he was sprayed with, possibly contributing to his death at a hospital the next day.

More details from the AP:

Khater is the man in a video obtained by the FBI that showed him spraying Sicknick and others with bear spray, according to court papers.

“Give me that bear (expletive), Khater said to Tanios on the video, according to court papers. Sicknick and other officers were standing guard near metal bike racks, the papers say.

Khater then says, “they just (expletive) sprayed me,” as he’s seen holding a white can with a black top that prosecutors said “appears to be a can of chemical spray.”

After he sprayed the officers, they “immediately retreat from the line, bring their hands to their faces and rush to find water to wash out their eyes,” according to the court papers.

The FBI has released some 250 photos of suspects wanted for assaulting federal law enforcement officers on Jan. 6 at the Capitol. The Department of Justice recently said said more than 300 individuals have been charged relating to the riot, over 900 search warrants have been executed nationwide, and 15,000 hours of surveillance tape is being reviewed by authorities to identify suspects.

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DOJ: ‘Hundreds’ to be charged after Capitol riots, number of crimes is ‘mind-blowing’ and includes ‘sedition and conspiracy’

The U.S. Department of Justice held a news conference Tuesday with acting U.S. Attorney Michael Sherwin and FBI Washington Field Office ADIC Steven D’Antuono discussing charges and arrests made in connection with last Wednesday’s riot at the U.S. Capitol by Trump supporters.

According to the DOJ officials, there are more than 170 active subject files seeking individuals identified as potential persons that committed crimes, a number that is expected to swell into the “hundreds” in coming weeks. The DOJ has launched investigations into serious felony charges of “sedition and conspiracy,” as well as a “mind-blowing” number of crimes related to the events that transpired last week.

“That’s just the tip of the iceberg,” D’Antuono said in his statement.

He revealed that the FBI has collected more than 100,000 pieces of digital media from the public that authorities are using to investigate an extraordinarily broad range of crimes committed by the pro-Trump mob.

“I want to stress that the FBI has a long memory and a broad reach. Agents and our partners are on the streets investigating leads not only here in the D.C. area, but also across the country through the FBI’s 56 field offices,” D’Antuono added.

“Even if you’ve left D.C., agents from our local field offices will be knocking on your door if we find out you were a part of the criminal activity at the Capitol,” he said.

Last Wednesday, tens of thousands of President Donald Trump’s supporters gathered in Washington, D.C., in protest of the congressional certification of the Electoral College. Having been told by the president and his allies for months that the November election was fraudulent, and after news broke that Vice President Mike Pence would not attempt to reject slates of electors from disputed battleground states, some protesters led a mob to storm the Capitol, succeeding in infiltrating the building as lawmakers were assembled for debate.

In the ensuing violence, several police officers were assaulted by rioters, congressional offices were raided, various crimes ranging from trespass to felony murder were committed, and five people lost their lives in what the media proclaimed was an insurrection attempt. Additionally, two pipe bombs were discovered near the Capitol at the headquarters of the RNC and the DNC, though both were safely detonated by law enforcement and no one was injured.

The DOJ officials confirmed Tuesday that the pipe bombs were real explosive devices with igniters and timers. Investigators do not know why the bombs didn’t go off, they said. The FBI is offering a $50,000 reward for any information leading to the arrest of the individual(s) who planted the bombs.

Federal and local law enforcement has come under intense scrutiny as critics accuse Capitol Police of having been woefully unprepared to prevent the events that transpired.

According to D’Antuono, the FBI knew that the rally last Wednesday would take place and sought information about potential violence that might occur. Intelligence gathered through social media and through sources indicated that “a number of individuals were planning to travel to the D.C. area with intentions to cause violence.”

“We immediately shared that information and action was taken,” D’Antuono claimed, citing the Metropolitan Police Department arrest of Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio the night before the rally on destruction of property and weapons charges.

D’Antuono took pains to clarify that the FBI can’t open a criminal investigation into social media posts, which fall under First Amendment protections, without a threat of violence or alleged criminal activity.

The DOJ has launched multiple investigations into the criminal activity that did take place, acting U.S. attorney Sherwin told reporters.

“The scope and scale of this investigation into these cases are really unprecedented, not only in FBI history but probably DOJ history,” he said, describing the Capitol grounds on the inside and outside as “essentially a crime scene” with “literally thousands of potential witnesses” and “hundreds of criminal cases” that will be filed at all levels of the court system.

“This is going to be a long-term investigation,” Sherwin emphasized. He referred to the growing list of crimes to be investigated as “mind-blowing.”

So far, the DOJ has filed charges in over 70 cases, a number he expects will “grow into the hundreds.” The types of cases being investigated include simple trespass, theft of mail, theft of digital devices, assaults on police officers, theft of potential national security or defense information, felony murder, and even civil rights excessive force investigations.

Law enforcement officials are making it a priority to file simple charges against as many people as they can as quickly as possible to catch criminals. Most of these are misdemeanors or trespass cases, Sherwin explained. Some of them may be related to firearms charges.

“This is only the beginning, so after these criminal charges are filed via criminal complaints, that allows us, that allows law enforcement across the United States to arrest people,” Sherwin elaborated. “After those charges are filed, then we have the ability to then indict these individuals on more significant charges.”

“We’re looking at significant felony cases tied to sedition and conspiracy,” he revealed.

Sherwin also announced the organization of a “strike force” of national security and public corruption prosecutors to build seditious and conspiracy charges “related to the most heinous acts that occurred in the Capitol” with potential sentences of up to 20 years in jail for those convicted.

“Regardless of if it was just a trespass in the Capitol or if someone planted a pipe bomb, you will be charged and you will be found,” he warned the perpetrators.

The DOJ is also focusing on prosecuting assaults on police officers.

“In some instances, MPD and Capitol Police were in open-handed combat with some of these persons inside the Capitol, where tear gas was used on the Capitol Police and federal officers and they were also used against some of these rioters,” Sherwin said.

“People are going to be shocked with some of the egregious conduct that happened within the Capitol.”

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DOJ announces federal charges will be filed against some who laid siege to Capitol building

The U.S. Department of Justice and its federal law enforcement authorities will file charges against some individuals who participated in the mob violence at the U.S. Capitol, the acting attorney general said in a statement Thursday.

According to ABC News, federal prosecutors worked through the night Wednesday evening and into Thursday to identify perpetrators involved in the storming of the Capitol after attending a protest rally near the White House in support of President Donald Trump. At least four people died and dozens of Trump supporters were arrested in Wednesday’s events.

“Yesterday, our Nation watched in disbelief as a mob breached the Capitol Building and required federal and local law enforcement to help restore order. The Department of Justice is committed to ensuring that those responsible for this attack on our Government and the rule of law face the full consequences of their actions under the law,” acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen said in a statement.

“Some participants in yesterday’s violence will be charged today, and we will continue to methodically assess evidence, charge crimes and make arrests in the coming days and weeks to ensure that those responsible are held accountable under the law,” he added.

The FBI announced on social media it is accepting tips and digital media depicting rioting or violence in or around the U.S. Capitol to identify the perpetrators.

The Washington, D.C., Police Department is also asking for help identifying lawbreakers.

Some of the rioters have been identified by the news media.

One man seen in several photos with a painted face, fur hat, and a helmet with horns was identified by CNN as Jake Angeli, an Arizona resident known by his followers as the QAnon Shaman. Angeli’s social media accounts reportedly make several references to the QAnon conspiracy theory, which holds as its major tenet that a secret cabal of Satan-worshipping pedophiles are leading America’s highest institutions of business and government and have orchestrated deep state opposition to President Trump. He’s been previously spotted at other pro-Trump rallies in various parts of the country.

Another identified rioter is Nick Ochs, the founder of Proud Boys Hawaii, a chapter of the far-right “male chauvinist” fraternal organization. Ochs tweeted a selfie from inside the Capitol building Wednesday and gave an interview to CNN in which he said the protesters met little to no resistance from Capitol Police as they trespassed in the building.

“We didn’t have to break in, I just walked in and filmed,” Ochs said. “There were thousands of people in there — they had no control of the situation. I didn’t get stopped or questioned.”

Another far-right activist, Tim Gionet, who goes by the internet pseudonym “Baked Alaska,” livestreamed himself from inside the Capitol building. Screenshots from that livestream were shared on social media.

Richard “Bigo” Barnett, 60, gave an interview to the New York Times in which he identified himself and admitted to trespassing in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office and taking materials from her desk.

ABC News’ Alexander Mallin reported that at least a dozen individuals involved in the riot will face charges, with more charges to come as more rioters are identified by authorities.

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DOJ email accounts compromised in SolarWinds hack attributed to Russians

The Department of Justice on Wednesday disclosed that its computer systems were among those compromised by a massive cybersecurity breach of government networks that U.S. officials attribute to Russia.

According to the Associated Press, the DOJ said that 3% of its Microsoft Office 365 email accounts were potentially hacked. The DOJ does not believe that classified systems were breached but would not say to whom the email accounts belonged.

“On Dec. 24, 2020, the Department of Justice’s Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) learned of previously unknown malicious activity linked to the global SolarWinds incident that has affected multiple federal agencies and technology contractors, among others. This activity involved access to the Department’s Microsoft O365 email environment,” the DOJ said in a statement.

“After learning of the malicious activity, the OCIO eliminated the identified method by which the actor was accessing the O365 email environment. At this point, the number of potentially accessed O365 mailboxes appears limited to around 3-percent and we have no indication that any classified systems were impacted,” the statement continued.

“As part of the ongoing technical analysis, the Department has determined that the activity constitutes a major incident under the Federal Information Security Modernization Act, and is taking the steps consistent with that determination. The Department will continue to notify the appropriate federal agencies, Congress, and the public as warranted,” the DOJ said.

On Tuesday, United States intelligence agencies formally accused the Russian government of orchestrating the cyberattack on software manufactured by IT company SolarWinds. The massive breach of government networks was discovered by the company last month and is estimated to have affected some 18,000 SolarWinds customers and an as yet unknown number of federal government agencies, including the DOJ, U.S. Treasury, and the Department of Commerce. Other agencies including the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Defense, and the Energy Department’s National Nuclear Security Administration have also confirmed they were affected by the attack.

A joint statement from the FBI, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) blamed Russia for the attack. The Hill reported these agencies had set up a cyber unified coordination group in December to investigate the extent of the SolarWinds hack.

“This work indicates that an Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) actor, likely Russian in origin, is responsible for most or all of the recently discovered, ongoing cyber compromises of both government and non-governmental networks,” the agencies said.

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AG Barr: ‘No reason’ to appoint special counsel to investigate Hunter Biden

Outgoing Attorney General William Barr said Monday he saw “no reason” to appoint a special counsel to investigate Hunter Biden.

Barr, in his final press conference before leaving the Trump administration, assured reporters that the investigation into Biden’s business dealings with foreign associates is “being handled responsibly and professionally.”

“I have not seen a reason to appoint a special counsel, and I have no plan to do so before I leave,” he said.

His announcement is sure to disappoint President Donald Trump and his Republican allies in Congress who have been pushing for the appointment of special counsels to investigate President-elect Joe Biden’s son. Trump reportedly has repeatedly asked for an independent investigator to be appointed so that the next president could not interfere with the investigation of his family’s business deals.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) endorsed the idea last week, speaking to reporters about the issue.

“I think it’s a good idea,” he said. “Let me say this, if you believe a special counsel is needed to look at the Trump rule regarding Russia, how can you say there is no need for special counsel regarding Hunter Biden?”

Continuing, he said, “It’s not just the allegation of tax evasion, which is being looked at, and he’s presumed innocent, but it’s his business dealings, emails about setting up an office and [giving] the keys to the Vice President Joe Biden … I don’t know if that’s accurate or not, but how far integrated into the Ukraine economy did Hunter Biden get?”

The president-elect said last Thursday he’s not worried about the investigation or the allegations of corruption surrounding Hunter Biden.

“We have great confidence in our son,” the elder Biden told Stephen Colbert on “The Late Show.”

Hunter Biden is currently under investigation by the Department of Justice for tax issues and other financial transactions with Chinese business associates. Biden recently revealed that the U.S. attorney’s office in Delaware has opened an investigation into his tax affairs, releasing a statement about the matter. According to the Associated Press, the investigation began in 2018, before Biden’s father declared his candidacy for president, but the Justice Department did not disclose the existence of the investigation until now because of a policy against doing so during an election year.

Despite the policy, in October, Sinclair Broadcasting Group’s James Rosen reported the existence of an FBI investigation into Hunter Biden and his associates, focusing on allegations of money-laundering. The report was covered by conservative media, but at the time largely ignored in the mainstream press.

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Election Fraud: Whistleblower Testifies 300K Ballots VANISHED From His Truck

A trucker turned whistleblower has come forward to testify about the election fraud. He testified that almost 300,000 ballots were inside his trailer that vanished from a Pennsylvania lot, even as the United States attorney general said the Department of Justice had seen no evidence of significant fraud so far.

The mainstream media also continues to propagate the idea that Joe Biden has won the election even though cases are still being heard and ballots are still being sorted out amongst the latest case of election fraud in U.S. history.  Social media giants are also continuing to label tweets exposing this fraud as “fake” or “disputed.”

Americans Are CONSTANTLY BOMBARDED With Propaganda

Amistad Project Director Phill Kline says his group has collected sworn expert testimony alleging that“over 300,000 ballots are at issue in Arizona, 548,000 in Michigan, 204,000 in Georgia, and over 121,000 in Pennsylvania.” The FBI has requested access to their data analysis, Kline noted previously.

FBI Allegedly Requesting Data On “Potentially Fraudulent Ballots”

Kline’s claims have received remarkably little media attention, unlike the statement of US Attorney General Bill Barr to AP earlier on Tuesday that the Department of Justice has “not seen fraud on a scale that could have affected a different outcome in the election,” according to a report by RT.

Instead of investigating the claims made by Donald Trump and his campaign, the mainstream media and social media continue to label the ongoing election fraud as “baseless.”  If this swings the other way, which is still likely, the mainstream media will lose whatever credibility is remaining.

Back in September, we noticed that Trump was already prepared to take the election fraud all the way to the Supreme Court.

More Preplanned Election Chaos: Trump Says The Supreme Court Will “Sort Out” The Election

Trump Vows To Take Election Decision To The Supreme Court

The post Election Fraud: Whistleblower Testifies 300K Ballots VANISHED From His Truck first appeared on SHTF Plan – When It Hits The Fan, Don't Say We Didn't Warn You.

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AG Barr: DOJ has followed up on credible claims of voter fraud, has not found fraud on scale that could change election results

Attorney General Bill Barr told the Associated Press Tuesday that the United States Department of Justice has not found any evidence of widespread voter fraud that would change the outcome of the 2020 presidential election.

Barr said that U.S. attorneys and FBI agents have investigated specific complaints and information they’ve received and that the investigations have not unearthed evidence that the outcome of the election was fraudulent.

“To date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have affected a different outcome in the election,” Barr said.

On Nov. 9, the attorney general authorized federal prosecutors to look into “substantial allegations” of voter fraud while advising federal investigators to disregard “specious, speculative, fanciful or far-fetched claims.” Barr has been a consistent critic of mail-in voting, warning before the election that widespread mail voting created opportunities for election fraud.

In the wake of the election, President Donald Trump and his lawyers have asserted that a “national conspiracy” of voter fraud took place and that former Vice President Joe Biden’s victory in several key battleground states was illegitimate. The president has refused to concede to Biden as his campaign pursues various legal challenges to the results of the election. Additionally, lawmakers in several states have begun conducting election integrity hearings to listen to testimony from witnesses who say they have proof of voting irregularities that amount to widespread fraud.

Some of the Trump campaign’s legal filings have been rejected by judges who found that the evidence presented by Trump’s lawyers was not sufficient to substantiate their claims — including Republican-appointed federal judges. Lawsuits by Trump or state Republicans seeking to block the certification of election results in three different states were dropped or lost this week.

Barr did not address many of the specific allegations made by Trump’s legal team, but he did say that the DOJ has investigated claims that Dominion Voting Systems machines were somehow hacked or manipulated to throw the election to Biden, finding no evidence this happened.

“There’s been one assertion that would be systemic fraud and that would be the claim that machines were programmed essentially to skew the election results. And the DHS and DOJ have looked into that, and so far, we haven’t seen anything to substantiate that,” Barr said.

He added that many people are demanding that the federal criminal justice system investigate allegations that are outside of its jurisdiction and belong in civil lawsuits. He suggested that conducting state audits of election results is the appropriate response to many of these allegations of voting irregularities, rather than criminal investigations by the federal government. Amid allegations of voting irregularities, an audit of the Georgia election results confirmed a Biden victory and produced no indication that widespread fraud took place.

“There’s a growing tendency to use the criminal justice system as sort of a default fix-all, and people don’t like something they want the Department of Justice to come in and ‘investigate,'” Barr said.

He noted that criminal investigators require a basis to believe a crime took place before they can launch an investigation. Those allegations that meet that requirement, Barr said, have been followed up on.

“Most claims of fraud are very particularized to a particular set of circumstances or actors or conduct. They are not systemic allegations. And those have been run down; they are being run down,” Barr said. “Some have been broad and potentially cover a few thousand votes. They have been followed up on.”

The Trump legal team led by Giuliani and campaign senior legal adviser Jenna Ellis issued a statement responding to Barr, accusing the Department of Justice of lacking “any semblance of an investigation.”

“With the greatest respect to the attorney general, his opinion appears to be without any knowledge or investigation of the substantial irregularities and evidence of systemic fraud,” Trump’s lawyers said.

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DOJ: Seven military mail-in ballots cast for President Donald Trump found discarded in Pennsylvania

The United States Department of Justice says a small number of mail-in ballots cast by members of the military for President Donald Trump were thrown away in Pennsylvania.

A federal investigation into reported problems with a handful of mail-in ballots received by the Luzerne County Board of Elections began Monday at the request of District Attorney Stefanie Salavantis. A statement from the U.S. attorney in charge of the investigation released Thursday announces that physical evidence was uncovered that some ballots were discarded.

“Since Monday, FBI personnel working together with the Pennsylvania State Police have conducted numerous interviews and recovered and reviewed certain physical evidence. Election officials in Luzerne County have been cooperative,” the statement from U.S. Attorney David Freed reads.

“At this point we can confirm that a small number of military ballots were discarded,” Freed said.

Investigators said nine discarded ballots were discovered, and seven cast for President Trump.

“Some of those ballots can be attributed to specific voters and some cannot,” Freed said. “Of the nine ballots that were discarded and then recovered, 7 were cast for presidential candidate Donald Trump. Two of the discarded ballots had been resealed inside their appropriate envelopes by Luzerne elections staff prior to recovery by the FBI and the contents of those 2 ballots are unknown.”

The investigation remains ongoing.

“It is the vital duty of government to ensure that every properly cast vote is counted,” Freed said.

Trump has frequently criticized mail-in voting, arguing states are not equipped to handle large volumes of mail-in votes and suggesting that widespread fraud and a “rigged” election would occur if states adopt universal mail-in voting.

“Mail ballots, they cheat,” Trump said in August. “Mail ballots are very dangerous for this country because of cheaters. They go collect them. They are fraudulent in many cases. They have to vote. They should have voter ID, by the way.”

Most recently, the president has not said he would commit to a peaceful transition of power if he loses the election, suggesting his loss would be the result of fraudulent ballots.

“We’re going to have to see what happens. You know that I’ve been complaining very strongly about the ballots, and the ballots are a disaster,” Trump said. “Get rid of the ballots, and you’ll have a very peaceful — there won’t be a transfer, frankly. There will be a continuation.”

After a media firestorm and several Republicans implicitly condemned Trump’s comments, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany clarified Trump’s remarks during a news conference Thursday, saying he would accept the results of a “free and fair election.”

“The president will accept the result of a free and fair election,” McEnany said. “He will accept the will of the American people.”

She defended his criticisms of mail-in ballots.

“To move the entire country to mass mail-in voting all at once and have an entirely new system, and do that in just a few short months is an untenable and unworkable proposition,” McEnany said. “And one that is shown to not work well at all.”

McEnany promised reporters she would provide proof that mail-in ballots for President Trump were discarded in Pennsylvania, presumably referring to the U.S. Attorney Freed’s statement released later that day.

Attorney General William Barr has also been a forceful critic of universal mail ballots.

“This is playing with fire. We’re a very closely divided country here. And people have to have confidence in the results of the election and the legitimacy of the government, and people trying to change the rules to this, to this methodology which, as a matter of logic is very open to fraud and coercion, is reckless and dangerous and people are playing with fire,” Barr said on CNN’s “The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer” on Sept. 2.

Critics of the president and his administration say studies have shown that voter fraud is extremely rare and that previous attempts by the administration to show evidence of widespread fraud failed to do so.

However, there are examples of voter fraud conducted on a larger scale in the United States. In June, charges were filed against four New Jersey men, including two Paterson City officials, for allegedly engaging in voter fraud with mail-in ballots. More than 3,000 ballots in a Paterson City Council election were reportedly set aside over fraud concerns, with over 800 being invalidated. One incumbent councilman won reelection by just eight votes.

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Tim Tebow joins AG Barr to announce $100 million grant to fight human trafficking

Attorney General William Barr — joined by former Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow, first daughter Ivanka Trump, and Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) — announced at a roundtable event on Monday that the Department of Justice would be awarding more than $100 million to help combat human trafficking.

The grant money will be given to task forces aimed at stopping human trafficking and to organizations that provide housing and services to victims, the Associated Press reported.

The announcement comes just one month after the Trump administration awarded $35 million in separate grant money to organizations that provide safe housing for victims.

The Tim Tebow Foundation, a charitable organization run by the former NFL quarterback and his wife, Demi, is heavily invested in anti-human trafficking efforts around the world.

During the roundtable, Tebow called human trafficking the “greatest form of evil in the world today.”

He also charged those in the room, which included members of law enforcement and other philanthropic organizations, to “push back this evil” and finally say “not on our watch.”


Tim Tebow Foundation joins human trafficking effort at Atlanta roundtable

youtu.be

“The reason why we got into this,” Tebow continued, “was because eight years ago, my dad was preaching in a remote country, and there were four girls that he was next to that were being sold, and he took out all the money out of his wallet — which was $1,250 — and he bought those four girls.”

“Then, he called me and said, ‘I just bought four girls and I’m not really sure what to do now.’ And I said, ‘That’s okay, Dad, we’ve got your back,'” Tebow said.

Tebow’s foundation now works with the federal government to strengthen families in areas where trafficking is prevalent, support rescue missions of trafficked individuals, and support survivors’ long-term recovery.

According to the International Labor Organization, there are as many as 40 million people around the world who are victims of some form of modern-day slavery or human trafficking. Among the victims, women and children are disproportionately affected.

Last month, the Tim Tebow Foundation launched a fundraiser to aid the war on human trafficking.

“I can’t help but feel that we are at a point in history where we cannot stand silently and passively watch as evil rages on,” Tebow wrote on the GoFundMe page. “It’s time for Christians around the world to take a stand, to raise our voices and say no more. No more will we allow girls and boys, many of whom are just children, to be bought and sold as if they were just products for someone else’s personal gain. Every person on this earth is created in the image of God – uniquely, beautifully, and perfectly. Their value is priceless, and they are not for sale.”

At the time of this article’s publication, more than $700,000 had been raised.

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Department of Justice DOJ Intelwars Portland arrests Portland mayor Portland protests Portland riots President Trump Ted Wheeler

74 rioters facing federal charges for crimes committed during Portland riots

The Department of Justice announced on Thursday that 74 people are facing federal charges for crimes committed during violent riots in Portland that have been happening since late May.

“For more than 90 consecutive nights, Portland has been home to large demonstrations and protests against police use of force and anti-Black racism,” the Department of Justice statement reads. “On many nights, after peaceful demonstrations end, various public and private buildings have been the target of vandalism and destruction. Local, state, and federal law enforcement working to protect these buildings and ensure the safety of peaceful demonstrators have been subjected to threats and assaults from violent agitators while performing their duties.”

“Violent agitators have hijacked any semblance of First Amendment protected activity, engaging in violent criminal acts and destruction of public safety,” U.S. Attorney Willias said. “The U.S. Attorney’s Office and our federal law enforcement partners are expeditiously working with local and state law enforcement to identify, arrest, and prosecute these individuals that are disrupting the rule of law in our communities and physically attacking our law enforcement officers and destroying property. Violent agitators not only delay real reform, but make our community less safe by keeping law enforcement from responding to other critical calls for service.”

Charges include arson, destruction of federal property, assaulting a federal officer, unlawful use of a drone, and failing to obey lawful orders. You can find a list of the defendants and charges below.

The federal charges come at a time when President Donald Trump and Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler (D) are quarreling over the use of federal law enforcement in Oregon’s largest city that has been rocked by civil unrest.

On Aug. 25, Trump urged Wheeler and Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) to accept federal law enforcement.

“We again request Kate Brown (@OregonGovBrown), the Governor of Oregon, and Mayor @TedWheeler of Portland, to call up the National Guard like should have been done 3 months ago,” Trump tweeted. “They must stop calling these anarchists and agitators ‘peaceful protestors’. Come back into the real world! The Federal Government is ready to end this problem immediately upon your request.”

Brown replied, “Oregon isn’t interested in a role in your political theater, @realDonaldTrump. The @OregonGuard is focused on fighting wildfires, distributing PPE & helping with unemployment calls. I’d love to discuss what we actually need: financial resources, N-95 masks & testing supplies.”

Wheeler sent a letter to Trump on Friday, declining the president’s offer to sent federal officers to Portland to help quell the riots.

“Dear President Trump. Yet again, you said you offered to aid Portland by sending in federal law enforcement to our city,” Wheeler’s letter read. “On behalf of the City of Portland: No thanks. We don’t need your politics of division and demagoguery.”

“When you sent the Feds to Portland last month, you made the situation far worse,” Wheeler said. “Your offer to repeat that disaster is a cynical attempt to stoke fear and distract us from the real work of our city. In Portland, we are focused on coming together as a community to solve the serious challenges we face due to systemic racism, a global pandemic and an economic recession. Stay away, please.”

Trump responded, “If the incompetent Mayor of Portland, Ted Wheeler, doesn’t get control of his city and stop the Anarchists, Agitators, Rioters and Looters, causing great danger to innocent people, we will go in and take care of matters the way they should have been taken care of 100 days ago!”

As of Aug. 27, Portland Police have made 217 arrests at protests in the month of August, nearly three times the 77 arrests they made in all of July, according to the Portland Police Bureau. “About half of those occurred in the last week, when police declared riots five out of seven nights,” The Oregonian reported on Thursday.

Friday marked the 93rd straight day of protests in Portland. A riot was declared by Portland Police after vandals set fire to the police union building.

Also on Friday night, Black Lives Matter protesters chained themselves together as a demonstration in Wheeler’s apartment building lobby.

The 74 defendants federally charged by the DOJ include:

  • Edward Carubis, 24, is charged with assaulting a federal officer on July 1, 2020;
  • Rowan Olsen, 19, is charged (photos available) with creating a hazard on federal property, disorderly conduct, and failing to obey a lawful order on July 2, 2020;
  • Shant Singh Ahuja, 28, of Oceanside, California, is charged with destruction of federal property on July 4, 2020;
  • Gretchen Blank, 29, of Seattle, Washington, is charged (photos available) with assaulting a federal officer on July 5, 2020;
  • Andrew Faulkner, 24, is charged with assaulting a federal officer on July 5, 2020;
  • Christopher Fellini, 31, is charged (photos available) with assaulting a federal officer on July 5, 2020;
  • Theodore Matthee-O’Brien, 21, is charged with assaulting a federal officer on July 5, 2020;
  • Cody Porter, 28, is charged with assaulting a federal officer on July 5, 2020;
  • Taimane Teo, 24, of Eugene, Oregon, is charged with assaulting a federal officer on July 5, 2020;
  • Benjamin Wood-Pavich, 21, is charged with assaulting a federal officer on July 5, 2020;
  • Jacob Gaines, 23, a Texas resident, is charged (photos available) with assaulting a federal officer on July 11, 2020;
  • Lillith Grin, 22, is charged with assaulting a federal officer on July 12, 2020;
  • Benjamin Bolen, 36, is charged with assaulting a federal officer on July 13, 2020;
  • Kevin Weier, 36, is charged with attempted arson on July 13, 2020;
  • Wyatt Ash-Milby, 18, is charged with failing to obey a lawful order on July 21, 2020;
  • Jerusalem Callahan, 24, is charged with damaging government property on July 21, 2020;
  • Zachary Duffly, 45, is charged with creating a disturbance on July 21, 2020;
  • Caleb Ehlers, 23, is charged with failing to obey a lawful order on July 21, 2020;
  • Paul Furst, 22, is charged with failing to obey a lawful order on July 21, 2020;
  • Jennifer Kristiansen, 38, is charged with assaulting a federal officer on July 21, 2020;
  • Ella Miller, 26, is charged with failing to obey a lawful order on July 21, 2020;
  • Marie Sager, 27, is charged with failing to obey a lawful order on July 21, 2020;
  • Giovanni Bondurant, 19, is charged with assaulting a federal officer on July 22, 2020;
  • Bailey Dreibelbis, 22, is charged with failing to obey a lawful order on July 21, 2020;
  • Gabriel Huston, 22, is charged with assaulting a federal officer on July 22, 2020;
  • Joseph Lagalo, 37, is charged with failing to obey a lawful order on July 22, 2020;
  • Taylor Lemons, 32, is charged with assaulting a federal officer on July 22, 2020;
  • Joseph Ybarra, 21, is charged with arson on July 22, 2020;
  • David Hazan, 24, is charged with failing to obey a lawful order on July 23, 2020;
  • Nicholas Kloiber, 26, is charged with failing to obey a lawful order on July 23, 2020;
  • Cameron Knutson, 28, is charged with failing to obey a lawful order on July 23, 2020;
  • Carly Ballard, 34, is charged with assaulting a federal officer on July 24, 2020;
  • David Bouchard, 36, is charged with assaulting a federal officer on July 24, 2020;
  • Dakota Eastman, 30, is charged with failing to obey a lawful order on July 24, 2020;
  • Josslynn Kreutz, 28, is charged with failing to obey a lawful order on July 24, 2020;
  • Ezra Meyers, 18, is charged with failing to obey a lawful order on July 24, 2020;
  • Mark Rolycanov, 28, is charged with failing to obey a lawful order on July 24, 2020;
  • Pablo Avvocato, 26, is charged with assaulting a federal officer on July 25, 2020;
  • Douglas Dean, 34, is charged with assaulting a federal officer on July 25, 2020;
  • Rebecca Mota Gonzales, 37, is charged with assaulting a federal officer on July 25, 2020;
  • Thomas Johnson, 33, is charged with assaulting a federal officer on July 25, 2020;
  • Richard Lindstedt, 33, is charged with violating national defense airspace on July 25, 2020;
  • Nathan Onderdonk-Snow, 21, is charged with assaulting a federal officer on July 25, 2020;
  • Stephen O’Donnell, 65, is charged with assaulting a federal officer on July 25, 2020;
  • Joshua Webb, 22, is charged with assaulting a federal officer on July 25, 2020;
  • Jeffree Cary, 30, is charged with assaulting a federal officer on July 26, 2020;
  • John Tyler Gabriel, 22, is charged with assaulting a federal officer on July 26, 2020;
  • Noelle Mandolfo, 30, is charged with assaulting a federal officer on July 26, 2020;
  • Patrick Stafford, 35, is charged with assaulting a federal officer on July 26, 2020;
  • Travis Williams, 27, is charged with assaulting a federal officer on July 26, 2020;
  • Caleb Wills, 29, is charged with assaulting a federal officer on July 26, 2020;
  • Brodie Storey, 28, is charged with assaulting a federal officer on July 27, 2020;
  • Edward Schinzing, 32, is charged (photos available) with arson on July 28, 2020;
  • James Hickerson, 54, is charged with failing to obey a lawful order on July 28, 2020;
  • Ian Wolf, 26, is charged with failing to obey a lawful order and creating a hazard on federal property on July 28, 2020;
  • Sabastian Dubar, 23, is charged with assaulting a federal officer on July 29, 2020;
  • Jordan Johnson, 32, is charged with assaulting a federal officer on July 29, 2020;
  • Evan Kriechbaum, 31, is charged with assaulting a federal officer on July 29, 2020;
  • Christine Margaux, 28, is charged with assaulting a federal officer on July 29, 2020;
  • Gabriel Agard-Berryhill, 18, is charged (video available) with arson on July 30, 2020;
  • Isaiah Maza, 18, is charged (photos available) with assaulting a federal officer on July 31, 2020;
  • Dakotah Horton, 24, is charged (photos available) with assaulting a federal officer on August 17, 2020; and
  • Dakota Means, 20, is charged with assaulting a federal officer on August 24, 2020.
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Department of Justice: DC man stole $2.5 million from COVID-19 relief fund and Catholic Church to buy yacht and $1 million row house

A Washington, D.C., man was charged with fraud for allegedly stealing $2.5 million from the federal COVID-19 relief fund and from the Catholic Church, then using that money for extravagant purchases, including a house, sports car, and yacht.

Kenneth Gaughan, 41, was arrested Tuesday and charged with one count of bank fraud, one count of the theft of government funds, one count of wire fraud, and one count of money laundering. Gaughan allegedly obtained fraudulent money meant to go to businesses struggling to stay afloat during the coronavirus pandemic. According to the Department of Justice, he stole over $2.1 million in Paycheck Protection Program loans and Economic Injury Disaster Loans.

Gaughan also allegedly operated an embezzlement scheme to steal more than $472,000 in funds from the Catholic Archdiocese of Washington, D.C. He was previously employed as the assistant superintendent, responsible for being the point-of-contact for contractors to provide different services to about 95 Catholic schools overseen by the Catholic Archdiocese of Washington.

From June 2010 through April 2018, Gaughan reportedly faked invoices for anti-bullying and crisis intervention programs and then billed the archdiocese from three companies he owned.

Gaughan is accused of using the stolen funds to buy a 2020 Cruisers Yachts 338 CX 33-foot watercraft worth $300,000, a $46,000 2020 Kia Stinger sports sedan, and a $1.13 million row house in northeast Washington, D.C.

According to the DOJ, he applied for PPP loans through the U.S. Small Business Administration under companies who “register emotional support animals” by allegedly forging paperwork and bank records.

The government seized the yacht, the luxury automobile, Gaughan’s investment account, and Gaughan’s bank accounts. The federal government is also filing a civil forfeiture complaint for the seizure of his row house.

“During this time, many businesses are feeling the effects of the pandemic. To help businesses make it through, the government offered loans to provide economic relief to small businesses and non-profit organizations that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue and enable them to keep their workers on the payroll. Unfortunately, there are greedy individuals who choose to abuse these programs in order to enrich their lifestyle,” Kelly Jackson, IRS special agent in charge of the D.C. field office, said in a Department of Justice news release. “This conduct will be investigated to ensure crooks are held responsible for stealing this money away from those who were in need.”

“Mr. Gaughan was so emboldened by deceiving a church for eight years he then, allegedly, turned his deception to the government, stealing funds that were meant to be a lifeline for struggling businesses during an unprecedented economic downturn, and greedily using them to satisfy his own materialistic desires,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Jennifer Boone.

“We will not tolerate the exploitation of this national emergency for personal gain,” said acting U.S. Attorney Michael R. Sherwin. “This Office will not allow fraudsters to steal taxpayer money intended to help small businesses that are currently struggling as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Last month, a California man was arrested for reportedly stealing $9 million in COVID-19 relief funds. Andrew Marnell, a Los Angeles resident, was accused of submitting several fraudulent loan applications. He allegedly spent the money on extravagant gambling sprees in Las Vegas and risky stock market investments.

In late May, the U.S. Department of Justice, the Security and Exchange Committee, and the U.S Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York announced fraud charges against former Hollywood executive producer William Sadleir. He was accused of stealing $1.7 million in coronavirus relief loans and embezzling $25 million from investors.

Sadleir, 66, was said to have used the PPP loans to pay off his personal credit cards, $40,000 in car payments, other personal expenses, and to help purchase a $14 million mansion in Beverly Hills.

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Feds ID and nab shirtless Portland Justice Center arson suspect thanks to the giant tattoo on his back … of his last name

If you’re going to break into your city’s police headquarters and commit arson while sporting a tattoo of your last name in giant letters on your back, a word of advice: Wear a shirt.

Suspected arsonist Edward Schinzing, 32, did not follow that advice when he allegedly attempted to set fire to the Portland Justice Center, which is near the center of the ongoing protests and riots in downtown Portland, Oregon.

And now he’s facing federal arson charges.

What happened?

On Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that authorities had charged Schinzing with “using fire to maliciously damage or destroy the Justice Center in downtown Portland.”

The charges stem from a late May incident at the Justice Center, which houses the Portland Police headquarters and the Multnomah County Detention Center.

According to the DOJ statement, Schinzing was among a group of protesters who broke into the Justice Center just before 11 p.m. on May 29. Protesters smashed several of the building’s windows and entered secured offices.

At least three civilian county employees who were working in the Corrections Records Office at the time ran for safety when the windows were broken and suspects raided the building, the DOJ noted.

The department said about 30 rioters entered the Justice Center through the broken windows, spray-painted parts of the office, destroyed office equipment and computers, and started fires.

Schinzing, the Justice Department said, was ID’d by comparing his images on surveillance video with a previous jail booking photo and a “distinctive tattoo of his last name across his upper back.”

The suspect allegedly spread a fire by lighting papers in the front of the office and moving them to a drawer in a second cubicle.

Thankfully for the workers — plus the 289 inmates housed in the detention center — the building’s fire sprinkler system was able to extinguish the fires, according to the statement.


U.S. Department of Justice/U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Oregon

According to the Oregonian, Schinzing is facing federal charges for his alleged crimes at a county building because the property belonging to the city of Portland and Multnomah County receives millions of dollars in federal assistance through the DOJ.

Schinzing, who was on probation for domestic violence assault, the newspaper said, is currently being held in the jail at the Justice Center that he is accused of trying to torch.

He also has seven prior misdemeanor and two felony convictions, the Oregonian reported.

Here’s video of the “peaceful” Portland protesters busting the windows of the Justice Center on May 29.

Content warning: Rough language


Portland protesters break windows at the Justice Center downtown

youtu.be

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Justice Department to resume federal executions for the first time in? 17 years

The Department of Justice is on course to resume federal executions for the first time in 17 years according to a report from the Associated Press.

Three executions are scheduled on Monday at an Indiana prison despite critics citing the coronavirus pandemic as a reason to continue the hiatus.

Officials are instituting social distancing policies in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus at the executions. Families of the victims and inmates will be allowed to attend, but they must wear masks.

U.S. Attorney General William Barr defended the policy, saying it was necessary to reinstitute executions to uphold the cause of justice.

“The American people, acting through Congress and Presidents of both political parties, have long instructed that defendants convicted of the most heinous crimes should be subject to a sentence of death,” Barr said in a statement in June.

Critics have pointed to racial and economic disparities in executions to advocate for an outright ban of capital punishment. However, all three executions scheduled on Monday are of white inmates.

Scheduled for execution is a member of a white supremacist group convicted in Arkansas of murdering a family of three, including an 8-year-old child.

The second inmate is 67-year-old Wesley Ira Purkey who was convicted of beating an 80-year-old woman to death and later confessed to raping and murdering a 16-year-old. He later recanted his confession.

The third inmate scheduled for execution is Dustin Lee Honken, convicted for murdering five people, including two children, in order to conceal his methamphetamine drug business.

Here’s more about the resumption of executions:


Kansas rapist, killer among first to be executed when capital punishment resumes

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Breaking: Justice Dept. sues to stop publication of John Bolton’s book ​​

The Department of Justice filed a civil lawsuit on Tuesday to stop the publication of a book written by John Bolton, the former national security adviser to President Donald Trump.

Bolton’s highly anticipated but controversial book, titled, “In the Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir,” was scheduled to be released on June 23.

The lawsuit alleged that Bolton had breached his contract and that the book contained classified information.

“(Bolton) struck a bargain with the United States as a condition of his employment in one of the most sensitive and important national security positions in the United States Government and now wants to renege on that bargain by unilaterally deciding that the prepublication review process is complete and deciding for himself whether classified information should be made public,” the prosecutors charged.

The lawsuit said that Bolton backed out of an agreement to have the 500-page manuscript reviewed by administration officials.

‘Doomed to fail’

In anticipation of the lawsuit, Bolton tweeted a statement from the American Civil Liberties Union condemning any attempt to shut down his book.

“50 years ago, [the Supreme Court] rejected the Nixon administration’s attempt to block the publication of the Pentagon Papers, establishing that government censorship is unconstitutional,” read the ACLU statement.

“Any Trump administration efforts to stop John Bolton’s book from being published are doomed to fail,” the statement added.

Bolton has taken a decidedly aggressive stance against the Trump administration after leaving it, and in the back cover of the book, he sent a message to the president over his attempts to stop the book from being published.

“My reaction,” Bolton wrote, “my response? Game on.”

Here’s more about Bolton’s upcoming book


Trump: A Bolton book is ‘totally inappropriate’

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Retired judge appointed in Mike Flynn case slams Justice Dept. for ‘gross abuse of prosecutorial power’

A retired judge appointed to argue against the dismissal of charges in the case against Mike Flynn said that the Department of Justice was guilty of a “gross abuse of prosecutorial power.”

John Gleeson issued his opinion in an 83-page submission to the court on Wednesday.

Gleeson argued that the DOJ had no power to dismiss the charges leveled against Flynn after they were filed, and said the only reason they would seek such a dismissal was Flynn’s personal relationship to the president.

He was appointed by U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan after the DOJ said they would seek to drop the charges to which Flynn pleaded guilty. Flynn later sought to withdraw his plea.

Gleeson charged that the government’s rationale for dropping the charges was “riddled with inexplicable and elementary errors of law and fact.”

The government argued that although Flynn was guilty of lying to the government, his statements were immaterial to the investigation into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Gleeson argued otherwise and claimed the only basis to drop the charges was “on the fact that Flynn is an ally of President Trump.”

He noted that the president had tweeted or retweeted posts about Flynn, who had formerly been his national security adviser, more than 100 times since the allegations were made.

Flynn’s lawyers have filed a request to a federal appeals court to dismiss the case, and that hearing is scheduled for June 12.

Here’s more about the charges against Flynn:


DNI Ratcliffe releases transcripts of Flynn’s calls with Russian Amb to Congress

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Joe Biden, James Comey, and Obama’s chief of staff on list of officials who requested to ‘unmask’ Michael Flynn

Former Vice President Joe Biden and other high-profile Obama administration officials were included on a list of people who may have requested to “unmask” Michael Flynn’s identity, which had previously been obscured in an NSA foreign intelligence report, Fox News reported.

Other officials on the list included former FBI Director James Comey, former CIA Director John Brennan, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, and former President Barack Obama’s then-chief of staff, Denis McDonough.

What does this mean? Flynn, former national security adviser to President Donald Trump, had his December 2016 calls with former Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak picked up in surveillance. The identity of U.S. citizens in such conversations are protected if their participation is incidental.

The NSA report referred to Flynn generically, not by name. However, certain national security officials have the ability to request that the identity of individuals in such reports be revealed; this is the “unmasking.” It’s not an uncommon process; according to Politico, there were nearly 8,000 different “unmasking” requests made last year.

The list declassified by current acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell shows Obama administration officials who “may have received Lt. Gen. Flynn’s identity in response to a request processed between 8 November 2016 and 31 January 2017 to unmask an identity that had been generically referred to in an NSA foreign intelligence report.”

Grenell sent this list to GOP Sens. Chuck Grassley (Iowa) and Ron Johnson (Wis.), who have been actively looking into the origins of the Russia investigation for potential wrongdoing.

What are the implications? Flynn was fired in February 2017 after being caught lying to the FBI about his conversations with Kislyak. In December 2017, he pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI. Last week, however, the Justice Department moved to drop the charges against Flynn.

Handwritten FBI notes from the FBI agents who interviewed Flynn appeared to show them considering setting a perjury trap for Flynn, asking “What is our goal? Truth/Admission or to get him to lie, so we can prosecute him or get him fired?”

The list of Obama administration officials seeking to unmask Flynn in the last days of Obama’s presidency fuels accusations that they were targeting incoming Trump administration officials like Flynn.

Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, will also have to answer for his involvement as the election season progresses. He stumbled over his answer on “Good Morning America” this week when asked about the investigation into Flynn, first saying he knew nothing about it, then backtracking and saying that he thought the question was about prosecution. Biden then said he was aware that “they asked for an investigation.”

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Judge refuses to drop charges against Mike Flynn immediately — he wants to see challenges from outside groups

The effort to exonerate Mike Flynn from charges related to the Russian investigation hit a snag when a judge said he wanted to hear objections from outside groups.

The order was issued after lawyers for Flynn filed a request to strike an amicus brief from a group referring to itself as “Watergate Prosecutors.”

U.S. District Judge Judge Emmet Sullivan of Washington D.C., refused the request and said he would allow other groups to file their objections.

Flynn pled guilty to charges of lying to the FBI during an interview in the Russian investigation, but he later filed to withdraw the guilty plea.

In April the notes of the FBI agents who interviewed Flynn were released and many argued that they proved there was a politically motivated bias against Flynn.

On Thursday the Department of Justice said it would be dropping the charges against Flynn. Critics of the move accused the DOJ of acting politically in order to reward friends of the president, but defenders of Flynn said he had been targeted unfairly for prosecution.

Here’s more about the charges against Mike Flynn:


Justice Department Drops Case Against Former Trump Aide Michael Flynn

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Ilhan Omar blames ‘white privilege’ for charges being dropped against Mike Flynn

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) had a curt but controversial response to the news that the Department of Justice dropped their charges against Mike Flynn.

Omar tweeted on Thursday that the charges were dropped because of “white privilege.”

“White privilege at work,” she tweeted.

The phrase “white privilege” refers to a social justice contention that white people enjoy advantages because of systemic and institutionalized discrimination against minorities.

Flynn had pleaded guilty to charges including lying to the FBI in relation to the investigation into Russian election interference and alleged collusion. He had worked as the national security advisor for President Donald Trump before he was fired for lying to Vice President Mike Pence.

After the release of documents that corroborated claims of political motivation and bias by the FBI agents, his allies demanded a review of the case and some encouraged the president to pardon him.

On Thursday the Department of Justice announced that they would drop the prosecution of Flynn altogether.

Democrats strenuously objected to the decision and called for further investigations into the rationale for the unraveling of the charges against Flynn.

Here’s more about the charges dropped:


Justice Department drops Michael Flynn’s criminal charges

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Justice Department drops criminal case against Michael Flynn

The U.S. Justice Department is dropping its criminal case against Michael Flynn, according to the Associated Press. This comes a week after the public release of documents that were unsealed in the case, which raised questioned as to the motivation of the investigation into President Donald Trump’s first national security adviser.

The DOJ concluded that Flynn’s interview by the FBI was “untethered to, and unjustified by, the FBI’s counterintelligence investigation into Mr. Flynn” and that the interview on Jan. 24, 2017, was “conducted without any legitimate investigative basis.”

The 2017 interview days after Trump’s inauguration led to Flynn pleading guilty of lying to the FBI about contact with the then-Russian ambassador before Trump took office. The retired Army lieutenant general pleaded guilty to one count of lying to federal agents in December 2017.

In court documents filed Thursday, the Justice Department said it was dropping the case “after a considered review of all the facts and circumstances of this case, including newly discovered and disclosed information.”

“Through the course of my review of General Flynn’s case, I concluded the proper and just course was to dismiss the case,” U.S. Attorney Jeff Jensen, who was reviewing the Flynn case, said in a statement. “I briefed Attorney General [William] Barr on my findings, advised him on these conclusions, and he agreed.”

Flynn had been attempting to withdraw his guilty plea since January, arguing that he is a victim of misconduct by prosecutors.

Unsealed documents showed that the FBI had closed its criminal counterintelligence investigation into Flynn, but top bureau official Peter Strzok ordered it to be reopened. The FBI was going to close the case against Flynn because there was an “absence of any derogatory information.”

The investigation into Flynn, codenamed “Crossfire Razor,” was set to conclude Jan. 4, 2017, but Strzok had it reopened.

“Hey, if you haven’t closed RAZOR, don’t do so yet,” Strzok wrote in a text message to the investigating agent on Jan. 4, 2017. “Pls keep it open for now.”

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Attorney General Coronavirus Coronavirus america Coronavirus outbreak Coronavirus panic Coronavirus us Crime Department of Justice Intelwars William Barr

Barr tells federal prosectors to prioritize cases of coronavirus scammers amid outbreak

United Sates Attorney General William Barr has told federal prosecutors to prioritize cases of “wrongdoers” looking to seize on the global spread of coronavirus — formally known as COVID-19 — for illicit gain.

“In addition to ensuring that the justice system can continue functioning during the current national crisis, it is essential that the Department of Justice remain vigilant in detecting, investigating, and prosecuting wrongdoing related to the crisis,” Barr said in a Monday memo to U.S. attorneys obtained by Blaze Media. In the document, the attorney general pointed to “reports of individuals and businesses selling fake cures” for the disease on the internet as well as “engaging in other forms of fraud,” phishing and malware schemes.

“The pandemic is dangerous enough without wrongdoers seeking to profit from public panic, and this sort of conduct cannot be tolerated,” Barr continued in the directive. “Every U.S. attorney’s office is thus hereby directed to prioritize the detection, investigation, and prosecution of all criminal conduct related to the current pandemic.”

The memo encouraged prosecutors to work with the Justice Department’s various offices devoted the enforcement to consumer protection, fraud, and antitrust laws “for additional guidance on how to detect, investigate, and and prosecute these schemes.” It also encouraged collaboration with state and local authorities “to both ensure that we hear about misconduct as quickly as possible and that all appropriate enforcement tools are available to punish it.”

Barr’s instructions to prosecutors are the latest step the department has taken to head off coronavirus-related criminal activity amid the ongoing spread of the disease. Last week, the attorney general put out a warning to U.S. businesses about violating antitrust laws through actions like price fixing or bid-rigging in the manufacture and sale of medical products like face masks and respirators.

“The Department of Justice stands ready to make sure that bad actors do not take advantage of emergency response efforts, healthcare providers, or the American people during this crucial time,” Barr said in a statement. “I am committed to ensuring that the department’s resources are available to combat any wrongdoing and protect the public.”

Other federal agencies have also made efforts to protect Americans from being defrauded during the current public health crisis.

Last week, the Food and Drug Administration and the Federal Trade Commission sent warning letters to seven different companies “for selling fraudulent COVID-19 products,” which they said were “unapproved drugs that pose significant risks to patient health and violate federal law.”

The Secret Service has also sent out a warning for people to be on the lookout for online scam and fraud schemes as part of its mission to combat cyber crime.

“Criminals are opportunists, and as seen in the past, any major news event can become an opportunity for groups or individuals with malicious intentions. The Coronavirus is no different,” the federal law enforcement agency said last week. “In fact, the Coronavirus is a prime opportunity for enterprising criminals because it plays on one of the basic human conditions…fear.”

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Obama-era inspector general indicted in alleged scheme to steal government workers’ info for personal gain

An former government official whose job used to be reporting improper conduct at the Department of Homeland Security has been indicted by federal authorities in an alleged scheme to defraud the government and steal federal workers’ private information.

According to a Department of Justice news release from Friday, former former acting Inspector General for the Department of Homeland Security Charles Edwards and his former subordinate Murali Yamazula Venkata have been indicted on 16 counts “for their alleged theft of proprietary software and confidential databases from the U.S. government as part of a scheme to defraud the U.S. government.”

The release goes on to say that “from October 2014 to April 2017, Edwards, Venkata, and others executed a scheme to defraud the U.S. government by stealing confidential and proprietary software from DHS Office of Inspector General (OIG), along with sensitive government databases containing personal identifying information (PII) of DHS and USPS employees, so that Edwards’s company, Delta Business Solutions, could later sell an enhanced version of DHS-OIG’s software to the Office of Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Agriculture at a profit.”

The charges against the two include “conspiracy to commit theft of government property and to defraud the United States, theft of government property, wire fraud, and aggravated identity theft,” according to the Justice Department.

The indictment also says that, “Venkata and others also assisted Edwards by reconfiguring his laptop so that he could properly upload the stolen software and databases, provided troubleshooting support whenever Edwards required it, and helped him build a testing server at his residence with the stolen software and databases.”

Edwards — who started working as acting inspector general starting in 2011 — stepped down from the DHS watchdog post in December 2013 amid a storm of questions about his conduct in the position.

“The litany of allegations against Edwards included claims that he bowed to political pressure and watered down his reports; abused agency personnel and resources; and retaliated against employees who questioned his conduct,” according to Fox News at the time.

However, after leaving DHS, the DOJ release says, Edwards “continued to leverage his relationship with Venkata and other DHS-OIG employees to steal the software and the sensitive government databases.”

According to an investigative report from the Washington Post, the affected software and databases contained the personal information of over 250,000 government workers.

The Department of Justice also notes that an indictment is nothing more an allegation and “all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.”

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